Types of Fragrances

Types of Perfumes and Fragrance Categories

Fragrances have always attracted mankind. People have tried perfuming hair and bodies but now perfumes for the bodies are more popular. They are mode of extracts from oils, flowers, resins, herbs, etc. A signature scent will also define a person who will get recognized by it. It is good to be around a person that smells good and it is also found to attract mates. Perfumes are also found to have a feel good effect on people.

Classing of perfumes is done according to their alcohol content. Perfumes that cost the least contain lower amount of fragrance and higher concentration of alcohol. Eau de toilette and eau de colognes cost the least and contain only about 3-8% of fragrance, the rest being water and color with alcohol. The perfumes that contain more perfume oils are called eau de parfum. They are made up of about 8-15% of perfume oils and this makes the fragrance last longer on you. Perfumes can contain 15 to even 30% of perfume oils and are naturally very expensive when compared to eau de toilette. Once you decide you like a particular perfume, try it a couple of times and see if you like the developed scent and the strength before you buy it.

Types Of Fragrance Families

Knowing the different types of fragrance families makes it easier for you to look for new fragrances. Every kind of fragrance be it the floral, herbal, spicy, powdery or musky, come under one or more of the families. A lot of recently discovered floral as well as herbal scents have been very popular in the market and some of these have been extracted using the most advanced technology like gas chromatography. Even scents like vanilla, chocolate, coffee and cherry have been used in perfumes which are very popular among the young. The unsophisticated scents like those that are fruity and foody are very popular among teenagers. Combining scents also requires a little skill as randomly combining scents can give disastrous results.

Aldehydes, are also used now to make synthetic perfumes that don’t use any extracts. Chanel No. 5 is one of the perfumes that first pop into your head when it comes to perfumes made of chemicals. Although they are completely artificial, they are very popular and come in almost all families.

Basic Fragrance Types


This smell is characterized by its smooth, romantic and feminine nature
The most popular fragrance family is the one derived from flowers. Perfumes with rose, blossom, orange, jasmine and gardenia scents have been used form centuries. Some of these perfumes are also combines with spicy or fruity elements as well. These perfumes are naturally smooth and have a feminine quality about them. Different floral scents can be combined delicately to give a balanced bouquet scent.

Chanel N°5 is a classic perfume loved for its delicate note of neroli, jasmine and ylang ylang.


This smell is characterized by its leatherish, mossy and fresh nature
This fragrance was named by Francois Coty for its woodsy-mossy tone. For the creator it reflected the mood of the island of Cyprus. The name Chypre is French for Cyprus. This family of fragrances has a citrus quality with a woody, animalic blend to it like oakmoss and labdanum. The fragrance is warm and woody and it also has a leatherish quality it can also be paired with floral notes or fruity ones.

The family was started after the perfume by Coty called Chypre become very popular in 1917.

Estée Lauder Knowing Eau de Parfum Spray is a great example of this popular family. With its tuberose, sandalwood, mimosa, patchouli, jasmine, oakmoss, orange flower, plum, vetiver, and amber notes, it is quite irresistible.


This smell is characterized by its sensual, spicy and exotic nature
Oriental family is made for women as it is warm, exotic and spicy. It has a sensual quality about it which makes it feel very feminine. They are quite heavy and last longer on you. They also boast of musk, balsam, oakmoss and vanilla tones. Softer floral types are also available but the spicier ones like nutmeg, cinnamon and clove are very popular as well.

Opium created by Yves Saint Laurent is the best example for this kind of fragrance. Tangerine, plum, coriander, carnation, cloves and lily of the valley along with rose, cedarwood, sandalwood and myrrh tones make a very deadly combination.


This smell is characterized by its energizing, crisp and light nature
Like the name suggests this has a lot of citrus extracts like lemon, lime, tangerine and mandarin. It gives out a tangy, almost sharp aroma which is refreshing. This has a way of uplifting one’s moods and is perfect for those of you who don’t want the fragrance to be too overpowering.

To give the scent an exotic feel, neroli oil, orange blossoms, etc. may be added. They are generally referred to as fresh, crisp, light, etc. They can be used by men as well as women and can be combines with floral and chypre scents very well.

Mugler Cologne is a classic example for this type of fragrance and contains green sap, white musk, bergamot, etc.


This smell is characterized by its floral, fresh and herbaceous nature
Fougère, means “fern” in French, and this fragrance includes floral, fresh, woody and herb like elements. Its forest like aroma can brings a very distinctive note to it and is generally blended with bergamot, lavender, coumarin, sandalwood as well as geranium.

The name is derived from a scent from 1885 and is found in both men’s as well as women’s perfumes.

Davidoff Cool Water is one of the best examples as it has the perfect blend of lavender, mint, rosemary, coriander, blossom, moss, musk, etc. that can bring out a scent that is quite interesting and irresistible at the same time.


This smell is characterized by its food-inspired and sweet nature
Food lovers will love this fragrance family as all the scents are derived from food you love. Gourmand can be made of coffee, cupcake, almond, whiskey, chocolate, vanilla, caramel along with many other flavors. They can be sweet or spicy and the relaxing quality has made it very popular in recent times.

Angel by Theirry Mugler is a very good example for the gourmand scent as it includes bergamot, honey, red berries, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, etc among others.


This smell is characterized by its fresh and spicy nature
This is a fragrance family that is perfect for the young women and even teenagers. The fruity tones are very refreshing and have citrus, melon and peach tones. Lauren and Pour Femme are great examples and last long too.

Aquatic (Oceanic)

This smell is characterized by its fresh and light nature
The aquatic family gives you a clean feeling and has synthetic notes of floral as well as fruity blends. Issey Miyake is what comes to the mind first as it has the sea breeze freshness that you will instantly love.

Read more about fragrances – some essential facts about perfumes.

3 Responses to Types of Fragrances

  • Alina says:

    thanks for interesting information about types of perfumes and types of fragrances. I’ve never knew before about it. Now I start to understand something about types of perfumes.

  • simran says:

    thanks. it really helps me to know better about perfumes. I love perfumes. can you please tell me which type of perfume belong with chocolate flavoured among these?

  • admin says:

    2 simran:
    Britney Spears’ “Fantasy” perfume, which contains the scent of white chocolate
    Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Covet” perfume, which emphasizes lavender and chocolate
    Givenchy’s Tartine et Chocolat Granselon, an almost entirely chocolate scent
    Montale’s Chocolate Greedy perfume