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Common scents: 6 basic fragrance types

For men who find a trip to the perfume counter more daunting than cleaning out the garage, here's a simple guide for picking the right sweet scent for your mom, keeping your wallet in mind.

The following list reviews the six common fragrance groups and provides examples of top-selling brands and their manufacturers in four price ranges:

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Floral -- The largest, and most popular, category is created mainly from flowers, such as roses, orange blossoms, gardenias, jasmine and carnations. These are often blended together to produce a distinctive floral bouquet.

$0-24: Beautiful (Estee Lauder) -- 0.06 oz. Touch-on Parfum
$28-49: Happy to Be (Clinique) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$50-74: Summer (Kenzo) -- 2.5 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$75-100: Vera Wang (Vera Wang) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray

Oriental -- A heady mix of spices, amber, balsams and resins marks this type, suggestive of warmth and exotic sensuality. Because of the group's rich, musky traits, these luxurious scents make the best statement in the winter, says Rochelle Bloom, president of the Fragrance Foundation.

$0-36: Taste (Jessica Simpson) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$37-49: Obsession (Calvin Klein) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$50-60: Violet Angel (Thierry Mugler) -- 0.8 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$70-100: Euphoria (Calvin Klein) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray

Citrus -- Derived from citrus fruits such as lime, lemon, tangerine and mandarin, this fragrance type projects a sharp, tangy aroma. Naturally refreshing and uplifting, citrus blends work well for women who don't want to wear overpowering fragrance.

$0-38: CK One Summer (Calvin Klein) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Toilette
$39-49: Ginger with a Twist (Origin) -- 3.4 oz. Sparkling Body Cocktail
$50-74: Be Delicious (Donna Karan) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$75-100: Eau de Cartier (Cartier) -- 6.8 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray

Chypre -- A notably woodsy-mossy mix, this type was given its name by French perfumer Francois Coty, who created a scent based on his impression of the island of Cyprus. "Chypre" simply is French for Cyprus and is pronounced "SHIP-ruh." Hints of bergamot, oak moss, citrus and patchouli enrich the sweet, earthy aromas.

$0-24: Pure Turquoise (Ralph Lauren) -- 0.25 oz. Eau de Parfum Spray
$25-49: Lovely (Sarah Jessica Parker) -- 1 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray
$50-74: Cashmere Mist (Donna Karan) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray
$75-110: Timbuktu (L'Artisan Parfumeur) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray

Green -- Sharp, grassy notes blend with pine, juniper, leaves and herbs to create memorable perfumes. Sporty and brisk, green scents make good buys for the outdoorsy woman.

$0-24: Safari (Ralph Lauren) -- 0.12 oz. Mini Perfume
$25-49: G De Gigli (Romeo Gigli) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray
$50-74: Haute Couture (Hanae Mori) -- 1.7 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray
$75-380: Bond No. 9 (Bond No. 9 New York) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray

Fougere -- French for fern and pronounced "foo-JHAIR," it's a combination of fresh herbs and mossy ferns that come together in a sophisticated urban style. While men typically wear fougere fragrances, fougere fragrances still capture women's olfactory attention. One fougere scent, Jean Nate by Revlon, has been a best-selling scent for women since its launch in 1935.

$0-24: Jean Nate (Revlon) -- 2.25 oz. concentrated Cologne Spray
$25-49: Cool Water (Davidoff) -- 3.3 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray
$50-74: Sport (Liz Claiborne) -- 3.4 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray
$75-100: New Tradition (Etro) -- 3.3 oz. Eau De Toilette Spray

Leslie Hunt contributed to this story.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy
-- Updated: Feb. 6, 2006
 
 
More stories by Susan Fenton
 
 RESOURCES
A guy's guide to fragrances
Using fragrance wisely
Financial advice glossary
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