Saturday, December 19, 2009

Parfume for People Who Call It Perfume

We're going to expand our site to perfume reviews! Perfume is very important, it can make the dingiest outfit smell respectable, it can bring back memories of the good times when you wore it and make someone remember you whenever they smell that perfume. There are perfumes that exude femininity and others that do not, the perfume should describe you. We are going to do a quick easy breakdown of perfumes for everyone to understand. Perfumes have many categories and classifications here are basically all of them:

  • Single Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower; in French called a soliflore. (e.g. Serge Lutens' Sa Majeste La Rose, which is dominated by rose.)
  • Floral Bouquet: Is a combination of fragrance of several flowers in a perfume compound e.g. Attar Majmua & Fancy Boquet etc.
  • Amber: A large fragrance class featuring the sweet slightly animalic scents of ambergris or labdanum, often combined with vanilla, flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era imagery of the Middle East and Far East.
  • Wood: Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically of agarwood, sandalwood and cedarwood. Patchouli, with its camphoraceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes.
  • Leather: A family of fragrances which features the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather.
  • Chypre: Meaning Cyprus in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum. This family of fragrances is named after a perfume by François Coty.
  • Fougère: Meaning Fern in French, built on a base of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss. Houbigant's Fougère Royale pioneered the use of this base. Many men's fragrances belong to this Since 1945,
  • Bright Floral: combining the traditional Single Floral & Floral Bouquet categories.
  • Green: a lighter and more modern interpretation of the Chypre type, with pronounced cut grass and cucumber-like scents
  • Aquatic, Oceanic, or Ozonic: the newest category in perfume history, appearing in 1991 with Christian Dior's Dune. A very clean, modern smell leading to many of the modern androgynous perfumes. Generally contains calone, a synthetic scent discovered in 1966. Also used to accent floral, oriental, and woody fragrances.
  • Citrus: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes, due to the low tenacity of citrus scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of primarily citrus fragrances.
  • Fruity: featuring the aromas of fruits other than citrus, such as peach, cassis (black currant), mango, passion fruit, and others.
  • Gourmand: scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla, tonka bean and coumarin, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors.


To describe perfumes you maybe have heard the terms top notes, middle notes and base notes. Well these basically mean:

Top notes- How the scent smells right after you spray it, these are the lightest molecules that evaporate the most quickly. So sniff quick!

Middle Notes: These notes can be smelt after the top notes dissipate, these notes smell the best.

Base Notes: Base notes are another main theme of the perfume they bring in the solidity and tend to be the lasting notes. They are usually deeper and can not be smelt until around 30 minutes or sometimes more after the first spray.

Perfumes come in different concentrations (more scent molecules vs. less scent molecules)

  • Perfume extract (Extrait): 15-40% (IFRA: typical 20%) aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Parfum (EdP), Parfum de Toilette (PdT): 10-20% (typical ~15%) aromatic compounds. Sometimes listed as "eau de perfume" or "millésime".
  • Eau de Toilette (EdT): 5-15% (typical ~10%) aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Cologne (EdC): Chypre citrus type perfumes with 3-8% (typical ~5%) aromatic compounds
  • Splash and After shave: 1-3% aromatic compounds

There are also Niche perfumes that are not distributed to the main market (you will not find these at your local department store). These perfumes tend to be expensive and they have smells that are different than the perfume trends of mass marketed perfumes. What's The Rage will mostly cover mass marketed perfume.

So there you go! Now we can all understand some basic properties of perfume. Remember perfume is an art that appeals to everyone's nose and body hormones/pheromones differently, what may smell good on your friend may not smell good on you.

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