Base Notes

Base notes (also known as “Fond” in French) Are the final, last, end fragrance hints that become apparent only once all other layers have evaporated and dried out. They act as the parting scent; leaving a final impression on those who experience the aroma. All other notes, from those at the top, through to those in the middle, are experienced before the base note is. Once the base note has been detected, it is a sign that the aroma’s presence is coming to a close. There is a mutual relationship between the middle notes and the base notes, which blend together to create a full and complete fragrance — acting as the main components supporting the fragrance’s theme. The base note is known for being the scent associated with the dry-down period — the period in which the perfume’s presence begins to diminish. The main goal of the base note is to impart on last whiff of the fragrance, that is both pleasant, and echoing of the goal the fragrance set out to achieve. Base notes, when worn on skin, are known to linger even when considerable time has passed since the predecessor notes have evaporated. Base notes are also used to bring harmony and depth to the fragrance.

Compounds that are most often used as base notes are often added to compositions as fixatives, playing the role of strengthener, whilst holding down the foundation of the aroma. They are often dense and cumbersome; evaporating slowly. The scents often seen in this class are rich, deep, and full-bodied, featuring complex and strong aromas. After application, it usually takes upwards of 30 minutes for the base notes to disperse their aromas, but this varies often and depends on the used ingredients. Many base notes have been known to last well over 24 hours, in particular, those of the animalic and musk groups.

Some frequently used base notes in perfumery include sandalwood, vanilla, amber, and musk.