Fragrance is big business in the Middle East and this area of the world is home to the world’s biggest spenders on luxury scent. Fragrance combining has been common practice, amongst both men and women, for centuries.
In the UK, the British brand Jo Malone London champions this approach to fragrance and all of its colognes and body creams can be layered to create a personalised scent.
“Layering is the best way to create depth in your scent and enhance longevity on the skin,” says Celine Roux, the fragrance director at Jo Malone London. “When two notes are combined, they highlight different elements of each other.”
In principle this sounds ideal for those who can never choose one specific perfume or those who want something more bespoke, however in practice there is an art to fragrance combining.
Which notes work?
“Certain notes work really well together,” says Jan Ahlgren, the founder of Vilhelm Parfumerie. “Citrus and woods, flower with flower, flower with woods, vanilla and woods are all great to mix and layer up.”
Which notes don’t?
“Steer clear of mixing citrus and vanilla notes as most of the time they really clash,” says Ahlgren. Ouds are also notoriously tricky to combine as the strong, heady scent can overwhelm lighter notes.
While Roux is an advocate of layering, she recommends proceeding with caution: “There may be some specific notes or ingredients which you are drawn to but they can change according to how they are treated. For example, Red Roses, which is fresh and smells like a bouquet of cut flowers, while Velvet Rose & Oud is blended with smoky oud and is much more opulent. Both have completely different characters, but both are rose scents.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK