How Perfume Is Made

Raw Materials

Throughout many centuries, fragrances have been created using raw materials like leaves, spices, herbs, flowers, fruits and even wood. Because some plants do not secrete oils naturally (to use in perfumes), synthetic chemicals must be used in order to create these original fragrances.

Sometimes, when creating perfumes, animals are used. For example, musks are derived from fatty substances of the male deer. Alcohol and water are often used in order to dilute perfumes to strengthen or soften the smell of the perfume. This is why some perfumes are stronger than others.

Processing the Ingredients

Before creating the perfumes, all ingredients are brought to a manufacturing center for processing. The process consists of extracting oils from plants, extracting scents from fatty substances of animals, and by creating synthetic fragrances, which is done by chemists. Extracting these oils and substances is done using specific methods such as steam distillation, solvent extraction and expression, which is the simplest method of extraction.

Creating the Perfume

After all extractions are complete, scents are ready to be blended together in order to create a perfume. When blending, it is not unusual for over 100 different scents to be mixed in order to create one perfume. After the fragrances are blended, alcohol is added to the mixture in order to create a certain kind of perfume, whether it be musk, cologne, or "eau de toilette" (toilet water).

Some of the best perfumes are aged in order to create stronger scents. It can sometimes take up to a year for the desired fragrance to be achieved. Upon reaching the desired smell, the perfume is packaged and then shipped to stores for selling.