Words: Emily Venables
When you spray yourself with your favourite scent, you are almost layering upon another part of your personality - it’s an extension of who you are (oooh, deep!). There are many reasons why people wear perfume – to boost their confidence, to attract someone’s attention, to highlight their individuality or even to recall a fond memory. Whatever your reason, do you ever think how that pretty little bottle becomes full of your fave signature scent? If so, let’s take a closer look at how to make perfume.
How to make perfume
Firstly, all the ingredients need to be collected before the magic can begin.
Your signature scent is created with a blend of raw ingredients including fruits, spices, resins, balsams and flowers – which are essential for those spring-like floral essences! These are collected from all over the world, but luxury brands such as Chanel have their own flower fields to harvest from. You can also either find natural products like musk, or more synthetic additions in the blend to mimic scents that cannot be found in nature.
To get the oils out of the gorgeous, natural materials they need to be extracted. There are quite a few extraction methods around but we’ll just get you up to speed on the most popular:
Expression: This is the oldest, and least complex, form of extraction. The fruit or plant is simply squeezed until the oil is produced.
Distillation: This is the most popular way to gather essential oils. Steam is passed through the plant matter to draw out most of the fragrant compounds or the plant matter may be boiled in water to release the oils.
Once all of the ingredients have been gathered, and the essential oils have been extracted, it’s time for the experts of the perfume world to do their thing. It can take a long time of blending and testing before they are completely happy with the final scent. We mean, if they won’t wear it, would you?
During the blending process, alcohol is added to the formula which determines whether the formula will be a cologne (with up to 10% essential oils), Eau de Parfum (up to 40% essential oils) or an Eau de Toilette (up to 15% essential oils).
Whoever came up with the phrase ‘things get better with age’ must have been a fan of fragrances! Once the perfect blend has been created it is left, in a dark room, to age and mature and allow the alcohol and oils to blend. Once this is complete, the new perfume is given the final seal of approval from an expert before being released.
And that, ladies and gents, is how your fave perfume is made. So next time you pick up that little bottle you’ll know more about the journey it’s made from the field to your home!
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