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How to Effectively Layer Fragrances

When you wear cologne, you might find that some fragrances fade away quickly or others you might wish were a bit differnet.

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What, exactly is fragrance layering?

In essence, it is as it sounds, it is the layering of different smells to create a unique and one of a kind fragrance. You can mix and match different colognes until you find a smell combination that really sends you. Others choose to start with base fragrances and just create their own, completely personalized cologne. Whatever you choose, there are some basics steps you will need to take and a few helpful pieces of advice that will make getting the perfect fragrance for you pretty simple.

It can be really difficult to layer blended colognes of already multilayered fragrances. Chances are, there will be something in these layered mixes that may not “jive.” So most people layer using only single note scents, such as sandalwood only, not a sandalwood/juniper blend. You don't need to be a fragrance expert, but it does help to have some idea what type of scents you like. Are you more into clean and fresh scents or do you prefer woodsy or outdoorsy scents? Perhaps you are more into exotic, spicy smells. You can use this preference as the base for your creation.

Keep in mind there will be a lot of misses and probably just a few hits. That's okay, once you find your signature scent, you'll know it and be happy you made the effort. Chances are, any special someones in your life will appreciate it as well.

A huge tip is to not try out initial fragrance combinations on your skin, otherwise, you will have to shower between every application or all the smells will become muddied. A lot of people use strips of paper as testers for different smell combinations. Once you have narrowed down your favorites, it is time to try it on your skin.

You will want to keep in mind that the first, base layer, which a lot of people choose to have something bright and citrusy, will only be distinguishable for about 10 minutes after application, then it will begin to blend in a mix with the other scent layers.

There are four main categories of scent that you are likely to have access to: exotic/spicy, floral, woodsy, and fresh. Whichever of these appeals most to you should be the base and focus of the finished product. Be creative when trying out combinations and just try to think with your taste buds. Minty smells pair well with citrus and so on. A lot of people will stick with complimentary scents within these categories, but feel free to try anything. There are some wonderful, yet strange fragrance concoctions just waiting for you to discover them.

When it comes to choosing your signature scent, you are by no means limited to the options they have at the mall. Using the technique called fragrance layering, you can create your own custom, unique scent that will really help bring together your whole look and feel. Women love a man that smells good and one who knows what smells best on him. Take chances and try tons of different single note combinations to find the scent that is truely, uniquely, you.


Born and raised in Austin, David is a dedicated writer and avid fragrance lover. When he's not trying out perfumes, he enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants.