Saturday, September 13, 2008

Smell-O-Rama, or, a Long-Winded Tale on the Secret to Perfume Combining

People often ask me what perfume I am wearing, and that can be difficult to answer straightforwardly, because I love to mix and combine perfumes. I definitely have an obsession with mixing things -- I mix my shampoos and conditioners, I love to mix diet and regular soda (I trick myself into thinking this is not cheating), and I even mix my pasta and salad together -- weird but yummy!

One of my very first jobs was at a perfume cart at the mall -- Le Parfum Boutique (pronounced Lay-Parfoom-Bow-tique, with our Oklahoma accent). Whenever business was slow, I would smell and re-smell all the perfumes, trying out the ones I liked and mixing various scents out of curiosity. I began procuring quite a collection of perfumes, and when I would get bored with a scent, I would mix it with another to achieve an entirely new and unique fragrance. I have sort of become addicted to combining my perfumes now.

I'm definitely not one of those "signature scent" girls, in fact I'm a bit of a perfume slut. In other words, I get bored easily and move on. But, I do have certain scents that I keep coming back to (after a bit of a break), refreshing them by trying them out in combination with new stuff. There is some rhyme and reason to my combinations, and the secret to perfume combining, for me, is to mix a crisp/fresh scent with a sweet/oriental scent. This seems to give the smell a bit of complexity and balances out the two extremes.

Here are a few of my favorite recent combos, with the sweet/oriental scent represented on the left and the crisp/fresh scent on the right:

Brown Sugar & Fig, Bath and Body Works + Burberry Weekend.
Brown sugar and Fig is a very warm, sweet fragrance; it reminds me of something baking in the oven. Weekend is fresh and light, with a bit of tangerine.

Pink Sugar by Aquolina + Mandragore, Annick Goutal
People want to lick you when you wear Pink Sugar, seriously. It smells like cotton candy, vanilla, and caramel, all rolled into one. Mandragore is totally different -- very sophisticated, tangy, and mysterious.

Samsara by Guerlain + Lights by O Boticario
Samsara is a perfume I've worn off and on for a very long time; it's main note is sandalwood -- so soft and exotic. Lights is the absolute freshest, loveliest floral perfume I've ever encountered (O Boticario is a Brazilian perfume company, but you can buy their fragrances online).

Two days ago I went to Ulta and bought two new fragrances: Dolce and Gabbana's Light Blue (literally the longest lasting perfume I've ever worn!). It also won Sephora's "Best Of Sephora" award. This would fall into my "fresh" category. Description: Sicilian Citron, Bluebell, Granny smith apple, Jasmine, Bamboo, white Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Musk.

I also wanted a sweet, yummy smelling body lotion, so I took a risk with Jessica Simpson's new fragrance line, Fancy. While you may or may not be a follower of Jessica Simpson's career (I'm rather ambivalent, really), this scent is truly lovely!! It reminds me of a perfume called Hanae Morie that I used to wear, but it is less expensive. It just makes me feel flat-out pretty. Description: pear, apricot nectar and red fruit, leading to a delicate bouquet of gardenia and jasmine intermingling with distinctive notes of almond, caramel and vanilla creme.

And, yes, I plan on seeing how these smell when combined...


Savvy Mode SG said...

omg i do mix things too. soda and perfume.... : )

Anonymous said...

I've always been scared to mix perfumes in case it turns out deadly hehe I must try out some of these combos!

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there- I also love Samsara, a blast from the past!!

bronwyn said...

I also adore perfumes, although I must say it's never occurred to me to mix them before, perfume oils yes, but not proper perfume. Hmmmm...guess what I'll be doing next:) I love D&G Light Blue too and the normal "red" D&G.

WendyB said...

You're practically a chemist!

Emily said...

i wish i had the nose to mix scents...i might just have to go out and buy what you suggested because they all seem to work perfectly!

Anonymous said...

I bought Pink Sugar for my eleven-year-old--I adore it on her. Now she wears Juicy Couture.

My faves right now are Jo Malone Black Vetyver cologne and Sensuous by Estee Lauder. I will try layering them and see what happens.

Sara Millionaire said...

Perfume is such an afterthought for me that I forget to put it on 50% of the time, but I always wish I was one of those effortlessly delicious-smelling people drifting through life like it's totally easy! When I was in high school I did use t mix Demeter pepper and satsuma was a favorite combo. (Now I leave it to the pros and only wear Betsey Johnson...when I can remember.)

Gracinha said...

My fav one in winter is Escada Magnetism. I dont know, makes me feel warm.