To create the fragrances we know, perfumery uses numerous essential oils, absolutes and aromatic compounds that are obtained from natural sources or artificially created to reproduce certain odours.
These natural sources are usually plants and flowers, fruits and herbs or woods and resins; however, some ingredients can be too difficult or expensive to extract so synthetic substitutes are used, such as musk, for example.
Not everyone knows that notes are not actual ingredients, but precise scent descriptions rarely correspond to an exact ingredient!
There are thousands of fragrances in the world, and the work of grouping them is still ongoing; according to the traditional classification, fragrances are grouped into olfactory families based on their main theme.
The Société Française des Parfumeurs recognises 7 olfactory families, citrus, floral, fougère, powdery, oriental woody and leathery, and 47 subcategories in total.
Written by Adele