Understanding Fragrance Composition and Form
I find one of the most common beauty interests is fragrance. Fragrance evokes emotions, both in the wearer, and those around them. Fragrance tends to be an important part of many women, and mens, beauty regimens because of its emotional aspect. In fact, wearing fragrance has become my favorite part of getting ready in the morning. What I wear allows me to create a signature style, all my own. Naturally, I am in love with several fragrances, both for men and women. I love the different compositions of each fragrance that make it unique.
The Composition of any given fragrance is best interpreted with body heat. It is common knowledge that fragrance should always be applied to pulse points, including the wrist, neck, ankles and behind the knees. The reason for this is because pulse points are strong emitters of body heat, which cause a fragrance to achieve it’s maximum intensity. Throughout the day, your body heat causes the water and alcohol in fragrance to evaporate slowly over the course of several hours. This process of evaporation goes through three main stages, in which the different elements and the intensity of the fragrance changes. These stages are often referred to as Notes. The three stages of Notes are referred to as Top Notes, Mid Notes and Base Notes.
Top Notes are the first impression of a fragrance. They are designed to get your attention immediately but they also evaporate quickly. Common Top Notes include; citrus, fruity and green notes.
Mid Notes become more apparent as the Top Notes fade away and are considered the “heart” or “body” of any fragrance. Mid Notes will intensify about 10-20 minutes after application and give a fragrance it’s overall character. Common Mid Notes include; spices and florals.
Base Notes are the foundation of a fragrance and give a fragrance it’s “lastingness”. Base Notes tend to be noticeable about 15 minutes after application and are the final scents to emerge. They’re designed to bring solidness and depth as a fragrance fades. Common Base Notes include; woods, vanilla, amber and musks.
Another characteristic to consider when looking for intensity in a fragrance is Form. Form is decided by the
concentration, or percentage, of essential oils that go into a fragrance. The three most common fragrance forms are Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum.
Eau de Cologne, also called Cologne Spray or Body Spray, is the lightest interpretation of a fragrance and can be applied more generously than Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum. Eau de Cologne fragrance has the least concentration of oils, consisting of only 2-6% essential oils.
Eau de Toilette, sometimes referred to as EDT Spray, has a concentration of 8-15% essential oils, making it lighter than a Parfum but stronger than a Cologne.