Not the cute pairings of masculines with feminines worn by couples. What I mean by perfume couples, are scents in your wardrobe which you know will form a stable partnership with at least one other perfume you own. Maybe that might strike some people as odd, but I have done this for years.
Bear with me. Fond as I am of the fragrance wardrobe concept, I tend to change it seasonally or even monthly, and usually in this way, morning or daytime scent with evening or afternoon one. If you use two perfumes from the same house it’s often easier to pull off since they frequently share a base. Right now I’ve done this with Le Temps d’un Fete and Vanille Tonka from de Nicolai. They play off one another extremely well and can be worn for a month or so at a time. You feel like you have choice but also harmony and some familiarity. Try this with any maker, from DS and Durga to Estee Lauder, the only common point being a house signature.Since the idea is not layering per se here(although you can try that) but to wear both in the same day with one perfume giving out as the other takes over and the overlap smelling wonderful.
Sometimes I use a particular theme for the month. Often in June it’s something floral, or I may do a month of roses, then again, I may opt for fruit: Nahema with Keiko Mecheri’s Peau de Peche or possibly Mitsouko, perfumes that contain that same peachy note. This strategy works particularly well if your morning perfume is less complex than your afternoon one. In this way you can combine violets and roses, like Rose de Rosine, or Vecchi Rossetti, or Lipstick Rose with a straight violet or rose soliflore. You’re simply putting together like with like. It’s not challenging though it is fun. This is very like pattern matching in the same colors.
More fun though is finding perfumes that are completely different, but that compliment one another. One of my first such pairings was L’Origan with Gathering Apples . You would not believe how well these two play off one another. One was an old and cheap perfume but together they made a wonderful combination either layered or sequentially.
Sometimes you can assume that certain scent varieties will just go together routinely, meaning you don’t have to think about it much. Such is the case with fruity florals and greens. Truly, I mean it. Just go rifling about in your samples and you’ll find that most of those simply harmonize. The same odd fact holds true for Orientals and florals ( I mean straight florals here rather than fruities or aldehydic florals). If you put say SL’s Arabie together with Antonia’s Flowers the result will be very pretty. You can also do well, surprisingly, with floral orientals and orientals, although your results will be heavier.
This is one way to maintain variety in your perfume collection but also to have peace in the perfume cabinet. The things that don’t go together are relegated to another season when they do suit their partners.
Other Good Pairs:
Bois d’Armenie and Une Ville un Parfum Tokyo
Guerlain Vetiver with Plus Que Jamais or Jardins de Bagatelle
Cuir de Lancome ( or any simple leather) with Penhaligon’s Lily and Spice or DK Gold
PdN’s Number One with L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Mure et Musc ( to emphasize the black currant note)
L’Aimant with Mirra or any myrrh perfume (I Profumi di Firenze)
Caron Poivre with Parfum Sacre
Arpege with a mild Vanilla (such as Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’ Vanille)
Il Tuo Tulipano or J’Adore or Liaisons Dangereuses with almost any green but try Le Temps d’un Fete
Fleurs d’Oranger or any orange blossom cologne with Tabac Blond
Musc Tonkin or any animalic with Teo Cababanel’s Lace Garden or other relatively clean jasmine
What harmonies do you come up with? Please share.