Fine Fragrance 101

How to Layer Perfume

Perfume layering isn’t as complex as it sounds. Really, it’s just mixing two or more scents to create an entirely new scent that is personalized to you! Also referred to as “scent mixing,” the great thing about layering is that you can continuously experiment and create an endless amount of new scents.

Many people will use perfume layering for special occasions, to mix things up, or simply to create a scent they cannot find readily available in the market. You get the freedom of choosing your scent based on how you are feeling that day and the personality you are trying to achieve.

Although simple in theory, the actual execution of perfume layering can be quite nuanced. Luckily, you can’t really mess up! You might create a scent that isn’t perfect for you but patience, trial and error, and a few tips from our guide, and you’ll be a layering pro in no time. We’ll take you through the details of scent mixing, what you need to know, and some rules for making the process simpler.

The Basics of Perfume Layering

When you first start your signature scent journey, you’ll need to rely on perfume descriptions to identify what you might be interested in trying. Most descriptions will include the fragrance notes, which is simply a way to describe the components that make up the scent. Most scents will include a top, middle, and base note.

What is the difference between scent mixing and perfume layering?

Scent mixing can actually happen in many forms and is not just limited to perfumes. It can be a combination of body wash and lotion, lotion and perfume, or multiple perfumes. It’s important to remember that every scent matters and can affect the final fragrance outcome.

If you are looking for better control of your scent, opt for fragrance-free body and skin products, leaving a blank canvas for your perfume layering.

How do you layer perfumes?

In the beginning, we recommend sticking with combining two or three scents maximum. This allows you to control the outcomes more, test, and identify what you like or don’t like. Speaking of testing, we always recommend testing your perfume layers on a piece of paper before putting it on yourself. It should be noted that your pH balance will also affect the final outcome of the fragrance but testing on a piece of paper ensures you won’t be stuck smelling like something you hate all day. Perfume layering will consist of combining a base note and a top note to create a brand new scent.

Consider Base Notes

Your base note (the perfume you start with) should be your strongest or heaviest scent. This ensures that it doesn’t overpower any lighter scents you mix with it. Your base fragrance plays an important part and is the “body” of your custom scent. Play around with the strength of your base - do you need one spritz or two?

Our Tip:

Opt for a base note that is rich, heady and warm like vanilla, musk, or fine woods such as cedar and sandalwood. We like starting with stronger scents like After Hours, Green Green or Happy Hour.

Consider Top Notes

Your top note (the perfume to add to your base) should brighten up your base note. You’ll want something that isn’t too overpowering and will compete with the base note but it should stand out on its own. Again, you might need to play around with how much of the top note you need in order to get that perfect scent.

Our Tip:

Try out floral or fresh scents for your top note. Think fresh greens, florals, or citrus notes that uplift and invigorate. We like topping our base scents with Sun Kissed to brighten or Cozy You to soften.

Consider Application Type

When it comes time to put the scents on your skin, consider the location and the type of perfume application before strategically placing your two scents.

If you are spraying both perfumes, consider spraying the base perfume and then immediately spritzing the top perfume and blending after to ensure the two fragrance meld together properly.

If you are combining a rollerball perfume and a spray perfume, you will want to start with the rollerball perfume as your base, and spray your top perfume right over it, rubbing the area to blend the scents.

Picking your perfumes

Start by identifying what you want out of a signature scent. Not sure where to start? We’ve got a guide for that!

Especially when you are first getting started, it is important to start with simple perfumes that don’t have a ton of base, middle, and top notes. The more complex the perfume is, the more complex the layering will be and it can be difficult for you to determine what it was that you did or did not like.

Try a perfume that is rose-forward or simply vanilla or exclusively grapefruit and then mix with other clean scents to determine what combinations you like. As you learn more about your preferences and the world of fragrance, you can try more complex perfumes.

Tip: As you are testing and trying things out, find samples or travel-sized versions of the perfumes you like. That way, you can test as many fragrances as you’d like without having to sacrifice any of your beloved perfume.

What scents go well together?

While the short answer to this question is that if you like it, it goes together, we know having some starting points can be helpful.

Antica Co-Owners, Susanne and Shelley, are fragrance experts. They have been working together to create the luxurious fragrances of the Antica Farmacista home fragrance line since 2003. Here are some of their favorite scent combinations:
Cozy You and After Hours
Happy Hour and Green Green

What scents shouldn't be layered?

Susanne and Shelley believe perfume layering is personal and you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things. That said, if you are concerned, we do not recommend layering Green Green and After Hours. These scents are both very powerful in their own way, and when paired together, they may be overwhelming!

Shop Antica Farmacista Fine Fragrances

Introducing Antica Facets: our first Personal Perfume Collection. Facets is composed of five distinct moods that encompass the vision we hold for our customers: complex, multifaceted, and fluid. Reach for different Facets to enhance a feeling, or slip into a new one. As you start your journey to finding your signature scent, consider trying all five of our Facets with our Discovery Set.

After Hours
50ml Eau de Parfum

Cozy You
50ml Eau de Parfum

Green Green
50ml Eau de Parfum

Happy Hour
50ml Eau de Parfum

Sun Kissed
50ml Eau de Parfum