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February 3, 2017 No comments

The olfactory pyramid: top notes, middle notes and base notes

The link between scent and music has ancient origins. In the Nineteenth century the French Septimus Piesse associated the concept of the musical scale to the scent, tying the olfactory families to the notes of a scale. Of this association remained the conception of "note" in perfumery: the fragrances are classified into three categories: high notes or head notes, middle notes or heart notes and low notes or base notes. As the composer, the perfumer will have to use all the notes, so as to create a balanced fragrance. The three "notes" of the perfume make up the olfactory pyramid that is a visualization of their degree of volatility.

The head notes: the B

They are the most volatile as no longer detectable after 15 minutes. They consist of molecules which quickly evaporates, they are the first to be perceived but also the first to fade. They include fragrance family characterized by fresh and intense fragrances:

Citrus: typical of colognes.

New freshness: similar to citrus but of synthetic origin and more persistent.

Aromatic: mostly used in men's fragrances as fresh and lively. Remember the smell of anise, ginger and eucalyptus.

The heart notes: the F

They constitute the most important component to consider when buying a perfume because they start to feel after a few minutes but persist up to 4 hours. They include notes that create the so-called "trail of the perfume".

These include fragrances:

Floral: derived from the flowers that can be "rich flowering" if luxurious as rose and jasmine or "fresh flower" if more delicate as geranium, lily o fresia. Since natural fragrances are often very expensive, in many resort to synthetic molecules.

Aldehyde: synthetic molecules, combined with floral fragrances, give more impetus and depth.

Herbaceous: due to the gradient of the green, from the leaves to the flowers, to the grassy ground. Combined with floral family give greater naturalness. Unfortunately, the natural components of this category are few.

Fruity: give sweet notes of pear, apricot, peach or raspberry. It is not always possible to obtain them from the fruits, because of their high water content, so they are largely synthetic.

Marine: remember the smell of the water, lacustrine or Oceanic, and are of synthetic origin.

The base notes: the C

Persistent olfactory notes that evaporates very slowly. They appear half an hour after the application, but may persist for more than 24 hours. While the head notes are responsible of the purchase of the perfume makers, the base notes are those that generate loyalty.

The base notes are divided into:

Amber: have or balsamic tones of vanilla as myrrh and benzoin.

Musky: sweet odor, enveloping and warm.

Chypre: blend of flavors including jasmine, rose, bergamot, oak moss and patchouli.

Oriental: includes spicy notes of vanilla and patchouli.

Woody: gives character to the fragrance. Often used for men's fragrances, can remember or "dry wood" such as cedar or "soft woods" such as sandalwood.

Powdery: fragrance with warm, round notes, which often include the iris fragrance.

Fougère: blend of lavender, geranium, oak moss, vetriver and coumarin.

Leather: the main raw material used is birch bark. but also it includes more wild notes like musk, the Christ, and tobacco.

Spicy: great personality, it gives sensuality and warmth. It includes cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and cumin.

Gourmand: fragrance from sweet tones reminiscent of jams.

Natural or synthetic molecules?

Not only proper or perfumes but also other cosmetics can contain synthetic fragrances. The use of some of these substances, particularly of phthalates is controversial. In fact, they very easily enter the body and, according to some research, may cause health risks.

For this reason it is advisable to use products with natural fragrances, in which there is a total absence of synthetic molecules. Besides not being hazardous to health, natural fragrances are more delicate and not overpowering leave a trail, but you perceive as a little surprise whispered.


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