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Sheer Magic in a Frangrance Bottle!

Filed under : Fashion 'n Beauty

Exquisite, exotic, intoxicating, sophisticated, strong, or subtle, there is everything more to a perfume than its fragrance.  Each bottle lying on the dresser holds secrets, wisdoms, and charms waiting for you to reveal, decipher, and impart.  A world of magic in a bottle yearning to be explored, that’s perfume.


Scientifically speaking, fragrances are generally composed of three layers, or “notes” of varying intensities to balance them in a lasting aroma. So, applying a perfume, the notes evolve until settling on the base note; it is a process worth tracing.

– Top notes (head) _ The first impression that hits you, usually mixed with the alcohol ingredient.  They are fleeting.

– Middle notes (heart) _ They are the core of the blend and linger longer, for around 4 hours.

– Base notes (drydown). _ Known as fixatives, these provide lasting woody or animal notes that stabilize the entire blend.  They are the longest to last on your skin.


According to concentration of perfume oil, perfumes fall under five categories:[2]

  1. Perfume extract has about 15-40% concentration of aromatic compounds; it is the most concentrated.
  2. Eau de Parfum follows in concentration with around 10-20% of aromatic compounds.
  3. Eau de Toilette has a range from 5-15% concentration.
  4. Eau de Cologne has only 3-8% of aromatic compounds, hence being the least concentrated.
  5. Splash and After Shave have a slight 1-3% of aromatic compounds.


Were your Perfume to Speak of You, What Would it Say?

There is a trick to perfumes; that is it is never the same from one person to another.  A perfume usually interacts with the body chemistry, hence gaining different qualities with the variation of users.  Amazingly, discovering the perfume that works best for you is more of personalizing it and adding an individual touch to your personality, rather a distinguishing scent.  Eventually, a perfume that you wear could be a reflection of your personality; whether you are a man or a woman.

To decipher the codes of personality based on choice of perfume, we need to first explore the families of fragrances.  A fragrance commonly belongs to a family of the following:

  • Floral:  Think roses, jasmines, gardenia, ylang-ylang…etc.
  • Fruity:  Think apples, peaches, cherries, pears, berries, melons, passion fruit…etc.
  • Oriental:  Think vanilla, chocolate, and caramel (Gourmand oriental), spices, woods, amber and musks.
  • Fougere:  Think fern-fresh lavender, patchouli, oakmoss, rosemary (aromatic herbs), geranium, mint and more.
  • Chypre:  Think bergamot, citrus (lemon, mandarin, grapefruit), oakmoss, resins (labdanum, myrrh, frankincense…etc.)
  • Aquatic or Oceanic (Fresh/Clean):  Think modern unisex perfumes, earthy and watery; sea breeze, ice, rain.


With the sophistication in perfume industry, the fragrances from the above family are mixed together in leveled notes and new subdivisions emerge; they are not a black-and-white thing.


  • Floral is quintessentially romantic.  Floral perfumes are typical of women as they speak femininity, delicacy and affection.  For a man, a floral perfume would capture the romantic within; the myth of floral unbecoming for men is broken.
  • Fruity is energetic, sweet, and casual; for the outgoing optimistic woman.  Active, youthful, and playful, this is what a person with fruity preference would be like.
  • Oriental is alluring.  An oriental perfume represents the sophisticate who wants attention and fears not being in the spotlight.  Outgoing, mysterious, and sensual is what Orientalism in a bottle conveys.
  • Fougere, the modern lifestyle perfume; it is the fragrance for the trendy, sporty, outdoorsy and adventurous.  Also, it relates to a man who is caring, warm and fun-loving.
  • Chypre is emblematic of elegance.  The chypre woman is confident, poised, and refined; mature and free-spirited.  The chypre man is, in short, distinguished.
  • Aquatic or oceanic, the latest of the families, speaks of a joyous, sporty, young, energetic person.


Inspiring, tantalizing, comforting, elating, a perfume possesses all charms and can cast any spell.  So, when picking up one of these enchanters, think at whom you would like to wave your magic wand to dazzle; simply think what the message you want delivered is or which of your corners you want on display.


[1] A Passion for Perfume, Jo Glanville-Blackburn

[2] Wikipedia:

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