Perfumes have been used for many years to enable a person to smell differently than their natural aroma. When choosing perfume, women tend to opt for a favourite scent, but some women have different perfumes for day, night and special occasions. The word perfume is from the Latin per fume, which is meant ‘through smoke’. Burning incense and herbs that were aromatic in religious services because perfumes were first makes this. The Egyptians were the first known to use perfumes and it was they who invented the perfume bottle. It was then only used by royalty and people in high society but nowadays perfume is accessible for all.

Where does perfume come from?

Perfume ingredients come for the extract of plants as well as animal sources. Though animal sources are not that common today it’s interesting to note that they were an origin of scent for some time. This is due to the hormones produced by certain animals such as:

  • Sperm whale – inflammable substance found in the digestive system of the cohalot.
  • Beavers
  • Bees
  • Male deer – the gland of the deer.

Now, due to cruelty to animals and endangered species the natural parts of the perfume are now replaced with synthetic aromatics. Some aromas are very complex and although not the same as they used to be due to the synthetic ingredients, sometimes you can hardly tell the difference. The main categories of perfume are:

  • Bright floral – popular perfume and used for every occasion.
  • Woody- a refreshing forest smell
  • Green – for casual wear, this is a lighter fragrance.
  • Oceanic – very popular for younger age.
  • Spicy fruit – for the summer months and tropical weather.
  • Oriental – used for special events.

Popular Perfume Brands

Each brand of perfume is made very carefully to create its own unique smell. There are now many brands to choose from, some more popular than others.  The most popular and enduring brands today are:

  • 1 - Eau de Cologne (1709)
  • 2 - Chanel No. 5 (1921)
  • 3 - Opium YSL (1977)
  • 4 - Azzaro Pour Homme (1978)
  • 5 - Anais Anais (1979)
  • 6 - Poison Christian Dior (1985)
  • 7 - Eternity Calvin Klein (1988)
  • 8 - Envy Gucci (1997)
  • 9 - Nu YSL (2001)
  • 10 - Rose 31 (2006)

The design of the perfume bottle has changed over the years to enable the perfume to keep its scent for longer. Originally, perfume bottles came with a removable lid. This has been changed over time due to the discovery that oxygen would enter the bottle, which can change the fragrance. Now, with sprays, no oxygen can get in so the scent can last longer.

How to choose the right perfume for you:

Test it on your skin – perfumes always smell different on individuals- what suits some may not suit you.

Choose the right scent, try smelling a few different perfumes – try to get someone’s view on the smell on you. One that suits your personality.

Think which season you’re in – change the fragrance like the season. What smells lovely for the summer air may be too powerful for close quarters at a party in the winter. 

What occasion do you want it for? – Fragrances for a night out won't suit you for a day in the office. The ones used for evening events are usually stronger.