Well-known member
May 31, 2008
"The conditions under which a young perfumer first makes the acquaintance of odorants are of great importance to his learning process and constitute a major influence on his approach to his materials throughout his career.
A good way of teaching him to fix the smells in his memory is to group them in 'families" or "series" With the young people in whose training I had a hand, I limited myself to 15 series-citrus, rose, orange· flower, Jasmine, violet/iris, anise, aromatic, green, spices, wood, tobacco, fruit, balsamic, animal, and leather. This sequence of listing is deliberate. It starts with the families which are at once the simplest, the commonest and the broadest-like citrus and the characteristic floral notes-and moves via more specialized series to end up with the heaviest and most exciting.
There is no point in making the list longer; this would impair both the student's concentration and the "families" concept So I see no reason to have a series for each flower; tuberose might for instance be a subgroup of Jasmine, while narcissus, lily of the valley, lily and hyacinth all belong to the Green series Carnation goes with Spices, mimosa with Anise, jonquil with Orange, gardenia with Fruit and so on. There is something to be said for a Bitter series (by analogy with gustation), typified by the crushed leaf of the bitter orange tree, Bu t this note falls under three of the series we already have-Citrus, Orange and Green. Thus it scarcely needs a fourth one."
(source: anya's garden)

so there, 15 series or families of smell. some are perfectly clear to me, others leave me a bit confused.
maybe we can make an effort to fill them with the most important/used ingredients?


Well-known member
May 31, 2008
citrus: bergamot, citrus, orange, petitgrain, citronellol, lemongrass
rose: rose, geranium, geraniol, fenylalcohol, damascones
orange flower: jonquil, nerol, methyl anthranilate
jasmine: tuberose, ylang-ylang, benzyl acetate, hedione.
violet/iris: orris root, violet, ionones and irones.
anise: anise, mimosa, anethole, anise alcohol, liquorice, fennel
aromatic: dragon, thyme, sage, lavender
green: narcissus, lily of the valley, lily, hyacinth, grass, galbanum, hexenol.
spices: carnation, nutmeg, cloves, peper, cinnamom, cardemom, eugenol, cinnamicalcohol.
wood: oakmoss, patchouli, sandelwood, iso e super, cedar, pine, oud, vetiver.
tobacco: tabacco leaf.
fruit: gardenia, (are fruit eo's used?) persicol
balsamic: balsam, benzoin, vanilla, labdanum.
animal: civet, musk, castoreum, ambergris
leather: para-cresol, ibq, birch tar
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Well-known member
May 31, 2008
i would probably have put the gardenia by the jasmine, and not have grasped how it falls under fruits.
there's many things that i would not know how to place. where does almond go? coumarin? what goed under tabacco? (i suppose many things, as tabac is usually flavored) what are common/important fruit notes/ingredients, et cetera.

please correct and expand. i will take the suggestions and edit them into the original list.
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Well-known member
Aug 11, 2006
In P&F december 2009 was an article about Fragrance mapping. The author (Laura Donna) used several classifications (Jellinek, H&R, Boelens, Zwaardemaker, Edwards, Zarzo and Stanton), but also made clear that it is still hard to find genar agreement. Even the description of an odor like "green" or "spicy" are different among the people that tried to classify them.

That having written you could add the following:
- Aldehyde (Aliphatic aldehydes)
- Medicinal (Eucalyptus, Tea tree)
- Coniferous (Pine, bornyl acetate)
Gardenia is a fragrance on its own, you could call it floral of invent a floral subgroup gardenia. Of course you then have to invent more subgroups like sweet pea, honeysuckle etc.

There are only a few essential oils with a fruity fragrance (not being citrus), a good example is Davana EO that has a berry like fragrance.


New member
Aug 4, 2011
Hello everyone! I am a long time lurker and this is my first post in the DIY forum! I really find it amazing how some members here dedicate so much of their time to explaining and helping others here, thank you!

Over the last year I have become really interested in fragrance and perfumery and I've been meaning to buy a few essential oils for some time now (several months, in fact), however, I did not want to just buy stuff and not know where to begin, so today I came across this article by Roudnitska and his guidelines seemed like a good way to train the nose, which is what I want to do.

So what I would like to know is: what would you add to the list guido posted above in order to have a good scope of materials to study?
I will probably start out by buying one or two from each group, and buy more as I progress.

Thank you!

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