The woody note is a mainstay of men’s fragrance, although women are increasingly embracing it. Woody scents (vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood, cedar…) can be found in most perfumes, but it is when the woody note is the main theme of the perfume that we speak of a woody family.
The woody heart note is a real backbone of the perfume architecture, with a reassuring and warm scent, on which different facets come to form woody sub-families.
For a long time, woody notes were always in the background of the olfactory architecture of men’s fragrances. Essential to support any fragrance composition, the precious woody scents were often overshadowed by the other notes, serving as structure and support. The woody accord then became one of the dominant families, since the end of the 1950s, with the fashion of “mono vetiver” perfumes.
These are usually powerful, structured and edgy scents, but they can also be only slightly woody, with vegetal notes, for summer. This depends greatly on the predominant wood in the woody notes.
Several combinations of woody species are possible in the woody family: cedar, vetiver, patchouli and sandalwood, but also birch, pine, cypress, fig… More recently, we associate rarer species of trees such as Gaia wood (smoky smell), Cashmeran, Ambroxan or Suderal (amber notes).
The woody note as a main theme is both masculine, reassuring and warm. Depending on the essences and the associated facets, it can even be associated with sensuality and tonicity.
Indeed, the fragrances of the woody family are a softened version of oriental fragrances, with a more marked personality. In the woody sub-families, the woody olfactory message remains dominant, but it will be sublimated by subtle citrus, floral, fruity, vanilla, spicy facets… The more faceted the perfume, the more complex its smell and its heart and base notes.
But then, if the woody notes have the most choice of essences and therefore the most possibilities to create bold perfumes, which one is for you? Here are some sub-families of woody fragrances that I recommend, and that could fit your personality and your mood of the moment: