Originally Posted by flathorn
This is difficult to answer, as I have problems determining whether I like fragrances on *myself* from day to day, let alone someone else. I know what I like when I smell it on a specific person, but usually no more than that. There are masculine fragrances I like in the bottle which don't translate over to chemistry on the person. The reason I say this :-):
My ex-husband smelled good *only* in Canoe. There were plenty of fragrances I liked better on a tester strip, but none smelled better on him.
My brother-in-law wore a fragrance I thought smelled very nice. When I asked what it was, I was stunned to find out it was BRUT. How that stinky stereotype in a bottle could have taken on such a magical transformation, I'll never know. But it did. My current SO had a bottle of it, and it reeked on him. He smells perfect in Eternity for Men. I've tried many of the leather fragrances I adore on him, and none have worked - they just don't smell right on him, and actually stink :-(
BUT, I don't mind giving someone a direction in which to start testing - at that point, they're on their own, and whether my nose preferences work on him, who knows? As long as he understands there is no magic bullet, no universal aphrodisiac, I don't mind exploring the sensual qualities of masculine fragrances much as we do with the feminine. I think what sets so poorly with women on this board is the way the query is often worded, and the assumption that comes through behind it - to find a fragrance which universally turns women on, like a weapon to use to get what is wanted. That is very unsettling. I believe it irritates us because it displays a lack of insight and understanding of women. But the question of sexy fragrances shouldn't be taboo, as it's a special aspect of perfume. I, too, want to wear something my SO finds exciting. I think a permanent thread is a good idea with such an enduring question. I'm one who'd like to explore this arena more, except for fear it would start a barrage of inanity like "What would make you take your clothes off on the first date?"
I find Sandalwood extremely sensual, more so than musk, perhaps because musk notes are artificial now and don't have the power of the original. I have to take musk fragrances case by case. I also find leather to be a sensual note. Patchouli is iffy for me - if it smells too much like Patchouli, I don't like it, but when it's modified and submerged, more tobacco than patch, I find it sensual. I also find boozy notes sensual, especially the one in Idole de Lubin. I adore lavender in a fragrance, but don't find it so much sexy as appealing. As a rule, I like earthy, leather, and fresh fragrances. Coumarin is usually a turn-off for me, as is a blatant gourmand. I don't have much experience with men's fragrance because I've never been around a man who's a fragrance lover. I would love to be around one who is and be able to explore the sensual aspects of them together.
My list (which is liable to change tomorrow):
Eternity for Men
Idole De Lubin
Muscs Koublai Khan
Czech & Speake 88
Un Cedre - Serge Lutens
Tam Dao (maybe Costes, too)
Santal de Mysore
Well said flathorn. (And I like your name too!) I think you're right in saying that it's a valid question, but - unfortunately - you're also right in saying that sometimes the males of the species are a little ... clumsy in how we ask it. (Which by the way does not discount the possibility that women may be seeking the same thing....)
Personally, I don't care to find a "magic bullet/magic key" symbol. That would make it all too easy, and that's not really the point is it?
I love the fact that sometimes, it smells great, sometimes not.
Case in point: I think Chanel No. 5 is awful straight out of the bottle on a card. But a woman was wearing it on the bus the other day (I asked her what it was when we got off) , and it smelled very alluring on her.
I too would relish being with someone who was a fragrance lover and who is willing to spend time exploring the world of scents together. I think that would be the most satisfying way to do it.