The Guide: Sniffage

First off – thanks to everyone who voted for Perfume Posse on the 8th Annual Basenotes Awards – we took the silver medal (and congrats to Now Smell This for gold and Bois de Jasmin for bronze.) We work really hard on this blog, as you can tell, sort of, if you squint. Or read it when you´re drunk, or bored with GFY. No, seriously, we were thrilled!! You readers are the best! Hugs all around.

Now put your hats and sidearms back on, it’s time to ride with us for the sniffage roundup. Today´s topic as announced last week – a report from the field (that´s you) on what you might have sniffed/bought/bought unsniffed based on a review in The Guide. Or, you can report on something else you bought/tried based on a blog review, advice from your granny, etc. What I love hearing about: what you were expecting/hoping for, and what you got.

Here´s my contribution:

Montana Just Me – I already mentioned this, but I bought it unsniffed because LT compares my much-loved Worth Courtesan to “the sadly discontinued” Montana. I hate it. It smells nothing like Courtesan. It smells like peppered nail varnish. YMMV. Louise wore it back in the day and I´m giving her the bottle.

Gucci Envy for Men – another Guide-prompted sniff, Lord knows I´d never bother otherwise. I don´t even know what the women´s Envy smells like. Notes are: oppoponax, incense, patchouli, amber, musk, cedarwood, cardamom, anise, ginger, nutmeg, pimento. LT admired the ginger (a smell I love) and called it a “lovely woody oriental.” I smelled it on a strip, thought meh, sprayed it on my arm, thought meh, and moved on. Also, I get the “envy” green thing, but the stuff looks like Scope mouthwash in the bottle, and ugh. In the car on the way home, it registered. And … wow. Nice.

I am uninterested in smelling like standard-issue man, even nice-smelling man. I think Ralph Lauren Double Black is a great mainstream men´s scent, with its coffee and mango, and Armani Attitude isn´t half bad, either – and while I might buy one of them for the Cheese, I wouldn´t wear either. I´ll smell like civet or popcorn or the inside of a moldy crypt, but I don´t want to smell like a guy. So. If Envy for Men were one iota more conventional, I wouldn´t wear it. As it is, its gingery-woody-oriental goodness is the love child of L´Instant Pour Homme and Givenchy Organza Indecence – the quirky, patch-y classicism of the former and the warm, spicy vanillic sweetness of the latter. I want to layer it with something to amp up its femme quirkiness – maybe more vanilla, or maybe Serge Five O´Clock Snooze, or maybe that Origins Ginger thing you all keep mentioning. Yummy. ADDENDUM: It is wonderful with more ginger, I tried the Origins.

m.jpgMariah Carey M – marshmallow, “sea breeze” accord, Tahitian tiare, gardenia, amber, patch, incense, done by Carlos Benaim. I´ve confessed on here my love for tacky bottles, and M would certainly fit into that profile for me. The only reason I hadn´t sniffed it was … well, it´s by Mariah Carey, and nothing against Mariah herself, understand, but I´d assumed M was likely to be a gag-inducing fruity floral. Anyhoo, in The Guide TS called it a “pleasant nutty-lactonic sweet floral” with a browned butter smell, which sounded like it might have some legs as one of my snuggly comfort scents. And it just won the Basenotes award for best women´s celeb scent, so I gave it a go, why not? And… oh, I don´t know. It´s not terrible. I wonder if I´m anosmic to some part of the base? It´s fairly diffuse on my skin, have any of you tried it? Is this one of those five-spray deals? It´s less appealing to me than Hilary Duff With Love, or Betsey Johnson — both of which I like, and either of which I´d prefer (TS hated La Duff with its masculine woody drydown, while I admired its gutsy break from what you´d expect from a teen queen.) With M you´ve got your (slightly bitter) fresh thing at the opening, then you´ve got your gourmand. Sniff your skin at the drydown and the incense smells like Pixy Stix. Too bad, I was kind of lemming that bottle once I picked it up. 

Okay – your turn. Did you get what you were expecting in your sniffage, or something different?

  • Cassie says:

    Congratulations for the silver! I enjoy this blog, and the other winners as well. I’ve been using them as a reference for sniffing, and will continue to do so despite The Guide. So before I forget, thanks for everything. Anyway, these are the ones I sniffed after reading The Guide.

    Beyond Paradise(s) – Didn’t like them before The Guide. I sniffed them again. Still didn’t like them. Worse yet, with ‘masterful portrait of a gorgeously fresh, fictional, ideal tropical flower’ in mind, they reminded me of those robotic dogs that were supposed to be pet replacements. Creepy.

    Joy – Luxurious blossoms. This sounds strange but the drydown resembles my perspiration. It was a cold and wet day when I tried it, and I was underdressed so it definitely wasn’t me. I would like to try it again but a spastic twist of my wrist sacrificed the rest of my sample to the closet door. So I’m currently joyless.


    Tea Rose – LT nailed this one. This is the only fragrance I bought without sniffing. Found it at Filenes Basement. It was cheap enough to get drunk on. Smells like a bouquet of roses, red petals, green stems, a few crushed leaves, and maybe dethorned. Excellent mileage, too much yellow dye and difficult cap. I like it.

    Songes – Pretty, whimsical, on the melodramatic side, and generally, harmless. Very comfortable scent to wear but not something I will buy.

    Apres l’Ondee – I love the smell of almonds but I can’t smell this perfume unless my nose is touching my arm where I spritzed it. Smells nice when I can smell it.

    L’Heure Bleue – It is complex, strange and beautiful. I don’t see how this perfume can seem edible. The top and middle notes remind of Salon Pas medicated plasters, in a good way. Although I like this fragrance, I don’t want to smell like I’d sprained my back.

    Bvlgari Black – Love this one. The burnt rubber bothered me a little but it blended very well with the smoke after a while. It’s so interesting that I didn’t get tired of it throughout the day.

    31 Rue Cambon – Love this one too. Classic elegance.

    On the whole, The Guide, for me, isn’t any worse or better than the blogs as a reference. I’m not a perfumista, I just like variety, and is therefore collecting fragrances to wear. I can’t appreciate the abstract, neither can I appreciate something I can’t smell. The authors probably tried most of the fragrances on skin but I doubt they lived alone with any one for a whole day.

  • Very late on this, but congrats Posse team on a job well done: a different take on things and with lots of candour!


  • kathleen says:

    I’ve only read bits of the Guide, and I must say that it did influence me in that I want to try some of the vintage Caron’s now. What influences me most, are little things that I glean from people’s posts. For example, karin above wrote that the Prada Infusion d’Iris put her in mind of Chanel No. 5. Now, No. 5 never really buttered my toast, but I like the Prada. Today, I put the Prada body lotion on and dabbed on a sample of No. 5 Parfum that I had in my wee stash and I smell gooood! I might buy a FB of No.5. But I had a martini lunch and, of course, this could all change.

    Oh, yeah. Musette made me get a decant of Djedi and I was quite pleased that she held that gun to my head.

    • March says:

      Wow, that sounds like a great combo! And while Prada and No. 5 don’t smell the same to me, I can see the connection in terms of the dryness and sharpness.

      That Musette steered you in the right direction, all right.

  • moi says:

    Congrats on your Silver Medal – you all deserve it in spades!

    The one Guide review that kept calling my name was Bulgari Black. Sniffed it this weekend. Never thought I’d love the smell of roofing tar, but, hey, nature loves her little surprises. Adore this stuff. And it can be had muy el cheapo on eBay. Go figure.

    Also, re-sniffed EL Beyond Paradise and just like the first time, it disappears on me within the hour. Before it does, though, I THINK I get an inkling of what Luca is going on about. But if it doesn’t last on my skin, I don’t buy it.

    Revisited Donna Karan’s Gold as well. When I first sniffed it, as a sample freebee, I was pretty much, “Meh” and I gave the sample to a friend. The guide prompted me to try it again. And, whoa. What was I thinking? This stuff is gorgeous. But now it’s gone. Sniffle.

    • March says:

      If you have a Nordstrom near you, maybe they’d give you a sample of Gold? They’re pretty good about making samples up.

      Isn’t that great about Bvlgari Black? Nice that some of the good stuff is the cheap stuff. :d/

  • Debbie says:

    I just remembered another one I tried thanks solely to The Guide: Dune. They say it’s a fresh oriental, gave it five stars, and that it reminds them of creepy artificial limbs. Well, not here. There is nothing fresh about it. It is an 80’s fragrance (although I think it came out in the early 90’s). It is interesting and pleasant enough for me to use my 5 ml decant, but I’ll have to see how it goes regarding whether it will be purchased again.

    I didn’t buy Dzing based on their Guide, but I was looking it up just now. They say “vanilla cardboard”, and I think that’s pretty accurate; need to add a rubber tire in there tho.

    • March says:

      I would describe Dzing! as “elephant poop” which is why nobody asked me to write a guide. 🙂 It smells great on other people, though.

      Dune!! I forgot, I sniffed that too, and took quite the effort — the sprayer was gone (why do people DO that? do they hate it? maybe I’ll steal all the spray tops off Angels) so I had to smush it on paper. I thought it was … fine. Should retry on skin. I agree, I didn’t get all the drama they were describing.

      • Disteza says:

        Vanilla cardboard and elephant poop? Must go coddle my poor Dzing’s hurt feelings now! I get none of that; on me Dzing is all leather and animal, with some woody bits in the dry-down. It’s more authentically leathery on me than the more expensive Cuir de Russie, which treads a bit too much on the indolic side for me, or Cuir de Beluga, which seems more like leather in abstract. Pretty, but not really leathery.

  • Kim says:

    Congrats on your award Perfume Posse: (*) (*) (*) (*) (*)

    Gucci Envy? Meh on me. Same with Gucci Rush – although I can see how someone could love Rush, especially with its innovativeness at the time it was released.

    Lolita Lempicka? Licorice? What are you all talking about? I must have licorice-eating skin! I get light cumin body odour, no licorice, no anise. Meh and Hrummph.

    I don’t buy full bottles unsniffed since I learnt from you all that one person’s holy grail can be another person’s migraine headache ( Paloma 😡 Yatagan ^:)^

    I do read and enjoy what The Guide has to say but take it with a grain of salt – it’s criticism and even the critics don’t agree. I have ordered samples or minis from discounters on the basis of their reviews but I do the same with the blog reviews.

    And sometimes I just don’t get what the love is – the Estee Lauders are nice, I really like Azuree and Knowing, but I can’t put them on the same level as my favourites from Chanel and Guerlain. And I know there is a lot of love for Theorama but it is kinda meh on me.

    But sometimes, WOW – the Guide is right! Hello Yatagan!!

    • March says:

      Rush is a fragrance I adore, but gosh, it’s hard to live with six hours later. Like a cheerful and bubbly but annoying friend. 😉

      Yatagan. Sounds like you walk on the Skanky Side. And okay, I definitely need to retry Lolita. Wow, no licorice, huh?

  • Debbie says:

    I have sampled many things from The Guide and even made a list for today’s topic. It is lost. Harumph. My sample wishlist had about 40 fragrances added to it. Of everything I’ve tried so far, I don’t remember the boring ones. Nothing really stood out as being horrendous. I do, however, remember two successes: Rochas Femme and Missoni. They gave Femme only three stars and said it was too masculine. I was hooked when they said it was a “nice woody floral with lactonic notes”. That sounds great to me, and it is. I love my little decant; perhaps even enough to get a bottle.

    Apparently there isn’t a lot of love for Missoni here? I love it. I might be allergic to it, however, so I need to retry it. I didn’t really pick out individual notes on the first time around–just an “mmmmmmm good” reaction.

    • March says:

      Missoni is one of those chocolate-fruity affairs I am pretty much destined not to like, chocolate not being one of my favorite smells in perfumery. (Eating is another story).

      But it’s such a complicated scent i wouldn’t be surprised if other folks perceive it quite differently.

  • Elizabeth says:

    The Guide had only one lasting effect on me: It made me *fanatically* devoted to my poor, unfairly-maligned Carons, and I was already a pretty big Caron fan to begin with.

    So…LT and TS are responsible for my purchases of a bottle of French Cancan (For the record, I also have a bit of of late-1930s French Cancan and it is almost identical to the current one. So much for the alleged reformulations.) and a decant of Acaciosa.

    The punchline…I bought the Acaciosa decant with the money refunded to me when I returned The Guide to Amazon! 😀

  • GGS says:

    As an experienced perfumista, I hardly ever buy anything unsniffed! I have regretted purchasing decants (rather than samples) after a rave blog review (Worth Courtesan didn’t work for me 🙁 ) but I’m finding it easy to swap them away on MUA.

    The Guide has certainly influenced me to add more fragrances to my “wish list” to sample; one success was Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan, and I went on from my sample, to swap for a large decant, and a FB seems likely…

    And yet… and yet… I DID break down, like other commenters above, and purchase an unsniffed Full Bottle due to The Guide. Seems we’ll take a risk for something inexpensive!
    The lure: a low price at an online discount shop ($27. for 3.3 oz), and I was already purchasing something else, so the additional shipping was negligible.
    I thought I was buying Hermes Concentre d’Orange Vert, which LT gave 4 stars. But I received instead, it’s sister fragrance L’Eau D’Orange Vert. LT gave this one a positive 4 star review too, but I was hoping for more oomph, and am not impressed. I’m trying to interest my teenage sons in it 😉 rather than spend more $ to ship it back. (The store won’t cover the shipping: I was fooled by their incorrect photo but the fragrance was listed correctly elsewhere; however they did offer to take it back.)

    So, like others, I take the guide with a grain of salt (LT dissed my current spring fave Bulgari Au The Rouge, for example). But I’ve noticed an uptick of MUA swapping in samples of the By Kilian’s that he praised, like Love & Taste of Heaven. I enjoy both of these, and so admit that I am happy to see them getting some “love”….

    (BTW: Find myself flagging LT’s reviews more than TS’s for some reason. Did he do more reviews in the book, or are hers not as controversial/attention-getting for some reason??)


    • March says:

      LT is just WRONG on The Rouge, which I think is a great scent (I like all three of them, although Blanc is my favorite.) And the concentree isn’t all that much stronger than the regular? There was something I didn’t like about it, cannot remember what. One of those Theory scents — in theory I should love it, but in reality …

      I would guess LT and TS are pretty evenly divided in their reviews? I did not count though.

  • Disteza says:

    I’m holding firm onto my position as one of the Guide-less, but back when I was just getting into the swing of my perfume obsession I was lured by many glowing reviews into buying a bunch of the non-export Serge Lutens line. However, I had smelled and bought some of the export bottles, and I had an idea of what to look for from the line. I ended up with bottles of Chene, Borneo, La Myrhhe, Rahat Loukoum, Fumerie Turque, Chergui. Some of them I fell in love with instantly, others took me a bit more time to warm up to (mostly Chene and Chergui), but in the end I’ve come to appreciate them all. Some get layered a little more often than the others though. :-\”

    • March says:

      Hah — and you tried to use WHISTLING GUY! Who is broken and now is that quasi-worthless question guy. I used whistling guy all the time and his absence is mourned.

      That’s a nice list of fragrances to develop some love for. And I really should retry La Myrhhe, I wasn’t ready for it then but might be now. 🙂

    • Disteza says:

      Yeah, not sure why Mr. Whistle-face there is broken, but I’ll leave Mr. Confused there anyway. I admit that if I had smelled Chene and Chergui on me first I probably wouldn’t have bought them, but now that they’ve grown on me some more I’m glad I went FB.

      • March says:

        I do sometimes wonder whether the luxury of the FB encourages you to spend enough time with a fragrance to love it? Not that everything would grow on you, but certainly some of the fragrances I like have taken awhile to come around to.

  • Sadie says:

    I ended up trying The Unicorn Spell, which got four stars in The Guide and a great write-up here. Part of it’s my fault: I fell in love with the idea of a dreamy, cold, green violet and was already picturing it as a new summer staple. I ended up being one of the people who got nothing but green beans from it, and maybe a little smoky wood. No iris, no violets. I’m going to blame it on skin chemistry.

    • March says:

      Oh, nooooo!!!! Green beans!!! Agh, that’s horrible. I get cucumber, sort of, but tons of violet. That’s one of the great disappointments of fragrance, isn’t it? When you get one instrument and not the whole freaking orchestra. I am hoping you didn’t buy an entire bottle…

      • Sadie says:

        Only a sample and some high hopes! I’m definitely glad I decided to try this one first, because it does not love me at all. Or maybe it does, in a motherly way, and it’s trying to tell me to eat my vegetables…

        • March says:

          Yes, that’s it! Eat your veggies!

          It’s funny what people like. Patty loved Piment Brulant, which smells like green peppers, and nothing else, from me. And I feel like, who wants to smell like a green pepper? This from the woman who thinks smelling like regular pepper or ginger or what have you is just great. /:)

          • sweetlife says:

            Hi I *love* the green bean note in Unicorn Spell! It’s what made me start liking violet!

          • March says:

            Ah, but you *get* the violet, like I do. Would you love it as much if it smelled like Three Bean Salad? 🙁 Hmmmm… I am getting hungry. I love three bean salad myself.

  • tmp00 says:

    I didn’t purchase anything based upon the book, but I did spend about three hours in Sephora minutely examining everything in there (high in West Hollywood? 97 degrees). So I did give Tommy Girl another whirl. Still morning after too many fruit punches at that party at the frat house. The one where you wake to find you can’t find your car keys, you’re walking funny and your shirt is on upside-down.

    I mean, I have a love for fast food. I will gladly point you towards the best chili-cheeseburger in Los Angeles (Tommy’s on Beverly near Rampart) but I will in no way put that 5-star chili burger in the same category as a three-star seared Kobe beef at CUT that I gave 3 stars to because it wasn’t actually from Japan and I didn’t think French Fries were worth $12, just because they are both when it comes down to it, food.

    • March says:

      Why doesn’t anyone do a fragrance called Walk of Shame? I would buy it in a heartbeat. Just for that slight vomit note … also cigarettes. Sweat.

      I think on some basic level this is the issue with the rating system. If you look at it that way, Tommy Girl and Mitsouko are on the same level (and there are other, more heinous comparisons).

      • Musette says:

        If that’s the case then I will have to take an ax (or AXE?)and chop myself into little bits….after I chop up every single bottle of Tommy Girl in the land.

        I mean, I can understand why TG might be considered a masterpiece of that ‘New! Fresh! American!’ genre(though I still suspect LT of having a little laugh at the ol’ USofA with that one:-)…….but the concept of it and Mitsouko being thought of in the same arena just gives me hives. Jane Blow, perfume newbie, would have a very difficult time understanding why both of them might be worthy of 5 stars…but in very different categories!

      • MattS says:

        Surely Demeter or CB could do Walk of Shame. It really would bring back some powerful Scent Memories… it would be perfect.

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey, I’ve already moved on from The Guide. After I tested Beyond Paradise (YUCK!) and a couple of others that LT loved, I sort of moved on…

    Congratulations to you guys on the Basenotes Award! 🙂 It is so well deserved!


    • March says:

      I think the Estee stuff is where most people are going … no way, get on outta here!

      And you are probably moving on to your summer sweet fragrances, yes?

  • Millicent says:

    I haven’t read The Guide yet — too enthusiastically busy smelling what’s recommended here and on the other blogs. I’ve ordered a bunch of small decants unsniffed based on these comments & reviews: CdeG Incense series, Messe de Minuit, three Montale Oudhs, two Hermessences, SL’s Borneo, MKK, Gingembre & Chergui. The only real disappointment has been Chergui, which went on very sweet. As is obvious from what I’ve ordered, I’m way into the heavier incenses these days, and sweet really puts me off. However, when I decided to just wear the Chergui *as if* I like it (you know, spray some on in the usual places and go about my business), it was better, more appealing and interesting somehow. I still don’t love it — does anyone have suggestions for what to layer it with? — but I can wear it.

    • March says:

      Wow, what a great sample list! What about layering Chergui with one of those incenses, like Avignon? Or something woody? It can be too sweet on me — it’s great except for the times it’s like syrup. 😉 I like it very much but made it through the winter without a decant, so maybe I don’t need it after all.

      Adore MKK. I hope you liked it. I don’t even find it all that skanky, but maybe that’s just me.

    • Disteza says:

      I love to mix and match my Lutens; I tried Chergui once with Arabie; THAT was some potent juice, though. I’d try layering it lightly over Cuir Mauresque, or possibly over something leathery from another line.

    • karin says:

      OK, I’m stumped. What’s MKK?

      • karin says:

        Nevermind. Muscs Koublai Khan. (I so hate it when I post some silly question then find out the answer two seconds after I post!!!!! DUH!!!!)

  • vidalicious says:

    Well, after reading all the AWARD WINNING BLOGS ^:)^(congrats, ya’ll!) I *know better* than to buy unsniffed. But in my earlier, naive, just-started-reading-perfume-blogs days, I was CONNED into a full, unsniffed, discontinued bottle of Kenzo L’Elephant by someone-to-remain-unnamed at this very blog! :-w However, I do love the bottle. (But WOW how does that thick soup even make it out of the sprayer?) And it is discontinued…so it might become more valuable? Maybe I can spray it on my pancackes when I run out of syrup…b-(

    • March says:

      Aiyaiyiyiyiii!! Let me check my records, I cannot think of WHO would have given that loud, trumpeting Elephant the sort of writeup that would get people pushing the unsniffed buy button … boy, I wish my whistling emoticon worked, but it doesn’t, let’s use this one. :-w


      I have taken some heat for that one. Sorry. But yeah, what a cute bottle!

      And don’t put it on your pancakes, I can vouch from personal experience through spray mishaps that perfume tastes worse than you’d think! 8-} Cannot imagine how people drink it for the alcohol.

  • Francesca says:

    If Perfumes-induced unsniffed purchases include small decants, I’ve got two. With all my headache/allergy issues with fragrance, I’d never plunk down a lot of money on a big unsniffed bottle.
    However, the two that were most curiosity-provoking to me were MDCI Promesse de l’Aube and FM Lipstick Rose. For PdlA, I was intrigued of course by the rave review and description, but also by the rather OTT bottle. And I have to admit I didn’t like the fragrance all that much at first. The other night, though, I felt I should revisit it for this theme post, and I adored it. Warm, very sexy but still ladylike, beautiful peachy glow. It is a bath in golden womanliness. I spent the evening with my nose on my arm.This has happened to me a couple of times where I sniff something and am not impressed, but then I give it another chance and fall in love. So a bigger decant is definitely in my future.

    The other scent I purchased based on PtG (though it was a 3-star rating) was FM Lipstick Rose. My mother used a beautifully fragrant lipstick called Irish Rose in the 50s. I was curious to see if LR smelled like it, and yes, it does, as far as I can remember all these years later. Tania’s description of the fragrance as having a sense of humor was very appealing to me, too, as I like getting in touch with my inner Irene Dunne. I think I’d wear it for a cocktail party.

    And special thanks to Louise (Galbanum ho!) and MattS for making me LOL this morning.

    • Francesca says:

      And PS Congrats on the silver!!!

    • March says:

      I loved those MDCI’s. They sent us samples in just little plain sample bottles. They hadn’t named them yet, they were just the perfumer’s initials and some numbers (SB1 or whatever.) Trying to remember which one Promesse was … I thought they were all lovely, though. And he was a very sweet man.

    • MattS says:

      My pleasure. I’m here for the sh!ts and giggles as much as anything. I love it that all of us make this fun, not taking it too seriously, but making it a seriously good time.

  • Musette says:

    Congratulations on a very well-deserved award! I couldn’t begin my day with any semblance of sanity without you!

    Okay – Tried per Guide: that blasted Luca! I could smack him:-w Or maybe I should smack ME for listening to him wax rhapsodic about Tommy Girl and Aromatics Elixir. Tried TG and endured an incipient migraine all the way home from the spritz…and it’s a looong drive, let me tell you! AE? Never could figure out how to like it but again, M. Turin just went on about what a classic it is….that is as may be, ma petite, but that’s a fan-whirring,arm-scrubbing, clothes-washing scent if ever I sniffed one.

    Like so many here I am influenced by blog/reader reviews way more than any Guide. Because of the Posse, I tried Theorema – jury’s still out – I LIKE it….but not sure I love it just yet. PP got me into leather and NST has me lemming the vintage Diorling….March, your going on about Courtesan prompted a sample…and I will now FB it when time and funds permit (does that mean I ‘have’ to go to Paris? Oh well….if I must:-)

    one of my favorite sources of review/sniff/buy is Luckyscent. I LOVE their over the top descriptions….and then I go to the customer reviews! What a hoot! But often the customer reviews will tip those scales in favor of a FULL BOTTLE!

    FB or not, the blogs have really expanded my olfactory horizons…and I’m having a blast! Thank you all!@};-

    • March says:

      Hey, Aromatics Elixir would mos def NOT be one I’d be recommending unsniffed. And Theorema — I have two bottles, and they’re old, and they smell pretty different. Maybe it IS just boring. More room for other frags! :d

      But I am more interested in Courtesan! You likey? Didja get any dirty bits? I take it not the fruit salad? If you look at the list of notes it makes one rather doubtful of the outcome. [-(

      • Musette says:

        I still suck at deciphering notes (or, rather, ‘translating’ notes). I bought the samp on your, recommend8-| because I love Je Reviens and the House of Worth in general (esp. their couture)….and here’s what I get from Courtesan. IMO, Courtesan is Je Reviens’ hot cousin on her mother’s side, once-removed. She has slutty tendencies but married austere money and (mostly) now knows which fork to use. Cleans up good but can’t quite hide that tattoo………Mr. Mayflower is in thrall to her. His mother hates her.

        ….and I mean this in a Very Good Way.

        • Debbie says:

          Well, that’s a very interesting image of Courtesan! Mine? The fruit-striped gum that was sold way back in the past. Ick.

        • March says:

          Um … yeah. That’s what I get too. Where’s my steamy emoticon? :”> The Cheese finds it alluring, and … well, I’ll stop there.

          And poor Debbie below got what apparently the OTHER 50% of folks who try Courtesan get. It’s my own personal Beyond Paradise. 😉

  • Flor says:

    Didn’t get The Guide yet, mail is slow. But – you don’t know what Gucci Envy smells like??? You must try! It’s wonderful. It’s a green flower scent that is fantastically versatile. I love it!

    • March says:

      Well, Flor … it’s the “green” part that scares me. I’m not big on things like galbanum, or LOTV, in my fragrances. But you are right — I SHOULD try it. And I will, I promise.

  • AnnE says:

    One more for Tocade. Actually, I bought this after I read parts of his first “guide” and almost immediately gave it away. I don’t get the love for this one at all. On me, it was an insipid, ambery floral which had a plasticky note and left me thinking “huh?”

    There are many others from the new Guide which I have yet to seek out, but I just can’t remember them all right now, since I read it quickly and didn’t use any post-it notes. I agree with you, March, about the boosts for PdN and Tauer. And I will forgive LT for almost any amount of fragrance dissing after reading his review of Vol de Nuit (my HG). 🙂

    • March says:

      Yup, Tocade leading the pack. But it’s pretty darn cheap … I guess the fact that they even *like* older fragrances like that makes me happy. Maybe some of the houses will dig around in their archives and re-release something.

  • karin says:

    Hi March! I received M as a gift. Tried it a few times over the course of a couple of months. Though my husband liked it (he’s not the one who gave it to me), I kept daydreaming about returning it and replacing it with Prada Infusion d’Iris which I’d tried in a sample and of which I’d read rave reviews. I just couldn’t love M, so I finally returned it – feeling a bit guilty about it – and ordered the Prada. Well, when I’d tried the sample, it smelled to me like a tamer, more wearable version of Chanel #5 (which I can’t wear at all). But after receiving the bottle, I tried it again. I decided it just wasn’t me. Returned that one, too. Oh well! Instead I bought Bronze Goddess. 🙂

    As for the Guide, I’ve been scouring it like crazy and have ordered a handful of samples to try based on the reviews. But…I also “confirmed” the samples I chose to purchase by reading the blogs. Though I wore Beautiful years ago, I never liked any of the other Lauder fragrances. They all smell way too perfumey to me. I’d never tried Beyond Paradise, so drove to the mall and sprayed it. Yuck. Blah. Totally not appealing to me at all. But rereading LT’s description of it, it seems to me that he likes it primarily because he admires the way it was developed. He appreciates the work that went into it, and as a result, is impressed with the outcome. I may say I don’t listen to classical music, but I can appreciate Mozart or Beethoven’s genius. That doesn’t mean I’m going to suddenly start listening to classical music. OK, so maybe BP is a perfumer’s marvel, but I don’t like the smell of it.

    • karin says:

      Oh, one more thing. Knowing nothing about Parfums de Nicolai, I’d ordered a sample (from Perfumed Court, of course!) of Juste un Reve along with a bunch of other beachy scents that I’d found reviewed and recommended on blogs. I liked the sample. After I bought the Guide, and read their rave reviews of other Parfums de Nicolai scents, I purchased a bottle of the JeR. And I just ordered samples (from Perfumed Court, of course) of Odalisque, Sacrebleu, and Maharanih. Can’t wait to try them! I wish they were available to sniff in a shop here cause I want to try them all!!! I’m anticipating PdN LOVE!

      • karin says:

        True, BG is a Lauder scent, but I like it way better than any of the other EL scents. And did you catch that I purchase samples at Perfumed Court??? Ha ha. Didn’t mean to mention it TWICE in my last post. 😉

      • March says:

        Hey, I bought Bronze Goddess!! Love that stuff. I’ve even been wearing it in this cool, depressing weather, pretending that summer is coming. Which I am sure it is. Like a sledgehammer. At least in this area. Stay tuned for my whining in June about how hot it is. /:)

        I agree with your assessments of the rest of the ELs being too perfumey — I know exactly what you’re talking about. And I adore Maharanih, hope you like your samples.

        If there was ever a shop I wish were in the US it would be PdN.

    • Kim says:

      I love your analogy – I think some of the 5 star reviews are because of the importance of the perfume from a critical/historical point of view, and not necessarily a ‘love to wear this’ perspective. Certain pieces of classical music I can appreciate because of their history/artiistry/innovativeness – but I’m still not going to listen to them very often or even buy them. Same with perfume.

  • Masha says:

    Had to try Flora Bella unsniffed and it is a winner! Weird, alien, peppery floral with that iced milk note. Total Moon Maiden scent. Another Duchaufour delight! But I didn’t get Tommy Girl at all. BO-RING. Tried Mauboussin, but it’s a total leather scent, a yummy leather scent, but the Guide didn’t mention that at all. Still, it’s the only leather in my collection and I’m enjoying it.

    • March says:

      You make the Flora Bella sound delicious, actually. I like quirky fragrances. And I wish I could get my hands on the Mauboussin Topaze. 🙁

  • Elle says:

    Congrats!!! SOOO well deserved. Can’t imagine my mornings (when not traveling and w/out computer) w/out reading the Posse.
    Haven’t bought anything due to the Guide yet (yet being the operative word), but I did recently order Guepard unsniffed after reading about it on POL. Great purchase – turned out to be a wonderful mossy, woodsy scent for just about pennies on the discount sites. Am now considering ordering Maroussia, which was the primary scent mentioned in that POL thread. Oh, and ordered Azagury unsniffed from the boutique in the UK after reading about it on NST. They emphasized base notes in the description, so I overlooked the bit where they also described it as “fresh” – huge mistake on my part. I am not in the mood for fresh. Am traveling almost constantly right now and NEED grounding scents – literally can’t get enough of base note heavy scents right now. But Azagury is *definitely* fresh. Reminds me a little of Jalaine’s d/ced Green Tea – a good thing during other times, just not now. Eventually I may come to like Azagury, but for now I’m trying to ignore how much I spent on that long string of expletives deleted summery scent.

    • March says:

      Agh, that fresh thing?!?! Like the spectre of the hand of death … where’s the grim reaper emoticon? It is frequently a deal-killer for me too! Is there such a thing as fresh-amplifying skin? Or do you thing there’s something in it we’re sensitive to? Often when people mention a “fleeting” freshness in the top it’s there like a tattoo on me, forever. Ugh.

      And I would love to hear more about Maroussia if you get it. :)>-

  • sariah says:

    Congratulations on your award!

    I bought 2 unsniffed decants, and a bunch of samples based on The Guide. Decant 1 is Yohji Homme from LT’s review. I totally get why he loves it. It shifts around a lot and I think of it as a stealth scent – if you pay attention it’s really interesting, if you just spray it on and wait for it to knock you out with its awesomeness, not going to happen. I almost bought a whole bottle of this unsniffed, but glad I didn’t – a decant will suffice for me since it wears close to the skin and is quite subtle – not enough oomph for me to wear on a regular basis.

    Decant 2 is Caron Third Man from TS’s review. I’m still siphering over this one.

    For sure 2 interesting scents.

    • March says:

      I need to sniff that Yohji Homme, they make it sound so delicious!

      And Caron’s Third Man (and Yatagan) were when I discovered “my” Carons were pretty much in the men’s dept. 😉

      Hey, did you read Diptyque d/c’d Elide? I think that’s right. Too bad, one of their cooler scents.

  • Judith says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! I have bought nothing b/c of the Guide, although if I can remember, I will sniff Tommy Girl in the store. I have bought more than I care to remember on the recommendation of various blogs–and I am stopping right NOW. . . well, any minute now. . . :d

    • March says:

      Thanks!!! And I am coming to your home town some day to sniff in your perfume closets, because you have some lovely things. Keep an eye on Mr. Lily with those, though. He is unreliable. :)>-

  • MattS says:

    Congratulations, lovely ladies. Simply the best, all of you.

    Well, I finally made my first unsniffed Guide-influenced purchase last week. I’m not counting PdN New York, LT may have planted the seed on that one, but Patty and Carmencanada were the ones who really made it grow. It’s on its way…

    But I was in Marshall’s the other day and saw a bottle of Azzaro Pour Homme for cheap. LT sings its praises to the high heavens, so for sixteen bucks, it seemed worth a gamble.

    I raced to my truck, tore it open, gave a couple of tentative little spritzes….bang-in-your-face Seventies Man. I kinda wanted to undo a shirt button or two and add a little swagger to my walk. Chest hair just started growing out of control; I wanted a cigarette. Honestly, I’ve been enjoying those late seventies/early eighties Man Scents lately, and this seemed liked a fun addition. But five stars and one of the top ten masculines of all time???

    There’s smoke and leather and musk, of course. But there is a bit of lavender and anise somewhere in the mix that makes it a little more interesting than I expected. The anise-challenged needn’t be afraid, it’s just a touch and you won’t walk away smelling like a licorice bomb. You might just smell like Burt Reynolds, and if you’re on the cover of Cosmo, that ain’t such a bad thing. Oddly enough, however, this loudmouth kinda quiets down pretty early on to a warm, woody musk that actually makes the shag carpet in front of the fireplace seem almost intimate. I can see why someone would love this scent and I can see myself wearing it again. I already have.

    • Louise says:

      Wow, I think I would have liked being in that truck to experience the top notes of Azzaro :d/

      • MattS says:

        You could have been Sally Field to my Burt Reynolds, Smokey and the Bandit, indeed!!

    • March says:

      TOm Selleck?!? Giggling. Hey, I really liked what someone (TS?) maybe said about Sex Appeal for Men, I think, which you should definitely try, I want a report … where was I? Oh, these great smells are what men smelled like when they wore “bad” (ie cheap) cologne back in the day — Brut, Azzaro, etc. Which turns out to be not half bad, I guess.

      • MattS says:

        Oh, I’m definitely jonesing to try the Sex Appeal for Men, based on the Guide. You know I’m a big fan of Jovan Musk for Men, I can’t help myself. This is a whole sub-genre of scents that fascinates me for some reason, the Seventies Man-Scents. I don’t find ’em cheap smellin’ or tacky at all. I am trash, I guess. The boy can’t help it.:d

  • Louise says:

    Congratulations on the Silver! Next year, perhaps, Gold, Platinum, Titanium :d Kudos too, to NST and BdJ. So many excellent blogs, now. And that lovely new Grain de Musc, hello Carmencanada!

    Ooh, excited to re-try the Montana-I hope memory serves well. And, well you know I love getting my nails done, and pepper my food wildly, so how Not Me could it be 😕 Thanks!

    I still haven’t touched the Guide, but do continue to buy perfume somehow :d/ I guess my inspirations have been various blogs, including my beloved PP, discussions with friends, and online research. Most recent purchases have been vintage (Dioressence, #19, Pucci Vivara, Rochas Femme extract, Di Borghese, and on). These have been largely inspired by comments in various spots on scents I like about how the “Vintage so outshines the reformulation”. Luca and Tania would likely agree, I think.

    And so far, I do, too. With the exception of the Carons, I am in thrall of most of the vintage bits I’ve got. Exquisite overall, longer lasting, more complex. In many cases, though, I still like the modern versions-if I just consider them a totally different scent.

    I am now also an official Galbanum ho. So that’s the other inspiration-finding and/all Green perfumes. Research and acquisition focuses on the Big G, and as a corollary, hay and green grassy notes.

    • Musette says:


      What don’t you like re the vintage Carons? I’m curious because I am SLAMMIN’ on the vintage C’s. when you come to Chi-cocoa we’ll have to dip and sniff the vintage bottles at Nordie’s and discuss. I have a Q-tip of Eau Poivre that was dipped on Thursday…and it is going strong as ever – in fact, I am thinking I can bring this one to the Scentsation=))

      On their new stuff, though, I just spritzed their Reglisse and…..well…..b-(

      • Louise says:

        Doll, I must have mispake. I love both old and new Carons, but they are so different (the Guide is corrct here), that I must think of them as different scents. My vintage Tabac Blond is so leathery, it would make a fine saddle. The new, is, well much “prettier” with a fine balance of feminine and, well, balls :”>

        • Louise says:

          Hey, where’s the “balls” emoticon 😕

          • Musette says:

            He’s off punching somebody in the nose!

            Glad to know you don’t hate the vintages, though I was more curious than disturbed. It will be fun to compare the available vintages with the reissues. I home in on that little glass box every time I’m at Nordie’s but it never occurred to me to do a side-by-side comparison. I think I’ll wait for you to get here to do that. Do you know, I have NEVER sniffed Tabac Blond? I will have to rectify that. Since I’m a-lovin’ leather these days….helloooo TPC!

            I’m wearing Diorella today – not inspired by anything other than random musings on the blog(s) but I wouldn’t have strayed from Diorissimo except for those postings. Thinkin’ I might be liking ‘orella a whole lot!


          • ScentScelf says:

            In my one try of Diorella, it came on like an over-the-top broad and if I had had more time/opportunity/inclination, I might have actually scrubbed. (No, it’s not an “old” perfume thing…my “likes” include Bandit and Norell.) But, close to two hours in, it became a fabulous thing.

            Now what am I supposed to do during the oh-so-long top and middle portion of the Diorella event? Maybe go get a pedicure and subject the salon to it?

            I don’t know; I think I might have weird dry-down vibes. Miller Harris Rose et Noir started off delightful dark and rosey on me, and became a light “meh” toss off. Wasn’t that supposed to be the other way around?

            Perhaps it’s the overly cool spring…the cosmos is turned over…full moon tomorrow…???

          • Musette says:

            Just let it roll, baby!;) I like the whole ride – it is cheap and cheerful at the onset, isn’t it, though it dries to a lovely elegance! Wear it to the salon and let it beat up the hairspray!

          • March says:

            This is something I think many of us struggle with with various scents — what to do if you hate the opening but love the drydown? My personal limit is about 20 minutes of waiting — beyond that it’s not worth it to me. But maybe you have more patience than I do!

          • March says:

            Where IS the balls emoticon? What a workout it would get on here. I mean, instead we’ve got :-l

            and o-> and what good are those?

      • Kim says:

        Vintage Caron at Nordie’s in Chicago? I can’t make Chi-cocoa but have conference in Chicago next month – will have to check out the Nordie’s !!

        I recently tried some vintage Shalimar Parfum – wow, definitely more animal in the vintage stuff. I can only imagine what vintage Yatagan (which I love) is like. 😡 😡

        • Musette says:


          Go see Mohammed (tell him I sent you- he’ll be lead sales for the Scentsation) and ask him to introduce you to Marti, the Caron rep. She is a HOOT! great lady. you will enjoy spending a few minutes with her and the vints. they’re in this lovely, old-fashioned jewel-box of an area , with elegant highbacked chairs…….it’s just a nice step back to a more elegant time.

    • March says:

      You are the perfect vintage customer. You’ve got the skin for some strong sillage, some grand musks, some civet … that Vivara was amazing.

      Hey, the Montana will probably smell *great* on you, we are not EFTs but our skin is definitely different.

      Gak, can’t believe you’re now a galbanum ho! Over to the dark side! :-ss 😉

  • Silvia says:

    Well done on the result ! Totally deserved.

    I caved in and bought a cheapo Tocade on ebay, not unsniffed but I figured I needed to spend more time with it if I was to get its greatness. Unfortunately, my initial impression was confirmed: it’s ok, reminds me a bit of Rose Kashmirie but prefer the latter by a mile. I’ll keep trying.

    I also re-tested the whole Estee Lauder line and confirmed that while I have a lot of appreciation, I don’t need to own any.

    I can see in my future a cheap bottle of Eden (LT describes it as smelling of wet cahsmire and I love that smell). Wouldn’t have bothered sniffing it had it not been for the Guide.

    Also went out to specifically try Vanilia it but it’s not my cup of tea.

    And I fell in love with Le Temps d’une Fete of which I had an untested sample which the stellar rating made me dig out. Another bottle in the bag.

    I am still not bored with it and since I do like to have little sniffage projects, the book is a valuable source of inspiration.

    • March says:

      Another Tocade. I was getting ready to buy a bottle unsniffed, and re-checked and realized I had a sample. :d And realized I didn’t need it, it’s just not me, although I do think it’s pretty.

      With you on the ELs, although I may wind up with a bottle of that skanky ol’ original Azuree…

      Is that the L’Artisan Vaniglia? It of the wonderfully delicious trashiness? I really need to resniff that, I have no idea what they’re smelling but it sounds great.

      • Silvia says:

        The original Azuree is the only one I desire but in the UK it’s not as widely available as the others I tried.

        Yes, the vanilla scent is the L’AP one. Not as trashy as expected, but infact left me quite indifferent but must give my sample a good undisturbed run.

  • alba says:

    My first “sniff” was Lalique’s Encre Noir. I’d read very positive reviews before, so when I saw that Tania gave it 4 stars and called it one of “the best clean vetivers around” (or something like that) and I’m crazy about vetiver, I decided to go try it. It’s really dry, more “masculine” than feminine in a way, and really wonderful. I bought the bottle. Another one to share with DH.
    Then it was the turn of “Classics Revisited”: so I went on for Envy and Cinema. Cinema was nice and Envy I don’t know. I don’t think I’d wear it. As a review this is rather pathetic but I must confess I just wasn’t much interested. The next one, “Givenchy III”, one of the “scents of my life” was a different matter. Although I seem to remember it a bit different (the top notes, especially), after a while I recognize the fragrance, and it brings me back in time. It will be my birthday present to myself.

    • March says:

      That Encre Noir is another scent I think has probably gotten a lot of sales based on the word of mouth on the blogs and boards. I know when we did our sniffage in D.C. last fall, people loved it. Cool bottle too.

      I can’t remember Cinema at all, and keep hoping I will run across it, I think it sounds good. Undoubtedly a bottle will be standing in front of me at some point. And I like those Givenchy reissues, although I wish the bottles were prettier.

  • sallycantdance says:

    I don’t read any blog except this one, and I have no interest in that guide, so I can only contribute a deficient thought about the Mariah: I was hoping for blackened Campfire Girls marshmallows dripping over a log, and instead it was quasi-tropical floral cooled with refrigerant. Polynesia and marshmallows were a bit of a conceptual stretch to begin with, but who cares? Happily synthetic, though.

    Yesterday I subjected myself to the following combination: Kenzo Summer (left hand); Kenzo Parfum d’Ete (right hand); Jardin Sur le Nil (left arm); Jardin en Med. (right arm). Not that I didn’t know what these smelled like independently, but I wanted to gauge them relative to each other. Today, when the headache finally subsided, it turned out that Jardin en Med. was the clear winner. I noticed a marmalade and a brown sugar note that I hadn’t previously, sandwiched between woody fig and dry spice. My mistake has been to expect this scent to smell like the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but nothing ever does, does it? As it stands, it’s good enough for a large decant, if not a bottle. And I do have to mention that the package design for both this and Nil are the best in the business, IMO.

    • March says:

      To be fair to M, I tried it on a day when I was trying several other things. I am serious about that bottle. I’m going to retry it on its own at the mall. Stay tuned for some sort of lame reversal. Hey, did you read my review of that goofy Oscar Fresh Vanilla, I think last week? Marshmallow being the new litchi, which I don’t want to think about too much. Anyway, it TOTALLY has the burnt marshmallow note. I mean, humorously so, like a Demeter. I couldn’t decide whether really wearing it would be fun or get on my nerves. You might want to give it a whirl — burnt marshmallow and vanilla, and to steal your phrase, happily synthetic!

      Mediterrannee (I KNOW I just spelled that wrong, can never remember which letter isn’t double) is one of BdJ’s favorites, and I think her favorite fig. Great scent.

      • sylvia says:

        its funny you should mention demeter, because when sally said burnt marshmallows i immediately thought, i should get a mini of bonfire and layer it with CSP vanille extreme (which is pure cotton candy on me). that might be tasty. it might be time to place another demeter order. any faves/suggestions? definitely holy smoke. thats the top of my list right now.

        • March says:

          You know I’m a total Demeter ho, right? And they have those ginormous minis for $5, which makes me so happy I can’t tell you.

          Off the top of my head, my favorites are some of the weirder non fruity ones: Holy Smoke, Coriander Tea, Beetroot, Thunderstorm (not to wear but just to smell). Their Bonfire isn’t half bad, and great for the price. I liked Honey and Fig more than I thought I would. Two comfort scents: the new Incense, which is more soft honeyed resins, and at the risk of embarrassing myself, Robin/NST and I were both surprised by how much we like Egg Nog, which sounds HORRIBLE. It is a spice-pudding smell, milky and cinnamon and nutmeg and a dash of vanilla, if you like that sort of thing. I wear it to bed a lot.

  • Maria says:

    The only time I’ve ever bought a full bottle unsniffed was Bandit last year because I couldn’t find samples for sale anywhere. I haven’t regretted that one.

    Otherwise, I never buy FB without sampling. I bought a sample of Lolita Lempicka because of the 5 stars. Not really me.

    Sometimes when I order a bunch of samples from TPC a gem can get lost in the parade of scents. I retried my sample of Belle en Rykiel because of the description in The Guide. This time the fragrance made its mark. It’s now on my FB wish list. No coffee note on me, but the comfort factor is wonderful, and according to my DH it has sillage.

    I’m so glad that the weather is right for a 5-star darling, PdN Le Temps d’une Fete. That rating was right on the money. I knew I had good taste. 😉

    I have noticed that LT/FS’s two-word summaries can be way off. Everyone should be careful not to rely solely on them. For example, they describe Tauer Reverie au Jardin as “woody fruity.” Perhaps they have fruit that smell like Reverie–on another planet.

    • March says:

      Bandit!!! Oh, what a great purchase. I love me some Bandit. I can’t believe they used to stock that and Fracas at our Sephora back when I didn’t appreciate it. And now it’s too late. 🙁 Bandit took me about 2 years and 20 sniffs to come around to btw.

      Wah, I want what you’re getting on the Belle! I camethisclose to buying a bottle after Louise recommended it (you two!) But it’s VERY coffee on me, and having tried it several times … no. If I’m going to wear coffee I want something else, not sure what.

      Okay, here’s one great thing about The Guide — if it gets ANYONE to try/buy more PdN, it will have been worth it. The love they showed PdN and Andy Tauer made me so happy.

      • March says:

        Oh, forgot to add — when I saw “woody fruity” for Reverie, I *actually* thought, that must be a typo.

  • Calypso says:

    Well, I tried a few of the Estee Lauder scents based on their rave reviews in The Guide. I couldn’t stand White Linen, but was agreeably impressed by Pleasures (still–not enough to buy it).

    I’m on a mission now though to try all of the Rochas scents which they say are so under-valued. I bought a sample bottle of Tocade on ebay unsniffed. Today I managed to find some Rochas scents to sniff in a perfume store in the Houston Galleria. When I sniffed the Tocade I almost passed out, it was that heady/heavy. I have a feeling that bottle is going to go into the black cabinet (or maybe it will sit out and just be decorative). They didn’t have Mystere, but another woman was there at the same moment I was, looking for it. I tried Byzance too and loved it, so that’s going to be my next ebay score.

    • March says:

      Man, that White Linen. And Bois de Jasmin likes it too, I think. Estee puts that big ol’ whomp of fresh stuff in so many of the newer scents and it smells sour to me, or bitter, or something. Pleasures, same thing. I wouldn’t wear it if you gave it to me.

      So funny about Tocade! I’d bet five bucks that’s one of the top unsniffed purchases from the guide, because of the raves, it’s a classic, and it’s cheap. I like it in theory, but in person — too much rose? (trying to remember). I am now trying to talk myself out of an unsniffed bottle of Rumba, having discovered Angela’s review again and Tigs’ review of it and Asja.

  • sylvia says:

    wow, i obviously read this blog at the right time. i love being at the top of the comments list. i dont know why….

    anyway, getting back on topic:

    still reading the guide (im at the s’s) but from the reviews, i was prompted to (re)try a few things.

    1) tommy girl: i dug around for my bottle left over from high school. it had like a third missing so i must have liked it at one time. probably because it was popular then. i dont see 5 stars anywhere in it. i have nothing to say except that it is remarkably tenacious for a cologne concentration.

    2) missoni acqua: i haven’t hauled my butt to a nordstrom to smell the regular missoni, but acqua got 4 stars from TS. and im not surprised, it is so similar in its tart apple-ness to be delicious which got 5 stars. i detect a style TS likes… anyway, i didnt like be delicious and i dont like acqua. its fruity, sharp, and frankly for all its fizziness, uninteresting.

    3) lolita lempicka: i had to swipe my sample back from my housemate (i gave it to her after a moment’s sniff. it smelled like cotton candy to me) and retried, for serious this time. and i decided that i really really liked it. the licorice is strong in the beginning, but the drydown with the vanilla and toned down licorice is just beautiful. (on a side note: blue sugar is fantastic on me! it starts out like diet lolita lempicka and dries down like diet L de lolita lempicka. is that weird? anyway, its very nice) anyway, moral of the story: laid my paws on a decant of LL and one of LL midnight on MUA. woohoo!

    • sylvia says:

      ps: i have about a gajillion x’s in pencil next to fumes i want to try. im far from done being influenced by the “guide”

    • March says:

      Heh heh — on your remarkable tenacious with Tommy Girl. It’s true.

      Gah — and another great observation on Missoni Acqua. I hated the Five-Stars-From-LT regular so much I didn’t smell the new one, and you’re right, I think she likes tart scents. But I don’t like Be Delicious much either so I can pass on that.

      As much as it scares me …. I need to retry Lolita Lempicka, don’t I? The first time I smelled it I was disgusted and I didn’t give it much of a chance — who wants to smell like Easter jellybeans? But there is a clear relation in there between LL and some of my favorite orientals. Having discovered anise in so many things, maybe I should try to learn to love it more. The LL Homme sounded good too.

      • sylvia says:

        not easter jelly beans, my darling. good and plenties. but i love it. i need to try the masculine too.

        • March says:

          And that other one — Midnight? Hmmmm… if I turn into a licorice fiend, that would open up a whole new world for me.

    • Erin T says:

      Hey sylvia, good to see you here – wanted to ask you something. You mentioned on a post that there were errors in the Guide and you cited the Promesse de L’Aube review. I was just wondering, dolt that I am, what the error was? There is something that seems wrong about that review to me, too, I’m just not sure what it is (too close to Enlevement au Serail, maybe?)

      By the way, though, Be Delicious only gets three stars – and I think we can all be grateful for that.

      • March says:

        Funny you brought that up, I keep meaning to go back and check. I assume she means it sounds like two of the reviews got mixed up?

        • Erin T says:

          I thought the switching was a possibility: EaS is described as “peach jasmine” and Pdl’A as “peach rose” (and “chypre”) and both reviews cited 50s revival-peach fuzz and 31 Rue Cambon. Pdl’A *does* smell a bit like 31 Cambon, but to me Enlevement au Serail smells much more like a Guerlain, and the two don’t smell very similar to me. Sylvia wrote it almost as an aside, so I assumed LT had admitted somewhere to being confused or having mislabelled samples or something.

          • Erin T says:

            Never figured out where this potential error was revealed, but just discovered today that the Exhale and Inhale fragrances attributed to Parfums D’Empire in the Guide are actually Be You Never too Busy to Be Beautiful (Lush offshot) scents. Now that’s sort of embarrassing, considering the write-ups they get and Exhale’s inclusion on the Best Quiet Fragrances list.

          • March says:

            Erin — Gad, how did I miss that?!? I’m looking right at it in the Guide… that’s embarrassing. BTW if you mix them together 50% you get Breath of God.

            No, seriously. Go look at their website. Sheesh.

          • March says:

            PS you know, I dug out my samples after this topic was raised and reached a conclusion … and I can’t remember what it was! :”>

  • Catherine says:

    Well, I looked through The Guide for a few minutes, then promptly returned it. Maybe if I hadn’t read Turin’s French guide or his blog, I would have found the contents useful and/or humorous. It struck me as neither, so why spend the bucks–that’s a fifth of a nice bottle! And every fraction counts these days.

    But I have been almost solely guided by the well-written reviews by blogs (not having any great sniffing opportunities where I am). I fell completely under the spell of Robin’s descriptions of the Ormonde Jayne line and ordered the set. It was the language she used. I had been searching the web for ideas for new scents for only a couple of weeks. Then…the words used for OJ. Well, the sample pack came. I sniffed. Ordered four bottles within half-a-week. (Hey, in my defense, I may have had three or four fragrances at my disposal at that time!)

    Then, came the Monas. First, The Scented Salamander’s description of Lux, using the word “chiaroscuro.” That was enough. Got a sample, barely sniffed it, and ordered a bottle. Seriously-I ordered it so fast I may not have actually sniffed the sample. Do you see a thread developing? Language, the use of certain words in a review, will lead my wallet before my nose. Then, fast forward to Lee’s review of Carnation. I had dismissed it, but then he wrote so beautifully about it, so I ordered a sample again. And again, I called up Aedes before the dry-down began.

    And I could go on. The only real unsniffed purchase I’ve made has been La Haie Fleurie. (I don’t count vintage.) It was meant to be. I’d been wanting a bottle for as long as I could remember because of the Marie Antoinette reference (not, I’m not saying connection–I don’t believe PR that much!). Big Rococo fan here, and her garden at Versailles is one of my favorites from the Rococo. But then Donna (I believe, I hope so!) wrote her review on Perfume Smelling Things. OH! I swooned, I bit my nails! I’d been looking for a nostalgic jasmine–a white floral that did not turn on the sun but, rather, lit up the rain like little lights in a gazebo. Well, that’s the vibe Donna wrote about. I bought. I’m happy!

    Blog reviewers have immense sway over what I decide to sniff based on the words and references they use. Big kisses to you all!:d

    • March says:

      It pretty much goes without saying that some of my best fragrance buys have been because of reviews on the blogs. I never would have hunted down discontinued frags like Chaos and Theorema, for instance, if I hadn’t read about them first and thought, wow, that sounds pretty fabulous.

      The OJs … you know what? That’s probably the singular most worthwhile sample set I can think of. The highest ratio of winners of any line, off the top of my head without a full cup of coffee in me yet. :)>-