Top Notes, Middle Notes, Base Notes

Ever wondered what people mean when they refer to the top, middle, and base notes of a fragrance? We're here to break it down for you and help you understand how Olfactory NYC utilizes different types of notes during the custom scent process. 

What Are Fragrance Notes?

In perfumery, "notes" refer to the different scent ingredients within a fragrance. Perfumers carefully combine many different notes when creating a fragrance in order to achieve a particular effect. 

Fragrance Pyramid

The fragrance pyramid is a way of looking at a fragrance's structure and the notes within it. The fragrance pyramid is split into three vertical parts: top notes, middle notes, and base notes. One fragrance typically has multiple notes within each category. 

How do we know whether a fragrance note is a top, middle, or base note? A note's classification is determined by its longevity and the order in which it is sensed. Often this is dictated by the molecular weight of the ingredient. 

Top Notes (Head)

The top notes--also known as the head--are the notes of the fragrance that hit you first. They are important for their role as the first impression of a fragrance. Top notes are lighter, more volatile, and the most fleeting scents in a fragrance. Some examples include citruses, light herbs, and tart fruits.

Middle Notes (Heart)

The middle notes--also known as the heart--are notes that are multidimensional and can be sensed in the fragrance from beginning to end, particularly after the top notes have faded. Middle notes provide the robust character of the fragrance. Some examples include florals, light woods, spices, and dark fruits.

Base Notes (Dry-Down)

The base notes--also known as the dry-down--are notes that linger the longest on your skin and are the slowest to evaporate. Because they are more subtle in comparison to the top and middle notes they may be the last notes you identify in the fragrance. 

How Olfactory NYC Utilizes Top, Middle, and Base Notes During Customization

Olfactory NYC's core scents have simple top, middle, and base notes that are very easy to add to during the custom fragrance process. We customize by adding in additional accords to the core scent you like best. Accords are simply a blend of fragrance notes designed to boost a fragrance facet or steer the scent in an exciting new direction!

When you customize an Olfactory NYC scent, you're able to take the fragrance in any direction you'd like!

Based outside of NYC? Learn more about our remote custom scent process here. Local to NYC and ready to book your in-store appointment? Right this way!