What are Fragrance Families?

01 Aug
by Tasmin Lofthouse
Top Tips
What are Fragrance Families?

Have you noticed a trend in what fragrances you do (and don’t) like? Fragrances are categorised by different families and It’s likely that the fragrances you most enjoy will belong to one or two of those families.

Similar to how you might love watching Comedies but hate Horror films, you’ll find yourself drawn to certain fragrance families. Understanding these fragrance families can be beneficial to helping you better understand your fragrance preferences and will also help you identify gaps in your fragrance wardrobe.

The most commonly reported fragrance families are floral, oriental, woody and fresh. Crossing over with these fragrance families, you’ll also find scents fall under the sophisticated families of chypre and fougère. As a result of modern fragrance development, even more fragrance families have emerged including gourmand, green and citrus.

We could go on for days about all the different fragrance families! For now, we’ll focus on the much-loved floral, oriental, woody and fresh fragrances.

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Floral Fragrances

The Floral fragrance family is filled with classic scents. Nature has kindly provided scent specialists with a blooming marvellous number of floral fragrances, thanks to all of the different flowers in the world. Floral scents can be either soliflores (single flower notes) or bouquets (blended floral notes).

Floral fragrances can be further split down into 3 sub-categories of: Floral, Soft Floral and Floral Oriental.

The simply named ‘Floral’ fragrances include the fresh and captivating scents of rose, jasmine and lily. ‘Soft Florals’ are most commonly grouped by their sweet, powdery and musky scent. Here, you will likely find nostalgic florals such as lavender and violet. Meanwhile, ‘Floral Oriental’ scents, like orange blossom, tend to be smooth, sweet and subtly spicy.

If you are a fan of floral fragrances, you’ll love our soft-floral Violet Dreams fragrance collection. Filled with the ethereal scent of Violets, the Violet Dreams collection is a relaxing treat for the skin and senses.

Looking for more of a classic floral scent? Then try the English Rose collection for a classic floral fragrance with an uplifting modern twist. This fragrance collection captures the beautiful scent of fresh roses whilst also steering clear of being dated or old-fashioned.

 

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Oriental Fragrances

Another fragrance family dominating the fragrance world is the Oriental fragrance family. This broad, overarching family covers scents featuring prominent notes from materials associated with the East such as frankincense, myrrh and vanilla. Think of decadent scents, rich balsams and aromatic resins, perfect for eveningwear.

Sub-groups of the Oriental fragrance family are the previously mentioned Floral Oriental, along with Oriental, Soft Oriental and Woody Oriental. Gourmand fragrances - such as rich notes of vanilla, coffee, cinnamon and chocolate - can also fall under the category of oriental fragrances.

Otherwise known as "amber" fragrance, oriental fragrances will stand out due to their unique blend of warmth and sensuality. Oriental fragrances are associated with exotic floral and spicy scents.

The Soft Oriental fragrance family comprises notes of smooth incense and warm spices for a delicate yet noticeably sensual fragrance.

Woody Oriental scents will have a traditionally rich orientally essence enriched by a distinctively warm and opulent woody notes such as amber and sandalwood, or dry woody base notes like cedar.

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Woody Fragrances

Woody fragrances are often warm and opulent fragrance blends. Sandalwood and patchouli are two of the most common warm woody notes found in fragrances, whilst cedar or vetiver will be noticeable in drier woody scents.

Fragrances with exotic heart notes will often feature oily resins and fragrances with a woody heart will sometimes be complemented with fresh citrus or aromatic head notes. There are a variety of Woody subcategories in this family, including: woody oriental, woods, mossy woods, dry woods and aromatic woods.

With notes of sandalwood, vanilla and creamy milk at its heart, the Vanilla Milk fragrance collection will be perfect for those who love subtle woody or oriental fragrances with a hint of gourmand.

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Fresh Fragrances

The Fresh fragrance family covers a wide variety of sub-categories spanning across all the different fresh smells you can possibly imagine. Fresh fragrances will fall into one of the following sub-families: aromatic, citrus, water, green or fruity.

Aromatic, or fougère, fragrances are clean, uncomplicated and fresh. These scents often feature blends of herbs such as rosemary and basil with lavender and warm woody notes.

Citrus fragrances are zesty, tangy and juicy scents designed to energise and stimulate your senses. Citrus scents, such as lemon and mandarin, lend themselves perfectly to summer fragrances. When paired with spicy oriental notes, citrus fresh fragrances also work wonderfully during the winter months.

The Water family of fresh fragrances provide a dewy, humid freshness to the final fragrance. Think of fresh sea spray or the smell of the air after a thunderstorm.

Green fragrances encapsulate the fresh, earthy scents of freshly mown grass or newly sprung green leaves. If spring is your favourite season, you’ll likely be a fan of the Green family!

Fruity scents also lay in the fresh fragrance family. The mouth-watering scent of sweet, juicy and edible fruits from tropical fruits to fresh English apples or even subtly sweet pears. You may also find that Fruit fragrances cross over into the Gourmand category which comprises of food-like fragrances.

The delicious Glazed Raspberry fragrance collection is for all those Fruity fragrance lovers. With a fruit-meets-gourmand fragrance, Glazed Raspberry features fruity notes of raspberry and strawberry with a doughnut heart finished off with a vanilla glaze.

 

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