I Know What I Don't Like

Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle advertLast week I sat outside a bar with a friend, enjoying one of the last warm evenings of the year. My friend works Saturday afternoons at a wine store, and he told me about how he helps people find the right bottle of wine. "I ask people what they like," he said, "But it seems like they're always more articulate about what it is that they don't like."

Right away I thought of how I once went into a perfume shop and told the sales person that whatever perfume he brought out, please make sure that it doesn't have vanilla, because I don't like vanilla. It was the early 1990s, and everywhere I went I was bombarded by Calvin Klein Obsession and detested it. In my mind at that time, Obsession equaled vanilla. Now I think back at the sales person and marvel at his ability to suggest anything given such lame guidance. (For the record, he suggested Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle.)

I know, though, that I'm not the only person who could focus more easily on what I didn't like in a perfume than what I liked. Just look at the Monday Mail columns. You can tell that it's much easier for the Monday Mail subjects to describe what they don't like and what doesn't work than to say what they do like, and I don't blame them. After all, if they knew what they liked, why would they be asking for guidance?

On reflection, it seems that people who are just beginning to explore perfume can best describe what is that they don't like. Later, when they begin to delve into the intricacies of perfume, they can identify that they like leather or incense or jasmine and can ask for fragrances that feature those notes. They can smell Piguet Bandit and know that it intrigues them and ask to smell other leathers, like Knize Ten or Hermès Bel Ami. Or, tantalized by Guerlain Mitsouko's reputation, they might become intrigued with peachy chypres and want to know Yves Saint Laurent Yvresse and Rochas Femme. It's a great way to develop a perfume vocabulary.

In the end, although it's helpful to start to identify notes and what you like or don't like, I think the hard core perfume lover wants to smell everything. He or she just might be surprised, and even comes to look forward to it. No, I'm not wild about strong vetiver, but the way vetiver is treated in Vero Profumo Onda makes me see and appreciate vetiver in a new way. Or, violet-based fragrances always seemed too pastille to me, but wearing the violet heavy Caron N'Aimez Que Moi makes me feel like Carole Lombard in a romantic comedy, and I love that.

Maybe we start our perfume connoisseurship by narrowing what we experience into a slot that we can know and own. After a while, after we feel comfortable, we try scents we never imagined we'd want to wear, sort of like dressing up in velvet cocktail dresses from other eras and posing in front of the mirror. Instead of saying, "I don't like powder" we say, "I'd love to try something different."

By trying each scent, by dabbing those strange drops of Guerlain Jicky extrait or Etro Shaal Nur or Comme de Garçons Avignon on our necks, we learn by trial and error who it is that we really are. That is, for the time being.

Note: image via Images de Parfums.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Knowing what I like and don't like has changed a bit over the last two years as I've delved into major amounts of perfume samples, etc. Even things I used to not like so much, I've challenged myself to resniff, maybe to understand differently, or develop my nose. Now I'm trying to get into vetivers and leathery animalic fragrances, even if I can't always wear them.

    But I'm so happy to see an image of Jardins de Bagatelle, which was my first big European fragrance love. I found it when I was 14 years old in our local department store, and it embodied to me glamorous sophitication, Europe, and the mysterious female future…I dreamed of wearing this to my prom with my homemade designer Voge patterns dress. I was fortunate enough to have the sparkly talc, so it was a dream fulfillment of sorts, and it became my early gateway to fragrances. I always have a bottle of JdB, and still wear it on special occasions because it reminds me of those long ago feelings of sophistication.

    That being said, and in light of knowing what you like and don't like: I generally hate tuberose, not because of how it smells, but because it always give me a headace. These days, a list of notes from a frag may dictate whether I smell it at all or not. If I had never smelled JdB, and read it's notes, which apparently include tuberose (!), and saw that it is rarely if ever reviewed on any fragrance blogs, then I can conclude that I would have never sampled it now. I consider myself fortunate enough to have smelled JdB, and Je Reviens, and Paloma Mon Parum, etc, etc etc when I had my chance, stumbling across them as a teen in our local store. Chance is sometimes a good teacher, and being open minded and willing to sniff is really important, even if you're revisiting something you think you hate. It's important to have the confidence to love something that may be poorly rated or not even on the radar. Besides, it is so hard to describe things we love because there are many abstract reasons that go into love, beauty, happiness. Negative ugly impressions are so easy to quantify and describe. It would be an interesting exercise for fragrances lovers to admit to their most favorite fragrances, tacky, poorly reviewed, cheap, etc.

    My favorite big offenders: Tea Rose Perfumer's Workshop , Jardins de Bagatelle, Boucheron Femme, Skin Musk Coty, Donna Lorenzo Villerose, AG Ce Soir ou Jamais, Savannah Gardens Crabtree and Evelyn, and my favorite “reviled” old lady frag — good old Bal a Versailles, which I used to hide and call a different name when people asked years ago.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This article is so true! A lot of times it is so much easier for me to indentify what I DON'T like, it is so true. I am not sure whether I DO love Philosykos that much… sometimes it appears to be a bit too green for a fig scent (I guess I like figs drier). But I can tell You right now and without any doubt I DON'T like Shalimar. I hate it, I hate all that vanilla in it, I can't take it's raw synthetic, chemical smelling bergamot opening in it. I don't like Shalimar and I am so positive that I can't stand it, I will not even bother trying again. Thanks Angela for saying something I already knew but never gave it any thought:))

  3. Anonymous says:

    You sure do love your florals! You're inspiring me, too, to search out a sample of Jardins de Bagatelle to review. How fabulous that you had the sparkly powder.

    I also really agree with your statement that “Chance is sometimes a good teacher”. So true!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Argh, you're dissing my beloved Shalimar! (Although admittedly I don't wear it all that often, but I can't imagine not having it around.)

    I don't know what it is that makes people so much more sure about what it is that they don't like (as opposed to what they do), but it sure seems true.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I still have the sparkly talc bottle, even though it doesn't really smell anymore. If you have the opportunity to test it — a little dab goes a long way, like most of the major florals of the 80s. It's much better in a splash bottle which hasn't been for sale in the US for many years. I always think it smells like a summer day.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That sounds really nice. Summer days are quickly fleeting…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe unpleasant reactions are somehow more memorable than pleasant ones. Fracas gave me such a bad impression that it has been hard for me to embrace tuberose and I am a little sorry I know that it IS tuberose that I hate about Fracas (to be fair I do sniff it now and then to see if things have changed). Muguet is another one – I had such a bad headache from some essence someone put on me that I have a hard time approaching perfumes with that in the notes. Maybe we try harder to find out what it is that is unpleasant for us so we can avoid it, than we try to find out what is making us happy so we can have it again. Which is probably not very smart, lol.

  8. Anonymous says:

    That makes sense to me–the incentive to avoid the bad rather than seek out the truly fine, that is. Most people are risk averse, especially when they've had a bad experience (in your case Fracas).

  9. Anonymous says:

    Mmmm, very insightful Angela, as usual. I am totally with you on wanting to smell new fragrances just for the experience sake (not really expecting to like them all, and happy when i find something unexpected).

    And I often find I like some notes I don't tend to like when they done a certain way. Not a huge fan of vanilla, but do love Shalimar. Gardenia tends to give me a headache, but I love Chanel Gardenia. At first I thought cumin was my enemy, and now am becoming quite smitten. (My Amouage travel spray arrived yesterday!)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey, my travel bottle arrived yesterday, too!

    It think it's easiest to say what you don't like. Step two is to be stuck on what you know you like. Then you get to where you may not like everything, but you're open to it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Angela you hit the nail right on its flat head!

    I used to love violet fragrances, so I gravitated towards violet. But as I became more knowledgeable, more open and very curious, I started trying all sorts of fragrances.

    Sure, I don't like patchouli, but Enlevement Au Serail is one of my favorites. I “thought” I did not like Shalimar, until an old friend introduced me to the wonders of the parfum.

    I could go on and on, but I don't have to.

    We perfumistas totally get what you are talking about!


  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I know just what you mean about thinking you don't like something–until you smell it in the right mix or at the right time. I used to feel that way about patchouli, too, but L'Inspriatrice and Patchouli Leaves are two of my favorites now.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Believe it or not, for a period of about 15 years, I believed that I hated ALL perfumes! Blame it on a bad experience with Chopard Casmir as a young woman, although now I believe I might even be willing to give that another go one day.

  14. Anonymous says:

    For me, it's much easier if I target what I know a) does not smell good on me, or b) I don't like.

    What I do like, is a much bigger category, and changes on a given day. It could depend on mood, what I'm wearing, the weather, hormones…… etc…

    I guess I'm fickle! :)

    ps-I LOVE Patchouli Leaves.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It's official. I no longer know what I don't like! Sure, I have some general dislikes such as aquatics, but then along will come a perfume that challenges my assumption. Un Jardin Apres La Mousson, for example, with it's melony aquatic opening, is not really my type of fragrance (and it certainly has its detractors) but I appreciate it and need to get a decant.

    The more I try, the more I like. This presents a quandry, given the obvious financial challenges posed by falling in love with so many fragrances! I do find, however, that I love many fragrances for their beauty and/or brilliance, yet they may not exactly suit me. Not that they do not smell good on me, but they simply do not “fit” stylistically.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I could see Casmir doing that to someone! Once I wore a couple of drops of it–really, just the tiniest amount–to work at the vintage clothing store, and one of the customers took a bandanna out of her bag and wrapped it around her nose. Whoops.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I guess if you know something turns sour on you, there's a real reason to avoid it. But I've been surprised time and again by what I think I don't like and end up loving.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I, too, admire lots of fragrances and even own them, but I don't always wear them. I know they're brilliant, but they just don't suit me. Some of the JCEs fit that category for me. I love them, but abstractly. It's like I'm too messy and complicated for them.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I learned, from trial and error, to ask a fragrance customer 2 things: what do you dislike and what do you like? It's always easier for them to state what they don't like, but it gives me a good starting point. And sometimes they reverse their course in the midst of sampling and end up with what they *thought* they didn't like.

    Sometimes, nothing works out. I had a customer today who has never worn fragrance. He wanted to try and find something that suited him. We spent a good 20 minutes trying this and that, and I could see he was forcing himself to contemplate the choices I handed him. I told him that fragrance (especially for a newbie) should be instinctive – either like it or don't. (I wasn't going to complicate matters by explaining that sometimes we grow to love something that at first sniff is not pleasing). Anyway, he ended up with nothing, and it was disappointing for us both. I like a good challenge, but this proved impossible for us both.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What good advice for people who are accustomed to perfume to follow their instincts at first! It's so easy to over-think it. I think this is why Stella is so popular with people who don't wear a lot of fragrance. It's a nice rose and hard not to like. Later, as you get more curious about scent, you can always branch out.

  21. Anonymous says:

    I feel the same way about the JCEs. Strangely, I too own a couple of fragrances that I love but rarely, if ever, wear. If I do, it is usually at night, before bed, just to admire their elegance. Or I spray my pillowcase with them. 31 Rue Cambon is like that for me. Brilliant, beautiful, elegant etc, etc, but I mostly admire it, rather than wear it.

  22. Anonymous says:

    It's really interests me what others think about if there should be suitability between one's style (say, in clothes) and his/her fragrance. I used to have doubts about if my fragrance should “fit” me stylistically. But I love so many really different frags! And, exactly like you, “the more I try, the more I like”. I decided lately, that I'll use what I crave in this particular day/hour/moment, and I don't care if there's suitability with my style. So, usually looking more or less tomboyish (sometimes definitely “more” than “less”!), I end up wearing Fracas, Une fleur de Cassie and Chanel No 5! :)

    I'd really like to know if it looks/smells strange from the side (but I'm not willing to change :-) ) and what perfumistas think about all this thing of fitting. (Angela, may be it could be a topic for future review? And thank you for this one. Great as always.)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I used to 'style' my fragrance according to what I was doing or wearing. Now I don't care – I wear what I love, in ripped jeans or a suit. My only exceptions are wakes and funerals: Chanel N.5 in parfum (my mother and grandmother's tradition).

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well, I wouldn't exactly say my looks or clothing determine the suitability of my fragrance style. It has more to do with general preferences. Warm base notes, Rich, often complex compositions etc. I absolutely mix jeans with elegant French perfumes and wear evening perfumes during the day. I am just careful not to overapply. I do believe that certain fragrances would not fit my personality though.

  25. Anonymous says:

    It's funny that you mention 31 rue Cambon, because I adore the decant I have, and I smell it all the time, but it rarely seems “right” for me.

  26. Anonymous says:

    B, with any luck, you won't have to wear No. 5 very often!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I find that for me my clothes and scent to share a certain way, most days, but that might be because I'll put on the clothes that match my mood, and the perfume that matches my mood, so they go together naturally.

    But what about wearing clothes that fit your scent (rather than vice versa)? What about saying, “I'm in the mood for Une Fleur de Cassie, now what dress will suit that mood”? (A fabulous dress with some wacky touch is what I'm seeing.)

  28. Anonymous says:

    Yes, personality. What I mean, in clothes, for example, I can't wear what I feel is “not me”, but as long as I like a scent, I'll wear it even if it feels “not me”. I just wanna smell it. :)

  29. Anonymous says:

    There's something nice about mixing it up a little, too. Wearing a leather chypre with a buttoned-down suit, or a spare, modern scent with a 1950s dress.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Hey, maybe if you do like a scent, than it is you!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I like such contrasts, too!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hm, maybe. Than I'm … universal :)

  33. Anonymous says:

    Well, great idea! To change all the time, no personal style in clothes at all, or maybe it can be personal style, too. I like it.

  34. Anonymous says:

    That's what fun about fashion and fragrance, there are opportunities to express yourself in different ways.

    If I'm wearing clothes that fit CdG Incense Avignon, the wardrobe is fun and quirky, like a lacy black velvet Betsey Johnson dress with biker boots.

    When I visit my great aunts & uncles, the scent is classic (Chanel No 5) and the “uniform” is a pink cashmere sweater with heels, pearls and a skirt.

  35. Anonymous says:

    A child of the universe (an old friend used to say that).

  36. Anonymous says:

    As Whitman said, “I contain multitudes”.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Both outfits (and accompanying scents) sound great.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I agree with mbanderson61 about liking more the more I try. There are so many things I have iniitally dismissed, maybe three or four times, then come back to apprehensively to find a switch has flicked, and I like them. Had that experience with Ta'if, Escale a Portofino, L'Air de Desert Marocain and heaps of other things. Today, for example, I re-tried Rive Gauche which was not as powdery and sweet as I remembered – in fact it was very nice! At this rate I may end up liking every perfume ever created – or the ones without civet at any rate. That is the only non-negotiable note it would seem. I don't think I like clove or anise or all manner of other things, but it isn't set in stone. I might like it used judiciously in a particular formulation. I guess I can even hack a teeny smidgen of civet if I like the rest of the perfume enough.

    I am not even sure I have limits stylistically like mbanderson61, which would help to whittle the numbers down of what I wish to own. Okay, certain Z-list celebrity scents might not make the cut for aesthetic/style reasons, but otherwise, the more I get into this hobby, the more catholic my taste seems to become, and the more perfume personae I am happy to adopt!

    Btw, I was curious to see if you were in the US, mba, only to find you live in a town with the same name as mine! I believe the two have some sort of civic relations, and I know that extracts from your local press have appeared in our papers!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I wore Angeliques sous la Pluie to a funeral recently, which felt very fitting – sort of plangent and foggy, like the mourners.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I've definitely come around to love many fragrances that I initially dismissed, and I'm guessing it will keep happening. There's a part of me that wishes I were more consistent with what I like, because I like the “tidiness” of having a cohesive scent aura, but I don't think it's ever going to happen.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I love that one.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Angela, I smell more and more fragrances and I dislike less and less. So the more perfumes I try the more I begin to like and appreciate. And that goes for all categories.

  43. Anonymous says:

    That is a perfect, succinct summary of how I feel, too!

  44. Anonymous says:

    What is JCE?

  45. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for asking! JCE is short for the perfumer Jean Claude Ellena. He's currently the nose for Hermes, and he's a genius (in my mind) who constructs minimalist, airy fragrances that you almost feel you can stand inside and examine that way.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Add me to the list… I find so many pleasing, albeit not purchase worthy. But that's a part of working in the fragrance industry, being able to sniff and spray to my heart's content and choosing only a few to actually purchase.

  47. Anonymous says:

    By the way I just wanted to add that about a week ago I did purchase a bottle of Jardins de Bagatelle and I like it! I've heard many times that a real perfume freak should have their own Guerlain… Well I'll be 100 % honest about it and I admit that mine is Acqua Allegoria (yes allegoria) Winter Delice. But when it comes to something more feminine/elegant it's nice to have Jardins de Bagatelle around.

  48. Anonymous says:

    You're in a good position for that!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Now I'm double eager to try Jardins de Bagatelle again!

  50. Anonymous says:

    I had the good fortune to visit the 68 Champs Elysees store in May, and had some recs from an SA, including the more expensive limited edition ones etc. I have to say that Jardins de Bagatelle is one that stands out in my mind from that testing session as being very nice, and which wasn't remotely on my radar before! That and Fleurs de Cedrat, though I have since fallen in love with Chamade. The Iris Ganache was a big no-no, I seem to remember, ditto Mayotte (too sweet), while Vol de Nuit sadly didn't work for me, though I was hugely intrigued by it because of its history.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Same experience, Vanessa. A switch is flicked and suddenly I like a fragrance that I previously either detested or for which I felt indifference. The stylistic suitability issue doesn't really consist of limits. I just don't see myself in light flowery, overly fresh, breezy light, summery citrus, simple soliflore, or fruity fragrances. Even if the fragrance is done well. Won't stop me from trying it though!

    Oh and yes! I am in Stafford, VA. Small world and all that. Funny that you probably read more from our local press than I do, since I read the Washington Post! :)

  52. Anonymous says:

    Haha, that is funny… I'll let you know if I hear of any interesting goings on in your Stafford! I do agree with you that there are scents that feel more “you” than others. I also don't feel quite right in soliflores and fruity fragrances, to which I would add heavy, spicy perfumes, and astringent, vetivery colognes. But I want to sniff absolutely everything and I will certainly wear wildly inappropriate things round the house, if not in public!

  53. Anonymous says:

    I adore Chamade and Vol de Nuit, but I wasn't bowled over by Iris Ganache, either.

  54. Anonymous says:

    As a newbie perfumista, I can definitely relate to being more articulate on what I don't like. I recently tried Chanel's Bois des Iles… and on the first two tries, all I could really say about it was something along the lines of: “Eeeeek! Powder! Get it off, get it off!” But on my third time, I made myself wait until it developed and something in my nose clicked, and I got the gingerbread and the wood scents and rather enjoy it. I'm still trying to make peace with aldehydes, but I guess I still need more time!

  55. Anonymous says:

    Aldehydes can definitely be an acquired taste, and I know lots of people who love perfume who can't abide an obvious, Chanel-style aldehyde. But they can be so elegant and bubbly! And Bois des Iles is just plain wonderful.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I am one of those strange perfume lovers who swooned over the aldehyde bubblies from almost the first time that I dipped my nose near a spray of No 22. Or was it Guerlain Vega. Or Bois des Iles, or Revillon Detchema or…you get the idea. Love at first sparkle!

  57. Anonymous says:

    No. 22 and Vega–especially Vega!–you mentioned some of my favorites.

  58. Anonymous says:

    If you like aldehydes, you should perhaps try (if you haven't already!) Balenciaga Le Dix, Iris Poudre, Divine L'Ame Soeur and maybe Thierry Mugler Miroir des Secrets. My faves out of those would be L'Ame Soeur and Le Dix.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Agree! Love all of these. Haven't tried the Mugler though. Will be sure to sniff it now that you have referenced it! Have you tried Detchema? The htf parfum is exquisite. The edp is nice but the parfum is beautiful. Not as crazy about the pdt.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Had never heard of that one but I see Mia Farrow wore it in “Rosemary's Baby”! The Mugler I mention is interesting as it has the sparkling champagne aspect of aldehydes but without any powder – or not to my nose, anyway. That whole Mugler Miroir range is vastly overpriced though if you ask me, so it might be one to sniff in store out of academic curiosity!

  61. Anonymous says:

    Another aldehydic fragrance that I really like is Caron Nocturnes, too.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I like Nocturnes better than Fleurs de Rocaille, for example. Indeed it is one of the few Carons I do like (but I am working on it…based on my earlier post, it is just a matter of time till I come round to liking considerably more of the line than I do at present!)

  63. Anonymous says:

    I second that, it's wonderful!

  64. Anonymous says:

    Can I get in here and say “WOO HOO” about someone else loving/liking JdB. I think it deserves a little bit more attention for a great summer floral….My other Guerlains are Vol de Nuit and Shalimar…..I've always had troubles picking out an allegorica I really liked, even though I always wanted one. Right now I'm itching to get my hands on Habit Rouge to wear during the winter, and one of the eau's for next summer…..OR I'm going to blow the fragrance budget to buy the awesome bottle of VdN perfume.

  65. Anonymous says:

    About aldehydes – like most, I used to loathe them. Something this past year clicked, and now I can really appreciate them. It all started with a random sample of VC & A First that I obtained. I went on an aldehyde sniffing expedition to really learn about them. Which required some fancy speeches at perfume counters and some $$ at Perfumed Court. But now I have a nice sample collection of classic aldehydes, and really can see what the big deal is all about. And, I could cry, because years ago in 1993 I purchased in Paris, a bottle of YSL Rive Gauche b/c I'd smelled it on another woman and it was just divine. I could never quite make it work for me, so (collective gasp!) I gave it away to Salvation Army with some other stuff (including a bottle of No 5 given to me as a present). I could cry to get my hands on those bottles again so I could learn to appreciate those classics now that my nose & tastes have developed.

  66. Anonymous says:

    My vote is on the VdN perfume–I love it! I was able to find a quarter ounce for less than $100. But Habit Rouge sounds pretty great for the winter, too.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Let's just hope that the perfume you gave away started a whole, wonderful story in someone's life!

  68. Anonymous says:

    My vote would be on Habit Rouge for winter – too bad I gave my brother all my male samples, though he does appreciate them!

  69. Anonymous says:

    I've been grinding my credit card between my teeth for weeks agonzing over the VdN perfume purchase. I adore my recenlty obtained bottle of edt, but I know I'd adore the perfume more! The only comfort I get is that I enjoy re-applying during the day. And getting back to your article subject matter – I only sniffed it *offhand* on my way through Nordstrom just because it was there. I smelled 10 frag strips that day, and it ended up being the one!! Surprise! Funny how that happens. I think, if I'm a good girl, I'll get the perfume for my birthday– next year!

  70. Anonymous says:

    How odd – I came round to liking Rive Gauche all of a sudden as recently as this weekend, so I agree that aldehydes may take a bit of time to appreciate. I even got as far as googling online retailers of RG, but managed to control myself. I would also be fine with First for that matter, of which I acquired samples last week, were it not for the blinkin' civet, haha! Civet is one note I swear I will never come round to, but watch this space…

  71. Anonymous says:

    That's a nice idea…

  72. Anonymous says:

    This is one of those cases where the perfume is related to the EdT, but so different (and wonderful).

  73. Anonymous says:

    It was a bit of a stretch for me too, and I almost picked up a bottle of First, esp. because of it's pedigree. Even though I love sandalwood, First gets just a wee bit sour on me after a few hours. I think it's the civet too. I ended up with a real odd-ball for my aldehyde bottle – Lancome Magie. I almost went with the new Givenchy III, but then Magie had a better dry down for me with the jasmine, amber and vanilla. Although G III may work for me in the spring…. I was really hoping Baghari would be “the one” aldehyde, but it just didn't work. I was also hoping for Chanel 18, but I'm slightly anosmic to ambrettolide – so it gets kind of flat for me.

    I “cry” for that 1993 bottle of RG because I understand the new formula is slightly changed.

  74. Anonymous says:

    I can only imagine it being more wonderful!

  75. Anonymous says:

    Our scent similarities are getting curiouser and curiouser – First as “sour” is a good description. Magie Noire, meanwhile, was my signature scent through the 80's (or as close as I came to having one in my “pre-aspiring perfumista” days!), and for some reason I cannot get on with it now. A helpful techie has suggested it may be because they have reformulated the civet – any slight change to which my nose will ferret out. Such a shame, as it was pretty spectacular.

  76. Anonymous says:

    It get's so confusing….I love Magie Noir too – it is pretty spectacular, and I think it must have been slightly re-done these past 20 years. But for aldehydes, I'm talking about Magie…An old re-tooled frag they brought back for their “Le Collection” line a few years ago. It's an aldehyde, bergamot, violets, jasmine, amber, musk & vanilla frag. All you have to do is google Lancome Magie, and you'll get a million Magie Noir hits, and if you're lucky, one or two for “Magie”. No wonder it is difficult to find and not so well known.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Sorry for crossed wire – will keep my eyes peeled for regular Magie!!

  78. Anonymous says:

    I have various formulations of Rive Gauche, including a vintage parfum. Love them all, but the parfum takes the prize! As for civet, took me a while, but now I like it, as long as I like the other notes in the perfume too. Oh, and the current formulation of Baghari does nothing for me. I actually find it too powdery, or something (can't quite remember what bothered me, but I tried it twice). I really would like to find a vintage bottle at some point. I have read that the older Baghari was different.

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