Perfume types reflect the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent, which in fine fragrance is typically ethanol or a mix of water and ethanol. Various sources differ considerably in the definitions of perfume types. The intensity and longevity of a perfume is based on the concentration, intensity and longevity of the aromatic compounds (natural essential oils / perfume oils) used: As the percentage of aromatic compounds increases, so does the intensity and longevity of the scent created. Specific terms are used to describe a fragrance's approximate concentration by percent/volume of perfume oil, which are typically vague or imprecise. A list of common terms (Perfume-Classification) is as follows:
Perfume extract, or simply perfume (extrait): 15-40% (IFRA: typical 20%) aromatic compounds
Esprit de Parfum (ESdP): 15-30% aromatic compounds, a seldom used strength concentration in between EdP and perfume
Eau de Toilette (EdT): 5-15% (typical ~10%) aromatic compounds
Eau de Cologne (EdC): Chypre citrus type perfumes with 3-8% (typical ~5%) aromatic compounds. "Original Eau de Cologne" is a registered trademark.
Perfume mist: 3-8% aromatic compounds (typical non-alcohol solvent)
Splash (EdS) and aftershave: 1-3% aromatic compounds. "EdS" is a registered trademark.
A "Classical cologne" describes men's and women's fragrances "which are basically citrus blends and do not have a perfume parent". Classical colognes are different from modern colognes, where the fragrance is typically a lighter, less concentrated interpretation of a perfume. Men's colognes are also different from women's colognes. Men's colognes have a similar concentration to eau de toilette, eau de parfum, "and in some instances perfume"; women's colognes, on the other hand, are often the lightest concentration from a line of women's fragrance products.
The traditional classification which emerged around 1900 comprised the following categories:
Single Floral: Fragrances that are dominated by a scent from one particular flower; in French called a soliflore. (e.g., Serge Lutens' Sa Majeste La Rose, which is dominated by rose.)
Floral Bouquet: Is a combination of fragrance of several flowers in a perfume compound. Examples include Quelques Fleurs by Houbigant and Joy by Jean Patou.
Amber or "Oriental": A large fragrance class featuring the sweet slightly animalic scents of ambergris or labdanum, often combined with vanilla, tonka bean, flowers and woods. Can be enhanced by camphorous oils and incense resins, which bring to mind Victorian era imagery of the Middle East and Far East. Traditional examples include Guerlain's Shalimar and Yves Saint Laurent's Opium.
Woody: Fragrances that are dominated by woody scents, typically of agarwood, sandalwood and cedarwood. Patchouli, with its camphoraceous smell, is commonly found in these perfumes. A traditional example here would be Myrurgia's Maderas De Oriente or Chanel Bois-des-Îles. A modern example would be Balenciaga Rumba.
Leather: A family of fragrances which features the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather. Traditional examples include Robert Piguet's Bandit and Balmain's Jolie Madame.
Chypre (IPA: [ʃipʁ]): Meaning Cyprus in French, this includes fragrances built on a similar accord consisting of bergamot, oakmoss, and labdanum. This family of fragrances is named after the eponymous 1917 perfume by François Coty, and one of the most famous extant examples is Guerlain's Mitsouko.
Fougère (IPA: [fu.ʒɛʁ]): Meaning Fern in French, built on a base of lavender, coumarin and oakmoss. Houbigant's Fougère Royale pioneered the use of this base. Many men's fragrances belong to this family of fragrances, which is characterized by its sharp herbaceous and woody scent. Some well-known modern fougères are Fabergé Brut and Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir.
Since 1945, due to great advances in the technology of perfume creation (i.e., compound design and synthesis) as well as the natural development of styles and tastes, new categories have emerged to describe modern scents:
Bright Floral: combining the traditional Single Floral & Floral Bouquet categories. A good example would be Estée Lauder's Beautiful.
Green: a lighter and more modern interpretation of the Chypre type, with pronounced cut grass, crushed green leaf and cucumber-like scents. Examples include Estée Lauder's Aliage, Sisley's Eau de Campagne, and Calvin Klein's Eternity.
Aquatic, Oceanic, or Ozonic: the newest category in perfume history, first appearing in 1988 Davidoff Cool Water (1988), Christian Dior's Dune (1991), and many others. A clean smell reminiscent of the ocean, leading to many of the modern androgynous perfumes. Generally contains calone, a synthetic scent discovered in 1966, or other more recent synthetics. Also used to accent floral, oriental, and woody fragrances.
Citrus: An old fragrance family that until recently consisted mainly of "freshening" eau de colognes, due to the low tenacity of citrus scents. Development of newer fragrance compounds has allowed for the creation of primarily citrus fragrances. A good example here would be Faberge Brut.
Fruity: featuring the aromas of fruits other than citrus, such as peach, cassis (black currant), mango, passion fruit, and others. A modern example here would be Ginestet Botrytis.
Gourmand (French: [ɡuʁmɑ̃]): scents with "edible" or "dessert"-like qualities. These often contain notes like vanilla, tonka bean and coumarin, as well as synthetic components designed to resemble food flavors. A sweet example is Thierry Mugler's Angel. A savory example would be Dinner by BoBo, which has cumin and curry hints.