Fragrance layering: what you need to know


It’s probably never occurred to you that your shampoo and conditioner, face cream, body lotion, sun cream and deodorant all have their own carefully designed scents. This smorgasbord of fragrances forms the base on which you apply your chosen perfume or eau du toilette. Little did you know that you’ve been creating your own ‘scent’ with all of these fragrances, be it good or bad!

Matthew Dees from market-leading Playgirl deodorants says that layering of fragrances starts in the shower, “Scented showers gels and the lotion you put on your body each day all contribute to your overall scent,” says Dees. “Layering one, two or even three scents doesn’t immediately mean that you’ll overpower everyone around you – what it means is that you’ll highlight certain accents in the scents that are shared.”

Dees clarifies that the scents have to inherently complement each other. “Critical to the layering process is trial and error! Use your nose and really breathe in the layered scent – see if they work well together. It can be a hit and miss sometimes, but you’ll find your perfect combo soon enough.”

He offers a few tips when opting to layer your fragrances:

Start with layering scents that fall into the same category i.e. woody, citrus floral, fruity, oriental etc. This is a safe way to start understanding how scents can work together. If you select a floral fragrance – find a body lotion that has the same make-up.

Once you’ve mastered a group, spend a bit of time understanding which categories complement each other. Floral scents usually pair well with musk or oriental fragrance. Fruity scents also pair well with oriental fragrances.

Let the ‘heavier’ scent, or the more overpowering of the two (or three) lead the way. Start with the most potent of the fragrances and then add the lighter ones – this way the lighter scents won’t be overpowered.

Wait a while! Before you judge your newly layered fragrance combination – wait at least an hour for the ‘mixture’ to settle.

“Fragrances smell vastly different on different people – so choosing to take your favourite smell and mix, layer and compliment it with another scent will add even more dimension to your signature scent,” concludes Dees.

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