Recommend Me a Perfume : July Sunshine

Today we have our “Recommend Me a Perfume” post.  I would also love to hear from those who participated in previous rounds of recommendations to know what you’ve discovered and what you’ve enjoyed sampling from suggestions you’ve received.


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.

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, sun-warmed hay



  • Bea: What I great idea! I am looking for a light, feminine and flowery scent to wear during the spring and summer.

    The best I have found so far is Gucci Flora, but I think there is a synthetic smell to it, or it smells too much like… any soap you can get in the supermarket.

    Do you have any suggestions for a similar perfume, but of better quality and maybe more complex.
    When I try new scents, I tend to prefer the ones from real perfume houses and not just from any fashion brand, if that’s any help. My signature scent is Coco Chanel. July 12, 2013 at 7:29am Reply

    • sibilum: Try Jour d’Hermès! July 12, 2013 at 9:13am Reply

    • Barbara: I love these threads! Bea, I second Jour d’Hermes, it’s so lovely. Try Cartier de Lune too. Chloe doesn’t get much love around here but it’s great when I want it a clean, pretty floral. July 12, 2013 at 9:20am Reply

      • Natalia: Haha, you guys beat me to it while I was typing 🙂 But I sure am glad to see so many Jour d’Hermes replies to this request! July 12, 2013 at 9:30am Reply

        • sibilum: After trying it several times, I had just purchased mine online! It’s great. July 12, 2013 at 9:59am Reply

      • Cybele: L’Eau de Chloe is worth a try too. Also,
        Baiser Vole Cartier and Elie Saab Eau de Toilette are light, pretty florals. If you want it richer you could try the J’Adore line and Prada Infusion Iris Absolue is a great scent. July 12, 2013 at 10:36am Reply

    • Natalia: “a light, feminine and flowery scent to wear during the spring and summer”

      I think Jour d’Hermes fit this description perfectly. It is also a very naturally smelling frangance, nothing synthetic about it. Being an Ellena’s and Hermes’s creation, it spells quality, and, despite its seeming simplicity, it’s a multi-layered, sophisticated scent. I can say that I love it dearly and I am a big fan of Coco, too. Both perfumes make you want to hold your head high you know. The difference is that Jour d’Hermes paints a picture of a beautiful summer morning at a cafe when a pleasant breeze mixes the perfume scent with the smell of stong, hot coffee and, with Coco, I imagine experiencing this breeze in the evening when, after attending a theater performance, I am sipping wine at a sophisticated downtown restaurant.
      Bottom line, definitely recommend trying! July 12, 2013 at 9:27am Reply

    • Meghan: Some of the most lovely, realistic florals I’ve smelled lately have been blends in body oils. I recommend Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse, which has a creamy tuberose/ylang/jasmine fragrance, and Elemis’ Frangiapani Monoi, which smells of frangiapani, ylang and, at least to me, coconut. As they are suspended in oil the scent lasts really beautifully on the skin. July 12, 2013 at 9:33am Reply

    • Jennifer: A newer one you might want to try is the new J’Adore Voile de Parfum very pretty clean floral. Might also want to try the Tocca perfume line also. July 12, 2013 at 11:18am Reply

    • Squirrely: Coco is one of my absolute favorites – I actually wear it a fair amount in the heat, and love how sultry it is. But if you’re interested in a lighter “floriental” I will actually throw out a suggestion for one that *is* from a fashion brand: Vince Camuto. It’s a blended osmanthus, jasmine, ambery thing (and they claim some leather in there somewhere…), it’s sweet, but much nicer than I expected. And the bottle is kind of garish fun.

      I also received a sample of a scent called Folle de Joie in my Birchbox: jasmine & rose in the mid notes, with a really nice green, leather dry down. Not FBW for me, but I encourage others to keep an eye out for it.

      And oddly, I own several Hermes and tend to love the house, but Jour just did not do anything for me. I got a lot of synthetic citrus from it. : ( July 12, 2013 at 11:52am Reply

      • Michele: I agree with you about Jour – I found it unexciting. I have Kelly Caleche and two from the Jardin series and find them much more complex. I was disappointed because I am always looking for a new and interesting floral to sample. July 12, 2013 at 3:43pm Reply

      • Cybele: I think it is grapefruit, not sure about synthetic though but I also have problems with the top notes of Jour July 12, 2013 at 7:34pm Reply

        • Michele: I agree with u Cybele about Jour. I’m smellimg my sample now. The top notes are what spoils it for The dry down was ok, but not great . Grapefruit can be wonderful in a fragrance for me or ick. Just depends. I once had a bad skin reaction to a grapefruit fragrance several years ago while I was sampling some fragrances in Henri Bendel’s in Manhattan . My arm was burning and swelled up a bit . Not good. It smelled great though, but I’m only willing to go so far to smell wonderful. July 13, 2013 at 12:33pm Reply

    • Jane: I think you might enjoy the newer Prada Infusion d’Iris L’Eau. Soft, sparkly flowers, simple and elegant and perfect for summer. July 12, 2013 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Kelly stacy: Hi Bea, I just bought a full bottle of Jour d’hermes and love it. Another pretty floral is Chanel Beige. It’s beautiful too! July 12, 2013 at 1:15pm Reply

    • leathermountain: Frederic Malle En Passant? July 12, 2013 at 9:03pm Reply

    • Bea: I am overwhelmed about all the wonderful replies – thank you for your suggestions! I have made a list and will try as many as I can on my vacation, will get back to you with the result. Once again, thank you! ♥ July 13, 2013 at 2:46am Reply

    • rainboweyes: What about Amyris Femme from Maison Francis Kurkdjian or Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris? July 14, 2013 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Belle: The wonder of time zones! Whenever I see new posts, no one has commented on them yet. Well, I guess I’ll be cutting the ribbon this month!

    I’m actually a super newbie in the world of perfumes. But I’ve tried some different families, and it seems that my nose and chemistry don’t match with the climate here. I dislike powdery scents and aromatic scents. But orientals seem to love me! I’m thinking of trying some “gold standards.” What notes do you guys think I should try next? I’m thinking of including leather and jasmine to the mix. Thanks guys! July 12, 2013 at 7:45am Reply

    • Belle: Oh! And although I stay at an air conditioned place, sillage monsters are welcome! That quality does poorly on my skin. July 12, 2013 at 7:48am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Belle! I am still glad you warned us for the new Femme! I went to the shop right away and bought a bottle of Femme (fortunately it’s not expensive).
      So you want to try the ”golden standards”…well, the golden standard for orientals is probably Shalimar. Also Lutens Ambre Sultan is worth trying. Original , but not everybody’s taste (I like it a lot, comforting): Casmir (Chopard).
      As for leather: golden standard is Cuir de Russie. Very pleasant, high quality: Cuir Mauresque (Lutens). More suède than leather, but easy to wear, charming: Daim Blond (Lutens). I like also very much Gomma (Etro)
      The best(in my opinion) jasmine soliflower is A la Nuit (Lutens). There is also a beautiful jasmine in J’Adore l’Absolu. July 12, 2013 at 8:06am Reply

    • Jennifer: For a good easy to find leather that is fairly new try Bottega Veneta, similar to Luten’s Daim Blond but has jasmine. July 12, 2013 at 11:19am Reply

    • Nina Z: The gold standard orientals? What a great question. I’m excited to see what Victoria has to say about this if she chooses to chime in. Orientals is a big category and there are some subcategories, including spicy, vanilla, amber, and patchouli.

      In addition to Shalimar, classics to try include Coco (original) by Chanel and Opium (probably vintage) by YSL. While you are checking out Chanel, check out Coromandel, one of my favorite orientals.

      I agree with Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens, but also La Myrrhe from that line. Actually so much of that line has an oriental quality to it, even when being called by a floral name, it’s worth exploring the whole line. Try his jasmine (La Nuit and Sarrasins) as well.

      From Frederic Malle, check out Noir Epices (a spicy oriental without vanilla) and Musc Ravageur (not everyone loves this but it is a compelling, completely flower free perfume).

      Two others that are considered by some to be gold standard are L’Air du Desert Marocain by Andy Tauer and Bulgari Black.

      There’s something about Shalimar that doesn’t agree with me, so I prefer the men’s version of that, Habit Rouge. So when you’re looking at Guerlain, check that out, too. July 12, 2013 at 12:06pm Reply

      • Daisy: I agree with Nina’s picks: Shalimar, Coco, Coromandel, Ambre Sultan, Musc Ravageur (which smells like the drydown of Shalimar to me).

        To this, I might also add Olfactive Studio Chambre Noir, Kate Walsh Boyfriend (a celebrity scent, but a good one), and vintage Opium if you manage to be able to score some! July 12, 2013 at 1:08pm Reply

        • Annikky: Glad to see Chambre Noire mentioned, it deserves more attention! July 12, 2013 at 2:28pm Reply

    • leathermountain: I wasn’t so sure about leathers until I spilled half a sample of Bandit (Robert Piguet) on the floor. There’s no going back. It’s fantastic!

      (Sorry, no idea if it’s oriental) July 12, 2013 at 9:09pm Reply

    • leathermountain: Sisley Eau du Campagne
      Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio

      Two opposite takes on green, both are beautiful. Campagne is sharp and vegetal. Ninfeo Mio is lush and sweet. July 12, 2013 at 9:12pm Reply

      • leathermountain: Sorry, I hit the wrong reply button. July 12, 2013 at 9:13pm Reply

    • Eva S.: Try Shalimar Parfume Initial!
      I really love this for spring/summer.
      Soft oriental/floral, so fresh and wonderful! July 14, 2013 at 10:34pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: I’m very new to this blog (I found it out through Alyssa Harad’s book). I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the quantity and quality of information here – it has been such a treat to read through the posts so many thanks Victoria and all who have contributed to making this wonderful blog.

    I’m looking for a light, refreshing and green fragrance. So far, I’ve enjoyed Guerlain’s AA Herba Fresca, L’Occitaine The Vert, Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée and Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Vert. I especially like the hint of mint in Herba Fresca. I have read that L’Artisan Thé pour un Été has mint note in it but I’ve never tried it (I still haven’t moved into the territory of niche fragrances but I’m willing to try them). Does anyone have any recommendtions? July 12, 2013 at 8:38am Reply

    • Jillie: Hi Anne! I am very fond of L’Artisan’s The pour un Ete, so much so that I have recently bought a second bottle. I don’t really detect mint, but what I smell is a light tea (obviously!) with a beautiful, delicate jasmine (not like Chinese jasmine tea, but a cup of Ceylon tea with jasmine flowers floating on top). There’s a lemony element as well. It is lovely in the heat, and is what I call a pretty perfume.

      Speaking of niche, do try Parfums de Nicolai – I think you would like L’Eau d’Ete which is very citrusy, with a big opening blast of lime and a drydown of soft florals and woods. It is much more powerful than the gentle L’Artisan, but is really refreshing and has excellent longevity for a cologne. July 12, 2013 at 9:03am Reply

      • AndreaR: I’m loving L’Eau d” Ete this summer. It is indeed refreshing and long-lasting. July 12, 2013 at 10:24am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you for the detailed description, Jillie. ‘Cup of Ceylon tea with jasmine flowers floating on top’ sounds amazing! I’ll try to sample it when I’m next in town. July 12, 2013 at 2:17pm Reply

    • Barbara: Parfums de Rosine Zest de Rose, it has mint and tea roses. July 12, 2013 at 9:21am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Barbara. Combination of mint and rose sounds really exciting! Just to clarify, do you mean Diabolo Rose or does Un Zeste de Rose also have mint note in it? July 12, 2013 at 2:22pm Reply

    • Meghan: Try Guerlain’s Vetiver! July 12, 2013 at 9:35am Reply

      • Jennifer: Second this also, excellent in the heat. July 12, 2013 at 11:21am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Meghan, I’ll try it but I guess I’ll have to use very little to avoid smelling like a guy. 😉 July 12, 2013 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Natalia: How about Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte or L’Eau de Chloe? The first is a cool watery magnolia with a lively twist of greens and citrus, delicate yet quite long lasting. The second is a modern green rose chypre, very beautiful. Unfortunately though, on my skin, it doesn’t last at all. But it certainly may not be the case for you. July 12, 2013 at 9:37am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Natalia. I wouldn’t mind so much if the fragrance is not very long lasting. I know that many refreshing, cologne-like fragrances don’t last very long. I can just spritz more often. 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 2:35pm Reply

    • Cybele: I think you would enjoy Chanel Bel Respiro and Carthusia Mediterraneo. For mint try Comme des Garcons Play Green and Heeley Menthe Fraiche July 12, 2013 at 10:45am Reply

      • Cybele: try also Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert July 12, 2013 at 10:55am Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you for all the suggestions, Cybele. I jotted all of them down on my notebook! July 12, 2013 at 2:31pm Reply

      • Annikky: Second Bel Respiro, it’s lovely. Almost everything from Hermes is also worth a try and easier to find. Parfums de Nicolai has excellent colognes and florals for reasonable price, but difficult to sample outside Paris.

        Btw, l’Occitane is discontinuing The Vert and The Vert Jasmine, so if you really like the first (or both) stock up! July 12, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

        • Annikky: And apologies – I missed the fact that you have tried Hermes scents already. July 12, 2013 at 2:38pm Reply

          • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Annikky, there’s no need to apologise! I love many Hermès fragrances as well as their scarves (still don’t own any but I always enjoy browsing through their new collections). Are you serious about L’Occitaine discontinuing The Vert? :0 I’m shocked because it was one of the first fragrances I fell in love with. I’d better stock up then. I think it’s quite a decent fragrance for its moderate price. July 12, 2013 at 2:56pm Reply

            • Annikky: I am quite serious, unfortunately – heard it from their SA in our local store. I suspect it’s because they have The Vert & Bigarade in their new Grasse collection… I happen to like the old The Vert better and I especially love the jasmine version. The silver lining is that you shold get these two for a very good price now, I just bought my bottle of The Vert Jasmine with 50% discount. July 12, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Lucas: Anne, you should try Eau d’Italie Jardin du Poete. It starts with bitter orange and grapefruit and evolves into a green basil and angelica perfume. July 12, 2013 at 11:57am Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Lucas, what a romantic name! I think I have a soft spot for any fragrance that has ‘jardin’ in its name. July 12, 2013 at 2:41pm Reply

    • Daisy: Hi Anne of Green Gables,

      Have you tried Diptyque’s Eau Particulière? That is a nice, light green scent. I would also recommend Annick Goutal’s Eau de Camille, which is very green and very lovely.

      Ps. Love the name. Anne of Green Gables was one of my favorite books as a child! July 12, 2013 at 1:11pm Reply

    • Daisy: Victoria also reviewed Ô de Lancôme not too long ago. It’s got a great herbal opening and might fit the bill too. July 12, 2013 at 1:11pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you very much, Daisy. Even as a grown up, Anne of Green Gables is still my favourite book! I’ll first try Ô de Lancôme because I guess even my local store would have it in stock. July 12, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

    • Michele: Hi Anne. Although I am a white flower person at heart, I love Herbe d’Ete by Calypso St. Barth. It is a lovely green fragrance I have worn for the last few summers. It smells of cucumber, grass, wood, pepper, cardamom, and white flowers. I have read that it also contains patchouli , but I don’t smell any ( I am not a patchouli fan). Although it is an Edt, I find it to be long-lasting on my fragrance-eating skin. You may want to sample it. A full bottle is around 60 dollars (American), so it’s not terribly high- priced compared to most of my faves. I hope you find a new favorite. July 12, 2013 at 3:37pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, Michele. I don’t know whether I can find it here easily but I will try. Cucumber can be really refreshing! It reminds me of cucumber and watermelon body spray (I kept it in the fridge) from Bath and Body Works that I used in my high school years. July 13, 2013 at 3:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Anne, and welcome! Have you tried Elizabeth Arden Green Tea? It’s not a fancy niche perfume, but it’s very good, and you’re looking for something fresh and sparkling, it’s a great choice. I also like Parfums de Rosine Un Zest de Rose, which was already mentioned to you. It smells to me like mint lemonade and unopened rose buds.

      For a more adult and slightly masculine take on mint, Frédéric Malle Géranium Pour Monsieur is fantastic. It won’t make you smell of a men’s cologne, but the dry, champagne like fizz of woods and minty rose is beautiful. July 12, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Hi Victoria, I was in a drugstore today and tried Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea. I tried it many years ago but I didn’t like it very much back then (I don’t remember exactly why). But when I sampled it today, I was surprised by how much I like it. It definitely had mint in it and it was so uplifting! I ended up getting a 30 ml bottle that I can carry around during travel. I think the end isn’t as good as the beginning (too musky) but I agree that it’s a very good chocie, especially for the affordable price. Now with two recommendations for Un Zest de Rose, I’m really curious to try it. July 13, 2013 at 3:36pm Reply

    • Jennifer: Hi Anne! Have you tried L’Ombre Dans L’Eau by Diptyque? It’s kind of green and citrusy, and it’s really nice for summer. As green scents go, I’m also a fan of Chanel No.19, though that one isn’t quite as light as the ones mentioned here, it might be worth a try. Annick Goutal Heure Exquise is one to try also. July 12, 2013 at 4:40pm Reply

      • Elena: I like many of the same scents as you do, and I am in love with Chanel 19 and L’Ombre, so I second Jennifer on both of those. July 12, 2013 at 8:22pm Reply

        • Anne of Green Gables: Jennifer and Elena, thank you for your suggestions. July 13, 2013 at 3:40pm Reply

    • leathermountain: Sisley Eau du Campagne
      Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio
      Two opposite takes on green, both are beautiful. Campagne is sharp and vegetal. Ninfeo Mio is lush and sweet. July 12, 2013 at 9:13pm Reply

      • Anne of Green Gables: Thank you, leathermountain. I just looked up for Eau du Campagne and I’m excited to know that it’s been created by Jean-Claude Ellena. Since I like many of his creations, I should definitely try it! July 13, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

        • leathermountain: Great! I didn’t know that but am also an Ellena fan! July 14, 2013 at 12:52pm Reply

  • Ilia: Apart from Mitsouko, which perufmes have a nice peach note? I love my Mitsouko, but it doesn’t always feel right in the hot weather… July 12, 2013 at 9:25am Reply

    • Lucas: Ilia, Histoires de Parfums 1969 has a lovely peach noted combined with bitter chocolate accord.
      Also M.Micallef Vanille Fleur or Rosine Vive la Mariee both are nice peach scents.
      I also like SoOud Ouris (peach cheesecake).
      There’s also Peche Cardinal, a super expensive one from MDCI. July 12, 2013 at 9:32am Reply

      • Meghan: Fresh Dry Rice Oil smells gorgeously of a very realistic (they only use natural essences), ripe peach (and not at all of rice). I don’t know why body oils are coming up so much today… July 12, 2013 at 9:37am Reply

      • Ilia: Wow, thank you – I haven’t even tried any of those yet, except for Peche Cardinal. Which I did like, but all I can ever afford from MDCI is spraying my wrist from a tester.
        I’ll be off to Harvey Nichols to try out the Histoires! July 12, 2013 at 9:44am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: You could also try Diorella for a lovely peach note, and if it still exists, So Pretty (Cartier). July 12, 2013 at 11:04am Reply

      • Daisy: Péché Cardinal and SoOud Ouris are both beautiful peaches, but very pricey (particularly the MDCI).

        Have you tried Keiko Mecheri’s Peau de Pêche? It’s a little fresher, but very well-done.

        If you’re unafraid of monster sillage, I would also recommend Gucci Rush. July 12, 2013 at 1:16pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Peau de Peche by Keiko Mecheri is a lighter, very natural smelling peach scent that might work well in hot weather. Another really interesting peach fragrance is Chinatown from Bond No 9. It is peach and incense, really unusual and intriguing. July 12, 2013 at 11:02am Reply

    • Squirrely: Tresor! July 12, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

      • Austenfan: I second Trésor, try to get your hands on an older EDP bottle.
        Another perfume with peach is Divine’s L’Etre aimé au féminin. Not my favourite of the line but quite pleasant nevertheless.
        Péché Cardinal is probably the most exquisite (and most expensive) peach I have ever smelled. If you ever get the chance to catch a sniff.. July 12, 2013 at 1:12pm Reply

    • irem: Diorella. The peach is not very dominant but there. I always think of Diorella as the summer version of Mitsouko. July 12, 2013 at 1:45pm Reply

    • Undina: I do not like peach note in perfumes 🙂 that’s why I know where you can find it (in addition to other suggested perfumes): Annick Goutal Le Mimosa, Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Viktoria Minya Hedonist and By Kilian Flower of Immortality. July 12, 2013 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Michele: Keiko Meheri’s Peau de Peche is a lovely, long-lasting peach fragrance. Have you tried that? July 12, 2013 at 3:48pm Reply

    • CM: A bit more mainstream, but you might try Maybe Baby by benefit. July 14, 2013 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Mimi G: OJ Ormonde Woman – the EDP …how does it compare to the pure perfume ? I got the pure perfume recently and find the sillage and tenacity to quite low. Definitely skin scent -like. I put it in an atomiser which helps but I’ll blow too quickly through it all.I need more sillage and am thinking of buying the EDP . So – does the EDP project more ?
    It’s quite a mystery really – I have always thought of Ormonde Woman to be * strong * – having tested it before . I really thought the pure perfume would last a tad longer . July 12, 2013 at 9:50am Reply

    • Jillie: Mimi, I am sure that Victoria can give you the real explanation, but I think I read somewhere that an extrait isn’t necessarily “stronger” than an eau de parfum. and in fact will usually stay closer to the skin. Pure parfum will be richer than an edp, with less alcohol – perhaps the alcohol helps the fragrance disperse in the air better. Spraying rather than dabbing will probably release all those little molecules better. A parfum will also smell different to the edp because it is actually different, being blended to a different ratio. I have discovered this because I also thought that by getting a parfum I would get an even stronger version of my edp, but it doesn’t really work out like that! July 12, 2013 at 11:15am Reply

      • Jillie: Please forgive my grammar! It’s really hot here today and my head isn’t working properly. July 12, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

      • Mimi G: Thanks Jillie ! I hope the EDP will last longer than the pure parfum on my skin . I get literally a few minutes of the green and hemlock before I get the sandalwood -jasmine- violet – and it becomes very soft.
        I hope the EDP lasts for a few hours. OJ Woman is my new love ! July 12, 2013 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Phyllis Iervello: I have both versions of OJ Ormonde Woman and I completely agree with you. I see very little difference between the pure perfume and the EDP, July 12, 2013 at 11:15am Reply

      • Mimi G: Thanks Phyllis – I adore OJ Woman . I have frangipani in pure parfum but Frangipani is actually quite strong even in pure perfume which lasts for hours on my skin . Woman – on my skin -is an enigma as far as sillage and projection is concerned. July 12, 2013 at 1:33pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Victoria! What I’ve discovered: my deep green perfume, J.L. Scherrer. Recommended by you. I own the Eau de Toilette, and like it very much. It is said on this blog that Edp is much better; I am content with my Edt though.
    Further I’ve got a list of tobacco perfumes from this post. Not Found the one yet. Chergui too sweet, Fumerie Turque only in Paris, Tom Ford too expensive, Etat Libre not available here, Mona di Orio Amber too expensive and not quite my taste. Maybe Spice Bomb after all. I like the initial blaze of pepper, but the sweetish vanille drydown spoils it for me. Or perhaps Karl Lagerfeld Classique if I can find it.
    Furthermore you gave me a nice list of myrrh perfumes.
    So, this post is not only pleasant but also useful! July 12, 2013 at 11:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for letting me know! I’m happy that you like JL Scherrer, which is such an underrated gem.

      As for tobacco, what about Miller Harris Feuilles de Tabac, Fougere Bengale by Parfum d`Empire or Demeter Pipe Tobacco or Whiskey Tobacco. Not sure if you can find Demeter though, but it’s a nice, inexpensive line. July 12, 2013 at 2:54pm Reply

    • Caroline: Cornelia, not sure which country you’re in, but DSH (website of the same name) has a fabulous tobacco-accented scent called Le Smoking (after the YSL fashion). I believe Suzanna has reviewed it here. Not my favorite for summer, but a wonderful fall/winter frag. July 12, 2013 at 3:12pm Reply

    • Annikky: Have you tried SSS Tabac Aurea? July 12, 2013 at 3:13pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Thanks to all of you! i’ll ad everything to my list and try to find it! July 12, 2013 at 3:46pm Reply

      • leathermountain: I’m wearing my Tabac Aurea sample for the first time today, and I love it! July 12, 2013 at 9:16pm Reply

    • Jennifer: If you have a L’Occitane around, try Eau des Baux. To me it’s nearly a Tom Ford smell-alike, but maybe just a touch lighter. And it’s 1/4 of the price too! July 12, 2013 at 4:44pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: That’s good to know! We have Occitane in Amsterdam. July 13, 2013 at 10:10am Reply

  • Jennifer: I actually have a few questions. I happen to love gourmand roses and I am right now looking to start a list of them. I was wondering what gourmand rose fragrances people are enjoying currently right now. Also has anyone tried the Ombre Rose pure parfum and how does it differ from the EdT? July 12, 2013 at 11:23am Reply

    • Joe: I would recommend Tom Ford Noir de Noir an excellent unisex gourmand rose.

      Also Guerlain Rose Nacree du Desert for an oud inflected confected rose. July 12, 2013 at 11:39am Reply

      • Brie B.: I second Noir de Noir! Absolutely beautiful. July 15, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Elisa: Rose Praline from Parfums de Rosine is one of my favorite rose gourmands. Another delicious gourmand with a rose note is DSH Mahjoun. July 12, 2013 at 11:48am Reply

      • Jennifer: I wish I had gotten that when I tried Mahjoun but that one was all sorts of scary on my skin. July 12, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Brulure de Rose Parfumerie Generale is a delicious gourmand rose. July 12, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Daisy: A beautiful gourmand rose if Juliette Has a Gun’s Lady Vengeance! If you haven’t tried it yet, you must 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Daisy: And speaking of Tom Ford, there is Café Rose too. July 12, 2013 at 1:18pm Reply

      • Annikky: Have to agree with Daisy again 🙂 Cafe Rose is great, although maybe not a full-on gourmand? Which is probably why I like it. Mohur is another rose that I love and leans towards gourmand, never quite making it. July 12, 2013 at 3:16pm Reply

    • Undina: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille is my favorite gourmand rose.
      Guerlain Rose Barbare will probably also fit the bill but I like it less. July 12, 2013 at 2:42pm Reply

      • Julie Ellen: I second the Tauer, Une Rose Vermeille is a wonderful jammy rose that still manages to be unexpected and sophisticated. July 13, 2013 at 7:11pm Reply

    • Jennifer: I don’t know if it would be considered a gourmand rose exactly, but Rose Opulente by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier is a really nice one. July 12, 2013 at 4:47pm Reply

    • Connie: Can’t believe no one has recommended By Kilian’s Liaisons Dangereuses- it smells like rose jam and pastry! July 14, 2013 at 9:17am Reply

  • Ines Hourani: Thanks y’all for a wonderful perfume community. I delight in all the postings, recommendations and recipes! Special thanks to Victoria!

    In my mid-life changes I have found my body to betray me in muggy hot Georgia. The scents that use to embrace me, now take me to shower again. When will it end?!

    In the meantime, I have re-discovered from my youth – patchouli, rose and violet. My mother use to slather me in Royal Violet cologne as a child. My latest purchase Dioressence which led me to this blog for a review.

    I welcome suggestions… July 12, 2013 at 11:30am Reply

    • Heidi: For violet, Balenciaga Paris is lovely and light. I also love Aleksandr by Arquiste, and veil of suede and violet leaf. Apres l’Ondee is probably your best bet and a great investment; might do well with your hot ‘n muggy weather.

      For rose and violet together, I like Drole de Rose by l’Artisan, unfortunately discontinued but you can still find it. And for patchouli in the mix, try l’Eau du Dimanche by Lostmarch; pretty rose and violet anchored with patchouli. And it’s not too-too spendy! July 12, 2013 at 2:03pm Reply

      • Ines: Hi Heidi,

        Thank you for your suggestions, found samples of the Drole de Rose by l’Artisan and l’Eau du Dimanche by Lostmarch – they are on their way.

        Still trying to find samples of the Aleksandr by Arquite and Apres L’Ondee.

        Sephora has Balenciaga Paris on the shelf – need to stop by for a spritz….On my way to the mall.

        This is turning into hardwork:0

        Ines July 15, 2013 at 2:41pm Reply

      • Ines: Hi Heidi

        I received both samples of Drole de Rose by l’Artisan and l’Eau du Dimanche by Lostmarch; both took me in immediately and I kept going back to arms for more. But again this ol’ body chemistry did me in and they were lost within the hour. August 6, 2013 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Annikky: Dear Ines, I would suggest sampling different things from Sonoma Scent Studio – the line is quite violet-heavy and there are nice roses, too. For people in US it’s very easy to sample, the prices are reasonable and sizes varied.

      I like my roses complex and/or dark, so I love Neela Vermeire’s Mohur, Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, Amouage Lyric, etc. And for violet, I second both Aleksandr and Apres l’Ondee.

      I’m really no authority on patchouli, but I love and always recommend Coromandel. July 12, 2013 at 3:38pm Reply

      • Ines: Hi Annikky!
        Thank you for your suggestions. I’ve been shopping and found some samples of the Neela Vermeire’s Mohur and Lyric by Amouage- can’t wait till they arrive! Couldn’t find the Aleksandr and Apres l’Ondee.

        Just starting to look into the Sonoma Scent Studio; they have lots of options for me;)
        Ines July 15, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

        • Annikky: Ines, you are welcome. The Perfumed Court has both Aleksandr and Apres L’Ondee, but I must admit this is not the most affordable way to try something. I still order from them, though, if there is something I simply HAVE to sample (including a few Arquistes…). July 15, 2013 at 3:47pm Reply

          • Ines: Oh wow Annikky! The Perfumed Court is a great find for samples.
            Thanks again. July 15, 2013 at 3:55pm Reply

          • Ines: Hi Annikky
            Received my samples of Neela Vermeire’s Mohur and it reminds me of Eau Demoiselle De Givenchy? Fell hard for the Amouage Lyric but way out of my league for now.

            Still waiting on The Perfumed court samples. August 6, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

            • Annikky: Ines, thanks for reporting back! I haven’t tried the Givenchy, but am very curious now. Regarding Lyric – it’s too expensive for me, too, I only have a generous sample. I don’t know where you draw the line, but there is a travel spray version of Lyric, which is not cheap either, but allows you to buy a smaller amount for a smaller sum. August 6, 2013 at 6:11pm Reply

    • leathermountain: My new patchouli obsession:
      Ecstasy (Tiziana Terenzi)

      A powdery beauty with at least one rose-and-violet stage is Baghari (Robert Piguet) July 12, 2013 at 9:22pm Reply

      • Ines: Thank you! Ecstasy – I just ordered my sample from Lucky scents – can’t wait to try it. July 15, 2013 at 2:31pm Reply

        • leathermountain: I’m glad. I hope you’ll enjoy it. July 15, 2013 at 8:18pm Reply

          • Ines: Hi Leathermountain

            Ectasy was exciting and inviting like new love in the beginning (opening notes) but then it turned on me to something medicinal?! I think it’s my body chemistry that did me in….bummer. August 6, 2013 at 11:58am Reply

            • Leathermountain: Bummer indeed! For me the change is more like cool, powdered stone, if that makes any sense. I think I did have a medicinal moment with it, just once, and not the first time I wore it. Might be worth a second try if you have some of your sample left? For some reason I reach for it in dry heat. 🙂 August 6, 2013 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: Eau de Guerlain has mint and is bright and playful. Hermes Jardin sur le nil never fails me. Hermes tried and true “green bottled” line: Pamplemousse Rose, Gentian Blanche, L’orange Verte. Easy to wear and for men and women to share!

    Light and flowery: White Jasmine and Mint by Jo Malone mixed with some Vanilla Anise. Soft and feminine & Love, Chloe. July 12, 2013 at 11:33am Reply

  • solmarea: I’m intrigued what perfumes & scents may remind of Eastern Europe. July 12, 2013 at 11:40am Reply

    • Lucas: Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe comes to my mind.
      It’s an alcoholic (vodka) amber that was inspired by the old Russian Empire. It’s not really my kind of thing but many people adore it. July 12, 2013 at 11:54am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Vodka amber? I love to drink vodka, but the charm of it is the purety, the absence of smell (Finlandia is the best!) Is there Russian vodka smelling like amber? I know peppervodka (very tasty) and Polish vodka with grass in it, but amber vodka? July 12, 2013 at 12:20pm Reply

        • Hannah: There isn’t an amber vodka, but Ambre Russe is a boozy amber perfume. Żubrówka is my favorite alcoholic beverage. July 12, 2013 at 12:44pm Reply

          • Hannah: Ambre Russe also isn’t just vodka, there’s also honeyed tea and gingerbread (to me at least), which may also remind one of Eastern Europe. I’ve only been to Central Europe (even though Poland and Hungary get lumped in with E. Europe) so I’m not an authority on Eastern Europe, but the Perfumesmellinthings blogger is Russian and she gave a favorable review. July 12, 2013 at 12:53pm Reply

            • Lucas: I’m Polish which is treated as Eastern Europe. I know a little bit of a thing about Żubrówka 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 1:01pm Reply

              • Hannah: If I end up going to Germany for my masters, I want to visit Wrocław or Poznan. I’ve been to Gdansk, Warsaw, and Krakow so far ~__~ July 12, 2013 at 1:17pm Reply

                • Lucas: How great! I live really close to poznan and wroclaw, just a short tide by train. July 12, 2013 at 2:48pm Reply

        • Lucas: It has the pure alcoholic vibe of vodka and it’s also an amber perfume at the same time.
          There’s no such thing like amber vodka and Russian vodka doesn’t smell of amber 😉 July 12, 2013 at 12:45pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: No, Russian vodka doesn’t smell of amber, Moskowskaya and Stolichnaya are pure, excellent wodka’s. I just wondered if there was also a russian amber vodka. July 12, 2013 at 2:19pm Reply

    • Annikky: This is a difficult one, as it depends so much on what one associates with Eastern Europe. I’m from Estonia and the perfume I think captures my country best at the moment is d’Orsay Tilleul, as lindens are in full bloom here. A couple of months ago it would have been En Passant.

      If you include Russia in your definition, CdG Zagorsk and Arquiste Aleksandr are two perfumes with backstories that make sense to me (and I think they work best in bitter cold). Also, I mentioned Enchanted Forest below, this one is inspired by Russian fairytales. July 12, 2013 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: A few years ago I wrote an article on this very topic!

      It’s a bit nostalgic, but then again, at that point I haven’t visited Kiev for a while and was missing it very much. July 12, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

      • solmarea: Thankyou for the link. So beautiful to read of scents & memory. July 14, 2013 at 6:54am Reply

  • rafael: Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat, Eau de Coq, Eau de Guerlain- all Guerlain

    Eau de Rochas-original version

    Today, for some odd reason, Ma Griffe de Carven and it’s absolutely perfect. July 12, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Hannah: I’m looking for something to replace Black Cashmere, which was my “feminine” perfume (my others are Bulgari Black, Ouarzazate and M7). I want dark/woody/resinous/incensey (Eastern incense) but with floral notes. I’m considering Wonderwood but I just consider that to be unisex. July 12, 2013 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Elisa: Try Sonoma Scent Studio — she has several dark/woody/resinous scents with floral notes (Forest Walk, Incense Pure, etc.)

      I also recommend YSL Nu July 12, 2013 at 12:59pm Reply

      • Hannah: Has Nu been discontinued? July 12, 2013 at 1:04pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: No, not here in Amsterdam. It is in the new beige bottle. July 12, 2013 at 2:20pm Reply

          • Hannah: I’ll look for it when I’m in Berlin. July 12, 2013 at 2:23pm Reply

            • Victoria: It’s been reissued, and while it smells more woody and floral, slightly less incense, it’s terrific, if you like woods and all things dark. July 13, 2013 at 4:46am Reply

    • Daisy: Maybe the new duo from Amouage, Fate, might fit the bill? I think you can already start looking for samples of it. July 12, 2013 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Amouage Lyric Woman is a beautiful dark rose with frankincense. It’s expensive, though. I also love Mikyako by Annayake, a beautiful, warm fragrance that combines incense and floral notes (cardamom, cinnamon, frankincense, hinoki, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, patchouli, cedar, sandalwood, musk, rockrose, benzoin, myrrh, and amber). This is much less expensive, and you can find deals online. July 12, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

    • irem: What about Dior Dolce Vita? Certainly feminine with a dark/woody/resinous undercurrent. At least at some point to my nose. Haven’t smelled it in a while though. July 12, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

      • Hannah: I want something that is dark and woody with a feminine undercurrent. July 12, 2013 at 2:20pm Reply

        • Cybele: Hannah, to me that would be Donna Karan Signiture but I guess you are familiar with it and it is not incensy- another one would be Coromandel but again not particularly inscensy July 12, 2013 at 2:39pm Reply

          • Cybele: oh, and I think you would love Homage Attar by Amouage (crazy expensive but samples go a long way). notes from Luckyscent: Rose Taifi, Silver Oud, Silver Frankincense, Jasmine, Amber, Citrus, Sandalwood- it is so beautiful and definitely dark! July 12, 2013 at 2:58pm Reply

          • Hannah: I haven’t tried Signature. But I looked it up and now I’m curious about Iris and Labdanum. Is the Chaos available now the same as the original? July 12, 2013 at 3:01pm Reply

            • Cybele: I have never smelled the original but the new Chaos is very good and supposed to be quite similar. I do not perceive it as dark though, it is all spices but in a transparent way while I find Signiture to be a truly dark feminine. You could also give Geisha Noire by Aroma M a try. July 12, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that you would like Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire, it’s very much in the same ballpark.

      Another interesting option is the new Tom Ford Plum Japonaise, but it’s so expensive, too much so.

      Or what about L’Artisan’s Passage d’Enfer or Serge Lutens Serge Noire?

      Based on your description though, Nu seems like a good fit. July 13, 2013 at 4:50am Reply

      • Hannah: Passage d’Enfer is too heavy on the lily and Serge Noire and I do not get along (the only Serge Lutens that I’ve liked is Borneo 1834).
        I like so many of the Tom Ford Private Blends but they’re too expensive for me to consider buying.
        I’ve wanted to try Nu for a while, but wasn’t aware that it was reissued. July 13, 2013 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Daisybell: How about ormonde Jayne woman, also mentioned earlier in another thread? Lovely feminine woods. Or ormonde man. July 13, 2013 at 9:04pm Reply

  • Jeanette: Total newbie, still figuring out what I like. I live in a big city and work in a creative field. My style is fairly casual, and I’m in my early 30’s.

    I think I like jasmine and vetiver, and seem to be drawn to light scents that are a little unisex. I guess I dislike rose, and anything that is very sweet. Also seem to like citrus, incense, smells that are “green,” earthy, or aquatic.

    I’m thinking about investing in bottles of MCMC’s Love, Atelier’s Vetiver Fatale, or Aritisan’s Passage D’Enfer. Would love to sample other scents though, and maybe find something that feels sort of cool / refreshing. Any ideas?

    Thanks for this thread, so interesting! July 12, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Undina: Have you tried Vetiver Tonka from Hermes (Hermessence line)? This is one of my favorite light vetivers and it’s definitely unisex.

      For green perfumes my love goes to DSH’s Vert pour Madame. July 12, 2013 at 2:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: A few ideas come to mind–Jo Malone White Jasmine Mint, The Different Company Sel de Vetiver, Hermes Kelly Caleche and Caleche Fleurs de Mediterranee. Oh, and L’Artisan The Pour Un Ete. July 12, 2013 at 3:04pm Reply

    • Daisy: Have you tried Maison Martin Margiela Untitled? It’s a very green, crisp galbanum layered over incense. July 12, 2013 at 3:11pm Reply

    • Jennifer: And if you like Vetiver Tonka, I’d recommend Andy Tauer’s Vetiver Dance. Some people consider the opening a little challenging (though I liked it), but the drydown smells really similar to Vetiver Tonka. And it’s half the price of the Hermessences. July 12, 2013 at 4:57pm Reply

    • Elena: You may like some of Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorias, specifically Pamplemousse or Mandarine Basilic. Hermes Un Jardin Apres la Mousson comes to mind as well and perhaps Un Jardin en la Mediterranee. All of the above can be found at reasonable prices, too, and work wonderfully in the hot and humid summer weather. Those are all cool and refreshing staples for me. July 12, 2013 at 8:30pm Reply

    • leathermountain: Maybe a bit out of left field, but Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling?

      The top is sharp like a citrus, and the drydown is a warm vetiver. I love it! July 12, 2013 at 9:27pm Reply

    • Deborah: I second Hermes Un Jardin Mediterranee complex and bright and dry and green all at the same time. Am loving it this summer! July 13, 2013 at 1:44am Reply

    • Ariadne: Welcome newbie Jeannette! It may sound totally ‘left field’ but for some reason I am wanting you to try Chanel 22, or at least another big aldehyde frag. Big city, creative field… you will need to wear a stunner every so often. July 13, 2013 at 9:46am Reply

    • Jeanette: Thanks everyone for these thoughtful suggestions, I’m very excited to start sampling! July 14, 2013 at 1:28am Reply

    • Elia: reading this I just got a feeling that Insense Ultramarine by Givenchy might fit. July 15, 2013 at 6:33am Reply

  • Annikky: Hi there, nice and knowledgeable people! I’ve got two pretty specific requests.

    First, I seem to be very susceptible to trends and therefore loving everything gardenia right now. I have so far tried: Arquiste Boutonniere No 7 (adore), Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia (adore), Un Matin d’Orage (love), Isabey Gardenia (like a lot), Maria Candida Gentile Lady Day (like), Une Voix Noire (like, but don’t really understand yet), VC&A Gardenia Petale (very pretty), Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia (very pretty, but not much gardenia), Chanel Gardenia (pretty, not much gardenia and there are like 8 exclusifs I’d rather own), Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion (didin’t really work), Cruel Gardenia (didn’t work at all – almost couldn’t smell it and what I could was thin and sharp). What else should I try? Ideas from soliflores to somewhat gardenia-ish scents are equally welcome.

    Second, there is a trio of forest-y perfumes that I love: Ormonde Jayne Woman, Ormonde Jayne Man and Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk. What else would you recommend to make it a quartet or quintet or sextet or… you get the idea. I have just tried Vagabond Prince Enchanted Forest and although I loved the concept and it smells good, there was too much black currant syrup and too little forest there for me.

    I have also a ton of feedback and thanks to give all of you, but I’m afraid I need to make it a separate comment later 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 2:14pm Reply

    • Mimi G: Annikky – for gardenia -how about Kai perfume oil and also the new Jovoy called Gardez – Moi ?

      If you like foresty- green perfuems- perhaps you cans try Estee lauder’s original private collection. It’s a beautiful summery green scent yet old school classic with lasting power – I love it . July 12, 2013 at 2:29pm Reply

      • Annikky: Thanks, Mimi! I seem to be checking our local Jovoy counter daily, but no Gardez-Moi yet 🙂 Kai sounds like a good idea for summer. And Private Collection is one of these classics that I think I tried once, but have absolutely no memory of. Must try again. July 12, 2013 at 3:44pm Reply

    • Daisy: Hi Anniky,

      For a wonderful gardenia, have you tried the original Marc Jacobs Woman? It’s a very classic and very beautiful gardenia.

      As for the forest fragrance, maybe Annick Goutal’s Nuit Étoilée? July 12, 2013 at 2:29pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Daisy beat me to it with MJ Woman, and I second the Nuit Etoilée, but go for the EDP, it is a much more rounded and balanced scent. July 12, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

        • Victoria: 2nd all of these. I really didn’t care for Nuit Etoilee EDT, but the EDP is so delicious, I’m definitely planning to buy a full bottle (and I don’t do such things often anymore). July 12, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

          • Annikky: Of course, Marc Jacobs! We only have the Lolas and the Dots and other horrors here, so I had forgotten all about the original.

            Regarding Nuit Etoilee – I, too, disliked the EdT, but am full of hope for the EdP 🙂

            Thank you, all! July 12, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

          • leathermountain: Now that’s encouraging! I *almost* loved the EdT but then really didn’t. Any idea where to smell the EdP in NYC? July 12, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

            • Victoria: Saks, Bergdorf should have it. July 13, 2013 at 2:50am Reply

    • Austenfan: Isn’t Mark Jacobs Woman a gardenia? I tried it once, and quite liked it, but much as I love tuberose, gardenia is too pretty for me. ( The Goutal is actually a tuberose and not a gardenia, but I am sure that you are aware of that. There is a funny review of it in the Guide.)

      About the forests: I am only familiar with the two Ormondes ( I own OJW).
      Two other fragrances that do not personally strike me as particularly foresty but are often mentioned by others as being so are Parfum d’Empire Wazamba ( which I loved)
      and Lutens Fille en Aiguilles which didn’t quite do it for me.

      When I think forest, I think green; have you ever tried Jacomo Silences? It’s a wonderful green scent, a little like No.19 but gentler. It hasn’t got much damp earth in it, but plenty of foliage. July 12, 2013 at 2:34pm Reply

        • Annikky: I can see what you mean by too pretty (that’s probably why I don’t own Gardenia Petale), but then again – Velvet Gardenia is really not pretty at all and they say it’s the closest of them to the real thing. I’ve never smelled a gardenia in my life, so have no clue what I’m talking about 🙂 In any case, Goutal failed for me both as a tuberose and as a gardenia, quite possibly for the reasons quoted in The Guide.

          Wazamba sounds interesting and Silences has been on my list for a long time, so I should really do something about it. Fille en Aiguilles is not one of my favourites from Lutens and for my kind of forest scent it’s too conifer-y, I think. And I’ve just realized that the same goes for Nuit Etoilee.

          Thank you! July 12, 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

          • Austenfan: You see, I have never tried Velvet Gardenia, and as it is discontinued I doubt I ever will. I know it is reckoned to be very good by people whose opinion I value but it’s too much of a hassle to get hold of a sample.
            I quite like Gardénia Passion, but then I am very biased about Goutal.
            Do give Silences a go. I’ve got a vat (=100ml) of it, so I would be able to provide you with at least a sniff of it, should you be interested.
            Fille en Aiguilles is one of those Lutenses that make me feel ever so slightly nauseous, as if I have overindulged on pastry. Same goes for Serge Noire, the new Féminité du Bois and Arabie.
            And I love how we all come up with these new adjectives like conifer-y; Great! July 13, 2013 at 3:56am Reply

            • Victoria: Conifer-y made me chuckle too. I love it!

              Completely agree with you on the overindulgent feeling from
              Fille en Anguilles, Arabie (Serge Noire is a bit easier). It’s that syrupy sweetness and a dose of creamy plum-coconut like note. Intriguing but ultimately difficult. July 13, 2013 at 4:15am Reply

            • Annikky: Well, I’m afraid my comments are a crime against the noble English language, but there you go. At least you understood right away what I meant by conifer-y, right? So making things up as I go along seems to function at some level 🙂

              If I’m lucky and we’ll be able to meet in Brussels, we can exchange sniffs! I ordered a tiny decant/big sample of VG from The Perfumed Court and it nearly bankrupted me. But I believe it’s the sexiest scent I own and really worth experiencing. July 13, 2013 at 7:06am Reply

      • Leathermountain: I’m going on memory here…. I thought Fille en Aiguilles was too honeyed (more an excess of animal than of sugar). I also loved Wazamba, and it’s certainly a cousin to Fille en Aiguilles. I think it’s the honeyed fruit (apple, maybe?) that pulls Wazamba away from the forest and toward the orchard.

        When I think of forest smells,, my mind automatically goes to the conifurry (;) type of trees. May I ask, what do you mean by foresty? Is it what’s lurking under the leaf litter? Or lighter woods that play with light and temperatures, and just a few distant flowers? Or something else altogether? July 13, 2013 at 7:47am Reply

        • Annikky: Good question. Ideally, I think, it should be the forest as a whole – different woods, leaves, underbrush, moss, occasional blooms and earth. Maybe a mushroom or two 🙂 I believe my idea of the forest is greener and damper than in some other parts of the world (Southern Europe for example) and that’s why fragrances that focus on dry woods, pine and resins don’t really fit the bill. I am able to enjoy them a lot, but I just don’t think of them as forest scents. July 14, 2013 at 8:44am Reply

          • leathermountain: That makes perfect sense. I wish I knew the name of a bottle of that. I’ll be taking notes on whatever suggestions you get. I like a little mushroom in my forest, too! July 14, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Cybele: try Jo Loves Gardenia, Carnal Flower and Manoumalia. For forest French Lover by Frederic Malle. July 12, 2013 at 2:43pm Reply

      • Annikky: I haven’t tried anything from Jo Loves yet, thank you for suggesting a place to start. And I really should sample Manoumalia, I am almost certain I’ll love it. July 12, 2013 at 4:36pm Reply

    • Undina: I second Jo Loves Gardenia. And also I’d recommend Hothouse Flower by Ineke – beautiful green gardenia.

      As to the “forest” perfumes, Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. July 12, 2013 at 2:51pm Reply

      • Annikky: I must check if Ineke now ships to my corner of the world, I’ve had my eye on their sample set for ages. Thanks for the reminder! And FeA is a great scent, but not my kind of forest 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Daisy: I just thought of another gardenia: Tocca’s Florence. It’s not very complicated, but it is comfortable and well done. July 12, 2013 at 3:14pm Reply

      • Annikky: Tocca is another line I haven’t sampled at all. Thanks for the suggestion, wouldn’t have found it otherwise. July 12, 2013 at 4:42pm Reply

    • Annette: I second the Kai recommendation if you’re looking for Gardenia, it’s a very beautiful floral scent July 12, 2013 at 4:56pm Reply

      • Annikky: Thanks, will work on that! July 13, 2013 at 6:07am Reply

    • leathermountain: Crazy expensive but I can’t stop thinking about the forest in Bois D’Encens (Armani Prive) July 12, 2013 at 9:30pm Reply

      • Annikky: I’ve tried it on paper and promised myself to do a skin test later, but haven’t got round to it. I really should, many people with great taste love it. Thanks! July 13, 2013 at 6:22am Reply

        • Leathermountain: I do think of Bois D’Encens as being some kind of pine forest, though. July 13, 2013 at 7:50am Reply

          • Annikky: Sprayed it on skin yesterday and you are right, it’s very good. Not my forest though (see above for my clumsy explanation :)) July 14, 2013 at 8:46am Reply

            • leathermountain: Not clumsy in the least! July 14, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

    • george: Foresty for me means really Woody and smoky- French Lover by Malle, Sycomore and Equipage are the most lumberjacky fragrances I can think off. But they are all really very masculine, and you might end up feeling a bit too like this July 13, 2013 at 7:14am Reply

      • george: Oh and terre d’hermes is good, and pi is very pine-like (or was when I last smelled it when it was launched) July 13, 2013 at 7:19am Reply

      • Robert: Zino by Davidoff wears a denim jacket or a flannel shirt effortlessly. July 14, 2013 at 2:54am Reply

        • Annikky: Another one I’m not familiar with. Thank you! July 14, 2013 at 9:03am Reply

      • Annikky: George, as I used to sing this song with my two sisters while slightly drunk in our mother’s kitchen in a wooden house in the forest… your recommendations may be more appropriate than you think 🙂

        I’ll dig out my Malle and Sycomore decants and Terre sample and meditate a bit. Pi and Equipage are new to me, thanks! July 14, 2013 at 9:01am Reply

    • Emily: If you can get your hands on it try Slumberhouse Norne, smells like the cold morning floor of the forest with out the sweetness of fille d auigilles July 13, 2013 at 12:16pm Reply

      • Annikky: Emily, this one sounds absolutely fascinating – I’ve been intrigued by Slumberhouse some time, but never done anything about it. Thank you very much! July 14, 2013 at 8:48am Reply

    • Michele: You may want to sample Black Gardenia by Michele Bergman ( no relation! Ha!). It’s a perfume oil and a little goes a long way. It is a warm, buttery gardenia. I find it intriguing. July 13, 2013 at 1:04pm Reply

      • Annikky: Never mind that I make fun of the noir trend every chance I get – “black” anything makes me automatically excited. Thanks! I had not heard of this one. July 14, 2013 at 8:54am Reply

    • sylviane: Hello Annikky , I f you love Ormonde Jayne Woman, have you tried Amouage EPIC Woman?
      I find similarities between the two although Epic is richer, more complex and sophisticated. Yet it retains on my skin a greenish mysterious and dark vibe that I associate with forests. Worth a try despite the price tag…. July 15, 2013 at 5:41am Reply

  • Mimi G: Sorrry re the grammar and spelling ! Arghh ! July 12, 2013 at 2:30pm Reply

  • Sulin: I am currently enjoying L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Mimosa pour Moi and Atelier Cologne’s Orange Sanguine. The mimosa is great for when I want something as airy as my summer dresses, and it makes me feel like Amelie! The Orange Sanguine is so cleansing and invigorating. It’s the perfect scent for me when I need to work, because it has enough joy in it that I feel like I’m on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean and sipping sangria…that way I don’t begrudge having to study! July 12, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: What a wonderful fantasy! 🙂 July 13, 2013 at 2:56am Reply

  • Arin17: Hello perfume lovers!
    I’m about to embark on a new journey,teaching English in Barcelona. I’ve decided to embark with a new signature scent and am soliciting suggestions for a good sillage scent that leaves a trail, will hold its own among the sassy sexy scents that I remember Spanish women favoring, but that won’t overwhelm in the mediterranean heat and/or the classroom. All recommendations welcome! My past signatures have been le labo jasmin 17 and labdanum 18, nasamatto narcotic venus, annick goutal Hadrian and songes, Chloe l’eau, and many others…any ideas welcome 🙂 July 12, 2013 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jasmin 17 would be perfect, I think, but if you want to explore something new, why not look into Atelier Cologne’s collection. They have a range of interesting scents that have the lightness of colognes but with different twists.

      Another top favorite line in this regard is Thirdman. I love their Eau Moderne, which is a tart bitter orange set over iris. The new Eau Nomade, a blood orange spiked with cardamom, also sounds very interesting. July 12, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

      • leathermountain: I can’t recommend Eau Nomade, although I agree that it sounds interesting! On my skin it was overly bitter and almost chalky. I did try it three or four times, and nothing changed. I’d like to smell the Moderne, though. July 12, 2013 at 9:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’ve smelled it on a friend and loved it. But I haven’t tried it on my skin yet. July 13, 2013 at 2:57am Reply

          • leathermountain: A mystery solved?

            The clues:
            As you know from recommending warm perfumes for me below, I haven’t yet found an appreciation for amber/vanilla scents.

            There is a particular bitter sensation that some perfumes have given me, including Eau Nomade, Tommi Sooni Eau II, and Prada L’Eau Ambree, which I am wearing now for the first time. The bitterness has faded somewhat in L’Eau Ambree, whereas I found the bitterness actually intensified as I wore the former two scents.

            Just for contrast, I love the bitterness in Mona di Orio’s Eau Absolue. (Yep, Olfactif subscription for June.) And I’ve heard my beloved Bandit described as bitter, although I don’t attach that word to the scent.

            Is it possible that “bitter” is my perception of vanilla, amber, or some combination of the two? July 20, 2013 at 6:57pm Reply

            • Victoria: Do you get bitter from simple ambers like L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre or I Profumi di Firenze Ambra di Nepal? Vanilla should not read as bitter, especially the material used in perfumery, which is sweet and creamy in its pure state. July 21, 2013 at 7:17am Reply

              • Leathermountain: Good question. I smelled those two on paper some time ago. I remember thinking they weren’t for me, but i don’t remember how they smelled. I’ll go try them on skin and return with more clues!

                I’m curious: are you referring to vanillin? I smelled that once and it was sweet and creamy, as I recall.

                I don’t know what ‘amber’ means in terms of materials. I’ve read that ambroxan can ‘overwhelm’ a composition, but I don’t know which perfumes have ambroxan, nor if the statement is true, nor if ambroxan is actually an ‘amber’ material.

                Victoria, thank you for helping me with my perceptual mystery! July 21, 2013 at 8:04am Reply

                • Victoria: Yes, I mean vanillin.

                  On amber, I have a whole article on the topic (and there is another one specifically on ambroxan, ambergris, which you can find by clicking the “Notes” tab.

                  Ambroxan doesn’t overwhelm the composition, if dosed correctly, and you can actually use a large amount of it. But it’s true that some people are sensitive to it and can pick out its dry, raspy accent easily. July 21, 2013 at 8:43am Reply

                  • leathermountain: Thank you, Victoria, your articles are helping me begin to resolve my confusion!

                    I wonder if my ‘bitter’ could be labdanum. Enfleurage (the store) sells some sort of labdanum product. Each time I visit the store, I smell the labdanum product and want to appreciate it because I know it is an important material in perfumery. However, before reading your article I did not know that labdanum is half of many ‘amber’ notes! I can’t remember what the labdanum product smells like. I will revisit, along with the L’Artisan and Profumi di Firenze amber scents.

                    Thank you again! July 21, 2013 at 9:32am Reply

                    • Victoria: You can try this trick to see if it’s really labdanum that smells bitter in amber perfumes. Take your samples of the “bitter” amber scents to Enfleurage. Smell labdanum by inhaling deeply, trying to saturate your nose with it. Then smell the perfumes. If labdanum is there, you won’t smell it in the perfumes anymore and neither you will notice the bitter notes. If bitter is something other than labdanum, it will appear loud and clear. Hope that it makes sense. That’s what I do at work when composing accords or studying compositions, and it can be useful to figure out a bothersome element in scents.

                      Please keep me updated on your explorations. 🙂 July 21, 2013 at 10:15am

            • leathermountain: Another warm fragrance that’s not working for me, but I don’t think it’s a labdanum issue: Maharanih Intense (Nicolai). This seems to be about a kind of vanilla-like smell that conjures the powerful idea of “synthetic.” I put it that way because I understand that the synthetic material vanillin probably doesn’t conjure “synthetic;” it probably conjures “vanilla.” This puzzles me, because I thought that vanillin could be manufactured cheaply from lignin feedstock, which is waste material from paper production. Is that right? So why would “vanilla” smell so awful and plastic to me in so many perfumes, some that name the note and others that don’t? Whatever it is, it’s both strong and long-lasting. Any suggestions as to how to track down the source(s) of this experience?

              In the plus column, now I can add Nuit Etoilee (Goutal) EdP to the list of fragrances with a chalky/amber/labdanumy base that I really love. This one is even sweeter than Ta’if, and is showing me the textural route from powdery to grainy (iris to labdanum/amber I think). I go back and forth along this route throughout the drydown. It’s great! Thank you for speaking highly of the EdP in comparison with the EdT, which prompted me to explore this wonderful scent. August 21, 2013 at 6:06pm Reply

              • Victoria: I wouldn’t have guessed how much better the EDP would be! So glad that you’ve tried it and liked it as well.

                It’s fun to follow your adventures, so thank you for sharing. 🙂 August 22, 2013 at 9:04am Reply

                • leathermountain: Another winner: Caron’s Parfum Sacre. And then, what do you know? Muse in Wooden Shoes compares that to Ta’if. I don’t think I would have made that connection, but I can understand why she does. For me Ta’if is in-and-out of gourmand, crumbly dates, if that makes any sense. Parfum Sacre is more about spice, a little warmer, and although pretty vanilla, somehow less gourmand. How is that accomplished, do you think? Well, I’m so happy I love them both, and, as the Muse points out, that Parfum Sacre is so affordable. August 22, 2013 at 9:35pm Reply

                  • Victoria: I don’t really find them similar, because Parfum Sacre is a very dry spicy blend, and Ta’if is unctuous, sweet, creamy. But of course, all of us are sensitive different things and notice different elements. They do share a lush rose note. August 23, 2013 at 10:07am Reply

          • leathermountain: Brilliant suggestion! I’m replying here because the column got so narrow below. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I am on my way to Enfleurage now, so I will grab those ‘bitter’ scents and try this adaptation method. Thank you, and I will definitely keep you posted!! July 21, 2013 at 11:20am Reply

            • leathermountain: Lots to report!

              I’m 90% sure it is cistus labdanum, in some quantity or combination, that I find off-putting in several ‘amber’ perfumes.

              I tried the cistus-saturation experiment with Eau Nomade and with Eau II, and I perceived a pronounced difference: suddenly both scents felt softer, sweeter, and easier to take. Thank you for suggesting this informative experiment!

              This fascinated me, so I bought 5mL cistus for further perceptual experimentation, as well as for potential dilution and blending experimentation. (I thought I might try to make my own cistus+vanilla=amber, for example. Do you think I could use the vanilla extract from the kitchen? It smells surprisingly similar to the solvent-extracted vanilla absolute for sale at Enfleurage).

              Enfleurage is selling a house blend called Amber, which I liked very much. The creator, Joe (sorry I didn’t get his last name), was in and happy to answer my questions. In addition to the materials I expected (benzoin, vanilla, opoponax, cistus labdanum) and oakmoss and several others, he used clove oil. Clove is another note I often find troubling, and after he mentioned it I could perceive it, but it was blended so beautifully that I could also just mentally let it slip back into my perception of the whole composition.

              Joe volunteered that cistus is tricky, you can’t use too much, and some other materials can make it behave badly (he was more eloquent). I asked and he told me that cistus is about 5.5% of the total oil content. (This Amber is presented in an alcohol base).

              I was surprised that 5.5% was not too much for me, given that cistus smells so potent on its own, has a reputation, and seems to get my particular neurons firing rather readily.

              Later in the day I tried on two more perfumes: L’Eau d’Ambre Extreme and Vanille Absolument (both L’Artisan Parfumeur), and also smelled two others: Or des Indes (Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier) and Ambra di Venezia. And this time I smelled….

              Cistus labdanum.

              I now have a mental smellage (olfactory image?) of this material, and I believe I can recognize it in these four perfumes. In fact, I find it overwhelming and unpleasant in them.

              I’d no longer use the word bitter. Strident is accurate but too broad. I’ll keep looking for the right language for this experience.

              Meanwhile I’m wondering: my experience of cistus labdanum in ‘amber’ fragrances appears to be relatively unusual. If true, is this more a difference in percepts or in preferences? And what kind of data would allow me to draw that distinction?

              And on a completely different note (heh), I learned from Joe that jasmine sambac grows happily as a potted house plant and blooms almost year-round. The specimen in the store smelled fantastic. So I’ve got another quest going, and maybe one day I can make my own enfleurage….

              Victoria, this kind of thing is precisely my idea of a good time. Thank you *so much* for helping me along. July 21, 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

              • Victoria: Wow, thank you so much for this interesting update! One thing I would suggest at this point is simply to dilute some cistus in alcohol (Enfleurage might have the perfumer’s alcohol) and smell it on its own time to time. Observe what it smells like at first (the top note), then smell it 15min, 30 min, 1h, several hours later and notice how it changes. It’s possible that as you become more familiar with it, you will start to like it more.

                You can use vanilla tincture, but it already contains water and alcohol, so when you dose it, keep this in mind.

                In the US, I had 2 large jasmine sambac plants which bloomed profusely and were easy to grow. Out of all things we gave away or left behind in our move, I miss these plants the most. And my 2 citrus plants that I grew from seed. July 22, 2013 at 5:09am Reply

                • leathermountain: I’ve been working with smelling the cistus, although I haven’t blended it with any vanilla yet. I don’t know what I’m doing, and I have this generic kitchen vanilla, and I hate to mess with wonderful materials!

                  I don’t know if the cistus-smelling is working, because I still don’t like all the amber perfumes that I didn’t like before. However, I have fallen hard for Maria Candida Gentile’s Sideris. (Do not ask why I am investigating perfumes so astronomically far out of my stated price range. I am trying to be fiscally responsible, but I am battling an irrational passion.)

                  I couldn’t believe it when I read on MCG’s website: “The central note of Sideris is the Cysts Laudanum, a very Mediterranean essence. Together with the Myrtle they are very similar to the wild roses.”

                  (I’m thinking my browser made a non-idiomatic translation, but the meaning is clear enough.)

                  I’m very pleased to say that I know the scent of wild roses. They grown in the odd park and reserve right here in NYC. And I cannot conjure any sort of mental connection between wild roses and cistus labdanum. (Maybe it means rock rose, another name for cistus labdanum? I have no experience with that plant).

                  So, myrtle. I have and love lemon myrtle essential oil. No idea if they are related, botanically or olfactorily. Could it be the magic material that will calm my nose/brain in the presence of labdanum? August 1, 2013 at 12:31pm Reply

                  • Victoria: It could take much longer than a few days! 🙂 But don’t put any pressure on yourself, of course. You’re not a perfumer working on a client’s brief, and you have the luxury of picking the materials you absolutely love.
                    (I can’t conjure any connection between wild roses and cistus either!) August 1, 2013 at 12:50pm Reply

                    • leathermountain: Speaking of roses and cistus labdanum, I think I’ve just managed to start to appreciate labdanum, and it’s in a perfume named after a rose: Ormonde Jayne Ta’if. Another delightful Fairy Godmother sent me a generous decant of this, and I really love it. And one of the things I love about it, I’m pretty sure, is the labdanum-assisted texture in the drydown. I don’t really know, since I haven’t seen labdanum listed anywhere for Ta’if. But the smell seems kind of unmistakable at this point. Are there other materials that are easily confused with labdanum? August 10, 2013 at 8:47pm

                    • Victoria: There are many materials which are refined version of cistus labdanum, and also the way labdanum is processed will result in different olfactive profiles. And I didn’t even start on synthetic ambers which have the kind of woody, balsamic nuance as labdanum!

                      But the note listings published by fragrance brands are never to be trusted. Most of them are pure fantasy and all of them are incomplete. I’m sure as you smell more, you will start discovering more and more nuances and notes that are not mentioned. It’s fun just to smell blindly and then compare your impressions with what you read online.

                      P.S. I also love Ta’if! August 11, 2013 at 2:24pm

    • Daisy: Hi Arin17,

      If you’re going to be in Barcelona, I would definitely check out the entire line from Carner Barcelona. I like them all. They feel very modern and professional and I can personally attest to them being very good to wear in the classroom because I teach too. My favorite out of the line is Tardes, but they are all great. July 12, 2013 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: By the way, if you love scents and are going to be in Barcelona, please don’t miss Casa Gispert at Carrer dels Sombrerers, 23. It’s a nut roasting store, and they sell the most delicious almonds and hazelnuts I’ve tried. The scent there is incredible. In fact, I would be tempted to book a ticket to Barcelona just to experience it again. July 12, 2013 at 3:30pm Reply

  • Caroline: What do you all think of Eau Premiere (no 5 flanker)? I don’t love the original–too powdery–but I’m liking this version, and it’s out of my green-tinged floral comfort zone! July 12, 2013 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I wear it even more than the original No 5, even though I love No 5 too. It’s elegant, but not at all high-maintenance, and it wears like a soft silk camisole. If you don’t like powder, then it will definitely suit you better than the original No 5 July 12, 2013 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Caroline: the other thing I wanted to mention is that it’s now available on the Chanel site in a 1.35 oz size. Love it when manufacturers offer smaller bottles…so much better for those of us who aren’t signature scent customers. July 12, 2013 at 3:51pm Reply

      • Kelly4: Hi Caroline, I also saw this 1.35 size at Sephora yesterday. I live in the USA. I hope this helps. July 14, 2013 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Kelly4: I think Chanel eau Premiere is such a lovely and easy to wear fragrance . It gets a lot of great reviews and seems very loved. Also I think it’s great any time of the year. July 12, 2013 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Sulin: I forgot to ask my question! It’s not really Summery, but here it is: Is the 2010 Lolita Lempicka Le Premier Parfum the same as the 1997 Lolita Lempicka Lolita Lempicka? Thanks! July 12, 2013 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a relaunch of the original, and it’s pretty much the same. July 12, 2013 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Annette: Okay, first time I post but I’ve been following for a while and you are all so amazing at this.

    Been wearing Diptyque’s Dans L’eau for the summer, and although I appreciate the beautiful greener scent I’ve come to terms with my love for woody florals – the problem is I have yet to find one that is more than just pretty.

    However, I bought Caudalie’s Divine Oil and think it has everything I’m looking for in a scent – a lovely rose smell and a warmth and sultry-ness I adore. Any ideas to turn me towards the right path? July 12, 2013 at 4:54pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you tried any perfumes from Serge Lutens like Bois de Violette? It is a woody floral, and it is beautiful with brains.

      Do you have any floral notes you like in particular? July 13, 2013 at 2:55am Reply

      • Annette: Will definitely be on the lookout for Bois de Violette, I’ve passed a large Serge Lutens counter before, but definitely haven’t sniffed them all.

        In particular it seems by my favorite scents, rose stands out – I absolutely adore the rose in Dior’s Nuit Ambre. July 14, 2013 at 6:25pm Reply

    • Annikky: Hi, Annette! If you a looking for woody florals, I don’t think it gets better than Bois de Violette (or Feminite du Bois) by Lutens which Victoria has already recommended. But just for variety, I’ll suggest Bois de Paradis by Delrae, as it’s also gorgeous. While more complex than Caudalie, it also has both rose and woods (and a bunch of other stuff). Victoria has a lovely review of it as well. July 13, 2013 at 6:20am Reply

      • Annette: Looking for the review now and super appreciate the recommendations, Bois de Paradis sounds like a really good candidate! July 14, 2013 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Alida: Hello everyone! I have the always slightly tricky of trying to find a perfume for a dear friend – it’s not a surprise gift, but she knows I love perfume and would like some recommendations for something new. Apart from a gift of Baby Doll in her teen years, in her adult life she has only worn Stella by Stella McCartney for years (and loves its rosy sparkle). Then when we were on holiday at the sunny peak of San Marino last year together (tax free perfume heaven!) she confessed she’d fallen in love with Elie Saab Le Parfum at the airport, so I convinced her to get a bottle – which 8 months later she has drained dry! So I suspect she likes orange blossom and jasmine as well as the lovely fresh rose living in Stella. She confirmed that she thinks she likes quite “soft” scents (I asked her if she preferred florals), but also likes the idea of at least trying something new that is a bit “spicy” or could potentially be a bit more unisex. She liked my Shalimar on sniffing the bottle! She is a fabulous redhead with fantastic adventurous dress sense. I can see her being open to a slightly edgy fragrance as well as something beautifully floral. Some recommendations based in the big commercial brands would be helpful too, since even though our town has a huge range of perfume, the only niche brands available seem to be Annick Goutal (I have a feeling she may enjoy that line!), Serge Lutens, Commes des Garçons, and a few others at Mecca Cosmetica. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thank you July 12, 2013 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Caroline: Houbigant’s Orangers en fleurs is a great orange blossom/jasmine scent. Unfortunately, it’s only available in large bottles but I see lots of samples on ebay, if she’s not near a store that carries it. July 12, 2013 at 5:50pm Reply

    • leathermountain: I agree, Annick Goutal sounds promising for your friend. Running the gamut from soft and flowery and onward, you might want to smell:
      Eau du Ciel
      Vetiver July 12, 2013 at 10:52pm Reply

    • Elisa: Narciso Rodriguez for Her! I find Elie Saab to be similar, but NR for Her is muskier. July 13, 2013 at 2:18am Reply

    • Figuier: I was recently looking for a light, easy-to-wear jasmine, and in addition to Elie Saab I came up with Acqua di Parma Gelsomino Nobile – it’s a very pretty sparkly jasmine that’s nevertheless quite subtle. There’s a new eau/cologne version as well, but I found it a bit nondescript. July 13, 2013 at 8:08am Reply

      • Victoria: I liked Gelsomino Nobile too, it’s pretty, understated, but memorable.

        Annick Goutal Le Jasmin is worth considering. It’s sparkling and fresh, but the drydown is interesting too. July 13, 2013 at 9:11am Reply

    • Cybele: have you tried Eau des Baux by L’Occitane? July 13, 2013 at 9:46am Reply

      • Cybele: sorry this went the wrong way was supposed to be my answer to Lucas below. July 13, 2013 at 9:49am Reply

        • Alida: Thanks for your suggestions everyone! It’s so helpful, and I’m going to have so much fun sampling some of them before I give her a short list. What a great forum this is! July 13, 2013 at 5:34pm Reply

  • Isis: Hi everyone!

    I am quite new to this blog (which is absolutely lovely, thank you Victoria, especialy your series about building a perfume wardrobe were very very helpfull, I am learning a lot here), but I’ve been perfume obsessed for a long time. I am looking for a new sort-of-signature scent. I would like it to be wonderfull and feminine, I want it to have good presence but I don’t wear the really in-your-face orientals (opium and shalimar for example are not for me. The closest I get is wearing Coco occasionally, I LOVE coco). Also: chypres so far don’t seem te agree with me unless they are ‘modern chypre’: mitsoukou and dioressence for example I do not like. An important factor is that I want it to be warm and sexy, but I also want my children to love it on me (a baby and two todlers). And I think I will need flowers. Simply because my perfume collection so far has enough lovely green scents, a few quircky ones, lots and lots of Iris, but no white flowers that I love yet.

    Perfumes that I have worn in the past: I love Hermès Hiris, Jardin en Mediterannée and Ambre Narguile. I used Ferré by Ferré (in the big round black bottle) when I was in my twenties and I miss it. (I am now 32 by the way). I love Lutens’ Douce Amère, Chanel 19 and I think Tom Ford Black Orchid is ultrasexy so I do wear it, even though I think it’s completely wrong for me.

    I have tried Goutals Passion (like it a lot but there is something that puts me off , maybe the bitterness of those tomatoleaves?), Songes (far too strong), Gardenia Passion (loverly but I feel like I am walking through a very thick cloud of something), Heure Exquise (lovely but a little sad), eau de Charlotte (no). I tried Fracas (I am starting to understand that it’s good but I get a strong sweet bubblegum smell that hits me in the face so hard I can hardly smell the rest. I will keep trying though, since everyone else loves it), tubereuse criminelle (lovely but too cold and the opening is great but gasoline is not the romantic child-friendly smell I want), a la nuit (which was a lot closer for me, but not quite it. I am sorry, I can’t explain why, I want more oemph). I’ve tried many Guerlains, and they don do it for me. I liked l’heure bleue (and I love Vetiver), but I don want to wear it. I own Hermes 24 Faubourg which is lovely, but I find it a little formal while I am looking for something more intimate (does this make sence to anyone?), something that reminds me more of skin-in-the-sun. Then I tried the new Diosissimo. The Edp was not it, but I found the Edt really lovely and enchanting. I am a little afraid to buy it without trying it for longer though, because blogs everywhere tell me that the reissued version is yuk. I also tried the new Diorling, which reminded me that one day I will need a great leather that makes me feel strong and sexy and that I can still wear to work. But not right now, now I want flowers and I want them to be so beautifull and to blend with my skin so perfectly that they make me weep. Anyone? July 12, 2013 at 5:07pm Reply

    • Isis: (I apologize for the lenght of my text by the way. I blame the broken nights with the baby for my lack of conciseness) July 12, 2013 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Annikky: Hi, Isis! Have you tried Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger? Some people find it too bold, but in my case it does this blending with skin thing and just smells beautiful. No complaints from my daughter so far, either 🙂

      Good luck with your search and I hope you get some sleep! July 12, 2013 at 5:41pm Reply

      • Elena: Me too with the Fleurs d’Oranger! It just smells like me, but better and sexier and turns into the most wonderful skin scent. I need a FB. Try it, if it works for you, it’s divine. July 12, 2013 at 8:38pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Well, I went with the beautiful flowers that blend with your skin concept and looked at my perfume shelf to see what I had as I have a problem with a lot of white florals that don’t blend with my skin. What I found was a common theme–incense. Chanel No 22 is a beautiful abstract floral with incense. To me it is very beautiful and blends so well with my skin, but I wouldn’t characterize it as warm. Then there is Seville a L’Aube, a warm and human orange blossom fragrance with incense (though maybe costus is what makes it blend with skin). Finally, I have Amouage Ubar (vintage in my case) a gorgeous lilly of the valley with a sandalwood base, also with a touch of frankincense. Maybe one of those would make you weep…. July 12, 2013 at 7:31pm Reply

    • Cybele: I find your question very intriguing, maybe Fleur de Cassie could do the trick. July 12, 2013 at 8:42pm Reply

    • leathermountain: I believe you are describing Hanbury (Maria Candida Gentile), or at least the way I feel about Hanbury. July 12, 2013 at 10:56pm Reply

    • Elisa: For tuberose, try Beyond Love or Carnal Flower — they are strong, so apply lightly! I also think you might like Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, which is really beautiful, with just a hint of that “gasoline” note. July 13, 2013 at 2:16am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Interesting how you describe your perfumes! Maybe you could like Iris Nobile (Acqua di Parma) or Sweet Redemption (By Kilian, expensive). These are warm, feminine flowery perfumes with some orangeblossom in it. Happy hunting! July 13, 2013 at 4:25am Reply

    • Austenfan: Random suggestions of floral perfumes that should be easy to try as they are mainstream:
      Bvlgari: Pour Femme a wonderful grown up, but not overpowering floral,
      Cartier: Baiser Volé, the EDT is very light and summery, the EDP is heavier. July 13, 2013 at 5:52am Reply

    • Figuier: Lys Mediterranee by Frederic Malle is lovely, especially if you like lily. It’s light and summery but also quite sexy, with a beachy salty feel that melds beautifully with warm skin. I find it’s quite strong, so a little goes a long way, but worn in small doses it’s gorgeous. July 13, 2013 at 8:11am Reply

    • Elia: I think my prime pick would be Ophelia by Heeley. It’s a tuberose that doesn’t smack you over the head. Refined, classy and more versatile than you might imagine.

      For a Chanel, I’d not pick no 22. It’s a big scent and there’s nothing subtle about it. I’d not call it child friendly. It smells like a congregation of pent-up grandmothers packed into a small room.
      I’d pick No 5 eau premiere, which successfully removes all the unfriendly parts of No 5, leaving a lovely floral fragrance that’s very wearable.
      I’d also take 1932, which seems underrated. 1932 is a beautiful soft floral that’s easy to apply and I feel children could easily love it. July 15, 2013 at 6:03am Reply

      • Victoria: I would add Beige too. It’s another underrated Chanel fragrance, but it wears like second skin and has a beautiful, soft presence. Nothing overpowering or overwhelming about it. July 15, 2013 at 6:06am Reply

      • Leathermountain: I love Chanel No. 22. And grandmothers. July 16, 2013 at 1:47pm Reply

        • Elia: Everybody loves grandmas, but not everyone wants to smell like them :).
          Actually, my own grandma always smelt great, and never of powder and aldehydes. July 17, 2013 at 3:50am Reply

          • leathermountain: My grandmother wore 4711. But I like powder and aldehydes, among other things. July 27, 2013 at 4:25pm Reply

  • Sheri: I love reading through these posts … actually, I’ve become addicted to this entire blog! I’m in nearly the same situation as Isis – perfume newbie, experimenting with new scents trying to replace my beloved (and now discontinued) Jil Sander No. 4. I haven’t tried nearly as many new scents as Isis has, but we seem to have very similar taste, and lately I have been loving Chanel 19 which Isis says she wears occasionally, so I’ll be watching for people’s recommendations for her as they may help me too! July 12, 2013 at 6:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also have a few recommendation for both you and Isis, since we like similar things: Prada Infusion d’Iris, Tom Ford Violet Blonde, Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage, Tocca Colette. And maybe try No19 Poudre, if you haven’t already. I find it crisp and soft, which sounds like a contradiction until you smell it. I reach for it often this summer. July 13, 2013 at 3:02am Reply

      • Sheri: Thank you very much! Crisp and soft sounds exactly right – I will certainly give the Poudre a whirl, and will investigate the other suggestions too. What fun! July 13, 2013 at 12:00pm Reply

      • Isis: Thanks to everyone for the recommendations! I will try Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger. I sprayed it on once and found it really yummy but I wasn’t sure, and I haven’t found a sample yet. Something about it seemed too high pitched at the time, but I really should try it again. I definitely want to try Chanel Beige and 22, but here in Holland the only place to try them is in Amsterdam. I have the same problem with Frederic Malle, but I will make sure that I find a sample of carnal flower and fleurs de cassie, and lys mediterannée, they sound like they could be just what I need. I also think I should try Une Rose, even if so far I think roses are not my thing. You never know… I will get on a train to Amsterdam with perfect perfume-free wrists one day and try it all. And Victoria, its so funny that you mention Violet Blonde. I actually have a sample and I an wearing it now. I really love it, but I am not sure that I can allow myself to buy it as I already own Hermès Hiris, Chanel 19 and Heure Exquise.. Chanel 19 is actually the scent I wrote my MA-thesis on, it makes me feel bright and competent and calm. I highly recommend it to anyone doing research. July 13, 2013 at 5:18pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’ve just smelled the new Aedes de Venustas fragrance Iris Nazarena, and it’s definitely worth checking out too. It’s like an incense inflected No 19. July 15, 2013 at 6:07am Reply

          • rainboweyes: I tried it too and instantly fell in love. Iris Nazarena is going to be my autumn scent this year, in rotation with ISM and Cuir de Nacre.

            That’s interesting – iris scents make me feel bright and competent too. I always wear iris at work and have a few special scents for challenging situations, like contract negotiations – Dzongkha is the one that gives me lots of calmness and self-confidence. July 15, 2013 at 1:40pm Reply

            • Isis: I LOVE that you have a special perfume for contract negotiations. I thought I was the only lunatic autistic enough to be that specific in pairing perfumes with occasions. July 17, 2013 at 3:06pm Reply

          • Sheri: I love incense-tinged scents too, so will add the Iris Nazarena to my must-try list! July 27, 2013 at 5:08pm Reply

        • Sylviane: Dear Isis, I am really moved by the way you put words on your quest… I am myself searching for exactly the same flowers that blend so well and give that skin in the sun feeling… one suggestion : you need flowers but your kids might need you to smell of vanilla..why don’t you try Battito d’Ali from Profumum di Roma: Orange blossom, myrrha, cocoa, vanilla. Sweet, sunny , close to the skin , flowery…. delicious ! July 16, 2013 at 6:01am Reply

          • Isis: Sylviane, thank you! I will definitely look for this one. My children will certainly appreciate vanilla and cocoa.. July 17, 2013 at 3:09pm Reply

      • Sheri: UPDATE: I received samples of the Prada Infusion d’Iris and the Tom Ford Violet Blonde yesterday, and love them both! I’m wearing the VB today (which my husband instantly loved – bonus!), and find it comfortingly reminiscent of a very pleasant spicy pipe tobacco – anyone else have that reaction? I also tried and loved the No. 19 Poudre, but hubby thinks it’s grandmotherly – not that I’ll let that stop me, but it is nicer when he’s motivated to cozy up to my neck. 🙂 Will let him sniff the Prada tomorrow! July 30, 2013 at 4:27pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m happy to hear that Violet Blonde had such a positive reaction. It has a woody, spicy edge to it, which you’ve picked out, and that’s what I love about it. It’s definitely not a pale wallflower.

          Hope that Infusion d’Iris will work, but if not, we have plenty more recs. 🙂 July 30, 2013 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Rafael: I finally figured it out. It’s July and the weathermen are all liars with their talk of rain so I came home from work and watered everything heavily as all the nature was gasping. Came in and reached in the fridge and pulled out Fidji de Guy Laroche. Perfect. July 12, 2013 at 8:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Crisp, green Fidji is perfect on a hot day. July 13, 2013 at 2:59am Reply

  • Lizzie: Hi everyone,

    So, I’m soon to make a big move. It’s a new country, a very different culture and for me a very different climate (hot!!!! desert!!!!!!!! – I am excited because I’ll get the opportunity to explore the world of Middle Eastern perfumery btw) and I am looking for a perfume to scent the transition (I’ve decided this could be a fun way to mentally prepare); something refreshing, cool calm and collected, positive, comfortable but still interesting, gently grounded. (I’m thinking about something cologne-ish, a light sparkling floral and/or citrus with a bit of woodiness/incense/vetiver – but really I am open to anything that you think might work for a transition/hot weather)

    These are the perfumes I own/wear at the moment:

    Donna Karan Black Cashmere
    Fendi Theorema
    L’Artisan Passage D’Enfer
    L’Artisan Mandarine
    L’Artisan Tea For Two
    Diptyque Tam Dao
    Tauer Un Rose Vermeille
    Chanel Bel Respiro
    Prada Infusion d’Iris (used to be my go to for work but I’m a bit sick of it and am now using Bvlgari Omnia for this purpose)
    Malle En Passant (my first great perfume love but we aren’t talking at the moment)
    Jean Paul Gaultier Classique

    So none of these fit the bill (also I’m reluctant to use an old favourite in case moving is only horribly stressful and whatever I wear forever evokes that stress)

    I’m open to trying anything really though I’m yet to meet an orange blossom or Jasmine scent that I can be friends with and anything by Hermes/JCE I appreciate intellectually but sadly on my skin it all goes horribly wrong.

    Thank you so much for any suggestions (And thank you Victoria for providing this opportunity!!) July 13, 2013 at 7:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations, Lizzie! I wish you a smooth, exciting transition. I made a similar move last year, so it’s all very familiar to me. So, please feel free to vent or just share your impressions when you make the move. It sounds exciting!

      The moment I read your list of favorites, I thought that you might like sampling Atelier Cologne line, especially Trefle Pur (green), Bois Blonds (woods and incense), Rose Anonyme (rose and oud done in a cologne manner). Have you tried Olfactive Studio? We’ve talked about it earlier in this thread, and I think that their Chambre Noire (and maybe Lumiere Blanche) might fit the bill too.

      P.S. I’m very happy to hear that you liked the perfume wardrobe series. I’m working on a couple more installments to add to it. July 13, 2013 at 8:03am Reply

      • Lizzie: Hi Victoria, thanks so much for your recommendations and wishes for a smooth transition. I am excited and VERY nervous all at once. Atelier Colonge is so obvious now you mention it 🙂 they certainly meet the cologne-ish criteria. I’ve only tried Oolong Inifini but will now seek out the others in the line. I have tried Lumiere Blanche but that is it from Olfactive Studio so I will also add Chambre Noire to the ‘to try’ list. July 14, 2013 at 6:20am Reply

    • Leathermountain: Cologne-ish is such a great category!
      Perhaps Union’s Quince Mint and Moss, or even Holy Thistle.

      I wonder also about layering. Tam Dao seems to fit the grounded woody part just perfectly. Maybe something lighter and brighter on top of it? I’m hoping others might elaborate, because the closest I’ve come to layering is adding different perfume three times a day out of indulgence and impatience. July 13, 2013 at 9:10am Reply

      • Lizzie: Hi Leathermountain, thanks for your reccomendations! I’ve never even heard of Union but am definitely curious to seek them out.
        I’m very inexperienced in the art of layering except for the inevitable overlap that happens when I over-excitedly apply every single frangrance in a sample order to my arms. But I’m interested to try layering a simple citrus over Tam Dao just to see what happens… July 14, 2013 at 6:31am Reply

    • Emily: Have you tried Kyoto from the Commes des Garçon incense series? July 13, 2013 at 12:35pm Reply

      • Lizzie: Emily I have not. Or if I did it was years ago and I can’t remember it. I’ll add it to the to try list. Thank you very much! July 14, 2013 at 6:40am Reply

  • Lucas: Anybody knows of a good, soft amber fragrances. Intensive and big oriental ambers don’t work well for me, I hate Ambre Fetiche in particular.
    For the moment it’s Atelier Cologne Ambre Nue and Ramon Monegal Barcelona Ambra di Luna that are the best for me.
    If you have any suggestions please tell.
    I would be especially happy for an iris-amber concoction. July 13, 2013 at 9:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Maybe, Thirdman Eau Profonde? It’s a soft, citrusy amber. July 13, 2013 at 9:24am Reply

      • Lucas: Sounds good to me but we don’t have Thirdman in Poland… July 13, 2013 at 9:57am Reply

    • Cybele: have you tried Eau des Baux by L’Occitane? July 13, 2013 at 9:47am Reply

      • Lucas: Yup, it was nice but not a love for me. July 13, 2013 at 9:59am Reply

    • Nina Z: Oriental Lounge by The Different Company is a very soft amber that I really like. I’ve worn it when I wanted something more discreet to wear in a crowded public place, like a classroom. I remember reading something from the perfumer saying she didn’t really like orientals herself, so this is what she came up with. July 13, 2013 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Also, Tolu by Ormonde Jayne, is a softer amber scent, not as soft as Oriental Lounge, but I enjoy this one a lot more. It has a slightly herbal aspect to it that makes it distinctive, and lacks that cloying quality that most heavy ambers have. July 13, 2013 at 5:59pm Reply

    • CM: You might want to try Prada Eau L’amber. I fell in love with it over the summer when Amber is a bit cloying in the heat.

      I also really like Hermes Amber d’Merveilles – have you tried that?

      Amber Precieaux is also wonderful, but prob. not what you’re looking for. July 14, 2013 at 1:54pm Reply

    • Elia: To date Ambre Nuit is the finest amber I’ve encountered.

      For iris-amber
      Dior Home Intense?
      Or maybe Iris de Nuit by Heeley. July 15, 2013 at 6:13am Reply

  • Belle: Hello again everyone! I know it might be weird for me to post 2 questions on the same month, but I really need your guys’ help! I got to try shalimar and some export perfumes from serge lutens(not the ones I wanted to try). I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t really like them. But this is someone who lives in a country where perfum is very rarely worn, and I’m a novice so I don’t think I can appreciate them yet. I think I really do like orientals though, but when I think about it, the one i tried (dunno the name) was really sweet. Would anyone kindly recommend to me perfumes for a gentler transition to orientals for a 16 year old who’s only known bath and body works smells? Thank you very much! July 13, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Belle, which Serge Lutens perfumes did you try?

      Have you tried Prada Candy? Despite the name, it’s not a heavy oriental or a super sweet gourmand. Also, Diptyque Volutes or Eau Duelle might be good options. But do let us know what lines are easier for you to find. July 13, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

      • Victoria: P.S. I love Bath & Body Works Cotton Blossom, which is an orange blossom with a subtle oriental accent. 🙂 July 13, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

        • Belle: I sniffed the bottles of Feminite de Bois, 5 o’ Clock Au Gigembre, Fleurs de Citronnier, Jeux de Peau, and Fille de Berlin, but only tried the last 2 of this list. I thought Berlin was too powdery for me, and Jeux was ok, but not really me. What’s the translation of Jeux de Peau by the way? It somehow reminds me of coffee! There’s some Creed, Bondtown, YSL, a bit of Guerlain, Diptyque, Annick Goutal, and L’occitane here. There’s probably more, but I can’t quite remember. Thank you very much, Victoria! July 13, 2013 at 11:53am Reply

          • Victoria: Jeux means games, Peau means skin, so “play on skin.” There is a French expression “jeux de mots”, which means word play, and Jeaux de Peau is a further play on that. Very clever of Monsieur Lutens. 🙂

            Anyway, it sounds like heavy, thick orientals are not your thing at all. At least, not just yet. So, my Diptyque suggestions still hold. YSL Nu is a possibility as is Cinema. In Goutal’s collection, try Vanille Exquise (it’s a vanilla based perfume, somewhat rich too, but very different in spirit from others I’ve recommended). Guerlain’s Shalimar Parfum Initial would be my choice. L’Occitane had a very nice simple amber, but I don’t know if it’s still available.

            Bond no 9 Chinatown is another great oriental. Not too light, but something that can be toned down if you wear it in small quantities. July 14, 2013 at 6:19am Reply

            • Belle: Wow, thank you so much again Victoria! And also thank you to Joe, Annikky, and rainboweyes for your suggestions! I was feeling very discouraged about this, but I’m glad to know that I wasn’t the only one. But while I don’t really like SL’s line yet, I find all of them quite distinct and memorable. July 14, 2013 at 7:45pm Reply

    • Joe: Guerlain Oriental Brulant is a very nice light transparent amber. July 13, 2013 at 1:23pm Reply

    • leathermountain: Belle, which Bath and Body Works scents have you liked best? July 13, 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

      • Belle: To be honest, the only one I really like is Midnight Pomegranate. July 14, 2013 at 7:37pm Reply

    • Annikky: Dear Belle! There is absolutely no shame in not liking Lutens – it’s about what you like, not what you think you should like. There are many people who do not click with Lutens’s style. That said, you still might find something to appreciate – the line is extensive and our tastes change, too. I’m a fan now, but I distinctly remember sniffing the export line for the first time and only kind of liking one of them…

      Anyway, to the point. For a gentle oriental, I recommend Lumiere Blanche by Olfactive Studio. I recommend it often and you can read Victoria’s review to find out why 🙂 There is a 5x4ml coffret of all Olfactive Studio scents that can be easily ordered online. I don’t know what price range is OK for you, but compared to many other things on the market it’s reasonably priced. July 14, 2013 at 8:30am Reply

    • rainboweyes: Dear Belle, although I adore Iris Silver Mist and Bas de Soie, the typical Lutens orientals leave me cold. Actually, I am not a big fan of orientals anyway – except for Traversee du Bosphore by Artisan Parfumeur. Actually, I think it might be a nice transition scent as it’s not too heavy, I even wear it on warm summer evenings.
      And I love Lumiére Blanche but I have never considered it a “typical” oriental… July 14, 2013 at 1:05pm Reply

      • Annikky: I agree, I don’t think LB is a conventional oriental. I just figured it might be a good way to ease oneself into such themes as spices and woods – I find it very accessible. July 14, 2013 at 2:05pm Reply

  • savitanaraine: Hi guys, has anyone tried Narciso Rodriguez for Her Musc Eau de Parfum Intense?
    I’m looking for a skin scent that is sweet and creamy. July 13, 2013 at 11:07am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s worth trying! I also like Cacharel Noa for a creamy, second-skin like perfume. July 14, 2013 at 5:58am Reply

      • savitanaraine: Hi Victoria, I had Noa years ago and decided to buy again because of your review. I do like it but I find it has a slight bitterness to it….maybe the coffee note?
        I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading your blog so much that it is apart of my daily routine. I was always into mainstream scents but you have taught me about Niche perfume brands such as Serge lutens and others that I never knew they existed…Keep up the good work and thank you so much. July 15, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you! 🙂 I’m very happy to hear this, and I hope that all of us can help you find another perfume to enjoy. As for Noa, I’m not sure, because the only part that reads as bitter to me (but pleasantly so) is the top note of metallic mandarin/green cilantro. But all of us are sensitive to different things in perfume. July 15, 2013 at 11:59am Reply

          • savitanaraine: Hi Victoria, maybe it’s the cilantro. My nose isn’t as trained because I’m still at the stage of learning to identify specific notes.
            As for new fragrances, I know that many persons feel as though Coco Mad. is too popular and not so special, but I totally love this scent. It is not so common in my country as many cannot afford Chanel fragrances. It is presently my signature scent, but I would like to try a niche scent that is similar to Coco Mad or in the same fragrance group. What would you recommend? July 15, 2013 at 3:33pm Reply

            • savitanaraine: Also, I enjoy Chanel Bois des lles which to me has a lovely feminine powdery fresh scent. Do you think i would like Coromandel? July 15, 2013 at 3:40pm Reply

              • Victoria: Not necessarily, because Coromandel is very earthy, very heavy on patchouli, while Bois des Iles is more abstract and softer. I think that something like Diptyque Tam Dao might be a better option, since I have a feeling you might enjoy sandalwood and perfumes with sandalwood more. Or how about the new Frederic Malle Dries Van Noten? Going to think of some others…. July 15, 2013 at 5:19pm Reply

            • Victoria: It’s a beautiful, well-crafted perfume, and it’s certainly memorable. If you love Coco Mad, wear it and pay no attention to anyone else. Plus, depending on our skin chemistry and how we wear our perfumes, we make them our own. It’s already great that you found something you love and enjoy wearing, and I don’t see a reason to change. But if you’re curious to try other perfumes to mix up your wardrobe a bit, then it’s another story. For fragrances along the lines of Coco Mad you will have plenty of choice–Prada, Lolita Lempicka, Miss Dior Cherie, but maybe it might be more fun for you to try other genres. For instance, as I mentioned earlier, woods or soft spices? July 15, 2013 at 5:28pm Reply

              • Savitanaraine: Thank you for your suggestions, I can’t wait to try them! I don’t mind experimenting a bit, I do do like sandalwood actually. I enjoy gourmands too. Not really a fan of fruity scents. July 15, 2013 at 11:20pm Reply

  • Samar: hi, i am new here and from few days really enjoying reading this blog. May be i can get some help here as i love a perfume which is now discontinued and i am in search of an alternative. FYI i am a perfume lover and a collector too. I own almost 30 bottles ( my husband counted once ) I love many from my collection but most loved one or the best is RALPH LAUREN PURE TURQUOISE which is about to finish, have not used in past 2 years as I dont want it to be finished. It is very mesmerizing for me…my husband loved it on me…, my two best friends bought it after smelling it on me( few years back ) but now its not available anymore. My imagination for its fragrance is : A valley of turquoise mountains and lots of white flowers in it. Very enchanting, light fragrance but long lasting. Can anyone recommend a similar mesmerizing perfume ? TIA July 13, 2013 at 7:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: Samar, Ralph Lauren website still lists it, and I’ve seen it at stores. But if you want to try something different, why not Guerlain Idylle, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Gucci Rush or even Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Pure Turquoise is a modern mossy-floral fragrance, and all of the ones I mentioned are too. They are not identical, but it’s best to try a variety and see what fits your tastes best. HTH! July 14, 2013 at 6:11am Reply

      • Samar: Thanks a lot for replying dear. Pure turquoise is not available in bahrain where I am living currently. It wasnt available in Pakistan neither in Canada where my sister checked, nor in hongkong. I am not an online shopping person but for this perfume I did check online and there were some comments from people who purchased it from ebay etc that it was turned. So I dropped that idea. Now in search of a perfume as good as pure turquoise. Considering your recomendations…I will sure try again Narciso Rodriguez for her. When I checked before…I liked it but my hubby did not. Idylle was exactly CK truth for me which I have used and then exchanged with a friend, so even gave the testers of idylle to another friend. Lovely was just ok and gucci rush was fav among my eldest sister age group so dont wanna use it. Actually perfumes remind me memories from the past…some have good ones, some do not…, I keep and like the fragrances which makes me feel good and some bottles remind me of time when I wasnt that happy or bad memories u can say, I cant use those bottles…including YSL in love again, cool water, tommy girl summer , BLV bvlgari and some more. My most fav ones are coco madmoisselle, givenchy very irresistable sensual, chanel chance tendre, Jadore l’eu, ligt blue dreaming in portofino( most loved one after pure turquoise) robrto cavali’s roberto cavali. But no bottle is like my most fav 🙂 well…still in search and enjoying it July 14, 2013 at 9:41am Reply

  • leathermountain: Hello! I am fairly new to perfume and looking to expand my horizons. I’ve found some delightful citrus, floral, smoky, woodsy, and aldehydic scents.

    Now I want to open my nose/brain to warmer waters, e.g. ambers and vanillas.

    I dislike perfumes that smell like food. I’m not trying to expand that part of my horizon for the moment.

    I would like it if 100mL cost less than $130, and better still if smaller sizes were also available for purchase.

    I will be very excited to read your recommendations! July 13, 2013 at 7:30pm Reply

    • Hannah: Parfumerie Generale Felanilla and Coze, 50ml cost about $100. Parfum D’Empire Ambre Russe is $110 for 100ml. CdG Ouarzazate is an incense perfume and is also spicy, but there’s a lot of vanilla. Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Or Des Indes ($130/100ml). Les Nereides Opoponax. Everything mentioned is at luckyscent. +Perhaps way too obvious to mention, but YSL Opium, Guerlain Shalimar, CK Obsession, Bulgari Black. It’s not vanilla or amber, but there’s also Lubin Idole (which is a bit above your budget at $120/75ml). July 13, 2013 at 9:46pm Reply

      • leathermountain: Thank you, Hannah. It is so thoughtful of you to include the prices and where to find these!

        I shall re-smell Felanilla, Ambre Russe, and Idole, which I once dismissed. Sometimes it just takes a little nudge to smell something for real.

        I shall seek to smell Coze, Ourzazate, Or des Indes, and Opoponax.

        I love to smell (very briefly) Opium and Shalimar, but I’ve never had the guts to apply them. For some reason I can’t handle Obsession even on paper.

        I own and love Bulgari Black! Haha, I do have a great vanilla!

        Thanks again. July 14, 2013 at 1:06pm Reply

        • Hannah: I used to wear Opium but my taste in perfume has changed, so now I prefer the shower gel. July 14, 2013 at 2:08pm Reply

          • Leathermountain: Shower gel. Terra nova. Thank you! July 16, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

        • leathermountain: I smelled Ourzazate and liked it quite a bit. I’m a sucker for incense. I smelled Or de Indes and found it hit my cistus button. (Detailed conversation about how I discovered that, with Victoria’s help, is above.) July 27, 2013 at 4:28pm Reply

      • leathermountain: I am wearing Idole EdT on one arm right now. It’s not vanilla or amber, it’s rum, leather, spice, smoke, and wood, yes? I like it very much. But I feel like I’m cheating. This is pretty much already in my wheelhouse, albeit warmer-and-sweeter than most of the scents I’ve loved so far.

        In the warm-and-sweet, within my personal range to date, it’s perhaps bested by Ninfeo Mio, but then Ninfeo Mio has such a green warp that the warm-and-sweet weft is squarely woven into the composition. Whereas Idole is knitted from warm-and-sweet yarns, has plenty of drape, and stretches like every good knit. I do like textiles and have taken my metaphor rather far, here.

        I think what I’m trying to say is: I like Idole. And I don’t quite know how to think about Idole. Of course, confusion can be a big part of the fun. July 17, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

      • Leathermountain: Coze is gorgeous! Thank you, Hannah, for pointing me that way!

        Victoria, do you think there is not much labdanum in Coze? I find it completely approachable. August 6, 2013 at 12:54pm Reply

        • Victoria: Hmm, I don’t remember Coze that well to say. I’ll see if I have my sample around. August 6, 2013 at 3:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: I Profumi di Firenze Ambra di Nepal is a terrific, simple amber that costs around 10euros per bottle. Or maybe 15. Anyway, it’s very inexpensive and very good.

      If you like rose and amber and haven’t tried Stella MacCartney yet, then it’s worth sampling.

      Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee and Ambre Nue are also good contenders (and I don’t remember the prices exactly, but they are reasonable).

      Parfums de Nicolai is the best priced niche line, and Vanille Tonka was my first favorite vanilla. I don’t like foody vanillas either.

      L’Artisan Vanille Absolument is a mix of tobacco, vanilla and oud. Very clever, interesting, but maybe more expensive than your budget. July 14, 2013 at 6:05am Reply

      • leathermountain: Victoria, thank you for your suggestions!

        I shall re-smell Ambra di Nepal, Vanille Insensee, and Ambre Nue!

        I shall seek to smell Stella McCartney and Vanille Tonka.

        The L’Artisan has piqued my interest from afar. Is it still in production? I must investigate further.

        Thank you again. July 14, 2013 at 1:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: P.S. Ormonde Jayne Tolu is another one I forgot. It’s beautiful and not too heavy-sweet. July 14, 2013 at 5:45pm Reply

          • Leathermountain: I’ve been eyeing OJ for quite some time now! July 16, 2013 at 1:52pm Reply

      • leathermountain: ps- 50mL L’Artisan Vanille Absolument from Amazon is $70 including shipping in USA. Not much more than that for 100mL

        Discontinued, you think? July 14, 2013 at 1:24pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m not sure, but it sounds awfully reasonable. 🙂 July 14, 2013 at 5:43pm Reply

          • leathermountain: Vanille Absolument is also at Aedes de Venustas, which has a handy dandy tester bottle. July 27, 2013 at 4:30pm Reply

    • Cybele: try Safran Troublant July 14, 2013 at 8:53pm Reply

      • Leathermountain: Interesting idea! I went on a short-lived saffron quest a while back and rejected ST because it was too… Vanilla! Sounds like it’s time for a re-smell. Thank you! July 16, 2013 at 1:56pm Reply

    • Elia: I’d second trying Idole. It’s lovely.

      One of my favourite vanillas is the inexpensive Vanille by Molinard. July 15, 2013 at 6:27am Reply

      • Leathermountain: I’ve been eyeing Molinard, too! Any idea if it retails in NYC? I do love a good tester bottle on a good counter. July 16, 2013 at 1:54pm Reply

        • Elia: Don’t we all. I’m used to not having that luxury for most things.
          I’m not in the US so I have no idea.

          I actually have a sample of it all ready which I’ve been wanting to give out. If you want eliared [a[t zoho do[t c[om July 17, 2013 at 4:00am Reply

          • leathermountain: Elia, it is so sweet of you to offer! I’m thinking the postage might be excessive, but I’ll email you and we can go into details. Thank you so much. July 17, 2013 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Leathermountain: I’ve been wearing a sample of Baghari a lot lately, especially before going to sleep. I’m thinking it appeals partly in the retro glam sense that Victoria has written about so thoughtfully. My family’s matriarchs are/were pretty glam, so that makes retro glam, paradoxically, familiar and comforting even though it’s also by definition exotic and exciting…. Then I read something about a whole lot of amber in Baghari. Do other folks smell it that way? Maybe it’s comforting in that sense as well? July 19, 2013 at 11:18pm Reply

      • Victoria: I can see it too, since while it smells modern, it has many retro twists to it. July 20, 2013 at 8:57am Reply

        • leathermountain: Then I found a parfum tester and fell hard. Another crazy expensive out of reach object of unrequited love. $287 and it only comes in 30mL. Why don’t I ask the price before I test? So I uncharacteristically bought a 2mL micro mini, supposedly vintage, from eBay at a reasonable price. I have no idea what is actually in this bottlette, but it smells pretty good so far (I might venture a cross between the contemporary Baghari EdP I know, and the contemporary Bandit EdP I know). I’ll chalk this one up to a happy ending. July 27, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Daisybell: Hello everyone! I’ve been waiting for this post for so long! Thanks Victoria for the brilliant idea and for such an informative website! 

    I’ve been on the hunt for a transparent/translucent everyday floral, feminine scent for the summer heat. I cannot do scents that are too sweet, or include in their description words like “heavy”, “rich” or “heady”. My current signature scent is ormonde woman, but I also own and love l’ombre dans l’eau. I generally tend to woody, vetiver masculine scents, but there are days when I just need something that would go with a twirly flippy floral sundress, you know. I’ve been on the hunt for some time, but everything I’ve tried so far has been too sweet/ synthetic. 

    The closest contenders are – Hermes jour d’hermes – I really liked this, but something about it becomes unmistakably sour on my skin, and for some reason, it’s not very floraly on me? It is more of a fresh, citrusy (petal infused) tea scent. Elie Saab – liked it on first wear, but began to find the middle and drydown a little too sweet. Diptyque eau rose – lovely fresh rose I loved until the drydown, which was meh and entirely too soapy. I would be very grateful for any suggestions! I am beginning to wonder if I should give up- maybe I am not someone who could do floral (taste in sun-dresses notwithstanding)?  July 14, 2013 at 6:16am Reply

    • Victoria: Please don’t give up! It doesn’t sound at all like you can’t do florals; you just haven’t found something that fits your taste best. Jour d’Hermes is very citrus/green apple, and I can see why it would be sour. Elie Saab has an ambery-musky drydown, which is sweet. And Eau Rose is pretty, but it seems that you’re looking for something more complex.

      For a clean, gardenia petals on water effect, I would recommend Marc Jacobs for Her and Ralph Lauren Blue. J’Adore Cologne and new Voile de Parfum are also very good. I also would like to mention Stella MacCartney Lily.

      In niche, L’Artisan La Chasse Aux Papillons and Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage are good choices. Both are gauzy and light. July 14, 2013 at 6:41am Reply

      • Daisybell: Thanks Victoria! I have tried Chasse Aux Papillons and found it slightly too sweet. I have also tried Un Matin d’Orage (was excited about it being likened to a garden drenched in rain) but I can’t remember being impressed – but will give it another skin test. I have been meaning to check out the Marc Jacobs and j’adore, and will add them to the list! July 14, 2013 at 7:18am Reply

        • Victoria: Have you tried Cartier Baiser Vole? I smelled it on a friend today, and it reminded me that it’s a great, radiant floral.

          (I also like by Kilian Water Calligraphy, but it’s so expensive that I feel guilty recommending it.) July 14, 2013 at 5:48pm Reply

    • Lizzie: have you tried En Passant from Frederic Malle? I think Olivia Giacobetti does very good translucent perfumes… intelligent and with presence but a light touch.
      You could also try Rose Ikebana maybe from the Hermes Hermenesces line. July 14, 2013 at 7:10am Reply

    • Annikky: Daisybell, just checking – have you tried Ormonde Jayne florals? You probably have, seeing that OJ Woman is your favourite, but thought I’d mention them just in case. I’ve noticed that (some of) her florals work well for people that are not generally into big florals. The slightly weird Champaca and the very pretty Tiare are my personal favourites, but they are all nice.

      My own sun-dress scent this summer is d’Orsay Tilleul. I generally gravitate towards more dramatic scents, but this one is just so perfect for it’s purpose. Tilleul is a honeyed linden blossom with a touch of hay – I don’t find it too sweet, but it might be a consideration for you. I also love En Passsant, recommended by Lizzie – another Giacobetti. July 14, 2013 at 8:19am Reply

      • Daisybell: Thank you so much for these recommendations! Lizzie, I have not yet explored the Frederic Malle line but now I have a reason to!

        Annikky – thank you for sharing your sundress scent; tilleul sounds so amazing! I had not heard about it till now. Lindenflower!! I am so hopeful about this. Now to get my hands on some.. July 14, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

    • george: Daisybell, I know you are thinking of a floral for when wearing a light summer dress but there may also be some other options

      a, a good cologne like Guerlain’s or Chanel’s-not floral but great for hot days
      b, some of the Ellena scents for hermes, including Voyage, which particularly strikes me as a bright lemony modern variation on a cologne
      c, a “masculine floral”, such as insense by givenchy or le troisieme homme by Caron- more herbally jasminey concoctions.
      d, 1932 by chanel: it’s not at all sweet or synthetic, and its very light, and not long lasting: it’s basically some lovely jasmine with some lovely citrus and some lovely iris. It hasn’t got great reviews , but I kind of think that is because it borders more on the original understanding of EDT rather than being the more like the perfumey understanding of edt that prevails nowadays: people expect perfumery bang for their buck, and 1932 is more like a superlative body spray. It might just work for you though. July 14, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

  • LV: What are some of the best ‘sad’ perfumes? I’d like to sample ‘melancholic’ perfumes to accommodate those days where a happy dose of berries and vanilla just won’t work.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!

    -LV July 14, 2013 at 12:54pm Reply

    • george: Iris Silver Mist, Iris Poudre, Apres L’ondee, (irises) are usually understood as being melancholic.
      Angeliques Sous la pluie, L’eau D’hiver and En Passant have an element of coldness to them (the latter is a “sketch of winter”. I believe that Ellena divide herbs and spices in to a cool and warm palette, and that the cool palette probably what informs ASLP.
      No.19 with its galbanum and Iris is often understood to be a “bitchy” fragrance, so has a steely coldness very much opposite to that of berries and vanilla. You also have no.19 poudre, which is similar. They aren’t really melancholic but they are also certainly not vanilla cupcakes and fruit.
      Gris Clair is a lavender fragrance at its most taciturn.
      I would also suggest Hiris and Sienne L’hiver, based on what I have read, though I haven’t tried them.
      I haven’t smelled l’air du temps for years (and it has probably changed) but I think that it was quite otherworldly.
      O and if correctly named, De Profundis should be melancholic.
      Bois des Iles is worth smelling too probably. It isn’t really melancholic, and it does have dessert like elements. It was inspired by a spooky Tchaikovsky opera. narnia in a bottle is another apt description. July 14, 2013 at 3:11pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Excellent choices, George! Please don’t smell L’air du Temps: very disappointing.
        You have a great list now, LV . The choice will not be easy. (btw Iris Silver Mist is one of the best I ever smelled). You could also play on the incense theme. Bois d’Encens gives you the impression of cold, damp stones of an old Catholic church. Passage d’Enfer adds a lily to the funeral in that church.
        Or you can try the laconic dryness of Shaal Nur (Etro), or the strange Palais Jamais (Etro).
        Also perfumes with a bitter note can be ”sad”, like Colonia Intensa (Acqua di Parma) or Derby (Guerlain). And a very dry chypre, like Y (YstL) is elegant but has also an air of sadness. July 14, 2013 at 5:21pm Reply

    • leathermountain: LV, I know just what you mean.

      I second the Apres L’Ondee, and third and fourth it! True story: tears came to my eyes upon my first whiff.

      On a blotter Gris Clair seemed to promise a related but interestingly steelier mood. Unfortunately, on my skin it became excessively bitter.

      I’ve only smelled De Profundis on paper. I would characterize it as melancholic, but simultaneously rich and resonant. Not explained well. Now I must try it on my skin!

      I also second Passage D’Enfer. If Apres L’Ondee is perhaps a countryside melancholy, then Passage D’Enfer might be an old city/stonework melancholy. More meditative than emotional, for me, and definitely at a remove.

      I get a different vibe from Bois D’Encens, a lot more bois and not as much encens. As a result it feels more grounded and less melancholy to me.

      Amazing how much fun you can have on the hunt for a sad sad smell. July 14, 2013 at 6:46pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Interesting how different perceptions can be! I had a catholic education and Bois d’Encens smells in my nose exactly like the incense in the church. July 15, 2013 at 3:45am Reply

        • Leathermountain: That is interesting. Scent is so referential. Part of its power and potential beauty, I think. July 16, 2013 at 1:58pm Reply

    • Karina: I find Guerlain Mitsouko to be a melancholy perfume. I think it’s the delicate nostalgia it conjures up for me. I tend to invent stories in my head to go along with perfumes and for Mitsouko I can’t help but imagine a woman pining for her lost love during wartime. July 15, 2013 at 4:54am Reply

    • Isis: Does Annick Goutal’s Vetiver count as a sad perfume? To me it smelled like earth soaked in water (in a good way). It reminds me of getting lost in the woods in the pooring rain (again, in a good way). July 15, 2013 at 4:29pm Reply

  • CM: I am looking to match a discontinued scent with something similar. Last summer, I purchased Eau Turquoise by Parfums de Nicholai. It’s light and effervescent with a hint of musk in the base and really is delightful.

    It’s not super sweet fruity, but there’s a hint of mango/apricot/lime in the opening notes, followed by light florals…jasmine (maybe), osmanthus, Key lime, Turkish rose (maybe) followed up by musk. Official notes list mango, apricot, osmanthus, Key lime, Turkish rose, pepper, cardamom and Texas cedar, but I don’t detect much cedar or spiciness.

    Eau Exotique (also discontinued) is rumored to have been the same scent. The notes listed are lime, petitgrain, sweet orange, cassis, mango, jasmine, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, and musk.

    This is a sheer summery scent and my bottle is dwindling so I’d like to find a replacement while I still have some drops left.

    Any suggestions? July 14, 2013 at 1:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you tried other Eaux Fraiches from Nicolai like Eau Soleil, Eau a la Folie or Eau d’Ete? They are all in the same vein, if not exactly identical. July 14, 2013 at 5:46pm Reply

      • CM: I own the new Soleil (not fruity or sparkly enough, but nice). Eau a la Folie comes closest but seems to lack the juiciness of Turquoise and that ethereal musk. It’s in a shopping cart soon to be purchased (I used the last of my sample this morning!) I also own Eau d’Ete and it’s lovely as well – reminds me of a really good gin and tonic. Mmmm.

        I don’t know what kind of musk is in Eau Turquoise, but it’s not one that I own and when I catch a wiff, I just love it – (some white or blue musk, probably). I also love that mango/apricot juiciness in the opening. “Fruity” isn’t my typical scent profile, but I like the juicy mango/apricot sparkle of this one.

        Fantastic suggestions, Victoria – especially since I own* and enjoy them all…just not quite it. July 14, 2013 at 6:17pm Reply

        • leathermountain: I love Eau MiXte, and it certainly sparkles, but it is more like bracing and herbal than juicy and fruity.

          I don’t know anything about musks, but the rest of the description sort of fits Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (Hermes). Have you tried that one?

          And although honestly I don’t remember what this one smells like, for some reason Osmanthus Interdite (Parfum d’Empire) keeps nudging at my brain.

          Best of luck! Since you’ve gotten me interested in the unattainable Turquoise, I’ll also be interested to hear what your next best thing turns out to be. 🙂 July 14, 2013 at 6:57pm Reply

  • Jacinta: Hi everyone,

    Someone recommended me Prada Candy but I found that I hated it, to me it had way to much vanilla. I like light perfumes, perfumes that have sunshine in them. Although I really dislike flowery perfumes.

    Thanks again,

    Jacinta July 15, 2013 at 4:26am Reply

    • Victoria: Do you have any current favorites? July 15, 2013 at 6:08am Reply

    • Cybele: Sunshine -in my perception- have Jour d’Hermes, Promesse de L’Aube (Parfum MDCI), Chanel Eau Premiere and Cristalle. July 15, 2013 at 9:09am Reply

  • Sylviane: Dear all, I am looking for an alternative to Annick Goutal Passion. I like tuberose scents to be on the warm and sunny side, as opposed to Frederic Malle Carnal Flower that I find icy. Any suggestions ? July 15, 2013 at 6:22am Reply

    • leathermountain: Sorry, wrong Reply button again.
      Fracas? I’d call it sunny, among many other things I’d call it. (All of them good, ok, nearly all of them)
      Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia? I don’t know it very well, but it seems very tuberose and rather different from Carnal Flower. July 15, 2013 at 10:42am Reply

      • Cybele: I find PCTG rather green/cool as well. To me Beyond Love By Kilian is warmer. July 15, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

        • Sylviane: Thanks Cybele, I tried Beyond Love last night but find it still too camphorous ….I’ll keep searching ! July 16, 2013 at 6:10am Reply

          • Annikky: Arquiste Flor y Canto is even sunnier and warmer, I get absolutely no camphor nor ice from it. The only problem is the price – it’s an absolutely lovely scent, but also relatively simple. July 16, 2013 at 6:22am Reply

            • Victoria: I agree, very well-done, but you have many other great alternatives for much much less, starting with excellent Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia.

              Arquiste’s Boutonniere is unique, on the other hand, but Sylvaine wouldn’t like it, since it’s quite green. July 16, 2013 at 7:19am Reply

              • Annikky: Very true, I felt almost guilty mentioning it, but it probably is the sunniest tuberose I know. Although if it doesn’t have to be pure tuberose, SL Fleurs d’Oranger would qualify as well, I think (I’m talkin more about my idea of sunny rather than a substitute for Passion which I do not know well). July 16, 2013 at 4:13pm Reply

                • Sylviane: Thank you Annikky, I ‘ll give a new try to SL Fleurs d’Oranger….the last time I was bothered with the cumin note. July 17, 2013 at 5:20am Reply

      • Sylviane: Fracas is indeed sunny and creamy but slightly too ladylike for my taste. I will try PCTG when I travel to a place where it is available. Thanks for the suggestion! July 16, 2013 at 6:05am Reply

    • Victoria: Honore des Pres Vamp a NYC came to mind, because it’s creamy and soft, but not too heady. Tuberose has a natural minty-green accent on top, but some fragrances push it further.

      This is not a fancy niche brand, but I really like the tuberose in Madonna’s Truth or Dare. For that matter, I love Bath & Body Works Tuberose Petals, which is a simple tuberose with coconut milk. July 16, 2013 at 7:12am Reply

      • Sylviane: Thank you Victoria for your suggestions. The three are unknown to me so I am curious to discover them. I do not mind the non-niche brands. I really go for the fragrance and not what’s around it, name or packaging. In the case of Truth or dare, I would simply hide the bottle and never reveal what I am wearing ! ; ) July 17, 2013 at 5:16am Reply

        • Victoria: I know, I could care less about the brand either. Some people though don’t like the idea of wearing celebrity fragrances, which I can understand. On the other hand, to speak roughly, they all come from the same vat as all others. It’s just the label that’s different. July 17, 2013 at 8:51am Reply

  • Isis: Dear Sylviane,

    Can I ask why you want an alternative to Passion? You caught my attention because I have been in and out of love with Passion for a while. I’d want it to be my signature scent – even if only for the sake of its name – but we don’t always get along. July 15, 2013 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Sylviane: Dear Isis, Well that’s a good question…. the truth is I enjoyed Passion passionately (!) when I was a single-perfume type of woman. So I wore nothing else for years and this smell is now the signature of a bygone era… and I do not want to look back. I sniffed it recently and found it as beautiful as ever. I think it is truly a signature sent. Its longevity is great on the skin and on fabric and it suits almost every season. Could be a bit cloying in very hot wheather altough its exotic vibe goes well with the heat. To me it has even a very slight suntan cream fragrance when it melts into the skin. So, that’s why I am looking for something close, but not quite the same.
      But I am happy to know that it is enjoyed by others. July 16, 2013 at 5:38am Reply

  • Lauren: Hi all,

    I’ve lately come to realize the affection I have for the icy feeling of mintiness..

    From the mint chocolate chip ice cream I have loved since my childhood to the mint teas I adore to eucalyptus trees that grew in the garden of my childhood home to the peppermint lotion I use every morning that makes my skin feel tingly, cold, and refreshed..

    I now wonder if there is a perfume that could make me feel this way. Is there any perfume that would be likely to give me that cold and refreshing feeling? (I also should add that I hope to spend somewhere from $80-150 on a perfume.)

    Any ideas?


    Lauren July 15, 2013 at 5:23pm Reply

    • Maren: Hi Lauren, L’Occitane has just released a verbena mint EdT that a co-worker just had me sniff today. It is very pleasant and refreshing and very reasonably priced. I can just imagine a nice spritz of it fresh from being stored in the fridge and how nice that would be. July 15, 2013 at 8:46pm Reply

      • Leathermountain: Am I a broken record, recommending Parfums de Nicolai’s L’Eau MiXte again? That minty top just slays me in this heat.

        I am starting to fall for Union’s Quince, Mint, and Moss. I think the 100mL is outrageously priced. I’ve been playing with the $75 collection of 5mL rollerballs, one each of their first four scents, including QMM and some fascinating and completely different fragrances as well. July 16, 2013 at 2:06pm Reply

    • Isis: Goutal’s Ninfeo Mio? Its not a mint perfume but it is beautifully green and refreshing and I get the same kick out of it that I get from mint icecream. July 16, 2013 at 4:03am Reply

      • Leathermountain: Or Nuit Etoilee, discussed above. July 16, 2013 at 2:07pm Reply

    • Elia: Very irresistible for men by Givenchy has a strong gourmand mint mixed with nutty coffee. July 16, 2013 at 4:20am Reply

      • Elia: Oh and Coup de Coeur by L’Antichabre opens with a lovely fleshy herbal mint. July 16, 2013 at 5:26am Reply

        • Leathermountain: Fleshy mint! Now I’m interested, too! July 16, 2013 at 2:08pm Reply

          • Elia: Fleshy in that it’s adorned by other full bodied herbs.
            I’m all out of sample vials, and my restock went mia, but if I ever get my shipment, I could siphon of a tiny sample of it for you. July 17, 2013 at 4:05am Reply

    • Victoria: Also Guerlain Herba Fresca and Jo Malone White Jasmine Mint. July 16, 2013 at 7:12am Reply

    • george: Lauren I like the idea of feeling incredibly refreshed by perfume but think the best way to experience that is from a shower gel sold as an ancillary product to a perfume. I haven’t tried it but there is a shower gel in the malle range for geranium pour monsieur. I think that must be divine, and if anyone has tried it please let me know if that’s the case. (Victoria I would love for you to do a review of some of the malle ancillary products, btw) The perfume is mint, geranium and sandalwood, but very unisex and unique.
      In terms of a fresh feeling perfume, herba fresca is great recommend. In terms of something minty, comme de garcon did a very green peppermint perfume at one point. In terms of a suggestion you might like aside from all that, how about lime, mandarine and basil by Jo Malone. In terms of a perfume titled in a way that fits directly with your request, how about Menthe Fraiche by James Heeley (which I have not tried) but whose aims seem you be your own. July 16, 2013 at 2:36pm Reply

      • Victoria: Onto the list it goes, George! July 16, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

      • leathermountain: I second Geranium Pour Monsieur, except that 50mL is $170. Shower gel is $75 for 200mL. July 16, 2013 at 10:39pm Reply

  • Vanessa: Hello,

    I am very attached to the honeysuckle flower. Does anyone have any ideas as to which the best honeysuckle inspired perfumes are?

    Thank you,

    Vanessa July 15, 2013 at 6:01pm Reply

    • Victoria: My favorite is Annick Goutal Le Chevrefeuille. I used to love Marc Jacobs Blush, but it’s now discontinued. July 16, 2013 at 5:39am Reply

  • Maren: Being new to trying out different fragrances, I’m hoping this isn’t something that is obvious. I would like to explore some rose fragrances, but not so much the darker side with patchouli. Not that I don’t care for patchouli, I’m just looking for something lighter, with a bit of spice to it, perhaps like a true summery rose? Maybe something with sandalwood instead of the heavier patchouli accent. It could be that what I’m thinking of is a soliflore, but the best I can describe is that I would like it to be a light summer rose with a bit of spice to it. Thanks! July 15, 2013 at 8:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: So many to choose from that I almost don’t know where to begin. Have you tried L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore? For some reason, it came to mind first, as it’s a very bright composition, not so heavy on spice, but with some discreet touches of saffron and pepper.

      Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie is woodier, spicer, but not heavy.

      Parfums d’Empire Eau Suave is a rose touched with spices. Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme makes the now classical rose-oud combination sheer.

      Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau is not a rose soliflore, but the green notes give it an interesting twist.

      And then of course, you have Parfums de Rosine: Rose d’Ete (fruity rose), Un Zest de Rose (mint, rose, tea–my favorite).

      Hermes Rose Ikebana is expensive and doesn’t last well on me, but I know that many enjoy it very much and it has a big fan base around here. While it lasts, it’s certainly wonderful.

      Stella McCartney Stella flankers, especially anything that promises to be light, are very good. Balenciaga Paris L’Eau is a very pretty rose, definitely worth checking out. Cartier de Lune is another option. July 16, 2013 at 5:48am Reply

      • Maren: Oh my Victoria, what a wonderful list to explore. I knew it was probably a huge broad question, so I really appreciate you narrowing down the list for this inexperienced nose of mine! Such a very thoughtful reply. I’m actually wearing a sample of Atelier Rose Anonyme right now that I am enjoying quite a bit, so I think your list must be right on track of what I have in mind. I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from your knowledgeable and beautiful writing already. Thanks for sharing! July 16, 2013 at 7:26pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’m happy to help, Maren, and please let me know how the search goes and what you end up liking/disliking.

          Another rose I like is L’Eau de Chloe, which is fresh, green, a little mossy. It’s not too spicy though, which is why I was reluctant to mention it at first. But since it’s easy to find, maybe you could give it a sniff too. July 17, 2013 at 3:27am Reply

          • Maren: I will do that! I know I said I was thinking not a patchouli-rose, but I am okay with it if the patchouli isn’t heavy. So I’m wondering what you think about the new Marni fragrance. It is described as a spicy incense rose that is light. I do seem drawn greener scents so L’eau de Chloe sounds good too! July 18, 2013 at 1:31am Reply

        • rainboweyes: Oh, I love that list too. Great recommendations!
          I’m not a great rose lover but I do appreciate the beauty of the scents mentioned.

          I would like to add another two suggestions – Parfums Del Rae Coup de Foudre – a fresh and sparkling rose, and Byredo Rose Noir – a lovely rose with citrus, amber and oakmoss notes.

          And then there is of course Perles de Lalique, my absolute favourite with pepper and orris root… July 17, 2013 at 1:30pm Reply

          • Maren: Thank you for the suggestions rainboweyes! My list just got excitingly longer, and I’m really intrigued by your suggestion of the Lalique with pepper and orris root! Sounds great. July 18, 2013 at 1:46am Reply

  • Sil: Hello, everyone! I’m very new to this world, and even though it feels a little overwhelming, I’m enjoying the discovery of all the different scents that can be combined.

    It’s been a while since my last purchase, and I’m feeling the need to add a new fragrance to my days, so I thought I’d ask for your advice.
    I’ve noticed that I enjoy white florals the most, but I’m open to try different things. To give you an idea of my tastes, my favorite scents are Valentina (Valentino) and Absolutely Irresistible (Givenchy). Most of the parfums I’ve liked are from Dior and Givenchy. And to give you an idea from what I don’t like, I tried the Nº5 from Channel, and I didn’t liked it. It felt too mature to me, like something my mom would like (and she did!).

    I have trouble with longevity (I’m looking at you, YSL!), and I think my skin’s pH must be different, because some of the scents I’ve tried have changed so much, that they ended up smelling bad.

    Sadly, where I live I can only find the most popular brands, so it’s very difficult to find most of the brands you’ve recommended here.
    That’s why I’d appreciate any recommendation that wouldn’t be very hard to find.

    Thanks all for your help!
    Sil July 15, 2013 at 8:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you like white florals, you will have no trouble finding excellent options among the popular brands. For instance, Marc Jacobs for Her, J’Adore Le Jasmin (it also has other things besides jasmine), Chanel Gardenia and Beige (both are light and pretty, Beige is muskier, more of a skin scent). Have you tried Pleats Please or See by Chloe? I’ve been wearing them lately, and they are very pretty and good alternatives to Valentina. Another option that came to mind is Marc Jacobs Daisy and its flanker So Fresh.

      Please let us know how the search goes! July 16, 2013 at 7:16am Reply

      • Sil: Thanks for the recommendations! I’ll have to try the ones from Marc Jacobs. I’ve seen then at the mall, but they never caught my attention before.
        Sadly, we don’t get either Gardenia nor Beige here, but I tried the Chance range the other day, and I really liked the Eau de Parfum.
        Thanks again for your help ! July 22, 2013 at 10:53am Reply

  • Isis: I would like to add another question to the series of find-me-a-replacement-for-my-discontinued-favorite… I have used Gucci Eau de Parfum (brown juice in a heavy clear glass bottle) as a signature scent for years – a gift from my boyfriend, who is now my husband. It has been discontinued and I never found anything quite like it. I find it ultrasexy and warming and feminine and fantastic, and I would love to find something similar. Does anyone know a perfume that sort of resembles it? July 16, 2013 at 8:09am Reply

    • Victoria: That was an interesting perfume, and it had such an intriguing combination of iris, orange blossom and cumin. I don’t know if anything identical, but you might like both to explore Tom Ford’s fragrances (Ford was the creative director behind this launch) as well as perfumes by Daniela Andrier, the perfumer who created Gucci. Her Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue is not as dark and spicy, but you will find the familiar orange blossom and iris duo.

      Another option is just to look at other floral orientals like Rochas Tocade, Sacrebleu by Nicolai, etc. July 17, 2013 at 3:03am Reply

      • Isis: Thank you Victoria. I will do all of that. Taking a deep breath and trying to let go of my frustration over the fact that they would dicontinue something that lovely. July 17, 2013 at 4:15pm Reply

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