In the world of Perfume, scents and words combine to write beautiful scented stories. Thanks to this glossary, we aim to clarify some technical terms and replace more common ones in an olfactory context. Become an educated nose by clicking on the following words to see their definitions, and on “here for more information” to learn more!
The glossary of perfume
Before being an alcoholic drink, absinthe is first and foremost a heady plant species. Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, wormwood grows in regions with a temperate climate and on dry land 👉 here for more information
The absolute is the result of a plant extract. This concentrate is obtained thanks to the technique of extraction with volatile solvents. This method involves macerating plants in a tank that undergo several successive washes to capture the odoriferous molecules. The solvent is then boiled to deliver a concrete (for flowers) or a resinoid (for other plants). After several washes and icings, the concrete gives birth to the absolute.
An accord comes from the association of several raw materials or simple notes that create a singular scent. Its harmony depends on the intensity of each of these notes and the balance of the dosages. Perfumers can therefore use woody, spicy, flowery or fruity accords in the base of their formulas for instance.
Alcoholate is the mixture obtained by maceration of vegetable raw materials in alcohol.
Aldehydes are synthetic components that exist naturally in citrus zest. They are used for their olfactory properties recognizable by their warm, oily, metallic smell but also because they bring power, stability and volume to a fragrance. The most famous aldehyde fragrance is probably Chanel No. 5.
Almond does not exist in its natural state in perfumery. These are synthetic materials that enable to reproduce its soft, powdery notes 👉 here for more information
Not to be confused with ambergris (a raw material of animal origin used in perfumery), the amber stone has a yellow-orange color. Its formation comes from the fossilization of coniferous resin. Amber is found on many jewels.
Different from the amber stone (fossil resin of conifers), ambergris is a raw material of animal origin from sperm whale concretion. After a certain period of flotation, the ambergris ends up on the shores of the beaches in the form of small fragment or big blocks 👉 here for more information
The ambrette is a large tropical plant that can grow up to 3.5 metres high. Native to India and the Asian forests, it is often confused with hibiscus 👉 here for more information
Ambrox is not a raw material that exists in nature. It is a synthetic olfactory compound, created in the laboratory. This molecule was created in the 50’s, thanks to the technical advances of organic chemistry. Ambrox was developed to reproduce as closely as possible the complex and sensual smell of ambergris. Indeed, ambergris is a natural ingredient, derived from a secretion produced by the sperm whale. Ambrox is synthesized from sclareol, a natural compound found in the scarlet sage. It is an ingredient rich in nuances and facets that perfumers generally use as a base note in oriental compositions. Ambrox brings a lot of hold to a perfume, while distilling a velvety sensation, very sensual. The nose will be able to detect animal, woody and musky notes which also recall the amber scent of labdanum. Perfumers also use ambroxan, a derivative of ambrox with similar olfactory characteristics.
Amyris is a plant little known in the West, native to Haiti and China. Its name comes from a Greek word meaning “strongly fragrant” 👉 here for more information
Angelica is a plant that comes from the Apiaceae family. Its flowering period coincides with the feast of the archangel Michael according to the old calendar, hence its name of angelica 👉 here for more informations
Anise is an aromatic plant of the umbelliferae family (like cumin, carrot or parsley) native to Asia. Today cultivated in temperate zones, anise is appreciated as much for its taste as for its smell 👉here for more information
Anosmia is a sense of smell disorder that generates a loss or a significant decrease in odour sensitivity.
The apple tree is a fruit tree that originated in Kazakhstan and has spread throughout the world over the years 👉 here for more information
The appraiser is an olfactory expert who works alongside the perfumer throughout the entire process of creating a fragrance. It is a profession that can be found in composition companies. This person is the intermediary between the client, the brand and the perfumer of the composition house. He/she is the one who translates the client’s wishes into scents and directs the nose to different olfactory tracks. The appraiser determines whether the formula is technically and olfactory successful and whether it really corresponds to the customer’s requirements.
The apricot is the fruit of the apricot tree. This fruit is cultivated for more than 2000 years in Asia and more particularly in China. It is a stone fruit with a velvety skin 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, some people consider aromatics to be an olfactory family in their own right. They include aromatic plant extracts such as thyme, basil, chamomile and lavender, its emblem. These notes reveal lemony, aniseed, mentholated and camphorated scents. Aromatic fragrances are mainly intended for so-called men perfumes.
Attar is one of the first forms of perfume developed in India, whose origins date back to antiquity. It is an alcohol-free perfume, widely used in the Middle East, but very little known in the West. The attar is still produced today in an artisanal way: plants such as herbs, spices or flowers are added to a base essential oil to soak it in. In most cases, this is sandalwood oil, which absorbs the fragrance of the added ingredients.
La Baigneuse is the emblem of Carrément Belle. She has been drawn by the artist Frédéric Jammes and proudly shows her feminine curves on our bottles since 1988.
Gum or resin of a fatty and solid consistency that comes from the extraction of certain plants such as incense.
When we talk about balsamic notes in a perfume, it’s not about the acrid smell of vinegar, on the contrary! These notes are generally found in oriental compositions where they bring a warm and sweet side. They are created in particular by addition of balms and resins. For example, vanilla or benzoin are considered as balsamic notes.
Bamboo is a rhizomic plant native to Asia, which can grow up to 30 meters high! It has been widely used throughout history as an ornamental plant, as food and even as a building material. In cosmetics, bamboo is also very appreciated for its numerous virtues 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, the essence of many fruits cannot be extracted naturally. And the banana is no exception to the rule 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, the base describes the elementary olfactory structure of a composition. It is a mixture of fragrant components often pre-established, which is the first step in the development of a perfume.
Basil is a plant native to Asia, which is now cultivated in Europe, Morocco but also in Reunion Island. Ingredient with mystical powers in certain cultures 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, especially for men, noses use the bay note a lot. But what is it exactly? This olfactory material comes from the pimenta racemosa, also called Indian wood 👉 here for more information
The beech is a variety of tree born in Europe that thrives in mountainous and humid regions. Its wood is appreciated for the ease with which it can be carved. It is also used as a combustible or in medicine thanks to its bark known to help fight fever 👉 here for more information
Benzoin comes from a bush of type sytrax found in Indonesia, Greece or Laos. Its resin is recovered and extracted with volatile solvents to obtain benzoin resinoid 👉 here for more information
Bergamot is a citrus fruit, the meeting between a lemon tree and a bitter orange tree, mainly located in Calabria, Italy 👉 here for more information
In the regions of Northern Europe, some scented materials manage to develop despite the cold. This is the case with birch, which is found in the taiga forests, especially in Sweden 👉 here for more information
Blackcurrant is a black berry with smooth skin. It is one of the few fruits that can be used in perfumery in natural form 👉 here for more information
Blotters are strips of paper whose quality is special: without glue and very absorbent. They are intended to be soaked or sprayed with a raw material or a composition, allowing the perfumer to appreciate the quality and to follow the evolution of the fragrance. Discover here our tips to try a perfume in the best way.
The broom is a small wild shrub that reveals golden yellow flowers… As fragrant as they are poisonous! The plant has hallucinogenic properties that feed many legends 👉 here for more information
Brazilian rosewood is a name that designates different species of exotic wood of the species Dalbergia, which grow in the tropics, mostly in India and Brazil 👉 here for more information
The cade is a Mediterranean shrub which proliferates in an environment of garigue, on the arid coasts of the south of France. It is actually a variety of juniper 👉 here for more information
Camphor comes from a large tree native to the Far East, belonging to the lauraceae family. To obtain camphor essential oil, the branches of the tree are chipped and then steam-distilled 👉 here for more information
The carambola, also known as the goa apple or starfruit, is a small fruit native to Asia and comes from the carambola tree. This amber yellow fruit grows in tropical regions and once cut, it looks like a five-pointed star 👉 here for more information
Caramel enter perfumery in the 90s thanks to the success of gourmand perfumes. Of course, it is not possible to extract an essence from caramel 👉 here for more information
Cardamom is an herbaceous plant native to India and Sri Lanka, nowadays cultivated in Guatemala, Ceylon and Central America 👉 here for more information
In perfumery for the moment, the seeds of the carrot are used. These are distilled to deliver an essential oil with powdery and musky facets 👉 here for more information
The carnation is a perennial plant that belongs to the family Caryophyllaceae. There are many varieties, such as the poet’s carnation, the one of China 👉 here for more information
Cascarilla is a genus of tree (croton eluteria) native to the West Indies, but which grows today in many tropical countries 👉 here for more information
Cashmeran is the trade name registered by the International Flavors & Frangrances (IFF) to designate a molecule resulting from synthesis, which does not exist in nature. This synthetic raw material, also called cashmere wood, was created in the 1970s by Dr. John Hall. It is therefore a very recent ingredient in perfumery. Using cashmeran allows perfumers to bring a woody and musky note to a composition. As its name suggests, this ingredient has a “velvety” aspect that enriches fragrances with a soft, balsamic scent that makes you want to wrap yourself in it…
Cassia is a rare shrub native to tropical America. It belongs to the mimosaceae family. This shrub with green foliage produces ball-shaped flowers with a bright yellow color 👉 here for more information
Castoreum is a kind of very fatty oil secreted by the glands of the North American beaver. The animal produces this substance to protect itself from cold and humidity by making its hair waterproof 👉 here for more information
Cedar is a conifer that grows on dry, poor soil and needs a lot of sun. The smell of cedar is green, dry and resinous 👉 here for more information
Celery is found in our salads and grows in our vegetable gardens, but it is also a raw material used in perfumery 👉 here for more information
There are different varieties of chamomile, this sacred flower whose origin dates back to ancient Egypt. In perfumery, one of the most widely used species is Roman chamomile 👉 here for more information
Champaca is a flower from the Magnolia Champaca, an Indian cousin of the magnolia. It is considered sacred in India and is mentioned in many legends 👉 here for more information
Champagne is a festive drink par excellence, and its effervescence is a delight to the taste buds. It is possible to obtain an essential oil by distilling the lees of champagne wine 👉 here for more information
The cherry alone embodies the fragrance of summer: fruity, sweet and sour. Its cultivation was democratized in Europe thanks to Louis XV, who was a fervent fan of this fruit 👉 here for more information
Emblem of Japan, the cherry blossom is celebrated every year at an event that now attracts tourists from all over the world. During the first week of April, the Hunami festival celebrates the blossoming of the Sakura, cherry tree in Japanese 👉 here for more information
The chilli pepper is a generic name. It refers to various varieties of berries originating from the West Indies and particularly Jamaica 👉 here for more information
Just the thought of it makes our mouths water and our nostrils tingle with its gourmand scent! Since the 90’s, chocolate has left the kitchen to be used in the composition of many perfumes 👉 here for more information
Chromatography is the technique used to analyse the composition of a perfume by separating the different olfactory components that make it up. It allows to identify the molecules in order to reproduce or rework them.
Chypre comes from the name of the perfume created by François Coty in 1917. The great success of Chypre was impressive so that is became the leader of the cyprus olfactory family, which gathers perfumes based mainly on oakmoss, labdanum, patchouli, bergamot…
Cinnamon is the bark of a tropical tree that, when dried in the sun, rolls up in the form of a stick. By distilling these barks, we obtain cinnamon essence 👉 here for more information
The cinnamon tree is a tropical tree native to Indonesia and India, still cultivated today in Sri Lanka. If its bark is very much used in cooking and perfumery, all the parts of the tree are of great interest 👉 here for more information
Ancestor of the lemon, the citron is a citrus fruit that we do not consume much nowadays. It is almost exclusively cultivated in France, especially in Corsica 👉 here for more information
By Hesperide or « Citrus » we mean the essential oils obtained from the zest of citrus fruits such as lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit… The first Eaux de Cologne used by women and men belonged to this olfactory family.
Civet is an animal raw material from the small mammal that would be the meeting of a fox and a cat in Ethiopia 👉 here for more information
Clary sage is an herbaceous plant native to southern Europe. It is now cultivated all over the world, especially in Russia and China 👉 here for more information
It is often confused with the mandarin orange, which is larger and fleshier. The clementine is a citrus fruit of the Rutaceae family. It is the fruit of the clementine tree, a cross between an orange and a mandarin tree 👉 here for more information
Cloves are cultivated in Madagascar, Indonesia or Zanzibar, where the flowers are picked by hand when the buds are ready to open 👉 here for more information
The coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, a tropical tree that belongs to the palm family. This exotic fruit has a smooth skin green or orange when is unripe 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, we obtain the absolute of coffee thanks to the extraction by volatile solvents of roasted coffee seeds 👉 here for more information
This French alcohol made in the region of the same name, is a wine brandy obtained from white grapes. Distilled twice and aged in oak barrels for at least two years, cognac has sweet and powerful aromas 👉 here for more information
Most often, perfumers work within a composition company that collaborates with different brands on several projects at the same time. There are many such companies in the world, but the most famous are Firmenich, IFF, Givaudan, Mane, Symrise or Robertet. A composition company or house brings together several professions to assist clients in the creation of a fragrance. They are constantly analyzing market trends. After a study of the customer brief, perfumer and appraiser work together to create a formula which will then be studied by the regulatory and stability department to check the stability of the fragrance and its evolution on the skin. The perfume is then manufactured in the composition company’s laboratory before being marketed.
Concrete is a waxy substance (solid or semi-solid) obtained after extraction with volatile solvents of certain plants such as jasmine, rose or oakmoss for instance.
This ingredient comes from a tree native to South America and West Africa called copayer (also spelled copaia). This tropical tree can grow up to 20 meters high 👉 here for more information
In the Aztec Nahuati language, copal means “incense”. This term refers to a semi-fossil resin that is extracted from trees of the genus Bursera 👉 here for more information
Adored or hated, coriander leaves no one indifferent. This aromatic plant has been known since the Greek and Roman civilizations for its medicinal properties and its gustatory virtues 👉 here for more information
The Indian costus, also called marine costus, is an herbaceous plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family. Native to India and Asia, its root has been used since the dawn of time in pharmacopoeia, particularly in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine 👉 here for more information
Coumarin is a natural organic substance. It is the main component of the tonka bean and its smell is sweet and powdery 👉 here for more information
The cranberry is a flowering plant that comes from North America. It grows in the cold and humid swamps of Quebec 👉 here for more information
The cucumber is a fruit (and not a vegetable as we might think) that comes from the curcubitaceae family. Just like the squash 👉 here for more information
Native to the Nile Valley, cumin is an herbaceous plant that produces small seeds with a pungent yet fresh flavor 👉 here for more information
Cyclamen is a winter flower that gives off a great fresh scent. In Roman times, it was even more appreciated because it was considered a powerful aphrodisiac 👉 here for more information
The cypress is a very common tree in the Mediterranean basin. Even if this coniferous tree can be found almost everywhere in the world, such as in China and the United States 👉 here for more information
Cypriol is an herbaceous plant that looks like papyrus. Rhizomic plant native to the Indian continent, the cypriol flourishes in the beds of rivers 👉 here for more information
A harbinger of spring, the daffodil is a flower native to the Middle East. It is actually a variety of narcissus, whose bright yellow flowers are very fragrant 👉 here for more information
Native to Mexico, the dahlia is a magnificent flower from a tuberous plant that includes several dozen species 👉 here for more information
The date is the small brown and fleshy fruit of the date tree, native to North Africa. It is a very popular staple food in the Middle East, which is used in the composition of many dishes 👉 here for more information
Datura is an herbaceous plant native to South America, which is widely found in Mexico today. Datura can be recognized by its long white and purple flowers that form trumpets 👉 here for more information
Davana is an aromatic plant native to southern India. Also called “marathi”, it belongs to the same family as mugwort, tarragon or wormwood. It is an integral part of many Indian traditions 👉 here for more information
Distillation is based on the ability of water vapor to capture essential oils. The raw material to distillate (petals, seed, roots…) is placed on perforated strays in a still filled of boiling water. When raising, the steam is impregnated with the odorous principles of the raw material. The essence extracted is recovered in a condenser and then in a separator. The water separates from the odorous elements by decantation and the essential oils can then be collected and used.
In a perfume, the dominant note is the one that is most perceptible from an olfactory point of view.
Dulce de leche is an addictive sweet also known as milk jam. Like the tarte tatin, this delicacy is the result of a mistake 👉 here for more information
Dyeing is an obsolete term today related to infusions: the solutions obtained by macerating raw materials in alcohol (example: tincture of vanilla, benzoin).
Eau de Cologne is a famous alcoholic solution created in the 17th century by Jean-Marie Farina. It owes its name to the city of Cologne in Germany where it was born. Eau de Cologne is essentially made of alcohol, but its heart comes from essential oils from hesperides. We add to this alcohol base, bergamot, lemon, orange, neroli, petit grain, sometimes some aromatics and orange blossom. Today, the name Eau de Cologne is used to define a category of perfumes. They contain mainly citrus, neroli, lavender and rosemary essences, dosed at about 5%. We explain you here the difference between Eau de Cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum, and perfume.
More concentrated in raw materials and therefore more precious than the eau de toilette (EDT), Eau de Parfum (EDP) is perfect to accompany you every day thanks to its finesse and its better persistence. We explain you here the difference between Eau de Cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum and perfume.
The eau de toilette is more concentrated in raw materials than the Eau de Cologne but less than the eau de parfum. Its wakes is light and it is usually the format you will mainly find in perfumeries. We explain you here the difference between Eau de Cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum and perfume.
Elemi is a gum resin produced by a large tree with whitish bark found in Southeast Asia and the Philippines. This raw material is also called Manila gum 👉 here for more information
The enfleurage is a perfume manufacturing technique. It is based on the ability of fat to naturally absorb odors. This method is practiced hot or cold, depending on the resistance of the plants. For hot enfleurage, plants are soaked in fats or oils previously heated until the flower releases its essence. The fat called pommade is then scraped and washed with alcohol, which keeps its smell. After several filtering to remove all traces of fat, we obtain the absolute: the highest concentration of perfume. Cold enfleurage allows to treat most delicate flowers whose petals are placed on thin of cold fat.
Etyl-maltol is a synthetic molecule. It is an artificial derivative of maltol, a natural molecule found in cocoa and roasted malt. Ethyl-maltol is a flavour enhancer, and its caramel smell with praline accents is six times more powerful than maltol. This molecule is widely used in perfumery to create gourmand accords with sweet cake or chocolate notes.
Eucalyptus is a tree native to Australia (which covers 95% of the country’s forests). Certain species have been planted in Latin America and Europe, notably around the Mediterranean basin 👉 here for more information
Eugenol is a viscous yellow liquid, which is the main constituent of clove and whose smell is very similar: spicy, woody, smoky. It is also naturally present in the essential oil of cinnamon. In perfumery it is often used in the synthetic state to recreate the particular floral accord of the carnation. Eugenol is found in many oriental and woody compositions.
The essential oil is a natural raw material obtained either by distillation or by expression. Also known as essence, it refers to aromatic and volatile products extracted from plants.
The expression is a perfume manufacturing method only used with citrus fruits. The cold expression makes it possible to recover the essential oils which are in their zest. Peel is separated from the fruit, pierced with many small holes and mechanically pressed. This process delivers a mixture of fragrant oil and water. Filtration of this extract finally allows to separate the aqueous parts from the essential oils.
The method of extraction in perfumery consists of dissolving the raw material of the plant in a solvent which we let then evaporate. The plants are immersed in a steel tank called “extractor”. They are then subjected to successive washes with organic solvents (ethanol or hexane) which fill with their smell. The perfumed solvent is boiled. When it evaporates, as solvent is more volatile than the material extracted from the vegetal, it produces a fat: a highly fragrant waxy substance called “concrete” for flowers and “resinoid” for dry materials. After several washing with alcohol and several icings, the purified concrete becomes the absolute.
This fancy denomination does not claim to be close to the smell of ferns. It includes an accord usually made with woody notes, lavender, thyme, rosemary, oakmoss, coumarin, bergamot, etc. The scents from this olfactory family are often made up of masculine notes.
Emblematic fruit of the Mediterranean basin, the fig is known for its sweet taste and its delicious perfume. However, its scent is quite complex with herbaceous and creamy notes 👉 here for more information
Some natural or synthetic odoriferous products may be considered fixatives. These are non-volatile substances used to increase the lasting of a composition by slowing the rate of evaporation of more volatile components. This is one of the great challenges of perfume since it is one of the most important factors that makes a perfume success.
It is a perfume derived from an existing fragrance. They may share the same bottle or a similar olfactory formula. For example, ippi patchouli clair is a flanker of ippi patchouli. The basic formula is the same to which solar and praline notes have been added.
The floral olfactory family is one of the most popular. It includes perfumes whose main theme is a flower: rose, jasmine, violet, lilac, lily of the valley, narcissus, tuberose, etc. They form a real floral bouquet loved by women especially in the West, but also by men more generally in the Middle East.
The four-o’clock is an herbaceous plant which measures between 30 and 80 cm in height. As beautiful as it is fleeting, it blooms abundantly in the cool of the evening and then fades away in the early morning 👉 here for more information
A fragrance, in opposition to the generic term of smell, is generally used to refer to a pleasant scented product. Today, fragrance is used as a synonym for perfume.
The olfactory pyramid corresponds to the structure and construction of a perfume. It consists of top, middle and base notes. We tell you everything here.
The frangipani, also called plumeria, is a shrub species native to Central America. Now found it on the Asian continent 👉 here for more information
The freesia is a small decorative and fragrant plant native to South Africa, and particularly to the Cape region. It is cultivated for its beautiful flowers with bright colors and for the bewitching scent which they release 👉 here for more information
Galbanum is one of the key ingredients of green and aromatic notes in perfumery. This plant, also called “gummy ferrule” is a perennial herb native to Iran and Afghanistan 👉 here for more information
Gardenia is a small shrub native to China, which produces beautiful white flowers with a bewitching scent in spring 👉 here for more information
Geranium rosat is a plant native to Africa. In perfumery, we use the essential oil of geranium obtained by the distillation of its leaves and stems 👉 here for more information
Ginger is a root used since the dawn of time for its culinary and medicinal virtues. Today this spice enters into the composition of different olfactory families such as oriental, citrus or woody 👉here for more information
The citrus fruit commonly known as grapefruit is actually a pomelo. It was discovered more than 200 years ago but its origin remains rather unclear between Asia and the United States 👉 here for more information
The guaiac is a tree native to South America. It is found more particularly in Paraguay and Argentina where it is commonly called “wood of life” because it is extremely resistant and dense 👉 here for more information
The guava is an exotic fruit from a tree native to South America, the guava tree. This round and fleshy fruit is consumed fresh or as nectar 👉 here for more information
Hawthorn is a small wild shrub. A distant cousin of the rosebush, our ancestors used to pick the small berries for their numerous phytotherapeutic virtues 👉 here for more information
The scent of freshly cut hay is a true reminder of nature’s bucolic charm. With the evolution of olfactory trends, the return to more “natural” and raw scents was quickly felt 👉 here for more information
The Head Space is a technique used in organic chemistry to isolate odorous molecules from a raw material 👉 here for more information
A perfume is said heady when it over-stimulates the sense of smell, or even saturates it. Unless it is a committed stance, heady perfumes often refer to compositions that do not seem harmonious and whose smell is overpowering.
Hedione, or methyl dihydrojasmonate, is one of the most used synthetic materials in perfumery. Discovered in the early 60s, this molecule is present in the absolute of jasmine and also in tea. Hedione is used in many compositions to enhance the freshness and the diffusion of a fragrance. It has a light and subtle scent of jasmine, green or slightly lemony.
There are more than 200 species of heliotropes in the world, but those used in perfumery come from South America 👉 here for more information
Heliotropin is a synthetic molecule that exists naturally and is found sparingly in the violet leaf. It comes in the form of a crystalline powder and its smell is quite close to coumarin, soft and powdery, somewhere between vanilla and almond. It remains more floral and delicate.
Honey is a sweet substance made by bees from the nectar of flowers. In perfumery, there is no essential oil of honey. Perfumers can use the absolute of beeswax 👉 here for more information
Honeysuckle is a climbing plant of the Caprifoliaceae family native to China. It is now found in the northern hemisphere and around the Mediterranean Sea 👉 here for more information
Hyacinth is a flower synonymous with spring and renewal. Native to Asia and the Balkans, this bulbous plant forms small, very fragrant star-shaped flowers 👉 here for more information
Hydrolate, or distilled water, is a plant extract obtained by steam distillation. It is the aqueous substance that persists after decanting and separating the essential oil. Floral waters, obtained from flowers, are part of hydrolats.
Hyperosmia is a disorder of sense of smell that exacerbates the ability to smell. It sometimes affects pregnant women.
Hyraceum is a raw material of animal origin that is uncommon in classic perfumery. This essence, derived from the fossilized excrement of a rodent that looks like a large marmot 👉 here for more information
Hyssop is an aromatic plant found in Mediterranean scrubland environments. This small shrub with purple and blue flowers is considered a sacred herb in the Catholic religion 👉 here for more informations
Icing is an operation that allows to cool an alcoholic solution to facilitate the precipitation of the less soluble substances, vegetable waxes, in order to obtain a clear product after filtration. This operation is used in the technique of extraction with volatile solvents to purify the concrete.
The International Fragrance Association was founded in 1973 by the perfume industry. It is a self-regulatory institute that publishes recommendations on the use of fragrant molecules in particular.
The common immortal, also called immortal of the sands or dunes, is a small shrub. It produces bright yellow flowers. It grows wild in the Mediterranean basin, in the south of France and mainly in Corsica 👉 here for more information
Incense comes from the bush resin that grows on arid and hot soils such as Ethiopia, Sudan, India or Somalia here for more information
Ionones and methylionones gather synthetic components that reproduce a violet note. These synthetic materials have a very sweet smell, powdery, floral, warm reminiscent of candy violet. They are particularly used in floral accords and especially in label rose, our precious and wild fragrance.
Iris is a rhizome plant with more than 200 species. It is a raw material much appreciated by perfumers, but also one of the most expensive ingredient in perfumery as it is necessary to wait for 3 years for the rhizomes 👉 here for more information
Isobutyl quinoline is a synthetic material that recreates the smell of leather, with warm, earthy, green, tobacco and licorice notes. Also called IBQ, this molecule has a very powerful smell and must be handled carefully! This is why it is used in very few compositions.
There are two varieties of jasmine used in perfumery: sambac and grandiflorum. The absolute of jasmine grandiflorum has a warm, sweet, fruity and opulent smell, while jasmine sambac is greener and more fruity, evoking banana and orange blossom 👉 here for more information
Juice is a term used in perfumery to designate the concentrated alcoholic solution of perfume.
Juniper is a widespread shrub in Europe, which is now cultivated in the Balkans, from Macedonia to Slovenia 👉 here for more information
Kôdo is the art of appreciating perfumes. This ancestral and unique practice in the world comes from Japan and is one of the three traditional arts with ikebana and the tea ceremony. Kôdô consists of creating aromatic compositions mainly based on scented woods. They are given to smell to an audience of experts during ceremony called Kôkai. Kôdô is based on the abily to recognize and memorize odors, and to discern the different notes. This art of smelling and appreciating fragrances involves a strong nose education.
The cistus is a small bush that grows in a garrigue environment. It is covered with a resin that protects it and prevents it from dehydrating, called labdanum 👉 here for more information
Laurel is a plant that belongs to the Lauraceae family. In perfumery we use the bay leaf also called noble bay, not to be confused with the oleander. Originally from Asia Minor, it was quickly established in the Mediterranean basin 👉 here for more information
Lavender is a raw material frequently used in perfumery. It is mainly cultivated in the south of France and in Bulgaria 👉 here for more information
Lilac is a shrub that grows in warm and temperate regions. A symbol of spring, small flowers grow in bunches in shades of mauve, purple and white on sunny days 👉 here for more information
The lily is an herbaceous flower that gives off a very powerful scent. It is capable of filling an entire room thanks to its imposing pistil 👉 here for more information
Lily of the valley is a mute flower that cannot be extracted naturally. It is therefore reconstituted using synthesis and in particular hydroxycitronnellal 👉 here for more information
Originally, liquorice is a perennial plant native to Asia and Europe. It can grow up to 1.5 meters high and has large leaves and pod-shaped fruits 👉 here for more information
Halfway between parsley and celery, lovage is an aromatic plant that grows in our European mountains, from the Alps to the Pyrenees 👉 here for more information
This family gathers scents with dry notes, trying to reproduce the characteristic smell of leather 👉 here for more information
Lemon is a citrus fruit that uses the essence contained in the peel of the fruit. The essential oil of lemon is obtained through the method of expression 👉 here for more information
Contrary to what we might think, lemongrass has nothing in common with lemon, except for the root of its name 👉 here for more information
The lotus is an aquatic plant of the Nelumbonacea family. It is the national flower of Vietnam and India. According to some writings, the lotus flower is the oldest known flower in the world 👉 here for more information
The lychee is a small fruit from a tropical tree of the same name originating from China where it is still cultivated 👉 here for more information
Also called nutmeg flower, mace is actually the thin film that envelops and protects the nutmeg. If nutmeg is known by almost everyone for its aroma and fragrance, mace is just as interesting olfactory-wise 👉 here for more information
Maceration is the technique of creating prolonged contact, from a few days to several months, between the concentrate and the alcohol in order to cold extract the soluble constituents of a solution. During the maceration, the vegetable substances form a precipitate removed after icing and filtering which make it possible to obtain a limpid liquid.
Native to Asia and North America, the magnolia is a tree that reveals star-shaped clusters of pink and white flowers that rise toward the sky 👉 here for more information
Mahogany is a term that designates a group of tropical trees that are part of the Meliaceae family. Depending on the variety and species, these trees can have a red, brown or even pink color 👉 here for more information
Like many other citrus fruits, mandarin comes from China. Often confused with the clementine, which is a hybrid between mandarin tree and bitter orange 👉 here for more information
The mango is one of the most consumed exotic fruits in the world. And for good reason, its fibrous orange-yellow flesh is both juicy and sweet: a real treat 👉 here for more information
Marshmallow is an officinal plant that grows in Europe, China and Russia. The roots of this plant are rich in mucilage, a substance that swells in contact with water, forming a viscous material comparable to gum 👉 here for more information
Marine harmony bring freshness and an iodine facet to the compositions. This accord refers to the marine environment 👉 here fore more information
The mastic tree is a plant of the family Anacardiaceaes. It has been cultivated since ancient times to perfume spirits and pastries. This know-how is inscribed in the World Heritage of Humanity 👉 here for more information
The melon is a fruit belonging to the cucurbit family. Although its geographical origin varies between Africa, India and Asia, its fresh and fruity scent is unanimously appreciated by perfumers 👉 here for more information
As you probably know, perfume appeals directly to our emotions through our olfactory memory. Some noses wanted to recall sweet childhood memories by recreating the scent of warm milk 👉 here for more information
Mimosa is a small shrub cultivated for its very fragrant yellow flowers in the shape of small balls. If it is cultivated today in Egypt, Morocco and France, especially on the French Riviera 👉 here for more information
Mint is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It includes many varieties, most of which are cultivated as aromatic or medicinal plants 👉 here for more information
Mod is an abbreviation for modification. Used by perfumers, this word designates the successive formulas worked on during the creation of a fragrance.
The mugwort is an herbaceous plant of the family of the asteraceous. In this family, we also find the wormwood and the tarragon 👉 here for more informations
Originally musk is an animal raw material from the odoriferous secretion of an abdominal gland of the musk deer 👉 here fore more information
Lily, lily of the valley, lilac, honeysuckle, peony, freesia, gardenia, carnation, violet, hyacinth: we call mute flower some flowers whose essence or absolute cannot be extracted naturally. Their smells are reproduced thanks to synthetic materials.
Myrrh is one of the oldest scented ingredients. Indeed, it was already used by the Egyptians in the preparation of kyphi 👉 here fore more information
Not to be confused with myrrh (a gum with a balmy smell), myrtle is an aromatic plant that grows around the Mediterranean basin 👉 here fore more information
The narcissus is an herbaceous perennial plant. It comes from the family Amaryllidaceae. These bulbs with yellow and white flowers are mainly produced in France 👉 here for more information
Neroli oil is an essential oil produced from the distillation of the orange blossom (unlike the orange blossom absolute, obtained by solvent extraction) 👉 here for more information
The nose is the organ of olfaction. This term is also used to describe a perfumer-creator. And without him, we wonder what we would do!
A perfume is made of several dozen or even hundreds of ingredients. These are revealed in 3 very distinct acts, 3 notes which reveal its character and form its olfactory pyramid.
The first, the top note, is composed of the lightest olfactory elements (citrus and aromatic notes). It lasts from a few minutes to 2 hours maximum.
The top note gradually shades off and then comes the middle note. Less explosive, it embodies however the main theme of perfume. It is made of floral notes, green, fruity or spicy, and will remain on your skin for about 3 hours.
Finally, an ultimate smell will bind intimately to your skin, not to leave it for hours, even days on your clothes. This is the base note, composed of tenacious, generous and captivating ingredients (woody, balsamic notes), which enables to prolong your fragrance over time and fix the top and the middle notes to give depth to the perfume.
Nutmeg is the fruit of the nutmeg tree, native to the Moluccan Islands in Indonesia. It is only on the female tree that the yellow-orange fruits fall when ripe 👉 here for more information
Oakmoss is a lichen. It is found on various trees such as fir, pines, willows, cedars and also some fruit trees 👉 here for more information
The olfactory bulb is a region of our brain dedicated to sensory perception and especially to the treatment of odors transmitted by olfactory neurons, the sensors present in our nose. It is a real olfactory library.
Olfactory families allow to classify perfumes. This classification is a traditional tool for perfumers to assemble perfumes according to their characteristics and their olfactory constructions. There are 7 main olfactory families introduced here.
The olfactory memory is the ability of our brain to record previously smelled scents associated with memories. Even more intense than hearing or sight, the sense of smell is a sensory perception directly related to the amygdala and the olfactory bulb, the areas of our brain that create and fix memories, and store emotions. Olfactory memory is the oldest of our memories since it appears at a very young age.
The olfactory pyramid is the structure and construction of a perfume. It is made of top, middle and base notes. Learn everything about it here.
Behind this name that makes us smile is a raw material that is widely used in oriental fragrances 👉 here for more information
The essence of sweet orange is obtained by cold expression of the zest of orange. It is mainly made of limonene 👉 here for more information
Orange blossom is a white flower from the bitter orange tree. Today cultivated in Morocco and Tunisia, the orange blossom is too fragile to be distilled 👉 here for more information
Like ambrox or ambroxan, orcanox is a synthetic molecule created in a laboratory that reproduces the scent of ambergris. Its smell is very sensual, with warm undertones and animal nuances. It also reveals a smoky and dry aspect that sometimes evokes tobacco. Orcanox is part of the category of amber woods, increasingly appreciated by perfumers. This synthetic material offers a powerful fragrance, which is usually found in the base note of oriental creations.
The orchid is a perennial plant of which there are more than 20,000 species, which are themselves divided into different genera. The orchid can be a herbaceous plant or grow as a liana in some tropical regions 👉 here for more information
Under the name of “oriental perfumes”, also called “amber perfumes”, have been gathered compositions with sweet, powdery, vanilla, ciste-labdanum, or animal notes very marked.
Osmanthus is a shrub with white flowers native to Asia. It is cultivated in Japan. These give off a powerful scent 👉 here for more information
Oud is a very popular perfumes of the Arab culture. It is now invited in the creations of perfumers all over the world 👉 here for more information
Sometimes the juice of your perfume changes. This phenomenon is explained by its oxydation: a chemical reaction that occurs when the perfume is in prolonged contact with the oxygen of the air, or strongly subjected to light or heat.
The perfumer has an olfactory palette made of all the natural or synthetic raw materials he uses to create his fragrances.
The palm tree is an exotic tree whose large green leaves are enough to make us travel. Less known, its flowers are however not without interest for our taste buds and our nostrils 👉 here for more information
Pandan is a tropical plant native to Indonesia that is widespread in Southeast Asia. It has long green leaves, with a powerful fragrance 👉 here for more information
Originating from the papaya tree, the papaya comes straight from Mexico. This long and fleshy fruit, filled with small seeds, is now known by all for its particular taste, both green and sweet, as well as for its many virtues 👉 here for more information
Parosmia is a sense of smell disorder that distorts the perception of odors. A person with parosmia confuses odors with each other.
From a plant of the passionflower family, the passion fruit is a tropical fruit that contains small seeds surrounded by a fruity and tart pulp 👉 here for more information
Patchouli is honored in 1921 by Coty and the new Chypre olfactory family. But it is at the beginning of the 70s, with the appearance of the hippie generation, that patchouli will become the symbol of the flower power 👉 here for more information
The peach tree, a fruit tree of the rosaceae family from China, originated in Antiquity. Like the apple or raspberry, the fruit does not deliver essence in its natural state 👉 here for more information
Pear was one of the first fruity ingredients to be used in perfumes. It appeared in the 90s, during the wave of gourmand fragrances! The fruit of the pear tree, native to Asia Minor, is well known for its sweet taste and tender, juicy flesh 👉 here for more information
The peony’s large pink, white or red flowers have been known and used since antiquity for their many virtues 👉 here for more information
Pepper is a spice that comes from pepper berries and is part of the oriental olfactory family. Produced in India, Brazil, Malaysia or Madagascar, berries are first harvested before they come of maturity 👉 here for more information
The etymology of the word perfume comes from the latin per fume, which means by the smoke. Indeed, since Antiquity, people use odorous substances such as wood or plants which they assemble and burn to produce smokes with different odors. Today a perfume means a fragrant composition whose smell is pleasant. Thus, we distinguish a smell from a perfume, the second being particularly pleasant. We explain here the difference between Eau de Cologne, eau de toilette, eau de parfum and perfume.
First imagined by the French writer Joris-Karl Huysmans in his book À rebours, the perfumer’s organ has become a true professional piece of furniture in which perfumers arrange the bottles of all their raw materials in a circular arc. Today, perfumer’s organs are gradually being replaced by computer systems.
We talk about persistence for a perfume by qualifying its behavior on the skin: its olfactory intensity over time. The longer a fragrance lasts, the better its persistence is.
Peruvian balsam is a colossal tree native to El Salvador, found in the “Cordillera des Balsamo” 👉 here for more information
The essential oil of petitgrain is obtained by the hydro-distillation of bitter orange tree’s branches and leaves 👉 here for more information
Pink pepper comes from South America. It is the pink berry harvested from the false pepper plant, a species of tree that grows in Peru and Brazil 👉 here for more information
The plum is a small, round and fleshy fruit. It comes from the plum tree, a tree native to Asia, although the writings on this subject differ 👉 here for more information
A perfume is called powdery when it reminds us the smell of compacts of former times, talc, rice powder. Difficult to describe, powdery notes evoke an olfactory and tactile memory at the same time. We are talking about soft, cottony and enveloping or even cosmetic notes. To create a composition with powdery notes, the perfumer can use different natural or synthetic materials as coumarin, heliotrope or ionones. Some flowers also create this powdery fragrance such as iris, violet or mimosa.
Praline is a pink candy that hides an almond covered with sugar. Besides its success in pastry, praline has also seduced perfumers in search of gourmand notes 👉 here for more information
The quince is the fruit of a quince tree whose origins lie in the southern Caucasus. This “golden apple”, cousin of the pear and the apple, is eaten in autumn for its deliciously sweet taste 👉 here for more information
The raspberry reminds us all of summer memories and wild picking. This small fruit comes from the raspberry tree, a shrub of the Rosaceae family 👉 here for more information
The raw material is the elementary constituent of a formula in perfumery.
Resininoid is a resinous product extracted from a dry raw material (foam, root, gum). It is is obtained by extraction with volatile solvents.
Rhubarb is an herbaceous plant cultivated in regions with a temperate climate. The peduncles of the leaf, which are in the form of a stringy stem, are eaten in cooking and especially in pastry as a pie or jam 👉 here for more information
Symbol of femininity and love, the rose has been used in perfumes since Antiquity. Two varieties of rose are appreciated in perfumery 👉 here for more information
Rosemary is an aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean regions, but also one of the oldest raw materials in perfumery 👉 here for more information
Rosewood is a tree that grows wild in the heart of the Amazon forest. Discovered in 1925, this tree bears the Latin name “aniba rosaeodora” and measures up to 40 meters high 👉 here for more information
Originating from America, rum is a sugar cane brandy of which there are hundreds of varieties and qualities. Still little used in perfumery, rum nevertheless develops a rare aromatic complexity with great potential 👉 here for more information
Rice is one of the must-have foods for households around the world. This small seed, which is the staple food of more than 50% of the world’s population, is grown in many countries, especially in Asia 👉 here for more information
Saffron, also called Persian red gold, is the most expensive spice in the world. Its precious pistil has been used since ancient Greece, in the kitchen as a spice but also as a cosmetic or as a dye 👉here for more information
Not to be confused with clary sage, which is also a fragrant raw material, sage is an aromatic plant, of the lamiaceae family 👉 here for more information
Sandalwood comes from the trees of the santalaceae family. It is an evergreen wood found in Asia. Known and used for millennia, sandalwood is part of many funeral rites 👉 here for more information
Sense of smell is one of the five senses that allows us to perceive, analyze and memorize odors.
The seringa is a small shrub of the botanical family Philadephaceae. Native to North America and more particularly to Quebec, the seringa produces small white flowers with a delicate fragrance 👉 here for more information
Shiso is a plant of the Lamiaceae family, which means that its leaves are fragrant. Also called perilla, this “Japanese parsley” is widely used in Asian cuisine for its aromatic taste, between mint and basil 👉 here for more information
A solinote perfume is a creation built around a central ingredient, which however integrates other raw materials to enhance the composition. This is the case of our eau de parfum vanille, whose major ingredient is Madagascar vanilla absolute, made even more gourmand thanks to caramel and almond.
Star anise is often confused with green anise. Unlike the small green seed grown in Europe used to make certain alcoholic beverages, this ingredient is a star-shaped fruit that contains small brown seeds 👉 here for more information
The strawberry is a fruit of the strawberry tree, a plant belonging to the rosaceae family. Its fruity and sweet smell cannot be extracted naturally from the fruit 👉 here for more information
Latin phrase meaning to be specific to a species or a thing. In perfumery it is said that a smell is sui generis when it is animal, musky or even human.
The principle is based on the use of CO2 gas placed in a supercritical state: neither liquid nor gaseous, but at a high pressure level called fluid. In this state, the gas acts like a solvent, which once dipped into the rose rose petals, extracts all the active elements without heating or adding chemical. At the end of the process, the CO2 is recovered by depressurization, which makes it a very ecological method because it is completely recyclable.
Although it looks like a small green lemon, the sweet lime should not be confused with the lime. This powerful raw material is the fruit of the tree, which is grown in Mexico, Peru and Brazil 👉 here for more information
Chemical synthesis is a series of chemical reactions that allow to obtain one or more products. In perfumery synthetic materials can recreate smells that cannot be extracted naturally, whose profitability is too low or whose exploitation in the natural state is dangerous for the environment or some species (see musk). Thanks to the synthesis, perfumers have an olfactory range infinitely more diversified. Synthetic molecules are highly controlled by European regulations.
Sytrax is a tree of the Styracaceae family which grows mainly in the warm regions of the world, especially in South America 👉 here for more information
Tagetes is an herbaceous plant that originally grew on the lands of South America and particularly in Mexico. Today it is cultivated mainly on the African continent 👉 here for more information
Tarragon is a perennial plant of the Asteraceae family, just like wormwood or mugwort. Its Latin name “artemisia dracunculus” explains why it is sometimes called pungent mugwort 👉 here for more informations
Terpenes are hydrocarbons plant, produced by many plants, especially conifers. Most of them constitute the odoriferous principle of plants: the smell they give off is due to the release of highly volatile molecules containing carbon atoms. They are major components of resin and turpentine.
Thyme is an aromatic plant of the Lamiaceae family. It forms a small shrub of 15 to 30 cm and grows on arid soil in sunny regions 👉 here for more information
The tiare flower, or gardenia tahitensis, is the emblem of Polynesia, Tahiti and the Cook Islands. The tiare tree is a shrub that grows in the Pacific islands 👉 here for more information
Tobacco is a product coming from dried leaves of tobacco plants found in Central America. In perfume industry, tobacco absolute is obtained by extraction 👉 here for more information
Tolu balm is a natural raw material that is still little known in Europe. This ingredient comes from the resin of a luxuriant tree found in South America, mainly in Colombia 👉 here for more information
In perfumery, some ingredients can sometimes seem surprising… And this is the case of the tomato leaf! If this fruit (yes, the tomato is indeed a fruit) is known by all for its fresh and summery taste, its leaves have found a more discreet way in perfumery 👉 here for more information
The tonka bean is a small black seed from Brazilian teak. It is a tree that grows to about thirty meters in height. In its raw state, the bean has a grilled, almond-like flavor reminiscent of caramel or dried hay 👉 here for more information
It is the first olfactory impression felt and perceived when spraying a fragrant alcoholic product.
Tuberose is a star-shaped white flower nestled on a long stem and with a strong, heady scent. This is one of the most fragrant plants that exists 👉 here for more information
Turmeric is an herbaceous plant with orange-yellow roots called rhyzomes. Native to India and Malaysia, it is considered a sacred spice 👉 here for more information
Vanilla planifolia is the only orchid to deliver a fruit: the vanilla pod. Originally from Amazonia, it is now grown in Indonesia, Madagascar, China and Reunion Island (bourbon vanilla) 👉 here for more information
Vanillin is a very popular ingredient for perfumers which comes from vanilla. This molecule was first extracted by the chemist Theodore Nicolas Golby who macerated pods in alcohol 👉 here for more information
Verbena is an aromatic plant of the verbenaceae family which comes in various species. The variety that interests perfumers the most is the odorous verbena 👉 here for more information
Vetiver is a tropical plant with rhizome that has become the emblem of woody fragrances. In perfumery we distil the dried roots of vetiver to deliver the essence 👉 here for more information
The violet is a small flower with five petals. In perfumery, only the leaves of the violet can be used in their natural state to obtain absolute 👉 here for more information
A solvent is a liquid that has the ability to dissolve other substances without modifying them and without modifying itself. Used during the extraction, volatile solvents make it possible to separate the raw material from its odorous components. In the past, ether was used but this product was too expensive and above all very flammable. The solvents used today are ethanol or hexane. The choice of the solvent depends on the desired boiling point and the solubility of it.
The wake is the olfactory impression in the atmosphere left by a person wearing a scented product.
The wallflower is a perennial plant quite common in European gardens. Tt blooms a lot in spring, making it very aesthetic 👉 here for more information
The botanical name of the tea is Camelia sinensis. White tea is actually a variety of this plant, as are black tea and green tea 👉 here for more information
The wine lees is the residue that settles at the bottom of the vats after the fermentation of the wine, the stage that precedes the bottling 👉 here for more information
Whisky is a spirit made from malted cereals, such as corn, barley, wheat or rye. Even today, it is not really known if the drink originates from Ireland or Scotland, each claiming to be its country of birth! 👉 here for more information
Woody fragrances represent an olfactory family with warm notes, such as sandalwood and patchouli, and sometimes dry, like cedar and vetiver. The base of these compositions generally perceived masculine, is most often composed of lavender or citrus notes.
Before being an alcoholic beverage (absinthe), wormwood is first and foremost a species of plant from the Asteraceae family. Native to Europe, Asia and North Africa, wormwood grows in regions with a temperate climate and on arid land 👉 here for more information
Ylang-ylang is a tree grown today in Madagascar, Reunion Island and Mayotte. Its essence is obtained by the successive distillations of its flowers 👉 here for more information
Zest is a piece taken from the fresh peel of a citrus fruit, from which the essential oil is then extracted (see Hespéridé).