Layering It On – Scent pairings

Nabisco Mallomars

My Preciousssssss

Hi, darlings!  I’m headed to Chicago to sample the Le Labos before they vanish for another two years (eager to try the Dubai Cuir-whatever ; the perfume boards are abuzz about this one).  And I’m going to stock up on Mallomars! Did you know this marks the 100th anniversary of Mallomars?  Sho’ nuff!  I am going to eat 100 of them in celebration!    Probably not all at once.  But I thought about it.

But enough about the World’s Most Perfect Cookie.  On to perfume, though it will be weird.  Huh.  Imagine that!  Okay – here’s the thing – I realized a little while ago that I was missing out on a really great opportunity.  See, I mostly work alone and, as I have mentioned, my shop guys couldn’t care less what perfume I wear.  Heck, most days they probably can’t even smell it, what with the hot steel and general metal-dust fabulosity.  So why am I being so dainty and hidebound with my fragrance.  Why not experiment!?  If it goes awry I can always wash it off.  And since I work solo WHY NOT WEAR A BIG OL’ BOATLOAD OF PERFUME!  I figured most of them would be Pymalion-like, with a few Dr. Frank’s thrown in for grits and shins.  Here’s what happened when I decided to have some fun, pick out some notes and see what they might play nice with on the Perfume Playground (note:  most of them are rose-centric because it’s early Autumn and I wear a lot of roses now.    And I like rose-based cremes a lot!)

Amouage Epic Body Wash/Body Creme + Tribute Attar = Holy Schnikies!   There is no way to describe this Clash of the Titans.  I was afraid they would cancel each other out but the smoky dark rose of Tribute was smoothed out by the resin-y roundness of the Epic and it took off like a Renee Fleming aria.  It took awhile, though.  For the first 10 minutes I had to stand outside.

Parfums de Rosine Secrets du Rose body creme + vintage Diorling.   I swear, this should’ve worked.  The rosy leather in the Secrets should’ve blended nicely with the lush leather of the vintage Diorling.  Instead I got something akin to the Sons of Anarchy punching each other out at Snooki’s wedding!

Pacifica Persian Rose Body Butter + vintage Amouage Ubar.  Once they stop rolling around, slapping the daylights out of each other on the Persian carpet, this upscale Mallrat and the Bodacious Bedouin  wriggle into the Spanx and head to the Capital Grille for Happy Hour.  One of them is wearing press-on nails.

Diptyque Creme Riche and Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient (and no, I have yet to find that damn dryer sheet)….okay, this one is a thing of beauty!  The weird little cold-cream/rose/incense thing that rolls UNDER the creme (which is what makes it so intriguing)…it really amps the rose-incense in Encens and makes it even more interesting than it already is.


Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom body butter+ Cartier Fougueuse = I thought for sure this would work, thinking the rather subtle lemon tang in the body butter  would cut that slight oily note in the hay.  Yah.  No.  These 3rd grade girls hissed and spat at each other and ratted to the teacher about copying each other’s test answers.  sigh.  Who would’ve thought a little lemon and  a bit of hay could create so much drama!


Amouage Jubilation 25 Body Creme and (drum roll, please)…….pre-reformulation Mitsouko edp. Stop!  DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME.  Or anywhere.  I thought ‘hey!  the cumin-y oakmoss will go so beautifully with the cumin-y-frankincense!!’  I put on a lot of creme.  And a lot of Mitsouko.   Next thing I know the Sheriff, the NSA and a Hazmat Team were hammering down my door!.


Not Mine but Have to Share: Chanel No 22 layered with a Victoria’s Secret pink perfume.  Gabrielle’s thigh bones are no longer connected to her leg-bones.  In fact, they’ve flown out of the grave altogether!!   Spinnin’ will do that do a gal.


Have any of you tried some wack combos?  The Good, The Bad, the Really, Really UGLY – tell!!!

  • Anne says:

    I was recently gifted with a sample of Norma Kamali’s Incense (Whoa! Let the pining begin!)), so I was wearing a smidge around the house. I had to go out later, so I spritzed on some vintage Coco. A friend said, “OMG – you smell soooooo good.” And I realized I had accidentally created a layering of the sacred (Incense) and the profane (Coco). Why separate these things? It’s more realistic anyway…

  • Lynley says:

    Wow, things I learn about on these posts that make me as depressed as the lack of perfume range here in Aus- Mallomars and Lindt Spekuloos chocolate 🙁 anyone wanting to send a care package will be loved forever 😉

    About the layering though, I know there have been a few but the only one I remember is Bois d’encens with Vanille Absolument, or any vanilla, as sometimes it’s just a bit too churchy and cold..

  • KirstenMarie says:

    YAY!!!!! My grandma lived in Naperville for years. Glad they came through for you. Savor every chocolately gooey bite!!

  • Jennifer Smith says:

    I found that BBW Japanese Cherry Blossom body mist layers nicely with YSL Y when the Y is just a bit too green/dry for that day (or conversely if the BBW JCB is too sticky-sweet it gets it’s oakmoss amped up ).
    On a fail note vetiver type scents don’t seem to layer well with clean hairsprayish florals (at least not on me ) I end up smelling like burning hair when I’ve tried it.Total scrubber.
    Fresh Pink Jasmine and Rodger & Gallet Vetyver were the culprits in case anyone is wondering.

  • Laurels says:

    My only successful attempt at layering is Coco edt (it seemed…thin) with Yves Rocher Vanille Noire. It was my very first attempt, and apparently a fluke.

  • Sally McSweeney says:

    Gawd, but them Mallomar thingies look suspiciously like what we used to call “Chocolate Tea Cakes” back in the olden days when I was growing up across the pond. They had a thin cookie base, marshmallow center with a tiny bit o’ raspberry jam in the middle, and a thin chocolate coating. Same shape – like little mounds. I havent been able to find them here but maybe Mallowmars would be a good subsititute (if they have them on the west coast).
    Hmmmm layering – I am generally a weenie when it comes to this these days – I usually do the lotion and perfume of the same name – I have Mitsouko, Shalimar & Samsara lotions and vintage juice which I love. BUT back in the big hair days of the 80s I was an Opium addict (that didnt come out quite right…) and used to single handedly keep YSL afloat. Bath oil, body lotion, powder, then parfum – open those windows!!
    I had a couple of marvellous orange vanilla candles and thought if I layered Bal a Versailles with Guerlains Spiritueuse Double Vanille, I would smell like them. I can only blame it on all of the Opium having seeped into my brain over those years. Hideous does not describe it. There endeth my brief foray into the world of layering…

    • Musette says:

      those with the jam are around – I don’t know what they’re called here but I’ve seen them.

      Holy schnikies! BaV and SDV! My nose just…burst!


  • Kim B says:

    Braver soul than I are you!! The most adventurous I get with layering is with Lutens – Chergui & Chene both go nicely with Un Lys, Un Bois Vanille, or Douce Amere. Also Sa Majeste La Rose is great with any of these. Oh, and so is Fumerie Turque.
    Sorry, can’t get into MalloMars – I like my chocolate like my whiskey – straight up, no adulteration!

  • Martha says:

    Hmmm, Mallomar, Not my thing. But I completely understand cravings for the familiar and the uncomplicated, like my obsession with Thin Mints Girl Scout cookies. I do not buy them because I will just sit down and eat an entire sleeve in one sitting.

    O.K., I layered SSS Incense Pure with Micallef Rose Extreme. They didn’t exactly blend, but they didn’t exactly clash either. I was just trying to find a way to sweeten the Incense Pure and tone down the sticky rosiness of Rose Extreme.

    • Musette says:

      if you can get your hands on a tube of the Pacifica Persian Rose body butter, try that with the SSS – I don’t like its plasticky goodness on its own but somehow it has become THE BASE for when I want to sweeten a smoky fragrance. It works where other, more expensive rose creams don’t! Huh.


  • One combo that was really nice for me was SL Bas de Soie with Kilian Flower of Immortality over it. This was with samples I don’t have anymore. I didn’t like FoI enough by itself to get more of it. Maybe if it were cheap it would be fun to have around for layering.

    I like layering the Pacifica solids. I have Persian Rose, Mexican Cocoa and Spanish Amber, and I sometimes wear various combinations of those. Cocoa with Amber, Rose with Cocoa, all three together, etc.

    AC Vanille Insensee and Lush Lust are nice together.

    I had some Bond No.9 samples and for the hell of it I tried layering New York Oud, New Haarlem and Madison Soiree (I think that was the third one, anyway) together, and it worked pretty well.

    • Musette says:

      I thought I hated the Persian Rose body butter – then it turned out it’s a great base for a lot of scents where you want to amp the rose just a tad.


  • Annie says:

    My only exception to layering is on days when the first hour of ELO’s Rien is simply Too Much and I put on some Demeter Gingerale to distract myself until the Rien stops shouting.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    Take a look at my email and shoot me a mailing address if you’re desperate. I think they have enough preservatives to be ok. 😉

    • Musette says:

      they have enough preservatives to embalm a rhino! LOL! You are such a doll but I really can haul my MallomarButt up to Highland Park and pick them up! But you really are LOVELY to offer! xoxoxoA

      • KirstenMarie says:

        LOL, nah, we just understand the importance of chocolately marshmellow goodness and perfume. We’re passionate people! Okay, maybe some crazy, but like Alice said, all the best people are!

  • KirstenMarie says:

    We have Mallomars stacked up on end caps at the grocery stores here in VA!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    The last time I tried to layer perfume is when I used A La Nuit and Arabie. It worked okay. A La Nuit toned down the spice market of Arabie and added a floral aspect.

  • KirstenMarie says:

    I layered Putain des Palaces LIGHTLY under a spritz-it-then-walk-through-it of Ambre Russe. Ambre Russe can live in sweaters through spring and summer and greet you the next fall, so layering it with anything required a light touch. But the Putain des Palaces sweetness and luxury got steel bones in her lush satin corset with the Ambre Russe. I want to try the roses in Citizen Queen with AR next. 🙂

  • edpgypsy says:

    Thanks for the “recipes”. I have layered perfumes before but cannot for the life of me remember any of my mixes right now! Sheesh!

    • Musette says:

      Feelin’ yer pain – I only remembered these because I’d just done them! I rarely layer perfumes, btw – these are all creams/perfumes combos. I should probably try some perfume layering combos next.


  • Caroline says:

    Indeed, where in Chicago are you finding Mallomars? Do tell! Or perhaps STC can start carrying them as a winter treat–just ship separately from our perfume samples, please.
    I like L’Occitane’s almond shower oil layered with Une Fleur de Cassie. Also, ISM with Bas de Soie. Really need to layer more if I ever want to make a dent in my stash…

    • Musette says:

      see above for the Mallomars. DANGIT! I’m getting nervous. Probably going to have to hie up to Highland Park (which is a great ways away from Peoria area, alas) – I was so hoping Blue Goose would have them (I’m always up in the Western ‘burbs). DANGIT!

      I’m going to try the L’Occitane/UFdC combo – that sounds really intriguing!


  • Tiara says:

    Haven’t been brave enough to figure out different combinations. With my allergies, I can’t afford to have those pissy 3rd grade girls show up. Chuckled my way through this though. And come to think of it, I can’t say I’ve ever eaten a Mallomar. I’m so deprived. Perhaps you should do a giveway of some Mallomars?!

    • Musette says:

      Hon, I would giveaway some Mallomars if a) I could find the damn things and b) once I found them, I could let them hang around long enough to give away. Alas, that is unlikely to happen!

      Allergies mean one really has to ‘watch it!’. That Mitsouko drama tore my ragweed-busted nose to shreds!


  • Mals86 says:

    I don’t layer much. Or often. However, I do sometimes have some crossover with lotion + perfume, and sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn’t (though to be honest, I can’t remember the “ehhh, no” ones).

    Body Shop Moroccan Rose body cream is really great with either Chanel No. 19 or Silences. Lovely stuff.
    Body Shop Moringa cream is nice under just about any white floral (Amoureuse, Carnal Flower, you name it).
    Bath & Body Works Moonlight Path lotion is wonderful with No. 5.
    B&BW Aromatherapy Orange Ginger really perks up Jardin sur le Nil.

  • Heya Musette,
    Lately I’ve been wearing EPIC body lotion with Bellodgia vintage parfum. The roses are definitely friends and it gets a LOT of compliments.
    Portia xx

  • Tavogels says:

    Where do you get Mallomars in Chicago?!?! I’m in the suburbs, and they briefly appeared on our jewel/Dominick’s shelves a few years ago, never to be seen again. They have Pinwheels, instead. As if they could compare to Mallowars! Anyway, my mother drives out from the east coast to visit and brings a dozen or so boxes every fall. The kids and I hoard them all year. Have you ever tried them frozen? Yum!

    Enjoy your sniffing. Gorgeous weather for a day downtown!

    • Musette says:

      I was just at Potash (on State/Delaware?) yesterday – they didn’t yet have them. They have them at all the Sunset Foods (Highland Park/Lake Forest, etc) – that’s a bit of a haul for me but I will probably make the trek….because they’re Mallomars, dammit! Was hoping for them at Blue Goose in St. Charles. Alas, no joy.


      • Caroline says:

        I literally just got back from Sunset, and they didn’t have them! Will ask at the customer service desk next time.

        • Musette says:

          Caroline – which one? I just called HPark and they have ’em! Or else Grocery Guy LIED!


          • Caroline says:

            yep, the HP one (saw those pinwheel cookies). oh well, I’m there often enough that it’s no big deal. The Northbrook Sunset is closest to the tollway…maybe you should try that one sometime.

          • Musette says:

            I never take the tollway – hate it! I do the Green Bay drive up (grew up a block in from GBR so it’s ingrained). Those freakin’ ‘mars had better be there when I do! 😀


          • Musette says:

            UPDATE: DIdn’t have to go to Highland Park – found the ‘mars at the Jewel-Tea 🙂 in Naperville! Blessed be the Mallomar!


          • Caroline says:

            I’m going to be annoyed if I have to end up ordering them from Amazon. Naperville is practically Texas to us “north shore Nancys”!

      • Tavogels says:

        I’m not near a Sunset foods, but I may need to seek one out soon. They also carry another of my east coast favorites…Polar seltzer. This stuff is seriously addictive. If you make the trek for Mallomars, try a bottle of vanilla seltzer while you’re there. I swear you’ll leave with a whole case! The other favors are pretty awesome, too.

        • Musette says:

          Noooooo! I’m too far away as it is. I can’t trek 150miles for freakin’ SELZER! (puts fingers in ears ‘lalalalala’ ) 😀 xoxoA

  • Ann says:

    Hey sweetie! Love the Mallomar mention — now you’ve got me craving them. Think I’ll sneak out to the store for some while my son is at tennis practice 🙂 Haven’t done much layering lately, but when I remember what I’ve paired successfully in the past I’ll pop back in.

  • Michelle says:

    You are so awesome! I’ve yet to purposely layer, as I don’t have body products, but there are those days when I’m decanting, we call it “L’Explosif” with the fake French accent & all.

  • Tara says:

    My two favorite combos are Couvent des Minimes orange blossom cream with Carnal Flower, and JPG2 massage oil under L’Artisan Timbuktu. Yum!!
    I would like to ask for the prayers and positive thoughts of all my fellow perfumistas around the world for my BF’s lost suitcase which is filled with a fabulous perfume hall for me – may the baggage handlers find it and return it safely to us! 🙂

    • Musette says:

      I have the Couvent des M cream and, of course I have Carnal Flower. Trying that this pm!!!

      Sending out some hefty God-botheration for the return of that suitcase!!!!!!


    • FearsMice says:

      Tara, hope you got that suitcase with its precious cargo today!

      • Tara C says:

        I am happy to report the suitcase full of perfume arrived safely yesterday! 🙂 I am sitting in a lovely cloud of Sospiro Melodia right now.

  • Marie C says:

    The only combo I’ve ever come up with is Guelain’s Insolence with PG’s Bois Blond. Violet hay… But I like it.

  • Janice says:

    You’re brave! I haven’t tried layering much except with the very few things where I have the cream or lotion of the same scent—the safe paint-by-numbers, can’t-mess-it-up kind of layering. But I have to say that just last week I finally bought Encens Mythique d’Orient. I was going to be near a Guerlain boutique and I decided if they actually had it in the store, I would get it. And I was thinking even as I bought it, I wonder if Musette will figure out which laundry product smells just like this and tell me I could have saved all this money… but I’m really glad I got it. Now I’ll have to try it with a rose-based cream.

    • Musette says:

      I haven’t yet had a chance to peruse the dryer-sheet aisle – but I will soon! I wish I were anywhere near a Guerlain boutique. I thought, for a brief second, that SFA had the UAEs – but it was the Elixirs. Alas.

      The type of layering I do is only done ‘at home’ (aka Not ‘out’). Since most of my day is in my office, alone, I can get away with it. xoxoA