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Fragrance Families

A Scent for Every Situation

Perfumes and scents are different but they may share common traits. They may be floral, spicy, woody, herbal, musky, powdery or aqueous. Hence, each one of them can be treated as belonging to one Fragrance Family, grouping it with many similar fragrances.

If a fragrance has mainly a scent of fresh notes, plus weaker scents of woody and citrus notes, we could say that this fragrance is fresh, but with citrus and woody undertones. The dominant part is normally the Heart of the Fragrance.

Male fragrances can be divided into several different families. Commonly there are Four main groups (Citrus, Fougere, Oriental and Chypre), which are then divided into sub groups.

Feminine fragrances have extra floral categories, and do not feature so many of the Fougere style fragrances which are so popular in men's perfumery.

General Fragrance families are:

Citrus Family

Citrus family oils come from ripe fruit peels. They are extracted by pressing or steam distillation. These are the most volatile, thus disperse quickly. They have fresh, zesty aromas that blend well with floral and spice families. Some of the family members are:
Lemon Twist: Fresh lemon with a twist of orange. Sunshine: Blend of orange and floral notes.
Citrus Blossom: Orange top notes with floral body.
Fresh Orange: Fresh, natural orange.

Fruits Family

These fragrances come3 from fruits themselves, as well as from leaves, stems, and seeds. This category includes tree fruits and vine fruits. The scents are usually quite strong and long lasting. Some fruits blend well with spices and woods are:
Golden Mango: Tropical fruit blend.
Honey Almond: Sweet nutty aroma
Mulberries: Sweet fruit and berry mixture.
Apple Cider: Warm, fresh apple aroma.
Cherry Berry: Wild cherry and blueberry blend.

Floral Family

As, the name suggests, this family comes from a large variety of flowering plants. They stay long as the oils evaporate more slowly than citrus and herbaceous oils. They are expressed or steam distilled from petals. Some are extracted with solvents. Floral family is the most versatile of all; they blend well with oils from most groups.
Cloudburst: Fresh, clean citrus and floral mixture
Freesia Floral blend of rose, lily and jasmine
Trade Winds: Mixture of flowers and sandal wood Wild Flowers: Mixture of floral notes

Herbs & Spices Family

These oils are steam distilled from leaves, roots, barks, seeds, and flowering tops of trees and herbal plants. They are strong, slow evaporating, and long lasting. Herbs and spices blend well with oils from citrus and woods family.
Cinnamon Spice: Fresh cinnamon aroma
English Spice: Mix of wood spice and cinnamon spice
Mint Leaf: Blend of peppermint and spearmint
Orange Spice: Oriental orange spice with floral dry out.

Woods Family

These oils are extracted from various parts of trees, including roots needles, and the wood itself. Woodsy aromas can be sweet, bitter, green, or earthy. They are among the slowest evaporating and longest lasting oils. Woods blend very well with floral and spices.
Scottish Pine: Woodsy, evergreen fragrance
Vanilla Bean: Warm vanilla aroma. Long lasting
Winter Woods: Evergreen with a floral twist
Woodlands: Fine, cologne-like fragrance
Woody Floral: Natural earthy floral blend

Other / Specialty

Still there is a wide variety of fragrances that do not fit into any group. These include food-type aromas, cologne and perfume types, and seasonal fragrances. This category also includes neutral odor killers that contain little or no scent.
Odourless: No fragrance(used for odor killing only) Sparkling Water: Cool Water cologne
Generally, when new fragrances are launched, the marketing department often claims that the new fragrance is so unique that is doesn't fit into the normal family grouping and will state that the fragrance has formed a new family subdivision, such as Sunny-woody-futuristic-water or something. Although most of the time it will just be a plain old fougere. So, beware of marketing tactics!

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