February 11, 2022 3 min read

In the world of perfumery, there are a lot of different terms and words that get thrown around that you usually don’t hear anywhere else. A smell can be a challenging experience to define with words, leaving the essence of the sense a little lost in translation as a result. So, words for fragrances have to be pretty on point to give an accurate picture of what’s going on.

Describing a scent can be more about the feelings or memories we often attribute those odors with. Some of these are near-universal, making it simple to make the appropriate comparison. For example, anyone who’s been to the beach or seaside will know the saltiness in the air and the smell of the ocean. Of course, describing that can be a little more complicated than what you’d initially believe!

So, in today’s blog, we’ve devised a brief list of some of the most important terms for you to refer to when reading about fragrances and the key elements to look out for when choosing your own!

Read on!


Oud in Oak


Perfume accords are a balanced blend of three or four notes. The notes combine to create an entirely new, unified scent or odor impression.


Perfume is defined by three experiences, or “notes”:  top, middle, and base.

Base Notes

Base notes are lingering scents you smell on your skin after all the notes evaporate.  They are also the notes that make a perfume last longer.


The harmonious mix of fragrance ingredients.


The middle or “heart” of a perfume makes up the central fragrance theme. It is also used to describe a well-rounded or complete fragrance.


Cedar in Acacia


A blend of floral notes.

Heart Notes

The second phase of a perfume’s evaporation on the skin.  The heart, or middle, notes make up the perfume’s body and theme of a fragrance.  These are the notes that classify the fragrance family or accord.  It typically takes ten to twenty minutes for the middle notes to blossom on the skin.


Giving life to a fragrance by adding a brilliant top note. A lift can also refer to the diffusiveness of a given blend. A perfume with a lift can diffuse or spread quickly in the surrounding area.


Fragrance descriptions are provided to perfumers to inspire a perfume’s formulation.  Marketing teams often prepare profiles.  And they contain a fragrance plan, type, name, package, color/theme, mood, impression, cost parameters, etc.

Rounding Out

Natural perfume ingredients added to a fragrance to enrich or soften any lingering harsh qualities.


Oak in Bourbon


The dominant theme or note of a fragrance.

Top Notes

The first impression of perfume when sniffed or applied to the skin. These notes are the most volatile and evaporate quickly.


The subtle background characteristics of a fragrance.

Vertical Formula

 A fragrance construction where the scent is made to remain the same from the first note to the last.  There is no discernable transition from top to bottom notes.

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.