Fragrance Files

Fragrance Files

Fragrance Files focuses on the art of perfumery, from historical recipes to contemporary perfume-making techniques.

How Ethical Are Celebrity Skincare Lines? you see the term “fragrance” or “parfum” on a product ingredients list, it typically represents a complex mixture of dozens of chemicals. Perfume and cologne companies are not required to disclose the individual fragrance elements because the perfume “blend” is considered proprietary information. Even within a company’s own line of perfume, the concentration of aromatic compounds may vary between EdP, EDT and EdC dilutions (for example, Chanel No. 5 contains different amounts of oils in its parfum, EdP and now-discontinued cologne concentrations).

Perfume is made from the distillation of natural products such as flowers, leaves, fruit, resins and woods or synthetic aroma chemicals such as coumarin and benzyl benzoate. Among the most common raw materials are essential oils, a small number of flower extracts (such as rose water and jasmine), woods and resins, and dried or fresh fruits. Animalic components such as musk, ambergris and tahitian vanilla may also be used.

From Origins to Olfactory: Journeying Through the Fascinating Fragrance Files

The International Fragrance Association sets the safety standards for fragrances and maintains a comprehensive listing of over 3,000 fragrance compounds. A few, such as styrene and phthalates, are known endocrine disruptors and potential carcinogens.

The perfume world classifies scents into families and sub-families based on their primary smell qualities. Experts can often tell which family a perfume belongs to with one sniff. Using the Fragrance Wheel and knowing which fragrance sub-families you like can help you find the perfect perfume for yourself.

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