I ran out of my favorite perfume last week. Since my birthday is next week, I’m hoping that one of the people who love me will rectify the situation…Anna, Ryan, Matthew…Mom needs Viva La Juicy Perfume!
No, of course I’m not completely out. According to the fashion-era.com website, women today have fragrance wardrobes of at least six different perfumes, rather than a single signature perfume like our mother’s generation did. That fits me perfectly as I have five perfumes now that I’ve run out of my favorite. Here’s a list of the ones I still have:
Burberry Brit (My second favorite)
Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
Miracle by Lancome
Chanel No 5
I think most of us have a favorite that we wear for every day and then possibly another favorite for evenings out. One of my perfumes (Pure Tiffany) I don’t really like but it cost so much that I won’t get rid of it. The others I wear sporadically when I begin to feel like I’m in a bit of a scent rut.
When I was a teenager, I began wearing the same cologne as my best friend, Karen. We both wore Jovan Musk Cologne all through high school. Then, for my birthday in August before I left for college, my mom gave me a bottle of her signature perfume, Chanel No 5. It’s the perfume I have worn for special occasions for most of my adult life.
Sometimes a scent has personal significance because it is connected to someone, to something, or to a special memory. I have a perfume bottle that belonged to one of my grandmothers. It’s a bottle of Chantilly with just a bit of perfume left at the bottom. After my grandmother died when I was just 11, I asked if I might have it. Whenever I would be really missing her, I would open the bottle so I could remember how she smelled. I still do that sometimes, even after 45 years.
People have been wearing perfumes of different kinds for thousands of years. The word perfume is derived from the Latin word “per fumus” which means “through smoke.”
The Hungarians first introduced modern perfume, but France quickly became the center of perfume and cosmetic manufacture. Cultivation of flowers for their perfumes grew into a major industry in the south of France. Today, France remains the center of European perfume design and trade.
In earlier days, perfumes were used primarily by royalty and the wealthy to mask body odors resulting from the different standards for hygiene. If you didn’t bathe, a little perfume helped with the smell!
In Victorian times, there used to be something called “perfume buttons” which included a piece of fabric inside a button worn on clothing that would be dabbed with a woman’s favorite perfume. Handkerchiefs, fans and gloves were also dabbed with scents to help people smell better.
Perfume is made from about 78% to 95% specially denatured ethyl alcohol added with essential oils. The more essential oil in the fragrance, the more it costs. There are also major fragrance categories…Floral, Oriental, Floriental, Chypre, Green Marine and Fruit.
Here are the fragrance variations and their names with the most to least essential oils in the mix:
Perfume is the costliest with 22% of essential oils.
Eau de Parfum has 15 – 22% essential oils.
Eau de Toilette has 8 – 15% oils.
Eau de Cologne has just 4% essential oils.
The lightest, most diluted fragrance is Eau Fraiche with 1 – 3% essential oils.
Today, perfumes and other fragrances are an over 10 billion dollar per year industry. I was curious to see what the most popular perfumes were and I found a list of the 10 top selling perfumes in the United States.
America’s best-selling perfumes for women are:
1. Coco Mademoiselle Chanel
2. Flowerbomb Viktor & Rolf
3. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue
4. Miss Dior (new version) Dior
5. No.5 Chanel
6. J’Adore Christian Dior
7. Burberry Brit Burberry
8. La Vie Est Belle Lancôme
9. Guilty Gucci
10. Angel Thierry Mugler for women
Fortunately, today we can take regular baths and showers and don’t have to wear perfumes to hide bad smells. We can wear them to enhance the way we smell to others.
It’s suggested that perfumes are best applied to pulse points such as the inside of one’s elbow, the wrists, back of knees, neck and cleavage. Spraying into the air and walking through the perfume is a good way to diffuse it all over your body.
Author’s note: Do you have a favorite perfume and do you wear it every day? For the guys…do you have a favorite perfume for your wife or girlfriend to wear?