The Basics of Fragrances

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Most of us wear perfumes almost everyday, but do you know where the scent comes from and how it was made?

How Fragrances are Made
A lot of fragrances today have synthetic ingredients, but flowers are the most essential on the list. You can liken the importance of flowers in creating fragrances to the importance of grapes in making different types of wine. The species of the flower, season, climate and soil, and the amount used will decide the outcome of the scent. Two of the most important flowers used are rose and jasmine, and there are techniques in harvesting the flowers at the right season and at the right time of the day.

Once the flowers are harvested, the extraction of the oils begins right after the flowers are picked so that they don’t lose the oil. The flowers are placed in trays and immersed in solvent so that floral wax can be obtained. The fatty oils are separated from the essential oils to create an absolute, which is the main ingredient needed to make perfume. Another way to extract oils is through the distillation process, but this method leaves some of the aroma of the flowers.

Not all flowers can produce essential oils, that is why synthetic products are required as replacement for the intended scent. Some fragrances also contain animal products for fixatives so that the scent does not evaporate too quickly once the bottle is opened and to make the scent last longer. Two other important ingredients are water and alcohol, which are used to dilute the ingredients. The ratio of the essential oils to alcohol determines the type of fragrance. It could be parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau fraiche.

Types of Fragrances
All scents can be classified into four major families, regardless if it’s a designer or a niche fragrance. Floral notes consist of floral, fruity, soft floral, and floral oriental. Oriental notes are made up of woody oriental, soft oriental, oriental, and woods. Woody notes consist of woods, mossy woods, dry woods, and aromatic. While fresh notes are made up of citrus, water, green, and fruity.

When you spray the fragrance on your skin, it goes through a three-part life cycle. The cycle determines the scent that will come out once the perfume starts to evaporate or interact with your body. The top note lasts for up to 2 hours and has a light smell right after the application. The medium note, sometimes called heart note, is the main scent of the fragrance that lasts for about 5 hours. The base note is a bold scent that you will detect after 5 hours and determines how long the fragrance will last on your skin.

When choosing fragrances, you can pick either from designer fragrances, which are commonly sold in stores and are mass produced, or niche fragrances on the other hand, which are more expensive than designer fragrances and are created by independent artists. The latter are usually made from higher quality ingredients are have bolder scents.

5 Ways to Increase Your English Vocabulary

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Needless to say, English is indeed the universal language. Regardless of your place of origin, it is a must to learn and speak the language to stay competitive globally. The world is changing, not only in languages, trading and economics. There are new words in the dictionary that were originally slang but are now accepted in the dictionary.

Here are five tips to increase your vocabulary and to keep up with conversations with people from all over the world:

1. Be a Bookworm
No matter how busy you seem to be, it won’t hurt to squeeze in a good read. Most people find reading relaxing and this might even do well for your vocabulary growth. Whether you’re in line waiting for your turn to pay or in the few minutes before a meeting starts, it may be a productive form of leisure and entertainment good for your comprehension and vocabulary.

2. Keep a Handy Dictionary
If by chance in your reading you encounter a new word, it’s best to keep a handy dictionary. Most phones cater to a dictionary app, so it’s convenient for us who live in this day and age. You can check as soon as possible any foreign word you may encounter, as well as its pronunciation.

3. Keep a Diary
Writing in a diary or a journal relieves you of anxieties, keeps tracks of your activities and schedules as well as makes records of people, places and events in your life. With this, you can play with words, chance to express your predicaments and make statements that would emphasize how you felt during said events or activities. Not to mention improving your choice of words as well.

4. Use a new word a day
With each new word you come to learn each day, try to look for chances where you can correctly and appropriately use such word. You may write emails to far distanced friends even for people at work as long as it’s appropriate. As they say, write as you would say it. So use big words sparingly.

5. Be Sociable
Talk to people. Both introverts and extroverts can use some handy new words. Whether you’re conversing on a variety of topics such as current events, economy, academe, politics and the others, you’ll find your vocabulary fully utilized as you go about in your socialization. Not only did you gain more connections in your network, you also exercised our valuable universal language.

No matter what profession we may be in, the medium with which we communicate plays a vital role in its success. A small breach in the communication process can be costly if not detrimental. How we relay the message is just as important as the message itself.

The Different Types of Coffee Beans, Roasts, and How to Store Them

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Before the beans end up as that familiar drink that you enjoy, they start off as berries on plants grown in different altitudes, soil acidity, and climates, depending on their variety. The berries don’t mature at the same time and are picked by hand.

Once the berries are harvested, they are often left to dry under the sun and raked regularly to prevent mold and mildew. Machines are then used to remove the beans’ husks before the beans are sent to another machine to remove any remaining skin.

Once only the beans remain, they are sorted and graded by size and weight before checked for imperfections. The beans that pass inspection are then marked and exported.

Common Coffee Bean Varieties
Though there are many different varieties grown all over the world, the two most common varieties that make up most of international demand in both industries and businesses are the following:

• Arabica – Sometimes called “gourmet coffee,” Arabica contains half the amount of caffeine found in Robusta and has a more pronounced flavor and aroma. Its name differs depending on the region it is grown.

• Robusta – Typically grown at elevations lower than those required by Arabica, Robusta earned its name for being less demanding when it comes to growing and maintaining, and has a higher amount of caffeine than the former.

While Arabica is used for more high-end consumption, it is the most common type of coffee sold all over the world, while Robusta is often used in instant coffee packets because of its relatively high caffeine content.

Types of Coffee Roasts
Before a bean is ground into powder and mixed with hot water to yield the caffeine boost everyone needs, it needs to be roasted with dry heat and constant airing. There are at least three major categories when it comes to roasts, varying in color from golden brown to almost black:

• Light – The original flavor of the bean is allowed to shine through when it is lightly roasted, thus giving it the lightest and most delicate flavor with the downside of being more acidic.
• Medium – While light roasts will appear more dry, medium-roasted beans will appear more chocolate brown in terms of appearance, and is characterized by a slightly sweeter flavor with much less acidity.
• Dark – When beans are roasted until their internal sugars start to caramelize and their oils appear to surface, the result is a flavor that is really strong, smoky, and in some cases, even spicy.

Storing Coffee
Aside from roasting, storage also has an impact on the flavor of coffee beans and the cup as a whole. Many external factors can destroy the bean’s flavor, such as oxygen, heat, and even light and moisture. This is why the ideal storage condition for beans is a cool, dry environment away from light and preferably airtight, as coffee can oxidize easily.

3 Ways to Have More Engaging Conversations

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Let’s face it, there are just some people that are good with conversations and there are just some people who are not that good at conversations. If you aren’t good at conversations, this doesn’t mean that you should stop. No, this means that you should improve! Ever wonder why some people just do not really take your conversation seriously some or maybe they just aren’t that interested? Well, there are two factors that could affect this, either something wrong with them or something wrong with you.

Here are a few ways to improve your conversation:

1. Emphasize
Sometimes during the conversation people, forget to emphasize the things that are most important and go on focusing on the side story. This usually leaves people in confusion and strays them away from the topic that you would actually want to discuss. A few ways to put emphasis on the topic you want to discuss.

To emphasize your topic, you can use of your tone of your voice or maybe even making use of pauses between talking. For example, pausing on the word or the topic you want to emphasize on will leave people time to reflect on what you just said. There are also times that you can play with the volume of your voice to focus on the topic just by saying it a little louder than the other ideas in your conversation.

2. Expound
What most people don’t realize is that it is perfectly fine to correct yourself during the conversation. Everyone makes mistakes unless of course you have what you want to say written down but that isn’t usually the case. Correcting yourself does not display weakness at all. In fact, it actually display strength. Strength because of how you are willing to admit the certain flaws within your conversation.

Now, let’s talk about expounding on your ideas. Expounding on your ideas is also equally important. If you say something and people can’t even understand what you’re talking about, most likely they’ll forget about it. But if you want people to remember, you should probably expound on that topic with a short and simplified explanation or maybe even give an example for them to fully understand.

3. Listen and Respond
Talking isn’t the only part of the conversation. Listening is definitely equally important. If you aren’t able to listen to the opinions, thoughts, or questions, then instead of a conversation, it would just be a speech. Give an equal amount of effort in listening as you give in talking. Of course, if people don’t have that much to say, don’t force them to talk. Just adjust to the level of becoming passive in the conversation. Listen and learn.

A Shopaholic’s Guide to Saving Money

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Did you just have an impulsive shopping spree and then complained about how poor you’ve become? Guess what, you’re not alone. Most women, whether or not they admit it, have probably gone through this phase in their life. The good thing is you still have enough time to build your savings account, and you can start by simply reading through and following these simple tips.


  1. Buy Expensive. It may sound contradicting, but buying high quality items can actually help you save in the long run. See your closet as a vault of your priced possessions, and only fill it with good quality basic and classic pieces that will surely last longer than the trendy frocks that are out in the market now. Remember, quantity will always be trumped by quality.
  1. Steer Clear From Discount Cards. Notice how some stores offer a ‘privilege’ or ‘loyalty’ card as you pay at the counter? Sure, it’ll give you some discount, but these cards are only marketing strategies that are designed to keep you coming back to the store for just a small discount, when in reality, you’re actually spending more.


  1. Shop with Cash. This trick is actually quite easy to do, but most shoppers tend to ignore this tip. Every time you shop, make it a habit to only purchase items that your pocket money can afford. This will teach you to save for something that you really like instead of piling up interests from failing to pay your credit card in full.
  1. Opt for a Low-Credit Card. Keeping a credit card in your wallet only fuels your desire to shop impulsively. A good way to keep you from doing it is to pick credit cards with the lowest limit, or use the extension that your mom and dad gave you during your college days. Most credit card companies message the parent card’s owner when a purchase is made, allowing you or your mom to monitor your purchases.
  1. Never Keep Your Card Details Online. There’s no doubt that online shopping is fun and very convenient, but it’s also important that you ensure that you never save your credit card details on the shopping site. This will keep you from being click happy and maxing out your card.

Even if you’re a certified shopaholic, saving money is still possible. Just be a wise shopper, follow the aforementioned tips and you’ll surely start building up your savings account in no time.



5 Ways to Beat Your Post-Vacation Blues

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Ending your vacation can be an emotional, rewarding and slightly draining experience. Having to get back to work, or your daily life in general, can be a source of discomfort, disorientation and distress since you can’t easily settle back in. But even with these negative feelings, it’s still possible to overcome your post-vacation blues by following these tips.


  1. Avoid Overdoing Your Itinerary. If there’s one thing that can bring about post-vacation blues, that would be overdoing your itinerary. Forcing in too many activities into your tight vacation schedule will only give the opposite of serenity. Avoid this by setting at least an hour for your mindless pursuits, such as hanging out in the poolside or lounging in your favourite coffee shop. You can also list down some good activity options, depending on your energy, budget and the weather.
  1. Return Smoothly. A good way to return to your usual routine after a long vacation is to reward yourself with a free day after your trip. Use this time to unpack, resettle in your home again and slowly get back into your regular routines.
  1. Manage Your Restlessness. Travelling often comes with a certain intensity that can be quite difficult to unwind from, and that’s what causes post-vacation restlessness. Other than that, restlessness can also be caused by not being able to do new and different things when you return home. This feeling usually fades away within three to six weeks of getting back to your daily life. A good way to wear it off is to take smaller day trips as you return from your trip.

family in the car

  1. Prolong Your Vacation High. Once you’ve returned home, start organizing the photos and keepsakes that you got from your trip. Update your blog, create a scrapbook or upload the photos that you took on your Facebook account. Doing this will help you reminisce the fun times of your trip. If you want, you can also display souvenirs on your work desk to prolong the high you got from your vacation, even if you’re sorting out hundreds of work emails.
  1. Start Saving Again. Another way to beat your post-vacation blues is to work on your next trip. Start mapping out your budget for next vacation by making a travel piggy bank, or looking for other ways to fund your next excursion. This will distract you from thinking about your previous trip and make you feel motivated to work to fund for your next trip.

Putting your vacation to an end can be a physically and emotionally draining experience, but by following these tips, you’ll surely be able to beat your post-vacation blues and return to your regular life.