How to Layer Freshness into Fragrances

We’ve a whole feature on exactly how to layer fragrances to achieve your own perfect blend, but it can be tricky to find scents that behave well with others.

Here, we take a look at some fragrances that have been specifically designed to be layered – and these ones will add that much-needed WHOOSH of freshness and stalky greens to any perfumes you already on and love, but which maybe need a little livening-up – as do we all, right now…

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo fragrances were created in order to focus on notable perfumery ingredients that have been beloved for centuries, here evoked by their master perfumers to perform as  “…a harmonious combination of olfactory notes. These can be used together, layered, resulting in a tailor-made perfume.” Separated into fragrance families, the Fresh Citrus collection uses ‘essential oils obtained by pressing the peel of fruits such as bergamot, lemon, orange and grapefruit, popular in the Mediterranean for their freshness and liveliness.’ We recommend reaching for either (or both!) of this duo for adding an instant fresh zing to any scent…

 

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo Bergamotto Italia

‘The brightest and most elegant of the citrus family, Bergamotto Italia is like a fresh and sparkling water, tonic and dynamic, an ode to happiness and naturality. Bergamotto Italia lets you discover all the fragrant juice of the pulp and fruit for an exclusive Bergamot experience.’

£65 for 30ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

The Merchant of Venice Accordi di Profumo Arancia Brasile

‘An elegant citrus fragrance that releases a multifaceted fruity, green, dry and woody personality. Arancia Brasile is a fragrance that smells of summer: citrus fruits accompanied by the addictive sweetness of Brazilian oranges.’

£65 for 30ml eau de parfum selfridges.com

 

 

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Discovery Set 

These ground-breaking, mood-boosting fragrances have been researched and created with the help of neuroscientists to target the needs we all have depending how we feel. From energising and reviving to soothing and aiding bursts of joy while you wear them, we suggest trying their Discovery Set of the layer-able Lifeboosts to keep on hand (and wrist) as a kind of olfactory toolbox. Worn alone they’re wonderful, of course, but we think you get the best sense of their scented super-powers when spritzed atop another scent. They slice through any malaise and are noticeably adding newness, while perfectly harmonising with whatever you might already be wearing. Try these three for EXTRA freshness…

£32 for six samples in our shop

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Energy

‘A reviving musky woody citrus. A refreshing splash of citruses from Italy, infused with the energizing essences of peppery bergamot and regenerative grapefruit, boosted with zingy ginger absolute from Ethiopia. As bright and empowering as a tall dewy glass of freshly squeezed juice. Get up and glow.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Wellbeing

‘An uplifting spicy green floral. A confidence booster with zingy Ethiopian ginger absolute and crisp pink peppercorn absolute from La Réunion. The quintessence of easygoing wellbeing, captured in a luminous accord of fresh spices and green notes enhanced by two of the most precious ingredients in perfumery: Indian jasmine absolute and iris concrete from China. Dive deep into your inner self, feel its uplifting sense of comfort. You’re golden.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

 

Edeniste Lifeboost Happiness

‘A joyful woody fruity floral. A sparkling essence built around an exotic mango accord spiked with juicy, colorful notes of raspberry and watermelon, on a base of pure Virginian cedarwood essence. Surrender to the exhilarating beat of its fizzy tropical delight. Feel the bliss.’

£68 for 30ml eau de parfum in our shop

 

 

Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set

The Experimental Perfume Club concept has always been about the freedom to blend fragrances as you wish – each of the scents cleverly comprising head, heart or base properties which you can then combine to your heart’s content. The very best way to experiment and discover your own perfect blend is by layering the fragrances contained in this brilliant discovery set. Showcasing brilliantly blended accords by perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin, we’d point you towards the Bergamot Incense, Fig Neroli and Rose Rhubarb to add instant freshness to your fragrances in this selection. But really, the perfumed possibilities are almost infinite however you choose to combine them!

Bergamot Incense – Citrus and exotic spices are brought together in this bright fragrance with Eastern influence.

Fig Neroli – The crunch of fresh herbs in a Mediterranean garden in bloom. A garden combined, green leaves and dark woods.

Cardamom Moss – A swirl of spices wrapped in salty waves of mineral mosses and Ambroxan.

Jasmine Osmanthus – A tribute to white flowers growing on hot sand. Jasmine flowers growing on an apricot tree. Capturing all the fond memories of summer holidays.

Rose Rhubarb – A bright rose entwined with sharp blackcurrant and sparkling, zingy rhubarb.

Tonka Sesame – An utterly delectable combination of gourmand notes and woods; fused in perfect harmony.

Sandalwood Musk – A mineral sandalwood met by leather and musks. A soft, creamy sandalwood pierced with light, shining in the dark, enhancing the darker woods.

Amber Iris – An amber wrapped in powdery notes; dark yet soft. A power play of ingredients, a scent of juxtapositions. A smoky, smooth incense pierces through rich, resinous myrrh.

Cedarwood Absinth – Aromatic wormwood oil gives the scent of Absinth. Cypriol roots give a powerful earthy, woody, balsamic undertone, bolstered by Virginia and Atlas Cedar, and patchouli.

£50 for nine samples in our shop

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to Layer Fragrances

The art of layering fragrance is sometimes presented as a skill you must not attempt until you’ve fine-tuned your nose to the level of a master perfumer. Or perhaps even suggested as something you should never do. Worry not. We’re here to guide you through with some easy tips and tricks to ensure a fragrant harmony every time you spritz…

Did you know that in the Middle East, people layer up to SEVEN fragrances at a time? Sometimes more! Never be afraid to play with perfume. (The wonderful thing about fragrance is there is no right or wrong: if you like something, then it’s right. If you don’t, you can wash it off. It’s not a tattoo after all.)

 

The best way to begin layering

Start with a scent you like a lot but wish could last even longer / add more character to. Write the name of that fragrance into our clever Find a Fragrance database, and it will give you a description of the notes (individual raw materials and perfumer’s accords) that make up the composition.

Now, pick a favourite note and think which other scents you have with those notes (see if you’ve already got some of those the genius algorithm suggests, or add them to your Must Sniff List, next time you’re shopping!)

 

 

We very rarely seem to leave the house without at least a couple of scents on each arm (hey, it gets hard to choose) and after a day of sniffing and spraying various latest launches, there are occasions we have multiple fragrances vying for attention. Now, this is not the ideal way to wear them, of course – a perfume needs time space to bloom to perfection on your skin – but there are many times and differing reasons you may feel the need to stack up the scents, and here is how you should go about it:

 

 

How to layer if you want your fragrance to last longer

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise! Particularly in warmer climates. Nothing makes fragrance disappear more quickly than dry skin. Try using a matching body lotion or oil to your fragrance (many have matching products like shower gels as well – the more layers of the scent the better!) Aroma molecules evaporate far slower on well-hydrated skin.

Try also spraying the scent into your hair, too, so it wafts around you all day. Hair doesn’t heat up as much as skin, and will absorb the smell more deeply. Do a patch test, first, to ensure the fragrance doesn’t discolour your hair (spray on a tissue to be sure).

 

 

How to layer if your fragrance is too sweet

Look for dominant citrus notes like bergamot, neroli, mandarin, lemon, lime or ‘green’ notes such as galbanum, tomato or violet leaf, green tea, marine/aquatic accords (synthetic recreations of sea-like, watery smells) and aldehydes (often described as being like Champagne bubbles).

 

How to layer & soften a scent

Vanilla and tonka bean can ’round’ a perfume, making it swoon on your skin (and addictive to smell), as can touches of synthetic notes described as ‘caramel’ or ‘dulce de leche’, ripe fruits, chocolate or even candy floss. For a smoother, woodier sheen to a scent, add a sandalwood-rich or cashmere/powdery scent on top. These notes feel cocooning, adding a layer of soft comfort to spikier ingredients.

Try to add less than you think you need, as adding more is always easier than taking away, and a little of these can go a long way!

[See many more suggestions for how to change-up a fragrance you’re not getting on with, here.]

 

 

How to layer if you need to change from day to evening

Consider boosting the base notes of the scent you’re wearing – these tend to be the last to linger on your skin, being made of heavier molecules, and are likely to include ingredients such as patchouli, labdanum, olibanum, vetiver, woods or musk. Or pick out a spicy note for extra sizzle! Once you’ve welcomed the darker side of your scent and allowed it to shine with extra power, your scent trail will be stronger, longer lasting and will add a little wiggle to your walk, as it were.

Also think about investing in a stronger version of your scent – an eau de parfum, if you use the eau de toilette; or a pure parfum if you can invest in it (or ask Santa!) Read about the differing scent strengths and how differently they react and project or ‘throw’ your scent, here.

 

 

What order to layer in?

 

Scented shower / bath gel

Matching body lotion / oil / balm (or a pick out one of the notes of your chosen scent to echo that in the body product)

Eau de Cologne

Eau de toilette

Eau de parfum

Parfum

Perfume oil / attar

Fragranced hair mist (or simply spritz your scent into your hair, on to clothes (having patch-tested!)

 

 

Don’t forget, the Experimental Perfume Club fragrances have been specifically designed to mix at home and layer to your heart’s content!

Another excellent way to test and hone your new found scent layering skills is by getting a Discovery Box to try all sorts of combinations – how many hundreds (or thousands?) of combos you could create by learning to layer, within each box we don’t pretend to know. But one thing we can say for sure: you’ll have a whole lot of fragrant fun!

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale