Smelling natural perfume requires skin. I don’t recommend blotter or tester strips. Natural perfumes develop over time on the skin, and the outcome can be different due to a skins particular chemistry. This is where the mystery of perfume happens. The same perfume may smell different on different individuals.
Dabbing on the back of the hand or the wrist allows you to sniff at intervals and see how a perfume changes over time. Most naturals do not smell the same from beginning to end. There is a progression of notes. What are notes? the term note is used to describe one scent within a bouquet of scents.
For example. If you put our No. 27 on your wrist, wait a moment or two before sniffing to let it set, then sniff…..right away you will notice a fruit or citrus note, then the Rose note. After some time, you begin to notice a spice note, which plays and blends beautifully with the floral note. The citrus note is gone by now (a top note that last only a few minutes) but there’s another note….another floral, then perhaps, Amber?
So, you see the meaning of the term, “note” in perfumery, and how important it is to test naturals on your skin to experience the differing notes. The terminology, Perfume note, was inspired by music…like how you experience music. Each note in music works with the other notes to create beautiful sound. Perfume is much like music in that it has various notes to create a composition that will play beautifully on your skin :)
A note, may not even be a single plant essence. It may not be just the “Moss” in ‘oakmoss” but several differing plant essences to make up that “moss” note. This is when Accords may come into play. An Accord (or chord) is a blend of several plant essences to create a particular note/scent. Maybe the “Moss” note comes from an accord of oakmoss, geranium, lavender, and basil. Maybe that White Orchid note in your natural perfume is a blend of several floral and herbal essences to attain that one “note”. Maybe the perfume has several accords in it, each having 3 or 9 essences. And, to further complicate things, maybe you have a chord of top notes, a chord of middle notes and a chord of base notes that when blended together, create a beautiful soliflore!
It is not simply putting fragrance oils in a bottle and calling it perfume like much of what you see on places like Ebay and Etsy for 5 or 10 dollars. You don’t need skin to test those perfumes as they are really just fragrance oils, one dimensional or flat because they mostly are not meant for perfume but created for soap and candles, to smell the same from beginning to end.
True natural perfume is art, and worthy of your skin, to enjoy its nuances over time.
As an aside, there are many I’ve heard from that say they don’t like Rose perfumes or powdery perfumes only to turn 360 degrees and be incredibly excited after sampling the real deal. So, give natural rose or powdery perfumes a try because on your skin, you may love the R E A L scents and sense of nature, as it unfolds and blooms on your skin.