Today's poll was inspired by a post of Marina's at Perfume Smellin' Things, titled simply In Which I Finally "Get" Shalimar.
The poll question: name a perfume that you disliked on the first try, loved on a later try.
How many tries did it take? I'd also love to hear how you decide what will get another chance. I used to try (almost) everything 3 or more times before I gave up, but there are too many releases now — I give up much sooner than I used to.
Mine: Diptyque Philosykos and Frederic Malle Une Rose, among many others.
Note: image shows a new ad for Christian Dior Eau Sauvage, and has nothing to do with anything. Found at the forums at Images de Parfums.
The Eau Sauvage add got my attention as it was one of my favorite 20 odd years ago (Extreme version though)
Declaration by Cartier took me a good month of almost daily wear to get used to. (I was moving and all other bottles were in storage, otherwise I would have given up sooner!)
The smokey/cardamum reminded me of a dirty ashtray at first. Even now, I wear it very infrequently, but something about it always brings me back…
Bulgari Black was reminding me of the smell of rubber at first, but it quickly became a fav. And it was so different from everything else that I owned…. I just HAD to love it
Oh God, lots of loves at second (and third and fourth…) sniff here. Sacrebleu, Bandit, Baghari, Dior homme, Incense extreme, L'heure bleue and Timbuktu. But the two most outstanding cases are Mitsouko and Le parfum de Thérèse. Thérèse I found strangely repellent and sweaty the first time I sniffed it and then… it was only “sweatingly beautiful”. Mitsouko… well it's an acquired taste, so nothing new here.
Anyway, it's difficult not to give a second chance, at least to things I “want” to like or I think I'm not “getting” or I like but think they're not really me. I always hope in some reversal of feelings. Sometimes if something seems really repellent but interesting, I feel I'm pretty sure that one day hate will become love, and Thérèse has been the first perfume to teach me this.
It got my attention too…it's still one of my favorites, and while this can't touch the old Gruau ads, I'm glad to see they're still promoting the scent.
I still haven't quite taken to Declaration. Haven't necessarily given up though…
I still expect to love Mitsouko some day. For now, I respect it. Therese, oddly enough given that it sounds like something I'd hate, I loved right away — but I don't know that I think it “fits” me. I wear it anyway.
I didn't get Eau des Merveilles until recently/ I thought it blah: a little bit of cough sirup, a little bit of amber, some soapiness. I even thought that my current Emporio Armani Classic smelled better.
God, I was wrong.
This Christmas while exploring Hermes scarves I sniffed it again, and fell in love. I love everything about the scent, the name, the story, the bottle, the packaging, the house. And the juice itself feels like me, so everything else has been ignored since I bought it.
Thank you for the review, otherwise I wouldn't even consider trying it again.
I think I keep trying things I don't like if someone else says its good and I kind of respect his or hers opinion. So I just want to understand why he likes it, or weather I'm wrong. It's the same thing with literature or movies. I didn't get Sommerset Maugham (thought there was nothing but style) until last year I read some of his books again.
Dior Homme was the first scent I went back to and loved second time. The first time I thought it smelled like damp card, it was difficult for me to describe. But I sniffed about for a while, went back and fell in love. Of course, I've since fallen in love with 30 other bottles too
LOL at “damp card”!
Rochas Femme and Diorella were two I did not like at first sniff- I did not like the cumin note- but I now I really like it and them. Shalimar is another that I like in totally different way than I used to- it is my (octogenerian) grandmother's favorite and the smell I will always asscociate with her- but it is also a sexy beautiful perfume that she wore at my age. In short (too late!) I find it ageless now. I am still working on Bandit- I think it is a masterpiece but I am still more in the respect stage, hoping the day will come when I will put on a smart suit and a spray of Bandit…
What a great Lazy Friday poll, Robin!!!
I was one of those gals who was drawn again and again to Therese — in part by the persuasive powers of this very blog! — to keep trying to “get” it. I got queasy every time after about 20 minutes of it on my skin, and yet, there was something there I found just unspeakably lovely. Finally, something in my gut just stopped resisting it, and now I LOVE it. I don't wear it alot, but it is one of the most truly beautiful fragrances I own. I may have found it difficult, but interestingly enough, I get an inordinate number of compliments whenever I wear it, so it was clearly ME, not IT.
My latest meh-to-WOW experience is Miller et Bertaux #1. A year ago, I found it odd, and it left me emotionally confused. I went back to it last week — again, thanks to all the favourable comments about it on this blog and others — and fell head over heels. I can't really fathom what I didn't “get” about it; now, it seems so easy to understand — in fact, impossible to resist. I am getting a bottle of it today, if fact.
That's a little scary, actually. I wonder how many other HG scents are in my purgatory basket, languishing quietly away while I'm lemming after all sorts of things that aren't half so ultimately lovely. . .
Hehe. By “damp” I mean musty/wet btw
I had the exact same reaction to Dior Homme. I think it took the 3rd sniff for me to really “get it”; I like the heart and base notes a lot more than the top. Regardless, I now own a bottle.
I disliked two of my favorites – Jardin Sur Le Nil and Fracas – on first try; it took two more tries each before I fell for them. Shalimar…just tried it for the third time on a very cold night and thought it smelled like gasoline for two hours; finally, a lovely vanilla emerged. Can't say I'll ever love it, though. SL's Un Lys – first time I tried it, I thought, “Ew. Sweet, cloying lillies – did a vampire just open its coffin?” Tried it twice more recently, again in cold weather. Now I want a bottle.
So I think three times is the charm for me.
lol – I'm not far enough along in my sampling to have too many hate-then-love experiences but I have had a couple of meh-to-love successes. CdG2 was “interesting” but by the third sampling I had to have it. Onda I tried in such a tiny amount I was unimpressed but the next time my hand slipped and I spilled it on myself (running the vial up my arm to save the precious droplet!) – your basic revelation and now I am pining for it.
I have a few I am working on liking. I really want to love Incense Extreme but it smells so much like my Mom's art studio it is difficult for me to wear. I have told my Jicky saga before – great on the paper, pond water on my arm.
Shalimar is actually one of the first perfumes I truly fell in love with, decades ago. The unfortunate thing is that I never quite feel right wearing it. I think someday I will have to spring for parfum, because I am determined for it to work. What is funny is that I often wear things that remind me of Shalimar!
Thanks to you I also loved Cristalle and eau parfumee au the vert. I think I have to pay more attention to you favourite summer fragrances: apparently they work for me too.
I also find that late autumn and winter is the best time for rediscovering fragrances because everything smells so much better when it's cold and on the contrary – you may hate almost everything when its hot.
I think I need to try the Shalimar parfum – I have some vintage cologne; the parfum might give me the beautiful vanilla more quickly. What scents remind you of Shalimar? I'd be curious to try them.
Chanel No. 19! And then the galbanum floodgates were open…
The first time I smelled Eau de Merveilles I was just shocked. I can't really say what it smelled like to me here on this family blog, too naughty. Later, I got the beauty and the naughtiness and it's one of my very favorites now.
Parfumerie Generale's L'Eau de Rare Matale — I sniffed a sample very early on in my perfume explorations expecting a pleasant “tea with lemon” sort of smell and was felled by that blast of smoky souchong-like stuff. But then (a sure sign of an emerging perfumista) I kept thinking, “I want to smell that weird thing again.” And now its a favorite.
Oh there are too many to tell all, I'll stop here. Enjoying everyone else's stories!
Thanks for a wonderful topic!
Although I am sure there are many more, two come to mind:
Bulgari Jasmin Noir: I tried a couple of times. First two times I found it very boring. At the third try, I got this lovely, creamy smoke mingling with the jasmine and loved it.
Chanel Bois des Iles: twice on paper (how could I have judged!). Absolutely hated it. Found it very strong and aldehydic and headache-inducing to say the least. Finally, on skin, gloriously rich and lush! What I have been missing in my fragrance wardrobe!
For me, it's Serge Lutens Chypre Rouge. It wasn't until the 7th or so try, that I adored it. But, the weather was below 50 degrees, I'm sure that made a difference.
The other scent is Jicky.
Nothing commercially available – I found a couple of essential oil mixes along the way, and even made one that was patchouli, vanilla, and spice flowers (carnation, lilac). I never really knew that Shalimar was vanilla until recently. I have just always been attracted to the darker scents.
damselfly1213 , I have a question about Un Lys: is it a fresh smell of flowers in the garden or shall I expect lllies in the vase on the second day with a hint of decay (my favourite part of smell in the rooms when somebody gives me lilies)
I adore this decaying part about lilies but I've never encountered it in perfume and I don't have access to Un Lys now.
That would be “realized their beauty” not “released their beauty.” I really am retarded!
Knize Ten for me. I got a fairly large sample of this and just didn't like it the first time I wore it. And I liked it even less the second time. But for some reason I persisted, and by the fifth or sixth try I really liked it. So I got a bottle and now it's probably my single favorite fragrance.
On the other hand, when I first tried Dzongkha, I didn't like it 'cause of its celery note I got from it. Then I began not to mind that note and I really liked it. Then I got Yatagan, a very different perfume with a pronounced celery note, which was love at first sniff. But turning back to Dzonghka I found that I no longer liked it so much. The celery note didn't bother me so much any more, but post-Yatagan it seemed somehow out of place.
EdM is a great scent, but hey ~ so is Emporio Armani Classic, by which I'm assuming you mean the “She” version? Love smelling that one on women and feel it is so unjustly underrated.
Sud Est by Romeo Gigli, Iquitos by Delon, Insense by Givenchy and Azzaro for men. One weekend at a house party a friend sprayed Sus Est on me while I was in a drunken stupor. He had found in a box of beauty items that are gonners but I like to remember, like Lancome hair products, Nolita, etc. He selected a box of Sud Est I had received as a gift many moons ago. It still had the Nordstrom gift receipt taped to it. He thought it smelled like rancid plant water. SO he liberally sprayed it on me while I was close to passing out. A few weeks later taking the dry cleaning down the block, I smelled the best thing ever. I love Sud Est.
Oh, oh, oh… Un Jardin Apres La Mousson!
When I first tried it, all I had was melon and aqua over very faint pepper – I was sooo disappointed. But after several weeks, I was in the store again and thought 'Oh, what the heck' and tried it again… I don't know what happened or changed, but this time around it was all lovely bright pepper and coriander, with a twist of vetiver at the end, and the melon was hardly there. I really hope this transformation is permanent, as I am now considering gettign a bottle. Will probably have to try it again before I buy, though…)
I can't recall any hate-to-love metamorphoses, but I have plenty of hate-to-like and meh-to-love ones. I hated MPG's Eau pour le Jeune Homme at first — nasty and medicinal, and I couldn't figure out where the orange juice and blossoms were — but I've since retried and quite like it. I was sort of “meh” on L'Air du Desert Marocain at first (“interesting, but don't really need it,” according to my notes), but now I can't live without it! And I wasn't wowed by Incense Extreme at first, but after sampling about a billion incenses, it looks better and better. Bandit's another that crept up on me: my first thought was, “umm… Grandma?” (I had a very chic grandmother), but now I'm craving it.
I give a scent another shot if it's something I really, really want to like (I'm still plugging away on Tea for Two, for instance) AND it's not a scrubber or headache-inducing (sorry, Bulgari Black, but nevermore).
Great poll idea; how about another one on scents you once loved but now hate?
Yes, the She! I wore it for a year but it started to suffocate me. I love it still, maybe the season is wrong for it.
L'Instant – only gave it a 2nd chance after loving it on someone else.
Bond West Side – gave away my samp, got another by chance and now love it.
And like many others, Eau de Merveilles.
I am still too new to this to have any hate-to-love perfume stories, although when I first smelled Passage d'Enfer I thought it made me smell like sausages (because sage-like). Now it's a favorite but it doesn't count because I like sausages.
But I do want to say that there can be a similar thing with flavors; some of the most delicious tastes are ones that take getting used to. I'm thinking specifically of olives, which I had to try and try forever until suddenly I adored them, and grape leaves, ditto, but I know there are more! And I've always thought it was interesting because it seems those particular flavors are both extra-repellent and extra-beautiful, depending on your perspective, because they are so strong and unusual.
I think “released” works too
Oh dear, too many to name! The usual suspects-Femme, Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue, No 5. I didn't find any of them repulsive, I just couldn't comfortably wear them. And now of course, they are all in my collection. Probably the biggest conversion was Iris Silver Mist, which I found abrasive and I now crave. It seems that a switch flips at some point, opening the floodgates for new olfactory cravings. Often this happens for scents with similarities. I began to “need” the fruity chypre of Femme (vintage) and Mitsouko at around the same time. Same thing with Iris Silver Mist. I began to love it when I also began to appreciate the dry rootiness of Hiris and other earthy iris scents.
damesfly: I thought that Pefume Generale Felanilla and Anna Pliska were very Shalimar-esque and I found Parfum de Nicolai Vanille Tonka very similar to Shalimar light (which is also similar to Shalimar of course!)
For me it was the “grown up” fragrances that swirled around me as a child: Shalimar, Poison, Fracas. I held a bias over Chanel No. 5 since the age of seven because I thought it smelled like an old lady. I didn't re-sniff until about two years ago and although I don't wear it, I now recognize the utter brilliance of the composition.
The first time I tried Diorella I was in a store & sprayed it on skin — got in the back of my throat and wouldn't let go. I think I still prefer it decanted & dabbed!
Yeah, sometimes it's best to leave things in the purgatory basket untouched though…you can only stand so many lemmings!
Then you need some Eau de Guerlain too! Actually, I think anyone who loves Cristalle would like Eau de Guerlain. Somebody will prove me wrong though…
LOL — yes it does! R, I think Jicky is the only Guerlain I prefer in EdT.
It's funny how important weather is, isn't it? That's why I try to leave things in my purgatory basket at least through 1 season.
Tama, remind me — did you like the Incense rose better, or is that one “art studio” too?
I'm with you on l'Air – liked it okay at first but then became desperate for it. Same with Maroc pour Elle – I felt like I was in a Middle-Eastern gift shop but now I love being in that exotic and fragrant place! Extreme is still a meh for me.
So sorry Black gives you a headache – I bought that after only one try (didn't even sleep on it – just went and got some lunch) and never regretted it.
Funny, I saw above that CdG 2 was just “interesting” to you at first — that one was love at first sniff for me! It smells to me like ditto paper (anyone remember that?) or new clothes from a snazzy department store, and I find it both utterly weird and totally appropriate for any occasion I can imagine. Black, however… yikes! I can't even look at the sample without my head starting to pound.
I love this topic and reading is sooo much fun! For me , D & G The One, Betsy Johnson, and I am so trying to like Chanel # 5 Premiere because of my NST reading… I also have discovered notes that I have fallen in love with, Hiris,( the iris note) and many that I read about on NST that I must have! LOL
Ah, Therese. Therese was/is my True Love. I picked up an OJ sample set, bought Champaca, hated Ormonde — it didn't even register as perfume, just Out There — and it haunted me for a slap year. Tried again and ordered the same day. That was a long time and several bottles ago. Therese and Ormonde live together on the Top Shelf.
hey, looks a lot like my top shelf!
Agree w/ all of those, esp. the PG.
Yeah — I think the problem (for me, anyway) is not falling too deeply into the “if it isn't weird it's boring” trap. I have to watch myself on that one…
BdI is so entirely gorgeous. That's one I really ought to find in vintage parfum — but probably couldn't afford it.
Vero Kern's Ondja- At first, I recoiled, thinking it smelled like old socks left in a men's locker room for a month… but now after a year…i LOVE it!!!
I WILL NEVER ;GET; MUSC RAVAGEUR.
IS THErE A SCENT YOU LOVE BUT EVERYONE ELSE GOES EWWWW. For me its SL Miel a Bois, but of course in small doses
Mitsouko for sure. I got decants of it and L'Heure Bleue at the same time, and while I loved LHB, I just didn't get Mitsouko. Then, a few months ago, it became such a delicious comfort scent (I know that sounds weird) and I love occasionally wearing it on my t-shirt to bed.
Dzing! was also more than a bit weird to me at first and I definitely wasn't sure it was wearable, but I've gotten to the point where I must have a bottle.
I have to say that there are very few things that I out-and-out “dislike” when I sniff them; a more common reaction is just feeling that they're “not me” (which to me, isn't the same as dislike, but I guess that's semantic).
Have a great weekend.
I'm still waiting to feel the lurve for BdI, personally, after hearing so many raves about it. To me it's nice but nothing special. I expected fireworks and didn't get them. Maybe a single spritz to the wrist isn't enough — maybe I need the full dousing to understand the magnificence. That's the problem sometimes with sampling for me — I'm not immersed enough to “experience” the full impact of a fragrance.
Ooo–I'd bet you'd appreciate L'artisan Parfumer's “Passage D'Enfer”, jmenfous. It opens with the oily headiness of lily, then develops into a sensual overripeness (brought on by the hint of incense, perhaps?).
For me, it took many wearings of “Arpege” before I fully appreciated it. I expected a little vintage moodiness, a'la “L'Heure Bleue” or “Mitsouko”, but it still seemed ancient upon my first try. After I got past the sensation of perfume that lingered from evening gowns that hadn't been worn in decades, but also hadn't yet been cleaned, I came to appreciate “Arpege's” powdery woodiness.
PdN Sacrebleu was a little “I think this might be too much for me,” so I put it away, then tried it again a few months later. Awww…. much better!
My first reaction to Ava Luxe's Incense Tibet, was “Ewww…… let's take another sniff…. Ewwww.” But, like ahtx, I wanted to smell “that weird thing” again. Now I can't imagine what I didn't like about it.
Balenciaga Le Dix
L'Air du Desert Marocain
PG L'Ombre Fauve
All took 3-4 go's I reckon! Glad I hung on in there. I bet there are more too that I cannot bring to mind for the moment…
One thing I've learned from perfumery is to not trust a first impression!
The first time I smelled Mitsouko I thought it smelled like the inside of an old lady's purse. Why I know what that smells like is beyond me. But now of course it's a favorite.
Bvlgari Black is another one- the rubber accord really got to me, but after going back a third and fourth time I wonder how I ever went without it.
Kouros bothered me at first- again, genius.
However, the two that I'm still trying to warm to are Timbuktu and Yatagan. I bought Yatagan blind and regret that one- it's the most awful thing I've ever smelled, but I force myself to go back to it and find that it's not ALL terrible…still. Timbuktu has the same bitter awfulness in there but not quite as bad as Yatagan…the saga continues.
Ben – I had the same experience with the Dzongkha…except that, having never smelled Yatagan, I still love Dzongkha.
Shaal Nur was bitter and cold on me the first time I tried it, pure lemon-scented detergent. I don't know what went wrong, because I've never got that detergent smell out of it again.
Bandit does something similar to me – I only get very cold, very bitter chypre on my skin, no leather, nothing animalic at all. Disappointing, but I keep giving it a try every now and then.
In contrast, Shalimar is almost too easy to like on me skin – I love that gasoline-like edge in the top notes, but it races through that in two minutes, tops, and settles into lemon marmalade and vanilla ice cream. That's a little disappointing too, I would love some of the skank other people seem to get.
Well, I don't have any that I clearly disliked but then fell in love with. However, the following fragrances all had elements I liked and elements I disliked. These are all pegged for a second or third sampling: Incense Rose, Passage d'Enfer, Chanel No. 19, Bois des Iles, Parfum Sacre, Iris Nobile, Le Parfum de Therese. I have a feeling though, with the possible exception of Incense Rose, that they won't become “me” fragrances.
For me, the second, thirds, etc. mostly involved frags with either or both two notes – aldehydes & galbanum. Finally “getting” these was a major awakening for me during the year – real eureka moments – and afterward everything changed. I now love and completely understand aldehyde fragrances, and respect their place in my collection. First I fell madly in-love with Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, which is beyond description for being so lovely and perfect with galbanum, iris, and sandalwood. After that was a quick hard fall for Chanel No 19 (I will clarify to say the “newer” version of this, b/c I have an older tester that definitely has more of the sharp leathery accord of the original version.) Next was Givenchy III, which I tried over and over again before I got all swoony and decided it definitely belonged in my “green-aldehyde” collection. Baghari was tested a number of times before I really understood it. It is with great sadness that Joy and No. 5 get sour on my skin, even after repeat testings and pleas to the fragrance gods… I also re-discovered Shalimar after a bottle was given to me for a gift – I'll admit I never really “noticed” it before. And then the biggest stretch for me after numerous testing was Badgley Mischka – I normally can't really stand sweet fruits. But time after time I was enjoying myself, and ended up draining my samples. Now it is one of my go-to winter frags.
Hate to say it, but it also helps to try the extrait!
I'm still working on Jicky in parfum! It's gorgeous but hard to wear. The EdT was easier
Very interesting that Yatagan turned you off Dzongkha — I suppose I'd better stay away from Yatagan, which I've only tried a couple times.
I haven't smelled Incense rose yet – I need to get that and Lonestar Memories to have smelled everything AT. I was lucky to get samples of the new Rose Chypree, which is great but a different animal.
Based on your review of the Incense rose I will definitely try it asap.
lol – your description pretty much nailed how I felt about Luctor et Emergo – like an old trunk that had once held perfumed gowns. I haven't tried it again but haven't gotten rid of it, either. I kind of liked it but haven't wanted to actually wear it. I need to try Arpege again – I always liked their old “promise her anything” tag line and wanted to like it when it was reissued but it was meh.
I think my head wouldn't let me love 2 at first – it was too weird and I was much newer at this when I sampled it. I must have had a visceral heart response that overruled my head or I may have never gone back to it. I do remember ditto paper!
I hope I completely understand aldehydes soon because I am baffled. I look it up and it says, a molecule that can smell like anything (or something like that) so I have no idea what I am spozed to be smelling for. Not that important, really, I guess.
So sad about your Joy sourness! Tragic.
Sometimes a sweet fruit is just the thing. I have my eye on that new Crazy Libellule, or their l'Olfactive 129. I am also waiting for a sample of MaDame, which promises to be nothing short of horrifying and that I have a feeling I'll really like.
We're going to have to have a Jicky-off. I want to see what it smells like on someone that it works on!
Mitsouko and Bandit, back when starting out on adventures in perfume. Both smelled really rough to the untrained nose. Now both are favorite staples. I'm glad I didn't chuck the samples and went back to them several months later.
jmenfous: I get some green in the opening of Un Lys, but when it settles it leans more toward the overripe, at least to my nose. There's a bit of the ham note that Turin & Sanchez mention, too. So – to me it smells like overripe vampire coffin ham lily – gorgeous!
Another one to add to the sample list!
Terre d'Hermes and Prada Pour Homme took a bit to get to get used to for me.
I've given it several more shots myself…afraid it isn't growing on me! Glad it is for you
Oh, so glad you came around, at least a little, on the MPG — I love it!
I keep meaning to try L'Instant again. I know someone who wears it too, and it does smell nice on her.
Yes, food, and wine!
Joe, I agree completely — Mitsouko started out undefined for me & now I wear it to bed & snuggle down with it.
I have the inverse experience as well — something that I really enjoy the first couple of times & later just drives me up a wall. My current theory is weather & sinuses. It is true for me that scents smell slightly differently in the left or right nostril. Anyone else experience that?!
This topic is fascinating! I first read about Mitsouko in LuckyMag a few years ago. When I tried it I couldn't imagine how anyone would ever wear it and ran out the store. A couple months ago when I resniffed it, I loved it and bought it.
Shalimar, which I've been trying to like just smelled like musty old ladies. However, a couple weeks ago something magical happened as I walked by the Guerlain counter and tested Shalimar again. It was appealing-even sultry. It is now on my must have list.
I wish I could remember if I loved Iris Silver Mist right away! I'm pretty sure I already owned & loved Hiris by the time I tried it though.
Luckily for me (or not?) I either wasn't paying attention to grown-up fragrances when I was young, or I just don't remember them.
I don't love No. 5 Eau Premiere either … think it's beautifully done, but don't love it. Oh well!
Agree — big different between “dislike” and “not me”, but there are lots of things I most certainly dislike on first sniff. And even more that are too dull to bother with
Uh, make that “big difference”.
My love at second sniff was Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle. The only iris perfume I strongly dislike is Iris Taizo which is way too bitter. Iris Poudre reminded me of that weird/bitter iris type, but then it turned into something sweeter, colder and more powdery. I liked it when I smelled it the second time! Great poll by the way!
That's weird! I love Iris Taizo, which I find soft and sweet. Iris Poudre I didn't like at all on me (maybe the aldehydes). Now I'm thinking I should give Poudre another whirl.
Gaultier's Classique Eau de Toilette.
I really disliked this for years. Maybe because I had only smelt it on scent strips or the EDP version, I don't know. But I love the EDT now.
It is a blackcurrant thing with me: Euphoria by C.K. smelled like thick jam (how do they make a fragrance smell thick?). But I really like the rest. Now I like it enough to wear it once in a while. It took about 4 tries before my nose “excepted” the black currant as a part of it.
The other is the new House fragrance for women by Versace. At first sniff it smelled like blackberry jelly, not as thick as jam– But I found after 5 or 6 impulsive wearings, I smelled the mimosa mingling with the blackcurrant, and now I've became an addict! I feel guilty, but I love the stuff. I'm down to my last few sprays–ugh! It's in my top three now. It really does feel like an addiction, even now I want to run and put it on. Versace- great haute couture, but not their scents, but this one cast a spell on me.
The last is Chamade.No fruit in this- It just smelled too *purfumey* if you know what I mean. After a couple tries, and letting it dry down–I got why people love it. I wish I felt the same way about Chamade as I do about Versace. Ah well.
Is he… pouting? >…>;;
Iris Silver Mist. It looked at me funny for a few weeks, only letting my catch its vegetal edge. Now… well, the large decant I keep forgetting to purchase is proof enough.
Next week: Scents we fell hard for and quite regretted later?
Bandit took me numerous wearings to love – it was early in my fragrance education and I had a decant of the edt, which was super-green and spiky. It got smashed in a hotel bathroom and I don't know if it was the total immersion or just that one last experience that pushes you over the edge into accepting it, but now I love it.
I've been trying to learn to love Chanel No.5 and Mitsouko for many many years – seems like my whole lifetime – but I have never been been able to enjoy them. Mitsouko is still a sore point with me (I have given up on Shalimar and my mother has snagged my bottle) but I finally had my Eureka moment with No.5 when I tried the eau de parfum. I know Luca Turin says this is the worst version and not worth bothering with, but for me it finally works and I can appreciate what everyone raves about.
When Hermes' Bel Ami was first launched (in 1986, just as I was beginning to become the scent-hound I am), I hated it with an intensity that surprised even me; I couldn't believe that such a thing could actually be marketed as a scent. But obviously something about it stuck with me, because I went back to try it from time to time, and after maybe a year, I suddenly got it.
Now I understand they've reformulated, and I don't want to ruin the memory of it.
Count me in too. But every single person I get to sniff this recoils. Oh well, more for the rest of us!
I am so confused about vintages. I thought that perfumes do have a shelf life. I, myself, have experienced fragrances that have gone dark and thick. How do you know if a vintage is good?
The Big One: Tam Dao. Back when I applied for the Monday Mail, I listed that one as a no-no. A while later, I tried it again and liked it somewhat better. Later still, I fell head over heels for that gorgeous smooth gorgeousness. Yes, words fail me. It's that good.
I bought a big fat bottle last week.
Hm, you're making me shifty. I think EdM is very much *blah*, too, but if you… then I… Hmmm. Must revisit.
My most recent was Un Fleur de Cassie – total respect, bordering on fear, upon first spritz. Then…….I dunno. Something clicked! and I now love it beyond all loving. PG's Drama Nuui threw me the first two times I spritzed it – I thought I was smelling melon and it was unnerving….but I'm going back to it time and again and will probably do, if not a full bottle, at least a healthy decant.
Reverse of your question? T42. Thought I loved it but the 3rd time I wore it, it ate my lunch. ………but perhaps that poll is for another lazy Friday!
Hahaha I love the way the model looks.
I've always thought Sacrebleu, while gorgeous, is probably too much for me too. Haven't yet come around to it. Or grown into it…
I really disliked Timbuktu at first. It took me awhile to get around to really liking it.
There's more skank in the extrait of Shalimar, to my nose, but don't know if you've already tried that…
AnnS, I keep reading such great things about the Badgley Mischka. I should give it another shot — I really hated it.
Or not…I hear rumors SL will discontinue it. We'll see!
You might be surprised — I've been very surprised how many scents I completely change my mind about, esp. if I wait 4-6 months before trying them again.
I wouldn't say I hated it, but my initial reaction was: “not me” -sweet-fruit-vanilla–something my sister would like. Maybe it was the weather b/c i'd first tried it in summer which would be like trying on thick wool in the heat….But time and again it just grew on me. I was not really doing it any service by testing it at the same time I was re-testing Baghari, which seems very sheer by comparison, lol. Right now it just is very exuberant during the dreary winter. Normally I wear Coco, Bal a Versailles, or Prada during the winter so its a nice change for me. I like it, but it would never displace my top 10, etc.
I absolutely believe that weather plays a huge part to how a fragrance smells. The eastern US has such different climates from winter through summer, heat, humidity, cold, etc. It all impacts the air, your skin, how you smell things. I have some frags that are not wearable at different times of year for sure!
Tama – there were a few things that helped me “get” aldehydes. One was learning that there are already a bunch of frags I like that have aldehydes in them, but aren't really listed in the notes. That got me over my bias and opened my mind a bit. Second was thinking about aldehydes in more of a functional way – they are a backdrop for the other notes. Or, sometimes I think about it like a foundation for building up other notes/accords. Or like the use of salt. Not that aldey's smell salty, but they are used primarily to boost aroma – like you use salt to boost the flavor of your food, etc., like putting salt on chocolate… So, then I think, well what is the note(s) that's being boosted? I try to focus on notes or accords, and then it just all begins to puzzle out. Like Baghari for instance – the use of aldey's “boosts” the orange blossom floral accord. Or Heure Exquise – aldehydes aren't listed, but it clearly is used to boost the opening use of light rose petals and galbanum. Same with Chanel No 19. Or like Guerlain's Jardins de Bagatelle – you could of knocked me over with a feather when I realized there are aldey's in it. I've love JdB since I was a teen. Sometimes the use of aldey's is so light you have no idea, and sometimes it's really strong like in No 5, and that's for a reason as well. Pick out an alde fragrance that have notes or accords you like otherwise, and then try to work through the use of aldehydes to smell the notes you like. It may help understand them better. Van Clef & Arpel's First is also a good one b/c it has a wonderful sandalwood note. Also, most of the “baby powder” type frags have aldehydes in them as well that add a boost and shimmer to the powder notes. You may already like frags with aldey's in them and not even realize it, and you may be puzzled b/c you're picking out alde type frags to test that wouldn't work for you anyway b/c of the notes/accords, etc.
I have two scents that fall into this 'hate, then love' category. The first is a classic – Je Reviens by Worth. [the original, vintage fragrance before it was cheapened down – tho I understand there is a current release, 'Je Reviens Couture' which is supposed to be the scent in it's original glory]. Anyway, jasmine notes are still not a particular favorite of mine, usually, but I really do have an appreciation of Je Reviens that I used to lack. Also, my mom has the vintage blue bottle with the little starry motif on it – which she is saving for me. [I'm just as much a fan of beautiful bottles as the fragrances – it's the interior designer in me.] The second fragrance is Daisy. I know, I know – it's so young girly, but it really grew on me – my husband goes nuts for this [!], I really enjoy how it dries down, and, you guessed it – I adore the packaging!
You may also want to try the L'Artisan Orchidee Blanc (sp?) which is in the same ball-park as Iris Poudre – soft, creamy, irisy, aldehyde. I can never decide which I like better!
I love Chamade! It is “perfumy” though. It fits into my “green aldehyde” universe with Chanel 19, AG Heure Exquise, Givenchy III, etc….
A lot really depends on how it was stored – exposure to light, heat, etc. It's always a risk with vintage, but in general, some of the “classic” frags will be better & more authentic if they are older. If any fragrance is stored well – cool, dry, without light – it will most likely last at least a decade. Some of the sample & decant vendors online offer “vintage” samples too, which is a good way to discover what the old stuff smells like.
At first I thought that Femme Rochas was too sweet. Today it's my No1 winter favourite. Still, I think it's too sweet for the summer.
I'd still say they're “rough” — not always a bad thing, right?
Irisnobile — really, you like every other iris scent? That's amazing!
I think I've only tried the edt, which is great in muggy warmer weather. I've got to try a sample of the perfume.
I've got a question, what's the difference between extrait and perfume?
Thanks, Ann – seems like they are kind of the MSG of perfume. I haven't purposely tried anything for the aldehydes and I'm sure I don't object to them, just have been confused. I'll check out some of those frags.
My Dad bought me JdB when I was young – I wore it for years!
I love that bottle
I love to see that this smells like a middle eastern gift shop to someone else! I love it because it reminds me of a particular shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market that I regulary visited as a teen in search of flowy skirts, ankle bracelets and incense. I never wear it out, only to bed, it's more of a “memory” scent for me.
What a shame! Bel Ami is one of the few Hermes I haven't paid much attention to (well, that and Amazone). I should try it again.
A L'Ombre Fauve fan here, glad that it turned into a good thing!
Sorry I missed this yesterday!!
Absolutely, there are scents that have moved from “meh” to love…many already listed (Arpege, L'Heure Bleu etc.) It's interesting to note how some folks start out at love for some of the ones noted (I always liked Shalimar and L'Ombre Fauve, for example) and some folks are still having trouble with others noted (me and Mitsouko have more dates in our future, but I still don't get it).
I'm going to add one more category; the shifter. I ♥ Parfum Sacre on our first go round; I thought I must have actually smelled something else the second time; third and fourth times, I realized it was the same thing, but struck me as no big shakes; fifth time, I added it to my full bottle wish list. I now have it, and have realized it is one of those scents that require BOTH the right weather and the right mood context for me…but who knew that interaction could be SO strong???
Like the MSG comparison….from sea salt to MSG and everything in-between! I think I understand that there are a number of different aldehyde molecules to work with, so that makes a difference too. For sure, sometimes it's too much no matter what!
I think the hardest adle frag I learned to love this year was Lancome's La Collection Magie, which requires a light hand, but then after the alde blast wears off, melts down into a warm golden jasmine amber. You know, now that I think about it, I can only wear most of my favorite aldehyde frags in warmer weather — robably because almost all of them are florals. Except Guerlain Nahema and Piguet Baghari, which smell great in cold weather too.
Congrats on your new bottle! I'd really like to try the lotion in that one.
FdC has not grown on me yet. At all. But gosh, so many people love it!
Mind is blank — what's T42?
I think Daisy is really well done, and yep, that's a really great bottle!
I smelled so many iris scents by now, there has not been a single one I didn't like/love (except for Iris Taizo). I have tried and tried and tried to like Iris Taizo and I just can't!!! I hate the fact that i don't like Iris Taizo because I used to say that there is not an iris fragrance that I can't take. Same for tea fragrances, I have not disliked any tea fragrance yet except for… Rare Matale… it's so nice on other people but on me it's terrible! I guess I'll pass on Parfumerie Generale at least for now.
Well with Iris Taizo I put it on several times, left it one me for a while, and I just couldn't stand the bitter note. I do pretty well smelling metallic irises but not the one that's bitter and so metallic.
Iris Poudre seemed to have the same harsh-bitter note, but then it completely vanished. Later on that day I kept smelling something nice/sweet and smooth around me and couldn't figure out what it was… only to realize later that it was me! It was my wrist with a spritz of iris poudre on it! So I decided it's a very nice scent afterall!
I fell in love with Chamade and bought it on the spot. The top notes put it in the class of the likes of First, as everyone says, “perfumy” – my idea of what a glamorous scent should smell like. I grew to love the heart and drydown as well – which soften so beautifully, really no-brainers for me.
Jicky, L'Heure Bleu and Apres L'Ondee took longer. They all had the characteristic Guerlain quality at the start that made me ask, “they call this perfume?” but the right occassion, or the second try, or the great stories tied in with their inspirations – especially the one about Nijinsky's ballerinas and Apres L'Ondee – somehow always manage to bring me back for second and third tries. I own all three and adore them all.
GuerlainGirl: sinuses for sure are important. I live in the allergy capital of the world – central Texas – and often use a few saline nose drops before sniffing a new perfume sample. Never tested the left/right thing, though.
Don't you just love those nice little surprises!
Yeah! I love suprises especially in fragrances!
Agree on the weather/mood thing — I have lots of scents like that!
I am SO happy to hear that I am not the ONLY person who got a strong celery note from Dzongka!
Add me to the list of folks who “got” Shalimar only after a couple of tries–and after I smelled it on a friend. So that's what they were talking about!
I've also had a hard time getting to like aldehydes. One thing I wonder about is that often the aldehydic note seems to be stronger the first time I spray it from a new container, whether a new bottle or a new sample, and on subsequent tries it doesn't seem as strong. Sometimes the first blast is nothing but aldehydes. This could very well be my imagination, but a lot of the aldey frags I've tried seem to have followed this pattern. Do these compounds break down faster than others?
Oh! I think I get it…took me a day…
Instead of T-42, parse it as T-4-2…. tee four two…
Which brings up the fact that I got a notice that L'Artisan in Chicago is having a sniff party toward the end of the month…
I love chypre but this just smells like celery to me. I keep hoping I'll like it eventually.
LOL — you never know! And at least it's cheap. Relatively, anyway.
Both IR & LM are very worth trying, so do!
Will just add that unfortunately, you can't know until you smell it, making ebay risky, but then, ebay is also the easiest place to find vintage scents. What usually spoils first are the top notes, so sometimes the opening is bad, after that, it's fine.
Extrait is the same as Parfum.
Oh, duh! For anyone else who doesn't get it, that's L'Artisan Tea For Two.
Oh my, I detested my first whiff of Angel — possibly more than anything else I've ever smelled. I don't love it now either, but I've come to terms with it, for lack of a better phrase.
Montale Black Aoud and Golden Aoud. Aoud take some getting used to, I didn't just get antifugal medicine. I got burning rubber/ tires. But now I've warmed up to aoud, I think of some sexy, dangerous street racing.
I honestly don't know, sorry!
You guys!LOL! I'm sorry – I'm not laughing at you, it's just that I'm usually the one who reads things and goes 'huh?'.
Yes, Tea For Two. It was one of my first niche-y scents and I think I was so blown away by how different it was I never stopped to think if I actually LIKED it. Turns out I didn't. Well, I do but more as an intellectual exercise than something I enjoy wearing.
Fleur de Cassie manages to do both, though even now she can turn around and bite hard if she's not in the mood for my nonsense.
And as far as Fleur de Cassie goes, I suspect it is definitely an acquired love for most of us – it's not an easy fragrance by any stretch of the imagination!
I got so ill from Angel at first sniff , than got a sample of the lotion and oh my… LOVED it and Angel than became my signature scent for many years… now to many wear it so I put it on the back burner but it is still MY scent, my husband loves it and always says there is an angel in the house when I wear it!!
Tea for Two (you had me stumped with T42 too!) is one I keep trying to love… The first 30 seconds are a fantastic brew of smoky lapsang souchong, then all of a sudden someone dumps a huge glob of honey into it, and I can't get it off fast enough. My skin does the same thing to Ormonde Jayne Woman and Black Cashmere, among others; I love the first 30 seconds, then it's sugar overload.
S'ok, you're free to laugh at us too
Aw — that's sweet!
Give it a try, air ocean!! It took me three samples and several weeks to fall in love – I own a bottler and I would see it is definitely something I should have bought immdeiately in XXL. the melon is hardyl there, I agree, but there is this “wet” feeling from clean water and the spices, pepper and ginger, which are so lovely and special! The funny thing about it: When I smell it I am in a god mood and imho it is a perfect winter scent.
It took me ten yeras to get what people like on Chanel No. 5. M ymom loves it and she used to wear it when I had my drivers licence just a few days. I asked what the heck is the putrid smell going thorugh the car. This is of course incredibly rude, but hey – I was young
She never wore it again when I visited my parents, and she got bottles of Allure and Coco Mademoiselle instead from me.
At least I try to be a good daughetr!
Now I turnde 30 and gave her Chanle No.5 as a perfume. Wow, it is lovely, maybe not for me but now I get it. I have a nice decant Eau premiere and I feel gorgious when wearing it.
Nahema took me several weeks after I had bought it in a “need immediately something” rush.
A good poll would be: Scents I would love but do not fit me… I know one, L'HeureBleue, even the rep said I does not “fit” to me, though it smells good on my skin but it is just not me, and so my boyfriend. I had the perfume in my hands but I left it there again..
I would love to have one real perfume extrait…
POTL Luctor et Emergo. I just had an epiphany after trying this fragrance at least a dozen times. I kept thinking, this has GOT to be for me..it's right up my alley! It's niche, prohibitively expensive, and rather gourmand. Well, I finally get it…and a full bottle is on its way to me. ^_^
Robin – please help me understand – l'heure bleu is “too much” in what way? Thanks
Yep, I've got lots of scents I love but that don't fit me — good poll idea!
Sacrebleu, you mean? It just doesn't fit me — I find it a very strong perfume with a lot of personality — would take the right sort of person to carry it off.
Lucky you — I'm still making do with decants & would love to have a bottle.
I must be way more narcissistic than either of you – if it's not me, I don't like it — I may appreciate/respect it, but not like it, if you will. . . .
For me, Ambre Narguile. I got a sample, tried it in summer, and gagged. Came the winter, and cold nights, and suddenly it was as described: instant cashmere. I love it now. Also Iris Poudre I thought too sweet the first few times I sniffed it in a boutique. Recently I took a sample in Paris, and found that the MEREST dab resulted in a beautiful, sophisticated scent. I'm finding in general that I have to decant to stopper bottles. Sprays are too hard to control and I think their advent in the 80's is responsible for so many women inadvertently giving perfume a bad name by wearing too much. Robin, how about a poll about a full bottle you broke down and bought, thinking you had to have it, only to hate it a short while later. Come to think of it, this all sounds like dating men, doesn't it? The one who grew on you, the one you were mistaken about…
Talking of celery notes, did anyone get celery in Malle's French Lover? To me, it was so strong it was distracting, not to say it wan't great!!!
If you have grown to love Black, I recommend you try CDG's Synthetic Series Garage. This also has a decent rubber note and I LOVE it! I guess that it isn't a scent that everyone would like but it is definitely different. I hate the packaging though. I get what they were going for but to me, it just looks cheap.
Have a feeling the difference is just semantics — if you appreciate it, it's probably about the same thing? Or you like the smell, just not on your skin?
I did do that poll, sort of — a “regrets” poll. And yes, it's an awful lot like dating!
I may need to go smell some celery — all the celery references here today puzzle me.
Mitsouko for me, too. Whenever I prowl around the fragrance floor at Saks (and if I still have a patch of clear skin) I'll give it a spritz. I haven't caught on yet. However, it's not that I find it “meh” or that it goes against the grain with me. I'm optimistic that someday I'll finally get it.
I bought a sample of Rochas Femme several months ago, didn't like it, and put it away. A few weeks ago I tried it again, loved it right away, and now have a full bottle. My only disappointment is that I find the EDT so light. It looks like the EDP, in anything other than sampler size, is not sold in the US?
I'm sorry but I don't know. Angie might — maybe post this question under her Rochas Femme review where she'll see it?
Thank you–I have grown to love Black, so I'll have to try Garage.
Laura Biagiotti's Roma.
My sister used to wear this in the 90s, but I never thought much of it, and then a week ago I just had a total craving for it, got myself a 25 ml bottle (kudos to LB for the small size, btw), and it's pure bliss! must be the totally sophisticated granny of all fruity-florals, mint-grapefruit-vanilla heaven.
And, of course, Mousson. It just made myself like it. Worked.