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Perfume Classification


Today, I am here to speak about the olfactory families in fine fragrances. Differing from that of the vision society, the world of noses does not have a complete “black and white” understanding of the nose. Therefore, it is impossible to pinpoint exactly the scent profile of a perfume, but we can get close enough. This is of course not the case for light, as we can use the primary colours of Red-Green-Blue (RGB) to essentially create all possible colour combinations precisely and accurately.


Every fragrance company has their own internal database in which the perfumes and raw materials are organized in their specific scent categories. Due to privacy and intellectual property issues in fragrance houses, these types of information are not shared between companies. Don’t worry, there is a silver lining!


Michael Edwards, a renown fragrance expert, created a fragrance wheel that is widely adopted by the perfumery industry. He also created “Fragrances of the World”, which is the largest online database of perfumes that is updated weekly with accurate information. Thanks to Michael Edwards, perfumery education can now be accessed easily by anyone with an internet connection!


Written by Long (Tony) Ye

MSc. Scent Design & Creation - ISIPCA

BEng. Chemical Engineering - McGill University

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