Understanding Fragrance

When discussing fragrance, we refer to ‘notes’. Notes simply describe the odour detected. Fragrance notes are separated into three layers: Top notes, Middle Notes (or Heart notes) and Base Notes.

Top notes create the first impression of a fragrance. Here we usually find fresh florals, citruses and herbs, consisting of light molecules which quickly evaporate.

Middle notes form the main core of the fragrance. Once the top note has dissipated, the middle note emerges, its purpose to refresh and meld with the often heaviest scents of the base notes.

Base notes are the last to develop. Often made up of more audacious scents, the base adds depth and body to a fragrance. This final note is often the anchor to a scent, its deep tones often detectable for an extended period, far beyond that of the Top and Middle notes.

 

How does it work?

The part of our brain linked to smell is called the olfactory bulb. This is found in the limbic system, a collection of structures associated with emotions, memory and sensory information.

The average adult will take around 8 million breaths per year. Infants will take nearly twice this many. This shows how many opportunities we have to detect and memorise scents in our lives.

Many factors affect our sense of smell, such as genetics, emotions, illness and visual stimuli.