What Is A Fine Fragrance?
Use cases for fragrances are extremely rich. They are not only in pretty much all toiletries and detergents, but also in some consumer goods and even in some industrial goods.
Whereas fine fragrances (or fine perfumes) are used for the sole sake of their scents. In other words, their fragrance serve as the functional purpose of the product.
Hence, the formulation of their fragrance composition is the most refined.
How To Describe Perfumes?
Scents can be classified under six olfactory families. Perfumes may belong to one of these classes or be a combination of two or more of them.
Floral: Scents which smell like flowers.
Green: Cut grass, crushed green leaf and cucumber-like scents.
Aquatic: The newest category in perfume history, it may be referred as watery, oceanic or ozonic. Represents a clean smell reminiscent of the ocean. This is a laboratory outcome, it can’t be directly found in nature.
Citrusy: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes, due to the low tenacity of citrus scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of primarily citrus fragrances.
Fruity: Scents featuring the aromas of fruits other than citrus, such as peach, blackcurrant, mango, passion fruit, and others.
Gourmand: Scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla, tonka bean and coumarin, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors.
What Do Top, Middle And Base Notes Mean?
Top notes, also called head notes, are the ones are the scents that are perceived immediately after the application of the perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. Fresh notes like citrus, bergamot and mint, some floral and spicy notes are some examples. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume, hence are quite important.
Middle notes, also referred as heart notes, form the scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to the dissipation of the top note. The middle note compounds the main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. A variety of floral, spicy and watery scents along with some woody scents can be found under middle notes.
Base notes form the scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application. Most common examples of base notes include woods, tobacco, amber and musk.
Since When Fragrances Are Around?
Since very old, and probably even older then we know.
The oldest perfume production as we know today happened 4000 years ago in Cyprus island.
The first recorded perfume is produced 3200 years ago in Egypt, through distillation of naturals. The women who crafted this first perfume is interestingly deemed as the first chemist in human history. In parallel, perfume was also produced in India with the name Ittar.
In the 9th century, Arab chemists structured methods and ingredients of perfume making.
The art of perfumery reached Europe only in the 13th century. The first alcohol based perfume was made in 1370 by Hungarians for their queen. In the 16th century, Italy became the center of perfume making with Renaissance. Shortly after, France took over, helped by its flower cultivation culture.
Is It True That The More A Perfume Is Expensive, The More it Is Higher Quality?
Today, an overwhelming majority of perfumery raw ingredients are produced by a mere five companies: International Flavors and Fragrances (IFF), Givaudan, Firmenich, Symrise and Takasago. Hence, as a direct implication, an overwhelming majority of perfume houses and brands buy most of their raw material from the same companies.
So the huge price differences mostly comes from brand positioning, marketing and advertorial expenses, sophisticated retail expenses and exclusive work with famous perfumers.
In Which Forms Fine Fragrances Can Be Found?
In most of the cases, they are found as diluted in alcohol. Based on their concentration in alcohol, they are called Eau De Cologne, Eau De Toilette, Eau de Parfum or Extrait De Parfum.
Is some other cases, they can be found in alcohol free format, diluted in neutral oils. In that form, they are called Perfume Oil. In high quality examples of this version, the neutral oils used are natural vegetable oils. The LAB Fragrances uses highest quality natural vegetable oils of jojoba and safflower.
You can also find them in solid form, where the fragrance oil is infused and diluted into a so-called solid body which basically is a wax. In high quality examples of this version, this wax is made of natural ingredients such as almond oil, coconut oil and soybean oil.
The LAB Fragrances fine fragrance collection offers alcohol based perfume and perfume oil; but not solid perfume.
How Alcohol Based Perfumes And Perfume Oils Differ?
The fragrance is the same, but the carrier is different.
In the case of alcohol free perfume, the fragrance oil is dissolved in alcohol. You can apply the perfume with atomizer, enjoy a nice sillage thanks to alcohol carrying the scent from your skin to all around you, grasp every detail of the scent thanks to the full dissolution and increased surface. But you will have to accept a limited longevity on the skin, because the alcohol constantly takes it away. Also, you will have to accept the interference of alcohol’s sharp and unwelcome scent (for the first 10 seconds mostly though). Last but not least, alcohol may have a drying effect on some skins.
In case of perfume oil, the fragrance oil is carried in neutral (scentless) high quality oily substances. You can apply the perfume with a dropper or roll-on. To offset the effect of dilution loss due to the lack of solvents like alcohol and water, The LAB Fragrances uses higher percentage of fragrance oil in it’s perfume oil format (a level between Eau De Parfum and Extrait De Parfum).
With perfume oils, you won’t have the negative effects of alcohol, but miss the positive ones too. For instance, you won’t have alcohol’s scent interference and you will have a much increased longevity, which are all good; but you will have a diminished sillage.
Why They Always Are Diluted? Why Don’t We Use Them in Pure Form?
For three reasons:
1 - Some of the ingredients may need to be diluted in alcohol or water to fully release their scent,
2 - In pure format, the density of essential oils and aroma-chemicals may be harsh to the skin,
3 - The solvent also acts as a carrier which eases the application and creates a sillage.
Why And How Densities Differ In Alcohol Based Perfumes?
The denominations refers to the density of the fragrance oil diluted in alcohol.
Though there is no standard in concentration percentages across perfume houses, around 15% of concentration is mostly deemed Eau De Parfum level.
Less then that, there is Eau De Toilette concentration, which can be as low as 5% but typically at around 10%.
Lesser then that, there are After Shave, Eau Fraiche, Splash and Body Mist type perfumes with about 2–6% fragrance oil concentrate.
Above 15%, there is Extrait De Parfum which can be as concentrate as 40%.
The more the concentration is, the denser the scent character and the longer it lasts.
Which Concentrations The LAB Fragrances Offer?
The LAB Fragrances offer three concentration levels for each fragrance of the collection:
Extrait De Parfum, Eau De Parfum and Eau De Cologne.
What Is Inside Fragrance Oil?
Fragrance oil is composed of natural extracts and natural essential oils along with laboratory made aroma-chemicals.
The ratio of aroma-chemicals to naturals varies according to the structure of each formulation, but a very rough rule of thumb for this partition can be 50% - 50% (not on weight but on item count).
Wouldn’t It Be Better If The Fragrance Contained 100% Natural Ingredients? Why Synthetics Are Needed?
The best answer to the first part of the question is: “not necessarily.”
Let’s first understand why aroma-chemicals in particular (and synthetics in general) are needed: They are there to enhance and to balance the scent characteristics of naturals. They are also useful in creating very interesting accords which are not found in nature. In short, without synthetic molecules, great perfumes as you know them, wouldn’t exist.
To best understand this, it suffices to smell perfumes purely made of essential oils and natural extracts: They would smell nice, but would never match the various deep and complex characteristics of the best perfumes.
Moreover, in simple formulations, the pure naturals would also paradoxically fail to mimic nature. For instance, the fabulous smell of rose would be much better captured in the bottle (i.e. figuratively expressed in a much better way) in a natural-synthetic composition then in a pure natural one.
Last but not least, the perception of associating synthetic with low quality and natural with high quality in today’s perfumery is false. Because, first, no fine perfume today is 100% natural. Second, laboratory work helps also to isolate naturals’ aromatic molecules from the unwanted rest. Last, no one wants to kill animals, as they used to do in the old days just to collect their glands or secretions to create animalic accords like musk or civet; since we can mimic now these natural animalic molecules in laboratories.
Is Fragrance Bad For Health?
If composed with ultimate care, the risk of damage can truly be minimized.
The LAB Fragrances doesn’t content with the restrictions of ASEAN regulation’s alone. It is one of the rare houses who complies with both European Union and International Fragrance Association (IFRA) severe restrictions and requirements.
Wouldn’t It Be Better For Health If No Synthetic Chemicals Were Used?
The answer is, again, not necessarily.
First, naturals are nothing else then massive compounds of chemicals.
Second, they are never meant to always be harmless to humans. To understand it, just try* to touch to natural grapefruit essential oil with your nose.
(*don’t try it)
Are The LAB Fragrances Perfumes Vegan?
Are The LAB Fragrances Perfumes Animal Testing Free?
We don’t support animal testing at all, but we don’t require our raw ingredient suppliers to provide proof of no testing.
This is because we don’t understand how a company can claim at the same time not using harmful ingredients and not doing animal testing.
It might be true that the company in question never tested on animals, but our knowledge on ingredients’ harmfulness majorly comes from animal testing. So whenever we know that a particular ingredient in our composition is harmless, we know this just because there sadly had been an animal testing somewhere and sometime in the past.
What Is The Best Way To Preserve Perfumes?
Well, the ideal condition is around 6°C and zero humidity. But unless you are a perfume house to allocate a dedicated refrigerator to fragrances, it is obviously not attainable. Because, we do not recommend to store your perfumes in refrigerators where you also store food.
The fragrances contain natural or synthetic volatile molecules not intended for consumption and we do not want them to contaminate our food. (same goes for 100% natural extracts.. remember that 100% natural grapefruit essential oil is NOT grapefruit, and can be seriously hazardous and harmful if consumed).
So our recommendation is simply to keep them away from bathroom like excessive humidity environments and from direct sunlight. The best you simply can, would be to keep your fragrances in the most frequently air-conditioned room and store them in dark cabinets or drawers. This way, the alcohol based fragrances will be in very good shape for at least 4 years.
Note that though our amber colored glass flacon is a very good solution to help to protect from sunlight, it won’t fully protect the fragrance under direct sunlight.
How The LAB Fragrances Names It’s Perfumes?
We name our perfumes after the prominent ingredient. The enhancement and elaboration brought by a long list of other ingredients may of course diminish on different degrees the prominence of the eponym ingredient.
How Long Fragrances Last On Skin?
Eau De Parfums are supposed to last 6 hours on the skin. But this should be considered as a very rough rule of thumb because many factors affect longevity:
Skin Type: Fragrance tend to evaporate faster on dry skins. Oily skins tend to capture the fragrance for longer.
Place of Application: Fragrance lasts longer on textile and hair then on skin.
Fragrance Formulation: Everything else being equal, some scents lasts longer then some other. For instance, fresh notes like bergamot and citrus last less then floral notes, who, in turn, last less then woody and musky notes.
Layering: Application of a compatible lotion or cream beneath the fragrance may enhance fragrance longevity, because their texture will most probably be more suitable to capture the fragrance then the skin itself.
Is It True That Fragrances Smell Different On Different Skins?
Yes, but not as much as people think. It is extremely rare to come across two people on whom same scent will have a completely different character.
There are some other factors which confuse people.
For instance, all fragrances change with time after application. So a perfume you smell on a friend in the middle of the day will of course be perceived different on you when one smells it on you just after you apply it.
Second, the same fragrance will smell different on close-up vs through sillage.
Lastly, at older times when synthetics were not around to stabilize and fix the formulations; when computerized automation was not powerful enough to reliably and precisely compound raw materials, perfumes tended to be more fragile. So they tent more to change character from flacon to flacon and even within flacons.
Why Man And Woman Fragrances Differ?
They don’t differ in reality. In nature, there is no such thing as male or female fragrance.
But they differ in cultural constructs and also in perceptions built up by decades old of marketing.
The best example is rose. Rose scent is used exclusively by men after prayer in some middle eastern cultures, whereas it is inconceivable for men to wear rose scent in European countries.
This said, we do not exclude the statistical difference in preferences between men (who tend to like more spicy and woody scents on them) and women (who tend to like more floral and fruity scents on them).
But statistics is one thing, and personal choices is another.
We chose to prioritize personal choices.
Hence, The LAB Fragrances prefer to market it’s collection as unisex.
Where And How We Should Apply Fine Fragrances?
There is no rule. But we can suggest some guidelines.
On the neck, below the ears is a good spot, because this is where you will most enjoy the diffusion of your own scent while moving your head around.
Hairs is a good spot too, because not only they capture the fragrance for long, but also they do an excellent job in diffusing it. Caution: alcohol may have a drying effect on scalp.
Clothes is also a good choice, since they do capture best the fragrance. One downside is that you need to be careful when changing the fragrance. Also, abundant application of a high concentrate perfume on a particular spot might leave a stain on some fabrics (well, over-spraying is not recommended under any circumstance, we shall say). Please also note that perfume oils are much more likely to leave stains especially on silk, wool and satin as compared to alcohol based perfumes.
It is also worth mentioning the conventional spots of warm pulse points like wrists and behind the ears, or even behind the knees (considering the fragrance will rise while evaporating).
Does Rubbing Perfumed Wrists Deteriorates The Perfume?
It is more a myth then reality.
The mechanical force of rubbing or the heat released out of it are way too tiny to degrade the molecules of the fragrances.
On the other hand, the stimulation might accelerate the diffusion of top notes, hence altering a bit the experience.
Also, we propose our customers to try one scent per wrist while trying to decide which one to pick. Rubbing may take this option away.
Do You Recommend Perfume Layering?
Our collection is not particularly designed for perfume layering, because our perfumes are already complex in themselves. But again, there is no rule, and the priority lies with our customers’ preferences.
This said, we recommend layering perfume oil alcohol based versions of the same scent, to capture benefits of both (i.e. enhanced longevity and enhanced diffusion).
Should One Stick To One Fragrance For Years To Make It Her Signature?
In plain objectivity, sticking to one perfume is not much different then sticking to one model of wristwatch.
But again, this is a personal preference.
Should One Change His Fragrance According To Seasons?
From a technical perspective, this is not a necessity.
It is logical to understand that lighter, airy scents are associated with hot climates and woody, heavier scents with cold. This approach simply comes from the possible feeling of comfort of a light and fresh scent when the climate is already heavy with heat and humidity.
But this doesn’t mean that woody, musky and amberish scents are only for winters! This beautiful scents are intrinsic to nature for all the time.. In most of the cases, it might just suffice to lower the dose! Imagine just a hint of an exquisite woody scent on a very hot day.. Why not?
I Don’t Think This Is Everything About Perfumes!
Please write us your questions through https://www.thelabfragrances.com/contact/