Know more about Perfume Notes

Our wardrobe is so incomplete without a nice perfume bottle in it and we know that you agree with us completely. A fragrance expresses opulence and always tells a story. Our late-night fragrance might be different from the one that we prefer in the morning and maybe both of these are poles apart from each other and in some cases non-identical to our daily wear perfume.

What goes into a perfume bottle is no mystery, it comprises essential oils, alcohol, and water. But, why do we get distinct aromas after every passing moment? Now that’s a mystery.

A fragrance has 3 basic elements or notes as they are called

  • Top or Headnote 
  • Middle or Heart note
  • Base note

Just like how the amalgamation of different musical notes makes up a song, the individual components or notes in perfume when combined together form a unified, pleasing perfume.

What are perfume notes?

The layers that make up a fragrance are known as perfume notes. They are categorized as top, middle, and base notes and their careful blend forms the basic character of a fragrance. A perfumer faithfully selects notes that will make his/her concoction a pleasant yet heady scent that has the power to evoke certain experiences. The notes are classified in a fragrance pyramid based on the volatility.

  • Top (Head) Notes - Also referred to as the opening note, it is the top layer of perfume and is the first scent that you detect after spraying the perfume. The top note evaporates quickly and does not stay longer than 15 minutes. These notes are crucial in forming first impressions and also play a role in shaping the fragrance’s story. 
  • Some of the popular headnotes are - orange, bergamot, and grapefruit and even though they are the lightest of all notes, still they have the most impact on the wearer itself. 
  • Middle (Heart) Notes - As the name suggests, the middle notes make up the ‘heart’ of a fragrance. Its main function is to retain some essence of the top notes and also act as a buffer for the base notes. The mellow heart notes comprise 50-70% of the total scent and that is why it comes alive when the top notes dissipate and remain evident for the full life of the fragrance.
  • Some of the popular heart notes are - lavender, nutmeg, and lemongrass and make up the body of the perfume and stay on for around 1 hour.
  • Base (Dry-down) Notes - The base notes are the foundation of a fragrance and add richness and solidity to the lighter notes when they come alive after 30 minutes. They have a heavier molecular structure and this is the reason why it has a very long stay which can go up to more than 8 hours. 
  • Some of the popular base notes are - vanilla, cedarwood, and musk and because they sink into the skin, thus making a long-lasting impression.

A good perfume is one that transitions smoothly from top to bottom but you also need to check how it interacts with your skin because that is when it becomes unique. It may be challenging to find the perfect combination of the notes that suits you but the fragrance wheel can be of much assistance in your journey to find the perfect blend