Fragrances, Perfumes & Colognes


Fragrance Families: How They Are Categorized

Ever wonder how fragrances are categorized? Traditionally all fragrances are a part of a specific family or group. Although their names vary somewhat, there are basically six categories or olfactive families of perfume. They are floral or sweet, sporty or clean, green or natural, musk/oils, chypre/woody and finally, oriental/spicy. Some people like to find one fragrance and stick with it while others enjoy changing fragrances according to the occasion, their mood, even the season of the year. As well, age has an effect on fragrance choice. As a female grows from a girl to a woman, often her fragrance matures right along with her.

The floral/sweet family of fragrances is considered the most popular category and they are ruled by the scent of either one or a variety of different flowers. When only one type of flower is used it is referred to as a "soliflore." This family of perfume ranges from sweet to subtle and everything in between. This is a youthful fragrance family and is ideal for the woman who enjoys being girlish and playful whenever she wishes. Examples of classic fragrances in this family include Chanel No. 22, Curious Britney Spears, Estee Lauders Pleasures and White Linen, Joy by Jean Patou, L'Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci, and Safari for Women by Ralph Lauren.

The second fragrance family is sporty/clean. This scent has a very clean, fresh out of the shower smell and is comparable to the scent of soap. Sporty/clean fragrances are often considered "freshening" and are commonly found in eau de colognes. This is considered the fragrance family for the athletic set. Some examples of classic scents in this family include Cashmere Mist by Donna Karan, Estee Lauder Alliage, Lily Chic by Escada, Ralph Lauren Polo for Women and Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger. Tommy Girl is particularly popular among teenaged girls.

The green/natural fragrance family provides a fresh and very down-to-earth kind of scent to all who wear it. It is for the woman who likes to be as real and natural as can be. Some examples of green/natural scents are Burberry London, Calvin Klein Escape for Women, Calvin Klein Truth for Women, Chanel No. 5, Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds, L'Instant de Guerlain by Guerlain, Poison by Christian Dior, Romance by Ralph Lauren and True Star by Tommy Hilfiger.

Musk/oils, the fourth fragrance family is scents that leave little to the imagination. They are strong, suggestive and very sexy. This is above all a sultry scent that speaks volumes between lovers. In other words, it speaks for you when you are without words. Musk gives off the most powerful scent of all of the perfume oils and most commonly is taken from the male musk deer from the Himalayas. Musk is also derived from the muskrat and musk ox. Examples of popular musk/oils are Caleche by Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana for Women, Lagerfeld Sun * Moon & Stars, L'Aminant by Coty, O Oui by Lancôme and Shalimar by Guerlain.

The fifth fragrance family is woody/chypre (pronounced Shee-pra) or is sometimes referred to as earthy. This fragrance group is composed of the ingredients bergamot, jasmine and oakmoss. The chypre family of fragrances is named after a perfume by a person of the same name, that of Francois Coty and is also believed to be named after the Island of Cypress in the Mediterranean. Chypre means "cypress" in French. This family of fragrances is a mixture of floral and earth scents and is very similar to the flavors of custard and apricot combined together. It is the woman who enjoys the outdoors and the beauty of nature who often wears the chypre fragrance. Examples of popular chypre/woody fragrances on the market include Chanel No. 19, Miss Dior by Christian Dior, and Envy Me by Gucci, Michael Kors, Paloma Picasso Perfume and Romance by Ralph Lauren.

The sixth fragrance family is the oriental/spicy family. Sometimes referred to as ambers, this popular fragrance is animal scents and vanilla combined with flowers and woods. The mixture of incense resins and camphorous oils enhances the oriental fragrances even more. This fragrance family is both spicy as well as exotic and is ideal for the self-confident woman who is strong and enjoys being bold and radiant in everything she does. The oriental family conjures up images of the Victorian era in both the Far East and Middle East. Examples of the oriental/spicy family include Calvin Klein Obsession, Emeraude by Coty, Estee Lauder Youth Dew, Lancôme's Magic Noir and Tresor, Organza and Organza Indecence by Givenchy, Still by Jennifer Lopez, Ysatis by Givenchy and Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.

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