For anyone joining us midstream, the Monday Mail is our weekly feature in which we help a reader to find a new fragrance. Chantelle, who is studying Semiotics and Communication Theory at a Canadian university, is our victim of the week. Here are a few more details about Chantelle:
She describes herself as "confident, reflective, and a Type B+ personality".
Her interests include music, literature, philosophy and travel.
Fashion is important to Chantelle, and she is "very picky about the cut and shape" of her clothing. She likes jewel-toned shirts and dark skinny jeans, and describes her style as "well-arranged but still lots of fun".
Chantelle is not a stranger to perfume. She started wearing Elizabeth Arden Green Tea in middle school, and currently owns between 20 and 30 bottles. Here is what we know about her current scent preferences:
Her rotation includes Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, Guerlain Mitsouko, L'Artisan Mure et Musc Extreme, Penhaligons Lily & Spice, Prada Infusion d'Iris, Prada Amber pour Homme, Yves Saint Laurent Nu.
She does not like fragrances that are "too sweet or generic (fruity florals, gourmands)" or "velvety/heady (most white florals)", but other than that, she is not sure exactly what she does like.
She does not like Thierry Mugler Angel, Valentino Rock & Rose, Acqua di Parma Iris Nobile, or any of the celebrity fragrances other than Sarah Jessica Parker's.
Close-but-no-cigar fragrances: Thierry Mugler Miroir des Secrets ("a little too sweet"), Bond No. 9 Chinatown ("a bit too heady"), Frederic Malle L'Eau d'Hiver ("too light and no staying power"), and Hermes Kelly Caleche ("too pale").
Notes she is drawn to include iris, tuberose, lily of the valley, amber, saffron, and sandalwood.
She thinks she likes fragrances with a "cold vibe".
Chantelle is looking for a versatile fragrance that could be used day or night. She'd like something with personality, but doesn't want anything overpowering, and while she wants "interesting", she also wants to smell nice. She has access to both department store and niche scents, but has already tried many department store fragrances. She is willing to spend, but she's on a student budget — so Frederic Malle is a possibility, JAR is not.
What say you? My recommendations are all on the "cold iris" front, so I'm hoping the rest of you will cover the other bases:
I should have asked Chantelle if she had tried Hermès Hiris, one of my favorites. If she hasn't, she should, and if she's willing to buy samples online, she might also try Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, the coldest of the cold when it comes to iris. If she likes that one, she can join me in signing a petition to Serge Lutens begging for it to be the next limited edition export (at the moment, it cannot be purchased in North America). She might also like Apothia L Eau de Parfum (more iris, but a little less cold), and that one, happily, is not only available in North America, but it can also be purchased in a cute little 15 ml travel bottle for $30 (samples are available for $5).