The Monday Mail ~ help Anne find a new perfume


Today we're helping Anne, who comments here as Ladymurasaki. She's looking for a signature fragrance that has presence, character and an air of mystery — something she could wear nearly every day. Anne says she is at a point in her life where she doesn't give tuppence about what other people think about her, so her new perfume can be "in your face" provided it isn’t headache-inducing. She doesn't have a price limit.

Here is what we know about Anne:

She's in her mid 40s and is an antiques dealer and painter living in London.

She says she is an open-minded person and people (including strangers) seem to find it easy to tell her their secrets.

She appreciates the odd and the absurd.

She loves color but is usually dressed in black. As a teenager she wore black clothes and a string of pearls... a bit pretentious, but she loved Françoise Sagan at that time. 

Anne comes from a family of women who love things of quality and style. Besides perfume, she is passionate about the arts, history, books, films, music and cooking.

Anne says something with honeysuckle or osmanthus would be nice for this spring and summer. She also likes notes of tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, freesia, ginger, yuzu, incense, white musk, pepper, cinnamon, black tea, citrus, tobacco, rose and vanilla (but not too sweet). She also loves powdery scents, and she is on a gardenia kick at the moment (but already has a few gardenia fragrances). Perfumes Anne wears now on a regular basis include Parfumerie Generale Gardenia Grand Soir, Annick Goutal Songes & Gardenia Passion, Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminnelle, Marc Jacobs Woman, Ormone Jayne Woman and Roja Dove Scandal.

Anne usually dislikes gourmand notes such as coconut, pineapple, chocolate, coffee and fruits (except citrus) or anything that is sickly sweet. She also doesn't care for oud. Perfumes that don't work for her include Chanel No.5, Guerlain Mitsouko and Balenciaga Paris, and she doesn't much care for the L'Occitane or Jo Malone lines.

Here are some of the fragrances Anne has tried:

Jean Patou Joy: She loves it but it's her mother’s fragrance.

i Profumi di Firenze Limone di Sicilia: She loves its mouthwatering juiciness, but it is too simple.

Huitieme Art Manguier Metisse: She doesn't normally like fruit notes but this one is acceptable; she still wishes it was less sweet.

Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose: too sharp and she smells like her dad (he wore Orange Verte).

Hermès Voyage: She loves the fresh zing, but would like a bit more sweetness.

Heeley Bubble Gum Chic: Sorry, but NO. Pure bubblegum.

Parfum d'Empire Osmanthus Interdite: Lovely but she is not in love with it — too sedate.

Diptyque Olene: She liked it, but it's too short lived.

Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale: She loves it, but it's too similar to Gardenia Grand Soir.

What say you?

Note: image is Buzon-de-correos [cropped, doubled] by alicedice at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. Jillie says:

    Perhaps too simple, my Lady, and too gardenia, but Estee Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia is very realistic! Annick Goutal’s Chevrefeuille is a lovely, juicy honeysuckle; my all time favourite (that really does smell like the honeysuckle and jasmine covered arbour in my garden) is the sadly discontinued La Haie Fleurie by L’Artisan Parfumeur (although you can still pick up the odd bottle here and there). All three have quite good sillage and lasting power and are perfect for this time of year.

    Oh, EL’s Jasmine White Moss is a good, chypreish jasmine, and I always hanker after Miller Harris’s Jasmin Verte which is green and fresh, but rosey too (bet I didn’t spell it right) .

  2. egabbert says:

    You must try Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. It’s simply lovely, but with an intense, almost petrol-like note in the opening spray.

    L’Artisan Tea for Two is a great smoky cinnamon fragrance, but recently discontinued … the new Spicebomb has a similar vibe and tobacco feel, but might be on the sweet side for you.

  3. kelly 4 says:

    Annick Goutal Le Chevrefeuille is a pretty honeysuckle fragrance. Do Son by Diptyque is a tuberose scent beautiful for spring and summer. Good luck I hope you find a beautiful new fragrance!

  4. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    The first perfume to come to my mind was Chanel Coco. It is elegant, sophisticated, has presence, and is “in your face”.

    Others to try (besides Chanel Coco):
    Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia
    Estee Lauder Sensuous
    Chanel Gardenia
    Armani Code for Women
    Kenzo Flower

  5. Cora says:

    How about:

    Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan and Rose Ikebana
    Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia (discontinued, but lovely)
    Diptyque Do Son (more of a reserved white floral)
    Guerlain Cruel Gardenia
    Ormonde Jayne (many to try from this line, there is an Osmanthus scent but I would recommend the Frangipani, Sampaquita)
    Santa Maria Novella Honeysuckle

  6. ladymurasaki says:

    Thanks for some great ideas. AG Le Chevrefeuille and L’Artisan Parfumeur La Haie Fleurie sound very promising. It appears that I must also try EL Tuberose Gardenia, although I am quite happy with the gardenia-themed perfumes I have in my collection.

    • lucasai says:

      So today we’re recommending perfume to YOU, am I right?

      • ladymurasaki says:

        That’s correct. Any suggestion?

        • lucasai says:

          Great, I had my monday mail too, some time ago. you can find my suggestions in comments, somewhere below.

  7. lupo says:

    I love Anne’s profile :) A confident, self assured and artistic woman.
    First thought: Samsara Guerlain, and loads of it. It makes for a great statement, and it’s very much an all year rounder.
    I’d probably add Acqua di Parma Profumo, a beautiful chypre/aldehyde floral, rich and elegant.
    And maybe Lumiere Noire pour Femme, although she might find it a bit too linear.
    Plus, how about Tabac Blond? I think Anne could pull that off wondefully!

    • ladymurasaki says:

      I think I must have tried Samsara years ago, but can’t remember it and I wasn’t that into perfume then, so I will definitely give it a try.

  8. thegoddessrena says:

    No price limit and you’re on a gardenia kick? You must try JARdenia. It’s the most luscious gardenia I’ve ever smelled–if I had the money I’d happily drown in it

    For cinnamon I’d recommend Musc Ravageur though I wouldn’t exactly pair it with summer

    For sheerwonderful presence I’d recommend Soivohle’s Centennial even though I don’t think it hits your notes. The first sentenceof Mon Mail immediately brought it to mind

    • ladymurasaki says:

      I would follow your intuition and give Soivohle’s Centennial a try. Thank you!

    • elise says:

      Centennial is so lovely! But also try Nightjar, Palomino, and Meerchuam…

  9. rodelinda says:

    Have you tried Byredo Gypsy Water? It’s powdery, not horribly sweet, and transparent enough to wear in any season. Chembur and Bal d’Afrique are worth sampling, too.

  10. Liza says:

    I second the recommendations for Caron’s Tabac Blond and L’Artisan Parfumeur’s La Haie Fleurie (which still seems to be available in at least some stores). While you’re checking out L’Artisan, see if you like Nuit de Tubéreuse, an unusual tuberose-themed scent that, to me, has a real aura of mystery.

    You might also try Donna Karan’s Black Cashmere.

  11. Gnosmic says:

    Try Chantecaille Pétales.

  12. thegoddessrena says:

    Also, I’d recommend Agent Provocateur’s Maitresse–white florals and osmanthus and a little bit of mystery

    • Dawnkana says:

      Hmmm, I might try that one myself. ;)

    • ladymurasaki says:

      Haven’t tried any of AP’s fragrance, but this one sounds good. Thank you!

  13. lucasai says:

    I would suggest Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre as a tea scent. I’ve never smelled it personally, but I could imagine it’s divine smell just reading about it.
    Also do try Prada Infusion d’Iris Eau de Parfum Absolue which is a wonderful quality Iris that brings probably the best powdery feeling. If this is hard to find, Infusion d’Iris EdP would be also great.
    Don’t know how about Prada Infusion de Tubereuse as it never reached my country.
    I also recomment this one: Gucci Flora – Gorgeous Gardenia. I smelled it this saturday with my mum and we came up with a conclusion that it’s a nice scent.

    • ladymurasaki says:

      SL Five O’Clock sounds interesting. I love tea scent. Thanks Lucasai. I wonder if anyone makes an osmanthus tea scent?

      • lucasai says:

        I can’t recall any tea osmanthus. When you sample SL Five O’Clock, please let me/us know your impressions. I’m still looking for a way to get a sample myself.

      • thegoddessrena says:

        Hermes Osmanthe Yunnan has osmanthus and tea. Didn’t think of it as having PRESENCE or mystery. It is lovely and slightly dusky and charming though

        • Bee says:

          it’s lovely, but, and I guess many will concur, it has a dismally short life span (10 minutes on my skin). Osmanthus has an apricotty-peach-like note, so you might want to check out scents listing these. Bottega veneta has it, but the leather dominates, so it’s probably not what you’re is looking for. Other recs: Au lac (eau d’Italie could be too “water-colour-ish), Encre noir pour elle (Lalique) would be my best guess if you want to avoid sweetness.

      • lucasai says:

        1876 Mata Hari from Histoires de Parfums might be nice cinnamon scent.

        • ladymurasaki says:

          I’m liking the sound of that.

          • lucasai says:

            Good to hear that. Remember, you can always count on me ;)

  14. littlecooling says:

    I would suggest Bond No9 Chinatown. Lovely Gardenia, Tuberose scent, without being to hissy. Or maybe the premiere lady “Fracas”?
    I have Chinatown and I am in love with it. it’s a bit expensive. But it’s worth every penny.

    • SuddenlyInexplicably says:

      Chinatown is so interesting and different! It’s definitely one of the fragrances everyone should try just so they know what it is like.

  15. For osmanthus, how about LUSH 1000 Kisses Deep? Or Mona di Orio Oud, but that’s got oud which you may not love. Also Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane, though I’ve never tried that myself.

    • OK, doesn’t Ormande Jayne have an osmanthus too? And I recently read good things somewhere – sorry for not crediting the blogger – about New Orleans’ Hove perfumery. They have a tea olive perfume, and tea olive = osmanthus.

      • maggiecat says:

        That’s true – I’m one of several who rave – for good reason – about Hove’. You might well love their Tea Olive, and their prices are very reasonable. They have other scents as well that would be fun for you to play with – by all means try Carnaval (jasmine and gardenia).

    • Haunani says:

      I second 1000 Kisses Deep. Very nice!

  16. Abyss says:

    If you like things like Tubéreuse Criminelle and Olene, then how about some of the other big SL florals like À La Nuit and Datura Noir?

    I’d second OJ Frangipani for a summer scent.

    Amouage Ubar is a another big, bright, abstract floral. Manoumalia is a lush, tropical floral built around tiare and ylang. Or Miller harris La Pluie which a slightly different take on tropical ylang but with a more ‘wet’ feel.

    • nozknoz says:

      Seconding Manoumalia!

      • Haunani says:

        An interesting suggestion! Manoumalia is a bit of an acquired taste, but it didn’t take me long to acquire it! :-)

  17. ladymurasaki says:

    This is excellent and just what I expected from NST readers. Some brand and perfume names I’ve not heard of and I very much appreciate it.

  18. Nile Goddess says:


    Montale Powder Flowers

    TDC Un Parfum D’Ailleurs et de Fleurs

    You may also like Boadicea’s Precious.


  19. Dawnkana says:

    I’ll recommend OSMANTHUS OOLONG EAU DE PARFUM by Providence Perfume Co. ( samples available )

    Green, red and black teas blended with sparkling citrus scented aglaia blossoms, and golden Japanese osmanthus flower with it’s heady peach jasmine aroma. Tart and fruity middle notes give way to a sueded apricot base with a touch of leather. Lauded for it’s stunning aroma and sillage, Osmanthus Oolong is a must-try for tea lovers.


    • ladymurasaki says:

      Sounds divine! Thank you!

    • Valkyrie says:

      I was thinking of this one too. The line also does a beautiful earthy honeysuckle w/ black tea- Hindu Honeysuckle.

  20. JolieFleurs says:

    I like The Garden Party Frangipane…. jasmine-y with an ever so faint hint of tea and anise ( to my not very sophisticated nose!)

    You won’t smell it on everyone you pass, either; it’s a bit difficult to find. (By the same people who made The Party in Manhattan)

  21. SuddenlyInexplicably says:

    If price is really no object, I recommend trying all the Amouage fragrances. They are so gorgeous, complex, and well made. I especially love Lyric and Epic, and managed to find a bottle of vintage Ubar, which is stunning.

    • SuddenlyInexplicably says:

      You might like Gold or Dia.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Ubar was my first thought, too!

  22. mutzi says:

    I would suggest Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus or Jean Patou 1000.

  23. thegoddessrena says:

    For honeysuckle and ginger, have you tried TokyoMilk Dark Fate and Fortune: Destiny? I haven’t sampled it on skin yet but I think it might work with what you’re looking for just sniffing from my sample vial.

    Also, were you the one that was looking for wisteria perfumes? If yes, you might want to try Bvlgari BLV which has ginger and lime or bergamot in the opening as well as havinga wisteria note. It wasn’t very long-lasting on me but it was fascinating while it lasted

    • ladymurasaki says:

      Yes, I was the one. Thanks for the suggestion. Will give it a try.

  24. capillary says:

    It’s discontinued, but I think can be bought cheap online: Tiffany EDP. It’s a big, powdery classic floral with rose and jasmine and a softly sweet woody vanilla drydown.

  25. amarie121 says:

    I’m going “off” the track a bit, but these scents may be appreciated:
    Yuzu Rouge
    Hermes Au Claire de Marveilles (I think that is it, I am in the hospital with my son who is recovering from appendectomy, not at home with my fragrances!)
    Bermuda Lilli Petales, beautiful honeysuckle and orange. Sweet but dries down nicely, and I am giving away my new “secret” here, but isn’t that what we do for one another on these forums?! This scent can be ordered directly from Bermuda (google it) and I’d recommend the fragrance library just for the selection in clean floral scents. Lovely!

    • ladymurasaki says:

      Thanks for sharing a secret and best wishes for your son’s rapid recovery!

      • amarie121 says:

        He is finally home from hospital and all is well. I actually had my husband bring the Bermuda “Petals” to bring a sense of beauty in a cold and clinical environment, as I was living there with him for days. It is sweet, but that is what you get with honeysuckle. They add orange and jasmine; it is beautiful!

  26. poodle says:

    My mind is almost blank today but the few scents that did pop into my head were Carolina Herrera which is a white floral to my nose at least and maybe Michael Kors although that might be on the sweet side of things although it’s a floral.
    I’ll second the Tes For Two suggestion even though it’s discontinued because you can still probably find it and I am a bit partial to it. Might not be the best choice for warm weather though but for cozy, smoky tea it hits the spot.

  27. austenfan says:

    Second all the La Haie Fleurie recommendations. A fragrance in the same vein as LHF and Olène is Jardin Blanc by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier, it has more lasting power than either.
    For Osmanthus, why not try The Different Company’s Osmanthus? It’s quite a quirky scent, I like it much better than either the Ormonde Jayne or the Parfums d’Empire’s versions.
    Have you ever tried L’Artisan’s Dzing!? Weird and wonderful, and highly recommended.

    • Haunani says:

      The Different Company is such a beautiful and versatile fragrance! Well worth trying. I also think TDC’s Bergamote is worth a mention here. I love its warm, sunny personality!

    • Jillie says:

      Thanks, Austenfan, for mentioning the MP&G’s Jardin Blanc – I didn’t know this, and it seems that it will be a very good replacement for when I have used up all my backup bottles of La Haie!

  28. Cybele says:

    reading your profile the first that came to mind was Ormond Jayne Woman but you already wear it! I second Jean Patou 1000. Back to Black, by Kilian for Tobacco, spices and more.
    Carnal Flower and Beyond Love for Tuberose. I have never smelled it myself but I think you should try Rubij by Vero Profumo

  29. Valkyrie says:

    Please explore the Ormonde Jayne line, and Providence Perfumes line. Maybe some lush, sophisticated DSH florals like:

    Les Rouges No. 3: the loveliest orange blossom scent ever.
    Les Rouges No. 2; spicy carnations
    1,000 Lilies (aka Susinon)- a spicy honeyed boozy lily.
    Padme Lotus- a lovely lotus perfume w/ osmanthus and rose backing it up.

    If you could warm up to a little fruit-
    L’ Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse- earthy rooty tuberose + incense + mango- weird but wearable
    Penhaligon’s Amaranthine– milky, spicy, banana- inflected lush white florals w/ incense- a lush multidimensional Womanly perfume

    • Haunani says:

      I second Padme Lotus and Amaranthine!

    • Karin says:

      I was thinking Amaranthine, too! And Nuit de Tubereuse!

    • dolcesarah says:

      Hat about Taboac Aurea by SSS and any that appeal to you from Laurie’s line.

  30. KRL says:

    I just tried By Kilian’s newest: Bamboo Harmony. It’s a lovely tea scent with black pepper and a little sweetness. I think it would be lovely in the heat and dry-down is wonderful.

    I’ll second & third (or whatever the count is up to) for Beyond Love, Carnal Flower, OJ Osmanthus.

  31. Lys says:

    Anne, please try Hermes Osmanthus Yunnan, it’s really really good, probably the best in the Hermessence line.

    Serge Lutens A La Nuit is Olene magnified by a power of ten and then some, a very straight-up jasmine.

    I also wonder if you would like Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle as a springtime scent – citrus, jasmine, nutmeg, honeysuckle, vetiver, tonka and white musks, with a light vanillic touch.

    Also, I haven’t tried the Histories de Parfum Tubereuse trio, but perhaps Tubereuse Animale falls into the odd/unique category :)

    Hope these help.

  32. Ikat says:

    Inle by Memo would be my recommendation. It’s a small Parisian niche house and they have lovely things. Inle is very heavily Osmanthus and makes me feel wonderful.

    I would also try out some of the Roja Dove perfumes (if you have no budget). He has a very classic Guerlaineque style that is dramatic and elegant. I’m very impressed with his quality.

  33. hajusuuri says:

    I got stuck on “powdery” and since there was nothing in your likes or dislikes about lily, I would suggest Cartier Baiser Vole.

  34. nozknoz says:

    For Osmanthus, it’s worth trying SL Daim Blond, which is apricot-suede. I’d also recommend sampling Aftelier perfumes like Tango – they’re wonderful and unusual.

  35. Haunani says:

    Another possibility is EnVoyage Perfumes Nectars des Iles, a stunning tropical floral blend with what I interpret as a mouthwatering mango note. I notice it has osmanthus listed among its floral notes.

  36. bella says:

    Hi Anne,
    I would suggest The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit. It is a bright sunny floral, with definitive spicy cinnamon notes in the drydown. In my opinion it is a lighter more springlike version of Musc Ravageur. I absolutely love it!
    Also on my list would be Montale Jasmin Full. Such a lush, heartbreakingly lovely jasmin perfume. Pure heady happy jasmine!

  37. dolcesarah says:

    I completely second this reply. If fact mine was going to be most identical. Search Serge and you will find your FACS maybe 2-3.

  38. Blimunda says:

    Eva from Santa Maria Novella is a fantastic citrus for summertime, but has some herbal and cedar notes that give depth, so it works for colder months too.
    Have you tried Womanity? It is very odd and unusual!
    I don’t know why, but my instinct tells me to suggest Heeley’s Cuir Pleine Fleur (a most unusual, ingenious and gorgeous suede fragrance, highly underrated IMHO!) and Iris de Nuit and Serge Lutens’ Bois de Violette for their earthy beauty!

  39. Racine says:

    I suggest Sicily from Dolce&Gabbana, honeysuckle, heliotrop and jasmin. It lasts Forever On skin and can be easily found at discounters!!

  40. SmokeyToes says:

    How about Chanel No 22? Beautiful white flowers, slightly aldehyde/powdery over an incense base.

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