Scents and perfumes have been around since the early ages of Romans. Ever since then, our noses have been entertained and our minds transported to strings of memories. A memory that is a culmination of senses, flashbacks riddle our minds, cognitive smell of the surroundings, the emotions we feel; all stringed together by a memory. Fragrance is a memory. It is a key that unlocks a box of emotions.
Everything and everyone around us has a unique and identifiable scent. Yes, even wet rocks have a scent. Condensing them in a drop through distillation, en fleurage or whatever distillation process you may call it, is an art that many artisans have been guiding ever the since the history of time.
Image taken from Maison de Pafum
Pick up a bottle of your favorite scent. I am certain that words like eau de toilette or letters like EDP decorates the bottle. Whether it is an expensive niche perfume from a celebrated perfumer or an inexpensive spritz from a high street brand, all are categorized. Fragrance products are either animal or plant based. Each varies on concentration and ration of fragrance oils to a solvent (usually alcohol) that determines their category.
Let’s educate our noses, shall we?
Eau de Cologne
Concentration Oils: up to 7%
Due to the minute concentration of perfume oils present in the solution it is ideal to spray copious amounts on very hot weather. Spray liberally onto skin and let it evaporate quickly. These are usually sold in larger bottles up to 200ml.
Eau de Toilette
Concentration Oils: up to 10%
The most common commodity in the market and it’s clearly, a very popular choice due to its relative longevity and price. Spray onto your pulse points and let it air dry. Don’t rub! I repeat, don’t rub your skin once perfume hits your skin. Rubbing destroys the composition of the perfume. Why? That’s a topic for another day.
Eau de Parfum
Concentration Oils: up to 20%
If you have a signature scent or a perfume that reminds you of your childhood sweetheart, go ahead invest in an EDP version of it. The concoction is definitely much stronger and concentrated so be cautious on your sprays. EDP versions tend to vary slightly from their EDT counterparts as perfumers alter the top and base notes to suit the sillage they wanted to achieve. Suitable in humid weather but be sure to select perfumes with good projection and longevity (floral, Vetiver and spice).
Concentration Oils: up to 40%
The purest and most concentrated form and it’s rarely available in the market. It’s a priced commodity as the abundance of perfumes oil present in the solution. One spritz is enough to send you to the moon and back. If this is your choice of poison, just be careful. You don’t want people dropping like flies as you pass you by.
Know the classification of your fragrances. It may make you sound elitist but at least you know what you are doing. Get the bang out of your buck by using the appropriate type of fragrances to suit your surroundings.