What Are the Different Types of Scents for Perfume and Cologne?

Reviewed by Justin Lim
Reviewed by Justin Lim

Probably reviewed every hair styling products, thankful that his hair is still intact. Loves travelling and trying to be healthy and pump some muscles at the same time!

Table of Contents

Are you a perfume lover but don’t know how many types of scents perfumes or cologne have to offer? That’s totally relatable.

Buying your next fragrance may seem easy, but getting the best scent out of hundreds available in the shop makes the whole process quite complicated. Therefore, having a proper guide on scent types of perfumes and colognes is the way to select the one that meets your scent demands the most.

If you are wondering what different types of scents are for perfume & cologne, don’t worry, as all of us have been in the same boat.

To make it easier for you, we have covered all types of scents that perfumes or colognes have in store for you so that your choice becomes precise on which one goes with your choice the best. 

What are the different types of scents for perfume & cologne?

Scents of perfumes or colognes belong to scent families, and there are high chances that you have smelled each fragrance from any of them once in a lifetime. In this portion, we will cover the scent families and the fragrances that belong to them so that you can know about them better.

There are four main families or types of scents which include Oriental, Fresh, Woody, and Floral, with each of them having its own sub-families too. Here are all the details you need to know about different types of scents for perfume and cologne.

1. Oriental Scent

The Oriental family can easily be described as seductive or exotic thanks to the rich exotic scents that it has to offer. This family is also called as amber family, and its main constituents include vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, myrrh, oponax, and a few others. 

When it comes to the fragrance of the perfumes belonging to this family, they are quite sweet, spicy, and warm at the same time. The perfumes made in this family are not only rich but also sensual since they are made of notes from vanilla, cinnamon, etc., along with likes of orange blossom, jasmine, and more. 

Sub-family of Oriental Scent (fragrance)

  • Soft oriental, including incense and warm spices mixed with floral notes.
  • Oriental, including vanilla, musk, and sweet and warm notes like cinnamon.
  • Woody oriental, including sandalwood or earthy notes like patchouli mixed with sweet and spicy notes.  

Oriental Perfumes

  • Shalimar Guerlain (feminine)
  • Obsession Calvin Klein (feminine)
  • Habit Rouge Guerlain (masculine)
  • A Men Mugler (masculine)
  • Ambre Parfum d’Empire (unisex)
  •  Eau Noire Dior (unisex)

2. Fresh Scent

Offering zesty, refreshing, and zesty smells, the fragrances from fresh scent families comprise greens, water, and citrus notes. This kind of scent is mostly used in men’s perfumes or colognes compared to that made for women. It is because they are usually paired with spicy notes to create a more powerful fragrance.

When it comes to green notes, the fresh scent is usually comparable with leafy and herbal scents for an elevating and inspiring smell. The water fragrances belonging to this family are made using aquatic notes like sea spray. Last but not least, fragrances with a citrus feel are made using mandarin, lemon, bergamot, etc.

Sub-family of Fresh Scent (fragrance)

  • Greens include perfumes that smell of crushed green leaves or freshly mowed lawns.
  • The water category consists of perfumes giving an aroma of rain or sea spray mixed with oceanic notes.
  • The citrus is yet another sub-family of fresh scents that give the smell of bergamot or mandarins.
  • Aromatic is the last sub-family of fresh scents, which is known for mixing clean and fresh herbs with woody scents or lavender.

Fresh Perfumes

  • Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet (feminine)
  • Atelier Cologne (feminine)
  • Cool Water – Davidoff 
  • Acqua Di Gio – Giorgio Armani

The Woody scent family basically belongs to the warm tone family of perfumes or colognes that offers a captivating and mysterious fragrance to its users and the people around them. The notes coming out of these perfumes are like that coming from wood materials like moss, resin, trees, pine cones, bark, etc. 

3. Woody Scent

These kinds of perfumes are usually made by mixing wood-like fragrances, including patchouli or sandalwood, with cedar which has a drier note comparatively. If the warmth of the perfume is to be toned down by any brand, they usually then incorporate some fresh notes into it, including floral or citrus. 

Sub-family of Woody Scent (fragrance)

  • Dry woods that include smoky and smoldering scents mixed with a leather kind of aroma.
  • The sub-family woods consist of aromatic scents like sandalwood, cedarwood, and vetiver.
  • Mossy woods include sweet and smooth earthy scents like amber, oakmoss, etc.

Woody Perfumes

  • Woody Arabian Oud (unisex)
  • Gentleman Reserve Privee by Givency (masculine)
  • No 09 Posala Odin by Odin New York (masculine)
  1. Floral Scent

It is the most popular and the most common family out of all four. Any perfume or cologne that comes with a sweet or flowery kind of fragrance belongs to this category without any doubt. Not only are these perfumes available in lighter and sweet tones but also in many intense and powerful tones too.

The kind of fragrance that perfumes from this family offer, this scent is usually included in female perfumes and very rarely in men’s perfumes. They usually smell powdery notes or fresh-cut flowers, which women usually love compared to men. 

Sub-family of Floral Scent (fragrance)

  • Soft floral scents hint at a creamy, soft, powdery, and sweet touch.
  • The floral Oriental sub-family includes subtle spice notes with the floral ones.
  • The floral sub-family gives out the scent of freshly cut flowers like roses or lilies.
  • The fruity sub-family gives out the fragrance notes of edible, sweet, and tropical fruits like apple, peach, and pear. 

Floral Perfumes

  • CHANEL. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Spray
  • Gucci. Bloom Eau de Parfum
  • Valentino. Voce Viva Eau de Parfum
  • Red Door – Elizabeth Arden
  • Bloom by Gucci

Frequently Asked Questions

How many types of scents are there?

The scents in perfumes or colognes are broken up into four different families, namely floral, fresh, woody, and oriental. All of them come with their own sub-family to differentiate from each other. Each scent family comes with distinctive characteristics, due to which people tend to get attracted to one scent family compared to the others due to their personal preferences. 

What is a floral scent in a perfume?

The floral scent in a perfume is also known by other words, including floral odor, aroma, etc. This means the perfume is composed of all the aroma compounds or volatile organic compounds that have come out of or emitted by floral tissue, like flower petals.

What does a woody smell mean?

Like the woody word in its name, any woody scent is characterized by notes that have driven by all wood materials. These includes moss, trees, resins, roots, and some of the leaves or grasses that come with earthy qualities. These fragrances are usually characterized by citrus or aromatic head notes, and people smelling them would find dry, crisp, dominant resin or tree smell found in the base notes.

What does it mean by “fresh” in perfume scent?

The freshness in perfumes determines its zesty, uplifting, and cooling notes, making them suitable to be added to almost all Eau de colognes. This kind of scent is ideally suitable for splashing on your body, specifically in the summer. This scent family features notes like bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, etc. 

How would you describe Oriental fragrance or smell?

The oriental scent family of perfumes is a broad family that covers features of prominent notes like that myrrh, vanilla, etc. The kind of scent that perfume or cologne belongs to this family is distinguished by its sensual and warm notes, like that of spices, amber, vanilla, etc. 

Will I only like fragrances from one family?

No, this is not necessary for you to like fragrances from one family only. Since the choice of fragrance depends on the time of the year, one’s personal taste and mood. And, even on what one has eaten before buying a perfume. However, it is quite rare to find anyone’s perfume wardrobe jumbled with perfumes belonging to all families. Since, there is a high chance you may get attracted to fragrances from one family compared to the other. Unknowingly, buy fragrances from the one you liked the most.


There is no denying that shopping for your next perfume or cologne can turn out to be quite tricky with hundreds of options available in the market or the shop you have visited. Therefore, it is quite important that you are properly guided on fragrance types, scents, and strengths to check what category is the perfect fit for you according to your needs and demands. Therefore, to make it easier for you, we have covered the four most common scent types of perfumes or colognes. These includes floral, fresh, oriental, and woody. Also, with their sub-families for you to check and select which meets your choice of fragrance the most.



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