Containing up to 20% of fragrant substances, perfumes are the most concentrated scented products. Their scent indeed lingers longer on the skin compared to eau de toilette and eau de Cologne. Besides its longevity, however, there are other factors to consider when choosing a perfume. Which ones?
Depending on its composition.
Eau de parfum is a blend of alcohol and aromatic substances, which can be obtained either synthetically or from natural ingredients.
In certain instances, eau de parfum may also contain contentious substances. For example, some fragrances contain butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and/or its associated compound butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). These phenolic species with antioxidant properties protect unsaturated fatty substances from oxidation processes that can occur when exposed to air. They thus extend the shelf life of perfumes. However, some studies reveal that when applied to the skin,BHA and BHT can cause sensitisation,and may lead to allergic reactions. Furthermore, this can also result in adisruption of the hormonal system,manifesting as a stimulation of oestrogen, the female sex hormone, and an inhibition of the expression of male sex hormones. This imbalance could have detrimental effects on reproduction.
Thus, favour perfumes with the most natural composition possible. However, natural does not mean non-allergenic. Indeed, some essential oils contain allergenic molecules such as linalool which is present in large quantities in essential oils of lavender, rosewood, as well as extracts of ylang-ylang for example.
Before making a purchase, it is therefore advisable to test the perfume water. In case of allergies, opt for a different composition.
Depending on the notes used.
A perfume water is a composition of three aromatic notes: a top note, a heart note, and a base note. This is referred to as olfactory pyramid. While all of these notes contribute to the creation of a harmony, the heart and base notes are the ones that linger the longest on the skin and clothes throughout the day. When choosing your perfume water, consider your scent preferences. It's worth noting that aromatic notes are divided into several categories, namely:
● The hesperidic notes, which represent the scents of citrus fruits. They are light and volatile, which is why they are used as top notes.
● The green notes, fresh, reminiscent of a spring-like scent. This is the case with essences of violet leaf, petit grain bigarade, etc.
● The fruity notes. Slightly pronounced, they have a delectable scent. These fruity aromas are used as heart notes and are primarily incorporated into women's perfumes.
● The floral notes, as their name suggests, are characterised by the scents of flowers. Common floral notes include essences of jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, etc. They are also highly valued in women's perfumes.
● The spicy notes, with a potent aroma. They provide a sensation of warmth and are captivating. These notes correspond to the scents of cinnamon, sandalwood, etc. They are often used as base notes in men's eau de parfum, although they are increasingly found in unisex fragrances as well.
● The woody notes whose scent is reminiscent of the essences of wood. They are both powerful and elegant and can be used in the creation of a perfume for both men and women.
● The amber notes. These are warm and captivating scents, combining different odours. They can have a slight floral smell, accompanied by a spicy scent. This is the case with vanilla essence, tonka bean, etc.
Depending on the seasons.
Beyond your scent preferences, the choice of a perfume is also influenced by the season.
During the summer, a desire for freshness is generally felt, hence the interest in turning towards light compositions. Prioritise perfumes with citrus notes or those with soft floral scents. For men, spicy perfumes should be avoided, as they provide warmth. Instead, opt for woody essences, which have a vegetal note.
Furthermore, winter provides the opportunity to indulge in intense perfumes. Warm and captivating notes should be favoured, such as floral, amber notes, etc.
LANIGAN R. S. & YAMARIK T. A. Final Report on the Safety Assessment of BHT. International Journal of Toxicology (2002).
YOSHINO S. Enhancement of allergic responses in vivo and in vitro by butylated hydroxytoluene. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (2007).