What are the different types of perfume scents?

What are the different types of perfume scents?

A statement perfume can be as effective as any accessory, but finding the perfect scent for you can take some effort. Since there is such a wide volume of perfumes available, choosing a scent that matches your lifestyle, personality, and preference can be overwhelming. At Hogies, we understand that the world of perfumery can be a little confusing, and not always as straightforward as making a decision based on the first scent you come across.

Join us as we discuss the ins and outs of the different types of fragrances, as well as the different types of perfume available. To help you find your new favourite, we've also included some of our top recommendations for each category. So, if you're ready to explore the world of notes, accords, and aromatic fragrances, keep reading to get started on finding the perfect scent for you.

What are the main perfume scents?

Anything that is designed to be fragrant, whether that be perfume, aftershave, candles, or something else, will adhere to one of the four main fragrance families. These four families include floral, oriental, fresh, and woody. Knowing these four categories will make it easier when discovering the types of scents that you like, and you don't just have to stick to just one. When we imagine the different types of scents on a wheel, we can see that there are multiple subcategories that combine the different types of fragrances. This means we can get combinations like floral oriental, or fruity and fresh.

To create these combinations, a perfume might have many different notes that are combined to cover the various categories in the wheel. Usually, a perfume will adhere to just two of these categories at most, but sometimes they may have notes from an entirely different category which will evaporate within an hour after application, these are called top notes.

What are fragrance accords and notes?

In perfumery, creating an effective fragrance isn't as simple as choosing one scent. Many ingredients must come together to form a singular unique aroma, this is the accord. For example, if your perfume has notes of vanilla, bergamot, and amber, each of these notes is a single scent that comes from an essential oil. When blended together, they make one distinctive aroma, known as the accord.

These notes are also part of a fragrance pyramid. Top notes evaporate the quickest, and heart notes last a little longer, but the base notes are going to linger for several hours or days. Therefore it's always important to check the notes of a perfume to make sure you're left with a scent you like throughout the day! Fragrance pyramids can contain many different notes but if we take the above example to simplify it, if you want a long-lasting vanilla scent, make sure this is the perfume's base note and not the top note. If you like the smell of the accord but aren't keen on bergamot as a single scent, make sure that bergamot isn't the base note of your perfume.

What are the different types of fragrance?

Now that you know a little more about the different types of fragrances, and how they're created, we can take a closer look at what those scents actually mean. This will help you to find your signature scent.

Oriental perfume

With notes derived from exotic and far away scents, oriental perfumes can usually be described as warm and creamy, or sometimes packing a little bit of spice. This is perfect for those who like to smell feminine, but not sweet or fruity. The Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche is an excellent option for those interested in oriental accords. It has a more refined scent, without the complexities of multiple blends of notes. Bronze Goddess uses bergamot, amber, vanilla, Tiare flower, and coconut to create a distinctly unique and attractive fragrance.

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 50ml Eau Fraiche Skinscent £39.99 (RRP £52.00 saving £12.01)

Floral oriental perfume

Floral oriental perfumes use a lot of exotic scents such as vanilla, mandarin, jasmine, and cinnamon. Usually, they combine elements of both sweet and spicy to create a unique accord. The Estee Lauder Modern Muse Eau de parfum is a great example of a floral oriental perfume, with base notes of luxury Madagascan vanilla and amber wood and heart notes of jasmine and fresh lily, the scent is completed with top notes of honeysuckle nectar and mandarin. This perfume is perfect for those who like to evoke an air of mystery as well as tranquillity, as these perfumes are more full-bodied and complex, but not too overpowering.

Estee Lauder 50ml Modern Muse £69.99 (RRP £78.00 saving £8.01)


Sweet floral perfume

Within the floral category, there are a few different options from sweet floral to fruity floral. Floral perfumes are ideal for the spring and summer seasons as they reflect the sweet smells of blooming flowers. If you're looking for something sweet but not sickly, we'd recommend a fragrance like Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers which has top notes of peach, bergamot, melon and osmanthus but is well balanced out by base notes of sandalwood and moss to give a grounded floral scent, like walking through a meadow.

Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers 100ml Eau De Toilette £13.50 (RRP £30.00 saving £16.50)

Fresh perfume

Designed to be crisp and refreshing, fresh perfumes are invigorating and quite captivating. They're perfect for those looking to strike a balance between traditional and modern. If this is the kind of fragrance you'd like to add to your collection, we would recommend choosing something like the Davidoff Cool Water Woman 50ml Eau De Toilette. It's a light scent that is crisp, with a little bit of tartness from its fruity top notes of blackcurrant, pineapple, and citrus. Blended with heart notes of lily of the valley, water lily, and honeydew, the perfume is rounded off with base notes of amber, mulberry and vetiver.

Davidoff Cool Water Woman 50ml Eau De Toilette. £17.99 (RRP £39.99 saving £21.01)


Woody perfume

Lastly, for those who prefer a muskier and rich earthy scent, a woody perfume may be just what you're looking for. This category of perfume is characterised by scents inspired by the great outdoors, like smoke, vetiver, and petrichor. Lots of these scents are typically associated with male fragrances despite them being universally loved scents. If you want a woody perfume that's a bit more traditionally feminine, we'd recommend opting for something that has woody base notes and fresh or floral top notes such as the Chloe Nomade eau de toilette. The base notes of this fragrance contain strong oakmoss, amber wood, patchouli, white musk, and sandalwood, followed by refreshing heart notes of freesia, rose, jasmine and peach rounded off with top notes of Mirabelle, bergamot, lemon, and orange.

Chloe Nomade 50ml Eau De Toilette £47.99 (RRP £78.00 saving £30.01)

What are the different types of perfume?

When choosing a signature scent, you might be asked which type of perfume you prefer, or you may see lots of options and not know what the difference is between them all. It is worth noting that the type of perfume does not always refer to the type of scent but rather, how concentrated it is.

It is just as important to choose the right type of perfume as it is to choose a scent that you like. There are six main types of perfume, let's take a brief look at the different types, ranked in order of essential oil concentration and affordability:

  • Parfum - the most expensive type which contains the most amount of essential oils (20-30%) and the least amount of alcohol, will last for 12-24 hours.
  • Eau de parfum - contains 15-20% essential oils and will last for 8-12 hours.
  • Eau de toilette - the most common type, contains 5-15% of essential oils and will last between 2-4 hours.
  • Eau de cologne - contains 2-4% of essential oils and will last up to 2 hours.
  • Eau fraiche - contains 1-3% of essential oils and will last up to an hour.
  • Perfume oils - a newer creation, perfume oils contain 20% fragrant essential oils but also use oils like jojoba oil as a carrier in place of water or alcohol and can last up to 12 hours.

Skin sensitivity, consistency preference, how long you'd like the scent to last, and what occasion you're wearing your perfume to can all play a part in choosing the right type. For example, if your skin is irritated by alcohol, you might wish to opt for a perfume oil as they use carrier oils instead. However, perfume oils are very thick in consistency and can't really be sprayed onto the skin, so you would need to rub them onto pressure points to get the full effect. Alternatively, you could opt for a parfum which contains less alcohol than an eau de toilette. If you just want something light to freshen up throughout the day and wear through the week, try an Eau Fraiche.

Find your signature scent at Hogies

Curating a collection of quality perfumes can be costly, let alone a challenge to find those perfect scents you love. That's why we offer different types of fragrances from a wide range of brands at discounted prices. So, if you're ready to explore some new scents, browse our extensive range of fragrances here at Hogies Online.