Essential Oil Fragrance Notes - A Note from Vanilla Blanc!
Essential Oil Fragrance Notes
- A Note from Vanilla Blanc
We hear about fragrance notes but do we really know what they are? A term most often associated with perfumes, essential oils also have distinct ‘Notes’ – which describes the category their scent falls into, based on its strength and smell and where they fall on the perfumery scale.
The three types of fragrance notes are: top notes or head note, middle notes or body/heart notes and base notes or fixative notes. To achieve the perfect mix of oils, its vital to understand how the notes work together and which complement each other and which don’t – something our experts have years of experience doing.
As you might expect, TOP NOTES are the ones you smell first. They typically account for 10-20% of the overall blend and have characteristics that mean they are volatile and evaporate quickly. Top note scents are uplifting and refreshing and it’s the citrus based oils that will often fall into this top note layer.
Common top note oils are Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime and Wild Orange.
MIDDLE NOTES constitute the bulk of the formulation at 60-80%, giving the blends its depth and main body. Middle notes are often referred to contributing to the “heart” of the fragrance and hence the term - ‘heart note”. Because middle note oils are less volatile, they are more subtle and take a little longer to come to the fore – up to an hour after being applied, you will begin to notice their impact.
Whereas top notes are citrus centric, middle notes are warmer and comforting like geranium and lavender.
BASE NOTES - also termed fixative notes - constitute the final 10-20% of the blend. These last longer than the other notes as their heavier molecules take more time to evaporate. They act as the foundation for the fragrance and create depth. Base notes are rich and relaxing – and are at the core of what the fragrance will smell like after the top and middle notes have dissipated.
Common base note oils are Vetiver and Ylang Ylang.