I've been reading a lot here on this forum, and for my upcoming 40th birthday have been looking for MY scent, you know...the one that makes me smile and brings a bit of beauty and elegance to every day. I've tried a number of samples from Sephoras, and for those frags they don't carry, travelled to Saks. The trouble is that is that I want not only to find something perfect for myself, but also something that my husband loves as well. He knows what he likes and doesn't, but has trouble articulating what aspects affect him...I understand this since it's a skill that I've only gradually been developing myself, and only then by smelling and reading a great deal. I was hoping someone here could help with a few questions.
I tried Hermes' four Jardins and 24 Rue Faubourg, The Different Company's Sel, Guerlain's Shalimar and Mitsouko, Chanel's 31 Rue Cambon, TM's Angel, and a few others.
Thus far, he's LOVED Shalimar and Angel and disliked everything else. I've liked best 24 Rue Faubourg and Mitsouko (I also liked the Jardin Sur Le Tois, but found it faded quickly). I couldn't get a sample of Mitsouko, so finally decided to bite the bullet and buy a bottle of EDP. Was concerned about spending the money but very excited to wear it first day. To my immense disappointment, my husband told me that he actually thinks it's "very unpleasant.". I'm pretty upset now at having spent money on a perfume that the love of my life finds repellant (what he said precisely is that he thinks the scent is "depressing and unpleasant.")
My three questions are:
1. Are tastes in scents trait characteristics? In other words, is he likely to change his mind with future exposure, and therefore it's worth keeping the Mitsouko and trying again later?
2. What is my recourse in terms of recouping the cost of the Mitsouko? I've only sprayed a few times, so the bottle is completely full and new, though the package is of course open. Can it be returned or resold, or is that just wishful thinking?
3. Do you see any patterns in terms of what he and I like, and have some suggestions in terms of frags that might appeal to both of us?
Thanks so much!
Last edited by Svidrigailoff; 21st August 2011 at 02:17 AM.
Welcome to Basenotes!
It sounds like your hubby may be a gourmand kind of guy. As both Shalimar and Angel have those aspects. Shalimar less so, but I'm guessing it was the vanilla in Shalimar that he liked. The good news is that LOTS of fragrances use vanilla in all kinds of ways. Some more prominently sweet/gourmand than others. Look for fragrances that have vanilla as a basenote and see what appeals to both of you.
It is a pity he did not like Mitsouko or the 24 Faubourg...they are both beautiful. And I think you have wonderful tastes!! Keep in mind that these fragrances usually take some time for people to appreciate them and like them. He may end up liking them in the future. I say, if you really like the Mitsouko, you should keep it and wear it for yourself. (You aren't with him ALL time, right?)
As far as returning the Mitsouko, it depends on the place you bought it. I think Sephora takes everything back, even fragrances. I think some department stores will too. You can always try selling it on ebay, or another e-marketplace.
One more thing, it sounds like your husband may also like orientals. So try that genre, too. Good luck and happy sniffing!!
Thanks! I bought it through Amazon, and will inquire. I would keep it and wear it "for myself," but I think it probably make more sense to recoup my funds and invest in something special that appeals to both of us. In truth, I don't have a problem in spending money on something glorious, but I'm wary of cluttering my world with possessions that have too many caveats attached to them.
I think you're right about the gourmand aspect. Unfortunately, I don't find it very elegant to smell like food
I will look into the orientals a bit more. I think the dark undertone to both Mitsouko and 24 Faubourg is what I interpreted as a bit deep and mysterious, but what he perceived as depressing. I will try to find something a bit more light-hearted. Any suggestions?
I'll try to think of some specific recommendations. Until then, it may be time for you to become familiar with The Perfumed Court (a highly respected online store that sells decants/samples of an enormous inventory of perfumes) and Luckyscent.com Both of these sites categorize the fragrances into genre, and give you a description and a list of notes. You may want to search these sites and order some samples. That way, you can avoid another fragrance "bomb" with your husband. )
Received full refund, so #2 is no longer an issue.
Didn't like the magnificent Mitsouko? Oh well... Evidently, he didn't like the dark, bitter moss in the base. Which many other people love. When your husband makes you angry, you could spray him with the (masculine) fragrance called Eucris by Geo Trumper (which, in truth, is green mossy but in an almost unpleasant way).
And as others have noticed, both Angel and Shalimar have a sweet, gourmand aspect (candyfloss and vanilla, respectively), though, luckily, they both remain resolutely inedible.
But I don't see any reason to bend too much - tastes do change, new things are often bound to generate some reactions. You seem to like grander, more structured perfumes. You (with husband in tow) could go to the Guerlain boutique at Bergdorf Goodman and smell a few more classics. Vol de Nuit is the other classic Guerlain oriental (after Shalimar), but it is less gourmand and sweet, and I prefer it. L'Heure bleue is gourmand, with anice in the top. Jicky has vanilla. A fellow male basenoter who also strongly dislikes Mitsouko deeply loves Apres l'Ondee, so it's worth experimenting (AO has violets and herbs). Of most Guerlain, if available, the parfum concentration is richer, though at $320 it costs much more (AO doesn't have parfum concentration, though).
Oh, and for fun you could check what your husband thinks about Bandit (by the brand Piguet. Available among others at Henri Bendel). It is also dark and mysterious, but in the sense of dungeons and whips.
I second cacio's recommendations about hitting the Guerlain counter. But you may also want to try Chanel's Bois des Iles. It has vanilla, tonka, gingerbread, and sandalwood notes. Don't let that gingerbread scare you. I promise Bois des Iles is one of the classiest fragrances around. You will not smell like a Christmas cookie. It also has slightly powdery floral notes. It's perfection in my opinion. It has the sweeter/lighter base your husband seems to like, without being gourmand. But it still has depth, nuance, and elegance. Plus, I believe you can get this in a smaller bottle now. (75ml instead of a gargantuan 200ml)
Hi & welcome to basenotes!
"He knows what he likes & doesn't, but has trouble articulating what aspects affect him" l totally empathise with you on this, my BF is the same, but take things slowly with him & he may begin to learn enough to better explain what he likes/doesn't like about a fragrance. As a wise basenoter once advised me; "baby steps"...
l recommend you try Samsara, a gorgeous jasmine-sandalwood-amber oriental that's good enough to eat without being foody.
And for a deliciously sexy, spicy gourmand, l recommend Dior Addict.
Happy sniffing, & l hope you find something you both like. Do report back on your findings!
"What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.
What about Sacrebleu by Parfums de Nicolaï? It has some fruit and sweetness, which may please him, and a divine incense note that weaves in and out of the deftly balanced middle and base, which is likely to please you.
Thank you all so much for your advice! I've ordered 1ml samples of each of the scents you've suggested and will try them out when they arrive...
Creed Silver Mountain Water
if there ever was a shared unisex fragrance, this would be it
light but elegant, goes great with any occasion
adversity introduces a man to himself -anonymous
Hmmph. Tried Chanel Bois del Illes EDT today and liked it very much. For the four minutes it lasted on my arm. I was told by the SA that it has the longevity of a EDP, but I don't believe it. Is the parfum longer lasting?
It's interesting, because there are some scents my wife loved immediately (Gucci Pour Homme) and others she has learned to love (Guerlain Vetiver). With this in mind, I'm going to state two obnoxious observations:
(1) I wear scent for myself. I'm also out of the house first in the morning. By the time I'm home, it's pretty much all gone. (I don't douse myself in the stuff.)
(2) Scents work on association. Now, if my wife was to start wearing the signiture scent of an ex-girlfriend that messed me around, it might take some getting used to. However, I'm sure I'd find new associations in time. So, with that in mind, only wear the challenging new scent when you are taking him out for a meal, or his sports team has won, until he has got used to it. (Men are simple like that. I feel that if it makes you happy, he will get on board.)
Is it just my observation or are gourmand lovers ( incl. your husband) less open to the other genres? After all a chypre's (oakmoss') sour/bitter facet is diagrammatically opposed to gourmands' dominant syrupy sweetness.
I'd LOVE to smell 24 Faubourg on a woman. Mitsouko is a personal favorite but I have to side with your husband here: Mitsouko does have an air of melancholy about it. Excellent observations all round. The Dior Addict & Samsara suggestions are sound & I agree with going the oriental route seeing how you're opposed to straight gourmands.
How about Dior Homme? Or Hypnotic Poison? Or try the floral gourmand 1969 by Histoires de Parfums?
Finding ONE fragrance that you absolutely love is hard enough as it is. But finding one that both of you love might take a miracle, or at least a huge dose of luck! Best wishes to you both, and welcome to Basenotes!
Very useful comments, thank you (and thank you for all the warm welcomes too!). I guess it makes absolute sense that I should wear what I want. I suppose if I had three bottles: Mitsouko for everyday, 24 Faubourg to combat depression, and Shalimar for long mornings in bed (yes, it has a striking sexual effect on him, it's rather extraordinary), I'd be set. I liked Chanel, but I think their prices are crazy.
I don't have a huge amount of experience with fragrances, but one of my all-time favorites is Kenzo Amour. It smells sort of like milky-vanilla incense, with enough of an oriental facet that it doesn't end up smelling too sweet or foody at all (I also don't generally like gourmands. ). Also, it's very easy to find and won't break the bank, two qualities I'm a big fan of in perfumes.
That's an interesting suggestion...thanks!
I tried SL's Bois DES Violettes today. WOW. Just wow. That really is *quite* lovely. I literally could help myself from sniffing my arm all day. My husband said it smelled like detergent.
I've taken the advice here and am gradually and regrettfully moving towards the position that during the week I'll wear what makes me happy, and on the weekends I'll wear Shalimar for him. He and I have a great deal in common in terms of interests and aesthetics. I'm actually pretty bemused to find out after 12 years of marriage that our noses appear to be tuned orthogonally.
Of our kids, one shares my taste, the other shares my husband's, and one seems to not care.
I suppose it's the heavy dose of cedar in BdV he's objecting to. It does get some time getting used to.
When perfume critic Luca Turin was asked the usual question of which smell arouses men, he jokingly answered "bacon" - so it seems that vanilla is a big step up in the circumstance! Incidentally, if you really want to splurge, you can get the parfum concentration of Shalimar ($$$), which is probably richer and more durable (ie you put it on at night and it's there in the morning).