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Choose your perfect »second skin« fragrance

February 16, 2021

Just like choosing the right outfit for different occasions, choosing the right fragrance is a highly challenging and personal experience. It is almost like looking for that “second skin” feeling that should say something about who you are. So, here are a few basic notes that will help you identify a scent that will serve as a window to your soul and that will help you find the perfect aroma for all the special occasions in your life.

"Fragrance is a highly challenging and personal experience. It should say something about who you are."

As we're sure you know, we've already covered the Michael Edwards' Fragrance Wheel in one of our previous blogs. The wheel helped us visualize and understand the different fragrance families, based on their olfactory characteristics. Yet, when choosing the right fragrance family for you personally, factors such as if you are shy or outgoing can greatly impact what scents you like the most. Someone with a very romantic personality will have different scent preferences than someone with for example an bold urban vibe. So, in this blog we are covering the 7 fragrance families classified by The Comité Français du Parfum, to help you and your decision-making one step closer to feeling like your true-self every step of the way.

THE FLORALS

Florals (Photo: Unsplash)

"Florals speak of elegance, softness and sophistication."

As the name suggests, the scents in the floral fragrance families come from flowers; either a single slower or a combination of different flower scents. Their soft and romantic tone, has given floral family fragrances almost an exclusively feminine renome. Nevertheless, they are common heart notes for many men’s fragrances. Violet, Rose, Ylang-ylang, Jasmine, Orange blossom, Peony, and Gardenia are some of the most common ingredients and provide the floral family fragrances with elegance, softness and sophistication. Although, they can be warmed with a touch of spice or given the juiciness of fruits like peaches, pears and oranges. Thus they are well suited for someone that likes to dress up, or for someone who enjoys classical movies and a glass of high-quality champagne. The floral scents are your perfect second-skin for a day-wedding or a sophisticated, romance-filled night out. 

Romance (Photo: Unsplash)

THE CITRUSY

Citruses (Photo: Unsplash)

"Citruses feel like a warm sea breeze or bottled sunshine."

Uplifting, fresh, zesty and summery is what the citrus fragrance family is all about. They often feature notes like Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Grapefruit and Mandarin. Their common feature is also the scent of the sea or rain. Fresh fragrances smell clean and usually come in the eau de toilette and Cologne versions. Fresh notes are ideal for summer; some conjure up a sea breeze, while others smell like bottled sunshine. So if you like your scents bright, uplifting, sunny, aquatic and zesty, spend some time exploring those. Because of their light and uplifting personality, they are well-suited for job interviews, tropical getaways or a relaxing day, drinking cocktails at the beach.

Summer sea breeze (Photo: Unsplash)

THE ORIENTALS

Wintery Cinnamon (Photo: Unsplash)

"Orientals are bold, opulent and sensual."

Rooted in perfume's own history in the orient, using many of the same ingredients today, are the orientals. Ingredients like Heliotrope, Cocoa, Sandalwood, Orris, Vanilla and Cinnamon are classically used within an oriental fragrance structure – though these can be tweaked for men, women and unisex fragrances. The musk of an oriental fragrance is often opulent and heady, which can be softened with more amber notes. Thanks to their otherwise overt powdery and spicy notes, oriental fragrances are often associated with colder months and therefore, it is no surprise that they’re among the best men’s winter fragrances. At the same time, these family fragrances are a perfect choice for women who enjoy being bold and standing out. Due to the sweet, powdery, dark and warm base note of oriental family fragrances, people often connect the scent with sensuality and seductiveness. Henceforth, perfect for a hot date night, or a mysterious night out with friends.

Sensual (Photo: Unsplash)

THE FOUGÈRE or THE FERNS

Fern (Photo: Unsplash)

"Ferns feel fresh, savage, deep and ultra powerful."

This denomination is a major group of fragrances for men. The ferns are a group of scents based on an accord generally made around a Lavender and aromatic top note with Thyme and Rosemary, a floral heart with geranium, and a more woody and vanilla base note with Oakmoss and Coumarin. Fragrances from this family are often composed of virile and masculine notes. However, they have evolved considerably and are now often mixed with citrus notes, which makes them fresher and lighter. The fougère fragrances perform particularly well during the early warmer seasons. Thanks to their mix of green and aromatic notes, they’re often among the best springtime fragrances for men.

Forest (Photo: Unsplash)

THE CHYPRE

Bergamot (Photo: Pixabay)

"Chypre feels warm and cozy, yet fresh and uplifting."

The old and very unique chypre fragrance family consists of fragrances based mainly on Oakmoss, Labdanum and Bergamot accords. Like the other families, these accords have evolved and modernized with new ingredients such as Patchouli. Describing the scent of a chypre perfume is quite difficult because it is so complex. Consequently, the chypre family has become more of a concept than a real fragrance family and can be considered largely symbolic by today’s standards. The chypres can give off a sensation of damp undergrowth and can hint at autumnal scents, with cozy, fresh, light and uplifting red lining. They can also be identified by their warm moss base that contrasts with a fresh citrus head notes.

Moss (Photo: Unsplash)

THE WOODY

Pine forest (Photo: Unsplash)

"Woody scents are rich, intimate and airy, with a hint of curiosity and depth."

Centered on aromatic woods and herbs that will take you back to nature, are the woody fragrances. People who are a little more reserved but also curious, love these notes. Built on base notes of Vetiver, Sandalwood, Oakmoss and Pine, these fragrances will remind you of winding roads and smoldering leather aromas. Intensely earthy with a pinch of masculinity, woody notes are most often infused with citrusy notes to tone down the intensity and impart a hint of freshness, which also makes them perfect for unisex fragrances. Because of the diversity they provide, woody fragrances can be very intimate and rich, yet airy and soft at the same time. This allows them to be the perfect fragrance for any occasion or outfit, whether it is an important business meeting or an evening dinner date with a friend.

Business man (Photo: Unsplash)

THE LEATHERS

Leather (Photo: Pixabay)

"Leathers feel more rudged, animalistic, primal and masculine."

Somewhat apart and quite different from other perfume families, the leathers are home to fragrances with dry and smoky notes which attempt to reproduce the characteristic smell of leather. Their facets are tarred, burnt, with shades of Tobacco and are therefore considered to be more of masculine scents. The fragrances originate from tanneries, where the workers would scent the finished products to mask the unpleasant odours of ammonia. The pleasant fragrances created with smoke, wood, resigns and honey combined with the skins’ aldehydic notes went on to become quite pleasant and desirable. The leather family fragrances are a great choice for a guy's night out, an evening of poker or a glass of whiskey with friends. 

Poker (Photo: Unsplash)

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