Men’s guide to layering fragrance

Here’s how to combine your grooming products for maximum effect

Men's Health / May 25 2017

Most modern grooming products are heavily scented, and this can create problems. If your cologne clashes with your deodorant, for example, the effect can prove more nauseating than captivating.

The answer? Fragrance layering. Here’s how to do it.

Essentially, fragrance layering involves conjuring a signature scent by combining body products from your favourite fragrance’s range. You might shower with the Tom Ford Oud Wood body wash, and moisturise with the accompanying aftershave balm or freshen your pits with Mr Ford’s deodorant. If you want to keep things subtle you might stop there. But if you want to make a bolder impression, only then do you reach for the eau de toilette.

The scent of each ancillary product tends to differentiate by degree. “A shower gel focuses on freshness and usually has a lighter fragrance footprint than a body lotion,” explains Clement Gavarry, a leading perfumer who’s created fragrances for the likes of Calvin Klein, Lynx and Tom Ford.

The more high-risk branch of fragrance layering involves deliberately combining different scents into a unique blend. Done correctly, you can transform your everyday fragrance into something bespoke. “The wearer can create contrast – updating their singular cologne by building depth around it,” says Gavarry.

If you’re keen to experiment, Gavarry notes that fragrances with strong, woody notes sit on the skin the longest, so start by working other scents around this baseline. Beyond this, with your skin oils, pores and body temperature affecting the way a fragrance develops, it’s difficult to be too prescriptive. But proceed with caution. Executed well, you can create something that’s singular and distinctive. Done badly, it’ll prove as appetising as a teenager’s attempt to make cocktails from his dad’s drinks cabinet – and equally headache-inducing.

Versace Pour Homme After-Shave Balm

Giorgio Armani Acqua Di Gio Deodorant Stick

Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Shower Gel