Fragrance is one of the most common ingredients in cosmetics and cleaning products. It is often used to mask the unpleasant odor of other ingredients. Fragrance is added to shampoos, shower gels, and shaving creams. It is also found in some non-scented personal care products. Although fragrance is not essential to personal hygiene, it does influence consumer habits and may influence personal hygiene.
Fragrances can be synthetic or natural. Synthetic fragrances are made in a laboratory and have fewer ingredients than natural perfumes. However, synthetic perfumes can be harder to create and blend correctly. Fragrances have three main notes, called the head, middle, and base notes. Each note contributes to a different perception of a fragrance. Top notes are light, and typically come from citrus fruits. Middle notes are more robust.
Fragrances have a calming effect. The smell of a perfume can improve a person’s mood or make them feel more confident. According to a study in 2003, women preferred fragrances that matched their moods. Other factors that influence fragrance preference are a person’s personality, the type of occasion, and the situation.
The middle note is the heart of a scent. It gives a perfume a more rounded scent, lasts for two to four hours, and masks unpleasant scents. Potent florals and spices are common middle notes. The base note builds on top notes and adds body to the fragrance. The base note has heavy molecules and creates a lasting impression.
Most fragrances are extracted using distillation, a process where the raw materials are placed in high temperatures. They are then allowed to condense into a gas. The condensed steam is then purified. The final product is a concentrated fragrance. It may contain waxy aroma compounds or essential oils.
Perfume has been used since ancient times. Its use is documented in ancient texts and archaeological digs. The art of perfumery flourished in Renaissance Italy during the Renaissance era. Rene the Florentine, the personal perfumer of Catherine de’ Medici, took the Italian refinements to France.
Perfumes are classified according to their concentration levels, the scent family and the notes contained in the fragrance. The concentration level determines how strong the fragrance is and how long it lasts on the skin. Eau de parfum, for example, is composed of between 15 and thirty percent perfume oil, while eau de toilette contains less than five percent.