Powdery is constituted as being the unique characteristic often found in fragrances, which is most akin to the distinct scent or aromatic texture that resonates out of talcum powder. This unique scent trait was also a characteristic element found in many of the face powders that were common in old times, which has led the element to be often interchanged with the word granny when referring to the trait. The term is used in perfumery for a wide array of subjective goals, although there does exist some defining characteristics that seem to be shared throughout all usages of the term. It is usually used to denote any properties found in a specific fragrance, that can be associated with the types of products mentioned previously; products that can have their aromas defined and assessed. These products have often been remarked on for their aromatic qualities that seem to be best summed up by the seemingly out of place term: dry. Despite the word seeming to bear little relevance to the world of fragrances, it has gained a foothold with regards to talcum-like aromas, for being the most applicable term available. Dry has formed somewhat of a grouping for the many undefined aromas of a similar kind, and the usage of the term is often used interchangeably with powdery. In some definitions, powdery is said to be a subset of dry: encompassing part of the makeup of the dry grouping. Many perfumers and powdery scent experts describe the powdery aroma as not only dry, but perhaps even possessing of floral-like tendencies, albeit tendencies that lack the fresh or humid aspects of many complete floral notes. Powdery is also an element that is antithetical to sweetness or humidity, although a talented perfumer can impart qualities of a powdery flair into compositions that feature sweet and juice-like notes if the correct steps are undertaken. This term is often used to evoke the idea of granny-esque aromas being inherent in a composition, although the use of the term is evolving to mean something more positive and pleasure inducing. The positive outlook champions the quality for having the benefit of imparting a subtly nuanced effect into fragrances, being coupled with pleasant accords of dry, clear, and soft qualities.
Both natural and synthetic derived compounds are used to produce powdery notes and nuances, with a common feature of many of these fragrances coming via ambergris. It is a complex term that encompasses a range of defining attributes, and is extensively used to showcase a fragrance as having attributes that are opposite to some specific features. The term is often used synonymously with “dry”, which is used to give the impression of a scent being non-sweet, opposite to humid, and possessing qualities more akin to powder than to oil or resin. Many of the notes found to be used in modern perfumery to inject powdery characteristics into fragrances are also almost always possessing of other qualities. This means, that usually when a fragrance is noticeably powdery, the powdery element is a secondary component, or even a mere subtle hint, in a composition. Powdery notes add an edge, a sharpness, and a pleasant addition, when included in a formula that possess substantial amounts of satisfying aromatic qualities. Examples of notes that may be used in perfumery to grant a powdery effect, include things like iris or orris extracts, compounds derived from violet, opoponax resin, and a variety of musk and amber related compounds.