DIY Signature Scent: Mix Your Perfumes

By Jillian Fleischman

A signature scent is essential. It announces your entrance and lingers well after your exit. Although there are numerous perfumes on the market that we adore, the trendsetter in each of us wants a signature scent that is just ours. So, here at The Beauty Bean, we’ve been using our chemistry knowledge from our school days (or the lack thereof) and working tirelessly to concoct the ultimate perfume.

We speak from experience, (a smelly one at that,) when we say that the road to creating a signature scent requires some guidance. Okay, “requires” may be a bit exaggerated considering that the consequences of a mishap aren’t exactly disastrous, but we nevertheless think that some direction is helpful and time saving (and may even help you stay on good terms with your elevator mates who, we assure you, are not fans of women doused in several scents).

A runway look you can easily get at home (with our tips anyway)!

To help you get it right more quickly than we did, here’s a guide for making sense of mixing scents.

Only mix single note scents: It’s no surprise that most perfumes shouldn’t be worn together. If you’ve ever over-sprayed your arm while testing at a department store, you know the potential for a putrid result. This lack of a mixing-made-in-heaven result is because (unlike the ambitious trendsetter in those of you hoping for a bespoke scent) most women prefer to purchase their perfumes in final form and thus the scents that stock the shelves at Sephora, for example, are most often “finished” by a designer – meaning that they already contain numerous notes and are, therefore, unlikely to mix perfectly with the complex layers in another scent. So, unless you’re an olfactory-prodigy, if you want to fashion your own fragrance, stick with single-note scents or those designed specifically for layering.

The essential nail polish for spring!

Know your notes: Knowing the basics about the staple scents will help you blend more successfully – or at least without having to shower repeatedly before you step out of the house. The four most universal single note scents – vanilla, white floral, musk and marine – are the basis of most fragrances and, knowing how they combine, will help you avoid many fowl fragrance combinations.

The basics:

–  Vanilla mixes well with florals if you’re looking for a tropical smell, while vanilla and a woodsy scents give you something sweeter.

–  White florals, such as gardenia and jasmine, are inherently strong on their own but, blended with scents rich in spices, become soft, smooth and sexy.

–  Musk notes work well with citrus scents. The combination lightens the intensity of the musk while ensuring your don’t smell like orange juice, for the best of both notes.

–  Marine scents, meaning those fresh, ocean air smells, blend well with soft floral scents to evoke a feeling of spring year round.

Still need more guidance? Both Jo Malone and Bond No. 9 encourage you to blend their fragrances to create a signature scent and they’re well informed on good and bad combos. Jo Malone even has a Fragrance Combining Menu that explains each of their scents and suggests fabulous fragrance fusions. If you’re looking to try multiple combos, purchase The Cologne Collection, a set of 6 mini-bottles ($95).

Bond No. 9 is also at the top of our list. The perfume bottles are some of the prettiest we’ve seen, and they celebrate New York City! Bond No. 9 offers a unique Custom Blending Session at one of their four New York stores, and from what we hear, you’ll walk out an expert on all their scents. If you’re outside NYC, try The Perfumista’s Custom Blending Box ($260) filled with 16 mixable scents and an empty falcon specifically for your signature scent.

Relax, recessionista style.

Good luck on your scent-adventurous journey!