Françoise Rapp

 The sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses. It can instantly transport us back to treasured memories and evoke strong emotions. For centuries, fragrances have created an ambiance, increased attraction, and enhanced our personal experiences. Scents have the power to empower us, making us feel confident and ready to conquer the world.

Fragrance Categories

With an endless array of fragrances available on the market, choosing the right perfume for you can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to help. In the world of fragrances, there are seven main categories. Here we will break them down so you can know your scents and yourself better, making choosing the perfect perfume for you easier.

Remember, you can wear ANY fragrance as long as you own it, but finding the one that makes you feel confident, proud, and joyful is the key.

Woody Scents

Woody scents are characterized by warm, earthy, smokey, and minerally notes. These scents are often viewed as more masculine but perfectly suitable for anyone, regardless of sex. Reminiscent of a warm campfire or fresh pine trees, woody scents are perfect for those who love outdoor, grounded activities. They are incredibly diverse in their range of smells and offer a flexible scent appropriate for any occasion or event.

Floral Scents

One of the most popular fragrance categories, floral fragrances are as varied and exquisite as the vast array of natural flowers from which they derive inspiration. Roses, cherry blossoms, and jasmine are just a few of the stunning natural fragrance oils captured in many floral aromas. These scents aim for more hybrid creations, combining the strong accents of various types of flowers to create exciting new scented experiences. Other typical floral notes include violet, neroli, lilies, and narcissus. Experimenting with floral fragrances is a great way to learn how to make natural perfumes.

Citrus Scents

Citrus scents are deliciously tart and sweet, like grapefruit in the morning or fresh-squeezed orange juice on the beach. They are irresistible, light, and refreshing. These scents are often characterized by bergamot, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and orange notes. They evoke the feeling of ice-cold bubbly cocktails by the pool or a rejuvenating island vacation. Even if your typical go-to fragrance is a floral or gourmand, a burst of sparkling citrus perfume can bring a healthy shot of brightness to any fragrance wardrobe. They’ll keep you and anyone around you on your toes and ready for spontaneous adventures all summer!

Oriental (Amber) Scents

Oriental fragrances, also known as Amber, are characterized by their unparalleled blend of warmth and passion, making them a surefire way to stand out. Vanilla, coffee, chocolate, musk, frankincense, myrrh, and various precious woods derive some of these scents’ rich bodies. In addition, they can often contain spicy and floral notes combined to create an earthy, complex crowd-pleaser of a fragrance usually enjoyed by men. These fragrances make the perfect complement to your favorite eveningwear.

Leathery Scents

Leather fragrances are perfect for autumn and winter, touching on velvet, floral, smoky, or woody notes. As the weather gets colder and drier, leathery aromas become more and more popular fragrance choices. Appreciated by both men and women, this animalic family of fragrances is often favored in the evening because of its signature richness.

Fougère Scents

Fougère fragrances give a scent of an excellent, damp, woody, and sometimes sweet essence – like meandering through a shady brush in a crisp fall forest. Most fern-based fragrances get their essence from the Common Male Fern, which is native to Britain and can also be found throughout the rest of Europe. Fern is a popular choice to blend seamlessly with coumarin, lavender, and oakmoss and will undoubtedly evoke the beauty and tranquility of the woodlands.

Chypre Scents

Chypre (pronounced ‘sheep-ra’) fragrances are often built around the woody and mossy essences of bergamot, patchouli, labdanum, and oakmoss. They pair exquisitely with notes of fruit, floral, citrus, and wood. The entire fragrance family of Chypre was created after Coty created the very first Chypre in 1917, with its simply titled fragrance “Chypre.” The genre of scents created after that is filled with countless classics that are usually feminine leaning but sometimes contain a more androgynous bent.

Final Thoughts

No matter what fragrance family speaks to you the most, you will find plenty of suitable perfumes to make you more confident, playful, and bold this summer and beyond. With the power of fragrances, you can evoke strong emotions, create ambiance, and enhance your personal experiences. So choose the one that speaks to you, and wear it with pride!

Module 2 in the French Natural Perfumery Course is all about fragrant families, the ingredients of each family, and so much more! Learn natural perfumery and become a natural perfumer today. Sessions start each Monday of the month. 

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