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The Magic of Candle Fragrances: Understanding Top, Middle and Base Notes


Did you know that when you smell an unlit candle for the first time, you are only sensing a portion of what that candle fragrance has to offer? 😮


When it comes to candle fragrances, you may have heard of "top", "middle" and "base" notes. You'll often see these listed in our candle description. These "notes" are simply categories referring to how long it takes for a specific fragrance to be sensed. There is a whole science around creating a well-balanced fragrance and you do this by making sure you have a great combination the three types of scents.


Here is what they are:


Top Notes

Top Notes, also sometimes referred to as "head notes", are the initial scents your nose will pick up when you first smell an unlit candle. They are often bright and energizing scents, and are the most volatile, meaning they will evaporate the quickest due to being smaller molecules. Some great examples of top notes are fruity (often citrusy) and herbal scents. Some examples are bergamot, lemongrass, apple, lavender, peppermint, tangerine, eucalyptus and ginger. When you smell one of our unlit candles for the first time, you are often getting a wonderful whiff of the top notes! 🍊


Here are some of the top notes you will get from Firelight Fables candles in the classic Storytelling Collection:

Mystical Apothecary: Lavender, Saffron, Apple

Desert Bazaar: Jasmine, Ginger, Spice, Plum

Verdant Jungles: Honeydew Melon, Lime

Frosted Vales: Ozone, Red Berries

Realm of the Fey: Bergamot, Mandarin


Top notes may be some of the first scents you smell, but they are only a part of the full experience. Let's dive into the magical middle notes!


Middle Notes

When you are burning a candle, the middle notes are the most prominent, but they can take 10-20 minutes to fully develop. They make their appearance after the fleeting top notes subside and they subtly phase into the base notes. They are sometimes referred to as "heart notes" because they form the foundation of the fragrance. Some great examples of middle notes would be fruits, spices and floral fragrances, such as lilac, rose, cinnamon, geranium, myrrh, jasmine and raspberry. 🌹


Here are some of the middle notes you will get from those same Firelight Fables candles:


Mystical Apothecary: Chamomile, Sage, Black Currant, Blackberry

Desert Bazaar: Leather, Teakwood, Tobacco Leaf, Tonka Bean

Verdant Jungles: Cucumber, Fern, Aloe

Frosted Vales: Cinnamon, Clove, Forest Fern

Realm of the Fey: Thyme, Jasmine, Ginger


And finally...


Base Notes


Base notes are the last notes to appear to our senses and often linger for a long while. These scents have the largest molecules, so they take a while to show themselves, but once they do they are long lasting, sticking around even after the candle is blown out. Often considered more deep, calming scents, they tend to be earthy, rich, musky or sweet. Think cedar, vanilla, sandalwood, patchouli, vetiver, tonka bean and amber. 🌲


Here are some of the base notes you will get from those same Firelight Fables candles:

Mystical Apothecary: Sandalwood, Patchouli

Desert Bazaar: Amber, Dark Musk, Amyris

Verdant Jungles: Wet Earth, Musk

Frosted Vales: Fir Needle, Cedarwood

Realm of the Fey: White Tea, Chrysanthemum


So now that you are an expert on fragrance notes, you can be more informed about the experience you will have burning your Firelight Fables candles! Remember to look at the top, middle and base notes in the candle descriptions to help you understand the phases of beautiful scents you will get to experience when sniffing and burning the candles.


If you have any other questions about candle fragrances or which candles you might like best based on your personal scent preferences, please feel free to reach out to me via our website or our email at hello@firelightfables.com. 😊


Happy adventuring friend!


-Kasey