The Fragrance Pyramid: A Perfume's Olfactory Odyssey - SAINT SKEI

The Fragrance Pyramid: A Perfume's Olfactory Odyssey

Feb 06, 2024

Perfume is a blend of art and science, finding expression in various nuances of fragrance notes. A perfume composition is structured like a pyramid, describing the development and structure of a scent. It consists of three levels - top, middle, and base notes - each perceived sequentially to create a harmonious whole.

Top Note: The First Impression

The top note, the pinnacle of this olfactory pyramid, is the initial scent you perceive after applying a perfume. It quickly dissipates, leaving the first impression. Fresh, zesty nuances like citrus fruits, bergamot, or invigorating mint greet you at this stage. Spicy tones like pepper or ginger can also set the tone. However, these notes fade after about 15 minutes, making way for the heart note.

Heart Note: The Character of the Scent

In the middle layer of the pyramid, the character of the perfume unfolds. This heart note constitutes about 50–80% of the fragrance and is crucial to its essence. Essences like floral notes of jasmine or rose give the perfume a distinct identity. They harmoniously connect the top and base notes. Fruity accents like green apple, raspberries, or blackcurrants can impart a special liveliness to the heart of the perfume and last for approximately 20–60 minutes.

Base Note: The Foundation of the Fragrance

The base note forms the foundation of every fragrance. Here, the top and heart notes build upon each other, giving depth to the scent. The transition between scent phases is smooth and subtle. The base note features sensual, heavy, and profound nuances like woods, musk, amber, or vanilla. These notes are intense and long-lasting – they persist for hours and sometimes develop further, lasting up to 24 hours. Often, fixative fragrances are used in the base note. Fixatives prevent the rapid evaporation of the scent, allowing the nuances to form a harmonious blend. The unique connection of fragrance notes with individual skin chemistry creates a personal scent, considered extravagant and distinctive.

The fragrance pyramid is more than just a structure – it is the essence of creating a perfume, reflecting the artistic interplay of fragrance ingredients that leave a distinct and lasting impression.

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