Skip to content

Perfume layering 101: All the do's and the don'ts from the queen of layering, Mona Kattan (plus the best combos to consider)

Perfume layering is an excellent way to create your own signature scent without having to literally create your own line of fragrance. Put simply, it involves combining two or more different perfumes on top of each other in order to create an entirely unique concoction.

But layering fragrances is nothing new. In fact, the art of layering originates from the Middle East and is still widely commonplace today. “For centuries, people from the region have been using different types of fragrances,” explains Mona Kattan, founder of Kayali. “When it comes to eau de parfums, people are very experimental in the Middle East, especially Dubai.”

Best perfumes for layering at a glance – our top picks:

  • Best perfume for layering with notes of vanilla:
  • Best premium perfume for layering:
  • Best fruity perfume for layering:
  • Best affordable perfume for layering:

However, even for the biggest perfume aficionados, just the thought of mixing multiple scents to create an entirely new fragrance can seem a tad overwhelming. To help you get started, we've put together an edit of some of the best perfumes for layering on the market. Plus, we've also caught up with the queen of layering herself, Mona Kattan, to demystify the art of combining fragrances to answer some of your most burning FAQs. Enjoy.

What is perfume layering?

Perfume layering involves mixing two or more fragrances or fragranced products such as body creams to create a signature scent. According to Mona, being able to create a personalised concoction that unique to yourself is one of the best parts of fragrance layering.

“You can be more individual. You can take a popular fragrance like Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 or Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb and make it your own,” she shares. “You can lift [the fragrance] up and make it more energising with a citrus or make it more sexy using more spicy, floral notes. The combinations are endless.”

What kind of fragrance families lend themselves well to perfume layering?

While there are no clear-set rules, many people like to start off with their heavier fragrances such as musks and ouds first, before moving on layer-by-layer with botanical and floral scents and rounding off with lighter citrusy or spicy scents at the top.

If you're someone who has never tried layering scents, the single most important advice that Mona has to share with you is to have fun and not to overthink it. “Try something new everyday. Write down what you create and pay attention to what works for you and your mood.”

What are the best perfume layering combinations?

That's the best part – there are no rules or best combinations when it comes to layering scents. There's also no such as thing as right or wrong or too little or too much, so don't feel restricted as to how many fragrances you can spritz on at a time. In fact, you can easily start off with as little as two or three fragrances and go as big as you want. “If I really have time before I go out, I'll use like 15 or 20 fragrances,” says Mona. “I know that sounds extreme, but I have so many floral, vanilla and oud fragrances that I love. It makes it more complex, more interesting, more unusual and more individual.”

“My favourite combination right now is Kayali Yum Pistachio Gelato | 33 with Kayali Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli | 64 – it's my go-to,” she shares. “When I'm running morning errands, I like using the Kayali Vanilla | 28 and the Kayali Musk | 12 as it's not too strong. From other brands, I love Armani Beauty Prive Vert Malachite and Mancera Roses Vanille.”

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

Share this article: