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A Fragrance For Each Mood?

There's nothing more important to how a fragrance will smell on you than your body's PH balance. Ideal PH is alkaline - but stress and poor nutrition will turn your balance to acid in no time, and that in turn will react differently to anything you apply on your skin.

When you're in a good mood it seems that any fragrance will match you type - and in most cases that's true. Your sense of smell is at its peak and you are able to distinguish the subtle tones of various fragrances. This is the right time to do a short inventory of your fragrance collection, or - go shopping.

In contrast, a bad mood is an olfactory sensory killer. You pick the wrong fragrance, for the wrong occasion and time of day - you basically tell everyone "leave me alone - I'm not in the mood".

Smells have been shown to evoke memories that have strong emotional qualities. The sense of smell is critical for the existence of almost all creatures. We humans, able to distinguish over 10,000 different odor molecules, utilize our sense of smell for a multitude of activities from enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to deciding whom not to sit next to on the bus.

And talking about being able to enjoy the aroma of freshly brewed coffee - you may have noticed already that each counter of every perfumery has a coffee been jar handy. Take a sniff from the coffee been jar just before you try a new fragrance to refresh you palette - just like wine tasting, when you notice that many wines will taste differently if you go back to them after trying other wines - you need to cleanse your palette with water or raspberry sorbet.

What is fragrance oil?

Fragrance oils are not to be confused with essential oils. Essential oil is the base for perfume and fragrance oils, and it is basically the essence of the plant it is extracted from. Pure essential oils are used in aromatherapy.

Fragrance oil on the other hand is the base for perfume and cosmetics manufacturers. In France perfume manufacture is an industry with an ancient tradition and Grasse on the French Riviera has been its capital since the 18th century; today, that industry is undergoing change. Indeed, even washing powder manufacturers have entered the market, whose growth has withstood the impact of economic crises.

Some one hundred new perfumes were launched last year, involving just as many operations with huge implications. Last autumn (the main launches always take place towards the end of the year, with Christmas presents in mind), Lancôme launched Poême; Dior, Dolce Vita; Cartier, So Pretty. Not to mention Le Mâle by Jean-Paul Gaultier or Nilang by Lalique and, of course, the half dozen or so perfumes signed by Italian or American stylists, which are often manufactured by the profession's big names.

Rarely has an industrial sector of such importance consisted of so many contradictions: as the quintessence of luxury, sensuality and refinement, the fragrance oil industry is also the domain of powerful industrialists, of experts in marketing and publicity launches at the global level. In spite of the product's somewhat frivolous connotation, the perfume industry has drifted through the recession virtually unaffected, without ever dropping into negative figures (in France, nine out of every ten women and one out of two men use perfume).

And despite several centuries of tradition, French fragrance oil manufacturers now use state of the art technologies. Perfumes are perfected by inspired inventors (the famous "noses" skilled in the art of blending different essences) who know all about the latest findings in chemistry as well as the market prices of expensive natural raw materials. Perfumes are packaged with care, given evocative names and labeled by all the greatest fashion names.

As we mentioned before, some “nose” experts consider four basic categories of fragrances for women - FRESH - with citrus, green leaves, or marine notes scents - FLORAL - has Jasmine, Rose, and white flowers scents - ORIENTAL - with spice scents, vanilla, and Patchouli - WOODY -with warm woods, citrus, and moss – derived from their respective fragrance oils.

Men fragrances do not have floral or oriental tones (or at least they are not called such), and the categories are FRESH (same tones like women's), AROMATIC (citrus, lavender, geranium), and WOODY (Vetiver, Agarwood, Cedar).

Other experts use a broader spectrum of base scents – Floral, Chypre, Fougere, Marine, Oriental, Citrus, and Green. Let’s see what they mean.

Floral fragrance oils cover the vast majority of perfumes. They vary from pure, specific flower scent – to multi bouquets with various ingredients. Most used scents are jasmine, gardenia, rose, lilies, lilac and lavender. Brand names like White Shoulders, White Diamonds, Chloe, J’Adore – are some of the most popular. We can further break down the floral fragrances in even more targeted categories:

Floral Green – with tones of freshly cut grass, leaves, lavender, and chamomile present in names like Chanel 19, Green Tea, Jessica McClintock, Tommy Girl, and Cabotine.

Floral Fresh – with tones of fresh spring orange blossom and lilies, citrus and bergamot evident in Anais Anais, So Pretty, Cashmere Mist, Destiny, Noa, and So De La Renta.

Floral Fruity – with a blend of pineapple, mandarin, peach, plum, raspberry, apricot and apple found in names like Jaipur, Calyx, Liz Clairborne, Lauren, and Amirage. Floral Oriental – with exotic notes of spice and resin – found in Coco, Bijan, Tresor, Escada, Samsara, and many other.

What's next? Women are from Venus, men are from Mars!

Let's start with women.

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