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  1. #1

    Default Another Newb Seeking an Answer

    Hello, I've been reading all the great info and posts at Basenotes for a few weeks and enjoying learning so much about my new found passion for fragrance. I haven't been able to use any kind of fragrance for more than twenty years due to very severe migraines. The least 'chemical' type aroma was a big trigger, though triggers weren't necessary for the several I had a week during those years.

    But thanks to some new medication I haven't experienced even one migraine for months and I'm finding that I can once again enjoy my love of fine fragrances I do feel rather like Rip Van Winkle waking up after twenty years and discovering a whole new world of scents!

    Another problem I have is that I live in a remote area and there is no 'perfume counter' for many many miles and so I'm having to rely on ebay and other sample sellers to find samples of the fragrances I think might work for me. (And since I do almost all my shopping for everything - furnished most of our house on ebay - I am pretty confident I can buy good samples there)

    Well this ole Rip is finding it rather overwhelming to know where to start! I have learned much on this forum and other sites about the 'olfactory groups' and read many many reviews of particular fragrances and fragrance houses and am beginning to dip my toe into these deep waters.

    And my first sample arrived today, Guerlain's Samsara, it gets 22 positive reviews on basenotes and sounded like something I'd like. After picking it up at the post office (no we don't get mail delivery to homes up here) I eagerly got it home and put the first drops on my wrists - this was the parfum by the way. Sticking my arm in front of my dh's nose he pronounced it as 'nice', I found it just pleasant, nothing fantastic but I thought well maybe after the other notes appear I'll find out why it gets all those great reviews.

    A couple hours later after not really noticing much change from the initial pleasant scent I began to smell something very musty, as in old dishrag or sponge musty, it was awful! Sure enough it was the Samsara, after washing it off as much as possible and putting some scented powder over it I still smell like a musty sponge!

    Ok, I guess it is my body chemistry that is doing this and in looking at Samsara's 'notes' it seems that 'musk' is a base note. Is it the musk doing this to me and so should I just try and avoid fragrances with it?

    Thanks for any advice you can give.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Another Newb Seeking an Answer

    This can happen for a variety of reasons. The first time I wore Jubilation XXV I got a horrendous musty note, but I tried it again a few days later, putting it on freshly showered skin, and got something that is just wonderful. I'm not sure if it was skin chemistry or if it was my nose becoming more attuned after sampling a wide variety of perfumes.

    I'm not sure if it would be musk creating the musty odor from what I see musk isn't in Samsara. The notes listed are, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Narcissus, Tonka, Iris, Vanilla.
    Last edited by surreality; 27th July 2008 at 02:18 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another Newb Seeking an Answer

    Thanks for the reply, I am going to give this a try again in a few days, I really want to find all the glory in it that so many others seem to have found

  4. #4

    Default Re: Another Newb Seeking an Answer

    You should always samples a few times before giving up on something. I would agree that it could just be the first time that you are smelling it so it smells like something horrible or strange. Give it another try. Get used to the smell. Try to pick out the notes in it, now that you know what you should be looking for. It may work out or it could stay as something you don't like. Reviews are not the end-all be-all of rating scents. Keep testing.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another Newb Seeking an Answer

    Thankfully, today it smelled quite different and much better. It didn't last as long as I would have liked, but at least now I can see why it is a hit.

    Thanks again for the great info and your good advice.

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