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Perfume Terminology

What’s the difference between ‘niche’ and ‘commercial’perfumes?

Niche perfumery, also known as artisanal perfumery is usually limited in its distribution and is much more creator-led with wider, more open briefs that place less restrictions on the perfumer’s creativity in terms of costs, ingredients and timeframe.

Commercial or mainstream perfumery tends to be driven by different commercial requirements which often result in much more defined briefs for the perfumer. For example, a brand may wish to create a scent specifically targeted to a particular demographic such as the 18-21 market and have a specific timeframe and a ‘per unit’ costing that perfumers must take account of.

Both niche and commercial perfumery often use the same, exceptionally talented perfumers. Note, for example, that many perfumers that create commercial perfumes, also create their own niche perfumes or create for other niche perfume brands. Francis Kurkdjian famously created Le Male for Jean Paul Gautier for example, but also created perfumes for Juliette Has a Gun and his own range, Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

What is a ‘fragrance family’?

Fragrance families are a means of grouping fragrances together based on the key notes or accords used in their composition. Those with similar notes or accords are grouped together and considered a similar style of perfume. There a number of different systems of classification and naming conventions that exist, but while there is no definitive overarching classification system that exists today, broadly most groupings use similar terms of description with some going into more granular depth than others.

Edulge's own nine fragrance family classifications are:

The term ''floral'' is used to describe fragrances that heavily comprise the scent of flowers. A huge family of scents, due to the almost infinite types of flora that exist, floral perfumes are often grouped or classified further to account for the diversity of this family. Common groupings include White Florals, Aldehyde or Powdery Florals and Florientals among many others.
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Fragrances ripe with sweet notes such as peaches, pears, exotic fruits or laden with tart notes of berries or the crisp, fresh scent of apples. Delicious when served up with floral notes.
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Citrus scents are a family of fragrances comprised of uplifting, refreshing and zesty notes of orange, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, mandarin and other citrus fruits. Often combined with aromatic, herbal notes such as lavender, sage for masculine scents or Florals for a feminine one.
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A family of fragrances with distinct woody notes. This diverse class of scents can range from the fruity, balsamic and slightly camphorous cedar, to the rich, earthy yet creamy, sweet sandalwood. This class of fragrances also encompasses the unique and highly prized scent of oud, also known as agarwood and surprisingly, ingredients that are not woods per se, but feature strong woody characteristics such as patchouli and vetiver.
While a fragrance family in its own right, very few fragrances exist that do not feature a Wood note in the base of their composition.
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Term used to describe scents that are warm and sensual with notes comprised of exotic flowers, sweet spices, incense, vanilla, patchouli, musk and various resins such as amber and oud.
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A family of scents that encompass fragrances evocative of animal hide. Synthetic versions of castoreum, musk, civet and ambergris are used to create velvety, animalic, sensual fragrances. This family also includes the smoky scents of tobacco, tar and aromatic herbal notes such as coumarin, lavendar and oakmoss that some classifications refer to as ‘aromatic’ or ‘Fougère’.
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The French word for Cyprus, Chypre derives from the 1917 fragrance 'Chypre' by Coty in reference to the ingredients within it that were native to Mediterranean climes particularly those in forest areas.

The chypre accord consists an old school symphony of bergamot top notes, labdanum, patchouli heart and an oakmoss base though modern versions often feature a floral, fruit or spicy heart or alternative citrus top notes. Occasionally, alternatives bases are used to create the mossy note. So distinct is this accord that it has become a modern fragrance family in itself in many classification systems and indeed in Edulge's own categorisation.
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Aquatic refers to a fragrance family of scents that are marine-focused, evocative of the ocean, beach and aquatic plants. Popular for summer fragrances, these scents are characterised by notes that create a fresh, invigorating feeling.
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Green-focused scents are those reminiscent of cut grass, violet leaves and galbanum. They inject crisp, fresh, dewy notes into a fragrance and are often the family of choice for summer fragrances.
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Choosing and wearing perfume

What is the best way to select a new perfume?

A great place to start is by trying our Scent Selector.

Simply type in a scent that you love already from any brand (it doesn’t have to be one we stock) and we’ll find fragrances from our selection that have a similar style.

Do bear in mind that we are not trying to find a fragrance that smells the same, but one with certain characteristics that are likely to appeal to you. This is based on the fragrance family it belongs to, any sub-categorisations that may be relevant and any key ingredients specific to the composition.

Alternatively, Contact Us for an in-depth consultation to find your perfect scent.

To learn more about how to choose and wear perfume, read our post How to wear perfume.

Wear should I apply my perfume?

Perfume is best applied to pulse points such as wrists, neck, behind ears, inner elbows and knees. This is because skin is thinner in these delicate areas and as this skin warms up quicker, perfume molecules are stirred into action.

It’s best not to rub your perfume in, for example by rubbing your wrist together, as the friction this causes affects how a composition unfolds, speeding up and muddling the release of notes in a way the perfumer did not intend.

You can also spray perfume lightly on your hair or on your clothes. In fact your hair is great at diffusing scent due to its natural movement. Take care when spraying some materials such as suede or other delicate fabrics as they may stain however.

To learn more about how to choose and wear perfume, read our post How to wear perfume

How can I make the scent of my perfume last longer on me?

Every individual varies, but some handy tricks involve layering your scent with its matching shower/bath wash and body moisturiser where available and using a more concentrated version of a scent such as an extrait. Be aware however, that there can be some differences in the composition of its corresponding Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum.

Using an unscented body oil to moisturise the skin and keeping skin hydrated are also great ways to ensure your scent ‘sticks’.

It’s important to note however, that just because you can’t smell your perfume any more doesn’t mean others can’t. Your body may simply have got used to it.

What is a ‘Fragrance Wardrobe’?

This is simply a term that extends the idea of having different outfits for different occasions to perfume. The concept is to ensure that while fragrances should always be ones that you personally love, it is fitting to vary your scent depending on the occasion for which it is worn.

There is no necessity for holding a vast array of scents on your dresser, but if you wish to build a small wardrobe of scents, we suggest the following:

If you are around others during the working day, be considerate of your colleagues’ sensibilities and choose a scent that isn’t too polarising and with a lighter sillage so that you can enjoy it without it overly impacting others.

Evening wear
Impactful, headier, ‘sexier’ scents with a stronger sillage are more appropriate for the evening. Oriental and Wood scents can work particularly well for the evening though there is no set rule with regard to fragrance families suitable for the evening.

It might be an idea to vary your scents according to the season.
Oriental and Wood scents often exude a warmer, comforting aroma and can be heavier than other fragrance families. This makes them particularly popular in the winter even as daywear fragrances.

Aquatic, Floral and Citrus scents are often lighter and have natural associations with summer. For example, they are reminiscent of the beach, summer gardens and orchards and so make perfect perfume choices for the summer.


Storing Perfume

How long will a bottle of perfume keep?

As a general rule of thumb, once opened, a fragrance, particularly the delicate top notes, will weaken and after a year, you may notice some deterioration in your scent.

Perfume bottles with stoppers or roller balls may deteriorate sooner as the scent mixes with the oils of your skin when you apply it and are not as effective at keeping out dust and air.

To help preserve your perfume, store it in a cool, dark place. Keep away from direct sunlight as it can change the chemical make-up of the perfume, altering its colour and how the molecules combine to create its scent.

Gifting Perfume

How do I choose a perfume for someone else?

If you know the names of some of the perfumes the recipient already owns, you can enter those names into our Scent Selector and it will find fragrances from our selection that have a similar style.

Do bear in mind that we are not trying to find a fragrance that smells the same, but one with certain characteristics that are likely to appeal to the recipient. This is based on the fragrance family it belongs to, any sub-categorisations that may be relevant and any key ingredients specific to the composition.

Alternatively, you could purchase a gift voucher which comes beautifully presented in a luxury, white, buckram box complete with six complimentary samples of our carefully hand selected scents and the option to include your own personal gift message.

Contact Us for an in-depth consultation to find theperfect scent for your loved one if you’re unsure of scents they currently enjoy.

Home Fragrance Basics

How should I care for my candle?

In order to get the most out of your candle, follow these simple rules:
• Burn the candle until the entire surface is liquid. This ensure the wax burns down evenly and prevents it sticking to the sides
• To ensure a lasting fragrance, do not burn for more than three hours for the first third of the candle and then 1 to 2 hours thereafter
• Ensure the wick is always centred for an even burn. To re-position, adjust whilst wax is stick molten and allow to harden before re-lighting.
• To prevent black smoke appearing when lit, ensure the wick is always trimmed to 6mm or less.
• Never burn your candle all the way down. Ensure at least 5mm to 1cm of wax remains at the bottom.
• Always place your candle on a heatproof surface for safety and keep away from drafts, furnishings, children and pets when lit.

How do you use a reed diffuser?

A reed diffuser works by allowing perfumed oil in a container to be soaked up by reeds that then diffuse the scent into the air.

They are perfect for unattended areas that prevent the use of a candle. To ensure a constant aroma, reeds should be flipped over every so often to refresh the scent.

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