On Changing Perfume Tastes

When I looked over my dressing table the other day, I was surprised to discover how many fragrances in my heavy rotation are dominated by woods: Serge Lutens Bois de Violette, Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds, Van Cleef et Arpels Cologne Noire, By Kilian Rose Oud, to name just a few. A few years ago, I would have found mostly white florals. This made me wonder about changing perfume tastes.

How do you find that your tastes have changed since you bought your first bottle of perfume or first became interesting in fragrance?

I still enjoy white florals–L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons was one of the first fragrances I bought, and I still wear it frequently. However, I wear many more perfumes in the woods and oriental families, while previously, they used to be reserved for special moods and mostly evening. Now, I do not think twice before donning Shalimar in the morning! Another change I noticed is my stronger preference for citrus notes, especially orange and grapefruit.

Photography Bois de Jasmin.  Winter fruit salad: blood orange, grapefruit, pomegranate, banana, a melange with a wonderful scent, which I would glad wear as perfume.



  • elizabeth: i really love that picture. i saved it to my computer for further viewing, i hope that’s okay! my taste in perfume is always changing, but i am ALWAYS attracted to a high quality tuberose scent.. like carnal flower. that would be my most beloved fragrance. January 8, 2011 at 1:22am Reply

  • Olfactoria: My tastes also have changed enormously, I feel my horizon has broadened considerably, I found that I can wear many perfumes I wouldn’t even looked at twice only a year ago. That’s what is so lovely about perfumes, one is always in for a surprise, no note should be dismissed immediately, one could turn to love it in the next perfume. 🙂 January 8, 2011 at 3:31am Reply

  • Violaine: good morning! i tend to believe my tastes have developped at the same pace as my intellect; the more I can define & understand odors & tastes, the more i know what suits me best, at the moment of choice. Fragrances are a kind of medicine as well as an hedonistic pleasure. A never ending story. Violaine January 8, 2011 at 8:35am Reply

  • Carrie Meredith: I also must say that the photograph of the fruit salad is wonderful, I wish I had one of those right now! My tastes went from oriental gourmands to woods-based scents, and now with the addition of leather and oud. The note I am currently obsessed with the most would have to be cedar. When done just the right way, I cannot resist it. I still love a good gourmand scent and don’t think I could ever let that go. January 8, 2011 at 3:35am Reply

  • Martina: Oh yes ! And HOW much my tastes have changed – i.e. I could not stand Guerlain in younger years, or I would not even have touched Bandit… I was a floral-musky “water” lover. Anything stronger, like an Extrait – was out of my range. Nose wise.
    And now I can love many perfumes, and I can cherish some, I would not wear. Just for their complexity, their power, the art which was used to create them.
    I am so in love with all things Iris in the meantime… and I still hate all what reminds me of incences. Church incense, that is.

    kind regards, Martina
    http://duftreise.blogspot.com/ January 8, 2011 at 4:10am Reply

  • Carla: That salad is a wonderful idea. I used to like anything rosy and violety, especially S Grosjman’s things – Bulgari Pour Femme, Paris. But I don’t like those anymore. I also liked the super-sweet like Angel and Flowerbomb. (I think my Angel has “gone off” over the years – it’s changed color, and it smells different at first, though it settles to the same thing.) Now, I like aldehydic florals in warm weather, and I am still loving my Ormonde this winter! Tastes likely change when one spends a certain number of months or years paying attention to what she smells. I just ordered Iris Silver Mist. I think this perfume would be very hard to like a on pedestrian level, but for those who love perfume, it’s a welcome relief from sweetness. January 8, 2011 at 10:42am Reply

  • Irina: I change my taste seasonally. Every spring I start to wear perfumes with lily of the valley notes, like Diorissimo or Le Muguet by Annick Goutal. At summer I prefer citruses, at winter – wood and incense. January 8, 2011 at 11:17am Reply

  • Ines: Pretty much like you, at one point I realize I’m no longer wearing perfumes I bought 2 years ago but something completely different. And I came to realize I’m an oriental girl (which I certainly didn’t think 2 years ago) and I turn to Shalimar more often than any other perfume in my collection at the moment (I love Shalimar and only a year ago I couldn’t comprehend why it was getting so much love). 🙂 January 8, 2011 at 6:53am Reply

  • RMF325: I started out loving Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue and Shalimar when I was 15. I still love Guerlain, but now I favor Vol de Nuit. My daily perfume is usually Eau de Mervilles or Chanel No. 19; occasionally No. 5.

    I tried to love tobacco scents, but Cuir de Russie and Sycomore made me smell like an ashtray.

    Sounds like I need to try Bois Blonds! January 8, 2011 at 12:29pm Reply

  • Skilletlicker: My taste is ALWAYS determined by the weather. At the moment, it’s rainy and cold (for California) so I’m reaching more and more for smoky incense scents like Commes des Garcons Kyoto and L’Artisan Dzongkha. But when I draw my curtains and the sky is hard blue and clear I know it’s going to be a marine scent. The “table wine” of marine scents in my collection is Aqua Motu. I also love Issey Miyake. What else do you recommend?

    And, regarding your fruit salad, have you tried the melon-y Emotionelle by Parfums Delrae? January 8, 2011 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Marina: I’d say, roughly speaking, the other way round for me, from woods (ambers, leathers etc) to florals and greens. January 8, 2011 at 7:57am Reply

  • Xenia: It is true. My first perfume bottle that was not a present from someone else was Mitsouko and I could not get enough and I still can’t, however, last summer I spent under a spell of Amouage Gold and Homage. I, however, remember trying Homage a year and a half ago and running to the toilet to wash my hand, now I mostly have the urge to run to the counter with the credit card and beg them to take my money. I do not even remember how did this metamorphosis take place. I remember I was sampling it from time to time trying to understand why it is so good according to others and then it turned out I am an addict and the lady at the counter already knows my name. I believe it has something to do with the pleasure of recognition that takes place over the time and puts something unfamiliar like ‘oud’ into another brain folder together with familiar ones, then you mostly concentrate on how beautiful it is, and black is no more beautiful than red or white just different… January 8, 2011 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Lenore Jago: Lately, I am irresistably drawn to anything with peppercorn and/or grapefruit in the scent. Kiliane’s Rose Oud is divine, as well. I wore a paper swatch of it around Saks for a couple of hours, tucked in my bra, and loved the way the woody, oudy elements supported the rose. January 8, 2011 at 8:51am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, sure, I am glad that you are enjoying it!
    I am the same way, good, high-quality tuberose invariably steals my heart. January 8, 2011 at 10:21am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, the broadening of tastes is another change that I always experience. It is interesting to observe how one scent seems jarring and strong one day and some time later it feels approachable and elegant. One such experience for me was Fracas.
    I completely agree with you that no note should be dismissed immediately. For me, I do not think in terms of notes (I would not dismiss a fragrance based on the marketing pyramid,) although some notes definitely draw my attention–leather, cardamom, tuberose… Do you have your favorites? January 8, 2011 at 10:44am Reply

  • Victoria: Delicious citrus fruit makes winter so much more pleasant! And pomegranates.
    I love cedarwood too, which can give such a smooth, elegant finish to a fragrance. Do you have your favorite cedarwood at the moment? I am always looking for new ideas. January 8, 2011 at 10:46am Reply

  • Victoria: I remember the first time I smelled Chamade almost 15 years ago, and how odd it felt to me. I remember smelling through the whole Guerlain range, and while the stories appealed to me, the scents seemed too heady. Now, I wish they were richer! January 8, 2011 at 10:47am Reply

  • Victoria: That is what happened with woods for me. I was making a list of perfumes recently and breaking them up by families. Then I realized that most of my current favorites are in the woods family. Even if I look back at what I reviewed recently, most of them were woods and some orientals. January 8, 2011 at 10:49am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, I still remember the shock with which I read your review of Lust. 🙂 Marina likes such pretty florals, no way! January 8, 2011 at 10:50am Reply

  • Carla: A quote from Edmond Roudnitska: “To judge a perfume is, above all else, a matter of taste. Taste evolves under the influence of the environment, but this fact must not prohibit judging the environment. Taste evolves chiefly with the acquisition of learning, with the knowledge of facts and of aesthetic accomplishments, which makes it possible to analyze them and to provoke instructive comparisons. It is thus that each of us can progress along the road of beauty and of art.” January 8, 2011 at 3:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: Violaine, your comment that fragrances are a kind of medicine always reminded me of what one of my mentors used to say about a link between scent and a feeling of wellbeing. Plus, beautiful things can always make one feel better. When I feel down, I reach for a fragrance I love or turn on a favorite piece of music or browse some of my art books. January 8, 2011 at 11:00am Reply

  • Victoria: Grapefruit and peppercorn sounds wonderful both as a fragrance and as food. I often like to eat grapefruit with salt and cumin, but pepper sounds delicious too.
    As for Rose Oud, I agree, very appealing fragrance. January 8, 2011 at 11:01am Reply

  • Victoria: Sounds like your Angel definitely turned. Usually the top notes degrade first.
    I agree with you on Iris Silver Mist. In general, iris is a difficult note for most people, because it is so damp, rooty, earthy, vegetal. In that fragrance, it seems that all of those qualities are magnified. I love it, but it took me some time to get used to it. January 8, 2011 at 11:05am Reply

  • flittersniffer: My tastes seem to be in continuous evolution, hence my sometime screen name of flittersniffer!

    When I was started seriously investigating perfumes exactly 3 years ago, I was drawn to heavier, floral and gourmand orientals, but I much prefer woody ones now, and more sparing compositions generally. I have just discovered Atelier Bois Blonds myself, also Oolong Infini, and they feel very “me”. Or me at the moment, shall we say… : – ) January 8, 2011 at 11:20am Reply

  • Victoria: I also tend to reach for heavier, richer fragrances in the cold times of the year. They seem to warm me up. This winter I have been exploring gourmand oriental fragrances and enjoying them. January 8, 2011 at 11:24am Reply

  • Victoria: Aha, thank you for explaining your screen name. It caught my eye the first time I saw it. I love it (esp since I might be one of those myself!) 🙂
    Isn’t Bois Blonds wonderful? I am enjoying it very much for its fresh incense-woods composition. Oolong Infini goes on my to-try list, I am not familiar with it. January 8, 2011 at 11:28am Reply

  • Olfactoria: I always pay extra attention when Iris, galbanum or saffron are on the list. January 8, 2011 at 2:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, iris and saffron are sure to lure me as well! January 8, 2011 at 3:36pm Reply

  • Victoria: For tobacco scents, have you tried Hermessence Ambre Narguile? It is a sweet, smoky fragrance, not too dry, unlike Sycomore or even the drydown of Cuir de Russie. Also, I like Eau d’Italie Bois d’Ombrie, Annick Goutal Duel (mild tobacco note, but very beautifully crafted,) Balmain Jolie Madame, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale for their tobacco notes. January 8, 2011 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Victoria: I have not tried Emotionelle, it sort of slipped from my radar, but I am going to Aedes soon, so I will try it. Thank you!

    Have you tried Caron Eau Pure or Marc Jacobs Rain Splash? They have a very nice watery-fresh accord, close in feeling to Aqua Motu. I also would mentioned Le Labo Neroli 36, Rochas Aquawoman (really well-made watery accord that feels quite refreshing and sparkling), Bond no 9 Hamptons. January 8, 2011 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Victoria: How true! The pleasure of recognition is a very powerful one for me too. Once in India at some function I smelled Mitsouko on one of the ladies, and it almost brought tears to my eyes. I was feeling so far away from home and yearned something familiar so strongly that a smell of this French classic that I noticed amid the incense smoke and jasmine fragrance was like a gentle embrace. January 8, 2011 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Victoria: Great quote, thank you for sharing! The more one knows about a subject, the deeper one’s understanding becomes, the more one’s tastes change. January 8, 2011 at 4:00pm Reply

  • dee: I haven’t found that I dislike anything that I once liked—I’m still fond of perfumes that I wore as a teen and in my early twenties—but my palette has definitely broadened: I’ve begun to like sweeter fragrances with gourmand notes (never did before this year), and though all my life I’ve hated patchouli, I now really appreciate what it can do in a well-blended fragrance; it’s no longer a harbinger of doom. 😉 January 8, 2011 at 5:08pm Reply

  • Victoria: D, that patchouli comment, that "it's no longer a harbinger of doom," it made me laugh out loud. Yes, I myself went through a phase when a strong patchouli note was a deal breaker, but now I cannot get enough.

    I find that while I still enjoy fragrances I used to wear as a teen (like Lancome Tresor,) I cannot wear them now. Somehow, they became imbued with some strong associations, and whether these associations are good or bad, I feel that now I am ready for something new. I still keep a bottle on hand though, for old times' sake. January 8, 2011 at 5:18pm Reply

  • RMF325: Thanks for the suggestions, I’ll look for them.

    Love your description of Cuir de Russie in your romantic fantasy. Glad it smells far better on you than it does on me! January 8, 2011 at 10:29pm Reply

  • linda: I get so inspired, Victoria, to try new scents after reading your posts…and those of the others. Although I have ventured into new and wonderful territories of scents over these past few years…I am sure I will never tire of my old favorite…the sparkling Cristalle…the only fragrance I wore for years.
    I am enjoying so many new treasures these days, thanks to everyone’s suggestions…such as Bois des Ilses, Chergui, Homage, Parfum Sacre, the ouds, etc. I am loving the warm, comforting scents that feel like cozy shawls around my shoulders and look so forward to discovering more in the years to come. Thank you so much…everyone, for sharing. January 8, 2011 at 10:38pm Reply

  • Skilletlicker: I haven’t tried the ones you mentioned except for Hamptons (didn’t love it) but after your review of Bang I will definitely NOT avoid MJ any longer. I’m aware that Aqua Motu has a synthetic, almost metallic aspect but for some reason I forgive it. There’s something about it that is strangely and exclusively Pacific for me. It conjures a certain southern California morning that is clear and bracing. Wish you would review Aquawoman. Am definitely intrigued. Thank you! January 8, 2011 at 11:13pm Reply

  • dee: V, that’s a good point: I too have a bottle of Tresor in my cabinet, but I don’t ever actually wear it; same for Arden’s Green Tea—I think it’s pretty, and appreciate its familiarity, but never reach for it. Glad to have both in my collection though! : ) January 8, 2011 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: Me too! Arden's Green Tea is a classic (or definitely a trendsetter.) It is also one of the most copied fragrances. In Russia, I smelled at least 10 different fragrances under different labels that smelled like exact copies of Green Tea. January 8, 2011 at 7:55pm Reply

  • Victoria: I initially found Cuir de Russie overly smoky too, but as I got used to these tarry-smoky notes over time, it now seems quite mellow. Maybe, it is like Xenia says, exposure and the familiarity it creates with the scent.

    Let me know if anything from the list works out! January 8, 2011 at 10:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: Linda, Cristalle is one of those fragrances that I find amazingly sparkling, like a well-cut diamond, or a glass of champagne, or snowflakes caught in the light. Whenever I wear it, I just keep thinking of these associations. I cannot get tired of it either. Which concentration do you wear, the EDT or the EDP?

    I love reading other's lists too, it is always inspiring to me, and it always helps me find something new. It is a never ending quest, I guess! 🙂 January 8, 2011 at 10:58pm Reply

  • dee: LOL, are you my scent twin??!! I find it interesting that Green Tea would be so popular in Russia; since I’ve never been, I think of smokey tea, leather, and amber when I think of Russia. I guess people get tired of those things 🙂 January 8, 2011 at 11:07pm Reply

  • Victoria: I just might be! 🙂
    Hmm, in my romanticized vision of Russia, it smells like that too. But in reality, according to the marketing studies I have seen, women there prefer fragrances like Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Green Tea, aldehydic compositions, and chypre fragrances. On the other hand, Russia is the only place where Dior Addict (very sweet, opulent woody-vanilla) was a top seller, but it may be that the Dior label was a strong driver. It has a very strong brand identity in Russia. Also, Dior and Lancome fragrances were sold even during the Soviet times, whereas not many other brands were available. January 8, 2011 at 11:15pm Reply

  • Victoria: I will try to get a sample and review it. I remember it well, but for reviewing, I would like to wear it at least a few times.

    It is interesting how you describe Aqua Motu, because I have a friend who grew in South Carolina and spent most of her life near the ocean. She describes it pretty much the same way, and I can see that. The one fragrance that gives me the same impression (although it smells totally differently!) is Annick Goutal Vetiver. Salty, marine, green vetiver. Very strong, very dramatic. I smell it, and all I can think about is driftwood, seaweed and windswept beaches. January 8, 2011 at 11:19pm Reply

  • linda: Hi again V,
    In answer to your question, I tend to wear the EDT of Cristalle more. Seems, feels lighter…dearer. The ODP is nice too, with longer staying power it seems, but different somehow, missing some of the effervescence of the ODT.
    It has been so fun to try new perfumes … especially this past year or so. I have fallen in love with so many…and have learned so much.
    Like tasting an avocado for the first time as a child and curling up my nose, I have grown to love them…crave them at times. In much of the same way I have grown to love and appreciate so many new fragrances. My horizons have been greatly widened 🙂 January 9, 2011 at 12:42pm Reply

  • aotearoa: Like Xenia I find it fascinating how I can now go back and smell things I previously could not appreciate and now actually smell them. I appreciated the Roudnitska quote.
    I recently ordered some Timbuktu after my nose and brain connected!
    The kutya, by the way Victoria, is simply divine for breakfast this morning…… January 9, 2011 at 1:36pm Reply

  • carmencanada: When listing the fragrances I wore as a teen and young woman, I find that most genres (except aquatics and gourmands, which didn’t exist) were represented, so in fact, it seems I always had a fairly wide range of tastes. I find that my evolution has taken me, not from a certain type of note or family to another, but from vintage and classics, which I tended to favour even two or three years ago, to more modern compositions. I still love the classics, but no longer wear them much, apart from Mitsouko. January 9, 2011 at 10:15am Reply

  • Victoria: D, it makes sense to me. The classical and the modern compositions are often based on different aesthetic principles, and it takes time to get used to one, if you were more predisposed towards another. Even early on in my fragrance explorations I had more preferrences for classical forms, their richness, opulence. The modern fragrances with their sharper, more one-dimensional structures seemed weak. Plus, lately there are so many similar, bland, lifeless releases that it takes more effort to find something new and exciting. Since I had to delve deeper into the modern scents, I found myself being able to appreciate them more. Tommy Girl is one good example for me. Previously when I read Luca's reviews, I could not get what he meant. Over time though as I learned more about fragrance composition and what makes an interesting accord, Tommy Girl started to make sense to me too. I wear it time to time to enjoy its luminous tea accord.

    Of course, we all learn more what we like, the more we smell, so I guess, it is inevitable our tastes broaden and change. January 9, 2011 at 10:39am Reply

  • carmencanada: I liken it to the fact that I’ve grown out of my vintage clothing collection… While I will always be moved by the beauties of older perfumes, and will go on studying them, certain contemporary styles allow swiftness, movement, breathing space, something I need in everyday life.
    Also, though as you say there is a surfeit of uninteresting, derivative slush, I need to see perfume as a living art seeking new forms — or reviving/rewriting older ones in novel ways, as art has always done. January 9, 2011 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Victoria: I am so glad that you like kutya! Yes, it is the best breakfast food. I want to try the rice and almond version next that Nathalie wrote about in her comment.

    I can definitely relate! It is so exciting to smell someone I did not understand or like before and suddenly find that I am enjoying it. Or to discover a new facet in a familiar fragrance. I was recently wearing Chanel No 22, and once it dried down, the strong incense note was very obvious. It was reminiscent of church altar scents: roses, lilies and incense. January 9, 2011 at 4:27pm Reply

  • Victoria: Linda, thank you, I also wear the Edt more often. I love the floral lushness and the exquisite hyacinth notes of the Edp, but I still have a soft spot for the effervescent chypre accord in the Edt. So, I was curious which one you liked better.

    I recently grew to love bitter melon. Challenging one's taste buds is as exciting as challenging one's nose (and it is related anyway!) January 9, 2011 at 4:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, D, sounds like a familiar phase. I went through that in clothing, but then again for me it is very cyclical.As my lifestyle changes, I adapt. Two years ago when I started dancing again more, my clothing and shoes become all about comfort, soft fabrics, jersey, light wool. I realized that my studio attire permeated my daily wardrobe too.

    I know that you did not mean this exactly, but something you said made me think that parallels between fragrance and art can only go so far. To me, it is an artisan craft above all, created first and foremost to adorn, to please a consumer. The main problem I see now is the twisted notion of marketing people as to what actually pleases the consumer. When I see derivative stuff, which was basically created by taking a GC of a top seller and adding some different top note, I see it not as an artistic evolution in perfumery, but rather as an example of decisions driven by myopic profit line concerns. And it ultimately does not pay off, and to consumer, it is like processed food that is expensive and bad for you.

    Basically, one needs to smell more and be ready to put up with a lot more chaff to find something special these days. I do not necessarily have a gloomy outlook on the future of perfumery. Sometimes when things are in the midst of crisis, it is exactly when the welcome changes can come. January 9, 2011 at 5:00pm Reply

  • Vintage Lady: It is true for me too. Before I used to buy only florals, then little by little I started using more perfumes with wood base, then resins, and if I compare the first ones, like Azur by Puig with Shalimar for example, i can see the big difference among them. But lately although I do not like ONLY flowers on a scent I like discovering them if they are florar, as if going back to those times with more sweetness and fragility than strength and mystery. But I continue loving the wood scents, they make part of my perfume tastes as well as everything oriental. January 9, 2011 at 5:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: I find the same thing, once I got a taste for some woody notes, then I wanted to experience them in stronger and stronger ways. I feel that if you see the fragrance families as located on a wheel, then I am making my way around it bit by bit. That being said, now I also like more fragrances from many different families. January 9, 2011 at 9:57pm Reply

  • Mimi: I agree with Dee in that I still love fragrances I wore as a teen and young woman. I hope my tastes have broadened somewhat; I do love patchouli now, but I had to get over the hippie association. I love florals, florals with woods or spice and woods.

    I first fell in love with fragrance oils from The Body Shop, a wonderful store out of Berkeley, CA, that started in the 70s. (They later sold their name to the English version and are now called Body Time and still have wonderful products though the oils aren’t the same anymore). I wore carnation mostly, but loved everything from rose to lemon. The oils were very authentic.

    I lived in San Francisco then and, in my late teens and early twenties, discovered Casaque, Farouche, Miss Dior, Calandre and Joy among my favorites. Later came Coriandre, Michelle, Adolpho, Metal and Molinard, which I wore so much I can not smell at all on myself anymore. Then the Deneuve days. Jumping ahead, I still love all those scents and many more. I wear the ones that are still around and haven’t been altered as well as Knowing, Lipstick Rose, Heure Exquise, Parfum d’Hermes, Florissa and Frenzy. I’ve gotten some great suggestions in your recent posts and responses and will be ordering samples from The Perfumed Court. I love fragrances and love to read about what other women like and wear, utter joy. January 10, 2011 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Mimi: P.S. Oh, how could I forget such favorites, from youth to present: Chanel 19, Cabochard, Fracas and Nahema!! January 10, 2011 at 1:10pm Reply

  • Mimi: I so glad I could inspire you to revisit Metal. I’ve already placed an order with TPC for 4 samples based on your recent reviews. January 10, 2011 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mimi, thank you for sharing this! You’ve inspired me to revisit Metal, which I have neglected as of late. That and Calandre are fragrance with such a great character. In fact, there are no wallflowers on your list of favorites! 🙂

    Like you, I love TPC (and also enjoy The Posh Peasant.) Such a great service and makes it very easy to sample all types of fragrances, from niche to mainstream. January 10, 2011 at 3:08pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mine too! All of those are in my personal hall of fame. 🙂 January 10, 2011 at 3:09pm Reply

  • Victoria: I myself was on The Posh Peasant over the weekend, placing a sample order after reading blogs! 🙂
    Hope that you will enjoy those fragrances. January 10, 2011 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I am rather sad that Martina doesn’t like incense frgrances that remind her of church. Since I meditate daily, the scent of incense, especially sandalwood has only calming, relaxing, sacred associations for me, and I wish others could share that sense of peace.

    As far as changing tastes go- my first fave scent was Yves Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche. I loved it because it didn’t smell like “perfume” and came in such a cool metal canister…. it seemed a lot more modern, fresh, liberated and youthful than other perfumes, and I was madly obsessed with all things YSL. Alas, they have re-formulated it, and it is not the same any more. Pity. I associate the original Oscar de la Renta with my first (and thus far, only) love because it was, like Mr. de La Renta’s clothes, heady, feminine, celebratory and it just made me feel so completely, utterly and gratefully, female. That particular infatuation cost me almost six years of futile psychotherapy, so it was a long, long time before I could wear that scent again. I really shouldn’t blame it on Oscar, though.

    Now that I am older, wiser and some might say, meaner, I love Serge Lutens A La Nuit, which to me smells like femme fatale in a bott;le; it makes me feel I could seduce someoe for military secrets! I also love Carnal Flower, Loree Rodkin’s Gothic II (that incense note!), Cartier’s So Pretty, Hermes 24 Faubourg, Annick Goutal’s Heure Exquise and Grand Amour, Sage’s Moonstone, and I grieve the loss of Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia. I am always in search of a deep, dark, heady, Goth goddess scent, so if any of you dedicated sniffers can recommend a scent that evokes midnight, black velvet, torn fishnets and self-conscious alienation, I’d love to hear about it! Big kisses and Happy New Year! January 12, 2011 at 6:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: Lynn, have you tried Comme des Garcons Avignon?
    Whenever I think of a dark gothic scent, I envision rose and patchouli. The darkest rose and patchouli for me is Agent Provocateur. They also are now releasing a darker fragrance.
    Oh, try by Kilian Back to Black and Pure Oud. Not gothic as you describe, but very interesting and dark. January 13, 2011 at 8:02am Reply

  • Tiffany: Well, the very first perfume I ever bought for myself (just over a year ago!) was Bulgari the vert, and I liked it because it wasn’t ‘too perfumey.’ Now lined up next to it are bottles of Bal a Versailles and Shalimar, and dozens of samples ranging from Anais Anais to Tolu. So I guess my tastes have broadened considerably! January 14, 2011 at 6:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: Tiffany,
    I also find that the more I smell, the more different types of scents I begin to like. It is a natural progression, and it is a lot of fun for me to observe how it happens. January 15, 2011 at 9:08am Reply

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