Fragrance Notes Explained

What are fragrance ‘notes’?

These are the ingredients used to make up the perfume, and can range from plant and flower extracts to synthetically-created molecules. New technology can recreate the essence of almost any scent on earth, with recent examples including candy floss, sea salt and caramel.

What do the ‘Top’, ‘Heart’ and ‘Base’ categories mean?

Top Notes: Top notes are evident as soon as the liquid touches your skin. These are usually lighter than the other ingredients, and function by shaping the primary fragrance burst.

Heart or Middle Notes: Shortly after application, the top notes give way to the heart notes. These are usually floral, as most fruity notes are too light for this layer. These middle notes make up the core perfume as it sits on the skin, and it is these layers that define the ultimate dry down, when the perfume settles on to the skin.

Base notes: The base notes determine how long a fragrance will last, and provide a background on which the heart notes can be appreciated. Interestingly, most fragrances have similar base notes, often including sandalwood, amber, musk and vanilla. This is because there are only a certain number of notes that will last long enough on the skin to form the base of a fragrance.