The Worst perfume ever!

(1000 Posts)
anniewoo Fri 28-Sep-12 19:54:07

Was in HOF today and as i have no money at the moment to spend (despite their sale) decided to cheer myself up with a spray ( or two) of their posh perfumes. Big Mistake- sprayed Serge lutyens Tuberose Criminale- and it was!!!! Well the smell was criminal- like camphor, moth balls mixed with wintergreen , that awful muscle rub stuff. Jesus wept and it lasts and lasts and lasts. Can't kill it off, despite Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio on my other wrist. You have been warned.....Though i do dare you!!!

Lovewearingjeans Fri 28-Sep-12 19:58:26

I tried something in debenhams the other week, that made me smell like an old woman, and I couldn't get rid of it either. Made me feel ill.

I think KISS perfume from the Kleeneze catalogue must come a very close second though...

Mrscog Fri 28-Sep-12 20:02:46

Oh god, I have 2 contenders - Thierry Mulger Angel - not so much a horrible smell, but something in it gives me a migrane.

But once I made the stupid stupid mistake of spritzing on YSL Paris without checking and that is old lady to the MAX!

MrsMeow Fri 28-Sep-12 20:05:26

Oh I hate that! I tried a Tom Ford one (I think it was) once and I actually felt ill by the end of the day when I got home. It smelt burnt!

anniewoo Fri 28-Sep-12 20:11:02

MrsCog Are you me??? I detest Angel -it too gives me a migraine and YSL Paris smells of synthetic roses! But neither come clise to Tuberose Criminalle!!!grin

NaiceAm Fri 28-Sep-12 20:19:31

Ah my favourite for the worst perfume contender is Donald Trump's fragrance called, as is befitting his modest demeanour,...."Trump the Fragrance". The reviews of it are hilarious Amazon

I love angel!!! Worst is tweed!

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 20:24:49

No, no, no, the worst perfume EVER is Halston Catalyst. Ancient curry doused in cheap aftershave. And the lasting power is, as usual with something vile, incredibly long!

SneezySnatcher Fri 28-Sep-12 20:32:21

The worst one ever is Lush 'smell of weather turning'. I thought it sounded a lovely idea so sprayed it on liberally - I smelled it and retched. It's truly foul and I used a whole packet of baby wipes washing it off! Please smell it just so you understand!

Weather turning? It doesn't sound good!

SuperB0F Fri 28-Sep-12 20:43:14

I love Angel too. I really wanted to like Thierry Mugler's Womanity, because I adore the bottle. But it smells like Cif sad.

BrianButterfield Fri 28-Sep-12 20:48:11

I like Angel, but I once rashly sprayed some Sex and the City perfume on myself (as a joke) and I did regret it.

hifi Fri 28-Sep-12 20:59:45

Anais anais,smells like cat piss.

On me

Aquelven Fri 28-Sep-12 21:01:59

Lancôme Poeme is absolutely vile. Makes me feel sick.

headfairy Fri 28-Sep-12 21:04:39

an Ex boyfriend once bought me a bottle of Tiffany perfume It was vile. Really strong and sickly. No doubt he thought he was being terribly posh buying something from Tiffany, but it was over priced and smelt like old ladies handbags. I was actually quite offended he thought it appropriate for me, at the time a nubile 25 year old.

TheCountessOlenska Fri 28-Sep-12 21:10:41

I loathe Anais Anais - only perfume to give me a headache.

I love YSL Paris though, it smells of my mum!

I bought some Shamilar (sp?) on sale and I think it smells of an old lady who smokes 60 a day but can't put my finger on why!

BabylonPI Fri 28-Sep-12 21:12:14

Clinique Happy smells beautiful in the ottos or on my mum - on me it smells like domestos multi surface cleaner hmmconfused

MrsMeow Fri 28-Sep-12 21:12:19

Anais Anais and Chloe Narcisse both make me feel rotten as well.

SrirachaGirl Fri 28-Sep-12 21:14:48

Yy to TM Angel. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 21:16:07

Chloe (the 1975 one, not the gorgeous one) smells like peach air freshener in a naice downstairs loo.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 21:17:33

After smelling Catalyst I stuck my nose in my cat's litter tray for olfactory relief.
That perfume smelt so bad I wanted to slap it's face.

Pinot Fri 28-Sep-12 21:19:02

YSL Paris is lovely, I thought.

YY to Poeme. Blah.

Sonaive Fri 28-Sep-12 21:22:36

I worked with a girl who used Angel and smelt wonderful.

It smells awful on me.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 21:24:21

Angel smells like chocolate on me and I hate smelling of food. I want to smell like a bunch of posh flowers, not Like I've done a shift in Thorntons and haven't got home yet.

mewkins Fri 28-Sep-12 21:25:44

Both Angel and CK Obsession make me feel queasy.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 21:28:43

My ex MIL used to wear Giorgio Beverly Hills. Man, that stuff can really fill a room!

ShatnersBassoon Fri 28-Sep-12 21:31:45

Lou Lou made me puke into a stranger's McDonalds cup on a bus about 20 years ago.

ivykaty44 Fri 28-Sep-12 21:32:00


Badvoc Fri 28-Sep-12 21:34:45

So many!
Lou Lou
Anais anais
Anything by YSL but esp ysatis
Youth dew
Red door by Elizabeth arden

BegoniaBigtoes Fri 28-Sep-12 21:38:21

The WORST I ever sniffed was one by Diesel, can't remember the name but the bottle has a manky bit of stocking stretched over it. My god it reeked like someone who has had a huge night out, smoked 40 fags and then spent 24 hours lying in a gutter in their own vomit. I couldn't believe how revolting it was.

Another vote for Angel. Makes me want to heave.

Completely agree with Badvoc's list! We must have the same nose!

perplexedpirate Fri 28-Sep-12 22:03:30

Whatever the woman who works opposite me wears.
Lovely, stylish, funny woman, but the smell!
And she refreshes it after lunch. sad

ivykaty44 Fri 28-Sep-12 22:07:00

Diesel - not really the sort of thing you want to splash on your neck before a night out grin why did they give it this name is beyond me..?

mysonsasaint Fri 28-Sep-12 22:09:25

Yep I came on to say Anais Anais too.

I remember sitting with Uni friends and one of them was wearing it and all night, all I could think was "bloody hell we are sitting too close to the toilets, all I can smell is the cheap air freshener".

MrsBovary Fri 28-Sep-12 22:14:50

Another Angel vote. One whiff was enough to make me nauseous. Was like embalming fluid with a hint of chocolate.

Mine was a gift, but I managed to give it away.

MrFlibble Fri 28-Sep-12 22:16:13


Marks and Spencer I can smell it a mile off and it sets migraines off straight away. I've had to walk out of a cinema because someone was wearing it. sad

SuperB0F Fri 28-Sep-12 22:17:32

Anyone with unwanted bottles of Angel can send them my way...I rarely go out, so I promise not to stink up random strangers grin

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 23:14:17

YY Florentyna is AWFUL, so sickly and overbearing.

YouOldSlag Fri 28-Sep-12 23:16:46

Oh and Dior's Poison. It smells so overpowering and rank that it's actually bad manners to wear it.

Viperidae Fri 28-Sep-12 23:23:22

Poison is vile! It was all the rage when I was pregnant with DS and was guaranteed to make me puke!

MIL bought me some "Je Reviens" it smelt like toilet cleaner on me.

Aftershaves wise, Joop Homme is horrid to me.

GhouliaYelps Sat 29-Sep-12 07:33:43

LOVE poison - lovely "strong woman" 80 s scent.

Anything from M& S is usually floral and vile.
Opium and Yputh Dew are quite horrid and I don't get why everyone adores coco mademoiselle it smells like washing powder.

Panzee Sat 29-Sep-12 07:38:17

I can't remember its name but it was a Lush one that they really pushed last year or so. Full of violets, apparently. Well all I could smell was patchouli oil, which smells of unwashed hippy to me. What a waste sad

YellowArchangel Sat 29-Sep-12 08:32:59

no the worst is a perfume called "golddigga" (name probably should have given me a clue) which I tried on to be polite when I was buying stuff in a savers shop. It came out in huge gusts and I swear I saw people moving away from me in the library. blush I had a cold as well so probably didn't get its full glory!

This thread is making me worry now about how many people have been suppressing dry heaves when I have been wafting along on what I thought was a tiny whiff of borrowed glamour...

Itsgottabebags Sat 29-Sep-12 08:36:43

I love Poeme. It was the perfume I wanted when I was at college and eventually bought a few years back. Love it.

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 08:42:30

Whatwouldvegansdo smile
Do you remember tweed and white satin?
I am heaving just thinking about them!...
Oh and Vanderbilt by Gloria Vanderbilt....smells like old ladies who use to much talc.
I hated anything from the body shop too....white musk, dewberry etc...every girl in my 6th form wore them and they stank up the place smile
I wore an Avon perfume for was called nightfall and I loved it and they don't make it anymore sad
I now use Stella by Stella McCartney.

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 09:20:07

All the good Avon perfumes have been continued. All the ones they do know have this cheap synthetic base note that ruins them.

I stand by my view that Poison is rank. Some M and S ones are good these days (apart from aforementioned Florentyna).

I tried Pleasures Intense the other day and it was vile and sickly.

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 09:20:37

*sorry all the good Avon perfumes have been DIS continued

anniewoo Sat 29-Sep-12 09:23:47

None of the perfumes come close (in awfulness) to Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminalle grin Please somebody try it today and let me kniow what you think. His Clar de Musc is nice though.

indianrani Sat 29-Sep-12 09:28:31

I Love Angel! Hate 'poison' by CD, Migraine scented!

BoerWarKids Sat 29-Sep-12 09:32:10

Yy to Florentyna. Loo cleaner.

I remember Mizz magazine in the 90s always saying that different perfumes smell different according to the wearer grin

I hate Rive Gauche. Reminds me of my toxic grandmother and my sinuses hurt just thinking about it.

Tamisara Sat 29-Sep-12 09:33:43

I used to love Lou Lou. I found some in an aold bag, and decided to spray it in my cardigan cupboard the other week - it was so putrifying I had to wash all my woolies. I can't believe how much I hate it now.

kiwigirl42 Sat 29-Sep-12 09:34:34

Um ... I adore Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminelle! It smells a bit petrolly when you put it on then settles down to the most gorgeous gardenia on my skin. I have a whole bell jar. I adore his Louve too - almonds and vanilla but it doesn't last at all on me. And I may have some Ambre Sultan by him too ...

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Sat 29-Sep-12 09:35:05

That takes me mum always wore that.
Anything by Estee Lauder...

Perfumes I wore in the eighties now just give me a headache...Obsession for one.
But I still like Samsara.

IdoknowtheMuffinMan Sat 29-Sep-12 09:39:54

I bought Jo Malone Blue Agave and something, oh Lord it is so vile. It's lurking in my bathroom cabinet daring me to throw it out.

Curious by Britney Spears. SIL thinks it i the height of glamour and wears far too much of it. MIL bought it for me as a present too. Ugh. Anais Anais does smell of cat piss hififsmile I tried on some RED Door a few weeks ago because I was informed it was a good dupe of Gucci Envy, my favourite perfume EVER that was discontinued. It smelt of disappointment.

hellswelshy Sat 29-Sep-12 09:49:52

I love Exclamation! when i was a teen, and still sniff it when im in Boots for nostalgias sake. Also Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden, happy memories. The worst smells ever are Poison, and the heavy Estee Lauder ones like headachey!!
Now i wear DKNY for women and Hugo Boss Red.

MovingGal Sat 29-Sep-12 09:51:05

Love YSL Paris - but then I am perhaps verging on old ladyhood..........

Hate Samsara - headache inducing but thankfully not as popular as in the 80s

J Lo - any version - smells of air freshener & disappointment (if I can borrow your great turn of phrase Freddie) because I always want my DH to give me Paris and he gives me J Lo.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 09:56:08

Tuberose (Tubereuse Criminelle, original Poison, Fracas) is very distinctive and it's absolute is one of the most expensive raw materials in perfumery (and an absolutely gorgeous natural). It's a bit of an acquired taste though - not for everyone.

Rive Gauche is strongly aldehydic (as is Chanel 5) and many modern consumers find aldehydes difficult.

Angel is one of the most copied perfumes ever and made way for hundreds if not thousands of gourmand perfumes. It's a love-hate perfume but probably one of the most influential releases ever.

Fruity florals and fresh perfumes are designed to be inoffensive and to appeal to everyone - this is why your average department store is full of them. It's easy to fit in wearing them, but few of them are very distinctive.

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 09:58:13

All of the sleb ones are pretty vile though, arent they?
Anais anais smell of leeks to me...
My aunt once gave me a bottle of a clinique actually mad me feel ill...binned it.
I love perfumes like obsession and opium and cinnabar BUT only in autumn/ wrong for spring/summer...

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 09:59:35

Can I ask advice?
An looking for a new perfume for me...would like it to be classy and rose based.
any ideas?

Not too floral though...

Jins Sat 29-Sep-12 10:02:04

The violet lush one was tuca tuca and it smelled dreadful on me too. Having said that I love their orange blossom, ginger and lust perfumes.

I hate anais anais with a passion. I'm also a bit meh about the celeb perfumes. There are others I'll have to think about

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 10:05:12

Is the imogen rose one nice jins?

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 10:07:58

rose based but not too floral? you set a hard task my friend.


Gres Cabotine Rose
or Ferre Rose Princesse by GianFranco Ferre.

AmberLeaf Sat 29-Sep-12 10:10:34

I thought about Poison the other day, I loved it! I was about 14 years old though and I used to get a bottle in duty free every year on the way home from my holiday. I think it would give me a headache now though it was pretty strong.

I love Angel.

There are loads I used to love, but can no longer wear because I cant afford them they remind me of my EX!

AmberLeaf Sat 29-Sep-12 10:10:50

*Because he bought them for me, not because he wore them!

AmberLeaf Sat 29-Sep-12 10:11:33

Oh and I hate Joop Homme too!

Meglet Sat 29-Sep-12 10:13:29

Anything floral makes me retch and feel 'granny-ish'.

On the other hand I love Angel and the Tom Ford ones.

Meglet Sat 29-Sep-12 10:16:01

DonaAna yes, tuberose is bloody gorgeous. It's not in cheap perfume though sadly, Tom Ford was £££ for a small bottle (and on my Xmas list).

gymboywalton Sat 29-Sep-12 10:16:36

white linen makes me retch

anything 'oceanic' just smells like fish to me

MorrisZapp Sat 29-Sep-12 10:16:43

Ma Griffe in a green bottle. Bogging.

I wore Angel for years, it was my 'signature scent'. I still love it, but only for nostalgia.

In summer I wear clinique Happy, in winter I wear Kiehls musk oil stuff. But mostly I wear nothing, just use lovely body lotion.

Oh, and anything with jasmine is vile.

gymboywalton Sat 29-Sep-12 10:17:14

an old boyfriend bought me a bottle of JOY once-meant to be the most expensive perfume in the world-smelt like cold tea

MorrisZapp Sat 29-Sep-12 10:20:03

DP is currently loving Spicebomb by Viktor and Rolf. It's gorgeous on him. My all time fave men's scents are Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, and Hermes de Terre. Both worn by my lovely best friend, so its partly that they remind me of him, and partly that they smell so yummy.

Kveta Sat 29-Sep-12 10:21:48

Angel makes me nauseous too, thought this thread would be about it! Also was there one called sunflowers? That turned my stomach.

HazleNutt Sat 29-Sep-12 10:21:57

Angel. I tried it once in a tax free shop before the flight. Then almost complained to the flight attendant that there is something stinking around my seat, must be a dead rat or something..

Pinot Sat 29-Sep-12 10:22:29

Would it be a good idea for a perfume swap?

So if you have one to chuck out, you could instead send it to a MNer who likes it?

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 10:25:11

I'd be up for a perfume swap, but some of you would never forgive me as i have bought real stinkers totally blind and based on reviews only.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 10:28:26

Classy rose-based perfumes -
Nahéma by Guerlain (old school)
Tresor by Lancome (linear, modern landmark) - Lidl does a decent copy (Chalon).

If you love a squeaky clean washing powder rose, try Romance by Ralph Lauren or Especially Escada.
If you love the jammy aspects of rose, try Chanel No. 18 or Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer Perfumes (at Les Senteurs)
If you love wild rose, L'Ombre dans l'eau by Diptyque or Une Rose by Frederic Malle (also at Les Senteurs).

Gym Joy is made by Procter&Gamble these days...

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 10:33:10

wow, thanks!
I haev always tended to avoid chanel perfunmes for some reason...will give it a whiff smile

marshmallowpies Sat 29-Sep-12 10:33:44

Never smelt it, but worst perfume name is Loverdose. I feel slightly ill just thinking about it.

Worst smell (that I know of) - Chanel no 19, I was given it as a present and really wanted to like it, but it's rank.

Pinot fab idea.

For two years running my SIL has bought me perfumes I loathe: Angel and Kenzo Flowers. They ended up sitting on my dressing table going stale.

I would have gladly swapped for some
Prada Amber or Hugo Boss Deep
Red grin

My pet hatred are the 80s throat-catchers. In order of vileness:

Giorgio Beverly Hills
Calvin Klein Eternity
YSL Opium
And almost anything by Givenchy. Except for Amarige which I loved and wore for years.

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 10:36:31

oh! loverdose...its vile!
Quite like Paul smith Rose

DonAna your posts ate really interesting and knowledgable. Can you tell me anything about Molecule? I really want to try some as apparently it is a bit of a landmark in the way fragrance is developed but I can't be arsed to schlep to Harvey Nicks.

Pinot Sat 29-Sep-12 11:10:01

I too <heart> DonaAnas posts on perfume!

Am sad to hear that Joy is a P&G product now. Don't particularly like it but my mum wore it on 'special occasions' so in that respect I love it because it smells of birthday and christmas my mum

That was when it was still Jean Patou (spelling?) and v. glamorous.

It's like finding out that Tiffany jewellery is produced in a factory alongside Elizabeth Duke.

LimburgseVlaai Sat 29-Sep-12 11:20:34

Most "children's" scents are just awful. DD was given a bottle of Pink for a birthday - it stinks of Brut.

MaBaya Sat 29-Sep-12 11:31:36

The latest Stella one...grannified!

almapudden Sat 29-Sep-12 11:38:30

Lanvin does a nice rose scented one; I can't remember what it's called, though.

I hate Angel, makes me feel very sick. I'm sure if must react to people very differently.

SuoceraBlues Sat 29-Sep-12 12:04:02


It smells like distilled aluminum foil, makes my eyes cringe and my teeth hurt.

The 80s were a living hell for nasal assult by ill thought out, highly pungent perfumes.

Jins Sat 29-Sep-12 12:04:07

I quite like Imogen rose yes but I tend to get my rose fix elsewhere grin

GreenEyesAndHam Sat 29-Sep-12 12:08:00

Hate Angel on me

Also Jo Malone Pomegranite Noir, in fact most Jo Malone stuff

And finally that god awful Lidl Suddenly miss glamour stuff that you bastards on MN persuaded me to purchase. I couldn't wait to try it, sprayed it on in the car and nearly cried. DH pissed himself for most of the day.

akaemmafrost Sat 29-Sep-12 12:11:12

Blonde by Versace.

I wanted to love it because I AM very blonde. But no it was horrible, smelt like musty washing on me.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 12:14:27

Molecule 01 is Iso E Super
molecule 02 is ambroxan
Molecule 03 is vetiveryl

They are minimalism taken to the extreme - just one ingredient (marked up 50 x of course). Personally, I love Iso E Super which is a basenote in many modern perfumes (Terre by Hermes for example). But not everybody can smell it at all and some find it very annoying.
You really should try them, first on paper, then on skin to see where you stand (and move on, if looking for something traditional / floral: all of these ar very unisex). I've met their creator, Geza Schoen, who is one of the sexiest men alive (right after Tom Ford) - not underwear-model sexy but brainy-sharp-sexy wink

If you love Angel and want to cross over a bit, try A*men from the men's department - in many ways it's more feminine than Angel (other very feminine male perfumes: Dior Homme and Le Male).

Very many mainstream perfumes are shocking quality these days - very little or no natural ingredients left. That's why I recommend exploring niche perfumery and Les Senteurs - that's where the quality perfumes are these days. Pure natural perfumes are usually quite disappointing too - you need a good mix of naturals and synthetics to get the finest end result.

The really good perfumes at Chanel are only available at Chanel boutiques. Warmly recommended.

akaemmafrost Sat 29-Sep-12 12:17:08

Oh and Jennifer Aniston's perfume is nasty as well. Smells cheap.

Viviennemary Sat 29-Sep-12 12:18:28

I treated myself to Angel not long after it first came out. It was so strong it made me sneeze. Awful!! Also at one time liked Youth Dew. That was strong stuff! Opium and Poison are both dreadful.

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 12:19:45

angel it stinks like musty ole cloth
any estee lauder

I used to work for Floris.
Had a headache the entire first week due to the overpowering stench in the factory of all the different scents combined.

Didn't smell it after that though grin

issyocean Sat 29-Sep-12 12:20:57

Shalimar by Guerlain - smell exactly like cats piss.

DonaAna thank you thank you. I read a really interesting bit of blurb on the Molecule range and have really wanted to smell them ever since. I shall take your advice and try all three - paper first, then skin.

I love finding unusual scents and fragrances. And I now love you a bit as well for being so knowledgable grin

SuperB0F Sat 29-Sep-12 12:23:21

Perfumes do smell differently on different people though, to a certain extent at least.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 12:36:23

No prob Jaded - continue exploring!

Mainstream perfumes are a bit dumbed-down these days, they assume you want to smell of your shampoo or fruit yogurt (=same cheap aroma chemicals are used in all of them). Fully synthetic perfumes can be great (Molecules and Comme des Garcons lines for example), but once you have gotten to know the richness of naturals, there is no going back to Sephora offerings.

Iirc there is a recent lighter form of Angel (edt?) that is quite wearable. Am not an expert though.

SuperB0F Sat 29-Sep-12 12:42:38

The Rose D'Angel is well-reviewed- that's one I really like.

slalomsuki Sat 29-Sep-12 14:35:23

They must hate me at work then as I alternate between Angel and Opium. Not quite on a daily basis but probably weekly or monthly. Have had good comments on both and not a headache in sight!!

disasterinplaster Sat 29-Sep-12 14:41:52

I was given a bottle of Chloe Neroli and it smells like Mr Sheen. Full bottle still sitting on my dresser.

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 14:55:08

Oh oh oh!
Dh has just rang and asked me what perfume I want when he gets back from his work trip....
What shall I tell him?

SaraBellumHertz Sat 29-Sep-12 15:02:50

Oh god I loathe angel.

I remember years ago before it was available in the UK, every single model/glamorous actress declare in interviews that it was their favorite scent. In my youthful naivety I was convinced that this perfume would change my life.

A friend brought me, at great expense, a bottle back from the states and I have never smelt anything so hideous. Or been so disappointed.

gymboywalton Sat 29-Sep-12 15:17:40

i LOVE spellbound by estee lauder-it's a proper evening, glamorous smell

i had joy in the jean patou days-still smelt of cold tea

SoSoMamanBebe Sat 29-Sep-12 15:38:21

I still wear Sublime by Jean Patou and Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle

DonaAna would love to have a glass of wine with you!! What do you think of the Malle stable?

BoysBoysBoysAndMe Sat 29-Sep-12 15:39:35

Tommy girl

MsArseBiscuit Sat 29-Sep-12 15:40:18

Oh DonaAna, I've just had to order Molecule 01 because of you - you are a bad, bad woman.....

And my vote for worst perfume ever is Loulou or Tresor, hideous, sinus-raping monstrosities.

simplesusan Sat 29-Sep-12 15:50:18

Loulou is awful.
I dislike all Dior perfumes too.

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Sep-12 15:53:41

Knowing by Este Lauder. Foul. My boss wore it when I was pg with DS and I used to want to throw up every time she came near.

AnitaManeater Sat 29-Sep-12 16:12:00

Opium is horrible. Headache in a bottle

popcal Sat 29-Sep-12 16:34:42

Cinema - makes me nauseous

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 16:46:26

great posts DonnaAna, really interesting
molecule01 does sound interesting
i wear miller Harris coeur de fleur at mo

mablemurple Sat 29-Sep-12 16:50:17

O de Lancôme smells/smelt (I don't know if they still do it) like fly spray, and Clarins Eau Dynamisante smells like stale sweat.

I wish they still made Havoc, by Mary Quant, I loved that as a teenager.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 17:11:18

Frederic Malle does some of the best perfumes around.

Some of Dior boutique perfumes are really good (I own several) - their department store Eau Sauvage is still great (although older versions were better). Unfortunately they have messed with most of their great classics.

If you would like to start usung better perfumes but don't know where to start, I recommend L'Artisan Parfumeur and Diptyque. Great, easy-to-like perfumes that are not worn by everyone else.

And smell them yourself, first on strip, then on skin. I got into perfume after really dissappointing blind buys / impulse purchases at duty frees. There are great perfumes out there, but knowing a little bit about what is good and what you like/dislike helps a lot. A great way of getting to know perfumes is ordering small sample sizes - for the price of an average duty free bottle you can sample ten or twenty quality perfumes at your own leisure. Via Les Senteurs, First in Fragrance, Luckyscent, Surrender to Chance, Parfumeria Neroli - or directly from perfume houses.

Pinkforever Sat 29-Sep-12 17:12:33

HA HA I love loads of the stinkers mentioned on here-

Knowing is gorgeous and I always buy the gift set for myself at xmas
Mil buys me the Beautiful by estee lauder set
Also used to love Opium but not since its been reformulated
Love Shalimar,Samsara and Mitsouko
Love Poison but agree it smells a bit old fashioned so I wear Hypnotic poison.
Boudoir-this is definately a love it or hate it perfume. Ditto with Let it Rock.

I cant wear chloe narcisee or loulou as give me migraines but I dont dislike them.

I am meh about Kenzo flower and dont get its popularity. Love Kenzo Amour although its sillage is crap.

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 29-Sep-12 17:20:04

Yes, go to Les Senteurs, tell them what you like and they will come out with some "better" perfumes for you to try. I gave them the remit for DH for something that would make him smell like an expensive Lebanese businessman. They knew exactly what I meant and he is now wearing Bois de Portugal (Creed).

My cats go beserk for "Eau Froide" - they clamber over me trying to lick it off, purring loudly and making little growly noises. confusedgrin

Dona Ana - I used to work next to a Frederic Malle shop in Paris.

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 17:23:28

I had a perfume blended for me once,gift from dp
it was divine
sad when it ran out

LynetteScavo Sat 29-Sep-12 17:27:41

The really good perfumes at Chanel are only available at Chanel boutiques. Warmly recommended.

Really DonaAna What are they? What am I missing out on??

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 17:29:56

I want something classic, but not frumpy.
Something I can wear day or night and in any season.
Also I love the smell of roses, but favour oriental perfumes....
Not going to happen is it?

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 17:32:43

I hate chanel no5,caustic sharp
I never associate Chanel with nice perfumes
which are good then

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 18:42:21

Chanel No 5 is overrated in my view. On me it smells like gone off foundation or face powder. I just don't get it.

MsArseBiscuit Sat 29-Sep-12 18:55:24

None of the Chanel fragrances smell anything other than cheap and nasty on me, I've never seen the attraction of them.

carlywurly Sat 29-Sep-12 19:05:36

Angel is vile on me. Sickly and pungent.

Someone I work with wears Charlie and I have to cover my nose with my scarf (which usually smells of daisy by Marc Jacobs)

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 19:10:29

don't get schleb endorsed perfumes
Kate moss?
does it smell of fags and lager

GreenEyesAndHam Sat 29-Sep-12 19:13:09

Yeah smells of fags and lager and for best results you sniff it through a rolled up £50 note

recall Sat 29-Sep-12 19:13:12

White Linen - nasty !

akaemmafrost Sat 29-Sep-12 19:18:53

There's three floral Angels. Rose, violet and Lily. Can get then online I had the Rose and Violet ones. I do actually love Angel but it's too common now.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 19:24:34

There are about a dozen boutique perfumes at Chanel.
My favorite is their cool iris, 28 La Pausa.
I also wear Cuir de Russie and Coromandel during winter.
Chanel 22 is magnificent, Bois des Iles also very beautiful.

I know a lot of people who love perfume. Taste in perfume is highly individual; I do not know two people who have exactly similar tastes. But when you have smelled them a lot of them, you learn to appreciate well-made perfumes and good materials. I started out with timid and boring florals and very conventional orientals, but really love leathery, woody and green perfumes. Some perfumes are more cerebral and difficult - learning to appreciate and love them can take time, as one's taste can evolve.

Face powder has been traditionally scented with rose, violet (one of the first synthetic ingredients) and iris. Now that we smell that mixture we think of powder or foundation, not the raw materials. Because what is used in perfumery is also used to scent soaps, detergents and other household products, we often associate certain perfumery ingredients with furniture polish, washing powder, air freshener, or hotel soap. The first associations of Chanel 5 to a modern consumer is often 'soap' and 'old lady'.

There is a lot to explore beyond traditional floral smells. Most department stores offer a very narrow slice of the huge family of perfumes - nearly all new mainstream releases marketed to women are fruity florals. It's like going out for ice cream and being told that they only have strawberry.

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 19:28:45

Chanel no5 old ladyish def yes
I like miller Harris,and penhaligons
love perfumes.wear perfume daily

SorrelForbes Sat 29-Sep-12 19:28:53

DonaAna What do you think of the Tom Ford range? I've just bought DH the Tuscan Leather and it's the sexiest thing I've ever smelled!

MummysHappyPills Sat 29-Sep-12 19:30:16

There's a dkny one that smells like nit lotion...

And a tommy hilfiger one that smells like eggs.

notjustamummythankyou Sat 29-Sep-12 19:37:28

I can't bear clinique aromatics elixir. My sister loves it and sprays herself liberally on the stuff, but it just gives me a huge headache.

Also can't stand Red Door and most m&s perfumes - too headache inducing.

Oh and kenzo flower - adore it on others, but it smells like Mr sheen on me. What a disappointment.

notjustamummythankyou Sat 29-Sep-12 19:38:03

*with the stuff.

Merinda Sat 29-Sep-12 19:38:48

Issey Miyake L'Eu D'Issey, the one that smells like watermelon. That one made me faint more that once, and even retch on one occation. Absolutely disgustingly vile.

Love L'Artisan and Annick Goutal

TheMightyMojoceratops Sat 29-Sep-12 19:41:04

Did there used to be a Chanel 21? I have this vague memory that it was the only Chanel fragrance I liked, years ago, but I can't find any reference to it these days. I can't even remember what it smelled like. Chanel 5 is awful on me.

On the bright side, I did discover Katie Puckrick (remember her?) has a blog entirely devoted to perfume reviews! Called "Katie Puckrick Smells"...

BikeRunSki Sat 29-Sep-12 19:41:36

When I was 25 and skint my mum bought ne a bottle of Tresor for my birthday. I didn't think much of it to sniff (old ladyish) and it smelt awful on me. This was the 1990s and a (male) friend of mine's wife used to wear something very heavy, overpowering and cloying - can't remember what it was called, but it was v popular at the time. Envy maybe? I used to make me gag whenever I smelt it. I used to walk to work to avoid it on the metro (like I said, it was very popular).

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 19:43:54

I like many Tom Fords - Tuscan Leather is great. Some say it smells like cocaine wink
Two, no three of my perfume novice friends were immediately addicted to Tobacco Vanille.
Noir de Noir is a magnificent dark rose.

Tom's perfumes are unisex (=allow women to wear many goregous things traditionally reserved for men and vice versa) - worth exploring.

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 19:45:12

Gucci envy was created in 1997 and is sadly discontinued ( I love it). Maybe that's what you meant BikeRun?

MrsSchadenfreude Sat 29-Sep-12 19:46:44

A big YES to the Chanel Les Exclusifs as well. I have No 22, which is fabulous, also love Cuir de Russie and Baies des Iles. I had Bel Respiro, which was OK for summer, but didn't absolutely do it for me, and the Eau de Cologne was lovely, but a bit too expensive for what is essentially just Eau de Cologne.

I am currently wearing Lux by Mona di Orio, which smells like sherbet lemons (but nicer!).

SorrelForbes Sat 29-Sep-12 19:48:24

Dona. I couldn't comment wink

I bought White Suede for myself. Very nice too.

notjustamummythankyou Sat 29-Sep-12 19:50:43

.d.d.fb Waa. Vbvqbqvqvqvqvqvqvqvqvq

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 19:50:57

ooh DonaAna, I could read your posts all day.

I am very disappointed with the current high street perfumes and I am increasingly going on line to search for that elusive scent that I can regard as The One For Me. The chain stores are awash with sleb fragrances (not all of which are bad), but I feel that the whole meaning of fragrance is getting lost in the stampede to fill the shelves with as many money making scents as possible.

One thing I love about France are the massive perfume shops where you can try all sorts of obscure and underrated gems.

notjustamummythankyou Sat 29-Sep-12 19:52:13

Sorry! Oops - feeding baby just rolled over on to phone. As you were blush

ATourchOfInsanity Sat 29-Sep-12 20:05:21

Angel is the worst. A lady at Fenwicks smothered me with it when I was a teen and I was retching by the end of the day. Took about 2 months to get out of my clothes through washing.

My mum used to wear Farouche by Nina Ricci and I would love to find it. Anything other than Yves St Luarent Rive Gauche out there that smells similar (olf maths teacher used to wear that and it has completely different scary memories!).

LaTrucha Sat 29-Sep-12 20:05:24

Very interesting. Dona Ana - Are there any websites you would recommend for sample sizes? I have been years without finding anything I wanted to buy in Boots etc... I live in rural Wales and the idea of shopping for perfume is way beyond me. If I get to a place with good shops, I'm usually running frantically trying to find nice jeans.

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 20:09:02

Hmmmmtom for you say?
Off to google....

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 20:09:25

Tom ford that should have read!

coffeeinbed Sat 29-Sep-12 20:15:07

Tuberose is very buttery to start with.
Sometimes it tips over to overripe cheese/rancid fat territory.
There a little gem called Tuberose di Autonno, some Italian niche perfume house, - now this is bad. Seriously cheesy.
My personal hate is Angel.
And anything with green apple. or overripe mellon.

scottishmummy Sat 29-Sep-12 20:28:13

angel is def the most boaky perfume ever
like cheap scotbloc
its gross

YouOldSlag Sat 29-Sep-12 20:28:41

I tried Estee lauder Private Collection Gardenia and Tuberose today and it was awful. Really unpleasant, and of course long lasting, as they always are when you don't like them!

Latrucha- it's difficult to find a good scent if you don't live near a big store or perfume hall isn't it? I am in a slightly similar position and have been buying blind after reading reviews on Fragrantica. I have bought some real gems inexpensively and also some stinkers but not spent a fortune and I ebay the ones I don't like.

prettysunset Sat 29-Sep-12 20:30:27

Badvoc Agent Provocateur (original in pink bottle) is a vey nice (and reasonably priced) rose based scent.

prettysunset Sat 29-Sep-12 20:32:29

Most horrid perfume- Cerutti 1881! Yuk!

coffeeinbed Sat 29-Sep-12 20:32:43

And for some reason people who wear Angel always wear it by the bucketful.
Why in the name of everything that is sane?

Badvoc Sat 29-Sep-12 20:34:59

Thank you.

coffeeinbed Sat 29-Sep-12 20:37:25

Badvoc Nahema is/was an oriental rose. Very opulent. Sweet honey and all.
Unless they freshened her up.

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 21:18:05

I don't have one signature perfume - but there are about thirty I use regularly.
I live in Italy, and here you can get amazing niche and boutique stuff in almost any neighborhood profumeria, but my favorite online perfume store is Alla Violetta (they deliver worldwide and have an amazing selection - start with Malle, Diptyque, L'Artisan, Tom Ford - you can order samples of individual perfumes there and they always include amazing surprise freebies). Les Senteurs is good but a bit pricey - but lovely if you can make it to their store.

There are many good perfume blogs - Bois de Jasmin and Olfactoria's Travels are among the best.

The book Perfumes: The Guide by Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez is a good and very funny introduction to perfumes.

Many perfume houses do inexpensive sample sets - I recommend Olfactive Studio and Histoires de Parfums and Tauer Perfumes for people new to selective perfumes, but there are dozens of others.

And don't forget Grossmith.

I stopped wearing perfume when I read stuff like this:

DonaAna Sat 29-Sep-12 21:44:22

Vegan, if you ever drink alcohol, your body will make aceltaldehyde from it. If you ever use nail polish, you are exposed to toluene or acetone; if you use hairspray, to formaldehyde... And many so called natural / organic products are perfumed or flavored with limonene, linalool and alpha-pinene (because they are present in many plant extracts).

I'm not saying that perfumes are completely harmless, but many of the aroma chemicals used are also present in our food and everyday household products. EU is quite vigilant about known allergens and has recently severely restricted their use in perfumery. The worst allergens tend to be the really innocuous sounding ones - the components responsible for the flavor and scent of cinnamon and citruses for example.

I'm allergic to one quite commonly used cosmetic ingredient. I think I have tried well over 1000 perfumes, and have ever had an allergic reaction to just two of them...

BikeRunSki Sat 29-Sep-12 21:58:53

Opium!!!! It was Opium, the one I hated and whose name I couldn;t remember up thread was Opium.

Dona, I don't drink. Never have. I don't use nail varnish or hairspray, ever. smile We avoid all toilettries with parabens/SLS etc, use EcoBalls for laundry, that kind of thing.
Also eat as organic as possibly, and obviously no meat or dairy.

I do wear make up, I buy Arbonne, which I believe is as ok as possible.

Not expecting anyone to live like we do, but just thought the perfume toxin info was worth pointing out in case anyone was interested.

Liz Earle's Botanical Essence - I was sent a free sample, and it was utterly vile. I had to fling open all the windows after I'd spritzed it, and spent ages trying to scrub it off. I feel ill thinking about it.

QueenieLovesEels Sat 29-Sep-12 23:15:17

I loathe Green Tea and Pleasures perfumes.i think they are Estee Lauder.They are just so sexless to my mind. My Mum used to wear Beautiful which was repellent.

Anything that is floral seems to give me a cracking headache.

Also hate Blue Grass by Arden.

Chanel no 5 is just horrible as is No 19 which reminds me of those tweed scents from the 1970's. Yerch!

The frowziest one I have smelt is a Burbury one. It smelt of manure. Who would want that?

QueenieLovesEels Sat 29-Sep-12 23:16:17


fedupofnamechanging Sun 30-Sep-12 08:37:05

Samsara for me. It smells like vomit.

The late 80s were a nightmare, I used to share a room at uni with someone who used Poison, Giorgio Beverly Hills, Obsession and White Musk, they all made me nauseous. Beverly Hills was the worst.

When I was young my mum used to drench herself in Rive Gauche for special occasions, then if we were all going out together we had to get in the car, I've always been prone to travel sickness, the perfume made it far worse, still can't bear RG.

DuaneDibbley Sun 30-Sep-12 09:00:21

I can't believe no one has said "It smells like Bigfoot's dick!" grin

I hate Angel too - MIL gave me a bottle about 10 years ago and I had to discreetly give it away.

OrangeHorraceTheGoldenOtter Sun 30-Sep-12 09:24:23

The problem with Serge is that he is by all accounts a bit of a nutter! Some are lovely: Nuit de Cellophane, Chergui, others are interesting, either way, they have REALLY strong natural base notes so you aint getting rid! One lasted through a (very) quick shower before! Angel made me retch whenever I smelt it during pg - I had to refuse to refill bottles for customers as it made me feel so ill. Anything by diesel or lacoste are foul, but I think you will find the worst fragrance is Par Camille, Annick Goutal.

DonaAna Sun 30-Sep-12 10:41:34

Perfumes have many uses; some wear them to cover bad smells; some wear them as clothes; some wear them to fit in and to smell like everyone else (think young girls and Tommy Girl or Lacoste). For me it has been important to understand that you can also use them to evoke emotions and to experience novel things - a bit like art, music or films.

Re: manure smells, animalic smells are used to make perfumes more approachble and human. Musks make us think of warm skin; components of sweaty and urine smells are used especially in masculine perfumes to make the scent more brawny. Fecal smells are also present in perfumery - jasmine is partially made of indoles that are one of the odor component of faeces (it gives jasmine sensual, indolent, voluptuos qualities). If you want pristine cleanliness, look into Estee Lauders - they are great quality and craftmanship, but many find them daunting because they are a bit inhumane. Scents that are too clean often smell of soap or fabric softener to us (this is because the cheapest ingredients are used to perfume laundry products). Most classic French perfumes have some animalic and earthy qualities (to make them more sensual).

One of the perfumes I love is Bal à Versailles by Jean Desprez. I think someone described it as a lady who has peed in her pants - the pee-like quality makes it more sexy, earthy and grounded. I also have quite a few manurey, horse-like scents that I sometimes enjoy. I don't know about you, but to me they are all about careless summer days, haymaking, and perhaps about falling leaves.

Samsara is a classic sandalwood perfume. Traditional sandalwood is almost extinct by now, and usually replaced by synthetics; many people love them because they smell deep, creamy, milky and sensual, but they can also smell sickly sweetish like newborn poo.

Serge Lutens has helped to create a lot of perfumes that go outside the normative. For me, they are short films in a bottle - very intense experiences, not all pleasant, but worth experiencing.

Today I'm wearing Amarige by Givenchy. It's one of the last big scents made in the 1980s blockbuster style. It's sinus-piercing ylang ylang and feels like a gleaming glass and steel sculpture in midday tropical sun. People got tired of that style (Giorgio, Opium, Poison) and it was replaced by fresh and watery and lightwearing unisex perfumes (think Eau d'Issey, CK One, Eau parfumee au the vert). Which were then replaced by fruity florals... Which will be replaced by a new trend (light gourmands? new big blockbuster scents?).

The popular mass-market perfume I like the least at the moment is Code pour Femme by Armani. It's the fragrant equivalent of wearing acrylic - scratchy, nasty, loud and cheap smelling with a strange, plasticky feel.

DuaneDibbley Sun 30-Sep-12 10:45:44

I love Samsara. But haven't worn it since I was about 18.

hippermiddleton Sun 30-Sep-12 11:19:48

The new Madonna one - Truth or Dare? I don't know exactly what embalming fluid smells like, but I suspect that's the 'top note'.

YouOldSlag Sun 30-Sep-12 11:27:51

I agree that Amarige is one of the few 80s "shouters" that has stood the test of time.

It's fascinating how scent fashions change with the time, from the "Look at Me" 80s to the "caring sharing" 90s (ALL my friends wore Issey Miyake).

Interesting too, Dona Ana, how you relate that fecal and human smells are used. I always loved Gucci Envy because it was so floral but with a "dirty" note in it somewhere that was very sexy and kind of wrong.

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 11:58:58

That's why some people think Boudoir smells of sex - it has viburnum which has the that high pee note.
Another funny one is cumin - it's close to sweat - Serge Lutens uses it in about 70% percent of his perfumes. It gives a dirty depth.

DonaAna Sun 30-Sep-12 12:40:21

Madonna's Truth or Dare is a take on tuberose (itself a love/hate ingredient) and gardenia (always synthetic in everything). Tuberose a very expensive natural, so I doubt they used the real stuff here.

I have smelled tuberose absolute and have a perfume that uses it, it's a rich and heavy natural - a bit like a huge (but low cut) evening gown. Not for everyone, and perhaps too glamorous for me, too...

Yes, most French perfumes (especially Guerlains) include notes that are earthy or 'wrong'. Americans are different - they are very afraid of smelling unclean - from them (and from their focus groups) we get squeaky-clean juices. Tom Ford is American but his main function at Gucci and YSL was to make a slightly frumpy and run-down label seem sexy and current and covetable - I guess he managed to do that wink

Real vanilla from the orchid pods smells dirty and almost boozy. Modern consumers are so used to synthetic vanilline that they often don't recognize real  vanilla and in many focus groups they prefer the much cheaper synthetic alternative.

A thing to undestand about perfumery is that although almost everyone always talks of flowers, even the highest-end perfumes are usually about 90% synthetic. All fruit smells are always synthetic (and usually the same you find in candy and yogurt). Expensive naturals are used to give perfume depth and richness, but more and more mass market perfumes use the cheapest possible ingredients.

I have a few perfumer friends - they say that to a certain extent, the better the raw materials, the better the scent. However, most perfumes today are created on an Excel sheet that tracks the cost of the ingredient (tuberose absolute for example is very expensive, as are real jasmine or rose)! so more expensive naturals have to be replaced with their synthetic alternatives. If you pay 100 GBP for a perfume bottle, most mass market bottles assume the cost of the ingredients inside can be a maximum of 3 GBP. Scale this down and you will understand why many mass market perfumes smell cheap - they smell cheap because they are made of really cheap stuff (I doubt that Madonna's Truth or Dare has real tuberose). Many of the rose perfumes on the market have never seen a real rose. Your jasmine and orange blossom perfume may smell of loo cleaner because it's made from the same ingredients. All fruit smells currently used ar synthetic.

Synthetics are not bad per se. Some of the biggest classics (Chanel 5, Shalimar, Mitsouko) became revolutionary because they incorporated them. But I guess it's a bit like high street clothes these days - few of us would choose 100% polyester if we had alternatives.

Chandon Sun 30-Sep-12 16:21:03

Oh, interesting! would you know if Paul Smith Rose is all chemical?

I love it as it smells pleasantly unsynthetic, but it is not expensive, so I guess it must be all fakery?

Still, smells of real rose to me, and the wonder of this scent is that it develops and smells even better after a few hours on.

I hate heavy French perfumes, especially 1980s French perfumes.

- Rive Gauche YSL
- Paris YSL
- Chanel 19, Chanel 5
- loulou

So few that I like, maybe, thinking about it, don't take the rose away from me

Eliza22 Sun 30-Sep-12 17:07:40

Giorgio Beverly Hills. Everyone wore this in the late 80's. Except me.

There are very few that I like, most mass market ones go really cloying on me after a couple of hours but I do like Paul Smith Rose. Even so I have to squirt into the air and walk through to stop it being too strong.

BigStickBIWI Sun 30-Sep-12 17:20:23

The one I hated most of all was Le Jardin. Ghastly stuff. DH was given a company car, but it was handed down from someone else who obviously used to wear this perfume. She obviously used to get in the car, put the seat belt on and then spray herself, as the seatbelt was completely drenched in it. It made me heave every time I drove his car - and it was impossible to get it out.

fedupofnamechanging Sun 30-Sep-12 17:36:37

DonaAna, the perfume I love most in the entire world is Body Shop's White Musk. This is almost universally hated, or at least, associated with teenage years. Maybe I love it because it was what I was wearing when I first met my dh.

Is there a more 'grown up' perfume which is along the same lines as White Musk?

I have found your posts really interesting and I now feel vindicated in my dislike of Samsara, now you've told me that it can smell like newborn poo! grin. I thought there was something wrong with my nose, because lots of people love it.

kiwigirl42 Sun 30-Sep-12 17:50:47

Estee lauder Private Collection Gardenia - I like this alot. smells just like Tahitian Gardenia (Tiare) but its a bit single note overpowering.
My daily perfume is Shalimar - I don't like the 'new' formulation as much as the older one. The pure parfum is sublime but I also like the EDT as its got a really fresh lemony top note.
Talking of Serge Lutens, he has one called Fleurs d'Oranger which is really neroli based and really gopping on me but I own Fleurs de Citronnier which is fresh and lemony and wonderful to wear on a really hot, sunny day.
I adore the smell of violets but its hard to find anything without the powdery note.

I'd love to go to the Guerlain boutique in Paris and try their house perfumes. One day.

DonaAna Sun 30-Sep-12 18:03:53

All perfume ingredients can smell either good or bad - we interpret them differently based on our inherited preferences, experiences and associations. If you associate a smell with a mean relative or your partner's ex, it may ruin the smell for you.

Musks are divisive - we get them a lot in laundry detergents and teens overdose on Body Shop products. But musks are very important in perfumes as they are one of the commonly used basenotes. I have a small bottle of Kiehl's Musk Oil. It smells good but slightly boring on its own. The two great musky perfumes any musk lover should try are Musk Ravageur by Frederic Malle and Musc Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens. I've been meaning to try the teenage classic at Sephora - the one by Alyssa Ashley wink.

I don't know Paul Smith's rose but here is a fairly unflinching review by someone who knows a lot about perfume. Read at your own risk.

Wear confidently what you love - there is no right and wrong in perfume. Everyone has different preferences, expectations and experiences - many of the perfumes mentioned on this thread can be considered classics. But you should not be surprised if your favorite is not loved by everyone else.

I'll wear Samsara tomorrow if I can locate my sample grin.

LaTrucha Sun 30-Sep-12 18:07:31

I had that Serge Lutyens Fleur d'Oranger which I loved for about a week and now find totally overpowering.

DuaneDibbley Sun 30-Sep-12 18:23:55

I was thinking of getting some Samsara for winter actually - a nice bit of newborn poo grin
I haven't bought perfume for so long (no money) and i'm afraid at the moment all I wear is Body Shop Neroli Jasmine blush

BigStickBIWI Sun 30-Sep-12 18:47:54

God, I love this thread. My perfume repertoire is very narrow at the moment, and I am in need of something new/different!

I have been wearing Jo Malone on summery days (Grapefruit, or Lime/Basil/Mandarin), Chanel Coco Mademoiselle or Stella's latest one (can't remember the name).

fedupofnamechanging Sun 30-Sep-12 18:59:53

I am wearing Alien at the moment (Thierry Mugler). Anyone know what it is made up of?

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 19:07:25

KIwigirl have you tried Balenciaga?
The one with Charlotte Gainsbourg in the adverts?
That's a good violet.

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 19:10:09

LaTrucha same here.
The cumin in Fleur D'Oranger can really weigh in down.

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 19:12:06

Chandon it seems you have to avoid aldehydes.
That's the common in all the ones you hate.

Chandon Sun 30-Sep-12 19:21:21

Oh coffee, that is interesting

Kenzo Flowers. It smells cold.

notjustamummythankyou Sun 30-Sep-12 19:46:42

You can still get White Musk by Alyssa Ashley then?! I used to love that.

Bark - what do you mean by 'cold'? I loved Kenzo Flowers on other people, but it was simply rank on me. I have some Sainsburys furniture polish, and it smells exactly the same. I hate that too.

Such a shame, as my DH bought the perfume as a surprise after I kept on going on about it. When I realised it just did not suit me, I had to hide it . . .

Tamisara Sun 30-Sep-12 19:58:50

This thread is fascintating, but it makes me realise just how perfume dense I am blush.

I used to love the big guns - such as Poison, but hate them now.

I have fallen in love for the first time ever with a scent - Guerlain Insolence. Wasn't sure when I first had a sample, but then it bugged me, and I bought it. I just love it, it feels like a hug in a bottle.

Other than that I like Sun, Moon & Stars, by Lagerfeld, and Hypnotic Poison.

Jins Sun 30-Sep-12 20:04:04

Oh yes. Le jardin in both it's variants made me sick.

MIL bought me a bottle every year when she heard grin

I will try to put my feeling into words NJAM: it is sort of aloof, and stands out and away from other perfumes, but not in a magnetic way, rather it repulses.

BTW, Has anyone read the book, Perfume by P Suskind, and what did they think of the descriptions of smells?

YouOldSlag Sun 30-Sep-12 21:32:02

I've read perfume and I thought it was wonderful. It said so much about people and reminded us that we are still all animals and often ruled by our noses even if we don't realise it.

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 22:06:36

I must be part bloodhound.
And I love perfume.

coffeeinbed Sun 30-Sep-12 22:11:58

It's true, smell can make me like or dislike places and people. It's visceral, I cannot reason with it.
I loved Perfume, the book. The descriptions of smells were very true, I thought.

YouOldSlag Sun 30-Sep-12 23:07:06

Yep coffee, so true.

Rive Gauche- my primary school teacher
Giorgio Beverley Hills- my ex MIL
L'Aimant- my much beloved late grandmother.
Body Shop Mostly Musk (sadly discontinued)- my disco years
Gucci Envy- what I wore when I met DH

Perfume can tell the story of your life to you more than a photo album.

katkouta Sun 30-Sep-12 23:18:44

Amarige! (is it by Givency?) headache and nausea inducing. My Art teacher used to wear this while teaching us in a tiny annex, my God! I feel sick thinking about it.

DonaAna Mon 01-Oct-12 08:51:28

Amarige can be a difficult one to like, but I really enjoyed it yesterday (worn in minuscule amounts a tiny dab: it is very strong) - I like its brightness an it left a soft afterglow that kept me sniffing my wrist all evening long.

Wore Samsara on the school run. I can see why someone would fall in love with this, but I get a very sombre funereal perfume, a sandalwood coffin seen through a fizz of granny-like aldehydes in a very dark room. I don't dislike either per se, and regularly wear a more modern, brighter take on the same theme (Miriam by Tauer Perfumes), but this is just too dark and gothic for me.

I wore Amarige for my entire twenties and then moved on to other things. Several years later I bought some at Duty Free and it made feel instantly happy. It is just such a warm warm fragrance.

I now alternate between Amarige, Prada Amber, Hugo Boss Deep Red (another warm feeling) and my DHs Czech and Speak.

I also quite like my Tom Ford Black Orchid sample.

On the strength of his thread I am wearing Amarige today - but Molecule 01, I'm coming for you. grin

Badvoc Mon 01-Oct-12 11:12:47

I like amarige too, but hate ysatis.
I like samsara but people seem to think its pretty common?
I also like cinnabar by Estée Lauder...the only one of hers I do like.
Need to tell dh which perfume to get me.....
Am undecided between nahema and something a nit more light like Paul smith rose....?

Badvoc Mon 01-Oct-12 11:13:56

Oh! smile
My mum smile
Isn't it amazing how evocative some of these fragrances are for us?

Oooh YYY to Ysatis. Vile powdery old lady perfume.

I agree that scent is ridiculously evocative. 20 different fragrances can smell like 5 different loved ones/friends at different times in your life.

We were in a department store the other day and DD was running wild and making a nuisance of herself wandering round the perfume department and she suddenly yelled "Daddy!". My first thought was 'what on earth is he doing here?!' but of course, she had just opened a bottle of Paul Smith Extreme and was sniffing the contents, which do of course smell of Daddy. grin

DonaAna Mon 01-Oct-12 12:14:13

I switched over to Black Orchid. Another love/hate. To me it smells of cucumber and chocolate - a slightly queasy mixture, not very compatible with my lunch. I love some chocolatey gourmands in small doses, but Black Orchid is OTT. Also wore Coco to bed last night, so have spent the past two days with very loud and obnoxious perfumes (wish I had some Opium, Giorgio, and Poison for further experiments) wink

Ladies, selecting what perfume to wear is a big part of the fun - fine-tuning it until you find something that is perfect. In my case, what is perfect is not one perfume but a full array of different moods and styles.

I veered away from the mainstream because I found too few perfumes that felt 'me' there. (Before that, I tried on a big chunk of what Sephora has to offer.) I don't want to smell like a bouquet of flowers, and I want to smell like a dessert only occasionally (Prada's Candy is a very realistic creme brulee; Montale do a perfume that smells exactly like Nutella). I love good classic citruses, leathery, woody, green, herby, spicy, musky and animalic scents and incense. Then I realized I like flowers too - if they are well-made (check out A la nuit by Serge Lutens if you love jasmine; Une Rose by Frederic Malle if you love rose). And I also love abstract, evocative perfumes that do not try to reproduce a smell you already know but rather offer entirely new experiences - think De Bachmakoff by The Different Company or some Hermessences. And I love many classic masculines - Antaeus is my comfort scent when it rains, Eau Sauvage is great for hot summer days, and I love Ambre Sultan in midwinter; 1725 Casanova and 1740 Marquis de Sade really brighten up dull work days.

On some days I need va-va-voom. For me, Bal a Versailles, Femme by Rochas, Shem-el-Nessim by Grossmith, Amytis by Nabucco and Coco are femme fatale perfumes.

But on most days, I love something that just feels very me - and what is me is very different on different days: Zagorsk by Comme des Garcons, Safron Troublant or Dzing by L'Artisan, 28 La Pausa by Chanel, Bergamote by The Different Company, Angeliques sous la pluie by Malle, Leather Oud or Eau Noire by Dior, Bois d'Armenie and Tonka Imperiale by Guerlain, Encre Noire by Lalique, Iris Ukioye or Ambre Narguile by Hermes...

niminypiminy Mon 01-Oct-12 13:19:28

That's a hard post to follow ...

I've recently bought Guerlain's Après l'Ondee after someone (can't remember who) recommended it on here. I've fallen in love - and may have found the perfume that is me - melancholy spring violets and all. So thank you to whoever it was...

coffeeinbed Mon 01-Oct-12 13:37:33


YouOldSlag Mon 01-Oct-12 15:53:51

Does anyone remember that amazing Perfume Bar in the Bodyshop? There were big jars of fragrance oils and glass wands to test them and you could go up and get little bottles of Japanese Musk, Annie, Mostly Musk, Vanilla, Dewberry, Strawberry.. You could mix and match and layer different ones. Total bliss. I wish they'd bring it back.

I used to layer Vanilla and White Musk and get loads of compliments.

I used to love Japanese Musk

Angel & Posion - both the same version of wickedness to me. Wretched, sickly, pungent and unavoidable (work colleagues)

fedupofnamechanging Mon 01-Oct-12 16:19:53

I remember the Perfume Bar. Used to love it, too.

mablemurple Mon 01-Oct-12 18:32:07

DonaAna, your posts are fascinating. I am going to print them all out and gradually work my way through all the perfumes you mention.

kiwigirl42 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:41:34

niminypiminy Apres les Ondees is one perfume I've always wanted to try - what does it smell like on you? is it long lasting? I'd love to find somewhere that has a sample spray but whenever I've been in London I can't find one.

fridgepants Mon 01-Oct-12 20:11:40

DonaAna, I was convinced all Chanels smelled of old lady until I tried Bois des Iles. Going to Paris next month and wondering whether I could justify a bottle...

My mum discovered the market knock-off of Angel, and loved it without ever having heard of Angel itself. She now gets it - the real thing - for Christmas but it seems wrong for my mother to smell like half the girls did in sixth form...

Hypnotic Poison has whatever many of the old B Never Too Busy To B Beautiful perfumes had, that is an insta-migraine. I worked with a woman who, in modern parlance, was a GILF, and she drenched herself in the stuff. I did try out some BPAL scents for a while - they aren't talked about much on perfume blogs and the like, and there's loads of them. with very evocative gothy descriptions - and some of them literally smelled of vomit. Snake Oil was meant to be their top seller and it was VILE.

I have discovered I like smoke, particularly smoky vanillas, and I'd never have discovered this without poking about in niche offerings. Most department store fruity-florals smell like fabric conditioner to me. I would love a bottle of Villoresi's Garofano and one day I'll splurge on it.It smells very like one of my all-time favourites - Potion by Lush. If they bring back the Ruby slippers bath bars this Christmas I am HOARDING them...

scottishmummy Mon 01-Oct-12 20:18:41

hate bodyshop reminds me my teens drenched in dewberry.eugh
and lush I find caustic as a shop,I feel sneezy in it's proximity
but it's fascinating how personal and evocative perfume is

niminypiminy Mon 01-Oct-12 20:52:01

kiwigirl, I'm not very good at describing smells, so I'll do comparisons:

Apres l'Ondee smells like this, and this, and this.

The intense violet-ness of it doesn't last more than a couple of hours, but it doesn't disappear either. It's as if the sun has come out on that rain-soaked garden, and the scents have warmed up into a beautiful May morning.

DonaAna Mon 01-Oct-12 21:07:28

Fridge, if you go to Paris, go to one of the Parfums de Nicolai shops there and try Vanille Intense. It's inexpensive (also available here) but high quality stuff - dirty, boozy and incensey grin. I'd also go to the Guerlain boutique there and smell some of their boutique perfumes (then go to Lutens and OD on his Paris exlusives).

A friend bought Bois des Iles recently and hasn't regretted it. One of the best places in Europe to buy Chanel and Guerlain exclusives is Place Vendome Haute Parfumerie in Belgium. I've ordered a few times from them and they are much friendlier than Chanel boutique staff - and you will get a lot of marvellous bonus samples (I think I received a dozen - exquisite things). They don't have an online boutique, but if you already know what you like and e-mail them, you will not be disappointed.

Kiwi I would recommend ordering a sample of Apres l'Ondee. Guelain has limited distribution of many of the classics - Sephora and duty frees at Rome airport carry very few, whereas my neighborhood profumeria has treasures like Vol de Nuit and Chant d'Aromes.

Ordering samples and then slowly working your way through them at home is perhaps the best and most affordable way to discover perfumes: if you don't like something you are not stuck with a big bottle. Here is a place to order a great starter. Just pick a note you think you will like.

I've had a tough day and will relax with some 31 Rue de Cambon by Chanel...

fridgepants Mon 01-Oct-12 22:11:46

I'm going with a friend who's a beauty blogger - she's most interested in checking out French drugstore skincare (recommendations welcome!) but we will certainly be going to a Guerlain at least.

OhSiena Mon 01-Oct-12 22:56:44

DonaAna I followed the advice you gave me back in May and visited the profumeria in Trastevere in Rome. Thank you!

It was the most amazing shop.

I didn't buy anything, I toyed with Fracas and wore it out overnight with the thught that if I fell in love I'd go back and buy it. But it just didn't feel like me somehow.

My DH fell in love with a perfume there called Black Afgano by Nasamatto. He didn't buy it though as he thught it was too expensive, but has regretted it since. He said the other night he thught we should go back to Rome so that, amongst other things, he can buy the Black Afgano!!

I still love a few of the 80s big hitters. I adore Samsara, it's like a drug to me, and Coco chanel, and Amarige.

I have a shameful secret though- I also love Britney Spears Fantasy. I know. But it gets lots of compliments and I'm always embarrassed to admit what it is, but every time I spray it I think again ' yes I do like it.' no getting away from it I really do.

I love Angel on others, but on me I get an overwhelming crusty gusset smell. It doesn't smell like sex on me it smells like I've got an infection.

I do like Alien though, bt I find I tire of it after a while, it seems to stick at one note.

I plan my perfumes for events and occasions as much as I plan my outfits. The perfume must fit the setting or my mood, and certain situations require thier own scents so that the memory connection is there forever in that scent. Hence I needed a 'Rome perfume'. The scent memory connection is so strong.

Thanks for your posts on perfume DonaAna they are inspiring for us novice but keen perfume hunters.

futterbingers Tue 02-Oct-12 00:11:09

Tom Ford Black Orchid is my all-time favourite, it smells dirty sexy. And TF White Patchouli is my favourite daytime perfume, but only for special occasions as its a bit strong, I love how sophisticated it smells. For everyday, Clinique Happy or Gucci Guilty. I've tried several new scents lately and none of them last any length of time. I'm 50ish, and I still cringe when I remember how my class gave a teacher we loved a huge bottle of Tweed (about 38 years ago) - I remember thinking how it smelt like cats pee. Samsara always gave me a migraine. Anything with vanilla smells like cheap scented candles to me, but each to their own.

PerryCombover Tue 02-Oct-12 00:15:03

Tom ford Black
Orchid makes me feel ill. I have a very sensitive nose and it actually makes me ill

DonaAna Tue 02-Oct-12 06:50:59

Siena I'm happy that you liked Romastore. Fracas is the classic reference tuberose, not for the shy. If you like tuberose, try Malle's Carnal Flower and Loretta by Tauer Perfumes. If you prefer big white florals, try anying with jasmine or gardenia in it.

Perfumes by Nasomatto are great - if you ever experience second thoughts, you can get it here or from the makers directly (the mini is inexpensive- would make a lovely gift).

In many bigger cities in Italy, there are perfume bars (Olfattorio) where you can sniff perfumes from a champagne flute, guides by very knowlegeable salespeople. A lovely way to spend half an hour experincing something new - I've taken many of my guests there and they have loved it.

Fridgepants Make sure your friend checks out Cafe Makeup before you go - she covers mostly high-end cosmetics but travels to Paris often. Serge Lutens does makeup too.

Futter the cucumbery note in Black Orchid made me almost sick, but I loved the drydown. With your love of chocolate and patchouli, please try Coromandel by Chanel at some point (patchouli is very divisive too).

I should try Alien on skin. I have white flower phobia, am trying to overcome it.

Wethoughtitwasanotherday Tue 02-Oct-12 12:34:14

Hate hate hate Angel and Eau Dynamissante. Both of them make me feel sick.

OhSiena Tue 02-Oct-12 12:36:27

DonaAna that Site you linked to, that send out sampkes of different collections, and niche starter sets looks wonderful!!

It has led me to discover and investigate the CB I hate perfume range. Have you tried any of these?

Jins Tue 02-Oct-12 12:45:53

This is going to cost me a fortune isn't it? I'm currently alternating Chanel no5 and Lush Orange Blossom, both of which I adore but I would like something a bit more subtle for day time and fancy a change.

Can someone help me narrow things down a bit. I love neroli - also like jasmine, rose and vanilla. I do realise that subtle will be difficult with these preferences smile

DonaAna Tue 02-Oct-12 13:55:30

Siena I have tried quite a few CB I Hate Perfume scents. They are quite conceptual - if you expect rose and violets, you will not get them. I remember some very vegetable-like/ mulchy/ earthy scents. Have not managed to get hold of Roast Beef but would love to: here is a charming interview of perfumer Christopher Brosius wink.

Jins, I recommend smelling Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino and Chanel 19 instore, and purchasing a orange blossom sampler or one of the jasmine samplers from Surrender to Chance (note: neroli and orange blossom smell and look very different; the former is more understated and masculine - orange blossom is all-out diva). Jasmine is in just about everything (Alien is a mainstream jasmine; A la nuit by Serge Lutens one of the great jasmine soliflores; many of my friends love Jasmin & Cigarettes by Etat Libre d'Orange). Rose too (there is even a house that does just rose - Parfums de Rosine). And vanilla. They are the mortar of perfumery. I love the recently launched Seville a l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur - it's a great take on orange blossom. 24 Faubourg by Hermes is a very classy big bouquet. Annick Goutal specializes in subtle, ethereal, chic florals; Grossmith in opulent florals that use great raw materials.

I am basking in full-out tuberose glow right now. (Had to open the window - feel radioactive.)

Jins Tue 02-Oct-12 14:02:01

I have to say I am loving the sound of Jasmin and Cigarettes smile That sounds like a dream come true

I think I'll have to get a couple of samplers

SuperB0F Tue 02-Oct-12 14:28:05

I've found a sample of Chanel Coromandel on eBay, and I'm really excited to try it- it sounds right up my street. Is there anywhere online that sells the actual normal size bottle? I can't see a thing in Google Shopping.

I tried some Chanel Coromandel in Selfridges recently - I thought I'd tried on an aftershave by mistake?

DonaAna Tue 02-Oct-12 15:15:11

BOF Coromandel is only sold in Chanel boutiques (and some Chanel counters). It's sometimes available on eBay, usually sold with a mark-up to those that don't live near a boutique. The smallest bottle in store is big (I think 75ml). Sometimes it's possible to split a bottle with someone or sell the amount you don't want in smaller bottles on eBay. Hope you like it - but as I have already warned, like many other great perfumes, it's not for everyone.

Jins go for it!

And everyone, Basenotes is an great resource for everything perfume-related. Just about any fragrance worth smelling is listed there.

DonaAna Tue 02-Oct-12 15:49:08

HipHop, the gender divisions are just marketing. More and more scents are marketed as unisex (Coromandel is one of them). In some way, it would be quite sexist to assume that women are only allowed to wear light florals that are sold in a pink bottle. Men can wear and do wear florals (Dior Homme is very powdery), women can wear vetiver and leather (Bottega Veneta just cashed in on this) just as they can wear a trouser suit or a smoking jacket. More and more perfume departments are organized to be unisex - and Angel comes in a blue bottle wink.

SuperB0F Tue 02-Oct-12 15:51:20

Ah, I suspect I shall just have to enjoy my sample as a one-off then. Oh well. I think this thread has established that I am a perfume pleb anyway grin

anniewoo Tue 02-Oct-12 15:52:48

Ohh - am so proud of my thread. grin

DonaAna Tue 02-Oct-12 16:11:42

No, I don't mean that BOF, sorry, did not intend it that way - by any means enjoy anything you like. But many women find it very limiting if they are told that they are not supposed to wear something because it smells like aftershave - many perfume vendors only offer women pink and frilly choices without realizing that times have changed and that even perfume marketing is changing. It's a bit like saying that you are only allowed to wear a skirt and heels all the time.

My DH keeps hitting my bottles all the time...

And I do have two celeb perfumes in my cupboard (If you get me very drunk I will confess which ones - I wore one of them last week wink). And of course I'm also a proud owner the famous Lidl bottle - though it's wasted on me as it's quite subtle and sophisticated...

BigStickBIWI Tue 02-Oct-12 16:16:44

OhSiena - we were in Trastavere in June! But I wish I'd known about the perfume shop sad

OhSiena Tue 02-Oct-12 17:19:14

I'm going to believe its Britney Spears Dona to make myself feel better.
It's nice <defensive>.

BIWI isn't Trastevere wonderful? The shop was gorgeous, and just around the corner from our apartment so I popped in try another one each day. Butndidnt find one to buy. Because of language barrier we couldn't really get much help or advice so that probably limited the overall experience a bit, I wasn't sure where to start.

My DH found a specialist beer bar and I found the perfume shop, we were pigs in mud.

Jins Tue 02-Oct-12 17:45:13

Well I'm going to guess Ssh or controversial - the Jade Goody perfumes grin

Pinkforever Tue 02-Oct-12 18:09:15

I bet its JLO Glow-it seems to get quite good reviews for a celebrity perfume. If I wasnt such a snob myself about perfume then I would actually buy Madonna's truth or dare-I got a few samples when I was buying something else and I thought it was very good for the price....

citronella Tue 02-Oct-12 18:41:56

Shalimar by Guerlain.

ATourchOfInsanity Tue 02-Oct-12 18:55:42

Still loving this thread and keeping up with it. Ordered your tester bottles DonaAna and can't wait for them to arrive so I can get my nose on!
Every time I read a post I think, hmmm, I think I like that, but not that...but it is so hard without a point of reference! I usually have a seperate day and evening scent. This is mainly to feel special when on a night out. Bit lost at the moment as finding my Chloe smelling v. boring (it seemed to be friendly and clean smelling when I got it for Christmas) and my Love in Paris v.dated and reminds me of exes, which really isn't a good vibe on a night out. I don't think these two have any blends in common and think it's time to start again. Hoping this thread can point me in the right direction. Am 31 and aware that some perfumes just smell of teenagers and don't want to be what I call Candy Bar Mum wink

LynetteScavo Tue 02-Oct-12 19:11:03

J-Lo Glow is indeed vile.

My mother of all people has a bottle.

peacefuleasyfeeling Tue 02-Oct-12 19:19:24

Ha ha, Aquelven, I was just thinking that smile

fridgepants Tue 02-Oct-12 20:13:58

DonaAna, I'm guessing Hollyoaks: The Fragrance?

I have tried a few CB I Hate Perfume scents. The best one for me is Black March - smells exactly like spring rain in a wood - but it's gone sadly oh so quickly. In The Library turned rotting fruit - but Perfumes: the Guide say that Le Labo's Patchouli 24 smells like old books, and I LOVE it.

I have a bottle of Jo Malone Rose and Vanilla Intense. It's lovely but gives me a migraine - I doubt I can take it back and tell them I'm allergic to it (as far as I'm concerned migraine is an allergy) as I've sprayed the darn stuff now. It didn't seem as strong in John Lewis!

I bet it's Intimate Victoria Beckham!

coffeeinbed Tue 02-Oct-12 21:12:54

No, it must be the Sarah Jessica Parker. Lovely.

I just read far enough in this thread to see the mention of Joop Homme.

Oh, my god, it is vile!

My DH's mum is convinced it's his favourite thing, so she buys him large bottles at regular intervals. Bleugh.

HyvaPaiva Tue 02-Oct-12 21:39:58

Could I ask two things? I absolutely adored Jo Malone Tuberose and it was discontinued. What is the closest scent to this now on the market?

My key perfume since 2005 has been Flowerbomb. I try lots and always come back to it. Given my fondness for JM Tuberose, Flowerbomb, and Coco Mademoiselle, is there anything similar (but perhaps more unique) I should try?

Thanks. This thread is fascinating, I love it!

YouOldSlag Tue 02-Oct-12 23:16:53

Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia is very strong tuberose IME!

Dona - another poster further up also mentioned Gucci Envy being sadly discontinued - I loved it and can't wear anything else that feels like 'me'. Could you recommend a different perfume that is similar please?smile

BonnyDay Wed 03-Oct-12 03:59:49

I love glo

BonnyDay Wed 03-Oct-12 04:01:18

I tried one Sarah Jane Parker one and liked. Can't remember.

Nowt wrong with jlo glow though

YouOldSlag Wed 03-Oct-12 08:09:21

FreddieMercury- I was that other poster and Envy fan! Have you tried When you look up a perfume it gives you the main notes and suggestions of similar scents. It's a fabulous site.

The fragrantica suggestions of similar scents (as suggested by members) are:

Balenciaga l'Essence
C-THRU Golden touch by Sarantis
Ombre de hyacinth by Tom ford
and Boss nuit Pour Femma

I haven't tried any of the above and haven't even heard of some of them, but it's useful to know all is not lost.

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 08:54:46

Good guesses everyone: my two celeb perfumes are SJP Lovely (a book was written about it) and J Lo Deseo. I like the latter and wear it occasionally - it's nothing special though and falls apart in an hour leaving bitter residue - something that never happens to quality juice. I keep the bottles as a reminder why I moved on - I got fed up with mediocre perfumes and started seeking out things I really like. Once you find things you love, there is no going back to things that are just okayish.

HyvaPaiva, if you love Jo Malone's Tuberose, try Fracas, the great classic by Piguet. I think it has been recently altered, but anyone who loves tuberose should try it (also perhaps vintage versions from eBay etc). I like Malle's Carnal Flower a lot - not the easiest thing to wear. but a work of art. EL is probably also decent quality. But do not buy a full bottle blind! (Everyone: never buy anything blind. Take the time to wear a perfume a few times before you decide - then you see how it reacts with your skin and how you will react to it. I usually get samples or go to the store a few times before deciding on a full bottle.)

Balenciaga's new perfumes are decent and worth exploring.

I had some very humiliating moments with Joop! Homme once grin. A perfumista friend (who loves strong synthetics - Dry Clean by CdG and Bulgari Black for example) kept raving about it, so I tried it on at an airport and was mortified - pungent synthetic Kool-Aid cherries all the way and not something you can wash off easily - I kept my wrist under the seat during my flight and felt sorry for my fellow passengers. If you love that, try The Dreamer by Versace wink.

I'm wearing a great drugstore classic today - vintage Tabu by Dana.

YouOldSlag Wed 03-Oct-12 09:17:21

I remember wondering why a male colleague was wearing such cheap and nasty aftershave once when in other respects he was well groomed. Then I found out it was Joop! and not cheap at all! yuk.

HyvaPaiva Wed 03-Oct-12 09:24:30

Some fabulous suggestions there, YouOldSlag and DonaAna. Really appreciate it, thanks. thanks

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 09:25:39

It's a mystery to me why JH is so popular. I think it's daring and boundary-breaking for men. The friend who recommended it has generally great taste - he knows 100x more about perfume than I do and and has helped me find so many great ones.

But he also likes simple and powerful synthetics - and fabric softener wink Another synthetic recommendation from him: XS by Paco Rabanne. grin

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 09:29:25

C-THRU Golden Touch by Sarantis really intrigues me grin

And so does this...

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 09:35:24

HyvaPaiva, many of my perfume collector friends use a lot - a great place to find vintage perfumes and also sometimes decants and samples of great niche perfumes. Look! I've found many things there that would have been difficult to find elsewhere.

coffeeinbed Wed 03-Oct-12 09:45:06

I knew it, I could smell it from here! grin
Sarah Jessica P Lovely is very much similar to Narciso Rodrigues For Her.
For her is a lovely sexy musk, but if if anyone decides to try it, make sure you try both - perfume and Eau Toilette. The Eau is muskier, perfume has a bit of flowers in.

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 10:05:42

Chandler Burr wrote a book about the creation of Lovely. Worth reading if you want to know how corporate and marketing-driven the process of making perfume is these days. She was unusually involved in the process - many celebrities just sign the agreement, take the money and have nothing to do with the end result. But I doubt that Lovely was what she really wanted (maybe the next one, Covet, was, but it didn't sell well).

I need to wear Avignon by CdG and Lovely side by side to see whether they have anything in common - SJP claims that they do but it's hard to believe. I love Avignon so much that I have a back-up bottle of it - it's a rich and fantastic church incense - Lovely is a very feminine and squeaky clean musk.

shoeprincess2 Wed 03-Oct-12 10:17:08

I'm really enjoying this thread and there are some serious perfume experts out there. I love niche perfumes and ones that cannot be picked up ordinarily on the high street. I now have a list as long as my arm of ones to try! Going back the the original title of this thread- it has to be Alexander McQueen's Kingdom. Very spicy and knocked me sick!

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 10:32:38

Shoe have a sample of Kingdom somewhere and need to find it and try it. (People keep giving me samples they hate - also have Baudelaire by Byredo.)
And if you need a smell that reminds you of raw kidneys, try Dans tes bras from Malle. Secretions Magnifiques by ELd'O is also a great yuck-classic.

Keep this great thread going people! As you see, there is always someone who loves what you hate (many experts think Shalimar is one of the best perfumes ever created... it got a few nominations here) and vice versa...

There are only two smells that make me gag: bleach and Paris by YSL. I know the latter is a great classic too and loved by many, but I got overexposed in 1980s (and a mixture of pickled herring water and Paris sprayed on us in a high school disco did not help).

ATourchOfInsanity Wed 03-Oct-12 11:52:33

Has anyone tried this? Sounds great and would love a tester before spending out...

DonaAna are you there? If so can you tell me about buying perfume 'testers'? I was reading that you can buy full sized bottles sans packaging that were supplied to retailers to be used as testers, but never got used

They are much cheaper and I'm tempted Are these legitimate do you know?

WellEyeNever Wed 03-Oct-12 15:48:30

'Givenchy Very Irresistible' is absolutely rank! Makes me want to vomit.

DonaAna Wed 03-Oct-12 16:11:13

No legitimate seller is allowed to sell testers. They may do that under the table and for old stock, but if the distributor gets to know, there will be problems for the seller (have a friend who works in perfume retail and knows all the importer reps).

Perfume samples are a gray area. You are not supposed to sell mainstream samples, but many of them still find their way on eBay. Niche perfume houses sell samples, because they have limited distributors - they used to give them out for free (and sometimes still do, if you ask them nicely) but so many people are after them these days that perfumers have started covering the costs by selling them.

I have a few perfumer friends and it's certainly not the easiest way to earn a living. Good raw materials cost a lot.

I have a sample of Tabac Blond somewhere. Caron is a great old house but their current offerings vary - some are great, some are a shadow of their former glory. Will try to find it. I love Farnesiana and En Avion (the latter is fleeting though).

scottishmummy Wed 03-Oct-12 18:57:16

I have just bought this it starts floral and settles warm spicy. this has been a fab thread i love perfume

ATourchOfInsanity Wed 03-Oct-12 19:06:09

Dona if you can find the sample, can you describe it in your lovely way? I want to get an idea from a real person, IYKWIM, and whether it would suit a 31yo - don't want to be wearing something for 50+ but not 20- either. It sounds lovely and I really want to get something special for myself for Christmas smile.

harbingerofdoom Wed 03-Oct-12 19:23:08

The worst perfume ever is one the has been downgraded to please the accountants.
My mother use to wear Madame Rochas,the new formula smells rather different,it doesn't have the depth/richness/softness.
Cabochard has been messed around with too. I'm just not sure what has happened there!
A perfume I used to love Byzance (Rochas) has I believe been reformulated and I dare not smell it as it would take away all the memories.
Tampering with a perfume seems to make it less attractive.

coffeeinbed Wed 03-Oct-12 19:36:58

It's not just the accountants.
'Elf and safety as well.
Lots of traditional components cannot be used anymore for fear of allergic reactions.
Result - pale copies.
I must add that wholly I agree with banning of components because of animal cruelty issues and endangered species.

harbingerofdoom Wed 03-Oct-12 19:42:22

Wow,no idea about that,what were people allergic to in these pretty well known perfumes? Couldn't they put a warning on as with hair dye?
When you mention animals,that must be for musk?

coffeeinbed Wed 03-Oct-12 19:50:43

oakmoss for starters - try and imagine a chypre without it.
there was also lots of talk of banning some citrus stuff, I think this is why some Annick Goutal had to be re-done. Eau D'Hadrien, I think.
It's a big issue in the industry.
Civet is one animal note - it's the little dirty thing that used to be used in lots of stuff and gives a depth and a dirty note.
Quite frankly, nothing now is the way it used to be made originally, even the big classics.

Yeah, my mum's allergic to some of the fixitives in perfume - if you walk her through a perfume hall, by the other end she's gasping for breath and her eyes are watering. Some people have more serious allergies, so I assume that's why they can't just put a warning on the perfume - they have to think what happens to someone who's in the same room with it.

It's a pity, though.

MarysBeard Wed 03-Oct-12 20:14:50

The only perfumes I rate are Chanel and Dior ones as they may be more expensive but they last and you don't need as much. EDPs in other brands aren't anywhere near the same quality IMO.

The worst smell for me is patchouli. Truly vile. Makes you smell like this:

harbingerofdoom Wed 03-Oct-12 20:29:43

I gasp for breath anywhere near Lush and in the cosmetics/perfume section of department stores.
However, I have no idea what sets it (asthma) off.

Oh, yes, Lush has something really unpleasant in some of their stuff.

It might be orris root, harbinger? That's one of the common allergies/common ingredients, along with the musk stuff.

MrsSchadenfreude Wed 03-Oct-12 21:48:53

Secretions Magnifiques by Etat Libre d'Orange has to be one of the foulest ever (not least because it is supposed to have a whiff of sperm about it). And yes, Joop Homme is vile too. But not in the league of Secretions Magnifiques.

I think Tabac Blonde is still good... but some of the Caron scents are definitely a bit meh. I've been meaning to go to the Guerlain Boutique on the Champs Elysees, which has a vast range apparently, of stuff you don't get in the shops. Must try it out.

pinkpaperpiggy Wed 03-Oct-12 22:25:00

Great thread.

Just wondering if anyone has tried any Van Cleef and Arples perfume?

Years ago I tried a sample of perfume in a magazine. It smelled amazing and I told myself I would remember it and buy it someday (seemed expensive and I was a broke student)

As far as I can remember it was Van Cleef and Arples but don't know the name or remember the bottle.

Perfumes I like include Chanel 5 and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist.

I think VC and A Oriens sounds like it could be the one. Has anyone tried it?

SrirachaGirl Wed 03-Oct-12 22:47:24

YY to Chanel (perfumes only smile ). They're the only ones that don't give me a headache.

MarianForrester Wed 03-Oct-12 22:57:22

Estée Lauder "Beautiful"

Dior "addict". Wanted to like this one, and be well sexy, but yuck yuck yuck

Rural Wed 03-Oct-12 22:59:50

pinkpaper - was it First by van Cleef and Arpels?

belsize77 Wed 03-Oct-12 23:17:39

I had been researching buying niche samples (there is only so many times you can go to Les Senteurs!) and people on base notes seem to rate this site. I was also thinking of using lucky scent if the total came in below the 15 quid or whatever the limit is before they charge import duty. Both seem to have a really good selection. Has anyone used them at all?

This is a great thread but the problem with this and reading Bois de Jasmin etc... Is that you end up with loads of scents you would like to try or wear very occasionally but not commit to a bottle of.

Thanks YouOldSlag. Arf. I shall be sampling them before Chrismas and dropping hintssmile

MadameOvary Thu 04-Oct-12 00:32:13

Great thread, I'm a member of Basenotes and it's fab.
To anyone who is in love with Molecule 01. Order yourself some Iso-e-super from The Perfumers Apprentice and mix with some alcohol (I got a big bottle of the appropriate stuff from eBay)

If you like Rose, try Rose Maroc essential oil. It's gorgeous.

I thought I'd try making my own perfume earlier this year and bought masses of essential oils and absolutes. V interesting and the wooden box I keep them in smells heavenly!

So far have made own perfume (several) deodorant and even a mouth spray.

DonnaAna love your posts.
I was really looking forward to trying Le Labo, esp Rose 31 but didn't warm to it.

One of them smelt like Virgin Trains on me, hmm

Aldehydes don't work for me. Too powdery.

My all-time favourite is Aveda's Bliss, followed by Attraction.

MadameOvary Thu 04-Oct-12 00:40:16

DonaAna blush sorry about the mis-spell!

Must De Cartier is gorgeous and makes me feel opulent.

I loved Wenge by Donna Karan but it's tainted as my ex bought it for me. His scent of choice is Joop Homme - go figure!

Loathe orginal Chloe, a woman used to get on the bus every morning and I prayed she wouldn't sit next to me. I thought it smelled like something had died. Foul.

Trying to remember a popular 80's men's scent that seemed to be worn by creeps a lot. <goes off to Google>

MadameOvary Thu 04-Oct-12 00:43:42

Kouros <boke>

brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 02:18:49

Can I ask for perfume recommendations? Something a little less mainstream
My most worn is DKNY original, it smells fab on me. I think I must like quite sharp citrus because I also love CK One blush
John Paul gaultier classique is another I like, and I generally prefer the summer version of perfumes. General smells I'm drawn to are lime, lemon, grapefruit, baby powder and (bizarrely?!) blue chamomile

cynner Thu 04-Oct-12 03:10:28

I have been nursing a bottle of L by Lolitta Lempicka for a long time. It is my winter scent, fades to a wonderful creamy vanilla. Also, slightly naughty, one friend said it reminded her of sex and whipped cream..
My least favourite scent is Womanity, ended up smelling of cat pee.
Gag inducing would be anything with patchouli.

MrsSchadenfreude Thu 04-Oct-12 07:02:22

Brighthair - how about Annick Goutal's Eau d'Hadrien or Eau du Sud? Or maybe better, Les Nuits d'Hadrien. You might try Vol de Nuit (Guerlain) for evening - give it a while to settle down.

Pinkpaper - was it First (I love First - so do a lot of men!) or Van Cleef?

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 09:12:47

I was going to smell Tabac Blond by Caron but instead, by mistake, dabbed on Bellodgia by Caron. Bellodgia a very edgy and pungent perfume - avant garde modern and classic old lady at the same time. (I have a tiny 1/2 ml vial from the Perfumed Court). You need to like cloves (smell your spice rack) to appreciate it. It's has also some fizzy aldehydes (which spell sour old lady to people who don't love aldehydes - for me, aldehydes are a bit like biting a tart green apple: they whet my appetite for what comes later. They are used both to give light and sparkle - think champagne - and to dim, as with a veil, what is beneath). And it also reminds me of Middle Eastern hookah bars, their acrid and in-your-face fluit flavors. (I have a vintage bottle of old Soviet Kranaya Moskva somewhere, and its not dissimilar.)

Tabac Blond is much easier to wear - really wonderful and mellow leather and somehow fruity/ floral tobacco. For some reason it reminds me of the rich smell of my grandma's guest room. To give you some idea, it's close to Cuir de Russie (another wonderful perfume) by Chanel, but with slightly different, bolder and edgier feel. But I cannot smell it properly through the cloud of acrid Bellodgia <cough, cough> I would also advise against committing to a full bottle blind. Much more sensible to buy a tiny trial vial first - on me 1/2 ml is good for 3-5 wears, these are strong stuff - spend a couple of days with the perfume, and if you love it, buy more. Or go to Les Senteurs to try it on there. Caron perfumes are very special and I love them.

Luckyscent is a good source too - haven't used it personally but have many friends who like it.

I love perfume samples and have hundreds of them. They are much more inexpensive than full bottles (and you can exchange them with friends - they are easy to mail too). They allow you to change daily what you are wearing.

L de Lempicka is an inexpensive jewel - a perfume snob friend who normally only wears niche treasures it.

I have a full bottle of Eau du Sud. I love it in the summer. It feels like lying on the grass somewhere in Tuscany in the very late afternoon when the heat has died down, watching fluffy white clouds pass by.

Great citruses: Eau du Sud & Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal, Eau Sauvage (men's side, Dior, not the new parfum), Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford, Aqua Allegorica Pamplelune by Guerlain, Bergamote by The Different Company, classic and rock-bottom-cheap 4711 Eau de Cologne and Escale a Portofino by Dior. I always take Bergamote along when I'm travelling - it's soothing and refreshing and luxurious.

First by Van Cleef & Arpels is a great scent by Jean-Claude Ellena (who, surprisingly, also created In Love Again by YSL), and is considered one of the greatest living perfumers today. He currently works at Hermes. Their mass market perfumes, including the Jardins series, are quite good, and their boutique perfumes, the Hermessences, are a classy take on modern minimalism. (a travel set of four can be bought for about 100 euros - a relatively inexpensive way to buy great perfumes). First is a curious thing, an anachronism, an aldehydic perfume made in the classical style in 1970s by a novice parfumeur who went on to become very famous. Worth trying if you love Chanel 5.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 09:13:30

Sorry about the mammoth post - got carried away <perfume nerd>

belsize77 Thu 04-Oct-12 09:29:00

Dona. Great post.

I love that Surrender to Chance website. The curated sample sets are a really interesting idea for people who are not sure just what they want.

brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 12:57:38

Thank you - I will have to go and sniff!
Should have also said I hate jasmine and ylang ylang with a passion (especially combined). It smells like wee on me

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 14:35:56

My Chanel Coromandel sample has come. OH. MY. GOD.

I love it.

How will I ever get a bottle? Nobody is interested in my first-born. Or indeed, any subsequent children. I neeeeeed this perfume now.

brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 14:56:01

Oh while I'm here - guerlain. Mum rings me yesterday. "I like this perfume on their counter. There was something pink about it. And it had a long name like 4 words. Can you get it me for christmas? Thanks, bye" grin
Anyone know a new (ish) Guerlain perfume that might fit that description?!

coffeeinbed Thu 04-Oct-12 14:57:26

"La petit robe noire'?
It's a pink bottle, no?

brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 15:01:55

Aha! I've just googled and yeah the pink ish bottle looks like that could be the one grin thank you!!!
Any attempts at quizzing get met with hand flapping and "I wasn't looking at it THAT closely"

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 15:02:43


<curtseys in your presence>

Can you let em know what your view of L'Heure Bleue is? I've bought it for DH to give me for Christmas. please don't say you hate it as I'll cry

Also, do you know anything like Donna Karan's 1992 (i think?) born original fragrance? the one with the black and gold 'clitoris' bottle? I bought it on a flight to NYC in 1994 and I want so much to smell it agin and be reminded if being 19 and frivolous again....

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 15:08:52

Piiiiiiiiiiinot! I smell like the shizzle. You would LOVE me.

coffeeinbed Thu 04-Oct-12 15:12:56

brighthair it's not one of their masterpieces I'm afraid.
But if that makes a mum happy for Christmas, what more could we possibly want?

brighthair Thu 04-Oct-12 15:17:31

For it to be about £40 cheaper?! grin
She has always worn Chanel no 5, Shalimar and Poison. Recently she's liked Juliette has a gun (I think) and Elie Saab. Also adores Lush Ginger but Dad hates it..

coffeeinbed Thu 04-Oct-12 15:23:24

true dat!

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 15:46:12

I always love you, Boffy <true> But I bet it'd make me want to dry hump you.

EldritchCleavage Thu 04-Oct-12 16:11:07

The worst perfume in the world is Donna Karan Black Cashmere. I wanted to kill myself after putting that on, just to get away from it!

I also loathe the original Giorgio Armani aftershave (though partly due to unfortunate ex associations).

My all-time favourite is Joseph Parfum du Jour. I've hardly worn anything else for 20 years, though when it was repackaged they changed it and it's never been as lovely as the original formula.

I think I'm in the minority in liking slightly old lady perfumes: Y de Yves Saint Laurent; Rive Gauche; Must de Cartier, Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain (best name ever) and Valentino.

My mother loved Eau de Molyneux, by Molyneux. If anyone knows where that can still be found, I'd love to know.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 16:40:20

BOF blimey! Start saving... There is no passable cheap alternative.
That was my gateway drug and there is no going back.

Like in a bad movie, there is a sequel - La Petite Robe Noire 2.
<God knows what they were thinking>

I'm trying to grow in age, grace, wisdom, quotient of designer items in my wardrobe, well-hidden scars from plastic surgery etc etc to be one day truly worthy of L'Heure Bleue. It's my favorite of classic Guerlains, graceful and radiant in a Princess Grace of Monaco sort of way... I like to spritz it at airport duty frees and as a consequence usually get royal treatment even in cattle class.

Armanis are ghastly these days. This does not prevent them from topping best-seller lists. The saffon note in Idole d'Armani triggered my curiosity and I wore it several times, but there are much better niche alternatives (Safron Troublant from L'Artisan for example, full bottle worthy for me, comfortable and homey like gray sweatpants).

Eldrich you have great taste, keep'em coming! Some great perfumes are sadly extinct. There is a perfume museum (Osmotheque) in Versailles, they have rare things - via them I have smelled perfumes that cannot be found anywhere else.

Like a bad guest, Bellodgia refuses to go away. I'd like to smell something else for a change...

EldritchCleavage Thu 04-Oct-12 16:45:55

Remember the 80s when men wore Davidoff Cool Water? Wasn't that one of the first ozone-y ones? Super super tacky, that one. Kouros was foul, too.

Arpege, by Lanvin. I wore that for a while as a teenager, all my friends hated it.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 04-Oct-12 16:47:09

Anyone remember Schmitty (sp?) - around at the same time Charlie was in its heyday. The women's equivalent of Brut if you ask me.

The only perfume I will wear is Chanel Allure Eau de Parfum. Yes its about £80 a bottle, but worth it!

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 16:51:58

Boffy, it says on the Frgrantica site that your Coromandel is similiar to my beloved Donna Karan 1992 jobby. We are well stylish innit.

porcamiseria Thu 04-Oct-12 16:57:42

red door

O one worked in the factory that made it UGGGHHHHHHHH

and Gorgio Bev Hills

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 16:59:25

Ooh, we are! grin

I love this thread. DonaAna, you are like a crack dealer shock.

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 17:01:39

<sniffs you> <likes it> grin

coffeeinbed Thu 04-Oct-12 17:07:07

You reminded me.
Kenzo L'Eau.
Blimey, forgot that one.
Bloody hate it.

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 17:09:51

Cacherel LouLou. Awful. More awful than an awful thing in awful town.

MsArseBiscuit Thu 04-Oct-12 17:13:31

DonaAna is definitely the perfume equivalent of a crack dealer, I'm on the Bottega Veneta as a result of her dangerously seductive fragrance pushing and I'm waiting until the hoodie on the BMX gets here with my Surrender To Chance samples.

Also now want to smell Coromandel. Bugger.

coffeeinbed Thu 04-Oct-12 17:14:46

I was pining for that when I was 12.
It seemed everything there was on a bike with a cherry on top.
I wanted it. I coveted it.
And I didn't even bother smelling it. It didn't matter how it smellt.
I knew, that was it.
Luckily, I didn't have money.

And then I grew up.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 17:17:35

I know. Except that I don't get commissions. <wail>

I neeeeeed Giorgio, just to carry out some experiments wink
But hey, I do have Charlie. And original Chloe.

Arpege on a teen - hardcore grin

Perfumes are the cheapest luxury. Most of the perfume lovers I know are penniless students, self-employd, unemployed, SAHMs - people of very limited means. I got into this during unpaid maternity leave Once you find a couple of perfume buddies, you can keep going with very limited capital - people trade samples, split bottles, give away things that don't suit them, give you a decant of their newest purchase...

CointreauVersial Thu 04-Oct-12 17:48:48

I used to work for Giorgio Beverly Hills. The whole office whiffed of it.

MsArseBiscuit Thu 04-Oct-12 17:55:30

Perhaps you'll get a commission from Surrender to Chance, they've certainly had an increase in sales since you mentioned them.

I think perfume is an essential, it's a shortcut to lifting your mood or feeling sexy or sophisticated or comforted - having said that I bought Eau d'Hermes after reading on a thread on here that it smells like sex. Top tip, don't spray it on just before going to an exercise class, it gets a bit 'ripe'

Ohsiena Thu 04-Oct-12 18:14:40

Im tempted to by the 'skank' sample set on surrender to choice.blush
I think I may be that way inclined looking at the list and the description.

But now I also want Cormandel. I do love Chanel. Coco is my great love.

But I also want the Guerlain set. I've adored Samsara forever.

Oh what to do, what to get??

MsArseBiscuit Thu 04-Oct-12 18:29:04

That site is like temptation incarnate, Ohsiena, I can see myself working my way through it but I'm starting off with the Beginner Niche and Classic Fragrance sample set and the Niche Beginner sample set - so only the 32 fragrances to go at......

BlackSwan Thu 04-Oct-12 18:50:03

Balenciaga's new Florabotanica. PEW. Smells like someone bottled the colour pink.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 19:33:02

Now you ladies are getting the point of sampling - the excitement of new territory. I have one of the skanky sets and there are some gorgeous things there. <disclaimer: potentially habit-forming>

Haven't tried Florabotanica yet. Am not holding my breath. I have low expectations for mainstream releases these days - Chanel's Coco Noir for example was really underwhelming.

Wearing Parfum Sacré from Caron right now. Did I mention I love incense? wink

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 19:47:58

This is a treat.

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 19:55:47
ilovesprouts Thu 04-Oct-12 19:59:35

exclamation is rank and poisen too vom.

oohlaalaa Thu 04-Oct-12 20:07:09

I've have received gifts of perfume by Britney Spears, Diesel and Next, which I have used to spray in the loo, as I hate waste.

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 20:15:57

Oh, thanks, Pinot. Does anybody know if you'd get slapped with import taxes by customs if you order something from the States?

MsArseBiscuit Thu 04-Oct-12 20:17:35

DonaAna, none of the usual widely available Chanel fragrances appeal to, or suit me, are the Les Exclusifs so different that they're worth trying ?( I fancy Cuir de Russie and Coromandel )

Pinot Thu 04-Oct-12 20:27:57

I ordered something from Austria and was OK recently. If you did get customs, I'm guessing it wouldn't be much as the value is quite low. Is that how it works? A percentage added type of thing?

oohlaalaa Thu 04-Oct-12 20:29:12

I love Guerlain perfumes. Depending on my mood/time of year it's either Après l'Ondee or Motsouko.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 20:33:30

Yes they are MrsArse, especially the two you mentioned - worth ordering.

There is an import duty risk for orders from the US - specific limits for each EU country (but the good ladies at StC can split orders if you ask). I'm in Italy - can someone explain the UK rules?

I've always wondered whether there is a good UK-based source of perfume samples (other than Les Senteurs). First in Fragrance is based in Germany and Alla Violetta in Italy, no import duties, but their inventories are not as extensive.

belsize77 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:38:54

Anything under 15 pounds excluding shipping has no duty or VAT. That's about 23/24 dollars. Over that the duty calculator website is good here.

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 20:44:04

Thank you very much for that advice- I shall go and further investigate and inform DP in good time for Christmas smile

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 20:44:21

Thanks Belsize! Anything ordered from within the EU is import duty free.

DonaAna Thu 04-Oct-12 20:48:35

If there is no Chanel boutique near you, Place Vendome Haute Parfumerie in Belgium has amazing service, magnificent freebies and it's import duty free. Orders via e-mail. Because of the incredible treats they include with orders, I order from them although I could walk to the nearest Chanel boutique and spend the best part of my day queuing there.

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 20:50:28

Right, so if the perfume costs $66 (I think that was it), and this says the total landed value is about £53- does that mean the product and taxes included? Or is that fifty-odd quid ON TOP of the price of the perfume?

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 20:51:41

Great tip, Dona, thanks. I'll look into that too.

BlackSwan Thu 04-Oct-12 20:55:14

Coromandel smells like a chain smoking woman wearing leather and 70's perfume. Am I right? Please, admit it.

belsize77 Thu 04-Oct-12 20:59:50

MsArse, the Chanel Exclusifs are really nice and worth trying IMO. The only one that smells more like their mass lines is Beige - I actually like that too and could imagine it as an (expensive) everyday perfume whereas the others are far more distinctive. Cuir de Russe is very masculine. Bois des Iles is lovely for Winter, it's not the sort of thing I would normally chose based on my other perfumes but there is something about it.

MsArseBiscuit Thu 04-Oct-12 21:23:25

Thank you, Belsize and Dona, you enablers, you. < writes ever longer list of hideously expensive fragrances to try >

ATourchOfInsanity Thu 04-Oct-12 21:26:22

Oooh I just ordered the Chanel testers - I worked out the duty etc and it seems to come to 48.05GBP. I figured that I will probably like more than one smile

SuperB0F Thu 04-Oct-12 22:00:23

BlackSwan, yes, and cocaine. All so me grin

HyvaPaiva Fri 05-Oct-12 13:08:33

thanks DonaAna, you really helped me! My 1ml decant of Fracas just arrived and I adore it. On application, it is identical to Jo Malone Tuberose, a very white floral with a hint of fruit. On dry down, it's much more wearable than Tuberose: less powdery, more sultry, it's confident. I expected strong aldehydes (which go musty on me) but this settles with a buttery depth. It's like the twinkle in a film noir starlet's eye. Thanks, this just made my day! grin

DonaAna Fri 05-Oct-12 13:41:51

Oh I am so happy - have managed to match a few more people with quality perfume. grin

HyvaPaiva, Fracas is the reference tuberose - great choice.
Insanity, hope you enjoy at least some of the Chanel Exclusifs (if not, I think you may find some takers here). They are a great introduction to really good perfumes. If they seem too refined for you, let me know - Chanel is known for elegance, but there are many earthier alternatives too (for example, Borneo 1834 by Serge Lutens is a dirt-fingered country cousin of Coromandel, and Patchouli Imperial by Dior is a more distant relative).

BOF the landed price is the total that includes your purchase price - when buying perfume, you often don't need to pay the import duty, but do have to pay the VAT (high in Europe and different in every EU country; small or not charged in the US); rule of thumb, custom clearance adds about 25% to purchase price. Additionally, your freight handler may charge a small customs clearance fee.

If you believe Luca Turin, Coromandel smells like powdered white chocolate wink The 1970s smoker lady description is closer to Cuir de Russie or Tabac Blond - but imo the perfumes I recommend just smell fantastic grin.

I'm wearing First by Van Cleef & Arpels right now. On me, it smells very soapy and pure - simultaneously virginal and matronly. The heart is a lovely flower bouquet, impeccably elegant after 5+ hours of wear. Quality juice, but not very me - I prefer dirtier perfumes.

shoeprincess2 Fri 05-Oct-12 15:59:59

DonaAna what have you started? I went to sleep last night, planning what samples to order from StC... So, I have purchased samples of:-
- Coromandel
- Tom Ford Violet Blonde and White Patchouli (pretty mainstream, but hey ho)
- Must De Cartier
- Fracas

Will probably place an order once a month, as I am trying to rein in the monthly spending. Perusing the site has kept me entertained whilst breastfeeding my 4 week old!!

fridgepants Fri 05-Oct-12 16:13:03

Perfume Possee has a long article on the best vanillas. Reading it cost me $50, dammit.

Went to LEs Senteurs at lunch - they only let me have four samples, evne when I said I'd be happy to take a half-sample or pay for them (samples are free in the shop) so I sampled stuff on my arms, which I hate because I can never remember what is what. Right now, I smell very cinnamon-y, a hot cinnamon rather than a bakery one, and clovey and generally nice. I think it's either Habanita or Bandit, but I have no idea which (I also tried Malle's Noir Epices but that didn't smell as straight-up cinnamon).

DonaAna Fri 05-Oct-12 17:17:12

Fridge I have to envy anyone who can pop to Les Senteurs at lunch...
I know the panicky feeling of trying to cover a lot of ground in a few minutes and having to talk when I actually would prefer to just focus on the scent - this is why I started ordering samples home. I want to go through them at my own pace and without limitations, opinions etc imposed by salespeople. I have Habanita, Bandit and Noir Epices at home so it will be interesting to know what you think.

Shoeprincess maternity leave is definitely a great time for sampling perfumes (been there, done that) hmm - you have ordered some great ones to start with.
My gateway drugs to full-blown addiction were Coromandel, Cuir de Russie, and 28 La Pausa, by Chanel; Farnesiana and En Avion by Caron; Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle, and Une Rose Chypree by Tauer. After that it was difficult to find anything very exciting at Sephora grin

Should I make a short list of easy-to-find perfumes to try to help people understand main perfume groups? Most people have a comfort zone of fragrances where they immediately feel at ease. Some of the preferences are inborn. My personal natural comfort zone is orientals, but I have found favorites in all other areas too - these days I just like well-made, interesting perfumes.

First EDT provided a surprise - 8-9 hours into it, it evolved into a lovely, voluptuous thing. Who knew?

shoeprincess2 Fri 05-Oct-12 17:30:09

Yes to the list DonaAna- that would be great! I always tended to go for orientals too, but am now getting bored with the high street ones. I tested D & G's pour femme yesterday and though "meh". I refuse to pay £40-45 for something that doesn't really do it for me. I need more (gosh, it is like a drug addiction, isn't it?) As much as I need to rein in the spending, I could justify a £60-70 spend on something that could be " a great love". I would just like a perfume that makes me feel glamourous, unique and expensive, if you know what I mean. I'm done with smelling like the next person. This is going to be an exciting bit of research!!

SuperB0F Fri 05-Oct-12 17:36:27

A list would be amazing.

FromEsme Fri 05-Oct-12 17:41:39

Any of the celebrity ones; the Britney Spears one is particularly cloying. I worked in Boots one Christmas and almost died from rank perfume inhalation.

Angel also makes me heave, it's so heavy.

harbingerofdoom Fri 05-Oct-12 17:48:12

Oh,yes please to a list DonaAna it would really help us novices that are now hooked. grin
I want to buy my DD a special perfume for her 21st and was thinking of Seville a l'Aube as she went to Seville in her gap year and is studying Spanish. Penhaligon's also make an orange perfume. Have you tried either? Any others to consider?
How do I get a sample from Penhaligon's. I have already tried the ones in their scent library (and a few more they sent free with a purchase).

SorrelForbes Fri 05-Oct-12 17:48:27

Yes yes to a list smile

DonaAna Fri 05-Oct-12 18:06:22

This is a quick and streamlined high street list (need to go out – have a life to live…) that has some mainstream suggestions. I do not love all of them, but if you smell them and like them, you can explore a family more. I left out floral and fruity because they are so easy to find anyway. Great orientals are easy to find in niche perfumery, mainstream is a bit sketchy these days. For some groups, I could only think of niche alternatives. Les Senteurs website has a good chart for niches.

Aldehydes: No. 5, Chanel; Rive Gauche, YSL
Citrus: Eau Sauvage, Dior; Acqua Allegorica Pamplelune, Guerlain; 4711.
Chypres: Miss Dior Cherie, Dior; Knowing, Estee Lauder; Yvresse, YSL; Mitsouko, Guerlain; Femme, Rochas.
*Fresh/ Watery*: Eau Parfumee au The Vert, Bulgari; Ck One, Calvin Klein; L’Eau de Issey, Issey Miyake; men's department: Cool Water, Davidoff
Green: No. 19, Chanel; Calyx, Prescriptives (lots more in niche)
Oriental/Spicy/Gourmand: Angel, Thierry Mugler; Hypnotic Poison, Dior; Obsession, Calvin Klein, Shalimar, Guerlain
Leather: Bottega Veneta EdP, (Cuir de Russie, Chanel; Bandit, Piguet) Men’s department: Antaeus, Chanel.
Woody: If you like Aromatics Elixir by Clinique, you should explore woody perfumes. They are underrepresented in mainstream women's department. Typical woods - vetiver: Encre Noire, Lalique; sandalwood: Samsara, Guerlain; patchouli: Coromandel, Chanel. Men’s department is full of woody scents.

coffeeinbed Fri 05-Oct-12 19:44:56

A very wearable tuberose is La Chasse de Papillons, by L'Artisan Parfumeur.
Very pretty, very wearable. Some linden flower as well.
One other one is La Chasse Extreme, it's more a proper tuberose.
Worth trying.

EldritchCleavage Sat 06-Oct-12 10:10:56

I hardly get to wear perfume now, because DH is allergic. If anyone could recommend solid perfumes or anything else suitable to wear around allergy sufferers, I'd be eternally grateful.

MsArseBiscuit Sat 06-Oct-12 10:57:55

Eldritch, if you like Philosykos, that comes as a solid fragrance formulation, mine was from Space NK and I think was around thirty five quid or so.

DonaAna Sat 06-Oct-12 11:26:46

Diptyque do quite a few solid perfumes.
So do Lush, but their stores are too migraine-inducing.
The most exquisite parfum solide I've seen so far comes from Frazer. Like an amulet, and I love the one with coffee and orange blossom. More about them here.

Fridge I read the Perfume Posse list of great vanillas with my morning coffee and am now wearing Le Labo Vanille 44 that to me smells of freshly cut tulip stems. I have about half of perfumes mentioned on the list. Amber scents are made from labdanum and vanilla, and vanilla is one of the basenotes in many orientals. So it is possible to wear vanilla without reeking of Body Shop vanilla... For those on a budget, a decent vanilla and amber that are very inexpensive can be found at Yves Rocher.

DonaAna Sat 06-Oct-12 11:32:56

Sorry, UK link for Diptyque solids. I absolutely love L'ombre dans l'eau - it reminds me of childhood summers and my grandma's garden: a Technicolor-green tangle of leaves, white midsummer roses and blackcurrant bushes heavy with berries.

NellVarnish Sat 06-Oct-12 12:02:33

Oh these are bringing back memories. Sone of them bad. I was cabin crew during the 80's <old gimmer>, and the combined smell of Opium, Youth Dew, Anais Anais and Rive Gauche from the duty free trolley nearly knocked the ground staff over when we opened the aircraft door. grin

DonaAna I'm loving your input - I'm currently lusting after Pomegranate Noir but may be swayed somewhere else now.

CointreauVersial Sat 06-Oct-12 14:56:26

Wow, this thread needs serious re-branding! From "worst perfume," to "your guide to fantastic fragrances, and how to get out of that mass-market perfume rut."

I am now £20 lighter, and awaiting a nice package from Surrender to Chance. grin

MsArseBiscuit Sat 06-Oct-12 15:58:58

Incidentally, Dona's link for Frazer solid perfumes takes you to the store where you can buy Buddha's Fig which is a pretty good 25 quid substitute for Philosykos, I have both and they're very similar.

DonaAna Sat 06-Oct-12 16:00:49

Nell you've been exposed to some real heavy hitters. Anais is a great classic, but if you detest it, white flowers and hyacinth are not your thing. For people who love Anais but want something simpler and more contemporary, Baiser Vole by Cartier is worth trying.

Badvoc was looking for an oriental rose. Not difficult to find.
Two options: rose-patchouli, very common in mainstream. For a cheap&nasty take, try Loud by Tommy Hilfiger. Hippie Rose by Heeley is a great niche version. My male friends rave about Le Labo Rose, Voleur de Roses by L'Artisan and Noir de Noir by Tom Ford - all of these are almost black roses in tone and do not remind you of old ladies or skin lotion. If you like slightly trashy, explore Juliette Has a Gun - they have cheap samples and a painfully intense rose patchouli made by the very sexy young star perfumer Francis Kurkdjian. I like a few of his Maison Kurkdjian things but JHaG is too girly for me.

There are other great oriental roses too. I love Coco EdP from Chanel but it is very strong overpowering stuff - nuclear bomb sillage. For the past months, I've been obsessed with Dior's Oud Ispahan (almost went out to buy it today). I also have mentioned that I love Safran Troublant by L'Artisan - a saffron rose, very comforting. And, finally, L'Ombre dans l'eau by Diptyque is an unusual rose - not oriental but green, definitely worth trying.

MsArseBiscuit Sat 06-Oct-12 16:12:21

I agree with you about L'ombre dans l'eau, Dona, I don't like rose scented perfumes but I have worn that, there's something much more interesting and not particularly girly about it.

MsArseBiscuit Sat 06-Oct-12 16:14:01

Oh and have ordered a Coromandel sample too ( I blame you grin )

SorrelForbes Sat 06-Oct-12 16:37:10

DonaAna what would you recommend as a gift for a friend of mine who currently wears Coco Mademoiselle during the day and Coco in the evenings (and has done for some time)?