Meet the 7 olfactory families of perfumes

Olfactory families help us when choosing a perfume and are based on in aromatic raw materials, like flowers, or in the ingredient combination, What fougere, they explain in the European Perfumery and Cosmetics Association (APCE). Experts say that there is not really a universal classification of olfactory families of perfumes, but generally to have a reference one uses the International Museum model and the French Perfume Committee.

Based on this, Michael Edwards composed in 1983 what is called the fragrance wheel. This allows us to see the relationship between the different families, and how each one redirects us to another if we remove or add odors. These classifications can help us identify more with one or another scent and make a decision when buying a perfume. In this way, olfactory families that are often used for distinguish the different aromas are seven.


It is characterized by freshness and clean feeling. Its essential oils are extracted from the peels, especially lemon and orange. It is applied in fragrances that want to provide naturalness and, above all, a lot of freshness.

The lemon


The best known and widest. It is obtained from Rose petals and it has a great variety. Depending on the flower used, the smell is very variable. For example, the rose implies delicacy and the jasmine sensuality. Geraniums, daffodils or violets are also widely used.



His name says it all. Evokes the exotic, the sensual and even sweet elements that are sophisticated and elegant at the same time. Use vanilla and resins. Sometimes spices, amber, woods and musk are used.



Obtained from woods, roots and shrubs, like cedar or birch, or even moss and patchouli essence, are generally used quite frequently. Their fragrances are dry and deep, and they identify more with masculinity.



This word means “fern” and evokes the varied smells that we can find in a forest. That is why it includes lavender, moss, oak, bergamot and some woods. This family comes from the creation in 1882 of the perfume ‘Fougére Royale (Houbigan)’. It is also linked to man.



In perfumery it has been used for a long time, and stands out for use notes of wood or atabacadas. The smell of tobacco leaves is very characteristic as it reminds of hay or straw and sometimes of exotic woods or red fruits.



It takes the name of the perfume that François Coty launched in 1917: ‘Chypre’. It is a mixture of flowers, bergamot, moss, amber, musk, patchouli and body. They are very sensual and ideal for the night.


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