The 411/ Need to Know

Here you will find useful information to further aid your shopping experience.

1. The Main Fragrance Familes

2. Who are the Urbanites?

3. Fragrance Jargon - The A to Z


The Main Fragrance Families

Aromatic fragrances are fresh, uplifting and youthful. Containing herbaceous ingredients such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage and citrus notes.

Chypre fragrances are sophisticated, classic, powdery. This family takes its name from the French for Cyprus: birthplace of Aphrodite, the mythical goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure.

Citrus fragrances are energetic and sparkling, utilising extracts of citrus fruits, as well as the blossoms and leaves of their trees.

Floral fragrances, the softest and most tender fragrance family, are the height of decorum. Florals can be either “soliflores”: translations of single flower notes, or “bouquets”: a blend of floral notes to create a beautiful feminine impression.

Fougère fragrances are inspired by ferns and woodland fauna. A pronounced combination of lavender and geranium with moss, vetiver and tonka create the ultimate Gentlemanly impression.

Oriental fragrances speaks of warmth, opulence, sensuousness. Like an unforgettable memory acquired on a trip to the East, they bear the potential to beguile the mind forever.

Woody fragrances are dry, warm and rich. Typically masculine notes such as vetiver and patchouli are utilised, alongside the woods: oak, sandalwood, cedarwood, and rosewood.


Who are the Urbanites?

The Urbanites are people and they provide a stimulating and easy way to shop for luxury fragrances. The whole process is a journey for individuals to experience. We give fragrances a personality and soul in the form of The Urbanites.





Absolute: Also known as an essence. The strongest aromatic material that can be extracted from a plant or flower.

Accord: A blend of two or more fragrances that combine to produce a new, completely different odor impression.

Aldehydes: Organic compounds present in many natural materials, that can also be synthesized artificially. 

Apocrine Sweat Glands: The glands on the human body that give you your unique scent, which can interfere with - or enhance - the scent of perfumes you wear.




Base Notes: he third and last phase (after top and heart notes) of a perfume's evaporation, or life on the skin.

Bouquet: A mixture of flower notes.




Chypre: Pronounced “sheepra” and French for Cyprus. Refers to woodsy, mossy, earthy scents.

Citrus: The fresh, slightly sour notes displayed by lemon, orange, grapefruit and bergamot.

Compound: The concentrated fragrance mixture before it is diluted to make the finished perfume. Also called perfume oil.



Dry Down: The final phase - or base note - of a fragrance, which emerges several hours after application. Perfumers evaluate the base notes and the tenacity of the fragrance during this stage.




Eau De Cologne: A solution of about 3-percent perfume compound in an alcohol/water base. Much lighter than a concentrated perfume.

Eau de Parfum: An alcoholic perfume solution containing 10-15 percent perfume compound.

Eau de Toilette: An alcohol/water based perfume solution containing 3-8 percent perfume compound.

Earthy: Notes that give the impression of earth, soil, the forest floor, mould and moss.

Essential Oil: The highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants obtained by distillation or expression.


Fleeting or quickly vanishing note or fragrance.

Extrait (Extract)

An alternative name for alcoholic perfumes. Extraits contain 15-45 percent perfume compound in alcohol.




Floral: Perfumes characterized by the prevalence of well-defined floral notes. Get a list of the top floral perfumes.

Floral-Fruity: Perfumes having notably fruity elements, generally in the top notes, as an accessory to floral heart notes. Get a list of the top fruity perfumes.

Fougere:From the French for fern. Fougere scents are based on a herbaceous accord and may include notes such as lavender, coumarin, oakmoss, woods, and bergamot.




Green: The general term for the odors of grass, leaves and stems.



Heart (Middle) Notes: The second phase of a perfume's evaporation on the skin, which gives the scent its character after the top notes fade.

Herbaceous: A note that is natural cool, leafy or hay-like, such as chamomile or clary sage.

Hesperidia: A general term for citrus oils.



Ionones: Highly-valued synthetic chemicals, used in small amounts in many floral, green, woody perfumes. Produce a scent similar to violet or iris.



Leather: Pungent animal smokiness characteristic of the ingredients used in tanning leathers. Achieved in perfumery with castoreum, labdanum and synthetic chemicals.



Mossy: Fragrances with earthy, aromatic forest scents.



Nose: A person who mixes fragrance components to make perfume, aka a perfumer.




Oceanic: Oceanic perfumes are a modern invention. These scents use a blend of synthetic compounds to evoke natural aromas such as mountain air, ocean spray, or clean linen.

Oriental: Fragrance family based on balsamic, exotic aromas such as vanilla, oakmoss and animal notes. These scents are usually suited to evening wear.

Ozonic: Aroma chemicals that are meant to mimic the smell of fresh air after a thunderstorm.



Perfume. (Extrait): The most highly-concentrated and longest-lasting form of fragrance, containing between 20-50 percent perfume compound.

Powdery: A baby-powderish scent effect, produced when a heavier sweet or woody note is blended with a lighter note such as citrus, fruity or light green note.



Resinoids: Extracts of resinous gums, balsams, resins or roots. Commonly used as fixatives in perfume compositions.



Sillage: The trail of scent left behind by a perfume. Fragrances with minimal sillage are often said to “stay close to the skin."

Soliflore: A fragrance which focuses on a single flower.

Spicy: Pungent notes that have a warm or hot character, such as clove oil, cinnamon and thyme oil.

Stability: Refers to how long a scent lasts, either in the bottle, or when exposed to elements such as heat, light and air.



Top Notes: The impression of a fragrance when first smelled or applied to the skin. Usually the most volatile ingredients in a perfume.



Woody: A scent that evokes freshly cut, dry wood.