The Olfactory Pyramid

Learn to DECODE FRAGRANCE NOTES

Perfume creation always begins with selecting and combining the right mix of raw ingredients. Perfumiers must rely on their keen understanding of fragrance notes and their topology (i.e. their unique molecular properties) to develop olfactory compositions that are balanced and delight the senses. To achieve the right balance, they depend on a concept called the olfactory pyramid. Here’s how it works. 

What is the olfactory pyramid?

To achieve an agreeable balance, fragrance notes are classified like musical chords: top notes, heart notes and base notes. These notes make up a perfume’s accord, its character.

Each note reflects a scent’s volatility, or how quickly it evaporates. Those at the top evaporate fastest while those at the base linger longer.

Perfumiers use the olfactory pyramid to represent a perfume’s fragrance notes, each ingredient categorised according to its evaporation rate and persistence over time.

 

Top notes

The most vivid and energetic, these are a perfume’s most volatile scents. They are what you smell first, establishing a fragrance’s first impression. But, as they are fleeting due to their lighter, smaller molecules, they evaporate quickly. Top notes should be carefully selected, allowing for a pleasant, smooth transition into the next part of the olfactory pyramid. 

 Popular top notes: lemon, orange, bergamot, pink pepper, blackcurrant, ginger, mint

 Average duration: 5 – 15 minutes

 

HEART NOTES

These are the fragrance notes you perceive once the top notes have disappeared. They ensure the continuity of the top notes and prepare for a smooth transition into the base notes. Considered the “soul”, or personality, of a perfume, heart notes make up the majority of a fragrance’s scent. As such, they are evident throughout the full life of the fragrance. 

 Popular top notes: jasmine, ylang-ylang, violet, rose

 Average duration: 20 – 60 minutes

 

Base notes

Along with the heart notes, base notes tend to add depth and resonance which help build the foundation of a perfume. These notes appear more gradually but also evaporate more gradually. 

 Popular top notes: vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood

 Average duration: several hours to several days

 

Top notes

The most vivid and energetic, these are a perfume’s most volatile scents. They are what you smell first, establishing a fragrance’s first impression. But, as they are fleeting due to their lighter, smaller molecules, they evaporate quickly. Top notes should be carefully selected, allowing for a pleasant, smooth transition into the next part of the olfactory pyramid. 

 Popular top notes: lemon, orange, bergamot, pink pepper, blackcurrant, ginger, mint

 Average duration: 5 – 15 minutes

 

HEART NOTES

These are the fragrance notes you perceive once the top notes have disappeared. They ensure the continuity of the top notes and prepare for a smooth transition into the base notes. Considered the “soul”, or personality, of a perfume, Heart notes make up the majority of a fragrance’s scent. As such, they are evident throughout the full life of the fragrance. 

 Popular top notes: jasmin, ylang-ylang, violet, rose

 Average duration: 20 – 60 minutes

 

Base notes

Along with the heart notes, base notes tend to add depth and resonance which help build the foundation of a perfume. These notes appear more gradually but also evaporate more gradually. 

 Popular top notes: vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood

 Average duration: several hours to several days

Find the right accord for your personality!

Explore EISENBERG’s fragrance collections to learn more about our perfume compositions.
To help you better understand each fragrance’s accord, and find the right one for your personality, every fragrance note is clearly categorised according to the olfactory pyramid. A symphony of gorgeous scents awaits!

L’ART DU PARFUM

 Sensual, elegant, luxurious, each fragrance a canvas filled with lasting emotion and eternal beauty.

 For women and men.

DISCOVER

J’OSE 

Provocative, bold and velvety, EISENBERG’s iconic fragrance for those who dare to break the rules.

For women and men.

DISCOVER

THE SECRETS COLLECTION:
LES ORIENTAUX LATINS
 

12 fragrances which merge Oriental and French perfumery traditions, perfectly balancing the finesse of the French floral tradition and the opulence of oriental culture.

 For women and men.

DISCOVER

LES EXTRAITS

Highly concentrated and refined, each extract highlights ingredients used throughout the L’Art du Parfum collection. 

For women.

DISCOVER