Fragrance Glossary: A Guide to Scents and Perfumes
Originally derived from Cologne in Germany, cologne is the lightest type of fragrance and consists of around 2-5% of perfume oil and alcohol. Typically, they last on the skin for two hours and come encased in larger bottles.
Eau de Parfum (EDP)
Used to describe fragrances for men and women, parfum contains around 15-20% of pure perfume essence and is the strongest in concentration. Lasting anywhere from five to eight hours, they are the most popular choice in fragrance.
Eau de Toilette (EDT)
Lighter than perfume but stronger than cologne, Eau de Toilette is a fragrance that has a 5-10% concentration of perfume oil and alcohol. Made to linger for three hours, they are normally reserved for daytime wear.
The lightest of the notes, top notes are the scents you first recognise when you smell a fragrance. They are important as they create the first impression, but are also the first to face and typically consist of citrus and fruits.
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Typically the scent you notice after top and heart notes wear off, base notes are the heaviest ingredients in a perfume formula and they help to enhance the longevity of other notes. They normally include amber and sandalwood.
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Natural fragrances are scents that are purely formulated with plants and botanical extracts.
Not to be confused with fruity fragrances though similar, citrus refers to scents that are zesty or tangy and evoke a revitalizing feel. Often, they are comprised of lemon, bergamot or mandarin.
Evoking a refreshing or zesty smell, fresh fragrances are often reminiscent of herbal and greenery aromas. Made with notes of lavendar, basil or rosemary, they can also include aquatic smells for a breezy feel.
Ranging from light and delicate scents, to intense aromas, floral fragrances are one of the broadest fragrance families and are defined by sweet, flowery scents. Often notes such as roses, jasmine and lilies are classified as floral fragrances.
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One of the easiest fragrance types to identify, fruity fragrances are often grouped with citrus families, but encompass all fruity notes and include berries and sweet florals.
One of the most popular fragrance categories, oriental/spicy refers to warm, amber-like scents that normally include vanilla and tonka bean notes.
Made from the resin of the Aquilaria tree, Oud is an ingredient that emits a woody, tobacco-like aroma and is used to create intense fragrances.