The story of perfume

Monday, 10 December 2012

The story of perfumeWe’ll forgive you for thinking the only fragrance you’re wearing today is your perfume. found this great video which is quite an eye opener…

If you’ve got a spare 17 minutes this weekend, pop over to YouTube and watch The Story of Fragrances, a short and sweet documentary from the good folks at the International Fragrance Association of North America (IFRANA). It’s a fascinating look at how the scents in our perfumes, cosmetics, and body products get made. And this isn’t just for fragrance lovers: it’s a compelling bit of background for anyone who uses products or smells them on other people. In other words, everyone.

‘Consumers probably don’t even realise how much of an interchange they have with fragrances on a regular basis,’ says Jennifer Abril, IFRANA president. And according to perfumer Mark Banwer, we probably use fragrances 10 or 12 times a day. I mean, I just did a quick inventory and so far I’ve used soap, conditioner, hair oil, eye cream, sunscreen, face oil, body lotion, deodorant, perfume, hand soap, hand cream, and cuticle oil. I’m already at 12 and the day’s not even over yet.

You may also be fascinated to learn that the people who create the perfumes we buy at the fragrance counter are often the same people who cook up scents for laundry detergent. Take perfumer Sophia Grojsman. Not only has she made fragrances like Lancôme Trésor, Calvin Klein Eternity, and Yves Saint Laurent Paris, she also invented the scent for Downy.

‘When it first came out, I could smell it in the streets, and especially the subway. I could smell it on some women and I said to myself, “Boy, am I proud of myself.” I am still very proud of it because everybody does laundry. I did that scent for people who can’t afford anything else.’

And what do you know? It also happens to be scent number 13 for me today.

Originally written by Anne-Marie Guarnieri, this article appeared on

Image: Miramiska/

Other articles you may be interested in:
Your party perfumes
Your perfume personality
Shop for perfume
Fragrant message

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Sue1N

    So interesting. I love to hear the story behind the story of products and inventions.

    6 years ago •

  1. Ras

    Kind of difficult to stick to one fragrance considering that everything comes perfumed.

    7 years ago •

  1. Blackcherry

    Great article. very informative. I Loooove beautiful scents

    7 years ago •

  1. Henke

    Never knew… I’m a perfume addict… have like 8 bottles of different perfume in my closet. LOVE

    7 years ago •

  1. Bronwyn

    That is interesting. I never thought about how many fragrances might be mixing together at once!

    7 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    This looks like a very cool career

    7 years ago •

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