A perfume or fragrance is usually made up of 3 varying levels of notes:
Top notes: usually flora or fruity in nature, these notes develop almost immediately. The top notes usually fade away within 10-15 minutes.
Heart notes: in addition to the floral or fruity notes, they may also include woody notes. As the top notes fade these notes develop and are the heart of the composition, usually providing the dominant essence of the fragrance.
Base notes: these notes are usually woody in nature. They are the scents that will linger on for the rest of the day, binding the composition together to provide a foundation for the fragrance.
Choosing the right scent for you is about finding something that enhances your personality and makes you feel good about yourself. According to world renowned perfume authority Michael Edwards there are 4 major notes as defined by perfumers; floral, oriental, woody and fresh. Within these notes are 14 different fragrance families. Each family leads to the next, which allows you to explore beyond your favourite fragrance family to find something new, but still to your taste. For more information please read the section about Fragrance Families.
Different notes within a fragrance will develop at varying rates when they come into contact with your skin according to your body heat and chemistry. Also, different concentrations of a fragrance will appeal to different sensory buds which vary in reaction to different body chemistry. Know your body chemistry and choose a fragrance with a concentration suited to your needs.
Fragrances are made up of water, alcohol and essential oils. The differences between a Parfum, Eau De Parfum (EDP) and an Eau De Toilette (EDT) can be found in the concentration of the pure essential essences that make up a fragrance.
Fragrance Family classifications © Copyright Michael Edwards 2013.