We've cleared through the waiting list for the Monday Mail — if you'd like other Now Smell This readers to help you find a new fragrance, this is a great time to sign up.
Today we're helping Eleni, who was a subject in the Monday Mail back in 2011, and says she absolutely adored the experience and discovered some real gems. She's since gone through a difficult breakup and wants to find some new perfumes that don't have any "olfactory baggage". She'd like to find an optimistic but sultry "let's start afresh" fragrance, ideally one that can transition from day to evening wear. If money were no object, Amouage Epic and Opus IV come close to what she wants, but she can't afford them (she can pay up to about €120). Here is what we know about Eleni:
She's in her late 20s, and living and working in Bucharest, Romania. She's a freelance theater director and also a stage manager at the National Opera.
She has really eclectic tastes and is open to anything — high-, middle- and lowbrow (artwise and otherwise) — as long as she feels a connection and can "mix & match". She says she sees "collage" and "remix" as a way of life, but she's also capable of enjoying a mouthwatering freshly baked slice of bread with a glass of milk, or a simple black dress.
Eleni is an "oriental, spice-laden-perfumes kind of gal", and tends to gravitate towards more complicated blends: Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, Chanel Bois des Iles, Tauer Perfumes L'air du desert and Lonestar Memories. Her previous Monday Mail experience had a clear winner — Parfumerie Générale Cadjmere, which she wore to death, and L'Artisan Dzonghka, her signature perfume for almost a year (sometimes worn layered with Hermès Eau des Merveilles). She likes notes of myrrh, sandalwood, iris, opoponax, incense, vetiver (the smoky-dirty kind), cinnamon, ginger, all kinds of spices, and also leather-rose combinations. She is occasionally infatuated with salty or amber-y perfumes.
Divas like Robert Piguet Bandit & Fracas, Caron Yatagan, Molinard Habanita and Chanel No. 19 do not work for Eleni. She dislikes lily, gardenia, orange blossom, green and fresh perfumes, and is ambivalent about patchouli-in-the-foreground. Most Muglers make her nauseous. Prada's Candy smells like poo to her, while she admires Serge Lutens' heavily indolic A la Nuit from afar.
Here is what Eleni has tried so far:
Tom Ford Noir de Noir: she cannot pull it off, no matter how much she wants to.
L'Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre: perfectly blended, but not feminine enough.
L'Artisan Traversee du Bosphore: yummy but sickly sweet; she'd take it as a home scent.
L'Occitane Eau d'Iparie: she used to wear it, now it recalls too many painful memories.
Calvin Klein Obsession: a guilty pleasure. She feels great in it, but it's not exactly shy.
Chanel Coco Noir: great juicy top notes, the rest was meh.
Parfumerie Générale Iris Oriental: nice, but too tame and "proper".
Amouage Epic: just what the name implies — epic. She'd love a cheaper smell-alike.
What say you?
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Note: top image [cropped & tripled] is courtesy of Victoria at Bois de Jasmin.