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  1. #1

    Default Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Hey guys, Im brand new to this fragrance cologne thing, but upon receiving a bottle of Light Blue from a family member this Christmas, I've been doing some researching. I kindof like smelling like something other than clothes and the Subway sandwich I had for lunch.

    With that being said, I've done a little research around here to try to find a good cold weather cologne, and was able to find a bottle of Burberry London at Burlington Coat Factory for 29 dollars. It does smell good.

    But, I'd still be interested in trying something new, if I found the right thing. After smelling a lot of things at Ulta, Sephora, and most other department stores, I feel like most of the colognes out there are too sweet smelling for me. Too flowery, too sugary, too bright. I believe you guys refer to these as the 'top notes', sorry if thats not what that means.

    SO.....I was hoping you guys could recommend a cologne that has NO top notes. No sweet, flowery, nothing. Just pure mid and base. I do think London has this feel, which is why I do like it, but London still has a sweetish, almost pie smell to it.

    Is there anything out there like this? Is this a bad idea? Do frangrances need a top to balance out the bottom? Thanks for any suggestions you guys can send my way. Appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    I'll let some of the more knowledgable guys give you some suggestions, but 'Top Notes' simply refers to the first stage of the fragrance and is not associated with any particular type of smell.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Well i guess that makes sense! Thanks for the clarification. Guess I was thinking more along the lines of 'high notes'

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Maybe something very linear like Montale Original Aoud

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Washington, DC

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...


    As Daley was saying, "top" per se refers to the most volatile components of a perfume. However, you are right that fresh notes tend to be the most volatile, so things like citrus and the like usually constitute the top notes, and the base notes are "darker". More recently, aromachemical companies have come out with synthetic substances that smell clean and bright, almost like household cleaners, but are long lasting: Light Blue is perhaps the paradigmatic example in the style. It smells like a cleaner, and it lasts forever. I don't like the style, but it is popular. (In general, frags that have the name "sport" or "blue" or the like tend to fall into this category).

    Sweetness however is usually a base note, so if something is sweet in the opening, it will continue to do so throughout.

    From your description, it seems you're looking for a frag that is not too fresh and bright, that is, it is dark, but at the same time it is dry rather than sweet. Not as easy because, as you've found out, modern masculines tend towards the sweet gourmand area.

    Materials that are darker and nonsweet are things like woods, leather, spices, and patchouli. A line you could explore is Aramis: the classic Aramis is a dark musky leather, Aramis 900 is a resinous woody patchouli (though it has a touch of flowers - but it's dry), Tuscany is herbal. Among things that can often be found at discounters, I'd mention Drakkar Noir, Zino Davidoff (patch), and Halston Z-14.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Thanks for the suggestions so far guys, I'll have to go check some of these out. Keep em coming

  7. #7

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    + a plethora to what Cacio suggested.

    That said, what you are not fond of is the vast majority of perfumes in the market now (numbing consumers' tastes + reducing cost) and therefore will need to seek what some refer to as niche perfumery. I refer to it as perfumery as it should be.
    for swap/sale:

  8. #8
    Super Member Christian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    South Walton County, FL

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Give Prada Amber PH and PH Intense a try.

    Also, Gucci Pour Homme II comes to mind.

    CREED Aventus
    Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur
    DIOR Homme Intense
    Guerlain L'IDGExtreme
    Chanel Platinum Egoiste
    Chanel Allure Edition Blanche
    Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Male
    Thierry Mugler Pure Malt

  9. #9

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    click on the self education link in my signature, then look for the masculine chart (pdf) and see if that helps... also look around the archive for more info
    Tom Ford Splits:Noir de Noir, Neroli Portofino, Lavender Palm, Plum Japonais, Champacca Absolute, Tobacco Vanille ONE LEFT: Italian Cypress, Patchouli Absolu, Amber Absolute, Tuscan Leather, Oud Wood

    Most of the time I am very proud of the Basenotes community. Time after time I have witnessed the thoughtfulness, empathy & genuine friendship that members of this community extend to others - oldtimers & newcomers alike. There are other times, however, when egos get the upper hand and civility goes out the window. My philosophy is that I won't say anything here that I would not say if you were standing in front of me. Welcome to Basenotes, each and every one of us. ~ TwoRoads

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    original santal

  11. #11

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Alright guys Im about to place an order on this Fragrancenet website for some sample vials of a few things (reputable website?)

    Ive got a question. Im looking at buying a mini bottle of Michael Kors for men. I like the way it sounds. Tobacco'y and deep and such. But the website lists it as being flowery? Not quite what im after. I have yet to find any reviews that say its flowery though.

    If anyone has any input on the 'darkness' of this cologne, please chime in.

    Other suggestions are appreciated as well!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Molecule 01

  13. #13

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    I think I found what I was looking for. I picked up a sample of the Michael Kors for me (which i do like), but I also picked up a vial sample of Lalique's Encre Noire. Its exactly what I was looking for. None of that sweet or fruity riff raff. Just pure badass.

  14. #14
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Coastal Massachusetts

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Well, in case you are still interested, I know Josh from Slumberhosue says he uses no top notes in his fragrances. Those ones are all really well suited to winter (save Pear and Olive).

    He is the only one I know of that intentionally does that, but I am sure there are other more pleasing top noted fragrances out there like OV (which is not what you are looking for, just saying they do exist).
    Currently wearing: Fur by Madhat Scents

  15. #15

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    I see that you misunderstood the term "topnotes", but I think you got it now. Just for clarification, the "top" of a fragrance doesn't refer to "high" or "sweet" notes; rather, it refers to the "opening" of the fragrance. Some fragrances start off very sweet or citric, and evolve to something else. There are other fragrances that smell pretty much the same upon application until they die- these are usually called "linear" fragrances. Neither is "better" than the other, they're simply different. But to recommend a great affordable fragrance that satisfies both your misconstrued interpretation *and* the true meaning, check out Bogart Pour Homme- it is a great cherry tobacco scent with monster sillage and longevity. It's linear- it smells the same from beginning to end (and the scent is good), and has no overt sweetness or citrus that you were describing. Oh, and it's $20 for a 100ml bottle. Can't really go wrong if you think you'd enjoy that type of scent. Cheers.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Looking for cologne with no top notes...

    Awesome! Thanks for the new suggestions. I had been looking at the Slumberhouse thread two days ago and the Norne had caught my eye. I also noticed toward the end of the thread, there was something mentioned about a $20 sampler thing from them? Might have to look into that.

    As for that $20 for 100ml Bogart Pour Homme...sounds like its right in my price range haha. Ill have to check that out asap.

    I told myself I was only going to get a few colognes. I can see this going bad really fast haha.

    Thanks again guys.

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