Making of Designer Perfumes

By:
Making of Perfumes.

The precise formulas of commercial perfumes are kept secret. Even if they were widely published, they would be dominated by such complex chemical procedures and ingredients that they would be of little use in providing a useful description of the experience of a scent. Nonetheless, connoisseurs of perfume can become extremely skillful at identifying components and origins of scents in the same manner as wine experts.
The most practical way to start describing a perfume is according to its concentration level, the family it belongs to, and the notes of the scent, which all affect the overall impression of a perfume from first application to the last lingering hint of scent.

Concentration levels

Perfume oil is necessarily diluted with a solvent because undiluted oils (natural or synthetic) contain high concentrations of volatile components that will likely result in allergic reactions and possibly injury when applied directly to skin or clothing.
By far the most common solvent for perfume oil dilution is ethanol or a mixture of ethanol and water. Perfume oil can also be diluted by means of neutral-smelling lipids such as jojoba, fractionated coconut oil or wax. The concentration by percent/volume of perfume oil is as follows:
•Perfume extract: 20 aromatic compounds
•Eau de partum: 10-30 aromatic compounds
•Eau de cologne: 2-5% aromatic compounds

Traditional

The traditional classification which emerged around 1900 comprised the following category rise:
•Single Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower; in French called a soliflore. (e.g. Serge Lutens' Sa Majeste La Rose, which is dominated by rose.)
•Floral Bouquet: Containing the combination of several flowers in a scent.
•Ambry: A large fragrance class featuring the scents of vanilla and animal scents together with flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era imagery of the Middle East and Far East.
•Woody: Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically of sandalwood and cedar. Patchouli, with its camphoraceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes.
•Leather: A family of fragrances which features the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather.
•Chypre: Meaning Cyprus in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot, oak moss, patchouli, and labdanum. This family of fragrances is named after a perfume by François Coty.
•Fougère: Meaning Fern in French, built on a base of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss. Houbigant's Fougère Royale pioneered the use of this base. Many men's fragrances belong to this family of fragrances, which is characterized by its sharp herbaceous and woody scent.

Modern

Since 1945, due to great advances in the technology of perfume creation (i.e., compound design and synthesis) as well as the natural development of styles and tastes; new categories have emerged to describe modern scents:
•Bright Floral: combining the traditional Single Floral & Floral Bouquet categories.
•Green: a lighter and more modern interpretation of the Chypre type.
•Oceanic/Ozone: the newest category in perfume history, appearing in 1991 with Christian Dior's Dune. A very clean, modern smell leading to many of the modern androgynous perfumes.
•Citrus or Fruity: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes due to the low tenacity of citrus scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of primarily citrus fragrances.
•Gourmand: scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla and tonka bean, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors. An example is Thierry Mugler's Angel

Fragrance Notes

Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three 'notes', making the harmonious chord of the scent. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume.
•Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly: they form a person's initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. The scents of this note class are usually described as "fresh," "assertive" or "sharp." The compounds that contribute to top notes are strong in scent, very volatile, and evaporate quickly. Citrus and ginger scents are common top notes. Also called the head notes.
•Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges after the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. Not surprisingly, the scent of middle note compounds is usually more mellow and "rounded." Scents from this note class appear anywhere from two minutes to one hour after the application of a perfume. Lavender and rose scents are typical middle notes. Also called the heart notes.
•Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears after the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class are often the fixatives used to hold and boost the strength of the lighter top and middle notes. Consisting of large, heavy molecules that evaporate slowly, compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after the application of the perfume or during the period of perfume dry-down. Some base notes can still be detectable in excess of twenty-four hours after application, particularly the animalist notes.

Fragrant extracts

Although fragrant extracts are known to the general public as the generic term "essential oils", a more specific language is used in the fragrance industry to describe the source, purity, and technique used to obtain a particular fragrant extract.
Of these extracts, only absolutes, essential oils, and tinctures are directly used to formulate perfumes.
•Absolute: Fragrant materials that are purified from a pomade or concrete by soaking them in ethanol. By using a slightly hydrophilic compound such as ethanol, most of the fragrant compounds from the waxy source materials can be extracted without dissolving any of the fragrant less waxy molecules. Absolutes are usually found in the form of an oily liquid.
•Concrete: Fragrant materials that have been extracted from raw materials through solvent extraction using volatile hydrocarbons. Concretes usually contain a large amount of wax due to the ease in which the solvents dissolve various hydrophobic compounds. As such concretes are usually further purified through distillation or ethanol based solvent extraction. Concretes are typically either waxy or resinous solids or thick oily liquids.
•Essential oil: Fragrant materials that have been extracted from a source material directly through distillation or expression and obtained in the form of an oily liquid. Oils extracted through expression are sometimes called expression oils.
•Pomade: A fragrant mass of solid fat created from the enfleurage process, in which odorous compounds in raw materials are adsorbed into animal fats. Pommades are found in the form of an oily and sticky solid.
•Tincture: Fragrant materials produced by directly soaking and infusing raw materials in ethanol. Tinctures are typically thin liquids. For more info or to BUY perfumes at discount prices please visit :
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Composing perfumes

Perfume compositions are an important part of many industries ranging from the luxury goods sectors, food services industries, to manufacturers of various household chemicals. The purpose of using perfume or fragrance compositions in these industries is to affect customers through their sense of smell and entice them into purchasing the perfume or perfumed product. As such there is significant interest in producing a perfume formulation that people will find aesthetically pleasing.

The Perfumer

The job of composing perfumes that will sell is left up to an expert on perfume composition or known in the fragrance industry as the perfumer. They are also sometimes referred to affectionately as "the Nose" due to their fine sense of smell and skill in smell composition. The perfumer is effectively an artist who is trained in depth on the concepts of fragrance aesthetics and who is capable of conveying abstract concepts and moods with their fragrance compositions. At the most rudimentary level, a perfumer must have a keen knowledge of a large variety of fragrance ingredients and their smells, and be able to distinguish each of the fragrance ingredients whether alone or in combination with other fragrances. As well, they must know how each ingredient reveals itself through time with other ingredients. The job of the perfumer is very similar to that of flavourists, who compose smells and flavourants for many commercial food products.

The composition of a perfume typically begins with a brief by the perfumer's employer or an outside customer. The customers to the perfumer or their employers, are typically fashion houses or large corporations of various industries. Each brief will contain the specifications for the desired perfume, and will describe in often poetic or abstract terms what the perfume should smell like or what feelings it should evoke in those who smell it, along with a maximum per liter price of the perfume oil concentrate. This allowance, along with the intended application of the perfume will determine what aromatics and fragrance ingredients can/will be used in the perfume composition.

The perfumer will then go through the process of blending multiple perfume mixtures and will attempt to capture the desired feelings specified in the brief. After presenting the perfume mixtures to the customers, the perfumer may "win" the brief with their approval, and proceed to sell the formulation to the customer, often with modifications of the composition of the perfume. This process typically spans over several months to several years. The perfume composition will then be either used to enhance another product as a functional fragrance (shampoos, make-up, detergents, car interiors, etc.), or marketed and sold directly to the public as a fine fragrance.
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