I am a bit maverick-y when it comes to perfume. I know- shocking, right? I love masterfully composed exclusive perfumes like Acqua di Parma Profumo and sweet, charming gems from the drugstore like Lady Stetson. Another thing I like to do is layer my perfumes. Some might find this sacrilege but I find some of the most delicious scents have come out of my layering experiments. It is often accidental. I will put on a perfume, then a few hours later reapply as I’m leaving, forgetting which perfume I originally applied. Most of the times, it’s a happy accident.
My scent mood rarely changes dramatically during the day, so instinctively I seem to choose scents that luckily work together. This is another reason I tend to favour simple scents. They are easier to layer! Its not always easy in this age of “a million perfumes that all smell like the same mix of a million synthetic ingredients” but it’s easier than you’d think. It’s not a new concept to perfume- Jo Malone actually offers layering menus on their website with suggestions of perfumes that work well together.
My layering trick is pretty simple. I try to start with a soft skin scent to work with as a “base note”. Soft musks, ambers, and woodsy notes well as base notes. Creamy sweet gourmande perfumes also work well as a base. Scents that melt into the skin and make you have to lean in close to smell are the ones that make good base scents.
Then its time to look for a top note. Yes, I know perfumes are made into 3 notes- top, middle/heart and base, but I find it best to keep things simple when doing this yourself. Top and Base are really the only things you need. As far as light and airy, I tend to favour floral and green notes for the top note, as they compliment a richer base note. The base note is calmed and softened by the airy top, and the top is grounded and enhanced by the richness of the base notes.
|Annick Goutal Songes, Musc Bleu, AK Musk, Sisley Eau de Campagne, Sexy Angelic, Etro Heliotrope|
Some of my favourite base suggestions:
Egyptian Musk Oil: I love Abdul Kareem and Auric Blends musk oils. They have a clean woodsy note that work as the perfect base for almost any perfume.
Il Profvmo Musc Bleu: This is the lightest cleanest musk, adds a fresh scrubbed note to any perfume.
Honore Des Pres Sexy Angelic: the soft and sweet notes hug the skin and smell amazing when topped with florals. It adds a yummy aspect to clean scents.
Etro Heliotrope: The powdery sweet floral notes in this soften any scent.
Annick Goutal Songes: This sultry and dark tropical floral adds a sensual sweetness to any perfume.
Sisley Eau de Campagne: This shimmering green shower of a perfume adds a spring shower meets green field of grass note and lightens any scent.
|YSL Y, Creed Virgin Island Water, AG La Violette, L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons, Floris, Guerlain|
These work wonderfully when worn as top notes:
Floris Night Scented Jasmine: simple sweet and floral, this one is just gorgeous with a musk base. It becomes positively dangerous when layered with Annick Goutal Songes.
L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons: Another simple summery floral, I love this one with Sexy Angelic as a base for evening.
Annick Goutal La Violette: This simple sweet violet sings like a spring day when worn with Eau de Campagne.
Then some that just work as a top or a base:
YSL “Y”: This soapy green floral chypre is so beautifully composed it pretty much works with anything. I love it with a musk. It is basically like being in a shower all day. I have blown my own mind by wearing this one with Chanel Bois des Iles. WOW. This one is still available for a song online. Get it if you don’t have it.
Guerlain Un Air de Samsara: This is basically sandalwood and jasmine with a little mint tea. I use tiny amounts with any floral and adore it.
Creed Virgin Island Water: Layer this with anything that you want to smell beachy and summery.
So, there are basically no rules for this kind of stuff. As I type this I am already thinking of others….Kiehl’s Musk, SMN Gardenia, Keiko Mecheri Jasmine…..I say just experiment, play, and see what works! Often if you think it will work, it does. Our nose knows….