The fragrance family or genealogy system of categorising fragrances is one where fragrances that have similar olfactory (scent) characteristics (Citrus, Floral, Woody) or take inspiration from traditional accords (Aromatics, Oriental and Chypre) are grouped together for ease of identification and classification.
In the fragrance family structure that The Perfumery uses, there are 8 groupings, 4 for men – Citrus, Aromatic, Woody and Oriental and 4 for women – Citrus, Floral, Chypre and Oriental.
As you can see Citrus and Oriental are listed for both him and her, but the inflection of the fragrances in the two groups are distinctly different making them biased to either masculine or feminine.
The citrus category both his and hers contains fresh, vibrant fragrances built around citrus compounds typically the zest of citrus fruits. There is a large variety of citrus variants that are used in the making of perfumes, and these scents can be used individually or in combination. Some of the most common citrus oils used are: yuzu, bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, and bitter orange.
Aromatic fragrances take their inspiration from herbal, culinary and herbaceous accords, along with aquatic themes. Aromatic accords can be green like freshly crushed leaves as well as taking on herbal notes (lavender, artemesia) or culinary notes (rosemary, mint, coriander, thyme etc). The aquatic theme in the Aromatic genealogy would include both woodland stream type notes as well as sea and salt themes.
This is the family of aromas of freshly cut wood and roots, dried in the sun. Woods add warmth, depth and complexity to the fragrance. Woody fragrances often make great layering components as they can work with any of the other fragrance families more so than any other. Typical woody notes are: Sandalwood, cedar, patchouli, vetiver, and guaiacwood.
The French name for the Greek island of Cypress. This family takes its inspiration from walking through a forest in Autumn when the leaves are falling & includes Mossy, Musky, Leathery Accords, with Herbaceous overtones. Chypre perfumes typically have rich, lingering scents.
Another his and hers group. The Oriental family of fragrances are inspired by and/or constructed around ingredients that traditionally came from the Orient and the Middle East. These ingredients gave scents that had richness and warmth through mysterious blends of resins and spices as well as sweet, incense, vanilla and musky accords.