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Types of Essences

Originally intended to mask unpleasant body odors, today perfume is worn to entice the opposite sex, to make a personal statement, or simply to please the wearer. 

The highest proportion of scent is found in pure perfume or parfum - anywhere from 25 to 40% is pure scent.  Most consumers are more familiar with eau du parfum, which is 15-30% aromatics.

Eau du Cologne and toilet water are more lightly scented perfume products. Originally, Eau du Cologne referred to a specific citrus-floral blend made in Cologne, Germany, which had a lighter scent and could be applied more liberally. It was a type of toilet water, which has 5-15% aromatic compound, but over time, the term became generic for and interchangeable with toilet water. Because cologne came to mean what toilet water originally meant, today most people use toilet water to refer to an even lighter scent, one with only 3-5% aromatics. Toilet water is sometimes thought of as a 'splash' that can be liberally applied after bath or shower.

Another type of perfume is perfume oil. Perfume oils are similar to perfumes, with the exception that the solvent is oil-based rather than alcohol-based. They are preferred by people with who find the alcohol in most perfumes too drying. Oil-based perfume can be formulated into a solid perfume with the addition of a little melted beeswax, to make a waxy block that can be rubbed on the skin. Solid perfumes are often molded into pillboxes or tiny compacts to fit easily in a handbag for on-the-go applications, but be careful not to leave these in the car on a hot day!

Fragrance Blending Families

Fragrances may be floral, spicy, woody, herbal, musky, powdery (also called “chypre”) or “aqueous” a recent designation for aromatherapy scents that are based more on a concept of a “watery” smell than an actual scent. The recent rediscovery of herbal and floral scents combined with recent technology for scent capture has created new markets for subtle extracts—“headspace” scents extracted through the use of gas chromatography, creating entirely new classes of perfumes. Food scents such as vanilla, chocolate, cherry and coffee have made their way into perfumery to the chagrin of many classical perfumers and to the happiness of younger customers who like fruity, foody, unsophisticated scents. Many perfumes combine the scent categories, creating combinations such as “Oriental” which is usually identified by heavy florals and spices. Aldehydes, which made their debut with the heady scent of Chanel No. 5, are pure chemicals whose particular odors are named by letters rather than names. Aldehydes, while completely man-made are also compelling and immensely popular, making up many of the elegant perfumes of today.

The following are popular perfumes broken down into the categories mentioned above, that will help you classify what your particular likes and dislikes are. This is very helpful in designing your custom scent. You can use your experimentation at the cosmetic counter to tell your custom blend specialist at Luv Parfum what perfumes you found appealing and how they smelled on your skin.

  • Aldehydic Floral Perfumes
Chanel No. 5
Lanvin Arpege
Madam Rochas
Je Revien by Worth
Rive Gouche by Yves Saint Laurent
  • Oriental Perfumes
Shalimar and Samsara by Guerlain
Opium by Yves Saint Laurent
Youth Dew by Estee Lauder
  • Animal Oriental Perfumes
Obsession by Calvin Klein
Egoste by Chanel
  • Chypre Perfumes
Most known for the essences of Orange, Geranium, spices and Oakmoss, it is further defined into different categories, as below.
  • Floral Chypre
Crepe de Chine by Millot
Ma Griffe by Carven
Montana by Claude Montana
Knowing by Estee Lauder
  • Fruity Chypre
Mitsouko by Guerlain
Femme by Rochas
Champagne by Eves Saint Laurent
  • Sweet Chypre
Shocking by Shiapareli
Intmate by Revlon
Aromatics Elixer by Clinique
  • Green Chypre
Aliage by Estee Lauder
Boucheron Pour Homme

It is further helpful to know that Balmain's Jolie Madame, Chanel No. 19 and Givency L'Interdit are dominant Violet scents.

Joy by Jean Patou is heavy with the scents of Rose and Violet, as is Femme by Rochas.

Claude Montana's scent Montana and Estee Lauder's Beautiful use Orange flower oil as their main feature.

Amouage is the essence of Myrrh, as is Roma by Laura Biagiotti, Opium by Yves Saint Laurent, and Salvadori Dali.

And the lovely Samsara by Guerlain is quality Sandalwood.

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