What Are Top Notes In Perfumery?

Upon the initial application of a perfume, either on skin or on a fragrance blotter, you’re bound to have an immediate first reaction. This introductory aromatic impression is due to what a perfumer refers to as the “top” notes of the fragrance. The term originated from the fragrance olfactory pyramid that shows these scent interpretations at the top of the diagram. Top notes deliver the first olfactory response and intentionally convey the first essence of the entire blend.  Due to the volatility and molecular structure of these notes, they often only last from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the individual perfume. 

Top notes work specifically to grab your attention and often utilize scents from the Fresh Olfactive Family as these are known to dissipate quicker. Think citrus and fruit notes–like tangerine, lemon, bergamot, berries and apricot. Or subtle herbs like basil or lavender.

If you prefer a juicy scent, you’ll enjoy Phlur’s Apricot Privee. The top of the perfume consists of apricot, plum, and cardamom notes. Those that enjoy a more interesting take on a fruity top accord, may think Phlur’s Lost Cause is a great place to start. With top notes of bergamot, cassis leaves, crisp apple, and rhubarb, it’s sure to grab attention before it transitions.