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  1. #1

    Default looking to buy my first men's fragrance


    I'm completely new to the world of men's fragrances and I'm not being helped by my girlfriend who thinks it's funny that I could end up with more bottles on the shelf than her. She doesn't have too much experience with fragrances, as only wears Yves Rocher Ming Shu Fleure Rare, which smells nice on her. My experience was until recently limited to Hugo Boss deo, which turns out to be Hugo Boss Bottled deo (the grey cap). When I bought my last deo, I got a Canali sample that got me thinking. We're getting married and I'd like to have a good fragrance for that occasion that I can reuse for visiting customers afterwards. In other words: not too shocking, but something that gives a hint of quality. Fragrances are an expensive hobby, so I'd like to get one, maybe two bottles to start with.

    About what I've smelt before. Hugo Boss Bottled deo is an okay deo which lasts long enough when it's new enough. It doesn't have a lot of character, so it's okay for the office (particularly on days when I bike to work). It doesn't give me the luxury feel that I want, though, and I'd like something a bit darker. The Canali sample smells much more luxurious and complex than the Hugo Boss, but maybe it's because it's an edt instead of a deo. I like it a lot, but I'd like something a bit more heavy and dark. Reading some reviews, I think it's the florals that make it too light for me.

    After doing some reading up (a.o. an article about Jean-Claude Ellena), I made a shortlist of a few fragrances that I'd like to try out: Terre d'Hermes, Bulgari Thé Verte Extreme, Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand and Masaki Matsushima M; Men. Unfortunately, the local perfume shop (Ici Paris XL @ Leuven, Belgium) didn't have the latter 2, but I got a spray of the first 2.

    First, Thé Verte Extreme. It was a cool and dreary day and I can understand why people say it's good for hot and humid weather. It opened quite fresh and while there was some evolution, it kept a long lingering fresh tea-ish smell. It's interesting, but as with Canali, I'm still thinking I'd like to have something a bit earthier. That's where the Terre comes in, of course She sprayed my arm 3-4 times with it, so it opened with quite a shock therapy in orange, blood orange, grapefruit or other kinds of heavy citrus fruit. I wasn't very pleased with that, but hey, at least it was quite different from the light stuff I've smelled so far. After an hour or so, most of the heavy fruit had gone and I was left with a gorgeous rich woody smell. As time passed, I got more and more impressed. Even after 24 hours, I could still smell mostly a light wood (cedar ?). I'll have to try it again (see if I can get a sample) to see how I like the opening notes.

    I've been going through the reviews here and on NowSmellThis and I've added a few other fragrances to the list of what I'd like to try next:

    - Lanvin: Arpège pour Homme
    - Frédéric Malle: French Lover
    - Comme Des Garçons: Hinoki & Ouarazate
    - Burberry: London for Men
    - Ormonde Jayne: Isfarkand & Ormonde for Men
    - Masaki Matsushima: M; Men

    The problem is that I don't know how available these are in Belgium. Ormonde Jayne and Masaki Matsushima were described as "quite niche" when I asked for them at Ici Paris XL. The only other shop here is Planet Parfum, which I haven't visited yet, and a few smaller boutiques. So, a few questions. I've read the reviews, but what is your opinion on the above after reading what I thought of HB/Canali/Terre d'Hermes ? Should I try talking to the shop personnel to try and get samples ? Would that work ?

    Thanks for any help,


  2. #2

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    If you liked Bulgari Thé Verte Extreme and Terre d'Hermès you cannot miss trying Cartier Declaration, definitely one of Ellena's best creations. For the others what I can say it's the more you know the more you grow, so be cusious and smell a lot! You can also get samples from the web if you cannot find niche stuff there.
    Have fun!

  3. #3

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    If you are new to fragrances why not go with something that is a sure thing and a classic? Like A-Men, or M7 on the slightly darker end, or Issey Miyake or one of my favorites Vetiver by Geurlain?, which are great summer scents. These are no brainers and can be found pretty much anywhere and I believe will have a quality feeling that you are looking for. Just a suggestion.

  4. #4

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    I've found that my tastes have changed a lot, along with my perception of smell. I'd suggest getting samples of different fragrances that sound appealing and taking your time with them. I've also found that sometimes I'm not in the mood for a particular frag, and it's important to wash it off quickly, or else I might develop an aversion to it (could also happen if you wear it when you have a cold). Usually, the aversion lasts 2 to 3 weeks, then I can wear it again.

  5. #5

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    if you can't find samples, has an excellent selection of decants. The cost is pretty high for the volume of fragrance, so it is best used for things you know you can't find locally or from another source.

  6. #6

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    Thanks for all the advice. I wasn't too happy with Thé Verte and I'd like something stronger, but I'll look up Cartier Déclaration. I'll probably buy a bunch of samples from the perfumed court before I buy a full bottle of something. It's quite daunting to wad out over €50 for a bottle if I'm not sure I'll like the smell

  7. #7

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    I'm hoping you still check this thread - no one responded with the suggestion of contacting the fragrance companies themselves to request samples, which seems to work for many people. Here is a thread that discusses this:

    Also, you can try sites like I don't know, however, whether they ship to Belgium.

    Good luck!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    burb london seems to be the weakest link of those u listed. its really not in the league of the rest. nonethesless i use it too, but it very dispensible and really nothing fantastic. i bought it coz i got the large bottle for 20-25 bucks BNIB. give the others a try, but london imo seems the odd one out from the ones u have interest in sampling. It doesnt stink, in fact wearble, but thats it. all burbs are sweet smelling, ive learnt them from buying blindly. brit is the only one i didnt buy(touch is my fave burb.but longevity isnt relevant when it doesnt last "long" at all, 3 hours tops. and btw london is the one with the best longevity among the other burbs, and it doesnt even last as long as say LDIssey. I could donate some to u if u dont mind paying for shipping and vial. i really have not much use for it and i dount i;ll sell it coz i really wouldnt want to sell something after listign out its flaws

  9. #9

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    By the way, you might like Musc Ravageur, MAC MV3 (I read a thread suggesting similarity between these two, with the latter being less expensive), and Dior Homme.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Institution
    petruccijc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Clearwater Beach, Florida

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    Hi Peter - Welcome to Basenotes!

    You may also want to post an entry on the "Fragrances Wanted Thread" of particular fragrance samples you may be looking for. There are many generous Basenoters who are happy to send you samples to assist you in your "quest".

    Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming marriage!
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  11. #11

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    I'm new to this in past 6 months as well. I had the luck to unexpectedly come across Declaration. I like it much more than TdH and ended up getting Declaration Essence.

  12. #12

    Default Re: looking to buy my first men's fragrance

    Hi Peterl,

    Welcome! You will be able to find some wonderful fragrances in Belgium! Lots of niche can be found in Senteurs d'Ailleurs

    Take a look at the link in this thread:

    best advice is to make a day of it, go into the store, befriend the friendly, knowlegable staff, and sniff like crazy You will be sure to find something you love!

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