Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972000 | Print ISBN: 9781412940818 | Online ISBN: 9781412972000| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Fragrances and Perfume
Rachel S. Herz
Fragrance is a generic term that refers to odors, smells, scents, or aromas having a positive connotation. Fragrances are used nearly ubiqutously in commercial production (e.g., “new car” smell). Even “unscented” products are scented with fragrances that mask the odors involved in production. The term fragrance , or more often fine fragrance , is also a synonym for perfume . Perfume is a subtype of fragrance for the purpose of self-scenting and environmental em bellishment. The central function of perfume is to create a hedonically pleasing olfactory experience. It differs from many other perceptual phenomena for being primarily produced and demanded for sensory pleasure rather than physiological necessity. Other functions of perfume are to make the wearer appear well groomed or to belong to a particular social class or demographic, and to cover up fetid body or household odors. Thus, perfume facilitates social interactions. This entry describes the history of ...