Perfume is a mixture of fragrant essential oils and aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents used to give a pleasant smell.
The word perfume derives from the Latin perfumare, meaning "to smoke through". Perfumery, as the art of making perfumes, began in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, and was further refined by the Romans and Persians.
Perfume types reflect the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent, which in fine fragrance is typically ethanol or a mix of water and ethanol. Various sources differ considerably in the definitions of perfume types. The intensity and longevity of a perfume is based on the concentration, intensity and longevity of the aromatic compounds, or perfume oils, used. As the percentage of aromatic compounds increases, so does the intensity and longevity of the scent. Specific terms are used to describe a fragrance's approximate concentration by the percent of perfume oil in the volume of the final product.
Women's fragrances tend to have higher levels of aromatic compounds than men's fragrances. Fragrances marketed to men are typically sold as EdT or EdC, rarely as EdP or perfume extracts. Women's fragrances used to be common in all levels of concentration, but today are mainly seen in parfum, EdP and EdT concentrations
Perfume oils are often diluted with a solvent, though this is not always the case, and its necessity is disputed. By far the most common solvent for perfume oil dilution is an alcohol solution typically a mixture of ethanol and water or a rectified spirit. Perfume oil can also be diluted by means of neutral-smelling oils such as fractionated coconut oil, or liquid waxes such as jojoba oil. Perfume oils usually contain tens to hundreds of ingredients and these are typically organized in a perfume for the specific role they will play.