Monday, July 27, 2009

Alcohol and Perfume

All commercially available "perfumes" are actually perfume oils with fillers. The fillers are usually alcohol and sometimes water.
Why do they add alcohol? The primary purpose of alcohol is to cause the perfume oils to evaporate faster than they would by themselves, sometimes as much as or 15 times more quickly. This gives the impression that the perfume is considerably stronger than it actually is. That is why, when you first put on a commercial fragrance, the aroma may sometimes seem overwhelming to those around you. This also explains why the scent fades dramatically within one or two hours. The perfume oils have evaporated along with the alcohol.
The second reason for all those fillers is just clever marketing -- a bigger and fancier bottle containing fragrance plus fillers seems like a much better value than a smaller one of pure oil.