Perfume Basics

What Is a Perfume?

A perfume is a combination of essential oils or fragrance compounds, fixatives and solvents that are used to give a good aroma to different things. Typically in liquid form, it is used to give the body of a person a good fragrance. 

What are common perfume ingredients?

The manufacture of perfume & cologne uses natural ingredients — flowers, grasses, herbs, fruit, wood, roots, resins, balsams, leaves, gums, and animal secretions — as well as assets such as ethanol, petrochemicals, carbon, and coal tar. 

Many species, such as valley lily, do not naturally produce oils. In addition, these essential oils comprise only around 2,000 of the 250,000 recognized flowering plant species. It is therefore important to use synthetic chemicals to reproduce the smells of non-oily substances. Synthetics also produce non-natural initial scents.

Some ingredients of the perfume are products of animals. For instance, castor stems from beavers, male deer musk, and sperm whale ambergris. Animal substances are frequently used as fixatives that allow perfume to slowly evaporate and emit longer odors. Coal tar, mosses, resins, or synthetic chemicals are other fixatives. To dilute ingredients in perfumes, alcohol and sometimes water are used.

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