Looking at perfumes from a broad lens, they are a combination of different components that are derived from nature. Long time ago, perfumes were created one after another and expressed different smells, so they were categorized by similar types of smell which made it easy to distinguish. In general, fragrances are categorized under three groups feminine, masculine and neutral scents, and then these groups are divided into seven olfactive families:
- Floral: floral perfumes are extracted from a single flower as their main note such as jasmine, lily of the valley, ylang ylang, frangipane (frangipani), orange blossom, and tuberose.
- Oriental: sometimes known as Amber family because it dominates the other compositions in this group. It consists of soft and worm senses such as vanilla, musk, and amber.
- Chyper: the French perfumer François Coty created many perfumes and one of his great achievements is a perfume called “Chypre” created in 1917. Du too the perfume name, Chyper now dominates the rest of the family components such as oakmoss, labdanum, and patchouli.
- Citrus: freshness and cleanness are the main senses that characterize this family and they are associated with youth. Bergamot, lemon, orange and mandarin are the main components of this family.
- Fougere: this family is built on sharp herbaceous and woody scent such as lavender, woody, oak moss, coumarin, and it is mainly men’s favorite smell.
- Woody: this family used to be associated with men, however now it is a unisex family. It is a rich smell and gives a warm feeling such as sandalwood and patchouli.
- Leather: honey, wood tars, silver birch, and smoke; this family is mostly made of dry notes.
Some perfumers combine more than one family to get to a unique smell, while others stay under one family. There is a wide variety of perfumes from all over the world and some of them get popular and loved and some get forgotten due to people’s taste in perfumes.