DO YOU SPEAK PERFUME?

A

ABSOLUTE ⏤ Highly concentrated essence obtained by solvent extraction of the concrete (see below).
ACCORD ⏤ Basic character of a fragrance; Balanced blend of 3 or 4 notes creating a new odour impression.
AGRESTIC ⏤ "Related to countryside, rural". It refers to perfumes with dry, earthy, hay, tobacco, lovage, elderflower, and even oakmoss notes.
ALDEHYDE ⏤ Isolate from naturals or synthetics imparting a vivid, sparkly top note.
ALDEHYDIC ⏤ Citrusy, fatty, cucumber-y, soapy, sharp or metallic note from aldehyde molecule.
AMBER ⏤ Accord of balsams (benzoin, labdanum, styrax), fir, vanilla; Synonym of "Oriental”.
AMBERY ⏤ Synonym of "amber" accord or scent, used as base notes for body and longevity; New name of the "Oriental" perfume family.
AMBERGRIS ⏤ Lumps of oxidized fatty compounds expelled by sperm whales after ingesting pointy squid beaks. Commonly referred to as "amber’.
AMBRETTE ⏤ Absolute extracted from a hibiscus flower seeds to use as vegan musk. 
ANIMALIC ⏤ Animal ingredients (musk, civet, castoreum, ambergris); Plants with leather or musk; Animal, poopy, sweaty, funky, indolic, sexy notes.
AROMA ⏤ Term used to describe a sensation which is between smell and taste (i.e. aroma of coffee).
AROMATIC ⏤ Term for green, herbal notes; Designates the Fougère family with these notes.
AROMACHEMICAL ⏤ Synthetic molecule used in modern perfumery to mimic
 scents that cannot be extracted from nature (fruits) or low yield flowers (gardenia), to enhance fragrances or replace costly essential oils, for longevity or ethical reasons.
ATTAR ⏤ From ancient Persian "to smell sweet", type of concentrated oil perfume used for centuries in India and the Middle East.

B​

BALSAM ⏤ Resinous substance from the bark, twigs or leaves of some trees or shrubs (e.g. benzoin, labdanum, styrax) to add warmth to perfumes.
BALSAMIC ⏤ Sweet, woody notes from balsams or from beeswax, giving a round, sweet, mild, and warmth to perfumes.
BASE NOTE ⏤ Underlying note of a perfume, from wood, roots or animal essences, conveying long-lasting effect.
BITTER ⏤ Metallic green scent, without sweetness (i.e. bitter orange, coniferous).
BLEND ⏤ Harmonious mixture of perfume ingredients.
BODY ⏤ Main theme of a perfume made of middle or "heart" notes; Also describes a well rounded or full perfume.
BOTTOM/BASE (NOTE) ⏤ Foundation of a perfume with long-lasting, 
low volatility or fixative woods, roots, spices, resins, balsams, animalic ingredients.

C

CHYPRÉ ⏤ Fragrance family made with bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli and labdanum.
CIVET ⏤ Absolute with musky, tobacco scent, obtained from odorous sacs of civet, an animal in the family Viverridae.
CLASSIC ⏤ Widely accepted fragrance, popular for a minimum of 15 years.
CLOYING ⏤ Excessively sticky sweet odour.
CONCRETE ⏤ Solid waxy substance obtained by solvent extraction of plant material (flowers, bark, leaves).
CONIFEROUS ⏤ Cone-bearing trees and shrubs; Scent from coniferous essences.
COUMARIN ⏤ Chemical compound with sweet, hay, vanilla odour, from tonka beans, some plants or synthetically to add warmth and depth.
 

D

DEPTH ⏤ Rich, full-bodied fragrance odour with low volatility.
DIFFUSION ⏤ Fragrance radiation around the wearer and its surrounding.
DILUTION ⏤ Mellowed solution in a high proportion of alcohol or oils to make it less concentrated.
DISTILLATION ⏤ Aromatic compounds extraction technique from plants, through steam distillation.
DISTILLATE ⏤ Product of steam distillation extraction process, synonym of "floral water" (e.g. rose, lavender, basil distillate).
DRY ⏤ Woody, pencil sharpener odour, referred as “masculine”.
DRYDOWN ⏤ Final phase of a perfume after several hours of application to evaluate its tenacity.
 

E

EARTHY ⏤ Odour of soil freshly turned earth, with musty, rooty, mossy, woody character.
EAU DE COLOGNE ⏤ Fresh, light, citrusy alcohol-based perfume with 2-4% aromatic concentration; G
enerally men’s perfume.
EAU DE PARFUM ⏤ Alcohol-based perfume with 8-15% aromatic concentration.
EAU DE TOILETTE ⏤ Alcohol-based perfume light yet relatively lasting with 4-8% aromatic concentration.
ENFLEURAGE ⏤ Extraction method of heat sensitive flower petals on layers of fats, washed with ethanol to extract its essence.
ESSENTIAL OIL ⏤ Essence or oily extract of plants by distillation of plants parts (flowers, leaves, roots, bark, grass, stems, seeds, fruits, moss, resins).
EUGENOL ⏤ Powerful spicy clove-like odour found in clove, cinnamon leaf and some flowers (carnation, rose, violet, hyacinth).
EXPRESSION ⏤ Technique of extraction of citrus essence by squeezing or compressing its peel.
 
EXTRAIT ⏤ Alcohol-based perfume with +30% aromatic concentration. Our Parfums absolus are, in fact, extraits.

F

FIXATIVE ⏤ Note used to extend, enhance, improve the longevity of a fragrance using specific materials.
FLACON ⏤ Beautifully designed perfume bottle from French "flacon" (bottle).
FLAT ⏤ Fragrance that lacks of diffusion and distinction.
FLORAL ⏤ Fragrance family with main notes of a specific flower (soliflore) or a blend of several floral notes.
FLOWERY ⏤ Odour of some aromachemicals resembling a flower but not 100% floral (heliotropin, rhodinol, hedione, anistic aldehyde).
FOREST BLEND/SCENT ⏤ Aromatic, woodsy, mossy, coniferous odour or accord of various notes.
FOUGÈRE ⏤ French word for "fern" and fragrance family blending lavender, citrus, coumarin to create men’s fragrances, today a genderless family.
FRAGRANCE FAMILY ⏤ Type of fragrances with similar notes and key ingredients accords said to be in the same family or group.
FRAGRANCE LAYERING ⏤ Application of various forms (oil, alcohol) of the same or different perfumes to make it last longer or create a new scent.
FRAGRANCE WARDROBE ⏤ Collection of various fragrances for various occasions, moods, or times of the day.
FRESH ⏤ Invigorating, outdoorsy or nature-inspired scent with green, citrus notes.
FRUITY ⏤ Full, ripe, edible fruit odour other than citrus (apricot, pineapple, banana, raspberry).
FULL-BODIED ⏤ Well-rounded fragrance with depth and richness.
FUNGAL ⏤ Musty, moldy, mushroom and fungi note and key note in muguet and other floral fragrances.

G

GOURMAND ⏤ Edible, yummy, rich, vanilla, creamy, pastries, sweet, cocoa, perfume note. Designates the fragrance family using them as main notes.
GREEN ⏤ Fragrance family with herbs, leaves, fresh-cut grass, forest, green notes.
GUM ⏤ Resinous substance exuded from the bark, twigs or leaves of some trees or shrubs.

H

HARMONIOUS ⏤ Order, accord and unity in fragrance.
HARSH ⏤ Crude, unbalanced, rough pungent odour.
HEADY ⏤ Strong, bold, powerful odour.
HEAVY ⏤ Intense, forceful, often sweet, balsamic or musky odour.
HERBACEOUS ⏤ Grassy, green, herbal, medicinal spicy notes (chamomile, thyme, basil, mint) and fragrance family including these notes
HONEY/HONEYED ⏤ Sweet, heavy, tenacious, syrupy, beeswax, honey-like note.

I

INCENSE ⏤ Aromatic gums or resins in a stick or cone format; Smoky oriental scent.
IONONE ⏤ Fresh, violet, powdery woody molecule found in orris root (iris flower), violet flowers and one of the most valued synthetic ingredient.
ISOEUGENOL ⏤ Clove-like odour, milder than eugenol, found in nutmeg and ylang ylang.
ISOLATE ⏤ Molecule isolated from plants or lab-created to enrich, refine a perfume or on their own (e.g. Linalool from lavender, eugenol from clove).

L

LASTINGNESS ⏤ Ability of a fragrance to retain its character over a given period of time.
LEAFY ⏤ Leaf-like green note.
LEATHER ⏤ Fragrance family with sweet, pungent smoky ingredients used in leather tanning (birch tar), and created with birch and tobacco notes.
LIFT ⏤ Diffusiveness of a perfume or a blend., with sparkling uplifting top notes with huge diffusion.
LIGHT ⏤ Fresh non-cloying fragrance, for example eau fraîche, eau de Cologne).
LONGEVITY ⏤ Lasting power of a perfume. Correlated with sillage.

M

MACERATION ⏤ Extraction method by steeping flowers in hot fat, washed in alcohol to obtain floral essence.
MACROSMATIC ⏤ Adjective for 'having a supra developed sense of smell like dogs, pigs, cats and horses.
MELLOW ⏤ Balanced, smooth fragrance.
MIDDLE NOTE ⏤ Heart note or main blend of a fragrance diffusing after 5-10 minutes, consisting of florals, fruits, spices to create the heart of a scent.
MONOI DE TAHITI ⏤ Rich and highly concentrated fragrant oil created by enfleurage or soaking Gardenia Tahitensis (tiaré) flowers in coconut oil.
MOSSY ⏤ Mossy odour from oakmoss, treemoss; Scent reminiscent of deep forest.
MUGUET ⏤ French term for lily of the valley. One of the most used floral note obtained synthetically as its natural essence cannot be extracted.
MUSK ⏤ Fragrant extraction from musk sacs of Asian musk deer, today prohibited and replaced by synthetics or by vegan ambrette seed musk.
 

N

NATURAL ⏤ In perfumery, it means "made with natural ingredients such as parts of plants or animal extractions".
NEROLI ⏤ Essential oil from bitter orange tree blossom and one of the most cost-prohibitive ingredient.
NOBLE MATERIAL ⏤ Highly valued, rare and precious essences (jasmine, rose, orange blossom, tuberose, neroli, ambrette, ambergris, orris, narcisse).
NOSE ⏤ Creator of fragrance or "perfumer", graduated from a perfumery school.
NOTE ⏤ Word used in perfumery for "smell", "odour" in perfumery.

O

OAKMOSS ⏤ A resinous substance exuded from lichen, usually found around oak trees.
ODOUR FATIGUE ⏤ Fatigue results from over exposure to an odour, or smelling too many fragrances at one time.
ODOUR MEMORY ⏤ Olfactive memory reminding a an odour evoking a plant, a person, a place, or a felling.
ODOUR ⏤ Smelly chemical from plants, bodies, objects, water, objects, perceived by the brain and the nose.
ODORIFEROUS ⏤ Emitting an odour.
OLFACTION ⏤ Relating to the sense of smell.
OLFACTIVE FAMILY ⏤ Groups of fragrances with similar scents (Fresh/Green, Floral, Ambery, Woody, Leather, Chypré, Fougère, Gourmand, Earthy).

P

PERFUME ⏤ Most concentrated form of fragrance and long-lasting; Describe also a compound of hundreds of molecules called "parfum”.
PERFUMER’S PALETTE ⏤ Ingredients used by a perfumer to formulate perfume (3,400 existing raw materials: 400 naturals and 3000 synthetics).
POWDERY ⏤ Sweet, dry, baby powder, somewhat musky odour.

R

RESIN ⏤ Sticky, resinous substance exuded from bark, twigs or leaves of some trees or shrubs, mistaken as balsams.
RESINOID ⏤ Extract of gums, balsams, resins or roots (orris) used as fixatives in perfumes.
ROUND ⏤ Note used to soften a perfume to remove harsh notes.

S

SIGNATURE ⏤ Recognizable mark or trail of a fragrance created by the perfumer to give a unique olfactive identity.
SILLAGE ⏤ Diffusive trail around the wearer with various levels of intensity depending on type of scent or intention to make it loud or discreet
SYNTHETIC ⏤ Lab-created fragrant ingredients.
SOLVENT ⏤ Volatile fluid to extract aromatic substances from plants to produce absolutes and concretes.
SPICY ⏤ Sharp, strong, pungent flavour or scent from spices.
STRENGTH ⏤ High intensity of a fragrance.
SWEET ⏤ Candy, vanilla or heady floral notes.

T

TENACITY ⏤ Lasting property of a perfume.
TINCTURE ⏤ Method of extraction of fragrant raw materials soaking in perfume alcohol for months or years.
TONE ⏤ Main note or theme of a perfume.
TOP NOTE ⏤ First impression of a perfume, made the most volatile ingredients (citrus, herbs, some spices).

U

UNDERTONE ⏤ Subtle characteristics of a fragrance.

V​

VELVETY ⏤ Soft, smooth, mellow fragrance without harsh chemical notes.
VOLATILE ⏤ Fleeting ingredient or note, quickly diffused in the air.

W

WORMWOOD ⏤ A variety of artemesia used for its sharp bitter green herbal note, dark and mysterious scent reminding of angelica.
WOODY ⏤ Fragrant notes from barks (cedarwood, sandalwood, pine, oud), roots (vetiver, orris) or leaves (patchouli) with a dry, warm, soft, fresh (terpenic) or resinous note.