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Post in Fragrance Fans

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

@pocketvenus Great reviews! I loved the Fenty descrip of "rich". Rilha and Nabati have been on my radar. Papier not so much. I think of printing and chemical smells but you make it sound like garden brunch, haha. Rilha comes in a hair perfume. For me Diptyque perfumes are a bit intense, not too much but I find the hair perfume not nearly intense and way better for my wallet. Like $50-65 an ounce? Considering the price of the full on perfume they are a nice way to try Diptyque. And the Diptyque hair mist lasts and lasts for me. Never heard of Aesop Gloam but I'd like to try it.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Margalee Oh, yes, Papier is much softer than that. Toner ink sounds more like a Comme de Garcons thing 🙂 The thing about Papier is that while there is an interesting realistic steamed rice note, this doesn't last and the main accord in the drydown does smell like so many "rice" perfumes that fluffy, powdery and musky. To be fair, it's not nearly as sweet and fluffy as some others and it has a bit of earthy edge. I guess I'm not really looking for a "grown up" rice fragrance.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

My first Twisted Lily purchase! The unmarked one is BDK Gris Charnel, which I’ve sampled before but want one more go-round to decide if it’s full-bottle-worthy. I’m a little worried that I’m anosmic to BR540! Maybe it doesn’t perform well on paper, but I didn’t get much of anything when I smelled the test strip. 


Re: The Perfume Challenge



I’ve found that people are either tuberose / gardenia people, or they’re not. I am not. I mean, I LOVE both, but it’s not my flower, ya know ?


that said….I love the idea and history of tuberose in perfumery, I love it on others. And this one is special. Tuberose, gardenia, ylang ylang and Indian sandalwood. These are the real flower extracts, it’s what I imagine fracas was like when it first launched before things went synthetic. The tuberose is creamy, even buttery, decadent and I dare say carnal. The brand uses the word “delirium” to describe a proper tuberose experience, and I just adore that. Yes, accurate. If you’re a tuberose person, I wouldn’t sleep on this.


I’ve given notice to my job and only have a few days left so, hoping I’ll have more of a chance to explore my stash of samples and forgotten about bottles !



Re: The Perfume Challenge

This sounds beautiful, @jemly! I like Tuberose and I love Ylang Ylang and sandalwood.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I L‌❤️‌VE this idea! I have so many perfumes, but have been using just my favorites lately. I think I'll do this for myself during February, my birthday month.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@lkm1991 Can't wait to see what you share!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Bit of a hiatus this week but still working through my cultus artem discovery set. Today is ILEX. 

jasmin sambac, neroli, bergamot and South American maté tea — another example of an earthy “of you not on you” nuanced, rich botanical. If y’all can’t tell from my previous Rosa experience below, I love a floral-tea suggestion and this is literally that. The maté is a little smoky ? And while “smoky jasmine” might sound like a bizarre combo, it think smoky notes do something similar to powder notes on skin. Blends/melts deep. Indolic jasmin sambac rather than Jasmine grandefolia keeps this earthy (how many times can is say that word ?) rather than a white flower halo the latter form of jasmine/synthetic white flowers can give (and I’m not denigrating that—that is often wildly beautiful too, just different).

this whole range makes me think of something I once read, about the Romanov daughters. They each had their own flower they’d perfume their bath water with—original COTY soliflor perfumes: one had lilac, another had rose, one had violette and the other had jasmine. These cultus artem fragrances are not quite soliflors, but the do make me think of what fresh skin would smell of out of a bath perfumed with floral water. 

but stronger


and maybe a little dirtier (in both spirit and in effect)





Re: The Perfume Challenge

@jemly Ooh this sounds amazing. I love the little history bit you shared, that is really interesting and cool. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Interesting about the bath water, @jemly ! 🛁  This scent sounds lovely.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

‎Samples gifted to me by @Samtian . 😘
TOCCA Cleopatra 0.68 oz/ 20 mL Eau de Parfum  

Top:  Grapefruit, black currant,  green notes, cassis.

Middle:  Jasmine, peach, tuberose.

Base:  Musk, patchouli, amber, vanilla

Comment:  This started out barely noticeable and sour.  After about an hour, I could smell a hint of peach.  I did not smell any other of the notes listed.  The scent lasted maybe 2 hrs max.  On the positive side, tuberose is normally a migraine trigger; but not only did I not smell it, I did not get a migraine.  I definitely will not be buying this one.


DEREK LAM 10 CROSBY Rain Day 1.7 oz/ 50 mL   

Notes:  Haitian vetiver, Tunisian neroli

Comment:  This smelled musty and continued to get worse.  The only redeeming value was it reminded me of my grandmother's house's basement, which reminded me of my grandma! 💋  I would have washed it off, but I know from past experience that, that is nearly impossible.  It lasted less than 2 hrs.  Not only won't I be purchasing this one, the sample went in the trash...ugh! 😝


Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06 The grandma part made me laugh! Sorry these were duds for you too!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

I love the Silent Hill perfume by this brand. I would mix it with a perfume called Kensie and the amount of people who told me that I smell good was crazy! From family and friends all the way to the people who work at a convenient store I go to often lol 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

‎More samples gifted to me by @Samtian . 🙂

Notes:  Cedar, incense, sandalwood, pepper.

Comment:  This started out as a lovely light woody scent.  After about an hour, I noticed light sandalwood.  Throughout the day, I kept noticing a wonderful scent, and then realized it was the perfume!  The scent lasted 8+ hrs, which is longer than any fragrance I've tried...ever.  I L-U-V this scent!  It's on my Loves list for the next sale!


ABBOTT Montecito Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz / 50 mL 

Top:  Grapefruit.

Middle:  Jasmine.

Base:  Vetiver.

Comment:  This had an astringent smell.  I did not smell any of the notes as described.  Fortunately it was light and didn't last more than a couple of hours that I noticed.  I definitely won't be purchasing this one.




Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06 Ooh I'm so glad you had an amazing winner!!

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Cultus Artem rosa today. Now, I love rose fragrances, but I am picky about them. And this is perhaps my favorite of the range, and would fill a perfect spot in my rose perfume collection that isn’t filled. It’s a rose, yes, but nuanced (as i stated about the brand a couple posts down). It’s earthy. It’s petals, not fresh green but soil and dark velvet petals. I think it smells of rose black tea, though there isn’t a tea note. There is clove and clove leaf, which I think is a unique twist and might add to that tea suggestion I’m getting. Also contains patchouli, which grounds it, and Egyptian honeysuckle, which adds a bit of sweet (but for honeysuckle, not too sweet, which I like about this) effervescence above the velvet earthiness.


I love Rosa !



Re: The Perfume Challenge

This perfume sounds lovely, @jemly !  Rose is a migraine trigger for me.  Your description makes me think this one may not.  So far, you're selling me on getting the sample set (I looked at it yesterday).

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Isn’t the packaging glorious ?! 

yes I know rose certainly can have that effect. Obviously can’t guarantee anything but the naturally derived roses (it’s both centifolia and Damascus roses) really can make that difference. And it’s made to sit close to the skin. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Samtian gifted to me several samples that didn't work for her.  Here are the first two I've tried:


 ABBOTT Mojave Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz / 50 mL eau de parfum spray 

Notes:  Black pepper, ginger, bergamot, tobacco leaf, saffron.

Comment:  This past week I squeezed both halves of an organic lemon.  That's what this smelled like--a light, sweet, sour, fresh lemon.  I did not smell any of the other notes.  The scent lasted 4 hrs, which is longer than the majority of fragrances I've tried...ever.  I love citrus scents, but I doubt I'll buy this one.


ABBOTT Big Sky Eau de Parfum 1.7 oz / 50 mL eau de parfum spray 

Top:  Sea notes, spices, grass.

Middle:  Cypress, mountain air.

Base:  Vetiver.

Comment:  On me, this is a very light, fresh scent.  I did not smell any of the notes as described.  It was a lovely fresh skin scent.  It lasted 2 hrs, which is longer than most fragrances I've tried.  This one is nice; it goes on the for consideration list.




Edited to add links.

Re: The Perfume Challenge

@Titian06 I wish both of those were like that for me haha. 

Re: The Perfume Challenge

Today I received some samples in the mail from Noteworthy because their Instagram add got me. I'm trying out 818, which says it's main notes are apple, milk, and sandalwood. 


When I first sprayed it, that lactic quality from the milk was prominent in a bad way. It overpowered everything else, and just smelled curdled with a hit of fruitiness. Like bad cream in fruit tea? But then I took a nap, and can smell the apple and sandalwood. The apple smells very ripe, but not gone bad yet, and the sandalwood and milk make it creamy. Sort of like melted ice cream. It's nice, but I won't be running to order a full bottle.