Scent has a very special and complex kind of layering.
Before you walk into the next perfume shop or read a perfume bottle online, here’s some advice from expert perfumers about the basics of scents.
Scents are part of families (each one belongs somewhere)
Perfumers group scents by similarities, so it makes sense to group them by families - namely: floral, oriental, woody, and fresh notes. Similar scents can be blended together to create a sweet spot of the characteristics from each family. It’s likely that you’ve encountered most of these smells in your life, but understanding how to describe them can come in handy when shopping or winning a 30 seconds tournament.
These scents also evoke similar reactions in the body, as discussed in how smell can impact your mood.
This is one of the most common families and a scent popularly found in women’s perfumes and more recently, men’s perfumes too. Like its name suggests, it’s a flowery fragrance that gets incorporated into subfamilies of fruity, soft floral, and floral oriental blends.
This smell is more exotic, like rich herbs, spices and deep resin. “Sexier” fragrances incorporate oriental notes and it’s used in subfamilies of soft oriental and woody oriental scents.
Woody notes are admired for their natural touch, they’re warm and opulent, and can be intense, like sandalwood incense and scents of cedar. To tone down the warmth of this note, it’s often paired with something fresh like a burst of citrus or floral notes. Subfamilies include mossy woods and dry woods.
If you want fresh, bright, and clean, you want fresh notes. They’re popularly found in men’s fragrances more than women’s, and are associated with herbal, oceanic, and notes of citrus.If you’d like to know about the right perfume for you, get in touch with our team of perfume experts - or take our personality test to have your personal perfume custom blended for you.