Before the poll, I wanted to mention that I've removed the link to create a new reader account. That means that the only people who can comment, for the moment, are those of you who were already signed up for reader accounts. We're planning to move Now Smell This in a few weeks (knock on wood) and since everyone is going to have to sign up all over again, it seemed sensible to prevent anyone from taking the time to sign up for an account that would only be active for a short time.
I should also note that getting the new site ready is taking up much of my time at the moment. I haven't been writing as many perfume reviews as I usually do, and that will probably continue to be true until we move to our new website.
Today's poll was suggested by Tama. Was there a fragrance note you hated until you tried perfume x?
I have never been a big fan of patchouli, in fact, when I first became interested in perfume back in 2003 I was very nearly patchouli-phobic. Even small amounts of patchouli made me queasy. I still don't love patchouli, but I've gradually grown to appreciate it in reasonable amounts. The first perfume with patchouli in the name I ever liked was Montale's Patchouli Leaves, so I suppose you could say it was at least partially responsible for changing my mind.
Note: image (which is not related to the poll at all; I just thought it was gorgeous) is Jökulsárlón by omarrun at flickr; some rights reserved.
Yep, patch for me too, babe. I still tend to like those cleaned up patchoulis, but I guess it was Coco Mlle. and Enlevement Au Serail that got me thinking differently about patchouli.
Good luck with the website change!
I was not a rose fan at all. Always thought they were overpowering and even annoying UNTIL … I tried Stellla! Now I have been smelling all kinds of roses, Naheme (sp.?) FM's Une Rose, Guerlain's Nahema, etc. and I am now reformed. LOL!
I used to avoid cedar the way some avoid cumin – I thought it made me smell sweaty/stinky. … then came Terre d'Hermes. Now I don't understand what my problem was. It's funny how your tastes can change with exposure
For me it was vetiver. I used to think of it as strictly masculine. Well, Guerlain Mahora changed that. Love this poll!
Stella did this for me, too! It's weird though because I don't particularly like Stella itself; it's lovely but much too cleaned-up for me. But since I tried it, I suddenly get rose, which I used to dislike.
I hated Iris, until I tried Hermes Hiris and Serge Lutens Daim Blonde. I love DB and wear it often. Hiris isn't “my scent”, my mother in law wears it beautifully, but it's a wonderful scent nontheless….. very discreet and close to the skin.
And I detested lily of the valley until I recently tried Diorissimo. I've been wearing perfume all these years and I finally got around to trying it! Very nice!
Hey, good luck with the move! On to the poll… Lemon was a problematic note for me. Two beautiful fragrances, L'Eau d'Artisan and Stephanie de Saint-Aignan's Li Altarelli, made me see that I DO like lemon if it's mixed with yummy herbal green things. Thinking about these makes me want to fast-forward to summertime!
I'd say Voleur de Roses turned me into a real patch lover, after long being scared of its “hippie” connotations (even though my mom has loved patch *forever*). It's a note that still requires a special mood for me to really crave, though.
Coffee: I recently started loving L'Eau de Navigateur enough to really want to explore some other coffee scents. I enjoy the taste and aroma of coffee, but the idea of it as a personal fragrance always made me kind of sick.
Leather (never hated it, just didn't feel like “me”): Dzing! has become like crack.
Still waiting to be “converted” to the charms of tobacco & strong neroli.
Oddly enough, the “cleaned up” patchouli is TOO clean…I want a little skank back in my perfume, LOL…
If you love Une Rose, you've graduated, LOL…great scent
I still like Stella as a casual scent, but admit it doesn't pop to mind when I think of the world's great rose perfumes.
Thank you for using my poll idea!
For me it is tuberose – once I found out that Fracas is tuberose I was unwilling to go there in any commercial perfume. I love the scent of the flowers, and thought they must be kidding that Fracas has anything to do with them. Well, then I smelled EL Tuberose and Gardenia, and bought it. Now I am sitting here with a sample of MPG Tubereuse on my wrists ans thinking, not bad. SIP's Moon Garden has tuberose and is delightful. Could be that next time I am in Nordstrom I'll ask for a sample of Fracas and give it another go. Not making any promises!
I am with SFLisbeth on the Lily of the Valley – most scents with that in it give me a raging headache but I love it in Diors.
Having a little trouble with Iris, but I think I'll come around.
Oh, yes, I love the dirty patchoulis! I wore patch oil as a hippie girl and although it had bad connotations, everyone agreed that I smelled divine.
It really is funny. I used to dislike anything too “earthy”, now I'd say “earthy” is the surest sign I'll love something!
Curious then if you moved on to to the REALLY masculine vetivers? Guerlain Vetiver, for instance?
I love Patchouli, and was “ok” with rose. But it was VdR that I discovered I like dark earthy rose scents!
Speaking of Leather, have you tried Bois Du Portugal by Creed? Lavendar top note, incense & leather in the heart, with a vetiver, cedar and amber drydown. Lovely scent.
i feel the same about patch, but i love crazylibellule musc & patchouli. i really dont get any patch from it that i can detect as the patch ive hated forever.
Diorissimo is such wonderful stuff…have you tried the parfum? It is gorgeous, and very different from the EdT.
My favorite lemon is still Carthusia Mediterraneo…but don't know if it has enough yummy green herbal things for you — some people definitely think it smells like lemon cleaner! Definitely more “lemony” than the L'Artisan.
And I'd be happy to fast-forward to summer!!!
Until a few weeks ago one of my very few certanties as a perfumista was that I didn't like very green scents, or, at least, even when I didn't feel assaulted by some flesh-eating plant, I had the feeling that green was not my colour in fragrance.
Not sure about what changed my mind, but after spraying some EL Private collection on my wrist for a second test I started a sort of census of greens and green chypres. And this morning I wore FM Lys méditerranée, which a few months ago was for me some sort of sappy nightmare
I have never liked gardenia but then I smelled Chinatown. The woods really balanced for me and I really like it. In fact I'm smelling it on my wrist right now.
Still have yet to like lily at all…
I can't stand tuberose, gardenia and freesia but I have tried EL Tuberose Gardenia and Chanel's Gardenia. They are both very nicely done and tasteful (if you like tuberose and gardenia!).
I have to ask: if so many wrote in to vote for keeping the site as is, why is it moving? People tend to be resistant to change without knowing the real benefits. Maybe it'll be great!
This is a fun idea. Thank you, Tama and Robin!
I had issues with tuberose. What made it all that much worse was trying Fracas (which is headache-inducing) and even worse, Nasomatto's Narcotic Venus. I nearly vomited and decidedly, avoided tuberose. Then, thankfully, I tried FM's Carnal Flower. I absolutely adore it! I have a tiny sample and am always seeking out more of this lush, edgy concoction.
Conversely, I never minded civet. I quite liked it in SL's Rose de nuit…now I cannot stand that cat-urineness found in too many perfumes.
Best wishes for a fast, stress-free move!
I'm with you on the patchouli phobia. I couldn't understand why anyone would pay money to smell like musty old feed sacks (my apologies to patch fans!). I've begun to like some of the cleaner patchouli notes, so I guess I've evolved a little.
Great idea for a Lazy poll. Great posts so far, too!
My stomach used to get all funny-feeling whenever I encountered amber — a real, WHY-would-anybody-want-to-smell-that-voluntarily kind of disconnect. The fact that blogmistress Robin isn't a huge fan of amber made me smug in my queasiness.
Then I tried Armani Prive Ambre Soie. Oh, my goodness gracious. My tummy behaved and I had a great, big smile on my face. I still respect Blogmistress Robin's own disinclination to amber, but I've become an amber FIEND. Latest loves include Sonoma Scent Studio Ambre Noir, AG Les Orientaliste Ambre Fetiche and Tom Ford Ambre Extreme (sorry to all those TF non-fans, but the labdanum in that is grrrrrr-good).
Closest I've ever got to a scent which can get me over my reluctance about Vetiver is Tauer Perfume's Vetiver Dance. But I think I like vetiver on the males of the species far better than I like it on the girls. And I'm still waiting to fall in love with galbadum. . .
Love vetiver! I think of it as definitely unisex! I have samples of tons of them: CdG Vetiveru, Chanel Sycomore, Givenchy, AT Vetiver Dance – I have a tough time with MPG Route de Vetiver but I'm coming around to it. My main problem is I can't decide which one I want a full bottle of. Might have to get more than one, yes?
I wasn't a big fan of dominant rose, nor of dominant vanilla, and god forbid the two together, until I tried Tocade. I utterly love it and want to lick my arm when I'm wearing it.
And another conversely: The top on my Vetiver Dance bottle came undone in my gym bag, and it's now Vetiver gym bag. It's put me off vetiver for the time being since I get nasally whacked with it every morning.
I actually bought some samples of Bois du Portugal a couple months back — I only took sniff one dab and it seemed too herbaceous or something. Or too “classic men's cologne” if that makes any sense. I'll have to pull a vial out and try again. Thanks for the reminder/tip.
Hmm.. I'll have to try the Carthusia – maybe I'm “ready” for it. Thanks for the rec!
My goodness, I have too many of these.
I've written on PST about my conversion to violets–it was Les Nez's Unicorn Spell and a moment in Attrape Couer (one I don't always get) that did it.
Early in my exploration days I was a confirmed white floral hater until Songes brought me swooning to my knees–almost literally. In fact, I was so sure I hated white flowers that I happily blocked out the fact that Songes was a huge one for months!
I keep thinking of a line from Christopher Smart's poem to his cat, “For it is by the stroking of him that I know electricity.”
By the green of No. 19 — especially in parfum–I understood galbanum.
The dry down of Montale's Black Oud converted me to patchouli.
Tiempe Passate explained iris to me.
10 Corso Como converted me to sandalwood.
It was by the dry down of Black Cashmere that I knew incense.
There are more–but that's probably enough for now, no?
To me, the MPG is a fab scent that I'll never need more than a sample of, LOL…I love to smell it every so often, but I'd never use up a bottle. Wish I had that Sycomore though!
Joe, you know Kyoto, right? I think that's another one that could convert a diehard coffee-hater.
Thank YOU for suggesting it!
Did you try Carnal Flower yet? That might be a step up to Fracas, although some might see that the other way around.
Stella was a stepping stone for me, too. A friendly and pretty fragrance that led to better things. I guess we should thank Stella!
Count me among the worshippers of Une Rose. If I had to name the single most beautiful fragrance I've so far tried, it would be that one (that une?).
I didn't hate it, but I was never moved by vetiver until I smelled Sycomore. Instant love!
Wow, I've never smelled coffee in Kyoto – need to try that again.
I love this thread because now I can make a list of Remedial Fragrances to cure me of my ills and ignorances. “Doctor, I am having trouble with Orange and Grapefruit, which seem so alien to the body. Can you prescribe anything?”
I don't think I tried that one — it's one of the solid twist-ups?
Ah, yes, then you've a whole new world to explore!
I do love green, but have never been able to make up my mind about that particular FM.
Tuberose is for me what patchouli was for you. I'd take a whiff of Fracas or Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, and it would just about knock me over. Anyone who saw the expression on my face might think I'd smelled really stinky sweat socks. Then I tried Bandit. The tuberose is in the middle notes, in just the right amount, not overpowering, and I love the fragrance.
Used to loathe rose, always smelled cheap and artificial to me, then I tried Creed's Fleur de The Rose Bulgare and was entranced by its lemony cheer. So naturally some rose was good, so more must be better and it was, in the form of Montale's Aoud Queen Roses (their best rose offering IMHO) as well as Ta'if Rose, fabulous.
Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Lily of the Valley = instant nausea. . . until I smelled Diorissimo. Magnifique! Now perfumista Holly is in a fight to the death with sensible Holly to not buy 100 mls of it. But given how hard it is getting to find, if I found a bottle, buying it would really be the RIGHT thing to do, don't you think ladies?. . . .
The real shift of awareness in my love for perfumes was caused by Feminite du Bois! Woods and spices and yet so feminine and intriguing. I loved it and after FdB I could easily love Terre d'Hermes and Eau des Merveilles for those were quite unusual too and yet so good that I wanted to keep smelling them.
Noooo, I haven't tried the parfum. I imagine I'd love it. After trying the edt decant from PD, and reading your review, I'm intrigued.
On a side note, it seems like scents in perfume concentration are getting harder to find. Is this my imagination?
I was lucky this year to overcome two major notes almost at once, which changed everything for me. Galbanum and Vetiver were always a problem for me…until I found Annick Goutal's Heure Exquise and conquered galbanum, and then via the similar notes in HE, found Chanel No 19 edt, and then loved the floral vetiver dry-down. (I'll note that I actually don't like the original more leathery vetiver version of Chanel No 19.) These then led me down the beautiful path of Givenchy III, which helped me get over my aldehydes….it was like a classic green frag -aldehyde snow-ball effect that 's really changed my fragrance wardrobe. I am so happy now that I can appreciate these beautiful notes!
The other note that changed for me was patchouli. I was absolutely conviced that I'd never like this – thinking it could only smell like a head shop. Oh what a surprise, when I finally realized that “spices in cream” smell was patchouli! It was Prada edt that change my mind, and thank god it did.
I'm still working on tuberose. lily of the valley, plumeria and tiare – all of which have a nauseating effect on me.
Ohh, if you're looking to me for restraint, best look elsewhere. I'd say
Go for it!
I had troubles with Iris too. I don't start to love Hiris until about 1-2 hours in, then it's soft and lovely and wonderful.
It's completely gone (to my nose) at 5 hours though.
1) Big white florals-Fracas (tuberose) and Bronze Goddess (Gardenia) changed my mind (along with time spent outdoors familiarizing myself with the true scents of gardenia, jasmine, honeysuckle, and plumeria).
2) Licorice, anise, fennel, etc. That family. Guerlain's AA Laurier-Reglisse was an eye-opener. The licorice note was not overpowering and fit in well. Also, cooking pork loin with a fennel-coriander-cumin rub helped me develop an appreciation for the scent and flavor.
With this many of us in deep, hot love with Sycomore, do you think we'd have any luck trying to pressure Chanel into selling 30ml — or even 50ml — bottles of the stuff?!
I still have a small sample of Kyoto, and I need a “fuller” testing of it. However, I just went a little crazy with buying CdG incenses, as you may remember, so Kyoto will have to stay on the shelf awhile. LOL.
Fracas did me in as well – swore off tuberose, until I discovered SL Tubereuse Criminelle and FM Carnal Flower. I also didn't like leather until I found Hermes Doblis.
Sycomore is great. I just tried Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire since we were on the subject today and it is also a very nice one. A little softer. Another one in the mix. Sigh. And yes, I will never need more than a sample of the MPG. Thank God.
I just put it on my list. For some reason I seem to be missing many Malles – I need to make up for that!
Regina, I am adding many to my list today!!
Haunani, have you tried Heely's Verveine? It's a zippy fresh herbal/lemon scent. Might be something fun to try!
I can't say I ever hated leather, but I sure had no idea that I loved it! Black Tourmaline opened my eyes — I know there's a whole stew of other stuff in there too, but it's the leather that was the real surprise. Still working on amber and tobacco…
Leather for me also. Chanel Cuir de Russie changed my mind and now I am seeking out more leathers to sniff. Found a deal on Montale's Oud Cuir d' Arabie and find it pleasing too. I am hoping to place an order for a SL Daim Blond and a few other samples from TPC very soon.
I am still waiting to like patchouli, but the fact that my daughter loves it gives me many opportunities to get used to it. I think right now you could say I respect Patchouli.
Now you need to try some gardenia soliflores! Or perhaps that would be pushing your luck
Celestia, people voted to keep comments restricted to registered users, that's all — we're still moving (and that issue was never put to a vote).
I still don't love amber! At least, not when the focus is on amber. Unlucky you to have fallen for the really expensive ones, LOL…(excepting the SSS, which is reasonably priced)
Hey, you're making me think I need to try Narcotic Venus — I love a good strong tuberose!
Many people think oakmoss smells musty, so I guess I'm not anti-musty since I adore oakmoss…patch smells both musty AND sour to me (with more apologies to patch fans)!
One of my first perfume loves was Gucci Rush, so I was quite surprised to find out that most perfumes with a lot of patchouli make me nauseous. Then I discovered Chanel's Coromandel, which I completely adore despite all the patchouli. Must be the chocolate that makes me love it.
Warning!: Malles are a gateway drug to ridiculous credit card balances. Even worse than Lutens, IMO.
I have a love hate relationship with patchouli. I do own a number of the scents but it always reminds me of a bathroom cleaner used in public toilets and government buildings. (the ones that are clean, that is!) My one would have to be tiare. I was note a fan until I got a 20ml bottle of Intense Tiare. This just worked for me and now I will not completely rule out any note. I really think that almost any note can be appreciated if it is in the right concentration or mixed with the right notes. I also don't really like tuberose but again, I know that it is in quite a few perfumes I like.
Don't you think that JLo's Still smells exactly like Stella?
lol – thanks for the heads-up!
Thanks, SFLizbeth. I'll look into that one, too!
In that case, you should try it, at least for academic purposes. It is strong, fierce, in fact, and last forever.
You really should – it's very, very nice. To me, it smells very womanly.
nothing comes to mind, but maybe I should to try Carnal Flower, as a tuberose hater.
oh, I know… I do not like coconut. I ordered a sample of Philosykos, and I smelled something semi-familiar but I didn't actually know what it was. The closest I've ever been to a fig is a fig newton so I assumed it was the fig. I was reading some reviews and I noticed a few people mentioning coconut.
and it does kind of smell like coconut. So I guess I might not shun coconut in perfume anymore.
I'm wearing Santa Maria Novella's Patchouly btw
I registered to WordPress yesterday. There's already a krokodilgena
Spills like that are terrible — they can put you off anything! Did you try Febreze?
Hey, great answer — I'm going to have to look for that poem.
Regina, that cracked me up!
Everyone needs a bottle of Diorissimo!
A “worthy” choice, FdB
Ah — and did it make you love other tuberose scents?
Now's my chance to explain why I claimed to like Miss Dior Cherie – it really opened me up to a whole new genre. It's been a year or two since I first smelled it and it just smelled really different to me at the time, different than what I was used to.
Since then I have grown to love Coco Mademoiselle and Narciso Rodriguez and have started to sample more widely: Cristalle, Coco, Shalimar, etc. Recently I tried Miss Dior Cherie again and I could understand why there are so many “haters” (thank goodness I didn't buy a whole bottle!) because I am not in love with it. But I will always be thankful that it started to move me in a new direction. Maybe there's hope of me becoming a perfumista yet!
Christopher Smart's Rejoice in the Lamb… link below… a favorite of mine.
Unlike patchouli, which makes me nauseous. I'm working on it. My sister's Coco Mdlle has it in small amounts and I don't hate that scent. (Wouldn't buy it, either, though.)
Lavender in any appreciable amount gives me a whacking great headache, although I like the smell of it, particularly in chypres. Like I said, I'm working on it.
I've been surprised at how many people couldn't stand white florals. I adore them. Maybe this is why my mom (a Chanel No. 5 girl) recoiled in horror when I brought Sand and Sable home from the drugstore…
The poem may be found at:
Don't you think it's best to keep a *few* notes you don't like? Otherwise there's too many things to want!
Interesting that you mentioned cooking — I do think there is a relationship with learning to appreciate smells/tastes in cooking and in perfume.
Hey, I'm still working on amber myself. Tobacco — sometimes I like it, sometimes it's too much.
CdR is so gorgeous — I don't always like other leathers myself. I do like a few, but I'm not a leather fiend. Daim Blond is easy to love though!
I could never get into gardenia until I tried Kai. It puts me into a good mood whenever I wear it.
Don't worry, you'll be registering as a user just at my site…there won't be another krokodilgena, I'm sure!
I'm still working on Coromandel — the chocolate wasn't enough
Hey, you can be a perfumista and still love Miss Dior Cherie! There aren't any rules about taste.
It does that for me too
Patch for me, too. Once I smelled Voleur de Roses and Coromandel, I realized how beautiful it could be.
I think that amber is one of those crazy fragrance flings of mine that'll burn itself out before too long. Hey, there's another lazy poll for another lazy day — fragrances/fragrance notes we used to go crazy for that we're meh about now. Or did you just do that one??? I swear, hitting 50 has turned my brain to pablum.
I love Kai too! I used to think it was *heavy*, heady, but now it smells clean and soft. I was scared of any concentration that was all white florals. I should try Fracas again.
I too have a thing about patchouli. What got me over that was White Patchouli by Tom Ford. It just smells better, not as dirty?? But of course now SJP Lovely smells too strong of Path, so I hardly wear it now.
My other yuck was cedar. Every scent with some of cedar smelled like pine tree car air freshener . But luckily Hermes' Eau De Merveilles showed me it could be lovely.
Just one more-Black Orchid by Tom Ford. It proved to chocolate could blend well and not smell foody.
I still have a problem with pink marshmallow…
Great post Robin,
Oh jeepers. It was instant love for me.
I never used to care for sweet, ambery Orientals – until I first sniffed Jean Patou Sublime, at which time I fell in love. I never thought I could wear this style of scent, but it fused with my skin chemistry in a way few others ever have, and I love it.
Me…always LOVED Patch! Wore it in straight up oil form for many years…much to the dismay of most of my friends.
Never fell in love with VETIVER as a note…UNTIL FM Vetiver Extraordinaire.
I know I'm late to the thread and did not have time to read thru all of the posts, but when do I need to re register…and will I use my current tag name?
Good luck on the move Robin! I'll be there at your housewarming. Ciao!
I meant to say USE or LOSE? oops.
I know what you mean! I want every Malle that i have sampled but so far have resisted any full bottle purcase. I haven't tried Noir Epices but I have a feeling that this could be the one that I can't resist.
I just gave in to the Diorissimo and picked up a 100ml bottle in a little perfume store that generally caters to the fruity floral teenie bopper crowd on sale for $79 Australian. I think that is about $50US. Bargain!!!
I totally agree on the cooking connection. And I may have to grind up a fennel-coriander-cumin rub to try really soon — that sounds like it could be very good. Thanks for the idea, merenguehips.
Oh! there are so many! Well, before discovering the rosines, I though I didn't like rose very much, even if I did love the flower's real smell. Just all the rose-centered fragrances I tried all smelled equally fake and acid (the last chloè, for example). And I'm not the floral kind of woman – I seldom wear florals.
Now it's love – I should say roses have become my new obsesssion! I would love to find a dark, frosted and complex rose: Rose 31 and rose de nuit are on top of my “to try” list.
If they think we are in deep, hot love they'll only wonder why we don't want a liter.
I think it is interesting that the predominant “difficult” notes are so few! Patchouli, rose and tuberose seem to be the winners with a few other odds and ends thrown in.
Heeley Verveine is great layered with JM Vintage Gardenia – it is a citrus orderly forcing VG into a much needed astringent strait jacket.
great idea for a poll!
well, cooking and food is really important to me and that is what I spend most money on, buying mostly organic.
I did not like ginger before, but I got a recipe for a pumpkin soup, then I discovered Thaifood with ginger and lots of lemony stuff (and hot!!) and started to use it more often.
The same time I fell for Le Jardin apres la Mousson (Hermès) and just these days I feel an overwhelming addiction for lemon and spice fragrances.
Before I did not like rose scents – then I met Nahema.
I did not like the granny stufff then I met L'Heure Bleue.
I do not like patchouli and vanilla still, so there are some new things to come, maybe!
Good luck NST for moving to WP, I am looking forward to it.
Oddly enough, there are no particular notes that I do not like – I tend to wear perfumes with all sorts of things in them. It depends on the individual perfume and whether, as a whole, it suits me. I do tend to lean more towards heavier, sweet, strong, leathery, woodsy, mossy, tobacco, amber, spicy notes though. The only floral I truly like is rose, in various incarnations. (Like so many in the poll, Stella turned me onto it!) So I would say that Frangipani by Ormonde Jayne was the first floral fragrance not based around rose to truly capture my heart.
I guess I'm not a fan of summery perfumes – but Annick Goutal's Eau du Sud, Hadrien & Mandragore make me anticipate the summer months with excitement! I've never owned an AG scent, and am looking forward to Summer '09 when i will purchase one!
Zazie – as a fellow rose lover, I would highly recommend Ormonde Jayne's Ta'if – it's glorious. Although, it's not very dark. I imagine the Serge Lutens would provide the darkness though! I have yet to try his rose scents……looking forward to it!
I thought I hated rose. Then I realized that I just hated rose soliflores — I gave away a bottle of “Tea Rose” I'd found at TJ Maax. Now I realize that I love rose as a note, particularly the Rosines, and am especially loving Poussiere de Rose and Folie de Rose right now.
Thank you! It's been some time since I was curious about the OJ line… now I really *need* to order some samples!
p.s. serge luten's sa majesté la rose is a bit too “thin” and literal for my tastes. Rose de nuit I only sniffed from the wax samples and seemed gorgeous – rich and a bit strange. But the wax sample may be slightly different from the real thing!
I always hated patchouli until I smelled Michael for Men, which I loved the very instant I smelled it–I bought a bottle of it on the spot. I couldn't believe that a patchouli scent could actually smell good. Its patchouli is sorta of dirty, but not that really pure sweaty filthy kind that smells so awesome on some people (like a co-worker of mine) but emphatically NOT on me, and it's cut with suede and plum and it's just the most amazing thing. (I can't wear Voleur de Roses, which is entirely disgusting on my skin, like something decomposing in soil.)
And then I smelled Dior Midnight Poison, with that absolutely clean, polished, stripped-down patchouli that every perfumer uses nowadays, and I loved that, too (and bought a bottle on the spot, because I am a giant scent whore with no self-control). So those three fragrances form the boundaries of my patchouli universe: Comfort Zone (MP), Danger Zone (MfM), No Man's Land (VdR).
I'd say patch is the biggest vote-getter today…
I have not smelled Sublime in so long I've forgotten what it smells like…will have to see if I have a sample!
I really, really have an aversion to amber. Heavy, amber-scented fragrances always turned me off. And I always associated patchouli with the hippie head shop variety – yuck. Angel cured me of my patchouli aversion, and now I welcome patch in many forms. Amber, though, is still a challenge. I suppose the closest I've come to accepting it is in Chanel's Coromandel. Yes, it's a mixture of both patchouli and amber, but it's mostly amber to my nose. But…for some reason, I can stomach this reasonably well. I'd even call it stunning, though, it's hasn't completely sold me yet. The very worst amber scent I tried recently was Love Comes From Within. My apologies to Sarah Horowicz Thran who has created many wonderful scents, but this scent was a serious scrubber for me.
Scents I have problems with but am still willing to give a chance – cumin, clove, and the whole chypre category. I can appreciate the chypres from afar, but don't like wearing them. I have Mitsouko EDT, and it ain't love. I'm waiting for another star chypre to grab me.
Interesting because I would not think of FM VE as a “starter” vetiver!
You can't sign up until we move, and sure, you can get your user name again.
White flower notes probably more particularly the likes of gardenia and tuberose and frangipani. Then I discovered OJ Frangipani and the scales fell from my eyes (or the olfactive equivalent). Still love the OJ best but will now happily sniff the likes of Fracas and TF Velvet Gardenia. Great poll idea!
I love Mandragore! If you get it you'll find that it also wears beautifully in the winter.
Me, I never got the chocolate…
For me Coromandel is true love, but it's nothing I perceive as chocolate. It's the scent of damp earth after the rain, when the sun is peeping out, in my imaginary heaven landscape.
The secret to a good rub is, besides good, fresh spices, the right balance of salt and sugar; otherwise, it tastes a little flat and lifeless. If you've got a quarter cup of mixed, freshly ground spices/herbs, start wth two teaspoons of salt and two of sugar. Trust me on this one, joe805!
Zazie, sounds like you might want to try MDCI Rose de Siwa — unspeakably complex and satisfying.
Thank you, a “complex and satisfying” rose sounds perfect!
I hope I will be able to spot the MDCI line: I don't recall having ever stumbled upon it, here in Milan…Must do some serious search
P.S. If anyone is looking for a not-too-expensive “remedial” amber (what a great descriptor; Robin, I love what I pick up on this site!), I'd suggest Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang. It's as much about the creamy ylang as amber, and it's a very smooth, rich, un-queasy-making “clean” amber.
Good luck, Zaz! (What a great place to live!! I'm sure many of us would love to live in Milano.) The whole line is very well-done; I know that there are a few good reviews here on NST to look at.
While you're looking around Milan, you shouldn't find it too hard to track down the Eau d'Italie line. Their Paestum Rose is very much worth a try. Rose, pepper and incense, honeyed myrrh and wood. It's resinous but slightly fruity and floral. The notes are Davana, cinnamon, black pepper, pink pepper, coriander, black currant buds, Turkish rose, peony, incense, osmanthus, elemi, tea, papyrus, benzoin, myrrh, opoponax, vetiver, patchouli, cedar, wenge wood, amber and white musk.
Include me as a member of the Stella rose-convert group. I used to always associate rose fragrances with my grandmother, but the Stella composition made the rose fresh and modern for me. It may not be one of the “best” rose fragrances out there, but I wouldn't go near them until Stella.
To me, Still smells sweeter and much more musky than Stella. It's surprisingly pleasant for a celeb frag, though.
Cedar. I'm surprised it hasn't yet been mentioned (or I'm reading sloppily), for it seems a “difficult” note to me, really.
Light Blue spoiled the note for me, and turned me off both cedar and woods. After some desensitization, I came around to woody-ish dry-downs. Imagine my surprise when *after* buying Philosykos, I found out that dry-down is actually pure cedar! Then came Feminité du Bois (not bad), Ouarzazate (niiiiice) and finally Tam Dao (drool) – and now I appreciate the note an sich better.
I'm waiting for the same to happen with rose.
Zazie, you got some great recs already. Do try Ta'if, and maybe Frederic Malle Une Rose, Annick Goutal Ce Soir ou Jamais.
Blimunda, I was so-so about Mandragore when it launched, but have a bottle now & really do enjoy it. I should update that review.
Consensus prescription for rose-haters is Stella! Get a sample and wear it around for a few days… soon you'll be wearing Une Rose with your nose glued to your wrist.
I second that, it's very nice!
HA! LLol, just snorted coffee thru the nose.
Musk and vetiver have always been a problem with me. I HATE how it turns putrid on my skin. If a frag end up being a scrubber (I try before reading the ingredients–to give a fighting chance) sure enough it contains one or the other. And in men's frag, those 2 things are everywhere.
Emporio Armani is, so far, the only things that I really love that just happen to list both ingredients. Funny that…
Tama, I wore it straight for many years. Folks who swore they hated patch would comment, “Gee you smell great”. It's all about the chemistry.
I was in Paris years ago and bought Agnes B perfume from the designer shop of the same name. That designer is not too well known in America, and her shops are few, but I SWEAR Stella is a knock off of my Agnes B. I don't even know if Agnes B is still available or if it's been reformulated. So, Stella is not an original scent.
A great lemony-green scent to try, Haunani, is Diorella!
A great “remedial” tuberose is PG Tuberose Couture; it's got some fresh, soft notes and some not-too-sweet sugarcane and it's delicious without being gourmand.
NST – indeed! As I try and “fill out” my collection with representations of different styles I've really come to like, it does help to have a few styles with notes/accords that I just avoid. What a beautiful art form that provides so much choice to so many.
After my major greens discovery year, I've recently hit a kind of green-aldehyde-floral nirvana with a major splurge for Chamade parfum…so I'm just gonna stick with what I love for a while, and challenge myself another time….
Patchouli & tuberose yes – big problems. It is interesting to see that similarity. I wonder what it is exaclty about tuberose that has such a negative effect on people?
Thankfully I've never had problems with rose. I have a pretty good rose collection, and am always looking for more to add. This year in the summer I'm thinking of going for the limited edition bottle of i Profumi de Firenze's Miele Rose, or Lorenzo Villoresi Donna – ah, those Italians!
Um…no. Bandit is just about all the tuberose I can take. At least at this point in time…maybe as my sniffer becomes more sophisticated I'll eventually come to appreciate it.
So when are you getting the extrait that's been on your To-Have list for EONS, Miss R???!!
For me, there were a few:
Violets – Bvlgari Femme and Le Dix, with Equistrius and Creed Love in Black confirming my appreciation of the note most recently. Thanks to Lovethescents for the Equistrius tip off!
Rose – many of the ones already mentioned, notably the Rosines, also various Creeds and Sonoma Scent Studio roses, MDCI Rose de Siwa, plus my favourite of them all, PG Brulure de Rose.
Leather – Cuir de Russie
Styrax – Cuir de Lancome
Civet (very tentatively, and I reserve the right to lapse back into civet aversion at any time…..) – Bal a Versailles!
What would be a starter vetiver in your opinion? Thanks for the signup info.
Oh, my goodness. Is it just my imagination, or had NOBODY mentioned aldehydes?
Just askin', because a dear friend sent me a sample of Guerlain Liu and I just spritzed some on. Oh. My. GOD. it is an aldehyde-civet BOMB. And I loathe aldehydes (yes, a truly embarrassing confession). My first reaction was to chew off my hand, but actually, from a hand-to-nose distance of about six inches, I'm now finding that it's quite fabulous: sinister, sexy, dangerous and truly va-va-va-VOOM. So there's one for the books.
Any other ideas for remedial aldehydic fragrances?
can I still play? I pretty much can't do tuberose but I LOVE Fracas. Other tuberoses give me a headache.
Vanilla is usually a big NO as well- but Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanilla and Shalimar are a-ok.
Of course you can still play! And that's unusual…from most of the comments above, Fracas seems to be the LAST tuberose to gain acceptance!
Folie de Rose is lovely…but hope you aren't giving up on rose soliflores just because of Tea Rose? There are better to be had!
Hope you don't mind if I chime in here but my first vetiver sample was Vettiveru by Comme des Garcons. It is lively and fun, not too hefty, and only $52 for 125 ml.
Personally I can totally see the Malle as a starter, just really spendy. It is quite delish and lasts a long time. Loved wearing it yesterday!
Try the Mitsouko parfum if you can — it's so much more gorgeous (and smooth!) than the EdT. I still don't love it, but I think it's gorgeous.
I used to dislike many white florals too. Wish I could remember which scent made me love tuberose. Might have been Fracas, but not sure. I did adore OJ Frangipani the minute I smelled it!
Zoe, cedar got a couple mentions, but fewer than you'd expect.
Have you tried Diptyque L'Ombre dans L'Eau for rose? Don't bother unless you really love green notes, though.
Ah, good point!
No, I think that's true. Not only harder to find, but not even produced as often as they used to be.
I am waiting for a deal! Must have something: sale price, free shipping, something! Or I'd feel too guilty.
Glad you chimed in, the CdG is a good one & I wouldn't have thought of it. I probably would have said the old standby Guerlain Vetiver. Or better yet, Chanel Sycomore, which is very smooth.
Mine was leather too. The minute I smelled leather in anything it immediately brought to mind “new car scent” air fresheners which I find nauseating.
I got a sample of Dzing! after reading this blog for a few weeks, and when I first opened it and put it on, the leather was so strong that I was immediately turned off. But after a few minutes the leather smell softened and smelled older and warm instead of chemical, and I (also) use it regularly. I think Dzing! taught my nose to distinguish leather smells more intricately and separate good leather and bad leather.
I'd love to see some suggestions. I'm still scared of 'em. The kind in White Linen and No. 5, anyway.
True Do I want to slowly inch my way into the cold water or just take a running jump off the end of the dock?
I'm not sure if I want to convince myself that I like gardenia or just stumble upon gardenia/flower things that I like. I just now I don't want to let my conviction that I don't like that note or other keep from trying things. That would be like saying that you hated blue cheese
It's tough though cause there are so many things to try and I have to leave some by the wayside. sigh
I hear you, Haunani. Even No. 5 Eau Premiere doesn't work for me, just because the association with the original is so strong that I smell imaginary aldehydes and it triggers an automatic recoil instinct. A classic case of post-traumatic aldehydes disorder! I wish my nose didn't react so strongly to them, because I'd love to explore that particular vintage world. Sigh. . .
Dzing! is such a great scent. You might also like Serge Lutens Daim Blond, which is a really soft leather. Or the Guerlain Cuir Beluga.
Interesting! I don't think you can get any of the Agnes B fragrances in the US (except maybe at discounters) and I've never tried a single one.
It is odd that nobody mentioned aldehydes! But also think many people who say they don't like aldehydes don't realize how many fragrances have them w/o their knowing it. A remedial one might be Chanel no. 5 Eau Premiere.
That's funny — cleaner is the last thing I'd associate w/ aldehydes!
Some easy chypres to wear would be Knowing or Priivate Collection (original) by Estee Lauder, Miss Dior Cherie, Lovely by SJP.
Oldies but goodies would be Niki de st Phalle, Mon Parfum, by Paloma Picasso, Fendi (original), Aromatics Elixir.
i was thinking the same thing about fracas (all of the lack of love)- but to me there is something very sophisticated about it that cuts down the huge headiness that most tuberose since seem to project (or maybe my skin just plays up something else?)…not sure, but I love it!
Sigh. I love the Malles too. Une Rose, Dans Tes Bras, and En Passant are the ones I will someday have in full bottles. I do have the 10 ml. travel atomizers of those three (as well as of Lys Mediterranee, which I like but don't love). The 10 ml. size can be found at online auctions (but prices are creeping up), or one can split a package of three with one or two fellow enthusiasts.
And thanks for the reminder to get out my little sample of Noir Epices. Like I need to fall in love with a new Malle, LOL!
The chypre that made me appreciate chypres for the very first time was Guerlain's Rose Barbare. It's about as remedial as a chypre can get and still be a full-fledged capital-C Chypre (I happen to think that Miss Dior Cheried doesn't count). It was the creaminess that got to me, and the unexpected freshness of it; I had the idea that oakmoss-based scents were all about dankness and darkness, and this one was pure, soft sunlight.
“Post-traumatic aldehydes disorder” …that is HILARIOUS, Robin. And NST Robin, I will take your advice and try the No. 5 Eau Premiere one day. Who knows?
BTW, I did order a sample of Stephen Jones, but I'm afraid to try it because of the A word. But maybe it will be a kind I can handle???
My very first niche, well sort of, was L'Artisan's Patchouli Patch, so no problems with patch whatsoever. Voleur de Roses is a wonderful patch on me but no boozy rose, and that was a disappointment.
Early in my sniffage, Gucci Pour Homme convinced me that I hated incense. Then along comes Serge Noire and CdG Avignon…
Not for me. LOL!
I hate tuberose (I'm not saying 'hated' because I still do) – except in Tubéreuse Criminelle, which I find totally addictive. Can't stand any other.
So do you still dislike the Gucci, or did the other 2 incense scents change your mind about that one as well?
I generally don't like obvious rose notes, unless it's well disguised. But in Midnight Poison it's dry, woody and aromatic. Essentially it's that M.P. doesn't have a very feminine character that makes the rose acceptable.
I wish it was darker though. Has anyone tried the pure perfume? I hope it's smokey enough.
In the elixir version, the rose almost smells like jam due to the sweeter notes. I love that too, it's not really floral.
But I don't see myself converting to rose fragrances in general.
No, strangely enough, I still can't stand it.
TC is a great scent…
I have not tried the parfum — didn't remember that there was a parfum! Have you tried L'Artisan Voleur de Rose? And there are other dark patch/roses, but mind is blank at the moment.
Thanks a lot for that! It's gone straight to my list. It's a mens! That probably means that any floral qualities are well under control. I won't find it in Glasgow, but surely it will be available in Europe.
Fragrantica has a feature to search by notes. I'll look for the combination you suggested.