Whether you are trying to impress someone at work, get the attention of a potential love interest or simply want to smell good throughout the day, perfume can help. It is a combination of oils and chemicals that are sprayed on the skin to create a distinct fragrance. Its scent lasts much longer than body odor and helps to define your personal brand. Perfume can also function as a natural aphrodisiaci. Some ingredients in perfume, such as jasmine, rose and ylang-ylang, contain pheromones that are thought to stimulate the sense of smell (1).
Perfumes are available in a wide variety of scents, from light floral to woody and musky. They typically consist of a three-part smell: top notes (the first smells your nose detects), middle notes (the scent that lasts about an hour after application) and base notes (the smells that remain the longest). Some perfumes also have additional components such as spices, herbs, woods, fruits, or even animal pheromones.
The most common ingredient in perfume is florals, including rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang and tuberose. These are usually combined with other florals and other fragrant materials to give the perfume its signature scent. Other popular perfume ingredients include bergamot, blackcurrants and vanilla. The perfume industry uses a variety of techniques to extract these smells, from pressing or distilling plants to chemically synthesizing them. (2)
Fragrances made from animals are becoming increasingly common as the perfume industry looks to lessen its dependency on chemical compounds. Some animal pheromones are extremely potent, and they can provide a unique scent that is both fresh and invigorating. However, there is a certain amount of controversy surrounding the ethical use of animal pheromones in perfume.
It is also possible to find perfumes that do not use any animal products at all. For example, some companies produce perfumes with synthetic aromas such as linalool and coumarin. These smell similar to the terpenes found in many natural flowers. Many of the synthetic aromas are created to replace natural ingredients that are becoming scarcer or harder to obtain.
Aside from the natural benefits of perfume, many people wear it to express their mood or personality. In a study by Herz, women reported that the perfume they chose to wear was related to their current emotional state and was consistent with how they wanted others to perceive them. In addition, the fragrance they picked was based on the occasion for which they were planning to wear it. For instance, a woman who wished to appear romantic would choose a floral scent while one who was looking for a job interview might opt for a more musky and masculine fragrance. In the early nineteenth century, a change in public perception of germ theory led to a decline in perfume wearing and a gender-specific definition of fragrance types. Sweet floral blends and floral scents were viewed as feminine, while sharper pine, moss, cedar, and juniper perfumes were seen as masculine. The trend eventually reversed in the mid-nineteenth century.