In the search for your favorite perfumes, knowing the term 'olfactive family' is a very useful tool. The term fragrance family or scent family are also used simultaneously but what exactly does this mean and which olfactive families are there?

What is a "scent family"?
Olfactive families are a way to categorize all different perfumes. You can compare it a bit with classifying music into music genres. In olfactive families, perfumes are grouped by structure or specific ingredients. Like all the floral scents together, we call the floral scent family, or we group the sweet perfumes with edible ingredients with the term gourmand.

In wine tasting, we find similar ways to group and categorize wines. From this, a basic classification for perfumes arose last century. The very first publication was the Odor Effects Diagram in 1949 by Paul Jellinek. In 1983 British fragrance specialist Michael Edwards composed the first Fragrance Wheel.

How do we work with Olfactive families?
In the Perfume Lounge we use a variant of that Fragrance Wheel by Michael Edwards, extended with extra fragrance families. Due to the explosion of new scents in the market and the creativity of perfumers, the circle can be further expanded with different groups such as minimalistic, amber, and gourmand. You will also find these fragrance families on our website, for each perfume you can see to which fragrance family (s) it belongs.


What you often see is that many perfumes fall into multiple categories at the same time. There are, for example, perfumes that are fruity and green, or oriental and aromatic.

By the way, fragrance families say nothing about whether a perfume is more masculine or feminine. Read our blog about this too "Is perfume gender specific?".

How can fragrance families help you choose perfumes?

If you are looking for a perfume yourself, it may help to know which olfactive families appeal to you. If you really like the smell of leather, you can go exploring in the dry woods family. Do you like sweet and comfortable, you will certainly be very happy when you smell and wear gourmand perfumes.

For example, with our unique Perfume Profilings, we map your comfort zone for all scent families and give you a tailored advice.

Here is a global description of the fragrance families and their basic character. Click on the fragrance family circle to discover more and find the corresponding perfumes:

olfactive family - floral - annindriya perfume lounge

Perfumes where one or more flowers play the leading role.

 olfactive family - soft floral - annindriya perfume lounge Soft floral
Sophisticated floral scents with a clean, powdery and sometimes almost soapy feeling. The specific addition of aldehydes gives these perfumes, as it were, a lift and sparkles even more.
 olfactive family - floral oriental - annindriya perfume lounge Floral oriental
A seductive combination of floral and oriental notes also called florientals. At the heart of a floral oriental perfume are flowers, often mixed with sweet resins and spices on the base notes of sensual amber.
 olfactive family - oriental - annindriya perfume lounge Oriental
Oriental scents are spicy, warm scents, where you can smell a hint of the exotic orient. They are often sensual, somewhat heavier blends of oriental resins, lush flowers, vanilla, and musk.
 olfactive family - woody oriental - annindriya perfume lounge Woody oriental
The best of woody scents combined with the warmth of the oriental scent family. Here flowers do not play a leading role, but wood notes dominate, such as sandalwood often accompanied by patchouli for an earthly character.
 olfactive family - woody - annindriya perfume lounge Woody
The splendor and depth of all woods. Full earthy notes of, for example, sandalwood, cedar, palo santo, and guaiac wood. Then again more earthy by many patchouli, sometimes creamy by sandalwood, drier by cedar or saltier by vetiver.
 olfactive family - leather - annindriya perfume lounge Dry woods
A fragrance family where the characteristic of leather is captured. Such as the smokiness of lightly burned wood, or for example of tobacco. It is called dry woods because it often contains 'dry' notes. That gives these perfumes a Roaring Twenties vibe!
 olfactive family - gourmand - annindriya perfume lounge Gourmand
Gourmand is the name for the group of perfumes that smell like sweet treats. Think of chocolate, caramel, hazelnuts, vanilla or coffee.
They are sweet scents, sometimes almost sweet with a lot of vanilla, tonka beans or caramelized sugar.
 olfactive family - chypre - annindriya perfume lounge Chypre
A classic chypre has a layered structure of fresh bergamot, an elegant full-flowered heart and a mossy, earthy base with oakmoss, cistus labdanum, and patchouli. Now also to be found as a more modern and light-footed (neo) chypres.
olfactive family - citrus - annindriya perfume lounge Citrus
Perfumes where the sunny sparkling scents of citrus fruits play the leading role. Bergamot, lemon, orange, grapefruit, yuzu, lime: zesty pleasure!
olfactive family - fruity - annindriya perfume lounge  

Fruity, cheerful, colorful. From apple, cherry and fig to exotic fruit such as peach, mango or lychee, in this fragrance family you will find perfumes with all kinds of delicious fruit.

olfactive family - green - annindriya perfume lounge Green
In the so-called green scents, the scent of grass, leaves, stems of plants or moss predominate. Energetic creations from crispy green to darker, mossier.
 olfactive family - aquatic - annindriya perfume lounge Water
Transparent fresh scents, reminiscent of the refreshing of water. Clear, slightly clean and refreshing. Sometimes diving more into the depths of the ocean with dark mineral and algae notes. 
 olfactive family - fougere - annindriya perfume lounge Fougere
Fougere scents are spicy and aromatic. A classic Fougere often contains lavender, the coumarin smell of hay (synthetic or from tonka beans) and oakmoss.
 olfactive family - abstract - annindriya perfume lounge Minimalistic/abstract
These perfumes are so different that we have given them their own fragrance family. Often, these scents do not smell immediately recognizable, not even like a perfume. You would describe it more quickly as a hint, a more abstract scent. Often built with just a few ingredients.
 olfactive family - aromatic - annindriya perfume lounge Aromatic
Aromatic perfumes have many similarities with Fougere perfumes. The main role, however, now goes to (green) herbs such as rosemary, thyme, pepper, and is missing the for Fougere typical lavender and hay-like notes.  
 olfactive family - powdery - annindriya perfume lounge Powdery
Powdery as in body powder, lipstick, and talcum powder. Powdery scents can range from cuddly and friendly, slightly sober to sensual, exciting boudoir-like. Many powdery scents also belong to the soft floral family.
 olfactive family - amber - annindriya perfume lounge Amber
Sensual amber scents, elegant, full, slightly animalic and intimate. Read more about the ingredient amber.