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What is the difference between fragrance and scent – 4 amazing insights

Fragrance and scent, do you know the difference. If you’re like most people, you probably use these words interchangeably. However, these two words mean very different things. A fragrance is a combination of different oils and aromas that create a single smell. The scent is the smell itself. Not only do the words mean different things, but each scent and fragrance is composed of different ingredients and scents. We hope you enjoyed this introduction to fragrance and scent!

1. What is the difference?

There is a big difference between the two. Fragrance is a mixture of different compounds natural and synthetic that are intentionally put together to create a specific smell. Scent, on the other hand, is the natural smell that something gives off. For example, when you walk into a garden, you smell the flowers and the plants. That smell is the scent. When you smell a perfume or cologne, you are smelling the fragrance.

2. How are they related?

The 2 terms are often used interchangeably, but they do have different meanings. The root word for both fragrance and scent is “scent,” which comes from the Latin word sentire, meaning “to feel.” So both fragrance and scent refer to anything that is smelled. However, fragrance generally refers to a pleasing smell that is artificially created, while scent refers to smells that are naturally occurring. Thus, fragrance is often synthetic, or part natural, while scent is generally more natural.

3. Is fragrance oil natural?

Fragrance-oil (FO) is a synthetic compound that is often made from petroleum. So when you see a label that says Jasmine FO, it is most likely synthetic. Scent, on the other hand, is a natural compound that is found in plants. While FO is not always bad for you, it can often contain harmful chemicals. Scent tends to be used in a natural context and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.

A cluster of jasmine flowers in black background

4. How can you smell the difference of a natural scent from a fragrance-oil.

When you smell a natural scent, you’re smelling the actual essential oil or absolute itself. With a synthetic FO, you’re smelling a blend of chemicals that have been created in a laboratory. Take Jasmine for example, a natural jasmine absolute is rich, complex and fruity with a slight rotten sweetness and inhaling relaxes your whole body and provides even an aphrodisiac effect. But the synthetic jasmine is a lovely floral, “jasmine like scent” but really lacks the complexity and it gives you a sensation that tends to gravitate in the head space.

Oud is another great example to make similar comparison. The vast majority of ouds on the market today are synthetic, but a few brands like Prosody London offers only natural Oud in the perfume blends. The difference is unbelievable—if you’ve never smelled a natural oud before, you’re in for a real treat. Natural oud is so multi faceted, its sweet, woody, spicy, animalic, even vaguely floral, where else the synthetic oud is just purely a burnt plastic, leather smell in other words, a very simplistic “Oud like scent”.

5. Conclusion

The difference between fragrance and scent is that one is generally refers to perfume, cologne eau de toilette, and scent tends to refer to smells in its natural state. It’s important to know the difference because fragrance is a much broader term and can include both natural and synthetic chemicals, while scent refers to only the natural scents found in plants. All-natural perfumes like Prosody London perfumes and cologne are free of synthetics. Jasmine absolute has more notes than jasmine FO, because absolute oils retain more complex notes of an ingredient than just its aroma chemicals alone.

Oud Octavo perfume bottle with labdabum, resins, cinnamon and oud pieces

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