Fragrances are made up of three primary notes: top, middle, and base notes.
Top notes, which are also called ‘headnotes,’ are the top layers of women’s and men’s perfumes. They give out the first smell and impression that either draws you in or pushes you away.
Oils used as top notes tend to be fresh, sharp, and citrusy. They also have lighter molecules, meaning their scent does not stay long on the skin, usually lasting only for five to fifteen minutes.
Examples of top notes include lemon, grapefruit, peppermint, pine, and basil.
The primary role of middle or heart notes is to retain some of the top notes’ scents while introducing new aromas to deepen the fragrance and make it more interesting.
Oils used as middle notes have full-bodied and aromatic floral scents.
Middle notes also work as a buffer for some base notes since some do not smell pleasant on their own.
Middle notes make up around 70% of the fragrance. Because of this, the scent lasts 20 to 60 minutes, thereby lasting longer than top notes.
The most commonly used middle notes are jasmine, geranium, ylang-ylang, cinnamon, lemongrass, and cardamom.
Base notes are the foundation scents that tend to be rich and heavy. Their oils have heavier molecular structures and, as such, have aromas that can last for up to six hours.
Although base notes are rich and deep, the top and middle notes of a perfume are more noticeable.
Base notes become more prominent once the top notes have dissipated.
Woody and musk aromas are the commonly used base notes. Examples of these include amber, cedarwood, musk, sandalwood, and vetiver.
Base Notes With Long-Lasting Scents
If you’re looking for a new perfume with a scent that lasts long without the need for repeated spritzes, look for one with these base notes:
In the past, natural amber was used in luxurious perfumes.
However, since organic amber takes millions of years to form, its synthetic version is used in most perfumes today.
Synthetic amber is a combination of vanilla, benzoin, labdanum, musk, resin, and other spices. The resulting scent has spicy and sweet notes, reminiscent of a warm and cozy winter night.
Dark amber oil tends to be thick and heavy. When used as a base note, it usually lasts long.
Amber is also a versatile ingredient, meaning it complements floral, fresh, woody, and musky notes to create wonderful scents.
- Amber Wood
As a perfume ingredient, amber wood is often described as intense, powerful, and long-lasting. As such, it makes for a great base note that can make fragrances last long.
Amber wood is considered as having a woodier smell than amber. It also has a less tobacco-like aroma.
In men’s perfumes, amber wood is added to enhance oriental or gourmand (fragrances with synthetic edible notes) scents.
However, it can also be used in perfumes with floral notes.
Oud, which is also called ‘liquid gold’, comes from agarwood and is a highly sought-after ingredient in older perfumes.
But like amber, oud is hard to find since it is hard and expensive to harvest. Because of this reason, today’s perfumes mostly use its synthetic version.
Both natural and synthetic oud have deep, rich, and long-lasting scents. Because of this, it works great as a base note for fragrances designed to stick long on your skin and clothes.
Oud is known for its sweet, woody, and earthly tones, making it a popular ingredient in men’s perfumes.
Musk has an earthy, natural, and mellow scent. For many, it smells like skin itself.
Perfumes with this note are perfect for men who are not fond of strong floral and citrus fragrances.
Musk is a highly versatile ingredient. It can soften and balance other components in a perfume.
More importantly, musk boosts perfume staying power and keeps scents longer on the skin. At the same time, it helps stop other short-lived ingredients in the perfume from disappearing quickly.
Sandalwood oil has a rich, woody, and exotic smell with a hint of sweetness. It is a popular ingredient in perfumery since it doesn’t inundate the resulting scent.
Sandalwood also has a soothing and relaxing effect. It is for this very reason that this ingredient is popular in summer scents since it can remind you of staying in an island paradise in the Caribbean.
Sandalwood blends well with floral and citrus scents. It is also a great base note for other woody fragrances, such as cedar and rosewood.
When combined with other woody scents, the result is an earthy, exotic, and sweet fragrance that lasts long.
Vetiver is a powerful-smelling oil with smoky and earthy notes. It has herbaceous and spicy undertones as well.
This oil is often used as a base note in men’s perfume.
Vetiver, which is a native plant in Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, is known for its fixative and long-lasting qualities. It is also used to stabilize more volatile and delicate perfume ingredients.
Because of its qualities, vetiver is also added to other men’s personal care products, such as aftershaves, shower gels, and body lotions.
If you want the perfume you spritz over your body to last longer, take the time to read the labels of fragrances you’re interested in and look for these ingredients that can help prolong the scent you’re wearing.