Aromatic notes are usually herbaceous scents such as rosemary, sage, cumin, lavender and other plants that have a grassy/spicy scent that is strong. They are often combined with citrusy and spicy notes for a more intense scent. This style of perfumes are generally masculine and summer/spring scents
Woody notes are as the name suggest consists of scents from woods. Woods can be used to create fragrances that are soft, spicy, warm or even citrusy. The most common being sandalwood and cedar, for soft and warm, or resin/balmy woods for spicy/citrusy. Woody notes are also the basis of oud, made from agarwood, a highly valuable resin, used commonly in middle eastern scent.
Oriental notes are generally exotic herbs and spices, with strong powdery resin notes. The herbs and spices likely to be used are vanilla, cinnamon, orris, jasmine, orchid and orange blossom. Oriental scents, with their warm spicy composure are ideal for colder, winter months. Due to the use of herbs and spices, this scent family can have gourmand scents also, that remind us of foods and scents that are tasty.
Fougere, meaning fern-like in French, is not an actual scent family of notes. It is rather a scent family inspired by Fougere Royale, a perfume created in 1882 by perfume house Houbigant, for men with very masculine scents.
Similar to Fougere, this family isn’t based on notes but is also inspired by a perfume created in 1917 with the same name. Even though this Scent Family is used equally by men and women, it is classified as feminine, and elegant. It is a combination of oak moss, labdanum, patchouli and bergamot. It can contain floral, green, aromatic, and floral notes, though the base note is generally oak moss with contracts from other notes possible.
Citrus notes, as the name suggests consists of scents from citrus fruits. It is either from oils extracted from the fruit peel, from the fruit itself or from the blossom of the fruit. The most common fruits used as citrus notes is lemon, bergamot, orange, mandarin and grapefruit. Though connotated with summer fragrances, it is a note used for fragrances of all seasons, with some of the best winter fragrances having citrus notes.
Floral notes, as names suggests consists of scents from flowers. A floral note could consist of a single flower or a combination of flowers (bouquet). This is the largest fragrance group, with scents derived from the flower itself, and the petals of the flower (both having different scents). Generally associated to female fragrances, it is now common to have floral notes used in male fragrances also.
As the name suggests, this is the scent of leather accords created naturally with birch tar, oud, juniper, labdanum or similar. It can be categorised as soft, dark or smoky. The tanning process of leather was foul smelling, and the leather had remnants of this smell. To mask this smell for finished products, the leather was treated with oils created from flowers, wood (oud or smoky), resins, honey, tobacco, vanilla, musk etc. This became more common in 17th century France for leather gloves, and the population became accustomed to the leather scent.