If you’re feeling creative and want to create a signature scent that is all your own, layering your perfume could be the ideal avenue for you to explore. Usually, we would think that mixing perfumes would be a bad idea and it’s best to leave the scent development up to the experts. After all, you don’t want your scent to be overpowering or to smell like you’re trying to cover something up.
With a few simple ground rules, you could quickly become an expert in scent layering. When you understand the basics of scent, you can layer perfume and other products like an expert, creating stunning combinations that are more complex and interesting than the originals.
What is perfume layering?
Perfume layering is the name given to creating your own signature scent by wearing multiple perfumes or fragrances. It doesn’t have to be multiple perfumes, you could also use different scented products from your favourite fragrance brands. You could also add essential oils into the mix to enhance the scent of particular notes in your favourite perfume.
What are the benefits of perfume layering?
The main benefit is that your perfume will be completely unique to you. No one else will be wearing your scent, so when you get compliments on your perfume, you’ll know that the compliments are for you and not for the perfume designer.
You can also adjust your scent depending on the occasion, making it stronger when you want to make an impact, or making it more subtle when you want it to be less dominant.
And finally, you can also make a single scent more seasonal. By layering your perfumes, you can make your favourite scent work for all seasons, which will allow you to use the same perfume all year round.
How to layer your perfume
The key to layering perfume is to understand what each one brings to the table and then ensure that the scents compliment each other, rather than compete with each other. The first thing you need to do is make sure that your scents are from the same family.
What do we mean by this? Scents can generally be split into fresh, floral, wood and oriental. Within these broader families, there are more subdivisions of scents.
A famous scent like Chanel No 5 would fall into the floral category, while Opium by Yves Saint Laurent is an oriental scent. Choosing contrasting scents might be overpowering and result in an unpleasant smell. Instead, look for a common note in the scents.
As a general rule, the stronger scent should go on first and then layer the accent scent on top. A great example of this would be pairing something with a musky, vanilla base with a lighter fragrance with cedarwood notes. These scents go famously well together and will create something sweet and smoky.
Do I have to layer two perfumes?
You don’t have to stick to perfumes when it comes to scent layering. Also think about using scented body lotions, scented shower gel, eau de toilette, or even essential oils.
You can also experiment by wearing the scents on different parts of the body. For example, place one perfume on your wrists and inner elbow and the other behind your ears.
You could start by wearing the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue scented body lotion and layer this with a citrus eau de toilette like Versace Versense. This has base notes of sandalwood and musk that provide depth to the pairing, while the bergamot and prickly pear scents will provide harmony with Light Blue’s lime and cedar scents.
You could also pick out one note from your favourite perfume and enhance this with essential oils. For example, try wearing a scent like Coco Mademoiselle with jasmine essential oils. Always mix your essential oils with a carrier oil to prevent irritation.
What scents should you avoid layering?
Some scents really don’t work well together. These are typically scents that are very dark and heady. An example of a strong scent that doesn’t need any additional complexity would be something like Baccarat Rouge 540, or Halfeti. These scents are strong enough to stand on their own, and adding anything into the mix could lead to a “what is that smell?” moment which you want to avoid.