For ages, perfume experts have been working on various scents in perfumes. It is impossible to rely on limited fragrance sources to satisfy the needs of consumers. Therefore, perfume experts have been blending different scents to create new versions.

But how do they know which scents will complement each other and which will not? Furthermore, each smell is different in strength. Some scents are strong and intense. Some strengths are light on the head.

Let’s read this blog further to understand this and the various types of fragrance families.

Understanding the Fragrance Wheel

In simple words, a fragrance is nothing but a tool. This tool helps identify scents in perfume. A fragrance wheel tells which perfume belongs to which family. It is in the form of a circular diagram.

A fragrance wheel also suggests favorable combinations of different scents. It shows how the mixing of two sets can complement each other.

A fragrance wheel helps customers choose the best possible perfume for themselves. Michael Edward developed it. Michael was a taxonomist and a perfume expert. The basic purpose behind creating the fragrance wheel was to help people make better perfume choices.

This wheel shows the families of different scents in perfume and their sub-families.

Scent Families

As the name indicates, scent families are simply groups of scents. These groups are part of the fragrance wheel. Some of these families complement each other, and others don’t. The classification of scent families is further divided into four types, which are as follows:


Woody scents are characterized by their captivating warmth. These scents are never used alone. They are always used in different combinations.

Sometimes, they are combined with floral families and sometimes with Asian families. Woody scents are preferred for evening perfumes and after-shaves. Some popular sub-families of the woody family include dry wood and mossy wood.


Oriental family scents are easily recognizable. The reason is that these perfume scents are generally described as seductive or erotic. What makes them different from other scents is their richness. They get this richness from herbs, spices, and resins.

Asian fragrance family showcases luxury. The popular sub-families of Asian families include:

  • Floral oriental
  • Soft oriental
  • Woody oriental


Often associated with women’s fragrances, floral family is the most popular. Of course, the floral scents in perfume are extracted from flowers. These flowers include jasmine, rose, lilies, and hundreds of other options.

Floral fragrances can be of two different strengths. Either they can be light, or they can be intense in nature. Do you smell something fruity and flowery? It belongs to the floral family, of course.

Floral subfamilies include:

  • Soft floral
  • Floral oriental
  • Fruity
  • Floral


Like floral scents in perfume are associated with women, fresh scents are associated with men. The scents from the fresh family exist in blends with citrus, ocean, spices, and herbs.

The combination of fresh fragrances with them gives it an intense impact. Among the fresh sub-families include:

  • Aromatic fresh
  • Citrus Fresh
  • Water fresh
  • Green fresh

What are Fragrance Notes?

Different fragrance layers that constitute the overall fragrance are called fragrance notes. Three distinct elements make up these layers which are:

  • Top notes
  • Base notes
  • Heart notes

All these three notes complement each other to make up the final fragrance. Among these three notes, the heart note is the most important.

  • The top notes are the ones that make the first impression. The top notes are the first scents you smell as you note.
  • The scent you smell after hours of settling down is the heart note. The heart note describes the main character of the perfume.
  • The long-lasting part of the scent is the base notes. These notes are those that stay and remain memorable.

Scents in perfume based on Strengths

1.Eau de Parfum

Before diving into the details, what does Eau de parfum mean?

Eau de Parfum is a French word. It simply means perfume water. Among all fragrance categories, Eau de Parfum is the most common. These are long-lasting.

A positive aspect of these is that they are not transferred from one person to another. The fragrance remains intact when you hug someone or come in contact with them. The percentage of oil concentration in them is fifteen to twenty percent.

2.Eau de Toilette

Although less expensive than Eau de Parfum, these are the most popular scents. They have an oil concentration level of five to fifteen percent.

However, these are not long-lasting. The average lasting period of these perfumes is just two to three hours. This is not much as compared to Eau de Parfum.

Eau de Toilette is also derived from French, meaning “getting ready?”.

3.Eau de Cologne

Eau de Cologne is less expensive than Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette. The reason is less oil concentration and more concentration of alcohol.

Since it is less long-lasting, it comes in large bottles. Large bottles ensure their availability because one must use them all day. This perfume contains herb and citrus notes.

4.Eau Fraiche

Eau Fraiche has the lowest oil concentration among all. This makes it less long-lasting. The lasting period of this scent is a maximum of two hours. Eau Fraiche is a better option for consumers who have sensitive skin.

The reason is that it contains very little quantity of alcohol. It has more water content in it. Therefore, people with sensitive skin can use it more often.


Tools such as the fragrance wheel simplify the fragrance creation process. Better perfumes can come into existence by understanding the families and subfamilies of various fragrances.

A simple fragrance that decorates your wardrobe has a whole thought process behind it. Every step is important. From manufacturing the bottle to the scent inside and the packaging.

Understanding the fragrance notes and the science behind the fragrance wheel can help you choose the scent you want.