Becoming a perfume EXPERT with The Perfume Shop


Hey guys, 

As it is National Fragrance Week from the 5th - 11th March I thought what better way to celebrate then with a perfume themed blog post. I was invited to The Perfume Shop for a workshop on perfumes and learnt so much about how a fragrance is made and I thought it would be great to share my knowledge. Perfume has always been one of those things I love but find very hard to describe. And I have found out I am not alone as I often hear many bloggers/vloggers saying the same. So if you are looking to up your perfume game then keep on reading.

Firstly a little about the Perfume Shop Staff themselves. These guys are experts. So if you are ever in need, they knowledgeable. This isn't just from their experience with perfume, I was surprised to find out that the staff actually carry qualifications in fragrance and all take part in a 6 month in-house perfume school, which results in a diploma. Some then go onto gain a qualification from the Fragrance Foundation, an international independent education body. So these people really know their stuff and are there to guide you through your perfume experience.

I had a fabulous time at the event and love the way all of my senses were tantalised by pairing food with visual concepts and scents. For example we were given a rose flavoured chocolate while being shown a visual of roses and florals and then sprayed floral perfumes after. It intensified everything and was a very enjoyable way of experiencing a type of scent. I have come away knowing so much more about perfumes and feel a little more confident describing and talking about them. Here's what you need to know.


To create a fragrance between 150-250 ingredients can be put together. There are three different types of ingredients:

Natural Ingredients - which are found in nature, for example rose, vanilla or patchouli

Nature identical Ingredients - these are natural but not traditionally used in general terms as they are quite expensive or may be unethical. For example Indian Sandalwood is a good example, as it is so hard to get hold of.

Synthetic Ingredients - an ingredient that is created to mimic the smell of something, for example a cupcake.

The Fragrance Wheel:

Fragrances can all be classified into a type and these have been categorised by Michael Edwards who is an expert in the field of fragrance. He has a wheel which shows where a fragrance can lie (click here). He has categorised more than 21,000 fragrances and has a book and app which can help you pick out certain scents, or find out ingredients of your favourite perfume. The Perfume Shop can then use this to help you pick a fragrance.

Floral - These are romantic scents which contain essential flowers. Think feminine, elegant and graceful, e.g Chloe, YSL Paris.

Oriental - This is a very rich scent, it is smooth and luxurious, almost creamy. The main ingredient is Vanilla. e.g Guerlain Shalimar, YSL Black Opium.

Woody - Deep, earthy scents that are very intense. e.g Dior Fahrenheit, Paco Rabanne Black XS.

Fresh - These can be water, citrus, green or fruit based scents e.g Chanel Allure homme sport, Issey Miyake L'eau D'issei.

These can all blend into one another, for example you can geta floral-oriental,  oriental-woody, woody-fresh, fresh-floral going around the wheel. 


A fragrance is made up of a Top, middle/heart and base note.

Top  - This is the smell that first hits you and is usually a citrus smell or a synthetic fruit smell. It will evaporate quite quickly and only last up to 10 minutes.

Middle/Heart - This smell then builds on the top note and is usually a floral note, it  usually comes out at around 20 minutes after you have sprayed the product.

Base - The base note then appears 45 minutes after the product has been applied and builds on the middle note. Base notes tend to be quite intense ingredients such as musk, amber or vanilla.

It is interesting to note here that you get the true essence of the perfume 45 minutes after you have first applied. This actually might explain why I prefer classic perfumes as I have smelt them time and time again in their true state.

An Accord is a blend of three or four notes which create a unique odour and are the base character of a fragrance.

Oil concentration:

Parfum - Contains 20-30% pure perfume and can last up to 8 hours

Eau de Parfum - Contains 15-20% pure perfume and can last up to 6 hours

Eau de Toilette - Contains 5-15% pure perfume and can last up to 4 hours

Eau de Cologne - Contains 2-4% pure perfume and can last up to 2 hours

An example of what engraving may look like.

The Perfume Shop have also started to offer engraving on most bottles which I think is fantastic as it adds that little extra to a bottle especially if it is for a special occasion. With Mother's Day just around the corner this couldn't have come at more of a perfect time as it's the perfect present for Mother's day! The Perfume Shop luckily gifted me my Mother's Day Present for my mum, a 50ml bottle of Gucci Guilty which I'm hoping she will love!

If you still feel like you need a little more information, make sure you visit the Perfume Shops's website where they have videos to answer all your fragrance questions!

Amina xx

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