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Scentsational Guide

Updated on April 19, 2013

Perfume has been made for centuries and can date as far back as ancient Egypt. They used fragrances as part of their religious ceremonies. Some of the oldest known fragrances are myrrh, frankincense, peppermint and rose. The Egyptians used glass perfume bottles to store their fragrances and they also used gold and stones as containers.

The Greeks categorized perfumes from the part of the plant they came from and actually kept detailed records of their composition. It is said that Alexander the Great brought perfume to Greece after invading Egypt.

It wasn’t until the 12th century that Europeans started using perfume due in part to the international trade routes. As well as new perfumes from other countries, they developed fragrances by mixing flowers, herbs, spices and oils.

Cologne was invested by a young Italian named Jean-Marie Farina in Cologne, Germany in the 18th century. Eau do Cologne means “water from Cologne”.

With modern chemistry it is possible to create many new extraction techniques including creating synthetic ingredients to substitute natural perfume ingredients. Using natural ingredients can be very expensive in perfume making.

Once only available to the wealthy, perfume is accessible to everyone with many brands of fragrances available. Listed below are some of the most popular scents available.

Tresor Midnight Rose

A rose by any other name. . . Emma Watson is he face of Lancome's new deliciously sweet and crisp scent. This is a modern, intimate and feminine scent. A new dimension in sensuality. Wrap your senses in the warmth of sultry woods and musks, delicate muguet, Sicilian bergamot and Baie rose.

Shalimar Parfum Initial

The legend continues. . . Perfumer Thierry Wasser decided to remix Guerlain's historic Shalimar to lighten the scent. It is the moment where it all begins. Shalimar Parfum Initial is an initiation to sensuality. Discover this luminous amber-floral fragrance. The fresh, citrusy burst of bergamot gives way to a delicate floral heart: an orchestrated overdose of rose, jasmine, and iris. Its base of vanilla and tonka bean instantly creates addiction, like the captivating feel of cashmere on bare skin.

Clean Skin

Oh so subtle. . . CLEAN Skin captures the irresistible scent of clean, warm, bare skin. This is a fresh yet creamy fragrance that dries down to a light musk - evoking warm sensual skin. With fresh notes of honey dew, lotus blossom and air accord this scent is subtle yet undeniably sexy.

Lovestruck

Budding blossoms. . . Fall in love with Vera Wang's new floral perfume. A modern twist on Romeo and Juliet, it's all about Vera's interpretation of being madly in love. The fragrance is a sparkling floral. Like an addictive crush, there's an instant attraction to its mouthwatering notes of pink guava and mandarin. With a sweet caress, a delicate bouquet of tuberose and lotus blossom follows. Behind it all are precious woods and a sheer musk, a lasting trail that brings warmth and comfort to this irresistible fragrance.

Aura

From crystals to perfume. . . Swarovski's first signature scent. For more than a century, Swarovski has been transforming crystal, filling it with irresistible Aura. Today, crystal transforms to liquid energy and become a luminescent fragrance. At the heart of the fragrance is a prism of energy, a fusion of amber, benzoin, and white musk. Three pure and noble olfactory vibrations become charged with energy, transforming into more intense, luminous rays of clear light.

BCBG Max Azria

A fashionable fragrance. . . Discover the subtle yet captivating allure of BCBG MAXAZRIA. An intriguing mix of kir royal, wild strawberry, and black cherry introduces the scent before settling into a sensual and sophisticated note of jasmine, lily, rose, and violet. The drydown entices with the luxurious and rare orris, one of the finest and most precious ingredients in nature. This note is accented by musk and sandalwood, creating a breathtaking balance of timeless elegance and individual chic. The iconic butterfly logo of BCBG MAXAZRIA transforms into a blooming flower on the sculptural cap, adding an artistic element to the romantic, faceted bottle.

Forbidden Euphoria

In the garden of Eden. . . Possessing an innate confidence and sophistication, she is just starting to explore her sexuality. What she doesn't yet know is that she already is every man's fantasy. A younger interpretation of Euphoria, this fruity floriental scent capitalizes on a modern, fresh sexiness with a mysterious twist. Its sparkling top notes seduce the senses with a blend of forbidden fruit such as mandarin, passion fruit, and iced raspberry. The heart blooms with a hypnotic bouquet of tiger orchid and jasmine. Underneath its exotic floralcy lies a layer of addictive patchouli and a sophisticated blend of musks and cashmere woods for an everlasting impression.

Oh, Lola

The lady is a vamp. . . Marc Jacob's Lola gets coquettish with a new fruitier version of the original scent. It bursts open with a bright and whimsical effervescence. At the heart of the fragrance is the playful scent of peony. As the scent dries down, a flirty and elegant trail gives you an unexpected touch of fun that makes you smile! Oh, Lola's cap bursts from the bottle in a flowery swirl of glossy, transparent petals in pink and cherry red. Beautifully juicy and refreshing, each brilliant layer of petals comes together with a surprising sparkle of spontaneous personality.

Candy

I want candy. . . Prada's musky caramel fragrance is guarantee to send you on a sugar high. Prada Candy is a new fragrance by Prada to be launched in August 2011. The composition includes an elegant mix of musks in the top, a sensual balsamic vanillic accord of benzoin in the heart and sweet modern caramel in the base of the fragrance.

Shine

Golden glow. . . Heidi Klum's fruity floral scent gets the thumbs up from fashion insiders. Launched in the year 2011 by the design house of Heidi Klum. The fragrance opens with notes of mandarin, pink pepper and pear. Its heart contains mimosa absolut, lily of the valley and sunflower. The base is composed of vanilla, tonka beans from Venezuela and cosmone musk.

Love, Chloe Eau Intense

A stronger effect. . . Launched in the year 2010 this fragrance is a more sophisticated version of the original. It is classified as a feminine scent. It has a blend of orange blossom, pink pepper, iris, lilac, wisteria, hyacinth, heliotrope, powdery musk, talc, and rice.

Terre D'hermes By Hermes For Men

All spice. . . A warm unisex blend. Like most modern colognes, Terre D'Hermes opens with strong citrus top notes, but these notes are accompanied with a smoked wood aroma. It's like peeling oranges or lemons while standing around a bonfire. After about 30 minutes, it dries down to a very pleasant earthy, woody aroma, with a hint of patchouli, and there is little trace of the smoky, citrus opening. The fragrance lasts all day but is never too overpowering.

Body

Effortless luxury. . . Burberry's sensual new scent. Wrapped around a woman, the iconic Burberry trench coat evokes sensuality, femininity, and luxury. In this fragrance, an eclectic composition of fruity-chypre notes envelopes the body, creating a suggestion of effortless seduction. The fragrance opens with a fresh, green touch of absinthe and bright hints of peach and freesia. Elegance emerges in the heart, where cool notes of natural rose absolute and iris are set against the subtlety and warmth of sandalwood. In the base, woody cashmeran and creamy vanilla join the sensuality of amber and musk.

Violet Blonde

Rare blooms. . . Tom Ford presents a stunning new scent for a new era of feminine glamour. Violet Blonde is an opulent and dressed-up fragrance that reveals a stunning new facet of violet: ravishing, intriguing elegance. Made with some of the most precious ingredients in the world including notes of violet leaf and Tuscan orris butter, it is crafted accordingly to the finest traditions of European perfumery.

Vamp a N.Y. Eau de Parfum

Big city flirt. . . It's an artistic performance. Vamp a New York picks an entire field of nature, all the beautiful balms, all the heady ones as well as all the fragile and the extent of New York voluptuous atmosphere. Not a fake Vamp at all! Olivia has invented a mystical flower, that is not available anywhere. With her magical talent, she has revealed the perfume of this flower that has never been smelt before. A Tuberose, Rum, united by three magnificent and secret balms. This is extreme, never lived before, French Couture addictive, sophisticated and futuristic.

The One

Sheer glamour. . .Dolce & Gabban's latest fragrance is as seductive as ever with its intricate lace work of notes that are woven into one glorious perfume. This fragrance is simple yet complex at the same time, an eclipse of scents, the bottom layer being a rich plum with its velvety aroma enveloping the wearer's skin in a blanket of warmth and sparkling golden amber with a tantalizing mix of vanilla and musk shining though the warm base.

No 19 Poudre

Soft touch. . . A fresh take on Chanel #19. This luminous re-imaging of Coco Chanel’s signature scent name No 19 in honor of her birthdate, August 19, 1883. It reveals a bold fragrance with a daring combination of crisp green notes and a powdery iris. This fragrance was just introduced by Chanel on August 19, 2011.

Oscar Gold Perfume

From Oscar with love. . . Oscar de la Renta created this perfume with citrus notes of sicilian lemon, bergamot and citron, leading to the floral bouquet heart of Egyptian jasmine, orange blossom and tuberose. The base is oriental, creamy, smooth and very long-lasting with musk, heliotrope, tonka and vetiver.

Bottega Veneta

Signature style. . . Feminine. Sensuous. A complex and abstract mix of raw materials woven harmoniously. It is in the way of the weaving technique "intrecciato" associated with the brand Bottega Veneta, that master perfumers Michel Almairac and Amandine Marie have composed a singular characterful fragrance. From the very start, the olfactive identity of the brand appears through the original cross combination of plum and pink pepper which brings brightness and depth. A strong and charismatic note of Sambac jasmine (variety of jasmine less animal and more floral), reflects in the heart the elegance of the BV woman. Harmonious contrast between modernity and tradition, this fragrance continues to radiate through its specific leather accord, symbol and signature of Bottega Veneta fashion design.

L'Essence

A spritz with French flair. . . Charlotte Gainsbourg returns as the face of Balenciaga's refreshing new offering. A womanly heaven scent for the sophisticated you. L'Essence intensifies the Balenciaga Paris violet essence. While the first Balenciaga Paris fragrance captured the classic side of the brand, L'Essence gets closer to the skin with leather and vibrant woody notes revealing the modern facet of Balenciaga. An assertive sophistication that is elegant with a touch of mystery.

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