As the weather gets warmer and we spend more time outside in nature it seems only fitting to look to floral fragrances. They can be light and transparent with watery green notes or rich and heady reminiscent of exotic tropical blooms.
Ever popular, especially for summer weddings, the floral category is possibly the most wide ranging fragrance family containing everything from “soli flore” or single note florals to fresh green or fruity floriental accords.
Many of today’s florals are supported by woody and musky notes which gives them a richer, more modern structure often with milky, creamy undertones. Aside from perhaps the white floral sub category, they are very easy to wear and pretty much never go out of fashion.
The majority of fragrances have floral notes at their heart, most often a blend of ROSE, JASMINE, MUGUET. These components are usually added as accords that are pre blended or as custom perfumer’s bases. One of the things you will notice about most modern floral fragrances, especially those that are created to smell most like the real thing, is that they will be primarily made of synthetic materials. One reason for this is cost and availability, but the main one is that natural floral absolutes do not smell like the living version of the flower. This has to be reconstructed carefully with the use of aroma chemicals and small amounts of absolutes for naturalness.
The fragrance that typifies the classical floral category is Joy by Jean Patou, which at the time of it’s creation in 1929 claimed to be the “costliest perfume in the world”. Joy is a fantastic example of a floral bouquet fragrance: whilst relying heavily on a combination of Jasmine absolute and rose no particular flower is singled out. “Joy” was voted “Scent of the Century” by the public at the Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards in 2000.
I will take a look in more depth at some of the floral sub categories in future posts but for now if you are in London and need some creative inspiration the Chelsea Flower Show runs from 19th to 23rd May 2015 where one of the gardens is titled “A Perfumer’s Garden in Grasse