What is the difference between light and heavy floral scents?

heavy floral scents

Floral fragrances come in a wide variety of scents. Some of them tend to be more subtle, while others make a strong and somewhat heady impact. But how can you tell the difference between light and heavy floral scents and what should you expect just by reading the description of a fragrance? Well, it takes some basic flower knowledge, but after finishing this article you should have a clearer point of view on these 2 terms.

What does a light floral scent really smell like?

This might sound a bit confusing, but let’s start by saying that all flowery scents smell strong enough. The reality is that we, as perfumers, don’t measure strength or the output of a scent, rather than the impact or the sensation it provides. Hence the vague term “light” (and boy, do we love vague terms) in fact means fresh. Yes, you could say “delicate” or “subtle” but this, by all means, doesn’t mean that this light floral scent is weak. In fact, one of the most strong fragrance oils you can come across is Rose Otto and this is categorized as light floral.

Some bright examples of light floral scents are rose, peony, geranium and tuberose (by the way these are the so called “rose florals”), as well as violet, lily, hyacinth, bluebell and lilac (the “lily-florals”).

Therefore, the next time you read the term “light floral” try to imagine a crisp, playful, invigorating, spring-like and a bit green aroma.

What does a heavy floral scent smell like?

Heady, intoxicating, narcotic is some of the words describing heavy floral scents. Jasmine is a prime example of a heavy floral scent, and if you are familiar with its super stimulating aroma then you should not have any trouble figuring out the rest of the family like gardenia, frangipani, orchid and ylang-ylang.

In general, heavy floral scents evoke feelings of sensuality and opulence, that’s why it goes without saying that they are best suited for oriental blends.

And a useful trick

If you find it hard to tell if a fragrance has a light or heavy floral identity here are is a little trick to help you out just by reading its description. If that fragrance has a lot of colored flowers (like rose, peony or bluebell) then it is light floral dominant. On the other hand, if an ingredients list of a fragrance has a lot of white flowers (like narcissus or orange flower) then it is more of a heavy floral scent.

We hope this trick would save you some time next time you are going through our fragrance oils catalogue!

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