We’ve all had it before, you spray on your perfect scent first thing in the morning and, no matter how expensive the perfume, by midday it’s all but gone.
It can be extremely frustrating, especially when you have a long day ahead and would like to put your best scent forward. Not to mention the fact that many perfumes are expensive. And on sweaty, summer days, it can be even worse news for your perfume’s longevity. But there is something you can do in order to make your scent last longer, and that’s fragrance layering.
Why you might want to consider layering your scents
It isn’t just about layering scents, though. The best thing you can possibly do it seems is to layer your perfume with some scented moisturizer. The reason this works so well?
Any type of fragrance will inevitably last longer on skin that is properly hydrated. This is due to the fact that hydrated skin offers more oils for the fragrance to hold on to which allows it to last for much longer. On the other hand, dry, cracked skin will lead to your fragrance dissipating much more quickly.
So, what moisturizer should you be using?
A moisture-rich, creamy formula is the best option if you’re looking to help your fragrance last longer.
Ideally, you want your moisturizer to be full of hydrating oils and butters. Not only will your skin look and feel great, but your perfume will also last much longer. If you want to go the extra step and really up the scent game, you can opt for a fragranced moisturizer.
If you use a scented body oil or moisturizer instead of an unscented one, the layering of different fragrances can really add to the fragrance experience. Whilst some perfume brands offer body oil and perfume that share the same scent, it isn’t necessary to have the same scent for both. For instance, you can just opt for complementary scents.
So, how do you layer?
There are multiple different ways you can go about layering your scents. Whether you opt for a scented moisturizer before your perfume or are layering two different scents is up to you.
For instance, if you wanted to mix two different scents, you could choose to use one scent on your wrists and a different one on your neck.
Alternatively, you could play around with different combinations and spray one on just after you shower (after moisturizing) and layer a different one once you’re ready to go.
Generally, according to Byrdie, heavier scents should always be the first layer so that they don’t overpower a lighter scent.
So what scents work well together?
Layering scents is a bit more complicated than simply picking two random scents and hoping that they work well together. One of the benefits of layering scents is that they can become somewhat of a signature scent. This can become really personal and really reflect who you are as a person.
As far as layering scents go, there are multiple ways to go about it. If your scent is built around musk or typical base notes like vanilla, something more complex will work well when layering.
You could also opt to use a “single-note perfume” either under or over a more complex perfume. According to Pia Long, perfumer, and cofounder of Olfiction Limited, “if you have a favorite citrus fragrance, but you feel it doesn’t last, you could put a sandalwood or cedarwood or something similar underneath”.
The most important thing about scent layering?
To combine scents and achieve the best results, it’s best that you understand the individual fragrances and their specific scent mixes.
Laurice Rahme, the founder and CEO of iconic fragrance house Bond No. 9, explains that “the top note is what you smell right away when you spray it [and usually consists of] the sparkling and vivacious fresh notes”.
She goes on to explain that the middle note is usually “warmer and softer” whilst the bottom note develops last but is the scent note with the most longevity.
However, both Long and Rahme recommend experimenting as much as possible and finding out what works for you.
Rahme recommends that if you are unsure, it’s best to start by combining two fragrances that have a common note (for example rose or jasmine). If you’re more adventurous, you can try combining opposite scents. As we know, opposites do attract.
Do be careful while you experiment
Though it’s a great idea to play around and have fun, both Long and Rahme warn against combining “two scents that are too dark and heady”.
This can be overwhelming to the nose. It’s also best to avoid oversaturating. So it’s best to avoid mixing “highly complex perfumes”.
You should also limit your scent layering to a maximum of three different scents. Ultimately, though, experimenting and having fun is the only way you’ll find out what works for you!