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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



Libertine Fragrance's Fin de Siecle is a rose-forward chypre. Opens with black currents that are rendered realistically, tart and dark but paired with a sweetness that prevents the note from being puckering. Immediately after, citrus flares and brightens the scene. A lush, dewy, luminous rose blooms until it dominates and anchors the scent, and it continues to do so right into the dry down. As the scent develops, heavier notes emerge and it is shaded in by patchouli and hints of the bitterness of oakmoss and the barest suggestion of animalism. Like other Libertines, I find animalistic notes in its fragrances are never challenging, ranging from tender to barely perceptible. An excellent choice for rose lovers who want something versatile, polished and a little romantic.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Received some samples from Libertine Fragrance today and tested the first couple samples today 🙂




Gilded is a sweet, spicy fragrance with an absolute stunner of an opening. It's a fantastic blend of bright citrus and fragrant and greenish cardamom that's lit up and rounded out with the warmth of cinnamon. I love cardamom and this first phase is just a joy to smell. I wish this phase lasted forever. The dry down starts to introduce a resinous character that becomes darker and sweeter and at this point there's an excellent balance between the bright, buoyant top notes and the low thrum of sweet notes from below. However, the the scent continues to develop and those bright notes fade, the gilded light begins to dull and feel a little flat and uneven, as if you turned a vase and noticed a glaring spot that went unpolished. I noticed though, where I sprayed twice, the dullness is much less pronounced so I think the trick here is adjusting the volume. The dry down is very sweet, but never in a harsh way. Great projection that lasted through the day. In the last phase of the fragrance, the toffee, burnt sugar notes of immortelle dominate although it's always soft around the edges. It's ultimately too sweet for me ultimately but what an opening for a cardamom lovers!


With its mellow sweetness and deep rich shades, Troubled Spirits definitely feels like an autumnal fragrance to me. Having said that, it's too abstract to conjure up specific images of burning leaves or medlar apples, rather it offers an olfactory palette of autumn colours. Opens with a smoky, gentle and fermented sweetness paired with a touch of a pungent, organic decay, like waterlogged wood. It keeps the scent interesting and from falling into cliched territory. As TS develops, it takes on a more comforting side as a cuddly vanilla and warm amber enter the scene and infuses the wood with a creamy, boozy character. I think fans of scents like Jeke, Broken Theories, Holy Mountain, and sweet oriental ambery scents will enjoy this.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus - The opening of Gilded sounds so nice!  I just can't do sweet.  Oh, well...

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06 The sweetness is of a soft kind, nothing overly dense or cloying, but I know what you mean.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried Parle Moi de Parfum Milky Musk the other day. Sandalwood, musk and fig. It's pretty nice. It's smooth, creamy and beautiful. It feels like warm hugs. Very comforting. It reminds me of Tam Dao, but softer, warmer and smoother. 


"Milky Musk first melts a leafy-green, coconutty fig down into a pool of warm, creamy sandalwood and wraps it all in a cloudy, milky musk that feels like cashmere." I agree. Very pretty. But, alas, it doesn't last long. 


Re: The Perfume Challenge

I was playing around today. Getting ready for summer! 😜 Found a travel size of MM Replica Beach Walk laying around. I don't really like that one. Decided to try it layered with AC Clementine California. I love that one! And they work pretty nicely together! Good to know. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I am trying Parfums De Nicolai New York Intense today. And OMG it is so beautiful! Can't stop sniffing my wrist! I don't know what I expected from those notes, but I sure did not expect this. It's so beautiful, polished, elegant and so very seductive. The notes are so beautifully mixed, nothing is overpowering, everything is so nicely balanced. Never tried the original, so I don't know how they compare. But this one is a beaut! 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@RavenR A great one from this house 🙂 Very nice inthe winter too

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried and re-tested a few Etat Libres.


  • She was an Anomaly is an iris scent that was partly composed by an AI program. I find iris often doesn't play well on my skin though when it works, it can be beautiful. The notes here, iris, sandalwood, musk, all suggested to me this would be very creamy. Actually, it has an interesting saltiness! Unfortunately, all the facets I dislike in iris come out very strong, the wet cardboard, the musty dust, the candied sharpness. A pass.
  • Archives 69 is an odd fruity scent. I usually don't like fruity scents but this one has this strange, camphorous, medicinal vibe paired with overripe fruit that makes this very captivating.
  • Hermann is a very synthetic woody amber that has two of my favourite notes: galbanum and geosmin. This gives Hermann a steely, flinty edge that sounds harsh but it's quite easy going. This lasts forever and a day so maybe test this first before committing to spraying this anywhere. I still prefer the more earthy French Lover by Malle but if you are a fan, give this one a try.
  • Rien. Aldehydic leather. Harkens back to the 80s with a harsh, candied synthetic edge. Crass, but in a fun way. The image of a woman with big teased hairspray hair wearing studded leather and smacking bubblegum comes to mind.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Hi, all!  I tried the following two perfumes:

Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Cologne 

  • Top notes:  Pear, Melon
  • Middle notes:  Freesia, Rose
  • Base notes:  Musk, Patchouli, Rhuburb, Amber

This starts out warm and fruity, but a more subtle fruity than in your face fruity.  As it dried down, I caught hold of a scent that was on the verge of irritating, but it never got to that point.  It was vaguely familiar, but I couldn't place it.  I don't like rose, so it could have been that.  It finish with a lovely warm scent that lasted for several hours.

I also layered this scent with the Jo Malone London Wild Bluebell Cologne .  That worked out very well!

Moschino MOSCHINO TOY 2 

  • Top notes:  Apple, Mandarin Orange, Magnolia
  • Middle notes:  White Currant, Peony, Jasmine
  • Base notes:  Musk, Sandalwood, Amberwood.

This perfume opens with a slightly sweet, fresh scent with under layer of spice.  The sandalwood takes over from there.  It ends with the fresh scent and the musky woody notes fighting with each other for dominance rather than mixing together for a nice ending.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06 I am wearing English Pear and Persia today. I totally forget how I got it and when but I have the whole 100ml bottle staring at my face. I then remember I’m not big on the scent but when I try it again last week I really like it. I like it so much that I wear it again couple times after that. Hope it will be that case for you ❤️🌹

Re: The Perfume Challenge

This one has been a long time coming. Tested Bogue's MAAI and MEM a few times and they are both really wonderful.




Starting with my favourite of the two, MEM, this is a very complex, herbaceous lavender scent. It's never medicinal or harsh like lavender can sometimes be. There is a hesperidic brightness in the opening that's grounded with a realistic earthiness. As the scent develops, this is blunted with with a smear of dense animalic musk that's smooth like butter and further softened out with floral notes. Wow. The final phase has the musk dying down to a purr, a gorgeous vanilla in the base. Nods to the classics like Jicky, one of the best fragrances I've smelled in awhile. 


MAAI is another fantastic fragrance even though just personally, I prefer MEM. A huge vintage-y floral chypre contrasting aldehydic soapy notes with spicy, animalic musks. A real diva of a fragrance, MAAI demands your attention. Reads like a ombre fading neon crimson red into a rich, dark burgundy wine. Wearing this makes me feel like I'm sporting a choker of blood red rubies as a member of the aristocracy during the French Revolution. Something about all these decadent, "forbidden" notes like oakmoss and castoreum being added to a fragrance in 2014 make this feel opulent and a little illicit.


@WinglessOne I hope you enjoyed your samples as much as I did!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Testing Di Ser's Mizu. Di Ser is an all-natural house based in Hokkaido, Japan. This scent is pretty fantastic, a great blend of tart citrus, refreshing mint, clean woods, a hint of spice. It's pretty sophisticated for a light, fresh wear. OK longevity. I feel with all-natural fragrances you kind of have to grade on a curve. It's difficult to get them to last. I'd love a bottle of this stuff for the summer. Would be curious to try the rest of the line but the samples are not available in Canada and are dreadfully expensive.





Re: The Perfume Challenge

Testing Bengale Rouge by Papillon on skin today. Opens with a brief gourmandesque vanilla lemon cream before dark, bitter myrrh and rich labdanum kicks in. A hint of florals enter the scent in short order. Cheerful sweet and powdery meets dangerously sticky resins and a smear of animalistic musk. Very well executed and complex so that it's comforting with all that tonka and warmth but never boring. Feels like a scent one would wear to cheer oneself up with, curling up alone with just yourself and one of your favourite books. @WinglessOne , I'm guessing you've tried this one already? I think you'd appreciate it but maybe it's too snuggly for your taste? 



Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus  I have a sample of this one. From what I recall, I had a love-hate reaction to it: the resin + myrrh made me happy, along with the lemon custard—interesting because I'm not usually one for such sweet scents; the intermingled resin and wood definitely helped—but I couldn't get past the powdery vanilla rose note. To be fair, I need to give it a second chance, especially since I enjoyed the interplay of shifting notes (powdery sweet though some of them were). Note to self! 🙂 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@WinglessOne I'm not big on powder either! 


Bengale R and Dryad got swooning reviews but I personally prefer the unabashed drama of Salome and Anubis. Hopefully Moores comes out with another stunner like those!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried the new Kilians today on paper. Both are very strong in terms of projection.


Kilian Roses On Ice Eau De Parfum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL This is pretty refreshing, with a lot cucumber in the opening. Refreshing and not at all sweet. The rose softens it up, but overall the scent is crisp and doesn't blur out as in the dry down as I thought it might with notes like sandalwood. 


Kilian Angels Share Eau De Parfum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL Likely to be the more popular of the two, as it's more gourmandish and also more suitable for the winter. Sweet, but not too sweet, with deep toffee notes and an edging of spice and dark woods. A bit "meh" for me to be honest but I am not a huge gourmand fan.



Have been trying more samples that I received in the post, will share more thoughts soon!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Thx for the review. I totally forgot about Rose on ice during the sale. Next sales then. To be honest I should put me on No buy perfume since I hoard too much this year 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@blackkitty2014 You're welcome! I'm probably not the right person to stop you 🤣

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Hmm the Angels sounds interesting! I hope I get my smell back soon. I'm missing smelling perfumes.