The world of fragrance can be a tricky one to understand. There are a lot of different and mysterious terms, usually describing some even more unusual experiences and aromas. Even worse, sometimes there are terms you might know that are being used entirely differently!
Fragrance families are great examples of perfumery’s odd choice of words when describing certain fragrances.
Fundamentally, a fragrance family is a category of certain smells that adhere to a specific experience. The term “family” and the sub-categories that follow, make up an organizational shorthand when efficiently describing an aroma without losing the vital context typically needed when preparing someone for a new scent or smell.
So, in today’s blog, we’ll be exploring the prominent fragrance families while defining the various subcategories each family has within.
To feel “fresh” or “refreshed” is a strange concept to describe adequately. Much of it is subjective; however, we all share a few universal aspects to the experience. The notes in this family are clean, crisp, and uplifting and are typically comprised of citrus and green notes.
Scents of orange, lemon, bergamot, mandarin, and grapefruit.
This family is a subcategory or the fresh family. The notes are light and slightly sweet. The main notes are scents like raspberry, strawberry, apple, mango, pineapple, and other non-citrus fruits.
The green family is another subcategory of the fresh family. It can be considered a lighter and more modern interpretation of the Cyprus type. Main notes include galbanum and other notes like clary sage.
These are the earthy grounding scents of moss and dirt. This fragrance family has woody scents like sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, and patchouli. If our name didn’t already tip you off, then you’ll be pleased to know that this is our primary focus.
This family is a combination of wood and oriental notes. Their main notes include oakmoss and amber.
An intriguing family of fragrances that expertly fuses scents of honey, tobacco, wood, and wood tars to mimic the smell of leather.
These fragrances are made up of bergamot, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum. This fragrance category is usually mixed with citrus notes.
The floral fragrance family is a category whose main notes include scents of fresh-cut flowers. Smells can be single floral notes (called Soliflores), floral bouquets (a combination of several flowers), or bright florals, combining single floral and floral fragrances.
A fragrance class of intense grassy scents like sage and rosemary.
Inspired by the eastern nations from where many of the world's favorite fragrances come from, the oriental family is full of rich, warm, spicy scents. Think of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
A fragrance family whose main notes include orange blossom and sweet spices.
This family combines wood and oriental families and commonly features middle notes of sandalwood and oud.