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  1. #1

    Question basic categories of cologne

    The deeper I get into colognes and fragrance, the more confused I seem to get. What are the basic groupings of fragrance: spice, floral, etc. Or are there any agreed upon groupings for men's or women's. Then beyond that, I have no idea what to do with categories like "soapy" or "vetiver." What someone calls soapy, someone else says that is not soapy. Or even a cologne called vetiver, I have seen people say it doesn't smell like vetiver. How can I even tell what vetiver or soapy smells like!? I know certain ones like coffee, vanilla, but anything I don't already know, I have no idea how to figure it out. Could anyone suggest some articles, books, websites etc to help me. I love this stuff, but I like to approach it in a linear fashion.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: basic categories of cologne

    Here is a link to the Fragrance Finder section of Sephora's website. It's covers the main categories and gives you examples of each. Hope this helps.

  3. #3

    Default Re: basic categories of cologne

    You can read about it, but the best way to go around is to go smell it.

    Soapy: Try the Prada line
    Vetiver: Encre Noire by Lalique

  4. #4

    Default Re: basic categories of cologne

    um, yeah... just read the section on "Fragrance Families"
    HERE -

    As someone who's also just starting out, what I have done is got together a bunch of different frags all around a certain concept to understand what's common and what's different. For example, I have samples of about 10-15 various "vetivers", and after smelling them all back to back many times, I now have a good idea of what vetiver generally smells like as well as 2-3 typical variations on the theme. I then figured which ones I liked and bought one bottle that's typical and one bottle that's completely different.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: basic categories of cologne

    I would also suggest visiting a health food store like Whole Foods and checking out the aromatherapy oils. You'll be able to find a number of scents that are regularly mentioned here in Basenotes, including ylang-ylang, bergamot, vetiver, and others. Also try the spice section and check out cumin, star anise, cardamom, etc.
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