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  1. #1

    Cool Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    I posted an introduction to my blind buy experiment in the Today I Bought thread, and I wanted to share my experience with a forum that has helped me take my first few steps into a scary and exciting world of pleasant smells and empty wallets. I posted "After careful research and a timely tax rebate, I decided it was time to go from a single scent boy (YSL L'Homme) to a well diversified man. From prior experience with the scents, I added HM by Hanae Morie (EDP) and Gucci Envy for men to my wardrobe. The proverbial flood gates were flung wide open, and I went on one heck of a blind buy spree. From suggestions on this forum and from the threads of somethingawful, I ordered Terre D'Hermes, Mugler Cologne, YSL M7, YSL Rive Gauche, Rochas Man, Bvlgari Black, Bvlgari Pour Homme, Bvlgari Aqva, Givenchy Pi, Canali Men, Caron's The Third Man and Paco Rabanne XS. Once I've finished I will make a thread reflecting on what an awesome/horrible experience my blind buy spree was."
    I have had a chance to put each scent on my skin for at least a few hours, and what follows is a brief summary of my triumphs and tribulations, told scent by scent. I make no claims to anything but the most rudimentary and crude understanding of the smells and hells that passed through my nostrils, and my thoughts on each fragrance are not going to be peppered (with the exception of Bvlgari PH haha) with any talk of notes this and notes that. This will come later, as of yet I can only share my gut reaction. Some background on me and my climate. I'm a young professional and a grad student, living in the perpetual rain showers of the NW. I hope this thread will bring me feedback and help steer me to plug holes and expand my collection to that of a true hobbyist. And maybe, just maybe, move me one step further from the newb with no nose for notes.

    HM by Hanae Mori (EDP)- Love it. The EDT of this scent was my first purchase many years back, and it always seems so soothing to me. Its not a sharp or incredibly masculine scent in my mind, but I feel confident and comfortable when surrounded by its sweet embrace. I have no complaints to share with regards to this fragrance. It no longer is my scent day in and day out, having somehow broke my first two bottles and gone without for so long, but it's back and it's safe. Will wear this in the evenings, but might throw it into the tie/pleated pants/sweater vest rotation.

    Envy for Men by Gucci- Love it. My second daily wear and purchase, this one is a wild beast. I don't think I was doing anyone any favors wearing this regardless of weather or situation, but it just smells great on me. Its clean and manly, and the spice that erupts from around my collar whenever I sneak that sniff drive me, and many ladies, wild. Will save this for nights out with familiar women.

    L'Homme by YSL- My favorite. This has been my daily wear for about a year now, and it wears me well. A constant compliment magnet, its sweet yet masculine scent usually is enough to push my ego to unbearable levels. I can never see myself without this in my collection. Will wear anytime.

    Man by Rochas- Love it. As far as "we in da club where da women at" scents go, its amazing. Its really sweet and it smells like bottled fun. I'm surprised by how "even-handed" so much sweetness can is, its what you folks must be alluding to when you describe something as "balanced". Will save this for seductive warfare sure to violate the Geneva convention.

    Rive Gauche by YSL- Love it. Science does it again. Someone figured out how to bottle a straight razor shave at the barbershop. I just feel "classy and clean" while wearing this. A perfect gentleman would wear this, and while it's not how one would describe me, maybe I could hide among them in a cloak of this fragrance. Perfect for work wear, I don't see any situation where I would feel out of place wearing this. Definitely the most wearable of the blind buys.

    XS by Paco Rabanne- Love it. Crisp and clean and semi sweet without feeling like someone kicked you in the face. One of the harder scents to describe, I can only say how pleasing it is to have it grace my skin with its presence. Wearable both professionally and anywhere else I would be on my own free will.

    Cologne by Mugler- Like it. Reminds me strongly of some soapy thing I smelled walking into the gap as a kid. I know I hated that scent then and it scared me away from that part of the mall for many years, but on my skin its not bad. This is really light and casual, clean too. Well constructed, the only thing keeping it from "love it" is the associated memories.

    Black by Bvlgari- Like it. Ever dream of burning rubber on a vanilla paved road? I didn't, but its sure neat to have that scent bottled. This scent is nice and versatile, could be as professional or unprofessional as you want to make it. I found it really strange that the scent never changed, but that will probably by a nice bonus next time you need to spray and run in a hurry--no need to wait for it to settle before someone gets a whiff.

    Bvlgari PH by Bvlgari- Like it. Pepper and spice and everything nice. Real casual and unassuming, would make a nice office or "hey now lets just be friends" scent. I don't see any overwhelming complexity here.

    Aqva by Bvlgari- Like it. My introduction to the aquatics. Very clean and friendly, and on the handful of sunny warm days we get here in the NW, I can surely see it coming into its own. I wish I had a little more of the "walks on the beach with the sea spray licking your heels" kinda vibe.

    Canali Men by Canali- Like it. Doesn't seem to last too long on me, and I wish it had a bit more bite to it. This is a windbreaker of a scent, it does what it does well, but I feel like a bit of a dork in it.

    Pi by Givenchy- Undecided. Boy howdy I do love vanilla. And this scent is vanilla. Pretty simple huh? Unfortunately I felt myself wishing for the vanillaness to find a balance with whatever I though was missing, and I can't figure when the heck I would get to spritz myself with this and feel like I made the best choice for the situation given the alternatives I have my paws on.

    Terre D'Hermes by Hermes- Meh. I can tell you that something serious is going on here, definitely serious business. Unfortunately I just find myself confused and lost by this scent. It feels like so much is trying to happen all at once and I can't get it to slow down long enough to get my bearings. And the orangeness happens to be a little to pronounced.

    The Third Man by Caron- Meh. I can tell this scent is well made, it lasts forever on me and seems to have some old class. Unfortunately, the old class I'm getting from it happens to be my grandfather and his Cadillac. I just can't seem to shake the smell of my grandfather when its constantly saturating my surroundings. I like this scent a lot better when I put my wrist right up to my nose and inhale deep, its well balanced and spicy. But whatever is wafting around is just oldness.

    M7 by YSL- Hate it. The second biggest disappointment of this adventure. Its bottled cough syrup, and it comes on so strong. I sensed something trying to fight past the cherry cough syrup, and I kept hoping that spice or whatever elusive scent it was would keep growing stronger. Alas, it did not, and I can't help but feeling I'm missing out on something great here.

    Vetiver by Guerlain- Hate it. The biggest disappointment for me, after all I read and read and read I was sure there was a winner here. I guess its not you, its me Mr Guerlain, I just can't handle you. Remember that green gumbi character that the kids watched on tv years past? This is him in a bottle for me. Or liquid playdough. Just not that soapy fresh clean refreshing blast of class I was hoping for. It doesn't smell that well out of the bottle either, and given that all of these scents were purchased online I vow to track down a fresh sample somewhere and give this elusive gem another go.

    Whew. That was a lot of typing. If you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and if not, I understand. I have no intention of going back and proofreading this, I'm too exhausted now.

    I'm a fiend for the new and the novel, and I hope this post has given a few of you some sense of what pleases my senses, and can point me to where to go next. Today I have built strong foundations for what I hope to be a strong wardrobe of wearables, but I know my collection and knowledge is still fresh and full of holes.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    An excellent write up. Thanks for letting us vicariously join you on that wonderful journey

    Just a thought - hang onto those you hate or even find rather meh and test them again a month or two from now, but perhaps even more importantly, test them at least once per season, and also try them as a day and a night scent.

    I got a sample of M7 sometime last summer.. hated it. Tried it a few more times, hated it. Then one cold winter day I was looking at my bottles trying to decide my SotD and nothing was jumping out at me, and suddenly M7 came into my mind (I didn't even see my sample as it was stored away in the "hate it" pile, lol!) and it just seemed like the right thing to wear. I hesitantly sprayed it on, afraid of going into flashbacks of choking down that horrible cherry cough syrup as a child, but no.. something had changed. It just clicked, and was magical, and immediately went from being one of my most hated scents into my top 10. I don't wear it much except in fall and winter, but there are times when it is just perfect. (btw, for M7, try one spray to the mid chest on your next wearing. Two sprays max, but keep them to mid chest or lower. Anything more and it is just waaaay too much and sickening).
    Last edited by SculptureOfSoul; 17th April 2009 at 09:37 AM.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Nice short review and a good wardrobe, welcome to basenotes
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    sofaking,

    You are off to a flying start. Thanks for your impressions, it was a fun read. Hold on to the ones you are unsure about and try them several more times. You never know. Enjoy your new stuff.
    Last edited by Jock_With_Scents; 17th April 2009 at 12:07 PM.

  5. #5
    DON'T DRINK AND DRESS

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    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    A really good post sofaking and a heck of a good buying/trying binge!

    As for your likes and dislikes, if they are anything similar to mine during my first year with fragrances, some on your dislike list will end up on your love it list and vice versa. Also, I find that wearing a frag (like M7 for example) can be a daily crap shoot. There are days when I try it and can't stand it and immediately re-shower to remove it, and other days it is absolutely perfect, an ideal nose candy. Go figure..
    Last edited by kbe; 17th April 2009 at 12:38 PM.
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  6. #6

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Great post and welcome! I'd agree with the previous people about hanging onto ones you're unsure of. The first time I tried M7, it was totally lost on me. Having tried it again later after experiencing much more of the fragrant world, I totally got it and still love it now.

    Here are some you may want to try, based on the ones you're really digging from that list and not veering too far into the extreme or unconventional:
    Viktor and Rolf Antidote
    Guerlain Homme
    Narciso Rodriguez for Him
    Geir Ness
    Richard James Savile Row
    Tommy Bahama for Men

    Most, if not all, of those can be found at Nordstrom/Bloomingdales, etc.

  7. #7
    Sur la Plage

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    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Wecome sofaking!

    If you live near a Sephora, I would suggest going there and trying a bunch of fragrances - plus they are more then happy to give you samples to take home with you.
    Please feel free to check out my Swap Thread - Patou pour Homme, L'Instant de Guerlain PH Extreme, Dior Homme Intense, Pure Malt, Pure Coffee and many more! Click Here For My Swap Thread

  8. #8

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Quote Originally Posted by sofaking View Post
    The Third Man by Caron- Meh. I can tell this scent is well made, it lasts forever on me and seems to have some old class. Unfortunately, the old class I'm getting from it happens to be my grandfather and his Cadillac. I just can't seem to shake the smell of my grandfather when its constantly saturating my surroundings. I like this scent a lot better when I put my wrist right up to my nose and inhale deep, its well balanced and spicy. But whatever is wafting around is just oldness.
    I also bought The Third Man blind because of the praise on SomethingAwful, and I felt almost the exact same way as you. So, I swapped it away in the trades forum here! It's always in demand here - as I imagine M7, Vetiver, and Terre d'Hermes are too!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    An excellent write up. Thanks for letting us vicariously join you on that wonderful journey

    Just a thought - hang onto those you hate or even find rather meh and test them again a month or two from now, but perhaps even more importantly, test them at least once per season, and also try them as a day and a night scent.

    I got a sample of M7 sometime last summer.. hated it. Tried it a few more times, hated it. Then one cold winter day I was looking at my bottles trying to decide my SotD and nothing was jumping out at me, and suddenly M7 came into my mind (I didn't even see my sample as it was stored away in the "hate it" pile, lol!) and it just seemed like the right thing to wear. I hesitantly sprayed it on, afraid of going into flashbacks of choking down that horrible cherry cough syrup as a child, but no.. something had changed. It just clicked, and was magical, and immediately went from being one of my most hated scents into my top 10. I don't wear it much except in fall and winter, but there are times when it is just perfect. (btw, for M7, try one spray to the mid chest on your next wearing. Two sprays max, but keep them to mid chest or lower. Anything more and it is just waaaay too much and sickening).
    I had the same impression of M7 the first time I tried it...but it grew on me, now I love it!

    If you can track down M7 Fresh, get it! This is the scent that let me appreciate what M7 was, and now I own and love both.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Great post, sofaking. I almost passed on your thread because of the title's warning. I'm glad I took a chance.

    I'll be looking forward to your impressions of some of the more esoteric scents.
    Last edited by Snafoo; 17th April 2009 at 05:16 PM.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  11. #11

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Yeah, give yourself a few months and come back to the ones you hated. I think the Vetiver and M7 will grow on you.
    - E.J.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Brilliant! Very pleased your around - hope to read many more posts from you .
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

    reviews

  13. #13

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    stupendouslyfantabulousreviewsmyfreind!

    and yes, do keep those Vetiver and M7 samples close to ya and try it couple of monehts down the line... you never know.

  14. #14

    Smile Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneGuy View Post
    Yeah, give yourself a few months and come back to the ones you hated. I think the Vetiver and M7 will grow on you.
    I agree with you at least about Vetiver. I bought this one blind 4 months ago, and hated it. It has recently become one of my favorites.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    First, thank you all for being so welcoming and making the significant donation of time to read this thread. My gut reaction for the scents I was all "meh" or just flat out disliked was to dump them. I reasoned if this scent didn't work for others right away that would not change. I could make the commitment to learn and love the scent over time, but others wouldn't have that time to invest and when they catch a whif of sofa they would suffer.
    Im going to supress that urge and go with the group consensus, they will get shelved for now and brought to bear once more after Ive had some time to mature and season my nose and knowledge.
    Im taking the reccomendations to heart, and will activley seek to sample whatevers thrown out there. Keep em coming!
    As an aside, I just went buckwild in a decant thread on another forum, and have a bundle'o niche and nice scents coming my way. Stay tuned for the sequel to this thread, its working title is "Assault on Fort Niche".

  16. #16

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    That's a fun read! And boy, did you really buy everything from that list blindly??
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Stereotomy View Post
    That's a fun read! And boy, did you really buy everything from that list blindly??
    Everything except Envy, HM, and L'Homme. And I would do it all over again given half a chance. What a great experience it is, and what a perfect way to get started.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Believe me, you will come back to Vetiver. Mark that.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    I too suggest you hang on to these, and wear them once a month if possible. However, I suggest you smell the sprayer first, and only if you find the smell to be somewhat appealing should you wear it. Including samples, I can choose from about 200 frags to wear on any given day now, but I have to want to experience that smell or else I won't even consider it. Also, I've found that my tastes have changed, but I try to keep frags that I think I might like at some point. Rochas Man is one I have given up on, because I find it to be so unbalanced! This may be because I have sampled similar frags that are not as "rough," whereas if you don't you may always like it, so beware of that happening. Another thing I'll mention is that as a total newbie, I didn't notice sweetness much, but now I have trouble with frags that have no sweetness to them. Don't fight this kind of thing if it happens to you, but don't go too far the other way and buy only super-sweet frags. I find it necessary to have sweet and mildly sweet frags so I can go back and forth and not get bored.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 18th April 2009 at 03:17 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    i was typing up a storm until my computer froze...so i'll just give you three offering from designers and 3 offerings from niche world which i think you will greatly enjoy while having your eyes open to a different types of scents.

    Designer

    Juicy Couture Dirty English
    Tommy Bahama
    Chanel Platinum Egosite


    Niche

    Frederic Malle Outrageous!
    Bond # 9 Bleecker Street
    Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur.
    CDG 3 (The one you CAN'T find anywhere) for trade.
    Full 4 oz Bottle of Silver Mountain Water(95% full) for trade(purchased at Nordstrom not online). PM me for details.

    My Blog: www.BLAMEURPARENTS.com

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Very fun read! Thanks for sharing, and being so open about your likes and dislikes. I found myself in agreement with a lot of your observations - it's nice to find someone with similar tastes. Take your time on Terre d'Hermès - you may come around. I hear you about Pi - I loved it back in the day, but it mehs me out now. Consider the newer Pi Neo for more balance. It has a beautiful powdery musk mixed into the vanilla, but it's balanced with woody, aquatic, and boozy notes. Wear it a few times and you'll see that it excels in the drydown - much nicer than the original Pi, IMO. And if you want to sneak up on Vetiver, try Sel de Vétiver first. That one has a nicely cleaned and restrained vetiver, with a salty thing that resembles marine frags like Bulgari Aqua. It's what got me to love vetiver. After that, Vetiver smelled a lot better to me.

    L'Homme is the ladykiller - there is no doubt.

    Welcome to Basenotes!
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  22. #22
    Dependent

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    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    Redneck, been a while since i seen u posting? old lady ban? kidding

    anyways sofaking, excellent review and i totally support ur ysl and bvlgari order!!!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    So, took another plunge. Based on community support and some nice reccomendations I have large decants on the way of New Haarlem, Wall Street, Erolfa, Millesime Imperial, Silver Mountain Water, Green Valley, Green Irish Tweed, YSL-M7 Fresh , Chanel Egoiste, Knize Ten, L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme ,Habit Rouge by Guerlain. Followed this plunge with a two and a half twist off the high dive and got large decants of Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur, and Creed Bois du Portugal. I had a nice finish with samples of Bleeker Street, Geir Ness, Tommy Bohamma, Love and Luck, Viktor and Rolf, Gucci Pour Homme I, Dior Homme, Narciso Rodriguez, John Varvatos, Cannabis Santal, and Guerlain Pour Homme.
    Some long winded reviews to follow, but I expect it to take me a while to work through enough of these to make a post worthwhile, might break it in half.
    Needless to say, I couldnt be more excited to recieve all this and start trying new things!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Brace Yourselves: A long winded newbies blind buy adventure is to be found here!

    If you end up liking the Tommy Bahama, I''ve seen it a Ross Dress for Less stores for very little $

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