February 25, 2022 3 min read

Perfume can be an essential part of anyone's wardrobe. Having a signature scented lends its wearer an additional element of depth and style that clothes alone can’t typically achieve. 

However, a crucial and often misunderstood part of the perfumer experience is the use of fragrance notes. In much the same way that dinner can be divided into a three-course meal, a fragrance can be divided into three major components known as notes. 

Each note in a perfume is a unique aroma and component that, when combined, can create the pleasing fragrance you expect. However, how these individual components behave is essential information to be aware of. 

So, as a result, we’ve decided to go on a bit of a deep dive into the world of fragrance notes and explain each component's desired utility and effect. 

Read on! 

What Are Perfume Notes? 

In simple terms, perfume notes are ingredients that make up a single fragrance. Perfume notes are divided into three categories; top notes, heart notes, and base notes. 

When carefully selected and blended, perfume notes form in an accord - or the fundamental character of a fragrance. When you first try out a scent and smell it directly, you’re more than likely experiencing the fragrance accord rather than a single note. 

Top Notes

Top notes are the top layer of a fragrance and are the first scents you experience after spraying the perfume. Top notes are vital since their purpose is to create an excellent first impression between the wearer and the bottle. 

As the goal of a top note is to introduce the wearer to the fragrance, they typically last for a relatively brief period of time, lasting only for the first 15 minutes of application. As you can imagine, top notes usually consist of lighter, citrus-like scents, such as lemon, bergamot, and orange. 

Heart Notes

As you can imagine, heart notes make up the “heart” of a fragrance and function as a buffer between the top notes and the base notes, as these can be overwhelming on their own. 

As a result, heart notes are typically much more full-bodied and consist of aromatic floral oils such as jasmine and geranium. They can also commonly consist of cinnamon, black pepper, and cardamom. 

At Scents of Wood, we firmly believe in the idea of using spiced ingredients as heart notes for our perfumes, with fragrances built around heart notes of bourbon, leather, and cognac, to name a few. 

Base Notes 

Base notes are, unsurprisingly, the foundation of a fragrance. The role of the base note is to add depth and resonance to the aroma and can last up to 6 hours on the skin after application. 

As a result of their desired lasting power, bases notes often center around rich and heavy components that should only be felt after the top and heart notes have left the skin. 

Base notes typically use vanilla, amber, and musk as ingredients. However, other wood ingredients are valuable additions as well. At Scents of wood, we love using oak, oud, sandalwood, and cedarwood as ideal base notes for our fragrances. 

That’s it for today’s blog, be sure to check back in the week as we delve deeper into the exciting world of luxury barrel-aged scents for the home and personal use.