UNDERSTANDING PERFUME NOTES
TOP | MIDDLE | BASE
‘Notes’ is a term used in perfumery to describe the category a scent falls into, based on its scent and staying power.
Essential oil was perfume for centuries before the invention of artificial fragrance so they are assigned notes that describe where they fall on the perfumer’s scale.
The three types of fragrance notes are as follows: top notes, also known as head notes; middle notes, also known as heart notes; and base notes.
These are first impression scents, the one that you smell first when you breathe in a blend. Top notes have tiny, light molecules that evaporate quickly. These top note scents are often described as cheerful, bright, light, refreshing.
These are scents that emerge from a blend right after the top notes have evaporated away and give perfumes their main body, their “heart,” which is why the middle note is sometimes called the ‘heart note.’ Middle notes do not evaporate as quickly as top notes and linger on the skin longer.
They describe the oils that stay with you the longest. They have heavy molecules that take much longer to evaporate. Base notes add depth and richness to a blend as well as acting as an anchor for the entire perfume. In perfume, you smell these scents after the tops and middles have faded away and the entire blend has settled in.