The scent you perceive immediately after applying a perfume is different from the scent you perceive after wearing a perfume, once the scent has unfolded. There are gradual changes in aroma as ingredients in it fade away. The structure of fragrance follows a basic principle, evolving through three phases – the top, middle, and bottom notes - with each botanical offering a different intensity over time.
The top notes are the initial, sharp, penetrating and fleeting compounds of the fragrance that hit the nose first. It introduces the perfume and forms the first impression, then evaporates quickly. The top notes lasts around 15 minutes – 2 hours. Examples of these notes include citruses, light florals, and fruity scents. These should make up 10-30% of your blend.
The middle notes, also referred to as the heart notes, are full-bodied and showcase the theme or focal point of the fragrance. These develop after the top note clears – around 15-30 minutes and can last 3-5 hours after being sprayed. Heart notes most often include heavier floral scents. These should make up 30-50% of your blend.
The base notes are the foundation upon which the perfume is built – they are dense, heavy, deep and tenacious, and are the last to develop. They become more noticeable once the fragrance has been on the skin for a while and can last 5-10 hours. It’s scent molecules will develop a different nuance in every persona, making it the most individual part of a fragrance. The base note stabilizes the entire scent composition and includes earthy, woody, musky and mossy scents. They should make up 15-30% of your blend.