Fleeting fragrance: Scents you love that don’t last

fleetingAh, Jour d’ Hermes Gardenia. Patty loved this and raved about it recently, saying, “It’s that sophisticated, elegant floral that is perfect when you want a plush gardenia floral instead of something more earthy.” So after that, and with gardenia in the name, how could I resist? The first dab inspired an “Ooh – lovely!!” But 15 or so minutes later, a pleasant but soft echo of that great opening was all that remained. OK, says I, let’s spritz this baby. Two shots to the wrist and of course, a nicer, bigger blast of lovely opening resulted. Only this time, it took about 45 minutes to ease down to a shadow of its former self. Oh, nothing like a fleeting fragrance that you love and wish would go on forever!

Of course, this is perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena’s work, so it’s pretty much a given that it won’t overpower you. For what it’s worth, I found the original Jour d’Hermes and the Jour d’Hermes Absolu to last significantly longer on my skin than this one though.

Another recent beauty that I absolutely adore is Annick Goutal’s L’lle au Thé (waves to March who reviewed it for us!). But it, too, showed a fleeting nature on my skin. A bit longer than an hour after two spritzes and I find myself ready to re-spray up a storm. I realize it’s made to be a light, clean scent, but I did hope to enjoy it a bit longer.

So it seems I’m going through my little decants at an alarming rate. I found myself wishing for thick, richly scented body creams in both of these scents to help boost them along. And knowing Hermes, there’s a good chance of that, or at least a body lotion, especially if their Gardenia takes off and sells well.

I guess some scents are just going to work out that way on your skin. But why, oh why, do the ones you dislike always seem to stick around forever?

Anyhoo, guess I’ll I just plan on keeping the decants with me and re-spritz as needed. And if they are that light and fleeting, then they’re unlikely to offend anyone. Of course, in my scent-free office, I can’t take that chance, but in my free time, I can spray to my heart’s content.

What fragrances do you love but are fleeting on your skin? Do you just re-spray often or have you found layering with body products (or some other way) helps keep the love going?

Photo borrowed from Fragrantica

  • nicole says:

    AG Eau d’Hadrien-no sillage whatsoever & Amazing Grace

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Nicole! I haven’t worn Amazing Grace enough to tell, but I am nodding in agreement about the AG. Great scent, but I think it disappears on my skin in less than 15 minutes flat, so I tend to give it a pass. Hope it lasts a little longer for you.

  • March says:

    Many of my summer favorites, to be honest! And that’s why they’re summer favorites…. pretty much anything tea. But then we get to put it on over and over!

  • Heidi says:

    I love Serge’s A La Nuit — that jasmine note singing through the woods — but the whole lovely experience goes *poof* on my skin within 20 minutes.

    • Ann says:

      I hate to hear that, Heidi! I need to try my little sample again and see if it does such a quick disappearing act on me, too (probably will). But it is such a great opening — it’s almost worth it. 🙂

  • Darryl says:

    In the case of eau de colognes like Bulgari Thé Vert, I’m okay with minimal longevity – it’s a function of the form. I don’t mind re-applying those, because I’m in the mood for something fresh, fleeting and minimal when I wear them in the first place. But proper EdTs or EdPs, yeah, I expect those to stick around. My nose gets fatigued rather easily, so I rarely apply more than one spray of anything these days, but I don’t generally have major longevity issues. My skin is pretty scent-gluey.

    • Ann says:

      Exactly, Darryl! That’s their job, to be refreshing, light, and frequently applied. But as you said, it’s the EDPs and EDTs that you expect more from. BTW, I do envy you your scent-glue skin.

  • I tend to be on the scent glue side of things, so I don’t really get disappointed by longevity too often. One recently, though, was Si Lolita. I can sometimes get the workday out of it, but that time about halfway through the day I couldn’t smell it anymore.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, lucky you, Jennifer! Funny you should mention Si Lolita — I was thinking of it the other day and need to re-try it. It was probably my first or second favorite in the LL lineup. Thanks!

  • Neva says:

    Ok, I don’t know if my nose is getting older, but most of the new scents don’t last long. I miss the good old vintage stuff from the eighties! I sprayed in the morning (maybe twice) and reapplied around noon and that was enough for the day. I’m so disappointed in the Heeleys. He has beautiful summer scents which absolutely don’t last. Even the black line, the more intense ones are oh so fleeting…

    • Ann says:

      Me, too, Neva! But maybe it’s not so much our noses as that a lot of those older, more powerful fixatives, etc., are not being used much now. I’ve only worn Heeley’s Cardinal and a minty one, but sorry to hear that even the intensive line is not up to snuff.

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Annie! Oooh, I have yet to try Rien, but have been meaning to, so thanks for the reminder. Guess we’ll have to do a post on the scents that stay on for ages.

  • AnnieA says:

    Alas for scent-eating skin. Easier for me to mention what actually does last on me eg Rien.

  • Kandice says:

    This is also a deal breaker for me. There are many scents that I’ve loved, but if they don’t last long I can’t justify spending the money on them. I just don’t have it to throw away. My biggest disappointment lately was AG’s Un Matin D’Orage. Such a pretty scent but gone in no time.

    • Ann says:

      Kandice, I feel the same way. I mostly do only decants now as I can never seem to pull the trigger on a full bottle. And I agree, that Goutal is a beauty. I must go get my sample and re-try it ASAP — thanks!

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Ann – Chanel Bel Respiro is the one that immediately springs to mind for me. I should retry it again, though, as I’d like to think I’m wrong about it and should buy a bottle immediately. 😀 L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons is another, but one sort of expects a perfume of that name to be fleeting.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, darling! I think you must have read my forgetful mind, because there was another scent I wanted to mention in the post, and Bel Respiro was it, and now that the wheels are turning, La Pausa as well. Two pretty Chanels that just don’t last. But thankfully, lots of fish in the sea that DO hang in there 🙂

  • Mariann says:

    The Bulgari Thes, Epice Marine and Wood Sage and Sea Salt are all lovely but need a respray after a while.

    • Ann says:

      Mariann, I haven’t worn the Wood Sage or EM enough to test their longevity, but I agree, the Bulgaris are definitely soft-spoken. But they do reapply very well and are worth it.

  • Portia says:

    Heya Ann,
    Now that i’m trying to think of them I can’t even bring one to mind. A few of the L’Artisan and modern Dune but the rest have left my mind.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Portia, the others were so fleeting that they didn’t even stay in your mind, ha! I recall loving a L’Artisan ages ago — can’t remember which 🙂 — poof! and gone.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Summer is a time where most perfumes don’t last all that long on me. I was so close to ordering Cristalle Eau Verte but it only lasted an hour and a half on me. I was so disapointed because I actually liked the citrus note and the hyacinth was fabulous. It really annoys me when things get labeled an EDT Intense or Concentrate. It’s either EDT or EDP in my books.

  • rosarita313 says:

    Hi Ann! I have been out of pocket for awhile this summer so it’s nice to see you. Fleeting perfumes are a deal breaker for me anymore. It’s just too frustrating to enjoy the first whiff, then an hour later I not only can’t smell it but can’t remember what I put on. I’m all about the basenotes most of the time anyway. Sounds like a lovely scent, though!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! Lovely to see you, too; hope all is going well for you. These fleeting scents are indeed deal-breakers; I’m finding I’ve really got to adore that short, initial burst to go to the trouble of reapplying. And you’re right — in some cases, it’d be very easy to forget what you put on.

  • Kate C says:

    I just finally got around to trying Bronze Goddess and like it so much. Unfortunately it only lasts about a second on me. Same with Asphalt Rainbow which I was planning to buy a FB of.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, Kate, so frustrating! Do you think you might still buy the Asphalt Rainbow and just spray, spray, spray all day long? 🙂
      I guess when this happens, it all depends on just how much you love the scent.

      • Kate C says:

        You are so kind Ann 🙂 I like the theory of having a nice big bottle and reapplying it all day but in reality I don’t think I can justify the cost. Too bad, huh?

        • Ann says:

          I’m in the same boat, dear Kate. Maybe just get a decant and enjoy it for as long as it lasts. That’s what I’m doing. By the time it’s gone, I know better whether I can live without the scent, or need another decant.