Discover How Perfume Notes
Are Blended To Make
The Apothecary's Exquisite Blends



Confused by fragrance families and perfume notes?

The names mainly refer to the basic blend of which perfume ingredients it contains and gives you an insight into how it could smell - a very useful tool if you are buying off the internet I always think!!!

First of all you need to understand a little about the terms for blending. We talk about perfume notes, top, middle and base notes.

Compare this to the notes of a musical chord, get it right and it sounds wonderful. Put notes together whose resonation is too close and they clash, just like a chord sounds harsh and clanging to our ear, a poor fragrance mix will also jar.

Whether an oil has a top, middle or base perfume note depends on what we call it's volatility, that is how fast it evaporates.

This of course tends to depend on its consistency, it makes sense that you would expect a thick gloopy oil to take longer to evaporate than a light thin one. Because of this these oils have much deeper scents, they tend to be more soporific and sultry too.

Then the faster they evaporate, the lighter and sharper the scent and we call those middle and top notes.

A blend must have some of each note to make it resonate exactly. In effect when the perfumier gets it right, the chord- or in fact note...chimes beautifully.

So the first of the blends is called

Fougère, which means fernlike.

Actually the translation helps us a bit because if you imagine walking through a forest on an autumn day, the fragrance of the russet bracken is a good comparison I think.

It is a warm, woody and spicy fragrance. In fact the best scent you can imagine is oak moss, a really rich deep green scent, because all fougère perfumes need to have a base note of either oak moss or coumarin. Coumarin comes from the Tonka bean and is very highly prized having a kind of deep vanilla fragrance.

The top note would usually be some kind of citrus or lavender with middle perfume notes blended to make each fougère fragrance different to the next.

Fougère fragrances can be sub classified again to include

Fougère fresh which would usually have herby oils mixed into hive a lovely light fresh perfumes

Fougère ambery tend to have fragrances such as heliotrope to make them warm and comforting. These fragrances tend to feel like they are enveloping you. They are much softer aromas, a little reminiscent of vanilla and have a slightly powdery scent to them.

Fougère woody are exactly as you would imagine, sandalwoods, vetivert, lovely woody scents.

Fougère florals are perhaps the most complex blends using lovely bright scents such as orange blossom to harmonise with the woody-spiciness of the base notes. All good Fougères have a rosy note at their heart which could just as easily come from a plant such as the geranium as from rose itself.

In more recent years very popular fougère fragrances have been designed for men - the most well known of these is Davidoff’s Cool Water.

Chypres scents date back to when the crusaders brought labdanum back from the east and the rich heady balsamic scent became a very popular base to perfumes. Chypres rely on a harmony between citrus aromas and woods. Another oil that is often used as a base note in these blends is patchouli.

Top notes tend to be bergamot, orange blossom or lemon and the they have often have a floral middle note, so rose or jasmine for example and then have perhaps a sandalwood base note.

These fragrances tend to be your more heady "dressy" perfumes for the evening and because of the leaning to the large number of base note fragrances it will not evaporate quickly, lending itself to a perfume that you can rely on to last all evening.

Green perfumes in a way describe themselves. It can be frustrating that there are so few words to describe scents but there are very few truly green fragrances - pine needles, freshly cut grass, cucumber.

These clever fragrances use herbs and leaves to bring that lovely clean fresh aroma.

Florals again need no explanation really. They could be our single note perfumes like the two different rose types perfume or lily of the valley for example or they could be our blends of different flowers. Again in top, middle and base perfume notes.

Orientals are made with the most unguent of the oils. Tree saps like frankincense and myrrh for example. These are very heady and will of course be the longest lasting of all the perfumes.

Ok let's shop for perfume blends

How about treating yourself to one of our beautiful single perfume notes...Have a peek here.

Don't miss our delicious mens colognes.

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