French perfumer Piesse changed the perception of perfumery in the 19th century. Piesse discovered that fragrances went through many different phases once the perfume had come into contact with the skin.
Piesse went on to describe these phases as compared to great a symphony that features many different movements and went on to develop the concept of the musical harmony classification of perfume.
Classifying the phases or the fragrances of perfume on the basis of notes in a musical scale determined that a balanced fragrances contained elements of the top, middle and base notes and each phase or groups of 'notes' has a differing degree of volatility.
FIRST MOVEMENT - TOP NOTES:
The initial hint of each fragrance - the fresh, light quality that you senses first pick up on. The top notes evaporate fairly quickly and can fade after 5 to 20 minutes of being in contact with the skin. The top notes can be described as light volatile notes that burst on your skin and serves as the first impression of the fragrance.
SECOND MOVEMENT - MIDDLE or HEART NOTES: (bouquet)
As the tope notes fade the middle or 'heart' notes form. The middle or 'heart' notes form the actual fragrance character of the perfume and can last for up to 4 or 5 hours.
THIRD MOVEMENT - BASE NOTES:
Base notes emerge slowly but usually are richly scented and are usually the lasting notes of the fragrance. Base notes serve as the foundation upon which the perfume is based. Base notes are intended to pleasantly underscore the fading scent and can last 7 - 8 hours.
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