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Weekly Scent Discussion #8: Those notes that you rock.

Weekly Scent Discussion #8: Those notes that you rock. 9 years ago
Anyone who spends time trying many different perfumes always comes to the conclusion that some notes will sing on their skin and other notes with make retching noises. It may take a bit of trial and error but we almost all come to the conclusion that we can't wear "whatever note" but that "whatever note" is amazing.

For me the singers are Saffron and Gardenia. I know that most perfumes with one of those notes will be ok on me, and many more will sing gloriously and richly. Gardenia tends to be creamy and smooth (Island Gardenia, Black Orchid, Truth or Dare) and saffron (Black Cashmere, Magnifique) always seems to have that perfect mix of floral and spice with a deep warmth and richness. I also find that Carnation (Sun Moon Stars, Blue Grass, many Carons, Wind Song) is another winner. It's peppery bite comes out on my skin and adds a spicy depth and interest to many things I find it in.

Then there are combinations of notes that just seem to always work wonderfully. One such combination is Rose and Ylang-ylang (Lust, Youth Dew, Cuir De Russie, and too many other to list). These two notes always sing so beautifully on my skin. They combine to make a zingy, deep, almost anamalic beauty.

On the flip side I avoid Lychee (Miss Charming, Flower) like it's a plague ridden meth addict with mouth sores. For me "Nothing good can come of Lychee". There is something about me that amplifies the zingy sweetness of this note. I also avoid Peony (Stella). It's not always a complete miss but 9 out of 10 times it's sharp and overly cloying on me. It has a zing that I just can't stand. When it's paired with Lychee... Bad things happen.

How about you? Looking at your most beloved fragrances what works for you and what makes you cringe? What note combinations just do it for you?
9 years ago
The notes I love are the ones that seem to do well on my skin: spicesn incense and rose. I also adore a good oud and always get compliments when I wear these notes.

I am not advanced enough to know which notes don't work with my skin.
Great Topic! 9 years ago
I recently discovered my "gold star" floral notes are Lilies (Stargazer, in particular), Neroli, Freesia. Hawthorne shimmers on my skin. This is very different from what I imagine I like (Tuberose, Jasmine). What doesn't work on my skin at all are Violets in any form. For foody notes, I am always attracted to vanilla fragrances, but honestly, vanilla turns boozy, candy-like and cloying on me- even the driest vanillas. Grapefruit is a no-go- totally rancid within 20 minutes, consistently. Rum intensive fragrances such as Frapin's "1697" and Guerlain's "Spiritueuse Double Vanille" just unwearable, except for one week in late December- although in theory, I love the idea. Mushroom/ truffle notes such as TF's "Noir de Noir" become hyper truffle- like a country bistro in the South of France in mid-January. Berries turn bitter and green fig fragrances which I adore smell so over the top green and herbaceous- it has blown some SA's minds... what always works- and it is ironic since I am allergic to the actual fruit is Peaches/ Nectarines (?!). Petigrain, Cyclamen and Vetiver are equally poor on my skin. The biggest stars are Galbanum, Cardamom, Hinoki and anything in the musk category...smells fresh and at home on my skin- even if it is not a "clean white musk". Go figure!
9 years ago
Flavorite: I'm surprised that you wear perfumes with a note of something you're allergic to eating. I've become allergic to kiwi fruit & now I'm afraid to wear anything with a kiwi note, thinking I'll feel sick if I smell it because of the association. Hmmm, maybe I should rethink that - kiwi sure smells nice...

I find it hard to say what works on my skin. For instance, I despise more than the tiniest smidge of jasmine, tuberose, neroli, and orange blossom. But I'd love to have someone who likes the smell of them come smell them on me. Maybe they smell great on me? If they did, though, it wouldn't cause me to start wearing them because I hate them so. On the other hand, sometimes I smell these white florals on someone else and like them.

What I'd really like to do is get a couple hundred of us together and conduct a bunch of experiments like that! Do you think we can get some perfume company to underwrite it? Maybe in some beautiful place that we could hang out for a week? Wink
9 years ago
Wow Flavorite, You have a very limited scent profile that works on you. It's amazing that you know so well what your winners are though. Have you tried Lancôme Trésor EDP. A bottle of 2012 or earlier may work very well for you. The peachy rose in that is divine and may be right up your alley. Also You may like Elizabeth Taylors Black Pearls (Frosted Bottle only, not the clear one). I got some beautiful peach in that too,

PBullfriend, I often find Jasmine very challenging as well. Especially if it's really indolic. It gets very sharp on my skin sometimes and is just terrible. Sounds like you may have the same problem with indoles. I have a strict Test first policy with White florals because of this. I have found a few that work well but it took some searching. Madonna Truth or Dare is a low indole White floral. It works well on me. I actually get more Gardenia than anything else in it. You may also like to try Songes by Annik Goutal. That one worked very well for me too Smile
9 years ago
Nice topic Smile

Tobacco, tobacco flower and aquatics work very well for me. I really like them.

Ideal combo's: I like wearing flowers, they cheer me up. I'm talking about violet that isn't sweet, some ylang ylang and moderate amounts of rose. Usually I feel most comfortable with cologne compositions, like "Hommage a l'Homme".

Note from hell: star anise. Theoretically it can smell great but it never does for me. Opium pour Homme and even LIDGE are bad on me and make me feel uncomfortable.
9 years ago
Incense / Labdanum / Styrax / Oppoponax
Spices (cloves !, cinnamon, vanilla, tonka etc.)
Herbs (rosemary, thyme, mint, laurel)
Lemon / Orange
Tuberose / Gardenia / Rose / Iris / Violet

Not so pleasant on me / less easy to wear :
- Vetiver (often turns awfully sour on me)
- Honey (oh my.....too animalic with my chemistry)
- Grapefruit (does NOT smell like lemon on me, it turns into catpee...there goes my dream to ever wear Pamplelune)
- Lily of the valley, syringa/lilac (I love smelling the real flowers but not in perfumes)
- Aquatic notes often turn quite synthetic and harsh on me
- Neroli (I really like it but it does not like my skin, it turns out rather synthetic and unpleasantly soapy on me)
- Cedar (smells ultra masculine on me, that often ruins it for me)
- Leather (often a fail on me with only a few exceptions)
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