You've Got to Talk the Talk
The art of Perfumery requires that those working on creating fragrances are speaking the same “language”. Perfumers have created their own vocabulary for the building blocks of fragrances which are often divided into different groups, or families. These classifications help to order the world of perfumery and allow for more effective communication about the smells we encounter.
The table shows these Fragrance Families, along with the divisions (if any) and subdivisions within each group. Learning the language is the first step for any Perfumer. The next step is learning which raw materials express the notes the Perfumer is trying to achieve. This table also contains examples of raw materials that typify the aroma of each subdivision.
Remember, any finished fragrance will almost certainly contain notes from many different categories in order to create a more interesting and dynamic scent. The structure of this classification system is not intended to restrict the Perfumer, rather to facilitate discussion between Perfumers about the dizzying array of aromas that can be created.