by Adam Hurly on gq.com, July 29th 2021
This Is the Best Cologne from Each Fragrance Family
According to the guy who came up with the fragrance “families” in the first place.
When you browse the best cologne for men online or in store, you may not know which scent you actually want to buy. That’s perfectly fine, since there are thousands to discover, and since you may want something unique to you. In this case, something you should know is which fragrance family (or families) you’re looking for.
Think of it like wines: They can be full-bodied or light, dry or sweet. If you prefer white wines, then that’s a start. But even if you’re shopping for Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc, there are different factors that influence their expressions and flavors. The same goes for fragrances.
Fragrance families are broad categories defined by a range of individual aromas. Cedar and patchouli fall within the woody families, for example, and rose and jasmine are floral. Bright aromas like citrus and grass are in the fresh families, and spicier smells are found in the amber families.
If you like a scent, often you’ll like many other scents from that same family. But how do you know which cologne falls where?
That’s where Michael Edwards and his company Fragrances of the World come in. In the 1980s, after working in-house at notable parfumerie Halston, Edwards noticed that scents could be classified almost like wines, and each consumer has his or her own preference for specific varietals. (Yeah, I borrowed that analogy from him above.) Since then, Edwards has literally written the book on this topic, and updates it yearly.