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— Malaysia's 1st Perfume Subscription Blog 

Ever wondered how perfumes are made? 

What goes into making a bottle of perfume?

It turns out that there is a deeper & delicate science behind each bottle.

From idea to bottle, the whole process can even take up to a few years to come to fruition.

Every bottle has a very unique inspiration - and translating this into a physical perfume creation is not an easy feat. 

1. A Brief History of Perfume

The first perfumes ever made are usually credited to the Mesopotamians and Ancient Egyptians.

Tapputi, was the world’s first recorded perfumer, from the 2nd Millennium BC in Mesopotamia.

Many novel techniques still in use today such as distillation, enfleurage and scent extraction were invented by her.

2. What did ancient perfumes look like?

Photo by The Perfume Society

Unlike modern perfumes, which are alcohol based, ancient perfumes were mostly made with oils or resins.

Ancient Egyptians often burnt essential oils to celebrate prayers and religious ceremonies.

As perfume ingredients became more accessible, perfumes were used for hygiene purposes as well as for religious purposes.

The Greeks and the Romans then adopted the process of making perfumes from the Egyptians and continued their legacy

3. Common Perfume Making Methods

Here are some of the ways modern perfumes are produced

a) Solvent extraction

This method involves putting plants into large drums. The plants are then covered with petroleum ether.

The organic plant parts dissolve leaving behind the essential oils.

This substance is then placed in alcohol. The oils will dissolve in the alcohol.

Once the alcohol is burnt away, what's left is a concentrated perfume oil.

b) Distillation

Photo by Mediametic

The perfume ingredients are placed in a still. Hot water is boiled and the steam passes through the ingredients.

The steam is then cooled until it condenses into a liquid.

c) Enfleurage and macreation

In this process, large sheets are coated with grease or fats.

The flowers or other ingredients are spread across the grease.

The flowers are then moved around by hand until the grease absorbs the fragrance.The grease and fats are then dissolved in alcohol to obtain the concentrated perfume oil.

Photo by Shay & Blue

4. Blending the ingredients

Once the essential oils are obtained, it's just a matter of blending the perfumes.

Alcohol or water are usually used as solvents. The ratio of alcohol to essential oil determines the strength of perfume.

For example, Eau de Parfum has a lower concentration of alcohol while Eau de Cologne has a higher concentration.

Photo by Mix Max Deals 

After that the perfume is ready to be bottled, sold and sprayed across the arm of a happy customer.

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