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Type of site
Online perfume database
Available in English
Created by Grant Osborne
Alexa rank 35,167 (April 2014)[1]
Commercial Yes
Registration Optional
Launched August 2000
Current status Limbo

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[edit]

The Basenotes Fragrance Directory contains over 11,000 fragrances and over 30,000 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[edit]

Basenotes has a lively fragrance discussion board, 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[edit]

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[edit]

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

Awards and recognition[edit]

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 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.[10]


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.[11] Fragrance house O'Driu, who apparently suffered as a result of this perceived bias, famously responded by releasing a fragrance called "Basenotes Kiss My Ass", which won an award at the Cafleurebon 2015 fragrance awards.[12]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-04-01. 
  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
  4. ^ Alexis Petridis: I smell a rat in men's fragrance | Life and style | The Guardian
  5. ^ Virginia Heffernan - The Medium - Television - Internet Video - Media - New York Times
  6. ^ P& | News | Award Winners
  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. ^ 50 Recommended Web sites: Tech: Archived 11 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ [1]
  12. ^ [2]