How to Create a Personal Scent by Mixing and Layering Fragrances

Have people wondering what exactly you’re wearing with tips borrowed from the ladies
IMAGE Jo Malone

Scent mixing. Perfume layering. Fragrance cocktailing. Whatever you call it, the art of combining two or more scents together is an under-the-radar technique that women have been using for ages. The good news is, guys can do it, too: to make perfume work better, last longer, or to change the scent and make it more dynamic.

To take the guesswork out of custom-blending a desirable mix, we’ve talked to Jo Malone’s lifestyle director Debbie Wild. “The brand’s Fragrance Combining technique was originally born from the idea that fragrance can be tailored to embrace a mood or occasion, or simply to express your individuality. Each fragrance has been designed to be worn alone or combined with other Jo Malone London fragrances, layering scents and textures to create a fragrance that is bespoke and personal to you,” she says.



1| You want to start by layering scents that are in or close to the same scent family, noting that scents typically fall into categories like woody, floral, oriental, fresh, citrus. However, vanilla, musk, and most citrus scents are all “safe” notes that work well in most layering situations.

She suggests, “Lime Basil & Mandarin and Amber & Lavender combined to create a timeless scent that is suitable for any man. Our Cologne Intense scent, Myrrh & Tonka which uses the precious and rare sap of the Namibian myrrh tree and Tonka bean is also incredibly popular with men for a warm and deeply sensual fragrance.”


2| Keep in mind that any scented product is fair game in layering: scented body washes, lotions, and creams can all provide an extra dimension to your overall scent. Layering scents don't only mean spraying two perfumes – it can start as soon as when you’re in the shower. “You might shower using a hand & body wash and then massage a different body crème onto your skin,” says Debbie.

3| Layer fragrances to tailor your scent, whether it’s freshening up a floral with a citrus zing or adding spice for an alluring warmth. For example: “Lime Basil & Mandarin is perfect for fragrance combining bringing a citrus burst and a herbal twist to other Jo Malone London fragrances. Try it with Grapefruit, which adds an uplifting brightness or Pomegranate Noir to enrich it with sensual depth.”


4| Every scent and blend thereof will smell different from person to person, thanks to our unique body chemistry, so when experimenting, it’s also best to let your scent combo sit on your skin for an hour or more to see how it blends with your own pheromones. 

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For Manila’s tropical climate, try the English Oak & Redcurrant Body Crème with English Oak & Hazelnut Cologne which has the perfect combination of juicy redcurrant, spicy roasted oak, and the fresh green hazelnut notes.

5| A good way to make the fragrance last is to moisturize your skin first with a good lotion, keeping your skin primed for perfume. Layering is very helpful in order to make a fragrance last, apart from spraying points of your body that are warmer like your wrists or neck. You can also spray scent onto your hair and clothes.

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