to Perfume Guide
online resource to perfume and fragrances from around the
world, past and present. Use our extensive descriptions and
resources to find your perfect perfume.
Language of Perfume
is a sensory experience and this has influenced the language
used to describe the different layers of aromas present in
Perfumers and Fine Fragrance experts often use language associated
with music and the pleasure associate to the listening to
music. The different layers of a perfume, the top middle and
bottom, are often described as the different chords of a fragrance;
evoking images of a classical symphony. Other musical terms
commonly used include notes and tones; these are often used
to delineate individual scents evident in a perfume that define
each layer or describe the totality of the fragrance. This
means of classifying perfumes was popularised by the famous
Perfumer Charles Piesse in the 19th Century who attempted
to arrange perfumes in the same manner, as a composer would
describe a musical arrangement. The project failed but his
use of musical language engaged the generation in how they
thought about perfume as a pleasurable sensory experience
and ensured that the terminology stuck.
Connoisseurs have begun to describe fragrances in terms of
a visual pyramid, to engage people’s visual imagination
when choosing a scent. William Poucher was one of the first
to be credited with inventing the visual image of the ‘fragrance
pyramid’ to denote the top, middle and foundations of
a perfume and visually delineate the relative lasting power
of each layer. Poucher designed this image by measuring the
evaporation rates of perfume ingredients, and arranging them
on a scale of 100, with the fastest evaporating ingredients
ranking closer to the top.
Finally, fragrances are often linked and described to the
sensory perception of touch ‘feelings’ and thoughts.
Perfumers will often describe a fragrance in terms of its
warmth, coolness or softness in order to convey general thoughts
about a fragrance.
The culmination of these sensory terms often allows the Perfumer
to convey an impression about a fragrance and helps them to
improve the quality of service. However, more interestingly,
this language explores and exposes how people think and view
the pleasure of purchasing and wearing a fragrance.