This week's subject is Rachel, who is in her early 20s and HAS NEVER WORN PERFUME. She needs our help. She'd like to find 2 perfumes, one for day and one for evening, and she'd be extra-happy if we'd recommend fragrances that are $150 or less.
Here is what we know about Rachel:
She is fair-skinned, athletic and a dancer.
Her favorite food is salad.
She works at a law firm and has a bad habit of correcting other people's grammar.
Rachel would like her day fragrance to be "delicate and feminine" and her evening fragrance to be "foxy but not skanky". In either case, she wants "something that smells GOOD, not so odd or 'artsy' that it will make a college-age guy recoil". She started her perfume search in June, and has tried an amazing number of fragrances since then (see below for a partial list, but she says she's also tried most of what Sephora & Nordstrom have on offer). Rachel does not like vetiver, licorice, chocolate, incense, violets, heavy woods, powder, rosemary or tea. She does like rum, jasmine, rose, lily, lime, saffron, coconut, citrus.
The "NO" list:
Sarah Jessica Parker: Lovely ("exact skin-scent of an ex-boyfriend") and Covet ("murky, chocolate notes do not appeal").
Donna Karan Gold: ("too spicy").
L'Artisan: La Chasse aux Papillons ("nice but chalky, too much like hay"), Thé Pour Un Eté ("too cedary"), Mimosa Pour Moi ("I don't like mimosa"), Premier Figuier ("powdery, dim").
Serge Lutens: Rachel tried Un Lys: ("I have reservations about going around smelling exactly like a certain flower"), Un Bois Vanilla ("gourmands sometimes make me nauseated"), Borneo 1834 ("smelled like dirt and animal hide") and Fleurs d'Oranger ("sultry, almost rotting").
Robert Piguet Fracas: ("too heavy"), and she had the same reaction to Marc Jacobs and Chantecaille Frangipane.
Prada Infusion d'Iris: ("too powdery and dark").
Annick Goutal Hadrien: ("shrill").
Bvlgari Thé Vert: ("alright once the initial blast of cat litter has gone away, but I get tired of waiting").
Other "no" scents include Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Bahiana, any of the aldehydic Chanels, Guerlain Iris Ganache, Divine L'Enfant, Parfums de Nicolai Eau Exotique & Balkis, Miller Harris Geranium Bourbon, Annick Goutal Songes.
The "I'd buy it if I found money in the street" and/or "I don't like it enough to get a full bottle but I can't bear to give away the sample" list includes Lostmarc'h Aod, Creed Virgin Island Water, Creed Spring Flower, Chopard Mira Bai, L'Artisan Safran Troublant, Parfums de Rosine Un Zeste (she did not like anything else in the Rosine line), Serge Lutens Un Lys (see above), Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic.
What say you? I'll admit I'm stumped. For day, Annick Goutal's Petite Cherie or Eau de Camille are possibilities, but I suspect she's tried them already. Givenchy's Eau de Givenchy is another delicate mixed floral that might work, and if Rachel has not tried Chanel Cristalle, she might give that a shot although I suspect it will fall into the "shrill" category. If Rachel had not said she disliked tea, I might have suggested Parfums 06130 Yuzu Rouge since she liked Rosine's Un Zeste.
On the evening front, I'm really stumped. Lubin Idole might work; it does have notes she doesn't like but it's so sheer that it might not matter, and it has both rum and saffron. But for some reason I don't think Rachel is going to love it. Other shots in the dark: Ormonde Jayne Ta'if, Sonoma Scent Studio Vintage Rose. I hope ya'll are going to have better ideas.