Perfume Scents & Notes
Fragrance Resource Guide
Perfume and fragrance notes, scent families, guides, glossary, and perfumery resources.
Fragrance Pyramid of Notes
Notes are the various layers of the fragrance and consist of three parts: Top, Heart, and Base.
Top Notes - Head
Fragrances first impression of scent that lingers briefly when perfume is first applied, usually citrus or fruit notes. These "fresh/sharp" notes are very volatile and evaporate quickly.
Heart Notes - Middle
The fragrance body, that emerges just before the top note evaporates, usually floral notes. These "rounded" notes are used to mask the initial base note impression that can be unpleasant - they can linger for minutes or hours after perfume application.
Base Notes - Dry Down
The lasting fixative note anchoring the others, usually vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, amber, woods, or musk. These "deep" notes emerge about a half hour after perfume application and evaporate slowly allowing the scent to linger on the skin.
Illustration by Heidi Younger for Ageless Perfume
Scent Types - Fragrance Families
Floral scents are the language of love and romance, they embody the peaceful beauty of rambling English gardens, artfully arranged floral bouquets, or they can celebrate the grace of a single bloom.
Bright and uplifting with keynotes of citrus, fruits or berries. If you crave a touch of sweetness in your scent. Fruity floral combinations add notes of ripened fruit, including green apple, lychee, pineapple, honeydew, or coconut.
The largest fragrance category with keynotes of jasmine, tuberose, or gardenia. Inherently feminine and fabulously flowery, floral blends of more or more of rose, jasmine, orchid, tuberose, and lily of the valley.
Powdery notes like vanilla or iris added to classic florals. If you love feminine flowers and the smell of fresh cut bouquets. Soft florals include notes of roses, lilacs, lavender, peonies, gardenias, jasmine, or orange blossoms.
Spicy oriental scents are infused with mystery and romance, rich and opulent they stir the senses with intoxicating exotic blends of spices, herbs, flowers, leather, musk and woodsy notes.
Exotic florals blended with spice and resins. Floriental scents have an exotic, sophisticated touch giving them a sensual and delicious fragrances. Floral oriental notes include amber, incense, clove, cedar, ginger, and vanilla.
Musk, amber and incense soften with subtle spices and light florals. Powdery yet elegant aroma of ethereal notes of incense, musk and amber infused with soft florals and spices.
Exotic florals, spices and resins, images of the Far East. Seductively rich fragrances with spicy notes of clove, cardamom, and musk combined with dark chocolate and sweet vanilla.
Vetiver and warm woods, mixes with spices and patchouli. Sensual scents of soft sandalwood, rich patchouli, and warm rosewood layered with hints of spice and soft blossoms.
Woody notes add intrigue and grounding to the warm allure of the spicy scents. Fragrance notes include patchouli, musk, sandalwood, pine, and cedarwood.
Typical notes include of patchouli and sandalwood, vetiver and cedar. Warm and solid allure of intriguing and grounded woody scents of mellow antique pine and just-milled cedar planks.
Mossy Woods (Chypre)
Marriage of oakmoss and fresh citrus, or crisp green notes. Herbal scents of spicy juniper, fresh basil or cooling mint notes impart brightness and sophistication to complex, bold blends of aromatic fragrances.
Leather and tobacco added to woods, typically cedar. Rich and woodsy cedar lends warmth and depth while tooled leather adds a distinctive masculine character to the elegant and vigorous mix of spicy fragrances.
Fresh, clean scents capture the tingle of citrus, the freshness of air-dried linens, and a sweet morning meadow.
Zesty and tangy with notes of bergamot, mandarin, and lemon. Sunny and refreshing, enegerizing citrus notes have a fun zest to them. Fresh citrus notes include lemon, lime, grapefruit, bergamot, or summer cocktail accords.
Fresh, crisp, sporty aroma with notes of grasses and herbs. If you like running barefoot in the grass. Fresh green scents have an earthy, energizing quality that bring a summer touch to any season. Note include basil, cucumber, mint, pine, or fresh cut grass.
Water - Marine
Cooling aquatic aroma with notes such as water lily or water hyacinth. Aquatic notes have a light and clean energy layer with notes like salty ocean water or warm spring rain accords.
Well balanced universal appeal of fresh fern, lavender, oakmoss, or citrus. Classic aromatic scents contain a warm, appealing blend of spices such as rosemary and fragrant woods like cedar.
View a list of popular Perfume Notes