Notes from the top

Each fragrance is a pyramid of scents - top notes, middle notes and base notes. The first of a series about fragrance blending will be about the top notes. A fragrance is a story about memories - each scent creating a path between expectation and remembrance. A story is only as successful as the emotion it triggers in the listener - with a fragrance the notes are the narrator walking through you memories, building emotions.

What are top notes?

First lines those first lines are what keeps a reader reading. It keeps an audience listening and doesn't a good melody just get your feet tapping? The same is for the top notes in a fragrance. These scents are the forerunners - the most volatile of the scents with a time limit of 5-15 minutes before they evaporate. And yet as quickly as they start they are the notes that keeps you captivated.

How do you identify top notes?

According to David Frossard, creative director of Frapin and co-founder of Les Liquides Imaginaires, top notes are the first step in creating the unique story of the fragrance. He states: “They are like something that you can’t really see. But they are there, and they are what makes the perfume alive.”

What are common top notes?

According to Master Perfumers, the four most popular top notes are: lemon, orange, grapefruit and bergamot.

Uplifting Lemon - This light sweet and bright aromatic fruit oil are often used in many fresh and stimulating fragrance compositions

Zesty Orange -  This is a full bodied scent that is often used in both male and female formulations. It's refreshing scent is used in floral fragrances conjuring images of far-away places and exotic, topical locations. Other than the sweet orange variety there are also the bitter categories. Retaining a warm, tangy, balsamic aroma blending well with spicy oils.

Sharp Grapefruit - with a sweet, sharp and tangy scent it is great top note blending fragrance. It is fresh, light and zesty giving a fuller body to the first impression blends.

Bergamot - The subtle and complex scent makes it the finest flower of citrus. While fresh it is also fruity with a spicy floral hint. It is very similar to orange with a floral note. Bergamot however are often reserved for more powerful fragrance formulations. It can be used in contrast to create a heavier fragrance when combined with a softer note amber and vanilla, and lighten heavy formulations of jasmine or spices.

Blending top notes handshakes

Building your fragrance is very similar to composing music - the melody is carried by the top notes, rhythm and percussion flows through the middle notes and the last bass that grounds the song and gives it depth is strong through the base notes. Fragrance blending starts with identifying the memory journey you want to create, the experience you want to share.  This series will wall through the steps of fragrance blending using our limited edition Rhythm and Dance soap.

Our Rhythm and Dance soap tells a story of structure and discipline, strong first impressions through basil and visual structure with the sharp contrast in white and black lines.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email