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Teach Soap • View topic - Top, middle and base notes for perfumery and soap

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:18 pm 
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Fragrance Families:
Floral: A Floral fragrance is generally a fragrance that has a single flower scent or is predominantly a single floral scent. The most notable examples are Rose, Jasmine, Gardenia, and Ylang-Ylang. There are many others of course.
Fougere*: [* pronounced "foo-zhair"] comes from the French word for "fern"; most often associated with men's fragrances; this is a mossy or woodsy kind of scent often contain Lavender and Oakmoss.
Green: Green scents would be considered "natural" in flavor. Herbaceous scents would fall in this category. The hallmark of this fragrance family is "fresh". Some examples would be: fresh-cut grass, leaves, forest scents, pine.
Spicy: Spicy scents will often make your nose "tickle". They are pungent and carry a high amount of the chemicals eugenol and isoeugenol. Some well-known examples of spicy scents would be clove, cardamom, coriander, ginger, carnation, and lavender.
Oriental/Amber: Oriental fragrances are common in both male and female fragrances. They are often warm, spicy and sweet and contain ingredients such as Vanilla and Tonka bean. Musks and precious woods like Sandalwood is also very common in these fragrances.
Citrus: The earliest colognes were in the citrus family and citrus fragrances are still popular today. Obviously, this fragrance family would feature fragrances that are citrus and/or tart scents, i.e. lemon, lime, orange, bergamot, clementine, yuzu, grapefruit, pineapple,
mandarin, etc...
Modern/Aldehydic: These perfumes are blended from organic chemical that have been produced synthetically. These scents do not exist, as plants, in the world. They are very potent and are used in extreme dilution by perfumists. Aldehydes often make exciting top notes in a perfume blend.
Chypre: Chypre [* pronounced "sheep-r"] is a uni-gender category that appeals to both men and women. A Chypre fragrance contains woody, mossy and floral notes, as well as the scent of leather. This kind of scent is tenacious and rich, often containing Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Bergamot and Vetiver. Chypre was named after a feminine fragrance by Coty called 'Chypre' in 1917. [The name 'Chypre' is French for Cyprus, which is where many of the notes that make up the Coty fragrance (and this fragrance family) could be found.]
Oceanic/Ozone: The Marine fragrance family is relatively new and is used to describe scents that evoke a feeling of the sea air. An ingredient called calone is said to be used to give the marine scent. This, too, is a uni-gender scent category.

TOP NOTE
The top note is immediately detectable, due in large part to the fact that it is evaporating quickly and so is more evident. Poucher determined that top notes fell within a rating of 1 to 15.
By way of example, here are some rates of popular top notes:
Mandarin = 2
Coriander = 3
Nutmeg = 11
Fragrance examples of Top Notes:
Floral & Citrus:
Chamomile, Gardenia, Geranium, Iris, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Marigold, Rose, Tuberose
Fruity:
Apricot, Black Currant, Grape, Peach, Pear, Plum, Marigold (tagetes), Melon, Orange, Raspberry,
Citrus:
Bergamot, Clementine, Lemon, Lemon Verbena, Lime, Mandarin, Neroli, Petitgrain, Pineapple,
Tangerine, Yuzu
Green:
Basil, Clary Sage, Galbanum, Hyacinth, Lavender, Mint, Rosemary
Spicy*:
Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Pepper, Nutmeg, Coriander, Allspice
Woody:
Sandalwood**, Rosemary, Cedar, Oakmoss**
[* Sometimes appears as top notes]
[** Also listed as a fixative by other books and by Making Soaps & Scents, itself. My thought is that they are considered "top" notes because they rise to the front of the blend as well as being at the base.]

MIDDLE NOTE
The middle note lasts longer than the top note and has the advantage of mixing with the top note to begin with, and leads into the base note at the end of its phase.Middle notes generally develop within 10 minutes and can last as long as hours. Middle notes tend to be rich in florals.Poucher's classification system rates middle notes as being between 16 and 69. Some examples of middle notes are:
Marjoram = 18
Clove Bud = 22
Jonquil absolute = 24
Ylang-Ylang absolute = 24
Rose absolute = 43
Tuberose absolute = 43
Jasmine absolute = 43
You'll note the "heaviness" of rose absolute. We've been told that while rose is very expensive, that we don't need a lot of it for it to make an impact. With this quantification system, we have an easier way of understanding that statement!We can also see that Jasmine, which is less expensive than rose, can have a similar impact at a lower cost. It does affect our choices for the other notes though, doesn't it?
Fragrance examples of Middle Notes:
[NOTE: You will see fragrances repeated in this list. The rationale for the duplication seems to be that the fragrances in question are on the edge between fleeting and more enduring. They are also successfully blended with other scents to create a true middle note.]
Floral:
Camellia, Carnation, Cyclamen, Daffodil, Frangipani, Freesia, Gardenia,
Geranium, Heliotrope, Honey, Honeysuckle, Iris, Jasmine, Jonquil, Lavender,
Lilac, Lily of the Valley, Magnolia, Mimosa, Narcissus, Orange flower/blossom,
Orchid, Peony, Rose, Stephanotis, Sweet Pea, Tuberose, Violet, Water Lily,
White Lily, Ylang-Ylang
Green:
Mostly aldehydes
Cucumber, Grass, Green leaves, Lettuce, Tomato,
Modern:
Mostly aldehydes simulating:
floral, fruity, citrus or woody notes
Oriental/amber
Amber, Musk, Vanilla
Chypre: (* pronounced 'sheep-r')
Calamus, Clary Sage, Labdanum, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Storax
Citrus:
Bergamot, Lemon, Lemon Verbena, Lime, Mandarin, Orange
Pettitgrain, Tangerine,
Spicy:
Allspice, Cinnamon, Clove, Coriander, Ginger, Myrrh, Nutmeg,
Pepper, Pimento
Oceanic:
Aldehydes which simulate:
Freshly-washed linen, Ocean breeze, Sea Air

BASE NOTE
The base note is the longest lived of all the notes. However, in spite of coming "last", it is arguably the most important choice in your blend. The base note is present throughout the other two notes. While it is not noticeably detectable until the others have evaporated, it has affected and altered all of the scents contained in the blend. The change of the base note fragrance can radically alter the perfume.Base notes are notable because of their longevity. Base notes may also be thought of as "fixatives".
Some examples of base notes listed in Perfumes, Splashes & Colognes are: Galbanum resin = 90 Propanax resin = 90 Angelica = 94 Fixatives = 100 Frankincense Benzoin Patchouli Sandalwood Oakmoss Tonka bean Vetiver Balsam Copaiba resin balsam of Judea balm of Gilead balm of Peru Tolu balsam
Fragrance examples of Base Notes listed in Making Soaps & Scents: Animalic (origin: "animal" or synthetic): Ambergris Castoreum Civet Musk Resinous (origin: resin from roots or trees, etc...)** [**Source for definitions: http://www.onelook.com ...
Angelica root, balm of Gilead, balm of Peru,Balsam, balsam of Judea, Copaiba resin, Frankincense, Galbanum, Tolu balsam
Woody:
Aloewood, Ambrein, Benzoin, Cedarwood, Coumarin (similar to Tonka bean), Labdanum, Musk, Oakmoss, Orris root, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Styrax (storax), Tarragon leaves, Tonka (tonka bean), Vanilla; Vanillin, Vertiver (vetivert; vetiveria), Virginia cedar

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:14 pm
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1) First of all, I can't tell if I'm getting my question across well, so here is what is perplexing me the most, to help you help me better: I don't know whether fragrance note descriptions are talking about what you smell in terms of when you take a whiff of the scent, or what you smell over the course of several days or weeks as the scent sits. Are they talking about what you smell over 30 seconds, or 30 days, for example?

1. Fragrance notes descriptions are just that. It gives people an idea of what the fragrance might or will smell like as is, without dilution, or without interaction of the high pH of lye. When you put that fragrance in soap, some of the notes might not come through, will fade or possibly morph. This is why it's a good idea if the vendor that sells the fragrance tests it in soap. That way you know what to expect. There are many, many ingredients or constituents that comprise any fragrance. Since the actual formula or ingredients in the blended fragrance oil is/are proprietary and the formula is closely guarded, we can only take an educated guess.

2) What do the fragrance rating numbers denote? Do they have anything to do with the weight, concentration, etc. of each fragrance?

2. The fragrance oil numbers indicate how slow or fast any particular ingredient fades or evaporates. For example mandarin is a 2. This means it's a top note, it's most likely the first one that you will smell straight out of the bottle, but it will evaporate fast. Nutmeg is a 11. The bigger the number, the longer it will last and the less it will evaporate.

3) What do you mean by "the middle note lasts longer than the top note?" Are you saying when you smell a bar of soap, you can smell the middle note for a longer period of time than the top note? Or are you saying that as the bar sits and the fragrance gets weaker, the top note disappears from the bar first? Or are you saying both?

3. The middle note has a higher flashpoint, helps "anchor" the top note and once the top note is gone, the middle note is the one you will smell next. As the bar sits, the whole fragrance should last and not become weaker. Every time you use it, ideally, you should smell the top note, then the middle note, then the base note.

4) Also, what about "leads into the base note at the end of its phase." Phase? Is this like the scent's 'debut', the period when the scent is strongest?

4. The base note is the strongest anchor. This is the one that you can smell the longest. Base note helps anchor the top and middle notes that create a complete and balanced blend. Ideally, you don't want any notes to overpower the others. In a perfect blend you would smell the complete fragrance, but not all the parts that were used to make it every time you wash.

5) You say, "Middle notes generally develop within 10 minutes and can last as long as hours." Are you talking about when the fragrance is mixed with the soap, or the time when you are smelling the soap, or the time the soap is just sitting there being, or what?

5. This has more to do with a perfume that's used on the skin. If you used the fragrance oil on your skin (properly diluted of course), you would smell the top notes ie: citruses first, then about 10 minutes later the middle notes would come through and as they are fading, the base notes would come to the forefront.

6) Finally, what do you mean by "[the base note] is not noticeably detectable until the others have evaporated..." I'm not clear on what is denoted by evaporated. Does this mean the base note becomes detectable after you have been whiffing of the soap for a few minutes? Or does if mean the base note becomes detectable after the fragrance has been sitting for a few weeks?

6. When you take a whiff of soap, your nose would smell the top notes first. As they fade away, the middle notes would come out to "play", then the base notes would become noticeable. In soap, any time you would lather up you would smell the top note, middle note and base note in that order, but faster. The fragrance should be skillfully blended so that what you smell after a couple of weeks of curing, should be the same as the day you made it.

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