March’s Top 10 Spring Perfumes

Spring´s bustin´ out all over, and here are March´s Top 10 Spring Perfumes (yeah, okay, I cheated a little and slipped a few more in there).

These top 10 spring perfumesare things I´m loving now that I won´t necessarily be wearing in a couple of months when it´s Sultry Summer in my humid climate:

1. I Profumi di Firenze Arancia Dolce in a tiny bottle of concentrate, which is really designed to be mixed into a larger bottle of lotion. I love it because it´s a bright squeeze of orange and it reminds me of Florence, which is where I bought it (and as far as I know, the only place you can buy it  – the concentrates are not exported to the U.S.) My other orange loves: Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger and L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger, and it just killed me to leave them off. There is no such thing as Too Much Orange.

2. Lorenzo Villloresi Garofano – I must have been having a Bad Skin Day when I panned this on our blind sample swap. It is a gorgeous burst of fresh, spicy carnation with a little leaf to keep it interesting. My other carnation love is Floris Malmaison — A perfect carnation with a little clove that will be too heavy once the temperature hits 80, so I´m wearing it now.

3. L´Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons – a confection of blossoms (linden, lemon, orange), jasmine, and tuberose that makes me smile every time I wear it. My also ran: Pre de Provence Linden, if you want your linden straight up. If you want your linden to stay the hell away from you because it smells like buttered socks, you’re reading the wrong blog. P and I are All About the Linden.

4. Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat –  because what list would be complete without Guerlain? By the way, I´ve smelled the new juice in the Bee Bottle, and? my old juice in the ugly bottle is better. They must have taken out the stuff that was making people´s arms drop off in that worldwide Guerlain epidemic and replaced it with the stuff that makes your nose fall off and doesn´t smell as good.

5. Annick Goutal Mandragore – I smelled this for the first time last spring in the boutique near my hotel in Paris and bought it on the spot. On me it´s pure grapefruit, with a little bergamot, and I think it´s perfect.

6. Laura Tonatto Eleonora Duse — The only Laura Tonatto I´ve fallen for. A dark, sweet violet along the lines of Molinard’s — but richer.

7. Santa Maria Novella Eva — Patty turned me onto this one. A happy, springy citrus-bergamot scent.

8. Frederic Malle Carnal Flower — the perfect smell of the tuberose while it is in the florist’s shop. The faint, almost camphorous chill of the wintergreen is either delightful (my view) or unpleasant (Colombina’s view), but it is much less intense than Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle, which I find essentially unwearable (go ahead, all you TC fans — comment on what a bonehead I am.) I am not a huge white-floral fan, but this one is astonishing.

9. Bond No. 9 Eau de Noho – a bouquet of violets with a big wet smack of linden. This and the Chinatown are my only Bond loves so far.

10. Hermes Hiris – Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist is judged superior by greater noses than mine, but on me ISM smells like the cedar tree fell on the iris and squashed it. Hiris is my Iris Holy Grail, the closest I can get to my idea of the way iris blooms smell.

10. Shiseido Saso and Shiseido Tentatrice I can’t leave these off. I mean, they’re perfect for now, they’re fairly strong (which I like) but will be too much in our sultry summer weather. Shiseido Saso is the most amazing smell, vaguely osmanthus-jasmine-ish, and if I’m lucky my New Mexico transplant Russian olive will bloom this year so I can smell it again.

Finally — check out this Ines de la Fressange (Original Price $65, now on clearance at $20 at Sephora)

“This quintessentially Parisian fragrance is a lush blend of white roses and peonies that seduce with their alluring aroma, deep and mysterious iris, zesty mandarin and blackberry, and finished with rich, lingering neroli, musk, and patchouli.

Notes: Neroli, Mandarin, Bergamot, Blackcurrant, Lily of the Valley, Peony, Orris, White Rose, Patchouli, Benzoin, Musk, Vetiver.”

C’mon, how fuh-REAKING gorgeous is that bottle? I’m way overdue to fall in love with something they’re discontinuing. Thanks to Cheezwiz for the heads up! Hey, Patty — I’m gonna buy this. If it’s too rose-y I’m sending it to you, you rose-lover.

carnation image:

  • Dusan says:

    I know what you mean about the women’s version(s). Aside from being a tad too sweet for my taste, it’s not what you’d call a well-blended composition. To my nose it kinda breaks down to its individual notes and the citric-honeyed-amber tends to burn the inside of the nose :(. Still, PH is quite another story :x. Let me know how that one fares with you.

  • March says:

    Dusan — I have failed to fall in love with L’Instant for women and its various iterations, which I find too sweet on me and missing the Guerlain skank. I am ashamed to admit I keep forgetting to try the Pour Homme at Sephora, which actually sounds like a citrus/patch I might really like. I’ll correct this oversight on my next trip.

  • Dusan says:

    March, since you love Guerlain so much, I’m curious to know how you feel about my beloved L’Instant PH.

  • March says:

    Kristen, Noho is probably my favorite, followed very closely by Chinatown. The Noho Nuits isn’t bad, but I just don’t wear that type of perfume.

  • March says:

    Katie, I’ll send you some.:d

    You tell me.

  • kristen says:

    So glad to see Eau de Noho gettin’ some love. It is my favorite of all the Bonds – an underrated gem!

  • Katie says:

    Oh the PdP Linden! I am so, so, so addicted to the Linden soap (I buy it in bulk, because yes, I am that sad.) Yet I keep holding off on buying the edt of it for some reason, even though it’s so inexpensively priced. So do I need to just go ahead and get it? Does it smell exactly like PdP’s Linden soap and lotion? I’m weirdly timorous on buying the edt I think out of fear that it won’t be the same as them.

  • March says:

    Flora — glad to hear you like Ines. I didn’t research it but am assuming it’s being discontinued since the discount is so deep — generally a bad sign.

    I guess “too much” is in the nose of the beholder.:d My skin tends to tone things down in general. I read somewhere it’s dry skin.

  • March says:

    Cheez — actually, that’s one of the things I really like about Mandragore, although I suppose it would be annoying if you wanted it to smell a particular way and it didn’t.

    No, I don’t find the Meteorites powdery. (I am not wild about powdery notes in general.) The Meteorites is sweet and fairly linear (along the lines of Borsari) but I like it better. FWIW it is I guess the smell of the perfume in their Meteorites makeup (I wouldn’t know.) I got my bottle dirt cheap on eBay, there are 6 of them on there right now under Buy it Now for less than $15. My guess is that you would like it. FYI I like to layer it with Petite Cherie and also w/Mandragore.

  • March says:

    Pam — stay tuned for a special Guerlain review next week. I am crazy about the line, ever since Jicky rocked my world.:x

  • Flora says:

    Do be prepared to fall in love with the Ines de la Fressange! It is gorgeous! I must get more…

    The others sound wonderful – some of them seem like too much for Spring, but maybe I am just thinking of Summer too early!

  • cheezwiz says:

    Interesting that people have so many different impressions of Mandragore! I get a hint of citrus mixed with a hint o’ mint and lots of other fresh green things. For those who like to experiment, Mandragore smells gorgeous when paired with Eau d’Hadrien (Hadrien and Petite Cherie also smell great together).

    P.S. Is Meteorites very powdery? If so, it might not be to my liking, but I’ve always been curious about it. Guerlains are growing on me big time.

    Dunno what the deal is with those mean Canada Customs people. Keeping us safe from hazardous fragrances I guess :-w

  • Pam says:


    If the truth be known, I AM an arm and a leg short these days, but not from exposure to that ol’ “evil” oakmoss. I’ve simply purchased too many Guerlains. Loved ’em and had to have FBs. My wallet may have cobwebs in it, but my nose is mighty happy.;;)

  • March says:

    Cheez — glad to read the Customs drones aren’t protecting you from your perfume imports by keeping them. (What is the deal with that anyway?) I’m looking forward to my Ines.:)

    La Chasse and Mandragore are getting quite a workout around here. Of course, Apres l’Ondee isn’t on my list because it’s good 24/7/365. But you already knew that.@};-

  • March says:

    Pam — aHa!!! Hail, fellow Mandragore lover! That should be some kind of litmus test. Some of my favorite people are Mandragore people. It smells very gingery (in a good way) on a friend of mine, which is cool. Kumquat sounds like a winner too. PS hope you didn’t lose a limb to that bad ol’ Cedrat.

  • March says:

    Vi Noir — P emailed me, I’m all straightened out.:)>-

    That Meteorites is great, isn’t it?

    Paris, I forgot about that. One of my first bottles of fragrance back in The Day.

  • cheezwiz says:

    Great to see La Chasse on your list March! I love this one too, but don’t own it yet. It is my favorite L’Artisan – the perfect spring/summer fragrance!

    I love Mandragore as well. I expected to hate it based on the notes listed, but its just such a fresh beautiful fragrance.

  • Pam says:

    Oh, dear. I hate to hear the Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat isn’t what it used to be. 🙁 Yeah, that worldwide epidemic where all these people were losing limbs and dying of exposure to oakmoss and birch tar. Hunh.

    Was delighted to see Mandragore on your list, March. I love it. Smells like I just bit into a kumquat. Lasting power is pretty good, too. I think it’s my favorite orange.

    Another wonderful post. Thanks!

  • violetnoir says:

    I love violets including Apres L’Ondee, Meteorites (which is such a happy, happy fragrance) and the various incarnations of YSL Paris.

    And, no my name is not Violet. LOL! You have actually contacted me under my old screen name, mistaking me for Marlen (I am hardly as knowledgeable about fragrance as he is, and I am definitely not a male! :)). Patty will fill you in.

    And, no, people don’t tend to give me fragrances at all, much less violet ones…except for Patty! 😡 No, really, I have
    been blessed with meeting some incredible women on makeupalley and on the blogs who, like Patty and Robin at NST, have become friends. Hope we can get to know eachother better, too.


  • March says:

    Ahhh, you’re just lookin’ for new ways to use these emoticons.:-j

    They are kind of addictive, aren’t they? Besides, I already sent you two things (the Diptyques) yesterday that you may well hate. I think they might be too Mean and Green for you.=:)

  • Patty says:

    Did you fall and crack your head? Full Monty … of Perfume?(:| Great oogly-moogly, I have heard it all now.

  • March says:

    Patty — c’mon, how bad could it be?!?


    Okay, well, it could be pretty bad, sure. On US. But I bet there are other people reading this who need to fall in love with something they won’t be able to buy another bottle of. We have to show them the Full Perfume Monty, right?>:)

  • March says:

    violet — you are a GENIUS. CF is soooooo much better than TC (nyah nyah nyah all you TC freaks out there.)
    So, do you like violets? Don’t know if it’s your real name, wonder if it is, do people give you violet frags? Some of my other violet loves are Borsari, L’Artisan Verte Violette, Guerlain Apres l’Ondee (natch) and their cheesy Meteorites, which is cheap and light and fresh. I also like the Molinard, which is too darn sweet for a lot of folks. I could have included any/all of those.@};-

  • Patty says:

    Oh, no you do not! If you get some nasty thing, you are not permitted to foist it on me. [-x

  • March says:

    Robin — too late!:d They don’t have it at my Sephora.
    Yeah, I’m probably not going to like it, my unsniffed track record is lousy. But I can always send it to Patty or … hey … I could give it away here.

  • March says:

    Monica — the Merveilles! That’s gorgeous too. Many of the Hermes would be perfect right now, Sur Le Nil is another great spring fragrance. I don’t get the pepper in Merveilles (thankfully, it can be problematic like cumin.)

  • March says:

    Marina — you hit on the big difference between your list and mine, which is very floral. I am curious: what is it about the florals that bugs you? Are they too heady? Do they just smell wrong or bad on you (like cedar and sometimes vetiver on me)?

  • March says:

    Patty — the TC… I just can’t do it, even though it was one of the few fragrances that strangers commented “that smells great, what are you wearing?” when I was out and about. The camphor thing makes me feel like I rolled in mothballs.:”>

  • violetnoir says:

    This is a great list, March! I love E. Duse (Patty turned me on to it), Carnal Flower (so much better on me than that hyped TC!! Ha, ha!), and Hiris (ditto as to ISM–I guess I’m just an SL dunce!).

    And, I have heard about Arancia Dolce. Lucky you! I wish they carried it in the states.


  • Robin says:

    Another great list! But do recommend you try the IdlF before you buy. I don’t think you’re going to fall in love with it.

  • Monica says:

    I have/love just about everything on this list! now I’ve got to get a hold of some Saso + SMN Eva =) Today is a perfect spring day here in Boston, and I’m wearing Eau des Merveilles (just a tad too much pepper when I get a whiff of myself =P) I wonder what people in the lab think…

  • Marina says:

    I was despairing at first … but then I saw Mandragore and Hiris and Saso. What a lovely, *floral* list. I wish more flowers liked me, but they don’t :((

  • Patty says:

    Wow, I forgot the Linden and the Noho! So many to forget, these lists are just killers. I love yours. I keep thinking I’m not so crazy about the tuberoses for spring and summer, but I think I’ll have to try them.

    YOu are a bonehead for not loving TC *thunks you on head*.