The 7 olfactory families
Classification of fragrance
Woody fragrances: These are the essential notes in the world of perfumery, giving warmth and elegance. They are mainly cedar, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli and more recently guaiac wood and oud wood. The “woody” olfactory family can be divided into 6 sub-categories: amber, smoky, humid, mossy, resinous and dry. Woody notes are often used as base notes to fix the perfume and make it last over time, as these notes are heavy and give the perfume staying power.
Chyprés fragrances: The “Chyprée” olfactory family was created by François Coty: the chypre. Chypre notes include the harmonious combination of bergamot, rose, jasmine, oakmoss, patchouli and cistus labdanum: a complex and characterful fragrance. Two sub-families represent chypre perfumes: floral chypres and fruity chypres. But more recently, and due to new regulations, we see the appearance of sweet and musky chypres.
Leathery fragrances: A combination of several raw materials such as birch, incense, styrax and cade to obtain powerful and sophisticated notes describing the “leathery” olfactory family. This one evokes burnt wood, tobacco scents, an intense and raw perfume. Originally, this olfactory family comes from infusions of tanned leather scraps with burnt birch bark made by the master glove makers and perfumers in Grasse.
Floral fragrances: Perfume and flowers are definitely linked, and it is the most diversified olfactory family. In fact, they are the materials that are most worked on in perfumery. We can describe this family by fresh, natural, sweet notes and it is divided into two categories: sweet florals (ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose) and fresh flowers (lily of the valley, lilac, neroli).
Ferns fragrances: A subtle and masculine alliance characterizes the “fern” olfactory family, an agreement between lavender, geranium, oak moss, vetiver and coumarin for a fresh, soft but also aromatic atmosphere! A masculine fragrance that evokes the ritual of shaving with its virile and powerful notes.
Hesperides fragrances: A breath of freshness, a touch of acidity and a good dose of sunshine is all these fragrances are about! This olfactory family refers to the essential oils obtained directly from the zest of citrus fruits. The oldest olfactory family in modern perfumery is mainly represented by lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, mandarin… Citrus notes are top notes in the olfactory pyramid. Indeed, their note is very volatile and ephemeral. They bring a sparkling opening to the diffusion of a fragrance.
Oriental fragrances: The fragrances of the “oriental” olfactory family are the most sensual and warm. They reveal round and voluptuous notes, mainly vanilla, patchouli, amber but also spicy and animal notes. Over the years, oriental fragrances have become very popular olfactory compositions, appealing to both men and women.