In the perfume industry, the perfumer is called “the nose.” The nose is the most important tool in perfumery because of its keen ability to smell and recognize fragrances and it allows the perfumer to create some of the most appealing scented creations.
Normal people can distinguish in and around 4000 different smells. That’s pretty good, isn’t it. But a perfumer who’s worth their weight in gold, can distinguish as many as 10,000 different smells.
Imagine being able to recognize a natural fragrance, invent a new one, evaluate the elements of a fragrance and mix them together in the correct proportions and come up with an exquisite perfume, all because of the ability you hold in your nose.
How Does a Perfume Evaporate?
Did you know that some perfumes are composed of more than 700 different essential oils? You smell perfumes as they release their fragrances in the air. But what you’re really smelling, is the blend of a combination of oils that hit your olfactory gland at different points. In the language of perfume, you’re smelling the top, middle and base note components as they are released into the air. They are also referred to as the Head Note, The Heart Note and The Base Note.
The Head Note
The Head Note, also known as the top note, is the first impression that you receive from a perfume. It only last a few minutes but it should bring curiosity in to play. Head notes are volatile oils that influence the initial impression of a fragrance for the first 15 minutes.
Oils that you typically find in a Head Note position might be lemon, orange or lavender.
The Heart Note
The Heart Note, also known as the middle note, is also referred to as the bouquet and can only be perceived some time after the application of your perfume. It forms the character of your perfume and can be sensed for 3 to 4 hours.
Oils that you typically find in the Heart position would be rose, jasmine, lavender, lily of the valley and tuberose.
The Base Note
The Base Note forms the foundation upon which you build your perfume. It allows your fragrance to fade out pleasantly and can last as long as an entire day. This note can typically be sensed only after many hours of you wearing it.
Oils that fall in the position of the Base Note are vanilla, sandalwood, myrrh, cinnamon, amber and musk.
Even though a good perfume begins as a mixture of essential oils, nowadays, perfumers are working with finer differentiations. Their blends include fragrances of synthetic origins such as aldehydes.
Did you know that Chanel No.5, first produced in 1921, is the most famous perfume in the world? Not only is it the most successful fragrance creation, but it is also the first perfume to contain a fully synthetic material, Aldehyde. It also contains natural essential oils of ylang-ylang flowers, which are at the core of the fragrance.
As you build your knowledge of how to create your scents and present them to the world, remember, that just like fine wines, fragrances must have time to age. Sometimes they are given up to three months before they are considered mature. They are checked periodically to smell the progress of the blend.
Life Never Smelled So Sweet!