Perfumes are fun to experiment with and are an integral part of dressing up (or down) these days. But fragrances have a rich and fascinating history and their origins can be traced back thousands of years. Perfume was invented by the Egyptians in about 1000 BC and then spread to China, India, Arabian countries, Greece, Rome and subsequently all over the world. Today, fragrances have become so integral to our culture that it is not uncommon for a man or woman to own dozens of perfumes.

Categories of perfumes

Floral: Floral perfumes are very feminine and can be worn during the day or night. Popular notes in floral perfumes include Jasmine, tuberose, freesia, lily, rose, and gardenia. Chanel No: 5, Acqua Di Gio for Women by Armani, Romance by Ralph Lauren and Flora by Gucci are classic floral fragrances.

Fruity: Inspired by popular notes of grapefruit, apple, oranges, lemons, plum and cucumbers, fruity perfumes can be worn during the day or night. Be Delicious by DKNY, Happy by Clinique, J’Adore by Dior, Princess by Vera Wang, and Addict by Dior are classic citrusy perfumes.

Spicy: Spicy perfumes evoke a sense of cosiness. Spicy perfumes are best for night wear and contain notes of cardamom, cinnamon, chocolate, and nutmeg. Bestselling spicy perfumes include Yves Saint Laurent Opium, Thierry Mugler Angel, Gucci Guilty, Dior Addict and Calvin Klein Obsession.

Woody/oriental: Woody perfumes contain exotic notes of Sandalwood, cedar, moss and vetiver and have a very sensual feel, making them ideal for night wear. Dior’s Miss Dior, Estee Lauder Cinnabar, Dolce & Gabbana The One and Versace Crystal Noir are bestselling woody perfumes.

Difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum

Two of the most popular formats of fragrances are Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum. An Eau de Parfum label indicates that a perfume has a high concentration of natural oils and extract and is hence long-lasting and very potent. An Eau de Toilette label, however, signifies lower amounts of natural oils and hence this kind of perfume does not last as long. Because of their potency, Eau de Parfums are more expensive than Eau de Toilettes.

Something to note is that the way a perfume smells on you initially will be different from how it smells a few hours later. This is because perfumes have ‘notes’ specifically, top notes, heart notes, and base notes. Top notes make the first impression and last only for a few minutes. Heart notes emerge after the top notes fade, last several hours and are meant to make the perfume well-rounded. Finally, base notes provide the fragrance with its ‘body’ and balance, and are meant to linger for hours.

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