The wonderful world of fragrances – definitions and basic facts

Published: 2024-05-08

An odor or odour or fragrance 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 terms fragrance and aroma are used primarily by the food and cosmetic industry to describe a pleasant odor, and are sometimes used to refer to perfumes, and to describe floral scent. In the United Kingdom, odour refers to scents in general. In the United States and for many non-native English speakers around the world, odor generally has a negative connotation, as a synonym for stink; on the other hand, scent or aroma are used by those people to indicate “pleasant smells” (Wikipedia).


SCENT – an aroma in general

FRAGRANCE – concentrated aroma

ODOR / ODOUR – bed smell, stink

Fragrances comes from natural resources or synthetic.

Natural Fragrance –

Commonly named Natural Essential Oils, are concentrated aromatic oils from plant sources. Depending on the particular oil the part of the plant that may be used may be the blossoms, leaves, seeds, root or the wood. Essential oils are a complex of many different chemical components. They can play various role in nature serving plants and allowing them to grow and survive. Essential oil uses include aromatherapy, cosmetics, massage oils, incense, perfumes and air freshening products. Their scents can be very therapeutic and can have differing effects on the mind, emotions and body. Natural Fragrance are more expensive and some of them extremely expensive. The usage of them is limited to very good air fresheners, fine fragrances (perfume) and essential oils. Some innovative essential oils are prepared with small portion of carrier oils to make use of it much easier and comfortable.

Synthetic Fragrance –

Created in laboratory and made in industrial way. Synthetic fragrances are strong and they last a long time. There are a blend of various chemical compounds, many of which are common allergens or are linked to hormone disruption. Synthetic fragrance are much cheaper than Natural Fragrance, and thus more commonly used. Synthetic Fragrance are commonly used household cleaning products, washing powders, detergents, toilet air fresheners, home air fresheners, car air fresheners, fine fragrances, food industry and many, many more.

Fragrance blend –

Mixture of Natural and Synthetic Fragrances. It’s the best way to create symphony of scents. That’s the place where artists are. First well know Fragrance blend was created by Coco Chanel in 1920’s “A woman’s perfume with the scent of a woman” would not have been possible without synthetic aldehydes. Fragrance blend is used in fine fragrances, good home air fresheners, some of car air fresheners.

The main source of good quality fragrance, especially Fragrance Blend is Europe, mainly in France. Every manufacturer has in his portfolio cheap blends or synthetic fragrances as well as very good products. There is no quality differences based on localization in Europe.

Europe become so strong in good quality fragrances because of very strong legislation process. REACH is the European Regulation on chemicals regarding the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH). The aim is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through more thorough and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. Moreover, the REACH Regulation gives greater responsibility to industry to manage chemical risks and to provide safety information about these substances. In fact some of very popular US or Japanese fragrances are classified as poisons, 90% of Chinese fragrances are forbidden for legal usage in Europe.

HOME air fresheners

The World of home air fresheners looks very similar in every country. Mainly are in use floral and fine fragrance notes. Fruits – especially Lime in India and very heavy oud scent in Middle East are the only exclusion. In the world more and more popular and more welcome is the smell of fresh flowers.

CAR air fresheners

The World of car air fresheners changes country by country, region by region. There are different fruits habits depends of historical, regional, religion or law conditions. Always there is main scent, some fruit fragrance and following fine fragrance scents and other fruity or mixed smells. Fine fragrances smells are identical globally, there are some musk, black, blue notes with strong connection to perfumes. But the main notes are:

Europe – Vanilla, a little bit sweet vanilla as some exotic fragrance with good memories for every home with sweet vanilla cookie in oven. Vanilla Fragrance from years is a leader of European car air fresheners.

North America – Cherry, strong almond cherry. It’s so strong that in Europe nobody can use it. Cherry smell can cover every other odor or smell. Some stories big popularity of cherry fragrances connect with previous popularity of smoking pot in car. The only fragrance to make it as not to be discovered was cherry fragrance.

South America – Cherry and Vanilla, it depends on country but these two plays main role.

Middle East – Strawberry, sweet fruity with some of bubble gum. Strong fragrances with fresh meaning, but fresh means berries scent.

India – Lemon / Lime, natural fresh lemon. Very strong. It’s in India connected with new car smell and religion. When you buy new car, first you have to put fresh lime under each radial tire. With first movement of new car crush the limes and squirting juice.

China – Peach, sweet soft peach. Chinese are very sensitive and do not like strong fragrances.

Each region is sub-linked with the most popular air freshener – the most popular air freshener format for that market

Copyright © by ELiX Ltd.

Author: Waldemar Stasiak