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  1. #1

    Question top, middle, bottom notes

    Although I have been wearing perfume for many years, lately I have been trying to sniff with the aim of discerning the various notes of a scent. I have recently tried two scents in which the top notes disappeared within seconds, leaving an entirely different scent on me. The first, Bal a Versailles, started out "yech" (for me) then settled into an innocuous vanilla scent - nothing I would pay that price for. The second, Paloma Picasso, started as a knock-em dead floral, then morphed into something awful on me; I supposed it was the patchouli (I saw that on the Basenotes description). In both cases this drastic change took only seconds. What is the cause of this schizoid scent phenomenom? Dry skin? Has anyone else noticed it?

  2. #2

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: top, middle, bottom notes

    Yes, I've noticed several fragrances that have a topnote phase that lasts less that a minute. I think of it as the ontop note. It's like part of the fun of drinking champagne is popping the cork. I don't know if there is really a note that lasts a minute or if it merges with the other top notes so quickly that I simply can't keep track of it. Most notable to me is the opening of AG Eau de Camille, one of my all time favorites. The first minute has the most divine mint and lilac combo! In two minutes it has settled as the lilac strenthens and deeper green notes emerge for the main top phase. I love it still, but I always spend a couple of minutes after I apply to catch and enjoy the minty minute.

    I think that's part of why I love EdC so much. It tumbles out and blossoms like time-lapse photography.

  3. #3

    Question Re: top, middle, bottom notes

    For the ultimate beginner... what is a good way to learn how to tell the difference between notes? I can smell obvious scents like pineapple, rose, lime, etcetera, but anything that I don't often smell (like ambergris) is very difficult for me to identify.

    Any suggestions for refining my senses would be appreciated! Thanks

  4. #4

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: top, middle, bottom notes

    Whaa ha ha! So funny (to me, anyway) that your should mention ambergris in particular. I had an ambergris bug-a-boo for a long while. People discussed it like it was magical. I couldn't stand it anymore one day, and I ordered a pure ambergris tincture from Italy.

    It smells just like the front office of an autoshop, where all the new tires are displayed. I think you could get the picture even at Wal-Mart. You only need to go press your nose to a brand new tire, and also appreciate the faint hints of motor oil coming from the repair shop.

    That's how I learned notes, sniffing and sniffing and sniffing.

    Welcome to basenotes!

  5. #5

    Default Re: top, middle, bottom notes

    I think I prefer scents that are more, shall we say, integrated? Or just a soliflore, if not. I wonder, though, if the two examples I cited may just have to do with my skin chemistry, because others enjoy them quite a bit.

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