Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    Default Another new poster in need of advice

    I, like many others, am in need of suggestions for perfume. I have tried many of the suggestions posted to others' queries but have been unable to find a scent.

    Unfortunately, many scents give me a headache - anything with strong rose, violet, lily of the valley, gardenia etc, perfumes such as Poison and Opium,Bulgari Green Tea, all the Elizabeth Taylor scents and most of the Calvin Klein's are pretty much guaranteed to give me a throbbing headache at best and a migraine at the worst.

    Surprisingly, Flowerbomb, which I saw reviewed here, does not give me a headache. Wore Charlie (didn't we all) and Grass Oil as a kid and don't remember having problems with those. Tried them again and either my chemistry has changed or my taste has!

    I am 48, an accountant, live in what for my state is a city but most would consider pretty rural, live in jeans and sweaters even for work, wear stockings and heels for weddings and funerals only and wear the same jewelry (platinum wedding band, diamond solitaire, sapphire ring, silver watch and sterling bracelet and ball earrings every day) Married, have two dogs and two cats, no two-legged kids. Hate shopping for clothes, love shopping for books and furniture.

    So far as everyday scents that I enjoy - darjeeling or earl grey tea, cloves and cinnamon, the air after a thunderstorm or on a below zero day, fresh tomatoes, newly mown hay and linens that have been line dried. While it may just be the reminder of my grandfather, I love the original Old Spice.

    Given this synopsis of my life, can anyone give me suggestions on what I might try? I often can only try one scent when I shop because if that one gives me a headache, I cannot try any others. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for trying scents without getting a headache, I would welcome them.

    Thank you so much for your time - it is appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Welcome shiloh! We are glad to see you.
    You'll get many suggestions. The tomato you mention gives me an idea: Sisley's Eau de Campagne which has delightful green notes, including tomato leaf! It is really refreshing and different.
    Roger and Gallet's Extra Vielle is a very classy scent, citrus with a hint of rose. I think it would suit you.
    Try Thierry Mugler cologne, which has a soothing green soapy scent.
    I don't think any of these would be headache-inducing.

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

  3. #3

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Welcome to the forum shiloh93

  4. #4
    Basenotes Plus
    RHM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Saint Louis, MO

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Welcome, Shiloh!
    I too suffer from fragrance induced headaches (migraines, actually) so I understand exactly how you feel. Ody has given you some excellent choices. I'm sure you have learned to avoid the "ninja" sprayers of perfume at certain retail counters.

    Don't try more than 3 scents at a time & always try on paper before you test on your skin. No sense going home with a headache trigger on you. At least you can throw the paper away.

    Take a look at my wardrobe & you'll see what I own & what I've tested. If I own it, it doesn't give me a headache.

    I think you would enjoy Sogni del Mare by Antonia Flowers. It's not widely known but absolutely beautiful fresh "oceanic" floral. Infusion D'Iris by Prada was a sleeper scent for me. At first I thought nothing of it, but the more I wore it the more I grew to love it. You might too.

    Also, check out CB i hate perfume. His Memories of Kindess & Russian Caravan Tea would be perfect for you.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    first of all welcome aboard shiloh93!
    Then let me see if I can help you. I second SIstey Eau de Campagne and also add some other green scents like O de Lancome, Villoresi's Yerbamate and the new Chanel Cristalle eau verte. Another classic one I recommend you to sample is Diorella. Other good suggestions are Hermès Eau des Merveilles (it has almost no floral notes yet smells fabulous)

  6. #6

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Thank you so much for the gracious welcoming and the suggestions. I have made a list of your suggestions and will be off to Macy's to see what they have available for testing as I think that will be the only place around here that will carry some of these scents. I very much appreciate your time and any other suggestions you might offer.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I'm glad these seem helpful to you. Here is another suggestion. I highly recommend Ayala Moriel perfumes. Ayala is a lovely person, an artisanal perfume maker who uses a high degree of natural ingredients. Some people find that some synthetic notes induce headaches, so this might be worth checking into. Ayala has a website, and she welcomes inquiries, also you may purchase some samples. I own several of her scents. They are subtle and of very high quality.

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

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    welcome shiloh93,

    with regards to Darjeeling, i think you could seek out some other bvlgari scents related. i can understand how green tea or jasmine may be a little heavy. dont give up too soon on bvlgari tho, they have much milder ranges and unisex scent that are tea inspired. You should get a whole lot more suggestions from the rest so i'll leave at what i know relatively better. another scent that i think may be of ur interest is Hermes Hiris hope this has helped you in a way or another.
    Last edited by MFJ; 15th May 2009 at 10:42 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    If the store carries Guerlain you might also try their lighter Aqua Allegoria line - there's one called Herba Fresca which is in the same ballpark as Eau de Campagne. I went on a hunt for a lady friend who asked for a 'freshly cut grass' scent and these two worked well for her (also an interesting education for me!). From what I understand the AA line is more 'Eau de Colgne' than "perfume" so less over powering.

  10. #10
    ECaruthers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Rochester, NY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Welcome, Shiloh93,

    I also love the smell of tomato leaves and vines. I hadn't heard of Sisley's Eau de Campagne so your post has already helped me.

    I second the suggestion of always trying scents on paper and never squirting something on your skin untill you've checked the whole evolution on paper. Take a pen with you, so you can write what you spray on each test card. And just in case your store doesn't carry test cards, make your own. I cut heavy uncoated copier paper into pieces about 5"x2" that fit easily in my pocket.

    Finally, please post what works for you.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    My first thought was the CB I Hate Perfume line. He does some scents that are "experiences", and some that are closer to conventional perfumes, plus he has a line of accords, which I assume are some of the individual scents that he combines to make the perfumes. You can read about all of them on his website.

    I love Burning Leaves and Gathering Apples, which smell like, well, burning leaves and apples. Tea/Rose (I prefer the absolute to the water perfume) is a nice soft realistic (well, if I read the description correctly, it's not just realistic but actually real) rose scent that's calmed down with some tea. I love the Black Tea Accord, and Just Breathe is really growing on me as an undemanding relaxing scent. I want to try them all, but there's no free way to sample them.

    I have most of them in the oil form (the absolute or the accords) and find all of those to be nice and well-behaved, not sneezy or headache-inducing. I can't speak for sure about the water perfumes.

    Last edited by Crayfish; 17th May 2009 at 07:07 AM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Does parfum give you headace as well? I think parfums stays closer to the skin and gives a more gentle and round radiance. Dabbing instead of spraying could help. And to apply lower on the body. And on skin that will be covered with clothes might help if you not already do that.
    Last edited by Novis2007; 17th May 2009 at 10:40 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    'darjeeling or earl grey tea, [spice], the air after a thunderstorm' reminded me of Serge Lutens' 5 O'Clock Au Gingembre, which I think you might enjoy.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Many thanks to those who posted suggestions. Over the past several months I have worked my way thru the scents suggested and, unfortunately, have not found a scent that smells good on me and doesn't give me a headache.

    The Cristella and Diorella both gave me a headache beyond belief. Thank goodness I tried them on weekends as I would not have been able to work the next day.

    Loved the Eau de Campagne and Sogni del Mare on the test strips, however, tomato leaves smell better on the plant than on me, unfortunately.

    My husband vetoed Russian Caravan Tea saying I smelled like bug spray. Again, one of the scents that smelled lovely on the test strip but not on me.

    I think I have worked my way thru every Bulgari I could find and none seem to smell good on me and most give me a headache. I got my husband to try the Bulgari Green Tea because I liked it so much and it smelled terrific on him -- too bad I couldn't get close to him without getting a headache. A scent that stimulates the senses but leaves me too sick to put it into action.

    I tried a bunch of (I think) aquatic scents such as Blue Water -- no luck. Burberry something or other nearly killed me when someone else sprayed it on a tester near me.

    Does anyone have any further suggestions or am I destined to go thru life smelling like my unscented soap, unscented shampoo, unscented deodorant and unscented laundry detergent? Maybe I could stick a sachet of darjeeling tea, a clove and a cinnamon stick in my bra and walk around with a tomato in my hand? Alas....

  15. #15

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    So You by Giorgio Beverly Hills is light, slightly sweet, and has a maple syrup kind of vibe. That's the lightest "women's" fragrance I can think of that I'd still consider "solid" all around.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I have no advice about the headache effect, other than to suggest trying some more 'natural' products - if you can get to a Lush or Body Shop store they would be good places to start.

    As for other fragrances - and with the 'tea thing' in mind - I'd suggest trying Elle by Yves Saint Laurent; and Duel by Annick Goutal.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I'll give you this, Shiloh - you're persistent! I'm impressed.

    This may be a long shot, but you might trying sampling some of the fragrances from L'Artisan. Most of their offerings have an "ethereal" quality that might mitigate some of the headache reactions you have to more conventional fragrances. Suggestions from that line would include The Pour Un Ete, Eau de Jatamansi, L'Eau de L'Artisan and others. L'Artisan isn't too hard to find, either on the internet or in brick-and-mortar boutiques in major cities. I also second the suggestion to try all natural fragrances such as those from Ayala.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts. Daniel Moynihan

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Shiloh93, thanks for reporting back!

    Just out of curiosity, when you mentioned you went through the Bulgari scents, did you manage to try the men's Bulgari Pour Homme, Pour Homme Extreme? They are very light and perfectly unisex IMO. Both are based on Darjeeling tea, the latter has some added citrus.

    I'd second sampling L'Artisan Parfumeur scents, Tea For Two is a good one to start with.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by MFJ; 10th November 2009 at 01:15 AM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I reckon you should try Hermes range. Un Jardin sur le Nil, Un Jardin Après La Mousson. They smell really natural and dont smell like perfume at all.

    You might be allergic to alcohol. Try pure perfume or blended with oil. One example would be the extrait.
    AUSSIES, come join our SPLIT GROUP at

    "No Pain, No Gain"

  20. #20

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    When I read your post I immediately thought you should try the L'Artisan Parfumeur line. They are beautiful, evocative scents, with many of the notes you already like, but they are also subtle and unobtrusive. Many of the heavy perfume users on this forum complain that they don't last long and are not very strong, but for you it sounds like that is what you need.

    I was pleased to see two previous posters also recommended this brand. There is a Blue Mercury in a mall near me which carries them, maybe there is one near you as well. Otherwise they may be hard to find.

    To go from the high end to the low end, Body Shoppe carries a line of pefume oils that are nice enough. Because they are oil based instead of alcohol based, they might help your headache problem. They aren't as special as many of the other suggestions, but at least you'll be able to wear them. They last forever on your skin. Actually that reminds me, Bulgari has a scent which is water based, designed for mothers with young babies who do not want to irritate the babies but still want to smell nice. It is light and subtle and you might like it. I forget the name, sorry, but I am sure you can find it.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I second the suggestion of Elle by YSL which I love to smell on my gf so much, it is a true masterpiece.
    Currently listening to: Counting Crows - Mr. Jones, The Last Waltz - Old Boy, The Prodigy - Firestarter, Gorillaz - Clint Eastwood, R.E.M - Losing My Religion, "He's On the Beach" - Kirsty MacColl, In-Grid - Tu Es Foutu

  22. #22

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    I second trying the L'artisan line and in particular Tea for two.Also second Eau de Merveilles,Ô de Lancome and Infusion d'iris. Narciso Rodriguez For Her is also worth a try.It's low on silage and quite clean smelling.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    Shiloh, yours is one of my favorite introductions ever on this thread....REAL information about who you are and what you like, not just "I need a clubbing scent and I don't want to smell old." Sheesh.

    L'Artisan Tea for two is an excellent recommendation, and I further advise you to follow the line of soloflore (single note) scents that are naturally based. Try some of the Demeter Fragrance Library options, especially Fresh Cut Grass and Tomato. You might also like Czech and Speake's Oxford and Cambridge, which is a very natural lavender scent. Lavender is usually an aromatherapudic remedy for headache, so it may be appealing for you. Check out some of the Comme des Garcons Series Green scents as well.

    Some of these scents may be hard for you to find...check out The Perfumed Court for small decant samples of just about any fragrance you may want. I know that I am always frustrated by the selection of testers in my local stores.
    Do you think "Old Lady Perfume" is a compliment? Join the Scent of an Old Woman Social Group and chat in-depth about vintage and classic fragrances!


  24. #24

    Default Re: Another new poster in need of advice

    hi everyone! i'm a fragrance neophyte too. thank you shiloh for posting this question. i've had the same problem and this is my first time venturing out into the fragrance world to find my holy grail. i'm definitely going to try all the ones suggested so far.

    usually i like fresh scents. cold mountain air, lavender, rosemary. the only scent i've ever liked that isn't fresh is tobacco. i still remember sitting next to an old man smoking a pipe when i was a child. i was addicted to that scent ever since. (no i don't smoke)

    i am wondering if anyone can recommend a "warm" scent for the winter . i thought i smelled it in L de Lolita (maybe cinnamon & caramel)...? but it was very overpowering, and i did get a headache.
    Last edited by tinyturtle; 11th November 2009 at 01:10 AM.

Similar Threads

  1. need advice please: selling fumes on ebay
    By seattlelight in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 16th February 2008, 02:59 AM
  2. Took your collective advice, now what/where/when?
    By asleep in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 9th January 2007, 03:20 AM
  3. New to fragrances, need some advice
    By oakleys in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 8th August 2006, 02:23 AM
  4. Advice?
    By yepyep in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 9th February 2006, 07:41 AM
  5. help and advice needed
    By womble in forum Men's Grooming
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 15th January 2006, 11:09 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000