The Fragrance Wheel

Fragrances and perfumes have been categorised into fragrance families, sorted by what notes appear and in what order they are layered.

Most fragrances have an Aromatic Fougère Base. Aromatic Fougères are a universal group that include elements of most of the individual sub categories; for example they retain the refreshing qualities of Citrus based scents, Floral notes such as lavender, spicy and sweet textures of a Floral Oriental, the amber notes associated with Oriental perfumes and the aromatic Moss Woods and Sandalwoods of Woody fragrances.

Perfume Categories

Floral Oriental
These fine fragrances and perfumes are soft, spicy and distinctly feminine. Many of these perfumes for women contain spicy orange flower, mixed with tart Aldehydes and sweet oriental spices. Floral Oriental Fragrances for women first appeared in the early 1900’s and quickly became one of the most popular fragrance categories of the first few decades of that century. They became unfashionable in the 1930’s but by the 1970’s this fragrance category had enjoyed a revival to become a staple of most people’s fragrance wardrobe.

Soft Oriental
Soft Oriental perfumes and fine fragrance often add incense to a Floral Oriental base and layers of spices and amber to create their uniquely soft appearance and texture. The base of this particular type of Oriental fragrance comprises of less heady and sweet textures to their Traditional Oriental counterparts and thus they retain a lighter feeling.

Traditional Oriental Fragrances are often extremely exotic, sensual and heavy fragrances. These sensual scents contain oriental resins, exotic flowers, vanilla and musk. Some are lightened with fruits and others are changed by the addition of tangy green notes this makes the Traditional Oriental Fragrance group a delight to explore.

Woody Oriental
Woody Oriental Fragrances are unusual, diverse and plentiful; if you love woody oriental fragrances then you will have a wide variety to choose from. Woody Oriental Fragrances combine essences of rich Oriental notes, such as Patchouli with floral tones and spices. These notes, unlike other Oriental Perfume categories, are dominated by sandalwood and/or Patchouli to give a sensually deep woody effect to the fragrance.

Mossy Woods
Mossy Woods Fragrances for Men and Perfumes for Women are often termed Chypre Boisé. Perfumers delineate these fragrances and perfumes according to the content of oakmoss woods and citrus tones. Most of this fragrance category have Oakmoss as their central theme.

Dry Woods
This particular type of Woody Fragrance takes on its dryer character with the addition of notes such as Cedar, Leather, Tobacco and Burnt Woods. These smoky, musty woody fragrances are sensual and often lightened by fresh citrus notes that cut through these animalic heart notes.

These perfumes contain predominant notes of citrus and fruit oils, including lemon, orange, peach, apricot, lime and grapefruit. They tend to be light, juicy and tangy fresh without the sharp quality of a Fresh Green Fragrance.

These perfumes and aftershaves tend to be fresh with a sharper edge. This is often due to the aromatic addition of green leaves and the essence of freshly cut grass. A touch of Fresh Green notes will make a perfume or aftershave feel crisp but a predominance of these notes will make the fragrance feel refreshing and aromatic.

These perfumes are often the lightest and brightest in this category and are great as fresh summer fragrances. They are dominated by water notes such as sea air, water and fresh water plants and often mixed with Fresh Citrus and Fruit tones and touches of Green Leaves.

These fine fragrances contain essences of stark white flowers, linens and softer sweeter notes of jasmine, gardenia, freesia and white honeysuckle. This produces a soft but fresh floral burst and as a result is closely associated with both the floral and fresh sub-categories. The repertoire of the Fresh Floral category is vast and wide ranging. Designer Fragrance houses have produced Fresh Floral Fragrances that concentrate on a single note, as well as those that give a full and exciting bouquet of flowers.

Soft Floral
The designer fragrances contain soft floral notes combined with Aldehydes and powdery textures. The Soft Floral Category is again diverse and often produces abstract and unusual fragrances. Most of the Soft Floral Perfume group contains Aldehydes, a natural fragrance that forms part of the bouquet found in roses and citrus oils. On there own Aldehydes can smell quite sharp and metallic or burnt and waxy but when they are combined with floral notes they change the texture of these highly perfumed flowers, soften them and create subtle blossoms from full bouquets.

Aromatic Fougere
These fragrances and perfumes form a universal fragrance family. They take on elements of all the previous categories and blend them into a beautiful bouquet of scents. They contain sexy oriental tones, with Aromatic Herbs and Grasses, Citrus notes, Sweet Spices, Soft Florals and Oriental Woods. This fragrance category has always been the most popular with men. This is because they are zesty, masculine but light, airy and fresh. However, recently they have taken a hold on the female Fine Fragrance market.

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