Layering in perfume: the art of layering

Layering is an English word and the term is used in many different areas. In fact, we can talk about clothing layering ( a petticoat under a dress), cosmetics ( the serum under the moisturizer), in make-up(an eye shadow of one color under another), in painting( yellow under blue to create green). All areas in which the overlap is needed to create a new and different visual or functional effect, which otherwise, by keeping the two or more elements separate, would not be achievable. This practice, applied to fragrances, consists of superimposing or combining two or more essences to create a new one. The result? A strictly personal olfactory image that provides uniqueness and distinction. Therefore creativity, uniqueness, desire to express and not to standardize yourself lies behind the concept of layering.

In this article the following topics will be addressed

The art of Layering: Some history

The art of freely overlapping different fragrances on the body has existed in our society since ancient Roman times. Let’s remember that the use of fragrances was initially born for religious reasons, and was associated with the aspect of personal hygiene with time. Only after some time, wearing perfumes took on an aspect which is more related to beauty, linked to the pure pleasure of smelling a nice perfume. In fact, they used to mix different scented oils on various parts of the body, creating new and original olfactory mélanges. This practice has then been handed down to today, but has gained significant importance only recently. In fact, this practice, perfectly reflects the desire of the contemporary consumers, young or adult, to differentiate themselves from others. All this causes many to start looking for more creativity and involvement with more and more products. Therefore, the trend of "Do It Yourself" (DIY) also grows. With creativity, the desire for manual skill also increases, to recreate yourself, with inventiveness and imagination, using any type of product that we could use or that we simply want to try, from our homes. These market trends are deeply connected to the concept of layering of perfumes since, despite being something invisible, perfume is the first thing we communicate about ourselves. And if until recently it did not bother us that our perfume, carefully chosen in our trusted perfumery, was worn by other people, today it it does. Today we realize that we can easily create something unique, by ourselves! So we are increasingly moving away from the option of being "copied" to show off the same luxury accessory, because the common desire paradoxically becomes that of communicating uniqueness. I have to be myself, and I want the world to know it. What better way to do it, if not through an essence that only you can recreate?

The ways to do Layering with your perfume

Let's follow an order. First, it's important to know that layering can be done in two different ways.

  • The first, and most common one, consists in vaporizing two or more essences on the same point of a part of the body, for example by spraying inside the wrists an essence of musk followed by a rose fragrance.
  • The second method, not as known but still very effective, consists in perfuming two or more parts of the body with different essences, for example by vaporizing a musk fragrance on the inside of your wrist and a rose essence on the neck. In this case it is a variant of layering, which however produces the same effect, since our body will have a final fragrance which is different from the one obtained by only using one of these two essences. In addition, the trail that we will leave will be composed of the combination of the two olfactory notes.

What is the best way to combine your perfumes?

There is certainly no limit to creativity, there is no right and wrong, and each of us must feel free to experiment with infinite combinations according to one's taste. However, it is important to know that to obtain a type of note you have to pick from a very specific olfactory palette. Here are some examples: if you really like citrus fruits and want to twist your favorite fragrance, you can combine it with floral or green notes, making it more colorful and connected to spring. Or, you could draw on additional citrus notes, for an ultra sparkling effect. You can even opt for fragrances characterized by cold spices, such as pink pepper or cardamom, which will enhance the citrus aspect of your perfume, giving it an almost icy appearance. If, on the other hand, you like oriental fragrances, you can try to combine them with vanilla scents, obtaining a cocooning base. If you like woody fragrances, try combining them with hot spices like cinnamon or resins like benzoin, for a warm and sensual effect. Or, you could also choose deep amber to increase the trail and warmth of the fragrance. If you like flowers, try to combine them with musk for softness and femininity, or underline their precious and regal effect by combining several different flowers, such as iris and rose.

Layering and perfume: uncountable combinations

So the combinations you can do are almost infinite. These are just some tips to enhance certain raw materials or combinations in fragrances, but you can also opt for completely new and opposite mixtures! Rose and Vetiver? Why not. Citrus and Vanilla? It can be an idea. Experiment, dare, don't be afraid to express yourself, your feelings, emotions and your tastes! In the perfume industry, there is no right or wrong, but rather “I like it” or “I don't like it”. Of course, if you are at work, in the cinema or on public transport, it is always good to respect the nose of people around you and so try not to overdo it, but it is essential not to set yourself blocks or restrictions, because creativity and great results achieved with your imagination have no limits.

Don’t you feel safe? Try layering on mouillettes first

If you are unsure of your choice, try some mouillettes first. Spray the essences you want to combine on two different papers at the same time and feel what effect they give when you smell them together. Then try 1 spray per fragrance on the skin, and finally dose as you prefer according to the effect you wish to create. When you spray a fragrance on your skin, do not rub the surface, the heat of your skin will be enough to bring out the fragrance. Furthermore, it is always better to start with the dominant fragrance or the one we like the most, and only after a few seconds proceed with the layering. If you want to mix more essences, take note of the dosages used and the order of application of the fragrances to then be able to replicate the effect whenever and as much as you want.

Can I only use perfume in layering?

Remember that the process of applying different fragrances to the skin to obtain a new olfactory result can also be achieved by using moisturizers, body lotions,oils or scented powders, not only of Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum! In fact, another interesting way to obtain a variant of your fragrance is to use cosmetic products with your favourite fragrances and combine them with our alcoholic fragrances. If you decide to experiment with this layering technique, it is good practice to respect a specific application order on skin. Non-alcohol-based cosmetics, such as creams or oils, must be applied first. By doing this the skin will have the possibility to receive a good initial hydration, and then you can vaporize our fragrance on the body. So the use of cosmetic bases in layering can be done with dual purpose. On one hand, you can choose a cream of a fragrance you like, and combine it with a completely different fragrance to create a third one. On the other hand, you can opt for the layering of the same fragrance applied through different cosmetic bases, to increase its persistence and sillage. In this case, you could choose the body lotion version of the fragrance that you already use or would like to try, for example. On the market, many brands already offer a whole range of body care products with the same fragrance. And yes, this is also a layering technique! The perfuming technique that involves the use of cosmetic creams or body oils and alcoholic fragrances is also considered a real "trick of the trade" especially by those who have dry skin. In fact, the alcoholic fragrances Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum tend to evaporate with greater speed from dry skins compared to mixed or more oily ones. Therefore the hydration of the skin before vaporizing one's perfume is essential if you want to increase the duration of your fragrance.


Not only on the skin: layering everywhere

To conclude, the layering technique can also be used on your clothes,drawers and wardrobes. So when you wear your favorite dress, you can combine that perfume with your current fragrance, creating an essence that will distinguish and speak about you. The olfactory synergy that you will create will be entirely based on your instinct, your creativity and what your heart and nose communicate together: listen to them, follow them and don't be scared. And remember, If someone asks you "hey what perfume are you wearing? It smells very good!" you will know that your experiment will have been successful.

WRITTEN BY ALYSSA ASHLEY’S EDITORIAL STAFF