About Perfume

Fragrance Facts

Perfume Concentrations

Quite a lot of people will describe any fragrance as 'perfume' regardless of what actual description it should have (EDP/EDT...) I've described the various concentrations below but as a general rule: The smaller the bottle, the more concentrated the fragrance inside (This does not apply to miniatures which usually contain the eau de toilette.) Pure perfume is a lot more expensive but a little will go a long way. A pure perfume is very, very rarely sold in a spray bottle - these are used for eaux de parfums and eaux de toilettes so that the buyer does not end up wearing too much at a time!


This consists of a 15-30% concentration of perfume essence and is the strongest fragrance available. This means that not only do you need to use less, but also that the fragrance lasts longer, typically for up to 6 hours, depending on skin type.

Parfum De Toilette

This is usually between a perfume and an EDP in strength but a few companies use the term to describe an EDT.

Eau De Parfum (EDP)

This is lighter than Perfume, with an 8-15% concentration, and so is less expensive but still has long lasting characteristics, from 3 to 5 hours.

Eau De Toilette (EDT)

This is a lighter more delicate fragrance, with a 4-8% concentration of the essence, and is therefore most suited to everyday use. It is normally less expensive than Eau de Parfum, and lasts for 2 to 4 hours.

Eau De Cologne (EDC)

This is often referred to just as Cologne and has the greatest dilution of fragrances with a 3-5% concentration of perfume essence, lasting up to 2 hours.

For Men

Eau De Toilette (EDT)

This has the greatest concentration of essence generally available for men and hence lasts the longest, up to 5 hours. It is often available in either a splash or a spray.


Less strong, it is the most popular choice and lasts for 2 to 3 hours. Aftershaves are kinder to the skin than EDT's. Those with very sensitive skin should use aftershave balms.

The % by volume that you see on the bottles is the amount of alcohol that is in the fragrance blend. Basically perfume companies 'pad out' their fragrances with alcohol, firstly to make them go further, and also because otherwise they would be incredibly strong to wear! A perfume with strong smelling essence ingredients will have more alcohol with it than one which is more delicate.

Custom Search

Women's Scents
Scents in this family include sage, lavender, oakmoss, patchouli and resins. Named for Mediterranean Island of Cypress and inspired by Francois Coty's perfume of the same name, this scents woodsy - mossy feel is perfect for the outdoor lover. Famous chypre fragrances include Halston by Halston Fragrances, Knowing by Estee Lauder, Miss Dior by Christian Dior, and Moments by Priscilla Presley.

Scents in this family include lemon, manderine, tangerine, lime, grapefruit, and bergemont. The light and fresh feel of these perfumes are nice for weekend of casual use. Famous citrus fragrances include Eau De Rochas by Rochas, and Gieffeffe by Gianfranco Ferre.

Scents in this family include violet, carnation, rose, gardenia, lily of the valley, tuberose and narcissus. Floral perfumes usually include a combination of several different floral scents. Famous floral fragrances include Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld, Eternity by Calvin Klein, Gucci Accenti by Gucci, and Joy by Jean Patou.

Scents in this family include jasmine, gardenia tangerine, freesia, oamanthus, orange flower, and moon flowers. This category also has base scents of sandalwood, musk, amber, and apricot. Although this actually a sub category of the floral family it is extensive enough to give proper recognition. The perfumes in this family can be worn during the daytime and a night on the town, due to the combinations of exotic floras, spices, and essences. Famous floriental fragrances include Joop! Femme by Joop!, Samsara by Guerlain, Sun Moon Stars by Karl Lagerfeld, and Tresor by Lancome.

This family include coumarin, oak moss, lavender and sometimes geranium oil. Pronounced "fooz-hare," fougre' is the French word for fern. This, of course, is an odd term for a fragrance since ferns have no scent at all! Famous fougere fragrances include Baryshnikov by Parlux Fragrances, Cool Water by Davidoff, and Safari by Ralph Lauren.

Scents in this family include apple, apricot, mandarin,bergamont neroli, passoin fruit, pineapple,and papaya. These perfumes are known to have a clean citrus quality and a soft, peach-like warmth. Famous fruity fragrances include Jess by Jessica McClintock, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, and Liz Claiborne by Liz Claiborne.

Scents in this family include rosemary, lavender, pine, juniper, hyacinth, and galabanum. Green perfumes smell of green leaves and fresh cut grass mixed with autumn breezes. Famous green fragrances include Chanel No.19 by Chanel, Gio by Giorgio Armani, Safari by Ralph Lauren, and Sung by Alfred Sung.

Scents in this family are made from aldehydes, which are pure scent chemicals. These scents grow stronger as the are warmed by the skin, aldehydes also intensify the other scents in a perfume. This trend started by Coco Chanel with her Chanel #5 is used in almost every perfume manufactured today. Famous modern fragrances include Chanel No.5 by Chanel, Red by Giorgio Beverly Hills, and White Linen by Estee Lauder.

Scents in this family are entirely synthetic materials that remind us of things you canít bottle naturally like ocean spray, mountain air, or line dried linen. Famous oceanic fragrances include Acqua Di Gio by Giorgio Armani, Dune by Christian Dior, Ocean Dream by Giorgio Beverly Hills, and Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden.

Scents in this family include amber, vanilla, woods and resins. These perfumes are best for eveningwear due the fact that most carry a very heavy scent. Famous oriental fragrances include Black Pearls by Elizabeth Taylor, Casmir by Chopard, Opuim by Yves Saint Laurent, and Shalimar by Guerlain.

Scents in this family include cloves, ginger, cinnamon and cardamon also included here are certain flowers with a spicy tone to them like carnation and lavender. Famous spicy fragrances include Coco by Chanel, KL (Lagerfeld) by Karl Lagerfeld, and Poison by Christian Dior.

Men's Scents
Scents in this family include sage, lavender, oakmoss, patchouli and resins. Named for Mediterranean Island of Cypress and inspired by Francois Coty's perfume of the same name, this scents woodsy - mossy feel is perfect men who love the outdoors. Famous chypre fragrances include DK Unleaded by Donna Karan.

For men this family includes oils of lemon, orange, lime, and bergemont. Famous citrus fragrances include Armani by Giorgio Armani, Drakkar Noir by Guy Laroche, Tommy by Tommy Hilfiger, and Blue Jeans by Gianni Versace.

For men these families include coumarin, oak moss, lavender and sometimes geranium oil. Pronounced "fooz-hare," fougre' is the French word for fern. This, of course, is an odd term for a fragrance since ferns have no scent at all! Famous fougere fragrances include Boss No.1 by Hugo Boss, and Paco Rabanne by Paco Rabanne.

For men this family includes oils taken from the lavandin and lavender plants grown in southern France as well as spike lavender from Spain. One of the fragrance world oldest scents is pure basic feel is perfect for every day use. Famous lavender fragrances include Ungaro by Ungaro.

For men this family includes cade oil (from juniper trees) and birch tar (a resin extracted from Finish birch trees). This very potent commination of smoky and sweet scent makes family of colognes very popular. Famous leather fragrances include English Leather by Dana Perfumes, Royal Copenhagen, and Pour Lui (Oscar) by Oscar De La Renta.

Scents in this family are entirely synthetic materials that remind us of things you canít bottle naturally like ocean spray, mountain air, or line dried linen. 

Scents in this family include amber, vanilla, woods and resins. These perfumes are best worn at night due the fact that most carry a very heavy scent. 

For men this family includes bay oil from the West Indies, pepper, cloves, Mediterranean basil, cinnamon, and olilanum. Famous spicy fragrances include Bijan by Bijan Fragrances, and Joop! Homme by Joop!.

For men this family includes sandalwood, rosewood, cedar and vetiver, also included here is the sub-heading of oceanic woody scents of myrtle, musk and blue iris. Famous woody fragrances include Aramis by Estee Lauder, Cool Water by Davidoff, and Safari by Ralph Lauren.

Perfume Dictionary

A glossary of perfume terms

ABSOLUTES: are natural fragrance materials which are extracted from various plant parts. First, the concrete is extracted by means of a solvent. Then, the undissolved waxes are removed with alcohol. Absolutes are products of high quality, and very expensive because of the low yield.

ACCORDS: are combinations of various single odors which blend to produce new fragrance effects. The number of ingredients in an accord may run from 2 to several hundred. Both simple and complex accords may be used as components for perfume compositions.

AEROSOL: is the spraying and/or foaming of liquid or solid materials by propellant agents from pressurized cans.

ARGUMEN OILS: is the collective term for the essential oils of bergamot, lemon, grape-fruit, lime, mandarin, orange and bitter orange, generally known as citrus oils.

ALCOHOL: is used in the perfume industry as a solvent for the production of lotions. An oftenused alcohol is ethyl alcohol.

ALDEHYDIC: is the term for the odor-effect produced by the use of short-chain aliphatic aldehydes. This effect can be described as fatty, watery, tallowy, or even "snuffed candle". When concentrated, aldehydes are extremely powerful and pungent. Aldehydes are used in all perfume types, especially those which feauture elegant feminine notes.

ANOSMIA: is the inability to smell. Some peopl have a selective or partial anosmia, others a com plete anosmia.

AROMATIC: has become an obsolete term in perfumery. In former times, it was used to describe the fragrance impression of sweet balsam.

ASSOCIATION: is the connecting of sensory impressions, moods or incidents with odors. A scent ha; the ability to bring a situation you have experienced from the deepest recesses of your mind, to the absolute forefront.

BACK NOTES: The back note is the third and last phase of a perfume's life on the skin, or evaporation. It contains the lasting ingredients, such as woods, resins, animal and crystalline substances. In heavy perfumes (chypre and Oriental notes, for instance) the back note is so strongly accented that it is discernible in the top-note, or first impression.

BALSAMIC: is a fragrance impression that can be described as sweet, soft and warm. Basically, balsamic notes result from the use of balsams and resins in perfume compositions. The Oriental perfumes in particular are characterized by balsamic ingredients.

BALSAMS: are vicious secretions of plants that emerge when the plant's outer layers are injured. Unlike the resinoids, balsams do not require an extraction process prior to their being used in perfumery.

BITTER: is the fragrance impression that corresponds to bitterness in terms of taste. It is produced by a combination of roots (such as vetiver), herbs (such as wormwood), animal notes (such as in leather) and others. Bitter accents are to be found mainly in masculine fragrances.

BOUQET: is a mixture of various floral notes. Often, the bouquet is the most important ingredient of the middle-note in a perfume. Bouquetting is the embellishment, harmonizing and rounding-off of a composition.

CAMPHORACEOUS: notes have a fresh, clean, medicinal smell. In Nature, they are present in lavandin, rosemary, and conifer oils, among others. These notes are widely used in the perfume industry in the perfuming of bath products.

CHYPRE: Today, chypre is the collective term for a group of perfumes which get their character through the combination of a fresh Eau de Cologne-like top note and a foundation that comprises as main elements oak moss, labdanum and patchouly. Many warm, erotic, sensual perfumes belong to the chypre family. One of the classics is "Chypre/Coty," a perfume that has been on the market since the beginning of this century.

CITRUS NOTES: have a fresh, light character. They come from the family of the agrumen oils (bergamot, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, bitter orange). In addition to these there are a number of synthetic substances that have the fresh character of citrus in different variations.

CONIFEROUS: is the odor impression that is reminiscent of pine, spruce, juniper and others of this family. Conifer oils are mainly used in bath products and in masculine fragrances.

COMPOSITION or COMPOUND: Every perfume is a composition of harmoniously adjusted individual components. The characteristics of the individual ingredients are used to create a new and unique overall character in which the individual characteristics of the ingredients recede in favor of the combination but at the same time, are not themselves obliterated.

CREATION: is the making of a new perfume oil corn position. Creative work is an art which in nevertheless influenced by economic considerations, so perhaps "skilled craft" would be a more, appropriate description.

CRYSTALLINE: A certain amount of crystalline fragrance sub stances can be dissolved, without problems, in the, liquid ingredients of a perfume oil. In general they possess good fixative properties. But to( high a percentage of crystalline substances, an( especially low temperatures, can cause what i known as "crystallizing-out"-the appearance o crystals in the liquid.

DISTILLATION: by steam is the most commonly-use( process for the production of essential oils. In this procedure, steam flows through the distillation material and sweeps the essential oils along with it. After cooling, the distillation water is separated from the essential oil in so-called Florentine flasks.

DRY: is the term for the odor-effect, the reverse o "sweet" or "warm", achieved through the use o ingredients such as woods, mosses, herbs and sc on. Dry notes are used mainly in masculine per fumes and are particularly useful as fresh, day time fragrances.

EAU DE COLOGNE: is a solution of approximately 3 % to 5 % perfume oil in an alcohol/water mix. The classical "eau de Cologne" is a composition of fresh, light, volatile essential oils (pre dominantly citrus oils) which contains few, if any fixatives. Eau de Cologne is intended to be refreshing, and has a limited perfuming effect.

EAU DE PARFUM: is a solution of perfume oil (15 %-18 %) in alcohol (85 % to 82%).

EAU DE TOILETTE: is a solution of 4 % -8 % perfume oil in alcohol.

EARTHY: is the adjective used to describe the fragrance impression of earth, forest-soil, mold, dust, etc. Vetiver and patchouly are well-known essential oils possessing earthy characteristics. Earthy accents in perfumes are not pronounced, always subtle.

ENCAPSULATION: To encapsulate, in the perfume industry sense of the word, means to enclose perfume oils in tiny gelatine capsules. These capsules can be applied to the skin together with an alcoholic perfume. When the skin is rubbed, the capsules are broken and the scent of the oil is released, "renewing" the perfume. Tests involving this method of perfuming have been made with textiles.

ENFLEURAGE: is a process for the extraction of valuable plant extracts. Plates of glass, covered on both sides with animal fat into which blossoms have been pressed, are placed on wooden frames. Spent blossoms are constantly replaced until the at is saturated with fragrance substance. Then, he blossom oil is separated from the fat through extraction. This procedure is rarely used today, because it is so costly.

EROTIC: Perfumes which, in addition to their general )leasing and harmonious qualities, are also accented. with warm animal notes in combination with certain flower oils, are said to have an erotic effect. Much depends on the user, though-and he circumstances!

ESSENCES: are alcoholic or aqueous plant extracts. They are hardly ever used in the perfume industry today, but they are widely employed in the cosmetic and flavor industries.

ESSENTIAL OILS: (Ethereal) oils are extracted from various plant parts through pressing or steam distillation. They are natural mixtures of various chemical substances. Unlike fatty oils, they evaporate without leaving a residue.

EVALUATION: means the selection of fragrances, for a specific purpose, from a number of available alternatives. In recent years a whole new profession has emerged in the perfume industry consisting of experts who specialize in this work. They are known as evaluators. Evaluation is work which requires not only talent, knowledge and training, but also a feeling for what the market wants at any particular time. The evaluators (women, in many instances) are an important link between the creators and the users of perfumes.

EXPRESSION: is an especially mild process for the extraction of essential oils, used in cases where steam distillation would modify or damage the end-product. Expression is used mainly for the extraction of citrus oils.

EXTRACION: is the process of removing raw materials from plant and animal substances through the use of various solvents. Most of the valuable natural fragrance materials are produced in this manner.

EXTRAIT: generally, means the most concentrated form of perfume sold over the counter. It is a solution of 15 % -30 % perfume oil in high-grade alcohol.

FATTY: is the same name for the odor that suggests oil, lard, wax and so on. In small doses, these notes are reminiscent of the smell of human skin. They can therefore contribute to the erotic effect of a scent.

FEMME: In the context of perfumery, femininity is a quality that is judged subjectively. Any perfume that underlines the womanly attributes of its wearer can be termed feminine, though much depends on the rapport between fragrance and user. Perfumes with floral accents are generally considered to be especially feminine. Of course, this does not prevent women from using scents that are considered to have a masculine character, but the majority uses those with feminine characteristics.

FIXING: is a process that promotes the retention of the fragrance on the skin as long as possible. To achieve this, heavy, non-volatile substances are used which develop their full fragrance intensities only very slowly, and maintain them for longer periods. Substances are also used for this purpose which have no strong odors of their own, but have the ability to make other fragrances last longer. Good substantivity is a characteristic of every well-constructed fragrance composition. It should be noted that an excessive amount of fixative in a perfume is no guarantee of good retention, because substances can hinder one another in their fragrance diffusion.

FLORAL: Today, over half of the branded perfumes are characterized by the adjective "floral." They contain well-defined flower notes (lily of the valley, for example, as in DIORISSIMO by Christian Dior), or a whole bouquet of floral effects, as in QUELQUES FLEURS by Houbigant. As a matter of fact, all perfumes contain floral notes in some quantity.

FLORAL-FRUITY: perfumes are those that have a noticeably fruity element, especially in the top note, as an accessory to the main theme, which is always floral. Excesses of fruitiness are to be avoided as they would suggest food-flavor rather than perfume.

FORMULA: The formula of a perfume compound gives full details of its components-quality and quantity wise-and is used like a recipe for preparing the mixture. To formulate a perfume can take many, many years of experiments. Formulas, holding a company's Know How, is jealously-guarded trade secrets, sometimes handed down from generation to generation.

FOUGERE: is a fantasy term in perfumery. It is the name of a combination of fresh herbaceous lavender notes on a mossy foundation. Fougere notes occur in many fantasy fragrances-especially in masculine perfumes.

FRAGRANCE BLOTTERS: are narrow strips of absorbent paper about 15 centimeters long with which scent samples are taken and smelled. On smelling strips, the evaporation of fragrance materials and perfume oils can be observed in the different phases they go through. Final judgement of a perfume must always be made on the skin, however.

FRAGRANCE COMPONENTS (Ingredients): All the materials which the perfumers put together to form a perfume composition are known as fragrance components. These are uniform chemical substances, natural products and simple or complex mixtures - the so-called bases and specialties.

FRAGRANCE DIFFUSION: Fragrance development is the general behavioral pattern of a perfume in the hands of its user. A good perfume should perform three functions. These are:
a) Immediate impact on opening the bottle
b) Noticeable emanation from the skin in all phases of fragrance evaporation.
c) Noticeable scent in the area that surrounds the user.

FRAGRANCE MATERIAL INDUSTRY: The fragrance material industry is a branch of the chemical industry. This industry includes the producers of natural and synthetic fragrance materials and perfume oils. The fragrance material industry is a supplier to the manufacturers of perfumes, cosmetics and other products of this nature.

FRAGRANCE MATERIALS, NATURAL: are products of plant and animal origin, extracted by different processes. Some examples are essential oils, absolutes, concretes, resins, balsams and tinctures.

SYNTHETIC FRAGRANCE MATERIALS: are produced from chemical raw materials. Half-synthetic fragrance zaterials are chemically-processed isolates from natural products.

FRAGRANCE ORGAN: is the term for the working area of the perfumer, in which the fragrance materials he uses in his work are arranged around him in tiers, like the pipes of an organ around an organist.

FRESH: in relation to the effect of a perfume, is a subjective feeling that can be caused by different fragrance impressions. In European regions, freshness is generally associated with lemon, lavender and green notes, light floral components: light and clear elements, mostly. In other regions, North America for example, sweet and powdery perfumes are also considered as fresh.

FRUITY: is the fragrance impression of natural fruit odors, such as raspberry, apple, plum, etc. Their sensual role in perfumery is only to produce nuances. However, single fruit odors do become fashionable, from time to time, in such products as shampoos. Exaggerated doses of fruit notes give perfumes the effect of being "edible," i.e. the opposite of erotic.

GAS CHROMATOGRAPH: is an instrument for the analysis of organic chemical mixtures. In a spiral ass or metal column, packed with porous material, the various components are separated according to physical properties such as polarity ad vapor pressure. The signals received are amplified and, with the help of a printer, printed onto a chromatogram.

GRASSE: is a town in Southern France, behind the Riviera. The town has a editerranean climate, which is well-suited for the cultivation of plants that produce perfume raw materials. For many years, Grasse has been one of the principal centers in the world for the production of perfume materials.

GREEN: is the general term for the odors of grass, leaves, stems and so on. Green fragrances exist in many different nuances. They are widely used in perfumery for the purpose of giving special accents to top-notes.

HARMONY: is the tuning of all the components of a perfume so that no single element in any phase of the fragrance evaporation becomes so prominent that it could be considered unpleasant. It is easy to achieve harmony between similarsmelling substances but quite difficult between the contrasting elements which are often introduced into a perfume to give originality and character. Bringing these warring elements into harmony is a challenging task for the perfumer.

HAY-LIKE: notes are used mainly in "Nature" fragrances, in different ranges of application-for instance, in medicinal bath-products. Masculine perfumes also can contain hay-like components (Fougere). The synthetic substance with a hay-like odor that is most important in the industry is coumarin.

HERBACEOUS: Many fragrance substances have herbaceous components, and are reminiscent of herbs and drugs. Well-known, and often-used examples are mugwort, sage, rosemary and lavender. Herbaceous accents are widely used in masculine perfumes.

"HEART" or MIDDLE NOTE: The heart is the second, middle phase of a perfume's fragrance evaporation, occuring after the top note fades away. It is mainly produced by floral, spicy or woody components and represents, as its name indicates, the heart of the perfume.

HEAVY: Fragrances in which the least-volatile ingredients such as mosses and animal notes dominate are called heavy perfumes. Since these ingredients are part of the top note, a heavy perfume can be identified as such at first impact. Heavy substances are used predominantly in chypre notes.

INFUSION: is the production of flower oils by extraction at 65 degrees centigrade with the use of alcohol.

INGREDIENT: An ingredient is one of the parts that go to make up a mixture.

INTENSITY: The intensity, or fragrance strength of a perfume compound is dependent on the strength of the individual ingredients, and the skill that is exerted in the blending of these components.

JASMINEY: Perfumes that contain the scent of the jasmine blossom as a principal component are termed jasminey. There are many interpretations of the jasmine note, which range from natural blossom odors to stylized, fantasy bases.

LAVENDER OIL: possesses a dry-fresh, herbaceous odor. It is used in many perfumes, especially in masculine notes.

LEATHER NOTES: as well as tobacco notes, play a significant part in the masculine perfumes. Both natural expressions and fantasy interpretations of this theme exist and are used in the perfume industry. Leather notes also play a part in feminine perfumes; for instance, in the chypre family.

LIGHT: perfume notes owe their character mainly to fresh, citrus, floral, fruity and green components. They contain practically no sweet, balsamic or sultry elements. It used to be difficult, but today, the perfumer has the means to give good fixation also to perfumes of light character.

MACERATION: is a procedure by which blossom oils are extracted with the aid of warm fats. It is similar to enfleurage.

MASCULINE: as well as feminine, in the perfume sense, are subjective fragrance impressions. Normally, the term "masculine," is applied to fragrance favored by men. These contain dry notes of tobbaco, spices, mosses and woods. They are generally less floral than feminine perfumes, and often contain a high percentage of fresh ingredients. In the past few years, masculine and feminine notes have come closer and closer together.

MATURITY: A perfume must mature for four to eight week,. before it can go on sale. This time is necessary tc allow the individual ingredients to blend, bringing the fragrance to its full development.

METALLIC: notes are used in perfumes to produce cool, clean effects. They are used in nuances, and very seldom occur dominantly.

MINT-LIKE: Fragrance notes which are reminiscent of peppermint and spearmint are used in perfumery to produce special fresh effects in the top-note.

MIXING PLANT: The stage in the production of perfume in which the concentrated perfume oils are mixed, on a large scale, according to the perfumer's recipe, is known as the mixing or compounding plant.

MODIFYING: means varying an existing, basic fragrance theme by changing some ingredients or introducing new, additional nuances. The result may impress a lay-person as a new perfume, but the expert will recognize a mere variation on an old theme.

MOSSY: odors of different kinds of tree mosses (especially oak moss) play an important part in nearly all perfume types. They are of special significance in the chypre notes. Mossy nuances are very complex and can have, besides the basic moss element, algae-like, leathery, woody and other characteristics. Their especially good fixing qualities, as well as their ability to give fragrances substance and depth, make them indispensable.

MUSK: is a secretion of the musk deer. The material extracted from musk-sacs has a strong animal-smell. The natural product, as well as chemicals with musk-like odors, are of great significance in the perfume industry. They give perfumes a warm, erotic note and have outstanding fixing characteristics. Perfumes that are based on musk notes are especially subject to fashionable trends.

NAPTHALENE-LIKE: notes are reminiscent of mothballs. These odors are found in animal products. Their significance in perfumery is minimal.

"NARCOTIC": perfumes often contain high percentages of heavy blossom fragrances (jasmine, tuberose, for example), and animalic components. The narcotic effect of natural flower scents is at its peak at the time when they fade. Careful dosing of "narcotic" components is necessary if a perfume is not to have an obtrusive or tiring effect.

NUANCERS: are fragrance materials that are not the main fragrance carriers in a composition, but are used to support and round these carriers off, or produce special effects which contribute to the all around picture of a fragrance.

OBTRUSIVE: Perfumes can be obtrusive when they are used to excess. Similarly, an ingredient can obtrude if the fragrance composition is not well balanced.

ORIENTAL: is the term for perfumes containing ingredients that are reminiscent of fragrances from the East. Such ingredients can be exotic blossom notes, spices, balsams, resins, and animalic components. The character of the Oriental perfumes is such that they are mostly used as so-called winter or evening perfumes.

PERFUME: "per fumum" - comes from the Latin, meaning "through the smoke." In ancient times, fragrant resins were burned as incense offerings that was the origin. Today, we understand perfume to be a solution containing 15% to 30% perfume oils and 85% to 70% alcohol, respectively.

PERFUME OIL or PERFUME COMPOUND: A perfume oil is a concentrated mixture of fragrance substances which is used for the perfuming of various products.

PERFUMER: is the term for the creator of fragrance compositions. His qualifications are: an odormemory which is the result of long training, the ability to differentiate between hundreds of odors, knowledge of the reciprocal action of individual fragrance substances in the composition, and creative talent. The perfumer's education generally lasts for five years.

PHEROMONES: are chemical substances which make communication possible between living beings. They are mainly significant as a medium which insects use for sexual attraction. Most pheromones are odorless to human beings.

POMADE: is a substance that is produced through the enfleurage process. In this procedure, animal fat is saturated with blossom fragrance. The mixture of fat and blossom oil is the pomade. It is either used straight or processed into absolute from pomade. Parts of the fatty odor attach to the fragrance of the blossom oils, giving the products made by this process a unique character.

POWDERY: is the fragrance effect produced by the interaction of long-lasting, mossy, woody, sweet and crystalline elements. Many perfumes leave a powdery overall impression after evaporation of the fresh and floral ingredients.

RESINOIDS: are extracts from resins or plant parts (except for the blossom). In addition to the essential oils, they contain ingredients such as the waxes and resins which are soluble in whatever solvent is being used in the particular process. In order to facilitate the use of resinoids, high-boiling, odorless solvents are often added to them. Resinoids often have a dark color and especially good fixing properties.

RESINS: are mainly solid or semi-solid organic plant secretions. They must go through a cleaning process.

ROUNDING-OFF: means harmonizing and binding together the principal ingredients of a perfume, either with odorants that are closely related odor-wise, or with other adjuncts that also fit into the picture and can therefore help to produce a balanced, harmonious whole.

SENSORY ADAPTATION: is the tendency of the human sense of smell to become less and less able to perceive a particular fragrance the longer it is exposed to it. When the sense of smell is "adapted" to a fragrance, it is no longer able to recognize it. Yet it recovers quickly from this fatigue.

SENSUAL: is the term for a perfume with an erotically-stimulating effect. An accentuated portion of animalic components and exotic blossom notes is usually to be found in such perfumes. Properly used, many perfumes can produce pleasant emotions and moods, since the sense of smell is directly connected with the part of the brain in which feelings and sexual behavior are controlled.

SMELL: is the sensory perception of odorous organic compounds. It occurs in the act of inhaling, and so air is the carrier.

SMOKY: notes are used mainly in masculine perfumes to create natural leather effects. In modern leather notes the smoky notes are thrust into the background by animalic notes but the old, classical leather perfumes contain noticeable smoky notes which originate from birch tar oil.

SOLVENTS: are liquids, virtually odor- and colorless, used in perfumery for the dilution of perfume oils. The most commonly-used solvent is ethyl alcohol. Some solvents also have fixative properties.

SOUR: A perfume is said to smell sour when it has aged prematurely owing to inappropriate storage. When this happens, chemical alterations occur which are irreversible, and the perfume must be considered "off."

SPICY: fragrance notes are used in the perfume industry in the form of essential oils from almost all the well-known spices. For example, cinnamon and clove are used widely in Oriental perfumes. Many masculine perfumes contain portions of spice-oils-for example: marjoram, coriander and pepper.

SPLASH COLOGNE: is light, watery alcohol/perfume oil solution of 1%-3% perfume oil in 99%-97% alcohol, respectively. They are used generously, for refreshment for the whole body, after the shower or bath for example. They have a subtle perfuming effect, and the notes are fresh and clean. Some countries especially favor this application, and two prime examples are France and Spain.

STABILITY: is a perfume's resistance to the harmful effects of light and oxygen. In proper storage (protected from light at room temperature, closed bottle) perfumes keep an average of six months without deterioration. Many keep for a much longer period.

SUBSTANTIVITY: The lasting properties of a fragrance are dependent on its degree of volatility. Heavy, nonvolatile substances are used for the fixing of perfume compositions.

SWEET: elements exist in many perfumes, in differing amounts, especially in Oriental and heavy chypre perfumes. The best-known example of a sweet-smelling natural product is the extract of the vanilla bean.

TINCTURE: is cold-processed alcoholic extract from natural products. They were much favored in former times, but their use today is on the decline for economic reasons.

TOBACCO NOTES: natural and synthetic, are predominantly used in masculine perfumes. In addition to the pure tobacco note, scents such as honey and plum, which are used to flavor tobacco, also play a part.

Back to Top

  Return to Our Home Page

Home Rare & Discontinued perfumes Mini Perfumes Solid Perfumes Celebrity Perfumes Evening in ParisAvonAntique Perfume AtomizersMini Perfume BottlesCzech Perfume BottlesAntique Vanity Sets GlassVanity Items Compacts-Powders-TinsOther Antique Perfume BottlesFactice Perfume Bottles Antique Commercial Perfume BottlesAntique Seltzer BottlesAntique Beaded Purses1950's Pop BeadsAntiques & CollectiblesDepression Glass Kitchen KnivesAntique Jewelry Pre-owned FursVintage Hats Sell Your Vintage ItemsAntique Beaded Bowl Covers-LinensArt Deco LampsContactPayment