Light and sound the stimuli for vision and hearing are well described and precisely through quantitate parameters such as wavelength and frequencies. Scents are different, though. We can describe them only by comparison with scents one has already experienced.
Among sensory stimuli, scents are the most evocative, triggering associations, rousing emotions, or awakening memories. The smells are wired to the brain in the most primitive and emotional centers, the limbic system and frontal lobes.
Traditionally all the ingredients that go into a fragrance come from nature. On the first whiff of a fragrance come the floral notes, while the wood and animal notes give the long lasting impressions. Of note, ambergris or the so-called amber notes com from the vomit of whales, it is used as fixator, allowing the scents to last much longer.
Searchers of new scents, usually need to sample the source’s surroundings with an equipment called headspace because the essence of what the seek is already in the air. A flower is encased in a glass vessel and the air around the flower is drawn through an absorption trap. The absorbed scents are the released from the trap and analysed by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry.
There is so much more technology added to a fragrance and these days what goes into it are mostly synthetic materials. Essential oils and natural ingredients are preserved mostly for fine perfumes.
I experienced the My Burberry scent on a colleague of mine and I literally loved it on the first whiff. It is inspired by the cult trench coat of the brand and the freshness of a London shower and a rain-bathed garden. The top notes are definitely floral and with the hour the scent warms up well, releasing warm, sensuous and feminine notes of patchouli and citrus.
I hope you enjoyed the second post on the Lesson of the Week session as much as me.
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