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The Fragrance Groups and their 14 Fragrance Families

You may or may not have noticed that I have re-arranged the Scent Samples website.  I have categorized perfumes using the Michael Edwards Fragrance Wheel system.  I understand there are other classification systems out there but I have decided to go with The Fragrance Wheel system.  This is a detailed diagram of the Fragrance Wheel, courtesy of Michael Edwards, Fragrances of the World.

 Detailed fragrance wheel

Michael Edwards has grouped the main four fragrance groups into – Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh.  They are further broken down in fragrance families as follows:-


– Floral

Florals range from single floral concertos to mighty symphonies of heady bouquets.

– Soft Floral

Soft Florals are the marriage of sparkling aldehydes and delicate flowers, balanced by soft notes of iris, musk or vanilla which creates a soft, often powdery floral.


– Floral Oriental

Floral Orientals have sweet, spicy notes of orange blossom blended with sparkling aldehydes and sweet spices to create the heart of a floral oriental fragrance.

– Soft Oriental

Soft Orientals are of incense blended with flowers, spices and amber.  This results in a softer, spicier style of oriental.

– Oriental

Orientals are the exotic queens of perfumery, sensual, often heavy blends of oriental resins, opulent flowers, sweet vanilla and musks.

– Woody Oriental

Woody Orientals have rich oriental notes of patchouli and sandalwood.


– Woods

Woods – new, sheer and exotic wood notes give new appeal to the classic harmonies of cedar, patchouli, pine, sandalwood and vetiver.

– Mossy Woods

Mossy Woods have been previously called Chypre fragrances.  They have notes of oakmoss, patchouli, amber and citrus.

– Dry Woods

The Dry Woods family is often called leather.  Cedar, tobacco and burnt wood notes add a dry, often smoky accent to Mossy Woods fragrances.


– Aromatic

The sexy cool-warm notes of citrus and lavender, sweet spices and oriental woods blend to a zesty, masculine character than men find comfortable and women find appealing.

– Citrus

From the zest of lemons, madarines, bergamot, oranges and grapefruit come the citrus oils that lend these fragrances their clean, tangy aroma.

– Water

Redolent of the scent of soft sea breezes. The marine notes were created in 1990.  They capture the ozonic aroma of wet air after a thunderstorm, the freshness of a waterfall.

– Green

Green fragrances capture the sharp scent of fresh cut grass and violet leaves.  New softer, lighter fragrance family fresh appeal.

– Fruity

Blend peaches and pears, apples and plums, a twist of tropical fruits with berries of all hues.  Add a splash of flowers to create a family  of fruity cocktails that smells delicious.

All of the above information has come directly from the Michael Edwards book – Fragrances of the World 2013.  The Fragrance Bible.

So now that we have the fragrance groups and their families down pat, what is your favourite group of fragrances?  I have always been a fan of florals but I am now also heading in the mossy woods direction.  Why not have a look through the 14 different fragrance families at Scent Samples and try a new sample for yourself?

Happy scent sampling x

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