Sunday, January 20, 2013

Perfume Layering Successes

One day last weekend, I found myself on the floor in the smellie room playing with new perfume layering options.  Honestly, I rarely end up wearing these combos (Tea Rose and Sur le Nil being one notable exception), but discovering them always makes me feel better about hoarding perfume.  Plus, it's an activity that both Inner Critic and Inner Farm Girl can support, which hardly ever happens. 

My pairings include perfumes that I don't wear much because they are either annoying in some way on their own or just too far down the list to get much attention.  First, I test them side by side on a paper scent strip, then on top of each other on a separate strip.  If they pass those tests, I spritz them on my skin, again side by side and then one on top of the other.  Passing this final test, they get recorded in my smellie book, which I keep in the smellie room on top of the smellie cabinet. 


And the winners are: (layered like a cake):

Bal a Versailles + Cabochard
BaV has a civet sweetness (an oxymoron, I know) that is weirdly tamed into submission by the tobacco and burning leaves of Cabochard. In return, BaV encourages Cabochard to let down her guard and soften up just a little.  Sometimes, two powerhouse perfumes can bitch slap each other just enough to strike a wearable balance, which is exactly what happens here. 

Celine Dion Notes + Essence eau de Musc by Narcisso Rodriguez
CDN (bought unsniffed as part of an inexpensive perfume buying binge) smells like a stronger version of an even less expensive Adidas eau de toilette that I wear to motivate myself to exercise. But paired with EedM, these perfumes sing as if they were always meant to be a duet, suddenly alive and interesting in a whole new way.

Ralph Lauren Safari + Calvin Klein Truth
Both start out very green, and one must wait for the drydown to appreciate what they do for each other (you'll be tempted to scrub for the first five minutes).  I've always been annoyed that Truth's freshly cut grass vibe is lost when the top notes fade, but Safari keeps this element vibrating throughout the life of the base notes.  Plus, Truth cancels out the nose burning galbanum of Safari that prevents me from wearing it alone.

My favorite pairing of the three is Celine Dion Notes and NR Essence Eau de Musc.  With spring just around the corner, it's a combo I will definitely wear, no doubt about it.  Assuming I don't forget to check the smellie book. 

What is your latest perfume layering success?

Image from


  1. The other day I realized that Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss was still perfuming my sweater the next day, and decided that Indult Tihota (straight vanilla) might be a good companion. It was, and next time I'll wear them together on purpose.

    1. Hi Martha - I can see how that pairing would work. In fact, a good vanilla can do wonders for many perfumes. I have sniffed ELWM but don't remember my exact impression...must try again, as I love jasmine in almost anything.

  2. Truth and Safari! That's intriguing, I'll have to try that (I have bottles of both at home, and wear them each maybe twice a year.)

    Your reasons and process for layering seem very much like mine. The last thing I attempted to find a good layering partner for was M. Micallef Ylang in Gold. It seemed like it would add nice creamy vanilla-ness to all kinds of things but it ended up overpowering everything I tried to pair it with. Alas.

    1. Elisa, do try Truth and Safari - I'd be interested to know what you think. What you've said about MMYiG is very much what others have said in their reviews. Pretty, but strong and very vanilla. Some perfumes just demand to be experienced on their own, and no amount of layering will steal their thunder.



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