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A Glossary of Perfume Terms for Newcomers to the World of Perfumery

The world of perfume and cologne can be overwhelming for newcomers. We're thrilled that you're beginning your journey with Fragrance Familia! With so many different terms and scents to learn about, it's easy to feel lost. But fear not! This glossary will guide you through 30 essential terms that every fragrance enthusiast should know. From base notes to sillage, you'll be a pro in no time!

  1. Eau de Parfum (EDP): A perfume with a medium-high concentration of fragrance oils, around 15-20%. Offers long-lasting scent.

  2. Eau de Toilette (EDT): A lighter fragrance with a concentration of 5-15% fragrance oils. Ideal for everyday wear.

  3. Eau de Cologne (EDC): A light fragrance with 2-4% fragrance oils. Often fresh and citrusy, traditionally favored by men.

  4. Top Notes: The initial scents in a fragrance, noticeable immediately upon application. They evaporate quickly.

  5. Middle Notes: Also known as heart notes, these emerge after top notes. They form the main body of the perfume.

  6. Base Notes: The deepest scents that appear last and linger the longest. They form the foundation of the fragrance.

  7. Sillage: The scent trail left by a perfume. Indicates how a fragrance is perceived in the surrounding space.

  8. Longevity: Refers to how long a fragrance lasts on the skin.

  9. Decants: Small amounts of perfume that have been transferred from a larger, original bottle into smaller bottles or containers. Shoppers enjoy buying mini perfumes, and Fragrance Familia will send you 3 free cologne decant samples with your full-sized bottle purchase!

  10. Accord: A blend of two or more notes creating a unique scent, different from its components.

  11. Concentration: The strength of a fragrance, based on the percentage of perfume oils.

  12. Olfactory Families: Categories for classifying perfumes, like floral, oriental, woody, and fresh.

  13. Absolute: A highly concentrated, aromatic oil extracted from plants used in perfumery.

  14. Aldehydes: Organic compounds used in perfumery to add freshness or a floral tone to fragrances.

  15. Amber: A sweet, resinous scent often used in oriental fragrances.

  16. Aromatic: Refers to fragrances featuring fresh, herbaceous scents, often with lavender or rosemary notes.

  17. Chypre: A fragrance family characterized by a warm, mossy-woody base with citrus top notes.

  18. Citrus: A fragrance family known for fresh, tangy scents like lemon, orange, and bergamot.

  19. Dry Down: The final phase of a fragrance, where base notes are most noticeable.

  20. Fougère: A fragrance family with a sharp herbaceous and woody scent. It's a popular category in men's fragrances.

  21. Gourmand: Fragrances that smell edible or dessert-like, often with vanilla, chocolate, or caramel notes.

  22. Indolic: Scents with a rich, animalistic quality often found in jasmine and tuberose.

  23. Musk: Originally derived from animals, now often synthetic, used to add depth and warmth to fragrances.

  24. Oriental: A fragrance family characterized by rich, exotic scents with spices, resins, and woods.

  25. Patchouli: A common base note with a deep, earthy, and woody scent.

  26. Resins: Sticky substances derived from trees, used for their rich and warm qualities in fragrances.

  27. Blind-Buy: You'll hear this a lot in your fragrance journey; blind-buying refers to purchasing a cologne or perfume, usually online, without ever actually sampling or smelling it. There's definitely a thrill associated with this! 

  28. Spicy: Scents characterized by notes like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.

  29. Synthetic: Man-made fragrance molecules used to create or enhance scents.

  30. Woody: A fragrance family with warm, dry scents reminiscent of wood, bark, and moss.

This glossary covers a wide range of terms that are essential for understanding the art and science of perfumery, providing a solid foundation for anyone new to this captivating world.

Are there any other perfume terms that you're unsure about or would like further information on? Please let us know in the comments - we're here to help!

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