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  1. #1

    Default A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    First I would just like to thank the founders of this site from the bottom of my heart. Since discovering it a few days ago I've been given a whirlwind tour of the seemingly infinite universe of fragrance and am now embarking on a more in-depth study of the subject in general and this site in particular.

    It started out as a quest to find a worthy successor to my 20 year plus favourite, Mystere de Rochas, which, though discontinued years ago, I have always been able to find without too much difficulty in discount outlets specialising in discontinued lines and also online. Now all avenues have been exhausted and unless I'm willing to pay somewhat over $300 on eBay (which I'm not) I'm forced to recognise that the few drops remaining in my last bottle will be the end of a beautiful and rewarding relationship. I was also looking for a new 'day' scent, my 2 year fling with L"Eau d'Issey having gone the way of its numerous predecessors, Kenzo's Parfum d'Ete being the last, as I became bored with it.

    Thanks to the help of this site's extensive database and informative reviews - and an extremly obliging and patient SA in my local Nordstrom who was delighted to decant me several samples to take away with me - I have managed to reduce the 'candidates' to replace Mystere to a shortlist of 4 - Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle and Chance, Prada Eau de Parfum and Narciso Rodriguez for Her - and have settled on Bulgari's Rose Essentielle as my new day to day fragrance.

    But wait, that's not all. While I will probably stick to my two 'main' fragrances I've been totally inspired by what I have been reading here to get into the whole sampling and collecting thing. Just starting out and very much looking forward to many exciting discoveries down the road.

  2. #2

    tang's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Welcome, CsgKaren! :wave:

    Quote Originally Posted by CsgKaren View Post
    While I will probably stick to my two 'main' fragrances....
    These have been the famous last words for several of us here, myself included. Sampling will be loads of fun -- we'd love to hear about your discoveries & impressions on the Scent of the Day (SotD) threads, or the monthly Sniff & Speak discussions or anywhere else you'd like to post them.

    Happy sniffing!
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  3. #3
    silverbullet's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Welcome CsGKaren

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    Somerville Metro Man's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by CsgKaren View Post
    While I will probably stick to my two 'main' fragrances......
    Reminds me of the old advertising slogan for Lay's Potato Chips, "Betcha can't eat just one."
    There are times I think we should post the warning that in myth hangs above the gates to Hell, "Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter"

    CsGKaren I hope you can be an example in restraint for the rest of us lost souls.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Oh heck what have I gotten myself into now? LOL. Thanks for the kind welcomes all.

    "An example in restraint?" Erm well those who know me also know when I get the bit between my teeth I tend to be all or nothing and I am pretty much hooked on this sampling thing already. The kind SA I spoke of brought me several tester strips to sniff and I got a bit burnt out but there were a couple I definitely want to try on my person so when I go back to buy my eventual 'winner' out of the current 4 I'll get a few more samples of different ones....look at that, you guys are already a bad influence on me and I've only been here 5 minutes.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by tang View Post
    Welcome, CsgKaren! :wave:



    These have been the famous last words for several of us here, myself included. Sampling will be loads of fun -- we'd love to hear about your discoveries & impressions on the Scent of the Day (SotD) threads, or the monthly Sniff & Speak discussions or anywhere else you'd like to post them.

    Happy sniffing!
    I can give you my first impressions of a few I tried now, you'll have to excuse me if I don't use all the right terminology, it's all new to me still.

    First the ones I chose for my shortlist after wearing them for a few hours to see how they worked on my skin.

    Chanel fragrances I have always avoided pretty much since while I loved them on other people I never found one that worked for me so I was a bit wary of these two choices. Chance - loved the surprising 'fizzy sherbet' blast it gave me straight off and also the warm freshness it gave off after it had 'settled down' and after a couple of hours I found it was delightfully sensual and sweetly earthy without being powdery or cloying.

    Coco Mademoiselle - not quite as 'in yer face' as Chance when first sprayed on but still clean and sharply refreshing, it mellowed down in a sweeter, more profound and rounded warmth than the Chance and once again there was a wonderful sensual finish, my only worry with it is it might be a little heavy and 'obvious'.

    Prada - well I liked the peppery and somewhat unusual opening but I'm not sure there was anything 'distinctive' about the settled down stage and I felt it was a bit blah generic also, disappointingly it finished a little powdery and 'old lady' like which NO woman wants to smell like so I scrubbed it off.

    Narciso Rodriguez for Her. Hmm. Might be for some other Her, I liked it but wasn't exactly blown away by how it smelled on me after the initial phase, not that it was unpleasant just, once again, nothing distinctive about it and there was no discernible finish, it just 'disappeared' after a couple of hours

    Bulgari Rose Essentielle - this is so delightfully light and fresh, it reminds me of one of those English late spring and early summer days when the sun is hot but there is still a chilly bite in the shade and a soft breeze which wafts an elusive perfume of violas, sweetpeas and early roses towards you from the garden. Despite the name I wouldn't call this a 'rose' perfume it's more like a multi-flower bouquet but not overly sweet, powdery or sickly.

    OK how'd I do ?

  7. #7

    tang's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    You're a natural, CsgKaren! Your description of Rose Essentialle has me wanting to test it now (I'm so suggestible...).

    I own the black bottle of Narciso Rodriguez for Her (edt), but it's gradually moving to the back of the closet. It's nice enough, but it just doesn't grab me the way it used to. I prefer Prada Tendre to the original, but not enough to buy it. One review compares it to Coco Mademoiselle.

    I've also avoided Chanel after a suffocating experience with No. 5, but Coromandel and 31 rue Cambon have recently won me over (to my checkbook's dismay). 31 rue Cambon is a modern chypre, which is in a similar family to Mystère. I'll have to give Chance another chance -- that "fizzy sherbet" bit piqued my interest!

    On the Fragrances of the World site, Michael Edwards recommends three scents for those who like Mystère:

    Lapidus Woman by Ted Lapidus
    Nu by Yves Saint Laurent
    Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

    I don't know how successful these recommendations are, but there's more food for thought.

    Good luck!
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Thanks Tang, all going on my list of ones to try out. Chance is the frontrunner for now but I may wait and try some of these other suggestions before I commit myself and my credit card which is even now trembling and trying to hide itself at the bottom of my wallet.

  9. #9
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Welcome CsgKaren to the magical land of Basenotes, a place of scent discovery and self discovery!
    We're glad to have you here, and we look forward to more comments along the way!
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

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

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    Reminds me of the old advertising slogan for Lay's Potato Chips, "Betcha can't eat just one."


    Quote Originally Posted by CsgKaren View Post
    Oh heck what have I gotten myself into now?

    ....look at that, you guys are already a bad influence on me and I've only been here 5 minutes.
    You ain't seen nothin' yet!

    Wise up, sister. You're in a whole lotta trouble. You shall rue the day that you didn't stock up on Mystere de Rochas...
    * * * *

  11. #11

    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by CsgKaren View Post
    Thanks Tang, all going on my list of ones to try out. Chance is the frontrunner for now but I may wait and try some of these other suggestions before I commit myself and my credit card which is even now trembling and trying to hide itself at the bottom of my wallet.
    I know what you mean. What started as a simple search for a single new fragrance has turned into a full blown obsession with me. Needless to say, my wallet is in pain also.

  12. #12
    Heartwood's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Welcome, CsgKaren! I'm so glad you found Basenotes. I'm going to give Chance another, er, shot, having read your "sweetly earthy" description. I thought I'd tried it, but I don't find it in my notes, so I might've overlooked it years ago after I erroneously concluded that the entire house is unwearable. I'm curious whether you tried NRfH edt or edp. I love the rose in the edp, which isn't present in the edt.

    Here are some of my favorite words of advice, written by Purplebird in the What have you learned/figured out lately? thread (a really great thread).
    Never say never. (I cannot wear...)
    Never say always. (My favorite is...)
    Learn to let go. (Reformulation. Discontinuation.)
    Hoarding is a form of paranoia. (See previous.)
    There will always be something else. (See two previous.)
    Friends make everything better. (Basenotes. I am not alone in this.)
    Natural extracts smell way different from synthetics. (Both are necessary.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    CsGKaren I hope you can be an example in restraint for the rest of us lost souls.
    My dear, as you very well know, "Not all those who wander are lost."
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  13. #13

    Default Re: A Fragrant Midlife Crisis from a middle-aged newbie

    Quote Originally Posted by an_oud_girl View Post
    Welcome, CsgKaren! I'm so glad you found Basenotes. I'm going to give Chance another, er, shot, having read your "sweetly earthy" description. I thought I'd tried it, but I don't find it in my notes, so I might've overlooked it years ago after I erroneously concluded that the entire house is unwearable. I'm curious whether you tried NRfH edt or edp. I love the rose in the edp, which isn't present in the edt.

    Here are some of my favorite words of advice, written by Purplebird in the What have you learned/figured out lately? thread (a really great thread).
    Never say never. (I cannot wear...)
    Never say always. (My favorite is...)
    Learn to let go. (Reformulation. Discontinuation.)
    Hoarding is a form of paranoia. (See previous.)
    There will always be something else. (See two previous.)
    Friends make everything better. (Basenotes. I am not alone in this.)
    Natural extracts smell way different from synthetics. (Both are necessary.)


    My dear, as you very well know, "Not all those who wander are lost."
    Thank you for the advice, I'll take it to heart. I tried (and now have bought) the edp of Chance, 'sweetly earthy' yes there's an element of sunwarmed damp soil definitely as it calms down becoming more pronounced as it fades out. Glad I inspired you to try it again. On the suggestive power of the written word I'm glad I didn't read some of the reviews here of Chance before I tried it since descriptions like 'smell like a whore's handbag' - ouch - and another 'Cheap women & older rich women who are starting to party again' - double ouch - would have made me think twice about even trying it since they immediately bring to mind those sad, desperate 40-something divorcees wearing clothes too tight, too short and too lowcut hanging around in singles bars who I associate with overdoing the Opium, Poison or Beautiful, point being any perfume can come across as cheap or whorish or ‘trying too hard’ depending on who wears it, how and in what situation. And the words 'harsh' and 'slap in the face' would have also made me pause. But I do know where some of these negative reviews are coming from, that opening blast of citrus, 'big entrance: Here I am - LOOK at me' effect but once that phase is past it becomes just an exuberant echo as the scent develops.

    I'm getting to 'work' on broadening my fragranace horizons but in my naivete failed to take in the 'exclusivity' of some of the fragrances - the Chanel exclusifs for example recommended here and understand now I'll have to work a bit harder to acquire samples of them, I'll figure it out as I go along my new learning curve. I did manage to get the SA (who is now my new BFF since I bought the Chance from her) to decant me two samples of Tom Ford's Black Orchid and White Patchouli but haven't had a chance to do much more than sniff them yet.

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