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A guide to layering fragrances

Prolong your fragrance’s scent in Singapore's humidity.

Fragrances fade. Especially in ever-sunny Singapore where the heat and humidity can make a sweaty, less-than-sweet-smelling mess of even the best of us, the perfumes we spritz on with the best intentions never seem to be able to take us through the day without fading to obscurity.

What’s a girl (or guy) to do then? Well, your best bet to smell fresh throughout the day just might be the art of fragrance layering. And for the lowdown on stacking your scents, as well as expert tips and how-tos, we consulted the fragrance expert from Chanel as well as the training manager of Parfums Christian Dior.

What is fragrance layering?

Fragrance

Fragrance layering is a technique to prolong a fragrance’s scent by applying fragrance ancillaries such as body lotion, body mist, body crème and body oil says Dior’s training manager.

Practicing the art of layering your fragrance also helps to helps to intensify the trail of your chosen scent, according to Chanel’s fragrance expert.

Do you need to use products from the same brand and fragrance line for layering?

“As many Chanel fragrances are complex compositions, we recommend to layer within the same fragrance range to enhance the beauty of its composition,” advised Chanel’s fragrance expert. However, Chanel’s Les Exclusifs Body Cream is a scented moisturising body cream that’s made to be used with any other fragrances for layering.

And according to Dior, it is best to layer with products from the same fragrance range to retain the uniqueness of the scent. But if you really want to experiment, you may choose the perfume ancillaries which contain the same key raw materials or main olfactory notes to avoid clashing scents.

(RELATED: 4 fragrances for the modern man)

What is the right way to layer on a fragrance? 

Fragrance layering

Chanel’s fragrance expert suggests to firstly use the scented bath line to cleanse the skin. Next, apply the scented body lotion or body cream or body oil depending on how much hydration your skin needs, and also taking into account the type of body moisturiser you prefer. “When your skin is cleansed and hydrated, it is well-prepped for perfume,” she says. “By layering it on this way, your scent is bound to your skin with moisture and is also subtly transferred to the clothes you wear, allowing it to move and diffuse throughout the day.”

Are there any new ways to layer on fragrances?

Fragrances

Besides the usual bath and body perfumed products, both Dior and Chanel have scented hair mists or hair perfumes as well as scented hand creams to compliment a selection of its fragrance lines. These are also wonderful ways to make your fragrance more “mobile” as the scent drifts as your hair and hands move.

(RELATED: Could ‘visual fragrance’ be the next big perfume trend?)

Is fragrance layering only to make a scent last longer? What other benefits are there?

The gesture of fragrance layering enables the scent to become a part of your skin instead of just sitting on top of it, according to Chanel’s fragrance expert.  It also serves to enhance the notes of the compositions, making the notes more clear and precise. What’s more scented bath soaps can also be used to scent your wardrobe and drawers.

Dior’s training manager adds that as fragrances smell different on different people, layering will help to reinforce the true notes of the fragrance that you’re applying. Also, most perfume body products have the added benefit of hydration for your skin, which also help to effectively lock in your scents. Afterall Christian Dior once said “long after one has forgotten what a woman wore, the memory of her perfume lingers.”

(RELATED: The art of fragrances)

DD/SPH