Jansen Needs Justification:
Hi to both Left and Right Brains, I am currently using a eau de parfum called Allure Homme Sport by Chanel, and it is the MOST long-lasting fragrance ever. (And Yes, I am a bloke ). One of my chemist friends told me that this is to do with the exclusive alcohol that Chanel uses in their perfumes, as it probably has a low boiling point and so the fragrances are more volatile. I wonder how true this statement is? Thanks in advanced!
The Left Brain is Left Justified:
Thanks for the question Jansen, it’s always a special treat when we hear from our male readers! But while we chemists usually stick together, we have to disagree with your friend’s assessment of why Allure lasts so long. To explain why, we have to give you a quick lesson on fragrance chemistry:
Fragrance are complex mixtures of natural and synthetic chemicals designed to create a specific scent. The fragrance ingredients are mixed with alcohol (specifically ethanol) to dilute them to a usable level. Ethanol is used because its safe, it’s a good solvent and it evaporates quickly. In fact, the alcohol is the FIRST thing that evaporates. That’s why when you first spray on perfume you want to wait a few seconds before smelling it. Otherwise you get a nose full of sharp alcohol odor. As the alcohol flashes off, the other ingredients in the fragrance are more noticeable; these ingredients are loosely grouped into 3 categories depending on how fast they evaporate.
Composition of Fragrance
Top notes evaporate quickly so you smell them first. These tend to be lighter in nature – think citrus type scents. They are also the first notes to wear out over the course of the day.
Middle notes evaporate a bit slower and create the body of the fragrance, these are usually a combination of floral and/or fruity notes.
Bottom notes are the heavier longer lasting fragrance components. Perfumers describe these notes with terms like woody, balsamic, smoky, or musky. These notes are the “anchors” that help the fragrance last longer. Bingo!
The Brains‘ Bottom Line:
Allure lasts longer because of the bottom notes in the fragrance not because of the alcohol. And speaking of alcohol, tell your chemist friend he or she should buy you a cocktail to make up for the bad advice!