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  1. #1

    Default A pattern to Notes?

    I am new to this as you will see. But what I am seeing, or would like to see, is a basic palette of notes. Such as the painter reduces his color choices to a controllable number, can the creator of personal use fragrances do the same? Is there a pattern running through the recipes of perfume as to the notes most used? Both for the Woman and the Man, say twelve to fifteen note that form a basic palette, top, middle and base, that a home based personal use creator can use. If a computer program was run, analyzing all the formulas of the perfumes listed on this site would it show a pattern of notes used? There seems such a multitude of choices available. As a newbie, this would simply and reduce cost but still provide needed ingredients.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A pattern to Notes?

    As a bit of an armature myself, I'll reply from my brief experience.

    A ranking of most used 'notes' could absolutely be compiled... however, I'm not sure if such a statistic would really be that valuable, as it wouldnt necessarily help you create any one full and rounded out fragrance.
    If you are really just getting your feet wet, however, and are wanting to familiarize yourself with some of the most common building blocks, then off the top of my head, These 15 notes come to mind:

    Vanilla, Rose, Jasmine, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedar, Mint, Bergamot/Citrus, Frankincense, Ylang Ylang, Lavender, Oakmoss, Neroli, Musk, Amber.

    What has worked for me so far, is grab the notes that make up the type of scents you are most interested in creating, and then as you experiment with those, and really get to know what you like, how those ingredients work and start noticing what types of notes could improve your creations, then branch your purchases out from there.

  3. #3

    Default Re: A pattern to Notes?

    I guess you could, but I am unsure if it would provide much clarification. It has already been done, synthesizing the notes down to fragrance classes. Steffen Arctander has broken the notes down to some 90 classes, iirc. You could break them down further ofc, to get a simplified palette.

    My own materials are classified into just a few families, as I yet don't have all that many. I have chosen to group my notes into citrus, floral, herbaceous, spicy, sweet wood, dry precious wood, balsamic, leathery, phenolic, smoky, musks and animalics, and a collected class containing oakmoss, labdanum and others.

    While this allows for a fairly logical system for storing, and to a degree it would provide what you are asking, I am in doubt of its helpfulness in creating perfumes - but it would perhaps help, to a degree, in deciphering the fragrances. For instance, a structure consisting of a wood base, a floral heart and a citrus top is very common, but can produce vastly different results.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A pattern to Notes?

    You may find this helpful

    If you are working with synthetics, or naturals, Chris's blog discusses both.
    A gold mine of fabulous materials exists in the prohibited category. Creating a personal scent is very possible with only a few essential oils as they are composites. If you combine the naturals and synthetics, you have more to play with.

    Make your own tinctures. Vanilla tincture is very nice as the diluent for a perfume/ EDT. If you like that sort of thing. Quite inexpensive.

    A pattern? Maybe, but not one you need to follow. Create your own.

    I only tinker. Toss the regulations and have fun.

  5. #5
    Super Member racuda's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    North Carolina

    Default Re: A pattern to Notes?

    The palette that you gravitate towards ultimately is based on your own subjective tastes. No one can pick what YOU like. I understand the desire to have a blueprint to start out with, but a list of notes may include smells you hate and leave out the ones you love.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A pattern to Notes?

    Unlike paint though, there isn't that clear cut formula like with colours. Primarys plus black and white gives you every colour in the spectrum, kind of thing. But to answer your question about keeping costs down, ironically two quite expensive absolutes are very good value for money in that they will give you a lot of flexibility for their cost. Those two are rose and jasmine. I put off buying these because of their cost but once I did buy them I cursed myself for not making them my first purchase. I don't even like highly floral scents but these two add so much to a scent without even being dominant notes that to me they like the black and white of the pefumers palette. They can alter the tone of any fragrance dramatically. Prior to having these two my little efforts were okay, but frustratingly lacking in depth and tonality. It seems acquiring these gave new depth and versatility to everything else I owned.

    My other must haves are oakmoss and labdanum, again they are great modififers and also great dominant notes, very useful in so many different kinds of scents (and inexpensive too).

    For reference I'm a tinkerer, and I favour the green\chypre family of fragrance. Another thing you could do it look up the many starter kits on offer by various suppliers and see what materials they use.
    Last edited by ClaraAus; 3rd January 2013 at 02:52 AM.

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