The olfactory families have been created to classify a perfume depending on its main characteristics, whether it is a feminine, masculine or unisex fragrance.
The following details the main families:
Citrus: These are citrus fruits that contain the essential oil used in fragrances in their zest. These energetic and vibrant notes evoke the sharp tangy spirit of summer lemonade stands. It's like riding on a bike without holding the handlebars on a hot and crazy summer evening.
Chypre: This family centers around a blend of bergamot, rose, jasmine, oak moss, patchouli and Cistus Labdanum. This family comes from François Coty in 1917.
Aromatic: Blends that include, in order, lavender, geranium, oak moss, vetiver, coumarin. This is a very masculine family – scents are fresh, sweet and aromatic.
Floral: Flowers are what comes to mind when we talk about fragrance (they are the most common ingredient in perfumes). They can be divided into two main categories: sweet florals (jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose) and fresh florals (lily of the valley, lilac, freesia).
Woody notes can be divided into six subcategories: dry, humid, mossy, ambery, smoky, resinous, milky. These notes are all about elegance, warmth and character, particularly represented by cedar, vetiver, sandalwood and birch.
Amber or Oriental: This is the most sensual, warmest family. It includes sweet base notes like vanilla, patchouli, ambery and powdery notes as well as spicy, animal ones.
Leather: The first leathery notes came from the master glove and fragrance makers in Grasse. These smoky notes were created by infusing scraps of tanned leather with burnt birch bark. Animal notes (ambergris, civet, castoreum and musk) were added later.