There are several different categories of notes used to create a fragrance oil. These notes offer fragrance oils different elements. Here is a list of fragrance notes and what aspects they provide to an aroma.
ANIMALIC ingredients create allure within a fragrance. Generally base note materials, animalic nuances add subtle sensual tones. Aromatic animalic ingredients can be used to enhance spicy, woody, and sweet base notes. They can sometimes produce a leathery tone. Balance is important when using the aromatic animalic ingredients to prevent unpleasant and repulsive base notes.
EXAMPLES OF ANIMALIC INGREDIENTS: Musk, Civet
BALSAMIC notes are warm and/or sweet and can frequently be found in the resinous group of materials. Balsamic notes support a fragrance from within, offering richness and providing a natural sensation. Base notes are sometimes composed of several balsamic materials.
EXAMPLES OF BALSAMIC MATERIALS: Amber, Tolu, Fir
CAMPHORACEOUS/ AGRESTIC notes create a cooling sensation, and can be described as fresh. Natural essential oils in the herbaceous family often exhibit camphoraceous tones, with naturally occurring camphor oil producing this effect. On some occasions camphoraceous tones can produce a medicinal effect.
EXAMPLES OF CAMPHORACEOUS MATERIALS: Rosemary oil, Eucalyptus oil, Camphor powder
CITRUS/ HESPERIDIC tones are easily identified due to the association with food and beverages. Citrus essential oils are produced from the citrus fruit peel, and a fresh, slightly acidic note is displayed. Citrus tones are usually top notes where they produce a fresh, juicy, effervescent effect.
EXAMPLES OF CITRUS MATERIALS: Lemon oil, Grapefruit oil, Bergamot oil
FLORAL is the largest generic fragrance category. Within the floral category there are many sub categories such as aldehydic floral or green floral. Flowery notes such as rose, gardenia, or jasmine can be used alone or in combination with one another to produce a “floral bouquet.” Since some flowers have little or no scent, creative floral accords are often produced to fulfill the need for scents such as daisy or orchid. Floral tones will generally be found at the heart of the fragrance.
EXAMPLES OF FLORAL NOTES: Lily, Tuberose, Floral bouquet
Like the citrus accords, FRUIT notes can be easily identified due their similarity to real fruit aromas. Sweet/sour tones found in apple, peach, strawberry, and banana are replicated for use in perfumery. These fruit compounds are generally produced from synthetic materials, although touches of natural materials such as critrus may be added for a juicy effect. Fruit notes will be found in the top note or middle note of a scent, but exceptions exist in fruit scents such a peach which have creamy and sweet undertones.
EXAMPLES OF FRUIT NOTES: Apple, melon, raspberry
The GREEN category is very significant in today’s market. Market positioning of products based on “natural themes” has created a demand for fragrances that smell like plants, leaves, and grasses. Green notes provide bright, strong, natural smelling accents for all types of fragrances. Green notes can be top notes, middle notes, and they traditionally exhibit food stability in a wide variety of products.
EXAMPLES OF GREEN NOTES: Herbs, Vegetables, Leaves
MARINE notes add fresh, bright, watery, and/or algae like accents to fragrance blends. They are rarely used alone due to their elusive quality, yet combined with florals, woods, or fruit types they create sparkle and add a natural sensation. Marine notes are often found accenting the top note of a scent and are reminiscent of the smell of sea breezes.
EXAMPLES OF MARINE NOTES: Sea spray, Dewy, Ocean breeze
The MINT family is characterized by its pierce cooling effect. Mint provides an invigoration effect and fresh lift for all fragrance types. It has become more important as a single note in today’s products that feature natural positioning. Mint accents the top note of a fragrance.
EXAMPLES OF MINT INGREDIENTS: Peppermint, Spearmint, Menthol
SPICE notes are familiar due to their use in cooking and baking. They create warm or pungent sensations, and are used in almost all fragrance types. Most spice notes are derived from nature, and they can be found accenting the middle notes of a fragrance or used alone.
EXAMPLES OF SPICE INGREDIENTS: Cinnamon, Ginger, Pepper
SWEET notes are important base notes for most fragrance blends. Recalling familiar sensations found in vanilla, sugar, honey and syrup, sweet notes are long lasting and comforting. Gourmand type scents have created a new demand for sweet notes in perfumery, where they provide edible sensations that captivate the senses.
EXAMPLES OF SWEET NOTES: Vanilla, Caramel, honey
WOODS are important building blocks for fragrance. Woody notes enhance and enrich the base notes of most fragrance. They provide warmth, naturalness and long lasting richness. Most woody notes are derived from nature, where essential oils are distilled from fresh cut wood, tree bark or roots of a tree. In today’s market we find wood blends being used frequently in candles, particularly at the prestige level of distribution.
EXAMPLES OF WOOD INGREDIENTS: Sandalwood, Cedar wood, Vetiver