One of the greatest things about fragrances is that there are so many to choose from. However, this variety can often cause some confusion and leave you with fragrances that you do not like to wear. Not to mention a fragrance that doesn’t wear well on you. If you’re a seller, you want to make sure that your customers will be happy with their purchase from you. Happy customers return time and time again and are the key to success. In this post, we’ll provide useful information to give you more confidence in your choices.
- Factors in Fragrance Longevity, Projection/Sillage and Wear-Ability
Body Chemistry plays a huge role in how a fragrance performs on the skin as well as temperatures and skin moisture. Fragrances travel better in the heat and our sense of smell is also better in warm temperatures (think of how the humidity feels on a hot day). This is why there are summer and winter fragrances. Fragrances last longer on moisturized skin than on dry skin. This is why it is recommended to use Vaseline or Shea Butter on pulse points where the fragrance is applied. It “holds” the fragrance there longer. Pulse points are the best places to apply fragrances vs clothes or other places.
How a fragrance works with someone’s unique Body Chemistry will affect how long it lasts and how it smells. This is why we can love a fragrance on our friend but then try it on ourselves and hate it. A fragrance will also smell different on a card than it does on skin. It is important to give a fragrance a few hours to see exactly how it is performing on your skin.
- Fragrance Notes
Fragrance notes are generally defined by 3 classes.
*Top/Head Notes: These notes evaporate first and are usually the first thing you will notice from a fragrance.
*Middle/Heart Notes: This is what you can smell more prominently after the top notes have evaporated. They are the “heart” of the fragrance. These notes help to mask the base notes, which become more pleasant with time.
*Base Notes: These are the notes that stick around the longest. These notes also partially determine a fragrance’s longevity depending on their composition. Base notes are typically the richest part of the fragrance.
- Fragrance Categories/Families
Fragrances can be categorized by 4 major categories based on their notes with several sub-categories in between. The major ones are Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh. One way this is categorized is through the Fragrance Wheel. A man named Michael Edwards created one of the most widely used Fragrance Wheels in 1983 starting with just the major categories and it has evolved into what you’ll see below. There are other ways to categorize fragrances, but this is a favorite method of many perfumers. We’ll go over the categories and list some fragrance suggestions for each one. You’ll notice trends and be able to guess what most fragrances will fit into. Keep in mind that some fragrances may fit into more than one category.
Floral: If you love to smell the flowers, this fragrance family is for you. Often containing heady bouquets of flowers in both the top and middle notes.
Japanese Cherry Blossom (BBW) Type
Beyonce Rise (L) Type
Britney Spears Curious (L) Type
My Burberry (L) Type
Burberry Weekend (L) Type
Anais Anais (L) Type
Eternity (L) Type
Jo Malone Nashi Blossom (U) Type
Dolce Floral Drops (L) Type
Soft Floral: These fragrances are described as soft, powdery, sweet, creamy, light musky. They often contain delicate flowers, aldehydes, vanilla, musks.
White Linen (L) Type
Chanel #5 (L) Type
D&G Sicily (L) Type
White Diamonds (L) Type
White Shoulders (L) Type
Safari (L) Type
Amarige (L) Type
Chloe (L) Type
Floral Oriental: Often marked by a heart of sweet floral notes with subtle spicy, smoky, balsamic or amber notes. Heavy, long lasting base notes.
Desire by Dunhill (L) Type
Annuci (L) Type
Dark Kiss (BBW) Type
Pink Chiffon (BBW) Type
Beyonce Midnight Heat (L) Type
Bijan (L) Type
Bond No. 9 Chinatown (U) Type
Armani Sensi (L) Type
Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud (U) Type
Soft Oriental: Smooth, spicy, warm, sensual. A softer more spicy style of Oriental.
Bvlgari Jasmin Noir (L) Type
Versace Crystal Noir (L) Type
Oscar de la Renta (L) Type
Warm Vanilla Sugar (BBW) Type
Beyonce Heat (L) Type
Bond No. 9 Coney Island (U) Type
Bond No. 9 I Love New York (L) Type
Bleu de Chanel (M) Type
Opium (1977) (L) Type
Youth Dew (L) Type
Oriental: These fragrances are rich, warm, spicy, exotic and sensual - usually good for cold/cool weather. Often containing resins, amber and other heavy notes.
Bond No. 9 Fire Island (U) Type
Bvlgari Omnia (L) Type
D&G The One Gentlemen (M) Type
Passion (L) Type
Shalimar (L) Type
Jo Malone - Oud & Bergamot (U) Type
Angel (A*Men) Pure Coffee (M) Type
Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (U) Type
Woody Oriental: Usually contain rich, oriental notes along with patchouli, sandalwood, cedar or vetiver. Woods and spices are often the most prevalent notes in these fragrances.
SamSara (L) Type
Angel (L) Type
Desire (Red) (M) Type
Bond No. 9 Bleecker Street (U) Type
Bond No. 9 New Haarlem (U) Type
Burberry Brit (M) Type
Bvlgari Black (U) Type
Back to Black by Kilian (U) Type
Obsession (M) Type
Allure (M) Type
Creed Bois du Portugal (M) Type
Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily (L) Type
John Varvatos Oud (M) Type
Joop! (L) Type
Woods: If you love the smell of freshly sanded wood and sawdust, you’ll love this family. Raw and simple, usually containing a few of the woodsy notes like sandalwood, cedar, vetiver. Usually accompanied with citrus notes.
Dunhill Fresh (M) Type
Grey Flannel (M) Type
Polo Supreme Oud (M) Type
Pharrell Williams Girl (U) Type
Tom Ford Grey Vetiver (M) Type
Tom Ford Oud Wood (U) Type
Organza (L) Type
Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot (U) Type
Mossy Woods: Also referred to as Chypre fragrances. Sweet, smooth, sometimes earthy with mossy base notes.
Hermes Terre d’Hermes (M) Type
John Varvatos Vintage (M) Type
Prada L’Homme (M) Type
Polo (M) Type
Miss Dior Cherie (L) Type
Michael Kors Sexy Ruby (L) Type
Chanel #19 (L) Type
Halston Z14 (M) Type
Dry Woods: Also referred to as Leather fragrances. Usually containing cedar, tobacco or burnt wood notes. They share similar characteristics to mossy woods fragrances with a leathery and/or smoky twist.
Aramis Modern Leather (M) Type
Bvlgari Man in Black (M) Type
D&G Velvet Exotic Leather (M) Type
Red (M) Type
John Varvatos (M) Type
Tom Ford F*cking Fabulous (U) Type
Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (U) Type
Aromatic: These fragrances are clean, fresh and easy to like. They often contain notes of lavender, herbs, citrus, sweet spices and oriental woods.
Paco Rabanne (M) Type
Vodka on the Rocks by Kilian (U) Type
Candie’s (M) Type
Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses (M) Type
Creed Silver Mountain Water (U) Type
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt (U) Type
Bora Bora (M) Type
Dior Sauvage (M) Type
Bleu de Chanel (M) Type
Creed Aventus (M) Type
Citrus: Abundant in the fragrance world, these fragrances contain prominent citrus notes of lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit and/or mandarin. They are often zesty, tangy, tart and clean. Men’s fragrances are usually paired with other aromatic, citrusy notes and Women’s are usually paired with florals.
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino (U) Type
Creed Virgin Island Water (U) Type
Burberry Weekend (M) Type
Chrome (M) Type
Boucheron (M) Type
CK 1 (U) Type
Happy (M) Type
Creed Royal Service (L) Type
Green Tea Elizabeth Arden (L) Type
Coconut Lime Verbena (BBW) Type
Very Sexy (M) Type
Water: Also known as aquatic or ozonic. Marine/water notes were only created in 1990. They capture the scent of soft sea breeze, the air after a thunderstorm and the freshness of a waterfall. They often contain prominent water notes and other notes that evoke an aquatic feel.
Chrome Sport (M) Type
D&G Le Bateleur (1) (M) Type
James Bond 007 Ocean Royale (M) Type
Paco Rabanne Invictus (M) Type
Bond No. 9 Hamptons (U) Type
Cool Water (L) & (M) Type
D&G L’Imperatrice (3) (L) Type
Versace Bright Crystal (L) Type
Burberry Sport Ice (M) Type
Acqua di Gio (M) Type
Curve Appeal (M) Type
Nautica Oceans (M) Type
Issey Miyake (M) Type
Green: If you enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass, this family is for you. These fragrances contain prominent green notes such as grass, mint, basil or other leaves.
Escape (M) Type
Hugo (M) Type
Tom Ford Vert d’Encens (U) Type
Polo Sport (M) Type
Cucumber Melon (BBW) Type
212 Carolina Herrera (M) Type
True Religion (M) Type
Creed Green Irish Tweed (M) Type
Lucky You (M) Type
Polo (M) Type
CK be (U) Type
Fruity: Smells good enough to eat. These contain an array of fruits - peaches, pears, apples, plums, berries and more.
DKNY Be Delicious (L) Type
Ralph Wild (L) Type
Curve Kicks (L) Type
My Burberry (L) Type
True Religion Hippie Chic (L) Type
Ocean Lounge Escada (L) Type
Ed Hardy (L) Type
Paris Hilton (M) Type
Polo Black (M) Type
When you find fragrance families that you like along with fragrance notes that work well with your chemistry, you have a whole new world of wonderful fragrances to enjoy. There are many free online tools to help in this endeavor. The tools I used for the information in this post are www.Fragrantica.com and www.FragrancesoftheWorld.com. Fragrantica is one of my favorite websites as it is very extensive and thorough in their fragrance listings. They list the fragrance notes for each fragrance and also group them. They use a different grouping method for the fragrance families, but there are many similarities.
Hopefully I have helped shed some light on the confusing nature of fragrances. Don’t hesitate to email us at email@example.com with your thoughts, questions or comments.