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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member jal123's Avatar
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    Default most challenging scents.

    just wondering what others think about what is challenging and what isn't.Im relatively new to the fragrance world but own 40+ bottles and many samples.
    To date ,the most challenging to me is Hyrax by Zoologist.wow....

  2. #2
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Muscs Koublai Khan is the most challenging fragrance I've ever smelled. It smells like Serge Lutens' balls. Sorry but it is true. The basenotes are more challenging than planning a trip to the moon.
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

  3. #3
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Marlou - 50 ml d'ambiguite. I like it though!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Recently thouught this whilst wearing Rituals Sultan de Muscat - quite a rough and raw compositon.
    I mean there's plenty of stuff - like VCAPH - huge animalic vibe, some barn yard ouds ( EO1), that take hrs to mellow out and so forth - yet the Rituals stuck me as particularly abstract/angular/ no polishing of or mellowing out here. Haha thinking it's a 'layering' frag

  5. #5

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    I've yet to explore the Zoologist, will add it to the list for next year.

    For me there's two categories
    1. the smell is at odds with norms or ones own idea of perfume
    2. the smell is annoying

    Rien by ELDO is something I put in category 2. The scent itself is perfectly fine and nice but it's just too potent somehow.

    In category 1. I'd probably put Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle, and also Yatagan by Caron (I like the first one but I have no love for yatagan 5/5 and 1/5 respectively from me). Maybe I'd put Montale Cuir d'arabie in category 1. as well, it actually smells a lot like real fresh leather (like what's not really ready for use yet) and somewhat fecal --- really like cuir d'arabie by montale but in the end not something I'd buy (I used several samples).

  6. #6

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei Bolkonsky View Post
    Muscs Koublai Khan is the most challenging fragrance I've ever smelled. It smells like Serge Lutens' balls. Sorry but it is true. The basenotes are more challenging than planning a trip to the moon.
    I agree it's challenging but I think it's for me more in the way that Dries van noten par frederic malle is challenging -- it can easily get annoying. MKK to me the problem I have is that it's almost too sweet in a weird way, like it tends to give me headaches and make me feel spaced out. But sure it is animalic, but I think montale cuir d'arabie is several notches beyond as far as that. But the MKK I used was from like 2015 or so.

  7. #7

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    From a personal viewpoint alone, including but not limited to:

    Quartz Homme by Molyneux- cold, stony, almost abstract and neutral smelling mineral scent

    G Man by Gainsboro-flinty smokiness with a near powerhouse darkness

    Kouros, a few Marbert scents, vintage Jovan Musk- civet and/or other animalic notes taken to extreme, almost unlikely beast mode levels

  8. #8
    Basenotes Member jal123's Avatar
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    yes I agree.to me Teerroni by Orto Parisi I would put into your catergory 2.

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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    For me, I find Aoud Cuir D'Arabie challenging to wear.
    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.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Member feeble_25's Avatar
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    ---
    Last edited by feeble_25; 3rd July 2021 at 08:29 AM.
    "In the kingdom of smells, everything is either bliss or torture, sometimes so subtly blended that often I find myself, when the many strands of a supposedly simple odor are trapped in my palpitating nostrils, actually listening to it, as carefully as if I were unraveling a symphony's sonorous phrases. "

    -Collete, "Fragrance"

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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaineBCN View Post
    Marlou - 50 ml d'ambiguite. I like it though!
    Agree. This one from Marlou is truly the "stinkiest" scent I've ever smelled.

    Kama by Ava Luxe is another really challenging fragrance, as was # 8 by Brent Leonesio.
    Currently wearing: Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

  12. #12
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaineBCN View Post
    Marlou - 50 ml d'ambiguite. I like it though!
    I love this one!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    I agree with Oudh Infini. To me this basically smells like a horse stable full of manure with rose petals stomped into it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    The only thing I've found that is challenging is tuberose. thyme, immortelle and heavy camphor, because I don't want to smell these on me not that they're bad. I think your nose gets used to anything that's made well so that initial shock goes away never to return. Marlou's 50ml for instance isn't that shocking. However, I don't like it because of the immortelle and this disgusting burnt rubber/plastic note that sometimes comes out. I guess the idea to "challenge" rubs me the wrong way because it was either made to smell gross in which case that's silly imo, or it just is different than you're used to and when you become accustomed to it it's no longer challenging, OR it has a note you don't like in which case it's hardly challenging just unappealing.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Vintage Opium for me is challenging.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  16. #16

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    eo private blend - most animalic scent ive ever experienced

  17. #17
    Basenotes Institution rynegne's Avatar
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Xerjoff Zafar
    Dior Leather Oud

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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei Bolkonsky View Post
    Muscs Koublai Khan is the most challenging fragrance I've ever smelled. It smells like Serge Lutens' balls. Sorry but it is true. The basenotes are more challenging than planning a trip to the moon.
    Two more scents to add to the Scents Not Listed list; Serge Lutens Balls and Planning A Trip To The Moon

    ......must be new releases.

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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    I think that heavy animalics, ouds, and certain blends based around leather, tobacco, or any "unusual" notes tend to be challenging to most of the general public.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by jj the terrible View Post
    two more scents to add to the scents not listed list; serge lutens balls and planning a trip to the moon

    ......must be new releases.

    lol lol
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by PrinceRF View Post
    I think that heavy animalics, ouds, and certain blends based around leather, tobacco, or any "unusual" notes tend to be challenging to most of the general public.
    I love the barnyard ouds, the balsamic ouds, the animalic ouds. But I can't stand the Body Odour of true Musk. I don't wanna smell a "deer rear part". I cannot explain why, but it is true.
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

  22. #22
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaineBCN View Post
    Marlou - 50 ml d'ambiguite. I like it though!
    Do you wear it outside? Total respect if so.
    I clumsily spilt some of this over the sample vial while trying it around six months ago and then, shocked, put it in my big glass jar of samples. That jar still stinks of it to this day.

  23. #23
    Super Member Pallas Moncreiff's Avatar
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    As Heawns mentioned, there are types of challenging scents.
    Let's say:
    - Beautifully made but one is unable to discern notes easily
    - Annoying and have that screechy, loud plasticky notes whose presence is mentally irritating
    Personal scent-note dislikes are amongst the above, eg lilac and barbershop-accord for me. Any perfume with these two, is very difficult for me to bear.
    - Folks unfamiliar with raw Oud oils may find them very difficult to assimilate, its like nature pushing your capacity to call it a scent right to the edge of the cliff.
    The indoles of Jasmin essential oil and certain scent-molecules in Tuberose absolute-- dear Lord! The last one is like a wild animal shrouded albeit in white floral scent.
    Just unbelievable.
    And then... now these are a class by themselves.
    - Avante garde, way-of-the-left field scent notes like the metallic blood-notes, truly odiferous components (the volatile sulphuric compounds), the ozonic AC, etc in the scents.

    So, if there is a challenging one for me, it is from the last category and it is ELDO's Sécrétions Magnifique... magnifique, mon pied!!
    It is harbor bilge (amp the volume high and put metallic and milk notes in it) being presented to you on a bed of flowers-- a merely bad smell is a bad smell but SM takes it a notch higher, because it is how these scent-notes are layered on one another, how it evolves, that is where the kicker is (rather, gut-punch is a better word!).
    I've wondered how do folks working in their production factories tolerate it.

  24. #24

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    +1 Oudh Infini

  25. #25
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrei Bolkonsky View Post
    I love the barnyard ouds, the balsamic ouds, the animalic ouds. But I can't stand the Body Odour of true Musk. I don't wanna smell a "deer rear part". I cannot explain why, but it is true.
    I feel the same.

  26. #26

    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Well the answer depends on how you define this.... there are plenty of things that smell bad that could be challenging. I'm going to define this as scents that it appears a majority of people on BN like/think are quality or even excellent scents, that I have trouble finding why....

    Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet - it's ok. Sometimes good. But a lot of people love it and describe things I don't seem to find so far....

    Goutal Sables - have vintage... maybe should sell it!!! People say it smells like maple syrup which would be great, but it doesn't. Whatever it does smell like, feel like people 15 feet away are running away.... just can't wear this in public yet.

  27. #27
    Super Member Pallas Moncreiff's Avatar
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by woodnotes55 View Post
    I'm going to define this as scents that it appears a majority of people on BN like/think are quality or even excellent scents, that I have trouble finding why....Penhaligon's Hammam Bouquet...But a lot of people love it and describe things I don't seem to find so far....
    Goutal Sables - have vintage... maybe should sell it!!! ... Whatever it does smell like, feel like people 15 feet away are running away.... just can't wear this in public yet.
    Hah, your comment cracked me up. :)
    I know Hammam Bouquet-- it's all good if we're talking among perfume lovers, but try wearing it to an office and then follow the frowns.
    Sables-- geez, what maple syrup. Yes, well done with immortelle flower but it is not an easy scent to begin with. The vintage bottles smell stale, dated like an attic.

    If we are talking in that vein, then FK's Baccarat Rouge 540 and Creed's Aventus are extremely challenging to me.
    I have tried multiple times but I keep on staring at the moulettes, thinking, nah... not that good. It just isn't. No matter the hype.
    Have seen dynamic HSA w/GC done by a friend (chemist), and looking at the components vis-a-vis price... Hah. Don't get me started. What a hoax.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    1- Civet
    2- Oud
    Currently wearing: Casamorati 1888 by Xerjoff

  29. #29
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    +1 for Leather Oud

  30. #30
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    Default Re: most challenging scents.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tilt View Post
    Do you wear it outside? Total respect if so.
    I clumsily spilt some of this over the sample vial while trying it around six months ago and then, shocked, put it in my big glass jar of samples. That jar still stinks of it to this day.
    I only had a sample but I didn't have the guts to wear it outside to be honest.




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