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Woody Fragrance Family

The diverse world of fragrances is highly complex and to navigate all the different types of perfumes it is important to discover more about the individual fragrance families. Perfumes are generally categorised in different fragrance families, which include Woody, Floral, Oriental, Fougere, Chypre, Gourmand, Fruity and Citrus. A perfume in the Woody family would describe the dominant accord, the one that gives the scent its core character.

As the name suggests woody fragrances are distinctive by their opulent woody character with notes coming from woods materials like trees, resin, moss, bark, pine cones and bushes but also roots. Grasses and leaves can have an intensely earthy, woody character (like Patchouli and Vetiver). Woody fragrances are characterized by aromatic or citrus head notes. In the heart you would typically find crisp, dry woody notes and dominant resin or wood are found in the base notes. Wood ingredients add richness, warmth, elegance and a depth to a fragrance and are key in perfume making. Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents typically contain Sandalwood, Pine, Patchouli, Vetiver and Cedarwood. Sandalwood is creamy and sensual, Patchouli is like a deep woodland, Vetiver is smoky and rich, Cedarwood is dry and linear and Oudh is complex and heavy.


Woody fragrances can be given a twist by adding fruity notes, florals, herbs and spices which can then be categorised in sub families, for example, Woody Oriental, Woody Leather, Woody Chypre, Woody Aromatic, Woody Floral, Woody Fruity and Woody Spicy.

A Woody Oriental for example could be a blend of rich oriental notes, with woody notes such as patchouli and sandalwood. A Woody Leather fragrance is a bit drier and smokier in character with the addition of Cedar, Tobacco and burnt wood notes as well as fresh citrus notes to lighten the deep heart notes. Woody Chypre perfumes on the other hand feature notes of oakmoss, amber and citrus.


Woody perfumes are often unisex as they appeal to both men and women, so it is no surprise that woody notes are also widely popular outside classic perfumery but also in personal care products and home products (like scented candles). This type of perfume is very versatile, a classic and sophisticated scent that is easy to wear all day and when blended to perfection can be very long-lasting, aromatic and elegant.


The newest addition to the Clive Christian portfolio of woody perfumes is 20 Iconic masculine which is a Woody Citrus where its core citrus character is deepened by featuring a smoky, earthy woody haitian Vetiver in the base notes as well as Cedarwood, Amber and Frankincense. Mandarin petitgrain in the heart of the perfume uses the bark of the tree giving a very citrussy but also slightly woody character.