Quick tip - Perfume layering

Something that I do not talk much about on my blog is fragrance. But truth be told, I do love my perfumes. I am addicted to them, I have my favourites, my types even. So here is some thing I do. It lets me play with the fragrance, add my own twist to it, and above all stretch those expensive perfumes for a bit longer.

So here is what I do,
I just mix two fragrances I like and done. Simple, easy, thats it. But wait, if it was that easy why would there be a post about it. Well the post is for some rules of layering fragrances. More guidelines actually, but here they are,

Avoid combining two alcohol based fragrances, they will vaporize too quickly.
For best results combine an oil based fragrance with an alcohol one.
Think of the notes you want to go for, all fragrances consist of notes popularly called the top, middle and bottom notes. (How typical)
A bottom note is basically the smell that lingers, and holds the perfume together, think woodsy musky fragrances. Sandalwood, musk, patchouli
A middle note brings together the base and top notes that wont combine otherwise. Citrusy fragrances, lemon, orange, make perfect middle notes they balance the fragrance at the top and bottom, preventing the fragrance too become too flowery or too woodsy.
A top note, is the first whiff of the fragrance, its the floral or fruity smell that seems too strong at first and then wears off.

So how do we think of notes while layering, simple do not repeat the note that dominates in your fragrance. If you have a lemony fragrance, do not apply another lemony fragrance. Do not mix lemongrass with a lemony fragrance. Too similar. You may balance it with a jasmine, or rose, which are floral top notes.

Similarly do not combine a musky fragrance with woodsy ones, such as sandalwood or it would be too heavy.

So till you come up with your own combinations, here are a few reccomendations

Mix rose/ jasmine based fragrances (Bvlgari Jasmine Noir) with lemon oil , or a woodsy ittar.
Mix lemony fragrance like Green tea, with a woodsy note, like patchouli, sandalwood.
Mix musky fragrances with floral ones , such as rose, or even middle notes like lemon that lighten the heaviness.

Hope this helps.

You now have a new use to those aroma therapy oils, or you can go to a local ittar shop and buy yourself some nice natural fragrances. Just a note, most ittars are largely top notes, like rose, jasmine or woodsy like patchouli, oudh, sandalwood. Fewer middle note options there. Happy mixing.

By the way layering also helps the perfume last longer, because oil stays in skin longer.


  1. I love layering fragrances too. It's like your very own personal brand of perfume that no one has :) Great tip about layering alcohol based perfumes with ittars/oils.
    Ittars are a part of our South Asian Heritage but sadly the shops that sell them are diminishing in number at least here in Pakistan.I remember My great grandmother having a small vial made of silver,beautifully engraved, containing precious ittar. I think it was motia or jasmine. I hardly know anyone my age using these precious oils anymore. They are more into designer western fragrances. Now that the Oudh trend has hit all the big Western perfume houses and almost all of em are churning out oudh scents maybe it will get more popular in our part of the world and people will start wearing this nostalgic note that our grandmothers wore with pride. I love buying ittars from Iran.They are still celebrated in the Middle East. The saffron and the smokey vetiver oils are just beautiful. Which ittars are most worn/famous in India?
    Sorry for the loong comment. I can't stop talking when it comes to perfumes.As a fellow addict, I'm sure you will understand :)

  2. pandora not even funny how much i love ittars. and it is something that is more traditional , the way you said reminiscent of our grand mothers. in india, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, jasmine battle it out with jannat ul firdaus(which is too strong to be used on its own) alhambra (which i totally love) in india, ittars are not dying down, but that is true only of certain pockets of india where they are still made or are linked in a strong way.

    it makes me feel so sad to see people our age not using ittars because it is not cool, and buying deodrants over ittars. i mean ittar is a perfume cum deo in the price of a Mc Happy meal. how do you get your ittars from iran, unless you go there.

    i personally love very woodsy smells, so i mix oudh, sandalwood, vetiver and patchouli with jasmine.

    also how does motia smell.. will try it out next time i am there.. btw u wont believe , i use hashmi kajal, which my ittar wala stocks. this post has made me want to go visit him again.


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