Go to a florist shop and smell things. Ask exactly which flower is in which bouquet and smell it. Different flowers even from the same family will be recognizably different.
Go out in nature and smell things.
Order tiny vials of absolutes and essential oils from reputable dealers or even a trustworthy health food store. Smell repeatedly in various dilutions to fragrance free base or oil.
Jasmine will smell different from Egypt than Jasmine from India. Jasmine Sambac is clearly different than Jasmine Officinale.
Rose damask and Rose centifolia differ greatly even though both are rose. Damask and centifolia varieties will vary subtly from country to country...like the Bulgarian rose damask differs from Turkish rose damask.
There are at least half a dozen different kinds of lavender. All smell like lavender but all subtly different.
Ylang Ylang is distilled 3 different ways routinely and all the distillations smell unique.
There is no shortcut. When you are confident of recognition of one type, combine it with several others and test in various dilutions to see what the combo smells like.
That way you know what the natural base is. Then, go on to perfumes and you will have a good basic working knowledge of what you are smelling. Also, it will make you a better judge of how good the quality of the artificial chemical reproduction is and whether or not it agrees with your skin. (Most perfumes are a combo of artificial chemicals anyway, regardless of how expensive they are, unless you custom make your own from essential oils, absolutes, and bases.)
I suggest getting a good sample of artificial "fragrance oils" of individual scents to smell and judge various types of chemical reproductions of the organic essential oil. Some are much better than others and some agree with your skin more than others.
I don't know any other reliable way.
Think about it just like high quality cooking. You have to go and smell and test the batch of basil or oregano or peppers or cuts of meat, or whatever fresh batch you have and as I'm sure you know, they vary widely. The dried spices in cooking vary greatly from the fresh, and the quality does too. Even the oil bases vary just like cooking and you just have to smell the perfume component, just like you have to smell and taste in cooking. Some artificial butters are better than others. But nothing is exactly like real butter. And so on and so forth.....just like perfume.
Last edited by RosaMilena (2011-10-26 21:31:12)
The impermanence of life is what makes it so very precious. Carpe Noctem!