Perfume Guide – Understanding Your Fragrance
Accords & Notes
Creating a perfume is like composing a piece of music. Building a song from scratch requires chords and chords are made when various notes are combined accordingly. When the notes are joined together in the correct sequence, a chord is invented and harmony is created. The term “accord” (“a chord”) in the fragrance world is used to express the combination of at least two notes mixed together to create a third note, which together becomes the scent profile.
The word “note” describes a specific aroma. Each note plays a distinct and intentional role in the chemistry of the fragrance. The true essence of a fragrance develops from the collective reaction of the unique notes once they make contact with skin.
Notes are separated into three tiers; top and/or head note(s), middle and/or heart note(s), and base note(s). These notes are carefully designed with knowledge of the evaporation process and the intended use of the fragrance.
Top Notes – The First Impression
Top notes are often briefest and most short- lived of the 3 tiers. Top notes are meant to fade and evaporate, leaving only a hint of what was, thus enhancing the middle and base notes that follow.
Middle Notes – The Heart
The middle note(s) make up a large portion of the actual fragrance composition, they are the foundation for the overall scent. The heart note(s) act as the connection between top and base notes, playing an important role in creating a smooth, harmonious transition into the next fragrance phase.
Base Notes – The Lasting Impression
Base Note(s) are designed to be the last notes standing when the other notes have mostly evaporated. Working directly under the mid note(s) to support the first impression scent produced by the top note(s) tying together the full composition of a fragrance.
Eau de Toilette Vs Eau de Parfum
Fragrance consists of perfume, alcohol and water.
The difference between EDT and EDP is the quantity of concentrated perfume oil in the blend. Typically, an eau de toilette will contain 6-10% of perfume oil while an eau de parfum will contain 11 – 20% of perfume oil.
Pro Tip: Test fragrances directly on your skin for most accurate results. Keep in mind, when smelling fragrance straight from the bottle, you’ll mostly detect the alcohol and some top notes.