You have surely already noticed that a perfume does not always smell the same.
The scents you perceive immediately after application are different from those after wearing the perfume for a while, when the scent has already unfolded. Learn more about the structure of fragrances and about the basic principle behind it.
When composing a fragrance, the fragrance designer faces the task of harmoniously coordinating approx. 150-250 different components. It must be observed that every single note will have a different intensity over the time.
A fragrance unfolds in three phases that can be visualised in a pyramid.
The scents our nose will pick up first make up the top note. The essences used here are intense but volatile. Their effect will reduce strongly just a few minutes after application. The top note usually contains intense, fresh, citric, green or watery scent notes.
e.g. bergamot, apple and jasmine
Then the long-lasting heart note is noticeable. It unfolds when the top has evaporated, forming the heart of the scent arrangement. The – usually warm – scent notes at the heart form finely harmonious graduations between the top and base notes.
They may be made up of flowery or aromatic notes, sweet spices or aldehydes and remain at the focus of the composition for a few hours.
e.g. rose, violet, orange blossom
The base note lasts the longest (several hours to days). It forms the final phase of the fragrance, its scent molecules will develop a different nuance in every person, making the base note the most individual part of a fragrance.
The base note stabilises the entire scent composition and is usually made up of heavy, lush nuances that are very intense, such as spices, animal, moss or woody essences.
e.g. sandalwood, vanilla, musk