Olfactory family: Floral

Flowers in perfumery:

Florals are part of the 6 original families (Floral, Hesperidia, Woody, Oriental, Fern, Chypre) according to the SFP (Société Française des Parfumeurs).

This trend emerged with Marie-Antoinette (18th century!). It's surprising that flowers weren't appreciated until so late (remember: perfume has been around since Ancient Egypt).

And the reason?

Originally, perfume was in solid form. Animal notes (which were obtained by killing animals such as Civet, Castoreum, Ambergris, Musc Chevrotin...) were very much in vogue because although certain extractions did not yet exist, hygiene was not a source of concern either.

Animal notes were used to cover up body odour and lack of hygiene.

With Marie-Antoinette, the era of "refinement" began, and she loved flowers: rose, iris, violet... This inspired the perfumers of the time, and has stayed with us ever since.

That's why we now associate floral fragrances with women.

The Floral family contains several sub-categories , in which we will classify some raw materials:

Most floral notes are heart notes, those that give body to a perfume. Natural notes are followed by an *:

  • Floral-White:

Ylang-Ylang Essence*: methylated.solar.spicy

Tuberose Absolute*: methylated.vegetables.hay

Benzyl salicylate: rubber.white flower.almondy

Amyl salicylate: solar.carnation.fruity

  • Floral-Rosé:

Absolute Damask Rose*: lychee.honey.artichoke

Geranium Essence*: lychee.live.herbaceous

Citronellol: lychee.sweet.soapy

Geraniol: verbena.metallic.lychee

Phenyl ethyl alcohol: lilac.solvent.vinous

  • Floral-Powdery:

Iris Concrete*: whiskey.earthy.leather

Ionone Alpha: violet.woody.fruity

Ionone Beta: violet.earthy.rubber

Methyl Ionone Gamma: iridescent.violet.soft

    • Floral-Jasmine:

    Jasmine Grandiflorum Absolu*: solar.indole.fruity

    Absolute Jasmine Sambac*: fruity.orangey.ripe melon

    Benzyl acetate: fatty.solvent.fruity

    Benzyl Propionate: mushroom.fruity.medicine

    • Floral-Orange:

    Neroli Essence*: fresh.green.honey

    Petitgrain Bigarade Essence*: aromatic.tea.fresh

    Methyl salicylate: medicine.sun.turpentine

    Ethyl linalool: freesia.tea.rosé

    • Floral-Fresh:

    Rosewood Essence*: zesty.spicy.aromatic

    Linalool: zesty.lavender.coriander

    Hydroxycitronellal: lily of the valley.aqueous.mild

    • Floral-Transparent:

    Hedione: transparent.jasmine.aqueous

    Jasmonal H: jasmine.spicy.plastic

    Phenyl ethyl salicylate: vinous.white flower.balsamic

    Some emblematic perfumes:

    "N°5" - Chanel 1921 - Ernest Beaux / Floral Aldehyde

    "L'air du temps" - Nina Ricci 1948 - Francis Fabron / Floral Carnation

    "Diorissimo" - Dior 1956 - Edmond Roudnitska / Floral Muguet

    "Paris" - YSL 1983 - Sophia Grosjman / Floral Bouquet

    "Poison" - Dior 1985 - Edouard Fléchier / Floral Tuberose

    "L'Eau d'Issey" - Issey Miyake 1992 - Jacques Cavallier / Aquatic Floral

    "J'adore" - Dior 1999 - Calice Becker / Floral Jasmine

    "Flower" - Kenzo 2000 - Alberto Morillas / Floral Musk

    This list is not exhaustive because there are a lot of beautiful launches: some emblematic, some more commercial.

    Back to blog