Last updated

Type of site
Online perfume database
Available in English
Created byGrant Osborne
Users 194,640 (May 2018) [1]
LaunchedAugust 2000
Current statusOnline

Basenotes is a United Kingdom-based online fragrance resource which includes a fragrance database, message boards and editorial. The site was launched in August 2000 by Grant Osborne as an information site for men's fragrance and grooming. In 2004, the site expanded to include feminine fragrances. [2]


The Basenotes Fragrance Directory

The Basenotes Fragrance Directory contains over 20,000 fragrances and over 90,000 fragrance reviews by the site's visitors. Users of the site can search for fragrances by name, house, year of launch, gender, notes (ingredients), perfumer or bottle designer. Visitors to the site can submit information to be included in the directory. [3]

The consumer reviews on the site have been described as "admirably prosaic" [4] by Alexis Petridis in The Guardian .

The Basenotes community

Basenotes has a lively fragrance forum, described by The New York Times as "the rialto for perfume talk", [5] where registered members can discuss fragrances and trade fragrances in the Basenotes Marketplace.

The Basenotes Fragrance Awards

Each year Basenotes asks visitors to the site to vote for their favorite fragrances that year. [6] Regular winners include Old Spice, Shalimar, Vetiver de Guerlain, Chanel No.5, YSL M7, Green Irish Tweed and A*Men. There are also categories for the best new fragrance and best celebrity fragrance.

Other features

The site also has regularly updated industry news, user blogs, articles [7] and interviews with figures in the fragrance industry.

Awards and recognition

Basenotes has won five awards for its editorial content at The Canadian Fragrance Awards in 2007, [8] 2008 [9] and 2009. All three of these winning articles were written by Marian Bendeth, a regular contributor and fragrance expert.

In 2009, the website won a prize for Best Web Editorial at the Jasmine Awards for an article by the writer, Liz Upton. The following year, the same prize was won by the Basenotes writer, Walker Minton. In 2018, Claire Vukcevic won the Best Practical Guide Award for her guide to summer fragrances on Basenotes. [10] [11]

In August 2008, Basenotes was one of 50 websites recommended by Men's Vogue in a best-of-the-web round-up which also featured IMDb, Slashdot, Boing Boing and eLuxury. [12]


Much suspicion surrounds the censorship process on the site, whereby opinions which differ from the orthodoxy as presented by the site moderators are removed. Frequently, this results in the banning of members who express non-compliant views. It has been suggested that there are commercial motives behind this censorship. [13] Fragrance house O'Driu, who apparently suffered as a result of this perceived bias, famously responded by releasing a fragrance called "Kiss My Ass Basenotes", which won an award at the Cafleurebon 2015 fragrance awards. [14]

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  1. "Basenotes Forums". Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. Basenotes: an interview with Grant Osborne :: Now Smell This Archived 7 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Women's Wear Daily 1 September 2007 Archived 20 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Petridis, Alexis (25 November 2006). "Alexis Petridis: I smell a rat in men's fragrance". The Guardian . Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  5. Heffernan, Virginia (16 March 2008). "Virginia Heffernan - The Medium - Television - Internet Video - Media". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  6. Frederick, Kelly (10 November 2008). " Award Winners". Perfumer & Flavorist. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  7. The click - Times Online
  8. Coty Canada, Prestilux Inc., Estee Lauder and Lancome: Big Winners At The 2007 Canadian Fragrance Awards-Shelley Rozenwald Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award
  9. German Duftstars, Canadian Fragrance Awards ~ the 2008 winners :: Now Smell This Archived 20 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "The Fragrance Foundation Jasmine Awards 2018 Winners | The Jasmine Awards". Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  11. "Summer Fragrances for People Who Hate Summer & Also Summer Fragrances ~ by Claire Vukcevic –". Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  12. 50 Recommended Web sites: Tech: Archived 11 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  13. "No To Basenotes Censorship". Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  14. "best fragrances of 2015". Cafleurebon - Perfume and Beauty Blog. 27 December 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2018.