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  1. #1

    Default Challenging fragrances

    I have 3 fragrances in my collection that, on first spray, each made me convulse with fear. They are:

    Barrister and Mann Fougère Gothique, which smells like dead bodies.

    Bijan Men, which if oversprayed smells like the combined BO of 30 men.

    Zino, which smells so medicinal I feel like I've been molested by a doctor.

    Yet, all 3 have worked their way into my regular rotation. Yes some days all I want to do is reach for something safe like Guerlain Vetiver, but other days I feel like a challenge, and these fit the bill. I've grown to appreciate all 3 and look forward to wearing them.

    What frags do you have that you consider challenging, that you may not have liked to begin with?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Montale Oud Pur Oriental is one that comes to mind, but I'm fine with it now.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    lots and lots.

    Mysterious Oud by Bortnikoff. The opening to me smells like I stepped in dog poo. But after a few wearings I find it magnificent.

    Ottoman Empire II by Areej le Dore has taken some time to like.

    Bogue Mem is amazing but at first it was just so weird and hard to figure out. Now it is a huge favorite. Actually all from the Bogue brain of Gardoni are like this. Even T Rex by Zoologist, done by Gardoni for that house, is like, hey what is this bug spray??? The entire progression is very wonderful but challenging.

    Hyrax by Zoologist...well, this puts the word "animalic" into a whole 'nother level. But I love it actually.

    Often it's the opening that's more challenging than anything else.

    Ensar Oud EO1 was like that. Double barnyard poo at the beginning, but then, OMG, it becomes amazing if you get past that.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    The two most challenging I have are pretty common/basic. Tom Ford's Tobacco Oud and Zoologist's T-Rex. Both decants and both very difficult to wear, even for me.
    Currently Rotating:

    *Mancera Cedrat Boise
    *Imaginary Authors Air of Despair
    *Dior Sauvage edT
    *Chanel Allure Homme Sport eau extreme

  6. #6

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post

    Ensar Oud EO1 was like that. Double barnyard poo at the beginning, but then, OMG, it becomes amazing if you get past that.
    agree!
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    I found Leather Oud challenging at first, it smelled like a barnyard or butt or something. But I love it.
    Gucci Guilty Absolute Pour Homme I didn't care for much at first, but now I <3 it.
    Absolue Pour le Soir has that old pee smell sitting in a urinal or something.
    Declaration Essence / Eau d'Hermes might kind of smell body odor-ish

    <3 all of them.

    There's far more/other challenging stuff out there that I wouldn't want to wear, like Madhat Scents Fur, Phoenicia REALOUD and OUD TAIGA or w/e.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Dior Leather Oud for me.
    This along with Knize Ten, Kouros, and Fahrenheit.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Seville a l'Aube needs a few minutes before I can start appreciating it for the rest of the day.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    The most challenging fragrance I own is Tobacco Oud.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    T. Rex & Leather Oud for me. T. Rex has a blood accord that took some getting used to. Leather Oud has a barnyard vibe that is particularly challenging. I love them both now.

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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    CB I Hate Perfume Burning Leaves

  13. #13

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Lorenzo Villoresi's Piper Nigrum comes to mind. Opening isn't much to write home about and very off-putting (at least for the original versions), but it become so much better. Tiziana Terenzi Laudano Nero is a bit challenging upon its initial moments, too.
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Dior Leather Oud for me.
    Current Leather Oud seems somewhat tame in comparison to what it once was. It's still a very strong leather, but I don't get nearly as much barnyard as I used to get. I suppose that makes it more wearable but I miss the stronger, more challenging elements.

    Strong civet scents can really give off a pissy vibe, especially with excess sprays. Furyo by Bogart is great but I'd be leery of using 4 or more sprays. Other things like stronger oud oils can reak of barnyard or blue cheese/stinky feet. Bull's Blood by Imaginary Authors has a strong opening note reminiscent of a wet dog.
    Most worn:

    Black Comme des Garçons, Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens, Patchouli Santa Maria Novella


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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Nothing exotic, but Gucci Guilty Absolute has that medicinal leather that my wife can't stand.

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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
    Nothing exotic, but Gucci Guilty Absolute has that medicinal leather that my wife can't stand.
    Interesting. My spouse and everyone around me loves it when I wear Gucci Absolute. Maybe it just works with my chemistry.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Pretty much everything I've put my nose on from January Scent Project

  18. #18

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Kinski comes to mind, and Casbah; they're both a little 'pukey'.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Knize Ten is challenging for me. I love it and have worn it for years but every once in a while I get a whiff of the top notes upon application and is scares me to think what others must smell on me. Two hours later is a different story.... My other challenging scent that I love to wear if Ungaro II--I simply do not smell the civet--and what if others do and cannot stand it? Finally, Aramis is challenging to me because it it literally stepping into my father's shoes--not so much the smell itself but the association. Love the scent and the man but is a challenge none the less.
    Very clearly a case for corn flakes and classics
    Currently wearing: Vintage by John Varvatos

  20. #20

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarce View Post
    C. Bull's Blood by Imaginary Authors has a strong opening note reminiscent of a wet dog.
    I actually rather enjoyed Bull's Blood. My wife hated it though. The opening is definitely something else but the black patchouli in the base is also challenging as hell.
    Currently Rotating:

    *Mancera Cedrat Boise
    *Imaginary Authors Air of Despair
    *Dior Sauvage edT
    *Chanel Allure Homme Sport eau extreme

  21. #21

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Surprised not to see Amouage - Figment Manmentioned!

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    None actually......not for myself I mean, for others for sure I own a few, like Kouros vtg, Joop! Homme vtg, Mona Cuir, Shuhrah, Davidoff (1984), Grey Flannel vtg, Givenchy Gentleman vtg, Knize Ten vtg, Ambre Fetiche etc.
    Last edited by Slayerized; 23rd September 2019 at 09:06 AM.
    My Top '11' of main current rotation in no particular order:

    - Fragrances of Ireland: Patrick
    - Polo Blue Gold Blend edp
    - Antaeus (vtg)
    - Azzaro: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - TF: Ombré Leather
    - Al Haramain: Excellent
    - SA: Shaghaf Oud Abyad
    - SA: Al Basel
    - D&G: Pour Homme (vtg)
    - Mancera: Red Tobacco
    - Mancera: Aoud Vanille

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    My most challenging frags I own:

    Ambergreen - Hard to find the appropriate time to wear this. I almost consider this a novelty sort of frag.
    Roadster - This one is pretty much straight mint. It feels weird to me to wear this one out. I like wearing it in the house a lot, or if I do go out, when I'm not around others.
    Calligraphy Rose - Rose has always been difficult for me to pull off, and up until the past few years, I was afraid to even wear a rose frag.
    Rose Flash - Same as above, only Rose Flash is even more potent, so it's hard to find the time and place for it.
    Joop!- Well.. it's Joop!.. enough said.
    1 Million - Like Joop! it just has a very attention grabbing and long lasting opening. Rewind to my early 20's and I would have loved it. Now in my mid 30's, not what I fancy.
    Black Orchid - I call this a "flamboyant" fragrance. I really only bought it because of a great sale. I love how it smells, just not on me. I wear it VERY rarely.
    Cuir Vetiver (Yves Rocher) - This is the only one on the list with an opening that I just can't stand. I blind swapped for this, and was expecting better. Good dry down though.
    Guilty Absolute - This one seems to rub a lot of people the wrong way, so I try not to wear it out.
    DHI - I feel DHI is just too strong, in any amount. I love it personally, but I just never wear it.
    Fan di Fendi pour Homme Assoluto - This has something about it that comes off abrasive, and like a couple others on the list, it rubs people the wrong way. I feel this is like a better version of Dsquared Potion. I have only worn it out twice, and both times, got bad reactions from people around me.
    "I am not trendy" -Thierry Mugler
    Currently wearing: Jaguar Pace by Jaguar

  24. #24

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    I've lost a fragrance staring-match with one or two from Beaufort. I admire the hell out of them, but a couple are a tough, tough wear.
    No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    It's only challenging if you don't like it.
    Current Summer Favorites:

    1. Xerjoff - Nio
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    3. Dior - Homme Cologne 2013
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  26. #26
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post
    It's only challenging if you don't like it.
    That's definitely not true.
    Most worn:

    Black Comme des Garçons, Borneo 1834 Serge Lutens, Patchouli Santa Maria Novella


  27. #27
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Ottoman Empire 1/2
    Absolue Pour le Soir
    Kalemat Black

  28. #28

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    diaghilev - roja parfums . havent mustered up the courage to wear it in public yet.
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  29. #29

    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Scarce View Post
    That's definitely not true.
    I agree, I really like some scents but they on some level just seem discordant with my purpose of wearing a fragrance most of the time.

    Examples of things I really like but aren't for me:
    Cuir d'arabie by montale --- smells real good and animalic but it's just too much of the real thing I find, fresh leather, it smells like literal shit at the same time that it smells good

    Portrait of a Lady --- I can't stand the idea of smelling like raspberry ketone, which is something I detect quite clearly after having smelled raspberry ketone --- I used to wear this one a lot tho before I picked up on that raspberry note and sold the bottle.
    - - -
    Even something like Rose & Cuir from Frederic Malle I find a bit hard to wear because of how dry/bitter/sour it is. Hard to make green fragrances they say, I guess they are right. Still I will probably wear and enjoy this one a lot because it's not so in-your-face like the other two.
    ---
    To be clear I'm not one of those people who thinks the purpose of fragrance is to entice other people into liking you, but obviously there's a reason why people have fragrance preferences and it's not always so easy to just rationalize oneself out of a wet paper bag or rationalize oneself away from a bottle of Aqua di Gio in 1999.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Challenging fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Dior Leather Oud for me.
    I agree!
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