Monday, 5 February 2007

The Art Of Perfume Notes - What Are They?

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When people hear the word ‘notes' they often say "yeah those are the things that make up a song." Sure this is true, but did you know that notes are also used to describe the various scents of a fragrance? Most people aren't even aware that there is more than one aroma involved in perfume or mens cologne.

In this article we will take an in depth look at what levels of notes occur in a fragrance, as well as what is involved in each level.

As I mentioned above, there are actually different scents within a bottle of perfume. That's right, when you purchase your dream bottle of cologne at the local store, it isn't going to always smell the same. When you wear it, the scent will actually change throughout the day. Evaporation causes different ‘notes' to come out during this period.

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So what exactly are these notes? Let's take a look.

Top Notes - This is the first scent you smell when sniffing a particular fragrance. Because this is the first scent a person smells, the manufacturer knows that the top notes are very important for a good first impression. The top notes are usually described as fresh or strong. These notes generally last a matter of minutes (10-30) due to them evaporating quickly.

Middle Notes - Also sometimes referred to as ‘heart notes', these scents are generally much less ‘dramatic' than top notes. Middle notes last longer than top notes and usually appear 10-45 minutes after applying the perfume.

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Base Notes - This is the finale of every good cologne. The ingredients used here hold everything together. Musk is a common ingredient that is used as a base note.

Now that you are "in the know", next time you go to buy that special cologne, you may be able to give the clueless sales representative a crash course in fragrance study!

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Perfume Tips & Tricks

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Fragrances can often reflect our mood and personality. A certain scent on a good friend may smell quite differently on you as each fragrance reacts differently according to our own chemical makeup.

When testing a perfume in a store, be sure to wait about 10 minutes to allow the fragrance to react to your body chemistry before buying it. Smell it after the first application and then smell it again after waiting. This allow you to sample both the top and middle notes of the scent and give you a good sense of how the fragrance will linger throughout the day.

Be sure to limit how many fragrances you try at one time at the store - stick to just 3 or 4 at a time. Otherwise your olfactory senses may become overwhelmed and you may not be able to tell one perfume from the other!

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If you are concerned about an allergic reaction, wait about an hour or so after sampling the perfume. If no reaction occurs by that time, it is probably safe to go ahead and splurge on that new perfume!

Always apply fragrances directly to your skin or hair, as some fragrances (especially parfums and eau de parfums which have a higher concentration of oils) may cause discoloration on certain fabrics. Never spray fragrances directly on silk - it will damage it!

If you like to spritz a bit on your clothing, be sure to test it first on hidden area such as an inner lining before spraying it all over yourself! This is especially true for delicate fabrics and "dry clean only" clothing.

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I suggest changing your fragrance depending upon the season. In other words, go for lighter scents during the hotter weather and keep the stronger scents for the drier, cool weather. Heat intensifies the scent, so there is no need to douse yourself in a heavy scent during the summer. And if you are outdoors, be aware that bees, wasps, hornets, and other flying bugs are attracted to flowery fragrances (which is another good reason to stick to light, clean scents!)

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Speaking of heat, if you want to keep that favorite perfume as fresh as the day you bought it, keep the bottle in a cool, dark place. Keep the bottle in it's original box, if possible. You may even want to keep it in the fridge, so you can have a refreshingly cool spritz of your perfume before heading out for the day!

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