19 February, 2014

Different Perfume Types and Families

While sniffing out the different perfumes at a shop recently with a friend, she and I launched into a conversation about scents. Mid-sentence about how I had developed a taste for Orientals and Gourmands as I grew older, my friend interrupted me and said, "Tammy, wait, I don't know what you're talking about."

I realized that I was using key terms that she didn't understand, and that I should stop assuming that just because something seemed "normal" to me, it doesn't mean that it is to other people.

You know how when you were gushing about an amazingly pigmented eyeshadow to somebody, and their eyes just glazed over because they had no idea what "a very pigmented eyeshadow" meant? Yeah, this was something like that.

So, today's topic is a quick primer on the different types of perfumes. This is not an in-depth guide, mainly because too much information at once can be overwhelming, at least for me. Instead, I'd rather quickly talk about it here, and elaborate more on it over time, in future blog entries.

The examples featured below are the perfumes that I have, categorized by Scent Families. Each perfume will have a quick description next to its name, with the descriptions being written according to my nose, and in-depth reviews will follow in future blog posts. I also recommend reading a previous blog entry on how to choose the right perfume for yourself.


These are scents with warm, exotic notes reminiscent of the East, such as sandalwood, vanilla, woods, resins, etc. They may have floral and citrus notes, but the warmer notes are more emphasized.

Coco Mademoiselle: citrus, florals, vanilla, patchouli, vetiver, and a hint of white musk. An in-depth review for this perfume has already been written, and can be read HERE.

Luctor et Emergo: sweet grasses, cherry, almond, dragon's blood, and woodsy notes.

Eau de Soap & Glory (unavailable in the US): jasmine sambac, blackberries, vanilla, and a hint of something woodsy.

Very Sexy Now Winter 2010 (discontinued): jasmine sambac, blackberry, white amber, spicy and resinous notes.

Aveda Chakra 4: sandalwood and mandarin.

Kuumba Made Frankincense and Myrrh: a sweet, incensy-woodsy blend of frankincense and myrrh.


Predominantly floral notes are what you would smell in these. Examples of notes used in floral perfumes would be rose, jasmine, lily, magnolia, etc.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom and Honey: a sweet, honeyed floral scent. Smells like fresh white florals blended with sweet honey.

Annick Goutal's Ce Soir Ou Jamais: fresh rose petals blended with sweet pear.

Jean Patou's Joy: a blend of sweet Grasse Jasmine and Bulgarian rose, tempered with a smooth peachy note.

Mary Kay's Belara: an absolutely gorgeous blend of fig, lotus, sandalwood, and musk.

Aroma Sanctum's Tea Blossom: a sweet floral-tea blend of honeysuckle, peony, orange blossoms, and green tea.

THERE IS MORE TO SEE AFTER THE JUMP! Just click on the link below.


Gourmands use notes typically found in desserts, such as vanilla, chocolate, ginger, etc. However, they are not to be mistaken with Foodies. Foodies are scents that literally smell like foods, such as cupcake, chocolate cake, etc., while Gourmands use those notes to create unique perfume blends that don't necessarily smell like any specific foods. Many Gourmands can also belong to the Orientals category.

All of the scents featured in this category are from CJ Scents. I am usually not a fan of gourmands, hence, the reason why I don't own gourmands from any other brands, but I love the ones from CJ Scents.

Gingerbread Amber: an in-depth review for this perfume has already been written, and can be read HERE.

Gingermallow: a zesty, yet also warm and smooth blend of ginger and fluffy marshmallow.

Honeywood: an expensive-smelling perfume blend of sweet honey and a warm, woodsy note.

Puff: a refreshing yet calming blend of apricot, powder, vanilla, and musk.


These are the scents that the Citrus, Ozonic (think "fresh air" types of scents), Marine (ocean), and other refreshing blends belong to. Different tea scents, light florals, and even some Orientals can also belong to this category.

Escada's Rockin' Rio: a fun and fruity blend of tangerine, pineapple, pina colada, sugarcane, and peach. It's like a fruit cocktail, but also very bright and fizzy!

Bath & Body Works Optimism: a refreshing fruity-floral scent reminiscent of Clinique Happy, but tempered by a woodsy note, perhaps sandalwood.

Avon Haiku: a bright and effervescent blend of fig, light jasmine, green tea, tempered with smooth and creamy sandalwood, tonka bean, and musk. An in-depth review for this perfume has been written, and can be read HERE.

Philosophy Falling in Love: A very light and lovely blend of juicy berries and vanilla, brightened up with clean musk.


Musky scents tend to stay closer to the skin; they can smell sweet and light, peppery, or even strong and animalic. Musks are difficult to describe; they smell soft, slightly powder, and can be sweet, even. Think of your bare skin right after you've just finished bathing.

Mark's Marrakesh: a sexy yet close-to-the-skin blend of Moroccan jasmine, saffron, and peppery white musk.

Avon's Rare Pearls: if pearl has a scent, this really is how I'd imagine it to smell. Soft, slightly powdery with a soft, "pearlescent" effect of white musk.

Auric Blends' Egyptian Goddess: definitely my favorite musk by far, a seductive blend of sweet sandalwood and white musk. Very Earthy yet spicy and smooth!

Where to buy:

CJ Scents perfumes can be purchased at CJScents.com

Luctor et Emergo can be purchased at Beautyhabit

Chanel, Jo Malone, Annick Goutal, Jean Patou, and Escada perfumes can be purchased at Nordstrom

All Avon and Mark perfumes can be purchased at Avon.com

Mary Kay perfumes can be purchased at MaryKay.com

Aroma Sanctum perfumes can be purchased at AromaSanctum.com

Kuumba Made perfumes can be purchased at KuumbaMade.com

Auric Blends perfumes can be purchased at AuricBlends.com

Bath and Body Works perfume can be purchased at bathandbodyworks.com

**This blog entry contains affiliate links.


  1. Oooh. You have such a nice collection. This was actually very informative to read. I'm always really bad at categorizing perfumes.

    I also have Coco Mademoiselle. It's delightful :)


    1. Aw, thank you for your compliment! :-)
      Coco Mademoiselle is absolutely beautiful.


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