Fragrances an important aspect of product branding

Nov 04, 2014, 5:00am

How are fragrances made? Scented body lotions, soaps, and hair shampoos with smells that extend beyond the packaging seem very popular

Q. How are fragrances made? Scented body lotions, soaps, and hair shampoos with smells that extend beyond the packaging seem very popular.

A. There are a variety of skincare companies that use fragrance as part of their branding. Even laundry detergent can be smelled from the other end of the isle. This is part of the appeal to the primitive olfactory centers of the brain. Smelling is a way of encouraging you to buy the product or enter the body lotion store.

Fragrances are made from volatile molecules with low molecular weight and low vapor pressure. Perfumists speak of fragrance in discussed in terms of notes, borrowing a term from music. A fragrance can be described as possessing top, middle and bottom notes, with a good fragrance containing all three notes.

Top notes are the most volatile of the fragrance ingredients accounting for the smell as soon as the product is opened. These evaporate rapidly leaving behind the middle notes, which form the body of the fragrance. Finally, the bottom notes are perceived, which are the least volatile and longest lasting. Citrus scents are common top notes, floral scents are common middle notes, and vanilla is a common bottom note.

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