At Fumerie last week, I saw testers grouped by fragrance families: citrus, floral, woody — well, you get the idea. It inspired two thoughts. First, is there a way to organize fragrances that might speak more directly to what perfume shoppers really want? Next, do I have a personal fragrance classification system?
My guess is that most non-perfume-fiend fragrance shoppers would be happy in a store that classified fragrance fairly simply. Five categories come to mind. “Clean” is the first. I bet “clean” is the first descriptor lot of perfume shoppers utter. (A related category might be, “I don’t really like perfume, but.”)
Next, I’d label a shelf “sexy.” Shoppers might not come out and say it, but a lot of them are looking for babe- or dude-magnet elixirs. We can put the fruity patchoulis there. Good luck to them. Other categories might include “smells exactly like what it says it is” (Demeter, soliflores, most Jo Malones), “just buying the prestige and/or cool factor,” “macho,” and “dessert.”
A personal perfume collection can, of course, organize itself on a whole different scheme. For instance, Robin says she’d list of few of her perfume families as “spawn of Angel,” “wood pudding,” and “Olivia Giacobetti.”
Here are a few (not all!) of the categories in my own perfume collection with sample contents:
Other categories might be “wacky,” “lovely floral,” and “perfect for August.”
Do you have a personal fragrance classification system? Do tell!
Note: top image shows a grouping of iris fragrances at Fumerie in Portland, via their Facebook page.