Archive for July 2008

What’s the Difference Between Perfume and Cologne?

difference between perfume and cologne
Some people already know the difference between perfumes and colognes but there are still some who are clueless about their differences. For those who want to learn more about the differences between perfumes and colognes, this is for you.

Perfumes have the strongest scents and therefore the longest lasting fragrance available. On the other hand, colognes are weaker and usually won’t last long since it evaporates quickly. These mischaracterize cologne as a men’s product. So it’s rather wrong to say that perfumes are for women and colognes are for men. There are perfumes that are available for men and likewise colognes that are available for women.


Did you know that France has the biggest industry of perfume? But although they are the biggest the French didn’t discovered perfume, it was the Egyptians. France turned perfume into an industry and they turned perfume making into Science.

The French perfumers discovered a way to overcome how scents fades over a period of time and the fact that some scents fades faster than the others. The French answers to this by introducing layered fragrances. There are three layers to be exact and these layers are called notes.

Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person's initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.

Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the "heart notes".

Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

Perfume is likely to be more expensive than cologne since perfumes has more concentrated perfume oil than colognes. Typically a pure perfume will not be sold in a spray bottle but in a very small bottle for the buyer to "dab" onto the skin.


Colognes are single –scented fragrances as opposed to layered perfumes. This makes colognes less potent than perfumes. Most cologne comes in spray bottles and some brands of colognes are available in splash. Colognes are milder than perfume but it can be over applied when using spray colognes. One way to apply an appropriate amount of cologne without over spaying it is to spray it in front of you to create a mist then close your eyes and walk through the mist.

There are more to Fragrances than just perfumes and colognes. These are other alternatives you might want to consider.

Eau de perfume

Eau de perfume is the most popular fragrance type because it is less expensive than perfume and lasts a good long time. Eau de perfume is best applied to the warmest body areas, the pulse points on the wrists and the side of the neck, between the breasts, in the crook of the elbows, behind your knees, on your inner thighs, and around the ankles. Never put any scent behind your ears and never overdo it.

Eau de toilette

Eau de toilette contains a small percentage of fragrance oils and will only last three to four hours (depending on your skin type. Many women use eau de toilette and expect it to last throughout the day but are disappointed by mid-morning. This is really a minor problem that's easy to get around, simply carry a purse size with you and refresh your scent when you get the chance. Eau de toilette provides a wonderfully subtle scent and that's certainly a positive point -- it bears repeating that you should want your scent to suggest not to scream.

Scented body creams and lotions

Scented body creams and lotions have approximately the same fragrance content as eau de toilette but because of their thick cream or lotion base they last somewhat longer; the scent should still be detectable at the very end of your day.

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Making Homemade Massage Oils: Things you should know about making your own homemade massage oils.

Body Massage Oil

The main ingredients of Homemade Massage Oils

Basically there are only two main ingredients of homemade massage oils. These are the carrier oils and the Essential oils or the Fragrance oils.

You might ask, what are Carrier Oils?
Carrier oils are vegetable oil used to dilute concentrated essential oils. Since Essential oils are concentrated extract, they should not be applied directly to the skin but should be mixed with carrier oil. Carrier oils also help slow down the evaporation of Essential oils and this gives better absorption to our skin.

Kinds of Carrier Oils

Wheat germ
Peanut oil

Storing Essential Oils

To prolong the shelf life of your Essential oils, it is better to store them in a brown or dark blue bottles with a close fitting plastic screw cap and keep them in a dark cool place. Always store out of reach of children.

Safety Precautions

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts. It can cause severe skin irritations if applied directly to skin. Never increase the dose of essential oil. Some essential oils are toxic in large amounts.

If oil comes in contact with your eyes, rinse it right away with a few drops of sweet almond oil and not with water. Seek medical attention.

Do not use to pregnant woman or children under 2 years old.

If you use any of these oils in your recipe: Ginger, Lemon, Orange, and Bergamot; It is best to stay away from direct sunlight for atleast 6 hours after using any of those. They can cause skin irritations if exposed to sun.

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Know your Bath Soap - Things you need to consider about your Bath Soap and your Skin Types

Know your Bath Soap
We often buy bath soap depending on their smell, how much lather they produce, or how our skin feels moisturized, and replenished after taking a bath. Some people are very particular on the amount of pH their bath soap contains. What’s with the pH by the way?

If we are going to consult our dictionary, pH is define as "A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution calculated as the common logarithm of the reciprocal of the hydrogen ion concentration in moles per cubic decimeter of solution and numerically equal to 7 for neutral solutions. pH increases with increasing alkalinity and decreases with increasing acidity. [potential of hydrogen.]" In short pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.

So the question now most people ask is, does pH-balance in our skin matter?

The answer would be YES, it does matter. The average pH-balance our skin products should range from 4.5 to 5.5.The safest bath soaps are nearly neutral, with a pH of about 7. Some cheaper bath soaps have traces of alkali and a pH higher than 7. These bath soaps can irritate your skin. Check your bath soap at home with litmus paper to find out. Check your skin pH too. The pH of your bath soap and the pH of your skin should also match. If your skin irritates easily, then most likely you have sensitive skin and thus you have to use milder bath soaps with lower pH. If you use products with pH greater than 7 on your skin, you’re stripping away the "acid mantle", a very thin layer of sweat and sebum that protects your skin from damage and infection and this is necessary to good skin health.

Below are some major brands of bath soap products and their pH.

Soap= pH
Camay= 9.5
Dial= 9.5
Dove= 7.0
Irish Spring= 9.5
Ivory= 9.5
Palmolive= 10.0
Zest= 10.0

Know your Skin Types

Normal Skin

If you have normal skin, this means that your skin has the perfect balance of moisture and oils. You can then be able to use and enjoy all the beauty products without worrying about skin irritations and rashes.

Sensitive Skin

If you are prone to rashes or your skin stings easily when using various bath soap and beauty products, then chances are you have sensitive skin. If you have sensitive skin, it is better to use natural, organic, or mild soaps and cleansers.

Oily Skin

People who carry this skin type may want to cleanse more often and more vigorously. Having oily skin does not mean that you have to scrub harder or more frequently. You just need to find a formulation that works well for you. People who have oily skin are prone to blackheads, pimples and other embarrassing blemishes. The great advantage of oily skin is that it ages at a slower rate than other skin types. Use a pure soap with no artificial additives. Try an antibacterial cleansing lotion or a lightly medicated soap, and use it in combination with water rich in minerals, not tap water. Do not use cleansers or lotions that contain alcohol. After cleansing, apply a natural oil-free moisturizer to keep the skin supple.

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How to make your own body massage oils

Body massage oils
It’s been a long day and you’ve been working hard from morning till dawn. You rest your back in your comfortable chair and you’ve been thinking of pampering yourself. But knowing that you have to spend a lot of money just to pamper yourself wouldn’t be a reward after all. But you deserve to be rewarded and be pampered. So please sit back and grab yourself a cup of coffee and take this time to read this easy to do tutorials on how to make your own body massage oils in the comfort of your own home without spending much.

Let us first know the basics about body oils. There are two common oils that are use to produce body oils, they are the Essential oils and Fragrance oils.

Essential oils are, mostly, a natural product derived from flowers or plants. Fragrance oils are a blend, often synthetic, of a number of ingredients usually diluted with an oil carrier. To some people, synthetic fragrance oils are less desirable than plant-derived essential oils as components of perfume or massage oils.

You would also notice that if you've been shopping for both you will have noticed that there is a steep price difference between the two. Fragrance oils tend to be more affordable than Essential oils.

If you want to know more about this, feel free to visit my post about Essential oils and Fragrance oils.

Now that we have some basic knowledge about Essential oils and Fragrance oils, lets us get started to make our very own body massage oils.
The recipes here are designed for Essential oils

Revitalizing Body Oil
Recipe by Michelle Roques O'Neill, UK aromatherapist.

This is great for: detoxifying, drainage and improving circulation

  • 1 3/4 fl. oz. peach kernel oil
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 8 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • 4 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 2 drops lemongrass essential oil

Relaxing Massage Oil

  • 4 tablespoons of carrier oil (a carrier oil can be either Safflower, grapeseed, or almond; they have no odor and won't interfere with the other ingredients)
  • 10 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 10 drops of begamont essential oil
  • 10 drops of rosemary essential oil

Nourishing Body Oil
Recipe by Loredana and Mariano Spiezia, owners of Spiezia Organics.

  • 1 3/4 fl. oz. jojoba oil
  • 1 fl. oz. almond oil
  • 1/2 fl. oz. apricot kernel oil
  • 1/5 fl. oz. wheat germ oil
  • 18 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
  • 10 drops sweet orange oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil

Sensual Body Oil
Recipe by Michelle Roques O'Neill, UK aromatherapist.

This is great for: getting you in the mood

  • 1 3/4 fl. oz. peach kernel oil
  • 10 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 8 drops ylang-ylang essential oil
  • 4 drops West Indian bay essential oil
  • 3 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 2 drops myrrh essential oil
To make these blends, simply put all the ingredients listed into a small bottle (preferably dark glass jars or bottles) and shake well. Store out of sunlight in a room temperature (excessive heat will warp the effectiveness--and the scent.)

Now that you have your own body massage oil, you can now ask your special love one to give you a full body massage.

Soon I’m going to give some tutorials about body massage and sensual massage.
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About Essential Oils and Fragrance Oils

Essential oils and Fragrance oils

Essential Oils

Essential oils are extracted from fruits, leaves, roots, stems, barks and or flowers. It can be steam distilled or cold pressed. Some companies use solvents to extract their oils. But in most cases they are carefully refined to preserve the very thing that makes them "essential". Even if an essential oil is natural, it doesn't mean that the means from which it was extracted was. Many oils made in this fashion are still labeled "natural or "pure", but I suppose it all comes down to what you personally define as "pure".

Essential oils are more expensive than Fragrance oils since it takes about 30-50 petals of a rose to make a single drop of rose oil and hundreds of pounds of plant matter could be used to make a single ounce of essential oil. Certain plants used to create essential oils such as certain types of sandalwood, cedarwood, and rosewood oil are now endangered from the over-harvesting.

Since we know that Essential oils came from our natural resources, it doesn’t mean that they are 100% safe and effective. There are those people that are particularly sensitive to fragrance oils, yet there are also some people that are sensitive to essential oils as well. You will also find that if someone has an allergy to a certain plant, the reaction may be exaggerated with the essential oil since it is a concentrated form of the plant material. Lotions or creams with Essential oils should be treated carefully. Too much of a particular oil can have far more irritating results than benefits. For example, if you make a lotion with large amounts of grapefruit, orange, or any other citrus, during hot and humid weather these citrus oils may enhance your chances of getting scorched by the sun or possibly an even worse reaction from sun exposure. Large amounts of rosemary essential oil or extract in a "leave on" product could cause massive irritation. Some essential oils are even toxic if ingested! You have to get to know your oils before using or experimenting new ingredients.

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance Oils can be a mixture or combination of mixtures of natural and synthetic materials. Synthetic ingredients are manufactured through chemical process. These are "man made". Fragrance oils are a blend, often synthetic, of a number of ingredients usually diluted with an oil carrier. Fragrance oils are usually cheaper. Some oils can have adverse affects such as headaches and dizziness. This is due to them being impure or possibly synthetic.

There are famous and given much favor scents that can only be found in a fragrance oil. Some fragrances simply cannot be mimicked through essential oils. For example, there really isn't any cranberry essential oil.
Manufacturer of the fragrance oil does not have to disclose the ingredients used in making their fragrances because of what we call “trade secret”. This would ensure perfume or cologne companies would make their product different or distinct from their competitors. Basically you may never know what in the world is really in fragrance oil, but they do have guidelines in place to ensure the general safety of the product.

There are people that are particularly sensitive to fragrance oils and even sometimes just plain allergic to them. If a product is carefully made and the fragrance oils are carefully measured and added in the recommended amounts, the amount of fragrance actually used is generally unlikely to cause a reaction.

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