Perfume is a Latin word which stands for “per” through, “fume” smoke.
In the past, the perfumes were made from naturals ingredients like from the oil of plants. They used to press and steam those oils to make scents.
But today, in this era mostly all of the perfumes synthetic and made in industries.
You can also find liquid perfume today but originally; they can’t be called perfumes.
Perfume is made from oil and mixed in alcohol or sometimes even in water. The United States has an annual sale of 7 billion dollars of perfume.
Without further adieu, let’s look at each manufacturing process in detail.
Process of Making Perfumes
The first step in the making of perfume is to gather raw materials. Perfumes are made by both natural material and man-made materials. Naturals materials are flowers, grasses, spices, fruit, different types of wood and animal secretions. And things like alcohol, coal and coal tar are also used in this process.
Some of the perfumes are also made from the animals. Like castor comes from beavers, musk from male deer.
The animal’s perfumes also last longer as compare to other ones because animal products are used as fixatives which allow the perfume to evaporate less and last for longer.
Otherwise, artificial perfumes are made from the synthetic products that are also made in industries by humans these are less expensive than natural perfumes.
The manufacturing of perfumes includes four steps which are as follows
- Collection of Materials
- Extraction of oils
Collection of Materials:
Before the actual process begins, we need to accumulate all the materials for further process. Plants oils are extracted from different parts of the world and sometimes a specific plant is picked for its specific scent. The animal product is gained from animal fat.
The artificial perfumes starting materials are made in industries by humans.
In the natural process, the oils gained form the plants are extracted in several ways which are mentioned below.
i- Steam Distillation
In this process, the steam is passed through plants due to which the oils turn into gas, and then this gas is passed from cooling tubes which turns the gas into the liquid form. Other than this plant oil can also be gained through boiling the plants. This also extracts oils from the plants.
ii- Solvent Extraction
In solvent extraction, the plant is put in a large container or a drum and then petroleum ether or benzene is poured in it which extracts all the oils from the plant. Due to this way a waxy material is formed which is then passed from ethyl alcohol. The oil dissolves in ethyl alcohol. After that, it is put on heat which evaporates the alcohol and only the oils from the plant is left behind.
In Enfleurage the glass is coated with grease and then the plants or flowers are put on the top of it and then the glass sheet is pressed with the wooden frames. This step is done multiple times by change the side of flowers or plants and then these are removed when the grease absorbs the oils from plants or flowers completely. Then the grease is dissolved in the alcohol to gain the oils.
This process is also like enfleurage. In this, the plants or flowers are pressed against the fat instead of grease. And then the fat absorbs all the oils from the flowers and the plants. Then like enfleurage, the fats are dissolved in the alcohol to gain all the oils and the fats are left behind in the alcohol.
This is one of the oldest processes for gaining oil form the plants, and it is still used by framers and also by some of the industries. In this process, the plant or flower is manually or mechanically pressed until the oil is gained from the plants or the flowers.
These are some of the processes by which you can extract oil from the plants in making many products which also include perfumes.
When all the oils are collected from the plants or flower then they are ready for blending and this formula of blending is called “nose”. It could take 800 ingredients and experience of many years to make a special formula for the scent.
When the scent is created it’s time to mix it with the alcohol. The quantity of alcohol can vary in perfumes. Most of the time 10-20 % of the extracted oils are mixed with alcohol with very little amount of the water in it.
Colognes contain 3-5% of oils and 80-90% of alcohol and almost 10% of water dissolved together. Toilet cleaner has 2% of oils 60-80% of alcohol and 20% of the water in it. Toilet cleaner has the least amount of oils in it.
When the scent is blended in the alcohol it aged for moths and even in some cases, it goes up to years. A scent has three types of notes. Top note, Central note, and Base note. Top notes have citrus kind of smell in it, a center note has a flower-like smell (mostly rose and jasmine) which is used on the human body. And the last one is base notes which have a woody smell as it used in most bathroom cleaner.
Now, you can find any kind of scent in the market it is only possible Because of the synthetic perfumes or scents which can be made in
natural oils form the plants or flowers,
So, this is the process by which perfume is made. Most of these steps don’t look that difficult but there is one thing which is the formula or “nose”. It is the most difficult part. Because not everyone can make a “nose” on its own.
Perfumes heavily depend upon the plants and the flower (expect the synthetic perfumes), making of perfumes can turn into a risk.
Hundreds and thousands of plants or flowers are needed to make perfumes and not all the flowers grow all the years they have seasons. Suppose a crop is damaged or destroyed by disease, so it would make difficult to make perfumes.
And not all the flowers and plants grow the same all around the world due to differences in climate and soil of that place which can also bring a change in the scent of the perfume.
We are also facing the extinction of some kind of animals all around the world. Suppose your scent is made by that animal product then it will be hard to make scent by those animals. And the number of killing animals is increasing day by day so the government is also banning the killing of the animals this also makes hard to make that same scent again.
So, this makes hard to gain control over naturals scent so people and industries are moving towards the synthetic scents which is cheaper as compare to others and also doesn’t harm any natural habitat.
As mention above natural perfumes are also difficult to produce and are also bad for nature. So, scientists have produced synthetic scents. In the near future, these scents will be the most available scent/perfume available. Because it is not much harmful to nature as natural perfumes.
Even now we can see these synthetic scents is a lot of products like toilet cleaner, air freshener, and etc. so, it is possible to see more and more synthetic perfumes in the market.
I have told you about the perfumes and how they are made. I even have shared what are synthetic perfumes and how they are better for nature. If you like this article then please let me know.