What Are Perfumes Made Of?
A perfume is a homogeneous solution or mixture that contains aromatic substances, natural or synthetic essences that give a pleasant sensation to the sense of smell. Most perfumes contain water (to dilute the mixture since aromatic substances usually have, when concentrated, a too strong smell response), alcohol, fixative, and the aroma that is the mixture of essential oils chosen for the fragrance.
The essential oils are extracted, generally, from flowers, leaves, and vegetable stems. The form of extraction depends on each fragrance but can be carried out by dry distillation, pressing, or extraction by solvents. In the dry distillation, the vegetable is heated and the more volatile compounds evaporate, condensing separately. In the extraction by solvents, the vegetable is crushed together with a solvent such as alcohol or ether and filtered. The aromatic substances remain in the solvent.
The chosen method depends on the stability of each substance, for example, the jasmine aroma molecule is unstable in front of the increase of the temperature reason why the due care must be taken when manipulating it so that it does not degrade. For these essences, a procedure known as enfleurage is used where the essence is impregnated in a contact fat and then the fragrance is extracted with alcohol.
Another secret that distances a good fragrance from a supermarket colony is the fixative. The musk is one of the best fixatives that there is a fatty substance that is present in glandular secretions of certain deer, musk deer. These deer are protected by being in danger of extinction so synthetic musk is used.
The fixative is important because when the perfume enters in contact with the skin. The temperature of it causes the alcohol to evaporate and the fragrance remains in the fixative. This is why it is necessary for the fixative to have adhered to the skin so that the perfume lasts longer.
The different denominations in terms of commercial perfumes are due to the concentration of the aromatic essence they possess in their formulation.
Eau de Cologne or Water of colony …………… 5% essence concentrate
Eau de Toilette or Bath Water …………… .10% Essence Concentrate
Eau de Parfum or Perfume Water ………… 15% Essence Concentrate
Parfum or Essence ………………………………… 40% Essence Concentrate