New : Free access to the SFP classification!

Carl Linnaeus - father of modern taxonomy

Carl Linnaeus – father of modern taxonomy

Hi everyone!

Does anyone know how long the classification of the Société Française des Parfumeurs has been available to everyone whether you are a member or not? I know it used to exist and then it seemed to disappear for the longest time.  And now it’s back.  It’s great news… I just that I wish I had known about it earlier!

Check it out and thank you La Société Française des Parfumeurs!

Leave a comment


  1. S. Singh

     /  June 25, 2013

    Hi Normand,

    I’d like to thank you for your informative and often amusing reviews!
    I rarely comment on the internet, but I find the SFP’s Classification System and Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Wheel both fascinating.

    In November 2012 I was trying to find out where to place ‘Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès’ and discovered the free online availability of the SFP’s classification. So it was at least available since November 2012, but before November I didn’t visit the SPF’s website for a long time. So I can’t exactly tell when they made it available again.

    I couldn’t find ‘Eau de Gentiane Blanche’ in their search engine at the time, and therefore asked the SFP and the Osmothèque by e-mail. I got my answer in February 2013 and noticed then that the SPF had updated it’s classification system with more subclasses (like A7: Citrus musk, and E9: Woody musk), to a total of 47.

    Some classifications may seem odd in the first place; Moustache (1949) and YSL pour Homme (1971) are placed by the SFP under C1; Fougère. While Edwards places YSL pour Homme for instance under ‘Rich Citrus’ (because his principle is how the perfume smells). But after reading the criteria for C1 I can understand the SFP. Right now I’m trying to find out where to exactly classify Pure Malt by Thierry Mugler. I have a general idea, but want to be sure. So, I’ve sent an e-mail again.

    Since the SFP and Osmothèque work together closely, you could also visit the Osmothèque’s catalogue. Their catalogue is ‘under construction’ since a few weeks, but this link still works:

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Sailinder!

      Thanks for your very complete and interesting comment! So somebody else is interested in perfume classification! I’m wondering where they are going to put Jour d’Hermès.

      I guess I had given up on the SFP because for the longest time their search engine was not available and I’ve been saying so in lectures and a published article. Oh well… it’s back now.

      Thanks Sailinder!


  2. Great information. Thank you Normand for this resource as often I classify things myself or ask readers to help me figure them out.

  3. Natalie

     /  July 7, 2013

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been using Michael Edwards’ classifications; this is a nice supplement (and much easier to search).

    • What fascinates me are the differences in classifications… how two perfumes can be classified in such different families.

  4. Yes, I’ve noticed that with other sources (not these two specifically), and on perfumes (in some cases) where I thought there couldn’t be much disagreement. I can’t remember one offhand, but I definitely remember thinking “huh?” once or twice.

  5. I have never actually bothered with classifications because I really can’t understand them but I have also never given up on them. I keep coming back and testing myself to see if after years of smelling they have started to make sense to me. Fougère is probably the one family that I sort of “get”. It is interesting, as much as it is confusing however, to see Shiseido Tactics classified as a Boisé and my favourite Jacomo Eau Cendrée as a Hesperidé…. I would have expected it the other way around.

    • That’s what I find so fascinating about classification schemes… where they falter. It makes me laugh to imagine after a few drinks, a couple of perfumistas in an all-out bar brawl over a “misclassified” scent. Thanks for that example and taking the time to write!



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