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Perfume Selection, A Brief Lesson

Updated on October 6, 2013


Came about as a process known as through smoke.

Eastern regions of the world are known for high quality oils and their uses. The techniques were employed to be used in bathing as well as religious rituals and applications.

These were normally incense based product. Which meant that fire and burning was involved in the process to achieve the preferred fragrance.

Capturing the heady smell of a flower takes a lot of petals in concentrated form.


We all love some type of fragrance unless of course we have allergies or are sensitive to particular scents.

Crisp and clean, floral notes, fruity, musky, there are thousands of variations concocted everyday, for a variety of reasons that lead us to using and enjoying particular scents.

Perfumes are mixed from essential oils. The essence of something extracted, normally through the most common method, known as distillation.

Since some of the best scents come from essential oils or absolute oils it is important what method of distillation is employed for extraction. The steam method is one of the most used of the three forms of distillation.

It doesn't matter how this is done all we are looking for is the concentrated oils of the raw plant material.

Although there are several forms of distillation.

  • Dry
  • Fractionation
  • Steam / Wet

All three of these methods are used to get the best quality of oils without abusing the delicate chemical balance.

Essence infused water known as floral water.

These are also vitally important to the fragrance industry. Made with purified water they tend to be better for skin care and can also be eaten.

Usually when one is using 'water' for food consumption it is usually to enhance a flavoring already being used.

Water types

  • Rose
  • Orange blossom

They are made with purified water.

roses and candle
roses and candle | Source

Your personal chemistry

Your personal scent is strictly and uniquely yours. So when adding any perfume or fragrance you need to know what interacts well with your personal 'aroma'.

Some scents can mask or reduce or help to eliminate bad body odor, and some scents can enhance your clean body's odor. Yet the best thing to do is to choose a fragrance that works with your own natural body oils and scent.

So if you intend to spend good money on a good quality of perfume or cologne go ahead and test it on your skin to see if it 'agrees' with you.

Perfume making

Since perfumes are made from oils, which can not be used directly on the skin they are diluted with a carrier agent.

There are layers to a perfume known as notes.

  • Top
  • Middle
  • Ending

Essential oils or absolute oils are the preferred oils for making good quality perfumes. Essential oils are distilled or extracted from natural plant based materials.

  • flower petals
  • leaves
  • wood
  • spices
  • grasses

Olfactory senses
Olfactory senses | Source

Picking a scent

This involves testing the scent.

  • Paper strip
  • Pulse points
  • Spraying in the air

Advice sniffing a scent from a paper strip is very informative when you are trying to detect the layers in the scent, but it is not the best way to test for use.

The best way to test a scent for use is to put it directly on the body!

How to test

  • Wrist pulse points, don't rub it in
  • 1 spritz or
  • 1 dab
  • sniff when it is first on
  • sniff after about 5 minutes
  • sniff after walking around for a total of 10 minutes

If you intend to be using the fragrance i suggest you put it directly on your wrist pulse point and walk around.

Periodically you can sniff your wrist to see if you still like the aroma. After 10 minutes of so inhale deeply.

If you still enjoy the sent after it has mingled with your own bodies chemistry go ahead and buy it.

Rose petals
Rose petals | Source


Starts with the idea of what type of fragrance is wanted, for whom, time of day and scent strength.

  • male
  • female
  • oils
  • diluting agents
  • day
  • night

It does also depend on the creativity of the fragrance designer.

Notes - Layers within fragrances

light / volatile
quickly disperses / evaporates
balancing body oils
enduring / long lasting oils
Oranges | Source

Seasonal scents

Picking a scent according to seasons is easily done because each season has a variety of plants blossoming. They are all distinctive to that time of year and the regions of the world in which they are grown.

Thanks to God something is always blossoming!



Autuum / Fall



A perfumer is known as a Nose.

Olfactory is the scientific name for the sense of smell.

It is the principal way in which perfumers create a signature perfume. Their sense of smell has to be heightened.

They can typically distinguish the technical notes of a scent from the oils used to the agents used to dilute them.

They are always using their nose to create and formulate new and exciting aromas.

What type of scents complement your body oils?

See results

Brief History

Perfume and the art of perfumery has been around from the time of ancient civilizations. There are extensive references in the bible about perfume or fragrance recipes. There are stories of women preparing themselves for meeting kings that details the use of certain oils.

Esther, Cleopatra were two such famous women, as well as the woman with the alabaster box. In more modern history women like Marie Antoinette of France.


  • religious rites
  • marriage preparation
  • burial rituals
  • everyday use
  • special occasions
  • seduction
  • death
  • medicines

Perfumes have played their part throughout history!

They were popularized by royalty and the rich. The first versions were typically known as 'water'. Today we refer to them as 'Eau de parfum', or toilet water.

They are still used widely for various reasons, even cooking.


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    • Celiegirl profile image

      Celiegirl 4 years ago

      Thanks Toytasting, love learning new things especially when my interest is peaked!

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 4 years ago from Mumbai

      Great information. Thanks for sharing it. :)