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Post in Fragrance Fans

The Perfume Challenge

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: The Perfume Challenge

I couldn't resist the Jo Malone London Mallow on the Moor 1 oz / 30 mL cologne spray ooh am I glad I got it! It smelled exactly as it was described. An earthy powdery scent. I only sprayed one spray on my wrist and it lasted over 4 hours, and I could smell it constantly even with my arm dangling down. I wasn't sure how an earthy powdery scent would be but it worked. I can't speak on the notes because I am not familiar with the individual notes or how they smell. It smelled consistent though. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Great, @Samtian !  I'm so glad you found something you like! ๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–

Re: The Perfume Challenge

  • I've decided to primarily stop buying perfume for now (hopefully no irresistable deals pop up) and start using what I have. I've gotten a few samplers and a couple blind buy travel sprays so I've tested quite a bit of perfume in the past few months. And I'm actually surprised to say I'm testing perfume too much! Haha I do enjoy trying out new perfumes but time to start enjoying those bottles.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Shopping your stash is a great decision, @Margalee !   Let us know if you find any forgotten loves. ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I fell behind on posting reviews!!! I have tried a few new releases in recent weeks.




Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Fenty Eau de Parfum 2.5 oz / 75 mL eau de parfum spray 

Better than I expected! It's opulent and sweet without being harsh or saccharine. The dry down is decent, not choking full of cheap white musks. It has a bit of a Kilian vibe so if you like the house, I'd give this a try. Honestly, it's more interesting than some of the work Cavallier has done for LV. I've read some very conflicting reviews about this one though so I think it's best to try before buying. A lot of "fresh roses" wow. That is not at all what I got from this scent. It is quite rich to my nose. 




Diptyque L'Eau Papier

I was expecting something very soft from this scent. There's an interesting cooked rice accord, but it passes quickly. The dry down is powdery from the mimosa. I don't get much in the way of sesame. Clean, soft, abstract, not really my style but if you're looking for a kind of soft urban vibe, give it a try.


Diptyque Eau Rihla

This has a lot of notes I love, leather, iris, saffron. It smells like what you would expect from the notes pyramid. It's lovely but it's not particularly creative or exciting. I see this is being compared to Tuscan Leather which boggles my mind. I mean, they're both leathers and have raspberry in the notes pyramid but they are quite different in character. Tuscan is a tough butch of a leather whereas Rihla is soft and supple. This one is a fair bit more expensive than their usual offerings though.


Diptyque Eau Nabati

I found this quite aromatic and pleasing. It's inspired by the Mediterranean but it avoids a lot of the cliches. Figs, sea spray, that sort of thing. It's warm, a touch spicy and sweet. I don't know that I'd spring for it at the price point but worth sampling if you want something low key in the amber or "oriental" genre. Fabrice Pellegrin has done a decent job with these three releases.


Aesop Gloam

Best fragrance I've tried in awhile. Complex, a little dirty, earthy and beautiful. Not commercial at all. I'm shocked they let Barnabe Fillion make this. I hope the acquisition by L'Oreal doesn't kill the direction Aesop is moving in. If you love mimosa, give this a try.


Tagging @itsfi for Gloam review ๐Ÿ™‚

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Ooh thanks for the reviews! I have a sample of Papier I still need to try. Nabati sounds amazing, I'm going to need a sample of that one. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Samtian Would love to hear your thoughts when you give them a try ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thank you for the tag @pocketvenus! Gloam sounds like something I'd like to test out. I may have to stop by an Aesop store to see if they carry it. 


I don't pick up the sesame in the Le Papier either. On me, it's one of those fragrances that pairs well with other scents. I feel the same as you about the L'Oreal acquisition. Time will tell.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@itsfi Would love to hear your thoughts on it if you do give it a try โค๏ธ

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Great reviews! I loved the Fenty descrip of "rich". Rilha and Nabati have been on my radar. Papier not so much. I think of printing and chemical smells but you make it sound like garden brunch, haha. Rilha comes in a hair perfume. For me Diptyque perfumes are a bit intense, not too much but I find the hair perfume not nearly intense and way better for my wallet. Like $50-65 an ounce? Considering the price of the full on perfume they are a nice way to try Diptyque. And the Diptyque hair mist lasts and lasts for me. Never heard of Aesop Gloam but I'd like to try it.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Margalee Oh, yes, Papier is much softer than that. Toner ink sounds more like a Comme de Garcons thing ๐Ÿ™‚ The thing about Papier is that while there is an interesting realistic steamed rice note, this doesn't last and the main accord in the drydown does smell like so many "rice" perfumes that fluffy, powdery and musky. To be fair, it's not nearly as sweet and fluffy as some others and it has a bit of earthy edge. I guess I'm not really looking for a "grown up" rice fragrance.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

My first Twisted Lily purchase! The unmarked one is BDK Gris Charnel, which Iโ€™ve sampled before but want one more go-round to decide if itโ€™s full-bottle-worthy. Iโ€™m a little worried that Iโ€™m anosmic to BR540! Maybe it doesnโ€™t perform well on paper, but I didnโ€™t get much of anything when I smelled the test strip. 



Re: The Perfume Challenge



Iโ€™ve found that people are either tuberose / gardenia people, or theyโ€™re not. I am not. I mean, I LOVE both, but itโ€™s not my flower, ya know ?


that saidโ€ฆ.I love the idea and history of tuberose in perfumery, I love it on others. And this one is special. Tuberose, gardenia, ylang ylang and Indian sandalwood. These are the real flower extracts, itโ€™s what I imagine fracas was like when it first launched before things went synthetic. The tuberose is creamy, even buttery, decadent and I dare say carnal. The brand uses the word โ€œdeliriumโ€ to describe a proper tuberose experience, and I just adore that. Yes, accurate. If youโ€™re a tuberose person, I wouldnโ€™t sleep on this.


Iโ€™ve given notice to my job and only have a few days left so, hoping Iโ€™ll have more of a chance to explore my stash of samples and forgotten about bottles !




Re: The Perfume Challenge

This sounds beautiful, @jemly! I like Tuberose and I love Ylang Ylang and sandalwood.

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I Lโ€Œโค๏ธโ€ŒVE this idea! I have so many perfumes, but have been using just my favorites lately. I think I'll do this for myself during February, my birthday month.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@lkm1991 Can't wait to see what you share!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Bit of a hiatus this week but still working through my cultus artem discovery set. Today is ILEX. 

jasmin sambac, neroli, bergamot and South American matรฉ tea โ€” another example of an earthy โ€œof you not on youโ€ nuanced, rich botanical. If yโ€™all canโ€™t tell from my previous Rosa experience below, I love a floral-tea suggestion and this is literally that. The matรฉ is a little smoky ? And while โ€œsmoky jasmineโ€ might sound like a bizarre combo, it think smoky notes do something similar to powder notes on skin. Blends/melts deep. Indolic jasmin sambac rather than Jasmine grandefolia keeps this earthy (how many times can is say that word ?) rather than a white flower halo the latter form of jasmine/synthetic white flowers can give (and Iโ€™m not denigrating thatโ€”that is often wildly beautiful too, just different).

this whole range makes me think of something I once read, about the Romanov daughters. They each had their own flower theyโ€™d perfume their bath water withโ€”original COTY soliflor perfumes: one had lilac, another had rose, one had violette and the other had jasmine. These cultus artem fragrances are not quite soliflors, but the do make me think of what fresh skin would smell of out of a bath perfumed with floral water. 

but stronger


and maybe a little dirtier (in both spirit and in effect)






Re: The Perfume Challenge

@jemly Ooh this sounds amazing. I love the little history bit you shared, that is really interesting and cool. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Interesting about the bath water, @jemly ! ๐Ÿ›  This scent sounds lovely.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

โ€ŽSamples gifted to me by @Samtian . ๐Ÿ˜˜

Top:  Grapefruit, black currant,  green notes, cassis.

Middle:  Jasmine, peach, tuberose.

Base:  Musk, patchouli, amber, vanilla

Comment:  This started out barely noticeable and sour.  After about an hour, I could smell a hint of peach.  I did not smell any other of the notes listed.  The scent lasted maybe 2 hrs max.  On the positive side, tuberose is normally a migraine trigger; but not only did I not smell it, I did not get a migraine.  I definitely will not be buying this one.


DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY Rain Day 1.7 oz/ 50 mL   

Notes:  Haitian vetiver, Tunisian neroli

Comment:  This smelled musty and continued to get worse.  The only redeeming value was it reminded me of my grandmother's house's basement, which reminded me of my grandma! ๐Ÿ’‹  I would have washed it off, but I know from past experience that, that is nearly impossible.  It lasted less than 2 hrs.  Not only won't I be purchasing this one, the sample went in the trash...ugh! ๐Ÿ˜


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