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Fragrance Classification

Info from wikipedia:

The Fragrance Wheel is a fragrance classification chart first developed in 1983 by Michael Edwards, a consultant in the fragrance industry. The wheel is a method for perfume classification which he first designed after being inspired by a fragrance seminar by Firmenich, and seeks to show the relationships between each individual fragrance family. The fragrance wheel has been shown to be highly consistent with previous studies on odor descriptor and odor profile representations.

The chart was first created in an attempt to develop a fragrance classification method and naming scheme without technical jargon that can be used in consumer settings by retailers. The main purpose of the wheel is to allow a retailer to suggest different fragrances in a similar category to ones that their customer's may prefer, which since been put into use by retailers such as Sephora and Nordstrom.

Since its creation, the wheel and the developed fragrance classification scheme has been modified several times through the addition of different groups to encompass different fragrance types.

The four standard families are Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh. These are in turn divided into three sub-groups (e.g. in the Floral Family: Floral, Soft Floral, Floral Oriental) and arranged in a circle, each group being related to the next. Each of the subclasses were in turn divided into Fresh, Crisp, Classical, and Rich compositions. Prior to 2010 Fougère family was placed at the center of this wheel since they are a large family of scents that usually contain fragrance elements from each of the other four families; citrus from the fresh family, oak moss and woods from the woodyfamily, coumarin and incense from the Oriental family, and lavender from the floral family.

In this classification scheme, Chanel No.5, which is traditionally classified as a "Floral Aldehyde" would be located under Soft Floral sub-group, and "Amber" scents would be placed within theOriental group. As a class, Chypres is more difficult to place since they would be located under parts of the Oriental and Woody families. For instance, Guerlain Mitsouko, which is classically identified as a chypre will be placed under Mossy Woods, but Hermès Rouge, a chypre with more floral character, would be placed under Floral Oriental. Originally they are:

1983 version
FougèreFloralFloral
Soft Floral
Floral Oriental
OrientalSoft Oriental
Oriental
Woody Oriental
WoodyMossy Woods
Dry Woods
FreshCitrus
Green
Water

With the publication of Fragrances of the World 2008, two new sub-groups: Fruity and Woods, have been added to the wheel.

2008 version
FougèreFloralFloral
Soft Floral
Floral Oriental
OrientalSoft Oriental
Oriental
Woody Oriental
WoodyWoods
Mossy Woods
Dry Woods
FreshCitrus
Fruity
Green
Water


The chart was again modified in 2010, moving the Aromatics/Fougere group to between Citrus and Dry Woods to synchronize the chart with recent studies on smell perception.

2010 version
FloralFloral
Soft Floral
Floral Oriental
OrientalSoft Oriental
Oriental
Woody Oriental
WoodyWoods
Mossy Woods
Dry Woods
Aromatic
FreshCitrus
Fruity
Green
Water


The sub-groups of the fragrance wheel are:


  • Floral (Floral + Fresh Notes). Main notes include fresh-cut flowers.
  • Soft Floral (Floral Notes). Main notes include aldehydes and powdery notes.
  • Floral Oriental (Floral + Oriental Notes). Main notes include orange blossom and sweet spices.
  • Soft Oriental (Oriental + Floral Notes). Main notes include incense and amber.
  • Oriental (Oriental Notes). Main notes include oriental resins and vanilla.
  • Woody Oriental (Oriental + Woody Notes). Main notes include sandalwood and patchouli.
  • Woods. Main notes include aromatic woods and vetiver.
  • Mossy Woods (Woody + Oriental Notes). Main notes include oakmoss and amber.
  • Dry Woods (Woody Notes). Main notes include dry woods and leather.
  • Aromatic Fougère (Fresh Notes). Main notes include lavender and aromatic herbs. This universal fragrance family includes elements from different families: the freshness of from the Citrus family, floral notes of lavender, the spicy-sweetness of a Floral Oriental, the ambery depth of an Oriental and the Mossy Woods warmth of sandalwood and oakmoss.
  • Citrus (Woody + Fresh Notes). Main notes include bergamot and other citrus oils.
  • Water (Fresh + Floral Notes). Main notes include marine and aquatic notes, generally from the chemical calone.
  • Green (Fresh + Floral Notes). Main notes include galbanum and green notes.
  • Fruity (Fresh + Floral Notes). Main notes include berries and other non-citrus fruits


Fragrance Descriptions:


This info not from wikipedia: You may come across descriptions of fragrances that seem to generalize a feeling rather than an actual description of scent, here is a quick guide to help you navigate through these vague details.

Fragrances For Women:

  • Sophisticated/confident: also known as an aldehyde, this has a brilliant, individualistic fragrance that expresses the imagination of the perfume and defies specific description. (Chanel No. 5 is a classic example)
  • Romantic/poetic: Intricately blended bouquet of individual flower notes, combined with fuller woody, green and amber notes
  • Erotic/mysterious: sultry, uninhibited Oriental blends created through the blending of exotic flowers, herbs and fixatives
  • Exhilarating/energetic: includes green scents, which are fresh and zesty, like new-cut grass; spicy scents, which obtain their notes from spices such as cinnamon, cloves and ginger or flowers such as carnation and lavender; and woodsy-mossy scents with a clean, clear crispness, such as sandalwood, rosewood or cedar combined with oakmoss and fern.
  • Relaxing/understated: includes single florals, which capture the scent of a single flower such as rose, violet or lilac; and fruity, which are blends of clean, fresh, citrusy scents and mellow peachy warmth.



Fragrances For Men:


  • Exhilarating/energetic: includes citrus, a fresh, brisk scent made from oils derived from citrus trees; and spice, a blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, bay and basil.
  • Relaxing/understated: described as “leathery”, this scent is made from birch resin and cade oil from the juniper tree.
  • Romantic/poetic: made from the oils of lavender, this is one of the oldest scents favored by men.
  • Erotic/mysterious: sultry and uninhibited, this is made from exotic flowers, herbs and fixatives.
  • Sophisticated/confident: Includes fern notes made from oakmoss, labdanum resin and geranium oil, and woody notes made from vetiver (an East Indian grass), sandalwood and cedar.





Brief Guide to Women's Fragrances:


Green: fresh, clean and sparkling, like the smell of lemons, limes, bergamot, hyacinth, a mandarin, citrusy scent.

Chypre: the scent of newly mown hay and lavender bouquets, achieved by bergamot and oakmoss.

Woody, Mossy, Green: given a green note by leaves, stems and grasses. Sandalwood, rosewood, cedar, oakmoss and fern give a subtle facet.

Floral: the most popular category, this can be a combination of several flowers or a single bloom - jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, carnation, lilac, narcissus, iris, violet, gardenia or others.

Fresh Floral: includes all floral themes that incorporate spring-like, light impressions based on hyacinth, lily of the valley, and orange blossom, and which can also be freshened with bergamot or other citrus components. Located here, as well are pure Eau de Cologne themes, combined with jasmine and fresh-herbaceous accords.

Fruity Floral: fragrances whose character is produced by radiant-fruity elements, some of them highly dominating. Here cassis, pineapple, plum, apricot, peach, or apple accords are combined with floral themes, so that they represent a direction in their own right among the floral perfumes.

Fruity Fresh Floral: fruity, sweet like pineapples, strawberries, peaches, light flowers such as lily of the valley.

Fruity: also the note of fresh citruses, lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot, mandarin, tangerine

Floral Sweet: heavy, intense fragrances, often termed Florientals,

Oriental: markedly sweet fragrances using ingredients sweet balms, Arabian resins, precious spices. These fragrances use ambergris, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka beans, benzoin, and ground pepper

Spicy: pungent notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cloves, with herbal notes of coriander, thyme, and sage

Animalic: a musky odor that holds fragrances together. Musk comes from musk deer, civet from an Ethiopian cat, castoreum from the beaver, and ambergris from the sperm whale. These scents form the base because they are too heavy to wear on their own.

Aldehydic Modern Blends: pure aroma chemicals not found in nature, used to give a fresh sparkling or effervescent smell throughout all layers of fragrance.

Aldehydic Woody Floral: a powdery scent created by combining fresh aldehydes with oakmoss, sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli.



Brief Guide for Men's Fragrances:


Fancy Cologne: a note based on a mixture of citrus odors, harmonized with more complex scents.  Fancy colognes are more exclusively masculine, but classical colognes have been traditionally used by both sexes for over 200 years. Example: Andrade by Lise Watier, Eau Sauvage by Dior, Monsieur Givenchy by Givenchy, YSL Pour Homme

Eau Fraiche: the eau fraiche has a soft citrus top note built on complex but varying lower notes. It's fresh but tenacious. Example: Bogart by Jacques Bogart, Vetiver by Carven.

Leather-Tobacco: a combination of woody-powdery chemicals and warm honey effects of balsam. The "burned" notes transform the tobacco note into the typical scent of leather. Example: Aramis by Estee Lauder.

Fougere: the fougere note is built on a harmony of amber, bergamot and oakmoss. The addition of lavender or geranium gives a fougere its aggressive personality. Example: British Sterling by Speidel, Brut by Faberge

Aromatic: an aromatic note is based on the fragrance of savory herbs, such as thyme, sage, mint, rosemary, coriander, marjoram, basil, and anise. It seems clean and natural. Example: Paco Rabanne by Paco Rabanne, Colorado Sage

Woody: you should be able to detect cedar , sandalwood, patchouli or even vetiver often joined by a citrus accent note. Example: Kanon by Scannon, Derrick by Orlane, Pino Silvestre by Vidal, Monsieur Rochas by Rochas

Spicy: these pungent notes can include cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, mace, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, or a floral note such as carnation which gives off the scent of cloves. Example: Chanel Pour Homme, Old Spice by Shulton

Oriental: an oriental note is marked by a complex, heavy scent like musk, ambergris or civet. The familiar odor of vanilla is often there too. Example: Royal Copenhagen Musk by Swank, Pierre Cardin for Men.

Flowery: based on a blend of flowers, generally in combination with other notes. The flowery note is much more important in feminine perfumes, but certain successful men's products with flowery notes have a loyal masculine following. Example: Macho by Faberge, Aramis 900, Tabac by Maurer & Wirtz

Fruity: crisp notes of citrus, classical continental men's fragrances

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