This is a short post about colognes and what you are smelling and when. Yes, time has an effect on the cologne you are wearing.
Colognes (eau de toilettes, perfumes, eau de colognes, aftershaves, etc.) all have basically three parts to them and are usually described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes that work well with each other. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. As each note dissipates, it has an effect on the lingering notes and alters it’s ‘stand alone’ fragrance until enough time has passed to which the note can bare it’s scent. These notes are created carefully through the knowledge of the evaporation process of the cologne.
1. The top note or ‘head’ notes are the notes you initially smell when you open the bottle and first apply it. They last from the moment you apply to however long it takes to evaporate which usually is about, three to five minutes. These notes evaporate quickly and are generally the ‘sweet’ or ‘fruit’ scents one smells since they are very important to the sale of the cologne.
2. The middle note or ‘heart’ notes (body) of the cologne generally start to appear right at the dissipation of the top notes. These notes usually act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of the base note, which become more pleasant with time.
3. The base note appear at the dissipation of the heart note. The heart note and the base note are the main theme of a cologne. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a cologne. Compounds of this class are typically rich and ‘deep’ and usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.
Below is one of many different variations on the fragrance pyramid and loosely explains, visually what you just read. Visuals always help don’t they?
Hopefully this will shed some light on what you are smelling and why things change throughout the day when you are wearing a cologne. This evaporative process happens for everyone but one thing that is not covered above about the changing of scents is how body chemistry changes the scent of any cologne and of course how long a cologne lasts for you. Both the scent and the duration of the cologne is different for everyone. Some colognes are really good at smelling the same or very close for the vast majority of the populace but others can and often do smell quite different when worn on two people with only the slightest hint of “sameness.”
Hope this helps a little.
Resource: Wiki and other sites I can’t remember, sorry.