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  1. #1
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Be it a scent that you thought you would really dislike due to the notes or house but ended up loving, or a cheap fragrance thrown in as a sample with your purchase that you now really dig, etc.

    For me, they are almost always cheaper fragrances that I would not initially suspect to be all that great before trying them. It sounds really arrogant, and it pretty much is, but it's true. Some examples recently are Mont Blanc Individuel and Tokyo Milk's Bulletproof (thanks to deadidol for that one). The former is a great take on the Original Santal/Joop area, but a little bit better than both to my nose, while the latter is a very underrated cheapy that is filled with interesting notes like ebony wood that make it stand out and one of the better smelling fragrances I've happened upon randomly.

    How about you all? I'm sure this has been discussed before (feel free to link additional threads, but I've read most of the "favorite cheapy" ones), but I'm interested to see what each of you has uncovered recently, if anything.
    Last edited by OctaVariuM; 24th March 2014 at 08:28 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Terre D'Hermes... hated at first, but ended up on my top five.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Actually, never expected certain Boss fragrances to be this good, especially since this house is often (and sometimes rightfully) dismissed as too commercial and plain. Nevertheless, from classics like No. 1, Elements, Elements Aqua to more contemporary creations like a few Hugo flankers by far more pleasant and smooth than the initial Hugo and the Baldessarini line- certain testing/sampling experiences were good and beyond.

  4. #4

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Original Vetiver for me. Thought it would be a harsh fragrance. Turned out to be a mellow green (fresh cut grass) gem.

  5. #5

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I took a risk in buying a unknown fragrance called Balenciaga pour Homme that I never heard of before. I became intrigued from people in the powerhouse group talking about how great it was.

    The quality blew me away and I knew I had a gem on my hands after just one wearing. I then proceeded with all haste to purchase two more bottles. They are now shining gems of my collection.

  6. #6

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I took a risk in buying a unknown fragrance called Balenciaga pour Homme that I never heard of before. I became intrigued from people in the powerhouse group talking about how great it was.

    The quality blew me away and I knew I had a gem on my hands after just one wearing. I then proceeded with all haste to purchase two more bottles. They are now shining gems of my collection.
    I came here to say this! Bought Balenciaga Pour Homme blind based purely on the rave reviews it was getting here. I didn't like it when I first sprayed it, but since then I've come to love it. It has a classic vibe, no doubt, but it's also rich and sweet and easy to like. Gorgeous, even, and the high quality of the ingredients is obvious. Very glad to have a bottle. And I'm wearing it today, in fact.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Last edited by OPomone; 25th April 2014 at 09:50 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Costume National Cyber Garden - saw it, did not think I would like it, sprayed a little on the test strip and fell in love. VERY interesting take on "green".....
    improving olfactory environments one molecule at a time....

  9. #9

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Un Bois Sepa by Serge Lutens and Geranium Pour Monsier by Frederic Malle were excellent recommendations given to my by a sales associate at Barneys. I went in without planning on buying anything, and walked out with both!

  10. #10

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Mauboussin M Generation for me. I bought it blind for $35 (100ml) and I was expecting something decent. However, it far exceeded my expectations. I won't ever be without it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Seeing as many of my buys have been blind... The most recent fragrance that I'm very happy with is Bentley for Men Intense...before that was Mancera Sand Aoud, Lanvin Avant Garde, La Yuqawam, Jaipur Homme, Dolcilisr....the list goes on!
    Last edited by ScentedBlood; 24th March 2014 at 06:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Super Member CompassRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I like Bulletproof. I wear it regularly. It's interesting, but not as assertively so as my Slumberhouse collection.

    I think my best unexpected discovery was the Maroma fragrances - natural things, found in my health food store beside their incense. They're very nice, reasonably cheap and quite lasting for natural fragrance - they've become my weekend staples. I've got the men's Olibanum Citrus, the Patchouli, and the Rose.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    One of maybe 3 blind buys to date (I do it rarely) Dior Homme Intense turned out to be my most worn fragrance. Maybe I should blind buy more often.
    Current favorites_____Black Tourmaline_____Gucci Pour Homme II_____Memoir Man_____Tuscan Leather______Montale Aoud and Pine_____Sel Marin_____Invasion Barbare_____Tonka Imperial____Dior Homme Intense_____L'Humaniste____Santal 33_____Bois d'Argent_____Nio_____MFK Oud_____Lumiere Noire_____Bois d'Encens_____Cuir Ottoman

  14. #14

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by OctaVariuM View Post
    Tokyo MIlk's Bulletproof
    $36 for a 1.6 oz? I didnt know an EDP could be this cheap.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Most pleasant unexpected cheapie discovery - Solara For Men
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  16. #16
    Dependent OctaVariuM's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flatbush Ave View Post
    $36 for a 1.6 oz? I didnt know an EDP could be this cheap.
    Yeah, it is really good stuff too. Not sure why it is so inexpensive, but it smells of quality to be sure. I think if someone told me it cost $120 and I sniffed it blind I'd never know it wasn't worth that much :P.

    The house of Al-rehab makes some great stuff too and they are dirt cheap. Choco Musk is my most complimented fragrance, and that's $3.50. Silver is also really good, and a dead wringer for SMW to my nose at $6.
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  17. #17

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    All those I love.

    Of course I have high hopes for everything, but I never EXPECT anything.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Not exactly recent but one of the last unexpected pleasant discovery was Habit Rouge Sport. I've always been tempted to relegate it amongst my guilty pleasures but the fact is I actually *really* like it.


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  19. #19

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?


    Last edited by OPomone; 25th April 2014 at 09:45 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Not exactly recent but one of the last unexpected pleasant discovery was Habit Rouge Sport. I've always been tempted to relegate it amongst my guilty pleasures but the fact is I actually *really* like it.
    I was reluctant at the beginning, couldn't stand the "sport" epithet beside my beloved word Habit Rouge but have to admit the flanker is worthy and elegant, versatile and modern. It lacks the baroque vibe but possesses a fresh urban feel.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Tried a sample of Chergui and didn't get it.

    Tried it again, loved it, can't imagine being without it

  22. #22
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    It can be a little high-pitched, but discovering that I like Dior Homme edt as much or more than I did in 2006. Such a pleasant, comfortable and extremely well made fragrance. Jacques or Jean-Paul Guerlain would approve. Maybe even Edmond Roudnitska even though he didn't like the type. Not the same for Dior Homme Intense which I've always disliked intensely. If I want something like that I go to Olivier Polge's Cuir Beluga (2005).

    Speaking of Habit Rouge: haven't loved Habit Rouge Sport, but I like the Flechier 2,000 reformulation a lot more than I usually have over the last ten years. Besides wearing it I've gone through several bottles as room sprays. Looking forward to smelling the new stuff by Wasser.

    And after a few years of not wearing it (it happens even with the best of them), rediscovering how phenomenal Balenciaga pour Homme is is always a good thing.
    Last edited by pluran; 24th March 2014 at 10:18 PM.

  23. #23
    Dependent bigbz's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    The first few to come to mind are Lomani Ignition, Diesel Plus-Plus and Ed Hardy Born Wild.

  24. #24

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Most recently, probably:

    Gengis Khan (generally not a fan of overly aromatic fragrances, so wasn't expecting much. After a few wearings, I am really enjoying this)
    Seasonal favorites:

    1. Creed - Spice & Wood
    2. Creed - Aventus
    3. Dior - Vetiver
    4. by Kilian - Incense Oud
    5. Puredistance - Black
    6. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions
    7. Armani Priv - Oud Royal
    8. Brckner - Aoud 1
    9. Creed - Royal English Leather
    10. House of Matriarch - Blackbird

  25. #25

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I hate Kouros, but a couple of months ago I smelled Kouros Fraicheur and it blew me away! What an amazing scent! Fresh, masculine, long lasting, remarkable, fantastic! One of my best purchases ever!

  26. #26

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Gucci by Gucci Pour Homme. I got it in a swap for a fragrance that I was all too happy to get anything for and I really like it. It has a nice freshness in the opening with the cypress and the tobacco heart and amber/resin drydown make it a very smooth and well blended fragrance IMO. Gets plenty of hate but I think it's a real sleeper.

  27. #27

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Anything that Calvin Klein released lately, really. They have released crap for about 20 years and hence it is justified that their fragrances be underrated. But what they've released in the last 4 years have all been consistently good. I came to this realization after spraying CK One Summer 2014 on myself this past weekend - this thing smells good! So does CK One Shock, CK One Shock Street, and Dark Obsession.
    Gym scent of week: A*Men Pure Havane

    My gym hates me

  28. #28

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by anewtypedude View Post
    Anything that Calvin Klein released lately, really. They have released crap for about 20 years and hence it is justified that their fragrances be underrated. But what they've released in the last 4 years have all been consistently good. I came to this realization after spraying CK One Summer 2014 on myself this past weekend - this thing smells good! So does CK One Shock, CK One Shock Street, and Dark Obsession.
    Do you really think they have released crap for about 20 years? In my really humble opinion Obsession for man for instance is one of the best masculine spicy/oriental of the worldwide olfactory panorama, still nowadays. Unique.
    Last edited by Darvant; 28th March 2014 at 09:18 AM.

  29. #29

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Nina Ricci Memoir d'Homme

  30. #30

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by OPomone View Post
    Because of you, I have tested Habit Rouge Sport, been hugely impressed and immediately bought it.

    HRS is simply the best 'sport' fragrance available. Ma chi lo sa ?
    Enjoy it in good health


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  31. #31
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by OPomone View Post
    Attachment 26725

    Smalto by Francesco Smalto is the fougere that I have always been dreaming of.
    Two months ago, I have been delighted to discover that my dream could come to life. This sophisticated fougere overshadows many others in my personal Hall of Fame.
    i totally agree , seen it available at a ridiculous price & purchased a large bottle blind !! wow i should have got two .
    it seems hard to find again & prices are up again .
    A real sleeper & a quality frag , like his brother

  32. #32

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    J'S Exte Man



    I read it was a good cheapie and smelled something like DHI without the lipstick note and some even compared it to Tobacco Vanille if I am not mistaken. I didn't expect much of it but gave it a go. I bought a 25ml bottle for only €7 and I must say it is an excellent fragrance that smells very good and lasts all day! It smells to me like a seductive (more masculine than DHI) patchouli-vanille combo and its quality to price value is excellent! I understand why people compare it to DHI, though DHI is of course superior but also way more expensive.

    It is a perfect fragrance for people who don't want to spend too much money on DHI and want something 'similar' and more masculine.
    Last edited by Slayerized; 28th March 2014 at 11:29 AM.
    My Top '10' : (In no particular order)

    - Dolce & Gabbana: Pour Homme (vintage)
    - Paco Rabanne: Pour Homme (vintage)
    - Loewe: Esencia/Pour Homme/Solo/7
    - YSL: Opium Pour Homme Edp
    - Dior: Eau Sauvage Parfum
    - MPG: Santal Noble
    - Guerlain: Vetiver
    - Van Cleef & Arpels: Pour Homme
    - Hermes: Terre d'Hermes
    - YSL: Kouros (Fraicheur)

  33. #33

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by anewtypedude View Post
    Anything that Calvin Klein released lately, really. They have released crap for about 20 years and hence it is justified that their fragrances be underrated. But what they've released in the last 4 years have all been consistently good. I came to this realization after spraying CK One Summer 2014 on myself this past weekend - this thing smells good! So does CK One Shock, CK One Shock Street, and Dark Obsession.
    Crave was good..imo and so Obsession ph

  34. #34

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Bogart Pour Homme by Jacques Bogart

    $16 USD average for a 3.4 oz tester w/shipping included on eBay. The top notes aren't bad, but the real treat comes in the dry down. A very refreshing cherry tobacco smell heavy on tonka beans and vanilla.

    If "sweet" isn't your thing it could probably be a little nauseating. I'm a fan of gourmand fragrances so this one was right up my alley.
    A single simple smile can change the world

    Fragrances owned, but not in the basenotes database:

    Blue Escape - Avon
    Cuba Silver Blue - Parfums Des Champs
    In Red pour homme - Estelle Ewen
    Untouchable - Avon
    Version of - Jordache/Jean Philippe (Dollar Tree product. Multiple fragrances; most are not great copy attempts.)

  35. #35
    Pollux's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Generic high-end, classic -styled, local haberdasher's EdCs, somehow reminiscent of Penhaligon's Castile.
    James Smart's Leslie.
    Fueguia's Un Poema de los Dones.
    Zara's Intense Vetiver

    I am using the first one on a daily basis and since it is an EdC, it won't suffocate you as many ultra-strong niche powerbombs would. Def to be worn in formal occasions, it is quite fleeting but on clothes it will linger for a respectable amount of time. To my surprise, it brings complements. Besides, it is quite inexpensive if bought in the right stores (James Smart's Lahore is expensive, The London Tie's version is quite affordable).

    Leslie is plain lavander EdC. Love it.

    Fueguia's Un Poema de los Dones is the best of the line, IMHO. It is an oriental, quite strong though. A small spray will go a long way.

    Zaras Intense Vetiver is a toned down Guerlain Vetiver, with a contemporary twist. It won't last as much.

    Sorry, not in the category many BNers praise. But these the first two are to be worn with a tailored suit and tailored shirt with a monogram and silver cufflinks. Did it and I have been asked what I was wearing. Response: "I never thought local classics could be so good.".

    The other two in informal occasionsd during Winter.

    Besides, lately I have been despising massive and niche high-end brands, although Zara falls in the category.

  36. #36

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    A couple of fragrances that I truly didn't expect much from, but I like each time I sample them. I'll be getting full bottles of them....eventually.

    A Lab on Fire Almost Transparent Blue (Anyone know an online place that sells A Lab on Fire products at a discount?)

    Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine (Just missed out on a 20% discount on this at Beautyhabit.com!...)
    Basenotes sales: Many collectible/discontinued CREEDs (Citrus Bigarrade, Selection Verte), Himalaya, Heeley Oranges & Lemons, L'Artisan Batucada, L'Essence de Cerruti, L'Occitane The Vert, Numerous popular SAMPLES! http://www.basenotes.net/threads/340...-Vert-*SAMPLES

    Offsite sales: Collectible CREEDs (Vintage Tabarome, Selection Verte, Citrus Bigarrade), Himalaya, Heeley Oranges & Lemons, L'Artisan Batucada, L'Essence de Cerruti, L'Occitane The Vert, Numerous popular SAMPLES! http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=260 and http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=626

  37. #37

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    All 3 were cheapies (surprise surprise) Brut Dominant, Everlast and Jeanne Arthes Supercharged

  38. #38

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I got many but here are 3 unexpected LOVES -

    Gengis Khan
    Fougere Royale
    The Different Company's "South Bay"

  39. #39

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slayerized View Post
    J'S Exte Man



    I read it was a good cheapie and smelled something like DHI without the lipstick note and some even compared it to Tobacco Vanille if I am not mistaken. I didn't expect much of it but gave it a go. I bought a 25ml bottle for only 7 and I must say it is an excellent fragrance that smells very good and lasts all day! It smells to me like a seductive (more masculine than DHI) patchouli-vanille combo and its quality to price value is excellent! I understand why people compare it to DHI, though DHI is of course superior but also way more expensive.

    It is a perfect fragrance for people who don't want to spend too much money on DHI and want something 'similar' and more masculine.
    Agree, this one was an amazing find for me. To my nose this comes very close to Eau Noire from Dior, rather than Dior Homme. On the german version of the Parfumo website, (parfumo.de) many critics also compare it to Eau Noire.
    " Only wimps swim with the current "

  40. #40

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Carven Homme
    Formerly known as Inselaffe

  41. #41

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    YSL (vintage) Rive Gauche, the one in the tin can.

    Light years from the current.... stuff.... to be found in the current glass-bottle version (I'm really hesitating to say 'version' as it really smells like a different fragrance altogether).

    Love this stuff. Have since acquired three bottles of the stuff. I love it any time of year - cool or warm weather - and it is especially good after a shower or before bed. The wife really likes the scent - one where the scent really is captivating and yet not an 'out of your league' priced scent.

    I believed the hype and I wasn't wrong. Damn you YSL for messing about with this one so much!

  42. #42

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    If by true essence of the word discovery, then vintage Creed Royal Delight.
    Discovered it at a little perfume shop the middle a massive bazaar.

    Another was Scherrer - beautiful hyacinth & oak moss.

    From a notes perspective, I've grown fond of labdanum.

    for swap/sale:





  43. #43
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Lanvin Avant Garde
    AbercrombieHot Cologne

    Both are cheapies (around $25 ea), but surprisingly good. Abercrombiehot (what a lame name) is basically the same as their now discontinued Cologne 41. Always liked that stuff for some reason and it is not abused like Fierce, which is definitely another plus.

  44. #44

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by rum View Post
    YSL (vintage) Rive Gauche, the one in the tin can.

    Light years from the current.... stuff.... to be found in the current glass-bottle version (I'm really hesitating to say 'version' as it really smells like a different fragrance altogether).

    Love this stuff. Have since acquired three bottles of the stuff. I love it any time of year - cool or warm weather - and it is especially good after a shower or before bed. The wife really likes the scent - one where the scent really is captivating and yet not an 'out of your league' priced scent.

    I believed the hype and I wasn't wrong. Damn you YSL for messing about with this one so much!
    With you here. The new one smells of aspirins. Old one is fabulous.

  45. #45

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    With you here. The new one smells of aspirins. Old one is fabulous.
    Wouldn't quite say aspirin but it did give both my wife and myself a headache when I sprayed it on in a duty free shop recently...

  46. #46

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by hedonist222 View Post
    vintage Creed Royal Delight.
    Indeed an excellent, not much talked about Creed...So are a few other vintage Creed's, compared to the much talked abt GIT / MI / Aventus, the older discontinued Creed's can be called masterpieces (vtg Tabarome, Angelique Encens etc)...

  47. #47

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Probably Azzaro Pour Homme. Had smelled it in the past but never owned/wore it. Picked it up at a discount store (Marshall's I believe) and really started enjoying it once I got past the disappointing longevity of the recent release.

  48. #48

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I thought that the whole CdG Nr. 3 Incense series would be too hard to wear.. until i tried Zagorsk. It was love at the first sniff.
    "Le parfum est la musique du corps"
    (Marcel Rochas)

  49. #49

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Quote Originally Posted by df91 View Post
    I thought that the whole CdG Nr. 3 Incense series would be too hard to wear...
    Speaking of CdG, I just whiffed Black for the first time.

    Considering the mixed reviews & that I usually find their fragrances too conceptual and/or fleeting in longevity, pleasantly surprised is a good description. This one stood out of the pack "in wow factor" among dark leathers recently sampled such as Bandit & Cuir Mauresque, for example. The tar note reminiscent of A*Men & the CdG signature woody incense accord were identifiable (like), and it presented a composed development in defined stages (love).

    I look forward to sampling the performance of this one further, as a possibility for next winter's rotation.

  50. #50

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Tauer - LDDM. I knew I would like it from the notes and reviews. What I didn't know is that I would absolutely LOVE it. At first sniff.

  51. #51

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    passion bois by frapin was my most pleasant unexpected discovery because i hated almost everything else from there. it has the cleanest oakmoss note out there
    14 sprays of DRAKKAR NOIR should do it

  52. #52

    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    I usually don't really like fresh fragrances, but i ended up loving Versace Pour Homme, i'm really suprised at how much I like it, it has this salty, floral drydown which i find wonderfully done

  53. #53
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Costume National 21.

  54. #54
    Dependent del's Avatar
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    Default Re: What's your most pleasant unexpected discovery?

    Not a fan of Dior, but their latest release, Dior Homme Eau for Men, was a pleasant surprise to me when I sampled it. The iris and citrus work well together. Overall, it smelled good. It actually reminded me of Play Intense. Finally, a Dior I actually liked without trying hard.


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