dunceOn Friday we explored the complicated feelings some of us have for the oh-so-fickle House o’ Guerlain, which has started to resemble Hazel’s House o’ Pancakes in the terminal, cloying sweetness of some of its recent releases.

Today hopefully Patty will be waaaay too busy to drop by and discover that I continue to achieve a lack of Hermessence arousal that only a nuclear-strength dose of perfume Viagra might be able to overcome.   As everyone knows, Jean-Claude Ellena is Patty’s homeslice, and I envy their cozy little perfume affair.

So let’s start by stipulating that I’m an idiot.  If you’d like proof, my two favorite Hermanessences (as Musette so lovingly branded them once, and now I can’t make it go away) are Paprika Brasil and Poivre Thingy, which I am fairly certain are at the bottom of most Hermessence lovers’ lists.

As for the rest, I mostly loathe them, which is actually kind of funny when you consider that one of the general complaints about the line is their lightness and simplicity; what’s there to hate?  On my hate list: everyone’s beloved Ambre Narguile, of course, and Brin de Reglisse, which is like eating a lavender sachet and washing it down with ouzo.  Vetiver Tonka is unspeakable.  I am amused to see I completely deleted from my memory bank the newish Vanille Galante which some of you will remember my reviewing briefly as “I strangle you with my aquatic tendrils,” a wet, salty floral with a hint of banana Wonka Runts candy.   Rose Ikebana I can take or leave, so you might as well take it and enjoy it for yourself.

Today we have:

Osmanthe Yunnan, an oldie but goodie.  I bought yet another sample to try to decipher why I don’t own it, since I like it enough to keep using up my samples.  The answer:  it’s lovely for ten minutes until the Yunnan tea departs completely, at which point I find the Osmanthe floral a little sweet.   OY thereafter reminds me of Parfums de Nicolai’s wonderful Fig-Tea, only Fig-Tea works a lot better on my skin and has surprising lasting power (I think even Louise can wear it).

Eau de Gentiane Blanche – in which JCE raises his game by releasing a fragrance with so little aroma that it makes your average Issey Miyake feel like Bandit.   White musk, gentian, incense, iris.  Faint powdery smell that I have to capture by almost resting my nose on my skin and hoovering.  Musk anosmia?  I have no idea.

Eau de Pamplemousse Rose – orange, rhubofix (a Firmenich aromachemical with a “a zesty freshness and unique green rhubarb effect”), lemon, grapefruit and vetiver.   Okay, I can’t hold JCE responsible for the unfortunate effect grapefruit scents sometimes have on me.  I have read and forgotten the chemical associations involved in making grapefruit smell like a combination of urine and/or sulphur on skin, and certainly I am out of luck with this one.  The collective effect is sour rose, old vasewater, and That Boxwood/Eggy Smell.

For a completely different take on these, here’s a link to Patty’s review.

As JCE is already clearly trying to kill me (you think I’m paranoid, but witness Hermes Mousson and the rebirth of the melon trend in perfumery) I suppose I’ll concede aesthetic defeat and console myself with the other 90-kajillion fragrances I own.

So.  In an effort to reduce people flaming me: are there any houses that seem not to work very well for you?  (Go ahead, rag Guerlain.  I deserve it.  Or tell me you finally tried my BFF Worth Courtesan and it’s the worst.perfume.ever and go suck on some of that, March!)

Also, Andy Tauer sent me samples, I’ll pick two of the first ten commenters who ask for it to receive samples of Rose Chypree.  US only please, sorry, USPS has just raised postage and tightened restrictions, so lines are long and right now I don’t have the time or patience to submit to the paperwork required for mailing small, scary packages overseas.  For stateside addresses I can just fling it in the corner mailbox and scuttle away rapidly.

Finally, I wouldn’t want y’all to miss this fascinating response from IFRA on Grain de Musc (two parts, here and here).  Nice work, Denyse!

  • mals86 says:

    Man, when I was a mother of toddlers, I was too broke for brandy.

    • BBJ says:

      Well, it IS a Hermessence. I assume this hypothetical gal has money–maybe she’s doing shots of Calvados mixed with the baby’s applesauce. 😉

  • Eric says:

    Paprika Brasil is my favorite of the line. I was thinking of setting up a split of a travel set but I didn’t think I’d get any interest! D=

    Osmanthe Yunnan is one of my least favorite, right next to Vanille Galante. But I bought a bottle of Brin de Reglisse and I hoard my (free from Hermes, thank God for the close proximity!) Vetiver Tonka sample.

    I got more sillage from Eau de Gentiane Blanche than any of the Hermes fragrances by Ellena, save maybe the nefarious Ambre Narguile which I bashed not 3 months ago on Makeup Alley. But Eau de Pamplemousse Rose fell apart. If it had a texture, it’d be viscous like an egg yoke and sticky. And it’d be fluorescent green.

    • March says:

      The Nazgul! That’s what we like to call AN around these parts, that’s Patty’s special nickname…

      So. You are a guy? Eric? Just a guess. Then maybe the musk anosmia has a gender element … Lee didn’t have any trouble smelling it either. Love your description of Pamplemousse!

      • Eric says:

        I had to Google Nazgul. xD But it fits! Though I think I’d actually like whatever they’d smell of.

        Yep. Maybe, though that’d be weird. And I didn’t really dislike PR but it isn’t me. Some people look good in fluorescent green. I think.

  • sybil says:

    For me, it’s more a question of “what houses do you actually like, oh picky one?” Not Parfumerie General, home of the Ratcage Patchouli, the Aomassai uh, not gonna say it —-crack accord, and a few other horrors, including the grape soda/rotten leather one–Cuir Venenum. I wish I could say I loved most of them, but whatever their hottie developer is doing is ruined by my skin. And Creed–every Creed I’ve ever tried is crap on me. There’s a horrid ammonia note in their base that my skin just blares. Lorenzo Villoresi–any of the 6-7 I’ve tried last no more than 2 hours–that’s too short for anything but EDT and cologne. I’m more or less indifferent to all the Hermes and the Hermessences, Anything that expensive, I wanna scream wow and smell it for 10 hours. And I’m gonna give Serge some love–yeah, he’s weird, and sometimes just wrong. But so worth it when it works…. (who’s crabby today? this is why I don’t have a blog.)

    • March says:

      Like I’m never crabby on the blog. Look, I made Patty cry. She’s going to go outside and cheer herself up planting some more roses.

      • sybil says:

        I feel splenentic today, glad I’m not the only one! And…I was ogling the new OPI/Sephora stuff early this week. I loved (at first squint) the sparkly blue-green one. But various constraints (like my 10 year old son fussing at me) made me go running out ASAP, before I bought it. Back at the house, I realized that the color was pretty much a duplicate of 2! I already own. So, next time I’ll take your advice and snatch up the matte blue, which I overlooked, being too easily swayed by sparkle.

      • carter says:

        Based on her post today on FB, Patty is probably more likely to be vomiting in the rose bushes, poor girl…AND March made her cry. I’m just hoping they’re not still sitting in her freshly painted (or at least freshly stripped) kitchen.

    • Shelley says:

      Now, here ya go. I started with other PG’s — L’Ombre Fauvre, Bois Blond — and am happy to plant either scent or hottie developer on me. And see what develops.

  • Patty says:


  • Mariekel says:

    Wah! I missed my chance at the Tauer! Ah well, i shall just wait patiently with the rest of the plebians…(violins playing)

    I am not a huge fan of the Hermessences, with the exception of the maligned Poivre. I like Osmanthus Yunnan, and even recommend it to others, but i wear it rarely. It just seems a bit, well, cold. As to houses that work for/on me, I am still searching for one whose every fragrance fills me with the need to immediately run up my credit to ridiculous lengths. I love Andy Tauer, but only his Orris and Marocain work on me so far. Lorenzo Villoresi has three that i love (Yerbamate, Sandalo and Garofano) but the rest are horrible. I admire Caron tremendously but find most of their perfumes (with the exception of Tabac Blond and Alpona) too femme-y. Guerlain? Only Chamade. Chanel? Only 22. I love the daring and intellectualism of Parfumerie Generale but adore just one: Querelle. Am smitten with Montale’s aouds but loathe the rest of the line. And so on….

    • March says:

      Hey, don’t pussyfoot around about the LVs — tell us how you really feel! Heh. Yeah, and I’m such a diplomat myself (I do really like Garofano though.) Have you tried the Caron mens? Yummy. You have interesting tastes — all over the place!

    • Musette says:

      You have no love for laNuui?

      I need to find some Drama Nuui lovers – there have got to be at least one or two? We can go sit in the corner and sip absinthe and smoke Cuesta Rey Numero 2s!


  • Disteza says:

    I’m pretty friendly with the Hermessences: AN l-l-loves me, Vetiver Tonka is suave and well-behaved, Brin de Reglisse is pretty if fleeting, ditto for Rose Ikebana. As for houses I cannot wear: Estee Lauder, Dior, Chanel (with the notable exception of Sycomore), most Guerlain (there are some exceptions here, but the older ones don’t wear well on me, and most of the newer ones make my teeth ache), Creed, Mona di Oiro, Tauer perfumes (they’re wonderful smelling, just not on me–the incense in the base goes ‘off’), and most of the Ormonde Jayne line (Champaca is gorgeous though).

  • BBJ says:

    I’m thinking houses. I haven’t tried enough things yet to feel totally at ease with sweeping statements, but lemme see:

    Chanel, so far, has been totally hit(No. 22, Bois des Iles) or totally miss (Coromandel, and anything released after 1990).

    Hermes is very hard for me. So far I only like Jardin Med. Lots of their stuff, to me, simply smells like DEET–there’s a strong bug spray note that makes much of what they do unwearable. And the dip into Hermessences that was the Narguile went in another direction–oh God, it’s sweeeeeet, and it’s going to kill me.

    L’Artisan, so far, has been a disappointment. I love the Piment Brulant, which everyone else seems to think of as sort of a high-concept joke. Nothing else by them seems very special or interesting to me. They wear nicely on my skin, they just don’t interest me at all.

    • March says:

      See, I love reading this. Who knows why something is a hit or a miss, and why/how it works in our brains? L’Artisan was one of my gateway drugs to niche perfumery, and I find them interesting AND accessible, so I’m always recommending them to newbies. But it sounds like they didn’t do a thing for you. And yes, Piment always seemed like a high-concept joke to me too! Like, okay, you DID it — but who would wear it? Delrae Emotionelle is the same for me. But everything’s got its fans!

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey, babe!

    Well, I used to love AN when it first debuted, but then found it rather suffocating. But, I do love OY and Vanille Galante. I can’t help but love the salty/marshmallow thing that VG has going on.

    I still have not received my samples of the two new ones. Wonder where they are, but hopefully they will get here today.

    I just don’t get the Ormonde Jayne line. Something in her base does not work for me. On the other hand, I have toyed with ordering a decant of her “super secret” scent, lol! It really does sound beautiful.


    • March says:

      Suffocating, there’s a sentiment I can get behind. And I wonder where your samples are? Although the mail’s slow right now, I wonder if people dumped a ton of stuff right before the postage went up?

      I love the OJs but can definitely see that if one didn’t work on you, maybe none of them would.

      • violetnoir says:

        Update: Received my samples. I am not exactly bowled over, but they are well done. Further testing is warranted!

  • BBJ says:

    Oh dear, the Ambre Narguile. I tried that. My immediate impression was that it smelled like applesauce with brandy, and gave me a strong impression of a mother of toddlers, losing it at home alone. While I may someday be that woman, I didn’t much care for the smell. I don’t get the amber, or the narguile, just very boozy applesauce.

  • mals86 says:

    I’m with you ladies on the ELs. Not a single one of them could I wear, except Pure White Linen Light Breeze or Beautiful Sheer, but why would I?

    I went back to check my notes on White Linen when I tested it again recently, and they say, “White linen? Only if left wet in the washer for three days to mildew.” Gah.

  • Frenchie says:

    I’m not thrilled by a single Hermanessence, in fact Hermes frags leave me cold. I can’t smell 24, Fabourgh at all (anosmic??)and Caleche is ok if I want to smell like expensive soap (which I normally don’t). Hubby loves Jardins and they smell lovely on him, but that’s it.

    Other houses that I don’t particularly like are Caron (never tried vintage), Creed, E.Lauder and Lutens. I’m with Musette on Lutens: I ‘get’ it. They are interesting, different, daring, etc. But I don’t want to wear them. They tend to be heavy on my skin and then dissapear very soon.

    • March says:

      You can’t smell 24?! And the SLs disappear on your skin?!?!?! Man, those things are like a drunk at a party on me — they’re obnoxious and they won’t take the hint and leave.

      Creed is not getting a lot of love on here today.

  • Musette says:

    Hermanessence, Hermanessence
    O, thee of Birkin Bags
    I hate your folks but wear Poivre S
    If I’m of other frags

    That’s it for the po-try. My house loves include Guerlain-by-default (Mitsouko and Jicky make up for the recent weirdness), ditto Piguet (c’mon Bandit AND Fracas? What’s not to love?)

    Babycakes, I so wanted to love Courtesan, I really did…but it’s kinda ‘off’ for me, like someone wearing JeReviens and baby spitup. Sowwwy.

    I have tried and tried and tried with Serge – and I’m tired. They are nice and I ‘get’ them – but..well, let’s just say if they all vanished off the Barneys counter this very afternoon I couldn’t muster up a tear.

    I would kill everybody in this town were the Patous to return, in all their glory. I’m wearing Vacances today and it’s cheering me right the hell up.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!


    • Musette says:

      that line should read “if I’m OUT of other frags”

      sloppy – ruinin’ a beee-yoo-tiful, lyrical line like that!


      btw – thinking of one mainstream line that doesn’t work for me in any iteration (perfume/makeup/treatment): Estee Lauder. Except for Vintage Youth Dew, which I adore in the bottle (on me, not so much). Everything else makes me itch, sneeze, scritch, wheeze.

      • March says:

        Most of the newer ELs don’t work on me at all. There’s some (aquatic?) musky deal in there, like in White Linen, that is very sour-smelling to me. Interesting, because mentally I get the idea that it is supposed to represent clean. It’s a clean musk. But clean musk smells like old laundry to/on me. One of the musk mysteries.

    • March says:

      Hahahahaha! Baby, that was be-YOUtiful! And I love your description of Courtesan. I’ve heard more than one comment along the lines of …. so, that vomit note doesn’t bother you? (The other comment is: sugary mess. Or, *what* skank? So who knows.)

      I can’t believe your Serge heresy! They’ll tie you to a tree and spray you with Miel de Bois, look out.

      • Musette says:

        Oddly enough that (and Gris Clair) are the only two that even remotely resonate with me. The rest are just a whole lotta work – but I wonder if it’s because I don’t get a chance to give “them” a chance? When I’m at Barneys there’s always something else, tugging at my nosehairs. Currently it’s TDC, which they’re carrying in store now…..PLAYTIME!


        • carter says:

          I was struck temporarily blind when I read that Serge line. Wearing goggles now and it’s better but, please, speak no more trashola of His Majesty of les Exclusifs! Had he favored this lowly commoner with Iris Silver Mist, Tubereuse Criminelle, and Bois de Violette alone and then rested for all eternity I would still worship at the altar of the Mighty Lutens.

          • Kim says:

            hear, hear!! even though I don’t wear them often, I love them because when I am in the mood for them, Lutens are heaven!

    • Natalie says:

      Ha, another SL heretic here! Gris Clair is the only one that remotely interests me as well; the rest are either meh or out-and-out blech on me. Truthfully, my apostasy doesn’t pain me — I’m happy not to give my nonexistent pennies to Mr. Pretentious himself! (Go ahead, burn me at the stake…)

  • mals86 says:

    I tend to do well with classic Guerlains, although as I’ve admitted, Mitsouko hates me and LHB does this Medicine Cabinet of Hell thing on me. PdN is another house that I love, and if I had potsamoney I’d probably own bottles of half their line.

    The Chanels that I love, I really love (No. 19, No. 5 EP, and Rue Cambon), and the rest can go jump in the lake for all I care. Same deal with Caron: give me Aimez-Moi and Parfum Sacre and you can have the rest. Kenzo’s hit-or-miss, too, and I’m with Kim on the Hermes line: I Just Don’t Get It. The two OJ scents I’ve tried (Frangipani and Ta’if) were wonderful, and I just haven’t explored the line as fully as I’d like. There’s time, though… assuming I don’t get hit by a bus.

    • March says:

      Hey, if I had potsamoney I’d have my own PdN boutique in my house. Just so I could revisit things and decide what I really loved. You could have all the spare bottles of Vanille-Tonka though. 🙂

      • mals86 says:

        I would wear the heck out of the bottles of Vanille Tonka, too; it’s one of those that make me giddy with delight. Hide the forks.

  • lissakv says:

    right with you on the lack of love for JCE on general. I think I kinda like A.N. and the Rose Poivree but just kinda. should we duck and cover now?

  • mimmimmim says:

    Parfumerie Generale scents leave me cold. I don’t hate them, I don’t even dislike them, I just don’t have a strong reaction to them at all. The one I could possibly live with that I’ve tried so far is Coze.

    I love Caron, and most Ormonde Jaynes. If Patou were still producing their old gems, they’d be way out ahead of everyone else. (I don’t know if I’m sad that they cut off all their old scents or happy that at least they didn’t gut them to comply with regulation – would an inferior version be better than no version at all?) But without Patou, Caron gets my current vote.

    • March says:

      Those PGs — I really liked several of them, raved over a couple… interestingly, I don’t wear any. None of them. Somebody said it better on here elsewhere. I admired the craftsmanship, I just didn’t want to wear them after smelling them. Huh.

  • Kim says:

    I am with you on the Hermanessences – Ambre Narguille is terrible on me and the others either don’t impress me or I just really don’t like them. In fact, I don’t get the house of Hermes at all (ducks!)

    With only a few exceptions, Chanel is the number one house for me – they all suit my skin and my tastes and I have been a die-hard fan for a very long time. Guerlain would be next, then Commes des Garcons. Caron? Yikes! not for me! PdN – found them boring. But Chanel and Guerlain have enough to keep me busy!

    • March says:

      You could certainly do a lot worse than having a lot of luck with Chanel. They’ve kept their quality up even in the EDTs, which you can’t say about some of the other lines.

  • Nava says:

    I like the Hermessences; Vanille Galante, despite it’s punch in the face opening of stargazer lily, is quite wonderful when it calms down. Ambre Narguile is baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and Chevrolet, even though it was not intended to be, and I love it. Brin de Reglisse is wonderful but fleeting, and I would love to own a bottle if I could get the thought of spending $200.00 on a bag of black licorice Nibs out of my head. Osmanthe Yunnan is completely irrelevant to me because Parfum d’Empire’s Osmanthus Interdite is so much richer and longer lasting.

    Montale has got to be the worst on my skin. Everything across the board just goes rancid on me. I have a newfound appreciation for some Guerlains, but Chanel and I, with the exception of Coromandel, will never be best buds.

    • March says:

      Montale… you know, everyone loves their ouds, and Montale just isn’t me either. Maybe someday.

      • Musette says:

        Ditto on the MOntales. I have a couple of them and I always feel as though I’ve been transported back in time to Webster Groves, MO, where our local head shop sold incense and oils….


  • EileenS says:

    Paprika Brasil and Poivre Thingy are my most liked Hermessences, so I guess you and I are in the sniffin’ club. Problem for me is that I want to like the Hermessence line — conceptually, it is what I want but WHY doesn’t it work on me like I think it should? It will be a mystery..

    Other than Guerlain, which dries down to a powdery muck on me sadly, the Bond line has been a no-go. I’ve sampled pretty extensively and all have the same odd grape Kool-Aid note on my skin that overwhelms everything else. At least I’ve saved myself a lot of trouble by eliminating one whole line..

    • March says:

      Giggling. I love your Guerlain description. And I like the way the Bonds look, but I don’t own any, and given how regularly I knock them over like Dominoes at Saks that’s probably good.

      Nice to know someone else likes my favorites!

  • Leslie says:

    I find JCE’s short-formula concept appealing, but implementation seldom works out for me. Of the Hermanessences, I only have OY in the travel size, and I think I’ll probably stop there (I agree, OY does get sweet; I gauge my tolerance carefully before applying.) His wider releases for Hermes all contain some note that ends up making me nuts (that is, more so than usual), so no luck there. (Well, I did get through half a bottle of JdM before something reared up and bit me, so that’s not bad.) I’ve had better luck with his TDC work.

    I’ve had good luck with Chanel, but the price point/bottle size for the exclusifs stir up commitment issues. I’m so grateful to all the decanters out there who enable my playing around.

    • March says:

      Oh thank god!! It’s nice to hear the confirmation about OYs sweetness. Even dabbed. I read reviews and I think …. hey, doesn’t it get really sweet on you, at least for a little while? Those moments scare me.

      I agree with Les Exclusifs in terms of commitment for those giant bottles, but if you factor in the size the price isn’t so bad. But yeah, I ended up with decants of everything. I’d like several in regular smaller bottles.

      • Leslie says:

        Snickering at the ‘Thank God’, because that was EXACTLY my response when you said it first! So glad I’m not alone on that; some days the sweet is horrific.

        I agree that price/oz is pretty good on the Chanels, but the bottles are still too much. I married a guy 20 years ago, have kids, and that’s enough long-term commitment for moi…but that’s just moi, not dissing anyone who can stick it for the long haul!

  • Judith says:

    I do love the Ambre Narguile, but I also like the Poivre thingy–and the gentleman I spoke to in Hermes told me that he wore Poivre every day. So there! He was letting me try the Vanille, which I had tried before but can never remember (probably b/c Hermes won’t give me a little vial sample, as they did with many others (either I am looking scrungier or they don’t have them). I really wanted to like this, because many others do, but–meh.

    Miss you! Out of hibernation soon, I hope!

    • March says:

      Hey there!!!! I miss you too! I was just thinking about you…. yes, please come back.

      You know, after I typed this, it did occur to me that maybe Poivre is more popular among the menfolk and I just don’t hang out enough on Basenotes to know that.

  • Melissa says:

    The Hermessences will never be at the top of my must-have list, but I find them interesting enough to buy the 15 ml travel sizes when I can find someone to split a box. Rose Ikebana and Vanille Galante are the two that I wear, although the Rose is readily absorbed by what Carter dubbed as my “scent-sucking skin”.

    Pampelmousse and Gentiane, which I believe are going to be in wider distribution than the Hermessences, smell lovely. For about 30 seconds. Which is probably good, because if they lasted an hour, I might have purchased them and cursed the purchase an hour later.

    As for other houses? I love Guerlain, pastry notes forgiven, Chanel, Caron, PdN and on and on. The only house that leaves me mostly cold is Creed. Angelique Encens is my only love from them.

    • March says:

      Hm. The next time I see you I would love to smell VG on your skin, as long as you promise not to spray me with it! 🙂 You wear some scents so radically different than I do, I love smelling things on you.

  • Sue says:

    Hi March,

    I got to googling Hanae Mori Magical Moon last night after stumbling onto your review of it from way back in 2006. Do you still adore it? Did you ever decide which you liked better – the parfum or EDP? Is it wearable in the summer? For some reason, the idea of coconut, tropical fruits, osmanthus, sandalwood and incense sounds so perfect.

    Also, if you don’t mind, are there any decent pineapple scents (Courtesan has it listed as a note, I think)?


    • March says:

      I wound up with several commercial sample sprays of Magical Moon via a generous Nordstrom SA, so I never bought it. And I never DID decide! The EdP was smoother, but there was something in the EDT I liked a bit more. They both lasted quite well on me, but what else is new? I’m not set to buy a bottle, but if one fell in my lap I’d be happy. And no, around here I’d not think of it as a summer scent — too much for me in the heat.

      If you search The Perfumed Court by note, they have lists of pineapple. Off the top of my head, Patou Colony (harder to find) and Piguet Visa for winter pineapple (denser, sweeter) and L’Artisan Ananas Fizz for summer pineapple, it’s really fun.

  • tara says:

    I think I might be number 10 or 11 (hopefully 10). Please enter me in the drawing. Anyway, I can’t do Caron at all they all and I mean all smell like powder on me and nothing else. When I read all the beautiful Caron reviews I can’t even imagine what the reviewer is talking about all I get is POWDER!!!

    • carter says:

      Most of them have been reformulated using, uh, crap, so if you haven’t tried vintage you might give those a shot.

    • March says:

      That’s funny, I don’t get powder, I get a sour smell (but maybe it’s sour powder?) I am not the queen of Caron, although I’m wild for most of their men’s scents.

  • Robin says:

    Just happened to ask an SA in Hermes recently which was the biggest seller, and was surprised to hear it’s Rose Ikebana, followed by the Ambre.

    The line I don’t get: Mona di Orio.

    • March says:

      Really?!?! How interesting. Trying to think what I’d have guessed. AN, yes, followed by … OY?

      I don’t own any Monas, but then I don’t own a lot of other things either.

  • Olfacta says:

    For me, a bad perfume experience is a scent I love that is gone in ten minutes, and there are many. Osmanthus in any form particularly. Some of the oldest Guerlains (yes, LHB and AdO — duck and cover! — which have some note in them that makes me almost queasy — hey, I can’t help it ok?) Ambre Narguille smelled like a wonderful bakery but who wants to smell like a bakery? Not me. And anything aquatic — calone — I really can’t stand, which is why I haven’t yet tried VG or Mousson. And the stuff that screams “men’s cologne” — dihydrol myrcenol I believe — makes me want to run away. Or any aromachemical that brings to mind Juicy Fruit gum.

    So there isn’t a particular line, I guess, that bothers me, just particular compositions.

    • March says:

      Hearing you on the calone and the “men’s cologne” note — if it smells like a basic dude, I don’t want to wear it. It’s like wearing my husband’s undies or something. Skittering away from that visual rapidly, I think a lot of people don’t like the really heavy Guerlinade stuff, and don’t want to say so because someone will pull their perfume card. 🙂 I can get loathing LHB, although I think it’s enchanting. But it could kill you on the wrong day.

  • Elle says:

    I have to say that w/ a couple of exceptions, the Hermessences leave me cold as well. I *want* to love JCE, but…they’re just not working for me. Because I am eternally hopeful about perfumes, I was very optimistic about the new Gentian Blanche. Complete disaster on me. It’s yet another instance of my being seduced by the sound of the notes or the description of the scent (I’m an advertiser’s dream target), only to find that the translation on my skin is something painfully, radically different. Can’t think of another line I’m as consistently disappointed by. Oh, Creed. Never have had much of a love fest w/ Creed. There are two or three scents I enjoy from them, but that’s it.

    • March says:

      Creed is mentioned on here more than once as “not working.” I don’t love any of the ladies’, but I did a post once where I slogged through the men’s and found a couple things (four?) I really liked. Part of the problem is there are so many.

      • BBJ says:

        So far I have only smelled one Creed, and that was such a traumatic experience that I haven’t wanted to try any more Creed.

        Fleur de The Rose Bulgare. Smells to me exactly like dirty, sweaty nickels, handfuls of them, being dumped in piles over a rather wilty rose. HORRIFIC.

        • Lee says:

          Selection Verte, Vintage Tabarome = awesome Creed. There are a couple more too I think. The rest… No. Thank you. I said no. What part of N.O. don’t you get, monsieur? Oh, take a freaking hike, dipstick.

        • Musette says:

          Okay. I am officially In Love.

          “dirty, sweaty nickels”?

          I couldn’t top that one in a bazillion years!


        • March says:

          I love the dirty, sweaty nickels. I know exactly how that smells.

  • MarkDavid says:

    While there may be one or two of the Hermessences that I will wear on occasion, these being Osmanthe Yunnan and…umm, Osmanthe Yunnan? Ok, so only one Hermessence I feel the need to apply intermittently throughout the year, I would never in a million years fork over the money for an Ellena creation at this price point. Unless they raise the price of Sur le Nil. But, I’d still just get it discounted somewhere, anyway.

    Houses that work for me: Hermes, to be honest with you. Everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING before and including Un Jardin Sur le Nil.
    Chanel loves me, too. And so does Guerlain. And Etat Libre d’Orange, if you can believe it. And ETRO.

    • March says:

      Lucky man. It sounds like you have great skin for perfume. Do you wear 24 Faubourg? I think that would smell hot on a guy.

  • Louise says:

    I just retried the Hermessences last week, and beg to differ, hun. I still and always will love the Vetiver Tonka, but I know you do hideous things to tonka (witness that unfortunate Vanille Tonka incident…), and don’t care so much for vetiver. I get along very well with Vanille Galante, light as it is, and have moments of Nazgul affection, but substitute the Esteban Sensuelle Russie to good effect.

    The Rose is pleasant, but fleeting on me (quelle surprise!). I need to retry the Paprika, OY, and Poivre-I got my samps around here somewhere….

    As for the new Pamplemousse, it was pleasant, but I get my grapefruit fix for the more lasting Calyx, my old pet. And the Gentiane…well, darling Lee, I’ll have to believe you on it’s power, because this time I’m with March-I smell nothing ;(

    Houses that work for me? Well Chanel and I get on well lately, most Guerlains work, Caron remains my friend (take that, Mousie Sex), a number of Micallefs, MDCI, Diivine, and of course, the magnificent Andy Tauers…!

    • March says:

      Gah, that mouse sex. And clearly I do something terrible to tonka… lord, that Vanille Tonka. I would give that a nomination for one of the biggest scrubbers, and people *love* it. It’s my skin.

  • Wordbird says:

    I have yet to find a house I truly loathe in all its incarnations, though feminine Creeds rarely seem to do it for me. (So I shop in the Boys Department, not such a struggle.)

    I used to have a big ‘meh’ for almost all things Balmain, but then I learned to love the oakmoss so now I’m a convert.

    Oh, oh, I know! Jo Malone. I just don’t get her stuff. It all seems really weak and limp.

    But this post of yours, March, just points out to me what I love about reading perfume blogs. I know there are a few writers whose tastes are very similar to mine, so I go to them for ‘will I like this’ recommendations. But writers whose tastes differ from mine are equally interesting and illuminating because they pick out elements I wouldn’t notice or talk about scents I wouldn’t usually even think of wearing.

    • March says:

      Heh, I see Creed came up several times on here. I too like a few of the gents’.

      The Jo Malones are mostly not interesting to me either, but I do have a couple. I like them in summer.

      And thanks. Of the perfume bloggers I know, none of us is a perfect overlap in terms of scent. And a couple of them, I can use them as a reliable predictor — if they love it, I almost certainly won’t. 🙂 Which is useful.

  • Bradamante says:

    Make Eau d’Issey feel like Bandit! Superior! Miss March, u r so funny!

  • i am so happy that osmathe yunnan does not turn into something like fig tea on my skin, as fig tea turned into cat pee within 5 minutes on me. and i love osmanthe yunnan!

  • Zazie says:

    Oh, not only I hate almost everything Guerlain, but it seems also anything related to its DNA: last saturday I finally sampled the PdN line – underwhelmed is a very polite way to express my feelings about that ..ahem… stuff.
    On the other hand, during my sniffa-marathon, I discovered the hermessences:I found VT and OY very intersting (I wonder: do I need them? probably not), the OV,GB and PR absolutely refreshing, and Vanille Galante a sweet, acquatic mess. Maybe I just have a serious problem with vanilla – go figure.

    • March says:

      That’s very interesting, if you don’t like Guerlain I could see you not liking PdN either. And a problem with vanilla in fragrances eliminates a lot of scents!

  • Lee says:

    I’m with Carter on Chanel. Never tugged my choke chain effectively.

    As for Herman juice, I love some constantly (Poivre Samarkand, Osmanthe Yunnan), love some intermittently (Ambre Narguile, Vet Tonka), and feel meh about others (Paprika Brasil, Vanille Galante).

    As for Getniane Blanche – it must be musk anosmia March cos that bastard was with me all day – an arid white musk that had me oedemic from too much water consumption.

    • March says:

      You have a choke chain?

      Sigh. Why don’t I live closer to you? I’d love to see it.

      Hah! Proving the quasi-scrubber rule with the Gentiane — it stalked you all day, did it? Maybe it’s anosmia for me then.

  • maitreyi1978 says:

    Am I one of the first ten? Give it to me! Please:)

  • Laura M says:

    Oh, am I too late? I’d love to try the Rose Chypree! (Did I spell it right? It’s hard enough in English…) Thanks,
    Laura M

  • carter says:

    No, in my hurry I lied. Adding just this: Chanel frags never seem to work for me. I don’t know why and it hurts my feelings quite a bit, but it is what it is. Ah, sweet mystery of life…

  • carter says:

    I have nothing to add except me, me, me for the rose chypree. Please, miss!

  • Jan L. says:

    I would LOVE to be entered! Thanks. And what about the old Liu fragrance? Any comments?

  • Katherine says:

    Please enter me in the draw — I’m so excited about the new Tauer.

  • Masha says:

    I’m with you on the Hermessences. I was so excited to try these at Harrod’s, finally, and whoof!poof! they lasted all of 30 seconds on my skin, 10 minutes on the cute little ribbons I sprayed. I kind of liked the Poivre Samarkand the best, also. I do love some of JCE’s creations, just not these. They made his Jardin Sur le Nil seem very bold and over the top! Love to be in the drawing, too. Thanks!

  • Trish/Pikake says:

    Hey, I’m asking! Would love to try Rose Chypree. Rose is my new thing 🙂

  • Nika says:

    Did you say Rose Chypree, March? Please, please, please…

  • dea says:

    I would love to win some rose chypree!

    Please enter my name.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Dana says:

    Would love to try one of Andy Tauer’s scents. Thanks!

  • chris g says:

    Please, oh please pick me! Thanks!
    Chris G