Types of Scent
The way most people choose perfumes or colognes is to smell the scent on their wrist or a strip of paper. While your personal taste and sampling the fragrance before you buy is essential, it can help to have some knowledge about the various types of scents. This way, you can avoid spending time on eau de toilettes or eau de parfums that won't suit your style of fragrance, or buying a gift perfume that the receiver won't wear. Basically, men's and women's fragrances are broken down into four main scent groups: flowery, oriental, woody and fourgere.
Floral scents make for a light beauty fragrance, and are popular in the summer months. Perfumes that are made from white flowers are a favorite among perfume wearers, as these fragrance oils are feminine and delicate. Gardenias, jasmine and frangipani are commonly used in floral womens perfumes. Some of the top flowery scented fragrances are Eternity by Calvin Klein, with rose and orchid, and L'Air du Temps, which also has a hint of sandalwood for a muskier perfume.
These scents are very sensual and are often worn out at night rather than to the office or around the home. You have to be careful not to overapply oriental scented perfumes as they can be quite overpowering. Oriental perfumes smell exotic, sweet, and musky, and can range from citrusy and light to spicy and strong. Old Spice is a well known spicy oriental scent, while new perfumes like Estee Lauder's Spellbound have notes of florals as well as musky spices. Vanilla is sometimes added to oriental scented fragrances as well.
Woody and fougere scents are found in both mens fragrances and women's perfumes, and have a mossy, wood smell. They tend to be heavier than flowery or citrus perfumes, but can be more subdued if they are blended with a lighter scent like lavender. Usually, woody scents are paired with something else, like the masculine tobacco scent of Tabac Blond by Caron for men, or the classic English Lavender by Yardley. Natural fragrance oils such as sandalwood or patchouli would also fall into this category. Woody and fougere scents are found in home fragrance products in addition to designer fragrances – lots of candles and home oil burners features sandalwood and other herbal tones as they are relaxing and cozy.
Fresh scents contain citrus, floral or other lighter scents to make a subtler perfume. These scents appeal to those who don't want a heavy fragrance, and prefer to smell clean rather than like a gardenia or clove. You'll find a number of fresh scents such as Clinique's Happy, which has citrus and floral tones, to the increasingly successful company Fresh, which markets fragrances like clean linen or lychee for a barely-there scent.