One of the first things you see in any fragrance press release or magazine editorial, besides the ubiquitous advertising with a model in the throes of ecstasy, is a list of notes that the fragrance contains. Usually, they are arranged in pyramid form with top, middle and base notes carefully separated. It seems like this would provide a useful roadmap, a way to envision a fragrance as it would develop on the skin: first, you will smell citrus and fruity notes, then you will smell florals and then some time later, you will enter the world of solar musks and cashmere woods. The problem with this neat design is that it is a myth as it pertains to modern fragrances. Most contemporary fragrances are not built in a fragrance pyramid style, so the fragrance will not develop according to the pyramid description. More importantly, the list of notes tells only a small part of the story and is heavily driven by marketing considerations. While the fragrance notes are definitely helpful in some ways, they should always be seen as a rough guide to unexplored terrain.
Pyramid: 1 post
A concept (mostly useless, but beloved by fragrance marketing) of describing a perfume development. See the full explanation here: Fragrance Pyramid and Perfume Notes : Myth and Reality.