I finally visited a store that offers niche fragrances, and wow! Centered in the heart of Yorkville (in Toronto), Noor was like a breath of fresh air. After so many bad experiences in department stores, I finally understood what all Basenoters are talking about! Fred (the kind gentleman who helped me) was patient, humoured me, and offered suggestions based on the scents that I was leaning toward. It was weird, he felt like a friend, and I wasn't uncomfortable at all.
I discovered that Diptyque is probably my favourite line, as I prefer light, airy scents. I also enjoyed L'Artisan (but at that point was experiencing scent-overload, so didn't get to try many) and finally understood what people meant in their reviews of certain key fragrances. I also learned that I like tuberose, after previously associating the smell with overpowering powdery perfume, and confirmed my love of neroli.
I ended up purchasing Diptyque's Philosykos, and am extremely pleased! It smells so natural and light, exactly what I was looking for. I have another trip planned soon, and look forward to making more discoveries .
Thanks again to Fred!