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To most people smell isn’t just a fragrance, food or surrounding; it evokes a memory.


With smell being our most powerful sense and having a passion for fragrance, hence the launch of our new company Scented Weddings, we thought our first blog should be an introduction to the Fragrance Wheel.


A complex subject with so much history, origin, secrets and meanings but the basic principles are below and have been used by discerning Head Parfumiers, Fragrance Houses old and new alike for years.


Construction of the Top, Middle (also known as the heart) and Base notes we alike to a conductor with their orchestra, all different wonderful instruments and sections with different notes and scales brought together to sound beautiful. A Head Parfumier does this for you to smell beautiful, strike different emotions when wearing and to attract people too. All personal preference of course, just like music and plenty to choose from. How to choose a fragrance and top tips will come along at a later date.


What are the fragrance families?


Like all of us, fragrances can be broken down into their own groups or family trees, but instead of sharing a blood line or genes, however, fragrances share notes, back to our conductor again and other characteristics that define their overall similarities. As individuals, more often than not, we tend to lean toward a particular fragrance family whether we know it or not, your nose does the talking! Like us, perfumes, blends and notes are unique and very much like families today, they are all blended in different ways, if you saw it on paper it shouldn’t work but it does. Therefore, when we show the wheel, you will see that some notes will appear in more than one section. A little bit like cooking, sweet and sour, spice and sweet, hot and cold go together.


There are four main fragrance categories:


Fresh |Floral |Oriental |Woody




Within those four main categories fall 13 families, according to "Fragrances of the World," by scent guru Michael Edwards. And beyond those 13 are numerous combinations of notes that blur the fragrance lines.


· Fresh Notes Edwards' scale of fresh notes is broken down into greens, aquatics and citrus with notes on either side of those blurring into the floral and woody categories that make up his fragrance wheel. Green notes are often associated with the crisp scents of the outdoors -- newly cut grass, green flowers, herbs. Water notes invoke the spirit of the sea or the smell of rain. One of the oldest fragrance families, citrus is comprised of the juices of lemons, oranges, bergamot, grapefruit and mandarins.


· Floral Notes

The Florals encompass a wide range of blooms, from a single rose petal to a medley of floral bouquets. The floral group is a very popular note group with perfumers as new notes are introduced all the time. According to Edwards' fragrance wheel, the floral group of fragrances expands to include soft florals, floral orientals, eventually leading into the Oriental group with soft orientals. When you think of soft florals, think light floral scents dusted with powder; they are drier notes, whereas the floral oriental consists of commingling of florals with sweet and spicy notes.


· Oriental Notes Just like its name suggests, the Oriental group is comprised of notes that are sweet, spicy and overall exotic. Notes like amber and vanilla are oftentimes present in the oriental group. Edwards' oriental group includes soft oriental, oriental and woody oriental before officially crossing into the Woody notes group. Oriental notes are richer and bolder; spices like cardamom and clove make up the oriental notes, as well as chocolate.


· Woody Notes Are what they say on the tin, the Woody group consists of your aromatic wood notes, sandalwood, cedarwood, oak. You will commonly find patchouli mixed in with the woody notes as well. In summary,

Fresh notes are greens and water scents, Floral notes are your range of flowers, Oriental notes are rich, bold and spicy and the Woody scents are your aromatic wood notes These are shown in his wheel above. What about Fougere? The Aromatic Fougere is at the hub of the fragrance wheel because it takes elements from all the other fragrance families. You probably have seen fragrances classified as fougere scents, which translated means "fern" in French. Fougere fragrances are made by combining lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin, a synthetic form of Tonka bean, Oakmoss gives the scent a sweet, woody quality, and the coumarin smells like newly mowed hay. On a fragrance chart, a fougere fragrance would generally fall somewhere on the border between woody and fresh.


This is just a small introduction into the exciting, evocative and big world of fragrance. We will enjoy sharing tips, facts, favourites, our own blending experiences, where to buy, top tens and exciting up to date news on fragrance for all.


Scented wishes.

Karen, Gail and Lisa

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