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  1. #1

    Default Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    I've been lurking around your forum obsessively for about a week. It all started when I decided to buy my boyfriend something to replace the David Beckham stuff his ex bought him. He doesn't wear cologne everyday, and David Beckham is all he has. That, and a Hugo Boss deodorant stick that he "saves" for special occasions.

    I ended up at a department store fragrance section, and beelined towards the scent that I adored as a teenager - Acqua Di Gio. It was an instant disappointment, not at all what my sixteen-year-old self thought it was cracked up to be. I only sniffed a few others, including Hugo XY, Dolce & Gabbana, and Chanel Allure Homme Sport. In my confusion, I bought and took home Chanel Allure Homme Sport EDT, with a bonus deodorant stick to appease my boyfriend's love of upscale deodorant. Now I'm not so sure of my choice. It's not that I don't like it, it's just that I can't help wondering if I made too hasty a decision.

    I have so many questions... my boyfriend is largely uninitiated to the world of fragrance, and thus tends to prefer very safe scents - is Allure Homme Sport a safe bet? Then again, do I want to buy him something completely ordinary and safe? Is it ordinary? He told me that he avoids heavy scents - is Allure Homme Sport considered heavy, or light and fresh? And by avoiding heavy scents, I don't want to buy him something that has no lasting power (the reason why I nixed XY, because after 5 minutes I could no longer smell it).

    And most importantly, why can't I trust my own nose when it comes to answering these questions??? The salesman at the store sent me home with several samples, and over the last week I've been reading basenotes reviews while sniffing. Not only am I rarely able to pick out the various notes in any of the fragrances, but some that are supposed to be "fresh and fruity" smell old and musty to me (Chanel Chance) and even then, my opinions change from day to day. Two days ago, all I could smell of the Allure Homme Sport was the cedar and I wanted to return the bottle immediately, but today it's the citrus and aquatic notes and I like it again. I still can't stand Chance, even though I loved Coco Mademoiselle from the first spray and they're supposed to be very similar fragrances.

    How did you all develop such fine noses for fragrance? Do you find that you have certain instinctual preferences that have never changed, or has your perspective of what is good or bad shifted since you became a fragrance enthusiast? Are you usually instantly sure if you like a scent, or does it take time for them to grow on you? Is there a fragrance FAQ sheet somewhere that newbs like me can refer to, such as a glossary of terms?

    I'd love any input you all might have re: my choice of scent for my boyfriend, and how best to learn to appreciate fragrances. I have to say, I'm as fascinated as I am bewildered by this world of olfactory delights!
    Last edited by sunshowers; 1st December 2007 at 10:42 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do

    hi sunshowers! you know, i'm in exactly the same boat as you. don't take notes and reviews on this site too seriously, as scent is so subjective... and i can dislike or like a scent i own based solely on my mood. smell is a very primitive scent, and i find it ties in strongly to emotions. you can like something and find the exact same notes in something else but completely detest it.

    i think in the case of the allure homme sport - which i have tried and quite enjoy - you're probably stressing and second-guessing your purchase choice so much that you're over-analysing. for a safe, masculine cologne with character, i think you've done extremely well! the true test will be how your boyfriend likes it!

    anyway, best of luck - my only advice is to trust your nose. as you're exposed to more scents you find fimilar traits and eventually put names to the actual notes, but at the end of the day... just go with what smells good


    ps: i share your opinion of coco mademoiselle vs chance.
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do

    I think Chanel Allure Homme Sport EDT (wow, never realized the name was so long...) is a very good *and* safe choice.

    When I first started getting into fragrances, I sniffed a whole selection of men's fragrances on the shelf and I honestly very much liked Allure Sport. I didn't know a thing about notes - topnotes, basenotes, anynotes - but I liked it. I had wanted to avoid anything too "cologne-like" but other than that, I knew absolutely nothing about fragrances. That, I think, should indicate how much of a safe and accessible scent it is.

    But is it good? Do I still like it now that I'm going after more exotic stuff? Yep, you betcha! It was my SOTD today, and I was loving it all the way through the 9- to 10-hour ride it gave me.

    I would second chas278's assessment - you might be second-guessing yourself and getting yourself all twisted over it. True, any fragrance will be a little better to your nose on some days than on others, but I think both you and your guy will find that you've made a good choice
    Where once there was no scents to it all, now the world opens before me!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do

    Chanel Allure Sport is a GREAT versatile entry point into the world of fine fragrance.

    It can be worn in both casual and formal occasions. It has a nice "sparkling" quality to it that gives it an edge of the "run-of-the-mill" (read: Acqua di Gio) scents out there.

    You've done exceptionally well, so keep using that intuition and fine nose of yours sunshowers!

    I also wanted to add (in response to your second question), many of us have trouble distinguishing individual accords in a scent, and it is true that some days your nose can pick up different accords than on other occasions. (This can also be as a result of the fluctuating temperature of your skin, or even if you are medicated, or taking birth control pills, asprin and the like).
    Over time your nose will be able to identify similar smells in different scents, that you will be able to compare and contrast.
    For a long while I was drawn to certain scents, and then by using the Basenotes directory, I could identify the accords common to many of them (eg: in my case, Geranium). As a result, I now have a good idea of the style of fragrance I like, and those which I like less. Often fragrance classification is a little "off" and different sources give conflicting information. The best bet is to take a deep breath and start sniffing like crazy. You look as though you share a passion for perfume, so just go at your own pace, and enjoy the ride!
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 2nd December 2007 at 12:14 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do

    Thank you all for your replies. I feel a lot better now about my choice, now I just have to hope that he likes it too!

    I can't wait until exams are over when I can go home and hit up my city's biggest department stores and as Dimitri said, "start sniffing like crazy." chad278, it sounds like we have similar noses. I'll be looking for the scents you listed in your signature. And I enjoy your avatar very much! echerub, what are your favorites?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do

    try smelling the burberry brit for men... girls seem to enjoy that on guys
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  7. #7

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    As someone who's only been at this 2 years, I can say that tastes do develop and you will start to recognise patterns. I did this by looking at the note-pyramids in reviews, and comparing the common features of a fragrance that has, say, vetiver, lavender, or neroli as it's main note. You won't get every single one (just like wine-snobs, I'm convinced some people lie about this anyway), but you will start to identify the most dominant ones.

    The best approach might be to purchase safer scents for any gift purchases, but out on shopping trips to stores, encourage him to try sniffs of things that are a bit more adventurous. It's a low-risk way of showing him that there is a world beyond ADG. A good starter is Bleu de Chanel, as it's slightly more upscale, a brand he'll recognise, and it's very easy to like.

    Also don't be too shy to point out the scents you prefer, as most guys are looking to wear scents that they figure women enjoy. That is a major driver of fragrance purchases, especially non-collectors who purchase them a bit more infrequently.
    Last edited by EasyToAssemble; 13th December 2017 at 01:12 PM.
    "I learned to work the saxophone...I play just what I feel....Drink Scotch whiskey all night long....And die behind the wheel
    They got a name for the winners in the world...I want a name when I lose...They call Alabama the Crimson Tide...Call me Deacon Blues"
    Currently wearing: Ambra Nera by Ortigia

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    ^ I'll agree with the above of BdC. It's a lovely scent, with the EDT more citrus and 'light' and the EDP more full-bodied.

    Alternatively, a pretty light, safe bet would be Terre D'Hermes EDT. It's largely based around an orange-rind type smell and isn't overly sweet. It is, however, very fresh to me and more than just orange rind.

    Another question that might be worth asking yourself is 'how much to spend?'. For the price, Channel Allure Homme Sport is definitely a worthwhile, safe buy and an easy one to get someone into the world of fragrances. To further his enjoyment, tell him how nice it smells on him! You could also ask him what it smells like to him? What it might remind him of? How he'd describe it in a few words etc. That way, when he tries out fragrances under his own steam, he might ask himself the same and start deciding on what sort of scents he likes!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshowers View Post
    is Allure Homme Sport a safe bet? is Allure Homme Sport considered heavy, or light and fresh?

    How did you all develop such fine noses for fragrance? Are you usually instantly sure if you like a scent, or does it take time for them to grow on you? I
    I think Allure Homme Sport is a good option - safe, light and fresh. My nose is far from fine but it still works thankfully and for me, I am usually instantly sure if I like a scent.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    A necromancer walks amongst us? I’m seeing a number of 10-year old threads revived...
    Currently wearing: L'Envol by Cartier

  11. #11

    Default Re: Don't know how to go about choosing a great fragrance for my guy - how do you do it??

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    A necromancer walks amongst us? I’m seeing a number of 10-year old threads revived...
    Hadn't even realized
    Currently wearing: Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

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