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  1. #1

    Default need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    I trying to find a fragrance for my current romantic interest and I need a little steering if anyone has time and I'm just a novice. I've been pouring over BNs reviews and forums, distilling lists of recommendations to sample. I'm not the best at men's fragrances but after reading about how many of you match your clothing to your scents, I knew y'all will have a better idea of what's works with what then I will.

    The gentleman loves classic cut clothing and yet he's a total bohemian. He wore Polo religiously as a young man but thinks it's too strong and one-dimmensional now (that may be because he thinks it's antiquidated). He thought Bois d'Orage was ok and liked it much better after a long drydown. He really liked Dans Tes Bras straight out of the bottle but that may be because it sits closer to the skin. And he loves Premire Figuier and Sanfron troublat on me. Oh and he hates shopping... which means it's like pulling teeth to get him into a decent store to sniff.

    I've order a bunch of small samples so far: 3rd Man, Parfum Sacre, Czech & Speake No. 88 and Cuba, Tam Dao, Philosykos, Noir Epices, Pomegranate Noir, Mechant Loup, Navegar, Parfum DelRae Eau Illuminie, the fabled MKK, and The Different Company's Osmanthus. Anything obvious I'm missing like a Creed?

    Sorry this was so long but he's got me truly puzzled.

    Thanks in advance, Renn
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  2. #2

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    I'd say the guy is lucky to have such a nice shopper as yourself.
    Try some Lorenzo Villoresi, those are niche-y and have a lot of character. I like Uomo (a LOT!!!) and also Incensi.
    In fact, since he likes Bois D'Orage, you should try the Comme des Garcons lNCENSE line. I like several of those.
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  3. #3

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    I would try some of the classics.

    I like your selections for sampling, especially Czech & Speake No. 88. - it is 99th percentile for me.

    From your description, I think he would also like these staples in my wardrobe:

    Heritage - Guerlain
    Vetiver - Guerlain
    Chanel pour Monsieur (1955) - Chanel
    Egoiste - Chanel
    Bois du Portugal - Creed
    Green Irish Tweed - Creed
    New York - Parfums de Nicolai
    Azzaro pour Homme - Azzaro
    Gentleman - Givenchy
    Tiffany for Men - Tiffany
    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

  4. #4
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    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Just for old time's sake, there's also a light version of the old Polo green out now as a limited edition, called Polo Modern Reserve. Same bottle and packaging, but with 30th anniversary or something like that on the box. It's light and modern, just like the name implies. You can get it at Macy's. But if he likes it, don't let him cling to it and wear it all the time. You've got a bunch of fabulous niche recommendations above, and as he explores those, he'll grow in style and appreciation.

    One more niche that I like is something I just bought. The reason I'm thinking he might like it, is that it has the smoky note of old Polo green, but in a really modern fragrance. It's Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur. Wonderful stuff! Nice ambery masculine with this hot/cold, spicy/soothing thing that is just heavenly! It was done by a highly respected perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti. Definitely worth trying.
    * * * *

  5. #5

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    I'd say the guy is lucky to have such a nice shopper as yourself. In fact, since he likes Bois D'Orage, you should try the Comme des Garcons lNCENSE line. I like several of those. Cheers,
    Thanks! I’ll keep an eye out for the CDGs.

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    I would try some of the classics. I like your selections for sampling, especially Czech & Speake No. 88. - it is 99th percentile for me. From your description, I think he would also like these staples in my wardrobe: Egoiste – Chanel, Bois du Portugal – Creed, Green Irish Tweed - Creed
    I have an art and material history background and I’m really looking forward to sniffing 88 as it sounds _very_ interesting.

    I think I was forced to take a bath in Eau Savage, Shalimar, or No.5 in a former life. Something about them was always too powdery for me so I was totally put off by perfumes. All the perfume counters smelled the same to me until I came across niche frags and hope bloomed. I may go back hit those counters down the road when my nose is better developed.

    Strangely enough, some of the Creeds don’t rub me the wrong way like the classics. But then, the quest isn’t about what I like and I have to remind myself that from time to time. I did pull Bois d’Armenie, GIT, SMW, and Himalaya as possible. Funny, my ex husband sniffed my testers and fell in love with Bois d’Armenie and Himalaya so I guess I have his xmas gift nailed >; )

    Vetiver is a challenge as everyone seems to pair it with lemon and one sniff and I’m wrinkling my nose! Luckily for me, lemon, especially dry and lemon, do not settle on him well and he knows it so off the list they go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    One more niche that I like is something I just bought. The reason I'm thinking he might like it, is that it has the smoky note of old Polo green, but in a really modern fragrance. It's Fou d'Absinthe by L'Artisan Parfumeur. Wonderful stuff! Nice ambery masculine with this hot/cold, spicy/soothing thing that is just heavenly! It was done by a highly respected perfumer, Olivia Giacobetti. Definitely worth trying.
    Really good suggestion! I’m a huge Giacobetti fan already (own 2, ordered 5 more samples for me) and I have liked so many of the L’artisans. I just don’t know if the pine and citrus will be smooth enough for his chemistry.

    really good suggestions - thanks
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  6. #6

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    An update from the front-

    Vetiver - Guerlain
    We both tried it and it left us unimpressed. I know everyone loves it here but it felt very old school to me and he didn't like the citrus smell at all. I'd be interested in finding a vetiver without all that lemon.

    Egoiste - Chanel
    Like it more then I thought and so did he. Started off too sweet but once the heart notes took over, it was very nice. I can still smell it faintly on my wrist today. Will be getting a decant to test further.

    Modern Polo
    Got a very blah, nothing special reaction from him. Did nothing for me either.

    I really wanted him to sniff some Jo Malone but the Palo Alto Bloomie's doesn't seem to carry much. I was pretty dissapointed with their frag selection.

    My other samples are still incoming and Fou d'Absinthe is one of them. This is getting fun.
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  7. #7

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Some random recommendations:

    -Eau Sauvage (Dior)
    -Baldessarini (Baldessarini/Hugo Boss)
    -L'Homme de Coeur (Divine)
    -KenzoAir (Kenzo)
    -Cologne (Thierry Mugler)
    -Black (Bvlgari)

    Angeliques Sous La Pluis is very similar to Bois d'Orage/French Lover, so he may like that one as well.

    I wouldn't concern yourself too much with Jo Malone, unless you/he very much like eau-de-cologne-like scents.

  8. #8

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Azzaro Pour Homme is classic and delicious, but kind of dated and 'barbershoppy' (that said, I'm wearing it right now)

    +1 vote for Bulgari Black...which is similar to L'Artisan's Dzing! (also by Giacobetti) but without the startling inky animalic leather topnote.

    You might consider Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain, a nice, dusty incense oriental with a cedar/nutmeg character, and not overly sweet.

  9. #9

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    id recommend Knize Ten...u cannot go wrong with this, it seems to please everyone i know...hell u might even steal a couple of sprays from him
    Bal a Versailles is my favorite fragrance of all time...this is the male equivalent
    Items for Sale

    "Fragrance is a silent conversation. Would you keep talking, if no-one replied?''
    -Michael Edwards

  10. #10

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Ditto on your excellent candidate list. Looks like you're focusing on niche at this point, and possibly gourmands at that (Premier Figuier, Safran Troublant).

    I second Fou d'Absinthe, especially if he likes fragrances with pine/fir. The artemisia (absinthe) and angelica add a bit of barbershop to the top; not sure if you're into that but it works well in FdA.

    I was going to recommend some Acqua di Parma's... until I got to your comment about your lack of love for lemon.

    If you want to widen the net to include some designer frags, you might at least sample YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme, or possibly an iris fragrance just to see how you/your BF respond to it - Dior Homme, Prada Infusion d'Homme, or The Different Company's Bois d'Iris if you want to stick with niche.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  11. #11

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    L'Air du Desert Marocain is on my list for when I finally break down and spend some money at The Perfumed Court. I did order a lot of samples from L'artisan both for him and me.

    We sniffed but didn't test Bulgari Black and it didn't do anything for us but the bottle scent is nothing like testing on skin so the jury is still out. I do like Dzing so maybe it is those animal notes we should focus on. Good thing I have a MKK on it's way.

    I have a wildly bad reaction to Eau Savage. I'm not allergic, just loathe the scent but then I just checked the notes and there was lemon front and center - ewwww! Lemons aside, to me anyways, it feels stuffy and dated like most of the big classic houses.

    On egoiste and bois d'armenie, he did have to wait for the dry down before he admitted they weren't bad. But compare that to either safron troublant or premier figuier which he loves straight out of the bottle. That is why I think it's best to steer clear of the big classic houses so I think it's down to niche but I did just think of something. He's a major wine geek (we go tasting about twice a month - he's a red zin man too Odysseusm). Our first date was taking a walk along a friend's property in Napa at the begining of the crush. He forever has his nose in a glass! Someone mentioned this before but what is out there in niche-land that has a nice grape leaf or old french oak barrel note? Demeter has a scent called Dregs and he loved it! I only wear it at home though - the last thing you want is to be pulled over by the police while wearing this.

    Kinze Ten is another good one. I had that on my list of must tests but haven't found anyone selling selling small testers. Seriously, my "who wants to sell me a 1.5 mil tester?" list is long and will undoubtly get expensive >; )

    Back to more testing (and almost publishible newbie reviews)...
    Last edited by Renngrrl; 10th November 2008 at 10:42 PM. Reason: added more replies
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  12. #12

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    I just received my big lovely sample pack today! Big thanks to Mudassir. I can't waiti to test everything.

    I'm testing Cuba as I type... lovely, warm and even my nose can pick up the tobacco (wow lots of tobacco) but it's soooo smooth.

    I now have the irrestible urge to take flamenco classes again. Can't wait to smell this on him.
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  13. #13

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Snafoo View Post
    I second Fou d'Absinthe, especially if he likes fragrances with pine/fir. The artemisia (absinthe) and angelica add a bit of barbershop to the top; not sure if you're into that but it works well in FdA.

    If you want to widen the net to include some designer frags, you might at least sample YSL Rive Gauche Pour Homme, or possibly an iris fragrance just to see how you/your BF respond to it - Dior Homme, Prada Infusion d'Homme, or The Different Company's Bois d'Iris if you want to stick with niche.
    Big thanks for Snafoo and Redneck's suggestions for Fou d'Absinthe. :wave:

    Wearing it today to test - loveeeeee it. It isn't as creamy as all the other Giacobetti scents I've tried but it's smoother then you'd expect. I actually like it better then Bois d'Orage though I should test them side by side.

    Maybe it's the snob effect (mine) but I think I'm just not a designer scent fan. There is something about Dior fragrances - Big notes that are like young siblings being forced to exist in close quarters. They can get along, generally, but then they start competing for attention and snipping at each other.

    We tried Egoiste again last sunday and took it off the list. In Egoiste, this uneasiness manifests as the notes feeling "jagged". That's the best description I can come up with.

    Someday I will finish writing up all these reviews and add them to the database.
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  14. #14
    Mudassir's Avatar
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    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renngrrl View Post
    Maybe it's the snob effect (mine) but I think I'm just not a designer scent fan.
    Renngrrl,
    Don't write off designer fragrances yet. Based on what you/your S.O tried and didn't like, I'd suppose some louder fragrances than the ones you've tried might be to your liking. Do get him to try Azzaro Pour Homme, Aramis JHL, Zino Davidoff, Chanel Antaeus, Caron Yatagan, Carven Homme, Christian Dior Jules, Gucci Pour Homme, Jacques Bogart Pour Homme to name a few.
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    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    knize ten. i agree. there's nothing better...really.

  16. #16

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Renngrrl View Post
    .....I'd be interested in finding a vetiver without all that lemon.
    Hi Renngrrl! Have you looked into The Different Company's SEL DE VETIVER? Look at these notes, there's not a citrus fruit to be seen: Haitian Vetiver, Patchouli, Cardamom, Geranium, Liveche (Lovage), Iris, Ylang-Ylang. I really love this one, and yes it does have a salty aspect as the name implies.

    You might also want to look at Parfumerie Generale's offerings. I'm in the process of drooling all over, um...discovering them. Many of them are gourmand or semi-gourmand. I especially think I'd love AOMASSAI on a man (it's great on me, too!). Its listed notes are Caramel, Toasted Hazelnuts, Spices, Vetiver, Balsam Wood, Bitter Orange, Incense, Liquorice, Wengué Wood, Dried Grasses, Resin.

  17. #17

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    That Sel De Vetiver does look good but it will depend on the iris and geranium. Both of those can get go overboard. There is a fine line between "nostalgic" and "dated" that geranium, like lavender, has a hard time treading.

    Speaking of iris, we both tested Dior Homme and while it wasn't awful, it didn't do anything for either of us. I kept thinking "Haven't I done this a gazillion times before?". Kind of like dating someone again who you had a relationship with years ago - the initial novelty wore off fast and since you know all his annoying bad habits from before, why bother going through the steps of rediscovery?

    I will look at Aomassi, definately. I wear men's frags all the time as well. First it was because I was testing but I've found I like smelling like a man is following me around. >; )

    Is it possible to have a unisex Gourmand/Leather/Chypre? Would that smell like Knize Ten layered with Falling in Love? Or would it just smell like L'Eau du Navigateur sans the nasty lemon blast?
    Looking for small decants
    * Frederic Malle En Passant, Parfum de Thérèse * Serge Lutens Bois Oriental, Borneo1834, Douce Amère, Gris Clair, Rousse, Santal de Mysore

  18. #18

    Default Re: need a little help with narrowing down notes.

    I would also try Caron Pour un Homme, the lavendar is quite harsh at first, but smoothes out so well. I love that one. I'd try the Dior again, and on the skin, a wrist test didn't do it for me.

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