“Can’t Decide What To Wear” : Choosing Perfume

What is your most versatile perfume that suits most of your moods and occasions? 

Many of us have experienced moments when we stand in front of a closet full clothes and decide that we have nothing to wear. Well, unless you have a well-edited perfume wardrobe, you can suffer the same indecision. For work, I have to keep a big library of fragrances on hand, but for pleasure, I’ve narrowed down my choices to a more manageable level. Deciding among dozens of perfumes is even more difficult than deciding among several outfits. You can’t easily try all of them on!

Once I’ve streamlined, I realized that a few fragrances please me nomatter what: iris, orange blossom, soft musk or dry wood, such as Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, Annick Goutal Néroli, Estée Lauder White Linen and 10 Corso Como. The dry woods like Olfactive Studio Autoportrait, Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule, Van Cleef et Arpels Cologne Noire and Chanel Coromandel, depending on what I’ve set out on my dresser on any given week, hit the spot anytime. It doesn’t mean that I wear these more than some of my other favorites, but if I ever have a moment of indecision, they are my favorite “fall back” choices.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, Chanel display at Place Vendôme Haute Parfumerie.

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125 Comments

  • marsha: Corso Como is one of my all time favorites too! Sometimes, my picky nose will turn against a fragrance and make me nauseous, but as you said, 10 CC always hits the spot. September 8, 2012 at 9:05am Reply

    • Victoria: It really does! Something about it is so mellow and yet elegant. A win-win combination for me. September 8, 2012 at 11:35am Reply

  • Patt: The Prada Infusions, especially the Iris and Iris Absolue, are my perfume equivalents of the little black dress. I also really love 31 Rue Cambon and find it very easy to wear. September 8, 2012 at 9:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Iris Absolue sounds like a must-try for me. I still haven’t smelled it, but I like the original Infusion d’Iris very much. September 8, 2012 at 11:35am Reply

      • Patt: Oh, do try the Absolue, Victoria! I prefer it to the original. September 8, 2012 at 2:44pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will do now. 🙂

          I love your new avatar picture, by the way. My favorite color. September 8, 2012 at 5:24pm Reply

          • Patt: Thanks, I took it last spring in my backyard. Pansies are my favorite flowers: they have such sweet faces 🙂 September 8, 2012 at 5:33pm Reply

        • paeonia9: I agree! Both are go-to fragrances for me as well, but that Absolue is so lovely. The neroli and orange blossom really add a nice richness, presence, and a touch of warmth. September 8, 2012 at 5:50pm Reply

      • Cybele: it’s like a different league! September 9, 2012 at 8:22am Reply

  • Elena: No. 19 seems to fit almost any mood for me. I’m so in love with it it’s silly. I’ve only owned it for a month, though I can’t imagine ever not wearing it often. Bottega Veneta is also an easy choice, though it was a sleeper for me. I liked it but wasn’t particularly in love, but I have since gone back to my sample again and again and now I want a FB. September 8, 2012 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: No 19 never leaves my dresser, I also find it elegant and versatile. Do you have the EDT or the EDP? September 8, 2012 at 11:37am Reply

      • Elena: The EDP. I know you prefer the EDT, but I found the softer version beautiful. Lovely in any form! September 9, 2012 at 9:01pm Reply

        • Victoria: The EDT used to be my favorite, but with the most recent batch of No 19, I’ve noticed that the EDP is really beautiful. The richer floral notes and the plush musks in the drydown are alluring. The EDT is fresher and brighter. I agree with you though, I have all concentrations of No 19, and I wear and love all of them. September 10, 2012 at 3:53am Reply

    • kelly: Elena, Felt the same way about Bottega Veneta. Now I have a full bottle and love it. It really is easy to wear. No. 19 is great to. September 8, 2012 at 1:34pm Reply

      • Elena: I love the bottle itself, too. What are some of your other favorites? September 9, 2012 at 9:06pm Reply

  • Portia: I have a few easy wear and forgets: Shalimar EdP, Dreamer, Ballets Rouges, Jazz, Trouble, Blonde and L’Eau D’Ambre
    Portia xx September 8, 2012 at 11:06am Reply

    • Victoria: Portia, I just love that you wear Dreamer, Trouble, Jazz, all of these great, dramatic fragrances. And Blonde, which is one of my favorite Fracas variations. September 8, 2012 at 11:38am Reply

  • silverdust: The heat of summer many times determines what I’ll select, being that most of my repertoire is on the strong side. When I absolutely can’t stand being without a favorite scent during the long summer months (it’s about seven months long here), I judiciously apply one of the “monster-sillage” perfumes on the backs of my ankles and knees so as not to overcome anyone!

    I agree with Patt on the Infusion D’Iris as a surefire winner (though it disappears on me in an hour or so) or Egyptian Blue Musk, which is flat-out fresh and clean for any season. September 8, 2012 at 11:29am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, the application can be tame many sillage heavy perfumes. If I’m in the close quarters, I like to wear a dab of perfume on my chest. This way, I get a small whiff, but it doesn’t bother others. September 8, 2012 at 11:43am Reply

  • Emma: Feminite du Bois, Bois de Violette and Santal Blanc always work for me. September 8, 2012 at 11:35am Reply

    • Victoria: I should have added Bois de Violette to mine. It’s another one of those “smells good nomatter what mood/occasion” perfumes. September 8, 2012 at 5:25pm Reply

  • Caroline: Lately Prada Candy, Coromandel, Beige, Cuir de Russie, N.5, 19 Poudre & Jicky have been in regular rotation. I work from home right now so I don’t have to worry about offending anyone at the office. Yay! September 8, 2012 at 11:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Working from home is great in this respect. You can wear whatever you want, both in terms of clothes and perfume. 🙂
      If I leave No 19 Poudre on my dresser, I end up gravitating towards it too. This took me by surprise since at first I didn’t care for it that much. September 8, 2012 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Elisa: My three favorite perfumes — DK Gold, Cuir de Lancome, and Rossy de Palma — always seem right no matter the occasion or time of year. I guess that’s why they’re my favorites?! But other dependables depend on the season — for some reason I love Agent Provocateur in fall; in winter, a bit of Tabac Aurea always seems to hit the spot. September 8, 2012 at 11:39am Reply

    • Patt: Alisa, I also love AP, but sometimes worry that it is more appropriate for my grown daughters than for me (but they are so conservative in their fragrance choices!). September 8, 2012 at 2:42pm Reply

      • Patt: Sorry, Elisa! September 8, 2012 at 2:45pm Reply

        • Elisa: No problem! It’s one of a handful of rose chypres (or pseudo-chypres) that I love. I can suggest more in that vein if you’re looking to branch out! September 9, 2012 at 11:50am Reply

          • Heidi Clark: I’ll take suggestions for rose chypres– I love them! L’arte di Gucci is one of my faves, and I like EL Knowing, though I have to put it on with a toothpick. September 9, 2012 at 1:57pm Reply

            • Elisa: L’Arte di Gucci is one of my favorites too! The closest thing I’ve found is Lumiere Noire pour Femme by Francis Kurkdjian. September 9, 2012 at 4:48pm Reply

    • Ana: Elisa you must be my scent twin. I agree with your choices and I also have FB’s of nearly all the fragrances you mentioned with the exception of Agent Provocateur, which I plan to buy anyway and Tabac Aurea which I have yet to try.But i’s amazing how in the same sentence you mentioned three of my perfume faves and full bottles I own. September 9, 2012 at 10:12am Reply

      • Elisa: Oh, how funny! It’s nice to find someone with such similar tastes. You must try Tabac Aurea — the whole Sonoma Scent Studio line is fantastic. September 9, 2012 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: So happy to see Gold mentioned. It’s one of the best from Donna Karan line, but unfortunately it didn’t survive. September 9, 2012 at 11:55am Reply

  • sara: Vol de Nuit, Le Labo Labdanum 18, and Dior Homme always work for me! September 8, 2012 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: I need to revisit Labdanum 18. I never gave it enough skin time. September 9, 2012 at 11:57am Reply

  • Alityke: Another vote for Infuion d’Iris. Others are Gaultier2, No5 ans Aromatics Elixir. These are never about how the impress (or otherwise) others, they’re all about how they make me feel September 8, 2012 at 11:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, that’s how I think about my favorite “fall back” choices. They are the ones that make me feel good.
      I was recently smelling Gaultier2 and thinking that it had a wonderful, comforting drydown of musk and vanilla. But not at all predictable! September 9, 2012 at 11:58am Reply

  • Reese: I have a small (a dozen) perfume library, but my “never fail” choices are always either Hermès Eau de Mervilles or Chanel No. 19. Runners up would be Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit, Shalimar, or L’Heure Bleue. No. 5 for evening wear. September 8, 2012 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: As a Guerlain lover, I smile reading this list. 🙂 And I’m always happy to spot a mention of my other favorite, Eau des Merveilles. September 9, 2012 at 12:00pm Reply

  • bluegardenia: My go-to for many years was l’artisan tubereuse, and i’d sometimes branch out and wear creed Indiana or fracas…but in the last 5 years it’s just become fracas almost daily. I find it is cleaner and fresher than people give it credit for being, but with the buttery darkness that most perfumes lack. I know it’s intimidating to many people but I find it fits every occasion, never gives me a headache or makes me nauseous (which my beloved tubereuse criminelle does) and gets the most compliments (not that this part is very important to me).
    Also, do try infusion d’iris absolue, Victoria! I wore it once and loved it and am thinking about a bottle. The original is too citrusy-clean for me! September 8, 2012 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: I will do! Several of you are so enthusiastic about it, I’m going to order a sample from STC if I don’t find it around here.

      L’Artisan Tubereuse was excellent! September 9, 2012 at 12:01pm Reply

  • Daisy: I’m not sure if I have a can’t decide fragrance anymore. Bulgari Black if I had to choose one. I don’t think to much about it, I always find it interesting, and it always fits.

    Like the little black rubber dress 🙂 September 8, 2012 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: *nearly choked on my tea* 🙂 Daisy, how many little black rubber dresses do you have in your wardrobe? September 9, 2012 at 12:02pm Reply

      • Daisy: You can never have too many 😉 September 10, 2012 at 9:44am Reply

    • Elena: Lol, yes, that is my go to as well when I wear my (imaginary) leather catsuit! 🙂 September 9, 2012 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Daisy: I must add that read black rubber dresses require much forethought (“um… am I really going to be able to pull this off?”) and don’t always fit… well 🙂 September 8, 2012 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: They are unforgiving, I would imagine. 🙂 September 9, 2012 at 12:02pm Reply

      • Daisy: Very! 😉 September 10, 2012 at 9:45am Reply

  • Gretchen: While I bounce back and forth between many, I’d say the ones in heaviest rotation for the days I can’t make up my mind are Alahine, Arpege, and Un Matin d’Orage. Is it common to spend more time thinking about what fragrance to wear than the clothes you’ll put on that day??? I even plan it out the night before, but then find my mood doesn’t match my choice…ergo, my go-to no-brainers. September 8, 2012 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Elisa: Alahine is one of my fallbacks in winter as well — I often travel with a decant. September 9, 2012 at 11:53am Reply

      • mals86: Mine too! But only in winter. September 10, 2012 at 10:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Gretchen, I completely understand! 🙂 If you have to decide among more than a handful of perfumes, it’s very hard. “Do I feel like wearing something spicy and baroque (Coco)? Or do I want to smell like incense and woods (Armani Bois d’Encens)? Or like dry roses (L’Artisan Voleur de Roses)?” Endless choices! September 9, 2012 at 12:06pm Reply

      • Gretchen: While I like choices, I find that my decision often comes down to where I will be spending my day, and the people around me. Can I get away with my Shalimar or Carnal Flower? Should I go with 24 Faubourg to cheer me up? Do I need to be subtle and wear Debut? I find I love the big sillages and so often just spray my chest a wee bit, rather than settling for meh fragrances like the Jo Malones, which are fine, but not astonishing. It’s so funny, since my clothes are quite classic (white shirts, black or navy trousers, grey cashmere tnecks, or a shirt dress or wrap.) the oomph always comes from fragrance. I’m thinking I need Bois de Violette as a fall-back, unobtrusive scent for days where I need to not stand out. Any commenters’ recommendations? September 9, 2012 at 8:04pm Reply

  • Austenfan: This is a fun post!
    Any season:
    Prada Infusion d’Iris ( this seems to be the most quoted one!)
    Bvlgari Pour Femme
    For summer:
    Nicolaï Eau d’Eté and Prescriptives Calyx
    For winter:
    Clinique Aromatics Elixir September 8, 2012 at 1:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve noticed this about Infusion d’Iris too as I was reading the thread! Definitely says something about the aura it creates. September 9, 2012 at 12:07pm Reply

  • breathesgelatin: My fallbacks tend to be clean florals or colognes: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Beach Roses, 4711, Dior Escale a Pondichery, Tauer Perfumes Zeta. If it’s a day I’m “not feeling like perfume,” those are the ones I reach for. September 8, 2012 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I discovered 4711 a while ago, but I didn’t start wearing it until recently. It’s such an excellent cologne (and the price is more than reasonable). September 9, 2012 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Lucas: Generally I can wear Prada fragrances on any occasion, they always fit the bill. Amber Pour Homme, Infusion d’Homme or Infusion d’Iris Absolue which is gorgeous. I want it now! September 8, 2012 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Another vote for Infusion d’Iris Absolue! September 9, 2012 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Eva S: My fallback scents are always Mitsouko and Bandit! Voyage D’Hermes and Bottega Veneta are other “safe” choices along with Amouage Opus III. September 8, 2012 at 1:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: I can see that about Opus III. It starts out so radiant and then melts into the spicy violet. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the price. September 9, 2012 at 12:24pm Reply

  • kelly: My fallbacks are Infusion d’iris and Bottega Veneta. I have been wearing Diptyques Eau Rose a lot lately since it’s still 90 degrees where I live (Southern California). Please send some cooler weather my way. September 8, 2012 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Kelly, for now the weather here is still warm. But I bet it will cool down soon, and I will be happy to share some of our chill with you. 🙂 September 9, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Figuier: My collection is pretty small, which means about 40% of it consists of ‘fall-back’ perfumes:

    Terracotta Voile D’ete – it’s my go-to for when I’m working in a professional environment. For evenings out Songes is an easy & delightful option, and for sunny summer daytime wear Cristalle edt is, conveniently, almost impossible to overapply. Coromandel and Attrape-Coeur are my winter comfort-scent standbys.

    Despite this, I do still occasionally get that ‘but I’ve nothing to wear’ feeling when I’m picking my perfume in the morning…obviously I need to acquire some more FBs 😉 September 8, 2012 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Emily: Love Voile d’Ete! I don’t wear it nearly as often as I should (I guess I’m afraid of running out, what with it being discontinued — grr). September 9, 2012 at 1:41am Reply

      • Figuier: It’s always lovely to come across another Voile enthusiast 🙂

        Yes, the discontinued-ness of it does bother me intermittently. also But it’s by far the most office-friendly of my favourites so that sometimes I wear it every day of the working week. Am considering purchasing a back-up… September 9, 2012 at 11:37am Reply

        • Victoria: The drydown is addictive, something between a lily petal and warm sand. That’s what I think about every time I smell it. September 9, 2012 at 4:54pm Reply

          • Figuier: I never noticed the lily, just the carnation opening – but now that you mention it, you’re right, there’s definitely a salty-floral lily aspect to the drydown. That would explain why I put it in the same breezy-beach category as Lys Med 🙂 September 10, 2012 at 4:13am Reply

  • Ann C.: I wish my collection was well-edited. I need to figure out which ones I can’t live without, or at least like & wear a lot, and sell or give away the ones that turned out to be misses.

    In the cooler months, my fall back, easy-to-wear fragrances include L’A Safran Troublant, EL Sensuous, PG Iris Oriental, VCAA Orchidee Vanille and Prada L’eau Ambree. If I have a lot of meetings to go to, Prada Infusion d’Iris is my usual choice. I just got a decant of Musc Ravaguer and I love it, but only time will tell whether it becomes a fall-back. September 8, 2012 at 2:12pm Reply

    • Ann C.: I left out Donna Karan Chaos (reissue), one of my favorite default fragrances. September 8, 2012 at 2:48pm Reply

      • Victoria: At first I was unhappy about Chaos reissue, because next to the original, it was so pale. But on its own, it’s great–elegant, sultry and memorable. Maybe, even easier to wear than the original Chaos. September 9, 2012 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Undina: I don’t think I ever go for a “safe choice”, I’m usually able to decide on what to wear. Sometimes it takes longer, I sniff 4-5 perfumes’ bottles one after another, circular several times, before I can choose, but I choose something in the end. But if I had to name a perfume I think I could wear almost any time it would be Annick Goutal Petite Cherie. September 8, 2012 at 2:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t know if I would call my choices “safe,” but they are the ones that always make me happy. September 9, 2012 at 4:56pm Reply

      • Undina: When I said “safe” I meant exactly that: you can never go wrong with them for yourself, I didn’t consider others. Sorry if it sounded differently 🙂 September 11, 2012 at 12:46am Reply

        • Victoria: Gotcha! Anyway, I admire your quick ability to make a decision. My occasional indecisiveness drives me crazy. September 11, 2012 at 5:56am Reply

  • sara: Eau de Campagne for any working date or in summer
    Rose (Roger & Gallet) + crème pour le corps (Roger & Gallet)

    N19 extrait de parfum (at every time)

    Evening dates or soirées:
    portrait of a lady Frederic Malle or
    Vengeance extrême Juliette has a gun

    Love dates:
    jasmine oil September 8, 2012 at 2:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Your list reminded me that I need to revisit Juliette Has a Gun! September 9, 2012 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Sigrun: Funny, I just did a post on exactely the same theme 😀 I’ve a strategy for those mornings of indecision named a perfume cache. It’a a small cup that I keep near my front door that I fill every now and then with a handful of samples that I think will be good matches considreing the season, current loves, what I’ve been thinking about reviewing, samples that are almost empty etc. Then, if I cant decide what scent to wear within a few minutes, rules are that I have to pick something from the cache. Some scents that I’ve kept there on high rotation recently are SL De Profundis, Malles Bigarde Concentree and Aftelier Cepes and Tuberose. September 8, 2012 at 2:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a great idea, Sigrun! I love how you’ve solved it. 🙂 September 9, 2012 at 4:58pm Reply

  • Vanessa: One perfume popped into my mind ahead of all the rest when I read this post – Prada L’Eau Ambree. I haven’t worn it for a while, as a
    matter of fact, but I know I could! September 8, 2012 at 5:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Another one to add to my revisit list! September 9, 2012 at 4:58pm Reply

    • Elena: I like this one very much too. It doesn’t get a lot of love, but maybe because it wasn’t around for long. I will be wearing it often when it gets cold. September 9, 2012 at 9:20pm Reply

    • Patt: I always carry a small spray decant of it in my purse. It’s a good one to layer. September 10, 2012 at 8:53am Reply

  • solanace: Eau de Shalimar. Always great, no matter how hot the weather is. September 8, 2012 at 7:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: Suzanna mentioned it as one of her favorite summer orientals, and I agree, it’s a great year round Shalimar version. September 9, 2012 at 5:00pm Reply

  • hajusuuri: My anytime perfumes are Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue and Hermes Kelly Caleche. When it gets cooler, I will bring out Prada Candy. This post also reminded me that I need to start using my Chanel Coromandel and 28 La Pausa! September 8, 2012 at 7:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Infusion d’Iris Absolue seems to be a winner in this thread! 🙂
      I would add 28 La Pausa to my list as well. A perfect fragrance anytime, any day. I forgive it its poor lasting power. September 9, 2012 at 5:01pm Reply

  • Poodle: I love 10 Corso Como too. I only have a sample but it’s on my to buy list. It isn’t terribly long lasting on me but there’s something about it I find fabulous. I’m sometimes afraid to wear something I truly love to work for fear I will associate it with a bad day at the office. I have been sampling so much this summer I don’t have anything in heavy rotation at the moment. The few I can think of that work for me all the time are Bvlgari Black, Habanita, and Shalimar. September 8, 2012 at 8:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: This made me smile, because sometimes I wear some of my favorites less often than my easy&simple choices like Annick Goutal Neroli for exact same reason. I don’t want a stressful day to taint them in any way. This happened to me before once with No 19, and it took me a while to shake off the association. September 9, 2012 at 5:04pm Reply

  • Emily: I’ll join the many others who’ve mentioned No. 19 (I have the EDT, which is the only concentration I’ve tried). The iris trend is also interesting — my iris of choice is Dzongkha, and it truly is the one perfume I’ve worn *everywhere.* Other current staples are CdG 2 and Avignon, Aromatics Elixir, AG Ninfeo Mio, and Bvlgari Black. On lazy weekends I live in Eau de Rochas (if I’m not testing a bazillion new samples!). September 9, 2012 at 1:39am Reply

    • Victoria: I can see that. I went through a phase when I wore Dzongkha daily, and it feels so comforting and elegant. I generally am not a morning person, so the comfort aspect is a big one for me. September 10, 2012 at 3:56am Reply

  • Debbie: My ultimate fallback is YSL Cinema which can be worn cross-season, any time of the day and to any occasion. My daytime fallback is Hermes Kelly Caleche and nighttime one, Coco Chanel edt. September 9, 2012 at 3:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Cinema is great and so underrated. Plus, you can find at such affordable prices online. September 10, 2012 at 3:57am Reply

  • Ann-Sofie: Rive Gauche. It is so abstract that it just floats around, impeccably beautiful and suitable for any context. Coromandel very much so as well, but although most supreme it lacks a bit of the fleeting, slightly teasing smile of Rive Gauche: “Catch me if you can!”. September 9, 2012 at 6:08am Reply

    • Victoria: That teasing vibe of Rive Gauche which you’ve pointed out so precisely is the reason why it enchants me so much. Whenever I wear it and catch a whiff of its champagne-like sparkle, it is such a pleasure. September 10, 2012 at 3:58am Reply

  • Sassa: The first and foremost fallback for me is Bois des Iles. It works anywhere, and I still love it. After that, it depends on the time of day/year/event. For work, I use Bulgari Black and Chanel 22. For casual summer I fall back on Eau de Cartier or Apres la Mousson. For evenings out, it’s usually Habanita or Dolce Vita or No 5.
    Nothing exotic or exclusive in my fallbacks, I’m relatively new to fragrances.
    BTW – I LOVE that you mentioned White Linen. That’s one of my all time favorites that doesn’t get enough love from the fragrance community. I wore the heck out of it in my 20’s and still get a happy snap from sniffing it. September 9, 2012 at 6:55am Reply

    • Elisa: Another White Linen fan here! It’s my favorite aldehydic floral. September 9, 2012 at 11:57am Reply

    • Austenfan: I love White Linen, it’s my favourite Lauder. I often wear it to bed oddly enough.I find it very soothing. September 9, 2012 at 12:52pm Reply

    • Barbara: Another match–Apres la Mousson! The only Hermes I love. September 9, 2012 at 1:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: White Linen is one of the perfume gems. It’s such an exquisite fragrance and so well-balanced. Everyone always talks about musks in it, but it also had a stunning natural rose note. The harmony is what makes it so unique. And all of that aside, it feels refined and glamorous. September 10, 2012 at 4:00am Reply

  • Zazie: Oh, it’s easy to’ answer this question!

    Fracas, n.5, bois des iles, new york, tubereuse criminelle (the first two in parfum).
    While I don’t necessarily love them more than my Guerlains or other favorites, those 5 fragrances suit any occasion: work, evening out, sleep, reading on the sofa… They are both special and easy…(yeah, I never got what people say about Fracas, too me it is beautiful AND comfortable).
    I asked myself why they make the cut into my most worn perfume outfits, I think they all share a sparkling aldehydic opening (or a mentholated one, as in TC), that feels clean and familiar, wonderfully balanced by a lush yet polished heart.
    When I travel, I usually bring with me at least two samples or decants from those special 5: Bois des iles always makes it in the cut!
    (but I never decant n.5, in fear of spoling/spilling some of the precious content! I don’t like the edt and edp)… September 9, 2012 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Bluegardenia further up the comment thread mentioned the same thing about Fracas. I confess that I find it quite heady and I have to be in a certain mood to wear it, but whenever it works on me, it’s just perfect. September 10, 2012 at 4:01am Reply

  • Sandra Levine: Hot weather — Light Blue
    Cold weather — Coco
    Year-round – Beige September 9, 2012 at 11:56am Reply

    • Sassa: I love Beige! It’s rapidly becoming my No 1 lemming. September 9, 2012 at 12:06pm Reply

      • Barbara: Me too! I’m torn between Beige and Bel Respiro as my next purchase. Doesn’t help that they are so different, ’cause I want both! September 9, 2012 at 12:09pm Reply

        • Sassa: Lol, I’ve already succumbed to Bel Respiro – I’m actually halfway through the bottle. Scent twins! September 9, 2012 at 1:02pm Reply

          • Barbara: Woohoo! I don’t have many scent twins. 🙂 September 9, 2012 at 1:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad that someone mentioned one of my favorites, Light Blue. Such a fun, sparkling perfume. September 10, 2012 at 4:02am Reply

  • Carla: I turn to Lumiere Noire a lot, in any season or weather. It is not a comfort scent to lift my mood. Rather, for when I’m already in a good mood. A kind of Sunday Scent. I do like rose chypres, they feel right on me. Not as exciting as orientals, but good for “everyday”. Another one I always love is Bois de Violette. September 9, 2012 at 2:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also go for chypres before I turn to orientals. Maybe not as exotic, but they feel more me somehow. September 10, 2012 at 4:03am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Coromandel has become my new fall staple. It’s probably my favorite patchouli perfume – the amber and incense definitely help! I just received my decant of Dior’s Mitzah in the mail, and I am enjoying it very much. This could become a staple too! September 9, 2012 at 7:09pm Reply

    • Moi: Coromandel is a real beauty–and so evocative of fall for me as well. The best of the Exclusifs line, IMHO. September 9, 2012 at 9:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: More Coromandel fans! I’ve fallen in love all over again with it, so I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one.

      I’m waiting for cool days to break out my Mitzah. September 10, 2012 at 4:04am Reply

  • Moi: My go-to’s are Chanel No. 5 EDT, No. 19 EDT, Aqua di Parma Iris Nobile, and Calandre. September 9, 2012 at 9:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m now curious about Iris Nobile Sublime, since Iris Nobile is probably my favorite Acqua di Parma so far.

      Calandre is another beauty. September 10, 2012 at 4:05am Reply

  • OperaFan: 2 surprising choices for me (because it took me time to understand and appreciate) are Jicky (edt) and AG Gardenia Passion.

    This summer when I went to a friend’s wedding in Florida, I was so busy the morning of the wedding that I never had time to apply anything when it came time to head for church. Fortunately, my routine, earlier spritz of Jicky lasted all day (even in the Florida heat and humidity). The bride even commented on it.

    Gardenia Passion for me (I wear the edp) is like a well-aged, dry, white wine. It feels sheer and comfortable, and (like Jicky) I can wear it with just about anything – beige and yellow sweaters in particular. It just feels so comfortable and at once elegant without going overboard. September 10, 2012 at 9:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve revisited Gardenia Passion the other day and afterwards I found myself really craving it. It surprised me, because I generally didn’t consider myself a fan of this fragrance. Perhaps, it finally grew on me. Or perhaps, I grew into it. September 10, 2012 at 4:51pm Reply

  • mals86: The always-right, never-regret-it, whatever-weather fragrances… ah yes.

    Cuir de Lancome. No. 5, parfum or Eau Premiere. Le Temps d’une Fete (unless it is *BITTERLY* cold, but I do wear it even in mild winter weather). Mary Greenwell Plum. Vintage Emeraude. Tom Ford Blk Orch Voile de Fleur. September 10, 2012 at 10:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Eau Premiere is on my list too. Out of all fragrances that would have been hard to do, this No 5 flanker turned to be exceptional. September 10, 2012 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Jennifer: My collection is pretty small at the moment (and my to-try list is so long), but I think my go-to can’t-decide scent might be Bulgari Omnia (thought I’m really into Black right now too, so that may become another one). I think I could pretty much wear Omnia anytime, and I don’t think it’s ever annoyed me. Come to think of it, Mitsouko could be another go-to if the bottle I have weren’t so tiny. I can’t think if a time I wouldn’t want to wear that one.

    I also keep a couple of Pacifica solids (Spanish Amber and Mexican Cocoa) in my purse for days when I forget to put something on before I leave the house. I always feel a little “naked” when I realize I forgot, so it’s nice to have something to use in a pinch, even if those two aren’t ones that I necessarily love all the time. September 10, 2012 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: The packaging of those Pacifica solids is great! And I agree, it’s so convenient to keep them in the purse.

      I love the effortless elegance of Omnia. It somehow makes me feel more put together without making me feel that I tried too hard. And add to this the super comforting drydown! Such a good perfume. September 10, 2012 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Ann-Sofie: As Coromandel keep popping up as a favourite, here is what happened to me the other day at work: I had oversprayed myself in Coromandel that morning (bad habit of mine), and by lunchtime I stood in the corridor discussing something, and a colleague joined us, sniffed in the air and said: “Eh…What is this smell…it reminds me of….Is somebody smoking POT in here?”. Then his nose led him to me, he looked at me with an expression worth a million dollar and almost whispered: “Woh! It’s you! Is this one of your perfumes? You have a weed junkie perfume, babe!”. And he should know – he is a narcotics expert….I will never ever again overdose on Coromandel. September 10, 2012 at 7:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, no! That’s the fault of patchouli. A good lesson–stay away from the narcotics experts when wearing Coromandel. 🙂 September 11, 2012 at 5:43am Reply

  • Perfumista8: Lately, the no-thought go-to fragrances I keep going for are Traversee du Bosphore and Cologne pour le Soir.

    Victoria, I’m not a morning person either so sometimes I’ll lie in bed planning which perfume to wear while I slowly become fully awake. It seems to ease the transition and give me something about my morning routine to look forward to. September 10, 2012 at 11:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a nice tip! Sometimes I do it with my clothes or my breakfast, but occasionally I fall into that half daze when I dream that I’ve already got dressed, etc…. only to wake up 5 minutes later to the disappointing realization that I’m still in bed. 🙂 September 11, 2012 at 5:54am Reply

  • Marijana: My most versatile perfume during warmer period of year ( from spring until now) is Eau du Campagne from Sisley. I can wear it to work, or a day off, spent in a city or in nature and I feel great when wearing it.
    The other go to perfume is Y, from Ysl, although more elegant and serious than Eau de Campagne, for me it works for a dinner at the restaurant, board room, free time ( but demands more feminine and elegant clothes, at least I feel that way). October 22, 2012 at 4:16pm Reply

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