Fragrant Queries

Odour categories in home fragrance

Floral scents are the traditional scents people think of, when the thought of flowers come to mind. Lavender, rose, lilac, geranium and jasmine are all popular and well-known floral scents. Floral scents tend to be thought of as feminine scents, and are perfect for scenting body products for women. They are also ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms.

Citrus scents are clean, invigorating and fresh. Orange blossom, lemon, lemongrass, lime, grapefruit and bergamot are all citrus scents. Citrus scents are gender neutral, and are well suited for the morning routine, freshening a bathroom, scenting the car, office or anywhere else you need a boost of fresh citrus energy throughout the day.

Green scents tend to be seen as gender neutral, and include calming rosemary, chamomile and eucalyptus. Any of these scents and herbs makes a relaxing bath and is a good choice for scenting unisex soaps, bath salts and lotions.

Spicy scents warm up a room and the person smelling the aroma with their unique properties. Cinnamon, ginger, myrrh and frankincense are all spicy scents. Scents from this category tend to be strong, and are good to use when the winter weather seems to be chilling the air everywhere.

Earthy scents are resinous and can be used to scent bath products for men and women who like a musky smell. Scents that fall into this category include sandalwood, rosewood, musk, cedar wood and patchouli.

Did you know… that the average human nose can identify 10,000 different odours and that the sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses? No other sensory input can change human consciousness so quickly and completely.

Research has shown that the olfactory nerve, which senses fragrance, is directly connected to the most primitive component of the brain–the limbic system, which plays an important role in the processing and storage of memories and emotions. This accounts for the direct and immediate experience that smell provides us, as well as the profound effect it has on our mental and emotional states. The smells that surround us affect our well being throughout our lives.

Emerging fragrance trends in home fragrance
Spa/Zen:  This category features scents associated with relaxation and mood enhancement.  Popular candle scents in this category include ginger, mint, eucalyptus, sandalwood, green tea and ylang ylang.

Fantasy:  This relatively new category includes such hard-to-describe but distinctive and increasingly popular fragrances such as ocean breeze, rain, fresh laundry, etc.

Kitchen Aromas:  Vanilla and vanilla-based aromas have remained the  most popular candle scent for almost a decade.  Other favorites in this category include cinnamon, coffee, mocha, gingerbread, pumpkin, apple pie, brown sugar and hazelnut.

Fragrance tips based on time of day
Try starting off your morning with a citrus scented candle or oils to give you an energy boost.  Use lavender or vanilla in the afternoon to relax, or pine to wake you up for the rest of the day.  Wind down with a romantic rose scent in the bedroom at night or breathe in the fragrance of Ylang-Yalang to relieve the stress of the day.  Make your home your fragrance retreat all day.

How to choose the right perfume?
It is also important that people understand the fragrance family that their preferred brands belong to, so that they are in a position to better understand and communicate the kind of fragrances that suit them. Fragrance families are grouping of similar smelling perfumes.

Broadly, people use perfumes to:
- be perceived in a certain way by others.
- feel in a certain way about themselves; either seeking to exalt their sensuality or to
  reconnect with their inner self.

Perfumes for women
Perfumes for women are categorized into Floral, Oriental and Chypre families. Perfumes in the Floral family, as the name suggests, have a typical floral accord as their foundation and can lean toward green, fruity, aldehydic, floral and aquatic directions while retaining the floral character. Oriental fragrances have a dense animalic, spicy and balsamic accord at their core. Chypre fragrances have a fresh citrus and mossy accord at their core.

Perfumes for men
Male fragrances are classified into Fougere, Oriental and Chypre fragrances. At the heart of a Fougere fragrance, is a lavender and mossy accord. The Oriental and Chypre families for men follow the description provided for the female Oriental and Chypre families respectively.

In addition, a perfume will smell differently on every skin. There's no assurance that you'll like what smells so good on someone else when you wear it yourself. That too should be taken into consideration in choosing a perfume.

What do the terms Eau De Toilette and Eau De Parfum mean?

These terms refer to the strength of the fragrance, or more specifically, to how much high grade alcohol and/or water has been added to the fragrance oils.

How many ingredients are used in making a perfume?
Typically, around 50 to 200 aromatic chemicals and natural extracts are blended together in creating a perfume.

Why do perfumes smell different on different people?
Your own body chemistry affects how different perfumes react on your skin. Anything that affects the "natural" smell of your skin, such as stress, hormonal changes, your current diet or medications, might change how a perfume smells on you.

How to make the perfume last longer on the skin?

All other things being equal, perfumes evaporate more rapidly from dry skin; so the best way to make a fragrance last longer is to use a relatively heavy body lotion or cream. Some people like to buy the "matching" cream for their fragrance; but you can also use an unscented one, or try petroleum jelly or jojoba oil. You could also try a light mist, to your hair, which is said to hold scent longer than skin.

How long can a person keep a perfume before it "turns bad"?
Some industry experts say that perfume should be replaced every year; but they should last longer when they are properly stored.

To store perfume properly, keep it away from heat and light. A dark closet or a covered box is best. Also avoid direct exposure to air. Splash bottles, which expose the fragrance to air every time they are opened, are problematic.

What is Aromatherapy?

It refers to one of the oldest uses of incense–as old as 5,000 years. It uses pure, essential oils to rejuvenate and maintain harmony of body, mind and spirit, based on the principle that the subtle power of fragrance plays an important role in our health and wellness. Guided by holistic principles, it awakens and strengthens energies and promotes self-healing.