Recommend Me a Perfume : January 2019

Our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is open this week. You can use this space to find perfume 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 uner their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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262 Comments

  • Lily: I discovered this weekend that Sinner (Kat Von D) is almost a clone to Narciso Rodriguez for her EDT. I had tried the NR a couple years ago and thought it too fruit-heavy for me. I got a tiny bottle of Sinner from Sephora rewards points to wear with a villainess costume last summer. I just got a sample of NR in my most recent order, decided to try it again since it is so popular, and found myself really liking it. And feeling it was familiar. At first I thought it was like Rumeur (2006) but that is pure floral-woody musk, no fruit, and then I realized it was like Sinner. I did a side by side wear and the two are sooooooo similar. The NR has a stronger floral note and is a bit sharper, the Sinner has a heavier fruit and is a little sweeter. But the character and style of the two scents are almost indistinguishable except in a side by side. I don’t know if they would wear the same for everyone, but my skin opens up and radiates sweet notes and especially stone fruit notes, so I think that is why they developed so similarly for me. I found myself liking the NR better, so if I decide it’s a scent style worth investing in a bottle, that’s the one I’d get. January 21, 2019 at 9:23am Reply

    • Filomena: There are lots of flankers to NR, which one did you try? January 21, 2019 at 10:10am Reply

      • Lily: The original EDT. Pink box, black bottle. Not sure how similar the KDV scent would be to the other editions of NR. January 21, 2019 at 4:47pm Reply

        • Eyke: Maybe try the EDP, i think it is a softer, more powdery scent than the EDT. I love it! January 24, 2019 at 5:28pm Reply

  • briony: I have a question – my son loves Van Cleef & Arpels’ Midnight in Paris. But now it’s been discontinued he’s struggling to find a replacement. Ideally he’d like something very similar and I think it’s the floral notes he likes. I suggested Caron’s Le Troisieme Homme but he found it too austere. He does, though, quite like one of the Van Cleef & Arpels – Eau Parfumee au The Noir. He’s in his mid-20s, so doesn’t have the confidence to wear anything that would be seen as a women’s fragrance. Anyone have any ideas? January 21, 2019 at 10:02am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hello Briony!
      I don’t know Midnight in Paris, but here are some suggestions based on the notes listed for it: Encre Noir for men, Chergui (S Lutens), Memo Irish Leather, Knize Ten, Tauer’s L’Air du Desert Maroccain, or something from Hermes.

      Also, it’s probably still available on eBay (maybe worth checking). Either way, hope he discovers some new ones he enjoys wearing. January 21, 2019 at 5:04pm Reply

      • Briony: Hi Silvermoon, thank you. I tried to get him some on Ebay at Christmas but took my eye off the ball and was outbid. I’ll keep looking though. I’ve got Chergui, Encre Noir and Knize 10 myself. I gave him Knize 10 but it was too leathery for him. I never thought about the other two so I’ll give him those now to try. January 22, 2019 at 4:57am Reply

        • Mezzogiorno: I find this convo so charming. What a good parent you are, Briony! Good luck! January 23, 2019 at 6:31pm Reply

          • Briony: Thanks so much Mezzogiorno – my husband never wears any kind of fragrance, so I’m really happy my son’s inherited my interest in it. I love discussing perfume with him. January 24, 2019 at 5:15am Reply

    • John: Hi Briony,

      I don’t know Midnight in Paris that well personally, but it sounds like your son is more sophisticated than many guys his age, and is looking for something with that modern balsamic-tonka-vanilla smoky-rubbery sweetness. I do see Midnight in Paris compared to Prada’s Luna Rosa Black on Fragrantica, and, though I think the time may be coming for a break from Luna Rosa flankers, I did think it smelled pretty good on a test strip recently.

      Speaking of Prada, Prada Amber Pour Homme intense is a darkly balsamic fragrance with a nice myrrh-vanilla continuum; it probably deserves more attention than it gets… He also might enjoy l’Occitane’s Eau De Baux, which is a very appealing and accessible incense-tonka composition (no leather but a nice dense vanilla musk in the base.) I find Eau de Baux both appealingly exotic and masculine but also suitable for a young man (my son — also early 20’s — loves it, despite having many more sophisticated things to choose from); there’s also a decent line of grooming products available. For an upscale version of essentially the same feel, I’d second Chergui. January 21, 2019 at 5:22pm Reply

      • Briony: Thanks John, I suggested he tried Prada Homme as I though it smelled nice, but didn’t think about Luna Rosa. It’s the floralness he likes so maybe that’ll be right up his street. He might well like the amber too as it’s sweet and warm. And I’ll definitely suggest the Occitane Eau de Beaux. January 22, 2019 at 5:01am Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi Briony,
      Although that one is discontinued as well but Midnight in Paris to me was a dead ringer to Bvlgari Black. It can be found online or at some older perfume shops. As a woman I’ve also worn these 2 as I find them unisex but they smell amazing on men, I gave my sample to Midnight in Paris to my brother and he wore it happily.
      Mugler’s A-men, Terre d’Hermes and santal Majuscule by Serge Lutens that are warm scents that suit a man. January 22, 2019 at 4:24am Reply

      • Briony: Thank you for all your suggestions. I’ve got Bulgari Black and my son did like it when he tried it. I’ll suggest the others you mentioned too. There’s bound to be something here he’ll like. January 22, 2019 at 5:05am Reply

        • Fazal: Yeah, get the newer Bvlgari black, not the older version since that has very prominent rubber note. As for me, I like the original version more because that rubber note gives a signature vibe to Bvlgari Black. I just don’t get it why more people are not stocking up on original Bvlgari Black that is better than 95% niche offerings out there. January 22, 2019 at 5:54pm Reply

          • Briony: Thanks Fazal, I have a bottle of the original Bulgari Black that I’m trying to eke out – I love the rubber note too. I didn’t know they did a new one. Is that the new Bulgari Black Man or a reformulation? I’ll have a look online now. I’m sure my son would love that because he likes the original. January 23, 2019 at 8:06am Reply

    • Miruna: Hi Briony,

      I went through two bottles of Midnight in Paris a few years ago. After I lost all my perfume wardrobe a couple of years ago, I tried to replace some of the few I loved most (still trying, actually), but MiP had already been discontinued.

      The closest one I found was Bvlgari Black. It is not a perfect replica, but I find it very very similar. And it certainly does not look like a women’s fragrance, the bottle is even more masculine than MiP (though less dreamy). Please get a sample for your son. January 22, 2019 at 5:12pm Reply

      • Miruna: Nevermind my comment, looks like you already posted about it by the time I submitted my reply 🙂 January 22, 2019 at 5:15pm Reply

      • Briony: Hi Miruana, looks like Bulgari Black’s the one – I’ll get a sample for him. Thanks a lot. January 23, 2019 at 8:07am Reply

    • AnnieA: @briony I found Miller Harris Fleur De Sel very close to the VCA. January 23, 2019 at 9:19pm Reply

      • Briony: Yes Fleur de Sel is another lovely one – I’ll suggest that one too. Thanks Annie. January 24, 2019 at 5:11am Reply

        • Morelle: Be warned that it’s discontinued. Which is a shame. January 24, 2019 at 4:51pm Reply

          • Briony: Yes I know. It’s so annoying. Thank God for TKMaxx! January 24, 2019 at 5:57pm Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: I am looking for a true gardenia fragrance that is long lasting (you can still smell it 12 hours later) and affordable (no more than £40 for 30ml of eau de partum). Many thanks. January 21, 2019 at 11:51am Reply

    • KatieAnn: Are you familiar with I Profumi di Firenze? They make an EDP called Tuberosa D’autunno that is very realistic and pretty long lasting. I know you said gardenia, but to me, this perfume smells like tuberose/gardenia. Very creamy and not real sweet. I think the price is right too. January 21, 2019 at 2:04pm Reply

    • Dee: Have you tried Ester Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia? It’s a bit more expensive, but very long lasting. When I wear it it usually provokes people to ask what it is, it’s so beautiful. January 21, 2019 at 2:27pm Reply

      • Domestic Goblin: Thank you Dee, I will have a look. January 27, 2019 at 4:31am Reply

    • Mel: Try to find a vintage bottle of Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia somewhere. It’ll make your nostrils flare! January 21, 2019 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Kim Cravatta: Try Perfums de Nicolai ‘Odalisque’. This is reasonably priced at $55 for 30ml. It’s not gardenia, but a green, plush indolic. Very fresh. Excellent sillage and staying power.
      Luca Turin gave this one 5-stars. I did a blind buy b/c of the price, and it’s gorgeous. January 21, 2019 at 5:25pm Reply

      • Carla: It is so gorgeous! Not gardenia but one of my top ten favorite perfumes January 21, 2019 at 5:32pm Reply

      • Domestic Goblin: Thank you Kim, I will have a look. January 27, 2019 at 4:33am Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: The daughter of the late actress Natalie Wood brought out a gardenia fragrance under her name a couple of years so. It’s just called “Natalie.” It’s affordable and others have called it a modern version of the “Jungle Gardenia” she wore. You can find it online. It is very pretty and quite strong, though for most people I doubt it will last 12 hours on skin alone — it might, if sprayed on a scarf or other fabric. January 21, 2019 at 5:43pm Reply

    • ninon: Many love Dame Perfumery’s Gardenia soliflore (I only tested it once and can’t remember it well). My favorite gardenia is MCG Lady Day, but it’s ultra green and camphorous…not to everyone’s taste. January 21, 2019 at 11:04pm Reply

  • Wendy Jean Knospe: I am craving sweet this winter. I would like to add a sophisticated gourmand scent. My favorite perfumes are Chanel No 5 extrait, White Linen and 31 Rue Cambon. Thanks! January 21, 2019 at 11:59am Reply

    • Klaas: I can recommend Hermes’ Ambre Narguile from the Hermessences line. It is a real gourmand in the sense that it is sweet, delicious & comforting (it smells like apple pie!) but it also shines from within (with a glorious amber accord) and it is weightless. Gourmand with lots of chic! Also, you can take it into summer with you!

      Brin de Reglisse, also from Hermes, is gourmand in a totally different way. Do try if you hit the Hermes counter, and don’t Judge it to quickly as it is a little weird at first. You might grow to like it. It is the most fascinating mariage of licorice and lavender. Sweet and salty at the same time, it is one of my all time favorite scents! Enjoy your search! January 21, 2019 at 1:05pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You Klaas! January 21, 2019 at 2:40pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: How does Ambre Narguile compare to Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, SL Cherqui? I found these in my research of Ambre Narguile! So far Ambre Narguile has my attention!

        What about Slowdive by Hiram Green? January 24, 2019 at 12:55pm Reply

        • RosemaryMarian: Hi Wendy, I’m not familiar with the others you mention, but I tried TF Tobacco Vanille recently and I found it gorgeous. Tobacco, then chocolate, and finally a honeyed vanilla that lasted amazingly. It was still on my wrist after several handwashings, and I’ve no idea how, yet it didn’t have an obtrusive sillage. My husband adored it.

          I’m new to perfume and I don’t really know if these are gourmands exactly, but I also tried Tom Ford Lost Cherry, which was fruity and yummy without being too sugary for me. Even pricier though!

          I’m a new commenter by the way, so hello everyone! I’ve been lurking and loving this site for a little while now! January 30, 2019 at 9:36am Reply

          • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank you RoseMary! I’m new to this blog too! I am very interested in TF Tobacco Vanille! January 31, 2019 at 9:49pm Reply

    • KatieAnn: I like Mon Guerlain. It’s a real gourmand and is pretty, but classy. January 21, 2019 at 2:05pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You KatieAnn! January 21, 2019 at 2:41pm Reply

      • Filotania: I second that! January 21, 2019 at 5:35pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: I am new to the perfume world and don’t faint but I don’t own a Guerlain yet! Mon Guerlain scares me because of some of the off putting reviews. I think for my first Guerlain I may want a classic like Mitsouko, Shalimar or Chamade?! Also, I am craving rich, intoxicating sweets – I think Mon sounds too simple January 24, 2019 at 1:00pm Reply

        • Pocketvenus: Hi Wendy, if you want richness, I would try an older scent like Shalimar over Mon.

          If you like vanilla, Mona di Orio’s Vanille is creative and gorgeously rich. I wouldn’t call it a straight up gourmand though. January 26, 2019 at 5:07pm Reply

          • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank you! I definitely have Shalimar on my list! I will look into Mona – sounds great! January 27, 2019 at 9:31am Reply

          • Wendy Jean Knospe: Pocketvenus: I think Mona di Orio Vanille sounds wonderful! That and Ambre Narguile are on my new want list! January 27, 2019 at 9:40am Reply

            • Pocketvenus: Wendy, it is my favourite vanilla perfume, excellent for the winter! January 27, 2019 at 2:35pm Reply

    • Carla: I would suggest Chinatown January 21, 2019 at 5:34pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You Carla! January 21, 2019 at 9:49pm Reply

        • geordie: Seconding Chinatown, and adding Acqua e Zucchero by Profumum Roma! January 23, 2019 at 6:57pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: I researched Chinatown – intriguing! January 24, 2019 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi Wendy,
      I’m wearing 31 Rue Cambon today 🙂 , it is such a pleasure to smell it!
      I recommend Feve Delicieuse by Dior Prive line. Coromandel by Chanel in the new EDP edition is also sweet, very comforting and elegant.
      I second Mon Guerlain, it smells delicious, I also sampled the cream version and that one is strong and beautiful as well. January 22, 2019 at 4:50am Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You Nora! January 22, 2019 at 7:52am Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: I can’t get enough of 31 Rue Cambon lately! In some ways (but not all) the rich powdery drydown satisfy my sweet craving. January 24, 2019 at 1:03pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Nora, there seem to be two Feve Delicieuse! An original and a 2018. People seem to like the original version best . . Any thoughts? January 24, 2019 at 1:12pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Nora : I just purchased a bottle of Chanel Coromandel! I am still extremely tempted by many of the suggested scents (and they are on my want list) but I think Chanel maintains a level of elegance and quality that makes me feel safe in an overwhelming perfume world. Thank you again for suggesting Coromandel!! February 2, 2019 at 2:15pm Reply

        • Nora Sz.: Hi Wendy,
          I’m so glad you like Coromandel. It is such a sophisticated scent. February 2, 2019 at 2:20pm Reply

    • Erry: I can’t get enough of Aroma M Geisha Botan. It’s a floral-gourmand with peony, rose, vanilla, sandalwood and musk as some of its notes. It’s sweet, but not overly so, comforting, and a little powdery. You will notice the vanilla but it won’t really remind you of a dessert. Well, maybe a floral-vanillic flavor dessert. January 24, 2019 at 4:13pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You! January 24, 2019 at 6:00pm Reply

      • Wendy Jean Knospe: Erry, now I want Aroma M Geisha Botan too! I love Peonies – this sounds heavenly. Yikes I have so many new perfumes I need to experience after hearing from everybody! Thank you! January 28, 2019 at 10:35am Reply

  • Maria: This is a real long shot, but here goes. I recently remembered the giant crush I had on my high school drama teacher (this was in ~2000, in Moscow, if that helps) and the scent that he wore. I think I liked the scent more than I liked him. I can basically only describe it as “dark and sweet” but not too heavy. It must’ve been fairly popular at the time because I frequently smelled it in public transportation. Anyone have any idea what it might’ve been, or have suggestions for other men’s fragrances that can be described as dark and sweet? January 21, 2019 at 1:24pm Reply

    • Austenfan: Mine is a hesitant answer! Could it have been Chanel Egoïste?
      Not an expert on men’s fragrances but I remember a consultant at the hospital that I used to work in in late the nineties who smelled so good. We (junior doctors) finally asked what he wore, and it was Chanel Egoïste. It’s sweet, but Chanel sweet, if you see what I mean. January 22, 2019 at 7:22am Reply

      • Maria: Thank you! I am going to give that a sniff! January 22, 2019 at 11:19am Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi Maria,
      Could it be Thierry Mugler’s Angel?
      I smelled it on men and it knocked my socks off. January 23, 2019 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Potimarron: At about that time I was temping in an office and one of the male temps wore Joop! (Which I dimly recall as being on the sweet side). All the ladies in the office raved about it to the extent that he’d go home at lunchtime to put some on! January 30, 2019 at 3:11am Reply

    • Anna S Mansfield: I agree with some of the others: Egoiste, the dark pink Joop men, but could also be Obsession or Fahrenheit – all in the super-heavy vintage versions you’d only find on Ebay. I did think Joop was a terribly sexy scent – my first real crush, too. February 8, 2019 at 11:27am Reply

  • rainboweyes: I am looking for a scent for my 13-year-old son. He has never worn perfume up to now but keeps asking for one.
    No idea about his preferences, though 😉 January 21, 2019 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Carla: I would get a cologne, Mugler cologne for example. Or à fougère, I think Diesel did some decent ones several years ago. January 21, 2019 at 5:35pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Thank you, Carla! Something not too overwhelming seems to be a good idea to start with! January 23, 2019 at 1:09am Reply

    • John: What an interesting mission! I guess the really intense version of this exercise would be to make a chart with broad categories on it (‘leather’, ‘spices’, ‘woods’, ‘fresh’, ‘marine’ and ‘citrus’ for instance) and then sample a few examples of each family of fragrances when you go to Sephora or the mall or whatever (some people advise smelling only one family each time so you don’t get too overwhelmed with mixed signals…)

      The low-key version of this exercise would be to buy one of those ‘find your signature scent’ kits that come with a bunch of mini bottles and a coupon towards whichever one you decide to buy a full bottle of… My only problem with those kits (sometimes sold at big drugstore chains) is that the quality of the fragrances is not always great. Just like when you take kids shopping for clothes, it’s nice to point out the balance between finding quality and being responsible with your money. Personally, I love ‘classics’ because usually (even in modern formulations) the quality is there. Also, classics allow a person to get a reference point for fragrance families because they themselves have been so influential. Finally, classics stand a chance of being around in the future if your son develops a favourite he wants to stick with.

      In the meantime, you could just look at mainstream designer releases with good overall reviews… I’d probably never buy them at my age (47), but as a younger teenager just getting used to wearing deodorant (!), I’d probably be happy to walk around in an updated fresh fougère like Mr. Burberry or Prada l’Homme. Both are pleasant designer-grade fragrances than can be relatively found inexpensively (esp the Burberry, which shows up at discounters).

      No matter what you choose, get samples and let him spend a Sunday afternoon trying out each one in his room or out for a walk in the fresh air. Someone that young needs time, privacy and a full wearing to really understand how they feel about a fragrance… for that matter, so do I! January 21, 2019 at 5:40pm Reply

      • Lari: I can’t specifically help with this except to say I had a similar mission for my adult 27 year old son last year. It was both plenty of fun combined with plenty of scent research. He lives in San Francisco (I in NY) and he loves scent but can’t distinguish between notes. Just knows what he likes and doesn’t. With that in mind and getting by with a little help from my friends here, I researched and ordered about 20 or so decanted over a few weeks. Great surprise for him to find in his mailbox and for me a labor of love. Also had to give him some advice about no blind buys-ordered creed Irish tweed and didn’t like it at all. Anyway, he just turned 28 and asked me to do the same this year. Now that was an appreciated gift January 21, 2019 at 9:54pm Reply

      • John: A few ‘classics’ or near-classics (or at least benchmarks/reference points) you could test easily in North America:

        Dior Eau Sauvage (fresh citrus, herbs, vetiver)

        Dior Homme (iris, chocolate, leather jacket)

        Dior Fahrenheit (honeysuckle & tar)

        Chanel Pour Monsieur (citrus & moss)

        Chanel Antaeus (herbs, dry woods and oiled leather)

        YSL Kouros (sharp soap & fresh sweat)

        Old Spice (cinnamon, clove, carnation & vanilla)

        Guerlain Vetiver (fresh, green, woody, dry)

        Guerlain Habit Rouge (citrus, rose, baby powder, glove leather)

        Gaultier Le Male (lavender, vanilla, warm laundry)

        Ralph Lauren Polo (juniper, tobacco, leather club chair, Ernest Hemingway)

        … If you get into researching, you can look these up under the “leffingwell masculines guide” (google it!) to see how they are classified & organized…

        Also: fragrances that seem to be popular with well-heeled teenaged boys (I teach at a boarding school):

        Terre d’Hermès (orange, cedar, ground pepper)

        Bleu de Chanel (luxury version of a fresh body spray)

        Dior Sauvage (as with Bleu but sharper and more arid)

        Bvlgari Acqva Armarna (orange, salt, dirt, cucumber)

        Eau Sauvage Parfum (candied myrrh) January 21, 2019 at 10:08pm Reply

        • rainboweyes: Thanks for your recommendations, John. Actually, the first three Dior scents you mention were my first idea, too. He seems to like citrus and chocolate, and and I remember Fahrenheit being the scent of one of my male friends in my teenage years. January 23, 2019 at 1:18am Reply

      • rainboweyes: It’s quite a mission, yes! But a fun one, too 🙂 January 23, 2019 at 1:12am Reply

    • Klaas: The first perfume I ever bought (at 14) was Chanel pour Monsieur! I’ve worn it for years I loved it so much. It is very light, bright & fresh, and very suitable for a boy!

      I can also recommend Harmatan Noir by Parfumerie Generale. It is also a very fresh scent with mint, black tea, orange and jasmine. Very nice and discreet. Good thing is they do a 30 ml. bottle for not too much.

      But then, he might like something floral, oriental or gourmand! You could maybe try and order some samples from different kinds of scent so he can discover what his taste is? Guerlain Habit Rouge is a great classic as well, and maybe Cristalle from Chanel? January 21, 2019 at 5:41pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: I’ve never tried Harmattan Noir but I was actually thinking of ordering some niche scent samples for him too. Being an iris lover my first idea was Homme de Coeur by Divine but HN might be more uncomplicated. January 23, 2019 at 1:27am Reply

        • Klaas Backx: It is very uncomplicated, and has moderate sillage and longevity. It is an interesting fragrance though; get a sample if you can. Please let us know in one of the future ‘recommend me’ if he ends up choosing something! January 23, 2019 at 6:57am Reply

          • rainboweyes: I definitely will! January 23, 2019 at 1:22pm Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: I got Cool Water for my teenaged son when he first expressed interest in a scent, and that has worked well for him. It’s also affordable enough that he will be able to buy it on his own if/when he wants more. January 21, 2019 at 5:51pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: My husband was wearing Cool Water when we first met, so it’s a must-try 😉 January 23, 2019 at 1:28am Reply

    • Lydia: Hi, rainboweyes.

      Good for him! I wonder what he’ll choose.
      It’s interesting that he didn’t just ask for whatever his friends are wearing – that may mean he wants to explore a bit.

      Luckyscent does great, affordable sample packs of niche fragrances in masculine, feminine, and unisex sets, as well as seasonal sample packs (I’m guessing they might do a new set for Valentine’s day). They also have discovery sets for specific brands. January 22, 2019 at 10:30pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Yes, I wonder too!
        I think I’ll order a sample set from First in Fragrance (I’m based in Germany). January 23, 2019 at 1:30am Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: Ach! Ich auch. Meine Vorschläge habe ich unten aufgeführt 🙂 January 23, 2019 at 12:35pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: This is very interesting—as so many have commented before. Thinking about this brief, I realise how conservative I am. I first thought, gosh, perfume for a 13-year old, that a bit young…? Then: well, it’s never too early for a good thing. Whatever!
      However, I’d suggest something fun, something young and light of heart. No great classic, after all he has a whole life to explore the expensive biggies like Guerlain and Chanel.
      I’d go shopping with him. For example, go for Lush Gorilla. Racy names, fun smells and even Luca Turin raves about them.
      If it ought to be more urban edgy, why not Comme de Garcons, for instance the Sherbets (anyone for cinnamon chewing gum?), Sticky Cake, or Andy Warhol.
      Or some fun juice by Honoré des Prés: “I love coconut” for instance (I rather like the carot scent—but that’s an acquired taste ;-). January 23, 2019 at 12:32pm Reply

      • rainboweyes: Great recommendations, danke schön 🙂
        Yes, that’s what I first thought, too! Isn’t he too young? On the other hand, he’s been very scent-conscious from early childhood on… I remember him refusing to hug me whenever I was wearing the wrong perfume… January 24, 2019 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Zoe: I loveL’air du Temps. Any suggestions for something along those lines January 21, 2019 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Melanie: It could be because my mother wore both, but Je Reviens by Worth has always made me think of L’air du temps. And, oddly, a woman I know wears YSL’s Opium, but, to me, it smells like L’air du temps on her. January 21, 2019 at 9:02pm Reply

      • Zoe: Thank you. January 25, 2019 at 8:03pm Reply

    • Aurora: Also, another carnation perfume. Etro Dianthus is very pretty, discreet but long lasting. January 22, 2019 at 12:06pm Reply

    • Notturno: Hi Zoe,
      I love L’Air du Temps, too. You might like Guerlain Apres l’Ondee and Caron Bellodgia. They are very different but both have a carnation note. Victoria gave this Guerlain a 5 star review and Bellodgia 4 star, and they both deserve it.
      I found a vintage Bellodgia, pure perfume on eBay and it’s heavenly. January 27, 2019 at 4:59am Reply

      • Zoe: Thank you January 27, 2019 at 10:43am Reply

  • Anushia: Hi everyone. I’ve been an avid reader of this blog but first time posting. My first encounter with a commercial perfume was at the age of 15 with CK for Eternity (women) in year 1998 and fell in love with it instantly. Couldn’t afford to buy it then but many years later (when I could afford perfumes) it didn’t smell the same. I’ve tried it several times now over the years but it’s nothing like what I vividly remember it to be. I understand that it has been reformulated over the years with every transfer of ownership but looking for something similar please? My current signature is Chanel 1932, but also love SL Daim Blond in winter. I have SL Un Lys but that gives me a migraine. January 21, 2019 at 6:03pm Reply

    • Aurora: I don’t remember Eternity very well, just that it has a powdery aspect so I was thinking have you tried Guerlain l’Heure Bleue? Another route would be another Sophia Grojsman perfume, maybe Spellbound as Estee Lauder has been more respectful or their classics.
      Hope you will get more answers.

      PS A good alternative lily would be Cartier Baiser Vole, the EDT especially as it is more sparkling and light. January 22, 2019 at 12:13pm Reply

      • Anushia: Hi Aurora, thanks so much for your suggestion. I have tried Guerlain and did not fancy it much but have just purchased a bottle of Baiser Vole (yet to try but big hopes for it based on the notes!). Will give Spellbound a sniff when I encounter it next but on a separate now, Bronze Goddess is decadent! Thanks again! January 24, 2019 at 12:14am Reply

  • Melanie: I had combined patchouli, vetiver and a bit of lavender essential oils in a diffuser and found it spellbinding. Is there a perfume that fits that profile? Many thanks in advance! January 21, 2019 at 8:59pm Reply

    • ninon: Plug the notes into Fragrantica’s search engine for lots of options 🙂 January 21, 2019 at 11:06pm Reply

      • ninon: Come to think of it, you might enjoy Profumum Thundra. It’s patchouli, musk, and a mint that smells like lavender to my nose. January 22, 2019 at 12:44am Reply

      • Melanie: My mind is blown! I had no idea that that existed. Thank you, and for the recommendation below as well! January 22, 2019 at 7:47am Reply

  • ninon: Remembering Thundra (see above), I’d love to hear about folks’ favorite “earthy” scents. I love Nasomatto Absinth, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Timbuktu, which is dusty rather than earthy, but still in this category for me. I thought Black March and Wild Hunt were interesting, but ultimately too literal/linear. What others should I try? January 22, 2019 at 12:59am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Ninon: I like the earthy aspect of Terre d’Hermes. January 22, 2019 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Pocketvenus: Hello ninon, I just tried Zoologist’s Bat and it is very earthy. And stony! It pairs those dank edges with fruit and musk which sounds strange but really works. It is not an easy one though! January 30, 2019 at 12:11am Reply

  • Nora Sz.: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,
    Ever since cold weather is in , I crave citrusy colognes, especially ones with orange blossom.
    Which are your favourites? I currently use Neroli Portofino, Escale a Portofino and Fleurs d’Oranger by Serge Lutens. January 22, 2019 at 8:29am Reply

    • monkeytoe: John Varvatos Artisan (in the wicker covered bottle) is a lovely orange blossom and can be found for a song. January 22, 2019 at 10:23am Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Nora: I really like Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc eau de cologne, citrus and orange blossom/neroli, and the sweeter Hermes Eau de Neroli Dore. January 22, 2019 at 11:58am Reply

      • Klaas: Eau de Neroli Dore is gorgeous indeed. De Nicolai recently created two neroli scents that are very good as well, Cap Neroli and Neroli Intense. I personaly prefer the first one, but do try them both if you get a chance. I’ve heard very good things about Histoire d’Oranger from L’Artisan Parfumeur, but haven’t tested it myself. January 22, 2019 at 1:23pm Reply

        • Lydia: I warmly second Klaas’ Histoire d’Orangers recommendation. It’s one of my favorite orange blossom scents and has a light note in the beginning that smells slightly like fresh-squeezed orange juice to me. January 22, 2019 at 10:39pm Reply

        • Aurora: Hello Klaas: You make me want to try the Parfums de Nicolai neroli fragrances. January 23, 2019 at 6:22am Reply

          • Klaas Backx: Oh, please do, they are both excellent. If you pass by the Hermes counter, you should also give Eau de Neroli Dore a go. It is one of the most wonderful neroli based fragrances that I know of. Happy hunt! January 23, 2019 at 7:00am Reply

            • OnWingsofSaffron: YES! Absolutely! Eau de Néroli doré is an eye-opener indeed. January 24, 2019 at 11:35am Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Thank you for the recommendations, I will try what I can find in Europe. January 23, 2019 at 2:44pm Reply

      • Sabine: Oh and of course, Bois d’Orange by Roger Gallet. Cheaper than the other suggestions but well-cut and easy to wear. Not too feminine also. January 25, 2019 at 11:04am Reply

    • Sabine: Hi Nora, Neroli by Annick Goutal is one of my all-time favorites, less sweet than Fleurs d’Oranger by Serges Lutens or Eau de neroli doré by Hermès. Worth trying even if reformulated. Review by Victoria is here 😉 : https://boisdejasmin.com/2013/04/annick-goutal-eau-dhadrien-neroli-and-vetiver-colognes-fragrance-reviews.html#more-15603 January 25, 2019 at 10:32am Reply

  • Christine: I just graduated from college and will soon be working in a more corporate and conservative environment. I’m new to the fragrance world and I’m not very familiar with designer perfumes. The scents that I’ve worn before are usually fragrances from Bath & Body Works and Victoria Secret.
    I would very much like to GRADUATE also from the younger, girlier scents into more mature and Sophisticated scents.
    Will someone recommend me some scents and brands that are in the $30 to $60 range?
    I don’t want smell cheap and tacky but I also don’t want break the bank!

    I tend to like floral scents but I also like warm and creamy and milky scents. I don’t like powdery though.
    Can someone more knowledgeable help point me to a direction I should head towards? January 22, 2019 at 4:19pm Reply

    • Aurora: I would recommend the Cacharel line for starting a perfume journey as they are in your price range and don’t smell cheap: Noa a light musk with a coffee note, very creamy and nice, Anais Anais l’Original, a legendary floral and Amor Amor a great citrussy fragrance. I also really love Noa l’Eau which is fruity (apple and cassis) on a musk base and Anais Premier Delice a floral gourmand (flowers and chocolate). Also, have you tried Philosophy Fresh Cream? It’s milky and layers well with other scents.

      Oh and Hermes does 30ml bottles for around $35/$40 of the Les Jardins series: sample them all and see which ones you like best.

      Maybe also use Fragrance Net and
      Fragrance X or any of the other discounters available to you to keep the price down.
      Good luck, hope you will get additional answers. January 23, 2019 at 7:00am Reply

      • Christine: Thank you for those Recs! I will check those out!

        I’ve also heard good things about Pacifica line of perfume as a starter (the vegan beauty products brand) but i’ve heard that
        the scents don’t last long.

        A cousin of mine gave me some left over bottles of perfume and sample vials when i commented that i liked the scents that she was wearing

        Serge Lutens A La Nuit
        Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka, Honeysuckle & Davana, Jasmine Sambac & Marigold.

        I’ve discovered that I like the clean floral scents but i also really loved the Myrrh & Tonka. I like the warm Mediterranean indolic scents as well!

        Oh my…. i think i’m forming an expensive
        perfume addiction! January 23, 2019 at 7:50am Reply

        • Aurora: That was very nice of your cousin, so glad you can broaden your horizons this way. A La Nuit is a great jasmine, and like you I was really impressed with Myrrh & Tonka when I sampled it. Jo Malone here in the UK sell 30ml bottles for around £40.
          Pacifica fragrances are great, I have Mediterrinean Fig and French Lilac, they don’t project much but last a decent time on my skin.
          Enjoy your perfume exploration, yes, it can be addictive 🙂 and if you have a chance please report back on what you sampled and liked. January 23, 2019 at 11:17am Reply

          • Christine: There was only about 1 to 2 ml left of the A La Nuit about the same size as the samples from Jo Malone that she gave me. But it was still enjoyable!. I love the clean Jasmine scent from Serge Lutens but i also enjoyed the sweet smokey scent of the Myrrh & Tonka and i like the Honeysuckle & Davana.

            I will report back as to what else i discover. For now I’m quite intrigued by the scent descriptions from Cacharel. Particularly Lou Lou and Eden and Amor Amor January 23, 2019 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Klaas: Jour d’Hermes is a lovely, sophisticated floral that would be more then suitable for work. Check out Victoria’s excellent review for all the details! January 23, 2019 at 4:33pm Reply

      • Christine: Thank you for the suggestion, when I go to Neiman Marcus this week, I’ll ask for a sample. Keep em comin! January 23, 2019 at 10:23pm Reply

    • Pocketvenus: Hello Christine, I would suggest Elizabeth & James Nirvana rollerballs which are getting phased out so I’d jump on those quickly. Also, try out perfumes from Lush aka Gorilla perfumes. They have cheap solids and affordable 30ml bottles. January 26, 2019 at 5:15pm Reply

      • Christine: Wow! I love all these recommendations! Thank you!
        You know, I didn’t know much about perfume before but now I’ve found myself diving right into this big pool of Scents!

        I didn’t realize how much wearing perfume can change your mood and your emotions!

        I keep on sniffing my samples because it makes me feel good when i smell something amazing! January 27, 2019 at 12:23am Reply

        • Pocketvenus: You’re welcome, Christine! Enjoy the journey 🙂 January 30, 2019 at 12:13am Reply

    • Lydia: Hi Christine,
      I recommend ordering the Sylvaine Delacourte musk and vanilla sample sets and seeing if any of those appeal to you. They’re easy fragrances to wear and would make very nice professional scents.
      Delacourte used to work with Guerlain, so they are probably a bit more sophisticated and complex than the ones you wore before, but they’re not challenging or difficult (no burnt rubber or oud notes), just lovely and soothing.
      The discovery sample sets are available on the website and very affordable. (If only all companies made it so easy to sample their perfumes.) January 27, 2019 at 2:52am Reply

      • Lydia: PS You might also like to try some DSH (Dawn Spencer Hurwitz) perfumes. She has a number of floral sample sets (Spring Florals, Exotic Florals, Gardenia and Tuberose, Roses and Peonies, etc.), and if you find anything you like, there are many different size bottles to suit different budgets. January 27, 2019 at 3:12am Reply

    • Nina: How about Atelier Cologne’s Vanille Insensee? I am a newbie to the world of designer perfume, but this is the scent that pushed me down the rabbit hole. It is floral yet creamy, and a warm sweet scent. A very innocent sensual?? A 10ml spray is $26 at Sephora or the AC website, 30ml for $85. January 28, 2019 at 10:37am Reply

    • Potimarron: I’d say if in doubt, go lighter on the fragrance than heavier (the old Chanel maxim about noticing clothes vs. noticing the woman, plus the likely effect of a sillage-fest in a lift or an open-plan office). Chypres are described as going well with food and drink- maybe have a look at the chypre page on the Perfume Society web page and go from there.

      Miller Harris make very well-behaved (this makes them sound dull. They’re not) fragrances for offers or inexpensive samples- I found mine in discovery boxes), but the full-size aren’t cheap.

      Molecule 04 (Escentric Molecules) isn’t too expensive and I found it light, but interesting (without the sandalwood “fug” that makes me nauseous).

      Have fun! January 30, 2019 at 3:32am Reply

  • silentdraperunners: I have been thinking of clearing out the wardrobe and paring things down to one or two beautiful scents. I was thinking of puchasing a Chanel, either Cuir de Russie, Bois des Iles or Rue Cambon. I have sampled them over the years and really enjoyed them. Any comments on current formulations? January 22, 2019 at 5:26pm Reply

    • ninon: If you haven’t sniffed Les Exclusifs since the change to edp formulations, you need to. I find many of them unrecognizable. For Bois des Iles, for example, I much prefer the extrait version. January 22, 2019 at 8:48pm Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi silentdraperunners,
      I second ninon’s opinion: I love the EDTs but they were replaced by EDP concentration and reorchestrated as well. If you can, sample before buying or order the extrait version. I really love Sycomore EDP though, but I’ve never tried it in EDT. As for Cuir de Russie, I own the EDT and when sampled the EDP, did not find it that much different to be honest. Perfumista Super Dacob has videos online about the differences, I recommend them as well, but sampling is the surest.
      By the by, I really love the new Les eaux line, my favourite is Deauville but all 3 are sophisticated. They work better in warm weather, one of them may be avsummer staple. January 23, 2019 at 1:30pm Reply

      • Gvillecreative: Agree with trying before buying. Also agree that a quick sniff of the edp of CdR was very similar.

        The edp of Sycomore is unrecognizable. January 27, 2019 at 9:01am Reply

    • silentdraperunners: Thank you both for these comments. I don’t have anywhere nearby to sample but will be in Madrid next month so will try to track them down then. January 23, 2019 at 3:20pm Reply

  • Lydia: Dear All,
    I’ve been thinking about saving up for the pure perfume concentration of the current Narcisse Noir in the gorgeous 15ml vintage-looking bottle, but I don’t know what it smells like.

    I have an undated sample that I like and which I know is not vintage (still searching for a vintage sample to try, even if it breaks my heart a little), but I don’t know if it’s recent enough to reflect what Caron currently carries. (Sadly, the NYC Caron store closed before I got around to stopping by.)

    Are any of you fans of the current Narcisse Noir perfume? I’d love to hear how it smells to you, and also what you think of the eau de parfum or eau de toilette versions. January 22, 2019 at 11:03pm Reply

    • Aurora: Dear Lydia: As a rule the pure perfumes of Caron have fared slightly better than the edts but there are some exceptions, usually the perfumes which were based on the mousse de Saxe drydown and I think (not certain) that Narcisse Noir is one of them. Since the NYC Caron boutique is closed why not go to the Caron Paris website and contact the customer service by email and ask if they could send you a sample. I hope you won’t be disappointed with the current formulation, if you love the modern one go for it, perfumes change, that’s almost inevitable. January 23, 2019 at 6:46am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Aurora. I took a look at the Caron website and it looks like they only send samples if you buy something (but then they’re free.
        That black flower-topped bottle is so tempting, and so like the vintage bottle photos. January 27, 2019 at 2:13am Reply

    • Klaas Backx: Hello Lydia, I’ve sampled the latest formulation of the extrait and was very dissapointed. And that is an understatement!!

      The Narcisse is gone (as it is one of the most expensive absolutes out there) and so is the ‘Noir’. So please try before you buy, to make sure you get the scent that you are dreaming of.

      It could be that something was wrong with my sample, but the house of Caron has been sold to an investment company a while ago. And that is usually bad news….boutiques close and formulas are reworked. January 23, 2019 at 7:17am Reply

      • Lydia: Thanks, Klaas Backx. I know the scent could only be a shadow of its former self and not worth trying if I’d smelled the original, but even decants of that are hard to find.

        I almost didn’t try any Caron scents after reading the Turin / Sanchez guidebook scathing reviews of the reformulations, but my longiing for time travel perfumes made me give them a chance. I’ve mostly found the ones I’ve tried nice, but clearly missing components and the rich drydowns they ought to have. They’re like ghost images of something beautiful, still compelling, but only partly there. I’m willing to try them, though. January 27, 2019 at 2:29am Reply

        • Klaas: Hey Lydia, you should defenitely try Narcisse, I just wanted to warn you in case you were considering to buy blind. The bottle is gorgeous and nostalgic indeed….

          I’d be curious to know what your impressions are after you sampled. January 27, 2019 at 5:51am Reply

          • Lydia: Klaas, I really appreciated the warning and I will post again if I get a current sample. The one I have is definitely a reformulation, though not necessarily the most current one, and has this very faint, elusive hint of a rich darkness that’s like trying to catch sight of something in perepheral vision – never a fully formed image.

            I’m old enough to have smelled the vintage 60s or 70s version when I was a kid, and I think that’s the scent memory I’m really hunting, but if I find beauty in the current version, I’ll try to appreciate it for what it is.

            What I’ve found so far in my limited experience with reformulations is that there are some that seem to have been done honorably, with a genuine effort to make something beautiful within the new limitations, and some that are simply ugly and just trying to make money off an old reputation. (Not naming names for the latter in case I offend someone who appreciates them, but in the former I’d put something like L de Lubin, which really does send me back to my 79s NYC childhood.) January 27, 2019 at 2:24pm Reply

            • Lydia: (70s, not 79s.
              Phone typing: not for adult fingers.) January 27, 2019 at 2:26pm Reply

            • Klaas: I’d love to hear what you make of this one. My sample was most definately the latest reformulation, with the new packaging. January 28, 2019 at 7:36am Reply

  • rainboweyes: Thank you! Something not too overwhelming seems to be a good idea to start with! January 23, 2019 at 1:07am Reply

  • Karolina: Hello everyone, this is such a wonderful blog. Greetings from snowy (!) London. Years ago whilst I was a student on holiday in Paris I came across Chanel No 19 and to this day it has been my favourite despite reformulations etc. I’ve been trying to find something with a similar composition but I’m still searching…Any suggestions please? Thank you. January 23, 2019 at 3:07am Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Carolina, a great scent Annick Goutal Heure Exquise is similar to No 19. I like them both. January 23, 2019 at 6:48am Reply

      • Karolina: Thank you very much Aurora, I will definitely try your suggestion. The problem I have is that about 99% perfumes out there smell far too sweet/creamy/flowery/fruity for me. I guess my taste is “green”. The only other scent I ever truly enjoyed was Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria Mandarin Basilic but that is great for summer. January 23, 2019 at 7:23am Reply

        • Aurora: You’re most welcome. Oh, another great, very green perfume is Jacomo Silences (and it’s very affordable). January 23, 2019 at 8:03am Reply

    • Aurora: And I am from London too, such a small world. January 23, 2019 at 6:50am Reply

      • Karolina: Enjoying the snow? January 23, 2019 at 7:25am Reply

        • Aurora: It all but disappeared, where I am, Canary Wharf (at work) but it was a surprise this morning. January 23, 2019 at 8:01am Reply

    • Morelle: Jean Louis Scherrer might be worth a try. Less austere than No. 19, but certainly a close relative, and very, very green. January 23, 2019 at 5:31pm Reply

      • Karolina: Thank you Morelle, I will certainly give it a try. I do actually like that coldness and austerity of No. 19 and it seems to smell quite good on my very dry skin (judging by the comments I get when I wear it). January 24, 2019 at 6:24am Reply

        • Morelle: You might like Serge Lutens Bas de Soie, then. To me No. 19 is like bare earth in March, just thawed, and Bas de Soie is like a thin layer of ice on a pond in February. Definitely kindred spirits. And the hyacinth note of Bas de Soie is to die for. January 24, 2019 at 4:47pm Reply

          • Karolina: You have certainly caught my imagination with your description Morelle. I’ll have to try Bas de Soie now. January 24, 2019 at 5:06pm Reply

  • Karolina: Thank you so much, I can’t wait to try both. I’m looking forward to an exciting olfactory experience. January 23, 2019 at 9:24am Reply

  • Karolina: Hello again everyone, I have just read the conversation here about a suitable scent for a teenage boy. Could I please ask very nicely for similar suggestions for a 14 year old girl. I don’t think she would like anything too sweet and I’ve just had enough of cheap So! Grapefruit-y spray that takes my breath away when she sprays it on. January 23, 2019 at 12:02pm Reply

    • Austenfan: A cheap and very nice fragrance with a nice citrus opening is Moschino Funny. Probably a lot more sophisticated than she is used to, but she might still enjoy it. January 23, 2019 at 12:37pm Reply

    • Klaas: Great challenge. I would say any Aqua Allegoria for a girl that age. The selection is quite big, so there must be something in there she likes! My cousin loved Lempicka, Insolence (Guerlain) and Mugler Angel as a teenager, but those are big and sweet for sure 😉

      More subtle, De Nicolai sells 30ml bottles of most of her fragrances, so a good way to start without spending too much money. I mentioned Cap Neroli previously in this thread, but Cedrat Intense, Rose Royal, Fig Tea and Weekend in Normandy are also very nice and light. January 23, 2019 at 1:14pm Reply

      • Potimarron: The Allegoria bottles are beautiful too. Very dressing-table friendly 😀 January 30, 2019 at 3:34am Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi Karolina,
      I’ve worn Cacharel ‘s Noa when I was 15 and today still own a bottle, such a beautiful scent, very cuddly.
      I think, Chloe Edt would suit her as well. Lolita Lempicka’ s scents are great too.
      Yves Rocher has 15 ml size perfumes with good quality juice for different tastes: flowery, fruity, vanilla etc. Even the bigger bottles are rather cheap, I hope this line is available where you live.
      Some celebrity fragrances may hit the spot as well: Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely is a light, playful flowery-musky composition. January 23, 2019 at 1:45pm Reply

      • Karolina: Thank you all so much for your recommendations, you have given me a lot of great ideas. I was really dreading going shopping with my daughter and having to sniff tons of stuff that smells like liquid plastic (for a lack of better words). She has only just started being interested in perfumes and I thought she might as well start her adventure with something decent. Thank you again. January 23, 2019 at 3:37pm Reply

    • AWS: I’ve heard good things about Smell Bent’s 1999 – it’s a grapefruit scent. It’s affordable as well. January 24, 2019 at 12:49pm Reply

      • Karolina: Thank you AWS for your suggestion, we’ll definitely try. January 24, 2019 at 3:04pm Reply

    • Morelle: Something from the Hermès Un Jardin line? There are 20ml bottles available. January 24, 2019 at 5:07pm Reply

      • Karolina: We are going shopping, my daughter is excited already! January 25, 2019 at 9:28am Reply

  • Aurora: Hello everyone: this is about oud and rose. Oud is not my favorite note, I find it a bit relentless, and it’s been used so much these past few years’ however I have a bottle of one scent that I like very much: Thierry Mugler Miroir des Joyaux and the beautiful rose make the oud more than palatable, they

    What is your favorite rose/oud combination fragrance?

    With many thanks in advance for any answer. January 24, 2019 at 5:48am Reply

    • Nora Sz.: Hi Aurora,
      I have to say, i love oud in scents, and have sweet spot for rose-od combos
      Rose Oud by Kilian is one of my favourite, Oud Satin Mood and Oud Silk Mood are great options as well. January 24, 2019 at 7:44am Reply

      • Aurora: Thank you very much for your answer, Nora. So many oud/rose perfumes out there. Oud Silk Mood looks like an interesting combination, I love chamomile in perfumes. January 24, 2019 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Sebastian: There is Providence Perfume’s Rose Boheme, which is really beautifully rosy from start to finish and has just enough oud for keeping up one’s interest. It’s a classic, not artificially complex rose/oud/affron/patchouli combination. Not too sweet. Rather unisex. I enjoy it greatly. January 24, 2019 at 8:30am Reply

      • Aurora: I didn’t know this house, so I’m so grateful you shared your favorite rose/oud combo, Sebastian. January 24, 2019 at 12:22pm Reply

        • Sebastian: Interesting house. They recently brought out Vientiane, which opens with jasmine and rice! Undescribably wonderful. Then come in spices and sandalwood, and it’s gorgeous. Unfortunately, the interesting phase is over (on my skin) after about one and a half hour, and it settles into something sweet, creamy and less interesting. But oh! that first hour I love. January 24, 2019 at 7:03pm Reply

    • Sebastian: As it happens, there is a new rose/oud post about Marly Akaster over at Cafleurebon:

      http://www.cafleurebon.com/parfums-de-marly-akaste-review-under-the-radar-rose-oud-draw/

      I don’t know that stuff myself, though., January 24, 2019 at 9:01am Reply

      • Aurora: Thank you for the link, Sebastian. January 24, 2019 at 1:09pm Reply

    • Anu: Hello Aurora, I am not familiar with Miroir des Joyaux but I really enjoy the rose/oud combination of Thirty Three by Ex Idolo. It supposedly has oud in it that is aged for 33 years, therefore no medicinal or fecal aspect to it, at least to my nose 🙂 It projects beautifully too. January 24, 2019 at 9:46am Reply

      • Aurora: Hello Anu, many thanks for sharing your favorite. I was only vaguely aware of Ex Idolo but now I’ve had a look at their site and there are two places that carry them where I am in the UK.

        Miroir des Joyaux is very smooth and balanced, that’s what I like about it. I got it heavily discounted or I wouldn’t have purchased it as when released that series was expensive. January 24, 2019 at 12:31pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I find „Agarwoud“ by Heeley excellent. Modern but without that artificial „oud“ blast from hell. January 24, 2019 at 11:46am Reply

      • Aurora: Thank you so much. Heeley is a house I am yet to explore so that’s a good reminder. January 24, 2019 at 12:46pm Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: It’s a pleasure. If I may, could I mention a scent which fits the brief (Oud & Rose) which I do not like, or rather which I struggle with? Dior’s Oud Ispahan. I find it extreme in every way possible: extremely strong, extremely loud, and extremely long lasting. That latter trait drives me around the bend. I have received compliments, yet i myself find it relentless and difficult. January 24, 2019 at 12:56pm Reply

          • Aurora: It’s a coincidence, I received a lovely card from an eBay seller sprayed with it, it’s been weeks and it still smells so strong! So I can imagine your predicament. January 24, 2019 at 1:14pm Reply

    • Pocketvenus: Hello Aurora, I love this question! My favourite rose-ouds are Oudh Infini by Dusita, although it’s very difficult to wear as it’s very zoo-like, Thirty Three by Ex Idolo which plays with a steel-versus-velvet contrast, and Kilian’s Musk Oud which is probably the easiest of the three. January 26, 2019 at 5:22pm Reply

      • Aurora: Hello Pocketvenus: Thank you so much for mentioning it can be difficult for you to wear too, I am not familiar with Oudh Infini, I will look it up in a moment, Thirty Three must be very good as Anu listed as a favorite too, I am yet to explore Kilian so I make a note of Musk Oud. January 28, 2019 at 2:07pm Reply

    • AnnieA: I am not a huge Jo Malone fan, but I like Velvet Rose and Oud. January 27, 2019 at 11:45pm Reply

      • Aurora: Annie: Thank you very much for sharing. Not a huge fan of JM either, but some I’ve liked, so I will put Velvet Rose and Oud on my to try list. January 28, 2019 at 2:10pm Reply

  • Aurora: *they work beautifully together was what I wanted to write. January 24, 2019 at 5:49am Reply

  • Sebastian: I know a lady in her fifties who enjoys gardening, is an artist by profession, and has non-nonsense attitude in general. With regard to scents, she dislikes anything too sweet or gormandy. Perfumes I know she has worn and admired are Guerlain Chamade, Lanvin Arpege, and Hermes Caleche.

    What else do you think might appear to such a person? January 24, 2019 at 8:35am Reply

    • Austenfan: Jacomo Silences, Jean Patou 1000 and Jean Patou Vacances, Annick Goutal Grand Amour (a bit like Chamade’s little sister) and maybe Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, Jean Louis Scherrer, J.L. Scherrer, Givenchy III. January 24, 2019 at 9:22am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Mitsouko? January 24, 2019 at 11:47am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Mitsouko by Guerlain? January 24, 2019 at 11:49am Reply

    • Aurora: And for summer, Eau de Guerlain is a great classic too. January 24, 2019 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Karolina: My friend who has worn Arpege for most of her life (it’s the only perfume she wears) has really liked Estee Lauder Knowing and Mitsouko when she smelled them on me. January 24, 2019 at 2:03pm Reply

      • Sebastian: Thank you for the recommendations. From a cursory glance over notes and reviews, Vacances, Heure Exquise, and Knowing will be interesting. Mitsouko is one of the all-time greats, but not option in this particular case. January 24, 2019 at 6:10pm Reply

  • Sebastian: I dislike the current tendency to sweetness in perfumes. I find it increasingly hard to find new releases that do not succumb to this. I hate vanilla.

    What are your favorite non-sweet, non-vanillic, and non-citrussy unisex or masculine scents? January 24, 2019 at 8:56am Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Sebastian: my favorite unisex perfume is hands down Hermes Voyage. It has some unobtrusive citrus at the beginning but it’s really all about the light spices and herbs and woods. It kept me cool during the heatwave last summer so I’m forever grateful to it. January 24, 2019 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Karolina: Hello Sebastian, I think it has to be Vetiver (Guerlain’s), I love it on my husband but I also sometimes wear it myself.
      I also dislike a lot of perfumes due to sweetness and something in a lot of newer scents smells like plastic to me – I can’t quite put my finger on it, perhaps it’s the fruity notes? Does anyone else get this sensation of smelling something plasticky in a lot of “modern” scents or is it just me? January 24, 2019 at 1:00pm Reply

      • Sebastian: Thank you Karolina. That is something I can surely try at my local perfumery, and will do.

        With regard to plastic, I do not get that such a lot in modern scents, but I am not so into the fruity category. What I do get a lot is bubble-gum, especially with perfumes containing iris. (Case in point: Byredo 1996: soapy juniper, artificial strawberry ice cream, then Wrigley’s… oh no.)

        For a scent that really does smell of plastic, in an entirely unfruity, wonderfully surprising way, and really makes a point of it even in its name, try Nuit de Bakelite from the house of Naomi Goodssir. Exceptional and unusual. Don’t let the description put you off. You will be rewarded with a richly faceted tuberose experience. January 24, 2019 at 6:56pm Reply

        • Karolina: That is a very interesting recommendation, thank you Sebastian – I will have a try of course, I’m really intrigued.
          I’m afraid I’m not very good yet at describing or even recognising many perfume notes, still a lot to learn and sample, hence plastic. It is most probably something artificial, which smells unpleasant to me and I can detect it in a lot of newer concoctions but not so much in the older, more classic scents. I have worn some really strong perfumes like Cabochard or Bandit and although they weren’t my favourites, the experience was quite something and not unpleasant at all. When I tried Sarah Jessica Parker SJC NYC for example I had to almost scrub it off. January 25, 2019 at 9:25am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I find this very pertinent question intriguing: sweetness in perfumes. It brings up the question—what is sweetness smelt? First of all, sugar has no smell at all; it has got to be tasted. A cake doesn’t really smells sweet, as bread doesn’t really smell, say salty. Is there a high-calory flower scent: tuberose perhaps or frangipani? Yet we all automatically know exactly which perfume smells “sweet”! What is it? What makes our brains trigger: yuck that’s far too sweet!?
      Another thought: smell those vintage perfumes: Jolie Madame, Mitsouko, Femme. Very low calorie indeed, even butch by today’s standards. How strange— January 24, 2019 at 3:36pm Reply

      • Sebastian: Yes, indeed. The same goes for “salty” – I’m always at a loss when someone describes a scent that way, as salt is entirely odorless as well. However, I think we get the hang of this kind of talk, because all talk of smell is essentially metaphorical or by analogy. Interestingly, in English (and German, my native language) there are very few terms that refer directly to olfactory qualities, as opposed to visual, aural, or tactile ones. This elusiveness of smells stands in contrast to their excellent memorability and strong emotional impact. I find this interesting, but can offer no explanation.

        Many vintage perfumes are less sweet, I agree. And much of the now popular “neo vintage” stuff is just watered down real vintage with syrup added. Disgusting. January 24, 2019 at 6:38pm Reply

      • Victoria: Actually, this is an interesting question. Taste and smell are very much related and the range of smells we perceive and the subtleties we observe make these perceptions complex. In perfumery, the classical sweet note is vanilla, say ethyl vanillin. It smells sweet and it acts like sugar in a formula. It doesn’t have much of its own character, but it makes other notes sweeter. Then, there is a whole class of materials that have a sweet accent, honeyed facets, etc. Of course, how someone perceives sweetness can vary, but most people would agree on the scent type.

        In fact, the fragrances you mentioned have rich and sweet accords, especially Femme and Mitsouko, but the way these accords are harmonized and balanced in the formula ensures that they don’t end up cloying. January 25, 2019 at 2:30am Reply

        • Austenfan: Fascinating subject for me too! It’s interesting that one ingredient just makes another one shine, and not have such a strong smell/character of its own.
          I remember how you once recommended me to add chestnut honey to a tilleul tisane, not to add sweetness but because it offsets the tilleul better. You were absolutely right of course.

          I love sweet in perfumes, especially good sweet like in Guerlains or Nicolaïs, but often struggle with sweet woody notes, they somehow feel dense and rather suffocating. Lutens Arabie is a prime example, and I even struggle with Bois des Iles. January 25, 2019 at 8:44am Reply

        • Klaas: I think many fragrances smell so sweet to us now – much sweeter the then the great classics – because a lot of the ingredients that used to counter the sweetness have now become problematic. Oakmoss being the most striking example, but also civet, castoreum, natural musk…… to give reformulated – or new – perfumes their ‘oomph’, I guess perfumers have to crank up the sweetness or gourmand ‘feel’ achieve a dense, rich effect. (Like in refined foods, when the 0% fat and ‘light’ products became popular, they stuffed them with sugar or high fructose corn sirup, etc. to achieve a satisfying taste and feel to the product).

          I think this also explains the oud craze we’ve seen in the past years. Oud is a very rich, full bodied, multi faceted, potent ingredient with which perfumers can achieve spectacular effects, without having to rely on the more traditional – and now forbidden – base notes.

          Finding a scent that is not overly sweet – or sweetened – has become rather difficult indeed! January 26, 2019 at 6:25pm Reply

          • Sebastian: That’s an interesting theory! Sounds eminently plausible to me. Perhaps I’ll do some research to see if it can be backed up by fact.

            There is one animalic ingredient that is unproblematic (at least from an animal rights perspective) and that’s hyraceum (Africa stone). If the theory is right, one might predict that this ingredient would gain popularity as well.

            Perfumes which I have recently tried containing hyraceum include: Tropic of Capricorn, Montecristo, Hard Leather, and of course Hyrax (Zoologist). I must say that I have a problem with it. Unless it is used very, very sparingly I find it off-putting. It’s all about dried-cat-piss-in-old-tyres to me. If others feel the same, that might preclude it’s gaining popularity.

            Hyrax, by the way, combines hyraceum with really bombastic honey sweetness, which makes me want to throw up.

            But anyway, how do you feel about hyraceum in perfume? January 27, 2019 at 5:06pm Reply

            • Klaas: Wow, Sebastian, I had no idea! I’ve googled hyrax, so now I know at least what it is. No clue to what it smells like, but I’ve read that it combines elements of castoreum, civet, agar wood and musk. Pretty potent I would think, and something to use in small quantities, indeed. Pierre Guillaume uses it in one of his new Lumiere Fauve, which I’ll smell out when it comes to the shops here in Amsterdam.

              I must say, I like animalistic elements in perfumery. Mouchoir de Monsieur (Guerlain) was glorious before they reformulated it, and quite animalistic (fecal) as I remember, but in a good way. The formula was incredibly well balanced. The same goes for De Nicolai’s Incencs Oud. They list castoreum in the ingredients, though I doubt that it contains the real stuff. It could be just the oud that makes it smell like – well – poo, or a synthetic alternative to the real castoreum. January 28, 2019 at 8:08am Reply

          • Victoria: Yes, you’re right to an extent. At the lab, I have a whole shelf of materials I can no longer work with, but that I keep for reference or for matching the classics. Many of the materials restricted or banned by the regulations fall into the category of traditional base notes. But tastes have also changed dramatically, and many perfumers wouldn’t any longer put oakmoss into the formula even if they could. People, both the public and the professionals, prefer sweeter, more gourmand drydowns and accords that don’t rely too heavily on the animalic notes. A formula like Lancome La Vie est Belle would be classified as a flavor only a few years ago, but these days it’s a standard gourmand.
            As for the oud craze, there is another important reason. The KSA and UAE beauty market has been growing by leaps and bounds, averaging $5 billion just when it comes to perfume. So, for any launch, it’s an important consideration, and oud happens to be a note that appeals to the consumers in those countries. January 28, 2019 at 2:45am Reply

            • Klaas: Oh, Victoria, then I’ll have to admit that I have truly old fashioned tastes! I thought most people had a problem with the sweetness in perfumery but that perfumers had their hands tied because of restrictions. Is it realy by popular demand?

              Oh well, I’ll just keep on looking out for fragrances with that vintage feel.

              Yes, oud is very popular in the middle- and far east. I like it too, but there are just too many launches…..will oud stay available at the pace we’re going? January 28, 2019 at 8:16am Reply

              • Victoria: Natural oud is very expensive, but most of the natural oud is farmed. The true wild agarwood has practically vanished in many places due to overharvesting. However, most of the oud perfumes include not a bit of natural oud. They’re based on the accords of synthetic and naturals like patchouli, vetiver, etc.

                It all depends on a perfumer, and while most will complain about the restrictions, they’ve learned to adapt their formulas. In the end, perfumers aren’t creating objects for the museums, but rather commercial products that have to appeal to their clients and win the market tests. They’re rather pragmatic about their work.

                Anyway, my favorite perfumes aren’t sweet, so I’m with you. January 28, 2019 at 9:57am Reply

    • Lily: Probably the driest scent I own is Penhaligon’s Elixir (may be discontinued now? Not sure.) It kind of smells like scotch, but not in an alcoholic way. It’s I think incense and spice, definitely unisex to masculine, definitely free of citrus, vanilla, and sugar. January 26, 2019 at 9:15am Reply

      • Sebastian: Non-boozy Scotch did sound interesting, so I checked. Alas, Elixir has really been discontinued, see https://www.penhaligons.com/elixir/

        I’ll look out for it, perhaps a used bottle may be floating around somewhere. January 26, 2019 at 10:43am Reply

        • Lily: Looks like the perfumed court still has some to decant. I can’t remember if I sampled from them originally or not but surrender to chance didn’t have it listed today. If you try it do let me know what you think! I’ve found maybe one other person in the comments here who wears it. I don’t reach for it often…it’s really not my wheelhouse…but when I want it, nothing else (at least that I have yet encountered) will really do.

          http://theperfumedcourt.com/Products/Penhaligons-Elixir-EDT__PENHALIGONSELIXIR.aspx January 27, 2019 at 2:42pm Reply

          • Sebastian: Thanks for the link. They still have decants. I almost ordered a 5ml vial, but unfortunately, they charge as much again for shipping. Perhaps I can find other things on their site that currently interest me and combine orders… January 27, 2019 at 5:27pm Reply

  • Klaas: Dear Sebastian, I so sympathize with your request! I too do not like sweet scents and tend to avoid vanilla, which makes finding a nice scent a bit of a mission sometimes. Even fragrances marked as ‘dry woods’ are honey glazed these days (why??). However, I do love citrus, so there are some good options for me there.

    Karolina is right, vetiver is an ingredient you should check out. It is paired with citrus a lot, but certainly not always. Guerlain’s is wonderful indeed, and not sweet at all. I also enjoy Sycamore (Chanel), it is a very juicy, salty vetiver. Encre Noir (Lalique) is great and inexpensive and Sel de Vetiver (The Different Company) is also nice, but it does have a grapefruity not in it.

    Do you know about the Hermessence line from Hermes? I recommend it a lot here (I have no shares in the company, I swear!). The perfumes are expensive, but the quality is just amazing and no sugar frosting. Vetiver Tonka and Brin de Reglisse are great, but there is also Cedre Sambac, Agar Ebene, and the non sweet Epice Marine. The last one has that calone-note in it (it is used a lot to evoke the smell of the sea), which is a love it or hate it kind of thing. For me it is a no go!

    And what about the green fragrance category? You could almost place Guerlain’s Vetiver in there. I like Corsica Furiosa (Perfum d’Empire), Basilico & Fellini (Vilhelm Parfumerie, but it is ridiculously expensive) and Harmatan Noir (Parfumerie Generale) that I mentioned in this thread before as well. No vanilla, and no candy floss in any of these.

    One last suggestion would be Chanel Antaeus. Very verile, lots of leather and tar, so not sweet at all. I haven’t smelled it for a while so it might be reformulated a bit.

    I’d be curious to read what the others come up with; I’d love to get to know more non-sweet, non-vanilla, non-citrus fragrances myself! January 24, 2019 at 2:17pm Reply

    • Sebastian: Klaas, thank you for the suggestions. I am also happy that you share my feelings, at least I’m not alone! I will try to sample some of your recs. Vetiver may be just my thing. I recently did try Vetiver extraordinaire from Editions F. Malle and was quite blown away.

      With regard to green perfumes, that’s a valid point. (But as with the “dry woods”, even the “greens” are not all safe nowadays.)

      Your mentioning “lots of leather and tar” reminds me of Salamanca by Ellen Covey (Orchid Scents). If you like that sort of thing, do try it. It’s pretty extreme, though. January 24, 2019 at 6:26pm Reply

      • Klaas Backx: Hey Sebastian, I’ll look out for Salamanca, I have not heard of it. January 25, 2019 at 4:18am Reply

      • Pocketvenus: Hi Sebastian, Malle has quite a few non-sweet masculine scents you might enjoy. There’s Bois d’Orage which is very green and earthy and Geranium Pour Monsieur which is fresh and herbaceous.

        You might also like some of the CdGs – their incense or Monocle series. January 26, 2019 at 5:26pm Reply

  • Sabine: Hi everyone, I have two questions :
    1/ I moved recently from Martinique (caribbean island) to Montreal, Canada. At the moment, it’s all snowy and cold here and I would like to try a perfume a bit different and more enveloping than the one I wear, Jour d’Hermés, l’Absolu. I have classical tastes. Other perfumes I used to wear are Neroli, Ce soir ou Jamais d’Annick Goutal, J’Adore. And for men, I like Terre d’hermès and Eau de Monsieur d’Annick Goutal. Thank you in advance for your suggestions.
    2/ I also make an inquiry about perfumes with lavender note. If one of your favorite perfumes has a lavender, could you please share its name with me ? Thank you ! January 24, 2019 at 3:00pm Reply

    • Sabine: 2/ … “share its name with me” and tell me why you love it ! Merci ! January 24, 2019 at 3:32pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Lavender note: “Pour un homme” by Caron (best the vintage with the added phrase “les plus belles lavandes”). Cuddly, sexy, caramel-vanilla-lavender. January 24, 2019 at 3:44pm Reply

      • Sabine: Thank you OnWingsofSaffron, One of my lavender favorites ever ! January 24, 2019 at 4:01pm Reply

    • Tara C: Bonjour Sabine! Welcome to Montréal. 🙂 My favourite lavender perfume is Kiki by Vero Profumo. Everyone is out of stock right now as the perfumer recently passed away and all of her perfumes sold out, but there is more coming. You can buy it from Luckyscent.com in Los Angeles. I like Lancôme Lavandes Trianon too but it is probably sweeter than you would like. There is also Encens et Lavande by Serge Lutens, but it is also expensive and hard to obtain.

      Have you been to Etiket on Sherbrooke yet? They have many wonderful perfumes, do try the Amouage line, they are lovely, especially Fate and Dia. January 24, 2019 at 10:34pm Reply

      • Sabine: Bonjour Tara C, thank you for these beautiful suggestions ! I will try all of them as soon as I can circulate again with my Smart ;).
        I have not been to Etiket yet and I definitely will – just checked their website and they have many attractive brands. January 25, 2019 at 9:47am Reply

    • Aurora: Quel changement de climat, Sabine, oui en hiver on cherche un parfum enveloppant. I would recommend Serge Lutens if you haven’t explored already, in the stores recommended by Tara, the export line is less expensive, and the scents are warm, like an extra layer of clothing: Ambre Sultan (resinous, stately one of the best), Chergui (sweet spices and tobacco, Five O’Clock au gingembre (ginger and gourmand), Un Bois Vanille (woody vanilla) come to mind. I also second Amouage.

      Lavender: Lots of excellent recommendations already, Guerlain Jicky is a favorite of mine, try the edt (very refreshing) and edp(deeper) and extrait (wonderful) and perhaps even the lavender gourmand Mon Guerlain, the original one and the Eau Florale.

      Keep warm 🙂 January 25, 2019 at 2:08am Reply

      • Sabine: Merci Aurora for these delightful suggestions ! I love Serge Lutens and used to wear À la nuit a few years ago. Ambre sultan sounds very appealing to me.

        Thank you too for your suggestions about lavender perfumes. It’s a whole new territory to me – I associated lavender to something rather rustic, so far. January 25, 2019 at 9:54am Reply

    • Pocketvenus: Bienvenue au Canada, Sabine 🙂 A lavender fragrance I recently discovered that I found very creative is Malle’s Music for a While. Lavender plays off of a pineapple note whihle patchouli brings them both together. January 26, 2019 at 5:29pm Reply

      • Sabine: Merci pour ce mot de bienvenue ! 🙂 I love the name of this perfume and I am curious about this tasty accord. I will try. Thank you ! January 29, 2019 at 3:48pm Reply

        • Pocketvenus: You are very welcome, Sabine 🙂 January 29, 2019 at 5:31pm Reply

    • AnnieA: Ambre des Merveilles will keep you warm during a Montreal winter… January 27, 2019 at 11:32pm Reply

      • Sabine: Another Hermès to make a change from Jour ? Why not ! Thank you AnnieA for this suggestion. 🙂 January 29, 2019 at 3:51pm Reply

  • Klaas: Lavender is one of my favorite notes in perfume. I have Brin de Reglisse (Hermes, lavender with licorice) and A Taste of Heaven (By Kilian, a gorgeous lavender with vanilla and tonka bean), which I love very much. I also like Eau de Gloire from Parfum d’Empire, but in it the lavender is only a side-note.

    I’ve asked about lavender here myself and some people recommended Caldey Lavender Water at the time. It is made by monks on an island off the English coast (how romantic is that?) and is not expensive. I ended up getting something else, but it could be fun to try it! January 24, 2019 at 6:17pm Reply

    • Sebastian: The most excellent lavender scent that I have come across in recent years must be Bogue MEM. I just recently got a sample. I find it less complex and versatile than some of the reviews make out, but boy does it smell luxurious. Absolutely highest quality stuff. Somewhat formal, perhaps, but without being in any way CEO. Quite sexy too, also a quality that’s gone a little out of fashion. MEM is marketed as unisex, and it’s quite an achievement to make that quality appealing to both women and men. Dries down creamy rather than powdery, but not soapy. Sweetness is noticeable but not annoyingly so. January 24, 2019 at 6:47pm Reply

      • Klaas Backx: That sounds great, I’ll try it for sure! January 25, 2019 at 4:22am Reply

      • Sabine: What a description ! 🙂 Thank you Sebastian for this recommendation. I am trying to imagine the outfit that will match this perfume… and I will get a sample too. January 25, 2019 at 10:09am Reply

    • Hayley: I really enjoyed Chanel boy…a creamy lavender January 25, 2019 at 7:45am Reply

      • Sabine: Sounds good too ! Thank you Hayley ! January 25, 2019 at 10:11am Reply

    • Sabine: Thank you Klaas ! So good to encounter a lavender lover ! Actually, my husband and I have a project involving lavender fields in France and I want to explore the spectrum of lavender beyond its basic use (soap / home scent etc.). I will try to get / smell all the perfumes you recommend. January 25, 2019 at 10:03am Reply

      • Klaas: Oh, that sounds wonderful! Have you been in Provence? I used to go there with my parents as a child. I have very vivid memories of these fields with row after row of purple shrubs under deep blue skies. Solitary Mont Ventoux in the background. Wonderful…

        Lavender can also be used in cooking (in salads and dressings) and tastes great in dark chocolate……but then what doesn’t 😜

        And I just remembered, Gris Clair from Serge Lutens is another famous lavender scent. Have fun sampling! January 26, 2019 at 11:34am Reply

        • Sabine: Yes I have been in Provence. I lived in Aix-en-Provence. ☺️ Amazing dried landscape with crispy scents and the silver leaves of olive trees… one of a kind !

          Dark chocolate with lavande seems so chic ! This is inspiring… I will try Gris Clair too (need to go back to France !). Merci beaucoup for all these suggestions. January 29, 2019 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Hayley: Oh no! Am I too late? I’m hoping to buy Chanel 19 this year I have enough to buy the edt or the edp BUT I’m wondering whether to carry on savings and go for the pure Parfum. There’s no way of testing it so I’m wondering how different is it? Is it special enough to warrant the extra money? What are your thoughts? January 25, 2019 at 7:42am Reply

    • Karolina: Hello Hayley, I’ve been wearing Chanel No. 19 for many years but I’ve never had pure parfum so I can’t comment here. My favourite is EdT because of the dryness (I love it), EdP is softer and perhaps more floral (apologies, I’m not that great at describing notes), it really is a personal choice. January 26, 2019 at 9:00am Reply

      • Hayley: Thanks Karolina, good recommendations on the edt and edp. I think I prefer the edt but am so intrigued by the pure Parfum. January 26, 2019 at 2:35pm Reply

  • Tracy Wohlgenant: I am really craving cedar and am having pangs of missing my Shiseido Feministe du Bois, that I bought in the 90s. It’s long gone — and sadly discontinued — but I am dying for it! And don’t want to pay $800 for a bottle on Ebay. Any other cedar-y scents you’d recommend? I’ve been considering Commes de Garcon Kyoto — just off the description. Haven’t tried it yet. Help! January 26, 2019 at 1:56am Reply

    • Sebastian: Tracy, I’m sorry I can’t help you with Kyoto. However, there was a basenotes thread about cedar perfumes in 2016: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/431705-Best-Cedar-and-wood-prominent-Fragrances-What-do-you-guys-think!

      My own recommendation would be to try Burvuvu from January Scent Project (John Biebel). A very intelligently done woody-spicy perfume heavy on cedar. To me it feels outdoorsy: I enjoy it greatly when taking a walk in the forest. It beautifully complements and corresponds with the natural smells all around me (although we don’t have cedar here). You’ve got to imagine a walk in the rain. Burvuvu is not a dry wood, it has a somewhat damp and earthy facet, with a bit of wilting flowers and wet leaves. January 26, 2019 at 11:24am Reply

      • Tracy Wohlgenant: Thank you, Sebastian! I will check out Burvuvu. It sounds interesting. January 26, 2019 at 7:13pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi Tracy,
      Is Serge Luten’s Feminite du Bois not acceptable? I like it very much, but then I have not smelled the Shiseido version.

      An interesting cedar wood and leather perfume is Arso from Profumum Roma. Although perhaps it’s too dry compared to FdB. Some other ideas: L’Heure Bleu or Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant or Cedre Sambac (Victoria recently reviewed it; I found it a lovely mix of soft jasmine and woods) or Fougere Bengal (perfume d’Empire). January 26, 2019 at 4:15pm Reply

      • Tracy Wohlgenant: Thank you, Silvermoon,
        I haven’t tried Serge Luten’s Feminite du Bois! I will try a sample. The others you mentioned intrigue me, as well. I need to get sampling! Cedar Sambac sounds like my cup of tea. January 26, 2019 at 7:15pm Reply

        • Silvermoon: From what Lydia writes below, the SL one is different enough that you would need to try it on its own terms rather than as the same perfume. That’s the impression I also got from reading the notes on them in fragrantica.com

          There are lots of cedar wood inspired perfumes around, so a matter of sampling some. Hope you enjoy that process! January 27, 2019 at 6:42am Reply

    • Lydia: Hi Tracy.
      I completely understand your longing. I have a precious travel size of Shiseido Feminite du Bois that I love and am afraid to use for fear of using it up – few occasions seem special enough. (I can still remember the exact moment at the perfume counter when I decided to buy the small roller ball travel size rather than the full bottle because I wasn’t sure other people would like the scent on me as much as I did. Poor decision!)

      Sadly, I didn’t find the Lutens version to be anywhere close, but I did find a scent that is very like the original Shiseido perfume – Jovoy’s L’Enfant Terrible.

      The funny thing is, I often see reviewers complaining that the Jovoy is a poor dup of Feminite du Bois, but they are referring to the Lutens version and don’t realize that what they’re smelling is actually a beautiful tribute to the original Shiseido version.
      It’s not identical to it, but is the closest I’ve found. I hope you like it too. January 27, 2019 at 1:50am Reply

      • Tracy Wohlgenant: Thank you so much for all of your wonderful thoughts on my longing for good cedar!
        Great ideas and perceptions, all around. Much thanks. Tracy January 27, 2019 at 10:15am Reply

        • Silvermoon: Tracy, please see my reply to Lydia. I would second L’Enfant Terrible. Compared to the SL FdB, it is softer, more understated, and the cedar note stands out more. I like both very much so it depends what you are looking for. January 31, 2019 at 4:32am Reply

      • Silvermoon: So, I remembered that I had a sample of L’Enfant Terrible from Jovoy. Your comment and suggestion spurred me to immediately try it out. Very nice indeed. So, although I don’t know the Shiseido version of FdB, I can still see the resemblance (and difference) to the SL version. January 31, 2019 at 4:25am Reply

        • Lydia: Glad you like ET too, Silvermoom.
          I hope you get to smell the Shiseido version of FdB someday as well. February 2, 2019 at 12:37am Reply

          • Lydia: (SilvermooN. 🙂 ) February 2, 2019 at 12:39am Reply

    • AnnieA: A cheap’n’cheerful perfume with cdar is Stash, although it’s nothing like FdB at all… January 27, 2019 at 11:27pm Reply

      • Tracy Wohlgenant: AnnieA, I am intrigued! The reviews are quite literally all over the board. I’ll run over to Ulta and try a sample, if they have one. It sounds kind of yummy. January 27, 2019 at 11:40pm Reply

    • maja: Cedar Sambac is excellent, indeed. Quite airy and dissimilar from Feminitè. January 31, 2019 at 5:39pm Reply

  • David: I have a strange request. I love the smell of Dove soap. Does anyone know a fragrance that smells like that or somewhat like that? The closest I have found is an old bottle of Gucci No.1. Thank you! January 28, 2019 at 3:36pm Reply

    • Tracy P Wohlgenant: I feel like MiuMiu’s perfume (MiuMiu by MiuMiu) has a soapy smell and not in a terrible way. Might be what you’re looking for? January 31, 2019 at 11:43am Reply

      • David: Thank you for this recommendation! I will try to get hold of a sample. (and the bottle design looks really stylish!) February 1, 2019 at 10:53am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello David: Also, perhaps try 2 Prada perfumes that are listed as resembling Dove Soap on Basenotes site: Infusion d’Homme and Amber Pour Homme. There is also a long list on Fragrantica to a similar question, it also raises the question whether it’s the white Dove soap or the pink people are after. February 2, 2019 at 2:58am Reply

      • David: Thank you for your reply and for the info about the same question asked on Fragrantica. February 3, 2019 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Shane: Hello to all! I’m on the hunt for a new feminine/unisex perfume to replace Hermes Jardin Sur le Nil, which I have been wearing for the past ten years but have now found to be too citrusy. I am definitely into lotus scents, but my taste has broadened significantly recently, and I’m learning to appreciate fragrances such as Acqua di Parma Profumo. I know as a fact that I can’t enjoy oud, and I’m not sensitive to the type of musk found in Lutens Clair de Musc. For now, I believe a white floral with a hint of greenness would appeal to me (perhaps something to do with myrtle/violet leaves/lily of the valley/jasmin?)
    I will appreciate your recommendations. Thanks a lot!
    PS. I have my eyes on Molinard Acqua Lotus, as well as Floris Edwardian Bouquet. I’d also love to know your thoughts about them if you have tried them. January 31, 2019 at 7:03pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Shane: Have you tried another Hermes Voyage EDT (and also Voyage Parfum)? It is not very citrussy except at the top, and has light spices, green and floral (more pronounced in the parfum) and is totally unisex. February 2, 2019 at 3:55am Reply

  • AJ: AJ : Hello. I am planning a trip to Miami Beach in May for my partner and I. I am looking for a perfume for her that is appropriate for Miami beach! Think sexy, nightclub, beach life, seabreeze, seductive. Would like a suggestion for me also. Something tobacco, sweet, masculine. Thanks! February 9, 2019 at 10:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do you have any favorites that could give us some idea of what you wear and like? February 11, 2019 at 5:23am Reply

      • AJ: She liked banana republic wild bloom vert. Also Victoria secret tease. I think she has used Viva la juice. But she hasn’t really found a smell yet and I was wanting to surprise her for this beach trip.

        I have used John varvatos artisan, VERSACE POUR HOMME, I also like Musc Ravageur. February 11, 2019 at 12:54pm Reply

        • Victoria: What about giving her a selection of samples, which would be fun for her to try and decide herself. For instance, Atelier Cologne makes a nice coffret with small versions of their fragrances, and there is so much variety.

          For you, though, my immediate thought was Diptyques Volutes, especially the EDP. It’s in the same family as Musc Ravageur, but it’s more transparent. February 11, 2019 at 3:07pm Reply

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