What are some funny/interesting first impressions from a new fragrance, from either yourself or others?
I'll share my story of today. I got the mail and to my delight had three new fragrances waiting for me: Terre D'Hermes EDT, Grey Flannel, and Habit Rouge EDC (vintage). Latter two were blind buys.
I've been interested in Terre D'Hermes for quite some time, and the person who sold it to me generously threw in a big bottle of Grey Flannel for $2 extra. My only concern with TdH is a "BO" smell that some have mentioned, but I've tested it before and didn't get that at all.
Grey Flannel is new to me, but a classic in its own right. For $2 to cover shipping, I'm in.
The Habit Rouge purchase was more out of curiosity. I sampled the current EDT at an airport duty-free shop, but the tester sprayed so forcefully on my wrist, the smell was overwhelming. After reading about the various formulations, I decided I should make an effort to try HR in its original formulation. I bought a cheap small HR EDC for its history and to further my understanding of scents. I don't expect this to get much of a response from the opposite sex, and that's fine - I bought this for myself to enjoy and from which to learn.
So, enter today. I sprayed them all on my various wrists and eagerly sniffed them. My first thoughts for each:
Terre: Yup, pretty much what I remember from my sample: bright citrus and minerals (and maybe sharp ozone?). An airy aura of translucence, modern and unique. Very nice, I love it.
Grey Flannel: Hmm, interesting. An almost harsh blast of violet hits hard. It quickly cools down to a very clean smelling violet. Somehow fresh, floral and manly at once. I like it.
Habit Rouge vintage EDC: Hmm, very interesting. The nozzle smells extremely stale and pungent, almost offensively so. There's something dirty that puts me off. However, once I spray it on my wrist (another huge uncontrolled blast, damn you HR), I get a complex citrus mixed with something dry and sweet. Truth be told, if I cheat and read the notes I can pick some out, but really it just smelled complex, warm and oddly comforting to me, conjuring the color of dusty orange/brown to my mind. This is good stuff.
Of the three, I like TdH the best, followed by HR and Grey Flannel. TdH will probably be the modern favorite among my friends, followed distantly by GF and HR (surely my friends will smell how dated these are).
I let these dry down for a couple hours. The scents evolve, but I still like TdH the best. I meet up with one of my good friends. She loved Rochas Man and liked YSL L'Homme - I figure she'll probably fall in line with my expectations. Right as she's leaving, I ask for her opinion...
Me: So, what do you think of this? (gingerly holds out wrist of HR)
Her: Mmm, that's pretty nice! [wow, this is a surprise. I was sure she'd think this smells like an old man or something]
Me: Okay, how about this one? (flips wrist over to Grey Flannel)
Her: (scrunches in her face a little) Umm, no, I'm not a fan of this. [okay, I guess I was expecting that...]
Me: All right, final smell here, how's this one? (confidently pushes forth wrist of TdH for validation)
Her: (long pause, then makes super scrunchy face) Ugh, definitely not.
Me: What, really? You don't like it? (gingerly holds forth wrist with diminishing hopes for validation)
Her: (sniffs again, now recoils a bit, much to my horror) No, this isn't good. This smells off.
Me: Really? You're kidding. What don't you like about it? [how is this happening, maybe she's sensitive to Iso E Super, or maybe the citrus burned off. Surely it's not...]
Her: It smells like BO
The magic words are uttered, my excitement is dashed - confidence quickly decays into disbelief and shame.
Me: Oh, wow... really.... Okay. [complete dejection at this point]
Her: Hey! I still like that YSL you have! [yes.. quite the consolation...]
So, not exactly what I expected from these. Of course, I'll give them each full wearings before I actually come to any conclusions.
And the above is slightly embellished, I actually laughed to myself when she said "BO." But it would be a lie to say I wasn't slightly disappointed.
On the other hand, maybe Habit Rouge is a classic for a reason. Sweet dust FTW
Nice story! Well, she evidently likes old style masculines. Good taste. Next, step up and try Yatagan and Troisieme Homme.
You chicken shyt young guys and your worries about "smelling like an old man." Cleary two "old guy" scents were so well made it cut right through to her.
You're a Californian in San Francisco, so keep developing your own style. You already show a lot of potential for having ordered those in the first place.
Last edited by StylinLA; 31st August 2011 at 08:16 AM.
I enjoyed reading your story. I've never tried Grey Flannel, but I love the other two you write about. Vintage edc is my favorite concentration of Habit Rouge and I have received several compliments on it. I love TdH but I don't get many compliments with it. And when I do, it's usually from other guys, not women. Not sure why. I've never gotten a BO vibe from it personally.
We're all in the same game; just different levels. Dealing with the same hell; just different devils.
I guess the other thing to remember too, is that just because it smells like something close up, it doesn't necessarily give off that smell (if that makes any sense). Even if the humidity did give it a BO-ish vibe, that might not have been what it was projecting.
For example, last night I tried out Montale's Dark Aoud for the first time. The part of my clothing that touched the skin where I sprayed just held the scent like crazy, and whenever I'd sniff the spot, it was just too much for me. Right in my face strong, sharp, and superbly spicy. However the sillage I would catch off myself while I was walking about was just incredible. Once it drifted off of that spot and had a chance to breathe and expand more in the air, it thinned out into something a lot less punchy. Totally awesome, but I would have never guessed if I had only smelled the point of application.
I've experienced that with several different fragrances, and that might have just been the case for you.
There is a typical Ellena-dirty note in TDH. Especially in the Parfume version. You can also find it in Cartier Declaration. I wouldn`t call it B-O, but it`s definitively dirty. And I like it!
ETA: And I'm glad you are giving HR and GF some wearings! I'm pretty fond of both; they are classics for a good reason.
Very nice story.
I own Terre D'Hermes EDP and I have tried to like it but I am still getting a foul BO smell from this. I am always shocked to hear how people talk about this perfume as very pleasant and safe.
Current TOP 5:
1. Gucci Pour Homme II
2. L'Instant de Guerlain Pour Homme Extreme
3. Dior Homme Intense
4. Encre Noire
I agree (though I'm not a fan of any of these 3), in that you should consider holding one arm out then using the hand on the other arm to waft it over to a person. Their nose should be at least a couple feet away from the spot you sprayed.
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Excellent points about sillage, it can smell very different from close to the skin, and I'll have to implement these suggestions to wave and create a waft of scent instead of "freebasing" the frag. I like TdH either way, but the sillage is probably less sharp. I'm not really worried about it, I know I like it, that's enough for me.
StylinLA, I agree a lot of younger guys just go for boring mainstream. I wrote this somewhat as an ironic post - the one modern fragrance got the worst review while the "old man" scents indeed won out. I hope to add more classics.
I remember when I told my twin I was getting Habit Rouge, he kinda scoffed. But then he read up on the EDC, and sure enough, now he wants to try it when he visits. He also questioned my Rive Gauche PH buy (too old school smelling?), although he never fully came around with that one (yet). Personally, I love it.
Cacio, I'd love to try Yatagan. Somehow, I think my blind buying success streak may end if I push my luck on this one, though. Hope I can sample it soon.
Morrison, I'm surprised at how quickly I liked Habit Rouge, especially after my bad experience with the edt. I'm sure I'll only grow to enjoy it more with time.
Oslo, didn't realize Ellena was known for putting dirty notes in some of his scents. Good to know - I like it here, too.
Last edited by hobbes22; 30th August 2011 at 08:51 AM.
great reading hobbes22, thanks for sharing. enjoy your new scents.
Those Guerlain colognes have great character!
A Scent Rescuer
Every great perfume deserves a good home
To me it just smells heavenly... Oh well, I'll keep on wearing it anyway, just food for thought.
Current Top Favorites:
1) Portrait of a Lady (EdP Frédéric Malle)
2) Giorgio for Men vintage (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
4) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio) - tie
4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie
6) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz)
When you go down the path of worrying what whether women will think something you like will smell too old, you're already dead. I'll be the first to admit that there are some fragrances that smell more mature or serious than others. But if you're an aficionado of scent, get past that and wear what you like. I guess I would say, if YOU think a scent smells too "mature" for you, then pass on it. But don't get too hung up on whether OTHERS will think it smells old. If you think you can rock it, you will
Very nice story Hobbes, you spotted two of my perfume "dilemmas": Habit Rouge and Grey Flannel. I can't bring myself to hate or love them. I like Habit Rouge after a few hours, can't stand the opening. Grey Flannel is a medicinal bomb when sprayed, and really lovely when it dries down. Oh well. But I totally hear you on the funny and frustrating feeling!
À l'air libre les oiseaux ont eux aussi le vertige (camille)