Tips for Blending Fragrances

As everyone who uses perfumes, colognes and similar products knows fragrances shopping is a very personal experience.  You are, after all, trying to find a scent that is special and uniquely you.  Well, the best way to achieve this kind of customization is by mastering the art of blending fragrances in order to create something truly unique.  But what are the essentials of fragrance pairing?  What does one have to know about this science/art?  Here are some tips to help you create your own fragrance blends.Blending Fragrances

Define the kind of scent you are trying to create:  There are scents that are floral, fruity, masculine, sweet, etc.  Once you have made this determination begin to choose scents that are in the same category and begin to experiment.

Learn how to identify essential oil notes:  Blends are comprised of top, middle and base notes.  Top notes are the strongest most noticeable aroma; middle notes last longer than top notes but are not as strong and finally base notes last the longest.

Know the basics of essential oil blending:  As pointed out above, scents can be woodsy, minty, spicy, based on oriental ingredients, etc.  Learn the fragrances that blend particularly well together.  For example, floral blend pair well spicy, citrusy and woodsy essential oils.

Consider the strength:  Each fragrance you add to your blend will most likely vary in intensity.  One fragrance should not overwhelm the other.  If it does then you need to go back to the drawing board so to speak and continue mixing until you have a greater balance of the fragrances.

Use an eye dropper:  You will want to use an eye dropper in order to be more precise when creating your blend.  This will help later when you are trying to make adjustments to your fragrance.

Label your blend:  Once you have blended your new fragrance place it in a separate container and put it aside.  You may also wish to write down how you achieved your new blend so that it can be more easily replicated.

At Lily Direct we have many aromas for you to choose from.  You can begin your experimentation with a variety of the most popular fragrances on the market including essential oils, etc.  We’re sure that aided by these tips and a visit to our store you will create a blend that is deeply personal and absolutely distinctive.


How to Tell if your Perfume has Gone off

Does something seem to be amiss about the smell of your favorite perfume?  Have you noticed that your favorite fragrance containing citrus notes that no longer smell as citrusy?  Well, if you’ve noticed either of these things then the answer to this mystery is quite simple – perfumes expire.  They go bad.  As much as we would like to think that our favorite fragrance is eternal, the bottle of perfume you buy is not.  This is because perfumes are a complex balance of many ingredients that work together to produce just the right scent we desire but that also, over time, change chemically.  For example, the natural oil in many perfumes comes from a long chain of substituted allyl aromatics which are susceptible to decomposition and bacterial growth.  This is a fact that many people are blissfully unaware of as they choose their favorite fragrance.  Moreover, the reality that fragrances do expire is obscured by the fact perfumes do not come with expiration dates stamped on them.

Tests for whether your perfume has gone off

The Nose Test:  Ultimately, then the best way to tell if your perfume has gone bad is the same way you chose it in the first place – smell it.  If it smells “off” it probably is.  If the smell is not one you are used to then toss it out.

The Color Test:  Color changes – getting darker for example – are not a normal process in colognes.  Color changes signify chemical changes and these changes mean that the fragrance has reached the end of its life.

Look at the label:  As stated earlier, perfumes do not come with a “use by” date stamped on them.  Still there are ways to tell if your perfume may have a particularly short lifespan by reading the label on the bottle before buying it.  Some ingredients are notorious for shortening the life of perfume.  (One example is listed in the first part of this article.)  For example, perfumes containing natural ingredients tend to last less time than those containing artificial ingredients.

If all this seems discouraging there are some ways to extend the life of your favorite fragrance.  First, know that many perfumes containing essential oils last 6 years on average.  Next, minimize the contact your perfume has with oxygen and direct sunlight.  Store your perfume in dark, cool place in order to extend its life.  Finally, minimize your perfume’s contact with heat which is another natural accelerant to the aging process of fragrances.  Try these tips and you may spare yourself the disappointment of watching your favorite fragrance go to waste.

Great Perfume Houses- Penhaligon’s

What is the measure of a great company?  It is longevity?  Is it the popularity it enjoys with the public?  Is it the dedication that company has to innovation?  It is the respect it has garnered from its peers?  Penhaligon’s – which was established in 1870 by William Penhaligon as a hairdressing salon and later evolved into a fragrance house – claims all four achievements.  Penhaligon grew his business the old fashioned way – by making and using only the best ingredients for the perfumes which were originally inspired by the aromas wafting from the London’s Turkish baths.  These elemental fragrances would later be refined and developed from his original shop on Jermym Street in London and at a second shop at 33 James Street.  Eventually Penhaligon’s opened a shop in 1975 in Convent Garden with the help of Italian film director Franco Zeffirelli.  His original fragrance formulas would live on and be recognized for the truly unique and distinctive mixes that makes them bestsellers to this day.  This is especially true of his Bluebell fragrance.

Today the company has continued to evolve diversifying into the field of fragrance including bath and body products, gentlemen’s grooming items, candles and gifts such as hand creams, lip balms and even an elegant oval scent bottle necklace.  Penhaligon’s scents are so well respected and so known by its users to be made from the finest ingredients like jasmine and hand-squeezed bergamot that it has long been used by the British royal family itself.  Penhaligon’s users know that they will experience a product that is based around old school formulas but one that is also made using the latest fragrance technology.  Its most notable products include:

  • Hammam Bouquet – 1872; the company’s first scent
  • Blenheim Bouquet – 1902; the company’s first bespoke fragrance for the Duke of Malborough at Blenheim Palace
  • Elizabethan Rose – 1984
  • Cornubia – 1991
  • LP No.9 for ladies – 1998
  • Artemisia – 2002; which was nominated for a FiFi Fragrance Foundation award in the Nouveau Niche category in 2002.
  • Bayolea – 2014; A modernized version of a bay rum tonic from Penhaligon’s archives

At Lily Direct we carry many of the products that are a result of this innovation and dedication to quality and that has made Penhaligon’s so well respected by its peers and well receive by its users.  These products include Penhaligon’s Sartorial Cologne for Men, its Bluebell Perfume for Women, its Blenheim Bouquet Cologne for Men and many other quality fragrances.  We invite you to see why the name Penhaligon has lasted for more than 145 years.

Some Tips for Men on Layering Fragrances

It’s one of the trickiest grooming habits to pull of successfully and one that is not made easy by the thousands of colognes, body washes, scented deodorants and aftershaves that are available on the market.  The grooming habit being referred to here is matching the right combination of fragrances together in just the right manner.  This grooming ritual is also referred to by many as “layering.”  Men in particular should be carefully when they layer fragrances so as to not create a heavy scent that is off-putting.  Layering in an incorrect way also has the effect of shortening the duration of the scent one has achieved.  Below are some tips for men on smart layering that will produce the effect of creating a long-lasting, distinct scent that will last all day long and into the night.

  • Simple is best:  Try mixing one or two-note fragrances together.  Vanilla, amber, or coconut-based scents go together well in particular.
  • Consider scent duration:  Different cosmetic products have different levels of intensity and duration.  For example, shower gel generally last for only seconds.  Cologne lasts longer than aftershave and of course under arm deodorant lasts all day.  Try using a neutral aftershave and deodorant and then pair it with more assertive colognes.
  • Go unscented:  If you believe your overall layering may become too overpowering try using unscented deodorant.  They have become increasingly popular and are very easy to find.
  • Don’t spray your clothes:  Mist your pulse points but don’t ruin your clothes.  Doing so risks creates an overbearing scent.
  • Use similar scents:  Don’t blend scents that are too diverse.  For example, if you are using one product with citrusy notes trying pairing it with a product with a similar base.
  • Know the difference between cologne and deodorant:  Deodorant is less assertive than cologne.  Generally, it is designed to keep you from having an unpleasant scent and keeps you from sweating.  Cologne is designed to make you smell better than deodorant would alone.  Don’t confuse the two and never, use one in place of the other.

Finally, following these tips should make layering a less confusing and tedious job.  It should also help make you and your aroma stand out in a positive way.  Men can be as capable and knowledgeable about this area of personal grooming as women and can make their colognes, aftershaves, etc., last the entire day.  The next time you apply these personal products remember it is more about doing so in the right combination as it is about the scent of any particular fragrance.


How Perfume Formulations have Changed in Past 20 Years

Back in the 1980s Coca Cola made either a huge marketing mistake or a genius move depending on how you look at it.  It changed its tried and tested formula for Coke for the first time in decades.  Immediately the public was outraged at such a move.  Coca Cola executives had to apologize and instantly return to the formula the public had come to love.  In the perfume industry reformulations are common and happen for a number of reasons such as companies finding cheaper ingredients, the decision to replace natural notes with synthetic substitutes and even trade restrictions involving certain ingredients.  What this means for consumers is that a particular cologne that they purchased back in the 1990s, for example, may have a different formulation altogether.  In fact, as little as two years ago Chanel and Dior were forced to reformulate perfumes under new EU laws.  The reason it gave was that these fragrances contain mosses which could cause allergies.  Another change that has been made in perfume formulas over the past 20 years is that there has been a push towards a classification of perfume known as “gourmand.”  Gourmand fragrance are perfumes that consists primarily of synthetic edible notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy as opposed to perfumes that contain floral notes.

As recently as 2008 the IFRA (the International Fragrance Association) issued restrictions on certain fragrance materials such as vanilla, jasmine, oakmoss, coumarin, birch tar, citrus oils, heliotropin and styrax.  This caused many manufacturers to change their formulas to come into compliance with these regulations.  The fact is perfume reformulations are being made more rapidly than in the past and this has some consumers concerned.  After all, people who wear perfume and cologne are very particular about the fragrance they have chosen.

All this means that your favorite perfumes may have been subtlety changed and may be continuing to “evolve” right under your nose.  The best way to determine if your favorite perfume has been altered recently is to trust your nose.  There are even several sites that list the formula changes for popular perfume brands.  Finally, perfume formulations are not as static as Coca Cola but the public has by in large learned to accept some of these changes.  Of course, there is nothing like having your old cologne or perfume…

Scents to Wear While Camping

Summer has finally arrived and many of the more intrepid among us are heading out onto the campgrounds to commune with nature and enjoy the company of our friends and family.  Before doing so we carefully pack and plan our trips in order to get the maximum experience from our long awaited vacation in the wild.  We pack the usual supplies such as a tents, sleeping bags, canteens, cooking equipment etc.  However, as we pack our various camping accoutrements we should also take special care in which toiletries and personal items such as soaps, lotions, toothpaste, deodorants, colognes and perfumes, etc.  This is because we are no longer in our homes when we are camping.  We are among wildlife.  Bears in particular have a keen sense of smell and have been known to be attracted by certain scents they interpret may be food.  So, how does one maintain proper hygiene and not offend others with our scent yet at the same time not place a welcome mat out for bears?  Here are some tips:

Scents to Use in Camping Sites with Bears

Neutral scents:  Wear colognes, perfumes and deodorants that have a neutral scent.  A bear’s sense of smell is much stronger than dog’s.  They can even smell toothpaste from miles away.  Be careful not to wear overpowering fragrances in the wild.

Use a Bear Bag:  If you do pack scented items pack them in a bear bag and hang this in a tree to dissuade bears from coming into your tent.

Stay Clean:  Wash your body with a soap that has a neutral scent.

Scents to Use in Camping Sites without Bears

Peppermint Oil:  Ants hate the smell of peppermint and this essential oil deters them from ruining your meals.  Apply around your tent and container that hold your food.

Lavender Oil:  This essential oil is not only a great insect repellant but it also – in combination with Aloe Vera – can soothe rough skin.

Lemon, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Lemongrass oils:  The scent from these oils has been known to repel insects and is pleasant smelling to humans.  They can also be purchased as a mixture of the oils or separately.

Remember that as you go camping this year that Lily Direct has a variety of fragrances that are appropriate for all occasions.  Our fragrances are meant to be worn in settings as varied as intimate indoor situations or out in the wild with family and friends.



Great Perfume Houses Part 19

Great Perfume Houses Part 19

Our exploration of great the perfume houses from around the world continues. This week we’re going to take a look at the perfectly polished brand that is Davidoff

The Zino Davidoff Group, named for its founder, is a Swiss-based family business that produces luxury goods for a sophisticated customer. Zino Davidoff himself shaped everything the Davidoff brand represents to this day. His artistic eye and appreciation for the finer things in life helped create a truly refined company that produces products of the finest quality. Whether we’re talking Davidoff accessories or leather goods, cognac or fragrances— whatever the product, you can be sure that it will be of superior quality and complete reliability. The Davidoff philosophy is simple: Perfection.

Davidoff fragrances are held to the same high standards of their other goods. Since the launch of the first Davidoff fragrance in 1984, the brand has become one of the most iconic fragrance brands in the world. In 1988, Davidoff introduced one of the most successful fragrances ever: Cool Water Cologne. Cool Water was referred to as a “new freshness,” and it has been said to capture “strength, nature and purity” in a bottle.

Since the introduction of Cool Water, Davidoff has released many more delightful fragrances such as Champion Cologne and Cool Water Perfume for Women. You can find these, and many other Davidoff fragrances, at great prices on Lily Direct.

Great Perfume Houses Part 12

I"Lily Direct"t’s about that time perfume lovers—time for our bi-weekly look into the history of some of the great perfume houses from around the world. This week, we’re going to take a look at the chic history behind the Givenchy Couture House…

Hubert James Taffin de Givenchy was born in 1927 to an aristocratic family in the French city of Beauvais. He showed an interest in fashion, fabrics, architecture and design from a young age and left his home at the age of 17 for the promise of opportunity in Paris."Lily Direct""Lily Direct"

In 1952, after 8 years of various apprenticeships under renowned designers, Hubert de Givenchy opened his first Couture House in Paris. Givenchy established his unique brand by launching a bold and beautiful separates collection.

Shortly after opening his Couture House, Givenchy met the woman who would become his iconic muse. He was sent to dress Audrey Hepburn for the movie “Sabrina” and it’s said that something just clicked between them. The two style icons went on to enjoy a 40-year friendship.

Givenchy’s first fragrance—which was released in 1957—was originally created as an exclusive homage to his muse.  L’Interdit Perfume by Givenchy is said to possess a unique mix of fashion, grace and spontaneity, much like the woman who inspired it. Even the name of the fragrance was inspired by Audrey Hepburn; upon learning that her personal fragrance would be released to the general public, Hepburn apparently shouted out this French exclamation which is akin to the English term “oh my!”

The next fragrance Givenchy released was a widely distributed men’s fragrance called Monsieur. Ever since it’s release in 1959, Monsieur has been considered the quintessential expression of French, masculine seduction and impeccable elegance.

Givenchy continued to release elegant fragrance after elegant fragrance for years. Hubert de Givenchy himself created Givenchy Gentlemen Eau de Toilette in 1975. 1984 saw the release of "Givenchy", which is a powerful and seductive fragrance for the multi-facetted woman…. To name each and every one of Givenchy’s exquisite fragrances would take an article all on its own.

Hubert de Givenchy sold his company to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy in 1988, though he did not retire until 1995. But the elegance and glamour of the Givenchy name still lives on today.

You can find a wide selection of men’s and women’s Givenchy fragrances at prices you’ll love right here on Lily Direct—your home for all the discount fragrances your heart desires.

Fragrance Etiquette

Whether you’re a man or a woman; whether you’re wearing perfume or cologne; whether you’re going to work or to a party; whatever the circumstances, whatever your gender, there is a certain fragrance etiquette that one should always follow. So this week we are going to lay out some of the Dos and Don’ts of fragrance use.

DO apply your fragrance straight out of the shower, while still nude: Your skin’s warmth diffuses your fragrance to perfection. It’s your body chemistry that completes the scent of a fragrance, which is why it should go on your bare skin rather than your clothing. For a spray fragrance, hold the bottle about six inches from your body and spritz one pump to each wrist, your neck and the back of each knee.

DON’T over spray yourself: A fragrance is meant to draw people in, not assault every person that walks in your direction. People should have to be close to you in order to smell you.

DO wear what you love:  Choose scents based on your personality and body chemistry. If you don’t absolutely love what you’re wearing, chances are it doesn’t represent who you are.

DON’T be afraid to mix things up: Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try out different scents, choose a signature scent, experiment with layering, switch your scents up with the seasons… whatever you want to do, just have fun with your fragrances.

DO wear a special scent for special events: This is my personal favorite. If you choose a special scent for a special occasion, then every time you wear that scent in the future you’ll recall that fond memory.

DON’T rub your wrists together after you’ve sprayed them: The friction created by rubbing your wrists together crushes the molecules in your fragrance and changes the scent.

Spray in your hair? Some say DO some say Don’t: While some beauty gurus advocate for spritzing your fragrance in your hair for an all over scent that lasts all day long; others say the alcohol base of most scents could dry out your scalp so it’s best to leave the spritzing to your torso and limbs. So I’ll leave this one up to you.

If you follow these simple do’s and don’ts"Diamonds and Emeralds" of fragrance etiquette, you’ll be sure to get noticed no matter what you’re doing. And always remember: Whether it’s Diamonds & Emerald Perfume by Elizabeth Taylor that mixes perfectly with your body chemistry or it’s Eternity Cologne by Calvin Klein that puts a smile on your face, Lily Direct has all the discount fragrances you love!

Great Perfume Houses Part 10

Here we go again perfume lovers! It’s time for the 10th installment of our bi-weekly presentation of the great perfume houses. We liked exploring the history of an American fashion house last week so much that we’ve decided to stay in the U.S. again this week.

Roy Halston Frowick was born on April 23, 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa. Halston’s mother was a seamstress and it was through her that he discovered his love of sewing early on in life. Halston began creating hats and altering clothes when he was just a boy.

Halston began his career in fashion as a milliner, and it was actually a hat that catapulted him to fame. He designed the pillbox hat that Jackie Kennedy wore to her husband’s presidential inauguration in 1961. The instant and immense popularity of Halston’s pillbox hat gave him the platform he needed to move on to designing women’sJackie-O wear.

Roy Halston dressed many celebrities throughout his career but he also became a celebrity in his own right. In his heyday, Halston ran with the biggest celebs and frequented the hottest hot spots of the time. Everyone wanted to wear him, be him and be around him. Halston himself embodied glamour and his elegant, timeless designs are still coveHalston and Lizated today.

The chic style that was Halston designs was translated into fragrance form in 1975 when Max Factor released Halston Perfume by Halston. The idea behind Halston’s fragrances mimicked that of his designs—his scents were just as easy to wear and equally as stylish. Since the release of his first fragrance, scents such as Halston Z-14 Cologne by Halston have continued to be coveted by fragrance lovers and fashionistas alike.

Whether you’re looking for a Halston fragrance or you have another perfume house in mind, Lily Direct offers the elegant fragrances you desire at prices you’re sure to love! Our discount fragrance prices blow our competition out of the water. Take a look around our wide selection of scents today.