Back to experimenting with perfume combinations. Delving further into what I have, and as I have it already it surely reflects what I love.
This dives into the pleasures and beauties of perfume as a source of comfort. Perfume ornaments dark monochrome clothing and softens frosted edges. Takes the edge off the surprise of icy slipperiness. The shortness of daytime hours.
We get recurring spells of bitter cold that last for weeks, and frozen winter winds straight from the Arctic. Layered over political anxieties.
I use two at a time. One dominant, and one other as a smaller punctuation mark that holds the mood and magnifies that certain craved fragrance effect.
The perfumes are all stand-alone beauties. The variation made from using two at a time creates a heightened individual experience that answers to strong tastes.
There are months I can do nothing but rest in the most subtle perfumes. Times like these, I find playing around with two at a time creates a fragrance blanket. A comfort that satisfies a craving for opulence and abundance. Claiming the forefront of attention to a degree that drives away other distractions.
Trying two perfumes that are each dominated by a single theme, with some relation to each other. Most often the more complex one as the dominant. I'll use quite a bit of that on one arm, and just a short hit of the one I've matched it to on the other arm. They rise up and mix in the air, and still often show themselves individually, off and on. Stepping out into ice water air I love getting hits of strong perfume sensations that waft up to me repeatedly, which continue in the stillness indoors.
There are the classics and types that go with everythibng. Rose and patchouli or oud, musk and florals, citrus and fruit, gourmand and fruit, floral and floral. Some companies have created entire lines around layering, such as Jo Malone. The layering can start under hot water, in the bath, using fragranced bath gels, lotions and oils. Glad that there are more fragranced perfume oils available than ever before, they also hold any layered perfume longer by moisturizing the skin.
A few examples in my current practice:
Exhibit A: Hermes Jour d'Hermes Absolue and Artemisia Saveur de l'Abricot edp
For brightness sake, a clear and sunny perfume by Hermes, Jour d'Hermes Absolue, as the dominant. Matched with a natural perfume by Artemisia, Saveur de l'abricot edp, in a more discrete amount. This combination is so intense and mutually flattering I hardly know what to do with myself when it's in its first throes of dry-down.
Jour d'Hermes has a big opening of intense citrus lofted up by smooth white florals, and that's exactly where it continues to float. This is that rare citrus themed perfume that can withstand winter winds. I found that out after testing it on a recent immensely windy arctic cold day. I kept getting wafts of summer beauty with each step. The apricot undertones call to those in Saveur de l'abricot, which is the perfume that made me crave and look for more perfumes in apricot. Also sunny and bright, it has a nectar heart, a thicker base, rich warmth. (written about it before).
B. L'Artisan L'eau D'Ambre Extreme edp and Narciso Musc oil
This is a warm hug, a soft cloak, a cashmere blanket, velvet intimacy and softness, sweet dreams, contentment. Together they are a meditative, peaceful center.
Musc oil holds close to the skin, sinks in and breathes out floral accords, amberlyn and patchouli softly and quietly. A gentle accompaniment to Ambre Extreme's powdered vanilla-tinged floral-moderated spices. There is an effortless floating smooth dreaminess at the heart of both, but Ambre is a cascade that reaches out to surround while Musc hugs you in, embraces. Pure relaxation and comfort in both modes. Warms the natural skin scent and holds fast. Each extends the other's time frame, even for me, whose skin always eats perfume up so fast.
Loved this combination so much, was compelled to get backups of each, something I never do. They magnify each other. Remain in the forefront of personal awareness for an extended period of time, without fatigue or retreat. The soothing creaminess in combination is liquid tranquility.
C. Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille edp and Soivohle Raspberries and Black Pepper Parfum
Sprayed Raspberries just above the Vanille on both arms.
Keeping them fairly separate allows their nuances to unfold. Their own dry down journey remains intact within the aerial mix. After a night's wear, they both lingered into the morning to enhance each other's facets, even subdued by the passage of time.
- The softness of Vanille and dry sweetness of Raspberries together create a spacious ambiance spiked by the black pepper note. Brings to mind the scent of an old library interior I once worked in. Staying inside more when it's too cold out is enhanced by this combination. It's an upright, aware style of relaxation. With a soft skin close aura it lends itself to focus, for work or taking in information. Raspberries and Pepper keep the warm energy of the Vanille alert. It's a long simmer of quiet pleasure in the luck of finding this particular chamber music combination of perfume layering.
D. Guerlain Insolence Parfum and Villoresi Teint de Neige EdT
These two elegancies are a well-matched pair. The floral tinted powder clouds thrown up by the Teint de Neige, illuminated by the violet heart of Insolence. Or taken another way, it is the scent of an idealized, expensive European makeup case. Lipstick infused with cool violet, on smooth skin caressed by swans' down fragrance. The cloud lights up from within as an edge of musk reveals itself.
Glamorous, understated, versatile, and also a comforting blanket of softness. Both perfumes remain steady and consistent and definitely there. Yet never wearing you, even in this doubling of complete in themselves fragrances of strength and character. Teint de Neige is more expansive, Insolence more introverted, working so close together. Like a well-matched extrovert/introvert couple.
Could wear to a fancy wedding or to float away into a deep dream on a soft bed, falling asleep over a book. Creates a border, a margin, a moat of elegance between the rough world and the skin's surface.
Going heavier on the Teint de Neige, it makes a powdered snow base to complement violet Insolence. Absorbing that ultra cool sweetness and transmuting it into disciplined ballerina style. The prettiness and charm of the powdered feathers are lifted and sustained by a core of cool strength. Violet reaches out as pure refreshment. Musk emerges in the dry down, with a unifying, soothing depth.
Elegant as a bird.