Ancient fragrances relied purely on essential oils, Egyptians prepared the oils to be used by Kings and Pharaohs by immersing the leaves of the plants in oil and leaving them to soak for weeks. They would then filter the ‘essential’ oil through a linen bag. Today they are still important. However, we are lucky to have more modern preparations for essential oil.
The leaves, flowers, twigs, peels, bark or seeds are placed into a still. The botanicals are then pressurised by steam drawing the natural aromatics from the plant material. As the steam cools and reverts to water, the lighter oils float to the top and can be separated from the remaining water. This leaves two products, essential oil and floral water.
Essential oils are used to create a fragrance, combined with ethanol and water, this mix stabilises the blend and helps to disperse the small scent molecules into the air creating an aroma for the wearer we now know as perfume. Each oil is selected for its weight or specific gravity. Citrus oils like orange, bergamot and grapefruit are light, used as top notes they fade quickly and are more volatile. Other deeper, base notes include sandalwood, vetiver and amber these are longer lasting almost grounding oils to complete the scent profile.
True perfume can comprise 30% of scented material whereas an Eau de Parfum will have closer to 15% within its mixture.
“Perfume puts the finishing touch to elegance - a detail that subtly underscores the look, an invisible extra that completes a man and a woman's personality. Without it there is something missing.” - Gianni Versace
If you want to capture consumers with new and intriguing scents, turn to Aromatic Ingredients for support. From essential oils, floral waters and aroma chemicals, we offer the experience, knowledge and resources necessary to formulate products from start to finish. Call 03 9702 3698 to learn more!