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Thread: Fragrance Notes

  1. #1

    Default Fragrance Notes

    is there some notes that are restricted to one level in the 3 levels of a fragrance?

    i mean, for example, can we have musk, patchouli , sandalwood , clove... on top notes?
    or can we have lime , lavender , cinnamon , sage... in the base notes ?

    or there is some notes that are physically impossible to put in top or base ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    Certain molecules, like citruses or most fresh notes in general, evaporate very fast, so they only appear in the top. (Witness the whole debate and misunderstandings about the eau de cologne recipe).

    Persistent notes are present at all stages, however, in the top, they are usually overwhelmed by the evaporating top notes.
    But here are many perfumes that smell the same from beginning to end (such as most orientals). Patchouli, sandalwood, spices are clear and loud from the beginning in them.


  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    Not common to find citrus notes in the base from my experiences.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    Notes are the perceptions, molecules are what we actually smell. A chocolate note, for example, can be created without cocoa beans. Big molecules last longer than smaller ones. The common molecules used in fragrances for citrus notes (either from natural or synthetic sources), for example, tend to be small, so they don't last long.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    I think the dose used also dictates how long that note I'll last.
    So theoretically a larger dose of citrus should last longer? Or mayberate of evaporation is the same, a larger dose will only mKe it intense for the same amount of time.
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  6. #6
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    sophi's Avatar
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    Mar 2010

    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    Nope,the dose doesn't dictate how long the note will last..there are notes(=essential oils) that are really strong in small doses..
    the tendency in last decades is to create synthetic scents in laboratories due to the protection of natural resources and restriction of regulations in cosmetic industries...
    Anyway ,the time that is needed for the evaporation of notes is the factor for the top-heart-base notes construction of perfume...woods and spices are stronger and lasting ,citruses aren't and so on...
    " I think part of my success as an editor came from never worrying about a fact, a cause, an atmosphere. It was me—projecting to the public. That was my job. I think I always had a perfectly clear view of what was possible for the public. Give 'em what they never knew they wanted." DiANA VREELAND

  7. #7
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    JaimeB's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Default Re: Fragrance Notes

    Hermès Eau des Merveilles was supposed to have been engineered as a reverse fragrance: that is the normal base notes were supposed to behave as top notes (i. e., evaporate fairly quickly), and the usual top notes were supposed to last into the drydown.

    I suppose it would be possible to use citrus absolutes or concretes rather than essential oils, since the absolutes and concretes are supposed to be more suited for use in base notes; they retain the molecules longer and disperse less quickly because they are "weighed down" by solids present in them, such as waxes. I am not sure how the reverse would be done, but I imagine in might be possible to take some base note materials, such as resinoids or oleoresins and "wash" them by treatment with solvents (such as alcohols) to remove some of the solids and thus speed up their dispersion rates. This might result in some materials that are normally used as base notes behaving more like essential oils, and dispersing more rapidly.

    I would think this would be difficult with many typically base-note materials, because they often contain odor elements that have a much lower odor detection threshold. For example, in rose oil, beta-damascenone is only present at about one percent volume, but it is responsible for roughly 90% of the odor impression of rose oil...

    I was able to find some articles online about citrus oils' odor detection thresholds, but since I am not a professional in the field or a subscriber to the journals, I could only read the abstracts, and so could not go into details. Tant pis...

    I suppose a perfumer could answer this question better. Is anyone out there in Basenotes cyberspace who can weigh in on this?
    Last edited by JaimeB; 12th October 2011 at 08:22 AM.
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