Fragrance Notes

Cardamom Scent in Perfumery

What is Cardamom?

Cardamom is a widely used ingredient in perfumery with a spicy, warm and sweet scent. Its scent profile makes it a popular top or middle note. It complements other spices such as cinnamon and clove and works well with both woody and floral notes, making it suitable for a wide range of fragrance products including perfumes for both men and women, colognes, and scented candles.

In perfume development, different forms of cardamom are utilized, including cardamom oil, absolute, and CO2 extract. Cardamom oil is derived from steam distillation of the seeds and is prized for its strong and intense scent. Cardamom absolute is a more potent form of the essential oil with a more robust aroma. Cardamom CO2 extract, obtained through supercritical fluid extraction, is favored for its delicate aroma, offering a more natural aroma.


Cardamom boasts a rich history in perfumery, with its use dating back to ancient civilizations. It is said to have originated in South India and Sri Lanka, where it was prized for its aromatic and medicinal properties. The spice was widely traded and used in ancient Egypt and Greece, and has been a staple in traditional perfumery and Ayurvedic medicine in the Middle East and Asia for centuries. With its versatile and complex scent, and fixative qualities, cardamom remains a sought after ingredient in modern-day perfumery.


The main function of cardamom in perfume development is to provide a warm, spicy, and slightly sweet aroma to fragrances. It is commonly used as a top or middle note; with the warm, spicy and slightly sweet aroma of cardamom adding depth and complexity to the fragrance. Additionally, it can serve as a fixative, which helps to prolong the longevity of other aroma compounds in a fragrance.

Ingredient Type:

In perfumery, cardamom is a natural ingredient (raw material) obtained from the seeds of the cardamom plant, a perennial herb of the ginger family. The seeds are harvested, dried, and can then be used whole or be ground to make powder. The essential oil is extracted from the seeds through steam distillation and is used in a wide variety of fragrances.

What Does Cardamon Smell Like?

Cardamom is known for its warm, spicy, and slightly sweet scent profile. Its aroma features crisp notes of camphor, lemon, and mint, with woody and balsamic undertones. The scent is often described as refreshing, invigorating, and stimulating.

Variations of Cardamom in Perfumery:

In the majority of perfumes on the market, two main varieties of cardamom are utilized: green and black. Green cardamom is the most common, known for its light and fresh aroma featuring lemon and mint notes. It is used to add a refreshing touch to fragrances. Black cardamom, also referred to as brown cardamom, has a stronger, smoky scent compared to green cardamom. It is commonly used in amber and spicy fragrances to add depth and complexity. Both green and black cardamom can be used as natural raw materials and extracted into essential oils.

What Fragrance Family is Cardamom in?

Cardamom is a member of the spicy sub-fragrance family, known for its warm, aromatic scents inspired by spices and herbs. It adds a warm, comforting, and inviting touch to perfumes, colognes, scented candles–especially amber-inspired fragrances. Cardamom’s spicy and slightly sweet aroma makes it a popular ingredient in both men's and women's fragrances.

Phlur Perfumes Containing Cardamom:

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