Fragrances are as defining of a person as their clothes, shoes accessories and cosmetics.
Fragrances don’t work with each personality and finding the fragrance for your personality is very important because you want people to associate fragrances with your personality and recognise it as your scent. It comprises a very large part of your persona. Since it’s so crucial, it’s only right you pick your scent and for that you need to know what you are doing so here are the basics of fragrances.
There are four fragrance families for women and three for men and each with their own distinctive notes.
For women, it’s floral, oriental, woody and fresh. For men, it’s fresh, aromatic and woody (your gender really gets left out – sorry boys!). So I’ll begin with family fragrances common to men and women then move on to gender specific fragrance families (or is that family, for the guys?).
So here is a basic break-down of how scents work:
These scents are invigorating, vibrant and of course fresh. This family has three fragrance notes: fresh citrus – the citrus family dominate this particular note with grapefruit, lemon, mandarin, amongst other citrus oils, and sometimes off-set with wood and musk; fresh green – the scents of freshly cut grass, tea leaves, herbs and vines; fresh marine –lingering cool scents of ice, cool dew and wet air.
For women, it works well with personalities that are lively, effervescent, adventurous, mischievous, and live each day like it is their last. For men, it works for personalities that are grounded, easy going, witty, and inspired.
Examples (for women): Guerlain Imperiale, DKNY Be Delicious, Masaki Matsushima Mat; Yellow and Cartier Eau de Cartier (Fresh Citrus); Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Tutti Kiwi, Masaki Matsushima; Mintea and L’Occitane Green Tea Eau de Toilette (Fresh Green); Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey, Calvin Klein Escape, Marc Jacobs Splash Rain and Marc Jacobs Splash Cucumber (Fresh Marine)
Examples (for men): Azzaro Chrome, Calvin Klein cK One, Giorgio Armani Armani & Lacoste Pour Homme (Fresh Citrus)Hugo Boss Hugo, Lacoste Style In Play, Hugo Boss Boss & Calvin Klein Euphoria Men (Fresh Green); Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Pour Homme, Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, Calvin Klein Escape for Men & Lacoste Essential (Fresh Marine)
In woody scents, cedarwood is the central note for both men and women. In female fragrances, the notes are nutty and spicy in nature layered with notes amber, sandalwood, cedarwood, and element of patchouli while some blends can comprise of cinnamon, fresh soil, and mild tobacco. Woody fragrances for men are a sexy mixture of cedar, vetiver, and sandalwood and they are layered with warm musk or cool oakmoss or swathed in leather. There are, as always, family notes: woods – fresh and new striking wood notes bring the strong and traditional wood notes like cedar, patchouli, pine, sandalwood and vetiver in to the modern world; woody oriental – sandalwood and rosewood are the base, layered with patchouli, laced with soft blossoms and a pinch of spice; dry woods: imagine citrus layering leather, tobacco and cedar wood; mossy woods – oakmoss, soil, citrus, crisp green note embrace this family note.
The women who wear these scents are sensual, free-spirited, expressive, but rational and nurturing. The men who carry these scents are confident, mysterious and sensual – the ultimate bachelor.
Examples (for women): Gucci Rush, Versace Woman and Acqua Di Parma Blu Mediterraneo – Fico Di Amalfi (Woods); Bvlgari Omnia, Givenchy Organza, Guerlain Samsara and Dior Hypnotic Poison (Woody Oriental); Donna Karan Cashmere and Acqua Di Parm Blu Mediterraneo – Cipresso Di Toscana (Dry Woods); Narciso Rodriguez For Her, Masaki Matsushima Mat; M, Dior Miss Dior Cherie and Giorgio Armani Emporio Armani City Glam for Her (Moss Woods)
Examples (for men): Guerlain Vetiver, Carolina Herrera 212 Men, Dior Fahrenheit and Cartier Eau de Cartier Concentree (Woody); Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, Calvin Klein Obsession For Men, Givenchy Pi and Gucci Envy For Men (Woody Oriental); Ralph Lauren Polo, Cartier Declaration, Valentino Valentino V Pour Homee and Bvlgari Black (Dry Woods); DKNY Red Delicious Men, Burberry Weekend For Men, Calvin Klein Truth Calvin Klein Men and Escada Sunset Heart For Him (Moss Woods)
Strong and aromatic, these fragrances contain warm and spicy notes. Cinnamon, vanilla and clove are the bases with hints of flowers, like roses and orchids with additional notes of amber and nutmeg, sweet spices and cooked sugars. Like all fragrance families, this too falls into notes: oriental – notes of clove, musk and cardamom with a layer of vanilla and dark chocolate; woody oriental – sandalwood and rosewood are the base, layered with patchouli, laced with soft blossoms and a pinch of spice; floral oriental: this group comprises of orange flowers, vanilla, white pepper and sweet spices; soft oriental: musk, amber and incense are the main scents off-set by soft flowers and spices.
These scents belong to self-assured, stylish, fiery women who drape themselves in luxury and want to live no other way.
Example: Giorgio Armani Mani, Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy, Calvin Klein Euphoria and Thierry Mugler Angel (Woody Oriental); Guerlain Shalimar, Dior Dior Addict, Yves Saint Laurent Opium and Cartier Must (Oriental); Giorgio Armani Emporio She, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Eau d Toilette, Guerlain L’Here Bleue and Burberry Burberry Classic(Floral Oriental); Vera Wang Princess, Missoni Missoni, Masaki Matsushima Mat Chocolat and La Maison de la Vanille Vanille Noire du Mexique (Soft Oriental)
The most popular fragrance family, floral fragrances are a heady mix of jasmine, rose, white peony, gardenia, and tuberose. The scents can be either in their pure floral form or laced with hints of spices and fruits. As always, they have four family notes: floral – rose, peony, tuberose, jasmine, orchid and Lily of the valley dominate this family; white floral – the bases of these scents lie in the white flowers jasmine, gardenia and freesias; soft floral: rose and white floral (weaker in scent then other floral bases), with a touch of iris, vanilla or citrus.
The graceful, feminine, passionate and romantic women wear this scent well.
Examples: Ralph Lauren Ralph Cool, Lacoste Touch of Pink, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue and Stella McCartney Stella(Floral); Burberry Tender Touch, Calvin Klein Eternity, Cartier Panthere eau Legere and Carolina Herrera Carolina Herrera (White Floral); Vera Wang The Fragrance, Carolina Herrera 212 On Ice, Dolce & Gabbana D&G Feminine and Cartier So Pretty (Soft Floral)
Since I am a humanist, I have no intentions of leaving the boys out:
Aromatics are just about arousing the senses and how. It is the mixture of citrus, lavender, oranges, ginger, blackcurrant, lime and often added with the zest of sweet spices and oriental woods. This is not different to all the other fragrance families: aromatic – fruit, spices, and woods are the equal bases with elements of lavender; aromatic spicy – fragrant oriental woods sandalwood tobacco, dried spices with a splash of citrus; aromatic fruity – as the name suggests the bases are fruits: citrus, berries, ginger, and laced with spices.
The aromatics are favorable to men who are masculine, independent, and belong in the world of traditions and classics.
Example: Kenneth Cole Black For Him, Cartier Santos, Paco Rabanne Pour Homme and Versace The Dreamer (Aromatic); Paul Smith Extreme For Men, Yves Saint Laurent Kouros, Hugo Boss In Motion and Ermenegildo Zegna Z Zegna(Aromatic Spicy); Davidoff Cool Water, Calvin Klein Eternity For Men, Bvlgari Pour Homee and Alfred Sung Hei (Aromatic Fruity)
So there you have it – the essentials of fragrances. Armed with this you can go anywhere in the world and you know the fragrance you are looking for.
A couple of other things you might want to remember is that some scents are unisex like Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Cirpresso di Toscana, Afterlie Shiso, Arsenal 1886, Banana Republic Classic, Bennetton’s B.Clean range, Bvlgari’s Eau Parfum