So where is the confusion?
The terms ‘perfume’ and ‘fragrance’ are often interchanged in part due to modern usage. Dictionary definitions for these terms are quite similar at first glance. For example, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fragrance as ‘a sweet or delicate odor (as of fresh flowers, pine trees or perfume)’, and has a second definition which is ‘something (such as a perfume) compounded to give off a sweet or pleasant odor’5
The above definitions, on the surface, appear to suggest that a fragrance can refer to a perfume that is compounded to give off a scent. The same dictionary, however, mentions ‘fluid preparation’ in its definition of perfume, which makes for a distinction between the two terms.
Many definitions of the terms ‘perfume’ and ‘fragrance’ often refer to a ‘sweet’ odor, but some definitions use the term ‘pleasant’ in place of ‘sweet’, because some fragrances that are not strictly ‘sweet smelling’ may be pleasant to a particular group of consumers. Some tangy, pungent scents like civet; soft, warm scents such as leather and hot, sensuous smells of coriander are not scents that can be described as sweet, but are considered pleasant by some users. In that regard, the fragrances and perfumes refer to substances that give off pleasant odours, with the definition of pleasant differing according to consumer segments.
The evolution of language may alter the usage of terms, but for the discerning fragrance consumer, the terms are not interchangeable. The fashion and beauty-conscious consumer will use the terms ‘cologne’, ‘perfume’ and ‘fragrance’ as distinct terms that will identify to the third person precisely what they are referring to. Fragrance is the chemical compound that gives a unique scent, which can be included as an ingredient in perfume, cologne, toilette, shower gel, air freshener, hair spray, car spray, body lotion, shampoo or even bukhoor.
Now that you know better, Why not share your knowledge with others…