Fragrance vs Aroma

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Our sense of smell has a unique way of perceiving a certain smell and communicating to our brain if it is an agreeable smell or a bad one. These smell has a way of affecting the body system and therefore affecting the emotions and feeling of a person. That is the reason why people are very careful about the way they smell at any given time.

The need to smell nice and have a positive effect on our body system as well as people around us lead to the discovery of fragrance. Fragrance can be a flower, a leaf or different flowers or leaves blended together that gives off a pleasant scent. These fragrances are then ribbed on the body to enhance the body scent or put in strategic place inside the house to give the home a cheerful and loving aura.

There are also some materials that gives off aromatic scent that are rich and layered. These aroma may be due to different materials being blended together or undergoing a change. An example is when different spices, vegetables and herbs are blended together and cooked to make soup. The aroma of these mixture would make you hunger for just a taste of the soup.

The aroma produced by some herbs and spices are so attractive that some people always add it to their food in order to improve appetite and enhance easy digestion. Some people do not take coffee but love the aroma of coffee when grounded or brewed and therefore look for any opportunity to be in the company of coffee.

Different aroma of different things are then replicated in fragrances to give off the aroma even when the real material is not present. There are fragrances that smell like coffee, spices and even those that smell like baking. These fragrances have that aroma that you immediately fall in love with because they are that amazing.

The aroma of different fragrances and materials are used in aromatherapy to treat some illness. Aromatherapy involves the use of different fragrances in treating psychological issues, improve the mood and general well being of a person. It is used to relax the mind and put a person in a good mood.

The two terms aroma and fragrances are sometimes mixed up and used in place of each other. But there are some instances where their distinction has to be made for better understanding. You can buy a fragrance but not an aroma, you can only perceive the aroma of something.

What is Fragrance?


Fragrance is a combination of materials or compounds that emits a sweet and nice scent used for the formulation of personal care products. Fragrance can be refered to as the various ingredients or materials combined together to make a mixture that gives out a pleasant smell.

Fragrance are sweet smelling compositions that are incorporated in different materials or base to infuse a person or a place with an amazing scent that is agreeable to people. Fragrance can be made into various products such as skin care products, home products, cosmetics and food.

What is Aroma?

Aroma can be used for a good and pleasant smell that is rich and enticing. Aroma is the smell that is perceived when a process is being carried out on herbs, spices or any materials. This smell is always welcome to the senses and provoke a kind of mouthwatering and attracting smell.

Aroma is the kind of smell you get from baking bread, brewing coffee, cooking soup, fermentation of different cereals and the steeping of tea. This smell are very distinctive and unique. These are the kind of smell that if you perceive them, you immediately think of what it is. Like perceiving the aroma of bread, it is immediately recognizable and particular to bread.

Difference between Fragrance and Aroma

The difference between fragrance and aroma is that fragrance refers to a physical and definite material that can be held and seen while aroma is an intangible entity perceived only by the sense of smell. Though fragrance can also be used for the scent produced by a fragrant material, fragrance in Perfumery refers to the composition and blend of various materials to give an amazing scent.

Another difference is the distinctive nature of aroma compared to fragrance. When you smell a particular aroma, the first thing to think is something like 'is there a bakery around here?' without anyone telling you that it is the aroma of cake or bread. Fragrance on the other hand can be used a distinctive note or something that can not be easily recognised. For fragrance, you can just perceive a nice scent without knowing the particular fragrance used or the constituent. But for aroma, you can easily tell the aroma of coffee or fermented millet.

Difference between Fragrance and Aroma (Table)

The distinguishing features of fragrance and aroma is very thin. Even though they are commonly used instead of each other, their differences are numerous. These differences are listed in the table below.



1. Fragrance are a mixture of plant parts or organic or aromatic chemical compounds that gives out an agreeable and nice scent.

Aroma is the smell that is perceived from a mixture of herbs, spices or aromatic compounds.

2. Fragrance can be used in the manufacture of soaps, perfumes and body creams.

Aroma is usually produced by edible things such as vegetables, bread and spices.

3. Fragrances usually use a flowery and fruity scent in their composition.

Aroma is a rich, deep and multifacet smell that is usually not flowery or fruity.

4. Fragrances can be obscure and unfamiliar due to some of its ingredients that may be unusual or synthetic.

Aroma are distinctive, particular and easily recognised in relation to its source.

5. Fragrance are physical and tangible and therefore can be held and touched by the hand.

Aroma are virtual or intangible entities that can not be touched and can only be perceived by the nose.


Fragrance and aroma are both related to the sense of smell. The both of them are detected by the nose. Fragrance can produce an aroma which is a pleasant and rich smell. Though fragrance and aroma are interchangeably used by laymen, the distinction between them has to be made by perfumers.

After reading this write up, we should be able to distinguish between the two terms and use them accordingly in future references. This would lead to better understanding of what we are saying.


Can fragrance be said to have aroma?

Yes, fragrance can be said to have an aroma. When a fragrance is made using aromatic chemical compounds or it has mainly herbs and spices in its composition, the smell produced by such fragrance can be referred to as an aroma.

There are some fragrances that are classified in the Aromatic Fragrance category. There is the Spicy Aromatic, Aromatic Fougere, Citrus Aromatic, Woody Aromatic and several other aromatic categories.

Is aroma the same thing as scent?

Aroma is not the same as scent, they have a slight difference in their usage. Aroma always refer to a pleasant smell that leaves your senses in an heightened state. Scent on the other hand can refer to either a pleasant or unpleasant smell but it is majorly used for positive smell.

Scent also are used for a person, animal, flower or fruit but aroma is more applied to vegetables, herbs and spices. Like you refer to the smell of nutmeg or tea as an aroma but the smell emitted by rose or jasmine is called a scent. Aroma has more depth to it than scent.

Is aroma a positive or negative smell?

Aroma is generally a positive smell, it is only used as a negative smell in an ironical sense. Aroma are distinctive and pleasant smell that attracts and entice people. Aroma are used for mouthwatering smell. It is mostly used for the smell of food or any edible thing. When aroma is used to describe a smell, the fact that it is a good smell is already implied.

Does aroma only relates to vegetables or plant materials?

Aroma does not only relate to vegetables or plant materials but also to aromatic chemical compounds. Though aroma is mostly used for plant related materials, it can also be used for the process in which the plant material is going through.

Also, aroma can be used in a literal sense for things that are not even tangible like success, oppression or other emotional issues. The aroma of success is sweet and fulfilling or the stiffling aroma of their oppression.

Does fragrance has an intense aroma?

Fragrance can have an intense aroma based on the type of aromatic ingredient used in the fragrance formula. If it is an aromatic ingredient that have an intense aroma, then the fragrance would also be intense even if the concentration of the aromatic ingredient is low. If it is a subtle aromatic material, then the intensity of the fragrance would depend on the concentration of the aromatic material in the composition. 

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