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  • Writer's picturemadeline bobo

Fragrance Families

One of the fundamental concepts in understanding perfumery is the classification of fragrances into distinct families. These fragrance families serve as a guide to navigating the vast and diverse landscape of scents, while providing aid in creating an outline of your personal fragrance profile. For this post, we will just look at a few of the fragrance families: floral, oriental, woody, fresh, and gourmand.


Of course there are many more when we look deeper into the complexity of the perfume world, but for a general introduction, this is a good start!


Floral Fragrances:

Floral fragrances reign as one of the most beloved and timeless fragrance families. As the name suggests, these scents predominantly feature floral notes, ranging from delicate and powdery to rich and intoxicating. Rose, jasmine, tubereuse, and lily of the valley are common ingredients in floral compositions, offering a bouquet of olfactory delights. Iconic examples include Chanel No. 5, a timeless blend of jasmine and rose, and Dior's J'adore, a lush concoction of ylang-ylang and damask rose.


From my collection in Floral: Tubéreuse from Olibanum.




Oriental Fragrances:

Oriental fragrances exude warmth, opulence, and sensuality, drawing inspiration from the exotic spices and resins of the East. These rich and complex scents often feature notes such as amber, vanilla, and incense, creating an alluring and mysterious aura. Guerlain's Shalimar, with its blend of vanilla, tonka bean, and incense, epitomises the allure of oriental fragrances, while Tom Ford's Black Orchid offers a modern twist with its dark floral and gourmand accords.


From my collection in Oriental: Oriental Sans Souci from Le Jardin Retrouvé




Woody Fragrances:

Woody fragrances evoke the rugged beauty of the great outdoors, capturing the essence of trees, forests, and earthy landscapes. These scents are characterised by notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, and patchouli, imbuing them with warmth, depth, and masculinity. Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men, with its blend of vetiver and amber, exemplifies the allure of woody fragrances, while FOLIE D'UN SOIR by Goutal is an ambery woody fragrance with hidden notes of cacao.


From my collection in Woody: L'Eau Papier from Diptyque




Fresh Fragrances:

Fresh fragrances offer a crisp, invigorating, and revitalising olfactory experience, reminiscent of the great outdoors and sun-kissed landscapes. These scents feature citrus, herbal, and aquatic notes, creating a sense of freshness and vitality. Acqua di Parma's Colonia, with its blend of Sicilian citrus and lavender, epitomises the timeless appeal of fresh fragrances, while Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt offers a modern interpretation with its combination of sea salt, sage, and driftwood.


From my Collection in Fresh: Colonia Pura from Acqua di Parma




Gourmand Fragrances:

Gourmand fragrances tantalise the senses with their delectable and mouthwatering aromas, evoking images of sweet treats, candies, desserts, and culinary delights. These scents feature notes such as vanilla, caramel, and chocolate, creating an indulgent and comforting olfactory experience. Thierry Mugler's Angel, with its blend of patchouli and praline, is a quintessential example of gourmand fragrances, while Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb offers a more floral-infused gourmand experience with its blend of jasmine and vanilla.


From my collection in Gourmand: Comète Paradis from Parle Moi de Parfum


***all images sourced from each brand's website directly (click to view)

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