At Candela, we classify our scents according to Michael Edwards' Fragrance Wheel and Fragrance Families.
This was first developed in 1983 an perfectly demonstrates which fragrance notes form each family and likewise, what scents contrast and compliment each other.
Most fragrances feature what is called top notes, heart (or core) notes and base notes. This is not the top, middle and bottom sections of the candle. Fragrance notes describe the order in which you smell a fragrance when it burns; from the instant smell, to the aroma that reveals itself after a few moments to the base notes which awaken when a candle has been burning for some time.
Generally speaking, fresh and fresh/floral scents form the top notes, floral oriental and oriental scents usually make up the heart notes and the base notes comprise the heavy oriental notes and the woody notes.
So how can you classify a scent into a fragrance family if it has scents from more than one fragrance family?
Well, the best fragrances will contain a mixture of scents from different fragrance families, however, it is the dominant scent that classifies the final fragrance. There is certainly overlap. For example, our fragrance for "The Manly" primarily contains Rosewood (Oriental/Woody), Bergamot (Citrus) and Jasmine (Floral) - basically every fragrance family. However, it's the bergamot and jasmine that are the strongest in this fragrance so we have classified is as a "fresh" scent although it could pass as a floral scent too.
Blending a fragrance with notes from all aspects of the colour wheel gives it more depth and a superior fragrance.