Difference Between Flavour and Fragrance

Main Difference – Flavour vs Fragrance

Flavour and fragrance are two senses we sense with our tongue and nose, respectively. Flavour is a distinctive taste and fragrance is a sweet and pleasant smell. The main difference between flavour and fragrance is that flavour is felt with the tongue whereas fragrance is felt with the nose. However, flavour and fragrance cannot be considered as separate entities since the flavour is often a result of both taste and smell. Thus, fragrance has a major influence on flavour. 

This article covers,

1. What is Flavour? – Meaning, Characteristics and Usage

2. What is Fragrance? – Meaning, Characteristics and Usage 

3. What is the difference between Flavour and Fragrance? 

Difference Between Flavour and Fragrance - Flavour vs Fragrance Comparison Summary

What is Flavour

Flavour is a particular type of taste. For example, different spices have different flavours; cloves have an earthy and sweet flavour whereas turmeric has a peppery and bitter flavour. Sense of taste comes from the taste buds on the tongue. The tongue is able to taste separate flavours: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, savoury and pungent. Everything you taste is one or more combination of these basic six flavours. The tongue can also pick up textures and temperatures: hot, cold, crunchy, creamy, etc.

The sense of taste is also affected by the sense of smell. For example, some soft drinks, jellies, candies, etc. have the same taste, but their smells are different. So, most of us assume that they have different flavours.

Main Difference - Flavour vs Fragrance

What is Fragrance

Fragrance is a sweet or pleasant odour or a scent. Fragrance is felt by the nose, and it can be considered as a sense of smell. We can use the word fragrance to describe the sweet smell of flowers, pine trees and perfumes. Stink, stench and reek are some antonyms of fragrance. It is believed that the sense of smell can identify seven types of sensations: camphor, mint, musk, flower, ether, acrid, and putrid. Out of these smells, floral scent can be considered as a fragrance.

The term fragrance is typically used by food and cosmetic industries to describe a pleasant odour. Sometimes, the word fragrance can also be used to refer to a perfume. Fragrances are used in the food industry to create different flavours. As mentioned above, the sense of smell also has an effect on the sense of taste. This is why fragrances are used in the food industry.

Difference Between Flavour and Fragrance

Difference Between Flavour and Fragrance


Flavour: Flavour is a distinctive taste.

Fragrance: Fragrance is a sweet and pleasant smell.

Sensory Organ

Flavour: Flavour is felt by the tongue.

Fragrance: Fragrance is smelt by the nose.


Flavour: Flavour is usually used to describe food.

Fragrance: Fragrance is often used to describe floral scents.


Flavour: Flavour can be influenced by the fragrance.

Fragrance: Fragrance is not influenced by the flavour.

Image Courtesy: 

“Smell” by   via

“Indian Spices” By Joe mon bkk – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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