Today's victim is Samantha. She's a stay-at-home mom during the day and a nurse at night. She's owned a number of perfumes that she's grown tired of (or just grown out of), including Ferragamo Incanto, Escada Rock 'n Rio and Fresh Sugar.
Samantha recently purchased By Kilian Love, and says she is "happy-ish with it", but not thrilled, and she's been spending too much money on samples looking for the perfect scent. She's hoping we can help narrow down her choices. She'd like to find the one (or maybe two) unique fragrance(s) that fit her personality, and her budget is $100 or less per bottle.
Here are some more details about Samantha:
Family is very important to her, as is feeling good and sexy.
She likes makeup, high heels, and jewelry.
She believes that "if you've got it then flaunt it, but flaunt it in a classy and sophisticated way".
She has a strong type A personality, but also believes in compromise.
Her interests include cooking, movies, travelling and music.
When it comes to fragrance, Samantha doesn't like...
Samantha does like warmth, but not too much amber or saffron. She also likes foody scents, and likes coconut notes in summer. Staying power is a very important issue (see below).
Fragrances that almost worked for Samantha:
Brandy. She likes "the crispness of apple and warmness of brandy and autumnal leaves", but found the staying power less than perfect. Other scents she's nixed due to staying power: Sage Onyx, L'Artisan Piment Brûlant. She'd like her fragrance to last at least 6 hours.
L'Artisan Bois Farine, but only in the winter, and Parfumerie Generale Crime Exotique, but it only smells "right" to her around the holidays.
Serge Lutens Louve is "love", but too expensive.
Amouage Jubilation 25 was also "love", but it gave her a migraine.
What say you?
I decided to concentrate on the Serge Lutens Louve angle. There are a number of similar fragrances — not exact dupes, mind you, but worth a shot — that cost less. Starting with the cheapest, there's Lady Evangeline, in the Heirloom Collection by Lagniappe Oaks, now sold by Bourbon French in New Orleans. You can get a travel spray for $6, which won't break the bank even if you don't like it. Moving up in terms of cost, Ava Luxe Loukhoum is $30 for 30 ml Eau de Parfum, and while I haven't tried that one, it does have fans at MakeupAlley, and in reviews there has been compared both to Serge Lutens Rahät Loukoum (Louve's older cousin, perhaps) and to Bois Farine. A sample can be had at The Posh Peasant for $3. Moving up in price, again, we've got Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, $80 for 75 ml. Samples can be had at The Posh Peasant or Luckyscent.