Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2018

Our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is now open in time for your spring queries. You can this space to find fragrance recommendations, to share your discoveries and favorite scents, and to ask any questions about scents, aromas and flavors.

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



  • kekasmais: My cousin in Düsseldorf is getting married this summer and as excited as I am for him and his fiancee and the forthcoming celebrations, I am equally excited for the handful of days I’m planning to spend in Paris as a side trip. Not so much asking for recommendations to take on my first ever trip to Europe, but fragrances that make you think of far off adventures. Need something to whet my imagination and keep me patient until August. 😉 March 26, 2018 at 9:21am Reply

    • Katya: Ironically, Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Desert (which is a boutique exclusive) makes me think of travel in far off lands, and also of really, really expensive silks.

      Diptique’s Do Son, too, is a fascinating white floral – I’ve never been to Vietnam or the resort it is named after, but it makes me think of it nonetheless.

      Finally, I guess Miller Harris’ de Sel, which they brought back over the Christmas period (and much rejoicing was had) makes me think of the rugged beaches in Roscoff, in France, where I spent a week on camping and it was by far one of the most magical experiences I ever had. If you can find a sample, highly recommended (Eau Magnetic, their current “nautical” offering, is a completely different kind of beach. A lot more tame imho). Also, PG’s 16 Bois Naufrage makes me think of beaches in Bulgaria in the dead of summer – hot skin and the faintest salty breeze off the sea. (It makes me homesick, tbh, although I don’t recommend if you hate the smell of fig.) March 26, 2018 at 9:56am Reply

      • sandra: Second Rose Nacree and others from that collection..
        Songes reminds me of islands and hot flesh March 26, 2018 at 10:30am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I work in Düsseldorf, and can give you some good perfume shopping tips before you come 😃 March 26, 2018 at 11:39am Reply

    • Aurora: Hope you’ll have a wonderful time in Paris where I was born, it’s wonderful in August as most of the parisians are away. L’Artisan Parfumeur Timbuktu transports me to far away lands. March 26, 2018 at 1:24pm Reply

    • spe: Something totally not “me.” In my case, Jasmine Imperatrice Eugenie, Fleur de Rose de Bvlgarie, Shalimar. March 26, 2018 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Katya: I smelled Diptique’s Geranium Odorata for the first time this month and now I can’t get it out of my head. Does anybody else have it? What are your thoughts? To me, it makes me think of my mother’s garden – true geraniums, with their big leafy stalks and their sweet smell when we gave them to teachers on the first day of school. March 26, 2018 at 9:51am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I have it & like it a lot! I find it fun & informal, and usually use it when on holiday. Though it‘s easy-going I find it very well constructed. March 26, 2018 at 11:37am Reply

    • Joy Erickson: I had a sample of this a few years ago. I just love it. I need to get another. It truly brings to mind the fragrance that comes when I brush against the flowers and leaves when I am deadheading the plants in summer. The fragrance is so true to the total plant. March 26, 2018 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Filomena: I have had it for quite a while and enjoy it very much. It is also quite reasonably priced in today’s perfume market world. March 26, 2018 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Gretchen: I should know better than to add to my bottles and decants, but….does anyone have recommendations for a summer (as in hot, sticky, oppressive in Washington DC kind of summer) – acceptable fragrance that will remind me of my Vol de Nuit and L’Heure Bleue accords, without alienating everyone around me? I have plenty of green and floral scents for summer, but there’s something about these two that I’d like to capture in a lighter fashion. March 26, 2018 at 10:26am Reply

    • Aileen: Perhaps another Guerlain? The L’Heure Bleue body lotion is nice enough to wear alone and not too heavy in warm weather.

      There’s something in Apres L’Ondee that reminds me of L’Heure Bleue, and I sometimes layer the L’Heure Bleue lotion with a few spritz of Apres L’Ondee. March 26, 2018 at 11:19am Reply

    • Hayley: Maybe Apres l’Ondee?
      I bet you probably tried it though 🙂

      I would also put TDC I Miss Violet in the same (extended) family. March 26, 2018 at 12:25pm Reply

      • Gretchen: Excellent suggestions! March 26, 2018 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Nina Z: I agree with the recommendation for Apres L’Ondee. It is a lighter cooling scent that is lovely in the summer but has some of the same notes as L’Heure Bleue and is reminiscent of it. March 26, 2018 at 1:49pm Reply

    • Fleurycat: Maybe Hermes Hiris, Parfums d‘Empire Equistrius, or Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche. I‘ve found them sophisticated but more than tolerable in Summer heat. Cooling and soft, but still lingering and great on clothing. I share your appreciation of L‘Heure Bleue. Also the Prada Infusion (Iris, flankers, and D‘Amande). March 27, 2018 at 5:43pm Reply

      • Gretchen: Oh, these, too, are stellar suggestions! March 27, 2018 at 6:55pm Reply

    • Ann: I just got a decant of Bvlgari The Bleu, and am very much enjoying it – it’s refreshing – it does remind me of sort of a fresh version of L’Heure Bleu – and it’s relatively affordable March 27, 2018 at 8:09pm Reply

    • Ann: And, I would like to add…
      Sylvaine Delacourte Florentina

      What I would consider a softer, almonds/musky interpretation of LHB March 28, 2018 at 10:48am Reply

  • Gitta: Does anyone know good fragrances in Korea? I like flower-fruity notes, but don’t mind musky or some type of woody as well 🙂 March 26, 2018 at 10:32am Reply

  • Aileen: It may be a bit early to start dreaming of summer at the beach, but I recently got a sample of Tom Ford’s Eau de Soleil Blanc (which I liked better than the Soleil Blanc), and it immediately conjures up images of sun and sand.

    I started looking for fragrances in the same vein, and so far I can think of EL’s Bronze Goddess, Maison Margiela’s Beach Walk, and Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower (really more heavy tuberosey, but there’s a nice coconut note that has a hint of fancy sunscreen).

    Does anyone have other spring/summer favorites with a beachy vibe? March 26, 2018 at 10:33am Reply

    • Nina Z: I love the Guerlain ones: Terrcotta Le Parfum (white flower beach scent) and Terracotta Voile d’Ete (carnation beach scent0. March 26, 2018 at 1:51pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Aileen: Do you know Nuxe Prodigieux Oil and Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum? White flower and coconut scent, very beachy. I like the oil even better than the parfum. March 26, 2018 at 5:44pm Reply

      • Aileen: Now that you mentioned it, I think there’s half a bottle of it tucked away somewhere in my drawer. It’s been a while since I last put on the Nuxe oil, thanks for the reminder to find it again! March 26, 2018 at 6:00pm Reply

    • John: I was trying to help my mother in law find a scent like Beach Walk (Sephora — both brick & mortar and online) had run out of the rollerball… she is not a self-indulgent sort, so I couldn’t talk her into a full bottle. Anyway, she ended up very happy with Bobbi Brown’s Beach. I think the SA, who was pushing the Maison Margiela pretty hard, was a little horrified… She likes it a lot, though, in part because there is a white floral note that reminded her of a trip to Tahiti in the distant past. March 26, 2018 at 10:25pm Reply

      • Aileen: That sounds lovely! Will have to give Bobbi Brown’s Beach a try next time I’m in Sephora. March 29, 2018 at 8:37am Reply

    • Inma: Dear Aileen, Last summer I tried Hermes Eau Claire de Merveilles and I felt it would accompany so nicely summer evenings next to the sea.
      I am glad you asked because I am getting new ideas for those days! March 28, 2018 at 6:52am Reply

    • Amy M.: Hi Aileen,
      For beachy vibes, I love the Hermes Elixir des Mervailles as well as some of the Mervailles flankers. In the woody, sunny, salty ambergris category you could also try Parfumerie Generale’s Bois Naufrage. For salty water vibe, Heely’s Sel Marin is nice. YOSH makes a gorgeous white flower-ish ginger coco-nutty scent called Ginger Ciao – one that I always have handy with me at the beach in summer. And speaking of tuberose/white flower accords, I found a pretty fun layering thing for the summer. I put a bit of Kai spray oil on and top it with a spritz of either Philosykos or Terry de Gunzberg’s Flagrant Delice. It makes for a lovely white flower/fresh/summer accord. Here’s to the sand and the sea! March 29, 2018 at 1:39am Reply

    • Amy M.: I forgot two others! Parfums de Nicolai Eau Soleil and Musc Monoi. March 29, 2018 at 1:50am Reply

      • Aileen: What a great list! Ginger Ciao sounds fantastic – I’m a big fan of a good ginger note. Philosykos was one of my first great perfume love, and layering it with Kai sounds pretty genius 🙂 March 29, 2018 at 8:44am Reply

  • Mara: Dear Kekasmais,
    Thank you for opening this subject for us, inviting our input!

    I would definitely suggest “ORLANDO”, by Jardins d’Ecrivains:

    Top notes : Orange – Pink peppercorn – Ginger
    Middle Notes : Amber – Patchouly – Cloves
    Base notes : Wood of Gaiac – Musk – Balsam of Peru

    My second suggestion would be “25 Indochine” by Parfumerie Generale:
    A perfume that is at once sweet, vanilla-scented, resinous, powdery, milky and spicy.
    Benzoin Siam is a resin of great olfactory richness that is very rarely used as a central theme in Perfumery. The perfume also draws
    on rare notes such as Kampot Pepper, Burmese Tanakha and Laos honey.

    Finally, I propose to you “Voyage” d’ Hermes, the eau de parfum version:
    Top Notes: Angelica, Juniper berry
    Heart Notes: Cedarwood
    Base notes: Sandalwood, White musk.

    I hope that you’ll enjoy your trip to Europe and discover, inter alia, olfactory treasures yourself which you will eventually share with us!

    All the best to you and your family! March 26, 2018 at 10:37am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,
    I’m currently in Dallas, Texas and spring is here, (although the same weather is called summer in my country).
    Is anyone aware of a scent that embodies Texas or the American South for them? I love white florals, so I would also love some magnolia or gardenia centered perfume recomendations. Thank you in advance.
    Guess what, a niche perfume shop, Marie Antoinette is just a few steps from the hotel I stay in. Lucky me, poor wallet, I say😉 March 26, 2018 at 11:16am Reply

    • Mary: Jealous you are staying next to a perfume shop! Try mainstream Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder. It is one of the gardenia fragrances I really enjoy, and not overpowering. Also available in lotion for layering, which can help hold up in humidity. March 26, 2018 at 11:31am Reply

    • Katya: People are probably getting sick of me recommending Diptyque’s Do Son, but… it is a gorgeous white floral. My mother – I’ve said this on other threads – is very difficult to buy perfume for, but she loved it on me, and I ended up buying a bottle for her. Diptyque’s Olene (which I smelled on recommendation from here) is a lovely jasmine. March 26, 2018 at 11:55am Reply

      • Nora Szekely: I own Do son in a cream perfume version, lovely indeed. I need to try Olene. March 26, 2018 at 11:29pm Reply

      • Amy M.: Hi Katya,
        Not at all; I’m glad you mention Do Son – it’s fabulous; a perfect tuberose at at reasonable price point. I have been layering the Do Son body mist with Philosykos body lotion. March 29, 2018 at 10:23pm Reply

    • Abby: Are you sure you are in Dallas? The only Marie Antoinette I see is in Sundance Square,which is in Fort Worth.
      If you are looking for a scent that embodies Texas/Dallas, there really isn’t one. It’s whatever you want it to be.
      If you want something exclusive, there’s a Le Labo on Main Street in downtown Dallas. There you can get Aldehyde 44, which is apparently a City Exclusive.
      I don’t know what type of transportation you have, but if you don’t want to drive into Dallas, you can take the Trinity River Express,(which is a train) into downtown Dallas, and with a bit of walking get to it. It’s inside the Joule Hotel. Check the schedule with Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) online for details, and check Le Labo’s website,as it’s not visible from the street.
      I hope you find something truly special! March 26, 2018 at 4:06pm Reply

      • Nora Szekely: Hi Abby,
        You’re right, I’m actually staying in Fort Worth 🙂
        I drive a rented car so I will try Le Labo shop for sure, thanks for the recomendation. March 26, 2018 at 11:28pm Reply

    • Suzanne: I recommend getting over to Neimans at Northpark and sampling Fleurissimo ( gorgeous floral worn by Grace Kelly on her wedding day) and Love in White (magnolia inspired), both by Creed.

      Jo Malone generally does some nice limited floral editions in Spring (NM will carry them) but they are very light. March 26, 2018 at 9:37pm Reply

  • Mary: We are experiencing Sprinter here in the Northwest. Looking for a fragrance to bridge the gap between my fave winter fragrance Tauer Coeur de Desert and summer Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil. March 26, 2018 at 11:26am Reply

    • Neva: Hi Mary, may I suggest something from Ormonde Jayne? She has nice floral perfumes which remind me of spring but their drydown is musky so they keep you warm. Try Sampaquita or Tiare. March 27, 2018 at 4:03am Reply

    • Anna: Rive Gauche is my perfect scent for the season when winter and spring are fighting among themselves. I love the combination of fresh and sharp notes, like spring air, and the warm and cozy ones. March 27, 2018 at 5:45am Reply

      • Ann: I appreciate your comment! 🌸🌨 March 27, 2018 at 8:13pm Reply

    • Amy M.: Hi Mary,
      Iris is normally a “chilly” scent, but perhaps a warm woody Iris would be nice, such as The Different Company’s Bois d’Iris or VC&A’s of the same name. Another couple of scents I love to wear during the transitional months are Santa Maria Novella’s Fieno (lovely, warm hay) and Calicantus (kind of aldehydic and herbaceous.). Another transition scent for me tends to be Chanel No. 19. March 29, 2018 at 1:46am Reply

  • Kathryn: Hello everyone, I have a very specific question, I was given a beautiful Guerlain candle for my birthday and it’s perfume has bewitched me. “Hiver en Russie” is the name of the candle, has anyone else experienced the scent of this one? I wish it was based on an actual perfume but it just exists as a candle. I know it’s a slim chance but does anyone know of a perfume that smells similar to this specific candle? It’s so beautiful but I can’t recreate it successfully, I tried layering No 5 over Avignon but it’s not the same. I’ll appreciate any ideas you might have, thank you 🙂 March 26, 2018 at 12:01pm Reply

    • Irem: Hi Kathryn, at some point I remember smelling all Guerlain candles and even teas, but I do not remember any one 🙂 So I am commenting based on your combination of No 5 + Avignon. If you are looking for incense + aldehydes, have you ever tried La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens? It is the only aldehydic incense I know, and definitely befitting a snowy winter landscape – Russian or otherwise. Good luck with your quest. March 27, 2018 at 12:13pm Reply

      • Kathryn: Thank you very much Irem, I have tried La Myrrhe but it was a few years ago and definitely before I had my candle so it might be worth trying it again. I don’t have a strong memory of it and I think it was among many samples so I probably didn’t pay it enough attention. It’s a great suggestion, the candle is incense/aldehydes I think, but with something spicy/resinous too perhaps, but I’m no expert at identifying notes. Anyway, thanks again for the idea and I will try the La Myrrhe 🙂 March 27, 2018 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Wendy Debona: I love vanilla, vetiver and cotton candy type fragrances. Sweet but not too sweet. Any ideas? March 26, 2018 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Katya: No5 Eau Premiere by Chanel always makes me think of marshmallow root and vanilla but in a sophisticated way. Also maybe Eau Duelle by Diptique? I think Victoria described it as a modern Shalimar once. March 26, 2018 at 12:59pm Reply

    • KatieAnn: I know La Vie Est Belle is not the most popular perfume for many, but if applied *very* lightly, it really is lovely. It may be too sweet, but may be worth a try. At least it is easy to find too. March 26, 2018 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Heather Raine: Hey Wendy, I’d recommend Annick Goutal’s Les Absolus Vanille Charnelle. It’s like vanilla satin – it’s not cloying, just kiss-sweet and decadent, but with some spicy undertones to shake things up.

      For something in that sweet range, but a bit more daring, try By Killian Amber Oud.

      Both of them wear pretty close to the skin, just fyi. March 26, 2018 at 1:29pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Wendy: Have you tried Prada Candy?
      For vanilla, Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Vanille Noire is v. good, not too sweet rather woody vanilla, and you might want to explore La Maison de la Vanille scents, they have a sampler pack direct from their site if you’re in Europe or through Luckyscent if you are in the US; for vetiver many people here have recommended the newish Diptyque Vetyverio which I haven’t tried yet. March 26, 2018 at 1:39pm Reply

    • Anna: I like the scents from Laura Mercier when I want to smell like a dessert. My husband loves them.
      For something less obvious I pick Ambre des Merveilles from Hermès. It reminds me of homemade vanilla fudge, but in a more subtle and sophisticated way. March 26, 2018 at 2:56pm Reply

    • Lizbee: Profumum Roma’s Confetto is a lovely scent that might hit the spot for you. It is one of my most complimented perfumes. March 27, 2018 at 9:37am Reply

    • Earl Gray: Hermes Hermessence Vetiver Tonka x March 27, 2018 at 4:21pm Reply

    • Amy M.: Hi Wendy,

      I’m a huge Vetiver fan as well. My favorites are Guerlain’s Vetiver pour Elle and Dior’s Vetiver but I think they may both be discontinued. Atelier’s Vetiver is a very nice bargain. Chanel Sycamore is a beautiful Vetiver. For cotton candy or vanilla scents, I would have suggested Prada Candy as well, or By Kilian’s Love (Don’t be shy) & Sweet Redemption, or Shalimar in any iteration. Tom Ford’s new Vanille Fatale is gorgeous (but eek the price point..pretty pricey like Kilian…) March 29, 2018 at 2:09am Reply

  • Debby: I seem to have developed hyperosmia as I’ve become perimenopausal, it has made a lot of perfumes unbearable for me, including some old favourites which has been very upsetting. There is this overbearing smell of dirty or burnt hair, or sometimes really old stale soap is the best I can say, I think it is an aldehyde. And it lasts forever on skin and clothing.
    I never know when I’m going to encounter this when I sample a new scent, although I know to avoid vintage, or vintage style aldehydic scents now, though it sometimes turns up in unexpected places. Daft, but it ruins my day as it’s so horrible and tenacious.
    I am also very sensitive to Iso E Super.
    Has anyone else experienced this, and does it go off after menopause?
    Before I sell or give away any more of my collection! March 26, 2018 at 1:12pm Reply

    • John: Hi Debby,

      So sorry to hear about this! I can only address the part of your question concerning ISO, as it bothers me too, which is a real shame since it seems to be in so many things I like (Encre Noire, Fahrenheit, Declaration, plus a staggering amount of other Ellena compositions…)

      I’m sensitive to a lot of things, so I can only (so far in my experiments) wear a handful of fragrances regularly. This has, obviously, dictated my tastes somewhat, which is a bit of a blessing, as I never blind buy, and have to work to identify with the things my body can tolerate, adding a touch of chance to the question of personal style that I find quite interesting (luckily, my favourite, Caron Pour un Homme, doesn’t bother me at all.)

      On that note, this time in your life seems like a great time for reinvention. It seems so interesting to consider building a new fragrance wardrobe altogether, seeing what works with your new sensibility…Good luck! March 26, 2018 at 10:39pm Reply

      • Debby: Thank you John, it’s very annoying when just one note can completely ruin enjoyment of a fragrance. April 1, 2018 at 4:20pm Reply

    • Aurora: Oh Debby, how unlucky. Have you talked to your doctor about it, he might be able to tell you whether it’s likely to last. I would definitely say hang on to your collection for the moment. Is it when applied on your skin or also when you spray in the air? March 27, 2018 at 5:08am Reply

    • Maria: Hi Debbie,
      I’ve experienced hyperosmia during pregnancy. It got better after delivery, but I’m still very sensitive to loud perfumes. As John says, you should take that as a time for reinvention. In my case, that means to use only colognes and eaux fraîches applied on clothes, not on my skin, and indulge myself on rose and jasmin hydrosols. Institut Très bien Cologne à la française, Frédéric Malle Angéliques sous la pluie and L’Eau d’hiver and Nicolaï Eau Chic are good options for me. They are not at all aldehydic, but I can’t recognize Iso Super E, so I don’t know if it is present. March 27, 2018 at 4:21pm Reply

      • Debby: That gives me hope that it might calm down a bit once my hormones have settled! Unfortunately I have always favoured the loud, so it’s difficult to break out of the comfort zone. Angeliques sous la pluie is one I’d already looked at as something new I might enjoy, so I may get a sample of that. Thanks for your suggestions, Maria! April 1, 2018 at 4:24pm Reply

    • Fleurycat: Dear Debby,

      I have always been extremely sensitive to odors and scents, from early childhood. It can be painful and it can contribute to migraines and nausea. I love fragrance, and perfumes and fragrant body care, and I have a garden full of fragrant roses, Daphnes, Mock orange, Lily of The Valley and many more, but I, too have become increasingly sensitive with age and I have had to reconfigure my perfum preferences. Bois de Jasmine has been an invaluable forum for exploring scent through so many experts! I agree that it should be an opportunity for exploring new fragrance. I increasingly prefer perfumes I consider sheer. Many Iris scents work well for me. There are many fragrances out there that work for me, but so many that do not, and it takes time. Sometimes I actually manage to acclimate to scents that I initially find overwhelming. But I still like a large range. ISO e Super is a trigger for me, and I cannot tolerate Calone or most Solar or Aquatic aromachemicals. But the more I learn the easier it becomes to discern what is more likely to Work for me. Don’t give up. I also agree Body Lotions are a good alternative when you want to feel fragranced but can’t tolerate Perfume. Good luck. Be patient with yourself, your body is telling you it‘s limits. March 27, 2018 at 6:19pm Reply

      • Debby: Thank you, my nose has always been very sensitive too, I had no idea that this could almost stop me enjoying my favourite things!
        You are right, this is a great opportunity to learn more. April 1, 2018 at 4:27pm Reply

    • Lillibet: I haven’t experienced this so I don’t know if my suggestions will help, and you may if course have already tried them, but I did wonder if it might be worth trying different ways of wearing your scents.

      For example dabbing vs spraying, mixing with unscented lotion and applying that, wearing them on your legs or belly (back if knees is good) rather than arms or chest, using smaller amounts, or even some combination of the above.

      These are strategies I used with perfumes that I otherwise find too strong and I have noticed that how you apply them makes a difference in what notes are more prominent and can make something wearable for me that was otherwise unwearable.

      Wishing you all the best and hoping this is a phase that passes for you soon. March 29, 2018 at 10:10pm Reply

    • Hamamelis: Hi Debby unfortunately I can totally relate to your sensitivities, being well into menopause many perfumes have been sitting in my cupboard for the same reason. Gradually I am replacing the ones I can’t bear anymore with natural based perfumes, April Aromatics, Hiram Green and Sultan Pasha attars, as well as vintage. Also, fortunately, I can wear most Goutals, especially the older ones. If my sensitivities get worse I will donate some of my collection via BdJ for charity. But I give it some time! March 31, 2018 at 8:08am Reply

      • Debby: Thanks, Hamamelis, maybe attars are a good idea generally as they sit close to the skin. I have tried a few.
        I went on an extensive Goutal testing session recently and that seems to be one house I can’t tolerate, strangely enough. I thought they might be a lighter choice, but nothing worked sadly. April 1, 2018 at 4:33pm Reply

    • Tara C: I am going through menopause and am experiencing periods of alternatively things being too strong and hardly being able to smell things at all, so I would not get rid of anything just yet, try wearing things dabbed rather than sprayed, well away from your face (low on the body) and selecting some lighter scents. March 31, 2018 at 10:50pm Reply

      • kpaint: “Experiencing periods of alternatively things being too strong and hardly being able to smell things at all.”

        This is very well put, Tara C, and something I am experiencing as well. It is very disorienting! April 3, 2018 at 11:34am Reply

      • Debby: Yes, I have lost a few smells along the way too, I am now entirely anosmic to freesias! April 3, 2018 at 4:10pm Reply

    • kpaint: I’m fascinated that you have made this connection between your perfumes and perimenopause.

      A year or two ago (around age 45) I started having a really hard time wearing my vintage perfumes. They smell so animalic, it’s overwhelming – like being suffocated by animal hair. I knew it was me, and not them, because all of my vintage perfumes started smelling this way at the same time. I’ve been trying to understand why. On the rare occasion that they don’t smell this way, I take advantage and wear them.

      I’ve been considering replacing my vintage bottles with the new versions and teaching myself to love them.

      Other (non-vintage) perfumes in my collection can also smell really different from one day to the next. Sometimes the development is drastically different; other days a perfume that normally wears very quietly is suddenly big and bold. I’ve started chalking this up to hormones as the probable explanation.

      I’ve also developed a sensitivity to woody notes, and it’s definitely something going on in my olfactory system and not with my skin. Some woods notes turn into these massive bombs that are oppressively sour. I’ve had my husband try some of them and his nose doesn’t pick this up but I can barely stand to be in the same room.

      Like you, I love loud perfumes (we’re probably close to the same age and both grew up with the sillage monsters of the 80s – it’s still the style I gravitate to.) If this is a permanent situation, I guess we’ll both have to develop an appreciation for perfumes outside of that genre. 🙁

      (Oh, and I also have a major sensitivity to Iso E Super. If it’s a small amount I can deal, but if it’s a major component it’s the olfactory equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. But I don’t think this is related to hormones – I’ve always had that reaction.) April 3, 2018 at 11:32am Reply

      • Debby: Thanks so much for your reply, this is my experience to a t!

        I forgot to mention that I am also very sensitive to wood notes, a lot of niche fragrances have (to me) a really aggressive cedar base.
        I also can’t stand anything in the Tom Ford Private Blend line, even the nerolis have the same thing that makes me feel queasy.

        I’m 45, and yes, the 80s powerhouses are definitely my spiritual home! Poison was a big love, the current version is too sickly sweet, and the true vintage has the horrible hair note, but I got a 2003 bottle which hits a great balance between the current horror and the vintage. Can’t get on with any version of Opium now which was so upsetting.

        Good luck with your journey, my own favourite recent discovery which hits the ‘big’ perfume want without the wood or animalics is Tauer’s L’Air d Desert Marocain. April 3, 2018 at 4:08pm Reply

        • kpaint: Yes – an aggressive cedar base! Like freshly cut raw logs of cedar – but so strong, oppressive, and sour. I knew it had to be my nose because this smell is NOT something anyone would intentionally want their perfume to smell like (even if “freshly cut cedar logs” sounds nice on paper.) I’ve not noticed that it’s primarily niche perfumes. I will have to give that some thought – it might be what ties them together.

          Incidentally, are you taking hormones at all? I am, in fairly high doses, and have wondered if that has an effect. I also wondered for a while if it was my sinuses, which I have a lot of problems with.

          I’m so glad to hear I’m not alone in this (though I wish we could both wear all our perfumes!) as there are times I’ve felt like I’m a little crazy.

          But I’ve got tons of bottles I can only occasionally wear, if at all – No 5, No 22, Le Dix, Caleche, Obsession, Fracas, and yes, Opium. It’s like someone has plastered my entire head with feral animal fur and that’s all I can smell.

          Interestingly, I’ve never had this issue with vintage Shalimar or No 19. I just sniffed my bottle of Poison and it seems okay (whew!) as does Fendi and Rive Gauche. But Oscar de la Renta and Paris are right on the edge. I was at a mall yesterday and picked up samples of No 5. This is the one I miss wearing the most so I’m hoping I can find a version I can wear 🙁 April 4, 2018 at 11:41am Reply

    • Qwendy: Definitely don’t get rid of all the perfumes that you find disturbing now! And definitely adjust your perfume wardrobe as you change! It’s frustrating that so little is communicated about the myriad effects of menopause ….

      Just know that for a while you will change all the time, and then less so, especially with some good help balancing your hormones. It’s off subject but I recommend Sara Gottfried’s book Hormone Cure.

      I have always been sensitive in seemingly random ways, which shifted and intensified with menopause. Now I have sort of gotten used to my repertoire of sensitivities, as you probably will. I started being aware of hormonal changes in my early 40’s, which is almost 20 years ago, and I can say that there are still moments when my nose goes off. You are probably changing most every day, which is nice proof that nothing is permanent!

      Bon courage! April 5, 2018 at 5:20pm Reply

  • KatieAnn: I am searching for a perfume that captures that scent of old cathedrals. I know these scents are out there (thinking Serge La Religieuse) but wanted input from someone who may have tried a few and have some informed opinions as I am new to this genre. I don’t like scents that are masculine or too musky. I’m looking for something that gives off a lightly sweet, incensey aura with a bit of overgrown flower garden floralcy. As if one just spent time at prayer and then took a stroll through a hidden garden in the sunshine. Hope I’m not being too particular! March 26, 2018 at 1:16pm Reply

    • Carla: This is such a good request! I usually would say Messe de Minuit for cathédral incense, Black Cashmere if you want the wooden pew scent in there too, but they don’t have florals. Iris Silver Mist is a fascinating unusual iris that is dry with something of incense in it but I’m still trying to come up with something better. I have never smelled La Religieuse. De Profundis is another gorgeous Lutens floral that has something masculine in it to me, but my untrained nose doesn’t know what it is-carnation? Maybe a masculine floral like De Profundis rather than a floral incense. March 26, 2018 at 1:31pm Reply

      • Carla: Here is Victoria’s review of De Profundis. It is one of my favorites that I could wear every day come spring. March 26, 2018 at 1:36pm Reply

        • KatieAnn: Great suggestion! I will try this out. Thank you! March 26, 2018 at 5:17pm Reply

      • Suzanne: I think you might like Caron’s Parfum Sacree or Comme des Garcons Avignon (really nice description of this on Lucky Scent). March 26, 2018 at 9:43pm Reply

      • Martha: I second the recommendation of Lutens’ De Profundis. It’s my favorite perfume. I wore it during an All Souls Day service at Westminster Abbey, where the priests used incense, and it hit the same notes perfectly. April 12, 2018 at 11:25am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello KatieAnn: what about the incense, orange blossom, beeswax of l’Artisan Seville a l’Aube. Personally I get the idea of a church from Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant but it is not floral. March 26, 2018 at 1:58pm Reply

      • KatieAnn: I have always wanted to try Seville a l’Aube. It sounds beautiful. I should make a real effort to get my hands on a sample. I have never heard of this Goutal, so there is another one to try. Thank you! March 26, 2018 at 5:19pm Reply

      • Mariann: Seems my comment got swallowed in the ether but i was recommending it as well as well as Sauf which is mentioned lower down. It skews more floral on me but its a beautiful scent and may just suit 😀 March 26, 2018 at 5:41pm Reply

      • Suzanne: I second Encens Flamboyant. If you like that, please try Bulgari Black. March 26, 2018 at 9:45pm Reply

      • Inma: Dear Aurora,
        I haven´t tried yet L’Artisan Seville a L’Aube, I am still on the way of asking a sample of it.

        I also wanted to share that here in Seville all the orange blossoms are right now opening and walking in the streets is being surrounded by their perfume constantly. People change their way to walk next to the trees and smell it stronger. March 28, 2018 at 7:05am Reply

        • Aurora: Hello Inma: Let us know your impression of Seville a l’Aube when you have tried it.

          Thank you so much for sharing. I think it’s wonderful that people of Seville appreciate it. No perfume can replicate real orange blossom in bloom but Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc (not the intense version which is too cloying) comes close for me, I will wear it this evening and dream of spring in Seville 🙂 March 28, 2018 at 12:43pm Reply

          • Inma: Dear Aurora,

            Thank you very much for Neroli Blanc’s recommendation, it sounds lovely. I didn’t know about Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger, some people create really beautiful things!

            I have just received my first samples from First in fragrance – other perfumes – and they have arrived perfectly. As happy as a little child when I opened the envelope.

            Any recommendation of anoher web that sells samples in Europe?

            Aurora, I hope you had marvellous dreams!

            Thank you again, March 29, 2018 at 9:50am Reply

            • Aurora: Dear Inma: So pleased for you about the samples. Enjoy them. I live in the UK and have ordered samples (niche and mainstream) from Notino in the past and was happy, I checked there is one in Spain too perhaps they have samples of Au Pays de la Fleur de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc EDP. Also for niche perfume samples I have heard good things also about Parfumaria in the Netherlands €10 for 3 samples, I think it was Kayliz who comments often, who recommended them to me 🙂

              Hope this helps you a little bit.

              PS Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger has a website they’re located in the South of France March 30, 2018 at 9:19am Reply

            • Aurora: Dear Inma: Hello again, just to let you know I’ve been checking Notino in Spain and they have Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc EDP so if you want to know it you could get a sample, it looks as if they have a very good selection of perfumes in general 🙂 March 30, 2018 at 10:05am Reply

              • Inma: Dear Aurora,

                Thank you so much for your recommendations! They are soo helpful right now for me. I am moving from reading and trying in shops to choosing what I would to explore next. Expanding possibilities, combining all of them.
                I’ll let you when I try those two perfumes you told me about.
                Thank you again, April 1, 2018 at 6:53am Reply

    • Marianna: Unum Opus 1144. This is a very high church incense type of fragrance. In addition, Unum’s founder has span off another brand, Sauf – and all 3 fragrances in it are focused on incense. Contre Bombarde is my favorite of that series, but all are worth checking out March 26, 2018 at 2:02pm Reply

      • KatieAnn: Thank you! These are more great suggestions. March 26, 2018 at 5:20pm Reply

      • Mariann: Second Sauf especially Contre Bombarde and Voix Humaine! March 26, 2018 at 5:42pm Reply

    • Nina Z: It seems worth checking out Avignon from Comme des Garcons because it smells exactly like an old cathedral to me. You should sniff it so you at least have experienced it. However, it might be strong for you. My favorite incense fragrance, which is lightly sweet and a little floral, is Sideris by Maria Candida Gentile. This is on the sheer side. March 26, 2018 at 2:06pm Reply

      • KatieAnn: I have not heard of either of these, and now I really want to try them. Avignon sounds beautiful (pretty name too). Thank you! March 26, 2018 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Tricia: Parfum Sacre by Caron is one of my favorites. It’s discontinued, but you can still find it. March 26, 2018 at 9:50pm Reply

    • Irem: Armani Prive Bois D’Encens is the ultimate church incense scent to my nose. I spent my teenage years in Istanbul, capital of the Byzantine Empire, home to many Eastern Orthodox churches and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. None of these churches were cathedrals, no flower gardens, just old stone buildings surrounded by other buildings in an old city. Filled with all imaginable shades of incense scent – from the freshly burning incense to layers of old incense that has burned for hundreds of years and has etched itself onto the cold stone. These churches were always empty, always quiet and the air filled with this divine incense scent. I haven’t visited one in years, but few drops of Bois d’Encens faithfully create that atmosphere for me. I don’t wear it as a perfume (would be a sacrilege and I am not even religious) and highly doubt that it is the perfume you are looking for, but I would highly recommend that you sample it as part of the church incense genre. March 27, 2018 at 12:37pm Reply

    • Irem: Hello KatieAnn, my second reply to your message (cf. Bois d’Encens). The moment I hit the submit button on my previous comment, I remembered L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Passage d’Enfer – church incense and lilies. I have no idea if it is still in production, I hope it is. March 27, 2018 at 12:42pm Reply

      • KatieAnn: Thank you Irem! Two more great suggestions! I will have to look into both. So many beautiful possibilities! March 27, 2018 at 4:58pm Reply

    • AWS: I just saw a new perfume by indie perfumer Sixteen92 called Il Dolce Suono Parfum. It has notes listed as: Dried petals, cathedral incense, polished wood, ambroxan, white narcissus. Not too expensive either. I haven’t tried this one but have tested other perfumes of theirs and liked them quite a bit (Bruise Violet and Mercy Lewis.) March 29, 2018 at 2:13pm Reply

      • KatieAnn: Ooh, thank you for the suggestion! I just looked it up. Their site says the fragrance is inspired by opera arias. I love arias! And you’re right, their prices are very reasonable! March 29, 2018 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Lillibet: Maybe L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer? March 29, 2018 at 10:12pm Reply

    • Amy M.: I second (or third?) the Passage D’Enfer suggestion. Incense with Lily. Chanel #22 also combines incense with a floral, white flower note. But it’s got a load of aldehydes on top. March 29, 2018 at 10:26pm Reply

    • Tara C: Oriza LeGrand Reve d’Ossian is lovely. March 31, 2018 at 10:53pm Reply

  • Eva Syndram: Dear, as you‘re heading for Paris, I‘d love to recommend: Éditions de Parfums Fréderic Malle Dans tes bras, Robert Piguet Fracas and Lancôme Magie Noire. Guerlain‘s Après l‘Ondée is, as I‘d love to admit, a wonderful, wonderfil idea. Enjoy… March 26, 2018 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Jacquie: I am madly in love with Calligraphy Rose.
    I love dark rose but with incense Oudh type, not Agent Provacatuet type.
    Could anyone please recommend me similar perfume that I can get in Australia or via online?
    I’m wary of eBay.
    Thank you. March 26, 2018 at 4:50pm Reply

    • Aurora: Maybe Eau d’Italie Paestum might be an option, if you haven’t already tried it. It’s a dark rose with incense and other resins and doesn’t remind me of Agent Provocateur in the least. March 26, 2018 at 6:03pm Reply

    • Aurora: Forgot Rose, it’s Paestum Rose 🙂 March 26, 2018 at 6:14pm Reply

    • Amy M.: Hi Jacquie,
      Your question prompted me to look up Calligraphy Rose, because I’ve already heard a lot about that one and the Paestum Rose. I’ve not tried them, but here are some incense rose scents that I’ve tried and love: Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Desert & Encense Mythique d’Orient, Malle’s Portrait of a Lady, Juliette Has A Gun Romantina, Amouage Lyric, and Neela Vermeire’s Mohur. All of these perfumes, to my nose, are dusky, spicy, and not at all simple green or tea rose. March 29, 2018 at 10:59pm Reply

      • Jacquie: Thank you 😊
        I read also Mancera Black to Black, Calligraphy Rose is a Rose Oud and the Oud in it is what’s I ❤️ March 29, 2018 at 11:06pm Reply

  • Ninon: First, thank you to the kind people here who have responded to my posts seeking fragrance recommendations for painful times. I am just starting to wear perfume again and would love suggestions for complex spring scents (I know of many lovely, spare soliflores, etc., but am craving something more layered/lush). Opardu is a favorite and I would also like to try more floral chypres; I generally struggle with fruit, but love Shangri La, so there are exceptions. Thank you so much. March 27, 2018 at 12:36am Reply

    • Courant: Songes by Annick Goutal is my most lush. Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain is a huge white floral that can be found at grey market online discounters. Great value. New to the market and with great finesse is Alexander McQueens EDP. March 27, 2018 at 2:08am Reply

      • Ninon: Thanks so much–I’m especially curious about the Guerlain. March 27, 2018 at 6:33pm Reply

    • Kayliz: Do try Houbigant Quelques Fleurs (the original rather than the Royale) — very floral and very lush. March 27, 2018 at 5:23am Reply

      • Ninon: Thank you–this is new to me. March 27, 2018 at 6:33pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Ninon: I’m sure you are being very courageous.
      For a chypre floral for spring and summer, a stunning one is Chanel Cristalle. If you haven’t tried them the EDT and EDP are different, for a summer chypre I feel that nothing beats Eau de Rochas. I also thought I would recommend Liz Earle No 1 and No 9. Liz Earle perfumes are 90%+ natural in case you haven’t heard of them, No 1 I enjoy because it’s very uplifting and much more lasting than Clarins Eau Dynamisante which it resembles (Eau Dynamisante is a lovely classic chypre) and No 9 because it’s a very well done chypre, I should mention for you though that it does have some fruit, cassis but I find it very well done in the lines of the peach in another wonderful chypre, Mitsouko. March 27, 2018 at 7:25am Reply

      • Ninon: Hi Aurora,

        Thank you so much for your kindness–I am trying to be strong and courageous! And thank you for the wonderful suggestions. I do know both versions of Cristalle, but not the other chypres–I will check them out. March 27, 2018 at 6:34pm Reply

    • Ann: Hmmmmm….. this is a good question. I just want you to know that Carnal Flower is a very lush springy perfume to me – and it just makes me smile. Good luck to you! March 27, 2018 at 8:23pm Reply

      • Ninon: Thank you, I do like Carnal Flower, especially the hair mist. March 28, 2018 at 10:52pm Reply

    • Hamamelis: Have you tried Ostara? It has been discontinued but is still available on discounters. Victoria wrote a beautiful review here. As Ostara is the goddess of spring and rebirth it may be a fitting scent to wear after a painful time. March 31, 2018 at 8:00am Reply

      • Ninon: That is a fantastic recommendation–I forgot about this one! I will sample it first. Thank you! March 31, 2018 at 1:21pm Reply

  • Maria: I would love to share my discovery of the weekend. I assisted to an orchyd exposition in Montréal and I discovered a variety of perfumed orchyds that smells like the most luxurious iris!! It is called “Encyclia Gail Nakagaki”. There are some other varieties of encyclias that are also perfumed (I also bought one that smell like orange blossoms). The smell is delicate but present and I love to have them at home! March 27, 2018 at 4:05pm Reply

    • hotcrossbun: Wow that sounds lovely! On the topic of scented plants, the flowers of the string of pearls plants have the most incredible scent – it’s like cinnamon nutmeg frangipani. If only mine would flower… March 28, 2018 at 6:10am Reply

    • Amy M.: That sounds lovely! March 29, 2018 at 11:01pm Reply

  • Brock: I would *love* to know your thoughts on Mugler’s Aura. March 28, 2018 at 1:12am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Brock: It’s on my list but I haven’t tried it yet, so I am curious to see the answers you get. Mugler fragrances are always interesting if not always wearable aren’t they? I have and love Angel Liqueur de Parfum and Miroir des Secrets 🙂 March 28, 2018 at 1:32pm Reply

  • hotcrossbun: Hi everyone,
    Can you recommend me some beautiful foresty perfumes, that give a sense of earth, new leaves and adventure? I love Ormonde woman but the price has held me back… March 28, 2018 at 6:04am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello: I am not familiar with that Ormonde Jayne but Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee EDP is a night walk in a pine forest, so quite an adventure, have you tried it? It is available at discounters online, I got an almost full bottle on eBay UK for very little money.

      Also, re you familiar with the Serge Lutens Bois series and Fille en Aiguilles? March 28, 2018 at 3:20pm Reply

      • Aurora: ‘are’ you sorry for the typo March 28, 2018 at 3:53pm Reply

      • Hotcrossbun: Thanks for the recommendations! I haven’t tried any of those yet except for Feminite du bois, but coincidentally I do have a sample of bios de violettes on the way, so look forward to trying that. I’ll have to search for samples of the nuit etoilee ESP and fille en aiguille – Kevin’s mock ad copy for the fille on NTS is hilarious by the way! March 29, 2018 at 2:10am Reply

        • Hotcrossbun: Oops I also have many typos. Oh well. March 29, 2018 at 2:14am Reply

    • Lillibet: Try Diptyque’s L’ombre dans L’eau. March 29, 2018 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Amy M.: Commes des Garcons Zagorsk! March 29, 2018 at 11:06pm Reply

    • Celle: Hello! I suggest Ninfeo Mio by Annick Goutal… It reminds me of a beautiful garden everytime I wear it – grass, trees (lemon trees!!), fig leaves and fruits 🙂 April 2, 2018 at 11:13am Reply

    • kpaint: By the time you’ve sampled all the perfumes that are “like” Ormonde Jayne Woman, but still not it, you’ll have spent as much money as OJ Woman would have cost. I say buy OJ Woman! April 3, 2018 at 11:38am Reply

  • Aurora: I just thought I would add Clinique Wrappings available every year at Christmas time, it is woody too and very special 🙂 March 28, 2018 at 3:30pm Reply

    • Hotcrossbun: Thanks – I’ll have to remember around Christmas time. I wonder if this applies in Australia, with our hot-weather christmases. If not, there’s always the internet! March 29, 2018 at 2:13am Reply

  • Lindsey: Hi all, I’m looking for an orange blossom fragrance on the woodsy, smoky or powdery side, nothing sweet or too fruity.

    I just tried Freeway from 4160 Tuesdays and I liked that it was a little dirty but it ended with too much creamsicle for me. L’Artisan’s Seville was too sweet. Looking forward to your recommendations! March 28, 2018 at 11:37pm Reply

    • Aileen: Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s APOM pour Femme is very pretty orange blossom with a powdery, musky dry down. March 29, 2018 at 8:57am Reply

    • Amy M.: I like Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom, although the lasting power for the price isn’t fabulous. Arquiste’s Infanta en Flor is a less sweet (to my nose) orange blossom with suede/leathery notes. It’s not inexpensive, but swoonworthy! Other favorites are Hermes 24 Fabourg, Houbigant Oranges en Fleurs and Serge Luten’s Fleurs d’Oranger. I keep a bottle of orange flower water handy and spritz my sheets with it, too! March 29, 2018 at 11:21pm Reply

    • Neva: Hi Lindsey, just yesterday I’ve been trying out a sample of Athalia by Parfums de Marly. I think it would fit your description. It’s a lovely creamy orange with a touch of incense. Not sweet at all and the musk makes it powdery. It does not change and lasts pretty long. March 30, 2018 at 6:36am Reply

    • Hamamelis: What about Hiram Green’s Dilettante? It suppsedly covers the whole orange tree from stem to blosdom to fruit, although I would not call it fruity. It is one of the happiest orangeblossoms I own and all natural to boot. March 31, 2018 at 7:55am Reply

    • kpaint: On the powdery side, perhaps Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger? I’ll admit to not having tried it, but I’ve smelled most of the other Prada Infusions and they all have that same powdery Prada-ade. April 3, 2018 at 11:42am Reply

  • Eudora: Oh I am late but I will try…
    Hello! I want to know the difference between Prada Infusion Iris and the absolue version. Infusion d’Iris was the perfume that introduced me to Perfume and this blog. Victoria’s review is unforgettable.
    Thanks! March 29, 2018 at 4:00pm Reply

    • Hamamelis: Absolue is deeper and has an added orangeblossom note. It is absolutely gorgeous. March 31, 2018 at 7:56am Reply

      • Eudora: Thanks Hamamelis, I can only read great reviews about it. I really appreciate your comment. March 31, 2018 at 8:30am Reply

        • Hamamelis: If you come across it on a discounter I think it is worth a blind buy, I have and love both but prefer Absolue a little bit more! March 31, 2018 at 2:46pm Reply

    • kpaint: The Absolue is gorgeous while the Infusion is merely nice 😉 April 3, 2018 at 11:43am Reply

      • Eudora: Thanks, that is my feeling. My real love with perfume began with Infusion d’Iris but I never replaced it. It felt sharp at the end, it bothered me in some way. At the same time I discovered Iris, other Iris and never looked back. But sometimes I encounter the Absolue version and I am very curious… April 3, 2018 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Anya Gonzalez: I am looking for the perfect blue nenufar [Blue water lily] perfume, not lotus. I grew up in the Caribbean and my grandfather had a pond filled with these flowers and the scent was amazing, so much so that sometimes I would grab some petals and wear them under my chemise so I could smell like them throughout the day. The closest I have found was Scents of time Nénuphar [discontinued] and Un été sur le Nil by Hermes [which I wore on my wedding day]. Any other suggestions, please? March 30, 2018 at 8:00pm Reply

    • Anya Gonzalez: Ooops, meant Un Jardin sur le Nil March 30, 2018 at 8:01pm Reply

  • Sharon Casey: I wore Chopard’s Madness for years and have never found anything else I’ve liked as much. April 3, 2018 at 8:47pm Reply

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