Have you ever thought about how a fragrance or perfume works on you? It is simple chemistry really. It is a combination of invisible fragrance molecules and your body’s natural oils to create an unusual olfactory sensation. Perfumes are a complex combination of molecules that not only tease our sense of smell but create an imprint in the brain that evoke powerful memories. It is interesting to note that oldest known evidence of perfume making dates back to the Bronze Age.
Research shows that perfume and scent have a major impact on our memory and senses. We remember moments of love, moments of confidence, moments of warmth in relation to the fragrance surrounding an event. You would have noticed that scent of say, cinnamon and cardamom or chocolate evokes a sense of comfort. A fragrance can also summon a memory, like say the scent of sandalwood can take you back to the moment of a festival or a family ritual. So, you will always find yourself wearing a specific fragrance that you may have worn when meeting your significant someone or achieving a success, years afterwards to evoke that special memory and the moment.
The Power Of Scent – How Fragrances Can Affect Your Mood
Perfumiers claim that different areas of our brain evoke different emotions based on the olfactory response to a fragrance. The front of our brain allows us to perceive a perfume or a scent. The amygdala at the back of the brain helps us to connect a scent to an emotion or a mood. This shows that fragrances can impact our moods in a big way.
For instance, the scent of orange or citrus can immediately lift your mood and leave you feeling fresh and alive, same is the case with minty scents. However, when you smell the rich, warm notes of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, ginger it arouses deep sensual feelings. If you need to feel confident and clear-headed then floral notes, especially those of white flowers like jasmine, lily of the valley, tuberose, work wonderfully. A spritz of lavender can bust your stress and help you relax; we all know that.
What are Fragrance Notes?
A perfume basically has three notes that define its character. It is the potency of these three notes that decides the staying power of the fragrance.
- Head note: This is the strongest. It is the first whiff of scent that you get once you spritz on your perfume.
- Heart note: As the perfume settles on your skin, it changes and evolves to the heart-note, which creates the aura around you after mixing with your own pheromones or your scent hormones.
- Base note: What remains and mingles with your own scent long after your first spritz is the base-note. Base-notes are also known as fixatives that help bind the various scents together. They make the scent last longer as they have a slower rate of evaporation.
Besides the types of ingredients used, the percentage of essential oils used to make a scent also decide their staying power.
- Perfume or pure fragrance contains 20 to 30 percent of fragrance oils in high potency alcohol and lasts six to eight hours.
- Eau de parfum contains 10 to 20 percent of fragrance oils in alcohol and lasts about four to six hours.
- Eau de cologne contains 5 percent of fragrance oils in alcohol and lasts three to four hours.
- Eau fraiche or body splash, deodorants contain 3 percent of fragrance oils in alcohol and lasts one to two hours.
How to Make Perfume Last Longer
Update your perfumes every now and then. Have at least three different scents to switch between. Experiment with mixing. Otherwise, you might develop what is called ‘olfactory fatigue’ – a condition where your nose becomes immune to one perfume worn exclusively over a long period of time, so that you can no longer register the notes.
Once you have chosen your fragrance set, here’s how you need to apply them:
#1: Apply at pulse points that generate heat and accentuate the notes in the perfume. Ideal places to apply fragrance are on your wrists, behind your earlobes, base of your throat and temples. Since fragrance rises, you can also include the crooks of your arms, the back of your knees, inner thighs, calves and your ankles.
#2: Spritz on your skin rather than your clothes for lasting effect. Spray from an arm’s length. Follow designer Estee Lauder’s example – spritz in the air in front; then step into the fragrant cloud. Let the droplets settle on you. Perfect way to create your scent circle.
#3: Let your hair smell as good as your skin. Spray your hairbrush with your perfume scent and comb through. By doing this, you can beat the bad sweaty odour that scalp sometimes emits.
#4: Layer your perfume to make the scent last on your skin. Use similar smelling shower gel, body lotion, deo and EDP. Wear the perfume on moisturised and slightly damp skin. This improves the longevity of the fragrance on your skin.
#5: Use two versions of the same fragrance to suit the intensity you want. For daytime wear the EDT or Deodorant version, while for the night choose the pure perfume or Eau de Parfum variant.
#6: Create a fragrance aura by ensuring that you emit your fragrance within your scent circle. Your scent circle is about two arm’s length around you. Others should be able to smell you once they come into that circle. If people smell you much beyond that means that you have been too spritz-happy.
What is the Ideal Perfume Experience
Choosing your perfume is almost instinctive. Only you know best what will work. Take your time to choose the scent that you feel most excites you or tantalizes your senses. Simply ensure that your fragrance defines a mood, evokes a memory and creates your aura.