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  1. #1

    Default Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Hey everyone! Introductory post here. I'm just now getting into the world of perfumes at the ripe old age of 31, and I'm trying to sample different things to figure out what my tastes are. I have almost no experience with commercial fragrances but I've always had quite a keen nose and am generally an aficionado of aromas. Started playing around with essential oils a while back and have made a couple of body oil fragrances for my girlfriend to great success. That kindled the fire, and now I want to smell all the smells. So, I'm hoping the seasoned noses here can point me in some interesting directions based on my general style and notes that I enjoy.

    Scents I enjoy in general life, not necessarily in any particular order. Some of these are usual fragrance notes and some are more general aromas. (descriptions may get weird or synesthetic at times lol):

    Leather (this may be my all-time favorite)
    Tobacco (Think cigar shop or fine pipe tobacco)
    Coffee
    Dark Chocolate
    Vanilla
    Coconut
    Balsam
    Cedar
    Fir
    Vetiver (the deep, smoky kind - I could smell this essential oil for hours.)
    Hardwoods (Hickory, Walnut, Oak, etc.)
    Earth (Think a mossy high-altitude mountain trail)
    Palm Trees
    Body/Sex Smells (Enough said lol)
    Mandarin Oranges
    Lime
    Jasmine
    Other Florals (Maybe Iris? I do like that sort of faint "makeup" smell for some reason. Willing to branch out with other florals.)
    Black Tea
    Rosemary
    Juniper
    Oceanic/Beach Smells (Not necessarily things meant to smell "aquatic," but actual ocean scents)
    Frankincense
    Benzoin
    Terpenes
    Dragon's Blood Incense
    Red Wine/Red Fruits
    Scotch Whisky (I especially like the smoky Islay varieties, but enjoy them all)
    Aged or Spiced Rum
    Campfire
    Horse Fur (This may sound weird, but if this scent were bottled, I would be addicted)
    Machine Oil (This may sound even weirder, but I wouldn't mind wearing Eau de 3-in-1 Oil)
    Gasoline
    Falling Leaves
    Silk fabric
    Linen
    Old Books

    Smells I don't really like:

    Things that are sharp or acidic
    Overly sweet fruity things
    Things like green apple/pears (I don't hate them, but they aren't my favorite.)
    Too much rose
    That sort of "shaving cream" or talcum powder "barbershop" note that seems to be in so many things
    Certain sharp, synthetic "aquatic" or "sport" notes
    Old school Old Spice
    Excessive bitter green herbs

    As can be seen, I tend toward dark and mysterious rather than light and "sporty," and toward deep, rich and creamy rather than sharp or zesty. I do live in Florida, however, where it's hot almost all year round, so my taste in aromas may not always match up with the climate. My general look and style, to the extent that this is useful in pairing scents, is short dark hair, long flowy beard, looking something like a beachy sailor/pirate in the hotter climes (lots of linen/bamboo clothing), and a sort of woodsy outdoorsman (blend of backpacking attire and leather coat type look) in the colder ones. This matches my actual hobbies, sailing and backpacking. I do like to dress in a sharp bespoke suit for date nights in the colder months for no reason in particular. I tend to like wearing colors like black, brown, cream, dark greens, and secondarily navy blues, maroons, and plum. Maybe it's a synesthesia thing, but it seems the scents and flavors I like most also tend to evoke those colors (black, brown, cream, dark green) in my mind.

    Actual fragrances I've smelled:

    Not much experience here, but recently had the time to go to a department store and smell what they had on offer. By far, my absolute favorite house I sampled was Tom Ford. The perfumers there must have tastes similar to mine. (Of course I would have expensive taste, right?) I actually liked the whole line, but my favorites were:

    Ombre Leather - This smells absolutely intoxicating to me. Strong black leather with a bit of a floral background that fades over time into a clean skin scent that does remind me of women's makeup. Maybe this is iris, but I don't recall reading that in the notes. That smell lingered for two days on the arm I sprayed it on. Love this whole vibe. They didn't have Tuscan Leather, but I have a feeling I'd love it as well.

    Metallique - It seems like they are marketing this more toward women, but I loved it on my skin. For me it had kind of a beachy vibe - sort of a clean, fresh linen with some coconut and vanilla notes in the background, and a hint of mysterious musky and spicy notes deep down. Love this. Either of these Tom Fords I could wear all the time.

    The other designer house I sampled that seemed to match my taste more than others was Dior. I enjoyed Homme, Fahrenheit, and Sauvage. By this point my nose was tired, so I couldn't give a note breakdown, but the general vibe of this house seems to my taste.

    I can't remember now which Armani Code variety I tried, but I do remember that it had that kind of shaving cream/barbershop note that I don't find enticing, as did many of the other less memorable things I smelled.

    Also recently went to Marshalls to look at some inexpensive things there, and blind bought a couple based on the note profiles. My thoughts on them are as follows:

    CK One Shock - I like this tobacco, red fruit, chocolate mix. Seemed to have some sort of wintergreen aroma in the background at times. Very interesting, and makes me want to try other tobacco frags, maybe drier ones as this is on the sweet side.

    Aramis - So, this did not at all smell as I expected it. My girlfriend actually likes it more than I do. I expected more leathery notes, but got a burst of sharp bitter herbs, bergamot, and a strong soapy note on the open that in my memory is associated with a certain potpourri I've smelled. I do quite like the musky dry down, where the leather bit comes through more.

    So, if you've read through this excruciatingly long introduction, I would love suggestions as to what to try next. Maybe some that are squarely within my tastes and some that might be more challenging. Preferably some of them on the lower end of the cost spectrum as well, as I don't really have a variety in my collection yet and would like to build it out. Thanks in advance! I've already learned a great deal from this forum, and I appreciate everyone here.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Check out Tabac Rouge. Welcome aboard!
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Welcome!

    It does seem you like leathers and dark materials. If you get the chance to look into niche perfumes, I recommend one of the darkest and most animalic leathers, Rien by Etat Libre d'Orange. Perhaps a little easier, if you have access to higher end department stores, Leather oud by Dior, also a very dark leather, and Le Labo Patchouli 27, a leather more than a patch, tarry and dark.

    cacio

  4. #4

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Check out the following:

    ARAMIS Havana (1994) - Cheap as dirt, this is a gold-standard tobacco masculine with a very old-school vibe. It starts off mossy green and then gradually transitions into a spicy, boozy, warm take on tobacco that's a bit like a cigar paired with a rum & coke.

    CHOPARD Oud Malaki (2012) - A Middle Eastern-style oud-and-tobacco without the thickness and heaviness that can make that style challenging to wear. Very elegant, very smooth.

    MAC Velvet Teddy (2016) - Estee Lauder, the corporation behind Tom Ford, released this superior remake of Tobacco Vanille as part of its MAC Shadescents line. Don't let the name or packaging fool you; this is a masculine-leaning sweet tobacco scent, which is one reason why it didn't connect with the market and can now be had for bargain prices. The quality is astonishing.

    SANTA MARIA NOVELLA Acqua di Cuba (1998) - The truest "cigar tobacco" scent around and absolutely worth the price.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Welcome to you, philosophe! As I began reading the notes that you enjoy, Tom Ford came to mind. I'm glad that you like it -- it's my favorite house as well! You and I have quite similar tastes. I also tend toward dark and mysterious scents, although I live in California. There is a lot for you to explore. I am still new in this hobby as well, so I don't know as many fragrances as a lot of other Basenoters, but I'll give you a few suggestions that might interest you:

    Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (opinions differ, but given your tastes, you should make the effort to try it; my favorite of all time)
    Tom Ford Tobacco Oud (more like tobacco and whiskey; an acquired taste - give it a couple chances)
    Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (spicy vanilla)
    Tom Ford Extreme (truffles, figs, earthy, manly, sophisticated)
    Tom Ford Oud Fleur (IMO, very raunchy; I get that "body/sex smell")
    Etat Libre d'Orange Secretions Magnifique (haven't tried, but... you can read up on it)
    Kilian Back to Black (rich honey tobacco gourmand)
    Kilian Straight to Heaven (delicious rum note with cedar)
    Creed Virgin Island Water (like a pina colada, a bit of a freshie)
    Guerlain Vetiver (the "benchmark" vetiver scent, with tobacco)
    Lalique Encre Noire (gothic, inky vetiver)
    Amouage Jubilation XXV (dark but fruity with frankincense)
    Maison Margiella By the Fireplace (campfire, warm and soothing)

    And many more to explore. I'll also add that you shouldn't be turned off by anything marketed towards women. Just wear what you like to smell. Fragrances have no gender. Hope I was able to offer some help!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Thanks for the welcoming responses so far! Those all sound good. I may be able to find the Leather Oud here. As I said, I did like the Dior frags, particularly Homme, if I remember. I like the look of the notes for Tabac Rouge as well. Haven't seen the Aramis Havana, but did see a bottle of the Tobacco Reserve for dirt cheap. Went for the original and now regret not grabbing that one instead.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
    I like the look of the notes for Tabac Rouge as well.
    Tabac Rouge is essentially a Tobacco Vanille remake that opens up the structure a bit and adds a bit of watery ginger to make it feel like damp shisha tobacco. It's really, really good, and is my favorite of releases in the TV style.

    Boclet Tobacco is another option, which is, again, very close to Tobacco Vanille but feels a bit more expensive and less synthetic (despite being cheaper than TV), with more emphasis on the "dried fruits" aspect. Very Christmasy.

    Velvet Teddy, which I mentioned above, takes the TV DNA in a more natural, earthy direction with dirty, wild honey acting as the throughline.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Prince View Post
    Welcome to you, philosophe! As I began reading the notes that you enjoy, Tom Ford came to mind. I'm glad that you like it -- it's my favorite house as well! You and I have quite similar tastes. I also tend toward dark and mysterious scents, although I live in California. There is a lot for you to explore. I am still new in this hobby as well, so I don't know as many fragrances as a lot of other Basenoters, but I'll give you a few suggestions that might interest you:

    Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (opinions differ, but given your tastes, you should make the effort to try it; my favorite of all time)
    Tom Ford Tobacco Oud (more like tobacco and whiskey; an acquired taste - give it a couple chances)
    Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (spicy vanilla)
    Tom Ford Extreme (truffles, figs, earthy, manly, sophisticated)
    Tom Ford Oud Fleur (IMO, very raunchy; I get that "body/sex smell")
    Etat Libre d'Orange Secretions Magnifique (haven't tried, but... you can read up on it)
    Kilian Back to Black (rich honey tobacco gourmand)
    Kilian Straight to Heaven (delicious rum note with cedar)
    Creed Virgin Island Water (like a pina colada, a bit of a freshie)
    Guerlain Vetiver (the "benchmark" vetiver scent, with tobacco)
    Lalique Encre Noire (gothic, inky vetiver)
    Amouage Jubilation XXV (dark but fruity with frankincense)
    Maison Margiella By the Fireplace (campfire, warm and soothing)

    And many more to explore. I'll also add that you shouldn't be turned off by anything marketed towards women. Just wear what you like to smell. Fragrances have no gender. Hope I was able to offer some help!
    All of those sound like things I'd like. It seems we do have similar tastes. Cheers!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Lots of good ones mentioned already. Here's a few more, maybe check 'em out:
    Gucci Guilty Absolute
    Nasomatto
    -Pardon
    -Absinth
    -Duro
    Guerlain L'instant de Guerlain EDP
    Amouage Memoir
    Tom Ford
    -Noir Anthracite
    -Oud Minerale
    Creed Royal Oud
    Comme des Garcons
    -2man
    -Wonderwood
    "I drank what?" -Socrates

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Welcome, i will add some leather frags:
    john varvatos john varvatos
    john varvatos Dark Rebel
    john varvatos Vintage
    jo malone bronze wood & leather
    olfactive studio chambre noire
    issey miyake noir ambre
    carner barcelona cuirs

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Cuir by L.T. Piver
    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 on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Surprised no suggestions yet for Hermes Bel Ami - famed and acclaimed leather (+spice)!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Go to luckyscent.com and check out

    Shihan

  14. #14

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Also adding Eau de Vetyver and Eau des Baux by l'Occitane, Endymion by Penhaligon's, Knize Ten, Pure Malt, Pure Malt Creation and/or Pure Havane, the latter three by Mugler, Chergui by Serge Lutens, Lapidus pour Homme, Derrick by Orlane, Bogart pour Homme

    to a possible (re) testing list
    Currently wearing: Ispahan by Yves Rocher

  15. #15

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
    As can be seen, I tend toward dark and mysterious
    Have you smelled Myrrh?

    You might also like Cypriol (Nagarmotha).

    Both of those have just a little bit of "gasoline" aspects going on, and cypriol is a little bit animalic.


    Patchouli goes without saying.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    I love leather but in comes in shades. Some of it is more tannery smell (BelAmi), some of it is photorealistic shoe/handbag (Ombre Leather), some is more powdery like an impression of leather (Knize Ten), or more green on leather (Bandit), tobacco and leather (Clubman Special Reserve), and the floral aldehyde leather like your Aramis. So many shades for one note! You could spend months just exploring that.
    oh look, I have a signature

  17. #17
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    Default Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Pascal Morabito Or Black
    Salvador Dali Pour Homme
    Oscar Dela Renta Pour Lui
    Biehl AL03
    Hermes Bel Ami
    Aoud Cuir d’Arabie
    Bandit
    Creed Royal English Leather
    Black Afgano
    Slumberhouse Norne
    Black Phoenix Alchemy Labs Omen
    Lalique Encre Noir

    Here’s a small mix (off the top of my head) of scents that lean dark, are dark, and a couple different style leathers. I figure a few of those are also worthy to look at but not likely to be stated. And, when possible for a specific fragrance (like Bel Ami or the Dali), go vintage.
    Sent from the bayou, using homing gators.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Too many to address at once, but off the top of my head

    Nostalgia by Santa Maria Novella - gasoline and motor oil drying down to soft aged leather.

    Sel de Vetiver - for a seaside scent that isn’t aquatic. Think salt and sun-dried driftwood (not a Smokey vetiver).
    1. No, never blind buy (I do, but do as I say, not as I do. I'm taking no responsibility for your fragrance gambling).
    2. Get them both. You're a Basenoter and you know you're going to end up purchasing them both eventually.
    3. Yes, it has been reformulated.
    4. Looking for a signature scent? You've come to the wrong place.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Thanks again for all the great recommendations. Making a list for next time I go shopping. Hopefully I can find somewhere near me to sample some of these.

    I stopped by Ulta after work today to see what they had, which was mostly only the common designers' most popular lines (No Tom Ford, sadly). I did get a chance to try the Dior fragrances again with more time to pick them apart. Sprayed some Dior Homme on one arm and Sauvage on the other. At the opening I was thinking that I quite like the Sauvage, but as it dried down one note really became so dominant that it was cloying to me - a sort of resinous dragon's blood incense note that was just way too much of an otherwise nice smell (Maybe that's the ambroxan?). Homme was reaffirmed as my favorite of the Dior line available here - love that leather-iris blend, and it just seems overall well-balanced and elegant. Fahrenheit smells to me like cucumbers, cracked peppercorns, gasoline, and a bit of leather. I like it, but may be a bit too gassy for me to want to wear with any regularity. I also found I quite liked D&G The One and especially the stronger vetiver note in The One Grey, but they were gone soon after spraying them on my skin, unfortunately. Homme wins the prize for this trip. This one might go on the buy list.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Welcome, good intro...
    Great suggestions so far.
    Adding
    CDG Black
    Michael for Men
    Atelier Tobacco Nuit

  21. #21

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Also adding...
    Floris Leather Oud
    Floris Mahoan Leather

  22. #22

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by ION-ONE View Post
    Also adding...
    Floris Leather Oud
    I can vouch for this one.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    My ScentSplit wishlist is growing rapidly...

  24. #24

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    So far I've got these on ScentSplit:

    Black Afgano
    --
    Chergui
    --
    Encre Noire
    --
    Herod
    --
    Leather Oud
    --
    Memoir Man
    --
    Noir de Noir
    --
    Oud Fleur
    --
    Oud Minerale
    --
    Oud Wood
    --
    Straight To Heaven
    --
    Tobacco Oud
    --
    Tobacco Vanille
    --
    Tuscan Leather
    --
    Virgin Island Water
    --
    By the Fireplace

    Some of the suggestions they don't have, but I'll keep a lookout. Thanks again. I'm enjoying reading the notes for all these. Probably going to buy a subset of the wishlist at first, because budget...so many smells, so little time and money.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Just purchased samples of these:

    Tuscan Leather
    --
    Soul of the Forest
    --
    By The Fireplace
    --
    Leather Oud (Floris, not Dior)
    --
    Virgin Island Water
    --
    Chergui
    --
    Black Afgano
    --
    Straight To Heaven
    --
    Oud Minerale
    --
    Oud Wood
    --
    Tobacco Vanille
    --
    Encre Noire

    This should be an interesting set, I think.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
    This should be an interesting set, I think.
    Should be fun.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    I highly recommend you explore the entire Thierry Mugler A*Men line. There are many, perhaps these 6 are a good place to start:

    A*Men (original)
    Pure Malt
    Pure Havane
    Pure Tonka
    Pure Wood
    Pure Coffee

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Glad you’re digging Dior Homme. It’s a classic for good reason, and probably in my Top 5 of all time.

    Given the broad category we’re exploring here, and since you liked Dior Homme, going with the gourmand-meets-leather element of it, you should also check out Bulgari Black. It’s discontinued but still easy to find online, from what I’ve read. Think tire rubber meets vanilla with an abstract floral aspect. Weird but definitely wearable. It has a vibe similar to Fahrenheit, though they don’t smell alike; just that aspect of “wearable auto shop / garage.” It’s really cool stuff.

    Glad someone else mentioned Bel Ami. Bel Ami Vetiver is a modernized take that I love, and is worth trying. As long as you’re checking Hermes, sample Cuir d’Ange and Agar Ebene from their line... two more takes on leather.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    So, I got my 12 samples in, and have had a chance to try a few on my skin. Thoughts so far:

    Lalique Encre Noire: I like it, but it isn't as rich as I expected. It has a strong vetiver note that I love, but it's a thinner vetiver and I expected more of a woody base to complement it and round it out. I would like to have smelled more cypress and cedarwood or something. For $27 on Amazon, I'll probably get a bottle even so because it is unique, reasonably priced, and I love vetiver.

    Serge Lutens Chergui: I quite like this one, as expected from my love of tobacco scents. This one evolves on my skin. For me it opens with a spicy, sweet, rich accord and sweet tobacco that has a sort of sweet Cinnabon pastry effect, and as it evolves, the orris and tobacco come through more. The orris-tobacco-amber blend seems to be what it moves toward. This part reminds me of my Aramis Tobacco Reserve, but the orris is more subdued, which I like, as it gives less of a powdery effect. As it's drying down more, seems to have vanillic and incense notes coming through as well.

    Floris Leather Oud: This is my absolute favorite so far. I can't stop smelling it. The opening is like car seat leather straight from the tannery, with a honey sweetness and a floral accord that I could have sworn was rose, though apparently there is none listed in the notes. There's a definite woody and rich amber base, and a sort of "oiliness" that I enjoy. I can literally feel it on the skin. Is that from the oud? Never having smelled oud on its own, I can't say. I just know I like this rich, oily woody scent. I'm wearing it right now, and haven't experienced the full drydown, so I'll wait to see. Seems like this projects well also. I definitely want a bottle of this. Time to save $$. Lol

  30. #30

    Default Re: Noob with particular tastes seeking recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
    Lalique Encre Noire: I like it, but it isn't as rich as I expected. It has a strong vetiver note that I love, but it's a thinner vetiver and I expected more of a woody base to complement it and round it out. I would like to have smelled more cypress and cedarwood or something. For $27 on Amazon, I'll probably get a bottle even so because it is unique, reasonably priced, and I love vetiver.
    Get Lalique Encre Noire Extreme instead. Same vetiver note, but there's incense and cypress to fill it out a little. Similar price.

    Quote Originally Posted by philosophe View Post
    Floris Leather Oud: This is my absolute favorite so far. I can't stop smelling it. The opening is like car seat leather straight from the tannery, with a honey sweetness and a floral accord that I could have sworn was rose, though apparently there is none listed in the notes. There's a definite woody and rich amber base, and a sort of "oiliness" that I enjoy. I can literally feel it on the skin. Is that from the oud? Never having smelled oud on its own, I can't say. I just know I like this rich, oily woody scent. I'm wearing it right now, and haven't experienced the full drydown, so I'll wait to see. Seems like this projects well also. I definitely want a bottle of this. Time to save $$. Lol
    Right on. Floris Leather Oud is the best leather scent nobody talks about. Absolutely gorgeous.




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