The Art of Layering Fragrance
Fragrance layering - have you ever heard of it? Naturally, it does what it says on the tin, but few people realise quite the effect the art of layered perfume can have. So, what exactly does it mean to fragrance layer?
Fragrance layering is the art of wearing several different layers of scented products at one time, usually made up of a few different types such as body wash, moisturiser and perfume, for example. Over time, many of us have built up a sort of fragrance wardrobe, if you wish, and often it feels impossible to wear them all enough.
But why would you go to so much effort of having to think about the combinations of scents, we hear you ask? Well, one reason, is that well-layered fragrances give you the opportunity to maximise your chosen scents for longer periods. Layering scents prevents your skin from being able to absorb as many oils at once, meaning your fragrance lasts for longer.
An artfully layered fragrance allows you to create your own bespoke scents, too, without the price tag of having a perfume made up for you personally. It’s also something of a ritual for many people, and the art of layering fragrance allows you the opportunity to take time caring for your skin, body and soul. It encourages you to moisturise, too - after all, lack of moisture is often the reason perfume doesn’t stay on your skin in the first place.
So, fragrance layering might just be about combining two of your favourite perfumes, or it could be about concealing a secret layer of scent underneath with your morning moisturiser, perfectly paired to complement your perfume on top.
There is, however, quite the art to fragrance layering, so we’ll do our best to provide you with some useful hints and tips to help you on the way.
So first, obviously, the greater number of layers, the higher the intensity of the scent. Whereas some people like to start small and simple, and merely layer two or three fragrances, some people like to go all in and create a multi-layered and heavier fragrance tone.
When it comes to testing your fragrance layering, particularly when it comes to finding out if two ideas are complementary scents, remember that you can test the different combinations on a tissue to see if they work together before putting them on your skin.
One tip that many experts give is to aim to start with the strongest scents first, and then move your way through the subtle scents as you layer. That way, the heavier scents don’t overpower the lighter ones. A typical combination would be to pair something warm, sweet and spicy such as a vanilla note perfume with something natural, earthy and woody such as an oak note fragrance.
A good way to layer is to use the fragrance on different parts of your body (perhaps your neck, your hair or your wrists) and on your clothes, too. That way, you get a good balance of fragrance, instead of too much concentrated in one place.
Need a quick how-to guide? Keep these simple steps in mind:
- Learn to understand the different notes in smells. The top note is the scent you smell first on immediately smelling something, whereas the middle note sits at the heart of the fragrance and is usually more subtle and warm. The bottom note is the smell that develops last but sits with you the longest, after the top notes have all but gone.
- Look for fragrances with two similar notes within them, and then contrast that with something opposite. Generally, try to combine either complementary, contrasting or linear scents.
- Try beginning with a base layer such as a simple scented body wash.
- Add in a second layer and one that will lock in some moisture to boose longevity, so find a scented moisturiser to apply once you’ve washed in the morning. Or, if you’d rather, opt for a hard perfume that will withstand a longer time period to the spray perfume you’ll apply on top.
- Concentrate now on your top layer, and look to apply it in different places around your body such as your pulse points, your hair, your cleavage or your wrists.
Biggest thing to keep in mind? There are no set rules! Get practicing, find what works for you, experiment, and enjoy the process.