In the business-to-business world in the flavours and fragrance industry, staying ahead of the competition is a constant challenge. One invaluable tool businesses have is the fragrance wheel, a visual representation of scent families and their relationships. In this blog, we'll explore the fragrance wheel's importance in the industry, the various scent families it encompasses, and how businesses can leverage it to create new and captivating flavours and fragrances. We'll also dive into real-world examples of companies that have harnessed the power of the fragrance wheel to their advantage.

What is the Fragrance Wheel?

The fragrance wheel is a comprehensive system categorising scents into families and subfamilies. Fragrance expert Michael Edwards originally developed it, and it has become a foundational tool for professionals in the flavours and fragrance industry. The wheel's primary purpose is to provide a standardized framework for describing and understanding scents, making it easier for professionals to communicate about fragrances consistently.

Why is it Essential for Businesses in the F&F Industry?

Consistency and Clarity: The fragrance wheel acts as a universal language, ensuring that industry professionals have a common understanding of scent descriptions. This consistency is essential when collaborating on product development and marketing campaigns.

Market Research: Businesses can use the fragrance wheel to analyze market trends and consumer preferences by identifying which scent families are most popular at a given time. This information is invaluable for creating products that resonate with customers.

Product Development: Understanding scent families allows businesses to experiment with combinations and variations, leading to the creation of unique and appealing flavours and fragrances that cater to specific target audiences.

Different Scent Families on the Fragrance Wheel

The fragrance wheel is divided into several main scent families and subfamilies, each with its own distinctive characteristics. Some of the primary scent families include:

  1. Floral: This family encompasses scents derived from flowers, such as rose, jasmine, and lavender.

  2. Oriental: Rich and exotic fragrances like vanilla, amber, and spices fall into this category.

  3. Woody: Scented by materials like sandalwood and cedarwood, this family exudes warmth and earthiness.

  4. Citrus: Energizing and refreshing, this family includes notes like lemon, lime, and bergamot.

  5. Fruity: Scents of fruits like apple, peach, and strawberry are categorized under this family.

  6. Green: Fresh and natural, green scents are reminiscent of grass, leaves, and herbs.

How to Use the Fragrance Wheel to Create New Flavours and Fragrances:

  1. Scent Profiling: Start by identifying the key notes within a scent family that align with your product concept.

  2. Combination and Layering: Experiment by combining different scent families or subfamilies to create complex and appealing profiles. For instance, blending floral and citrus notes can result in a refreshing and elegant fragrance.

  3. Consumer Feedback: Continuously test your creations with focus groups or sensory panels to gather feedback and refine your products.

Examples of Businesses Using the Fragrance Wheel to Their Advantage:

  1. Perfume Manufacturers: Perfume companies like Chanel and Dior use the fragrance wheel to create iconic scents that resonate with their target audiences, ensuring that their fragrances remain timeless classics.

  2. Food and Beverage Industry: Companies in this sector utilize the fragrance wheel to develop unique flavor profiles for products such as gourmet chocolates, teas, and beverages, meeting the diverse preferences of their customers.

  3. Air Freshener Manufacturers: Brands like Febreze use the fragrance wheel to offer a wide range of scents that cater to different preferences, ensuring that their products are appealing to a broad customer base.


In the business-to-business world of flavours and fragrances, the fragrance wheel is an indispensable tool for professionals. It offers a structured approach to understanding and creating scents, ensuring consistency, and providing a competitive edge. By mastering the fragrance wheel, businesses can develop innovative products that captivate consumers and stay ahead in this dynamic industry. Embrace the wheel, and let it guide your olfactory journey to success.