Recommend Me a Perfume : November Comfort

Bois de Jasmin will return on Friday, November 8th, and today we have our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread. In case you’re wondering, the furry beast looking cute and cuddly in the title photo is Viola. She lives with my mom and usually spends her days destroying house plants, playing with curtains and galloping around the house like a mad pony. But whenever anyone wants to be comforted, she’s happy to assist.

I’ll check in when I have a moment, but my internet connection is going to be intermittent.

viola-400

How does it work:

1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know how your search goes and what you end up discovering.

2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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422 Comments

  • Marieke: Viola is very sweet!

    I hope to get some recommendations today. I’ve been reading about chypre perfumes and I’m interested to try them, but because I’m a chypre beginner I don’t know where to start. Mitsouko is too much and too dark for me. What chypres would be best for a newbie? November 1, 2013 at 8:35am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe you could begin with more green, crisp, dry chypres like Sous le Vent (Guerlain; expensive but worth the money), or Y (YstL). Or, if you still can find it, Magie (Lancôme, discontinued, not crisp bur rather dry and very elegant). November 1, 2013 at 8:52am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: You could also like Femme (Rochas) or the transparant, leather ones like Bottega Veneta. Or Kelly Calèche (the Eau de parfum, leathery with a very charming fruity note. Make sure you have the Edp, not the Edt.).
        Or perhaps Silences or No 19 .(resp. Jacomo and Chanel). November 1, 2013 at 9:14am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: I also love Diva (Ungaro)..try it later, after the more accessible ones! November 1, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

          • silverdust: Cornelia, I SO look forward to your comments as we seem to like the same things. I can’t stand fruity, flowery, cloying scents and I gather you can’t either! You are like my personal perfume encyclopedia. Thanks for all the recommendations! November 1, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Glad to meet a perfume soul mate here ond bdj! November 1, 2013 at 4:38pm Reply

              • Linzi: Hello All. Please can anyone recommend a seductive and sexy perfume for me for the Winter? I love patchouli, musks, citruses, tobaccos, cocoas, woods (particularly sandalwood) and don’t particularly want a dominant floral. I cannot wait to hear any replies. Thank you. November 28, 2013 at 6:31am Reply

                • Victoria: Do you have a budget in mind? Can you also mention what perfumes you currently wear? November 28, 2013 at 7:38am Reply

                  • Linzi: Hi Victoria – Thank you for replying. No, I haven’t thought about the cost but probably less than £100. I have tried many different perfumes and liked them for a month or so but then the weather changes, I change, they become popular, etc. and I revert back to the smells that I have never tired of. I wear patchouli essential oil and have worn Happy for many years. I love the smell of Angel but feel that it is making a comeback and I don’t want to blend in. I am ready for a change and want something strong and seductive that melts down into a musk or patchouli. I love Gautier 2 but that belongs with my friend. I used to wear Aromatiques Elixir so feel like that belongs to that time. I would love some suggestions. Thank you so very much. November 28, 2013 at 8:35am Reply

                • Hannah: Coze by Parfumerie Generale has cocoa and is 130euro (approx 108pounds) for 100ml and it’s available in 30ml and 50ml. If you like vanilla, they also has a perfume called Felanilla. If you’re in London, it’s at Les Senteurs but otherwise it isn’t easy to find.
                  I don’t know what Serge Lutens’ pricing in pounds is, but Muscs Koublai Khan, and Chergui, and Feminite du Bois are worth a try.
                  Guerlain Samsara has floral notes but it’s mostly a woody perfume. This is pretty widely available and in your price range. November 28, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

                  • Linzi: Thank you so very much, Hannah. I have lots to try there, except Samsara (that one belongs with another friend). I have tried many Serge Lutens but not the ones you have mentioned. Thanks. Very exciting! November 28, 2013 at 12:51pm Reply

      • Marieke: Wow! Thank you everyone for these generous comments and suggestions. I can’t wait to start smelling! November 1, 2013 at 6:37pm Reply

    • ChrisinNY: I adore chypres and have flirted with many. The ones (still in production and that have not changed due to the EU mandates) that I really enjoy AND that smell good on me:
      1) Fiori di Capri by Carthusia – this is more on the spicy (carnation) side but not heavy at all. I like the parfum not the splash or EDT.
      2) Chanel 31 Rue Cambon Chanel for women- this is more on the warm side but still not too dark. A little powdery which I like.
      3)Le Parfum de Therese by Malle- this is definitely on the lighter side. More floral and fruity but with the oaky (to me) finish. November 1, 2013 at 9:41am Reply

      • Yulya: Chanel 31 Rue Cambon – definitely, I cannot agree more! It is elegant and beautiful, not sharp, with beautiful base. Incidentally, I am wearing it now and… thinking of treating myself to another bottle for Christmas :) November 1, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

    • Tijana: My chypre start was original/classic Miss Dior. I know that it can still be purchased (at least in Canada) albeit reformulated to death. Still, I think it is worth at least sniffing. It is the one in the tall square bottle, forsted glass. Another chypre I love (well, technically chypre nouveau) is 31 Rue Cambon from Chanel. Every time I wear this one I get tons of compliments and I can see this being a great intro into chypres. Another chypre with a twist (technically gourmand chypre) is Chinatown from Bond no 9. This one seems to garner a lot of likes, but it is not a pure. traditional chypre. November 1, 2013 at 9:44am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hello Marieke, how about Chanel Cristalle EDT or O de Lancome? They are light but still have the Chypre structure. November 1, 2013 at 9:46am Reply

      • Austenfan: I second Cristalle EDT, and while you are at the Chanel counter you might want to try Chanel Pour Monsieur, not the Concentrée though, but the original.
        And I second trying Diorella, similar to Thérèse but greener. November 1, 2013 at 11:47am Reply

    • Elisa: One of the first chypres that spoke to me was Agent Provocateur. It needs a little time to bloom on skin, I find, and then it’s quite gorgeous.

      And Une Rose Chypree is an all time favorite, though the chypre character in it is subtle. November 1, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

    • Wesley Hall Parker: I too, was a newbie to Chypres, and while I admire the structure, I found many of the older scents difficult to wear (like wearing a museum piece rather than something that mixed into contemporary life). For context: my style is very west-coast casual, and Chypres often scream “STRUCTURE!” If I were more suited and polished myself, they’d be easier to wear :) Also, my personal vibe tends to be “spritely” according to friends – and chypres often give the impression of being seriously grown up. They often cry out for heels and panache.

      To *understand* Chypres, try going to the Perfumed Court and ordering one of their sample packs. This is a great way to learn more about the genre.

      Of the vintage ones now in modern reformulation, I really enjoy Chanel Cristalle EDT (crisper than the EDP) and also Dior Diorella. And Dior’s Eau Sauvage is heavenly and I think wearable by women, too, in the right context. I reach for it in summer, with a crisp white shirt.

      In the modern genre of “oakmoss free” chypres, I am head over heels in love with Chanel 31 Rue Cambon. It’s drop-dead gorgeous and while “posh” in that Chanel way, I find it very wearable in the fall – whether it’s with work attire or jeans. And it’s soft sillage makes it very crowd-friendly. I own a full bottle. I also enjoy Jill Sander 79 – which still has great chypre “bone structure” but I find easier to wear than some of the old-school ones. It’s leaner and less plush than 31 Rue Cambon.

      Happy hunting! November 1, 2013 at 10:50am Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: My favorite modern chypre by far is Jubilation 25 by Amouage. But it’s very expensive, and I don’t yet own a bottle (I do have a decant I got in a swap–then the person had remorse!). I also love 31 Rue Cambon. It’s easy to get a sample of that if you walk into a Chanel boutique and just ask! If you can get a hold of some of the vintage green chypres, such as Coty Chypre and Ma Griffe, you can train your nose on the classics. Ma Griffe was so common that even vintage versions are pretty easy to find at accessible prices. November 1, 2013 at 11:20am Reply

    • claire: Hi ! I’m French and I would like to recommand you Miss Dior l’Original (1947) not the usual one with Natalie Portman. Miss Dior l’Original (green perfume color) is cyprus green, elegant and both warm and unusual, moss. It was Lady Diana’sperfume. It is comfortable to wear even if you are at the country. A wonder ! It’s’ an Ancient cyprus. New cyprus perfumes (as Coco Mademoiselle, Narciso Rodriguez FOR HER) have no oak moss, fruity and lighter. Mitsouko and Rochas Femme are jewels but fruity old type of cyprus perfume. Sometimes called “old”. Old way to create a perfume. I like Estee Lauder Knowing, Eau du Soir by Sisley, Guerlain Chamade. Try also HHermes Caleche and Aromatics Elixir. Hope my english is understandable !!! Give me your opinion please ! Have a good week end ! November 1, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

      • Jillie: Hello, Claire! I think your English is absolutely wonderful, and I like your suggestions too! Eau du Soir and Aromatics Elixir were two that I was going to mention, so I hereby second them as really good mellow chypres! November 2, 2013 at 6:31am Reply

      • Neisha: I love this post! It really helps me conceptualize the different categories of chypres. Thank you for this. I’m learning myself and discovered that both Azuree and Aromatics Elixer are easily available at a reasonable price at Macy’s. I live in Portland and usually have to chat up the amazing folks at the Perfume House in order to smell the things I read about here. I recently purchased a small travel size of Aromatics Elixer which will last a long time. It is absolutely lovely, but one spray hidden under clothing is enough for me to enjoy the whole day. It is powerful stuff and perfect for ths weather. Thank you all for your incredible expertise. This is a wonderful community! November 2, 2013 at 11:14pm Reply

      • Sandra: Thanks Claire! Great post!!! November 4, 2013 at 8:28pm Reply

    • mough: Hi Marieke,

      I am a huge chypre fan. I bought the sample kit from TPC, and have several samples left of “The Best of Chypres.” If you live anywhere where I can send these samples through the mail, I would be happy to share them with you so you could sniff several of their offerings. Just let me know. You can reach me at mou7gh at g mail dot com.
      I think Roja Dove’s Diaghilev is the most stunning of all chypres. But it’s way pricey–I waited until I saved up and then waited more until they had a 200 dollar off at BG. It was worth it. If nothing else, at least get a sniff if you’re at Harrod’s or Bergdorf Goodman. November 1, 2013 at 1:14pm Reply

    • george: Hey Marieke, I’m not surprised you don’t know where to start with chypres: there is such a huge range, and there are so many different flavours of chypre. But a couple I would suggest you try are

      Diorella (this has been recently reformulated and lost a little of its chypre character, but you might like that because you find Mitsouko a little heavy, however the flavouring here is mostly fruit, citrus and jasmine)

      Odalisque by Parfums de Nicolai (most of the classical Dior chypres have been reformulated far from their original forms; in its own way Odalisque smells like a Dior perfume as was, with a good lily of the valley flavouring)

      Noir Epices by Frederic Malle (this was created by Michel Roudnitska son of Edmond Roudnitska who created many of the classic Dior Chypres, and it gives an idea of the very different “flavourings” of chypres available, in this case hot spices rose and geranium.)

      Finally, if the peachiness of Mitsouko appealed and you’d like to try a more modern peach chypre, Chinatown by Bond No.9 might be for you. November 1, 2013 at 5:53pm Reply

    • Annag Chandler: My personal favorite — but sadly not yet available stateside — is Gris Montaigne [Dior], described as a floral chypre. I find it very soft and wearable but with some of the sense of formality of my long-lost Miss Dior, which I loved in the late 70s and early 80s. I’m trying to convince my husband that I really NEED to go get a bottle for myself, but for now I am having to be content with TPC decants. November 2, 2013 at 5:14pm Reply

    • Moira: Miss Misouko is yummy, but if you want somewhere to start, Chanel no 19 is a beautiful beginning. Get the EDT. It’s the original formulation, bright green that settles into creamy daytime sophistication. November 3, 2013 at 7:43pm Reply

  • Marsha Smith: I’ll just take Viola!! November 1, 2013 at 8:40am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: The description of Viola’s character applies also to my tomcat Heracles who died last february. Those cats have such strong personalities, you miss then terribly when they die. I wish to Viola a long life.
      And to Victoria lots of rest and a happy holiday. November 1, 2013 at 8:58am Reply

    • Victoria: She’s a handful, but she’s cute enough that none of us minds her antics. :) November 1, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

      • Ann: I note that you said Viola lives with your mother, and not that she is your mother’s cat. Isn’t that the way with cats, teenagers, and temperamental house plants.

        I have a bad headache this morning that I am treating with Frova (Rx) and Hermes Eau D’Orange Vert eau de cologne–fleeting but refreshing. November 1, 2013 at 12:37pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks everyone who recommended perfumes for my friend last month. I got Prada Candy for her in the end and she absolutely loved it!

    I have two questions this time:
    1. What is the best way to train my nose to pick out different individual notes from perfumes? If anyone could give me a tip, I’d really appreciate it.

    2. I heard good things about Diptyque candles so I’m interested in trying one but there are so many to choose from. Is there any candle that you particularly enjoyed? If you have recommendations for candles from other brands, I’d be also happy to hear them.

    Thank you for your help in advance and I wish everyone a great start of the month.

    Victoria, I’d love to play with Viola. How old is she? I wish you a nice break. :-) Hope you’ll come back well-rested and refreshed. November 1, 2013 at 8:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you!
      She’s 5-6 years old, but she’s still very playful, like a kitten. She will even bring you a ball so that you can throw it for her down the hall. Then she runs after it slipping on the hardwood floor and looking silly.
      She’s not a particularly graceful cat, but she’s a lot of fun. Here is one example of what I’m talking about:
      Viola’s Favorite Pose

      The best way to train your nose is just to smell. I have written about it in this artictle (scroll to #5)
      http://boisdejasmin.com/2012/10/how-to-make-perfume-hobby-affordable-and-more-fun.html
      If you can find raw materials to smell, it would be even better, but simply smelling everything you come across with–your morning cup of tea, toast being prepared, pepper as you grind it over your salad, etc.—will do a lot to hone your nose. November 1, 2013 at 9:40am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Lol for the picture and thanks for the tip! Viola looks like the kind of cat I would like to have one day – I prefer silly, funny cats over elegant, quiet cats. I adore cats but I can’t have one at the moment. Thankfully, my landlady who lives next door has two cats and one of them likes to play with me. I love how he always circles around me and tries to stop me from going to work. Once he really freaked me out by sneaking into my room through a window. I was having dinner and it felt like someone was watching me and there he was, sitting on the window sill! November 1, 2013 at 10:26am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Funny cats are the best, I agree. My Heracles was funny even at ± 20. He was a beautiful Tabby Tomcat. Now I have a very big Tabby Tomcat, very loving, and extraordinary beautiful. But a bit too quiet for me. Well, perhaps he is a philosopher.
          Perhaps that cat wanted to eat with you!Did you have some meat on the table? November 1, 2013 at 10:57am Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: I think he was just curious about my room since he hardly has a chance to come in. I’m sorry that Heracles passed away but he had a really long life! I do envy you for having a cat even if he’s too quiet. November 1, 2013 at 4:19pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you for your kind words, Anne! Heracles was about 12 years old when I took him out of the asylum for animals, and he lived with me 10 years. So he grew very old indeed.
              A cat is the best friend you can have. I am sure one day you will have your own cat, and the cat will be happy with you! November 1, 2013 at 4:32pm Reply

      • Elisa: Seconding V’s advice. I find it’s also helpful to explore simple soliflores and soli-notes, which you can often find in niche lines. For example, if you smell a geranium soliflore (or an actual geranium), it’s easier then to identify geranium in more complex compositions.

        Also, read online reviews! If everyone on Basenotes is talking about a lavender note, you can search for the lavender, then look for the similarity in other scents that include lavender. This helps you create a kind of mental map. November 1, 2013 at 10:30am Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you very much, Elisa. Do you find it helpful to smell a single note side by side with a complex perfume which contains that note?

          I’ve been reading a lot of reviews lately. I find Fragantica particularly helpful because it lists the notes people can smell and when I click on the note, I can see other perfumes which contain that note. The recent Heliotrope note incident (Loulou) got me thinking that I should perhaps smell more strategically. Instead of smelling perfumes randomly, I should choose a theme note and then smell several perfumes which contain that note in high concentrations. I’ve compiled a list of ‘marzipan’ perfumes. ;-) November 1, 2013 at 4:33pm Reply

          • Julie: Choosing a particular note is how I’ve been learning. I recently went thru a whole slew of vetivers to better understand that note. It was quite fun and helpful! And I second the advice to order sample sets. November 1, 2013 at 8:15pm Reply

    • TheFrenchMistress: I rate Diptyque candles extremely highly — not only do they contain a good concention of fragrance (enough to perfume a room even unlit), they also burn consistently well. I have a serious penchant for balsamic, ambery, spicy fragrances and there are two Diptyque candles I adore. Firstly, the Ambre — think along the lines of a classic oriental such as Shalimar, i.e. citrusy top notes with a warm, rich, vanillic base. Secondly, Opopanax (sic) — well I could just bathe in it. Again it has bright (and this time slightly aromatic) top notes, and a warm heart, plus it lacks the dry, myrrh-like bitterness that some opoponax-based fragrances exhibit. Instead it is richly, creamily balsamic with an almost beeswax quality. In fact it reminds me of an old wood floor that’s recently been spruced up with really good quality, beeswax-based polish. Fabulous! November 1, 2013 at 10:04am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you very much, TheFrenchMistress, for the detailed description. I happen to love balsamic, ambery and spicy notes so your suggestions sound perfect. It’s also good to know that the perfume concentration is high enough to scent a room unlit. November 1, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

      • Ruth: The Opopanax sounds like it’s related to a holiday scent Diptyque had last year (or maybe it’s the same and I have my facts wrong). It was described to me as the scent of Mont Martre and I thought it was named that. It was exactly the scent of an ancient cathedral: polished wood, damp stone, myrrh, beeswax. I’d never explored these candles before, and was so very tempted, but couldn’t justify the expense for myself at the holidays. November 1, 2013 at 1:44pm Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Ruth, I just checked the Diptyque website and Opopanax seems to be part of their regular ‘Woody’ collection. I also find these candles quite expensive but I’ve heard that they can be very long lasting. If I do get one, I’ll be only using it for special days. November 1, 2013 at 3:59pm Reply

          • nan: I have two Diptyque candles, I can’t recall which, but one is a gardenia scent and the other may be Opponax, but I’m not sure. Both are superb. Not only do they perfume a large roome even when unlit and burn evenly, but they last a very long time. I believe I bought these candles about 7 or 8 years ago and they are still going strong. November 7, 2013 at 5:55pm Reply

            • Anne of Green Gables: Hi nan, that’s good to know. Thank you! November 8, 2013 at 3:59am Reply

    • george: I imagine perfumery as being like a landscape- those perfumes I like are mountains, and those I am not so keen on are dips and valleys. Everytime I smell a fragrance I plot where it goes in the landscape and also how high the hill is, and what fragrances I can see from that hill. I then think about the difference about why a fragrance is near another (what are the common notes) and why it is far apart (what are the uncommon notes), and use the various reputable internet resources to help me identify those notes. In the absence of access to raw materials, for me that has been the best way to try and identify perfume type and what the probable notes are. November 1, 2013 at 10:42am Reply

      • NeenaJ: This is a gorgeous idea. Thank you! November 1, 2013 at 1:58pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you very much for this beautiful idea, george. This is very helpful. November 1, 2013 at 4:01pm Reply

      • Julie: Love this! Very helpful. November 1, 2013 at 8:16pm Reply

    • Dominika: I once bought a Cypres Diptyque candle because it was heavily discounted, and I was very disappointed in it… The smell was very weak, and I had it lit in the winter with all the windows closed in a 50 sq foot apartment.

      They are hit-and-miss. I’d recommend checking reviews on MakeupAlley before you buy. November 1, 2013 at 10:43am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Dominika. I’ll check the reviews before I make a purchase. I’m sorry that you had a disappointing experience with the candle. November 1, 2013 at 4:03pm Reply

    • AnnieA: I have seen sample sets of individual notes, used to train the nose — can’t remember who makes them, though. There’s the occasional class too, but my impression was that they were expensive, and that’s assuming you’re near London in the first place… November 1, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Annie. November 1, 2013 at 4:08pm Reply

        • Belle: I don’t know much about candles, but I’ve heard that Voluspa candles are great. November 2, 2013 at 6:41am Reply

    • maja: Smelling as many natural things as possible has helped me a lot – crushed fig leaf, orange blossom, citrus zests, flowers, spices, herbs, tea, pretty much anything. And comparing notes of what I think are similar perfumes. :) November 1, 2013 at 1:41pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks, maja. I’ll have to concentrate more when I smell things around me. November 1, 2013 at 4:14pm Reply

    • Isis: My trick for teaching myself to distinguish notes is to smell every perfume I can get my hands on (I make a habit out ot shopping perfumeless so that I can try every mainstream in the universe in the local department store), and read reviews of them while I obsessively smell my wrist. November 1, 2013 at 4:38pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Isis, I’ve been trying to do that. I don’t live in the centre so I can only go to department stores a few times a month. But everytime I go, I try my best to smell as many perfumes as possible. I usually compile a list of perfumes to try before I go. I was in town today and I came back with more than 20 blotters! :-) Now, it’s the time to smell them and read their reviews. November 2, 2013 at 4:12pm Reply

    • Mel: Hi Anne! You can rarely go wrong w/ Diptyque! the only advice I would give is to NOT burn different candle scents in close proximity to one another. The DMZ of clashing scents can be muddy and weird. Diptyque-wise, I am partial to Coriandre and Feu de Bois and Myrrhe for this time of year and Foin Coupe and Jonquile for Spring. I’m giving a Patchouli Diptyqye to a friend this Christmas, un-whiffed, b/c I have so much faith in the brand. I think Baies is very popular – kind of the Marlboro Light of the candle world. But whichever scent you decide on, in my experience, it will be worth every centime! Good luck! November 1, 2013 at 11:19pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Mel! Your friend is very lucky to have a friend like you. :-) November 2, 2013 at 4:26pm Reply

    • Sheri: If you’re in a part of the world where Surrender to Chance ships, I would suggest ordering one of their “must sniff” collections. I’m about three fourths of the way through their Beginner Niche and Classic set of 22 samples, and have learned to better recognize orange blossom, amber, fig and violet … and am looking forward to incense next! November 2, 2013 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks for the info, Sheri. It’s really great that they offer these sample sets. November 2, 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Julie: Wow! I think I’m in line to be an early commenter on one of my favorite posts ;)

    So, I’ve fallen head-over-heals for Ninfeo Mio by Annick Goutal but I would love to find something similar but richer and deeper for fall/winter. I have no problem wearing this year round, but I’d be interested in hearing recs.

    This scent is not a fig scent to my nose, and I’ve tried all the fig scents thus far (and no luck). What I think I love is the citrus & lavender notes, the aromatic quality to it.

    Love any direction you can provide! November 1, 2013 at 8:50am Reply

    • ChrisinNY: Maybe Philosykos Diptyque? November 1, 2013 at 9:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Rouge (but it might be discontinued), Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits, Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis–for dark, rich figs and woods. But if you’re after citrus and lavender, I would recommend by Kilian’s Taste of Heaven. It’s based on absinthe, but it’s really a lavender, hay and woods composition. Perfect for these cooler days. November 1, 2013 at 9:56am Reply

      • Tijana: I love Taste of Heaven! :-) November 1, 2013 at 11:20am Reply

      • Mel: I LOVE LOVE LOVE Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis – esp for this time of year!!! I’m so excited to start wearing it again! Read Victoria’s gorgeous review! November 1, 2013 at 11:23pm Reply

    • Figuier: If you like the citrus and lavender combo, how about Caron Pour Homme? It’s brilliant, and totally unisex. Though probably wouldn’t class as ‘edgy’, come to think of it. November 1, 2013 at 10:34am Reply

    • Julie: I’ve not tried any of these! Thank you! November 1, 2013 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Isis: Have you tried Hermès Un Jardin en Mediterannee? I like Ninféo Mio a lot but for me the Hermès wins for being so much more full bodied. November 1, 2013 at 4:40pm Reply

      • Julie: Thanks for the suggestion, Isis! I tried just a spray in Sephora, but perhaps I should get a sample to wear a bit. I like it, but it didn’t wow me like Ninfeo. However, that was awhile ago and I feel like my nose has matured quite a bit since then that I’d probably pick up more of those notes I love. November 1, 2013 at 7:44pm Reply

        • Isis: You should, it is really lovely! And I can understand why it would wow you less, The topnotes of Ninféo Mio really knocked my socks off (that IS an expression, right?). It took me longer to appreciate Jardin en Mediterrannee, but I do get more satisfaction out of it. November 2, 2013 at 5:24am Reply

          • Julie: Picked up a sample at Sephora today :)
            It’s gorgeous and so glad I tried it again. Lasting power isn’t too great, but I saw on EBay the scent in a lotion version. I may just try that with the edt and see if that helps. Definitely FBW.

            Thanks again for mentioning it! November 2, 2013 at 8:27pm Reply

            • Neisha: I saw a parfum concentration of Eau Savauge when I was last in Sephora. I wonder if that would get you the citrus and lavender, plus some mossy depth? Also, I remember that Occitane, one of the wonderful men’s offerings from L’Occitane, had a big lavender opening and citrus notes. Let us know what you decide! I love fig scents, and that is a yummy one. I also love the Hermes scent mentioned above, and also Pacifica Mediterranean Fig for straight up fig. November 2, 2013 at 11:27pm Reply

              • Julie: Took a sniff of the parfum version on Eau Savauge and I liked it. Felt a little bit to masculine for me but I’ll probably at least get a sample to try out. Great idea though! November 3, 2013 at 8:13pm Reply

                • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, I like it too. to my nose it is a Vetiver, refreshed by some citrus and softened by myrrh. November 7, 2013 at 11:15am Reply

            • Isis: Enjoy!!!!! November 3, 2013 at 3:50am Reply

              • Julie: Bought a FB today with Sephora’s 20% for VIP insiders. Woo-hoo! Can’t wait to spray with abandon this absolutely delicious scent.

                Thanks again! November 7, 2013 at 9:34am Reply

    • Safran: Hello Julie,

      I do love Ninfeo Mio in summer as well and I’d recommend Mito by Vero Profumo as a stronger alternative, if you don’t mind the missing fig leaf note. Maybe in the new Voiles d`Extrait concentration, which is a bit longer lasting than the EdP. It has the citrus notes and the galbanum and although there is no lavender listed, the cool hyacinth note has a similar effect.
      Good luck! Safran November 3, 2013 at 8:45am Reply

      • Julie: Excited for this rec too! I will definitely check them out, and thank you for taking the time to tell me about these! November 3, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Priscilla E: My question is littlle different. I am looking for small, niche frarance houses to try. Since I live over an hour away from the nearest city, I do a lot of blind buying, and I shop online. I have very little money and most of the niche houses e.g. DSH, Sonoma Scent Studio, etc. are out of my price range. I love Demeter, Lush, and have recently discovered Lollia, Tokyo Milk, etc. What I like is that they have .5 and .25 oz. sizes to try. Any suggestions? November 1, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

    • Victoria: You can find very good, inexpensive fragrances at Roger & Gallet and Pacifica. Pacifica Mexican Cocoa and Mediterranean Fig are fantastic. Yves Rocher perfumes are also very good quality, especially for the price. I don’t know if they can be classified as niche or small, but they’re definitely worth trying if you want something reasonably priced. The only thing is that unless you have a Sephora or some store like this nearby, it might be hard to find samples. Unfortunately, few niche houses are truly low priced. November 1, 2013 at 10:09am Reply

      • Michaela: Hi Victoria, Can you recommend Roger & Gallet fragrances? I like the Bois D’orange range, the dry body oil is amazing. I also love the Eau des bienfaits. Any other recommendations? I shop them on line so need to guess…
        Thanks in advance for any answers. November 1, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

        • Victoria: I like so many–Fleur d’Osmanthus, Bois d’Orange (especially the dry oil), Fleur de Figuier (trendy gourmand, very good). Even their Rose Imaginaire that doesn’t contain any rose oil is quite nice as far as light, sparkling florals go. November 1, 2013 at 11:05am Reply

          • Michaela: Wow, sounds great! Is the fig one not too gourmand as in overly sweet? And please tell me more about the Eau d’Osmanthus. Have no clue what that is.
            Also wanted to ask about the D&G the One L’Eau, I sprayed on my arm lately and absolutely adored it, especially the sullage. Could not stop sniffing myself. I am afraid it may be too banal and somewhat synthetic like most new fragrances. Do you know it? Would love to hear the sophisticated gals’ opinion of it… November 1, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

            • Michaela: *sillage….sorry. November 1, 2013 at 11:18am Reply

            • Victoria: A little sweet, but not sugary. Fleur d’Osmanthus, on the other hand, is crisp and fresh. I’ve reviewed it here already, so please take a look in the Reviews section.

              I love the original Light Blue, but I haven’t smelled L’Eau. If you like it and it smells good on you, just go for it! :) November 2, 2013 at 3:27am Reply

              • Michaela: Thankyou so much! November 2, 2013 at 4:26am Reply

    • NeenaJ: I have two suggestions:
      1) Swap as much as you can. Several perfume blogs hold regular swaps along with makeupalley. Trade in your duds for something new to sniff.
      2) Go to your local department store with names and notes in hand and sniff. Get samples and try them on – mens and womens. Get a better handle on what genres of fragrance and notes work best for you. That way, when you do blind buy, your chances of hitting a winner are better. November 1, 2013 at 10:46am Reply

      • Victoria: Great advice, Neena! November 1, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

    • Ariadne: Hi Priscilla, I have been enjoying samples from S Poncet which I found on IndieScents. A Poncet’s Eau Eternelle and Pleasant Promenade have been my recent scent pleasures. Their larger pump style samples are perfect for my purse too since they contain at least two days’ application but are reasonably priced. This is also how I am learning perfume, a few samples at a time. November 1, 2013 at 12:42pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Smell Bent is interesting, well regarded and relatively reasonable. They have great sample packs. You might check Neil Morris, based in Boston, too. November 3, 2013 at 9:33pm Reply

  • Tijana: Love this idea Victoria!
    I would like a recommendation on a unique, spicy, sensual winter scent to add to my Coromandel, Opium, Shanghai Lily, but not SL Borneo or Prada classic please :-)
    It can be niche, mainstream, doesn’t matter. Something that does not smell like anything else :-)
    While I do have a budget in mind, I am curious what you all would recommend irrespective of the budget. November 1, 2013 at 9:40am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Tijana, if you haven’t tried before, how about Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant? I’ve never smelled anything like this and it fits your description of unqiue, spicy and sensual perfume. It’s also very affordable. November 1, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

    • Nemo: I should preface this comment by saying I haven’t tried that many spicy scents yet, but one of my first loves was (and still is!) SSS Winter Woods. I have not yet smelled anything quite like it, except for my memories of going to old Catholic churches with my parents (the old wood, cool stone, and incense). November 1, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

    • Figuier: How about ‘Anima Dulcis’ – it’s a lovely – dry spicy, cocoa-y. Should definitely work if you like Coromandel and Opium. November 1, 2013 at 10:33am Reply

      • Annikky: Great suggestion, I second Anima Dulcis. And as I’ve just bought a bottle of Parfum d’Empire’s Aziyade, I’ll recommend this as well. There are A LOT of spices in that one and I haven’t smelled anything like it (could be polarizing, I admit). Also, Tolu and Trayee seem fairly unique to me. November 4, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

    • ChrisinNY: Sacrebleu -Parfums de Nicolaï November 1, 2013 at 10:35am Reply

    • Tijana: Thank you all – love the suggestions so far!!!! Putting a list together to try – very excited! :-) November 1, 2013 at 11:13am Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: Now you’re talking! My favorite spicy scents are:

      1. Eau Lente by Diptyque
      2. Noir Epices by Frederic Malle
      3. Indochine by Parfumerie Generale
      4. KL by Karl Lagerfeld (discontinued)

      Maybe I’ll think of more later! November 1, 2013 at 11:16am Reply

    • Asali: I would recommend you try baume du Doge by l’eau d’Italie, lovely spicefest, definitely not too sweet either November 1, 2013 at 12:00pm Reply

    • claire: Hello Tijana !

      The first COCO Chanel (1984), Cinnabar by Lauder or Youth Dew.

      Obsession Calvin klein. Kenzo Jungle. With spices and vanilla resembling a gingerbread : Lolita Lempicka L November 1, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

    • maja: I second Noir Epices. It is just fantastic and very expensive unfortunately. But a small decant goes a long way. :) I would add Coco Chanel and Like This by ELDO. Kenzo Jungle, as others pointed out, is unique! November 1, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

      • maja: Ps. I totally forgot about Black Cashmere and Nu. So I’m adding them now. November 1, 2013 at 3:55pm Reply

    • Cybele: Try Geisha Noir by Aroma M
      and Chaos by Donna Karan November 1, 2013 at 8:10pm Reply

    • Jillie: I’m really into Caron’s Parfum Sacre at the moment – it smells like a really mellow incense (I think I get a sweetened myrrh note) and I don’t think I can compare it with anything else particularly, apart from the old fashioned Friar’s Balsam we had to inhale as children when we had colds! It makes me feel relaxed and content when I wear it. November 2, 2013 at 6:40am Reply

    • Safran: Hello Tijana,

      how about Mitzah by the Dior Couturier Collection?
      It would perfectly fit in you mentioned range and still be different enough. It’s my one of my absolute favourite autumn/winter scents. Notes are:coriander, rose, spices, cinnamon, labdanum, vanilla, honey, patchouli and incense.
      Good luck! Safran November 3, 2013 at 8:53am Reply

      • Elia: I’ll second Mitzah, that’s a good recommendation. November 3, 2013 at 9:07am Reply

    • Gina: How about Donna Karan Black Cashmere? November 6, 2013 at 3:27am Reply

  • Elena: Hi! I tried Diptyque Volutes recently and liked it, but I would like something with a little bit more of an edge to it, and maybe a touch less sweet. The only thing I want to avoid is a certain kind of wood accord or note that I have found most notably in Mure et Musc and CdG Kyoto which is headache inducing for me. Thanks! November 1, 2013 at 10:03am Reply

    • annemariec: I don’t know Volutes all that well, but maybe Habanita might work for you? Smoky leather, woods, jammy fruit and vanilla, all with a powdery finish. Not innocent-smelly baby powder, I assure you! There is nothing innocent about Habanita. November 1, 2013 at 11:35pm Reply

      • Elena: Sounds good, and I love a bargain. I also like Le Labo Patchouli 24 but it’s too much smoke for me, though I do like a dab of it now and again. I’m looking for something in the sweet spot between the two, cuddly and warm but more engaging/unusual/edgy than Volutes. November 2, 2013 at 9:15pm Reply

  • Wesley Hall Parker: Hello! I’m looking for an autumn “date night” perfume. I love, love, love 31 Rue Cambon and am wearing it almost incessantly now that the weather is cool. But while my husband likes it fine – he likes a more gourmand vibe. He likes it when I smell like a “vanilla cookie.”

    Things I’ve tried but that don’t work for me:
    Flowerbomb – too unsophisticated to my taste
    Lots of Guerlains – My chemistry just doesn’t seem to get along with this house
    Bois des Iles – Gorgeous, but somehow…too rarified. I think we’d both like something a little cuddlier.
    What we do in Paris is Secret – Not bad, but somehow not “it” either

    So – any recs for something that’s a bit gourmand-y, that will make my husband want to nuzzle up to me, but not too over the top, or too low in IQ points, lol?

    Thank you!! :) November 1, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: What about the original Hypnotic Poison (Dior)?Or perhaps Heliotrope by Etro. November 1, 2013 at 11:06am Reply

      • Tijana: Second Hypnotic Poison. Also, by Kilian Love seems popular with male audiences (on women) :-) November 1, 2013 at 12:23pm Reply

        • silverdust: Third for Hypnotic Poison. My hubby loves it. November 1, 2013 at 4:01pm Reply

    • claire: Hello Wesley !

      L’Instant by Guerlain is a vanilla cookie. With also white chocolate taste. Delicious. Perfect for a night date in Paris. Hypnotic poison. Traversee du Bosphore (l’Artisan parfumeur) is a powdery sugar perfume. Vanille Reminiscence is similar to Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille. As “vanilla cookie” I recommand you : Kenzo Amour November 1, 2013 at 12:45pm Reply

    • rosarita: You both might like L di Lolita Lempicka. It’s a gorgeous gourmand but deep & sensual. And a steal at discounters. November 1, 2013 at 1:25pm Reply

      • maja: I second this! November 1, 2013 at 1:33pm Reply

    • claire: When you write : smells like a vanilla cookie, do you mean “with chocolate” or not (in France, cookie always includes cocoa nuts). If you seek a vanilla cake smell, try Rochas Tocade. Vanilla, a little salty effect, looks like a cookie without chocolate and vanilla. Lolita Lempicka L’is delicious like a gingerbread (spices + vanilla and little salt). Womanity : figue and vanilla cake. If you are looking for a chocolate effect, try Elixir des Merveilles by Hermes. Imagine a Christmas cake with orange and chocolate… Well, you r husband is going to eat you at Paris, no doubt ! November 1, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I’d like to second Elixir des Merveilles. November 1, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

        • Jennifer C: I third Elixir de Merveilles :) November 1, 2013 at 5:01pm Reply

    • Cheryl: How about Parfums DelRae’s Bois de Paradis? There’s a lovely review of it on this very site. It’s an incense-y rose with fig, blackberries and honey- succulent and jammy, with plenty of buttery warmth in the drydown. I love this one, as does my husband. November 1, 2013 at 3:47pm Reply

    • Caroline: Suggest Goutal’s Eau de Charlotte–a nice gourmand with a sweet mimosa/cocoa vibe, but not at all insipid. November 1, 2013 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Isis: Maybe Ambre des Merveilles? November 1, 2013 at 4:44pm Reply

      • Isis: Ah, now I see that Elixir des Merveiles also gets some recommendations! My husband once gave this one to me. I like it but after wearing it a lot I tired of how sweet and edible this is, it feels sticky on my skin… November 1, 2013 at 4:49pm Reply

    • Jennifer C: Have you tried Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne? It’s a nice vanilla, and if you have a Sephora nearby that sells the Atelier line, you should be able to find it in a mini for a good price. November 1, 2013 at 5:07pm Reply

    • george: The original Allure is a less vulgar take on Angel (of which Flowerbomb is its foremost descendant)

      Coromandel is a refined take on the Angel/Flowerbomb but has none of the classic structure that Bois des Iles and the like have which means it will feel less rarefied.

      Musc Ravageur is a modern take on Shalimar and- as such- a reworking of the original gourmand. It has a musk buried within it so when you sample you will need to wear for a while until the musk appears and you can decided if you like it not. It’s a bit like the can-can: the more it goes on the more and more you’ll start to get a flash of something unseemly, although the heaviness of the top vanilla notes stop it ever being particularly beastly.

      Maybe you could also consider some gourmand roses? November 1, 2013 at 6:05pm Reply

    • annemariec: Seconding Kenzo Armour, and adding Prada Candy. The latter is caramel for grown-ups.

      Of course you could always tell your husband that if he wants vanilla cookies he can go bake them himself. :) November 1, 2013 at 11:39pm Reply

      • Wesley Hall Parker: Thank you so much for all the lovely and thoughtful recommendations! I am keeping a list and will try these :) To clarify – when I say “vanilla cookie” I meant the American version, which is really like an English biscuit – there is no chocolate/cocoa necessarily as in the French definition. It’s mostly about vanilla + sugar (sometimes a burnt sugar accord). A “vanilla cake” is also a fine analogy. George hit the nail on the head with trying to find something “gourmand but not vulgar.” I think this is really the challenge!

        There is something about gourmands I think that often easily goes “vulgar” – not that vulgar is always bad – but I like a more refined sensuality. So Angel, Flowerbomb are both way too much. By Kilian’s “Love Don’t Be Shy” is also just WAY too much sugar for me. Too youthful, too much pure sugar. I’m in my late 30s and like a little “edge” with my sweetness.

        What got me into trouble with gourmands in the first place is that when I was in my early 20s (when I met my husband) I used to wear Hanae Mori butterfly parfum – an “almond cookie plus red berries” perfume – and now that I’m in my late 30s I find it too unsophisticated – “not me.” But my husband still likes it :) I no longer feel like myself wihen I wear it – so I’m trying to find something more grown up that both of us like that still isn’t so sophisticated that it’s completely aloof.

        Thank you so much for the recs for L de Lolita Lempicka and also the Merveilles lines! I really love ambergris, and the salty/sweet combo in these perfumes is very near the mark for me. I like how the salt cuts the sweetness and adds interest. I have tried L, Ambre de M, and Elixir de M – and all of them are on my “very close/must revisit/might be it” list :) Elixir in particular always makes me go “YUM” whenever I first smell it, lol. But I find it heavy when I wear it all day.

        Prada Candy is also in the “Hmmm, like it. Maybe? Not hooked. but nice!” category.

        Hypnotic Poison and I just don’t love one another – I have no idea why. On paper, it should work, and on others it’s terrific, but on me – it’s one of those perfumes that is perfectly nice while not catching you emotionally.

        Vanilla Insensee is lovely – but not edible enough. I think of it as a floral vanilla? Very lovely but not particularly sensual.

        From Guerlain – I have tried L’Instant, which is also “close but not quite” but a lovely scent! I enjoy the magnolia note in it, and the softness of the vanilla and powder. It’s green floral notes are refreshing – but feel more spring/summer to me, and more daytime. The powdery notes makes it quite innocent. To my mood – this does not feel like autumn or an evening perfume. But then – it’s all so subjective, isn’t it? :)

        I love Musc Ravageur too! And broke out my sample last night to retest on George’s recommendation :) It is beautiful, and very sensual – and I don’t find it too animalic at all. I always think it’s funny it’s got such a naughty reputation. My only issue with it is that on me, it wears very heavily. I feel weighed down by its density though I love the notes. I’d like something a little more luminous. (A challenge with gourmands, I know.)

        Coromandel I’m testing again right now, lol. It’s gorgeous! More sensual than I had remembered. When I first tested it, what I was struck by was it’s dark earthiness – and also it reminded me of Coca-Cola or Root Beer :) But I’m enjoying it now – a good reminder to go back and retest the ones you like. They can surprise you! Even if Coromandel turns out not to be “it” – George, this degree of formality in Coromandel is EXACTLY right for me. It’s not as structured as the classic Chanels at all – much more relaxed. And yet it retains a certain refinement. I like this.

        Most try Allure! I don’t know how I’ve never sampled this one. Ditto Kenzo Amour!

        George – for gourmand roses, what do you recommend? I LOVE Amouage Lyric Woman – but can’t afford a FB. And it has the density of a black hole, lol. My husband finds it overwhelming. I adore it but can really only wear it for myself – kind of like listening to an Opera alone :) I also really like Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Dessert. BEAUTIFUL! Maybe even more than the Amouage b/c it’s more wearable. It makes me think of a dry, dark rose – dipped in sugar. More to my taste than my husbands – but I have complete emptied my sample and may need to order another :)

        Oh dear, I feel like I’m revealing myself to be very particular – I don’t mean to be. I love all these recommendations, and I enjoy the process of the hunt so much! Thank you all! November 2, 2013 at 1:05pm Reply

        • claire: I inderstand :at you mean now with vanilla cookie. Tocade by Rochas and I forgot : Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens. This fragrance is an Aztec memory. Vanilla is just a wonder ! Please try it !

          Have a great Sunday ! November 2, 2013 at 1:20pm Reply

          • Wesley Hall Parker: Thank you Claire! I love the idea of “an Aztec memory” :) Thank you. I have a sample of this SL and will have to break it out and test now in the cool weather.

            So funny – I just waved Coromandel under my husband’s nose and ask ‘what do you think?’ He said, “Not bad, but I feel like I just opened a lady’s cosmetics powder box and got some up my nose.” HAHA! A legitimate interpretation though so different from mine. It always tickles me, what my non-perfumista husband thinks :) November 2, 2013 at 1:30pm Reply

            • claire: Good evening !

              This Serge Lutens UN BOIS VANILLE (vanilla Wood) is a treasure.
              There is a tiny touch of dark cocoa. It’s’ like an intense vanilla drink and it smells also a french cake named “Madeleine” (eggs, sugar and vanilla in shape of little mounts).
              I like Aztec, Incas etc. Mexico. The quality of vanilla is really splendid. Chris Seheldrake is a genius ! November 2, 2013 at 1:55pm Reply

            • george: Your husband’s reaction to Coromandel is what I used to feel about Shalimar……

              I think Allure might well be the sweet spot: put it on secretly though, and let your husband’s compliment come to you! November 2, 2013 at 1:57pm Reply

              • Wesley Hall Parker: Just tested Allure today – and my heavens, no. It was actually a scrubber for me. Way too fruity-floral something.

                Coromandel I’m loving though :) November 3, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

                • Annikky: When I first read your question, I immediately thought Coromandel could be a great compromise – and then george suggested it. Just a recommendation (maybe you have done that already) – let the husband smell it a bit further towards the dry down, when it gets even mellower and cozier, at least to my nose.

                  Personally, I find vanilla a very difficult note, but I’m luckily blessed with a boyfriend who loves leather, spices, woods, strange flowers and anything else I throw at him. He would probably become seriously concerned if I suddenly started wearing anything cookie-like.

                  Regarding (not too) gourmand roses, I love Cafe Rose and Mohur, but both are sadly expensive and probably not quite what your husband has in mind. But as you like Lyric and Ta’if, I think you should at least sample them (I have found Tom Ford counters sometimes surprisingly forthcoming with samples. And you can order 2 ml samples from Neela Vermeire). November 4, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

        • Isis: I love reading through your thoughtprocess, so funny, I do the same things when I am searching for something specific… November 2, 2013 at 3:00pm Reply

          • Wesley Hall Parker: I’m glad I’m not the only one, Isis :) November 3, 2013 at 4:48pm Reply

            • Cybele: try Sublime by Patou and Anne Pliska November 4, 2013 at 4:24pm Reply

              • Cybele: here some more ideas:
                Van Cleef&Arpels Orchidee Vanille
                Dries van for Noten Frederick Malle

                pretty sure you’ve tried Tonka Imperial by Guerlain? November 4, 2013 at 5:58pm Reply

        • annemariec: That’s a very fine analysis of the qualities of gourmand fragrances – I love it! It seems that if there is a fence marking the boundary between edible and non-edible, I’m slightly on the non-edible side and you are slightly on the edible side. But neither of us wants to lose sight of the fence – and the territory on the other side! At the extreme end of my territory or the chypres, and I’m very comfortable there. But I do like to meander up to the fence and peer into the edible zone sometimes!

          One of the reasons I like Candy is that for me it has quite a noticeable note of iris – a nod in the direction of Prada’s Infusion d’Iris I expect – that pushes the whole fragrance into the non-edible zone. It does give it that luminous quality you mention though. Candy really shimmers (I think).

          Vanille Insensee appeals to me exactly because it is not very foodie despite the lovely vanilla. Kenzo Armour has been described by Luca Turin as right on the boundary between ‘eat me’ and ‘don’t eat me’ but for me it falls slightly into the edible zone because of its steamed rice note. Thankfully (for me) Amour has nothing to do with cookies!

          On gourmand roses – how about Ta’if? Roses, dates and spices. Not very sweet though. November 2, 2013 at 4:50pm Reply

          • Anka: This is so interesting to read, annemariec! Borderline-Fragrances woult be a good topic for a post…
            I’ve recently fallen in love with PdN’s Vanille Tonka and I think it stands with one foot on the edible side and with the other the first 10 – 20 minutes on the non-dedible side and then this foot moves just to the border. Not too sweet, warm and slightly spicy and very, very lovely.
            Wesely, someone at fragrantica wrote it is a vanilla that “exudes sexy maturity”, so it might be what you are looking for? November 3, 2013 at 5:56am Reply

            • Nemo: I second the Vanille Tonka! It is absolutely lovely, delicious without being too sweet and interesting to boot. November 3, 2013 at 12:47pm Reply

              • Wesley Hall Parker: I love Vanille Tonka too! It’s really lovely. The only problem is that on me it vanishes incredibly quickly :( November 3, 2013 at 4:23pm Reply

            • annemariec: Yes, and that tension between edible and non-edible is what makes it so interesting. I like it very much. At first its resemblance to Sacrebleu bothered me, but once I finally admitted that Sarebleu is too sweet for me, I went back to VT. Much better. November 4, 2013 at 4:47am Reply

              • Wesley Hall Parker: Yes, I like the opening freshness of VT – the herbal citrus thing. As you mentioned – the counterpoint keeps it very interesting! I do think a lot of the Ormonde Jaynes have a very similar base though – and on me, the base doesn’t smell bad, but not terrific either. So with VT, once the top and middle notes run through – I’m left with not much but a whiff of the OJ base, as if my skin has eaten the poor thing. Disappointing b/c I love the opening contrasts! Just on me it’s one of those perfumes that goes from “Oh WOW” to “Oh well…” You know how those are :) November 5, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

          • Wesley Hall Parker: Thank you annemarie! I think you are absolutely right – I am looking for something on the border country between edible/non-edible – and I like being just on the other side of the fence from you :)

            I just retested Atelier’s Vanille Insensee and you are right it is VERY CLOSE to the mark. It’s actually sweeter and more edible than I remembered. I had confused it in my memory with the Hermes Vanille Galante, which is a terrific vanilla-lily little thing.

            You know what I think the problem is? Sigh, I find perfumes that are mostly-all-about vanilla a bit…boring. And vanilla as a note can get dense. It has to be vanilla plus something else to keep my interest. Maybe vanilla + woods/spice, or vanilla/amber, or vanilla+floral, but vanilla and SOMETHING

            Must go back and retest Prada Candy.

            And I LOVE Ta’if! It’s such a gorgeous dark peppery woody rose. I love it.

            You know honestly, lol, the problem is my husband likes these cookie-ish things – and I like green florals, woods, modern chypres, ambergris, honey, almond, orange blossom, dark roses, airy citrus-roses, heliotrope, tea – on and on, lol just haven’t met a gourmand I’m crazy about. That’s why this is SO HARD. I keep trying to find a way to smell like dessert for the dear man and I can’t quite manage it. November 3, 2013 at 4:22pm Reply

            • annemariec: I think you and I must be the same on vanilla. My skin seems to amplify vanilla to the point where it edges out other notes and makes the perfume seem quite linear and a bit dull. I do get on quite well with Shalimar Parfum Initial because, oddly perhaps, I can perceive the iris in it quite easily. SPI lasts all day on me though, and by the end I’m a bit tired of it.

              So I’m a bit take-it-or-leave-it with vanilla, and often I leave it. I don’t have a man to please, and that helps! November 4, 2013 at 4:54am Reply

              • Wesley Hall Parker: Yes! Exactly! “My skin seems to amplify vanilla to the point where it edges out other notes and makes the perfume seem quite linear and a bit dull.” Boo, vanilla. I have precisely that difficulty with it.

                That’s why I like Shalimar PI too, I think. Lots of other things happening so that the vanilla doesn’t just drone on and on. And I love Iris :) It also has some green florals mixed in to keep me happy.

                Even when I wore Hanae Mori EDP or Parfum (which is quite rich) the vanilla note there is not so linear because it’s got lots of woods and florals complicating matters.

                Who knows maybe SPI is “it” :) I have to get a spray sample to do a full wearing and see. November 5, 2013 at 10:49am Reply

                • rainboweyes: I have the same issues with vanilla (and most other gourmands) – and have have given up searching for the perfect vanilla/gourmand scent.
                  I love the scent of natural vanilla and indulge in this heavenly scent whenever I use vanilla beans for cooking or baking but when I wear a vanilla-dominated scent, it makes me queasy after half an hour :(

                  I have some more suggestions for you (some of them worked for me, others didn’t):

                  Parfumerie Generale 21 Felanilla (a lovely vanilla, iris, saffron and banana leaf combo)

                  Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore (not a vanilla scent but a nice gourmand with iris, leather and turkish delight notes)

                  Atelier Cologne Silver Iris (no vanilla here, but tonka bean – and black currant)

                  Histoires de Parfums 1889 Moulin Rouge (iris, cinnamon and plum)

                  Byredo Seven Veils (carrot, pepper, vanilla) November 5, 2013 at 4:44pm Reply

            • katesonskates: I’m really enjoying this thread! I wear Hanae Mori when I wear certain shades of pink or mint green, but it’s definitely not an all-the-time scent.

              I like foody-sweet things like L de Lolita and Ambre des Mervailles. I second the nods to Ambre Sultan, and would also suggest 5 o’clock au Gingembre and Chergui, which is turning into a cherry-vanilla cookie on me at the moment.

              But…if you’re looking for comfy vanilla plus something to keep it interesting, Bvlgari Black or Dzing! might be worth checking out as well. November 4, 2013 at 11:47am Reply

              • annemariec: I love Black – on my son! On me I can hardly smell it. Odd. November 4, 2013 at 9:05pm Reply

                • Wesley Hall Parker: Yes, I like Black too! It’s a little more unisex than I’m looking for, but gorgeous. It always makes me think of Angelina Jolie or a similarly dangerous woman :) I have been curious about Dzing! too.

                  I’m totally with you on the Ambre des Merveilles and L de Lolita Lempicka and Amber Sultan! Gorgeous, all of them. On the short list for sure.

                  Chergui – the first few times I tried it I felt like it had this terrific menthol-y blast of an opening that I really struggled with. But I haven’t sampled in a long time, I might be over it now :)

                  PS – Love that you associate HM with certain colors! How fun. Mint and pink are about right – I think it’s simultaneously decadent and almost girlish :) November 5, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

        • Bastet: Have you tried Shalimar? I especially love the parfum but also think the EDP is very good. November 3, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

          • Wesley Hall Parker: Yes, I’ve tried Shalimar. Alas, there is a note in it that reminds me of floor polish/varnish that kills it for me. I find that while I can respect many of the vintage Guerlains, few of them are truly wearable for me.

            Now I did try “pink Shalimar” just about a month ago while out shopping in a bigger city – but didn’t get a sample to really try. To my surprise, husband and I both liked it – it was far better than I expected it to be. I should revisit and really give it a full wearing :) November 3, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

            • Victoria: Shalimar Parfum Initial is one of my favorites too. I hear what you’re saying about “abstract gourmands”, and I think that your best bet is to look for something that mixes vanilla notes with other things. For instance, have you tried by Kilian’s Sweet Redemption, which is a blend of sweet orange blossom, vanilla and lots of incense.

              In same vein, Kilian’s Love smells like meringues, but it’s really a tuberose. Quite expensive, but very good. November 3, 2013 at 4:49pm Reply

              • Wesley Hall Parker: Thanks so much Victoria! November 3, 2013 at 10:24pm Reply

        • Karen: How would you and your husband feel about maple/immortelle/pumpkin gorgeousness? I’m totally in love with ELDO’s Tilda Swinton: Like This and although it’s not vanilla cookies, it does have a lovely gourmand yet sophisticated quality that might appeal to you both. November 4, 2013 at 7:18pm Reply

          • Jeanette S: This is now on my list to try! It sounds really nice! November 4, 2013 at 10:52pm Reply

      • Wesley Hall Parker: Oh and I also have to test Parfums DelRae’s Bois de Paradis! It sounds amazing! Thank you :) November 2, 2013 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Liz K: Have you considered a sweet amber? My husband is also a gourmand fan and loves Ambre Russe and Ambre Sultan on me and I find them much easier to handle than vanillas or true gourmand scents. November 2, 2013 at 11:03pm Reply

      • Wesley Hall Parker: I have been wondering exactly the same thing, Liz! Ambre Russe and Ambre Sultan are both really gorgeous. I must go back and retry them :) November 3, 2013 at 4:42pm Reply

        • elsie: Hi there, I am not a huge perfume aficionado (sadly, I keep towards mainstream stuff because it’s overwhelming to sniff and I don’t have time right now as I’m in school!) but I had 3 suggestions I thought I’d just throw out there for you (two of which I am currently considering for myself, and one of which I already own). :)
          1) Dior Addict (vanilla but woody and spicy) – this is the one I own, and I love to wear it in fall
          2) Dior Miss Dior Le Parfum (just to clarify, NOT the Natalie Portman variety!)
          3) Prada Amber (or just plain Prada…I think they’re the same, but am confused about what is going on with this one’s name.)

          Anyway, I am sorry they’re all common and mainstream, and maybe you’ve tried them already!

          Good luck with your search…I’m as picky as you (not a bad thing!) and spend months obsessing over which one I will purchase. :) I hope you find one you and your hubby will both love! November 5, 2013 at 9:49pm Reply

          • Neisha: I also like vanilla plus something, and tend toward the indelible. Some of my faves are Jo Malone Vanilla Anise, Diptyque Eau Duelle, L’Occitane Eau des Baux, and L’Artisan Safran Troublant, and Montale Sweet Oriental Dream. The latter two are edible, but in a non-Western way. Safran Troublant smells like kheer to me and Sweet Oriental Dream like baklava. November 6, 2013 at 1:47am Reply

    • nozknoz: I hope you have a chance to try Chanel Coco and Coco Mademoiselle, L’AP Vanille Absolument, VA’s decadent cousin, Frapin 1697, and Pd’E Cuir Ottoman. November 3, 2013 at 9:45pm Reply

    • annemariec: Two new thoughts: Fendi Theorema (discontinued, sadly, but can still be had online) or EL’s Sensuous? No vanilla there, and it’s not foodie, but very smooth and easy to like. Not really ‘date night’ stuff I admit. Theorema certainly is. November 4, 2013 at 5:01am Reply

    • Jeanette S: Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille is wonderful. It’s vanilla and gourmand, but not a candy type of gourmand like Pink Sugar. It’s more of a caramelized vanilla with sandalwood and a bit of a woody scent. It’s complex and sophisticated while still smelling yummy. November 4, 2013 at 10:35pm Reply

    • Gina: Not a vanilla cookie, but in my limited experience, Bulgari Omnia appeals to the gourmand lovers but also satisfies my own love of spice. Very inexpensive as well. November 6, 2013 at 3:31am Reply

  • Bhama: Hi, I am looking for a nice, deep and dark fall perfume recommendation. I am currently testing out Parfums Delrae Bois de Paradis and really enjoying it. I am loving the fruit/spice/incense combo very much. I also love FM PoaL and Amouage jubilation 25 for men. Can anyone recommend something similar to these perfumes that are cheaper?Like under 100 dollars? Thanks. November 1, 2013 at 11:40am Reply

    • Tijana: My husband wears men’s Jubilation 25 and frequently wears Costume National Homme which is in similar vein. He buys it online for approx. $60-70 for a 100 ml bottle. November 1, 2013 at 12:36pm Reply

      • Bhama: Thanks, Tijana- I will add it to my sniff list. I think it’s by Ropion and since I am a huge fangirl, I have a strong feeling I’ll love it, and the price is not bad at all! November 8, 2013 at 8:17am Reply

  • behemot: Beautiful Viola!
    I am looking for advice what perfume to wear to my daughter college graduation ceremony in late November ( time runs fast, I know..). The ceremony starts at 12.30, so it is the middle of the day. I don’t want it to be very official..
    Please help! November 1, 2013 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Ann: Congratulations on your daughter’s achievement! I think such an event calls for a quiet, private, self pat on the back AND the reward of indulging yourself with a perfume you have wanted for a long time but was reluctant to purchase… Carpe the graduation! A day that gives you great happiness should be marked by wearing a fragrance that gives you great happiness. If you love what you are wearing, nothing could be more appropriate! November 1, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

      • behemot: Thank you so much Ann for your nice words and advice. I had the same idea, just needed some reinforcement. I am thinking about Hedonist, Mona di Orio Vanille, or SL Bois de Violette. Not too many spritzes, though :) November 1, 2013 at 7:54pm Reply

        • Ann: Oooh those sound exactly right for a graduation! I am on a very slow and financially challenged frag crawl of violet scents. Haven’t tried Bois de Violette, but I did order a sample of Mona Di Orio Violette Fumee after Angela’s recent review on NST and am totally smitten.

          Enjoy yourself! November 1, 2013 at 9:40pm Reply

          • behemot: Thanks :) November 2, 2013 at 1:25am Reply

    • nozknoz: I can’t help thinking Vol de Nuit in November! November 3, 2013 at 9:48pm Reply

  • Karen: Hello all, I’m looking for a day and an evening perfume. Evening needs to be sexy, magnetic, warm and all those other good things. I love coco chanel, quite like noir espices, am warming to Femme rochas and like amber too.
    For day time (bearing in mind it’s now nearly winter in London) something noticeable and different. I’ve tried le labo and Diptque but can’t fall in live with any. I love eau Savauge extreme on my husband, I also like the original miss dior and NR for her. Molecule 01 is an easy go-to. Don’t want anything main stream or too fruity/tweeny. Thanks all! Xx November 1, 2013 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Hannah: Have you tried Muscs Koublai Khan? This seems to really vary by skin chemistry but I think it is sexy and magnetic but it is a skin scent so it is ~*intimate*~. This also means it can be worn during day or evening. I just bought it and I’m obsessed with it right now. I’m wearing a sample of Feminite du Bois right now and I think it could work, especially since it has prominent iso e super like Molecule 01 (honestly I can’t smell Molecule 01 and I still have no idea what iso e super really is so I’m just repeating what I’ve read). Ormande Jayne Woman is another with a lot of iso e super and it is supposed to be absolute magic on some people (but not on me and not on a lot of other people. But give it a try, if you haven’t!). Other possibilities: Musc Ravageur, Black Cashmere, Parfumerie Generale Coze, Eau d’Italie Bois d’Ombrie. I think Comme des Garcons epd is really sexy but I don’t usually hear it described as such so maybe it’s just me. November 1, 2013 at 6:14pm Reply

      • Hannah: I think Lubin Idole could work, as well. November 1, 2013 at 6:16pm Reply

    • Elia: I like to think of Evening Edged in Gold by Ineke as a great evening perfume, it’s sexy and alluring, too mature to ever be called girly and definitely noticeable. There a bit of that magic X -factor to Evening Edged in Gold. November 2, 2013 at 3:57pm Reply

    • nozknoz: FM Le Parfum de Therese is a great feminine version of Eau Sauvage by the same nose. November 3, 2013 at 9:50pm Reply

    • Jeanette S: For the evening scent, you might like Calvin Klein Euphoria. It’s a creamy oriental and is definitely warm and sexy. November 4, 2013 at 10:57pm Reply

  • Lucas: Dear friends!
    I’m looking for some recommendation of a perfume that could be associated with “(transparent) smoky comfort”. Something in a similar manner to CdG Kyoto, Diptyque Volutes or SSS Winter Woods. In other words – a subtle incense with a warm and cosy effect.
    Any ideas? November 1, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Shaal Nur by Etro (perhaps nor available in Poland?) November 1, 2013 at 3:37pm Reply

      • Lucas: We have Etro available in Poland. Will check Shaal Nur when I get the chance. Thanks November 2, 2013 at 5:39am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Lucas, since you know so much already and I’m quite a newbie, I’m hesitant to make a suggestion. I’m pretty sure you’ve tried it already but how about Hermessence Vetiver Tonka? It’s sheer but smoky with some warmth. I remember being struck by how it can be transparent but smoky at the same time. November 1, 2013 at 3:45pm Reply

      • Isis: Seconding Vetiver Tonka! I LOVE it. November 1, 2013 at 4:51pm Reply

        • Lucas: Anne, Iris
          I haven’t tried Vetiver Tonka because there’s not a single Hermes boutique in Poland, I simply don’t have access to the line and Hermessence samples online are expensive. November 2, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that… :-( I hope that you’ll get to try it one day. November 2, 2013 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Cybele: Hermes Voyage in the black bottle November 1, 2013 at 4:11pm Reply

      • Lucas: Will have to revisit it. November 2, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

    • Jennifer C: Lucas, have you tried Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant? That might be a good fit for you. November 1, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

      • Lucas: That didn’t work out well on me. November 2, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

    • Karen: Hi Lucas!
      Try miller Harris feus tabac (sp)
      Divine! November 1, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

      • Lucas: will try! November 2, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

    • Jillie: Hello, Lucas! I’ve already posted above about my current favourite, Caron’s Parfum Sacre. I think you would like it; I don’t know that I would call it transparent, but it certainly is comforting and makes me feel good. November 2, 2013 at 6:45am Reply

      • Lucas: Thanks for the suggestion Jillie! November 2, 2013 at 7:38am Reply

    • Elia: I like Cardinal by Heeley November 2, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

      • Elia: And also how about Chene, Serge lutens November 3, 2013 at 9:05am Reply

    • Safran: Hi Lucas, first I thought of, is l’Ether by Iunx, that would fit perfectly in your range, it’s warmer and softer than Kyoto for example. But it’s also hard to get. My other suggestion would be 10 corso como, although it has more flowers than your mentioned range, it has this soft and smoky feel. And it could be fantastic on the right man’s skin! ;o)
      Good luck, Safran November 3, 2013 at 9:01am Reply

    • nozknoz: Nicolai, there is a wonderful review of Miller Harris La Fumée on The Non-Blonde. I haven’t had a chance to try La Fumée, but I love MH La Pluie, which I bought on a whim.

      Have you had a chance to try any of the Via del Profumo perfumes? Mecca Balsam, Sharif, Ciaras Afgano and others are great. November 3, 2013 at 10:02pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: MH La Fumee is a beautiful, meditative scent. Fleurs de Sel is even more transparent and it has an incense note too. November 5, 2013 at 5:09am Reply

        • nozknoz: Thanks – I know sooner or later I’m going to buy it, unsniffed or not. November 5, 2013 at 3:38pm Reply

  • rita sanyal: For a late fall// early winter I would recomend now obsolete bath& body works Leaves body mist which has the right blend of yummy spices & the warmth needed for cozy night in. November 1, 2013 at 3:37pm Reply

  • rita sanyal: I also completely second Clair’s choices. November 1, 2013 at 3:39pm Reply

  • rita sanyal: Another master piece is Kenzo’s peace cologne for this early winter weather. November 1, 2013 at 3:41pm Reply

  • Isis: Hi everyone! I want to ask if anyone out there remembers the discontinued Echo by Valentino.

    It was my grandmothers scent. She actually made me buy three enormous bottles when I went to Italy as a teenager (which made for a very confused SA).

    I have an ancient bottle, and when it is gone so is the smell of hugging my vovó. I see no reviews anywhere, and I can’t pick out individual notes because I just get confused by the memory of her (well.. I think there is some Iris and some violet there, and a really persistent soft and warm drydown).

    . I would love to know if anyone else even knows this perfume, what you think of it, and what it might be composed of. One day I will have to find the perfect modern alternative for it. November 1, 2013 at 4:57pm Reply

    • annemariec: I have never heard of it but a bit of Googling told me that Mario Valentino Echo was an oriental released in 1989. That must mean it was a powerhouse of a scent, but you knew that already I’m sure! You can still buy it on eBay and (one mini only) Amazon. The Miniature Perfume Shoppe also has a mini. That site is set up mainly for bottle collectors so you don’t know what the juice will be like, but it is a reliable seller – I’ve purchased many times. Good luck! November 2, 2013 at 12:03am Reply

      • Isis: Thank you Annemarie!! I have a really old bottle and a mini that I found on ebay. I can see how it could have been a big scent originally, but the juice has definately lost much of its power… Can I ask where you found that info on ebay? I found absolutely nothing…. November 2, 2013 at 5:28am Reply

        • annemariec: Basenotes.net – the fragrance database – has an entry for Echo but no reviews, unfortunately. The other site I use for really obscure fragrances is perfumeintelligence.co.uk. It’s not an easy site to use, but hopefully this link will work:

          http://perfumeintelligence.co.uk/library/perfume/e/e3/e3p1.htm

          That’s where I got the snippet about Echo being an oriental. On fragrantica.com there is no entry for Echo but two other Mario Valentino fragrances are there – Ocean Rain and Eau d’Essence.

          Ocean Rain: terrible name, but the perfumer apparently was none other than Edmond Roudnitska. That’s a name that gets the full attention of every fragonerd.

          Good luck in your searching. November 2, 2013 at 5:57am Reply

          • Isis: Thanks! I found them. Such a pity that there is so very little info about Echo.

            I have some of the juice left on a shirt here. I can sort of see how this could have been a really big oriental. I still have a hard time ‘understanding’ orientals (Victoria, I am reading your articles on the genre and I am smelling whatever I can, thanks for the help, but lets say my education is ‘ongoing ;) ).

            FUnny that what the drops of aged-Echo reminds me mostly of Violet and Iris…. and VERY vaguely of L’Heure Bleue … I have a hard time inderstaning how l ‘Heure Bleue is an oriental but I can imagine Echo could have been and oriental along the same line, roughly. November 2, 2013 at 2:30pm Reply

            • Isis: (staring sadly into my screen)
              No one else ever actually wore Echo? November 10, 2013 at 3:43am Reply

              • Victoria: Sorry, I haven’t come across it in ages. But I’ll check my notes when I get home if there is something on Echo in them. November 10, 2013 at 5:02am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Atelier’s Mistral Patchouli,Ambre Nu & Rose Anonyme (even blended together). Fresh has a newbie: Fresh Life. Grapefruit, Amber, Magnolia & Freesia. The Amber comes through later on in the drydown.
    At any rate, the autumnal leading into winter fragrances escapes me today since the NYC weather has reached the high 60’s-70 F. but I have to foster what those written before me have noted. L’artisan’s Patchouli Patch cut by citrus and not a heavy-laden patchouli is elegant.
    As for you Viola — you are a little diva beauty! November 1, 2013 at 6:32pm Reply

  • Kris: I am looking for a rose perfume that would be similar to Stella. I like Stella, but find it a little too musky. I would like the scent a little bit dark and a bit fruity, but not so strong it clears a room. Any suggestions? It would be nice if it could be worn for work, but doesn’t have to be the case. November 1, 2013 at 7:07pm Reply

    • AnnieA: @Kris ELO Rossy de Palma is rose with thorns, with citronella and pepper. Okay for work too. November 2, 2013 at 9:53am Reply

    • Karen: I second Rossy de Palma, and also maybe SL La Fille de Berlin? I would feel ok wearing either of those to work (just spraying lightly) but they do have a dark, intriguing quality that sets them a bit apart from the run of the mill rose perfume. November 5, 2013 at 4:37am Reply

      • Kris: I heard these were both good. Someone even mentioned to use together. I think I will have to try both. Thanks for the suggestions. Wish they had lotion to layer with them, but oh well can’t have everything. November 5, 2013 at 4:14pm Reply

  • Raissa: Can anyone recommend a galbanum-heavy perfume without (pronounced) aldehydes? Thanks! November 1, 2013 at 8:44pm Reply

    • Caroline: Vero Profumo’s Mito is a non aldehydic green.
      On me, it’s more about magnolia & cypress, but I get some galbanum too. Now that you mention it, it does seem challenging to think of a galbanum-rich scent without aldehydes. For galbanum heaven, try Scherrer by Jean Louis Scherrer (if you can handle some aldehydes). November 1, 2013 at 9:39pm Reply

      • Raissa: Thanks so much, this sounds very interesting. November 1, 2013 at 11:48pm Reply

    • maja: Scherrer is truly a galbanum heaven. It lasts for hours and is magnificient. Vol de Nuit is heavy on galbanum, too, and more complex. November 2, 2013 at 4:43am Reply

      • nikki: I agree! Scherrer, the original, is great! Be careful though, I ordered one on e-bay and it was not the real thing as it was so cheap maybe… November 2, 2013 at 10:12am Reply

    • Elia: I like Vent Vert.
      Perhaps Ninfeo Mio if you step outside the box and like fig leaf, or French Lover.
      The new Frapin is meant to be galbanum heavy although I’ve not tried it yet myself. November 2, 2013 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Mel: Looking for an awesome Winter scent to rival the liturgical drama AND comfort of CdeG Kyoto. Thanks!!! November 1, 2013 at 11:29pm Reply

    • Liz K: Have you tried SSS Incense Pure? Very nice true incense. The big difference is to me is that Incense Pure is warm and Kyoto is cool (but I love them both.) November 2, 2013 at 11:13pm Reply

    • Elia: I’m thinking Chene by Serge Lutens might work well. I think of it as warm and comforting. November 3, 2013 at 9:06am Reply

      • Victoria: ! And Serge Noire too. November 3, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Neisha: What about Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens? Frankincense and pine, with candied fruit. November 3, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Anne: I’m looking for a cool refreshing scent ( hate light blue by the way) as I live in Australia and summer is approaching. Thanks. November 2, 2013 at 12:05am Reply

    • Jillie: Hello, Anne. Have you ever tried Guerlain’s AA Herba Fresca? It really is cooling with its mint note (but doesn’t smell like toothpaste!), and is more long lasting, characterful and interesting than a straightforward eau de cologne. November 2, 2013 at 6:58am Reply

    • The Blue Squid: Hey there Anne.  You should go to Mecca Cosmetica if you live near one and try some Diptyques, especially L’Eau des Hesperides (herbal citrus) and Philosykos (light,  milky, slightly coconutty fig)  They both go good in the Australian summer heat.  I also like the Chanel Eau de Cologne that you can get from Chanel boutiques, but it is eye-wateringly pricy in Australia. November 2, 2013 at 7:30am Reply

    • Lucas: Anne,
      Eau d’Italie Acqua Decima or Jardin du Poete might do the trick for you. November 2, 2013 at 7:55am Reply

    • Patricia: How about Guerlain AA Pamplelune (grapefruit) or Parfums 06130 Yuzu Rouge (citrus rose)? Both are very refreshing and a little unexpected. November 2, 2013 at 10:09am Reply

    • Wesley Hall Parker: Hi Anne – For a cool refreshing scent – if you like citrus, and especially oranges – you might enjoy Atelier’s Orange Sanguine. It’s a wonderful cheerful orange zest perfume. All sunshine.

      For something that feels more like a gin & tonic, and unisex – you could try Voyages d’Hermes. November 2, 2013 at 1:12pm Reply

    • Elia: I second Pamplelune,
      but how about Eau de Mandarine Ambree, which is both refreshing and tasty November 2, 2013 at 3:53pm Reply

      • Nemo: I think a number of perfumes from Atelier cologne are quite refreshing. More specifically, the two I tried: Bois Blonds and Vetiver Fatal are great! November 3, 2013 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: Last summer when I went on my beach vacation, I wore a lot of Annick Goutal Neroli (inspired by Victoria). It was not only so refreshing, but my best friend there kept telling me how good I smelled! November 4, 2013 at 10:18am Reply

    • Annikky: Chanel Cristalle EdT and Dior Eau Sauvage are easy to find, iconic, affordable and very, very good (you are probably familiar with them, but if not, BdJ has great reviews). If you can get your hands on Parfums de Nicolai, they do some really nice and affordable colognes.

      Other people have already recommended that you try Atelier Cologne and I agree. A brand with a similar idea (modern reworkings of cologne) is The Different Company. I like it better than AC, but it’s unfortunately also pricier. My personal cool favourites in that line are Bergamote, Tokyo Bloom, Osmanthus and Sel de Vetiver. Even more expensive are Chanel exclusives – I like most of them, but Bel Respiro is beautiful, fresh, sophisticated. Anything by Ellena is worth sampling, too, I am currently very smitten with Epice Marine’s citrus, sea and cardamom (cool!). But the classic colognes are probably easier to find and try. November 4, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Karen: Hi Anne, I second Annick Goutal’s Neroli and can also recommend AG’s Eau du Sud. It’s just a really lovely, fresh take on a citrusy cologne – lemon-lime, herbal, unisex but not dry. I also like Jo Malone’s Lime, Basil and mandarin for a similar feeling. Happy hunting! November 5, 2013 at 4:54am Reply

      • Wesley Hall Parker: Another vote for AG Neroli, inspired by Victoria! :) I bought a FB last summer. It is very lovely – I like how the orange blossom gives a lightly floral tinge to the citrus, but it still reads as cologne.

        And can’t believe I forgot to third Pampelune earlier. It’s terrifically tart and bracing. A photo-real grapefruit in a wonderful way. November 5, 2013 at 11:02am Reply

  • Alida: I would appreciate any help you wonderful perfumistas can give me. I’m getting married in December in New Zealand (which is summertime down here – but early summer, before it gets too hot), and I’m agonising over what perfume to wear on my wedding day. My favourite perfume is probably L’Heure Bleue (in terms of the scent i have always had the most instant emotional connection to), but I’m not completely confident whether it will work on what could be a warm day – it would certainly last though! I adore white florals and have considered La Chasse Aux Papillons (which my fiancé LOVES on me), but I worry that La Chasse wouldn’t last the day as it’s staying power on me is only average – could anyone recommend something similar but that with more staying power and sillage? I’ve already considered Fracas, which I love, but I know that I would be tempted to over-apply come wedding day, and I don’t want to make my bridal party sneeze throughout the ceremony…. if it helps, I love gardenia, orange blossom, tuberose and jasmine in particular, and somehow the white florals seem particularly “bridal” to me. November 2, 2013 at 5:45am Reply

    • Jillie: Congratulations, Alida! My immediate thought is that Estee Lauder’s Tuberose & Gardenia would be a perfect perfume for you. It has excellent sillage and longevity and to me sums up an ideal bridal perfume, full of white flowers and happiness. November 2, 2013 at 6:55am Reply

      • annemariec: And I hesitate to mention it because it is such a cliche, but EL’s Beautiful is also a classic white floral wedding fragrance. No – forget I spoke, probably you will have some elderly aunt who over-applied it back in the day. Most people seem to except me, so I’m really fond of Beautiful. Maybe just give it a sniff next time you are passing the EL counter, just for reference? I second Jillie’s excellent suggestion. You MUST try it! November 2, 2013 at 5:01pm Reply

        • Neisha: This made me giggle! My aunt was a big Cinnabar fan back in the day. I saw her a couple weeks ago at a cousin’s wedding, she was wearing Tuberose and Gardenia and it was just lovely. She’s worn nothing but EL for decades and it was just the perfect sillage even on someone used to powerful fragrance. Worth a sniff for sure. November 2, 2013 at 11:39pm Reply

    • The Blue Squid: Congratulations! How about Serge Lutens A la Nuit? Or, if you are having a relatively casual wedding, Kai? November 2, 2013 at 7:33am Reply

    • Caroline: Have you tried Houbigant’s Orangers en Fleurs? Really delicious orange blossom & jasmine, and the jasmine seems to be of particularly good quality. Better lasting power than the L’artisan, too. November 2, 2013 at 9:50am Reply

    • Wesley Hall Parker: Congratulations Jill! Since you love La Chasse so much (and so does your fiance) – it sounds like your real dilemma is longevity. Have you tried La Chasse EXTREME? It might work better in terms of longevity for your special day? http://www.luckyscent.com/shop/detail.asp?itemid=15214

      Another very, very special and beautiful luminous white tuberose is Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. Just heavenly gorgeous. November 2, 2013 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Elia: I think of 24 Faubourg for a big white wedding day floral. Big presence!
      For something lighter I think Ophelia by Heeley could be a fit. November 2, 2013 at 3:37pm Reply

    • Austenfan: I second the recs of both the Lauders ( Beautiful and PC Tuberose Gardenia) and of Carnal Flower.
      Another one that sprang to mind is Goutal’s Un Matin d’Orage.
      Mark Jacob’s Woman is a nice fairly clean white floral with quite decent longevity.
      A very cheerful tuberose is Honoré des Prés Vamp à New York. It is on the sweet side but not overly so.
      I hope that whichever perfume you choose, you will have a wonderful and fragrant day. November 2, 2013 at 7:35pm Reply

    • Tijana: Third for Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, maybe Kilian’s Beyond Love (plus such a romantic fragrance name for the wedding day;)) or Tom Ford’s Champaca Absolute (latter is more yellow than white flowers, but gorgeous and highly underrated!) November 2, 2013 at 8:47pm Reply

    • Alida: I can’t thank everyone enough for such considered and wonderful suggestions!

      Definitely will have to seek out PC Tuberose and Gardenia – I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me – I remember sniffing it years ago and loving it, but haven’t tried it since!! Off to the EL counter I go! I’m keen to try Beautiful while I’m there – fortunately I don’t think anyone I know used to wear it, so I shouldn’t be tainted by bad memories. And I certainly remember being drawn in as a young teenager by all the dreamy bridal print ads for it in any fashion magazine I picked up!

      I didn’t know there was a La Chasse Extreme too – that could be a perfect solution (or perhaps I could look into the La Chasse body products too – let me know if anyone has used them and thinks they’re worth the price tag!).

      Haven’t tried A La Nuit or Carnal Flower or any of the other gorgeous sounding fragrances people have mentioned, so am very keen to hunt them out. I must say I am spending far more time thinking about my wedding day perfume than I am many other (arguably more important, but only just) details of the wedding! And when it comes to planning the flowers/bouquets, all I can think about is having fragrant ones!

      Thanks so much for your help everyone, it was such a treat to find so many helpful and kind suggestions! November 2, 2013 at 11:11pm Reply

      • Karen: Hi Alida, best wishes from a fellow Kiwi! If you’re in Auckland, have you tried World Beauty in Britomart, Newmarket or Ponsonby? They stock some lines I never even knew were in NZ! I share your love for la Chasse and can definitely recommend the body oil. The scent is very true and lasts well so I layer on my perfume-eating skin to get an all-day fragrance – this might work well for your wedding.

        I also share your love for Fracas, which makes me think you should definitely try Marc Jacobs for Women as well if you can find it, really lovely clean watery gardenia. Good luck for the wedding! November 5, 2013 at 4:44am Reply

        • Alida: Karen! A fellow Kiwi on this site! That has made my day – we should talk again! It’s hard finding fellow perfume fanatics in our little country! Luckily, I’m in Wellington, and we have a World Beauty here too – it is such a godsend. Everything’s so much more expensive than overseas, but at least we can get it now!! Thanks so much for the thumbs up on the La Chasse body oil too – that’s great to know. November 7, 2013 at 2:59am Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: You must try Carnal Flower! Another idea that I haven’t seen mentioned is Amoureuse by Parfums Delrae, a gorgeous honeyed jasmine/tuberose/lily fragrance that I can totally imagine on a bride. November 4, 2013 at 9:12pm Reply

    • Michael: How about Frangipani Absolute by Ormonde Jayne?

      Top Notes: Linden blossom, magnolia flower and lime peel
      Heart Notes: White frangipani, jasmine, rose and tuberose absolutes, water lilies, plum, and green orchid oil
      Base Notes: Amber, musk, cedar and French vanilla absolute

      This fragrance is available in EDP so sillage and staying power shouldn’t be a problem.

      I would also recommend Sampaquita from the same brand – the eponymous flower is from the same family as jasmine and I love the fresh, fruity lychee top note in this fragrance. It’s also great for summer. November 5, 2013 at 10:30am Reply

    • Alida: Nina and Michael, thanks so much for the recommendations – other than Carnal Flower, I hadn’t heard of any of those perfumes before! Really appreciate it. They sound exquisite. November 7, 2013 at 3:01am Reply

  • Belle: There’s this edc I tried that was based from Napoleon I’s edc recipe in his exiled home. It had this beautiful Bergamot and Neroli opening that was beautifully tangy. It then goes a bit floral, then dry downs into something like synthetic civet. This all only lasted for 20 minutes. Could you please recommend a perfume that lasts a lot longer but smells similar? Thanks! November 2, 2013 at 7:09am Reply

    • Elia: Maybe My Sin. It might not have enough tang for you, but there’s enough civet and more than 20 minutes of life to it.
      And if you could do with a lime tang, Azure Lime by Tom Ford has good tang with a weighty musk behind it. November 2, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

      • Elia: And Tubereuse 40. Hard to recommend an expensive exclusive lightly, but it would be remiss not to mention that Tubereuse 40 opens with a very tangy eau de cologne bergamot, shifts into orange flower with a light touch of tuberose, and has plenty of musk in the dry down. Note that the musk is not the murky animalistic musk you’d get from a vintage, but rather the soapy white musk of clean linen. Great sillage and incredible longevity. November 6, 2013 at 4:53am Reply

    • nozknoz: Citrus colognes aren’t meant to last, but Hermes Concentre d’Orange Vert is great and has more staying power than most. November 3, 2013 at 10:07pm Reply

  • Sheri: Hi everyone,
    I’m working my way through the many tea scents recommended to me in the last round (many thanks to Annie, Liz, Maja, Yvonne, E.Lime, Andy, Hannah, Jay and Nina Z.),and so far am loving PdN Fig Tea, Russian Caravan, and especially Osmanthe Yunnan. But today I would like some advice from those of you whose body chemistries turn many fragrances to syrup. My mom is searching for a new signature scent, and her chemistry sweetens everything (we’ve been sharing and comparing samples arm-to-arm for a few weeks now). So far she likes Chanel 19 Poudre and PdN Le Temps d’une Fete quite a bit, and thinks she wants to investigate berry scents (I think she will be disappointed by them, though). Any thoughts? November 2, 2013 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Elia: My mother has the same thing. We ended up with Beautiful by Estee Lauder which in itself is on the sweet side of a floral, but works very well and doesn;t turn on her skin. Maybe give it a try.
      Iris is a good option of course. I recommend Iris de Nuit by Heeley or Impossible Iris by Ramon Monegal. November 2, 2013 at 3:41pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I second Impossible Iris – it has a wonderful raspberry note. Another option would Sublime Balkiss by The Different Company.
        And if you want berries extreme – Byredo Pulp. November 3, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: “another option would be…” sorry for the typo November 3, 2013 at 12:16pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Whenever someone want a berry scent I always recommend Goutal’s Quel Amour. Partly because I don’t know that many, but mainly because it is a great fragrance. And not sweet! November 2, 2013 at 7:37pm Reply

    • Liz K: How about L’Ombre Dans L’Eau? It isn’t actually a berry but the fruity fresh scent of the blackcurrant leaves with the rose gives a nice tartness she might like.
      Maybe also try Ineke’s Scarlet Larkspur which I really like for a tart berry.
      Quel Amour by Annick Goutal is another that is fruity and might work. November 3, 2013 at 12:30am Reply

      • maja: L’ombre dans l’eau and Quel amour! are great choices in my opinion, too. November 3, 2013 at 6:37am Reply

    • Jillie: L’Artisan’s Mure et Musc was my introduction to berries, and I like it quite a lot when I want uncomplicated berriness. Mure et Musc Extreme is even nicer, I think, with less of the laundy musk vibe. November 3, 2013 at 2:15am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: So Pretty by Cartier was a great berry. Discontinued, i believe, but perhaps you can find it on line.
        And I was surprised in a happy way by Parisienne à l’Extrême (YstL). Fruity but not too much.
        A very refreshing eau de cologne berry (with good longevity) is Eau de Mûre by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. November 3, 2013 at 6:29am Reply

    • nozknoz: The Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest is an unusual black current scent by Bertrand Duchaufour. Beautiful bottle, too. November 3, 2013 at 10:15pm Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay. The herbal note keeps it from being overly sweet. November 4, 2013 at 10:21am Reply

      • Annikky: I second this, it’s a lovely scent, especially for autumn. Although if one’s body chemistry amps sweetness, this might turn out too sweet as well. November 4, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Sheri: Wow, thank you everyone for all the great suggestions! I just sent the list (so far) to my mom, who will be busy for a good long while trying them all! November 4, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Fatima: Hi,
    I m looking for a perfume that smells like fresh roses. Like roses in bloom. Everytime I smell a rose I murmur whyyy can t they capture this exact scent becaues I so love it!
    I ve tried so many rose perfumes but everytime I get dissapointed.
    And I know what I m looking for is not a autumnal perfume but I like to wear summery perfumes when it gets colder sometimes just to evoke that spring/ summer feeling.
    I hope you guys can help me out. November 3, 2013 at 9:51am Reply

    • Ariadne: Atelier Rose Anonyme is just the one. I am a rose gardener and rose perfumes are my ‘signature’ scents This one is perfect for the colder months too! November 3, 2013 at 10:39am Reply

      • Fatima: Thank you for your sugestion, Ariadne; I ordered a sample of Rose Anonyme although it smells great it s a tad too ‘dark’ for me. I m looking for that ‘creamy’ light smell of fresh roses… November 3, 2013 at 12:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: Here are some of my favorite “dewy” roses: Diptyque Eau Rose, Parfums de Nicolai Rose Intense (ok, not at all Intense, but good), Annick Goutal Rose Absolue and Rose Splendide (most rose oil like). November 3, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

          • Fatima: Thank you, Victoria. Will order those samples! Can’t wait to sniff them :) Diptique Eau de rose was already on my list. I was about to give up on my quest but this makes me excited again! November 3, 2013 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Bastet: I have many many rose perfumes, but my favorite realistic rose is Serge Lutens Sa Majeste la Rose. I also adore La Fille de Berlin but it is a little spicy and dark, not so purely rose. And have you tried Stella? Its roses and amber, with a little citrus at the top, fairly fresh and light. I wear it alone in the warmer weather but usually layer with an amber perfume such as SSS Ambre Noir in the winter to warm up the base. November 3, 2013 at 11:47am Reply

      • Fatima: Thank you Bastet; I tried those as well but they were too ‘dark’. It s the scent of rose oil whilst I m lookinf for the scent of fresh roses. I haven t tried Shalimar though! Will try that one! November 3, 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

      • Fatima: Sorry Bastet your Shalimar recommendation wasnt for me as I see now :) November 3, 2013 at 12:11pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Maybe Rose Pivoine by Parfums de Nicolaï? November 3, 2013 at 12:23pm Reply

      • Fatima: Will order this sample, thank you! November 3, 2013 at 1:06pm Reply

    • Nemo: Have you tried Rose Ikebana or Cereus No. 9? Both definitely very light, fresh roses to my nose (not a hint of darkness about them), though they are not soliflores. November 3, 2013 at 12:41pm Reply

      • Fatima: Can t wait to try them on. Thank you! November 3, 2013 at 1:07pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: A very fresh natural rose is un Zest de Rose (Parfums de Rosine).
          Eau de Cartier Une Goutte de Rose is indeed just a drop, but it is so good!
          And I like Atlas Rose from The Body Shop. Fresh rose. November 3, 2013 at 2:28pm Reply

      • Wesley Hall Parker: Second Rose Ikebana! It’s a rhubarb-grapefruit-rose, so definitely not a soliflore as mentioned – but very fresh, cheerful and light. It feels “pink.” November 3, 2013 at 4:58pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: I have the same problem with roses…

      My favourite “realistic” fresh, airy rose is Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre. Do you know it?
      Hermes Rose Ikebana is pretty too… November 3, 2013 at 12:45pm Reply

      • Fatima: No, I don’t know it. I m going to order the sample, the Hermes one as well. Thank you! November 3, 2013 at 1:10pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Pacifica Persian Rose is straight-up rose and inexpensive. Definitely worth a try! November 3, 2013 at 10:18pm Reply

    • annemariec: Tea Rose by Perfumer’s Workshop? Said to be the most realistic rose on the market. I don’t care for it at all but I don’t like rose soliflores. So if I dislike Tea Rose, you may have actually some luck with it! November 4, 2013 at 2:19am Reply

      • Liz K: I second Tea Rose. It is inexpensive and pretty and layers well. It doesn’t smell “expensive” at all but it is light and happy and for $7-$12 it can double as a room spray.
        Have you tried SSS Velvet Rose? It is more syrupy and concentrated but applied with a light hand it can sparkle. November 4, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: I recently advised a friend with the same question. In the end, she loved Jo Malone Red Roses and, for evening, Montale Highness Rose. Highness Rose is an extraordinary rose perfume, with a very high proportion of real rose essence. It is very hard to find, however. She bought it from The Perfume Shoppe. November 4, 2013 at 10:23am Reply

    • Annikky: Fatima, I’m not a rose expert by any means, but I recently tried Van Cleef & Arpels Rose Velours and it seems like something that you might want to sample. To my nose, it smelled more of rose petals than of rose oil and it’s quite lovely. November 4, 2013 at 1:13pm Reply

    • Sheri: Hi Fatima,
      I recently sampled Parfums de Rosine Ecume de Rose – it’s actually too much rose for me, but it’s quite realistic and you might enjoy it. Good luck on your search! November 4, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

      • Fatima: To all of you: thank you so much for your recommendations! The Bois de Jasmin-community is a very kind one! I appreciate you taking the time to help me find that special scent that evokes that happy feeling! I am so looking forward to start sniffing al your recommendations :) November 4, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Hannah: I would recommend Sonoma Scent Studio’s Velvet Rose. It’s the most true-to-life rose I’ve come across. I actually prefer Rose Volupte from the same house, but it’s more of a spicy-plummy rose, perfect for fall, but not really evocative of spring.

      Another one is Ineke’s Briar rose. It’s a fruity rose, not straight up rose like Velvet Rose, but the fruity floral combination reminds me of sparkling rose lemonade with raspberries floating in the glass. Very summery! November 4, 2013 at 7:29pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I am in no need of perfume recommendations ( or maybe I am and am just not aware of that fact), I just need to express my admiration for Viola. She seems like a great, and personable cat. I love the running around the house like a mad pony bit especially.
    Hope your week whatever it brings is good and not too tiring/stressful. November 3, 2013 at 6:16pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Seconding admiration and appreciation for Viola! November 3, 2013 at 10:20pm Reply

      • Victoria: Thank you both! My mom and I share charge over her, but she’s still my little feline baby. She has a dog’s personality! We play fetch together and she even tries to bring me my slippers (well, she never matches them properly). :) November 4, 2013 at 3:42am Reply

    • Annikky: On the subject of cats: I just came across this and thought other cat-lovers and cat-admirers (I am more the latter) might enjoy it, too:

      http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/andy-prokh-daughter-cat-photos November 5, 2013 at 4:14am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thanks for the link, Annikky. The photos are really adorable! :-) November 5, 2013 at 7:37am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Thank you, Annikky! I enjoyed it very much. Such a beautiful cat, and how funny! November 5, 2013 at 12:33pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Great pictures! thanks for the link. November 6, 2013 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Scentseeker: Hi Victoria. I really enjoy reading your perfume blog and website. I’ve been searching for a fall oriental/floriental that’s warm, rich, yet soft enough not to overpower, and not too sweet. I just can’t seem to find anything out there that is of high quality. I like the vintage Chanel Coco, Chanel 5, Clive Christian C, but I’m looking for something that has a rich but soft bouquet with some warmth. Do you know of anything classic, or new that you could recommend to me? November 4, 2013 at 12:13am Reply

    • annemariec: Fendi’s Theorema exactly fits your description: warm, a bit spicy, enveloping but not too heavy or sweet. BUT it has been discontinued. You can sample it through The Perfumed Court or Surrender to Chance, and you do still see FBs on eBay. They are pricey, but not as expensive as a lot of niche stuff these days. Worth seeking out.

      Sacrebleu by Patricia de Nicolai is also not too heavy but it is rather sweet.

      Have you tried Kenzo Amour, or Flower? November 4, 2013 at 2:27am Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: A softest oriental fragrance that I can think of that is still in production is Oriental Lounge by The Different Company. It is a very sheer amber scent, with an intriguing herbal twist. Another idea is Tolu by Ormonde Jayne. This is one of my favorite orientals, also a kind of sheer amber fragrance, stronger than Oriental Lounge but more beautiful to me, the kind that makes you a little weak in the knees. My husband loves that one! November 4, 2013 at 10:27am Reply

      • Annikky: Lovely suggestions. I’d add Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche – although it’s not really a classic oriental, it has this rich/soft quality. And then there are Coromandel and Femite du Bois, but these you have probably tried already. November 4, 2013 at 1:19pm Reply

        • Annikky: * Feminite November 4, 2013 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Cybele: Apart from Coco I find that silky softness in Noir Epice, Coromandel and Bois de Iles. All three are very elegant and not sweet or overpowering. November 4, 2013 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Scentseeker: Thank you so much for the oriental fragrance recommendations! Does anyone have any recommendations for a great floriental? November 4, 2013 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Kenzo Flower that annemariec suggested is a very good modern floriental. November 4, 2013 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Michael: Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne

      Top Notes: Pink pepper, saffron and dates
      Heart Notes: Rose oil, freesia, orange flower absolute and jasmine
      Base Notes: Broom and amber November 5, 2013 at 10:40am Reply

    • Michael: I would also recommend Volutes (EDP) by Diptyque if you’re not averse to the tobacco notes. I love the combination of softness, warmth and aromatic notes.

      The EDP is a richer and more contrasted interpretation of tobacco, which enhances the spicy tones in the fragrance: the strength of Madagascar Pepper, the invigorating freshness of Pink Peppercorns. A search for intensity that is underpinned by the powdery, woody finesse of Oriss, the honeyed aromatic character of Everlasting flower and the balmy, leathery warmth of styrax. November 5, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

    • Michael: Two other florientals that come to mind are Fleur Oriental and Geranium Bourbon by Miller Harris. November 5, 2013 at 11:00am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: If you can find it, Sublime by Patou could be your cup of tea. November 7, 2013 at 11:57am Reply

  • Delilah: Hi all, I posted this a few days ago on the september thread but it had all gone a bit quiet and Victoria recommended I post in this new thread so here goes:
    Ok, so I would like some recommendations please. I love perfumes and scents, and have quite a lot of different scents, though not a massive budget. Some of my favourites don’t seem to get favourable reviews but I love them anyway. It seemed to me, before I stumbled on this site, that my tastes were quite eclectic but now I am less sure.

    What I would LOVE to find, is a perfume that smelled like a discontinued LUSH shower gel called “Tramp”. I think it had honey and patchouli in amongst other ingredients, but showering with that made me feel like I was bathing in a waterfall in a beautiful lush forest clearing, with mossy riverbanks, in the sunshine after the rain (if that makes any sense at all haha). Does anyone know the shower gel, and know of any perfumes that have a similar quality (or in an ideal world THAT scent?

    Also, any recommendations for violet perfumes? I adore the smell of violets and would love a reasonably priced violet perfume that captures the sweetness and light and femininity and also has good sillage and lasting power.
    Violet wise I have tried:
    (the now discontinued) L’occitane Delice Des Fleurs Violette et rose which I loved, Crabtree and Evelyns Violet water (beautiful but as a flower water very poor staying power)
    Molinard Violette (only had this a few days but loving it so far).
    I have been told guerlains insolence EDP is a good one – what do you think? Or any other ideas?

    My third request (I know I am greedy!) is something that smells similar to (another discontinued) L’occitane perfume called “voyage en meditarranee Neroli”. It hasn’t had great reviews I don’t think (apparently there wasa version years ago that was even better) but I find it so rich and sensual and warm and comforting (plus my OH likes it on me too – bonus) but it is now discontinued so would like to find something similar. It is a warm, luxurious smell that embraces me, always generates compliments and makes me feel lovely. If anyone knows a similar scent I would be so happy!

    I am UK based, don’t have a massive budget, but am willing to save up for the right scent.

    Scents I love:
    L’occitane Voyage en meditarranee Neroli
    L’occitan Delice des fleurs rose et violette
    Molinard Violette
    Crabtree and Evelyn Nantucket Briar (having a bit of a love affair with this at present, the shower gel is to die for!)
    Hermes Eau des Merveilles
    Hermes Ambre des Merveilles
    Jean Paul Gaultier classique woman
    Cacharel Noa
    Cerrutti 1881 (lady version)
    Carolina Herrera 212 (I know this is seen as a cheapy by many but it seems to work really well on my skin and always gets me compliments)
    Nina Ricci Premier Jour
    Ghost (the original one in the pale blue bottle)

    I really dislike overly synthetic smells, overly strong fake vanilla smells and am not a fan of the currently popular mega sweet fruit smells or thick super sweet heavy candy smells. If I wanted to smell like that I would rub pineapple juice onto my skin! They just don’t work for me.

    Sorry for the overly long post!
    Any recommendations gladly received
    To summarise:

    Something like Lush’s old “tramp” shower gel
    A beautiful violet with longevity
    Something along the lines of (now discontiuned) L’occitan neroli

    Oh why are the best always discontinued?!

    Thanks! (and sorry for my terrible spelling, especially the attempts at French!) November 4, 2013 at 8:29pm Reply

    • Delilah: PS, if my list of favourites gives you any other ideas you think I would like please do add those too, I love discovering new fragrances! x November 4, 2013 at 8:31pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Delilah, I haven’t tried it myself but Penhaligon’s Violetta is supposed to be a nice violet perfume. You can read Victoria’s review here: http://boisdejasmin.com/2011/08/penhaligons-violetta-perfume-review-and-on-sweet-violets.html.

      You could also try YSL Paris if you haven’t tried it already. It’s a beautiful and elegant floral bouquet with violet and rose among other flowers. It’s very long-lasting, easy to find and affordable. November 5, 2013 at 7:28am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Violetta is a beautiful violet scent! Borsari Violetta di Parma is another pretty, reasonably priced violet but my favourites are Artisan Parfumeur Verte Violette and Atelier Cologne Sous le Toit de Paris. November 5, 2013 at 8:47am Reply

        • Delilah: Thank you Anne and Rainbow,

          I have taken the plunge and blind ordered a 30ml bottle of Paris and a 100ml (I think, or maybe 50ml, I am going daft today!) of Borsari Violetta di parma to try, £30 for both including postage, plus I went through cashback website and used my cashback card to pay, so fingers crossed!
          I also used a Crabtree and Evelyn coupon I received in the post today to order another bottle of Nantucket Briar at half price! It is such a comforting smell.
          The penhaligon’s violetta looks lovely but cannot find a reasonably priced version from a legit looking site within my budget (which I just blew on the above!) but I will keep my eyes peeled.
          Anyone have any ideas for a “tramp” like fragrance, or anything like l’occitane’s neroli/
          Thank you! x November 5, 2013 at 12:04pm Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: I hope that you’ll like Paris. If you can, please let me know of the outcome. I know that Penhaligon’s can be quite pricey. If you have a chance to drop by a shop, you could ask for a sample to try. I don’t know where you’re based in the U.K. but a staff at Penhaligon’s in Cambridge was surprisingly generous with samples. Sorry but I don’t know about Tramp or L’Occitane Neroli. November 5, 2013 at 12:32pm Reply

            • Delilah: Hi Anne.

              Well I have had my new bottles for a few days now and have given both a try so as requested here is my feedback
              .
              My verdicts:

              Borsari Violetta di Parma – (100ml edp) – well the packaging was very pretty, pink patterned box, no cellophane or seal but appeared new, unused and in good condition and inside was a lovely looking square bottle with seal, and a proper atomiser puffy thing with the tassel and everything to insert once stopper removed :) first impressions of the scent in the bottle, were that it was beautiful – light, refreshing, sparkling, almost effervescent and very fresh and feminine. Sprayed onto my skin the first 10 minutes or so it smells quite waxy, almost like a lightly violet scented candle. Uh-oh I thought, this smells very different on. And then, after about 10 minutes the waxy smell started to dissipate and a more green smell started to come through. smelled from a few inches away the floral violet was more discernible than smelled right at the sprayed site, along with the greener note. After an hour or so the waxiness had all gone and I was left with a gentle, light, feminine violet with a hint of green and a slight powderiness. Very feminine and pleasant. it lasted about 5-6 hours on skin which seemed reasonable, and seems to wear quite close to the skin. Sprayed onto my jumper the waxiness was not as apparent and the smell lingered faintly all day. I like it, it is very pleasant, not too sweet, calm, fresh and pretty. My partner also liked it. I think I prefer Molinards Violette as it is a lighter, slightly sweeter and brighter fragrance, and Crabtree and Evelyn’s Violet Water which is a more linear violet solifore but I can see myself still using the whole bottle.

              YSL Paris – (30ml edt). Well, I thought the packaging looked quite bland and cheap in all honesty, it arrived sealed in cellophane but the box, a dull matte pink looked dated to me. The bottle inside was pleasant enough, a strange shape, you couldn’t stand it on the side (not that I would, I keep my perfumes in their boxes in a cool, dark cupboard). Sniffed from the bottle it smelles of roses with a hint of violet. I sprayed it onto my skin and the immediate impression was rose and a hint of sweet violet. But then something strange happened – the violet vanished and the rose seemed to morph into a cherry blossom soap. In fact it reminded me of L’occitane’s Cherry blossom princess shower gel – not an unpleasant scent but not what I was after. From here on in this remained very linear on me and did not develop into anything other than cherry blossom shower gel. I was disappointed, I had high hopes for this but it smelled like a nice shower gel rather than a perfume, and was “pinker” than I would have liked. I have tried it twice more and had the same effect. It is not unpleasant, but it is not my cup of tea unfortunately, I can’t see myself wearing this one. I found longevity to be good at around 8 hours from a couple of spritzes and I think it had reasonable sillage – not overpowering at all but I kept getting wafts – which would have been nice if I liked it more. I considered whether it would do as a work scent but I just don’t like it enough, I don’t think it is a keeper for me. I feel it would be better suited to my teenage sister than to me. A shame.

              Overall though not too bad for blind buys. I think the YSL Paris will either be gifted to someone at xmas, or else ebayed so can hopefully raise funds for something else :) November 16, 2013 at 12:46am Reply

              • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Delilah, I only just read your reply. Thank you very much for your detailed feedback and I’m sorry that you were disappointed with Paris. :-( It sounds like the bottle you got was a special edition because the usual bottles stand well on their on. I agree that it’s a very linear perfume but beautifully done in my opinion. I think which floral (rose or violet) dominates depends on each individual’s skin chemistry. On me, violet seems to be quite dominant. I hope that it’ll find a good home. :-) If you’re still interested in violet fragrances, this violet series I came across in another blog might be useful: http://perfumeposse.com/2013/10/28/best-violet-perfumes-a-comprehensive-guide/. December 3, 2013 at 3:00pm Reply

          • FearsMice: Agree with you on the C&E Nantucket Briar shower gel — it smells wonderful! November 6, 2013 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Annikky: Delilah, I’m a fellow violet lover, so let’s see if I can help. Not everything here might be to your taste, but at least you’ll have some options:

      – classic violet: Guerlain Apres l’Ondee. It’s lovely and iconic, so do try it, if you can. And while not cheap, it’s actually quite affordable compared to many niche fragrances.
      – vintage violet: Balmain Jolie Madame. Violets and leather, a wonderful combination. I’ve only tried the vintage version, but the reformulation should also be decent and available at discounters for a very reasonable sum.
      – affordable violets: Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet and Voile de Violette. If you are in US, I really recommend trying these – very nice, very affordable, good sampling options. I prefer WV, but VdV is probably closer to what you’re looking for.
      – modern violet: Tom Ford Violet Blonde. It’s from Ford’s a bit less expensive Signature line and quite easy to get. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample.
      – mainstream violet: Balenciaga Paris. A nice and elegant violet blend, reasonably priced.
      – violet violet: Annick Goutal La Violette. This is a pretty violet soliflore and the one that made me realise that I like violet in perfume.
      – edgy violet: Stephen Jones Comme de Garcons. This is kind of the opposite of Goutal, different and a bit difficult, so maybe one to try later :) But I wanted to mention it anyway.
      – dark violet: Mona di Orio Violette Fumee. I love the idea of that one, but unfortunately it doesn’t work for me. But based on reviews, a lot of people like it. It’s expensive, but the roller-ball is a good way to try it – you don’t need much.
      – Lutensian violet: SL Bois de Violette. Just beautiful, one of my absolute favourites.
      – sophisticated violet: Arquiste Aleksandr. A delicate blend of violets, subtle leather and transparent incense. Another one of my personal loves. (expensive, though, as is BdV)

      Good luck! I hope you find something to love. November 6, 2013 at 5:01am Reply

      • Delilah: thankyou! that gives me a lot to look into!
        I am UK based, North of England, so not sure if all are available here, but I have some research to do. November 7, 2013 at 11:58pm Reply

  • Jeanette S: I’m trying to find a new scent for fall and winter. I’m looking for a gourmand with monster (or at least big) sillage and very good longevity.

    Some ideas of what I like:

    TM Angel – sillage is fantastic, but I’m wanting more of a baked goods or spices smell, and I get a very strong scent of berries with Angel.

    Serge Lutens un Bois Vanille – wonderful, but it’s what I wore all last winter. I’m also hoping for something with more spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, tea, ginger, etc

    SL Jeux de Peau – LOVE this scent. One of my favorites. The longevity and sillage is good, but not as monster as I would like. While I love the buttery notes and sandalwood, I want something with a spicy aspect

    Parfumerie General Un Crime Exotique – the closest I’ve found to what I want. It’s an absolutely delicious scent of gingerbread, tea, cinnamon, vanilla. My only complaint is it’s a little TOO literal. I want something gourmand and delicious, but don’t want to smell like you could lick my wrist and taste a baked good.

    It’s like I’m wanting a mix between Un Crime Exotique and Un Bois Vanille, with monster sillage.

    Budget is up to $150.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations! November 4, 2013 at 10:03pm Reply

    • Jeanette S: I should add that I tried and hated Prada Candy! I was shocked because it sounded amazing. I got overwhelming and not pleasant baby wipe scent, and the yummy gourmand scents were buried under it. I guess it just doesn’t work with my chemistry. November 4, 2013 at 10:05pm Reply

    • Jeanet: Sorry, I keep thinking of more to add! Lolita Lempicka smells EXACTLY like play dough on me. I was so bummed about this.

      I also expected to love Killian Love Don’t be Shy (and bought a full bottle unsniffed!) and, meh. I like sweet, but this was too light and sticky sweet on me, like honey. November 4, 2013 at 10:15pm Reply

    • Elia: My pick would be Blue Sugar by Aquolina. Big sillage, caramelised liquorice. November 5, 2013 at 6:17am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Jeanette, I already recommended it to someone already but Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant would be worth trying if you want a big sillage, good longevity and a lot of spices. I don’t know if I can classify it as gourmand but it certainly smells like Masala Chai. November 5, 2013 at 7:35am Reply

      • Jeanette S.: Mmmm, I LOVE masala chai. This is going on my list! Thank you! November 5, 2013 at 9:34am Reply

    • rainboweyes: How about Arquiste Anima Dulcis? It’s a powerful gourmand scent (Mexican chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and chili) with a decent sillage. It doesn’t smell too “edible”, though. November 5, 2013 at 5:01pm Reply

  • JulienFromDijon: Habit rouge extrait
    You reviewed so much perfumes, it’s hard to pick one you don’t know.

    I’ve heard Thierry Wasser improved the quality and balance of the Mitsouko edp and Vol de nuit edt one can bought in mainstream perfumerie. Worth trying!

    Re-try some Caron parfum? Farnesia gave me a very satisfying tonka drydown.
    Hard to admit we get used -and contaminated- by the gourmand taste.

    What about the “j’adore l’or” flanker of the Dior range. Each time I try it I’m amaed by its sultry sillage, it actually smells very nice, so cleverly made. That’s only later one reminds the “j’adore” family code : shampoo (here : vanilla honey, cocoa patchouly shower gel).

    Or go bash Paris YSL. The last new tester I tried went so wrong!
    With Lutens’s “la fille de Berlin” next to “Paris” in all perfume shop nowadays, I expected L’oréal to fight back. It’s worse.
    One reason more to re-try “la fille de Berlin” on skin. November 5, 2013 at 2:48am Reply

  • Michael: My favourite scents for this time of the year include:

    1) Cuir de Russie by Chanel – a timeless classic, worth every penny even though it’s expensive.
    2) Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle – for some reason or other, I always get asked what fragrance I’m wearing when I put this on, but I suppose it’s understandable given that this is a Domonique Ropion masterpiece.
    3) La Fumee Ottoman by Miller Harris – this is the second limited edition fragrance based on La Fumee, the first being La Fumee Arabie, which I also recommend).
    4) Volutes by Diptyque – the EDP is richer, warmer and rounder than its EDT counterpart.
    5) Ormonde Man/Woman – this probably depends on how your skin reacts to the ingredients, Linda Pilkington thought the floral notes made Ormonde Woman a better fit for me, but Ormonde Man works incredibly well on my partner.

    PS Viola is tres adorable! November 5, 2013 at 8:50am Reply

    • Michael: Forgot to mention that if budget is not an issue, then Killian’s Musk Oud and Amber Oud are both ravishing and transcendent! Also worth consideration is Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle. November 5, 2013 at 8:55am Reply

  • kristina: Hi, first, I LOVE this blog. Thank you so much for such a beautiful and informative blog!

    I’m trying to find a new scent (or two) to try for fall/winter that pleases both myself and my husband (this is the kicker). Currently, I wear Hermes Un Jardin Sur Nil and Eau d’Orange Verte, Dior Addict or Origins Ginger. I also wear the Madeline and Phoebe perfumes from a local place in Seattle (http://www.sweetanthemperfumes.com/collections/sweet-anthem).

    I’ve tried and liked a new Hermes (Jour d’Hermes?), Jo Malone’s 154 and Lime Basil and Mandarin, Guerlain’s Bois D’Armenie, and a few from Killian (although I can’t remember which ones).

    But, my husband doesn’t like any of these. This is the problem that I have – he and I like very different things. UGH! He can tolerate the Madeline and the Un Jardin Sur Nil but the others not so much. Would appreciate any recommendations! November 5, 2013 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Nemo: Hi Kristina!

      Do you have any examples of perfumes he DOES like? November 5, 2013 at 7:10pm Reply

      • kristina: Hi Nemo,

        Great question! I was having a “perfume” conversation with him last night and I think I finally figured out what he likes and doesn’t like! He likes L’Eau d’Issey. He likes scents that are citrusy and musky but not sweet and something that is more subtle. Also, for men he likes D&G Light Blue (Stromboli) which I realize has citrus and pepper. I think the scents where we differ are tabacco, sandalwood and lavender. I love these and I think these are the scents that he doesn’t really like. He also hates vanilla. So, a recommendation within our spectrum would be helpful. November 8, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

        • Victoria: What about Hermes Après La Mousson? It has fruity and marine notes, and it might be something he would enjoy. November 10, 2013 at 5:08am Reply

          • kristina: Thanks, I’ll check it out. I’d like to try something other than Hermes since most of my other stuff is Hermes, but will definitely try it. :) November 10, 2013 at 9:46pm Reply

            • Nemo: it sounds like my tastes differ quite widely from your husband so I don’t have too many ideas unfortunately :( As a slightly citrusy (but in a very warm, slightly spicy sort of way), how about Sonoma Scent Studio Sienna Musk? It is quite nice for colder weather though it sounds like he might like a more crispy, fresh citrus. Another nice, relatively light musky perfume is SJP Lovely (no citrus, though). November 12, 2013 at 9:37pm Reply

        • Delilah: Hmm, I am still quite new to all this but if you both like the more citrussy scents though with different main notes have you tried:

          Molinard Eau Fraiche – I am unsure of the exact notes but to me it is light and fresh with a slight citrus note and a pleasant warmth.

          Moschino Cheap and Chic I love love – lemon meringue!

          L’occitane Verbena – lovely fizzy and bright

          Crabtree and Evelyn – Somerset Meadow.

          I don’t know if any of these would be up your street but maybe worth a try? November 11, 2013 at 7:16pm Reply

  • elsie: Hi all,
    I’m not sure if this has been addressed above or not – I tried to skim but didn’t see anything exactly similar. I am very picky and am hoping this isn’t too weird, but I would like to find a Christmas-y perfume….if anyone might know what that mean! Like something that smells like Christmas Eve. I want something warm and spicy, yet slightly baked smelling, but festive and inviting. And if it smells sexy, too, I wouldn’t be disappointed! I really like amber and feel like something with it might be “the one”. Unfortunately, I am pretty mainstream and don’t have any time right now to search for niche stuff or anything that’s not at Sephora and such. :( Also, as I am a student, I am low on funds. (But maybe still suggest something pricey and/or niche-y and I’ll keep it somewhere for future searches when I have time and hopefully, money!) I sort of am considering either Prada (the original EDP) or Miss Dior Le Parfum (NOT the Natalie Portman variety, just to be clear) but I feel like the Prada isn’t warm enough, and the Miss Dior is a little too powdery. My fall/winter perfumes I already own include D&G the one, TM Alien, TM Angel, Chopard Wish, Dior Addict, Prada Tendre (though I am nearly out), Stella Rose Absolute (one of my all-time faves)…I think that’s it. I have tried TF’s Black Orchid before but it just dries flat on me. :( Anyway…other “seasons” I own, just so you have an idea, are Versace Yellow Diamond, DKNY Pure Verbena, Coach Poppy Flower, Narciso Rodriguez For Her EDP, and a little tiny bottle of TM Womanity. Like I said, very commercial. :D I prefer not-unisex smells. Oh, and I’m 31, so things like Pink Sugar are definitely out of the question. Thank you so much; I appreciate all of your thought and expertise. I am so envious of you perfumistas and all your knowledge. Thanks again. November 5, 2013 at 10:13pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: This is not mainstream and it’s expensive. But you could try Hermessence Ambre Narguile if you get a chance. It’s warm, sweet, spicy and perfect for Christmas. And as the name suggests, you’ll get amber! November 6, 2013 at 4:25am Reply

    • The Blue Squid: Serge Lutens Arabie, to me, is exactly like a large, delicious Christmas pudding. If that is the effect you are aiming for. I know I often am! November 6, 2013 at 8:01am Reply

    • Nelly: You could also try Grain de Soleil from Fragonard. It is a niche perfume but not expensive at all. It’s main notes are vanilla and cinnamon … lots of cinnamon. It is very nicely done, it has good sillage and persistency. I ordered it from the Fragonard website.

      Another perfume you might try is Robert Piguet- Visa 2007. This one is not quite a gourmand perfume but it is a strong perfume, appropriate for the winter. I’ve seen you like D&G – The One which is build around the peach. Visa has also peach but also fine leather notes and some slightly smokey ones. I’ve have some of your perfumes so we have some common tastes. You might like it also. Although is niche it is not that expensive. It is among the most affordable brands in the niche zone. November 6, 2013 at 8:41am Reply

    • Bastet: I love Opium around the holidays – the warmth and spices seem just right, although it doesn’t really have the gourmand notes you seem to be looking for. I like both the vintage and the new versions, and in fact find the new Opium more wearable. The new is widely available and not too expensive, especially in EDT. November 6, 2013 at 9:16am Reply

      • elsie: Thanks, everyone! I am compiling a very, very long sniffing list. :) These all sound like perfect suggestions. And yes, a large Christmas pudding might be just what I am looking for…LOL! November 6, 2013 at 9:36am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Elsie! I think you may like Bahari by Piguet. Spices, warmth, oranges, Christmas! November 6, 2013 at 12:34pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Baghari (sorry)! November 7, 2013 at 11:59am Reply

        • Cybele: To me the perfect Christmas perfumes are
          Youth Dew Amber Nude a spicy amber (discontinued but still available) and Anne Pliska a orange-amber November 6, 2013 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Nina Zolotow: Frederic Malle Noir Epices, a dry, spicy orange fragrance! The perfumer decided to try making an oriental without any vanilla, and this was the result. I love it. It melds really well with my skin. November 6, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

    • Victoria: Elsie, Chopard Casmir with all of its sweet, spicy notes feels very festive.

      Also, Yves Rocher Vanille Noire and Ambre Noir.

      Hermes Elixir des Merveilles smells like candied fruit and spicy woods (it might be available at Sephora, but I’m not 100% sure).

      The recent Dolce & Gabbana Desire The One is very good (surprisingly good even). If you enjoy fruity, gourmand notes, then it’s a worthy option.

      I also liked Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb. Nevermind that it’s marketed to men. It smells fantastic on women too, and if you want spicy, smoky and woody, then at least give it a try.

      How about Dior Addict (the original)? It smells like vanilla and orange cake.

      Have you tried Prada (original) Intense version? That one is such a beautiful take on the EDP. November 7, 2013 at 4:01am Reply

      • Victoria: And of course, Opium, which Bastet mentioned. Any of its flankers are good too. I’m not a huge fan of Belle d’Opium, but it’s well-crafted and has that warm feeling. November 7, 2013 at 6:42am Reply

        • elsie: Hi!
          Victoria, I absolutely *LOVE* the Prada Intense perfume…..but I can’t find it anywhere. And I think it’s quite expensive. :( But actually, if you know of any reputable sources where I may be able to purchase it, I would definitely consider. I think it’s worth it.

          I do own the original Dior Addict, but that is one of my fall perfumes LOL! I cannot cross seasons. ;)

          I did try Opium and Elixir des Merveilles at Sephora yesterday….and I was not a fan of either. :( I hear good things about Elixir all the time, but it doesn’t appear to work well with me. Which is unfortunate, because it sounds like exactly what I am looking for. Maybe I will ask for a sample and revisit it later. I also tried The One Desire, and thought it was too fruity for my tastes. But I love the bottle!

          I will add the others you and other posters suggested to my list to smell! They all sound fantastic…I wish I was a billionaire so I could buy them all. :) Thank you for the ideas!! November 7, 2013 at 10:14am Reply

          • Victoria: How about Ambre des Merveilles? It’s lighter than Elixir but still rich.

            Oh, what about Coco Noir or Allure (the edp is richer and warmer than the edt)?

            And one more warm and comforting perfume I love for winter–Dior Dune! Ok, I’ll stop, since your list already seems long. :) November 7, 2013 at 10:23am Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Elsie! If your student wallet cannot afford Dune, you could try Roma by Laura Biagiotti. November 7, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

          • Delilah: What about eau des merveilles, I find it has a different quality to elixer des merveilles.

            Do you have a l’occitane near you? They do a perfume called “Ambre” which is a spicy vanillary amber.

            Also, have you tried Jean Paul Gaultier Classique woman? It might suit you? November 11, 2013 at 7:21pm Reply

    • Eva S.: Hi elsie!
      Try Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille or Creme Brulée, I prefer the body souffle, the scent is richer compared to the perfume.
      Baked smelling, festive, inviting, sexy…they have it all! :)
      One of my most complimented scents by far.
      And so cozy! :) November 7, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

    • AnnieA: @Elsie, try ELO’s Noel au Balcon, if only to the name… November 7, 2013 at 4:55pm Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Dear Victoria and Perfume Lovers,
    I’m Nora form Hungary and I’d like to get some recommendations about what to wear in the colder months. Winter is coming soon and I’d need a comforting, warm scent that is not overwhelming for others as I work in a busy office environment. I’d prefer suggestions that are available for the wide audience worldwide as in Hungary we do not have many niche perfumes available. Exceptions are Montale, Artisan, Amouage and Etat Libre d’Orange so these houses are welcome. My favourite scents for cooler weather are Thierry Mugler’s Womanity, Guerlian’s Shalimar parfum initial, Cacharel’s Noa, Lolita Lempicka’s Lolita. Thank you for your help and I hope you enjoy the autumn. November 7, 2013 at 6:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Nora, I immediately thought of L’Artisan Bois Farine (toasty, nutty notes as in Womanity, but not too sweet) and L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore (gourmand, soft, elegant).

      Then how about L de Lolita Lempicka? Salty chocolate, spices, woods. I also like Yves Saint Laurent Cinema for another comforting, warm option. It’s really underrated.

      Armani Code Woman (the original) is also worth trying. A friend describes it as an orange blossom scented pastry, but it’s still polished enough not to smell too edible. Excellent sillage too! November 7, 2013 at 6:39am Reply

    • rainboweyes: ELd’O Tilda Swinton Like This is a spicy and cosy, but unobtrusive autumn/winter scent… November 7, 2013 at 7:17am Reply

      • rainboweyes: BTW, my favourite winter scent is Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha. To me it feels absolutely comforting but my opinion might be slightly biased. November 7, 2013 at 7:28am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: jó estét! Maybe Dior Homme, very elegant iris, also on a woman. November 7, 2013 at 12:05pm Reply

          • Nora Szekely: Thank you all for the suggestions, I head for the nearest perfume shop soon and try them. November 8, 2013 at 8:53am Reply

  • Sarah: Hello everyone. I am looking for recommendations for “meditative” perfumes. When I think of meditation I think of sandalwood, rosewood, incense, and warmth. I recently tried Diptyque’s Volutes and enjoyed the dry, sheer smokiness of it, but it faded on me within hours.

    I have also had success with Kuumba Made’s frankincense and myrrh blend but it is a little too flat for me.

    I recently investigated DHS’s offerings and I am curious if anyone has tried Prana, Cimabue, or Cathedral.

    Thanks! November 7, 2013 at 11:37am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Oh, there’s a lot of contemplative incense-y scents, I’ll just name my favourite ones:

      – well, I’m afraid I have to mention Artisan Parfumeur Dzongkha again ;) (inspired by the Buddhist temples of Bhutan, the notes include lychee, peony, chai, iris, leather and papyrus)

      – Miller Harris La Fumée (incense, spices, sandalwood, papyrus, labdanum)

      – Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer (incense+lily)

      – Maria Candida Gentile Exulat (incense+violet)

      – Sinfonia di Note Incenso Viola (incense+violet)

      – Etro Messe de Minuit

      – Tiziana Terenzi Lillipur (spices, incense, woods) November 7, 2013 at 4:06pm Reply

    • Annikky: Sarah, have you tried Comme des Garcon’s Incense series? There are five variations on incense theme and hopefully at least one of them would work for you (my money is on Jaisalmer :). CdG also does wood scents very well, so maybe one of those would work, too. Palisander, for example?

      Some other ideas: Neela Vermeire Trayee is complex and beautiful (but also expensive); Ormonde Jayne Tolu may not be a traditional meditative scent, but it has both the lightness and warmth you seem to require; Armani’s Bois d’Encens is elegant and austere, but very well made.

      And I second rainboweyes’ list :) November 11, 2013 at 8:21am Reply

  • Sandra: Hello all-
    Recommend me a perfume is my favorite post, and I enjoy reading all the threads. I was looking for a perfume to wear in the beginning of next year for my wedding. I am looking something feminine and that has a good sillage (so I only have to spray once and then enjoy my day) and floral. Thanks November 7, 2013 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Congratulations, Sandra! In the thread above, Alida asked a similar question so answers to her question could give you some ideas? Also, it would help if you could tell us about perfumes you wear and what kind of floral (e.g. white floral) you like. November 8, 2013 at 4:08am Reply

    • Cybele: try Baiser Vole by Cartier in perfume version, I think it would make a beautiful wedding scent! November 8, 2013 at 4:23pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Congratulations, Sandra! Maybe Idylle by Guerlain would be your chosen wedding perfume. it is flowery, romantic, and great sillage and longevity.
        The pure perfume is the best, but I enjoy also very much Idylle Eau Sublime.
        Or perhaps Fleurs d’Oranger by Lutens, lasts all day long for sure. November 10, 2013 at 3:53pm Reply

    • Jillie: Hello, Sandra, and congratulations! I have just posted a suggestion on NST and realised while I was doing so that it might be interesting for you! This is Parfumerie Generale’s No 15 Ilang Ivohibe. To my mind it is a perfect perfume for a bride – it is a not too sweet vanilla, spiked with lime zest and breathing gorgeous tiare flowers; it’s full of sunshine and makes you feel like dancing, and is able to keep going for as long as you can! November 11, 2013 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Olga: Dear Perfume Lovers,
    Thanks for this great opportunity to ask for help and share ideas!

    # I am desperately looking for the scents which sales assistants at the counter call “foretime perfumes”, which are to me floral mossy elegant scents. I do believe that there are thousands of sophisticated girls who do know them and wear them. I’d be really grateful if you could recommend me some:-)

    # I also need your help in finding an analogy to a scent which is out of stock already: Eau de Perfum Chaumet… Love it! And if you could help me in identifying one, I’d be the happiest girl in the world! Thanks a million!!! November 8, 2013 at 7:32am Reply

    • Victoria: Olga, can you please tell some more about your tastes and what perfumes you wear? November 10, 2013 at 5:05am Reply

      • Olga: Victoria, at the moment I’m wearing Narciso Rodriguez for her edp and was wearing light citrucy scents in summer. But now i’m searching for somehing i’ve never had so far – an elegant and aristocratic scent of flowers on an autumn morning, with a herbal note and mossy and slightly wooden accents. I can’t find these notes in one perfume as the ones which are on the market mostlyhave a heavy vanilla note. I’mmaking myself and all shop assistants in my town crazy,i know;-) And i really appreciate your help! November 11, 2013 at 12:43pm Reply

        • Victoria: How about Hermes Kelly Caleche or Stella MacCartney Lily? They should be easy to find at big perfumeries, and both are quite elegant. You might also try Bottega Veneta or its flanker Bottega Veneta Eau Legere. If I think of flowers on an autumn morning, I immediately envision the scent of iris (well, in perfumery, the scent comes from the root, not the flowers, but anyway). Which is why I recommended some of the above. Chanel No 19 Eau Poudree (or even the original No 19) is another option. None of these are sweet or vanilla heavy. November 11, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

          • Olga: Thanks a million Victoria! I’ll definitely try the recommended scents, though i’m not sure i’ll be able to find them. November 11, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

            • Victoria: Please keep us updated on your discoveries! Also, you can let us know what brands you have in stores around you, and we will try to pick something from those. November 11, 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

          • rainboweyes: Iris was my first thought too (not very surprising, is it? ;)). I second No. 19 and would alternatively recommend Ferré by Gianfranco Ferré. I’m not sure about the availability, though. Victoria, do you happen to know if it’s still widely available? November 12, 2013 at 4:19am Reply

            • Victoria: I’m not sure about Ferre’s availability, but in the US, it was a bit tricky to find. November 12, 2013 at 11:44am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Chaumet Eau de Parfum!! I spent my last pennies on that a long time ago, but I still have a few drops . I love it too, and never found something simular. November 10, 2013 at 3:59pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: hi again, Olga! I took one of those last drops of Chaumet…..sniffing, thinking….sprayed on Osmanthus by The Different Company…Yes, that comes near!
        But alas, it is much more expensive. November 10, 2013 at 4:44pm Reply

        • Olga: Thanks a lot, Cornelia! I’ll try it on me November 11, 2013 at 12:46pm Reply

  • Sandra: Thanks! I will look back and read that thread!
    For florals I like Noa , soir de lune, and beige November 8, 2013 at 7:46am Reply

  • Hannah: This doesn’t have anything to do with recommendations but I’m really mad about this so I want to tell the world!!
    Yesterday I was in a perfume store. The SA asked if I needed help and I said I was just looking. I picked up Annick Goutal Duel because I’ve wanted to try it for a long time and she swooped in and said “no, no, that’s for men. This is for young women…” and sprayed something onto paper. She didn’t even tell me what it was but it was a light floral, so I said it wasn’t my style. I continued onto the Amouges but I didn’t try any. She pointed to the bottom row and said they were for men. She suggested maybe I should come back when I knew what I wanted. I was like “ok whatev” and continued on because perfume stores have always allowed me to smell things before. I tried a few things and then I picked up Il Profumo Chocolat. She then came over and more forcefully said “That is for men. Come back when you know what you want.” So I left and she said “bis gleich!” (basically “see you soon”). For what reason would I ever come back??? If she had a problem with me sniffing aimlessly, she could have tried to be engaging instead of deterring me from everything I showed interest in. What kind of SA tells a customer to leave? And Il Profumo lists Chocolat as feminine anyway.
    And today a man who sat beside me on the bus smelled like Tea for Two but maybe the bag he was carrying was full of gingerbread. November 10, 2013 at 10:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds like a very unprofessional SA! I also wouldn’t feel like coming back there, but if you have to return (say, it’s the only shopping option) and she starts bugging you, you could tell her politely that you simply would like to smell different perfumes at leisure. “I would like to smell different things to figure our what I like. Is it ok with you?” I imagine that she would leave you alone. If she starts directing away from masculines, then just say that you usually wear men’s perfumes.

      I so feel for you. Rude or simply not polite service irritates me too. One memorable incident involved a restaurant in Germany that would ignore our requests for coffee and check. And then the server returned and rudely demanded that we leave the table asap because we’re holding up the other diners. November 10, 2013 at 11:04am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Hannah, I’m sorry to hear that you had such an unpleasant experience. I actually had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. I went to the Hermes boutique to try Epice Marine and then the SA told me that this was for man. I tried to explain to her that the whole Hermessence collection isn’t supposed to have the conventional gender division but she kept telling me that I shouldn’t wear it. I mean, who is she to tell me what to wear? I got so annoyed in the end that I just had to leave.

      I had a worse experience in the Chanel boutique, which happens to be right next to the Hermes boutique. It was very clear from the beginning that they didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t there to buy an expensive bag. They didn’t have blotters so I had to try perfumes on tissues which made it quite difficult to carry them around. One of the perfumes I tried was Cuir de Russie (which I happen to love) and the SA told me that she doesn’t like it because it’s too harsh etc. Isn’t she supposed to try to sell these perfumes!? November 10, 2013 at 12:48pm Reply

      • elsie: Oh, my gosh….I cannot believe how rude and ridiculous these SAs are….nevermind the fact that you can wear whatever you’d like, how do they know you weren’t shopping for a gift for a man?! Ugh!! November 10, 2013 at 1:38pm Reply

      • george: As a man I get the gender thing ALL THE TIME! Although when I get a SA with a bad attitude, I have to say that they usually come to regret it. HAHAHAHA!!!! November 10, 2013 at 7:11pm Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: I guess guys trying ‘femine’ perfumes get even more outrageous reactions. I feel so sorry for you, george. But as elsie said above, how do they even know if you’re trying to find a gift for someone? Also, it probably doesn’t occur to many of them that you might just want to ‘study’ perfumes even if you don’t want to wear them. How do you deal with them, george? I’m really curious. November 11, 2013 at 8:11am Reply

          • george: I think the ways to express annoyance are as infinite as the situations that might occasion it. :-) November 11, 2013 at 2:10pm Reply

            • Anne of Green Gables: :-) I try my best to be polite but then some people just don’t seem to have an ability to sense other people’s emotions – that you’re actually expressing displeasure. Once I went as far as filing a complaint to the customer service. November 11, 2013 at 3:08pm Reply

              • george: That’s so true (the bit about the emotional blindness). There is a culture within retail that customer service is something inflicted upon customers rather than something that should be wanted and requested, which brings that about. If you ever experience bad service and don’t deal with it on the spot you can always email and people should do that. Certainly some of the complaints people have described here would have warranted that. If you get bad service, and want to communicate that to the person serving you, the simplest way is just to ask for the customer service email complaints address to that person’s face. It’s nice of you to try and always remain polite, but I’m afraid I have been known to bark “get me your manager now!” (no please, you might note) on a number of occasions. I think both your and Hannah’s experience would have resulted in me doing that. November 11, 2013 at 4:31pm Reply

    • kristina: Sorry to hear this too but I will say that this happens to me all the time as well. I think it’s mostly because we like “masculine” scents and that’s just too crazy/outside the box for some people. I get crap all the time for liking masculine scents. November 10, 2013 at 9:45pm Reply

    • Annikky: Just reading these stories makes my blood pressure rise to dangerous levels… I have to admit that if I want to visit very high-end brand stores, I dress carefully, do my make-up, take my (only) expensive hand bag and put on my best “I own the world” expression. I do not like the fact that I feel the need to do it, but it works.

      And don’t even get me going on the gender thing… What ridiculous narrow-mindedness. November 11, 2013 at 7:56am Reply

      • Hannah: I never had any issues at Aedes in New York or at Galeries Layfette in Berlin (or anywhere in Berlin) but some stores in Hamburg have been kind of weird. November 11, 2013 at 9:18am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: I usually try to dress decently when I go to these boutiques but it’s rather sad that we’re judged based on our looks. How do they know if you’re another Mark Zuckerberg dressed in hoodies and jeans? November 11, 2013 at 3:19pm Reply

        • Hannah: Right now I’m an au pair so I don’t make a ton of money but I have no bills, no rent, my groceries are paid for, my transportation is paid for, and my German class is paid for. If I wanted to, I could buy a new By Kilian perfume, a Diptyque candle, and a tin of tea from Kusmi or Mariage Freres every single month and I would still be able to buy a few Franzbrötchen. November 11, 2013 at 3:45pm Reply

        • Victoria: Having to go to special lengths to go to boutiques where I could part with my hard-earned money really doesn’t sit well with me. So, I usually don’t. In the US, people are so much more casually dressed anyway. November 11, 2013 at 4:57pm Reply

  • Malgorzata Podgorska: Good Evening, I am looking for the advice re light floral powdery not too citrusy fragrance suitable for daytime and work and evening time to wear during long warm humid summer in Qld Australia. I like most of Chanel Hermes Guerlain Estee Lauder, Narcisso Rodriges, Chloe, Annick goutal,Balenciaga, Ellie Saab, Nina Ricci, Balmain, Cartier, Arpege, Lanvin, Oscar de Renta, Donna Karan, Kole Black, I am afraid Prada, Armani, Ferragamo just don’t work for me at all, the choice is rather limited here but it is getting better and I would not hesitate to buy for recommended trusted online supplier, never done it before. Many thanks
    Malgorzata November 16, 2013 at 8:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds like you have tried lots of different perfumes, Malgorzata! Have you tried Love Chloe? The moment I read that you wanted light floral powdery perfume, I thought of it.

      Another option is Kenzo Amour.

      Also, if you pass by Chanel counter, please try Chanel No 19 Poudre. It’s a light veil of scent, but it’s very pretty, and it works all year round for me. November 17, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

      • Malgorzata Podgorska: thanks Victoria I keep seeing Kenzo Flower and its flankers or different Kenzo Perfumes everywhere especially now leading to Christmas I have never tried it on, I will tomorrow as I am heading to work , right next to the big department store David Jones ,dangerous place to work:) i I will try it on, I love Chanel No 19 Poudre I thought it was more wintery / autumnal scent but I will try again, tomorrow is going to be very stormy humid warm good day to try this scent tomorrow, many thanks again Victoria November 18, 2013 at 7:29am Reply

    • claire: Dear Malgorzata, please try Kenzo Flower and Amour (great Victoria’s advice), l’Heure Bleue and Après l’Ondee by Guerlain, Hypnotic Poison Dior, Ombre rose by JC Brosseau, Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi. First Van cleef and Arpels (a great powdery floral !) November 17, 2013 at 10:34am Reply

      • Victoria: Such great ideas, Claire! Reading Malgorzata’s question, I started craving a powdery perfume, and when I read your comment, I reached for my bottle of Kenzo Flower. Wearing it right now, and it smells so comforting and uplifting. November 17, 2013 at 10:38am Reply

        • Malgorzata Podgorska: you are so right there is something very uplifting and comforting and natural about powdery scents, I find Botanica by Balenciaga very powdery but like it , it reminds me of something good, nice, warm, and I think it really works on hot summery day , in the past I used to associate powdery notes with the evening scent, worn by someone mature and very elegant, now I think it is so easy going and versatile and accommodating, and one smells of good clean soap and clean fresh skin which is really great! November 18, 2013 at 7:37am Reply

      • Malgorzata Podgorska: Dear Clare I will try them all thank you, not sure if I find Villoresi and JC Brosseau easily here in Brisbane but I will try hard, I will let you all know how it went thank you so much it is really so lovely to talk about scent with “kindred spirits” sharing the same passion/interest/appreciation and understanding of the whole concept and complexity of scent . thank you Bois de Jasmine too!!! November 18, 2013 at 7:33am Reply

  • Wan Wan Liu: Hello! I want to buy a bottle of perfume for my close friend for Christmas. Her favorite scent is peppermint/mint. Which perfumes should I look into? I also have a budget of $25. Your help will be much appreciated! Thank you! November 18, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: You could try Roadster (Cartier) or Fahrenheit 32 (Dior), or Yvresse (Yves St Laurent), but I am not sure whether this is on your budget (how much is it in euro’s?). Maybe a special offer or a 30 ml bottle.
      Certainly more expensive: Anice by Etro, but this is a really anise, not mint, but mint lovers could appreciate anise (see also yvresse) as well.
      Succes! November 18, 2013 at 4:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I would search among the lines like Pacifica and Demeter, which are very affordable. Or, instead of perfume, you could get her a nice scented candle or lotion. At $25, your perfume choices might be limited, but you will have more interesting body products to choose from. November 18, 2013 at 5:11pm Reply

  • Sexy Sadie: You should try Arabian Ouds perfume Kalemat. November 18, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Hildegerd: Hmm, recommend perfume for someone I presume have tried more or less everything…

    I can try.

    My last truly wonderful surprise was Pulp from Byredo parfums. I liked Rose Noir too, but Pulp blowed me away. December 6, 2013 at 5:13pm Reply

  • Heather Hart: I am looking for a beautiful, floral, french perfume like Quelques Fleurs, my favorite. This perfume has changed for me and doesn’t seem quite the same as I remembered it as a teenager. This was my mom’s signature scent. I want to remember her. Any suggestions of beautiful, floral perfumes like or better than Quelques Fleurs? December 18, 2013 at 11:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Heather, you might want to repost your question on Friday when we have a new recommendations thread. This one is already quiet.

      If you want a perfume to remind you of your mother, nothing but the original Quelques Fleurs will do, because our scent memory is very particular this way. My suggestion would be to explore perfumes in the same opulent floral genre to see if you can perhaps enjoy something similar but not identical. For instance, Chanel No 22 or Jean Patou Joy. December 18, 2013 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Heather Hart: Thank you Victoria. I love your blog! December 18, 2013 at 9:15pm Reply

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