Fragrance Files

Fragrance Files

Gifts for Christmas: Perfume Buys Files is a series that profiles some of the most popular perfumes in the world and examines what makes them unique. We analyze the perfumes based on their popularity (global Google searches for the fragrance, TikTok views of the scent’s hashtag, and Instagram posts using the #perfume or #fragrance hashtag) to find out how they differ from one another. We then break down the perfume’s ingredients to understand what makes each one stand out.

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A perfume’s scent is a complex mixture of oils and aromatic compounds. A typical perfume contains dozens of different chemicals. Companies are not required to disclose all of these ingredients since the resulting “fragrance blend” is considered proprietary information. But by understanding the basic components of a perfume, you can make informed decisions about what to buy and what to avoid.

Top notes are the initial burst of smell that emerges when the perfume is applied to your skin. Middle notes are the heart of a perfume, and they usually appear shortly after the top note dissipates. Base notes are the scents that remain after the middle notes disappear and they typically include tobacco, amber, and musk.

The Fragrance Wheel, invented by perfume expert Michael Edwards, helps perfumers and fragrance lovers understand how to pair perfume notes together. The fragrance families that are side by side on the wheel share similar olfactory characteristics and will blend well together in a perfume. The sub-families that are across from each other on the wheel will compliment each other as well.

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