Recommend Me a Perfume : December 2020

Merry Christmas! I wish all of you happy holidays. May this season be full of light, beauty and happiness for you. May all of us make the most of whatever remains of this year, even if we say goodbye to it with few regrets. 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. Or you can just tell us what perfume you are wearing!

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, a Ukrainian traditional Christmas dish called kutya. I have a recipe for it here as well as a recipe for the spiced fruit compote that accompanies it.



  • Patricia Devine: Merry Christmas, good people. I am wearing my Christmas present, Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d’Orange. It was recommended to me on here when I asked about rose/incense fragrances. It is not incense, but very spicy to start – lots of pepper and ginger mixed with rose, quite a sharp and thorny fragrance, but drying down more soft and soapy. It’s my first day but I like it. 🙂 December 25, 2020 at 11:34am Reply

    • Ninon: Merry Christmas! And I am wearing Cuir Cannage, also recommended here. I adore it!!! December 26, 2020 at 1:05am Reply

    • Adrienne: You will be amazed at the positive comments you get from people, even strangers, when you are near them. Also, it’s long lasting aspect is a big advantage. It’s my all time favourite perfume. December 26, 2020 at 8:01am Reply

    • Katya: Merry Christmas!

      It’s a lovely fragrance. I’m so pleased there are more spicy rose fragrances out there now. It only used to be Lush Rose Jam and that was way too intense. December 27, 2020 at 4:50am Reply

  • Paul Schick: Recommendation from a perfume shop owner here in Toulouse: Layer Habit Rouge with Ambre Sultan (F/W) or La Fille de Berlin (Sp/S). December 25, 2020 at 11:34am Reply

    • John Luna: Thanks for that Paul — I love Habit Rouge and admire Ambre Sultan very much for its blend of amber and Mediterranean herbal notes. Happy Holidays! December 25, 2020 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Paul,

      I shall try Habit Rouge with La Fille de Berlin, as I own both. Thanks for the tip! December 27, 2020 at 2:42am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Merry Christmas to all the Bois de Jasmin readers. Today I am just wearing a dab of sandalwood (Santal Album)essential oil on my wrist. I’m enjoying the warm soft aroma of the scent. December 25, 2020 at 11:49am Reply

  • Damla: I am wearing Eau Duelle EDP by Dyptique, which I had been saving for forever and finally treated myself to. I used to think that I don’t like vanilla before smelling this fragrance randomly at a Dyptique counter. To me it is a salty and sweet vanilla with beautiful woods. Woods are not woven into the fragrance entirely seamlessly, and in some sniffs they stand apart as their own entity. They are sharp, but not tickle-your-nose sharp, sharp like momentarily catching a whiff of resins from a log that has been freshly cut open in a carpenter’s shop. The image I have when wearing this is a crushed vanilla bean pod in a raw wooden mortar.

    My question to readers is for a realistic, zesty orange scent that is not thin and aquatic through its development, nor overly powdery or spiced to hide the orange in initial stages. I am looking for a fragrance that captures the bitterness and zest of orange skin and starts out fruity, but may be bolstered by musk/wood/orange blossom/other ingredients later on to create a full-bodied(ish) effect. I’ve liked Atelier’s Orange Sanguine but find it too thin, and well, cologne-like 😀

    Lovely holidays to everyone! December 25, 2020 at 1:45pm Reply

    • John Luna: Hi Damla,

      I was going to recommend the Atelier until I got to the end of your post! One interesting mix (though it is not exactly what you were asking for, is to combine Orange Sanguine with Atelier’s dry and woody Vanille Incensée, which produces an accord reminiscent of the frozen treat known as a ‘creamsicle’…possibly best for warm weather but otherwise great.

      I also would think of Hermès Eau d’Orange Vert Concentré, which is a bit denser and muskier than the regular Orange Vert…still cologne-like but more persistent as a skin scent with both mosk and mossiness (it reminds me a touch of Eau Sauvage.) Maybe also something from the Ellena canon like Bigarade Concentrée? I personally *love* Déclaration but it is of course more spicy. I’ve even known women to wear Terre d’Hèrmes. Good luck and Happy Holidays! December 25, 2020 at 5:34pm Reply

      • Damla: John, thank you for your Hermès recommendations, I’ll give them a try. My partner actually wears Terre and although I love its mineral citrus scent I just associate it too much with him to wear it myself! December 28, 2020 at 12:36pm Reply

    • Sherry Frantz: My favorite candle is Diptyque. If only they made it in a parfume.

      What about using essential oil or wild orange and layer it with a favorite fragrance such as a vanilla base, like Eau Duelle which you already have…. or blood orange essential oil.

      So many fragrances with lemons…. I’m surprised there aren’t more with oranges. December 25, 2020 at 5:49pm Reply

      • Damla: Thanks Sherry, I adore sweet orange oil, but tried grapefruit oil and liked it even better (smelled more orange-y somehow!) December 28, 2020 at 12:38pm Reply

    • Peter: Hello Damla, your description of Eau Duelle is wonderful. You have the gift of word imagery. Best of luck finding your perfect Orange. December 25, 2020 at 6:20pm Reply

      • Damla: Thank you very much, especially because I sometimes struggle with writing (vs. speaking!) Eau Duelle has been a special find. December 31, 2020 at 6:30pm Reply

    • Mel: I found Orange Star by Andy Tauer extremely realistic and delicious! It’s under the radar but could be exactly what you’re looking for. I also enjoy Mandarine by L’Artisan. December 25, 2020 at 10:52pm Reply

      • Damla: I had actually put down Orange Star for a list of samples I am hoping to get! It is nice to hear that it fits the description 🙂 Thank you. December 31, 2020 at 6:31pm Reply

    • Tati: Hi Damla,
      Orange is one of my favorite daytime notes for cheering up. For a realistic one that lasts, one of my favorites is Profumum’s Neroli. It has a powerful opening and then it stays with a myrrh note. Quite lovely. December 26, 2020 at 2:49am Reply

    • Charlotte: Hi Damla, have you tried Serge Lutens’s Mandarine Mandarin? Victoria has a great review of it on this website.

      Although it contains quince rather than orange, I really like the fruity citrus of Penhaligon’s Vaara; zesty, rich and very tart!

      Good luck with your search 🙂 December 26, 2020 at 3:33am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Hallo Damla, I was thinking of Noir Epices (F. Malle). Of course there are spices, but also a very persistent bitter orange. To my nose, it smells like Grand Marnier. More orange than spices. And absolutely not thin! December 26, 2020 at 4:24am Reply

    • Klaas: Merry Christmas Damla! Azemour les Orangers is a glorious orange scent. Very juicy, very fruity and a touch of green upon application, but later on notes of neroli, suede and oakmoss provide a grown-up backdrop. I think it could be considered a chypre, though not a very dramatic one!

      It is a nice fragrance to try, and Parfum d’Empire is an interesting brand to have a look at anyway.

      Enjoy! December 26, 2020 at 5:17am Reply

    • therabbitsflower: My orange recommendations are Stella by Tocca (wonderful juicy blood orange that lasts over white musky), Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain, and Nerola by Fūm. December 26, 2020 at 12:08pm Reply

    • Katya: Hi Damla,

      I’m saving up to get “Tsarina” by Ormonde Jayne which is a delightful candied orange smell. There is spice but the orange comes out on top and it is an Extrait de Parfum so it is powerful.

      Speaking of Diptique, have you tried their orange offering? I think it’s called Oyedo? Its yuzu rather than classical orange but it is very different.

      I recently got samples of “Sundrunk” and “Falling into the sea” by Imaginary Authors which are both very citrus leaning. Falling into the sea is a lot closer to the citrus than Sundrunk although on me it smells a little like window cleaning fluid. I suspect it’s one if those that will divide people.

      I hear Orange Bitters by Jo Malone is very orangey but I haven’t smelled it myself. (Also, its LE and a cologne.) Still I’ve heard the smell described as a recently peeled orange so it might be worth trying if you can find a sample. They bring it back every winter. December 27, 2020 at 5:06am Reply

    • Karina: I recommend Jo Malone’s Orange Bitters. Not at all watery or cologne-y. But surely more of a winter orange than a summer orange. December 27, 2020 at 7:13am Reply

  • Elena: Merry Christmas everybody!
    My husband and I are wearing AG Songes. It smells warm and comforting on this gray Christmas Day.
    Not related to perfume recommendations. My favorite perfume’s spray broke half way through the bottle. Can anyone recommend how to remove the spray or save the rest of the juice otherwise. Thank you in advance for any advice! December 25, 2020 at 4:46pm Reply

    • Adrienne: This happened to me once too. Use needle nosed pliers to remove the metal cap. Then pour into a small bottle and use as a splash fragrance. Actually you can buy small atomiser bottles online, so you could put your perfume in one of those. December 26, 2020 at 8:12am Reply

      • Elena: Thank you, Adrienne! I will give it a try! December 26, 2020 at 8:58am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Thanks Elena and Adrienne,

        I shall keep this solution for future reference, in case it is needed! December 27, 2020 at 2:46am Reply

  • Peter: Mele Kalikimaka from Hawaii. I felt like a white floral today, so I chose Sarrasins. It’s a pungent jasmine, perfect for Winter. December 25, 2020 at 5:59pm Reply

    • Kayliz: Beautiful! December 25, 2020 at 6:57pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: G’day Pekolo,

      Mele Kalikimaka to you! There’s another Hawaiian term for my small collection. So you wore your jasmine-leather fragrance today. I still haven’t tried that. In Victoria’s review of it, the violet colour looks so pretty. December 26, 2020 at 1:34am Reply

  • Cilla: Years ago I once bought a small vial of a craft perfume from a gift shop in Massachusetts called “Midnight at the Oasis” The label listed: Rose, Sandlewood, Jasmine and Amber. I want to find a perfume I can wear everyday with some of these scents. I also love mint, pear and lemons. My favorite perfumes over the years: Shalimar , Nahema , Mediterraneo; and Annik Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien, Petite Cherie and Jo Malone’s Pear and freesia. The scent I turn to now: Mon Guerlain. I would love to hear your recommendations for a new perfume. Happy New Year! December 25, 2020 at 6:18pm Reply

    • Peter: Happy New Year Cilla. One of my favorite sandalwood perfumes is Chanel Bois des Iles. In Victoria’s review, she mentions rose, jasmine, and amber notes. It’s a classic.
      I see that you like Guerlain, what about Samsara? That’s another classic: a jasmine and sandalwood fragrance.
      In Victoria’s “The Idea of Radiance” (a few posts back), she does an excellent job describing Kilian Moonlight in Heaven. You catch the scent of jasmine on her tropical beach!
      Best of luck finding a new love. December 27, 2020 at 12:29am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Cilla,

      I second Peter’s suggestion of Samsara.

      If you like mint, pear and lemons, then you might like Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca. It is one of my summer favourites, containing notes of spearmint, clover leaf, Italian lemon, green tea, anise bergamot, lily of the valley, cyclamen and pear flower.

      You might also like another from the Aqua Allegoria range – Pera Granita. According to Fragrantica, it has notes of pear, grapefruit, lemon, bergamot, orange blossom, osmanthus, hedione, white musk, cedar and moss.

      I hope you find a fragrance you love.

      Happy New Year! December 27, 2020 at 3:06am Reply

  • Shirley in the middle of nowhere, Virginia Eastern Shore: It seems whenever I want to purchase a genuine French perfume, available in Paris for example, I find the company will not ship to US. Latest example: “O” by Lancome. I like to buy new bottles directly from manufacturers so I know they are fresh and genuine. Is there some kind of purchasing agency that can order genuine French perfumes for me, and then forward them to me in US? Who to trust? December 25, 2020 at 6:55pm Reply

    • Shirley etc…..: P.S. Also Annick Goutal L’eau de Hadrian. December 25, 2020 at 6:58pm Reply

      • Nina Z: I just remembered there is a Goutal boutique in New York City so you could call them and have them ship to you. The brand is now Goutal instead of Annick Goutal. I have been to the shop and they only carry Goutal products. December 26, 2020 at 6:47pm Reply

        • Sandra: Waving from NYC
          The Goutal shops are permanently closed.
          It is very hard to find that lines stateside. Also they have gotten rid of their US website December 26, 2020 at 7:49pm Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: Lancome has a US website; although O isn’t listed on it, you might be able to contact a sales rep through that to place an order: Good luck! December 26, 2020 at 10:35am Reply

    • Nina Z: You don’t need to order direct from Paris. In the US if you order from a well known department store or perfume shop, such as Lucky Scent, you will get the real thing for sure. It happens, though, that the two fragrances you mentioned have been reformulated in recent years so even if you got them in Paris they wouldn’t smell the way you remember them. Could that be the problem you’re having? December 26, 2020 at 5:33pm Reply

    • Wara: Merry belated Christmas Shirley! You can buy from Sephora online and they will ship it to you. Tsanakomoko (Virginia) is beautiful, specially the Eastern shore! December 26, 2020 at 9:17pm Reply

    • kpaint: Are you talking about some of the more exclusive fragrances, like the Guerlains that are only available at the flagship store in Paris?

      Unless that’s the case, there is no reason whatsoever to purchase directly from the manufacturer, wherever their purported headquarters are (can Lancome and the like even be considered a French company anymore?)

      If you feel like buying directly from a large manufacturer, those of any size will have a US website. But you needn’t even do that. Buy from an authorized dealer. They, too, will have genuine bottles.

      There are also lots of online perfume shops, as well as perfume shops that sell online, all of whom specialize in selling perfume.

      But even that’s not necessary either. If you’re shopping for mainstream brands, there are all kinds of reliable grey market sellers out there selling authentic bottles, as well as ebay and etsy dealers.

      As to freshness, purchasing a bottle from overseas that could take weeks, if not months in transit, assures your bottle will be exposed to all manner of elements that could potentially damage the perfume. Much better to buy from within the US, where your bottle will likely only spend a few days on its way to you. December 28, 2020 at 3:10pm Reply

    • ClareObscure: Hi Shirley. I feel your frustration there in Virginia. I think the problem could be that during this pandemic & associated EU /International Customs & Postal changes worldwide, your request was denied.
      I’ve read all the replies to your dilemma & agree that it’s best to be open minded about different retail avenues, including the grey market.
      Your “Non” from France may be entirely a Customs on fragrance issue. I live in the UK & have been charged hefty COD when ordering from the USA. Some US companies just refuse to ship to other countries, depending
      on the postal rules/taxes.
      I have sometimes given up in disgust, but then found these rules can be temporary, possibly related to a recent problem like Covid or Brexit.
      Wishing you a fragrant new year, Shirley.
      P. S. Try ‘All Beauty’, a website that’s based in the Channel Islands, between France & England. February 1, 2021 at 7:10am Reply

  • Kayliz: I wore Chanel No5 today, the Eau de Parfum that was given to my mother and not worn because she didn‘t recognise it as No5. She only ever wore the parfum, up until that too had changed so much that it seemed a different perfume to her. She died in September and as strange as it sounds, given her age and diagnosis, it was sudden. I came over to Britain from Germany to stay with her for the holidays in February-April and then ended up living and working remotely from here: a real silver lining of the pandemic for Mum and me. She was incredibly fit for almost the whole time. I came home from walking the dog one July afternoon to find her happily up a ladder in the garden — she was 95 and had terminal cancer. I‘m still here, in the home I now need to clear and sell, and today I dared to wear her No5 that was not quite her, in her memory. My happy memories have been painful these past weeks, but the Chanel has made me feel cocooned today, close enough to Mum‘s scent to feel comforting, and removed enough not to render me a quivering wreck. It feels like turning a corner. December 25, 2020 at 7:26pm Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: What a hard year in which to lose a parent, I’m sorry. Chanel No. 5 is probably the scent I most associate with my own late mother. I love it, but I don’t wear it myself. I have her last spray bottle of the EDT, and I smell it once in a while to bring back memories. I’m glad you are finding it comforting. What a blessing that you were able to be near her for most of this year. December 25, 2020 at 9:51pm Reply

      • Kayliz: So glad you have that too, Old Herbaceous. December 27, 2020 at 11:27am Reply

    • Peter: I’d like to share a poem with Kayliz:

      There should be no despair for you
      While nightly stars are burning;
      While evening pours its silent dew,
      And sunshine gilds the morning.
      There should be no despair–though tears
      May flow down like a river:
      Are not the best beloved of years
      Around your heart for ever?

      -Emily Bronte December 25, 2020 at 10:21pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: So beautiful… December 26, 2020 at 1:36am Reply

      • Tati: That’s really wonderful. Thank you. December 26, 2020 at 2:52am Reply

      • John Luna: Wow, that is lovely, thank you. December 26, 2020 at 3:23am Reply

      • Old Herbaceous: Beautiful, thank you! December 26, 2020 at 10:37am Reply

      • Aurora: Thank you Peter, such an eloquent poem. December 26, 2020 at 11:20am Reply

      • Klaas: Dear Peter, that’s so kind of you. Thank you December 26, 2020 at 1:00pm Reply

      • Silvermoon: Peter, what a beautiful poem to share with all of us. Thank you! December 27, 2020 at 10:46am Reply

      • Kayliz: I‘ll treasure this, Peter. December 27, 2020 at 11:27am Reply

      • Natalie: Thank you for that , Peter. Emily Bronte was a talented poet indeed and gone too soon at age 30. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorite books. The 1939 screen adaptation with Laurence Olivier is a favorite too. The perfume I thought of while reading the poem is En Passant, as I get a feeling of sentimentality from the scent of lilacs. December 27, 2020 at 1:56pm Reply

    • Klaas: Dear Kayliz, I’m sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you today. I love the image of your mum standing on a ladder at 95! She must have been a special lady. Cherish that bottle of No. 5! The power of scent…… December 26, 2020 at 1:07pm Reply

    • Wara: Sending you light and comfort!!! Your words are strong and tender, a beautiful homage to your time together with your mother. So happy that her perfume has given you the opportunity of an oasis in the middle of such hard work. Wishing you more moments of peace and joy! December 26, 2020 at 9:46pm Reply

    • Aurora: So sorry about your loss. It’s natural to miss departed loved ones during the holidays. Glad you had No 5 to comfort you December 27, 2020 at 12:30am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hello Kayliz, it’s been a difficult year, and especially for those who have lost loved ones. My heartfelt condolences. My mum passed away in Berlin this March (at the start of this horrible pandemic on the very night when Germany closed its borders). I live in the U.K. so in a way a switch around with you. However, I loved to hear about your perfume memories related to your mother. Mine was not so interested in perfume. The only ones I remember her using are Ma Griffe, Ivoire, and one of the Dior’s of the 1970s (not sure which). She always preferred real flowers around the house, and in her garden. Interestingly, it was my dad who loved perfumes, and used them all his life into his 90s. I understand your close enough but removed enough comment. It rings so true. December 27, 2020 at 10:43am Reply

      • Kayliz: I‘m so sorry, Silvermoon. Much love to you. December 27, 2020 at 11:26am Reply

        • Silvermoon: Thank you, Kayliz. And, surely 2021 will be a better year. Fingers crossed. December 27, 2020 at 11:36am Reply

    • Kayliz: Many thanks to all for your beautiful messages. Here‘s to all of us, and here’s to 2021. December 27, 2020 at 11:23am Reply

  • Rhinda: So very sorry for your loss Kayliz. I lost my parents six weeks apart. I easily realized how their favorite scents were coming to my emotional rescue during that time.
    I bought my mother a special perfume for her death process. She loved it as did I. I packed it up after she transitioned. I never wore it. That perfume was for a different reason. It wasn’t a perfume of my childhood memory with her.
    Be gentle with yourself during this change. December 25, 2020 at 8:31pm Reply

    • Kayliz: That must have been so hard, Rhinda. Thank you for your wise thoughts. December 27, 2020 at 11:25am Reply

      • ClareObscure: Hi Kayliz. I send you condolences over your mother’s passing. So glad to read your memories about her vigour at 95 & her fragrance. I’ve enjoyed all the various contributions stemming from your entry and was uplifted, today, Feb 1st,2021, by the lively and lovely community of readers & friends on this, Victoria’s bois de jasmine. Feeling moved, inspired & connected in bleak winter, UK.
        Wishing you joy & good memories in the coming year. February 1, 2021 at 12:30pm Reply

  • MizChris: I wore the fabulous, discontinued Guerlain Winter Delice today. That and Comme des Garcons are 2 favorite December scents. December 25, 2020 at 8:36pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hello and merry Christmas Everyone,

    Today in Brisbane it is Boxing Day, with lovely, temperate weather. As I did last night, I have applied Nuit de Noël.

    Several days ago, in the “Latest Comments” section of BdJ, at the very bottom of the page, I noticed that a lady had added a comment to a post from three years ago – Things I Learned in 12 Years of Bois de Jasmin. It was the sort of thing that would normally go in a Recommend Me a Perfume post. I checked and it didn’t appear as though the lady had ever commented on BdJ before. I replied to her, but thought I would add her comment and my reply to this post, in case she reads it, and in case anyone else has a reply.

    Debra L DiPrimio: I am 66 and have always loved perfume since my gramps use to dab White Shoulders behind my ears as a child. I currently am loving Jo Malone and the mixing of scents. However, I find my heart longing for a college favorite. HOPE by Francis Denney, it was never very expensive but had a fragrance so soft and beautiful it was haunting. Is there anything out there now similar? Thank you! December 19, 2020 at 9:46pm

    Tourmaline: Hi Debra,

    Welcome to Bois de Jasmin! It’s a wonderful website, and Victoria is a knowledgeable and generous guide through the world of perfume and related topics.

    I love White Shoulders. I first discovered it when a colleague gave me a dab-on bottle of it for my birthday about 30 years ago.

    At there are currently a few Hope products available for sale. There are two bottles of cologne, two jars of body cream and one tub of bath powder.

    As you probably know, there is nothing on eBay at the moment.

    You can read a little about Hope on Fragrantica by clicking on the following link.

    If you are seeking a fragrance, in future it would be a good idea to post your question on the “Recommend Me a Perfume” post, which is shared monthly. The last one was on 30 November, so the next one should appear in just over a week.

    I hope you find what you are looking for.

    With kind regards,

    Tourmaline December 21, 2020 at 6:48am December 25, 2020 at 10:24pm Reply

    • Mel: I always look forward to your comments, Tourmaline. This one is no exception. You provided really good intel to this woman looking for Hope. I still have four more hours of Christmas here on the West Coast but Happy Boxing Day to you!!! December 25, 2020 at 10:59pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Mel,

        Merry Christmas to you! Thank you so much for your kind words; they mean a lot to me.

        I hope Debra reads this (or the other post) sometime and finds what she is looking for.

        Enjoy the remainder of your Nuit de Noël! December 25, 2020 at 11:04pm Reply

    • Peter: Aloha Tourmaline. Thanks to your cheerleading for Nuit de Noel, I just ordered a decant. I was able to take advantage of a Boxing Day sale. I can’t wait to compare notes with you. December 27, 2020 at 12:35am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Aloha Pekolo,

        I’m looking forward to it! Three cheers for Boxing Day sales! December 27, 2020 at 1:45am Reply

  • Mel: I’m wearing Incendo by LA Curie which makes me feel like I just rolled in from Saguaro National Forest. Warm and smoky. Embers. Dry heat. So evocative of the desert. She makes a great candle too. December 25, 2020 at 11:07pm Reply

  • Lindsay A Magnuson: Hello everyone! I am a bit of a novice, and have had a hard time finding something I like. I just tried Au Dela by Bruno Fazzioli as it was recommended to me here in Portland at Fumerie Parfumerie. The initial impression was lovely, but the dry down smelled musty and kind of old and unappealing. I had this issue with Jean Patou’s 1000, which I loved in its early phases. I can’t figure out if I hate geranium, iris, or oakmoss. Or perhaps it is something else.

    I have been layering Lvnea’s Fern and Moss under Premier Figueur by L’Artisan. I like creamy, lactonic, green fragrances and interesting florals. I’ve also tried layering Neela Vermiere’s Mohur and Trayee. I love rose, lily of the valley, and white florals as long as they aren’t smotheringly sweet and heavy. I thought I was a chypre fan due to my memories of Diorissimo, but not sure after smelling some classic chypre samples (Coty). Used to like spicy orientals, but now they are too much and give me a headache. I really like Amaranthine by Penhaligon. Love beeswax and I think I like some animalic fragrances, and wondering about patchouli/rose scents…something sensual, warm, intriguing.

    I tried Frederic Malle’s fragrances (Portrait of a Lady, Carnal Flower, Le Parfum de Therese) and couldn’t handle the strong perfume scent. I did like En Passant, however. What do I mean by “strong perfume scent”? I don’t know–I am a novice! 🙂 Perhaps it is some synthetic aspect I am sensitive to, or some quality that shouts THIS IS PERFUME! I guess I favor more natural skin scents, lower sillage.

    Thank you for reading and for any feedback! I so appreciate this. I have a spreadsheet of testers and so many no votes that I’m unsure as to how to proceed.

    I don’t have a price limit–just want to find something I love! December 26, 2020 at 12:21am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Dear Lindsay A Magnuson,
      Here are some suggestions:
      Santal Majuscule, Lutens
      Bois des Iles, Chanel
      Muguet Porcelaine, Hermes
      Spicey: don’t be afraid of Vol de Nuit (Guerlain) headache at all.
      sensual, warm, intriguing: Chergui, Lutens
      Generally speaking Lutens has often beeswax in his perfumes. Please try Chypre Rouge.

      Nuit de Longchamp (lubin) has a rich rose, not loud but rich.
      I love also the soft chypre Black Jade by Lubin.
      If you love En Passant, you may also love Idylle by Guerlain, same lovely note of lilac.
      Idylle is imo more subtle and bright. Such a shame that only the Edp remains! The best ones, the extrait, Eau Sublime, Idylle Duet Rose/Patchouli..discontinued.

      Maybe you may like the soft Patchouli in Coco Mademoiselle Intense.
      Or the soft lavender in Libre (Yves StLaurent)

      I love the whispering flowers in Gabrielle by Chanel, but most people call it ”boring”

      and Mon Guerlain, most of all the edp, is very agreeable to wear.

      Good Luck! December 26, 2020 at 10:45am Reply

      • Lindsay A Magnuson: Thank you so much, Cornelia. I did catch a bit of Gabrielle and thought it very pretty. I am excited to try these out! December 26, 2020 at 3:32pm Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: I love rose and lily of the valley fragrances too, as well as greens, and I blog daily about those florals in an annual “May Marathon” (“May Muguet Marathon”, and “Roses de Mai Marathon”, if you want to Google them). Given how many no-gos you have, I’d continue sampling. Some online vendors have note-based collections of samples, for instance, all rose fragrances (Surrender to Chance does). DSH Perfumes has several note-based discovery sampler sets, and her fragrances are lovely. The green fragrances I like may be more intense than you prefer, but I love Chanel No. 19 and Papillon’s Dryad.
      The “strong perfumey” note you don’t like may be aldehydes. December 26, 2020 at 10:56am Reply

      • Lindsay Anne Magnuson: Thank you so much. I have been reading about Chanel No. 19 and Dryad, and am very intrigued. A local shop here has Dryad, so will try that this week or next. On another note, I’m excited to learn of your blog. It looks wonderful. December 27, 2020 at 10:06pm Reply

    • Klaas: Hello Lindsay, I personaly LOVE the Hermessence collection. If it’s available in Portland you should check it out……

      They are all extremely well composed, minimalistic, water colored and they layer beautifully. There are a couple of gorgeous florals in there like Rose Ikebana, Osmanthe Yunnan, Cedre Sambac, Myrrhe Eglantine and the aformentionen Muguet Porcelaine. I very much enjoy the more herbal ones like Brin de Reglisse, Vetiver Tonka and Poivre Samarcande, but there is a lot more to choose from.

      They are all discrete and don’t last long, which is why a lot of people find them over priced. They are costly for sure, but they are also very, very beautiful. I would buy them all if I had a salary to match the price tags 😉

      They also come in a 15 ml. travel size, but you have to buy 4.

      Does Fumerie carry the Nicolai brand? There are some fantastic perfumes in her collection as well, it is a brand to check out of you want something that doesn’t scream PERFUME! December 26, 2020 at 1:22pm Reply

      • Lindsay Anne Magnuson: Thanks Klaas! I wish we had a Hermes here in Portland, but I can order a set to try. Hermessence is one that just keeps coming up. I loved the Osmanthus top notes in J. Patou 1000 and did get a sample of Osmanthe Yunnan. I think I need the spray, as the tiny sample is hard for me to perceive from the vial, if that makes sense. I don’t think tea works well on me, but not completely sure. So appreciate the ideas–thanks again! December 27, 2020 at 10:23pm Reply

        • Klaas: Yes, if you can spare the cash I think you could blind buy. As I said, I like them all……and with 4 perfumes to try there will be one or two you like for sure 😉

          the Osmanthe Yunnan is more about osmathus and apricot then about tea to my nose. December 28, 2020 at 8:16am Reply

    • Ninon: Hello from another PNWer. I agree with Herbaceous that you may not get on, at this point, with aldehydes, which, for years, I perceived as “perfume-y”; I would not presume that you dislike other notes like iris. (Fwiw, Joy is challenging for a lot of people.) You seem to prefer more modern, spare compositions, and so would I recommend the work of Jean-Claude Ellena: Angeliques Sous La Pluie and L’eau d’Hiver (also Frederic Malle); Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé, Rose Ikebana, and Osmanthe Yunnan and the Jardin series, among others. You may also like a lot of offerings from L’Artisan. For interesting and austere, try Commes de Garcons. And if you appreciate complex florals, you must try Puredistance Opardu (more classical in structure and a bit powdery, but without aldehydes). Mostly, be curious and open. My tastes have changed so much since I began this journey (for years, I preferred spare scents and now love roaring aldehydic leathers and vintage chypres…you never know!). December 26, 2020 at 1:26pm Reply

      • Lindsay Anne Magnuson: This is wonderful advice. I’m just far enough in to know that this is a wonderfully unpredictable process! It’s great fun, and….quite expensive. But a great pleasure to explore. Many thanks! December 27, 2020 at 1:31am Reply

        • Ninon: You’re so welcome! I love exploring new-to-me scents. To this day, I have very few FBs/large decants (I’m on a budget), but my house is bursting with samples (LuckyScent is probably my favorite source–and great fun to visit if you are ever in Los Angeles). Enjoy and please share your discoveries! December 27, 2020 at 1:51am Reply

    • Ninon: Hello from another PNWer. I agree with Herbaceous that you may not get on, at this point, with aldehydes, which, for years, I perceived as “perfume-y”; I would not presume that you dislike other notes like iris. (Fwiw, Joy is challenging for a lot of people.) You seem to prefer more modern, spare compositions, and so would I recommend the work of Jean-Claude Ellena: Angeliques Sous La Pluie and L’eau d’Hiver (also Frederic Malle); Hermessence Iris Ukiyoé, Rose Ikebana, and Osmanthe Yunnan and the Jardin series, among others. You may also like a lot of offerings from L’Artisan. For interesting and austere, try Commes de Garcons. And if you appreciate complex florals and specifically lilac, you must try Puredistance Opardu (more classical in structure and a bit powdery, but without aldehydes). Mostly, be curious and open. My tastes have changed so much since I began this journey (for years, I preferred spare scents and now love roaring aldehydic leathers and vintage chypres…you never know!). December 26, 2020 at 1:28pm Reply

      • Ninon: Sorry for the double post! December 26, 2020 at 1:28pm Reply

    • Peter: Hi Lindsay. I just wanted to add on to Klaas’ comment. The Hermessence (4) travel spray is a great way to experience and test their great line. Nicolai also makes a reasonably priced 30ml size. A perfect size for exploring her brand. December 27, 2020 at 12:48am Reply

    • Katya: Hi Lindsay

      Since you mentioned Portland, have you tried anything from Imaginary Authors (I believe they are local to you) I find their compositions really interesting and they have great sample packs if you don’t know where to start. I love Saint Julep and Every Storm a Serenade, but I think you’d like the former more than the latter (it smells like a mint mojito). I’ve also sampled O, Unknown, Cape Heartache, Falling into the Sea, the Cobra and the Canary, and Sundrunk from them. I would say Sundrunk falls most in your brief although on me it smells like plastic so definitely one to try on the skin before committing.

      Since you mention Lilly of the valley, I discovered Danzatoria by Carner this year (the perfume shop I buy from put it as a sample with another order and I loved it so much I bought a FB immediately). It’s white florals but done very well. The whole White Collection by Carner is actually wonderful if you can get a sample. December 27, 2020 at 5:31am Reply

      • Katya: Also I recommended these all the time back in the day, but Vetyverio and Do Son by Diptique seem to hit the spot for a lot of people. Vetyverio is my preferred one, because it is more green (also my mum adopted Do Son after me so now I consider that her scent). Do Son is a tuberose and for some reason no matter where I used to wear it people would give me compliments. It’s a very good white floral. However, I also like L’ombre dans L’eau by Diptique. Much more unusual and the tomato leaf comes out really strong, which… I like? It kinda smells like you’ve been digging into a blackberry garden all day. December 27, 2020 at 5:35am Reply

      • Lindsay Anne Magnuson: Fascinating–I will look for some Carner samples. The Imaginary Authors line can be found around town, and I’ve tried a few here and there, but will go back to them with more focus based on your suggestions. Your mention of tomato leaf + blackberry in L’hombre Dans L’eau is intriguing and appealing. I tried Memo’s Italian Leather a while back and read the tomato leaf as rough and unpleasant. Wonder if that had to do with the leather combo. So much to learn. December 27, 2020 at 10:32pm Reply

        • Katya: For me, the tomato in L’Ombre is what makes it good. I like a bit of a ‘screechy’ not but it comes off very different depending on whether you get the edt or edp. Diptique as a house have more hits than misses for me so it’s a good place to start if someone asks for a rec because they are also widely distributed.

          Imaginary Authors for me is definitely divisive though. The ones I love from them, I love. The ones I don’t, I loathe. It makes them special to be sure but not a house to go in blind. Having said that, Every Storm a Serenade is such a close cousin of Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel, I was overjoyed to discover it and I hope they stay in business for that one fragrance alone. (Hits like a salty slap to the face and I love it.)

          Anyway, happy searching! December 28, 2020 at 9:57am Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to repeat a portion of a comment that I made a couple of weeks ago. It really belongs in this post. Early in December, I sprayed Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa onto my skin, repeatedly. What did I smell? Absolutely nothing. I tried for a couple of days, but still couldn’t smell anything. This has never happened to me before. I had bought the bottle a couple of years earlier, along with Pamplelune and Pera Granita, and I can smell both of those. I wonder whether musks are playing a role here.

    Has anyone else experienced a similar thing with Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa? December 26, 2020 at 2:33am Reply

    • Shirley from middle of nowhere: I cannot comment on your specific fragrance, but I myself can smell nothing at all with “En Passant”. I know I should love it (because I love lilac). Sinus surgery 50 years ago? Don’t know, wish I did. December 26, 2020 at 7:44am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Shirley,

        Thanks for replying. It’s interesting, and more than a little frustrating, isn’t it? I haven’t as yet smelled En Passant, and hope that I’ll be able to, as I, too, love lilac.

        If you can smell other fragrances, then I would say it’s probably not the sinus surgery, but then I’m not a doctor.

        Perhaps Victoria’s future posts about the synthetics might be illuminating. I know that many people are anosmic to some of the newer musks, for example. December 26, 2020 at 8:05am Reply

    • Lynley: Not with that particular fragrance (I haven’t tried it), but I have the same issue with Le Jardin du Monsieur Li. I can smell it for a couple of minutes and that’s it. The odd thing is is that I get a lot of compliments on it long after I think it’s disappeared.
      I personally suspect it’s a musk thing but it’s my only experience of selective anosmia December 26, 2020 at 9:34am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Lynley,

        That’s interesting that Le Jardin de Monsieur Li disappears so soon on you. I’m sure there are actually many people who have problems smelling various perfumes and substances, possibly for a range of reasons.

        I know that the scent of violet can seem to fade in and out, because it saturates our smell receptors every now and then, so that they can no longer smell it for a while. December 26, 2020 at 9:59am Reply

    • Elena: Tourmaline, I have the similar issue with with Terracotta. I smell the initial burst, and that it is gone. I have to layer it with Jasminora to smell it. December 26, 2020 at 12:34pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Elena,

        Oh, that’s such a shame. I love the Terracotta Voile D’Été EDT from 1999, and I even have a back-up bottle. That’s three rather different fragrances, so far, that people are having trouble smelling. Curiouser and curiouser! December 26, 2020 at 9:10pm Reply

    • kpaint: I have that experience with Hermes Eau de Néroli Doré. I can smell a few seconds of the opening, then nothing. It just vanishes.

      I once had a day where I could not smell vintage Obsession. I splashed so much on I’m quite sure people from across the ocean were catching whiffs, but I couldn’t smell a thing.

      The olfactory system is not well-understood, and inexplicable things happen. December 28, 2020 at 3:27pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi kpaint,

        So sorry for my late reply…

        I’m both relieved and intrigued that I’m not the only one experiencing this.

        Indeed, it is both strange and fascinating. January 17, 2021 at 11:15pm Reply

  • John Luna: Despite all of my misgivings leading up to last night and today, all of the feelings that something was not quite right (no doubt relatable to the pandemic and all the changes and anxieties that wrought this season), despite even now having suffered a little panic attack for no obvious reason, Christmas itself was lovely and alive. I wish the same for all of you.

    I wore Caron Pour un Homme today because this is the scent my family most associates with me.

    Best wishes for the rest of the season! December 26, 2020 at 3:30am Reply

  • Gabriela: So true. I enjoyed Christmas a lot this year too. Just decorating the house and opening a special bottle of wine. Simple things…
    As for perfume, Santa Claus brought me Neela Vermeire discovery set. I started with Mohur and my children and husband were saying I needed a whole bottle of it! I told them I was happy with the sample, a whole bottle is very expensive. It is indeed a gorgeous perfume. December 26, 2020 at 5:23am Reply

  • Ugo: Hello everybody, I’d like a recommendation about a good carnation fragrance, if possible modern. I love old Bellodgia and Etro Dianthus. I need a spicy floral, more carnation then cloves. I tried Oeillet Louis XV by Oriza, not what I look for. I also would love a recommendation on a perfume like the old Opium, a good sweet, powdery and spicy gem. Thank you! December 26, 2020 at 9:23am Reply

    • Old Herbaceous: I like Serge Luten’s Vitriol d’Oeillet, which can still be found online for reasonable prices (at least, last time I looked). DSH Perfumes has several beautiful carnation fragrances and even offers a sample set of carnation fragrances. December 26, 2020 at 11:04am Reply

      • Ugo: Thank you but I don’l like too much Lutens in general. I know Vitriol. I think that Lutens in general puts a bitter note everywhere that you smell often at the end of the trail and I don’t like it. Like in Sa majesté la rose. December 27, 2020 at 5:49am Reply

      • Ugo: DSH can’t ship to Italy…. December 27, 2020 at 6:21am Reply

    • Nina Z: Both of these–carnation perfumes and spicy florals– are my absolute favorites! I’ll start with carnation first. The bad news is that there aren’t a lot of modern carnations that measure up, in my opinion. Most of what is in my collection is vintage or discontinued. But I’ll list some I know about. Victoria loves Oeillet Bengale from Aedes de Venustas and it has a lot of fans. Prada has a newish one called Infusion d’Oeillet, which is pretty nice though not as good as their old Prada No. 2 (one of my favorites). Finally, I’ve heard about Carner Barcelona Sweet William, but I have not tried it yet.

      I definitely recommend getting the DSH carnation sample set. Dawn loves carnation! I love Fleuriste, which is more of a green carnation and also Oeillets Rouges, more of a spicy carnation. She even has an homage to Malmaison (Souvenir de Malmaison). December 26, 2020 at 1:06pm Reply

      • Ugo: Thank you I think I’ll try the DSH samples if they ship to Italy too and I’m curious of the Prada carnation. Aedes De Venustas is dead entirely, ot at least that’s what I heard of. I hope is a lie because I love Oeillet Bengale and Iris Nazarena. December 27, 2020 at 5:45am Reply

        • Nina Z: I saw that DSH can’t ship to Italy now, but they say it is hopefully only temporary. You could email them (you’ll probably reach Dawn directly) and ask them to let you know when they are able to ship to you again.

          Oeillet Bengale and Iris Nazarena are still listed on the Aedes de Venustas web site. Gosh, I had no idea they had so many perfumes in their own line. December 27, 2020 at 1:08pm Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Ugo
            There is a Black Dianthus by Il Profumo.
            I nener smelled it January 1, 2021 at 3:52pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Regarding Opium, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz also loves it and I really like her version of it Fou d’Opium and find it really wearable. On the other hand it’s pretty easy to find vintage Opium, so that might be the best solution. I also like the vintage Opium Pour Homme, which smells intriguingly of galangal ginger to me, so if you have the chance to try it, do.

      Another idea is Eau Lente by Diptyque, a very spicy powdery scent that I really enjoy but that doesn’t seem to get much love. I haven’t smell the latest version, but I believe it is still made. December 26, 2020 at 1:10pm Reply

      • Ninon: PBI: Can you describe Dawn’s version? I love her riffs on Tabac Blond and Deneuve. December 26, 2020 at 2:17pm Reply

        • Nina Z: That is an interesting challenge! In general I find Fou d’Opium equally spicy but somehow a bit more sheer and modern. I actually find it much more wearable than vintage Opium and wear it quite often. There is something very different about the base but I can’t identify what it is.

          Dawn actually has two versions of Opium, because her extrait version Euphorisme d’Opium is based on the Opium extrait. Obviously she is truly crazy for Opium! December 27, 2020 at 1:00pm Reply

          • Ninon: Tysm for this wonderful feedback! December 28, 2020 at 12:32am Reply

    • Sandra: How about Capri perfume for carnation December 26, 2020 at 7:45pm Reply

    • Peter: Aloha Ugo. I’d like to second Nina’s recommendation of DSH Fleuriste. It’s lovely fresh carnation floral. Dawn makes a non-alcohol Voile de Parfum format that can be sent overseas (and to Hawaii). December 27, 2020 at 1:01am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Ugo,

      I’d be interested to hear your reasons for wanting a modern carnation fragrance if possible. As you probably know, modern is not necessarily better. Is it because you prefer not to have to trawl eBay for discontinued scents?

      I adore Bellodgia!

      I don’t mean to insult your intelligence, but have you tried L’Air du Temps (Nina Ricci 1948)? It is a classic carnation that is still in production. According to Fragrantica, “Top notes are carnation, aldehydes, rose, neroli, Brazilian rosewood, peach and bergamot; middle notes are carnation, cloves, gardenia, jasmine, rose, ylang-ylang, violet, orris root, rosemary and orchid; base notes are spices, iris, oakmoss, musk, sandalwood, amber, benzoin, vetiver and cedar.” December 27, 2020 at 4:50am Reply

      • Ugo: I have a passion for vintage perfumes, I’m still exploring the reasons why. I think and know that old are often better then modern perfumes or modern reformulations. I’m sure that overregulation has limited a lot of marvellous scents. However I’m looking for a modern perfume because if I like it I can find it easily now and probably on the years ahead. I have old and modern versions of L’Air Du Temps and I prefer the old even if the modern is not so bad but is less rich and the pyramid has lost something. Bellodgia is discontinued and also Più Bellodgia. Even Dianthus, Oeillet Sauvage by Artisan and Oeillet Bengale by Aedes. December 27, 2020 at 5:41am Reply

        • Tourmaline: I love vintage perfumes too; they have many of the ingredients that are now restricted or banned. However your rationale of wanting to be able to find the fragrance easily both now and in the future makes good sense.

          I was fortunate enough to accumulate a great number of perfumes when they first came out, e.g Paris, Opium and Poison. But I’ve also had good luck on eBay over the years, e.g. finding a big bottle of vintage Bellodgia, and recently a similar size of the divine Nuit de Noël.

          This evening I sprayed on some of my L’Air du Temps from the late eighties or early nineties, and it smells wonderful. But Victoria’s 2005 review of the reformulated version, which I’ve just read, is enough to put anyone off it.

          Fortunately you’ve received some good recommendations. I hope you find a modern carnation fragrance that you love. December 27, 2020 at 6:07am Reply

        • Nina Z: I feel your pain, Ugo! I, too, have a passion for vintage perfumes. The thing is many modern perfumes seem to have very short life spans and get discontinued before you can blink. I love the original Prada exclusive series, including the Oeillet, but that was discontinued after just a few years! So stock up on the vintage perfumes while you can. I think that Italy has lots of dusty old perfume shops where you can find vintage treasures at good prices. December 27, 2020 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Nina Z: A couple of other carnation idea from Italy: Garofano from Lorenzo Villoresi, a very strong carnation/floral scent, not my favorite but it has many fans and who knows you might like it. December 27, 2020 at 1:28pm Reply

      • Nina Z: I was going to recommend Garofano from Santa Maria Novella but that’s more of a citrus/clove cologne. I like it in hot weather! But I had second thoughts because you wanted more carnation than clove you said. Still it will be easy to find in Italy, so you might give it a try. I like their Garofano soap. This is probably one you can count on being available for a long time. December 27, 2020 at 8:16pm Reply

    • Damla: I heard that Hiram Green’s violet-centric Vivacious contains a lot of carnation, in fact some people describe it as smelling more like carnation than violets! December 28, 2020 at 12:33pm Reply

    • kpaint: Papillon Salome, if it hasn’t been mentioned. It has a distinctly vintage vibe. December 28, 2020 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Old Herbaceous: I love rose and lily of the valley fragrances too, as well as greens, and I blog daily about those florals in an annual “May Marathon” (“May Muguet Marathon”, and “Roses de Mai Marathon”, if you want to Google them). Given how many no-gos you have, I’d continue sampling. Some online vendors have note-based collections of samples, for instance, all rose fragrances (Surrender to Chance does). DSH Perfumes has several note-based discovery sampler sets, and her fragrances are lovely. The green fragrances I like may be more intense than you prefer, but I love Chanel No. 19 and Papillon’s Dryad.
    The “strong perfumey” note you don’t like may be aldehydes. December 26, 2020 at 11:10am Reply

    • Peter: Aloha Old Herbaceous. I love Dryad, it’s tied with Anubis as my favorite Papillon. I know that hardcore Perfume Lovers are crazy about No 19, but I prefer the softer No 19 Poudre. As I mentioned above, I also like DSH. December 27, 2020 at 1:10am Reply

  • Jenn: Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable website from which I could order mainstream perfume at a discount? I’ve finally run out of Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée, which is a favorite of mine in the warm months, and really want to get a replacement bottle, but the full retail price is a bit much for me right now. Back in the day, I ordered my first bottle for a steal from a website called Lilydirect (now no longer active, it seems), but that was a long while ago, when I was first getting into fragrance, and I’ve been purchasing perfumes directly from the companies that make them since, so I’ve lost touch with those kinds of useful discount websites! December 26, 2020 at 1:15pm Reply

    • Ninon: Does Fragrancenet carry this line? December 26, 2020 at 2:15pm Reply

      • Jenn: I checked, and they do! Just placed the order – fingers crossed it’s a good one! 🙂 December 26, 2020 at 10:03pm Reply

  • Klaas: Hey Jenn, would you tell us where you’re based? Are you looking for discounters in Europe, the UK or the US? December 26, 2020 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Jenn: I’m based in the US! 🙂 December 26, 2020 at 2:17pm Reply

      • Klaas: In that case I can’t be of any help……I just know about European websites as I’m based in Holland. The Jardin series is not hard to find on discounters here, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find it at the other side of the Atlantic as well…….Good luck! It is a beautiful fragrance….. December 26, 2020 at 4:30pm Reply

        • Jenn: No worries, thank you anyway! Ninon suggested Fragrancenet, and they have it, so I’m going to give it a shot. Hopefully it all goes well! December 26, 2020 at 10:05pm Reply

        • CristinaM: Klaas I am in Europe and have the same request
          Any suggestions? Thx December 27, 2020 at 1:54pm Reply

          • Klaas: Hey Cristina, I have ordered from Notino many times and it was always smooth and pleasant. I have ordered several fragrances by Hermes and Encre Noire at very good prices! They don’t have all the brands though.

            Recently I looked for a Guerlain fragrance online and found Discounts are not as spectacular, but they carry more brands, so it seems. December 28, 2020 at 8:11am Reply

            • CristinaM: Thanks! I did know Notino, but not the other one, very interesting! December 28, 2020 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Ninon: I love Cuir de Russie and Coromandel (the EDTs and vintage CdR), and am eagerly awaiting a sample of Le Lion. Has anyone tried it? Any scents with a similar vibe–and not loads of sweetness–that you would recommend? I also ordered a sample of Cartier La Treizieme Heure. December 26, 2020 at 2:15pm Reply

    • sandra: le lion is a lot like Coromandel & 31 Rue
      To my nose its a lot like Shalimar December 26, 2020 at 7:43pm Reply

      • Ninon: Thank you for this, Sandra! Boo. I do not connect with Shalimar, though I do love Eris Night Flower, which references it. I’m hoping the Le Lion’s vanilla and labdanum will be quiet on me…we’ll see! December 26, 2020 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Ashley: Hello all! I’m in Memphis, TN. I am looking for something but not sure how to find it – I’m hoping someone has a great recommendation for me!

    I want a soft scent to spray on before bed. Something cozy and comfortable. I have been looking into skin scents, but they all seem to fall into the linear “not a perfume” category, which I don’t find interesting or pleasant, or the violet/iris/powder category. I don’t mind a bit of this, but don’t want to smell like a powder bomb.

    My favorite scents for winter tend to be warm, comforting, spicy fragrances like l’air du desert marocain or Papillon Bengale Rouge or Amouage Epic, but these are too heavy for what I want. Any thoughts? December 26, 2020 at 2:43pm Reply

    • Klaas: Hey Ashley, I realise I keep on pushing Hermes here, I swear I am not a sales representatative!!! But have you tried Ambre Narguile from the Hermessence line? Ambery, gourmand, honeyed, sprinkeled with cinnamon yet light as a feather. It has been called an apple pie in a bottle, but that doesn’t do this wonderful fragrance complete justice.

      Super cosy, comforting and warming, yet luminous and transparent, I would sleep in it if I could 😉

      Also, Coco Mademoiselle launched a ‘Eau Privé’, especially designed to wear to bed……

      Oh, and what about Like This by Etat Libre d’Orange? It is also transparent and has a lot of wintery cosyness going on, with immortelle (smells a bit like maple syrup) and pumpkin, with hints of ginger, tangerine and vetiver. Could also work…….. December 26, 2020 at 4:26pm Reply

      • Ashley: These are great suggestions – thank you! December 27, 2020 at 11:52pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Ashley: Do you like lavender? it is very relaxing before bed, Les Exclusifs Jersey by Chanel, Mon Guerlain and Lush American Cream (that one is very sweet), Caron Pour un Homme might suit. Also YSL Libre has lavender but I haven’t tried it. December 27, 2020 at 6:27am Reply

      • Ashley: I do like lavender! I guess I tend to think of it as being in masc scents mostly – like in fougere. But this gifts me something to think about, thanks! December 27, 2020 at 11:53pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hello Ashley! I love L’Air du Desert Marocain too. My favourite spray before bed perfume is Ginestra (Santa Maria Novella). Not sure if one can easily find this Italian perfume house in the US, but I am sure it’s available there. Ginestra is the broom flower, so maybe other perfumes with this note may also do the trick. Another Italian cosy perfume is Teint de Neige (Lorenzo Villoresi), although it is rather powdery (you say that’s not your favourite). Then there is FMalle L’Eau de Hiver or FM Dries van Noten – both very comforting and cosy perfumes. December 27, 2020 at 11:50am Reply

    • Nina Z: How about Voyage 2019 from Hiram Green? It’s a beautiful spicy scent with vanilla that’s all natural and so more gentle that the big fragrances in your list. A number of my friends are all crazy about it!

      P.S. I also find spicy scents comforting. December 27, 2020 at 1:18pm Reply

      • Ashley: This is super intriguing – I loved Moonbloom, so I’m intrigued to try other Hiram Green scents. December 27, 2020 at 11:56pm Reply

    • Maria: Gucci memoire d’une odeur is wonderful comforting for night and on fabrics December 27, 2020 at 3:46pm Reply

  • Mela: Happy Holidays, everyone! I am a semi-novice perfumista looking for a new favorite scent. I have many perfumes, but have yet to find the (new) The One. Perfumes I have loved over the decades include Lauren, Poison, Gucci III, Paloma Picasso, Coco Mademoiselle, Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle, YSL Libre, and a couple of iterations of Guerlin Acqua Allegoria. A strange mix I know! I’ll still wear all of these, even the older ones, though Poison and Lauren are not what they used to be to me. Paloma Picasso has held up very well in my opinion, but I crave something new. I’m currently wearing Lady Vengeance by JHaG to try to get a modern twist on that rose chypre, but alas it has one screechy note that moves it just off for me. It was close. Other perfumes I currently wear from time to time that I like well enough and appreciate but don’t truly love include Dior Addict, Coco, Flowerbomb, Gypsy Water, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Jo Malone Honeysuckle Davana, YSL Mon Paris, and Hermès Twilly Poivre. I have a weird relationship with Youth Dew bath oil. I want to love it for it’s vintage appeal but when I first put it on it seems so indolic that it smells like a not particularly clean bathroom. Two hours later it’s gorgeous, then gone. For the record, I personally really do not like Fracas or Chanel No 5 on me, nor do I like Bronze Goddess. Once upon a time in the 90s I wore both Angel and Calandre, purchased for me by men in my life, not self-selected. Now both give me a massive headache even though I want to like them. Perfumes I thought I should have loved but turned out to not love at all include Agent Provocataur, Clinique Aromatics Elixir, and Hermès Eau des Merveilles. Perfumes everyone seems to like but I always have found meh include Dior J’Adore, most JHaG scents other than LV, Joy, L’Interdit, Alien and all its flankers, Black Orchid, Soleil Blanc, Gucci Flora, Gucci Guilty. I think notes I do like include rose, patchouli, moss, lavender, minerals, bergamot, spices, and a little touch of restrained vanilla, cassis, plum or honey sweetness. I think I don’t prefer big white flowers, super dose aldehydes or synthetics, or crazy candy sweetness. I’m not sure where I stand on amber. Can anyone put this challenging puzzle together and recommend me something that is smooth, seductive, intoxicating, sparkling, just a touch sweet and a little spicy, big but not atomic, elegantly sexy, a little bossy, and classic yet modern? December 26, 2020 at 7:50pm Reply

    • Katya: Hi Mela

      I said this up thread but whenever I’ve worn Do Son by Diptique (tuberose floral) I always get compliments – friends, strangers, family members even. I’ve gone off of it but it is a solid perfume and the EdT and EdP are different enough to be interesting. If that is too much of a white floral, L’Ombre Dan’s l’Eau might be more up your alley since it has rose and blackberry, but the tomato leaf keeps it from being too sweet.

      Since you mentioned Lady Vengeance, theres a few spicy roses that might be along the same note: Eau de Protection by Etat Libre d’Orange, Rose Jam by Lush, Si Rose Edit (though that might be discontinued), Rose and Dragon by Carner, Rose Nacree du desert (Guerlain, v limited though).

      On the more mainstream end, have you tried Chanel Eau Premiere (the first flanker of no 5 they released.) Victoria describes it as a cashmere wrap of a perfume and I agree. It’s a statement but deffo not No 5.

      Hope this helps. December 27, 2020 at 5:45am Reply

      • Mela: Thank you, Katya! I just ordered a sample of L’Ombre dans L’Eau based on your suggestion. Sounds amazing! December 28, 2020 at 9:10pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Mela: I will add to the spicy roses: Caron Parfum Sacré (Rose, spices and myrrh, very opulent)and two patchouli roses, Terry de Gunzburg Rouge Nocturne and l’Artisan Parfumeur Voleur de Roses, patchouli reads bossy to me 🙂 December 27, 2020 at 6:51am Reply

      • Mela: Hi Aurora. Thanks so much for the ideas! I am going to try Voleur de Roses based on your suggestions. I’ve thought about trying it before, but chickened out based on reviews that say it’s super big. But I think I like big if I like the juice, so I’m taking the leap. Decant should be here in 3-12 business days. Wish me luck! December 28, 2020 at 9:16pm Reply

    • Silvermoon: Hi Mela, so that is an extensive profile of likes and dislikes. I have a few suggestions: Amouage Lyric Woman, FMalle Le Parfum de Therese or Noir Epices, Bogue Maai (sprayed very lightly), Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman, Miller Harris Noux de Tubereuse and Frau Toni’s Veilchen. These are all very different and maybe some arouse your curiosity. December 27, 2020 at 12:05pm Reply

      • Mela: Thank you for your thoughts, Silvermoon. I have ordered some samples of Lyric and Ormande Woman after looking up their compositions. I’m especially excited about Lyric! December 28, 2020 at 9:19pm Reply

    • Peter: Hello Mela. You didn’t mention if you’ve tried the majestic Portrait of a Lady. She’s spicy, bossy and sexy. Some find it a bit atomic, so sample first. Frederic Malle offers travel sprays which are a good way to access this somewhat expensive jewel of a perfume.
      I’m also quite fond of Katya’s L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. It’s an unusual Rose, hiding among the tomatoes in a garden. December 27, 2020 at 7:08pm Reply

      • Mela: Hi Peter. Thank you for the suggestions! I noted upthread that I’ve already ordered some L’Ombre dans L’Eau to sample and am excitedly awaiting it’s arrival. I have not tried FM Portrait of a Lady but it sounds perfect. I’ve not found a place that decants this to sample, but perhaps I will order the travel spray. I did order a sample of La Fille de Berlin along with the L’Ombre dans L’Eau and hoping I might like that one based on what I have read. Wish me luck! December 28, 2020 at 9:28pm Reply

        • Peter: Hello Mela. Did you once recommend Serge Lutens Bois de Violette? You didn’t mention the fragrance above. If you did, I do like it. But I need to decant from the bell jar to a sprayer to get the full effect.
          Have fun on your Rose exploration. December 28, 2020 at 11:10pm Reply

    • Peter: Hello again Mela. Another suggestion is Cartier Declaration d’Un Soir. Victoria gave a compelling recommendation. It’s a spicy woody Rose. It might not be sparkling, but it’s quite seductive. December 27, 2020 at 7:22pm Reply

    • Nina Z: I saw that someone recommended Lyric Woman by Amouage and that was one I was going to suggest for you as a dark rose scent (with no screechy notes). Another oriental rose is Mohur by Neela Vermeire. My favorite patchouli is Coromandel by Chanel. You might like Patchouli Intense by Parfums Nicholai because that combines lavender with the patchouli for a more herbal leafy type of patchouli. For spicy you might check out the all natural Voyage 2019 from Hiram Green. I love it and have several friends who also do as well. It’s definitely smooth and seductive, classic and modern (but probably not sparkling or bossy LOL). December 27, 2020 at 8:32pm Reply

  • Peter: Hi Ashley. Klaas does a remarkable job describing Ambre Narguille. I get the apple pie vibe. A perfect scent to tuck yourself into bed. December 27, 2020 at 1:18am Reply

  • Katya: I defended my PhD wearing Miller Harris Fleurs de Sel which makes it all the more precious to me. Luckily I discovered Every Storm a Serenade by Imaginary Authors which is close enough (It hits like a salty slap to the face and I love it.) Today I’m wearing my sample of Tsarina by Ormonde Jayne and trying to decide if I want a FB before Brexit hits.

    I’ve discovered so many wonderful perfumes this year but Danzatoria by Carner is a Lilly of the valley I never thought I’d fall in love with. December 27, 2020 at 5:48am Reply

  • Maria: Bought myself SL Vetiver Oriental, i wanted it for years. I was so afraid, I have purchased so many perfumes I felt in love after trying them numerous times in perfume shops but in the end I couldn’t wear them. I layer anyway everything with L’Heure Bleue, can’t without it. I was afraid to be disappointed.
    After days I did it. What an adventure is VO. From green to chocolate, through greens and gold and dark. Sometimes a bit of sweat, as vetivers tend sometimes, and in the end just a luxurious scent without clear notes. I am happy. December 27, 2020 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Nina Z: After hearing from more than one person on this blog about the Royal Oeillet soap from Oriza L Legrand, I decided to ask Santa for a bar of it for Christmas. Well, Santa came through big time with four bars! Haven’t used it yet, but sniffing the bar alone delights me, so I can scent my drawers with it, etc. Thanks for the recommendation! (I was feeling sad about how hard it is to get the Roger & Gallet Carnation soap now.) December 27, 2020 at 8:21pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Nina: Hurrah to four bars of Royal Oeillet, and I’m so glad that you enjoy the fragrance. December 28, 2020 at 12:56pm Reply

  • Charlotte: Does anyone know whether the Hermes Galop refill bottles (125ml) can be used as a spray or a splash? I.e. if I don’t have the stirrup bottle, could I still use the refill bottle as a perfume? I love the fragrance, but in the stirrup bottle it’s out of my price range and I haven’t been able to find out online what kind of cap it has.
    Thanks! December 28, 2020 at 5:47am Reply

    • kpaint: I’m pretty sure it’s a splash bottle, as it’s designed as a refill. You could certainly decant it easily into an atomizer. December 28, 2020 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Mela: Thank you for the recommendations, Nina. I’ve ordered samples of Lyric and Patchouli Intense, along with several other recommendations from this thread. Hoping I will fall in love with at least one! December 28, 2020 at 9:33pm Reply

  • Claudia Phillips: I just found this wonderful site. It’s totally addicting to read about all these fragrances.
    Special Request: Back in the 1990s I wore Alfred Sung perfume. Then, they stopped making the perfume, but the EDT wasn’t the same.
    I’ve never found anything else I like as well.
    Is there something out there that smells similar? January 22, 2021 at 7:53pm Reply

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