Today we're helping Lucia, who says she has worn perfume all her life but is a relative newbie to more serious exploration — her mother only wore Guerlain so that is where she started, and she has only recently begun to branch out. She'd like to know what is out there beyond mainstream fragrances, and her immediate goal is a signature scent for spring and summer. Here is what we know about Lucia:
She's in her late 20's and lives in the northeast US.
She says she is a driven and outgoing person when it comes to work, but tends to spend her down time with only a few close friends or a good book.
She likes almost every kind of music and loves to dance; she regularly goes to the ballet (and to ballet class).
Her wardrobe vacillates between classic/tailored and flowy bohemian.
Lucia isn't sure what notes she likes, but her ideal warm weather perfume would be green and fresh to start — but not too citrusy — then settle into a wistful, old fashioned floral (but not too sweet and still greenish) with a deep woodsy base. It should also be substantial and have good lasting power. In mood, it should be confident, but thoughtful and intimate. And it should still be in production — she already spends too much on tracking down vintage Guerlains.
Lucia doesn't like loud orientals, anything that smells like incense, overly sweet or fruity perfumes or aquatics, heavy rose or heavy vanilla. "No" perfumes include Lancome Tresor and Yves Saint Laurent Paris.
Here are some of the perfumes Lucia likes and wears:
Guerlain Apres l'Ondee: Her ideal "wistful, old-fashioned" floral. Unfortunately it doesn't last long in Eau de Toilette, and she'd prefer something brighter for everyday wear.
Guerlain Chamade Eau de Cologne: She wears wear this a lot, but the floral combo is not quite what she is looking for.
Guerlain Mitsouko: Her signature fall/winter scent. She loves the peach note here, but has usually disliked fruit notes in other perfumes.
Dior Diorissimo: She loves lily-of-the-valley, but it's very one-note — she's prefer something more complex.
Miss Dior (old version): she likes it, but finds the opening too sharp and the ending too weak.
Chanel 31 Rue Cambon: Almost perfect, but very short lived in the Eau de Toilette, and she'd like to know if it can be found in Parfum.
Yves Saint Laurent M7: She loves this on men.
And here are a few perfumes she has tried recently:
Frederic Malle En Passant: Lovely burst of lilac fades quickly into a dominant cucumber, which she didn't like so much.
Frederic Malle L'eau d'Hiver: No lasting power.
Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady: This rose worked for her. She didn't like the dry down, but she might consider wearing this sometime — but it didn't seem like spring to her.
Frederic Malle Parfum de Therese: Surprise love! But she has yet to go back and try it on skin.
Hanae Mori Butterfly: Everything she dislikes in a perfume and impossible to wash off.
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino: Very clean and pleasant, but not distinctive. Felt like she'd showered with a really nice soap.
What say you?