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  1. #1

    Default Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    I am planning on doing a gift basket for my SO for her b-day, and I am afraid I'm a little stumped as to what to get her to try out. She really dislikes sweet florals, and a trip to our local Dillards (about the only place to check fragrance out around here) proved fruitless, with everything being "too sweet/candy like/teeny bopper" etc. She has one perfume, Bella Belara that her mother gave her, and she wears it only occasionally because it's better than nothing. I would like to put together something for her that gives her a decent amount of choice without getting too carried away, while staying away from overly sweet fragrances. I think in the neighborhood of 10 but no more than 15 fragrances should be good. So far, I have decided on ELDO's Rossy de Palma and Delicious Closet Queen for certain, Salvidor Dali for Women (if I can find it), and Dior Poison. Hoping for any suggestions you might make. Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
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    PalmBeach's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Not sure your budget, but the Malle Coffret would be a wonderful Birthday gift.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    What a nice gift!

    Indeed, mainstream for women is now slathered in syrup. Hard to find bone dry stuff, but it exists:
    In mainstream: for green you can check the icy queen Chanel Cristalle, and the confident Estee Lauder Private Collection. For a bold leather, Estee Lauder Azuree (these you might be able to find also at Dillard, without any need for samples). For fresh citrusy (though not necessarily long lasting), Jo Malone Basil, Mandarin and Lime, and O de Lancome.

    In niche: Rossy de Palma is a nice dry rose. Rather than the closet queen, I'd go for the dry bitter Jasmine et cigarette (the name says it all). Then an s&m piece, no teens allowed, the butchest leather of all, Piguet Bandit. In the Piguet line, of note also the green chypre Futur. Moving up in price, another leather, but smooth this time, Chanel Cuir de Russie, and for fresh Chanel Sycomore (a woody vetiver) or La Pausa (iris).

    cacio

  4. #4
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    What a lovely boyfriend you are to give such a thoughtful gift!

    l wonder what made you decide on Poison, the mother of all fruity florals??

    Can you say what kind of smells she does like; is she looking for something refreshing, or a heavier oriental? ls she drawn to traditionally "masculine" perfumes, or something pretty, powdery & feminine?

    So far, l would recommend;
    Costes by Hotel Costes; spiced rose & sandalwood.
    Lumiere Noire pour Femme; rose with clean patchouli.
    Patchouli lmperial by Dior; a modern, easily unisex patchouli.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Popular with the buying public and respected by Basenoters:
    Boucheron for her
    Donna Karan Black Cashmere

    You're one smart, sweet cookie MuskOx.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    +1 for Costes and Black Cashmere.

    For something that's as far away from sweet and syrupy as you can get, Diptyque Tam Dao is gorgeous (sandalwood, creamy smooth but not sweet).

    10 Corso Como is another lovely dry sandalwood with an elegant incense.

    Serge Lutens Gris Clair or Encens et Lavande would give you wonderful smoke and lavender. Gris Clair is a bit more forceful and smoky, while EetL is softer and closer wearing.

    (Btw, these are all unisex, and I wear all of them.)

    Samples/decants of all of these are available at Surrender to Chance or The Perfumed Court.

    This really is a very sweet, thoughtful thing for you to do for her, particularly since she's have a difficult time finding something she likes. Well done.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    the Malle Coffret would be a wonderful Birthday gift
    I'll have to keep that on radar for a holiday gift, I already got her what she asked for (a tablet pc ) and that pretty much took the budget. I'm figuring that I can get what I'm looking for at around $100 from TPC or STC, thanks for the heads up on it!

    Estee Lauder Azuree sounds like an excellent choice (she loves my leather fragrances), substituting in Jasmine et cigarette would work as well since it is drier. I'm tempted to get two of the Piguet Bandit so I can try one (we both love dirty fragrances and leather). She doesn't like fresh citrus, but it works out because neither do I, thanks for all the recommendations though Cacio, certainly added some choices on.

    l wonder what made you decide on Poison, the mother of all fruity florals??

    Can you say what kind of smells she does like; is she looking for something refreshing, or a heavier oriental? ls she drawn to traditionally "masculine" perfumes, or something pretty, powdery & feminine?
    The Poison had been recommended to me by a friend, but now that I have had a chance to look it up on the directory I'm not sure why... I suppose this is a good example of why consulting with the board rather than one guy is a good idea. Out of the things I wear she adores Bogart PH, Aramis, and Yatagan. I would like to get her a heavier oriental or two for certain. I think fresh or powdery might not work out, she doesn't seem to like my fresh scents at all. Costes by Hotel Costes sounds good, she does love rose, and Lumiere Noire pour Femme also sounds good, she likes rose, and I like patchouli could work very well! Thanks for the input.

    Black Cashmere sounds like an excellent choice, Thanks for the recommendations.

    Tam Dao from Diptyque sounds wonderful as well as Gris Clair, thanks for your recommendations.

  8. #8
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    lf you both love dirt & leather, l highly recommend trying;

    Rien by ELd'O
    L'Air de Rien by Miller Harris
    Peau d'Espagne by Santa Maria Novella
    Absolue pour le Soir by MFK
    Bal a Versailles
    Muscs Koublai Khan
    Musk Ravageur

    l also have a feeling Habanita might work for you; the EDT if you can get it. (The EDP is a recent reformulation, & much less "dark" by all accounts)

    Happy sniffing, & do let us know what you pick, & what she likes!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Well I went ahead and ordered some samples. I ended up getting ELDOs Rien and Rossy De Palma, Lumiere Noire Pour Femme, Tam Dao, Peau D'Espagne, Black Cashmere, Habanita, Bal a Versailles, L'air de Rien, Azuree, Bandit, Costas and Muscs Koublai Khan. I'll be certain to post what she ends up liking. Thanks for all the help.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Just thought I would post a quick update. The B-day was this past weekend and her favorites were ELDOs Rien (we are both enthralled with this one really), she also likes Rossy De Palma, Black Cashmere, Habanita, L'air de Rien, Bandit and Azuree is "okay". The rest were just "hmmmm" for her. Personally I LOVE ELDOs Rien and MKK. I also ADORE Bal a Versailles so much that I'm getting a bottle for myself, despite the SO thinking it smells like "old lady", though when I sampled it today without telling her what it was she was all "is that a new one? It's really good," I also really liked Tam Dao and Peau D'Espagne. Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations, they helped make the gift great!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    I'm (positively) impressed by your daring preference for Rien. I love it too, it is among my top leathers (together with Bandit), but it's a tough one to pull for many, who find it too bitter and dirty. Major word of caution: Rien can easily deceive, upon spraying, it seems light, but then, it comes out in full force when heated by the body. So go light on the spray - other BNers can tell you what happened when they inappropriately oversprayed. Also, remember that Rien on clothes is nearly eternal.

    As for BaV, remember that there are several concentrations, all somewhat different from each other. Cologne, edt, and parfum have slightly different profiles, and there's also variation across vintage. The current edt is the most powdery, though with heat a nice dirty musk comes out. Vintage ones are usually dirtier and more complex.

    cacio

  12. #12

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Major word of caution: Rien can easily deceive, upon spraying, it seems light, but then, it comes out in full force when heated by the body. So go light on the spray - other BNers can tell you what happened when they inappropriately oversprayed. Also, remember that Rien on clothes is nearly eternal.
    Thanks for the tip! I blind bought a 1oz of Bijan for Men (I love it) but the first time I wore it, I hit myself with at least six sprays before I stopped. Despite having skin that usually isn't very kind to fragrance, that was a bad day

    As for BaV, remember that there are several concentrations, all somewhat different from each other. Cologne, edt, and parfum have slightly different profiles, and there's also variation across vintage. The current edt is the most powdery, though with heat a nice dirty musk comes out. Vintage ones are usually dirtier and more complex.
    Thanks again, I had read that there were some differences, but it is good to know about the powdery-ness of the current EDT. I *think* the sample I found is a vintage (or at least some what older) mini of the EDP, but will have to check when I get home. It is wonderfully skanky, and I didn't get the "old lady" vibe that my SO did. Come to think of it I might want to find out where she spends her free time if the old ladies there smell like this stuff!

  13. #13
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Thanks for reporting back MuskOx, l'm so pleased you both found something to love amongst the recommendations!
    Enjoy them in good health!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Help with a B-day basket of samples...

    Quote Originally Posted by MuskOx View Post
    we both love dirty fragrances and leather
    I realise this comes after the event but since she likes rose as well, you may both want to try Dirty Rose by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz - she does do rose and leather/tobacco/incense rather well.

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