Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Do's & Dont's, the Myths, the Misunderstandings in Perfumery

I have seen many articles giving tips on how to apply/store/buy perfumes, or with FAQ responses. Some where very useful...some just missed the point. This month Brazilian Elle magazine published an special issue about perfumes, and the answers of perfumery FAQs were supposedly answered by "experts in perfumery". In some of the answers I found surprising wrong explanations. I decided to make something similar here for my readers.

Can I apply perfume on my hair?
HELL NO!!! You spend so much money in treatments to make your hair beautiful, shinny and soft, why to ruin all your effort in seconds??? Perfumes contain alcohol, that not only will dry your hair, but it can also damage the color. Besides, if they are not to be applied on clothes and furniture because they can stain them...use your common sense and try to picture what they will do to your hair, specially if colored.

So what is the best way to apply my perfume?
The classic way dear. Apply small amounts on you wrists and behind both ears. Some ladies like to apply on the chest (cleavage) or behind the knees, when wearing a sexy dress.

But I heard that rubbing fragrance applied on the wrists can ruin it!
False. Rubbing will only heat the skin and maybe the top notes will evaporate faster. But that is all that can happen. Touching both wrists will do no harm, believe me!

What about spraying on the air and entering the cloud to get a homogeneous spread of the fragrance?
Ok, here I have two answers for you:
1.If you mind your finances, don't even consider doing this! Besides, it might fall on the hair, clothes, eyes, furniture, jewelry, etc... 
2.If you want to have the Cleopatra or Diva style, than it is up to you to live a lie that you are been gloriously perfumed by a cloud of fragrance. It is up to you really. In my opinion it is a waste of good perfume. 

My fragrance smells different (or better) on my friend, sister, mom...why????
This is partially true. The fragrance is always the same, if fresh. Your friend smells different than you, not the fragrance she is wearing! That happens due to many factors: She uses different beauty & cosmetic products than you, such as scented hair products, deodorants, body lotions, soaps, scented make- up and so on... besides, her genes (heritage and health conditions) are different than yours. The combination of these factors produce different results on both of you ladies.
Than there is the emotional factor: 
If your perception of your fragrance on your friend was  not in the same day you tried on yourself, you are using your memory, not a technical tool to measure how similar or different you and her smell.
The industry sells this idea that every woman smells different wearing X perfume, to sell more. With the uniqueness idea on your mind, you will probably not mind that 1000s of other women are in fact smelling just like you are! So maybe you are just influenced by this mislead concept.

And most of all: the neighbor's grass is always greener, right? Why don't you mind your own fragrance? Focus on how YOU are smelling.

Can I wear a masculine fragrance being a woman? Can I wear a feminine fragrance being a man?
I can give you 2 answers:
Some masculine fragrances have a large dose of flowers and can produce a beautiful effect on women. Some feminine fragrances are not that girlie, so yes it can be shared with the masculine public. But a typical masculine fragrance was designed for men, and vice versa. It all depends on the message/image you want to pass/reflect...I don't want to pride...

Why the fragrance I loved in the past (mentioning the brand and perfume) smells different (weaker, bad fixation) today ? 
That could happen for some reasons:
How old were you when you used that fragrance? It matters because our sense of smell reduces as we age. So maybe your perception of the fragrance is different, not the fragrance itself.
Many fragrances had to be reformulated to adapt to new health regulations, so probably the original you mentioned contained raw materials that are forbidden today.
Maybe the brand had to adapt to a new budget, substituting some of the most expensive raw materials for cheaper ones. It happens. Sorry to break it to you!

Can I apply perfume wearing jewelry?
Always apply your fragrance before dressing and putting all your accessories.

What do I do if I put too much perfume?
Well, pray you won't meet an allergic freak!
I saw some people advising to take a good shower. Really?

Why sometimes I don't find the notes mentioned in a review of a fragrance? Sometimes I find notes that were not mentioned too!
There is a funny thing about smells. Sometimes we haven't noticed them until someone mentions it. That is because you were focusing into something else that was more (or less) appealing to you. Your perception of the fragrance is filtered by your life experience, your background, your interests. 
One example: I had lunch with 2 friends and we were commenting on a new shopping mall. The mall is always the same, but the comments were so different:
Friend A (works near the new mall) I loved the mall - it has  2 salons, a great movie theater and the food court is so silent!
Friend B (snobby and very social) I hated that mall. So empty...I will probably never meet someone I know because the shops are kinda cheap.
Me - very practical being - I loved that I have one more mall near my home, and that not a lot of people have discovered it yet. I can drive, park, buy and leave in 1/2 an hour!
So as you can see, one focused on the quality of the people shopping and the shops available; the other is more concerned about the quality of the environment offered so she can have lunch in quiet place, and I, the distance and time I will spend shopping there.

There's also the knowledge factor - once you know the raw materials used in the fragrance (not just the ones mentioned by brand), you will notice them more easily. 

What is your opinion of decants and splits?
There are two aspects of this matter:
If you are a true passionate, you will certainly agree that a perfume is a product  containing the fragrance, presented in its bottle, stored in its package. So to me, perfume is the whole deal. I wish to have all three! 
Now, some fragrances are too expensive to be bought without a previous try. Sometimes you can get samples, sometimes you don't. In this case, splits and decants are a good way of sampling before buying the whole bottle.
The other matter is how sterile your split and decant is? The contact of human skin, light and particles in the air may alter the fragrance, so you are not really buying a "pure" "sterile" perfume. As you know, even hand bottled perfumes are stored and processed in clean environments. Can you control, or even check where these decants and splits are being separated? Do you know if it is not done inside someone's bathroom? If you can answer these questions, go for it.
So the answer is: I do have splits and decants, as well as official and non official samples. But I rather have the original fragrance, in the original bottle and package.

Where to store my fragrances?
Certainly not in your bathroom! 
It is best to store them in a cool, dry, dark, clean place such as your wardrobe or a cabinet. Even better if you keep them inside their packages. (see? One more reason to have the original one!)

But some of them became kinda dark and some have an altered smell! What happened?
Probably it is because you kept them in your bathroom, exposed to light and vapor of the hot showers you take! The brown-ish color is due to light absorption.

For Brazil only: Are "contratipos" illegal or fake fragrances?
NO! The Brazilian law describes a fake product when it is a copy of a fragrance, sold as if it was the original, leading consumers to error. That is 100% illegal. 
Imported fragrances - If the fragrance has the ADIPEC seal, it has a guarantee that you are buying a legal original fragrance. For more information click HERE (in portuguese).

The seal

"Contratipos" are fragrances inspired by the original, sold with another name and different design concept, therefore it can't be considered illegal by the law. Specially because fragrance to are not subjected by patents. The thing is, vendors do say "this is just like Carolina Herreira, just like Gabriela Sabatini, but cheaper!"  So basically "contratipos" are bought by people who cannot afford the original one.  But they know what they are buying.

Are gourmet fragrances edible ones?
Now this is a question I am not willing to answer!!! This is so haven't been reading my blog, have you???

Hope I helped! If you have any other question...let me know!

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