Home >  Store News >  Where Do Common Scents in Perfumery Originate From?

Where Do Common Scents in Perfumery Originate From?

Perfumes and aftershaves are a vital part of the majority of the population's beauty and grooming regime nowadays. Many people never bother to consider how the perfumes that they purchase are made however, nor where the fragrances used originate from. In this article I am going to look at some of the most commonly used scents in the perfume industry and look at where they come from.

The obvious place to start when looking at sources of fragrances in perfumes is within the plant kingdom. Plants are undoubtedly the area where the majority of essential oils are extracted from and different fragrances tend to use a variety of different parts of the plants. Woods are absolutely vital in the creation of base notes; oak, pine, sandalwood and cedar are all regularly used. Seeds are often used when creating rich and aromatic perfumes. Cocoa, nutmeg, coriander and cardamom can all add depth to perfumes. Obviously the flowers are the most common source of scents and at least some are used in almost every perfume.

Many people are surprised to find out that the majority of fruity fragrances are synthetically created rather than being extracted from the fruits themselves. Fruits such as bananas, apples, peaches and strawberries tend to have weak aromas when extracted that do not lend themselves well to perfume making. This is not true for citrus fruits however as the rind found on these fruits can be used to create strong enough essential oils. This is partially why citrus fruits are more commonly found in perfumes.

Not all essential oils are extracted from plants however; a number of common ones are taken from animal sources. Musk is a common fragrance, particularly in oriental perfumes. Musk was originally extracted from the Asian Deer's musk sac, nowadays this does still occur but the majority of perfumers are making the shift towards synthetic musk. Honeycomb is another animal product that is often adapted for use within perfumes. In the perfume world "amber" refers to the product ambergris (a product secreted by sperm whales) which is often used in perfumes and is not to be mistaken for the yellow amber that is often used in jewellery making.

It is becoming increasingly common to create scents synthetically nowadays. This avoids the complications of needing to harvest certain plants at certain times but it unfortunately leaves many scents feeling less natural.