Fragrance Notes Explained

Fragrance Notes Explained

Fragrance notes. We hear about them all the time in perfumes, colognes, candles, and so many other things. But what are they? And what part do they play in how you perceive fragrance. They were a mystery for us to, so let's talk about what they really are and what you should know.

Most fragrance profile descriptions are separated in 3 categories: top (or head) notes, middle (or heart) notes, and base notes. And they all play a part in how you interpret ow something smells.

Top  / Head Notes

Top, or head notes, are generally that you'll the fragrances that you will notice first. These don't usually hang around for very long, but they play a huge role in your initial impression of a fragrance. In most cases, these will only hang around for somewhere between 5 and 15 minutes.

Middle / Heart Notes

As you can probably tell, middle or heart notes make up the bulk of a fragrance. These usually incorporate some of the top notes, but also add additional fragrances to enrich the fragrance. These are usually the most predominant in defining the long term identity of a particular fragrance. These tend to hang around a bit longer - so think the next 20 to 60 minutes.

Base Notes

That leaves us with base notes. The foundation of any fragrance. The job of the base notes are to enhance the top and middle notes. They tend to be richer and more long lasting. They are usually not noticed initially, but they usually come in after the first 30 to 45 minutes and linger for much longer than either of the other types.

These are general guidelines of how to interpret fragrance, but these can definitely vary by individual. Some people are more sensitive to specific scent that also play into the equation of how you interpret fragrance. But understand how fragrance notes are described and what they mean can be a huge benefit when trying to evaluate a fragrance when you can't actually smell it.