If you’ve ever heard the phrase ‘perfume layering’, then the chances are that you might have a few questions on the matter. And I’ll be honest, I’ve probably had all the same questions at one point or another. Not only is the concept of fragrance layering relatively new to me (I wouldn’t have considered myself an expert on it before starting here at Escentual), but I certainly would have been left wondering how you layer perfume with confidence.
But if there’s one thing that I am confident on, it’s this: the practice of perfume layering is only set to get bigger. So, before we really start to see this trend take over the fragrance world, I want to get back to basics and help answer a few of these key questions that we all have when it comes to layering.
Of course, I have to start with one of the most important – and arguably the most obvious – question, and that is…
What Is Fragrance Layering?
Fragrance layering is the act of wearing two or more different perfumes on top of one another. By pairing multiple fragrances together at the same time, an entirely new scent is created.
I personally like to think of fragrance layering using the analogy of an outfit; you might have a floaty white dress that looks pretty and elegant when worn alone, but then you pop on a chic, faux-leather jacket to add a bit of an edgy twist to your outfit, resulting in a whole new look. Well, fragrance layering is the olfactory-equivalent of a ‘whole new look’.
Fancying another analogy? Perfume layering is also a little like mixing up your favourite tipple by adding a shot here and a dash of liquor there; this is why it’s sometimes described as ‘fragrance cocktailing.’
What’s The History Behind Fragrance Layering?
Once I heard about perfume layering, I was instantly intrigued to find out more about the tradition, including where this experimental way of wearing fragrance originated. The concept of fragrance layering has roots in the Middle East, where it’s been a common practice for centuries; it’s an olfactory art that’s steeped in history.
This traditional ritual sees women massage a musk-based cream into their skin before perfuming their clothes and skin with a personalised blend of fragrances. It’s also common for men in the Middle East to wear multiple scents in order to create a unique, personalised fragrance. Lots of Middle Eastern perfumes centre around warm, spiced and opulent raw materials, like oud wood, leather, saffron and rose. As these notes share similar tones, they blend together beautifully.
Although originally developed in the Middle East, fragrance layering is now a popular technique with beauty lovers worldwide as it encourages you to get creative and find your own signature scent, which will, in essence, be truly unique to yourself.
What Are the Benefits of Layering Fragrance?
Okay, so now we know a little bit more about the history of scent mixing, you’re probably wondering one thing: what are the benefits of this perfume technique? After all, if you have a perfectly good perfume, why on earth would you want to run the risk of ruining it by adding another scent on top?
Well, the main thing about layering perfume is that it’s supposed to be fun! So, you need to throw the rulebook – and any concern – out of the window, and get stuck in. At the very worst, you’ll learn what sort of fragrances don’t particularly work together, but at the very best, you’ll find your very own scent that not only has the power to reflect your personality, style and fragrance preferences, but is also wholly unique. After all, what are the chances of layering a scent in the exact same way as a stranger?
But that’s not the only perk of perfume layering. It’s also a great way to indulge yourself in the concept of custom-made perfume, but it’s a slightly cheaper alternative.
How To Layer Perfume?
Now by this point, you might have picked two or three perfumes that you want to try together but you’ve still got one question left: how do you layer perfume? To some extent, there can be a bit of guesswork involved in this process. After all, it’s a way to get creative and experiment a little bit with the perfumes on your shelf. But, there are also a few top tips if you’re new to the process and you’d like a little bit of guidance on the practicality of it.
One important thing to remember is to apply your fragrance in the right order. You’ll want to start with the heaviest or most intense fragrance, and layer the lighter scents on top so they aren’t weighed down or overpowered.
Of course, you can layer your perfumes directly on top of each other, or get more creative by applying each scent in different locations. For example, you might wear a darker, deeper Eau de Parfum on the neck for a longer-lasting aroma, but then spritz a sweet, airy fragranced hair mist through your tresses. Or, why not spray one perfume on your left wrist, and a different fragrance on your right wrist? And then there’s the traditional method of layering perfume using a scented body lotion as the base before applying perfume on top. And did you know that there’s a hidden benefit to this method of scent mixing as the moisture helps to lock in your scent for a longer-lasting aroma trail?