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perfumes have been known to exist in some of the earliest human civilizations either through ancient texts or from archaeological digs. Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds such as vanillin or coumarin, which allowed for the composition of perfumes previously unattainable solely from natural aromatics alone.
The precise formula of commercial perfumes are kept secret. But even if they were widely published they would be dominated by such complex ingredients and odorants that they would be of little use in providing a guide to the general consumer. Nonetheless, connoisseurs of perfume can become extremely skillful at identifying components and origins of scents in the same manner as wine experts.
Perfume oils usually contain tens to hundreds of ingredients and these are typically organized in a perfume for the specific role they will play. These ingredients can be roughly grouped into four groups. Primary scents consist of one or a few main ingredients for a certain concept, such as “rose”. Alternatively, multiple ingredients can be used together to create an “abstract” primary scent that does not bear a resemblance to a natural ingredient. For instance, jasmine and rose scents are commonly blends for abstract floral fragrances. Modifiers are ingredients that alter the primary scent to give the perfume a certain desired character; for example, fruit esters may be included in a floral primary to create a fruity floral; calone and citrus scents can be added to create a “fresher” floral. The cherry scent in cherry cola can be considered a modifier. Blenders are a large group of ingredients that smooth out the transitions of a perfume between different “layers” or bases. Blenders can be used as a major component of the primary scent. Common blending ingredients include linalool and hydroxycitronellal. Fixatives are used to support the primary scent by bolstering it. Many resins, wood scents, and amber bases are used as fixatives.
The perfume’s fragrance oils are blended with ethyl alcohol and water, aged in tanks for several weeks and filtered through processing equipment to, respectively allow the perfume ingredients in the mixture to stabilize and to remove any sediment and particles before the solution can be filled into the perfume bottles. Proper preservation of perfumes involves keeping them away from sources of heat and storing them where they will not be exposed to light. An opened bottle will keep its aroma intact for several years, as long as it is well stored. However the presence of oxygen in the head space of the bottle and environmental factors will in the long run alter the smell of the fragrance.
Wearing perfumes is a sign of style and good taste in modern life. Men and women tend to wear perfume on social occasions, but for many also wear it during the working day. Womens Perfumes and Mens Colognes have been traditionally sold in retail stores. However, the advent of the internet has enabled online vendors to offer them. Online shopping for perfumes is advantageous because it present a very wide selection of fragrances from which the shopper can choose.