Perfumes or fragrances can be compared based on numerous factors, including perfume family or category, perfume notes and perfume strength. Perfumes can be compared by the ingredients used and their scents. Perfumes are categorized into five main categories: Oriental, fougere, citrus, chypre and floral. Based on the category, fragrances exhibit different features.
Perfumes notes are categorized into top, middle and base notes. Top notes usually last for half an hour and are the first impression of the perfume. Middle notes are the actual character of the perfume and take up to 30 minutes to develop. Perfumes are categorized into families based on the blend of scents in its middle note. The base note is the aroma that lingers after the top and middle notes.
The category of a perfume reveals the ingredients used in it. Oriental perfumes are made of incense, spices, resins and amber. Chocolate, vanilla, coffee and maple syrup are also used in modern Orientals. Floral perfumes consist of flowery notes. Lilies, jasmine and roses are some popular flowery notes. Chypre fragrances are made of wood elements, mainly centering on oakmoss. Citrus perfumes consist of notes of citrus fruits, including orange and lemons. Fougere perfumes are made of a combination of lavender, oakmoss and coumarin notes.
The strength of a perfume depends on its concentrations of perfume oils. Fragrances are mixture of alcohol and perfume oils. The greater the concentration of perfume oils in a fragrance, the stronger the fragrance. A fragrance with perfume oil concentration of 20 to 30 percent lasts up to six to eight hours. A fragrance with perfume oil concentration of 1 to 3 percent lasts up to two hours.