Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1

    Default Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Hello everyone!

    After a few days of browsing the forums, I compiled a list of fragrances to try, and headed to a few stores. I was surprised at how few I really liked, so I thought I'd come back and post to ask for further direction!

    I'm in my 20s, and have never worn fragrances before. I want a fragrance to compliment my appearance and personality: I'm a small and skinny guy, and soft-spoken and introverted. I'm well-dressed, but with a very casual style (jeans with sneakers or boots on most days). I'm looking for something soft and dark, but not heavy-handed. A little sweetness may be nice. I want something good for a casual office or for going out, and good to use all seasons, day and night. I want to have a signature scent, not one that's constantly changing.

    I would like to start wearing a scent, but without everyone suddenly noticing that I've started wearing a scent, if that makes sense. In other words, my ideal fragrance would be one where others can barely tell I'm wearing a fragrance at all, but when they get close, or pass by, they notice that I smell nice. I don't want to be the person you can smell from across the room, or even from across the desk for that matter.

    A lot of the stuff I tried smelled nice, but just couldn't see myself wearing it, because it was too bright, too loud, or too heavy. Here's what I tried, and what I thought:

    I liked:
    • Dior Homme - I like how this is dark with nice depth, but worried it may be too heavy.
    • Terre D'Hermes - Really like how fresh and unique this is. Has nice depth and complexity, which I like a lot. Worried it may be a little bright though.

    Wasn't sure/didn't like:
    • Gucci PH II - On the fence on this one. I like the slight sweetness, but doesn't feel like the right one. Gonna give this one a bit more time.
    • ADP Colonia - Didn't really get anything out of this one. Might need to try again.
    • Eau Savage - Too bright.
    • Fahrenheit - Like the darkness of this, but seems very heavy. May need to try again.
    • Blue De Chanel, YSL l'homme, D&G Pour Homme, Acqua di Gio - For some reason, all of these fell into a similar category for me: too sharp and bright, and somewhat generic and uninteresting.
    • JPG Le Male - Liked the darkness and sweetness at first, but then found it to be way too overbearing, with no depth at all.

    Here's my "to try" list; it's not based on anything -- just a random compilation of fragrances that are recommended frequently around here:
    • pure malt
    • A*men / angel men
    • mugler
    • tom ford for men
    • tom ford noir
    • tom ford grey vetiver
    • 212 men herrera
    • versace pour homme
    • guerlain vetiver
    • michael for men - michael kors
    • ysl la nuit de lhomme
    • l'eau d'issey pour homme
    • burberry london
    • egoiste chanel

    Based on my experience so far -- What should I add? What should I give a second chance? What to avoid?

    Note: I would prefer fragrances that are readily available to sample and purchase in NYC.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by breakfastat12; 30th December 2013 at 05:44 AM.

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    15,256
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    The 3 Tom Ford's are up your alley..
    The Versace and Guerlain also..
    Stay away from everything else- they are loud in your face frag's..

    I would suggest
    Romance Silver by RL- Floral with slight tobacco undertones
    Bulgari Soir- soft floral
    YSL L'Homme- subtle classy and modern
    Prada Amber- Clean/Barbershop vibe
    Kenneth Cole Reaction- Apple/fresh and clean

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    The 3 Tom Ford's are up your alley..
    The Versace and Guerlain also..
    Stay away from everything else- they are loud in your face frag's..

    I would suggest
    Romance Silver by RL- Floral with slight tobacco undertones
    Bulgari Soir- soft floral
    YSL L'Homme- subtle classy and modern
    Prada Amber- Clean/Barbershop vibe
    Kenneth Cole Reaction- Apple/fresh and clean
    Especially seconding L'Homme, it fits all your stated criteria. La Nuit is fantastic, but it is hardly stealth. Everyone will notice it immediately. Not that that's a bad thing, but you stated a preference to not have it be obvious.

    Right behind that, I'd choose Grey Vetiver. Also top-shelf.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    McLean, NYC, & Búzios
    Posts
    83,801

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    From your to try list I'd say Guerlain Vetiver.

    (2324)
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Some flankers of your favorites may possibly also be worth adding to the testing list: TDH Parfum and Dior Homme Intense, as well as Dior Homme Sport. All these three fragrances are elegant but modern and surprisingly versatile and smooth. Even if two of them are far more on the stronger side, their comparatively above average longevity and projection stands out, makes an impression, without ever overpowering or being too loud, thus remaining understated yet still stylishly noticeable.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    I would give Gucci Pour Homme II a few wearings. Great fragrance.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony T View Post
    The 3 Tom Ford's are up your alley..
    The Versace and Guerlain also..
    Stay away from everything else- they are loud in your face frag's..

    I would suggest
    Romance Silver by RL- Floral with slight tobacco undertones
    Bulgari Soir- soft floral
    YSL L'Homme- subtle classy and modern
    Prada Amber- Clean/Barbershop vibe
    Kenneth Cole Reaction- Apple/fresh and clean
    Definitely try YSL L'homme and the flankers of it, it's right up your alley.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Power is not just a matter of the scent itself, but how you apply it. If you spray under the clothes, for instance, things will project less.
    Dior homme and Terre d'hermes are excellent and are certainly not thought of as strong - if you don't overdo, these should be fine.

    You don't seem to like what goes for "marine" and sporty (sharp bright etc), which I dislike too. For the opposite, something warm, in your list I'd recomment Egoiste (the regular Egoiste, not platinum), which is smooth, creamy, sandalwoody. The A*men and flankers (like Pure malt) are excellent and dark, but they are quite powerful, so you do have to embrace the power. Another one to try is YSL m7, dark woody.

    If your price point is higher (between $100-200), you can try some niche stuff, which you can find in NYC. Examples would be enveloping smooth leathers like Chanel Cuir de Russie (Chanel boutiques), or warm boozy-saffrony things like Lubin Idole (at Henri Bendel), or Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland (except I'm not sure where it is sold now, it used to be sold at Henri Bendel, but not anymore).

    cacio

  9. #9

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Tom Ford Grey Vetiver
    Bulgari Pour Homme Soir

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    DSquared2 Potion
    Armani Code Ultimate
    Chanel Pour Monsieur Concentree
    Guerlain L'Instant Extreme
    Last edited by Luca; 30th December 2013 at 10:28 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    All the vetivers are good options but may be perceived as a little bright. You should try CK1 shock as a cheaper option - fairly dark and dense with a sweetish tobacco accord. A gourmand, but less obnoxious than the mugler's on your list. Also Lancome Hypnose would make a great signature.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Thanks for the comments! Went for a brief round two today with all your recs in mind. This time, I think I had a better idea of what to look for when sampling fragrances.

    • YSL l'homme - as a few of you recommended, I gave this another chance; the subtlety is on point, but it's too buttoned up for me.
    • Gucci Pour Homme II - Tried again, and it's definitely growing on me; I can see myself wearing this. It has a casual vibe that I like.
    • Bulgari Soir - The soft tone of this was nice, but the notes were a little odd to me.
    • TF Grey Vetiver - I really wanted to like this because of how highly it's regarded around here, and the number of recs it got. It wasn't offensive, but nothing about it grabbed me. Am I missing something?
    • TF Black Orchid - I also tried Noir and For Men, but they both were too heavy-handed for me. I liked the tone of the Noir though, and the Black Orchid seemed similar, but a little less overwhelming. Are there any other TF scents in this price range worth trying? I'm intrigued by this house, but unfortunately, the Private Blends are out of my range.

    And, a few new questions!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_Russell View Post
    Some flankers of your favorites may possibly also be worth adding to the testing list: TDH Parfum and Dior Homme Intense, as well as Dior Homme Sport. All these three fragrances are elegant but modern and surprisingly versatile and smooth. Even if two of them are far more on the stronger side, their comparatively above average longevity and projection stands out, makes an impression, without ever overpowering or being too loud, thus remaining understated yet still stylishly noticeable.
    What would make TDH Parfum or DH Intense/Sport preferable over the standards? I tried DH Sport, and missed the warmth of the original DH. Is DHI really that much more preferable than DH? Is it possible to find it in NYC?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Power is not just a matter of the scent itself, but how you apply it. If you spray under the clothes, for instance, things will project less.
    Dior homme and Terre d'hermes are excellent and are certainly not thought of as strong - if you don't overdo, these should be fine.

    You don't seem to like what goes for "marine" and sporty (sharp bright etc), which I dislike too. For the opposite, something warm, in your list I'd recomment Egoiste (the regular Egoiste, not platinum), which is smooth, creamy, sandalwoody. The A*men and flankers (like Pure malt) are excellent and dark, but they are quite powerful, so you do have to embrace the power. Another one to try is YSL m7, dark woody.

    If your price point is higher (between $100-200), you can try some niche stuff, which you can find in NYC. Examples would be enveloping smooth leathers like Chanel Cuir de Russie (Chanel boutiques), or warm boozy-saffrony things like Lubin Idole (at Henri Bendel), or Etat Libre d'Orange Tom of Finland (except I'm not sure where it is sold now, it used to be sold at Henri Bendel, but not anymore).

    cacio
    All your comments are spot on. As a beginner though, it's hard to tell which scents can be tamed by spraying only once under the clothes, vs. which scents, no matter how lightly you apply, will be extremely powerful.

    I also tried Chanel Egoiste regular, and really enjoyed the scent: very warm and complex, which I really liked. However, because of that depth, I can't really see myself wearing this at all. I think it felt a little dated for me. I also tried Pour Monsieur Concentree, and felt the same way. Unfortunately, most niche fragrances are out of my price range. Any other, more affordable recs?

    I think what I might be missing is a scent that's more casual, and "doesn't take itself too seriously," if that makes sense. I feel like too many scents I've tried are too focused on smelling too masculine, or too seductive, or too classy. The scents that I've liked so far are a nice mix of different personalities, that would work well on a casual basis.

    I still plan on making a couple more trips to sample some more. I'm particularly looking forward to trying Guerlain Vetiver and L'Instant, and possibly more TF stuff, if there's anything else worth trying in the below-Private Blend price range.
    Last edited by breakfastat12; 31st December 2013 at 05:19 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Oh, and for kicks, I got some Aventus sprayed on a card. I put it on my dresser, and from across the room, it smells incredible. But I definitely couldn't wear this. If I were maybe twice the size, and had twice the income, I would get this.

  15. #15
    Basenotes Member mia von trost's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Mannheim & Zurich
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    You might like what Jean-Claude Ellena did for Hermès other than Terre d'Hermès, e.g. Eau de Narcisse Bleu or Un Jardin sur le Nil. His style is sheer and minimalist but not without depth and character.
    Last edited by mia von trost; 31st December 2013 at 02:14 PM.
    Un parfum doit avant tout sent bon. - Guy Robert -

    On the EU's amendment to sharpen restrictions on fragrance allergens

  16. #16

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    The most subtle and understated fragrances I have ever tried/used are:

    Prada - Infusion d'homme (it basically smells of clean linen!)
    Serge Lutens - Five o'clock au gingembre
    Serge Lutens - Daim blond
    Divine - L'homme de coeur

    And of course, almost any cologne (I noticed many here use this term for "fragrance", I truly mean "cologne", the sub-type of fragrance).

  17. #17

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    While you are testing the Guerlains, give Heritage a try - it's similar to Egoiste in some ways with the sandalwood base, but the other notes may be a bit more to your liking.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Prada Amber is excellent. It does project a little but it's a clean smell so it's inoffensive. I don't think it's casual though..

    Gucci Pour Homme II sounds like a good fit for you. It has little projection and is comforting to wear.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Have you tried Lalique White?

  20. #20
    Dependent caferacer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    1,251

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    I second both Gucci Pour Homme II and Terre d'Hermes Parfum.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    OP, Hows the sampling going?

    Quote Originally Posted by alloftheabove View Post

    looking for something soft and dark, but not heavy-handed. !
    I feel you'll be pleased when you get your hands on L'instant de Guerlain - I suspect you may be more taken with the regular version (not Extreme) which is an excellent composition and subtle.


    [QUOTE

    I think what I might be missing is a scent that's more casual, and "doesn't take itself too seriously," if that makes sense. I feel like too many scents I've tried are too focused on smelling too masculine, or too seductive, or too classy. The scents that I've liked so far are a nice mix of different personalities, that would work well on a casual basis.

    .[/QUOTE]

    Again - I would throw CK1 Shock into the mix - not a masterpiece, but surprisingly good depth and multifaceted, doesn't take itself too seriously, and a good launch pad for further note exploration

    Thanks for the background ... helps recommend frags to YOU rather that just reeling off our current favorites or trying to second guess what a guy in their 20s may like!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    The sampling has been going well, though I've found the most work is figuring out what I'm really looking for, and what fragrances work for me. Thanks to this thread, and the forums, I have many great choices. As I said, I'm a complete newbie, so I'm still figuring out things like the differences between how things smell on paper vs. skin, how scents evolve during wear, etc.

    I've figured out what I definitely don't like (I found something about TF Noir and Black Orchid almost sickening, DH Sport was like cleaning solution, Prada/212 men/l'eau d'issey were too sharp, but I've also started to warm up to some of the scents I was opposed to before, like the Vetivers, Mugler cologne, YSL l'homme, and egoiste.

    On another note, I tried out Dior Homme Intense today, sprayed it on one wrist, and sprayed regular DH on the other. But on my way home, I was overwhelmed by the thickness/heaviness of the scents, and I was afraid I was suffocating the whole subway car (exactly what I'm looking to avoid). Once they both settled down, I really liked the sweetness and vanilla of the Intense. Unfortunately, since I had both frags on, I couldn't tell if it was the DH or the DHI that was really loud, or if it was the combination of the two.

    Otherwise, I've snagged some samples from Sephora, so I'm just rotating through right now to figure out what feels right.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    My favorite subtle clean mans fragrance has always been Gendarme. Got my ultra sensitive ex to wear it and he wore nothing but soap most days. Very clean, fresh smelling. This was early 90's and formula may have been reformulated. Certainly worth a sniff.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    I am going to second Heritage. This fragrance is classic yet absolutely gorgeous. I personally love to spray it in my house...just love it.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Narciso Rodriguez musc for him
    Hypocrites will always be a thorn in my back....and my middle finger will always be the best remedy.....

  26. #26
    Basenotes Plus
    601red's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Ft. Myers
    Posts
    786

    Default Re: Recommendations for soft, subtle, versatile fragrence

    Quote Originally Posted by breakfastat12 View Post
    ....soft-spoken and introverted. I'm well-dressed, but with a very casual style (jeans with sneakers or boots on most days). I'm looking for something soft and dark, but not heavy-handed.

    In other words, my ideal fragrance would be one where others can barely tell I'm wearing a fragrance at all, but when they get close, or pass by, they notice that I smell nice.
    How about John Varvatos, by John Varvatos?

Similar Threads

  1. My First Niche Fragrence Help
    By Metalica77 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 17th July 2014, 10:11 PM
  2. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 17th January 2013, 10:28 PM
  3. Recommendations on a SOFT tobacco fragrance?
    By Bokchoy in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 13th May 2011, 07:04 AM
  4. "Soft" smelling fragrances - any recommendations?
    By verve in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 27th February 2009, 10:20 AM
  5. Your recommendations for soft, soft floral please
    By Quarry in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 52
    Last Post: 19th April 2006, 12:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000