What are the Top, Middle and Basenotes in Candles and Perfumes

If you love the warm glow and mesmerizing fragrance of scented candles, then I’m sure you would have experimented with different fragrances. When it comes to scented candles, there is a wide range of beautiful fragrances out there, and these are classified into different fragrance notes: top, middle and basenotes.

Different fragrance notes

Have you ever wondered what goes behind creating that well-balanced fragrance for your beloved candle? There is a science behind creating incredible-smelling candles – a perfect combination of these three different fragrance notes.

A note when it comes to fragrances is a term that is used to explain what you smell when you lit your candle. Every fragrance whether it’s a scented candle or perfume has three notes – the top/head notes, middle/heart notes, and base/bottom notes. There is an art behind layering different fragrances in scented candles and a perfect combination of these three notes is what makes the fragrance appealing and lasting. 

A carefully crafted fragrance with an ideal combination of the top, base, and middle notes to evoke different energies and emotions. And this is quite important when trying to determine how to mix scents for candles. For example, citrus can have a strong top note, but when it is combined with a warm base note, like vanilla, it creates an amazingly beautiful scent that is sure to leave you mesmerized! It’s just like baking tarts, you need to add some sugar and whipped cream to balance the tanginess of your cranberry tart, right?

The Top Note

The top (or the head) notes are the first hints of a scent that you get when you smell a fragrance. They are generally referred to as “first impression” notes because they usually introduce you to the candle or perfume fragrance and shape your first impression. The most common top notes are citrus, lemongrass, ginger, bergamot, or herbal scents.

Top notes are usually fresh, light, and elevating – like that fresh slice of lemon in your black tea. But top notes have the smallest molecules and therefore are the most volatile and evaporate quickly. Their job is to intrigue and attract, and then evaporate slowly to leave behind a slightly heavier middle note. In perfumes, top notes are very prevalent in the first spritz, and in candles, they are usually the first cold scent throw you get, which fades away slowly. 

The Middle Note

Known as the heart note and rightly so, the middle notes are basically the personality of any scented candle’s fragrance. They form the foundation and the body of the fragrance and are a bit more complex and full-bodied as compared to top notes. You can in fact look at them as the stars of a fragrance – one that provides harmony and balance between the top and base notes.

The middle notes set in as soon as the top notes recede and are the most prominent scent when you burn a candle. That’s because they make up almost 40-80% of the entire fragrance. Middle notes are meant to hold your attention. Some of the most popular essential oils and fragrance oils used as middle notes are rose, lavender, lilac, raspberry, or cinnamon.

The BaseNote

Base notes are what come in right after the heart notes and the ones that your senses smell the last. They are also more commonly known as dry notes or bottom notes in a fragrance. From a molecule point of view, they have the largest molecules, so they evaporate very slowly. And once you can start smelling them, base notes linger in the air even after you blow out your candle.

Base notes are typically invigorating, super-stable, and powerful, leaving behind a lasting, lingering impression. They are ones that provide the much-needed complexity and depth to fragrances. When it comes to perfumes, base notes are what last on your skin and what you can smell all day long. They are mostly rich, musky, or sweet – something like vanilla, sandalwood, and musk.

Conclusion

We hope that this blog has helped you get some new-found knowledge about the top, middle, and basenotes in candles and perfumes. You might even want to try and go further to determine how to mix scents for candles. Just make sure that you are using and purchasing products with no toxic ingredients

Shopping for candles online can be tricky at first, but now that you know and understand the three fragrance notes that combine to make a beautiful scent, it should be a breeze. So, go ahead and put your knowledge to the test —  feel free to browse through our amazing collections from the Aromatherapy and Affirmation Crystal Candle Series. Made from 100% coconut wax and all-natural essential oils, we are sure you will fall in love with their beautiful fragrances!

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