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When it comes to perfume and fragrance, the use of color is not limited to visual aesthetics. Many perfume enthusiasts and industry professionals are familiar with the concept of AKA colors and their importance in the world of fragrance. AKA colors, also known as “Aromachemical Key Accord” colors, are a system used to represent specific fragrance families or fragrance categories. By understanding the meaning behind these colors, perfume enthusiasts can gain valuable insight into the olfactory profiles of different fragrances. In this article, we will explore what the AKA colors stand for and how they can enhance your understanding and appreciation of fragrance.

The origins of the AKA colors

The concept of AKA Colors was developed by renowned perfumer and fragrance expert Stephen V. Dowthwaite. With his extensive knowledge and experience in the perfume industry, Dowthwaite recognized the need for a visual representation of fragrance families that could be easily understood and communicated. Inspired by color-based systems used in other industries, such as the Pantone Color System, Dowthwaite created the AKA Color System as a means of categorizing and describing the olfactory characteristics of fragrances.

The meaning behind each AKA color

  1. Red (AKA1): The red AKA color represents the chypre family of fragrances. Chypre fragrances are known for their sophisticated and elegant compositions, often featuring notes such as oakmoss, bergamot and patchouli. They have a distinct earthy and mossy character with a touch of citrus freshness. Chypre fragrances are timeless classics that exude confidence and allure.

  2. Orange (AKA2): The orange AKA color is associated with the Oriental fragrance family. Oriental fragrances are rich, warm and exotic, often with notes of vanilla, amber and spices. They evoke a sense of sensuality and mystery with their opulent and indulgent compositions. Oriental fragrances are perfect for those seeking a bold and captivating fragrance experience.

  3. Yellow (AKA3): The yellow AKA color represents the floral fragrance family. Floral fragrances are fresh, feminine and romantic, often featuring notes such as rose, jasmine and lily of the valley. They capture the essence of blooming flowers and evoke feelings of joy and elegance. Floral fragrances are beloved for their timeless beauty and delicate charm.

  4. Green (AKA4): The green AKA color is associated with the Fougère family of fragrances. Fougère fragrances are known for their distinctive aromatic and herbaceous character, often containing notes such as lavender, oakmoss and coumarin. They have a fresh and invigorating quality, reminiscent of a walk in a lush green forest. Fougère fragrances are a popular choice for those seeking a sophisticated and masculine scent.

  5. Blue (AKA5): The blue AKA color represents the Fresh fragrance family. Fresh fragrances are clean, crisp and invigorating, often featuring notes such as citrus, marine accords and aromatic herbs. They evoke a sense of vitality and energy, capturing the essence of a cool ocean breeze or a refreshing summer day. Fresh fragrances are perfect for those who enjoy a light and uplifting fragrance experience.

Using AKA Colors to Navigate the Fragrance World

Understanding the AKA colors can greatly enhance your ability to navigate the world of fragrance. By knowing the meaning behind each color, you can quickly identify the fragrance families that match your personal preferences. This knowledge can be especially helpful when exploring new fragrances or discussing fragrances with others.

When shopping for fragrances, you can look for AKA color indicators on packaging or in fragrance descriptions to get a sense of the fragrance’s olfactory profile. If you have a favorite fragrance family, you can easily identify other fragrances within the same color category and explore similar scents that share common characteristics.
In addition, the AKA colors can serve as a valuable communication tool when discussing fragrances. By using the AKA color system, perfume enthusiasts can easily communicate their olfactory preferences or describe fragrances to others without relying on complex olfactory notes or terminology.


The AKA Color System provides a visual representation of fragrance families and their olfactory characteristics. By understanding the meaning behind each AKA color, perfume enthusiasts can navigate the world of fragrance with greater ease and appreciation. Whether you are drawn to the timeless elegance of chypre fragrances or the exotic allure of orientals, the AKA Colors provide a valuable framework for exploring and communicating about fragrance. So the next time you encounter a perfume with an AKA color indicator, you can enter the world of fragrance with confidence and a deeper understanding of its olfactory profile.


What does the AKA colors stand for?

AKA colors refer to the colors associated with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, one of the oldest African American Greek-lettered sororities. The AKA colors are pink and green.

Why are the AKA colors pink and green?

The pink and green colors of Alpha Kappa Alpha have symbolic meanings. Pink represents femininity, while green represents growth, renewal, and prosperity. These colors were chosen to reflect the sorority’s mission and values.

When were the AKA colors established?

The AKA colors, pink and green, were established when Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

What significance do the AKA colors hold for members?

The AKA colors hold significant meaning for members of Alpha Kappa Alpha. They represent unity, sisterhood, and the organization’s commitment to service, scholarship, and social justice. The colors serve as a visual reminder of the sorority’s values and traditions.

Are there any other symbols associated with Alpha Kappa Alpha besides the colors?

Yes, besides the colors, Alpha Kappa Alpha also has other symbols that hold special meaning. Some of these symbols include the ivy leaf, which represents growth and strength, the pearl, which symbolizes refinement and wisdom, and the “Skee-Wee” call, a distinctive vocal expression used by members.