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How you can be successful in layering perfume - with lotion and soaps, or layer smells with different perfumes.

Updated on June 1, 2016

How to layer perfumes successfully

When it comes to knowing how to wear perfume so that you get the most of it, there are several tips to remember.

One tip to applying your perfume is to learn how to apply the perfume layers. There are two approaches to this with different reasons for the different ways of layering perfume.

The first approach is for those who choose to buy a particular brand of perfume because they like the smell of each of the layers or notes of the perfume: the top notes that you smell when you first spray the perfume, the middle notes that follow and the base notes that settle in and linger for some time afterwards. If you choose a particular perfume because you like the blend of each of the layers, then it’s not likely that you will want to do anything to change the effect of the smell of the perfume. You might find that you have chosen a delicate light fragrance, but the smell doesn’t last long and you have to respray often, so that the perfume is used up quickly. To make the perfume last longer without making it too overpowering, buy complimentary products that you can layer. Choose your brand of perfume and buy the matching bodywash, soap or shower gel that goes with the perfume. Use this as the first layer so that the smell of your soap or wash doesn’t conflict with your perfume. Follow the first layer with the same perfume brand in a moisturiser or body lotion, applying it to you skin while you are still damp so that it is easily absorbed. Depending on whether your skin is dry or oily, you need to get the balance right between the soap which will dry your skin and the moisturiser which will make it oily. Finally, you can add the layer of perfume. Again, you need to decide the strength of the smell that you are looking for as oils and solid perfumes are stronger, more powerful and last longer than sprays, EDPs and colognes. Experiment to find the strength of the fragrance that you are happy with. Remember to apply your perfume to the wrists, behind the knees or behind the ears in the warm pulse points that will help to disseminate the scent. Some perfumes are also available as deodorants to reinforce the smell. Finally, to top off the layers, you can apply the scent lightly to your hair; you may be able to find the matching hair spritzer or, if not, apply some eau de parfum lightly to the palms of your hands and smooth gently over your hair. It may seem an expensive shopping trip to buy so many products all containing the same perfume, but the soaps and boadywash products will be much cheaper than the perfume and will make it last that much longer. You can often find gift packs and special perfume offers that contain a selection of products or money off associated products. If you are unable to find matching soaps and bodylotions, try to use unscented ones so that they do not affect your perfume.

The second approach to layering is to blend or stack different perfume smells to make a cocktail of scents. This requires some experimentation and practice to get the smells mixing well according to your tastes and you will encounter many smells along the way that just clash and it just doesn’t work. Try to figure out the smells that you are trying to emphasise in one perfume and look for that in another that will top it up. For example, if you want to emphasise the fresh citrus smell of a perfume that is too subtle in your chosen perfume, look for this smell in another perfume and make yourself a special perfume cocktail. You can ask the sales advisors for help with this or find what you like by trial and error. Here are some combinations that you might like to try:

Cabotine de Gres and CK One - CK One citrus smell lightens the floral scent of Cabotine

Black Cashmere (Donna Karan) and Flowerbomb (Viktor and Rolf) - mix the romantci jasmine and heliptrope of Black Cashmere with Flowerbomb's tomes of bergamot, vanilla and patchouli

If you’re brave enough for this powerful combo, try:

Mitsouko (Guerlain) and Aromatics Elixir (Clinique) - mix powerful smells of bergamot jasmine and rose of Mitsouko with the orange blossom, chamomile and coriander of Aromatics.

You might even want to try mixing his and hers smells to add more muskiness for example to your floral scents. Why not try Kenzo Flower and YSL M7?

Try to think of smells that will complement each other, so the smells of pot pourri have citrus and cinnamon spices and rose, try citrus and leather, vanilla and citrus, sometimes it helps to think of foods that go together well and try to replicate it with smells.

Find out what works for you and have fun experimenting!


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