The One Surefire Way to Find Your Signature Fragrance
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Finding a signature fragrance that both 1) clearly encompasses your personality and 2) stands apart from the thousands on the market is one of the hardest beauty purchases you’ll make. A simple solution is to make your own—but rather than cultivate a double life as a weekend perfumer, which is just as time-consuming and potentially disastrous as you might think, layer perfumes you already own to create a scent that’s yours and yours alone. Greta Fitz, the Director of Global Marketing for CLEAN Fragrances, offers simple guidelines to make you a layering pro.
If you’ve sampled fragrances at a beauty counter, you’ll know that not all scents are compatible with one another. “A good rule of thumb is to stay away from layering strong fragrances with each other,” says Fitz. “The results can be too overwhelming.” Instead, she recommends pairing “dark” with “light” by balancing bright top notes with deeper back notes. “You can quickly increase the richness of a fragrance by layering [it with] a scent that is more background-heavy (vanilla, woods, musks), as well as create lighter renditions by layering fresh, fruity, or watery notes on top.”
The fun part lies in the fact that fragrances don’t have to be exclusively paired with one another—in fact, it exponentially increases the variety of your scent wardrobe, as each fragrance can be layered with multiple others to create an entirely different perfume. Fitz offers an example: CLEAN Air is a woody floral that works well as a base. “When layered with CLEAN Warm Cotton, it brings a whole new feminine experience to warm cotton and actually brightens and lightens the fragrance,” she says. When [layered] with CLEAN White Woods, it takes a whole new sensual approach that’s floral and nuzzle-y.”
For a simple starting point when experimenting at home, Fitz offers these complementary pairings: florals with orientals, fruity with florals, citrus with woody, and finally, oriental with gourmand.
“For a more enhanced experience, I recommend spraying your pulse points with one fragrance, and then again in the same spot with another. That’s how you can see the real chemistry,” Fitz says. For those a bit more timid, the softer option is to apply a scented lotion and then spray a complementary perfume after.