They say that it is the most intense form of memory. They also say that the man will not remember the bag or shoes that we have been with, but he will surely remember our fragrance. Our essence is made up of emotions, and one of the most pleasant ways to pamper our emotions is to smell pleasantly, boldly, exciting, in a memorizing way … the way we want it.

Today, I will meet you with the irresistible Petya Petkova, whose professional career and passion merge into one, to make some of the most attractive things for a woman – perfumes, cosmetics, skin care – a way of life. She will strike us with charm and useful tips on how to really use the magic of fragrances.

WM: What is the difference between eau de parfume, eau de toilette, eau de cologne?

Petya: The difference between the three is much more than just a difference in perfume concentration. The fact is that there is a difference in the percentage of perfume essence – with edp (eau de parfume) it is higher than with edt (eau de toilette). The truth, however, is that this does not always have a direct link to the durability of the fragrance, and the most significant difference between the two lies in the composition. For example, if we have edt and edp of the same fragrance series, that is, with the same name, the difference between the two is most often in the different notes that are used to play with the aroma, to enrich or to make it more etheric, to transform it into more Oriental or fresher, and sometimes even to become a completely new perfume sensation but part of the same fragrance line. There is also a difference in the way the structure is built – for instance, with edt, the main beauty of the fragrance is concentrated in the top notes – those we smell initially after perfume spraying, while with edp the accent is on the middle and bottom notes that develops over the skin after a while. Eau de cologne fragrances are known for their lack of base and they have the lowest percentage of perfume concentration, and are exclusively fresh and light. Their name comes from Cologne – the story is that at the beginning of the 18th century, an Italian perfumer, residing in Germany, created a scent to remind him of a fresh spring morning in Italy by mixing mainly citrus essential oils. The fragrance is named “Cologne water” or “eau de cologne” in honor of his new home.

WM: When we want to try a new fragrance in the store, for example, where is it better to spray it, on our skin or on any of the testing strips left for that purpose? Why?

Petya: The so-called blotters that are available in the stores for fragrance testing are more about getting the first impression of the perfume. My advice is to try a few fragrances on blotters and the two you liked the most to spray on both hands, because on the skin we can best feel how the fragrance fit us and how it develops. It is especially important not to rub your hands on each other after applying the aroma – let it develop naturally on the skin!

WM: How long is it normal the scent to be retained on our skin?

Petya: I would not say there is a specific “norm” in this case. Of course the aroma should be retained on the skin at least a few hours, but the durability of perfumes depends on a few things – mostly the ingredients and notes, the composition, but also how our own skin will accept the perfume – it happens the same fragrance to have a different durability over different people.

WM: What are these places on our body that retain the most the fragrance?

Petya: You’ve probably heard that it is better for the ladies to apply their perfume to the so-called “pulse” points – behind the ears, inside the wrist, the crook of the arm, even behind the knees. This is due more to the fact that from the heat of the skin there and the pulse of the arteries that are near the surface of the skin at these points, the emitted fragrance will be stronger. There is another “secret” for durability, however, and it is that on hydrated skin perfumes last much longer. The molecules in the fragrances are “stuck” to the surface of the skin, and when it is hydrated, it retains the aroma much better. For this, it is best to perfume after a bath, after applying a moisturizing body lotion, and at best – use a lotion or body cream with the fragrance of our perfume. So you overlay the fragrance and guarantee not only durability but also a captivating aromatic trail without the perfume being persistent. The hair also keeps extremely long the aroma, but never spray it directly unless it’s a hair perfume – the usual fragrances dry out a lot the hair and may damage it if you spray it directly against your hair.

WM: What is the reason one and the same scent to smell differently on different skins?

Petya: People are different, our bodies also – different hormones, sebum, body warmth. As the skin of our face reacts individually to cosmetics, so the skin of our body does not react equally to fragrances. It is possible that the same perfume smells differently even on yourself in the event of hormonal changes or at different ages.

WM: Do fragrances affect our mood?

Petya: Definitely! A perfume can totally change our radiance, even our self-perception, make us feel different. There are fragrances that smell of weekend, others that smell of an elegant evening out, and others that smell of love! All of this is extremely individual, because the sense of smell in human is very much connected with the subconscious, and everyone, based on their own experiences, makes different associations with different fragrances and they affect us in a different way.

WM: What are the top trends in perfumes for 2018?

Petya: Over the past 2-3 years, we have witnessed a wave of syrupy, gourmet scents, sweeter and warmer as a feeling … but the trends are changing. The predictions are that this year the floral, wood fragrances will predominate. Either way, when choosing a perfume, the last thing we should be interested in is what is “modern”. Perfume is a reflection of ourselves and, in my opinion, this is the more important thing to guide us.

WM: Which is supposed to be the absolute female and male flavor of the year?

Petya: It is too early to say. We are expecting an interesting year in the perfume world with new names as well as interpretations of already existing fragrances and I will also watch with interest how the market will develop because I am sure the perfume brands have prepared surprises!

WM: And what are your favorites?

Petya: Oh, that’s a tough question … as a person working in the field and dealing with it, I am constantly trying out new and new fragrances and I always like something new or I rediscover something older. At home on my dressing table I have about 30 perfumes I’ve chosen for myself (and I know people with significantly more fragrances in their personal collection!) and I find it hard to identify only 1 or 2, because for each one of them there is a suitable mood, day or case. I like fragrances with character, no matter whether they are fresher or more oriental, I love my perfume to talk to me and to complement me without interrupting me.

WM: The Internet abounds with great maxims and quotes dedicated to the theme of perfumes – do you have your favorites and which are they?

Petya: In fact I have two favorites, yes, and both of them are by Christian Dior, who, besides a designer, has talked about himself also as a perfumer:

“Perfume is an indispensable compliment to the personality of a woman, the finishing touch to a dress!” – Something I find that I think from time to time about ,while preparing to get out of the house

“Long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers.”

… and remember that Einstein has said that not every quote you read online is real!

Photo: Personal archives

My name is Petya Petkova and for 5 years I have been working in the field of selective cosmetics. For more than a year I have been a trainer for Bulgaria of a few high-end perfume brands, as well as skin and make-up care. The work is my passion – diverse, interesting and dynamic and it is also my hobby. You can find me at my Instagram profile petkova.p.beaute, which I have identified as my personal beauty space where I share interesting information, stories and innovations.

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