The Best Perfume Notes To Look Out For

The Best Perfume Notes To Look Out For

Perfume notes are mysterious, one really needs to smell a perfume in order to know if they will like it.


And yet, we still find ourselves on Fragrantica, researching new fragrances through these notes we see repeatedly such as tonka bean; iris, cedar wood, ambroxan, geranium etc.


What do these all mean? It takes time to appreciate the 'repeating scents' you experience between fragrances that share the same notes.


Until one's nose becomes accustomed to these, I hope a guide like this can help you choose fragrances that have the correct notes that help portray the 'vibe' you want to give. 




Elegance - Iris


One of the most expensive perfume ingredients in its natural form, its synthetic alternatives also smell gorgeous.


This is a powdery floral note that is often described as smelling like 'makeup' when used in high doses.


When cleverly incorporated in to masculine perfumery, iris gives your scent a unique and attention grabbing elegant touch.


To experience the elegance of this note, prominent examples of its use can be found in Prada L'Homme, Dior Homme Intense and Givenchy Gentlemen Reserve Privée.


This is a more 'daring' note overall that makes a statement in both 'day time' fragrances, as well as 'evening' scents. 




Romance - Cardamom


A spicy aromatic that smells 'earthy' on its own, cardamom adds a nice amber-y 'warm' touch to many men's fragrances as it blends easily with amber accords and woody notes.


If you want an often easy to love fragrance that is warm, seductive and inviting, cardamom is a note to look out for.


Prominent examples include YSL La Nuit De L'Homme, BDK Gris Charnel and Emporio Armani Stronger With You.




Playfulness - Tonka Bean


An easy way to be 'chic' and 'modern', tonka bean (or coumarin, which is its major constituent that gives the scent), is used frequently in today's mainstream releases!


Tonka is a great note as it adds a 'creamy sweetness' to a fragrance that is more balanced than the potentially overpowering note of vanilla!


When used in too high amounts, the note can be 'synthetic' and start to smell like 'hay', but more often the note is used to give a 'marzipan' effect to a fragrance (think Tonka 25 by Le Labo).


Prominent examples include Chanel Allure Homme Eau Extreme, JPG Le Beau Le Parfum and Prada Luna Rossa Black.


Tonka bean, I find, often gives a 'lotion-like' effect to a fragrance, adding to its unique allure... 






Hopefully today's newsletter helps you to appreciate the notes of strange scents unique to perfumery (vanilla is easier to understand than iris for example).


Are the notes of a fragrance important to you in researching a purchasing a decision? Let's have a conversation, reply directly to this email and let me know. 😊


Until next time,




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