Fragrance Materials (FMs) are omnipresent components of household and Personal Care Products (PCPs). In spite of their widespread use, little is known about their environmental occurrence. We selected 17 among the longest-lasting and most stable fragrance ingredients that are commercially available, namely: Amberketal, Ambrofix, Amyl Salicylate, Benzyl Salicylate, Bourgeonal, Dupical, Hexyl Salicylate, Isobutavan, Lemonile, Mefranal, Myraldene, Okoumal, Oranger Crystals, Pelargene, Peonile, Tridecene-2-Nitrile, Ultravanil. A new analytical method was developed to quantify FMs in water samples and it was applied to perform the first study about the distribution of these compounds in the surface waters of the city of Venice and its lagoon. Total FMs concentrations range from about 30 ng L− 1 to more than 10 μg L− 1 in polluted canals during the low tide. Sewage discharges were supposed to be the main sources of the selected FMs in the environment. Salicylates, oestrogenic and allergenic compounds, were in general the most abundant and widespread components. This study reports for the first time the detection of most of the selected FMs in surface waters and represent the first step to understand their environmental fate.