On this page we have included some tips on choosing, buying, storing and wearing fragrances and the history of fragrances and perfumes.
Please take note that we do NOT sell or distribute any fragrances or perfumes, but have included this page for the interest of our website visitors.
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Perfumes and fragrances are one of the most difficult accessories to define and to pin down - the reason being that they are such a personal choice and have so many elusive qualities.
Even though perfumes and fragrances are expensive (for both men and women), they are well worth the money, as they can conjure up a host of feelings, and be a pleasant experience for both the wearer thereof, as well as the people close to the person wearing the fragrance.
Because of the cost involved when buying perfumes and fragrances, we thought it would be interesting to have an article dealing with selecting and choosing perfumes and fragrances, as well as hints on how to store and wear them and asked Parfums Raffy to write us this article.
- What is the difference between cologne, eau de toilette, parfum, etc...?
- Simple. The concentrations are different. Eau de cologne is the least concentrated form of a fragrance, then comes the eau de toilette, followed by the eau de parfum, and finally the most concentrated, the parfum.
- What is a "nose"?
- A nose is a person who creates fragrances. There was a time when the job of perfume-maker was handed down from father to son but times have changed and now there are several schools dedicated to the science of perfume-making. At this time only three major French perfume-makers (Chanel, Guerlain, and Jean Patou) have their own in-house blender. Underneath a "nose" at work at the perfume organ.
- Is it true that fragrances change scent on different people?
- Yes. Each of us has our own unique body chemistry based on our genes, skin type, hair color, and even the type of lifestyle we lead and the environment in which we live in. So it is important not to purchase a fragrance because you smelled it in a magazine ad or on someone else. Try it on your own skin to see how it reacts with your own body chemistry.
- As one gets older does the sense of smell diminish?
- Yes. As we age our sense of smell slowly begins to diminish. As a result some older individuals apply more fragrance than needed.
- How long will a fragrance last on me?
- Fragrances are designed to last about 4 hours or so. Some people may notice that a particular fragrance lasts all day but by then it will not smell as it's supposed to. You must reapply once or twice a day.
- Do I apply fragrance all over the body?
- Yes. If a fragrance is only applied to the neck or behind the ears the fragrance will rise and disappear. It is important to apply a fragrance all over the body to ensure the scent lasts.
- How does skin type play a role?
- Oily skin holds scents much more than dry skin. So those with dry skin need to reapply more often.
- Is it important to change fragrances according to the different seasons of the year?
- Yes, since heat increases the intensity of a fragrance. There are certain fragrances that are more appropriate for summer and other stronger scents that would be better for winter use. A good guideline to follow is to wear lighter scents in the summer and stronger in the winter. Citrus scents are perfect for summer while orientals are better for winter.
- How does the color of your hair make a difference?
Blondes with a fair skin will be happiest with long-lasting multi-floral creations. Their skin is often dry causing fragrances that are too subtle to evaporate rapidly.
Brunettes usually have medium-to-dark skin which contains natural oils, allowing scents to last longer. Dramatic Orientals are often favorites.
Redheads have extremely fair and delicate skin which may be incompatible with fragrances which have predominant green notes.
- How long can I keep my fragrance stored?
- Fragrances don't last forever. There are certain precautions though that will ensure the quality of the fragrance.
Keep the bottle in a dry, dark place.
Heat can also destroy a fragrance so keep it from extreme temperatures.
Colognes and eau de toilettes (not parfum) may be kept in the refrigerator in order to maintain their freshness.
Fragrances usually last 3 years from the date they were manufactured, not the day you buy it.
Certain clearance centers which I won't name but everyone knows who they are carry bottles that are at least 2 or 3 years old.
Buy from department stores and reputable perfumeries to ensure the quality of the fragrance.
Perfume was first used by the Egyptians as part of their religious rituals. The two principal methods of use at this time were the burning of incense and the application of balms and ointments.
Perfumed oils were applied to the skin for either cosmetic or medicinal purposes.
During the Old and Middle Kingdoms, perfumes were reserved exclusively for religious rituals such as cleansing ceremonies. Then during the New Kingdom (1580-1085 BC) they were used during festivals and Egyptian women also used perfumed creams and oils as toiletries and cosmetics and as preludes to lovemaking.
A perfume organ where fragrances are mixed
The use of perfume then spread to Greece, Rome, and the Islamic world. And it was the Islamic community that kept the use of perfumes since the spread of Christianity led to a decline in the use of perfume. With the fall of the Roman Empire, perfume's influence dwindled. It was not until the twelfth century and the development of international trade that this decline was reversed.
Perfume enjoyed huge success during the seventeenth century. Perfumed gloves became popular in France and in 1656, the guild of glove and perfume-makers was established. The use of perfume in France grew steadily. The court of Louis XV was even named "the perfumed court" due to the scents, which were applied daily not only to the skin but also to clothing, fans and furniture.
The eighteenth century saw a revolutionary advance in perfumery with the invention of eau de Cologne. This refreshing blend of rosemary, neroli, bergamot and lemon was used in a multitude of different ways: diluted in bath water, mixed with wine, eaten on a sugar lump, as a mouthwash, an enema or an ingredient for a poultice, injected directly... and so on. The variety of eighteenth-century perfume containers was as wide as that of the fragrances and their uses.
Sponges soaked in scented vinaigres de toilette were kept in gilded metal vinaigrettes. Liquid perfumes came in beautiful Louis XIV-style pear-shaped bottles. Glass became increasingly popular, particularly in France with the opening of the Baccarat factory in 1765.
As with industry and the arts, perfume was to undergo profound change in the nineteenth century. Changing tastes and the development of modern chemistry laid the foundations of perfumery, as we know it today. Alchemy gave way to chemistry and new fragrances were created.
The French Revolution had in no way diminished the taste for perfume, there was even a fragrance called "Parfum a la Guillotine." Under the post-revolutionary government, people again dared to express a penchant for luxury goods, including perfume. A profusion of vanity boxes containing perfumes appeared in the 19th century.
Due to its jasmine, rose and orange-growing trades, the town of Grasse in Provence established itself as the largest production center for raw materials. The statutes of the perfume-makers of Grasse were passed in 1724.
Paris became the commercial counterpart to Grasse and the world center of perfume. Perfume houses such as Houbigant (produces Quelques Fleurs, still very popular today), Lubin, Roger & Gallet, and Guerlain were all based in Paris.
Soon bottling became more important. Perfume maker Francois Coty formed a partnershipwith Rene Lalique. Lalique then produced bottles for Guerlain, D'Orsay, Lubin, Molinard, Roger & Gallet and others. Baccarat then joined in, producing the bottle for Mitsouko (Guerlain), Shalimar (Guerlain) and others. Brosse glassworks created the memorable bottle for Jeanne Lanvin's Arpege, and the famous Chanel No.5.
1921- Couturier Gabrielle Chanel launches her own brand of perfume, created by Ernest Beaux; she calls it Chanel No.5 because it was the fifth in a line of fragrances Ernest Beaux presented her. Ernest Beaux was the first to use aldehydes in perfumery. In fact, Chanel No.5 was the first completely synthetic mass-market fragrance.
The 1930's saw the arrival of the leather family of fragrances, and florals also became quite popular with the emergence of Worth's Je Reviens (1932), Caron's Fleurs de Rocaille (1933) and Jean Patou's Joy (1935). With French perfumery at it's peak in the 1950's, other designers such as Christian Dior, Jacques Fath, Nina Ricci, Pierre Balmain.. and so on, started creating their own scents.
- Healing cream
- To assist in wound healing while soothing skin complaints – such as eczema and psoriasis, acne and piles and moisturizing and protecting the skin. This product has shown its effectiveness over a wide range of problems and judging from sales over more than a decade – it is the trusted healing cream to help with all mishaps, allergic reactions, irritated, burning, itchy and uncomfortable skin conditions.
- Face wash
- This face wash will properly clean your face and remove all impurities and environmental pollutants, without drying the skin. It contains eight herbal extracts to help promote a clear, vital and healthy complexion and a younger looking skin.
- Moisturizing day cream
- This day cream is formulated to help fight the signs of aging on various fronts. It helps to reduce free radical damage which, if left unchecked, leads to premature aging. The herbal extracts help to promote cell rejuvenation and regeneration and provide moisture and hydration to the skin.
- Nourishing night cream
- This nourishing night cream penetrates the skin extremely well and does not make the skin feel oily. It contains a host of herbal extracts to help in the fight against premature aging and has added vitamin E as well. Apart from the moisturizing effect and the anti-aging properties it also softens and smoothes the skin.
- Eye gel
- An effective refreshing eye gel to help reduce puffiness and dark rings around the eyes, while fighting wrinkles and lines. This is a very clever combination of herbal extracts and the base formula has its roots in a clinically proven formula.
- Mud face mask
- With this skin treatment product we combined a special selection of herbs in a base of thermal mud with oligoelements. This recommended weekly treatment will boost circulation to the skin, help to fight wrinkles and lines, improve firmness while at the same time improving suppleness and elasticity of the skin.
- Shampoo with rosemary extract + 7 other herbals
- Our shampoo is in a class of its own – and granted – it is far more expensive than cheap supermarket shampoos, but no other shampoo has the active ingredients we have in our shampoo. The rosemary will boost the health of the hair and scalp, while the other seven herbal extracts will help strengthen the hair and make it shine, increase the volume and make it manageable.
- Rosemary hair treatment conditioner
- We have found that this hair conditioner should really be used as a conditioning treatment. This then removes the need to condition the hair every time you wash – and can be used once a month. It is a superb hair tonic and helps in the control of sebum secretion of the scalp. Although not formulated for dandruff – the ingredients will assist with this as well, while supporting the health of the scalp.
- Hand and body lotion
- When formulating this hand and body lotion we created a rich nourishing, protecting and reviving lotion, which will not leave the skin oily or tacky, but will create a well moisturized, hydrated and supple skin. After applying this lotion it will quickly be absorbed by the skin, leaving it silky soft, smooth and well moisturized.
- Stretch mark gel
- Although nothing can remove already formed stretch marks (only surgery can do that) – thousands of satisfied clients confirm that this gel improves the appearance of old stretch marks. The gel will help in PREVENTING stretch marks (a 92% success rate) and is used with great success by expectant mothers and body builders who may form marks when bulking-up. The formula of this gel is based on clinical studies done in France, to which we added other herbal extracts.
- Cellulite gel
- Fighting cellulite is easy with this herbal cellulite gel. It contains a patented extract of Bayberry (Myriceline) and nine other plant extracts and essential oils. The gel will help to get rid of cellulite (which has been clinically proven) and will also help to prevent cellulite from forming. So now it is easy to get your soft body contours back again.
- Apple cider vinegar (liquid) with Centella asiatica
- The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are combined with the therapeutic properties of Centella asiatica. This old folk remedy is still used with great effect by thousands of people daily.
- Digest capsules
- If your digestive system is under-par and you struggle with constipation or you simply need to boost the health of your digestive system then this capsule is for you. Fenugreek is a general digestive tonic and psyllium is a magical bulking agent that will help proper bowel movements, without using a laxative.
- Urinary and bladder health capsules
- Using an all natural approach, our capsules will help the discomfort and burning urine sensation of urinary tract infection and help clear up foul smelling urine. We combined cranberry, dandelion, uva ursi and vitamin C in a single capsule to effectively fight bladder infections and to stop the burning sensation when urinating.
- Tri- Mushroom blend capsules
- If you need an immune system boost then have a look at our combination of maitake, reishi and shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms have showed to be a great help in boosting the immune system – and form a good nutritional supplement support for HIV/Aids patients and people receiving chemotherapy. Any person with even a slightly compromised immune system may benefit from this supplement.
- Olive leaf extract capsules
- This natural detoxifier helps with a variety of ailments and people with chronic fatigue syndrome, infections, glandular fever (Epstein Barr), and even candida and herpes have found it of value. Olive leaf extract helps to fight bacteria, viruses, retroviruses, and protozoa and yeast strains. Apart from fighting all of these problems it also helps to improve kidney function and fights free radicals.
- Sexual supplement (previously known as Vuka Nkuzi)
- Men normally don’t admit when they have a declining libido although it is a most common problem. We combine in this supplement seven different natural ingredients to boost sexual health – without any side effects often experienced with such medication. After more than a decade, and thousands of regular Vuka Nkuzi clients we still offer this well priced supplement to boost the libido.
- Jojoba oil
- This liquid golden ester not only moisturizes and penetrates the skin but also helps to fight wrinkles and lines while promoting a clear and unblemished skin. Jojoba does not clog the pores but helps to restore skin elasticity and smoothness. It will leave the skin supple and velvety soft without any oiliness and can be used neat on the skin.
- Almond oil
- This light and deeply moisturizing oil has a softening effect on the skin and can be used on the face and body. Almond oil has excellent emollient properties and helps to balance water and moisture loss in the skin. It can be used neat on the skin and also makes an excellent massage base.