10 basic perfume-related terms that you need to know
Posted on 03 January 2018
When you are a newcomer to buying perfumes or even just requesting fragrance samples, it’s understandable that you may see a lot of terms bandied around that confuse you.
Here at Scent City, we therefore decided to compile a list of some of the most important terms for you to know, and their associated definitions.
The accord is a fragrance’s basic character. A perfume accord consists of a balanced blend of three or four notes that combine to create a completely new, unified odour impression.
While the terms ‘fragrance’ and ‘perfume’ are routinely used interchangeably, the latter term actually refers to the highest-concentrated, strongest and longest-lasting form of fragrance.
The relative intensity of a fragrance impression can be described as its strength.
The term ‘note’ is derived from the language of music, indicating an olfactory impression of a single smell. It may also refer to a perfume’s three parts – the top note, middle note and base note.
A perfume’s ability to last, or that of a fragrance note to retain its characteristic odour, is sometimes referred to as its tenacity.
These are the subtle characteristics of a fragrance background.
This term relates to, or is concerned with, the sense of smell.
Odour is usually understood as simply referring to the characteristic smell of something. A more technical explanation may be that it refers to airborne chemicals emanating from objects, water, flowers, fragrance or a person’s body, that stimulate the olfactory system.
A fragrance blend can be said to have been given lift and brilliancy if it has had life added to it. However, ‘lift’ can also be defined as the diffusiveness of a given blend. If a perfume has lift, it has a brilliant top note with wide diffusiveness.
A perfume that lacks lift, diffusion and distinction may be described as ‘flat’.
Even the most experienced perfume enthusiast is always encountering new terms, so there’s no reason to feel intimidated or embarrassed about not knowing any of those above.
The best way to learn about perfume, of course, is to encounter it hands-on regularly. You can get started doing that right now with our help here at Scent City, by purchasing the latest sought-after fragrance samples from our regularly updated online store.