Friday, 12 November 2010

Pyramid Building - 4... Conclusion?

To round off my brief examination of the question of top, heart and base notes, I'm tempted to break copyright rules. You see, on page 481 of An Introduction To Perfumery (2nd edition) by Tony Curtis and David G Williams there's a simple diagram which is probably the best depiction I've seen of what happens when you release a perfume from its bottle. However, on this occasion, I think I'll stay on the right side of the law and I'll do my best to describe the picture verbally.

Essentially, it consists of the same sort of triangle that's normally used for olfactory pyramids. But instead of being divided into 3, straight-edged sections, it contains curved lines which split the shape into flowing segments that invade each other's territory. (Think: yin/yang circle.)

The idea behind the picture is that it is almost impossible to isolate the top, heart and base from each other; it's the relationship between the three - their constant inter-mingling - which is what matters. And that is probably as good a final word as we'll ever have on the subject.

To conclude, I'm going to attempt my own pseudo-diagramatic respresentation of the workings of a perfume. I'm sure you won't need me to tell you that 'T' stands for top notes, 'H' for heart and 'B' for base. The size and case of the letters gives an indication of odour strength. The dots are supposed to give an idea of the increasing gap of time between each stage of development. So here it is, my own little 'evaporation curve' shape poem:



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