There is just something about a good perfume that makes it so intimate and alluring for a person. Although the scent of perfume is invisible, it is still a form of a person’s style and this shows how those around comprehend who they are, and it’s therefore worth knowing at least something or two about all the different kinds of scent that are available.
That's why Keef & Nish™ has prepared this concise and simple guide for you that will help you find the best perfume to suit your character.
The Fragrance Wheel
First things first, what is the fragrance wheel? And yes, we are talking about a literal wheel here!
Let’s learn a little bit of history. Any perfumer MUST know the Fragrance Wheel. It is introduced by Michael Edwards, a fragrance expert and he is literally known to have the ‘World’s Best Nose’! No kidding, it’s a legit thing!
And, why is it important to know The Fragrance Wheel?
Michael Edwards developed this wheel to help perfumers recommend the best possible perfumes for their customers. The fragrance wheel is a tool that is useful to help us understand how different scents belong to certain families, and how these scents can be mixed and how it can complement each other.
Let’s get right into it! There are 4 key scents families that feature 1 prominent scent in the scent family; Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh.
Floral Scent Subfamilies
Jumping right into it, one of the most popular scent families, the floral fragrance family, is commonly found in women’s fragrances. While floral scents are more popular in women’s fragrances, it doesn’t mean that they are not found in men’s fragrances. Floral scent is, as the name suggests itself, the scent that is derived from flowers. This can either be a single flower scent or a combination of different flower scents. These scents are dainty, gentle and subtly sweet. The overall impression of the fragrance is like a bunch of fresh-cut flowers, but partly of fruits and spices do come into play in the subfamilies.
When it comes to floral scent subfamilies, There are 3 subfamilies within this family; floral, soft floral and floral oriental. You can identify them by:
To enhance the core scent, these notes will smell like popular bouquet flowers, like roses or lilies to give you the fragrance of walking past a florist shop. You know, like those movie scenes where a pretty heroine passes by a floral shop and the flower petals showers them gracefully? Yeah, you can imagine how the heroine smells, right?
A lighter touch than core floral, soft floral notes will have a powdery or creamy scent to them which can give you a nostalgic musk fragrance that uses notes like Orris root that softens the intense freshness of a floral bouquet. The notable musk fragrance used gives a soft, downy texture to fragrances, bathing compositions in a warm, sensual glow.
These will blend floral notes with a subtle hint of spice leaving you with a smooth but stylish fragrance remnants of incense. Floral Oriental fragrances are alternatively referred to as sweet florals and will often blend in notes of orange blossom and sweet spices as well. This scent has that strong rich and classic floral scent to it but at the same time it also retains a citrus-ish, fruity scent to it. Sounds exciting isn’t it?
Oriental Scent Subfamilies
Next, there are three subfamilies within the oriental fragrance family: soft oriental, oriental and woody oriental. Each brings slightly different notes but have that vivid, heady scent at their core:
To smoothen the rich scent of the oriental fragrance, soft oriental initiates floral notes to blend with the warm spices for a fragrance similar to incense. Well two words for this scent; sweet and a little bit of spiciness to it. When it comes to soft oriental, the familiar notable scent you can smell is like gentle scents of floral mixed with incense or warm spices. The best way to describe it is something natural yet sweet and a little bit of edgy hint to it!
Building on the core oriental fragrance, this note brings in warm scents such as vanilla and cinnamon to initiate a musk-like effect. What’s special with this scent is the fact it allows the sweet and warm scent blends together to create a harmonious yet rich smell. What can be said about this scent is, it brings in a sense of comfort and a hint of luxuriousness to it. Oriental fragrance contains more exotic notes such as orange blossom, orchids, jasmine and of course, cinnamon and vanilla.
By blending the spicy and sweet notes of the core oriental fragrance with notes like sandalwood, the woody oriental fragrance produces a pleasing earthy scent. It has that mysterious and captivating scent that is often used by men but, it is not to say that women don’t use it but since this scent is usually favoured amongst aftershave in particular, which screams that mostly men use it. Seeing as this uses wood-based smells, cedarwood, sandalwood and amber, it’s the perfect scent to be used in the evening!
Woody Fragrance Subfamilies
There are three key subfamilies within the woody fragrance; woods, mossy woods and dry woods. Woody perfumes are usually warm and sumptuous, mixing incense-like fragrances like sandalwood and patchouli with parcher notes like cedar. To soften the warmth of these notes, most perfumes will sometimes combine some fresh notes like citrus or floral. Notes in this family each of which sit on a range of sweet to bitter.
The core scent of the woody fragrance family, wood notes are based on scents such as cedarwood and sandalwood but united to create an ambrosial scent. It leaves such an earthy scent to it but there are usually hints of citrus or aromatic head notes to it.
The smoothest of the woody fragrances, mossy wood notes combine earthy scents such as oakmoss and amber with a deary scent that makes for a milder woody fragrance. For your information, amber has this warm, powdery and hint of sweet scent to it. With this, it is pretty obvious that Mossy Woods note has that rich, fine and dry-ish scent to it. Personally, this scent is pretty gender neutral, which means it’s regularly used by both male and females. Most people like this scent because of their rare and exotic ingredients used to have these notes in the perfume, which technically makes these kinds of perfumes, the premium and expensive kinds.
Dry woods are identified by incorporating smoky notes with the scent of leather, dry wood notes make for a fiery fragrance. This scent has that ambiance of dominant and power to it. There is a new study where it says women prefer to find their potential ‘the ones’ who have woody scents to them. So men, take note, go get yourself a well blended scent of leather and dry woods such as cedarwood and vetiver to it!
Fresh Fragrance Subfamilies
More often than not found in men’s fragrances rather than women’s fragrances, fresh fragrances offer a clean and bright scent that brings in notes of herb, citrus and the ocean paired with spices for a stronger overall fragrance.
There are five different subfamilies within the fresh fragrance family; aromatic, citrus, water, green and fruity. Yes, FIVE!
Fresh fragrances cover a broad range and can be mixed with a range of notes, giving them a larger scope for fragrance subfamilies much in the same way as the floral fragrance family.
Fresh scents are often combined with aromatic notes to create the aromatic fresh fragrance, common combinations mix the bright scent of fresh herbs with floral or woody tones such as lavender. We all love a fine and strong lavender smell. Not only that it is famous in perfumery but it is actually widely used in air fresheners and many scented body products such as lotions, body showers, etc.
Citrus fruits have an extremely fresh and bright scent that works well as a fragrance, anything with a zesty scent or a tangy kick such as tangerine can invigorate the senses. Common note between this subfamily is grapefruit and tangerine. As a child, it is common to use such notes in colognes and body products but surprisingly, adults actually carry that childhood memory and they carry that scent till they’re adult which is why most of some woody and floral perfumes have traces of tangerines and grapefruit scent to it.
Water fresh notes are all about recreating the scent of fresh sea spray or the air shortly after a thunderstorm, blended to create an aquatic, oceanic fragrance. This might sound funny, but water has a scent too and it is literally called the water scent. Still don’t believe it? Go fill yourself a cup of water and sniff it, different kinds of water have different kinds of smell! The best ones are the spring water!
While we’re back to nature with green fresh, this fragrance subfamily differs from floral or woody fragrances by taking notes from the scent of a freshly mowed lawn or crushed, green leaves for a distinctly fresh and uplifting fragrance. Ah! The unique smell of freshly trimmed grass, what a way to start the day!
Fruity notes are fresh and invigorating. Main fruity notes include berries and other non-citrus fruits. Fruity notes are often sweet and juicy, they compliment floral notes as well. Same as the citrus smell, berries smell are often used in children’s scented personal care products but that lingering familiar scent of childhood will always be carried till we’re adults hence why even the high-end perfumes have berry scented perfumes with traces of musk or woods in it!
Those are some of the information that we from KEEF & NISH™ have shared with you and we hope that on the next purchase of your perfumes, you can refer to these guides and choose the best perfume that suits your personality or style. You can head to our catalog page and find the perfumes mentioned in this article if you would like to try some of these described notes in a perfume!