Musical notes make up a song, various shades of colours turn into a painting; mixing different ingredients result into a perfect dish similarly fragrance notes are necessary to make a perfume. Understanding fragrance notes is the key for any perfume lover – get to know your notes and find the right scent every time. Notes are simply a way of describing the components that make up each element of a perfume and are divided into the top, heart, and base notes. Many perfume experts believe that if you understand the basic principles of fragrance, you’ll be onestep closer to buying a scent that you’ll truly love
Top notes are important while making an initial impression because top notes are made up of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly but appear immediately after spraying a perfume. They are fresh and soothing and represent the story of the fragrance. They set the stage, so to express and are meant to entice and intrigue.
Top Notes Include: Sage, lavender, light fruits, ginger and citrus such as lemon, sage, orange zest and bergamot1.
Heart notes are pleasantly smooth and stick around for a longer period of time. These are often considered as the main body of the perfume. The heart of any fragrance lies in its middle notes which make up anywhere from 40 to 80% of the total scent. They only become noticeable after the top notes are gone and they take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to unfold on the skin.
Heart Notes Include: lavender, rose, black pepper, pine, geranium, rosemary, juniper lemongrass, ylang ylang, coriander, nutmeg, neroli and jasmine1.
Finally, base notes appear once top notes are completely evaporated. They mainly introduce depth and solidity and their odour lasts for the longest upto 24 hours. The base note collaborates with the heart note to create the full body of the perfume. The main job of the base note is to give an ever lasting impression in order to create a unique mark of you.
Base Note Include: cedar wood, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, patchouli, oakmoss and musk1.
Perfumers use various fragrance families to characterise their creation. These families have further sub-families within them. The main five fragrance families are floral, oriental, fresh, fougère and woody each having subparts within them.
Do you love the mood uplifting and romantic scents of roses, jasmine, lilies and frangipani?
If yes, then your taste definitely falls within the floral family (of Soft Floral, and Floral Oriental). These are the most popular perfume family especially among women. These perfumes are delicate and feminine.
Have you ever witnessed mysterious air of fragrance?
If not, then here is a chance for you, Woody fragrance group made up of deeper notes such as amber, cedar and sandalwood, Wood1 conjures up an air of mystery, making it perfect for an evening when a more potent scent is what’s needed.
Are you feeling tired or want a fresh start of your day?
If yes, then all you need is a perfume made up of fresh notes – think freshly-cut grass, sea spray and crushed green leaves – will make you feel energised and ready for anything. The fragrance family is made up of the sub parts of Citrus, Green and Water1, families.
Last but not theleast Fougère is the final element within thefragrance family tree and contains elements from each of the other fourfamilies. This family is used to create a traditionally masculine perfumewith the help of lavender, geranium, vetiver, bergamot, oakmoss andcoumarin1.
By Devendra Verma – Devendra is a passionate writer, ambitious journalist and an intern with Mistpoffer®
1) AlphaAromatics. (2018).Understanding The Top Notes, Heart Notes & Base Notes of Fragrance. [online] Available at: https://www.alphaaromatics.com/blog/understanding-the-top-notes-heart-notes-base-notes-of-fragrance/[Accessed 17 Dec. 2018].
2) Hufton,C. (2018). How to decode fragrance notes like a perfumer. [online]The Telegraph. Available at:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/luxury/premium-perfume/decoding-fragrance-notes/[Accessed 17 Dec. 2018].
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