Smelling is, even though we don’t realize it on a daily basis, a sense that we use more often than we imagine. We don’t notice smells so much consciously (unless they are very strong or we want to perceive them consciously), but we notice them unconsciously. This is why we think that perfumes are a very important part of grooming and a very subtle way to communicate something about yourself. It is important to know how to choose perfumes in order to enhance your presence.
Perfumes have been around for around 4,000 years (from what we know), but not in the shape we had them today. They were actually pieces of oil and wax. Today, perfumes are a huge industry, where anyone can find something they like and that they feel represents them. So, here are the things you need to know about perfumes.
First of all, when you have a perfume, what to do with it? The most important parts to spray are the pulse points, behind the ears, wrist, and on both sides of the neck.
In the following paragraphs, we will present you different types of information about perfumes. Later, we also give you some tips on how to use this information. Of course, this does not mean that these are unbreakable rules, they just give you a hint in case you are undecided, but, as always, we want everyone to create their own style and make their own choices, not being a stereotype and expressing your own vision.
Just like we presented you the color wheel for choosing colors, in the same fashion we will talk about the fragrance wheel. This wheel is less known, but very effective as well.
Each fragrance can be put into a fragrance family, as you can see in the picture below.
There are 4 main groups (Citrus, Fougere, Oriental and Chypre), which are then divided into sub groups.
The rule is that feminine fragrances have floral tones, where male fragrances have Fougere style tones.
Now let’s break them down.
- Fougère (pronounced ‘foo-jer’): Fougere fragrances are one of the most popular men’s families. Perfumes in this category usually contain Lavender and Oakmoss. You can find this in examples such as Platinum Egoiste by Chanel, Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren or Paco Rabanne pour homme.
- Floral: The majority of feminine fragrances are floral. Some are a bouquet of different flowers, where the smells complement each others. Some use just a flower, some use a flower and complement it with other notes and accords. You can find such fragrances for men too, for example: Agua Lavanda by Puig and Insensé by Givenchy.
- Oriental fragrances come both in male and female fragrances. These are often warm, spicy and sweet and contain ingredients like Vanilla and Tonka bean. Sandalwood is also a common ingredient in these fragrances. If you are looking for such a fragrance, you can check out Obsession for Men by Calvin Klein, Joop! Homme by Joop!, Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier or Equipage by Hermes.
- Chypre (pronounced ‘sheep-r’): are fragrances that contain woody, mossy, and floral notes. This kind type will also contain Sandalwood, Bergamot, Patchouli,Vetiver and Oakmoss. Perfumes in this category are Givenchy Gentleman, Quorum by Puig, Vetiver by Guerlain, Aramis, Van Cleef and Arpels, Fendi Uomo, Chypre de Coty, or Antaeus by Chanel.
- Marine: The Marine fragrance family is kind of new and is describes scents that evoke a feeling of the sea air. To obtain this, an ingredient called calone is used. In this family, we can include L’Eau D’Issey pour Homme by Issey Miyake, Kenzo Pour Homme and New West for Him by Aramis.
- Citrus: The oldest family is the citrus family. Citrus scents are usually fresh. Some perfumes that are on today’s market that are part of this family are D&G Masculine by Dolce & Gabbana, Eau Sauvage by Dior and Happy by Clinique.
You have probably wondered what Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum etc are. Well, Eau De Toilette, Eau De Parfum and Eau De Colonge are the biggest categories into which fragrances are classified. These categories refer to the strength of the fragrance or how much high grade alcohol or water has been added to the fragrance oils.
- Parfum is, the most concentrated form you can find to buy. These perfumes have 15%-25% perfume oil dissolved in alcohol. A mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is an eau (water).
- Soie de Parfum have 15%–18% perfume oil.
- Eau de Parfum have 8%–15% perfume oil. This term is also used to describe a concentration that is either the same as Eau De Parfum or between Eau De Parfum and Parfum.
- Eau de Toilette have 4%– 10% perfume oil.
- Eau Fraiche has usually 3% or less perfume oil.
- Eau de Cologne are perfumes that have 2%–5% perfume oil.
TOP, MIDDLE, AND BASE NOTES
Another thing you need to know about perfumes are the the notes. We are going to break down what top, middle and base notes are. These are important because perfumes don’t smell the same in a bottle as they smell on your skin, so this is why we suggest you also try perfumes on your skin. Notes are also important because they disperse in different stages. Top notes go first, then we will smell the middle notes and when the perfume is almost gone from your skin, you can sense the base notes.
- Top notes provide the first scent impression of a fragrance the moment it has been applied to the skin. These are usually lighter, and more volatile aromas that evaporate readily. Their scent usually lingers from 5 to 30 minutes.
- Middle notes are also known as “heart notes.” These make up the body of the blend. They may be evident from the start, but normally it will take 10 to 30 minutes to fully develop on the skin. Middle notes are the notes that classify the fragrance family which we discussed earlier (floral, oriental, chypre, etc).
- Base notes are notes that have the greatest molecular weight. They last the longest and are also important as fixatives and slow down the evaporation rates of the lighter notes, offering the fragrance holding power. Common base notes are oakmoss, musk, patchouli, woods, and vanilla. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW THIS, HOW TO PUT IT INTO PRACTICE?
Perfumes and occasion
ust like clothes, different perfume types go for different occasions. Remember that heavier scents are more appropriate for the outdoors or nighttime, while lighter scents are better suited for places like work or school. Stronger perfumes go for more formal occasions, while at work, where you go several days a week you might want to wear something that’s not very strong. Note: It’s never good to smell from a mile, so when we say strong, we don’t mean half a bottle.
Also, more formal occasions go best with fragrances that are part of the Fougère family, while a day at the beach can be matched with a perfume that is part of the Marine family.
Always test the perfumes you try on yourself, preferably on your pulse points, because they can smell different according to your body’s natural fragrance.
Perfumes and personality
Different perfumes go, of course, with different personality types. More adventurous men, who work in a sporting environment or something the like, can always go for a perfume from the Marine family, while men who are sophisticated and often attend dinners and cultural events, that work in academic or other similar fields can go with perfumes from the Fougère family. Men who have creative personalities make a good combo with perfumes from the Chypre, Floral or Oriental family. Men who like to go hiking, ride the countryside or go to a polo match, will make a great combination with perfumes from the Citrus family.
There is also a weirder approach to choosing your perfume according to your personality, and that is looking at your sun sign. Fire signs are said to work best with oriental or spicy perfumes, earth signs with floral and musky fragrances, while water signs should fit Marine perfumes best and air signs citrus perfumes.
It’s known that people associate perfumes with memories, so smelling several perfume samples will let your instinct know what perfume is best for you. Be sure though,that you don’t get depressed. Also, make sure you don’t smell them one right after the other, just like in the case of food, the smell might linger in your nose for a while and combined with a previous smell, lead you in error.
Writer Marcel Proust said that our lives are stored in tastes and smells, so what’s your story?
Perfumes and skin and hair color
It is know such a well-known fact that you can choose your perfume according to your skin or hair. This is really something very interesting and useful. Higher amounts of melanin produces skin tones that are darker. Also, the more melanin you have, the more oily your skin tends to be, so a musky or woody perfume is perfect for people with dark hair.
Redheads usually have light skin and the perfect fragrances for these people are fruity perfumes or perfumes from the Citrus family.
Blonds usually have fair and dry skin, so perfumes from the Floral family are perfect for you.
Of course, if you dye your hair, your skin tone doesn’t change. It is not indicated to put perfume in your hair, as due to different substances found there, the perfume might damage your hair.
Perfumes and season
Perfumes can also be chosen depending on the season you are planning on wearing them. Spring and summer are usually associated with fragrances in the Floral or Citrus family. If it tends to get warm, such as in a hot day of summer, Marine or Citrus perfumes are the best, as they are reinvigorating and fresh. Heavier tones might get “dirty” if they are combined with sweat. Citrus or Marine fragrances can also make you feel cooler, which is always a plus and a step ahead in summer.
Light or spicy notes are perfect for autumn, while in winter Oriental family fragrances work best.
That’s it, now go there and buy YOUR fragrance!
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What kind of perfume do you like? What are you looking for in a perfume? How do perfumes influence your attitude?Share your comments in the space below!