The art of scent combining is a fine and precarious one at once. A delicate blend can be completely overtaken by a more forceful presence, while a rich, hefty aroma can become overwhelming when mixed with another scent, creating more of a stuffy atmosphere than a delicious, inviting one. When dealing within these parameters it's probably an art best left to the professionals or to indulge with simple/single-note scents, but some gentle guidance can end up prompting you to experiment with good results. After all, it's nothing inescapable, right?
Diptyque offers a small guide of scent combinations of its famous candles for scenting your space -a sort of olfactory landscaping- reminiscent of the autumnal season, all burnished gold and rust. The combinations are calculated to bring on a third presence, often vaguely familiar or reminiscent of specific fine fragrances which I will quote below and urge you to sniff to try and catch their nuances anew. Actually Diptyque have championed the art of scent layering since their very beginning.
For instance, their recommended combination of Feu de Bois and Pomander brings to mind the Christmas festivities with their smoky, log-fire note coupled with the orange & cloves spice of the classic pomander. It's a layering of notes that reminds me of Noir Epices by Frederic Malle with its intense clove and darkness, of Coup de Fouet and Poivre by Caron as well as of the classic, pre-reformulation Opium by Yves Saint Laurent.
Opoponax and Maquis brings on the softness of the resinous note of opoponax (that hazy flou so compelling in Guerlain's Shalimar and Habit Rouge and indeed in Diptyque's own home spray Opopanax) alongside the rustic tonality of the countryside with its woody aroma full of everlasting flowers, rich like maple syrup oozing off a hungry spoon. The combination echoes the newest fragrance issued by Diptyque, Volutes, inspired by a memorable voyage the founder took from Marseilles to Saigon.
Roses and Patchouli of course is a time trusted combination, almost a classic, the two smelled together creating the impression of dark, leafy roses unfurling to eternity...The melange is explored in the pre-empting Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan Parfumeur as well as many other modern fragrances, from Lady Vengeance (Juliette has a Gun), Portrait of a Lady (F.Malle) and Hippie Rose (Heeley) to Idylle Duet Rose Patchouli (Guerlain).
Cyprès and Myrrhe are evocative of a Mediterranean spot darkened by the bitterish tinge of the resinous, Middle-Eastern myrrh. The common resinous quality of the cypress wood and the -prized since antiquity- "tears" combine into an ambery-woody scentscape that is introspective, grounding and spiritual. Molton Brown makes a hand wash combining these two notes with musk, making for a little Persian exoticism in your bathroom.