Aroma vs Fragrance: What’s the Difference? 

Aroma Vs Fragrance

When we talk about beauty products such as perfumes or deodorants, we tend to say they have a pleasant fragrance or aroma. When it comes to women’s products such as perfumes, we tend to say they have a pleasant fragrance. For men’s products like colognes, however, we tend to say they have a pleasant smell or aroma.

They both can relate to something that you find smells satisfying, so what then is the difference between these two words, fragrance and aroma?

This article will be looking closely at aroma vs fragrence concerning the cosmetics & toiletries industry and what the key differences are.

Before we do, let’s look at each of these in their own right. Let us explore a little bit more about how our sense of smell affects our lives.

How Sense of Smell Affects our Lives

When it comes to us humans, our sense of smell isn’t as good as, say, that of your pet pooch. In the human nose, around 5 million receptor cells can tell the difference between bad smells and pleasant ones. As for your pet dog, their nose has approximately 200 million of these receptor cells.

Although you may think that their central role is to be able to let you tell the differences in smell, they also play another significant role. These receptor cells can also substantially affect your emotions and impact your physical and mental health.

Research has been carried out that clearly shows that any pleasant or unpleasant smells can impact all aspects of our lives. When it comes to more pleasing smells, they may make you feel happier as well as prove beneficial to your health in other ways.

For example, you may be surprised to discover that the scent produced by aromatic plants such as lavender can make you feel happier. As for fresh flowers such as roses, their pleasant odor may help with lowering your blood pressure.


This word is often used as a way to describe certain attractive smells that seem to tickle your taste buds and make you drool. Often it is used in relation to savory smells or pleasant ones that are both pervasive and distinctive such as the pleasant smell of a fragrant substance like cinnamon.

The word aroma is associated very much with a distinctive smell that you get from cooking certain food items. The positive connotations associated with this word will not only affect your sense of smell but also how you see the food you are about to eat.


The word fragrance is used in relation to sensitive or sweet odors. It is often a word used to describe aromatic plants or the aroma of flowers.

When someone says that something has an unmistakable fragrance, they talk about how it smells. In most cases, you’ll find that this word is used most often to describe smells that have sweet, light, floral scents to them. It’s not often a word that you will find being used to describe savory smells.

Where Do These Words Originate From?

It may surprise you to learn that the word aroma comes from the Anglo-French word “aromat.” This was borrowed from the Latin word and was first known to be used in 1788.

The word fragrance was first used in the 17th Century (the 1600s) and came from the Latin word fragantia. It is part of the verb fragrare, which means “to smell sweet” when translated into English. Even a tiny drop of fragrance oil that many bottles of scents contain can provide additional benefits to your health and well-being.

Differences Between Aroma vs Fragrance

As adjectives, there is a slight difference between aroma vs fragrance. As already mentioned, the word fragrance is closely associated with sweet-smelling things and has a pleasant and intense scent.

As for the word aroma, this is closely associated with pleasant spicy food and different types of fragrant and aromatic plants.

Aroma Vs Fragrance

What is the difference between these two words? The best way we can explain this is through coffee. You may be a little surprised by this, but as you read our explanations, you will see why we’ve chosen to use this characteristic odor to describe each one.

Coffee Fragrance

The ground coffee bean fragrance will immediately become apparent whenever you walk into any coffee shop. The use of the term coffee fragrance refers to the scent that you are hit by as soon as you walk into a coffee shop or cafe. This is also the same smell you find your senses being drawn in by when you first open a fresh bag of ground coffee.

Coffee Aroma

In contrast, this combines the fresh scent of the ground coffee beans with the delicious taste of that first sip of your hot cup of coffee. This is because, unlike a perfume fragrance, it isn’t only your nose that is affected by the coffee’s aromatic substances, so are your taste buds.

Whether it’s an espresso, latte, or cappuccino, you’re not only enjoying the aroma of their flavor materials but also their distinctive aromatic profile. You will also experience this when trying a good wine or a craft beer.

Let’s Wrap Things Up Now

Any products made by the various companies that make up the fragrance industry use the word fragrance to describe an odor with multifunctional usage. It also describes the different facets of fragrance ingredients and fragrance compounds.

The use of the word aroma tends to be a lot more abstract. It often gets tied to something you are feeling or a memory. In most cases, it is closely associated with food, especially those smells released by savory or spicy ingredients as they are cooked.

We hope explaining the differences between fragrant substances and aromatic ones has proven helpful.

We would love to know if you found this article to be informative. Leave a comment below on how this article has helped you better understand the differences between aroma vs fragrance.


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