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  1. #1

    Default Sniffing out my signature scent

    I am on the hunt for my signature scent-- something I can wear daily and enjoy on my skin. I've tried samples galore and bought a few bottles blind, and I"m afraid my husband is starting to find the whole thing a little bit too much. I'm hoping one of you who are so well-versed in scents might be able to send me in the right direction.

    Here are a few things about me that migh help--

    I've got a flair for the exotic, but am an all-natural girl at heart with a very sensitive nose. That means that, although I tend to love the descriptions for orientals, I often find my throat constricting a bit when I try on many of them and they're too strong. I do like bold- as in unique- but not bold as in sucking-all-the-fresh-air-out-of-the-elevator-so-the-other-riders-stop-breathing.

    I love wearing jeans and a t-shirt (well-fitting, though- not baggy or sloppy- and with sassy boots, not tennis shoes) on a Saturday morning, then easing into something elegant and exotic to go out that night. Ideal Saturday night would be heading out to dance ballroom or Latin. Still, I'd rather end up at my house afterwards with all my friends gathered around the fire with good wine and great conversation, than find myself at a club at 4am having small talk with strangers.

    There was this scent on everyone's skin in Italy that I loved. I tried to find it when I was visiting, but the language barrier got in the way. The closest I could get was Alyssa Ashley musk, but I want something slightly more nuanced as well.

    I want a scent that is warm and inviting, but also hints at deeper mysteries, but doesn't allow me to get too introspective- that awakens me to ligher moments from time to time with brigher scents.

    Any ideas? I'm lost!
    Last edited by artnouveau; 28th September 2007 at 04:40 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    First of all welcome aboard artnouveau!
    Maybe I've not exactly got what you mean, but I have a feeling you might dive into Hermès Eau des Merveilles. It's musky and ambery yet sparkling and marine. Totally gorgeous like smelling a sensual sunkissed skin. A must try.
    Last edited by Magnifiscent; 28th September 2007 at 04:20 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Thanks for the suggestion-- I will try it out! Where in Italy are you? My Grandma is from Naples.

  4. #4
    Lean in closer, dear

    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Welcome, welcome! Give up the bottle purchasing until you've sampled profusely. You'll save literally hundreds of dollars. You can always swap your samples or unwanted bottles at, so you won't be out anything but a bit of postage. I'm soooper frugal, and have managed to experience hundreds of beautiful products for less than a dollar a piece. If you have samples to start swapping, great. If not, order a few from or or or any number of other sources listed in Basenotes' shopping directory.

    I started looking for a signature scent or holy grail scent almost three years ago and had no intention of having this become the most pleasurable hobby it has become. I wouldn't have my wardrobe of favorites right now if I'd stopped sampling at 25 or 50 different perfumes. You have no idea how great your pleasure will be when you find the most exquisite fragrances that suit you to a tea, make you almost scream with happiness and feel beautiful in a way you've never experienced before.
    "I live in the garden, I just sleep in the house." -- Jim Long
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26120182.html"><img src=""> Bel Ami by Hermès</a></div>

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    already there...

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    I totally agree with Quarry, you best bet is to sample, sample, sample as much as you can. Like you, many of us on here are in search for a real signature or "holy grail" scent. It's tough. The best bet is to trust your nose and experiment. Shop for samples, decants, etc. It might take some time, but you will save a lot of money. You will also have the advantage of being able to wear a very wide variety of scents; not just those that you own entire bottles of.

    My signature scent is something that I never would have guessed by looking at my favorite notes and bio. It came from trying, experimenting, and lots of reading.

    Have fun, happy hunting, and welcome to basenotes!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    You cannot go far wrong with Geir.. Very versatile!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Hi, artnouveau. You said you were afraid your husband was starting to think your fragrance hobby was a bit too much - similarly, I have wondered how the women I date perceive my wearing of multiple fragrances. I felt lucky when the woman I started dating two months ago told me not just that she liked that I smelled good, but that she thought it was always a pleasant surprise to see what I was wearing that particular day. We have to be aware that not everyone will be charmed by all the little bottles we end up surrounding ourselves with, though, and, while telling disapproving partners to "jump in the lake - it's my hobby" might feel liberating, it's probably not the best approach for keeping the peace.

    HOWEVER... your description of yourself is quite nuanced, and I get the sense that you might really be happier wearing at least a few different fragrances depending on your mood, the occasion, or the time of year. It also seems like there might not be a single, signature fragrance that "does it for you" on all levels, all the time (especially because you say you have done a lot of sampling already). This doesn't mean that you have to have a humongous wardrobe like many people on Basenotes, but rather that you are careful about how many fragrances you actually bring home. So maybe you end up with 5 or 10 instead of 25, 50, or 100. For example, 3 or 4 scents for spring/summer/daytime and 3 or 4 for fall/winter/evenings.

    The first thing I'd do is get rid of the samples or bottles that you don't like or use. That'll clean things up and show hubby that you're sensitive to his concern. Then, I'd do most of my sampling at the fragrance counter (instead of having bottles or even samples delivered to the house), and I wouldn't buy anything I didn't love. One of the great things about Basenotes is also the worst - it makes it possible to learn about hundreds of fragrances, and makes us want more and more and more! But I think it's possible to find a middle ground where you still get to explore fragrances and wear something different once in a while, but also to do so in a way that a partner who isn't fully supportive would be able to tolerate. Good luck!

    Last edited by tinfoiled; 9th October 2007 at 12:00 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    These have been tremendously helpful. I can't wait to try the specific fragrances recommended, but the more I try and learn, I'm also starting to think people are right-- perhaps there won't be a single scent, but I should enjoy the process of discovery and of learning what fragrances make sense in what circumtances. I'm even finding my body chemistry seems to produce different effects for the same frangrance on different days. Interesting. Now to just keep my budget in line.... Good practical advice from tinfoiled to make sure my hobby is hubby-supported. Thanks!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    The nice thing about searching for those half-dozen scents that cover every eventuality and that you get genuine joy from wearing is that you learn so much along the way and expand your horizons so much.

    I never knew what an Iris note was until I went on a "samplathon" with a list I'd compiled here on BN. Now I can recognise it when I smell a fragrance and see it listed as a note (I'm still not great at guessing them yet). Now I'm investigating leather notes and along the way I seem to have strayed off into gourmands - specifically chocolate! (Does that say too much about my character?) And again, I'm trying to do it via samples because it really keeps the costs down.

    If I might make a few suggestions: a gourmand which I tried for the first time today and was very impressed by is Blue Agave and Cacao by Jo Malone. (Her Pomegranate Noir might also interest you, for sultrier moments.) I've been very interested in Bulgari's Blue Notte, which has had good reviews here on BN but I haven't had chance to test yet. And perhaps you might like Serge Lutens' Daim Blonde - apricots and warm suede - I tried it yesterday and was knocked out by it. Finally, a budget-friendly option for the 'lighter oriental' category is Yves Rocher Voile d'Ambre - a very nice perfume that you can pick up in handbag size for not a lot of cash.

    Good luck - I'll be very interested to hear about your experiences.
    Last edited by Wordbird; 13th October 2007 at 06:12 PM. Reason: speeelung mistuks
    "A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel

    I'm streamlining my collection
    Currently wearing: Diorling by Christian Dior

  10. #10

    Shycat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Nashville, Tennessee

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Welcome to basenotes, Artnoveau! It's a pleasure to read a new person's entrance. I've not smelled A.A. musk myself, but for exotic and nuanced while not overwhelming I can heartily recommend Musc Ravageur from Malle. It gets raves here, which I confess with my contrary nature somehow made me dismiss it--oooh, so sexy blah blah blah, since it didn't really sound like my cup of tea. Eh heh. When I finally sampled it, my first and gut response was to long for my bf, and then I thought OMG! All those immature threads started by young cads asking for a sexy, "panty dropping" fragrance that made me roll my eyes! Eeegad! There really is one!

    The only other musk I own is Montale's White Musk-- I got online a bought a bottle ten minutes after I tried it. It's not exactly a warm musk, and probably not exotic either, but I like it.

    I would also suggest you try

    Montale's Blue Amber - very special. warm and cool at once.
    Guerlain's Nahema (in EdP --the EdT lacks a certain incensy touch to my nose) if you like a rose scent
    L'Artisan's Bois Farine -- you have to smell it to believe it. Wheat and cedar, I believe, many people think it smells like peanut butter a bit. I wear it very often in cool weather. It's not the longest lasting but frankly, my dear...well, you know.
    Jalaine's Patchouli -- I just had to stick this one in. It's one of two fragrances I say are my HG's. It's an oil, and the price is staggering until you realize by testing it that two drops lasts all day. There's nothing like it for feminine vanilla patchouli perfection--uhmm, did I mention I liked it?
    Bond #9 Nuits de Noho -- I love, love, love the dry down. I don't care so much for the bergamot up top, but other people do.

    These are the ones I know very well that I feel are natural, warm, with a touch ot exotic, and nuanced. None too sweet, none too white floral, none with choking sillage. Blue Amber may be a bit elegant to wear with jeans, but that's so subjective you must see how it makes you feel.

    Good luck to you, my dear! I hope you have as much joy in this hobby as I have!
    Please, spritz responsibly.

  11. #11
    beachroses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    North Carolina

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Amazing Grace by Philosophy is your style.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    Can u just put on coco mademoiselle and get it over with
    Creed- Windsor (All-time favorite)
    Creed- GIT (signature)
    Lolita Lempica Au Masculin (fav gourmand)
    Creed-Aventus (biggest compliment getter)
    Serge Lutens- Arabie,Fumerie Turque, Chergui
    MFK-Lumiere Noire (fav mysterious scent)
    Santos de Cartier-Fav 80's
    Creed Spice & Wood

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sniffing out my signature scent

    I'm in about the same boat as you- I love the heavy scents in description but they are just too much. Rather than jeans and tshirt though... I'm a 24/7 high heeled girl despite being 6'0!
    Try going through the ads and seeing if you could picture yourself decked out like the model day to day... If you cant, move on. I find the ads are really good to tell the scents. Sexy orientals tend to have femme fatales with styled curls and red coloring whereas the fruity youthful scents have someone like Jessica Stam dressed in urban street wear in a city scape. Make an ad list and from that, go to the store and smell them- write out the ones you liked and the ones you hated, and check out what the 'also liked' fragrances on here are, or ask to see similar ones in the department store until you find one you need to have. PS try it on your skin before buying- a lot of people lose a part of the scent or gain a new part on their skin (eg for me everything becomes sweet and floral is magnified.)

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