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FAMILIES

 

Fragrance classification can be confusing. There are some standard industry descriptions and even these can vary from brand to brand, country to country and mainstream to niche.

 




Fragrance classification can be confusing. There are some standard industry descriptions and even these can vary from brand to brand, country to country and mainstream to niche. For example, the classic chypré fragrance category can be subdivided down further to floral chypré, woody chypré, leather chypré etc. This is not really necessary, basic sell-defined blocks of simple description allow our trained fragrance experts to explore the fragrance choices with a particular family and find something that compliments a customer perfectly. As the fragrance technologies develop, more and more subtleties in fragrance classification emerge. Aromachemistry is giving us new olfactory perspectives every day. The gourmand and marine families are relatively new. Mugler’s Angel exploded the gourmand facet into the industry, carving a candyfloss and patchouli shaped hole for itself. Gourmand or foody scents are arguably one of the most successful tastes in modern perfumery. Pierre Bourdon’s influential Cool Water for Davidoff and Issey Miyake’s classic eponymous scent may be all conquering but for their time were revolutionary and introduced the world to ozonic or marine notes, fresh air and the craving for clean detergent-like fragrances.

EAUX DE PARFUMS


Eaux de parfums have between 12% and 18% perfume oil. After the head notes have come off, 20-30% of the fragrance will linger on the skin for up to 18 hours.

EAUX DE TOILETTES


Eaux de toilettes have approximately 8% to 10% perfume oil. They are lighter formulation designed to be refreshed more regularly. The word toilette is derived from the French word toile, a small piece of cloth laid on the dressing table in the morning.

COLOGNES


Colognes have always traditionally been perceived as a more masculine product, but this has changed so much in recent years, with more fragrance houses using the cologne structure to promote the idea of lighter more summery fragrances to women.

 

THE FRAGRANCE FAMILIES


The eight families we use at Penhaligon’s are Citrus, Aromatic, Chypré, Fougère, Floral, Woody, Oriental and Oud.

 


CITRUS


Citrus fragrances are characterized by sharp, fresh tangy notes. They are a classic family of fragrances, containing lemon, lime, mandarin, grapefruit, orange and bergamot. Other notes such as pomelo, yuzu and cedrat can be used and complimented by the beautiful elements of the bitter orange tree such as neroli, petitgrain and orange blossom. Floral facets and chypré elements are sometimes dropped in along with a touch of spice or woods. But generally speaking, citrus fragrances are light, clean, classic in style and discreet.

Our citrus fragrances include our hero scent Blenheim Bouquet from 1902 and Quercus, a mix of citrus zest, white floral notes and warm amber from 1996.

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AROMATIC


Aromatic fragrances are more herbaceous and green in tone. Usually a blend of woods, lavender, herbs and warm citrus notes; aromatic scents are blended with care and attention to subtlety and wearablity. They make wonderful everyday fragrances and wear close to the skin. They have tremendous warmth and finesse.

Our aromatic fragrances include the Portraits Collection patriarch Lord George and the chilled, stylish Juniper Sling.

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CHYPRÉ


Chypré fragrances are one of the truly great fragrances styles of all time. Chypré is French for Cyprus where much of the oakmoss was originally sourced from. The benchmark scent is François Coty’s Chypre de Coty from 1917. Real oakmoss is a vital component in chypré fragrances and is a defining note along with ciste-labdanum (a rock rose), patchouli, bergamot and the addition of jasmine and rose.

We have two chypré fragrances, Empressa, inspired by the Trade Routes into London and the sparkling raspberry rush of Eau sans Pareil, part of our Anthology collection, re-issued in 2011.

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FOUGÈRE


Fougère fragrances are the masculine counterpart of the chypré. They are one of the oldest and most distinctive families in perfumery. Many of the world’s biggest masculine scents are fougère or fougère influenced: Antaeus by Chanel, Polo by Ralph Lauren, Geoffrey Beene’s Grey Flannel, and the much maligned Brut by Fabergé.

Penhaligon’s have two very distinctive fougère fragrances; the hunting green English Fern from 1910 and the award winning Sartorial, created by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, inspired by the cutting rooms of Savile Row.

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FLORAL


The floral family is a large and diverse family of fragrances including soliflores; single note florals and floral bouquets, fragrances created from several floral sources such as Lady Blanche and the decadent tropical floral Amaranthine, created by Bertrand Duchaufour.

This family also contains our cult scent Luna, a dance of Rose, Jasmine and Bergamot, inspired by the Goddess of the Moon.

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WOODY


The woody category is self explanatory, woody in tone, dry and fresh. Woods are beautiful notes in fragrance, elegant and distinctive, lending the wearer a touch of class and sophistication.

Our woody fragrances include the bestselling Endymion, with its wonderful, swirling black coffee note and Opus 1870, built around a blend of cedarwood, incense and sandalwood.

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ORIENTAL


Oriental fragrances are some of the deepest, richest and most sensual fragrances in perfumery’s canon. They are defined by warm notes of vanilla, amber, balsams, incense, precious woods and musks. They are statement scents, bold and personal.

Penhaligon’s have a eclectic range of oriental fragrances, from the smoky opulence of Roaring Radcliff to the vintage dandyism of our original fragrance Hammam Bouquet from 1872.

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OUD


Oud is extracted from the Asian agar tree, large evergreens native to southeast Asia. The dark resin they produce is called agarwood or Oud, and is one of the most expensive fragrance raw materials in the world, bringing an animalistic depth and incredible longevity to fragrance.

Our oud fragrances follow the spice route and include Halfeti with a spiced rose heart inspired by the intense black roses of Turkey, and Oud De Nil with sweet orange blossom entwined with rose, oud and papyrus.

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