The Monday Mail ~ help Tiana find a new fragrance

Buzón en La Habana Vieja

Today we're helping Tiana. She wants to find a new everyday fragrance, and another for evening or cool weather wear. Tiana lives in inland Southern California, where it can get very hot and humid in the summer. She says she gravitates toward green, watery scents but would not mind expanding her horizons a bit. She can spend up to $150 for a bottle, but is also happy to buy decants. Here is what we know about Tiana:

She's in her early 30s and is the mom of 2 toddlers. She's also a makeup artist and singer.

While her professions are artistically bohemian and breezy, at home she is a typical type A personality — but she tries not to take herself too seriously.

Her main interests are reading, singing, researching, and listening to musical theater and opera, classic rock, makeup and fragrance, her daughters, wine, mixology, and needlepoint.

Tiana likes greenish watery scents, lotus, green fig, black tea, some green tea, sea salt, wet dirt, herbs, cedar, cypress, calamus, moss, wood, rose, bluebells, wet concrete and rocks, vanilla (foody and non foody), spices (cardamom, juniper berry, clove, nutmeg, allspice, anise), chocolate (sweet and unsweet) and tobacco. Her current favorites include Hermès Un Jardin sur le Nil and en Mediterranee, Voyage d'Hermès and Eau de Pamplemousse rose, Bvlgari Eau Thé Vert and Extreme, Annick Goutal Mandragore, Vanille Exquise and Musc Nomade, and Dior Escale a Pondichery. For cool weather and evening wear, she likes Dana Ambush and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb, and all of the Maison de la Vanille line.

Tiana is not a big fan of of heavy florals — heady white florals and Chanel fragrances tend to give her a headache. She also doesn't care for sweet jasmine, ylang ylang, neroli (usually turns soapy), Guerlain Shalimar (too aged or vintage) or citrus (doesn't wear well on her skin). Although she does like watery fragrances, fake aquatic and ozone scents don't appeal to her (an example is D&G L'Imperatrice).

Have are some of the fragrances Tiana has tried:

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Herba Fresca: smelled like urine on her skin.

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarin Basillica: too acidic.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey: too floral.

Christian Dior Miss Dior Cherie L'Eau: too synthetic-smelling.

Marc Jacobs Daisy and flankers: Smells like her grandmother.

Prada Infusion d'Iris: too flowery.

Thierry Mugler Womanity: she didn't care for the sweet/salty mix.

Thierry Mugler Angel: she likes it on others, but it makes her smell like she needs a shower. 

Lolita Lempicka: she loved the anise-y licorice, but it's too sweet and powdery.

What say you?

Note: image is Buzón en La Habana Vieja [cropped] by Quadrophenius at flickr; some rights reserved.

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48 Comments

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  1. egabbert says:

    Sonoma Scent Studio has a good fig scent and a beautiful tobacco fragrance (Tabac Aurea). For tobacco and spice you might also like Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb.

    • eppie35794 says:

      Thank you! I have been wanting to check out the SSS line. I did get a sample of the Spicebomb, I just need to try it now!

  2. ladymurasaki says:

    Just off the top of my head; Caron Tabac Blond, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, CB I Hate Perfume Just Breathe (Bamboo Leaves, Japanese Green Tea, three varieties of Cedarwood, forest and a hint of Incense) and perhaps Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre (tea, bergamot, ginger, cinnamon, woodsy notes, cacao, honey, amber, patchouli and pepper).

    • eppie35794 says:

      Thank you! I love your recs. I feel a mass decant purchase coming on!

  3. platinum14 says:

    If you like the anise-y licorice in LL you may to try the Lolita Lempicka au Masculin version or even the Lolita Lempicka au Masculin Fraicheur.

    • eppie35794 says:

      ooh, I had not thought to try the men’s line, it would probably cut the sweetness that I don’t care for though.

  4. Rick says:

    Diptyque’s Philosykos is a great green fig scent, and their l’Ombre dans l’Eau is very green (too green for me, actually, but it’s a popular fragrance).

    • eppie35794 says:

      I do like Diptyque and can get some decants locally!

  5. lucasai says:

    Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio might be a scent for Tiana, don’t you thing?

    • eppie35794 says:

      I will have to try that one! Thanks.

  6. Nile Goddess says:

    Tiana, do try Sel de Vetiver from The Different Company, it’s salty and has vetiver, tobacco and cardamon notes. That would be my Numero Uno recommendation for you.

    A very nice choice, also from The Different Company, would be Un Parfum de Charmes et Feuilles, with its notes of marjoram, sage and patchouli. On me the sweet juicy notes – clementine – do not come out, and neither does the jasmine – must be done with a light hand otherwise it would give me a massive headache. If you go there for Sel de Vetiver, may as well try it.

    Somewhat sweeter than Sel de Vetiver, but still salty and dry, would be Eau de Merveilles from Hermes. Nowhere near Womanity and its sickly fishy caviar note, never fear.

    Premier Figuier / Premier Figuier Extreme and Coeur de Vetiver Sacre from L’Artisan Parfumeur are also well worth a sniff.

    • eppie35794 says:

      The TDC scents sound amazing! I have always wanted to try L’Artisan as well.

  7. Rappleyea says:

    When I read “dirt”, I knew I had a great rec – Sonoma Scent Studio’s newest release, Forest Walk. Here is a review:

    http://www.fragrantica.com/news/New-in-Indie-Sonoma-Scent-Studio-Forest-Walk-3241.html

    Also seconding SSS Fig Tree. You might like some of her rose scents as well as Champagne de Bois.

    Best vanilla ever – Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille. Higher than you want to spend, but you could go the decant route.

    Good luck!

    • eppie35794 says:

      Thank you, I will definitely try the SSS and get a decant of the Guerlain.

  8. SuddenlyInexplicably says:

    Second Philosykos. That’s the first thing I thought of. Great daytime scent for California. While you’re trying Diptyque, check out Eau Lente for a great spicy scent.

    How about Chanel No. 19 for a wonderful cool green floral?

    For a spicy vanilla rose, check out Safran Troublant from L’Artisan. I’m crazy about Neela Vermeire’s Mohur (also a rose with a lot of other notes you like) but it’s expensive. Favorite chocolate: Anima Dulcis. These would be cooler weather or evening scents.

    • eppie35794 says:

      Guess I really have to try the Philosykos! Thank you. The Anima Dulcis sounds good too.

  9. Cybele says:

    Preparation Parfumee by Adree Putman: driftwood, grey pepper, water lily and coriander leaves
    For evening maybe Tocade (rose vanilla) or Angel gout de parfum has a very nice chocolate note and is different enough from the original.

    • eppie35794 says:

      The driftwood is intriguing! I have to check that out.

  10. Aparatchick says:

    I’m seconding the various recommendations above for Just Breathe, Ninfeo Mio (I’m wearing it today and it stands up to humidity beautifully), and Fig Tree. I’ll add Ava Luxe Fig Leaf to the list – one of the greenest figs I know. Johri is another good fig from Ava Luxe.

    • eppie35794 says:

      I do love a good green fig!

  11. Blimunda says:

    Frangipani from Ormonde Jayne is an amazing watery, greenish scent – it is a white floral, but not a heady one – it is bright and light and lovely, I recommend giving it a go.

    Try Bulgari Black for a tea/vanilla sultry evening scent (made by the same perfumer as Lolita Lempicka I believe?)

    Sea Salt – try Sel Marin from Heeley. It is absolutely amazingly wonderful. His entire range has a very clever edge, it feels minimalist but is actually very complex and unusual. Modern fragrances, but they FEEL like classics. To me, anyway!

    Maybe also try Ormonde Man and Ormonde Woman. They are greenish, woody, Woman has cardamom and Man has juniper. Both a beautiful and well worth a try.

    • Zubi says:

      Was just about to say Ormonde Woman!

      Also:

      Amouage Reflection: Watery flowers. Some don’t love it, but it def is watery.

      Les Parfums de Rosine Diabolo Rose: Their tagline “Rose bushes and frozen mint” suits this perfectly. It’s VERY cool.

      Les Parfums de Rosine Une Rose Au Bord de la Mer – a “wet” holiday-like scent

      Christian Louis Espelette: Don’t let the note list fool you. Very light, unusual (but not weird), pleasant scent.

      Serge Lutens Douce amere: On my skin, this is mild, slightly vanilla gourmand. I like to shock so this is not for me. Same for Daim Blond.

      Les Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose: Has gorgeous woodsy blend with the rose. Hard to point out individual notes, which makes it non-drastic enough for day-wear. Is not cloying.

      If you want to try something out-there, try Memoir (Amouage): On some people’s skin it is white flowers, but on mine it is smoke, licorice, and incense heaven (I’m obsessed).

      • eppie35794 says:

        The Amouage sounds delightful! I will have to get myself to StC, PC, or Lucky Scent!

    • eppie35794 says:

      I will have to try the Ormonde Jayne scents! The Heeley sounds nice too.

  12. sherobin says:

    You are close to a scent twin to me, except that I love white florals and mostly can’t do gourmands. I’m seconding Ninfeo Mio and Philosykos, and adding Maison Martin Margiela Untitled (original), L’Artisan Fleur de Liane, Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous le Pluie, Ineke Field Notes from Paris, Atelier Oolong Infini, and L’Artisan Tea for Two. Another amazing fig I can’t recommend highly enough is Ava Luxe Bois de Figue. And I think you might like L’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse; it is not a big white floral, but more of a green and white spices sort of ,IMO.
    Also, how could I forget figgy, salty Parfumerie Generale Bois Naufrage. It is great for summer. Good luck!

    a big white floral, but a white spices sort of

    • Aparatchick says:

      Yes, Ava Luxe Bois de Figue is wonderful. I love Bois Naufrage and I’ll add Jardin des Kerylos (which along with Ninfeo Mio is among my favorite figs) from the Parfumerie Generale line.

      • eppie35794 says:

        The PG sounds great.

    • eppie35794 says:

      I am so excited about all of these suggestions, thank you!

    • Haunani says:

      Oh good! Someone mentioned L’Artisan Fleur de Liane. I think you might find it was made for you. It’s all about green leaves, sap, water, sea air, and fresh mud/dirt. Oh so wonderful!

  13. sherobin says:

    You are close to a scent twin to me, except that I love white florals and mostly can’t do gourmands. I’m seconding Ninfeo Mio and Philosykos, and adding Maison Martin Margiela Untitled (original), L’Artisan Fleur de Liane, Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous le Pluie, Ineke Field Notes from Paris, Atelier Oolong Infini, CB I Hate Perfume Black March, and L’Artisan Tea for Two. Another amazing fig I can’t recommend highly enough is Ava Luxe Bois de Figue. And I think you might like L’Artisan Nuit de Tubereuse; it is not a big white floral, but more of a green and white spices number, IMO.
    Also, how could I forget figgy, salty Parfumerie Generale Bois Naufrage. It is great for summer. Good luck!

    a big white floral, but a white spices sort of

  14. sherobin says:

    Sorry for all the typos and double posting – wow.
    One more. For dirt, water, and greens try CB I Hate Perfume Black March. It is startlingly beautiful.

    • eppie35794 says:

      I had read about the CB line, I have to try!

  15. Karin says:

    Tiana – I think you would love the new Kilian fragrances – Water Calligraphy and Bamboo Harmony. The 1.7oz refill and travel refill are great bargains, though I don’t think they’re released in these forms yet (only the expensive black bottles). But definitely try these if you can.

    Eau d’Italie’s Jardin du Poete is a great green scent. And I’m CRAZY about the new signature Aedes de Venustas EDP (though it’s probably too expensive).

    For evening, try Hypnotic Poison or maybe Organza Indecence?

    • eppie35794 says:

      A full bottle of the Aedes may be too much but I have been hankering for a decent decant!

    • Haunani says:

      I think Jardin du Poete is a great suggestion. A new favorite of mine! Mouthwatering, juicy bitter orange and greens.

  16. Perfumista8 says:

    Great suggestions thus far. I’d add Hermes Brin de Reglisse (licorice/anise with mineral notes)

    • Cybele says:

      oh yes, I love this one

    • eppie35794 says:

      I like the sound of this one!

  17. FragrantWitch says:

    I second the Black March- strikingly beautiful scent. Also MMM Untitled though I found its lasting power wanting.

    • eppie35794 says:

      will def have to try the Black March!

  18. helenviolette says:

    I will recommend my favorite salt: Miller Harris Fleur de Sel. Also two from Frederic Malle: En Passant and Lys Mediterranee, and I applaud the Black March and the Nuit de Tuberose suggestions. Happy hunting for a new scent.

    • eppie35794 says:

      Thank you, these sound lovely. I must try the Nuit de Tuberose and Black March.

  19. Mrs.Scents says:

    It’s already been mentioned (just once I think!) but my reco would have to be Maison Martin Margiela (untitled). It is a gorgeous cedarwood scent with green top notes and incense bottom notes. The one definitely needs to be tried!!

  20. Mrs.Scents says:

    It’s already been mentioned (just once I think!) but my reco would have to be Maison Martin Margiela (untitled). It is a gorgeous cedarwood scent with green top notes and incense bottom notes. This one definitely needs to be tried!!

  21. Safran says:

    My first thought was Miller et Bertaux green, green, green and green, it’s what it says, it’s fresh, green and although it’s not listed, it has a lovely fig note in the background. And although it seems more on the light or cologne side at first, it lasts very long on the skin.

    Cheers
    Safran

  22. nicolasss says:

    Once again I think Mandragore by Annick Goutal would work great (Bergamot+herbs+anice+mint and an overall tea character) as well as Angeliques sous la Pluie by Frederic Malle (earthy yet fresh with a wet stone smell). Nu Green by Honore de Pres is green and watery (the melony note might not be your thing though?). Also Ecume de Rose is a great fresh fragrance. It isn’t your typical rose and shouldn’t be too flowery unless you just can’t stand roses, instead it is a rather astringent and cold rose fragrance with a fine marine note and a touch of vetiver coming through the base.

  23. PetronellaCJ says:

    Etro Paisley is a very nice and unusual combination of breezy and spicy. Other suggestions: CB I Hate Perfume Russian Caravan Tea (black tea), Keiko Mecheri Oliban (tobacco and woods), MMM Untitled (uplifting green) and Thierry Mugler Cologne (edgy but comfortable). Happy sniffing!

  24. bergamot says:

    I’d like to recommend that while you’re at Diptyque, you check out Eau de Lierre, their ivy scent. On me it smells like wet greenery with an edge of black pepper.

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