Ive never had this happen to me.
Sometimes you come across a fragrance whose top notes you find mind blowing but after a couple hours turns into a living nightmare that tempt you to have a shower with bleach to get that stank out, some other times (that get rarer and rarer, I admit) you get this annoying top notes that are basically the hard, harsh stairway to olfactive heaven... Which examples can you think of?
Here are a couples examples from my own experience (and my own opinion, of course):
Impressive top notes, horrid middle/base: Minotaure (great fresh, coconot, mediterranic opening.....horrible sinthetic, sweetly cloying mess afterwards);
Threatening opening, divine middle/base notes: Givenchy Gentleman, M7 (more notable on any of vintage formulations of these classics, but still present in the current ones).
Thanks in advance for your contributions!
I have never had anything yet with great top notes and a monster mid notes (dry down). However Versace The Dreamer has a rancid like opening for about the first 30 seconds or so and then turns into a wonderful and "DREAMY" dry down.
Living each day one spray at a time
l'eue bleu d'issey terrible opening and top notes but the drydown has you smelling your wrists for hours
Yep, Tom Ford, Tobacco Vanille. I initially didn't like it. I sprayed it onto a test card on two separate occasions and hated it. TOO sickly sweet, sort of like root beer. I took home the card and the next day and over the next WEEK it transformed and I couldn't stop smelling it. It became what the name suggested....smokey, tobacco-y and vanilla. Very yummy!!! I tested it on my skin eventually and the same thing happened only it didn't take as long for it to to develop and it was even better. Opening blah, middle and base, delightful.
I am not quite sure whether the opening or middle/base notes are deceptive as you intimate; however, they are, indeed, incongruous in ↓↓↓:
Geranium pour Monsieur by Frederic Malle - One is initially treated to a bracing wave of camphorated mint and menthol, quite akin to a Tiger Balm odor, coupled with the lemony green smell of geranium leaf. Synthetic additives, such as anethol, with its anise character, floralozone, with its freshness, and rhodinol, with its citrusy floral dimension, all sophisticate the blend. This fresh opening spends a considerable amount of time wafting. A muted dusting of the concoction by warm cinnamon and earthy clove is feebly and fleetingly sensed, which strangely signals the beginning and end of the middle, if one exists. Thence, the incongruous base takes charge. White musk, with its soapiness, and sandalwood, with its soft and balsamic aspects, as well as sweet and faintly vanillic styrax and a touch of exotic incense forge an alluring base, while ambroxan imparts its velvety, skin-like, ambergris illusion. An inviting drydown ensures. One may choose to say this composition is unique, I prefer to say it is discordant. The projection and longevity for this/these scent(s) are average.
Top notes tend to be rather fleeting on my skin, so it usually is a matter of seconds instead of hours, but Memoir Man from Amouage was one where I loved the top notes, and loathed the heart and base notes.
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)
I cannot remember this happening to me.
Like many here I tried hard to remember such an experience but I'm unable to. I love the ones with "controversial" top notes - e.g. Absolue pour le Soir - right from the beginning (and maybe just because of this caustic entrance).