Synthetics are more intense, whereas naturals are subtle and soft.
Fragrance is complex. Commonly a perfume / cologne formula can include 15-50 different fragrant materials to make up an aroma, plus the base ingredient and any other additives that might be included.
For natural fragrance, the ingredient list is simple – a combination of natural extracts for scent, natural alcohol or plant oil, water, possibly a natural anti-oxidant to maintain shelf life and occasionally glycerine.
When it comes to synthetic fragrances the list of ingredients is vastly different.
Synthetic fragrance is composed of synthetic ingredients. These molecules are engineered to maintain their scent for longer and virtually stay the same. Unlike natural ingredients which by their very nature will break down over the minutes and hours and expose many different notes as they do.
In addition synthetic fragrance contain many other chemicals additives designed to help the scent adhere to the skin and last longer and project a stronger scent trail.
You may have noticed a great deal or variance in the longevity of natural fragrances from brand to brand and even from one scent to another within the same brand. These variances are caused by factors, including:
- Perfume composition – a perfume that contains more deeper (base) notes will generally last longer on the skin than one composed mainly of lighter, fresher notes.
- Ingredients – in addition to longevity affecting the composition of notes, it is also affected by the type of ingredients used, the extraction method of each of these (for example steam distilled vs C02 extracted vs cold pressed etc). The species of the plant used and whether or not natural isolates have been included. Natural isolates are components of essential oils which be isolated to make a fragrance more linear, more dramatic and have a longer dry-down).
- Quality – the quality of ingredients used has a significance impact, not only on the quality and beauty of the natural fragrance, but
also on it’s staying power.
Fragrance is described with a musical metaphor as having three notes, which together produce the harmonious chord of the scent. The notes unfold over time with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middles notes and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are carefully created with the knowledge of the evaporation of the fragrance.
- Top Notes
These are the scents that are perceived immediately on application of the fragrance. Topes notes form a person’s initial impression of a fragrance. These scents of this note class are usually described as “fresh”, “assertive” or “sharp”.
- Middle Notes
The scent of the fragrance that emerges after the top notes evaporate. The middle notes are considered the heart of the fragrance. They last longer than the top notes and have a strong influence on the base notes to come. A fragrance’s heart note is generally well rounded. It is often a smooth combination of floral or fruit tones sometimes infused with spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom.
- Base Notes
The base notes are the final fragrance notes that appear once the top notes are completely evaporated. The base notes mingle with the heart notes to create the full body of the fragrance, but are typically associated with the dry-down period. The job of the base notes is to provide the lasting impression. These often rich notes linger on the skin for hours after the notes have evaporated.
Smell works 40 times faster than the thought process in the
brain. A scent can immediately take you back to a moment or emotion.
The colour of a natural fragrance comes from the essential oils that have been used in each fragrance.
The colours of essential oils can very from crop to crop due to
weather conditions, for example once crop of essential oils may be more of brighter orange than the crop before if there has not been enough rain and this may have an effect of the essential oils by having the colour change.
Just on how weather can have an impact on a crop of fruit or
vegetables, the same can happen with essential oils in relation each colour of an essential oil.
Some tips to help your fragrance (perfume / cologne) go the distance….
- Moisturise skin first. Dry skin won’t hold a fragrance so well, but moisturised skin can hold your fragrance up to 30% longer.
- Layer your fragrance. Try using a bath wash in the same
fragrance. Then follow your shower with a body oil in a matching sent, before you finally apply your favourite fragrance.
- Don’t just apply to pulse points. Pulse points are great activators for fragrances and they tend to be warmer. So emit a stronger waft of scent initially. Additionally fragrances rise, so you are much likely to smell your scent throughout the say if you include an application to the lower part of your body, such as the back of your knees.
- Keep your perfume / cologne out of direct sunlight and heat. Heat and light cause the top notes to break down and disappear quickly, even whilst in the bottle – so by the time you have sprayed your scent, you have already lost some of the aroma.
- Don’t rub your wrists together after applying. Yes, it’s actually true. Rubbing the fragrance on your skin will quickly break down the delicate top notes and make your fragrance disappear more quickly.
Documental proof or testings have been carried out by aromatherapists, doctors and research scientists. Studies and research are ongoing so it is recommended that each essential oil should be checked for it’s benefits before use.
Regulations or user of any fragrances or essential oils must
conform to the International body called IFRA and the Research Centre RIFM for their approval.
Please also check with your local regulatory body which in Australia is Therapeutic Goods Association in Canberra.