National Fragrance Day is March 21st, and I thought we should take some time to discuss what we love about perfume. It is that little extra you wear to feel your best. The scent of certain perfumes can remind you of loved ones, and changing up your scent can reflect a new outlook, or a new season. In my Ode to Perfume for National Fragrance Day, I’ll delve into the anatomy of a scent, what makes a great perfume, and some of our favourite perfumes.
The Anatomy Of A Scent
All perfumes are made up of 3 notes: top, middle, and base.
Top Note: This is what you smell first when you spray a scent, and they are the fastest to disburse. Often this is made up of light fruity or citrusy scents. Some of the most common top notes are bergamot, lemon, orange zest, anise, berries, grapefruit, basil, sage, and lavender.
Middle Note: Sometimes this is called the heart note, as it is the “heart” of the fragrance. This is the smell you associate with a particular perfume. They start to come forward before the top notes have evaporated and they impact how you will smell the base notes. It is the longest-lasting part of the perfume. Common middle notes include geranium, cinnamon, rose, ylang-ylang, lavender, coriander, nutmeg, pine, black pepper, jasmine, lemongrass, and neroli.
Base Note: The final scent of any perfume is the base note. Often made up of scents like amber, sandalwood, cedar, vanilla, musk, oud, and patchouli. This is the lingering scent of perfume.
What makes a scent fall into these categories is its molecular weight. The heavier the weight, the longer the scent lasts. Tops are the lightest weight, next is the middle, and the bottom notes are the heaviest.
What Makes a Great Perfume:
In a word- balance. Having the three notes in balance with one another is what makes for a great perfume.
Chanel No.5 is an iconic perfume because it balanced over 80 ingredients perfectly. Also, it was the first abstract fragrance, meaning it did not smell of a single flower.
Otherwise, the choice of scent is a personal one and it also depends on how a perfume reacts with your body chemistry. You might love the scent of a certain perfume on someone else, but find you don’t enjoy wearing it yourself.
Some Of My Favourite Fragrances
This is a spicier version of the classic daisy scent. The top note is rose. The middle note is Palisander Rosewood. The base note is Cardamom. This was one of my 5 favourite beauty products – the February 2022 edition
Prada La Femme Eau De Perfume:
This is a fresh yet floral scent, which I just love. The top notes are Magnolia and Bergamot. The middle notes are Frangipani, Tuberose, Ylang-Ylang, and iris. The base notes are Beeswax, Vanilla and Vetiver. This was one of my 5 favourite beauty products- November 2021 edition.
Moschino I Love Love Eau De Toilette:
This is perennially in my perfume rotation, as it lives up to its cheap and chic moniker. It is a scent that just makes me happy. The top notes are Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, and Red Currant. The middle notes are Sugar Cane, Bulrush, Lily-of-the-Valley, Tea Rose and Cinnamon. The base notes are Musk, Cedar and Woody Notes. This was one of my 5 current favourite beauty products- the September 2021 edition.
Clinique Aromatics Elixir:
I love Clinique, and this has been a great scent from them for a long time. Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic. The top notes are Chamomile, Aldehydes, Clary Sage, Coriander, Geranium, Lemon Verbena, Brazilian Rosewood and Bergamot. The middle notes are Rose, Carnation, Ylang-Ylang, Orris Root, Jasmine, Tuberose, and Orange Blossom. The base notes are Oakmoss, Patchouli, Incense, Vetiver, Sandalwood, and Musk. I love this so much, I even like using the shower gel, so I can layer the scent. It was one of the 5 best body washes, for the greatest shower ever.
Another great scent from Marc Jacobs, it is a fruitier scent than others in the daisy line, but it has a beautifully balanced blend of fragrances. The top notes are Blackberry, Pear and Grapefruit. The middle notes are Wisteria, Litchi and Jasmine. The base notes are Musk, Coconut and White Wood.
The original scent in the daisy collection of fragrances has been popular since its launch in 2007. The top notes are Violet Leaf, Blood Grapefruit and Strawberry. The middle notes are Violet, Gardenia and Jasmine. The base notes are Musk, White Woods and Vanilla.
It is a standout fragrance that is floral, feminine, and yet not overly so. I’m not one for a sweet or sugary scent, and this is the right blend of light and floral for me. The top notes are Yuzu, Pomegranate and Ice. The middle notes are Peony, Lotus and Magnolia. The base notes are Musk, Mahogany and Amber.
Wearing perfume can be an act of self-care, which you should at least take 10-minutes for, every day. It can help set your mood or the mood for an evening.
This is our Ode to Perfume for National Fragrance Day. What scents would you include in your ode? How or will you celebrate the scents that define us? Maybe with an extra spritz? What are your favourite scents? Leave us a comment below and let us know, as we love hearing from our readers.
The beauty of fragrance is that it speaks to your heart…and hopefully, someone else’s.Elizabeth Taylor