Getting the most out of your Fragrance

Rather you have one bottle or you are an avid collector of fragrances caring for your perfume is one of the most important steps to get the longevity and duration of the scent itself.  Before we discuss how to get the most out of your fragrance it is important to understand how a fragrance is created. Understanding this will give you an ideal of why some scents wear off quicker than others.

Fragrances are composed of three key factors: a top note, a middle note and a base note. The top note is the first thing you will notice as you spritz it from the bottle.  It is the lightest of all the notes and, due to its light molecular structure, it is also the first note to evaporate and fade away. Popular top notes are light, citrusy fruits like lemon zest, grapefruit or bergamot, and aromatic herbs like lavender, mint and lemon balm. However fleeting top notes may be they are still quite essential. After all, first impressions are often the most important!

The middle notes, also known as “heart notes”, they transition smoothly once the top note has evaporated. These notes are considered the heart of the fragrance because they last a considerable while longer and have a strong influence on the scents to come. Most commonly, a fragrance’s heart is a pleasant, well-rounded combination of floral and heavier fruit characteristics. Sometimes, these tones are accented with spicier scents like cinnamon or cardamom.

Lastly, the base, or final, notes are fragrance you sense once the top not has completely evaporated. These notes intertwine with the middle notes to create the fullest body of the fragrance. They are often associated with the period of time in which the majority of the liquid of the fragrance has dried. The main purpose of these notes is to deliver a pleasant, long-term impression. These notes are often rich and linger on the skin many hours after the other notes have faded away. Common base notes are vanilla, amber, cedar and sandalwood.

So how does this information apply to getting the most out of your fragrance? Well if your fragrance is designed with all top notes by default the fragrance will only last less than an hour or so. But no matter the case let’s take a look at four things you can do to increase the longevity and duration of the scent.

 

  1. Spray your pulse points– By default our pulse points generate more heat. Whenever there is more heat a smell increases
  2. Spray your hair brush– Since alcohol can damage your hair when put directly on it spray your hair brush instead this will help the scent linger around you.
  3. Rub on unscented Vaseline before using the fragrance– Did you know fragrance holds up better on a moisturized skin as opposed to a dry one? Apply Vaseline to the areas you intend to spray or where you would like the scent to last.
  4. Store your fragrance properly– Any place that contains high amount of moisture, light, humidity and heat can be an antagonist to your fragrance. These four things break down the chemical balance in the fragrance and over a short period of time will alter the smell of the fragrance. One of the worst places to store your fragrance is in the bathroom.

How scent affects emotions

It is a little recognized fact that scent plays a large role in the way we perceive so many things in our daily lives.

The human sense of smell is more complex than most of us consciously realize. It doesn’t simply translate the meaning or origin of an odor. Humans also assign memories and emotions to certain smells. For example, if someone from your past wore a certain fragrance, that scent will trigger the experience and emotion  you had with that person. Rather good or bad. So how does this work?

This reaction is caused by our olfactory receptors’ direct connection to the body’s limbic system – aka the epicenter of emotion. Odors are passed from the olfactory receptors to the cortex. Here, cognitive recognition takes place. When the cortex of the brain has been stimulated, it is believed that the inner parts of our minds awaken.
The limbic system is made up of a number of parts, but the principal structures are the: amygdala, hippocampus, and the thalamus and hypothalamus.

The amygdala is responsible for the processing and registering of emotions. Next door is the hippocampus. This part of the limbic system is responsible for the formation of new memories – specifically about events that have occurred in the past.

Lastly, the thalamus and hypothalamus work in sync to regulate, translate and register changes in one’s emotional reactivity.
All in all, there should be little wonder why poets, authors and marketing executives intertwine smells and emotions in their works.

Does coffee beans really work when smelling fragrances?

Does coffee beans really work when you’re out sniffing different fragrances? Some experts say it doesn’t while other experts as well as consumers believe it does. Well they are both correct. Lets take a closer loom at this.

In our 1st article on here we broke down “Olfactory Fatigue“ which is your sense of smell temporarily adapting to its environment to prevent overload. When you are offered coffee beans in between smelling fragrances there is actually nothing magical about the coffee beans that clears your smell. Anything different than what you are already smelling will reset your Olfactory palette.  They act almost like a breathe of fresh air. The same effect can be achieved by smelling a clean part of your arm or a clean part of your shirt. Depending on the fragrances you are smelling it is sometimes best to use the clean arm or shirt method. Let’s take for example you are smelling YSL Black Opium. Since this fragrance has mainly coffee in it might not help you out very much to smell coffee beans.

In closing coffee beans are equivalent to a breathe of fresh air at a fragrance counter. But it is not the only method that can be used.

Why does that fragrance smell different on me?

Fragrance expert Angelo Austin explains commonly asked questions in the world of scent

This is a surprisingly common occurrence; and it all boils down to our overall body chemistry. Just as everyone’s fingerprints are different, your body’s PH balance is also unique. Varying balances react differently with the fragrances in our lives: from perfumes and colognes to even soaps and lotions. Throughout this article we will look at just how an individual’s body chemistry changes the way a fragrance smells.

Everything from your hormones, body temperature and diet, will affect the way in which fragrances are going to react once they come in contact with your skin. First of all, the variation and quality of the things we eat play a rather significant role in the chemistry of our bodies. As foods are broken down and metabolized, their molecules are burned up as fuel, stored in tissue or passed throughout the body via the blood stream which gives off smell through your pores. Foods with potent smells and oils (like oily fish, onions and garlic) and/or foods that are higher fat content stay with the body longer. Secondly, pleasant or unpleasant, everyone’s bodies create its own odor due partly to this process. This scent is caused by a combination of unpredictable chemical substances that come together on your skin. These chemicals include fatty acids, hormones, and other microbial flora whose primary task is to feed and protect the skin.

Oddly enough, even something you would have never thought related, like a hangover, can completely transform how a perfume or cologne will smell on you. Think about it this way: sugars are released as alcohol is broken down in the body. One of the ways this sugary byproduct is flushed from your body is by being pushed through the pores and dumped onto the surface of your skin. In this process, your body introduces additional chemicals that are then blended with those of the fragrance you spritz on yourself.

As previously mentioned, the exact formula of these characteristics varies from person to person, thus creating a unique foundation on which fragrances can build. When perfumes or colognes are introduced to your body’s natural “foundation”, it prompts a sequence of chemical reactions that then produces its own unique aroma. Ultimately, the strength (and overall pleasantness) of this new scent depends on how much of the added fragrance is actually absorbed into the skin.

The PH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral, and is used to describe how acidic or alkaline our bodies are. A ranking above 7.0 is considered alkaline, while a ranking below 7.0 is considered acidic. For best results when using a perfume or cologne, it is recommended that the body’s PH level should be more alkaline, with a score between 7.35–7.45. Another significant factor is how oily or dry your skin is. Studies have shown that fragrances tend to last longer on oily skin. Rather a fragrance absorbs or evaporates on the skin will not only reveal the quality of the fragrance but can also give you an ideal your PH levels.

All genetic factors and characteristics aside, the best way to find a suitable perfume or cologne is going to take a little bit of time and planning. Experts recommend visiting a fragrance counter and sampling the fragrances. Once you find a fragrance that’s top notes appeal to you, spritz a few pumps onto your wrist and neck. Be careful not to apply too much! From there, take some time to walk around to let the top notes subside, allowing the middle, or heart, notes to surface. This should take about twenty minutes. If you’re pleased with the heart notes, chances are high that you will like the base notes that will surface around an hour or so later. Now you’re better prepared as to make the decision whether or not to purchase. While this process might seem a bit lengthy, but it will be worth it on many levels in the long run!

Why can’t you smell your fragrance but others can

 

I’m sure we have all put on a fragrance and found that after a while we couldn’t smell it … or we wanted to test a fragrance and after about three different scents we either couldn’t smell them or they all smelled the same. Why is this? This phenomenon is known as Olfactory Fatigue, which is the temporary inability to distinguish a scent after a prolonged exposure to that substance. Let’s take a closer look at how this occurs.

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Our ability to perceive scents begins in the nasal cavity, where receptors are located. These receptors allow us to distinguish individual smells, but just as in physical fitness, rest is needed for the muscles to rejuvenate. Most fragrances are composed of HUNDREDS of individual smells that make up one main scent. So, typically, after you smell three fragrances, you have smelled more than one THOUSAND or so individual smells. At such a time, your receptors become less sensitive to prevent overload in the Autonomic Nervous system – which affects the nose, eyes, ears, sense of touch and breathing – and to keep it from shutting down. So, the next time you can’t smell your own fragrance or everything smells the same afteryou test multiple fragrances at once, remember that your body is doing you a favor.