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  1. #1

    Default Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Hi all, I'm new here but I have read around the site quite a bit and am so impressed with the level of expertise to be found here. I'd love to get your recommendations for new fragrances for me to try. I can tell you a little about me and what I like.

    I'm 25, female, from the US. I'm quiet, intelligent, sexy, a bit reserved on surface but with hidden depths. I'm drawn to all things mysterious, sensual, and a bit edgy maybe. I'm an archaeologist, love books, salsa dancing... don't really know what else to say about my personality.

    Current fragrance loves: Burberry for Women is my go-to fragrance, and I wear Victoria's Secret 88 sporadically. (Of course, that's been discontinued and I have about 1/3 of a bottle left.)

    Past fragrance loves: My first "real" perfume was Ellen Tracy. I still like it but it feels a bit innocent for me now, and anyway, it's been discontinued too, as far as I know. After that, I went through a phase of wearing Burberry Brit before I "graduated" to the original Burberry. Again, I still like it, but it is just not what I'm looking for. It feels a bit sharp to me, and also there's a powdery note in there that I'm not fond of. Altogether it just doesn't feel sophisticated enough or dark/mysterious enough for me now.

    I imagine I'll continue wearing my Burberry quite a bit, but I wanted to find something (or several somethings) new and exciting to catch my fancy. I did a quick breeze-through of a department store fragrance section and was intrigued by Estee Lauder Sensuous, CK Secret Obsession, Unforgivable Woman Black, and even Gwen Stefani "L" though I don't see myself ever buying a celebrity fragrance. I haven't had a chance to try any of these and really see how they do on my skin, however.

    As far as I can tell given my limited knowledge, I'm drawn to notes like vanilla (but NOT something like Vanilla Fields lol), sandalwood, musk, amber, and spices. I like it to be deep and soft, not too acrid, but certainly not powdery or syrupy sweet. And I don't think I like hugely floral scents. I'm also not a fan of "clean and fresh," sporty, oceanic type scents.

    So from this info, I'd love some suggestions for new scents to try, preferably a little out of the mainstream, though I don't want to go to unreasonable trouble or expense to obtain them.

    And if you need any further information or clarification, just ask.

    Thanks so much in advance,

    R

  2. #2

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    You seem to enjoy a tonka bean base, from what I can tell. You might try:

    DiorAddict
    Bvlgari BLV Notte
    And he whose soul is flat -- the sky
    Will cave in on him by and by.

    —from "Renascence" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

  3. #3

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Welcome, rem_dreams! I know you will get lots of great suggestions here.

    Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Burberry fragrances. Since you like things with vanilla, sandalwood, musk, amber, and spices (I do, too!) here are some that come to mind:

    Bulgari Black (Bergamot, Smoky Tea, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Leather, Amber, Musk, Vanilla, Resins)

    Dorissima Goldmund (Tonka Beans, Vanilla, Iris Root, Rose, Powdery Carnation, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Soft Musk, Balsam Notes, Peru Balsam, Allspice)

    L'Artisan Ambre Extreme (Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Macis, Pepper. Mysore Sandalwood, Patchouli, Turkish Rose, Vanilla, Amber, Benzoin, Musks)

    Satellite Padparadscha (Amber, Musk, Cedar, Sandalwood, Juniper, Pepper)

    And last but not least, many of the Parfumerie Generale fragrances might be right up your alley. They are beautifully done and tend to stand out from the crowd, in one way or another. Look at L'Oiseau de Nuit, Aomassai, Cadjmere, Iris Taizo, L'Ombre Fauve, and Musc Maori.

    I believe that you can order samples of all of the above from the Luckyscent website. Bulgari Black is easy to try in stores.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    I liked Burberry Brit quite a bit when it first came out. You might want to take a look at Brigette by Tocca- ginger, saffron, rose, amber, and musk. Another one to sniff is Amber Ylang Ylang by Estee Lauder Private Collection- sexy and warm amber. For a real stretch, but one you might end up really enjoying, check out Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone- cloves, heavy spice, patchouli, with almost a red wine hit. Really interesting.
    Happy sniffing!

  5. #5
    Off-Scenter
    Guest

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    I wonder if you wouldn't enjoy some of the incense-based oriental or leather scents. Many of these have a mysterious air about them that might appeal to you. I'm thinking particularly of Comme des Garcons Avignon or Kyoto, L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzongkha, or Etro's Messe de Minuit.

    For depth and sophistication, I also recommend Caron's lovely Parfum Sacre, Molinard's Habanita, Diptyque's Eau Lente, Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue, and the resurrected Acqua di Parma Profumo.

    Happy hunting!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Try Hypnose by Lancome. It's got subtle vanilla notes that you'll love.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    I wonder if you wouldn't enjoy some of the incense-based oriental or leather scents. Many of these have a mysterious air about them that might appeal to you. I'm thinking particularly of Comme des Garcons Avignon or Kyoto, L'Artisan Parfumeur's Dzongkha, or Etro's Messe de Minuit.
    Vibert is giving the same recommendation I would give. Since you are an archaeologist (how interesting!!) I too recommend the Comme des Garcons Incense line. They are all good, and each are meant to evoke a sacred site associated with pilgrimage. I really like Ouarzazate (Morocco/Islam), Kyoto (Japan/Buddhist), and Zagorsk (Russia, Orthodox). I think Lucky Scent has a good write-up of these.
    You might also check out oud (aka agarwood) which adds a very distinctive, "bright" note to a scent. Montale makes lots. This is an acquired taste, but that note has a long history.
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

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

  8. #8

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Gorgeous, attention grabbing orientals:
    Dior Dune for ladies
    Hermes 24 Foubourg

    Sexy, modern scent:
    Paco Rabbane XS Extreme girl

    Daily wear:
    Armani Mania
    Nina Ricci premier Jour

  9. #9

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    You might also check out oud (aka agarwood) which adds a very distinctive, "bright" note to a scent. Montale makes lots. This is an acquired taste, but that note has a long history.
    Cheers,
    Thanks everyone for the interesting recommendations so far! Odysseum, I've been curious about oud. Can you describe it a bit more? I've read that it can be very pungent and medicinal, and that doesn't sound too appealing to me. Could you recommend a scent that would give a gentle introduction to oud?

    I shall definitely have to check out the Comme des Garcons incense series, since it has now been recommended twice.

    Thanks again,
    R

  10. #10

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Welcome, rem_dreams! I'm new here as well.

    L'Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer Perfumes is the best incense oriental I've ever tried, and I've tried many. Le Maroc pour Elle, also by Tauer, is more floral and vanilla, if you think you would prefer that. Both are expensive, but very much worth it.

    I second recomendations of Dzongha (a personal favorite) and L'Heure Bleue.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by rem_dreams View Post
    Thanks everyone for the interesting recommendations so far! Odysseum, I've been curious about oud. Can you describe it a bit more? I've read that it can be very pungent and medicinal, and that doesn't sound too appealing to me. Could you recommend a scent that would give a gentle introduction to oud?
    Thanks again,
    R
    Glad to provide further info, rem_dreams. I'm still learning about oud, which is also known as agarwood or aloewood. I'm not a chemist or a botanist, but here is what I understand.
    Oud is an Arabic word that simply means "wood." A wooden musical instrument (stringed, like a guitar or lute) is known by this name. But in the world of perfume, oud refers to a special process in which certain woods develop a fungus which affects their chemical composition. The resinous sap of these affected wood plants is collected and treated to give oud essence.
    This oud essence has a very distinctive smell. I find it to be sharp, piercing, medicinal. It can be similar to band-aids or rubber and yet (as an acquired taste) it can be oddly appealing, mood-altering, somewhat addictive!! It combines with rose and other notes in interesting ways.
    I think a good intro scent with a hint of oud is the excellent Paestum Rose by Eau D'Italie. What a lovely scent!
    Other scents I've tried with oud are: Sequoia by Comme des Garcons, Royale Oud by Montale, and Zafferano by Bois 1920. Check out the reviews of myself and others in the BN database and see what you think! I would definitely say sample oud, do not buy it blind! And come back a few times -- it sometimes can be very distinctive at first.
    Ahh the wonderful world of scents! Cheers

    PS -- for you and others who might combine an appreciation of scents with an interest in history, I recommend the following book.
    _The Fragrant Past: Perfumes of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar_, Emory University Museum of Art and Archaeology with Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1989. A fascinating look at an attempt to re-create ancient scents based on literary and archaeological evidence.
    odysseusm

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

  12. #12

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Hi again. I have amassed quite a list of fragrances that I'd like to smell, thanks in large part to your excellent recommendations. I was wondering if you can help me separate out the ones that are readily available/testable in department stores such as Younkers or Macy's from the ones which need more work to hunt down. For reasons of convenience, I'd like to start my journey with those that I can find in Younkers.

    Here's my list (copied from my fragrance wardrobe test list).

    Acqua di Parma Profumo (1930) Acqua di Parma
    Kingdom (2003) Alexander McQueen
    Perle d'Aubusson (2000) Aubusson
    Bulgari Black (1998) Bulgari
    Amor Amor (2003) Cacharel
    Secret Obsession (2008) Calvin Klein
    Parfum Sacré (1990) Caron
    Allure Eau de Parfum (1999) Chanel
    Allure Sensuelle (2005) Chanel
    Dior Addict (2002) Christian Dior
    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Kyoto (2002) Comme des Garçons
    parfums*PARFUMS Series 3 Incense: Ouarzazate (2002) Comme des Garçons
    Eau Lente (1986) Diptyque
    Goldmund Dorissima
    Paestum Rose (2006) Eau d'Italie
    Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang (2008) Estée Lauder
    Sensuous (2008) Estée Lauder
    Messe de Minuit (2000) Etro
    Armani Mania for Women (2004) Giorgio Armani
    Organza Indécence (1999) Givenchy
    Ysatis (1984) Givenchy
    L'Heure Bleue (1912) Guerlain
    Samsara (1989) Guerlain
    Pomegranate Noir (2005) Jo Malone
    Ambre Extrême (2001) L'Artisan Parfumeur
    Dzongkha (2006) L'Artisan Parfumeur
    Premier Figuier Extrême (2003) L'Artisan Parfumeur
    Hypnôse (2005) Lancôme
    Mauboussin (2000) Mauboussin
    Habanita (1921) Molinard
    Premier Jour (2001) Nina Ricci
    XS Extreme Girl (2001) Paco Rabanne
    Aomassai 10 Parfumerie Generale
    Cadjmere 18 Parfumerie Generale
    Iris Taïzo 14 (2002) Parfumerie Generale
    L'Oiseau de Nuit Parfumerie Generale
    L'Ombre Fauve Parfumerie Generale
    Musc Maori 04 (2005) Parfumerie Generale
    Padparadscha (2006) Satellite
    Unforgivable Woman Black (2008) Sean John
    Feminitè du Bois (1992) Shiseido
    L'Air du Desert Marocain Tauer
    Le Maroc pour Elle Tauer

    Thanks so much!
    R

  13. #13

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    I think you would be able to find most of the following at Younkers, although I'm not sure I've seen Amber Ylang Ylang there yet. The Bulgari Black might be displayed at the men's fragrance counter. Macy's selection of these would be fairly similar.

    Quote Originally Posted by rem_dreams View Post
    Bulgari Black (1998) Bulgari
    Amor Amor (2003) Cacharel
    Secret Obsession (2008) Calvin Klein
    Allure Eau de Parfum (1999) Chanel
    Allure Sensuelle (2005) Chanel
    Dior Addict (2002) Christian Dior
    Private Collection Amber Ylang-Ylang (2008) Estée Lauder
    Sensuous (2008) Estée Lauder
    Armani Mania for Women (2004) Giorgio Armani
    Organza Indécence (1999) Givenchy
    Ysatis (1984) Givenchy
    Samsara (1989) Guerlain
    Hypnôse (2005) Lancôme
    Unforgivable Woman Black (2008) Sean John
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    I would also add these others as possibilities. I think all four can be found at Younkers or Macy's.

    Valentino V: (it's not as fruity/floral as the notes make it look)
    top notes: Tangerine, Pink Grapefruit, Green Fig, Freesia
    heart notes: Rose, Orange Blossom, Heliotrope
    base notes: Mysore Sandalwood, Atlas Cedar, Amber, Musk

    Or Valentino V Absolu:
    Fig, Pink Grapefruit, Orange Blossom, Lei Flowers, Rose Petals, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Musk, Amber-Like Notes, Vanilla Bourbon, Incense

    Something that doesn't fit your preferred notes, but is still different and delicious and a little out of mainstream popularity:
    Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge (oriental-woody):
    top notes: Pink Pepper, Seville Orange, Bergamot
    heart notes: ‘Roiboos’ Red Tea, ‘Yunnan’ Red Tea, Fig
    base notes: Walnut, Musk, Balsamic Notes
    (I didn't like this one when I first sprayed it, but it's one of my favorites now.)

    Also, Bulgari Omnia (oriental-spicy)
    top notes: Mandarin orange
    heart note: Masala tea
    base note: White chocolate (not overly sweet)
    Last edited by tang; 5th February 2009 at 01:58 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Reading your vivid self description, Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel. Stone cold guaranteed lock of the year of the week. This coming from a male perspective, so please take that for what it's worth, but with your descriptors I think you just may love it. I know I do.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    The market availability is beyond my ken... so I'll simply wish you good luck.
    But do keep us posted as to how things strike you. We wish you well as you learn and grow in appreciation.
    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... (or sniff!).
    odysseusm

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

  17. #17

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    You are all so obliging! I really do appreciate it. And I shall indeed keep you posted as I continue my journey and learn my tastes better.

    R

  18. #18

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    I think right now many TJ Maxx stores have Secret Obsessio for $29.99. I just got one

  19. #19

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by amandamorris1121 View Post
    I think right now many TJ Maxx stores have Secret Obsessio for $29.99. I just got one
    Good to know! Thanks for the info. How do you like it?

    R

  20. #20

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Update: I've fallen in love with Bulgari Black! I tracked it down in the men's section, sniffed it, sprayed it on a card, immediately sprayed it on my forearm and could not take my nose away from my arm for the rest of the evening. So, I found a good deal online, ordered it, and it should arrive tomorrow! What do I love about it? On me, it's very sweet and feminine, a demure, warm vanilla. Then you breathe a little deeper, look beneath the surface so to speak, and you find the naughty, kinky black rubber side. Based on all of the reviews here, I really wanted to love it but I was sure that I wouldn't find it wearable. Car exhaust and burning rubber don't sound too attractive to me. But on my skin, the rubber is lurking beneath the warm, subtly spicy vanilla and it adds an irresistible dark sexiness to what would otherwise be too sweet. One of the reviewers said "I describe this scent as a room lit up with vanilla scented candles and you can find leather whips under the bed." Add rubber floggers to that description and that's exactly the feeling I get. Not that I'd know anything about all that, of course

    I tried a couple of others on my skin as well: CK Secret Obsession and Estee Lauder Sensuous. I was expecting to really like both of them, but both disappointed. Secret Obsession was much lighter and more innocent than I imagined it would be. There's something about it that actually reminds me of my old Ellen Tracy. The scent doesn't match the image of the bottle and the name at all. I like it, but I don't love it, and it didn't last at all on me. I liked Sensuous too, but it was just too big for me. I think it might do better on an older woman, but I kind of felt like it was wearing me.

    I sprayed several others on test cards. Givenchy Organza Indecence really is just like VS Secret 88, as some reviews mentioned. I'll have to test it on my skin and see if I like it as much. It could be a replacement for when I run out of 88 ...although as far as vanillas go, I'm not sure I have room in my heart for anything but Bulgari Black right now!

    Armani Code and Mania were generic and boring to me, though both quite pleasant. Bulgari Blu Notte smelled just like baby powder to me, and that's not something I find at all attractive. Omnia, on the contrary, was a little sharp for my tastes. Chanel Allure and Allure Sensuelle were nice, but maybe too typically perfumey and not me. I sprayed My Insolence on a card because it was the only Guerlain they had besides Shalimar (which I dislike) and I was immediately sorry. It smelled like cotton candy, or a 14-year-old girl wearing body spray, or a 14-year-old girl wearing body spray and eating cotton candy. Ugh. Nina by Nina Ricci was similarly candyish and off-putting. Dior Addict smelled like cleaning products to me; oddly, I didn't smell much vanilla in it.

    Anyway, I just thought I'd give a little update on my progress. I'm sure that before too long I'll feel brave enough to start ordering samples of some of the "niche" scents on my list. Any more recommendations for me?

    R
    Last edited by rem_dreams; 10th February 2009 at 03:46 AM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Curious to get fragrance recommendations

    Oh, I've got one for you that will be unique: FUBU Plush (for men). Vanillic/amaretto and powdery suede. About as unisex as you can get, if not "feminine." And if you look around you can get it real cheap. I'd say it's somewhere between an EdT and an EdP.

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