PERFUME: SENSUAL AND MYSTERIOUS

Sprinkle perfume on those places where you would like to be kissed

An exemplary evening, blood red lips and smoky eyes, perfectly cut hair, sexy sandals with high heels … The picture is complete. Or not, not really. It lacks the finishing touch: perfume. A few drops of perfume, floral or sultry, heavy or very subtle. Sensual, elusive, mystical and sexy.

perfumesPersonal and mysterious PERFUME:

The sensual power of perfume, be it eau de toilette or aromatic oils has everything to do with memories. Compared to other senses, smells are retained much longer in our memory trove, and thus smells (more than sight or sounds) often trigger memories of the past. Therefore, the way we perceive smells are often influenced by memories of the past. Pleasant, colorful memories from your childhood – the perfume your mother always wears for outings, your grandmother’s favourite soap, the fresh smell of cleanly laundered sheets. Besides your childhood events, there are other experiences etched in your memories – your first boyfriend (the best you ever had) and the aftershave he always used. The smells of the streets that you always frequented together will bring back memories of him, as smells are often associated with someone or something particularly memorable to us.  And that is precisely why a perfume is so personal, so mysterious.

 

But a perfume is personal because…

Then, there is also our biological experience of perfume. The olfactory epithelium is located in the nose and contains millions of sensory cells that send messages to your brain. The exact number of cells and types of sensory cells is written in your DNA. The sensory cells that you possess determines the way you perceive a particular smell. That is why everyone reacts differently to a particular smell. The same perfume may also smell differently from person to person due to the varying pH values of one’s skin.

 

Structure of perfume

You will realize by now that our experience of perfume follows a complicated process. It is influenced by our previous memories, sensory cells and even the pH values of our skin.  The structure of perfume further complicates the process. How you react to the perfume also depends on when it reaches your nose.

 

By analogy, a perfume is composed of three layers, namely a top, a middle and a base.

  • The top layer

The top layer is what we smell, immediately after the perfume has been applied on the skin. This fragrance lingers a little longer than ten minutes and is often fleeting, light and fresh.

  • The middle layer

As the top layer drifts away, the perfume begins to show its true character. The middle layer can be thought of as the true scent of a perfume. It is the so-called ‘core fragrance’ and is often flowery, lasting for approximately four to six hours.

  • The base layer

The base layer is the scent that remains after the core fragrance loses its smell. It is heavier than the other layers and typically smells of wood and herbs.

 

Having learnt all this, you would understand why you should always wait  at least twenty minutes before deciding on a particular perfume. Take your time when buying a perfume. Ask for a cardboard strip with the perfume (or better yet, spray the perfume that you’re interested in directly on your skin) and wait until the top layer begins to fade

 

What perfume are you?

 

There are a few general rules that dictate the best perfume for each type of woman.

According to the English perfume makers Jo Malone and Lyn Harris, your hair and skin color would indicate your suitability to particular perfumes

  • Blond hair and light skin – fresh, light, floral
  • Red hair and light skin – floral blends that include exotic flowers
  • Chestnut hair and olive skin – heavier fragrances with oriental flowers and citrus ingredients
  • Black hair and dark skin – heavy, intense aromas with exotic flowers and woody base layers.

 

Age acts as another factor that dictates women’s choice of perfume. Young women often opt for modern, sporty fragrances. They are mainly influenced by fashion trends and the image of a particular perfume. Women will begin to develop their own style in their late twenties and will then choose perfumes that match that style. Women in their thirties will levitate towards particular types of perfumes, as they already know what suits them best. Women over forty, meanwhile, often hark back to the absolute classics like Chanel No.. 5 and Christian Dior perfumes.

 

Women’s cultural backgrounds also influence their choice of perfume. Asian women tend to choose slightly volatile perfumes, while European women prefer heavier, more intense odors.

 

Perfume or eau de toilette

Our article has been only about perfumes thus far, but there are several types of fragrances that you can use. Perfumes have the highest concentrations (up to 40%) of a particular fragrance and are therefore more intense than eau de toilette for which the concentration of the essential fragrance is typically around 10%. Other forms of fragrances are eau de parfum (10 to 15% essence) and extrait de parfum (15 to 30%). The different concentrations are suitable for different occasions.L’extrait perfume is intense and therefore suitable for the evenings. L’eau de toilette is perfect for daytime usage, while eau de parfum is popular to be used at all times of the day because it has a slight fragrance but it is neither too intense nor too intrusive.

How to use a fragrance

On which areas of the body do you apply the perfume? Coco Chanel once said that you need to spray perfume on those spots where you are likely to be kissed, but it’s doesn’t necessarily translate to applying perfume only at specific regions of the body. As a general rule, it is said that areas of your skin where blood vessels are visible would be ideal spots as the heat generated by the flowing of blood will propagate the perfume more easily. Those areas usually correspond to your sexy spots, that is, areas such as your wrists, neck, the spot between your breasts, and even your knees.

 

When do you spray perfume?

To prevent stains, it is best to spray perfume before you dress. Light fabrics like silk and chiffon tend to stain easily from perfume.

 

Do not mix!

Make sure you never mix different scents. Be careful with scented bath oils, deodorants and creams. Use products that match the smell of the perfume or choose unscented deodorant and creams instead.

What if you do not smell your own perfume? Amongst the pleasures of putting on perfume is the occasional whiff of a delightful scent. But your nose will get used to a particular scent and stop sending signals to the brain, thus you may stop ‘smelling’ your own perfume. One trick to overcoming this is to alternate between different perfumes.

 

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