Thursday, 13 October 2016

Feeling Fruity? Floral maybe? Or Are You A Woody Kinda Girl, or A Spicy Type of Man? Find Your Own Fragrance Heaven!

We have all experienced that feeling!  You are lured into those wonderful smelling department store fragrance counters, or the shopping malls that have whiffs of vanilla mixed with jasmine in the air about them with sales assistants begging you to smell that latest new craze of a perfume.  Heck, not only is this limited to department stores or shopping malls – even grocery stores, and bakeries are in on the act!  That air and smell of freshly baked bread, or the smell of cookie dough and apple pies baking in the oven… Complemented by that luring smell of those freshly ground coffee beans, coming from the supermarket or grocery store in house-coffee house, coupled with the adjacent juice bar, with that freshly squeezed smell of oranges dancing in the air with those coffee notes, or was that strawberry?  No wait, they are making banana and strawberry smoothies!  Ah that smell! In actual fact, a lot of these smells are manufactured fragrances that are sprayed into the air, to help lure in customers to buy their 2 hour-earlier cooked not-smelling fresh anymore bread.  It’s the scent that allows us to have that feel good feeling and is the scent of association.  But, we were all built with our own nose and own tastes in fragrances, that help us to determine not only our own individuality and identity, but also our own personality.  And this is where the different fragrance categories come in!  When standing at the fragrance counter, with that notorious strip of paper at hand forced on us by the sales man, sprayed with the latest Gucci or Tom Fords of the day, in actual fact, the smell of the fragrance on the piece of paper will smell completely different on your skin.  But without going into a chemistry lesson, what helps us determine the type of fragrances that we individually like can be determined through the various categories of fragrance and it is through these that we are able to use fragrance to assert our identity, build our tastes and personality.  Here is a brief overview of some fragrance categories:

This first table consists of fragrances that have been popular with some formulated at the turn on the 19th Century and others, like woody scents, much earlier. Although they are very traditional, they are still very much used as bases for modern fine fragrances

‘Soliflore’ is a French word to describe a perfume that usually consists of one fragrance from one flower and examples include Jasmine and Lilly of the valley
These are fragrances that are very popular and they consist of scents from various different flowers, including roses, lavender, lilies, lotuses and many others. 
These includes the ancient fragrances of Arabian and Indian trade routes.  They usually consist of the ambers, the ouds, the dark musk’s, frankincense and the sandalwoods.  These fragrances are regularly complemented by the wonderful spicier scents, below
Beautifully complementing the woodier bases, we have these wonderful notes of saffron, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and many others.  Alongside their woody sister, these were a heavily used fragrance bases by the royalties of Moughal India and the Persians. 
This French word, pronounced fouzair is a type of fragrance that is a fine blend of coumarin, Oakmoss and lavender and over time, some other compounds were added to it, including spicier fragrances and herbs.
This is the French word for Cyprus falling into the Woody category.  This is a base fragrance, consisting of oakmoss, patchouli, bergamont, labdanum and of course over time, this has included others such as Musk. 

These below are modern fragrance types, which sometimes are an adaptation of traditional fragrance types, adding a modern twist to them:

These consist of the lemons, grapefruits, limes and are complemented usually with herbs, such as bergamont or gourmand type notes such as honey or even woody notes, such as sandalwood
These are fragrant basils, coriander, patchouli and even the scent of freshly cut grass – which many love!  These blend wonderfully with the citrus types of fragrances. 
Ever smelled something that you want to eat?  Well, these are not edible, but imagine wonderful fragrances with notes of dark coffee, chocolate, honey, and maybe a tinge of vanilla.  These are called Gourmand fragrances and mix well with most other categories

Now armed with this information about the different fragrance categories, you will find yourself being more acquainted with the different fragrance notes in your favourite perfume or only just realise what hits the note for you!  Fragrance really helps us to define our identity and how other perceive us… you may want to find that special fragrance that everyone remembers you by, or find that fragrance that someone close to you smelled like.  So, what are your favourite categories of fragrance type?  Maybe just another trip to the perfume counter will help…

Happy Sniffing!  ;)

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