As many of you may have noticed, or not, Patty just did an upgrade of our WordPress, the platform behind the blog. We´re hoping some of the odd bugs on the site will be less buggy now, and I personally am grateful the blog didn´t blow up when she did it. I was on here Monday evening, answering comments, when the whole site lurched and burbled and I thought: nooooooooooooo. But other then the hopefully temporary absence of our emoticon plugin (you can still type them in manually) we seem to be … well as functional as we get over here.

And now would be the part where I blog on some great new or vintage fragrance. I am, right now, sitting on an amazing selection of samples. Unfortunately due to sinus issues beyond my control, I have nothing useful to say about any of them. It must be a side effect of pouring salt water up my nose via my neti pot, but everything smells either fresh or like sperm. Now, I like the smell of fresh sperm as much as the next gal (huh, my self-edit button must have broken in the upgrade, although it didn´t work very well anyway) but if I dab on one more vial and get either of those smells I´ll scream. So let´s chat about something else. It´s been awhile since we talked about layering.

Layering fragrances often happens by accident when you are being a big sample whore, to use the technical term. Some of the combinations are more … fortuitous than others. The nice thing about layering is you wind up with a scent that probably nobody else is wearing.

Today I invite you to share some of your favorite combinations. If you feel like sharing. If you don´t feel like sharing because that would defeat the whole point of your Secret Layering Perfume Mojo, by all means don´t. If you´re feeling it, layer a couple things you think might work, or not, and share the results with us. Or share one of your amusing not-so-fortuitous layering stories. Whatever makes you happy.  If you’re sick of sharing because Facebook now makes you share, I feel your pain.  Go spray on something cheerful and get in the bath, but don’t take your laptop with you.

So. I´ll go first. Some of these you might have read before.

Purely accidentally, I discovered that Fendi Theorema layered with Donna Karan Chaos is darned wonderful. This works nicely for folks who find Theorema too sweet and/or Chaos too woody.

I have attempted to layer Mitsouko with all sorts of things, mostly out of some perverted masochistic desire, I guess, or stupidity. The Queen does not like to be layered.

Some of you already know that a couple weeks ago, again out of masochism/stupidity, I layered Feminite du Bois with Poison. I know, I know! You´d think: Kill.Me.Now. The funny part was, FdB completely obliterated Poison. No contest whatsoever. Godzilla vs. … Thumbelina. However, further tinkering (one dab FdB, three dabs Poison) reveals that the combo is really nice. Poison adds that dark plum note to the FdB. Again, those who put on FdB in the EDP and think, gah, this could use a little fruit – try the Poison.

Finally, Musette did some hilarious layering combo, let´s invite her to chime in. It was Femme with something.  Femme and Jolie Madame, maybe?

Your turn.

image: Smith Island layer cake,

  • Kristin Sargent says:

    I first started layering less complicated soliflores like sandalwoo and rose butlately have layed Ivoire over Madame Rochas. Rochas cements the chypre and Ivoire emits a bloom. Originally I thought, oh my Lord, but I just knew it would work.

  • mimmimmim says:

    I’ve worn Bandit with Shocking. Eau de Leather Knickers. I wore it to work when I was at a firm I hated and didn’t care who knew it!

  • gina says:

    Hi March! I’m always a-lurkin’ on here, and had to comment on this one. One of my weird favorite layers is Olivier Durbano’s smoke/incense fest Black Tourmaline layered over Keiko Mecheri’s sweet nightmare Loukoum. Smoky-sweet!

    An aside – there’s a make-up book I really like, which I found is very much like how I do make-up on my clients – Laura Mercier’s book – The New Beauty Secrets. Worth taking a look at. I got used for cheeeep on Amazon.

  • Tania says:

    Black Cashmere with CDG Red Series Carnation. It’s spicerific! 😉

    And I like experimenting with the Jo Malones. They are meant to be layered, they even have suggested combos. I wore Orange Blossom with Honeysuckle and Jasmine the other day, it was very pretty.

    I accidentally layered Narcisso Rodrigues with something when I was out sampling in a shop the other week. I wish I could remember what it was, because it was nice! I don’t like NR on it’s own.

  • Breathless says:

    I was out sampling today and ended up wearing Notorious over Bellodgia. Yum!

  • Sherya says:

    My “accidental” favorite (was getting ready for work and forgot that I already put on perfume – one of those very rushed mornings) and ended up with SL Chergui + SL Bois Vanille. Really liked it!

  • violetnoir says:

    March, I love you! You make me laugh out loud and feel like I am a part of the “in crowd.” And, danged if that cake doesn’t look delicious!

    I I have only been layering coco mlle. over coco. That’s it. I’m boring.

    If you read this, please note that I am having big trouble posting to the site from my other computer. For some reason, the width of the comment space is too narrow for all of the text. I switched over to Space Girls, got a “fatal error” message, and kept getting kicked off the internet.

    Maybe it’s just not meant to be anymore…


    • Tania says:

      I’m finding the comments are too wide for the space they’re in, too!

      Maybe it’s an Internet Explorer thing? I don’t have the same problem in Firefox. And this is not the only site where I’ve found the comments get truncated to the side when viewed using IE.

    • March says:

      no no no! It has to be! If you come back, tell me what you’re using — Firefox? Any details? Maybe we can try it out in different platforms and see if there’s a fix.

  • pyramus says:

    I don’t ordinarily layer, at least not on purpose, but I mix and match Demeters all the time, because most of them consist of a single note or idea, so you don’t have to worry about clashing, at least not usually. Heck, they even sell sets of things that are meant to mixed, such as Waffle Cone plus Strawberry Ice Cream. And if you have a big enough collection of them–I have well over fifty–you can try combinations, however unlikely, until the end of time. Grass + Honeysuckle: Summer Day. Popcorn + Cotton Candy: Carnival. Waffles + Orange Juice: Breakfast. Eggnog + Fraser Fir: Christmas Eve. Marshmallow + Graham Cracker + Hershey’s Kiss: S’Mores. There’s no end to it.

    • March says:

      All the Demeter play sounds like so much fun! I have a bunch of their Giant Minis, which are so cheap and glorious. Do you have favorites? I probably wear Honey and Egg Nog more than anything, as disgusting as that sounds.

  • rachel says:

    March – you really made my day with this 🙂
    A brief transcript of this morning’s thoughts from hell:
    Standing at bus stop: “Yuk! What is that smell?! Smells like sperm. Urgh this bus stop is gross!”
    On the bus: “Eek. I still smell it. Holy cow, it must be me. Did I sit in something? Did I stand in something? Or lean in something? I think I’m going to be sick. Arggh. Wait… WTF?! It’s my perfume?!?!? But I wore it yesterday and it smelled fine. What’s going on. This is gross. How did this happen. I don’t understand. I’m mortified. The woman sitting next to me must hate me. I’m going to pretend to be busy with me cell phone…. and check Perfume Posse to take my mind of it. This is hell. I smell of sperm. I’m so embarrassed. I’m going to throw up…. Oh. Um. Guess it was the Neti Pot”.
    I had NO IDEA this could happen. I spent the whole day gagging from sperm smell. This has never happened before and I fully empathize with your plight! Thanks for the perfect, timely post or I’d never have worked it out. Bad sinuses suck!

    • March says:

      Wait. So maybe it IS the neti pot that’s causing the spermformation! I really miss smelling my perfumes.

  • Louise says:

    And one more…Sonia Rykiel Not! for Dudes, with a spritz of Ceremony. I think any dry incense woudl do-cuts through the sweetness of the Rykiel, brings out the incense. Ahhhhhh 🙂

  • Disteza says:

    Durnit I tried to post this earlier, but the whole thing tanked on me. Let’s see if it works now….

    Once I finally got over my issues with layering, I dove into the weird and wacky combinations with full abandon. If you’re looking to ease your way into layering, start by combining perfumes with individual accords (CB and DSH have a great selection), or by combing perfumes from the same house (usually they involve a similar bas, so they may play together better.) Below I’ve got some examples of my experiments, both good and bad.

    SL Rose de Nuit + SL El Attarine=Skanky, sexy perfection. Not for the timid.
    SL Iris Silver Mist + CdG Stephen Jones + DSH Black Leather accord=Weird Alien flowers, rocky leather; an avant-garde ice queen.
    ElDO Secretions Magnifique + PdE Ambre Russe. Do Not Attempt. Seriously.
    SIP Musc Botanique + Fracas + DSH Civet accord=Nuclear Flower Bomb(shell). Only if you think you can pull it off.
    Profumum Ichnusa + SIP Vine + Diptyque Tam Dao=Fruity, woody goodness.
    PG Coze + Guerlain SDV=The perfect way to butch up SDV.
    Ambre Narguile + SL Arabie=Not recommended unless you hate everyone around you.
    HdP Pivoine + L’Artisan The Pour un Ete+ Indult Tihota=Beautiful summer breeze.

    And for some advanced layering projects:

    MetB Green, Green Green… + Les Nereides Oppoponax + SL Santal de Mysore
    Aftel Cepes + VK Onda + OD Black Tourmaline

    • March says:

      ELdO + Ambre RUSSE?!?!!? HAhahahahahaha……..that is hilarious!! You are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more insane than I am. That’s like something I’d do on a dare. That and AN + Arabie. That would smell great on Louise, though.

      See, I couldn’t have said it better though about a framework for layering — Stephen Jones + ISM + DSH leather strikes me as particularly brilliant (although… wow, ISM is so strong on me I’d think it would dominate)…

      Sorry about the blog issues earlier, I’m hoping it’s the blog (and not the upgrade.)

  • AnnieA says:

    Just talked to an SA at Beauty Bar who says whenever she finds a perfume too severe she layers it with some coconut (oil?). Might be a good solution for summerizing certain perfumes…

  • Robin says:

    You’ve inspired me…going to try Theorema over Chaos. If I can find my sample of Chaos, we’ll see!

    • March says:

      I think you will like it. Also you need a break from WordPress. PS Now that we finally did our upgrade to the current version, I think we need some more tweaking. Our comments look odd.

      • Robin says:

        M, I adore WP but I do not adore moving. It is going to be at least 2 more weeks before I dig myself out of the whole mess. Do you remember ever moving house and SWEARING you would never move again? That’s me, at the moment. I hope we live at until we die.

        While you’re tweaking the comments, wish you’d add gravatars! It would be cool to start recognizing people at both places, and since I have such a dismal memory, I don’t always recognize them by user name alone.

  • divinemama says:

    I am a layering freak! Any or all of the Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes layer beautifully. Today I am wearing Myrrh Ardente layered with Ambre Fetiche, after reading about Hatshepsut and egyptian perfumes. The Chanels are also fun to play with…Coromandel layers wonderfully with No 22, and No 5 with Coco is lovely…just off the top of my head. Chanel No 19 with any iris perfume. Actually (to borrow one of your tics, March) No 22 layers nicely with many incense frags, including Passage D’Enfer. Yesterday I layered a small bit of Tom Ford’s Black Orchid edt with Montale’s White Aoud. I enjoy layering the Montale aouds quite a bit. Let’s see, a week or so ago I layered SL Santal Blanc with Nuit de Cellophane. Almost any perfume is fun to beef up with my rose/sandalwood/jojoba home blend. I know there are more…

    Thanks for all your comments, I am taking notes.

    • March says:

      The Orientalistes do layer nicely, although I swear I read somewhere that they didn’t plan/intend for people to do so. It seems like an obvious thing to do, doesn’t it? Thanks for the Chanel layering tips, I am looking forward to trying those. And Santal Blanc gives a nice woody boost to all sorts of vaguely dull sweet things.

      • divinemama says:

        I read that also on Helg’s (Perfume Shrine) wonderful interview with Isabelle Doyen. Seems like a no brainer to me too.

        Here is her quote from the interview…”For Les Orientalistes, we don’t recommend layering one another, this is something we usually don’t like, but in this case we noticed just that they harmonised quite well between themselves, maybe because they all are of the same kind.”

        I just ordered a bunch of Etro samples, which I hear layer very nicely. I fell in love with Shaal Nur and now I want to try more Etro’s.

  • Mariekel says:

    oooohh, I love this topic! My favourite discovery in perfume layering thus far has been giving Divine Divine a sublte thrashing with Norma Kamali Ceremony. The latter cuts through the sweet big florals and gives it a nice edginess that is not unlike a downplayed Chanel 22. Another winner has been SL 5 O’Clock Gingembre layered with Nely Rodi Incense — the gingery incense of the Rodi beefs up the ginger nicely and adds a bit of woody mystery.

  • zoe says:

    Gah, the blog ate my comment for breakfast.

    The Ambre Narguilé + L’Air du Désert sounds yummy and right up my alley! Mental note. Iris + rose sounds like one to try, too. It just might deprettify rose enough for me to enjoy it.

    My layering is pretty basic, when I do it. I found out almond/vanilla scents work well with cedar/incense frags. On the vanilla front, my poison of choice is Jour de Fête or Confetto or Léa st Barth – incense I get from Ouarzazate, Bois d’Encens, L’Air du Désert or Angélique Encens.
    Sometimes I spice up Hiris or TBS Poivre Rose (a near OJ Woman dupe, btw) with Tam Dao, but really Tam Dao is too pretty to be adultered.

    Still looking for a moderately-skanky-but-basic musk for layering purposes, too – should be interesting.

    • March says:

      I’m so sorry! The blog crapped out for awhile this morning, which I don’t think had anything to do with the update… I hope. Fingers crossed.

  • Shelley says:

    {sigh} It’s been an hour, and I still can’t think of the fabulous layering I did just last week. It was something with either Au The Vert, or Mandragore…rats…and in general, I am not layering crazy; nor am I layering averse.

    (Notice, I am stalling for time… REMEMBER, blast it…)

    Aw, shucks. I’ll come back. FYI, there seems to be some loading issues going on this morning. My success rate bringing you up is rather low…

    • March says:

      Well, MY success rate bringing us up was pretty low too. There seemed to be some other internets problem this morning which I am hoping is behind us. I hope you remember your layering combo!

  • rappleyea says:

    The only way to layer Mitsouko is to give the Queen plenty of time on center stage by herself – depending on your skin that can be any where from a couple of hours to most of the day. I discovered this by accident when I had put Mitsouko perfume on in the morning, but didn’t feel like wearing it that evening. I put some Philtre d’Amour EDP on over it and it was great! By then the Queen had finished ruling the kingdom for the day and was content to retire to the background.

    • March says:

      That does sound like a lovely combo. Although…. a bit of a cheat? Same house… maybe Mitsy doesn’t eat her own sisters. I’ll have to try that, I love Philtre. Thanks.

  • Linda says:

    Burning Leaves with anything vanilla. Yum.

    When I want to amp the skank in, say, Femininite du Bois, I apply a strongly scented lotion from Villainess — it’s The Girls Love Vanilla (the girls being bees, the scent being a Possets fragrance, and the lotion being tobacco-honey-vanilla-skank wow!) And I must say that that lotion really is what Sensuous needs.

    Sensuous is nifty layered with Monyette Paris, by the way. It’s candy-store sweet but yummy anyway.

    The weirdy was Ambre Narguille with L’air du Desert Marocain. It wasn’t on purpose — I was wearing L’air and my partner smooched me while his Ambre Narguille was still wet. Absolutely breathtaking, but definitely a battle of wills… it would toggle over into one end or the other.

    • March says:

      Smackdown — AN and Desert Marocain! And I could see how they’d wrestle back and forth in an interesting way. That’s one I’d split between the arms rather than layering…

  • sweetlife says:

    So many great ideas! I did all my commenting on the way down here, so I’ll just add that I really like the new commenting layout, though I, too, miss the emoticons. Posse was the first forum to break me of my emoticon snobbery!

  • Kathryn says:

    Les Nez L’Antimatiere is great layered with just about everything. It’s essentially just basenotes (oak moss, musk and ambergris), so it’s especially useful in rescuing things that seem a bit thin but are otherwise really nice, the way most L’Artisans are on me. It doesn’t really change the top & middle notes, but it can anchor and amplify them.

  • AmyR says:

    You guys are VERY inventive! Afraid my my go-to this winter has been alot less so – Keiko Mecheri layered under CB’s Gathering Apples. Gives some depth to the mouthwatering smell of the apples. For evenings, Nars Body Glow II oil with Fracas (which I think I heard about hear a year or so ago!) – a tropical paradise.

    • March says:

      The KM and the CB sound like one of those genius combination. You’re scaring me a little with Fracas/NARS, but I’m scared of Fracas already, it wears me rather than the reverse. Gorgeous scent.

  • Meliscents says:

    I’ve tried Fracas & Bandit. Fracas is a little sweet for me sometimes so a few dabs of Bandit does it. I’ve also found that quite a few of the Estee Lauder fragrances work together. And according to her autobiography she designed them that way. Yea, I’m kind of a perfume dork! I love Private Collection lotion with Azuree or Estee and another (that I think I read here first) is Azuree Soleil Skinscent with Azuree. YUM! Oh and another New/Vintage combination I came upon that smells pretty cool is Calvin Klein’s Secret Obsession lotion with a spritz of Lucien Lelong’s Indiscret. They both have this spicy, plum note that works well together.

    • March says:

      Oh, I’ll have to try the two Azurees, that sounds like a really interesting combination! And I love your mass market/highbrow combination.

  • karin says:

    Good morning everyone! March, I’ve layered Mitsouko with Vanilia cause I wanted a bit of vanilla added to M. Try it and tell me what you think. I think it worked out pretty well. I have EDT of Mitsouko, though. Not the greatest formulation apparently. I haven’t had a chance to sniff the EDP or parfum!

    • March says:

      I can see how that would work out, since Guerlain and vanilla go hand in hand…. I’m definitely going to try it!

  • Marsi says:

    I love, love, love a couple of spritzes of SL Fleurs d’Orange over SL Fumerie Turque. It is my husband’s favorite sniff on me.

    • sweetlife says:

      Oooh! I am totally trying this. Both of them are often just a bit much of what they are for me, but together–I can totally see it!

  • Nava says:

    I’m not a big layer-er, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve:

    Laura Tonnato Plaisir & Skin Musk: Comfort beyond words.

    Fresh Sugar and Kiehls Vanilla Perfume Oil: Lemon meringue pie.

    Philosophy The Fragrance and Ava Luxe Coconut Perfume Oil: I don’t know what to call this one, but it rocks in hot weather.

    I can’t imagine Theorema and Chaos together. Must investigate that…

  • Natalie says:

    Fresh sperm, as opposed to, say, stale sperm? (I think this whole post and all the comments are getting caught in the sperm — er, I mean spam — filter.)

    I’m a bit of a wimp on the layering front myself, but since perfumes often turn unbearably sweet on me, I have a secret weapon for tamping down the sugar: Tauer Incense Extreme. I think Robin at NST recommended this, and it works like a charm, although the IE does get drowned occasionally in the sucrose seas.

    • March says:

      Yep. Stale sperm is horrid. It’s the signature scent of the unkempt bedroom of the teenage boy.

      Those sugar-tampers are always useful, particularly in today’s age. 🙂 I think I use Santal Blanc or Tam Dao the same way. If it’s still horrible I then bury the whole mess in either Mitsouko or Youth Dew. 🙂

      • Natalie says:

        Oh ugh, teenage boy smell… I’d always thought it was pure hormones, but it makes so much sense that stale sperm would be a component too.

        All this layering talk makes me think you should do a post on fragrance smackdown matches — pit the real heavyweights against each other and see who wins: “In this corner, weighing in at 500 pounds of solid tuberose, we have… Frrrracas! And her opponent across the ring, the purple grenade herself… Poisonnnn!”

  • elizablue says:

    Truly pedestrian perhaps–and not a hint of sperm in sight,lol–i like to layer classic Youth Dew with Youth Dew Amber Nude…and yes, I do so sparingly and wayyy ahead of going out the door. I also like a dab of patchouli to “dirty-up” almost anything I can think of…I like that “Smells like hippie in here!”/sophisticate combo…like with Allure, for example. Natural food store body sprays (like geranium) are a nice layering foundation, as are certain lotions (Kiss My Face Peaceful Patchouli again)or Shalimar lotion(powdery and clean-ish and I don’t love it on its own, I also like Madeleine Mono for a sweet white floral base, and all kinds of vanilla lotions.Not true layering I suppose but creates an interesting and lasting effect…

    • Meliscents says:

      Yea, the Youth Dew/Amber Nude thing does work. I have the Amber Nude body cream that gets darker & sexier with a bit of Youth Dew. It also works with TABU. A word of warning though! Go lightly or be prepared to “gas out” an entire neighborhood!! 🙂

  • Olfacta says:

    Tocade and Femme, to add a little cootchie to the sweet (did I just say that?!) — that kind of morning I guess — this is one I use for sleeping.

    I must try Bandit with Femme though! I think the latter is great for layering in general.

    Silences and Eau de Cartier, to sweeten the bitter a bit.

    And, for the gym: A bit of bergamot oil and Aeromarine’s Mousse de Cheyne perfume essence, which is citrusy/bitter, and a little bit of Jardin sur le Nil on my T-shirt. It’s more subtle than it sounds, and is good self-defense when the guy who never bathes climbs onto the eliptical next to mine, because it lasts until I wash it off.

    I remember reading an interview with Jerry Hall in the 70’s, when she was All That, in which she said she wore different perfumes on different pulse points, all at once. At the time, I thought that was, er, a little trashy. But I do it now with the samples and it’s delightful.

    • March says:

      I know, but I can’t remember if she means OLD Femme or new Femme? Think she means new, the cuminy one.

      Heh. I’ve done that with the tee shirt, right under my nose, I figure I can’t offend anyone that way. Problem is I have to switch the scents up, I don’t want one associated with gym smells.

  • Millicent says:

    You people are brave! I layer either timidly (Ambre Sultan or Labdanum to dirty up florals) or when I don’t really like something, such as Chergui. CB’s Burning Leaves is good with Chergui. I also have a seemingly-endless bottle of vanilla-tangerine-sandalwood body lotion that’s lovely, but not always perfume friendly. My best combination is New Haarlem over the lotion, which calls itself the Continental Breakfast: pastry, juice and coffee.

    • March says:

      Oooh, Burning Leaves over Chergui to cut the sweetness sounds brilliant. And you’ve identified why I don’t wear a lot of scented lotion. 🙁 Some unfortunate combos there.

      • Francesca says:

        I ran out of my good moisturizer and made do with something a guest accidentally left at my house. I thought I was going to, as Dorothy Parker would say, Fwow up.

  • Melissa says:

    Oh no! I wrote, I posted and it all disappeared with a message saying “this link is broken”. So if a similar post suddenly reappears…

    Anyway, Louise, the layering queen, stole my original combination, which also consisted of coffee spritzed/spat onto computer monitor. Accidental, a little electric, but still rather dull. But then most of my combos are accidental and generated by wild sampling expeditions; you know, the ones where you’re out sniffing your arms for bare skin and asking your friends to smell your elbows?

    Current (intentional) favorite combinations tend to be a simple fragrance, like a musk, layered over something more complex. Gady Musk (or really any musk) over Ferre for Men is nice. I just tried Hiris over LPDR Rose Praline and loved the way that the iris added some earthiness to the sweet, soft, gourmandy rose.

    Hope you ditch the neti pot soon!

    • March says:

      I’m so sorry! The site was completely down for me for about 20 minutes and now it looks different again. Expect further tweaking, probably.

      Musk, whether clean or dirty, can really dress up a scent, can’t it? That’s how I wound up with SL Clair de Musc in the first place — not so much on its own, but because I kept spraying my little sample on top of things I found boring. 🙂

    • Louise says:

      Hi M! Happy 26th 😉 (I really needed the rose emoticon)

    • March says:

      Dang! Where’s my birthday emoticon when I need it?!?!

  • Elle says:

    Haven’t been layering as much recently, but used to w/ wild and happy abandon. There were scents I thought were just made for layering – 10CC, Tam Dao, MPG Santal, Ambre Sultan spring to mind. I think FdB and Poison sounds like it has great potential! Must try. My accidental layering that sounds bizarre, but works (on me) is YSL Y parfum and Yosh Trompeur (and if not directly layered, they work brilliantly as very close neighbors on my skin). For days when I want to kill myself w/ honey overload, I do (in miniscule amounts of each) Botrytis and Amoureuse (for less of a Death by Honey vibe I go w/ Bois de Paradis w/ Botrytis). I also think a lot of the L’Artisans layer quite well w/ each other. My faves are Mechant Loup w/ Tea for Two or Ambre Extreme, Eau de Navigateur w/ Vaniglia and Verte Violette (which I don’t love alone) w/ Passage d’Enfer. I love layering Tam Dao w/ almost any violet or rose scent and Agraria Bitter Orange or MPG’s Secret Melange work w/ almost any sandalwood or other woodsy scent. MKK works well w/ any simple honey scent. Oh, and Chergui is lovely w/ a bit of Yosh’s Temperare 3.

    • Elle says:

      Forgot to add how much I love CB’s accords for layering. His Hay w/ Tea/Rose is one of my fave spring scents and I use his leather and tobacco accords w/ a large number of floral scents (especially rose, violet and iris). Oh, and love Bandit parfum or VIP Room w/ Coco.

    • March says:

      I think I stole the original concept of layering 10CC or Tam Dao from you, hon.

      And not to get us permanently trapped in the spam filter, but … you and your honeys. You are my scent twin often. You don’t get that … that damp, spermy note from honey? Often/a lot? Like I laughed, I put on your lovely samp of SMN Cuba and there it was! But then I remembered Lee and I had tried it before and it happened to us. It must be some musky aspect of the honey that does that on me, although not all the time. (Where’s my blushing emoticon?)

      Huh. And yes, “adjacent” perfumes are a whole different way to go. And/or to have something on one wrist and something else on the other, so you get whiffs of both, but separately. That can be delightful.

      • Elle says:

        The gods of skin chemistry have been kind to me when it comes to how honey notes work on me – don’t really get that spam filter note. 🙂
        *Love* all the responses to this post! I can’t wait to try all these new combos!

    • sweetlife says:

      Ooooh, Elle, you are giving me ideas! Never would have thought about layering Botrytis with Amoureuse or Bois de Paradis but I’m game! Have you tried it with Songes? Just a tiny bit of each, mind you…

      • sweetlife says:

        OK — coming back to say I tried Botrytis and Bois de Paradis, just a tiny bit of each, and oh my goodness gracious that is very fine, and not at all what I was expecting. Instead of honey I got wine, wine, wine, all the way. Absolutely delicious. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

      • Elle says:

        Songes! Definitely must try that! Thanks! 🙂 So far I’ve only layered Songes w/ vanilla and amber scents and w/ CB’s Hay accord(a fave of mine for layering w/ florals).

    • Vasily says:

      I’m not big on layering, but I’m kind of partial to MPG Santal Noble with Ava Luxe Cafe Noir. Also, I’ve layered Jo Malone’s Black Vetiver Cafe with her Blue Agave and Cacao.

  • Francesca says:

    Oh, God, that cake!

    Why does layering scare me? I should play around with all those Nicolaï samples I got, several of which didn’t really do much for me.

    My only layering was accidental, too–scarf still permeated with the day before’s Coromandel when I was wearing 31RC. OK, Chanel/Chanel= pretty timid, probably.

    I wonder what what Eau du Sud plus Mandragore would be like?

    • March says:

      They did a whole story about those cakes made by the Smith Island ladies, plus a recipe. Unfortunately the story dimmed my ardor. Some of them use canned icing, and ew. Like that is the “tradition.” That one right there looks rather fetching, though.

      I think the PdNs might layer very nicely, they’re sort of thematic, and ditto about Sud and Mandragore. In fact I might try that 🙂

      • Francesca says:

        The canned frosting thing (Ew is right)reminds me a bit of my beloved aunt, who used to make beautifully crocheted blankets and things in awful colors and shiny acrylic yarn, and exquisite embroidery of really (unintentionally) kitschy images.

        One thing about the new format I like is the fact that I don’t have to type in my name and email address every time.

        • sweetlife says:

          I think your aunt and my maternal grandmother shopped at the same hobby store, Francesca! I still have a really gorgeously crocheted afghan that I can’t bear to throw away. I hoped the years and repeated washings would dull its electric blue background, but alas…

        • March says:

          I’ve been buying those on eBay! Because I never had a crazy aunt to knit them for me. I scared the crap out of Musette, sending her images of the ones I was bidding on. I had this big laugh when she finally answered me in relief something along the lines of, okay, as long as you agree that they’re ugly. 🙂

          • carter says:

            I just got a catalog in the mail and there’s a huge handbag made out of one. Ugliest thing I’ve ever seen…want the info?

          • March says:

            I dunno. Is it cheap? I’m not sure I’m ready to take my nasty little habit outside the home, for all the world to ridicule. (I’m talking ugly afghans, not perfume). btw my husband actively loathes our new collection. 🙂 He comes from a family of “taste,” bless him.

          • carter says:

            It’s cheap alright, but the price is pretty reasonable:

      • Francesca says:

        Ooh, I just came up with something–Eau du Sud and Eau de Sisley. Citrus, basil, tomato leaves. Will be good to wear to the Kent Farmers’ market this summer.

      • Louise says:

        Wait! Isn’t canned icing the stuff that’s supposed to be eaten directly from the container between the hours of 2 and 4 am? Maybe I’m confused…

        • March says:

          Well, precisely. You aren’t supposed to actually bake with it. We go all the way, the girls get the white one with the sprinkles already in it. 🙂

        • sylvia says:

          preferably using a chocolate teddy graham as a scoop

  • Louise says:

    Mmmm, fresh sperm in the morning, layered with the coffee I just spat out 🙂 March you have offended my oh-so-delicate sensibilities, you know how pure I am in this regard….

    One good layering accident-Onda over Musc Ravageur-I know sounds deadly, but it worked.

    Black Cashmere layers well with anything…yesterday it was the bottom layer under Tonnato’s Anni Venti.

    And Bell’Antonio works with any tobacco to punch it up, cut the sweetness-Fumerie Turque, Vento Canale, CB Tobacco accord.

    Off to refill my cup and regain my composure!

    Feel better, darling

    • March says:

      I could see Onda and Musc Rav working beautifully … hey check out how adorable the emoticons look in the comments column to the right! They’re 3D *and* they move! I wonder if we can load THAT in… where was I? Sorry about the coffee, hope it wasn’t your laptop. That’s a great idea about Bell Antonio.

  • Lee says:

    Dashing in to say in a totally killjoy way – I don’t layer.

    What a dreary puritan I am! 😛

  • Tommasina says:

    Musette’s layering was Bandit + Femme, I believe.

    I am much more tame: I like Demeter Always Sexy with Theorema (goregous, really!) or with Voluspa Brown Sugar Jasmine or L’Occitane Amber. Yes, they’re sweeeet! Others have been Angel with Montale Patchouli Leaves or Mazzolari Patchouly; Lacoste Inspiration with Lalique Amethyst (blackberry and apple pie a go-go); Hypnotic Poison with Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia (yesterday, from testers). There are many others but my mind is as frozen as my fingers right now (in order to be on The Interwebs, I am at my mother’s i her absence: no heating.) I generally put on at least two fumes at a time – though never on top of each other: my layering – such as it is – tends to be one on tops of arms; one on inner forearms; possibly a third on torso + / or back of neck. I like to get wafts from different body parts as I move…

    • Tommasina says:

      “goregous”, indeed :0{

    • March says:

      Whooops, I skipped you! But those different body parts, that can be lovely. Then you’re getting a bit here, a bit there… it’s nice that way. You can enjoy the separate personalities of the fragrances. And you can definitely brave a higher level of sweetness!

    • Musette says:

      Yes! Thank you Tommasina! I thought it was my “Lawd, help me” layer of Femme over Fracas (I’ll give you 1/2 of a guess who won:-o

      Meliscents: Fracas and Bandit? Hmmmm……must try!

      I didn’t realize this was today’s post (I’m a day off in nearly everything) but here’s what I just wrote Missy March in an email:

      “was it Fracas/Femme? I think that was it. I had another one which was way worse (Fracas, btw, is an Unstoppable Force. NOTHING can stop Her. Nothing. I put Fracas on, knowing that it is there to stay for the entire day, well into night and whatever I’m wearing will have to be cleaned.

      Anyway, the Way Worse one was Lorenzo Villoresi Teinte Neige. I dunno what Sr V put in that juice but its tenacity is rrruff! And it has Patty’s patented Tampax Accord. Yow! 3 scrubs! Then I had to put Mitsouko on top, just to shut it the hell up.

      I swear, the only thing worse than that LVTN is Clinique AE, better known as Aromatics of Dooooom!”

      post email:

      I defy anyone to find something to layer over that. Any takers?

      btw – you may have noticed that I rarely layer for fun – it’s almost always the result of something really bad happening. However, I have done one really lovely layer recently and I did it On Purpose: Liz Zorn’s Violet’s and Rainwater under L’Artisan Verte Violette. As you guys may have noticed, I’m not that sophisticated in my tastes (not yet anyway) – what I was trying to do was up the violet amps without getting that weird ‘draggy’ thing that happens to some violet frags. The VV is very lean – more green than violet – the LZ Violets and Rainwater helps ground it and the VV helps cut that tad of heaviness inherent in the V&R (sometimes just a tad ‘much’ in the early morning – it’s perfect by itself after noon).

      I don’t think I have the noive to layer the Old Femme with anything. For one thing I don’t have enough of it to be careless (I have fallen madly in love with it) and for another, she scares the crap out of me. Like Mitsouko, I don’t think she would take well to that attempt and might come after me, in the night, with an axe!


      • March says:

        It was NEW Femme, right? That you put on with Fracas? That makes me giggle. Honestly, I can’t imagine. OLD Femme and Fracas might be kind of interesting. OTOH it might get ugly.

        Weirdly, I could see Femme and Bandit totally working, although I’d want an older iteration of Bandit for that. Same house. And Bandit would be the dirty bottom to Femme’s top.

        PS LV Teint is disgusting. That’s all I’m saying. It crops up all the time on people’s comfort scent lists, and urk. However, I am not a powdery scent fan, and TdN is all about the powder.

      • carter says:

        I am sitting here still somewhat nauseous and in a daze from the whole sperm cake business, trying to figure out how and what terrible events could force you at gunpoint to layer. You have an extremely interesting and vibrant life and I am deeply envious.

  • lapidary says:

    Ormonde Jayne woman over Tam Dao. I know, it is heresy to layer any of the Ormonde Jaynes, but I did, and I like it. I love the OJ but sometimes it’s a bit cloying, and the Tam Dao anchors it in the spicy woody dry way I love.

    • March says:

      Sorry — blog hiccup. for some reason it’s taking forever to load this morning.

      I think lots of people use Tam Dao for layering. It adds a nice sandalwoody sheen. Particularly great if something’s too sweet.

      • Miranda says:

        It wouldn’t overpower the black hemlock? Just making sure before I order a sample of Tam Dao! Love the Ormonde Jayne Woman.

  • Liesl says:

    I layered Addict over Ambre Extreme a couple months ago and the effect was something like a Victoria’s Secret lotion I wore in college. Not bad, but not so much my thing anymore.

    I’m not a sample whore. I’m a sample serial monogamist.
    Hey, where are the emoticons??

    • March says:

      For some reason this cracks me up. There ought to be a perfumista word or phrase for, I layered Jicky and Golconda and I got something that smelled like BBW Naughty Berry Musk.

      The emoticons left, they were too embarrassed to be seen on this blog anymore. (Boy, that Pinocchio one would be useful here.) We’ll try to figure out how to plug them back in. Until then you can just type creative punctuation combos. I see Musette figured out how to make her signature alien. 😉

  • carter says:

    I’m sorry but I am fixated on the words “fresh sperm” and the cake.

  • mharvey816 says:

    My favorites are not always for the weak of heart:

    Tom Ford Black Orchid over Poison
    SL 5:00 Gingembre over AP Bois d’Encens

    and the one I dared do today just because:

    YSL Rive Gauche INTENSE over Paloma Picasso EDP

    It’s still there just ever so slightly after only one spritz of each at 8am. Mmmmm…it’s chypre-rific!

    • March says:

      Wow. BO over POISON?!? Woman, you are brave. Hm. I have both, I might have to try that.

      I like the idea of the Rive Gauche and PP, I can see how that would work.