Perfume 101: Your ultimate guide to the scent wheel and scent families
When choosing a new perfume or aftershave, the amount of choice can feel overwhelming. The first step towards making a decision is to make sure you understand the different fragrance scent profiles out there.
Ph. Ruslan Zh (Unsplash)
This guide will talk you through all the basics you need to know about different fragrances, from the different scent families to the scent wheel.
There are four main scent families - Oriental, Woody, Fresh, and Floral.
Ph. Earl Wilcox (Unsplash)
Oriental scents are decidedly unisex, as they are equally as sweet as they are rich and powerful. Inspired by eastern aromas, Oriental scents are frequently used when the sun has set, giving off sensual vibes, and long lasting enough to keep up with your dancing.
Oriental scents span from sensual cinnamon, to warm chocolates and vanillas, to rich sandalwood.
Ph. Ph. Ju Desi (Unsplash)
Woody scents are typically associated as being more masculine, thanks to their earthy base, and thus play a huge part in most aftershaves. However, some of the more aromatic scents are unisex, boasting a mature calmness to them.
Woody scents consist of the aromatic warmth of cedar wood, earthy oakmoss, smokey notes and leather, to aromatic herbs like lavender.
Ph. Debby Hudson (Unsplash)
Fresh scents are lively, refreshing and vibrant. Think about the smells of summer - sun, sea, zesty notes and fresh herbs. They are one of the most popular scent profiles in perfumery due to their versatility, crispness, and infinite combination opportunities.
Common fresh scents span from zesty citrus fruits, to aquatic notes, light and bright herbs, to juicy berries and fruits.
Ph. Anthony Delanoix (Unsplash)
Floral scents are most popular for women's perfume, boasting a wide variety of soft feminine aromas. They can either have a singular floral fragrance or combine several flowers as an aromatic bouquet. Due to their floral base, they are often associated with the smells of spring.
Popular floral notes range from freshly cut flowers like rose, powdery florals like jasmine, to oriental florals like orange blossom.
What is the scent wheel?
Starting at the top, and working clockwise, the scent wheel consists of the following scent families and subfamilies touched on above:
● Oriental →
○ Soft Oriental → Oriental → Woody Oriental →
● Woody →
○ Woody → Mossy Wood → Dry Wood → Aromatic →
● Fresh →
○ Citrus → Water → Green → Fruity →
● Floral ↻
○ Floral → Soft Floral → Floral Oriental ↻
The bordering families blend into one another since they share similar scent profiles. For example, ‘Woody Oriental’ is the natural middle ground between ‘Oriental’ and ‘Woody’.
However, opposite families on the scent wheel have opposing properties. For example, Oriental scents are often dense and powerful, whereas Fresh scents are light and airy.
For this reason, the subfamily that falls exactly opposite another often blends with it particularly well. Just look at orange from ‘Fresh Citrus,’ and clove from ‘Soft Oriental’ - a classic Christmassy combination!
Another option is to find three subfamilies that create a triangle with one another. For example, lavender from ‘Woody Aromatic’, rose from ‘Floral’ and honey from ‘Oriental’ are a fantastic combination both for perfume and dessert flavourings!
With these things in mind, you will be one step closer to understanding which fragrances suit your tastes. Don’t be afraid to try out a few blends before settling on your favourite.
Finally A Fragrance Blending Femme And Homme
Much to our relief, the fragrance world is finally listening. Tones and accents that have been previously blended for a distinctive gender is spilling over the counter! Finding your fragrance to fit your mood, and ambience for the vibes at hand is personal, intimate and as the Parisians swear, it’s a private ritual.
Ph. Siora Photography (Unsplash)
Confessions of a Rebel are one fragrance brand that are disclosing the secret of scents to match our desire of something emotional but unrestrictive. Regardless of your gender.
Fragrance gender fluidity is here. A recent study from UNiDAYS showed 49% of Gen Z are more inclined to buy from brands that promote gender representation and diversity in their marketing and advertising. According to Mintel, gender-neutral fragrance launches accounted for 17% of the market in 2010; by 2018 that figure had grown to 51%.
Confessions of a Rebel, has just launched in the UK and speaks out their key message on marketing diversity in their range- “We’re not afraid to provoke. Our fragrances are made to excite and inspire: some are subversive, others are straightforward, all are compelling in their own right. He, she, they, YOU - our confessions are not caged in by gender. We blend traditionally feminine notes with masculine undertones, and vice versa, to create fragrances that are anything but ordinary.”
Meet some of the rebels that dare to go beyond the binary…
LOVE HIGH (100ml spray, £100)
Somewhere between lust and lost, peach nectar tangles with orange flower and jasmine in this tantalising fragrance. Shaken up and just a little bit sweet, succulent apple reveals new textures of sensuality against powerful blonde woods. Everything goes, but first, dive right in.
ABOUT LAST NIGHT (100ml spray, £100)
Inspired by late nights, this is a bold exclamation of scent, featuring a cocktail of sparkling bergamot, pink pepper and red grapefruit. Powdery vetiver, sustainably harvested in Haiti, intoxicates the senses with cold-pressed mandarin oil and energetic spices that last from dusk until dawn.
GET A ROOM (100ml spray, £100)
All heat and plenty of skin: forbidden apple is layered with mandarin and stripped-down woody notes. A sensual medley of vanilla, praline and a touch of spice send your heart skipping a beat – and then some. Draw the blinds, bolt the door, this is going to get good.
Let's Be Real Review
On note one, Let’s Be Real Fragrance hits you with a fresh citrus wave that wakes up your senses, followed immediately with depths of vanilla and a lasting woody note of musk and jasmine. I would recommend this to be worn in the evening for deep conversation over decadent drinks. - Deborah St. Louis Founder
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Tried And Loved: Best Products For Your Body
Whether it has been a long day at work or a cosy day at home, you should always look after your skin. Having a favourite moisturiser or hair mask which becomes a staple in your bathroom, is going to make you feel better. So just relax, and debrief on your day as we go through some necessities.
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Our favourite items from The Body Shop are going to help your skin appear, smoother, younger and clearer. Pair them with our top tips to get the best out of your skin.
1. The Almond & Honey Body Butter
Ph. Toa Hefitba, Unsplash
A soothing and thick moisturiser that really does butter up your body as it gives the illusion of silky skin. The scent has nutty, creamy notes and it lingers on your body for days. What more could you want than a product which is going to help nourish your skin, as well as make you smell great for days on end? The same scent also defines other products like shower creams, exfoliators and soaps.
Links to products: Almond Milk & Honey Exfoliating Cream Scrub | Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream - The Body Shop®
2. The Japanese Cherry Blossom Kiss EdT
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A beautiful spray edition for springtime. The fragrance is very light, which is perfect for warmer weather. It is a fruity scent infused with notes of strawberries, amber and peony. Smother your body in the matching shower gel or body lotion, and spray with the eau de toilette for a longer-lasting smell.
Links to products: Japanese Cherry Blossom Strawberry Kiss Eau De Toilette 50ML | Japanese Cherry Blossom Shower Gel - The Body Shop®
3. Hand Creams
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Especially during a time when you are washing and sanitising your hands more than ever, you need to remember to take care of them. Hand sanitisers are known for drying out your skin and they can also cause blisters in some cases. Therefore, The Body Shop hand creams are going to be a lifesaver, making a perfect balance with soaps, gels and sanitisers. These hand creams come in various scents, so you have many options, whether to match with your existing scent or to try something new.
Links to products: Palms & Pinkies Hand Cream Trio | Joy & Jasmine Hand Cream - The Body Shop®
4. The Tangle Taming, Nourishing Hair Mask
Source: The Body Shop UK
A thumbs up from us. The formula will really help to calm down your wild hair, whilst making your locks glossy and smooth. The mask also comes in a banana scent, really incredible.
Links to the product: Banana Hair Mask- The Body Shop®
All Body Shop products are vegan friendly and made out of all-natural ingredients. They have also started to become a sustainable company by bringing out new ecological packaging to help save the world.
Charlotte Rhys brings its South African vibes to the UK
Charlotte Rhys made its name in South Africa as a luxury fragrance brand that takes responsible actions toward the environment, the local flora and society. Fashions Finest dived into this new scented world to share some considerations.
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Getting the Right Fragrance to Match the Occasion
When you were a teenager, you put all sorts of perfumes to the test, in the spirit of experimentation. But, if you’re like most people, as you grew older, you probably selected one ‘signature scent’ and stuck to it for years on end.
Twist & Spritz Atomiser In Glittery Pink
Twist & Spritz atomizer in glitter pink has arrived just in time for the festive season and is the perfect stocking filler.
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Fit For A Princess, the L.K.Bennett Debut Fragrance
The Duchess of Cambridge is known to be an advocate of British Heritage brand L.K.Bennett, selling out their dresses wherever she goes. Now in an exciting move, the brand has announced its first ever foray into fragrance – Signature.
The wonderfully complex fragrance opens with hypnotic top notes of citrus, pepper and rhubarb. Heart notes of rose, jasmine and ylang ylang add a floral flavour, with base notes of warm woods, dry amber, musk and vetiver adding an air of luxurious sophistication. Could this be the fragrance Kate wore to Prince Louis christening?
RRP: 30ml (£35) 50ml (£49) and 100ml (£69), L.K.Bennett
Luxury Twist & Spritz
Twist & Spritz, the ultimate handbag essential that allows you to transport your favourite perfume in a travel-sized 8ml atomizer, has introduced a new line to their popular collection.