Definitions for the English word field “fragrance”


Definitions for the English word field “fragrance”

The confusion is immense: too many different words, whose meanings often differ only marginally, are lumped together so that the differences blur and are no longer clear to many people.
With this blog series (7 single blogs in total) we want to confront this and bring some light into the darkness. On the one hand the definitions are to be clearly assigned to the English words; on the other hand the differences of the – frequently synonymously used words – are to be pointed out.
For it is not only in English-speaking countries that different meanings are often assigned to the same word. In addition, there are new connotations from countries where English is not mainly used as a mother tongue. In order to prevent misinterpretations, we work here with recognized definitions and elaborate on them in the following blogs (based on the Oxford Dictionary).


1. A pleasant, sweet smell.
1.1 A perfume or aftershave.

Middle of the 17th century from the French or from the Latin fragrantia or fragrare “smells sweet”.


1. A distinctive smell, in particular one which is pleasant.
1.1 Pleasantly smelling liquid worn on the skin; perfume.
2. A trace marked by the characteristic odour of an animal and perceptible to dogs or other animals.
2.1 A trace of evidence or other signs that may assist a person in a search or examination.
3. Olfactory ability or sense of smell.

Late Middle English (describes the sense of smell): from the old French sentir “perceive, smell”, from the Latin sentire. The addition of -c- (in the 17th century) is unexplainable.


(US odor)
1. A distinctive smell, especially an unpleasant one.
2. A lasting property or impression that adheres to something.
2.1 The presence of a condition in a certain respect.

Middle English from Anglo-Norman French, from Latin odor “smell, scent”.


1. A distinctive, typically pleasant odour.
1.1 A subtle, pervasive quality or atmosphere.

Middle English (mostly in the plural with fragrant plants or spices): via Latin from the Greek arōma “spice”.


Aromatherapy refers to the use of essential oils to alleviate illness or increase well-being. Professionally or commercially, any form of medicine is only allowed to licensed physicians and in Germany according to § 1 Heilpraktikergesetz also to alternative practitioners. This also applies to alternative healing methods such as aromatherapy.


functional fragrance
Functional fragrances are scents created from natural or synthetic ingredients to specifically create an effect. For example, a scent of apple pie and cinnamon. The smell reminds us of Christmas baking and cosiness and is consciously used to evoke memories of the Advent season and a beautiful feeling of comfort. If this fragrance is emitted in a shop, it causes the customer to feel comfortable and to buy more, or to associate beautiful memories with the shopping experience and to come back with pleasure.


essential oil
A natural oil typically obtained by distillation with the characteristic scent of the plant from which it is obtained.


Extract or concentrate obtained from a plant or other substance and used for aromatization.


aroma oil
Aroma oils are mixtures that always consist at least in part of essential oils.


aromatherapy oil
Aromatherapy oils are made from essential oils for aromatherapy. Synthetic fragrances are excluded.


fragrance oil
Fragrance oils are artificial fragrances that are synthetically produced. They may contain essential oils, but do not have to.