what are perfume notes

Another installment of my Beauty Jargon series! Decoding the buzz words behind the beauty industry and putting it in a context everyone can understand. This week - perfume notes! So what are perfume notes?

Perfumes are made up of the top, middle and base notes - all of which vary depending on perfume to perfume. Each layer come out in different phases and layers -Think of it like the layers of ingredients in a cake. All taste good, but when mixed together they are something else.

Top Notes are the ones that make the first impression and make up the main body of the perfume. Sharp and punchy, these are the ones that you get as soon as you spray onto the skin. Sadly these don't tend to last too long, despite being the heaviest. Typically top notes start to fade within 10-15 minutes and mellow down. Then you get to Middle or Heart Notes which make up the “heart and soul” of the fragrance. Often these notes are the ones that make up the composition of the perfume and sort of. Then we have the Base notes, These are the foundation of the fragrance and are often the notes that stick around the longest during wear.

For example - take the Body Shop English Dawn White Gardenia EDT. It opens up with a top note of Bergamot, which soon fades to notes of subtle Tuberose and light White Gardenia. These start to shine through as the top notes fade away. The base notes of creamy Sandalwood gives the fragrance a subtle floral heart - adding depth and density.


Body Shop English Dawn White Gardenia EDT swatch
Body Shop English Dawn White Gardenia EDT £15.50

What other beaut jargon would you like translated?