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Thread: Real Stinkers

  1. #1

    Default Real Stinkers

    I've been puzzling about my adverse reaction to certain floral fragrances, when POL had a thread on floral aldehydes, which shed *some* light on my problem.
    Some florals turn on me with a vengeance, becoming ozonic, ethery, maybe hairsprayish, though it's beyond hairspray into smelly. The most recent was 'Glamorous' by Ralph Lauren, which turned into a wretched synthetic mess on my arm. I tried washing it off, but could still smell it afterwards.
    I've heard people here express the same reaction to different fragrances, so I don't feel as alone. I just wish there was some way of predicting it short of sampling. A member on POL said most modern fragrances are composed of roughly 70% synthetic and 30% natural ingredients, and it may not be the aldehydes, strictly speaking that are turning on me. I think this is accurate, as I can wear some of the aldehydes they mention.
    It seems it is more a specific reaction of one's own chemistry with a specific chemical in the fragrance. I know it is a certain chemical or closely related one, as it always smells exactly the same - very ozonic, synthetic, even gassy; quite wretched to the nose.
    The real stinkers below unequivocally contained the note I'm talking about. In my comments, I didn't even analyze them - I just wrote a big NO! This is my A-list.
    'Glamorous', as I said, was quite bad. Others were: Nanadebary 'Pink'; 'Kenneth Cole'; 'Laila' - Geir Ness; 'Nanette Lepore'; 'L'eau D'Issey'; 'Cheap and Chic' - Moschino (which smelled quite similar to 'L'eau D'Issey'); 'Petite Cherie' - AG; 'Cabotine Bleu'; 'Aqua Motu' - CSP; 'Sashka Sun' - Micallef; 'Osmanthus' - Jayne Ormonde; 'Chance' - Chanel; 'Curious' - Brittany Spears; 'J'Adore' - Dior; 'Fleur' - Floris; 'Geranium Pepper' - Fresh Index; 'Kingdom Summer' - Alexander McQeen. 'Sunflower' years ago in a department store did that to me.
    Are anyone's favorite smellies here? If so, we may have the same chemical reaction, and I would be interested in your 'No' list.

  2. #2
    Artisankey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Coastal Maine, USA

    Default Re: Real Stinkers

    My "no-list" is incredibly long and usually has something to do with chypres. *I've tried soooo many of them and they all end up smelling harsh, bitter, sour, dusty or musty on me. *Over the years I've learned, but I still try newer ones from time to time. *It's always "nada" though. *The house of Guerlain is also a big no-no for me. *I can only wear Shalimar and Winter Delice- nothing else truly agrees with my skin from that line. *Carons are also generally no-nos for me. Something off-putting in the bases of both these houses it seems. Whatever it is, they clash terribly with my chemistry and smell like anything from burning rubber to chlorine. Very disappointing.

    While it's great fun to try new or new-to-you fragrances, the fun is certainly cut short when something smells awful or you end up with a migraine (ugggh!) *Still the only way to be sure is to try it on your skin. *So...we persevere I guess. *
    Scent is such a lovely, simple pleasure!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Real Stinkers

    Carons are a real no-no for me too. I don't know what it is, but somehow they seem to get stronger as the day goes on, so what seems nice when first applied becomes stronger and stronger with time. Fleur de Rocaille and Aimez-moi definitely fall into this camp. It was love at first whiff - and then I just found myself getting sick of the smell.

    I have to say though, I adore Nanadebary Pink. Subtle, warm and as sexy as it comes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Real Stinkers

    One of the reasons I found Basenotes several years ago was that I couldn't understand why almost every scent I tried in stores invariably turned rancid, acrid or metallic-smelling on my skin. On the rare occasions I'd ask some wonderful-smelling person what they were wearing, I'd write the name of the scent down, get to a department store as quickly as possible, and see if I could sample the fragrance myself. Most store-samplings ended in disaster. [smiley=embarassed.gif]

    I've since learned to beware of sampling scents in stores. A Basenotes member who's also a fragrance SA explained why scents can often smell differently in the store than at home. While trying to explain why store testers sometimes seem to be a different strength, he pointed out that we usually apply our scents in the morning after bathing, and the scents will react differently on naked skin than on the skin of someone who's spent hours shopping, carrying bags, etc. I felt like adding (but didn't, since I was too shy at the time), that stress also has an impact on our personal smells. On a really wretched, stressful day at work, even some of my favorite scents occasionally turn on me. Well, I find dealing with the SAs in most department stores to be stressful as well, so I now make a point of sampling (or at least re-sampling) all my scents at home. It's made a world of difference.

    So far, I've never come across a 'House' whose scents I can't wear, but there are notes and categories of scents that don't work well on me. Chypres are very tricky on me: they can be wonderful on me some days, and turn into pure pond scum on me on other days. Coriandre and Ivoire are good examples, that can smell clean and heavenly or just plain rank, depending on the weather and my chemistry. They don't like warm weather (and neither do I). Marine/ozonic scents usually get a bad rap in fragrance forums, but I like them on some people, just not on me. My skin turns them into something sort of sweet and mawkish, like spilled booze. I've always struggled with floral notes, but some of the notes that scare people the most work well on me. Men's skin temperature is usually a little higher than women's, and I think it affects many notes: tuberose actually works pretty well on me (at least, I think it does), while lily-of-the-valley can be dreadful if it's not safely buttressed with some woody basenotes.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Ezhno's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Los Angeles

    Default Re: Real Stinkers

    Quote Originally Posted by MJH
    ....I felt like adding...that stress also has an impact on our personal smells....
    This has to be the reason that everything I put on before retiring smells great?!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by MJH
    ...I've always struggled with floral notes, but some of the notes that scare people the most work well on me. Men's skin temperature is usually a little higher than women's, and I think it affects many notes: tuberose actually works pretty well on me (at least, I think it does)...
    It seems to go okay for me, too. I recently tried a sample of Madini's tuberose -- I think they call it "Nardo" -- and it is nifty! *However, another one of their florals that I tried on a whim -- Mimosa -- went ghastly! *No -- I mean BAD!!! *[smiley=evil.gif]

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