Glossary

A

A storehouse for selling drugs and medicinal spices and compounds. Originating in the 14th century, these are also the first stores to sell perfumes. More recently, the term has evolved to include stores selling and specializing in perfumes.

B

The heaviest and deepest notes of a fragrance. These add body to the heart notes and shape the dry-down, or lasting impression of the fragrance. Some typical base notes include: Woods, Orientals, Gourmands, Musks, and Earthy Greens.

C

The strength of a fragrance expressed as the ratio of perfume oils to alcohol. Perfumes with a higher fragrance concentration contain more perfume oils and less alcohol.

D

The lasting impression of the fragrance. When the top and heart notes have completely disappeared and only the longest lasting part of the base remains.

E

Lightest, shortest-lasting compositions; usually citrus-heavy & fresh.

Concentration: 2-10%

Longevity: 1-2 hours

A light perfume with a low percentage of fragrant essential oils meant to refresh the skin during the shorter term.

Concentration: 2-15%

Longevity: 3-5 hours

The second highest concentration. Duration really begins to vary depending on the quality of ingredients, a high-quality Eau de Parfum should 5-8 hours.

Concentration: 10-20%

Longevity: 5-8 hours

The highest-concentrated fragrances that will last the longest and cost the most.

Concentration: 15-40%

Longevity: 8-12 hours

F

A chemical compound that has a smell. These compounds may include natural materials (obtained from plants using distillation, expression and extraction) and/or synthetic materials.

H

The intermediate notes, or ingredients, featured in a fragrance. Since they are neither the lightest nor the heaviest, they are released quickly after the top notes and finish alongside some of the base notes. Some typical heart notes include: Florals, Greens, and Aromatics.

N

Ingredients obtained from nature using steam distillation or expression or extraction. Sources include plants like flowers, grass, stems, seeds, leaves, roots, bark, fruits, tree moss, or tree secretions. Essential oils are 100% natural and are prized as the building blocks of perfumery.

Unique, artistic offerings that go beyond pleasing crowds and fulfilling marketing briefs. Niche and Artisanal fragrances are born out of an artistic exploration with a perfumer. One that aims to make the best olfactory scent possible.

Someone who is capable of portraying moods, emotions and concepts through fragrance composition. Usually also a laboriously studied chemist, this is the perfume artist. Their talents should be acknowledged – just as composers, singers, artists and chefs are acknowledged for their artistic gifts and the joy we derive from their gifts.

O

Of or relating to the sense of smell.

P

A list of ingredients that make up a fragrance. They are generally categorized as top notes, heart notes, and base notes which organize the ingredients based on their weight and release times (top notes being the lightest and most immediately released).

S

Ingredient derived or isolated from nature or synthesized in the laboratory. Some synthetics are superior to natural ones in esthetic, uniformity, stability and sustainable availability.

T

The lightest notes, or ingredients, featured in a fragrance. Since they are the lightest, they are also released first – which means you smell these notes first. Some typical top notes include: Citrus, Spices, Aquatics, and Fruits.