Fragrance families and descriptors: Continued

fragrance notes

Happy Friday! It's been quite a warm week and the weather has cooled down today, finally! This week has all been about testing new products and preparing content for the coming weeks. 

Last week I wrote about Citrus, Oriental and Chypre fragrance families. Picking up from where we left off, we'll look at more fragrance families in today's blog. Let's go! 

Fougère
Fougère is a French word for "fern, fern-like" and has been used to classify a family of fragrances ever since the famous Fougère Royal perfume was created by Houbigant in 1882. Fougère Royal is an important milestone in perfumery because it was the first time the molecule coumarin was extracted and used in a perfume. Coumarin is naturally found in high amounts in tonka bean and imparts the fragrance a sweet, warm and hay-like character. Fougère fragrances pair coumarin with notes like lavender, oakmoss, geranium and woods - and almost all of these fragrances are considered to be masculine scents. Interestingly, the Fougère family does not have any sub-families, but can be considered as a sub-family itself with other main families. 

My personal favorite Fougère fragrance has to be the original 1970 Equipage by Hermès I smelled at ISIPCA/Osmothèque, which was a very handsome Spicy fougère perfume. I have yet to smell the current version, which I believe has changed with regards to the formula over the years. 

Woody
An easy one to recognize, Woody fragrances are all about... woods. Sandalwood, cedarwood, pathcouli, vetiver, oud, guaiacwood are the most well-known woody notes and there are more exotic woods like rosewood or cabreuva. There are many sub-families that accompany the woody family: Woody floral, Woody spicy, Woody aromatic, Woody chypre, Woody fruity, Woody amber... It's a versatile and quite popular fragrance family with so many variations. 

My personal favorite woody fragrances are a handful: Cartier Déclaration, Dior Homme, Chanel Égoïste, YSL L'Homme... All different sub-families of the Woody family and best-sellers for their times. 

Floral 
As fragrant flowers have been used in perfumes for thousands of years it is no surprise that the Floral fragrance family is huge and possibly comes with the most sub-families. From the classic rose and jasmine to exotic champak and plumeria, your favorite fragrant flower has probably already been used in multiple perfumes! Common sub-families include Floral soliflore (Dior Diorissimo), Floral woody (Givenchy Amarige), Floral fruity (Dior J'adore), Floral musky (Flower by Kenzo), Floral aldehydic (most famously Chanel No. 5), Floral aquatic (Issey Miyake L'eau D'Issey), Floral green (Estee Lauder Pleasures)... the possibilities are almost endless! 

My personal favorite flower in perfumes is tuberose, which was used in its pure absolute form in the original Carnal Flower from Frederic Malle, but I wouldn't say no to a very good gardenia or orange blossom either. Or Egyptian jasmine, or osmanthus, or magnolia, or peony... Aaahh I love so many of them! 

Well, we're at the end of another blog post it seems. Have a nice weekend and see you next Friday for a wrap-up on fragrance families!
- Merve


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