That delicious mid-summer smell in the middle of a rose garden? You can call that its perfume.

If you apply scented oil to your neck and wrists before leaving your house every the morning, you know what perfume is. Another kind of perfume is one that doesn't come in a bottle, like the smell of your mom's cinnamon rolls or the salty fragrance of the ocean after a storm. The earliest use of perfume in English specifically meant "the smell of something burning," and the Latin root is smoky as well: fumare means "to smoke" and per means "through."

Definitions of perfume
  1. noun
    a toiletry that emits and diffuses a fragrant odor
    synonyms: essence
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    cologne, cologne water, eau de cologne
    a perfumed liquid made of essential oils and alcohol
    pachouli, patchouli, patchouly
    a heavy perfume made from the patchouli plant
    perfumes in general
    a jar of mixed flower petals and spices used as perfume
    rose water
    perfume consisting of water scented with oil of roses
    eau de toilette, toilet water
    a perfumed liquid lighter than cologne
    type of:
    toilet articles, toiletry
    artifacts used in making your toilet (washing and taking care of your body)
  2. noun
    a distinctive odor that is pleasant
    synonyms: aroma, fragrance, scent
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    the pleasing scent produced when incense is burned
    a pleasant, earthly smell associated with rain, especially after a period of dry, warm weather
    type of:
    odor, odour, olfactory perception, olfactory sensation, smell
    the sensation that results when olfactory receptors in the nose are stimulated by particular chemicals in gaseous form
  3. verb
    apply perfume to
    “She perfumes herself every day”
    synonyms: scent
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    type of:
    groom, neaten
    care for one's external appearance
  4. verb
    fill or impregnate with an odor
    “orange blossoms perfumed the air in the garden”
    synonyms: aromatise, aromatize
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    type of:
    odorize, odourise, scent
    cause to smell or be smelly
Word Family
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