• Guide

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    by Patrick Bardelli

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    Patrick's Perfumes: Green Irish Tweed by Creed – and the perfumer's revenge

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A perfume gives each person a very personal touch and is for many an expression of character. How the scent unfolds depends on a wide variety of factors, which we have summarised for you below.

What makes up the scent of a perfume?
The fragrance pyramid consists of the following three levels and shows the composition of a perfume:

Top note
The top note forms the apex of the pyramid, which is why you always perceive the scent of the top note first. It unfolds immediately after the perfume is applied, but also fades away the quickest.

Heart note
It follows directly after the top note, about ten minutes after application, and lasts for several hours. The heart note is the main component of a fragrance composition and thus forms the character of a perfume.

Base note
The base note is the foundation of a perfume and rounds off the fragrance. It unfolds last and lasts the longest, about twenty-four hours.

The scent of a perfume depends on the one hand on the scent composition and on the other hand on one's own body odour. The same perfume smells different depending on the person, thus creating a very personal scent.

What types of perfume are there?
How long a fragrance lasts depends not only on the fragrance composition but also on the concentration of fragrance oil. A distinction is made between the following types of perfume:

Eau de Parfum: 8-15 %.
Eau de Toilette: 5-9 %
Eau de Cologne: 2-5
Eau de Fraîche: 1-3 %

Which fragrance families are there?
The categorisation of fragrance families is not conclusively defined, but some fragrance families are found almost everywhere.

Aromatic fragrances are intense and based on herbs such as sage, mint or eucalyptus. This fragrance family is more common in men's fragrances than in women's fragrances.

Floral perfumes live up to their name. Who doesn't know the pleasant scent of a fresh flower? This fragrance family certainly deserves to be the most widespread. Depending on the composition, the perfumes can be light or intense. Popular notes include rose, jasmine, lily or patchouli.

Chypre fragrances are not an actual fragrance family. They are perfumes that are all based on oakmoss. The fragrances are earthy to spicy and reminiscent of a walk through the forest.

Fougère is common in men's fragrances and is reminiscent of hay or freshly mown grass.

Fresh is a designation for certain fragrance families, including citrus, floral and aromatic. Warm fragrance families are fougère, oriental and leathery. Chypre and Woody can be warm or fresh.

Fruity simply refers to perfumes with a fruity note, such as the apple perfume by Nina Ricci. The fragrances are also usually rather sweet.

Gourmand describes fragrances that are based on edible notes. These include, for example, chocolate, honey or caramel.

Woody refers to fragrances based on various woods such as cedar, rosewood, ebony, sandalwood or oud wood. This fragrance family is characterised by a warm as well as fresh, mysterious and sensual note.

Leathery is an intense and strong fragrance family, often based on amber or musk.

Oriental perfumes evoke associations with the balsamic scents and spices of the Orient. So-called winter and evening perfumes. Typical fragrances are ambergris and vanilla.

Citrus is almost self-explanatory and includes perfumes based on citrus fruits. Popular base notes are lemon, lime, orange or bergamot.