Favorite Fragrance Combining – Le Labo

First, the winners of the CB I Hate Perfume Rare Flowers samples – Kim B, Tiara, and Sunnlitt.  You all should know the drill, but if you don’t!  To claim your prize, click on Drop Us  a Note up at the top, remind me what you’ve won and send me your address, and I’ll confirm I got your e-mail and then get them sent out to you. Enjoy them!

So with the Le Labo Benjoin in the fragrance wardrobe, it’s been a great playtime for me to work it into combination with all my other Le Labo fragrances.  But I’m stuck on Benjoin and Vanille 44.  Oh, yum.  So different, so great together, smoky incense on one arm and woody vanilla on the other. I waft like a dream.

But this brings up a couple of questions that are puzzling me after talking to other people.    First question, what line is your favorite to combine?  Jo Malone pushed the concept for their scents. They do combine nicely, but I’m not very inspired most of the time to do it.  So far, Le Labo is one of my favorite lines to combine – either with another Le Labo fragrance or with something else. CB I Hate Perfume runs a close second and sometimes first, depending on season. I still do that Burning Leaves/Gathering Apples combo March suggested years ago for the fall.  The other line, but only a subset within it, that I like to combine are the Guerlain La Matieres.  Throwing some of those with some Le Labos are just magic, like Double Vanille and Le Labo Patchouli.  OMG, what a smoky vanilla wondrous mess I turn into.  So what’s your favorite combination line?  And if or in addition to, what specific fragrances do you combine?

Then the next questions. I always spray one area of me with one fragrance, then another with the other, and for me that’s combining, but some people spray on top of the fragrance, which seems like a Frankinfragrance to me and a little scary.  Which is correct?

Drop a comment to be entered in the drawing, and the prize will be my three favorite fragrance combination sample sets above – Le Labo Benjoin/Vanille and CB Burning Leaves/Gathering Apples and Guerlain Double Vanille/Le Labo Patchouli, samples of all six so you can try them out.  Next week I’m trying Benjoin with Ylang!

  • Nitasha says:

    Thank you so much for the samples! Loving the Vanille and Benjoin today one on each arm and can’t wait to try the others once my cold gets better!

  • madeline m says:

    l’Artisan Santal and Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur oil.

  • hajusuuri says:

    I love to layer, especially with Vanille 44! I layer Vanille 44/Mitzah and Vanille 44/Puredistance M. I have not tried layering SDV with anything but now I feel like I need to experiment.

    Thanks for the draw!

  • I don’t do it as much as I used to in general, but layering is such a fun way to make fragrances more *personal*, as if you are creating your own scent. I totally approve of it, as a concept.

    That said, it’s hard, right? So many things just overpower the other…

    I like Kai+Jardin sur le Nil, to amp up the floral aspects of JslN.

    I like the IDEA of layering something vanilla with Rose Ikebana. But I haven’t found the right combo.

    SJP Lovely goes great with CdGs. I imagine that’s what SJP intended to make herself, initially, before she had to back off for mass market consumption.

    The PdN line goes well with one another.

    Ta’if plus incense frags works REALLY well, too!

  • eswift83 says:

    I don’t layer frequently, but when I do I spray them in proximity to each other… when I spray one on top of the other I feel that one often gets lost. Maybe I just don’t have enough experience with it yet though! I will say this – I’ve found that To Bee is a great layering agent to “dirty” any fragrance that smells too clean or synthetic.

  • Ferris says:

    My favorite thing to layer is perfume oils with a regular spray cologne. This gives the notes featured in both more emphasis. Right now I’m layering Chanel’s Égoïste with A Nootka Morning Rose perfume oil from Elan Perfume. All I can say is OMFG. Smells devine! You must try it! Perfect rose. I would love to win your layering scent combos. Thanks for the draw!

  • SMY says:

    Usually I find that layering sacrilegious somehow! But the other day I did layer a perfume I picked up in New Orleans, Hove Perfume’s Gardenia with SSS Tabac Aurea because I found the Gardenia too sweet – and I liked the result!

  • Kandice says:

    I would be afraid to spray one fragrance on top of the other. The few times I’ve tried combining, I’ve sprayed one scent one place and another somewhere else (like different arms, or arms one scent and neck another). My few attempts have not been greatly successful so I appreciate your ideas as a place to start and the chance to win the scents as well!

  • Elia says:

    I’ve not experimented with layering yet, but I suspect you’d want to put one over the other at least half of the times.

  • Audrey says:

    Layering, what a great idea! I tryed shalimar and lutens, bois vanilla!

  • jjlook says:

    I like the idea of layering with time, the end of something light and cool for work, with one spray of something more intriguing after.
    but l’artisan figuer creme with bulgari black is good, too…

  • xtopher says:

    I do tend to layer perfumes that don’t really do it for me:
    ~I tried Vanilla Galante with Santal 33 and it made that flowery vanilla a lot lovelier.
    ~Peau de Peche by KM ( I do not like this at all) with Bruno Acampora’s Musc (sexy!).
    ~ M Micallef Gaiac (I did not like it) with Mona di Orio Cuir (LOOOVE)
    I know they sound super random but they do smell great 🙂

  • imapirate007 says:

    My favorite combinations tend to be violet, chocolate vanilla and licorice. I love these for winter:
    -PDN Kiss Me Tender with 1000 Flowers Reglisse Noire.
    -Reminiscence Tonka & Reglisse Noire
    For summer nothing beats Heeley Sel Marin with a lemony scent like L’Occitane Universelle.
    thanks for the draw!

  • Liz K says:

    I usually layer one scent on my wrist and one either on my forearm (if I’m sure it will work) or on my stomach (also good if one fragrance is much stronger than the other). I have probably over shared my favorite combinations already but I love CBIHP Wild Hunt mixed with everything I have tried it with, especially Olympic Orchids Osafume (which also goes with Under the Arbor well, my other CBIHP love). Vanilla Insensee is great with SSS Incense Pure. Ambre Sultan plays nice with lots of things but I like it best with linear white florals. I haven’t ever tried Burning Leaves nor most of the Le Labos but would love to.

  • helical gnome says:

    I in general mix by mere accident. I am tasting two or three things and I suddenly catch a whiff of something delicious and take note of it. Don’t kill me here people but I do layer my Hermessence. I love Rose Ikebana mixed with Poivre Samarcande or Santal Massoia with Poivre Samarcande. I also layer Annick Goutal on a regular basis because, by themselves, Goutal’s perfume don’t really work on my skin. I tried Gardenia and Vetiver and it works well, not wonderful though. I also mix, with more success, La Mimosa with Neroli. I have never mixed Guerlain or Chanel. I need to be more adventurous. I know.

  • wefadetogray says:

    I dont layer by house. Does it still count? The exeption being perhaps some particular combinations I tend to make with Parfumerie Generale but otherwise, I tendo to mix houses. My winter combos are: Musc Nomade+ Mure et Musc, Fourreau Noir+Musc 25, L’Ombre Fauve (PG)+ Coze (PG), Santal 33+ Fille en Aguilles, Ambre Fetiche+Ambre Sultan.
    I so much want to try Burning Leaves!!!
    Thanks 🙂

  • missyl says:

    I actually have a combination question I need help with! My dear husband gave me a 3 oz (!!!!) bottle of Shalimar Edp for Valentines day. I like it, but 3 oz is just more than I can ever seeing myself using before it turns..I guess that’s a question I should ask.. How long before it goes off smell?So I’m happy with the perfume but concerned about using it ‘ in time’. So I’m thinking thinking I might wear it more often, than just in the evening, if I could change it into something lighter.
    Anyone have some combination ideas using Shalimar?

  • greennote2 says:

    When I choose what perfume to wear, I’m often reflecting my mood in what I choose. I’ll layer when the scent I put on feels like it’s not quite where I want it to be. If it’s too masculine then I’ll add something more floral/feminine e.g. Lutens Un Lys. If it doesn’t have enough bass then maybe try to amp it up with a woody fragrance. And one of the fragrances has to be pretty linear. I like adding CB I Hate Perfumes Hay or Cucumber Roll simply to have those almost single notes rolling along for while as well. I dab on my wrist or forearm close to each other.

    Right now I’m sitting in a cloud of Lutens Ambre Sultan, which I haven’t worn for ages. This would be great layered, though the spicy top notes would fight a bit with something else until it settled down to its beautiful smoothness. Maybe something green and simple.

    Would love to try your combinations, Patty. I played with layering Burning Leaves when I first got it, it was fun, it added smoky sweetness from memory.

  • Dani says:

    I love to wear a combo of my man’s aftershave and my perfume. Polo mixed with Arden, very nice scent

  • AnnieA says:

    I like wearing a different perfume on each arm when I am at home, although I’ve never considered it combining — more like pairing. The Ateliers go together well, and so do Adam Levine for Her and Dark Amber and Ginger Lily.

  • I usually layer by putting two scents right next to each other, maybe overlapping a bit. I have had nice combos from catching waft from both arms at the same time when testing two different things, but those are almost always unintentional.

    Sometimes I layer scents when I feel like one is lacking something. Like say if I want a floral to have a deeper base, I might layer it with something leathery or earthy. It’s especially good if I have a sample of something that I think is too earthy/leathery/whatever to wear on its own.

    Or if I want to emphasize a note two scents have in common I might wear them together. For example, Atelier Cologne Vanille Incensee with a big jasmine (in my case Lush Lust, but I bet others would work too). Just recently I layered Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin Eau de Minuit with L de Lolita Lempicka. It was a nice combo, L amped up the vanilla in the Au Masculin.

    I also had a nice combo with Guerlain Derby recently. Problem is I can’t for the life of me remember what I layered it with. I’m wanting to say something with rose??? Maybe I’ll look in my closet when I get home and it will come to me.

  • Tiara says:

    I often wish I could buy the scent of my perfume drawer. It’s heavenly with all of those blended fumes hitting me at once as I open the drawer. I’ve been tempted to dump the last few drops of any (almost) finished decants into one large bottle but I’m afraid I’d end up with a cesspool smell instead of that glorious drawer scent.

    And I won! Yay and thank you.

  • Claudia D. says:

    I’ve never been one to layer much. The closest I’ve come is to put a different scent on each arm, but I guess I never really considered that as layering. Thanks for the draw!

  • tammy says:

    My layering is almost always unintentional…. the morning’s fragrance still wafting when I change for the evening, usually. If I can still smell a little of the previous scent, I usually apply the new one a little ways from it.

    My latest happy accident was Iris Nazarena with Violet Fumee, and it was very, very pretty. The tail-end of some Chanel No. 5 parfum was also very nice with Violet Fumee. Why oh why oh why won’t they do a 50 ml bottle???

  • grizzlesnort says:

    I will layer a single note such as Aveda oils or 1/2 a spray (or less!) of a Kamali Incense underneath as a base. Don’t want 2 complicated fragrances fighting it out –as much as I might like it–want to spare others. Thanks for the draw!

  • Fabio says:

    I’m not big on layering because it does not occur to me most of the time , however I like layering my atelier colognes with sandalwood to give them more deepness. Your suggestions are iteresting. Thank you for the draw.

  • Kim B says:

    I love to layer my Lutens, one spray on top of the other. I find the drier or richer ones go well with a number of the others, but I most often layer Chergui or Chene with something else and seldom wear them alone.
    drier / richer Chergui / Chene / Cedre / Santal Majuscule with any of Un Bois Vanille / Sa Majeste la Rose / Ambre Sultan / Douce Amere / Un Lys
    Have only just discovered L’Atelier (not sure how I missed them!) and they are turning out to be fun to layer as well.

  • R_UN says:

    Ugh – dying to try the Benjoin. I don’t mix scents too frequently, but I’ve started mixing Vanilla tea with Tarry Souchoung tea (smoke monster) and would LOVE to have a scent like this! Maybe I can mix one!

  • Dionne says:

    I don’t layer very often, as most of the time it doesn’t even occur to me to try, but there are a few combos I’ve tried that work: Ineke’s Field Notes from Paris is stunning when combined with her Evening Edged in Gold, and Ava Luxe’s Ambre Foncé is fantasic layered with her Café Noir.

  • Dina C. says:

    I haven’t ventured into layering, but these comments are giving me some good ideas. I must have been one of those kids who couldn’t have the foods on their plate touch each other! 🙂 Thanks for entering me in the drawing Patty.

  • zazie says:

    I like to layer fragrances that are single-focused, if it makes any sense…
    I don’t layer much, but my favorite brand for layering is serge lutens.
    Here are my personal “recipes”:
    1. white flower powerhouse: a la nuit + tubereuse criminelle.
    2. woody jasmine: a la nuit + bois des iles (or TF’s Santal blush)
    3. Boozy indulgence: Chene + L’AP’s havana vanille/vanille absolument (or SL’s own un bois vanille)
    4. The growling beast: Shalimar + a la nuit.

    So… it seems a la nuit is a basic ingredient in my perfume palette! But what doesn’t smell better with a jasmine boost?
    Especially a round, honeyed jasmine? I apply very sparingly, I promise.
    As for the mechanics of layering, I do both the one-fragrance-on-each-wrist, or the one-dab-almost-upon-the-other (the fargrance with stronger base notes is layered below the other).
    In general, for recipe number one I favor the former, for number 4 the latter… in between – anything goes!
    Thanks for the draw!!!!

    • missyl says:

      Wow Zazie! Shalimar + A la Nuit would be a Growler indeed! A beautiful but very strong presence.

      • zazie says:

        he, he! It’s tamer than it sounds, especially if one dabs instead of sparying… but still!!!! 😉
        I was surprised by the fact it worked – it was an accidental discovery!

  • Since you asked, I’ll confess my heresy: I’ve been layering Coco with The Body Shop Chocomania.

  • Bastet says:

    I also like to layer my Serge Lutens fragrances, especially La Fille de Berlin with Clair de Musc, Un Boise Vanille with Five O’Clock Gingembre or Fleur d’Oranger, Santal Majuscule with Sa Majeste la Rose, etc. Clair de Musc is also wonderful with just a little dab of Angel. I just spray wildly, one on top of the other, and it always smells great to me. Thank you for the draw, I would love to try your combinations!

  • jirish says:

    I don’t usually combine much, but my favorite is a small bit of Fireside Intense layered underneath a larger dose of Green, Green, Green, and Green. Remnants on my winter scarf right now are suggesting that I try layering Fille de Berlin with Jaisalmer – the two scents I’ve been wearing the most this winter. My scarf smells terrific!

  • Claire says:

    I’m a layering novice & have only ever tried mixing linear perfumes dominated by single notes – Demeter Caramel with Guerlain Pamplelune, for instance (yum). I’d love to give it a go with Lutens if/when my collection gets bigger, though.

  • Connie says:

    Like a few of those above, I’ve never tried layering, but I could see scents from the lines of Serge Lutens, parfumerie Generale, Santa Maria Novella, and Sonoma Scent Studio being particularly good ones to work with.

  • Carol says:

    I’ve never tried layering but several of the posts have given me some ideas. Thanks for the draw.

  • fanny says:

    Lutens is the first that comes to mind. So many have the same spicey woody vibe, like for instance Rousse, Five O’Clock and Feminite du Bois.
    Also I have layered Goutal Myrrhe Ardente with resp. Feminite du Bois and with Hermes Un Jardin en Med. to lighten it up.
    I spray one on top of the other,

  • lemoncake says:

    I’ve tried some of the Jo Malone fragrances but didn’t find anything that moved me. The Le Labo combos sounds great!

  • Nitasha says:

    Hi love your site and the layering chat!! Agree the Le Labos are great to combine, I also love adding Molecule No 1 on any florals! I usually spray on top but will try the separate locations 🙂

  • Tena says:

    Like Edward, I combine L’ Atelier Vanille Insensee with their Orange Sanguine (on top of each other) as well as Demeter’s Holy Smoke and Holy Water (But then they are the only 2 Demeters I own) MKK is just a nice musk on me (???) so I am thinking of all sorts of combos (MKK+ Guerlain’s Spiritueuse Double Vanille anyone?).

  • Sherri says:

    The Kilian line is my favorite to layer. Love works well and sweetens up all the others. I especially like it with Sweet Redemption. Too much SR gets that mothball note, but with just one spray with another spray or two of Love, it is out of this world!

  • Monoatomic says:

    Since I’m kind of a newbie, I guess I’ve been still just been concentrating on the perfumes. I’ve only gone as far as layering scented lotions since the results don’t last too long. 🙂 Think I need to be a little more adventurous!

  • Irina says:

    Hi, Patty- hope all is better for you
    what great combos-would love to try
    I wouldn’t spray one atop of another, though, I’d be afraid of the possible mess
    thanks so much for sharing

  • thinkingmagpie says:

    I do both; I tend to put one on top of the other more often but sometimes put one layer around back of my neck and the other on my wrists. Occasionally I go a bit further and mix fragrances altogether in a small bottle, so far, so good. I don’t stick to particular lines or houses, I play with notes & types. I love it, it’s kinda like alchemy 😀 Thanks for the draw!

  • taffyj says:

    I have done both: layer one on top of the other or on separate appendages. I mean, wrists or elbow insides.
    I have layered Ambre Narguile with Theorema and that worked pretty well.

  • Jane Elisabeth says:

    I love layering Hermes Pamplemousse Rose with so many fragrances it’s amazing. It even “fixes” fragrances I’m not so fond of.

  • katrin says:

    Usually I do not layer fragrances, but I’ve noticed that I tend to use PnN Balkis only in combination with something else
    that I already have on, which is usually dry. So I add just a touch of that sweetness to anything from Herba Fresca to Iris 39 for example.

  • Laurels says:

    I had assumed that layering meant one perfume on top of another, but now that I think about it, that may not be what was meant. Where do you spray your two perfumes? One on each arm?

    I was one for three in my few experiments, which discouraged me from continuing. Your combinations sound good, though, especially the Burning Leaves/Gathering Apples. Hope all is well.

  • Nemo says:

    I have only started dabbling in layering 🙂 So far, I have gone so far as to put the two perfumes on the same part of my forearm but NOT on top of each other. I like to start with that, and then I can put on more of one or the other on other parts of me depending on how it smells. So far, the two combinations I have tried are Timbuktu w/Bombay Bling (I like this joyful combo, and I actually haven’t tried Bombay Bling by itself yet), and a dab of Alien Liqueur with the slightest touch of Kenzo Jungle l’elephant. I hope to branch out more in the near future!

  • Kellicat says:

    The Le Labo combinations sound wonderful. I have many of their small sample sprays, and my fav combo is Patchouli 24 and Labdanum 18. I spray one on each wrist and alternate deep inhales of first one, then the other. I have a FB of Oud 27, which i like to combine with a big rosy floral like YSL Paris or Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose in the same way. BTW, I have been lurking on this site, Bois de Jasmin, Now Smell This, and Grain de Muscs for over a year, absorbing the descriptions and passionate praise (as well as the critiques) as I slowly build my collection. Thank you all for your wonderful prose and pronouncements. I have learned much from not only the site’s bloggers, but all of the commenters. This is a lovely community.

  • Katherine says:

    I like to layer creed Angelique Encens with atelier vanille insense. Its really lovely. Sometimes I like to layer estee Lauder sensuous nude with bronze goddess and a touch (reallly a dab) of Madonna Truth or Dare.

  • Jocelyn says:

    I am yet to try layering… and now I’m intrigued! Thanks for the draw 🙂

  • kelly cross says:

    I just tried layering a thin veil of Lumière Noire Pour Homme over Géranium Pour Monsieur. Pretty great!

  • edpgypsy says:

    I’m not brave enough to layer, I guess. The best I can do is NR For Her EDT layered with NR For Her Musc Intense! It’s wonderful but not that innovative. 🙂 Thanks for the draw too!

  • Lisa D says:

    I like to layer one scent on top of another, rather than use different scents in different locations. Also, I usually end up trying to layer by notes or types, rather than specific perfumes. Incenses with vanillas, florals with ambers, or complex scents with soliflores, and sweet scents to balance out sharp ones. In general, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well many scents layer – it’s a rare occasion that I dislike a result so much that I have to scrub it off.

  • Edward G says:

    I layer Atelier Vanille Insensee with their Orange Sanguine, and I’ve tried Jeux De Peau with Un Bois Vanille, both from Serge Lutens.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I’m thinking of layering Le Labo’s Aldehyde 44 with Guerlain’s Mitsouko or maybe L’Heure Bleue and see how that goes. If it works, I can get rid of 2 small decants!

  • Ncmyers says:

    Awhile ago I did vintage Chanel 5 extrait with Lutens Sarrasins. Woo doggies! Real good, but had to roll down the car windows in 5 degree weather on the way to work. Love your combos! Think I’ll try some vanilla plus something tomorrow.

  • spiker says:

    I tend to underspray in general, so I haven’t played around much with combining scents – but your descriptions are certainly tempting. Please enter me in the draw and if I win I promise to go crazy and do multiple sprays!

  • Ann says:

    Hiya, Patty! Hope the weather in your neck of the woods is improving — we have had enough of winter! Your Benjoin and Vanille 44 sounds absolutely delicious — must try that soon! Of course, no draw for me.

  • dremybluz says:

    i love layering my serge lutens. i especially love mkk mixed with about anything. when i layer, i spray one on top of the other, or at least in close proximity