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.