Perfumes: Types and Classification

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Perfumes: Types and Classification. Perfume is any substance made up of various organic and natural ingredients that aromatize or provide a good smell. Always trying to have a unique seal. The word comes from the Latin per fumare, referring to the scent produced by incense.


Perfumes, to be considered as such, must have specific characteristics:


It has to be intense, referring to how strong the aroma is.


The scent must be noticeable. Meaning that you can perceive it easily.


It has to be durable. The smell should last for an extended period of time.


Make sure it is substantive. This refers to the adhesion and resistance of the perfume on the skin.


It must be residual. A perfume can retain its peculiarities for some time in response to its quality.


Now, the smell that we give off when putting on perfume will depend on the pH of our skin. This will give it that personal and particular touch, which is also affected by body temperature, and mainly oil production.


Classification of perfumes


Now, according to their concentration, perfumes have different types.


This means that there can be several presentations of the same perfume or the same aroma. So, let’s get to know them:




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This presentation is one of the most popular, well-known, and highest concentrations. It may contain between 20 and 30% essential oils. At the same time, it maintains a balance concerning the other ingredients that make up the formula.


Thanks to this, perfume is the form that lasts the longest on our skin.


Its use can be both in cold and warm climates. Due to its concentration, the fragrance lingers in both without being affected.




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Like the perfume, the colony also has a fair amount of components (alcohol, essential oils) but lower concentrations.


The cologne has a percentage between 5 and 7% of aromatic oils. And it also offers permanence of the fragrance on the skin for fewer hours than perfume.


Its use is perfect in hot climates. Since the temperatures help highlight the combinations, we can perceive them from a distance. But do not forget to touch up since, as we mentioned, its duration is short.




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It means bathwater.


It contains an intermediate level of concentration of ingredients, between 5 and 15%.


Its formula contains more alcohol than essential oils, so it has a more excellent environmental projection. However, it evaporates faster, and its duration is approximately 2 to 3 hours.


Consequently, it is another type of fragrance that deserves a touch-up. Its use is recommended preferably for open spaces.


Eau de parfum


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It means perfume water. As its name says, it is the most similar presentation to perfume.


It also has a high concentration of aromatic oils between 15 and 20%. This makes the fragrance last longer once applied to the skin.


It differs from perfume in that it has a lower concentration of alcohol, with a lesser predominance. Still, a more significant presence of oils makes it more durable, with a permanence range between 5 and 6 hours.


You can wear it in any climate, even in small spaces, because it does not have an invasive and penetrating aroma.


Eau Fraiche


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In its translation, it means freshwater, and it is what we also know as the famous Splash.


This fragrance has a low concentration of ingredients, between 1 and 3%. So, they have a short duration and serve to refresh the body and give a light aroma. That way, it mixes with the skin’s pH and provides its own smell.


It is for daily use and must be touched up frequently because it only lasts about 1 hour after applying it. It is an excellent option because it is accessible, and the brands offer endless aromas available.




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The elixir is the most condensed version of the fragrances.


They have 30% ingredients, even higher than the perfume itself. And consequently, have a long duration without subsequent retouching, which makes it a good investment, as it is a durable option.


Now that we know the types of perfumes let’s move on to an equally important point, the olfactory family.


We have often heard that a particular perfume is citrus, sweet, or in floral tones. According to the Perfume Academy, there is also a classification of aromas, which is divided into seven olfactory families.


But before knowing the aromatic classification, let’s first talk about the olfactory pyramid.

 The Olfactory Pyramid


The olfactory pyramid constitutes the phases through which the perfume is developed from its application, these being:


The Output Notes


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They are the lightest notes, responsible for activating the sense of smell. They have their name because they are the perfume’s notes during the first minutes immediately after its application. And they are the ones that we first perceive when applying a fragrance.


The Heart Notes


They are responsible for giving identity and personality to the perfume. Its notes are appreciated after the first 15 minutes after application, and its permanence on the skin can be up to 6 hours.


The Background Notes


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They are the ones that give depth and intensity to fragrances.


They are responsible for making the perfume last longer since these notes are usually the most intense.


Okay, now, let’s get to know the olfactory families and their composition.



Olfactive family




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It is full of notes from citrus fruits, and they are fresh and soft aromas.


The most common notes found in this family are lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, orange blossom, among others of the same type.








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As its name indicates, the protagonist is the flower, being the most classic and well-known notes: rose, jasmine, and neroli.


Also, it is complemented with other standard and well-known notes such as geranium, tuberose, lily, iris, mimosa, violet, magnolia, etc.






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It is the French translation of fern. And the fragrances that belong to this family are more to the smell of grass, also containing notes of lavender, coumarin, and oakmoss.


They have a masculine touch.


Other notes that make it up are geranium, violet leaf, basil, juniper, pine, fir, galbanum, and sage.





The warbler belongs to the pine family, similar to the previous Fougère classification. They are based on plants having a deep and earthy base given by the presence of oakmoss. They are also male-inclined for the strength of the notes that compose it.


In this type of fragrance, other notes are bergamot, cistus, patchouli, jasmine rose, sandalwood, vanilla, and others.




As its name suggests, the notes that make up this family are based on wood. From roots, bark, resins, leaves, moss, pineapples to bushes.


The perfumes belonging to this family also contain warm, dry, and fresh notes such as patchouli, sandalwood, cedar, and pine. They can also present a smoky aroma, which makes them strong fragrances.




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The characteristic notes of this type of fragrance are vanilla, myrrh, incense, balsams from Peru and Tolu.


Like cistus, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood, musk, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, pink pepper, and floral notes.


They are warm, sweet, penetrating perfumes with excellent adherence and durability on the skin, as they contain very pronounced background notes.




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It´s a very particular family created to group those notes that could not be classified in the ones we already mentioned. Most of its notes come from food or drinks, which have practically the same base: sweet and intense aromas.


The notes that make up these perfumes are vanilla, caramel, chocolate, milk, cotton candy, coffee, cognac, toffee, almonds, bubble gum.


Now that we know what we owe these particular aromas to in some fragrances, we can use this to determine which family we will lean towards when choosing a perfume.


We already know how to differentiate between one scent and another and the presentation that offers us the most prolonged duration.



And as a bonus, let’s find out which are the best-selling perfumes in the world:


Chance Eau Tender by Chanel.

J’adore, Dior.

Light Blue from Dolce & Gabbana

La Vie Est Belle Lancome.

Love Love Cacharel.

Black Opium Yves Saint Laurent.

Acqua Di Gioia by Armani.

Good Girl, by Carolina Herrera.

Chloe, from Chloe.

Black Xs, by Paco Rabanne.

Happy, De Clinique.

Emporio Ella by Armani.

Kny Energizing, by Donna Karan.


We wanted to leave you 10, but we could not stand it, and we named you 13 so that you have more options to choose from.


We hope that this guide will help you choose and differentiate your favorite fragrance from the rest.