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Fragrance Terminology

Fragrance Terminology

Fragrance Terminology

It can sometimes be difficult to describe what you mean when you’re talking about fragrances.

When you visit a perfume shop where the people are knowledgeable, however you explain your desired perfume, they will understand. But sometimes it feels good to feel like you’re saying what you mean. 

In this blog we will break down terms that we use often at Parfumerie Nasreen, as well as technical terms that you can use to figure out how to explain what you want anywhere you go looking for fragrances.

Accord - A group of notes that are combined to create one scent note.

Aldehydes - A group of synthetic ingredients that give a fragrance a sparkling nuance that is clean, soapy, and/or powdery.

Animalic - A term that describes a scent that is primal, seductive, Leathery, or intense.

Anosmia - Also known as nose blindness, this is when you have smelled too much and everything begins to smell the same.

Aquatic - A scent meant to smell like the ocean, or other types of water.

Boozy - A scent made with liquor.

Chypre (She-Prah) - A scent that is primarily Mossy and Woody.

Citrusy - A scent made primarily with citrus notes, often paired with Ambers or gentle woods to help make them last.

Clean - A scent that is crisp, bright, or fresh, and often infused with citrus notes.

Dry Down - A term for how a fragrance will smell on you after the opening notes have blended with the chemistry of your skin.

Earthy - A scent suggestive of earth or soil.

Floral - A scent made up primarily of flowers.

Fougere (Foo-Jeer) - A scent that is green/clean/zesty. Primary ingredients will be Sage, Lavender, Moss, Citrus, Woods, and Ambers.

Fresh - A scent that is clean and bright, oftentimes made with citrus notes and sometimes herbs.

Fruity - A scent made up primarily of fruit notes.

Gourmand - Scents made with food or edible ingredients. They can smell like cotton candy, cocktails, coffee, cakes, etc.

Green - Fragrances that have the aroma of grasses, leaves, and mosses. 

Heady - A strong aroma.

Longevity - How long your fragrance will last on you.

Metallic - A scent that is made to have the essence of metal. These scents can be sharp, cold, cool, or clean. 

Oriental - Fragrance that tend to be warmer, sensual, or intense. Typically comprised of spices and resins, with powdery, floral, and vanilla notes.

Powdery - This describes a scent that evokes the essence of baby powder.

Projection - How far away you can be smelled.

Rich - A scent that is warmer, deeper, and/or heavier. 

Sharp - An aroma that is distinct, sometimes sudden or pungent, or a note that cuts through all the other ingredients.

Sillage (See-ahj)- Meaning “To Trail”. This essentially means how people smell your fragrance on you. 

Skin Scent - This is a scent that has minimal projection and stays close to the skin. It remains soft, sheer and oftentimes Musky… skin.

Soapy - This describes a scent that smells like bar soap or body wash.

Soli-flor - A single-note scent, or a scent that focuses on one particular note.

Spicy - A scent primarily made up of spices; Cinnamon, Saffron, Cardamom, Pepper, Nutmeg, etc.

Summery - Scents that are fresh and clean, oftentimes with citrus or tropical essences.

Sweet - Scents that are light and pleasant, and usually include fruits and/or Vanilla notes.

Synthetic - Scent notes that have been created in a laboratory setting. This will be down when some ingredients are too expensive, or when regulations disallow the use of certain ingredients. 

Velvety - A scent that is soft, smooth, or mellow.

Warm - A term to describe a scent that is soft and cozy, and is not too heavy. Notes often used are Ambers, Woods, Spices, and Musks.

Woody - A scent made up primarily of Wood notes.

Though this list is long, it is only a portion of descriptions that can be used for fragrances.

Reach out to Parfumerie Nasreen with any of your own descriptions and questions. We will always help you figure out your path on your fragrance journey!

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