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  1. #1

    Question Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    So, I have been thinking about this one for awhile and couldn't come up with a definitive answer, so I ask for your help

    I work at a men's frag counter and when I am showing someone a "powdery" fragrance (YSL La Nuit, Armani Code, Brit, etc.) and the customer seems to be liking it I might let the "P" word slip and for some of them it seems their manhood is being judged and they quickly move on. I have even seen fragrance models use the "P" word to insult a competitors fragrance (a couple was just about sold on Armani Code when the Coty model came over and said "Oh, that's too powdery" - the couple left without buying anything).

    The best I could come up with for a substitute is "Dry Spicyness (spiciness?)" but I would love to know what you guys think.

    Thanks for the help!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Talcum like effect

    for swap/sale:





  3. #3

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    chalky
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Grandma?
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Talcum like effect
    ...lol...If I ever heard a sales assistant describe a fragrance like that I think I would bust my gut laughing. lol

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    maybe "irisy" would be a good word as usually iris note is respinsible for fragrance powderness. Or describing a scent "it gives a slightly dry feeling"

    When some SA would tell me the fragrance is powdery, I'd be even more interested as I'm a big fan of clean, powdery scents (Hello, my dear Prada Amber Pour Homme & Infusion d'Homme)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Particulate.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Dessicated. Most people won't really know what you're talking about, so I recommend saying it with a french accent. French accents always make things sound more sophisticated.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    More realistically, you could say something like 'comforting clean quality' or 'slightly barbershop effect', 'slightly barbershop cleanliness', 'cashmere qualities', 'an almost tactile, comforting softness' etc.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    If it is powdery, why not just say that. Or is the need to deceive just to make the sale that much greater?
    If I heard you describing something in amorphous terms, I would just trust your judgment less.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Mellow, moderate sweetness

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    thicker, opaque, not transparent

  13. #13

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    dusty, velvety, enveloping quality

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    Talcum like effect
    actually like this denotation

  15. #15

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Poudre

  16. #16

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Fougere may be a good term. Generally quite "powdery" (meaning talcum) scents such as The Baron or Canoe are classified as fougeres.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Any of the suggestions so far are fine but I have to say I don't find those frags to be powdery at all.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Powdery sounds femme to the average guy, so just dont use the word at all. With the frags you mentioned i would call them "spicy, but smooth and clean" , "with a nice masculine sandalwood note" (not sure if they have sandalwood but probably, some sandalwood is powdery to me)
    DO NOT mention any flowers, no iris. Spices and wood are manly. French and flowers are not. You probably know most of this stuff already.
    Of course im talking about the average guy here so i dont want to hear all of the exceptions from everyone.

    Also did you threaten that Coty model with bodily harm for messin with your money!
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  19. #19

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Nothing wrong with powdery. It is very courtly. Tell them that. Else perhaps baby bottomesque.

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  21. #21
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    "Powdery" definitely has bad connotations in the 21st century. At best, it conjures up powdered wigs and the like. I would suggest "classic barbershop," which is where these powdery notes came from originally. Barbershop is an evocative, accurate description and it suggests a retro masculinity before everything went unisex. Or "sec" (French for dry and a butch-sounding word familiar from wine terminology) or "coiffeur masculin" (French for barbershop) for a classier tone.
    Last edited by BurgundyMarsh; 14th April 2012 at 06:03 PM.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Instead of powdery, why not say "exquisite powderiness" or "unique exclusive powderiness", or "with a hint of elusive and sensual powderiness".

    Quite frankly, the only really powdery scents I've ever come across have been Royal Copenhagen, Lagerfeld Classic and Lagerfeld Jako - they smell like I've shaken talcum powder all over. YSL La Nuit, Armani Code, Brit etc may have powderiness, but I'd really have to sniff hard to notice it.

    Anyhow, then describe to male clients how famous aromatherapy books say women are all turned on by the smell of talcum powder - but that this secret is best used subtley in a sophisticated manner - by using scents such as Armani Code - rather than being too obvious about it.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    "has a barbershop quality to it"

    I think if you allude to the 'barbershop' vibe you can circumvent the emasculation the word 'powdery' seems to inflict while remaining honest to the frag's nature

  24. #24

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcologneguy View Post
    Poudre
    Good one, mrcologne!

    LOL! French always sounds so nice when describing perfume.

    "Try this, sir. Very poudreux!" LOL!

    I would say "creamy."

    I would agree not to deceive the customer to make a sale. Let the perfume sell itself to the customer. Don't let any other fragrance reps--ever--get on your turf while making a sale!

    If a man is intimidated by mere words, he is not man enough to wear any scent, IMO. Let them go cry in a corner. Fragrance is only for men confident enough to pull it off. A bull elk in a rut does not apologize for the noise he makes to get attention. He is just happy the other boys step aside and the girls bat their lashes.

    You might use the terms, however:

    Subtle rather than soft.

    Fresh rather than floral.

    Bracing rather than spicy.

    Bold rather than loud.

    Gourmand rather than sweet.

    Oh, and that comment about "French and flowers" not being very manly: there was a French nobleman on the 1830s who wore tons of eau de jasmine and orange blossom who was 6'3" and could flatten a man's face with a single punch (he was a bare-knuckle boxer), but he just preferred to slice men up in sword duels, or put a lead bullet through an arm with a percussion-cap pistol. He just wanted to prove a gentlemanly point and never intended to take anyone out.
    Last edited by Primrose; 14th April 2012 at 08:05 PM.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Classic talcum powder for men used in... barbershops.

    There are different kinds of powdery scents achieved through different raw materials: lavander and the type of musk popular in the 1970's produces a kind of powderiness different to the ones produced with iris or vetiver. So the concept is quite elusive, you would have to define the sort of powderiness you are sensing. For instance, the one mentioned is the "barbershop - kind" of powderiness, which is different to Grandma's scents.

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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    there was a French nobleman on the 1830s who wore tons of eau de jasmine and orange blossom who was 6'3" and could flatten a man's face with a single punch (he was a bare-knuckle boxer), but he just preferred to slice men up in sword duels, or put a lead bullet through an arm with a percussion-cap pistol. He just wanted to prove a gentlemanly point and never intended to take anyone out. [/QUOTE]

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  27. #27

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    ...dusty...?

  28. #28

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    +1 for dusty, talc-y...dry?

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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by dollars&scents View Post
    If it is powdery, why not just say that. Or is the need to deceive just to make the sale that much greater?
    If I heard you describing something in amorphous terms, I would just trust your judgment less.
    This is the best advice. But if you were hard pressed for another adjective, I might toss "dry" in there.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    maybe, soft?

  31. #31

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    i have never found powdery to be a particularly appealing adjective. I also don't fully understand why a fragrance needs to be described as powdery at all, since powders themselves are fragranced to smell the way they do. Perhaps just figure out different facets of whatever perfume you are selling and talk about that. Also, don't most guys respond well to adjectives such as "popular" "best-seller" "new release" and "popular with women." If you're selling to the Armani code and la nuit d l'homme customer, why challenge yourself? Also someone needs to pull that Coty model (?) back into line!

  32. #32

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by starshipvelcro View Post
    maybe, soft?
    oh yeah, soft is quite good.

  33. #33

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    The word powdery is overused, overated, abused and tired. Glad that the OP started this thread. Lots of good rec's. I love dusty, barbershoppy, soft....etc. C
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  34. #34

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
    The word powdery is overused, overated, abused and tired. Glad that the OP started this thread. Lots of good rec's. I love dusty, barbershoppy, soft....etc. C
    Agreed.

    J&J's baby powder was a lemon, lavender and vanilla accord. So many things can come off as powdery to people, all it takes is a rough approximation of the accord to set off scent memory in many people. This is why there is so much disagreement over whether or not some frags are powdery, and why it is not a good way to describe a frag. You can train your nose out of a tendency to perceive a frag as powdery with a little work, or at least be able to understand what's making it seem powdery instead of smelling it as "just powder". Strong scent associations are a hindrance, IMO...

    I think barbershop is a good way for the op to make the relation without saying "powdery", as people commonly associate barbershops with the use of talc powder.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    Classic talcum powder for men used in... barbershops.

    There are different kinds of powdery scents achieved through different raw materials: lavander and the type of musk popular in the 1970's produces a kind of powderiness different to the ones produced with iris or vetiver. So the concept is quite elusive, you would have to define the sort of powderiness you are sensing. For instance, the one mentioned is the "barbershop - kind" of powderiness, which is different to Grandma's scents.
    The old school barbershops really did use lavender-scented powder, which is, I am sure, where this "powder" note came from. Haircuts were really short and the barber used a straight razor to finish off the edges (you were sure he was going to cut an ear off...). The barber used the powder on your neck to cut the itchy sensation. It smelled clean and tidy and, because a lot of guys went to the barbershop once a week or more, like a well-polished man. Barbershops, along with men's bars, were the most masculine institutions around--- no women at all in them. There are still a few out there. I have a feeling they may be coming back, like the soap and brush shaving sets.

    Nowadays, though, hair salons smell of burnt hair and nasty synthetics. Powder suggests old ladies in the tea room. I wouldn't even use the word.

  36. #36

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    The barbershop is a dead institution.

    In the old days, wealthy men had their own sets of straight razors. They were kept sharp by the manservant. Men shaved themselves or had the servant shave them. This was done at home in the man's dressing room.

    Poor men, on the other hand, had no razors, so they went to get shaved a few times a week at the barbershop.

    How times have changed. Now only rich men go to a barbershop for a shave. Poor men shave at home with their own Mach3s and disposable Bic razors.

    Powder was also used on men's faces after a shave. An alum block, dipped in water, was rubbed over the face after a shave to close pores and stanch bleeding nicks, giving a chalk-like appearance to the face. Finally, the powder was applied.

    Powder is not a bad thing at all.

    Barbershops can be found in some cities, but the economy is not kind to them. The Truefitt and Hill in Las Vegas closed, sadly.
    Last edited by Primrose; 15th April 2012 at 12:24 AM.
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  37. #37
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    The classic barbershops I remember were in fancy hotels and had a posh clientele. I remember seeing them in old-style hotels in Europe in the late 1980s. In past centuries, for the rich, the barbers went to them--- they also did blood-letting (the medical treatment) which is why barber poles have that blood-red stripe on them. I think barbering was always considered a "profession" and required a license. It seems to me it would always have been cheaper to own a razor than to pay someone to shave you, so I don't really see the connection to the "poor." Sondheim's "Demon Barber" had a middle class clientele as I remember it.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    I was going to say starchy, lol.. but the way people are watching their carbs these days, forget it, lol. Plus, don't know if starchy is a desired word, might think of a potato or Idk. Foot powdery is more manly, lol.

    But I still like dusty.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by socalwoman View Post
    dusty, velvety, enveloping quality
    Yeah I was going to say dusty
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  40. #40

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by BurgundyMarsh View Post
    The classic barbershops I remember were in fancy hotels and had a posh clientele. I remember seeing them in old-style hotels in Europe in the late 1980s. In past centuries, for the rich, the barbers went to them--- they also did blood-letting (the medical treatment) which is why barber poles have that blood-red stripe on them. I think barbering was always considered a "profession" and required a license. It seems to me it would always have been cheaper to own a razor than to pay someone to shave you, so I don't really see the connection to the "poor." Sondheim's "Demon Barber" had a middle class clientele as I remember it.
    Neighborhood barbershops can still be found, but most young men don't go to barbers but to "stylists" to have haircuts; these also cater to women. As a result, men can get shaves in "spas" and get facials and manicures.

    The lines of grooming get blurred.

    I am brought to mind of the classic Pinaud scents for a powdery feel.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Soft, Rasping, Comforting, Classic, Plush, Velvety
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Neighborhood barbershops can still be found, but most young men don't go to barbers but to "stylists" to have haircuts; these also cater to women. As a result, men can get shaves in "spas" and get facials and manicures.

    The lines of grooming get blurred.

    I am brought to mind of the classic Pinaud scents for a powdery feel.
    Haven't been inside a barbershop in longer than I can remember...

  44. #44

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Soft & Fleecy

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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    "Powdery" is of course the best way to get across the characteristic of a scent that most people would perceive as "powdery". It's a shared perception that we acquire having all grown up smelling baby powders and/or certain women's and men's perfumes of the past. It's fixed in the collective fragrance memory. "Powdery" is then a problematic word in describing a fragrance to make it sound attractive for that very reason: it's negative associations. But it's simply the best way of describing that characteristic. When you try to use a euphemism for something you are trying NOT TO SAY it often ends up sounding ridiculous. But if you don't want to use the dreaded word try looking at the situation differently. The fragrance isn't powdery itself, it doesn't contain or produce powder. It just happens to have characteristics of the scents of things that actually were powders. There's no reason you can't describe a fragrance for what it is (sweet, floral, lavender, benzoin, tonka, creamy) and leave the word "powdery" out of it. Chances are the person you're talking to will supply it for you anyway.

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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    I would like just once in my life to experience a "talcum like effect" though.

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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Dernier_Cri View Post
    I would like just once in my life to experience a "talcum like effect" though.
    +1

    It sounds really interesting. Much better than it is 'powdery'.
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Oops! double post
    ***My favourite from my collection***

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  49. #49

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    ...lush, plump, peachy, flannel-like, downy...?

  50. #50

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by dollars&scents View Post
    If it is powdery, why not just say that. Or is the need to deceive just to make the sale that much greater?
    If I heard you describing something in amorphous terms, I would just trust your judgment less.
    Not trying to deceive at all! and that is why I have always called it powdery. But I live in a former big steel, blue collar area and that "tough guy" mentality is still prevalent. So many of the guys seem to think their manhood is in question if they would admit to liking something "powdery". I had a customer who had his wallet out to buy JPG Le Male then he got a good look at the bottle and said he couldn't have that on his dresser so he just walked away... (I think he might have been threatened by the bottles bigger package...) I have had customers who thought that a Unisex fragrance might attract other guys so they refuse to purchase... I was born and raised in this area, but moved away in my 20's so my eyes were never really opened to how close minded some ppl can be here. I lived in Orlando for nearly 10 years and let me tell you... it's like a different planet up here in some cases... don't get me wrong, it's my home and I enjoy it here, but I also know the ppl here now. I mean I got made fun of for wearing short ankle socks with jeans up here once instead of the typical tube socks or the like. I was just visiting at the time and don't think I even owned a pair of non-ankle socks cuz I was always wearing shorts in Sunny Orlando

    I pride myself on NOT being the asshole SA who will try to sell you anything just to get a sale, I see it happen a little in my store and elsewhere and I absolutely HATE it... I have one of the lowest amounts of returns on the sale floor and I hope that is because I try to find the best fit for the customer. I have actually talked customers out of something they liked the smell of because they were looking for something that was going to last on their skin and I knew what they picked out was not going to last at all and the customer would be displeased. I love spending time with cistomers who are interested and I enjoy explaining things to them, some ppl like crosswords, I like finding the right frag for ppl. Most of my interactions with customers end with them initiating a handshake and thanking me for sharing my time and knowledge.

    I am trying to use a different word so people will not have an adverse reaction and move on even if they love the fragrance.

    Just as you can tell in a few seconds if a fragrance SA knows what their talking about, I can tell if my customer is knowledgeable or not as well. So, I am mainly talking about the newbies here that are just trying to buy cologne to get laid

    It is not deception or ambiguity I am trying to achieve, I am just trying to make sure they don't let their preconceived notions get in the way of what they might like in a fragrance. This is not a selling trick like the crap corporate tries to train us in, if my regional manager saw me on the floor she might have a fit, but my numbers are very good so I feel I would be able to defend myself for not using the method of selling them everything I can and then upselling more then getting them out the door and hoping they never come back and return the items. When teens come to the counter most of the other SA's don't even give them the time of day, I like to talk to them and when I find the ones that are genuinely interested I help them out with samples and show them around as much as I can even though I know they're not going to buy anything from me because when I look at them all I can see is me at that age, eager to smell all these mysterious concoctions, but too afraid or embarrassed to ask any questions or even be noticed.

    I have a passion for what I do and my goal is to help the customer, not my numbers.


    Sorry this was soooo long :} and D&S, please don't take any of this as a personal attack, it was not meant as such in the least bit! I truly enjoy your comments and knowledge on here and I indeed do see how you might have thought I was trying to be sneaky with the customer, but I hope I have explained myself better now
    -Cologne is the only fashionable thing that fits me! (Me, circa 1997-present)
    http://www.youtube.com/860cologne

  51. #51

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by heperd View Post
    Powdery sounds femme to the average guy, so just dont use the word at all. With the frags you mentioned i would call them "spicy, but smooth and clean" , "with a nice masculine sandalwood note" (not sure if they have sandalwood but probably, some sandalwood is powdery to me)
    DO NOT mention any flowers, no iris. Spices and wood are manly. French and flowers are not. You probably know most of this stuff already.
    Of course im talking about the average guy here so i dont want to hear all of the exceptions from everyone.

    Also did you threaten that Coty model with bodily harm for messin with your money!

    LOL thanks for your input, and we actually got into a screaming argument on the floor once albeit a controlled screaming match... a customer wanted to try the new D&G fragrance called "gentlemen" and the model said "Oh, that isn't new, it's an old one".. I quickly countered back with "Actually The One Gentleman just came out 2 weeks ago".. her head flung back at me and she had the look of Medusa and said "I WILL HANDLE THIS, you stay OUT!!" ... I didn't and it made for an unpleasant working environment for awhile But now she is with a different company and she and I get along GREAT lol I still can't believe it
    -Cologne is the only fashionable thing that fits me! (Me, circa 1997-present)
    http://www.youtube.com/860cologne

  52. #52

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by lucasai View Post
    maybe "irisy" would be a good word as usually iris note is respinsible for fragrance powderness. Or describing a scent "it gives a slightly dry feeling"

    When some SA would tell me the fragrance is powdery, I'd be even more interested as I'm a big fan of clean, powdery scents (Hello, my dear Prada Amber Pour Homme & Infusion d'Homme)
    I'm the same way! I love my powdery frags
    -Cologne is the only fashionable thing that fits me! (Me, circa 1997-present)
    http://www.youtube.com/860cologne

  53. #53
    Dependent heperd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Why not just say, " This one is like being enveloped in a soft, billowy cloud of fleecy iris flowers and gives you a talcum like affect covering your whole body!!!! So waddaya say John Henry?? Wanna buy it?? Oh I just love your work boots!! Are those John Varvatos??"
    Want to trade - Tom Ford Extreme for Windsor, Amber Absolute, Aventus x02....
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  54. #54

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    You can call it anything, and still the Coty model would scare off your powderophobe customers at the mention of the "P" word.
    Your best bet is to retaliate against her. Say something mean about her mom.

  55. #55

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelerOpera View Post
    I'm the same way! I love my powdery frags
    You sound like and honest man, Steeler. Sometimes I just have one of those days that shout for Habanita.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  56. #56

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Thanks :} On a more important note lol how are you able to type words in Bold now? I used to be able to do that here, but haven't seen that option since the hack
    -Cologne is the only fashionable thing that fits me! (Me, circa 1997-present)
    http://www.youtube.com/860cologne

  57. #57
    Basenotes Junkie BurgundyMarsh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    No, you just can't use the word "powdery" in that environment. My bold option is working fine but you can always use the old html for this...

  58. #58

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Say it has a cocaine like vibe to it....or since they think powder is a feminine feel say "It has a "Yayo" like vibe to it, Tony Montana style."

    Should give them an image of a gangster rather than a baby's ass...being as though they feel as though their masculinity needs to be validated.

    You're welcome.

  59. #59

    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Dernier_Cri View Post
    "Powdery" is of course the best way to get across the characteristic of a scent that most people would perceive as "powdery". It's a shared perception that we acquire having all grown up smelling baby powders and/or certain women's and men's perfumes of the past. It's fixed in the collective fragrance memory.
    Not to the degree you may think. There are a lot of disagreements on whether certain frags are powdery, and only very few where a large majority would agree to it. If you state in a review that you think it's powdery, you may be in a small minority of people that perceive it that way.

  60. #60
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    Default Re: Help me find another word for "powdery" please :}

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorje123 View Post
    Not to the degree you may think. There are a lot of disagreements on whether certain frags are powdery, and only very few where a large majority would agree to it. If you state in a review that you think it's powdery, you may be in a small minority of people that perceive it that way.
    ...
    Last edited by Dernier_Cri; 5th May 2012 at 10:16 PM.

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