July 22, 2024

Beginner’s guide to… fragrance families


Always wanted to know what the difference between floral, oriental and floriental perfume is? Check out our beginner's guide to the fragrances families…

Perfume bottles

So you might have noticed that we have a Fragrance category in our new and improved Build Your Own section, and that’s because we know there’s nothing better than finding that signature perfume, that one smell that makes your spirits lift and heart sing (just us? Okay then!). We even ask you what your favourite types of perfume are to help recommend the best spritzes for you.

However, if you’re not an expert nose, you might not know what the types of perfume even are – so we’re here to break it down for you! Read on to find your new favourite fragrance family…


Floral perfumes are by far the most popular, largely because they’re romantic, feminine, and mostly inoffensive, and the notes are pretty easy to recognise. Some of the most popular floral notes are rose and jasmine (which feature in practically all floral perfumes in one form or another), lily, violet and lavender. You might also come across orange blossom, which is a fab unisex scent that appears in both men’s and women’s perfumes.


These are heavy, sexy scents with spices at their core – if you’ve ever had a ‘grown up’ perfume, it’s likely to be an oriental. With oriental fragrances, you’ll run into more exotic notes such as pepper, cinnamon and cloves, blended with heavy bases such as heliotrope and sandalwood, and the fragrances themselves tend to last longer.


Does what it says on the tin! Woody scents are full of earthy notes like sandalwood, cedar and oud, as well as slightly greener elements like vetiver. Like orientals, these can be quite heavy fragrances, so you can always liven up a woody perfume with fruity or green notes to give it a more delicate touch.


A ‘fresh’ perfume can cover a number of areas, but are usually either citrus, green or oceanic in nature, and they’ll often be in eau de toilette or eau de cologne forms (i.e. weaker than eau de parfum). Our favourite fresh fragrance notes are citrus fruits like lemon and orange, and green notes like bergamot and green tea – splash on in summer for a quick pick-me-up.


A relative newcomer to the fragrance families, florential is a great balance if you want something a little more complex than your basic floral but find orientals somewhat overpowering. Florientals blend headier floral notes such as orange blossom, garden and jasmine with spices or musk notes for something a little more adult.


This fragrance family was made popular by Thierry Mugler’s chocolatey Angel perfume and is gaining popularity today – basically, if it smells like you can eat it, then it’s probably a gourmand fragrance! Popular ‘edible’ notes include caramel, candyfloss, vanilla and coffee, which often blend well with spicier notes too.

Have we got your nose tingling? Find out what Fragrances we have in our Build Your Own section…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *