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What Are the 3 Notes In Fragrances?

A perfume or attar, just like humans, is made up of layers. Each layer evokes emotion and together forms an orchestrated piece of aromatic odyssey. These carefully forethought layers are categorised in notes of descent. Top, middle and base notes together make your favourite perfume and attars.  

So, starting with the Top note of a fragrance or the headnote, it’s the first impression of any spectacular composition. They are lighter, fresher, floral or citrusy in appeal. Popular perfumed oils used are bergamot, lemon, rose, lavender, and sometimes even basil or anise. An introduction to your perfume, the top notes are short-lived for about 15 minutes. They diffuse at the fastest rate from all the blended oils in the fragrance.  

Next is the Middle note or the heart of a fragrance. As the name suggests, it’s the core that balances the top and base notes. It retains some freshness of the top note and introduces the nuanced base note gradually. Usually well-rounded and pleasant, popular scents here are jasmine, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, lemongrass, etc. They usually last for 1-4 hours.

Last is the showstopper Base note. Long-lasting and a foundation for the above layers to disperse rather beautifully, the base note presents a deeper semblance of the fragrance which could be a perfume or attar. It’s usually richer and heavier-  animalic or woody in nature. Some of the popular fragrances included in the base notes are musk, oud, amber, patchouli, etc. Base notes diffuse at the slowest rate, and thus last longer much longer than the top and middle notes!

Understanding notes in a fragrance is like reading. It’s captivating and once you get a knack for it, you will begin to understand how to possibly create perfumes of your own! If you would like some gorgeously composed attars, you may explore our Attar collection and click now.


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