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Head notes are the first notes perceived after a perfume is sprayed on the skin, and they are also the most volatile. As they are minuscule molecules that quickly evaporate, these notes contribute to our first impression of a fragrance. Their role is primarily commercial, as they are often only perceived for a brief period of time, typically no longer than 5-10 minutes. In most instances, head notes are perceived as fresh, thus they are often derived from citrus fruits, flowers or exotic fruits.
When top notes soften or subdue, heart notes emerge. As their name suggests, these are the notes at the 'heart' of a perfume; the central part of it. They accompany a perfume throughout its evolution, lasting from 15 minutes up to 1 hour. The most commonly used heart notes are soft and velvety, often characterized by flowers such as rose, jasmine or lavender, as well as hints of spice or vanilla. These notes are very important because, if a perfume's formula is well constructed, they should gently guide us towards base notes.
Base notes are generally persistent, strong and powerful. In some cases, they appear 1 hour after a perfume is sprayed on the skin and persist until the following day. Among the most renowned and functional base notes are Oud, Sandalwood, Patchouli and Cedarwood. These are highly crucial notes to a perfume's unfolding, as they sometimes also help to make other notes composing a perfume stand out for longer periods of time. A perfume's base notes may sometimes also include odours of animal origin, amber, and musk, which are now synthetically created, as they are forbidden in their natural state.
The skin's pH can vary on a day-to-day basis and for a variety of reasons, thus so can the fragrances we wear.
These variations can be caused by:
- the intake of medicines for a certain amount of time;
- atmospheric and environmental changes that cause high sweating of the skin;
- changes in food consumption and diet.
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