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The Secret to Why Arabs always smell so good!

Your signature is unique to you, and so can your fragrance be! Layering is the art of verbatim layering multiple scents to create a unique perfume. Now, it doesn’t just apply to attars on top of one another, but also about wearing different fragrances across your body to create a symphony of aromas. Put a drop of oud attar and another of rose- usually, floral and animalic/woody are classic combinations- as a whole, or mix it up with heavier attars on pulse points and lighter mist sprays on clothes. Remember, the point of layering is complementing and not competing!

What’s so amazing about fragrance layering and why do it?

Well, fragrances have a deeper meaning than just being cosmetic. In the Arabic culture, fragrances are revered so much so like experiencing life itself through a prism of scents. From applying attars to burning bakhoors at home, it’s like second nature. While modern-day perfumes are in fact a result of layering, traditionally, it’s still an art to understand ingredients and create your own bespoke perfume.  

Layering of fragrances is the secret why Arabs always smell so good and for so long. Multiple attars are layered, bakhoor on clothes and hair is another very popular layer, a few spritz of a mist spray and often other cosmetics like shower gels and creams are layered.

So, how do you layer fragrances?

 While it takes time to develop a nose, one can easily start experimenting with attars, bakhoors and mist sprays. Although some essentials to know before starting:

  • A perfume is generally divided into top, heart and base notes. The top is short-lived yet punchy, the heart is the core, and the base is the heaviest note that’s long-lived
  • Always begin with the base layer and preferably try on when fresh out of the shower since the pores are more absorbent
  • Use heavier fragrances on pulse points since they give out heat to build the attar and lighter scents like mist sprays to clothes, ends of hair, scarf, etc. to give off a whiff
  • Use bakhoors to add fragrance to your clothes and a tantalizing top note

Last thoughts

Understanding fragrance layering may be intimidating at first but the more you try perfumes, the better you’ll get at creating them. In Arab culture, it isn’t uncommon to find people even layering up to seven different scents at a time. And it doesn’t have to just be about dabbing attars or spritzing mist sprays or burning bakhoors, you can even include body washes, lotions and creams that leave a trail to complement your signature perfume. 

If you would like to explore pure non-alcohol-based attars, bakhoors and mist sprays, you may browse through our collections here:

Attar Oils

Oud Bakhoor

Mist