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Different Perfume Scents

Updated on August 23, 2013

Popular Scents Of Perfumes And Fragrances

To an untrained "nose", perfumes just smell nice or not so nice (or downright ugly), but the more you sniff perfumes, the easier it will become to discern the different perfume scents that make up the various fragrances. The more you learn about perfumes by trial and sniffing, the more you will learn to isolate not only the scent families, but also the various elements of a perfume, such as jasmine, vanilla, rose, leather, musk, etc.

I love perfumes, I couldn't imagine going through a day without applying some perfume. While some people use perfume only when they're going out in the evening for a date or to a club, for me perfume is also for my own enjoyment. I love being surrounded by a scent of a beautiful fragrance. A good perfume can lift up your spirits or calm down a stressed out person. Perfumes are a miracle, an art form, and something wonderful and fun - oh and a great hobby to have as well!

Enjoy learning about the different perfume scents and take this knowledge with you when you're next time at a perfume counter sniffing that latest and greatest fragrance. Also check out some of the perfumes I personally 'tasted' from each of these different perfume scents. I personally recommend them.

Photo credits: my own small collection of perfumes

Overview Of The Different Perfume Scents

There are 4 main scent categories based on the original fragrance wheel: floral, oriental, woody and fresh, each including several sub-categories. I am using a rather expanded version of the wheel, since for example for me citrus and greens just don't smell the same at all.

  1. Citrus scents
  2. Floral notes
  3. Oriental scents (woody, spicy, resins and balsams, musk and amber)
  4. Green and fresh scents (fruits, vegetables)
  5. Sweet and gourmand notes
  6. Weird scents: alcoholic beverages, powder, sand and other weird but popular scents

Citrus Scents In Perfumes

citrus scents
citrus scents

Citrus scents are some of the easiest to recognize notes in a perfume. They usually make the top note of a fragrance, which not only dissipate the fastest, but also are the strongest to feel when first applied.

To preserve their full aroma, the citrus essences are extracted through a process of cold-expression, with the exception of petitgrain, which is usually steam distilled.

It is interesting to note that citrus essences and essential oils are also very popular in aromatherapy, due to their therapeutical properties for the mind and body. They are uplifting, energizing, help with clearing the head and also help with learning and memorizing.

For the most part citrus scented perfumes are used in summer, and this category has perfumes both for women and men.

Here are some of the most popular citrus fruits and raw materials that are found in perfumes:

* Bergamot

* Bitter orange

* Blood orange

* Citrus

* Clementine

* Grapefruit

* Lemon

* Lemon balm

* Lemongrass

* Lemon tree

* Lemon verbena

* Lime

* Litsea cubeba

* Mandarine

* Neroli

* Orange

* Petitgrain

* Pomelo

* Tangerine

* Yuzu

Photo credits

Citrus Scented Perfumes For Women

O de Lancome For Women

O de Lancome For Women
O de Lancome For Women

This is a wonderful summer fragrance for women, one that lasts longer than many other citrus based perfumes. It has great refreshing citrus notes such as bergamon, lemon, tangerine and petit grain, along with flowery essences such as jasmine, honeysuckle and lily of the valley. It is a timeless fragrance, one that people always come back to, over and over again.

Initially it was introduced in 1969, and the fact that it's still one of the very popular perfumes for women, says something about its quality and classy nature.

Ck One by Calvin Klein for Women

Ck One by Calvin Klein for Women
Ck One by Calvin Klein for Women

Here is another gorgeous citrus smelling fragrance for women. Launched in 1994 by Calvin Klein, it has become one of the favorites of women who love a great perfume during the summer. You can smell here accents of pineapple, mandarin orange, papaya, bergamot, cardamom and lemon, along with nutmeg, violet, jasmine, lily-of-the-valley and rose, and as base notes you will feel hints of sandalwood, amber, musk, cedar and oakmoss.

Refreshing, fruity and timeless, highly recommended.

Eau D'hadrien By Annick Goutal For Women

Eau D'hadrien By Annick Goutal For Women
Eau D'hadrien By Annick Goutal For Women

An awesome citrus smelling perfume,one that I had at some point. While I moved away from citrus smells, this is one that I truly remember fondly. You can find the wonderful aroma of cypress, grapefruit, lemon, sicilian lemon, citron, mandarin orange and ylang-ylang in this fragrance and just as a curiosity, this particular perfume has won the FiFi Award Hall Of Fame in 2008. Initially it was launched in 1981. Timeless classic, perfect for summer.

Floral Notes In Perfumes

floral notes
floral notes

Floral notes have always been popular in perfumery, especially when lovely scented flowers such as roses, apple blossoms, lavender and lilac are the main ingredients of a well rounded fragrance.

The way of extracting the various flower essential oils are different, based on the type of flowers to be used. For example roses and jasmin are extracted through distillation, enfleurage and solvent extraction, while others are simply imposible to extract the natural way - hence the increasing popularity of synthetic fragrances for water lily, violets, lotus, lily of the valley, hyacinth and peony, among others.

Floral scents are mostly loved by women, and they add a touch of romance, elegance and hidden beauty in their composition.

In terms of aromatherapy, flower essential oils have been used to bring about a great mood, feelings of happiness and joy.

While floral essences form a category in itself, they are also added to other types of perfumes to enhance and enrich the fragrance.

The range of flowers used in perfumes is practically unlimited, and perfume chemists create every year new flowerly synthetics that have been previously unheard of. Here are just some of the popular floral notes that you can learn to sniff out after a while.

* Almond blossom

* Amaryllis

* Anemone

* Apple blossom

* Apricot blossom

* Belladona

* Black elder

* Boronia

* Camellia

* Carnation

* Clover

* Cyclamen

* Dandelion

* Encian

* Forget me not

* Fragonia

* Fresia

* Fuchsia

* Geranium

* Gerbena

* Heather

* Hortensia

* Hyacinth

* Hyssop

* Iris

* Lavender

* Lilac

* Lily of the valley

* Magnolia

* Mimose

* Narcissus

* Orchid

* Pansy

* Poinsettia

* Poppy

* Primrose

* Rose

* Rose hip

* Safflower

* Snowdrops

* St John's Wort

* Sunflower

* Tabacco blossom

* Watercress

* Wildflowers

* Ylang Ylang

Photo credits

Floral Perfumes For Women

Live In Love Perfume by Oscar de la Renta for Women

Live In Love Perfume by Oscar de la Renta for women
Live In Love Perfume by Oscar de la Renta for women

A gorgeous floral perfume and not expensive at all. It is actually a rather new perfume, first launched in 2011. You can smell flowery notes such as hyacinth, galbanum, bergamot, lily-of-the-valley, orchid, jasmine, sandalwood and rose. It is a 'clean' scent, not overpowering, yet perfect if you love flower scented perfumes. Perfect fragrance for summer and spring as well.

Lacoste Pour Femme

Lacoste Pour Femme
Lacoste Pour Femme

Here is another wonderful flowery fragrance that I tried a few years ago and loved. It was initially launched in 2003 and I saw it first advertised on TV (cool ad too). Perfect for almost every season (maybe except winter), it's a really pretty floral scent that stays with you for quite some time. Classy and feminine, is the free expression of a woman without many worries (don't we all wish!). Worth trying if you come across it.

Beautiful Estee Lauder For Women

Beautiful Estee Lauder For Women
Beautiful Estee Lauder For Women

If you love the scent of ylang-ylang, rose, lily and tuberose, you will enjoy this perfume. It also has a hint of citrus, including orange, which are part of the top note. It was initially launched in 1985 and it's still going strong today.

When I first took a whiff of it at the department store, I first smelled rose, and got instantly hooked. It was actually my favorite perfume for a couple of years, before I finally moved on. If you haven't tried it out yet and you love flower scents, this is one I heart-fully recommend.

Oriental Scents In Perfume

oriental fragrances
oriental fragrances

Oriental fragrances are perfumes that strongly remind us of the exotic orient. Ambergris and labdanum are often mixed with vanilla, musk, woods and various flowers and spices to create the sometimes overpowering Middle Eastern aromas that one have been successfully brought over to the Western world.

These perfumes give a warm feeling, and one of sensuality that is at times intoxicating when used in excess. Yet this category contains some of the most popular perfumes that have become an instant success from right from the start, such as Guerlain's Shalimar and Yves Saint Laurent's Opium.

Their scent is for the most part sweet, heavy and at times sticky and aromatic - they are personally not my favorites, but one of my best friends swears on oriental scents and even her signature perfume is an oriental one.

Oriental perfumes usually include the following subcategories:

* Woody

* Vanilla

* Fougere

* Spicy

* Floral

Photo credits

Oriental Perfumes For Women

Shalimar By Guerlain For Women

Shalimar By Guerlain For Women. Eau De Cologne Spray 2.5 Ounces
Shalimar By Guerlain For Women. Eau De Cologne Spray 2.5 Ounces
I am not much into Oriental fragrances, but Shalimar is an exception. It's simply the perfect perfume that incorporates the best of Orient brought to the Western world. This is one that I love!

Ysatis Givenchy For Women

Ysatis By Givenchy For Women. Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Fl Ounces
Ysatis By Givenchy For Women. Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Fl Ounces
Here is another oriental scented perfume that I sampled and liked. I never actually bought it, but the sample I got when buying another perfume was really lovely. Exotic, kind of, fresh, without overpowering the senses.

Green And Fresh Scents In Perfume

fruit essences
fruit essences

Fruity notes have become quite popular in recent years for making refreshing aromatic perfumes. While citruses are also fruits, their scent is quite distinctive, hence they are in a category of their own. As surprising as it might sound, the fruity notes also include vegetables, such as turnips and carrots, and they can add some quite interesting aromas to the perfume that includes them.

The fruity perfumes are refreshing and sometimes quite mysterious. Sometimes they hint of fresh cut gras, cucumber and crushed leaves.

Here are some of the popular fruits and greens used in fruity perfumes:

* Almond

* Apple

* Apricot

* Banana

* Berries

* Black currant

* Carob tree

* Carrot

* Coconut

* Cranberry

* Figs

* Gooseberry

* Grapes

* Guawa

* Kiwi

* Litchi

* Mango

* Melon

* Mulberry

* Nectarine

* Olive

* Papaya

* Passion fruit

* Peach

* Pear

* Pineapple

* Pistachio and various nuts

* Plum

* Pumpkin

* Raspberry

* Sour cherry

* Turnip

* Watermelon

Photo credits

Green And Herbal Perfumes For Women

Popular Green Perfumes To Try Out

Eau de Campagne by Sisley 3.0 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
Eau de Campagne by Sisley 3.0 oz Eau de Toilette Spray
If you love 'green' style perfumes, this is a perfect example of it. I personally love it and bought it not once, but twice so far. When I breath it in, I have a feeling I'm somewhere in a green meadow, surrounded by clean and fresh air. A great summer perfume for those who don't like much the heavy oriental fragrances. You can feel the aroma of basil, bergamot, lemon, galbanum, even tomato leaves, jasmine, lily of the valley, musk, patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss and plum. If you like sweet perfumes, this might not be to your taste. Some people even consider it on the bitter side. Definitely an invigorating one!
Manifesto By Isabella Rossellini Eau-de-toilette Spray, 1.7-Ounce
Manifesto By Isabella Rossellini Eau-de-toilette Spray, 1.7-Ounce
I'm usually not a fan of 'celebrity perfumes', this one does speak to me, however. It has a nice fresh smell that allures. It's light, yet it lingers for quite a while. Elegant, reminds me of various fresh herbs, and it actually includes bergamot, basil, pepper, sweet pea, orange blossoms, sweet and intense jasmine and white rose, along with lily, sandal, white musk and chestnut tree. Some call this perfume simple, but simple doesn't have to boring, and this fragrance is everything but boring. It's been first launched in 2000 and it has been a popular scent ever since.

Sweet And Gourmand Scents In Perfume

gourmand scents
gourmand scents

The sweet and gourmand perfumes include scents that make you think of edible, yumie sweets and desserts like chocolate, vanilla, fresh cream, caramel and cupcakes. When you smell such a fragrance, all you can think of is that it's so nice, you could eat it.

If you like sweeter perfumes, you should definitely check out this section, as every single perfume here is as sweet as it goes. Danger: these perfumes are said to create a sense of euphoria, happiness and playfulness that might not be appropriate in business settings :-)

While I'm not much of an oriental scent person, I do love the gourmand perfumes, I just can't get enough of them.

Here are some of the flavors that you can feel when sniffing a perfume in this category:

* Dates

* Candies

* Caramel

* Cotton candy

* Cupcake

* Chocolate

* Creme brule

* Fresh cream

* Maple syrup

* Marshmallow

* Marzipan

* Nougat

* Popcorn

* Praline

* Sugar

* Toffee

Photo credits

Sweet And Gourmand Scented Perfumes For Women

Sweet Scented Perfumes To Try Out

Angel by Thierry Mugler for Women - 1.7 Fl Oz EDP Spray Non Refillable
Angel by Thierry Mugler for Women - 1.7 Fl Oz EDP Spray Non Refillable
I think I'm in majority when I say that Angel is one of the best perfumes ever for the sweet and praline scented category. Because it's so sweet, some people call it oriental, but I disagree. It's sweet, but a kind of praline and chocolate sweet, not Egyptian bazaar kind of sweet. It was first launched in 1992 and in 2007 it got a FiFi Award Hall Of Fame. It contains notes of melon, coconut, jasmine, bergamot, cotton candy, honey, peach, rose, amber, vanilla, musk, chocolate and of course, caramel. Don't these just sound yumie?
Angel Innocent 2.5 oz. Eau de Perfume Spray for Women by Thierry Mugler
Angel Innocent 2.5 oz. Eau de Perfume Spray for Women by Thierry Mugler
When I ran out of Angel, I tried Innocent by the same fragrance designer, and I got instantly hooked. Innocent smells lighter than Angel, it's more a summer fragrance than an all-year-around one, but you can still feel quite strongly the sweet aroma of praline, vanilla and white musk. It also contains almonds, black currant and bergamot. It was first launched in 1998, but straongely I've only tried it quite recently when I ran out of Angel and i went down to the department store and sniffed it. I'm still using it every day (see the intro photo at the very top, I still have a full bottle of it.) Some people consider it a fruity fragrance, but as I do feel quite strong the pralina in it. for me it will always remain a gourmand yum-yum perfume!
glue scent
glue scent

The more science grows and evolves, the easier it becomes to recreate weird and unusual scents for the purpose of adding them to perfumes and fragrances.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of these, but here they are for your enjoyment - and who knows, you might find a new signature perfume among these. Some of the scents below actually gave me a chuckle and a shake of head...

* Aluminum

* Clay

* Gunpowder

* Glue

* Ink

* Metal

* Salt

* Sand

* Scotch tape

* Sea

* Vinyl

Photo credits

Do You Use Perfume Regularly?

Do You Use Perfume Regularly?

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