Perhaps not everyone knows that when we hold a perfume in our hands, whether for the environment or for a person, we have a living substance in front of us. In fact, perfume changes and evolves, following an olfactory pyramid divided into three levels: top, heart and base notes. This classification, now a standard in modern perfumery, is the work of the English perfumer G.W. Septimus Piesse.

The succession of these three groups of notes, one after the other, determines the perfume's development over time, according to the olfactory pyramid: the top notes are the first to be perceived, but also the first to disappear, followed by the heart and base notes.

The top notes are the most volatile olfactory notes: they are light, fresh and delicate, and fade in about 15 minutes. Top notes are those that a perfume presents to us the first moment we smell it: they make us want to discover the fragrance and urge us to buy. These include citrus and marine scents, and aromatic aromas.

Heart notes are the central notes of the olfactory pyramid, the strongest and most persistent; they emerge after the top notes, last between two and three hours, and express the most powerful part of a fragrance, the so-called "trail" of a perfume. The heart notes contain the floral, green and fruity fragrances.

With the base notes we are touching the bottom of a perfume: the base notes express all the most persistent raw materials that diffuse slowly, even lasting more than twenty-four hours.

It is at this stage that a perfume manages to convey its personality, allowing those who smell it to recognise themselves in that perfume, and become attached to it. The base notes are spicy and woody fragrances, oriental and amber, musky and reminiscent of leather.

Written by Adele

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