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Anna Zworykina answers F.A.Q.
WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED IN CREATING ANNA ZWORYKINA PERFUMES?
I create my perfumes exclusively from natural plant (very rarely animal) substances in the form they were extracted: as essential oils, absolutes, concretes, resins, alcohol or oil infusions, or pomades, resulting from home enfleurage.
With some rare exceptions, extractions are not modified; certain parts are not separated to enhance best aromatic qualities.
All materials are 100% natural. I get them from trusted suppliers in the US.
Some materials are "certified organic", however, Anna Zworykina Perfumes are not organic.
All my perfumes are alcohol based.
In creating my perfumes I do not use synthetic fragrances compounds and fixatives, synthetic musks and pheromones.
WHAT ARE YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GETTING TO KNOW NATURAL FRAGRANCES WHO ARE FAMILIAR ONLY WITH SYNTHETIC MOLECULE BASED PERFUMES?
Try natural perfumes only on the skin. Smelling perfumes in a bottle or on a blotter strip may create a distorted impression about a fragrance because natural perfumes are meant to be used only on the skin or on the clothes.
While you get to know natural perfumes always follow the safety rules that I describe in the next section.
Before trying on perfumes that were delivered by mail, especially during colder seasons, let them sit in the room temperature for a few days.
Standard places for applying a fragrance are the wrists and inside of your elbows. Natural fragrances have a tendency to change significantly as they develop. What you smell during the first minute after applying, in a couple of minutes and in ten minutes will differ. Skip the first ten to fifteen seconds, letting the alcohol evaporate from the skin.
I recommend introducing yourself to one fragrance in one day because comparing to synthetic perfumes, natural ones have a much more complex structure and they unveil in unpredictable ways. Some spark brightly from the start while others need more time to fully shine.
It's recommended not to try more than two perfumes in one day. If you have to try more in a short period of time, refresh your olfactory receptors by drinking water or tea. I prefer warm, smooth-flavored green tea.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY RULES FOR USING NATURAL PERFUMES?
Certain essential oils and absolutes that are used in natural perfumes may cause allergies.
I advise those who are prone to allergic reactions, pregnant and nursing women, as well as people with chronic illnesses to be extra careful.
Before trying on natural perfumes, study the list of ingredients and consult with your doctor.
If you're prone to allergies, always perform an allergic reaction test before using a new perfume: apply perfume to the inside part of your elbow. If there is no sign of unpleasant reaction (redness, swelling, rash) in the course of a few hours, you may safely use the fragrance.
Before going outside into the sun, do not apply fragrances made from natural ingredients to the exposed parts of the skin because some essential oils may cause the skin to become extra sensitive to various kinds of ultraviolet light.
WHAT IS A RIGHT WAY TO STORING NATURAL PERFUMES AND WHAT IS THEIR EXPIRATION TIME?
Keep perfumes away from abrupt temperature changes and store them in a dark place.
I would not recommend to store perfumes in a very humid place.
Natural perfumes that do not contain citrus oils that are easily oxidisable, can live for up to 5 yeas. Light, citrusy fragrances for up to a year and a half to two years.
Perfumes will not turn to poison after that but will loose their initial brightness of fragrance.
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR NATURAL PERFUMES TO GO BAD?
Natural ingredients contained in perfumes slowly change over time. For example, citrus oils are oxidized loosing brightness of the fragrance.
Perfumes cannot turn "bad" or "sour", because it's an alcohol based compound of aromatic extracts that does not contain water.
However, if a perfume bottle is not properly closed and kept in a very humid place, perfume's structure may change.
Perfumes in sample vials are not meant to be stored for many years.
HOW LONG-LASTING ARE NATURAL PERFUMES? WHAT IS THEIR LONGEVITY?
Natural perfumes can last from 1-1,5 hour for Eau de toilette concentration to a few days (applied to hair or clothing) for Eau de parfum or Parfum concentration.
Lasting time also depends on a perfume group. For example, fragrances from the "citrus" group tend to disappear from the skin faster than those from the "oriental" group.
Natural and "not only natural" but otherwise similar fragrances from the same group of perfumes taken in the same concentration will have different lasting times.
"Not only natural" ones will retain their scent longer because of added fixatives. The lighter the fragrance is, the faster it will vanish from the skin if it's not anchored by fixatives which is typically done in "not only natural" perfumery.
At the same time more complex perfume compounds in oriental style that contain more basic aromatic ingredients can easily compete with similar "not only natural" fragrances of the same concentration level.
WHERE DO YOU RECOMMEND TO APPLY NATURAL PERFUMES?
Where to apply a perfume depends on what scent longevity and intensity you expect to get. Usually, perfumes are applied to the "pulse points" - the inner wrists, neck, behind the ears, inside of the elbows, dip on the collar bone. It is done so because the temperature is higher where blood vessels are closer to the skin which makes fragrance molecules evaporate faster, emanating scent from the skin.
Usually fragrances last much longer on the hair and clothing than on the skin.
So, if you especially value scent's longevity - apply perfume to the hair or to the clothing if it's dark enough not to be stained or if perfume is colorless