Head note, heart note or base note, how to differentiate them ?

Top notes, heart notes or base notes, how to differentiate them?

Top notes, heart notes or base notes, how to differentiate them?

The recipe for a perfume is built around 3 notes, which will play a different role because they do not have the same rate of evaporation. You will have understood it in the title, these 3 notes are the top notes, the heart notes, and the base notes.

But what role do they play? we explain everything in this article!

First of all, you should know that a perfume is built according to an olfactory pyramid composed of 3 different notes. 

Perfumers build their perfumes according to this pyramid because it allows to balance a fragrance. Why pyramid? Because it follows an order that overtime, the olfactory message broadcast will change. 

The structure of a perfume is divided into 3 groups: 

Top notes of a perfume

These are the first smells that are revealed. The top notes are light and therefore volatile and not very tenacious. They evaporate quickly after spraying the perfume. This generally fresh and green notes fade away after 30 minutes, but do not evolve unlike the other notes that make up the perfume.

Heart notes of a perfume

These are the notes that offer its character to the perfume, its signature. They last longer that the top notes (between 30 minutes and 4 hours) and are usually composed of spicy floral and fruity scents. These are the dominant notes of the perfume.

Base notes of a perfume

The base notes take longer to evaporate, they can stay up to several days on the skin. 

Their main mission is to fix the fragrance so that it lasts longer on the skin while giving it depth. These are usually heavy or warm notes such as woody, amber or vanilla notes.


You now know that a perfume is composed around these 3 notes. Obviously, there are exceptions… The olfactory pyramid is not always respected especially with low-end perfumes that are very often based on synthetic scents. 

If you want a different perfume, which will last over time, we advise you to go for a perfume in a niche perfumery. More exclusive but actually more expensive, this type of perfume will offer you a true sign of quality and real know-how.

If you want to know more about the different olfactory families, we invite you to consult our article on this subject.