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  1. #1

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    Default Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Hello all! This is actually my first post here, but I have been lurking amongst you for some time. I love what you guys have here at BN, and have found it indispensable when it comes to everything about fragrance.

    A little about myself (maybe it can influence your suggestions in some way?) - I am 20 years old, studying economics at the University of California, Irvine, here in sunny southern orange county, california. I dont know if looks really factor into fragrance, but if I had to describe my appearance, I've been told that I am "classic handsome". I have a rather prominent, square jaw, facial hair that works pretty nicely for my image (I never grow a beard, just some scruffiness) and broad shoulders/slim waist (I swam for many years). Other than those hobbies of an erudite nature (I read a lot, have an interest in almost every subject, and find economics, the sciences, and literature especially interesting), my activities include a healthy exercise regimen, guitar (I'd love to learn the piano. It's such an elegant instrument. It just has portability issues), and everything else a regular college-age southern californian would typically engage in, which brings me to my question:

    I've always loved fragrance in general (I have my mother, and her extensive [and tasteful!] collection of perfume to thank for this) and I've always prided myself on setting myself apart somehow, and I consider good taste in cologne to be a must for any man. I'm getting really sick of spending 30-40 dollars here and there on various designer frags that catch my attention, because I'll never use them all up and I'd rather save the money for one or several niche/luxury scent(s) that I absolutely love and can call my signature.

    To give you guys a little more information with which to make your recommendation, I'll break down my preferences into what I love, what I like, what I hate, and what I'm not sure about/willing to learn more about/give another try at.

    What I love:

    Bulgari Aqua - out of my experience thus far, this scent epitomizes fresh/marine without smelling cheap, ubiquitous, or unoriginal. I've gotten several compliments on it and I love its mature edge, that comes on appealingly, but without being so easy to like that it seems like its begging

    Kenneth Cole Black - perhaps my fondness for this fragrance comes more from nostalgia than its actual merit of composition, but I find it, out of many of the mainstream frags out there, to be sufficiently distinct to where it won't be confused, easy to wear, and it always makes me smile when I smell it. Again, I love its freshness

    Z by Zegna - a wonderful sport scent (to me, anyway). It comes on firm, sticks around and sings its fresh-y song, then departs to leave you room for your evening scent.

    Banana Republic Cordovan - I dont actually own this, but I bought a miniature with the intention of expanding my tastes in fragrances, and I was thoroughly impressed. It was spicy, woody, more mature, and a bit thicker/intense, without the annoying sweetness/old-man-smell that I tend to associate with mature fragrances

    What I like:

    Truth by Calvin Klein - this is the first cologne I ever really used for a significant amount of time, so it holds a special place in my heart. Its a bit grassy, which I always appreciate in a fragrance

    Versace Man Eau Fraiche - its probably not ground-breaking, but I like its slightly sweeter edge on the mainstream "idea"

    Versace Pour Homme - classy marine

    Clubman by Truefitt & Hill - this smells pretty different, and has a bit of class to it. I admit that I dont wear this one that often.

    L'Homme by YSL - sweeter, more mature, but still retaining a youthful zest that I adore

    Vera Wang for men - like L'homme, but even more so, with some woody/spiciness thrown in

    Versace Man - normally I'd consider this very much against my grain, but it has a sophisticated maturity and masculinity (my mother attributed it to the tobacco note) that I find interesting, without resorting too overly sweet and incense-like, which I consider un-masculine

    Canali Men - safe, fresh, possibly generic? A bit classy

    Canali Black diamond - mature, yet fresh. Dries down to a bland sweetness, though. There's probably better fragrances out there in this vein.

    Brooks Brothers new york for men - tartly citrusy, powdery. It smells like brooks brothers all the way through. Might make a better aftershave than an actual fragrance, though.

    Creed - I am impressed with MI, GIT, SMW, and Himalaya. I have sample vials of all, and will be trying them out one by one to see how I feel. I assumed these would be some of the first recommendations you guys would give

    Abercrombie Fierce - I wore this for a while, before everything it stands for and its sheer ubiquity/immaturity put me off. I found the bottle extremely tasteless as well

    What I hate:

    Le male: I really dont get the hype. Aside from the tacky (on par with abercrombie fierce) supremely homoerotic bottle, I find the fragrance to be powdery and androgynous. Not masculine in any way

    Angel Men: I suppose gourmands in general are a love it or hate it type of thing, but I never associated sweet/candy/chocolate/etc as masculine in any way

    Narcisso Rodriguez for men: whenever I smell something I dont like, I usually just put it down. I recoiled from this stuff.

    What I'm not sure about:

    Prada Infusion pour Homme: It really just smells like soap. One of my friends commented that it reminded her of the expensive hotels her family stays in when they vacation in europe. I cant tell if it's feminine or masculine or neither. Im on the fence with this one.

    *If you guys can recommend a gourmand that doesnt smell so obviously of pastries and sweets and whatever it is, ill give that a try too*

    As you can tell, I tend to lean towards fresh/aquatic/slightly herbal fragrances (some might accuse me of following the mainstream. But, like hit songs, mainstream is successful for a reason). I dont see a reason that fresh/aquatic/herbal cant be as unique and classy as some of the more traditional style scents. I consider vera wang, l'homme, and versace man all to be departures from the strict formula of "fresh success", so that leads me to believe my possibilities are wider than I initially thought. I have been told that I should try wall street by bond no. 9, as it tends to be similar to creed's MI (which i find endearing, but it apparently has longevity issues?), and I should give the rest of their line a try as well. When it comes down to it, I'll smell anything and give anything a test spray. Do not hesitate to recommend something that might be a bit unusual, if you think there's a chance I would like it. If possible, please provide a retailer where I can order a bottle/sample of the fragrance. Thanks so much for your time, guys! I look forward to becoming a regular here.


    Edit: does this belong in the mens section?
    Last edited by DerangedGoose; 27th January 2009 at 12:32 AM.

  2. #2

    wicozani's Avatar
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    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Welcome, and for an excellent 1st/Intro post! You seem to like lighter, marine, citrus, and sporty scents, which makes sense given your So. Cal. residence. Since you love Z by Zegna so much, have you tried Essenza di Zegna? I'm just about done with my bottle of this, and it is an excellent scent; check out the reviews in the directory. Amidst many other possible recs, I would also urge you to try the following, both difficult to find (i.e., unlikely to be worn by anyone around you, ever...)

    Fresco di Vetiver by I. Profumi di Firenze
    Spazio Krizia Uomo by Krizia

  3. #3

    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Can't you get over to the Scent Bar? I wish there was a place like that near me!

    http://www.luckyscent.com/scentbar/

  4. #4

    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    DG: You're pretty much my Fragrance Evil Twin. Which means you will probably not end up liking the Prada Infusion Homme then. The Prada Infusion women's version is similar to that and though I bought the 200 ml bottle in the end - I did think "Very Expensive Soap" at first . You probably will not grow to like that one either....

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Quote Originally Posted by GourmandHomme View Post
    DG: You're pretty much my Fragrance Evil Twin. Which means you will probably not end up liking the Prada Infusion Homme then. The Prada Infusion women's version is similar to that and though I bought the 200 ml bottle in the end - I did think "Very Expensive Soap" at first . You probably will not grow to like that one either....
    Oddly enough, I found a 200ml of Infusion homme on ebay for such a steal, I couldn't pass it up. Im actually trying it out right now. It's such a neutral scent. How long does it last on you? It's pleasant enough, I could see it working well for spring/summer, but it doesn't seem to be something that would last on the skin (nor does it smell like something you would want on your skin forever, more like a quick, fresh sensation that fades after a couple hours)

  6. #6

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    Cool Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Quote Originally Posted by DerangedGoose View Post
    /aquatic/slightly herbal fragrances (some might accuse me of following the mainstream. But, like hit songs, mainstream is successful for a reason). I dont see a reason that fresh/aquatic/herbal cant be as unique and classy as some of the more traditional style scents.
    Quite right!
    (and btw, I hate the scents you mentioned, as well)
    Well, we both live in The Greater L.A. Desert, which poses some problems:

    Gourmand?
    Cacharel PH is terrifiic but winter is over already. I try not to whine about it too much as there are folks still out there with their snowplows--

    Bulgari Acqua is edgy, I prefer Creed's Erolfa IF I'm by the seashore (no, I'm not putting you on)
    Quasar is a demented acquatic (not marine) you might find interesting. So is Baldessarini Del Mar--which you'll find either elegant or vapid. Unlike Quasar, it's around and you can sample it at the mall. Bowling Green, despite the lame name is an "aromatic " which you might really enjoy.

    Hermes Eau d'Orange Verte will blow you away, but longevity sucks. You'll have to carry a sprayer to reapply every 2 hours or so. Still, it's a great and upbeat scent.

    This should be enough for now. Check out the reviews.

    Cheers,

    Mario
    Last edited by Mario Justiniani; 29th January 2009 at 06:08 AM.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Quote Originally Posted by DerangedGoose View Post
    Oddly enough, I found a 200ml of Infusion homme on ebay for such a steal, I couldn't pass it up. Im actually trying it out right now. It's such a neutral scent. How long does it last on you? It's pleasant enough, I could see it working well for spring/summer, but it doesn't seem to be something that would last on the skin (nor does it smell like something you would want on your skin forever, more like a quick, fresh sensation that fades after a couple hours)
    I can't speak for the Infusion Homme as I've only tried it once. But if the Infusion Homme is anything like my Infusion Iris - although the Iris seems "weak", you will be surprised by its staying power. 5 sprays of the Iris at 7 am on my undershirt/dress shirt = I can still smell it at 4 pm. It does not have much sillage but a girl nuzzling up to you will be able to smell it for sure.

    You must have gotten the Homme tester on eBay didn't you? I got 2 x 200 bottles of the Iris tester.

  8. #8
    laroche's Avatar
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    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    DG,
    What an impressive post / intro!
    I own a few of what you like and have a couple ideas.
    What you might like to try is Hugo by Hugo Boss (the one with the grey top and green attrachment). This for me is an interesting and very wearable take on fresh.
    How bout Mugler Cologne? Have you tried Dior Homme?
    I can't think of any others at the moment. Happy hunting.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Remember that just because a scent is niche, does not mean that it's going to be 'better' than a designer scent (or that you're going to like it).

    Have you smelled Rochas Man by Rochas, Terre de Hermes by Hermes or The One for Men by Dolce & Gabanna?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Based on my designer prefs, what niche to try out?

    Mike is right when he says niche is not necessarily "better." That said, if you're looking for some more distinctive, complex approaches to your favored fresh/light genre, I's suggest sampling some of the following:

    Diorella
    Bahiana
    Eau de Gloire
    Comme des Garcons Calamus
    Virgilio
    Sel de Vetiver
    Mare
    L'Ombre dans l'Eau
    Iris Bleu Gris
    L'Homme de Coeur
    Iskander
    Insense
    Gris Clair
    Fou d'Absinthe
    Bel Respiro
    Ciel for Men

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