Every scent is a unique expression of a fragrance. However, in the Middle East, from time immemorial, 'layering' of scents has been a virtual tradition. It is said that layering perfumed oils was first started around the 4th Millennium BC in Persia.
So what is 'layering perfumes?' Simply put, it's the mixing of two or more fragrances to create a single new fragrance that has the best of the mixed scents, and yet, is a singular fragrance on its own.
Across the Middle East, this 'layering' includes mixing oudhs, perfumes, oils, rose water and the perfumed smoke from bakhoors. Indeed, most people across the GCC have someone in their family who is a 'perfumer' in a sense; mixing and layering fragrances to create a unique new essence. Layering particularly happens because they want to experience a new scent and see how it integrates into a unique signature.
Here are 5 easy steps by which you can layer your perfumes more effectively:
1. Understand the perfume families - Is the scent floral? Or citrusy? Do you want it spicy? Or more woody? Once you know this, layer your perfume with opposite smelling scents. Which means, if you have one perfume which has a main note of 'Rose' which is floral, try mixing it with another perfume which has a main note of 'Musk' which is musky, rather than pair it with something which has 'Freesia' or a floral note.
2. Analyse light versus heavy - Woody fragrances are heavy. So are traditional Dahn Al Oudhs. Avoid mixing two scents which are heavy. Choose one or more lighter fragrances to mix, such that your final scent isn't overpowering.
3. Know your skin - Maybe oudhs love your skin. Perhaps vetiver doesn't quite agree. Every skin type is different. And different scents smell differently on varied skin types. See what scents last longer on your skin.
4. Test till you use - There are no wrong or right combinations when layering fragrances. At the end, the final scent created by you, should appeal to your sense and persona. But to achieve this personalized fragrance, keep mixing and layering and testing your creations before you arrive at your signature.
5. Be creative - This is the most crucial aspect of layering. If you're someone who likes layering perfumes, you're already someone with an innate creativity and curiosity. Unleash both those instincts when layering. Sometimes what might sound as a crazy idea, might actually turn out to be an amazing new fragrance.
All in all, there is a small science and creativity behind the art of layering and you can master this easily with little experience. At the end of the day, you are the creator of your signature so layering should very much be an expression of your personality. Choose what works for you.
Of course, if you feel the need to see how mixing and layering perfumes can be done, you can start with any of our carefully crafted Gift Sets. They provide you an opportunity to create a personalized fragrance in line with your tastes. Happy layering!