What are the different forms of fragrances?
What is the difference between Perfume, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne? This is probably the most asked question about perfumes and fragrances, because when you noticed where shopping that there are a different versions of the same scent for example, and with the same size but they all cost a different price? You will absolutely ask why? And many people had probably seen these phrases on the bottles of perfume, but might not have realized what every type mean.
Fragrance Guide : How to make a perfume?
To make a perfume we need essential oils or aroma compounds, fixatives and solvents, make a mixture of them and we get a pleasant scent for human body, animals, living-spaces, objects, food…
An essential oil is simply the oil that we extract from a plant; it’s the concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile compounds from plants. They are also known as volatile oils or ethereal oils, and generally they take the name of the plant from which they were extracted, used in perfumes for adding scents. Essential oils are extracted by using many methods such as distillation, expression, solvent extraction, absolute oil extraction, cold pressing, and resin tapping.
Most common essential oils are distilled such as eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, tea tree oil or patchouli. But before the discovery of distillation, all essential oils were extracted by pressing; today pressing is used in large quantities oils like citrus peel oils or olive oil. Solvent extraction is a method used for flowers, because flowers contain too little volatile oil; their chemical components are too delicate and easily denatured by the high heat used in distillation. Instead, a solvent such as hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide is used to extract the oils.
A fixative is used in perfume oil to equalize the vapor pressures, and thus the volatilities, and then increase the tenacity.
Fixatives come in two forms of: Natural fixatives and Synthetic fixatives. Furthermore natural fixatives can be resinoids like (myrrh, benzoin, olibanum ,labdanum, storax, tolu balsam) or animal products (musk ,ambergris, castoreum), while Synthetic fixatives include substances of low volatility (diphenylmethane, cyclopentadecanolide, ambroxide, benzyl salicylate) and virtually odorless solvents with very low vapor pressures (benzyl benzoate, diethyl phthalate, triethyl citrate).
Perfume oils are often diluted with a solvent, solvent is the liquid that dissolves a solute. The most common solvent for perfume oil dilution is an alcohol solution, a mixture of ethanol and water or a rectified spirit. Perfume oil can also be diluted by means of neutral-smelling oils or liquid waxes.
Concentration is the key:
The main difference between a Perfume, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne is the concentration of oils used in the fragrance.
The concentration of aromatic ingredients is typically as follows:
- Perfume or Extrait – 15-40% perfume oil
- Eau de Parfum – 10-20% perfume oil
- Eau de Toilette – 5-15% perfume oil
- Eau Fraiche – 3 -5% perfume oil
- Eau de Cologne – usually 2-5% or less oil
- Aftershave/Splash – usually 1-3% or less oil
Perfume has up to 20% perfume oil dissolved in alcohol. Any mixture with a lower proportion of oil to alcohol is an eau. The rate of concentration can reach 40% in the case of some particularly prestigious perfumes. The Extrait is however not a pure assembly of raw materials since (raw formula used by the perfumer, as named extract) it also contains the alcohol or water as Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum. These terms refer to the strength of the fragrance, or more specifically, to how much alcohol or water has been added to the fragrance oils.
It is very hard to describe a perfume by listing its components, on the one hand because they are often very numerous, of the other because the maker (in spite of some pressure of the Union European) is not held to communicate this list to the public. But especially, because there is not a direct link between the chemistry of an odor and perception. Two chemically very near molecules can generate very different perceptions.
It is possible to classify it by olfactory family, and to describe it according to the notes that appear at the time of use. The depth and accuracy of any classification is closely linked to the expertise. Since the research of Axel and Buck (Nobel 2004), we can say that the olfactory sense offers us infinity of combination. Thus, many “olfactory objects” are to invent, discover and rediscover.