Recommend Me a Perfume : First of the Year

Today we have our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread, the first one this year. 2014 started for me with a celebration at home, but for most of the month I have been on the road. When I travel, especially when it’s for work, surrounding myself with my favorite objects is essential for creating a cozy atmosphere. I always pack my soft fleece blanket that folds into a small bundle, miniature rose scented candles, a spray bottle of orange blossom water, and of course, perfume. On the last couple of trips I brought Guerlain Shalimar Ode à la Vanille, which feels caressing and tender.

relaxing-infusion

Bois de Jasmin will return on January 31st. My work and travel schedule is going to be heavy over the next couple of weeks.

I’m also taking time out to do some overdue blog maintenance. Hope that the changes will make your experience here more enjoyable, but in the meantime, please excuse any quirks, especially if you read Bois de Jasmin on your mobile devices.

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 sampling.

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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482 Comments

  • Marina: Hi! I used to love wearing Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum as it smelt beautiful on my skin and I received countless compliments. Now it appears to be discontinued (you can buy EDP on the internet but the smell is off so either old stock or fake). I was wondering if you could recommend a replacement perfume? I also like the original Coco Chanel and Narciso Rodriguez For Her Musc Oil to give you an idea of my taste. I do so miss Paloma and am having a hard time finding a new signature scent which is seductive but classy. Any suggestions? Thanks! January 24, 2014 at 7:25am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: You could try:
      Opium eau de parfum
      Bornéo 1834, Lutens
      Coromandel, Chanel
      Patchouly, Etro
      Aromatics Elixir.
      All great perfumes, but to replace a signature scent is not easy! Succes! January 24, 2014 at 7:32am Reply

    • Sarah K: I love Paloma Picasso too. As far as I know, it hasn’t been discontinued (at least, not everywhere), but I know it was reformulated at some point, and I don’t know what the current one smells like – could that be why it smells off to you? I’ve always thought Magie Noire was similar in feel, so it might be worth trying that but again, it’s been reformulated since I smelled it. Other suggestions would be Sisley’s Eau de Soir and Soir de Lune and Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon. January 24, 2014 at 8:30am Reply

      • Safran: I’d second Sisley’s Eau de Soir, it’s very similar to Mon Parfum imo. January 24, 2014 at 5:56pm Reply

    • zari: Hi Marina!
      I don’t know if you have already tried these (or that you will find them “seductive but classy”) but because I have worn all of what you mentioned, and though I am a newcomer to perfume, I will suggest: Samsara, Boucheron, Estee Lauder Azuree, Lalique Le Parfum. Enjoy! January 24, 2014 at 8:47am Reply

    • Nicola Stephens: Hello Marina
      I used to love the scent of MP Paloma Picasso though I never wore it myself. I would second the suggestions made of Sisley Eau de Soir and Chanel 31 rue Cambon but add the first Agent Provocateur, Amouage Jubilation 25, and Guerlain Rose de Barbare and maybe Serge Lutens Rose de Nuit. Happy hunting! January 24, 2014 at 9:40am Reply

    • nikki: Have you tried the original Jean Louis Scherrer? Jolie Madame by Rochas is a statement making perfume as well…or Knowing by Estee Lauder which I think is a masterpiece on the right woman. Absolutely gorgeous and classy. January 24, 2014 at 10:24am Reply

      • Solanace: Absolutely seconding Jolie Madame. The current version is thinner than what I knew, but it is still darn good, classy, sexy and reasonably priced. January 25, 2014 at 5:22am Reply

    • Snowyowl: also agree with the sisley soir de lune which is very lovely! January 24, 2014 at 10:46am Reply

    • Victoria: You received many great suggestions, but I just wanted to second Sisley Soir de Lune. It’s dark and rich, but it’s also elegant. Chanel Coromandel is excellent too. January 24, 2014 at 11:08am Reply

    • Elisa: Knowing and Agent Provocateur are good suggestions, I’d also try Lumiere Noire pour Femme, beautiful rose chypre. January 24, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Bastet: I also love PP and agree that the current reformulation is not as good. Another one of my old favorites, Ungaro Diva EDP, has always reminded me of PP except that it is a bit sweeter and smoother. My bottle of Diva is fairly new and to me smells as good as the original (although I haven’t directly compared the new and the vintage versions). January 24, 2014 at 12:42pm Reply

    • minette: love it, as well, and it’s not something you replicate, but here are few that put me in the same general mood – gres cabochard, l’arte di gucci, fk lumiere noire femme, gres cabaret, elo roissy de palma eau de protection, agent provocateur, and profumo by acqua di parma. January 24, 2014 at 2:17pm Reply

    • Katy McReynolds: I wear Paloma Picasso EDT and group it in my perfume drawer with the original Halston( the recent formulary being quite true to the vintage), Niki de St Phalle EDT, Halston Z-14, Aromatic Elixirs, the regular and the beautiful Anniversary Perfumers Reserve, and last but not least, Andy Tauer’s Une Rose Chypree. I like a woody Chypre and it appears that you may also! January 24, 2014 at 7:24pm Reply

    • Cybele: Apom Pour Femme, Chanel 19, Parfum de Therese January 24, 2014 at 7:38pm Reply

      • Marina: Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions! I don’t know much about perfume compared to all of you and I find choosing a new one among the thousands available to be a truly daunting task! But armed with this list, I am excited to go perfume shopping! Many thanks again and to Victoria for her fabulous blog!! January 25, 2014 at 1:37am Reply

    • Solanace: I love PP too. Unfortunately, I broke my bottle, which was specially awful because I had a small baby at the time, and the scent would never, ever go away! I think Amouage Gold is similar in feel, but even better. it is very unreasonably priced, but if you get a decant it will last you for ages, since the ingredients are incredibly good and the scent is as tenacious and radiant as vintage PP – at least. January 25, 2014 at 5:29am Reply

      • Marina: Thank you Solanace – I just read Victoria’s review of Amouage Gold from 2007 and it sounds like a fascinating perfume. I am excited to try it! January 25, 2014 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Rowanhill: Chanel 19 or Jean-Louis Scherrer. I used to go through bottles of Mon Parfum as well. January 31, 2014 at 9:27am Reply

    • Nat: Hi All

      years ago i came across a Lancaster Eau De Toilette by now it is discontinued. It did not had another name only Lancanster on the bottle.

      I went to few stores in NY but they told me that they do not sell it in USA. I finally got it from France. My question is if anyone is familiar with this perfume and if they know of another one similar to the Lancaster one and where can I buy it. Or if there is a reputable company that specializes in recreating the essences.

      thank you February 8, 2014 at 5:50pm Reply

  • Brainfodder: In anticipation of Spring…

    Hello. I’m a relative new-comer and would appreciate some recommendations for Spring perfumes. I’m asking this now in anticipation of the flurry of potential sample purchases and card spritzing I can squeeze in before Spring actually arrives.

    Background info – I’ve begun by exploring blogs and The Perfume Guide, and sampling fragrances which are available at Les Senteurs and British department stores such as HOF, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols.

    So far, true loves have revealed themselves in the form of Bois des Iles, Ormonde Woman and Man, L’Eau D’Hiver, Baghari, L’Air du Desert Morocain.

    Things that haven’t hit the spot: Fracas goes all ripe banana on my skin (Carnal flower is spectacular, but very linear), Portrait of a Lady was DISASTROUS – an immediate brain ache/scrubber which projected through the whole house and lingered on and on and on instilled the revulsion of hubbie and kids! (I should try it on tissue to see if its just my skin chemistry). My skin also accentuated the fruity sweet melon in Le Parfum de Therese (very sickly). Santal Majascule and Ambre Sultan turn heavy, sour and noxious on my skin. Angeliques Sous la Pluie is in turn delightful and absolutely nowhere to be found on my skin. 31 RDC – glorious, I love it, husband loves it, but it disappears and lacks projection… except on the cuff of my sleeve.

    Potential loves based on department store sniffs include Chanel 19 (parfum – the card sample oozed gloriousness for days), Chanel No 18 (there’s something wonderful here, but possibly too sweet), L’Heure Bleue.

    Any thoughts on spring gems, alternative concentrations, etc., would be much appreciated. January 24, 2014 at 8:13am Reply

    • Sarah K: Maybe Annick Goutal’s L’Heure Exquise? It’s similar to No 19 in the EDP version, which is a bit softer and rosier than the EDT (and apparently also softer than the parfum, which I haven’t tried).

      I also really enjoy Parfums de Nicolai’s Le Temps d’une Fete, another green floral that spells spring in a bottle to me. You won’t find it listed on their website any more, but apparently it is still available if you ask for it. They have a boutique on the Fulham Road if you can get there, and I suppose it’s possible they might still have some on the shelves… January 24, 2014 at 8:44am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Brainfodder, I’d like to second Le Temps d’une Fete and if you haven’t tried already, you could try Guerlain Apres l’Ondee. January 24, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

    • zari: I am planning to purchase Diorella or Cristalle for spring, so maybe you can check those out as well. January 24, 2014 at 9:32am Reply

      • Brainfodder: Hi zari – Cristalle: I’m learning to like it and find it quite addictive (I always want a spritz when I’m sampling), but my husband really struggles with it. Diorella – I haven’t tried it, so that’s an exciting one to look forward to… many thanks! January 24, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

        • zari: Good luck :) January 24, 2014 at 1:41pm Reply

    • Elizabeth: Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse is one of my favorite spring scents, a beautiful green chypre with jasmine. January 24, 2014 at 10:03am Reply

      • Brainfodder: Thanks Elizabeth, I posted below, but have found a shop which provides samples of this, and am going to give it a go. It sounds lovely! I’ll report back… January 24, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Jillie: Second Heure Exquise which is like a fuller, more mellow No 19 and Temps d’une Fete. And in that vein, Guerlain’s Chamade which is like a voluptuous springtime perfume. January 24, 2014 at 10:27am Reply

    • Teri: You mentioned Chanel no 19 – try Vero Profumo Mito. Bloom in Spitalfields stock it – it is a beautiful chypre that is somewhat reminescent of no 19 and they have the three concentrations for you to see what works best with your skin. Good luck! January 24, 2014 at 10:31am Reply

      • Brainfodder: Hi Teri – many thanks for your post. I discovered Bloom, quite literally, this afternoon! I ordered some samples, then returned here to find your post! Have been straight back onto the web-site and ordered Mito – thanks for your suggestion. Not sure how I’ve missed them, LS have been my go-to sample place in the UK, so this was a very, very pleasant surprise. From earlier Victoria reviews I’ve had my eye/nose on the following… Rubj, Lumiere Blanche, Perle de Mousse (great reminder, thank you Elizabeth!), Anima Dulcis and Cuir de Nacre. They’re are on their way – I’m so excited :) January 24, 2014 at 11:25am Reply

      • Safran: I’d like to second Mito, a great shining green chypre. If you’d like to look a bit more on the sweeter side, Nicolai’s Kiss me tender is a lovely spring scent as well and also Heeley’s L’Amandiere.

        Good luck! January 24, 2014 at 6:04pm Reply

    • irem: Have you tried Ormonde Jayne Tiare? Think Chanel Cristalle with the Ormonde Jayne signature. January 24, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

    • rosarita: I’m another fan of Le Temps d’Une Fete. Also, since Chanel seems a good fit, you might try 1932, one of the newer Excusifs that doesn’t get lots of love in the blogosphere but I like for spring, or Chanel Beige. Or Eau Premiere which is a modernized #5, lovely. January 24, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

      • Brainfodder: Hi rosarita.
        Yes, I’m definitely a Chanel lover!

        1932 was not at all strong on my skin – hardly noticeable I’m afraid.

        My mother-in-law is a staunch and long-time user of No 5. She encapsulates it beautifully – intelligent, artistic, classic and stylish. No 5 EP is definitely her territory! January 24, 2014 at 12:15pm Reply

        • Brainfodder: rosarita, I notice (in another thread below) Victoria mentions that a parfum version of 1932 is due to be released in late February! January 24, 2014 at 4:57pm Reply

    • Brainfodder: Thanks so much for all the suggestions!

      I tried Temps d’une Fete last year and liked it, but didn’t love it – I was so surprised, but I will re-try, because I want to love it…

      Chamade… I can’t resist sampling it, but each time I’m surprised by the potency and the length of the very striking green start – it lasts for four or five hours on my skin, before softening and becoming delicious. It’s addictive – I can’t stop sniffing my arm when I wear it, its just not an easy wear. I’m wondering how much difference the concentration makes – any thoughts?

      Heure Exquise – I have never tried it so will definitely seek it out – something to look forward to – thanks all!

      Apres l’Ondee – I have tried only once, 2 years ago at the very start of my perfume fascination. I remember swooning over it but wondering if it was too retro for me. Times have changed, so I’m looking forward to giving it another go – Thanks Anne.

      Tiare – I liked, but Woman, I loved. Will give it another go with my ‘Spring’ head on – thanks irem. January 24, 2014 at 11:38am Reply

      • maja: I have Chamade in all three concentrations and I guess edt could work better for you if edp is too strong. I find the edp strongest on galbanum opening. Pure parfum gets somehow immediately floral and stays closer to the skin although very potent, too. It is one of my favourites and I totally recommend it. :)
        I am also suggesting Mito. January 24, 2014 at 1:01pm Reply

        • Brainfodder: Thanks maja. Chamade parfum – I would love to try it, and looks like John Lewis stock it in the UK. Hmmm… I wonder whether they have a bottle of pure parfum for sampling :) January 24, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

          • Jillie: Brainfodder, Guerlain is reformulating the Chamade parfum in a good way! Apparently it will be more like the original, which was truly wonderful. So it’s worth asking when the new version will appear (maybe it is already here). I think you will like it as I think it goes straight into the soft deliciousness! I appreciate what you mean about waiting for it to mellow for a few hours, and this might be the answer. January 25, 2014 at 2:20am Reply

        • Solanace: I can barely notice the EDT on my skin, so I’ll try other concentrations. January 25, 2014 at 5:38am Reply

    • Patricia: A beautiful green floral that I love for Spring is Debut by Parfums DelRae. It opens with lime and bergamot, then lily of the valley, linden blossom, and ylang-ylang cut through the sharp citrus.

      Samples are available at Luckyscent. January 24, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

      • Brainfodder: Patricia – Gosh, this one has not been on my radar at all, and therefore sounds fascinating, thank you! Everything in there, I love.

        Looks a little tricky to get hold of in the UK, and I haven’t considered dealing with Lucky Scent before. I wonder if anyone UK based uses their sampling service? January 24, 2014 at 12:11pm Reply

    • Elisa: I recommend two indie perfumes:

      Voile de Violette by Sonoma Scent Studio (lovely green woody violet)

      La Vie en Rose by DSH (airy green violet and rose)

      Both sell samples direct from their websites. January 24, 2014 at 12:34pm Reply

      • Brainfodder: Hi Elisa – aahhh… the Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette sounds wonderful. Really wonderful. Thanks for the recommendation. Have looked at their web-site, but the international shipping constraints on alcohol/perfumes make the process very convoluted. Indie Scents looks amazing (you’ve opened up a whole new world there!), and that looks a little more feasible. I wondered if any UK based Bois de Jasmin readers had any experience of shipping from the US? January 24, 2014 at 4:44pm Reply

        • Elisa: Oh, I hope someone can chime in! January 24, 2014 at 8:04pm Reply

        • Az: Hope this is not too late for you. I wouldn’t risk it. For one thing, the value of goods that get taxed is ridiculously low. Can’t remember the exact figure but I have bought things for like forty pounds and paid fifteen pounds in tax and admin fees.

          The other is the postal services destroy ‘dangerous’ packages and I have had that happen to mine (though from a swap, not an ‘official’ company. January 30, 2014 at 4:01pm Reply

          • Brainfodder: Thanks for your feedback Az. It’s so tempting to just hit the button!

            Good to know someone else’s experience, and that I should exercise caution. January 31, 2014 at 9:22am Reply

    • Courant: Arpege is very inexpensive at the discounters and even though it isn’t the perfume I knew as a teenager, the two sprays I applied this morning from a store display scream Chanel to me. It was a Chanelesque perfume at the outset.
      (I always like to suggest economical purchases, at least to begin with)… Heure Exquise is a great suggestion and Nuit Etoilee is supposed to be spring like January 24, 2014 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Morelle: If you want a green scent for spring I recommend The Unicorn Spell by Les Nez. The opening is so green that it’s actually pure harricots verts for a short time, after that it’s violet leafs, a bit of iris and soft woods. It’s an unusual but harmonious composition, really well made, and I love wearing it in spring.
      Another real beauty of a scent is Odalisque by Patricia Nicolai. Victoria has written a wonderful review, and I have nothing to add to it, except to urge you to try it.
      As you like Chanel No. 19, you could also try Bas de Soie by Serge Lutens. I adore its hyacinth note, combined with an icy, earthy orris. The drydown is divine, and the opening very green. For me it is perfect for the time just before spring, say late February or early March, when it’s still cold and winterly but days have gotten noticeably longer, and there’s a first whisper of ‘Soon!’ from every patch of bare earth and all the leafless twigs. January 24, 2014 at 7:48pm Reply

      • Solanace: What a beautiful description of the end of winter! January 25, 2014 at 5:41am Reply

        • Maren: I want to second the suggestion of Odalisque. Last year when I was trying out spring scents it was between Odalisque, Chamade and Diorella. Odalisque just seemed to hit the spot between the three. Chamade seemed too soft, Odalisque just has something a bit sharp (galbanum?) but lush at the same time, and Diorella, I just don’t remember much other than it’s pretty. January 25, 2014 at 11:20pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Yes, that’s exactly the time when I wear Bas de Soie too! And Hermes Eau de Narcisse Bleu… January 26, 2014 at 5:25am Reply

    • nozknoz: Histoires de Parfums 1969 and MDCI Enlevement au Serail are really beautiful. January 24, 2014 at 9:48pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: I was going to suggest Bas de Soie and L’Heure Exquise but they’ve already been mentioned… lovely suggestions! I’m going to try 1932 in extrait concenteation as soon as it becomes available next month. I love the notes but it’s very fleeting on me. Interestingly enough, I haven’t any longevity issues with 28 La Pausa…
      I also love Parfums DelRae Mythique in the spring. January 25, 2014 at 4:57am Reply

      • Solanace: I adore 28 La Pausanfor the 50 seconds it lasts on my skin. Lucky you! January 25, 2014 at 6:55am Reply

        • Solanace: Sorry for the typo! January 25, 2014 at 6:55am Reply

        • rainboweyes: The trick is, I spray it in my hair which improves the lasting power a lot! January 26, 2014 at 4:57am Reply

    • Di: I hate to be too boring, but if you love Channel NO. 19, I would recommend Channel No. 19. You might want to try to sample the EDP and Eau de Toillette versions, as well as the flanker
      “Poudre”

      Also if you love Channel No. 19, you are an iris lover, Iris Silver Mist, is usually regarded as the perfuminista gold standard, but it seems more like a fall or winter scent.’
      \

      Come spring (Oh gosh, yes, please spring, come), I usually long for Lily of the Valley scents, Odlieesque is a fine one. Commes De Garcon White is an abstract peppery one of which I am fond. January 25, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

      • Brainfodder: Hello Di

        I did just what you suggested! The No 19 Parfum was by far the best on my skin – a real Chanel treat, oozing quality. It’s a finalist!

        I still have some others to try (Iris Silver Mist, Chamade Parfum and so on), and I have samples of Odalisque and Le Temps d’Une Fete from last year, which I have now tried again. Whilst the perfumes were both very beautiful, the tenacity on me is somehow very weak – they paled in comparison to No 19.

        Thanks again! January 31, 2014 at 11:00am Reply

    • Karen: Diorissimo and Calyx could be lovely for spring:) xx January 27, 2014 at 2:51pm Reply

    • Brainfodder: Hello all, and thanks for the fantastic feedback and suggestions.

      I’ve started sampling some of the recommendations, and so far Perle de Mousse has been my favourite… though I was expecting it to be Mito!

      The Mito sample I have, has surprised me no end… it starts off with a citrus and very slight pine-like note (apologies, I’m no expert!). This lasts for a few minutes, and then morphs into a sweet almost buttery/vanilla cake-like creature with a hint of spice (possible coriander) and some pepper. It then very quickly (within an hour) settles on a dusty vanilla base and stays there. Aside from the pine-like note, there is no apparent green stage :(

      I wondered if this description rings true with any Mito wearers?

      My first thought was my body chemistry plays havoc with this, and then I wondered if maybe the sample wasn’t Mito EDP?

      The sample batch I ordered also included Rubj Extrait (which smells utterly luscious – a saltier, riper, skin scented Carnal Flower without the ripe banana that Fracas unfortunately developed on me), Perle de Mousse (bright, peppery lemonade – Eau Sauvage/Bigarade Concentree territory, without the hint of body odour – a soft green floral stage like a florist shop in the sun – then it just gets better and better, more radiant, wonderful), Cuir de Nacre (definitely a soft cool suede), Anima Dulcis (dark and rich) and Lumiere Blanche (salty, citrus, cool and airy). January 31, 2014 at 10:51am Reply

      • maja: Hi Brainfodder, I am totally surprised your Mito edp sample had vanilla drydown because mine was all about soft oak moss and some jasmine, truly different and absolutely green. I am wondering how that’s possible… February 10, 2014 at 4:30am Reply

  • Kat: Well, I’m also missing what used to be ‘my’ scent and in over more than 15 years I couldn’t find a replacement. It was Shu Ueumura’s Eau de Parfume , (the first Uemura scent presented 1989) I’ve never found a scent that came close. It’s usually classified as floral chypre but to me it felt fresh, rich and clean and not heavy like chypres normally do. Maybe that’s why I am having such a hard time finding a replacement. January 24, 2014 at 8:31am Reply

    • Victoria: If you would like a clean chypre, then how about Stella MacCartney Lily? It’s very modern and light. I’m not familiar with Shu Uemura, unfortunately. January 24, 2014 at 11:09am Reply

      • Kat: Thanks, I’ll give it a try. Uemura’s perfumes are not very well known, which makes the hunt for a replacement so hard. I still have some left in a purse spray, I might take that with me on my next shopping trip. January 24, 2014 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Truehollywood: Hi! I need a replacement to Creed’s Angelique Encens which has been discontinued/quarantined to vault status which makes it completely unaffordable. I suspect that even if I were able afford it that it won’t be the same.
    Fragrances that I like:
    Fall/Winter (very short seasons)
    Creed Angelique Encens
    Estee Lauder Azuree Soliel
    Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess
    Tom Ford Tabac Vanille
    Miss Dior Le Parfum
    Chanel No.5 Perfum
    Spring/Summer-very hot
    Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
    Annick Goutal Neroli
    Chanel Beige
    Chanel No. 5 eau premiere
    Estee Lauder sensuous nude
    Atelier orange sanguine
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Chanel Gardenia perfum
    Miss Dior Le Parfum
    Hermes Jour d Hermes January 24, 2014 at 8:50am Reply

    • nikki: Very interesting! I love AE as well but ended up looking for something similar a while ago, and this is what makes me feel all warm and cozy as well:

      Jasmin Imperatrice Eugenie by Creed; the drydown isfabulous

      Mauboussin original

      Avignon by Comme des Garcons

      Absolue pour le soir by Maison Francis Kurkdijan January 24, 2014 at 10:15am Reply

      • Truehollywood: Thanks Niki! I will see if I can find these and try them. January 24, 2014 at 12:50pm Reply

      • Truehollywood: I received a recommendation from the non blonde blog to try Ted Lapidus Silk Way as a replacement for Angelique Encens and bought it blind for $29.00 including shipping. I’m hoping it work. January 24, 2014 at 1:28pm Reply

        • nikki: interesting will check it out. I used to love VU by Ted Lapidus. January 24, 2014 at 2:33pm Reply

          • Truehollywood: I just tried Silk Way by Ted Lapidus and it is very similar, but slightly sweeter in the dry down. Avoid over spaying, this has silage. January 29, 2014 at 6:39pm Reply

      • Andrea Marie: Hi! I read your list and thought that you may also like Chantecaille Frangipane, based on your love for darker vanillas and EL Bronze Goddess. At any Chantecaille counter they should have a tester and samples. Now you have me interested in your Creed fragrance! Why does the unobtainable seem so desireable…?! January 25, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

        • Truehollywood: It’s a wonderful, soft sultry fragrance. My husband loves it. I will Try Chantecaille. It is frustrating to love something so difficult to obtain. It was a fragrance commissioned (according to legend) by Marlene Dietrich. In my view, she had excellent taste. January 26, 2014 at 12:52am Reply

    • Andrea Marie: I was looking up Creed’s Angelique Encens on Fragrantica and it looks like there is a scent which 2 people marked as being similar to your Creed. It’s called Opus Oils “Burlesque”. I have no idea if it is, in fact, similar but you may want to give it a try! January 25, 2014 at 12:49pm Reply

      • Truehollywood: Thank you!! I will most certainly try it. January 26, 2014 at 12:53am Reply

  • Sandra: I am getting married in June- outside in NYC. I am wearing a traditional white dress but we are going to do some Hindu rituals since my husband to be in Indian. I want to wear the traditional scent of either jasmine or sandalwood, or both. I have tried Estée Lauder private collection, and did not like it. I also tried lartisam chases aux papillons and it did not last. Recently, I tried A la Nuit and santal de Mysore. I just wanted everyone else opinion on these two. I liked them a lot! January 24, 2014 at 8:53am Reply

    • Elizabeth: Congratulations! A la Nuit is a beautiful jasmine. I haven’t really tried Santal de Mysore. I would recommend trying an India-inspired scent like Guerlain’s Nahema or Samsara. Samsara is based on sandalwood and jasmine. January 24, 2014 at 10:00am Reply

      • Sandra: Oops, I meant santal majescule not Mysore. Both are sandalwoods January 24, 2014 at 10:12am Reply

      • Sandra: Would it make sense to try Nahema if I already own La Fille de Berlin? They are both rose scents? January 24, 2014 at 11:19am Reply

        • Elizabeth: Absolutely! Nahema is quite different from La Fille de Berlin, very rich with hyacinth, woods, and vanilla. January 24, 2014 at 11:23am Reply

          • Sandra: Nahema didn’t fit my chemistry well, but Samsara surely did. I got some samples so I will sit with it. Samsara lasted really well on my skin January 25, 2014 at 6:08am Reply

            • Solanace: I think either Samsara, A la Nuit or Santal Majuscule will be perfect and something to remember. Also, have you tried Chanel Bois de Iles? January 25, 2014 at 7:07am Reply

              • Sandra: Yes, I own a small sample of that. I like it but I think it gives my sweetheart a headache. January 25, 2014 at 8:39am Reply

          • Sandra: I revisit nahema- it’s the one February 27, 2014 at 3:15pm Reply

          • Sandra: I revisited Nahema- I think I found the one. February 27, 2014 at 3:22pm Reply

      • nozknoz: I can’t think of any jasmine better than A la Nuit! January 24, 2014 at 10:00pm Reply

    • irem: I love Santal Majuscule. But personally I don’t see it with a traditional white wedding dress. An Indian Sari (luscious reds, oranges, pinks etc) would be perfect with SM, but white is to stark when compared with the warm, cozy feeling of SM. I personally don’t like A la Nuit, but see it more befitting for a white dress.
      I know you asked for our opinion on these two scents only, but have you tried Carnal Flower from Malle. I think you might like it. It has a perfect silage, would rival any gown’s trail. January 24, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

      • Sandra: Thanks, no I haven’t tried Carnal flower , the only FM perfume I tried was Dries VN. I will give it a wiff January 24, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

    • rosarita: How fun! If you like A la Nuit you might try Montale Jasmin Full. January 24, 2014 at 10:55am Reply

    • Neisha: I think Mohur might be the perfect scent for a hybrid Western/Indian wedding. My cousin had a similar event recently, and that’s what I wore, along with a simple shift made of sari fabric. It’s more of a well-spiced rose-oud, but I believe there is jasmin and loads of real Mysore sandalwood. Neela Vermiere has a discovery set on her website, which makes it more affordable, and you can also order decants from Surrender to Chance. Another jasmin with loads of Mysore sandalwood and aldehydes is Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne du Bois, which you can order directly from the website. BTW, my aunt wore Estee Lauder Tuberose and Gardenia to the same wedding and smelled just gorgeous. Congratulations! January 24, 2014 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Jan: Just endorsing the suggestion of Mohur – definitely worth trying. January 25, 2014 at 5:50pm Reply

      • missyl: Seconding the Estée Tuberose and Gardenia. It is gorgeous on skin and dries down beautifully for a wedding. January 26, 2014 at 5:46pm Reply

    • Ann: Hey, congratulations!! I second the Samsara recommendations. If you can find it, the Samsara EdP with the metallic gold cap, black band and red neck (clear, slightly coffin-shaped bottle w band about 3/4ths up) is a little older and has literally incited women to follow me asking what I’m wearing and where can they get it. I got my current bottle on eBay–don’t remember what I paid, but it was very reasonable. January 24, 2014 at 4:24pm Reply

      • Sandra: Thanks! I went to the Guerlain counter to purchase shalimar ode de vanille and tried some samsara- love at first sniff. I will have to look for that bottle :-) I will try online January 25, 2014 at 6:06am Reply

      • maja: I have that same bottle. Sandalwood heaven! January 25, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

      • Sandra: I looked on eBay- I think I found what you were talking about January 27, 2014 at 8:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: You were already recommended everything I would have mentioned, but I just wanted to say again congratulations. I can just imagine how lovely your wedding will be, and please tell us what you end up selecting. January 24, 2014 at 4:47pm Reply

    • Adriana Galani: Yeah, Samsara is a … bridal scent, I feel, though I’d recommand Opium as well or Magie Noire. If on a lighter side, see Y. But if wishing something Indian, why not going for the pure Chandan Oil? If U are lucky, You can get wonderful once, especially in the South. Just be sure not to touch the dress with, as it may leave spots. January 25, 2014 at 2:13am Reply

      • Neisha: Mmmm . . . Chandan oil. My father-in-law’s family is from Kannauj, where they distilled attar for the Mughal courts. He just brought me back two small roller vials of mitti and hina attar, which smell heavenly. I can’t even really describe them. The mitti attar smells as earthy as you would expect, but theres also a nutty aspect to it. The nina smells to me of very indolic jasmine, leather and polished wood. I think I need to hone my nose and try again in a few months. January 25, 2014 at 6:57pm Reply

        • Sandra: Sounds lovely! February 3, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

  • Anka: A fragrance I love very much is Shaal Nur (Etro) but unfortunately it only lasts about 20 minutes on my skin. Could anyone recommend me a similar one? What I like about Shaal Nur is how vetiver and bergamot are created around a herbal-smokiness which I consider earthy and bitter in a good way. And I appreciate that I don’t get much of the patchouli…
    Thanks for any suggestions! January 24, 2014 at 9:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Shaal Nur is really a cousin to Shalimar, so you might want to look in the Shalimar family and Shalimar itself (include Ode a la Vanille and Eau de Toilette, which are lighter). Diptyque Volutes EDT and EDP (those are different from each other) are good too. Also, Etat Libre d’Orange Fils de Dieu, which is one of my top favorites. January 24, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

      • Anka: That’s interesting, because on my skin Shalimar (and all the beautiful flankers) and Shaal Nur smell very different, I can’t detect a sweet note in Shaal Nur at all.
        Actually I am wearing Shalimar Parfum Initial right now together with a wonderful tea according to your fabulous recipe. It’s so wonderful to smell and taste something similar at the same time – and I added some caramell-aroma.
        I just looked up Diptyque Volutes and it sounds very promising – I am particulary curious to smell the iris-tobacco-combo.
        Thanks a lot! January 24, 2014 at 11:22am Reply

        • Victoria: A double Shalimar experience! :) Glad that you tried and enjoyed it. A touch of caramel is great wit all of those flavors, and it probably made the tea even more baroque.

          Then you might like Fils de Dieu. Its sweetness is much more subtle in comparison. January 24, 2014 at 11:34am Reply

          • Anka: Baroque, yes! It’s so much fun to experiment with tea, I found a little vial with bitter almond aroma in my cupboard too, so next time I’ll go from baroque to decadent and even put some dark chocolate sprinkles in my shalimar tea.
            Btw, I love Fils de Dieu, sometimes more than the very similar Shalimar Initial because of its exotic rice note. January 24, 2014 at 11:47am Reply

            • Victoria: Anka, I can just imagine the flavors! If you go further with your experiments, please post what you come up with under the Guerlain tea thread. I’m sure others (myself included) would love to try it along with you. January 24, 2014 at 2:18pm Reply

    • rosarita: Shaal Nur is gorgeous! You might try spraying it on your hair, or a scarf. Alternates that come to mind are Chanel Sycamore and Parfums de Nicolai Vie de Chateau Intense. January 24, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

      • Anka: Thanks for the tip! I smelled Sycomore some time ago and remember liking it a lot but havent’t sprayed it on skin yet.
        Vie de Chateau sounds lovely, I hope to find a sample soon! January 24, 2014 at 11:24am Reply

    • Neisha: What about Diptyque Eau Duelle? It’s a peppery, incense-y vanilla. January 24, 2014 at 1:38pm Reply

      • Anka: Sounds good, off it goes on my list! January 24, 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

  • Tijana: I love Creed’s Sublime Vanille, but it does not last on my skin at all – can you please recommend me a comparable fragrance with better longevity, except Shalimar or Eau Duelle from Dyptique (I have both and they are not what I am after). Price or brand is not a factor. Can be niche or mainstream. Not picky. January 24, 2014 at 9:42am Reply

    • Mary: Hi Tijana, Have you tried Vanille Insensée by Atélier Cologne?I’m wearing it today and it’s still present after 6 hours. I find it warm and comforting but not overwhelming. January 24, 2014 at 9:57am Reply

    • nikki: Laura Mercier’s French Vanilla body cream and perfume were very sensuous and have longevity…

      Maison de la Vanile’s Vanille Noire de Mexique is not bad at all

      Comptoir sud pacifique has so many vanillas to try…. January 24, 2014 at 10:18am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Un Bois Vanille by Lutens perhaps. January 24, 2014 at 10:25am Reply

    • Wendy R: Try a decant of Mona Di Oro Les Nombres D’Or Vanille – beautiful and warm. A great winter fragrance. January 24, 2014 at 10:40am Reply

      • rosarita: Big second for Mona Vanille! January 24, 2014 at 10:59am Reply

    • Sandra: I second un bois de vanille by Lutens January 24, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

    • Foxbins: Creed is a citrus vanilla–For spice instead of citrus try Spiritueuse Double Vanille or for woods try Carner Barcelona D600. Both are beautiful and last quite a while on me. January 24, 2014 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Julie: I too love Sublime Vanille – very high quality ingredients and just the most gorgeous citrus vanilla. I’ve yet to find anything like it. It’s soft, subtle and although the vanilla is there, it’s not too much.

      Longevity, as you noted, is very poor. I have the same issue, as do many as I’ve read.

      One scent that, although not the same, it’s use of vanilla reminds me of Sublime Vanille is Hermes’s Vanille Galante from the Hermessence line. It’s lily & vanille, done quite well. January 24, 2014 at 1:43pm Reply

    • nozknoz: I love L’AP Vanille Absolument and also Rochas Tocade, which is rose vanilla. January 24, 2014 at 10:04pm Reply

    • Sandra: What about ode de vanille (shalimar) January 27, 2014 at 6:46am Reply

  • Figuier: This month’s ‘Recommend me’ is v timely as I desperately need some recs for a perfume for my other half. He’s been wearing Dior Homme in the original formulation, but despite being a vary sparing user, his bottle is about to run out after a record 6 years ,and he can’t abide the reformulated version, the sports version, or the ‘extreme’ :(

    Before DH he wore Miracle for Men, another ambery, light, unisex-ish scent, now discontinued. He used to like the old Ralph Lauren Polo, but after years of wearing DH finds it too harsh. Any recs? (oh, and office friendly is a must)

    Thanks in advance… January 24, 2014 at 9:58am Reply

    • nikki: What about something different but classic like Bel Ami by Hermes or Pi by Rochas or a Santa Maria Novella Fragrance like Amber or Peau d’Espagne? January 24, 2014 at 10:20am Reply

    • Jillie: At the recommendation of Martyn (thanks, M!) I bought my husband Caron’s Pour un Homme for Christmas and he loves it. It is slightly old-fashioned in a very good way, and is a lovely lavender and vanilla combination with a soft base of amber. It is very unisex and smells mellow and high quality. January 24, 2014 at 10:31am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: You beat me to it, Jillie! :-) Figuier, if you can afford something more expensive, there’s also By Killian A Taste of Heaven. And how about Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel? January 24, 2014 at 10:44am Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Oops, By Kilian I mean! Sorry. January 24, 2014 at 10:46am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe he would like Héritage (Guerlain). Very aromatic and classy smell of lavender. I wear it myself in stead of the reformulated Jicky. January 24, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

            • maja: Héritage is glorious. January 24, 2014 at 1:05pm Reply

            • Jillie: Thirding Heritage! January 25, 2014 at 2:25am Reply

              • Figuier: Sounds like this is a must-try – thanks all! January 25, 2014 at 8:22am Reply

    • Figuier: Thanks for some great ideas – I quite like the sound of By Kilian Taste of Heaven, it sounds like a possible option, as does Caron…Bel Ami maybe not so much, he’s quite resistant to classical structures. Will try them out though! January 24, 2014 at 3:06pm Reply

      • Victoria: He might like Bel Ami Vetiver, an updated version. January 24, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

        • Figuier: Good idea – from what you’ve written about it, this sounds like a gorgeous perfume :) January 30, 2014 at 7:59am Reply

          • Isis: A very friendly and generous Hermès SA gave me a sample of Bel Ami Vetiver, and I’ve been testing it on the Husband. He loved it, I think it wears better on him than the original Bel Ami. Try it! February 1, 2014 at 4:40pm Reply

    • nozknoz: It might be worth trying some other iris scents, such as SL Iris Silver Mist, Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena, Atelier Silver Iris, Heeley Iris de Nuit, and Chanel Cuir de Russie. Actually, it would be worth trying many of the Heeleys. January 24, 2014 at 10:13pm Reply

      • Figuier: Excellent advice, nozknoz – might try him with the Heeleys and Cuir de Russie and, if we happen to be in Liberty, Iris Nazarena sounds promising. Thanks> January 25, 2014 at 7:14am Reply

    • Irene: Hi! If you’re looking for a similar perfume, Carner Barcelona D600 is constantly “accused” of reminiding to the original Dior Homme for it’s peppery iris. I like D600 a lot, and must admit that has a very similar vibe..
      I’d also recommend Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman, which also includes the leather/iris combo. Good luck! January 25, 2014 at 6:37am Reply

      • Figuier: Never heard of Carner before, just googled them and very intrigued – thanks Irene! January 25, 2014 at 8:23am Reply

    • Safran: What about Bois d’Argent by Dior. There are huge similarities to Dior Homme, but it has a totally different feel or mood imo.
      Good luck! January 28, 2014 at 9:36am Reply

      • Figuier: Thanks safran, I’ll definitely try and test this one out – it would be nice to stay with the same brand. January 28, 2014 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Isis: How about MPG Iris Bleu Gris? February 1, 2014 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Hannah: My friend wants a new fragrance. He wore Egoïste and is tired of it. Before that he wore Fahrenheit. I considered giving him my bottle of M7 but then I revisited it and I’m keeping it, oop. But I think M7 would be perfect for him. I have the original formulation and I’ve never tried the most recent. Is it still good, even if it isn’t as good as it used to be?
    Any other suggestions? He doesn’t care about niche and he thought I was crazy when I bought a 90€ perfume.
    On *me* he likes Wonderwood, Muscs Koublaï Khan, and By Kilian Incense Oud. January 24, 2014 at 10:35am Reply

    • Natalia: He might like Marc Jacobs Bang. My SO wears M7 and he liked Bang too. I got a bottle of M7 for him recently, the new one, and it smelled great. January 24, 2014 at 12:16pm Reply

    • Victoria E.: I wish I could remember one by YSL that is fabulous……..on men………I will try and locate it. January 24, 2014 at 12:16pm Reply

    • Elisa: Spicebomb! January 24, 2014 at 12:57pm Reply

    • Merlin: The newest M7 – Oud Absolue, smells like a citrus cologne to me: ie, completely different animal.

      You may want to try Ferrari Essence Oud – if you can find it for a good price. Smooth woody oud with some rose accent.

      Santa Maria Novelle has one called Nostalgia: gasoline/leather and barbecue smoke. Sounds strange but I wear it myself and love it:)

      It sounds like he likes wood and incense so the whole CdG range might be viable: the new Black is very nice…

      Those may be above your price limit unless you find a good deal – otherwise I also endorse Spicebomb and perhaps Midnight in Paris! January 24, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

      • Merlin: Just wondering about Bulgari Black… January 24, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Hannah! Lately I discovered Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme. Leather, tobacco, woods, but not cloying, good quality. The drydown is very pleasant. If your boyfriend liked Fahrenheit, he could like V. C&A as well.
          I bought a tester for € 40 (100 ml) and you can find it even cheaper. January 24, 2014 at 5:25pm Reply

          • Hannah: That sounds good. I’ll try it and Spicebomb and maybe suggest them. January 24, 2014 at 5:37pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe also Knize 10, good and not expensive. January 24, 2014 at 5:41pm Reply

        • Hannah: He might like Midnight in Paris. I thought it was discontinued. It’s still on the website but I haven’t seen it around.
          He wouldn’t like CdG Black. He’d be more likely to like CdG 2 Man and maybe Kyoto but I’m biased against Kyoto. January 24, 2014 at 5:27pm Reply

          • Merlin: Both of those are drier and less spicy than Black. Also, perhaps closer to Wonderwood! I haven’t heard that MIP has been discontinued? January 26, 2014 at 4:28am Reply

            • Hannah: It isn’t on Luckyscent anymore and I was recently at a department store and I came across the Van Cleef & Arpels offerings but Midnight in Paris wasn’t among them. Maybe it is still available but with limited distribution. January 26, 2014 at 5:22am Reply

    • minette: i love egoiste, fahrenheit and m7 on me, so since we seem to have similar tastes, i will suggest several other men’s scents i really enjoy wearing – hermes equipage, bel ami and eau d’hermes, chanel pour monsieur, dior eau sauvage, le 3mme homme de caron, guerlain derby and habit rouge. have fun! January 24, 2014 at 7:48pm Reply

      • Hannah: I’ve thought about Bel Ami, and Equipage sounds great…but according to Douglas, they cost 89€.
        I actually have a sample of Bel Ami. I’ll give it to him. Maybe he’ll decide it is worth it.
        I’ll suggest Habit Rouge, too. January 25, 2014 at 4:50am Reply

    • Jillie: Hi Hannah! Grey Flannel is full of violets like Fahrenheit, but has a slightly more astringent character. Fahrenheit is my husband’s all-time favourite but he is happy to wear GF! January 25, 2014 at 2:30am Reply

  • Becca: I am really at the beginning of a journey of perfume discovery. Most scents smell awful on my skin–I seem to bring out the musky or chemical background notes to the point of overwhelming anything else. I wear Chanel 19 and 22 EDP and love them. I wear Paris EDP and EDT and love it. I love the smell of Cristalle but DH hates it on me. I find Chanel 5 headachy and, while not awful, not great on my skin. I also dislike the whole group of Coco scents on my skin and the poudre version of 19. I like Chance eau tendre but find it too juvenile for me and gave it to my daughter. In my early 20’s while living in Paris I got a sandalwood perfume from a healthfood store that I loved, but I used it up decades ago.

    About a year ago I cut wheat and gluten out of my diet and perhaps that is a help in my skin chemistry as lately I have been trying a few other perfumes and finding them ok to good on me. DH recently got me YSL Manifesto which is actually nice for those days I want to smell like I’ve been baking. I also found an old sample of Samsara which I love (didn’t used to), and a sample of something called Parfum d’Ete (manufacturer not identified on the tiny tube) which is lovely. In addition, I wanted to try les exclusives de Chanel so I went online and found a place called the Perfumed Court who repackaged samples of various scents for a price. Most of them fade very quickly on my skin, and I have no way of knowing if I actually got samples of the real thing. I liked Coromandel and still have a few left to try. Decades ago, DH got me YSL’s Y which I have always found headachy and can’t wear for that reason. I have yet to find an American made perfume that smells ok on my skin. Admittedly, I gave up trying them.

    All this is a long-winded way of asking what direction should I try next? Thanks. January 24, 2014 at 10:36am Reply

    • Hannah: Have you tried Diptyque perfumes? You should try (at least) Tam Dao, Philosykos, and L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. January 24, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

    • gyuri: I am quite new too but I have ordered samples from the Perfumed Court, and I think they are fairly legitimate. The Chanel Exclusives are really very fleeting on me too unfortunately…I get the impression that the concentrations are low. January 24, 2014 at 12:26pm Reply

    • irem: Give Surrender to Chance a look too. They are similar to The Perfumed Court, but I found their prices and shipping charges more competitive and their service is very friendly. I am not affiliated at all. Only a happy customer.
      On the subject of perfume itself, I would suggest sampling Frederic Malle. A diverse yet manageable collection of very good perfumes with one or two masterpieces. January 24, 2014 at 12:39pm Reply

    • Merlin: Your Chanel samples are probably genuine! They are short-lived and very delicate even when there, lol!

      I think Parfum d’Ete is a discontinued Kenzo, but you may still find it around if you look. January 24, 2014 at 4:09pm Reply

      • annemariec: Parfum d’Ete still appears on the Kenzo website so it must still be in production. The discounters still carry it. I never see it in the retail shops near me, unfortunately. Must get hold of a sample – I’ve heard good things about it. January 27, 2014 at 2:36am Reply

    • Ann: Ah. Your headache history sounds similar to mine, except that I can and do wear Coco Chanel (but not the flankers). I strongly recommend you check out Sonoma Scent Studio’s offerings (easy to order samples from the website)–not too much musk or sweetness, and none of that inchoate synthetic something note that drives me nuts (a recent re-encounter with Tresor sent me straight to the shower). January 24, 2014 at 4:33pm Reply

    • Sarah K: I’d second the Diptyque and Sonoma Scent Studio suggestions. SSS’s Champagne de Bois is a sandalwood-heavy scent along somewhat similar lines to Chanel’s Bois des Iles but lasts a lot longer on my skin than the EDT version of Bois des Iles. January 24, 2014 at 7:39pm Reply

  • Julie: Hi everyone…
    I’ve recently fallen in love with Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon edt, but the price is a bit too steep for me.
    Any recs on similar scents? It’s a woody chypre according to Fragrantica, and I’m not an iris-lover, but in this it is fine. It’s gorgeous and I may just end up buying a decant to survive until I can find something just like it.

    Thanks! January 24, 2014 at 10:48am Reply

    • rosarita: I love this one too and can’t think of anything similar. I recommend a decant – you’re getting the real thing for less rather than spending money on something unsniffed that might not work, and I find decants to last a surprisingly long time. Just my opinion :-) January 24, 2014 at 11:03am Reply

      • Julie: Thank goodness for decants! How miserable would life be if this wasn’t an option!! :) January 24, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

    • Nicola Stephens: Hello Julie
      It’s funny because I’ve fallen in love with Iris Nazarena which is v spendy but the vat of 31 rue Cambon I bought years ago goes some way to satisfying the woody iris thing. Anyway, I wondered if Bottega Veneta EDP might work for you? It’s a floral leather chypre but to me they share an elegant feel. January 24, 2014 at 12:04pm Reply

      • Julie: Thanks, Nicola!
        I so adore Bottega Veneta! It may be neck-in-neck with 31 rue Cambon, but… maybe not. I do smell leather in 31, do you?

        Yes, the elegant feel is there in both of them.

        I’ll have to try Iris Nazarena, just out of curiosity.

        Do you consider 31 an iris scent? January 24, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

        • Nicola Stephens: Hi Julie
          When I first smelled 31rC, I wasn’t aware of the iris note. It was just this glorious dry woody chypre. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve identified iris, funny isn’t it. And thinking about it there is also a worn leather feel to it too.
          Yay for BV! January 27, 2014 at 9:07am Reply

          • Merlin: Nicola, yes – I tried it at the shop yesterday – and since its been pointed out the iris does seem very dominant in it! January 29, 2014 at 7:01am Reply

    • Safran: Sorry to say that, but , so I’d go for a decant as well! Rue Cambon 31 is such a masterpiece, one of the few very soft chypre scents. It’s elegant, timeless and also wearable on any occasion, can’t think of a chypre scent with a similar feel. January 24, 2014 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Lynley: Julie, I agree with the consensus that 31rc isn’t really comparable with anything else, but for an inexpensive quality smelling soft scent with the same kind of feel to 31rc, maybe try Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre. It’s a complex yet delicate iris based scent with a divine drydown. (it’s the square bottle with gold lid- he has thing for giving all his perfumes similar names :-/ released 1995 I think, I got mine for less than $40) January 24, 2014 at 9:08pm Reply

      • Julie: Thank you, Lynley! I’ve never heard Ferre but sounds like something I’d like to try. January 24, 2014 at 10:26pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: I have them both – 31RC and Ferré – but I find them quite different in style. Ferré is much softer and slightly powdery, it reminds me of Malle’s Iris Poudre (which was also created by Pierre Bourdon, by the way), 31 RC is more peppery, heavier on woods and patchouli. January 25, 2014 at 5:10am Reply

          • Julie: Hmm. Thanks. Helpful! January 27, 2014 at 4:30pm Reply

  • Sarah Crowder: I have Naomi Goodsir Bois D’ascese on my to buy list and am looking for other smoky fragrances to try.
    Other notes I really like are coconut, leather, ginger, cinnamon, and licorice. January 24, 2014 at 11:58am Reply

    • Hannah: Is ”gutfeelings” like the German word for good (gut) feelings or is it like feelings in your gut?
      There are lots of smokey fragrances and I don’t know what you’ve tried so I’ll just say Hilde Soliani Bell’Antonio just like I always do in every single Recommend Me a Perfume post. You can also try Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant, if you haven’t already. January 24, 2014 at 12:13pm Reply

      • Sarah Crowder: thank you. I’ll check them both out. The only goutal I have tried so far is Sables, and I LOVE it.
        Gut is for in your belly, and good. It’s a food zine I create. January 24, 2014 at 12:58pm Reply

        • maja: It is not smoky but since you love Sables and ginger, you could try Like this by Eldo that has a lot of immortelle and ginger. It is very cozy. January 24, 2014 at 1:10pm Reply

          • Sarah Crowder: yes! that is on my to try list already. I’m curious about the pumpkin note. I am in LA next week so will be popping into Luckyscent to try it out, if they have it. January 24, 2014 at 1:21pm Reply

            • Irene: If you love Sables and leather, you need to try Histoires de Parfums 1740 (Marquis de Sade), it is powerful stuff, but addictive. And also with licorice, immortelle and leather, Eau Noire by Dior is a very original and different thing to explore. I’ll second Like This, it is a cozy blast of ginger and pumpkin! January 25, 2014 at 6:57am Reply

    • Bastet: Sonoma Scent Studio has several wonderful smokey fragrances, e.g. Winter Woods and Fireside Intense. January 24, 2014 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Elisa: I wrote an article about smoky scents here a few months ago (http://boisdejasmin.com/2013/10/smoke-and-ashes-smoky-perfumes.html).

      For licorice, I recommend Reglisse Noire.

      For ginger: Five o’Clock au Gingembre. January 24, 2014 at 12:59pm Reply

      • Victoria: Elisa’s article was excellent, so I definitely recommend taking a look at it. Plus, the comments also have lots of smoky suggestions. January 24, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Merlin: For leather and smoke: Comme de Garcons Black,
      Santa Maria Novella Nostalgie, Andy Tauer Lonestar Memories

      All of these are barbecue smokey types.

      The original CdG has cinnamon and ginger and so does White, which is a little softer and more floral. January 24, 2014 at 4:16pm Reply

    • Safran: I just discovered Fumee Ottoman by Miller Harris, a smoky floral oriental, which is very soft, gorgeous. Not really comparable to Bois d’Ascese, which is much stronger, but still interesting to check out. There are two other smoky variations from Miller Harris, they all carry Fumee in their name. A great fragrance with coconut, ginger, leather and cinnamon (all in one) is from État Libre d’Orange – Fils de Dieu du Riz et des Agrumes. January 24, 2014 at 6:49pm Reply

      • Michael: I second the recommendation for La Fumee Ottoman and its predecessor La Fumee Arabie – the latter has a more delicate drydown(vanilla, oud and rose). As for smoky fragrances, how about Volutes by Diptyque? I find the EDP a much better than the EDT as it is warmer and softer on me. January 28, 2014 at 7:50am Reply

    • Laurels: Cafe V by Olympic Orchids is quite smoky. January 25, 2014 at 6:22am Reply

  • Victoria E.: Such a lovely list of fragrances. I love Falling in Love by Philosophy, Unconditional Love by Philosophy and Amazing Grace perfume. Tocca Bianca, Mademoiselle Piguet, Fracas, L’Art & LA Matiere Cruel Gardenia, Lolita Lempicka………these are my favorites but there are so many I have not tried because I live in a small town. I would so love to try all of the fragrances listed. Blessings to all Happiness forever. Victoria E. January 24, 2014 at 12:12pm Reply

  • gyuri: Hi everybody,
    I am new here, new to being a “serious” fragrance aficionado! Because I am still paying back graduate school loans (and anticipate doing so for the rest of my life at this rate :'(), I would love suggestions for affordable fragrances that are still sophisticated and don’t smell cheap.

    For reference, I currently have a few Parfums de Nicolai, Guerlain Apres L’Ondee EDT, Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds, SL Bois de Violette. I would especially love suggestions for a cheap/affordable vanilla fragrance that doesn’t smell plastic-y.

    Thank you everyone! January 24, 2014 at 12:18pm Reply

    • Hannah: What is cheap/affordable for you? January 24, 2014 at 12:46pm Reply

      • gyuri: sorry for this late reply! Preferably around or under $1 per ML, for a 30ml bottle…. :-) January 25, 2014 at 5:36am Reply

    • rosarita: There’s an indie perfumer, cjscents.com, who has a wonderful touch with vanilla. Samples are available and she is a sweetheart to deal with; her fragrances are well priced oils & edps and they last well. Her Vanilla Autumn Nights is one of my favorites. January 24, 2014 at 3:30pm Reply

      • gyuri: Thank you rosarita! I’ll check out her website. January 25, 2014 at 5:37am Reply

    • Andy: If it’s vanilla you’re after, maybe something from La Maison de la Vanille would work. I haven’t tried all of them, and in general they seem a bit sweeter than the vanillas I tend to like, but maybe they would be worth checking out. I think they retail for about $50-60/100mL. I believe they also have a sample set (available through Luckyscent) that includes 5 huge 15mL samples for about $50. January 24, 2014 at 8:46pm Reply

      • gyuri: Thanks Andy! A house dedicated to vanilla, sounds like just what I’m looking for. January 25, 2014 at 5:38am Reply

      • Courant: Try Vanille Marine by Molinard (FragrX has it) January 25, 2014 at 2:36pm Reply

    • Lynley: I know how you feel is was soo good to pay off my uni debt after over a decade!
      As I mentioned above, Ferre is lovely and cheap, Kenzo Amour is described in The Guide as inedible vanilla- were you after edible? ;-), Goutals and Lutens can be found online quite cheap, Yvresse by YSL, Mauboussin edp, Tocade by Rochas, Raw Vanilla by Coty is for men but after the initial fougere-ish opening it’s a lovely soft vanilla, Bvlgari teas can be found cheap, L’artisans online on special are often half price or less, Parfum d’Empire 50ml bottles are about $75, Gorilla Perfumes at LUSH if you have one?, or maybe a coffret of something like Etat Libre d’orange where you can try 10 or so for about $140… January 24, 2014 at 9:24pm Reply

      • gyuri: Ah, glad we can commiserate! Sigh…

        Thank you for these great suggestions! I like both edible and inedible gourmands, I think, lol. But I looked up Kenzo Amour and the milky rice and vanilla notes sound perfect. I will have to look up your other suggetions too. January 25, 2014 at 5:41am Reply

    • Maggie: Taken EDP by Jane Booke, available from Indiescents.com, $65 for 30ml, a lovely vanilla.

      Of course, once you make your fortune it has to be Tihota by Francis Kurkdjian, very spendy, but my favourite vanilla, (exclusive to Luckyscent I believe). January 24, 2014 at 9:36pm Reply

    • Jillie: For a really sweet, golden vanilla you can’t beat Chopard’s Casmir, which can often be found at really cheap prices online!

      Or Yves Rocher’s Vanilla (not the the Noir, although that’s good too, but is not sweet). January 25, 2014 at 2:37am Reply

    • songeuse: Have you looked at Pacifica at all? They have some nice ones. Their 30 ml perfumes are about $20, and they have little rollerball sizes and solids that are even cheaper. And the packaging is super cute, if that matters to you. :) January 25, 2014 at 8:17pm Reply

  • Heather H: Hello everybody,

    My husband and I are having our 10 year anniversary. We were married on Valentine’s day. As a gift my husband is going to buy me a perfume. But I am having trouble deciding which perfume. I am looking for a beautiful rose or romantic floral fragrance. I am looking for something light to wear during the day as I just had a baby, but it has to be special because we have been married 10 years! Any suggestions?
    Thank you in advance. January 24, 2014 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Annick Goutal Rose Splendide was my first thought, but what perfumes do you currently wear? January 24, 2014 at 2:33pm Reply

      • Heather H: Thank you for the suggestion Victoria. I wear Houbigant’s Orange Flowers, Parfumes MDCI Enlevement Au Serrail, and Guerlain Après l’Ondée. January 24, 2014 at 2:37pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, I got so carried away thinking about roses that I didn’t say what I should have–congratulations! :) Both on your little one and on your anniversary. I wish you and your family lots of happiness and many more special moments ahead.

          My Rose Splendide recommendation still holds. Also, the rose in Aerin Lauder’s new collection is very good. Have you tried anything from Parfums de Nicolai? Odalisque might be something interesting to try.
          Also, Chanel is releasing Beige and 1932 in the extrait de parfum soon, and while they won’t be available for the Valentine’s Day but later in February, definitely try them. Actually, Beige and 1932 EDT might also be interesting, if they last well on you. January 24, 2014 at 2:57pm Reply

          • Heather H: Oh thank you Victoria. Many blessings to you and your family as well. I can’t wait to try Rose Splendide. She sounds perfect for the occasion. There is a Chanel boutique close by so I can’t wait to sample. I love the perfumes. January 24, 2014 at 3:08pm Reply

            • Victoria: If you’re near Annick Goutal’s counter, try Rose Absolue as well. It’s warmer and sweeter than Splendide, but it is also lovely.

              And thank you as well. :) January 24, 2014 at 3:20pm Reply

              • Heather H: Hi Victoria,

                I just wanted to thank you for the recommendations. I never tried Rose Splendide and Rose Absolue a year ago as they were not available in the stores. Last week as I was walking through Saks Fifth Avenue I spotted Rose Splendide and I spritzed some perfume on my arm. Wow! Rose Splendide is a beauty. My husband bought me a bottle for Christmas-better late than never:) Rose Splendide is my favorite fresh rose. December 13, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

                • Victoria: Yay! So happy to hear that something interesting came your way. It’s such a beautiful perfume! December 14, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Nataliya: I agree with Victoria, Rose Splendide is so romantic. I wore it on my wedding day last June. Congratulations for your anniversary. January 25, 2014 at 6:52am Reply

    • Safran: Caron Delire de Roses would be my suggestion. It’s quite rare (Luckyscent has it, the only one online I can think of) and it is a lovely and happy rose scent, bright and somehow very clean.
      It might be a bit to light, compared to your other favorites, but worth trying. January 24, 2014 at 6:53pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Guerlain Nahema and By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses are both wonderful, romantic roses. The BK travel atomizer sets are beautiful, too. January 24, 2014 at 10:27pm Reply

      • Geneviève: Oh, I totally agree for Nahema !!! I would also suggest for a nice rose perfume yet very simple : Stella by Stella McCartney. You can wear it daily easily. January 27, 2014 at 11:13pm Reply

      • Heather H: I tried both of these fragrances. WOW! It’s so hard to decide. I guess decants for both! January 29, 2014 at 5:19pm Reply

    • Marvin: Congratulations.

      Since you mention rose, I’ll suggest two offbeat roses: Hermes Rose Ikebana and Le Labo Rose 31. Both are low on the rose note, honestly, however, they’re relatively soft, and fairly interesting fragrances. Just don’t except to be hit by rose when you smell them (except in Le Labo’s first 10 seconds)

      Else, if you want something soft, non-intrusive, what comes to mind immediately is Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau and Thierry Mugler Womanify. January 25, 2014 at 10:15am Reply

    • NeenaJ: Sonoma Scent Studio makes gorgeous, affordable rose scents. You could get an atomizer of each and find a true love among them! Congratulations on your anniversary and your little one! January 27, 2014 at 11:19am Reply

      • Neisha: Seconding Sonoma Scent Studio roses, for folks who like rose. I’m not a rose person, but I love all the Tauer roses, Montale Black Aoud and Mohur, which have prominent, spicy, dark rose notes. January 28, 2014 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Heather H: I am ordering samples. I can’t wait to try her vintage rose perfume.Vintage roses are my fave. Thank you for the suggestion. January 29, 2014 at 5:23pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: Today being my natal day and the bitter cold, snow, icy-laden streets here in NY is serrated a word that best describes this weather. I pre-planned my fragrance for my birthday by visiting MIN NY prior to the foreboding forecast. There I met with Olya Bar and she provided me with a very generous array of scents/samples from different houses to take away. Of course, the conversation lent itself to Bois de Jasmin and how much I enjoy and look forward to all that you bring to us. Most of the samples were in the oud family and because nothing truly moved me I started blending some of the samples. For me, ouds are good for the cold however nothing really had an aha quality on me or for me until — with one exception, a sample of Heeley’s L’Amandiere which had me at once in a garden of green and a complex blend bearing notes of many flowers: bluebells, blossoms, jasmin and of course almond. So, this is my fragrance recommendation for today and it looks like my pastries will have to keep for another time! January 24, 2014 at 3:38pm Reply

    • nikki: Happy Birthday Nancy! January 24, 2014 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: Happy Birthday, Nancy! The weather notwithstanding, it sounds like you have nice scents to play with. Anything that evokes bluebells on a bitter cold day is special. :) January 24, 2014 at 5:31pm Reply

    • Andy: Happy Birthday, Nancy! L’Amandiere sounds really special! January 24, 2014 at 8:51pm Reply

  • Abbie: I’m looking for a new fragrance and not having very good luck in stores like Sephora and Nordstrom. I struck out with a couple of things I got online based on Luca Turin’s reviews (Mitsouko, Clinique Aromatics Elixir), so now I’m a little gun shy about buying something new without trying first. In the past, I was lucky enough to discover fragrances I loved with minimal shopping, or among gifts I received. My all-time favorites include Yvresse/Champagne, Magie Noire, Amarige, Gucci Envy, Hermes Concentree d’Orange Verte, and Bulgari Black. I’m currently using Casmir by Chopard, which doesn’t smell as good as I remember it from the 90s…

    I guess my next move will be to buy a bunch of samples, and I would love recommendations for what to try next! I’m not attracted to anything too floral, although I do have very fond memories of my mother’s Fleurs de Rocaille. January 24, 2014 at 4:24pm Reply

    • nikki: May I suggest these:

      Bulgari Eau The Vert Extreme

      Hay by Santa Maria Novella

      Tuscany per Donna Estee Lauder?

      Pheromone by Marylin Miglin

      APOM pour femme by Maison Francis Kurkdijan

      Anne Pliska

      Sounds like you will be having fun sampling…how nice! I recently bought Fleurs de Rocaille for a friend who is very happy with it. January 24, 2014 at 5:34pm Reply

      • Abbie: Thanks, Nikki! Anne Pliska has been on my list of things to try since I read Luca Turin’s review. I’ll start looking for samples online. You’re right, should be fun! January 24, 2014 at 5:53pm Reply

    • Elisa: For some reason Envy and Amarige made me think of Alien — it’s an abstract white floral (jasmine) with that same kind of piercing quality. Along the same lines, Elie Saab or Narciso Rodriguez for Her. January 24, 2014 at 8:08pm Reply

    • Sarah K: Hello! Maybe try Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon? It is a soft chypre with citrus, powder and patchouli notes that echo notes in some of your favourites. Maybe also Vie de Chateau and Odalisque, both from Parfums de Nicolai.

      I’m not surprised you haven’t liked everything Luca Turin deems a masterpiece. I do happen to like Mitsouko and Aromatics Elixir, but they are certainly not for everybody, or every occasion and when I first smelled Aromatics Elixir I hated it. He dismisses many things I love and loves some things that I don’t. No matter how much of an expert he is, scent is so subjective, and he is just one man giving his opinion – as you have no doubt found :) January 24, 2014 at 8:53pm Reply

      • Merlin: I also didn’t take to Mitsouko, and Aromatics Elixir is horribly bitter to me. I did however find that the current version of Halston for Woman – cheap at discounters – produces for me the effect that Turin describes for Mitsouko. A golden glowing peach chypre. It was my gateway chypre and I find it very easy to like. January 25, 2014 at 8:13am Reply

        • Katy McReynolds: I would like to chime in on the Halston for women. A lovely fragrance! January 26, 2014 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Abbie: Thanks for all the recommendations!

      I’d like to try Mitsouko again in a Guerlain store, the bottle I bought online just didn’t seem at all like a great classic, maybe there was something off about it. Aromatics Elixir was more of a love it or hate it situation, kind of like Bulgari Black, and I just didn’t anticipate correctly which side I’d end up on. :-) January 26, 2014 at 8:55pm Reply

      • Neisha: I think Aromatics Elixer is highly dependent on skin chemistry. My skin amplifies rose notes like nothing else, so Aromatics Elixer is a resiny rose with a nice patchouli base on me. Azuree also smells very rose prominent on me. People describe them both as very dry and unsweet, and it’s so not that way on my skin. Also, my skin loves oakmoss and mossy notes, so old school chypres like Aromatics Elixer, Azuree and Mitsouko work on me. I really can’t wear conventional rose fragrances at all because it’s like they are screaming *rose.* La Fille de Berlin was an immediate scrubber, but would probably be lovely on someone else. :-( January 28, 2014 at 5:32pm Reply

        • Abbie: @Neisha – Interesting! There was no rose at all for me in Aromatics Elixir — kind of making your point about skin chemistry, I guess… January 29, 2014 at 3:22pm Reply

          • Neisha: I know, isn’t that funny? It sounds like you may be able to gret away with sweeter scents than I can. I wonder if Shalimar might work better than Mitsouko? January 30, 2014 at 1:01am Reply

  • Gila: Hi all –

    Love this site and all your comments. I’m wondering if anyone can help me track down Tann Roka (aka Signature) now that Luckyscent no longer carries it. It’s combo if incense, rosewood, floral, marine(?) elements was incredible – I always felt unique, smart, introspective and sexy wearing this, and a spray or two lasted all day. If it’s disappeared into the ether, any ideas for a substitute?
    Thanks so much. P.S. not fond of obvious oud, roses or vanilla. January 24, 2014 at 5:42pm Reply

    • nozknoz: I’m not familiar with this perfume, but it sounds great! Based on your description I’d suggest SL Feminite du Bois or Paco Rabanne Calandre. January 24, 2014 at 11:17pm Reply

  • Merlin: I’v been wondering recently how the notes in a perfume relate to the actual ingredients in it. Does anyone have a simple explanation since I have no chemistry or scientific knowledge?

    An example: One perfume (King Solomon) has 11 notes listed on Parfumo (top, middle and base). When I look at the actual ingredients, and google them, there is one or two responsible for the vanilla smell (not even listed in the notes), one that should smell like orange or lemon (not in the notes either), one that could be responsible for the lavender note and rosemary extract. Fantastic – the notes do list rosemary.

    I know that most perfumes use synthetics, so I’m not expecting some kind of one on one correspondence, but I was expecting a list of ‘aroma-chemicals’ that could – somehow – add up to the listed notes. The actual ingredients seem far far simpler than the notes indicate? January 24, 2014 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Merlin: To be a bit more clear: the notes listed are:

    Top Notes: Basil, Tarragon, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary
    Heart Notes:Indonesian patchouli, Ginger, Thyme
    Base Notes:Moss, Texan cedar, Vetiver

    And the ingredients only explain vanilla (coumarin) orange/lemon (limonene) lavender (linalool) and rosemary (rosemarinus officinalis)

    So how is the effect of all the other notes created? January 24, 2014 at 6:58pm Reply

    • Merlin: Actually, parfum/fragrance is listed as the second ingredient on the list of what the perfume contains. Huh? January 24, 2014 at 7:00pm Reply

    • Andy: Based on the details you’ve included, I think you may be referring to the aroma chemicals that are listed on the ingredients label (along with things like alcohol, water, parfum, etc.).

      This is really a better question for V to answer, but I’ll take a stab at it. It’s my understanding that they list some aroma chemicals after the word “fragrance” or “parfum” (which indicates a proprietary blend of fragrant ingredients that could vary) due to allergy concerns on those particular components per EU regulations. In reality, the fragrance that you smell likely contains dozens of other ingredients under the catchall term “parfum,” since the formula is considered a proprietary trade secret. In other words, while the label indicates that limonene is indeed in the formula, there are probably other ingredients that are in the fragrance (unlisted, but in the “parfum/fragrance”) to create the impression of lavender, etc.

      I hope this helps and I haven’t given any huge misinformation! January 24, 2014 at 9:00pm Reply

      • Merlin: Thank you! That definitely explains the matter. I thought that they were obliged to list what the formula contained and the real secret was in the quantities. But then, yes, the list would be a lot longer! January 25, 2014 at 7:07am Reply

    • Victoria: The note listings are mostly fiction and they mean so little that it is hard to judge. Andy probably answered what you wanted to know, and yes, the materials like linalool, etc listed are the potential allergens. By the way, some of them might of natural origins, not necessarily synthetic. If a perfume contains more than the amount deemed safe by IFRA, they have to be listed.

      What materials in your perfume are responsible for what is hard to say. It really depends on what other ingredients are used. I haven’t smelled that perfume. It sounds interesting, by the way. January 25, 2014 at 3:18am Reply

      • Merlin: Thanks Victoria! The notes as listed by the company may be fiction but then what about notes that reviewers smell in it? I suppose my question essentially is how do the various chemicals (natural and synthetic) translate into the particular things we identify when we smell it. I am less confused now that I know that not everything is listed!

        This particular perfume smells like tobacco to me:) It’s from a line called Kings&Queens which is produced by the same company as Korres. So, the company and address is listed as in Athens and then beneath that it says ‘Made in France’. I give up understanding anything.

        On the positive side it really is a VERY nice perfume. I couldn’t believe that the price was really R200 ($20). It definitely smells like it could be niche. January 25, 2014 at 7:27am Reply

        • Victoria: One recognizes the raw materials in the composition by smell. The more you smell, the bigger your olfactory vocabulary gets and with experience you can pull things apart. Actually, when one smells, it’s best not to read the marketing lists of notes, because they can influence us and make us smell things that aren’t there.

          Perfumery is really like cooking. You put flour, sugar and butter together and depending on quantities, you get different pastries. There are about 3000 ingredients used in fragrances, and they certainly all interact to produce different effects. It’s hard to give a general answer on how exactly they translate into smells we recognize as it depends on specific materials. Again, imagine tasting a dish. You may not know what exactly went into it, but by tasting you recognize some familiar things. January 25, 2014 at 4:02pm Reply

          • Merlin: Victoria, one of the problems is that I am such a loss in the kitchen, lol!

            The thing is – I smell tobacco – but I think the ‘tobacco’ effect could easily be caused by a number of other notes in combination – vetiver, wood, vanilla, for instance. Just like the effect of a certain flower can be achieved without using that flower at all.

            Also, there are aspects of notes – like some perfumes with immortelle remind me of curry – but there is no curry in it. At other times, like in L, its effect is maple syrup. Again there is no maple syrup in it.

            And then what really puzzles me is some aroma chemicals which can be found in 3 natural substances that all smell completely different. In its pure form I would have no idea what this chemical smells like – or even if it has a smell in isolation.

            Although each chemical is taken from, or simulates something found in, the natural world, it may be that these chemicals take on a completely different character in isolation. Because of this your basic principle:

            ‘One recognizes the raw materials in the composition by smell’

            becomes less and less clear. Or am I just over-complicating things? January 26, 2014 at 4:50am Reply

            • Merlin: I just wanted to bring it up that the essential oil of some flowers smell very different from the flower in bloom, such that I’m not even sure these essences/oils are even helpful in creating the flower-in-bloom effect…

              Given all that – how does one establish anything! January 26, 2014 at 4:55am Reply

            • Victoria: Sorry I can’t explain it better. Every material has its own smell. You put several things together and they smell of something else, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t tell what the mixture is made of. The catch here is that you have to know the materials themselves in isolation and also how they behave. But this is the entire subject of professional perfumery training.

              But even perfumers don’t smell hunting for ingredients. Far more important is the character of perfume and what it evokes. You have a great nose, so just smell, smell, smell. :) January 26, 2014 at 8:28am Reply

              • Merlin: Thanks Victoria, I’m not sure its a great nose, but it does ‘try hard’, which is all I can ask of it!

                And yes, I need to smell more natural substances – or at least try be aware of scent even in non-perfume contexts. January 26, 2014 at 12:01pm Reply

                • Victoria: I should add that I’m typing jetlagged and exhausted, so if you’re confused, it’s my fault. Your question is great but not easy to answer in a few words. I’ll give it another think once I catch up on my sleep. :) January 26, 2014 at 1:38pm Reply

            • george: Have you read the Science of Scent?: that ‘s probably the best read for fully explaining this. Also, A Perfect Scent has some good information too- including the chemical breakdown of a rose oil, which shows the molecular complexity of a natural substance and why various natural ingredients may well share some of the shame chemical makeup but overall smell very different. If you read these in conjunction with each other, it will probably give you a good idea of how arbitrary a lot of talk of perfume in terms of notes and ingredients is (particularly marketing), and that the bottom line is molecular, and that natural ingredients are recognisable but varying cocktails of chemicals that can have parts turned up, turned down, removed, added, or can be reduced to just a few components and a sketch of them created synthetically, or can be coloured in particular ways, or can be coloured by their extraction method, and sometimes then de-coloured to then more resemble the smell of the thing they were extracted from. Probably the best way for example to think of a rose soliflore perfume is less that it is not the smell of a rose but the idea of how a rose smells and how that idea is expressed can be achieved in many different ways using many different ingredients both natural and synthetic; that the marketing blurb might describe it as a rose perfume is more about the idea they think it conveys than anything meaningful in terms of manufacture or composition. January 26, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

              • george: That last sentence should read “Probably the best way for example to think of a rose soliflore perfume is less that it is the smell of a rose but more that it is the idea of how a rose smells………” January 26, 2014 at 12:48pm Reply

                • Merlin: Thanks, i did get the sense of the sentence:) Actually I would very much like an olfactory photo of a living red rose and have never found one that is fully in focus! Apparently it is very hard to recreate… (Jo Malone’s Red Rose is quite a good attempt but I don’t think it captures the more exquisite nuances).

                  I think its probably easier to create abstract impressions of a rose (you know, include the soil, put in some metal to signify thorns or blood – some green notes, etc!) January 26, 2014 at 1:15pm Reply

            • george: http://www.ted.com/talks/luca_turin_on_the_science_of_scent.html
              This will give you an idea of what the content of the Science of Scent (the book) is. January 26, 2014 at 10:47am Reply

              • Merlin: I’m downloading the vid right now:)

                Actually there is a lot of info in your comment which exactly addresses the matter. I’m studying & reading it, lol!

                I’m also going to look at the recommended books. I’m not sure they are for me because I never made it even half way into Emperor of Scent! On the other hand I remember enjoying What the Nose Knows – so – if the science is accessible…

                Will look up samples on kindle:) Thanks again for the detailed response, as well as the leads! January 26, 2014 at 12:08pm Reply

                • Merlin: I didn’t mean that the science in ‘The Emperor of Scent was the problem – I just wasn’t enjoying Chandler Burr’s style of writing. January 26, 2014 at 12:10pm Reply

                  • Victoria: Oh, Merlin, I thought of a way to explain one part of your question–which materials are responsible for which effect. As I mentioned before, it’s such a tricky question, and I only hope that my reply will make more sense.

                    For instance, you’re smelling a perfume and notice a coconut note in it. It can be different things, but let’s assume for the sake of simplicity, it’s either from a coconut lactone or from tuberose essence. Tuberose essence contains some coconut lactone. So, you smell and see if you also notice the specific nuance that could pertain to tuberose essence–indole and the wintergreen like notes. If you don’t see them, you can assume it’s just coconut lactone. See, it’s a bit like the Sherlock Holmes’s deduction method.

                    But your nose can only guide you so far. Maybe, you notice wintergreen and indole in our hypothetical example. Does it mean it’s tuberose essence? No, a perfumer might have used indole+wintergreen+coconut to create a nature-like tuberose accord (this is what George mentioned in regards to his rose example). You can only know for sure if you have a GC/MS analytical tool on hand.

                    In short, perfumery is very complex. If I smell tobacco or coconut in a perfume I’m reviewing, I only talk about what I smell, not the ingredients or the listed marketing notes. Sometimes we all smell different things in perfume, and that’s fine. This makes our chats here more interesting. :)

                    I know you disliked the Emperor of Scent, but I think that the book does talk a lot about some topics of interest to you. If you’re still curious, then definitely try giving it another chance. January 27, 2014 at 4:45am Reply

                    • Merlin: Thanks Victoria, I think you and George have explained it perfectly! Perhaps some reviewers do not make, or observe a clear distinction over here, between what impressions the scent creates for them, and what the scent is likely to actually contain. The word ‘notes’ is a little ambiguous here. Actually even phrases such as I smell some x or a faint note of y – there is an accent of z, and I’m sure there is just a touch of w, seems to fudge things a little!

                      I’d need to know a lot more than I do to have an idea of what is being used to create the impressions I receive – but in abstract I think I’v now got it:)

                      The Emperor of Scent is by no means a bad book: its well written and informative. It may be that I am a little skeptical of biography as a genre, who knows! I may come back to it at some point. January 27, 2014 at 8:13am

    • Hannah: I’ve been wondering what linalool is because it is in my nailpolish remover pads, which I love because they don’t dry out my nails and I can use 1 pad for all 10 fingers (depending on the nailpolish) and I thought maybe it was the linalool (German for oil is “Öl” and this entire time I’ve been misreading it as Linalöl). I guess it is actually for fragrance. January 25, 2014 at 9:21am Reply

      • Merlin: Hi Hannah: this explanation is given at a site called ‘Chemical of the Day’ (I don’t know how authoritative it is though)

        ‘Linalool is a component of many essential oils, including orange, lavender, rose, rosewood, and coriander. The main problem the Cosmetics Database has with linalool is the risk of skin irritation and allergic reactions. Just like limonene, linalool is not a skin allergen in its pure form. However, when it’s oxidized…’

        Apparently its used in many cosmetics! I know its off-topic but please tell me what remover you use? I find that it even takes a lot of pure acetone to remove polish – and buckets if I use one of the more moisturizing formulations… Drives me crazy! January 26, 2014 at 4:38am Reply

        • Hannah: Merlin, I use Isana nailpolish remover. This is a brand for a German drugstore called Rossmann. It was very inexpensive!!!
          The ingredients are: dimethyl glutarate, dimethyl adipate, dimethyl succinayte, parfum, limonene, tocopheryl acetate, linalool, citral. January 27, 2014 at 8:02am Reply

          • Merlin: Thanks Hannah! We don’t have that brand where I live but I may be going on a trip to Germany so I will look out for this. I think Rossman’s is a pharmacy that also sells discounted perfume… If so – I’ll definitely have my eyes peeled:) January 27, 2014 at 9:54am Reply

            • Hannah: They sell perfume but I’ve never looked at them so I don’t know. But I do love Rossmann. But Rossmann stores are all over the place and they’re also in Poland and Hungary. January 27, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

  • Andy: This might be a bit of a stretch, but I thought I’d put out the question anyway.

    So there is an orchid I grow, called Oncidium Twinkle ‘fragrance fantasy,’ which is currently in bloom. It’s a very commonly grown orchid, and while its flowers are not especially remarkable in appearance, its fragrance is, understandably, incredible. The scent is musky and sweet, remarkably simple but heavenly. It smells like warm, glowing skin, with a sweetly powdery flourish. I don’t normally test much that would fit into this fragrance genre, so I really have no starting point. But if on an off chance anyone is familiar with this orchid and knows of a fragrance that smells like it, I would greatly appreciate any recommendation. I once smelled someone who smelled just like my ‘fragrance fantasy’ (so I know something is out there…), and I regret to this day not asking what perfume it was. Or if anyone knows of a perfume that seems like it might fit this description, feel free to make a mention! Thanks! January 24, 2014 at 9:10pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Not sure, but it might be worth trying Kenzo Amour or L’AP Dzing. January 24, 2014 at 11:10pm Reply

      • Andy: I haven’t tried Kenzo Amour, but Dzing I have. Thank you for your recommendation! January 25, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

    • Laurels: Olympic Orchids has a number of scents based on orchids, although I don’t know if your orchid is one of them. I’d search for posts that recommend musk-based perfumes–they seem to come in many varieties, so a general round-up might give you somewhere to start. (I’m often anosmic to musks, so I’m afraid I can’t be of more help.) January 25, 2014 at 6:38am Reply

      • Andy: I’ve tried the Olympic Orchid perfumes, but my orchid is not one of the ones in the collection. I was sad to find the fragrances in that collection to be disappointing, unfortunately. Being familiar with the scents produced by many real orchids, I’m constantly searching to find bits of “orchid-ness” in perfumes, but it’s a difficult task. Thank you for the recommendation though! January 25, 2014 at 3:48pm Reply

    • Merlin: gack! As you have probably discovered google is not much help on this, lol.

      Narciso Rodriguez perfumes fit the various descriptors you use: simple, musk, glowing skin, powdery flourish. But, I assume the actual smell you are looking for is much more particular! January 25, 2014 at 8:02am Reply

      • Andy: Hmm…I haven’t tried all of the Narciso Rodriguez perfumes, but I’m starting to think that the fragrance I’m looking for is probably something a lot less polished and sophisticated. I think the kind of musk I’m looking for is more along the lines of Auric Blends perfume oils. I might have to search out their collection to see if my intuition is right. January 25, 2014 at 3:50pm Reply

    • Irene: Hi Andy! I don’t know the orchid variety that you mention, but some time ago I bought a sample set of Profumi del Forte, and remember that Roma Imperiale was basically a sweet powdery lemony orchid scent. It was too feminine and pretty for my tastes, but it may be what you’re looking for. January 25, 2014 at 9:09am Reply

      • Andy: Even if it doesn’t match my orchid, it might be worth checking out Roma Imperiale–I’m always searching for perfumes that evoke “orchid” for me! January 25, 2014 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Lynley: I just googled your orchid and it’s adorable! What cute little flowers :) one of the sites mentioned that they smell of vanilla and coconut. If that’s true maybe you could start there? January 25, 2014 at 10:31am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Vanille and coconut? Maybe Mahora (=Mayotte)! January 25, 2014 at 10:44am Reply

      • Andy: I know, it’s incredibly cute! I wouldn’t personally describe the scent as vanilla or coconut, but I can see where they would be coming from with the coconut because it does smell a bit like some sunscreens. In fact, I’m smelling it now, and the scent of this orchid is also quite rubbery. Like warm, powdery rubber and skin of someone who’s been sunbathing on the beach! :) January 25, 2014 at 3:56pm Reply

        • Maggie: For some reason this description brings to mind Sandrine Videault’s Manoumalia. Worth a try? January 25, 2014 at 7:26pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Warm, powdery rubber…maybe a perfume with tuberose in it. But they are mostly rubbery but not powdery. January 26, 2014 at 5:14am Reply

          • Andy: Sure! I’ve been meaning to try Manoumalia anyway! January 26, 2014 at 9:26am Reply

    • Julie: Can’t help you out but I love the name “perfume fantasy” for a scent name! January 25, 2014 at 2:39pm Reply

      • Andy: I know! The name drew me in for a closer look, and then when I took a long inhale, the plant sold itself! :) January 25, 2014 at 3:59pm Reply

    • AnnieA: Andy have a sniff of this CSP:
      http://www.fragrantica.com/perfume/Comptoir-Sud-Pacifique/Vanille-Coco-745.html January 27, 2014 at 9:17am Reply

  • Petra: I love the smell of hawthorn. It”s the smell of my childhood. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks. January 25, 2014 at 4:54am Reply

  • Marvin: I’m looking for a masculine fragrance for daily wear, something effervescent and long lasting like L’AP Timbuktu, which covers you in its radiance without being overpowering (it could be woody, chypre, earthy .. doesn’t matter.)

    To give you an idea of what I use (and like) which don’t fit the bill for now:
    1. Davidoff Cool Water – will always love this, but is too strong for my current need
    2. Cartier Declaration – not really effervescent on my skin. Love the smell of it though.
    3. Hermes Bel Ami – again, excellent fragrance, which loses its radiance very soon, and becomes a skin scent
    4. Lalique Encre Noire – too strong for office wear. One of my favourite fragrances though.
    5. Terre d’Hermes – what I regularly wear – I’m looking for a change of scene, hence this question.
    6. Dior Eau Sauvage – fits the bill. I need an accompaniment to alternate with this. January 25, 2014 at 10:11am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Your taste is very elegant! Maybe you would like a leathery scent now, new in your collection. For exemple Antaeus (Chanel). Or one of the excellent colognes by Acqua di Parma (my favourite: Colonia Intensa, fresh but leathery and slightly bitter; good longevity).
      Did you try Equipage by Hermès? THE perfume for gentlemen.
      Or maybe No 89 by Floris; neroli, soapy, comfortable.
      Or Green Irish Tweed by Creed. January 25, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

      • Isis: I am seconding Equipage! It could be just what the doctor ordered. January 25, 2014 at 4:01pm Reply

      • Marvin: These sound like great suggestions. Thanks!

        I remember having smelled Antaeus and Equipage, and loving them back then. Time to give them another sniff.

        I haven’t seen any Acqua di Parma products in my country, so doubt I’ll find them. Same for Floris and Creed. Although, GIT doesn’t cut it for me because it resonates a lot with Cool Water. I prefer my $50 bottle of CW :) January 28, 2014 at 3:03am Reply

    • Lynley: Marvin, what about Commes des Garçons? They have lots of interesting yet office- friendly scents, like Man 2. Also Marc Jacobs Bang, although it doesn’t last very long on me, Dzonkha by L’artisan, Absinth by Nasomatto, something by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier? You appear to like vetiver, so maybe Racine? (I hear they have a great mens range but I haven’t smelled many) Les Nuits d’Hadrian or Nuit Etoilee by Annick Goutal, Dior Homme Sport has a nice ginger note and it’s probably the only time I’ll ever suggest a ‘sport’ flanker ;-) January 25, 2014 at 11:10am Reply

      • Marvin: Ha, thanks for those suggestions. Funnily enough, in India, where I stay, none of these brands are available. (I picked up Timbuktu in Australia, just so you know.)

        The only one I can find and test here is Dior Homme/ Dior Homme Sport. It’s a shame though, that Dior Homme smells exactly like India’s favourite antiseptic (Dettol) and brings back painful memories.

        Dzonkha, I remember being dumbfounded by, when I tested it while buying Timbuktu. Never got a second chance with it though. January 28, 2014 at 3:06am Reply

        • Victoria: Your comment about Dettol made me smile. This is the reason why I think that Indian disinfectants smell so sophisticated. But of course, I can see how in reverse it can be an unpleasant association. January 29, 2014 at 11:11pm Reply

          • Marvin: Ha, funny, isn’t it? If I’d had the pleasure of knowing Dior Homme before I knew Dettol, then getting bruises and cuts dabbed in Dettol would’ve been an altogether different, maybe even pleasant, experience. January 29, 2014 at 11:33pm Reply

            • Victoria: :) Also, whatever stuff was used to clean the rooms in my hotel in Mumbai the other day smelled like Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. My husband is far from a connoisseur, but even he noticed the smell of tuberose. The hotel itself was hardly a fancy place. January 29, 2014 at 11:50pm Reply

    • george: Chanel Pour Monsieur should exactly fit the bill. If you like Declaration, also try the Angeliques sous la Pluie and Voyage and also others by Ellena, as radiance and polish is his thang. But also don’t be afraid of tripping over the fence to try fragrances labelled for women- Diorella and Cristalle might do the job too. I haven’t tried the L’eau fragrance range from Patricia de nicolai but they sound like they are ideal. Also, don’t forget classic colognes too, though they might not be long-lasting enough. Guerlain colognes and also eau de Guerlain and Vetiver might be a good place to start. January 25, 2014 at 11:54am Reply

    • maja: I’ll second Chanel Pour Monsieur. January 25, 2014 at 6:59pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Me too.
        Cristalle and Diorella are excellent choices, also Racine, but if Encre Noire is too strong for the office, I fear these perfumes certainly are.
        But absolutely worth trying! Maybe your colleagues will enjoy them! January 26, 2014 at 5:20am Reply

        • Marvin: George, Maja, Cornelia – thanks.

          I’ve never tried Chanel Pour Monsieur. Time to give it a shot, me thinks. And I certainly don’t mind trying Diorella and Cristalle, if I find them in stores here.

          Well, Encre Noire, I think, appears too strong because of some of its striking notes (especially the burnt notes) and its projection. I still love popping into office wearing this every once in a while just to do some good to the Boss/cK-bombarded noses of my colleagues. January 28, 2014 at 3:11am Reply

    • nozknoz: I’m very impressed by the Heeleys and would also recommend the Annick Goutal masculine and unisex scents. January 27, 2014 at 10:39pm Reply

      • Marvin: Thanks! I really must hunt down Annick Goutal soon. They’re not sold here in India, and in Australia, I just found their feminine scents. January 28, 2014 at 3:13am Reply

        • maja: Goutal’s Duel is just a perfect scent indeed. Very subtle and lovely. January 28, 2014 at 11:39am Reply

    • Geneviève: I do wear Timbuktu like you! It’s such a great perfume!
      I’ve seen you wore Declaration by Cartier. Have you tried Déclaration d’un soir by Cartier ? I’m not sure to know exactly what you mean by effervescent, but this one «sparkles» on my boyfriend and last super long, more than the original. January 27, 2014 at 11:17pm Reply

      • Marvin: I agree. It is a magnificent piece of art.

        No, I remember trying d’un soir once, however, it smelled a tad too sweet. Although, that was a fleeting exchange with the fragrance, and I must give it a more involved try when I see it next.

        The original, in the meantime, continues to be awesome! January 28, 2014 at 3:20am Reply

  • rainboweyes: While exploring iris scents, I tried a few which I found too masculine for myself – Divine L’Homme de Coeur, Eau d’Italie Sienne d’Hiver (it’s like a more masculine Dzongkha to me), Kurkdjian Amyris Homme, Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel, Odin 02 Petrana… January 25, 2014 at 11:33am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Oops, the above was meant to be a reply to Marvin’s question… January 25, 2014 at 11:36am Reply

  • Hannah: It’s interesting to see what perfume people want to wear for their wedding. I never thought about my future wedding until I marathoned Say Yes to the Dress, and then I had to find my dream dress (Vera Wang’s Jane dress in the sand-ish color. I hate the color white but I’d like to wear something light because I only wear black). But I’m really cheap so I can’t imagine myself actually buying a wedding dress. I’d rather buy a perfume.

    If I were to get married soon, and I’m not even in a serious relationship so this is theoretical, I would probably wear By Kilian Rose Oud. My favorite part of the perfume is the saffron and cardamom, rather than the rose or the oud. Aramis Perfume Calligraphy Saffron sounds interesting too, as well as Neela Vermeire Trayee and Mohur.
    Thank you, Neisha, for mentioning the Neela Vermeire discovery set. I think I will buy the trial set (not for my wedding that isn’t even happening anytime soon). January 25, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

  • Laura: I have started searching for a “signature” fragrance. I’m fussy about perfumes so I don’t see myself having an entire wardrobe of fragrances and I’d like to have one or two really special ones that are comfortable to wear (I don’t like a big sillage and can even be made to feel sick if it’s too big).

    I asked my husband to buy me a bottle of Chanel No.5 because I like it and I feel like it’s a good winter scent but I also really want something light that isn’t boring and is a bit original.

    I used to wear Calyx and liked it at the time. I wore Philosophy’s Amazing Grace for a while and sometimes still mix it with something I got as a gift from Victoria’s Secret.

    I’ve sampled D&G l’imperatrice (like it but it’s not as interesting as I want it to be), Tom Ford Neroli Portofino (love it, but it disappears to nothing almost immediately – I think it’s the neroli portion of it that I love), Parfums de Nicolai L’eau Mixte (didn’t love it, I found it a little overwhelming).

    I also love a very light touch of patchouli, especially in the summer, and sometimes add some oil to my bath soap or buy some handmade soap at the farmers market to experience that. January 25, 2014 at 4:58pm Reply

    • Laura: Oh, also, D&G Light Blue gives me a metallic taste in my mouth that I find unbearable. January 25, 2014 at 5:38pm Reply

    • Lynley: Dior Escale a Portofino has a neroli note also and I find it a bit more interesting and ling lasting than the Tom Ford. Much cheaper too! January 26, 2014 at 1:23am Reply

    • rainboweyes: As far as I know Marni has a light patchouli note. I’ve tested it only once but I think it was rather light and not overwhelming.
      Have you tried Mistral Patchouli or Rose Anonyme by Atelier Cologne? They both contain patchouli too.
      And then there is of course 31 Rue Cambon but I mainly wear it in autumn/winter and switch to 28 La Pausa in the spring. January 26, 2014 at 5:18am Reply

    • Cybele: try Chanel 5 Eau Premier and Cristalle EDT. Also Lime Basil Mandarin by Jo Malone, Eau de Orange Verte by Hermes and Bottega Veneta Eau Legere. January 26, 2014 at 6:10am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe Eau de Rochas. It has a touch of patchouli. January 26, 2014 at 11:51am Reply

    • nozknoz: Coromandel would be worth trying. January 27, 2014 at 10:43pm Reply

    • Laura: So many great suggestions! I had to split them up in a buy now and a wish list for my decants. Thank you everyone. I’m looking forward to having a more refined palette of fragrance knowledge. January 28, 2014 at 12:48am Reply

      • Laura: So, I’ve learned that I really don’t know what I like! I sprayed my wrist with Prada Essence d’Iris while at the store the other day and I couldn’t stop smelling it. I had to go back and get it. It’s none of the things I thought I wanted. How does one become well versed in fragrances? I’m clearly clueless. February 7, 2014 at 11:28pm Reply

  • Sarah L: Could I have your recommendations? Much appreciated!

    I’m a woman, but I wear men’s cologne pretty much exclusively. I like big, rich, woody, spicy scents. I usually wear Tom Ford Oud Wood or Italian Cypress. Vetiver, cedar, incense, cinnamon, honey, leather, and tobacco are notes that have a strong gravity for me.

    I’d like to change it up a bit, maybe try something a bit more classically ‘feminine’ or lighter. I am strongly averse to powerful rose, tuberose, and white flower scents, and don’t much like big juicy fruits (ie, I prefer citrus to peach or berry notes.)

    Any advice? Help me branch out? ver grateful for your suggestions!

    Cheers,
    Sarah January 26, 2014 at 3:58pm Reply

    • annemariec: Have you tried anything from Andy Tauer’s line? He is brilliant with many of the notes you mention. L’Air du Desert Marocain comes to mind. Une Rose Chypree has a strong note of cinnamon. January 27, 2014 at 3:46am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hello Sarah, here are some suggestions:

      – By Kilian Rose Oud: Don’t be scared by rose. It’s not ‘in your face’ rose and it also contains many of the notes you enjoy.

      – Iris perfumes like Chanel No 19 and Prada Infusion d’Iris

      – Chanel Cristalle EDT

      – Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche: This is my current favourite. Light spices + woods. January 27, 2014 at 6:53am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Oh, and I forgot to mention Chanel Cuir de Russie. January 27, 2014 at 9:59am Reply

      • rainboweyes: I second Lumiere Blanche! Lovely light spices and iris :)
        Orris Noir by Ormonde Jayne is another great interpretation of the iris+spices theme. January 27, 2014 at 3:56pm Reply

    • Cybele: Hi there, try Chanel Cristalle EDT, Sycomore and No18. January 27, 2014 at 8:03pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Caron Parfum Sacre, Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea and L’Artisan Parfumeur Vanille Absolument. January 27, 2014 at 10:45pm Reply

    • Aria: Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee is fig and wood, unisex, and can be more feminine without being girly-girl. January 27, 2014 at 11:00pm Reply

    • maja: Mitsouko maybe? January 28, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

    • Merlin: Hi Sarah, I have quite similar taste to you! I would recommend Eau de Rochas which is a lime-wood chypre, very refreshing and long-lasting. Also has some good silage:). At the moment I’m also loving Estee Lauder’s Azuree – cigarettes and leather. For cinnamon Musc ravageur is good – and also there are some Diptyque scents (l’eau) which have prominent cinnamon notes. Its not especially for women though. January 29, 2014 at 7:18am Reply

    • Ann: Hi Sarah,

      I don’t know where you live, and my first rec. may be hard to get your hands on in some places… but Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier’s Racine is a lovely fragrance of rich woody, spices focused around vetiver and citrus. It is not as inky as Encre Noir it has a lovely floral lift, and although it is marketed as a masculine, I think it easily swings both ways. I love it. My other suggestion may be discontinued, but it is still widely available on eBay and probably elsewhere–Theorema by Fendi. I find it full of warm spices, a hint of vanilla infused caramel (and I usually cannot stand caramel notes, but this works for me) and orange peel. January 29, 2014 at 2:40pm Reply

  • annemariec: I came back from holiday yesterday with an impulse buy: Jean Couturier’s Coriandre, bought from a sweet little perfume boutique. I had not much time to think about the purchase, and no internet access to with which to check it out, so it was only when I got home that I realised that I had a) paid WAY too much; and b) lovers of the original Coriandre curse the current formulation to hell.

    Sigh. Anyone else had this experience? Bought something only to discover the reformulation is reviled?

    The thing is, I can smell the faults in Coriandre but I still like it. On skin it is harsh and rather soapy, especially at opening, and just going on that, I would avoid Coriandre. The bit I like is the sillage, which is much softer and less scatchy. Green, refreshing, a bit fougere-like but not too much because of a funk of spice in the heart of the fragrance. In summer I get sick of the usual citrus colognes so this will be a great alternative.

    Oh well, you should wear what you like, eh? January 27, 2014 at 4:05am Reply

    • Victoria: It happened to me before with Mitsouko when I bought a new bottle and noticed lots of things missing. But in the end, I liked it for what it was. It didn’t have the mossy darkness but instead lots of creamy peaches and cinnamon. It took some time to get used to its new look, though.

      And I don’t think that Coriandre is that horrible. I was resmelling it recently for my post of perfumes that influenced history, and it struck me as thinner and more abrasive right on top, but with a pleasant body and drydown. It sounds like it smells great on you once it settles. I would focus on that and enjoy my acquisition. January 27, 2014 at 4:50am Reply

      • annemariec: Thanks Victoria. The great thing is to learn to trust your own judgement, isn’t it? I wear modern Mitsouko quite happily, for what it’s worth.

        I think I was encouraged in my Coriandre purchase by the guy in the boutique telling me that he really only gets Coriandre in for a particular customer who buys it about every year for his wife. There was only one bottle and no tester, but the guy opened it up for me to smell, saying he doubted his other customer would mind, and there would be plenty of time to get another bottle in.

        I like to think of this Coriandre-loving lady and her devoted husband. Modern Coriandre can’t be too bad if a long-time wearer still gets through a bottle every year? She has surely noticed the changes to the formulation.

        It is abrasive at opening, you are right. But I can usually tolerate problematic top notes if the rest of the fragrance is okay. Can’t stand top-down fragrances anyway. January 27, 2014 at 5:51am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Annemarie! Victoria speaks wise words. You are the only judge of your perfumed pleasure! And if the whole world should think Coriandre is horrible, so what if you enjoy it!!
          I myself read everywhere Miss Dior L’Original is horrible. Still I bought it and enjoy it; I wait until the initial rather harsh phase is over, and then enjoy something reminding the original thing ( i used that in the sixties). Not to mention my soft spot for Poême.

          In ± 1999 or 2000 I said Mitsouko had changed. Everybody laughed. Now I think that I was right! Thank you, Victoria! January 27, 2014 at 6:42am Reply

          • annemariec: Thanks Cornelia. I wear the current version of Miss Dior (the 1947 release) very happily. It is a bit drier than it used to be; harsh, as you say, for the first little while. I notice the same effect in Eau de Givenchy. The mid-2000s reformulation is drier than the Eau de Givenchy I bought in 1996. I still like it though.

            I try not to denigrate reformulations because I don’t want to be a vintage snob. I just say what I like, and why. Not everyone has the opportunity to try vintage versions of things. And what does ‘vintage’ mean anyway? Maybe the Eau de Givenchy I cherish from 1996 had already been tweaked since EdG was released in 1980? January 28, 2014 at 2:01am Reply

        • Ann: Oh gosh. I love that story. I would have fallen for the fragrance as well. A lovely little short story is in that bottle of yours! Perhaps you will pass his wife on the street one day and exchange smiles… January 29, 2014 at 3:10pm Reply

          • annemariec: Thanks Ann. Although I paid too much for it, I got a great story to go with it, and this worth a lot! And Cornelia is right. If only I and the mysterious other lady can wear Coriandre well, phooey to the rest of the world. They are just jealous! January 30, 2014 at 4:25am Reply

    • nozknoz: Perfume is bound to cost more in a shop, but it’s so nice to have charming shops to browse in. Your purchase helped to keep this one going – that’s something to feel good about! January 27, 2014 at 10:57pm Reply

      • annemariec: Yes indeed, and I asked that question straight out of the guy in this perfume boutique. He told me he has been there since the late 1970s. How do you survive, I asked, with a major department (Myer’s) store just across the road? Better customer service, he told me. People get tired of being made to wait, and be served by SAs who know nothing about perfume. And he will order less well-known stuff in for people – like the Coriandre man – whereas the department store won’t. (Ask for Coriandre at Myer’s and they will give you a blank look and send you to the supermarket I reckon!)

        Still, his prices were ridiculous and I wonder how long he can keep going. Some of his stuff was twice the average online price, even factoring in shipping. January 28, 2014 at 2:10am Reply

        • nozknoz: I confess I mostly shop online to save time, especially since I don’t drive. I feel a bit guilty, though, when I read about working conditions in the distribution centers. January 28, 2014 at 10:22am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Dear BdJ readers,

    Many thanks for your birthday wishes and your incredible fragrance recommendations. I learn something new each time I read your selections! January 27, 2014 at 11:35am Reply

  • Karen: Hi all, coming back from Paris for the first time recently, I was utterly mesmerised by the women. I know this probably sounds like the stuff broken records are made off, but I found them quite fabulous!
    I’m looking for a typically french scent that personifies the essence of the seemingly cool, sexy, sultry, stylish Parisian women : )
    Thanks :) xx
    P.s No number 5, a man once told me I smelt like his granny! January 27, 2014 at 3:32pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: No. 5 is not my cup of tea either… Have you tried 31 Rue Cambon? January 27, 2014 at 3:52pm Reply

      • Karen: Hi rainboweyes! Funny you mention rue cambon, I’m on my second sample, trying very hard to like it! January 27, 2014 at 4:22pm Reply

    • Julie: I adore Paris too – been many times. 31 Rue Cambon is a new favorite of mine and I highly recommend it. Based on my question above there’s nothing much like it and so I’m going for a decant of it. January 27, 2014 at 4:33pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: When I crave for a stylish perfume, typically French, I wear Y (YstLaurent).
        Or Ivoire, the original, discontinued one.

        I disagree about No5, but that’s a matter og taste. January 27, 2014 at 5:40pm Reply

        • maja: I will second Y and Ivoire. Mitsouko and Caleche smell very French to me, too. :) January 28, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

      • rainboweyes: That’s a wise decision ;) January 28, 2014 at 6:11am Reply

    • Cybele: YSL Cinema, Balenciaga, Chloe Love, Frederic Malle Fleur de Cassie, Cristalle EDT January 27, 2014 at 8:09pm Reply

    • nozknoz: Annick Goutal Heure Exquise and Passion. I can remember reading an article about Annick Goutal in the 1990s (and more recently one in Vanity Fair about her daughter). She was a pianist and model before she founded the perfume company, and this line has always exemplified femininity to me. It’s unisex and masculine perfumes are also great, too, such as Vetiver and Eau du Sud. January 27, 2014 at 11:16pm Reply

    • annemariec: Oh my, what a question! My pick for that indefinably French, sexy, insouciant style might be Guerlain’s Chamade. This is probably because I identify the perfume with Francoise Sagan’s novel (and film) of the same name. But Chamade may seem dated now.

      Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere might work if you are worried about grannies. A lighter, brighter version of the No 5.

      Or how about Francis Kurkdjian’s Amyris Pour Femme? Apparently he wanted this perfume to ‘express the quintessence of the Parisian woman, which he defines as primesautière, a word that means “perky” and “impulsive”.’ January 28, 2014 at 2:31am Reply

      • rainboweyes: Amyris, oh yes, how could I forget… It’s lovely and on me it has an incredible projection. Kurkdjian created it for his sister, didn’t he?
        Mon Numero 8 by Artisan a very elegant scent as well. January 28, 2014 at 6:09am Reply

    • Courant: Didn’t Victoria comment on how often she noticed ‘Noa’ on French women? I think Nuit Etoilee in the EDP is very French and I would switch to Mon Parfum Cheri par Camille for night, both by Annick Goutal. Find the movie “Le Divorce’ to entertain you now you’re home. Hope you find that lovely essence that is Paris January 30, 2014 at 11:43pm Reply

  • Aria: I have unfortunately finicky skin chemistry that makes finding a perfume that works on my annoyingly difficult. I tried Hermes’ Eau de Merveilles and it smelled so pretty in the bottle but on me it just went unpleasant and flat. D&G’s Pour Femme Intense was like finding I had somehow shoved my wrist into powder, powder, and more powder. On the other hand, rose scents like Stella by Stella McCartney and Balenciaga’s Rosabotanica both went on really well. I figured I might be confined to rose scents, which wasn’t too terrible a sentence.

    But then I recently discovered Hermes’ Un Jardin en Mediterranee and loved the creamy drydown as well as the fig note. Having read that L’Artisan’s Premiere Figuier and Diptyche’s Philosykos are two gold standards of fig, I’ve plans to get my hands on some samplers, but could someone recommend other scents with the same creamy drydown (in case it’s not the fig that’s working with my skin chemistry to make that lovely smell)? January 27, 2014 at 10:54pm Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Aria, Sandalwood can also give creamy effects. Here are some suggestions:
      – Hermessence Santal Massoïa
      – Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule (this could be really nice if you also like rose)
      – Olfactive Studio Lumière Blanche January 28, 2014 at 3:31am Reply

      • Aria: Thanks so much, I’ll definitely be giving those a try! (As soon as I can get my hands on some samples…) January 28, 2014 at 6:58am Reply

    • nozknoz: It might also be worth trying Ambre des Merveilles to see if that flanker works better. January 28, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

      • Aria: Definitely worth a try. I need a trip to a Sephora or something. Love that they give you samplers on request. January 28, 2014 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Ann: I confess I was reminded of this scent from NozKnoz’s comment below, but Bulgari Omnia has a lovely creaminess…it is lightly spiced woods… and then cream. January 29, 2014 at 3:19pm Reply

      • Aria: Do you know a good place (online or department store, etc.) to get my hands on a sample of that? I’m having trouble finding it at my usual places, probably because it’s discontinued. January 30, 2014 at 12:18pm Reply

        • Ann: I just sniffed around Amazon and found a mini/sample size .17 oz for $12.50 (TOTALLY not affiliated!! http://www.amazon.com/Omnia-Bvlgari-Women-17-Mini/dp/B000XE1NAE/ref=pd_sim_bt_1 )

          But if you set up a search through eBay you might find it for even less. But I’m assuming that you are in the US. Does that work for you? January 30, 2014 at 1:49pm Reply

          • Aria: Thanks! I’ll definitely look into that. I spent an hour wandering around the mall today in vain trying to find a scent I liked. Though it seems that the drydown of Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black (violet, sandalwood, vanilla) is hitting that creaminess I love. If only it had more sillage… January 30, 2014 at 6:14pm Reply

  • Sarah L: Thank you all, especially Anne of Green Gabes, Anne marie, Rainbow Eyes, NozKnoz, and Aria – I’ve made a list and will order a batch of samples tout suite. Much appreciated – and a splendid introduction to the forums here. Cheers! – Sarah January 28, 2014 at 12:52am Reply

  • Scarlett: Dear Ladies
    Thank you so much for all your comments – I love the community of this blog.

    Let’s see if you can recommend me a birthday perfume!

    I am a single girl who’s going to be 40 on Valentines Day, and I’m going to Paris on a shopping trip soon after. I’m based in London so can also access Liberty, Selfridges etc.

    The perfumes I love are Lipstick Rose, Romance RL and Sampaquita by Ormonde Jayne.

    I would like something that will work from day in an office to a date (hopefully I’ll get a date this year!!!).

    Many thanks in advance,
    Scarlett January 28, 2014 at 4:03am Reply

    • nozknoz: It sounds like you have access to a wide range of perfumes at home, and I’d encourage you to sample widely before your trip to France just to learn more about your tastes – and for fun!

      If you look over on the right, there’s a section labeled Travel & Shop that has a guide to shopping for perfume in Paris and also French pharmacy finds.

      My personal dream would be to visit the Palais Royal and Serge Lutens for a bell jar of La Myrrhe.

      By the way, everyone swears the original Bulgari Omnia is a man magnet. It’s discontinued but still around at discounters. January 28, 2014 at 10:07am Reply

    • rainboweyes: When I go to Paris, I usually visit the Palais Royal, the Chanel Boutique at 31 Rue Cambon and Olivia Giacobetti’s IUNX boutique in the Hotel Costes.
      It’s funny you are mentioning RL Romance – it was my signature scent when I was dating my husband almost twenty years ago!
      I think today I would choose Histoires de Parfums 1889 Moulin Rouge for a date. If you wear Lipstick Rose, you might like it too. Or I’d wear 31RC – it’s such a versatile scent! January 28, 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

    • Karen: Hi! As a fellow aquarian, I like citrus and oriental smells-if you are near Liberty, go and smell Maria Luxe Truly, it’s quite powdery but very elegant and prehaps in a similar vein to Lipstick Rose and Romance) As a go-t0, Molecule 01 (also from Liberty) is great-fresh and woody.
      I second Omnia (I’ve been asked on two different occasions by cab drivers what I’m wearing!) Coco chanel is always a winner for valentines/feeling sexy :) Samsara, Fracas, or anything with Amber/jasmine could work too.
      I’ve had compliments on Le Labo Bergamote and NR for her (although I’m not crazy about it) Try Stella edp too.
      Enjoy the City of Light! Xx January 29, 2014 at 9:15am Reply

  • Karen: Thanks all, my ‘feeling french’ quest begins today:) Happy Tuesday to you all from a bright and crisp London. Xx January 28, 2014 at 4:06am Reply

  • maja: Hi everybody, I am looking for a good vanilla scent, too, something not too expensive possibly. I have tried AC Vanille Insensee and Vanille Intense by PDN but didn’t like them much. I would love a light creamy gourmand vanilla, no tropical notes, projection monsters or incense as I prefer my incense more austere. Thanks! :) January 28, 2014 at 4:38pm Reply

    • Nemo: Perhaps you might try i Profumi di Firenze Zenzero, which I found to be delightfully wearable and on the gourmand side without being heavy. I myself had trouble distinguishing the “white ginger,” which hopefully doesn’t count as a tropical note. January 28, 2014 at 11:17pm Reply

    • Tomate Farcie: Maybe Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille January 29, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Maja, my rec for a simple gourmand vanilla that’s not expensive is anything from Bath and Body Works. They have several vanillas, so you can see what works best. But I don’t know if the line is sold near you. Otherwise, CSP Vanille Abricot or the regular Vanille? Antica Farmacia (can’t recall its name exactly) has a delicious Vanilla with lots of mandarin notes. I Profumi di Firenze used to have a simple but nice vanilla too. January 29, 2014 at 10:46pm Reply

    • maja: Nemo, Tomate, Victoria – thanks for your suggestions. I was thinking about Bois Vanille and CSP, too. I have never had a proper vanilla scent ( apart from HP) so I may not be sure what exactly I have in mind. It is difficult for me to sample things at this moment in shops so I would like to avoid unsuccessful blind buys. Thanks again. January 30, 2014 at 7:58am Reply

  • Ayesha: Hi! Im looking for a signature scent. In the past, Ive loved Stella, Fragonard’s Belle de Nuit, Dior Poison, Ferragamo’s Signorina, Chanel Coco. January 28, 2014 at 10:06pm Reply

    • Karen: Hi Ayesha!
      Have u tried Fracas, narcotic Venus or AG Passion? (Tuberose nose similar to Poison)
      Coco loving could also lead u to enjoy Opium, Boucheron femme and prehaps samsara?
      Stella is a fabulous rose (quite dark yet crunchy) so possibly Agent provocateur (original one) Le Labo Rose 31, EL Pleasures. I also quite like D&G light blue. Xx January 29, 2014 at 8:55am Reply

      • Ayesha: Been wanting to try Fracas and January 31, 2014 at 7:38pm Reply

        • Ayesha: Have been wanting to try Fracas and Fredric Malle Rose–unfortunately my city does not have a Barneys and Im not sure where to try them. January 31, 2014 at 7:40pm Reply

    • Cybele: Tom Ford Black Orchid January 29, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

    • Kristina: Ayesha!
      I must say my newest obsession is Bond No 9’s Scent of Peace. It is sweet, citrusy and not too heavy. I can’t get enough of it. The people at Saks gave me a free sample and shortly after I bought their biggest bottle. If you like wearing something heavier but still sweet and fresh, then try their Perfumsita Avenue (which was what I wore for all of 2013) Hope this helped! January 30, 2014 at 3:29pm Reply

      • Ayesha: Thanks for the input!!! Will definitely smell it next time I go to Saks! January 31, 2014 at 7:32pm Reply

    • nozknoz: I love Coco, and I’d that you try Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea and Champagne de Bois. January 31, 2014 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Aria: Hello fellow Stella lover! I recently discovered Balenciaga’s new fragrance, Rosabotanica. It’s a very interesting spicy rose that you might like. If Creed’s Fleur de The Rose Bulgarie wasn’t so unreasonably expensive, I’d say that’s a very fresh rose that is also delightful. Both can be found at your local Nordstrom. February 1, 2014 at 1:33am Reply

  • Yvonne: I have been searching high and low and ask for everyone’s help in locating a quality substitute for the original Fendi perfume from the 80s. I have tried many perfumes with leather notes but I’m still searching. :))) thank you so much for helping me brainstorm! January 29, 2014 at 11:44am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Yvonne, I am wearing Fendi these days and I am aware of the fact that nothing resembles this perfume. It is unique. If you find a substitute, Please let us know!! January 29, 2014 at 2:50pm Reply

    • Katy McReynolds: Yvonne, I had a dear friend who wore that as her signature scent, have you tried eBay for vintage finds? There are many more experienced perfumistas who contribute to this blog, they know more about what is out there than I do, so hopefully there is something modern that is like it. January 29, 2014 at 5:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, Yvonne, it was gorgeous, wasn’t it? But I’m afraid finding a perfect replacement will be impossible. Perhaps, you could explain what you loved the most about Fendi or what other perfumes and scents you enjoy? Then we can match something for you. January 29, 2014 at 10:52pm Reply

      • Yvonne: I must rely solely on memory as I don’t even have a sample to draw from. I remember it being a heady spice perhaps patchouli, cardamon and sandalwood. But most striking was the scent smelled distinctly of money (leather) as only good taste can do and wrap it in leopard fur (patchouli), dress it in a long strand of white pearls and deep rouge lipstick (roses) and viola…. seduction, sophistication and the ability to have anyone under your spell all in one bottle. I assume that the reason it is gone perhaps bc one of its main ingredients is either in a country being sanctioned like Iraq, Sudan, Libya, etc or perhaps the precious elixir has become extinct and cannot be duplicated but I so wish it would come back!! I have other similar scents like Chanel Coco, Coromandel, Kenzo’s elephant jungle, Samsara, Mitsouko, Hermes Kelly Caleche but I find myself still searching for a love lost. Victoria, can you break down the notes for me so I can search for other perfumes within the same note class, please? :) January 30, 2014 at 1:16am Reply

    • Safran: Dear Yvonne, I was on the same quest for years and years. Bought a bottle from ebay 3 years ago, but it’s not good anymore. The only available one, I’ve found with a similarity to Fendi is from Nobile 1942, Anonimo Veneziano in the lighter concentration.
      I wish, Fendi would bring out the original again!
      Cheers
      Safran January 30, 2014 at 6:12am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Yvonne, you might like the Balmains; Miss Balmain, Jolie Madame. But alas, not substitutes for Fendi….why the hell did they discontinue Fendi and Theorema!! January 30, 2014 at 9:04am Reply

  • Yvonne: Yay! Cornelia, Safran, and Katy thank you for your suggestions!! I’ve got more perfumes to try out, but who knows one day we may be pleasantly surprised when Fendi Premier (the new reformulated launch) or (fingers-crossed) the original is reissued! :) January 30, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

    • Katy McReynolds: Yvonne, I have discovered, through various perfume meanderings around the Internet, that some people find Chopard Madness similar to your beloved perfume. I know it is discontinued, but a bit of poking around revealed you can still get it. Order a decant, see if you like it. Good luck! February 9, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

  • Aisha: I’ve been debating about whether or not to order a fragrance online through a fragrance discount retailer. Are there reputable ones out there, or should I not even bother? Thank you. :-) January 30, 2014 at 4:28pm Reply

    • annemariec: Well, I’ve had good experiences with fragrancex, fragrancenet and strawberrynet. Those are some of the ‘older’ ones, ie more than about 2 years old. January 31, 2014 at 2:29am Reply

  • Isis: Hello everyone! I am trying my sample of Cuir de Russie (edt) again, and I can’t decide if I want it or not…. I’ve tried many leathers, and I really enjoy this one, but I would like a little more oemph… the leather is VERY soft on me. Reviews often mention that the Edt is softer on the leather and places more emphasis on the cool iris notes… the parfum concentration might be better but it is so expensive…. Are there any other Cuir-de-Russie-ish leathers that I should be trying? January 30, 2014 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Alessandra: Maybe Serge Lutens’ Daim Blond? It’s true that cuir de russie edt is softer on the leather, at least on my skin too…. it’s great, tho… in my opinion, of course. Sometimes, leathery fragrances can be too heavy for me. This one is the right amount of smokey/heavy. I’ve never tried the extrait, though. I suppose it is as expensive as the 75 ml EDT? Yes, it’s smaller, but it being an extrait, you would only need a few drops, I imagine… January 31, 2014 at 5:40am Reply

      • Isis: I’ve never used an extrait, they kind of scare me… I imagine I would be far to clumsy to deal with perfume that needs to be applied to subtely…. February 1, 2014 at 4:44pm Reply

    • Irene: Hi Isis, if you could manage to find the discontinued Cuir de Lancome, I’d definitely recommend that. It has enough oomph, it’s also a gorgeous floral leather, but you have to like saffron..Other favorites feminine leather of mine include parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman, Keiko Mecheri Cuir Cordoba an Heeley Cuir Plein Fleur. Lots to sample around before commiting to the expenses of Chanel! January 31, 2014 at 6:26am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Maybe Antaeus (Chanel, but not so expensive, officially for men. A fine, dry leather perfume) January 31, 2014 at 7:13am Reply

        • Isis: I have a sample of Antaeus, I’ll revisit it. Its been ages… February 1, 2014 at 4:45pm Reply

      • Isis: I’ve just googled Heeley’s Cuir Pleine Fleurs,. Leather and mimosa and honey? Sounds promising! February 2, 2014 at 3:09am Reply

        • maja: Cuir Pleine Fleur is marvellous. So pleasant to wear but to me it is more about suede than about leather. February 3, 2014 at 8:42am Reply

          • Isis: Hi Maja! Does that mean that its more like Daim Blond than, say, Cuir Mauresque? (I am NOT a fan of Daim Blond….) February 3, 2014 at 9:59am Reply

            • maja: I really don’t know as I have never tried Daim Blonde. But reading its notes it is more about apricots while CPF is more violety. If it can be of any help I have a difficult relationship with leather/suede but this was utterly wearable. :) February 5, 2014 at 5:31pm Reply

    • Austenfan: The EDT is actually smokier than the extrait. The extrait is all curves.
      If you would like a little more oomph why not try Knize Ten?
      And for smoke Lonestar Memories is good too. February 1, 2014 at 3:12pm Reply

      • Isis: I’ve tried Knize 10, and it was too harsh for me (as was Bandit by the way, stunning but not my cup of tea).
        Lonestar memories sounds very good, I just need to find a store in Holland that carries it/ will send me a sample. February 2, 2014 at 3:09pm Reply

        • Austenfan: Knize ten is one of those fragrances that needs time to develop. The opening is rather imposing but after that it mellows quite a lot.
          Why not order samples strait from Andy’s site. I think he still ships those abroad. It is sold in the Netherlands can’t remember where but it should be on his site. February 2, 2014 at 5:38pm Reply

          • Austenfan: Oh and the Heeley is gorgeous, as is their Iris; Iris de Nuit. It’s not a very smoky leather though. February 2, 2014 at 5:40pm Reply

            • Isis: I am not sure smokiness is ultra-important to me. I also really like Boxeuses, and thats not smoky, is it? And I LOVE iris so I am tempted to order both samples…. February 3, 2014 at 10:01am Reply

              • Austenfan: I can only recommend them. Very elegant and easy to wear without being dull! February 4, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

                • Isis: How is it possible that I’ve never heard of Heeley before? I had no idea they were making perfumes that might be worth my while…. February 5, 2014 at 10:12am Reply

                  • Austenfan: They get a couple of 4 star reviews in the Guide. So far I’ve only tried Cuir Pleine Fleur and Iris de Nuit, but I know that Erin ( who is guestblogger on NST) really likes the line as well. You can order samples from Heeley’s site. Alternatively Aus Liebe zum Duft carries the line as well.
                    Another elegant leather is Cuir Fétiche from Maître Parfumeur et Gantier. February 6, 2014 at 6:47am Reply

  • Alessandra: Hello everyone!!!

    I’d like to buy a new perfume for my mum, to surprise her, but I have no idea what to buy. I’d love to introduce her to the world of niche perfumes, which she generally explores only through my own fragrances when I bring them along everytime I visit my family. She tends to be loyal to one fragrance for years. Very different frageances with something constantly in common (aside from being excellent, haha): they are all rich and rather opulent. Her favourite is Guerlain’s Samsara but in the past, she also used to wear Coco – which, sadly, she doesn’t like anymore… yet it’s my first and most vivid olfactory memory, since she used to wear it when I was a kid and continued to wear it for yeeears -, Guerlain’s Parure and, occasionally in the summer, estée lauder’s pleasures (the only non-rich fragrance I’ve known her to like, so far, haha). Now she even appreciates coco mademoiselle.
    Bearing all of this in mind, for some reason, I have no idea what to get her, niche-wise. Any advice? Surely, she likes perfumes with a personality.
    Thank you all!! January 31, 2014 at 5:36am Reply

    • Alessandra: Forgot to specify: I have many ideas in mind, and sometimes she surprises me with positive comments on fragrances I never thought she could enjoy… but I don’t know what to go for! I don’t know how she would react to, say, fig (one of my fave scents ever)… so there, I’d like to check what people on here think and see how to combine that with my own ideas to find something she would really love :)
      I never thought she could have liked coco mademoiselle ,for example, that’s why she confuses me sometimes… I mean, it’s a great perfume, but I don’t think it has much in common with coco! January 31, 2014 at 6:02am Reply

      • george: I think that Uncle Serge is awaiting your visit, just because his perfumes are very much the place that orientals went after Coco. I also think that they are smoothed of the edges that I have found bugged my nose the older I got. Maybe have a look through the Serge Lutens filter at the reviews on this site, concentrating on the darker roses, the orientals and the Bois variations. Bois des Iles might also be a good bet for a woman tired of Coco but is within the Chanel zone. Beyond those suggestions, it seems she just likes good perfume, so any of the five and four star recommends on this site may well peak her interest; she might even dig one of the many excellent vetivers or tuberose perfumes. However, a lot might depend on your spend and how available these perfumes are for you to smell; it might be best to get a few from a sample service and let her try them out. I don’t know where you are or what sample service you would use, but you I’m sure we’d all be happy to give you feedback on what you think might be a great sample set for her to try. I’m Uk based and the sample service I’d be most likely to use would be les Senteurs and i would probably choose from the Lutens, some Robert Piguet scents, L’etat de libre Orange, all for some mid price-ish options, and then (price depending) some Malle and Amouage (there are other good brands available there too). Alternatively if you want to go shopping with her and just try until she says there is one she loves, it’s hard to make recommendations on what to make a beeline for without knowing what brands are available to you or where you are based.
        Anyway, that was the long answer.
        Here is the short answer……..if i was restricted to suggesting one perfume only to you it would be……..
        Bois Des Iles. January 31, 2014 at 10:00pm Reply

        • Alessandra: Hello George, thanks a lot for this!! I am based in Florence, for now, so I have access to many brands, except a few that are, however, available in Rome, and Rome is one hour and a half by train from here. However, she doesn’t manage to visit often, so the sample solution is a great idea. Yes, I should collect and order some. Sometimes I let her sniff and try my own and she likes some but is mostly in her ‘I love my own perfume full stop’ world, she’s more of a signature scent kind of person, you see. Still, she would definitely wear a perfume I’d buy for her birthday or something. After all, she discovered Coco Mademoiselle via my bottle while I was still in high schoo, haha.
          Hehe yes, I did think about Serge Lutens but the fact is that, for some reason, I think most of his fragrances are risky for my mum, weirdly… although I could make an attempt with a couple!! The main problem is that there’s no serge in my hometown, where my mum lives, whilst I have full access to the non-exclusive line (people aren’t generous with samples, here, though, so again, ordering is a good idea).
          I know and wear all the brands you mentioned, and malle is even available in my hometown, perhaps she might like ‘dans tes bras’ or smth like that.
          She does like my bois des iles sample, so that too is on the potential list, yes! :) February 2, 2014 at 3:25pm Reply

          • george: Too true about the risky Serges. But at present my bottle of La fille de Berlin is being drained quicker than any other perfume I have had apart from maybe pre-reformulation New York: it is just so damn wearable: I would agree you stick with the more approachable creations, or if you are going to gamble go big, although I am projecting my own hankering for the IrisSM in the portable spray onto your mother in saying so. Still, there is a fine line between a shock and surprise, and something that sits on that line always sounds good to me; maybe your mother is the same? February 5, 2014 at 11:40am Reply

    • Cybele: try Donna Karen Signiture and Dior Bois D’Argent January 31, 2014 at 10:32pm Reply

    • Karen: Hi Alessandra! What star sign is your mum?
      x February 1, 2014 at 5:37am Reply

      • Alessandra: Virgo :) x February 2, 2014 at 3:25pm Reply

        • Karen: Virgo apparently enjoy Basil, Lavender and rosemary notes! Good luck with your quest :) February 4, 2014 at 4:08pm Reply

          • Alessandra: Haha, I really don’t think my mum would find those aromas nice in perfume, if they’re predominant, but thanks a lot for the input!! Perhaps as a secondary note in a complex composition, surely ;) February 5, 2014 at 9:25am Reply

    • Isis: The first thing tha tcame to my mind was Goutal Ambre Fetiche. Maybe Serge Noire? They are very different than Coco but for me they have the same va-va-voom sexyness. Oh and how about FM Noir Epices? I’ve tried it and it is not my thing, but it is absolutely stunning. It reminded me very much of my mothers vintage Opium. I don’t wear the darker orientals, but if I wanted one, that’s what I’d go for. February 2, 2014 at 3:16pm Reply

      • Alessandra: I acquired a sample of noir epices during the xmas hols but I completely forgot to let my mum test it! Initially I found it not pleasant to my nose, but it develops sooo wonderfully. I think she’d like her too, yes. Not sure about Serge Noire but Ambre Fétiche is smth I hadn’t thought of! Maybe she’d like it! Thanks a lot, Isis! February 2, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

        • maja: I love Noir Epices, could be a good choice. Santal Majuscule is pretty, too, especially since your mom likes sandalwood. February 3, 2014 at 8:40am Reply

  • Ayesha: Since Ive been wanting to try some of the fragrances recommended in this thread, started searching everywhere. Saw some on Amazon. Does anyone have experience perfume shopping on Amazon; are we getting the “real” thing since some prices are much lower than the department store. February 1, 2014 at 9:29am Reply

    • Victoria: The good thing is that you can always get your money back if the transaction doesn’t turn out how you wanted. Just make sure that the seller is responsive and is willing to answer your questions. February 9, 2014 at 6:14am Reply

  • Ana: Hi, I am looking for a new fragrance desperately, for the last 7 years I have been using Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche, Prada Infusion D’Iris and Miss Dior Cherie L’eau, which I miss terribly. I would love something fresh, citrusy, herbal, clean, is there something like that outside? I live in a small town so I do not have many options. I would appreciate some suggestions, please. Thanks. February 2, 2014 at 3:53am Reply

    • Anne of Green Gables: Hello Ana, I’d like to recommend one of my all time favourites, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. It has a lot of mint (I love this but I know that some people can have problems with this note in perfumes) and it never fails to refresh me. Also, it might be worth exploring Hermes colognes like Eau d’Orange Verte. Chanel Cristalle is also great! February 2, 2014 at 3:01pm Reply

      • Isis: I second the series of colognes by Hermès, I adore them! Especially eau d’orange verte. February 2, 2014 at 3:18pm Reply

      • Ana: Thanks Anne of Green Gables, Cristalle was one of my favourites when I was younger, I already asked in my store and they don’t have and it can’t be ordered online, don’t know the reason. Hermes’ frangances are amazing but they don’ t last, I’m in love with Un Jardin sur le Nil, but not sure because it doesn’t last long. I’ll try Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca, it sounds what I’m looking for. One question, my mum loves Diorella and she says is very lemony, is that right? Thank you again, I’m having a great time reading about frangances, notes….I love perfumes but I have to admit I’m quite ignorant. February 2, 2014 at 3:26pm Reply

        • Ana: Thanks Isis, I’ll try to get some samples. February 2, 2014 at 3:27pm Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: You’re welcome. I’m happy to be of help, as I’ve been helped by many generous people here. Believe me, I seriously got into perfumes only recently and I still have lots to learn. But isn’t it fun learning and sharing our interests together? :-)

          If you were dissatisfied with the longevity of Un Jardin sur le Nil, I’m worried that the perfumes I recommended would have the same problem. But it might be worth giving them a try.

          I only sampled Diorella once and it was a while ago but I think you’re mum is right about it being lemony. I think this might also be a good choice (as well as Eau Sauvage) if you’re lookig for something citrusy, herbal and clean. There’s another one I’d like to recommend: Sisley Eau de Campagne. I hope that you can find something you like. February 2, 2014 at 5:09pm Reply

          • Ana: Thank you, Anne of a Green Gables, I’ll let you know what I get finally. February 2, 2014 at 6:29pm Reply

      • Alessandra: I second this! February 2, 2014 at 3:30pm Reply

    • Merlin: Just wondering whether you have tried Cristalle eau Verte. To me it is a very nice lemon tea and it lasts exceptionally well. Tea scents in general are light and refreshing. Another citrus cologne with very good lasting power is Eau de Rochas – a lime chypre. And another herbal-lemon chypre is Eau de Lancolm. This is lovely but not as long-lasting as the others I have suggested. By the way, I find that Herba Fresca lasts relatively well on me – as does Pampelune (another Aqua Allegoria).

      I have to admit that I don’t own it – but Estee Lauder’s Private Collection (the original one) is by far the most refreshing, long-lasting ‘green’ perfume and has impressive silage too February 2, 2014 at 7:08pm Reply

      • Ana: Thanks Merlin, I tried again to get information why they do not sell Cristalle ( any version, EDT, EDP, Vert…) in my local store, they do not know. I got samples of Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic, Pampleune, Diorella and Escale to Portofino. Loving all of them!!! I wish I can get all of them. I sprayed Diorella on me and I’m falling in love. I quite like that is a classy essence but with something else I can not describe, mischievous, maybe? I’ll keep trying. Thank you again. February 3, 2014 at 9:33am Reply

  • se: Anyone have suggestions for something similar to Cartier’s So Pretty? Mitsouko smells nothing like this….thank you! February 2, 2014 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Se! Sì by Armani. (I am not kidding, seriously. Sì has that creamy berry and that chypre character) February 3, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

      • se: Thank you so much! February 3, 2014 at 7:27pm Reply

  • Rebecca: Hello all!!
    Well, first I want to congratulate you on the site. I love the way you describe fragrances, it resonates with memories and extraordinary sensibility.

    My obsession with fragrances started a couple of years ago when I was sent to work in Kolkata (I´m from South America so India felt like a different world to me), one day I was in a market and caught this amazing whiff of saffron, cardamon, ginger and vanilla… suffice to say since then I´m hooked.

    Before that, I had only worn perfume as an afterthought, anything that was classic floral worked for me. However, the first perfume I got after my trip to India was Black XS for her, I fell in love with that fragrance (love the warm spicy feel it has on my skin and the vanilla drydown). Then, I bought Hypnotic Poison and Pure Poison, I absolutely adore both for different reasons. But right now I´m in Peru and is summertime which makes these fragrances too overpowering. I would greatly appreciate some recommendations on some fragrances to try that could be more suitable for hot weather. I´m open to try something different since I´m still very new to the perfume world. Thank you! February 2, 2014 at 7:22pm Reply

    • maja: Hi Rebecca,

      You could try Chanel Cristalle, Eau de Rochas, O de Lancome or some of the Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria – Herba Fresca, Pamplelune or the new one coming out Limon Verde. In hot weather I also like Cologne by Thierry Mugler. Almost anything by Hermes is pretty inoffensive (Jardins series above all) and some of them are truly fresh. Since you seem to like vanilla Eau de Shalimar could be a good choice for summer nights. :) February 3, 2014 at 8:36am Reply

      • Rebecca: Hi Maja, thanks for all the very interesting suggestions! I´ll give them a try :) I love Shalimar, my aunt wears it, however my skin does not take the scent well… hopefully eau de shalimar could be better for me February 3, 2014 at 6:45pm Reply

    • Rose: Hi Rebecca!

      One fragrance that would be perfect for you is Scent of Peace from Bond No 9. It’s very light and fresh but still has a long lasting scent. It’s the only scent I wear when it’s hot because it’s not overbearing to you or anyone around you. I definitely recommend you check it out! February 3, 2014 at 12:32pm Reply

      • Jack: Rose,

        My wife seems to be having a similar issue regarding wearing heavy scents in warmer weather. Thank you very much for your suggestion. I know one fragrance she always wears (hot or cold) is Central Park South by Bond No 9. It smells like flowers and is not too heavy. She is always looking for light scents so I will definitely have to recommend her Scent of Peace! February 3, 2014 at 2:31pm Reply

      • Rebecca: Hi Rose! Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately Bond No. 9. is not available in Peru :(
        However, it seems that I´ll be going to NYC in october, so I´m including that one in my list of perfumes to try there :) February 4, 2014 at 2:37pm Reply

  • Daphne: What a wonderful site, I’ve only just discovered it. Would love recommendations for how to expand my horizons for a) winter scent that is clean but rich at the same time and b) a softer, warmer scent for comfort and relaxation.

    I did not know how specific my taste has been until today: I own:

    1) Chanel 19 (been wearing it on and off for 30 years and love it still; back in heavy rotation)
    2) Coriandre (pre-2012 version; just tested again and it seems too assertive/woodsy for me)
    3) Aqua de Parma Iris Nobile (now too iris-y for me)
    4) Hermes Jardin sur le Nil (summer only)

    Many thanks for your recommendations. February 3, 2014 at 11:52am Reply

    • Alessandra: Hello!!!!

      Hmm…. perhaps you might like Frédéric Malle’s L’Eau d’Hiver??? Cool and warm at the same time, simply yet complex, sophisticated and not banal… relaxing, wintery but not purely wintery… a very original take on what one might imagine the smell of snow can be like, fantasy-wise. Give it a try :) February 4, 2014 at 9:03am Reply

    • Aria: I’ve always associated vanilla/creamy scents with warmth and comfort and a good example is Bond no. 9 Nuits de Noho. It’s jasmine, vanilla, and patchouli (the patchouli on me is very faint), and it goes on very sweet and warm. I have problems getting most scents to stick on me, but others have said that Bond scents last for quite a while. February 4, 2014 at 10:29am Reply

  • Aria: I’m in need of a little help. My friend is coming to visit and I promised to take her perfume shopping, however she is not a very big fan of florals and most typically “sweet” (read: overpowering for the girl with the sensitive nose) scents. We also really only have access to Nordstrom and Sephora so Serge Lutens and L’Artisan scents just aren’t a possibility. I know I once gave her a citrus-herb type perfume oil that she was quite fond of…

    Perfumes (sample and otherwise) in my possession for her to try are…
    Stella by Stella McCartney
    Balenciaga Rosabotanica
    Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee
    Bond no. 9 Chinatown and Nuits de Noho
    Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare
    D&G Intense pour femme
    Lancome Tresor and La Vie est Belle
    Diptyque Philosykos EdT
    Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black
    Sadly, I don’t know how many of these will appeal to her as I got most of these for myself or through recommendations. Any ideas? February 4, 2014 at 7:00pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that you have a great collection for someone to see what they like. Start her off with Hermes and Diptyque, which seem like they could suit her tastes best of all. At Nordstrom you can always hit the Jo Malone counter. They have so many colognes based around the simple single note ideas and she at least will be able to get some idea of what kind of scents appeal to her the most.

      Hermes, Acqua di Parma, Annick Goutal counters might also interest her. Oh, Balenciaga too! February 9, 2014 at 6:17am Reply

      • Aria: Thanks so much, Victoria! I’ve hit up Jo Malone recently and added a couple more notes to the repertoire, so I feel pretty confident that I can find her something she likes. Thanks again for your comment AND this wonderful blog. It’s making navigating the world of perfume a lot easier! February 9, 2014 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Allie: Hi! I am… brand new to perfume, but trying hard to learn. No one in my family wears perfume. A few years ago I fell for the Ralph Lauren Romance flanker “Always Yours.” I know it’s not a fancy brand or anything but I loved it. Now it’s getting harder to find, and I am also having a harder time smelling the fragrance when I wear it (am I crazy? does this happen?). So I am looking for something new.

    It feels like I have tried so many perfumes, and can’t settle on anything that feels like “me.” I know this is a shot in the dark, but I would desperately appreciate some advice. What I loved about the Lauren perfume was that it felt like a feminine floral with a warm kick (without being peppery). Also it sparkled somehow? And had a nice musky something. Did anyone ever try it? I do not like fruity florals or gardenia and since I am mid-twenties, that is the only thing sales reps want to push at me. Anything sweet gets nauseatingly amplified on my skin.

    I admire the community here so much, and would appreciate any help! February 4, 2014 at 9:39pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Allie!
      You may be the right person for Tubéreuse Gardenia (E. Lauder). Or perhaps some of these:
      J’Adore (the original) or J’Adore L’Absolu.
      Ivoire (charming, youthful, fits your age)
      Idylle Eau Sublime (Guerlain)
      Eternity (Calvin Klein)
      Dia pour Femme (Amouage)
      Clair de Musc (Lutens)
      Happy sniffing! February 5, 2014 at 10:35am Reply

      • Allie: Thank you Cornelia! I did tried Tuberose Gardenia, and thought it was so lovely- just not for me. I don’t like gardenia, and it felt very much like a beautiful, sophisticated blonde, if that makes any sense! But separate from me (a short brunette) it is a gorgeous choice. I actually really loved EL’s PC Amber Ylang Ylang, and have been toying with getting that, but I can only imagine myself wearing it in fall. I like the cozy smell in Burberry Brit, and the modern lilac in Jo Malone Orange Blossom. I like Balenciaga Paris, Hermes de Merveilles (not the amber- too spicy, or Joure de Hermes- too green). Just haven’t found “the one.” Any ideas on places to try Guerlain, Luten, or Amouge? I am so excited about your suggestions, and as I am snowed in today, I will spend a cozy morning looking them up- one of my favorite things to do! February 5, 2014 at 11:33am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Sorry, Allie, I forgot that you don’t like gardenia!
          Most perfumeshops carry Guerlain, but for Lutens and Amouage you probably have to find out a specialized perfumery.
          Maybe you could try also these;
          Candy (Prada)
          Flower, (Kenzo).
          Kelly Calèche Eau de Parfum
          Jour d’Hermès
          Voyage d’Hermès
          Chant d’Arômes (Guerlain)
          Love, Chloe (could be a little too sweet, but worth trying)
          Rive Gauche (YstLaurent)
          All mainstream, easy to find. February 5, 2014 at 11:52am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: P.s. Candy is not as sweet as the name suggests. It is really a lovely and easy to wear perfume.
            Did you ever try Pleasures (E. Lauder)?
            Do you like roses? Iris? Please tell us.. And it is so funny that you are the only perfume lover in your family! February 5, 2014 at 12:09pm Reply

            • Allie: My list is growing! Thank you!

              I like:

              Rose
              Lilac
              Violet
              Freesia
              Some Jasmine
              Lotus
              Lavender

              Vanilla
              Amber
              Honey
              Caramel
              Musk
              Some Patchouli
              Oakmoss

              I don’t like:

              Gardenia
              Big white florals
              Cinnamon
              Berry/Fruity
              Citrus (if it’s the only thing you can smell)
              Anything too sweet (and my skin pulls sweet)
              Pepper
              Leather

              Ideally I am looking for something classy but playful, floral, maybe a bit woodsy but warm underneath. For example, as much as I like Prada’s Iris, but it makes me feel too cool/cold. My mom never allowed perfume in the house because it gave her a headache- is 27 too late for a teenage rebellion ;-) February 6, 2014 at 2:15pm Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Allie! That’s quite a list! Let’s try:
                Rose: there are many roses! To begin with, maybe a fresh one: Un Zest de Rose (Parfums de Rosine, very natural), Eau de Cartier Goutte de Rose.
                Or darker: my favorite Cabaret (Grès, not expensive but good quality). Une Rose (F. Malle).
                Fille de Berlin (Lutens).

                Lilac: Try Idylle Eau Sublime( Guerlain), there are more good perfumes with lilac, must think about it.

                Violet: I heard there is a marvellous Violet by Penhaligon’s. And Annick Goutal has La Violette.

                Freesia: Freesia d’Or (Maître Parfumeur et Gantier) , Ofrésia (Diptyque)

                Lavender: Jicky (Guerlain), Héritage (Guerlain), Pour Un Homme (Caron, very good, not expensive), Gris Clair.. (Lutens), A Taste Of Heaven (By Kilian, very expensive). And good old Yardley Lavender!

                Jasmine: A La Nuit, Lutens.

                Vanilla: Un Bois Vanille, Lutens (the opening is sweet, but I was surprised by the rather fresh drydown. A very special perfume).
                Casmir (Chopard, not expensive anymore, but not everybodies taste. I like it). Hypnotic Poison (Dior, vanilla, almonds, jasmine).

                Amber: The one and only Shalimar (Guerlain, amber, vanilla). Ambre Sultan (Lutens, intriguing, spiritual). If you can find it: Sublime, Patou.

                Honey: in many of the Lutens. You could try Santal Majuscule: rose, honey. Or Arabie.

                Caramel: Candy!

                Musc: Clair de Musc, Lutens. The best musc imo.

                Some patchouli: Coromandel, Chanel. Bornéo 1834(Lutens). And Idylle Rose & Patchouli (Guerlain, they will reissue that one soon, so I heard).

                Oakmoss. The Chypre perfumes! Mitsouko Guerlain), Diva (Ungaro), Sous Le Vent (Guerlain, € 230 but 125 ml and the best you can have), Aromatics Elixir, Scherrer, Silences (Jacomo), No 19 (Chanel) to name but a few.

                Good luck and have fun! February 6, 2014 at 5:22pm Reply

                • Allie: Cornelia, thanks to your help I will be going on an excellent wild hunt this coming month! I will definitely be back at the next post, and let you know what I found. February 6, 2014 at 9:58pm Reply

  • Kuggi: I would recommand Invasion Barbare by MDCI and Purestiance M. February 5, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

  • L: This is awesome–thanks to anyone who reads! I’ve been hunting for the right scent for years! I’m 24 and hoping to find something on the grown-up side that’s under $100. I love jasmine, sandalwood, woodsmoke, orange blossom, honeysuckle, and lavender. I don’t dig tuberose, musk, or too much rose, and I’d like to shy away from the masculine, animalic, and unapproachable.

    I like Vanilla Fields but I think it’s too sweet for me now.
    I like Estee Lauder Sensuous but the sweetness and pink pepper is a little much.
    I like Lancome Miracle but find a teensy spray makes me smell it all day long and the euphoric/sharp scent is distracting. The lotion smelled generic.
    I like Tom Ford’s Black Orchid but it ended up smelling like Nutella on me.
    I like the sandalwood in all the Shalimars I’ve tried but they’re either too sharp and dry or too powdery.
    I like Ava Luxe 24 but found it forgettable.
    I like Sonoma Fireside Intense but it was too one-dimensional. I expect CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves would also be too “Welp, here’s some smoke.”
    Didn’t like Samsara or Donna Karan Cashmere Mist that much. Or Coco Mademoiselle or a ton of other mall perfume counter scents. I try on perfume there so often I think they’re getting suspicious!

    I want to order more samples: Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Vanille, CB I Hate Perfume 7 Billion Hearts (I think I tried Fire From Heaven and didn’t love it enough for the price), Serge Lutens Gris Clair, and Parfums de Nicolai Vanille-Tonka.

    Thanks so much for any ideas! (By the way, CB I Hate Perfume has water perfume and an absolute–which one would be better if I have real oily skin?) February 6, 2014 at 2:23am Reply

    • Hannah: I turned 24 in November! We’re practically twins!
      Have you tried Diptyque fragrances? They are under $100 for 50ml in the edt. Tam Dao is sandalwood. I don’t remember if it was Eau Duelle or Volutes that I liked, but you can try both.

      I think you’re aware that Gris Clair is more than $100, but it is definitely worth a try if you like lavender! I wore it a few days ago. February 6, 2014 at 7:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Have you tried Donna Karan Chaos? It has a great incense-sandalwood note, and it’s not that expensive. Black Cashmere is also good, but it’s less sandalwood and more cedar (dry, pencil shavings like).

      The water versions of CB I Hate Perfumes last ok on me, but you should compare side by side, since some fragrances smell not just stronger in the absolute versions but also different. February 9, 2014 at 11:24am Reply

  • Courant: Needing a bit of advice here peeps. If I was to choose between Chamade and Grand Amour,which one should I choose? I have equal representatives from both Guerlain and Annick Goutal in my wardrobe. Like Victoria I find Passion a bit too herbal. It’s not like Passion is it? February 10, 2014 at 2:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Chamade, Chamade, Chamade! Totally no competition for me on this one. It’s one of the most exquisite perfumes. February 10, 2014 at 2:31am Reply

      • Courant: Thank you V. I am always happy and excited to add another Guerlain. February 10, 2014 at 7:08pm Reply

  • Dina Berta: My beloved Magie Noire is discontinued. I’m at a loss. What, if anything, is close to its scent? February 12, 2014 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Jehane Perse: Hello Victoria, Hello All,

    Thank you for such treasurable perfume discourse! I have been lurking for over a year, but am driven to distraction by skin that has bizarre effects on perfume — almost no longevity/sillage from Fracas; Hypnotic Poison reduces to a simple vanilla; Jo Malone café vetiver reduces to syrup; Prada Infusion d’Iris acquires a round, almost liquorice-like suppleness; Bois des Iles really really works but vanishes after about 5 minutes; Jeux de Peaux smells…like skanky stone; Bandit set out with a promising vroom, changed its mind, sneaked into my father’s wooden closet and shut the door (where it met Cuir de Russie, who wasn’t talking to it). Comme des Garcons Avignon was a hollow beauty for about 2 hours.
    At any point I always c r a v e (as if vitamin-deficient) something huge, creamy-white, not necessarily sweet; something green-dark, edging on the frightening; and something lily/violet/leather…less galbanum than muguet.
    At the moment I am craving 24 Faubourg (slightly outside my price range); and doing odd things like layering Eau d’Orange Verte with jasmine oil and a spritz of Yardley muguet. Oddly, the Hermes scents last much better on me than they are reputed to do; but don’t necessarily have the somewhat monstrous edge I enjoy. (As an infant I had free run of my mother’s perfumes and in my early teens my aunt gave me my first Paloma Picasso, ruining me for life…)
    Any recommendations? I’d like to go back to those early teen years when I could definitely reach for the Paloma and feel ready to voyage through the day…
    1001 thanks! February 13, 2014 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jehane, you might find some extra recommendations in this post:
      http://boisdejasmin.com/2012/08/favorite-big-white-floral-perfumes.html

      But as far as dark green and intense, I wonder what you might think of Comme des Garcons Amazingreen.

      For violet + leather, I recommend Tom Ford Violet Blonde and Balenciaga Paris. Also, Bottega Veneta eau de parfum.

      Hermes perfumes, apart from Hermessences, lasts really well. I’m wearing Caleche right now, and it’s so lovely. February 13, 2014 at 3:21pm Reply

      • Jehane Perse: It is a privilege to receive this dangerously good advice (I work within walking distance of Liberty’s…) Yes, I adore Carnal Flower but feel like someone else in it; Tuberose Gardenia & Violet Blonde both came up slightly sweet. AmazingGreen to be investigated forthwith! And Hermes to be dwelt upon over some weeks; it is where everything is tending…only my wallet doesn’t want to know… Thank you so much. February 13, 2014 at 3:28pm Reply

        • Victoria: Oh, it’s my pleasure! Adding one more: Parfum d’Empire Azemour Les Orangers for something deep green. February 13, 2014 at 3:40pm Reply

          • Jehane Perse: This…is…so…exciting! *exits stage left, skipping* February 13, 2014 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Gentiana: Hello,
    I try this tread too, it seems very exciting to me.
    I have no signature perfume, but I have a few loves:
    Cristalle, Femme de Rochas, Jubilation 25 (? for women)
    Bandit, Silences
    Noa EDP, Truth Calvin Klein,
    Noir Epices, Ambre Sultan Un Bois Vanille, Maharanih, Odalisque, Kiss me Tender (PdN), Nuit de Noel, Oud For Love (ThDC), Fleur de Chocolat (Molinard- discontinued)
    Sa Majeste La Rose, Lipstick Rose, Une Rose, Mohur, Tresor,
    Equistrius, Iris Noir (Yves Rocher), Impossible Iris
    Songes, Number One (PdN), Norcotic Venus, Fleurissimo

    I am in the quest for
    1) The ultimate Rose Perfume (to be one of my signatures)
    2) The Ultimete Iris Perfume
    3) The Ultimate Chocolate perfume
    And, last but not least, The Heliotrope.

    Can you help me? February 17, 2014 at 10:36am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll take a stab at iris, although it’s hard to recommend anything as The Ultimate. It sounds like you enjoy your florals with a bit of spice and oriental notes or else with soft, musky ones, so maybe something more like Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir or Frederic Malle Iris Poudre?

      For chocolate, I don’t know of any perfumes that does a better chocolate than Thierry Mugler Angel. Arquiste Anima Dulcis is good for a bitter, non-sweet chocolate, but it’s wildly expensive. February 17, 2014 at 11:23am Reply

      • Gentiana: Thank you fot the suggestions, Victoria.
        I gave a try to OJ Orris Noir, I’m not yet very fond about it … At the first try it was more about spices than Orris. But things can change radically within days. It definitely is worth more tries because, as all OJ-s is an intriguing scent, and that’s what I like.
        I wear today FM Iris Poudre (from the fabulous discovery set), and I can say, at the fourth wear is friendly with me.
        Short time before I refreshed I.P and I layered Iris Poudre with Yves Rocher Iris Noir and I am very keen to feel the development. Till now the top notes didn’t settle, is a kind of fight between the aldehide+powder and the flowery-hesperidic.
        My only problem with Iris Poudre is the harsh aldehidic beginning -similar to Arpege and Chanel 5. These two are realy gorgeous for me – but only after the aldehides calm down.
        What do you think about Equistrius?

        Angel… I just ended a bottle, and on me it is not too much about chocolate, the caramel appears more but the pachuli tends to dominate, together with some berry confiture.
        I have no access in Romania to Arquiste perfumes, it is no importer for them yet.
        I die from curiosity. I read a lot about the line, but I can not imagine how they smell.
        I wrote the last year to Arquiste site asking about some sampling program and they answered they don’t send samples.
        I tried Parfumerie Generale Musc Maori, but it is far too milky for me – like choco pudding.
        I tried some Profvmvm stuff – (Il Profvumo? – i confuse it) – it has no longevity and a chemical smell.
        Maybe something appears in between… Or Arquiste comes in my area (and I earn some money on the lottery)
        I have to wait…. February 18, 2014 at 12:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: Equistrius is a very good fragrance, and it has a dash of spice to warm up its iris. Oh, and it has some chocolate too! February 18, 2014 at 2:19pm Reply

          • Gentiana: Thank you.
            :) It seems to be the right thing… I have to search for that sample I used twice. If I don’t find it I ask for another one and I try it compared to Orris Noir.
            Oh, let me tell you: after your advice above I gave another ride to Orris Noir. Not in the very best moment (at night). I had wafts of it every now and then (as I am more or less insomniac) and it was a lot better than the first time. In the morning a wonderful drydown welcomed me in the new day. Gorgeous spicy-musky-ambery iris!
            It won’t be an easy decision to make, you know! February 19, 2014 at 9:11am Reply

  • Rose: Dear Victoria,

    I will be visiting Paris soon and one of my goals is to visit Lubin and buy some new perfume there. What are your thoughts on its products? And what do you think about the hype around Black Jade”? March 5, 2014 at 4:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Black Jade more than once, and I can’t remember it well. Lubin overall is a nice brand, and Idole de Lubin is one of my favorites. It’s a spicy, woody blend, but it’s also surprisingly airy. March 6, 2014 at 11:29am Reply

  • Mary M.: Hi – I just discovered your blog and I wanted to thank you wholeheartedly for writing about perfume with such skill, taste, and dedication!

    Like yourself, one of my go-to winter scents is Coco by Chanel. However, I have struggled to find a regular summer perfume (all my favorites have been discontinued – Crabtree and Evelyn’s Cayman Winds with its light lemony scent and then their original Wisteria which I wore for my wedding). For summer, I like things that are light, lemony, and floral. Could you offer any suggestions on where I might start? Your thoughts are appreciated!

    Kind regards,
    Mary March 8, 2014 at 8:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your nice words, Mary!
      If you like lemony and floral perfumes, how about Jo Malone Orange Blossom or even Chanel’s Allure EDT? Have you tried them?

      (By the way, this thread is now quiet, but we’re going to have another one soon.) March 8, 2014 at 6:43pm Reply

  • Lauri: I was wondering if I could get a recommendation of perfume. I really love Shiseido Feminite Du Bois but as you know it is discontinued. I love cedar and woody smells. I dislike food scents and anything sweet.. I am more drawn to masculine scents usually. I do like Light Blue but do not love it.. I like musky, woody , oriental smells. I do like lemon smells. Thank you for your wonderful site… March 9, 2014 at 3:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Lauri, Feminite du Bois is still available, but it’s sold under the Serge Lutens brand now. March 9, 2014 at 9:16am Reply

  • siya: any fresh and clean scent ? I recently bought Crystalline from Bvlgari and liked it quite a lot. March 13, 2014 at 6:20am Reply

  • Vanessa Nattrass: I am only new to discovering perfumes. I have found the only perfume I like is Estée Lauder Private Collection. Can anyone recommend any others. A friend had a perfume I liked, I think it was called Ghost Mist. July 8, 2014 at 7:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Vanessa, you could try other perfumes called green chypres, like Chanel No 19, Chanel Cristalle, Balmain Vent Vert, and even green blends like L’Artisan Premier Figuier and Diptyque Philosykos. I love Private Collection and find it very distinctive and unique. July 9, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

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