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Perfume Classification

Today it is possible to choose between thousands of different fragrances. To differentiate all these fragrances, several methods exist to classify the perfumes in different groups.
The most used classification is the one of the French society of perfume creators: Société Française des Parfumeurs.
The Society distinguishes seven groups:
  1. Amber: amber, oriental
  2. Boisé:woody
  3. Chypre:Cyprus, a fantasy name
  4. Cuir: leather
  5. Florale: floral
  6. Fougère: fern, a fantasy name
  7. Hesperidée: citrus
Above groups are divided into subgroups again: a description of each subgroup will be given below.
AMBRÉE-ORIENTALE - Amber - Oriental
The group "amber" or "oriental" contains fragrances with soft, powdery, vanilla, animal notes.

The family of Amber-Oriental consists of the following subgroups:
  • Ambré doux: Warm amber
  • Ambré fleuri épicé: Amber - Floral - Spicy
  • Ambré hesperide: Amber - Citrus
  • Ambré fleuri boisé: Amber - Floral - Woody
  • Florientaux: Amber - Floral
  • Ambré fleuri fruité: Amber - Floral - Fruity

BOISÉE - Woody
This group contains warm notes like sandalwood and patchouly, cedar and vetiver. They also often contain lavender and citrus notes.

The family of "boisé" consists of the following subgroups:
  • Boisé: Woody
  • Boisé conifère hespéridé: Woody - Conifer - Citrus
  • Boisé épicé: Woody - Spicy
  • Boisé ambré: Woody - Amber/Oriental
  • Boisé aromatique: Woody - Aromatic
  • Boisé épicé cuir: Woody - Spicy - Leather
  • Boisé marin: Woody - Sea
  • Boisé fruié: Woody - Fruity
  • Boisé musqué: Woody - Musk

CHYPRE - Cyprus
This is the name François Coty gave to a fragrance he made in 1917: the perfume reminded him of the isle Cyprus.
The group of fragrances mainly consists of the perfumes: oak moss, patchouli, labdanum, bergamot, etc.

Chypre can be divided in the following subgroups:
  • Chypre
  • Chypre fruité: Cyprus - Fruity
  • Chypre fleuri aldéhydé: Cyprus - Floral - Aldehyde
  • Chypre cuir: Cyprus - Leather
  • Chypre aromatique: Cyprus - Aromatic
  • Chypre vert: Cyprus - Green
  • Chypre fleuri: Cyprus - Floral

CUIR - Leather
These are fragrance which are different of what we normally imagine when we think of perfume: (very) dry notes which try to imitate the characteristic scent of leather (smoke, burnt wood, tobacco), mixed with floral scents.

The fragrance family Cuir consists of the following subgroups:
  • Cuir: Leather
  • Cuir fleuri: Leather - Floral
  • Cuir tabac: Leather - Tobacco

This vast group comprises all fragrances with a floral heart: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, violet, tuberose, narcissus, etc.

The Florals comprise the following subgroups:
  • Soliflore: A single flower
  • Fleuri musqué: Floral - Musk
  • Bouquet floral: Bouquet of floral perfumes
  • Fleuri aldéhydé: Floral - Aldehyde
  • Fleuri vert: Floral - Green
  • Fleuri boisé fruité: Floral - Woody - Fruity
  • Fleuri boisé: Floral - Woody
  • Fleuri marin: Floral - Sea
  • Fleuri fruité: Floral - Fruity
FOUGÈRE (Fern - fantasy name)
The name of this category is used to describe "fantasy" fragrances based on the scents of a damp forest, freshness, mosses, wood and fern. Important fragrances in this category are: lavender, wood, oak bark, coumarin, bergamot, geranium, etc.
The origins of the name lie in the fragrance "Fougère Royale" which was designed in 1882 by the French perfumer for fragrance producer Houbigant.

The Fougères fragrance family consists of the following subgroups:
  • Fougère
  • Fougère fleurie ambrée: Fern - Floral - Amber/Oriental
  • Fougère ambrée douce: Fern - Soft amber/oriental
  • Fougère épicée: Fern - Spicy
  • Fougère aromatique: Fern - Aromatic
  • Fougère fruitée: Fern - Fruity
Citrus fragrances are based on essential oils taken from the skin of fruits like bergamot, lemon, orange or tangerine.
In this group we will find the first “Eau de Cologne”, which is used by both men and women.

Citrus fragrances can me divided in the following subgroups:
  • Hespéridé: Citrus
  • Hespéridé épicé: Citrus - Spicy
  • Hespéridé aromatique: Citrus - Aromatic
  • Hesperidé fleuri chypré: Citrus - Floral - Cyprus
  • Hesperidé boisé: Citrus - Woody
  • Hesperidé fleuri boisé: Citrus - Floral - Woody
  • Hesperidé musque: Citrus - Musk

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