Perfume 101

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

After high school graduation in 2010, I took a trip to France & Spain with my French teacher and high school friends. While in Paris, we were able to visit a perfume museum and the Fragonard's perfumery, a popular French perfume brand. 

While we sampled dozens of perfumes, the primed and proper French women in white coats explained the types of perfumes, how to properly wear perfume, and other great tips.

Since I'm a perfume addict (as I'm sure many of you are) I'd like to share these wise words of the Parisian women from the Fragonard perfumery.

Perfume is perfume, right? Actually, not quite. There are three different types, or concentrations, of "perfumes". 

 1. Parfume - The MOST concentrated of the three, most likely to keep it's scent all day. This is the most expensive option. A little goes a long way!

2. Eau de parfume - In between a parfume and a toilette, the second most concentrated. Medium range price and good lasting power.

3. Eau de toilette - This is what most women buy. It's the least concentrated and least expensive of the three. May need a few more sprays of this in the morning to keep the scent strong!

Everyone's tendency is to spray their perfume then rub it into their skin. STOP! 

Perfumes consist of three scent notes: a top note, middle note, and bottom note. If you rub your perfume onto your skin, you are mixing all the notes together and your perfume won't smell as it's supposed to. Instead, spray your perfume on your wrists, dab together, then dab your wrists on your neck and other desired areas. This way, you'll be able to smell all the notes in your perfume!

Something interesting we learned was that glass bottles are the WORST containers to store your perfume in. This is because sunlight, UV rays, etc. can penetrate through a glass bottle, leaving your precious scent more susceptible to a change in smell or even expiring.  

Most of the perfumes at Fragonard were bottled in solid brass containers like these in order to keep their perfume lasting for years to come. 
I bought this small bottle of Parfume (highest concentration) at the Fragonard perfumery when I was in Paris. I only wear it on special occasions and even after three years in the bottle, it still smells amazing!
That's your lesson of the day - hope you learned a little something about your perfume!



  1. I always dab my perfume. Good to know about glass bottles though!

  2. WOW! I learned so much- thanks so much for explaining all this about perfume. Ive been wearing it wrong! Have a happy Wednesday and be sure to check out my low entry giveaway ending soon :).

  3. This was such an interesting post! I'm going to make sure not to rub in my perfume anymore. I'm getting ready to start a masters program in cosmetic chemistry so perfume is definitely one of my *slight* obsessions!


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