Base Notes.

Base perfume notes are typically the most important of the notes in a perfume because they tend to be the ones that last the longest. There are a number of different types of base perfume notes, but there are some that seem to be more popular than others. Most perfumes, colognes and fragrances are comprised of top perfume notes, middle or heart perfume notes and base perfume notes. The base notes are going to be the heaviest and the strongest notes, and they will be the ones that linger long after the other notes in the fragrance have faded off.

Base notes are typically chosen because they have strength, fixative properties and a solid scent. The base notes will generally dictate which of the fragrance families the perfume fits into. Base notes are typically heavy, heady, strong, woody, smoky, exotic, spicy, mossy, sensual or warm, or a combination of these characteristics.

Many base perfume notes have been used for a number of centuries, and so they are now considered to be rare and exotic, and they are only used in expensive and exclusive scents. Some perfume notes are also seen as being politically incorrect because they were derived from animal sources, and so they are much harder to come by in this day and age. Luckily, many of these original base notes have been recreated in the form of synthetic versions. There are a number of other base perfume notes as well, many of which are derived from plant resin and tree resin and other natural sources.

Here are some of the most common types of base perfume notes:

Amber - Amber is a good fixative that most people like, and is derived from the fossil resin of a fir tree.
Ambergris - This used to be derived from sperm whales but now is a synthetically produced note for obvious reasons.
Opoponax - This note smells like sweet licorice and comes from a plant resin.
Patchouli - This is an earthy and sweet note that is well known for being in incense.
Tonka Bean - This note smells like marzipan and caramel and comes from the Tonka tree's pod in South America.
Musk - This is one of the most commonly used of all base notes, and is synthetically created.
Sandalwood - This is a widely used note from the sandalwood tree.
Balsam - This is a sweet smelling resin from some plants.
Benzoin - This is a resin from the Stryax tree and offers a chocolaty base note.
Courmarin - This base note smells like marzipan and comes from the tonka bean.
Labdanum - This is a resin from the Cistus plant.  
Leather - Leather offers a smoky and warm scent and comes from birch trees and fir trees.
Oakmoss - Oaky and mossy in nature, this base note comes from a lichen that is commonly found on the oak tree.
Olibarnum - This is a spicy and strong base note from the boswellia tree.
Vetiver - From India and the Caribbean, this is a green and earthy base note.

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