Fragrance 101: Exploring the World of Scent Families

We understand that fragrance can be confusing—it's often marketed that way! At Olfactory, we simplify things so you know exactly what you’re spritzing. Welcome to Fragrance 101!

We've already covered fragrance concentrations and the differences between 'parfum' and 'toilette.' Now, let's dive into how fragrances are classified.

Fragrance classification gives us terms like 'citrusy,' 'woody,' and 'fruity' to describe scents. We rely on the modern and comprehensive Michael Edwards Fragrance Wheel to understand fragrance families.



According to this model, fragrances are categorized into four main families: Floral, Amber, Fresh, and Woody, each with numerous subfamilies. These subfamilies delve into the details of fragrance classification, with each containing key fragrance ‘notes.’ For instance, within the Amber family is the ‘Woody Amber’ subfamily, typically featuring woody notes like cedarwood and sandalwood combined with spicy, warm notes like vanilla, incense, and cardamom. Subfamilies showcase the vast array of scent combinations available in perfumery. Curious where Olfactory NYC fragrances fit on the wheel? Check out our chart down below!



 In the Floral category, we have iris-laden Lulu, beachy Blake, rosy Ryan, and jasmine-infused Taylor. To customize these scents, floral notes like jasmine, lily, freesia, geranium, or hydrangea work beautifully.

For our Amber scents, Hunter and Riley stand out with notes of vanilla, sandalwood, cedarwood, and ambrette. Amber accords like vanilla, cardamom, tobacco, toffee, oud, and saffron enhance these fragrances best.

The Fresh category, includes Ashton, Dylan, Cam, and Max. Ashton and Max are citrusy with lemon and grapefruit, Dylan features fruits like apple and lychee, while Cam is green and grassy with elemi and violet leaves. Customizing these scents with blackcurrant and patchouli or verbana and smoky tea accord is a great choice.

Lastly, our Woods category features Reed, Jayden, and Leo. Reed is mossy and earthy, Leo has leathery notes, and Jayden and Rio are grounded by dry woods like cedar. Woody, smoky accords like cedarwood and incense or a blend of sage, orris, and patchouli enhance these fragrances well.