Second chances

By Ann

Digging around in my By Kilian sample cubbyhole last week, I fished out a vial that I thought was  Back to Black, figuring I’d give it another go. I sprayed absentmindedly on one wrist and then went on about my morning, getting ready for work. An hour or so later, I’m sitting at my desk and this bee-yoo-tiful amber scent wafts up to me. Huh, I think to myself, since when is BB an amber scent, but whatever. And whatever it was, I was liking it. So when I got home, I headed into the bedroom where, in my haste, I’d left the vial on the bed.  As I picked it up, imagine my surprise when I saw it was not BB, but Amber Oud, a Kilian that had sounded like love to me when it was launched, but disappeared nearly instantly upon my first two wearings, leaving behind only that very faint Band-Aid accord that oud sometimes gives off.

I scratched my head awhile, puzzling over this fragrant about-face, when it dawned on me that perhaps it was the weather. The first two times I’d sampled it, it was quite chilly. The day when it smelled so lovely, it was warmer, so perhaps the heat had helped it bloom. Who knew? I’d never experienced this phenomenon before, though I’d heard some of you talk about it.

So darling Posse-ites, I’d love to know what scents have caused you to have a change of heart.


  1. Worth Courtesan was one perfume that I did have a change of heart. At first, it kind of was a fruity mess in the dead of summer. Courtesan’s season seems to be early spring. Chanel’s no. 22 EDT is starting to grow on me, even though I still find it a little harsh.

    • I second you on the Worth, dear. Although I kind of liked it the first time around, but it took a while to grow on me. It is rather, ah, “well-endowed,” shall we say. I haven’t tried the Chanel 22 in ages, so maybe it’s time to revisit that. So many of the Chanels I tried as a new perfumista, when the Exclusifs came out, and perhaps they were too much for my novice nose. But now — maybe …

      • The current no. 22 in EDT form is pretty harsh. I even find the vintage EDT to still be harsh but not as harsh. Probably my first great love in my early perfumista days was Chanel’s Cuir de Russie in EDT form and the parfum version is to die for. It took me a while to really warm up to Chanel no. 5.

        • I need to try the CdR again, as my first sniff of it was way back when I was a very new perfumista. Still not there for No. 5, and don’t know that I’ll ever be, but that’s OK. Thanks!

  2. Years ago, this happened with the current formulation of Femme. I’m guessing that as a relatively new perfumista, I was unprepared for the cumin. Perhaps it was an introduction to the vintage that helped me back into the newer version, or maybe my nose just became more sophisticated over time, but I grew to love it.

    I had a more recent experience of love at second spritz with Kilian Rose Oud. The first time I tried it I thought it was okay, but it didn’t particularly grab me. The second time, I thought it was one of the nicest rose-ouds in recent years. Funny that we both had this experience with a Kilian.

    • Hi, there! So glad you’re liking the Rose Oud now. I’m not a rose person, but it is such a beautiful and well-done scent. The cumin did me in in Femme, much as I wanted to love it; that note is my nemesis.

      • As I mentioned above, I think new perfumistas may not be able to appreciate certain things, and have to grow into them, so to speak. So it’s always good to go back later and give a scent another try.

    • Interesting – I had this experience with BK Liaisons Dangereuses. When I first tried it, I thought it was pretty but sort of dismissed it as not interesting or not me. Later I chose it for the Perfume Posse 7-day signature scent challenge that was in the fall a couple years ago. The tart plum and deep, smoky rose were perfect for fall! I love it (even after wearing nothing else for a week) and now own one of the travel sets, but I only wear it in the fall.

      • Hi, Nozknoz. That BK is a lovely one — one of the few rose scents I can get behind (I think the plum is what does the trick for me). Glad you got yourself some …

  3. Ah, funny you should ask. Only yesterday I was poking around in my samples and found a vial of Tauer Une Rose Chypree. Now I vaguely remember receiving this in a Swapmania sample package from Musette last year. I know I tried it, didn’t like it and tossed it in the box, but yesterday – well, for whatever reason, I tried it again and it just about brought me to my knees. I haven’t smelled anything that gave me that reaction in ages. I kept sniffing my arm throughout the day, thinking that any minute now it would turn ugly but no, it smelled divine from beginning to end. Long lasting and great sillage, too. Thanks for asking, Ann :)

    • Hi, lady, hope you’re doing well and feeling better. What a thrill to revisit something you’d previously dismissed and have your socks knocked off! I was on the fence on that scent when I first sampled, so need to go back and re-try. If it doesn’t work this time, it’s yours!

      • Aww, thanks, you’re too kind! For your sake, though, I hope you smell what I smell. Maybe it is the spring, as you said, that makes these scents *bloom* along with everything else.


  4. My current about-face is Coco. Never paid much attention to it and when March started yarking on about it, I tried the current (not the Mlle – just the current Coco). It was ‘okay’. Nothing to write home about. Then I got some vintage.



    xo >-)

    • Glad you liked it. I wore it when it first came out and loved it, but haven’t smelled it in years — so long ago I can’t even remember how it smelled. Guess it’s high time to revisit, eh?

    • Y’know, I’ve worn Coco continually since it first came out (almost 30 yrs) and it still smells the same to me. I think this last bottle was purchased ten yrs ago. Maybe I’m so used to it that it always has smelled the same? At any rate, glad you’re enjoying it Ms A.

    • Mmmm…I went through a period in my 20’s where I decided Coco would be my signature scent and wore it exclusively. I still adore it but vintage form only. The new is like a Stepford Wife version of the vintage, lacking warmth and character.

  5. btw – you know my ‘reverses’ are legendary – in the reverse

    Drama Nuui
    Cuir Ottoman

    both Love At First Sniff.

    later both bleeeargh! :((

    xo >-)

    • Ouch! I hate it when it happens that way! But thankfully, it more often goes in the other direction.

  6. This topic has been on my mind, as well – I just posted a bit about my experience with Messe di Minuit in the Perfume Haul forum. The first time I sampled it, a few years ago, I remember thinking that it was just AWFUL. I mean, really – who would want to smell so strange and dank? I recently found a sample in one of my swap packages (my thanks to the kind soul who sent it to me), dabbed it on, and swooned – but this time, in a good way. A very good way. I don’t know what happened between then and now, but I find myself doing that really embarrassing (well, when I do it in public, anyway) pull-out-the-shirt-front-and-stick-my-nose-in-my-cleavage move. A true change of heart.

    • Hi, Lisa! It’s so funny that you mention MdM — I’d never tried it and finally got a sample just the other day. I’ve only worn it two or three times now, but am enjoying it. I don’t think I would have given it a second chance when I was a brand-new perfumista — like you said, just so strange and dank. Just goes to show you …

      • Well, chica, if you ever need more than a tiny vial, give me a shout, because the entire sampling and swooning experience ended with me going out and buying a full bottle of the contemporary stuff, and then hunting down a pre-reformulation bottle, as well. Yes, you got that math right – that’s 6.8 ounces of MdM. 6. Point 8. Ounces. Somebody stop me. :-)

        • I’m really late getting back to you, Lisa, but all I can say is “Wowza!” That’s a whole lotta Messe you got there. Thanks, I may take you up on your kind offer one of these days. I’d like to see how it does when sprayed, as opposed to just dabbed from a vial.

  7. Found Bas de Soie pretty so-so the first couple of times, but ended up buying a bottle and it’s become a favourite spring perfume.

    • Wow! Nearly the same thing happened to me, Annie. I tried it, thought “OK,” and went on about my business. Then earlier this spring I started craving it and had to get another sample to use.

  8. I had an about face with rose scents in general a few years back. I used to avoid rose like the plague and then I found one I liked and from there warmed up to others. Dior Dioressence, vintage of course, is one that I had smelled before and disliked until my scent palate developed. What a beauty. How/why did I ever detest it?

    • Hey, Joanna! I’m with you a bit on the rose scents. Used to hate them, too, but I think it’s a matter of finding a couple of well-done ones to love, and as you say, our scent palates developing. Happy you’re loving the Dioressence.

      • When I was a teenager in the 90’s there was this “Gutter Punk” phase some of my peers went through. Grunge combined with Minneapolis punk. The scent of unwashed bodies, stale cigarette smoke and Tea Rose perfume was de rigueur. I was just never that cool or that smelly I hope. It took a long time before I could conceive of rose not smelling like b.o and old smokes. The funny part is if you to go certain parts of Minneapolis you can still find poorly aged gutter punks and they still smell the same.

        • Too funny! Maybe that’s why Tea Rose and I never got on at all … :)

  9. Alahine was my most recent turn-around. I bought it unsniffed based on all the rave reviews, and wondered why everyone — but me — loved it so much. Then I wore it on the warmest day we’ve had recently (mid 80s), and it blossomed beautifully. Most others say it’s their cold-weather comfort scent, but for me it’s going to be my warm-weather friend.

    • Sharon, I think I’m still one of the ones who don’t get Alahine. But maybe warm weather is the key; perhaps I should give it another go. Thanks!

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