Every perfume belongs to one of these 4 "families"

Every perfume belongs to one of these 4 "families"

How deep does your perfume knowledge go? Today, we're going back to basics with the four scent families. Use this knowledge to describe your favorite scents, figure out what you like, and discover new niche perfumes with Osme.

The four scent families

Many of us got into perfume because we were trying to find a favorite scent, or came across an intriguing perfume that we couldn't describe. When you're new to the world of niche perfume, it can seem almost impossible to break down different fragrances and describe what you can smell!

The scent families are designed to help with that. Everything that we smell is divided into four main "families": floral, oriental, woody and fresh. Then each one of those families breaks down into smaller categories. For example, fresh notes could smell of water, green, or citrus - or a combination!

All of those notes were organized into the Fragrance Wheel by a perfumer called Michael Edwards. You can use the wheel to describe different scents and figure out which combinations you enjoy.

Over the years, more categories have been added to the fragrance wheel. For example, you might also hear people talking about fruity, mossy woods, or soft oriental scents.

How to use the fragrance wheel

The fragrance wheel isn't an exact science. It's designed to help you describe and look for the scents you want - there are no right or wrong answers.

To start with, try experimenting with a scent you already like. Apply it as normal, and then take time to smell the fragrance and really think about what you're experiencing. Does it smell floral? Citrussy? Dry? Green?

Over time, you might recognize similarities between a few of your favorite fragrances. For example, some people love oriental notes and always pick perfumes which include them. Once you know what you like, you'll know what to look out for in a new fragrance - or perhaps try something new!

You can search for perfumes on the Osme Perfumery site by typing different scent notes into the search bar. Or if you come to see us in store in Miami, ask one of our assistants to help you out.

Back to blog