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  1. #1

    Question Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I am still searching for the Holy Grail. Alas, I opened a teeny,tiny decant of Serge Lutens D'oranger thinking 'this is it, it sounds so great, everyone loves it, it IS the Holy Grail!' Alas, no. Not quite. It's nice and I'll definitely wear it, but it's not MY Holy Grail.
    And I've been trolling Ebay and Basenotes buying some decants and samples.
    I have a whole heap of Caron coming, but I was wondering, how did all you lucky people find YOUR Holy Grail. Was it fate? Were you walking though the fragrance section and go 'Oooh, look, a new (insert brand here)' have a snif and spray then buy the lot!
    Or did you have a scent you like to wear and it grew on you?
    or was it because you got heaps of compliments and friends always say: 'Whenever I smell Femme Rochas, I think of you as it suits you so well'.

    Your own Holy Grail quests would be very interesting to know. Maybe I'm wearing my HG and I don't even know it!!

  2. #2

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I feel like Donkey from "Shrek" -- "Me! Pick me! Oh, Me!"

    I have a Holy Grail! Everyone who knows me much here knows.


    I'd never heard of it, and didn't pursue gardenia fragrances at all. I was in the Cosmetic Market -- OMG, I remember the very moment, standing in front of the Fresh and Diptyque. The kai was behind me, with the bath stuff. I thought "What's that stuff?" I opened it up and considered whether it might be a lipgloss. Sniff, sniff. Uhm, I played it safe....put some on my wrist. WOW! Man, it was great!

    Then I looked at the price and left.

    I couldn't get it off my mind.

    I bought a bottle. And then another bottle. And then some lotion. And then another bottle, and some more lotion, and a candle. And then some body glow. And then two more bottles at once. Then a gift set for my neighbor. And then, a man I was out with said it was the most seductive thing he'd ever smelled (that's not exactly what he said, but that was the gist of it.) And several of my friends commented how good I smelled, along with a few cashiers, over time. One man in a vestibule said 'I smell rain!' but he walked past me and stopped for a second, looked me straight in the eyes and said "Wow." He wasn't flirting, he was honestly startled, and paused at his car door, and looked back to me. I just know he was considering coming back to ask me what it was.

    I could go on.

  3. #3

    Talking Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Wow! Shycat that is almost scandalous. I gotta get me some! That is almost a Mills and Boon moment with the guy stopping and saying 'Wow'.
    That's what I want. Like you said 'Pick me, Pick me! Oh me!'
    Love that story! C'mon people - I need inspiration. Thanks, Shycat

  4. #4

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I think it's like falling in love - maybe not at first sniff, and maybe not forever everytime, but when you find "the one" I think you just *know*

  5. #5

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Who are Mills and Boon?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Mills and Boon are book publishers who publish nothing but dime store romance novels that are only about 1/2 inch thick. Really over the top 'eyes meeting across crowded room' stuff with the odd 'romp between the sheets'.
    I thought they were a universal thing? Maybe you have Avon Romance. Same sort of thing. You better buy one for your holiday reading.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I wish I could be like Shycat here, but I guess I'm just not even close to a 'one scent'/'HG scent' girl. I need them all, and love them all, and keep my collection growing and expanding... The only ONE I'm faithful to is my dear husband.
    Last edited by Goddess_Dreams; 2nd November 2006 at 10:44 AM.
    "Of the five senses, the sense of smell is incontestably the one that best conveys a sense of immortality."

    Salvador Dali

  8. #8

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Mills & Boone is Harlequin here in the US. Don't ask me how I know that, I just do.

    I also tend to wander between fragrances, but my idea of an HG is a fragrance that is always appealing, always suitable, and one that has an instant impact on my mood. Right now, that HG is Je Reviens - it's a light floral, it's a warm amber, it's delicate, it's sensual, it's old-fashioned, it's still unique and stylish... it really seems to work anywhere, at any time.

  9. #9

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Aahhh <lightbulb goes on> I read Harlequin books in highschool. Yep, just a few years ago. Then I fell madly in love with my husband, and they seemed foolish.
    I saw my husband a few weeks ago. He seemed OK. Much thinner.

  10. #10

    Talking Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    LOL Shame about hubby. You see! That's why you need a HG! To be with you through thick and thin, including thick and thin husbands and/or boyfriends. May you find your HG in the male human form!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I'm beginning to think that HG is a myth, at least for me. My preferences are so wildly diverse and subject to whimsy and idiocy that I wonder if a true HG is something that isn't subject to the big AHA! moment, since this month's AHA! will be next month's ebay sale. Therefore, the HG must be something that isn't dramatic, entertaining, or victim of love at first sniff. It must be something quiet that sits in the back of the cupboard, probably ignored a good deal of the time, but taken as refuge after two weeks of Icky Perfume Days or Hideous Sample Week. And it must be something that never has an off day or a WTF? moment, which means it has to wear as well in winter as it does in summer and never, ever make you wish you had worn something else.

    I submit Tam Dao as this fragrance. It isn't exciting; in fact I sold my bottle of it on ebay and then had to run out and buy another. It never gets in my way, it suits my lifestyle, it makes absolutely no demands on me, and it is always accessible and approachable.

    I have a couple of others that may stand the test of time. I think La Haie Fleurie has always worked for me as a floral, and I've never regretted applying it, which is more than I can say for many things I own. Fleurs de Citronnier also always seems right.

    There's a comfort factor with HG (for me), more than there is a statement or an image or a projection of personality.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I think I found my Holy Grail a few months back. It's was one of the Frederic Malle's that I got sent to test. The sample was very generous, in a lovely
    spray bottle and I fell for it hard. I need to save up for a full bottle - it's not cheap. It made me feel very special, had a kind of aching nostalgia about it and was incredibly beautiful. I wouldn't wear it every day - it's too special!
    It would be like playing the same piece of music over and over and eventually being less impressed by it.
    I'm talking about IRIS POUDRE.
    My more approachable and available HG that never fails to garner masses of compliments is Balanciaga's CRISTOBAL. These two are my current loves.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I seem to pick up Holy Grails at least four times each year. And after some time (like when the clock strikes twelve in a fairy tale). a Holy Grail transforms into a Grail and then into a ordinary cup. Falling in love and geting bored. But if you would force me to live the rest of my life with only one scent, I would choose Jicky (and shame on Guerlain that they discontinued the bath range). Jicky, the perfect one, following my moodswings, lovely in summer and winter, morning and evening. Jicky, so lovely even on my husband that a woman stopped him in the shopping mall to ask what he was wearing.
    Not falling in love with a scent for a short while, but eternal love (well, more than thirty years is almost eternal) will weave the threads real Holy Grails are made of.
    The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp

  14. #14

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Ha ha, your post reminded me of my own search for the holy grail! Alas, I haven't found mine either, but searching for the 'one perfect perfume' to use as my signature fragrance is what brought me to this website in the first place and keeps me addicted. My ideal perfume had to have a name, bottle and fragrance that all held a special fascination or significance for me. Coincidently, I recently thought I had found it in Femme by Rochas! But then I realised there is one particular note I would love to dominate my holy grail and sadly I do not find it in Femme. And so my search goes on... hope you find yours soon.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Can we have HGs of particular notes? My HG of patchoulis is Santa Maria Novella. When I smelled it, I knew that it was patchouli which gave other perfumes a certain attractive quality for me. Not every patchouli has it, only the best. My HG of sandalwoods is Etro Sandalo. When I smelled it, I knew how to identify the floating, diffusive warmth of sandalwood in fragrances.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    It's interesting how my HG evolved. After purchasing numerous fragrances from niche houses to consumer fragrances my HG came to me by accident. I was in Paris in September and I bought a bottle of Norma Kamali Perfume at Colette. I never heard of it and didnt' even know that Norma Kamali made a perfume. I 'tested' it first on my wrist walked out of the store. About an hour or so later, I had to go back and purchase it. It's that good on my skin! Upon returning to the U.S. I did my research on the internet and read that Norma Kamali also made Incense which is more suited for men and can create a third fragrance by layering both Incense and the NKPerfume. This combo really convinced me that it's something special. Now, I layer them both and it stays on my skin for hours. I specially love how I can control the floral in the perfume and the smoky/musky scent of incense. I absolutely love this combo and can honestly say that I've found my HG. As for my other scents, I 'm still going to enjoy them, but for now, the Norma Kamali combo feels just like 'home' to me.
    "A great perfume is a work of art, it can lift our days, haunt our nights and create the milestones of our memories. Fragrance is liquid emotion. And that never goes out of fashion. " MICHAEL EDWARDS

  17. #17
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
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    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    As I have declared loudly, many times, to those who will listen and many who will not, the whole concept of one HG / signature scent is, frankly in this day and age / society, a pile of tosh! (Read my Blog for a more reasoned / detailed argument).

    Having said that I do have a HG. I have quite a few in fact, but there is one that I find myself believing is my ultimate better Self fragrance and that is Gres Cabochard (preferrably the vintage version but on my chemistry the modern formulation works just as well).

    Although this speaks to and of my soul, it is not the done thing in polite society to always be drawing attention to yourself; and I am a much too complex, self aware creature, for there to be only one perfume that will always perfectly represent me (without offending anyone) in all situations, seasons and weather.

    As well as Cabochard there are (quite) a few perfumes that I know I shall never allow myself to be without again. For when I DO wear them, they are always perfect and let me feel at peace / ease within my own skin. I may not wear them all that often but when I do, I am once again seduced, they are wonderful and always 'right':

    Givenchy III
    Houbigant Essence Rare
    Guerlain AA Winter Delice
    Yardley Sandalwood
    Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
    Givenchy Ysatis
    Comme des Garçons EDP
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit parfum
    Dana Tabu
    Crown Perfumery Crown Fougère
    Givenchy Organza Indécence
    Caron Nuit de Noel
    Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger
    Dior Poison EdP
    Carven Ma Griffe (vintage)
    D&G Feminine
    Crown Perfumery Eau de Quinine
    Guy Larouche Fidji
    Halston Classic
    Jasper Conran Woman
    Guerlain Shalimar
    TBS Mostly Musk

    This list is by no means complete, but does give you some idea of the diversity within my soul.

    The defining factor here is chemistry. Many of the perfumes listed above are well-known and easily obtainable. But on my personal chemsitry they become something more, so individual that many individuals offering heartfelt compliments are stunned to discover that the ambrosial aroma they are enjoying wafting from my skin is some drugstore horror (Dana Tabu, Coty L'Aimant) or Department Store 80's powerhouse reject (Givenchy Ysatis, Dior Poison).

    Everything, as with all things, comes down to chemistry. When you discover a HG perfume on your skin, and walk around in it for at least a day, there will be no room for doubt...

    You will know.
    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  18. #18
    Artisankey's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Coastal Maine, USA

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    A true Holy Grail can be difficult for those of us who just, across the board, appreciate perfume.

    I love Shycat's Kai stories (I'm a Kai fan myself) but I think I enjoy too many other fragrances to keep to wearing just one.

    I've noticed I sometimes have seasonal HGs. Feminite du Bois I love in the autumn, Shalimar in winter and Bulgari pour Femme in early spring. If it's a sticky summer I reach for Eau de Patou. Night time I'll usually wear one of 3- Coco, Kai, or Montale Intense Tiare.

    People tend to love Shalimar and Lolita Lempicka on me. I like them both, but if I had to pick one it would probably be Shalimar. Every once in a while, when I wear Shalimar, I'll find myself thinking it's one of the most beautiful fragrances ever created. Still, I don't think I could wear it exclusively.

    Strangely, I know in my heart that Fracas is one of my Holy Grails. The other one is Shaal Nur. They are both quiet scents on me, although if I get a hug someone will most surely comment favorably. I found them both by accident and initially wasn't going to try either of them.

    When I finally found Fracas I actually didn't quite "get it." It was sort of fruity on me and oddly reminded me of Chloé (one I like but already have.) Later on another sample somehow came my way. This time it was like a lightbulb turning on- it was so beautiful and soft and fresh I knew I had to get a bottle. Since then I've gotten two more bottles plus the parfum.

    Shaal Nur was introduced to me by a dear perfume friend. She had a bottle and gave me a generous decant. The first time I smelled it I was intrigued. I remember saying, "Wow, this should be someone's signature scent!" At first I mostly wore it during the summer time and not too often. Suddenly, in early winter I had a craving for it, after that I couldn't stop wearing it and started wearing it regularly year-round.

    There is a third fragrance that is sort of like a HG- I consider it more of a "soul" fragrance though. I layer it with just about everything because I love the incense note it brings to other perfumes. This one is Norma Kamali Incense. I don't really wear it by itself too often for me to consider it a HG, but I wear it so much with everything else, that it often feels like the "heart of the matter." I know if I couldn't wear it, I'd be miserable and I definitely feel it's a perfume I've been searching for my whole life. Does that make it a Holy Grail?
    Scent is such a lovely, simple pleasure!

  19. #19

    Shycat's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    This is interesting.

    As for kai, I wore it all summer, even when I tried to stop. I was drawn to it against my will. I did feel the regret of an addict, because it robbed me of my pleasure in my other summer fragrances. But I lightened up, since I figured it was a just a fragrance, and gardenia at that, so that come winter the weather would detox me. It's been a bit of a relief, although some days I feel a trifle restless and dissatisfied with my entire collection (looking for that buzz!)

    My other HG for cooler air is Bulgare Rose Essentielle. I've got my fourth bottle of it.

    I don't think a HG has to be 24/7/365. I do think it has to have stood the test of time, and be several bottles into itself, and be the absolutely perfect magnetic fragrance for it's season or situation.

    I'm so young in the fragrance love affair I can only judge by what I've loved the longest, even though a year is not so long.

    I can say both Rose Essentielle and kai were profound love at first wear, which got better and more appreciative over the year, with respect given to their sheer reliablity of uplifting-ness.

    I have other fragrances I think I will wear a lot over time, and repurchase when needed. A few fragrances already have back up bottles behind my bathroom towels on the top shelf. Eau de Camille, Un Lys, Fumerie Turque, and Chinatown come to mind. And I feel pretty sure Sacrebleu will follow, but you know, it's just too soon to tell!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I'm a little saddened about this whole HG issue :-(
    For almost a year I've been totally haunted by Montale's Black Aoud. From the first time I tried a sample I was smitten.
    Then, the last time I wore it around my BF, it didn't smell quite right. I'm now afraid to try Black Aoud again for fear of having that same reaction. I know myself - when I start having doubts, the relationship usually doesn't last...
    For me an HG has to always be there for me, or it can't be my HG.
    Last edited by flathorn; 2nd November 2006 at 09:16 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I don't have a Holy Grail and quite honestly don't care much for having one. I love to wear different fragrances and I even dislike wearing the same one two days in a row, unless I've only just bought it. I do have perfumes that I have used over a long period of time, but I've always alternated them with others. I also tend to think twice before buying another bottle of something I've finished, generally I only do it if I know the perfume is going to be discontinued, otherwise I just prefer to move on to something new.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I love your Kai story! I have to try it now.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    My Holy Grail is Monsieur de Givenchy. It was the first that I was ever given. As a gift when I was very young.. like 8 or 9 years old. I didn't wear it much as a kid, but the smell just takes me back.
    Its like when Adam unsheaths his sword and becomes He-man.. Same thing for me when I put this on..
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  24. #24

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I have a holy Grail womens scent, but I don't know what it is.

    An East Indian family was walking into Tim Hortons, I was holding the door for them, and one of the ladies was wearing something absolutely Earth-Shaking. It was a floral of some kind, quite possibly a soliflore, Jasmine??
    Whatever it was, if that stuff illicits the same response in everyone, I think the bottle could be sold for a thousand dollars.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I guess my current HG is that I'm convinced there is a pre-WWII classic out there with my name on it and I can't seem to find it (unless Chanel No. 19 counts?).

    I was a history major, I love antiques and old books, wear vintage jewelry, so something like Apres L'Ondee or Mitsouko out to be perfect, right? It bugs me no end that Apres L'Ondee opens with a top note that reminds me of diaper changes (there must be anise in Desitin ointment), and that I have to wear Mitsouko for about 3 hours before the hay note calms down enough for the spice and floral notes to develop. Maybe the EDT samples I got on eBay were flawed. Bellodgia was just wrong top to bottom on me. I'm still holding out hope for Jicky, En Avion or maybe Poivre.

    What's silly about this is that I'm kvetching to myself about finding a classic HG when I've recently found newer scents I could really love (No. 19, Iris Poudre and Une Rose). I suppose it's partly grass-is-greener syndrome, partly the researcher in me wanting be sure I've considered all options before shelling out for Malle, partly just the thrill of the hunt. I guess we all need aspirations...

    Anyway, I'm glad I don't have to commit to just one fragrance.
    Last edited by coumarin; 5th November 2006 at 04:36 PM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    No, but only because so many women's scents live alongside each other in the my pantheon of olfactory goddesses. For example: Fidgi, Bellodgia, Diva, Fleurissimo, Paris, Galanos, Youth Dew, Private Collection, Datura Noir, Scent Intense, Tabac Blond, you name it. Naming a "number one" scent among women's scents, too, is difficult for me in that (aside from Shalimar and Shalimar Light), I don't wear them. I just smell them on women (and the occasional drag queen -- esp. Ungaro's Diva). Fidgi ranks very, very high in my book, but there are just SO MANY delicious scents out there that I hate to give Fidgi alone the Hera/Juno position in the aforementioned pantheon.

    Peggy: "Right now, we have to get to the mental institution. Something terrible has happened."
    Latrelle: "What?"
    Peggy: "Brother Boy has tried to kill himself. He jumped out of his bedroom window."
    Latrelle: "Isn't he only on the second floor?"
    Peggy: "Yes, but he hit his head on a lawn gnome."
    Fr. Sordid Lives: The Series
    "Live, live, live! Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
    Auntie Mame

  27. #27

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Ambre Narguile for now. Making a trip to NYC in a couple of weeks to buy a full bottle. While this is a very comforting scent for me, it also mentally transports me somewhere else at the same time -- it leaves me with visions of far off and mysterious places like Petra and Marrakesh.
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger.
    There is really nothing to be said about it.
    It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all.

    --W. Somerset Maugham

    My Wardrobe

  28. #28

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I'm far too new to this perfume thing to have a holy grail as of yet; there are just so many that I haven't tried. However, SL Iris Silver Mist really stands out. I was a little underwhelmed but intrigued the first time I tried it. I tried it again a few weeks later and it seemed like it had changed in my absence and a slight sweetness that I had found lacking seemed to have emerged. I chalked that up to the fact I had been sampling all day and it was layered with something else (not even sure what anymore.) Then I tried it again, and it was even better! It just keeps getting better. It's got so much of what I want: it's subtle yet has presence, it's comforting (to me) yet unusual, has a bit of sweetness but is off set by an elegant, bitter note. I think it's one of the most unique fragrances I've ever smelled, but not offputtingly so. I feel like I can wear anytime, anywhere, in any mood.
    But there's just so much else out there, you know?

  29. #29
    Lean in closer, dear

    Quarry's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    I'm still hoping, but often harbor an atheistic attitude about a holy grail scent. Having sniffed 400 scents in two years and finding only a dozen I like tells me (A) my olfactory senses are actually crippled and/or (B) I'm just a bitch to satisfy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalage
    ... searching for the 'one perfect perfume' to use as my signature fragrance is what brought me to this website in the first place and keeps me addicted.
    The up side of the continued Grail Quest is that it makes for a splendidly selfish hobby.
    "I live in the garden, I just sleep in the house." -- Jim Long
    Currently wearing: Aria di Capri by Carthusia

  30. #30

    Default Re: Holy Grail - Have you got one and what is it?

    Pure coinsidence!

    Of course I sniffed and sniffed, everywhere I went (Paris, Germany, London). I bought from the web (pure from descriptions), I ordered samples etc.
    But the best perfumes I just walked upon. Of course whenever I have time I walk into a perfumeshop and try and try...
    My holy grail? I think that whenever one searches, one cannot find. The best till now for me is Serge Lutens / a la nuit. The best jasmine fragrance. Not too sharp, not too heavy, good staying power. Recently I bought Jo Malone's Tuberose, this is number two. The best Tuberose fragrance.
    But to be honest I am still looking for the best rose fragrance. ( dont's ask me why) Serge Lutens is too sharp, I profumo di Firenze too old fashioned, Tea rose from perfumers workshop too heavy. Keiko Mecherie's Damascena too modern, Rose absolue from Annick Goutal too earthly. That is my holy grail: the best rose fragrance.
    Question: what is the best rose fragrance? Any suggestions?

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