Perfume – An Affordable Luxury
No woman`s dressing table is complete without at least one bottle of perfume, or scent, or cologne. Perfume not only makes us smell good, it makes us feel good. It heightens our senses and makes us feel altogether more desirable. Perfume enhances a body`s natural pheromones, the `animal scent` we have used to attract a mate since the Stone Age. It is these same pheromones which make perfume smell different on every woman.
Perfume, in various guises, has been used for centuries. The ancient Romans were known to use a perfumed balm in religious ceremonies. When the affect it had on both sexes was noticed, it became an essential part of their preparations before they made love. These perfumes were natural substances extracted from trees, or made from soaking plants such as mint or roses in basic oils until they infused.
It wasn`t until the 19th century that perfume as we know it today began to evolve. As the knowledge in Chemistry advanced, synthetic products were first produced to add the scent to perfume. These early perfumes were very exclusive and a lady`s status was often determined by her scent. The town of Grasse in France is generally regarded as the home of modern perfumery.
In the early 20th century, perfume became accessible to all the classes, thanks to further advances in technology. Mass production became possible for the first time, and some of the best known names in perfume began production. The earliest ones to receive recognition were Coty and Yardley; they made light floral scents that smelt familiar.
Todays perfume is made by purely chemical means. The main ingredient is between 78% and 95% of specially formulated ethyl alcohol, the remaining percentage is made up of the essential oil used for the fragrance. It is the ratio between the two than determines the types of perfume as well as the price.
Perfume is the costliest, as it has the highest density of essential oil; 22%.
Next is Eau de parfum, with between 15% and 22% of essential oil.
Eau de Toilette trails in third with between 8% and 15% essential oil.
Eau de cologne brings up the rear with only 4% essential oil.
The amount of essential oil in a perfume is what makes the difference as to how long a scent lingers. A good perfume can be smelt on clothes or in a room days later. An Eau de cologne will only last a few hours at the most.
There are six main categories that perfumes are put into; Chypre, Floral, Floriental, Fruit, Green marine and Oriental. The origins of the essential oils in the perfume determine which category they are placed in. Most women have a signature scent, but like to mix it up depending on mood or occasion. So if their most used scent is in the floral group, they may go for an oriental for a night out.
Promotion and marketing has turned perfume into the billion dollar industry that it is today. When Brigit Bardot was asked in the sixties what she wore in bed, and she replied `Chanel no 5` the sales went through the roof. Big budget advertising campaigns and celebrity endorsements are vital to promote a new perfume in an overcrowded market. So many celebrities are producing their own perfumes now that it`s hard to keep up with them all. Whatever your favourite perfume is, enjoy wearing it and receiving the attention that a good perfume brings with it.