Libertine fragrances first came as perfume oils. We have since expanded to include eau de parfum versions. This is pretty backwards to how perfume brands usually evolve but to be frank I try keep a fair distance from myself and how other perfume houses operate.
Perfume oils and traditional perfumes act very differently so I will discuss why they are so different and what to expect with each so that you can make the best choice for you whether it be a Libertine fragrance or any of the number of other brands that have begun to offer perfume oils.
Traditional perfume is blended into Ethanol. This perfumer's alcohol is essentially 95℅ denatured alcohol. There are many benefits to using Ethanol including its ability to dissolve both polar and non-polar ingredients (ohhh science) but for the wearer the main benefit is how quickly it evaporates. As soon as that cool puff of your favorite perfume mists across your skin the perfumer’s alcohol begins evaporating and is gone within seconds. This leaves only the carefully blended aroma materials which based on their own molecular weights evaporate at different rates, creating the invisible aura of aroma that lingers with us throughout the day.
There are a other benefits of alcohol based perfumes as well. The first is that the story the perfume tells as it evaporated from your body can be more dramatic. The perfume is able to reveal itself in distinct stages throughout the day, first introducing the vibrant buzzing top notes (think juicy citrus) and slowly swaying thought the heart notes until only the lingering reflective base notes (think incense, or musks). The second benefit is increased sillage, or from how far away the perfume can be detected. Alcohol based perfumes allow your chosen scent to gently linger throughout the room, becoming the final element of your wardrobe, an extension of the mood you want to project.
Though perfumers alcohol is the vehicle of choice for most perfume companies today, perfume oils have been around much longer. In fact they are a major part of the history of the ancient world. The Egyptians included aroma as a major part of daily life as well as all religious ritual. Herbs, flowers and other plant material would be soaked in oils and fats until the scent was fully absorbed. They would be adorned daily by both men and women and they are one of the reasons ingredients like frankincense and myrrh were so incredibly treasured. Perfume oils are beautiful products, helping to moisturize and heal the skin as well as delivering your favorite aromas to you. The main difference between perfume oils and alcohol is that the sillage is much more personal with oils. Whereas alcohol immediately evaporates, the oil holds on to the scent until your skin has absorbed the oils. The scent of the perfume then sticks closer to the body making for a much more personal experience. Perfume oils are wonderful if you would like to keep the scent for yourself and those that will get close to you. If alcohol based perfumes are the final element of your wardrobe, perfume oils could be considered a sexy pair of underwear. You feel amazing wearing it even if all those in the room don’t see it and it is very enticing for whoever does get it see… ahem, smell you up close.
The second difference is that oils have a lifespan that alcohol does not. All perfumes, but perfume oils especially should be kept away from light and excessive heat and moisture (aka not in the bathroom). Most carrier oils kept in the right conditions can last for about two years. Certain oils such as fractionated coconut oils or jojoba can be kept almost indefinitely but it is always important to take care of them.
The stories and history attached to both types of perfume are endlessly fascinating and Libertine is proud to carry our scents in both versions.