A Beginner’s Guide to Fragrance Layering
If you’re still searching for the perfect signature scent, here’s a tip: Make it yourself. After all, no one knows what you like better than you do. One surefire way to achieve a truly unique scent is by layering fragrances you already own. Don’t know where to begin? We spoke to Mark Crames, CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library, on the art of mixing and matching different fragrances. Follow his foolproof tips to create a scent you'll love:
Start with Single Notes
While you can layer multi-note fragrances, single-note scents (meaning they have one distinct smell) are perfect for beginners. Unlike complex fragrances containing top, middle, and bottom notes that evolve throughout the day, single notes express themselves right away and don't change overtime. Start by browsing Demeter’s single-scents to find a combination that works for you. Or try experimenting with a fragrance layering kit like Philosophy’s My Philosophy: Layering Collection ($85; sephora.com).
Stick to the Scents You Love
The beauty of blending your own fragrances, Crames says, is that you get to choose the scents that you love the most. With that said, you can avoid a headache-inducing mixture by keeping the fragrances in the same family. “If you like lighter fragrances, lose the bigger woody and earthy notes. If you like them heavier, lose the fruit or citrus,” he suggests.
Apply in the Right Order
The sequence in which you apply the fragrances is important, says Crames, and will affect the final smell (this goes for all scented products, including body washes, lotions, and oils). “Generally, I layer the scent I want to dominate last,” he says. “The more complex the blend, and the bigger the notes, the more adjustment and experimentation will be necessary to get the sequence and proportions just as you want it.”
Make Your Scent Last
Give your layers some extra staying power by prepping your skin before you get spritizing. “The fragrance molecules want to bind to the oil molecules in your skin, so the best way to make the fragrance last is to moisturize your skin first, with a good lotion or body oil,” Crames says.
Don’t Overthink It
Last but not least, don’t stress if you don't nail the technique right away—creating a signature scent should be a fun experience. “The fear of making a mistake is way overblown,” adds Crames. “As long as you start with smells you love, the likelihood is very high that they will work together.”