From my house in Lefke.

If you believe that olfactory pyramids published by the industry are meant to give you information about the ingredients or about the smell of a perfume you are really naive.

Pyramids are but a marketing tool used to persuade you into buying frags.

If you believe that the ingredients listed in the pyramids are in the fragrances you just missed the point. Pyramids are to make you dream of a wonderful world where perfumes are made with real musk, real amber, and real rose…

If it is written “Lavender”, it does is not meant the extract of lavender flowers, it means “lavender note” such as the one you find in dish wash soap. It smells nothing like lavender but it is, let us say, “legal lavender” because if it is not written “Lavender essential oil”, it is a “legal lye”.

Olfactory pyramids have been arbitrarily divided into 3 layers, called top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The problem in categorizing natural essences is that they are almost never just top, middle or base notes. Most often they overlap 2 or even 3 layers of intensity and longevity. Rose essence is a top and middle note. Tobacco is such a strong middle and base note that you must use it in infinitesimal doses. Angelica is a difficult essence to work with because it is a top, middle and base note. It will characterize your whole perfume even in tiny quantities.
Olfactory pyramids can give you no indication whatsoever about the perfume, firstly because the ingredients listed are not in the fragrance and secondly because if they were, they would refuse to behave as the pyramid orders.

But the Pyramids are powerful, after reading them you may even smell lavender in a perfume where there is none at all, as some reviewers do because we humans smell more with our brain than with our nose.

As a demonstration of this, Avery Gilbert made once a funny experiment, spraying water in the air, he cautioned the public against the smell (saying that it was harmless, what a clever fox is he), carefully building in their mind apprehension and distrust. After a short while, the public averted a bad smell in the air and some persons felt nausea and had to leave the room.

It was just water.

So, even if you smell some of the ingredients written in the pyramid, know that it does not mean that they are in it.
As Cypriots say here in Lefke: What you see, believe only half, what you hear, believe nothing of it.”

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