“Good manners and good cologne is what transforms the man into a gentleman!”– Tom Ford. Perfume with the right ingredients can also dominate the mind and body. Nowadays most of us are some sort of perfume user either using an attar (Ittar), body spray, cologne, Eau de Toilette even incense, and mouth fresheners. Some sort of aromatic liquid is perfume it can be rose water or american eagle body spray or essential oil or Shumuk, the most expensive perfume in the world (it’s $1,295,000). Besides those points, everyone in some sort of a way uses or used perfumes in their life. It has become the bare essential of our life. But it wasn’t used to.
The journey of perfumes begins in the hand of the Ancient Egyptians (3100 B.C.-332 B.C.). The world’s first recorded chemist is considered a woman named Tapputi a perfume maker mentioned in the cuneiform (earliest systems of writing) from the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Fragrance was of great importance in Egyptian high society as it was expensive and troublesome to make. The Ancient Egyptians used to mix unscented oils with local flowers, fruits, and even aromatic woods to make ointments or balms. Many civilizations like the Indus Valley (c. 5000 BCE – c. 1500 BCE), the Roman Empire (625 B.C.-476 A.D.), the Greeks (1200 B.C.-600 A.D.), the Persian Empire (600 B.C.-1200 A.D.) tried to master and perfect the art of perfumery. But the art of perfumery was perfected by a Persian physician, astronomer, philosophist, chemist Ibn Sina or Avicenna (908-1037) by extracting oils from flowers through distillation which is used till this day. Perfume slowly spread throughout the globe, and for a while, scents were reserved mainly for use in religious ceremonies. However, in 1190, perfume began to be produced commercially in Paris, and from there, it blossomed into a massive industry.
In the modern era, the perfume comes in many different types like:
No, I didn’t spell it wrong it’s the French form of perfume. Parfum, also known as Extrait de Parfum or pure perfume, has the highest fragrance concentration. Parfum will contain anywhere from 15% to 40% fragrance however concentration is generally between 20% to 30% for most parfums. Of all scents, parfums last the longest; usually six to eight hours. Parfum generally also commands the highest price of all the fragrance types due to the high concentration of fragrance. People with sensitive skin may do better with parfums as they have far less alcohol than other fragrance types and therefore are not as likely to dry out the skin.
- Eau de Parfum
After parfum, Eau De Parfum has the next highest concentration of fragrance. Eau de parfum generally has a fragrance concentration of between 15% and 20%. On average, Eau De Parfum will last for four to five hours. It is also generally less expensive that parfum and while it does have a higher concentration of alcohol than parfum, it is better for sensitive skin than other fragrance types. Eau de parfum is one of the most common fragrance types and is suitable for everyday wear.
- Eau de Toilette
No, it’s not toilet water and yes, it’s translation says ‘Water of Toilet’ the term Eau de Toilette came from the French term ‘faire sa toilette’ which means getting ready. Eau de toilette has a fragrance concentration of between 5% and 15%. It is cheaper than Eau de Parfum and is one of the most popular types of fragrance available. Eau de Toilette fragrance will normally last for two to three hours. Eau de toilette is considered by some to be for daywear while Eau de Parfum is considered nightwear.
- Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne has a much lower concentration of fragrance than the above types of perfume. Eau de Cologne generally has a 2% to 4% percent concentration of fragrance and a high concentration of alcohol. It is cheaper than other types of fragrance however the scent generally only lasts for up to two hours.
- Attar or Ittar
Attar of Ittar is the essential oil extracted via hydro or steam distillation of a fragrant flower, fruit, or from botanical sources. Its fragrance concentration is 100% percent. It’s mostly common in the Muslim community because of the absence of alcohol. Other varieties of perfumes use ethanol or ethyl alcohol to dilute the fragrance concentration for a more pleasant scent. But Attat or Ittar is the purest form of concentrated fragrance and sometimes two or more concentrated fragrances are mixed for different scents.
- Body Spray
And there are body sprays which with a lot of chemical tweaking last longer and have the lowest percentage of fragrance concentration. Due to its efficient manufacturing body sprays are widely available and very cheap.
Despite the wide availability and cheaper price perfume is still considered one of the extravagant products among the upper-class and noble people. That’s why perfumes like Shumuk The Spirit of Dubai Parfums by Nabeel exists with a price tag of $1,295,000
although it has a lot of expensive metals, crystals, and pearls. But none the less it exists not for people like us it’s for the top 1% who can truly appreciate the effort went behind it. And because of these perfume enthusiasts perfumer like Roja Dove, Francis Kurkdjian’s can continue to amaze us with wonderful perfumes.
No matter what sort of perfume you use there are no doubt perfumes have an intoxicating effect and this effect is portrayed best in a movie named Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (Highly Recommended) adapted from Patrick Süskind’s clammy’s, high-toned international bestseller, “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer(1985)”. Watching this film made me curious about perfumery which led to a ton of internet browsing and which led to this. Hope my thoughts help you discover a new thing.