How are women's perfumes made? Many of us wear perfume, and we often own several at once, picking different scents for different activities or events. But do any of us know how women's fragrances are made? Or where they came from?"
How are women's perfumes made?
Many of us wear perfume, and we often own several at once, picking different scents for different activities or events. But do any of us know how women's fragrances are made? Or where they came from?
Where do perfumes come from?
Men and women alike have been wearing perfumes and colognes for a long time. Since ancient times we've used scents from nature and formed dried herbs, pressed oil, and burning wood.
Way back then, there were no synthetic smells, and so all scents came from the earth. People mixed water with pleasant-smelling flowers and different types of bark or wood, and they also extracted oil from plants.
Essential oils and perfumes were used in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, and Persia for cosmetic reasons but also for anointing the body in ceremonies and for various religious purposes. Eventually, perfume was so well-used worldwide, be it for what we use it for today or other purposes, that people began to trade it.
As with many things, the trade and purchase of perfume encouraged people to experiment with new additions, and this is when people believe that the Persians discovered the distillation process. This is likely when people began to use alcohol as a perfume base rather than oil!
How are perfumes made today?
Creating a perfume is not as simple as you may think. It involves several stages, from finding the ingredients to checking the quality and ensuring the scents are spot on and well balanced. It's a process that requires much time, work, and sometimes a lot of attempts to get right.
A lot of perfumes are made using essential oils, which are oils extracted from plants that maintain a characteristic scent or flavour. Essential oils can come from plants, wood, fruit, and seeds and provide a lot of perfumes with their most potent smell.
In addition to essential oils, there is a wide range of other ingredients in women's fragrances. These additional ingredients are often less natural and range from petrochemicals to synthetic chemical scents.
In order to collect the ingredients for perfume, manufacturers often have to extract their natural oils. There are a few different methods for achieving this, such as; solvent extraction, expression, enfleurage, or maceration. Once the oils are collected, the process of blending the ingredients can begin.
The oils are then blended in a way that has been designed by someone referred to as a "nose". This person will have developed a formula that will provide the perfume with its iconic scent.
Next, the essential oils will be blended with fixatives. These are often animal products that are used within the fragrance to make it evaporate slower, providing the customer with a longer-lasting scent. Finally, alcohol and sometimes water will be added to the mixture to dilute the perfume. A perfume's strength dictates how expensive it will be - the less alcohol in a fragrance, the more upmarket it will be.
Once mixed and diluted, perfumes are put through the ageing process. More upmarket, expensive perfumes can sometimes be aged for years at a time to ensure that the desired scent has been curated.
Finally, perfumes are then run through quality control. This ensures that the aroma doesn't have any harmful or undesired products.
How do manufacturers choose the scents for a perfume?
Those who work in the perfume industry will choose scents for perfumes based on something called a 'fragrance family'. There are four leading families: oriental, floral, warm, and fresh. Each family goes well with certain other scents; for example, floral aromas blend nicely with citrus, and woody scents blend well with spicy scents.
The scent designers will consider the top, middle, and base notes of the perfume they want to create. They will then layer ingredients from different fragrance families to create distinct iconic smells and aromas. To start, they will construct the base note and then build upon that.
For example, when you smell women's perfume, you will instantly be hit with the top notes, which then evaporate to reveal the middle notes and, finally, the base notes. Fragrance designers use this knowledge to create a unique scent that will continue to please both the wearer and others from spritz to finish.
Perfecting a fragrance is a hard job, and just slightly altering the concentrations of each ingredient creates an entirely different perfume, so fragrance designers have to pick their notes carefully.
How do I pick the fragrance for me?
Now that you know what goes into making a women's perfume, you might be considering whether you need to invest a bit more thought into finding the perfect scent for you. But don't worry, there are easy tips and tricks you can follow to find your ideal perfume!
The first tip is to make sure you understand the fragrance wheel and which fragrances on it you do or do not like. If you know that the perfume your Grandma always wore smelled like cinnamon and woody scents, and you really don't want to smell like an old lady - avoid the woody family.
Alternatively, if you love the smell of spring and floral body mists have always been your kind of thing, perhaps explore perfumes of the floral variety.
Next, make sure you're not rushing to find your perfect perfume. If you rush, you won't be able to determine whether you're actually enjoying the smell of the perfume or whether you just quite liked the top notes.
So instead, let the scent settle and enjoy the middle and the base notes before making any rash decisions. After all, the fragrance designers made it that way for a reason!
Finally, don't test all of the perfumes. Women's perfumes are designed to last quite a few hours, so if you go into a fragrance store and test out five perfumes or more, you'll soon find you can't distinguish one from the other! Which really isn't going to help you pick out your new iconic women's perfume"