What Are Olfactory Families?

What Are Olfactory Families?

Take a look at your vanity and give each perfume a sniff.

Do you smell similar notes, or do you get completely different scents?

Chances are that each perfume you own may have some familiar notes and fragrances that are similar, not indistinguishably similar, but similar.

If you like strong scents, all your perfumes will have a musky touch. On the other hand, if you prefer mild, sweeter fragrances, your vanity will have fruity aromas.

Everyone has a different preference for fragrances, but we all want to smell good to ourselves. That's why it is imperative to understand the various olfactory families so that you can better select a scent that smells like you!

Olfactory Wheel

Olfactory Wheel

The olfactory wheel was created by Micheal Edwards and serves to explain the relationship between the different olfactory groups. There are four main olfactory groups:

The floral scent family

Every flowery scent is included in this family and is probably the most popular of the olfactory families. Primarily because of its wide demand in the perfume market. The floral family consists of four subgroups.

The first one is the fruity subgroup. This group includes all the sweet, tropical scents that make you smell like a fruit parfait.

The second one is the floral subgroup which includes notes of lily, rose, jasmine, etc.

The third one is the soft floral subgroup, which has a creamy powdery touch.

Floral oriental, on the other hand, is a spicier version of the typical floral subfamily.

Oriental scent family

Characterized by herby, spicy odors, the oriental scent family is widely used in homes as incense.

The subfamilies are:

Soft oriental resembles floral oriental in the sense that it is a mixture of floral and spicy scents

Oriental comprises warm, seductive notes such as vanilla and musk.

Woody oriental contains notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and other earthy notes combined with sweet and spicy scents.

Wood scent family

Containing earthy notes, this family is divided into the aromatic and fresh subfamily of wood, the sweet smooth, and earthy mossy woods subfamily as well the smoky ambers in the dry wood sub-family.

Fresh scent family

The cool, citrusy scents that remind you of a walk on the beach come under the fresh scent family.

The most popular sub-family under this group is the aromatic scents, including notes of fresh herbs mixed with lavender scents.

The next is the Citrus sub-family. If tangy notes define your taste, then you will be fond of this sub-family

The water subfamily contains fresh, aquatic odors that’ll transport you to a day spent amongst the oceanic waves.

Last but not least is the green subfamily which has a crisp, leafy fragrance.

How to choose the right scent?

The description of each family will most probably make it clear to you which scents you prefer. Chances are you will like all the subfamilies under a particular group. Choose a perfume that has the base note of your scent of choice listed. For instance, choose a fragrance with base notes of lily, jasmine, or rose if you prefer floral aromas. However, if you want to create your perfume, then it is best to blend families that lie together on the fragrance wheel.

Have any questions regarding the topic of Olfactory Families feel free to comment below.
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