Perfume is a pleasant smelling fragrant liquid that is, most commonly, applied to the human body. It is designed to mask unpleasant odors and provide a long lasting pleasant scent. They have been used since the earliest civilizations, but the perfume we know today was invented a few hundred years ago. Perfume is used by both men and women, but men’s perfume is usually referred to as cologne. Let’s take a look at how perfume is made.
How is perfume made?
Perfume manufacturing begins with the raw ingredients, which include alcohol solution and various synthetic or natural fragrances. Natural fragrances include essential oils that are extracted from plants and synthetic fragrances mostly come from petroleum distillates. Synthetic fragrances are becoming more common today because they are cheaper and can be used to create fragrances not available from nature.
Once all of the ingredients have been created the manufacturing process begins. Firstly, the fragrances are blended to create the desired scent. This is done by a professional perfumer who may use up to 800 ingredients to make the perfect fragrance. Perfumer’s are known for their remarkable sense of smell, but it can take many years to develop that special formula. Once the fragrance has been mixed, alcohol (ethanol) and a small amount of water is added. Many perfumes contain about 80-90% alcohol and 10-20% fragrance, with a trace of water. This mixture is left to age for a few weeks or, in the case of a very expensive perfume, a few years. It is tested by a perfumer during this process to ensure it has the correct scent.