Sycomore by Chanel
So, I have shamelessly stolen an idea that I found on the Frederic Malle site, and I figured I'd give it a try here where members aren't limited to a select few scents.
I am looking for a great fragrance to call my own. Preferably not a fragrance that you run into everyday that any ordinary joe will wear (AdG, Issey Miyake, etc...)
Ideally this fragrance will be best suited for the spring and summer, because I have a number of cold weather fragrances that I love.
Here is a list of information, some taken from the Frederic Malle site, and some added by myself, to help you get an idea of who I am.
Can you please help me find a fragrance that will essentially act as an extension of who I am? Also, when you post the fragrance, I would love to hear how you came to that decision, as well as your impressions of the fragrance you chose. I really think that will help me make a sound decision.
Here we go....
Law school student/Writer
DO YOU HAVE ANY PARTICULAR DESIRE AT THE MOMENT?
A career I enjoy, a fast car, and time to party
WHY DO YOU WEAR PERFUME? TO SEDUCE, TO REFRESH, TO ADD A FINAL TOUCH...
To seduce, and to diffirentiate myself from others
WHICH PERFUMES HAVE MOST MARKED YOU?
Eau Des Beaux, Tuscan Leather, Pure Havane, Aventus, Encre Noire, Burberry London (those topnotes....)
WHAT STYLE CLOTHING WOULD YOU LIKE TO WEAR WITH THIS PERFUME?
Mostly casual, colourful and very stylish, but occasionally a nice suit or suit jacket
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BRANDS OF CLOTHING?
Uniqlo, H&M, Urban Outfitters (not a brand, I know)
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Knoxville TN and Tokyo, Japan
WHAT IS YOUR PASSION?
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CAR?
WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES?
Racing cars at the track, Eating great food, Writing
FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
Jazz/Hip Hop fusion
Looks: Younger, and very cute (girly). Personality/character:intelligence, strong maternal instincts, and solid values.
YOURSELF IN A NUTSHELL
I am passionate about people and I am a very emotional person myself. I am creative almost to the point of a sickness, and I am always thinking. In the future I hope to be a lawyer working in Tokyo.
Thank you in advance fellow basenoters for all your help
Last edited by The Smelly Scientist; 4th May 2012 at 12:00 AM.
Sycomore by Chanel
I remember you've been looking for an Aventus substitute (which is not my favorite) but the Japanese, modern and stylish theme makes me think about CDG 2 man, fresh incense, which I use a lot in the summer. In general, CDG seems to capture the vibe, also with their incense (which cannot really be described as too summery).
Given that you like also some smooth leather and woods, I'd say also Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland, a lemony leathery saffron; still ok in the heat, though not as summery as others.
Thanks so far Hednic and Cacio!
I wanted to add that I really appreciate the explanation as to why you picked out those fragrances Cacio. I've made an edit to my original post to ask for anyone making a recommendation to include their reasons for why they chose the frags they did.
Xerjoff 1861 - suited for Spring and Summer
I have a love for Japan as well. This is just an additional scent (not necessarily a signature) that I immediately thought of when reading your thread. I know it's not a direct answer to your question, but I just didn't want to pass the thread by. If any fragrance reminds of Japan it's Comme des Garcons Series 3: Incense Kyoto.
I really think I'd associate you with (drum rolls) Musc Ravageur!
Kurt smells like Teen Spirit
I'm going to drop by a store today that carries the CdG line to try Kyoto and 2 Man today. Will report back with my findings!
I haven't found a place with the two other frags Cacio mentioned though
The Frederic Malle site came back with that result too. I have a sample of Musc Ravageur, but to be totally honest, I can't stand the stuff. I find nothing interesting about it whatsoever. I can't pick out any notes, and I just find it so... normal. Yes, I know, my nose is an idiot
In the US, I've seen the Etat Libre d'Orange line only at Henri Bendel in NYC (not at the other Bendels), and a couple of other random stores. They're a quirky brand with ironic names and imagery, and the scents are very solid and often humorous.
XJ 1861 is a good shout, I'll throw out an under appreciated one:
Comme des Garcons: Monocle Scent One Hinoki
Kind of funny asking a group of people who don't really know you that well except for your short description to pick out a scent that is an extension of who you are...
But I was going to suggest you try Kyoto since in spirit you're in Japan, so might as well give it a try.
Why not CdG2 (woman) - I consider it a unisex. It's bright, beautiful, urban, stylish, sensual, very abstract. A masterpiece imo.
Try Donna Karan Fuel for Men; it has a bit of Aventus's pineapple and smoke in addition to fuel and leather notes for the motoring enthusiast. Plus it is very sexy!
Each of the following would be distinctive, yet somewhat edgy:
Aqua Fahrenheit by Christian Dior - This is a considerably toned down version of the original, masterpiece Fahrenheit. No negative connotation is implied or should be taken; rather, this is a distinctive composition, somewhat bright and fresh, with ties to the original.
Initially, one is treated to a blast of sparkling grapefruit, with its sour greenness, tempered by a hint of sweetness from the mandarin. This invigorating, citrus melange is drawn to the heart by a nascent mint. Here, in the heart, the cool spearmint comes into its own with its sweet, green facets, and commingles with violet leaf, with its intense freshness and a hint of cucumber. Basil infuses the refreshing blend with a lively dusting of its lemon-like, savory herb. A very faint undercurrent of petro/gasoline can be sensed. Transitioning to the base, a rather ordinary, woods accord presents, and interplays with a light, almost airy, Haitian vetiver as well as a subtle leather. A placid drydown ensues. This high-quality composition is bright and fresh, and should prove to be very versatile. Having average projection and longevity, this scent will, indeed, shine in the spring, summer and fall.
Oliban by Keiko Mecheri - Initially, one is treated to a magnificent shower of mystical frankincense. The lovely, sweetish, citrusy character commingles with the cedar chest aroma of atlas cedarwood, with its aromatic fruitiness and ever so slightly camphoraceous, some might say urinous, whisper. This vivacious brew meanders to the waiting heart. Here, a deliciously seductive, red rose with fruity glimmers and a cabernet-like facet sparkles somewhat. A delightful honey marries with the enchanting rose and imparts its enticing sweetness. An exotic undertone is furnished by a much subdued olibanum. Transitioning to the awaiting base, a select blond tabacco imparts its floral, vanillic, and smoky facets. A magical amber supplies hints of vanillic cherry, almonds as well as leather. Shadows of tangy frankincense flitter about. A charming drydown ensues. This well-blended, elegant composition leans substantially to the masculine side, and has radiating projection for maybe two hours, then settling to a skin scent, as well as average longevity.
I got it at Harrods but I have no idea who stocks it on your side of the pond.I just did some research on this one and it does indeed sound interesting! Do you happen to know if any major retailers carry it?
CDG 2 man is a lemony incense; CDG2 is a watery rose (watery in the sense of transparent, ethereal, not in the sense of marine). Very different, both very good and modern in feel, of course one has to like the main ingredient of each.
M - Puredistance
Rose 31 - Le Labo
Leather Oud - Dior
Also, I think it might be worth mentioning that you may want to avoid vanilla / vanilla+amber mixes. My wife is Japanese and when I wear something like Ambre Précieux she says that I smell like an older Japanese woman wearing a kimono (apparently this is what they smell like). If this is the association she has, I could imagine it might trigger similar associations to other people of Japanese nationality.
Tactics Cologne (Shiseido)
Funny you should mention the vanilla. My girlfriend is Japanese too and while she doesn't have a huge issue with vanilla, she can't stand the smell of incense in fragrances. She is also quite a fragrance addict, which is weird for a Japanese person. I'm not sure how your wife feels about incense, but I'd be curious to know.
Girlfriend's most hated frag at the moment : Dior Leather Oud. lol
I used to spend time in Kyoto in the 80's & 90's and picked up a lot of beautiful boxes of incense. I still have some and also get stuff from Shoyeido online. Of course I bought CdG Kyoto as soon as it was launched and still enjoy it. It's quite a simplistic take on the Japanese temple incense genre - leaning to the drier woods side without the benzoin and sandalwood you get in the real thing (maybe evoking the wooden temple structures like Kiyomizu et al - wood saturated with smoke).
It wouldn't surprise me if incense based perfumes don't sell particularly well in this part of the world because in Northeast Asia incense is mainly used in temples to honour the ancestors so being both formal and associated with the departed it may not be a scent that people then expect to come across 'on the street' or in everyday situations. I notice in Japan that there are some beautiful incenses geared towards meditative use and verging on more recreational ambience (tea ceremony?) but even here it's still quite mannered and formal and maybe construed as 'old' by a more cosmopolitan post 80's generation. Just a hunch
So I just went to test out some cdg frags...
Im on my phone right now but I want to report that I am a very happy camper.
Will post specific impressions soon
Well everyone, thank you for your generous comments in this thread... I think I have found a winner...
But before I announce the fragrance I chose, let me present you with the runner ups:
4. CdG Kyoto - I REALLY wanted to love this one, just based on my affinity to Kyoto, but it ended up just being a very generic, linear incense, that I don't find wearable. This is the kind of scent that would drive my girlfriend out of our home.
Don't get me wrong, it was nice, but it's the kind of smell that I only want to encounter when making a wish at a temple in Kyoto. I almost feel like wearing it every day would take away from the special memories that I have made that to this day float on a cloud of incense. Either way, I'm happy that I got to try it, because it did remind me of walking around some of the temples in Kyoto, and I was happy.
3. CDG 2 - I didn't really look much into the notes of this, and I forgot what Cacio had mentioned about this having nothing to do with incense.... Needless to say I was mindblown when I sprayed this stuff. At first, I loved it; it just screamed summer to me, and I immediately noted that it could be an Aventus replacement because it was so fresh.
Fast forward to a few minutes where I began to realize that as beautiful as CdG 2 smells, it is simply too feminine. I pictured myself taking classes in law school and getting weird looks from the people around me because I smelled like a woman. I don't mean to offend anyone, as I'm sure there are men who can pull this off, but maybe I'm just not at that level yet.
My other problem with this scent is that I find it EXTREMELY linear. It smells exactly the same now as it did when I put it on 5 hours ago. All this, compounded with the crazy projection (which would usually be welcome), is why I have decided to land this particular frag at 3rd place.
2. CdG 2 Man - At first I had trouble distinguishing this from Kyoto, as they both seemed very incense-heavy. And, like Kyoto, I was ready to write this one off...
...until I started to get to the drydown: Lemon, cut through to weight of the incense and really opened my eyes. I suddenly began to picture this as being, as has been said before, and incense for the warmer seasons. Also, unlike Kyoto, I find the incense in this frag to be less intrusive, and a bit more mysterious. It's quite nice! I'm going to go back and try to get a sample so I can get a real full wearing in, because I have a feeling this one may very well end up winning out.
However... there can only be one winner for now, and based on my initial impressions, that winner is....
Usually when I dislike a fragrance, I end up being repulsed by it upon initial application - and that is exactly how I felt about this fragrance. However, it took me a moment to realize that the reaction I was experiencing with this particular scent was not that of repulsion, but rather of frustration; I was frustrated at the fact that I recognized this scent, but I wasn't sure from where. After about 10 minutes of repeated sniffing (and I was getting pretty aggressive with the sniffing), it hit me - Martha's Vineyard.
As a child I spent every summer on the island, and this fragrance brought me back to all the wooden houses that I would visit on my way to the beach. The wood of these houses had such a magical smell, almost as if they had been blessed by an ocean breeze by thousands of years. I was smitten. This was to be my scent.
For the rest of the day I kept sniffing myself like a maniac, and the scent continued to develop, ever so slightly, into something even more amazing, though never losing that "Vineyard" quality.
I ran home and asked my girlfriend what "hinoki" meant in Japanese. When she explained to me it referred to the type of tree, whose wood is often used in onsens (hot springs), I pulled my wrist up to her nose and her jaw dropped.
All these wonderful memories have been bottled and preserved in Hinoki... Thank you Basenotes for guiding me on this wonderful journey. I truly believe I have found "My Scent".
I actually read your comments on Hinoki from a few years back... it all makes sense now... you're a Kyoto lover too haha.
I totally agree with you analysis. Incense is not a "fashionable" scent by any means, so that would explain the general aversion that I'm experiencing with my first lady. Heck, after spending 3 years in Japan I don't even know if I would want to incorporate it in a fragrance. There's something so mystical and "old" about it. Maybe some things are best left to tradition?
Either way, CdG's whole line really impressed me, and I was surprised to see that the nose behind the fragrance also was the same man behind a lot of the Burberry frags I love, even though they are so vastly different than Hinoki.
Fragrance is pretty damn cool
Oh, one last question... You had mentioned in that same post from a few years ago that you scored your bottle for half price... you wouldn't possibly know where to find a deal like that on Hinoki these days would ya? :P
Glad you found something you like so much. Plus, if you girlfriend likes it too, it seems it's decided. I like Hinoki a lot too, and I do find it rather fresh as well. Though I have never tested it in DC's sticky summers.
Plus, there's no need to limit yourself to *one* scent. CDG is not a cheap brand, but in the niche department, it is not particularly expensive either.
Re CDG2 man: I think one of the elements that make CDG2 man both more mysterious and fresher than the standard incenses is what Luca Turin calls "snuffed candles" note, apparently some aldehyde that gives it the right twist.
A couple of my CdG's came from a closing sale so no joy in suggesting a good deal, I'm afraid.
It's nice to hear you found something that clicks in Hinoki - clearly your tastes are leaning in a woodsy direction at the moment. I realised after my previous post that I hadn't actually suggested anything so as a parting shot I think at some point you might want to sample Tribute, Memoir Man and Epic Man & Woman. Not saying they will necessarily grab you but there's something these have in common that might work - I think of them as a more deeply nuanced extension of the quite earnest woods and incense genre - they have a bit more of a story to tell. Epic Woman is excellent, I dug it out yesterday and wore it after posting about Kyoto - I am targetting the Extrait at some point, which a few guys here have spoken very highly of.
How about Christian Diors Fahrenheit. I think it's quality juice, unique and versatile for spring summer. You can try the flanker with Oud or the Aqua with a nice grapecruit. They won't break your wallet if you would like to wear all three of them.
Let us know what you choose! Have fun.
Edit: Oops I should have read all the way down. Anyways congratulations on your new signature scent! I'll give that Hinoki a good sniff. Sound interesting.
Last edited by Ivan D' Great; 6th May 2012 at 10:59 AM.
As for Hinoki... I can't get it out of my mind! You mentioned it not being too expensive for a niche, but unfortunately I still have a hard time shelling out $120+ for a 50 ml bottle. I guess I'm cheap but I've been spoiled by the splits board. Why can't they make this stuff in 400 ml decants :P
The shop close by to me has been out of it for a long time, and there is a waiting list for when it comes back... but they're selling for $175 + tax... jeez...
Thanks for the recommendations. It sounds like Epic man might be something that I would like. Although to be honest I'm not a huge fan of incense to begin with. I am definitely into the woodsy scents though, maybe something woodsy and lightly floral? Any recommendations?
Also, do try Hinoki. It's incredible
$120/50 ml., that is quite expensive indeed! I thought it costed less than $100, as most other CDGs (ie the incenses cost $80/50 ml, I believe). CDG2 man costs $120 for *100* ml...