What are the ‘notes’ that perfume stores refer to? Notes are each of the identifiable scents that make a fragrance.
Each fragrance usually consists of 3 distinct note or layers, and each layer reveals itself slowly, as they all work in synergy to create smell.
TOP (HEAD) NOTE : The first scent you smell as soon as a fragrance is sprayed is the top note, which dominate the character for the first 10 to 30 minutes. These are light molecules that will evaporate quickly. Perfumers usually use fresh ingredients like aromatics, aquatic and citrus fruit to create it.
MIDDLE (HEART) NOTE: The middle note appears once the top note starts to disappear. It is less powerful and is usually the intensity and the identity (your signature note) behind the perfume. The middle note can start at 20 to 30 minutes and last a maximum of 2 - 4 hours. Perfumers usually use floral notes, green, fruity or spicy notes to create it.
BASE (DRY DOWN) NOTE: These are the rich heavy notes that provide the perfume its depth. It is always there all along, but masked by the previous notes. This last note is created using generous and persistent balsamic and wooded ingredients, which is what gives the perfume an enduring or lasting character. The heavy molecules stay on your skin longer, for 4 - 5 hours and sometimes even many days.
Now that you understand the functions of notes, always wait a few moments and give the fragrance time to bloom on your skin, to let the notes ‘talk’ to you.
Compare our above explanation to our clear Fragrance Note descriptions in the following perfumes before you buy them: