Be Clever With Your Scents: 7 Fragrance Families Every Smart Woman Should Know!

While searching for a new fragrance, not only our nose should take the lead. If we are aware of the influence some fragrance families have on our senses, we will be able to make the better choices. 
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Fragrances are as mysterious as the essential oils that compose them. They are ephemeral, invisible once we wear them and still address our senses so intensively, that they can fascinate us or repel us at once. A fragrance owns a unique personality, a singular composition which amalgamates diverse, carefully chosen fragrance notes. To understand a composition, or fragrance universe, we should get acquainted with at least some fragrance families: They can tell us, in which way they influence our senses and therefore reveal, if they suit our preferences.

Understanding a Fragrance Universe

The creator of the first Eau de Cologne, the Italian perfumer Johann Maria Farina, concretized in the year 1708, just in a few lines, what a fragrance universe means:

I found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of the mountain narcissus, of the orange flowers shortly after the rain. It refreshes me, it strengthens my senses and my phantasy”.

Living in Cologne, Germany, and full of nostalgic feelings for his homeland, Farina composed a fragrance that recreated the sensations he enjoyed in his place of birth. For this purpose, he developed an invigorating mixture of citrus fruits and aromatic herbs that he even especially ordered from Italy.

A fragrance universe brings the inspirational source of its composition to life. A garden, an love journey, a tropical night, a remarkable personality, a vibrant night life, a particular lifestyle… All these and much more can stimulate the creativity of a perfumer. We, as the receptors a fragrance universe, can decode the source of its inspiration, if we are able to identify at least some of the fragrance families that compose it.

Below, you will find seven of the most popular fragrance families -or groups- for lady’s perfumes: Citrus, floral, gourmand, oriental, aromatic, aldehyde and powdery. Be aware that the world of fragrances has no boundaries. It is impossible to discover all fragrance families and each of their members, but we can get a practical overview of them and of the effects they have on our senses.

Citrus Fragrances

Citrus scents are truly multifaceted. They are won from the fruits, flowers, leaves and stems from sun loving citrus plants like bergamot, orange, mandarin, bitter orange, grapefruit and lime, which happily grow in a warm Mediterranean climate. Their most characteristic feature is their exhilarant effect: In a matter of seconds, they have the power to vitalize and strengthen our senses.

Some of the many citrus fragrance notes: Lemons, oranges and orange flowers

If you own a very energetic temper or a dynamic style, you will probably find your perfect fragrance among the citrus family. After sport, or in the summer, a citrus fragrance will not only refresh you, but invigorate your senses. Ideal for getting this effect is an Eau de Cologne from any brand, which will be always distinguished by its strong citrus character!

Citrus fragrances are found in compositions that express a great longing for warm, sunny regions. Unsurprisingly, we can find the citrus types well represented in Italian perfume brands with energizing fragrances like Versace Versense, Armani Code, Prada Infusion d’Iris, and Acqua die Parma Blu Mediterraneo Arancia di Capri.  

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Floral Fragrances

The floral fragrance family is extremely multifaceted. Floral fragrances can be soft, harmonious or also show truly captivating, sensual and passionate sides. Among the great variety of floral scents in the art of perfumery, we distinguish the rose, the jasmine, and the tuberose as the ones with a very characteristic personality.

The rose essential oil is not only one of the most used in the world, but also the oldest: It was already highly appreciated in the Babylonian time. Basically, there are two types of roses which are indispensable for the fragrance production: The Damask rose with an intensively rosy scent and the Centifolia rose, or Provence rose, with a softer, lighter character.

Romantic feelings: The Damascena rose and the Centifolia rose.

Both the Damask and Centifolia rose carry in their heart the very unique attribute of a rose fragrance: A balancing, beneficial and inspiring nature. A rose fragrance is therefore the perfect companion for the ones who have a great longing for wellness, and who wish to bring some Romance in their everyday life. Good examples of truly rosy fragrances are Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile, Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne and Escada Especially Escada.

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The essential oil of the jasmine was especially admired in the old Persian world. The name jasmine originates from the Persian word yasaman, which means flower. The jasmine flower represented in this culture the embodiment of love and purity. Such a small, delicate flower can be only harvested at dawn, when it exhales its most intensive scent. The fragrance of jasmine is sweet and sensual and shelters both an innocent and a very seductive nature in its heart.

The jasmine scents most beautifully at dawn.

The scent of the jasmine is more than only sweet and floral. It is notably sensual and full of expression, which makes it indispensable for a self-confident woman, who owns a distinctive, but somehow concealed power of seduction. Beautiful fragrances with a dazzling jasmine character are for instance Bvlgari Splendida Jasmin Noir, Dior J’adore and Lancôme La vie best belle.

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Originally from Mexico, the other flower that impresses us, the tuberose, grew for some hundred years in South France and is cultivated today mostly in India. And it is in India, where it became a name that describes perfectly its most characteristic attribute: Rat ki rani, or the Queen of the night. The tuberose flower reveals namely its real nature in the middle of the night: Exactly at this time, it bares its extremely captivating, opulent fragrance.

The tuberose, the Queen of the night.

Precisely due to is boundless sensuality, the tuberose fragrance is not something for everybody. It owns the rare sweetness of an appealing tropical night and at the same time something dark and intoxicating. The fragrance of the tuberose is therefore ideal for passionate personalities, that will be never able to live without it: The just belong together! Interesting tuberose scents are Gucci Bloom, Creed Aqua Originale Iris Tubereuse, and Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle.

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Gourmand Fragrances

Gourmand fragrance notes are basically sweet and will remind us of the scents of our childhood. We think of sugar candy, caramel, vanilla, chocolate, candied or very ripe fruits and of everything that makes our inner child happy. Sweet fragrances are downright luscious and express often an extravagant, flamboyant vitality.

Sweet fragrance worlds: Cheerful and exciting.

Sweet fragrance types are the ideal companions of playful, popular personalities who welcome to be the center of attention. A festive, outgoing woman can outstandingly deal with the pleasurable aura of sweet scents: She will just take possession of it! Irresistible fragrances with a sweet character are for instance Thierry Kugler Angel, Prada Candy and Victor & Rolf Bonbon. A

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Oriental Fragrances

The oriental fragrance family is thoroughly spicy. If for example, we go into rhapsodies about the scent of pepper, caraway, star anise and chili, we will just love the exciting piquancy of oriental scents. Many fragrances of the oriental fragrance family have a characteristic wooden note and will be combined with a voluptuous floral scent to unfold their best shape. 

black ceramic bowl with different kinds of condiments
Oriental fragrance scents: Handsomely spicy!

Oriental fragrance notes are the best companions of all the ones who have a strong longing for remoteness and adventure and wish to enjoy this nostalgia with finesse. The woman who loves oriental fragrances will be clearly a globetrotter: Already the first drops of her scent will transfer her into an exotic, mysterious world! Nice examples of oriental fragrance types are Givenchy Organza, Guerlain Shalimar and Kenzo Amour.  

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Aromatic Fragrances

Aromatic fragrance worlds are basically green. Wherever we are, they will make us feel the genuine tranquility of a homely herbal garden. Aromatic fragrances are therefore humble and very versatile. A green scent owns the aromatic freshness of the grass, the herbs and the rain, since it is often enriched with a cool aquatic note.

Aromatische Duftwelten: Wie ein Kräutergarten nach dem Regen
Aromatic fragrance worlds: Like a herbal garden after the rain.

The ones who feel a great longing for the refreshing power of nature will never be able to renounce to the effects of aromatic fragrance notes. Aromatic fragrances are especially appreciated by people who avoid being the center of attention, and who love to provide a feeling of harmony with their quiet, balanced disposition. Fragrances like Estée Lauder Pure White Linen Light Breeze, Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Nil and Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca bring them closer to this distinctive light and breezy feeling.

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Aldehyde Fragrances

Aldehyde fragrances are artfully composed and not easy to grasp: They are gorgeously elaborated, ingeniously created, and full of sophistication. They are just not comparable to any scent in nature. These fragrances exist thanks to the great imagination of their creators, which wished to express especial feelings, or artistic, abstract worlds with them.

Edel komponierte Düfte: Ausgeklügelt, kunstvoll, mondän
Artfully composed fragrances: As artistic and sophisticated as a firework!

If you own a somehow innovative, visionary character trait, and if you catch yourself always looking for something new, then you have a good chance to discover an artfully composed aldehyde fragrance as the perfect scent for you. Many of them are truly sophisticated and were cutting-age in the time of their invention. Still iconic and timeless are for instance Chanel No. 5, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and Estée Lauder White Linen.  

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Powdery Fragrances 

Powdery fragrances are as artistic as their artfully composed, aldehyde peers. However, they are characterized by a very special charm: They embody the feeling of a soft, immaculate, freshly bathed cleanliness. Subtle and discreet, they create a light aura of comfort, which certainly appears to be carefully composed.

Die pudrige Duftwirkung: Wie frisch gebadet!
The powdery fragrance effect: Like freshly bathed!

Powdery fragrance notes are often consorted with white floral, citrus, or soft vanilla notes for a livelier effect. The ones who own a refined sense of purity and tidiness will just not be able to go on without a soft powdery fragrance. Good alternatives can be found in Narciso Rodriguez Poudrée, Bvlgari Petits et Mamans and Estée Lauder Sensuous Nude.

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And what about you? Which ravishing scents or fragrance notes have you already discovered for you?

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