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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

Hiram Green's Lustre is a fresh, dewy, bright rose. This is not really my style. The rose fragrances I gravitate toward are the darker, like La Fille de Berlin and Eau de Protection. However, this photorealistic soliflore is well done, managing to be both luminous and substantial. The closest comparison I can think of is Luten’s Sa Majeste La Rose except it is very floral-shop green, like a dozen fresh cut roses wrapped in cellophane whereas Lustre is softer, like bringing your nose to a rosebush in a garden when the morning sun is dawning after a light evening shower.




Now that I've had time to sit with the Greens for while now, I've noticed that the scents can vary from time to time. I wore Moon Bloom last night and found it more smoky and leathery than other times. I have no idea why but I loved it.


The core part of a Green scent is always the same. Moon Bloom is always a milky tuberose. Slow dive is always a waxy honey. But there can definitely be a lot of nuanced variations and you never quite know what you'll get Smiley Happy

RE: Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Ooooh i have been looking for a way to replace Sa Majeste La Rose since they’ve decided to stop selling it and (from what I have read) only make it available in the much pricier cloche format and special line and only in the Paris store and 1 or 2 other chains at a very steep and painful mark-up. I had a chance to buy an old 50ml bottle at a huge price and I went for a terrible perfume that I hate instead and I could just hit myself over the head: anyways you post made me feel a bit better I’ll definitely try to get my hands on a sample of this it sounds like something I would love, thank you!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Today I’m trying 

L’Interdit by the house of Givenchy It’s a dark sultry scent that reminds me of my youth. The summer I spent in hostels and partied with the Fashion Industry in New York. The smell of Central Park, underground clubs, late night showers, and brand new clothes. There’s a smoky tobacco note that must be in my imagination. 


In truth, it’s a fruity patchouli and the smoky note might be Ambroxan. But I like it.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Arbole Arbole is a spicy, floral woody fragrance with a sweet base. The listed notes are patchouli, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, tonka bean. What I smelled was very different. It actually doesn't remind me of woodt. Neither citrus nor lavender are listed, but to my nose, the hespiridic and lavender notes are very strong in the opening, with the lavender lending a medicinal character to the fragrance until vanilla enters the scene to soften things up.


All this is laid over the patchouli which hums very quietly from beneath. I’ve read reviews of this being musty, or clothes in storage, but I get none of this. I also do not get the baby powder note some people smell. I do however, briefly get a kind of "lemon fresh" household cleanser edge popping up now and again although the realism of the notes and the vanilla keeps it from veering too far in that direction.


On my skin, AA is bright, warm and wonderfully herbaceous, with a touch of the gourmand along the lines of lemon tart and baked carbs. This reminds me a little of one the Histoire de Parfums, I forgot the year, but it’s the Casanova one that also features citrus, lavender and vanilla. However, AA is far more plush and filled out.


arbole arbole.jpg

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Yesterday I tried JO MALONE LONDON - Wild Bluebell Cologne  It is a light, fresh scent with a hint of watermelon.  This is definitely a spring/summer scent.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I tested Hyde today. It's a birch tar scent but this reads to me more like cade on my skin. Its opening is unmistakably a birch tarry smoke and the projection is massive, not at all what I was expecting from an all-natural fragrance. After a couple minutes, Hyde opens up and becomes wonderfully complex. It definitely remains centered on the scent of charred wood and smoke, as if you've been sitting around a bonfire outdoors, but there's also aromatic wood notes, coniferous notes, and even black tea. Sweet, smoky labdanum lends a mellow fullness to the scent. Unfortunately the next phase flattens out for a bit as the smoke picks up again, choking out the more interesting notes but eventually the fragrances softens up. At this point, the drydown becomes textured and leathery but softened with vanilla. It reminds me a lot of a personal favourite, Papillon's Anubis, but it's more charred logs than tanned leather.



Re: The Perfume Challenge

I have so many many perfumes and samples and travel sizes - many bring indie or niche fragrances.  Replica the dark ones have been top on my list along with Nest, Juliette has a Gun Line and then Viktor & Rolf came out with those unique fragrances with The tarot like cards in them - dang I bought two.  Love Thierry Mugler’s Womanity and Angel Muse.  


MAISON MARGIELA - ’REPLICA’ Fantasies: Soul of the Forest




Re: The Perfume Challenge

I finished my vial of Angel muse, it had a soft red rose note on me and a hint of chocolate. Could be a nice daily perfume. Last about five hours on me. FYI I do smell a fishy ocean in the background.


mancera Black gold, started out smelling like sweet leather then changed to Russian leather, then Moroccan lamb skin. After the leather note took a background to a spicy oud. A very clean sandal laced oud. There was a background of sweet incense. The scent last a long time but the throw is very intimate. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tested Hiram Green's Moon Bloom today which is a fantastic white floral scent that's very tuberose-forward. Jasmine and ylang-ylang are also listed in the notes and jasmine definitely makes an appearance but tuberose is always the dominant character and basically takes over the dry down to the point where I'd describe this as a soliflore.


I’m not a huge fan of tuberose when it takes center stage in a scent. I prefer my tuberose playing a supporting role, whether it’s curdling the badass leather of Bandit or being stirred like cream into the coffee of Café Tuberosa. But I can definitely appreciate Moon Bloom.


Moon Bloom's tuberose opens with a little spiciness and a hint of the menthol that I really enjoy in Serge Luten’s Tubereuse Criminelle. So it has a chilly air, but it’s not icy. This fades into more "pretty" territory, not at all indolic. Though there's still has some substance to it, shifting between a more creamy heft and a silky milkiness. So it’s not a powerhouse tuberose but it's also not the de-fanged, light-wearing tuberose of say, LV’s Turbulences. I would describe it as luminous, complex and easy to wear. Highly recommended for tuberose lovers who would prefer something more versatile than Fracas or Carnal Flower.


Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tested two Hiram Green fragrances today



Slowdive is billed as a tobacco scent but on my skin it’s a rich, mellow and waxy honey. I tested it twice and while it was unmistakably a honey fragrance both times, they were distinct. The first test was suffused with florals, mainly orange blossom. I wouldn’t call it powdery, but you could almost see the white, dry wax of fresh honeycomb. Fantastic. The second test was much softer. I read reviews from others citing hay, but to me the grain note I smelled was distinctly oatmeal. Like someone heating up oatmeal on the stove with honey and you walk into the kitchen. Both times, Slowdive was very sweet, but in a gorgeous, mellow way. The dry down is comforting.


Dilettante is an orange tree scent, featuring its flowers and bark. I would say the whole tree is present in the opening with a hespiridic brightness mingling with heady, glistening neroli flowers, and spicy petitgrain. I read a review by Kafkaesque who described deep resins, earthy patchouli and other complexities but I’m afraid I did not get that kind of development on my skin. It’s straightforward, but not simple. The notes are lovely, complex and three dimensional. They also maintain their integrity in the long dry down during which the spice of the petitgrain fades into something more gentle and honeyed but does not disappear entirely.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Wow! @pocketvenus. These sound so nice. I am thinking of ordering this sample set. May I ask where you ordered it from? It looks like you can order directly from their site, but wasn’t sure what was best. Thanks! 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@PrettyPaint, I ordered this from Twisted Lily although it looks like they're already out of stock! Smiley Sad You can still buy hand-decanted 0.7ml samples from Twisted Lily or Luckyscent if that works out to be more convenient/cheaper than ordering from the Netherlands. Twisted Lily has a 20% sale going on right now too Smiley Happy


I would definitely recommend testing samples out first because they are all-natural and so, from the reviews, it seems as though they can smell pretty differently on different people's skin.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Thanks so much @pocketvenus. This is definitely helpful. I was a little worried about ordering from the Netherlands! 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@PrettyPaint, you're very welcome! Smiley Happy

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus i've wanted slowdive since it launched just for its name. i suppose that's not the best standard for choosing fragrance, but your description has me even more eager to get my nose on it....

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@jemly, I'd definitely try a sample first since the Hiram Greens seem to vary a lot from person to person but in all the reviews I've read, people generally find it to be a rich floral honey with none of the difficult, animalistic notes that honey perfumes can have. It is a great name though! And a suitable one. Something about this molten golden honey, fresh from the waxy comb, gives the impression of time slowing down.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Today I tried Chanel's Paris-Riviera. Its notes are orange peel, petitgrain, neroli, orange blossom, jasmine, benzoin and sandalwood. It's got decent projection and longevity for an EDT. And it's sweet and very conventionally pretty so not my style! To be honest, I found it pretty boring.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I’ve bought so much stuff and have a ton of samples here is a run down of what I have tried so far. Somehow I acquired a medium size Sephora bag full of samples. My goal is to finish them this summer so I can plan my winter wardrobe.


1. Dior Addict I got a sample of Dior Addict from two different stores and it’s been reformulated. I loved it last year when it was a smoky Neroli and sandlewood infused with vanilla. It was a star creation of the house like Poison and J’Adore. Oh sad I didn’t buy it last year before it was ruined for me. Last year it was dark, smoky and heavy. It dripped Met Gala, Formal affair or some fabulous Beverly Hills hideaway with a fake French accent, pictures taken by the Bijan Rolls Royce while a super model gives you the nod.


today it’s still a good fragrance, Dior is my Fragrance house, and I can wear all their lipsticks, they design me in that house. But this reformulated Addict is not what I was saving for. It’s the strongest rice pudding like Indian dessert house scent. I like it but it should have been released as a new fragrance. Young gourmands will love smelling like an ice cream shop off the Indian Ocean, it’s expensive, complete, sexy in a always room for dessert kinda way. But if one were buying another bottle of their signature scent it would be returned because it’s a different scent entirely and targets two different people.


Many consider 2012 addict a winter scent, but the hard core wear it as a signature evening scent all year long. The It girl raven haired shoulder length bob, vampy lipstick that never gets a tan, in the back out little black Dior silk crepe dress and jimmy Choo’s. She oozes sarcasm and is Samuel Jackson’s bestie. She’s gone and she’s not coming back; her mother Dior changed the subject when you asked about her so you know she doesn’t want to be found. 


Dior Addict 2019 Her name must be Anna, she only dates Billionaires, And is probably on a diet. The only look on her face is a smile. Of course she’s a blond, The kind that gets a touch up every two weeks. Wears a hot pink Versace’s private collection because it’s his birthday and she misses him so much, this is the fragrance she wears to South Beach to place flowers by Versace’s Estate. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@howconnie  Your descriptions are beyond amazing, I love them. That is such a bummer about the reformulation. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Thank you, these perfumes are so costly that by the time I’m sure and have the money the designer thinks everyone that wanted it bought it. Thankfully, there’s eBay 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Yesterday was not the best day for fragrance testing. I tried a lot of duds.


  • Byredo’s Elevator Music. I didn’t even spray on paper. This smells like a perfume equivalent of nice wallpaper. You could just get JULIETTE HAS A GUN - Not A Perfume for the same effect.
  • Byredo’s Sundazed on paper. At least this isn’t your stereotypical gooey coconut suntan scent. Instead, the opening has a tinge of salty beach vibe with mandarin and what smelled to me like petitgrain which is not included in the notes pyramid. The dry down gets awfully basic awfully fast – imagine a super harsh/cheap mandarin that’s headache inducing. I didn’t get any cotton candy. Now that I’m thinking about it, I haven’t smelled a release from Byredo I’d wear in years. What happened to the house that released creative weirdos like Pulp and Seven Veils?
  • Guerlain’s Muguet Millésime on paper which smells like straight up lily of the valley soap. Depressing. At least the bottle is pretty.
  • Atkinsons’ 24 Old Bond Triple Extract on paper. This faired better than the others. It was described to me as a “black tea” but it’s more of an aromatic boozy masculine scent. Pleasant opening growing more generic in the dry down.
  • Amouage’s Journey Woman on skin. Well executed fruity floral. The thing I didn’t realize until now about fruity florals is that a decade of designer fruity florals have kind of cheapened this genre. It’s like wearing a really expensive bandage body-con dress. It may have been made in Italy using a fine silk blend but it’s still dated and common. I totally regret spraying this on my skin.
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