Entertainment Fashion & Style Definitions of Top Fragrance Terms An A to Z Glossary of Perfume Lingo Share PINTEREST Email Print Flashpop / Getty Images Fashion & Style Fragrance Accessories Tops & Sweaters Dresses Skirts Jeans Pants Outerwear Lingerie & Swimwear Do It Yourself Shoes Skincare Advice Makeup Hair Tattoos and Body Piercings Kids and Teens Bumps & Babies Learn More By Catherine Helbig Contributing Writer Cathy Helbig is a contributing writer covering fragrance for Byrdie. our editorial process Catherine Helbig Updated July 14, 2017 Learn the lingo of fragrance fanatics, so you can talk like a perfumista. Here, I run down from A to Z the top perfume and fragrance terms you need to know.AbsoluteAlso known as an essence. The strongest aromatic material that can be extracted from a plant or flower.AccordA blend of two or more fragrances that combine to produce a new, completely different odor impression.AldehydesOrganic compounds present in many natural materials, that can also be synthesized artificially. Chanel No. 5 is an aldehydic-floral perfume.AnimalicAnimal-derived ingredients such as civet, ambergris, musk, and castoreum. Usually reproduced synthetically in modern perfumery. Often strong and unpleasant in their concentrated form, in smaller amounts these notes provide depth to a fragrance.Apocrine Sweat GlandsThe glands on the human body that give you your unique scent, which can interfere with - or enhance - the scent of perfumes you wear.AqueousRefers to scents that are based on a concept of a “watery” smell.<br/>AttarAny fragrant essential oil distilled from flowers.Base NotesThe third and last phase (after top and heart notes) of a perfume's evaporation, or life on the skin.BalsamicRich, sweet, resinous and warm notes produced by using plant balsams and resins. The Oriental fragrance category is characterized by these ingredients.BouquetA mixture of flower notes.CamphoraceousThe fresh, clean, cooling character displayed by eucalyptus but also descriptive of rosemary and other herbal notes.ChyprePronounced “sheepra” and French for Cyprus. Refers to woodsy, mossy, earthy scents.CitrusThe fresh, slightly sour notes displayed by lemon, orange, grapefruit and bergamot. See my list of the 5 best citrus perfumes.CompoundThe concentrated fragrance mixture before it is diluted to make the finished perfume. Also called perfume oil.DistillateA product of distillation. For instance, lavender oil is the distillate of the fresh, blooming lavender plant.Dry DownThe final phase - or bottom note - of a fragrance, which emerges several hours after application. Perfumers evaluate the base notes and the tenacity of the fragrance during this stage.Eau De CologneA solution of about 3-percent perfume compound in an alcohol/water base. Much lighter than a concentrated perfume.Eau de ParfumAn alcoholic perfume solution containing 10-15 percent perfume compound.Eau de ToiletteAn alcohol/water based perfume solution containing 3-8 percent perfume compound.EarthyNotes that give the impression of earth, soil, the forest floor, mould and moss.Essential OilThe highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants obtained by distillation or expression. Get a list of the best ones by skin type.EvanescentFleeting or quickly vanishing note or fragrance.Extrait (Extract)An alternative name for alcoholic perfumes. Extraits contain 15-45 percent perfume compound in alcohol.FixativeAn ingredient added to your perfume to make it last longer.FloralPerfumes characterized by the prevalence of well-defined floral notes. Get a list of the top floral perfumes.Floral-FruityPerfumes having notably fruity elements, generally in the top notes, as an accessory to floral heart notes. Get a list of the top fruity perfumes.FougereFrom the French for fern. Fougere scents are based on a herbaceous accord and may include notes such as lavender, coumarin, oakmoss, woods, and bergamot.GreenThe general term for the odors of grass, leaves and stems. See top-selling green perfumes.Heart (Middle) NotesThe second phase of a perfume's evaporation on the skin, which gives the scent its character after the top notes fade.HerbaceousA note that is natural cool, leafy or hay-like, such as chamomile or clary sage.HesperidiaA general term for citrus oils.IononesHighly-valued synthetic chemicals, used in small amounts in many floral, green, woody perfumes. Produce a scent similar to violet or iris.LeatherPungent animal smokiness characteristic of the ingredients used in tanning leathers. Achieved in perfumery with castoreum, labdanum and synthetic chemicals.MossyFragrances with earthy, aromatic forest scents.NoseA person who mixes fragrance components to make perfume, aka a perfumer. Oceanic Oceanic perfumes are a modern invention. These scents use a blend of synthetic compounds to evoke natural aromas such as mountain air, ocean spray, or clean linen. See my list of the best oceanic perfumes.OrientalFragrance family based on balsamic, exotic aromas such as vanilla, oakmoss and animal notes. These scents are usually suited to evening wear. See a list of the best oriental perfumes.OzonicAroma chemicals that are meant to mimic the smell of fresh air after a thunderstorm.Perfume. (Extrait)The most highly-concentrated and longest-lasting form of fragrance, containing between 20-50 percent perfume compound.PowderyA baby-powderish scent effect, produced when a heavier sweet or woody note is blended with a lighter note such as citrus, fruity or light green note.ResinoidsExtracts of resinous gums, balsams, resins or roots. Commonly used as fixatives in perfume compositions.SillageThe trail of scent left behind by a perfume. Fragrances with minimal sillage are often said to “stay close to the skin."SolifloreA fragrance which focuses on a single flower.<br/>SpicyPiquant or pungent notes that have a warm or hot character, such as clove oil, cinnamon and thyme oil. See the best spicy perfumes.StabilityRefers to how long a scent lasts, either in the bottle, or when exposed to elements such as heat, light and air.Top NotesThe impression of a fragrance when first smelled or applied to the skin. Usually the most volatile ingredients in a perfume.WoodyA scent that evokes freshly cut, dry wood. See the best woody perfumes.