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All About Perfume

Taylor Swift released her new perfume line just two weeks ago. It seems that nowadays, the hallmark of being an A-lister in Tinseltown is having a fragrance or two (or seven) released in your name. These celebs rely heavily on glamorous branding to promote and sell their fragrances. But what makes perfumes the perfect choice for celebrities to tout their star power? Why are scents such bestsellers even in a flagging economy? The answer may be found in an analysis of the history of perfume and its irresistible allure to women (and men!). 

Humans are inherently vain. I can say this with confidence, because the art of making perfume started in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. In those days, perfumes weren’t the largely artificial mixtures that we know today, but were mixed from more natural ingredients. Scents also were important part of everyday life, particularly for the wealthy. In Rome, it was customary to use scented water in fountains. In the Islamic world, scented water was part of daily cleanliness rituals. In Europe, scented water was also used instead of soap to wash the body and mask odors. Of course, nowadays you’re sticking to soap in your shower and using your perfume to “enhance” that natural beauty, right?

The ingredients that go in perfume have only increased in number and artificiality.Whereas the courts of Renaissance Italy used scented oil and alcohol to make primitive perfumes, modern manufacturers use a combination of natural and synthetic odorants to create that perfectly artificial fragrance that we all love. But rest assured, strange ingredients such as ‘deer musk’ have been replaced by stronger ingredients that last much longer.

Fragrances are often described by the ‘notes’ that they contain, or by the distinctive scents that make up fragrances. The important thing to understand is that actual perfumers don’t use these classifications at all! The various notes – ranging from floral, oriental, and woody, to the more modern citrus, fruity, and oceanic – are used primarily for marketing purposes. I mean, who doesn’t want to smell like a freshly peeled orange?

Citrus scents tend to last a shorter amount of time than muskier scents due to the short evaporation time of the oils. To extend the staying time of any fragrance, make sure to apply them to select places on your skin. Make sure your skin is well moisturized, so that the oils in your skin can trap the fragrance easier. Then apply the perfume to pulse points, such as the inside of your wrist or behind your ears. Spraying the perfume directly on your skin will work better than spraying the perfume on your clothing. The oils on your skin will hold the fragrance the best. Spray away!
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