The Worst perfume ever!(1000 Posts)
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!!!
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...
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!
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!
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!!!
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!
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!
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!
I love Angel too. I really wanted to like Thierry Mugler's Womanity, because I adore the bottle. But it smells like Cif .
I like Angel, but I once rashly sprayed some Sex and the City perfume on myself (as a joke) and I did regret it.
Anais anais,smells like cat piss.
Lancôme Poeme is absolutely vile. Makes me feel sick.
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.
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!
Clinique Happy smells beautiful in the ottos or on my mum - on me it smells like domestos multi surface cleaner
Anais Anais and Chloe Narcisse both make me feel rotten as well.
Yy to TM Angel. I'm getting a headache just thinking about it.
Chloe (the 1975 one, not the gorgeous one) smells like peach air freshener in a naice downstairs loo.
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.
YSL Paris is lovely, I thought.
YY to Poeme. Blah.
I worked with a girl who used Angel and smelt wonderful.
It smells awful on me.
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.
Both Angel and CK Obsession make me feel queasy.
My ex MIL used to wear Giorgio Beverly Hills. Man, that stuff can really fill a room!
Lou Lou made me puke into a stranger's McDonalds cup on a bus about 20 years ago.
Anything by YSL but esp ysatis
Red door by Elizabeth arden
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!
Whatever the woman who works opposite me wears.
Lovely, stylish, funny woman, but the smell!
And she refreshes it after lunch.
Diesel - not really the sort of thing you want to splash on your neck before a night out why did they give it this name is beyond me..?
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".
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.
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.
Anyone with unwanted bottles of Angel can send them my way...I rarely go out, so I promise not to stink up random strangers
YY Florentyna is AWFUL, so sickly and overbearing.
Oh and Dior's Poison. It smells so overpowering and rank that it's actually bad manners to wear it.
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.
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.
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
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. 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...
I love Poeme. It was the perfume I wanted when I was at college and eventually bought a few years back. Love it.
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
I wore an Avon perfume for years...it was called nightfall and I loved it and they don't make it anymore
I now use Stella by Stella McCartney.
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.
*sorry all the good Avon perfumes have been DIS continued
None of the perfumes come close (in awfulness) to Serge Lutens Tuberose Criminalle Please somebody try it today and let me kniow what you think. His Clar de Musc is nice though.
I Love Angel! Hate 'poison' by CD, Migraine scented!
Yy to Florentyna. Loo cleaner.
I remember Mizz magazine in the 90s always saying that different perfumes smell different according to the wearer
I hate Rive Gauche. Reminds me of my toxic grandmother and my sinuses hurt just thinking about it.
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.
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 ...
That takes me back...my 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.
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 hifif 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.
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 Beautiful...so headachey!!
Now i wear DKNY for women and Hugo Boss Red.
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.
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.
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 perfume...it actually mad me feel ill...binned it.
I love perfumes like obsession and opium and cinnabar BUT only in autumn/winter...so wrong for spring/summer...
Can I ask advice?
An looking for a new perfume for me...would like it to be classy and rose based.
Not too floral though...
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
Is the imogen rose one nice jins?
rose based but not too floral? you set a hard task my friend.
Gres Cabotine Rose
or Ferre Rose Princesse by GianFranco Ferre.
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!
*Because he bought them for me, not because he wore them!
Oh and I hate Joop Homme too!
Anything floral makes me retch and feel 'granny-ish'.
On the other hand I love Angel and the Tom Ford ones.
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).
white linen makes me retch
anything 'oceanic' just smells like fish to me
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.
an old boyfriend bought me a bottle of JOY once-meant to be the most expensive perfume in the world-smelt like cold tea
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.
Angel makes me nauseous too, thought this thread would be about it! Also was there one called sunflowers? That turned my stomach.
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..
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?
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.
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...
I haev always tended to avoid chanel perfunmes for some reason...will give it a whiff
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
My pet hatred are the 80s throat-catchers. In order of vileness:
Giorgio Beverly Hills
Calvin Klein Eternity
And almost anything by Givenchy. Except for Amarige which I loved and wore for years.
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.
I too <heart> DonaAnas posts on perfume!
Am 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.
Most "children's" scents are just awful. DD was given a bottle of Pink for a birthday - it stinks of Brut.
The latest Stella one...grannified!
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.
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.
I quite like Imogen rose yes but I tend to get my rose fix elsewhere
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.
Blonde by Versace.
I wanted to love it because I AM very blonde. But no it was horrible, smelt like musty washing on me.
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
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.
Oh and Jennifer Aniston's perfume is nasty as well. Smells cheap.
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.
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
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
Perfumes do smell differently on different people though, to a certain extent at least.
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.
The Rose D'Angel is well-reviewed- that's one I really like.
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!!
I was given a bottle of Chloe Neroli and it smells like Mr Sheen. Full bottle still sitting on my dresser.
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?
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.
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
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?
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.
Loulou is awful.
I dislike all Dior perfumes too.
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.
Opium is horrible. Headache in a bottle
great posts DonnaAna, really interesting
molecule01 does sound interesting
i wear miller Harris coeur de fleur at mo
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dona Ana - I used to work next to a Frederic Malle shop in Paris.
I had a perfume blended for me once,gift from dp
it was divine
sad when it ran out
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??
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?
I hate chanel no5,caustic sharp
I never associate Chanel with nice perfumes
which are good then
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.
None of the Chanel fragrances smell anything other than cheap and nasty on me, I've never seen the attraction of them.
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)
don't get schleb endorsed perfumes
does it smell of fags and lager
Yeah smells of fags and lager and for best results you sniff it through a rolled up £50 note
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.
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.
Chanel no5 old ladyish def yes
I like miller Harris,and penhaligons
love perfumes.wear perfume daily
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!
There's a dkny one that smells like nit lotion...
And a tommy hilfiger one that smells like eggs.
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.
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
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"...
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).
I like many Tom Fords - Tuscan Leather is great. Some say it smells like cocaine
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.
Gucci envy was created in 1997 and is sadly discontinued ( I love it). Maybe that's what you meant BikeRun?
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!).
Dona. I couldn't comment
I bought White Suede for myself. Very nice too.
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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.
Sorry! Oops - feeding baby just rolled over on to phone. As you were
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
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.
Hmmmmtom for you say?
Off to google....
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.
angel is def the most boaky perfume ever
like cheap scotbloc
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.
Badvoc Agent Provocateur (original in pink bottle) is a vey nice (and reasonably priced) rose based scent.
Most horrid perfume- Cerutti 1881! Yuk!
And for some reason people who wear Angel always wear it by the bucketful.
Why in the name of everything that is sane?
Badvoc Nahema is/was an oriental rose. Very opulent. Sweet honey and all.
Unless they freshened her up.
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: www.care2.com/greenliving/toxic-effects-of-perfume.html?page=1.
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...
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. 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.
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?
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.
I can't believe no one has said "It smells like Bigfoot's dick!"
I hate Angel too - MIL gave me a bottle about 10 years ago and I had to discreetly give it away.
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.
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.
I love Samsara. But haven't worn it since I was about 18.
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'.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
So few that I like, maybe, thinking about it, don't take the rose away from me
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.
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.
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! . I thought there was something wrong with my nose, because lots of people love it.
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.
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 .
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 .
I had that Serge Lutyens Fleur d'Oranger which I loved for about a week and now find totally overpowering.
I was thinking of getting some Samsara for winter actually - a nice bit of newborn poo
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
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).
I am wearing Alien at the moment (Thierry Mugler). Anyone know what it is made up of?
KIwigirl have you tried Balenciaga?
The one with Charlotte Gainsbourg in the adverts?
That's a good violet.
LaTrucha same here.
The cumin in Fleur D'Oranger can really weigh in down.
Chandon it seems you have to avoid aldehydes.
That's the common in all the ones you hate.
Kenzo Flowers. It smells cold.
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 . . .
This thread is fascintating, but it makes me realise just how perfume dense I am .
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.
Oh yes. Le jardin in both it's variants made me sick.
MIL bought me a bottle every year when she heard
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?
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.
I must be part bloodhound.
And I love perfume.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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....?
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.
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)
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...
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...
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)
I remember the Perfume Bar. Used to love it, too.
DonaAna, your posts are fascinating. I am going to print them all out and gradually work my way through all the perfumes you mention.
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.
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...
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
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.
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 . 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...
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.
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.
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.
Tom ford Black
Orchid makes me feel ill. I have a very sensitive nose and it actually makes me ill
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.
Hate hate hate Angel and Eau Dynamissante. Both of them make me feel sick.
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?
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
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 .
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.)
I have to say I am loving the sound of Jasmin and Cigarettes That sounds like a dream come true
I think I'll have to get a couple of samplers
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?
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.
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 .
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
Ohh - am so proud of my thread.
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 ). 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...
OhSiena - we were in Trastavere in June! But I wish I'd known about the perfume shop
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.
Well I'm going to guess Ssh or controversial - the Jade Goody perfumes
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....
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
J-Lo Glow is indeed vile.
My mother of all people has a bottle.
Ha ha, Aquelven, I was just thinking that
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!
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.
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!
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?
I tried one Sarah Jane Parker one and liked. Can't remember.
Nowt wrong with jlo glow though
FreddieMercury- I was that other poster and Envy fan! Have you tried fragrantica.com? 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:
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.
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 . 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 .
I'm wearing a great drugstore classic today - vintage Tabu by Dana.
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.
Some fabulous suggestions there, YouOldSlag and DonaAna. Really appreciate it, thanks.
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 Another synthetic recommendation from him: XS by Paco Rabanne.
C-THRU Golden Touch by Sarantis really intrigues me
And so does this...
HyvaPaiva, many of my perfume collector friends use eBay.de 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.
I knew it, I could smell it from here!
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.
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.
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!
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).
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?
'Givenchy Very Irresistible' is absolutely rank! Makes me want to vomit.
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).
I have just bought this it starts floral and settles warm spicy. this has been a fab thread i love perfume
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 .
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
YY to Chanel (perfumes only ). They're the only ones that don't give me a headache.
Estée Lauder "Beautiful"
Dior "addict". Wanted to like this one, and be well sexy, but yuck yuck yuck
pinkpaper - was it First by van Cleef and Arpels?
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 hints
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,
Aldehydes don't work for me. Too powdery.
My all-time favourite is Aveda's Bliss, followed by Attraction.
DonaAna 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>
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
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
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.
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?
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.
Sorry about the mammoth post - got carried away <perfume nerd>
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.
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
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.
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"
Anyone know a new (ish) Guerlain perfume that might fit that description?!
"La petit robe noire'?
It's a pink bottle, no?
Aha! I've just googled and yeah the pink ish bottle looks like that could be the one thank you!!!
Any attempts at quizzing get met with hand flapping and "I wasn't looking at it THAT closely"
<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....
Piiiiiiiiiiinot! I smell like the shizzle. You would LOVE me.
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?
For it to be about £40 cheaper?!
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..
I always love you, Boffy <true> But I bet it'd make me want to dry hump you.
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.
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...
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.
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!
Boffy, it says on the Frgrantica site that your Coromandel is similiar to my beloved Donna Karan 1992 jobby. We are well stylish innit.
O one worked in the factory that made it UGGGHHHHHHHH
and Gorgio Bev Hills
Ooh, we are!
I love this thread. DonaAna, you are like a crack dealer .
You reminded me.
Blimey, forgot that one.
Bloody hate it.
Cacherel LouLou. Awful. More awful than an awful thing in awful town.
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.
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.
I know. Except that I don't get commissions. <wail>
I neeeeeed Giorgio, just to carry out some experiments
But hey, I do have Charlie. And original Chloe.
Arpege on a teen - hardcore
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...
I used to work for Giorgio Beverly Hills. The whole office whiffed of it.
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'
Im tempted to by the 'skank' sample set on surrender to choice.
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??
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......
Balenciaga's new Florabotanica. PEW. Smells like someone bottled the colour pink.
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?
Boffy, 30ml of Coromandel here
exclamation is rank and poisen too vom.
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.
Oh, thanks, Pinot. Does anybody know if you'd get slapped with import taxes by customs if you order something from the States?
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 )
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?
I love Guerlain perfumes. Depending on my mood/time of year it's either Après l'Ondee or Motsouko.
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.
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.
Thank you very much for that advice- I shall go and further investigate
and inform DP in good time for Christmas
Thanks Belsize! Anything ordered from within the EU is import duty free.
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.
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?
Great tip, Dona, thanks. I'll look into that too.
Coromandel smells like a chain smoking woman wearing leather and 70's perfume. Am I right? Please, admit it.
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.
Thank you, Belsize and Dona, you enablers, you. < writes ever longer list of hideously expensive fragrances to try >
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
BlackSwan, yes, and cocaine. All so me
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!
Oh I am so happy - have managed to match a few more people with quality perfume.
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 The 1970s smoker lady description is closer to Cuir de Russie or Tabac Blond - but imo the perfumes I recommend just smell fantastic .
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.
DonaAna what have you started? I went to sleep last night, planning what samples to order from StC... So, I have purchased samples of:-
- Tom Ford Violet Blonde and White Patchouli (pretty mainstream, but hey ho)
- Must De Cartier
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!!
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).
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) - 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
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?
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!!
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.
Oh,yes please to a list DonaAna it would really help us novices that are now hooked.
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).
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; LEau 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) Mens 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. Mens department is full of woody scents.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DonaAna I'm loving your input - I'm currently lusting after Pomegranate Noir but may be swayed somewhere else now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Oh and have ordered a Coromandel sample too ( I blame you )
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)?
This thread has got me thinking about perfume all the time. My bloody mil, asked what I was wearing yesterday and like a bloody fool, I told her (Thierry Mugler's Alien). Now she wants to buy some. I mean, who wants to smell like their mil - hardly alluring for my dh and if it was, I would be worried.
Anyway, I have just ordered a big bottle of SJP's Lovely for bargain price of £22.67 from Amazon (100ml EDP), if anyone else wants to get a bargain. This is my emergency purchase, while I search out my perfect perfume. Someone up thread said it was like Narsisco Rodriguez For Her, which I know I like, so fingers crossed!
I've ordered a sample of L'Heure Bleu off ebay this morning - my go to perfume is Shalimar, esp the parfum but I thought I'd go sideways and try this. I'm a die hard oriental girl and ADORE the guerlinade base - would have loved to have snagged a bottle of Guerlinade when it was available. I'm going to obtain samples of Spirituese double vanilla, Etro Heliotrope and Apres les Pluies (sp?).
and explore heliotrope further - I love Serge Lutens Louve which is lovely vanilla and almonds but won't buy it again as it has absolutely nil lasting power or sillage. Which is amazing considering I can't scrub off some of his other offerings (Muscs Kublai Khan anyone?)
Sorrel I might give her a 15 ml purse spray of Ambre Narguile by Hermes - it's very likable and nor too big (sometimes offered on eBay), plus who wouldn't want a gift from Hermes? Or a Tauer Perfumes sample set with L'air du Desert Marocain, Incense Rose, Le Maroc Pour Elle and Une Rose Chypree. Buying perfume for someone else is always tricky, hence I might give a gift card and The Guide by Turin and Sanchez for her to pick something for herself.
DonaAna Thank you. I like the sound of the Tauer set. Yes, I agree, it's tricky to buy for someone else. To make it even tricker, in the past she's bought me two perfumes, both of which I really liked (one was SJP Lovely!).
Great Sorrell. Tauers are also available at Les Senteurs.
Kiwi, your taste sounds a bit like Olfactorias's. Check out her blog - some of her favorites might appeal to you too. Guerlain's L'art et la Matiere series might also appeal to you - I use Cuir Beluga and Tonka Imperiale quite often during the winter.
Karma when you get your Lovely you can read this (fairly breathless) article to accompany it.
Flower by Kenzo. On me, it smells of decaying flowers.
I've just tried Cabochard by Gres and it smells like men's talc from the 70s. However, after about 2 hours it smells quite posh and spicy. I just don't want to smell like talc for two hours in order to get the payoff!
Slag I need to find my Cabochard sample. In the meantime, many of the older classics smell of something that we associate with the past. I wore yesterday Calandre by Paco Rabanne - it felt very dated. It's a bit like vintage clothing - some love it, others don't see the point. Today I'm wearing Tabac Blond by Caron. While it is a great and very sensual female classic (almost 100 years old!) I personally feel even better in modern leather and tobacco perfumes (some of them masculines: 1740 Marquis de Sade and Antaeus).
What I've tried to explain all along is that there is middle ground between insignificant but much-marketed mainstream (I also wore Fan di Fendi yesterday - a loud and shrill white floral) and classic female perfumes in the school of Chanel 5, but finding the right balance requires some exploring.
what a lovely thread - I will come back to read it fully with the links later.
I really dislike the plain, watery 90s perfumes like l'eau d'issey and escape by calvin klein. They smell of nothing.
Someone bought me that floral crap by kenzo and I disliked it because it smelled so bland and pretty.
My all time favourite perfume is l'heure bleu by guerlain, followed by shalimar. I just love the way they smell on me, both of them really strong initially but they both fade down to a beautiful and warm scent after afew hours which lasts all day.
I wear the guerlian acqua allegorica scents in the summer usually, I love guerlain.
ooh x posts re l'heure bleu pinot. I have worn it since my early 20s and I love it, it used to be impossible to buy where I lived and had to cadge favours from someone going to London (to get it from harrods or allders) or someone flying from Heathrow.
It is a beautiful slightly sombre perfume iyswim. I think the feeling of melancholy may be because I know it was created on the eve of world war one (hence the name) and evokes that feeeling induced by that famous quote ' the lamps are bing put out all over europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime'
DonaAna- yes, I can totally get why Cabochard has been around for so long- I bought a 50th anniversary bottle. it seems to say "I may smell like talc at first, but bear with me, I know what I'm doing". and it is sooo leather and tobacco. It smells like a brand new leather jacket sitting in an incense filled room (churchy incense not cheap joss sticks).
Just got a free sample of Bulgari BLVII. At first, it's a creamy violet reminiscent of Dior's Dolce Vita. Dry, it's watery sugar. Often I'm in the mood for a saccharine floral (I wear Flowerbomb daily but it has depth and develops to a heady sugary spice on me) but BLVII is most unremarkable on my skin. This doesn't come as a surprise since I've just fallen for the femme fatale that is Fracas!
Great perfume expertise on this thread! Keep it coming!
The watery perfumes seemed revolutionary when they came out - minimalistic and pure after loud headache-inducing 1980s. The discovery of new synthetic materials (Calone for example) allowed perfumers to create olfactory landscapes that were not possible before and people loved them. But we got too much of them and got bored.
HyvaPaiva, really many mass market perfumes go for the lowest common denominator - watery, sugary, berry-like, candy-like. They are made to be smelled on the strip - often the first minutes are the best of it (if you do not believe me, smell the Jimmy Choo perfume). This style is called linear - the perfumes so not evolve, what you smell at first is what you get until the end.
Older perfumes are often built differently. The perfume goes through different stages that can be quite distinct. Take First by Van Cleef & Arpels (made by JC Ellena in classical style). Opening: hairspray and soap. Middle: a radiant huge bouquet of flowers Final stage: voluptuous, sensual skin scent. In a nutshell, First takes you from monastery to bordello via the flower shop. It tells a story, it takes you on a journey.
Linear is not necessarily better or worse than the traditional pyramid- shaped perfume structure. There are great and lovely linear fragrances. For example the modern scent L'Amendiere by Heeley captures to moment of biting into a black cherry and makes it last several hours - a miracle! Philosykos is also a linear fragrance - many of you would say a great one.
Tabac Blond has been on my wrist for four or five hours. It seems stronger and more sensual now and. Perfumes that are heavy and dense stay much longer on skin - very heavy molecules cannot fly away quickly. Light and fresh scents, particularly citruses, evaporate very quickly and are fleeting (there are tricks to make them last longer, but their nature is to evaporate very fast).
First takes you from monastery to bordello via the flower shop
What an erudite and beautiful picture you have painted Dona Ana!
Your posts are fabulous Dona Ana.
I am wearing Ivoire by Balmain today. DH hates it and says it smells like sweaty knickers. I also have the lighter version which doesn't provoke such an extreme reaction in him!
This thread has inspired me - I live very close to the Guerlain shop on the Champs Elysees and will try and get down there next week to do some sniffin'.
DonaAna, I couldn't open your link. What was the headline of the article and I will search for it.
Did anyone else, in their youthful foolishness, ever buy those rip-off perfumes with slightly changed names, that were a fraction of the cost of the proper ones? I bought one called "Joey Girl" which was of course a foul rip-off version of Tommy Girl.
My God, it was VILE and lasted for hours. What was I thinking?
I do love flowerbomb too- I've still got some left from last year. I think though from reading the 'basenotes' site after enjoying this thread so much, that the common factor in a lot of perfumes I love is a bit of patchouli in the heart, old hippy that I am. My next mission is to find something a bit special for DP!
Donna Karan Fuel for Men, Boffy. Oldie but a goodie.
I love Flowerbomb but the new mens version (Spicebomb) is just flat-out-spice. Like the herbs aisle at Tesco.
Prada Luna Rosso is a naice mens one - fresh and wet kind of sexy.
Yes, it's got to smell sexy. Maybe not in a sweaty knickers way though
I feel inspired by this thread! So interesting.
I have a drawerful of perfumes; a legacy from several years working in the fragrance business (and DH currently works for Procter & Gamble, purveyors of perfume for the masses), but I normally regard perfume as nothing more than a "nice smell". The equivalent of lift music, if you like - people might notice my perfume, but no-one is ever going to go "wow" or "ugh".
My everyday perfumes are the ubiquitous fruity florals DonaAna has mentioned (and back in the day I certainly worked my way through many of the 1980s horrors like Knowing and Ysatis, and every 16-year-old's favourite Anais Anais), but perhaps, like with wine, my palate is changing - I really feel inspired to try a new direction and experiment with something a bit more interesting than the safe options.
So thanks for all the amazing tips and suggestions, I have ordered some samples and we shall see.....
I live very close to the Guerlain shop on the Champs Elysees
Schadenfreude- you appear to be living my dream life- there seems to have been a mix up!
Karma "One Nosy Dame".
Cointreau I have a similar story - got tired of the muzak, started reading about perfume on Makeupalley, Fragrantica and Basenotes, wanted to know what I was missing and there is no turning back . I have quieter times when I'm so busy with work and life that I just wear a handful of tried-and-true favorite perfumes - and then there are times when I'm actively exploring and trying something new every day. To me, perfume is like books and films - something that keeps me active. Couldn't do just one signature perfume, far too many really great ones out there to suit different situations and moods.
MrsSchadenfreude I wish I lived near the Guerlain boutique. Italy is one of the best places on in the world for great perfume (passers-by wear interesting and sophisticated things and you should see how confidently old men select great things), but boutique Guerlains are difficult to come by here.
I have great respect for makers of functional fragrance. Our elevator smells great (more adventurous than your average mainstream perfume) - someone has given real thought to how to fragrance the floor cleaner. Some of the soaps are made by great parfumeurs. When I lived in Brazil, Johnson baby products or all-purpose ouse detergents were available in 20 different formulations, and washing powders were musky roses. And a lot of money and thought goes into developing fragrances for shampoos, skin lotions and creams.
Please tell me more about Ivoire de Balmain! Don't think I have it.
Just read that article - thank you so much DonaAna. I can't wait for my delivery now and think I might have to buy Covet, too, just to see where she went with her ideas.
Great Karma. If you'd like to read more, here is another article by CB from the New Yorker. Not your usual women's magazine story.
That was really interesting - love Chanel No5 and Coco Mademoiselle. Am not familiar with Hermes, but will be looking out for them so I can see how they compare. I have never really thought about the process of creating a perfume before, or how much/little involvement celebrities have with the creations they put their names to.
Thanks DonaAna, our planes were certainly fragrant ...
I love citrus fragrances and wear Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarin Basilic in the summer - used to love Pampleune until one of stewards I flew with told me it smelt like cat wee. Have a bottle of Chanel Chane Eau Fraiche which I quite like too but I'm hankering over something more autumnal hence the JM Pom Noir obsession. I tried their Blackberry and Bay in the shop a couple of week ago which smelt like I was foraging around in a hedgerow. Suppose I'm quite fruity person then ...
Oh DonaAna, what have you sparked in me? I have just ordered a sample of Ambre Narguilé...
can you imagine the kind of like where you live very close to the guerlain boutique on the champs elysee? [Grin]
What do I live very close to? Hmm, a great big hill where every year the locals ritually hurl a load of cheese down it for yokels to chase after.
It's not quite the same.
Mm, I'm getting cheese, whiffy tramp, grass, soil, maybe a waft of cupcake from GetOrf's kitchen window...yep, it could work
Dona Ana - Ivoire de Balmain - where to start? I think it is quite "complex" and very long lasting - it still smells quite strongly on me now, hours later, but has "settled down" and I am getting more of a patchouli (?) base, with maybe a hint of vetiver (I am not a fan of vetiver, but this hint is OK). When you spray it on at first it is flowery, but a bit dirty (hence the sweaty knickers comment from DH!). It's also a bit soapy/powdery, as it settles, but still has an "edge" to it - quite different from anything else I have.
It's quite difficult to get hold of in UK - I got my bottle for a tenner in TK Maxx and picked up a bottle of the Eau d'Ivoire here in Paris in an odd, junky shop, for about the same price. I like it a lot. I also wear Vol de Nuit, Chanel No 22, Lux by Mona di Orio, Annick Goutal's Nuits de Hadrien and Grain de Soleil by Fragonard....quite a mix! (But not all at once, obv.)
UltraBOF, if you like patchouli then you might like Voleur de Roses that Dona mentioned upthread. It's my evening dress type perfume. It really does smell like rain and wet soil in a rose garden. I bought it without reading the blurb but for once it is exactly right. Artisan market it as a mens or unisex scent . I wore it yesterday in honour of the thread...normally I loathe patchouli too as it reminds me of cheap joss sticks in student rooms at university. Today I am wearing Ombré dans l'eau, which has a similar concept but smells of blackcurrents and tomatoes in a high Summer rose garden. It's almost a bit too realistic on initial application (the tomato is very strong and greenhouse-ish for me) but the drydown is good. I wear Chanel 19 every day to work but have an excessive collection of rose type samples. Frederick Malle Une Rose is also lovely if anyone likes rose but feels that most of the high street rose perfumes are too sweet or light. There is quite a nice Byredo rose one too. I have the Jo Malone Red Rose which smells just like smelling a real rose but I feel it is far too one note and lacking in any sort of complexity and silage.
Oh, one thing I meant to ask: I notice that a lot of these scents are Eau de Toilette, and I was under the impression that EDT was a bit wishywashy, if you like, and that you need Eau de Parfum if you want a fragrance to last more than a short time. Am I wrong?
I have a friend who lives near you, Getorf.
We will be moving on next year, sadly, as my contract finishes and my lovely boss has declined to renew it for another year.
Belsize thanks for reminding me of Byredo's Rose Noir. Wearing it to bed as I type.
MrsSch I think I need to get Ivoire - I love green fragrances and would like to give it a try, it's a classic - I think the edge might be galbanum, a bitter green resinous plant you can find in Chanel 19. Belsize, I love Ch 19 too, might wear it tomorrow. Selecting perfume in the morning is one of my favorite rituals.
BOF hope you like AN - again a perfume that both novices and experienced perfume lovers tend to like.
This thread is dangerous for me too - need to buy some samples and have mentally made a list of new bottles I need (Ch 19 extrait, Tabac Blond and Oud Ispahan at least = a fortune). And need to go to Sephora to see whether they have a few mainstream releases I have missed.
If you need something very exquisite, I recommend Rubj by Vero Profumo.
EdT vs EdP - it depends on the perfume. I have extrait de parfum (the strongest concentration) of some and it doesn't always last. Sometimes you even don't want the perfume to last all day (linear perfumes get boring after a while). And often EdT, EdP and parfum are slightly different formulations. For example, I love Terre de Hermes in parfum formulation but Eau Sauvage in EdT.
Sweet, heavy, ambery orientals stay on the skin for the longest time. It's more difficult to make a light floral or citrus truly lasting. If you have dry skin, you can make a perfume last better by moisturizing the skin first with Cetaphil or jojoba oil. Or spray your hair or clothes.
EdC is the most fleeting of all. Colognes are meant for quick splashing and refreshing, they can disappear in half an hour.
Thanks- I do have quite dry skin, that's a good tip.
Looking at my emails, it would appear that last night I hit eBay for a sample of Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather too .
This is going yo be like the time I discovered a really sweet pair of designer shoes in a sale for six quid. It kicked off a two-year shoe-buying obsession that must have cost me hundreds. That pair of shoes turned out to be damned expensive in the end .
Reading this thread with great interest I am sorely tempted to try a sample of coromandel too. It sounds right up my street! I have struggled for a few years now searching for a 'me' perfume. The closest I've got is an Avon perfume called little black dress. My partner loves it on me but as much as I like it too, I'd like something too alternate it with. Any suggestions please?
DonaAna - I love the fact that you choose a perfume to wear to bed!
I nealy always pick a perfume for bed. Often the more fleeting and evocative ones.
For me, perfumes are a hobby. Unlike clothes, they are compact and have resale value (I've sold or traded some mistake purchases). For me they are a bit like books - like having lots of them around. That said, an enormous collection fits into two dresser drawers.
BOF Tuscan Leather is great too. One of my main loves is leather in perfumery. If you like that, you have to try a few classic male perfumes. I often wear them either eith very feminine clothes or when I want to be very cozy and comfortable.
Phoenix sorry, I don't know Avon perfumes. Being able to recommend requires that I recognize the main group or main notes of a perfume.
Basking in the glory of Chanel 19 extrait de parfum right now.
Sorry, atrocious typing today (on phone).
I like wearing perfume to bed especially if I am trying out a new one. If you like it the next day, it's a good one, and you also know it lasts a long time. The perk of this habit is that my pillow always smells lovely too.
I know I am coming in late to this party! apologies
I have found Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver - I find myself drawn to it, but it was commented that it is for men. Any thoughts? or any suggestions of a Parfum with Vetiver that I should try?
YY to feeling an obsession growing with this.
Damn my obsessive personality!
Lass I wear Grey Vetiver often
and I am a boring heterosexual mother of two. Vetiver is one of my favorite ingredients, a great raw material. You are allowed to wear it just like you are allowed to wear trousers, jeans, a smoking jacket or brogues I read somewhere that 30% of perfumes labeled as aftershaves are actually used and worn by women. There are many great vetivers: Tom's Grey Vetiver, Sycomore by Chanel and, Encre Noire (the masculine version) by Lalique for example. The last one has perhaps the most beautiful bottle I own.
"Male" perfumes were created to lure
American men straight males in. Men who have more culture and background in perfume-wearing have much more varied tastes. I once sat next to a very masculine bearded Middle Eastern man on the tram and he radiated classy, seductive waves of rose and jasmine. So sexy...
For all women who want to explore the masculine side, great and easy-to-wear men's classics are Habit Rouge by Guerlain (most of my women friends have fallen in love with it - such a classy perfume!) and Eau Sauvage by Dior (ditto - a must if you love radiant citrus). Here in Italy, more and more perfume departments are becoming unisex - you get to choose what to wear without antiquated gender boundaries. Many men I know are crazy about jasmine and iris. And if you like violets, try the original Fahrenheit by Dior.
For me, the most difficult male perfume type to wear is classic fougeres - I associate them with my father. That said, I have a bottle of 1725 Casanova and wear it quite often - the heart is one of the most delicious things ever. One of the greatest fougeres I know is Azzaro pour Homme (may need some of it for winter).
And a random totally unrelated mention - does anyone wear Douce Amere by Serge Lutens? A masterpiece.
I have really fallen for Vetiver - having said for years that I was a 'floral' type. But I've only started reading about perfumes and basenotes etc. I discovered that most of my favourite floral scents had Vetiver as a basenote - so I have been googling like mad!
It's my 40th in December and I am hoping someone will buy me Grey Vetiver - it's now on my list!!
I will now try and get some samples for Habit Rouge & Eau Savage....thanks so much
Lass almost every department store should have HR and ES (on men's side) - they are very easy to find. They are not strongly vetivery - here are some more vetiver perfumes worth exploring.
Years ago I bought a curious packet of grassy stems in South America. I've kept it in my underwear drawer - turns out it's tufts of vetiver.
The sample of Coromandel that I ordered from eBay has arrived, blimey, it's the first Chanel fragrance that I have ever really liked, it's so warm and soothing, just beautiful. Of course the bad news is that I now want a bottle, I'm probably going to end up destitute but smelling good.
I only ordered my samples on Friday <taps foot impatiently>. Coromandel being one of them. I am now short listing the next selection of samples- Grey Vetiver and Habit Rouge are on there, as is Baiser Vole. Douce Amere will have to go on as well. I wonder which perfume I can wear for the annual office Christmas meal? I wore Black Orchid last year, which drew a lot of interest. So, it has to be even more fabulous and intriguing. DonaAna- will Douce Amere do that job?
Week, I went to John Lewis and went to the guerlain counter and tried;
Nahema - didn't like it! Smelt of damp earth to me...
The new one...smells of cherries which make me retch
Mitsuko...liked this one but not enough to buy it!
Shalimar...like old talcum powder
So, back to the drawing board
Also checked out the Chanel counter...didn't like any of them!
Might have to go back to my old faithful..opium.
Badvoc, you don't like the classic classics which is fine (there is not much for me either in a mainstream department store - good orientals have gone extinct or niche). If you liked Mitsy, you might try smelling more chypres - particularly Femme by Rochas. If you love Orientals, you should try oriental spicy, oriental woody and amber fragrances (for example Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens or Ambre Narguile by Hermes) and you should definitely also try L'air du desert marocain by Tauer Perfumes (samples at Les Senteurs). Also check out this list and this list for inspiration.
Shoe if you like anise, Douce Amere is a great choice. If warm christmassy gourmands/orientals, Nuit de Noel by Caron or Ambre Narguile by Hermes.
MrsArse happy you liked Coro
Badvoc orientals are my home terrain and this list includes many of my favorites (they are fairly unisex). Spicebomb on men's side is also worth a try.
I used to really like Madame Rochas by Rochas, but you don't see it much now.
And for everyday, Quercus and Castile from Penhaligon's (both men's scents) are very nice.
I've just tried the new Bottega Veneta for women which is 'quite naice', but not enough to buy. It just makes you smell like the perfume hall in a department store.
Thank you for sharing all your knowledgeable comments Dona, it's gorgeous, I keep sniffing my wrists, it's a revelation, I really never expected to like a Chanel fragrance. I wore Molecule 01 to work today and got quite a few compliments on it, so thank you for suggesting that too.
All I need now is the rest of my samples to arrive and I'll be in whiffy heaven.
Rive Gauche, Obsession and Poison must be the worst ever. I was sick on a ferry recently after being in the duty free and taking a sniff of Rive Gauche.
Eldritch, I bought Bottega Veneta and really love it but I only realised this year that I like leather perfumes, after falling for Armani Cuir Amethyste. I think next on the leather hit list is Cuir Russie and then Lancôme ( might be mistaken ) Cuir - I'm reading Perfume, The Guide and the authors reckon it's worth a go.
Who was asking about vetiver?
There a lovely one by L'Artisan Parfumeur, with some incense, Dzonkha. Which is most certainly the wrong spelling. Very light, airy, bit cold, very pretty.
If however you like them darker it's worth trying Ormonde Woman - the company is Ormonde Jayne. They did, maybe still do a good sample set.
All her perfumes are gorgeous.
And there was something else which I forgot.
Might post later.
The Different Company Sel De Vetiver.
As the name says - salty, hint of flowers. Some sweetness at the end.
Great suggestions everyone!
Wiping out all bad smells with L'air du desert marocain.
I need to sample Cuir de Lancome - it has been on my to-try list for ages.
Ordered some Ivoire by Balmain <intimidated>
MrsArse can you smell Molecule 01?
Perfumes - The Guide is recommended reading for any newbie perfumista. It's the only funny perfume book I know. The book is full of 'best of' lists and exploring them is a lot of fun.
And All, when you order samples, do not expect to love everything - there will be lots of 'yuk' and 'meh' experiences, but then also truly transcendent ones. L'air is always purifying for me. If anyone else is a incensehead, Avignon and Zagosk from Comme des Garcons are also remarkable perfumes.
Mrs Arse, if you like Leather, try Cabochard. It's sooo leather. Give it half hour or so and then Mmmm.
DonnaAnna, I didn't think, sorry
I found this to describe its main scents if that helps?
Little Black Dress by Avon is a Oriental fragrance for women. Little Black Dress was launched in 2001. Top notes are cyclamen, coriander, african ginger, jasmine and apricot blossom; middle notes are gardenia, ylang-ylang and pink peony; base notes are sandalwood, tonka bean, musk and japanese plum.
Wow, never realized what was in it! I am an aromatherapist and dislike a few of the individual oils in that list, lol! Just goes to show....
Cabochard-got the original and the new version. They are different.
Madame Rochas-Absolute heaven...but not on me
Can anyone tell me about Seville a l'aube? or Penhaligon's Orange Blossom?
Don't know Penhaligon's, but Seville was a funny one.
I kept thinking It had camphor in it but it must have been the lavender.
It felt cold.
Not for me.
That sounds a bit odd Coffeeinbed. As I said up thread Friday 17.48 I really want to find a beautiful orange perfume for DD.
Phoenix I think you should explore florientals. I'm not the best expert here as I'm not all that much into modern florals. Some examples: Loulou, Cacharel; Cinema, YSL; Classique by Jean-Paul Gaultier; some Annick Goutals (Songes) plus Serge Lutens (Fleurs d'oranger, A la nuit) and Jasmin de Nuit by The Different Company. And from Chanel, the new Coco Noir and Allure Sensuelle if you want light; Coco if you are into heavy-hitters?
Anybody else here knowledgeable about floral orientals? If you want more traditional orientals, check the links up-thread!
Doom orange as in orange juice or orange blossom?
Eau de Tarocco by Diptyque is a great juicy fresh orange, not too sweet. Happy by Clinique reminds me of OJ but I'm not a huge fan personally.
Am out of my depth here - fruits and florals are not my forte.
Thank you DonaAna That gives me a starting point to explore on my hunt
Maybe it's just me, harbinger.
It's probably the combination of incense and lavender that made me think of camphor and then I could not get it out of my head.
I've worn Seville only once, but can't stop thinking about it. I'm a fruit hater and I like it so that means it must be a strange fruit, and indeed, it has some beeswax and incense and extreme sweetness from benzoin . My friends complained about a strange gummy note. I am going to try it again, but if you are looking for a simple life-like orange, it's not going to be that.
I've no idea but she likes Vera Wang princess night,cacharel amor amor and artemesia by penhaligon's.
So, orange with a bit of uumph? and guts?
She loved opium when I used to wear it. not sure if that helps, looks very sultry if she wants to in the winter but is a different person in the summer.
Based on those, I'd say no to Seville - might be too weird. She should try it though. Sienne d'Orange from The Different Company might appeal more to her, it's much easier to approach.
I've never like Lulu, personally, and I always thought the bottle looked cheap. Another one I strongly dislike is Lancôme's Trésor- I'll have to look it up on basenotes and see what's in it that I don't like. It just seems very cloying to me- I wonder if it's the sweetness generally? I usually like florals.
Hmm, looking it up just now, I think it must be the sweet peach. I always loathed the ubiquitous Fuzzy Peach that Body Shop did when I was a teenager.
Thank you Dona
I did try cinnabar by Estée Lauder which I love. I don't know why I have never bought any really...it's gorgeous and warm and sexy.
JL had no obsession by CK or I would probably have bought some! I wore it a lot from about 18-22 and I turned 40 today so feel the need for something different/new.
Is the new opium nice?
I got an overdose of Loulou as a teen (my best friend loved it) - it's a classic but I don't like it. Do not really like most fruit and berry aromas in perfumes - one of the few exceptions is Mure et Musc by L'Artisan.
Badvoc you really like full-blooded orientals! You should try some ambers, Cinnabar is great. Try Obsession first, like everything else, it has probably been changed.
She is weird! but i will try your idea first. Thank you. DA
Happy birthday Badvoc! good excuse to treat yourself (hint, hint) Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on
Ambre de Cabochard is a good, warm spicy scent. I wasn't expecting much as it was under a tenner but it has become one of my favourites- amazing for the price and doesn't smell cheap.
Thanks so much for the Buddha's Fig tip, MsArseBiscuits. I adore fig perfumes.
Dona, yes I can smell Molecule 01, it does have a hint of Terre about it, possibly seems quite warm but I think it does resemble the tail end of Philosykos too.
I'm loving The Guide, the only problem being that there are so many I'd like to try ( Amougage Gold sample on its way .... )
Youoldslag, I'm adding Cabochard to my giant list, thank you.
UltraBof, Tresor is absolutely vile, I hate it, so sickly
Haberdashery, my pleasure, I love figgy perfumes too, tried loads - don't like Premier Figuier ( too cat urine for me but I have a load left, been kept in its box, give me a shout if you want it ) , like Fico di Amalfi, love Un Jardin en Mediterranee and Philosykos ( with apologies for all the spelling mistakes and missed accents ).
I think I may be getting myself Coromandel next time I'm in Selfridges in Manchester <addict face >
Amber de Cabochard,mmm must try. Have gone off the main one. Is th 50 year one better?
I am really enjoying this thread and now have a few ideas to try...
I have many scents I like, associated with memories and linked to creativity , I went to art school and have always been a daydreamer...I am now mainly a gardener/ designer and would love a fragrance that reflected me .
I like geranium/ black currant and tomato leaves, wood smoke, Stockholm tar, leather, beeswax, grapefruit , warm cat fur, wet summer pavements, hay, roses, moss, oiled woollen jerseys, oil paint, horses, pipe tobacco.
I am prone to liking aftershave but would like to smell interesting rather than manly.
Any ideas ( liking the sound of Ombré d'eau so far)?
I forgot about loving cloves and black pepper.
Wiggly great list! I suggest you go on to Le Labo and order some samples, you might find them interesting
I love benzoin in all it's black, spicy, treacly gorgeousness. One of those scents that just acts directly on my brain. <swoon>
Anything by Jean-Paul Gaultier... reminds me of my mother - but that might just be because she uses it abundantly to unsuccessfully "masK' the smell of 40 fags a day...
Wiggly you are my kind of girl - modern niche perfumery is full of unisex lovelies developed for you. I love all the notes you mention...
Tar - Lonestar Memories by Tauer Perfumes
Tomato leaf / Rhubarb - Aedes de Venustas edp - plus try the Jardins series by Hermes
Hay - one of my favorites, Dzing! by L'Artisan! Chergui by Serge Lutens; Yerbamate by Villoresi, Pohadka by YS Uzac; plus one of the Cartier exclusives, L'Heure Fougueuse; if you like dainty violets, Eau du ciel by Annick Goutal
Geranium - Geranium pour Monsieur by Frederic Malle
Tobacco - Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford, Jasmin & Cigarettes by ELdO, Tabac Blond by Caron, 1740 Marquis de Sade, plus don't forget the cheap Tabac
General feel of smoke: you might like Eau des Iles by Maitre Parfumier et Gantier and Antaeus by Chanel
Grapefruit: Pamplelune by Guerlain
Moss: two main perfume groups, chypres and fougeres, have oakmoss as their basenote.
Black pepper: Poivre Samarcande by Hermes
Cloves: Opium, Bellodgia by Caron
MmeOvary i love benzoin too and like Bois d'Armenie by Guerlain. Iirc Eau de Soir by Maison Kurkdjian is also heavy with benzoin. Do you like immortelle?
MrsArse if you like Iso E Super you should explore the Hermessences (at Hermes boutiques).
One of the nicest daily decisions coming up - what perfume am I going to wear today (very inspired by Wiggly's olfactory profile).
Ovary, correct name of the Kurkdjian benzoin perfume, Absolue pour le Soir.
Dona Ana - what do you think of Creed?
Creed is not my cup of tea - too close to mainstream, not special enough - but they have their fanatic followers.
Hermessences, you say .... I wonder if they have samples at the Hermes concession in Selfridges, if so that's them and Coromandel in one fell swoop. Thanks Dona ( think I'm going for Molecule 01 again today )
They might MrsArse - they are modern minimalist style, not to everyone's taste. Poivre is full of Iso E Super; it and all others are light, transparent and elegant, except Ambre Narguile (thick, warm and ambery).
Coffee I was asking about Vetiver! Thank you. Will see if I can find some samples.
Thank you, Dona, I'll investigate, it seems that despite me being the least minimalist person you could possibly imagine, I'm quite drawn to Ellena's fragrances. I do really fancy Ambre Narguile, I think I'm going through a warm fragrance stage.
I like to wear light, fresh perfumes at work ( hospital ) as I reckon there are so many unpleasant smells around that I have a duty to be an oasis of smelling good. If, on the very odd occasion, I forget to put perfume on, it always feels really wrong, I feel very 'unfinished' .
Chose the wrong perfume - Havana Vanilla from L'Artisan sample. I like warm and sweet when it's cold outside, but this was jarringly, intolerably, heave-inducingly sweet. Tried to wash it off twice - no luck. Then covered it with M7 Oud Absolu (a decant from a male friend). Am now radiating cozy warmth. Love this. Understated but great.
MsArse to me, many Hermessences (a gift set of four at 70 GBP is great value and you get to pick the ones you like) smell of "air-conditioned luxury" - I sometimes wear them when it gets really hot. Ambre Narguile is pure apple pie coziness. Sometimes too foody, sometimes just right. Hermes Jardins perfumes are good budget alternatives for Hermessences. Another superb warm classic to try is Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens.
Thank you Dona not least for summing up the fabulousness of Wiggly's "olfactory profile" and expressing my thoughts so well about modern niche perfumery.
I haven't tried any of the scents you mention, but I will seek out some samples. I actually have benzoin resin which I bought when I was trying to make my own perfume. I had lots of fun and discovered how much I love spicy, woody, notes: benzoin, labdanum, wenge...I love Opopanax candles (Diptyque) so naively thought that if I bought the essential oil that would smell the same. Er...no
Have I mentioned Must De Cartier? I would happily have my house smelling of this too.
I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Premiere Figuieur (sp) by L'Artisan Parfumeur but it's a little too strong for me. I occasionally spray the tiniest bit though and quite like it.
MadameOvary- I have a sample of Must de Cartier on order. I had a smell of it in House of Fraser, after a SA recommended it. I didn't test it on my skin though, so am really looking forward to trying it out. It may be a toss up between that one and the Coromandel, though Must won't make me destitute . I love this thread!
Guerlain do a great orange in their Aqua Allegoria range, Orange Magnificat, which I've got.
The blurb says: 'fresh and sweet orange aroma. The juicy beginning is composed of bergamot, orange and clementine, the heart of jasmine and neroli, and the base of cedarwood, almond and amber.'
man, I love all this perfume talk. I went to bed last night with a dab of Tubereuse Criminelle on my wrists and smelt gorgeous. It amuses me that this was the perfume that started the whole thread. I like it better than Fracas. The initial smell reminds me of my husbands motorbike - sort of oily/ petrolly. Then gorgeous Tuberose. I sometimes wear Ambre Sultan with it to make it more ambery. I have a bell jar of each (I am so lucky!) but would like some more Serge Lutens bell jars ...
I have a growing list at Surrendertochance.com -L'eau de Hiver, Tonka Imperiale, Heliotrope, Apre le ondee, Luctor et emergo and now Coromandel.
I adore ambery/ orientally perfumes and adore the almond/ vanilla of heliotrope so they are my main foci at present.
Today I tried the eagerly anticipated Coco Noir and it doesn't work on me. I love Coco. I love Coco Mademoiselle. On my skin, Coco Noir smells like I've dabbed the other two on each wrist and rubbed together. I expected it to pack more of a punch. It's sweet and pleasant but I don't really understand the point of it. There's a hint of something in it that I wish would surface ...but I can't identify what that something is.
I tried La Vie est Belle today by Lancome. Just another run of the mill fruity floral. So many new scents smell the same today. Boring!
(note- I don't have a good High Street so make do with the local dept store).
Like many other fume heads, I am on a limited budget but it's amazing what you can buy and sell on ebay. If I order a used scent and loathe it, I just sell it back.
Blimey wiggly do tell us what you like, what you really really like!
I would take a look at Ineke - it's a perfume house that pretty much covers what you like, a whole series of perfumes. They are unisex- in the best possible way.
Google it, it's turn up, with a list of notes and everything.
In London you can smell them all in Liberty.
Tomato - Sisley Eau de Campagne. Very pricey though.
Smoke - sorry, the one there was- and it was the best ever is gone now, so I wont even recommend something to try.
They all call themselves Noir and Fumee and what not, but most dry down to a sweet mess.
Add Farnesiana and Une Fleur de Cassie to your list Kiwi
Slag yep that's the way it is done - and samples can be traded too.
I'm so bored by high street these days that I'm not exactly running to Sephora when a new perfume launch is announced. My recent tries - Coco Noir and Fan di Fendi (edp) have been really boring. Coco Noir is so insipid it could be a shampoo. I have a deja senti associated with it, cannot identify the scent, and do not care enough to make the effort to find out. La Vie est Belle was packaged together with Italian Elle this month - I wish they spent a bit more on the juice and a bit less on the marketing: cchose not to buy Elle at all and got Vanity Fair instead.
I am hankering after the newest Shalimar flanker though. I liked the last two (but they are too mainstream-pleasant for me) - the original is unfortunately too geriatric on me.
Kiwi as s a tuberose lover, you should try Loretta by Tauer (from First in Fragrance). It's very close to real tuberose absolute. Histoires de Parfums also do a tuberose trilogy.
Many great ones on this list. I have Luctor et Emergo somewhere, also would like to wear vintage Poison, and I think I have a sample of Must...
I started out preferring opulent orientals, but have realized that I may like leather, incense and dry woods even more. I will wear almost anything - aquatics, light florals and fruity scents are the categories I'm least interested in.
<adds Ambre Narguile to growing wish list>
Today, I'm wearing Lancome Hypnose. Mainstream, yes, but lovely. I was given a small bottle a while back, and it is rather different from my usual choices, but there's something about it....I keep sniffing myself!
My DD2 just found a touche dipped in Absolue pour le Soir (yes, our house is like that - and she expertly sniffed it before handing it to me - she's 2.5) a month ago when I went perfume shopping with a friend. We smelled together Puredistances and Kurkdjians. There is still a discernible smell of benzoin...
I'm eyeing up the new vanilla shalimar also.
Oh yes I like Hypnose too. I'd forgotten that.
Yos....I dont need any encouragement, honest!!
I think I am going to treat myself to some cinnabar next time I am in John Lewis.
Time for a grown up fragrance
(Now I am so old you see....)
Ok, doing a side-by-side now.
Loretta by Tauer on left wrist, vintage Poison by Dior on right.
Minute drops of both, as they are extremely strong perfumes and have nuclear fallout type sillage.
General feel surprisingly similar. I can feel tuberose in both.
Poison has a cool candy-like glazed-sugary smoothness. Loretta is more honeyed and warm.
I love both.
Badvoc, I am 42 and in the last year I have found I want totally different perfumes now. I used to love crisp green scents ( and still wouldn't turn down a bottle of Cristalle), but in the past few months I sort of said "who am I NOW, instead of who was I in the past?" and decided to get completely different perfumes to narrate this chapter of my life.
I am heading towards ambers and orientals after years of light musks and pretty florals. Totally different dressing table as I enter my confident dotage.
Yos...I know what you mean.
I wore a lot of masks in my youth and although I love them I feel I have moved on.
Perhaps that's why I dint want to buy podium or obsession...much as I love them that was then and this is now.
I have never been into florals although I love rose scents.
You might like mitsuko by guerlain....
Yes, Badvoc, perfume as masks, I totally get that. I will sniff out Mitsouko...
I love Podium- it would smell of gay clubs and cage-dancer thongs
My samples of Amber Narguilé and Tuscan Leather arrived today. The Amber Narguilé is more subtle, so I'm waiting for that to reveal itself more, IYSWIM, but I took both samples out to put on DP because I couldn't wait for him to get home to try them . I've got Tuscan Leather on my own wrist too, and I can't stop inhaling it- it is GORGEOUS, so deep and distinctive, and completely different from traditional masculine fragrances which I often find too citrussy. It smells like a traditional Gentleman's Club- Chesterfield sofas and dusty books. I love it. DP loves that one too, but I'll wait to see how they both develop.
Cage dancer thongs?
Hmmmm...might have a limited appeal I guess...
I really like opium pour homme on dh.....swoony
Podium for you . Note the price...
I am soooo tempted to get some...very bargainous
I love this thread! I've been lurking and ebaying madly!
What does everyone think about miller Harris? What's the silliage (sp?) like?
I adore Tuscan Leather. I walk round behind my DH sniffing at him when he's wearing it!
I think I will print out this thread and take it with me on my next trip to London. thanks everyone who enjoyed my 'olfactory profile', amazing how even thinking about smells can trigger memories.
Tuscan Leather is a great choice!
This blog post is full of references to some of the most beautiful perfumes ever. Work/life appropriate too unlike my <cough cough> Poison/Loretta cloud... They grew apart, Poison is more understated (!!!) and fruity, Loretta is unabashedly camphoric and unruly: warm and cool at the same time.
I have a friend who likes Miller Harris a lot. I'm a bit more indifferent. The perfumes are well-made and the bottles pretty, that's not the issue, am just a bit less excited. Have lots of samples of them but never get round to wearing them. Too subtle for me? Jo Malones are also not for me. I had Pomegranate Noir for a while but never wore it - prim, proper and cloyingly synthetic - sold mine to someone who liked it a lot more. White Jasmine and Mint smells exactly like thai takeout. Very good takeout, but I don't want to smell of green curry. And the classic, Lime, Basil & Mandarin has a lotiony vibe that makes me feel very middle-aged.
Mind you, last time i decided to but exactly what I liked without looking at the price tag or thinking about my budget i blew £500 pounds on a pair of hand-made, French, glasses frames (without lenses!). Not that i regret buying them for one minute even though it meant no new clothes for a long time.
MsArseBiscuit if you really honestly don't want your Premier Figuier, I'd love it. Would you like some money for it? My bottle is coming to its end and it is probably my favourite perfume of all time. If you don't want money, could I reciprocate by getting you some samples from Les Senteurs or similar?
And I have started a list of things I need to go and smell somewhere. Planning a trip to central London some time to go and sniff.
Of course you can have it, Haberdashery, it's just been sitting there, being unloved - hopefully it's not gone off, call it a present from one fig-fancier to another. If you pm me your address, I'll send it off to you.
Seriously, could I order you some samples or something to say thank you? Or can I pay you? I would be happy to do either, whichever you are more comfortable with.
I do think that some stuff, Creed does well, Dona Ana - Bois de Portugal and Eau de Cedrat, I like. But I agree that they are becoming a bit mainstreamy - Virgin Island Water is very mainstream.
Do you know Fragonard?
Enjoying the swapping - great! It's very satisfying that an unloved bottle finds someone who appreciates it!
I have a sample of Virgin Island Water somewhere but haven't tried it (I get a lot of samples from profumeria owners who know me) - but don't think I have Fragonard MrsSchadenfreude. Haven't sought them out because many traditional Grasse offerings don't appeal to me (have a friend who works in one of the houses there). I do have a small bottle of Habanita by Molinard: it's a slightly scary tobacco-vanilla seemingly shaped with a chainsaw (I like to think it's a lumberjack's vanilla). Interesting, but not easy to wear, at least not easy for me.
There are so many perfume houses today (and each year many more) that I really haven't explored everything. I've found so many that do perfumes in the style that I enjoy (favorites: Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, Caron, Frederic Malle, Hermes, Lutens, L'Artisan, Comme des Garcons, Heeley, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Histoires de Parfums, Nicolai, Tauer, The Different Company, Tom Ford, YS Uzac), plus I occasionally explore conceptual new things like perfumes by Geza Schoen, Odin New York, Humiecki & Graef, or Olfactive Studio. But there are also many perfume houses that do things that may be very good, but are not really interesting enough from my personal perspective.
Tastes in perfume are very personal: I know many perfumistas who love and collect things I don't get (say, light fruity perfumes or white flower bouquets or classic chypres); they usually don't like my favorites. (I even have a friend to whom I routinely send things I don't like - she usually loves them. And vice versa.) I've found most of the perfumes I really love by listening to men who collect perfume - I wear a lot of classic masculines and feel that they fit like a glove.
Today I'm going retro and wearing vintage Fidji. It opens with very tart, puckering bitter-green galbanum - I'm waiting to see what comes after. Not an easy perfume to love, and could not see this selling in Sephora these days - the opening is blasts of soap and bitterness. But there is an airiness to the heart that I like. Old perfumes rarely reveal themselves at the opening - they are usually very forbidding at start.
Wiggly one more recommendation for you: Cuir de Russie by Chanel has both birch tar and leather. I love to wear it in winter.
I used to love Fidji- it's not as commonly found as it used to be, IME. I know what you mean about vintage scents being "forbidding" at the start DonaAna, I found that with Cabochard. I thought it was real howler at first, but then after about 30 minutes it was amazing.
It's all just so interesting, Dona, and tragically sounding a bit 'X-Factor', it's a real journey - I think I started off wanting to smell like everyone else, and now I want individuality and depth and interest in my perfumes.
I kicked off by receiving, as a child, L'Aimant and then ( wish I'd realised this was a classic at the time but I'd never heard of it ) Vent Vert. Moving on through Anais Anais at 15, Poison at 18, then Opium ( leaving people gasping in my wake, no doubt ), Body Shop White Musk. 20s and 30s were Byzance, Elysium, Eau Svelte, Bois de Feminite ( another one that I never realised was a classic ) and Baiser du Dragon. My 40s have seen me move onto Philosykos, Eau d'Hadrien, Buddha's Fig, Un Jardin en Mediterranee, Cuir Amethyste, Black Orchid, Fico di Amalfi and most recently ( and thanks to your suggestions ) Bottega Veneta. And there are so many more I want to try, almost like standing in the doorway of Willy Wonka's factory, with delicious temptation in every direction.
>> the opening is blasts of soap and bitterness
This sounds amazing. One of the things I dislike most about a lot of modern perfumes that I try is the excessive sweetness.
MsArse, I started off on Apple Blossom (Helena Rubinstein) which I was bought as a young teenager but I recognise quite a lot of the things on your list as points that I've passed through, too, and think we may be of a similar vintage. Anais Anais is one that I actually think is hugely underrated these days. It's a really beautiful perfume and although it was seen as rather sweet and unsophisticated at the time I think it smells quite grown up compared to some things I come across today.
Reminds me of my mum.
I love that fragrance.
Have been looking at bottega veneta!!..sound great. Must try a sniff next time I am in town...
Smelt one on Saturday at the Estée Lauder counter...not sure which one it was...but it took me back to being a child and smelling all the bottles on my aunts dressing table it was such a powerful memory!
Haberdashery, you know I've not smelled Anais Anais for years, I really must go and have a sniff. I bought it duty free on a school trip, in my mind that trip is Anais Anais, Nutella and a beautiful, beautiful crimson cardigan that cost almost all my spending money.
Badvoc, I thought I was dead classy wearing my L'Aimant - that's another one I feel like smelling again. It's all a bit Proustian, innit ?
Indeed...everything is a Madeleine!
I got a cold and a stuffed nose.
Can't smell a thing today.
Coffee, you have my sympathy for your stuffed nose, and Badvoc, Oh aye, it's all about the temps perdu at my gaff.
Miraculously, I'm still able to smell the dog....
Bet marcel was a barrel of laughs at parties!
Ds1 off school poorly.
Ds2 pretty disgusted that he still had to go to pre school.
And I have a sore throat and headache....sigh.
Hope you feel better soon coffee.
Haberdashery, you should explore anything green and galbanum. (Very limited choice in mainstream these days - I've been seeking the historical ones out too and there are not that many). Ideas what to sample here. I have a friend who dislikes sweet perfumes and loves green, galbanum, vegetable scents, dry woods and green tuberoses. She likes Untitled by Margin Martiela, Chanel 19 and Chanel No. 19 poudré and Sycomore, some of Hermes Jardins scents, L'Ombre dans L'Eau, Aedes de Venustas edp, Rhubarb by Comme des Garcons, Honore de Pres I love les carottes, modern Balenciagas, Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle, Loretta by Tauer, and many CB I hate Perfumes. Also, Estee Lauder Private Collection might be one for you to try. I also like Knowing. As a secondary choice, you should explore chypres - many of them are crisp and tart in a way that's not being made anymore.
Anais Anais is very classy and way underrated. I admire it, but can't wear it. It is so sophisticated compared to almost anything else mainstream.
I set out to find a few wearable perfumes that are "me", not to become a perfume addict . But once I found the really good stuff, I just couldn't stop sampling. Like I've said, for me perfumes are like films, music, or books. There is always something new and interesting (or old and terrific) to explore.