Scent families are broken up into four main olfactory groups: Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh; each having distinct characteristics. Product fragrances are often formed with a Top Note, Middle Note and Base note, each note made up of scents from one of the olfactory groups.
The fresh scent family encompasses clean bright scents. Herby, citrusy and oceanic scents all fall into this category; more often used in men’s fragrances than women’s fragrances. Common notes: Sage, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Citrus
Woody perfumes are usually warm and opulent, mixing incense-like fragrances like sandalwood and patchouli with drier notes like cedar. To tone down the warmth of these notes, fragrances will sometimes incorporate some fresh notes like citrus or floral. Notes in this family can be described as coniferous or woody and bitter. Common notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Labdanum
The oriental fragrance family consists of rich exotic scents. When you think of oriental scents think herbs and spices or dry, powdery, resin notes. Opulent and heady, these notes are often times softened with amber or sweet notes. It’s common to describe this family as exotic and seductive. Common notes: Vanilla, Myrrh, Anise
The floral scent family is one of the most common families and are often used in many well-known fragrances. They usually smell like fresh-cut flowers or have a powdery note to them. Common notes: Rose, Jasmine, Orange blossom