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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

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.

 

o.11543.2

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.

hiram-green-moon-bloom

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tested two Hiram Green fragrances today

Hiram-Green-Discovery-Set-Sprays-500x500

 

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. 

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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 

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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.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried Diptyque's Eau de Minthé today. It sounded very unique but overall, it's a pretty generic fougere. I don't get much rose. It's also pretty masculine leaning for the house, with a bracing opening. The dry down is warm with a touch of vanilla.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Testing MAISON LOUIS MARIE - No.04 Bois de Balincourt Eau de Parfum today on my skin. It's a decent, easy opening, woody up top with a soft, mellow base. The projection and tenacity is impressive for a naturals scent. However, the dry down is not great, it smells pretty cheap. Having said that, it's not terribly pricey.

The Perfume Challenge

I've had a chance to work my way through all my Libertine fragrance samples and found almost all of the wearable. My favorite one is Smoked Bloom the osmanthus is so decadent and long wearing I will be ordering a full size bottle eventually. Sweet grass was a most enjoyable oddball fragrance for me the notes of cinnamon later in wear were comforting. Soft Woods and Troubled Spirits were enjoyable and had good wear time. Eros fig was also nice but shorter lived. Sex and jasmine was wearable but not really my style. Witch Doctor was a disappoint the menthol mouthwash ruined it for me, it was a bit nauseating.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@moxiepancakes, thank you for sharing your thoughts!! I'm so glad you found one that was full bottle worthy <3 I love the smell of osmanthus, though it reminds me of food more than flowers since it's used in a number of Chinese desserts Smiley Happy

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Before I forget, I also smelled, but didn't swatch, a couple Kilian lipsticks. They smell sweet, but not gourmand-like even though the notes are marshmallow and orange blossom. They smell like perfume. Maybe the strength is a little less than say, a Burt's Bees scented lip balm. The glossy formula smelled stronger than the matte which was very, very matte, almost like velvet. I can't say I liked it to be honest. The packaging is really gorgeous looking though.

 

@lachaton 

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