THE ART OF PERFUMERY
The perfume is a very complex relationship of ingredients with their reactions and their different levels of volatility. It is a living creation which changes and evolves every day. The traditional structure of the perfume can be described as a pyramid divided into 3 levels in accordance to the notes which we discover:
The Top Note
The Top note is the most volatile one and it can be scented just after applying the perfume. It is the first impression that we get when we smell a creation, it is ephemeral and therefore fades away quite quickly (5 to 30 minutes, disappearing completely after 2 hours). This note consists typically of fresh, citrus and green scents such as the Lavender, Citrus, Orange Blossom, Eucalyptus.
The heart notes are revealed when the top notes begin to fade. The Heart is the essence of the perfume; it is the note which reveals its character and the dominant theme of the composition, the part of the creation which defines its belonging to a given family. The duration of the Heart is between 2 and 10 hours and it prolongs the freshness of the top notes and announce the arrival of the warmth of the Base Notes. Typical examples of Heart can be Roses and Spices.
The Base Note
The third and final part of the perfume composition is the Base note, the role of which is to fix the perfume. Being the soul of the creation, it is usually giving a personality to the fragrance, its warmth and sensuality, your last impressions. The Base note is the most enduring one and can last for 24 hours or longer, depending on the fragrance form. Typical examples can be Vanilla, Wood. Musk, Santal, Patchouli and Amber.
DROP BY DROP
Fragrances are divided in different categories, in accordance to the level of essential oils they contain. There are no definite scales that we use in our profession, but the following can serve as approximate guidelines:
- Parfum -20+ of concentrate
- Eau de parfum 15-20% of concentrate
- Eau de toilette 8-15% of concentrate
- Eau de cologne 3-8% of concentrate
- Eau Fraiche 0.5-3% of concentrate