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Question: what is the difference between top, heart and base notes?

Notes in perfumes are best compared to notes in music. A note is a scent that predominates in a fragrance. Top, heart and base notes together form a 'chord'. The distinction between notes is made based on their volatility. Volatility says something about the speed at which a fragrance dissipates.

The combination of top, heart and base notes creates a fragrance with different layers. Top notes are the lightest and most volatile scents. They are dominant when you open a perfume bottle and apply the perfume, but within half an hour, these scents have dissipated. Typical top notes are citrusy, spicy and aromatic notes. As the top notes fade, the heart notes blossom. Heart notes are the scents that emerge after the top notes have mostly dissipated. Heart notes are the core of the perfume composition. Virtually all floral fragrances are heart notes.


Heart notes are accentuated and fixed by the base notes, these notes connect all the other ingredients. They provide the memory of the fragrance as they slowly dissipate. Base notes can remain on the skin for a few hours and even a few days on clothing. Base notes usually contain woody and powdery notes or chords.

A perfume often consists of hundreds of perfume notes, only the most important notes in a fragrance are listed by perfume brands. Here, the base notes determine the shelf life of perfume on the skin. The more base notes a fragrance contains, the longer the "shelf life". At Parfumado, perfumes are classified by head chords. These are the notes that are the most dominant in a perfume.

By testing many different perfumes, you will find out which notes are most loved by you, and you will quickly discover fragrances that you really love. Still, having trouble choosing? Send an email to contact@parfumado.com or chat with us via the site, our experts will be happy to help you!