Words: Elena Andreou & Emily Venables
Do you know your fruity perfumes from your floral? Or your citrus aftershaves from your woody? Whatever your fragrance know-how, the key to understanding why one scent may differ from the other is by recognising the fragrance families that they fall into. While our experts are pro at identifying the families at first spritz, anyone can be a fragrance connoisseur with a little bit of training…
Read on to find out about the fragrance families you’ll find here at The Perfume Shop, and why not take our interactive personality quiz at the end to see which scent suits you best?
What is a fragrance family?
A fragrance family is a classification system that the industry uses to place scents into olfactory groups. Each family has a set of identifying factors which helps us distinguish scents. Knowing which fragrance family you prefer makes narrowing your choices down and finding a new scent that little bit easier!
What are fragrance notes?
If you’ve noticed that your signature scent changes after some time on the skin, then what you're identifying are the different 'notes' of a fragrance.
Every perfume is made up of different notes. The top notes are what you can smell at first spray and are typically light and refreshing. The opening notes of a fragrance are the first to evaporate. The middle notes (or heart notes) are usually floral and sweet and can generally last up to an hour on the skin. And the base notes are usually rich and woody and are the longest-lasting notes of any scent.
Key Fragrance Families
Modern, refreshing and packed with playfulness, the citrus family is a go-to for a burst of freshness throughout the year. As the composition is light and can sometimes border on fruity, the group features notes that are immediately recognisable.
Common notes: lemon, orange, neroli, bergamot, grapefruit, and mandarin.
Citrus Infused Scents
Often described as rich, smooth, and sensual an oriental fragrance is a distinct scent and one you will remember from the first spray! The notes are usually full-bodied and long-lasting, making it the ultimate go-to family if you are looking for an evening scent that will last as long as you do!
Common notes: orange blossom, vanilla, spices, tobacco, and amber.
Oriental Scents We Love
This floral family is one of the most popular and is packed with flowers we all know and love. Think of floral scents as a gorgeous bouquet you would pick up from a luxurious florist as it often features petals and aromas that complement one another.
Common notes: iris, jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley.
Fabulous Floral Fragrances
A sophisticated family composing of woody, mossy, and floral accords. It gets its name from the island of Cyprus as the notes are based on the aromatic plants that grow there.
Common notes: bergamot, oak moss, and patchouli.
Check out these Chypre scents
Described as rich and seductive, woody scents have an earthy undertone. The wood fragrance family used to be dominated by masculine fragrances, but thanks to their warming nature, we’re seeing more and more female and unisex focused fragrances finding their feet within this family.
Common notes: Oak, sandalwood, rosewood, and cedarwood.
Try These Woody Scents
Fruit fragrances are everything you expect them to be, they’re fun, vibrant, and often sparkling or sweet. They’re subtle enough to add a touch of fun to your everyday beauty routine, but their invigorating side also makes them perfect for date night or an evening out with friends!
Common notes: Raspberry, grapefruit, lemon, strawberry, and apple
Fantastic Fruit Fragrances
What perfume suits my personality?
Now, you’re up to speed on the different types of fragrance families there are, take our quiz to find the perfume which best suits you.