Fragrance 101: The Basics!

Understanding fragrance can be daunting, and that’s often by design. At Olfactory, we're here to simplify it, so you know exactly what you're spritzing. Welcome to Fragrance 101!

Let's begin with the fundamentals: fragrance composition and concentration.

At its core, personal fragrance is a blend of fragrance oil, water, and denatured alcohol. Fragrance oils may include natural plant-based extracts, synthetic fragrance molecules, or a mix of both. The alcohol and water act as solvents for the fragrance oil. Due to alcohol's exceptional evaporative properties, it helps disperse the fragrance oil into the air—explaining why you can catch a whiff of a great scent from a distance.

Why Do Some Fragrances Last Longer Than Others?

If personal fragrance is just a mix of fragrance oil, water, and alcohol, why do some scents last longer? The answer lies in the concentration of the fragrance oil—the ratio of fragrance oil to solvents.

When you hear "EDP", you might think it is an overcomplicated categorization and that's completely understandable! However, fragrance concentrations are straightforward, categorized into five types based on the proportion of fragrance oil:

Understanding Fragrance Longevity

The lower the concentration of fragrance oil in your bottle, the shorter the scent will last on your skin. At Olfactory NYC, our fragrances boast a high Eau de Parfum (EDP) concentration of around 20% fragrance oil. This balance allows us to offer high-quality scents at accessible prices. With this concentration, our fragrances typically last 6-8 hours on the skin, so you won't need to reapply throughout the day as you might with an Eau Fraiche or your average body mist.

If you'd like to see your Eau de Parfum bottled fresh, visit any of our scent studios for the perfect custom gift experience. Create, smell, test, and watch your personal fragrance come to life. Our studios are located in NYC, Boston, and DC. Book your reservation here. Not near one of our stores? Explore our at-home kit, starting with the Explorer Box, to craft your unique scent from the comfort of your home.