Even primitive humans considered scents from flowers, moist forests and herbs, to have healing and stimulating properties.
The word “perfume” means “from within the smoke” and is connected to ancient religious rituals where incense was used.
In ancient Egypt, perfumes and more specifically the fragrant smoke of incense, were a way of communication between people and gods.
In such a way, incense was the primate form of perfume production.
As time went on, people eventually dropped the religious preface and started using perfumes for personal satisfaction.
Perfumes came from mixing fragrant plants with oils and fats and the art of perfumery was a privilege of the aristocracy.
The Arabs were in fact the inventors of perfumes since the technique of distilling essential oils from flowers was discovered by an Arabian doctor-alchemist.
He managed to isolate the rosewater from the rose petals and by doing so, rosewater was a milestone in the liquid fragrance production.
The first alcoholic perfume was manufactured by a priest for the Queen of Hungary.
During the 16th and 17th century, perfumes were used by the rich, for masking unwanted smells.
In the 17th century, the Italian Maria Farina created a perfume, which he named “Aqua di Colonia” which became a swiftly trend and spread throughout the royal families of Europe.
The 19th century was the period of synthetic perfumes evolution due to the composition of organic substances and following the progress of Organic Chemistry as a science. Synthetic substances were produced and could replace extremely rare and expensive natural components.
Thus, mass production of perfumes started and perfume was not considered a luxury anymore.
Top notes are the most volatile and represent the first fifteen minutes of the perfume.
Middle notes are the heart of a perfume, which reacts with the skin and determines the character of a perfume. It emerges a little bit before top notes disappear.
Base notes determine the duration and the success of a perfume. The basic note lasts much longer than the top and middle notes due to the interaction with the skin.
Most often in perfumery, by “Citrus” we describe the whole spectrum of hesperidin fruits. The distillation of citruses is done in low temperatures to maintain their freshness. Petitgrain is an exception as it comes from the steam distillation of branches and leaves of the bitter orange tree.
Citruses provide a refreshing and exceptional quality to fragrances, while also adds an air of elegance and cleanliness.
The notes of fruits resist the distillation and extraction processes due to the high percentage of water and are manufactured synthetically.
Fruits provide perfumes a delicate and refreshing feel in fragrances. Their effects ranges from juicy to reach intensive and mysterious levels.
A category of notes connected to fragrant flowers from the top note of Ylang-ylang, to the hues of roses and the sides of lavender.
Flower notes add a romantic and feminine touch in a perfume composition, increasing the sense of natural beauty. Flowers play a very important role in the floral family of perfumes and are contained in almost all perfumes.
The term “green” refers to the fragrant notes of broken leaves and fresh-cut grass, which unveil a spicy quality.
The top note in this specific family is undeniably galbanum, which is a resin from tall herbs having a bitter smell and green profile.
Spices are another well-known category of aromas.
From the more widespread such as cinnamon, pepper, carnation, ginger and coriander, to the less common such as Safran, cumin and rose pepper, all of them provide a more spicy and harsh character to perfumes.
These fragrances built on Vanilla, ranging from simpler chocolate, caramel, sugar and cotton candy to complex recipes such as cupcakes & meringues and reminisce sweets and desserts smells.
Wooden notes are the wild card of an experienced perfumer. They provide the basis of a composition and the reinforce of the other elements. The aroma profile of woods varies, depending on the different types of trees they come from. Some of those woods emanate a relaxing and earthly scent, others a sweet and balsamic character, while others spicy and floral quality such as rosewood.
They are synthetic impressions that provide sweet, warm and flirtatious notes. In perfumery, animal notes derived from the deer’s musk, castoreum, ambergris and civet cats used to be utilized, but nowadays most of them are produced synthetically.
In perfumery, the term “Herbs” refers to aromatic plants and include herbs we are familiar with, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, spearmint, mint, fennel and aniseed.
Balsamic notes create earthy, damp and cool touches in a perfume as well as successful synergy between sweet and bitter.