Perfume is a mixture of things that come together and produce a scent for the skin. Among these are essential oils, solvents, and several different essences for aroma. Some of them have preservatives so that they last longer. Most of the scents are blended with both natural and synthetic compounds. These are to vaporize the scented compounds, which allows them to be detectible on the skin.
There are a whole host of ingredients for aromas in these, both natural and synthetic, plant and animal. Certain types of flowers, blossoms, fruits, woods, seeds, and tree barks can be used.
Deer musk, honeycomb and castoreum are good animal sources for aromas. Some fruity scents are made in laboratories, such as cherries. Lemons and limes can be used for citrus perfumes though.
Scented water has been made since early antiquity, as a precursor to modern-day perfumes. It contained lemon, lavender, myrtle, rose petal oils, jasmine, among others, at its base. Hippocrates wrote about perfume’s medicinal properties. It was used in a hygienic routine before meals in Medieval times, and also for brushing teeth.
One of Marie Antoinette’s requests was scented water for her toothbrush before being executed. It was also used for religious purposes. It was also used to refresh homes.
Perfume, getting its name from the Latin phrase “per fumus,” or through smoke, began in antiquity among the ancient Egyptian people. After a while, the process that we know today as perfumery was perfected by the Romans and Arabians as they sought to discover how well they could make the scents. Naturalis Historia and Pliny the Elder first described the ingredients and methodology for scented oils.
How Perfume is Made
One method used in perfumery is extracting aromas with hydrocarbon solvents, such as petroleum ether, known as Concrete types. Absolutes are made by extracting aromas with alcohol. Expressing oils are when essences are pressed out of flower tissues, such as with rose petals. Distilled perfumes extract with steam, where oils become removed from condensation. Tincture types are made with aromatic animal sources, and are heated in alcohol. After extraction, aromas are mixed with solvents.
How to Apply Perfume
The first step is to moisturize your skin, preferably with a light-scented moisturizer so that it does not clash with your chosen perfume. This helps the adhesion and layering of the fragrance. Spritz in front of you, then walk through it. Apply behind your ears, and on your wrists, rubbing in gently on areas of your face and neckline.
Go subtle. Note that aromas are stronger around heated environments, like Summertime, so apply with these conditions.