Fragrance notes: Oriental

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

We all know and love Oriental food and fashion, but what does it mean when a fragrance gets classified as Oriental? Nope, it wasn’t made in the East! The term “Oriental” refers to the notes a fragrance comprises.

On the fragrance wheel, the Oriental family lies between floral and woody families. Though there are many variants, Oriental fragrances are generally richer and deeper than the other fragrance types. They are typically warm, sensuous and exotic.

oriental fragrances

Heavy and opulent, Oriental fragrances are long lasting and better suited to the colder winter months as they may seem overwhelming when it’s hot outside. Some of the most common Oriental notes include spices, musks, incense, amber and vanilla.

Here, a few of our favourite scents containing Oriental notes:

1. Thierry Mugler Alien, R995

2. Dior Poison, R840

3. Yves Saint Laurent Opium, R1060

4. Givenchy Organza, R989

Other articles you may be interested in:
Fragrance notes: Citrus and fresh
Fragrance notes: Floral
Fragrance notes: Woody

Written by

Anien studied English and journalism before heading off into the world of beauty. An undercover "tree hugger" and fashion lover, she's usually found with her nose in a magazine. She has far too many bottles of nail polish and is completely lost without her lip balm. Anien on Google+

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  1. de Klerk

    I love perfumes that don’t have a sweet smell.

    6 years ago •

  1. dollie

    Opium reminds me of my gorgeous Momma. Love it!

    6 years ago •

  1. Glamista

    I wear only one perfume – Alien! Ladies, I highly recommend you go to any department store and try it!

    6 years ago •

  1. Jeftha

    Oriental fragrances are too spicy for me! I adore Amarige all year long, Montana for winter and I love Jimmy Choo! Poison is too sweet.

    6 years ago •

  1. BeautySouthAfrica

    Hi Kensani. Ylang Ylang is used in a variety of fragrances and therefore isn’t specifically an oriental or citrus scent. There are however oriental fragrances that contain ylang ylang.

    6 years ago •

  1. Khensani

    Would ylang ylang count? I Love Chanel!

    6 years ago •

  1. fay

    Give me Thierry Mugler anything and I am a happy girl. There is nothing quite like a cold day and your favourite deep scent to add some mystery and lux.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pseudo_kate

    I always associate oriental notes with a more mature woman, it’s also quite warm so it works much better in cool weather. Not something I’d want to be catching heavy wifts of in a warm room.

    6 years ago •

  1. Sammy

    The oriental is a mixture of scents, by putting the right two together would smell amazing

    6 years ago •

  1. foreverGLAM

    I’ve tested them all except for the Givenchy Organza. They all smell really good.

    6 years ago •

  1. Carlene

    Opium is a timeless fragrance and one of my favourites in wintertime.

    6 years ago •

  1. supamum

    Organza is lovely in winter! I still would like try Alien.

    6 years ago •

  1. DIVA

    I haven’t tried oriental fragrances, I don’t like heavy fragrances.

    6 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    Not my preferred blend of notes. I prefer the fresh citrus fragrant notes above these.

    6 years ago •

  1. Abby

    I think these oriental fragrances are for a more mature woman. My mother loves them but I find them too heavy.

    6 years ago •

  1. Nicksta

    Yves Saint Laurent Opium is my mother’s Holy Grail fragrance. You really have to be used to mature smells.

    6 years ago •

  1. NaturalDiva

    Dior Poison is a lovely scent but I agree with the article, spicy smells in summer give me a headache, they are too heavy.

    6 years ago •

  1. ABeauty

    Dior Poison smells DIVINE! I completely agree that a perfume with a lot of vanilla is great for winter.

    6 years ago •

  1. Pannack

    I am not really a fan of Oriental fragrances, but I do love vanilla! I love the more citrus scents like DKNY.

    6 years ago •

  1. Dustin

    Thanks for the info, it has put me straight. I used to like the name Oriental fragrance and would tend towards this, but the two fragrances I cannot stand are Poison and Opium, so I guess I don’t like oriental fragrances that much. I should keep to the more green floral scents. Thanks for the article it has helped me a lot.

    6 years ago •

  1. me

    Loved Opium from a long time back, and I do try to only wear it in winter.

    6 years ago •

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