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  1. #1

    Default First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    After reading through the site for a couple weeks, I finally decided to just register. Maybe I've gone as far as I can go on my own, and now I need some help!

    I'm soliciting recommendations for new fragrances to try. The problem is that I'm new to this, and I don't really know what my personal "taste" really is. I figured the best way to go about this is to give my impressions of what I've tried so far. Based on that, can some of the "scent experts" here recommend some new fragrances I should try, and ones I might avoid? (yes, ideally I should try everything, but my sample budget is limited!)

    In case it helps: I'm a male, in my early 30's, I'm generally reserved, but can be quite lively; maybe even quirky. I prefer niche to designer (if only because I'd rather not smell "my" fragrance on somebody else if I can help it). I prefer natural fragrances but don't mind synthetics and am not "olfactorily sophisticated" enough to be bothered much by them. I wear a fragrance mostly for myself, and am not really interested in soliciting compliments, making any particular impression on others, or attracting women at a bar or club (those days are long over!).

    Recent samples and thoughts:

    1. My favorites so far: Micallef's Avant Garde (I like the slightly gourmand quality to it, it's fairly subtle, works well on my skin, and my wife loves it on me more than the rest BY FAR), TF's Tuscan Leather (though my wife thinks it's too feminine--anyone agree? I didn't get that at all), and CdG Sequoia (wife unimpressed by it, but I think I might wear it around the house just for myself). Amouage's Jubilation XXV is also great in a potpourri/slight incense way, although the price tag is not as "great."

    2. Second bests: Creed's GIT and Aventus are pleasant enough. Atelier's Oolang Infini and Grand Neroli are nice and clean, though maybe overpriced for their performance, and Oolang seems to suffer from poor projection and longevity in particular. TF's Tobacco Vanille was also nice enough, but seems to turn a little TOO vanilly-sweet on my skin after a half hour. By Kilian Back to Black, Sweet Redemption, and Amouage's Lyric for Men were all nice but struck me as too feminine (opinions on that?).

    3. Just OK: L'artisan's Tea for Two is comforting and nice, but not FBW to me. Micallef's Red Sea and Gaiac also work well on my skin, but didn't stand out to me. CdG Hinoki is interesting but smells like a Catholic church on me. Mark Birley Charles Street is like a weaker Tuscan Leather with a sharp opening (stale coffee?) note I couldn't get past.

    4. Dislike: I know how well-received it is around here, and I tried VERY hard to enjoy it (and DO recognize it's artistic merits), but Tauer's L'air du desert Marocain is unpleasant and too ambery-vanilla aggressive for my tastes (same with the dirtier and less-refined Lonestar Memories--which I oddly fine a little more pleasant). From what I've read, I guess Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan would probably be a no-go for me? Along the same lines, the opening blast of Montale's Black Aoud was also too strong for my taste (I never reached the dry down; had to wash it off). Among Domenico Caraceni 1913, Amouage's Silver Man, and Mona di Orio - Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver I detect a similar note that disagrees with me--is it possible I just don't like vetiver much? Creed's Himalaya seemed too mature for me. I though Eau d'Italie's Sienne l'Hiver was fascinating, but the olive note predominated on my skin. Since I like Tuscan Leather, I tried Parfumerie Generale's Cuir D'Iris and didn't like the "leather" scent in this one. L'artisan's Dzing! was too fecal, and Oliver Durbano's Black Tourmaline is so smoky, dark, and bleak that I'm pretty sure it made my 6 month old daughter cry. No lies! I'd rather not frighten children if I can help it.

    I've tried 10 or 15 more, but I'll stop here.

    So considering all of this, any recommendations on other scents I might like, and others I might consider avoiding? What IS my "taste?" Any other thoughts, responses, or recommendations? Thanks in advance for any help or insight!

    And thanks for bearing with this long post!

  2. #2

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    Have you tried by Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses? It's kind of sweet, earthy, and fresh.

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    Perhaps Montale Greyland

  4. #4

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    Welcome! When starting, the key is smelling, smelling, and smelling again. For most people, taste evolves quite a bit at the beginning, and stuff that was too something (strong, powdery, smokey, musky, you name it) becomes ok later on.

    Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's book has nice lists of top 10's in various categories, worth looking at for ideas on what to smell. I didn't notice any particular regularity in your likes/dislikes, perhaps tastes are just evolving.

    So right off the top of my head, I'd say you should try more styles. The Caron big three (pour un homme, troisieme homme, Yatagan) and a bunch of Chanel exclusives. Particularly Sycomore (no, the three you name are not really vetivers, so you need to try more true vetivers), but also Cuir de Russie and Bois des Isles. And then, if you haven't done so, Guerlain Mitsouko, which remains the reference even in its reformulated state.

    I love leathers and your liking Tuscan Leather is encouraging. With prudence, you can look into Knize Ten, Azuree, Rien, and even the dominatrix Bandit.

    Finally, you've noticed that on BN masculine and feminines are terms seldom used. Embrace florals, and please do try the cheap Anais Anais.


  5. #5

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    I'd also like to urge you to spray samples as opposed to dabbing.
    If the same comes in a dab style vial then simply transfer the contents to a smaller atomizer (easily purchased from The spray test is much more reflective of the experience than simply dabbing.

    for swap/sale:

  6. #6

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    Thanks to leociccone and hednic for those recommendations. I've added them to my list. Also, that's a good idea hedonist222--I'll definitely pick up a small atomizer. I hadn't considered that.

    All of cacio's advice sounds fantastic--thanks! I know about Turin/Sanchez' list, so I will explore them. I WAS rather hoping that someone would spot some magic silver thread running through my list of likes/dislikes, but my fears have been confirmed: it's just a laundry list of diverse fragrances. Oh well!

    Sorry for the faux pas about "masculine" and "feminine" fragrances too. Would it be fair to edit my original post to read "generally more socially acceptable for a man" for "masculine" and "generally more socially acceptable for a woman" for "feminine?" I know that a particular scent, in and of itself, is always neither inherently "masculine" nor "feminine" and that such labels come from social conditioning and arbitrary bias.

    As for my personal tastes, though, cacio is absolutely right. The key is to smell, smell, smell, and to keep an open mind. To prove it, I'm accepting the challenge to give Anais Anais a whirl. Why not?

    Many thanks to you all.

  7. #7

    Default Re: First impressions, fragrance solicitations, and my personal "taste"...

    Re the male/female thing, read Tania Sanchez's comment on Stetson original ... There are, it must be said, a few fragrances that I cannot see on the non-intended sex. It's hard to imagine how a woman could make Kouros work. But who knows...


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