Depending who you ask, there could be as many as nine or 10 scent families from which to choose when you're trying to create your perfume. That could get a little overwhelming, so for a beginner's purposes, let's stick with five basic scent categories:
- Floral: lavender, jasmine, geranium, hyacinth
- Oriental: patchouli, vanilla, mandarin
- Woodsy: sandalwood, cedar, frankincense
- Spicy: ginger, neroli, nutmeg
- Citrus: grapefruit, lemon, orange
There really aren't any hard-and-fast rules about which types of scents go well together. Woodsy scents tend to be the most versatile, and combine nicely with the four other families. Floral, spicy and citrus can be a good combo, too. If you want to break it down even further, you could add "minty," "herbaceous," "medicinal," and "earthy" to the mix.
You don't need to worry about picking out an elaborate set of 10 different scents -- but you shouldn't just go with one, either. On the next page we'll tell you why three is the magic number and give you more guidelines on how to go about selecting them.