How To Layer Perfumes For A Signature Scent

A signature scent can tell people a lot about you. Whether they're in your presence or not, a whiff of your perfume can bring memories of you flooding right back to them. While the perfume industry has certainly expanded beyond classics and designer favorites, many popular perfumes are popular for a reason. If you want to branch out beyond smelling like everyone else, try layering your perfumes.

Perfume layering is when you combine two to three different perfumes to create a new scent (via Glamour UK.) The notes of each fragrance intermingle together, fashioning a unique and original scent. According to The Zoe Report, the ancient practice of perfume layering originated in the Middle East, where people would layer perfume oils daily. In an interview with The Zoe Report, Dubai perfumer Rawya Catto explained that one's personal scent is an integral part of their individuality.

To create your perfect signature scent, you have to learn the basics of perfume layering.

How to layer perfumes

To know what perfumes you could potentially layer together, you have to examine the notes in each perfume. According to FragranceX, "perfume notes are ingredients that make up a fragrance," such as rose, tobacco, or caramel. They are composed of top notes, which fade after about 15 minutes, and heart notes and base notes, which are what you smell when the perfume dries down.

In order to really know what you want out of a signature scent, you have to play around with the fragrances in your perfume wardrobe and gauge your reaction to them. As a place to start, a common note such as vanilla plays well with most other notes. If you have a scent where you can't really detect the vanilla as much, layer it with another vanilla scent. Perhaps vanilla smells a little boring to you — add a perfume with nutmeg or cinnamon to spice things up a bit.

Layering scents is all about playing things up or down. For scents that are quite heady or strong, add something light that will make it suitable for everyday wear. Many cold weather fragrances often have strong notes like leather or tobacco that can be too overpowering for smaller spaces such as an office. A light floral or aromatic scent will help tone down the scent and blend beautifully with it (via GQ UK.)

Layer your fragrances with body products

Many perfume lovers will tell you that layering begins in the shower. Using body products that have complementary notes will increase the longevity of fragrances (via L'Occitane.) For fragrances that don't last as long, such as citrus or floral, start out your body care routine with an accompanying shower gel and lotion to help the staying power of your scent. A scented body lotion will definitely work well with your perfume, but an unscented one will be fine, as well. Moisturizing before applying perfume helps the scent last longer and stick better to your skin.

After showering and applying lotion every day, consider using perfume oil before putting on your fragrance. Perfume oils are concentrated oils extracted from flowers, spices, woods, etc., and do not contain alcohol. The concentration of the oils is higher than in perfumes, so they last far longer (per Intense Oud). Perfume oils can be applied to the pulse notes, such as the wrists and sides of the neck, where the heat will spread the scent.

Single-note scents such as Nemat's Amber Fragrance Oil will add a bit of freshness, and muskiness to any scent and can help increase its longevity. Brands such as Jo Malone and Kayali have made layering a focal point of their brand, with Kayali selling dual-ended oils that are meant to be paired together.

Despite all the rules that can come with perfume layering, the most important is to create the scent that works best for you.