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  1. #1
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    Default Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Much appreciate your insights as always.

    I think Chanel started this trend with #5. Coco said she didn’t want the fragrance to smell like any real flower, which is what scents were supposed to smell like up until then.

    But I’d like some recommendations as to your favorite scents that are mostly or totally “abstract”.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    3 from my list, excl. Chanels :-

    Belle Rives by La Parfumerie Moderne

    Olympia Music Hall by Histoires de Parfums

    Santal 33 by Le Labo

  3. #3

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Fahrenheit

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    Fahrenheit
    Yeah, Fahrenheit is probably the best example. Hard to top this one.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Hmm.... Guy Laroche - Horizon.

    Also agree re Fahrenheit.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Guerlains are pretty abstract, especially stuff like Vetiver or Heritage. Fahrenheit is abstract. I'd say both the Blacks (Bvlgari and CdG) are abstract. New York Intense is abstract. Some of the Malles - Noir Epices, Lys Mediterraneé, French Lover, Superstitious, are abstract.

    Several ones from CdG are actually quite abstract (and avant-garde).
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Fahrenheit for sure.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Technically all (straightforward) fougères and chypres are abstract as fern and the many various conifers we call cypress have no discernable scent.

    However, if you really want abstract outside of niche, 2000-2010 Calvin Klein has you covered. Wet cobblestone, rainfall, neon lights, and the sounds of silence are all claimed accords from scents by the house during that era.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    CDG 2 is highly abstract, of course, but then again so are many other CDG fragrances.
    Also Alaia Paris, Brooks Brothers Black Fleece and Armani Prive Cuir Amethyste (and they all share a similar leitmotif IMO).

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Yes to Fahrenheit
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Coach Leatherware No. 03
    Fahrenheit
    Gucci Guilty Absolute
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  12. #12

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Not trying to be a total contrarian here...but I think most everything I've tried would fall into something of an abstract quality (anything that ultimately creates an accord)... It seems to me that only single-note efforts would not be abstract???
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Baccarat Rouge 540

  14. #14

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Based on personal experience alone and only so far, not knowing if there will ever be newer scents of better quality covering the abstract categories at some point in future, especially (but not limited to) Quartz by Molyneux - almost like a distant ancestor to the Hermes TDH line, with less vetiver, possibly also less wood and citrus, but instead more abstract mineral-earthy notes

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post
    Not trying to be a total contrarian here...but I think most everything I've tried would fall into something of an abstract quality (anything that ultimately creates an accord)... It seems to me that only single-note efforts would not be abstract???
    The idealized abstract has no recognizable notes.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    The idealized abstract has no recognizable notes.
    Okay, thanks... now I get it.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Baccarat Rouge 540 and the two CDG Odeur scents come to mind. Probably Fahrenheit to some degree, but describing it as “leather” isn’t far off the mark, so I’ve never thought of it as so abstract. If we’re a bit wider with the definition, as said above many of the best fragrances and classic fragrance accords are abstract, because they create something new that doesn’t smell like their constituent parts. This applies to a fougere or chypre accord, to Chanel No. 5, to Kouros, to Shalimar, even to Bleu de Chanel. I just saw an interview with Pierre Bourdon where he emphasized the importance of a perfume smelling only like itself. To be sure plenty of good fragrances don’t rely on abstraction as heavily, and are happy to smell mostly like vetiver, vanilla, rose, etc.
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post
    Technically all (straightforward) fougères and chypres are abstract as fern and the many various conifers we call cypress have no discernable scent.

    However, if you really want abstract outside of niche, 2000-2010 Calvin Klein has you covered. Wet cobblestone, rainfall, neon lights, and the sounds of silence are all claimed accords from scents by the house during that era.
    I'm not sure that's true about cypresses. A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the family Cupressaceae contains many famously aromatic conifers.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Krycek View Post
    Not trying to be a total contrarian here...but I think most everything I've tried would fall into something of an abstract quality (anything that ultimately creates an accord)... It seems to me that only single-note efforts would not be abstract???
    I'm with you here, Alex. I don't understand why for example Fahrenheit would be more abstract than a random designer fragrance from 2018. If anything, Fahrenheit is more concrete in smelling like something real, for example gasoline and freshly cut grass.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    I don't think there is a perfectly abstract scent. Even with the aforementioned No.5, you can pick out individual notes once you know what to look for.

    Personally, I think Guerlain Nahema is an interesting example of an abstract scent in a way that it doesn't smell like rose (at least to me), but it manages to convey the IDEA of a rose.

    Same with Nasomatto Nuda and jasmine. It is so chock full with jasmine naturals and synthetics that it features a higher density of those than the flower itself, thus showing it's amplifying its features as though seen through a prism.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentMemory View Post
    I'm not sure that's true about cypresses. A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the family Cupressaceae contains many famously aromatic conifers.
    Ah, the confusion here is the translation of "chypre." It translates to Cyprus, the island, not cypress, the plant. The name supposedly referred to the accord's materials coming from the Mediterranean and thus the Cyprus region. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chypre
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    One that seems abstract to me is Beyond Paradise For Men by Estee Lauder.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Personally, I think Guerlain Nahema is an interesting example of an abstract scent in a way that it doesn't smell like rose (at least to me), but it manages to convey the IDEA of a rose.
    Not sure if it makes sense to talk about the idea of the scent of rose, one that is separate from the scent of rose. I know Nahema does not contain rose, but to me it smells like rose. If it didn't, I don't know how it could convey the idea of rose without an actual resemblance...

    ...on the other hand, I understand where you are coming from. Maybe it indeed is best to understand the question like you did: a smell that makes us think of something else without literally smelling like it. Scent of rose could be a bit too concrete for it to work as an ideal example here. While it is obvious that in these cases the name of the fragrance guides the interpretation (perhaps name is an integral part of a fragrance and thus it is okay for it to lead us to certain directions), but for me scents like Apres l'Ondee, Angeliques Sous la Pluie and L'Eau d'Hiver manage to work as at least semi-abstract olfactory renditions of the meanings of their names.

  24. #24
    Super Member the blood on 530 27's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by Buysblind View Post
    Fahrenheit
    Eh...the latter half strongly remind me of “fresh”, unburnt gasoline.

    The former half is abstract enough though. I’m curious if it’s the smell of ioneone, but I never know.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Caron's Third Man strikes me as fairly abstract. To my nose, it's difficult to pick out many distinct notes.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    I think you may be interested in the so called “molecular perfumes”. Start with Eccentric Molecules , and some other brands like Aether, Nomenclature, these brands dedicated to synthetic aroma-chemicals, trying to create the Seinfeld of perfumes: the scent about nothing.
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  27. #27

    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    For me, Bleu de Chanel EDP from the middle stage onward... I personally can't pick anything out, and it's just a fuzzy accord that I like.
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by the blood on 530 27 View Post
    I think you may be interested in the so called “molecular perfumes”. Start with Eccentric Molecules , and some other brands like Aether, Nomenclature, these brands dedicated to synthetic aroma-chemicals, trying to create the Seinfeld of perfumes: the scent about nothing.
    Very interesting concept.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Chrome?
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Your favorite high quality Abstracts: scents about nothing real

    Quote Originally Posted by ScentMemory View Post
    I'm not sure that's true about cypresses. A quick glance at Wikipedia shows that the family Cupressaceae contains many famously aromatic conifers.
    The burden of proof per example then is asking each and every perfumer who has ever made a chypre (assuming the person in question is alive) whether they were trying to mimic a specific breed of tree or just going for the general "feel" of "chypre", the latter of which is like the fougère: all in the perfumer's head.
    Last edited by Zealot Crusader; 6th January 2019 at 08:46 AM.
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