31 Days of Perfume Challenge

[ Edited ]

Do you have a box full of perfume vials and/or a vanity covered in perfume bottles? Are you the Goldilocks of perfume, just looking for the perfect signature scent? Do you want an opportunity to post daily about how your perfume of the day smells oaky and smoky with hints of blackberry and currant, like a cigar in a whisky barrel rolling through a Mediterranean orchard on a breezy summer morning?

 

If you answered yes to any of the above, or you just want to hop on board for the ride, join us for a 31 days of perfume challenge starting January 1st! Some of us from the 25 days of lipstick challenge wanted to continue the fun and exploration, and since many of us have so many perfume samples, we thought this challenge would be perfect. If you don't have 31 perfumes or hate everything that doesn't smell like Meyer lemons and fresh goat cream, that's fine--we're just aiming to use the neglected perfumes we have laying around and incorporate them into our perfume rotations.

 

And if you want more perfume vials, there's no better time than now to take a peek at Sephora's samples section.

 

Edit: Anyone can join in at anytime! We're here to support, live vicariously through, and encourage everyone in their olfactory adventures!

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@txcatx  How sad that you're allergic!  Though it's probably for the best.  First they start trying to dictate your perfume selection, next they try to take over the world.  Smiley Very Happy

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@ghrelin - lol!  Give a cat an inch and they take over the world!

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

I popped in here just to read about your cat @ghrelin! Smiley Very Happy She would hate living with me, all I listen to is rock & roll and heavy metal (and, you guessed it, Metallica). Smiley Tongue

 

It's so funny how cats can be so particular about things. Sounds like your girl really likes running the show. Smiley Tongue

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@Asche  I love Metallica (enough to have them on vinyl), and it never fails that she walks around meowing her head off when I play them, or any sort of rock or metal.  She also hates the Offspring and Slipknot.  

 

I just keep telling her that when she goes out and gets a job and pays her share, then she can have a say in the music Smiley Wink  She has no problem giving you a piece of her mind.

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

That is hilarious @ghrelin. Glad you've tried to tell her how it is! Now you just have to watch out for that kitty revenge. Smiley Wink

Image result for cat knocking things off table gif

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@Asche  HA!  That gif is amazing.

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

[ Edited ]

So this morning I am wearing Marc Jacob's Decadence on one wrist and Burberry's My Burberry Black on the other...

 

A while back I picked up one of the sampler sets and I just KNEW I wanted Decadence, but then I really liked the Burberry black, and THEN I ran out of both of the samples.  So, with my tail between my legs, I hit up my local Sephora and explained my super serious problem, and the girl was kind enough to fill two samples of both of them so that I could try to decide.

 

Edit:  Against the wishes of my cat, I've decided on the Marc Jacobs Decadence.

 

To me, they smell very similar, but I think now I'll go with Decadence.  It's sweeter than the Burberry Black, which isn't always a deal breaker, but I think that the Burberry Black has a slight 'soapy' note to it, which detracts a little from the experience I get from it.

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@ghrelin, Costco has Marc Jacobs Decadence. 

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

(0) Hearts

@blackkitty2014 Awesome, thanks for letting me know. Smiley Very Happy

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

Nice! : ) @ghrelin : ) I think that's a very smart way to make a perfume decision because I find you really have to take it home and try it where it is not competing with so many other scents... In the past I've purchased fragrances on impulse and sometimes even blind purchased and I've been sorely disappointed in the end... I also feel like I need to see how it reacts on my skin and how it reacts a few hours after application. : ) I feel like finding a good personal scent requires a little "homework" but it is the very best kind of "homework" there is! : ) hahaha. 

 

I've never smelled  Burberry black but after reading your post I went to look at the notes and now I'm super curious to try it! I have smelled Decadence and I feel like it would make a great signature scent because it is distinctive and sophisticated.  As an aside I noticed you mention the sweetness in Decadence and I agree - it has a kind of sweetness I have trouble identifying that I feel like the notes they've put up don't fully account for... I know they say there is a dominant plum note but I feel there is maybe something else there that adds a bit of rich sweetness but I can't quite put my finger on what... The packaging for Decadence is very cute (I think its the little purse bottle)?

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@RoseCharlie  Oh yes, definitely!  A trial period is a must when buying a fragrance.  I've come across quite a few that I just loved on the tester strip, only to find out they smelled absolutely awful on me!  

 

The first time I smelled Decadence, I just loved it (I have a weakness for gourmands).  I'm a little pickier when it comes to sweet fragrances because they can be headache inducing for me, even if I love the smell.  So, I've been lusting after Decadence for a while, but haven't made a move because I was worried the romance would fade and I'd be left with the remains of a love affair that would sit on my perfume shelf forever.  However, I've decided to make the commitment! haha!

 

As for Burberry Black, it has so many notes that I just love, and if it wasn't for that soapy note, I probably would have gone with it instead.  It's the same issue I had with the Derek Lam 2am Kiss (which was also a choice in the set).  If you try it, let me know what you think.  I would be interested to know if you pick up that soapy note, or if it's just me.

 

But back to Decadence (yep the purse bottle), it could be the amber that you're picking up.  For me, I get a lot of amber with the plum and a bit of sweet floral.

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@ghrelinOh gosh yes - there are some scents that smell terrific on the strip but when I put them on my skin they smell like cat pee lol.  Or sometimes the fragrance will smell good when I've tested a bunch and I likely have other stuff on me but I'm decidedly unimpressed when I wear alone - at other times it's nice when freshly spritzed but the dry down is a bit rank... Sigh it really depends and since buying a bottle of perfume tends to be on the expensive side it's nice to be able to sure. 

 

I was really interested to read your note and since I did have a sample of 2am kiss on hand I went to try to see if I could detect a soapy note too.   I'll put a spoiler tag in here for my thought on it:

 

Spoiler

With 2am Kiss I  liked the caramel but I could definitely notice a sort of weird note in there and I felt like the note didn't really jive with the rest of the scent.  I like the idea of salted caramel and I find that they conveyed the caramel - and surprisingly - the salt quite well.  I say surprisingly because salt is virtually odorless yet I get a distinct impression of not just caramel but salted caramel when I smell this and I can't quite figure out how that works.  To me though, I experience the weird note as being kind of a sharp almost wood - almost pine wood I would say - but it doesn't smell like natural pine it smells more like pine scented aroma chemical.  It's too bad because the salted caramel is quite nice and I also love gourmands and caramel notes but I wouldn't wear this because I don't really like the pine... I mean my tastes run more to vanilla and floral gourmands and I get that they have to make other types of perfume because there needs to be variety so I'm not saying it's bad I just don't personally enjoy what I experience as a woody note based on my personal preferences.  : )

I do wonder though - you said soapy note - I feel like it's pine-like in character and I think that the reason I even have a notion of pine smell in my head is because of the pine scented floor cleaner i use.  I wonder if we are thinking of the same note? I'm not trying to say this smells like floor cleaner or anything - just that I smell a wood-like scent that has a general quality that I associate with the smell of pinewood. I'll try smelling the Burberry Black at first opportunity to see if I smell that same note again.

Ahhhh you're right - with decadence it might be that amber has a sweet quality to it.

 

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@RoseCharlie

 

For the sake of keeping the board 'clean and orderly' I'm posting my reply in a spoiler. 

 

Spoiler

It is possible about the 'pine' scent, though I'm usually a fan of 'woodsy' types.  It's interesting when I compare the 2am kiss to the Burberry Black on Fragratica, they both list "Animalic".  That's a note that I've never really been able to wrap my head around because I haven't ever smelled it 'isolated' before, and I'm wondering if that is the connection between the two, but that I don't really have the olfactory ability on that one.  And, to be fair, 'animalic' and 'pine' could easily have some similarities.

 

I also liked the caramel in the 2am.  I thought it was interestingly simple in its design, and yet there was still that strange 'soapy' note to it that just put me off.  And maybe even 'soapy' isn't exactly right, but that I'd smelled that in some sort of soap product in the past and it stuck with me unconsciously.  It still smells nice enough to finish a whole sample, but it just doesn't smell 'right' on my skin.

 

As a completely unrelated note, my cat seems to prefer the Burberry Black lol.  With her it's either "eww omg what are you wearing, don't come near me" or "I'm going to lick that off your skin, whatever it is".

 

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

[ Edited ]
(0) Hearts

@ghrelinI am so sorry I just realized you had taken the time to write this and I never said thanks - I am getting so many board notification e-mails I missed this.  I'll do the same thing (spoiler tag).

 

Spoiler
Interesting re: the animalic - come to think of it I think that I also tend to dislike perfumes that have animalic in the description... Maybe that is the source of the odd smell...

Hahaha i laughed when I read the blurb about your cat being a sniff-tester that is so freaking adorable.  My dog hates all perfumes and if I'm lightly scented he will look at me reproachfully and then trying to bathe me in his smelly breathe to clear away the "good scent" but if I'm wearing anything that is a little more robust he refuses to get to close, let alone kiss me.  I wish I could get him to weigh in on the perfumes like your cat does though that would be so much more fun! : )

 

 

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@RoseCharlie  No worries!  Smiley Happy

 

Oh yeah, my cat is an opinionated old biddy.  I love her to pieces, but I'm also glad she's a cat and not human!

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

Today I am wearing Tocca Florence. This is definitely a true, classic floral, but in no way overwhelming or strong. It's quite nice. The notes say bergamot, gardenia, and blonde wood, and I feel the gardenia is the most apparent. Very lovely, I like this one a lot. It feels very appropriate for spring and early summer.

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@alexastephThanks for your review! This reminds me that Tocca is one of those lines I don't know anything about and that I should try and try out their fragrances!

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

@RoseCharlie I recommend checking out the Darlings rollerball set! It has Florence, Cleopatra, and Giulietta. I received it in a gift exchange and I think it would be the perfect introduction to the line. All three are really nice for the (hopefully!!) upcoming warmer weather, and since they are small roller balls, they will travel nicely on any summer trips! 

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

(0) Hearts

@alexastephOhhh that's good to know thank you so much for the tip! : ) I was wondering which ones I should try!

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

I just remembered I have a sample of this in my stash! It sounds lovely, cannot wait to try it. Smiley Happy

Re: 31 Days of Perfume Challenge

cafleurebon-juliette-has-a-gun-gentlewoman-le-smoking-.jpeg

I apologize ladies, because I am about to be long-winded again... Day 4 and today i am wearing JULIETTE HAS A GUN GENTLEWOMAN. I don't know why the brand decided to represent this pefume by sticking a lovely scowling 16-year-old in a tuxedo but I don't pretend to understand the marketing side of the perfume industry. I find it interesting that the concept for this perfume is that it is meant to be somewhat androgynous and to this end it combines many of the elements of traditional "eau de cologne".  From my first sniff of Gentlewoman I can see that this is not just a nod to traditional eau de cologne, it is a love letter...

 

The original eau de cologne was launched in 1792 in, you guessed it, Cologne, Germany (hence the name "Eau de Cologne").  It is called 4711 by Maurer & Wirtz.  It is still available today and comes in a lovely vintage looking bottle adorned with a turquoise and gold filigree label.  It is also quite inexpensive but the ingredients are of excellent quality and they smell like the natural ingredients their notes boast.  Incidentally, this cologne is very familiar to me since it was the only scent/perfume that my severely allergic to anything chemical or synthetic grandmother could ever wear and so it smells of my grandmother who always smelled fresh and lovely and I always admired the beautiful bottle on her vanity as a child.

 

I have a love for perfumes that smell like the actual notes they list on the bottle - I like to smell the real things and then pick them up in a fragrance.  Traditional eau de cologne should smell of real natural things and it combines the elements of citrus, mint or basil with neroli and lavender and other notes but these are some of the most important.  At the risk of annoying everyone by constantly referring to my french roots I will say that the smell of neroli/orange blossom is one I am familiar with because many french cosmetics traditionally included Neroli essential oil which many people (myself included) believe that it has many benefits for the skin.  I am therefore fond of the smell and to be it smells beautiful and clean and airy but since it is also an element in many traditional eau de cologne fragrances I can see how many people would perceive it as a masculine scent even though it is a clean crisp floral scent to me.  In fact I think I can remember that someone recently reviewed Atelier Grand Neroli in this thread and disliked it and I don't want to misquote anyone but I believe that they felt it was a masculine scent.  I've smelled Grand Neroli and it is very close to natural Neroli - most of Aterlier's fragrances are close to the real thing they because compared to other modern perfumers they use a higher proportion of naturals.  I am not trying to contradict the notion - perfume and how we perceive it is personal there are no right or wrong answers and the fact that Gentlewoman is marketed as androgynous scent suggests that many people regard the note this way.

 

MY IMPRESSION OF GENTLEWOMAN: Despite the fact that I said that this reads like a love letter to traditional old world eau de cologne, this is not, by any means a straight up interpretation (and neither is it masculine to my nose). Gentlewoman features a clever twist that leaves me wanting to smell my wrist again and again so that I can smell something that is part familiar and part surprising... It is worth noting that the first eau de cologne was for both men and women this to my nose doesn't smell androgynous at all - it's not "dark" in any way.  What I smell first is a fresh citrus burst of Bergamot, firmly supported by a radiant and natural smelling Neroli flower and supported by the perfect amount of Lavender... I also feel like there is perhaps a little sage in the mix.  Where it gets interesting is that as i inhale a little deeper i get a kick of almond and tonka bean and with the coumarin sweetness that the tonka bean brings to almond the note is marzipan-like and it is quite a realistic marzipan.  This perfume, to me, smells natural and expensive - expensive in the sense that the ingredients smell of the real things, not of cheaper aromachemical imitations.  Of course, the perfume will still be predominantly put together by aromachemicals but it is well done and the overall effect is one of fresh natural ingredients, complexity and quality.  This perfume is like a strange little chameleon, I almost feel like it is playing a sort of olfactory trick on me because it smells different from one moment to the next - one moment I am picking up the crisp, fresh but soft neroli, citrus and lavender blend and a moment later I am getting a potent nose full of marzipan sweetness and musk.  This almond/tonka bean coupling is definitely not a component of traditional eau de cologne and so it is interesting to smell something that retains some of the character of the traditional EDC while being, at the same time, very distinctive.  As time wear on, the more volatile citrus notes evaporate more quickly than the almond middle notes and tonka base notes  - citrus notes are naturally volatile in all fragrances that is one of their defining characteristics.  Though the neroli and lavender stay without being punched up by the bergamot the almond/tonka combo becomes more prominent.

 

The verdict: I really like this and I think it's interesting - I have the Juliette sample set and i wish I could buy a set with bigger versions that doesn't include any of the Oud fragrances which I personally can't stand.  I also don't need "Not a Perfume" - I find it gimmicky and have no idea why I would want to wear one barely there note that is very "meh" on its own.  Still - I think Juliette has a Gun has some very talented perfumers and they have some AMAZING hidden gems and it never fails to surprise me that these gems are not among their bestsellers - the perfumes that Sephora offers in rollerball version are my least favourite from JHAG though I like Lady Vengence I wish wish wish they made a smaller bottle set from the other scents that are not available in rollerball.  I would LOVE to buy a set with Miss Charming (my absolute fave from this collection) and Gentlewoman (my second favourite).   Please PLEASE Sephora - can you guys make more rollerballs for this line esp. Miss Charming?

 

I would def. buy this in a smaller size.  It is classical and new at the same time.  Familiar and startling all at once and it smells of wild natural and real things.  If anyone likes this scent but can't cop the full amount for the full bottle i would recommend snagging a bottle of 4711 Eau De Cologne if you can because it is SO CHEAP and it is very very well made.  If you like Tom Ford, Neroli Portofino, you will definitely like 4711.  It's very uplifting.  It doesn't pack the suprise marzipan punch that Gentlewoman does but if you like the Neroli, Citrus and Lavender combo (and you think you would like it tempered by a little peach and rosewater) then you would likely like 4711 - only downside is that it is difficult to find.

 

Sorry for being so long-winded but when my scent-memory is triggered I can go on and on. : )