Perfume Terminology

I love perfume, but I know for a lot of people the jargon that comes with fragrances is a little intimidating so I’ve put together a little post about the most used terms in fragrance.

Parfum – the purest version of a scent, the parfum is very strong and definitely less is more and generally parfums are very expensive.

Eau de Parfum (EDP) – this is the strongest and purest form of a fragrance after pure parfum, EDP are generally more long lasting and wear better, usually an EDP will settle to a powdery smell.

Eau de Toilette (EDT) – a weaker version of a scent, usually when first sprayed it has a strong smell of alcohol and are generally not so long lasting.

Fragrance Pyramid – the notes of a perfume are organised in a pyramid with top notes, middle or heart notes and base notes.

Top Notes – when a fragrance is sprayed, the first smell is the top notes, it evaporates usually within about ten minutes and then you get the heart notes.

Heart Notes – once the top notes evaporate, the heart notes will be the next thing you smell, this will give way to the base notes.

Base Notes – when a fragrance finally settles down, the base notes come through and this is how the perfume will stay.

Chypre – fragrances which contain woody notes e.g. sandalwood.



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