Fruity notes beyond citrus (which form a class of its own) have become so popular in recent years that they deserve a category of their own. Vegetable notes are more unusual, sometimes rendered through illusion: an example would be the turnip note that iris rhizome sometimes produces.
By the term "green" we refer to notes of snapped leaves and freshly-cut grasses, which exude a piquant quality. In this classification we find some of the classic pungent essences, such as galbanum, which is actually a resin from a tall type of grass with a bracing, piercingly bitter green odor profile.
A self-evident category of fragrance notes, directly smelling of fragrant blossoms, often rich in nuance: from the banana top note of ylang-ylang, the wine nuances in fresh roses and the powdery, almond-like character of heliotrope, to the camphorous side of freshly-picked tuberose
The Spices group is a familiar category of perfume notes, thanks mainly to their long-standing inclusion in food. Some of them have pride of place in any self-respecting kitchen spice cabinet, such as cinnamon, pepper, cloves, coriander, ginger.
This is a subgroup within the Flowers group, but it merits its own entry due to the fact that "white flowers" are the basis for a whole fragrance sub-category: the "white florals." By white flowers, we refer to orange blossom, jasmine, gardenia, tuberose, frangipani.
This succulent group of scent notes has really established itself and multiplied henceforth with the advent of "gourmand" fragrances, a sub-division of the Oriental fragrance group, in the 1990s and 2000s. These fragrances, largely built on vanilla, are reminiscent of foody smells, specifically sweets and desserts.
Woody notes are dependable and pliable, a sort of a Jack in the deck of a skilled perfumer, providing the bottom of a composition and reinforcing the other elements according to their olfactory profile. Precious few of the woody notes can serve as a top note or middle note, namely rosewood.
The raw materials falling under the umbrella of resins and balsams are among the most ancient components of perfumes, often the basis of the Oriental family of scents. They are classified into different olfactory profiles according to their aromatic properties.
The term "animalic" refers to both raw aroma materials and "fantasy" notes (derived from synthesis in the lab) which directly evoke a scent reminiscent of animals—either real ones, or more metaphorically, the libidinous nature of our own human animal instincts—and their primal force.
Fragrances often recreate the scent of popular beverages in some part of their formula, from the festive fizz of Champagne and the caramelized toasty flavor of Coca Cola, to the tropical delights of Pina Colada or the creaminess of a good cup of cappuccino.
In this group we place descriptive notes such as powdery, earthy, and some unusual smells which could be found in perfume compositions.