The perfume you wear is your signature. Whether it’s floral, chypre, amber or fruity, it will stay with you through seasons and moods.
Heer's a guide to helping you choose the fragrance that reflects your personality.
The different perfume families
Perfumes are classified into 7 main olfactive families:
- Citrus, the family where we find the first eaux de Cologne, based on lemon, orange, grapefruit, mandarin and bergamot essences.
- Floral, the most important family that groups together perfumes based on flowers: rose, violet, jasmine, lilac, lily of the valley, narcissus and tuberose.
- Fougère evokes plant odors and consists of lavender, wood, oak moss and coumarin notes.
- Chypre, mainly based on ciste-labdanum, patchouli, bergamot and oak moss. This family is named after the perfume Chypre by François Coty, created in 1917.
- Woody, composed of fragrances with warm notes, sandalwood, patchouli, or dry notes, cedar and vetiver.
Amber, or Oriental, has powdery, vanilla, very distinct animal compositions.
- Leather, the smallest of the families, is based on birch tar and tobacco.
Each family has sub-families:
- Citrus: chypre floral / spicy / woody / aromatic
- Floral: soliflore / floral bouquet / green floral / woody / woody fruity / aldehyde
- Fougère: floral amber / soft amber / spicy / aromatic / fruity
- Chypre: floral / fruity / green / aromatic / leather
- Woody: aromatic / spicy / amber / fruity / marine
- Amber: woody floral / spicy / soft / citrus / floral / woody
- Leather: floral / tobacco
Which perfumes belong to which families?
- Citrus: Eau de Rochas by Rochas, Eau de Cologne Impériale by Guerlain, Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior, Eau d’Hermès by Hermès.
- Floral: L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci, Anaïs Anaïs by Cacharel, N°5 by Chanel, Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain.
- Fougère: Jicky by Guerlain, Paco Rabanne pour Homme, Azzaro pour Homme.
- Chypre: Femme by Rochas, Mitsouko by Guerlain, Yvresse by Yves Saint Laurent, Miss Dior.
- Woody: Vétiver by Guerlain, Kenzo pour Homme, Egoïste by Chanel.
- Amber: Shalimar by Gueralin, Opium by Yves Saint laurent, Poison by Dior.
- Leather: Cuir de Russie by Chanel and Tabac Blond by Caron.
What’s the current trend?
Floral-powdery perfumes are heralding a return to real scents: rose, lavender, jasmine and patchouli.
The presence of gourmand accords is also noticeable, as in Nina by Nina Ricci, which is more discreet than the definitive Angel by Mugler, which contains notes of praline.
The real trend is for changing your perfume or mixing it to create your very own.
Making a decision
Even if the bottle looks good, buying perfume isn't like buying cakes from a shop window, where you go for whatever takes your fancy!
You need to take your time and smell dozens of them before you settle on the one that matches your mood and deepest desires.
If you're seduced by scents from big brands, your perfume makes you feel like you belong to an elite. If you buy the most recent perfume, you give into the latest trends rather than your emotion - and you could end up disappointed.
Which perfume for which character?
Fresh, floral notes with instant charm will please extroverted and bold personalities. Oriental notes with intense traces attract mysterious and sensual girls.
Powdered notes are for emotional narcissists or young-at-heart women. Floral-fruity fragrances match optimistic characters who like taking the lead. Chypre perfumes suit ambitious, full of character women.
Which perfume for which moment?
Like clothing, perfumes match the seasons. Gourmand perfumes bursting with ripe fruits are perfect in fall; powdered scents, which embrace the body, are ideal in winter; florals awaken the heart in spring; and fresh scents stir up the skin in summer.
For something a bit different, try alternating scents in the same harmony. For example: floral, floral-oriental and soft oriental, or fresh, plant-based and floral-fruity.
You can also play with contrasts: start the day with citrus-floral, spray a few drops of gourmand amber in the afternoon and finish the day enveloped in a sensual oriental fragrance.