In the modern perfume market, there are hundreds of different varieties of attars and perfumes which are categorized into different fragrance categories. Each person has his/her own preference when it comes to attars and perfumes. Some like fresh citrusy scents, while some may prefer old-fashioned floral and fruity scents.
To boost up the perfume market in this digital era, many traditional perfumeries of India have come on Internet to sell their pure and natural attars and perfumes.
However, while choosing attars and perfumes online, it is really important that you must have the basic knowledge about the notes and categories of scents so that you choose right attar or perfume as per your preference. Attars not just helps you in smelling good but also helps in uplifting your mood. That’s why it is important to know your favorite fragrance and signature scent.
WHAT ARE FRAGRANCE NOTES?
Generally, perfumes and scents are prepared by mixing multiple attars and fragrances. Depending on the base oil and the quantity in which these attars are mixed, a perfume may contain different notes.
Notes are the perfume indigents or in simple terms, these are the scents that can be sensed upon the application of a perfume. Perfume notes can be classifies into 3 categories:
- Top notes/Head notes – Top notes contain small and light molecules that evaporate quickly upon application. They form initial impression of a fragrance and are higly important while selling the product. These notes are described as fresh, assertive and sharp. Popular top notes are:
citrus elements (bergamot, lemon, orange zest)
light fruits (anise, berries, grapefruit)
fresh herbs (basil, sage, lavender).
- Middle notes/heart notes – When top notes dissipate, heart notes come into play. It forms the main body of a perfume and mask the initial strong smell. These become pleasant with time and the scent is mellow and rounded. Popular middle notes are:
Lavender and Rose
Ylang Ylang and Neroli
- Base notes – Base notes appear when heart notes dissipate. Along with the middle notes, it forms the base theme of a perfume. It brings depth and solidity to a perfume, lasts pretty much longer and creates the final lasting impression of a perfume. These notes are rich and smooth and never completely disappears from body or cloth where it is applied unless washed. Popular base notes are:
WHAT IS A FRAGRANCE WHEEL?
If we look at wide category of perfumes, attars and scents, we might observe that their are infinite number of olfactory combinations. And you must have observed that not all perfumes smell same, some are floral, some are fruity, and etc. In Scent family, perfumes are divided based on their common characteristics. In Scent family, perfumes are divided into 4 main categories – floral, oriental, woody and fresh. These main categories are further divided into sub-categories.
Woody and oriental fragrances share the common warm and dry theme, while fresh and florals fragrances are sparkly, powdery, and airy.
Each fragrance family has its own characteristic smell and essence that makes it different from the scents of other family.
- FLORAL SCENT FAMILY – Floral Scent Family is one of the most popular scent families. This type of fragrance is usually found in women perfumes and is very floral and powdery. It is the broadest olfactive family and has perfumes ranging from soft fragrance to denser and complex scent. If you want to imagine what this family usually smells like, then just imagine a fresh bouquet of flowers with different aromas. Floral scents can be prepared from either single flower notes or multi-flower notes. We know that each flower has different fragrance, if oils or attars of these flowers are mixed in right proportion, beautiful and long-lasting scents can be prepared from them. Its sub-categories are-
- Soft floral – This floral combination is soft and powdery with a little bit creamy hint. These smell sweet and musky and smells of violets and lavenders.
- Floral – It contains fresh and captivating notes of flowers like rose, jasmine, lily, etc.
- ORIENTAL SCENT FAMILY – Oriental also called Amber Scents is equally popular among both men and women and has gained popularity from unisex perfumes. This scent family contains herbs, spices, and dry powdery resin notes to give rich and exotic experience. It is prepared using rich spices like vanilla, cinnamon, cloves and balmy resins such as benzoin, myrrh, incense and amber. These perfumes are highly inspired by eastern culture and are often sweet, sensual, dense and powdery. These scents are long-lasting and generally preferred for night time for romantic or clubbing events.
- Soft oriental – These are the sensual perfumes prepared from myrrh or incense and combined with warm aromatic spices such as clove and cinnamon. These are a bit soft and contain some floral notes too.
- Floral oriental – This type of scent is prepared by mixing sparkly citrus aromas with spicy vanilla.
- Oriental – Oriental scents are thick and heavy and prepared by combining sweet warm notes like vanilla, musk and cinnamon. Sometimes, other flavoured notes such as chocolate, pralines and honey are combined.
- Woody oriental – These are dry and powdery and prepared by mixing earthy notes like cedarwood, sandalwood, ebony, oak or patchouli with sweet and spicy n
- WOODY SCENT FAMILY – Woody scents are more popular among men because of their warm and rich characteristics. They have base notes of sandalwood and patchouli mixed with drier notes like cedar. Sometimes citrus or floral notes are mixed with it. These scents reminds you of forest and sawdust and smells dry and earthy.
- Woods – These scents are warm and mysterious and are more popular among men. It is a basic woody perfume that can be worn anywhere. The smell is pretty aromatic as it contains sandalwood, vetiver and cedarwood.
- Mossy woods – These perfumes are classic men’s perfumes and are green and woody. It got famous in 70’s and 80’s. It smells a bit sweet and earthy like amber and oakmoss.
- Dry woods – With a pure dry smell, this scent is found in niche perfumery.
- Aromatic – When woody notes are mixed with aromatic herbs such as basil, lavender and rosemary, then we get this classic gentleman kinda perfume. It smells a bit smoky and smoldering mixed with leathered aromas.
- FRESH SCENT FAMILY – Fresh Scents are the most crowd-pleasing scents. With fresh and cooling essence, these scents smell a bit citrusy and herby and gives beachy oceanic vibes. Earlier, this scent was used for men perfume but now it is used in unisex perfumes. These perfumes are perfect for summer season as it gives you a fresh experience and removes odour completely. These scents often have fruits, aromatic herbs, lighter woods and musk in their composition. Fresh Scent Family is further sub-divided into –
- Citrus – Citrus scents have zesty and juicy aromas like orange, mandarin, lemons and bergamots. These are combined with light musks and woods to make them long-lasting.
- Water – It is an aquatic scent that reminds you of ocean. These sea breeze notes are mixed with citrus notes to give more rainy vibes.
- Green – These scents overlap with other fragrance families such as florals, woods and aromatics. Green aromas smells fresh and woody and are perfect for spring and fall season.
- Fruity – These smell fruity and sweeter but and the same time they are fresh too. Prepared by the scents of fruits like apples, peaches, pears and strawberries, they have gained popularity in the perfume market. These are long-lasting and gives tropical vibes.