A good fragrance oil is a bit like music; lots of notes combine to make the music. Music is made up of lots of different notes and chords from different instruments. A good fragrance is made up for various fragrance notes and accords. A fragrance note is one scent, eg bergamot. An accord is several fragrance notes combined to create something unique eg a sea / marine smell, an accord.
Fragrance notes are split into top, middle and bottom notes. The top notes are the lighter notes that are released first and are the first to fade. These give you an initial fragrance but this changes and the mid and bottom notes are released. Bergamot is a popular top note in many of our fragrance oils. The mid notes are often called the heart of the fragrance. These make up most of the character of the fragrance and start to come off after the top notes. When choosing a fragrance oil look more closely at the mid notes than the top and base notes. The base notes are the last to be released. These blend with the mid notes to add layers of complexity of the fragrance. The base notes should linger long after the rest of the fragrance notes have faded. Some fragrance notes can be top or mid notes, mid or base notes but the heavier woods are usually just base notes.
Fragrance notes are split in to families or categories. We will cover the categories in detail in another blog. When looking at the fragrance notes its impossible to know which are the more prominent notes but looking at each fragrance note should help you form an idea of what a fragrance should smell like. If you look at an aftershave type fragrance you know its going to be fairly powerful when compared to something like aloe and cucumber. Both can be strong, can fill a house with strong fragrance but you perceive the aftershave differently to aloe & cucumber as the natural components of both aloe and cucumber are much softer, more subtle than an aftershave fragrance.
We will look at an example to try and illustrate forming an idea of what a fragrance will smell like. These are the fragrance notes for our fragrance oil, ‘light at the end of the tunnel’
Top notes of golden delicious apple, Sicilian lemon and bergamot. Mid notes of ozone, jasmine, water and green bamboo accord finishing with base notes of cedarwood, amber and white musk.
If you look at the top notes they are light and fresh, citrus softened by the apple. The mid notes are subtle, light and fresh. Think of what ozone (fresh sunny air or air after a storm), water, and green bamboo smell like. Only the jasmine is a powerful note but it is used sparingly so as not to dominate the other fragrance notes. If you look at the base notes these too are soft and light for base notes compared to some heavier base notes. If you want to see a description of this fragrance oil in our own words its here.Hopefully this blog has helped you to look at the fragrance description to get an idea what the fragrance will smell like. We will do further blogs to cover each fragrance family. If we have done a fragrance review on an oil there will be a link on the fragrance listing just above documents and it will be in our blog section on the website. There is a lot of information in our private Facebook group