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  1. #1

    Default Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    In a thread on Zino, Bigsly started me thinking about the whole subject of layering.

    When I was growing up, no one talked about layering. I never thought about it. We had a whole spectrum of deep complex 80s-style fragrances from which to choose.

    Now we are in this period of lighter, fresher 'transparent' fragrances, yet the subject of layering this-fragrance with that-fragrance keeps coming up.

    Do modern-style scents leave people wanting more? Is layering a subconscious attempt to recreate the complexity of my beloved 80s-style fragrances? Or, is it that we like being amateur perfumers and want to create our own unique scent by combining simpler fragrances?

    What are your thoughts? What is behind this primal urge to layer?
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  2. #2

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    Good question and in some cases I am sure that it may be true that people are trying to recreate something else.

    However, I think it's like cooking. You know how when cooking you taste something and think, "Hmm, that could do with a bit of "X" to make it taste better"? Well I think it's like that with layering.

    For example I often layer Gucci Homme with Obsession, because I feel the Gucci needs a sweeter top to it and Obsession does the job beautifully.

    I also layer a base of L'Occitane's Ambre with L'Iparie over the top, which ends up a beautiful and unique combination.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    My interest in layering is twofold: 1) to create a unique and individual scent, and 2) to "simplify" my perfume wardrobe. For example, I would love to find - okay, this is going to open a can of worms, but it's the first house that comes to mind for layering - two or three Creeds (doesn't have to be Creeds, can be any other house that is predominantly simple in notes, like Etro or Annick Goutal, etc) - and I envision being able to generate many scent combinations through those three frags that would carry me through for all my needs. It's a dream at this point, as I don't layer anything, ever, except the matching body cream with the scent.

    Your point about increasing scent compexity is a great one. Due to a very stong preference for complex scents, my wardrobe has limited layering options, actually.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    After reading posts at BN for several months now, I've never gotten the impression that layering was very popular, actually. I also wasn't into frags in the 80s, so that doesn't apply to me. However, I have found that I liked "complex" frags a lot more when I was a total newbie, but now I like an interplay between a small number of elements (unlike Zino). It's only if I think a frag can be great if it only had one other thing that I'd layer. The best example is using Corinto Silver, which is very sweet, to add some sweetness to a frag that I think could really use it, for example Chaleur d'Animale.

  5. #5
    bluesoul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    Doubt it. I find the reason to be slightly more prosaic.

    "If this is good, and that is good, this + that must be better."

    At least that's what's going on in the back of the brain.
    Twitter - @DanielTharp
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    If you have a good high quality scent, why mess with it?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    And what if the "primal urge of layering" has always been there, even in the 80's? How can you layer two fragrance of the 80s and have a harmonious result? It is just not possible. While I originally thought that layering is an abomination of nature, I have found that my single not rose perfumes need needed something with more depth. Rose is a great top note, but it still needs a strong base. so I started using scents like mugler cologne, avignon, bois blond, the dreamer...
    Last edited by irish; 26th May 2008 at 05:32 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    And what if the "primal urge of layering" has always been there, even in the 80's? How can you layer two fragrance of the 80s and have a harmonious result? It is just not possible.
    Agreed. That was part of my point - that layering was not necessary or even contemplated back then because the "primal urge" was sated. Perhaps the fragrances of today do not quench that desire. I am just speculating here, but I am enjoying all the different responses!
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  9. #9

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    Perhaps, and likely constitutes a % of the cases. However, some people probably do it because they are trying to create a scent they imagine that is not in existence. They are desperately trying to fulfill what is absent. Also, in a world of a particular perfume weairng class, they may be trying create a signature that is uniquely theirs in an effort not to smell like anyone else.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    I rarely layer fragrances. When I do, it's mostly due to:
    - boredom
    - when I am applying something that is extremely linear (like Norma Kamali Incense or Burning Leaves by CBIHP)
    - a recommendation from another Basenoter.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 26th May 2008 at 11:23 PM.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  11. #11

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    I don't think it's "primal", more like "I'm bored and need new olfactory excitement".

    The few times that I have inadvertently layered, I found the most pleasurable one to be Rochas Man aftershave with Ciel! Mon Jardin EdT. That was awesome. I ordered the fragrance in hopes that I can relive the experience. It was awesome enough to warrant $85.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    Nothing primal here too but I had accidentally layered Dior Homme with Escada Magnetism (her) once... the Escada's "burnt sugar" accord is an ahprodisiac (sp?) to my nose and it kind of added a smouldering base to the Dior's earthy iris.


    PVC and Leather. A Chain and a feather




  13. #13

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    It's fun and it's a good training exercise for the nose, or rather the scent memory. But if you don't like it, well, then don't do it. Simple as that.
    No guru, not method, no teacher
    Just you and I and nature

  14. #14

    Default Re: Layering - Is it a subconscious attempt to recreate complex scents?

    I never layer, it destroys the original fragrance IMO

    unless,.. the fragrances are made to layer, as meant by the nose who made it.

    Frederick Malle once said, "Fragrance is not a salad bar" and he had a point.
    Last edited by eric; 27th May 2008 at 11:41 AM.

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