What are The 7 Fragrance Families?

Scent is one of our most powerful senses. It has the ability to bring us back to prized memories and evoke strong feelings in an instant. For many millennia, fragrances have been used to create ambiance, increase attraction, and heighten each person’s expression of their lived experience. Fragrances can empower us to feel our most confident and move through the world a sense of bliss and fortitude.

With that being said, and with an endlessly wide array of available fragrances on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right fragrance for you. 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 know your scents and yourself better, so choosing a fragrance will be a much easier task. Remember, you can wear ANY fragrance as long as you own it, but finding the one you want to wear most with pride, confidence, and joy is the key.

Woody scents are often characterized by their warm, earthy, smokey, and minerally notes. They have typically been viewed as a more masculine scent but are still perfectly suitable for anyone regardless of sex. Reminiscent of a warm campfire or fresh Pine trees, woody scents instantly remind you of the great outdoors. If you’re usually drawn to these kinds of outdoor, grounded activities and want a scent that evokes this character, a woody fragrance might be the perfect fit for you. It’s essential to keep in mind that woody fragrances are incredibly diverse in their range of smells and offer a flexible scent appropriate for any occasion or event.

One of the most popular scents around and often adored by the ladies, floral fragrances are as varied and exquisite as the vast array of natural flowers from which they derive their inspiration. Nature provides some of the most stunning and mind-blowing natural fragrance oils out there, so it’s no surprise that expansive fragrances such as rose, cherry blossom, or jasmine are captured in many floral fragrances. Some other floral scents aim for more hybrid creations, also known as bouquets, combining the strong accents of various types of flowers to create exciting new scented experiences. Other typical floral notes to look out for include Violet, Neroli, Lilies, and Narcissus. If you’re looking to learn how to make natural perfumes, experimenting with floral fragrances is one of the best ways to get your feet wet!

A deliciously tart and sweet grapefruit in the morning. A glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice on the beach. Irresistible, light, and refreshing. Just like citrus scents. Fresh, clean, crisp, and often characterized by notes of bergamot, lemon, tangerine, grapefruit, and orange. A citrus scent can evoke the feeling of ice-cold bubbly cocktails by the pool or a rejuvenating island vacation. These juicy and bright fragrances are a newer family due to the recent development of new fragrance compounds that allow for the creation of primarily citrus scents. Even if your typical go-to fragrance is a floral or even a gourmand, we think a burst here or there of a sparkling citrus perfume can bring a healthy burst of brightness to any fragrance wardrobe. They’ll keep you and anyone around you on your toes and ready for spontaneous adventures all summer long!

Oriental (Amber)
Oriental fragrances, also known as Amber, for their unparalleled blend of warmth and passion, are a surefire way to stand out. They derive some of their rich body from substances such as vanilla, coffee, chocolate, musk, frankincense, myrrh, and various precious woods. They can often contain spicy and floral notes combining to create an earthy, complex crowd-pleaser of a fragrance that’s often enjoyed by men. These fragrances make the perfect complement to your favorite eveningwear.

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

Fern fragrances give off a cool, damp, woody, and sometimes sweet essence to a fragrance – 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.

Originating in the early 20th century, 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 entire genre of scents created thereafter is filled with countless classics that are usually feminine leaning but sometimes contain a more androgynous bent.

No matter what fragrance family speaks to you the most, you’re sure to find plenty of suitable perfumes on Françoise Rapp to make you more confident, playful, and bold this summer and far beyond!

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