How to Layer Fragrances

Scent layering is very in right now, but doing it artfully takes a little practice.

Scent layering is very in right now, but doing it artfully takes a little practice. Here, Patti Kapla, VP of business development at, shares her favorite tips for layering fragrances.

Family Matters

“Layer scents that are close to the same scent family — woody, floral, citrus, et cetera. You can layer multi-note perfumes, but single-note or basics are easier to start with.”

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Location, Location, Location

“If you’re layering perfumes, you don’t necessarily have to spray one on top of another. Spray one scent on your wrists and another on your neck.”


That’s an Order

“Heavier scents should be sprayed first, so they don’t overpower their lighter counterparts. Play around with different combinations — try one spray of the heavy scent and two of the lighter one.”


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Shower Power

“Layering can start by using a scented shower gel.”


Try, Try Again

“Test scent combinations before you commit. If you’re new to layering, combine two fragrances that have a common note,  like gardenia. Once you become comfortable, try adding two or more opposite fragrances, like an amber and a spice.” 

Do It Yourself: Now that you know the tricks of the trade, it’s time to start experimenting! Here are some scents we love:

Kiehl’s Original Musk Oil
Kiehl’s signature scent, simple yet sophisticated.
$35; Kiehl’sWhite Plains

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L’Occitane Terre de Lumiere Gentle Shower Gel 
A delicate base scent, with aromatic top notes and hints of lavender, honey, and almond.
$20; L’Occitane, White Plains

Michel Design Works Lemon Basil Hand & Body Lotion
Clean and fresh, like a breezy summer day.
$16.95; Charmed, Hastings-on-Hudson

kai perfume oil
Roll on sparingly for a light gardenia scent.
$48; Via Michelle, Mount Kisco

Giordano Beauty Fragrance Balm
Single-note scents to dab onto pulse points.
$10 each; Giordano Beauty, Hastings-on-Hudson

Scents That Work Well Together

According to Kapla, “Vanilla, musk, and citrus are all ‘safe’ notes that work well in most layering situations. Vanilla adds a sweet note, musk brings out spicy, and citrus adds a bright, refreshing touch.” Classic combos include vanilla and fruit, spice and floral, wood and floral, musk and fruit, and vanilla and floral.

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