Smell - Think - Write

Perfume Materials Lifetime

Every perfume material, natural or synthetic, has its unique lifetime. That is, how long does this material last? Some materials, like sandalwood or deer musk, may last 1000 hours. While other materials, such as Cis-3-hexanol - may only last a few minutes. As a perfumer, you must study and eventually come to know just how long each of your materials last. How long does a specific material last on a scent strip, as well as on the skin? Materials that last for some minutes say citrus materials, are called "top notes." Materials that last for perhaps 2 to 6 hours, we call these "middle notes." Finally, materials that last longest, often sweet and warm scent materials - these are commonly referred to as "base notes." 

Material Impact

Every perfume material, natural or synthetic, has a unique impact. How robust and influential is this material compared to other materials? Some materials, such as C-12 MNA aldehyde, are powerful. They tend to be unpleasant in their pure, undiluted state. Different materials, like Hedione, are hardly detectable at all! As a perfumer, you should memorize how powerful a specific material is compared to all others. Is an excellent resource for quickly looking up the lifetime and impact of the most common perfume materials. With this said, you must create your own unique effect and lifetime values. Smell the materials below, and ask yourself, do you agree with Perfumers Worlds' findings or not? 

This is Art, Not an Exact Science 

There's no exact science to the impact and lifetime of perfume materials. Regardless of how subjective this exercise can be, perfumers rank and order their materials according to their lifetime and impact value. Why bother? Well, ranking and containing one's perfume materials tremendously benefit your skill development as a perfumer! 

Compare Others Observations

Compare your observations, impressions & notes with those from the following websites.

Do you agree or disagree with some of their findings?

Below are some of the Impact and Lifetime observations given by An excellent website! But I don't necessarily agree with all of their findings. 

Star Anise

Lifetime: 18

Impact: 160


Lifetime: 36

Impact: 250


Lifetime: 30

Impact: 230


Lifetime: 5

Impact: 125

Jasmine Sambac Absolute

Lifetime: 45

Impact: 145


Lifetime: 27

Impact: 110

Labdanum Absolute

Lifetime: 65

Impact: 400


Lifetime: 8

Impact: 110

Oakmoss Absolute

Lifetime: 84

Impact: 125

Sweet Orange

Lifetime: 8

Impact: 110

Orris Butter

Lifetime: 28

Impact: 40


Lifetime: 42

Impact: 98

You engage with the larger perfumer community by comparing your observations and notes with the descriptions and notes of other perfumers. By immersing yourself in this never-ending conversation - you will start thinking like a perfumer!