The world of perfume is weird and wonderful at times, with bonkers ingredients you might not have known about, scents that challenge gender norms, and some bottles as costly as a designer handbag! We’ve put together some our favourite scents stats – and some perfect perfume picks to go with them.
There are seven main smells
Some researchers reckon of all the scents in all the world, you can pop any one of them into the following seven categories: musky, putrid (like rotting meat), pungent (spicy or acidic), camphoraceous (smoky), ethereal (think alcohol or white spirit), minty and floral.
The most expensive perfume ingredient? Whale phlegm
Ambergris is one of the most highly prized ingredients in scent, but because it’s so rare, it costs a fortune. Its origins are far from glamorous, though – it comes from the sperm whale (not a whale’s sperm, FYI!), which coughs up a type of waxy paste. This floats on the surface of the sea (nice…), where it’s given its distinct earthy and sweet scent by the salt and sun. Ambergris has become so rare that most fragrances use a synthetic version such as ambrox, found in Armani Acqua di Gio (£45 for 30ml, £52 for 50ml, £70 for 100ml, £84 for 200ml).
One third of men’s fragrances sold are worn by women
It seems some of us women are swapping our sweet floral and vanilla perfume for something a little more masculine, the fragrance equivalent of wearing a white shirt, jeans and brogues. If you’re on the lookout for a ‘tomboy scent’, you can’t go wrong with PradaL’Homme Prada Intense for him (£54 for 50ml, £76 for 100ml, £92.50 for 150ml), with its rich kick of amber and patchouli. We can’t promise any men in the house won’t nick it – you’ve been warned.
Number of daisies in Marc Jacobs Daisy? Zero
Marc Jacobs was being a little tongue-in-cheek when he named his best-selling fragrance Daisy, as daisies don’t have a smell! So instead of using the flower, the cheery spirit of the daisy was captured in the scent using pretty berries and soft jasmine. And with its eye-catching bottle and addictive bouquet, it was a sure-fire smash hit. Treat yourself to the original Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette for her, now.
Your nose will only allow you to smell three fragrances at once, max
That’s right – your nose can only cater for three scents at one time. Although, you’ll find your sense of smell will decrease if the fragrances are similar. Good to know!
Did you know perfume last between 6 - 18 months?
Obviously this depends on the fragrance, but once opened, it’s advised to use it up because all scents deteriorate with time. For citrus scents it’s around six months and for florals you’re looking at about a year and a half.
Fragrances can contain 300 ingredients!
Since humans can distinguish up to 10,000 individual smells, it’s no wonder that perfumes can contain up to 300 ingredients. Now if that isn’t an OMG moment for you, we don’t know what is.