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How to choose a fragrance

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

When you view our fragrance listings you will see that we will have given each one a classification which relates to the type of smell and which family of scent the perfume belongs to.

It can be really difficult describing a scent and this is just to help give you some pointers when choosing something for you or as a gift.

The way perfumes are classed into families can be shown in the Fragrance Wheel as created by perfume expert Michael Edwards and it probably the easiest to use:

The fragrance wheel has four main families: Floral, Oriental, Woody and Fresh. Under each are sub-groups; these groups describe the scent in closer detail for example: ‘Floral Oriental’, ‘Fresh Citrus’. Where they place on the wheel matters and reflects a more scientific definition of how this scent is interpreted by the way we smell them.

We usually prefer scents from only one or two families, though you may have an emotional connection to others as fragrances often link to our strongest memories.

The descriptions we use are:

  • Floral – Fresh-cut flowers

  • Soft Floral – Aldehydes and powdery notes

  • Floral Oriental – Blossom and sweet spices

  • Soft Oriental- Incense and amber

  • Oriental – Oriental resins

  • Woody Oriental – Sandalwood and patchouli

  • Woods Main – Aromatic woods, Oud and vetiver

  • Mossy Woods – Oakmoss and amber

  • Dry Woods – Dry woods and leather

  • Aromatic – Lavender and aromatic herbs

  • Citrus – Bergamot and other citrus oils

  • Water – Marine and aquatic notes

  • Green – Galbanum and green notes

  • Fruity – Berries and non-citrus fruits

You’ll probably be drawn to some instinctively, while others will make you just say 'Not for me!' and you will know straight away if the scent is for you!

Skin types and how perfume can react to you

Did you know that certain skin types have certain properties when it comes to fragrance? I love Kaju-en but it doesn't love me, it smells amazing on my partner but is not his scent of choice where his preference is Arcadia.

My skin is fairly dry and I have to make sure that it is moisturised which will help the scent hold on me and last longer. Our vegan solid lotion bar is unscented which helps to give the base the fragrance needs without changing the scent, my choices are Kawaii and Ichijiku (as pictured and is a Woody scent) but I do have a soft spot for Lori-an and the memories it brings to mind. Dryer skins work best with the orientals, woody tones and aromatics

If you have a normal skin type you are likely to find that most perfumes will smell pretty true on your skin so for you it is a little easier.

If your skin is oily then sweet notes can overpower the blend, where a citrus or fresh scent would be better for you with the middle and base notes becoming more emphasised than on a dry skin and will bring out all of the subtle tones.

As with anything in life whatever you choose should make you happy. Our scents are niche, small batch fragrances that have no designation as to being male or female. We believe your choice should not be limited by gender and in parts of the globe Rose is traditionally a male fragrance so feel free to try something different.

If you are interested in any of our fragrances we can supply a £10 bottle that can be used as a tester, enough for a good trial to wear at different times or settings and will give you an understanding of how the scent works for you.

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