Return to Blog January 16, 2024

Fragrance Applications in Everyday Life

Fragrance Ingredients

Countless consumer goods that Americans use daily feature fragrance ingredients. We rely on fragrance ingredients to enhance products that play an integral role in our lives, from cosmetics to cleaning supplies.

As distributors, we help our manufacturing partners source the highest quality ingredients to put the best possible product in the hands of consumers.

How Are Fragrances Made?

Fragrance ingredients are derived from natural and synthetic methods. It’s worth noting that some fragrance ingredients are also used in flavor applications. If you see an ingredient crossing categories, the flavor iteration is often formulated to different specifications.

Natural Fragrances

Natural fragrances are made from plant-based or natural sources, such as lemons and lavender. Many natural fragrances rely on an oil carrier or fragrance oil. Depending on the type of extraction, the fragrance oil captures and holds the essence of the natural aroma and allows manufacturers to introduce that concentrated fragrance to a new product.

Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrance ingredients are typically further divided into two sub-categories and the distinction is important:

  • Nature-identical synthetic ingredients are artificial but have the same chemical composition as a natural fragrance.
  • Artificial fragrance ingredients are synthetic, without any corresponding natural alternative.

Fragrance Compound Classifications

Most fragrance ingredients fit into one of five different categories:

  • Alcohols
  • Aldehydes
  • Ketones
  • Esters
  • Lactones

Each provides manufacturers with unique characteristics best suited for different applications. There are tens of thousands of registered fragrance ingredients derived from these fragrance groups, with more being engineered each year.

Common Scents: Consumer Products Built on Aroma

Some of the most personal products we use – cosmetics, soaps, lotions and detergents – rely on fragrances to reassure consumers the product they’re using is of exceptional quality.

Fragrances in Soap

The soap industry has primarily shifted to making soap with naturally-derived ingredients to reduce the risk of allergens or irritation. Today, soap manufacturers make natural-ingredient products with fragrances derived from:

  • Citrus lemon peel oil
  • Eucalyptus leaf oil
  • Mentha piperita (peppermint) oil
  • Orange terpenes

Fragrances in Lotion

Just like with soap, most lotion manufacturers have transitioned to natural fragrance ingredients. The most commonly used lotion fragrances are:

  • Lavender
  • Vanilla
  • Coconut
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemongrass

Fragrances in Laundry Detergent

In the design of laundry detergents, fragrances are used to create a pleasant smell, of course, but also to mask the active cleaning surfactants and enzymes. Manufacturers typically offer a few variations to meet different consumer preferences. Perhaps even more important than the fragrances uses in detergents is the renewed focus on health and sustainability impact.

Hypoallergenic, fragrance-free and more sustainable packaging trends are changing segment dynamics – and pushing manufacturers to adapt.

Fragrances in Household Cleaning Products

Like detergents, cleaning products like all-purpose cleaners, tub and tile cleaners and glass cleaners use fragrances to cover the scent of active ingredients. Consumers have strong associations with cleaning aromas. Citrus-based fragrances like lemon and orange make our surfaces seem clean and refreshed and increase awareness on personal and household hygiene. Consumers make strong associations based on all characteristics, and scent may be one of the strongest sensorial connections they can make.

Get a Fragrance-focused Perspective with Tilley

Manufacturers rely on creative solutions to create unique formulations across these applications. Our technical teams work hand-in-hand with clients to adapt existing ingredients to new products or improve items already in stores. It’s an ongoing collaboration that ensures exceptional quality and safe consumer products.

See how we can help your organization grow. Speak with a Tilley representative today to get started.