I Spoke to an Expert, and These Are the Best Fragrance Combinations


(Image credit: @fongminliao)

I'll let you in on a little secret: I never (well, hardly ever) wear one fragrance at a time. I can't recall when this became my go-to fragrance routine, but it has certainly stuck. It's a spritz here and another spritz of something completely different there, and sometimes I even use three or four different perfumes. You become your own perfumer, creating a more personal and unique scent without the elite Grasse certification. What better person than yourself to blend the perfect scent for you, than yourself? 

Enter fragrance layering—the creative way to use the scents in your fragrance wardrobe to create new unique scents. "I always think about fragrance pairing as a matching of moods and personalities as well. Each scent has its own energy or way of being," says Phway Su Aye, Co-Founder of Gabar. 


(Image credit: @emmahoareau)

It's no different to layering the clothes in your wardrobe to build new outfits. I adore the process of blending and creating a tribe of scents that fuse seamlessly and beautifully together. It sounds glorious, doesn't it? 

Now for the caveat, I'll put my hands up and admit there have been one or two occasions where it has been a major fail. This is where that prestige Grasse training would've come in handy, however, it's all in the notes, Susan Wai Hnin, Co-Founder of Gabar explains, "Scent families can be classified into four main categories: floral, spicy, woody and fresh. Traditionally, scents that are opposite of each other, or side by side, on the fragrance wheel pair well together."

Like all creative pursuits, there aren't hard rules to the art of fragrance layering, and it's pretty down to personal taste. "I don't think fragrance should be taken so seriously or literally. I think in many ways fragrance is a very personal experience and as such, it should be fun, playful and unique to each individual," explains Wai Hnin.

If you're sold on the idea of creating your very own signature scent so you don't have to make the same amateur mistakes I made, I've taken it upon myself to speak to the experts to reveal the best fragrances combination to create out of your collection. 

1. Gabar No. II Ground and Gabar No. III Swim

2. Le Labo Jasmin 17 and Le Labo Another 13

3. Byredo Mumbai Noise and Byredo Young Rose

4. STORIES Parfums Nº.01 and Nº.02

5.Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne and English Pear & Freesia Cologne

Freelance Beauty Journalist

Zeynab Mohamed is a London-based freelance beauty journalist, covering beauty, wellness, lifestyle and identity-related content. Her background in psychology and her identity as a Black woman has influenced a lot of her writing and has become a driving force to create engaging content that touches on a perspective that is often neglected and speaks to other Black women who love beauty as much as she does. She is inspired by how individuals engage with beauty and how beauty can make you feel but also how beauty holds the power to connect individuals across the globe to form communities. She began her career in beauty journalism with the British Vogue team, where she discovered that beauty isn’t just frivolous but can be a tool to empower individuals and give them a voice which they were not afforded.

Zeynab is currently a beauty contributor to Who What Wear. She has also written for Stylist, Elle, Refinery29 and Byrdie, building on her freelance portfolio and expanding on the type of content she creates in the hope of reaching diverse communities. When Zeynab is not writing and hunting down her next story, you can find her travelling the globe and tucked away with a good book.