Perfume
Overview
Perfume (ˈpɝː.fjuːm, French parfum paʁ.fœ̃) is a mixture of fragrant essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

s and/or aroma compound
Aroma compound
An aroma compound, also known as odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor...

s, fixative
Fixative (perfumery)
In perfumery, a fixative is a natural or synthetic substance used to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability when added to more volatile components. This allows the final product to last longer while keeping its original fragrance. Fixatives are indispensable commodities to the perfume...

s, and solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

s used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent
Odor
An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors...

". The odoriferous compounds that make up a perfume can be manufactured synthetically or extracted from plant or animal sources.

Perfumes have been known to exist in some of the earliest human civilizations either through ancient texts or from archaeological digs.
Encyclopedia
Perfume (ˈpɝː.fjuːm, French parfum paʁ.fœ̃) is a mixture of fragrant essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

s and/or aroma compound
Aroma compound
An aroma compound, also known as odorant, aroma, fragrance or flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor...

s, fixative
Fixative (perfumery)
In perfumery, a fixative is a natural or synthetic substance used to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability when added to more volatile components. This allows the final product to last longer while keeping its original fragrance. Fixatives are indispensable commodities to the perfume...

s, and solvent
Solvent
A solvent is a liquid, solid, or gas that dissolves another solid, liquid, or gaseous solute, resulting in a solution that is soluble in a certain volume of solvent at a specified temperature...

s used to give the human body, animals, objects, and living spaces "a pleasant scent
Odor
An odor or odour is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors...

". The odoriferous compounds that make up a perfume can be manufactured synthetically or extracted from plant or animal sources.

Perfumes have been known to exist in some of the earliest human civilizations either through ancient texts or from archaeological digs. Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds such as vanillin
Vanillin
Vanillin is a phenolic aldehyde, an organic compound with the molecular formula C8H8O3. Its functional groups include aldehyde, ether, and phenol. It is the primary component of the extract of the vanilla bean. It is also found in Leptotes bicolor, roasted coffee and the Chinese red pine...

 or coumarin
Coumarin
Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

, which allowed for the composition of perfumes with smells previously unattainable solely from natural aromatics alone.

History

The word perfume used today derives from the Latin per fumus, meaning "through smoke". Perfumery, or the art of making perfumes, began in ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a toponym for the area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and southwestern Iran.Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the...

 and Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

 and was further refined by the Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 and Persians.

Although perfume and perfumery also existed in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, much of its fragrances are incense
Incense
Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

 based. The earliest distillation of Ittar
Ittar
Attar also known as ittar is a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are taken from the botanical material through hydro or steam distillation. Oils can also be expressed by chemical means but generally natural perfumes which qualify as Ittar/Attars are...

, arabic meaning scent, was mentioned in the Hindu Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita.
The Harshacharita, written in 7th century in Northern India mentions use of fragrant agarwood
Agarwood
Agarwood or oodh is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees when they become infected with a type of mold...

 oil.

The world's first recorded chemist is considered to be a woman named Tapputi
Tapputi
Tapputi, also referred to as Tapputi-Belatekallim, is considered to be the world’s first chemist, a perfume-maker mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the second millennium BC in Mesopotamia. She used flowers, oil, and calamus along with cyperus, myrrh, and balsam. She added water then distilled...

, a perfume maker who was mentioned in a cuneiform tablet from the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. She distilled flowers, oil, and calamus
Calamus
Calamus may mean:*Calamus , a figure in Greek mythologyBotany and zoology*Sweet Flag , a tall wetland plant*Calamus , a genus of rattan palms*Calamus , a genus of fish in the family Sparidae...

 with other aromatics then filtered and put them back in the still several times.

In 2005, archaeologists uncovered what are believed to be the world's oldest perfumes in Pyrgos
Pyrgos (Cyprus)
Pyrgos is officially composed of two villages, the larger Kato Pyrgos and the smaller Pano Pyrgos . Together they have around 3000 inhabitants. Pyrgos is the only Cypriot town located on the Morphou Bay controlled by the Greek-Cypriot government...

, Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

. The perfumes date back more than 4,000 years. The perfumes were discovered in an ancient perfumery. At least 60 stills, mixing bowls, funnels and perfume bottles were found in the 43000 square feet (3,994.8 m²) factory. In ancient times people used herb
Herb
Except in botanical usage, an herb is "any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavoring, food, medicine, or perfume" or "a part of such a plant as used in cooking"...

s and spice
Spice
A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for flavor, color, or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth. It may be used to flavour a dish or to hide other flavours...

s, like almond
Almond
The almond , is a species of tree native to the Middle East and South Asia. Almond is also the name of the edible and widely cultivated seed of this tree...

, coriander
Coriander
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

, myrtle, conifer resin, bergamot
Bergamot orange
Citrus bergamia, the Bergamot orange, is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow colour similar to a lemon. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars recently matched the bergamot as a likely hybrid of Citrus limetta and Citrus aurantium...

, as well as flowers.

The Arabian chemist, Al-Kindi
Al-Kindi
' , known as "the Philosopher of the Arabs", was a Muslim Arab philosopher, mathematician, physician, and musician. Al-Kindi was the first of the Muslim peripatetic philosophers, and is unanimously hailed as the "father of Islamic or Arabic philosophy" for his synthesis, adaptation and promotion...

 (Alkindus), wrote in the 9th century a book on perfumes which he named Book of the Chemistry of Perfume and Distillations. It contained more than a hundred recipes for fragrant oils, salves, aromatic waters and substitutes or imitations of costly drugs. The book also described 107 methods and recipes for perfume-making and perfume making equipment, such as the alembic
Alembic
An alembic is an alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube...

 (which still bears its Arabic name).

The Persian chemist Ibn Sina (also known as Avicenna
Avicenna
Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā , commonly known as Ibn Sīnā or by his Latinized name Avicenna, was a Persian polymath, who wrote almost 450 treatises on a wide range of subjects, of which around 240 have survived...

) introduced the process of extracting oils from flowers by means of distillation
Distillation
Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

, the procedure most commonly used today. He first experimented with the rose
Rose
A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows...

. Until his discovery, liquid perfumes were mixtures of oil and crushed herbs or petals, which made a strong blend. Rose water was more delicate, and immediately became popular. Both of the raw ingredients and distillation technology significantly influenced western perfumery and scientific
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

 developments, particularly chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

.

The art of perfumery was known in western Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 ever since 1221, if we consider the monks' recipes of Santa Maria delle Vigne or Santa Maria Novella of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. In the east, the Hungarians produced in 1370 a perfume made of scented oils blended in an alcohol solution at the command of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary
Elisabeth of Poland
Elisabeth of Poland was Queen consort of Hungary and regent of Poland. She is also known as Elisabeth of Kujavia and Elisabeth Piast.-Early life:...

, best known as Hungary Water
Hungary Water
Hungary water was the first alcohol-based perfume, claimed to date to about the late 14th century...

. The art of perfumery prospered in Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, and in the 16th century, Italian
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 refinements were taken to France by Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

's personal perfumer, Rene the Florentine (Renato il fiorentino). His laboratory was connected with her apartments by a secret passageway, so that no formulas could be stolen en route. Thanks to Rene, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 quickly became one of the European centers of perfume and cosmetic manufacture. Cultivation of flowers for their perfume essence, which had begun in the 14th century, grew into a major industry in the south of France. Between the 16th and 17th century, perfumes were used primarily by the wealthy to mask body odors resulting from infrequent bathing. Partly due to this patronage, the perfumery industry was created. In Germany, Italian barber Giovanni Paolo Feminis created a perfume water called Aqua Admirabilis, today best known as eau de cologne
Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne or simply Cologne is a toiletry, a perfume in a style that originated from Cologne, Germany. It is nowadays a generic term for scented formulations in typical concentration of 2-5% essential oils. However as of today cologne is a blend of extracts, alcohol, and water...

, while his nephew Johann Maria Farina
Johann Maria Farina
thumb|Johann Maria Farina 1685-1766Giovanni Maria Farina was an Italian perfume designer and maker, born on 8 December 1685, in the town of Santa Maria Maggiore...

 (Giovanni Maria Farina) in 1732 took over the business. By the 18th century, aromatic plants were being grown in the Grasse
Grasse
-See also:*Route Napoléon*Ancient Diocese of Grasse*Communes of the Alpes-Maritimes department-External links:*...

 region of France, in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, and in Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, Italy to provide the growing perfume industry with raw materials. Even today, Italy and France remain the center of the European perfume design and trade
Trade
Trade is the transfer of ownership of goods and services from one person or entity to another. Trade is sometimes loosely called commerce or financial transaction or barter. A network that allows trade is called a market. The original form of trade was barter, the direct exchange of goods and...

.

Concentration

Perfume types reflect the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent, which in fine fragrance is typically ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 or a mix of water and ethanol. Various sources differ considerably in the definitions of perfume types. The intensity and longevity of a perfume is based on the concentration, intensity and longevity of the aromatic compounds (natural essential oils / perfume oils) used: As the percentage of aromatic compounds increases, so does the intensity and longevity of the scent created. Specific terms are used to describe a fragrance's approximate concentration by percent/volume of perfume oil, which are typically vague or imprecise. A list of common terms (Perfume-Classification) is as follows:
  • Perfume extract, or simply perfume (Extrait): 15-40% (IFRA: typical 20%) aromatic compounds
  • Esprit de Parfum (ESdP): 15-30% aromatic compounds, a seldom used strength concentration in between EdP and perfume
  • Eau de Parfum (EdP), Parfum de Toilette (PdT): 10-20% (typical ~15%) aromatic compounds, sometimes listed as "eau de perfume" or "millésime"
  • Eau de toilette (EdT): 5-15% (typical ~10%) aromatic compounds
  • Eau de Cologne
    Eau de Cologne
    Eau de Cologne or simply Cologne is a toiletry, a perfume in a style that originated from Cologne, Germany. It is nowadays a generic term for scented formulations in typical concentration of 2-5% essential oils. However as of today cologne is a blend of extracts, alcohol, and water...

     (EdC): Chypre
    Chypre
    Chypre, or , is the name of a family of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks...

     citrus type perfumes with 3-8% (typical ~5%) aromatic compounds. "Original Eau de Cologne" is a registered trademark.
  • Perfume mist: 3-8% aromatic compounds (typical non-alcohol solvent)
  • Splash (EdS) and After shave: 1-3% aromatic compounds. "EdS" is a registered trademark.

Solvent types

Perfume oils are often diluted with a solvent, though this is not always the case, and its necessity is disputed. By far the most common solvent for perfume oil dilution is ethanol or a mixture of ethanol and water. Perfume oil can also be diluted by means of neutral-smelling oils such as fractionated coconut oil
Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconuts harvested from the coconut palm . Throughout the tropical world, it has provided the primary source of fat in the diets of millions of people for generations. It has various applications in food, medicine, and industry...

, or liquid wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

es such as jojoba oil
Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is the liquid wax produced in the seed of the jojoba plant, a shrub native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. The oil makes up approximately 50% of the jojoba seed by weight....

.

Imprecise terminology

Although quite often, Eau de Parfum (EdP) will be more concentrated than Eau de Toilette (EdT) and in turn Eau de Cologne (EdC), this not always the case. Different perfumeries or perfume houses assign different amounts of oils to each of their perfumes. Therefore, although the oil concentration of a perfume in EdP dilution will necessarily be higher than the same perfume in EdT from within the same range, the actual amounts can vary between perfume houses. An EdT from one house may be stronger than an EdP from another.

Men's fragrances are rarely sold as EdP or perfume extracts; equally so, women's fragrances are rarely sold in EdC concentrations. Although this gender specific naming trend is common for assigning fragrance concentrations, it does not directly have anything to do with whether a fragrance was intended for men or women. Furthermore, some fragrances with the same product name but having a different concentration name may not only differ in their dilutions, but actually use different perfume oil mixtures altogether. For instance, in order to make the EdT version of a fragrance brighter and fresher than its EdP, the EdT oil may be "tweaked" to contain slightly more top notes or fewer base notes. In some cases, words such as extrême, intense, or concentrée that might indicate aromatic concentration are actually completely different fragrances, related only because of a similar perfume accord. An example of this is Chanel's Pour Monsieur and Pour Monsieur Concentrée.

Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne or simply Cologne is a toiletry, a perfume in a style that originated from Cologne, Germany. It is nowadays a generic term for scented formulations in typical concentration of 2-5% essential oils. However as of today cologne is a blend of extracts, alcohol, and water...

 (EdC) since 1706 in Cologne, Germany, is originally a specific fragrance and trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

. However outside of Germany the term has become generic for Chypre citrus perfumes (without base-notes). EdS (since 1993) is a new perfume class and a registered trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

.

Describing a perfume

The precise formulae of commercial perfumes are kept secret
Trade secret
A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers...

. Even if they were widely published, they would be dominated by such complex ingredients and odorants that they would be of little use in providing a guide to the general consumer in description of the experience of a scent. Nonetheless, connoisseurs of perfume can become extremely skillful at identifying components and origins of scents in the same manner as wine experts.

The most practical way to start describing a perfume is according to the elements of the fragrance notes of the scent or the "family" it belongs to, all of which affect the overall impression of a perfume from first application to the last lingering hint of scent.

Fragrance notes

Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, making the harmonious scent accord. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume.
  • Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person's initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.
  • Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the "heart" or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the heart notes.
  • Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and "deep" and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

The scents in the top and middle notes are influenced by the base notes, as well the scents of the base notes will be altered by the type of fragrance materials used as middle notes. Manufacturers of perfumes usually publish perfume notes and typically they present it as fragrance pyramid, with the components listed in imaginative and abstract terms.

Olfactive families

Grouping perfumes, like any taxonomy
Taxonomy
Taxonomy is the science of identifying and naming species, and arranging them into a classification. The field of taxonomy, sometimes referred to as "biological taxonomy", revolves around the description and use of taxonomic units, known as taxa...

, can never be a completely objective or final process. Many fragrances contain aspects of different families. Even a perfume designated as "single flower", however subtle, will have undertones of other aromatics. "True" unitary scents can rarely be found in perfumes as it requires the perfume to exist only as a singular aromatic material.

Classification by olfactive family is a starting point for a description of a perfume, but it cannot by itself denote the specific characteristic of that perfume.

Traditional

The traditional classification which emerged around 1900 comprised the following categories:
  • Single Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower; in French called a soliflore. (e.g. Serge Lutens
    Serge Lutens
    Serge Lutens is a French photographer, filmmaker, hair stylist, perfume art-director and fashion designer....

    ' Sa Majeste La Rose, which is dominated by rose.)
  • Floral Bouquet: Is a combination of fragrance of several flowers in a perfume compound. Examples include Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant
    Houbigant (perfume)
    Houbigant was a perfume manufacturer founded in Paris, France in 1775 by Jean-François Houbigant of Grasse , originally selling gloves, perfumes, and bridal bouquets. The original shop, called "A la Corbeille de Fleurs", was in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Over the centuries, the House of...

     and Joy
    Joy (perfume)
    Joy is a perfume created for Parisian couturier Jean Patou by perfumer Henri Alméras in 1929. It is considered to be one of the greatest fragrances created and is a landmark example of the floral genre in perfumery....

    by Jean Patou
    Jean Patou
    - Early life :Patou was born in Normandy, France in 1880. Patou's family's business was tanning and furs. Patou worked with his uncle in Normandy, then moved to Paris in 1910, intent on becoming a couturier.-1910s - World War I and later:...

    .
  • Ambered, or "Oriental": A large fragrance class featuring the sweet slightly animalic scents of ambergris
    Ambergris
    Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull gray or blackish color produced in the digestive system of and regurgitated or secreted by sperm whales....

     or labdanum
    Labdanum
    Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer and Cistus creticus , species of rockrose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.-History:...

    , often combined with vanilla
    Vanilla
    Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

    , tonka bean
    Tonka bean
    Dipteryx odorata is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Orinoco region of northern South America. Its seeds are known as Tonka Beans. They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth brown interior...

    , flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era
    Victorian era
    The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

     imagery of the Middle East
    Middle East
    The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

     and Far East
    Far East
    The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

    . Traditional examples include Guerlain
    Guerlain
    Guerlain is a French perfume house, among the oldest in the world. It has a large and loyal customer following, and is held in high esteem in the perfume industry...

    's Shalimar
    Shalimar (perfume)
    Shalimar is a women’s fragrance originally created by Jacques Guerlain in 1921 as a classic soft amber parfum, and currently produced by Guerlain.-History:...

    and Yves Saint Laurent
    Yves Saint Laurent (brand)
    Yves Saint Laurent or YSL is a luxury fashion house founded by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, Pierre Bergé. Today, its chief designer is Stefano Pilati. Yves Saint Laurent, founder of the brand, died in 2008.-History:...

    's Opium
    Opium (perfume)
    Opium is an Oriental-spicy perfume created for fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent by perfumer Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac of Roure, first marketed in 1977. Its top notes are a mixture of fruit and spices, with mandarin orange, plum, clove, coriander and pepper, as well as bay leaf...

    .
  • Wood: Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically of agarwood
    Agarwood
    Agarwood or oodh is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees when they become infected with a type of mold...

    , sandalwood
    Sandalwood
    Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

     and cedarwood
    Cedar wood
    Cedar wood comes from several different trees that grow in different parts of the world, and may have different uses.* California incense-cedar, from Calocedrus decurrens, is the primary type of wood used for making pencils...

    . Patchouli, with its camphor
    Camphor
    Camphor is a waxy, white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odor. It is a terpenoid with the chemical formula C10H16O. It is found in wood of the camphor laurel , a large evergreen tree found in Asia and also of Dryobalanops aromatica, a giant of the Bornean forests...

    aceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes. A traditional example here would be Myrurgia's Maderas De Oriente or Chanel
    Chanel
    Chanel S.A. is a French fashion house founded by the couturier Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, well established in haute couture, specializing in luxury goods . She gained the name "Coco" while maintaining a career as a singer at a café in France...

     Bois-des-Îles. A modern example would be Balenciaga
    Balenciaga
    Balenciaga is a fashion house founded by Cristóbal Balenciaga, a Basque designer, born in the Basque Country, Spain. He had a reputation as a couturier of uncompromising standards and was referred to as "the master of us all" by Christian Dior. His bubble skirts and odd, feminine, yet ultra-modern...

     Rumba.
  • Leather: A family of fragrances which features the scents of honey
    Honey
    Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

    , tobacco
    Tobacco
    Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

    , wood and wood tar
    Tar
    Tar is modified pitch produced primarily from the wood and roots of pine by destructive distillation under pyrolysis. Production and trade in tar was a major contributor in the economies of Northern Europe and Colonial America. Its main use was in preserving wooden vessels against rot. The largest...

    s in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather. Traditional examples include Robert Piguet's Bandit and Balmain
    Pierre Balmain
    Pierre Alexandre Claudius Balmain was a French fashion designer. Known for sophistication and elegance, he once said that "dressmaking is the architecture of movement."...

    's Jolie Madame.
  • Chypre
    Chypre
    Chypre, or , is the name of a family of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks...

    (ʃipʁ): Meaning Cyprus
    Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

    in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot
    Bergamot orange
    Citrus bergamia, the Bergamot orange, is a fragrant fruit the size of an orange, with a yellow colour similar to a lemon. Genetic research into the ancestral origins of extant citrus cultivars recently matched the bergamot as a likely hybrid of Citrus limetta and Citrus aurantium...

    , oakmoss
    Oakmoss
    Evernia prunastri, also known as Oakmoss, is a species of lichen. It can be found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe...

    , patchouli
    Patchouli
    Patchouli is a species from the genus Pogostemon and a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers...

    , and labdanum
    Labdanum
    Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer and Cistus creticus , species of rockrose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.-History:...

    . This family of fragrances is named after a perfume by François Coty
    François Coty
    François Coty was a French perfume manufacturer, newspaper publisher, and founder of the fascist league Solidarité Française...

    , and one of the most famous examples is Guerlain
    Guerlain
    Guerlain is a French perfume house, among the oldest in the world. It has a large and loyal customer following, and is held in high esteem in the perfume industry...

    's Mitsouko
    Mitsouko (perfume)
    Mitsouko is a 1919 perfume by Guerlain. Its name is derived from the French transliteration of a Japanese female personal name. Its top notes are a fruity chypre, with floral middle notes and spice base notes.-History:...

    .
  • Fougère
    Fougère
    Fougère, , meaning "fern-like", is one of the main families into which modern perfumes are classified, with the name derived from the perfume Fougère Royale for Houbigant formulated by the perfumer Paul Parquet. The class of fragrances have the basic accord with a top-note of lavender and...

    (fu.ʒɛʁ): Meaning Fern
    Fern
    A fern is any one of a group of about 12,000 species of plants belonging to the botanical group known as Pteridophyta. Unlike mosses, they have xylem and phloem . They have stems, leaves, and roots like other vascular plants...

    in French, built on a base of lavender
    Lavender
    The lavenders are a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. An Old World genus, distributed from Macaronesia across Africa, the Mediterranean, South-West Asia, Arabia, Western Iran and South-East India...

    , coumarin
    Coumarin
    Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

     and oakmoss
    Oakmoss
    Evernia prunastri, also known as Oakmoss, is a species of lichen. It can be found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe...

    . Houbigant
    Houbigant (perfume)
    Houbigant was a perfume manufacturer founded in Paris, France in 1775 by Jean-François Houbigant of Grasse , originally selling gloves, perfumes, and bridal bouquets. The original shop, called "A la Corbeille de Fleurs", was in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Over the centuries, the House of...

    's Fougère Royale pioneered the use of this base. Many men's fragrances belong to this family of fragrances, which is characterized by its sharp herbaceous and woody scent. Some well-known modern fougères are Fabergé
    Fabergé
    Fabergé may refer to:*House of Fabergé, a Russian jewelry firm founded by Gustav Faberge in 1842*Fabergé workmaster, goldsmiths who produced jewelry for the House of Fabergé*Fabergé eggs, the most famous works of the House of Faberge...

     Brut and Guy Laroche
    Guy Laroche
    Guy Laroche was a French fashion designer and founder of the eponymous company.Laroche began his career in millinery and, from 1949, Laroche worked for Jean Desses and eventually became his assistant. In 1955, he visited the US to investigate new ready-to-wear manufacturing methods...

     Drakkar Noir.

Modern

Since 1945, due to great advances in the technology of perfume creation (i.e., compound design and synthesis) as well as the natural development of styles and tastes; new categories have emerged to describe modern scents:
  • Bright Floral: combining the traditional Single Floral & Floral Bouquet categories. A good example would be Estée Lauder
    Estée Lauder Companies
    Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.-History:...

    's Beautiful.
  • Green: a lighter and more modern interpretation of the Chypre type, with pronounced cut grass, crushed green leaf and cucumber-like scents. Two examples would be Estée Lauder
    Estée Lauder Companies
    Estée Lauder Companies, Inc. is a manufacturer and marketer of prestige skincare, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The company has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.-History:...

    's Aliage or Sisley's Eau de Campagne.
  • Aquatic, Oceanic, or Ozonic: the newest category in perfume history, appearing in 1991 with Christian Dior's Dune. A very clean, modern smell leading to many of the modern androgynous perfumes. Generally contains calone
    Calone
    Calone or methylbenzodioxepinone, trade-named Calone 1951, was discovered by Pfizer in 1966. It is used to give the olfactory impression of a fresh seashore through the marine and ozone nuances...

    , a synthetic scent discovered in 1966. Also used to accent floral, oriental, and woody fragrances.
  • Citrus: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes, due to the low tenacity of citrus scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of primarily citrus fragrances. A good example here would be Brut.
  • Fruity: featuring the aromas of fruits other than citrus, such as peach, cassis (black currant), mango, passion fruit, and others. A modern example here would be Ginestet Botrytis.
  • Gourmand (guʁmɑ̃): scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla, tonka bean
    Tonka bean
    Dipteryx odorata is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Orinoco region of northern South America. Its seeds are known as Tonka Beans. They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth brown interior...

     and coumarin
    Coumarin
    Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

    , as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors. A sweet example is Thierry Mugler
    Thierry Mugler
    Thierry Mugler is a French fashion designer and creator of several perfumes.-Childhood:Mugler was born in Strasbourg, France on 21 December 1948. His passion led him to focus more on drawing than on school and at the age of 9, he began to study classical dance...

    's Angel. A savory example would be Dinner by BoBo, which has cumin and curry hints.

Fragrance wheel


The Fragrance wheel is a relatively new classification method that is widely used in retail and in the fragrance industry. The method was created in 1983 by Michael Edwards, a consultant in the perfume industry, who designed his own scheme of fragrance classification. The new scheme was created in order to simplify fragrance classification and naming scheme, as well as to show the relationships between each of the individual classes.

The five standard families consist of Floral, Oriental, Woody, Fougère, and Fresh, with the former four families being more "classic" while the latter consisting of newer bright and clean smelling citrus and oceanic fragrances that have arrived due to improvements in fragrance technology. Each of the families are in turn divided into sub-groups and arranged around a wheel.

Plant sources

Plants have long been used in perfumery as a source of essential oils and aroma compounds. These aromatics are usually secondary metabolites produced by plants as protection against herbivore
Herbivore
Herbivores are organisms that are anatomically and physiologically adapted to eat plant-based foods. Herbivory is a form of consumption in which an organism principally eats autotrophs such as plants, algae and photosynthesizing bacteria. More generally, organisms that feed on autotrophs in...

s, infections, as well as to attract pollinator
Pollinator
A pollinator is the biotic agent that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization or syngamy of the female gamete in the ovule of the flower by the male gamete from the pollen grain...

s. Plants are by far the largest source of fragrant compounds used in perfumery. The sources of these compounds may be derived from various parts of a plant. A plant can offer more than one source of aromatics, for instance the aerial portions and seeds of coriander
Coriander
Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

 have remarkably different odors from each other. Orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

 leaves, blossoms, and fruit zest are the respective sources of petitgrain
Petitgrain
Petitgrain is an essential oil that is extracted from the green twigs of the bitter orange plant via steam distillation.-Production:...

, neroli
Neroli
Neroli oil is a plant oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree . Its scent is sweet, honeyed and somewhat metallic, whereas bergamot, being rich in linalool , has more of an aromatic, soft, floralcy.- Production :The blossoms are gathered, usually by hand, in late April to...

, and orange oil
Orange oil
Orange oil is an essential oil produced by cells inside the rind of an orange fruit. In contrast to most essential oils, it is extracted as a by-product of orange juice production by centrifugation, producing a cold-pressed oil...

s.
  • Bark
    Bark
    Bark is the outermost layers of stems and roots of woody plants. Plants with bark include trees, woody vines and shrubs. Bark refers to all the tissues outside of the vascular cambium and is a nontechnical term. It overlays the wood and consists of the inner bark and the outer bark. The inner...

    : Commonly used barks includes cinnamon
    Cinnamon
    Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

     and cascarilla. The fragrant oil in sassafras
    Sassafras
    Sassafras is a genus of three extant and one extinct species of deciduous trees in the family Lauraceae, native to eastern North America and eastern Asia.-Overview:...

     root bark is also used either directly or purified for its main constituent, safrole
    Safrole
    Safrole, also known as shikimol, is a phenylpropene. It is a colorless or slightly yellow oily liquid. It is typically extracted from the root-bark or the fruit of sassafras plants in the form of sassafras oil , or synthesized from other related methylenedioxy...

    , which is used in the synthesis of other fragrant compounds.
  • Flower
    Flower
    A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

    s
    and blossom
    Blossom
    In botany, blossom is a term given to the flowers of stone fruit trees and of some other plants with a similar appearance that flower profusely for a period of time in spring...

    s
    : Undoubtedly the largest and most common source of perfume aromatics. Includes the flowers of several species of rose
    Rose
    A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows...

     and jasmine
    Jasmine
    Jasminum , commonly known as jasmines, is a genus of shrubs and vines in the olive family . It contains around 200 species native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World...

    , as well as osmanthus
    Osmanthus
    Osmanthus is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants in the family Oleaceae, mostly native to warm temperate Asia but one species occurring in North America . It is sometimes included in Nestegis.They range in size from shrubs to small trees, 2-12 m tall...

    , plumeria
    Plumeria
    Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants of the family that includes Dogbane: the Apocynaceae. It contains 7-8 species of mainly deciduous shrubs and small trees...

    , mimosa, tuberose
    Tuberose
    The tuberose is a perennial plant related to the agaves, extracts of which are used as a middle note in perfumery. The common name derives from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen or tuberous in reference to its root system. It consists of about 12 species...

    , narcissus, scented geranium
    Pelargonium graveolens
    Pelargonium graveolens is a species in the Pelargonium genus, which is indigenous to various parts of southern Africa, and in particular South Africa. It is often called geranium as it falls within the plant family Geraniaceae, although more correctly, it is referred to as Pelargonium. This...

    , cassie, ambrette as well as the blossoms of citrus
    Citrus
    Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

     and ylang-ylang
    Ylang-ylang
    Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-ylang , cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga , fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree),is a tree valued for its perfume...

     trees. Although not traditionally thought of as a flower, the unopened flower buds of the clove
    Clove
    Cloves are the aromatic dried flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae. Cloves are native to the Maluku islands in Indonesia and used as a spice in cuisines all over the world...

     are also commonly used. Most orchid flowers are not commercially used to produce essential oils or absolutes, except in the case of vanilla
    Vanilla
    Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

    , an orchid, which must be pollinated first and made into seed pods before use in perfumery.
  • Fruit
    Fruit
    In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

    s
    : Fresh fruits such as apple
    Apple
    The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, species Malus domestica in the rose family . It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apple grow on small, deciduous trees that blossom in the spring...

    s, strawberries
    Strawberry
    Fragaria is a genus of flowering plants in the rose family, Rosaceae, commonly known as strawberries for their edible fruits. Although it is commonly thought that strawberries get their name from straw being used as a mulch in cultivating the plants, the etymology of the word is uncertain. There...

    , cherries
    Cherry
    The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

     unfortunately do not yield the expected odors when extracted; if such fragrance notes are found in a perfume, they are synthetic. Notable exceptions include litsea cubeba
    Litsea
    Litsea is a genus of evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The genus includes 200 to 400 species in tropical and subtropical areas of both hemispheres.-Overview:Trees or shrubs, dioecious...

    , vanilla
    Vanilla
    Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

    , and juniper berry
    Juniper
    Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

    . The most commonly used fruits yield their aromatics from the rind; they include citrus
    Citrus
    Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

     such as oranges
    Orange (fruit)
    An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

    , lemon
    Lemon
    The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

    s, and limes
    Lime (fruit)
    Lime is a term referring to a number of different citrus fruits, both species and hybrids, which are typically round, green to yellow in color, 3–6 cm in diameter, and containing sour and acidic pulp. Limes are a good source of vitamin C. Limes are often used to accent the flavors of foods and...

    . Although grapefruit
    Grapefruit
    The grapefruit , is a subtropical citrus tree known for its sour fruit, an 18th-century hybrid first bred in Barbados. When found, it was named the "forbidden fruit"; it has also been misidentified with the pomelo or shaddock , one of the parents of this hybrid, the other being sweet orange The...

     rind is still used for aromatics, more and more commercially used grapefruit aromatics are artificially synthesized since the natural aromatic contains sulfur
    Sulfur
    Sulfur or sulphur is the chemical element with atomic number 16. In the periodic table it is represented by the symbol S. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow...

     and its degradation product is quite unpleasant in smell.
  • Leaves
    Leaves
    -History:Vocalist Arnar Gudjonsson was formerly the guitarist with Mower, and he was joined by Hallur Hallsson , Arnar Ólafsson , Bjarni Grímsson , and Andri Ásgrímsson . Late in 2001 they played with Emiliana Torrini and drew early praise from the New York Times...

    and twigs: Commonly used for perfumery are lavender
    Lavender
    The lavenders are a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. An Old World genus, distributed from Macaronesia across Africa, the Mediterranean, South-West Asia, Arabia, Western Iran and South-East India...

     leaf, patchouli
    Patchouli
    Patchouli is a species from the genus Pogostemon and a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers...

    , sage
    Common sage
    Salvia officinalis is a small, perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the family Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world...

    , violets
    Violet (plant)
    Viola is a genus of flowering plants in the violet family Violaceae, with around 400–500 species distributed around the world. Most species are found in the temperate Northern Hemisphere; however, viola species are also found in widely divergent areas such as Hawaii, Australasia, and the Andes in...

    , rosemary
    Rosemary
    Rosemary, , is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region. It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs, and is one of two species in the genus Rosmarinus...

    , and citrus
    Citrus
    Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the rue family, Rutaceae. Citrus is believed to have originated in the part of Southeast Asia bordered by Northeastern India, Myanmar and the Yunnan province of China...

     leaves. Sometimes leaves are valued for the "green" smell they bring to perfumes, examples of this include hay
    Hay
    Hay is grass, legumes or other herbaceous plants that have been cut, dried, and stored for use as animal fodder, particularly for grazing livestock such as cattle, horses, goats, and sheep. Hay is also fed to pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs...

     and tomato
    Tomato
    The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

     leaf.
  • Resin
    Resin
    Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

    s
    : Valued since antiquity, resins have been widely used in incense
    Incense
    Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

     and perfumery. Highly fragrant and antiseptic resins and resin-containing perfumes have been used by many cultures as medicines for a large variety of ailments. Commonly used resins in perfumery include labdanum
    Labdanum
    Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer and Cistus creticus , species of rockrose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.-History:...

    , frankincense
    Frankincense
    Frankincense, also called olibanum , is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana...

    /olibanum, myrrh
    Myrrh
    Myrrh is the aromatic oleoresin of a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora, which grow in dry, stony soil. An oleoresin is a natural blend of an essential oil and a resin. Myrrh resin is a natural gum....

    , Peru balsam, gum benzoin. Pine
    Pine
    Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

     and fir
    Fir
    Firs are a genus of 48–55 species of evergreen conifers in the family Pinaceae. They are found through much of North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, occurring in mountains over most of the range...

     resins are a particularly valued source of terpene
    Terpene
    Terpenes are a large and diverse class of organic compounds, produced by a variety of plants, particularly conifers, though also by some insects such as termites or swallowtail butterflies, which emit terpenes from their osmeterium. They are often strong smelling and thus may have had a protective...

    s used in the organic synthesis
    Organic synthesis
    Organic synthesis is a special branch of chemical synthesis and is concerned with the construction of organic compounds via organic reactions. Organic molecules can often contain a higher level of complexity compared to purely inorganic compounds, so the synthesis of organic compounds has...

     of many other synthetic or naturally occurring aromatic compounds. Some of what is called amber
    Amber
    Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

     and copal
    Copal
    Copal is a name given to tree resin that is particularly identified with the aromatic resins used by the cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica as ceremonially burned incense and other purposes...

     in perfumery today is the resinous secretion of fossil conifers.
  • Root
    Root
    In vascular plants, the root is the organ of a plant that typically lies below the surface of the soil. This is not always the case, however, since a root can also be aerial or aerating . Furthermore, a stem normally occurring below ground is not exceptional either...

    s, rhizome
    Rhizome
    In botany and dendrology, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes...

    s and bulb
    Bulb
    A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. The leaves often function as food storage organs during dormancy.A bulb's leaf bases, known as scales, generally do not support leaves, but contain food reserves to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions. At the center of the bulb is...

    s
    : Commonly used terrestrial portions in perfumery include iris
    Iris (plant)
    Iris is a genus of 260-300species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species...

     rhizome
    Rhizome
    In botany and dendrology, a rhizome is a characteristically horizontal stem of a plant that is usually found underground, often sending out roots and shoots from its nodes...

    s, vetiver
    Vetiver
    Chrysopogon zizanioides, commonly known as vetiver , is a perennial grass of the Poaceae family, native to India. In western and northern India, it is popularly known as khus. Vetiver can grow up to 1.5 metres high and form clumps as wide. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and...

     roots, various rhizomes of the ginger
    Ginger
    Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

     family.
  • Seed
    Seed
    A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

    s
    : Commonly used seeds include tonka bean
    Tonka bean
    Dipteryx odorata is a species of flowering tree in the pea family, Fabaceae, that is native to the Orinoco region of northern South America. Its seeds are known as Tonka Beans. They are black and wrinkled and have a smooth brown interior...

    , carrot seed, coriander
    Coriander
    Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the...

    , caraway
    Caraway
    Caraway also known as meridian fennel, or Persian cumin is a biennial plant in the family Apiaceae, native to western Asia, Europe and Northern Africa....

    , cocoa, nutmeg
    Nutmeg
    The nutmeg tree is any of several species of trees in genus Myristica. The most important commercial species is Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree indigenous to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia...

    , mace, cardamom
    Cardamom
    Cardamom refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds...

    , and anise
    Anise
    Anise , Pimpinella anisum, also called aniseed, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor resembles that of liquorice, fennel, and tarragon.- Biology :...

    .
  • Wood
    Wood
    Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

    s
    : Highly important in providing the base notes to a perfume, wood oils and distillates are indispensable in perfumery. Commonly used woods include sandalwood
    Sandalwood
    Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

    , rosewood
    Rosewood
    Rosewood refers to any of a number of richly hued timbers, often brownish with darker veining, but found in many different hues. All rosewoods are strong and heavy, taking an excellent polish, being suitable for guitars, marimbas, turnery , handles, furniture, luxury flooring, etc.In general,...

    , agarwood
    Agarwood
    Agarwood or oodh is a dark resinous heartwood that forms in Aquilaria and Gyrinops trees when they become infected with a type of mold...

    , birch
    Birch
    Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

    , cedar, juniper
    Juniper
    Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

    , and pine
    Pine
    Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

    . These are used in the form of macerations or dry-distilled (rectified) forms.

Animal sources

  • Ambergris
    Ambergris
    Ambergris is a solid, waxy, flammable substance of a dull gray or blackish color produced in the digestive system of and regurgitated or secreted by sperm whales....

    : Lumps of oxidized fatty compounds, whose precursors were secreted and expelled by the sperm whale
    Sperm Whale
    The sperm whale, Physeter macrocephalus, is a marine mammal species, order Cetacea, a toothed whale having the largest brain of any animal. The name comes from the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in the animal's head. The sperm whale is the only living member of genus Physeter...

    . Ambergris should not be confused with yellow amber
    Amber
    Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

    , which is used in jewelry. Because the harvesting of ambergris involves no harm to its animal source, it remains one of the few animalic fragrancing agents around which little controversy now exists.
  • Castoreum
    Castoreum
    Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver Castor canadensis and the European Beaver Castor fiber. Within the zoological realm, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac in combination with the beaver's urine, used during scent marking of territory...

    : Obtained from the odorous sacs of the North American beaver.
  • Civet
    African Civet
    The African Civet is the largest representative of the African Viverridae. It is the sole member of its genus. African Civets can be found from coast to coast across sub-Saharan Africa. They are primarily nocturnal and spend the day sleeping in dense vegetation...

    : Also called Civet Musk, this is obtained from the odorous sacs of the civets, animals in the family Viverridae, related to the mongoose
    Mongoose
    Mongoose are a family of 33 living species of small carnivorans from southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. Four additional species from Madagascar in the subfamily Galidiinae, which were previously classified in this family, are also referred to as "mongooses" or "mongoose-like"...

    . The World Society for the Protection of Animals
    World Society for the Protection of Animals
    The World Society for the Protection of Animals is an international non-profit animal welfare organization and also a federation of such organisations and active in over 150 countries with more than 1000 member societies.- Organization :...

     investigated African civets caught for this purpose.
  • Hyraceum
    Hyraceum
    Hyraceum is the petrified and rock-like excrement composed of both urine and feces excreted by the Cape Hyrax, , commonly referred to as the Dassie...

    : Commonly known as "Africa Stone", is the petrified excrement of the Rock Hyrax.
  • Honeycomb
    Honeycomb
    A honeycomb is a mass of hexagonal waxcells built by honey bees in their nests to contain their larvae and stores of honey and pollen.Beekeepers may remove the entire honeycomb to harvest honey...

    : From the honeycomb of the honeybee. Both beeswax and honey can be solvent extracted to produce an absolute. Beeswax is extracted with ethanol and the ethanol evaporated to produce beeswax absolute.
  • Deer musk
    Deer musk
    Deer musk is a substance with a persistent odor obtained from a gland of the male musk deer situated between its back/rectal area. The substance has been extensively used as a perfume fixative, incense material, and medicine, since ancient times. It was, and is still one of the most expensive...

    : Originally derived from the musk
    Musk
    Musk is a class of aromatic substances commonly used as base notes in perfumery. They include glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer, numerous plants emitting similar fragrances, and artificial substances with similar odors. Musk was a name originally given to a substance with a...

     sacs from the Asian musk deer, it has now been replaced by the use of synthetic musk
    Synthetic musk
    Synthetic musks, known as white musks in the perfume industry, are a class of synthetic aromachemicals created by chemist and fragrance companies to emulate the scent of deer musk or other natural musk...

    s sometimes known as "white musk".


Other natural sources

  • Lichen
    Lichen
    Lichens are composite organisms consisting of a symbiotic organism composed of a fungus with a photosynthetic partner , usually either a green alga or cyanobacterium...

    s
    : Commonly used lichens include oakmoss
    Oakmoss
    Evernia prunastri, also known as Oakmoss, is a species of lichen. It can be found in many mountainous temperate forests throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including parts of France, Portugal, Spain, North America, and much of Central Europe...

     and treemoss thalli.
  • "Seaweed"
    Brown algae
    The Phaeophyceae or brown algae , is a large group of mostly marine multicellular algae, including many seaweeds of colder Northern Hemisphere waters. They play an important role in marine environments, both as food and for the habitats they form...

    : Distillates are sometimes used as essential oil
    Essential oil
    An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

     in perfumes. An example of a commonly used seaweed is Fucus vesiculosus, which is commonly referred to as bladder wrack. Natural seaweed fragrances are rarely used due to their higher cost and lower potency than synthetics.

Synthetic sources

Many modern perfumes contain synthesized
Chemical synthesis
In chemistry, chemical synthesis is purposeful execution of chemical reactions to get a product, or several products. This happens by physical and chemical manipulations usually involving one or more reactions...

 odorants. Synthetics can provide fragrances which are not found in nature. For instance, Calone
Calone
Calone or methylbenzodioxepinone, trade-named Calone 1951, was discovered by Pfizer in 1966. It is used to give the olfactory impression of a fresh seashore through the marine and ozone nuances...

, a compound of synthetic origin, imparts a fresh ozonous metallic marine scent that is widely used in contemporary perfumes. Synthetic aromatics are often used as an alternate source of compounds that are not easily obtained from natural sources. For example, linalool and coumarin
Coumarin
Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

 are both naturally occurring compounds that can be inexpensively synthesized from terpenes. Orchid scents (typically salicylates
Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a monohydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid and a beta hydroxy acid. This colorless crystalline organic acid is widely used in organic synthesis and functions as a plant hormone. It is derived from the metabolism of salicin...

) are usually not obtained directly from the plant itself but are instead synthetically created to match the fragrant compounds found in various orchids.

One of the most commonly used class of synthetic aromatic by far are the white musk
Synthetic musk
Synthetic musks, known as white musks in the perfume industry, are a class of synthetic aromachemicals created by chemist and fragrance companies to emulate the scent of deer musk or other natural musk...

s. These materials are found in all forms of commercial perfumes as a neutral background to the middle notes. These musks are added in large quantities to laundry detergents in order to give washed clothes a lasting "clean" scent.

The majority of the world's synthetic aromatics are created by relatively few companies. They include:
  • International Flavors and Fragrances
    International Flavors and Fragrances
    International Flavors & Fragrances is a major producer of flavors and fragrances with sales of $2.6 billion in .Major competitors include Firmenich, Givaudan, and Symrise. IFF is a member of the S&P 500.-History:...

     (IFF)
  • Givaudan
    Givaudan
    Givaudan is a Swiss manufacturer of flavorings and fragrances. As of 2008, it is the world's largest company in the industry.-Background:The company's scents and flavors are developed most often for food and beverage makers, but they are also used frequently in household goods, as well as grooming...

  • Firmenich
    Firmenich
    Firmenich SA is a private Swiss company in the perfume and flavor business, it is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business, and ranks number two worldwide., Firmenich has created many of the world’s favorite perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of the most...

  • Takasago
    Takasago International Corporation
    is a major international producer of flavors and fragrances headquartered in Japan, with presence in 22 countries worldwide and net sales of $900 million in . Major competitors include Firmenich, International Flavors and Fragrances, Givaudan and Symrise.-History:...

  • Symrise
    Symrise
    Symrise is a major producer of flavors and fragrances with sales of € 1,572 million in 2010. Major competitors include Firmenich, Givaudan, International Flavors and Fragrances and Takasago International.-History:...


Each of these companies patents several processes for the production of aromatic synthetics annually.

Characteristics

Natural and synthetics are used for their different odor characteristics in perfumery
Naturals Synthetics
Variance Vary by the times and locations where they are harvested as well as how the product was extracted from the raw material. It's much more difficult to produce consistent products with equivalent odor over years of harvest and production. As such, the perfumer has to "manually" balance-out the natural variations of the ingredients in order to maintain the quality of the perfume. In addition, unscrupulous suppliers may adulterate the actual raw materials by changing its source (adding Indian Jasmine into Grasse Jasmine) or the contents (adding linalool to Rosewood) to increase their profit margin
Profit margin
Profit margin, net margin, net profit margin or net profit ratio all refer to a measure of profitability. It is calculated by finding the net profit as a percentage of the revenue.Net profit Margin = x100...

.
Much more consistent than natural aromatics. However, differences in organic synthesis may result in minute differences in concentration of impurities. If these impurities have low smell (detection) thresholds, the differences in the scent of the synthetic aromatic will be significant.
Components Thousands of chemical compounds; large potential for allergies. Depending on purity, consists primarily of one chemical compound. Sometimes chiral
Chirality (chemistry)
A chiral molecule is a type of molecule that lacks an internal plane of symmetry and thus has a non-superimposable mirror image. The feature that is most often the cause of chirality in molecules is the presence of an asymmetric carbon atom....

 mixtures of isomers, such as in the case of Iso E Super.
Scent Uniqueness Bears a slight resemblance scent to its originating material, depending on the how the extraction method denatures the odoriferous compounds. Similar to natural scents if the compounds are the same. Novel scent compounds not found in nature will often be unique in their scent and dissimilar to the scents of any naturals.
Scent Complexity Deep and complex fragrance notes. Softer with subtle scent nuances. Pure and pronounced fragrance notes. Structural and defined.
Price Perfume composed of largely natural materials are usually much more expensive. Prices are determined by the labor and difficulty of properly extracting each unit of the natural materials as well as its quality. Perfumes using largely synthetic aromatics can be available at widely-affordable prices. Synthetic aromatics are not necessarily cheaper than naturals, with some synthetics being more costly than most natural ingredients due to various factors such as the complexity of synthesis or extraction procedure. However, due to their low odor threshold, one does not need to use much of these materials to produce a perfume.

Obtaining natural odorants

Before perfumes can be composed, the odorants used in various perfume compositions must first be obtained. Synthetic odorants are produced through organic synthesis
Organic synthesis
Organic synthesis is a special branch of chemical synthesis and is concerned with the construction of organic compounds via organic reactions. Organic molecules can often contain a higher level of complexity compared to purely inorganic compounds, so the synthesis of organic compounds has...

 and purified. Odorants from natural sources require the use of various methods to extract the aromatics from the raw materials. The results of the extraction are either essential oils, absolutes, concretes, or butters, depending on the amount of wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

es in the extracted product.

All these techniques will, to a certain extent, distort the odor of the aromatic compounds obtained from the raw materials. This is due to the use of heat, harsh solvents, or through exposure to oxygen in the extraction process which will denature the aromatic compounds, which either change their odor character or renders them odorless.
  • Maceration/Solvent extraction: The most used and economically important technique for extracting aromatics in the modern perfume industry. Raw materials are submerged in a solvent that can dissolve the desired aromatic compounds. Maceration lasts anywhere from hours to months. Fragrant compounds for woody and fibrous plant materials are often obtained in this manner as are all aromatics from animal sources. The technique can also be used to extract odorants that are too volatile for distillation or easily denatured
    Denaturation (biochemistry)
    Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose their tertiary structure and secondary structure by application of some external stress or compound, such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent , or heat...

     by heat. Commonly used solvents for maceration/solvent extraction include hexane
    Hexane
    Hexane is a hydrocarbon with the chemical formula C6H14; that is, an alkane with six carbon atoms.The term may refer to any of four other structural isomers with that formula, or to a mixture of them. In the IUPAC nomenclature, however, hexane is the unbranched isomer ; the other four structures...

    , and dimethyl ether
    Dimethyl ether
    Dimethyl ether , also known as methoxymethane, is the organic compound with the formula . The simplest ether, it is a colourless gas that is a useful precursor to other organic compounds and an aerosol propellant. When combusted, DME produces minimal soot and CO, though HC and NOx formation is...

    . The product of this process is called a "concrete".
    • Supercritical fluid extraction
      Supercritical fluid extraction
      Supercritical Fluid Extraction is the process of separating one component from another using supercritical fluids as the extracting solvent. Extraction is usually from a solid matrix, but can also be from liquids...

      : A relatively new technique for extracting fragrant compounds from a raw material, which often employs Supercritical CO2
      Supercritical carbon dioxide
      Supercritical carbon dioxide is a fluid state of carbon dioxide where it is held at or above its critical temperature and critical pressure.Carbon dioxide usually behaves as a gas in air at STP or as a solid called dry ice when frozen...

      . Due to the low heat of process and the relatively nonreactive solvent used in the extraction, the fragrant compounds derived often closely resemble the original odor of the raw material.
    • Ethanol extraction: A type of solvent extraction used to extract fragrant compounds directly from dry raw materials, as well as the impure oily compounds materials resulting from solvent extraction or enfleurage. Ethanol extraction is not used to extract fragrance from fresh plant materials since these contain large quantities of water, which will also be extracted into the ethanol.
  • Distillation
    Distillation
    Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

    : A common technique for obtaining aromatic compounds from plant
    Plant
    Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

    s, such as orange blossom
    Orange Blossom
    Orange Blossom is a French band that plays a mix of electronic and world music.The band was formed in Nantes in 1993 with Pierre-Jean Chabot on violin and Jean-Christophe Waechter on percussions and vocals....

    s and rose
    Rose
    A rose is a woody perennial of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in colours ranging from white through yellows...

    s. The raw material is heated and the fragrant compounds
    are re-collected through condensation
    Condensation
    Condensation is the change of the physical state of matter from gaseous phase into liquid phase, and is the reverse of vaporization. When the transition happens from the gaseous phase into the solid phase directly, the change is called deposition....

     of the distilled vapour.
    • Steam distillation: Steam from boiling water is passed through the raw material, which drives out their volatile fragrant compounds. The condensate from distillation are settled in a Florentine flask. This allows for the easy separation of the fragrant oils from the water. The water collected from the condensate, which retains some of the fragrant compounds and oils from the raw material is called hydrosol and sometimes sold. This is most commonly used for fresh plant materials such as flower
      Flower
      A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

      s, leaves
      Leaf
      A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....

      , and stems
      Plant stem
      A stem is one of two main structural axes of a vascular plant. The stem is normally divided into nodes and internodes, the nodes hold buds which grow into one or more leaves, inflorescence , conifer cones, roots, other stems etc. The internodes distance one node from another...

      .
    • Dry/destructive distillation: The raw materials are directly heated in a still without a carrier solvent such as water. Fragrant compounds that are released from the raw material by the high heat often undergo anhydrous pyrolysis
      Pyrolysis
      Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures without the participation of oxygen. It involves the simultaneous change of chemical composition and physical phase, and is irreversible...

      , which results in the formation of different fragrant compounds, and thus different fragrant notes. This method is used to obtain fragrant compounds from fossil amber
      Amber
      Amber is fossilized tree resin , which has been appreciated for its color and natural beauty since Neolithic times. Amber is used as an ingredient in perfumes, as a healing agent in folk medicine, and as jewelry. There are five classes of amber, defined on the basis of their chemical constituents...

       and fragrant wood
      Wood
      Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

      s where an intentional "burned" or "toasted" odor is desired.
    • Fractionation: Through the use of a fractionation column, different fractions distilled from a material can be selectively excluded to modify the scent of the final product. Although the product is more expensive, this is sometimes performed to remove unpleasant or undesirable scents of a material and affords the perfumer more control over their composition process.
  • Expression: Raw material is squeezed or compressed and the oils are collected. Of all raw materials, only the fragrant oils from the peels of fruits in the citrus family are extracted in this manner since the oil is present in large enough quantities as to make this extraction method economically feasible.
  • Enfleurage
    Enfleurage
    Enfleurage is a process that uses odorless fats that are solid at room temperature to capture the fragrant compounds exuded by plants. The process can be "cold" enfleurage or "hot" enfleurage.- Process :...

    : Absorption of aroma materials into solid fat or wax and then extracting the odorous oil with ethyl alcohol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

    . Extraction by enfleurage
    Enfleurage
    Enfleurage is a process that uses odorless fats that are solid at room temperature to capture the fragrant compounds exuded by plants. The process can be "cold" enfleurage or "hot" enfleurage.- Process :...

     was commonly used when distillation
    Distillation
    Distillation is a method of separating mixtures based on differences in volatilities of components in a boiling liquid mixture. Distillation is a unit operation, or a physical separation process, and not a chemical reaction....

     was not possible because some fragrant compounds denature
    Denaturation (biochemistry)
    Denaturation is a process in which proteins or nucleic acids lose their tertiary structure and secondary structure by application of some external stress or compound, such as a strong acid or base, a concentrated inorganic salt, an organic solvent , or heat...

     through high heat. This technique is not commonly used in the present day industry due to its prohibitive cost and the existence of more efficient and effective extraction methods.

Fragrant extracts

Although fragrant extracts are known to the general public as the generic term "essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

s", a more specific language is used in the fragrance industry to describe the source, purity, and technique used to obtain a particular fragrant extract.

Of these extracts, only absolutes, essential oils, and tinctures are directly used to formulate perfumes.
  • Absolute: Fragrant materials that are purified from a pommade or concrete by soaking them in ethanol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

    . By using a slightly hydrophilic compound such as ethanol, most of the fragrant compounds from the waxy source materials can be extracted without dissolving any of the fragrantless waxy molecules. Absolutes are usually found in the form of an oily liquid.
  • Concrete: Fragrant materials that have been extracted from raw materials through solvent extraction using volatile hydrocarbon
    Hydrocarbon
    In organic chemistry, a hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons from which one hydrogen atom has been removed are functional groups, called hydrocarbyls....

    s. Concretes usually contain a large amount of wax due to the ease in which the solvents dissolve various hydrophobic compounds. As such concretes are usually further purified through distillation or ethanol based solvent extraction. Concretes are typically either waxy or resinous solids or thick oily liquids.
  • Essential oil
    Essential oil
    An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

    : Fragrant materials that have been extracted from a source material directly through distillation or expression and obtained in the form of an oily liquid. Oils extracted through expression are sometimes called expression oils.
  • Pomade: A fragrant mass of solid fat created from the enfleurage
    Enfleurage
    Enfleurage is a process that uses odorless fats that are solid at room temperature to capture the fragrant compounds exuded by plants. The process can be "cold" enfleurage or "hot" enfleurage.- Process :...

    process, in which odorous compounds in raw materials are adsorbed into animal fats. Pommades are found in the form of an oily and sticky solid.
  • Tincture
    Tincture
    A tincture is an alcoholic extract or solution of a non-volatile substance . To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60%...

    : Fragrant materials produced by directly soaking and infusing raw materials in ethanol
    Ethanol
    Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

    . Tinctures are typically thin liquids.


Products from different extraction methods are known under different names even though their starting materials are the same. For instance, orange blossoms from Citrus aurantium that have undergone solvent extraction produces "orange blossom absolute" but that which have been steam distilled is known as "neroli oil".

Composing perfumes

Perfume compositions are an important part of many industries ranging from the luxury goods sectors, food services industries, to manufacturers of various household chemicals. The purpose of using perfume or fragrance compositions in these industries is to affect customers through their sense of smell
Olfaction
Olfaction is the sense of smell. This sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates, and, by analogy, sensory cells of the antennae of invertebrates...

 and entice them into purchasing the perfume or perfumed product. As such there is significant interest in producing a perfume formulation that people will find aesthetically pleasing.

The perfumer

The job of composing perfumes that will be sold is left up to an expert on perfume composition or known in the fragrance industry as the perfumer. They are also sometimes referred to affectionately as a "Nez" (French for nose) due to their fine sense of smell and skill in smell composition.

The composition of a perfume typically begins with a brief by the perfumer's employer or an outside customer. The customers to the perfumer or their employers, are typically fashion houses or large corporation
Corporation
A corporation is created under the laws of a state as a separate legal entity that has privileges and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. There are many different forms of corporations, most of which are used to conduct business. Early corporations were established by charter...

s of various industries. The perfumer will then go through the process of blending multiple perfume mixtures and sell the formulation to the customer, often with modifications of the composition of the perfume.

The perfume composition will then be either used to enhance another product as a functional fragrance (shampoo
Shampoo
Shampoo is a hair care product used for the removal of oils, dirt, skin particles, dandruff, environmental pollutants and other contaminant particles that gradually build up in hair...

s, make-up, detergent
Detergent
A detergent is a surfactant or a mixture of surfactants with "cleaning properties in dilute solutions." In common usage, "detergent" refers to alkylbenzenesulfonates, a family of compounds that are similar to soap but are less affected by hard water...

s, car interiors, etc.), or marketed and sold directly to the public as a fine fragrance.

Technique

Although there is no single "correct" technique for the formulation of a perfume, there are general guidelines as to how a perfume can be constructed from a concept. Although many ingredients do not contribute to the smell of a perfume, many perfumes include colorants and anti-oxidants to improve the marketability and shelf life of the perfume, respectively.

Basic framework

Perfume oils usually contain tens to hundreds of ingredients and these are typically organized in a perfume for the specific role they will play. These ingredients can be roughly grouped into four groups:
  • Primary scents (Heart): Can consist of one or a few main ingredients for a certain concept, such as "rose". Alternatively, multiple ingredients can be used together to create an "abstract" primary scent that does not bear a resemblance to a natural ingredient. For instance, jasmine and rose scents are commonly blends for abstract floral fragrances. Cola
    Cola
    Cola is a carbonated beverage that was typically flavored by the kola nut as well as vanilla and other flavorings, however, some colas are now flavored artificially. It became popular worldwide after druggist John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886...

     flavourant is a good example of an abstract primary scent.
  • Modifiers: These ingredients alter the primary scent to give the perfume a certain desired character: for instance, fruit ester
    Ester
    Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...

    s may be included in a floral primary to create a fruity floral; calone
    Calone
    Calone or methylbenzodioxepinone, trade-named Calone 1951, was discovered by Pfizer in 1966. It is used to give the olfactory impression of a fresh seashore through the marine and ozone nuances...

     and citrus scents can be added to create a "fresher" floral. The cherry scent in cherry cola can be considered a modifier.
  • Blenders: A large group of ingredients that smooth out the transitions of a perfume between different "layers" or bases. These themselves can be used as a major component of the primary scent. Common blending ingredients include linalool and hydroxycitronellal.
  • Fixatives: Used to support the primary scent by bolstering it. Many resins, wood scents, and amber bases are used as fixatives.


The top, middle, and base notes of a fragrance may have separate primary scents and supporting ingredients. The perfume's fragrance oils are then blended with ethyl alcohol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

 and water, aged in tanks for several weeks and filtered through processing equipment to, respectively allow the perfume ingredients in the mixture to stabilize and to remove any sediment and particles before the solution can be filled into the perfume bottles.

Fragrance bases

Instead of building a perfume from "ground up", many modern perfumes and colognes are made using fragrance bases or simply bases. Each base is essentially modular perfume that is blended from essential oils and aromatic chemicals, and formulated with a simple concept such as "fresh cut grass" or "juicy sour apple". Many of Guerlain
Guerlain
Guerlain is a French perfume house, among the oldest in the world. It has a large and loyal customer following, and is held in high esteem in the perfume industry...

's Aqua Allegoria line, with their simple fragrance concepts, are good examples of what perfume fragrance bases are like.

The effort used in developing bases by fragrance companies or individual perfumers may equal that of a marketed perfume, since they are useful in that they are reusable. On top of its reusability, the benefit in using bases for construction are quite numerous:
  1. Ingredients with "difficult" or "overpowering" scents that are tailored into a blended base may be more easily incorporated into a work of perfume
  2. A base may be better scent approximations of a certain thing than the extract of the thing itself. For example, a base made to embody the scent for "fresh dewy rose" might be a better approximation for the scent concept of a rose after rain than plain rose oil
    Rose oil
    Rose oil, meaning either rose otto or rose absolute, is the essential oil extracted from the petals of various types of rose...

    . Flowers whose scents cannot be extracted, such as gardenia
    Gardenia
    Gardenia is a genus of 142 species of flowering plants in the coffee family, Rubiaceae, native to the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, southern Asia, Australasia and Oceania....

     or hyacinth, are composed as bases from data derived from headspace technology
    Headspace technology
    Headspace technology is a technique developed in the 1980s to elucidate the odor compounds present in the air surrounding various objects. Usually the objects of interest are odoriferous objects such as plants, flowers and foods. Similar techniques are also used to analyze the interesting scents...

    .
  3. A perfumer can quickly rough out a concept from a brief by cobbling together multiple bases, then present it for feedback. Smoothing out the "edges" of the perfume can be done after a positive response.

Reverse engineering

Creating perfumes through reverse engineering with analytical techniques such as GC/MS can reveal the "general" formula for any particular perfume. The difficulty of GC/MS analysis arises due to the complexity of a perfume's ingredients. This is particularly due to the presence of natural essential oils and other ingredients consisting of complex chemical mixtures. However, "anyone armed with good GC/MS equipment and experienced in using this equipment can today, within days, find out a great deal about the formulation of any perfume... customers and competitors can analyze most perfumes more or less precisely."

Antique or badly preserved perfumes undergoing this analysis can also be difficult due to the numerous degradation by-products and impurities that may have resulted from breakdown of the odorous compounds. Ingredients and compounds can usually be ruled out or identified using gas chromatograph (GC) smellers, which allow individual chemical components to be identified both through their physical properties and their scent. Reverse engineering of best-selling perfumes in the market is a very common practice in the fragrance industry due to the relative simplicity of operating GC equipment, the pressure to produce marketable fragrances, and the highly lucrative nature of the perfume market.

Health and environmental issues

Perfume ingredients, regardless of natural or synthetic origins, may all cause health or environmental problems when used or abused in substantial quantities. Although the areas are under active research, much remains to be learned about the effects of fragrance on human health and the environment.

Immunological

Evidence in peer-reviewed journals shows that some fragrances can cause asthmatic reactions in some individuals, especially those with severe or atopic asthma. Many fragrance ingredients can also cause headaches, allergic skin reactions or nausea.

In some cases, an excessive use of perfumes may cause allergic
Allergy
An Allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid...

 reactions of the skin. For instance, acetophenone
Acetophenone
Acetophenone is the organic compound with the formula C6H5CCH3. It is the simplest aromatic ketone. This colourless, viscous liquid is a precursor to useful resins and fragrances.-Production:Acetophenone can be obtained by a variety of methods...

, ethyl acetate
Ethyl acetate
Ethyl acetate is the organic compound with the formula CH3COOCH2CH3. This colorless liquid has a characteristic sweet smell and is used in glues, nail polish removers, and cigarettes...

and acetone
Acetone
Acetone is the organic compound with the formula 2CO, a colorless, mobile, flammable liquid, the simplest example of the ketones.Acetone is miscible with water and serves as an important solvent in its own right, typically as the solvent of choice for cleaning purposes in the laboratory...

 while present in many perfumes, are also known or potential respiratory allergen
Allergen
An allergen is any substance that can cause an allergy. In technical terms, an allergen is a non-parasitic antigen capable of stimulating a type-I hypersensitivity reaction in atopic individuals....

s. Nevertheless this may be misleading, since the harm presented by many of these chemicals (either natural or synthetic) is dependent on environmental conditions and their concentrations in a perfume. For instance, linalool, which is listed as an irritant, causes skin irritation when it degrades to peroxides, however the use of antioxidants in perfumes or reduction in concentrations can prevent this. As well, the furanocoumarin
Furanocoumarin
Furanocoumarins, or furocoumarins, are a class of organic chemical compounds produced by a variety of plants. They are biosynthesized partly through the phenylpropanoid pathway and the mevalonate pathway, which is biosynthesized by a coupling of dimethylallyl pyrophosphate and 7-hydroxycoumarin...

 present in natural extracts of grapefruit or celery
Celery
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac , depending on whether the petioles or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall...

 can cause severe allergic reactions and increase sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation.

Some research on natural aromatics have shown that many contain compounds that cause skin irritation. However some studies, such as IFRA's research claim that opoponax
Opoponax
Opopanax chironium, also known as sweet myrrh or bisabol myrrh, is a herb that grows one to three feet high and produces a large, yellow inflorescence. The plant thrives in warm climates like Iran, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Somalia, but also grows in cooler climates...

 is too dangerous to be used in perfumery, still lack scientific consensus.
It is also true that sometimes inhalation alone can cause skin irritation.

Carcinogenicity

There is scientific evidence that nitro-musks such as Musk xylene
Musk xylene
Musk xylene was the most widely used of the "nitro-musks", a type of synthetic musk fragrance, which mimic natural musk. It has been used as a perfume fixative in a wide variety of consumer products, and is still used in some cosmetics and fragrances....

 can cause cancer while common ingredients, like certain polycyclic synthetic musk
Synthetic musk
Synthetic musks, known as white musks in the perfume industry, are a class of synthetic aromachemicals created by chemist and fragrance companies to emulate the scent of deer musk or other natural musk...

s, can disrupt the balance of hormones in the human body (endocrine disruption). Some natural aromatics, such as oakmoss absolutes, contain allergens and carcinogenic compounds.

Pollution

Synthetic musks are pleasant in smell and relatively inexpensive, as such they are often employed in large quantities to cover the unpleasant scent of laundry detergents and many personal cleaning products. Due to their large scale use, several types of synthetic musks have been found in human fat and milk, as well as in the sediments and waters of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

.

These pollutants may pose additional health and environmental problems when they enter human and animal diets.

Species endangerment

The demands for aromatic materials like sandalwood, agarwood, musk has led to the endangerment of these species as well as illegal trafficking and harvesting.

Safety regulation

The perfume industry in the US is not directly regulated by the FDA, instead the FDA controls the safety of perfumes through their ingredients and requires that they be tested to the extent that they are Generally recognized as safe
Generally recognized as safe
Generally recognized as safe is an American Food and Drug Administration designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts, and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act food additive tolerance requirements.-History:On January 1, 1958,...

(GRAS). Due to the need for protection of trade secrets, companies rarely give the full listing of ingredients regardless of their effects on health. In Europe, as from 11 March 2005, the mandatory listing of a set of 26 recognized fragrance allergens was enforced. The requirement to list these materials is dependant on the intended use of the final product. The limits above which the allegens are required to be declared are 0.001% for products intended to remain on the skin,and 0.01% for those intended to be rinsed off. This has resulted in many old perfumes like chypres and fougère
Fougère
Fougère, , meaning "fern-like", is one of the main families into which modern perfumes are classified, with the name derived from the perfume Fougère Royale for Houbigant formulated by the perfumer Paul Parquet. The class of fragrances have the basic accord with a top-note of lavender and...

 classes, which require the use of oakmoss extract, being reformulated.

Preserving perfume

Fragrance compounds in perfumes will degrade or break down if improperly stored in the presence of:
  • Heat
    Heat
    In physics and thermodynamics, heat is energy transferred from one body, region, or thermodynamic system to another due to thermal contact or thermal radiation when the systems are at different temperatures. It is often described as one of the fundamental processes of energy transfer between...

  • Light
    Light
    Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

  • Oxygen
    Oxygen
    Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

  • Extraneous organic materials
    Dirt
    Dirt is unclean matter, especially when in contact with a person's clothes, skin or possessions when they are said to become dirty. Common types of dirt include:* dust — a general powder of organic or mineral matter...


Proper preservation of perfumes involve keeping them away from sources of heat and storing them where they will not be exposed to light. An opened bottle will keep its aroma intact for several years, as long as it is well stored. However the presence of oxygen in the head space of the bottle and environmental factors will in the long run alter the smell of the fragrance.

Perfumes are best preserved when kept in light-tight aluminium
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 bottles or in their original packaging when not in use, and refrigerated to relatively low temperatures: between 3-7 degrees Celsius (37-45 degrees Fahrenheit). The Osmothèque
Osmothèque
The Osmothèque is a perfume museum and conservatory in Versailles located near ISIPCA as a repository and conservatory for the formulae of perfumes. It was founded in 1988 by Jean Kerléo and several perfumers with the goal of reconstructing the formula for perfumes that have been lost and preserve...

, a perfume conservatory and museum, store their perfumes in argon
Argon
Argon is a chemical element represented by the symbol Ar. Argon has atomic number 18 and is the third element in group 18 of the periodic table . Argon is the third most common gas in the Earth's atmosphere, at 0.93%, making it more common than carbon dioxide...

 evacuated aluminium flasks at 12 degrees Celsius. Although it is difficult to completely remove oxygen from the headspace of a stored flask of fragrance, opting for spray dispensers instead of rollers and "open" bottles will minimize oxygen exposure. Sprays also have the advantage of isolating fragrance inside a bottle and preventing it from mixing with dust, skin, and detritus, which would degrade and alter the quality of a perfume.

See also

  • Aromatherapy
    Aromatherapy
    Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person's mind, mood, cognitive function or health....

  • Cosmetics
    Cosmetics
    Cosmetics are substances used to enhance the appearance or odor of the human body. Cosmetics include skin-care creams, lotions, powders, perfumes, lipsticks, fingernail and toe nail polish, eye and facial makeup, towelettes, permanent waves, colored contact lenses, hair colors, hair sprays and...

  • FiFi Awards - annual fragrance awards
    FiFi Awards
    The FiFi Awards are an annual event sponsored by The Fragrance Foundation which honor the fragrance industry's creative achievements and is the most prominent and prestigious celebratory event of the fragrance industry...

  • Fixative (perfumery)
    Fixative (perfumery)
    In perfumery, a fixative is a natural or synthetic substance used to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability when added to more volatile components. This allows the final product to last longer while keeping its original fragrance. Fixatives are indispensable commodities to the perfume...


Fragrance companies
  • Fragrance lamp
    Fragrance lamp
    A fragrance lamp, also known as a perfume lamp, effusion lamp or catalytic lamp is a lamp that disperses scented oil using a heated stone attached to a cotton wick. The catalytic combustion wick was originally developed in the 19th century for use in hospitals and mortuaries...

  • Fragrance Museum
    Fragrance museum
    The Farina Fragrance Museum is situated across from Cologne City Hall, and near the famous Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in the Obenmarspforten in Innenstadt, Cologne...

  • Fragrance oil
    Fragrance oil
    Fragrance oil, also known as aroma oils, aromatic oils, and flavor oils, are blended synthetic aroma compounds or natural essential oils that are diluted with a carrier like propylene glycol, vegetable oil, or mineral oil...

  • Incense
    Incense
    Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

  • Ittar
    Ittar
    Attar also known as ittar is a natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. Most commonly these oils are taken from the botanical material through hydro or steam distillation. Oils can also be expressed by chemical means but generally natural perfumes which qualify as Ittar/Attars are...

  • Museo del Profumo
  • Pheromone
    Pheromone
    A pheromone is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. Pheromones are chemicals capable of acting outside the body of the secreting individual to impact the behavior of the receiving individual...

  • Pomander
    Pomander
    A pomander, from French pomme d'ambre, i.e. apple of amber, is a ball made of perfumes, such as ambergris , musk, or civet. The pomander was worn or carried in a vase, also known by the same name, as a protection against infection in times of pestilence or merely as a useful article to modify bad...

  • Potpourri
    Potpourri
    Potpourri is a mixture of dried, naturally fragrant plant material, used to provide a gentle natural scent in houses. It is usually placed in a decorative wooden bowl, or tied in small sachet made from sheer fabric....

  • Sachet
    Sachet (scented bag)
    A sachet is a small cloth scented bag filled with herbs, potpourri, or aromatic ingredients.It is also defined as a small soft bag containing perfumed or sweet-smelling items also referred to as an ascent bag, scent bag, sweet bag, sachet bag, sachet de senteurs, spiced sachet, potpourri sachet,...

  • Scented water
    Scented water
    Scented water, odoriferous water or sweet water, is a water with a sweet aromatic smell. It is made of flowers or herbs and is the precursor of the modern day perfume...

  • Sex in advertising
    Sex in advertising
    Sex in advertising or sex sells is the use of sexual or erotic imagery in advertising to draw interest to a particular product, for purpose of sale. A feature of sex in advertising is that the imagery used, such as that of a pretty woman, typically has no connection to the product being advertised...

  • Toilet water
    Toilet water
    Eau de toilette is a lightly scented perfume used as a skin freshener. It is also referred to as "aromatic waters" and has a high alcohol content. It is usually applied directly to the skin after bathing or shaving. It is considered a "weak" perfume. Toilet water is defined as a dilute perfume...


Further reading

  • Burr, Chandler (2004). "The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession" Random House Publishing. ISBN 978-0-375-75981-9
  • Edwards, Michael (1997). "Perfume Legends: French Feminine Fragrances". Crescent House Publishing. ISBN 0-646-27794-4.
  • Moran, Jan (2000). "Fabulous Fragrances II: A Guide to Prestige Perfumes for Women and Men". Crescent House Publishing. ISBN 0-9639065-4-2.
  • Turin, Luca (2006). "The Secret of Scent". Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-21537-8.
  • Stamelman, Richard: "Perfume - Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin". Rizzoli. ISBN 978-0-8478-2832-6. A cultural history of fragrance from 1750 to the present day.
  • Süskind, Patrick (2006). "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer". Vintage Publishing (English edition). ISBN 978-0-307-27776-3. A novel of perfume, obsession and serial murder. Also released as a movie with same name in 2006.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK