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interactive fragrance guide


Fragrance Guide

Whether you’re a perfume novice or an aficionado, this is a great place to start choosing your Pure French soaps!

Shopping for scented soaps can be a tricky business, after all with so many to choose from, how do you decide? When it comes to finding the right fragrance, the choice can seem overwhelming so that’s why we’ve created this useful guide to help you.

Based on the fragrance wheel which was created by perfume expert Michael Edwards in 1983, it’s designed to help you find which types of fragrances you’re drawn to, and knowing where they’re placed on the fragrance wheel can make your soap choices that much easier.

Your Ultimate Fragrance Guide

Fragrance Families

Fragrance Notes

Perfume Expert

Michael Edwards

Fragrance Wheel

Michael Edwards Fragrance Wheel
Michael Edwards Perfume Expert Signature

“A great perfume is a work of art, it can lift our days, haunt our nights and create the milestones of our memories. Fragrance is liquid emotion. And that never goes out of fashion.”

Michael Edwards: The Perfume Expert’s Expert

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Your Ultimate Step-by-Step Fragrance Guide


Traditional fragrance classifications emerged around 1900, but since 1945 due to great advances in the technology of perfume creation, as well as the natural development of styles and tastes, four main groups have emerged to describe modern scents and these are commonly referred to as "Fragrance Notes".


Each fragrance note is further divided into sub-categories which are known as "Fragrance Families" and each of these comprise the scents that every perfume and aftershave is based on.

​The best way to understand fragrance notes and families is by using a classification method which is widely used in the retail and fragrance industries. In 1983, Michael Edwards, a consultant in the perfume industry created the "Fragrance Wheel" which simplifies fragrance classification by sub-dividing the four main fragrance notes into individual families. The wheel below is the version we use today.

By following just three easy steps you'll soon be able to choose the perfect soaps not only for yourself, but for your friends and loved ones too. So why not give it a go?


The first step to choosing your soaps is to determine which "fragrance note" you’re most attracted to, then to identify the “fragrance family” you're most drawn to and then to explore our soaps from there. So, if you're ready to find your perfect soap(s), just remember...

Step 1. Find the Right Note

There are four key fragrance notes that feature one prominent scent, then within those notes, a range of scent families which blend that prominent scent with other fragrances. The four main fragrance notes are: floral, oriental, woody and fresh. Typically, you’ll be attracted to one fragrance note more than the others, meaning you should explore the subfamilies of that fragrance note in order to find your perfect fragrance(s) and soaps.


Step 2. Find Your Family


Like our own families which tend to have many members, so it is with fragrances! Fragrance families are essentially aroma groupings of related scents. On the fragrance wheel, the four main fragrance notes are sub-divided into fourteen fragrance families all of which have some variations on their theme. Knowing which of these families work well together can be helpful when making your choices.

Step 3. Explore the Fragrance Wheel

The fragrance wheel is much like the colour wheel in that certain fragrance families pair well together, whilst others should be avoided! Near relations are usually harmonious, whilst opposites tend to complement each other. For example, soft oriental and citrus would pair well together as they directly oppose each other. The fragrance wheel is therefore a useful tool that can help us to understand exactly which fragrance families work well together, as well as reminding us which fragrance sub-families sit within each of the fragrance notes.

When you're ready, you can use our interactive fragrance wheel to discover which soaps belong to which family, but first start by discovering your preferred fragrance note(s).

Michael Edwards Fragrance Wheel
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Marseille soaps have been produced by French artisan craft master soap makers using

traditional methods for over 600 years.


Uniting the rich organic produce of Provence with natural and ecological values, they create exquisite soaps with exceptional skin care properties.


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