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Perfumery 101 - The Crash Course You've Put Off For Way too Long

Want to get schooled on the ins and outs of perfumery? Check out this blog for all the basics you've been dying to know.

Perfumery 101 - The Crash Course You've Put Off For Way too Tong

Class is in session and we're discussing all things perfume. Discover how to find the perfect perfume for you, how to wear it with finesse, how to make it last and which one deserves pride of place in your fragrance wardrobe.

In the world of perfumery, are you a fragrance fledgling who struggles to tell the difference between a splash-dash-and-go Eau de Cologne and a spritz-and-chill Eau de Toilette.... Or are you a scent specialist whose nose can easily pick out those special notes in everyone's Eau de Parfum from the very first whiff? No shame here, we're all learning. Here's a little FYI on the basics.

How is perfume made?

Perfume is basically a fusion of alcohol with varying concentrations of fragrance oils... the higher the concentration of fragrance oils, the longer it lasts on your skin. A parfum or a pure perfume has between 16- 40% potency, Eau de Parfum 15-20-%, Eau de Toilette 5-15%, Eau de Cologne 2-5% and Eau Fraîche 1-3%.

These fragrance oils are then grouped into three olfactory layers... top, middle and base notes. The top notes are what you notice first, you either love it and grab it or hate it and toss it. PS. Top notes don't stick around for very long so don't judge it too quickly.

The middle notes are known as the heart of the fragrance. These are exclusive scents that set them apart from other perfumes and are often what gives the perfume its personality.

Base notes start to shine once the top and middle notes fade into the ether. They also last the longest on your skin.

All these notes (top, middle and base) work in harmony with each other and are often described as floral, oriental, woody, citrus, fruity, etc.

Perfumes are crafted specially for you. They make you smell amazing and are the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble. But your favourite spritz makes you feel other things too...


Perfume provides an escape, albeit a sensory one

It takes you places

Perfume provides an escape, albeit a sensory one. It can transport you to your favourite place when you desperately need to escape the mundaness of life (a hit of aromatic peach makes you feel like you're sipping a Bellini or two in Venice, a woody scent makes you feel closer to nature, and fruity and floral notes make you feel like you're soaking up some sun in your dream tropical locale).

It can also take you back in time where special memories were made (like the day you met your significant other and their masculine scent knocked you to your knees, or the day you walked down the isle and your bouquet's blue orchid and white tulip scent was your embrace because your dad never lived to see your big day). Yup, it's that deep!

It tugs at your heartstrings

Perfume also tells a story, it gets you in your feels, and the feelings they evoke, well... they linger... for life. Thank your brain's limbic system, the controller of emotions and memory... it shifts into gear when you smell something special, locks it in and presses play every time you smell it again. That's the beauty of perfume. It's an emo trigger.

You know that comforting feeling you get when you hold a newborn baby and they smell ... well... heavenly...

Or waking up on Christmas morning and the smell of freshly baked cookies fills the air and you gotta force yourself to exercise some level of decorum and not inhale the entire batch... you catch our drift!


Beyond the moon
Beyond the moon
Beyond the moon

How long do perfumes last?
Save or splurge

The longevity of your favourite scent depends on you. If you choose a light scent, you can expect it to last up to 8 hours; splurge on a more concentrated parfum and you'll be basking in scent heaven way longer than that.

Time it right

Help your perfume go the distance by timing it right. The best time to spritz is directly after your shower when your skin is still warm and your pores are still open. Don't forget to moisturise first because perfume tends to evaporate at lightning speed when your skin is dry.

Build those layers

How to layer perfume, you ask? Invest in the entire fragrance collection, or just treat yourself to a perfumes gift set. These sets generally consist of a perfume, roll-on, body lotion and even a purse spray. By layering different products with the same scent, you'll definitely heighten your scent and prevent it from fading throughout the day.

Spritz and go

You've probably seen people spraying perfume onto themselves and then rubbing it in. don't do it! Rubbing in perfume breaks down the olfactory notes prematurely, alters the scent and causes it to evaporate more quickly. Just spritz and go... and for the people at the back who didn't hear us.... Just spritz and go!

Where to spray perfume?

The best spots to spray perfume are pulse points like your neck, wrists, inside of your elbows and even behind your ears. These areas give off extra heat and help your scent to diffuse more quickly.

Yay! You've just finished Perfumery 101. Most interesting course you've ever taken? We think so! Come get your A+ and head out to bag and wear the perfect perfume with confidence.


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