What is a fragrance?

A fragrance is a chemical mixture that has a smell or odor - but it is so much more besides, encompassing cultural, historical, social, economic and emotional value.

Where science meets art

Fragrances are the fusion of science and art: where chemists become creators, and where molecules make memories.

Fragrances are unique. They are designed with care, passion and ingenuity.

They give pleasure to billions of people around the world who use and enjoy fragrance every day – from a fresh-smelling shampoo to a stylish perfume, from a scented candle to freshly-laundered sheets.

"Fragrance is to the nose what music is to the ear"

Ingrained in our heritage

Fragrances are part of our culture and history.

For more than 4,000 years – from ancient Egyptians, through the Persian, Greek and Roman Empires, and up to the modern day, scents have meaning: as part of a ceremony; as an expression of status; as a demonstration of cleanliness; as a statement of the imagination.

Even in today’s globalized world, scents are an expression of place.

And fragrances are rooted in nature: we have a particular connection to the natural world, with every person connecting a scent to something in the natural world. 

The mixtures that make a fragrance may include natural aromatic raw materials, obtained from plants using distillation, expression and extraction, or synthetic materials.