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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

Today I tried a couple vintage Hermes scents I bought off eBay, Bel Ami and Caleche. Both seemed like the citrus notes had gone off but the dry down for Bel Ami was still gorgeous. Fuller and richer than the present formulation. Really good. Both reminded me of perfumes I smelled when I was very young.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I’m layering perfume today and wearing Miss Dior with V&R Liquid diamonds.  Between the bergamot pink pepper and roses in the Dior and  the rose, pink pepper, ylang ylang and jasmine in the liquid diamonds it makes a gorgeous combo.  2EAE90A5-34B3-400E-81DE-0BF85875A0FB.jpeg


Re: The Perfume Challenge

Sounds great, @heartsmyface !

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried the new Ambrosia flanker for Gucci Bloom today. It's a denser, sweeter, creamier version. I much prefer the original.



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried Lancome's Idole and Prada Candy Night today on paper.


Idole smells like drugstore shampoo. I mean, shampoo smells nice too but you can save your money and just buy shampoo.


Was really surprized by Candy Night, it's just like a chewy dark chocolate toffee. But not suffocatingly sweet. If that's your thing, give it a shot!



Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus   Idole smells to me like grandmothers.  I used up the whole vial trying to like it but I don’t think it’s for me.  It’s somewhat comforting in small doses. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Trying Byredo's Slow Dance today. It's a sweet ambery scent, pretty tame and nondescript. By Jerome Epinette, the same nose behind Byredo's Eleventh Hour, Bal d'Afrique and others, as well as the houses Floral Street and Ellis Brooklyn.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I was given a sample of Eleventh Hour which I never bothered to test on my skin. Upon smelling it, I realize I was too dismissive and didn't give this scent enough of a chance the first time around. It opens with a well-balanced combination of tart apple, earthy fig, sweet woods. Heavier than is typical for the house with a sweet and woody dry down. A nice wear for the fall.



Re: The Perfume Challenge


I own this one and love it! (I love the name and inspiration behind it too - I always had a flair for the dramatic lol). I purchased when I was in France, so significantly cheaper than on our side of the pond. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus ooh this one sounds lovely.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Samtianyes, it's totally wearable! Though my bottom line is at Byredo's prices, I'd rather buy something more unique or buy something versatile from a cheaper house.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried Valentino's Born in Roma. It's a totally generic fruity floral - a pass for me.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Have been pretty busy lately and not able to try a lot of new perfumes nevermind report back on them! Here's what I tried this weekend


  • Le Labo Bigarade 18. A new city exclusive release for Hong Kong. To be honest, I thought this was awful. The opening was a typical heady neroli-tangerine but the drydown was all dense and horrible white musks. It gave me a headache. To give a counter review, Perolaise found this fresh and a great, long-lasting cologne. I personally found it overbearingly loud and amorphous, not at all fresh.
  • Le Labo Tabac 28. I definitely liked this one much more. Slightly spicy and not overly sweet. Gentler in sillage and far less long lasting than Bigarade.
  • Saje Shanti. A gorgeous fresh jasmine with a little spice. The only problem is, it doesn't last at all. It's barely noticeable after 60 minutes. Hilariously, their stress relief remedy rollerball last longer.


Re: The Perfume Challenge

Oh my.  Today I'm wearing Montale Ristretto Intense Cafe, and when I initially tried this, I did not care for it at all.  But I revisit fragrances quite a bit, and all of my full bottles (with exception to JM Wild Bluebell) I initially did not like.


This is the first Montale I've tried, and it has changed my mind on my idea of rose and coffee, both notes which I generally do not veer towards.  This has a robust espresso opening and soon the rose notes push through with a perfect blend.  The coffee is not so distinct, but rather blended so well and it evokes a deep rose scent.  I smell the amber and musk moreso at dry down.  It's classified as gourmand, but I don't think it's overtly sweet or edible.  I envision myself at a Parisian cafe, outside w/ my espresso, surrounded by rose bushes in the late fall.  There's a romantic, French like vibe I get from this... like a woman who is classy, yet not overdone, a simple beauty.  However, I can see this as unisex, even with the floral aspect.  Performance and sillage are incredible, as I would expect from an Extrait concentration.  $210/100mL


Montale's website states, "Intense Café Ristretto opens with a perfect waft of fresh brewing coffee that will take your breath away. The flourish of the coffee bean is paired with a fresh, vegetal rose. The two combine for an unexpectedly dry and refreshing top note.As the coffee softens, a vanillic white musk emerges, slightly sweetening the brew with just a hint of cream and sugar. This addictive and surprising gourmand is suitable for both men and women and is the perfect fix for the coffee addict in all of us."

... and I agree.  This is worth sampling.  

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried the new L'Artisan Le Chant de Camargue today. It's interesting, but not really my style at all. It doesn't evoke rice or earth for me, although it's quite milky. Rather, I get citrus, a milky texture that's gently salinated and white musk. Which I'm guessing is the "sandalwood." I really loathe white musk. It's not for me.



In a better trial, I also tried Ella by Arquiste. Wow!!! It's everything I wish Tom Ford's Vert de Fleur and Vert Boheme could have been. A gorgeous green floral chypre that's very easy to wear. Edgy galbanum is played off warm florals, amber,  a whorl of smoke and a touch of animalism. Wonderful!



Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus - Ella sounds really nice!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06I really like it! It's funny, noticing more 70s/retro styled fragrances lately. Especially in Tom Ford with the verts and fougeres. I guess fragrance cycles through retro trends much more slowly than fashion?

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Interesting thought, @pocketvenus!  Speaking of Tom Ford and fougere, today I tried Costa Azzurra Acqua.  The notes are juniper berry, lemon, and oakwood extract.  What I smelled  Is warm a scent?  It was barely noticeable.  Before leaving for work, I sprayed Commodity Leather.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06temperature is definitely a great way to describe scents Smiley Happy

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Today I wore Tocca Maya.  The notes are wild iris, black currant, and patchouli heart.  Once I put it on, I could smell something was there, but I couldn't tell what it was.  I kept putting more on, but that didn't increase the scent.  I'm going to give this one to a friend.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Yesterday I wore Mazzolari Vaniglia.  It is a linear, smooth, straightforward vanilla fragrance consisting of 3 notes - Vanilla, Caramel, and Orchid.  The caramel note provides a glazed sweetness and both the caramel and vanilla never become to cloying,  plasticky or harsh.  It smells in the same vein as Outremer Vanila (sold at Anthropologie), but this is much more refined and potent.  For reference, this gets compared to Indolt Tihota, which I have not tried.  Honestly, it smells like one of those vanilla tree car air fresheners, but with creamy caramel.  My boyfriend said, “it smells like vape juice” but take that with a grain of salt.  This is a gourmand, but not too literal that you smell edible (I realize I do not like these type of scents, ie. Solani Buonissimo, which I’ll review next).  This does NOT lean in any way powdery, boozy, smoky, dusty, floral, herbal, or spicy.  This is pure vanilla and creamy caramel done in simple, yet beautiful, grown up way.  It does not smell cheap or juvenile.


On the skin, I can see it has more oil than most EDP concentrations; you see the oil on the skin when applied which may contribute to its outstanding longevity (8-10 hrs).  Sillage is moderate at first, and then becomes a comforting, skin scent.  I have gotten compliments already.  


It could be an all seasons wear, but I would wear this in the autumn/winter months.  If you like an unobstructed vanilla, I would def. try this.  Simple, versatile, and great performance.  



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