Types of Perfume

There are many different types of perfume, far more than many people realize. Not only are there many scents and brands from which you can choose, but there are also different categories of liquid that can be worn on the body. The type of perfume you invest in is a matter of preference; some are more potent than others. 

Today, perfume is made with animal or plant compounds that provide the scent or aroma. These compounds are then added to a mixture of alcohol and water. The amount of the aroma compound in comparison to the alcohol and water solvent determines the type of perfume. Though most aromatic components of perfumes are made from  plant-based essential oils or animal musk oils, there are some manmade scents that have been made in labs using different combinations of chemicals.

True perfume, sometimes called extract, is contains a high amount of scent: between 20-45 percent. This type of perfume is incredibly expensive, rarely sold and is quite potent. A dab of pure scent will get you a long way. The perfume most customers are familiar with buying is called eau du parfum and contains 10-20 percent scent.

For a lighter scent, there is toilet water, also called eau de toilette. This type of perfume contains 5-10 percent scent. This type of product is perfect to apply once you step out of the shower and is perfect for people who do not want an overbearing scent.

Eau de cologne is a term that is often interchangeable with toilet water. The scent has its rules in a scent made famous by Napoleon: a light scent mixed with citrus oils. Today, this scent is often called Eau Fraiche.

Another option from which to choose is perfume oil. Here, the scent compounds are mixed with an oil-based mixture rather than with alcohol. Folks with sensitive skin tend to like these options better because they don't dry the skin out as much as alcohol-based perfumes. You can even find perfume oil that has been solidified into blocks of wax. These blocks are fitted into small compacts or boxes so make transport and application quick and easy.

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