The MakeUpInBusiness Guide to Fragrance Notes in Perfume.
For quite a few of us, finding the right perfume is a matter of simply trying on different samples or smelling the Avon fragrance dots in the brochure pages. Most of us have a firm grasp on what scents we prefer, but have you ever wondered just what makes up those beautiful layers of fragrance you spritz on your wrist or dab behind an ear? They are called perfume notes and we are here to explain them so that you can discuss them like a pro!
Every perfume blends a wide variety of scents to create a signature fragrance. A melody of fresh flowers, synthetic scents and everything between the two can be mixed together in limitless combinations to create a masterpiece. However, all scents – no matter how simple or complex -are a blend of at least three perfume notes. Perfume notes are much like musical notes that make up a melody or individual colors that form a beautiful painting.
These notes are broken down into three levels called top notes, heart notes and base notes. Here is an explanation of how each part plays a role in making up the fragrances we all adore.
The top note, also known as the opening or head note, is the first thing you notice about a perfume. When the fragrance first makes contact with our skin, we are given a first impression of it. This note’s stay is very brief, lasting only twenty seconds or so before the heart and base notes begin to change the overall smell of the fragrance to form a new impression. However, it is usually this initial smell that drives our decision to purchase or not.
Since the top note is designed to dispel within a short period, it is usually made up of light oils. Commonly, it comes from citrus fruits, herbs or flowers. This is why you usually find people describing perfumes primarily in terms of smelling like lemons, gardenias, lavender and so on. Rather than the scents that will follow once the top note has evaporated to reveal the next layer.
The centerpiece of any fragrance is aptly named the heart note, sometimes referred to as the middle note. This level is made up of a more robust oil than the lighter one used for the top note. It usually makes up at least half of the oils found in a bottle of perfume and is designed to last longer on the skin. Once the top note has faded, this is the scent that will be predominate.
The scents found in the heart note will react with your skin to form a fragrance that lingers for anywhere from two to four hours before leaving the base note to take over. This note is usually floral or fruity and robust. It is longer lasting than the top note, but not so long as the base note.
The job of the heart note is to create a harmonious dance with the earthier base notes below so that there is a seamless transition from where one level leaves off and the next begins. Common heart notes are coriander, jasmine or lemongrass, to name only a few.
Finally, we come down to the base note. These essential oils can last for days on your skin. While you may find an enormous variety of scents used for top and heart notes, the base note is usually compromised of only a few core scents that are dense enough to stand their ground for a long while.
Comprising about twenty percent of the fragrance, the base note is usually derived from earthy scents like sandalwood, musk or patchouli. While these scents alone would be too strong for most to find pleasant, they work well with the upper level notes. It is this level of notes that is left behind when the top note has faded and the heart note has begun to wane, creating a lasting impression of the perfumes body.
So, as you can see, there is much more to a perfume than meets the nose. It is much more than a chemical mixture that just happens to smell nice. Fragrances are a work of art created by an artist who uses the notes in just the right way to create something beautiful.
Brochure 6 2017 features an Avon Fragrance Store special edit –
One of my favourites recently has been Avon Life designed by the world renowned designer Kenzo Takada. (yes this is in Avon!!) With tones of waterlily, violet and iris flower this is a beautiful fragrance….or if you’re looking for a nice fresh perfume for day wear then I would definitely recommend the new Viva La Vita perfume just launched by Avon, with tones of pink apple, rose petals and vanilla bean.
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Zoe Davies – Avon Independent Executive Sales Leader
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