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  • Fragrance Families, Notes and Glossary of Terms

    Fragrance Families

    Fragrances are categorised by different families. The most common fragrance families are floral, oriental, woody and fresh. You will also discover other fragrance families such as chypre and fougère, but also, more modern ones such as gourmand, green and citrus. Here are the ten most common fragrance families.

      1. Floral: These candles are made with floral scents such as rose, lavender, jasmine, and magnolia. They provide a fresh, natural aroma and can create a relaxing and peaceful ambience.
      2.  Oriental: Oriental candles are made with scents like patchouli, sandalwood, and musk. They create a warm and inviting atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a cosy ambiance.

        Fragrance Families in Candle Making

      3. Woody: Woody candles are made with scents like sandalwood, cedar, and pine. They create a natural, earthy ambiance and can be perfect for creating a calming atmosphere.
      4. Fresh: Fresh candles are made with scents like clean linen, ocean breeze, and rain. They can provide a refreshing and rejuvenating atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a relaxing atmosphere.
      5. Fougère: Fougère candles are made with scents like lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin. They create a classic and refined atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a sophisticated ambiance.
      6. Chypre: Chypre candles are made with scents like bergamot, oakmoss, and patchouli. They create a luxurious and elegant atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a romantic ambiance.
      7. Green: Green candles are made with scents like grass, leaves, and herbs. They create a fresh and natural atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a rejuvenating ambiance.
      8. Aquatic: Aquatic candles are made with scents like sea salt, ocean mist, and beach grass. They create a refreshing and calming atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a relaxing ambiance.
      9. Citrus: Citrus candles are made with scents like lemon, grapefruit, and orange. They create a refreshing and uplifting atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a happy and energizing ambiance.
      10. Gourmand: Gourmand candles are made with scents like vanilla, caramel, and chocolate. They create a warm and cosy atmosphere and can be perfect for creating a comforting ambience.

    Fragrance Glossary of Terms

    A fragrance glossary is a comprehensive list of terms used in the world of perfumery to describe the different aspects of fragrances. In this glossary, we will explore the most commonly used terms in the fragrance industry.

      1. Accord - An accord is a blend of two or more fragrance notes that create a unique scent. Accords are often used as the basis for creating perfumes.
      2. Amber - Processed from Fir Tres giving a full-bodied warm fragrance. It’s an accord created with perfume notes such as labdanum, vanilla, and balsams such as benzoin and Tolu Balsam, which are sweet, warm resins that both come from tree barks. Amber is the cornerstone accord of Oriental fragrances.
      3. Aquatic - Aquatic fragrances are made up of scents that are reminiscent of the ocean, such as sea salt and seaweed.
      4. Aroma Chemicals - Synthetic compounds used in perfumery to create fragrance notes.
      5. Balsams - Warm, ambery, soft vanillic notes such as benzoin, Tolu balsam, and tonka bean. They’re in most Oriental fragrances.
      6. Base Notes - The foundation of a fragrance that is usually the longest-lasting and is the most noticeable when the top notes fade.
      7. Bergamot - The essential oil from the rind of the Citrus aurantium, an inedible fruit that looks like a small orange.
      8. Chypre - A fragrance family characterised by a combination of citrus, oakmoss, patchouli, and labdanum.
      9. Citrus - A fragrance family that features the bright and refreshing scent of citrus fruits such as lemon, bergamot, and orange.
      10. Dry Down - The final stage of a fragrance's evolution on the skin, after the top and middle notes have evaporated.
      11. Essential Oils - A concentrated distillation of a fragrant plant material that is often used as an ingredient in fragrance. Usually extracted via steam distillation.
      12. Floral - A fragrance family that features the scent of flowers such as rose, jasmine, and lily of the valley.
      13. Fougere - A fragrance family characterized by the combination of lavender, oakmoss, and coumarin.
      14. Fragrance Family - Fragrance families refer to the different categories of fragrances. The main fragrance families include floral, oriental, woody, and fresh.
      15. Fresh - Fresh fragrances are made up of clean and crisp scents that are often associated with citrus and aquatic notes.
      16. Gourmand - A fragrance family that features edible and sweet scents like vanilla, chocolate, and caramel.
      17. Head Notes - The first impression of a fragrance that is the most noticeable when it is initially applied.
      18. Heart Notes - The middle stage of a fragrance that becomes apparent after the top notes have faded.
      19. Middle Notes - Also known as "heart notes," these are the scent components that emerge after the top notes evaporate and provide the body of the fragrance.
      20. Musk - A fragrance note that is often used as a base note to give depth and warmth to a fragrance.
      21. Oriental - A fragrance family characterized by the combination of spices, resins, and floral notes.
      22. Perfume Oil - The concentrated fragrance mixture that is diluted with alcohol and other ingredients to create a perfume.
      23. Perfumer - A professional who creates fragrances using a combination of natural and synthetic fragrance notes.
      24. Sillage - The trail of scent that is left behind when someone wearing a fragrance passes by.
      25. Top Notes - The first scent impression that is perceived when a fragrance is sprayed or applied.
      26. Woody - A fragrance family that features the scent of wood and includes notes such as sandalwood, cedar, and vetiver.
      27. Ylang-Ylang - A fragrant flower that is often used in perfumery to provide a sweet and exotic floral note.

    Fragrance Notes

    Fragrance notes are essentially the different layers of scent, the ingredients, which make up the fragrance in your candles and reed diffusers. These scents are analysed into three distinct elements, known as the top, middle and base notes. The combination of these different notes working together in harmony create the beautiful fragrance of your candles or reed diffusers. The word 'Notes’ is used in the fragrance world based on its scent and staying power.

    The fragrance triangle is a visual representation of the three main components of a fragrance: top notes, middle notes, and base notes. It is a tool used by perfumers and fragrance chemists to understand the structure of a fragrance and how it evolves over time.

    Fragrance Triangle


    Fragrance Notes - The Top Notes

    The top notes of a fragrance are the scents that you will smell first and will last for between 5 to 15 minutes. They are also known as the opening or head notes for this reason. Top notes are the first impression of any fragrance, and we all know that making a first impression is important! You will be aware of these top notes as soon as you light a new candle or open a diffuser. Top notes are lighter in smell and tend to be citrusy or soft florals.

    Typical top notes fragrances include, citrus oils (orange, lemon, grapefruit), neroli, peppermint and eucalyptus.

    Fragrance Notes - The Middle Notes

    The middle notes, also known as the heart notes, provide a balance between the top and base notes. The middle notes are at the heart of any fragrance and will be the most prominent aromas you will smell. They last longer than the top notes, 20 to 60 minutes and can make up to between 40-80% of the overall fragrance of your candle or diffuser.

    Typical middle notes include geranium, rose, lemongrass, ylang ylang, lavender, coriander, nutmeg, neroli and jasmine.

    Fragrance Notes - The Base Notes

    The base notes themselves can make up to between 10-25% of the overall fragrance and can last for hours! However, the base notes also blend with the middle notes to deepen the complexity of the fragrance. The base notes are associated with the dry-down period of the fragrance. Base notes are often rich and smooth, as well as being the longest lasting of the three notes.

    Typical base notes include cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, patchouli, oakmoss and musk.


    Modern Day Candle Chandler and Candle Making Tutor

    A Candle Chandler is a "maker and seller of wax candles and also soap". . A chandlery was originally the office in a wealthy medieval household responsible for wax, candles and soaps as well as the room in which the candles were kept. 

    We are an experienced modern-day candle chandler. We hand pour candles but also other fragrance items such as reed diffusers, tealights and wax melts. Our eco-friendly candles are made from sustainable and renewable plant-based candle waxes. Wherever possible, we use wood wicks in our candles for that sound and light ambience! All shipped in plastic free, recyclable packaging and carbon neutral shipping.

    We are also candle making tutors for our candle making workshops, designed for complete beginners and those with some experience.



    Candles and Soapery - Knowledge Base and Customer Support Portal

    Extensive Candle-Care Resources all in One Place

    If you need the full low-down on our chandlery, candle and soapery products, we’ve got all the details and information you’ll need in our Knowledge Base. Browse through these articles and experience all your candle-care resources in one place, click here... 


    Candle Safety

    It is always important to treat your 3 wick candles safely and with care. Please note the follow candle care advice... 

    • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
    • Place candles on a stable surface away from flammable objects.
    • Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.
    • Extinguish candles before going to bed or leaving the house.
    • Do not place candles too close together.

    More information on Candle Safety and Care, click here...


    About FelinFach

    Welsh Blankets - Traditional Caernarfon poercullis patterns, contemporary colourspatterns Wool Throws - Hand woven in Wales Chandlery - Handmade Candles, Reed diffusers, tealights and wax melts - hand poured in Wales Hand dyed yarn, dyed only with natural dyes Craft Courses - Natural Dyeing Gift Cards - By Post or by Email 


    Located in Pembrokeshire Wales, our ethos is defined in the three words...


    We are a proud supporter of Americymru, the Campaign for WoolGlobal Welsh and Red Dragon America.


    Last updated 1st January 2024

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