More than 1,200 perfumes were launched last year, and at least 1,000 new ones will come out this year. To put those numbers into perspective, only 76 new scents were released in 1991.
With so many fragrances to choose from, you'd think that finding your ideal scent would be easier. But how many times have you smelled a perfume and wished it were a hint sweeter or a little lighter? Instead of sniffing thousands of scents in search of the perfect one (which sounds like a major headache — literally!), wouldn't it be great if you knew how to wear the perfume you already have — better?
That's where layering fragrances comes in. "Ideally, layering is about choosing a body wash and lotion that will help extend your scent throughout the day," says Franco Wright, co-owner of the Scent Bar in Los Angeles.
Not only can you make your fragrance last longer, there are tricks to change your scent for different seasons or wear it in unique ways for more impact. Basically, how you wear perfume is just as important as the fragrance you wear. So, follow these tips to get the most out of your favorite perfume now.
One and two-note scents are ideal for layering. "Simplicity makes fragrances more approachable," says Scent Bar co-owner Adam Eastwood. "They're unfussy and casual at the same time — you don't have to think too much about it." Wright says that vanilla, amber, or coconut-based scents are also easy to layer because these notes tend to go well with everything.
The only time you should avoid layering fragrances altogether is if you're dedicated to a statement perfume. "With something like Chanel No. 5 you don't want to overwhelm the fragrance — it's meant to be distinct," says Eastwood. "You want to go unscented with your bath and body products if you're wearing a scent like this."
Understand your fragrance family
When selecting bath and body products to layer with your fragrance, there's one piece of advice that trumps all others: Pick products in the same fragrance family. "If you wear a gourmand scent, choose a gourmand body lotion and shower gel," says Wright. "And the same goes with citrus or floral."
To make things easy, you can always buy the ancillary products that go along with your favorite fragrance. We love Kiehl's Aromatic Blends in Nashi Blossom & Pink Grapefruit, $75, which has a matching body lotion and body cleanser. The scents are each slightly different, but they all use the Japanese Nashi Blossom. Using all three will give you a more intense and longer lasting fragrance.
Use lotion to change your scent for the season
With fall approaching, you may want to alter your signature scent for the cooler weather. "It's exciting to change your fragrance with the season," says Wright. "As we head into fall, everyone gets excited to wear darker and more exotic fragrances." Instead of buying a new perfume, try adding amber to your routine. "Amber is a friendly note that works well with others," says Eastwood. "It's warm and nuzzly — ideal for nighttime or colder seasons." Look for amber in body products, like Scent Bar for Target Forbidden Body Butter, $9.99, which will give you a rich base and warm up your scent.
Think of shower gel as your foundation
While the scent of your body wash may not last very long, it does affect the way you wear perfume. "When you start with a shower gel, you get a refreshing fragrance on the skin right away," says Wright. Unless you're using a body wash that matches your fragrance exactly, start with a light, neutral scent like L'Occitane Captivant Shower Gel, $20, which is fresh and zesty with lime and green notes.
Keep your skin moisturized
Whether you pick a fragrance-free version or you choose a body lotion that will enhance your perfume, hydration is extremely important. "The more moisturized you are, the longer a fragrance will last on your skin," says Wright.
To add a warm, rich component to your scent opt for Nest Moroccan Amber Body Cream, $32. If you tend to like lighter, greener fragrances, apply Nest Moss & Mint Body Cream, $32, which is zesty and refreshing with garden mint and apple blossom notes.
Spritz your hair
Of course you want your hair to smell great, but your shampoo and conditioner can only do so much. Try using your hair as an unexpected place to wear your favorite perfume. "Hair is a great fragrance diffuser and probably the best spot to spray fragrance if you want to make an impression," says fragrance guru Frederic Malle. However, Malle warns that a fragrance that's high in alcohol can dry out your hair. Instead of using your regular perfume, Malle suggest fragrances that are designed specifically for the hair. He recently launched a hair mist, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Brume Pour Cheveux, $160, which is a lighter version of his best-selling scent. Some mainstream fragrances also have hair mists such as Justin Bieber Someday Swept Away Hair Mist, $20. But, any alcohol-free scent will work well, and a perfume oil could even double as a frizz-tamer.
Don't worry about your deodorant
Wright and Eastwood say that most powdery, lightly-scented deodorants won't affect your fragrance. So, our advice is to keep using what works, not necessarily what pairs well with your perfume.
Want more perfume news? Click here to see the seemingly cheesy celebrity scents Total Beauty editors love to wear.