A guide for olfactory families: discovering their history and the most representative fragrances.

A guide for olfactory families: discovering their history and the most representative fragrances.

Perfume stands for uniqueness, seduction and personality. In spite of its invisibility, it's the most perceiptible details because it's able to catch our senses, our memories and our emotions. In recent years, the perfumery has launched on the market the first custom perfumes, which have been radically changing the trend of the most sold items. 

History of Perfume.

Scientists have been shown that human skin has its own odor influenced by many factors, such as environmental and weather conditions, custom and food habits. As unique as our skin odor may be, over the years the perfume has become an essential accessory. 

As it has been previously dealt with, the History of Perfume has so ancient origins that the discovery belongs to the Egyptians. Sacred original dimension of perfume has been later associated with the dimension of body care, from the era of the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Etruscans, the Eastern world, to our days.

Today, a real global market of perfumery has been establishing in response to the vital function that perfume has assumed over the last time. In recent years also this business has been necessarily trasforming in order to fulfil the demand for even more original, innovative and custom perfumes.

Olfactory families, a turning point for businesses.

The real turning point in this field was made by Eugène Rimmel, a perfumer responsible for manufacturing and marketing some of the earliest cosmetics. In XIX century, Eugène Rimmel and a commission of experts of the Société Française des Parfumeurs created a classification of perfumes according their main elements. Their goal was to provide experts and perfumery enthusiasts with an unambigous and unvarying technical language.

This classification has now known as Olfactory Families.  At the beginning it consisted of seven olfactory families with French names in order to describe the most important trends of that time. Of course, over the years thanks to the development of business a great number of other categories have been born, though they haven't been officially recognised by the Société Française des Perfumeurs yet. Experts divide the official seven olfactory families into:

  • Citrus: this category is associated with the Hesperides, which in mythology were the keepers of the garden of the golden apples, i.e. the oranges. This group includes mediterranean fragrances (bergamot, orange, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin orange) and exotic fragrances (lime, yuzu). The essential oil extracted by the fruit peels is used. The main fragrance of this category is Aqua Mirabilis of Giovanni Paolo Feminis, from which the Water of Cologne and its numerous interpretations derive. This category is synonymous of freshness and lightness;
  • Floral: Essential oils may be extracted by flowers, such as jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, violet, turberose, ylang-yang, narcissus, and so on. This group represents the biggest family of perfumery. Fragrances may be made up of only one flower or a "bouquet". Being characterized of extremely sweety essences, they are typically used in perfumes for women and are reinforced by notes of other groups. The most sensual perfumes have not only floral notes but also aldehydes, spices or woody, oriental and chypre notes;
  • Fougère: unlike the other categories, this is a name of fantasy and not linked to its own materials. Some special elements, as lavender, different kinds of woods, oak moss, bergamot, coumarin and vetiver, produce this fragrance. Fougère Royale Houbigant gave his name to this perfume in 1882. This family consists mostly of perfumes for men. They stand for safety and refinement;
  • Chypre: the name reminds the successful "Chypre" of François Coty. All fragrances belonging to this family are born from the union of oak moss, patchouli, bergamot with floral or fruity notes, such as lavender or nutmeg. This fragrance is synonymous of silkiness and fineness;
  • Woody: Woody notes are the best notes for perfumes for men. Woody Fragrances include dry woody notes, such as cedar and vetiver, or soft woody notes, such as sandalwood or ambery woods. They are natural raw materials and scents reminiscent of forest herbs. Moreover, they are often introduced by aromatic, citrus or marine notes, which are made sensual by spicy, oriental and chypre marks. Lastly, they are synonymous of safety, warmth and balance;
  • Oriental: this is the group of sweety, chypre, very noticeable and persistent floral notes. This olfactory family includes patchouli, vanilla, amber, moss, exotic woods but also exotic flowers and spices. Mix with fresher combinations may create scents, called Semi-Oriental or Floral-oriental. They are both male and female fragrances, synonymous of sensuality, warmth and pride;
  • Mossy or leather: the first leather notes come from the infusion of leather trimmings recovered from the manufacturing of Red Army's boots. Leather notes were very popular from the '20s to the '60s. Matches are so special that recreate the specific odor of leather (smoked, burnt wood, birch, tobacco), which is at the same time refreshed by citrus or floral notes. This category is often synonymous of explosiveness and uniqueness.

Olfactory families are considered a real turning point in the world of perfumery, since they have promoted better knowledge of different fragrances not only for experts but also for perfumery enthusiasts. As a result, many companies in this field have reinvented themselves by advertising the modern idea of a custom perfume.

The most representative Tailor Made Fragrances.

Every perfumes have a specific theme, that is their dominant note. Theme depends on the match between scents and the percentage of all elements. Therefore, it's exactly the theme that determines which olfactory family a perfume belongs to. All olfactory families are subdivided into olfactory subfamilies, depending on derivations and compositions of different essences.


Olfactory families - Fragrance Wheel

Fragrance Wheel was theorised by Edwards for the purpose of simplifying and putting in relation all different olfactory families, by underlining all common elements in a very simple and immediate way. Edwards thought fragrances might be subdivided into four main notes: floral, oriental, fresh and woody. However, each of these notes could be classified into 14 fragrances with their own features.

With Tailor Made Fragrance, all customers, brands, hotel, companies or events may create their custom perfume. All fragrances are very original and designed by expert fragrance makers. Moreover, it offers packaging with unique design with customized label and box.

In this article, examples of the most representative of Tailor Made Fragrance will be described.

Floral notes: 

  • Floral;
  • Soft-floral, consisting of soft and chypre notes, such as rose, iris and aldehydes;
  • Oriental floral, where all floral essences combine with sweety and spicy notes of the Oriental family.

Woody notes:

  • Sandalwood, cedar, patchouli and other aromatic woods;
  • Mossy-woods, characterised by mossy-woody land notes with exotic marks as amber and oak moss;
  • Dry woods, consisting of strong-smelling and identifiable essences, such as leather or tobacco.

Fresh notes:

  • Aromatic, for example lemon, lavender, aromatic plants and oriental woods;
  • Citrus, for instance lemon, bergamot, mandarin orange and orange;
  • Green notes of freshly cut grass, such as violet, perfect to be associated with floral notes;
  • Fruity notes of apple, pear, peach but also berries and tropical fruits.

Oriental notes:

  • Floral-oriental, such as orange blossoms;
  • Soft-oriental, soft and embracing, as the amber, incense and many other species;
  • Oriental: flowers, incenses and vanilla;
  • Woody-oriental, including sandalwood and patchouli.

If you should choose between all these categories, it would be very difficult; yet, Tailor Made Fragrance guides the customer by providing quality fragrances subdivided into three sections, Male custom perfumesFemale custom perfumesand Unisex custom perfumes. Descriptions about ingredients, olfactory pyramid and family make easier the choice of your custom perfume. Moreover, the site gives the possibility to filter your search according the notes or the olfactory family.

custom perfume the black

The Black, woody, coniferous, citrus. That's the perfume for an independent and decisive male spirit. This kind of fragrance has a storng and unexpected character, therefore it's perfect for a man, who decides his own destiny. An aromatic-wooded with amber and mossy notes that with the New Caledonia sandalwood communicate intesity and independence.

custom perfumes - sunny woman

Sunny woman,  floral, green and fruity. A bright composition, perfect for a sunny woman.A pure floral scent, with a heart of sensual and embracing jasmine, together with green notes of ylang-ylang and citrus fruits. Very feminine fragrance, devoted to brave, rebel and passionate women.

Custom perfume - the join

The Join, woody, oriental, citrus, green, fruity, floral and light. It's the unisex fragrance for excellence, that invites you to be yourself and encourages social relationships. It's cool, clean, refreshing: a simple and universal perfume, able to attract you immediately.

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