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Composition
Composition
Perfume composition is an olfactory artists profession. Composing perfumes requires a 3 part structure - Top Notes, Middle Notes and Base Notes. Top Notes are what the wearer first smell and is important for an immediate 'liking' of the fragrance. Middle notes start to come-out in about 10 minutes on the skin as the body warms the perfume and the top notes start to evaporate. Base notes linger the longest. The artists skill lies in merging these notes into a beautiful accord. Some perfumes start with a gentle lilt, others with an overture, all have a story to tell!
Aldehydes
AldehydesView products
Despite the non-romatic name, aldehydes are a key note in many perfumes and can be floral, fruity or citrus in nature. Aldehydes are ogranic compunds that provide a clean, crisp, soapy, waxy, lemony note to perfume. Chanel No.5 is the benchmark alderhydic perfume and was the pioneer in the use of aldehydes.
Amber
The amber note is warm, sweet and rich. A building block of the “Oriental” perfumes it is typically an accord of vanilla and rock-rose with a warm incense undertone of dusky, sombre qualities and brighter notes of cut wood. Of golden colour and natural beauty the Amber note is one of classic glamour and sensuality.
Anise
Warm and spicy with a characteristic "licorice-like" aroma but with dry, earthy nuances belonging in the same family of scents as tarragon and fennel. In fragrances for men it can be used to give a casual, relaxed and effortlessly cool note and for women a note of mysterious quality that is distinctive, exotic and classy.
Apple
Apple has an aroma which is appetising, fresh, and fruity. This fruity note gives perfumes a real sparkle and liveliness with a smell that is both familiar and energising. Of all the fruity notes Apples fresh appeal is the greatest.
Apricot
ApricotView products
Delicious, yummy and sweet! A fuzzy soft sweet ice-cream fruity note also reminiscent of an after-dinner sticky-liqueur or even a classic sweet/savoury dish. For the young at heart, this note is the quintessential gourmand-like note, with Apricots being reminiscent of savoury and sweet foods.
Balsam
Balsam means a resin rich in essential oil but as a perfume note, it describes a softly enveloping, rich and sticky-sweet note, with nuances of sweet vanilla and cinnamon. The note lends a beautiful richness and heft to the perfume compositions and they are often used in oriental fragrances to give a rich and pleasantly spicy quality to the warm oriental accords.
Benzoin
BenzoinView products
Benzoin is balsamic resin derived from the bark of several species of trees in the genus Styrax. It has a unique aroma reminiscent of vanilla as well as a hint of cinnamon. It is one of the most versatile notes and has excellent fixative properties to prolong the aroma of fragrances. As such, it also be found all over the fragrance wheel, from citrus to woody blends.
Bergamot
BergamotView products
Named after the Italian city of Bergamo, the Bergamot orange is a small citrus fruit and is used extensively in perfumery for its sweet freshness. Bergamot has an aroma which is delicate, light and citrusy, sometimes bitter and sour, think of Earl Grey tea! Bergamot breathes life into fragrances, making them refreshing and invigorating blend. Making it a perfect note to energise woody notes and add zing to floral or green notes.
Blackcurrant
BlackcurrantView products
Despite its name, this note is not considered a fruity note. Also called cassis the Black Currant note is obtained from the leaves of the bush and give a fragrance a tangy, lush green tartness. By itself cassis has a characteristic odour euphemistically called “a touch of cat” but in combination with other fruity notes, resins and violets, can give rise to simply stunning perfume compositions.
Caramel
CaramelView products
Sensual and rich, creamy and buttery, the caramel note exerts a powerful attraction. Candy and condensed milk scents enriches gourmand perfumes and adds sweetness to florals or a savoury-sweet accord to other fragrances. The caramel scent calls you with the same strong call that comes from the toffee jar. More. More. More.
Carnation
CarnationView products
A classical note with a spicy floral scent, with clove and pepper undertones, piquant, bright and vivid. In floral accords it is used to deepen floral bouquets and is especially effective combined with rose scent. It is used most often in oriental perfumes for its spicy undertones tinging them with dark sweet honey notes.
Cedarwood
CedarwoodView products
Cedarwood presents a dry and woody flavour with a trace of resin and spice, a sombre note that has a grounding effect on perfume it is used in. Calming and pure, it combines beautifully with citrus notes and aromatics to smooth and soften a fragrance's boquet. Bringing subtlety to men's fragrances and anchoring airy floral notes of women's perfume, cedarwood is used in mainy popular perfumes.
Cinnamon
CinnamonView products
Cinnamon... walk into a kitchen after cinnamon is used and you can't help but say “something smells good!” Its odour is sweet and bitter, hot and sensuous, musky, uplifting and spicy. It features in both men’s and women’s fragrance giving smooth blends a sweet yet spicy spark. A very distinctive and familiar odour which will not go unnoticed!
Citrus Notes
Citrus NotesView products
From the zest of lemons, mandarins, bergamot, oranges and grapefruit come the citrus oils that lend these fragrances their distinctive, tangy aroma. Perfume infused with the tangy essence of citrus fruits are a lively and energetic bunch.
Clove
The clove note is warming and freshly spicy, a very fragrant aroma that can start off slightly medicinal and smoky but develops into something warm and spicy. Clove buds are often used along with florals in carnation arrangements to emphasise the spicy nature of a perfume whilst maintaining a floral heart.
Coriander
CorianderView products
We've all cooked with coriander and it has a wonderful aroma and enriches other perfume components with its strong, vibrant, fresh, spicy-sweet, herbaceous and woody aromas. It is a beautiful uplifting addition to floral, woody and oriental perfumes and also has a hint of green and slightly powdery notes that work well in green perfumes.
Cyclamen Flower
Cyclamen FlowerView products
The refined, light, clean and mysterious scent of cyclamen flowers is hard to define. A fresh, light floral, a little like lily of the valley, but sweeter and lighter. With a definite musty green, floral-stem like odour, Cyclamen is a very popular note giving fresh, floral and green scents to perfume and combines well with many other notes.
Freesia
FreesiaView products
With an electric freshness and refreshingly floral, light peppery smell, Freesia gives a mouthwatering sheen and freshness to perfumes. Reminiscent of the florists shop this jolting, fresh, spring-like note is a classic component for clean, feminine, pretty compositions.
Fruity Notes
Fruity NotesView products
Fruity notes are fresh and invigorating. Main fruity notes include berries and other non-citrus fruits and are sweet and tart and pleasant to wear during hot seasons.
Galbanum
GalbanumView products
Galbanum is a tall grass growing in the mountains of Iran and has a huge intensely green scent with earthy, woody and musky tones. However, it is the green aroma that usually dominates and is a traditional note to give a natural green effect to florals. Without florals, it has a brash, rough-hewn character that lends itself beautifully to natural green and dry woods compositions. If you've ever weeded your garden you know what this note is all about!
Geranium
GeraniumView products
Geranium can lend a lemony green scent to a perfume and also smell rose-like or peppery. It can give a very balanced herbal note that is, crisp, green and slightly peppery. When used to highlight floral scents, sweet minty undertones and a refined rosy smell come to the fore.
Grape
The sweet smell of grapes, refreshingly fruity and attractive with musty and berry-like nuances. Bringing back memories of the ubiquitous grapevines in the backyard and the sickly sweetness of a high summer, cordial on the patio and playing games in the grass. A pronounced childhood memory for many.
Grapefruit
GrapefruitView products
Tart, zesty and bitter-sweet, Grapefruit gives a shot of energy to start the day and a fresh start to a perfume composition, providing a lively introduction to the middle and base notes. It has an aroma that is citrusy, floral, tangy and fruity.
Grapefruit Blossom
Grapefruit BlossomView products
Grapefruit blossom has a slightly bitter-sweet tone with a nicely pronounced floral vibe. Imagine a fresh peeled grapefruit with the beautiful white, light floral blossoms giving a heavenly succulent scent. A refreshing scent on a summers day or a mysterious evocative note at winter.
Green Notes
Green NotesView products
Umbrella term for perfume notes that evoke fresh leaves, foliage, and newly-mown grass scents. Green notes are fresh and lively and are used to make a fragrance feel crisp and sharp, natural and energetic. These scents are well-suited for daytime, when their sporty, modern appeal makes them a great fit for any casual or outdoor gathering. Green notes can combine for a formal rather than sporty personality with lighter green notes giving a family fresh appeal.
Herbal Notes
Herbal NotesView products
A herbal note has a sweet, pungent, sharp, somewhat dusty and dry powdery tone. Sometimes grassy and green and bitter it can be considered to be a fusion of aniseed, tarragon, ginger, cardamom, sage, coriander and rosemary. Usually found in fresh aromatic perfumes for men, the note lends an organic and earthy-dry tonality to any perfume - perfect for a man's skin.
Honey
Sweet, edible and golden it gives a perfume a veiled hint of sensuality. Whilst it lends a gourmand note to fragrances, the honey note is distinguished by its soft and balsamic sweet tones that enhances citruses and oriental perfumes, lending sweet golden-amber nuances to their bouquets.
Hyacinth
HyacinthView products
Hyacinth, having an unapologetically white floral scent with a slightly bitter edge is an intensely oily-green and intoxicating floral note of great depth and subtle aroma. It's pollen-like aroma and oily metallic aspects make it a perfect choice to counterpoint floral-on-florals fragrances combining well with rose and lily of the valley and other white flowers.
Jasmine
JasmineView products
The warmth, fullness and opulence of jasmine is beautifully sensual. Jasmine has a greenness to it that gives a fragrance a dark mysterious quality, an animalistic background against the sweet narcotic scent makes this note one of the most popular in perfumery.
Lavender
LavenderView products
A very familiar smell but very versatile in the creation of rich complex accords and combines well with citrus, floral, and woodsy notes. Lavender is often used in perfumes for men with its dry and balmy nose. For men it has a work appeal but when crafted for women can be relaxing and rejuvenating.
Lemon
This fresh and cheerful aroma is one of the lightest notes and it is often used as a lovely bright and sparkling top note in a perfume. It's astringent, sour, sweet undertone with aromatic nuances, uplifts our mood with clean, fresh and sparkling vibrancy!
Lilac
In many cultures lilacs symbolise love, a clean and intimate floral scent with nuances of almond, honey pollen, roses and green leaves. With a jasmine-like freshness, lilacs scents are wonderful and unpretentiousness and add a romantic flair to the theme of a perfume.
Lily
Lily a symbol for purity, creates a bouquet of pure and sensuous femininity. Having an aroma which is described as floral, sweet, and gentle with some spicy and waxy notes, Lily is majestic in its subtlety of intoxicating facets including brine, stables and animalistic tonality.
Lily of the Valley
Lily of the ValleyView products
Lily of the valley is the quintessential spring flower a symbol of hope, happiness and joy. The pretty ivory white bells have a heavenly soft floral fragility and sweetness. It has a clean and bright vibe with a sweet green floral note sweeter than jasmine. Lily of the valley adds an undeniable elegance to fragrances and blends beautifully with other floral notes and woods giving the overall fragrance sophistication, elegance with an ethereal quality.
Lotus
Lotus blossoms are a traditional Asian essence. Primarily a floral note with a lightly sweetish tonality and delicate ethereal perfume, soft, sweet and fruity. Lotus blossoms have hidden complexities that include watery and aqueous qualities with a hint of aniseed and an earthy damp-pond nuance.
Mandarin
MandarinView products
The aroma of mandarin makes great addition to floral compositions and colognes. This uplifting and sensual scent blends nicely with other citrus notes as well as spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. It is very sweet, fruity and citrusy with a light floral undertone. The scent is very relaxing and calming, and suitable for mystical fantasy fragrances.
Marine Notes
Marine NotesView products
The Marine Note in fragrances describes the sensual and salty nature of sea water. Usually “the scent of the sea” is captured via highly sophisticated organic chemistry components that are used to create fresh perfume compositions that create a distinctive sea water aroma that refreshes our mind and our senses.
Mimose
The scent is vivid and joyful a mixture of green violet and honey soaked almonds, innocent but enigmatic with a nuance of human warmth and intimacy. It is one of the most intriguing and complex of aromas, which can enhance the complexity, richness and nuance of many blends. The voluptuousness and animalistic character underneath the sweet innocence can be used in great effect in floral compositions.
Mint
Mint has a fragrance which is cool and refreshing with peppery notes. A very characteristic smell which adds a cooling note to perfume arrangements. Giving a subtle lift to florals and blending well with citrus and other herbaceous and woody notes.
Musk
Musk is a timeless note in the fragrance world - it is sensual, warm, captivating, typically described as having an animalistic nature. Also used for fixation and warming fragrance compositions, musk creates a groundwork on which the fragrance is composed. Typically the musk note is used to describe a darker, sensual and musty fragrance when compared to the White Musk note with is lighter, whiter and cleaner.
Narcissus
NarcissusView products
The “dark note” of the floral family. A powdery, heady, narcotic floral bouquet with sweet, hypnotic, and green facets hiding an animalistic nuance. A bit naughty, a bit sultry, worn to make a statement and used exclusively in high class feminine perfumes.
Neroli
Neroli is a beautiful aromatic fragrance that is fresher and greener than Orange Blossom which are both produced from the flowers of the bitter orange tree. Slightly bitter with hints of orange and honey blossom tones, it smells closer to the essences of citrus peel but is prettier and presents itself as a woody, orangey, somewhat bitter cross between a flower and a fruit peeling citrus top note.
Oakmoss
OakmossView products
Oakmoss adds an earthy, rich, forest-like tone to a perfume. Its creamy softness adds a distinctive sharpness and sensuality to fragrances and is a perfect complement to floral, green and oriental fragrances. It is a compelling aroma, you can feel the scent of the wet forest and it can seem like nature in a bottle.
Orange
Fragrant orange oil is produced by cold-pressing the fragrant peel, creating a fresh and sweet, tangy aroma. With only a touch of sharpness this juicy and succulent bouquet combines with spicy, powdery and woody accords in a brilliant and floral arrangements.
Orange Blossom
Orange BlossomView products
Orange Blossom is extracted from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, as is Neroli, but have very different aromas. It has a fresh and sweetish floral note and complements other citrus notes. It can smell similar to Jasmine and Rose but gives a real sparkle to men's and women's fragrances radiating freshness and a real right-here right-now vibe. A very important note in many perfumes.
Orchid
A hybrid or fantasy note that is exotic and refined, the Orchid note is usually synthesised from a variety of components. The Orchid note aims to be powdery, sweet and clean often with a vanilla nuance. It gives a powdery lushness to floral bouquets with a modern emphasis on a refined sweet and clean finish.
Orris
From the root of the iris plant, orris is woody, floral and violet-like. Reminiscent of the classic “make up” odour there is a soft buttery and powdery tone with a floral accord of wet roses and roast vegetables – a dark smouldering coolness that blends with lush florals beautifully.
Patchouli
PatchouliView products
Patchouli is a bushy herb of the mint family with a richer aroma of earthy, smoky, spicy, and musky notes. It is an exotic, sensual and luxurious perfume ingredient which blends well with oriental and aromatic perfumes but it is especially known for it use in woody floral musk styles. Once know as a 'hippy' bouquet Patchouli is indispensable in the creation of modern perfumes.
Peach
The peach smell is well known for its sparkling fruity tones. Sweet, velvety, warm, and ripe, tender and feminine, the aroma combines well with fruity and floral fragrances. Reminiscent of warm spring days and tropical cocktails the peach note adds a velvety suppleness to floral perfumes and a counterpoint in complex aromatic perfumes.
Peony
Peonies are very feminine, with a soft, clean and fresh aroma. It has a lighter smell that rose and has a natural green edge to it. A gorgeous and uniquely beautiful scent, it is often paired with roses or other florals to create lush fusions of very fresh floral notes.
Pine
Simple, very natural and invigorating, sappy-green, with a slight hint to lemon zest. The essence of pine needles, a resinous woody smell of pine trees in the summer sun, evocative of freshly-cut wood and the sounds and smells of the forest on a warm day. The pine note is very powerful for many people, transporting them back onto the sun dappled forest trail with a single whiff.
Pineapple
PineappleView products
Pineapples have a fresh, lingering and pleasantly stimulating smell. An aromatic note that is succulent and juicy and slightly sour, with a subtle sweet undertone. Not as strong as other fruity aromas, pineapple has a pronounced nectar appeal, an unrefined sweetness.
Plum
Plums have an aroma which is sweet, fruity and raisin-like and promote a feeling a well-being. Succulent, lush, and sensuous this note of sweet fruit is celebrated in some of the most classic perfumes. Plummy and ripe but not overly sweet, a deliciously note in the popular fuity-floral perfume combinations.
Plum Blossom
Plum BlossomView products
In Vietnam the plum blossom is called "Mai" and due to it's beauty it is also used as a girl's name. With a soft, inviting fruity-smelling sweet note of white flowers and a delicate powdery scent, plum blossom exudes an ethereal elegance and is seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring.
Powdery Notes
Powdery NotesView products
A powdery note indicates that a perfume exudes a dry and powdery, nose tickling aroma. Think of the softness and aroma of face powder or talcum powder's lemon-lavender-vanilla dryness. Powder notes are a fusion of iris, violet leaves, vanilla, musk, amber and oakmoss effects and impart a mineral-like dryness to a perfume.
Red Berries
Red BerriesView products
The berry note indicates a gourmand bias in a perfumes bouquet, with sweet and tangy red berries in a glamorous floral-fruity arrangement. Whilst the overall fragrance can be romantic and exciting, the bitter-sweet and woody-nuances can shine through giving unexpected sophistication and intrigue.
Rose
The Queen of flowers, the rose, is an international symbol of love, femininity and beauty. Rose notes can be anything from girly to glamorous, refreshing to opulent. Rose has the ability to effortlessly change the feel of a fragrance, depending on what it is paired with.
Rosewood
RosewoodView products
Rosewood imparts a lightly rosy and opulent woody fragrance to both masculine and feminine perfumes. With a subtle citrus element the aroma is redolent of rich old polished mahogany furniture.
Sandalwood
SandalwoodView products
Sandalwood has a well known relaxing smell, described as being oriental, woody, milky, soft, lasting and rich. A sweet fragrance with delicate wood notes that promotes sleep and reduces stress. Sandalwood gives great depth to floral, citrus and aromatic perfumes and makes the middle notes of a fragrance linger on the skin and trail behind the wearer.
Strawberry
StrawberryView products
The ultimate scent of early spring - innocent and jam-sweet. Strawberries captivate our senses with their exciting, sweet and thrilling scent. Strawberry can be used to set a dominate theme to a perfume akin to a strawberry cocktail or used to balance woody and aromatic notes with an energetic zing.
Thyme
"our close-bit thyme that smells like dawn in paradise” - Rudyard Kipling

Thyme is a classic herbal culinary smell; woody, savoury, with tomes of lemon and citrus it balances the powerful base notes of men's perfumes. It can have a sparkling greeness about it and can make for a unforgettable top note in its own right.
Tonka Bean
Tonka BeanView products
The aroma of tonka beans has a fascinating complexity and richness. With candied almond and vanilla notes, cloves and hay, Tonka is used in many different perfume families. Its opulence is a mainstay of the Oriental perfumes and its warm voluptuousness is used to offset the citrus and aromatic sharpness of fresher fragrances and is an important element in masculine fragrances.
Tuberose
TuberoseView products
In Victorian England, tuberose signified both dangerous pleasure and voluptuousness. The scent is a fusion of white petals and warm skin, an arresting sensual and heady fragrance. The tuberose note opens with a faint green note before warming into a sweet jasmine-like scent underscored by a carnal velvety opulence.
Vanilla
VanillaView products
Vanilla has an aroma which is silky smooth, warm, uplifting, sweet, cosy, and comforting. In feminine fragrances it exudes class, tenderness and sensuality. For masculine fragrances it embodies smoothness and sensitivity and radiates the relaxed suaveness of the classic gentleman. It is one of the defining notes in the Oriental family of scents.
Vetiver
VetiverView products
Vetiver is a tall grass with the so called 'oil of tranquillity' extracted from its roots, also know as Khus it is widely used in perfumery and foods. It's deep earth smell is described as dry, woody, rooty, musty with dark chocolate and smoke. Veitiver is used, to a greater or lessor extent, in more that 90% of all perfume but when used to describe a perfume note, the smoky facets, green freshness and earthy woodiness is pronounced.
Violet
With its romantic delicate purple flowers, violets have an earthy sweet floral scent with a woody-floral aspect. Violets lend a sweet and powdery quality to fragrances with its earthy and woody tones ranging from mild to strong depending on the formulation.
Violet Leaf
Violet LeafView products
A very different note from the violet flowers, the violet leaf note has a cut grass aroma and an aqueous cut-cucumber freshness. With its green and aqueous nature, Violet Leaf adds a refreshing tang most often used in male fragrances but also an exciting element in feminine perfumes. f
Water Lily
Water LilyView products
Belonging to the same family as Lotus, Water Lily has none of the spicy nuances of other lilies. A dark green enchanting fragrance a mixture of water, river bank and roses. An aqueous floral with a subtle, refined, sweetish fragrance.
White Musk
White MuskView products
Whilst still having a slight animalistic nature, White Musk is brighter and lighter, emphasising a soapy and clean feel, often having a floral or fruity undertone. Also used for fixation and warming fragrance compositions, White Musk creates a lighter and more subtle groundwork on which the fragrance is composed compared to the classic Musk note.
Woody Notes
Woody NotesView products
As a perfume note, woody notes are an umbrella term used to refer to fragrance notes coming from woody materials. Trees, bushes, bark, moss and wood notes conjuring winding forest paths either temperate or tropical. Warm and mysterious, dry and sharp or resin-like and balmy depending on the accord with the accompanying notes. Not necessarily masculine, feminine perfume with these notes evoke a particular brand of no-nonsense femininity.
Ylang-ylang
Ylang-ylangView products
A delicate yet heady flowery note, sweet and rich with banana and jasmine nuances. It has a reputation of giving a narcotic, aphrodisiac and erotic fragrance to perfumes. A strong exotic, sweet, slightly fruity scent with a stunning heart of rich florals, Ylang Ylang captures the charm of spontaneous femininity. Add a bit of mystery to your perfume collection.
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