A symphony of perfumes

13 Feb 2018

What is a fragrance pyramid? And how does it unfold on us when we use perfumes?

The citrusy top notes are revealed at first, and then the scene moves on to the floral heart notes; the musky and woody base notes linger for the rest of the day. Blending perfume is, in fact, very similar to writing symphonies, and a skilled perfumer conducts fragrance notes according to the speed with which different ingredients evaporate, composing the cadence of scents so that they "sway" over time.

Top notes: just like a graceful prelude, top notes are the first scent you will notice when you spray on your perfume. Citrus notes are common as top notes, as ingredients like these generally evaporate more quickly, capturing one’s heart with their immediate and powerful scent.

Middle notes: As the top notes fade (they usually only last a few minutes), the middle tones start revealing themselves, lingering for about an hour. Floral notes are often used as middle notes.

Base notes: Known as the foundation of a fragrance, base notes start to unveil themselves when the middle notes are still present, complementing them. Base notes such as musk, amber and vanilla stay on our skin for several hours (some ingredients such as sandalwood can even stay fragrant for up to two days!).