Perfume Olfactory families

Perfume olfactory families help to classify the world of fragrances into its own fragrance library.

This is to help with easier identification when searching for similar style of fragrances. Just like how movies can fall into 2 or even 3 genre at the same time, fragrances can too. The olfactory family is a simplification of the notes that can be found the the completed fragrance.

Below, we discuss some of the common families.


citrus family mandarineCitrus

A family with a fresh and bright personality. It is usually referring to fragrance with high content of citruses such as bergamot, grapefruit and mandarin (highly used in fine fragrances) or even lemon, orange (more common in functional fragrances). 

These citrus oils are steam distilled from the zest of these citrus fruits. They are used in formulation to add more uplifting effect to fragrance, making heavier fragrances fresher. Generally, citrus fragrances are gender free too! Due to its fresh lightness, it is perfect for Singapore hot weather. However, as its molecule is light, it also means that generally it does not last for a long. 

Bergamot is used in The Blooming Jewel to add a glowy and uplifting effect to portray fresh roses that just bloomed. 


Floral is a family that is very common in perfumes of both gender. In olden days, it is linked to feminine fragrances. However, in this age, it is used in both gender as gender neutral fragrances are celebrated. 

At Scent Journer, we use a wide variety of florals in our fragrances and even further looking at the different scent each region of floral give. Some examples are Roses from turkey and morocco for The Blooming Jewel, Lavender from Bulgaria and Provence for Dancing Blue Bees.

Unlike the citrus family, some flowers cannot be harvested sustainably or have too little yield of natural essence. Hence, in modern technology, we make use of ‘headspace’ technology to identify the living molecules emitted by the fresh flower to recreate the scent.


An example is honeysuckle found in Clouds in Heaven. The natural scent of honeysuckle is elegant and lightly sweet with watery facets, this is recreate with headspace technology in Clouds in Heaven.


Aromatic Fougère 

Traditionally, it is associated with masculine perfumes that commonly have notes of lavender, moss, geranium, coumarin and aromatic herbs such as rosemary and thyme.  For Scent Journer, Dancing Blue Bees can be labelled with aromatic as it has notes of lavender, lavandin and coumarin from tonka bean. On top of that, due to the high concentration of vanilla, it is also labelled under amber (which will be discussed later).



The chypre family fragrance is common among many classics. Its fragrance structure is built around a woody, mossy accord of patchouli, labdanum and oakmoss with top notes of fresh bergamot, followed by enveloping floral heart of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine. Classic chypre smells unique with sharp contrast of balsamic warmth of dark base notes with bright top notes.

A starlit spell perfume

A Starlit Spell by Scent Journer is a modern take of floral chypre twist with aldehydes and added with a modern touch of fruity juicy pear.

woody perfume


The woody family consist of different style of woodiness. Some examples are demp woods like patchouli, sharp woods like cedarwood, creamy woods like sandalwood to smoky woods like oud. Woody fragrances used to be masculine, however, in modern perfumery, woody fragrances are highly gender neutral and adds a grounding natural effect to the fragrance. 

A Starlit Spell by Scent Journer has many woody facets including patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and cedarwood.


The amber family used to describe fragrance mainly composed to vanilla and resins. But today, oriental family is also classified under amber which includes incense, balsams and even sandalwood touches. Generally, ambery fragrances smell warm, musky, sweet, rich and intense with great longevity. 


Leathery fragrances when done right, adds beautiful luxury touches to the fragrances. It can smell like suede leather, smokey with accent of tobacco. However, if done wrong, it can smell sharp like petrol. 

Currently, Scent Journer perfumes does not have any fragrance of this category. However, leather could be an upcoming trend since it has yet to be well explored as compared to other olfactive families.


There are also other categories, such as green (galbanum, fresh cut grass) , aldehyde (soapy), watery (ozonic, oceanic), fruity (apple, pear, berries), spicy (cinnamon, clove bud, licorice), gourmand (caramel, coffee, chocolate) and musk.



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