Discover The Power of Perfume
A good perfume is that final finishing touch to your daily routine or just before a night out. People wear perfume for many reasons; to boost self-confidence, to highlight individuality or even to evoke certain memories and experiences. Whatever the reason, wearing perfume is considered a fashion must-have.
The History of Perfume
People have been using perfume in many different ways throughout the years and the history of perfume is quite colourful.
The word ‘perfume’ comes from the Latin words ‘per fumum’, which translates to ‘through smoke’. In the past, perfume was used to distinguish nobility, with only the upper classes in many cultures having access to perfumed products due to the cost. The first recorded perfume maker was a female chemist named Tapputi, with stories dating back to Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC.
Back in Ancient Egypt, perfume was highly regarded; they believed that perfume could allow humans to talk to gods, with only the elite few, including priests, royalty and aristocrats, understanding the true ‘art of perfumery’.
Ancient Persia is credited as the inventors of non-oil-based perfume and during the Sassanid period, the production of fragrance and infused waters was quite prevalent. Perfume held a high place in Ancient Persia and was only used by noble society. Persian kings even had their own ‘signature scents’, the most common being King Xerxes, who often used Lily of the Valley flowers in his fragrances. Persia was also known for its perfume-making equipment and fragrance-making workshops, which were abundant in the country at the time.
In 1317, the first alcohol-based fragrance was created for the Queen of Hungary by a priest. It was believed that the perfume is what kept the queen looking so young throughout her life. Modern fragrances, however, were said to be developed during the 1st century, when chemists used molecules to create different scents.
These days, many different perfumes exist, with the fragrance industry being one of the most competitive in the world. Many brands, from high-end to the more affordable, create and release new fragrances regularly, all beautifully bottled for added appeal. Celebrities have also jumped on board, creating fragrances that are not only delightful, but aspirational, giving consumers the sense of living the life of someone that they respect and admire. Boity’s Pink Sapphire perfume is a brand new and luxurious fragrance and the first African celebrity perfume to be released.
How Perfume was Originally Made
In the past, perfume was made using natural materials like bark, roots, leaves, flowers, wood and seeds, with the first evidence of this being in Egypt and Mesopotamia and picked up by the Persians and the Romans later on. Some of these natural materials were used to make balms for anointing bodies, while others were turned into incense and oils. As the trade routes expanded, more scents were introduced to different cultures, including exotic spices and herbs, which was then turned into aromatherapy products.
Perfume bottles may be all the rage today, but in the past, these containers were made from wood and clay and even hollowed-out stones, eventually graduating to the beautiful glass bottles they are today.
How is Perfume Made Today?
The first step is to gather raw materials like fruits, gums, leaves, flowers, spices and resins, among others. In some cases, animal products are also present in perfumes, for example, musk from male deer. Because not all scents are readily available in nature, synthetic chemicals can be used to replicate them. This is preferred, especially to prevent the use of animal products in perfume.
The oils from plants and flowers are extracted to make perfume. This can be done in various ways, with the easiest being expression; the process of squeezing the oil from the plant. Once the oil has been extracted, the actual scent must be created, although this is an incredibly long and arduous process that can take many months and even more ingredients. Once the formula is finally ready, the extracted oils are blended in to get the right scent before alcohol is added to dilute the ingredients. Each type of perfume will require a different level of alcohol.
After this process, the liquid needs to go through an ageing process, which is when the perfume is stored in the dark for months to help bind the alcohols with the oils. Once the ageing process is completed, the scent is tested and adjustments are made before the perfume is ready to be bottled and sold.
Understanding Perfume Notes
Understanding perfume notes will help you choose the scent that is right for you. There are three types of perfume notes, namely a top note, a middle (heart) note and a base note.
A top note is the scent you smell immediately after you apply the fragrance. Popular top notes include scents that are floral, spicy, woody or citrusy. The middle note is the scent that results after the top note has faded a little.
Finally, the base note are the scents that result in the perfume warming on your skin. The progress of top note to middle and then base note takes about an hour after first application. The true scent of a perfume is based on a mix of the middle and base notes.
Shopping for a new perfume can be an overwhelming experience, especially with so many scents available, not to mention different fragrance names and concentrations. The fragrance concentration is usually displayed at the bottom of the bottle and refers to the strength of the fragrance. Typically, perfumes with a higher concentration means it has more perfume oils and less alcohol. These concentrations are divided into perfume categories or types of perfume, namely parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne and eau fraiche.
Parfum - Parfum is the most expensive type of fragrance available for consumer use. It has the highest fragrance concentration, which can range between 15 and 40 percent. Parfums are the longest-lasting of all scents; generally between six and eight hours. It is often recommended for people with sensitive skin as it has a lower alcohol concentration than other perfumes.
Eau de Parfum - Also known as EDP, this perfume also has a high concentration of fragrance but less than parfum at between 15 and 20 percent. This scent lasts about four to five hours and while a higher end perfume, is cheaper than parfum. It is also good for sensitive skin and is one of the most popular and common perfumes suitable for everyday use.
Eau de Toilette - EDT is not as expensive as EDP or parfum and has a fragrance concentration of 5 - 15 percent. It is also one of the most common types of fragrances available and lasts for about three hours. Many consider EDT to be better for daywear and EDP for nightwear, although this comes down to personal preference.
Eau de Cologne - EDC has a fragrance concentration ranging between two and four percent. It also has a higher alcohol concentration compared to those previously mentioned. It is a cheaper option and can last between one and two hours.
Eau Fraîche - Similar to eau de cologne, eau fraiche has the lowest concentration of fragrance at one to three percent, with a scent that lasts up to two hours. It has a high concentration of water and alcohol.
In addition to the above-mentioned fragrances, there are various sprays, mists, aftershaves and more available that are easier on the pocket but not as highly fragranced or long-lasting. Higher-end perfumes do cost more money, so doing research and comparing scents and brands ahead of time will help you choose the best scent for your personal needs and preferences.
Where Should You Spray Your Perfume?
As already mentioned, different types of perfumes last longer than others. That said, there are some things you can do to improve the lifespan of your scent. There is a standard list of ‘pulse points’ on the body; warm areas that will help diffuse the fragrance across the body and retain the scent for longer. The pulse points on your body include your wrists, inside your elbows, your neck, below your midriff and behind your knees.
Tips to Apply Perfume
In addition to spraying on the various pulse points on your body, there are some additional tips to help you get the most of your fragrance.
Spray on your clothes
Many people believe that perfume is only meant to be used on your skin. In fact, it is advised to spray some on your clothes as clothing fibres can hold on to scents for longer, even after washing. Also, there is nothing better than picking up a piece of clothing from a loved one and smelling their scent on the garment. Remember, don’t be too heavy-handed on the spritzing.
Spray on top of your ears
This excellent hack may sound weird but actually works wonders. Oily skin holds a scent better and the skin at the top of your ears is a bit oilier than many other parts of your body, including behind the ears.
Use Vaseline or unscented lotion beforehand
Rubbing Vaseline on your pulse points before spritzing helps retain the scent of the perfume. The product holds the fragrance longer compared to when applying onto dry skin.
Use perfume immediately after a shower or bath
Your skin is extra moisturised after a shower and bath, so spritz away immediately before getting dressed. Not only does this help lock in the scent for longer, but it also prevents possible stains on more delicate articles of clothing.
Don’t rub your wrists together
This is a quick way to get your scent to disappear faster. If you’re aiming for longer-lasting scents, spray on each individual wrist and avoid rubbing them together.
Can Perfume Be an Aphrodisiac?
Perfume can make the wearer feel more confident and extra sexy, which can ultimately act as an aphrodisiac as people are often attracted to these qualities. There are also perfumes that have ingredients known to have aphrodisiac qualities, like Jasmine, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Ginger and Ylang-ylang, to name a few.
When it comes to perfume notes that have aphrodisiac properties, it is a common generalisation that men tend to be attracted to floral, fruity, spicy and musky notes, while women are enchanted by notes that are fresh, spicy, woody and musky, which are fragrance notes for Boity’s Pink Sapphire perfume.
Top notes for this exciting new fragrance include tangerine, sugar and wild marigold, with heart notes being jasmine, French vanilla and amber. Finally, the delicious scent has base notes of salt, moss and cedarwood for a fresh, clean and glorious all-day scent that boosts your confidence and leaves a lasting impression.
Where to Apply Perfume