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Fragrance Friday: Best Perfume Layering Pairs That Work, Like, Every Time
— Updated on 5 July 2023

Fragrance Friday: Best Perfume Layering Pairs That Work, Like, Every Time

— Updated on 5 July 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent. This week, we’re looking at a few layering pairs that work like a charm.

I’m going to take a break from writing about the ‘best X fragrances from Y’ this week and put out a quick one about layering. A few months ago I looked at the basics of layering fragrances, which to be honest is the key to taking your scent game to the next level. Assuming you want to stand out from the crowd when it comes to this essential part of style, then it’s pretty much a non-negotiable for you to know a few things about using at least two fragrances to complement each other and create a unique scent profile.

But you might need a bit of help on where to start. Layering perfumes can, of course, be a very expensive endeavour. You aren’t spritzing on some Sauvage and then heading out for the night. You’re mixing and matching a few perfumes in your collection, trying to align notes or contrast profiles to create something new. You’re essentially an olfactory alchemist, attempting to dial in a signature scent you’d want to be associated with.

And like all attempts, there are going to be some failures. You’ll probably fail more than you succeed while you’re getting the hang of things. In this case, the best place to start is, as mentioned in the previous article, with minimalist perfumes that have very few notes. Anything too heavy and you’ll start to get both contrasting and complementary notes that often just come across as confused and nauseating.

I personally prefer contrasting notes. I don’t like sticking to the same fragrance family, although that’s probably the best approach if you want something safer. That could be why I took a longer time to get a hang of the fragrance layering than most people in the niche art usually do. Here are just two combinations which I found have worked well for me, based on no other metric aside from good compliments and better conversation.

I think this is a great place to start if you want to get a hang of how significant perfume layering pairs can be.

Best Fragrance Layering Pairs

Xerjoff Tony Iommi Monkey Special & Penhaligon’s Babylon

Rum, leather, wood and vanilla. Xerjoff takes care of all the heavier notes while Penhaligon’s excellent focus on the nuances of vanilla contrast beautifully. This is my current go-to pair, but I’ve also had great results wearing the Xerjoff with Tom Ford Lost Cherry. Something about smoked cherries just really gets to people, especially when Xerjoff’s cinnamon and Bulgarian rose notes work with the gourmand leanings of the Penhaligon’s.

Tom Ford Black Orchid & Tom Ford Lost Cherry

You can just as easily use Tom Ford Bitter Peach instead of Lost Cherry for this year. This layering pair is the one I’ve used most to date as I find it the most reliable. Black Orchid’s chocolatey woods can be a bit too syrupy for some but when you add in that creamy fruit from Lost Cherry you’ve got all kinds of good stuff going on. The Mexican chocolate and incense base notes in Black Ocrhid especially help lift Lost Cherry’s sweet, nutty character.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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