Given the enormous number of perfumes available on the market, it is of interest to guide consumers in their purchase of a new fragrance. One approach is to project the multidimensional perceptual space of scents on a two-dimensional sensory map based on meaningful dimensions. One of the pioneering studies on this issue mapped 94 commercial perfumes according to two axes. Such an odor map is discussed here in detail by applying Principal Component Analysis to the numeric odor description of 176 fragrances. Quantitative odor profiles were obtained from Fragrantica’s website and three fragrances guides published by Haarmann & Reimer, Michael Edwards, and the French Society of Perfumers. A sensory map was obtained that reflected the similarities and dissimilarities between those odor descriptors most commonly used in perfumery. This representation was consistent with other related plots that have been previously reported. One dimension discriminated between fragrances targeted at men versus women. An orthogonal factor distinguished perfumes for daytime versus nighttime wear. These ratings, as well as seasonal preferences, could be estimated based on the main odor character attributes applied to describe the scent. The results provide a scientific basis for the comprehensive classification of commercial perfumes compiled by Edwards according to his famous “Fragrance Wheel”.
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