Examples of a "synthetic" or "cloying" perfume

    Examples of a "synthetic" or "cloying" perfume

    post #1 of 50
    Thread Starter 

    Hey fellow Basenoters!

    I'm a newbie here on Basenotes so forgive me if this seems like a bad question. What perfume(s) come to mind when you think of a synthetic or cloying scent? Aren't all perfumes synthetic to a degree? And especially since IFRA came along and forced perfume houses to reformulate their perfumes. Is Iso E Super present in all alcohol-based perfumes or just the "synthetic" ones? Two perfumes I came across recently that I like a lot are Bogart Pour Homme and Boucheron Jaipur Homme edp. I've read on Basenotes that Bogart PH smells synthetic and Jaipur is cloying. Please elaborate on this. As I explore the world's perfumes, I'm trying to separate the great ones from the average or terrible ones. That would be a vital part of my "nose training" if I could learn what synthetic and cloying meant to perfume enthusiasts.

    My top 5 (so far!):

    1. Carven Homme-bring it back!

    2. Guerlain LIDGE-WAY better then T.M.'s A*MEN

    3. Tom Ford Noir de Noir-special occasion kind of juice

    4. Perry Ellis 360 Red-cheap yes, but better then ADG and lasts all day

    5. (tie) Tiffany for Men and Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree-they're both great!

    Cheers to allthumbsup.gif

    post #2 of 50


    post #3 of 50
    Versace pour Homme
    post #4 of 50
    1 Million & Le Male
    post #5 of 50
    post #6 of 50
    post #7 of 50

    Everybody has his or her own idea of synthetic and cloying. As you say, everything's synthetic, and this per se doesn't mean much. When I use the word in negative terms, I'm referring to stuff that smells more like a household cleaner than a proper perfume. Abundant examples in many modern sport or aquatic masculines (eg Light blue).

    Same for cloying - everybody has his threshold for sugar. Supersweet syrupy stuff is probably more common in modern cheap feminines, which smell like berry syrup. The most obnoxious example is perhaps Delices de Cartier.


    post #8 of 50
    Always thought polo black smelled quite synthetic, I enjoy the scent still though
    post #9 of 50

    I agree with Cacio. I love synthetics when they're used with creativity (many Comme Des Garcons come to mind) but when they're just thrown-in in a composition as "the aroma-flavor of the day", they can get really annoying. I'm thinking about the thick woodyamber bases that seem to have become pretty popular either in designer and niche offerings (Montale, Paco Rabanne, some Opus, D&G)....

    When It comes to cloying, I rarely go sweet unless is something extremely well balanced and extraordinarely blended (some Guerlain, a bunch of amber-centered fragrances). What I really find cloying are most of the modern fruity-exotic fragrances.

    Edited by alfarom - 6/9/13 at 12:22am
    post #10 of 50

    Seem to be two different things to me. Synthetic is not always bad but cloying is. Nothing more synthetic than Davidoff Echo or Azzaro Chrome. Both are bad also.

    Cloying to me is sweet and overbearing. Just tested Amouage Interlude and it is way to cloying for me.

    post #11 of 50

    Synthetic Le Male
    Cloying Joop

    post #12 of 50

    I agree with hepard but like both. guess suede and guess in the gray and green bottle are totally synthetic. also most beckham's

    post #13 of 50
    Stuff like 1 Million.
    post #14 of 50

    Cloying usually means too sweet, but is often used to mean unbalanced when it comes to scents, it seems. So for example a scent could have a huge amount of patchouli, and unless the person really likes that note, it will often be called cloying. I find a base that includes strong cedar, amber, and patchouli to be cloying, by this definition. Synthetic is much more difficult, because only small amounts of most scents are natural (if any). However, one way to think about it is if you like the listed notes but find the scent overbearing in some way that doesn't make sense, it is too synthetic. An example of this, for me, is Dunhill Desire for a Man. I like all the notes but it has a kind of "sticky" feel to it and makes me feel ill after a few minutes.

    post #15 of 50

    Le Male, Joop, the entire Gucci Guilty line.

    Some would say 1 Million but I happen to think that it's fine.

    Karma by Gorilla Perfumes. I tried this today, hand smelled like it was inside a dirty hippie for the last month. This had the dirtiest, gorssest patchouli I've ever smelt. And I love good patchouli.

    post #16 of 50

    Le Male


    1 million

    Versace Dreamer (opening)

    Niche side, Bonds are very synthetic.

    post #17 of 50
    Black Aoud is a good example of a perfume that smells both synthetic and cloying.

    Back to Black is cloying. Way too sweet and syrupy.
    post #18 of 50

    Synths are amazing when embraced and used creatively (CdG). But yes, as mentioned above, stuff like 1 Million, Le Male, and A*Men all blast you (and anyone close by) with a cloud of nasty chemical syrup.

    post #19 of 50

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000