Explore the world of perfumes

What is perfume?

The word perfume is used today to describe scented mixtures and is derived from the Latin word, “per fumus,” meaning through smoke.

Perfume was further refined by the Romans, the Persians and the Arabs. Although perfume and perfumery also existed in East Asia, much of its fragrances are incense based.

What are fragrances?

Fragrances are complex mixtures of what people in the industry refer to as raw materials. These raw materials can be extracts from natural sources or synthetic materials.

Oils are dissolved in a solvent (usually alcohol), to preserve a pleasant concoction of scents. The higher the concentration of oils – the greater the strength of the fragrance. The strength determines how long an application of the fragrance lasts on your skin.

Types of Perfumes


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1. Eau De Parfum

  • High concentration
  • (10-30%)
  • Last 4-6 hours
  • Suitable for everyday use
  • Most common type of perfume
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2. Eau De cologne

  • High concentration of alcohol
  • Last 2 hours
  • Solid in larger bottles and you need to spray more
  • Popular with men
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3. Parfum

  • High concentration
  • (20-40%)
  • Lasts 6-8 hours
  • Highest priced perfume
  • Best for sensitive skin because of the low alcohol concentration
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4. Eau De Toilette

  • High concentration
  • (5-20%)
  • Lasts 4-5 hours
  • Suitable for summer months
  • Most popular type of perfume
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5. Eau fraiche

  • Low concentration (1-3%)
  • Most diluted perfume
  • Replaces alcohol with water
  • Lasts 2hours

The Perfume Structure

Fragrance Life Cycle Pyramid

The Economics of Perfumes

  • More money does not necessarily mean better perfumes. Some of the most popular fragrances of the past were relatively cheap formulae. It is possible to mix expensive raw materials and end up with a pricey mess.
  • Usually, the amount of concentrate a fragrance contains will affect its price.
  • Often, what you end up paying for is the marketing cost and the image associated with a brand and not necessarily the cost of raw materials comprising the scent.
  • When deciding to purchase a new fragrance – let your nose decide!

Quality of Perfumes

  • The longevity, uniqueness of the smell and projection are important for obvious reasons – if people are unable to smell you and appreciate your fragrance, what is the point of wearing one?
  • As the notes dry up, the scent will change, allowing for the scents to evolve and be more interesting. Typically, the mark of a low quality fragrance is if it remains monotone throughout its life.
  • How to test Perfumes
  • Spray one on each wrist and each inner elbow.
  • Between smelling each perfume, refresh your palate with something strong, like coffee beans. Some don’t prefer to use it as it will fatigue the nose so you can just wait a few moments between different scents instead.
  • There’s nothing wrong with paper strips for browsing (but make sure you don’t touch it to your nose, getting the fragrance on your skin will adulterate all other scents). Don’t inhale steadily over it, lean into it, get the scent, and then move it away for a second. Repeat this several times.
  • Once you find a few fragrances you’re ready to get serious about, you must try them on your skin.
  • Smell all the notes. Avoid using the paper strips provided for testing the fragrance. The initial top note smell isn’t necessarily the one that lingers for the rest of the day.
  • After spraying the fragrance on your wrists, walk around, and smell the perfumes at various intervals up to an hour.

How to select and buy the right Perfume

  • When looking to buy a fragrance, spray some on your wrist and wear it for a day to observe the transitioning nature and longevity of the smell. Avoid spraying on paper because it will only reveal the top notes and is a poor indicator of how the notes of the fragrance will mix with your body oils.
  • Scientific studies suggest that an individual can select the perfume that works best with their natural body odor. Don’t let others choose for you, instead let them reinforce your judgment.
  • Don’t try to blind buy – purchasing a perfume on someone else’s recommendation.
  • You need to test if the perfume complements your natural body odor. Perfume stores are a convenient place to trial different samples, just ensure you don’t buy till ready. You should try not more than four fragrances at a time (two is ideal).

Uniqueness of a Perfume

  • Different perfumes carry different vibes, and knowing these vibes and choosing according matters, Also, people associate perfumes with memories and other people. If you are wearing perfumes that are unremarkable or common – you’ll smell like everyone else.
  • Your clothes are an outward expression of how you view yourself. The same goes for fragrances.

Lifespan of Perfume

  • The shelf life of the average bottle of perfume is 3-5 years from the date of manufacture.
  • It is next to impossible to specify the accurate number of application from a bottle of perfume. You can roughly expect the following lifespan from your bottle of perfume
    • A 100ml dispenses 1000 to 1500 sprays and should last for 14-16 months
    • The average number of sprays in a 50ml bottle is 735, which should last 7-8 months.
  • Extend the life of your perfume by storing it in cool, dark and dry environments – such as your bedroom. Rapid heat fluctuations (like found in a bathroom) will cause the molecules in a fragrance to break apart. Sunlight does the same thing as well. Ensure the bottle cap is secure, to prevent the fragrance from evaporating.
  • Smell is our strongest sense. It is connected to our memory – we make deep connection to emotion. Our reaction to scents is fast and strong although our understanding of it is at a nascent stage right now.
  • Wearing a perfume is a distinctive way of expressing yourself. Depending on the scent you choose, wearing a fragrance can make you more comfortable to be around.
  • Once you find some fragrances that you feel comfortable wearing and build an appreciation for perfumes that complement your natural odor, you’ll move on to the next level of purchasing fragrances –choosing them simply because you like how they smell.

Rules for perfume application

Spray perfume on dry skin, preferably right after a shower. Hold the spray nozzle 3-6 inches from your skin and focus on these rules for applying perfume

  • Pulse points – Your body heat will push the perfume through out the day, creating a nice scent trail commonly called sillage. Start with the warm parts of your body –chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow, shoulder.
  • Re-spray only when required – You can add more sprays to your wrists or take sprays away depending on how long the scent lasts
  • Don’t kill the note – Rubbing the perfume into the skin seems a sensible thing to do. In reality – it breaks the molecular bond, making the scent weaker.
  • Don’t spray and walk – Spraying a perfume in the air and walking through the mist is worthless. Most of it the fragrances drops straight to the floor.
  • Don’t spray perfume on your clothes – The perfume isn’t allowed to mix with your oils, and hence it can’t naturally go through the stages of notes like it should. The oils in a perfume will stain many fabrics.
  • Less is More – “Fragrance should be discovered, not announced”. People should be close to smell the perfume but not overpowered by it

Luxurious Arabian Perfumes

Oud and musk-based perfumes are a hit in the regional and international market.

Though international perfume brands are big in the Middle East, so are Arabian names. In fact, top designers from Gucci, Valentino, and Chanel have been creating oud-based fragrances for a while. Luxury perfume house Jo Malone has also stated that its bestseller is Oud and Bergamot.

Rasasi Perfumes

For almost four decades in the Middle East and GCC, Rasasi has been combining oud and musk-based Arabian fragrances with European scents.

The brand uses floral, leather and citrus aromas as constants in its perfumes. It has only just launched Boruzz, a collection of perfumes inspired by Oudh. So far, Rasasi has more than 165 showrooms across the Arab region.

How to wear fragrance

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Recommended areas to apply fragrance (Select one or two)

  • Lower Jaw
  • Neck
  • Shoulder
  • Chest
  • Inner Elbow
  • Forearm
  • Wrist
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Fragrance rules

  • Less is more
  • Start with one spray
  • Apply to skin (Not clothes)
  • Apply to dry skin after a shower
  • Waste + walking into a spray cloud
  • Dont kill the note (Rubbing application onto other parts of the body)



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