The Fragrance Wheel of Popular Scents
What is a Fragrance Wheel?
A fragrance wheel is a circular illustration that shows fragrances as a spectrum. The various individual scents are placed according to their similarities and differences and roughly divided into four groups: fresh, woody, floral and oriental.
The first fragrance wheel was devised somewhere around 1949, but the one most widely used today was designed by Michael Edwards in 1992, although it has been updated several times since, and now features 14 sub-categories of scents. These are:
- Soft Floral
- Floral Oriental
- Soft Oriental
- Woody Oriental
- Mossy Woods
- Dry Woods
How is it Used?
Fragrance wheels are useful to both retailers and consumers, as they can be used to identify a particular type of scent that appeals to an individual. Other fragrances from the same group are likely to appeal to them, too.
The wheel doesn’t have a reference to every individual scent available, but most can probably be reliably guessed at. Herby scents like lavender, sage, basil and thyme come under the aromatic, while amber is in with the soft oriental aromas.
If you can place on this spectrum where your regular favourites lie, you could use this as a guide when trying unknown scents. Similarly, when buying scents as gifts, you could try to use this spectrum to identify the recipient’s scent so you can aim for something from the same area.
Examples of Popular Scents and Where They Place on the Wheel:
With a woody base and a fresh overtone of apple and citrus, Boss Bottled would appear somewhere between the citrus and dry woods categories.
The base of cedar and moss combined with top notes of saffron and bergamot place this one between the oriental and mossy woods areas of the wheel.
Made with sweet wood and floral scents mixed with patchouli and musk, this fragrance falls in the
Woody oriental area, as those are the dominant aromas.
Top notes of rose, tangerine and jasmine laid over wild heather leave this one somewhere between the fresh and the floral scents.
Another from the fresh-to-fruity range, this would lean more towards the fruity, as plum, sour cherry and raspberry make the opening notes.
Look up a fragrance wheel online and see if you can work out where your regulars are on there. This will help you take notice whenever you see scents that match and pick out more fragrances you love.