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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



Tested Synthetic Jungle both on paper and on skin. I was really looking forward to this, especially because the notes pyramid was appealing to me. I'm still on the fence about it. I'm finding it very appealing, but I'm not sure if it's a love for me like others in the line like Fleur de Cassie. 


The opening is a fantastic one for green lovers. The green is very much of the fresh cut plants and herbs character so no conifers, no mint and so on. You're treated to a rich and complex green landscape, full of bitter galbanum, dense foliage and earthiness. There's also this fantastic thread of sap interwoven through the composition. 


The dry down shifts right into the florals for me on my skin and this happens disappointingly quickly because I'm really smitten with the opening. As one would expect, the first phase lasts a fair bit longer on paper. I don't get a strong jasmine, SJ smells very hyacinth and lily of the valley forward on me though it remains fairly green.


Although SJ hearkens back to 70s greens, it distinguishes itself in a couple ways. First, while it's polished, it doesn't have the sharp edges of earlier compositions like the bracing chill of Vent Vert, the cut-glass aldehydes of No. 19. The dry down is also pretty sleek, I don't get a huge drop from weighty patchouli or oakmoss, so it feels cleaner and lighter than a vintage. But otherwise, SJ exudes classic vibes, especially in the floral dry down which I think most would read as a vintage on first sniff.


I also read some speculation that this might compare to French Lover. It makes sense as they both share that galbanum green-ness and earthiness but SJ is not quite as damp and dark as FL. And FL isn't really a green scent. Despite SJ being more classically green, I do prefer FL for its more dramatic shades although I'm open to SJ growing on me more.


Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not sure SJ reminds me of a jungle. FL, with its contrasts between light and dark, strikes me as more jungle-like. There are other perfumes like Indolis that strike as a better candidate too in representing a jungle. Like SJ, Indolis is a green floral and its deep, dark shadows instantly bring to mind a tropical getaway. But I believe this is where the Synthetic part of SJ comes in. SJ reads more like very brightly lit up greens in a photography studio, not at all like what you would find in a real jungle with its organic rot and dampness. It's like a filtered photograph where the all greens have been heightened.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus I like the sound of this one. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Samtian Definitely worth trying if you like the green genre and are looking for something with both vintage and modern qualities 💚 How is your sense of smell these days? Do things still smell different?

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Sadly still no real improvement. Thank you for asking! It's been one year already. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Oh @Samtian, that is a long time! I truly hope you are able to regain your full range of scent again <333  

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@pocketvenus Thank you!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried KILIAN Paris Apple Brandy Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz/ 50 mL Eau de Parfum Spray but just on a tester strip. Honestly, it's been so many years since I tried the original, I'm not terribly confident comparing the two but I think they're quite different. I seem to recall the original being like, well, an apple brandy. This new version os pretty fruity and despite the name, it's a pineapple note that hits me and dominates the scent. I would have preferred this if they had really dialed down the fruit and intensified the wood and smoke. Or maybe not added pineapple at all?? 🍍🍍



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Finally got around to trying Tom Ford's Tubéreuse Nue. It's a dense, fruity and soapy take, more white floral than tuberose soliflore. A lot of people seem to get plastic or latex, for me it's not as synthetic but there's definitely a fruit-candy sweetness to it that reminds me of a toned down Fracas. I'm not a fan of the candy side of tuberose and the monotone density of it in the dry down is exhausting, a hard pass for me. If this wasn't such a blunt scent, if it had more breathing room, I'd say this was formulated to cater to Chinese tastes.


EDIT: I smelled a card I sprayed with this after and wow, it gives full-on synthetic rubber latex vibes! I guess my skin really tones it down and definitely agree with what others have written about latex. It was also woodier and spicier on paper than my skin, not so monotone.



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Trying Ceylon by Xerjoff. No lie, I kind of avoided this house for awhile because of the price and I didn't hear much "buzz" about it.


I like tea scents though Ceylon is a real outlier in the genre. It's very sweet, syrupy and thick in a honeyed way. Its gentle animalistic purr and rich florals balance out the scent from being sickly but oh is it close. This is a seriously heady and rich fragrance, very unexpected for the tea genre. In fact, I'm not getting much tea at all. It's much more like an assortment box of Indian desserts than tea to me. There's creaminess to it, but also a dusting of powder. Stays pretty linear on my skin although the sweetness fades first, leaving you with the musk and animalic notes of the oud which is full-bodied and fruity with a touch of supple, suede-like leather. 


The projection is way too strong to wear regularly. Honestly, I'd let this dry down for a couple hours before going out. Absolutely save this for the winter, this would be suffocating for the summer. Not a bad introduction to this house though!



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Tried a few scents and thought I'd share some brief thoughts




CdG delivers again with its 4th Monocle collaboration, Yoyogi. This one is super green, fresh with a mentholated head and wonderfully coniferous sap in the dry down. I personally did not find this to be grassy. A great, solid line for wood lovers.




Not nearly as rosy as I'd expected and far more sweet. A strong cinnamon up top coming through. This is the third of the Renaissance line that doesn't quite do it for me.




Interlude Man Black Iris. I'm a fan of the original Interlude but it's not an easy wear. It's very brash and uncompromising. Iris here smooths and cools down the whole composition and makes it more wearable.




Fate Woman sounded right up my alley but it is a total powder bomb and I don't care for powder. Fate Man on the other hand, is really spicy and dry, which I do love. A fantastic fresh cumin note that never becomes dirty or gourmand like. Easier to wear than other Amouages for men but still very distinctive.




I only took a whiff of this but it seemed very much in line with Fleur de Lalita, very pretty, very balanced, just a lovely demure floral. Not an iris soliflore despite the name. 


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Got AC Lemon Island sample with my order and I am testing it today. I am kind of liking it. It is soft, quiet ( too quiet! ), with subtle beach vibes. It opens with a splash of this soft and almost creamy lemon. Not your typical AC sharp citrus. Then it quickly turns into soft beach vibe kinda scent. Bit creamy, bit sweet, bit salty, definitely sunny and warm. Like a lazy day at some sandy beach hidden among lemon trees. It's simple, but pleasant, and I am really enjoying it. The only problem is... the sillage is almost non existent. I can barely smell the cologne, even after I first apply it. I wonder if it would be better if actually sprayed ( this is that typical AC sample vial without anything to help you apply it easier/better )? Anyone tried this one? 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Thanks for your review, @RavenR !  I want to try this scent, but haven't been to Sephora to pick up a sample.  I'm more curious now that I've read your review!  😁

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I am testing Papillon Anubis today. Wow. This is so unexpectedly beautiful! It really is like Anubis, dark, powerful and mysterious, who is taking a soul through underground and all it's darkness, shadows and temptations, to the other side where the Sun is born, and the soul with it, into a new life... I don't know if I could try and explain the scent any differently ( into more detail ) right now. 

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@RavenR I LOVE Anubis!! Your description is very poetic 🙂 Such a rich and evocative scent isn't it! It reminds me a lot of smoky hides getting tanned.

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Tested the legendary tuberose Fracas today. It's a vintage EDT not EDP so I'm aware I'm not getting the full effect but this is unexpectedly tame. You read a lot about this fragrance being a monster, being so full of indoles it's disgusting. Like, people hate it, it's unbearable, it clears the room, they made no-scent laws because of perfumes like Fracas. Others are totally obsessed with it, but recognize it's not for everyone.


But it was no scary tuberose for me! Fracas on me is like this peachy thing with a candied side. It's rich and a bit heady but nothing at all like what I'd read. None of this contradiction between raunchiness of hot flesh and softness of a clean baby's head. It's just clean baby head on me. Kind of disappointing. Regretting not getting the EDP.



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Ruh by Pekji is a heady oud that's not easy but still wearable. It's incredibly unctuous, almost uncomfortably thick. A floral character emerges as the scent develops that helps cut the fat. Fantastic projection, one light smear to the arm resulted in great wafts of scent. Apply sparingly, this is not for office wear! It's a great scent but does not give me a cardamom coffee vibe the way it's advertised although from the reviews I read, it seems this one changes a lot depending on the wearer's skin.


Edit: ooo, it seems like the coffee came out for me in the dry down, like it comes up from way deep in the bottom, if that makes sense.



Re: The Perfume Challenge

Trying TF Soleil Blanc edp ( again ) and SB edt... Is it possible that the edt actually lasts way longer than the edp ( which is gone in half an hour, probably even sooner than that )? Or they mixed up my samples? When I tried the edp the first time, around the time it came out... I didn't even remember the scent anymore, but I remember the same thing happened back then, too - it was gone in no time. So, maybe edt does last longer on me? Anyone else had this happen? Is it possible? Everyone is saying the edp lasts longer, so I am confused.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Can you tell a samples order of mine came in? A couple reviews for today




Comme des Garcons' Rouge has an interesting opening that explores beetroot in both its candied and earthy aspects. I was expecting something hot and spicy with ginger and incense in the notes pyramid, but this leans more on the candied side in the dry down. It's not saccharine but it's too sweet for me. Kind of disappointed to be honest. It received great reviews, it's certainly better than Copper, and you do get the facets it promises of a metallic edge. But I don't think this should've been a pebble bottle release, it just doesn't hold up to the classic pebbles, like CdG Original, Man2 and some of the greats that you can wear anywhere with this assured laidback urban vibe. That's what I expect from the pebbles. This one would be like a top tier release in their one-note fragrances where they try out weirder notes like Calamus and the scents are more experimental and questioning in nature. Rouge is still interesting and would be right at home there.




Kerosene's Copper Skies is a great ambery scent that has that pleasantly textured, rough-around-the-edges feel to it that characterizes its other scents. I find some of the niche houses are like this. If a house like Malle is offering hi-def, polished to perfection fragrances, these niche houses are lo-fi, fuzzy, shoegaze scents. They're just going for something totally different. Opens with a nutty warmth and envelops you in spice and tobacco. Nothing groundbreaking. Mellow and sweet with a little grit. Great for autumn.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Ha. Now I am kind of glad they sent me something else by mistake instead of Rouge ( because I ended up liking that "mistake" ). Thanks for the review, @pocketvenus ! I was expecting something similar to what you were expecting. This... does not sound appealing to me much... if at all. I love the bottle, though. I am always a sucker for pretty red bottles. 😛


Kerosene... I am not an expert, but it seems ( to me ) all the scents I've tried from them were really well made. But. They are all just so... sickeningly sweet! And heavy. And cloying. And gourmand. Did I mention sweet? Ugh. Minus Walk The Sea. And I think... Pretty Machine... was it? I don't remember anymore. But, yeah. That is not for me. I don't like such cloying gourmand sugar comas. But they are really nicely put together, I have to say that. I like how you described them:"lo-fi, fuzzy, shoegaze scents". That is it exactly! And it is so pleasant. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@RavenR I think I know what you mean. I tried one of the gourmands, Unknown Pleasures, and found it unbearably sweet but good for anyone who loves a desserty gourmand. I passed it along to a friend who loves Baccarat Rouge 540. If you like the work, maybe give Broken Theories a shot? It's a smoky, ambery one that is fantastic, my favourite so far from the house ❤️

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Thanks, @pocketvenus . I've tried that one ( Broken Theories ). It is the best one out of the ones I've tried so far, yep. I kind of like it. But I don't love it. 


Unknown Pleasures was unbearable alright. 


I was thinking the same, these must be a dream for sweet/gourmand lovers! I wish Kerosene added something more to their arsenal because I really like the work. But I guess these are their thing and that's that. 


I am waiting for my Walk The Sea sample to try it again. I don't know why am I bothering again. Maybe that opening. The opening, as I remember it, was great and everything I am looking for in that elusive summer/beach/sea/salt fragrance. And it is still hunting me. A wonderful blast of sea salt, like being at some wild, hidden beach, with just sun, hot rocks and cold sea that emit those marine scents, and a pleasant, fresh, sea breeze. And waves crashing and spraying you with some sea water. But it lasted just a minute or so, and then it turned into something totally blah ( air freshener/laundry detergent ). It's been a while and I kind of hope maybe my nose has changed? Or something. Not even sure. Just want to try it again.

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