Soft Floral

Soft floral (or aldehydic floral) fragrances represent one of the oldest and most important fragrance families. The structure of the family is typified by a fragrance released in 1921 with a very simple name: Nº 5. Despite the widespread popularity of Chanel's masterpiece—and the hundreds of fragrances that its success spawned—the soft floral family is today, relatively unknown. The popularity of the family had waned significantly by the 1990s and to this day it remains one of the most under-represented families in terms of new releases.

Soft floral fragrances are often described as having a powdery character. This is the result of the use of orris root, a key ingredient for fragrances in this family. Orris root, the dried and aged root of the iris flower, provides a soft, warm, powdery base and softens the intense freshness of a floral bouquet. The resulting composition is a more impressionistic interpretation of the floral theme. Another key element of these fragrances is the characteristic sparkle achieved through the use of molecules called aldehydes. Aldehydes have been used for nearly a century in fine fragrances to give a fragrance lift and freshness. The opening of Chanel Nº 5 or Estée Lauder's White Linen would not be possible without these fantastic molecules. Soft floral fragrances are elegant, sultry and refined and represent an idea of modernity that still feels fresh and innovative nearly a hundred years later. Another key component of soft floral fragrances is musk. It is important to note that musk derived from animals has not been used for a very long time; instead, parfumeurs use synthetic alternatives. Musk provides a soft, downy texture to fragrances, bathing compositions in a warm, sensual glow.