Eau de Symmetry




A friend who works at Tom Ford recently gave me two fragrances she knew I had been fawning over: Santal Blush, a refreshing sandalwood blend perfect for summer days, and Plum Japonais, a tantalizing oud for nocturnal adventures. Since switching to this duo I’ve experienced a noticeable wave of compliments. I even received one from the airport security line ID checker at Midway Airport – and those people never break character.

The two scents are formulated from the same Tom Ford key of notes, so moving from Santal at the end of the day to Plum before leaving for the night works seamlessly. In this instance, I could even layer them at the same time if I wanted to. Unexpected was the decorative pleasure I discovered in having two symmetrical bottles, side by side, on my vanity. Perfumes are known to delight us as much for the bottle as for the aromas they house. And because humans love visual symmetry – there was even a Radio Lab podcast about it – it makes sense that this curation of fragrance bottle twins would create a visually calming sense of order.

So, I got to thinking. What are some other great day and night tag teams from within the same brand?

I’ve done my research and assembled 8 pairs of fragrance recommendations, each pair comprised of a day-appropriate and night-appropriate scent that work well in sequence, and each achieving that glorious bottle symmetry (you’re welcome OCD-leaning types). Some of these duo scents are even nice when directly layered; others are better freestanding. Jo Malone, for example, is a house built on the concept of “shared scents” (scents intended for creative layering). C.O. Bigelow’s musk perfume oil (to clarify, this is not a “dark” musk, it’s a bright, clean, floral musk) gets along famously when mixed with the company’s amber perfume oil. The Tom Ford scents are definitely harmonious together. On the other end of the spectrum, I would let Fresh’s Pink Jasmine wear mostly off before moving into the sexy Cannabis Santal. The two from Profumum Roma are mild gourmands so let them each have their own 12 hour shift instead of doubling up, to keep from smelling like a bakery. I suspect you’ll find (as I did when researching these perfumes) that even when scents from one company are very different, there’s still often a consistent approach behind their creation and formulation which makes the transition from one to the other somehow complimentary.



Fresh Pink Jasmine and Cannabis Santal (100ml for $88)


C.O. Bigelow Musk and Amber Perfume Oil (.25oz for $15.00)


Profumum Roma Battito D’Ali and Confetto (100ml for $240)


Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede and Pomegranate Noir (100ml for $115)


Tom Ford Santal Blush and Plum Japonais (50ml for $210)


Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Vitae and Amyris (70ml for $185)


Le Labo Fleur D’Oranger 27 and Baie Rose 26 – a Chicago Barney’s exclusive (50ml for $160)
 Byredo Gypsy Water and Seven Veils (50ml for $145)




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