As the weather has become increasing wintery, you may have found that the best way of preparing for the day is by layering your clothing. Layering is also a technique which can be applied to perfume, allowing you to express yourself with various different combinations. The great thing about layering your favourite fragrance is that it really pays dividends in promoting the tenacity, projection and sillage of a fragrance (read more about sillage in our previous blog 'Sillage: The wake of your scent...').
But how do you layer perfume? Say you use a similarly scented shampoo/bath gel, hair mist, soap, deodorant, body cream and fragrance all in combination. Now, an expert perfumer will vary the proportions and contents of the formula in the case of each product because:
Firstly, different toiletry mediums require different chemical adjustments, techniques, bases and moderations to carry the fragrance successfully. Talcum is notoriously difficult to impregnate with scent, for instance: one of the reasons why powder is now in desuetude.
Secondly, there would be no point in simply building up a great accumulation of one identical smell on the skin, like the quilts and mattresses in The Princess and the Pea. So the skilled perfumer will vary his original fragrance formula for each layer and according to each product. Take Creed's Green Irish Tweed, for instance: the soap may be richer in the musky woody accords, the shower gel more predominantly green and minty, the lotion feature a touch more violet and so on.
Thereby, the dedicated devotee of layering will build up a highly complex aura of fragrance surrounding his person. The fragrance is always essentially the same, but each product will emanate a different version of it. It will highlight or spotlight a different aspect, a different mood: an analogy would be hearing many different covers of the same song or the same melody played by different instruments – though the details are the same, the song is illuminated in a totally new way.
In addition, the entire body will be saturated in fragrance but different parts of the body will diffuse the scent at a quicker or slower pace: those areas around the pulse points being the hottest and so radiating perfume the quickest and most powerfully.
Remember that each part of the body also has its particular inherent smell and so will "wear" perfume in a different way and diffuse it in a unique way.
Layering is cunning and fun, and very effective.
You may also like to try combining two or more different fragrances on your clothes or skin.
The Ancient Greeks (who are said to have invented perfume in its liquid form) loved to scent each part of the body with a different scent. Many perfume lovers follow suit - and achieve very striking and effective results.
Why not have a go? It is important to choose the right base. Apply the heavier scent first, let it dry and then spray the lighter one on top. Bring on the darker, woodier notes; the animalics; the dense greens – then perhaps use a soft or powdery scent to uplift it as you choose.
Use our Musc Eternal or Poudre d'Or by Mizensir to add a warm musky powderiness to a scent that needs a touch of extra softness. Or - my current personal favourite - apply Tauer's Incense Extreme to lay down a wonderfully profound and exotic base.
Try a little novelty with our famous Olverum Bath Oil: our winter warmer and comforter. This iconic hero-product has no accompanying perfume but a dip in Olverum prepares the skin with a great base to hold and enhance delicate green fragrances such as Ombu by ALTAIA, Bamboo Harmony By Kilian or Cologne de Figuier by Mizensir.
Try this trick too with the new aromatic golden masterpiece Midnight Saffron by Tom Daxon to add more herbal richness, and to boost the rich lavender accords of this sensual and intriguing scent.
One of the wonderful things about the autumnal wardrobe is that layering one's clothes allows you to think of them as new again, as different combinations may give them a new lease of life and energy. The same can be said of perfume. Begin your experiments with your existing collection; don't spend a fortune doubling up on fragrances until you have got your eye/nose in, and discover whether you have a talent for combining. It does take a certain skill but can be rewarding - and of course, if it works, you'll end up with a unique scent particular and entirely individual to you. One's greatest aim!
Finally, a reminder that a totally original and controversial new perfume at Les Senteurs. It's I Am Trash by Etat Libre d'Orange - a meditation on the waste of the world and the wreckage we have inflicted on our planet. This is a creation to smell, not just to read about, so make time to come by Les Senteurs boutique and judge for yourself. All we'll say here is, that I Am Trash is the scent of corruption and moral decay but also conveys the idea that the dirty should reflect that which is beautiful. A philosophical and olfactory conundrum - once again, pushing the fragrance frontier ever forwards at Les Senteurs!