I'm new, check out my intro post.
So about 5 years ago I ran into a very iconoclastic friend of mine -- a real bohemian artist type, killer with the ladies, extremely charismatic and unpredictable -- and upon giving him a big Californian hug, I smelled a complex and exciting fragrance. I finally got around to asking him about what it was a couple years later, and he said he had no memory, only that he commonly mixes colognes, and that he was wearing a Diesel cologne a lot at that time.
No Diesel colognes I have ever smelled are even close to what he had on that day.
So, please rack your brains for me. Here is the description of my first signature fragrance:
Firstly, it must be green. Grass, herbs, certainly. Woods, probably. Fresh but never aquatic. Bracing but not medicinal. Citrus would be a welcome rounding out to the greenness.
Next, it should be dry. Uncompromising. No sweet edges in the top or heart. Certainly no fruits (NO FIG for f%&k's sake). In fact, it should be dissonant: there should be tension. Some sort of classic clash. I could imagine that a clean white flower like Jasmine Sambac might be present in a small dose as a bridge between the green and the animalic, as long as it increases, rather than smooths out, the tension.
Lastly, it ought to be animalic. I'm not sure if that means cumin, civet, castoreum, honey, musk, oud or ambrette. This note could conceivably be the dissonant counterpart to the fresh notes.
Edit 6/10/11: To summarize:
green/grass : must have
castoreum, civet: probably
dry woods: probably
floral: minimal to none
leather: only if not birch tar (saffron or costus are good)
fruit: probably not
birch tar: no
- A more bitter, more green, more animalic, less citric version of Bois d'Orage/French Lover
- A less sweet, less spicy, more green, less coniferous, less edible version of Yatagan
- Sort of halfway between those two frags.
Here's how I imagine the experience it ought to evoke: sex in an herb garden surrounded by an industrial factory. (That doesn't necessary mean metallic, just something modern.)
I don't care if the fragrance is meant for men or unisex. (I assume all women's fragrances will not be dry enough for me.) I am an experimental man, a musician. I dress younger than I am, but act mature beyond my years. Unconventional is a must. Never sporty or light. I want to communicate a connection to nature and sexual threat... hence the green/animalic goal. Sort of like an urban Pan.
My experience with naturals is extensive, but with commercial frags I don't have a lot of memories to draw on, but here are some notes from my trip to Sephora today:
- Burberry Beat: too conservative musky. I'm not classic, I'm experimental. Nice construction though.
- Bvlgari Eau de The Vert: wonderful smelling, but too nice. The tea is far too innocent. Not green/bitter enough.
- Hermes Jardin Apres le Mousson: fantastic opening accord, green is awesome, but too friendly, clean and smooth on the drydown. Not animalic enough.
- Tom Ford Grey Vetiver: dryness is great, but too clean and classic. I'm no gentleman.
- Terre d'Hermes: opening is great, very unique. this is in the direction i want to go, but the drydown is too musky and classic. I hope I never feel old enough to wear this.
- Hermes Jardin au le Nil: this one is interesting. if it could be a bit more bitter/dry and add a subtle, disgusting note, we'll be close to what i'm looking for. the greenness is a little too attenuated, but the balance of the construction is just superb. drydown stays nice and dry, though missing a little funk
- Cartier Declaration Essence: really, really interesting. see, here we have a weird animalic note reminiscent of bilge water grossing out the nice woods. if there was a big bunch of grass and herbs fucking this frag up, i'd be in business. Take out the musk and put in the green and that would pretty much seal the deal.
What do you think? Anything spring to mind? Referencing Perfumes A-Z Guide, Derby and Sous le Vent seem like they might be in the area I'm seeking. The latter is a longshot because chypres smell like soap and dad to me (he had Canoe), not interesting in the slightest.
Last edited by MonkeyBars; 10th November 2011 at 02:27 AM.
From the reviews, it might be a match. Drydown sounds a bit classic though. I'll check it out for sure.
Citrus Paradisi could fit the bill
Thanks alfarom. Sounds a little more citrus than green, with just some light herbal notes in the middle. That sounds kind of interesting too though...
Oh, hmm... in my imagination civet+grapefruit = urine... is that the case with Citrus Paradisi?
Eau Zone by Jeanne Arthes
The one that your description conjures up for me is Hindu Grass by Nasomotto.
Here's Luckyscent's description:
Peaceful, serene and calming, Hindu Grass is a dry grass-meets-green fragrance infused with patchouli (we think) and a definite dried herbal counterpart. It’s completely unconventional and disarming, a dry, soothing scent that’s so unusual we don’t think we can compare it to anything, whether in real life or another perfume (and we love that!) The philosophy behind Hindu Grass is to, “Breathe the belief in universal peace and love. It is a result of the quest for the warm affection of humanity.” That might sound like flowery prose, but when you actually wear Hindu Grass, you get it: it’s created to be calming, with notes from the earth that don’t intrude on your reverie with blatant, hey, that smells just like so-and-so. Spiritual and meditative, it invites flowery prose and draws people close with its natural attractiveness.
Hindu Grass Notes
Herbs, grassy notes, tobacco, patchouli
Amouage -Memoir Man ,very dry and green in my opinion and Divine - Eau Divine .(superb).You might wanna try them.
Versace l'Homme - dark and leathery animalic, dry and almost astringent due to citric and spicy notes, also slightly soapy, while the opening is herbal, almost botanical
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I will definitely be checking out most of these.
I'm noticing a lot of these frags being suggested have a leather drydown. I'm pretty bored by leather fragrances, and definitely want to avoid soapy notes. The last thing I want to put forth is a classic, tweed-wearing luxury car vibe. I prefer a complex dry vegetal vetiver drydown. I wonder if that's too much to ask...
As for the leather in the drydown, it can be used in a number of ways of course. Many leather scents do use a clean, purse/new car interior leather note, but often it can be dirtied up, like a punk rock leather jacket, and be a little dirty, somewhat stinky, and often simply slutty. Dirty English is a good example of this use of leather.
And finally, look into Malle's French Lover (Bois d'Orage). It's described as possessing a "vegetal animality", and it does feature a "complex dry vegetal vetiver drydown", as requested. On my skin the cedar is much too prominent, but it does get a lot of love here on Basenotes, and it's worth a try. Incidentally it works much better on a hot day...
Thanks for the distinction Al -- a dirty leather would probably be okay as long as it's not too rich. I am pretty sick of safe, boring, powdery musk drydowns.
French Lover sounds like a good match, thanks! I enjoy cedar and angelica a lot. I'll have to think hard about it since it's so pricey.
Monsieur Lanvin Vetyver sounds like it would fit the bill (the original).
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Thanks Al, I'll do that for sure.
Well, I ordered the Luca Turin top 10 masculines pack of 1ml decants from The Perfumed Court and now that I'm finally over my cold for the most part, I am delving in. (I would have dropped by Barney's this weekend if I'd been feeling better.) This is not so much because I think any of them will be right for me, but for my own edification.
The first scent I tried is one that sounded like it might be a fit, or at least enjoyable to smell, Chanel's Sycomore. I dipped my scent strip directly into the vial (no atomizer...) about 15 minutes ago, and I must say, it's the best perfume I've ever smelled, knowing what I was smelling. That is not saying a lot, since I haven't been through more than a couple dozen. It's just so amazingly natural and balanced. If my opinion changes farther into the drydown, I'll repost here.
I'm not surprised no one suggested it, as it is neither green nor animalic enough -- it's more smoke and dry woods. But I do love the vetiver. I like the aromatics too .. and in fact I can finally smell that camphoric-smoky tone of sycamores. It brought me back to my front yard as a child, all those tall eucalyptus dropping their dry leaves on our steep driveway in the Winter!
Okay it's been around half an hour and there is a slightly sweeter note coming in, probably sandalwood, and boy it just really works. I am totally blown away by this composition! I knew I was right to give the world of synthetic frags a sincere shot at impressing me.
Sycomore isn't right for me because it's too civilized, but it is absolutely fantastic. Very surprising that it is being marketed to women. I love how dry it is (8 or 9 on a scale of 10). My first 5-star rating for sure. It's got a bit of a glow to it, but not annoyingly, synthetically so. We'll see if the drydown is too musky for me -- I'm pretty sure I'm hyperosmic to macrocyclic musks and many other synthetics (since others don't seem nearly as bothered by them as I).
Last edited by MonkeyBars; 24th May 2011 at 11:28 PM.
There's no designer frag like that, I'll tell you that much.
It's fun to "witness" someone discover their first five-star frag. It may not fill the role for green animality that you're looking for, but don't forget: different situations call for different fragrances! I got into the fragrance game thinking I'd be a 1-2 fragrance dude. Now it's more like 25 and counting... Watch out!
Al Gae, when you start collecting frags it will always be a number, from 2 to 999, with the phrase "and counting" following.
pk116, you'll have to refer directly to what you mean by "that" if you want me to understand.
Al, I thought you might dig what I had to say about Sycomore! I will indeed be careful. I have a few natural perfumes and oils that I created and enjoy wearing them at different times, so I do know what it's like. Formulation and mixing became too time-consuming, however, and that's another reason I'm here, smelling professional compositions.
Sycomore is pretty linear after the first minute, slightly mellowing but still perfect dry vetiver-woods. Wonderful stuff.
Well, I didn't want to spend $5 for a sample of Yatagan which is $29 for a 4.2oz bottle, so I just went ahead and ordered it blind.
You'll see my post on the For Sale board if I hate it. Wish me luck...
Anyway, some things to try:
One Man Show (Jacques Bogart): maybe more brown (nutmeg, incense) than green (galbanum, basil), it is bitterly dry, and a bit of a beast (cistus labdanum and castoreum in the base.) It does include jasmine, somewhere, but I wouldn't recommend spraying extra to find out where.
Bogart (Jacques Bogart): green, woody, and I rarely notice the Russian leather in the base. It is a comfortable green scent ...
... somewhat unlike Bandit (Piguet), which you seemed to be describing. It's one of THE feminine green leather fragrances, but after an hour I think you'll understand why I describe it as the first things you should smell after missing a curve in the road and wrapping your Harley around an orange tree. (l'Anarchiste is a close second - no crankcase oil, but plenty of oranges, and some folks say they smell blood)
Well Derby is certainly nowhere even close to what I'm looking for... check my thread on LT's top 10 masculines for more info:
adversity introduces a man to himself -anonymous
Try Route de Vetiver by MPG (vintage juice, if you can find it) and if you're really lucky (or rich) try the discontinued Djedi by Guerlain the dryest, greenest, most animalic fragrance I've ever smelled.
"When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"
-- Eckhart Tolle