The 7 olfactory families

Introduction of the olfactory families in perfumery.

7 olfactory families have been created to classify a perfume depending on its main characteristics, whether it is a feminine, masculine or unisex fragrance. Let us introduce them…


With « Citrus » we mean the essential oils obtained from the zest of citrus fruits such as lemon, bergamot, orange, grapefruit… We call it the Hesperides. The first eaux de Cologne used by women and men belonged to this olfactory family.


This olfactory family is the largest. It gathers perfumes whose main theme is a flower or a floral bouquet: rose, jasmine, violet, lilac, lily of the valley, narcissus, tuberose and many others are very appreciated, especially in feminine fragrances…


Despite its name, this family does not pretend to reproduce the smell of ferns. It is generally composed of fragrances made of lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, woody notes, oak-moss, bergamot, etc. Aromatic fragrances are generally made of virile and masculine notes.


This family name comes from the perfume « Chypre » created by François Coty in 1917. This fragrance met an important success and became an olfactory family which gathers perfumes made of notes of oak-moss, cistus-labdanum, patchouli, bergamot, etc.


This family is composed of perfumes made of warm notes (patchouli, sandalwood), and sometimes of dry ones (cedar, vetiver). They are mostly manly perfumes made of lavender and citrus notes.

Amber or Oriental

Under the name of « Amber perfumes », which we also call « Oriental perfumes ». This family gather fragrances with sweet, powder, vanilla, cistus-labdanum, animal notes very present.


This olfactory family is composed of perfumes made of dry notes, trying to reproduce the smell of leather (smoke, burnt wood, tobacco, etc.) with floral top notes. This kind of perfumes remain however rare…

Every fragrance being a blend of several tens (or even hundreds) of raw materials, it is important to note that these 7 olfactory families can be broken down into sub-families. Take for example our eau de parfum ïōdé: this marine fragrance belongs to the “chypre” family, but as it is also made of a floral heart, it can be called a “chypre-floral” perfume.

Now, can you tell us on which olfactory families your favorite fragrances belong?