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Scent/Fragrance of the Day thread

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by Dmax, Aug 22, 2007.

  1. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    another idea for an earthy scent:

    Tauer Perfumes L'Air du Desert Marocain

    also most frag youtube chanels are slightly annoying, but daver at fragrance bros is good. if you're wondering about a scent, you can look him up on youtube to see if he has a review. he also has a 'beginner' series that answers a lot of basic questions

    https://www.youtube.com/user/FragranceBros
     

  2. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Stylish Dinosaur

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    Amouage Silver Man. This starts out very spicy and minty, even though nothing in the notes explains why it should smell that way. It actually reminds me just a little bit of L'Autre at the top. But pretty quickly it dries down into a high-pitched, soapy barbershop scent, which is not a style I like a lot. You can absolutely smell the high quality, though.
     

  3. troika

    troika Distinguished Member

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    Thanks Derek, I'll take a look. I also found some primers on some old menswear blog so I'll try to learn what to look (smell) for in the future. FWIW I tried the Frederic Malle and Timothy Han based on the rec from your blog.

    I think you're right, earthy undertones with citrus is my jam. Also smokey scents, maybe even pruney, are also fantastic. I'm not opposed to floral, just maybe not sure which ones I like. Is there a floral that doesn't smell super sickly sweet (again, not sure what I'm describing here)?
     

  4. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    All florals will be sweet, but they can be sweet in different ways. As I mentioned to @erictheobscure a few pages back, many men don't like rose, for example, because it's strongly associated in the West with a certain, older generation of women. It was commonly used in classic French perfumery. (In the Middle East, it was common in "masculine" perfumes, so I think it persists, but in the US, a lot of guys don't like it cause it reminds them of their grandma).

    I don't like rose for that reason, although even the same note can be used in different ways. It can be a slightly different play on that note or it can be combined with other notes for a totally different "accord" (which is basically a word for a combo of notes). Oud, which is a very strong almost stanky note, is commonly used with rose. Helps sweeten it up. I also like Shalimar, which is probably the most classic and famous of rose scents.

    There are also other "feminine" florals. Iris is often considered feminine because it's commonly associated with women's cosmetics, so in perfume it smells like the bottom of a make-up bag. Often has a powdery feel to it. I also don't like iris.

    But there are other florals, such as jasmine or tuberose, which I like. Or similar notes like fig (kinda floral-ish). It's really about just identifying your taste. Some florals I like: Frederic Malle's En Passant, L'Eu d'Hiver, and Portrait of a Lady; Ormonde Janye's Frangipiani; and Masque Milano's l'Attesa.

    You'll find that a lot of frags have florals. It's one of the biggest categories of notes, along with things such as woods and citrus. So even if something isn't "technically" a floral, it'll have floral notes.

    I would say: none of this really matters if you're trying to just find some nice things to wear. At the most, if a guy wants to wear fragrances, three 50ml bottles will last him forever. Maybe one for spring/ summer, one for fall/ winter, and another for whatever he likes. Once you get beyond even five bottles ... you're really just getting into the subject. It's like a guy who wants to dress well vs. a guy who's really into reading about fashion or whatever. For three bottles, you don't really need to identify notes, just find three bottles that work for differnet climates and won't offend people. The spring/ summer one is probably going to be a citrus, the fall/ winter some earthy scent. And the third is whatever you like.

    If you like Timothy Han's On the Road, you'll probably like Tauer Perfumes (start with l'air du Desert Marocain, and maybe add Lonestar Memories if you want). Twisted Lily has samples and their promos sometimes apply. I love Dusita's Issara for a fougere (which is a fern-like scent), but it's annoyingly expensive and doesn't last that long. But so good (like being out in a farm smelling hay in the morning). La Via del Profumo's Cuoio dei Dolci is a mix of leather and vanilla. Not really earthy, but in that sort of "manly without being 1970s" category. The guy behidn that brand is .... kind of a character. You can look up an article about him on the NYT, but he's sort of one of those guys who's really, really into his work and is maybe a bit eccentric about it.

    Hermes Equipage, similarly, isn't earthy, but it's leathery. A cousin of earthy.

    You can also try gourmonds/ anything with tonka bean or vanilla. Those are somewher between earthy and floral sweet. I like Bond No. 9, Nassamato's Pardon, Dior's Feve Delicieuse, By Killian Intoxicated, L'Occitane Eau des Baux, and Kerosene's Follow.

    When you get someting, try looking up the notes on Fragrantica. If you can, buy the latest copy of Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's Perfume Guide. Those will help you identify notes.

    But again, none of this is necessary if you just want to smell nice. Most guys don't need more than three regular scents. Some are even fine with one.
     

  5. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Distinguished Member

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    i already know i'm terrible at discerning/distinguishing/labelling gustatory & olfactory sensations. i know this because i drink a lot of wine and know what i like and don't like but couldn't tell you if a given wine tastes like plum, raspberries, or cherries. i've eaten plums, raspberries, or cherries, but the attempt to deploy those labels induces some sort of linguistic-phenomenological panic in me. same shit with coffee (except an ethiopian coffee i drink a lot that tastes like blueberries--the flavor of blueberry seems somehow a lot more unmistakable to me.)

    so i'm guessing it'll be exactly the same for me and fragrances. @L'Incandescent mentioned that attaquer le soleil smells like labdanum. so i gave it another sniff and tried to tell myself that's what labdanum smells like. but it'll be no use because the association of the name and the scent won't stick in my memory in a way that i can retrieve & deploy.
     

  6. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    I'm definitely that way with coffee. I think I buy reasonably good coffee, but those things are always described in this long string of notes. I buy a bag, bring it home, brew it. And then it's like "yep, tastes like coffee."

    I think once you smell enough fragrances though, you end up identifying some commonalities. I've never smelled actual deer musk or the synthetic, but I can recognize the theme now across musk fragrances (@Baron gave me the very helpful tip that, in its "purest form," it's basically Kiehl's version).

    Some notes are easy, like rose and vanilla. Some are harder like musk and oud. But I think after a while, you can read a note breakdown and have an idea of whether or not you'll like something. (Well, note breakdown and some people's reviews).

    But again, all that is kind of pointless unless you like fragrances as a subject.
     

  7. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Distinguished Member

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    seems like as good a distraction from mortality & meaninglessness as any available to me in the disenchanted/late-stage capitalist life i lead
     

  8. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    I suspect a lot of guys in this thread have already seen these, but the BBC produced some wonderful documentaries on the fragrance world a few years ago. Like their documentaries on Savile Row and the suit, these are intended for a popular audience. Which is to say they're technical enough to be substantive, but not nerdy-technical. They're especially good if you're just getting into the subject.

    Putting behind the cut here:





    There's also this Al Jazeera documentary on oud

     

  9. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    I'd venture to say that most florals aren't actually that sweet. Particularly not in comparison to the woody-vanilla thing that basically every modern male perfume has. Those fragrances that smell like Starbucks are even sweeter e.g. Bond No 9, super sweet and sugary.

    Try to find a rose fragrance that doesn't have that sweet base, you'll see that it's not sweet as such it's just...rosey. E.G. Aramis 900 (rose + patchouli + a little jasmine) - super prominent rose note that can feel a bit feminine when you first spray it because of those associations but it's got a slight tinge of mustiness to it too.

    The most interesting floral I found recently actually IS a chick's fragrance, Estee Lauder Knowing. It's a really dry rose. It's really nice. Impossible to describe but worth a try IMO.
     

  10. hendrix

    hendrix Ill-proportioned

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    Oh yeah the other really obvious not-sweet floral is Chanel Antaeus. Somewhat similar to Knowing and Aramis 900. I like them all
     

  11. DiplomaticTies

    DiplomaticTies Distinguished Member

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    Cri de la Lumière today. Love this. A lot is happening along the way here, from the slightly foggy but bright opening, through the rose to the musk and woods in the drydown. A fantastic iris note follows along the whole way. Maybe slightly on the feminine side.
     

  12. HORNS

    HORNS Stylish Dinosaur

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    Metaphors and, more objectively, note detection is cultural dependent, to a degree, and I mean that not in a sense of socio economics nor west versus whatever culture. For example, a couple of notes common in wine critique are hawthorn and cassis, which I’ve never been exposed to until I got a Le Nez du Vin set. Even then it took practice and performing blind smellings of all the notes, as if I was doing a lab practical where one looks through a microscope and has to identify what they see without any context. The same goes for perfumes in that experience allows you to finally identify a note that transcends multiple fragrances.

    I’ve really benefitted from getting a lot of raw materials, individual compounds, and plant and animal derivatives over the years to dick around with - so you have to take into consideration all the valuable time and money someone like me has wasted to detect notes better than you.
     

  13. HORNS

    HORNS Stylish Dinosaur

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    Parfum d’Empire is a solid house.
     

  14. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Distinguished Member

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    :teach:
     

  15. dieworkwear

    dieworkwear Mahatma Jawndi Dubiously Honored

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    Yea, from reading basenotes, my understanding is that guys who are really into this stuff will buy the naturals and synthetics on the market -- like, from perfume supplies companies -- and smell those notes alone. That's like another level though.
     

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