The Monday Mail ~ help Malissa find a new perfume

Post box

The Monday Mail is back from vacation! If you'd like to get on the waiting list, you can find the instructions here. We're currently taking names for late October / early November.

Malissa, who is thirty and married with no kids (but several pets), wants our help finding a versatile fragrance she can wear all year round, day or night. Malissa lives in Oregon, and loves going to the beach and being outdoors. She does most of her shopping online, and her price limit for her new fragrance is $150.

Malissa likes vanilla, amber, pepper, musk, and woods; she sometimes likes green notes but finds many green fragrances too sharp. She also likes realistic ("easy to recognize") floral notes, and wonders if a soliflore might be a good thing? Perfumes Malissa has liked include Avon True Glow, Jennifer Lopez Miami Glow and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist. Perfumes that were "just ok" include Dior Midnight Poison and Victoria's Secret Very Sexy red (the first one). She liked the opening of Chanel Chance, but the dry down was annoying.

Malissa doesn't like like ginger, gardenia, tuberose, anise, or heavy spices. Perfumes that don't work for her include Thierry Mugler Angel, Bvlgari Black, Tom Ford Purple Patchouli & Black Orchid, and Kim Kardashian.

What say you?

Note: image is Richmond Green by Mike_fleming at flickr; some rights reserved.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. dee says:

    My instinct is to say, Safran Troublant, although it doesn’t contain all the notes that you’re looking for.
    It is soft and creamy, with a simple rose and just enough saffron tang to make it a little spicy. It took me a little while to decide whether or not I like ST, but I’ve come to really love it.

    I’m in Oregon too! Message me at MUA (deeHowe) and I’d be happy to send you a sample (if you haven’t already tried it ;) ).

    • malijo789 says:

      thanks. I’ll have to register with them first. I’m at work right now, so I’ll do it later.

      • dee says:

        Oh, you don’t have to do that! I shouldn’t assume that everyone’s on MUA already. You can email me at:
        daniellehowe at live dot com

  2. dollydagger says:

    My first thought was Annick Goutal Heure Exquisite. Floral, vanilla and sandalwood. This would work no matter the season or weather and can be worn day or night.

  3. Lavandula says:

    I would love to suggest Poivre Samarcande, even though it’s a little over the limit… $180. Beautiful pepper fragrance! Versatile, long-lasting, and never overwhelming. Another Suggestion could be some of the Montales perhaps? Like Roses Musk or Velvet Flowers? Montale does his musks perfectly, pairs them with florals beautifully.

    • Daisy says:

      yup spendy…BUT —she could check ebay for a better priced bottle……**hint hint hint**

  4. Ari says:

    Girl, get yourself some Kenzo Amour Le Parfum! It’s vanillic, like original Amour, but a little spicier and woodier. It’s fabulous, you’ll love it. It’s not on Sephora’s website anymore, but I often still see it in stores.

  5. Nancy says:

    10 Corso Como Uomo may fit the bill: Vanilla, ylang ylang, black pepper, cedar, amber, bergamot, jasmine. It is very yummy.

  6. lovethescents says:

    Hey! What about Ava Luxe’s Love’s True Bluish Light? Or Luten’s Un Bois Vanille? Samples first, obviously ;-)

    • malijo789 says:

      what does ‘bois’ mean? and nuit and vent vert? Sorry, I never took French in school.

      • Daisy says:

        bois= wood, nuit= night , vert = green if that’s any help… where’s Bella when we need her?

        • Bela says:

          You called?

          You’ve already answered anyway. Only left out ‘vent’ = ‘wind or breeze’. :-)

          • malijo789 says:

            Thanks to both of you! I better start taking French!

          • Daisy says:

            hahaha Merci Bela! actually I left that one out because I wasn’t sure if it was “wind’ or “breeze” the degree of difference like wave vs. flood….or if there were two words for those and I’d use the wrong one….and expose how very little I recall of 5 years of french in school!

  7. lupo says:

    How about Prada L’Eau Ambree? No pepper there, but the amber note is really nice and gentle, plus I find it extremely sexy, and we have to think about pleasing husbands too, right? :)
    I would add the always wonderful Shalimar EDT, quite simply the most beautiful vanilla note one can imagine.

  8. lovethescents says:

    Oh, a bit pricier, unless you get a decant, but smooth, creamy amber and vanilla is Guerlain’s Attrape Coeur. Actually, Malissa, I recommend you try all the l’Art et la Matiere collection ;-)

    • Zazie says:

      I second those!
      In particular, I would single out Tonka Imperiale, in the l’art et la matière collection, though personally, I prefer Guerlain’s classics: warm green Chamade? The ambery-woody Vol de nuit? The almond powder of l’heure bleue? Shalimar’s patisserie?

  9. Rick says:

    I don’t have any specific recommendations, but Malissa should consider going to The Perfume House in Portland. They have a large collection, including things which are getting hard to find on the internet, and the salespeople are knowledgeable and friendly, and willing to spend time with a customer. I had a great time when I visited last March.

    • malijo789 says:

      Thanks, I didn’t know about that.

    • dee says:

      … and if you don’t want to go alone, there are at least a few of us that would be happy to tag along (myself included :))

      • malijo789 says:

        Thanks but I don’t know when I’ll get up there. I live three hours south of Portland.

    • Haunani says:

      I second this recommendation. This is a wonderful shop!

  10. NLoca says:

    Bulgaria Omnia?

    • Dixie says:

      Great suggestion!

  11. Zazie says:

    Hi Malissa,
    I totally second Lupo’s and lovethescents suggestions!
    My other picks for you are:
    Serge Lutens Chergui, Fumerie Turque, Ambre sultan and Santal de Myosore.
    If you liked Chance’s top, you could be happy with Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, more beautiful but way more expensive (200 $ I believe)…

    • malijo789 says:

      I’m not really sure about the Chance. I could’ve just been in a weird mood that day. :p

    • promiseevans says:

      When, oh WHEN will the smaller bottles of those get here!! I know, I know… patience….. But Still!!!!

  12. Farah says:

    Hi Malissa,
    I’d recommend trying out some Estee Lauders such as Sensuous or Amber Ylang Ylang. Also thirding Guerlain Attrape-Coeur. I was wondering which easy to recognise floral notes you prefer? If you like rose, then you must try Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, because it is ambery and peppery.

    • parfumliefhebber says:

      Ditto for Sensuous.

    • lovethescents says:

      Second OJ’s Ta’if!

      • promiseevans says:

        woods …. Maybe OJ’s Woman, too?? Interestingly, Paris by Balenciaga also has pepper and I love it as well. It has great lasting power on me, whereas usually I am like a sponge with scent. I swear when I die…they will barely need any formaldehyde at all from all the perfume in my blood. I’m practically preserved already. :-)

    • Blimunda says:

      I absolutely second Ta’if, also Ormonde Jayne, Champaca – a slightly gourmand floral that is suitable for day and evening.

      Also, once it is officially released, I recommend Une Rose Vermeille from Andy Tauer. It’s a gorgeous rose scent with a ‘raspberries and cream’.

    • Dixie says:

      I agree the Estee Lauder and OJ line are worthy of exploration. From EL look at Aliage, Azuree, Cinnabar and Beyond Paradise.

      The Jasmine White Moss is fantastic but I think you may have to go to Saks for that one.

    • malijo789 says:

      Yes, I like rose, lilac, and hyacinth the best. The only florals that I know I don’t like are gardenia and tuberose.

      • Farah says:

        Ooh hyacinth, that’s a lovely and unusual note. A very pretty but sophisticated hyacinth, rose, woody scent with a touch of vanilla is Guerlain Nahema, which I think you may like. If you are looking for a soliflore, L’Artisan Jacinthe de Bois is a true-to-life woody hyacinth, but I find it a bit dull and it is discontinued, thus bound to be pricey. Good luck!

      • Blimunda says:

        Ah! Hyacinth, rose and lilac? With vanilla? CHAMADE from Guerlain! There is a wonderful review of it on this blog, do give it a go!

  13. Dawnkana says:


    Suggesting Lalique Le Parfum. To my nose it’s a peppery vanilla scent. You can find it online perfume discounters for a great price.

    Good luck and have fun sampling all these great recs.


    • malijo789 says:


    • Isa says:

      Really good perfume! I love it!

  14. Jill says:

    These are a lot of great suggestions. I might add Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise and L’Artisan Vanilia — and in the cheap thrills category, Victoria’s Secret’s Amber Romance is a nice amber! I would definitely give Estee Lauder’s Sensuous a try too.

  15. parfumliefhebber says:

    Maybe L’Artisan Havanah Vanille, although there is no pepper in it. Or Joop Le Bain, but I don’t know whether that is availabe in Oregon, has also no pepper in it.

  16. miss kitty v. says:

    Caron Parfum Sacre, and not just because I’m on a PS kick, although I am. It’s a nice peppery rose. It’s got some decent sillage, but it’s not too strong. Also, the amber/woods/musk/vanilla angle made me think *maybe* Chanel Bois des Iles and Ormonde Jayne Woman. I think both are over budget, but there’s always ways around that.

    And if you ever do, as Rick suggested, come to the Perfume House I am happy to join you. ;) In fact, I’m plotting to go there after work today…

    • malijo789 says:

      Thanks. Eventually I’m going to go there, but I don’t know when because I live three hours away.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        That would certainly make it quite the pilgrimage. I think we need an Oregon Perfumista day or something, where we can all get together and shop. :)

    • 50_Roses says:

      Actually, I just bought a FB of Ormonde Woman a few months ago, and with shipping (from England) it was about $115.

  17. Rappleyea says:

    I would recommend Sonoma Scent Studio’s Champagne de Bois as well as their Amber Noir. Beautiful and well done scents that are very affordable.

  18. abirae says:

    Have you tried Hypnotic Poison yet? It’s a sweet vanilla musk with a touch of almond. It might just hit the spot.

    For boozey peppery amber vanilla, I adore the new Idole de Lubin. Love love love.

    For a light peppery floral with soft green notes, Estee Lauder Pleasures is delightful. They also have a caramel gourmande version – Pleasures Delight, but I am partial to the original. Of course, Hermes Poivre Samarcande is another wonderful pepper scent, and Ambre Narguille is a rich vanilla amber – too rich for my blood, but well loved by many parfumistas.

    • malijo789 says:

      Thanks. I tried the Hypnotic Poison, but it seemed to disappear on my skin. I couldn’t smell it.

  19. Valkyrie says:

    For vanilla I say Micallef Note Vanillee-jasmine/ vanilla w a touch of booze and tobacco,
    and Kenzo Amour- cozy, milky, versatile- cherry blossom, rice steam, white tea, frangipani, heliotrope, thanaka wood, incense, vanilla and musk
    For soft greens I suggest
    Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Celadon, Ineke Balmy Days and Sundays, and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Rose Vert.

    • Daisy says:

      hey Valkyrie—I just saw an ooooold email from you–cleaning out the gmail box what a job!—did I ever send those samples to you? I don’t think I did….I need to go get those…

  20. Daisy says:

    I think it’s the year-round part that is really throwing me here. But I guess with careful application when it’s hot and muggy you can get away with it…..oh, and anything that I recommend you try—I’d also be willing to send you a sample (how easy is that?)
    31 Rue Cambon
    Fifi Chachnil
    Bois des Iles
    OJ Woman
    Caron Montaigne
    JHag citizen Queen
    Hilde Soliani Il tuo tulipano
    L’Artisan Mimosa pour Moi
    Attrape Coeur
    Amber Narguile
    Hermes 24 Faubourg
    Aqua di parma Iris Nobile
    Micallef Vanilla Aoud (don’t worry, not very oud-y at all)
    Satellite Padparadscha
    Delrae Mythique
    SSS Champagne de Bois (I think Rapple mentioned this already–it is great stuff)
    If you like rose…what about something like Rosine Secrets de Rose?
    and it wouldn’t hurt to give DK Gold a spin.

    A number of the things listed here today are kinda pricey–but that can be ameliorated by the all-powerful perfume Split! In fact with $150 to spend you could end up with a nice variety of splits to choose from each day…of course that may not be your goal at all.
    Anyhow…if anything I’ve mentioned sounds good to you drop me a note at Daisyloo82 at gmail dot com and I can get you started on some sniffing. :-)

    • lamarquise says:

      Second on Parfum Delrae Mythique! Also L’Artisan Cote d’Amour. While not easily identifiable, the immortelle gives it a slight sweet element that mixes well with the driftwood and salt.
      Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose could work really well. It’s very warm and distinct version of roses.

    • malijo789 says:

      What does iris smell like? I tried Iris Silver Mist, and if I remember right it smelled like salad or cucumber or something like that. Was that the iris? Or maybe it was the Unicorn Spell that smelled like that. I can’t remember now.

      • Daisy says:

        usually when you see iris or orris as a note in perfume they are not talking about the flower but the root. I think it has a soft earthy smell lightly floral, some people characterize it as cold like in Hermes Hiris or buttery like in VC&A Bois d’Iris…. Iris is one of my favorite notes in perfumery. Unicorn spell is probably the salad one ( I hate it) and Iris Silver Mist is probably the carroty one…I get a lot of carrot in ISM….not my favorite iris. I can also send you some iris samples —if you haven’t explored iris you are really missing something good! :-)

        • malijo789 says:

          Awesome! Thank you.

    • Dixie says:

      I second the Caron Montaigne and it’s not very expensive.

      • Daisy says:

        yes….AnnS has sucked another of us into her web….she’s one tricky little enabler, she is! I found some of the new Edp and vintage edt on ebay…. a frenzy of bidding ensued….. ;-)
        dare I say : mwahahahahaha!

      • Haunani says:

        Montaigne is nice!

  21. Isa says:

    Yves Rocher Vanille Noire and Yves Rocher So Elixir EDT are warm, cozy fragrances. Have you tried them?
    Have a look at the notes. I think you could like them.

  22. BlackCat says:

    For vanillic gently spicy ambers, how about Anne Pliska or i Profumi di Firenze’s Ambra del Nepal?

    Also thirding Serge Lutens Chergui, EL Sensuous, and Ormonde Jayne Ta’if.

  23. kaos.geo says:

    I suggests that she explores the Boucheron line.
    I think she might like “Trouble”… the all year round thing confuses me too, but perhaps she could apply it lightly or “mist it” in summer?
    There is also an “eau legere” version

    Good Hunting!

    • malijo789 says:

      Thanks. I don’t really care if it’s for summer or winter, I’ll take suggestions for both. “Trouble” sounds intriguing.

  24. nozknoz says:

    Melissa, since you like vanilla and the idea of an identifiable flower, I would suggest the beautiful vanilla-rose Tocade by Rochas. I have more bottles and samples than I can count these days, but Tocade remains one of my favs. And it is inexplicably available for under $30 on Amazon – plenty of change left over to sample all the other wonderful scents mentioned above and get some decants ;-)

  25. Haunani says:

    I’m going to chime in with a recommendation to try one of my favorites, Shaal Nur by Etro. It is perhaps best described as a rose oriental, but is quite complex. Listed notes are lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, tangerine, rosewood, coriander, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, karo karoundé, rose, petit grain, nutmeg, patchouli, vetiver, cedar wood, opoponax, incense, and musk. It has beautiful incense and vetiver in the base, and I consider the fragrance to be feminine and understated. Very special!

  26. mough says:

    I’m a hot one to chime in, as I know so little, but what occurred to me was Tiempe Passate, which I find very peppery, and Jo Malone’s Dark Amber and Sweet Ginger. Incensey. I love both of these; the JM tend not to last too long, but this one I find special. They have a new one called Vanilla and Anise, but it doesn’t blow my skirt up. Man, what a lot of help out there for you! Good luck. Wish I were near a big city so I could go testing for hours. M

  27. mough says:

    Oops, sorry, I didn’t read the part about what you DIDN’T like: ginger and anise….but I don’t get a really strong ginger feel with Dark Amber and Sweet Ginger….scratch the Vanilla and Anise, obviously, but, I never got a whiff of anise in there, anyway, really….

    • Daisy says:

      maybe ginger and anise doesn’t sound good to Malissa, but it sure sounds good to me! Thanks for the rec. :-)

  28. bella says:

    How about L’Artisan’s Poivre Piquant? It starts out with lots of white pepper and slowly moves into a beautiful milky, creamy vanillic drydown. My kids love it!

Leave a reply