The first thing to keep in mind when enjoying Pure Perfume is that, like wine, the perfume must breathe. One can not get an accurate impression of the scent by smelling straight out of the bottle. The best way to do this is to allow it to air on one's skin or on a test strip.
Secondly one must be aware of the structure of Pure Perfume. High quality perfumes consist of a top, middle (heart) and base note. We can smell the notes in a perfume as they evaporate into the environment. The refreshing top note is the first to be detected, it last from 10 to 20 minutes. The middle or heart note is then perceived as it combines with one's body heat and personal chemistry to produce the bridge between the top and base note that can last between 1 - 2 hours. Finally the base note becomes apparent. The base note lasts the longest(a few hours). Combined with one’s personal chemistry the formula has now settled into its base note. At this point the wearer can become insensitive to the fragrance, however, others can still sense it.
Appreciating the art of Pure Perfume is much like appreciating fine wine. There is the skill of experience that can enhance one's enjoyment. Alcohol based perfumes do not lend themselves to this type of savoring as they are up to 75% alcohol. They evaporate in a rush thus obscuring the evaporative profile and the opportunity to detect the delicate nuances of a complex fragrance.
Here is some helpful vocabulary when conceptualizing and discussing truly luxurious Pure Perfumes.
- The blend of two or more scents to produce a third new scent.
- The main theme of a perfume, also known as the middle or heart note.
- Bottom or Base Notes
- The ingredients of least volatility (slowest to evaporate) that give a fragrance its lasting qualities, sometimes referred to as fixatives.
- The transition from one note to another in a perfume. The smoothness of this transition.
- Dry down
- The final phase of a fragrance, the base notes.
- Middle (heart) Note
- The body of the perfume composition that reveals its family classification and character.
- One of three distinct phases of the evaporative profile of a fragrance.
- A perfume's capability of flowing from one phase to another in a harmonious fashion.
- Top Note
- The first scent impression of a perfume, the ingredients that first becomes apparent after application to the skin.
Practice the Art
- Let the perfume breathe for a moment. It must be out of the bottle, preferably on your skin. Apply to pulse points and areas of warmth, including behind the knees so the fragrance can rise.
- Be patient. Unlike alcohol based perfumes, Pure Perfumes are much stronger. One must let the perfume burst forth with its Top Note and then settle into its Middle or Heart Note.
- Enjoy! Pure Perfumes are a sensuous, complex structure that evolve with your personal chemistry through the day.