Scent is fleeting and often elusive; a familiar scent we can never quite put our finger on. Fragrances follow a similar olfactory evasion, the layered top, middle and base creating something familiar, yet foreign. Any perfume may be classified into one of six olfactory profiles: citrus, floral, oriental, fougère, woody, and chypre. This helps perfumiers, or “noses” blend and describe one of the hardest senses to explain.
Freshest of all the fragrance families, the scent is as it sounds. It takes its descriptor from the scent of Eau de Cologne, known as the world’s first fragrance. Ingredients include lemon, orange, bergamot and neroli.
Similar to: Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Cristalle by Chanel.
With an ambery profile and soft, powdery notes of vanilla and musk, oriental fragrances have a headiness to them that engulf the wearer, albeit momentarily.
Similar to: Angel by Thierry Mugler, Black Orchid by Tom Ford.
Named after the first fragrance of this style in 1884, Fougère Royale, fougère accords smell like lavender, oakmoss, coumarin, bergamot and geranium. A blend of notes, it achieves a masculine profile.
Similar to: Sauvage by Christian Dior, Le male by Jean-Paul Gaultier.
This perfume with weight; woody scents have warm and dry woody ingredients, including sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver, as well as other synthetic variations.
Similar to: Santal 33 by Le Labo, Oud Wood by Tom Ford.
As described on the bottle, the floral family comprises floral notes or jasmine, violet, rose, gardenia, narcissus, orange blossom and more.
Similar to: Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf, Coco by Chanel.
Like fougère, chypre is named after the first fragrance of its family in 1914, Chypre by Coty. It is characterised by oakmoss, patchouli, bergamot, labdanum that offer a typically feminine scent.
Similar to: Nº19 by Chanel, CK One by Calvin Klei