“Within” The Perfume
What’s within the perfume? How is a high quality perfume made? It seems that a perfumes creator, so called “nose”, has 3000-35000 substances available. In the choice among those essences the knowledge, the intuition and the creativity play a major role. The most important asset is its “sense of smell” that gave name of “nose” to the creator. The composition of a perfume comes from the choice of the main and dominant “theme”. It is the “emotional” key that captures the senses and seduces the memory of those that pick it. The row materials for perfumes can be catalogued in 18 different families, organized in the “Olfactory Pyramid”. This pyramid organizes the components according to their degree of endurance and dominant key. Today we define as “sub-families” those different groups. Inside those groups we have similar elements in terms of origin or olfactory characteristics and specific row materials (both natural and chemical) have been linked to each group.
With the evolution of researches the same classification can vary according to the subject that produces them, but usually the cluster are:
• floral is the most important category in perfumery, especially in the feminine one. This is for the variety of elements that we can find in nature, with the flower that compose it: from the jasmine to the rose, the violet, the may-lily. In this aspect we can include the following classes: aldehydic, green, fruity and boisé;
• aromatic composed of seasonings, such as sage, rosemary, thyme and lavender. Hesperides and spicy notes are usually added. It is one of the most important categories in the male perfumery thanks to its masculine tone. We can include in this class the aquatic, the agrestic, the fresh and the one ferns-based;
• oriental or amber include mosses, vanilla, precious woods, exotic flowers and spicy notes to create a highly seductive mix. The spicy notes, floral vanillas and boisé contribute to the mix. In the male version we also have resin, tobacco, exotic spices, woods and animal elements that enhance the boisé note, woody and spicy, precisely;
• esperides or agrumata, made of any kind of citruses, eventually with a flowered touch. In this category we find the aromatic. In male fragrances bergamot, lemon, orange or grapefruit prevail, with an addition of oriental and spicy notes (aromatic then). The first “Eau de Cologne” were born with these characteristics;
• boisè, still for men, with the strength of sandal and patchouli together with cedar and vetiver: the result is rich and multifaceted;
The perfume can be symbolically compared to a symphony composed of an harmonic mix of notes. In our case we find three different notes that compose the “Olfactory Pyramid”. It is the theorization of the different components of a perfume analyzed according to their degree of evaporation and endurance and according to the development of those element during time.
The in-front notes, represented by more volatile elements are usually the fresh, light and evanescent fragrances (hesperides, herbaceous, aquatic and marine notes). Those are the notes that we feel the first moments after the application and create the initial imprinting and the incentive.
The heart notes, the central and dominant that resist longer (about 2/4 hours). They are usually flowered notes (jasmine, may-lily, rose, pleurisy root, ylang-ylang), fruity, green or spicy (for example cinnamon, clove, coriander, nutmeg, pepper) and others.
The bottom notes, the most lasting (woods, mosses, spices, animal notes, vanilla) with stronger and less volatile elements that can last for days. They create the contrail and form the main character of the perfume, its unique feature. This is what brings people to choose the perfume and to use it for a long period.
Perfumes divided in classes
Now let’s have a look to the classification of perfumes in classes, due to the fact that a perfume is composed of a few or many elements (until 80 for the most sophisticated and complex perfumed elements). Those elements can be natural or synthetic. According to etheric oils that they contain they can be classified as follows:
– Eau de solide (low quantity of etheric oils, until 1%). They are, most of all, summer fragrances, more delicate and fresh; – Eau de cologne (3-5%); – Eau de toilette (6-9 %), that becomes higher in the most intense versions; – Eau de parfum (10-14%) and can also reach 20% ( like in our perfumes “Essenza di Pisa” ). – Extract of perfume (15-30 %) in the strongest variations.