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  1. #1

    Default What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I'm still trying to figure out what I like, what does and does not work for me.
    I think so far, I've concluded that too much Jasmine isn't good for me..or really anything too florally for that matter. Fig was baaaad,

    I never would have taken myself for a warm scent kind of girl, I always thought it was more fresh I was seeking. However, the more I try, the more I like the warmer, milky, vanilla, coconut, sweet patchouli, foody type of scents. I would have liked to have thought that cocoa/chocolate would have been good, and perhaps it still might be. I tried Montale Chocolate Greedy and was pretty disappointed. Maybe there was something there I just couldnt' appreciate, but it was NOT for me.

    I have yet to try anything real citrus-like. I think I'll try some of those next, something lighter for spring/summer. I tried Sage Machado Coral and really liked that.

    what do you like?

  2. #2

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I think Benzoin doesn't work well with my skin... i'm not sure what note benzoin mimics (by itself or with a combination of other "notes") .. I say this because Body Kouros smelled really off-putting on me.. all I got was dry coconut (copra) smell from it...

    And yes, I HATE.. chocolate notes.. no go.. nada... the rest is all fine.. I think
    Last edited by Amit; 20th March 2008 at 01:06 PM.


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  3. #3

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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Ambergris and musk work well. Citrus and aquatics not so well.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My skin seems to work well with pretty every kind of juice and every note thankfully. Just some get amplified like florals and fruity and some get literally blown like citrus.
    But to my likings I strongly like on my skin resins (mhyrr, benzoin, balm...), animalic notes (civet, musk, ambergris, castoreum, leather...), woods (cedarwood, patchouli, rosewood, sandalwood) and some florals (iris, magnolia, jasmine, bulgarian rose, muguet, tuberose, violet), and the only citrus notes that seem to last on me (bitter orange and bergamot)
    Last edited by Magnifiscent; 20th March 2008 at 03:18 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Gee Kat, it might be hard for you to extrapolate from us onto you. If that is your pic and coloring (similar to mine) this might help. I've found that when perfumes smell bad to me (and again this is a very personal thing, probably based on genetics and body chemistry and those micro- spectroscopes within our olfactory systems that Luca Turin describes), they tend to smell like BO, cat box, bug spray, or rotten fruits and vegetation. Avoid Angel like the plague. THis one falls into the BO category. Some folks LOVE it but for those of us who don't, something like an airplane trip when seated near someone wearing it approaches torture. Emaraude falls into the bug spray category. Tresor had fallen into my rotten vegetation category, but somehow has redeemed itself. Theorema was once in the cat box category, but has also redeemed itself, along with Fendi. The ones that work best with me are rich, smoky, animalic. The Madini perfume oils, particularly the Musk Gazelle, Ambargris, and Amber are excellent and lend themselves well to layering. I also love Bvlgari Black, Tocade, Enigma, Bal a Versailles. That being said, I also tend to do well with most every Guerlain perfume I have (L'heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Champs Elysees, Apres L'Ondee, Fleurs de Bagatelle, Shalimar, Meteorites, Purple Fantasy, Samsara (in all its incarnations), Habit Rouge, and several of the Aquas Allegorias, esp Herba Fresca and Winter Delice. Guerlain is known for including a bit of vanilla in most everything it makes, and think that is the clincher for me. I like many of the aldehydic/chypre-y scents, too all the way from Le Dix, Miss Dior, Coriandre to fruity chypres like Deci Dela and Champagne, this list goes on and on. Some greens are good on me, too, like Ma Griffe, Parfum D'ete, L'Interdit, Ivoire. I can't abide the Elizabeth Arden tea perfumes (bug spray), but love the tea notes in Bvlgari Femme and Homme.I also do well with other spicy orientals like Byzance, Ysatis, the Boucherons, Organza Indecence (no flowers), and some frankly florals like Ce Soir ou Jamais, Byzantine, Organza (love the nutmeg), and many from L'Occitane like the Ambre, Neroli (prefer the older version), magnolia, Iris, Myrtle, Cherry Blossom, and Eau d'Iparie. Then there's Dolce Vita, and the D&G, particularly the original with the red top, and Light Blue. Lush makes a great patchouli perfume, Karma, that is wonderful. My knowledge of the Boutique-ier perfumes is limited, but I hope to learn and to perhaps pass that on, as well.Hope this helps, Kat - somewhere to start.
    Eileen

  6. #6

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I usually have a problem with sandalwood notes, not that I don't like the smell of it, but it tends to take over every other note on my skin. But I guess there are combinations that works better than others, and I suppose there are different kinds of sandalwood. I'm quite new to this so I'm still trying to figure out what works for me and not.

    I've also noticed that the Caron scents small kind of strange on my skin. Too bad, since they sound so lovely when described by others!

  7. #7

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Thanks everyone for sharing.
    Eileen, yep that's me. I'm just trying to get a feel of what others like and can wear. Up until now, everyone my husband included, thought I was nuts when I'd say that most mainstream perfumes smell horrid on me. Most of them, get a strange chemically smell, hard to explain..perhaps is the bug spray

    I think I'm going to pick up a few samples from the perfumedcourt and just start trying. There are so many to chose from! Thank the stars for samples.
    --------------------------------------
    ok, I'm thinking that the right amount/blend of cocoa works for me
    I just tried Parfumerie Generale Brulure de Rose for the second time and I really like it. The dry down especially, very rich...almost like creamy raspberries. I didn't think I could pull off rose either.
    Last edited by mamakat7; 21st March 2008 at 05:47 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by mamakat7 View Post
    Thanks everyone for sharing.
    Eileen, yep that's me. I'm just trying to get a feel of what others like and can wear. Up until now, everyone my husband included, thought I was nuts when I'd say that most mainstream perfumes smell horrid on me. Most of them, get a strange chemically smell, hard to explain..perhaps is the bug spray

    I think I'm going to pick up a few samples from the perfumedcourt and just start trying. There are so many to chose from! Thank the stars for samples.
    --------------------------------------
    ok, I'm thinking that the right amount/blend of cocoa works for me
    I just tried Parfumerie Generale Brulure de Rose for the second time and I really like it. The dry down especially, very rich...almost like creamy raspberries. I didn't think I could pull off rose either.
    I have the had same problem with what I would call "modern" colognes. Pretty much anything created since the early 90s turns into "chemical" or "gasoline" on my skin.

    But after starting to explore more standard houses, I noticed that Penhaligon's scents would turn into "powdery sugar" - that happened with samples from different sources.

    Then I tried a different bath soap (had been using your standard deodorant/antibacterial soap from the store). I used a good, triple-milled vegetable soap. Suddenly, Penhaligon's worked beautifully. All the scent samples were different, had noticeable stages, and I could occasionally pick out the different ingredient notes.

    Now, whether this is applicable in your situation mamakat, or would work with more modern scents, I don't know. I do have a bottle of Michael for Men which I haven't yet cracked open. But that will be my "tester" for the soap theory and modern scents.

    Good luck and enjoy your journey.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  9. #9

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoos View Post
    Then I tried a different bath soap (had been using your standard deodorant/antibacterial soap from the store). I used a good, triple-milled vegetable soap. Suddenly, Penhaligon's worked beautifully. All the scent samples were different, had noticeable stages, and I could occasionally pick out the different ingredient notes.

    Now, whether this is applicable in your situation mamakat, or would work with more modern scents, I don't know. I do have a bottle of Michael for Men which I haven't yet cracked open. But that will be my "tester" for the soap theory and modern scents.

    Good luck and enjoy your journey.
    I'm not sure how valid the soap theory would be in general.. because the effect of soap on the skin would wear off in about an hour, wouldn't it?

    The only plausibility here would be... higher quality soap would *maybe* wash off less ...or none of the nautral oils present in the skin.. which in turn would allow for a better interaction of the scent with the natural oils.. letting the fragrance "open" up in a better way than before. Even if this were the case, the skin does restore its lost natural oils over the course of the day I suppose.. which would anyway amplify the scent worn.

    I'm not trying to invalidate your experience with the soap, i'm just curious.


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  10. #10
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Java -

    It's a curiosity to me, too. Fortunately, it's an easily repeatable experiment. Which I've done several times. My diet does not drastically change, so that's probably not a factor. I've tried it specifically with Penhaligon's and Floris scents (it's what I've been using and have the most of). Using deodorant soap = flat, one-note scents usually just a sweet scent or a sweet/powdery scent (not floral or vanilla or anything that complicated - just sweet). The other soap, C&E's Sienna bath soap - brings out the scent nicely. I have not tried it with an unscented triple-milled soap, so the soap scent may be at play. If it is, it's not long-lasting. It's a light scent that fades fairly quickly.

    Another theory that I've heard is that the deodorant soap, in effect, mutes the scent. That seems plausible - if activity of the bacteria on the skin is changed by the deodorant soap, it may affect how the scent interacts on the skin. No odor/oil on the skin for the scent to interact with would result in a flat scent. I have no idea if that is in fact what's going on. Based on my limited scientific knowledge (and at-home experiments) it seems plausible.

    Or it just may be me and my body chemistry. Either way, it's nice to have found a solution that works for me and throw it out there as another possibility.
    Last edited by Hoos; 22nd March 2008 at 04:21 PM.
    Brent

    Catherine Deneuve: "You should put scent where you like to be kissed."


  11. #11

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Sweet and spicy notes seem to work best on me, anything with a lot of citrus usually smells fairly vile on me (not too bad when it's in the minority against other notes).

    I'm a redhead, and have read that redheads have a more (or less?) acidic skin mantle which can make fragrances smell very different to the intention.

  12. #12

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Very interesting theory on the soap. I might have to give it a try. My Mom makes soaps I should pick some of hers up.
    Chaos, I'm slightly redhead too. i'd never heard of the acidity difference in redheads, good to know.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Pretty interesting experiment I must say Brent... I ought to do some of my own.. I usually use soaps with some degree of moisturizers or shower gels as I have dry skin.


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  14. #14

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Vanilla makes me want to puke.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikey Q View Post
    Vanilla makes me want to puke.
    Frags overloaded with Vanilla make me want to puke too


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  16. #16

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    What would be some good examples of the overly vanilla scents? I've never been much of a vanilla girl, but have warmed up to it a bit.

  17. #17

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My skin works well with everything. What doesn't is my nose. I don't like the smell of fig, and I'm not keen on vanilla, but I've discovered that cleverly blended, I can cope with it - Vanisia being a perfect example. I'm having a belated love affair with patchouli, and I ADORE iris, jasmine, rose and gardenia. The spicier fragrances are a taste I'm acquiring slowly. Leathers are not my favourites, but I do love Tabac Blond. I avoid citrus like the plague, but again, cleverly blended, I can cope with it to some extent. I also avoid aqua fragrances and almost all gourmands.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by javagreen View Post
    Frags overloaded with Vanilla make me want to puke too
    Yup, ditto for me. Although as I've just said, if it's cleverly blended, I not only cope with it, I love it. Vanisia has tons of vanilla, but it also has a pepperiness to it (no idea what the note is) that cuts through and gives it balance. It's the only vanilla infused fragrance I've ever been able to wear. My daughter wears Datura Noir and I have to run away from her. It makes my stomach heave.
    Last edited by Clemmie; 23rd March 2008 at 07:46 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  18. #18

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by mamakat7 View Post
    What would be some good examples of the overly vanilla scents? I've never been much of a vanilla girl, but have warmed up to it a bit.
    Boucheron's Trouble is one.. packed to the gills with vanilla.. its not a bad scent at all, just not my type.. i.e. I had to ask my GF to not wear it when i'm around.
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
    My daughter wears Datura Noir and I have to run away from her. It makes my stomach heave.
    I can totally feel you on that.
    Last edited by Amit; 23rd March 2008 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost


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  19. #19

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    re: soap. I think there's something to this. My perfumes tend to disappear when I use a deodorant soap. They last a lot longer if I use something mild and unscented.

    (Leather and food scents turn very strong on me - have to do them in small doses!)

  20. #20

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I don't think aldehydes and animalic notes work very well on me. I tend to gravitate toward spicy & gourmand scents in the winter (chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, tea, pepper, etc.) and light citrus or blackberry notes in the warmer months.
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  21. #21

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Thank you, Hoos. I think triple-milled vegetable soap is my new "lemming." Currently, I use Irish Spring (a deodorant soap), and have used it since 1985.

    I am one of those who has noticed that scents that smell gorgeous on others turn into something awful on me. As someone else mentioned, my diet is probably not a factor in the difference, as it is pretty standard fast-food fare, same as my colleagues around me. However, in a side-by-side comparison, (incidentally, with one of us being a redhead, whether or not that was significant), the same bottle of perfume resulted in different smells -- *mine* being the "gasoline" note that someone mentioned. (I'm not the redhead, by the way. And if one is interested in which perfume it was, it was "Beyond Paradise" by Estee Lauder.) On the redhead, it turned into a baby powdery scent and became faint rapidly. On my other colleague, she had a lingering scent of honeysuckle. On my skin, it just plain sucks.

    I'm game to be another guinea pig to see if triple-milled soap makes any difference.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I found that the mossy freshness from stuff like 212 and CK Euphoria tend to smell pleasant (to me at least) on me. Orange/tangerine works really well too like in Clinique Happy and Terre D'Hermes. The one I've found that doesn't is vanilla. I mean, it works well with Bvlgari Black and Le Male, but with Le Male and Iceberg Twice, I've had that note turn into vanilla air freshener and something sorta gamey. Ugh. Now I'm just afraid of anything with vanilla in it. Another one is anything that's sharp citrus. Versace Eau Fraiche, Live Jazz, M;Men, and Unforgivable Multi-Platinum just annoyed the hell out of me. My skin doesn't seem to like coriander/cilantro that much. That tends to dominate over other things when I wore Live Jazz once.

    On a related note. Anything considered "aquatic" ends up being more citrus on me than anything. Luckily that works out in my favor with L'eau Par Kenzo because that's what I liked about it. However, Bvlgari Aqva and Acqua Di Gio have been the only aquatics to ever show their true selves on my skin. Which is pretty awesome. Whereas Issey Miyake L'eau D'Issey starts and remains citrus and floral and Givenchy Blue Label is pure citrus.
    Last edited by Hollandaze; 31st March 2008 at 08:29 AM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Ugh, leather ALWAYS goes bad on my skin. Cumin doesn't agree with my skin either (or maybe it just doesn't agree with my nose).
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  24. #24

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Most notes agree with me except CUMIN - turns to an acrid body odour on me.

  25. #25

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Whatevers in Joop! Jump, man oh man, if I spray that stuff anywhere, 30 minutes later I get a pounding headache. I'm talking a "I drank 12 pints and half a bottle of jack daniels last night" headache. Its a shame too, because my girlfriend spent 50$ on it for me I loved it on a card, didnt test it properly on my wrist...

    Also, Paul Smith London, it might be the leather or booze in the base, or it could be the relatively warm weather, but thats another head-ache inducer on me.

    1 last one that also comes to mind was Gucci pour Homme. It smelt like an ants nest mixed with a tree and un-washed 'man parts.' Definately, definately not for me!
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  26. #26

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Booze notes tend to do very well with my skin... Can't think of anything off the top of my head that doesn't fare well...

  27. #27
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    That reminds me. I get a LOT of rum notes when I used to have Lacoste Pour Homme. It smelled good to other people, but it gave me headaches. I'm not much of a drinker, so I wasn't too pleased with the smell. Maybe if I was more of a Captain Morgan fan, sure.

  28. #28

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I actually cant think of a single note that doesnt work on my body chemistry, they dont smell as good as on my gf, but id never say that theres anything that "doesnt work"

  29. #29

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Leather just doesn't work on me with a few exceptions - it tends to turn rancid. Pungent woods often turn sour as well.

  30. #30

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Most everything "works" with my chemistry with one major exception, and I'm not sure if it's chemistry or just my dislike of the note: strong musk.

  31. #31

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by AnnaSa View Post
    I usually have a problem with sandalwood notes, not that I don't like the smell of it, but it tends to take over every other note on my skin. But I guess there are combinations that works better than others, and I suppose there are different kinds of sandalwood. I'm quite new to this so I'm still trying to figure out what works for me and not.

    I've also noticed that the Caron scents small kind of strange on my skin. Too bad, since they sound so lovely when described by others!
    My mother (who smelled GREAT in Nuit de Noel) always told me that Caron scents are for brunettes, and for snowy winters.

    I'm a redhead. I think she was right. I smell like a candle shop.

  32. #32

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by orchid74 View Post
    Most notes agree with me except CUMIN - turns to an acrid body odour on me.
    Well that really sums it up for cumin ... though I grew to kind of like it in small doses and now can handle larger ones. I can even wear MKK and Eau d'Hermes without gagging now!

    But my personal peeve is the overused "Marine Accord"
    I thought I hated it period, but after experiencing GIT, Cool Water and Beyond Paradise for Men, I think I just don't like bad fragrances! LOL
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  33. #33

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Anything with cedar in it pretty much inevitably smells like I am being beaten over the head with a block of said wood. It usually mellows out after a while, but I oftentimes miss the topnotes of any fragrance with cedar in it, since they are so totally overwhelmed at the start.

  34. #34

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by somethinpositiv View Post
    Ugh, leather ALWAYS goes bad on my skin.
    Me too! (just kidding, sometimes I think I should just apply birch tar with a trowel!)

    Quote Originally Posted by seattlelight View Post
    Most everything "works" with my chemistry with one major exception, and I'm not sure if it's chemistry or just my dislike of the note: strong musk.
    Musk seems to be my nemesis as well. The only one I like is Kiehl's Musk Oil - most of the other musks I can't even smell much less enjoy.
    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both and be one traveler, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, ...... I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. - Robert Frost

  35. #35

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My experience has been quite similar to your own mamakat. I used to wear Chanel No.19 almost exclusively and thought that fresh, green or citrus scents were my thing. Now I have discovered that I love lily, patchouli, soft musks, mandarin, bergamot and ylang ylang, depending on the fragrance of course. I don't fare so well with jasmine, aldehydes, anise, blackcurrant, incense or ANY frags from Estee Lauder though I have tried believe me. Currently seeking a rose which will suit me, no doubt it will have patchouli in the mix somewhere.
    Some of my favourite frags which work particularly well are Dolce & Gabbana Feminine, the Chanels Allure Sensuelle, Coco Mademoiselle and No.19, LMDV Vanille Noire Du Mexique, Mazzolari Patchouli, Les Nereides Patchouli Antique, Les Nereides Musc de Samarkand, Carthusia Ligea La Sirena, Borghese Il Bacio, Gucci Rush, Fresh Scents By Terri Zoe, Versace Crystal Noir, Dior Dolce Vita.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Notes that my skin carries well are: sandalwood, musk, fruity/citrus-type notes, and tea notes. One that doesn't work so well on me is civet.

  37. #37

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I find that a handful of notes leap up on my skin and drown everything else out:
    peach, cedar, patchouli and oakmoss, with oakmoss being my real big bugbear. That's the anti-Wordbird. The patchouli note is what makes me run to scrub Angel off my skin because it smells too much like very butch aftershave to me. (And I'll second the comment on chocolate being a difficult note to handle well.)

    I have a suspicion that my problem with these notes is that I am more sensitive to them than to other notes. I douse myself in civety Jicky and wander around reeking of Eau d'Hermes with its leathery, cuminy BO smell. (My husband assures me that I don't smell bad in these things and I certainly like them.)

    I pick out Oakmoss in a perfume far more easily than anything else (I'm rubbish at notes) and while I still love my Femininite du Bois and Vol de Nuit Evasion, I don't wear them now because all I smell is peaches and cedar. It's tragic. I can even smell Guet Apens/ Attrape Coeur and it's just peaches. How sad is that?

    By the way - really like the comments about the soap. I'm guessing deodorant soap can't be good for a perfume. And soap is strongly alkaline, which does affect the skin's ph for a little while, until it self-regulates. I would guess that if you spray on perfume while your skin's balance is still disturbed and alkaline, it might have an effect on the scent molecules. Divatologist reckons dry skin in a big problem with longevity of smell and to make the scent stick to you, you need to exfoliate and mosturise your skin. I always read that soap dries your skin out, so I"m guessing the triplemilled L'Occitaine type stuff with lots of plant oils and butters in have to be a bit less drying. (Guessing!)
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  38. #38

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I have a very sensitive nose and like you, prefer a scent that does'nt clog the nostril. I have found it extremely challenging to find something light that is actually designed to be a fragrance. The nature of the beast, I guess. The perfumes I have purchased (fruits & airy florals) were mostly out of frustration. Warm smells good on but I only like it for about a minute and then I'd rather it be off. I just joined the site and am going to try some of the suggestions in my "counter snob" post, check it out. I'll report back on what comes of it.

  39. #39

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Fun topic. As I'm new to niche/upscale frags, I haven't had much opportunity to weed out the "bad" notes for my skin. From my limited experience, though, I can say that cedar is a big no-go for me. I tried Serge Lutens Chypre Rousse, and it gets me the same intense headache that D&G's Light Blue also inspires. *Shudder*
    I've never liked vanilla, whether it appears in cakes, cookies, drinks, candles, shower gels or scents - but I've found that when I can't detect it as a seperate note, it actually can do a lot to help warm up a fragrance. I'm all over Jour de Fête, these days, and vanilla plays a supportive role in it, gently mixing with the almond note. I find I'm appreciating it against my very instincts.

    Citruses are very hit and miss on me. I've tried the grapefruity Aqua Allegoria (can't remember the actual name, shame on me) and it just turns pungent. Instead of being fresh and reinvigorating, it's rotten and sharp. Blegh.

  40. #40

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    (I may have been lurking for a while but am still quite new around these parts, so if this simply isn't done here, please someone take me aside and tell me so.)

    I'm fully aware this thread is almost five years old (and therefore fully capable of walking, reading, writing and playing on its own by now), but thought I'd give it a bump because I'm curious as to what it is about skin chemistry that makes certain notes smell positively vile - simply because there's a whole bunch of notes I like but can't actually wear!

    I'd like to hear more about what works (and what doesn't) for other people as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morgaine View Post
    Citruses are very hit and miss on me. I've tried the grapefruity Aqua Allegoria (can't remember the actual name, shame on me) and it just turns pungent. Instead of being fresh and reinvigorating, it's rotten and sharp. Blegh.
    I suppose that's Pamplelune - something I wouldn't even dream of trying on myself, even though I love eating grapefruit and pretty much anything citrus. The one I did try was Herba Fresca, which sounded like something I could (almost) safely buy blind, until I actually tried it on skin and was overwhelmed by a blast of something sour, stale and flat. It was only later that I realised that it was supposed to be lemon (again, something I enjoy very much in food).

    After a lot of sampling, I came to terms with the fact that my skin is capable of picking up and magnifying the faintest hint of citrus and turning the 'fume into, well, a bit of a lemon. Other fruity notes haven't been too successful either, but I generally don't miss them. Florals have been somewhat hit and miss - I have been astounded by some terrific roses for instance. And I take comfort in the fact that a good range of notes - and notes that I like: woods, incense, hay, tobacco, resin, leather, vetiver, moss etc etc - all work quite reliably on me.

    At this point, I suppose skin chemistry stops and personal preference begins. I'm not very good with gourmands either - I like many of these notes in food, and I like a number of perfumes with them, just that I don't want to be smelling them (and smelling of them) all of 8 hours or however long the drydown takes. Case in point: I like vanilla in food but not in perfume, unless it's a restrained un-foody sort of vanilla paired with a whiff of wood or incense - the likes of Eau Duelle rather than, gasp, SDV or Tobacco Vanille. Much as I like Jean Claude Ellena, Ambre Narguile scares me with its sheer edibility. I like - and happily wear - other notes like coffee and tea but they have to be absolutely black, no sugar or milk, hence Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Cafe Noir over the syrupy Bond No. 9 New Haarlem any day.

    And finally, I'm always in the market for recommendations, so if your experience has been similar or if there's a whole group of scents you think I ought to explore or re-look, fire away!

  41. #41
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My skin thankfully works well with all scents.

  42. #42

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Talking strictly about longevity, projection etc. (not about the notes I like or not, these notes might still work well/not
    with my skin, irrespective if I like them or not)


    Too light concentrations of notes which may become rapidly vapid, if the dose is not the right one: airy, fresh floral, fruity or citrus notes

    Working particularly well with my skin: stronger types/concentrations of florals, citrus etc., as well as almost any other given note with the right strength. Though I have noticed that especially, apart from these two notes in higher strengths, especially wood, leather, spicy, gourmand, resinous, tobacco, boozy, as well as barbershop-style soapy-powdery, fougere notes belong to the fragrances that don't just last and project very well, very long and very noticeable on my skin. But also have the most complex, versatile and fascinating developments as well.

  43. #43
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My skin works really well with amber, musc, and "wood" notes such as cedar. Also Sandalwood, patchouli, and other incensey resiney notes work really well. I love spicy and even appreciate and wear cumin scents. For florals, I love rose, gardenia, and some other "white florals." Aldehydes are another personal favorite

    What does NOT work well on me (I do not know if it is my skin, or my nose) are fruity scents. I can't do them. Anything too fruity/articfial smelling is a no-no for me.

  44. #44

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I'm finding that incense based frags such as CdG Kyoto, Montale Full Incense, and Heeley Cardinal work really well. My skin tends to drink up fragrances, and these have worked greatly.

    On the other hand, my skin tends to amplify vetiver to an extreme. Burberry Touch and Burberry Brit last for at least 10 hours and never die down. On me, their longevity and projection put powerhouse frags such as Aramis and Paco Rabanne PH to shame.

  45. #45

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    My skin thankfully works well with all scents.
    Mine too. I just don't wear certain notes because I don't like them, not because they were great on paper then morphed into something vile on my skin. I just have to use a lot to get good projection.

  46. #46

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    My skin thankfully works well with all scents.
    +1 , same for me

  47. #47

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    Aquatics go buzzy and awful on my skin - apart from that I'm good with everything
    Well, it's cheaper than therapy... edit: No it's not...

  48. #48
    Super Member CompassRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I've got killer skin; I think I'm very acid. (I will also rust needles when hand-sewing.)

    There are certain perfumes that I just... rot. A lot of "classics" with heavy aldehydes fall into this category, as did the entire range of Imaginary Authors. When that happens, the perfume just smells like spoiled perfume, usually within an hour or two -- a bottle that's been improperly stored for years, and all that's left of it is that stale alcohol/sweetish reek. (My mother has a liking for cute, and she has a few very old "cute" bottles of things she's never worn, so I know exactly what that smells like.)

    Amber magnifies to a horrifying degree on me. Heavy, dizzyingly oversweet, and the rest of the scent swallowed up in it. (Tauer's L'air du desert marocain did this. Bleah.)

    Musk almost always smells like soap to me, and five times as much on my skin. I think certain base musks may also be a culprit in the "rot" phenomenon -- at least, modern, synthetic musks. (I smelled real deer musk once. So sad for the deer -- but I'm sorry, there isn't a single modern musk that's anything even approximately like what that was, to my nose.)

    Sweet florals also amplify, and get sickening. Ditto those vile sugary/dessert notes that are so currently popular.

    Basically, my skin likes things that are dry, woody, astringent, herbal, and can get stroppy with artificial aromachemicals. (I've never had anything happen to an essential oil, directly applied, even floral ones, and I used to have a huge collection of essential oils that I sometimes wore as scent, alone or in blends.)

  49. #49

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    My skin is dry and very reactive. I have contact allergies to Fragrance Mix 2 and Peru Balsam. Looking that stuff up, it encompasses citrus, cinnamon, clove, benzoin, possibly vanilla, floral notes like jasmine, geranium, carnation, neroli and tonka bean.

    Great . Looking back, I have subconsciously only picked fragrances without those notes, disliking their smell but maybe subliminally rejecting them for their allergenic properties.

    I really enjoy incense, woody, leathery, ambery and patchouli notes. I also love bergamot and wormwood. I think my wardrobe reflects this. Aldehydes make me sneeze and I've never tried an aquatic in my life. Gourmands leave me cold (apart from anise) as I'd rather eat food than smell like it.

  50. #50

    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I think there is a difference between not liking a note, and not reacting well to your skin. I HATE pure vetiver note, on paper or on me...BUT I tend to like pine on paper, but it doesn't react well with my skin. I loved the smell of Slumberhouse's new pine scent Norne on paper, but on me after a bit it smelled like pine air freshener.

    CompassRose, you have an interesting point. I have "reactive skin" I can wear no jewelry except 14 Karat gold wedding band. Everything else goes black. I had a jeweler sell me a sterling silver necklace and he guaranteed it wouldn't tarnish. Needless to say he gave me my money back in a week. You lke dry woody, have you tried Ramon Monegal's Dry Wood? it is fantastic!!
    Last edited by Diogenes65; 8th March 2013 at 11:36 AM.

  51. #51
    Basenotes Plus
    juanderer's Avatar
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    Default Re: What notes/scents work well with your skin? Which don't?

    I get consistent good performance from most notes so far.

    Florals and sweets seem to go on forever on me.

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