I've never really explained the fragrance breakdown we have on every products page, so here it is; but first lets start with a definition:
Accord [ uh-kawrd ]
Verb without object
1. to be in agreement or harmony; agree.
Verb with object
1. to make agree or correspond; adapt.
1. proper relationship or proportion; harmony.
2. a harmonious union of sounds, colours, etc.
An accord is a blend, a combination of at least two separate notes that, when combined, compose another distinctive scent. Many perfumers describe it using a colour metaphor: two colours beautiful in and of themselves when mixed, produce a third – beautiful in its uniqueness. The more colours one adds, the more distinctive the result is.
There are three categories of fragrance notes that in perfect combination, are what creates an accord, and an appealing fragrance. It also forms the duration of the fragrances linger. When balanced and blended properly, they all play a role, like in a symphony, to present a wonderfully complex expression in a way that does it justice and gives you a memorable experience.
Whilst we think we smell them all at once, which we kind of do when smelling a cold, unlit candle, once its lit and is emitting the fragrance, the top passes to the middle, which then passes to the base - so you're nose is being focused on different parts of the accord, which is why so many of us find fragrance intoxicating and exciting.
The initial impression. The first notes you experience when you smell an object, or open the lid of a fragrant item. Top notes are fleeting, and typically last for 5-15 minutes before evaporating.
These are the heart of the fragrance. With candles, middle notes are the most prominent. They're not typically 'on' like top notes, and can sometimes take a while to fully develop - so after lighting a candle, give it some time to let the middle notes brew. These will typically last between 20-60 minutes, and become most noticeable as the top notes start to fade.
These are what gives fragrances a lasting quality. These notes remain in the air long after the top and middle notes have subsided, and the candles is put out - typically upwards of 6 hours. They also give an accord depth, and calibre when blended well.
Are all three needed?
What happens if you leave one tier out? The accord just wont be as interesting as it would with the right proportion of all three. Leaving out the base notes, for example, cuts the linger time down to 1/6th of what it could have been.