Furniture, Life Style

Scent Families- Your Complete Guide

With hundreds of perfumes to choose from, it can be a daunting task to search for the fragrances that resonate with you. You don’t want to walk into a store and just begin to smell all perfume samples on the counter, you’d be lost! If you’re familiar with the different notes (learn more about the various fragrance notes in the previous article), or the scent families it would be easier to narrow down what works for you. So let us introduce to you the various scent families, with this you would be able to tell what families are common to which gender and the seasons in which they are best worn. This is going to be fun!

What Are Scent Families?

Scent families represent the main olfactory groups with each having distinct characteristics. Often times, a person gravitates towards one group over the others and will most likely become fond of perfumes containing these scents. Hence, it is best to know which scent group you are most attracted to before you go perfume shopping.


The floral Family is one of the most abundant fragrance families and used in many perfumes. They are often used in women’s fragrances but have been used in men’s fragrances in recent times. Floral scents usually smell like fresh cut flowers and common notes include; jasmine, patchouli, rose, orange blossom, etc.


• Floral fruity
• Floral oriental
• Floral aldehyde
• Floral aquatic
• Floral musk
• Floral green
• Floral woody subfamily


The oriental family is often described as exotic, seductive, spicy scents. They comprise of exotic herbs and spices like vanilla, cistus, anise, and myrrh. Opulent and heady notes such as musk are often softened with amber or sweet notes.

• Oriental floral
• Oriental fougere
• Oriental spicy
• Oriental vanilla
• Oriental woody.


Aromatics are commonly used in men’s fragrances, although occasionally found in women’s perfume. Aromatics comprise fresh green herbs such as sage, lavender, thyme, eucalyptus, rosemary, cumin, and other plants. They are often combined with citrusy and spicy notes for fuller accords.

• Aquatic aromatic
• Fruity aromatic
• Green aromatic
• Spicy aromatic

Citrus Family

The citrus fragrances are an old and abundant family of fragrances. They consist of scents from fruits such as bergamot, orange, lemon, mandarin, and grapefruits. Citrus scents are fresh and light fragrances often combined with floral, tart or aromatic notes for full accords and are often used through all seasons.

• Aromatic citrus
• Chypre citrus
• Gourmand citrus
• Musky citrus
• Spicy citrus
• Woody citrus

Chypre Family

The chypre family is not much a family but a unique concept, in that it is obtained from the harmony of bergamot, oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli. It is, however, a feat in perfumery and many perfumers have modeled it to create their own unique fragrances.

Aromatic chypre
Floral chypre
Floral aldehyde chypre
Fruity chypre
Green chypre
Leather chypre


The woody fragrances are usually warm and opulent and often described as coniferous or bitter. Warm, incense-like sandalwood and patchouli with drier and sharper cedar and vetiver are often paired with floral, aromatic or citrus notes to curb their scent.

• Woody aquatic
• Woody aromatic
• Woody floral musk
• Woody chypre
• Woody spicy



Scenting leather products due to its unpleasant smell during traditional production marked a new dawn in perfumery, and the pleasant fragrances created became quite desirable. Common leather notes include smoke, burnt wood, tobacco, and leather.

• Floral leather
• Tobacco leather
• Woody spicy leather.

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