Why we don't separate top/mid/base notes in candle scent descriptions

Well, hello and welcome to our first blog post! Every Friday we will meet here to discuss a candle-related topic! 

Now, you might have noticed that our product descriptions do not have the fragrance notes categorized into top, middle and base notes. Ever wondered why? While it is a useful way for describing fragrance notes of products like perfumes and body sprays, this method is not quite applicable for candles. Let me explain. 

So what makes a top note, top note in the first place? This has to do with the evaporation rate of the note we're looking at. In perfumery we study every essential oil, absolute, extract and aroma molecule by its evaporation rate. We dip the tip of a paper blotter into the bottle of the material in question. We smell the blotter and rate the strength of the note. 5 minutes later, we do it again. Again in 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours... this goes on up to 48 hours (or many more for base notes, really, there are base notes that can last for months on a blotter!). If we can't smell the material on the blotter anymore after 30 minutes, this means it is classified as a top note. Up to 4 hours would be a middle note and the rest would be base notes. Simple, right? 

Perfumes and similar products like body sprays consist of fragrance and a solvent, like alcohol. The fragrance evaporates gradually after application and the separation of top, middle and base notes are possible because each note will have its own course of life on the surface it is applied to.

On the other hand, the process of fragrance release in candles is different. When making candles we heat and melt the wax, then add the fragrance. This way we allow the fragrance to bind to the wax. Therefore the fragrance does not evaporate from the surface of the candle, it is rather captured in the wax and released slowly from the melt pool as the candle burns. Whether it is a top note like lemon or a base note like vanilla does not matter anymore, because every note is bound to the wax in a uniform fashion and they are all diffused at the same time from the melted wax. The lemon note will stay in the wax until the candle is burned entirely and we will be able to smell the vanilla immediately once the melted wax starts diffusing the fragrance. 

Well, this is why we list the fragrance notes in a linear form on our website. If you've ever wondered why we did it differently, now you know! 

Until next Friday,

Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published