Signature Scent Challenge Results!

Hey, everyone, welcome to the Results of the Signature Scent Challenge – your chance to report on how wearing the same scent for a week worked out for you, or just to laugh and mock the rest of us.  Let’s begin with a warm welcome for Tom (aka tmp00), a sweet, slyly funny guy who will be doing occasional posts for us while Lee takes a break.  We welcome Tom’s man-junk male perspective to the henhouse although we already have some huevos.  Most of y’all probably know Tom already, he lives in El Lay, is a gracious host and a long-suffering tour guide/driver to crazy perfumistas who visit, and writes for PST and has his own blog, among other venues.  Tom and I are sharing today’s post.

Tom says: Well, I started my scent challenge on Halloween and I chose Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan.  That’s right.  The devil MKK.  I’ve been in the habit of wearing it in the evenings when I am alone and basking in what I think is it’s warm embrace.  Is it work friendly?  I think it can be when worn sparingly and not on the neck (I usually only put perfume on my chest before dressing).  Let’s see I can fly under the radar on this one..

Sunday: Day One.  I happily spritz myself knowing that my morning would be Nigella Lawson, Tejava tea and laundry.  I do venture out to wander around but don’t think I’m wafting sex-juice too much, but then I also didn’t get in an elevator with anyone.  I’m reminded why I love this scent so much.  It makes me feel sexy in a way that’s the polar opposite of my pasty, Topsider-wearing self.

Since I live next to the West Hollywood Halloween craziness (Action McNews helicopters and BH police and fire responding to assist the Sheriffs department all night) I asked to take a vacation day on that Monday and slept in.  I did venture out on an ill-advised trip to Santa Monica.  Ill advised because I decided to take the bus, which made the trip a four hour journey with lots of standing on street corners.  No-one on the bus scuttled away from me so I guess I wasn’t off-gassing too badly.

Tuesday was voting (you did that, right?  If you didn’t don’t tell me…) then back-to-work.  I had showered, but was still getting some of last nights spray on my wrist whenever it was near to my face.  I was noticing that I am finally discerning the jammy rose accord.  Co-workers weren’t complaining.  Yet.

Wednesday.  Hot.  98 with the “real feel”  I’m in an air-conditioned office and made sure to do only to quick sprays under my clothes but waiting for the bus home I can feel that dab wanting to come out and bite someone.  I kind of like that.  Luckily the AC on the bus is as arctic as it is at work so the beast simmers down, claws sheathed.

Thursday the weather is the same and I decide to dab to be on the safe side.  I also wear a sweater that I hadn’t dry-cleaned.  I later  notice it has the faint smell on it of Le Labo Musc 25 and between the two I feel like I’m wearing a sex party.  I am assured by a trusted co-worker that I smell very clean and nice so I am thinking it’s all in my head.  Not to be cruel but I do have an older gent in my area who isn’t the daintiest sort so that could be in comparison.  But no-one on the bus gags or runs so I guess I’m okay.

Accuweather had posted earlier in the week that Friday would be cooler.  Not the case.  Still 96.  Luckily at work it’s still 46 so the two healthy sprays to my chest I awarded my freshly-showered self are kept at bay.  That and the fact that I caught an especially early bus that got me there an hour early allowed the early parts to dry and kept the feral aspects of this big cat on “purr”.  I’m definitely seeing more nuance in the scent and I wear it more: the rose or the touch of cumin I’d never discerned before.  I’m constantly struck at how suave it is as a scent.  Some say Kiehl’s Musk is the same scent but I don’t think so.  As much as I love Kiehl’s (and it’s price point) it’s Methode Champanoise to MKK’s Moët & Chandon.

Saturday is finally cooler.  My BFF Bitsy is in town and wants brunch.  We go to the Village Cafe in Beachwood Canyon (Patty and March have been)  then at her insistence an hour walk in the “flats” of Beverly Hills.  For some reason I park in the 800 block, which fanged me in the rear when we had to walk uphill to return to the car.  I am getting peeps of those claws from the two sprays to my chest.  I think it’s sexy as hell, but perhaps a little much for 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

I was surprised by this contest.  Of course I chose a scent that I love and am glad that the love stayed true.  Had it been a scent that I was merely “meh” about I might have banished it to the back of the closet after 7 days.  Instead, I found new facets to Muscs Kublai Khan and even learned that I can get away with it in more situations that I would have thought.  I might not wear it tomorrow, but I think I’ll be wearing it more often.

Watch out world…

March says: Hehe, I wonder how many people chose something by Uncle Serge?  I’ll find out today.

When I look back at the only three scents I can remember wearing as “signatures” they are Paris, Poison, and Coco.  Okay, sue me, even then I liked big scents, and I still love those in particular.  I already said in my personal challenge post to you that I felt like I had to own this and not go with something wussy or wallpaper-ish.  As I was sampling and eliminating possible choices for the challenge, I realized I kept putting on the same scent afterward.  That scent was:  Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger.  As my girls say, duh.  FdO is perfect for this  – it’s big, it’s bold, it’s a little strange with that sweaty topnote, and from my earliest days of perfume obsession I’ve had a soft spot for orange, as long as it’s not too soapy. (I like mine very juicy or more indolic, and neroli is often combined with jasmine for just that reason.)  Once you get past the clean-scrubbed Florida-orange-juice iconography, or fresh-smelling babies in much of Yurrup (where neroli is apparently associated with baby product the way the smell of talc is here) orange blossom is kind of … gamey.

Days one through four were a breeze.  I actually liked not having to choose, although I had to resist opening any perfume packages that showed up, worried about my lack of self-control.   I had to work around my yoga schedule, but since I go in the mornings I just waited and put it on afterward.

The major thing I noticed is that FdO shows different faces to me.  It always takes about 60 seconds for that Frito-note to emerge.   The first time (okay the first fifteen times) I ever smelled it I was repelled.  Then … well, you know how it goes.  I’ve worked through at least two small decants, plus those manufacturers sprays.  Some days that sweat-note seems huge to me, and lasts and lasts.   I love those days.  To me it’s akin to really digging the camphor in Tubereuse Criminy; just not the same without it, ya know?  Some days, though, the sweat seemed muted, and that made me sad, even though I still like the indolic, sweet (but not nauseatingly so) orange blossom drydown.  Like everything else, Fleurs d’Oranger lasts forever on me, and beyond forever on my clothing.  I can detect FdO weeks later on my sweaters, a scent-ghost I find inexpressibly cheerful in dark February.

And then (cue the music from Jaws) – something terrible happened.  On day five, I put it on and – nothing.  Only the faintest ghost of itself, the halo outline of neroli without any of the sucker-punch.  I tried my newly-arrived partial bottle, and … again, some sweet neroli at half-strength, and no sweat.  Like an Eau Legere.  Ohnoes!  I have made myself anosmic!  I would really like a pic of my daughters’ faces when I told them I couldn’t smell it, because I am sure others could  — probably down to the end of my street.  Bringing home another realization – this must be what happens to people who drown themselves in their signature scents (Giorgio!  Angel!  Kouros!) until the rest of us are begging for mercy.  I bet they can’t smell it any more.

I went to the local BlueMercury to try their bottle and … nope.  No sweat, half an orange.  Sadface.  We walked across the street to console ourselves with cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake (breakfast of champions, my friends… the girls were with me because we were on the way home from the dentist.  Savor the irony, which in this case tasted like strawberry lava fudge.)

So I guess I’m going to have to look elsewhere for my perfume thrills for a few days.  I hope my anosmia fades, because I would really miss FdO.

Alrighty.  Your turn!

  • Carla says:

    I’m also a Nigella fan. So she put vanilla behind her ears. I didn’t see that episode. I tried wearing vanilla as a scent when I was 13 or so. My mom thought I was nuts when she found a vanilla extract bottle on my dresser. Nigella said she wears Chanel Coco and I think that is a perfect signature scent for her. Me, I didn’t rise to the challenge, no signature scent!

    • March says:

      She wears Coco?!?! I love her just that much more.

    • sweetlife says:

      OMG–where did you hear that about Nigella and Coco? Must verify. Coco, for me, is on the shortlist of things that I think of as my “signatures,” even when I don’t wear them for long periods of time. They’re the things I go home to…

      • Carla says:

        Isn’t Coco just perfect for Nigella? Something about the foody decadence, with the raisin and all. I think Angie at NST once wrote about how Coco is a scent for Venice (and Shalimar is India?) and I know Nigella loves Venice. Of course, if I had her money, I’d have a much larger perfume collection.

        • Mary says:

          Hey there Carla– I just wanted you to know– between March’s rtecommendation, and this comment, I knew I needed to try some Coco– and out of good luck, a small previously owned bottle of Coco parfum came to me by way of a friend. We are having unseasonably warm weather here in the bay area, so it bloomed on my skin, and now I’m in the creamiest, most delicious drydown. Venice indeed– thanks so much!:)>-

          • March says:

            Isn’t it gorgeous? Coco back in The Day used to be better (IMO) in the EdT or EdP or whatever it was … a bit thin now. I like to layer it and the parfum.

          • Mary says:

            It truly is gorgeous. I’m not sure how old my parfum actually is. I’ll make it my project to seek out the edp and adt for comparison. Thanks again for the recommendation:)>-

    • sweetlife says:

      Argh, my previous comment didn’t appear–I’d said:

      OMG–where did you hear that? Must verify. Coco is one of the short list of perfumes I consider my “signatures” even when I don’t wear them all the time…

  • Teri says:

    Sorry, I’m dreadfully late to the party, I know, but I had a last minute business trip and just got home this morning.

    I let fate make my fragrance choice — the first package arriving from an ebay splurge would be what I’d wear for the week. And that was Molinard de Molinard, and I think fate did well by me. This is a scent I’ve noticed occasionally over the years, but never purchased or wore. After immersing myself in it for a week, I’m wishing I’d taken the plunge sooner.

    This is a complex enough scent that it kept me interested for the bulk of the week. But like many of you, I noticed it took more and more spritzes each day to be noticeable. The guys in my office are so used to sticking their heads in to sniff my SOTD,though, that I think a few were disappointed with the lack of variety!

    End result? Yes, I’ll definitely wear M de M again. I grew to appreciate its many facets during the week of wear. But it will probably be a month or so before I’ll want it again.

  • Momlady says:

    Yes!Emeraude! Haven’t worn that in years..(cuz they trashed it)…and at the time I didn’t realize the bottle I had was a treasure…but,oh, how I loved it. Or should I say, it loved me.*sad moment of silence* Thank you.

    • March says:

      Nobody will thank me for typing this, but if you have a little patience/luck on eBay there are bottles on there constantly, because it’s been around for so long. Also it’s the sort of thing that turns up at junk shops for the same reason.

      • Ann N. says:

        Oh March, you Evil-bay enabler, you!! But you’re right — wicked though it is, sometimes it’s a good place to find vintage gems.

        • Mals86 says:

          Ebay habben veh good to mee. ‘Specially with the vintage Emeraude (my fave is the parfum de toilette) – probably because it was fairly inexpensive, and so there are a gazillion bottles still in their original boxes coming to light when people go through their great-aunt’s stuff…

          • Ann N. says:

            Yep, Mals, me, too. And I must confess I’m on there just about every day. Got a gorgeous brass piano lamp for the DH on there for a steal (which in piano/lighting stores, if they even had them, were going for $100 plus). Need to find me a little vintage Emeraude and revisit its joys, but I’m a little scared of getting a “bad” bottle.

          • Louise says:

            I’ve gotten great things on ebay-vintage Mitsouko, Scandal, oddball loves (Toujours Moi) at not-so-much-money. The trick for me is to look in odd places, and from unexpected dealers (antique sellers are great). Of course, there have been some sour bottles, and one notable fake.

            All worth it!

          • Musette says:

            I found my bestest Emeraude yet at an antique mall in Peoria, tucked behind some vintage bath slippers or something….$3! Parfum. yum

            xo >-)

  • Joe says:

    Oh noes! I thought you’d be posting this on Monday night/Tuesday morning. I missed it! I’ll try to catch up on reading in the next day or so.

    Anyway, I wore my new decant of Penhaligon’s Zizonia, which I had sampled enough to know I loved. Started on a Wednesday… wore it faithfully three days to work… then screwed up on the weekend and just reached for some other decants without thinking. Decided, “oh well, I guess I’ll be on break for the weekend.” I then wore Ziz for another two full work days on Monday & Tuesday.

    So, I didn’t quite fulfill the experiment’s mission, but I did enjoy wearing the scent all of those days… and wearing it several days in a row really DID make me appreciate it and revel in nuances of the notes. I love this scent. It’s still new to me, but it’s perfect for fall weather… nice and spicy with a hint of something orange. It smells like fall colors. Highly recommended. One of the reasons I didn’t go on wearing it is that we started having a late heatwave, and it really was a bit too much for 85-plus-degree weather.

    Serge Fleurs d’Oranger seems like a good one, though I only know it from a teeny sample. I know I could easily wear Le Labo Fleur d’Orange many days in a row… it’s so yummy and likeable.

    But MKK???! With a Los Angeles heatwave ramping up? WHOO WHEE, brother Tom! You done lost your skanky mind!

    • March says:

      No seriously though, the skank in the heatwave? Totally works. I’ve done this in DC. It seems counterintuitive to put something like that on when it’s busting the upper 90s (and here we have the humidity) but … yeah, man. Bal a Versailles in a heatwave is all kinds of awesome, even if other people look at me funny. Jicky too. I first fell in love with CB Musk Reinvention when it was (literally) 103 in New York.

      I’ve not tried the Penhaligons but they are doing some interesting things now for sure.

    • Tom says:

      The trick is to stay in air conditioning.

      But really, I think Uncle Serge meant us to wear some of his in the heat. I find that ones like Arabie are a lot stronger when it’s cold. :d

      • Joe says:

        Haha… I’ll admit that I have a hard time with MKK anyway, so I’m not the best judge. But I can definitely rock some heavy hitters in the heat. It’s kind of fun to see how they perform, but I usually try these experiments on the weekends.

        Arabie sounds amazing in heat (er… that sounds weird, but you know what I mean). I like a good spritz or two of Ubar when it’s in the 90s.

        • Musette says:

          I think it’s like the oudhs, at least for me – they do best in extreme heat (I absolutely adore Tribute in 90+F). Now that’s MY opinion – who knows what folks who have to come near me might think…/:)

          xo >-)

  • Furriner says:

    Sorry for the late post. I was really bushed last night.

    So I wore Dzing! for the challenge. Luckily, I didn’t get sick of it all week. By the third day, it seemed to feel stronger on me. I was more aware of the smell than at the beginning. On day seven, though, I couldn’t smell it at all. Maybe I was just used to it.

    The challenge went ok by me. Towards the end of the week, though, I was itchy to test things! At midnight after the seventh day… I put something else on. I had ordered a bottle of Smell Bent’s One, which I had felt was similar to Dzing! In comparison, it felt very loud! More vanilla-y than Dzing!, less complex, none of the leather. Not sure it really was loud, or that it was just something different.

    I wore Zino for years every day. I used to say I imagine I smell like Zino when I wear no fragrance. After the week of Dzing!, I kind of can understand why. Wearing the same thing every day seems to become more a part of you. I guess that is why it’s called a signature scent, huh?

    I don’t think I want to do this again, though, for a while.

    • March says:

      No, not going to make anyone do this again any time soon. Frankly I am stunned by how many of us couldn’t smell the darn things toward the end.

    • Mals86 says:

      I thought One was a lot like Dzing! too – but where you get leather, I get animal hide/fur/dung, and it’s not really wearable for me. My husband likes Dzing! too, and while I’m all “Don’t you smell manure in there, cowboy?” he just shrugs and says, nope: sawdust and vanilla.

  • Heather B says:

    I wore Gres Cabaret all week,and only cheated by testing Lolita Lempicka on my hand one evening. I think its a perfect fall scent, good for Indian Summer and chilly weather. I craved a honey and/or jasmine scent toward the end of the week as the weather got colder, but I stood my ground. I could have a handful of “signature” scents- a few things I wear the most out off- but never one.

    • March says:

      Yummy, Cabaret! And those honey scents are grand this time of year, aren’t they? For those of us who like honey and don’t get 100% urine… I do wonder whether most of us on here could boil it down to ten? We’ve done that as a game. It’s possible.

  • cathleen56 says:

    I wore Fracas, which I hadn’t planned on picking, but that’s what I had on the day this challenge started. What did I learn? to see it as a simple fragrance suitable for everyday, not a diva at all. I accomplished this by putting on only one — yes, one! — spray on my midsection, before salllying forth for the day. On the days that I didn’t feel like wearing any scent, I wore nothing, which is not unusual for me. What did I discover? That Fracas has a dry, herbal note (chamomile, maybe?) that cuts the fat of the tuberose very nicely.

    • March says:

      Really? Dry herbal note? Hmmmm…. and one spray to the midsection sounds about right to me. 🙂 Or even lower (the left knee?) Even with one walk-through spray I found overwhelming.

      • Louise says:

        I love Fracs sprayed…on others. It’s lovely on my sis, for example. On me…not. But carnal flower is my one true tubey love.

    • Musette says:

      Ooooh! I am Mme Fracas and have NEVER noticed a dry, herbal note. I am going to reinvestigate. Maybe a few days choking the life out of my fellow humans will reveal it to moi.

      Where you is, btw? Maybe I can come sit by you! I’ll bet you smell divine!

      xo >-)

      • cathleen56 says:

        I’m in Washington, same as March and Louise. I swear, there’s a little dry sparkle in there I never noticed before, and that totally saves Fracas for me — chamomile? cumin?

  • Darryl says:

    This is disappointing, but I gave up halfway through the week. Angel (!) is just not an everyday scent for me – I get occasional cravings for it that are more than satisfied with one or two wearings a week. I also suffered some anosmia due to overuse, and when you become anosmic to Angel, it’s time to pack it in and go home, no?

    I did actually discover facets of Angel’s personality that I hadn’t noticed before. The more I wore it, the weirder it seemed – I finally noticed that oft-mentioned menthol/camphor haze that I could never detect under the mound of caramel and pineapple. It struck me as less of a plush, gourmand comfort scent and more of a science experiment with each passing day.

    • March says:

      Anosmic to Angel?

      I REST MY CASE. This is why we should never wear signature scents — and why we should restrict the sale of Angel. 8-x 😉 I myself never get PAST that menthol haze. That science-experiment vibe is why I can never figure out why people love it so much. It’s as weird as if everyone on the train decided to wear Tubereuse Criminalle.

    • nozknoz says:

      Interesting! I think you did well to get that far with Angel. Your observations make me want to really wear it for a couple of days and see what all the fuss is about.

  • Fragrant Witch says:

    I managed my seven days but I am glad to see the back of them! I started on Halloween and went with my Halloween scent, the melancholy and dark Czech and Speake 88. Rose and incense hurrah! By Day 3 less hurrah, by Day 7 and three people gently asking if i had been to a funeral, a complete lack of hurrah. Too. Much. Rose. And. Lily – gack! It seems I went anosmic to the dark incensey bit. So, on Day 8 woke up showered with my REN Neroli and Grapefruit Shower Gel and sprayed myself liberally with Calyx. MUCH Better. Thanks for the challenge though, March!

    • March says:

      We have all learned from this that a decreased ability to smell what we’re wearing is likely. Which is scary given some of what we’re wearing! :d

  • Aparatchick says:

    I made it to Day 4 wearing the elegant but easy-wearing Ralph Lauren Safari. What did I learn? They don’t make ’em like they used to. And they never will again what with oakmoss being on IFRA’s hitlist. Gosh this was just lovely; crisp and classic and long-lasting. My favorite chypre.

    I would have made it the entire week if it hadn’t been that the weather turned from 85 to 62 in one day. Yippee! We don’t get much in the way of cool weather here, so when we do, I want to be free to spray my heavy hitters with abandon. So Day 5 was Jungle l’elephant, Day 6 Tabac Aurea, Day 7 Ambre Russe.

  • Ms.Christian says:

    Just finished reading the comments.

    I was feeling very virtuous after the challenge, patting myself on the back for “doing so well” with my choice, but I realized I was burning incense like a fiend all that week. I am lucky enough to be able to discreetly burn incense in my office at work, though I confine myself to the more delicate Japanese blends.

    My incense collection is vast (Tibetan, Indian, Japanese-and so on), and like a chain smoker, as soon as one stick was spent, I was lighting something else. Even had the incense warmer out, heating up bits of amber, frankincense, copal.


    • March says:

      Cheater cheater (~~) eater…. sorry, I just love that lil guy so much and he never makes it in here. I’m glad you didn’t smoke everyone else out!

    • Masha says:

      Oooo, this weekend, we were burning copal, too! Wow! That stuff is powerful!

  • florentina says:

    i was inspired by the half of your post on Annick Goutal’s Songes March, and went to check out my Goutal stock…

    I thought of Petite Cherie as I hadn’t worn it in a long time but realized it would be too cloying, esp as my only go to scent for 7 days… idem for Ce soir ou jamais…

    I have a small amount of eau du ciel left but realized there was probably not a week’s worth and I don’t love it as much as I used too… Folavril (my first Goutal purchase) seemed like the perfect choice but again, too little left in bottle for a week… so I decided on eau de Charlotte which definitely recalls aspects of Folavril but is lovely in itself. I enjoyed it and still adore it but felt I had to keep spraying more and more to get same enjoyment… anosmia syndrome hits again!

    Still, I felt very deprived, -enter major withdrawal here- not being able to wear anything else or to satisfy my perfume smelling habit so I compensated by reading more about perfume and buying all kinds of perfume on the net that I now cannot wait to receive… So all in all not so great budget wise… but an interesting experiment…I finish challenge tonight and cannot wait until tomorrow am to be able to pick something new… I wonder if everything will smell even better now…

    • March says:

      Gosh I love the whole area of AG you focused on, Folavril, Charlotte, Ciel. So sad to be anosmic. Ruh roh what did you buy?!

  • Austenfan says:

    I had a very uneventful week with vintage Nina by Nina Ricci. I didn’t find it hard to stick to just one scent. I also found it harder to detect it on myself after wearing it a few days. In the good old days when I had maybe only 2 bottles of perfume I would mostly wear Paris YSL. I never had any problem smelling that one! I still love my Nina though.
    It was nice to wear another scent today. SOTD was Trésor. I wanted something loud after smelling so very ladylike and civilized for a week. Tomorrow will be a Serge. Probably TC.

    Nice to see you here Tom. I have read all your Goutal posts on PST. It’s my favourite perfume house.

    • March says:

      It’s official, the anosmia was pretty widespread. I’m surprised by this, seriously. Although you are right, if we become anosmic to YSL Paris, yikes!

  • helenviolette says:

    Wellllll- I tried twice and failed. I started out with Le Labo Iris and lasted 4 days- but I bumped into Halloween and did not want to wear it to a costume party (dressed as the Morton Salt Girl- I wore Like This instead ;)- Then I try-tried again with Mythique- which was gorgeous and- I could have made it all seven days that time- and DID wear it all seven days, but I cheated and sampled some stuff and wore some Guiac for part of a day…Mythique is a lovely wallpaper sort of scent for sure.

    Props to Tom for sticking out a week with MKK! And I wonder how many people picked stuff that was new to their perfume wardrobe? I did and I think that made it a bit easier to keep the attraction….

    • March says:

      You are a scent floozy, my dear! Sounds like a mix of the familiar and the new … I picked something familiar because I was worried I’d wind up with something I loathed.

  • tammy says:

    And how lovely to get a double dose of Tom! You’ve been cracking me up lately with your reviews at PST!

  • tammy says:

    Ironically, having decided I would never be able to stick with the challenge, I ended up wearing Joy for almost a week straight, til the Dreaded Heat Wave struck SoCal.

    I was wearing the edp, which is more jasmine than rose to my nose, and once the heat set in, I smelled like a dirty diaper left in the parking lot. (Something one sees a lot here in LA, at least in my little part of the metropolis.)

    When it got over 90 degrees, I just opted for some Nantucket Briar scented talc.

    Once it got over 100, I called in sick and augmented the talc with strawberry margaritas.

    • March says:

      hur hur Joy smells soooooooooo ripe. Have always been amused it’s a “proper” scent. Dirty diapers is right. Sira des Indes is pretty ripe too.

    • Aparatchick says:

      Tammy, sometimes strawberry margaritas are only sane option. :d

  • sweetlife says:

    And meant to say–nice to see you over here, Tom!

  • sweetlife says:

    Oh I love hearing everyone’s picks and the stories of their week!

    This challenge really highlighted how much perfume has become a part of my everyday fashioning of myself. It is easier for me to wear nothing than to wear something that feels wrong for that day, so I thought I wouldn’t participate. But at the last minute, I was wearing Amoureuse, a scent I wear rarely, and sparingly, and thought–oh heck, why not give it a try. So I did. For three days. And on the third day I was felled by allergies and came down with a terrible sinus headache which went on for the next three days. I didn’t dare wear anything–didn’t want to aggravate my already beleaguered nose, and didn’t want to associate any of my lovelies with pain.

    I do count the fourth day, though, since I could still smell traces of the lovely Amoureuse all through that day. It has a nuclear half-life, that one.

    You know, this challenge also made me appreciate the usual custom of a signature scent that is saved for special occasions. I’m always telling women not to do that–enjoy yourself! Live large! But now I can see how wearing that special fragrance more rarely means: a) you get to keep smelling it and b) you strengthen the relationship between “specialness” and that scent–when you put it on you become the person you were the last time you were dressed up and excited for a night out… Not such a bad thing!

    • March says:

      AHA!!! We sucked you in!! For three days anyway. I am so sorry about the terrible headache. It seems like that time of year.

      The Big Night Out … ya know, that tends to be Mitsouko for me, unsurprisingly. But then there’s something wonderful about putting Mitsy on to go run errands and feel like I’ve carried some of its wack-evening-chic into my day. 😡

      • sweetlife says:

        Yes, yes, I totally agree with you, M, and love to do that, too. To be secretly or invisibly a “lady” in my sloppy clothes, or at the grocery store. But I wonder if it takes a scent with a history and bones like Mitsouko to keep it’s specialness no matter when we wear it.

        FWIW, the first time I tried Misty in vintage parfum, my reaction was: “Oh. Oh THIS. This I could wear everyday for the rest of my life. Why does everyone think it’s so difficult?” Weirdly, I can now wear the EDP and even the EDT, though not as easily…

        • March says:

          I think … yes. Or something sort of faux-retro. It has to be a Lady Scent for me. Rochas Femme vintage does this as well. And vintage Jolie Madame, depending. But mostly Mitsouko.

          I loved Mitsy from the start, even the crap EDT five years ago. But the parfum is stunning, and the EDP might be my favorite middle ground — I like its roughness. I do think starting with the parfum, as in Shalimar, helps make that transition.

      • Jillie says:

        March, you just reminded me of the day I liberally sprayed myself with Lancome’s Mille en une Roses before going to the dump because I had got fed up with it and wanted to hurry and finish the bottle (I am now regretting this, ‘cos in fact I do like it, and now you can’t get it or it is too expensive!). Any way, it made my trip to the smelly dump much more palatable, and one of the workers complimented me on how great I smelled and asked me for a date!

  • monkeytoe says:

    I enjoyed my 8-day fling with Yatagan. I am not sure that it would be my signature scent, if I were ever to have one, but t never became too much or unpleasant or boring. One of the amazing things was smelling it in relationship to all of the other smells in my daily life. Yatagan smells great with the smell of cranberry ginger ale!

    I made one mistake, though. I have a bottle of Caldey Island Lavender in my gym locker and I sprayed it on apres- shower without thinking on Wednesday. Oops!

    • March says:

      lol eight days of YATAGAN?!?! That’s like … what. Eight days of Kouros. Here, let me give you a ^:)^ Much more intense than MKK.

    • nozknoz says:

      Monkeytoe, now I’m dying to try Yatagan and cranberry ginger ale – it sounds weirdly amazing!

  • Scentred says:

    Nice aunt! I am an auntless orphan (no uncles either). Would she adopt me?

  • Sariah says:

    Love your choices of MKK and FdO.

    I was supposed to wear Chergui, but I didn’t wear it a single time last week. Kinda like eating a block of cheese on the first day of a new diet.

    I threw the challenge out the window because my aunt in Vancouver lent me her box of Frederic Malle fragranges for the week – the collection of 10 ml bottles. It would have been insane for me not to test them all properly that week, being able to spray with abandon instead of dabbing from vials which is the way I’d tested many of them before.

    I need to make it up to Chergui.

  • Jen says:

    I picked the VS Dream Angels Divine. I too had the thing where I lost the scent of it about day four, and I realized that while I liked the initial scent, the drydown got a little too powdery for me. Also, it did NOT last long. Like four hours max. On the other hand, my new decant of AG Songes lasted nearly two freaking days!!!! Interesting to read what you all picked and your experiences.

  • Rappleyea says:

    I’m bravely posting to report my failure. I chose to wear a scent that I’m testing for Laurie at SSS. It’s beautiful and fairly easy to wear so I thought it would be no problem, and it would help me to get to know it better.

    Monday afternoon I had a meeting with my boss (aka She Who Must Not Be Named, or The Devil Wears Prada) and was told that we are firing an employee and that I’ll be taking over some of her duties. And by the way, I’ll now be working on Friday (I take Friday to do massage and energy work, although I end up doing more than a full time job in the four days), AND I’ll be taking a pay cut! I’m in the Thoroughbred business, which is like being on the Titanic right now. Weekend before last, someone posted on the Lazy Poll on NST that if Monday was a good day, they wore that scent all week as their “lucky” scent. Well, after the Monday I had, I certainly wasn’t going to tempt fate and wear that scent all week!

    Welcome Tom! I love your stuff on PST.

  • DinaC says:

    Welcome to the Posse, Tom. I’m glad to be reading your posts here. :-) Glad your week with MKK went well.

    I spent Monday through Sunday wearing Bois des Iles, a favorite of mine. I enjoyed it almost every day. By Thursday, I was vaguely tired of wearing it, and having a harder time smelling it on myself. However, if I sniffed my sweater lapel or the ends of my hair, I could smell it again. Also, I was craving something lighter, like iris, in the middle of the week, but I held firm.

    Today, first day post-Challenge, I spritzed Infusion d’Iris, then sampled some Gucci No. 3 and some SL Bas de Soie all at the same time! :-) Craziness! I’m like a kid in the candy store.

    It was a fun challenge, and I’m glad to play along. It makes me wonder how in the world I ever went for 10+ years wearing just Chanel No. 19!

  • Isa says:

    I’ve been wearing Sarah Horowitz Perfect Veil for seven days and it hasn’t been so difficult after all :)
    I think I made a good choice for the Signature Scent Challenge because Perfect Veil is a very comfortable and versatile musk.
    I have missed some of my fragrances. One day I longed to wear some citrus scent but I resisted LOL

    I have missed trying my new samples too, and testing perfumes in shops.

    Anyway, challenge overcome!

    • March says:

      … and over here, we ran back in the other direction, toward the musks, which seem so warm and cuddly and soothing. And back to testing for other posts.

  • Disteza says:

    SO I decided I was going to go with the one scent of which I have 1) a full bottle and 2)no friggin’ idea why I bought it: Rose Barbare. I’ve been digging the recent Maison Kurkdjian releases, and I figured Rose Barbare is not shy and is well-composed, so why not. Alas, I had the week from hell at work, so I spent very little time evaluating the ‘rose beast’ that had lit upon my wrists. Occasionally it would waft at my and I’d think various things about it, but sadly, I still don’t think much of it other than “SWEET” and “ROSE!!!” On the plus side, I didn’t spend 15 minutes picking out a perfume every morning, and I’ve put a dent in the FB! I was never so happy to drench myself in my new decant of Amouage Memoir though; she was everything I had been missing for a week and then some.

    • sweetlife says:

      Well if you ever decide you’re done with it you can send it my way!

    • Ann N. says:

      Hi Disteza, I, too, am loving the Amouage Memoir. That’s some seriously good juice!

      • Disteza says:

        Yes, and the problem now comes down to whether I prefer the men’s or the women’s, or if I throw my hands up in despair and get them both and pass off the men’s as an X-mas gift for the SO. If only I hadn’t already gotten him that bottle of Bell’Antonio, which is lovely, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t possibly get him TWO FB’s for X-mas without it being seriously suspect.

        • Ann N. says:

          Hmmm … tough decision. Any way you could put the already purchased bottle on hold for an upcoming birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s Day, etc.? I have not tried the men’s Memoir; will have to give that a go as well.

        • March says:

          Oh, you should do both. They’re on to you anyway. 🙂

  • Nava says:

    Welcome aboard Tom!

    I was oblivious to the scent challenge, but I admire your SoCal aplomb by picking MKK and wearing it in the heat. You’ve got your place here, for sure!

  • jirish says:

    Well I made it through my week without much trouble. I thought I was being adventurous in picking something like Fireside Intense, but Tom has put me to shame with his MKK. FI is a long-time favorite of mine, so in one sense it was not too risky, but it is also my armor scent, what I wear when I need to feel bullet-proof. So I was concerned that it might begin to lose that special quality for me. It did start to seem a little more cuddly than armor-plated as the week went on. I did have some issues with anosmia. It wasn’t that I couldn’t smell it at all. If I brought my wrist to my nose, it was still there, but over the week it seemed that my nose was tuning it out quicker. I also noticed that I was also paying more attention to, and enjoying more, other odors in the environment. As far as other dimensions of the scent, FI did begin to show some sweeter aspects than I had noticed before, but I could have been scent-hallucinating from the repetition of just one scent! What I missed the most was the opportunity to sample.

    • March says:

      And another case of anosmia. This clinches it, people, we should NOT be wearing the same scents day after day. It’s bad for our health. 😉 I’m interested to see that you too noticed other odors in the environment.

  • Scentred says:

    I lasted most of the week, but did fall off the wagon a few times. Even while participating, I wasn’t sure I wanted to join the party. Perfume is my one thing in my life that is for me and for pure enjoyment. I resisted the idea of imposing rules and requirements to my perfume wearing – seemed counter-intuitive for something I do for pleasure. In the end, I was glad I did.
    I chose Etro Shaal Nur. I have the Shaal Nur body milk and a mid-sized decant.  It is my favorite sleep scent and that is primarily when I wore it. I was amazed to discover that while I had been sleeping, it took many beautiful twists and turns from beginning to end that I had never sufficiently explored or appreciated. I was also surprised to see that with the layering of the lotion and EDT, I had very good lasting power – most of the day.
    But I did cheat. One night I spritzed some Bois des Iles as much as a show of rebellion, than anything else. Another night I couldn’t help but spritz my newly acquired Cuir de Russie which has captured my heart and cried out to be worn on a cool autumn night – how could I resist??
    At the end of the experiment I have decided that I need to get myself either a FB or goodly sized decant of Shaal Nur. It seems to just suit me and I now can’t imagine not having it in my perfume wardrobe. SOTD is Ormonde Woman, however I’m sure that before the week is out I will crawl back under the soothing shawl of Shaal.

    • March says:

      Shaal Nur, there’s a name I haven’t heard for awhile. We should do one of those posts about the early things we fell for, a sort of, whatever happened to x?

    • nozknoz says:

      Ah, love Shaal Nur but find it a bit fleeting. Need to find the body milk and see if that layering trick works for me, too! Thanks for the idea, Scentred!

  • Kate says:

    Hello Tom,

    not sure whether I am more impressed that you wore MKK (and still love it) or took a BUS in LA! Wow.

  • kathleen says:

    I, unintentionally, met the challenge. After hearing, that I’d never tried Shalimar (that’s right), a kind soul, sent me some vintage extract, and put me out of my misery. I liked it so much, that I hunted down some of my own, and also some vintage pdt. At the same time, my pre-ordered, bottle of Shalimar Ode a la Vanille, finally made an appearance. I wore them all week. Simply because I wanted to. I enjoyed every minute with them.

    • zazie says:

      Shalimar is doing it to me, too…
      The funny thing is that I’ve never been wild about the EDP/EDT, I mean, I liked them, but I was not: “nothing else compares”.
      I actually used to find the top notes a bit jarring.
      But the extrait, ooooooohhhh…
      now I also love the edp much more!

    • March says:

      The Shalimar love on here! So astonishing. The extrait is fabulous, for sure. I still find the top of the others some rough road.

  • zeezee says:

    Back from the challenge, with mixed feelings. But at the very least, it was informative! I now know that I’m doomed to be eternally unfaithful to my scents. That’a comfort. :)

    Days 1-3 were alright. Ish. Voile d’Ambre isn’t exactly one of my favoured scents, as I find it a tad screechy up top and almost laundry-musky in its unpleasant nose-effect. I started spraying the seam of my trousers to avoid that headachy bit. That took the edge off and made me appreciate the scent more – I may do this in the future with any scent that is a bit much in the top notes.

    Days 4-5. Definitely started to numb to the scent. 1-2 sprays were almost overwhelming the first days, now I can (did once, out of curiosity) spray 4-5 times much closer to my nose and not feel drowned out. Can’t smell the top notes, it goes immediately to the base. Which is, incidentally, a bit boring. Very basic amber-vanilla, a bit too sweet. Smells nice, but boooooring. Did get compliments these days, must be from the overspraying. I never get compliment other days.
    Cue sampling itch.

    Days 6-7. I couldn’t contain myself and went out to score a few new samples. Didn’t smell ’em, but ready for this to be over. Attention wandering. Scent’s there, I suppose, but it’s entirely functional at this point, I’m not personally getting any enjoyment from it because I don’t smell it.

    I had expected to come out of the week hating VdA’s guts. I don’t, I may even start wearing it more often than before (which is to say: at all). I’m just convinced of its very ordinariness now.

    • March says:

      Laundry musks? Would have broken the deal for me on day 2. Or possibly day 1. You would have been forgiven for moving on! And lol on the very ordinariness. Sometimes those scents are useful too.

  • Mals86 says:

    Thanks for the Challenge, Miss March – it’s been interesting. (SCIENCE! She blinded me…) And lovely to see Tom here, too.

    I did actually pick a scent I’ve long considered my “secret signature,” although I only had one very small bottle of it in the past: vintage Emeraude. Which I lurrrve, and which feels like me in the most uncomplicated, natural way, but which I can go months without wearing (shame on me). Funny thing, it didn’t occur to me at first when we started discussing the project; I was thinking about other scents that I like and that I thought I could wear for a week. But when it came right down to picking, none of those seemed right.

    I actually wound up wearing Emeraude from two different bottles of PdT – one a splash bottle, and one that I poured into a small atomizer for convenience. Some days I sprayed, and the spray one has gone off a bit, with wonky topnotes and a drydown that reminds me very much of vintage Shalimar, with that smoky/powdery tar-vanilla. The splash bottle is in much better shape, with that shimmery citrus-vanilla thing that I love so much. No new revelations on this scent for me, no new aspects I’d missed before, but the quiet pleasure of it was really rewarding.

    I actually enjoyed the week, by and large, only feeling seriously rebellious on Day 6. I powered through the temptation to yank out Something Else, Anything Else (I AM MASTER OF MY DOMAIN!), but I was really getting the 7-year itch there for awhile on Saturday. And then I put on my Emeraude and the impulse went away, because it was really very nice. I never felt disappointed in the scent I chose, while I was actually smelling it – I didn’t have any anosmia issues, but then I apply lightly anyway – I just felt the occasional desire to smell something else.

    I did get hits of other fragrances: Late in the week, I sprayed a handkerchief with Coco Mlle and kept it by my laptop, as I was working on my NaNoWriMo novel (my main character wears that, and I wanted some inspiration), and as I mentioned above, there’s a ghost of Champagne de Bois haunting the vehicle I drive. But I didn’t actually cheat by wearing anything else!

    • Mals86 says:

      And the SOTD post-challenge is SL La Myrrhe, pretty much the biggest scented treat I could offer myself as a reward.

      • March says:

        It sounds like it all worked out wonderfully. 😡 Vintage Emeraude was a revelation to me, having smelled the craptastic drugstore stuff. I’d heard about it but tried it purely by accident (in a set with other Cotys.) One of those scent losses we could sit around weeping over. How great that you found something so “you” to wear.

  • Abyss says:

    I chose Bandit for this challenge. I started on the day it was announced (26th?) and it was only a couple of days ago that I started to really crave something sweeter (I went with 31 Rue Cambon). I only had one slip when my sample of Cuir Mauresque sample arrived and I put it on before I remembered that I wasn’t meant to be wearing other scents. Still, it’s leather, right? :p

    Anyway, a few observations. When the challenge was announced, I commented that I didn’t find it that difficult to wear the same scent for several days in a row and that my only issue with doing that was the almost inevitable anosmia that would start to set in after 3-4 days. Interestingly, I didn’t get completely anosmic to Bandit. I could still smell it for most of the day and the next day on my clothes.

    On the other hand, I discovered that it’s quite an unpredictable fragrance. Some days the green bitter top notes lasted for hours while on others I would be mostly getting the dirty, animalic base almost from the word go. I never knew which version of Bandit would decide to come out of the bottle on a given day which is perhaps why the challenge was not a boring, monotonous experience that one might have expected. In that sense, I think that I picked the right fragrance for the job.

    • March says:

      You got what one would hope for from Bandit — that interplay between the green/bitter and the base, and what a strange trip that is! So it seems like a worthy choice for the challenge.

  • Ann N. says:

    Hi March and welcome to Tom. Looking forward to reading your posts. You are a brave man to tackle MKK so boldly. I have never been courageous enough to try it; the civet I can manage,
    but I fear the cumin would be the death of me. It’s what keeps me from a great love affair with SL Fleurs de Oranger :(
    So envious of you, March, for being able to pull it off.
    As for the scent challenge, I did well for the first four days or so, sticking with a new fave, Amouage Memoir for women. I enjoyed its warm, slightly smoky-spicy vibe throughout and picked up little nuances here and there that I would’ve missed with random use. Could be FB-worthy for me once I am employed.
    Unfortunately, I was a bit unfaithful toward the end. (Hangs head in shame.) I had lunch with an old friend who I rarely get to see and had to try PG Cadjmere, Tam Dao and Corso Como with her.
    All very nice, but none worth falling off the wagon for. Thanks, March, for a fun challenge.
    Let’s do it again, but maybe for a shorter stretch next time.

    • March says:

      lol again on the falling off the wagon, you weren’t the only one, sister! Have no shame! And cumin is IMO one of the great love/hates among the perfumistas (I feel that way about camphor). But a week of Memoir sounds divine.

    • Tom says:

      I don’t get a lot of cumin or civet in MKK- there’s one that I’ve smelled that has more, but that’s a later post.

  • zazie says:

    Welcome Tom!
    I love your posts at PST, and your choice of a one-week-MKK-monogamous-relationship is something few could pull off. Bravo!
    Oh, and it is very strange what happened to March and some commenters above, I knew about perfume fatigue, but not that it would take place so quickly!
    For what concerns me, I’ve played the game without playing the game…does that count?
    I mean, in the past, no way no how, I wouldn’t have accepetd a full week without “enrichment”, smelling only one perfume would have seemed soooo boooring.
    Now, it’s more than four weeks that each and every single day I wear my recently purchased Shalimar extrait, which is so wonderfully leathery and plush…and smooth. And leathery (did I say that already? ;) ).

    I did occasionally wear attrape coeur and bois des iles, but there was always a drop of Shalimar in my routine, whether for a full day wear or an evening dab.
    So, rotating 3 perfumes in 4 weeks is almost like having a signature scent isn’t it?
    Do I (dis)qualify for the game?

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    I chose Fleur Oriental for the challenge as it is the perfume I have worn most over the past three or four years and I wanted something that would not drive me crazy.

    I began by thinking it was a little tame for a whole week. It does not have any dirt or civet or cumin.

    That said, I noticed whole new aspects of the scent. LT referred to it as a min-Habanita and I never got that, but there is a moment in the early development that is Habanita-like. I also got the somewhat masculine note I first noticed when I had a sample and dabbed it, but had not noticed since I got a FB and spray.

    The hardest part of the challenge was the first days, when I thought about what else I could have worn. Part of the reason I had a signature scent in the past was that there was almost nothing else I liked. Joining the perfume board at MUA opened my eyes to things I might try. I still wouldn’t want most of them, but even if one in twenty works, if you sample a lot, you will develop multiple choices. It also does not help that we read the blogs, log in to Basenotes or MUA or PoL and otherwise feed our habits.

    Today I am wearing- Shalimar, which I considered for the challenge. Tomorrow, Habanita.

    • March says:

      Well, there you have it. You picked a scent you already knew you liked, not something nutty, and you still got new bits out of it by trying it every day. This really speaks to me in terms of my reviews. It’s very hard (impossible?) for me to give that kind of attention to a scent most of the time.

  • Madea says:

    I was vexed because my bottle of Krishna musk didn’t arrive in time. The lady shipped it out three day late, and then the PO here on campus didn’t process it in time.

    Oh, well.

    • March says:

      Well, you can always play again, and you don’t even have to do 7 days.

      • Madea says:

        Well, I went to pick up my bottle. The PO opens at 8.30. I screwed up the time, so I was an hour early. I’ve got a serious headcold, by the way.

        Brought the package back to my room. The seller didn’t bother to use bubblewrap, but she did include a nice note about how much easier it be on her if I ordered off her website next time, rather than Ebay.

        The bottle had broken, with the top of the dauber stuck in the neck. I had the smash the top with pliers and decant into a spare bottle I have.

        The kicker? My nose is too stuffed up to smell.:((

  • Suzy Q says:

    I chose No. 5 Eau Premiere because I like it and because it’s complex enough to keep me interested. Like many of you I found the first three days easy. Something happened on Day Four: I lost that sense of *delight* that I get spraying on a scent I love. My one concession to the challenge was to wear less of the stuff than I would if I knew I could wear something different the following day. My hair stylist sprayed Moroccan Oil hairspray (nice!) on my hair before I could stop her, otherwise I was monogamous.

    Here are some things I noticed later in the week:

    1. My sense of smell grew stronger. I could smell my plastic bag of samples from across the room and through the dresser drawer. The lavender Whole Foods bath soap smelled better than usual.

    2. I detected something different in the opening of EP that reminded me of SSS Champagne de Bois thanks to Mals’s throw down of CdB and Bois des Isles awhile back.

    I didn’t get sick of EP but I’m glad to have some time off. Today’s scent will be Nuit de Tubereuse even though the weather’s not quite right for it. Thanks for the fun and informative challenge, March.

    • March says:

      That’s something others noticed too (as did I) — #1 — the sense of smell for other things becoming stronger. Not just perfumey things either, for me. I felt like I could smell Whole Foods itself better. And EP is such a pretty scent. It’s a good gift-list scent.

      Hey, what’s the wrong weather for NdT? Great in hot, great in cold…

    • Mals86 says:

      Oh, hey, Suzy – thanks for reading! I think you’re right, there’s a sort of mandarin orange-accented aldehyde, and I smell it in both EP and CdB.

      I got to craving Champagne de Bois during my Challenge, as there’s a waft from a mis-aimed spritz in my minivan, and when we had the heat on in the mornings, it was BIG.

      • Ann N. says:

        Hi Mals. I have a sample of CdB coming soon and can’t wait to try it. Haven’t smelled anything from Sonoma Scent Studio yet and am looking forward to sniffing several of her creations.

      • Suzy Q says:

        Oh that’s funny, Mals. I got hits of NdT all summer from the car a.c.
        Yes I’m one of your silent blog followers. Guess I just outted myself.:)

  • Marsha says:

    Hey Tom: Glad to see you here, and so glad you chose this scent. I have a decant of this from the Perfumed Court and have never worn it out of the house because of all the talk. My late DH also took a sniff and said *That is NOT nice!* However, his nose was sensitive in the extreme. I like it, however, and am now willing to venture forth bearing a couple of tiny dabs and see what happens.


    • March says:

      MKK … ya gotta try it, and Borneo, and Tubey. Just because. [-( MKK for what it’s worth if you wear a lot of musks becomes cuddlier over time.

    • Tom says:

      I never got the hype on this, nut on me it’s all cuddly, not crazy. Your mileage may vary..

  • Debbie R. says:

    Frapin 1270….but I only made it thru 3 or 4 days. It started to seem “thin” to me. I have too much of it to lose my love of it, so I stopped.

  • donanicola says:

    Am still trying to figure out what it was about the challenge that appealed to me. After all I approached it as I might a diet and I HATE diets. Anyway. Discipline. I chose Bulgari Black and luckily chose well since apart from one trangression (see later) I kept to the 7 days and wasn’t bored. I can’t say I noticed different facets or realised precisely why I like it so much but I do know I smelled good. And I received compliments on it. As a result of the experience I know for sure that I am not nor ever will be a one signature scent woman but if I had to be, this would be it. I always liked BB, now I love it, but in a quiet way if that makes sense. OK, the falling off the wagon bit? I met Denyse and Silvia for dinner Saturday night and Denyse had some of that new horsey Cartier (IV) – I couldn’t resist trying it and it is so wonderful that I don’t care one bit about breaking the challenge. Thanks March for the ride! :)

    • March says:

      Oh, so very jealous about dinner, that must have been lovely. And yes, you can have your scent-challenge diet and still break it for emergencies. Bulgari Black is an extraordinary scent. I don’t think it smells particularly great on me, but have complimented other women wearing it.

  • Louise says:

    Well, hey there Tom! Welcome ; )

    I failed at first attempt-3 days of UBV. I chose an “easy” scent-which I love, but which got, um, dull after a few days. At least I didn’t go anosmic on it…which was my fear.

    Then-I got on a Theme-without noticing it. Rose (just for you, Marchele!). Mostly Parfum Sacre in various interations-the pepper was just right for fall. Then Rose Poivre-more yummy pepper, and some skank (I have the older one). L’Arte di Gucci, um. Lyric for Men. Epic for dames. And one sweaty hiking day, with the previous nights Lyric still haunting.

    So-a fail, but a fun experiment with twists on a note.

    And today-back to UBV!

  • hongkongmom says:

    So great to read to read so many experiences and thank you March for challenging us and to you Patty for you very convincing sway to the left…and hyping things up! YAY to you both!
    I had wanted to choose fleur d”orange or Borneo, but after reading Julias post on NST, I just went for of my HG’s. Julia is undergoing chemo and the only thing that was keeping her happy was “ode” to you Julia

    Mostly I just enjoyed all of my Shalimar days…Only on the 4th day did I discover something new…That the drydown was reminding me of the drydown of teint de neige…I was trying to figure out if is was perhaps the chemical combo of the cotton t-shirt sleeve?washing powder?skin and perfume?
    I didn’t manage to get that smell again! Well yesterday the CEO wanted to smell armani prive eclat jamsin, as he “wanted to give and opinion as to whether to buy it for a gift for someone”(really GREAt deal on Strawberry) so I did spray a tiny spray at the back of my knee for him to sniff….I reallly did try not to smell it…but it wafted up… and floated right in there with Shalimar…it was lovely.

    I still love my vintage Shalimar…I don’t know what will be tmrws sotd, by day 4 I was dying to put on fleurd’orange but I think the biggest thing that I learned was not so much about the actual scent….but rather that:

    It showed me that I actually can do it…wear the same frag for 7 days…and that self control is GOOD for me..I might have to go through a few weeks of wearing different scents for lengthened periods…HEY MARCH…wanna set some more time spans…maybe 3 or 4 days per frag? My next choice may have to be something like MIEL DE BOIS

    • March says:

      Three or four days seems perfectly reasonable, and maybe better than seven, if we’re going to become anosmic. And, by the way, I was wearing MdB yesterday. Which I love. And have a bottle of. Which will last me 300 years.

      The Armani is very pretty, what did you decide?

      • hongkongmom says:

        we bought it as a gift, definately pretty and not so jasminiy, easier for me than a la muit….miele de bois will become a family heirloom..I don’t get the urine daughter and hubby definitely do (Ooh today I will wear it!)…maybe it will skip a generation and so on…until it is finally used up..yeah 300 to 3000 years!

        • March says:

          I don’t get the urine thing either, which I suppose is why we love it. The hurdle I had to clear was the almost furry-smelling opening, that kind of nasty hawthorne smell.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Hello Tom and welcome! Love that you chose such an, er, NOTICEABLE scent for the Challenge.

    I stuck with the full seven days but made the mistake (as it turns out) of trying to get to know a new acquisition, Shalimar Ode a la Vanille. I was eagerly awaiting interesting revelations, but…nothing. No development. Just a pretty little vanilla nothing. Well, at least now I know that’s all there is. Serv es me right for not choosing a “proper” Guerlain, anyway.

    After I’d done my penance, I got out the Bal and applied liberally. Ah, the skank. I felt so much happier in this one. Now, being a glutton for punishment, I’m doing a week of gourmands for PoL. I expect I will feel sick by the end of the week.

  • Marte says:

    I’ve never been a signature scent girl, and I never will be. But I really enjoyed my week with Chanel Bois des Iles. It was actually nice not having to choose a scent each morning, and I discovered new facets about the fragrance. I’m not sure I’ve even experienced the drydown of BdI before, always too eager to put on something new… I was surprised about the longevity, one spray on my wrist lasted for over 14 hours! This is the new Les Exclusifs EdT, and I know many people find it fleeting. Not so on me, apparently :)

    I didn’t get nose fatigue, but that’s probably because I cheated a little bit and tested some new things a couple of evenings. Only one or two samples, late at night, but I guess it made me able to still smell BdI after a week’s use.

    The best part about this challenge is that is has been very relaxing. I’ve seen the advantages of wearing and enjoying what I own and love, instead of constantly chasing my next crush. I used to wear 2-3 fragrances each day (morning, afternoon, sleep), but lately I’ve been caught in a sampling frenzy. Always putting on something new, usually 6-8 things at once. Spending more time with the scents I’m wearing or sampling has been a real eye opener, and I feel like I’ve reset/retuned my nose. I think I’m going to limit my sampling to certain days, to be able to wear the perfumes I already own for longer periods of time. Or at least only test one or two at the same time :)

    And I love Bois des Iles more than ever, which is good, since I have a HUGE bottle of it. It’s warm and elegant and perfect for most occasions. I’m going to try this again another time, with a more challenging scent. But right now I’m enjoying wearing whatever I want! SOTD is L’Artisan Safran Troublant.

    • March says:

      That drydown is stunning, isn’t it? Isn’t it?!? And you never get to smell it because you’re wearing three other things by then, right? FWIW I have a decant of that EDT and it lasts forever on me as well.

      Safran Troublant is a fun one, you never see that mentioned anywhere.

  • Daniele says:

    I chose to wear Fille en Aiguilles by dear old Uncle Serge for a week. I have a small decant and I knew that I really liked this scent, but sometimes when I wore it I found myself wondering if the pine in it smelled a little like cleaning products on me. This week changed my opinion of this scent; in fact I am now sure that I need a FB.

    To my nose, the pine is not screechy at all, but smoothly syrupy, and the scent manages to be jammy and resiny without losing the crispness that I associate with pine needles underfoot in the fall. I didn’t have one day where I felt regret after applying this, and I felt sure that I would.

    Tonight I wanted to wear one final spray and just for fun I layered it over Musc Ravageur oil. It smelled divine. The combination even got praise from the boyfriend — no mean feat, that.

    • March says:

      It is a winner, isn’t it? And definitely the deal seems to be made or broken over whether it smells like Pine-Sol or some other bathroom cleaner to you…

  • Bee says:

    I chose 31 rue Cambon, an easy choice since I had a busy schedule, with many business meetings and social events in the evenings and it was always appropriate. I didn’t develop anosmia, I didn’t have enlightening insights though. But I did get bored, frequent wine tasting compensated that a bit. I will still wear 31rC quite happily, but I’m relieved to be back to my bumble-bee habit of perfume hopping.

  • Eric says:

    I wish I could say I took The Challenge but I work 3 days at a disgusting job where I would only wear a perfume to kill my coworkers, so the point was kind of moot. I think maybe No 5 Eau Premiere would have made the cut, though. Perfect for any occasion. Or at least, 100ml left for any occasion. :D

    Also, I’m really falling hard for MKK. If only it was next on my To-Buy list. But really, I think I should wait for summer again.

  • Wordbird says:

    I’ll second the thanks to March for a kooky but inspired idea. And add my thanks to Tom for braving the infamous ‘camel driver’s armpit’ for a week. You’ve inspired me to dig out my sample and stop saving it for a day when I can skank alone – I shall now try skanking in public, but in moderation. :)

    I’m in the middle of moving house, so most of my ‘fumes have been packed away, leaving me a mere two dozen to choose from, and none of those anything I’d call my HG. Back in the day I wore Rive Gauche, Coco and Opium as ‘signatures’, and from reading everyone else’s reviews I wish I’d been more bold in my choice. Instead I went for a scent that I always have a little bottle of in my handbag because it has become my comfort scent in recent months: Ava Luxe’s gentle oakmoss Mousse de Chine. Since I wear this a lot, it wasn’t really any great leap to wear it every day for a week. As ever, it was softly radiant and well behaved, turning into a ‘your skin but better’ scent for me. It’s very snuggly. (Actually, I think I’d like this on a man as well.)

    I too got the ‘fading attention’ problem over the course of the week, but didn’t cave (apart from sniffing atomisers whenever I passed by) ,however, I did notice the smells of the other things I use much more – we have handcream everywhere in our house and I noticed I was both more likely to use it because I wasn’t so worried about distracting from my SOTD and also more interested and aware of the scents of each one. (They’re Molton Brown, so pretty heavily scented.) It kind of got me interested in layering, which is something I’ve never been good at.

    The thing I craved was a good skanky musk – I found myself reading and re-reading reviews of Kiehls’, Musc Ravageur, MKK etc etc. And although I was wearing spicies on Saturday for the Basenotes SnS, I did sneak a squirt of SJP’s Lovely Twilight into the crook of one elbow for a little personal muscathon. :)

  • Millicent says:

    So much fun to read all these stories, especially MKK all week — wow.

    I chose Silver Factory, which had a cool, metallic vibe that really appealed at the beginning of the week. Well, it turns out I had food poisoning for the first few days of the challenge, so that explains why some old favorites had made me queasy.

    Anyway, the Silver Factory wore surprisingly well, in that I didn’t grow to hate it by Day 3. I actually liked it all week! And in case there’s any doubt, incense is great in hot weather — it’s 90 here in Malaysia every day, and SF stayed cool.

    That said, I was bored and missed the variety. NO WAY I would ever want a signature scent, and my first post-challenge scent — let’s just call it a big overcorrection toward lushness — was Sa Majeste La Rose, with an extra squirt of Clair de Musc on top. Maybe MKK tomorrow…?

    • March says:

      Your scent correction is great (isn’t Clair de Musc wonderful to use that way?) Glad to hear you didn’t associate Silver Factory with food poisoning permanently.

  • Lucy says:

    I chose Guerlain’s Champs Elysees- my favourite is usually l’heure bleue and I didn’t want to spoil it forever. I wore CE heaps in the late nineties before I was a perfumista, and I loved it then (I only wore it for special occasions). My tastes have changed and I haven’t worn it for years- I wanted if my improved perfume knowledge would change my view, and to see if it was as bad as Luca Turin thinks.

    Day 1- Lovely- It’s a beautiful spring day, my perfume is light and happy, I have the day off work, the kids are at school, I smell great and life is good. The mimosa doesn’t smell cloying
    :) This is so pretty but not sexy at all.

    Day 2- It’s getting tedious. I’m doing nightshift in special care nursery, and CE is definitely a day scent. At 4am I smell of CE and baby vomit and I feel miserable.

    Day 3- It’s time to put on CE and I wish I’d chosen something else- It’s just too damn nice and optimistic, and doesn’t fit with the last 2 days of rain. After I’ve sprayed it on I just want to chew my arm off. Later on it starts to get warm, creamy and comforting.

    Day 4- Got up at 4pm – I have a headache and can’t face it. I put it on anyway- not too bad, the florals are less screechy and I’m starting to get more almond which I love. Still waiting for olfactory fatigue to rescue me, and this experiment is a chore. Bought a bottle muscs kublai kahn online to wear when this is all over- I need skankiness.

    Day 5- enjoying it more- the dry down is a lovely vanilla almond background scent and I can’t get the topnotes so much now. I actually reapplied! CE needs heat/humidity to work properly.

    Day 6- I just can’t go on- my bottle of Gucci Guilty arrived, and I don’t think I will get much more insight into CE.

  • Hi, Tom! Great to see you here, too. You are such a good fit–writing and temprament-wise– to the posse. Glad you are stepping in for Lee and hope he is well, too.

    It helped that I was in the Pacific northwest for most of the week. It was cool and rainy. When I left here it was warm and dry. I wore Vanille Duelle (Diptyque)for a week. I thought I’d die if I wore the same perfume for a week, but it was easier than I thought. My biggest shock was that the fragrance I had thought was the same on me any day varied hugely with my diet. I had a garlic-heavy meal one night, and the next day, the ‘duelle’ part was all smoke and smoulder. Once the garlic wore off, the vanilla came back. The last two days I was anosmic to it, but others asked what I was wearing. (Luckily, that was not the garlic days). When the time was up, I went without perfume for two days–almost unheard of for me. I did use body cream, though. I’ve used it before, and thought it was mild, but it was huge on me, maybe because I didn’t wear a scent, maybe because my nose was deaf to Vanilla Duelle (turns out you don’t want to use just the initials on this one.)

    • hongkongmom says:

      that is really interesting…i find mood effects the smell my perfume…i guess emotions will affect your body chemistry

    • March says:

      Weeeelll, you don’t have to use VD, because … honey, isn’t that thing called Eau Duelle? The new one right? I have it right here on my to-smell TPC list, just under the vetiver that doesn’t smell like vetiver…. Coeur de Frenchfail. Makes me want to try it with some garlic btw.

      We now have proof. There are several of us on here who ended up not being able to smell the scent after a few days. A perfect argument against this signature scent foolishness!

      • Ummm, Eau Duelle? [runs off to look at bottle. Laughs] Oh, yeah, that IS what it is called. Whew, then I guess I can call it ED. No, that’s a guy in a crew cut. But yes, I am not going to have a signature scent. Although I met a woman who was VERY proud of having worn her signature scent day and night for 10 YEARS. I wanted to tell her they had reformulated it, but bit my tongue. I’m sure she couldn’t smell it anyway.

        • March says:

          What a weird thing to brag about anyway. Not quite the same haircut or coat, but close… I’d brag about my custom parfum created just for me by Olivia Giacobetti.

    • Tom says:

      You know, I didn’t wear anything yesterday either?

  • Winifreida says:

    Well in consideration that it is Spring Downunder, and is extremely changeable weather-wise, I pulled out only big bottles of things I adore seasonally. I quickly discounted old favorites that I wore thru’ bottles of back in the day (Fidgi, Paris, L H’B), came awfully close to choosing vintage-ish Vent Vert or Vol de Nuit which I didn’t discover BitD, decided Cristalle was too tough and C Au Verte went too orange in pre-trialling…anyway I chose Iris Ganache. Its modern, sweet, Guerlain, iris springy, and my daughter gave it to me!
    I love it even more, and now see a powerful DNA of L H’B in there. It would definitely be one that I’d go thru’ bottles of and would have taken me back again and again the the Guerlain counter, probably FB all the Matieres.
    However I did break! First three days no probs, even resprayed as the day went on, needing that ‘hit’ (oops). Day four was the Melbourne Cup (horse race that stops the nation). I stayed in and watched it on TV but still sipped champagne, so the bottle of Messe de Minuet which arrived all the way from Germany just HAD to be tested to make sure it had mould. Then I gave in and did a few samples… However I was good the next day, actually sort of craved the familiar blast of I.Gan. Fell over day six which was monsoonal rain with Attrape Couer (note I stuck with Guerlain). Last day I.G’d in the morning again but had to try decant of Ormonde Woman, oh just adore, but then hit the sample pile in the evening, just craving that little hit to the synapses of something new and adventurous!
    This morning I doused down in T Diff Co Osmanthus which I suddenly realised I have neglected this spring.
    All in all I can certainly relate to the old signature scent days but I don’t think I can ever go back to just having Mitsouko sitting there waiting, always, and a couple of other daytime scents.
    I did end up a bit worried that I had made a significant dent in my bottle of Iris Ganache! :o

    • March says:

      Lol on the falling off the wagon, I know, I had bottles that arrived that I chucked in the corner and pretended weren’t there. Oddly, no binge afterward, but like you I can’t go back to a signature, especially if I’m not going to be able to smell it after a few days! Maybe that’s how I managed to put on Poison or Coco before 8 a.m. when I had to leave for the office… /:)

    • Rappleyea says:

      I only recently discovered Iris Ganache and have bought a bottle split. I love it, and find myself craving it as well!

      My Messe de Minuit decant arrived this weekend, and on me it’s incense and lots of sweet myrrh. I get none of the mold, dirt, graveyard, etc. that I’ve heard so much about. Like it though.

      And did you watch the Breeders Cup this weekend?

      • nozknoz says:

        Rapple, I don’t get mold, etc., in MdM either, just an underlying touch of stoniness that keeps it from feeling to cozy. I like wearing it to the office in December. It seems especially apt for the holiday season, and just formal enough that I don’t find it distracting.

      • March says:

        On my sister in law it smells like roses. No lie. It’s lovely.

  • Erin T says:

    Great to see you “here” Tom, and looking forward to your posts. March, thanks for the nutty idea. I picked 31 Rue Cambon. Not your most difficult scent (Tom, MKK, the cajones! I have no words…) but I thought the complexity of it would reward multiple wearings.

    Day 1 (Monday): Knew I was going to be out-of-town, so I brought a decant I made from my bottle back in 2007. Had it gone skunky? I didn’t remember the beginning being so musky/soapy/aldehyde’ish. Is this a facet of the bergamot note? Or is it blending on my wrist with leftover HdP Vamp NY? The drydown also has more patchouli than I remember, but it is beautifully smooth and balanced by a strangely sparkling iris.
    Day 2: Back at home with my huge bottle and the musk smell is still there. It bothers me a little, but seems to fade within the first fiften minutes. One hour in is the sweet spot: floral lemon-vanilla, with fizz and sparkle above and a tinge of bitterness below.
    Day 3: I put on a lot today, even though I think I’m still smelling it fine (no smell blindness). When I’m sampling, I put dabs or small sprays in a restricted area and huff the spot like crazy, but wearing one perfume, I just seem to want to waft around in a lazy cloud of the stuff. Loving it today.
    Day 4: The only stumble and its not my fault! M sprays my shoulder with vintage Patou Moment Supreme before I can stop her. I’ve been allowing her to wear this herself most days for the last 2 weeks (OF COURSE she would decide a rare $250/bottle perfume is for every day wear to Kindergarten.) Smells pretty darn wonderful and I wonder why I didn’t chose it instead. Forget to get my Cambon on until 9:00 at night. Enjoy it, but only the heart notes really catch my attention.
    Day 5: Today was the day when I started to question whether 7 days were really needed for me to get insight out of the experiment. Again, I only manage to get it on during the evening, but I put on about 7 sprays. Indifferent on me, but smells great on the baby’s head when he’s nursing!
    Day 6: Smells much more like a classic citrus chypre today. Have a small break down and spray some recently purchased Monsieur Givenchy (re-issue) on a Kleenex to confirm this – feeling as if I have cheated. I catch a few whiffs of lovely oakmoss/resin drydown in the wind outside, but otherwise I don’t notice the scent much today after the first 20 minutes.
    Day 7: No perfume on me today. I allowed M to spray some Cambon into the air and had a nice, zen moment when I realized it still smelled beautiful and full of mystery. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to wear it on Monday again, though.

    • March says:

      Honey, I KNOW some people were “cheating” with random nose-hits from something else, and I … just don’t think that counts against us. After all, much of what I own is scented with overspray. :) And scented handkerchiefs in my purse etc.

      31RC is my favorite of the new Les Exclusifs, although it’s hard to choose. Such a classically beautiful scent it seems made for a signature.

      • Erin T says:

        BTW, am sad to hear of your Fd’O anosmia. I love that one, too, and am sure the problem will end once you give your bottle a rest and come back to it after wearing other favorites. I agree with you and others here that 3 days or so seems an ideal, meditative time to spend with a fragrance you want to delve into more closely.

    • Tom says:

      It’s not cheating if you didn’t put it on yourself!

      • Erin T says:

        Thank you, Tom, for confirming that the Patou incident wasn’t my fault. It was odd trying to explain to an almost 5-year-old what I was trying to do. About half-way through my tortured explanantion, she pointed to my shoulder and said: “But this smells very nice!”

    • nozknoz says:

      Erin, I also appreciated your point about how lovely it is to luxuriate in a cloud of one scent for a change after so much dab-to-the-wrist (hand, elbow, etc.) sample testing. I also enjoyed that very much for a change!

  • Angela says:

    I was thinking of you all during The Challenge and would have been there if not for reviews I needed to write! I think I would have chosen either Ormonde Woman or Miss Dior–both fragrances I love, but both very particular scents, and I wonder how I would have felt about them after wearing them 7 days straight. I’ll definitely carve out a week soon and give it a try.

    • hongkongmom says:

      i think i may have to buy ormande woman…they r having 10% discount at the moment

    • March says:

      I read a review of restaurants in your city yesterday and drooled. And if it had been cold/rainy here I might have chosen Ormonde Woman, such an interesting scent.

      • Masha says:

        I’ve gone back and forth on OJ Woman for years. Some times, I really love it, and sometimes, it totally overwhelms me, like being lost in a spooky forest! It’s completely unique. I even bought a tiny bottle of pure black hemlock so I could get that smell now and then.

  • Mary says:

    Yay Tom! So happy to see you on the Posse. So you wore MKK to watch Nigella and do laundry? Now that is what I call spicing things up. I only have a smaple of MKK, which I save for special evenings at home alone with the DH, when the kids have sleepovers– all I can say is– I will never see Nigella quite the same light. I’m so happy you will be here, and only hope this doesn’t mean you are going to write less on pst! I had jumped the gun on the signature scent challenge, so I finished on Halloween, but I spent nearly two weeks with my beloved Caron Infini. I set out to explore the vetiver note; after sniffing a couple new fragrances, and some little vetiver bundles I have for closet sachets, I realized it was a note I recognized and loooved in Infini. So, I took to wearing Infini, applying quite a bit more than usual, so as to really experience that lovely, melancholy vetiver. The more I wore it, the more I wore it, the more beautiful and deep it seemed. I fell back in love with it, and wore it to the exclusion of all others, thinking for a whil– I am a fool to have bought so many other perfumes– all I need is right here. To be honest, I cheated, because I have 3 different versions of Infini. My mom never quite used up a bottle of the cologne, which I think I got for her some time in the late 80’s, early 90’s. She kept it beautifully and gave it back to me last year, with about 2 inches left in it. I also have a parfum, purchased off e-bay– still sealed in its bottle– I estimated form late 70’s, early 80’s, judging from its box. And, an Eau de parfum, purchased a year and a half ago at Perfumes Mendo. I layered them together sometimes, wore them separately, dabbing one here, one there, spritzing a little elsewhere. Just had fun, layering them, comparing them, for they were alike and yet not alike. The cologne and edp come out of the bottle all silvery green. The perfume is creamier, and deeper. All of them– Vetiver, rich and generous. A touch of leather. Ylang. Sandalwood and cedar. And I noticed, finally, the most beautiful segue, between the vetiver and the flowers and woods– the transition was so seamless, that I thought, my imagination must be taking over here. It was an olfactory mobius strip– the fragrance turned on itself. Could this be what the perfumer was going for, when they say it took so many years to research, and named it Infini? Imagination or not, Infini is elegant, fun and joyful. Makes you want to polish your nails, fix your hair, and go out for coffee.

    • Mary says:

      Correction– the newest one is an edt, not edp. It is very rich, so to me. it’s the moral equivalent of edp, in my mind, at least. And one other observation– spraying versus dabbing. Dabbing the parfum or coplogne– the first notes are richly floral- lotv! Ylang! Roses!and the smokiness and vetiver peek out after a few minutes. Spaying– the smoke and vetiver develop at once.

    • Winifreida says:

      hey did you see the episode of Nigella when she put vanilla extract behind her ears!!

    • Jillie says:

      Mary – so great to find another Infini lover. It was my signature scent in the late 70s, early 80s, and I wore it on and off until about five years ago and then inexplicably forgot about it! About a year ago I remembered it and bought a new perfume, but was disappointed that it wasn’t quite what I remembered. I then gathered my courage and bought a vintage (sounds very much like yours), which was perfect! Since then, I have discovered your trick of layering new/vintage/edt – after all, I don’t want to waste the current formulation which is very nice, but much more loaded with the resiny woodiness of the vetiver. The old stuff is sweeter and deeper. Together they are a pretty good partnership. And it is very nice to be wearing something that nobody recognises and smells so different.

      • March says:

        This is a great trick, and I think works well with vintages, esp. those with the top notes damaged or gone. I do this with Coco and a couple of my old Mitsoukos. I still get to enjoy that tremendous drydown but don’t have to suffer too much ahead of time.

        • Mary says:

          Thanks for the challenge, March! Coco- By coincidence, some had been put in my path– do you recommend it? :)>-

          • March says:

            Do I RECOMMEND COCO?!?! I … I lurve Coco. LT calls it Dated, and I guess so, if you find Opium or Paris “dated.” It’s a great floriental. I find the current edt a bit thin, but the problem with the old bottles is the top has gone off pretty significantly (I poached a few on eBay). So: I like the old edt or edp? layered with the new parfum.

      • Mary says:

        Hey there Jillie– Thanks for responding! It sounds like we were wearing Infini around the same era. The new bottle is great– but I think the lesser concentratrion and atomizer application really affects the development of the fragrance. For my old cologne, I decanted some into a nice little sprayer, and it is much closer to the edt. When I dab it, like the parfum, I get much more of the flowers.The sillage was lovely– I went in and out of a small room where I had been working, and thought wow! it smells beautiful in here. Then realized– it was me! Heh heh. :)>-

        • Jillie says:

          Good tip. Isn’t it great to realise that the lovely scent you smell is actually yours? Infini was the perfume that would have people trailing after me just so that they could breathe it in, and that does wonders for one’s confidence!

    • Rappleyea says:

      I’ve never smelled Infini, but now, after your wonderful review, I’m dying to check it out! Thank you!

      • Mary says:

        To me, it is an under-rated beauty, and I would love to hear what you think of it. I applied it very generously, some days there– no one complained, and that seemed to be when the perfume showed what it had to offer. I mean, so generously, I started to flash back on the old palmolive commercial– “Yerr soaking in it!!!”

    • sweetlife says:

      Joining the chorus here–love vetiver and have never tried Infini. What a great description, Mary! (And, hey, I think Nigella+MKK is a pretty natural combo…)

      • Mary says:

        Infini has a beautiful vetiver note, and it was so fun to figure that out, after all the years of enjoying it. It is a very rich and deep perfume, but the vetiver is there– more toasty and heady in the newer edt, to my nose. But the parfum is really gorgeous. And the more I think about wearing MKK to watch cooking shows– the happier I feel! \:d/

    • Tom says:

      Oh, I’ll still be on PST- I’ll be popping over here as well!

    • nozknoz says:

      Also very interested to try Infini now!

  • Justine says:

    I choose Chanel Sycomore and I am more in love than ever. It works for me in the heat, as it isn’t too sweet or big. It works for me in the cold, as I love that smoke and wood. Every day it smelled a slightly different, sometimes a little sweeter, but always with that smoke/wood to cut it.

    I only own a decant because it’s not scent I ever planned on loving, but this week convinced me I’ll own another decant when I’ve plowed through this one.

    • March says:

      Decants are wonderful, aren’t they? You can consider and waffle and retry and buy a FB eventually. Sycomore is I think a vetiver-lover’s vetiver. Those around you should be grateful.

  • nozknoz says:

    Welcome, Tom – you are an amazing man to look MKK in the eye for an entire week and not blink. Or get fired. :-)

    March, I had a similar experience to you in that I LOVED my chosen scent for the first three days, then I started not being able to smell it very well. On day four I just could not put on the same thing for another day. I think it’s that innate desire for variety in food that kept our ancient ancestors motivated to forage more widely and keeps some of us from happily subsisting entirely on Doritos or chocolate ice cream.

    Nonetheless, I did stay true to the challenge and simply wore no scent for the rest of the week, which wasn’t too difficult as it was an extremely busy week. Also, I felt one of the best parts of the challenge would be the day after: finally getting to wear something else again, deciding what to pick, seeing if things smelled different.

    And they did! I sniffed a few bottles and thought they all smelled different than usual. For example, AG Vetiver smelled leathery and vintage Narcisse Noir smelled more complete. I finally settled on Timbuktu because I wanted something completely different from my challenge scent (more on that below). Timbuktu behaved, for once: that salty-celery note did not morph into its cumin-BO evil twin as it so often does to my hyperosmic nose. I thoroughly enjoyed Timbuktu’s thrilling unisex weirdness all day and into the night.

    Back to what I chose for the challenge, which was BK Liaisons Dangereuses. I had a hefty 7.5 ml sample from the BK L’Oeuvre Noire exploration set that I had passed over earlier in the year in my enthusiasm for Beyond Love and Back to Black, and, later, the BK ouds. But LT, Denyse and Katie Puckrik had all given it rave reviews; it seemed perfect for fall and versatile enough for different times of the day, so I decided to get to know it better.

    It is indeed a thoroughly beautiful scent. LT calls it a rose version of the golden-sunset shades of J’Adore (also composed by Calice Becker), and it is the true successor to the original J’Adore (rather than the lovely but stolid Absolu). I love CB’s light, dry take on dramatic notes like tuberose and oud. In Liaisons, this lends almost an incense quality to the rose and plum. (Denyse charmingly describes it as the bubbles of air in a rose confiture.) This may be my HG rose.

    I enjoyed the experience and plan to do mini challenges in the future – two or three days – with scents that I want to understand better such as Back to Black. Thank you, March, for this illuminating perfume experience! @};-

    • March says:

      You are making me want to retry Liaisons, I didn’t think it was possible, but you are … partly for the reference to J’Adore, plus the CB reminder. And guess what, those two/three day mini-challenges of one scent is in fact sorta the way I’ve been wearing perfume recently.

      • nozknoz says:

        Liaisons seems more natural and hence softer than J’Adore, so it did not capture my attention the first time around, last spring. It’s so perfect for fall. And Calice Becker is just the sorceress.

        I had gotten far more scattered in my lust to smell more new things. Somewhere perfumistas are shrieking at the thought – like the Wicked Witch of the West collapsing into a smoky puddle – but I think this more meditative approach might be good for the brain for a change. :-)

    • Ann N. says:

      Yum! Good choice, Nozknoz. BK’s DL is such a luscious, jammy rose — one of the few roses I can stand to wear. I think the other fruits in there help keep the rose at bearable levels. Now I will have to go dig up my little spray vial.

      • nozknoz says:

        You’re right, a lot of rose perfumes get to be too much in one way or another after a while. DL is perfectly balanced.

    • Tom says:

      I have to run out and try that one..

  • Ms.Christian says:

    Greetings Tom. I’ll look forward to your posts.

    My “challenge” scent was Guerlain’s L’heure Bleue and all of my formulations are vintage. I suppose I cheated and wore edt, edp and parfum, so sue me.

    This was not a difficult scent week because L’hB is one of my top 5 favorite scents and I posted last week, when we decided to do this, that it was always a scent that I tended to want to wear more than just one day when I chose it as my SOTD.

    I won’t go day by day, but I did find myself occasionally mildly annoyed by the heliotrope and at different times the tonka. Sometimes (as with any of my scents) I had forgotten what I was wearing and was delighted when I got a whiff of myself and remembered what “that smell” was.

    In all the years I’ve been wearing this one, I have never, ever gotten the rose in it and I didn’t this time, which was good, because I don’t like rose in anything but Joy.

    It was tempting to pick vintage Chanel No. 22 or vintage Narcisse Noir for the challenge but I have no regrets. By the end of the week, I was still not tired of L’heure, but by day 6 I was doing a bit of fantasizing about original Comme des Garcons and Yatagan.

    What did I chose on my first non-challenge day? Aromatics Elixir-shower gel, body creme and spray juice. Perfect for the rainy weather here.

    Thanks for suggesting this March. Oh, and I keep wanting to give you a squeeze for writing about the MUFE foundation-the one with the bizarre texture in the pump bottle. You and I wear the same color (38? 36? Very pale…) and I have abandoned all my other foundations for this one.

    • March says:

      LOL on LHB. I love it, I really do, and yet …. ack, that powdery heliotrope. Sometimes. No. Just no. I’d decided after about 3 seconds that LHB and Apres were NOT going to be it for the week. Too afraid I’d end up loathing them.

      I’m so glad that foundation worked out! People complain about the price but the bottle’s huge, I don’t really see the problem (and it’s not so much compared to Chanel, Armani etc.) I do think the pump bottle keeps one from being confronted with its peculiar gloppy texture although I’ve swapped caps so I have the screw on, since I put my applicator sponge right over the mouth of the bottle.

      • Musette says:

        I am always stunned at how much I cannot stand L’HB in anything other than edt. The parfum made me break out in psychic hives! OTOH, I love L’Origan in parfum. huh.

        xo >-)

  • violetnoir says:

    Hello to you, my darling Tom! I am so happy to see you here with us. I should have guessed you would pick MKK for the challenge. Big hugs to March, too, who got us all into this mess!

    Okay, I knew it would be hot in LA this past week so, unlike Tom, I picked a fragrance that could roll-ll-ll-ll with the crazy weather.

    And that fragrance was AG Le Jasmin. A dear fragrance friend gave it to me as a gift. I was convinced that jasmine was not my favorite note anymore, but now I must admit, I have to give this fragrance its props.

    Days one through three were tough. I could not believe I was doing this. But by the end of day three, I had to admit that Le Jasmin is quite beautiful. I mean really lovely. As it wafted in and out, I just savored its clean, yet luscious, fragrance.

    Days four and five were a breeze! The weather was hot, but Le Jasmin was perfect in the balmy Santa Ana breezes.

    Six and seven were not the best, because I was itching to try my samples of some new releases. But I held on, and I am glad I did. If I had to pick a signature scent, Le Jasmin just might fit the bill.

    But, I doubt I will ever get to that point.

    At least I hope not…

    Hugs to both of you lovely people, and to all the rest of you who hung in there for this challenge.

    • March says:

      Your weather has been insane. And for that level of insanity, Le Jasmin seems pretty perfect, no? It has that nutty Goutal-esque hint of dryness or greenness or something that keeps it from being heavy.

    • Tom says:

      If I had to be outside for more than 20 minutes at a time I would have done Eau de Sud or something..:d

  • Francesca says:

    I just said, what the hell, and started on the first day of the challenge. Didn’t want to wait till sunday or Monday or whatever. So I picked Idole de Lubin. Which was not perhaps the absolute best choice for the heatwave we had the first two days.But it’s sexy, and also a comfort scent, and a drop works nicely at the office, and a couple drops more work beautifully for an evening event without worrying about choking the people in adjacent seats. But once my week was up, I ran to things I almost never wear. Mandragore. Baghari. And this weekend, not only didn’t I wear any fragrance, I didn’t even shower for two and a half days. WTF, March?

    • March says:

      Oh, I almost picked Idole! So perfect for this weather. And I’m laughing to your sprint to the other end (hissy citrus/aldehyde?) after the end of the challenge.

      The showering, I guess you can blame the Unwashed and Uncut post? Although that looks a lot like every weekend around here.

      • Musette says:

        Are you guys getting hammered with the snow/rain/hail/wind thingy that is torturing NE? I was on the road when I first heard about it and they said NE, which I associate with points NORTH but! who knows what NPR means.

        xo >-)

  • Musette says:

    Hey, Tom! Welcome and major smoochies from the >-)

    I wimped out and chose an easy scent – Diorella. I was sure it would sort of do the wallpaper thing but, like your MKK experience, it ended up revealing all sorts of interesting facets as the week progressed. I wore it through tonight and I swear there is a little bit of camphor – or mint?? in there. It doesn’t have the heft of the vintage (does anything?) but it stays pretty true to the original idea. And it’s pretty! I ended up buying a FB of it from Rose – I was planning on it anyway but thought the Challenge might ruin it for me. Far from it. I might’ve held off on the FB, had the nuances of it not been revealed during this week.

    And something else happened – I remembered that perfume doesn’t always have to be an intellectual exercise. While I adore having the opportunity to sample and wear so many different things, this week was a lovely break from having to choose.

    But I’m going to let it rest for a week at least. Onward and upward!

    xo >-)

    • March says:

      Diorella would be perfect for this, I’m so glad you ended up buying it. We yark on and on about stuff going out of production, it’s good to buy it when available, as it’s true to the original idea.

      There’s a great quote in The Guide which I’ll paraphrase, by LT, who says that the problem with perfume criticism is that sometimes one misses the point, which is to smell good (“good” being broadly defined in our worlds.) I think that’s for Narciso, a perfect example.

    • Tom says:

      It was interesting smelling new facets- it also oddly made me smell other things more closely.

      • Musette says:

        Yes, I was surprised at just how nuanced Diorella is – I think, had I simply worn it as part of my psychotic rotation, I would’ve dismissed it as just a pretty little scent. It is that – but within that ‘pretty little’ are some very interesting facets.

        xoxoxo >-)

  • Tara says:


    You just wrote exactly what happened to me. My selection was Paestum Rose. I really love that perfume. And each morning I would smell it when applied, but as the week went on it was disappeared earlier and earlier. Now, I smell it for about 10 minutes, then pffft, its gone. I even applied more and while I doubt it is really gone, it is gone for me.

    At first I thought it was my issue, that I had a limited attention span or get bored too easily, but after reading your post, it is clear something is going on. Nose fatigue? Too much familiarity? I don’t know, but I do know that at this point I find it almost a waste to wear PR because I just can’t smell it.

    • Masha says:

      It’s true, the brain does tune out habitual smells. Constant odors don’t signal danger, they don’t signal new food caches or potential novel and attractive mates, so the brain just says, “Meh” after a few days. Truly doesn’t perceive it anymore. Like when you live next to an airport or the train tracks. You just don’t hear and planes and trains after a while. I think this is one reason why some people with “signature scents” overspray- they grow tolerant and have to use more and more to detect it, while people around them are fainting and filing lawsuits!

      • March says:

        Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm, I’m back to …. majmua attar. The deliciousness, it does not stop. Very nose-palate cleansing.

        And my first post-college apt was located around the corner from a firehouse and a fairly rowdy gay bar in Dupont Circle. After awhile I tuned out both the wailing sirens and the dudes under my window in the heavy darkness of the apartment side-yard.

        • Olfacta says:

          Do you wear the majuma to yoga class? I love it for that. I want to get where just putting it on makes me get all relaxed and, y’know, spiritual and all.

          • March says:

            Yes, I do! It’s unobtrusive enough, for one thing. And it smells vaguely like that place smells anyway, you know? There’s something focusing about it.

        • Masha says:

          I just made a solid out of my new Genda attar, and I’m loving it in the mornings. It’s very perky!

    • March says:

      Uh …. yup. That is definitely some anosmia if you can’t smell Paestum Rose. Which I actually like but it’s huge. See, now you know you’re not losing your mind!