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  1. #1

    Default Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Thanks to all for such a terrific site. I ended up here in a rather backwards fashion and have now been thoroughly enchanted by the idea of beginning a fragrance collection. I have never done this and am now at a point in my life where I can cut loose a few dollars periodically to spend on myself! I think this is the direction I woudl like to go for right now.

    I need to start to build an updated wardrobe. I am 54 and fair skinned. Many fragrances don't last on my skin and I am particular about heavy scents so I have shyed away from them until now. I have eclectic taste and a limited budget.

    I am enjoying light fragrances for summer = oriental florals. Vera Wang by Vera Wang.
    I like the aquatics more than the greens.

    I am in love forever with both Calvin Klein (red classic), now discontinued, and Inoui by Shiseido, also discontinued. I am wearing Prada by Prada and I am liking Guerlain in general, although I have not purchased much. I feel that that may be a good house for me. I am serioulsy interested in something similiar to the Calvin Klein or the Inoui in that they are very distinct, unusual, but seductive and definate. They both have staying power on me as well.

    I am not a patchouli person nor do I like strong strong vanillas. I don't like fruity or candy scents. I like dark fragrances, but I can't find something different - interesting - that I can use to begin to build a cold weather wardrobe upon. I also need frangrances that are versatile - I can often work through the day and into the evening.

    I value the experts here and would seriously like to begin a test list so that I know what to try. I feel as if I will be able to purchase from this site on a regualr basis and I believe you can lead me to try on some new ideas.

    Thanks in advance for your time and consideration -
    Foxfollower - Massachusetts, USA

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Have you ever tried Lancome's Magie Noire?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    No, I have not tried much of anything. Too overwhelmed. Can you tell me a little?


  4. #4

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances


    Welcome to Basenotes

    Guerlain is a fantastic house, and I'm sure you'll find plenty there to choose from!

    I don't know exactly what price range you are looking at, but I'll skip the designer scents since I know less about them, and here are some heavy niche scents instead that you might like:

    Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens

    Ambre Sultan has a little vanilla, and a little patchouli, but really it's a deep rich exotic sexy amber with some herbs thrown in to keep life interesting. It's one of my favourite scents, and while it's not cheap, it has incredible lasting power and a little goes a very long way. It was one of my first niche purchases, and I use it several times a week, and the bottle barely has a dent in it.

    Kyoto by Comme des Garcons

    Okay, so not such a heavy scent, but it's got incense in it so it may be a bit different One of my absolute favourite scents, and I've given testers to a few people who have all flipped over it. I don't know if you've ever been to a Buddhist temple, but every time I wear it I have flashbacks to visiting an outdoor temple near where I live. It brings to mind the flowers and trees in the gardens, and the fountains, and the people burning incense at the statues. Pretty great stuff.

    Two for Two by L'Artisan Parfumeur

    After Ambre Sultan, this is my favourite winter/cold weather scent. Warm, cozy, snuggly, it reminds me of a really rich cup of black tea and some cookies. It has a bit of vanilla in the drydown stage, but honestly it's really all about the tea.

    If you want some samples, lemme know and I can hook you up with a couple small ones.
    Last edited by alacious; 10th July 2009 at 06:49 AM.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Welcome there FoxFollower!

    If you are looking for some generally light scents that are nice and floral and or mildly fresh I have a few in mind:

    Guerlain's Shalimar Eau Légère Parfumée (a light floral with very mild and subtle citrus and much less powdery compared to the original, a definitely must-try take on Shalimar)
    Hermes Hiris (for the longest-time this has been my favorite Iris scent. Its sweet and slightly powdery take on Iris, very unlike alot of niche versions of Iris(which I've also come to appreciate lately), this is less sharp to the nose and very easy to wear.
    Narciso Rodriguez Essence
    Narciso Rodriguez for her EDP (both NRs have a synthetic powdery blend of a floral bouquet that if you liked in Clinique's Happy, you will definitely enjoy)

    Oh and i definitely 2nd L'Artisan's Tea for Two. A fantastic take on tea, but it's not fresh or flowery sweet, or "dark" for that matter, definitely do sample first and give some wears to appreciate.
    Last edited by MFJ; 10th July 2009 at 06:20 AM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Well, I sampled it a few months back. It's a "dark," rich floral. Also, have you tried Bandit? You might want to read reviews in the BN directory until you find something that seems right. You can search it for the specific notes you like.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    To me, when i think "rich", "dark", "floral combined, instantly Feminitè du Bois comes to mind.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Welcome Foxfollower! I was just sorting through tons of sample vials...if you send me a PM with your address, I'd be happy to forward some of them to you! You'll quickly find out, there's nothing a basenoter likes better than enabling another basenoter!

  9. #9
    Lean in closer, dear
    Quarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    :wave: Oh, welcome, Foxfollower! Isn't it amazing to be 54? I'm liking it a lot, and I had the same feeling ("enchanted by the idea of beginning a fragrance collection") just a couple years ago -- Basenotes played no small part in my pursuit.

    I'm too brain dead right now to think of any frag suggestions (besides, I'm probably too much about the greens), but I'm wishing you joyous enlightenment and a playful journey.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Welcome, Foxfollower! :wave:

    I'm not familiar with the favorites that you listed, but I'll give it a shot. For Inouï, Michael Edwards seems to think you might consider Balmain de Balmain, Y by Yves Saint Laurent, and Miss Dior. (I never know how successful his recommendations are, though!)

    I see you like a couple of Bvlgari scents. Have you tried Eau Parfumée au Thé Rouge or Eau Parfumée au Thé Blanc? Those are two of my favorites in the summer. The first one always strikes me as more of an unusual perfume (don't judge it in the first couple of minutes!), while the second is a subtle "wear anywhere" scent.

    Some newer "oriental-floral" fragrances that might be worth a sniff:
    Estée Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang
    Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess
    Calvin Klein Secret Obsession
    Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily
    Sarah Jessica Parker's new Twilight (not sure how you feel about celeb scents)

    Something for cooler weather:
    Tom Ford Black Orchid or Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (but has a patchouli note)
    I like gourmand scents in the winter: L'Artisan Tea for Two, Serge Lutens Douce Amère, Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé, etc.

    Distinctive & still subtle for work, wearable year-round, in my opinion:
    Serge Lutens Daim Blond

    And finally, some older threads discussing "dark" scents:
    "Dark berries/fruit" (trying to avoid candy/fruity)
    "Deep, dark, delicious!"
    "The MOST dark... gothic scents"

    Happy sniffing!
    Last edited by tang; 10th July 2009 at 06:33 PM.
    Sniff and let sniff.

  11. #11
    Heartwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Welcome Foxfollower! :wave: Lemme guess-- you ended up here trying to find a replacement for Inoui?

    I've just read reviews and descriptions of Inoui, and it sounds like a chypre to die for! I notice also that Calvin Klein (not sure what "red classic" is, but I'm thinking the one released in 1978) also has oakmoss, woods, and musk in the base with sweet fruit and florals in the rest of the composition. Are the late stages of CK and Inoui similar to your nose? In any event, I'm going to make some soft, green chypre recommendations, because while you say you don't like green, Inoui seems to be largely about galbanum, citrus, and oakmoss. I also don't care for strong vanilla or fruity scents, so I think our tastes might be similar.

    Estee Lauder White Jasmine Moss-- The best thing I've put my nose into in a while! I'm absolutely besotted with this brand new release from EL. It's not widely available yet; I think Bloomingdale's is the only store actually selling it, with others accepting pre-orders.

    Safari by Ralph Lauren-- recently reintroduced thru RL's boutiques, but original bottles still turn up at Marshall's for a bargain. It's very green and dry, a great summer chypre.

    O de Lancome-- A bright, citrusy, lightweight chypre. Clean and refreshing, a little soapy but not so much that I dislike it.

    Chanel No 19-- Available to test at most major department stores (Macy's, Bloomies, etc.), but you might have to ask the sales associate about it if you don't see a bottle sitting out on the counter. It's an old classic that doesn't receive much attention nowadays.

    Acqua di Parma Profumo-- Not especially green, but definitely especially beautiful. Hard to find except at places like Neiman Marcus, but worth the trouble.

    Annick Goutal Heure Exquise-- Also $$$ and hard to find except at super high-end dept. stores, but it has more emphasis on green notes than Profumo. A bit like Safari, but much softer.

    Sorry for the pricey, hard-to-find recommendations, but the problem with scents like Inoui and (I think) CK is that they literally don't make 'em like they used to. The current market isn't interested in these types of classic scents. Also, recent laws passed by the governing body of perfume makers (IFRA) are disallowing critical ingredients to be used in the same way that they once were. I feel pretty comfortable making recommendations found at high-end stores and boutiques since you're in the Cape Cod area and I think you'll find them pretty easily there. I hope I'm not wrong!

    Other recommendations that aren't chypres:

    Gucci Envy-- A lovely, dewey, well-blended (i.e. hard to pick out individual notes) floral. It feels green, but doesn't have obvious notes like vetiver or moss or galbanum, or things that typically jump out and say, "I'm green." Brilliant, imo.

    Jo Malone Dark Amber Ginger Lily-- You're just going to have to try it, hopefully at Nordstrom or a Jo Malone boutique. The sister scent, Lotus Blossom & Water Lily is also beautiful and perfect for hot summers.

    Hermes Kelly Caleche-- Fragrances with a leather accord are usually preferred in winter, but a lot of people mention this is nice for summer too because it's a gorgeous floral scent as well. I like it on bright, sunny winter days that almost feel like spring except that it's still 50º in the shade. Avoid the new edp version, which is very sweet. The edt is fascinating, and also a very good introduction to what leather smells like in a fragrance.

    L'Occitan by L'Occitane-- This is another cool-weather recommendation. Please disregard that it's a men's fragrance and politely ignore the L'O sales associate when she tries to steer you toward the women's scents. This and L'O Eau de Baux are two of my favorites (and very reasonably priced). Some find the vanilla in EdB too strong, but in winter it feels comforting and just right. The woody notes in EdB are absolutely gorgeous, much better than L'O unisex version, Cedar.

    I agree with the idea that you should explore incense scents. Donna Karan has two-- Black Cashmere and Chaos, that are divine. Originally only at Bergdorf Goodman, these are now at Neiman Marcus as well. Also, Serge Lutens Gris Clair-- very calming, introspective, and lovely in cool weather. These should give you a good idea about this family of fragrances and whether you'll like incense or not. There are, of course, others like the Comme des Garçons line, but I think these will be easiest to hunt down and try.

    Welcome again, Foxfollower! I hope you enjoy this hobby!
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances


    I'll continue to check this thread. In the meantime - I bow to the Buddha in you all! These are terrific recommendations and it's very exciting because many that were suggested are on my "idea" or I guess, "test" list that I am developing. This makes me feel as if I am going in the right directions. The others I am unfamiliar with and I am anticipating the hunt! It's ON! Bring it! Ha.

    Both the darks and the lights here seem right on target for what I am seeking. Finally! An educated list with a place to begin! I'll continue to take all suggestions and if I falter along the way, I guess I will become on of those Basenoters with a "Swap" thread! LOLOL.

    Again, nice to meet such a wonderful group and thanks. I look forward getting to know everyone and posting the "Fox Hunt" reports!


  13. #13

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by an_oud_girl View Post
    Estee Lauder White Jasmine Moss-- The best thing I've put my nose into in a while! I'm absolutely besotted with this brand new release from EL. It's not widely available yet; I think Bloomingdale's is the only store actually selling it, with others accepting pre-orders.
    ^ Seconding this one!

    And "Fox Hunt" reports -- love it.
    Last edited by tang; 10th July 2009 at 10:08 PM.
    Sniff and let sniff.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    I'm not sure I can add much more to all these wonderful suggestions that you've gotten thus far...I'm still a relative newbie and I haven't sampled some of your favorites, but I wanted to mention that the folks here can also steer you to ways/means to sample the fragrances before you buy (thus saving yourself some $$!).

    L'Artisan's website lets you pick 5 samples (1 mL) each for $7, which is an amazing bargain, I think. I mention it, b/c L'Artisan has been mentioned here.

    As for a "dark" fragrance, I sampled (and then rec'd as a gift from DH) Czech and Speake's Dark Rose. Marvelous. I love this one - I hear it's similar to some of the Montale's (which I have yet to try!). But you might like this one - I wouldn't let the patchouli scare you, either.

    C&S also has a nice sample program. I think you can simply go to their website and request the samples. I asked for 4, but I think others have gotten samples of the entire line. It's free, IIRC.

    OK, back to work...hth..

  15. #15

    Default Re: Newbie needing updated fragrances

    Wow. Great TIPS!!!


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