Jo Malone pioneered the idea of layering two fragrances together to come up with a different blend. I like the idea of changing the mood of a favourite fragrance to suit the occasion or season; add something spicy to warm it up for winter, something citrus to make it fresher, or a heavier floral for an evening blend.
My favourite way to layer is to use a body creme or lotion in one fragrance under a cologne in another. The body moisturisers have good scent payoff (the creme in particular) and can hold their own with the cologne. The shower gel and bath oils also work well, but I'd recommend only starting off with two different fragrances at first rather than three, unless one of them is a very simple citrus blend.
If you like the idea, but are not sure where to start, the safest choices in the range to combine with others are:
- Grapefruit (not just a straight grapefruit, more of a herby fresh citrus.)
- Orange Blossom (sparkly and fresh with pretty floral orange blossom note.)
- Lime, Basil and Mandarin (*the* famous JM. This is fresh and inoffensive, although it can turn soapy on some skins. Mr London bought this (himself!) in a shower gel recently, and I quite often nick it on very hot mornings.)
If you're unsure what to pick to combine with your chosen scent, one of the above is almost guaranteed to work. These are also great choices if you want to give a gift to someone but are unsure what scents they like.
Next safest choices:
- Nutmeg and Ginger (warm and spicy, but not too foody.)
- Pomegranate Noir (fruity and incensey, but not too wood top-heavy.)
Both of these are a little spicier than my top three safe choices, but still work well with almost any of the other scents. Pomegranate Noir layered with Black Vetyver Cafe cologne is a combination of dark and stunning beauty. Nutmeg and Ginger and Pomegranate Noir also work beautifully together in colder weather; I love a bath with the Nutmeg and Ginger bath oil followed by a spritz of Pomegranate Noir (the bath oil is so moisturising I can do without a body cream afterwards.)
More unusual combinations I have particularly liked in the past are:
- Blue Agave and Cacao body creme with Pomegranate Noir cologne. This combo is very warm and like being wrapped in a blanket.
- White Jasmine and Mint body creme with Pomegranate Noir cologne. This freshens up the Pomegranate Noir and I liked this one a lot in winter.
- Amber and Lavender body creme with Red Roses Cologne. Red Roses is very very girly, and I like to combine it with the masculine Amber and Lavender to make it more serious for work.
- Grapefruit works very well with the Red Roses too to cut through the slightly heady rose, and freshens it up.
Other popular combinations can be found at the Jo Malone website, and you can also enlist the help of a Jo Malone stylist at a counter or store. I have found the stylists to be not quite as well trained since Jo Malone herself left the company in 2006. They are still extremely courteous, but less willing to venture "off list" for possible combinations. When I used to buy the products in the Brook Street store the stylists would be familiar with all the different fragrances and their notes and we would be able to try out different combinations based on these, but I have found that in the last couple of years since the counter expansions that they try very much harder to stick to the published list of two or three partners for each scent. Mr London also found this recently; he was purchasing JM for my birthday in Selfridges and the assistant was uncomfortable about selling him Orange Blossom body lotion with Red Roses cologne, because the list recommended Grapefruit.
Of course, you don't have to stick exclusively with JM to combine fragrances; as I mentioned in a previous post, I like a lot of my favourite Villainess scents under the JM colognes.