OK, I've just been in the business for less than a month. I developed a passions for frags quickly, and now I read the male fragrance discussion forum regularly. I try to pick up the names that come up often as I read, write them down along with comments and links, so I can test them the next time I'm out.
I am, however, completely ignorant when it comes to female fragrances. And I feel that every fragrance lover should be able to recognize at least the popular scents on the other sex. The knowledge itself is great, but it would also allow a person to give complements, start (and keep up with) a fragrance conversation, be able to decide on a fragrance to give as a gift, etc.
So what are the female fragrances that you think are absolutely essential for a guy to know?
Loaded question, honey. I'd say start by smelling a few of the famous Chanels and Guerlains, just to get an idea of how two fragrance houses can compare for style.
You may have to narrow down this question for us by age range--not that it's that simple, but, for instance, if you wonder what young, single women are wearing these days, then we can nominate a few sweet-young-things scents, like Miss Dior Cherie and Hanae Mori Butterfly.
It may be simplest to walk up to a department store counter and ask the sales associate what have been their biggest sellers in recent years.
.... and end up with the female equivalent of acqua di gio and/or Cool Water?
Very, very good question by the topicstarter. I find myself to be in the same situation. I only have one tester of YSL Cinema (which I find very sexy on any girl) and that's about my whole knowledge of female fragrances.
Oh, and I like the name of Shalimar.
Pick up as many samples as you can. Go round the stores testing and asking for samples. Some lines are more generous than others. Sometimes you will get a real handful of samples, othertimes nothing much. I seem to get lots of Narcisco Rodrigues and Jean Paul Gaultier without even trying.
Chanels and Guerlains are good ideas, also try popluar lines like Agent Provocateur, Narcisco Rodrigues, Angel, JPG, Jo Malone, Marc Jacobs, anything that is more or less popular but not tacky. A walk around a good department store perfumery is a good start. In my experience the Guerlain sales assistants are very knowledgable about their products beyond the modern ones they are told to push, like Insolence, though you'll easily get samples of Insolence and L'Instant. If you ask them about notes in other perfumes they are usually very glad to talk. Ask them about the older perfumes like Shalimar, Jicky, or Vol de Nuit and they'll love you for it. Say you've heard about the legendary status and would love to test them.
Don't be put off by assistants on other generic perfume counters who don't know very much; some of them get moved around a lot and don't get good training. It's not their fault if they don't know all the products.
Also look at the bottles. Get a good idea of the styles you find attractive. The women's bottles give a much wider variety than men's, and some are incredibly striking, real beauties in their own right, for example the Lolita Lempicka bottles which are quite lovely. It's a good topic of conversation if you want to stay perfume-related without being an expert in notes or vintages.
Last edited by Sestra; 24th January 2008 at 10:57 PM.
Guerlain, Dior, and Chanel. There is something for every taste at any of these counters, well most tastes.
Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source
Dior is a very good suggestion, but why are they so stingy with samples? It's impossible to get store samples of Dior, at least in the UK. Occasionally I get a little sample of cosmetics like eye cream that I don't want, but cannot obtain a perfume sample. It's infuriating.
Serge Lutens samples are always generously given at one of my favourite stores. Try Serge Lutens, Mostapha.
Last edited by Sestra; 24th January 2008 at 11:04 PM.
Quarry, I want to know a bit of everything I guess. The fragrances that girls my age wear (21), those worn by older women, and the classics that are just essential in a wardrobe. Interesting that you mentioned Miss Dior Cherie. I always complement my friend about this one. Would you please suggest more perfumes of similar taste?
The advice has been great so far. Let me try to sum it up:
- Everyone seems to agree on famous Diors, Chanels and Guerlain. Smell those and compare.
- Walk to the store and keep asking questions and testing. I found that it really helps when you know what you're talking about with the salespeople. That's why I'm doing my homework first.
- Get as many samples as possible. I find this really hard (I live in Cairo). Even with my last fragrance purchase I was not given any samples. But will definitely try more.
- The names count. Look for interesting names.
- Ask about older perfumes. I think I will do that. The equivalents of Givenchy Gentleman and the likes in women fragrances.
- The bottles are important. Will walk around looking for interesting bottles, and test the ones that stand out. Definitely good advice. Great bottles make great gifts.
Last edited by Mostapha; 25th January 2008 at 08:53 AM.
You may want to go upmarket and search out the more "niche"
I would suggest you explore Frederic Malle, Villoresi, Serge Lutens,
Jo Malone, Santa Maria Novella, Etro, Parfums de Nicolai, Divine,
Hermes and Rochas (the last two readily available in larger dept. stores.)
You might want take a look at Rtmara's thread here:
Choose one from each house (http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=205066)
which will give you an idea about what folks here think are the important scents from many major houses. and niche lines.
I applaud you for undertaking this research and for giving compliments.
Anyway, back to Mostapha - you might find gift sets available with perfume and skin lotion, or a bar of scented soap. These can be good as general gifts if you know what the person likes. Some of these gift sets are reduced in price at this time of year. For something more special, ask for the perfume of your choice to be gift wrapped with a special message. Search the websites of established perfume houses, they may have a special delivery service as well. Take a look at the Annick Goutal site:
Last edited by Sestra; 25th January 2008 at 12:11 PM.
DeeOlive, thanks for the link.
Last edited by Mostapha; 25th January 2008 at 04:46 PM.
DeeOlive's idea of sending you to RTamara's thread was a great idea.
Do you know about makeupalley.com? Here's a link which shows women's fragrances arranged in order of the number of reviews which have been written about them, along with ratings for their popularity. It appears that Angel, Pink Sugar, Coco Mademoiselle, Chance, Lolita Lempicka, and Romance are probably the most popular mainstream fragrances you're likely to encounter on women today.
Those of us who've tried a lot of fragrances tend to seek out many of the vintage-style French fragrances or the numerous niche scents just for the splendor that comes with variety.
You really are clever and darling to investigate women's fragrances!
Last edited by Quarry; 25th January 2008 at 06:03 PM.
Mosthapha you can order niche perfumes online. Malle do a great questionnaire
and then send you spme samples based on your answers. I buy most of my
niche lines from online perfume sites.
I think the Fragrance Foundation FIFI awards give a pretty good picture of what new releases were popular in a particular year. For example, these were the feminine fragrance award winners for 2007 and 2006:
FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S LUXE
Juicy Couture – Liz Claiborne Cosmetics
FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S NOUVEAU NICHE
KenzoAmour – Kenzo Parfums
FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S PRIVATE LABEL/DIRECT SELL
Dream Angels Desire – Victoria’s Secret Beauty
FRAGRANCE OF THE YEAR – WOMEN’S POPULAR APPEAL
American Beauty Wonderful Indulgence – BeautyBank Inc.
FRAGRANCE HALL OF FAME
Angel by Thierry Mugler – Clarins Fragrance Group
Fragrance of the Year – Women’s Luxe
euphoria Calvin Klein – Coty Prestige
Fragrance of the Year – Women’s Nouveau Niche
Narciso Rodriguez ‘for her’ Eau de Parfum – Beauté Prestige International
Fragrance of the Year – Women’s Private Label/Direct Sell
So in Love – Victoria’s Secret Beauty
Fragrance of the Year – Women’s Popular Appeal
Spirit Antonio Banderas for Women – Puig Fragrances & Personal Care, Inc.
Fragrance Hall of Fame
Fracas de Robert Piguet - Fashion Fragrances & Cosmetics, Ltd
You can go to the site to look at previous year's winners.
Today I tested Guerlain Shalimar, Chanel No. 5 and Chance, and Lolita Lempicka, and they all appealed to me very well. I would have tested more but the guy wasn't very friendly, especially that I've tested a few male fragrances as well. One thing I noticed is that they're more expensive than male fragrances. Don't know why really, since I think male frags are a bit more "complex," if that's the right word.
I'd like to thank you all very much. All your replies have been very helpful to me, and I'm sure to many others reading the topic. I guess I'm on the right track then, and all I need now is just to keep testing and looking for samples. Will be using this topic as a reference in the future. Thank you all.
The following are
my husband's suggestions:
Autumn treasures: Magnetism, Midnight Orchid, Tea for Two,
Aimez-Moi, Chinatown, Dzongkha, Five O'Clock Au Gingembre,
Cittá di Kyoto, Jasmin de Nuit, Jasmin Full, Kelly Calèche, Venezia,
Douce Amère, Eau de Charlotte, Falling In Love, Chergui, Prada,
Rose Alexandrie, Hypnôse, Omnia, Flowerbomb, Poivre Piquant,
Cuir Beluga, 7:15am in Bali, Lolita Lempicka, Fumerie Turque,
Datura Noir, Songes, Gaultier², L'Ombre Fauve, Kors, My Couture,
Ligea "La Sirena", Red Aoud, Rose Absolu, Cèdre, Milk, No. 23
Bending backwards is like falling in love, come bend with me
The mind is like a drunken monkey, it constantly jumps here and there.
"Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think."
I'd suggest going to each big brand's counter in a department store and saying 'I'm learning about perfume because my wife's a nut about it. Can I please smell your best-known or best-loved perfume'. (If you put yourself across as wanting to understand your wife's passion, you'll probably find the sales assistants will think you're very sweet and want to help you.)
This way, you'll probably get to smell:
Chanel No 5
It's kind of a shotgun-blast effect, I'm afraid. But it might give you an idea of the overall picture of women's fragrances.
I once visited Egypt, many years ago, and remember a lot of perfume-oil-sellers in the markets. This might actually be a very good resource, since I imagine they must sell single note oils as well as blends to represent popular brands. You can learn what individual notes smell like from the oils. And you might also get some idea of what the famous brands smell like and maybe make a shortlist of things you'd like to smell the real versions of.
The smell I remember best from Egypt was the garlands of jasmine blossoms you could buy in the market. They smelled astonishing. Oh, and the lovely rich smell of unburnt apple shisha tobacco. It was a wonderful place.
"A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future." Coco Chanel
I'm streamlining my collection http://community.basenotes.net/showt...29#post1219729
Please visit an Estee Lauder counter (they can be found at most department stores) and smell White Linen, Youth Dew and Beautiful.