I am very excited about the forthcoming Sniff n Speak Saturday (6th January 2007) as Orientals are one of my favourite family of scents (along with Chypre and Animalic). The problem is that I have so many to choose from!!
I have seen questions / requests for examples of orientals, so I thought it would help to list my orientals to help inspire those wondering what to wear...
Boucheron Classique - orange blossom dominated oriental. Elegant, similar to Hermes 24 Faubourg.
Cacharel LouLou - Intense sweet, dusky floriental dominated by tiare flower, cassis, incense, cardamom and musk. Seductive yet strangely innocent. A true classic - now sadly discontinued.
Must de Cartier - EDT and parfum. Rich, resinous amber. Recalls Calvin Klein Obsession.
Calvin Klein Obsession - parfum. A simpler, linear interpretation of the Must de Cartier amber theme.
Caron Nuit de Noel - vintage. I cannot adequately describe this perfume so I will not try. It is an amazing complex classic rich, luxe, smooth but ultimately elusive like the spirit of the season it is named for. It is festive without being cliched feminine without being floral and perfect for any and all situations without ever being stuffy. The ultimate drydown is smooth and softly powdery.
Donna Karan Black Cashmere - Cool, cerebral vanilla oriental. Pepper and spice intertwine with cool smooth, creamy white woods and a touch of incense. Scent sister to YSL Nu EDP, Fendi Theorema and Givenchy Organza Indecence.
Dana Chantilly - Ambery oriental. I love this perfume. A smooth, classic, powdery carnation and leather dominated oriental complicated by a distinct geranium accord which adds a unique coolness. A scent sister to Dior Dioressence.
Dior Dioressence - I call this my summer oriental because although it is a straight oriental with spice and a wonderful ambery dry down, the distinctive geranium heart note cools and freshens the blend making it perfect for warmer weather.
Comme des Garcons EDP / parfum - I only have the cologne at the moment but really want the EDP or parfum in this iconoclastic perfume. Rich, resinous, luxe yet at the same time arid, ayurverdic, smoky and spicy. Cardamom, pepper, carnation, hay, llabdanum, and incense (olibanum) dominate in this amazing scentsual experience.
Chanel Coco - EDP. This is too high pitched and bronzy for my tastes (I prefer deeper, mezzo-soprano / bass orientals). Very polished / classy.
Reichenbach Golden Drop - a smoother, sweeter interpretation of the Chanel Coco bronze / amber theme
Basile by Basile - EDT. Another scent twin to Chanel Coco.
Christian Dior Poison - EDT and Esprit de parfum. EDT is fruity with a sexy musk and spice drydown. Esprit de Parfum is much drier, darker and smokier with very little fruit or sweetness - almost a different scent.
Estee Lauder Youth Dew - EDP, parfum and Bath oil. The parfum is rich, dark, raw with a harsh aldehydic kick in the opening. The bath oil is the easiest form to wear Yout Dew in. It is much softer, almost vanillic. A few drops in a bath reveals the hidden clean, 'starched linens' aspects of this classic oriental and is enough to scent you delicately for the whole day.
Fendi Donna - A deep rich, luxe spicy leather chypre oriental. A perfume for a powerful, sophisticated, professional, confident female. Wilder, sophisticated, earthy sister to Chanel Coco and cousin to Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum.
Givenchy Ysatis - more floral chypre then classic oriental.
Guerlain Shalimar - all strengths. I love this! My herbaceous oriental - zesty citrus opening with iris, heliotrope, incense, opoponax and tonka bean dominated heart and base notes. Sexy, seductive, feminine.
Jean-Charles Brosseau Ombre Rose - soft, powdery honey and rose dominated floriental.
Lancome Tresor - Thick, sweet, fruity floriental dominated by a distinct rose / apricot / peach accord that dries down to a powdery skin but better musk scent. Tres feminine.
Laura Biagiotti Roma - a wonderful
Lolita Lempicka - feminine, floriental dominated by violets, anise and a burnt sugar accord.
Lolita Lempicka L - A festive smelling orange and cloves / cinnamon opening which morphs into a deep ambery vanilla musk base. Recalls Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, Guerlain Attrape-Coeur and Serge Lutens Douce Amere.
Moschino Classique - love child of Must de Cartier and Guerlain Shalimar. Bright citrus rosewood opening and then creamy ambery rose tinged musk drydown which lasts and lasts.
Oscar de la Renta Volupte - parfum. Fruity (melon) floral oriental
Rochas Tocade - rose and vanilla dominated floriental with a soft ambery base. Rather simple and linear.
Shiseido Feminite du Bois - unique green fruity oriental take on the cedar. Cardamom and cinnamon also feature.
Valentino Very Valentino - sheer violet toned floriental. Great day / office wear. Pretty and feminine.
YSL Opium - heady floriental spicy / classic.
Caron Narcisse Noir - on me this is a subtle, smooth 'clean' neroli / orange blossom dominated skin scent, with a touch of spice.
Trussardi Python - sheer gourmand floriental. Cardamom, plum, rose and a touch of chocolate in the ambery base.
Chopard Casmir - Fruity vanilla oriental. Tonka Bean dominates the base.
Dolce et Gabbana Woman (red cap) - a true floral oriental - more floral than oriental. Classic, similar to Chanel No.5, with sexy powdery dry down.
Sonia Rykiel Classique (red shirt) - Fruity floriental similar in mood an scent to Chopard Casmir.
Fendi Theorema - a wonderful smooth spicy, dry oriental. Surprisingly dry on me. Others have sung praises for it's yummy 'chocolate orange' scent - which sadly I do not get.
Ghost Deep Night - meh! Floriental. Sweeter, deeper and muskier then the original scent with a powdery dry down.
Issey Miyake Le Feu D'Issey - a very unique oriental dominated by pepper and milky notes. Recalls Caron L'Anarchiste.
Dana Tabu - the original and the best! Amber, patchouli and spice with an orange blossom dominated heart.
Vivienne Westwood Boudoir - On me this is the female version of YSL Kouros. Controversial, much berrated but completely unforgettable. I have to decant this and apply as sparingly as a parfum (a few drops at a time). A single application lasts for days!
Caron Poivre - pure potent pepper! Original and distinct with a warm clove / carnation heart.
Bulgari Black - Distinctive black tea dominated scent with a smooth ambery woody base. Renowned for its original smoky resinous rubber accord.
Christian Dior Dune - honey amber oriental with a distinct broom / lichen / sea breeze accord.
Guerlain Samsara - EDT and parfum. A very rich, sultry jasmine / ylang-ylang / iris / sandalwood.
Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles - EDT & parfum. Gorgeous, smooth ambery vanilla oriental - dominated by sandalwood. Elegant and feminine. A Cousin to Dana Tabu & Chanel Bois de Iles.
Guerlain Vol de Nuit - EDT. I so wish I could get my hands on a decant of the parfum. As it is the EDT is sublime. Smooth creamy balsams and wood with a enthralling leathery drydown. Truly beautiful from beginning to end.
Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur - Very rich ambery oriental with a smooth lavender opening. On me this is pure gourmand, smoky, smooth creamy milk chocolate! Can get cloying if worn too heavily or in anything other then freezing winter weather.
Guerlain Attrape-Coeur - smooth, yummy, ambery vanilla oriental from this classic house. Surprisingly modern.
Serge Lutens Douce Amere - Recalls Guerlain Attrape-Coeur and Lolita Lempicka L. SL Douce Amere is distinctly less sweet and cooler with a stronger anise top & heart note.
Lancome Magie Noire - vintage. Feminine, spicy rose and pepper dominated oriental with a smoky dry woody drydown.
Piguet Habanita - EDT. Classic Honey leather and powder dominated oriental. The oakmoss heart and ambergris dominated base notes give this perfume it's distinct character.
Five Star Fragrance Company Royal Secret Concentree - vintage. Smooth balsamic opening with a cosy opoponax dominated dry down. Recalls Guerlain Shalimar, Jean Patou Sublime and Coty Emeraude.
Five Star Fragrance Company Royal Secret II - a boozy, fruity spiced amber oriental with woody base. So beautiful, complex and rich this could easily pass for a Serge Lutens release.
Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars - a very comforting, fresh, feminine floriental. Orange blossom dominates a softly powdery ambery oriental base.
Estee Lauder Cinnabar - A homage to cinnamon. Cinnamon and patcholi dominate. Recalls Estee Lauder Youth Dew, which inspired it, but with most of the interesting stuff removed.
Caron Parfum Sacre - Rose / myrrh dominated incensey floriental. A modern classic.
Givenchy Organza Indecence - a completely different, much more impressive follow on from the original. Boozy smooth creamy woods with no florals. Gorgeous, sexy and long lasting.
Aramis Havana pour Elle - original floriental with a distinct spicy tobacco accord. Sexy and unique.
Givenchy Organza - A soft feminine ambery floriental featuring jasmine and nutmeg.
Avon Extraordinary - A delicate fruity floriental. Very feminine and wearable.
Boucheron Trouble - EDP. A wonderful, rich almondy amber oriental. Feminine and subtly seductive. Cosy.
Calvin Klein Obsession Night - nothing like the original at all apart from a burst of orange in the opening and an insipid ambery vanilla. This is a modern floriental where the florals and plastic woods reign. I may like this better in warmer weather.
Caron Aimez-Moi - beautiful warm yet delicate floral (violet) oriental with a touch of cooling anise.
Dior Addict - Heady, sultry floral spicy oriental with a thick white floral heart and woody vanille bourbon base. Very long lasting with unforgettable sillage.
Diesel Plus Plus Feminine - fruity floral oriental with a sweet 'milky' amber base. Opens with fresh softly citrus notes and dries down into a honeyed, ambery sweet milk dry down. Very cosy.
The Body Shop Cosy Cashmere - Very similar theme to Diesel Plus Plus Feminine - opens bright and softly citrussy before drying down to a soft ambery vanilla base. Very wearable and surprisingly long lasting.
The Body Shop Woody Sandalwood - At first sniff this has little to do with Sandalwood and could easily be mistaken for a Serge Lutens. It is boozy, fruity with a distinct plum, cloves and cinnamon character. Patchouli also features. Dries down to a yummy smooth sandalwood dominated base with the plum and spice still present in a supporting role. Perfect in winter.
The Body Shop Cinnamon Spice - not quite sure what to make of this but I love it all the same. To my nose it is quite a festive scent with a distinct fruity citrus vibe inter woven with cloves, licorice, cinnamon on a base of smooth woods. Delicate and sheer enough to wear in warmer weather.
The Body Shop Ananya - fruity rose dominated floriental with a wonderful thwack of spice which raises it above the mundane.
The Body Shop Zinzibar - Like the other 8 Invent Your Scent offerings, this is structured around a simple accord for ease of layering. Zinzibar is devoted to spice, ginger in particular - it's in the top and heartnotes - bolstered with citruses, pepper, cardamom, cedarwood and sandalwood.
The Body Shop Altaro - Surprisingly good quality take on the ambery woods vanilla oriental base. Featuring and dominated by the basic amber / sandalwood accord a touch of smoke / incense adds depth and complexity to a rather linear scent. It is brilliant for layering with other more complex scents.
Etro Shaal Nur - Original fresh oriental. Opens with a bright citrus note similar to Shalimar and dries down to a powdery but light oriental base. Wonderful, haunting.
FENDI édition 2004 - A far cry from the original, uncompromising green leather floriental this is a floriental for a new generation. Warm fruity and floral with a warm ambery vanilla base. Cousin to the sadly discontinued Chopard Mira Bai and Naomi Campbell Exult.
Jean Paul Gaultier Classique - EDP and parfum. Rose, orchid and vanille bourbon dominated boozy floriental. Cosy and sexy. Moreish.
Vivienne Westwood Anglomania - Cardamom, rose and leather dominated fruity floral oriental. Sexy. Same vibe as JPG Classique EDP but less powdery / cloying.
Azzaro Oh La La - spicy oriental. Similar to Chanel Coco.
Dinner by Bobo - spicy oriental. Juicy, fruity, aromatic. Cardamom, plum, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, gingerbread, patchouli all feature in this wonderful sensual feast for the senses.
Boucheron Initial - EDT. Spicy almost gourmand oriental. Elegant and sophisticated but still sexy. Features a honeyed drydown.
Fendi Asja - unique, original spicey oriental, warm and fruity.
Gucci Eau de Parfum - Warm, woody oriental gently spiced. Wears close to the skin with little sillage but quite long lasting and strangely moreish. Great for day wear and close quarters occasions.
Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger - sheer, 'clean' spiced woody oriental. Linear with nutmeg dominating. Great for layering with other perfumes.
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir - sheer yet powerful & long lasting fruity spiced oriental. Red fruits, plum, opoponax and incense dominate this confident, sexy scent.
Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant - EDP. Deep, rich spicy oriental with a dry smoky incense base. Very spicy. Cardamom, cloves, licorice, incense dominate. Same vibe as Dinner by Bobo.
L'Artisan Tea 4 Two - Honeyed smooth white woods with a distinct tea, ginger and carnation accord dominating the blend in the heart notes. Delicate yet powerful.
Lagerfeld KL - vintage and EDT. The olfactory lovechild of Dana Tabu and YSL Opium. The modern EDT is sweeter with more patchouli. Very warm, spicy and sexy but not cloying.
YSL Nu EDP - an amazingly dry spiced woody oriental in which cedar, orchids and black pepper dominate. Arid at first but the drydown is worth waiting for. Lasts for days. Dry down is similar to Lorenzo Villoresi Piper Nigrum but deeper.
Anna Sui Sui Dreams - surprisingly adult fruity floral vanilla oriental. Dries down to a sexy smoky white woods musk base.
Chopard Mira Bai - very similar to Chopard Casmir but much drier, woody and less cloying. Starts out warm, woody and fruity then dries down to a sexy ambery vanilla base. Very wearable.
Chopard Wish - less cloying / strident interpretation of the (Thierry Mugler Angel) gourmand oriental theme.
Dunhill Desire for a Woman - a delicate but potent spicy vanilla oriental. Sheer and subtle enough to wear to the office but can also be sexy and great on dates. Licorice and tiare flower in the heart notes dominate before the subtle, skin but better milky base notes.
Jean Paul Gaultier Gaultier 2 - This doesn't work for me. To my nose it is JPG Classique with all the interesting stuff (rum, roses, orchids, etc) removed. Powdery, cloying amber, musk and vanilla remain. Same vibe as Diesel Plus Plus Feminine and TBS Cosy Cashmere. Very cosy and comforting. Sexy for those with a sweet tooth.
Guerlain Jicky - PdT. Complex lavender opening then a delicious complex resinous amber vanilla dry down. Sadly quite fleeting on my skin. Wonderful whilst it lasts and well worth the necessary frequent top ups.
Guerlain Shalimar Light (Eau Legere) - Modern interpretation of the classic Shalimar for a new generation. Much less complex and darkly incensy. Very fresh citrussy top and heart notes before a warm, slightly powdery, ambery base. Like olfactory lemon meringue pie but surprisingly unfoody and still feminine and sexy.
Jean-Louis Scherrer Nuits Indiennes - Elegant, classic powdery vanilla oriental in the same mode as Shalimar, Trouble and Vol de Nuit. Has a wonderful almondy heliotrope edge that makes it almost gourmand. Subtly sexy.
Krizia Krazy Krizia
Cartier Le Baiser du Dragon - Complex, rich woody oriental. Spicy with a distinct note of Amaretto (almond liquor). Luxe.
Cacharel Gloria - EDT & bath oil. I love the EDT in this which is a smooth fruity woody oriental with a distinctive Amaretto (almond liquor) note. Feminine and sexy. The bath oil is a more gourmand take on the same theme and plays up the almond notes of the original. Perfect worn alone as well as layered with the original.
Chanel Bois des Iles - a very elegant, smooth creamy woody oriental, built around sandalwood. It is warm and delicately spiced with a delicious gingerbread accord which compliments but never dominates the smooth white woods.
Guerlain AA Winter Delice - I love this scent. It opens cool and icy like snow on the breeze with a woody 'pine' accord which evokes a wlak through a winters snowy forest landscape. Almost immediately the scent warms and you get wafts of festive fruit and spices with a delicious gingerbread accord that weaves throughout the other notes. The scent is warm, festive and immediately recalls Christmas celebrations past but manages not to be gourmand or cloying.
Paul Smith London For Women - EDP. Sheer, fresh, fruity floral oriental built around patchouli on a base of sexy ambery woods. Great for day time wear but sensual enough for evening.
Serge Lutens Arabie - Dates, Figs, candied peel, cardamom with spice and more spice over incense, musk and smooth woods. Intense, rich and less gourmand then it sounds.
Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan - Original distinct Amber dominated oriental. Opens complex and herbaceous with oregano, coriander etc, but eventually dries down to a deep resinous spiced amber with a sexy chocolatey sillage. Unforgettable.
Van Cleef & Arpels Birmane - bold spicy fruity floral with a delicious spicy woods dry down. Very long lasting with intriguing sillage. A wonderful scent experience to wear.
Serge Lutens Cedre - Opens big with sultry, sexy tuberose but the ambery woods and gingerbread accord in the base puts this scent firmly in with orientals. Wonderful.
Serge Lutens Gris Clair - described as a dry Oriental, reveals an imaginary note of lavender that has gone pale gray in late summer. I initially loved this but each wearing since has been a tiresome experience as the scent is very potent and long lasting on my skin with good sillage. Sadly there is a note / accord in this that turns to 'generic men's cologne' on me and is very irritating. I find it cloying and too demanding of my attention when I wear it. I think the note may be apple but either way Gris Clair is nigh impossible for me to wear. I much prefer the Non Export Encens et Lavande from the same house.
I am pretty sure I have missed a few, but I think there is more then enough to be going on with. I may add more as I remember / receive them...
Happy New Year & Happy Sniffing!