Who lives scents and perfumes as inescapable part of their daily lives, knows what they are able to touch us when our nose meets a note tied to a memory and when you feel the need of a recharge psychological taking refuge in the favorite fragrance.

The world that lies behind every olfactory agreement is complex and multifaceted, so here we present some basic knowledge, especially in terminology, a sort of “abc” of the perfumer.

Perfume is a term derived from the Latin Perfumum, that means “through smoke“, from the old use of burn fragrant resins in offering to the gods. The perfumer is called by the French “le mez” – the nose – because to exercise this kind of profession you must have a very well developed sense of smell.  The decisive factor is the olfactory sensitivity: the ability to associate and feel something in relation to odors. But smell is something that varies from person to person, a bit like taste, and even if the olfactory sensitivity is a natural gift, the perfumer still has to be exercised. An expert perfumer is able, starting from a deep knowledge of essences, to devise new compositions, a bit ‘as a musician.


It ‘ a mixture of different essences that create harmony: can be composed by a number of essences that part from two and comes to hundreds.


It’s a group of scents that approach a fresh top note to a base note composed by mistletoe, labdanum and patchouli. This category includes scents like Polo Ralph Lauren, Giorgio for Men and Vétiver by Gerlain.


It’s an aromatic essence such as vanilla, easy to find as a base note in many perfumes. Egoiste by Chanel and Patou pour Homme are part of this group.

Eau De Cologne

Solution made of 3/5 percent of perfumed oil mixed with alcohol and water. It’s task is to refresh and it’s mostly composed by citrus oils. To distinguish from Eau De Parfum which containing 15-18 percent of scented oil and by the Eau De Toilette which contains the 4/8 percent.


The fresh, fruity, citrus and unripe scents are defined light: essences that quickly evaporate quickly and are in the top note.


The masculine scents are less floral than feminine and they usually refer to dry fragrances such as tobacco, leather, spices, herbs, moss and wood.

Leather Note

It’s a typical component of the classic men’s fragrances, composed of lichen, moss and amber. Another classically masculine note is Tobacco, usually combined with plum or honey.

Head Note or Top Note

It’s the first note that is felt and then defines the first olfactory impression of a fragrance. Recalling the base note, is also composed of light and volatile essences.

Oriental Note

Note that evokes the gentle, magical and intense essences coming from the East. Part of this category: KL Homme by Lagerfeld and Ho Hang by Balenciaga.

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