How Understanding Fragrance Families Can Help When Picking Your Scent

The ‘Fragrances of the World’ fragrance wheel is globally accepted as being the leading industry authority for fragrance classification.
Created in 1992 by Michael Edwards, it explains the relationship between innate fragrance preferences and the fragrance families. It has been described as the only comprehensive, historically accurate, factually reliable, and artistically consistent database of fragrance in existence.
The fragrance wheel has 4 main family groups: Ambery, Woody, Fresh and Floral. Within each of these are a further 14 subgroup families that capture the dominant notes characterising the fragrances. A scent family is a fragrance group including aromas that are similar, share the same characteristics or have complementary differences.
Each of our Saint Cobes fragrances have been specifically developed to represent the 4 primary family groups; AMBA (Ambery), KATAKO (Woody), SABO (Fresh) and FURE (Floral). Most people instinctively choose their preferred cologne fragrance from the same 1 or 2 families, so your gut instinct is usually the right one! The trick is to consider the types of fragrances you’re normally drawn to and look for these in the parfum notes.

The top, heart and base notes work together to create a complex fragrance blend. The top notes are what you experience when you first apply the scent and act as the first impression. The heart notes are the ones that reveal themselves and gives the fragrance their main body. Base notes add depth and richness to a blend as well as acting as an anchor for the entire cologne. These notes provide the lasting impression and will linger on the skin for hours.

We have added below the sub-groups, together with their main notes to provide a guide on what are typically in a fragrance. However, these are often complemented with other fragrance families, so always important to review all the notes included and not just make a choice based on the primary sub-group.
  • Floral: Fresh-cut flowers
  • Soft Floral: Aldehydes & powdery notes
  • Floral Amber: Orange blossom & spices
  • Soft Amber: Incense & amber
  • Amber: Ambery resins
  • Woody Amber: Sandalwood & patchouli
  • Woods Main: Aromatic woods & vetiver
  • Mossy Woods: Oakmoss & amber
  • Dry Woods: Dry woods & leather
  • Aromatic: Lavender & aromatic herbs
  • Citrus: Bergamot & other citrus oils
  • Water: Marine & aquatic notes
  • Green: Galbanum & green notes
  • Fruity: Berries & non-citrus fruits