The New Oriental-Ambers
The term oriental was first used in the early 20th century for perfumes like Shalimar (still considered the archetypal oriental). At that time "the orient" or as we now know it, asian culture, was very much in fashion and was considered mysterious, seductive, dangerous and forbidden. Oriental fragrances tend to be heavy with spices, balsams, vanilla and animal notes. These fragrances are sweet and heady, the anti-thesis to sporty and fresh fragrances. Gourmand fragrances, such as caramels and dessert scents, usually fall under the oriental family as well. Orientals can be heavy floral (more traditionally feminine) or rich woody (more traditionally masculine) and are usually best for evenings or when temperatures are colder since they have a beautiful warming effect.