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Fragrance families: The secret to finding your dream perfume

Published 3rd October 2022
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Think about the smells you love… Ever wished you could find a perfume just like that? 

Well, now you can - and the secret lies in its fragrance family!

Read on to find out everything you need to know to discover the perfume you’ve been dreaming of. Your signature scent awaits…

Notes

What is a fragrance family?

Fragrances with similar characteristics are grouped into ‘families’, in the same way that films are divided into genres. Just like movies, we all have our likes and dislikes, so knowing your favourite family is the key to finding your perfect perfume!

What are fragrance notes?

Fragrance notes are the ‘layers’ that make up a perfume. They’re split into top notes (what you smell first), heart notes (the middle, sweeter layer) and base notes (the longest-lasting scent).

Every perfume has its own set of notes, which blend together to create a unique fragrance (or ‘accord’, for all you perfume buffs!).

Want to know more? Find out all about fragrance notes by heading to our complete perfume guide now!

Most popular fragrance families

Floral

Floral

Like a fresh bouquet or spring meadow, florals are delicate, powdery and fragrant. Often extracted from petals, their sweet yet light scent is used in many of the perfumes we all know and love. A popular choice for all ages, floral fragrances complement any occasion.

  • Popular floral notes: Iris, jasmine, rose, lily and orange blossom
  • Ideal for: Spring, all-day wear, any occasion
  • Best paired with: Woody or fruity accords

The best floral perfume:

Miss Dior
Dior
Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet
Eau de Toilette

Citrus

Citrus

Refreshing and energetic, citrus-based perfumes are zesty, uplifting and full of character! Created with freshly squeezed citrus fruits or extracts from the leaves, bark and flowers of trees, their bright notes add youthfulness and vitality to a fragrance.

  • Popular citrus notes: Orange, lemon, grapefruit and neroli
  • Ideal for: Summer, day wear, holidays
  • Best paired with: Fruity or floral notes 

Our favourite citrus fragrance:

Acqua
Giorgio Armani
Acqua Di Gioia
Eau de Parfum

Woody

Woody

Inspired by nature, woody scents are deep, earthy and warm, characterised by citrusy top notes and resin or mossy bases. You may have noticed similar scents in men’s aftershaves, but don’t let that put you off - they can be found in a bunch of edgy, contemporary and feminine perfumes too!

  • Popular woody notes: Oak, cedarwood, sandalwood and rosewood
  • Ideal for: Autumn/winter, evening wear, office, special occasions
  • Best paired with: Chypre or amber accords

A woody scent we love:

Jo Malone
Jo Malone
Wood Sage and Sea Salt
Cologne

Amber

Amber

Amber is a deeply comforting fragrance that blends warm, powdery and sweet ingredients together (usually giving off a pine-like aroma when first sprayed). Used in oriental scents, it has a rich, spicy and opulent feel, matched by its fiery red, yellow and orange colours. 

  • Popular amber notes: Vanilla, orange blossom, tobacco and amber
  • Ideal for: Year-round use, date nights and special occasions
  • Best paired with: Chypre and woody scents

Our favourite amber scent:

Tom Ford
Tom Ford
Black Orchid
Eau de Parfum

Fruity

Fruity

Dreaming of holidays by the pool? Fruity fragrances sound right up your street! Sweet, uplifting and youthful, fruity scents are reminiscent of sunshine and good times. Long-lasting and unique, these scents smell good enough to eat, always leaving you wanting more. 

  • Popular fruity notes: Raspberry, strawberry, apple and pear
  • Ideal for: Summer, day wear, holidays
  • Best paired with: Citrus and floral accords

The best fruity perfume:

DKNY
DKNY
Be Delicious
Eau de Parfum

Chypre

Chypre

Chypre (pronounced sheep-rah) perfumes are typically warm and earthy, built around green and mossy accords. Combining all the best parts of other fragrance families, they start with a powerful blast of citrus, followed by floral and amber heart notes, and a woody base. One of the most complex families available, Chypre fragrances are sure to leave a lasting impression.

  • Popular Chypre notes: Bergamot, oakmoss and patchouli
  • Ideal for: Year-round use, any occasion
  • Best paired with: Woody and amber notes

A Chypre fragrance we love:

Chanel
Chanel
Coco Mademoiselle
Eau de Parfum

For more handy tips on how to pick out your perfect perfume match, head on over to our blog!

Recent Guides
Looking for a new perfume? Here’s everything you need to know! Published 3rd October 2022
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