How to Choose a Fragrance.

How to Choose a Fragrance when Purchasing From a Website.


We are typically familiar with all of nature’s wonderful aromas, but often forget some of them when selecting our fragrances.  We tend to lean towards the scents we are most familiar with and miss half of the fragrance wheel.  The fragrance wheel below (larger version at is a tool to identify aromas that delight our senses, and remind us what else is out there.  Around the wheel, there are ten aromatic categories:  woody, greenery, minty, medicinal, herbal, fruity, floral, food like, spicy and earthy.   


Within each fragrance there are three types of notes to identify with from our scents: a top, middle, and base.  A top note is typically the first scent you smell, middle is the second note, and the base notes are typically the longest lasting scent notes.  Often in a description you can locate which these are, and what the long lasting scent will be.  More detail within each category is listed below.


  1. Woodsy scents include cedar, patchouli, sandalwood, and vetiver. They are commonly known as earthy, sensual, and soft.  These make excellent base notes which typically last a long time.


  1. Greenery scents are typically split into two categories, Woodsy and Fresh. Fresh includes firs and pines, while woodsy includes things like carrot seeds.  These scents bring your mind to the fresh crisp outdoors and open spaces or to the smell of the holiday.  


  1. Minty Fragrances are a refreshing, clearing and mood lifting smell. Whether, this comes from the dried mint or fresh succulent leaves of these plants.  Typically mint is split into menthol like peppermint, and warming like wintergreen.


  1. Medicinal scents are fresh and sometimes woody. These scents are used in many aromatherapy applications.  Familiar scents like eucalyptus and tea tree fit in this category.


  1. Herbal scents are bold, green, refreshing smells to help awaken your mind and senses. These are the herbs that are thought to be hung and dried for use, some like chamomile or sage is used for aromatherapy. 


  1. The fruity scents are nice top notes and great for lifting your mood. Fruity category can be split into sweet like bergamot, or fresh like lemon or lime.


  1. Florals are a single or combination of individual floral notes and are known for being romantic and feminine.


  1. The foodlike scents make a great top / foundational note. These scents make up the precious heart of the scent and range from strong to light smells. 


  1. In the spice scents, the properties range from sharp to warm and make up good top notes. These are scents that will awaken your senses.


  1. Earthy scents are reminiscent of the earth and these scents are exotic, mysterious, warming tones.


I recommend looking at the scent wheel as a tool to identifying your preferred fragrances.  Everyone reacts slightly differently to each scent based on their own personal experiences.  Try a scent from each category.  Right down what feelings that scent evokes.  How satisfying is that scent for you.  Once you experience each category you will truly know what scents you prefer.

Click Picture for full size fragrance wheel.