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  1. #1

    Default Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Hey all,

    As I mentioned briefly in the intro thread, I am a complete novice when it comes to fragrances. I can't explain why, but recently I have started to take an interest in how I smelt.

    Purely by chance I stumbled across this site and it opened my eyes as to just how in the dark I am. For all intent and purposes my knowledge of fragrances is 0. Now Im not going to lie, this site is quite daunting and can be a little intimidating just by the sheer number of different opinions and I hope you can all persevere if I get a little confused with my posts. I was just hoping for a little general advice on where to start building my wardrobe.

    Now I reckon I have quite an eclectic taste in scents. From the (limited) fragrances I have smelt, it is more a case of liking some rather than others over liking specific notes. Hopefully as my knowledge and palate (is that the right word?) improve trends will start to present itself, but for now I am just happy to take on board as much advice as you guys are willing to give!

    So here goes a few of my thoughts/queries, any/all help is much appreciated:

    1. Coming from London, Im sure there are many places to try out fragrances, however Im not entirely sure where. Selfridges seem to have loads of little stands selling plent of fragrances, but there also seem to be a load of sellers looking for some commission so Im always a little wary going in there. Apart from that I have no idea so any help would be appreciated.

    2. How do I go about testing new fragrances? Ive read that paper strips doesnt necessarily give the same results as on skin, but then again I only have two hands/wrists with which to spray on.

    3. What is the difference between a 'niche' fragrance and a 'commercial' fragrance?

    4. I see a lot of the more established members listing their top 10s with fragrances like Amouage, Creed, Montel, Tom Ford etc, a quick google search tells me that they are rather expensive. Now I could maybe afford one of these bottles a year, but to build a decent wardrobe, am I going to have to fork out a small fortune?

    5. Ties in with 4 really, I like to be a little different and not wear what every average joe is, is it possible to get good, original fragrances for reasonable prices (£25-40)?

    6. Can someone help me understand the difference between choosing fragrances by occasion like wearing a fragrance at home, going out at the weekend, at work etc?

    7. I am looking to start my wardrobe just with getting three-five fragrances and just get used to wearing fragrances regularly. Ideally I'd like one or two for work, one or two for going out in the evening (clubbing, bars, dinner etc) and one for say at home or afternoon chilling or something like that. I know this is potentially a massive list, so if people could just list a few in each category for me to go a try out then that would be great. Please bear in mind that I am not looking to spend too much just while im starting out (as with any new hobby, start small and expand), please can you keep it fairly affordable (<£40)

    OK I think Ive rambled on a bit too long now. I hope none of my queries are too stupid (I did say I was a complete novice!) and thank you for any advice you can give!

    Chris

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Everybody has their own opinions, but anyway, here are mine

    1) I have never shopped for perfumes in London, but from previous threads (you can search) London has pretty much everything safe the Serge Lutens exclusives. In addition to Selfridges and Harrods, many perfume brands have their own stores (from designers like Chanel etc to niche like Ormonde Jayne, Amouage etc). Don't be intimidated by sales assistant. At the beginning, just smell. You'll buy later.

    2) Perfume evaporates faster with heat, and the body is much warmer than paper. So perfumes on paper will evolve much more slowly and will keep the head notes longer. There could be exceptions, but usually, they smell the same, it just takes longer to go through the various phases on paper. As you say, paper is a necessity, so use it. The bigger problem is nose fatigue. After you smell 4 or 5 perfumes, your nose tends to shut down and you can smell much less. You have to time your smelling trips so as to leave some time inbetween for your nose to reset. And of course, you have to bring the paper strips home and smell them later at ease.

    3) No precise definition of niche. Usually, niche refers to newer perfume houses that only do perfumes and have a restricted distribution (own boutiques or a small number of upscales stores). Examples are Serge Lutens, Dyptique, Amouage, Ormonde Jayne. It is usually constrasted with "designer", which usually refers to bigger firms who produce different types of luxury goods and have a larger distribution (eg Chanel, Prada, Dior). Both niche and designer are "commercial", of course.

    4) There are great affordable perfumes. but many cost a lot. One way to get them is to buy samples (there are firms that sell small samples) or decants, or share the purchase with others. After all, you don't need dozens of bottles of perfume. And yes, there are a few great perfumes in that price range, if you buy the smallest bottles.

    6) Most people in this forum don't believe that one should match fragrance to occasion or sex (with exceptions, of course). So just wear what you like.

    7) I'd encourage you to smell extensively before committing to purchases. You need to develop your own preferences, and see what's around. You can also get samples, as mentioned above, sot that you can actually wear them. Anyway, people here have heterogeneous preferences, so if you ask what to buy first, you'll probably get 100 different answers. Still, no reason not to express my own preferences among less expensive perfumes. As said, if you get the smallest bottle (30ml or 50ml) you should be within the price range.

    Eau Sauvage (fresh)
    New York by Patricia de Nicolai (orange amber). The niche brand has a store in London and, unlike most other niche brands, they sell inexpensive 30ml bottles. Most of the stuff in their range is good. Other PdN suggestions include Vie de Chateau and Temps d'une fete.
    Aramis (stronger, almost leather). Most of the Estee Lauder/Aramis range has a good quality/price ratio.
    Breath of God by Lush (weird smoky).
    Caron pour un homme (lavender vanilla).

    cacio

  3. #3
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Hi Chris and welcome. You are asking the right questions. The answers will slowly "dribble" in so don't get impatient. Think: 'It's not the destination, it's the journey'. And a journey begins with one step. I know you'll have some fun and learn alot. Yes this group does seem rather daunting, but I have rarely, if ever, found such a nice bunch of folks anywhere on-line (or off for that matter!). Cheers, Breck
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  4. #4

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    3. What is the difference between a 'niche' fragrance and a 'commercial' fragrance?

    I found that the majority of celebrity/designer perfumes lacked quality ingredients. I can truly smell the coriander in Ambre Sultan, the vetiver in Bourbon Vetiver, the tuberose in Carnal Flower, the Jasmine in Olene, the leather accord in Cuir Mauresque.
    Also, I find niche perfumes to have more unique and complex blends.

    Im not saying no designer/celebrity have these characteristics, beacause for example Encre Noire is really good as a vetiver and Terre d'Hermes is excellent too. But these qualities are not frequent in celebrity/designer perfumes. So there are quite a few excellent designer/celebrity but the majority aren't, IMO. The middle and basenotes simply smell like nothing to me, nothing detectable or authentic.


    4. I see a lot of the more established members listing their top 10s with fragrances like Amouage, Creed, Montel, Tom Ford etc, a quick google search tells me that they are rather expensive. Now I could maybe afford one of these bottles a year, but to build a decent wardrobe, am I going to have to fork out a small fortune?

    Yes unless you buy used from the buy/sell section of the forum or partake in decants sales. Where a host buys a large bottle on behalf of leeches who pay for a certain amount rendering the purchase as low as 1/3rd of buying a FB at regular size.

    5. Ties in with 4 really, I like to be a little different and not wear what every average joe is, is it possible to get good, original fragrances for reasonable prices (£25-40)?

    Essentially you're asking two questions.

    a- Are affordable perfumes exclusive ?
    No.
    Like everything in life, the lower the price the more its manufactured and the more it sells. So as the price increases so does exclusivity.

    b- Are there any good reasonably priced perfumes?
    Of course but they will be common to every average joe who has access to the store you bought it from and is on par with your disposable income.

    6. Can someone help me understand the difference between choosing fragrances by occasion like wearing a
    fragrance at home, going out at the weekend, at work etc?

    Wear whatever you like whenever you like.
    I go to bed with eau du coq sometimes and like last night, with some divine lumiere noire.
    But I guess in northern America and Western Europe people tend to wear less obtrusive perfumes during work.

    for swap/sale:





  5. #5

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    If I were in London I would be over to the Parfums de Nicolai shop like a shot. The 30ml bottles are a great idea and Nicolai has some really good stuff at very reasonable prices. Check out Nicolai pour Homme and New York - hopefully one of the sales assistants can guide you thru a few.

    Re: sampling. Patience is a virtue. Many modern commercial releases are 'front loaded' to grab you in the first 20 minutes and then morph into who knows what - there are some pretty vile 'chemical woody' notes being employed these days IMO. If you try a few on paper write the name down and take 'em home - see what they smell like in a few hours. The one real advantage of paper (or fabric) is that the molecules aren't burning off with your skin temperature so you get a shot at seeing the progression in slo-mo.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 1st June 2011 at 05:28 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    everything axaustively covered, as usual no need to add something else


    Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here

  7. #7
    New Member wyldaeval's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    I'm also a complete novice here, but I've been looking at the "suggested" scents and the Fragrance Directory to figure out what I might like and then looking for sample vials on eBay. I've found it's an inexpensive way to try out the more expensive scents so that I'm able to make a purchase after trying something on myself a few times before committing financially to a larger purchase. Also, I'll look for used scents that I already like on eBay and purchase those when I'm able to afford them. Recently I purchased half a bottle of one of my absolute favorites for a fraction of what a new bottle would cost and it smells wonderful! It can be risky to purchase used scents but I make it a habit to ask questions about storage and original ownership so that I have a better idea of the condition of the scent before I spend money on it. *Also, there are a lot of "impostor" fragrances out there and it can be difficult to detect a phony.
    I've given up trying scents out on paper first as the scent never seems the same on me. It loses something in the translation, if you will. On paper, most of the things I try out smell like insecticide or industrial cleaning agents and nothing like the smell when combined with my own skin, but I don't think everyone has that experience. Learning about all the different ingredients is fascinating and I look forward to expanding my knowledge and vocabulary as well. I've always loved scents and consider them to be my favorite mood altering addiction. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go smell my wrist again....and again....and again.
    The perfumes are powerful magicians being able to transport us through years that you lived.
    ~Helen Keller

  8. #8
    Basenotes Junkie lionheart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    welcome for BNers.jpg

    I think one of the best things to do is consider the scents that you already know you like, and then try to articulate WHY you like them. I'm still not too good at this. However, I know one thing at least: if it is too citrusy or aquatic, I won't like it. guaranteed. However, as saintpaulia said, the answers will dribble in. Be patient, and enjoy.

    It is a whole other world and a welcome escape from the mundane and sometimes painful every day life.
    My Top 5!!!
    1. 1740: Marquis de Sade, Histoires de Parfums
    2. Sweet Redemption, by Kilian
    3. Tirrenico, Profumi del Forte
    4. Je Suis un Homme, Etat Libre d'Orange
    5. Derby, Guerlain

    "Coincidence is God's way of winking." --Me

    "It's alright to flirt with the idea of giving up, so long as you don't." --Me

  9. #9
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Hedonist, you wrote: Yes unless you buy used from the buy/sell section of the forum or partake in decants sales. Where a host buys a large bottle on behalf of leeches who pay for a certain amount rendering the purchase as low as 1/3rd of buying a FB at regular size.
    To me that word "leeches" sounds awfully negative. Is this really the term most generally used? It seems to me that those who participate in splits with the originator of the split, do the originator a great service, else he/she could not have afforded the fragrance anymore than they. A better term would be "partners" as I see it. Agree? Disagree?
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  10. #10

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintpaulia View Post
    To me that word "leeches" sounds awfully negative. Is this really the term most generally used? It seems to me that those who participate in splits with the originator of the split, do the originator a great service, else he/she could not have afforded the fragrance anymore than they. A better term would be "partners" as I see it. Agree? Disagree?
    You're right Paulia.
    It's actually a terminology used in Internet file downloading (peer to peer) where the host allows leeches to download the file from his/her computer/server. I meant for it to be humorous as I myself am a "leecher" in a Le Labo split.

    It was only meant to be humorous. I apologize if I upset anyone.

    Partners and host us much more accurate.

    for swap/sale:





  11. #11
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by maninja View Post
    Can someone help me understand the difference between choosing fragrances by occasion like wearing a fragrance at home, going out at the weekend, at work etc?
    Occasion IMO shouldn't dictate which scent you choose to wear.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Occasion IMO shouldn't dictate which scent you choose to wear.
    The reason I asked was because where I work, I can not wear anything too offensive or overpowering as it could be viewed as unprofessional. I am looking for a slightly lighter, fresher scent for work and then anything goes any other time (so basically the weekends).

    Anyways, thanks for all the advice, it has given me a lot to think about and a good starting point I think. I think I'll start off with a trip to selfridges at the weekend and try some fragrances out.

    Whilst I would like to build a niche collection eventually, I think maybe it's better to start with a few more well known fragrances. I will definitely try out Terre d'Hermes as it sounds like something I would like, quite interested in L'instant and Vetiver by Guerlain too.

    Also my friend has Narciso Rodriguez for him (i think) and I quite like the smell of that. Of course I dont want to go smelling exactly like my mate, so could I please get some suggestions as to something similar, I think it is the musky/violet notes that I enjoy in it.

    Please tell me if people think that Im casting too wide a net or choosing too many different notes or something like that.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Just noticed my reply sounds like I completely ignored Cacio's suggestions!

    I will definitely be taking a trip to Patricia de Nicolai when my knowledge and understanding have improved a little so I can appreciate a bit more niche fragrances.

    Will also check out the fragrances, Caron pour un homme in particular interests me just reading off the fragrance directory (which I must say is AWESOME for a first port of call!). Not sure Aramis is necessarily for me, but trying cant hurt.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by maninja View Post
    Just noticed my reply sounds like I completely ignored Cacio's suggestions!

    I will definitely be taking a trip to Patricia de Nicolai when my knowledge and understanding have improved a little so I can appreciate a bit more niche fragrances.
    There's no reason to wait to visit Patricia de Nicolai. Especially if the price point is right, that's a great place to start. I don't think you need to learn about mainstream fragrances before experiencing niche ones... and if you want to smell unique, somewhere like this is off the beaten path.

    For good more mainstream fragrance that is work appropriate you could look at L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme. It's readily available to try in store, and you can buy it online in that price range if not in a shop I think (not sure how much things retail for there). And I like it.

    Also Le 3me Homme de Caron is a good one.

    Trying things out in store but ordering from a discounter can help keep things more affordable. Don't consider buying Creed or Chanel online though - they are often counterfeited.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    and so my journey begins. Ive ordered samples of Chergui, Aventus, Jubilation and Musc Ravageur. I also plan to take a trip this weekend to Selfridges to start and I must say that Guerlain really seems interesting to me so I will go to Debenhams or John Lewis (if they arent available at Selfridges). Exciting times, Ill post my thoughts as and when I get them in and hopefully not be slaughtered too badly, it's all quite exciting!

    Still open to suggestions for fragrances that I might like if I liked Narciso Rodriguez for him? please help with this one, thanks!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    5. In where I live average male seems to use fresh-aquatic scents only, and even Polo and John Varvatos Artisan (designer thingy with wood or citrus) are rare. Though, it might be different in London.

    I never sniffed Narciso Rodriguez for him but my friend told me it was a woody scent, so I would recommend Polo Modern Reserve, Gucci pour homme and M7.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Was thinking about getting the men's beginner niche & classic 19 sample sampler pack from The Perfumed Court. Is this a good place to start?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by maninja View Post
    Was thinking about getting the men's beginner niche & classic 19 sample sampler pack from The Perfumed Court. Is this a good place to start?
    They have a couple of those so I'm not sure which one you mean, but getting a wide variety at once to start sounds like a good plan to me. It will expose you to things you wouldn't have known were out there, and help you narrow down your focus for further research. I think they are less common ones. For the most readily available I'd suggest hitting up the local stores, but I know for me sometimes it is nicer to test at home with purchased samples.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by kasae View Post
    They have a couple of those so I'm not sure which one you mean, but getting a wide variety at once to start sounds like a good plan to me. It will expose you to things you wouldn't have known were out there, and help you narrow down your focus for further research. I think they are less common ones. For the most readily available I'd suggest hitting up the local stores, but I know for me sometimes it is nicer to test at home with purchased samples.
    I meant this one
    http://theperfumedcourt.com/Products...c-sampler.aspx

    I went to a department store at the weekend and just found it a little overwhelming. So many options, so I didnt really know where to start and got a little confused. Also felt a little uncomfortable under the watchful eye of the assistants not really knowing what I was doing and feeling rushed to make a decision. Thankfully I remembered the advice given on here and didnt make any impulse buys that I probably would have regretted.

    If nothing else, I think sampling a few at home will build my confidence up a little when I do hit the local department stores etc. This leads to another question, what is the best way to sample these vials? Do I need to buy an atomiser or pipette or something to transfer from vial to testing surface?

  20. #20

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    What decade of fragrances do you like best?

  21. #21

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by pk116 View Post
    What decade of fragrances do you like best?
    I have absolutely no idea! I am like a blank slate, I have no preconceptions (or knowledge) about anything and I am open to all suggestions. Does the decade matter? What are the differences between them?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    What scents have you smelled? What did you think of them?

  23. #23

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by maninja View Post
    I meant this one
    http://theperfumedcourt.com/Products...c-sampler.aspx

    I went to a department store at the weekend and just found it a little overwhelming. So many options, so I didnt really know where to start and got a little confused. Also felt a little uncomfortable under the watchful eye of the assistants not really knowing what I was doing and feeling rushed to make a decision. Thankfully I remembered the advice given on here and didnt make any impulse buys that I probably would have regretted.

    If nothing else, I think sampling a few at home will build my confidence up a little when I do hit the local department stores etc. This leads to another question, what is the best way to sample these vials? Do I need to buy an atomiser or pipette or something to transfer from vial to testing surface?
    If you have a Sephora around I've heard you're able to browse more at your own speed without pressure. Also I believe they'll make up mini samples of any scent they have for you.

    With the vials I press the opening against my wrist and get some on me that way, then distribute to my chest or neck or other wrist from there if wanted. Other people sometimes get it on their finger then spread it around.

    For stores... maybe go in with a list of a couple you want to try ahead of time, rather than going in to browse. Glad to hear you didn't get pressured into deciding on something right away.

    You can buy larger samples from TPC in spray vials, but it's more expensive.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    The scents in that sampler are many that are favorites of many people on Basenotes (men and women), so it looks like a good place to start.

    Sephoras in my town (Seattle, USA) have a lot of the mainstream popular designer scents, but no niche at all, and not many of the classics (except for Guerlain Vetiver) - they want to focus on what will sell in great volume to a mostly young, non-perfumista audience. But as a fellow newbie, I think it helps to at least get a sniff of what's available to the mainstream even if you decide you prefer classics or niche.

    Going back to your earlier posts, if you are looking for a mild, work-appropriate scent, look at Prada Infusion d'Iris, Infusion d'Homme, and Bulgari Omnia Crystalline.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    I'm not going to pick on The Perfumed Court, 'cause they seem like pretty nice ladies, but here is my men's beginner sample pack:

    1. Faberge Brut Classic (with the silver medallion) or Dana Canoe - 'barbershop' fougeres
    2. Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne - powdery
    3. Jovan Musk - musk
    4. Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel - late '70s
    5. Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men - patchouli
    6. Silvestre Pino Silvestre - '40s pine
    7. Guerlain Vetiver - vetiver
    8. Caron pour un Homme - lavender/vanilla
    9. Alfred Sung Sung Homme - late '80s
    10. Pierre Balmain Monsieur Balmain - citrus
    11. Aramis
    12. Ralph Lauren Polo (expensive) or Krizia Uomo - '80s pine
    13. Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir - aromatic fougere
    14. Yves Saint Laurent Kouros - animalic
    15. Davidoff Cool Water - aquatic
    16. Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui - '80s chypre
    17. Jean-Louis Vermeil Vermeil (brown bottle) - tobacco
    18. Perry Ellis for Men (Anniversary Edition) - mid '80s
    19. Emanuel Ungaro Ungaro III - rose

    You can probably get samples of all these from Scented Monkey (they say they ship internationally). You can also PM me and I will sell you them.
    Last edited by pk116; 6th June 2011 at 04:44 AM.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by pk116 View Post
    I'm not going to pick on The Perfumed Court, 'cause they seem like pretty nice ladies, but here is my men's beginner sample pack:

    1. Faberge Brut Classic (with the silver medallion) or Dana Canoe - 'barbershop' fougeres
    2. Paul Sebastian Fine Cologne - powdery
    3. Jovan Musk - musk
    4. Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel - late '70s
    5. Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men - patchouli
    6. Silvestre Pino Silvestre - '40s pine
    7. Guerlain Vetiver - vetiver
    8. Caron pour un Homme - lavender/vanilla
    9. Alfred Sung Sung Homme - late '80s
    10. Pierre Balmain Monsieur Balmain - citrus
    11. Aramis
    12. Ralph Lauren Polo (expensive) or Krizia Uomo - '80s pine
    13. Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir - aromatic fougere
    14. Yves Saint Laurent Kouros - animalic
    15. Davidoff Cool Water - aquatic
    16. Oscar de la Renta Pour Lui - '80s chypre
    17. Jean-Louis Vermeil Vermeil (brown bottle) - tobacco
    18. Perry Ellis for Men (Anniversary Edition) - mid '80s
    19. Emanuel Ungaro Ungaro III - rose

    You can probably get samples of all these from Scented Monkey (they say they ship internationally). You can also PM me and I will sell you them.
    Will definitely try this list as well! probably after Ive made my notes on my first batch of samples. Need to get my nose trained to all the different notes etc and purchasing samples seems a very good, fairly inexpensive way to do it.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Think it's time to post my first thoughts about a fragrance!
    Caron Pour un Homme - Thought it had a really weird opening. The citrus (later found out lemon) lasts for about 2 seconds and then there is a sort of fresh, almost minty smell but something weird in the background that I cant put my finger on. For the first 30 seconds it was quite harsh, but then the lavendar started to kick in and it started to settle down. Again in the background there is something different that i cant (don't know) figure out - maybe someone can help me with this?

    I really couldnt tell if I was enjoying it or not for the first 20 mins, but then the vanilla started to come through and everything seemed to change. Definitely going to have to see where it goes in the next few hours and will most certainly do a proper test on it. Im sure this fragrance will grow on me the more I wear it, but for now, a solid start

  28. #28

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    You should never pay much attention to the first 30 sec. When you spray, you get a blast of alcohol and more that obfuscates most of the fragrance. I'm not sure what you're referring to as the background - but apart from the lavender and the vanilla, I also smell a touch of the usual aromatics put in masculine fougeres (mint, artemisia, some herbs). As it always happens, the vanilla (a persistent note) takes over in the drydown, though the Caron vanilla is well behaved and not overly sweet.

    While it may not be in my top 5, I think Cpuh is a necessary, classic reference masculine, and a standard for the lavender genre (and the vanilla as well). It sets a bar for what elegant, relaxed masculine perfumes should be (and usually fail).

    cacio

  29. #29

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Wore Pour un Homme to work today and initially I was miffed. After the initial 15 min period, I was struggling to smell anything and was questioning it's projection. However about 10 mins later I got a beautiful waft of Vanilla. The scent seems to go in waves, just when you are wondering if it has run out, another wave of, as cacio puts it, "elegant and relaxed" scent hits you. I must say after today this scent has definitely grown on me. Im not a fan of the opening, but what it becomes makes it all worth it. Will use up my sample and then will probably purchase a bottle (less than £20 is a bargain imo!). Great little scent to wear to work.

    Just testing out Aventus at the moment. Reading all these views, I was expecting it to jump up and slap me in the face. I think instead it is a lot more understated open, a beautiful fruity opening with the pineapple coming to the fore and can smell the blackcurrant, but am struggling to pick up the apples. Into the mid notes currently, reading the reviews I assume it's the patchouli Im smelling, but I have no idea what it is :P. Can also smell the roses on it. Waiting for the Vanilla to kick in now, expecting big things! I think after getting past the initial part of it not being what I misconceived it would be, I can safely say that Im really enjoying this fragrance at the moment. Obviously with such a small testing range I have nothing to compare it to, but this is definitely my sort of fragrance, going to have to start saving the pennies I think!

  30. #30

    Default A new day a new scent, today Musc Ravageur

    I really dont know what to make of this one. Out the gate definitely a waft of lavender and cinnamon, to me it just smelt off. Not necessarily bad, just weird (I have no idea if that makes sense to anyone by myself)... Then into the drydown, I was surprised there wasnt more of a vanilla scent, reading some of the reviews on here I thought that was all I was going to smell. I can pick it up, but there are other more prominent scents which I pick up. I dont know what it is, it's almost like a sweet lavender or maybe that is the amber and vanilla and my nose cant identify the two separate scents...

    At the moment, I'm wondering whether my nose simply isn't experienced enough to pick up all the different scents. As I said earlier, the whole thing smells a little odd, like something isn't quite right. I find it is a fragrance that creates a lot of intrigue in my mind, but at the same time, I dont think it is quite for my liking. Then again I also think it could be something of an acquired taste, if I were to persevere and power through the unpleasant period, it could grow into something wonderful. I think that is where all the intrigue comes from.

    Overall I think at the moment it isnt my type of thing, but I will store it away and will make a note to revisit it at a later date.

    For now onwards and upwards, tomorrow I think I will visit the Parfums de Nicolai store and have a little sniff around (excited to try out New York). Then in the evening if I'm not out, will test out my sample of Jubilation XXV.

    On a completely different matter, Im looking for quite a loud fragrance, not green or fresh, quite a dark, floral scent preferably with a vanilla base. Suggestions?

  31. #31

  32. #32

    Default Trussardi Jeans EDT

    Blasted family commitments hindered my foray into London and the Parfums de Nicolai store. However not to worry, I have (or will have) plenty of samples at home to keep me busy. Yesterday was Trussardi Jeans EDT.

    This is a very sweet fragrance, the sweetness prominent even without applying any on my skin. The top notes are dominated by a lychee scent with an orange hint which remains throughout. The opening is a little too sweet for my liking, although I didnt feel it crossed the line into sickly. As the fragrance drys down, the sweetness remains, but it is a lot less prominent which is a lot more pleasant to my nose. The lychee and orange notes stay with the fragrance well into the dry down of quite a woody base (which I later learnt was Cedar). I quite enjoyed the base as the sweetness of the orange and lychee work well with the rich woody scent of the cedar.

    The longevity of this fragrance is excellent, I could smell it nearly 10 hrs after application. This isnt something that is going to blow people's minds, but it is a safe scent and there is something quite pleasant about the dry down I feel.

    Now onto to Jubilation XXV, I've heard many good things about this one so am quite excited!

    Still looking for help with some suggestions to the following query:

    On a completely different matter, Im looking for quite a loud fragrance, not green or fresh, quite a dark, floral scent preferably with a vanilla base. Suggestions?

    Thanks in advance

  33. #33

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Dark loud masculine floral = Amouage Gold Men. The base is more incense than vanilla though. (Gold woman is equally loud, but is less dark).

    cacio

  34. #34

    Default Jubilation XXV

    Been wearing Jubilation XXV for about 6 hours now and ready to write down my thoughts.

    The opening was like TCP (antiseptic, medicinal smell). I actually thought I had grabbed the wrong bottle or something, but after the pretty unpleasant opening, it moved onto the frankincense which lasted right throughout the heart notes and drydown. Initially it was quite a sweet incense scent and then got 'smokier' as time passed, the cedar and musk I think coming through. My olfactory sense arent sophisticated enough yet to pick up the other notes in it.

    After what was a poor opening, the heart notes and drydown were great. Incense can be quite an overpowering and nauseating scent, but the note in Jubilation is quite light and I found myself constantly sniffing my wrist. Longevity seems very good too, can still smell it now (although it is fading rapidly)!

    Im definitely going to have to test it a bit more, but after the opening, it is a lovely fragrance. Still on the search for that fragrance that bowls me over from start to finish. Chergui tomorrow and hopefully some of the samples Ive ordered arrive in the post

  35. #35

    Thumbs up Chergui

    I think Im in love!

    Just wow! From the first sniff I was blown away. A beautiful, warm, sweet fragrance. Straight out the bottle, the amber and vanilla take hold and never really go. With such sweet, heavy scents, there is always a danger of becoming a sickly sweet, but Chergui seems to have a perfect balance. Before it is in danger of becoming too sweet, the tobacco kicks in and something else which I didnt know (later learned it was hay) and gives the drydown an amazing twist.

    Quite simply put, stunning! I think I have found my first 5 star fragrance, the one that has wow'd me from start to finish , may it be the first of many on this incredible journey. It is actually quite an exciting moment :P

    Considering some of the prices for stuff like Amouage or Aventus, £55 from feelunique.com for Chergui seems quite reasonable. When I started this journey, the thought of paying over £40/$60 for a fragrance was a little daunting, but sometimes the quality is worth it! With payday about 10 days away, I think my first purchase of the month will almost certainly be a bottle of Chergui!

    Ive got to learn to be patient though, this is a marathon and not a race after all, and with a little management I should be able to afford the odd pricey fragrance whilst topping up my collection with a few more affordable designer scents. Oh and of course there is always xmas and bday gifts, just got to make sure I give good enough hints as to what I want!

    Anyways, I hope my samples arrive tomorrow as Ive run out of stuff to sample for now, or maybe Ill give my nose a break for a day as it has been worked pretty hard the past week!

  36. #36

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Something caught my eye when reading 'Perfumes the Guide' by Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez, Azzaro Pour Homme. I came on here and saw it has overwhelming positive review and to buy a bottle is also dirt cheap. The question is, is it worth a blind buy? (there is no point in buying a sample when I can get 30ml for <£10).

  37. #37

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    For that price, I'd say it's worth a blind buy (and there's little point of buying a vial). It's a very classic, relaxed, fresh aromatic fougere (that is, with notes of anise and various herbs). It is not my favorite style, so I don't wear it that often, but still worth it.

    That said, it should be quite easy to find in stores as well, so you might have the chance to smell it in a store.

    cacio

  38. #38

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Just checking back in - you're on a roll!

    Azzaro is worth getting, I think. Check out one of the Social Groups here, Fougerites I think, and that might help in getting a perspective on this genre - arguably the most classic 'guy' genre of perfumery.

    Nice you like Chergui - it's a happy one. Lateral thought - when you get a chance try Goutal's Duel - based around Yerbamate, which is a hayish / tea note but served up here in more of citrus+ Eau de Cologne style with the heft of an Eau de Toilette. Nice for summer.

    'Dark Floral' to me says Czech & Speake No.88 - another shopfront to maybe drop in on in London. Their Oxford & Cambridge is a good upstanding gentlemanly lavender and Cuba and Myrrh & Frankincense are both worth at least meeting. But please shoot for the Nicolai Boutique - if you get a chance to have someone there walk you thru the line I'm sure you'll come away with a new perspective on this whole thing.

    Did anyone mention Les Senteurs in London? Seems to be a good niche spot - check out their online storefront, might be worth a look in. Amouage Lyric Man could be another 'dark floral' to try as a comparison with C&S 88. Great you are keeping a log happening here - enjoy the journey

  39. #39

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Many thanks mr. reasonable, there are some great suggestions there! Ive been busy the last few weekends which has meant that I havent been able to get to the nicolai store or some of the dept stores around. However my samples just arrived so I have plenty to keep me occupied for now. Also my dearest mother bought me Allure Homme/M7 and Terre d'Hermes on a trip to Hong Kong,stay tuned for a few reviews!

  40. #40

    Thumbs up Ysl m7

    Onto another winner!

    Really didn't know what to expect from this, reading the reviews, a lot of people talk about a medicinal/cough syrup smell, but I didnt really get that at all. The quick initial burst of mandarin is soon overtaken by a darker/smokier woody smell, but there is something sweet that remains in the background.

    The drydown is its true strength though. I get a predominantly incense smell, to me it smelt like Jubilation XXV although a little more subtle, maybe it is the amber. The musk/smoke scent does come through stronger through the dry down as the sweet notes disappear but never going over the top. Longevity also seems great

    Not a scent I would ever wear to work, but great for a night out, big fan !

  41. #41

    Default Bvlgari Black

    Something a little different and interesting.

    When I heard that there was a scent of burnt rubber, I was wondering how that could possibly work. But somehow it does, after the initial weirdness, the rubber scent grew on me. Not too overbearing or nauseating and it does die down significantly into the background, always leaving a hint of it, but getting overtaken by initially the vanilla and then (i think) amber scents.

    I think there is something quite intriguing about Black, whilst not an absolute favourite, it is something different and something I would like to wear more of. Pretty affordable too and so will probably end up getting a bottle sometime.

  42. #42

    Default Chanel Allure Homme

    Simple yet elegant

    This doesnt try to think out of the box and isnt groundbreaking, but what it does, it does very well. Citrus dominates the opening, zesty and fresh and unlike a lot of the other fragrances ive tried with citrus openings, lasts longer than 30 seconds. Ive read that there is meant to be a peppery scent, but I dont really get that. The vanilla comes through in the drydown, but the citrus gives it a different edge and it isnt anywhere near as sweet as something like Chergui.

    The longevity is great, seems to last all day. This is quite a fresh scent and is something great for the workplace. Personally, socially, I prefer something a little different, something with an edge. Allure Homme isnt that scent and doenst try to be. An excellent fragrance, but missing that 'je ne sais quoi' to project it into my 5 star list

  43. #43

    Default Terre d'Hermes

    I think there is a lot of intrigue with this one.

    I can see this getting better the more you try it and I can also see this polarizing users. It is definitely something different to what I have experienced so far!

    Grapefruit dominates the opening which is a lot more bitter citrus opening than I've experienced previously. Being a fan of different, I think it works. The bitter opening lasts quite a while as the more 'terre' notes start to appear. Im not sure I am smelling, it seems so familiar yet Im struggling to put my finger on the individual scents. It kind or reminds me of a river in the woods.

    As I said at the start, plenty of intrigue, going to have to try it out a fair few more times to really understand this fragrance.

  44. #44

    Thumbs down Annick Goutal - Sables

    Reading a few reviews on this, I thought I would enjoy this, vanilla/caramel sounds right up my street. I ended up being disappointed. Whilst the caramel notes are there, it smelt to me very medicinal and unpleasant. Whilst the medicinal smell does subside a little, it remains in the background through the drydown and for me ruins it. Probably the first fragrance I've sampled which I have not enjoyed at all. Then again it would be a boring world if we liked everything!

  45. #45

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Interesting you like M7 and not Sables. M7 is supposed to replicate oud, and oud has a medicinal angle; but in fact M7 is more sweet-woody than oud, at least to my nose. The main note in Sables is helychrisium (immortelle, everlasting flower), so perhaps you will also dislike 1740 by Histoires de Parfum of Dior Eau Noire, which are based on immortelle.

    cacio

  46. #46

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Interesting you like M7 and not Sables. M7 is supposed to replicate oud, and oud has a medicinal angle; but in fact M7 is more sweet-woody than oud, at least to my nose. The main note in Sables is helychrisium (immortelle, everlasting flower), so perhaps you will also dislike 1740 by Histoires de Parfum of Dior Eau Noire, which are based on immortelle.
    As I mentioned in my review, with M7, I get a sweet-woody smell and hardly a medicinal one. I suppose there are different medicinal scents as well and not all of them are bad. Im just not a fan of the antiseptic feel I get from Sables. I had the same experience with the opening of Jubilation XXV but it disappeared when the Frankincense note took over, with Sables it continued right into the drydown. Maybe smokey scents cover it up better than sweet ones?

  47. #47

    Default Chergui/Azzaro ordered, Cartier Declaration reviewed

    So I pulled the trigger, just couldnt resist! Tested my Chergui sample again and I cant get enough of it! I may regret it come the end of next month....nah I wont but still what I would consider quite a big purchase on fragrances so quite exciting/terrifying! :P Blind bought Azzaro too because it is just so damn cheap and next to the Chergui it looked like pennies :P. I can see this being a very expensive hobby!

    Anyways back to sampling, and Cartier Declaration.

    This actually reminded me of Terre d'Hermes, but still being very different to it. A bitter citrus open like Terre d'Hermes, but this one was slightly sweeter which is the difference between the orange/mandarin and grapefruit (i assume). A bit like Terre d'Hermes, there is a woody scent in the background and then it comes to the fore as the top notes fade away. However as Terre d'Hermes felt like being outside, near a river in the woods, Declaration felt like being back a school in a wood workshop. To me the woody smell was more artificial in that it was more like MDF and Plywood. I liked both scents but personally I prefer the outdoor feel of Terre d'Hermes.

  48. #48

    Default Penhaligons Violetta

    Just realised I forgot to review this one.

    The wonderful people at penhaligons sent me a free sample after I emailed them. Has been over a week since I wore this one so my memory is a little hazy. Quite a one toned fragrance, just pure violet as the title suggests. Quite a sweet smelling violet I think, reminded me of these violet sweets I used to eat when I was a kid:

    http://www.bahhumbugs.com/shopimages...iolets_(3).JPG

    Nice smelling scent, but it is what I would consider a feminine scent. Not something I could pull off

  49. #49

    Thumbs up Ormande Man

    A sweet, grassy, spicy, opening. Im assuming the sweet/herbal smell comes from the Juniper, the tangy/spicy edge from the cardamom and pepper. The green notes seem to fade away and the oud comes through (thank you cacio for helping me understand what oud was!), but not in a heavily antiseptic/medicinal manner, but in a subtle, understated manner and it remains into the drydown where a woody scent takes over (dont know the difference between my woods yet so cant tell if its sandlewood or cedar).

    It is a beautiful scent, all the scents seem to compliment each other in a beautiful harmony. My only gripe is with the longevity, it seems to fade quite fast on me, however I do think longevity does differ between sampling from vials and actually spraying it from a bottle. May try it out at Harrods when I get the chance because I do think it is a beautifully made fragrance, thumbs up!

  50. #50

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Bigarade Concentrée (Editions de Parfum Frederic Malle) is an interesting intermediate step between Declaration & Terre d'Hermes. This is a path Jean-Claude Ellena has been travelling for some time and I enjoy all of the variations on a theme.

    It sounds like immortelle is not your thing - Sables (which I have yet to try) famously features this note. It also pops up in CdG Luxe Patchouli, HdP 1740, Dior Eau Noire and, to a lesser extent, Cuir Beluga from Guerlain - amongst others. I have yet to learn to appreciate this note myself - reminds me of fenugreek sprouts

  51. #51

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    I'm pretty new here, too, and it's nice to read your reviews and follow your experiences. When you mentioned Chergui I was thinking you've got to try Bulgari Black and also Van Cleef & Arpels's Midnight in Paris. I love them all, as well as M7 (I'm female, by the way).

    Definitely save samples, too- as your tastes and understanding mature, you may find you appreciate perfumes you didn't at first.

    And this site is great for niche bottles and samples if you live in Europe/UK (not affiliated): http://www.ausliebezumduft.de/ I found Perfumed Court ridiculously expensive with shipping to the UK.

    Finally, don't be intimidated by the SAs at Selfridges. They can be really helpful, and they sometimes have samples!

    Enjoy.

  52. #52

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Many thanks Kagey,

    Im glad people are enjoying reading my notes, I will definitely keep it up. I am finding all the hints and pointers from others very helpful! The Perfumed Court is expensive if you buy individual samples, but I dont think it is that bad if you buy their sample packs. Will definitely check out that German site though!

    I am definitely more confident now with the idea of going to a department store and testing a few fragrances. This is simply because I have a much better knowledge of what I like and just a better understanding of how fragrances work and change. I cant wait to go to Harrods and Selfridges, but also a few boutiques like Nicolai and Penhaligons!

  53. #53

    Default CB I Hate Perfumes - Memory of Kindness

    Another one toned fragrance. I read it is supposed to be tomato leaf, but to me it smelt more like peppers (the food not the spice). Simple and nice enough, but I like a bit more intrigue in my scents. Longevity was very poor from the sample I have

  54. #54

    Default Davidoff Cool Water

    Was in boots and couldnt resist testing something out at the counter. Being Boots, the selection is extremely limited past the celebrity frags and Ive read a fair bit about CW.

    Straight out of the gates, the scent is intense. The lavendar/mint for me coming through particularly, didnt get much/any of the orange that I was supposed to smell. I could really smell the jasmine and oakmoss (I think) coming through in the heart notes. The jasmine lasts right into the drydown where the sandalwood also comes to the fore.

    There is so much going on with this fragrance all at once that I'm sure I missed a lot, will have to do a few more tests, but there is plenty of intrigue here to keep me interested. I also think the name is apt, definitely reminds me of the ocean or something like that.

    The longevity was great on me. After a hot day and a shower I can still smell it! Will definitely have to use this lightly in future as particularly the opening can get quite overwhelming.

    Overall a nice little fragrance, something different from the aquatics I have sampled so far yet still feels fresh and clean. Will definitely sample again soon!

  55. #55

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Hopefully this isn't too off-topic, but have you considered Jo Malones for work? They're extremely mild (I would say excessively so) and are generally linear, subdued scents which I cannot imagine being in any way offensive. Most smell good to my nose, but they just don't seem to last. That may not be a bad thing, however, when your workplace is as you described.

    Another bit of advice would be to explore some of the more challenging "love them or hate them" type scents...You never know what you may find. True, you can't go wrong with a lot of the inoffensive, basic scents that are around, but you may never find something that's out of this world fantastic, either. To me, the stinkers I've sampled were well worth smelling since they led me to perfumes I never would have believed to exist. Also, disregard gender marketing. That's all it is: marketing.

    Other than parroting what others have said re: samples, I'm afraid that I don't have much more to add.

  56. #56

    Default Rochas Tocade

    Cheers for the suggestion Orobas. I think Jo Malones sounds a little too mild for me. Whilst for work Im looking for inoffensive scents, that doenst mean they need to be mild, just something that wont polarise audiences. As for my weekend scent, that could be literally anything, I am looking for a little intrigue, something a little different, something that not everyone is going to like. I am sampling a very wide range, Im sure along the way there is going to be plenty that will surprise me and plenty that are going to make me cringe, but that is all part of the fun!

    Onto a freebie I received with a purchase, Rochas Tocade. An extremely sweet fragrance which somehow manages to stay away from getting sickly. IMO a very female fragrance (well let's just say nothing I would wear myself). The Vanilla/Rose scent form something that resembles candyfloss (cotton candy) to me. It's the first scent Ive actually wanted to eat, it smells delicious! However for me this is a very feminine scent, I am all for forgetting the 'gender marketing', but I dont see how many guys could pull this scent off (good luck to those that do!). Lovely, fun, sweet scent, but not something I would ever consider wearing

  57. #57

    Default Givenchy Insense

    Big floral opening. I think I must have missed the citrus/blackcurrant opening or it didnt last much past the initial spray. Went straight to the heartnotes, Magnolia and Iris coming to the fore. I think I could also smell the Lily, but Im not entirely sure what Lily smells like :P. If the intensity of the opening lasted for very long, I would be calling it very feminine and not for me, however it drys down to something a bit more subtle, something in there makes me think I could actually wear it out. This one will definitely take some getting used to, after all, it is a completely different genre for me so far. Again something about this intrigues me and makes me want to test it a bit more. Not a fragrance I would wear a lot, but one that I could see myself in the right mood wearing time and again.

  58. #58

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    Excellent. For Nicolai, I think the word "boutique" may be too strong a word. You'll see what I mean when you get there. But also if you go there, don't miss Santa Maria Novella just around the corner. Google to find their South Kensington location. Plus, there's a Chanel boutique in between, in case you need to try any of the Les Exclusifs.

  59. #59

    Default Dior Homme

    Gave my nose a bit of a break, Work/socialising got in the way of sampling for a few days. I just realised that I past the month mark since my adventure began (has it really only been a month?!?)! I think to where I started off from, completely from scratch knowing absolutely nothing and how this wonderful site has helped open my eyes (and nose) to a wonderful new world! I still know very little, but it is an improvement of when I first started :P.

    For the first time at a club over the weekend, I actually started noticing other's fragrances and some of the individual notes of those fragrances. I enjoyed quite the sweet/spicy cinammon of some scent, any suggestions of a vanilla/cinammon scent?

    Anyways back to sampling, and Dior Homme. The iris hits straight from the first dab and unlike some reviews I have read, I dont find it like lipstick at all. I actually really liked the iris note and wanted it to last a little longer. However, they disappear quickly and in it's place are wonderful gourmand notes. Cocoa dominating initially and then lavender popping up after a while. Not too sweet, not too floral, as goldilocks would say, just right. A simply wonderful scent, I just wished there was more of it. Longevity and projection after the first half an hour seemed to tail off quite drastically. Will definitely have to test out the Intense EDP when I get the chance because it could be spectacular!

    I am trying to stay away from the dept stores this month for sure. I do not trust myself one bit not to buy anymore and I simply cant afford it :P. It's going to be a tough month!

  60. #60

    Default Re: Looking for some help with a few thoughts/queries

    As a fellow Londoner I wanted to second the recommendation of Les Scenteurs - go after payday and when you've got several hours to chat to the extremely knowledgable staff!

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