Notes Explained

While it’s not essential, we think it’s beneficial to have a basic understanding of the eight main scent families.

Floral Notes

By far the biggest category in the fragrance range, many flowers can be harvested naturally to give unsurpassed essences. Such as the rose or jasmine, lavender and osmanthus. Other flowers give off such a small scent that the only way to create these commercially would be in a lab. Lotus and violet leaf are two of these flowers, however, only high-end niche artisanal companies can afford to use them. Flowers feature in almost all perfume compositions in one form or another, even in a few of the well- known male fragrances. Typical flower notes include, apricot blossom, rose, tuberose, chocolate flower, osmanthus, lotus, peony.

Fruity Notes

Fruity notes not including citrus, have been growing in popularity in recent years. Generally, many fruits are resistant to the processes that make perfume, due to the very high percentages of water in their natural makeup, and as a result, remain a reconstructed note in fragrances. The effect these fruits can give out range from refreshing and juicy right through to musky and earthy. Nuts are also widely used in perfumes, almonds especially, which can sometimes be confused with cherry. Nutty notes work very well with earth materials such as Vetiver. Examples of these fruits include apple, apricot, plum, blueberry, almond, cherry, figs.

Woody Notes

Woody notes are often called the stable notes amongst perfumers who use these typically as base notes to help bring the rest of the composition together in a fragrant harmony. The scent profiles amongst the wood ranges vary from the strong tar/phenolic of oak woods, while others can be very silky creamy smelling like sandalwood. And then there are the woody notes that can sum up a whole fragrance by themselves like agarwood/oud. Mosses also make up a sub group to the woods and are used extensively in modern fragrances. The main woods and mosses used now days can include agarwood, apple tree, oak moss, cedar, satin wood and vetiver.

Citrus Notes

Citruses provide a refreshing and effervescent quality to fragrances, accounting for the top note which tickles our noses with pleasure. They’re helpful for clearing one’s mind and feel sunny and optimistic, lending an air of easy elegance and cleanness. Bergamot especially is an integral part of the classic Eau de Cologne formula. Citruses are a classic companion to more tenacious floral and resinous notes in oriental fragrances and they also provide a good companion to other fruity notes, cutting the sugar and injecting tartness. Typically include, bergamot, lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit.

Green Notes

Green notes are typically found around pine and oak forests, fields, countryside’s and grassy lawns etc. These notes are associated with spring-time fragrances and have a distinct “Green” profile. Many niche fragrances will contain Greens such as algave, mint, hops, pear leaf, rosemary, juniper, tobacco, etc.

Gourmand Notes

Hailed as the foody edible notes in fragrances, These are largely built on vanilla or specifically sweets and desserts; ranging from the simpler chocolate, fresh cream and caramel smells to complex or more exotic recipes such as macaroons, crème brulée, the ever popular cupcakes and chewy nougat. Although mostly used in feminine fragrances, Some great notes will include chocolate, brown sugar, cream, coconut, and honey to name a few.

Marine & Aquatic Notes

These tens to be very synthetic in nature but often used to represent the outdoors, Summary beach life essences that would contain, salt, aquozone, cascalone, aldehydes, hedione, calone, cashmeran and sea water.

Spicy & Aromatic Notes

The spice group is another well know and well used group of notes and also belong to some of the very first perfumes ever discovered. These spices can also give way to some very heavy intense scents such as cinnamon , or they can give off a cooler more mellow vibe such as coriander and cardamom. Some of the well known niche fragrance houses will contain spices such as, cinnamon, tonka Bean, peppercorn, coffee.