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Choosing the Right Fragrance for Your Preferences and Body Chemistry

Choosing the Right Fragrance for Your Preferences and Body Chemistry

Posted by Kirsten on 23rd Mar 2018

   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 and 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 with your thoughts, questions or comments.