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  1. #1

    Default looking for the right scent

    First, two disclaimers:
    I am totally ignorant about fragrances, so if I say something stupid it's normal. I'm here for some advice - don't hit me too hard;
    I'm not fluent in English; I'm doing my best but I'm perhaps difficult to understand sometimes, I'm sorry if it's the case.

    Here is my problem:

    The man in my life, who has reached his fourties almost without ever wearing scent of any kind except random inexpensive after shaves, has asked me to find him some perfume for christmas, without any precision, just "something I'd like to sniff on him".

    I don't know anything about perfumes as stated above, but I found the challenge exciting. I spent part of the last three days in perfume shops, sniffing and rating. Unfortunately, the shop assistants whom I asked for some advice just dismissed anything I liked, some nicely, some arrogantly, but anyway not one found anything I liked a good idea.
    When I tell them about the kind of fragrance I find appealing they all exclaim it's MUCH MUCH too spicy/musky/strong/whatever for a first perfume and there's no way it will work, "you need something fresher" they add and they generally direct me to some very "green" thing or to a very sweet stuff smelling like bubble gum, that I don't like and that I'm not sure my significant other would like either.

    All I know about his tastes is that he bought once Cool Water by Davidoff and didn't like it ("it made me want to sneeze" he said) and that he didn't like some perfume by Hugo Boss (but he didn't remember which one, how useful). And I couldn't even manage to find Cool Water so I don't know what it's like either.

    I'm not looking for "the ultimate first perfume". All I want is to find something I like that would be remotely manageable as an everyday wear for someone not accustomed to wear perfume. This achieved, if my significant other doesn't like it he won't wear it, it's not a big deal - he took the risk to ask me, after all.

    Here is a short list, more or less by order of preference. What would you pick, or what would you suggest out of the list?

    Body Kouros
    Prada Amber (I find that it smells "clean", which I usually don't like, but a very interesting kind of clean)
    Narciso Rodriguez, for Him (I'm a fool for For Her, not as enthusiastic about For Him, which I find a bit boring)
    Dior Homme Intense
    Fahrenheit 32
    Jules by Dior

    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by Asafoetida; 5th December 2007 at 10:13 PM.

  2. #2
    DustB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    My compliments. Your selection of scents you like is first rate. Your nose is an excellent one, and you've picked the greatest scents currently available widely. If I were to decide your choice for you, according to my tastes and expectations only, I'd tell you Jules by Dior is the one you should buy and give. Fantastic stuff, famous stuff, and classic, as in it has been tried and true for a few decades.

    Your stories about the sales assistants ignoring your thoughts is quite an embarrassment for we scent lovers--the nerve they have telling you to trust them rather than the obvious thing you've discovered you like with your very own nose. Trust your nose, and trust your questions to find something like what you smell, and distrust anyone who tells you the dumb things your sales assistants are telling you. Distrust them. (They might receive a bonus for selling you the "latest" green style scent that the store has contracted to sell, and they might simply have the expectation that the latest is the best, or that what is trendy now is the only thing that could ever be right for someone who's going to get their first scent, I sure don't know, but if they ignore the thing you're directly telling them you like, they're very stupid.) You're the customer, so demand that they help with the things you want help about, not to treat you like you're there for THEM to further their thoughts about what green, trendy, "fresh," gunk they want to spread. I tell you--go out and DEMAND, Asafoetida!

    That said, I have two further recommendations for you. Ask to smell a few products by the house of Guerlain. Ask for a sniff of Vetiver by Guerlain, and Habit Rouge by Guerlain. These are classics and flawlessly perfect in every setting. Absolutely fantastic representations of taste. If you don't like them, well that's cool, don't buy. After those ask to smell things by the house of Caron. Pour un Homme and Third Man (3ème Homme) are similarly flawlessly excellent. Yatagan by Caron is fantastic too, but it's dense and really a hard one to get into for someone who's new, but if your man doesn't know that, heck, he'll probably think it's just fine. After Guerlain and Caron selections (there are others from those houses that I simply haven't listed), seek out a smell of men's scents by Chanel. Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree is fantastic, Antaeus is famous and wonderful, Egoiste is beloved at Basenotes, and Platinum Egoiste is okay.

    What I've listed are classics, to which my personal taste reaches. Don't be worried if you pick Jules though.

    Good luck, and don't forget to demand sales assistants help you on your terms, since the best evidence of taste you're offering them is what you discover pleases your nose.

    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  3. #3
    Lightninrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Warner Robins, GA CSA

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Very good first post young lady!

    From those you listed, I'd go with M7. I just got my first bottle of it through a swap here and I like it's clean, soapy scent; not too 'loud' but comforting.

    I'd also recommend your consideration of these too:

    Carlos Santana for Men
    Caron Pour Un Homme
    Platinum Égoïste
    Cannabis Santal

    That last one is a little pricey but well worth the 'investment'. Btw, click on those scents and they will open to reviews and notes.

    "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force." Ayn Rand...

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  4. #4
    Basenotes Plus

    JaimeB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    San Francisco, California
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    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    From your list, I would make Jules my first choice. It's fresh and green but far from weak. M7 is nice, but much more of an evening type scent. It might not be something he would want to wear to work, for example, although some people do.

    Body Kouros is a little light for my taste, and since the original is not one of my favorites, I can't find much good to say about it. Euphoria smells awful to me, but that's purely a question of taste.

    We haven't had a chance to smell Dior Homme Intense in the States yet, but the original is a truly beautiful scent. I could definitely go for that one.

    Prada for Men is OK to my nose, but I don't care for the fruitiness. Narciso Rodríguez for Him is a bit weak in construction, and a bit too powdery for me, but many on Basenotes really like it. I could say the same about the powdery notes in Fahrenheit 32; also, it doesn't last long on my skin.

    Bottom line: Dior. Either the Jules for a straightforward, green, masculine scent; or the Homme, for something more complex, elegant, and classy.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 5th December 2007 at 11:39 PM.
    Yr good bud,


    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

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  5. #5

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightninrod View Post
    Very good first post young lady!

    From those you listed, I'd go with M7. I just got my first bottle of it through a swap here and I like it's clean, soapy scent; not too 'loud' but comforting.
    If you like clean and soapy, Crabtree and Evlyen's Sienna, to me smells like the platonic ideal of an expensive milled soap for men.

    I'd also check out Lolita Lempicka au Masculin, which is certainly different than anything else out there being based on notes of Licorice wood, Ivy, and toasted sugar/vanilla. I find it very sexy, and a nice step away from conventional men's fragrances based on fougere/chypre accords.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Coram NY

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Fantastic choices! Many of these are Basenotes favourites, and WE have far better taste than those idiotic sales assistants!

    I'd go with:

    Body Kouros - sweet but the eucalypt freshens it, very longlasting

    M7 - unique, powerful, the aoud is a bit root beerish for some, but one of my favourites, massive longevity

    Prada - clean, barbershop, masculine, with a hint of sweetness

    Dior Homme - fantastic, complex and unique, but can come across a bit girly, maybe get that one in a year or two when he's used to different smells

    You seem to like YSL fragrances, you should try Rive Gauche too, if he's used to basic men's fragrances, this is lke an upmarket Brut, very classy and sexy.

    BTW you could probably buy both Body Kouros and Rive Gauche in big bottles cheaper on the internet than you'd pay for one from those idiot sales assistants. Look on ebay, Scentiments, Scented Monkey and the like and you'll probably get them for less than 30 USD for a big bottle!

    My advice would be to use the SAs for testing sprays, then buy cheaply elsewhere!

    Top 10 (not in order): Dunhill 1934, Dunhill Edition, Terre d'Hermes, Rive Gauche, Habit Rouge, Guerlain Vetiver, Knize Ten, Bois du Portugal, Vintage Tabarome, Green Irish Tweed

    Summer Rotation: GIT, Aventus, Erolfa, Vetiver 1948, Guerlain Vetiver, Malle VE, Terre d'Hermes, Bvlgari PH, Bvlgari Acqua, Habit Rouge EDC and Sport, ADP Colonia Assoluta, Chanel PMC, Dunhill Edition, Eau Sauvage, TF Azure Lime

  7. #7

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Your list is fantastic as the others have posted! And you've found the right place to share your good taste: Basenotes! Any of the ones you listed are exceptional! I'm so sorry to over-recommend this but the one you didn't list which I'd imagine as a PERFECT first fragrance is Terre d'Hermes by Hermes. It's easy to find, it's not "too" expensive and it smells fantastic. It is a true winner. Let us know what you choose

    By the way your English is exceptional... trust me.
    Last edited by nthny; 6th December 2007 at 04:09 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Quote Originally Posted by Asafoetida View Post
    Jules by Dior
    Dear Lady, I would go with this one. Simply a good scent, ideal to begin a long trip with manly scents.
    Good luck!

  9. #9

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    I'm not familiar with them all. I will say this about those that I know about:

    Body Kouros: Applied very lightly this stays sweet and round and just yummy. Others have likened it to the smell of warm cotton candy. I'd agree. Sprayed a bit more liberally, this turns a bit musky and dare I say animalic, and is downright sexy after an hour or so. Either way, it's got a nice clean eucalyptus top note which is refreshing without ever being overbearing or medicinal. I LOVE that note. Shame it doesn't last longer. The only drawbacks to this scent are it's relative linearity (this can be good or bad, depending on one's preference. I DO like some linear scents, but I find that Body Kouros 'overstays it's welcome' so to speak.) It's also quite a 'heavy scent' if sprayed liberally, and is cloying in warmer weather.

    Euphoria: Love love love the top notes. Of course, even sprayed heavily it disappears completely on my skin within an hour. The little bit of drydown I notice before it vanishes is a bit anemic: it's a bit warm and musky, but too thin and unidimensional to be interesting.

    Prada: Well, what can I say, I LOVE this scent. If you like the way it smelled on the card, you're in for a treat when you try it on the skin. On the skin it starts out sweet and clean, with a soft orange accord like it does on the card. I once smelled fresh orange peel with a heavy whiff of cream cheese, and it actually smelled quite similar to Prada's top notes. However, it begins to morph into something a bit incensey and spicy on the skin, while never losing fully abandoning the clean character. Is it clean? Is it sexy? It's both - it walks a fine line and walks it perfectly, IMO. Another thing I love about this scent is that, applied to clothing, it retains much more of it's top note character. It never gets spicy or incensey, but instead retains that barbershop clean smell. So, you sort of get two different scents with this cologne. I tend to spray it on clothing for work, and on my skin when going out. Longevity is great. One spray on clothing is distinctly noticeable for 6-8 hours or more, and can still be smelled faintly 24 or more hours later. On the skin, it may seem to disappear in a few hours, but a little heat will reactivate it and he'll be rewarded with wafts of a beautiful spicy clean scent.

    It may not be the most unique or groundbreaking scent on the market, but it's extraordinarily wearable and both comforting and invigorating, seductive and serene, and a handful of other contrasting qualities. The only downside I've found is that heavy application can suppress the appetite in the same manner smelling pure patchouli oil can. I don't want to say it makes me feel 'nauseous' - because it's not really a sick feeling - but it is a strange feeling all the same.
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 6th December 2007 at 05:20 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    You have a nice list but have you already considered buying him Burberry London? That's what a man SHOULD smell like, specially in this time of the year!

  11. #11

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Great choices. THe best for me are:
    Body Kouros
    Prada Amber
    Narciso Rodriguez, for Him

    M7 and Narciso being the top notch

  12. #12

    Default Re: looking for the right scent

    Wow! thank you so much for the very kind and very useful answers. It feels really good; I was beginning to feel down having my likes invalidated all the time. JaimeB, the shop assistant to whom I mentionned Jules looked horrified to a point I couldn't express! I am not fully decided yet, but your detailed posts will be very precious in making a decision. I also added l'Anarchiste by Caron to the list yesterday. Thanks again, your appreciation means a lot to me.

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