The perfume families

“Perfume puts the finishing touch to elegance- a detail that subtly underscores the look, an invisible extra that completes a man and a woman’s personality. Without it, there is something missing,” a quote made by Gianni Versace

“Our choices in perfume are influenced by the image we want to portray” says Stephen V. Downwaite, an English perfumer and founder of PerfumersWorld. According to Dowthwaite, very feminine personalities gravitate towards Florals while very masculine personalities prefer woody family. Young people tend to like fruity, creamy and vanilla scents, and mature adults enjoy heavy white flowers and Chypres. Elegant, sophisticated personalities enjoy aldehydes, powdery notes and leathers, while earthy practical personalities prefer tobacco, spice and green notes.

There are many perfume families described in perfumery, but we will describe the commonest families available and these include Floral, Woody, Tobacco and powdery notes.


The clue is in the name, these typically carry the scent of freshly cut flower petals. These are arguably the most common family of scents which forms the best part of a host of well-known perfumes. These have been mostly used in feminine fragrances although not exclusively, because some men’s perfumes are of the floral nature. They are composed of all the volatile organic compounds or aroma compounds that have a scent of freshly cut flower petals, from which these aromatic compounds are emitted. They may take on fruity scents f peach, pear and apple or freshly cut roses and lilies with a hint of creamy. Examples include Bloom by Gucci, Red door by Elizabeth, Rockin’ Rio- by Escada

Woody family

Nature provides us with an all rich spectrum of woody components, perfumers utilize these to weave and draw out amazing scents. These are fragrances where the biggest parts are of woody scents. These may contain Sandalwood, Pine, Patchouli, Vetiver, Cedarwood, agar wood, guiaiacwood. These scents are strongly earthy and their woody character is all there to mesmerize the senses. Basing on preference, the weaving of woody scents may involve adding fruity notes. Examples of woody perfumes include Les Exceptions Woodside, 212 NYC Men, Sahraa Oud, Eau de Toilette 34 boulevard saint germain, Vetiver, Mitsouko, and Ralph Lauren’s Polo.

Tobacco, spice and green notes

This isn’t necessarily the odor that comes from cigarettes; these notes of tobacco leaves, flowers or piped tobacco are wonderful scents that form amazing fragrances which may be blended with other perfume notes such as vanilla, woods and cherry. Examples include Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford, Havana for Men by Aramis, Pure Havane by Thierry Mugler, Spice bomb, Burberry London for Men, Back to black by Kilian, Tobacco Oudby Tom Ford, Herod by Parfums de Marly among many others. Ryan Gardner posits that these are great during night time and cooler months.

Dry and powdery notes

These notes offer a lot of need for exploration since they haven’t been delved into as much in recent times. In a society that is popular with floral, fruits and many other perfume families. Dry and powdery notes have become increasingly unusual. These are extremely dry and, a little sharp but soft on the edges and were mostly popular when beauty was synonymous with powdering of the nose. Popular powder fragrances include Prada’s Infusion d’iris, Kenzo Flower, Bulgari Le Gemme among many others.

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