Understanding the fragrance families will help you gauge which type of fragrance you are naturally drawn to, making purchasing online while nose blind a lot easier.
Citrus: This fragrance family is characterized by its zesty and fresh notes and makes for a good daytime or morning scent, and perfect for spring and summer. Fruits found in this category are clementine, grapefruit, lemons as well as citrusy raw materials such as lemongrass, verbena, and bergamot.
Floral: This fragrance family will suit all occasions and seasons. Florals are super feminine and elegant and with so many floral notes to choose from – powdery, green, fresh, intense, lactonic and animalic, makes them great for any time of day. Fresh florals like mimosa are great for daytime wear or tuberose with jasmine and ambery, animalic notes make it work for night.
Oriental: The family are perfect for night/evening wear, formal occasions and winter or colder weather. They usually use more exotic and unusual notes including vanilla, cinnamon, jasmine, orchid and orange blossom. For this reason, they usually smell beautifully indulgent and luxurious. They can be overwhelming and too sweet when the weather gets warm, but if you feel good wearing them, go for it!
Chypre: One of the most beautiful and sophisticated fragrance families. Built around a woody, mossy accord, the classical chypre starts with a powerful blast of fresh citrussy followed by a floral heart of rose, ylang-ylang or jasmine. It can be mixed with either fresh, floral, or fruity notes for daytime or summer or oriental notes for nighttime.
If you don’t want an overpowering scent…
Notes to avoid if you don’t like an overpowering fragrance are usually amber, vanilla, praline, all oriental notes and powdery notes like floral tuberose or woody notes like oud and patchouli. This means that you should avoid a fragrance that contains a mixture of these strong notes. Ideally you want your stronger scent to mix with lighter, fresher scents like bergamot, green notes or ozonic and soft florals so it doesn’t overwhelm you.
If you want a fresh scent, here’s what to look for…
Citrus notes such as bergamot, lime, lemon, blood orange and grapefruit are great for this. Ingredients containing a high number of green notes like fig and lily of the valley also bring a lot of freshness to a fragrance, but of course they aren’t the only ones. Other notes to look for are the marine/ozone ones as they are super fresh and bring a coastal vibe to a fragrance.
If you want a sweet scent..
If you love anything sweet and spicy then you will most likely look for a fragrance that contains the gourmand, edible notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla, or candy. The warm spice of cinnamon will also bring a different type of sweetness to a perfume. Other key ingredients use to create a sweet effect are the gourmand notes like Veltol or ethyl maltol, which smell like burnt caramel. Lactonic notes (contained naturally in fruit like peach, apricot, coconut) will bring a creamy sweetness to a fragrance.
Look at the packaging
Another clue to look out for when buying your fragrance online is to consider the packaging from the bottle right down to the liquid inside. It’s all part of the brand marketing but it also gives you a guide as to the kind of scent it is. Blue hues are for freshness, green for naturality and black- and gold-coloured bottles represent luxurious intense scents.