Recommend Me a Perfume : March 2020

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.

In other news, I’ve uploaded the first two videos in my series, Scent 101 : Improving Sense of Smell and All About Ukraine. You can find them on Bois de Jasmin’s Youtube channel. More videos and exercises will follow. If you have any requests, please let me know.

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

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115 Comments

  • GG: Hello,

    It’s been a while since I posted a question, but can anybody recommend me alternatives to Whispers in the Library by Maison Margiela ? I’m strangely drawn by that scent, but the bottle size is a bit intimidating. Thank you! March 30, 2020 at 9:55am Reply

    • Aurora: Maybe Miller Harris l’Air de Rien, a musky vanilla which smells like old books. MH does 50ml bottles. Also, the drydown of Guerlain Habit Rouge EDT reminds me of books, it is dusty sweet. March 30, 2020 at 2:20pm Reply

    • Lily: I don’t know if you have access to Sephora but I was able to get a travel size spray of that one! I bought it to wear with a cosplay but it’s become a low-key favorite. The dry down is less interesting than the opening, but it is nice the whole way through IMO March 31, 2020 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Lauren: I’m new here, but not completely new to perfume, and am looking for a sweet but not sickeningly sweet perfume that can be worn/is suitable in warm weather. Some of my favorites that I currently wear will not work out in a couple weeks when the weather turns warm. A lot of them have coffee notes. I like orientals, gourmands, and fruit scents. There are several Serge Lutens and Frédéric malle fragrances I like but can not remember at the moment. I have been looking for something with a peach or blueberry/raspberry or fig note to no avail. Also it most likely wouldn’t be suitable for summer but any good honey perfume recommendations? If you have any recommendations I would greatly appreciate them. Thanks! March 30, 2020 at 9:59am Reply

    • Sebastian: For honey, you should try Hiram Greene Slowdive and Zoologist Bee. There is no lack of online reviews for either of them, and they are both very, very beautiful and excellently constructed. In comparison, Slowdive is treaclier, denser, and more complex, Bee is more beeswaxy, more open and easy-going, smarter and neater, more energetic and more versatile. You can tell I prefer Bee, but others don’t.

      In fact, I’m wearing Bee right now, it is at its most gorgeous on a not-too-warm, sunny spring day, when the bees are out. Hot summer days I think not, on account of its initial blast (a Zoologist trademark). You definitely don’t want to crank that up by having everything evaporate all at once. March 30, 2020 at 10:52am Reply

      • rickyrebarco: I absolutely agree re Zoologist Bee. It’s a beauty. March 30, 2020 at 12:55pm Reply

        • Sebastian: By the way, quote from Luca Turin, Perfumes The Guide 2018: “honey fragrances never work” March 31, 2020 at 2:02pm Reply

      • ChanteusedesIles: I second Zoologist Bee! It’s such a joyful perfume! March 31, 2020 at 9:37pm Reply

    • Aurora: Also for fig, not too swet, l’Artisan Parfumeur Caligna, Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee neither are very sweet, and Jo Loves Red Truffle which is sweeter . A fruity scent (apple and cassis) I really enjoy is Cacharel Noa l’Eau, I don’t find it too sweet, it’s at its best in the summer, it’s light but long lasting on my skin. March 30, 2020 at 2:30pm Reply

    • Nina Z: I second Hiram Green’s Slowdive for honey. For fig, Diptyque Philosykos. For peach, Peau de Peche by Keiko Mecheri. March 30, 2020 at 3:58pm Reply

      • Nina Z: Oh, another great peach fragrance is Chinatown by Bond No 9. It’s peach and incense. March 30, 2020 at 3:59pm Reply

    • Rakasa: For honey sweetened raspberry and peach together, look no further than Eau Suave from Parfums d’Empire … equal parts decadence and elegance. When it comes to Peach in the summer time there are only two that I find to be heads and shoulders above all the rest … for daytime: White Peaches by Julie Masse for Shay & Blue. For evening, a peach incense named Tian Di by Olivier Gallotin for Frassai (Argentina). Someone, or several someones, always stop to ask who smells so fantastic every single time that I wear either White Peaches or Tian Di. March 30, 2020 at 5:29pm Reply

    • maggiecat: Annick Goutal’s Petite Cherie has a lovely peach note and is perfect for warm weather. March 31, 2020 at 1:57pm Reply

    • ChanteusedesIles: If you are looking for a slightly more sophisticated peach I highly recommend MDCI Péché Cardinal, and Liaisons Dangereuse by Kilian is a mouthwatering peach & flirty rose perfect for spring! Diptyque Philosykos is my fav summer fig, but I also suggest trying Sonoma Scent Studios Fig Tree, and she has really beautiful honey notes if you can get your hands on it! (It’s very different to get outside of the States unfortunately, otherwise I would own like 3 bottles!) I also really like Zoologist Bee, such a happy scent! (and available internationally). March 31, 2020 at 9:47pm Reply

      • Lauren: I live in the US. If You ever need assistance, let me know! I was trying to order a perfume from France as I could not find it here, not one that I could verify it to be the real deal and not a knock off (no original packaging) I thought I may never get it! But I’m also pretty new to this and may have not been looking in the right places. Thanks for your recommendations! April 9, 2020 at 8:53am Reply

    • Sebastian: Lauren, as you’ll probably be looking at online reviews of Bee, I’d like to emphasize that the one at The Sniff is very misleading.

      In fact, I’ve had a very shocking experience with that blog. I submitted a comment explaining why I found the review so misleading, in what I think was a matter-of-fact and polite way. They refused to publish the comment, saying that “ones which are critical or hostile towards the reviews we produce are simply not published on the blog”.

      I was shocked at the censorship. What’s the point of even having a comments column if one cannot have an informed and polite disagreement? In fact, I did always enjoy many of their reviews, but I would rather go to places that are not as dismissive of divergent opinion. April 1, 2020 at 2:53am Reply

    • Maria: Hi, Lauren, nice to see that not everybody is afraid of sweet and gourmand 🙂
      During summer I can’t have enough of Estee Lauder Tuscany per Donna. Somehow, when it is cold, it gets too perfumy and soapy. But in warm weather it is irresistible, grows sexy and warm. It has enough sillage that I get lots of compliments (which is not often with other perfumes) but not to suffocate anyone around.
      It also has peach as high note. April 1, 2020 at 9:44am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: As Sebastian mentions: Hiram Green‘ Slowdive. I find it absolutely sumptious with a long, delicious drydown—Slowdive indeed! April 1, 2020 at 12:46pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: I’m not sure whether it’ still available: “Peau de Pêche” by Keiko Mecheri. I thought it was quite wonderful, more peach skin than the fruit. And quite elegant too!
      For an upscale fruitchouli there is the new Dior Rouge Trafalgar: berries & cherries, a bit tart, than white musk. April 1, 2020 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Tamasin: ONE.5 by Ormonde Jayne has a beautiful raspberry molecule, without any sweetness. April 9, 2020 at 6:18am Reply

    • Donine Henshaw: You might like Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir. It’s unique, with both freshness and a figgy depth. It was included in a set of 6 small bottles of scents that I really enjoyed. Orange Blossom, Lime Basil Mandarin and one with curacao. The set came with a “menu” of combo suggestions. May 6, 2020 at 3:56am Reply

  • Anne: Hello and welcome! I love this site! It s so lovely to hear from perfume passionate people, and you get so many great advise.
    For warm weather I absolutely love phylosikos from Dyptique, I also love Premier figuier by l artisan Parfumeur. Both are great figs.
    I am not sure about honey fragrances or peach one, but if you like oriental, you might enjoy musc ravageur by Frederic Malle. It s normally a more winter guy scent, but my friend wears it all year round ( south of France) and it never gets over powering on her. In the summer I enjoy Gypsy Water by byredo. It s an unusual vanilla/ encens/ pine scent. It works better in summer on me.
    I hope this will help a little. You re going to get a tones of amazing suggestions from people, so you ll be busy trialing then out throughout the summer. March 30, 2020 at 10:54am Reply

  • Sebastian: I never layered perfume. I found the practice disrespectful to the perfumer, a bit arrogant. I also don’t trust my nose. That was until last week.

    In the last couple of installments of this series, Anatole Lebreton has been getting some attention. Which is why I tried L’Eau de Merzhin. And it has the most beautiful hay note, with dried wildflowers mixed in, that I have ever smelled. That’s the opening. It then calms down in a pleasant, beautiful but somewhat non-descript light and sweet incense. In fact, it is very akin to that other soft green perfume, Dryad (Papillon), which I always liked but not loved because of another problem. It is darker green, oilier and sweeter in the beginning, and then transitions softly through other shades of green to a much more interesting resinous, incensy dry-down, where unfortunately the incense is a bit heavy.

    You can tell where this is going. I overcame all prejudice and good advice, and layered 2 sprays of Merzhin over 1 spray of Dryad. Result: Best of both worlds. Wonderful Merzhin opening, more lasting dry-down with more balanced incense, keeping all those nice transitions within a lighter texture. I couldn’t believe it. Now buying the requisite 3 full bottles (2 Merzhin, 1 Dryad) for a total of 150 ml of layered “L’Eau de Dryade” is financially out of the question, but still…

    This has been exciting, because I didn’t do a random experiment, but achieved a specific design goal. I do not believe I could repeat that success. And I was just lucky to have those two samples available at the same time.

    Can you share your experiences with this kind of thing? I’d be interested both in successful attempts and abysmal failures. March 30, 2020 at 11:17am Reply

    • MaryAnn Hardy: I too suspected “layering.” How could THAT be a good idea! Then I was applying essential oil, rose geranium and thought, a little black pepper…. and I reached for it. Mmmmm. It was just what my mood was asking for. Since then, I have reached for a Black Pepper layer to help me reach down into earth, to crack open rocks, to scratch bark. I still have not obtained the imagination or courage to layer any of my cherished perfumes, but now I understand . March 30, 2020 at 12:58pm Reply

      • Rachel: Hi everyone! I am looking for something lemony but with some depth I have Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien and love it but I adore the body cream, not the lotion but can’t find it. I don’t want anything too sharp, dare i say maybe a little musk so it feels a little sexy or special. I would like it for day and night. March 30, 2020 at 1:11pm Reply

        • Rachel: Hi everyone! I am looking for something lemony but with some depth I have Annick Goutal Eau D’Hadrien and love it but I adore the body cream, not the lotion but can’t find it. I don’t want anything too sharp, dare i say maybe a little musk so it feels a little sexy or special. I would like it for day and night. March 30, 2020 at 2:14pm Reply

          • Aurora: Hello Rachel: You might want to try Floris Chypress, it’s a lemony musk, perhaps you’ll like it. Also have you checked the Goutal website itself to see if the body cream has been discontinued? March 30, 2020 at 3:56pm Reply

        • maggiecat: Rachel, I also love lemon scents and recently tried and loved Maison Margiela Under the lemon Tree. It’s not sharp at all and has a nice lightly musky drydown. Not musky, but also not harsh at all is Fragonard’s Verveine, which is also not expensive (a real win-win). I love them both. March 31, 2020 at 2:01pm Reply

    • Aurora: Ah yes, there are two schools of thought on layering. Glad you achieved what you wanted.
      I don’t layer a lot but always apply Rouge Bunny Rouge Tenera with either l’AP Mechant Loup or Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia, the first time I did it was an accident but since it worked I keep doing it. Also, I think Bois de Jasmin has an article by Jean-Claude Ellena on layering somewhere. March 30, 2020 at 2:40pm Reply

      • Sebastian: Thanks for the hint. I really should have thought of searching this site myself, stupid me! It’s a two-part series that starts here: https://boisdejasmin.com/2011/03/layering-fragrances-perfumer-jean-claude-ellena-french-elle-suggestions.html with a bit of background and lots of suggestions.

        However, layering just for the fun of it (if it is fun) will never be my thing. But knowing how to improve a perfume that you would really love to love, but just can’t, that would be a useful skill. March 30, 2020 at 2:51pm Reply

        • Aurora: Yes, that’s the one I was thinking of, Sebastian, I think in an ideal world layering would have no place but as it is it can be useful sometimes to ‘improve’ a scent. March 30, 2020 at 3:27pm Reply

    • Maria: Summer favorite when I don’t want to offend anyone is Shalimar with Goutal Eau d’Hadrien (I was so proud to see that Jean-Claude Ellena recommends it, too, while I was doing it for long. On this one I got even a compliment from a man who says he doesn’t like it when women wear perfumes).

      When I don’t mind, in the summer I combine L’heure Bleue with whatever comes to my mind. My favorites are with Botega Venetta Eau Legere (did some piling up since it is gone), or Serge Lutens Clair de Musc or SJP Stash. Absolute is LB with Estee Lauder Tuscany per Donna.

      In the spring, L’Heure Bleue with Madame Rochas. May be it is a mess, but it smells as good as the spring can smell. Or with Diorissimo on nostalgic days.

      I understand your point, not spoiling perfumes. Personally since I can’t without LB in the last 15 years and my kids wouldn’t recognise me without it, I was forced to layer. And I need to try other things sometimes. It brought me wonderful experiences. April 1, 2020 at 9:57am Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Oh, I have no qualms whatsoever. I bought the product, it’s mine; it’s not a unique treasure that you’ll spoil forever for wo/mankind; the end-result is better sometimes. For instance, Gucci Mémoire d’une Moment (lovely Roman chamomile) is a just a tad wan. I used asmall amount of the super powerful Slowdive on the wrists and Mémoire all around: yum!
      Or take Serge Lutens Miel de Bois. You can “dilute” it’s overpowering force by say SL Bois de Vanille. April 1, 2020 at 1:05pm Reply

    • Ariadne: Once upon a time layering perfume reminded me of when i would play mad scientist combining all the condiments and liquids in the refrigerator. Yeah, we all did it and dared our siblings to taste the results.
      In this same brash frame of mind one time I applied another sweeter fragrance (sorry can’t remember which one) over Encre Noir and really loved it. It gives a really sassy result. April 7, 2020 at 12:39pm Reply

  • MaryAnn Hardy: For summer I adore Eau de Rochas for it’s citrus sparkle. And everyone compliments it’s lightness and it’s refreshing quality. I can’t detect any sweetness, which is how I like my warm weather scents. I did discover Demeter’s “New Leaf” and it was refreshing, but …faded so FAST! I would appreciate recommendations for scents which are like either of these two: citrus or herbal/grassy March 30, 2020 at 1:04pm Reply

  • MaryAnn Hardy: For summer I adore Eau de Rochas for it’s citrus sparkle. And everyone compliments it’s lightness and it’s refreshing quality. I can’t detect any sweetness, which is how I like my warm weather scents. I did discover Demeter’s “New Leaf” and it was refreshing, but …faded so FAST! I would appreciate recommendations for scents which are like either of these two: citrus or herbal/grassyFor summer I adore Eau de Rochas for it’s citrus sparkle. And everyone compliments it’s lightness and it’s refreshing quality. I can’t detect any sweetness, which is how I like my warm weather scents. I did discover Demeter’s “New Leaf” and it was refreshing, but …faded so FAST! I would appreciate recommendations for scents which are like either of these two: citrus or herbal/grassy March 30, 2020 at 1:10pm Reply

    • Sebastian: Hi MaryAnn,
      have you tried and liked, or ruled out, any of those grassy scents that were recommended in December? That would give us a little more to go on.
      As for (reasonably) long-lasting citrus, my recommendation to Rachel of Profumum Roma Acqua Viva might fit here as well. And then there is Eau de Guerlain, the unbeatable citrus classic. March 30, 2020 at 2:33pm Reply

      • MaryAnn Hardy: YES, Sebastian 🙂 I have been working on those “grassy-fresh” scents, procuring samples and enjoying the thrill of the first sniffs. I love this Blog for the generosity of contributors like you. Now, I thought I could solicit some ideas about the “citrus” line in fragrances. And all the suggestions are being copied to a document called “Citrus” in the folder called “Fragrances to Try.” AND I will order samples and …. if my dreams come true… I’ll find myself in a large city near a parfumerie with my lists in my hand 😃 Thank you VERY much for your suggestions. March 30, 2020 at 4:54pm Reply

    • Aurora: I too love Eau de Rochas, I second Sebastian with Eau de Guerlain and add Carthusia Mediterraneo, O de Lancome, Liz Earle Essence No 1, Dior Eau Sauvage and Dior Eau Fraiche. March 30, 2020 at 3:18pm Reply

    • John: I would support the vote for Eau Sauvage… People complain about its longevity, but I actually find it quite respectable for a citrus, and stellar if you imagine it as a citrus-based eau de cologne. I also note that this composition is definitely one in which a bit of bottle aging or oxidization/maceration seems to contribute a lot to overall performance. I would also suggest Guerlain Vetiver for the grassy side of things… there’s a lot of other things going on (orange, nutmeg, tonka…) but the dominant impression I always get is a mix of dry and humid summer grasses, both incredibly naturalistic and yet somehow elegant and polished as well. Lurking somewhere in the vetiver note’s rootiness is a hint of driftwood salt that emerges in both Eau Sauvage and GV — beautiful and transportive. Good luck. March 30, 2020 at 3:51pm Reply

    • Patricia Devine: I have Eau de Rochas in my ‘green-fresh’ drawer and others in there include Bandit, Vent Vert, Monsieur Balmain, Azurée, Alliage and Silences. Also O de Lancôme, Coriandre and Grey Flannel – all worth a try, along with Premier Figuier, Philosykos and Ombre dans L’Eau. March 30, 2020 at 4:03pm Reply

  • Sebastian: [Top-posting in reply to Rachel’s query, which is in the wrong thread. Seems to happen more often lately. I think the effect is browser-dependent. The only browser which seems to cope alright with the comment functionality on this site appears to be Chrome.]

    Hi Rachel,
    if you like Eau d’Hadrien you might also like Profumum Roma Acqua Viva. March 30, 2020 at 2:30pm Reply

  • Aurora: Just to say I enjoyed the first YouTube instalment on how to improve the sense of smell very much: the setting is very inviting and you look lovely, I love the combination of colors from your top and necklace. March 30, 2020 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Sebastian: Yes, indeed! And I really must check myself from inhaling too deeply. I always do that sort of instinctively when I feel there’s a note I can’t quite catch, as if to draw it from the background by breathing in. March 31, 2020 at 2:13pm Reply

  • Pauline: I’ve been wearing Chanel N°5 for 30 plus years, it’s my favorite, I cannot find something better than that but it’s not lasting anymore. I was told it’s my nose, I’m older and losing my sense of smell but I remember years ago two spritzes were too much already for work, and now when I ask people if they can smell my perfume nobody can detect anything after two hours!
    What’s going on? What should I do? I’m devastated. March 31, 2020 at 12:43am Reply

    • Karen A: Have you tried layering it over the body cream? And also adding a bit of the extrait? While the extrait wears close to the skin, it lasts (and is exquisite). Perhaps by using several formulations you’ll achieve better longevity. March 31, 2020 at 4:35am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Pauline: I second the extrait, but would also suggest you visit eBay, vintage No 5 is plentiful as it’s always been a bestseller, keeps very well (go for a bottle which has a box, and personally, if it’s a spray I don’t mind used bottles) and as long as you trade with a well established 100% rated seller and plenty of photos, you will find yourself with a much better version of No 5 than what is sold today and save some money. You can save a search for No 5 and you will get notified of bottles being listed. March 31, 2020 at 12:12pm Reply

    • Nina Z: I was once in a department store with an older friend and she was told by a young SA that the reason her favorite perfume didn’t smell the way it used to was because she was “old.” Well, guess what, it was REFORMULATED. So rude. I know for sure that back in the day, many fragrances of EdT or EdC, were stronger than they are now. So it could be your current perfume isn’t as strong as it used to be. You could look for vintage Chanel No. 5 instead. It’s also possible that you’ve just gotten so used to wearing it that you are habituated and don’t smell it much anymore. So you could take a vacation from it and wear something else for a while and then see if when you return to it, it smells more strongly to you. March 31, 2020 at 4:47pm Reply

  • Pauline: I’ve been wearing Chanel N°5 for 30 plus years, it’s my favorite, I cannot find something better than that but it’s not lasting anymore. I was told it’s my nose, I’m older and losing my sense of smell but I remember years ago two spritzes were too much already for work, and now when I ask people if they can smell my perfume nobody can detect anything after two hours!
    What’s going on? What should I do? March 31, 2020 at 12:45am Reply

  • Catarina: Hello, everybody
    Could someone recommend me a perfume that evokes the smell of dried leaves in the autumn? I know it’s a bit off-season, as everybody, including myself, is looking forward to spring and renewal. Thank you! March 31, 2020 at 5:27am Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Catarina: for humid leaves on the ground in autumn there is Oriza L. Legrand Chypre Mousse, but it’s very polarizing, you might hate it and I know one of burning leaves Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers, and vetiver in some perfumes reminds me of leaves a little bit too, maybe start with Guerlain Vetiver. Hope this might give you some ideas to explore. March 31, 2020 at 12:21pm Reply

      • Sebastian: I love Chypre Mousse, but I agree it is absolutely not about dry leaves.

        Aurora’s vetiver idea is good. Perhaps something in the line of “2 Man” by Comme Des Garcons. In addition, I guess that tobacco is a dry-leafy scent. Also a very dry oriental like L’Air du Desert Marocaine might be bring up the idea (if you can banish the “oriental” association from your mind). March 31, 2020 at 1:08pm Reply

        • Catarina: Since I love oriental perfumes, I will definetely give L’Air du Desert a try, thanks! April 2, 2020 at 4:19am Reply

      • Catarina: Hi,Aurora. Guerlain vetiver sounds like a good start, thank you for the idea! April 2, 2020 at 4:17am Reply

    • Nina Z: There is quite an amazing perfume from CB I Hate Perfume called Burning Leaves. It smells like leaves in the fall with some smoke and also some maple syrup, I recalls. You can order a sample online. There are also a lot of other unique perfumes that capture time & place like that. Black March is really interesting because it smells like damp earth and flowering bulbs. March 31, 2020 at 4:51pm Reply

      • John: I would second Burning Leaves from CB… Also Caron Yatagan (a masterfully blended mix of bitter, bright, herbal and burning notes that takes some getting used to, but also keeps evolving as a frame of reference, I find), and Burberry London for Men, which mixes an interesting ‘port wine’ accord in with more traditional autumnal notes. April 2, 2020 at 4:14pm Reply

    • pocketvenuslux: @Catarina

      Broken Theories by Kerosene and Mississippi Medicine by DS & Durga come to mind. There’s Jeke by Slumberhouse and Holy Mountain by Apoteker Tepe but these are very difficult to find. April 6, 2020 at 4:41pm Reply

  • irem: Hi Pauline, Chanel has a wonderful refillable purse spray collection for all concentrations of No. 5. Maybe investing in one of those and refreshing your fragrance midday could be something to try. I respect No. 5 but it is not a right fragrance for me, I love Cristalle and No. 19 from Chanel and so wish they had all the purse spray options, especially No. 19. March 31, 2020 at 10:56am Reply

  • Olena: Hello everyone!
    Could someone recommend me a perfume with a scent of phlox? March 31, 2020 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Sebastian: What a surprising and at the same time delightful request! I have no idea, really, but a note search at fragrantica reveals only 4 candidates, all totally obscure. From the main accords that are listed with these fragrances, I wonder what sort of phlox they had in mind. The phlox in my garden is somewhat spicy, reminiscent of lovage, and that’s probably not what these perfumes present.
      Anyway, the only one of those perfumes that has a review is “Garden of the Sun” by Odoratika. The review is by Tommelise, which is a good thing. On the negative side, it’s just one sentence saying she adores phlox, nothing specifically about this perfume.
      Perhaps you might try contacting her directly, perhaps on Instagram, if no one here can suggest anything else. March 31, 2020 at 12:38pm Reply

      • Olena: Thank you, Sebastian, for your recommendation. “Garden of the Sun” by Odoratika interested me, however I suppose there can be a domination citrus scent. But I wouldn’t mind waiting for the scent of phlox from them. Its tender scent always reminds me of childhood and my granny’s garden, where there were lots of Phlox paniculata with its showy, sweetly fragrant flowers. I love their scent, but it’s not so popular in perfumery. April 2, 2020 at 3:26am Reply

        • Sebastian: Yes, that is why I found your question so interesting. The scent of phlox would be so obvious a good thing in perfume, that its quasi-total absence makes me suspect that there may be technical difficulties in extracting or synthesizing it.

          Unfortunately I have found nothing about this in writing. One approach might be to try and find out what class of chemicals constitute the scent of phlox, then see if there are perfumes containing such (synthetic) molecules. After all, it may smell of phlox even if phlox is not listed. But no example comes to my mind, and I don’t feel inclined to do the research. April 2, 2020 at 4:54am Reply

          • Olena: Thank you so much again, Sebastian. Yes, I suspected too that this unpopularity may be due to some technical difficulties. I’ve read in one review once that phlox can be felt in L’Heure Bleu Guerlain. I bought a small atomiser from 1980 vintage. I haven’t smelled phlox there. However I really liked the melancholy of L’Heure Bleu and I still keep it for special moments. Phlox remain my gestalt. The memory about the smell of phlox combined with incense remains, it reminds me of the church where we used to go with my granny. That scent was truly marvelous. April 2, 2020 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Lauren: Looking for a coffee fragrance, ideally one that isn’t mixed with rose.

    I’m a caffeine addict and looking to smell like one 🙂

    Thanks! April 1, 2020 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Catarina: Cafe Tuberosa by Atelier Cologne is one of my favorite coffee scents (unfortunately it is mixed with rose), but at leas the coffee is distinguishable. April 2, 2020 at 4:24am Reply

      • Alouetta: Milano Cafe by La Via Del Profumo, if you like natural scents. I don’t have this one, but would love to get it. April 4, 2020 at 11:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: You might enjoy Café Tuberosa by Atelier Cologne then! April 2, 2020 at 6:44am Reply

      • Lauren: Hi Victoria, thanks for your reply! But I’m looking for something not mixed with rose. I’ve tried Cafe Tuberosa and wasn’t a fan. Thanks! April 2, 2020 at 8:52am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s why I’ve suggested Cafe Tuberosa, it doesn’t contain rose (tuberose is a different plant). But if you don’t like it, that’s another story. You can also try Bond No 9 New Haarlem. April 2, 2020 at 9:52am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Lauren: Do try Sebastiane Espresso Royale, it is very potent, almost too much for me, no rose or any other floral, it also contains hazelnut and caramel (and a little bit of rum). April 2, 2020 at 12:00pm Reply

    • limegreen: Second Victoria’s recommendation!
      Bond no. 9 New Haarlem done by Maurice Roucel
      This is strong coffee with sweetness, syrupy sweetness (but not quite Turkish coffee)

      Le Lebo has/had a bath body scrub made with coffee and it actually looks, feels, and smells like pure coffee grounds!

      Something I tested and liked, both are similar:
      Mugler A-Men Pure Coffee
      Mugler A-Men Pure Malt April 2, 2020 at 12:06pm Reply

    • John: You might try Valentino Uomo… The cacao-leather-lipstick idea made famous by Dior Homme, with an added dose of hazelnut cream and coffee. Technically masculine but v. unisex IMO. April 2, 2020 at 4:24pm Reply

    • Pocketvenus: @Lauren

      Kilian’s Intoxicated is a pleasant cardamom coffee. April 6, 2020 at 4:46pm Reply

  • Marielle: I love your blog! I have been reading it for several years. The reviews are thoughtful and are dosed with creative, lovely prose.

    Have you ever reviewed Lise Watier’s Neiges? Lise Watier is a Canadian cosmetic brand from Montréal, Québec. She is a giant in her field and her flagship scent is Neiges – enormously popular but probably in Canada only. I’d be curious to know what you think. April 2, 2020 at 8:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Marielle.
      I know this brand, but I’ve never tried Neiges. I’ll definitely look for a sample. April 3, 2020 at 5:03am Reply

      • El: I just got the coffee sample pack from Bloom Perfumes. El Born by Carner was beautiful and smelt like coffee, cake and spices. I’m not a lover of gourmands usually but this was delicious and not too sweet. I also loved Chypre Shot by Olfactive Studio which I have now bought on Ebay and wear daily. It has a wonderful cardamom note. Aomassai by Pierre Guillaume is also delicious and smells of coffee and dark hazlenuts / caramel. April 10, 2020 at 1:57pm Reply

  • Charlotte Barrow: Which perfumes or perfume notes motivate and inspire you in difficult times? I have fragrances which make me feel happy, calm or energised, but none that make me feel specifically more productive! Interested to hear thoughts 🙂 April 3, 2020 at 7:08am Reply

    • Anne: I’m wearing happy florals like Jour d’Hermes, Paris, Ostara and Annick Goutal Grand Amour. They make me feel good. April 4, 2020 at 4:29am Reply

      • Charlotte Barrow: Thanks Anne, Ostara is one of my happiest perfumes! I also find Grand Amour very soothing 🙂 April 4, 2020 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi again (please see my comment below not sure why it jumped down, maybe because I worked off a non refreshed page)
      After posting, I saw Anne’s suggestions. So, yes I can agree being happy could make one productive. I also love Ostara and Grand Amour. April 4, 2020 at 10:12am Reply

    • Sebastian: I suppose feeling productive means feeling positive and energized. Noe I really couldn’t point to any one perfume, or even any one kind of perfume, that has that specific effect on me. It varies according to mood, weather, health, what tasks to do (more bodily work, or more thinking work), whether I’ll be staying home or working someplace else, alone or with another person (I’d feel inhibited putting on something that would normally energize me if I had qualms about how others would take it), what I have eaten etc. So many variables, so many perfumes. It’s a big scent universe. April 4, 2020 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Asta: I’m veering off my usual beaten path of big white florals. I’m CRAVING an upscale gourmand with prominent notes of Marzipan. Any suggestions? TIA! April 3, 2020 at 4:07pm Reply

    • Anne: Serge Lutens Datura Noir is beautiful. Louve and Rahat Loukoum from Lutens also smell of marzipan, but they aren’t floral per se. April 4, 2020 at 4:33am Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: Maison Lancôme Jasmins Marzipane is lovely! April 4, 2020 at 10:00am Reply

    • kpaint: Not sure if these are upscale, but they have prominent notes of marzipan: Angel Etoile des Reves, Hypnotic Poison, JM Honey & Crocus, Montale Amandes Oriental.

      If you’re looking just for prominent almond (not marzipan and not gourmand): Mona di Orio Musc, Reminiscence Musc, Heeley L’Amandière, Caswell Massey Centuries Almond, Prada Infusion d’Amande.

      More floral-leaning non-gourmand heliotrope/mimosa suggesting almonds: Carner Barcelona Tardes, Oriza L. Legrand Héliotrope Blanc.

      I also get a prominent nuttiness (not necessarily almond) from YSL Cinema and Mon Guerlain edp. April 4, 2020 at 10:18am Reply

      • Sebastian: Just out of curiosity, what’s your definition of gourmand when a perfume with prominent notes of almond does not qualify? My definition is “anything dominated by food-based notes”, and I would accordingly classify e. g. Prada Infusion d’Amande as clearly gourmand, with its almond-ginger-cake appeal.
        (I agree about the Heeley, though, because it is not dominated by an edible almond, but only has this greenish, woody sweetness about it.) April 4, 2020 at 12:50pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi Asta, I am wearing Dambrosia (Profumum Roma) today. It’s a gourmand fragrance with a warm, almond(nut), fig and powdery smell. Sounds a mush mash, but really nice. Warning it’s oil based and with rather strong spillage.

      I also would suggest Anima Dulcis (Arquiste), but it doesn’t have nuts. No florals. April 4, 2020 at 10:29am Reply

      • Silvermoon: Autocorrect!
        Mish mash and sillage. April 4, 2020 at 10:31am Reply

    • Austenfan: Parfums de Nicolaï Kiss me Intense might be worth a try. April 4, 2020 at 12:58pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Prada, Infusion d’Amande comes to mind. April 5, 2020 at 3:20am Reply

    • Aurora: Reminiscence Dragee is almondy, vanilla fruity delicious, Etro Heliotrope for a very pronounced almond and Van Cleef and Arpels Orchidee Vanille for a vanilla almond and I second Austenfan for Kiss Me Intense. April 6, 2020 at 10:01pm Reply

    • Aurora: Also Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia for a citrus almond, very elegant. April 6, 2020 at 10:07pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Hello Charlotte!

    I imagine that a fragrance that inspires productivity would be something that energises and helps one focus too. Those here who practice or know aromatherapy would probably be best placed to indicate which notes do this best. One could then think about perfumes that present these notes.

    Personally I know little about aromatherapy, but I would imagine citrus notes with certain herb like combinations would work well. So, my suggestion would be Cristalle (Chanel) or Zagara (Santa Maria Novella). April 4, 2020 at 10:05am Reply

    • Charlotte Barrow: Thanks Silvermoon, I find Cristalle very energising! I’m not familiar with Zagara, will try to seek it out. April 4, 2020 at 3:55pm Reply

  • Alouetta: Hi! I’m trying to hunt down a scent that I smelled on someone wafting past me at a plant nursery. I regret not asking her straight away but I felt confident I could track her down as the scent had a huge sillage. Sadly, she was too quick for me.

    The overall impression was of a creamy fig, with some coconut overtones. It was not Phylosykos, Premier Figuier, or Dambrosia – what could it have been? It was bombastic and tropical, but also soft and enveloping, like falling back into a huge, cool feather doona. I didn’t get any white florals from it, but I may have missed that part.

    I’d love your help, as it was a delicious hot weather scent.

    Thanks in advance! April 4, 2020 at 11:31pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: Tropical: Then perhaps something by the French company “Comptoir Sud Pacifique”: Coco Extrème or Aloha Tiaré? They’re all anything but shy! April 5, 2020 at 3:15am Reply

    • Peter: My guess for Alouetta’s mystery perfume is Van Cleef & Arpels’ Santal Blanc. It’s a creamy tropical scent and it gives off a fig vibe. April 6, 2020 at 4:42am Reply

    • Alouetta: Thank you both! I will seek these out for a sniff. April 6, 2020 at 8:29am Reply

  • Jennifer: I’d love help finding an iris perfume that is slightly gourmand. I adore the first 20 minutes of Ormonde Jayne’s Vanille D’Iris but find that the dry down loses everything I loved about the opening. I would like to avoid violet or white flowers in large amounts, but would like something with a little sweetness, but not overly syrupy. I do own Diptyque’s Fleur de Peau but would love other iris suggestions. Thanks so much! April 5, 2020 at 11:58am Reply

    • Austenfan: Have you tried PG Felanilla? April 5, 2020 at 12:12pm Reply

      • Jennifer: No! But I just purchased a sample. Thank you for the suggestion!
        J April 5, 2020 at 4:51pm Reply

    • Aurora: Maybe you might test Dior Homme (not the new 2020 one but the classic one) or Dior Homme Intense, they both are iris gourmands. April 6, 2020 at 10:11pm Reply

      • Jennifer: I have not tried it – thank you for the suggestion!
        J April 8, 2020 at 12:04pm Reply

    • Alia: Did you have try Le Cri de parfum d’Empire? April 7, 2020 at 4:28pm Reply

      • Jennifer: The notes sound great, I am ordering a sample! Thank you!
        J April 8, 2020 at 12:06pm Reply

    • ninon: Niral has a slight loukhoum-esque quality that you might enjoy. April 9, 2020 at 11:52pm Reply

      • Jennifer: Oh! Yes, that looks great! Just ordered a sample. Thank you
        J April 10, 2020 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Alia: Hello! I’m desperately searching the perfect rose perfume. I’m so tired of agarwood and patchouli, etc. I want a true rose with strong personality but which not an oriental rose. My perfect rose has thornes, leaves, roots deep into black earth. She grows in a secret garden behind a old castle in the middle of an enchanted forest. She embraces the stones of a fallen wall, she sing in chore with the ivy, she can see the water pearl on the grass from a silence spring. At her feets, there is some poisonous belladona which play among innocent berries to fool the wanderes. It’s the flower of an unseelie fay or a sorceress. She doesn’t care to please to everyone and she spread her perfume like a sharp, powerful but also velvety blade. The imprudent fool who smells his fragrance just once has it under his skin forever. Like in Cocteau La Belle et la Bête, he learns a rose can be a death or a love promise.

    I don’t have particularly limited in budget so I am open to all suggestions. April 7, 2020 at 10:40am Reply

    • Sebastian: I translate your requirements to a rose combined with green notes, as you mention leaves, gardens, forests, ivy belladonna. You’d like a bit of freshness (thornes, sharpness), softness (water pearls, silent spring) or fruitiness (berries). Earthy notes would be welcome, as long as they are not patchouli. Perhaps dark resins (velvety blade). You don’t want oudh, or anything too spicy. You don’t want a soliflore or anything too simple. Did I get that right?

      Then, surprisingly, you might want YSL Rive gauche, although that is not usually thought of as a typical rose perfume. But it fulfills pretty much all those requirements. It is also relatively cheap. Rive gauche comes in two versions, the original one and a reformulation from 2003. They are pretty similar. The new one is a bit rosier and brighter. April 7, 2020 at 3:36pm Reply

      • Alia: “Touché! ” As we said in my native country. You have perfectly understand what I want! I’m impressed. I hear what you said about River Gauche. I think I’ll tried to smell it even if I imagined something more centered-rose. Does this perfume have this sparkle of vegetal wilderness I’m searching for? I heared about it being very “bourgeois”. April 7, 2020 at 4:23pm Reply

        • Sebastian: Well, no vegetal wilderness it does not have. But it is not bourgeois either, perhaps it’s more bohème.

          “Vegetal wild rose” – at the moment, I can’t think of anything. You know, perhaps it would be a good idea to ask this question again next month. These threads usually last for about a week, so this one is practically dead and probably no one will reads this now. I, too, only noticed your inquiry by accident. April 7, 2020 at 5:52pm Reply

    • Peter: Alia: You could check out both Victoria’s and Suzanna’s reviews of Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. It is a garden rose with a hint of tomato. It intrigued me on the first sniff and I eventually purchased the (more recent) EdP version.

      I have to mention that I do like Sebastian’s recommendation of YSL Rive Gauche. It’s a favorite of mine. I do think the Diptyque is a little more unusual. April 9, 2020 at 6:08am Reply

      • Alia: I’ll buy a sample of this “Ombre dans l’eau”. Sounds great! The name is so beautiful. I’ll hope the fragrance will honor it. I saw the Diptyque site and I notice there are many concentrations: edt, edp, solide perfume, oil. What differences between them? Thank you for having take time to answer me despite my late demand. April 9, 2020 at 8:37am Reply

        • Peter: Hello Alia. Victoria’s review points out the difference in the Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau versions of EdT and EdP. She much prefers the (newer) EdP. Her quotes are “richer and denser” and “dramatic and intense”. Her reviews are always very descriptive!

          Suzanne gives a review of the EdT and the solid perfume. Her review is extensive, noting the tomato notes (which I get), and is accompanied by a beautiful photo. April 9, 2020 at 2:11pm Reply

      • Pocketvenus: L’Ombre dans L’Eau immediately came to mind, as did Rose & Cuir by Malle April 9, 2020 at 4:59pm Reply

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