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"The best memories are always accompanied by a unique fragrance."
Do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do, a scale made famous by The Sound of Music and music teachers all over. And just like that, fragrance notes are a lot like music. With the right arrangement, an unforgettable and melodic composition results.
With respect to fragrance, notes are the building blocks. They are the familiar and unfamiliar scents and fragrance families you detect when you smell a candle (e.g. sandalwood, floral, vanilla, fruit, etc.).
In understanding fragrance notes, there are three components to remember: top, heart, and base.
Act I: The Intro
Top notes help shape the initial impression. Its job is to entice you to want to learn more about the candle. These notes are usually fresh and light and where you will find citrus and aromatic elements. Top notes are the most volatile of the three meaning that when you burn your candle, detection on average, will last up to 20 minutes. Thus, setting the stage for what's next to come.
Act II: The Bridge
Heart notes are the most prominent and well-rounded of the three. These typically make up 40% to 80% of the fragrance's composition. Here you'll find floral, spice, green and fruity elements. Because of their strength, heart notes are designed to be detected for a long period of time - longer than top notes but not as long as base notes. Heart notes also help soften the initial introduction of base notes.
Act Three: The Outro
Base notes bring about richness, contrast, and depth. Woody and balsamic elements are included in this group. Those you may be familiar with may include cedar, moss, vanilla, and tonka bean. The job of base notes is to create a lasting impression. Base notes are the very scents you detect long after you have extinguished your candle.
Using our Moss + Amber Wooden Wick Soy Candle as an example, we've prepared a visual.
Although simple in its application and understanding, the inclusion of top, heart and base notes are paramount for creating interest and depth in fragrance. Otherwise, as standalone elements, uniqueness and appeal may be lacking.
If you could create your own fragrance, what elements would you include for each of the three notes? Leave your response and what you would name your fragrance in the comment section below.