Marathon Monday: Scents that last and last and last …

marathonAs I was poking through some sample lots the other day, I spotted a vial of indie perfumer En Voyage’s Zelda. I knew I had tried it before and enjoyed it very much, but with the chaos of life, unfortunately it slipped off my radar. So I applied it again and swooned. It has a lush, thick, green, almost Deep-South-in-August vibe to it; its creamy, smoky currents swirl around a mysterious magnolia. Just lovely and unlike anything else I’ve smelled. But on my skin as it dries down, I get something akin to coconut, but deeper, richer and more complex. And that something, whatever it is, just keeps going and going like it’s running a marathon — the Energizer Bunny of notes, if you will!

I applied this scent on a Thursday morning and it’s Friday evening and I swear I’m still getting a hint of it. And with one dab from the sample vial, no less –- now that’s saying something! I can’t even imagine what a spray or two would do.

Anyway, it got me thinking about what scents really have super-staying power. Guerlain’s Mitsouko, Amouage Memoir Woman and Bond No. 9’s New Haarlem are a few that really seem to go the distance on my skin. This is quite a nice problem to have if you love the scent. But of course, the flip side of that for me is that the ones I strongly dislike, with cumin, oud or something dark and metallic (looking at you Byredo M/Mink) refuse to let go and hang on and on for what seems like a never-ending marathon. Does that seem to happen with you?

Now if you are one of those people with “scent glue” skin, then everything lasts a while on you, I envy you, but it can be a mixed blessing sometimes, I imagine.

And what surprised me is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be extrait / pure parfum that lasts. Some of those wear surprisingly close to the skin and fade softly, and it’s the EDP that keeps on giving.

What fragrances are known for their lasting power? And what scents do you wear that make like long-distance marathon runners and just won’t quit?

  • Lynley says:

    Im so late but couldnt resist adding Armani Prive Amber Orient. I agree with lots of the above but in my experience, this beats them all. I think it actually says it’s a concentrate on the label underneath and it’s a big bottle. I cant imagine it will EVER be emptied!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Lynley — and don’t worry — never too late! My face broke out in a huge grin when you mentioned the Ambre Orient. I love it as well, and it lasts for ages for me, too. And the more I think about it, it reminds a good bit of the sadly discontinued Dior Mitzah, so would be a great replacement for that. Lucky you to have a big bottle of it. Thanks!

  • sandipants says:

    LDDM & PHI by andy tauer have great staying power on me. so do most of the SSS fragrances i’ve tried. mitsouko EDP (current formulation) & aromatics elixir EDP (current formulation) are favorites, ones i wear often & last for-EVER. roja dove’s fetish pour homme EDP lasts all day on skin & weeks on sweaters/scarves (personally, i love getting whiffs of it, esp when mixed with whatever else i’m wearing that day). frederic malle’s une rose is one of the very few rose fragrances that seems to last forever, as well. everyone waxes poetic about POAL lasting forever, but i get 3-4 hrs max from that one. papillon’s tobacco rose is another one with great staying power & wonderful sillage. odriu’s perform like extraits (i can speak for peety & pathetique – both wonderful). tom ford’s grey vetiver is the only vetiver i’ve tried that has great staying power (every other vetiver i’ve tried disappears after roughly 3 hours – esp sycomore – oh, the heartbreak!). estee lauder makes some of the stiffest, most potent fragrances known to my nose: esp youth dew & private collection. and vintage miss dior EDT smokes all of these put together! amouage EDPs are hit or miss for me. memoir woman & jub 25 have great staying power, but lyric woman disappears after 3-4 hours (even layered with the body cream).

    • Ann says:

      Hi! Wow, you have named some great scents up there,and some I need to try. BTW, I must second you on EL; those pack a wallop!

  • malsnano86 says:

    I’ve got scent-eating skin as well, but there are a few that will stick around forever. POAL, as I mentioned above, is one of them. Soivohle Centennial is another. SSS Tabac Aurea, DSH La Fete Nouvelle (especially in oil), and most of the Tauers (which can be good or bad, depending! Loretta, for example, nearly killed me). Memoir Woman lasts a long time on me, though Lyric does not. Vintage Poison.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Mals! Nice to see you. I haven’t smelled some of the indies you mention but I do love the long-lasting goodness of Memoir Woman. But I would have thought Lyric would go the distance for sure. And whoaaaa yes, that vintage Poison — unstoppable! 🙂 (I rather like it just barely dabbed once or so, but sprayed — mama mia!!)

  • Diana says:

    I’m always looking for scents that stick around for awhile since they seem to fade from my dry skin rather quickly. Balenciaga Paris and Tom Ford Black Orchid are two that give me quite a bang for the buck in the longevity department.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, boy, Diana, you really hit the jackpot with Black Orchid! I’d forgotten about that one, but it really does give you some amazing wear time. Probably best in fall and winter, though, since it’s so dadgum potent 🙂 or applied verrry sparingly for spring/summer nights.

  • I guess I’m toward the scent-glue end of the spectrum because I tend to get pretty good longevity out of scents that people talk about being fleeting, like Safran Troublant. I haven’t tried 28 La Pausa, so can’t say on that one. Most aren’t multi-day commitments on me, though.. I generally get a full work day out of most things I wear. Even Afteliers, if the base is sturdy enough. I have had Palimpsest last overnight on me. The one that was really fleeting to me was Trevert, which I’m not sure she makes anymore. It was great for about 20 minutes, then it was just clary sage for a little while longer, and then nothing.

    Others that I have had last overnight are Vanille Insensee and Nasomatto Black Afghano.

    • Ann says:

      Hi,Jennifer! Glad you mentioned Safran Troublant; love that one! But it only wears so-so on me, but still, lovely while it lasts. I need to try Aftelier’s Palimpsest, too — it sounds like it’s great on you!

  • Peppermoon says:

    Okay, Zelda was on my to-try list already, but after that description it’s definitely moved up the list. I love “Southern gothic” scents and I LOVE magnolia.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Peppermoon! Please do try it; I think you’ll enjoy it, or at the very least can appreciate its uniqueness. Do come back and let us know how you liked it.

  • AnnieA says:

    Rien by ELO is anything but after a long day and it can take two washings to get out of clothing.

    • Ann says:

      Wow, Annie — two washings — that is something else! You know, I don’t think I’ve ever tried that fragrance, but guess I need to because people seem to mention it often. Thanks!

  • Areon says:

    Guerlain Champs Elysees has staying power. Everyone smells it on me, even after the whole day wearing it, I can’t even smell it on me , but people can. I always get compliments.

    • Ann says:

      Ah, that is so nice; gotta love it when a scent lingers so well and gets you so many compliments. I haven’t sniffed that Guerlain in ages but you make we want to try it again. Thanks!

  • glamourina says:

    I Dare You by Liaisons de Parfum lasts for a day on my skin, with a beautiful, soft ambery drydown.

    • Ann says:

      Mmmm, that sounds lovely. I love a long-lasting ambery finish. Must try it soon. Thanks!

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    I just left a fabulous long answer that WordPress ate.
    CHANEL No 22, Queen by Queen Latifa, Shalimar EdC, Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire and Terre d’Hermes were some on the list.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Grrrrr … I hate it when that happens, too! Nice choices there, but I still need to try the Queen Latifah. One of these days 🙂 !

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I have really dry skin year round so my skin loves to eat perfume. The best luck that I have had with perfume are the Amouage perfumes. Guerlains can be a crap shoot on me and I’m not talking the EDT’s and those vanish in 5 minutes but Mitsouko in EDP lasts forever on my skin. But the Chanel offerings more often than not, have pretty good lasting power, even if it’s an EDT. Now I with vintage Jicky would stick around.

    • Ann says:

      Those Amouages are great, aren’t they? I’m with you on the Mitsouko, so happy it lasts. And lucky you to have good luck with the Chanels!

  • FeralJasmine says:

    I have the ultimate in perfume-eating skin, with most scents lasting a couple of hours tops unless I spray them on clothes, but there are a few that last: Dior Oud Ispahan will perform for an entire day. Most of Sonoma Scent Studios scents last well, and there are several that I love. TF Velvet Gardenia lasts a decent three hours. Hiram Green’s Moon Bloom lasts hours, which is strange because it’s a natural perfume and usually I’m lucky to get an hour out of the all-naturals. And then there is the Tauer “gardenia” Sotto la Luna, which I despise and which is nuclear on me. Actually I only tried it once, but it took several scrubs over about eight hours before I could evict it from my skin. Yech.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady, how are you? I have not tried that Dior (quaking at the oud 🙂 ) or many SSS scents but I know and love the TF and HG’s Moon Bloom. That one does last particularly well, especially for a natural, as you noted. Have you tried the Canvas & Concrete primer they sample at Surrender to Chance? Perhaps that might help? So sorry the Andy Tauer went south for you. Isn’t that always the way, though?

  • mikasminion says:

    Oakmoss (love) seems to stick around well for me and anything with ambergris (which is really hit or miss for me and sometimes makes me nauseated). Diaghilev lasts forevvvver, which is great ’cause I’m never going to buy a bottle, and Chypre Mousse is a long term commitment for me as well. Several of the SSS scents outlast their welcome, much as I love them- I assume it’s something Laurie uses in her base and I have to be just in the right mood.
    Seems like usually the ones I want to scrub are the most tenacious though. I can’t name any off the top of my head but I know there have been instances of laundry detergent and Chapstick being the only thing preventing amputation. I think a couple of the Tauers have done it and I know most Vero Kerns have, we just don’t get along 🙁

    • Ann says:

      Yum on the oakmoss and ambergris (mostly) here, too! I particularly like the ambergris in Guerlain’s Encens Mythique. I love the Diaghilev EDP and it lasted well, but tried the extrait and it wasn’t as good on my skin. I know what you mean; certain lines must have something in their bases that extend their fragrant lives on certain skins.

  • Jackie b says:

    Many Amouages last well on me,especially Jub 25. And anything that I can’t wait to scrub!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, Jackie! Nice to see you. I also find that Amouages are pretty persistent (and luckily, beautiful). And of course, the ones you hate linger and linger. It’s Murphy’s Law of fragrance, ha!

  • AllGirlMafia says:

    Bond 9 fragrances (unfortunately) are most persistent on my skin.

    • Ann says:

      Me, too, dear! And although I agree with your sentiment somewhat, there are several scents there that I like (mostly older ones). The new-ish ones I’ve tried seem to be overdosed in oud or something.

  • Anne says:

    Very few things last on my skin. I usually have to douse my clothing to have anything stay. Amouage fades after a few hours, Guerlain vanishes, I get 30 minutes out of the Chanel exclusifs, same with Le Labo, etc… so I am delighted when anything sticks, even if I hate it! Still will be just a day worth. Extrait tends to die very fast on me actually, pretty much any I’ve tried are gone in less than hour. I suppose that saves money? Except I make it up on the sheer amount I need to apply to have any effect. Sad… my best friend projects perfume like it is going out of fashion.

    • Ann says:

      Isn’t that always the way, Anne? I, too, have a friend who can wear anything and it lasts forever on her. I saw some kind of a fragrance fixative on Surrender to Chance — wonder if that would be worth a try for you? Oh, dear, what’s it called?

      • Ann says:

        A-ha! Just found it: Canvas & Concrete fragrance primer. You could sample a little and experiment — definitely worth at least a shot!

  • Caroline says:

    Was checking notes on Fragrantica one day, and stumbled across Ungaro Diva. Since a vintage bottle was quite inexpensive on ebay, I bought unsniffed. I do like it–the quality materials immediately reveal themselves. But it’s strong & tenacious, and the 100 ml bottle will certainly outlive me. When I run across a modern scent that won’t let go, I often assume it’s due either to aromachemicals or the presence of patchouli. Two that last on me are Balenciaga Paris and 31 Rue Cambon.

    • Ann says:

      Caroline, so glad you mentioned Ungaro Diva — that one was indeed a powerhouse. For me, it would be better dabbed than sprayed, but I am a notorious under-applier 🙂 Haven’t worn Balanciaga Paris enough to know but Rue Cambon did well on my skin; in fact, after not liking it much when it debuted, I’ve come around to really liking it. Very classic!

  • Eloquaint says:

    I wore Mamluk by Xerjoff for almost two days after my initial application, which consisted of dragging the mouth of a 1 ml sample vial across my wrist a couple of times. Fortunately that kind of application yields a low sillage, but it was quite clear to me. Also fortunate is the fact that I LOVED Mamluk.

    • Ann says:

      That is a great scent, Eloquaint, and one I had forgotten all about. So glad that you loved it so much and for so long.

  • johanob2014 says:

    Strangely enough:28 La Pausa lasts a good 10 hours on my skin.It’s a legendary disappearing act,but on my perfume loving skin it lasts and lasts and lasts in all it’s icy,rooty Iris-splendor!Love it.I get a good 2 days on skin from Portrait of a Lady as well.L’Eau d’Hiver is another marathon runner on my skin!

    • Ann says:

      Oh, lucky you! I would be so happy if it lasted even 4 or 5 hours on me. I totally get PoaL as a long-distance scent, too, as do many others.

    • stina says:

      28 La Pausa does the same thing on me – I get about ten hours out of it (which thrills me no end). And Osmanthe Yunnan lasts forever on my skin (yay!). So my nose loves me but my wallet hates me for those two. 🙂

      Skin chemistry is beyond bizarre.

      • Ann says:

        Wow, Stina, you get a long relationship with La Pausa AND Osmanthe Yunnan, too? You must have amazing skin. That scent is like slightly scented water on me, discernable for about 15 minutes and then, poof! It’s gone.

        • stina says:

          What’s frustrating is that it’s always hit or miss – I never know when my skin is going to hold on to a perfume for ten hours or dissipate it in ten minutes. There’s a whole swath of fragrances that I can’t wear because I blink and they’re gone… so when my skin decides to be generous, I take advantage!

          Papillon Anubis broke my heart recently; it’s the most beautiful leather I’ve smelled in years (at least on the test strip), but it vanished completely on my fickle skin within fifteen minutes.

          So my motto is “Sample, Sample, Sample… And Then Sample Some More!” I have enough perfume in decants to float a small battleship (my mail carrier is probably sick of delivering those little packages from Surrender). Oh well…

          • Ann says:

            So true, Stina — it really is hit-or-miss as to what will stay and what will disappear. I love your motto, “Sample, Sample, Sample …” Those are beautiful words to perfumistas’ ears!

  • KimB says:

    Anything by Slumberhouse lasts forever on my skin, and especially layered Sadanne and Ore – an amazing combination with lasting power that seems to be additive, lasting for 2 days.

    Also some earlier Lutens like Un Bois Vanille, Ambre Sultan, Chergui – I love them but have to be prepared to love them into the next day!

    • Ann says:

      Hear, hear, Kim! You are so right — some of those SLs do go on and on (esp. Ambre and Chergui on me). Have not tried those Slumberhouse scents though they sound great. Thanks!

  • Lisa Loader says:

    Portrait of a Lady – My office smells like it even when I have been out for days.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, yes, Lisa! I had forgotten about that one — it is beautifully potent!

    • Rina says:

      That’s what I was going to say. So glad I’m not the only one who wears this daily. I was beginning to fear I was odd.. I love it so, I miss it when it (finally) fades.

      • Ann says:

        Yay, Rina — another PoaL fan! It is a great scent, but I do very well with just one tiny tab from a sample.

    • malsnano86 says:

      First time I tried, POAL, I dabbed some on my wrists and then put on my wool coat.

      TWO WEEKS LATER, a clerk at the pharmacy complimented me on it. It had apparently transferred to my sleeves enough that he could smell it even that long afterward.

      • Ann says:

        Wow, Mals! Now that is some SERIOUS staying power! And so nice to get an unexpected compliment, too!