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January 31, 2020 0 Comments

We’ve talked a lot about the best smelling perfume, vintage perfumes, and even how long you can keep old perfume around. But how is perfume made? 

Today, we’re going to dive into some of the intricacies of how perfume is made — and why your once-favorite perfume might now smell just a little off or different. 

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The Process of Making Perfume

When perfume was first made — looking back at the archaic times — we were unable to manufacture synthetic smells. This meant that perfume makers had to rely on aromatic flowers, woods, oils, and other spices to create a scent. The result was a scented oil (essential oils) that could be used as a perfume or for different religious or ceremonial purposes. Then, it was the Persians who developed a distilling process using alcohol instead of oil to create a fragrant perfume. 

Over time, we’ve perfected different processes and found other ways to manufacture scents synthetically. This has allowed for the wide perfume market we have today. 

Perfume Today

There are some scents that don’t occur in nature or don’t produce essential oils, so synthetic scents are used to emulate that scent. This doesn’t mean that perfumes have completely moved away from natural scents. In fact, many fragrances are still made using natural ingredients, including fruits, plants, and woods. But how are those scents extracted? There are a few different extraction processes that can be used. 

Steam Distillation

Materials are put in a still until they are extracted, cooled, and then liquefied. 

Solvent Extraction

Plants are placed in a rotating drum and covered with benzene or petroleum so they dissolve. What’s left behind is a waxy substance. This substance contains the oils and is placed in ethyl alcohol. Once that alcohol is dissolved and burned off, you’re left with a perfume oil.

Maceration

Maceration uses warmed fats to help soak up the fragrance of flowers and other plants. Once that happens, the fat is soaked in alcohol to release the essential oils. 

Enfleurage

Flowers or other plants are spread across greasy, coated sheets of glass and placed in a wooden frame until the grease is able to absorb the fragrance. 

Expression

As one of the oldest extracting forms, it extracts citrus oils through pressing. 

The Next Steps

Once all of the ingredients have been extracted or synthetically produced, all of these scents and ingredients need to be blended together. The oils and extracts are added to something called the “nose” — a formula carefully crafted over years by the perfume manufacturer that contains hundreds of ingredients. From there, other fixatives like castor, coal tar, and animal substances are added to help the perfume evaporate slower and stay fragrant for longer.

Water can be used to dilute the ingredients and a delicate alcohol to scent ratio is created. For example, a Eau de Parfum will have a lower concentration of alcohol while body mists and sprays will have a higher concentration. 

Once mixed together, a perfume or fragrance will be left to sit age for a few months to ensure that the best scent has been created. From there, the manufacturer will put the fragrance through a quality check to ensure that nothing in the perfume is harmful and that the entire product has been created and blended correctly. 

Beyond the Blending

Sometimes, your favorite scent might be discontinued or might not smell like it used to. Part of that can come from the delicate balance that goes into creating these scents. Sometimes, manufacturers are unable to get certain ingredients in the future or have a challenging time creating the same blend over and over again. If they are unable to replicate the first bath of perfume, a fragrance might have to be discontinued or created again from scratch. 

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We hope you have a better understanding of what goes into the entire perfume process, from the individual scents to the final product. 

If you’re still searching for your favoritediscontinued fragrances or top rated women’s perfume, make sure you shopFragrance Original for a wide selection of your favorites!