We all have our personal preferences when it comes to perfume some of us like fresh scent, fruity and floral, or woody and musky. Whatever it is, they all almost seem impossible to achieve without combining several ingredients into the perfume. Ingredients in perfume are well known as 'notes' that make up the perfume's fragrant accord. Much like musical notes that build up a song, or various shades of colors that can turn a blank canvas into a wholesome painting, fragrance notes are essential to making perfume.
Perfume notes are separated by three-note scales that possess their primary purpose, usually visualized as a three-layer pyramid. Notes at the top of the pyramid have higher volatility or in other words, they evaporate faster. The more it goes down, the more it will be long-lasting. To give a whole understanding of perfume notes and how they work. Let's break them down one by one.
Perfume Notes Chart/ Foto: Fragrance X
Top notes indicate opening notes, which form the top layer of a fragrance. To put it simply, top notes are the scents you will smell right after you spray perfume. Top notes are the lightest of all the notes, and because of this, it's also the first to fade. Yet, they play a huge role in determining the initial scents that can lure you in and create your first impression of the fragrance. Aside from setting first impressions, top notes' main purpose is to give off an initial scent before smoothly transitioning into the next part of the fragrance. Overall, the top notes evaporate more quickly than the rest of the notes lingering around for only the first five to fifteen minutes, with popular ingredients such as lemon, orange, bergamot, lavender, rose, and basil inside.
Often known as the middle notes, heart notes make up the heart of the fragrance that contains the truest nature of the perfume. Their function is to retain some of the top notes' aroma while at the same time unraveling new scents. They make up approximately 40-80% of the total scent making this layer become the foundation of any fragrance out there. Heart notes start to appear once the top notes start to fade away, and they will remain evident for the full life of the fragrance as they also serve as a buffer for the base notes, which may not smell as pleasant on their own. Heart notes last for 20 to 60 minutes and are usually filled with ingredients like jasmine, geranium, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, lemon grass, and cardamom.
At the bottom of the fragrance pyramid lies the so-called base notes. Base notes will start shining through once the top notes have completely evaporated. Unlike top notes that shape the wearer's initial impression, the base notes will create the final, lasting impression. Base notes are often very rich, heavy, and long-lasting. They make up 10-25% of the final fragrance, and since base notes sink into your skin, they can last up to six hours or more. The common base notes include cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, patchouli, and musk.
From here, we learn that fragrance notes play a crucial role in a perfume's appeal. There's no limit to the number that can be used in each fragrance, but each note usually blends at least three ingredients. It's the individual arrangements of each respective note that creates a unique scent. Without combining these different notes, a perfume's scent would just not be as pleasant. What are your favorite notes in perfume?