~ If you have sensitive skin, patch test a perfume before normal wear.
~ Exercise common sense when applying perfume, as it can stain fabric.
~ Store perfume in a dark, cool place.
Q: What is "perfume," exactly?
A: "Perfume" denotes the highest concentration of fragrant ingredients, usually around 30% of the final product. By comparison, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, and cologne are more diluted. The pure jus of a perfume contains essential oils, absolutes, extracts, and synthetic aroma molecules.
Q: How does perfume differ from essential oils?
A: Essential oils should not be applied or ingested in pure form because they are too powerful. Diluting essential oils with a carrier such as alcohol, wax, or oil is the same as making perfume. Perfumery takes this process a step further by creating a complex blend of aromatic ingredients known as the jus. Like pure essential oils, perfume jus must be diluted prior to wear. We dilute ours to a 30% concentration - safe, but still very powerful.
Q: Where is your perfume made?
A: In Boyce, Virginia with ingredients from all over the world. We are always looking for suppliers of high-quality ingredients, especially local suppliers. Please contact us if you have ingredients to offer.
Q: Why is real perfume so expensive?
A: The ingredients are extremely precious. It takes four tons of rose blossoms to make one kilogram of Rose Otto, and it requires millions of jasmine blossoms to create a single pound of the absolute. That said, the average cost of the ingredients in a $100 bottle of celebrity fragrance is less than two dollars because the liquid is largely artificial. Here at the Virginia Perfume Company, we keep our overhead to a minimum so that you are paying for artisan labor and for the natural ingredients in the perfume itself.
Q: How should I wear your perfume?
A: We like to apply perfume on the nape of the neck, behind the ears or knees, in the crook of the elbow, the forearm, and on the wrist. We also like to get a light amount on our clothing. Be careful, though, as many of our perfumes contain oils that will stain. If you have sensitive skin, apply perfume to a handkerchief like they did as they did in the old days.
Q: Spray or dab?
A: Both our 5 mL Travel Bottles and our 30 mL Proper Bottles come with an atomizer. You can unscrew the atomizer and use the tube to dab, according to your preference.
Q: Why does my perfume smell differently after a few hours?
A: Perfume consists of top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The top notes are what you smell right out of the bottle. They are bright and fresh. The effervescence that makes these scents appealing also means that they don't last long. When the top notes disappear, they make way for heavier florals, spices, and woody scents that comprise the middle notes. After you have worn a perfume for hours, the top and middle notes will have faded, and you are left with the resinous, musky, vanilla, powdery, and/or amber base notes. You shouldn't judge by the top notes alone. Evaluate the entire character of a perfume as the notes unfold.
Q: How long will my perfume last on my body?
A: Some perfumes last longer than others. Citrus, herbs, and delicate flowers are fleeting compared with heavier florals, woods, musks, and resins. Perfume will last different lengths of time depending upon your body chemistry, as well as the ambient temperature and humidity. We offer 5 mL Travel Bottles so that you can carry perfume with you for re-application during the day.
Q: How long will my perfume last in the bottle?
A: Your perfume will last for years if you avoid exposure to heat and sunlight. That said, fresh citrus and herbal perfumes will deteriorate more rapidly.
Q: What makes your perfume special?
A: Read about our perfumer's creative process here.
Q: Do you make eau de toilette?
A: No. We don't wish to dilute our perfume recipes, because the resulting products are inferior.
Q: Do you make oil-based or solid perfume?
A: Yes. We are currently developing a line of beeswax and jojoba-based perfumes that are intended for chakra aromatherapy.
Q: Do you make scented candles, soap, lotion, or other fragrant products?
A: Not yet, but we are considering these options for the future.
Q: Where can I go to experience your perfumes?
A: We will occasionally take part in events where our perfumes can be experienced. To be notified of upcoming events, please join our mailing list.
Q: Do your perfumes contain chemicals?
A: Yes. The majority of our ingredients are natural, but all-natural perfumes suffer from several disadvantages: many natural oils are fleeting, quickly absorbed by the skin, and lack the incredible range of effects that science has to offer. Not all man-made chemistry is bad! The judicious use of synthetic aroma molecules can extend and enhance natural oils, and if done properly, the perfume will have a far superior character. To give a fine art analogy, painting with all-natural pigments is drab compared with a skillful mixture of natural and synthetic colors. We emphasize natural ingredients and support their beauty with scientific innovation.
Q: Do your perfumes contain animal products?
A: Yes, and we are mindful of their origins. In the tradition of old-world fragrance, our perfumes contain small amounts of beach-cast ambergris, farm-raised civet, and farm-raised musk. We understand that you may not wish to use animal products in any way, and we respectfully recommend that you explore 100% plant-based perfumery. There again, exercise caution about the use of ingredients that endanger our natural environment.
Q: Do you use animal testing?
Q: Is your perfume aromatherapeutic?
A: Our perfumes offer the therapeutic benefits of the pure essential oils and extracts from which they are made. We love aromatherapy and prefer our perfumes to oils because they last longer, and their complex structure provides a wonderful evolution of scent.
Q: What is your training in aromatherapy?
A: Kelly Heaton is a self-taught perfumer who has spent many years studying energy and frequencies in her artwork. The chakras of the human body are responsive to visual, auditory, tactile, emotional, and olfactory frequencies alike. We are fascinated by the interplay among the senses, and we are motivated to create perfumed "spectra" that make people feel good.
Q: Are your perfumes safe?
A: We certainly hope so, because we wear them every day! We refer to standards set by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) for safe use of ingredients. However, some ingredients can be irritating to people with sensitive skin. If you have concerns, patch test a perfume and exercise common sense in the amount, location, and frequency that you apply it.
Q: Do your perfumes contain allergenic ingredients?
A: Although we follow IFRA guidelines, certain aromatic materials are potential allergens. These ingredients include: Clove and Eugenol, Cinnamon, Benzoin, Tolu Balsam, Peru Balsam, Oakmoss, Birch tar, and Coumarin. If you are concerned about allergies, we suggest that you try perfuming a handkerchief.
Q: Will you make custom perfume?
A: Yes, but it is very expensive. We know of companies that offer custom fragrances at an affordable price, but a comparison with what we do is "apples and oranges." We do not have prepackaged mixtures of fragrance that we combine to make a new perfume. We compose every formula from scratch, and this is a time-consuming process. To give you an analogy, our approach is like fine art painting, whereas inexpensive custom fragrance is like paint-by-numbers. If you are interested in our style of custom perfumery, please contact us for more information.
Q: How do I purchase your perfume?
A: Please visit our online store to place an order.
Q: What if I don't want to buy perfume on the Internet?
A: Please join our mailing list to be notified of special events where you can experience our perfumes in person.
Q: Once I place an order, how long will it take for me to receive my perfume?
A: Approximately three weeks. We are not a factory for mass-produced fragrance. Our perfumes are made-to-order in small batches and this takes time. If you need your perfume faster, contact us and we will do our best to deliver as quickly as possible.
Q: What if I don't like the perfume that I ordered?
A: Please contact us with your feedback and concerns! We want all of our customers to be happy.
If you have questions that we did not address, please contact us: email@example.com