Fragrance Glossary – Perfumery Terms


Welcome to the Fara London Fragrance Glossary, your comprehensive guide to understanding the intricate language of perfumery. Dive into the world of scents and discover the definitions and nuances of key fragrance terms that make up the heart of our premium perfumes. From absolutes to sillage, and everything in between, this glossary will enhance your appreciation and knowledge of fragrances, helping you choose the perfect scent for any occasion.

Whether you’re exploring vibrant floral notes, rich woody aromas, or captivating blends, our glossary covers it all. Perfect for both beginners and fragrance aficionados, this resource will guide you through the essential terms used in the world of perfumery. Explore the depth of perfume terminology and elevate your scent experience with Fara London.



A highly concentrated aromatic extract derived from natural materials like flowers or resins. Absolutes are obtained through solvent extraction, resulting in a rich and pure essence used in perfumery.


A harmonious blend of multiple fragrance notes or ingredients that create a new, unified scent. It represents the combination of elements that form a balanced and cohesive fragrance.


A warm, resinous, and often slightly sweet fragrance note. It can be derived from natural sources like ambergris or labdanum, or created synthetically. Amber adds depth and warmth to a fragrance.


A rare and valuable substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales. It has a unique, musky scent and is used as a fixative to enhance the longevity and complexity of perfumes.


Fragrance notes or accords that have a sensual, musky quality. Originally derived from animal sources like musk and civet, these notes are now often synthesized for ethical and sustainable reasons.

Base Notes

The foundational and longest-lasting components of a fragrance. Base notes provide depth and richness, emerging after the top and heart notes fade, and forming the lasting impression of the scent.


A citrus fruit with a vibrant, fresh, and slightly bitter scent. Bergamot is often used as a top note, providing a bright and uplifting opening to a fragrance.


A fragrance family characterized by a combination of citrus top notes, floral heart notes, and a mossy, woody base. It evokes a sophisticated and earthy scent profile.


A fragrance category featuring notes from citrus fruits like lemon, lime, orange, and grapefruit. These notes are fresh, vibrant, and uplifting, often used as top notes in perfumes.


A solid, waxy substance obtained from plant materials through solvent extraction. Concretes are further processed to produce absolutes.

Core Notes

Also known as heart or middle notes, these form the core character of a fragrance. They emerge after the top notes fade and influence the transition to the base notes.


A method for extracting essential oils from plants through steam evaporation. It captures the pure aromatic compounds of the plant material.

Eau de Cologne

A light fragrance with a lower concentration of essential oils (2-5%). Eau de Cologne provides a refreshing and subtle scent experience.

Eau de Parfum

A common fragrance type with a higher concentration of essential oils (10-20%), offering a longer-lasting scent than eau de toilette.

Eau de Toilette

A fragrance with a moderate concentration of essential oils (5-10%), providing a noticeable but light scent.

Essential Oils

Highly concentrated extracts obtained from plants, typically through steam distillation. Essential oils represent the purest form of the plant’s aromatic compounds.


A concentrated form of a fragrance, obtained naturally or synthesized in a lab. Extracts provide intense and long-lasting scents.


A fragrance family characterized by green, herbaceous, and woody notes. It typically includes lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin, creating a fresh and aromatic scent.


A method of capturing scent molecules from an object using a special apparatus. The captured aroma is analyzed and synthetically reproduced.


A term describing essential oils derived from citrus fruits like lemon, lime, and orange. These notes are fresh and invigorating.


A process where flowers are soaked in warm fats to extract their essential oils. The mixture is dissolved in alcohol to create a concentrated extract.


Fragrance ingredients derived from natural, non-synthetic sources, offering an authentic scent experience.


Relating to the sense of smell. The olfactory system is responsible for detecting and interpreting scents.

Olfactive Families

A classification system for perfumes based on their dominant notes. Common families include aromatic, citrus, floral, fougère, oriental, and woody.


The most concentrated form of fragrance, containing 20-45% aromatic compounds. Parfum offers the richest and longest-lasting scent.


A thick, viscous substance extracted from plant resins using solvents. Resinoids add depth and richness to fragrances.


A French term describing the scent trail left in the air when someone leaves the room. High sillage indicates a strong, lingering fragrance.


Fragrance ingredients are created through chemical synthesis. Synthetics are often used as sustainable alternatives to natural materials.

Top Notes

The initial, lightest notes in a fragrance. Top notes create the first impression and are typically fresh and bright, but they evaporate quickly.

Additional Terms:


A group of synthetic fragrance ingredients known for their sparkling, clean, and sometimes floral notes.


Scents that feature herbaceous notes like lavender, rosemary, and sage, often create a fresh and invigorating aroma.


Warm, resinous notes reminiscent of balsamic resins like benzoin and myrrh. These notes add depth and richness to a fragrance.


Notes that have a strong, cooling, and somewhat medicinal aroma, often derived from eucalyptus or rosemary.


The presence of floral notes in a fragrance, ranging from delicate and soft to bold and intense floral bouquets.


Fragrances that evoke the aroma of edible treats like vanilla, chocolate, and caramel. These scents are sweet and indulgent.


Notes that resemble the scent of fresh herbs like basil, thyme, and sage. These scents are green, slightly medicinal, and uplifting.


A fragrance category encompassing notes that capture the scent of various woods. Common woody notes include sandalwood, cedarwood, and patchouli.


Notes that evoke a fresh, clean, and airy quality, reminiscent of the smell of fresh air or the sea.


Notes that resemble the scent of talcum powder or soft, velvety textures. Powdery scents are comforting and elegant.


Fragrance notes that include spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, adding warmth and complexity to a scent.


A rich, sweet note derived from vanilla beans. Vanilla adds a comforting and gourmand quality to fragrances.


A fragrance note derived from the roots of vetiver grass. Vetiver has an earthy, woody, and smoky aroma.

Explore Fara London:

  • Discover our collection of vibrant floral perfumes.
  • Experience the richness of woody fragrances.
  • Find your signature scent with our captivating blends.

Visit our homepage to explore more about our premium perfumes and fragrances.