What are fragrance notes?

Have you ever explored a website trying to find that perfect fragrance? You imagine how the fragrance will feel on your skin, how others will receive your scent, and the confidence you will feel as you present your scent to the world.

But you're totally confused when they say top note, heart note, and base note! Notes are supposed to be in music not fragrance, right?

BTW, fragrance is honestly music you can smell ;) 

Don't worry! I was confused at one point first too, but here is how I look at notes to determine if I will like a fragrance.


Top Notes - the scents that sit right at the top of the fragrance.

These notes are usually the first to hit your nose and the first to leave. Now just because they may not have the highest longevity in a fragrance does not mean you should count them out. Top notes give you the first impression. They start the entire scent journey.

Common top notes are citruses, light fruits, light floral and herbs.


Heart Notes - the notes that hold it all together.

Heart (or middle) notes are at the center of a fragrance. They start to appear as the top notes fade. And they control when and how the base notes appear. Heart notes are usually the harmony in a fragrance (see music!). They are balanced compliment both the top notes and base notes.

Common middle notes are heavy florals or fruits and spices.


Base Notes - the notes that are the foundation.

Base notes last the longest. You can sometimes smell them at first whiff, but they really start to come alive as the fragrance dries down. Because base note molecules tend to be bigger, they take a little longer to dissolve. They stick around until the end. 

Common base notes are woods, vanilla, resins and musks.


I'm a base note girl! It's the scent that lingers the longest and stays closest to my scent. In my opinion, the base always tells the true story. I always make sure my favorite fragrance notes are in the heart or the base.


Oil vs. Spray

Spray perfumes tend to do a better job at separating the notes. The alcohol in the fragrance combines with the scent molecules and helps to disperse them as they are supposed to. Oil fragrances hold onto each scent molecule. This is why some people prefer an oil. The scents last longer and stay closer to the skin. However, spray fragrances offer more projection. Some people like to really show up in a room which is why they prefer an alcohol-based fragrance.

I love mixing up my oils and sprays because they behave differently on the skin. They make layering perfumes so much fun!

What are your must have notes in a fragrance?! I would love to know. Leave a comment down below and I'll see if we are scent twins :)


Smell you later peeps!


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