A beginner’s guide to single note perfumes


As much as I adore my perfume collection, I admit other people might not feel the same way. For me, a blend of orchids, marigold and roses with a dash of pepper, spice and cedarwood is nothing short of divine, but I also have it on good authority that not everyone in the bh office shares my love of oud.

If you’re anything like my counterpars, you’ll agree that sometimes, less is more. So enter the world of single note fragrances, where your nostrils can take in just one incredible aroma at a time….


There are almost 300 simple and singular ‘life scents’ in the Demeter library, so you’ll find things like Fresh Hay, Christmas Tree, Pink Grapefruit and Rain along with stranger concoctions (lobster, anyone?). Demeter colognes are based on the smallest combination of ingredients that express a single, identifiable smell or idea, or layered to create a new scent unlike any other. Don’t ask me how they do it – just be thankful that someone finally decided to make cake batter perfume.

Jo Malone

Orange Blossom Cologne

Okay, you got me. This one isn’t exactly a single note fragrance, but you’d be hard-pressed to get a whiff of anything besides orange. Bursting with citrusy delight, there’s nothing subtle about this fragrance. Trust me on this one.

Commodity Goods

Are you a minimalist with an appreciation for the finer things in life? Excellent. You’ll love the simple, refined scents of Commodity Goods – think Rain, Tobacco, Whiskey and Tea. Ignore the gender divisions and explore the fresh, clean and beautiful scents on offer.



This beauty from Kiehl’s actually features notes bergamot, nectar and white patchouli, but dries down to a powerful musk. Originally believed to have been created in the 1920s, the scent was locked in an apothecary’s vat, labelled ‘Love Oil’ and deemed “too sexy” for sale. It wasn’t until the late 50s that the cologne was rediscovered and available to the general public. So risqué! 

Do you own a single note fragrance? Which one is it?

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