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Aromatherapy: What are Notes?

What does it mean when in aromatherapy, an essential oil is categorised by a note?

Notes refer to the perfume industry, and are split into 3 categories Top (head), Middle (heart) & base notes.

They denote the scents in respect of the time after application that the aroma is still present.

Top Notes

Essential oils that are classified as top notes normally evaporate very fast. They tend to be light, fresh and uplifting in nature and are usually inexpensive. Top notes are highly volatile, fast acting, and give the first impression of the blend. However, they do not last for long. Examples of top notes are Bergamot, Lemon, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Lime, Grapefruit, Eucalyptus.

Middle Notes

Middle notes usually give body to the blend and have a balancing effect. The aroma of middle notes are not always immediately evident and may take a couple of minutes to establish their scent. They are usually warm and soft fragrances. Examples of middle notes are Lavender, Geranium, Rosemary, Black Pepper, Juniper, Marjoram.

Base Notes

Essential oils that are classified as base notes are normally very heavy and their fragrance is very solid. It will be present for a long time and slows down the evaporation of the other oils. These fragrances are normally intense and heady. They are normally rich and relaxing in nature and are typically the most expensive of all oils. Examples of base notes are Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Frankincense, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose.

Thank you for reading :-)

Karen xx

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