Fragrance 101: The Guide You Need for Picking the Perfect Scent

There’s something incredibly personal and powerful about fragrance. Scent has the power to evoke memories and feelings in a way that our other senses can’t. (Plus, in this writer’s opinion, there’s no better compliment than being told that you smell amazing.)

That said, because scent is so intimate, it can be difficult to choose a fragrance. And that’s where this breakdown comes in. In the fragrance world, perfume can be divided into seven different categories. If you know what type of fragrance you like, choosing one becomes a much easier task. Here, we explain the seven major types of fragrances, plus share our fave products in each category.

Woody: Reminiscent of a walk among the California redwoods or sitting around a campfire, woody scents are characterized by smelling like the great outdoors—but they can honestly be very sultry. If you like the smell of wet asphalt (which is called petrichor), you’ll probably enjoy a woody scent. Also recommended for people who enjoy hiking 14ers, camping, and various other outdoor activities—or those who simply want to give off the illusion that they enjoy those things.

All the ingredients in this fragrance were ethically sourced in California. Extract from redwood leaves is paired with notes of blond tobacco and chamomile.