Have you ever wondered about the distinctions between good and great perfumes? The best perfumes for women are those that evoke beautiful memories and emotions, rooted in the science of scent.
“When odors enter the olfactory bulb at the upper part of the nose, they are interpreted,” explains perfumer Frederic Malle. “This information then enters the area responsible for processing emotions and is carried to the part of the brain that forms memories.”
When choosing a perfume, several considerations come into play. Are you someone who likes to announce your presence in a room with a lingering iconic fragrance? Or are you considering a more intimate interaction? Another factor to consider is the fragrance notes you prefer. If you enjoy light and fresh scents, look for citrus notes like bergamot. For a sweet preference, explore vanilla or almond undertones. If you lean towards deeper fragrances, sandalwood or oud are excellent choices, especially for the winter season.
Fragrance and lifestyle expert answers three of your burning questions.
Storing Perfume: Best Practices
“It’s best to store perfume away from direct sunlight and heat sources as they accelerate oxidation, so keeping them away from windows is ideal,” advises Malle. A perfume discovered intact in the sunken ship Mary Celestia remained unchanged due to the cool, consistently low temperature on the ocean floor after 150 years. While underwater storage might be an extreme solution, limited edition perfumes are irreplaceable, and storing them in a cool, dark cabinet is preferable.
Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, and Perfume: What Sets Them Apart?
“Traditionally, the oil concentration of Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, and Perfume increases, ranging from 2% to 20% or even higher for Perfume. However, there is no regulatory body determining how fragrance houses classify their scents, leading to potential exaggeration or underestimation of implied oil concentrations,” Malle notes. For instance, compared to traditional Eau de Cologne, Zuma London’s version has a higher aromatic oil concentration in both EDT and EDP categories. Choosing the name “Cologne” is to convey their elegantly simple and transparent compositions that entice you to play with fragrance pairings.
“Regardless of concentration, resins and animalic compounds like woods, amber, and musk have heavier molecular weights, meaning they evaporate more slowly and can be enjoyed for a longer duration. Perfumes with aromas of myrrh, sandalwood, oud, leather, compared to citrus and herbal notes, have a natural longevity,” adds Malle.
What Makes Perfumes Popular?
“For decades, coveted perfumes have not only responded to the spirit of cultural eras but have also predicted and reflected change. The fragrances of the late 1940s shimmered with aldehydes and an optimistic glow, embodying the freedom post-war life brought. Patchouli was one of the most down-to-earth and straightforward fragrance notes in the perfumer’s palette, extremely popular in the 1970s, aligning with the emerging environmental movement. Some of the biggest perfumes of the 1980s were olfactory equivalents to power dressing, and the dawn of the digital era brought forth more is more, with some of the most famous perfumes of the 90s emitting a clear and minimalist glow.
“In the late 90s and early 2000s, celebrity-endorsed perfumes flooded the market, followed by the rise of artisan, niche perfumes as an antidote. This is where Jo Malone London excels with its distinct fragrance aesthetic: ingredient-centered, employing elegant and concise formulas.”