Well, here I am, beginning a downward spiral into yet another money-draining hobby. The abyss, it looks into me.
I finally had a chance to go and test quite a few scents after reading this thread (and several others) for a few months. I smelled way, way too many things today for my novice schnoz to make any sense of them by the end of the afternoon, and a lot were horrible, but some stuck out to me: Dune (not homme) is good. Maybe great. Violet blond is very pleasant. The ones that really jumped out at me as being something special were Jicky and something called "Midnight in paris" by someone I can't remember. Actually, I take it back. I'd include Dune with those two as being really good. Awesome, actually.
Also a plus was the fact that everyone I was talking to really knew their stuff. Or seemed to, at least - I really don't know enough to judge. But dealing with friendly salespeople almost made me miss the days when I couldn't just order everything on the internet.
Can someone tell me what that faintly feminine musk in Jicky is, and maybe a couple more scents that have a similarly, um, sensual note? I love that.
Anyway, it's been awesome to read through this thread, and the wealth of knowledge here is invigorating and not a little contagious. A big thanks to Rach, whose posts are always descriptive yet accessible. I can't believe I've waited so long to, um, stick my nose into fragrances.