What Is Fragrance?


Fragrance (from Latin perfurare, to smoke through) is a liquid which people put on their skin to make it smell nice. It is believed that perfume was used in some of the earliest human civilizations. The modern fragrance industry began in the 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds, which made it possible to create scents that were impossible to obtain solely from natural aromatic materials. Perfumes are marketed in concentrations ranging from an extrait to an EdP or EdC, with the oil content being different among perfume houses within a family of fragrances.

A fragrance is said to have depth when a particular accord or character is noticeable throughout the composition from top to base notes. The creation of a depth in a fragrance is achieved through the use of various natural and synthetic aroma chemicals, including base notes, middle notes and top notes. The quality of a fragrance is defined by its ability to endure and remain consistent from one application to the next.

Perfumes that are formulated to evoke a particular mood or emotion may be referred to as olfactory stories. A story is a descriptive sequence of olfactory experiences that are linked together to create a memorable and meaningful experience. Using various facets of the fragrance as a storytelling medium allows a perfumer to evoke an emotional response, from sadness to romance to energy and more.

The olfactory sense is the part of the brain that perceives scent. The human sense of smell is responsible for most of the emotions and memories we experience. Fragrance has the power to evoke an emotional response because of its direct link to memory, especially if the perfume is a memory-provoking aroma. The use of a certain fragrance may also have an effect on behavior and the perception of beauty.

An accord in a fragrance consisting of aldehydes built upon a citrus (bergamot) and mossy base. This classical accord has become a signature of many men’s and women’s fragrances.

A perfume which possesses an aura of elegance and sophistication. Usually more refined than other styles of perfume, this is a fragrance that is often worn by women of higher social status.

This family of perfumes includes Jasmine, Rose and Ylang ylang. These florals are often blended with other aromatic materials to create a bouquet of scents with a wide range of possibilities. This is a very exciting area in today’s trends for fragrances, with brands such as Joy, Anais Anais and Escape demonstrating the most current and popular trends in this category.

An odour reminiscent of fruits such as cherry, apple and peach. Fruity scents can be very refreshing and uplifting, and are frequently combined with other ingredients such as green and mint to give them depth and character.

The scent of leaves, twigs and stems of plants. A very important ingredient in muguet perfumes and other flowery scents.

A substance used to absorb excess fragrance oils, allowing the remaining perfume to last longer. The term can be applied to a solid, powder or liquid and may contain ingredients such as talc, silica and stearic acid.