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The Fragrance Pyramid - Top, Middle and Base Notes!

What is a ‘fragrance pyramid’ I hear you say?

Well, I have to say, that I too had never heard of this so called pyramid, however, in the years since creating wonderfully scented products, it was something that I needed to build my knowledge on.

You will see in the image below, that the pyramid is shaped in a triangle. It’s structured in 3 layers - top notes at the tip, middle/heart notes a layer down, then the bottom or base notes on the lower layer. The shape represents the way we experience ‘scent’, like when you spray perfume, as the scent develops over the course of the day.

What are Top Notes?

Top notes represent the initial scents that lure you in, causing you to make your first impression of the fragrance. The top notes of a fragrance are generally the lightest of all the notes and usually include fragrance notes such as citrus (bergamot, lemon, orange zest), light fruits (anise, berries, grapefruit) and fresh herbs (basil, sage, lavender).

Top notes last for around 5-20 minutes before evaporation starts to make way for the middle or heart notes.

What are Middle (Heart) Notes?

As the name suggests, middle/heart notes make up the heart of the fragrance and become apparent as soon as the top notes start to evaporate. The middle notes tend to last longer than the top notes. Sometimes as the base notes are not as pleasant on their own, the heart notes are used as a buffer.

Middle notes make up about 70% of the total scent, with heart notes lasting longer than top notes. Heart notes include full-bodied, aromatic floral scents like jasmine, geranium, neroli and ylang-ylang, as well as cinnamon, pepper, pine, lemongrass, black pepper and cardamom.

What are Bottom (Base Notes)?

The base notes are the final stage of fragrance notes that appear once the top notes are completely evaporated. The base notes intertwine with the heart/middle notes to create the full body of the fragrance.

The lasting impression of a fragrance is the responsibility of the base notes. These rich notes usually float in the air for hours after the top notes have dissipated.

Common base note fragrances include cedarwood, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, patchouli, oakmoss and musk.

Without the combination of the three levels of notes, a fragrance just wouldn't be aromatically appealing. But together, they create beautiful scents.

You can find on 'most' of our product pages the list of top, heart and base notes for the fragrance you're looking at.

Louise x

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