The perfume world is full of lots of words, some that may be easier to understand than others. As the experts in fragrance, we’re here to make your journey to your dream fragrance as simple as possible. So today, we’re explaining a word which is scattered all over the perfume world: scent.
Scents are invisible, yet they affect us each any every day. Smell is often our first response, alerting us to what is around before we see it. Think how often you walk past a bakery and are enchanted by the scent wafting out of freshly baked pastries or how the aroma of the first coffee in the morning can instantly energise you before your first sip. Let’s find out why…
What does scent mean?
The word scent means a distinctive, pleasant smell. So, it’s no wonder it's one that is used when thinking about perfumes or aftershaves. It can be used in place of the word smell when you want to talk about something positive.
It originates from the Latin to mean ‘to feel, perceive, sense’ and was originally used when people would discuss hunting dogs ‘picking up a scent’. Now, although that phrase is still commonly used, scent is very closely linked to perfumes, too.
How does scent work?
Simply put, smell is a chemical sense detected by our sensory cells. When the cells are stimulated in the nose, they pass on electrical impulses to the brain, our brain then turns that into something we recognise as a scent.
Scent and emotions
Have you ever wondered why a certain smell can trigger a long-forgotten memory, maybe from childhood or a past relationship? That’s because our sense of smell, and scent, is linked to the part of our brain which is vital to our behaviour, mood and memory.
Scents in perfume
At the end of the day, choosing a perfume comes down to its scent (although we’re not ashamed to say we’ve had our head turned by a pretty bottle or two…). That's why, given that scent plays such a big part of our lives, we’re lucky to have plenty to choose from!
The most popular and commonly found ones include:
- Floral – a very popular choice with a light and slightly sweet scent.
- Oriental – a scent composed of warm and sensual notes such as spices and vanilla.
- Woody – usually associated with masculine scents, but more often being found in women’s scents now with warm, dry and musky notes.
- Fresh – think a crisp, clear spring day; these scents often feature herbal and citrus notes.
Ready to find your favourite scent?
Explore the full collection of scent families at The Perfume Shop