Fragrance Files

Fragrance Files

Choosing the perfume or cologne is as personal as finding your favorite lipstick shade or the perfect jeans. Whether you’re looking for a subtle, romantic scent or something that will stand out at the office, there’s no shortage of options. But the choice can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the different fragrance families and notes.

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Fragrance Files is a series of articles designed to help you become a more confident and informed fragrance consumer. We’ll break down the ingredients in perfumes, how they are classified, and what you can expect from a fragrance. We’ll also show you how to understand and read perfume reviews. And finally, we’ll offer our own opinions on some of the world’s most popular perfumes and colognes.

The Fragrance Family Chart

The fragrance industry classifies fragrances into four main families: Woody, Floral, Oriental, and Fresh. Each is further subdivided into a number of groups. For example, an aldehydic floral like Chanel No. 5 falls under the Soft Floral group, while a woody chypre like Hermes Rouge fits into the Aromatic Fougere category. Adding to the confusion, fragrances with different concentrations such as parfum, EdT, and EdC may contain completely different mixtures of perfume oils.

The word “fragrance” or “parfume” on a product’s ingredient list typically represents an undisclosed mixture of dozens of perfume chemicals and compounds. Many of these have been linked to allergies, dermatitis, and respiratory distress. That’s why it’s important to check the Skin Deep score before buying a fragrance, especially for those with sensitive skin or allergy concerns.

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