The olfactive segmentation used in the Fragrance Foundation Training Course follows that implemented by the Comité Français du Parfum which categorises every fragrance to fit within one of four families; Floral, Chypré, Ambrée, and Fougère.
Where many other segmentations have a separate family for specific styles of scent (ie. citrus, woody, leathery, white floral), these will all fit into a larger category/family. For instance, most citrusy cologne style fragrances are based around a chypré base, and white florals will of course fit in amongst the floral genre.
This also allows you to simplify grouping a fragrance correctly, but also to sub-categorise each family based on its olfactive style. So whether a citrus chypré or an aldehydic floral, each fragrance should always be relatively simple to fit into one of the 4 umbrella families.
The classifications used in the Fragrance Foundation Training (as described above) are official classifications and are those that we would recommend being used, however there are many other terms in common use, and so as an aid to selling we have described some below.
Widely Used Women’s Fragrance Categories
The light, fresh character of citrus notes (bergamot, orange, lemon, petitgrain, mandarin, etc.) is often combined with more feminine scents (flowers, fruits and chypre).
Green notes are natural in character; often married with fruity and floral notes, they are modern and fashionable.
An accord of different floral notes. Combines with any other family, flowery perfumes are universally commercial.
Aldehydes add sparkle to flowery notes. Aldehydic creations radiate elegance and originality.
A composition based on the scent of one particular flower; the main examples are rose, jasmin, tuberose, lily of the valley or ylang.
A blend of warmth and mystery. Musks and precious woods are complemented by exotic essences.
Semi-orientals combine oriental notes with various florals. Top notes are often fresh.
Based on a woody, mossy and flowery complex, sometimes with aspects of leather or fruits, chypre perfumes are rich and tenacious.
Widely Used Men’s Fragrance Categories
Thyme, sage, mint, rosemary, anis and clove are some of the herbs and spices that produce an aromatic perfume.
Classical citrus notes (bergamot, orange, lemon, petitgrain, mandarin, etc.) that linger down to the base of the fragrance.
Floral accords round out the fresh citrus background of this masculine blend (woods and spices).
A powerful fantasy composition of bergamot, oakmoss and geranium.
Ozonic and marine accords act as the element of freshness in this modernized fougere.
Sweet ambery accords with balsamic, caramel, or fruity nuances in the topnote.
Warm exotic spice notes intertwined with oriental base accords.
Base notes dominate, with moss and patchouli aspects lightened with a fresh citrus topnote.
Dry, smoky or warm balsamic leather accords counterpoised with a fresh topnote.
Flowers, woods and balsam create this warm and sensual blend.
A warm, dry, elegant and masculine scent. Patchouli, vetyver, sandalwood and cedar form the heart of these fragrances.
A lavender note is dominated by the fresh, bracing scent of the flower. It is often blended with fougere, woods or floral notes.
The strongest, longest-lasting fragrance form. Like lipstick, blusher or eye make-up, it provides the intensity, the emphasis. Apply at all the pulse points . . . wherever one feels the beat of the heart behind the ears, the nape of the neck, at the base of the throat, at the bosom, the inside bend of the elbows, at the inside of the wrists, behind the knees, at the inside of the ankles. (Fragrance rises, and properly applied will heighten the application.) The heat of the body at these points will assure a well-balanced fragrance application.
EAU DE PARFUM
One of the newest forms of fragrances to be found in many of the fine fragrance collections, it assures a long-lasting concentrated application and prepares the skin for the perfume application. It should be smoothed or sprayed just before dressing, all over the body from the feet up.
EAU DE TOILETTE
Usually less concentrated than Eau de Parfum, it also provides the foundation for your perfume application and should be applied in exactly the same way as Eau de Parfum.
The lightest form of fragrance. Perfect for splashing liberally all over the body. It is the perfect refreshant. It does not provide a longer lasting fragrance application.
Several fragrance lines for men include this most concentrated form of fragrance. Meant to be applied sparingly to the pulse points, it will provide a long-lasting application.
Men’s cologne is usually the most concentrated and lasting form of fragrance, blending natural essential oils, aroma molecules and fixatives. Like perfume, a fine cologne may contain several hundred different ingredients. Since fragrance rises, it should be splashed or sprayed on the body from the feet up.
Next in strength to cologne, it is also made of perfume oils in a hydro-alcoholic solution. Created to be applied to the face, there are two forms of After Shave Lotions — one features cooling astringent qualities to heal small nicks and cuts. The other, a relatively new development in After Shave Lotions, incorporates ingredients which moisturize and smooth the skin. The scent is formulated to perform for a short time.