Man Skills pt 3: Men’s fragrance.

27 02 2011

You have found me in a low, low place today. I can’t expect all of you to sympathise with the despair of when your sports team loses in a major final but I’d liken it to the death of a beloved pet and/or monarch.

I was looking for new fragrance this weekend in House of Fraser, where I met a delightful assistant who was extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of fragrance. There were some really neat little tricks that she employed such as having a jar of coffee beans which clear the nostrils between sample smells – you know how it is,  you smell so many fragrances that it starts to become amorphous scent.

Other gems that she divulged were to apply the fragrance to pulse points and to never rub the scent into your wrist – which is extremely common to see – as it immediately disrupts the scent. Body chemistry, diet and age affect fragrances on your skin. As the fragrance consists of many essential oils and they have a fluctuating affinity to our skin; some may be absorbed while other may not. Rubbing the fragrance in means that the oils will be absorbed in an artificial manner thus creating a misleading scent.

So how do fragrances work? The reason the scent changes over time is due to the complex balance of complimentary notes: the top, middle and base notes.

The top notes are made up of the smallest molecules which are the quickest evaporating. The top note or head note‘s purpose is to form a persons initial impression of the fragrance – which is exactly why you shouldn’t rub it into your skin.

The middle notes form the heart of the fragrance; growing stronger as the top notes dissipate.  They also mask the base notes, which can be somewhat intense upon application.

The base note works with the middle note to form the main theme of the fragrance. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

I came away with Colonia di Essenza Eau de Cologne by Acqua Di Parma:

This distinctive fragrance opens with a top note the freshness of classic Italian citrus fruits blended with grapefruit, tangerine and petitgrain. Rosemary, rose, jasmine and lily of the valley are found in the heart or mid note. The vibrant woody base note is enhanced by pure patchouli to add fullness and white musk to add character.

Acqua di Parma are a brand that I’ve discovered since I’ve started writing the blog and today I discovered that the fragrances are as good as the shaving products!

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