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Today we're helping Sophie, who is looking for two fragrances that may or may not overlap: a Holy Grail scent, and a fragrance appropriate for an academic/office workplace. Sophie has fairly good access to perfume stores of all kinds, and she's more than happy to buy samples online. She can pay up to $150 for a fragrance, but she's also happy to purchase decants so price is not too much of a factor, although Amouage attars and the like are out of the question. Here is what we know about Sophie:
She's a graduate student in her late 20s, studying sustainability and landscape ecology.
She has spent most of her life in big cities — NYC, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, Milan, Paris, LA.
Sophie loves exploring cultures via literature, music, cuisine, art.
Her Asian heritage plays a big part in who she is.
She wears a lot of black.
Sophie likes iris, osmanthus, plum, peach, amber, honey, woods, violet, tea, green notes, spices, and jasmine in a supporting role. She likes the scents of ginger and incense in real life, but hasn't smelled them in perfume. Perfumes she has tried and liked include Chanel Coco, Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan, Serge Lutens Feminite Du Bois, Bvlgari Black and Bvlgari's Tea series.
Sopie dislikes lavender (loathes it), civet, fruit cocktails, cute roses, anything too "soapy". She admires Big White Florals on others but they are either overwhelming or boring on her skin; same for aldehydes, at least in heavy concentrations. Perfumes she has disliked or cannot wear include Chanel No. 5 (too heavy), Guerlain's Champs-Elysees (smells like paint thinner), Agent Provocateur (snoozefest), Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan (terrifying), and almost anything by Estee Lauder or Juliette has a Gun.
Here is what Sophie has tried so far
Rochas Femme: delicious plum and peach notes, but the cumin is too much.
Prada Infusion D'Iris: she really like it, but the citrus is a little too loud.
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan: she likes dry, bitter, herbal spices, but this was pushing it. She admired this a lot but couldn't wear it.
Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan: atrocious lasting power, but gorgeous.
What say you?