The fragrance Pyramid :
Like a musical symphony, a perfume is also composed. This composition is made up of three ‘note’ phases or sections, which are collectively known as the Fragrance Pyramid. The phases are ranked by the volatility of their notes, with the top notes and lightest molecularly lasting from 1 to 10 minutes, the middle or heart notes up to 4 hours and the base notes, which are the heaviest molecules, lingering on for more than 4 hours. The balance and interaction of each of these phases play equally important roles in the creation of the fragrance’s accord, and each phase has its own unique purpose in the scent formation:
‘The First Impression’
These are the top notes , light, fresh and fleeting. The initial smell that is experienced as the perfume is sprayed onto the skin, they entice the nose and smoothly transition into the heart of the scent. These notes are often citrus, green or ozonic in character, like bergamot or galbanum.
The middle or heart notes, display the intensity and character of the scent. Well- rounded and pleasant to smell, they have a strong influence on the base notes to come. These notes are usually of a floral, fruity or spicy quality. This is the core of the scent with the most common notes being rose, geranium, lemongrass, jasmine, nutmeg, neroli or coriander.
Base notes are deep, strong and enduring. They ground the scent and interact with the heart notes to create the full body of the fragrance. Once all the preceding notes have completely evaporated, what lingers on the skin is known as the dry-down. These notes can be classified as gourmand, musky or woody in appeal, with cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla, amber, oakmoss and musk being most commonly applied.