Perfume Notes In Making Perfume

Perfume notes are a lot like musical notes…when put together in the right way, they create something beautiful. A properly constructed custom perfume can include fragrances from each of the perfume notes. Of course in custom perfume making, there are no absolutes, you’re free to do whatever you prefer and these days some modern fragrances are moving away from the traditional fragrance pyramid. I have written this article as more of a way to give a basic understanding of the notes and how they can form a completed custom perfume. A fragrance is normally made up of three notes that unfold over time (Top, Middle and Base). If a fragrance doesn’t have a top, middle and base note, it’s described as linear, which is still an option if that’s your preference.

perfume note pyramid

Perfume note pyramid

Top perfume notes: Also known as “Head notes”, these are perceived immediately on the application of a fragrance and usually evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume.

Choose a couple top notes to form the initial impression of your fragrance, with our custom perfume builder you can sort the fragrances by note. This will allow you to quickly identify a particular note.

Middle perfume notes: Also known as “Heart notes”, these emerge just prior to the dissipation of the top note. They form the main body of a fragrance and acts to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which will become more pleasant with time.

Some of my personal favorite middle notes to use when making a custom fragrance is bergamot, clove bud, neroli, rose, pink grapefruit.

Base perfume notes: These will appear close to the departure of middle notes and are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth to a perfume and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

Some of my favorites are benzoin, birch tar, cedarwood and sandalwood.

A general rule is to have about 25% base notes, 45% middle notes and 30% top notes. Perfume creation is definitely a subjective process so you are always free to blend whatever you like, these are only guidelines to help you get started and give you the info needed to build an exquisite signature fragrance.