Deciphering Fragrance Jargon

When a perfume sales person asks me, “Do you prefer eau de parfume or eau de toilette?” My initial response is, “Please speak English!” Here are some of our tips to help familiarize you with common fragrance terms and lingo that will make your next trip to the perfume counter less intimidating.

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Terranova’s China Rain is an example of a fragrance that has a high concentration of fragrance oils and will last longer.

First off, know your fragrance types.  These are the most common fragrance types and their potencies (listed from lowest to highest).  Those listed on the top of the list have a lower concentration of fragrance oils, are subtly scented, and will vanish the fastest.  Those listed toward the bottom of the list have a higher concentration of fragrance oils, are stronger, and will last the longest:

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Terranova’s Shea Blossom Fragrance features notes of florals, green citrus and warm spice.

The second thing you’ll commonly hear perfume sales people talk about are “notes.”  “What notes are you looking for?”  This isn’t referring to love notes or music notes. Notes, as they pertain to fragrance, are the scent components that make up a fragrance and are typically divided into top notes, middle notes, and bottom notes:

  • Top Notes – Are the first fragrance you smell when applying a cologne or perfume and will fade quickly.
  • Middle Notes – Are the scent notes that develop after the top notes evaporate.
  • Base Notes – The heaviest scent that lingers the longest.

Now that you are armed with the knowledge you need to understand fragrance jargon, it’s time to find the fragrance that’s right for you!  Visit Terranova to find your perfect match!

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