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How to create a signature scent
A match made in your bathroom.
Jo Malone

Ever wonder what Chanel No. 5 would smell like combined with Justin Bieber’s fragrance Someday? No? Just us? Well, whether you’ve had this (odd) thought or not, combining perfumes to create a signature scent is actually a really neat concept.

Want to try it out? Here’s the gist:

Know your notes Most perfumes have multiple notes (for example, Chanel No. 5 has a top note of ylang-ylang, a middle note of jasmine and a base note of sandalwood). A simple rule for beginners: Pair one multi-note perfume with a simpler single-note scent like vanilla, patchouli or grapefruit.

Use the paper-strip method To make sure your new creation doesn’t induce nausea, spray your perfumes onto paper strips and play around with the combinations. Almost anything goes, but one combination you might want to avoid is musk mixed with musk. (Ick, too much musk.)

Spray the right way When you’re ready, spritz on your strongest scent first. This is your base note because it develops last but stays on longest. The lighter scent goes on top. Expert tip: Try spraying the two scents onto different areas. One scent on your wrists and another on your neck works nicely, but it’s all personal preference.

Feeling apprehensive? With Jo Malone’s Art of Fragrance Combining, you can pick your favorite smell (say, rose or amber) and they’ll match it up for you. Not exactly “signature,” but we won’t tell.

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