mastering the art of combining scents

I bumped into Grace Mantjiu, health & beauty editor at Essentials Magazine recently & before I knew it I was blabbering: “What fragrance are you wearing?” To my surprise (& subsequent inspiration) she replied that it was a combination of perfumes. I thought: Wow, how innovative! I wanted to try it straight away. But did I have the guts (like Grace) to simply combine random scents? At first, I didn’t.

Then Jo Malone popped to mind – the professional at Fragrance Combining®, so I decided that it’s time to learn more about “Mastering the art of combing scents”.

I quizzed Grace & the experts at Jo Malone & this is what they had to say:


Grace M

How did you get the idea of use different fragrances together? 

“I can’t even remember how & when it all started but I think it just came from being bored with one scent. It’s quiet fun to confuse people with scents, they can’t exactly tell what fragrance I’m wearing & I like that.” (You go girl!) “The mixture of two different fragrances gives a unique signature smell.”

Do you have a specific ‘ritual’? 

“I choose two different brands & spray one on the inner side of the arm & one on the outer side.”

Which fragrances do you find work well together? 

“Narciso Rodriguez (black bottle), Tom Ford (any), Jo Malone, Dior Mitzah & Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. These fragrances are very strong & last longer, I found out while experimenting that they work well with almost any other fragrance out there. My fave winter mix is Dior Mitzah with Miss Dior. I also like Narciso Rodrigues (black bottle) with D&G Pour Femme. [For a] summer mix it’s Jo Malone with anything Carolina Herrera, Gucci, Calvin Klein.”

Perfumes - juliaminamata


How would you describe your personal (signature) scent? 

“It differs from season to season I guess. In winter I’m into woody spicy fragrances & summer I go for floral & fresh ones. Sometimes if I’m in a bubbly mood in winter I do mix a woody with floral just to give me that ‘pick me up’…”

What is your all time favourite fragrance? 

“Angel by Thierry Mugler will always be my first love! I also love Chanel Mademoiselle, D&G The One & Michael Kors original. Ohh let me stop here because the list is endless…”



A couple of hours at the Jo Malone Tasting Bar™ will leave you totally smitten with combining different fragrances. Like me, you might also be super confused (in a good way) with all the wonderful combinations! Luckily the Jo Malone Stylists at the Hyde Park store (Hilda, Warwick & Nina), gave me the full experience of finding & combining my own personal scent.

Note: this Q&A is not from a personal interview with Jo Malone (although I hope that one day I’ll have the opportunity to meet her personally – holding thumbs!). For now, I’ll share the wisdom gathered from the local team at Jo Malone.

What’s the idea behind Jo Malone’s  Fragrance Combining™?

When you pose this question, Warwick’s face lights up. He explains that Fragrance Combining™ allows customers to make a statement by creating something that is entirely unique. A signature scent. Each Jo Malone fragrance is designed to be worn alone & combined or layered with another fragrance.

“From the aromatic woods, to the sparkling citruses & the spectacular florals, create something bespoke – unique to you, your style & your personality,” says Jo.

You might start with a body lotion for a delicate base which you then enhance with a cologne, then add a hand wash or oil – the options are endless!

Jo Malone Fragrance Combining-


Which scents go well together?

Trick question.

Says Jo: “There are no rules. Fragrance Combining™ allows you to experiment until you discover a scent that perfectly fits. It’s about being playful, experimenting until you discover something that reflects who you are & the impression you want to create.”

Some tried & tested recommendations include:

  • Velvet Rose & Oud with vibrant Blackberry & Bay – for a rich floral with a juicy depth.
  • English Pear & Freesia with Dark Amber & Ginger Lily – for fruity freshness with a woody heart.

Two of my personal favourite combinations are:

  • English Pear & Freesia shower gel (frothed & massaged into the hands), then a layer of Peony & Blush Suede cream & some Earl Grey & Cucumber perfume sprayed over.
  • The Vitamin E body scrub, then Pomegranate Noir Body Creme. Finally a spritz of Iris & White Musk Cologne Intense, then Rain & Angelica Cologne.

What should you look for when choosing a fragrance?

A starting point is to ask yourself which of the different fragrance families you are drawn to? Is it citrus, spicy, fruity or floral? You might even have an emotional connection to a certain scent. Now you can play to lift or to deepen fragrance, to spice or to complicate, to simplify or to add mystery, until you get something that is special to you.

Jo Malone starter kit (1) Jo Malone starter kit (2) Jo Malone starter kit (3)

Since my chats with Grace & the Jo Malone team, I’ve become a bit more adventurous with combining a variety of fragrances.

So, my challenge to you is: don’t only layer up on clothes when it’s chilly outside. Be bold & start layering your own fragrances too – it’s just another fantastic way of expressing the real you!

Have you tried using different fragrances together? Post a comment & let me know.

Thanx to Grace & the Jo Malone team for sharing. You guys rock!

Yolandi ♥

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *