Dries Van Noten par Frederic Malle : Fragrance Review

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Diamond  heists and Gérard Depardieu’s tax evasion tactics aside, Belgium doesn’t make the front page news often, but the Antwerp fashion scene never fails to be noteworthy. Dries Van Noten is one of the top Belgian designers, and his colorful clothes emphasizing textures and  prints are unusual and eclectic. After walking around his store in Antwerp this summer, I felt as if I had just visited an art exhibit. I then spotted a neat row of Frédéric Malle bottles on one of the shelves and learned that Van Noten is a big fan of Editions de Parfums.

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So here we have Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle, part of a new initiative to create a series of olfactory portraits of artists and other creative personalities. Such projects are only as  interesting as the people who inspire them, and in this case, we have an exciting collaboration. The perfumer interpreting Van Noten’s portrait is Bruno Jovanovic, and the main theme of the composition is warmth.

Given Van Noten’s background, the idea was to capture the winter in Flanders. Or rather, the sensation of stepping from the rainy outside into a warm room set for tea time–black tea, speculoos and sugar tarts. Since tea with speculoos is one of my favorite panaceas against the soggy Belgian weather, I was curious to see how Malle and Jovanovic would interpret this concept.

The result smells much less sweet and sugary than you’d expect. Dries Van Noten’s perfume is smooth like melted chocolate and rich like whipped cream, but you won’t smell of Belgian waffles topped with cherries, or anything edible for that matter. The fragrance uses Indian sandalwood*, and it smells simply decadent–rosy, creamy, warm and opulent. Add to this a lush jasmine note, and I’m in Rajasthan, rather than Antwerp, but this is a wonderful fantasy in itself.

The sweetness of vanilla and toasted almond is balanced out by the citrus and earthy violet notes. The hint of something savory is an accent that shouldn’t work but does. The first impression of Dries Van Noten when I spray it on my skin is a classical oriental a la Guerlain Shalimar, where citrus is used to cool down the rich woods and vanilla. But as I wear it longer, it becomes more floral and musky. The perfume reminds me more of the violet tinged woods of Serge Lutens Bois de Violette than of caramelized sandalwoods like Lutens’s Santal de Mysore or Guerlain Samsara.

For all of its richness, Dries Van Noten is a surprisingly low key fragrance. Denyse of Grain de Musc noticed it as well and observed that she has found “its sillage surprisingly introverted despite several spritzes.” It lasts for hours, and for days on fabric, but the projection is minimal. I doubt I will purchase a full bottle once my sample runs out. While I usually don’t mind subtle perfumes, in this case, a bigger aura would have been great.

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Dries Van Noten par Frédéric Malle includes notes of lemon, sandalwood, jasmine, musks, saffron, and vanilla. It launched on February 15th worldwide and in the US, it will be available starting April. 50ml/$185 and 100ml/$265.

*The sandalwood used in Dries Van Noten is santalum album, an Indian variety of sandalwood grown in Australia by a company called TFS, a little tidbit I picked up thanks to the French Society of Perfumers.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Sample: my own acquisition

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85 Comments

  • Austenfan: It sounds absolutely gorgeous, and we do need something to keep us warm and comfortable in this cold and dreary weather.
    I know that the Van Noten shop has carried the Malle line for a long time. Have never been inside it though. I feel very out of place in high end fashion shops but maybe I should take the plunge. February 25, 2013 at 7:33am Reply

    • Austenfan: Where did you take the pictures? February 25, 2013 at 7:34am Reply

      • Victoria: The left was taken in Bruges, and the right one near Park Jubel (Parc du Cinquantenaire) in Brussels. Parc du Cinquantenaire is my favorite place for walks. Unlike in Paris, you can actually walk and sit on the grass. In the summer, there are even dance and yoga classes. February 25, 2013 at 7:44am Reply

        • Austenfan: I thought the left one couldn’t have been taken in Brussels.
          I am not familiar with the park you mention. I occasionally visit Brussels, I love to wander around there. It is such a chaotic, quirky and, in places, beautiful city.
          A writer who writes wonderfully about Brussels (and lots of other things) is Eric de Kuyper. He was born and raised in Brussels and later Antwerp. He has lived across Europe ( mainly in Belgium and the Netherlands) and has written a series of autobiographic novels and collections of essays on art and cultural differences in Europe.
          I don’t know whether his work was ever translated in English. It has been translated in French (by the author himself I believe). February 25, 2013 at 7:54am Reply

          • Victoria: I realized when I started looking for a photo that my only pictures of Antwerp are from the summer, and none of them would fit the mood of this perfume. So, Bruges also being Flemish would have to work. You will see signs in Flemish in Brussels time to time, but mostly in the eastern communes as you get closer to the officially Flemish regions.

            Thank you for recommending Eric de Kuyper. I’m off to look for his book on my beloved Amazon.de. February 25, 2013 at 8:00am Reply

    • Victoria: If it only had more projection, it would be perfect. I smell it on my skin when I press the nose to my wrist, but I’m not aware of the fragrance during the course of the day. But it’s a pleasure to smell Indian sandalwood again (especially something that’s sustainably grown and not smuggled out of Mysore).

      I know what you mean about feeling out of place, although I now treat the Antwerp designer stores as clothing museums. The prices are completely outside my budget, and frankly, most of the styles are just not right for my frame. I can imagine them better on something a foot taller! That being said, Dries Van Noten’s shop had a very welcoming atmosphere and the SA just left me browse in peace. February 25, 2013 at 7:40am Reply

      • Austenfan: Well I am probably tall enough but several sizes too big for haute couture. February 25, 2013 at 8:22am Reply

        • Victoria: Oh well, less unaffordable temptation for us then. 🙂 February 25, 2013 at 9:21am Reply

          • Austenfan: Yes! February 25, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

  • mysterious_scent: Dear Victoria, you got me interested! I love Serge Lutens Bois de Violette and I love rich but low-key fragrances.
    A must-try for me. February 25, 2013 at 8:49am Reply

    • Victoria: If that’s the case, it would definitely hit the spot. Hope that you get to try it soon! February 25, 2013 at 9:19am Reply

  • Portia: Hiya,
    How low key are we talking here? Only I can smell it if I put my face down my top? Or a bit better?
    Portia xx February 25, 2013 at 9:14am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, that’s it! That’s how it wears on me. But when I catch whiffs of it, it’s delicious. February 25, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

  • Tatiana: Got a sniff of this on paper from my local Malle rep. I have the card in an envelope and I keep putting my nose to it. I cannot wait to try this on my skin, I love it so much. When the rep described it as gourmand I was afraid of something sugar coated and not for me. She lightly sprayed the card on Saturday and I’m still enjoying the scent today (Monday morning). I cannot wait to try this on my skin, I love it so much.
    There’s a local boutique that carries Dries Van Noten clothes. While I love to explore the offerings, my style is more minimalist. I’ve found that one of his richly embroidered and patterned scarfs works perfectly as an accent. February 25, 2013 at 11:37am Reply

    • Victoria: I love his use of color, which I found inspiring to try with my own pairings. I think that his fashion also has a sense of fun and joy, which I can’t say about all of the Antwerp designers I’ve encountered.

      I was also afraid of a sticky and sugary sensation (and Belgian sweets are not for those who moderate their sugar intake!) But the perfume balance sweetness with the rest of the accents really well. February 25, 2013 at 1:13pm Reply

  • maggiecat: This scent sounds gorgeous. I’ve dabbled with FM scents and find them intriguing, if not always “me,” but I need to explore further – and this one would be a good place to start! February 25, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

    • Victoria: I feel the same way. I don’t love all of the perfumes from the collection, but I admire them. The quality and attention to detail alone is noteworthy. February 25, 2013 at 1:14pm Reply

  • Rachel: I’m intrigued by this Australian-Indian sandalwood you mention. Can you please say more? I thought Indian sandalwood is not available anymore. February 25, 2013 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s from the Australian company that 15 years ago planted its land with sandalwood trees (the seedlings were taken from India). The Indian sandalwood groves have been overharvested in the most unsustainable manner imaginable (basically, the trees were cut down, never replanted; some trees were cut down too young, etc.), and as a result, it’s in shambles.

      The oil they produce smells close enough to the Indian sandalwood oil, creamy and rosy. February 25, 2013 at 1:17pm Reply

      • Rachel: Thank you, Victoria! It sounds interesting. I read someplace that Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore also uses Indian sandalwood but I don’t remember where I saw this. February 25, 2013 at 2:42pm Reply

        • Victoria: I also heard that at the Serge Lutens boutique when I bought a bottle of Santal de Mysore for my mom last year. February 25, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

      • Surbhi: Restoration is in progress. Hopefully it will be back to old glory.

        Smuggling nd a big smuggler was killed few years ago. December 6, 2015 at 10:47pm Reply

  • ralu: Thank you for another lovely review, Victoria. Looking forward to trying this. It sounds really lovely but disappointed to hear it has such a low projection. I’m a big fan of good sillage. 🙂 Are any perfumes out there similar to this one other than SL’s Bois de Violette? February 25, 2013 at 12:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: My pleasure! 🙂 Nothing really comes to mind right now, apart from the ones I mentioned. It’s heavy on sandalwood, but there are also the earthy violet notes, and this gives the fragrance its interesting theme. It also reminded me at one point of the iris-sandalwood part of Lancome Tresor, although these days it doesn’t exist in the current version.

      And yes, I wish it had it better sillage. February 25, 2013 at 1:19pm Reply

  • george: Sounds good- like a version of Shalimar or Samsara for boys; am looking forward to trying it. Will just ignore the description of it as a portrait or is that ‘portrait’ of Dries van Noten (not that I have anything against him, it’s just that his name doesn’t really mean anything to me) Will just see this perfume as being the latest Malle. After all, is that not reason enough to be excited? February 25, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Portrait aside, it’s a good perfume, and like all Frederic Malle’s fragrances, there is quality about it. I don’t think that it’s going to be a crowd pleaser, but then again, that’s ok too. February 25, 2013 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Daisy: Hi, I’m Daisy and I’m a gourmand-aholic 🙂 This new FM is part of my 12-step program, right? 🙂 Can’t wait for this, low-projection or not.

    On another note, I do notice that almost all FM fragrances cling to clothing with surprising tenacity. February 25, 2013 at 2:05pm Reply

    • Rachel: You made me LOL, Daisy! 🙂 February 25, 2013 at 2:44pm Reply

      • Austenfan: And me! February 25, 2013 at 2:58pm Reply

    • Victoria: I just choked on my tea.

      Yes, I find this to be true of all Malle perfumes, even the light ones like En Passant. Even the fleeting Cologne Bigarade lasts for days on my scarves. And the rich ones like Musc Ravageur or Portrait of a Lady… Oh boy, the dry cleaners might have trouble taking the scent out! February 25, 2013 at 3:27pm Reply

      • george: So true of Poal: I sprayed one spray on the arm of a thick jersey coat, at the perfume counter. For the next couple of weeks, I would then wear it on top of a long sleeved cardigan, take off both the coat and cardigan at the gym, and whilst working out smell the drydown of Poal on my arm, despite the fact I have an appallingly weak sense of smell, and it had to have travelled through two layers of clothing. February 25, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: I was making a sample of Portait of a Lady for someone and I spilled a few drops of perfume in my purse. It’s been a year, and my purse still smells of rose and patchouli. Can you imagine! February 26, 2013 at 5:36am Reply

          • george: O.k. You win. 🙂 February 27, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

  • solanace: I love the sound of these notes. I’m on the team who would prefer a bigger sillage, but the sustainable indian sandalwood is so lovely that I’ll have to try it anyway. February 25, 2013 at 2:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: The French Society of Perfumers had a presentation on sandalwood, and incidentally I wore Dries Van Noten that day! The presenter from the Australian company mentioned that three perfumes on the market use his Indian-style sandalwood–Frederic Malle’s, something for Cartier and another brand he couldn’t recall. February 25, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

      • solanace: This is so cool. I’ve read of a sustainable production of rosewood in the Brazilian Amazon, I really hope it works out! February 26, 2013 at 2:58am Reply

        • Victoria: This company also plants rosewood as host plants to sandalwood, but I didn’t catch whether they process rosewood too, or if it’s just a plant sandalwood requires for support. February 26, 2013 at 5:26am Reply

  • Leah: Oh, I have been dying to try this one! I have a vintage Dries Van Noten dress that was my mom’s and his style is so unique! So nice that you are experiencing it in Belgium, such a nice country. I loved Bruges and Brussels is magnificent in the springtime – so many flowers! After this review, I will have to start hunting for a sample – and some speculoos! February 25, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love Bruges anytime, but even on a snowy, cold winter day it’s charming. Brussels likewise looks so elegant and cozy under a blanket of snow. 🙂 February 25, 2013 at 3:31pm Reply

  • Az: Hi victoria. Lovely review. I love the idea of sustainable indian sandalwood. 🙂 when i was younger, we had fans made from sandalwood ; now it is just from wood (origin unknown!) perfumed.

    May I trouble you to ask for an address of the shop in bruges? I am going in apr n would dearly love to squeeze in a sniff. February 25, 2013 at 3:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: I had (actually still have) one of those little fans, but I suspect that it’s just perfumed wood, not real sandalwood. Still, the idea of fanning yourself with a real sandalwood fan is so appealing.

      Dries Van Noten’s shop is in Antwerp, Nationalestraat 16. In Bruges, you will find some Antwerp designer clothing at L’Heroine at Noordzandstraat 32, Bruges, but I haven’t been there, so I don’t know if they also carry the perfumes. Probably not, I would guess. On the other hand, if you’re in Brussels, Senteurs d’Ailleurs has the entire FM line (and much more). February 25, 2013 at 3:39pm Reply

      • Az: You are probably right. Sogh. Thanks for the addresses. I wont manage to go to brussels. But am hoping to nab some speculaas whilst in bruges. 🙂 February 26, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

        • Az: I mean sigh, of course. And speculoos. Fingers, please get better acquainted with brain! February 26, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

        • Victoria: Speculaas is correct too! That’s what they are known in Dutch. You will definitely find plenty of excellent sweets in Bruges as well as chocolates. I recommend Dumon Chocolatier at Eiermarkt 6. Their candied orange strips dipped in chocolate are heavenly. February 26, 2013 at 3:50pm Reply

          • az: mmm, orange n choc r my fav combi. i am SO going there! thanks! 🙂 February 28, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • nastja: O my god this time of year I’ll try anything that smells even abstractly of spekuloos! My mom sent me a box of stale prianiki and that’s been almost as good. I was wondering if the low sillage and vanishing act has to do with the violets. Does perfume w/ violet notes posses this quality, or at least do the violet notes vanish and reappear? I mean, bc of the ionones? February 25, 2013 at 9:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Last night I was craving some speculoos so badly after we talked about them that I ate some stale gingerbread I bought at the Christmas market. On the other hand, prianiki and gingerbread are meant to last for months and months, so it was still very good. 🙂

      There is a big dollop of the ionone materials here, and some of them definitely have this quality. Plus, musk and heavier woods also can tone down the sillage. February 26, 2013 at 5:34am Reply

  • Scent Hive: Victoria,

    My heart just about skipped a beat at the mention of Bois de Violette and then again at Samsara. I am truly intrigued and must try this fragrance! I will be in SF in April and then in NY in June, will this be available at the usual FM haunts?

    XOXO,
    Trish February 26, 2013 at 2:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Trish, sorry if I wasn’t clear! I mentioned Samsara and Santal de Mysore as negative comparisons, because FM’s sandalwood smells nothing like those. At least, to my nose.

      It’s already available in Europe at the FM’s counters, and in April it will be sold in the US. So, I think that you should be able to find it at Barney’s in SF. February 26, 2013 at 5:30am Reply

      • Scent Hive: Oh! Just reread it. You were entirely clear. I think I got so excited after the BdV part that I was reading what I wanted to hear about Samsara, LOL!

        I am still very intrigued and will look for it at Barney’s when I am in SF, thank you for the tip 🙂

        XOXO February 26, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

        • Victoria: I love those FM columns at Barneys and his boutiques. Here in Senteurs d’Ailleurs, the store that carries the FM line, there is nothing like, but I think that it would be great to experience a fragrance that way. February 26, 2013 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Annikky: I really wanted this to be good and am glad to see that you rate it highly. I cannot afford Van Noten’s clothes either, but he seems a genuinly interesting and creative person and I like his intelligent designs. Compared to other members of Antwerp Six, I think his clothes are actually quite accessible 🙂

    Personally,  I will probably find the week sillage problematic, I get annoyed with lovely scents that I can hardly smell (and my nose is not that sensitive to begin with). But I’ll give it a try, as the notes sound lovely and there is always a chance that it will behave differently on me. February 26, 2013 at 4:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree! When I look at some other Antwerp designer clothing, I have vague ideas on how even to put them on. 🙂 From the interviews with him I’ve seen on TV, he does seem very interesting.

      The lack of sillage is frustrating for me too. I enjoy the fragrance, but I don’t notice it on my skin throughout the day, unless I press my nose to my wrist. I know that for some people this can be a selling point, but I wish that DVN had more lift, more sparkle. I’m curious to hear how it behaves on others. February 26, 2013 at 5:25am Reply

  • Sylvie: I wasn’t interested in this perfume before but your review makes me curious. I don’t have any violet and sandalwood perfumes. February 26, 2013 at 4:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you can try it soon and see if it fills the “violet sandalwood” gap in your collection. 🙂 February 26, 2013 at 5:22am Reply

  • Marieke: Sounds interesting, but do you think such high price is worth it? February 26, 2013 at 8:19am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s hard to say. Whether it’s worth the money probably depends on how much you like the fragrance. Objectively, it smells to me like a very expensive formula (sandalwood oil, jasmine absolute, some nice musk), but this alone doesn’t matter if that fragrance doesn’t hit spot. Personally, I wouldn’t spend that money, because the fragrance just doesn’t enough sillage for me, but I definitely recommend trying it. It’s a very interesting, novel take on a woody oriental idea. February 26, 2013 at 9:29am Reply

      • Marieke: Thank you for taking your time to explain, V! I was just thinking out loud. Many niche perfumes are expensive and some of them don’t seem to be worth it. February 26, 2013 at 12:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, trust me, I often feel the same way. 🙂 February 26, 2013 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Jenna: I’m testing a sample right now and it’s beautiful. Luckily I have no problems smelling it on me. The only thing is that my skin brings out something musky and powdery. Do you notice powder too? February 26, 2013 at 8:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to hear that you don’t have the projection problems, Jenna! Obviously, your skin is better suited for it.

      There is a subtle powdery note on my skin too, which makes me think of violet scented vintage face powders, but I don’t find it too strong. February 26, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

  • monsieur: I’m very curious about this perfume. Frederic malle’s collection not disappoint me. I hope Dries Van Noten will be Sophistication..E…agerly waiting 🙂 February 26, 2013 at 10:24am Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you will enjoy it! February 26, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

  • george: I sprayed on my sleeve on Friday, and ditched the item of clothing, but have put it back on today, and spent the first couple of hours of this morning going- what is that delicious smell, before realising that the reason it doesn’t quite match up with anything in perfume collection because it isn’t. I’m loving this, and it very much is like a rebalance of the ingredients of a traditional oriental like Shalimar or Musc Ravageur (which is too sweet in the heart fro me), to pull them back in to a less overtly feminine but still decadent and rich area. I’m thinking that the overdose of Sacresol is a stroke of genius. LOVE! March 20, 2013 at 5:54am Reply

  • Edward: Hi Victoria,

    I bought unsniffed (hey, I took the risk!) a 50 ml. bottle of this yesterday. To my nose, this is a next of kin, if not a sibling of another FM perfume: L’Eau d’Hiver. It’s like, they amplified the masculine aspects of L’Eau d’Hiver but basically has the same gourmand (milky, cookie-ish) feel. So it’s like replacing my bottle of L’Eau d’Hiver which was fully drained last year… so no regrets buying this unsniffed! 🙂

    BUT, one of the generous samples the SA gave me was En Passant which I was not aware of until yesterday. That is such a beauty! Oh well, I can wait until the next paycheck.

    Have a great day ahead, Victoria!

    Edward June 6, 2013 at 1:42am Reply

    • Edward: Here is an update.

      Wore this yesterday and met a friend. This friend of mine rarely or never gave any comment on whatever perfume I am wearing but yesterday was different. He asked what my perfume was and told me I smelled really good. He said that inside the restaurant and said it again when we started shopping for clothes. Happy I purchased this! June 7, 2013 at 3:36am Reply

      • Victoria: Great story! Thank you so much for sharing, Edward. It must smell amazing on you. June 7, 2013 at 10:47am Reply

  • Hildegerd: Now I kind of waiting for Chanel par Frederic Malle will be like… December 6, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

  • Katy: Just got a sample vial of this yesterday. There is apart something chlorinated to my nose in the very top notes – I can’t place what’s responsible but I would guess the guiac wood? Luckily, this dried down on my skin fairly quickly and at hour two I get a slightly vanillic, balsamic, creamy wood. Alas, too expensive for such little sillage. Does anyone (including Victoria) know of a comparable ‘dupe’ to check out? Love the woodsy but inedible custard thing happening at the end, a la Organza Indecence. February 25, 2014 at 1:36pm Reply

    • Katy: Eep, forgot to subscribe to comments. Carry on 🙂 February 25, 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Still recommending Lumiere Blanche by Olfactive Studio, a very soft, comforting sandalwood. February 25, 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

      • Katy: Thanks, Victoria. I saw your recommendation in yesterday’s thread 🙂 The cardamom note listed in Lumiere Blanche frightened me a bit: cardamom on my skin tends to go rather earthy (soil-like). Alternatively, I smell like a Persian pastry. Either way, seeing “cardamom” gives me apprehension. But: perhaps a decant is the only way to find out for certain… February 25, 2014 at 4:07pm Reply

        • Victoria: Or a small sample. 🙂

          Otherwise, 10 Corso Como or Diptyque Tam Dao are wonderful sandalwoods too. February 25, 2014 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Brainfodder: Wow – the impression was immediate… this shouted “Le Feu d’Issey!”

    I searched on-line… Grain de Musc had noticed a similar effect and noted that sulfurol was the culprit. I say culprit because I find the scent really uncomfortable and very screechy. EL Sensuous has a similar teeth clenching effect.

    I must be honest and admit to having hoped for perhaps a modern take on a Bois des Iles scent 😉

    Strangely, I have also tried a sample of Une Fleur de Cassie today, and was expecting a far more tricky wet cardboard/fecal ride…. not one bit – it’s utterly tremendous on my skin – yeah! April 5, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I really would like to try Feu d’Issey again, because it was such an unusual perfume. As for DVN, I keep revisiting it time to time, since I have a large sample, but I don’t like it any more than I did when I first tried it. It just doesn’t work for me. April 6, 2014 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Surbhi: I had not liked this one from Malle for a while. For some reasons I smelled this again this week and asked him to smell it on paper as I thought it will be perfect for him (he doesn’t like silage or anything strong. HE said he likes it. And asked me to try. I am wearing it for 3 days now.

    I am getting so many complements but I don’t smell it at all. So, I am not sure if I Would like to wear it often as I am Musc Ravageur kind of girl. But I think here and there I can wear it to get complements. I don’t know how people smell it on me. Even if I try really hard.. I can’t. December 6, 2015 at 10:56pm Reply

    • Karen (A): I noticed a lot of people commenting that they could not smell it on themselves. It’s such an interesting fragrance – warm and subtle, and wears beautifully. Perhaps body chemistry really impacts how this lasts and projects, more so than many other fragrances? December 7, 2015 at 6:24am Reply

      • Victoria: Since others can still smell the perfume, it’s not one’s body chemistry. It must be as in my case, an anosmia to one of the ingredients. Unfortunately, there isn’t much to be done about it. December 7, 2015 at 2:34pm Reply

        • Karen (A): Yup yup, realize now that if others are smelling it and you’re not, then it’s not the projection…… And I agree with your comment below – if I can’t smell (or don’t enjoy) a perfume, then no matter what it’s just not worth wearing. December 7, 2015 at 5:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you don’t smell it on yourself, then there is no point wearing it, even if others compliment you on it. A perfume is something you should enjoy first and foremost. I’d stick with Musc Ravageur. December 7, 2015 at 2:32pm Reply

  • Karen (A): I know I’m a “serial monogamist” with my fragrances, but Dries Van Noten is just so perfect right now – interesting because I’ve never been a sandalwood fan before. It just smells so darn good and yummy. December 17, 2015 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also go through such phases when one particular perfume feels right and I’m not craving anything else. 🙂 December 18, 2015 at 8:25am Reply

    • Surbhi: Just thought of providing another perspective on sandalwood:

      I think it depends a lot on how perfumers uses sandalwood and the quality of sandalwood as well. Pure sandalwood oil is so out of reach now that people are using so much synethic and mixins just ruining the name of sandalwood.

      I recently bought a skin care product for men from a very reputed company which claimed to have pure sandalwood oil. I almost felt repelled by the smell. I Was thinking that if this was my introduction to sandalwood .. I would never try anything sandalwood after that. I was very close to ruining someone’s introduction to sandalwood. January 18, 2016 at 6:42pm Reply

      • Karen(A): You are so right Surbhi, not just with sandalwood but other oils as well. Even though I had an allergic reaction to Coromandel, the patchouli was beautiful – and normally I have a very strong negative reaction to patchouli. Although the overall composition is the recipe for a fragrance or product, without high quality ingredients, just like in cooking, the end result is only as good those ingredients. January 19, 2016 at 5:31am Reply

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