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Filigree & Shadow

Where fragrances become an art of emotions

Fragrance Notes

Fragrance notes are the essential building blocks of perfumes and colognes, defining the unique olfactory experience that captivates our senses. Like the musical notes in a symphony, fragrance notes are distinct aromatic elements that harmoniously come together to create a captivating composition. These notes can be categorized into three main layers: top, heart, and base notes, each with its own distinct role in the fragrance's overall character. The top notes are the initial burst of scents that greet your senses upon application, quickly giving way to the heart notes that form the core personality of the fragrance. Finally, the base notes linger on the skin for hours, providing the lasting impression that defines the fragrance's true essence. From fresh and invigorating to warm and sensuous, exploring the world of fragrance notes is a delightful journey of discovery and emotion.

Olfactory groups in perfumery refer to the various categories or families that fragrances can be classified into based on their predominant scent characteristics. These groups help both perfumers and consumers understand and categorize the vast array of scents available. There are several main olfactory groups, each with its own distinctive traits. Floral fragrances embody the essence of blooming flowers, evoking a sense of elegance. Amber scents are rich and exotic, often featuring spicy, resinous, or balsamic notes that exude sensuality and warmth. Fresh fragrances capture the crispness of citrus fruits or aquatic elements, offering a revitalizing and invigorating experience. Woody perfumes incorporate notes like cedar, sandalwood, and vetiver, conveying a natural and earthy allure. Aromatic fragrances highlight herbal and green notes, creating a refreshing and herbaceous ambiance. Additionally, there are also fruity, gourmand, and chypre olfactory groups, each with their distinct olfactory characteristics. Understanding olfactory groups can aid individuals in finding scents that resonate with their personal preferences and style, making the art of perfume selection a more enjoyable and tailored experience.

Our fragrances are classified according to Michael Edwards’ Fragrances of the World. Founded by the fragrance expert and author Michael Edwards in 1983, Fragrances of the World is the largest guide to perfume classification that has ever existed. Of the four primary scents (Floral, Amber, Woody, Fresh) there are fourteen subcategories that encompass the relationships of olfactory groups within perfume. These fourteen subcategories are:


A photograph detail of a complex floral bouquet

The term floral refers to a fragrance category that primarily features the scent of flowers. Floral perfumes are inspired by the natural and captivating aromas of various blooms, offering a range of delicate and alluring scents. These fragrances can capture the essence of single flowers, such as rose, jasmine, or lily, or blend multiple floral notes to create more complex and nuanced compositions. The floral family is one of the most popular and traditional fragrance categories, often associated with elegance, and romance. Depending on the specific flowers used, floral perfumes can range from light and airy to rich and heady, catering to a diverse array of preferences and occasions.

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Soft Floral

A photograph detail of delicate flowers

Soft floral perfumes are characterized by their gentle, delicate, and understated floral compositions. Unlike some bolder and more intense floral scents, soft florals are often light, airy, and subtle, creating a sense of grace and elegance. They tend to feature a blend of gentle flower notes, such as lily of the valley, peony, or white flowers, which exude a subtle sweetness without overwhelming the senses. Soft floral perfumes are ideal for those who prefer a more restrained and intimate fragrance experience, perfect for everyday wear or situations where a discreet and sophisticated scent is desired. The overall effect of soft floral perfumes is tender and comforting, creating a captivating aura that is both enchanting and easygoing.

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Floral Amber

A photograph detail of flowers with spices, resins, and vanilla

Floral amber combines the aromatic beauty of floral notes with the warm and rich accords of amber. This olfactory composition blends the elegance and delicacy of flowers with the sensuality and depth of amber, resulting in a harmonious and alluring scent experience. Floral elements, such as rose, jasmine, or ylang-ylang, provide the perfume with a delicate and romantic character, while amber adds a captivating and resinous sweetness with a hint of earthiness. The combination of these two elements creates a well-balanced and sophisticated fragrance that exudes both femininity and sensuality. Floral amber perfumes are often considered timeless and versatile, suitable for both day and evening wear, making them a popular choice for those seeking a rich and enchanting scent with a touch of floral elegance.

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Soft Amber

A photograph detail of sweet spices and resins, and incense

Soft amber showcases the warm, smooth, and subtle aspects of amber as the primary olfactory note. Unlike some more intense and robust amber-based scents, soft amber perfumes feature other delicate and harmonious elements, such as soft floral notes, vanilla, musk, or light woods. These additional components complement and enhance the amber, contributing to an overall sense of warmth and coziness. The result is a refined and subtle fragrance that envelops the wearer in a gentle, intimate, and inviting aura. Soft amber perfumes are well-suited for those seeking a comforting and embracing scent with a touch of sophistication and elegance. They are particularly popular during the cooler months or in the evening, as they offer a soothing and serene olfactory experience.

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A photograph detail of golden resins, opulent flowers, and sweet vanilla

Unlike a specific botanical extract or essential oil, amber in perfumes is often a synthetic creation that replicates the luxurious and inviting aroma of natural ambergris, a rare substance derived from the digestive system of sperm whales. Due to the ethical and environmental concerns surrounding natural ambergris, most modern perfumes use synthetic substitutes to achieve the same olfactory effect. Amber fragrances typically feature a blend of sweet, balsamic, and slightly earthy notes, with nuances of vanilla, benzoin, labdanum, and other resins. The combination of these elements results in a sensual and comforting aroma, making amber a popular base note in many perfumes. It provides depth, longevity, and a lingering allure to fragrance compositions. Amber can also help anchor and blend other notes in the perfume, ensuring a harmonious and well-rounded scent experience. The versatility of amber allows it to be used in various fragrance families, including woody, and floral, offering a touch of warmth and elegance to a wide range of perfume creations.

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Woody Amber

A photograph detail of dried patchouli leaves, oud chips, sandalwood chips, and amber resin

Woody amber combines the warm and resinous notes of amber with the earthy and aromatic characteristics of various wood notes. This olfactory composition creates a sophisticated and alluring scent experience that blends the richness of amber with the natural allure of woods.

In a woody amber perfume, the amber note provides a sweet, balsamic, and slightly powdery base, while the wood notes add depth, complexity, and a sense of grounding to the fragrance. Common wood notes used in woody amber perfumes may include sandalwood, cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver, and guaïacwood, among others. These wood essences impart a dry, smoky, or even leathery aspect to the fragrance, enhancing its warmth and sensuality.

Woody amber perfumes can range from being more amber-centric with subtle wood undertones to compositions where the wood notes are more prominent, with amber acting as a supporting element. This versatility allows for a wide spectrum of woody amber scents, catering to different preferences and occasions. Overall, woody amber perfumes exude elegance, sophistication, and a timeless appeal, making them popular choices for those seeking a refined and captivating fragrance experience.

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A photograph detail of cedar chips, patchouli leaves, pine needles, sandalwood chips, and vetiver roots

Woods captures the warm, earthy, and sometimes aromatic scent of various types of wood. Woody notes in perfumes are inspired by the natural essence of different woods, which can range from smooth and creamy to dry and smoky, adding depth and character to fragrance compositions.

Common wood notes used in woody perfumes include cedarwood, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, guaïacwood, and oud.

Woody fragrances can vary in intensity and character, from light and fresh to rich and complex. They are often used as base notes in perfume compositions, providing longevity and stability to the overall scent. Woody perfumes are appreciated for their grounding and comforting qualities, and woody notes can be blended with other scent families, such as floral, amber, or citrus, to create unique and captivating fragrance experiences.

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Mossy Woods

A photograph detail of amber, citrus, oakmoss, and patchouli

Mossy woody combines the earthy and dry qualities of woody notes with the green and aromatic nuances of moss. This olfactory composition creates a unique and intriguing scent experience that captures the essence of nature and the outdoors.

In a mossy woody perfume, the woody notes, such as cedarwood, sandalwood, or vetiver, provide the warm and earthy foundation of the fragrance. These woods often add depth and richness to the scent. Moss notes, on the other hand, contribute a fresh and green aspect, reminiscent of damp forests or dew-covered foliage. Moss can be naturally derived from oakmoss or synthetic materials that mimic its characteristic scent.

The combination of moss and woody notes results in a well-balanced and complex fragrance that exudes a sense of natural elegance and sophistication. Mossy woody perfumes can evoke a walk through a forest, with the dry and earthy woods mingling harmoniously with the green and aromatic moss, creating a captivating and nostalgic olfactory experience.

It's worth noting that due to regulations and sustainability concerns, some natural moss materials like oakmoss have been restricted in perfumery. As a result, modern mossy woody fragrances often rely on synthetic alternatives or creative blending to achieve a similar green and earthy character while adhering to industry guidelines.

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Dry Woods

A photograph detail of leather, tobacco, and woods

Dry woods encompass the warm, earthy, and occasionally slightly smoky aroma of dried wood essences. Unlike the fresh and green aspects of some woody fragrances, dry woods focus on the more arid and resinous qualities of various wood essences.

Dry woods notes can include leather, tobacco, cedarwood, vetiver, sandalwood, and guaïacwood. These wood notes are often used as base notes in perfume compositions, providing a warm and inviting foundation that adds depth and longevity to the fragrance.

Dry woods perfumes evoke a sense of coziness, sophistication, and a connection to nature. They are often appreciated for their grounding qualities and are well-suited for both daytime and evening wear. Dry woods fragrances can be worn by anyone, and they can be blended with other fragrance families, such as amber, spicy, or floral, to create a variety of captivating and well-balanced perfume compositions.

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A photograph detail of citrus, herbs, woods, lavender and geranium

Aromatic features the fresh, herbaceous, and often spicy scents of various culinary herbs and medicinal plants, evoking a sense of vitality and invigoration.

Common aromatic notes used in perfumes include lavender, rosemary, sage, thyme, and basil. These aromatic notes can be blended with other elements, such as citrus, woody, or floral notes, to create various aromatic fragrance compositions. The combination of these ingredients results in a vibrant and uplifting olfactory experience.

Aromatic perfumes are often associated with a clean and refreshing character, making them popular choices for daytime and casual wear. They have a rejuvenating quality that can boost energy and uplift the mood, making them suitable for a wide range of occasions and seasons.

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A photograph detail of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, lime, oranges, and grapefruit

Citrus captures the zesty, fresh, and invigorating scents of various citrus fruits. Common citrus notes used in perfumes include lemon, orange, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, yuzu, and bergamot.

Citrus notes are typically top notes in perfume compositions, meaning they are the first scents experienced upon application and tend to dissipate relatively quickly. They are widely used to add an initial burst of freshness and brightness to fragrances, setting the tone for the rest of the scent journey.

Citrus perfumes are popular choices for warm weather and daytime wear, as they provide a refreshing and revitalizing effect. They are often combined with other fragrance families, such as floral, woody, or aromatic, to create a wide range of well-balanced and dynamic perfume compositions. Citrus scents in perfumery evoke a sense of vibrancy and lightness, making them a beloved and timeless element in the world of fragrance.

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A photograph detail of a sea breeze, the freshness of a waterfall, and the ozonic note of wet air after a thunderstorm

Water does not refer to an actual liquid component but rather to a fragrance category that aims to capture the fresh, clean, and aquatic scents reminiscent of water or the sea. These fragrances are inspired by the sensation of being near the ocean, a waterfall, or a cool, clear stream.

Water-inspired perfumes often include notes that evoke a sense of aquatic or marine elements, such as Calone, sea salt, marine notes like seaweed and petrichor, water lily, and citrus notes adding a fresh and zesty quality, akin to a splash of water.

These fragrances are designed to evoke a feeling of cleanliness, freshness, and tranquility. They are often associated with a cool, refreshing, and invigorating effect, making them popular choices for warm weather or as a revitalizing scent option after physical activities.

Water-inspired perfumes can vary in intensity, ranging from light and airy to more substantial compositions. They are favored by individuals who appreciate modern and clean scents with a touch of nature’s aquatic elements.

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A photograph detail of fresh-cut grass, violet leaves, and cucumber

Green notes embody the fresh, crisp, and sometimes herbal scents reminiscent of different green plant materials. Green perfumes are inspired by the aromas found in lush, verdant gardens and the natural world.

Common green notes used in perfumes include galbanum, basil, fresh-cut grass, cucumber, fig leaves, and violet leaves. Green notes are often used to create a sense of vibrancy and energy in perfumes. They can be blended with other fragrance families, such as floral, citrus, or woody, to create a wide range of well-balanced and dynamic perfume compositions.

Green perfumes are popular choices for daytime wear and warmer weather, as they offer a refreshing and invigorating effect. They evoke a feeling of being outdoors in nature, surrounded by the scent of fresh vegetation. The green category in perfumery is versatile and appeals to individuals who appreciate natural and clean scents with a touch of herbal freshness.

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A photograph detail of orchard fruits, an array of berries, and a splash of flowers

Fruity notes encapsulate the sweet, juicy, and succulent scents found in a variety of fruits. Fruity perfumes are inspired by the enticing aromas found in a wide range of fruits, adding a playful and lighthearted character to fragrance compositions.

Common fruity notes used in perfumes include citrus fruits, berries, apples, peaches and apricots, and tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango, banana, and passionfruit.

Fruity notes can be used as top, heart, or base notes in perfume compositions, depending on their intended effect and longevity. They are often combined with other fragrance families, such as floral, gourmand, or woody, to create a wide range of well-balanced and delightful perfume compositions.

Fruity perfumes are popular choices for various occasions, and they are particularly favored for daytime wear or in warmer weather. They evoke a sense of playfulness and youthful charm, making them appealing to a broad range of age groups. Fruity notes in perfumery add a touch of sweetness and vivacity, creating a fun and delectable fragrance experience.

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Fragrance notes and olfactive families are the artistic building blocks that weave together the enchanting tapestry of perfumery. The diverse array of notes, from delicate florals to warm ambers and fresh citruses, each play a distinctive role in composing captivating scents that evoke emotions, memories, and desires. Grouped into olfactive families, these notes form a symphony of fragrant harmonies, ranging from the opulence of amber blends to the invigorating zest of aromatic compositions and the purity of green accords. Exploring the fascinating world of fragrance notes and olfactive families offers a delightful journey of discovery, enabling us to find and embrace scents that resonate with our unique personalities and preferences, ultimately enriching our daily lives with the artistry of perfumery.