Perfume notes—a simple guide to make scent shopping easy

The perfume world can feel tricky to navigate—what are perfume notes? Why do they have a top, middle, and a base? What does perfume really mean? And does anyone really know what a fragrance wheel is? That’s why we’ve done all the hard work for you, stripped bare the many facets of fragrance, and explored and uncovered what they all mean.

And why should you care? Because a bit of knowledge can go a long way when shopping for a new-season scent. “I think it all depends on the person,” says senior perfumer at Givaudan and co-creator of Jimmy Choo I Want Choo, Sonia Constant. “Some people like to know what’s inside their perfume so they can make an informed purchase. By knowing what they like they can look for more of the same, while others want to keep the magic of mystery. There’s value in both.”

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