Recommend Me a Perfume May 2017

Our May “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is now open. You can use this space to ask any questions about perfume, including fragrance recommendations, and of course, share your discoveries.

How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

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

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Sasha: Oh I am so excited to get expert guidance from this group.

    I am looking for a sophisticated but everyday year-round scent, and I am still trying to get a handle on my taste. Scents I have loved include: L’Ombre dans L’Eau, Tommy Girl, Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess, and A Lab on Fire Paris*LA. Low sillage/skinscents are fine or even preferable, but I want it to be long-lasting. I tend to not like amber or wood scents; they make me think of being in a stuffy room.

    I am 28 and work in an unglamorous technical profession that I love; perfume is a way of giving my days a little secret pizzazz. May 5, 2017 at 8:09am Reply

    • Sasha: Oh – I also love Lutens Jeaux de Peau. Am looking for something relatively budget-friendly but willing to splurge for The Perfect Thing. May 5, 2017 at 8:13am Reply

      • Aurora: I second Katya re Miller Harris. Have you tried their Cassis en Feuille? It shares some notes with l’Ombre dans l’Eau and you might like it. May 5, 2017 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Katya: Hey Sasha,

      You mention Diptyque, have you tried anything else from them? Do Son is something I find really lovely, and it is a very beautiful white floral. Nothing to do with l’Ombre dans l’eau, though.

      I also think, if you have a chance, I would really recommend Miller Harris as a brand. I bought “Fleurs de Sel” blind off ebay (because of the review here) and I don’t regret it, and their range is a good price per ml. For you, I’m thinking you might enjoy L’Eau Magnetic, Noix de Tubereuse or maybe Citron Citron. If you’re UK-based, they sell this scent sampler set that also gets you a discount on 100ml fragrances. May 5, 2017 at 10:16am Reply

      • Trudy: I agree Do Son is lovely. It has a “feel” to it I can’t explain but I know it the minute I smell the fragrance. I find LaChase aux Papillons has a similar feeling. Both so lovely. I’m not familial with l’Ombre dans, but based the other fragrances mentioned make me want to check that one out. I understand it is different from Do Son. May 5, 2017 at 1:17pm Reply

    • Figuier: If you liked L’Ombre dans L’eau and also Jeux de Peau, have you tried Diptyque’s Florabellio and Eau Duelle? They’re both quite muted but longlasting, have some gourmand & some floral notes, but not too much of either, and are somehow both distinctive and easy-to-wear.

      If you liked the milder end of the Lutens spectrum, maybe Daim Blond would appeal? May 5, 2017 at 11:41am Reply

    • Elisa: It’s not cheap but something tells me you would like Eau de Magnolia. Another great office scent is Chanel Beige. May 5, 2017 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Courant: A budget perfume that has something of Jeux de Peau in it is Nina Ricci’s L’Air-I hasten to add this is not like L’Air du Temps May 5, 2017 at 4:27pm Reply

    • Kate: Your taste seems to be pretty varied, but my favorite skin scent of late is Maison Margiela Lazy Sunday Morning. Also, if you liked L’Ombre and need something less big, Eau Rose is a must. May 5, 2017 at 10:36pm Reply

    • spe: Knot by Bottega Venetta. Sophisticated orange blossom with some retro type glamour. May 6, 2017 at 10:23am Reply

    • limegreen: Hi Sasha,
      Have you tried L’Ombre Dans L’eau in the eau de parfum? It’s longlasting and has a smoother sillage than the edt. It’s more expensive but also at 75 ml, lasts a while.
      Budget friendly note, there’s a limited edition of the Edt in 30 ml available right now, if you want to try it for a while as a signature and switch up later.

      There’s a wonderful similar tomato viney aspect to Hermes Jardins Sur le Nil, you might give it a whirl as a signature scent. May 6, 2017 at 5:44pm Reply

  • Eudora: Hello, looking for a perfume or edt for my in-law. She loves Calvin Klein Euphoria, Lolita Lempicka, Narciso Rodriguez and La vie est belle. Good sillage is a must and I am on a budget. I was thinking about Cacharel Amour Amour… Any thought? Thanks! May 5, 2017 at 8:12am Reply

    • epapsiou: Tea Rose by perfumer’s Workshop. Inexpensive great rose May 5, 2017 at 9:52am Reply

      • Eudora: Thanks! Never heard about it, I cannot find it in my country. But in my next trip to the US I will try it for sure! I love roses! May 5, 2017 at 10:17am Reply

    • briony: A lot of the Cacharel ones are lovely – Lou Lou, Noa, Anais Anais. Also Gorilla perfumes from Lush are great too and budget-friendly. May 5, 2017 at 10:12am Reply

      • Eudora: Thanks! I must try Gorilla perfumes. There is a Lush store in my city, only one but when I go around the smell is sooo overwhelming….and is soooo crowded with teens. But if you recommend there I’ll go. Thanks! May 5, 2017 at 10:22am Reply

        • SilverMoon: hello Eudora, I second the Cacharel perfumes, especially Lou Lou. Another excellent affordable one is Tommy Girl. It is by the well known perfumer Calice Becker and gets a rare five stars in Turin & Sanchez’s Perfume: the Guide.

          I agree that Lush shops feel crowded aythe smell of their soaps powerfully spill ontythe street. This makes shopping for perfume very difficult. One cannot really test in the shop (more than elsewhere). so, it’s best to spray some and leave the place to get a better sense of what might suit. They do have some good ones – I found Sikkim Girls interesting. it starts out oddly, but develops very nicely. May 14, 2017 at 12:39pm Reply

          • Eudora: Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll go to smell Tommy Girl. Maybe because it is very popular it never got my attention. And same with Lush, right?
            But you don’t know where treasures are. Lou Lou is very popular and lovely and very unique. Thanks SilverMoon. May 15, 2017 at 10:40am Reply

    • Katya: How do you feel about Armani’s Si? I had the Rose Edit of it (limited edition, except I think they brought it back now) and it reminds me of Lush’s Rose Jam. It’s a very sweet sort of rose, verging on gourmand, but it is very good. Also, I love Chloe’s Love Story Edp – more neroli based to me than anything else, but it raked in the compliments whenever I wore it. Both houses get distributed very widely, and as far as the UK is concerned, the price range is pretty decent.

      I smelled Cacharel’s Anais Anais and I loved it a lot. So that’s one if your in-law likes hyacinth. May 5, 2017 at 10:28am Reply

      • Eudora: Thanks Katya, I smelled Si when it was released and I remember it gourmand which makes it a perfect option for my in-law! I put it on my list. How fantastic, I go on a perfume hunt! May 5, 2017 at 10:51am Reply

    • Elisa: Original Angel or any of the flankers? May 5, 2017 at 12:05pm Reply

      • Eudora: Maybe, thanks! May 6, 2017 at 6:17pm Reply

    • spe: Miss Dior Cherie. May 6, 2017 at 10:21am Reply

      • Eudora: I’ll try it, thanks! May 6, 2017 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Katya: Hello,

    So I bought Miller Harris’ Fleurs de Sel blind because of the review on Bois de Jasmin (merci beaucoup, by the way) and I am loving it. I wanted something to replace my Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt and I am loving it for that. The only problem is – it is discontinued (NOOOOOOOO!) and I’m wondering whether you can recommend me any good salt-based fragrances.

    Right now I’m considering Profumum’s Acqua di Sale, except that is one expensive perfume to buy blind. Does anybody have it? What do you think? May 5, 2017 at 10:19am Reply

    • Wilma: Hi Katya,
      I am not familiar with Acqua di Sale, but here are some other suggestions
      I just tested the new Eau des Merveilles Bleue by Hermes yesterday and it is a wonderful salt-based fragrance. Also very elegant. This a more mainstream fragrance so perhaps you can try it out somewhere.
      I also like Heeley’s Sel marin, this smells very much like the sea (including seaweed). May 5, 2017 at 10:51am Reply

      • Katya: I love seaweed! (Well, when it’s mixed up with other things.) Thank you so much for the suggestions. I love basicially anything that makes me think of walking by the sea, anything bracing and rugged and powerful. May 5, 2017 at 10:55am Reply

        • kpaint: Annick Goutal Vetiver has a strong seaweed/salty note. I don’t know where you’re located but my local Nordstrom carries it. May 5, 2017 at 1:18pm Reply

          • Katya: I found it on Notino. I might give that one a try. May 5, 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

        • Julie Ellis: Hi Katya, I just received a sample of Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt…it’s got the sea feeling to me. I see where that’s already been mentioned but thought I’d agree that it’s nice. I also like the Lemon Malibu Blossom by Pacifica…’s refreshing and beachy. May 6, 2017 at 4:20pm Reply

        • Lydia: There are two new scents you might want to try. They’re very unique and not at all mainstream.

          Eiderantler from January Scent Project smells to me like a cold, windy day on the beach. It’s listed as an “Ivy Fougère” and although salt isn’t one of the official notes, it smells very salty and aquatic to me.

          Selperniku from January Scent Project does list salt as an ingredient, as well as milk and fruit. I also smell intense warm butter and something floral behind that. It may be the strangest perfume I’ve ever smelled, but it’s very compelling.

          Both of them are decidely unisex. The website currently has a great deal on samples, so if these descriptions intrigue you, you can try it without risk. May 6, 2017 at 5:14pm Reply

          • Lydia: Katya, I’m not sure if you saw my suggestion, but if you do end up ordering the January Scent Project scents at any point, be very, very careful with Selperniku.

            I got a little on my desk when I was spraying my wrist and a week later, after having tried to clean it off with oil, water, and alcohol, I can still smell it. Whatever it was the perfumer used, this stuff is strong.

            Also, after wearing it a bit, I can say that despite the description, it doesn’t really smell much of salt to me, just hot butter.
            )Eiderantler does smell like salt and beach to me, though.)

            Hope you find a great rugged, powerful, salty perfume. May 15, 2017 at 12:16am Reply

      • Trudy: Thank you for mentioning Hermes Eau des Merveilles Bleue! I have the original and it’s lovely but (for me) something seemed to be missing. Maybe this will be it! May 5, 2017 at 1:08pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: Another Fleur de Sel lover here! Miller Harris apparenly discontinued quite a few scents of their line 🙁
      To me, Sel de Vetiver by The Different Company would make a perfect replacement, it has a similar feeling to it. May 5, 2017 at 3:30pm Reply

      • Katya: Oooh, this is so exciting!

        I’m so sad to find a scent I love and it has to be one that is discontinued. May 5, 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

    • Klaas: The Different Company does a great Vetiver scent that’s deliciously salty: Sel de Vetiver. It’s very, very good, but I only recommend it if you like vetiver. Because that’s what you’ll get from start to finish. But crunchy with sea salt. A classic if you aks me.

      Parfumerie Generale also has a great salty scent called Bois Naufrage (French for driftwood), based on wood, salt, ambergis and again veitver. It smells like mediteranean air on my skin, but it’s a bit of a specialy act, so do not buy blind. Parfumerie Generale ships samples I believe. May 5, 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

      • Katya: I can’t find Perfumerie Generale anywhere near me, but if I can find a sample, I’ll be onto that. Thank you! May 5, 2017 at 3:56pm Reply

        • Klaas: For another mineral fragrance that will be much easier to find then Bois Naufrage: Terre d’Hermes by Jean Claude Elena! Have a sniff if you get the chance; even if it’s not your thing, it’s a very good one for ‘salty’ reference. It smells very different on skin than on paper in my case, so you might want to try a spritz on your wrist 😉 I haven’t tried the parfum-version, they say it’s excellent as well. Have fun! May 6, 2017 at 10:30am Reply

          • Katya: Just to follow up – got my hands on a sample of Bois Naufrage. Smells like a day on the beach though I cannot pick up on any of the salt notes. It could be that my nose isn’t that good at picking up the more subtle nuances but I smell fig and a lot of it. Which is actually great, and I think this is a different sort of beach to that in MH – the Black Sea to the Breton coast, if you will. Thank you! May 11, 2017 at 5:23am Reply

            • Klaas: I’m so glad you liked it! Interesting, on my skin it’s quite a mineral scent… there, the importance of always trying a fragrance before you take someone elses word for it 😉 It’s such a personal experience! Enjoy… May 11, 2017 at 7:29am Reply

    • Malmaison: What about Bobbi Brown Beach? It’s got suntan lotion mixed with the salt but definitely gives off a beachy vibe. In the right mood it takes me to a sandy shore, in the wrong mood it can smell a little synthetic so it’s definitely not a blind buy. CB I Hate Perfume’s ‘At The Beach’ is an almost photorealistic salty beach smell – expensive and hard to get but absolutely gorgeous. I’m actually going to follow up some of the other suggestions here myself! May 6, 2017 at 12:18am Reply

      • Katya: Never tried either but they sound intriguing. I’m not so sure about suntan lotion part of marine perfumes but there are perfumes and perfumes. I need to smell more of them. May 7, 2017 at 4:50pm Reply

    • Maria: Reminiscence Rem is one of the most beautiful and sofisticated marine perfumes. I knew it for long but it happened that I smelled it on someone and I fell in love with it. May 7, 2017 at 8:38am Reply

      • Katya: That’s fascinating. Is that eau de perfume or femme de parfum or l’aqua? May 7, 2017 at 4:51pm Reply

    • Danica: Nox by Angela Ciampagna and Acquasala by Gabriella Chieffo are both really interesting salt scents that don’t have artificial smelling marine notes. Nox feels like wearing bright white beach light and Acquasala has a mineral quality that makes it feel like experiencing a day at the beach. May 7, 2017 at 11:16am Reply

      • Danica: Also love Sel de Vetiver–truly gorgeous french perfume with an excellent salt note. May 7, 2017 at 11:30am Reply

        • Katya: Thank you! These sound awesome. May 7, 2017 at 4:52pm Reply

    • AnnieA: @Katay – It too might be discontinued, but pretty cheap at discounters: Midnight in Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels. Pretty similar to the MH, and a lovely bottle. May 10, 2017 at 6:18pm Reply

    • Ninon: Heeley Sel Marin is gorgeous May 17, 2017 at 11:14am Reply

  • Trudy: This is such a great forum for fragrance suggestions! I always enjoy reading all the comments and chiming in when I have something to add…mostly I’m learning from others. I am looking for a new summer fragrance. I do love a white floral (jasmine, tuberose, orange blossom, etc.). I also like a bit of citrus and/or that sea-beach feel. Recently I tried a spritz of Creed’s Jardin d’Amalfi. I found it to be beautiful however…it is very, very expensive and didn’t last on me. I’d like something along that line or something that combines the floral, citrus, beach-y elements would be great. May 5, 2017 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Katya: A lot of people love Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess. I’m not a fan myself but it’s a staple for a reason.

      I’ll probably be mentioning Miller Harris a lot around here, but have you tried L’Eau Magnetic? I smelled it once and I haven’t made up my mind about it but it does have a je-ne-sais-quoi about it that made it lovely. They also have one called Noix de Tubereuse which was a bit nutty for me but you might enjoy it. Also, Frederic Malle Carnal Flower is sort of how I would imagine a tuberose rampage would smell like. Very, very powerful, that one. May 5, 2017 at 1:36pm Reply

    • Aurora: Trudy you might like Yves Rocher Secret d’Essence Neroli, really worth trying and it won’t break the bank. Another citrus which I wear every summer is Eau de Rochas.
      Good luck in your search! May 5, 2017 at 3:21pm Reply

      • Carla: I was going to say Eau de Rochas too, love it in summer May 5, 2017 at 9:36pm Reply

      • parkerscout: Love love the Yves Rocher Neroli! I also would suggest the Annick Goutal “Un matin d’orage” May 9, 2017 at 5:53am Reply

    • Klaas: Hi there, well……citrus……white florals……beach……..not too expensive……Oh, my God: CK ONE! Why not? For a retro summer 😉

      It you’d like to try something a bit more sophisticated, Dyptique does a lovely, lovely Eau de Neroli that is flowery soft, light and breezy, without being flimsy or thin. Smells great ons clothing as well. May 5, 2017 at 3:34pm Reply

    • Carla: I don’t know that Creed scent but for summer I love a fruity floral from the days before sugar was added, like Calyx or Ca Sent Beau. Also Parfums de Nicolai does white florals and citrus “eaux” very well. May 5, 2017 at 9:35pm Reply

    • Trudy: Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions! I will be searching these out to try. I actually was able to get a sample decant of the Eau de Neroli today…very nice indeed. May 5, 2017 at 9:44pm Reply

      • Klaas: Isn’t it? Enjoy! May 6, 2017 at 10:31am Reply

      • Danica: Houbigant Oranger en Fleurs is an excellent long lasting fresh white floral with a pretty green underpinning. Van Cleef and Arpels California Reverie is a pretty, delicate white summery floral. May 7, 2017 at 11:36am Reply

        • Danica: Sexy tropical beach: Mahora by Guerlain. May 7, 2017 at 11:37am Reply

    • kpaint: Have you smelled Van Cleef California Reverie? It’s citrus (oranges) and jasmine. There are no specific beach notes, but it’s very summery.

      My favorite beach-y fragrance is Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude. It’s along the lines of Bronze Goddess, Terracotta, etc. but toned way down, and to me, smells like sun-warmed skin. May 6, 2017 at 10:35am Reply

      • Sylvia: Second on the California Reverie!
        Try Guerlain Le Terracotta too. Smells like sunshine and summer. May 11, 2017 at 11:05am Reply

    • Nina Z: Terracotta Le Parfum from Guerlain. It’s a white floral with a beach-y vibe, and is designed as a summer fragrance. May 9, 2017 at 3:56pm Reply

    • Janine: What about Come L’Amore by Bois 1920?
      Gorgeous white creamy floral with a solar beach note to it. Not sweet, just wonderful fluffy sophisticated notes. May 10, 2017 at 12:21pm Reply

    • Kharina: Everybody has given fantastic suggestions, niche and designer. I’m gonna go mental and suggest something crazy, the cheap and cheerful Jennifer Aniston fragrance which is California in a bottle, and for a cheap, but well made white creamy floral, the Fracas dupe – Madonna’s Truth or Dare. Noix de Tubereuse is beautiful, considering it’s a tuberose, it doesn’t come across as too sexified. May 15, 2017 at 10:08pm Reply

    • Ninon: VC&A California Reverie is this precisely May 17, 2017 at 11:15am Reply

  • Natalia: One of my all-time favorites is Gypsy Water by Byredo, and I am yet to find anything similar. I will appreciate any suggestions )) May 5, 2017 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Malmaison: Gypsy Water is one of my ‘default setting’ perfumes that I can always rely on to make me feel good, so I share your love for it! One that reminds me a lot of GW is Couvent des Minimes Cologne of the Missions, which to me is of a very similar genre but with more emphasis on vanilla than lemon, and a warm cedar dry-down. It’s recently been discontinued but I think is still around. It gives me the same feels as Gypsy Water, if that makes sense ☺️ May 6, 2017 at 12:26am Reply

      • Natalia: Thank you so much for replying to me! I really appreciate it. I absolutely agree with you – Gypsy Water always makes me feel better, lighter. It puts me in this very dreamy state of mind. My only problem with it is the poor longevity and very weak projection. That is why I’m trying to find something similar but with better performance. I have read somewhere that “Unknown Pleasures” by Kerosene is apparently GW on steroids. I’m trying to find it in Europe now. It’s a relatively new American brand. I’ll also try to find the one you recommended. Thank you so much for it! May 6, 2017 at 1:22am Reply

        • Lydia: Hi, Natalia.

          I’ve seen a lot of comments online that Colette by Tocca is nearly identical to Gypsy Water, so you might want to try it. (I haven’t smelled either of them myself, but so many people pointed out the similarity that I thought I should pass it along).

          Unfortunately, no one seems to think it’s stronger or more lasting than Gypsy Water, but Colette is less than half the price of Gypsy Water, so you might feel more comfortable spraying it more generously. May 6, 2017 at 5:38pm Reply

        • Malmaison: Hmmm … I’m going to the USA next week, must see if I can track Kerosene down! May 7, 2017 at 12:16am Reply

          • Natalia: See? This is a sign)) I read up on the Kerosene brand yesterday on Fragantica. Very positive reviews. The bottle design is also very cool, which is always a plus))
            I have decided to order a few of their samples from The Perfumed Court. May 7, 2017 at 1:43am Reply

  • Nancy A.: This is the second time that I approached a passerby with a fragrance inquiry. In both cases I was informed they were wearing a line from Molecules. Lovely!
    Apparently, it’s based on one’s body chemistry and despite gender sporting the particular fragrance determines the individual characteristics. Anyone familiar? May 5, 2017 at 1:13pm Reply

    • Neva: I suppose it’s Molecule 01 from Escentic Molecules. My daughter is wearing it and I love the smell of it on her. When I wear it, I smell only alcohol, except when I spray it on my clothes. Then it’s functioning for me too. May 7, 2017 at 6:30pm Reply

      • spe: I’m anosmic to it – have no idea what it smells like! May 8, 2017 at 10:57pm Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Yes, escentric molecules is the name of the line and I own eccentric 01 and molecule 01 as well. The latter serves to amp up whatever is used with it or simply your own scent, eccentric contains some other notes, its woodsy to my nose. Both are floating around after a while on me, sometimes I feel nothing then it returns and I received compliments from men when wearing them.
      If used together with another perfume, it amplifies its sillage on me.
      Worth ordering a sample before buying it. May 9, 2017 at 11:22am Reply

  • Amalia: I need a perfect substitute for the discontinued Kenzo Summer. Thank you. May 5, 2017 at 1:14pm Reply

    • spe: Hermes Monsieur Li. May 5, 2017 at 1:21pm Reply

      • Amalia: Thank you! I will check it tomorrow! May 5, 2017 at 2:54pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Amalia: I’m not sure anything could live up to your favorite, but perhaps another mimosa centered fragrance: l’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi, Guerlain Champs Elysees, Lancome Poeme or Prada Infusion de Mimosa. May 5, 2017 at 6:02pm Reply

  • spe: Your opinion, please, on any fragrance similar to Bandit. Cabochard is too harsh and leathery for me. Mito smells quite close. Also please specify your favorite version of Bandit and why. Thank you in advance! May 5, 2017 at 1:51pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: What about Jean Louis Scherrer? I’d say it’s a bit softer than Bandit (I only know the current EdP and quite love it). Also the new Dusita fragrance – Le Sillage Blanc – is supposed to be “Bandit with better manners” 😉 . I haven’t tried it myself, though. May 5, 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

      • spe: Thank you for the tip about Dusita – I’m not aware of this line! Scherrer and Private Collection give a plastic note with my chemistry, un fortunately. May 5, 2017 at 3:47pm Reply

      • Danica: Bandit with better manners? What about a dark green chypre? Creeds Irisia (Iris) or Frederic Malle Superstitious (Rose) or Jacomo Silences (feels like piercing green light)? Le Sillage Blanc smells like a basil bush to me. It has an airy quality and a peppery green drydown with a distinct basil note. May 7, 2017 at 11:43am Reply

        • spe: Danica, Irisia was my favorite Creed. It was discontinued when I checked a few weeks ago. Thank you for the Silences and Malle suggestions – will check them out this week. The Malle has a very long progression, much of it spicy up front. May 7, 2017 at 4:27pm Reply

          • Danica: Good luck on your search! I am going to find my bottle of Bandit and check it out again… May 8, 2017 at 12:08am Reply

      • Phyllis Iervello: Le Sillage Blanc is great! May 15, 2017 at 10:44pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello spe: Perhaps Etro Gomma for a lighter leather cut with citrus, or for a floral leather Diorling but you probably already tried it. I know only the ‘modern’ bandit, I admire but don’t love it. May 5, 2017 at 4:39pm Reply

      • spe: Thank you for the suggestions, Aurora – Etro is definitely a line I want to explore. Unfortunately, Diorling (new and vintage) wears “flat” on me. Bandit, somehow, soars. I get an edgy, feminine effect like no other, except Mito. They smell very much alike, to me. May 6, 2017 at 10:35am Reply

    • Carla: Knize Ten is not quite the same, softer yet stronger sillage and more suitable to cold weather only but worth a try May 5, 2017 at 9:38pm Reply

      • spe: Thank you, Carla – wonderful idea! Despite the high profile of Knize Ten, I’ve never sniffed it. May 6, 2017 at 10:38am Reply

        • kayliz: Cuir Mauresque is similar to Knize Ten, but softer, if you’re exploring that direction.

          I’m very intrigued by your mention of Bandit and Mito together. I love Mito and tried Bandit only briefly before deciding it wasn’t for me… am going to revisit that. May 7, 2017 at 7:22am Reply

          • spe: Well, it may be the voile de parfum version that jogged my memory regarding Bandit. This was not a side-by-side. I placed Mito edp and voile on different wrists in the morning. At the end of the day, I was wondering why Mito smelled so familiar – in a good way. It took a few moments, but then I realized it reminded me of Bandit. May 7, 2017 at 4:32pm Reply

  • Klaas: Hello dear people!
    I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for a lavender based scent…..I just love the smell of lavender, it’s so uplifting and relaxing. It must be those endless childhood vacations spent in Provence! I already have a few nice lavender fragrances: Hermes’ Brin de Reglisse (one of the best perfumes ever if you ask me) and A Taste of Heaven by Kilian. These are both leaning towards the gourmand and I would like to find a more stark, dry, dusty (even sharp?) lavander. So no vanilla, tonka bean or licorice this time. Any suggestions? Thank you! May 5, 2017 at 3:24pm Reply

    • rainboweyes: Gris Clair by Serge Lutens sounds like a perfect match! May 5, 2017 at 3:46pm Reply

      • Klaas: Ah yes, i know that one…..very classy indeed, but a little heavy on the tonka bean on my skin. May 5, 2017 at 3:51pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: It’s true, the tonka note is quite prominent…
          Maybe Grimoire by Anatole Lebreton would be worth trying then? May 5, 2017 at 4:40pm Reply

    • Aurora: For a straight up lavender, I tend to rely on the simplest colognes, my favorite is Bien Etre Eau de Lavande, very herbal with no sweetness, it’s really affordable and available if you’re in Europe but maybe more complicated to obtain if you are in the US? May 5, 2017 at 4:44pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Difficult question, almost all Lavender perfumes have that vanilla note. Le Male is lovely, but yes, it has vanilla. Jicky is my favourite, maybe you could layer with Eau du Coq in order to reduce the vanilla.
        Or maybe Martin Margiela Replica At the Barber’s. Has lots of lavender and is rather sharp.
        I still love Yardley Lavender…maybe too simple for you. May 5, 2017 at 4:52pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Azzaro Pour Homme is another lavender. May 6, 2017 at 9:00am Reply

        • Aurora: Hi Cornelia: What a good idea to mention Yardley. Me too I like their lavender very much too. This and the Bien Etre I use often in the summer, they are ‘true’ lavender. May 6, 2017 at 12:38pm Reply

        • Klaas: Hallo Cornelia! I love Jicky, too, but it’s another gourmand one, and I’d love to find a more simple, more robust lavender…..So Yardley……very interesting! Is it available in Amsterdam somewhere that you know of?
          Groetjes! May 7, 2017 at 5:54am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Hoi Klaas. Bij de Etos. Yardley soap, talc and Eau de toilette. (Ferdinand Bol of Nieuwendijk).
            Maybe there is also a lavender by Roger & Gallet (Parfumerie Marjo, Damstraat).
            Groeten! May 7, 2017 at 6:06am Reply

            • Klaas: Good old Etos…..that won’t be too hard to find. Thanks! May 7, 2017 at 6:14am Reply

      • Klaas: What an excellent idea! I actually know this one, it’s a French pharmacy classic! I’ll be driving through France this summer and will defenitely check it out. Thanks! May 7, 2017 at 5:50am Reply

    • kat: Bvlgari Thé Bleu should fit the bill, absolutely not a gourmand scent: no tonka, no vanilla. Just lavender, tea, shiso, violet, iris and a bit of musk. Shiso and tea give it a bit of minty sharpness. It’s my go-to, feel good and relax-scent. Only downside: longevity. May 5, 2017 at 5:16pm Reply

      • Klaas: Aha, Bulgari…..I haven’t checked out this one yet, will give it a try. It sounds very nice, thank you! May 7, 2017 at 5:51am Reply

        • Ingeborg: I have the Bulgari one. Like the other tea scents from Bulgari it does not last very long, but it has some projection. However, the lavender may not be sharp enough for you. It is not a medicinal kind of lavender IMHO. May 7, 2017 at 5:04pm Reply

    • john: I understand the desire for a sharper, simpler lavender. Caron’s Pour un Homme is always cited as the template for the richer & more complex Taste of Heaven, so that might appeal to you if it is not too similar. You might also try l’Occitane’s l’Occitan Eau de Toilette… It is the house scent for men, but could be unisex I’d imagine, and the lavender is relatively natural and uncomplicated… Supported by pepper, cedar, nutmeg and that tonka-y musk the houses uses for most of its older masculine offerings (you either like it or you don’t; I think it is quite comforting.) May 5, 2017 at 10:49pm Reply

      • Klaas: L’Occitane! I love the sound of that one, I’ll check it out for sure…..thanks John! May 7, 2017 at 5:56am Reply

    • kpaint: Now Smell This does a thematic challenge every Friday, and recently the theme was lavender. You’ll find lots of lavender perfumes and discussions:

      You can look at the daily polls for the week as well, as lots of people do the theme all week long and post their scent-of-the-day. May 6, 2017 at 11:25am Reply

    • Lydia: Hi, Klaas.

      Luca Turin wrote in his Perfumes Guide that Caldey Island is “the best lavender soliflore on earth.”
      I like pure lavender essential oil so much that I’ve never been motivated to get a lavender perfume based on it, but if I did, I’d probably look for a bottle of this. May 6, 2017 at 1:04pm Reply

      • Klaas: Let the quest begin! I’ll take Luca’s word for it 🙂 Thank you! May 7, 2017 at 5:57am Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: BTW, your quest won’t last you very long: The German company can send you a bottle within days… Also, talking about a quest – longevity isn’t exactly a strong point of CIL. May 8, 2017 at 5:59am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I don’t know where you live, Klaas, but your name points to NL or BE. Anyway, on E-Bay Europe you can always find a “Lavande Velours” by Guerlain (out of production) from the Aqua Allegoria range.
      I can recommend it: it has violets and iris but isn’t sickly or girly. It is wee bit sharp, perhaps even a bit strident, and it certainly has a lot of character.
      The Caldey Island Lavender is far softer and more floral (rose?). May 8, 2017 at 5:55am Reply

      • Klaas: Dear OWOS, I live in Amsterdam, indeed! Lavande Velours sounds interesting…… and strident sounds quite appealing to me, actually. But then I’m also intrigued by Caldey Island Lavender. On the brand’s website it said that it was only available in the UK, so I’ll definitively check out this German website. Thanks for your help! May 8, 2017 at 5:22pm Reply

        • Austenfan: What you can order directly from Caldey Island’s site is that perfume in an oil form. I haven’t tried it myself, as I have 2 bottles of Caldey. It’s a lovely, straightforward lavender on a musky base. It’s quite sweet but not so much so as for instance Caron Pour un Homme. All lavenders have a slightly sweet side to them. I happen to love it, but if you don’t it’s hard to find another interpretation. Nicolaï used to have an excellent lavender in Nicolaï pour un Homme (discontinued). It was quite green and strong. They also had Maharadjah, an oriental lavender with a rather harsh opening and a lovely soft spicy drydown. The perfume is no longer made but the fragrance still exists as a wonderful candle and probably as a room spray as well.
          Most of my favourite lavenders have been mentioned but the one I didn’t notice is Etat Libre d’Orange L’Antihéros. It’s nice. May 8, 2017 at 6:53pm Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: Ah, dus groetjes van Brussel! Het Caldey geurtje kan je zeker ook in de mooie Manufactum winkel in Keulen kopen. May 9, 2017 at 9:49am Reply

    • Hera: I love Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande May 10, 2017 at 2:46pm Reply

      • Safran: I second Encens et Lavande! So unusual and still so easy to wear imo. May 10, 2017 at 5:43pm Reply

    • Jane: Discontinued, but still available on line I think, is a lovely lavender in the Guerlain Aqua Allegoria range. Called Lavande Velours (Lavender velvet) it is bracing but has a gentle undercurrent of violet as well. It’s the closest I’ve found to the lovely smell you get from lavender bushes after rain. Also, although I’ve yet to try it is a lavender scent made by the monks on Caldey island; it is supposed to be very fine. May 11, 2017 at 5:29am Reply

      • Klaas: Hello there Jane, I checked for the Lavande Velours, but the offers I found are a little pricey. However, a small bottle of Caldey Island Lavander is on its way to my doorstep….thanks to OnWingsOfSaffron 😉 Can’t wait to try it! May 11, 2017 at 7:34am Reply

  • Julie Ellis: I’m thinking of something sunny or maybe golden…with a little woods mixed in. Any ideas please?? Thanks…I need a little brightening up. May 5, 2017 at 3:35pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Julie: Annick Goutal Sables equates with golden to me, immortelle (rather sweet) and woods. Do you know it? And take your question literally there is always Amouage Gold. 🙂 May 5, 2017 at 5:24pm Reply

      • Julie Ellis: Thanks for the suggestions…they both sound very interesting. I have not tried Annick Goutal Sables but will look for a sample. Just feeling the need for golden and glorious scents this time of year. May 6, 2017 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Tati: Hi Julie, Mimosa speaks sunny and golden to me. Maybe the pollen or color of the flowers? Anyway, my HG scent is Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie. The less expensive (and less complex) choice would be Mimosa & Cardamom from Jo Malone. May 5, 2017 at 6:28pm Reply

      • Julie Ellis: Thank you for the ideas. I’m wondering if Jo Malone’s other scents might qualify for golden….not real familiar with all her products. May 6, 2017 at 4:07pm Reply

        • Tati: I’m not a Malone fan in general as they are too light for me, although I do enjoy Orange Blossom and Velvet Rose and Oud. May 9, 2017 at 7:16pm Reply

    • spe: Your comment made me immediately think of Van Cleef’s California Reverie. May 6, 2017 at 10:42am Reply

      • Julie Ellis: Hi….I’ll look into the Van Cleef’s Calilfornia Reverie….thanks again. May 6, 2017 at 4:08pm Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Hi Julie,

      What about Jour d’Hermes ? It is liquid gold and uplifting too.
      Also Hedonist by Viktoria Minya. It’s pure joy in a bottle. May 9, 2017 at 6:55am Reply

  • Marcelo: Hello everyone. I’ve just come across some samples of oil based perfumes from Abdul Karim Al Faransi, and I was wondering if you could share your experiences, like how different is the application and the sillage from the alcohol based ones. The ones I tried haven’t impressed me much, but I confess I still am quite ignorant about perfumes in general. Thanks in advance! May 5, 2017 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Lydia: Hi, Marcelo.

      In my experience, the main difference is that oil bases go “off” faster than alcohol ones. However, the bigger companies might use preservatives that prevent the oil bases from going rancid (my experience with oil bases has mostly been with small niche companies).

      I think in general, oil-based scents should be used within a few years of buying, and defnintely not stored in hot-humid rooms (like bathrooms). May 6, 2017 at 12:54pm Reply

      • Marcelo: Thanks for the advice Lydia, I already keep them in a cool dry place, although I had the notion they would last longer than the alcohol-based ones.
        I also find that they last a lesser amount of time in my skin, again against my preconceptions. I definitely still need to learn more. May 6, 2017 at 3:03pm Reply

        • Lydia: Hi, Marcelo.

          I’m not a professional in the perfume industry, so you may be right and my experience with oil-based scents may be atypical. I’ve definitely experienced oil bases going rancid, but there may have been other factors I didn’t realize.

          I did have a tiny bottle of musk oil from the 60s that never went bad, but also many oil-based perfumes from the 2000s that did. Some of them literally started to smell like rancid cooking oil, others got what I perceived as a “thick, fleshy smell.”

          Hopefully if someone else here knows more about oil-based perfumes, they’ll chime in. May 6, 2017 at 10:14pm Reply

        • aurora: Hello Marcelo: What I have noticed with attars is that they seem to work best and project in dry heat – in Provence for me – so they are definitely Arabian perfumes made for that kind of climate. Hope this helps a little bit. May 8, 2017 at 6:00am Reply

          • Aurora: And yes, they should be used sooner rather than later, like you would with a body cream. There’s one exception for oily based product from my own experience: Youth Dew bath oil remains intact forever but it must contain preservatives that keep it alright and as a rule attars are more ‘natural’ and don’t. May 8, 2017 at 1:17pm Reply

  • AndreaR: Does anyone have a favorite perfume store in Rome? May 5, 2017 at 5:41pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Andrea: Santa Maria Novella is certainly worth a visit, they have lots of good perfumes. There are 2 stores in Rome (the original boutique is based in Florence). Also, the very good brand Lorenzo Villoresi (from Florence too) is carried by Castelli Profumerie in Rome. Enjoy your trip! I loved Rome when I visited as a teenager. May 6, 2017 at 12:57pm Reply

      • AndreaR: Thank you, Aurora! May 6, 2017 at 3:10pm Reply

    • Tara C: Mazzolari and Campomarzio are very good. May 8, 2017 at 2:03pm Reply

      • AndreaR: Thank you, Tara. Campomarzio is close to our hotel and that means I’ll have multiple opportunities to pop in and out. May 8, 2017 at 2:59pm Reply

  • Lydia: I think I’m searching for a perfume unicorn: fragrances that genuinely evoke the pre-war era of perfumes, but are made today. I want the time-travel moment I got when I smelled really old Guerlains and Patous, as though I’d walked into an Atget photograph.

    I know it’s not possible to truly recreate that experience with today’s ingredients, but I’m hoping some scents still contain a haunting suggestion of the 1920s and 1930s. (I know that’s a very broad category, but I’m leaving it general because it’s the time-travel that matters most.)

    I’ve come close a few times, but the perfumes dried down to a modern wood or even ozone note. If a perfume is described as Modern, Fresh, Youthful, or Clean, it’s not what I’m searching for; if it’s referred to as an “old lady scent,” it might be right up my alley. 🙂 May 6, 2017 at 2:58am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Please try:
      Profumo (Acqua di Parma)
      Panthère (Cartier). May 6, 2017 at 5:01am Reply

      • Lydia: Hi, Cornelia.

        I had a bottle of Panthère in the 90s and I very much wish I still had it. It’s not quite the pre-war vibe I’m looking for (I remember it being very 80s), but it’s beautiful and lush. I should check out the current version.

        I wasn’t keen on any of the Acqua di Parma scents I sampled at Blue Mercury recently, but I didn’t realize the line also has some richer perfumes (all the ones I tried smelled to me like modern, unisex colognes). I’ll definitely look for Profumo! May 6, 2017 at 11:50am Reply

        • Ruth: La Panthere from Cartier was just introduced in 2014, so it might be worth checking out. It is beautiful. May 6, 2017 at 3:20pm Reply

          • Lydia: Thanks, Ruth.
            The reviews I’ve seen for the new version are all over the place, which means I’ll have to experience it and decide for myself. May 6, 2017 at 5:52pm Reply

    • kayliz: How about:

      Bandit by Piguet (balsamic leather)
      Maai by Bogue (animalic chypre)
      Love In Idleness by Atkinsons (powdery violets)
      Parfum Sacre by Caron (rich oriental)
      Shangri La by Hiram Green (i wrote “spicy fruity chypre” here but that just doesn’t do Shangri La justice — well worth a try!) May 6, 2017 at 6:23am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Kayliz.

        I was horrified by Bandit when I smelled it in the 90s. I’ve since learned that the 90s reformulation is not so well-regarded, and I’m open to trying it again. (Also, my nose is a little more adventurous now.)

        I’ve never heard of Love In Idleness or Maai, but the descriptions look promising.

        I’ve read worrisome things about the Richard Fraysse reformulations of Caron fragrances, so I’ve been avoiding the brand (with sadness, because the descriptions of the original scents sound so wonderful, especially the spicy carnation drydowns). However, Parfum Sacre doesn’t sound like it’s been messed with too much. Victoria gives it a good review in her comparisons post), so between that and your endorsement, I’ll definitely give it a try.

        Shangri La has been on my want-to-try list for a while. Now I’m really looking forward to it! May 6, 2017 at 11:33am Reply

    • Eudora: I am on the same boat, I do love “old lady scents”. Actually I bought in the my supermarket this week Gloria Vanderbilt, a scent used by old ladies in my city. So I “dared” and I’m loving it.
      I agree with Cornelia, Cartier’s Panthere was a lovely retro surprise.
      I am very interested and will try the recommendations, let us know if you found or have found unicorns… May 6, 2017 at 8:18am Reply

      • Lydia: Hi, Eudora.

        OK, now I know I have to try Panthere again!

        How great that you rediscovered Gloria Vanderbilt. I haven’t tried it in years, so if I come across a tester or sample, I’ll give it a shot.
        It’s so funny that the term “old lady scent,” so often used dismissively, is for some of us a helpful clue guiding us to our favorites.

        I’ll definitely post about any unicorns I discover. So far, the closest I’ve come across were:
        – Pandora by DSH – vintage leather with a dry wood note. Unfortunately it also had a mild ozone note, but it was ignorable. And you can’t beat the name for a 1920s vibe (hello, Ms. Brooks).
        – Vert Pour Madame by DSH – a really wonderful vintage chypre. I enthusiastically recommend this to anyone who loves 70s chypres (I want to go further back in time, but also really love this perfume).
        – Noir Patchouli by Histoires de Parfums – spice, leather, and vanilla (and to my nose, a bit of amber, although that’s not in the listed notes). Although modern, it had a vintage feel. The long-term drydown was especially nice for this one. I woke up the next morning thinking, what IS that gorgeous smell? May 6, 2017 at 12:13pm Reply

        • eudora: DHS and Histoires de Perfumes are new for me and very difficult to find…anyway to my list they go. Thanks for sharing. As I mentioned about the bargain Gloria Vanderbilt is I forgot another budget friendly love of mine, Madonna’s Truth or dare. I found it thanks to Victoria’s review and love it soooo much. For me it smells elegant and vintage, sort of dark and with just the right amount of sweetness, perfect for cold weather. And no doubt reminds to Fracas -a queen of retro, sophisticated and “old lady” fragances. Check Victoria’s review. May 7, 2017 at 10:08am Reply

          • Lydia: Hi, Eudora.
            Just saw your comment about Truth or Dare.

            Sadly, it looks like it’s just been discontinued, but if I get a chance, I’ll definitely try it. May 13, 2017 at 1:12pm Reply

        • Tati: I love Noir Patchouli, although I love most patch scents. This one is more elegant, and I believe you are right, it does have a bit of vintage feel. May 10, 2017 at 2:38am Reply

    • spe: Miriam by Andy Tauer (haven’t sampled, but that’s what the press says), Mito by Vero Kern, Mon Parfum Cherie par Camille by Annick Goutal, Creed Rose de Bulgarie, Jasmine Imperatrice Eugenie, and Fantasia de Fleirs, Houbigant Quelques Fleurs L’Original. Not sure about the current state of Joy and Patou 1000.

      Please follow up! I’m interested in your thoughts! May 6, 2017 at 10:55am Reply

      • Lydia: Hi, Spe.

        What a great list! I haven’t tried any of those, and only Mito was on samples want list.

        I’ll definitely follow up with any positive results of my research – it’s going to be a fun year. I’m very grateful for all the suggestions. May 6, 2017 at 12:35pm Reply

        • spe: If you can find a Joy formulation that works for you, that might be best. That scent is unlikely to go away, it’s so iconic. May 7, 2017 at 2:07am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: I bought a bottle of 1000 edp recently. Still glorious. May 9, 2017 at 1:05pm Reply

    • kpaint: The easiest would be to buy vintage perfumes, but maybe that’s not what you’re going for here. (?) May 6, 2017 at 11:28am Reply

      • Lydia: Hi Kpaint,

        You’re right and if I’d started this quest 10 years ago, I’d have gone that route. But vintage perfume prices have gone through the roof and there are apparently a lot of scammers out there. If I spent three months’ savings on a bottle that turned out to be fake, I might be so upset that I’d give up on perfume altogether.

        Also, I’d really love to have a back-up “signature scent” that I come home to between other scent explorations. Availability of vintage bottles is too iffy for that. May 6, 2017 at 11:39am Reply

    • Aurora: I am thinking of Tom Ford Fleur de Chine for you (make sure to read Victoria’s review). It’s been discontinued not long ago so still available where I live in the UK for eg. Victoria taught me to compare it with Millot Crepe de Chine – a great classic perfume of the past, they share some DNA. May 6, 2017 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Aurora: Also, it might seem obvious but do you like Shalimar? Have you smelled the extrait recently? I love it and am familiar with vintage versions. It’s remained a best seller in France for a reason 🙂 May 6, 2017 at 1:36pm Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Aurora.

        Victoria gave Tom Ford Fleur de Chine’s a rave review, and between the two of you, I’m really wishing I’d tried it while it was still in stores. Unfortunately, it looks to be sold out everywhere, but if I ever come across it in some little shop…

        I’ve actually been thinking about revisiting Shalimar. When I was younger it seemed too traditionally powdery feminine to me, but I appreciate that perfume genre much more now. May 6, 2017 at 6:06pm Reply

        • Notturno7: Hi Lydia,
          You got lot of great suggestions.
          I just wanted to share that it’s possible to find a great vintage ones at a good price.
          In the last year I managed to find on eBay Caron extraits Narcisse Noir, Bellodgia and Nuit de Noel and they are all gorgeous. Just heavenly.
          The best is to make sure the seller has a lot of experience and a great feedback. I also always check if they accept returns, and I email them with my concerns, that way you’re safe.
          Regarding modern ones that have a vintage vibe, I’d recommend Fleur de Chine, Une Fleur de Cassie, extraits of Coco and Coco Noir, Rive Gauche, Chamade, Nahema, Vol de Nuit, Mitsuko, L’Heure Bleue (if you can get any of these Guerlains in pure perfume, they are precious, IMHO 😉), Arpege……. I’m sure I’m forgetting some great ones but the list just goes on.
          I even got an ‘old lady’ comment on Une Fille de Berlin -when my friend smelled the bottle only, as I was showing her what I bought.
          Please, let us know what you discover and good luck! 🌹 May 22, 2017 at 4:17am Reply

          • Lydia: Thanks, Notturno7.

            That’s good to know. I may eventually get the courage to try my luck at vintage perfume bids, although ideally I’d find some bottles at thrift stores so I could smell them ahead of time. (Then again, smelling the bottle tells you little – it’s only when you wear them that you really know what you have.)

            Your list of modern perfumes with a vintage vibe is great. I’ve seen references to “extraits” before, but never been quite sure what they are. Are they available wherever those lines are sold, or only in the Paris stores?

            I recently tried L de Lubin and loved it. And sure enough, reviews were filled with dismissive comments about “old lady scent.” Since the people who use that designation are probably wearing scents I don’t like, and attatching it to scents I do like, I find it funny. Although admittedly, I also think they’re being kind of ageist, which isn’t so funny.
            If only someone could come up with a term that describes those scents without being insulting about it.

            I will definitely follow up down the line. I really appreciate all the feedback and guidance! May 22, 2017 at 7:58pm Reply

    • Klaas: Hey Lydia, have you checked out Oriza Legrand’s website? They have been around since the 18th century, and have re-released a lot of their collection. I’m not familiar with their fragrances (I know just 2 of them) but they migt be of interest to you.

      I mentioned Taste of Heaven by Kilian in my own perfume request here. It’s an excellent, lavender based scent and is reminiscent of the old Guerlain classics. You might want to give it a try as well…….

      Also, there is Grossmith London. You’ll have to win the lottery first, their fragrances are very expensive. But having a look online is free 😉 Good luck! May 7, 2017 at 6:09am Reply

      • kayliz: … I didn’t dare mention Grossmith (Love In Idleness was a stand-in for Phul-Nana)… but that one, Hasu-no-Hana and Shem-el-Nessim are beautiful retro recreations, imho. May 7, 2017 at 6:31am Reply

        • Lydia: Thanks, Kayliz. Those are exactly the Grossmith scents I want to try. (And several reviewers use that magic complaint, “old lady scent.” A good sign! LOL)

          Looking forward to comparing Love In Idleness and Phul-Nana. May 13, 2017 at 9:03am Reply

      • Lydia: Hi, Klaas.
        Thanks for the suggestions!

        I have been slowly sample-ordering my way through the Oriza Legrand scents, at least partly because I am completely in love with their vintage-looking packaging and want one of those bottles on display. I was very disappointed by Chypre Mousse (on me it smelled like milky coffee with a half-cup of cumin emptied into it), but I think Horizon and Jardins d’Armide are going to be winners.

        I’ve been wanting to try the By Kilian scents and now you’ve given me a place to start. Lavender notes are usually great for me.

        Grossmith is definitely on my list (although a perfume would have to practically make me cry with love for me to pay that much). May 13, 2017 at 8:58am Reply

    • Karen A: Give Civet by Zoologist a try. Samples are available on their web site. Also, Une Fleure de Cassie by Malle has a vintage vibe. May 7, 2017 at 7:37am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Karen A. I’d been seeing some buzz about Zoologist Bat, but hadn’t considered Civet. I’ll put it on the list.

        I made my first exploratory pilgrimage to Aedes recently, and after about an hour of sniffing and spraying scent strips, I have to say that the Malle scents blew almost everything else out of the water (although Jovoy was a close second).
        I really liked Portrait of a Lady (more the first hour than the eventual drydown) and thought Le Parfum de Therese was a lot more carnal than Carnal Flower (although not especially vintage-y), but I don’t think I tried Une Fleure de Cassie. Looking forward to it. May 13, 2017 at 9:14am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Well I tested this kind of déjà-vu-scent the other day: “Khôl de Bahreïn” by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Perfumes. Iris, violets, in a very soft powdery and creamy base. It is sort of peachy in feeling, sexy in a slightly maternal way – which makes it retro, perhaps even old-fashioned, seeing it isn’t specifically marketed towards a pierced & tattooed 18-year old with an attitude problem. May 8, 2017 at 6:13am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, OnWingsofSaffron.
        Stéphane Humbert Lucas wasn’t on my radar at all and I could easily have missed it. Iris and violets in powdery, creamy base
        with a peachy feeling sounds great! I’ll look for a Khôl de Bahreïn sample to try. May 13, 2017 at 9:20am Reply

    • Laura: Hi Lydia, I would recommend Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle, which is totally inspired by the perfumes of the 30s and is very complex with a very sexy animalic component. One of my absolute favourites. If you prefer something less sensual and more prim than Aromatic Elixir by Clinique smells like an old classic chypre. May 8, 2017 at 12:35pm Reply

      • Tati: Love all the mentions of Une Fleur de Cassie, which is as close to a signature scent as I have. Never thought of this one as retro either, but maybe that is what attracts me? May 10, 2017 at 2:42am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Laura and Tati. That makes two more votes for Une Fleur de Cassie, so I’m definitely trying this one.

        I’ve been thinking about revisiting Aromatic Elixir and Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew. A lot of scents I shrugged off in my 20s are gaining new appeal for me. May 13, 2017 at 9:23am Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Hi Lydia,

      I have L’Heure Bleue EDT made in 2011 and I love it. It works for me slightly better than the EDP but both worth a try.
      Esprit d’Oscar by Oscar de la Renta is also a scent that evokes a bygone era. It is similar in vein to Apres l’Ondee which is quite fleeting in its current form (EDT only if I’m not mistaken) however still hauntingly beautiful.
      For richer scents: Patou 1000 EDP is a great choice. I also own Joy EDP but I mostly use it for my bath for a rich, relaxing jasmine heaven.
      I recommend Chanel Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancôme (unfortunately discontinued) if you like leathery scents in general. The current Bandit EDP also made my heart beat faster, to my nose its rather green than leathery. Jubilation XXV Woman by Amouage to me is similar to the vintage Mitsouko, I own current Mistouko extrait which is praised to be a good reformulation but I reach for Jubilation more often.
      Tom Ford Shanghai Lily is almost suffocating whit its exotic, bursting aromas but I would gladly die in the arms of this lady ha-ha 🙂 It was inspired by the movie of the same title made in 1932.
      I actually participated in a show 2 years ago playing an ageing diva who works in a club in the 1930s in Budapest. I wore Chanel no. 5 vintage EDT (with a small splash of extrait on my decollete). It really made me feel the ambiance of this era. If you like aldehydes, I recommend no. 22 by Chanel and maybe try the new Frederic Malle scent, Superstitious, which also contains them. May 9, 2017 at 4:55am Reply

      • Nina Z: Yes, Jubiliation 25 is a lot like vintage Femme to me. May 9, 2017 at 4:01pm Reply

        • Nina Z: Amouage testers can be had on the discount sites–wait for a sale–so end up being reasonable. And, yes, I have bought them and they are not fake. May 9, 2017 at 4:01pm Reply

          • Lydia: Thanks for the tip, Nina Z! May 13, 2017 at 1:17pm Reply

      • Lydia: Hi, Nora Szekely.
        Thank you for all these suggestions!

        I’ve been thinking about revisiting the current versions of Guerlain scents. Even reformulated, they may still have some vintage magic.

        I missed buying a bottle of the original Oscar by Oscar de la Renta, which I loved, because I thought it was too old for me then and I’ve been wondering if anything from the brand would be worth trying now. I’ll give Esprit d’Oscar a try.

        I have an 8-year-old sample of Jubilation XXV which I revisited recently, but oddly, all I really noticed was a strong oud note. I wonder if it was reformulated since it came out. Maybe I should try a more recent sample.

        All the others look promising as well. Can’t wait! May 13, 2017 at 9:36am Reply

    • Nina Z: You might want to check out Amouage, as their rich over-the-top perfumes, especially the early ones, as very vintage in feel. Try Gold Woman and Dia Woman for florals with aldehydes and Jubilation 25 for a fruity chypre reminiscent of Femme/Mitsouko.

      Also, check out Chanel exclusives. The new version of Chanel 22 is still very pretty, and 31 Rue Cambon is an unusual chypre.

      L’Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal is very like the old Chanel No 19, though warmer in tone. You could also check out DSH Perfumes.

      Dawn has done homages to many classic perfumes (so it depends on what type of vintage you’re looking for) and she uses very high quality ingredients. For example, her Fou d’Opium is gorgeous. A lot of my friends like Rendevous and Chinchilla.

      I heard that the latest version of Mitsouko is actually very good, but haven’t checked it out. May 9, 2017 at 4:10pm Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Nina Z.

        I just got a new sample of Gold, and I’ve been revisiting some old Amouage samples.
        The thing that strikes me most about Amouage scents is that they actually do evolve, unlike most modern fragrances I’ve tried. I’m often unimpressed at first spray, but then a while they open up and I’m mesmorized by their facets. And the ones I’ve tried didn’t dry down into the cold, stingy wood base so many other scents do. (And happily, no ozone at all!)

        I haven’t tried Chanel or Annick Goutal, so I’ll start with those you suggest.

        DSH is another promising direction for exploration. I tried the Chypre samples packet and loved Vert Pour Madame the most from it. I also tried Rendezvous, which smelled just like a an old attic or antique store to me in the best way. Chinchilla and Fou d’Opium would be great to try (I see some reviewers have said the latter approaches vintage Opium – wonderful!)

        I have a 90s bottle of the Mitsouko EDT and it’s what I reach for when I need to feel especially elegant. I would be delighted if the new version turned out to be anything like it. May 13, 2017 at 9:51am Reply

        • Lydia: P.S. I should clarify that I used to be quite familiar with both Chanel and Annick Goutal, but that was about 7 years ago. Due to reformulations, I make no assumptions anymore that I will love the same perfumes I used to, and I’m trying to treat them all as unknown-until-tried. May 13, 2017 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Mia: I recommend Francesca Bianchi’s The Dark Side. An absolute oldie but totally contemporary. Reminds a lot Caron Tabac Blond but with its own twist. Gorgeous! May 10, 2017 at 3:19pm Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Mia. I never heard of Francesca Bianchi, so that’s a great lead. I love incense scents.I wonder if anyone carries her perfume in the US. May 13, 2017 at 9:55am Reply

        • Mia: Dear Lydia,

          I am not sure but as far as I understand you can get at least a sample set from her website also to US. E-shops Annindriya and Parfumaria both carry the line and deliver (once again, as far as I know) around the world. Good luck in discovering new scents! May 13, 2017 at 2:23pm Reply

          • Lydia: Thanks, Mia! May 14, 2017 at 9:56am Reply

    • AnnieA: @Lydia – try Zoologist Civet, which smells like it’s made with all sorts of now-forbidden ingredients, but isn’t. May 10, 2017 at 6:24pm Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, AnnieA.
        It’s on my list! Evocation of forbidden ingredients is pretty much what I’m looking for. May 13, 2017 at 9:56am Reply

    • Wayward: I am late to the party, I know, but you might want to try Ombre Mercure by Terry de Gunzburg. To me it smells like a long lost Guerlain — plush iris and violet powder over a tonka-benzoin pâtisserie base, with more than a hint of Guerlinade. May 12, 2017 at 2:07pm Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Wayward! That’s another perfumer I’ve never heard of. I love iris and violet powder, so I will definitely search for this. May 13, 2017 at 9:59am Reply

    • Clair: I’m with you! I adored many Guerlains, Patous, and Carons. Have you tried any of the Eris perfumes? Night Flower, Belle de Jour or Ma Bete? The perfumer is specifically trying to create new perfumes with vintage references. Also Sonoma Scent Studio has some beauties: Jour Ensoleille is gorgeous if you like orange blossom, though steer clear of the perfumes with woody notes (as some can be too “clean” the result of ISO e super I think. Amouage, some of the Pradas and Diors, especially their exclusive lines which can be purchased as decants have that vintage but still contemporary feel, and Frau Tonis: little known or distributed outside of German has some gorgeous perfumes, especially Violet and Rose scents: Veilchen, Sminta, and Rose de France all easy and affordable to sample. Also, maybe too obvious is the Chanel Exclusif line: Bois des Iles, Misia, Cuir de Russie, etc. And Frederic Malle of course! Many of these seem equal to or greater than vintage in my opinion.
      I discovered that I preferred vintage just as clean, modern, ozonic, and solar notes became popular and later Calone, and large doses of ISO e super became ubiquitous. I might as well apply nail polish remover! But there are plenty of contemporary fragrances that use high quality ingredients. They do often cost more, but it’s worth sampling decants until you find the one(s) you love. May 16, 2017 at 3:43am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Clair!

        Your comment, “I might as well apply nail polish remover!” really made me laugh. I couldn’t agree more. I don’t want to name names because a lot of the perfumes I’ve reacted badly to are beloved by many others, but I pretty much consider extensive use of Calone, and large doses of ISO e super to be the perfumery equivalent of the replacement of NYC’s glorious original Pennsylvania Station with the 1968 monstrosity. (If that doesn’t ring any bells, just do a “Penn Station” image search and compare old and new – I think you’ll appreciate the comparison.)

        I recently read Herman’s book Scent & Subversion and loved it. I tried Night Flower soon after, and I did feel like it was intentionally evoking vintage scents, especially leather florals. I’ll try her other two scents soon.

        I am very interested in trying the Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances. The reviews I’ve read sound really promising. Thanks for the tip about the woody notes.

        What a coincidence that you mentioned Frau Tonis! I was just today researching German perfumers for a friend who is moving to Berlin, and I spent a while reading reviews of Frau Tonis scents. I’d love to know where you found samples of them. (It doesn’t look like there are any on the website, and I don’t see any US niche perfume shops that carry them.)

        I do need to revisit Chanel. I was very unhappy about the Chanel 5 reformulation – I’ve smelled that scent my whole life, and the changes to it are a kind of sacrilege to me. But I have no particular associations with the Exclusif line, so maybe I’ll find something worthwhile there.

        As for the malle scents, although I’ve been slightly disappointed by some final drydowns, the journey getting there was often wonderful, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be saving for some bottles.

        Many thanks for all the suggestions. May 16, 2017 at 11:08pm Reply

  • Andrea: Hello everyone,

    I’m thinking about purchasing one of the last bottles of Penhaligon’s Ostara because people keep saying thinks like ‘springtime in a bottle’ or ‘feeling of pure sunshine’, which is exactly what I’m looking for. I suspect some darker, spicey notes in there because it seems to be sophistcated as well, and that is sadly not, what I want. I want my perfume quite clean, maybe creamy and happy. What do you think? Could Ostara be worth the risk? (For fans: on are still some 100 ml bottles available. Please leave me one ;-)) May 6, 2017 at 9:15am Reply

    • Lydia: Hi Andrea,
      I adore Ostara, but I wouldn’t describe it as clean. It’s a rich, sweet white floral with a strong honey note, at least to my nose. I found it addictive in its richness, but I think of “clean” as being more sheer and light.
      I’ll post again if I come across a lighter, more modern white floral. Glad to hear you already found a few you like. May 6, 2017 at 10:27am Reply

      • Andrea: Thank you for your description, Lydia. I thought the effect was more yellow than white. Do you think, that’s right? I would much prefere it to be white. May 6, 2017 at 1:45pm Reply

        • Lydia: Hi, Andrea,

          I purposely wore Ostara today so I could answer your question.
          Although I usually refer to it as a white floral, I think the feeling of it is very yellow. It evokes pollen, honey, and sunshine to me. If these are white flowers, they have sunny yellow reflections on them. I think I also smell the green stems of the flowers, although it’s by no means a “green” scent.

          You might still like it, though. I would say if you enjoy sweet florals that are truly floral and lush, you might like it. If not, there are so many other lovely white florals out there to try! May 6, 2017 at 7:36pm Reply

          • Andrea: Wow, thank you Lydia. I hope it was fun. It really helped. I think I’ll order a decant first. Maybe I will be too late for a whole bottle, but that’s life. Thanks again! May 7, 2017 at 10:10am Reply

            • Lydia: Andrea,
              After this discussion, I am really curious to hear what you think of Ostara when you finally try it. I hope you get a decant.

              And I hope you find a lovely spring white floral that’s exactly what you’re envisioning. 🙂 May 22, 2017 at 8:04pm Reply

    • katherine X: Andrea,
      Nothing dark or spicy in Ostara to my nose. Its cheery, sunny and spring-like! May 6, 2017 at 11:18am Reply

      • Andrea: That is good news. Thank you, Katherine. May 6, 2017 at 1:38pm Reply

    • kpaint: I’d try a sample first. I hoped to love it after reading all the reviews, but it doesn’t really work for me. (Amongst other things it’s a bit too sweet.) May 6, 2017 at 11:30am Reply

      • Andrea: Hm, sweet doesn’t bother me. Thank you kpaint. May 6, 2017 at 1:39pm Reply

    • kayliz: I passed my Ostara on because I found it too much. It definitely is sunny, green and creamy, but it struck me as very concentrated — Lydia’s “rich and sweet” nails it for me.

      Are you after a green floral? Or could it also / alternatively be fruity? May 6, 2017 at 12:51pm Reply

      • kayliz: … or a white floral? May 6, 2017 at 12:52pm Reply

        • Andrea: I don’t really know. What I am looking for is a certain effect. I found it in Chanel No 5 L’Eau. It just cheered me up. But L’Eau is also getting on my nerves, because of all the orange-like notes in there. I can’t help thinking of Fanta although it is the grand cru of orange lemonade and I feel I’m really unfair here. A similar uplifting effect had Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger and maybe it’s the one, that I will buy. But Ostara will vanish… I’m quite new to Perfumes and I nearly can’t bear good perfumes vanishing without me knowing them…
          I want sunshine in a bottle, what ever it is made of. May 6, 2017 at 1:35pm Reply

          • kayliz: Well in that case here’s a mixed bag:)

            – South Bay by The Different Company
            – Osmanthus Interdite by Parfum d’Empire
            – Ylang Ylang Nosy Be by Perris Monte Carlo
            – Eau d’Ete / L’Eau Chic / L’Eau Corail by Parfums de Nicolai
            – Sikkim Girls by Lush (Lush also do one called Sun, but it’s big on orange and also not very lasting)
            – maybe J’adore by Dior

            Andrea, are you on It’s a great way to get hold of samples and decants — you can buy, swap or especially as a newbie sometimes be sent samples for free. If you register, I’ll send you my underloved Ylang Nosy Be decant (actually I’ll do that if you like even if you don’t register:) It just makes it easier to make contact privately.) May 6, 2017 at 2:13pm Reply

            • Andrea: Yes, I am on I’ll have a look tomorrow. Bis bald and thank you for this gorgeous list! May 6, 2017 at 2:30pm Reply

              • kayliz: Ah, super, bis bald! May 6, 2017 at 2:56pm Reply

          • Lily: Based on this comment I would say, Ostara might be a winner for you. I own Chanel 5 L’Eau and Houbigant Orangeurs en Fleurs (which is very similar to SL Fleur d’Orangeurs), and Ostara as well. So if we have similar noses…

            To your original question: Ostara does NOT have dark/deep notes like are often present in the “sophisticated” or mysterious or artsy perfumes. It is not powdery the way many traditionally feminine or elegant perfumes are, nor does it have any obvious oriental base notes. It opens like blooming daffodils and adds warmth and richness until it becomes a vaguely vanilla custard with floral accents. I sometimes get a salt note from it, and a muskiness that isn’t like most musks, very…floral? Like a very richly pollinated flower’s musk? It really isn’t like anything else I have tried. For me it’s a great love. But I also tend not to wear it past May, it is a little heavy for summer in my experience.

            But spring in a bottle? Absolutely. May 6, 2017 at 6:58pm Reply

            • Andrea: That sounds really great. I’m a bit worried about the ‘heavy’, though. Maybe I have to learn how to live with perfums that are discintinued… there is no help, is there? Thank you, Lily, for your description! It helped a lot. May 7, 2017 at 10:18am Reply

              • Notturno7: Hi Andrea,
                How much is Ostara you found? I got mine when it was discounted but if you end up ordering and you don’t like it, I can buy if from you, providing it is not more expensive then the bottle I got. May 21, 2017 at 7:20pm Reply

                • Andrea: Hello Notturno, I decided to not buy Ostara. On the perfume is 78 €, but I found it on, too for 100,58 $ and 20% off. Thank you for your offer! May 22, 2017 at 5:00am Reply

                  • Notturno7: Thank you for the website info. I didn’t know about them.
                    The bottle I got was on a great sale, around $50. Thanks for letting me know 😊 May 22, 2017 at 5:03am Reply

                    • Lydia: Notturno7, I just bought a bottle of Ostara on It isn’t discounted, though. (I wish I hadn’t missed the big sale – I’d have bought two!) May 22, 2017 at 8:01pm

          • Caroline: Also give the current formulation of Chamade a try. Prefer it to Ostara, but that may be because I often experience difficulty with the Duchaufours. May 6, 2017 at 7:41pm Reply

            • Andrea: I’ll do that. Thanks for that idea, Caroline! I wanted to try a Duchaufour because of the radiance his fragrances. May 7, 2017 at 10:24am Reply

          • Tati: Hi Andrea, I love the Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger but sometimes the cumin is too much. Have you tried his Fleurs de Citronnier? It’s lemon and honey, lighter and less complex, but sometimes that is just the right effect. May 10, 2017 at 2:56am Reply

            • Andrea: Hallo Tati,
              thank you for your answer. I’ll try Citronnier. I don’t get any cumin from Fleurs d’Oranger. First in Fragrance does’t list it so I hope there has been a reformulation, which would be a good thing for me. May 10, 2017 at 3:18am Reply

    • Michael: Have you tried looking at Jo Malone? The Orange Blossom Cologne sounds like it could work for you. Also, Ormonde Jayne’s Sampaquita, and possibly Champaca as well. May 10, 2017 at 10:55am Reply

      • Andrea: Hello Michael, I looked up the notes of the perfumes you mentioned and it looks like I could like all of them. First I’ll try the Jo Malone Cologne because it’s easiest for me to find. Thanks for your answer! May 11, 2017 at 4:59am Reply

  • Andrea: Oh, and I could add, that my search for a day time white floral was somewhat successful. You helped me find my favorits. Thank you all! It’s Van Cleef and Arpels Gardenia Petale and Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia, though the latter only on weekends… May 6, 2017 at 9:50am Reply

    • Andrea: Sorry, I used the word ‘somewhat’ incorrectly. Just skip it, please. May 6, 2017 at 10:03am Reply

    • spe: Beautiful choices, Andrea! May 6, 2017 at 10:59am Reply

    • katherine X: I remember your search! Gardenia Petale is a favorite of mine. If not too hard, would be curious how Petale differs from Lauder Tuberose Gardenia? May 6, 2017 at 11:26am Reply

      • Andrea: Hello Katherine, I think the main different is the start. TG has a strong medicinal top note that is really intriguing, but you have to like it, I guess. It stays for a while, too. Underneath there are beautiful, poudery petals, that are definitely white and ‘more real’ compared to the green and white impression that GP evokes. The sillage is much, much bigger. Somewhere I read, that TG’s character is one of elegance and aloofness, which I agree to. GP you rather wear for your own delight while TG is more of a statement that announces itself to your surrounding. Actually I can’t find a lot of similarities between the two perfumes. I hope this was helpful in a way. May 6, 2017 at 1:22pm Reply

        • katherine X: Thanks for taking the time to provide your assessment. Sounds like something I might like – including the medicinal note – but not sure about the big statement. Definitely need to check it out. Thanks again! May 6, 2017 at 1:54pm Reply

          • Sylvia: Katherine- I wear Tuberose Gardenia regularly. It is very ‘green’ in its opening for about twenty minutes. Then the floral aspect takes over. It is smooth and pretty and a little powdery. I don’t find it to be a statement perfume on me. It seems to go with anything I’m wearing or doing. It’s been a wonderful investment because it gets worn so much. Hope that helps. May 11, 2017 at 11:30am Reply

            • katherine x: Thanks Sylvia. Sounds like something I would like very much. Will seek it out! May 11, 2017 at 11:50am Reply

          • Notturno7: Katherine, I love TG in the extrait and use it mostly in the summer.
            If you like more muted gardenia, you might like Lutens Une Voix Noire. It has fruity top note that some liken to grape. I like it a lot!
            For tuberose, you might also like Songes or Fracas. I love these and wear them a lot in the summer.
            Good luck 😊 May 21, 2017 at 5:57am Reply

            • katherine x: Thank you Notturno! I haven’t tried TG yet but it’s at the top of my list. The Lutens intrigues me so I’ll order a sample next go-round. I must try Songes one day too – I see so much love for it. And Fracas is gorgeous – one of my oldest perfume loves. It’s so pretty and versatile – ranging from modern to classic – depending on the mood, dress, occasion. May 21, 2017 at 7:22am Reply

    • kpaint: Nice! I love Gardenia Petale. Have you smelled Cartier Baiser Vole? I have it in edp and the green opening of the VCA reminds me a lot of Baiser Vole. May 6, 2017 at 11:32am Reply

      • Andrea: Yes, I love Baiser Vole! Trying it didn’t remind me of Gardenia Petale, though. But I didn’t pay attention to the green aspects. I will try it again. May 6, 2017 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Lydia: Andrea,

      I just had a thought – have you tried La Chasse aux Papillons by L`Artisan Parfumeur? I think that’s a nice spring-like white floral with no dark spices in it. May 6, 2017 at 12:45pm Reply

      • Andrea: Hello Lydia, I own La Chasse aux Papillons and I like it very much. It’s really spring-like! May 6, 2017 at 1:06pm Reply

  • JulieD: Hi everyone, this is a hard one. Does anyone remember a fragrance from the early 2000’s called Cielo, by Napa Valley Fragrances? It was my “end all be all” scent, but it was discontinued several years ago. If anyone is familiar with it, have you found anything similar? May 6, 2017 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Surbhi: Just wanted to share:

    I recently got a chance to meet Frederic Malle. As much as I love his perfumes, I was also impressed by him !!!!! I also got a new bottle autographed and a note from him later when I received my package !!! Though I didn’t like the new perfume he launched as I am not a fan of aldehydes. May 6, 2017 at 7:53pm Reply

    • aurora: Hello Surbhi: How exciting for you. It’s good to know he is approachable. May 8, 2017 at 5:54am Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Hi Surbhi,

      Oh how exciting!
      I actually chose Superstitious, the new scent by Malle, created by Dominique Ropion, as my birthday present 2 weeks ago 🙂
      It is unusual as the top is aldehydic but the drydown to me is similar to Portrait of a Lady which I’m bonkers about. I wish my beautiful balck and gold bottle would be dedicated by Frederic Malle! May 9, 2017 at 4:34am Reply

  • poppy: cannot wear EDP now-too strong,gone back to EDP of my Après L’Ondée & L’heure Bleue;but my sense of smell is different & I think I like wonderful body creams,Nuxe at the moment
    love reading you all May 7, 2017 at 6:21am Reply

  • poppy: second EDP should read EDT May 7, 2017 at 6:22am Reply

  • Lizbee: Hi everyone.
    I’m in love with Ormonde Woman, though I’m not always in the mood for it. I do, however, want to smell it as often as I can. I’m considering purchasing the shower gel, which would allow me to indulge in the scent without committing to it all day, but I’m not sure what scent would work well layered on top of the Ormonde Woman shower gel during the warmer months. If anyone has ideas for me, I’d appreciate it! May 7, 2017 at 12:54pm Reply

    • Aurora: For the summer months perhaps the new Hermes Eau des Merveilles Bleue might work and I keep thinking about Hermes Voyage too as it shares some notes with OJ Woman. May 11, 2017 at 3:22pm Reply

      • Lizbee: Thank you so much for your response. I’ll order samples of both now. 🙂 May 11, 2017 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Cass: Hello!

    I’m a woman and in my early 40s now. For most of my post-college life I was sort of lazy and just wore two perfumes – Clinique Happy and Chanel Chance. However, my tastes have definitely changed and I’m not keen on either. I would love to find a few scents to wear and I don’t care about cost or brand. The only ones I love so far are Apres L’Ondee and Coromandel. May 7, 2017 at 4:50pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: A bit difficult to say, as you haven’t given much to go by – therefore a shot in the dark:
      Frédéric Malle’s “En passant”? May 8, 2017 at 6:20am Reply

      • Cass: Sorry about that – I tried to make a longer post but it kept doing a 403 error so I kept cutting and cutting!

        I’ve been thinking of trying L’heure bleue and Insolence in EDP. Basically trying to find a summer scent at the moment, and not a fan of too much patchouli or over powering Lily-like scents such as Lys Mediteranee or a very strong tuberose. I thought I might like Chasse aux papillons, but it’s bit too ‘sweet’ somehow for me. May 8, 2017 at 6:31am Reply

        • Surbhi: How about Eau de MAgnolia ? Vetiver extra ordinaire as you like coromondel. May 8, 2017 at 1:08pm Reply

          • Cass: Thanks, I’ll add that to my current ‘to try’ list that are similar-ish to Apres L’Ondee:
            L’Eau d’Hiver
            En Passant
            L’heure bleue EDP (hope to try tomorrow)
            Insolence EDP (hope to try tomorrow)
            Bruise Violet (sample on order)
            Violet Noyee (sample on order)

            Perhaps the Vetiver extra ordinaries, although it might be slightly more ‘masculine’ than Coromandel.

            Frederic Malle is a bit harder to get in sample form here, but I could gamble on the €35.00 10mL ‘refills’ I guess. May 8, 2017 at 2:08pm Reply

            • aurora: Lots of good answers but for a purple/violet perfume Serge Lutens Bois de Violette is really worth a try too. May 9, 2017 at 9:37am Reply

              • Cass: Thanks! I’ve seen that referenced in a few places, but samples have been hard to find here in UK. Will keep searching. May 9, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

            • Notturno7: Hi Cass,
              I’m late to this whole thread.
              Chanel Misia has violets and iris and it could belong to the similar category with Après l’Ondee.
              They are, to my nose, both romantic and shy. Beautiful!
              If you like Coromandel, as already suggested, you might like Coco and Coco Noir extraits. They are gorgeous.
              Insolence EDP is great but it has to me a strong tuberose. May 20, 2017 at 10:44pm Reply

        • AnnieA: @Cass – a light-purple-smelling perfume, if that makes sense is Bvlgari Eau Parfumee au The Bleu. May 10, 2017 at 6:46pm Reply

    • Nora Szekely: Hi Cass,

      If you like Coromandel (which is one of my last purchases too, I love it), I recommend Portrait of a Lady also from Frederic Malle. Chanel Coco extrait de parfum or EDP also may worth a try as that one is rich as well.
      As for lighter scents I suggest Coco Mademoiselle (all three versions) that one similar to Chance but has its own character.
      I also second En passant and L’eau d’Hiver from Frederic Malle, they are both sublime. May 9, 2017 at 4:29am Reply

      • Cass: Thanks for the suggestions. I’m having trouble tracking down samples of some of these (Frederic Malle anyway) in the UK. May have to try when I’m in London in a few weeks. 🙂 May 9, 2017 at 11:23am Reply

        • SilverMoon: Hi Cass,

          Liberty’s and Les Senteurs in London stock Fredric Malle. The latter has a delivery service that includes sample sizes. Not sure where you live in the UK, but some of the perfumeries in the bigger cities also stock FM.

          With respect to perfumes, have you tried Ormond Jayne? The shops are again in London, but some big department stores stock it. If you like light summer florals, then Sampaquita, Champaca or even Ta’if. Also, I love OJ Woman, Tolu or Nawab of Oudh. May 14, 2017 at 3:31pm Reply

          • Cass: Thanks, SilverMoon

            Yeah I live up near Manchester, but will be going into London from time to time for work. I went into the big department stores in Manchester and the only more ‘niche’ perfume shoppe I saw was Guerlain (lol). Looks like London it is for me! May 15, 2017 at 5:03am Reply

            • SilverMoon: Hi Cass, does the Selfridges in Manchester not stock some of the more niche houses like OJ? Certainly, their London shop has an extensive range of perfumes. Anyway, it’s always fun to browse around the London shops. Another good one for niche in the central area of London is Bloom Perfumery. May 15, 2017 at 5:32am Reply

              • Cass: Unfortunately not. Some of the Manchester City Centre shoppes are quite poor. Trafford has a better selection, but not in the mood to drive. Will definitely browse in London next week!

                On an unrelated note, I got my small bottle of ‘Bruise Violet’ today and do not care for it at all. I am aware that it has a lipstick fragrance as one of the notes, but had no idea it would be so strong. It just overwhelms some of the nicer notes underneath. May 15, 2017 at 9:23am Reply

  • Inma: Hello everybody,

    These days, during the weekends, I am trying a sample of Annick Goutal Tenue de Soirée. For me it seems to say: I am openly seductive and, yet, it is me who decides where is the boundary.

    Going on with my exploration of iris and, for the evenings, of an open – although not invasive – sensuality.

    I´d like to know your opinion if you have tried Tenue de Soirée or your proposals for going on with my exploration. I live in Seville, in the south of Spain, very soon it is going to be very hot here.

    Thank in advance! May 9, 2017 at 8:57am Reply

    • Sandra: I also like Tenue de Soirée, on me it wears close to the skin. The dry down is sweet and woody. I would rather smell this on the street then some fruity-sweet-bombs. I find it very easy to wear and like the dry down. I think they have a smaller bottle that won’t break the bank, if its less than 100 bucks its practically free these days!
      It sounds like you have a hit if it works on your skin. My friend also wears this and it smells completely different on her then me.

      If you like Iris No19 Poudre by Chanel is a powdery Iris, a bit retro. Prada also makes a good Iris. The one thing about Annick Goutal is that it its on the side of natural, and not so much chemicals as some other perfume houses. May 9, 2017 at 12:27pm Reply

      • Sandra: Or are you looking for something with patchouli ? May 9, 2017 at 12:29pm Reply

        • Inma: Hello Sandra, I’m exploring iris. And, yes, I´ll try No19 Poudre. These days I´m in love with No 19 EDP, I try it whenever I have the opportunity. So I´ll also try the one you propose, thank you.

          It´s very nice how you describe Annick Goutal, I love their perfumes. One of their saleswoman here in Seville loves perfumes. She explains to you every detail, and she talks about them in a way that I can only fall in love with all of them.

          That is also why I ask opinions from “outside”, so I can keep sensible! May 11, 2017 at 10:08am Reply

          • SilverMoon: hi Inma,nothing beats a knowledgeable and enthusiastic salesperson, but it does become difficult to stay sensible (as you say!).

            For Iris in warm weather, have you tried Penhaligon Iris Prima or F Malle Iris Poudre? May 15, 2017 at 5:37am Reply

            • Inma: Hi Silvermoon,

              No, I haven´t tried any of your proposals and they do sound very beautiful. I´ll have to buy samples of them, I can´t try those in my city.

              These days, for iris and hot weather, I am trying Eau Claire des Merveilles de Hermés. Iris is not the main thing, athough it is such a beatutiful eau. I read a review, that´s how I discovered it.

              I´ll let you know as soon as I try your proposals. Thank you! May 15, 2017 at 8:45am Reply

              • SilverMoon: I have not smelled Eau Claire, and will try it next time. If you can find Hermes in Sevilla, then they have two lovely iris perfumes – Hiris and Iris Ukiyoe (this is very light, almost watery, and great in hot weather). May 15, 2017 at 10:59am Reply

                • Inma: Hello Silvermoon! They don´t have Iris Ukiyoe, I´m afraid, they only have some Hermes. I love Hiris, it is beautiful. And I prefer it for the day.

                  I want something light but still overtly sensual for the evenings. That´s, right now, Eau Claire to me. It is warm and sensual skin, or I feel it that way. Not intoxicating though.

                  Iris, iris, iris.

                  Thank you! May 18, 2017 at 10:52am Reply

  • Liezl Harmse: I would appreciate proposals for a classic fragrance. I enjoy Chanel Bois de Isles, Chanel Misia and Geurlain Shalimar Souffle and Diptyque Eu Mohelli. I look forward to your suggestions. May 10, 2017 at 6:35am Reply

    • Sandra: If you like BdI by Chanel, have you tried Samsara by Guerlain? May 10, 2017 at 11:24am Reply

      • Liezl Harmse: Oh yes another favourite of mine. I also love the small perfume bottle. May 10, 2017 at 2:32pm Reply

        • Sandra: If you have already explored the classics from Guerlain and Chanel, maybe try perfumes from Annick Goutal? She has many that have a classic retro feel. Also Hermes.

          Amouage is also a great house, Gold being their most well knows.

          If you like Misia, Malle has Lipstick Rose and others that have a classic style. May 10, 2017 at 2:46pm Reply

          • Liezl Harmse: Great. I look forward to it! May 10, 2017 at 2:55pm Reply

            • Sandra: My favorite, since you don’t mind powder is Iris Poudre from the F. Malle line
              Annick Goutal I like Heure Exquise, very Chanel like. Also try there new one with the pompom, I was skeptical but really loved it. May 10, 2017 at 5:21pm Reply

    • Aurora: Also, I think you might enjoy vintage Hermes Caleche, like BdI it has aldehydes and woods. (the modern one is nice but very different and very soapy I find). May 10, 2017 at 2:28pm Reply

  • Alexa: Any recommendations for pharmacies in London that sell lesser-known fragrances and beauty products from Europe? I’m hoping to find things that would not be available in department stores. Thank you! May 10, 2017 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Pearl Pharmacy, D.R. Harris, Content (mostly organic beauty brands) are very good, but two of my favorites are John Bell & Croyden and Zen. If I’m not mistaken, the first one is in Marylebone and the other one is in Knightsbridge. May 10, 2017 at 10:18am Reply

      • Alexa: Thank you, Victoria! These sound like great options. I’ll be sure to report back. May 11, 2017 at 7:37am Reply

        • Victoria: Oops, I just noticed a typo. It’s Pearl, not Pear, Pharmacy. The address is 31 Clapham High Street. May 11, 2017 at 8:03am Reply

      • SilverMoon: hi Victoria, oddly I have never heard of the John Bell & Croyden. I checked their website and will drop in next time in London. Many thanks for the suggestion! May 15, 2017 at 11:02am Reply

  • Trishd: I am looking for a budget substitute for Diorissimo for a friend who is a pensioner on a restricted income. She has tried Yardley Lily of the Valley and Yves Rocher Muguet, but these were quite poor quality and did not last long on her skin (I think she really needs an EDP, not an EDT). But cost is her main issue – I have given her decants of Love and Tears/Surrender, and Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby, both of which she likes, but I only had a few mil – she needs something much, much cheaper. Is it do-able? We live in France. May 10, 2017 at 10:39am Reply

    • Nina Z: This is very challenging! The ingredient that made old Diorissimo so beautiful is now no longer used in perfume. You can just buy the refill bottle for Love and Tears and that will save a lot of money! It’s still not cheap, though. Interesting that she likes jasmine (Love and Tears) as well as lily of the valley–that might be the way to go. Check out Parfums Delrae Debut, which kind of reminds me of Diorissimo. Not cheap, but less than By Killian.

      What about the Pacifica line? This inexpensive line uses quality ingredients and might have a floral that she likes. But it might not be available in France. May 10, 2017 at 3:07pm Reply

      • Trishd: Many thanks for that. I’m quite excited to hear today that Symrise has a new fragrance molecule that gives a lily-of-the-valley scent and is both natural and sustainable, so roll on some decent fragrances! I will try out the Pacifica line – it’s available in France from Feelunique. I tried my friend on La Chasse Aux Papillons, thinking she might go for another kind of light floral, but she didn’t care for it. Interestingly, neither she nor I perceive much jasmine in Love and Tears – it’s the muguet note that strikes both of us. May 10, 2017 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Clair: Frau Tonis No. 38 Maiglöckchen is an almost “photorealistic” Lily of the Valley. I’m not sure if it would be a good substitute, but it is very green and the closest fragrance to Coty’s original (vintage) Muguet des Bois I’ve found. I’m not sure if it would be a good substitute for Diorissimo, but worth a try. It is reasonably priced and available online from in sample sizes, travel size, 15, 50 and 100 ml bottles. Shipping is free over €60-65. May 16, 2017 at 6:37pm Reply

      • Trishd: Many thanks – I will check it out. May 17, 2017 at 3:09am Reply

  • Emily: My mother has been complaining that her recent bottle of Clinique’s Aromatic Elixir, her beloved signature scent, smells different. Does anyone know if it has been reformulated? Does anyone know of any scents that come close to it that she could try instead? She doesn’t like rose as a note, which rules out a lot of Rose/patchouli scents. May 10, 2017 at 11:09am Reply

    • Nina Z: I don’t KNOW that it has been reformulated but I’d bet that it is because all fragrances are eventually–plus, I’m sure your mother’s nose is reliable. Maybe you can track down some older bottles of Aromatics Elixir? There is some on eBay (not expensive).

      Because this fragrance is a chypre, I’d suggest 31 Rue Cambon and Jubiliation 25 as possible alternatives. May 10, 2017 at 3:11pm Reply

    • Jane: I love A E too and have recently tried ‘Rien’ by Etat Libre d’orange. it has a similar wow factor; not for the faint hearted but truly distinctive and not at all rosy. My sample came from Bloom’s Perfumery in London. May 11, 2017 at 5:48am Reply

      • Morelle: Totally second this, Rien is definitely along the same lines as AE, and just as beautiful. May 11, 2017 at 6:53pm Reply

    • katherine x: How about Paloma Picasso or Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum? Iwould guess EDPs would suit her. Victoria’s review and comments might provide some leads. May 11, 2017 at 6:07am Reply

  • Trishd: I have another question, which is a bit bizarre. Because I am keen on fragrance, I host perfume evenings for friends. I’ve been trying to persuade one friend to come, but she thinks there’s no point because she’s worn Cristalle for 20 years and refuses to wear anything else. But here’s the rub – she can’t smell it any more: she’s become anosmic to it. However, she won’t stop wearing it because she feels naked without it and she ‘knows’ she smells great in it. I’d like to persuade her to take a break from it in the hopes that she could smell it again one day – any ideas?! May 10, 2017 at 4:52pm Reply

    • AnnieA: @Trishd – maybe you can suggest a simple jean Nate-type body splash for the warmer months as a substitute…? May 10, 2017 at 6:33pm Reply

      • Trishd: Nice idea. Thank you. May 11, 2017 at 2:55am Reply

    • Ann: ThrishD – I love that you host evenings for your friends, and that you’ve taken such an interest in your particular friend who loves cristalle.

      I would guess your friend values consistency over novelty, or even pleasure really if she can’t smell her own perfume! But if you consider her character & what might motivate her – that might give you ideas about how to introduce a new fragrance.

      I would love to host a fragrance evening for friends to – what format do you use? May 13, 2017 at 11:06pm Reply

      • Trishd: I hadn’t thought of thinking about her character. That’s interesting. She is deeply conventional and set in her ways, with very strong likes and dislikes, fiercely loyal, quite no-nonsense. She doesn’t ride horses but is the type who would, if you know what I mean. 🙂 Aliage, Ma Griffe, Bandit perhaps… I will get my thinking cap on.

        For fragrance evenings, I get 6-8 people together and ask everyone to bring one or two fragrances that they (or someone else in the household) own, whether they like them or not, and I then tell people about their perfume – who made it, what the notes are, etc, read out some reviews, and give them ideas about what other fragrances they might like (in this way, my friend M, a fan of ‘Oscar’, has become completely obsessed with obtaining Tubereuse Criminelle – she just didn’t know how tuberose could smell until she tried this. Same with my friend E and Ambre Sultan). I make touches from watercolour paper, as it’s much cheaper than buying them, and we pass them round so that people can experience the difference between top notes and heart notes, etc. I explain about the different concentrations of fragrance and how to use them, and about the nonsense of masculine and feminine (a blind test usually dispels that notion pretty quickly). For more advanced evenings, we might look at an accord, such as rose, and I show them 6-7 different ‘rose’ perfumes, so we can explore how different perfumers handle the same note. And we look at different ingredients, such as iso butylquinoline or iso E super or aldehydes. And I like to shock them a bit with Secretions Magnifiques and Earthworm. 🙂 People usually go home buzzing, and with a few ml of something to try (I ask people not to wear fragrance that day, so they can try a few on skin). I learn a lot too – I discovered the brand Les Nereides because of a fragrance evening, and thereby Honoré Payan, whose fragrances I am slowly acquiring. Above all, it is a bit of fun, as most of us are middle-aged country dwellers who lead very unromantic lives. May 17, 2017 at 3:29am Reply

        • Ann: Wow, how fun! I wish I could attend! I’m outside Philadelphia, PA US – I don’t suppose you are anywhere near there. I don’t have the knowledge to host an informative evening as you have described – but what fun! May 17, 2017 at 10:17am Reply

          • Trishd: Sorry, I live in France, which would be quite a long way for you to come. 🙂 I’m not so very knowledgeable but I’m very keen – I read all I can and try out everything I can get my hands on: I pretty much rely on French Ebay and Ebay UK, as we are miles from anywhere. I’m a beauty writer for the trade press, so I used to get fragrance freebies back when my magazine still did reviews. It was Serge Lutens that turned me into a perfumaholic. His old PR, Lilian, sent me almost the entire catalogue in samples, plus half a dozen full bottles, and then invited me up to the Salons de Palais Royal de Shiseido to meet him. He likes English people and we talked for nearly three hours – he was lovely, and very funny. I think I didn’t really know how great perfume could be until I encountered this brand – I now have 38 of their fragrances. May 17, 2017 at 10:37am Reply

            • Ann: Boo – i’m sorry you live so far away, but wow, sensationnel (do people actually say this in France?), to meeting such an icon, what an experience!

              I can’t imagine anyone I know hosting such an evening, but it sounds like such a treat to me – I’ll have to learn more and host my own evening 🙂 May 17, 2017 at 11:59am Reply

              • Trishd: It was a bit of a career highlight, I must admit. And I’m sure you could host your own fragrance evening. Even the opportunity to swap decants and see what others enjoy is welcome to most people, and most don’t know the first thing about fragrance, so you will be the expert. 🙂 May 17, 2017 at 6:31pm Reply

            • Notturno7: Trishd, what a great post! How wonderful that you met Lutens and that he was so lovely 😍
              I only recently discovered his fragrances and thanks to Victoria and Luca Turin’s reviews I’m enjoying my beautiful bell jars of Sarrasins, Tubereuse Criminelle and Une Voix Noire.
              I have plenty of fragrances right now but the next one of Lutens I’d like to try in the future, it will be Une Bois Violette.
              What are your favorites from Lutens line, seeing that you own so many? That is fantastic 💗
              I wonder if your friend who loves Cristalle would also like Estée Lauder Private Collection? They are both green chypres and got rave reviews in Perfumes, the Guide book.
              Regarding sharing your love of perfumes with your friends,
              I did a similar thing with 2 girlfriends of mine.
              I’d lend them 4 full bottles of some of my favorites for a week, then I’d pick those up and give them 4 other ones to try and the week after that, I’d bring the third round.
              It was so much fun as they ended up loving some of my favorites and buying new FB after they tried mine.
              We were all so happy discussing and enjoying these fragrances, it was a great experience.
              One of my friends said even her Dad tried my perfumes and he’d walk around the house smelling great, wearing few at the same time. Hahaha!😉
              I loved that! May 21, 2017 at 5:43am Reply

              • Trishd: Many thanks for the suggestion of Private Collection. That’s a nice thing that you do for your friends, btw. 🙂 Not sure I’d trust mine with full bottles! It’s good to have chaps round the place smelling nice. My husband has virtually no sense of smell, so I buy him things and label them ‘summer’ and ‘winter’ etc, so he knows what to wear. I envy you the Sarrasins – I’ve only smelled this in the wax sample – is it lovely? Tubereuse Criminelle is fab, as is Une Voix Noire, as you know (btw: definitely transfer these to spray bottles and seal the bell jar with beeswax – a lot of my UVN evaporated).
                Of the Lutens I own, the ones I love most are:
                * Ambre Sultan
                * Chergui
                * Filles en Aiguilles – wore that for a forest hike today
                * Fleurs de Citronnier – I think Turin is totally wrong about this one, and it feels to me like a primrose cashmere sweater of a scent, more wearable than Fleurs d’Oranger, which has too much cumin.
                * Laine de Verre, which for me is like the negative of Incense Avignon, and makes me feel fresh and clean.
                * Tubereuse Criminelle. (Have also just bought original-formula Cèdre, so am trying that out – wonderful skanky drydown.)
                * Une Voix Noire.
                * Muscs Koublai Khan (but only have a few ml – I’m hoping to buy a bell jar for Christmas).
                * Five O’Clock au Gingembre (not one of his best, perhaps, but I do wear it a lot).
                * Santal Majuscule (don’t care for Santal de Mysore and I find Santal Blanc good but overpriced).
                * I also like Nuits de Cellophane, which doesn’t smell like any other floral I know.
                * De Profundis was an amazing scent when I was given it by SL, but my friend Barry bought a new one recently and he says it goes off fast – he has to keep it in the fridge. But it is extremely unusual and challenging. I think I was lucky getting the first batch out of the vat.
                * Douce Amère is really beautiful – very anisic. It’s Ines de la Fressange’s favourite scent, apparently…
                * Borneo 1834 (though Patchouli Antique by Les Nereides is very very similar and masses cheaper!).
                * Miel de Bois (original formulation), though I only wear it at home and would never inflict it on anyone (cute story: I was discussing the urine note in MDB with Oncle Serge and told him that when one of my friends had smelled it, she said: “Ewww, grand-dad’s trousers,” and he leant forward, grinned conspiratorially and said: “Maybe her grandfather was a beeee…”).
                * Gris Clair – I didn’t much like this at first, but couldn’t stop sniffing it, fell in love and ended up buying it – good for cold days whereas I prefer Pour Un Homme for warm days.
                * Datura Noir.
                * A la Nuit is fabulous for summer evenings, and also in the dead of winter.
                * Serge Noire is lovely – like entering a beautiful library.
                For the others, I wear Eau SL only for doctor’s appointments(!). Jeux de Peau has great top notes, but the drydown is a little meh. For some reason I hardly ever wear Boxeuses or Feminité du Bois and I honestly don’t know why, as they are both very nice, but just not go-to. I have minis of Clair de Musc and Vanille du Bois but haven’t plumped for a full bottle of either, as I’m not sure they’re really worth it when there are so many good alternatives around. Vitriol d’Oeillet I hardly ever wear (except to layer with Bellodgia to pump it up), and the same with Bas de Soie (too sweet). Sa Majesté la Rose is lovely in summer, especially on a wet day but it’s a bit linear and I tend to go for Ombre dans l’Eau instead. Un Lys is pretty but nothing more. Fleurs d’Oranger, well I fell asleep wearing it one summer day and woke up with my teeshirt full of wasps! I prefer Seville à l’Aube. I do not like Un Fille de Berlin, finding it too sharp – I prefer Rose de Nuit but don’t own it. I’m also not getting along with Iris Silver Mist as yet, as Ramon Monegal gave me Impossible Iris and I prefer that. Arabie is an acquired taste – a ton of cumin in it, while Louve was something I didn’t like until one day when I was drinking almond rooibos and suddenly felt the urge to put it on.
                I do feel that many of the SL fragrances are very similar, so if you’re got one, you don’t need the other, so to speak. For instance, I won’t replace Eau Froide, as Laine de Verre fulfils that role for me, Boxeuses and FdeB are both very plummy, and I’ve decided I don’t need Encens & Lavande since I already have Gris Clair.
                On the other hand, many of them do grow on you, so it is always worth persisting and trying them on (hard for me, as I live a long way from a parfumerie). I tried most of the bell jar range in 2011 but haven’t smelled them since, though I do remember I liked Bois Sepia and Vetiver Oriental.
                On my buy list are MKK, Fourreau Noir and Cuir Mauresque, followed by Fumerie Turque and Sarrasins. I’m testing Rousse and La Myrrhe at the moment, and haven’t decided yet. And then Eau de Paille (I have gotten on well with all the Eaux so far, actually) and Baptême du Feu. Even on a bad day, tbh, most Serge Lutens frags are head and shoulders above most of what’s out there.
                Have you tried Aimez-Moi (original formula) by Caron? You might want to try it before shelling out 180 euros on Un Bois Violette. 🙂 May 21, 2017 at 4:07pm Reply

                • Notturno7: Trishd, thank you so much! That’s quite a post with lot of details that I’ll be digesting for a while 😉
                  Aimez-Moi tip is very useful. I read about it and almost made a blind buy. I might look for a sample now, you got me quite curious.
                  Yes, at one point I had a sample of Une Bois Violette and although it was beautiful, it didn’t hit the spot for me, maybe I wasn’t ready yet for the cedar note.
                  Cedre sample I liked, and was surprised by, it was so much more complex than I anticipated.
                  Could you please tell me how do I use the beeswax to seal the bottles?
                  Do I melt it myself?
                  Is it special formula of beeswax and where do you get it?
                  I noticed that my vintage Narcisse Noir extrait is evaporating although I haven’t used it that much because I love it and don’t want to use it up too fast!!
                  I just got it this year and the vintage bottle was new and sealed.

                  That’s a funny story about SL comment regarding Miel de Bois😂!
                  I’ll try some of the ones you wrote about.
                  SA in Barneys store in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles gave me a ton of samples with my purchases and I still haven’t tried them all.
                  If you can’t find a sample of Sarrasins, I can make you one out of my bottle.
                  It was funny when I was with a friend on the street in San Francisco, I took my just aquired sample of Sarrasins and sprayed on her wrist. She is a beautiful Indian lady and she stopped talking in the middle of a sentence as she started smelling her wrist. I had to call her name twice to get her attention. She loved at at first sniff so much that she forgot what she was taking about. And than we ended up
                  lauging so hard in the middle of the street.
                  It was quite a moment and we still crack up when we remember that 😊 May 22, 2017 at 5:00am Reply

  • Susan: I would so love to find a realistic, long-lived Osmanthus (or as we know it here in the US South, “sweet olive” or “tea olive.”) I’m unfortunately limited in what I can get my hands on in person because of where I live, so would be purchasing decants from online sources. I have tried New Orleans’ Hove’ Perfumers Tea Olive, but it’s not as close to the real thing as I’d like. My favorites lately are Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom and J’our d’Hermes – the original one and the Gardenia version. I often layer the tiniest bit of Lush Karma under whatever I’m wearing for some extra depth. In the past, I have worn Stella McCartney’s Peony, Marc Jacobs’ signature, and 1980’s Chanel Cristalle.
    Recommendations (along with sources, if you know a good one) are most appreciated! May 10, 2017 at 10:11pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Susan: Hermes Osmanthe Yunan might suit you. It is very pretty but maybe not the longest lived. Also there is Roger&Gallet Fleur d’Osmanthus, after the initial burst of citrus I detect a nice note of osmanthus/apricot, I enjoy it and Victoria has a nice review of it. Sources: I am based in the UK so don’t have supply issue but I saw that by googling R&G USA several sites come up including Escentual and again for Hermes there are several official sites. Good luck. May 11, 2017 at 2:28pm Reply

      • Susan Beasley: Thank you! I’ll see what I can round up. May 11, 2017 at 7:28pm Reply

    • kpaint: Dame Perfumery makes an osmanthus that smells realistic to my nose. Samples are inexpensive and easy to order at his website.

      Ormonde Jayne also makes an osmanthus that has a lot of fans. If you are sensitive to Iso E Super, as I am, however, you may not be 😉

      In both cases the perfumes are simply called Osmanthus. May 15, 2017 at 11:56am Reply

      • Susan Beasley: Thank you! Sounds very promising! May 15, 2017 at 2:12pm Reply

  • TaffyJ: I have read reviews lamenting the discontinuation of Gobin Daude’s perfumes, and have long tried to obtain a bottle of either Seve Exquise or Sous le Bois. Whenever said bottles pop up on That Auction Site, the prices are out of this world.

    Can anyone familiar with Seve Exquise or Sous le Bois recommend a perfume similar to either one? Or similar to the other two fragrances from the house? Thank you! May 11, 2017 at 3:03am Reply

  • typeo_girl: I love this blog and love reading the comments and recommendations! Just wanna toss in my two cents: two affordable options over the years that I always get complimented on are Tommy Girl and Sung by Alfred Sung. Also Stella by Stella McCartney is my favorite rose. May 11, 2017 at 8:38am Reply

    • aurora: Thank you so much for sharing! like you I really like Tommy Girl and I will try the Sung. 🙂 May 12, 2017 at 7:41am Reply

  • Sylvia: Recommendations for favorites to try – especially from the Diptyque line?
    Good-the smell of summer fruit (oranges, lemons, limes, Rhubarb),tuberose, Gardenia, roses, lavender, or sandalwood.
    Cannot wear aldehydes, or white musk.
    Thanks! May 11, 2017 at 11:20am Reply

    • Morelle: L’Ombre dans l’Eau (Diptyque) is one of my summer favourites. Tomato leaf and black currant seguing into dark green leaves and rose. I prefer the EdP to the EdT; it is less sharp and more refined. Excellent longevity (at least the EdP)! May 11, 2017 at 7:04pm Reply

      • Sylvia: Tomato leaf into rose sounds pretty good. Thank you for the recommendation Morelle! May 11, 2017 at 10:08pm Reply

    • Trishd: I second Ombre Dans L’Eau – this is a beautiful fragrance. Also Philosykos, which is a better fig than Premier Figuier and is long-lasting in the EDP. Olene is a very good jasmine. May 21, 2017 at 4:16pm Reply

  • Danelle: Anyone remember Blazer…ancient thing from the 80’s? It was my signature scent for about 10 years. I have no idea how to describe it; bought a bottle off ebay a few years ago, but the true scent was long gone. I seem to gravitate to chypre blends now, Vent Vert by Balmain is a daily wear, but I also enjoy Ma Griffe by Carven, with a bit of First by Van Cleef and Arpels. Perfume budget is around $50 just now… May 11, 2017 at 11:17pm Reply

    • aurora: Hello Danelle: so sorry about your long time favourite being discontinued. I like Vent Vert too (the only one I know is the 90s formulation). I love chypres just like you, do you like Miss Dior? May 12, 2017 at 7:46am Reply

      • Danelle: Miss Dior works on cold, crisp winter days..but she’s a bit much in the heat and humidity we enjoy most of the year. 😉 May 12, 2017 at 4:46pm Reply

        • Aurora: Oh yes, a bit much for that kind of weather 🙂
          Have you ever tried Silences? (very green chypre) and well within your budget. It’s one of my most trusted in summer. May 14, 2017 at 1:48am Reply

    • Morelle: Have you tried Jean-Louis Scherrer Original? I’m not familiar with Blazer, but both are from the 70’s and seem to share a lot of notes. But even if they are not alike the Scherrer might suit your current taste for chypres. Victoria gave it a very favourable review (new and vintage), and I share her love for it. May 12, 2017 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Miko: Hello everyone,

    I wonder if anyone can recommend me a long lasting high quality, but happy and young perfume. I am currently having a sample of Alien by Thierry Mugler and I love it, but it could have less jasmine notes. I feel that something like opium by YSL is too old for me. I am 28 and working in an office between a lot of older corporate people. I would like to express creativity, fun and youthfulness. Look forward to what you have in mind 🙂 May 13, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Lydia: Hi, Miko.
      I’m not the best judge of modern, youthful perfumes since I’m looking for vintage-type classics these days, but I’ll give it a shot anyway & maybe someone else with a better understanding of that genre will chime in with other suggestions.

      What I’m getting from your question is that you associate strong floral with older, more mature perfumes, but you do want the high quality of an established brand.

      Mugler’s other scents might have been a good bet since you already like Alien, but Angel has been around since the 90s and is too well-known, and the other available Mugler women’s scent – Womanity – seems to be more of a salty-fruity-marine scent, not a woody floral like Alien. (Very striking bottle, though.) You might want to read Victoria’s review to see if it sounds like something you’d like:

      I know you said you didn’t care for YSL’s Opium, but have you tried YSL’s Cinema? The Fragrantica reviews suggest that it’s a sparkling fruity-floral-amber scent, and someone actually said it reminds her of “sunshine.”

      If you want to investigate a niche line, you might enjoy one of the Etat Libre d’Orange scents like Fils de Dieu, a lighthearted gingery scent. I found it to be one of the more likeable ELd’O scents. Victoria describes it as a modern version of Shalimar:

      Another Etat Libre d’Orange scent you might be interested in is “Like This by Tilda Swinton,” a woody-spicy scent.

      Best wishes for your search! May 17, 2017 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Miko: Hi Lydia,

        Thank you for your comment! Ysl cinema sounds like something I would like to try. I’ll try the etat libre d’orange scents.

        I got a sample of Donna from Valentino the other, I really like this one, and it’s totally the other spectrum I guess! But I read at fragantica the reviews were quite poor for this one…. so I will look for something in this direction as well. May 21, 2017 at 6:27am Reply

    • Leslie: I recommend Dolce & Gabbana The One for women, its quite sweet but has a gourmand element to it that mellows it out. Always recieve compliments when I wear it. Also Elie Saab Le Parfum and Chanel No 5 L’Eau might fit what you are looking for. May 20, 2017 at 6:01pm Reply

      • Miko: Thank you, Leslie! I love a bit of a sweet note. Although bonbon from VR is also something I really enjoy.. and it stays very well on my skin.

        Chanel no 5 reminds me of my mom, but DG and Elie Saab I will definitely try 🙂 May 21, 2017 at 6:29am Reply

  • Ariadne: Happy May! Looking for recommendations for perfumes with Freesia as the main accord. Many thanks! May 13, 2017 at 5:06pm Reply

    • kpaint: Jeffrey Dame (Dame Perfumery) makes a freesia soliflore. May 15, 2017 at 11:57am Reply

      • Ariadne: Thank you! May 15, 2017 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Jane: Not quite ‘recommend me a perfume’ but ‘recommend me a place’! Daughter and I are off to Palermo for 4 days at the end of May and I wonder if any of you could recommend any perfume treasures peculiar to Sicily that we could seek out when we are there? We expect to be mostly eating ice cream in hundreds of flavours so some scent would be nice as well! May 15, 2017 at 11:13am Reply

  • kpaint: Might be a bit late to get many responses, but I’m looking for input on violet perfumes. I get hardcore cravings for them every spring and never seem to have enough 🙂

    I’ve tried AG La Violette, SL Bois de Violette, SSS Lieu de Rêves and Voile de Violette, Apres l’Ondee, Balenciaga Paris, TF Violet Blond, Au Pays Violette Sacrée, Caron Aimez-Moi. I’ve also tested an African violet oil of some sort (can’t remember exactly what it was.)

    I have and love rose-violet classics YSL Paris and Chanel Misia. Also love Rosine Glam Rose. I adore the violet notes in ELdO Putain des Palaces and many of the Lolita Lempicka scents.

    My favorite violets are Atelier Sous le toit de Paris, Le Dix, and Penhaligon’s Violetta. I have a small bottle of Borsari Violetta di Parma which I find quite awful in many ways, but I love the powdered-candied violet concept and would like to find something similar that is made with higher quality ingredients. (My bottle opens with some horrid acrid notes and smells quite plasticky at times, but there are aspects of it that I really like.)

    My 2 questions are: 1) Would Guerlain Meteorites be a good selection for a powdered-candied-violet perfume? I’ve never smelled the perfume but I adore the scent of the cosmetics.

    2) What is missing from the list above that I need to try? And does anyone have favorite violet-scented home/bath fragrances? I’d love to be able to scent my bed linens/bathroom/bedroom with violets. (I guess that makes 3 questions 🙂 )

    Thank you for your help! May 15, 2017 at 2:02pm Reply

    • Jane: I have just received, but not tried yet, samples of violet perfumes from Bloom Perfumery in London. They sent 9 samples of violets for a small charge. Check them out online, they do a different sample pack a few times a year. I recently had the ‘amber pack’ and enjoyed using it in the winter. For inexpensive bed linen fragrancing I would recommend good old Yardley ‘April Violets’, sweet and uncomplicated, comes as talcum powder too. May 16, 2017 at 9:19am Reply

      • kpaint: Oh, April Violets! Thank you – I hadn’t even thought of that. Perfect, and very affordable.

        I’ve looked into Bloom previously. IIRC, they either don’t ship to the US or it’s excessively costly. I’ll look again, though. Thank you!

        I’ve also tried to find Devon Violets but it seems nearly impossible to get hold of in the US. May 16, 2017 at 2:08pm Reply

    • Lydia: Hi, kpaint.

      What an extensive list! I like violet too, so I’m going to write down the scents in your post for my own future exploration.

      I do have one suggestion, but its far from your usual perfume terrain. BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab) has a strong sugared violet scent in their Carnival Diabolique line called “Faith” (part of the Siamese Twins pair). I tried it years ago, and it reminded me of a sweetened version of Chowards violet candy and violet-scented stationary I used to have.
      Unfortunately, it’s one of the few scents they don’t offer samples of, and the bottle is only sold paired with a sugared rose scent (“Hope”). You might be able to find a sample (called an “imp” in BPAL lingo) on Ebay or Etsy. May 16, 2017 at 11:46pm Reply

    • Lydia: Also, DSH has a “Florals no.5 : Irises & Violets” sample pack that might be fun for you to try. May 17, 2017 at 12:49am Reply

    • Lydia: One more:
      Blanc Violette by Histoires de Parfums dries down to a modern version of a powdery violet. I thought it had a unisex cast, despite the feminine powdery-floral aspects. (Actually, I’ve thought that about all the Histoires de Parfums scents I’ve tried.) May 17, 2017 at 2:48pm Reply

      • kpaint: Thanks for your suggestions, Lydia. I’ve always wanted to try some DSH scents but her range is so vast I get a bit lost in it. Violets and Iris is the perfect place to start (and the set is really affordable!)

        I’d also forgotten about Blanc Violette – I’ll have to see if I can track some down.

        Thanks so much! May 20, 2017 at 12:59pm Reply

        • Lydia: Kpaint, I’m glad!

          I hope you find a perfume you love. DSH has some wonderful scents. You can find additional DSH perfumes with violet notes by clicking on the word “Violet” on the left, under “Shop by Fragrance.” (Six dollar individual samples are available for most fragrances.)

          I love reading the customer reviews and they can be very helpful when choosing what to sample. May 20, 2017 at 3:11pm Reply

  • Meggan: I love the wet, cold metal lily in La Vierge De Fer. Its what I want to smell like all the time, but that stuff isn’t cheap and I’m using it up too fast. Would like to find a perfume like that, but cheaper! Could also include fruits, perhaps with peach or guava, and green notes. May 16, 2017 at 2:08am Reply

    • orsetta: when I see guava & green notes, I immediately think about Calyx, originally from Prescriptives, now in the Clinique line-up.
      oh, and it’s full of other fruit too (fortunately not red berries, though 😉 May 19, 2017 at 10:02am Reply

  • Self: Someone talented could work up a short list of perfumes by coloring (season) type.
    I myself am a Bright Winter (winter tending to bright spring) looking for her perfume — coldly elegant, brightly sparkling, intense and high-contrast.
    So far, I’m down to
    Serge Lutens Eau froide, Laine de verre, De profundis (Sa Majesté la rose? La Fille en aiguilles?)
    YSL Paris, Rive Gauche
    Dior Midnight Poison
    Chanel 28 LaPausa (as an iris)
    Delighted for any suggestions! May 19, 2017 at 6:55pm Reply

    • Lydia: Self,
      What a great idea!

      I think I’m an autumn, and my favorite scents are often spicy orientals and florientals, which seem very autumnal.

      I would suggest you try DSH’s Deco Diamonds. It’s described as a “brilliant white floral aldehydic perfume,” and I think that fits the scent well. May 20, 2017 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Surbhi: Random finding.. if the weather is hot I really can’t smell the perfume on me most of the time. But I noticed it stays on and I can actually smell it again in evening when it cools off even if I walked more than 10K steps in between. This was an accidental discovery today (I was wearing frognard). Now I am going to try it with other perfumes instead of reapplying and suffocating people with overdose of perfume. May 23, 2017 at 10:16pm Reply

  • Loric: Hi! Any recommendations for a long lasting summer perfume that still smells fresh after a long day? I’m moving to Armenia for the summer, and the weather is going to be brutal.

    I generally like warm, spicy scents, so I’m not sure where to begin for something lighter.

    Any thoughts are much appreciated! May 31, 2017 at 4:51pm Reply

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