You cannot walk by a most boutiques or stores intended for women buyers without smelling the scent of perfume. Perfumes are intended to cover a bad scent with a better one, or to give something a more desirable scent. This could even go back to eras where people chose not to shower, preferring instead to mask their bodily odor with perfumes. Scents have also been used for religious purposes. The most known would be how frankincense is used for Christian religion. The familiar, woody scent is used to represent prayer and the divine. This has been true for centuries. Perfumes have existed for ages. They were originally made from natural compounds found in flowers and oils. They are also made from fruits, blossoms, as well as resins from trees, which is what frankincense is derived from. Flowers are still prominently used to describe a perfumes intended scent despite advancements in the safe application of more newly-used chemicals in perfumes. “Flowery” isn’t a word used by most perfume connoisseurs, though. How, then, do you accurately describe a perfume?
Despite perfume’s long history of being used for aromatic purposes, it’s only use as far as I know, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that a man named Michael Edwards conceived the classification of perfume scents known as the fragrance wheel. This fragrance wheel consists of five main categories: Floral, Oriental, Fresh, Woody, and Aromatic Fougère. While floral, oriental, woody, and fougère refer to scents, especially flowery, more commonly known to be perfume scents, fresh refers to citrus and ocean scents that have been conceived through advancements in chemistry and technology that allow for people to make perfumes. Within the five categories of the fragrance wheel, there are more specific categories. For example, in the fresh scents, there is water and citrus scent. There is even a green scent in this category! The fragrance wheel even accounts for similarities in scents. For example, between floral and oriental scent, there is a sub-category called floral oriental. This means that no scent is neglected in the fragrance wheel. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page where I got all this information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfume#Fragrance_wheel.
Next time you see a perfumes in a shop, don’t forget that it’s not flowery. It can be woody, floral, fresh, oriental, or fougère.