Perfume Notes

Essential oils can typically be classified into three categories, with a few exceptions.

Top notes are the most delicate and volatile oils. They evaporate quickly and provide the initial impression of a perfume, captivating and alluring the senses.

Heart notes make up the central theme of a perfume. They evaporate after the top notes but before the base notes. These oils are slightly heavier than the top notes but not as dense as the base notes.

Base notes have the longest lingering effect on the skin. They evaporate slowly and are the last to dissipate. These oils add depth and richness to the perfume composition.

Please note that the classification of essential oils is not within our control. Each oil behaves in a specific way, and we can only use them based on their individual performance and characteristics.

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When it comes to the ratios between base, heart, and top notes in perfumes, it mostly boils down to personal preference. Ultimately, if a particular combination works well and creates a pleasing fragrance, then it’s considered successful. However, it’s common for perfumes to have a lower concentration of top notes compared to the heart and base notes. The heart notes usually have the highest concentration, followed by the base notes. Personally, I tend to create perfumes that incorporate more base notes. The key is to embrace your creativity and remember that if a combination works effectively, then it’s a success.

The process of creating a perfume typically involves starting with the base notes. Once the base is complete, you can move on to the heart notes, and finally, the top notes. If you find yourself adding top notes but realize that you need to make adjustments to the base, don’t hesitate to introduce additional ingredients. Rest assured that adding extra elements won’t ruin your perfume. Keep blending until you achieve a result that satisfies you.

You have the freedom to omit top notes entirely if you prefer. While there are top notes that I personally love, I often find more enjoyment in my creations before adding them, especially when using my favorite oils. However, one consequence of this approach is that everything you make may start to have a somewhat similar scent. Once again, it all boils down to personal preference. Create what you genuinely desire and enjoy.

Essential Oil Classification

Examples

Base Notes Heart Notes Top Notes

Amyris

Balsam Copaiba

Balsam Peru

Benzoin

Cassia (To Middle)

Cedarwood

Cinnamon (To Middle)

Cade

Clove (To Middle)

Frankincense

Gaiac Wood

Ginger (To Middle)

Jasmine (To Middle)

Myrrh

Neroli (Also as Top)

Oakmoss

Patchouli

Rose (To Middle)

Rosewood (To Middle)

Sandalwood

Valerian

Vanilla

Vetiver

Ylang Ylang (To Middle)

Bay

Black Pepper

Cardamom

Chamomile

Citronella

Cypress

Fennel (To Top)

Geranium

Helichrysum

Ho Leaf

Ho Wood

Hyssop (To Top)

Juniper

Lavender (To Top)

Marjoram

Melissa (To Top)

Myrtle

Nutmeg

Palmarosa

Pine

Rhododendron

Rosemary

Spikenard (To Base)

Yarrow

Basil (To Middle)

Bergamot (To Middle)

Cajuput

Cinnamon

Clary Sage (To Middle)

Coriander Seed (To Middle)

Eucalyptus

Grapefruit

Hyssop (To Middle)

Lemon

Lemongrass

Mandarin

Tangerine

Neroli (To Middle)

Verbena

Niaouli

Orange

Peppermint

Petitgrain

Ravensara

Sage

Spearmint

Tagetes

Tea Tree

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