Smells, layers and notes
Scents and smells are such an integrated part of our daily lives, they help to give us a certain aura and presence. Similar to musical notes that make up a song, scent notes are the small components that make up fragrances and perfumes.
What are scent notes?
Scent notes are the different ingredients that make up a fragrance. These ingredients are categorised according to their volatility into top, middle and base notes. Top notes has high volatility, fast evaporation and is generally 5-15 minutes. Middle notes have medium volatility and medium evaporation, 20-60 minutes whereas base notes have the lowest volatility, slowest evaporation up to 6 hours.
What are top notes?
Top notes are the first impressions of fragrances they have small and very volatile molecules that evaporate quickly. Their main purpose is to introduce the product before transitioning smoothly to the middle notes, lingering only 5-15 minutes.
Scents in this class are usually described as "fresh" or "sharp" common scents are citrus - like lemon, orange and bergamot, or floral notes such as lavender and rose. Spicy notes range from basil to anise and ginger.
What are middle notes?
Middle notes are the heart or main body of the fragrance and starts to emerge just before the top notes evaporates completely. Their scents are more full bodied and rounded giving a more mellow tone to the fragrance. Middle notes are usually 70% of the total fragrance and last longer than top notes.
Scents in this class are richer and bolder giving depth to the fragrance with floral scents like jasmine, neroli, ylang-ylang; or spicy ranging from cinnamon, pepper and cardamon.
What are base notes?
Foundation or base notes gives structure and long lasting impressions of the fragrance. They support and add depth to the lighter notes and can last up to 6 hours! Compounds in these scents are often fixatives to hold and boost the strength of the lighter top and middle notes. These scents are described as "deep" or "rich" - vanilla, sandalwood and amber are popular base notes
Creating a fragrance
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.