This little glossary is intended to help popularize the language of smell. It is an unpretentious tool designed to assist you in putting into words your olfactory feelings and sensations. It is absolutely not exhaustive so give it a go. If it smells like overripe bananas or diachylon, it's perfect. Just like the act of smelling, how you name the smell is your own, there really isn't a right or wrong way. Some smells will have their own language and you will immediately know how to define them, others will be more subtle and you may need inspiration. No matter, the little glossary was designed for that.

Smell being a very participatory sense, many of the terms that you will find in this glossary are terms belonging to other worlds such as the culinary world, that of wine, literature, cinema or even perfumery.

Enjoy discovering new ways to name and classify your olfactory feelings and sensations. Be playful and creative, the more faithful you are in the description of each smell, the more your memories will be strongly archived in your emotional memories and the more you will be enriched by them.

The little T'ODORÉ glossary will be updated regularly, so don't hesitate to consult it regularly, it's your tool ...

The smell felt was…


Acidulous : Acidic or sour. Term often used to describe citrus smells.

Pungent : Can help define a strong, irritating odor.

Aerial : A very light and volatile scent.

Pleasant : Generic word to describe a scent that we like.

Aggressive : Odor that attacks us.

Sour : Scent that stings our noses, like curdled milk. Loving : Perfume that envelops us and soothes us.

Bitter : Rather harsh odor and without any sweetness.

Animalistic : We also use the term tawny to describe this type of odor. It smells like a beast.

Anise : Scent of anise or even black licorice.

Soothing : Smell that calms us mentally.

Aquatic : Describe both the smells of the sea and any fresh scents.

Aromatic : In the world of perfumery, the aromatic category describes all the smells of aromatics.

Astringent : Which has the effect of contracting the nasal passages.

Attractive : Smell that seduces and captivates us.


Badine : a simple little smell, but one that makes us smile.

Baby : Excessively sweet scent reminiscent of the softness of a baby's skin.

Weird : Smell that we cannot categorize as good or bad, but which intrigues us.

Woody : Fragrance smelled while walking in the woods.

Candy : It smells like sugar.

Good : Quite simple, when you run out of words.

Smoke : Smell of smoke.

Bouquet : Smell of several flowers at once.

Burnt : Refers to the charring of the hearth fire.


Calming : Very much in the same vein as soothing.

Camphor : Odor that is often found in medicines to treat colds.

Heady : Strong odor that goes to the head.

Caressing : A scent that has the effect of velvet, very gently.

Warm : Smell that opens the nose and bronchi and brings a feeling of comfort.

Hot : Not close to the spicy name. It gives the effect of a hot drink.

Chemical : Offensive odor reminiscent of household cleaning products.

Known : When we let our mind analyze it, we know we are on familiar ground.

Full-bodied : Invasive scent with lots of character. Just like describing coffee: velvety or full-bodied.


Delicate : Some would say, blue flower. Widely used to describe the smell of flowers.

Delicious : A delicious smell that makes us salivate.

Unpleasant : Unfortunately, this is the most used term to define an odor.

Discreet : Often used to describe an odor that our nose struggles to smell. Because there are some smells that will not be perceptible to your pretty little nose…

Divine : It's more than pleasant. We never tire…

Sweet : Suitable for several categories of smell such as: fruity, floral and sometimes even gourmet smells.


Disgusting : Which raises the heart, which repulses us.

Electrifying : Smell that has the effect of energizing us.

Elegant : Very well balanced perfume which marks its presence with all delicacy.

Intoxicating : Who turns our heads, who captures us and possesses us.

Heady : Which gives a headache and invades our nasal cavity for the day. The same principle as the song that stays in our heads all day!

Invasive : Which invades us and which we have the feeling of not being able to get rid of.

Spicy : spicy, refers to the wonderful world of spices.

Choking : Which catches the throat and which can make us cough.

Strange : That we cannot say what we like or define.

Exquisite : Smell that transports us and makes us dream.


Bland : Lacking character. Tasteless and uninteresting.

Familiar : Which awakens a feeling of security in us.

Fawn : Odor coming from the animal kingdom.

Feminine : Both distinguished and tender. The smell that reminds us of the great lady that we are.

Fetid : Strong odor that sickens and repels us at the same time. Or smell that you hope you don't smell too often, because it stinks.

Fine : The fine scent is the one which makes its presence without forcing, a beautiful presence, that's all.

Floral : Fragrance coming from flowers.

Strong : Don't be too lazy. It takes up space.

Fresh : Refreshing odor, very volatile with a moist background.

Cold : We feel the cold invade our nose and our body.

Fruity : Fragrance coming from fruit.

Smoke : Very similar to boucanée, hearth fire, but can bring us into the world of tobacco, or cigars… So a little broader as a descriptive palette.


Cheerful : Smell that brings lightness to the step and to the heart.

Embarrassing : It stinks, but not too much.

Gourmet : Scent that transports us to the kitchen.

Graceful : like a ballerina dancing Swan Lake. Fluid, airy and complete smell.

Exhilarating : Smell that intoxicates us without overwhelming us. We ask for more.


Herbaceous : Recalls freshly cut grass or the smell of green, plants.

Citrus : In the world of perfumery, this is the category that brings together all citrus fruits from lemon to yuzu.

Hypnotic : Persistent odor that doesn't just make your head rise, but makes it waltz.


Infectious : Smell that disgusts you.

Innocent : Fragrance taking us back to our youth, the cradle of our innocence.

Tasteless : uninteresting.

Insistent : Perfume that forces the door without our consent.

Inspiring : The smell that takes us somewhere else and makes us say yes.

Unbearable : Stronger than fetid or foul. So once is enough...

Intriguing : Perfume that we cannot define without the help of our mind.


Young : Which calls upon our youthful memories.

Happy : A scent that makes us smile and makes our hearts light.

Juvenile : Smell reminiscent of childhood or the green of immaturity.


Light : Very volatile and fleeting.

Liquorous : The taste, sweet, alcoholic, aromatic, is reminiscent of a liqueur.

Heavy : Very heavy smell that can make us want to drop off.

Luminous : Scent that has radiance and presence.


Madam : Rarely a compliment. Smell that seems to belong to our mother's generation.

Smelly : Often in reference to body odor.

Marine : Scent reminiscent of the marine world. We are not in the smell of fish at all, but of the salty air and the gentle sea breeze.

Masculine : Often more woody smell that reminds us of the men in our lives.

Bad : Which we don't particularly like.

Minty : Reminiscent of the cold of mint or throat lozenges.

Mephitic : Toxic odor. Don't worry, none of the boxes contain any toxic odor, but it is an interesting Scrabble word.

Metallic : Smell that reminds us of iron, steel or any other metal.

Moisie (de): Not very pleasant at first glance, but can subsequently reveal an unsuspected world.

Musky : Refers to the smell of musk.


Natural : Can define an odor coming from the plant world or even an odor without artifice.

Nauseous : It stinks, that's all.

Noble : It is this smell, which touches us forever and which enriches us forever.

Nostalgic : Our smells of the past.

News : Scent that destabilizes us and opens our sense of smell to a new spectrum.


Odoriferous : Refers a lot to the wonderful world of flowers.

Optimizing : Smell that gives momentum and pleasure.


Fragrant : Which reminds us of cosmetic smells.

Heavy : Odor without freshness, heavy and often overwhelming.

Pestilential : Wow! Far from me!

Pungent : Odor that stings the nose, often coming from the world of spices.

Soaring : A bit like hypnotic smells, these smells make us lose our bearings and make us feel dizzy.

Peppery : Refers to pepper of course, but also includes strong and spicy smells.

Powdery : Felt odor, reminiscent of talcum powder.

Dusty : Can refer to dust specifically, but also to an old-fashioned or pale smell.

Present : Scent that doesn't go to your head, but that you can't miss.

Stinky : It says what it means.

Powerful : A scent that hits us head on, without warning.

Pure : Often refers to odors coming from 100% natural essences.

Putrid : Smell of decomposition, rot.


Racy : Elegant by nature.

Refreshing : Like a big breath of fresh air.

Rancid : Odor that has lost its freshness.

Reassuring : Smell that makes us feel at home.

Comforting : Recall the feeling of security.

Musty (of): Suffocating odor, which lacks air.

Repulsive : Smell that creates instant withdrawal within us.

Repugnant : Undesirable.

Resinous : Referring to the odors of conifers and certain incense.


Sacred : Smell often associated with incense used in temples and churches or smells used for meditation.

Wild : Just like the term wild, it refers to the smells of the animal kingdom.

Soapy : Scent reminiscent of soap.

Sedative : Odor likely to induce sleep.

Seductive : A smell that is absolutely irresistible to us, that makes us lose our senses.

Sensual : Fragrance that arouses our desire.

Simple : In perfumery, it is the name for the dilution of a single odor. For us at T'ODORÉ , the term also applies to define a fairly complex mixture of odors.

Suave : Embalming and enchanting smell.

Succulent : Refers a lot to gourmet smells bringing us back to the world of the table.

Sweet : Sweet and comforting smell.

Suffocating : I'm running out of air! This type of odor fills all the nasal cavities within a few seconds and like an earworm, we no longer seem to be able to get rid of it.


Stubborn : Stained odor, which prevents us from smelling other odors later.

Earthy : Smell of the earth.

Toxic : Undesirable and dangerous.

Sweating (from): No, thank you!


Unisex : Perfume that can suit everyone.


Vegetal : Smell of nature.

Velvety : Creamy smell reminiscent of velvet.

Green : May refer to the immaturity of an odor or chlorophyll odor.

Vinegar : It smells like vinegar.

Violent : Strong odor.

Invigorating : Invigorating and invigorating scent.

Hoping that this little glossary has inspired you, but above all made you want to create your own olfactory language. Open yourself to smells and listen to what they have to tell you…

It's absolutely fascinating...

Good discovery!


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