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  1. #1

    Default Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I find almost all of my Creed frags (with the exception of the new AC) to smell incredibly natural, again, to my nose. Aside from unusual compositional structures they smell as natural as, say, my samples form Areej La Dore and Rogue Perfumery. While I find Creed's marketing and branding schemes to be fatiguingly idiotic ("Hammurabi wore Royal Oud while writing his Codes!"), they really do a great job with their scents, particularly in the dry downs imo. So what are they doing differently?
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellbentforleather View Post
    I find almost all of my Creed frags (with the exception of the new AC) to smell incredibly natural, again, to my nose.
    Not surprised. Everyone's nose is different and everyone perceives the smell of fragrances differently.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Relativity, my dear Watson! In other words, compared to what you are used to smelling, it smells more natural, and depending upon what notes are being represented it can be very close. For example, vanillin is more or less vanilla, smell-wise. Other things are more difficult to get close to nature because there are a lot more aroma chemicals involved, such as some florals. Also, there is the issue of how much effort is put into getting the scent to smell more natural than it would be if you "just slapped it together," which seems to be what some "clone" companies do.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Relativity, my dear Watson! In other words, compared to what you are used to smelling, it smells more natural, and depending upon what notes are being represented it can be very close. For example, vanillin is more or less vanilla, smell-wise. Other things are more difficult to get close to nature because there are a lot more aroma chemicals involved, such as some florals. Also, there is the issue of how much effort is put into getting the scent to smell more natural than it would be if you "just slapped it together," which seems to be what some "clone" companies do.
    Yeah, craftsmanship and artistry must come into play a great deal. Great point. I love Rogue and Areej La Dore for their instance on natural ingredients and just find Creed to have an exceedingly similar profile though they must use far more synthetics in their products than those two.
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Why? It's my uneducated 'guess' that perhaps 'some' synthetics are very, very, very well made and the chemists who make them are maybe charging perfumers and their companies a premium. Not all components, even in the synthetic realm, are of the same quality in my 'opinion' based on some fragrances not coming anywhere near as nice as others. For instance, the citruses that are in Creed scents are extremely good and last for hours, which tells me the citruses are synthetics. Also another example is Xerjoff Nio. The citrus bergamot smells like 'the' most natural citrus I've ever smelled in a fragrance......and it also lasts hours.....obviously a synthetic....and obviously whatever lab makes it could be asking for a premium.

    Of course I'm speculating and making guesses here. I don't know for absolute sure, but this is my gut instinct on the matter. I remember the BBC perfume documentary where Jean Claude-Elena was shown visiting and haggling with chemical company for the latest synthetic ingredients. I suspect that any such labs are 'critical' to any niche brand when trying to stay relevant with their creations.

    I also think that Creed likely uses natural perfume ingredients too. What ratio? Who knows? Does it matter? My nose 'LOVES' Creed. I honestly wouldn't think any different of them regardless of the ingredients.

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I agree with Tspencer on this. Not all synthetics are created equal, so the better/more natural smelling aroma chemicals are most likely also the most expensive.

    I often use Chanel BdC edp vs Versace Dylan Blue as a good example. While I do enjoy Dylan Blue, I cannot deny that it smells like synthetics. Blue is most likely all synthetic as well, but smells much more natural and higher quality to my nose. Performance is about the same for me.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    I agree with Tspencer on this. Not all synthetics are created equal, so the better/more natural smelling aroma chemicals are most likely also the most expensive.
    Yep. Andy Tauer recently commented on how he was stunned by the difference between higher and lower grades of ambroxan. Synths are not created equal.

    Couple that with clever contextualization and you can successfully fool the nose.
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I am not sure, but whatever it is, I hope they don't change. Too many others smell more and more synthetic every year. Some new designer releases seem like they aren't even trying to smell natural or original. The same few aromachemicals just in different ratios - stick a snazzy label on it, and call it a new release.

    Thank you Creed and a few others out there for trying to keep it artistic and original.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    I am not sure, but whatever it is, I hope they don't change. Too many others smell more and more synthetic every year. Some new designer releases seem like they aren't even trying to smell natural or original. The same few aromachemicals just in different ratios - stick a snazzy label on it, and call it a new release.

    Thank you Creed and a few others out there for trying to keep it artistic and original.
    A friend of mine went to a department store the other day and sprayed a couple of "masculine" Chanels on her wrists, since she knew I was coming over to talk to her later in the day. I smelled them and said, "wow, both just smell totally chemical to me." She agreed. I asked what they were, and she said she forgot, and I said, "yeah, I'm not going to buy any recent Chanels anyway." And over the last couple years, at least, many "super cheapos" smell a lot more natural to me. I thought I was getting more used to the heavier use of aroma chemicals these days, but then those two Chanels smelled so chemical, by comparison.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Nice answers and solid speculation here. I dig it .
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I am in agreement regarding Creeds in general. I find them to smell very natural, even though I know they're not. It's turned me off from a lot other fragrances as a result.

    In agreement about the ridiculous "history" of the brand, and they've made some head scratching decisions, but for the most part, the scents smell damn good, high quality, and natural.

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Natural ingredients are way overrated IMO. Yes synthetics can smell bad, but they can also smell way better than their natural equivalents because they are refined versions of what nature gives us, they can take the best facets and amp up the volume. Naturals draw on a lot of unpleasant facets and typically they don’t have good longevity either.

    Compare the smell of a quality raspberry synthetic vs the stuff at the supermarket as an example.
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Interesting and enlightening answers in this thread.

    I assumed that that there are certain things that make one think something is synthetic. Either a certain harshness or the presence of smells one isn’t familiar with from nature. Through blending and quality of ingredients (synth and natural), I think they’ve done a good job of creating smooth scents that skillfully conceal much of the synthetic aroma chemical use.

    For what it’s worth, despite being enthusiastic to call BS about Creed’s claims of being all natural, I don’t think they are necessarily mostly synthetic, and I think that largely they strike a good balance between the two, and create scents in a somewhat richer and rounder style than the standard designer, which helps give an impression of naturalness.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    For what it’s worth, despite being enthusiastic to call BS about Creed’s claims of being all natural, I don’t think they are necessarily mostly synthetic, and I think that largely they strike a good balance between the two, and create scents in a somewhat richer and rounder style than the standard designer, which helps give an impression of naturalness.
    This is my feeling as well...
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I will certainly say as a connoisseur of Iso E Super, I have definitely noticed variations between versions - i.e. the stuff I can get from Etsy or eBay vs. Molecule 01, which actually has a different and proprietary version of Iso E. So even among synthetics, there is clearly great variation in quality.

    I wonder if Creed uses a combination of naturals with synthetic boosters so that the more conspicuous scent profiles are the "natural" ones but they get their luster and oomph from synthetics.

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    As others have stated, I’d lean towards it being the quality of ingredients (both natural & synthetic).

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I was thinking about this topic more while at work today, and I think that when using all synthetics, that the perfumer can probably make a huge difference as well.

    For example, if you give the exact same aroma chems, and the same briefing (as to what type of fragrance to create), to two different perfumers, then you're going to come up with two different results. Especially if one is "outclassed" by the other.

    I would imagine that there would be a fragrance of the two that smells more natural. The quality of the ingredients play a huge role, but I imagine that proper blending can make or break how a fragrance is perceived, even if the target idea behind the two fragrances are the same.

    I hope that makes sense...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    I was thinking about this topic more while at work today, and I think that when using all synthetics, that the perfumer can probably make a huge difference as well.

    For example, if you give the exact same aroma chems, and the same briefing (as to what type of fragrance to create), to two different perfumers, then you're going to come up with two different results. Especially if one is "outclassed" by the other.

    I would imagine that there would be a fragrance of the two that smells more natural. The quality of the ingredients play a huge role, but I imagine that proper blending can make or break how a fragrance is perceived, even if the target idea behind the two fragrances are the same.

    I hope that makes sense...
    Right, but it also may be that one perfumer likes the "abstractness" in a composition that could not be created with the use of more naturals. Another possibility is that some of the "major houses" are creating more chemical fragrances not only because they are cheaper and easier to replicate, batch after batch, but also to try and acclimate, so to speak, the less particular (shall we call them) demogtaphics to such compositions (as we have seen with some scents with a lot of ambroxan in them). They are certainly not trying to impress people like me with these kinds of scents, that's for sure. LOL.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Illusion...because pricewise you want them to smell naturally, while you know you're being cheated ...
    Currently wearing: Lui by Guerlain

  20. #20
    Basenotes Junkie painted_klown's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Right, but it also may be that one perfumer likes the "abstractness" in a composition that could not be created with the use of more naturals. Another possibility is that some of the "major houses" are creating more chemical fragrances not only because they are cheaper and easier to replicate, batch after batch, but also to try and acclimate, so to speak, the less particular (shall we call them) demogtaphics to such compositions (as we have seen with some scents with a lot of ambroxan in them). They are certainly not trying to impress people like me with these kinds of scents, that's for sure. LOL.
    You raise two good points here regarding composition of fragrances. Abstract creations (those intrigue me) , as well as the classic "race to the bottom" (my words, not trying to put words in your mouth) we see in many industries.

    I mentioned Dylan Blue in an earlier post, and I feel that one falls into the ambroxan heavy scents that are targeted at the "less particular" (great term btw). While I know consciously that Dylan Blue is not an artistic achievement, and admittedly, it does smell synthetic as the day is long, I still enjoy it. I enjoy it because it's low cost, smells nice to those around me, and performs reasonably well (thanks to the synthetics).

    On the other hand, I can 100% understand why it would garner negative attention from those that feel it's a "chemical mess" that caters to the lowest common denominator. I cannot defend it as being a work of art, nor can I say it's unique, or smells natural in any way. Looking at fragrance through that lens would lead me to dislike many of the fragrances I own (mostly cheapies). I certainly understand the differences between it and say Aventus (seeing how Creed was the start of this conversation) in regards to the ingredient quality and blending. Those things set these two fragrances worlds apart.

    Heck, I was taken aback a bit when I finally got real Aventus. I finally understood why the clones get so much heat tossed at them. It's not just because they're stealing an idea, it's also because they aren't using the quality of ingredients that go into the Creed. It's very clear from the first spray. The harshness is not there, and you don't have to wait for it to settle down to become pleasant. I'm not going to throw out my two clones, but I do certainly understand they aren't in the same league, even though they are playing the same sport. I'm not saying any of this to bash on any fragrances either. I own or enjoy every fragrance mentioned here. I'm just saying that I understand both sides of the conversation. Both are valid IMO.

    I have been mildly obsessed with oud fragrances lately, and have picked up a handful of bottles with "oud" in them. I am always using Bortnikoff and Dusita as the yardstick by which I judge other oud fragrances. I have come to the conclusion that it's simply unfair to the others out there. LOL! I am fairly certain that those two companies use real oud, and you can tell.

    Nothing else I have tried can replicate that scent exactly right. Memo Paris Shams Oud is a fragrance that I instantly fell in love with, as I think it smells like hot embers of wood on a campfire, but even it is missing that "fecal" oud note that I am searching for. Most of the cheap oud fragrances I have tried, smell a bit like leather to my nose. Having said all that, I am no oud expert, and perhaps Bortnikoff and Dusita are outliers in their scent profiles...I don't know.

    This is such a great and fascinating topic either way. I appreciate the good conversation.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    Illusion...because pricewise you want them to smell naturally, while you know you're being cheated ...
    Ah jeez, found the party pooper...
    Currently wearing: Aventus by Creed

  22. #22
    Basenotes Junkie jkonick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by painted_klown View Post
    I have been mildly obsessed with oud fragrances lately, and have picked up a handful of bottles with "oud" in them. I am always using Bortnikoff and Dusita as the yardstick by which I judge other oud fragrances. I have come to the conclusion that it's simply unfair to the others out there. LOL! I am fairly certain that those two companies use real oud, and you can tell.

    Nothing else I have tried can replicate that scent exactly right. Memo Paris Shams Oud is a fragrance that I instantly fell in love with, as I think it smells like hot embers of wood on a campfire, but even it is missing that "fecal" oud note that I am searching for. Most of the cheap oud fragrances I have tried, smell a bit like leather to my nose. Having said all that, I am no oud expert, and perhaps Bortnikoff and Dusita are outliers in their scent profiles...I don't know.
    Although I've only smelled synthetic oud in fragrances, I've smelled real oud in incense before (Baiedo), so I've got a good benchmark too. If you compare the oud note in Versace Oud Noir or even TF Oud Wood to something like Le Labo Oud 27, it's a world of difference. The Le Labo has everything the other two do plus all manners of funky weirdness in addition - yet none of those fragrances have real oud. I was shocked when I found out the Le Labo was totally synthetic because of how "natural" the oud smelled (also because of the price!).

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    For what it’s worth, despite being enthusiastic to call BS about Creed’s claims of being all natural
    Never seen Creed to claim that. But I've seen Erwin admitting they are using more synthetics because IFRA recommendations.
    And someone here posted a message from Creed support that GIT uses ~40% naturals

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Only 2 Creeds smell good to me - Green Irish Tweed and Acier Aluminium )

  25. #25

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    I can identify very chemical fragrances like Sauvage but I'm not sure I could pick out one using 'naturals'

    So I tend to agree that there are grades of synthetics and Houses like Creed will use higher quality ones.

    Maybe someone from DIY can chip in?

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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zizzy View Post
    Never seen Creed to claim that. But I've seen Erwin admitting they are using more synthetics because IFRA recommendations.
    And someone here posted a message from Creed support that GIT uses ~40% naturals
    To be more specific, it seems to be a line used by sales associates. I’ve never heard it directly myself, but I’m fairly sure Basenoters have fairly frequently reported its use at both the Creed boutique and SAs at department stores. Because of this some people also peddle this myth here on Basenotes, although it tends to get shut down pretty quickly and I see it less and less on here now.
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    To be more specific, it seems to be a line used by sales associates. I’ve never heard it directly myself, but I’m fairly sure Basenoters have fairly frequently reported its use at both the Creed boutique and SAs at department stores. Because of this some people also peddle this myth here on Basenotes, although it tends to get shut down pretty quickly and I see it less and less on here now.
    I said that to debunk a statement that Creed claims they use 100% naturals. I've never seen them saying that

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Relativity, my dear Watson! In other words, compared to what you are used to smelling, it smells more natural, and depending upon what notes are being represented it can be very close. For example, vanillin is more or less vanilla, smell-wise. Other things are more difficult to get close to nature because there are a lot more aroma chemicals involved, such as some florals. Also, there is the issue of how much effort is put into getting the scent to smell more natural than it would be if you "just slapped it together," which seems to be what some "clone" companies do.
    These are good points, but I will say vanillin is just a closer approximation than other synthetics to the original, not really an absolute replacement. It's 'good enough'.

    Other things, like Sandalwood and Oud are far too complex to adequately express as a synthetic. Because of cost, synthetics are a necessity but the perfumer has to play around to get the effect he's looking for.
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  29. #29
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    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Quote Originally Posted by Darjeeling View Post
    To be more specific, it seems to be a line used by sales associates. I’ve never heard it directly myself, but I’m fairly sure Basenoters have fairly frequently reported its use at both the Creed boutique and SAs at department stores. Because of this some people also peddle this myth here on Basenotes, although it tends to get shut down pretty quickly and I see it less and less on here now.
    I still see references on the internet to Mysore Sandalwood in Original Santal and Himalaya, as well as "Regal Indian Oud" (as if that's a real thing, not a made up Creed thing) in Royal Oud is at once both amusing and depressing.
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  30. #30

    Default Re: Frag Sleuths: Creed uses mostly synthetics but why do their frags smell so natural to my nose?

    Outside of the few fragrances that actually user the real deal in discernible amounts, "oud" is pretty much a fantasy note in perfumery, much like "ambergris."
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