The Monday Mail ~ open thread for feedback, January through April 2012

mail box, Italy

The Monday Mail, our regular feature in which readers help other readers find the fragrance of their dreams, is still on summer vacation. Right now there is only 1 person on the waiting list for September, so if you're interested, this would be a good time to apply.

Meanwhile, this is our open thread for participants in the Monday Mail to share their experiences, and hopefully let us know if they found what they were looking for (or went bankrupt trying). I've sent out emails requesting feedback from everyone who took part between January through April of this year, so check back over the next few days to see what we can find out.

Here are links to the articles for each participant:

Kristen, Rena, Fani, Kate, Linda, Lucie, Jen, Kate, Jacqueline, Molly, Julie, Anastasia, Chelsea, Lee, Anne, Shelly, Desirae

Note: image "Letter box in a house-wall of San Giorgio in the community Resia, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy" by Johann Jaritz, via Wikimedia.

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  1. ladymurasaki says:

    I’ve been on a fun, illuminating and fragrant journey since my Monday Mail, thanks to everyone who gave me their inspired suggestions. I have collected loads of samples, sniffed fragrances at numerous perfume stores and counters, attended perfume gatherings and have arrived at the following;

    Ormonde Jayne Frangipani
    Caron Tabac Blond
    Annick Goutal Le Chevrefeuille
    Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale

    I know, they are rather different from each other and not quite what I set out to find; my initial search was for an osmanthus or honeysuckle fragrance, and the only one that satisfies those criteria is AG. I also changed my mind about VC&A Gardenia Petale and bought a full bottle.

    I normally wear Frangipani or Gardenia Petale during the day and Tabac Blond for when I go out in the evening to see a play, meet friends for dinner or attend a gallery opening, etc. I reserve Le Chevrefeuille for when I go to bed. My bedtime scent used to be Songes, but I think it’s rather heavy for summer, so Le Chevrefeuille is my summer bedtime scent.

    So, I have 4 babies I get to play with and I love them all!

    • Robin says:

      Just an FYI for anyone who wants to see the original article…click on “Anne” above.

    • lucasai says:

      I think it’s great that your choices are so diverse. There are so many different situations awaiting for you to discover that this perfume is perfect for it.

    • Dawnkana says:

      Le Chevrefeuille is a happy scent. Congrats on your new loves. They are wonderful.

  2. Kate says:

    Thank you again to everyone who made suggestions for me to try!

    I drew up a list of around 50 fragrances to try, and added to it as I gained confidence to just walk into a perfume shop and ask to be guided through the scents.

    New loves include Hermes Vetiver Tonka, Le Labo Patchouli 24, Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss and Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand (the Perfume Portrait was great fun!). New and surprising loves are Hermes Vanille Galante (me, like a VANILLA scent?!?!?), Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, and Amouage Gold Woman (can’t get the image from the recent review of this making Chanel No5 look like an ill-mannered street urchin out of my mind – sums it up!). As part of my journey I have made friends with the wonderful staff at Amouage in London and have spent several happy hours playing and experimenting (falling in love with Asrar Attar and Molook Attar was another revelation – I would NEVER have described myself as that kind of person – far too hippy-ish and oriental for me!).

    There are many fragrances on my list that I have yet to try – there’s probably about 20 I still want to look at, and there are still whole perfume houses that I haven’t ampled at all, Liz Zorn and Cartier being two that spring to mind.

    Not only have I had such fun trying the fragrances you were kind enough to suggest for me, but you also gave me more confidence to experiment, to try things I think I won’t like (Gold and Vanille Galante!) to ask questions, and to express my opinion and to believe that I can actually talk about perfume and that some of what I say makes sense!

    So, thank you!

    • Robin says:

      Thanks so much for the recap, Kate!

      • Kate says:

        I am the second ‘Kate’ in the list, in case anyone wants to read the original article….

    • Dawnkana says:

      Hi Kate!

      High Five on the EL Jasmine White Moss! And, also on the Amouage Gold. Love them both!

      Great to read your update.

      p.s. Have you read about the new Amouage Interlude that is to be released on August/September? I cannot wait to sample that one. It sounds divine. It is available on the Amouage online site. I am just waiting for it to come stateside.

      I didn’t care at all for their last exclusive release called Beloved. Gold is such a rich floral scent. Beloved to my nose and on my skin was too dry and generic. It was so different from what I had expected. Hoping Interlude will be better.


      • Kate says:

        Hi Dawn,
        Yes! I was allowed a sneaky peak at Interlude before it launched :-) It is very interesting, but I think I need to live with it for a while before I know what I really feel about it. Now it’s released in London (beginning of July!) I’ll ask for a sample next time I’m passing the shop, which hopefully should be next week!

        • Dawnkana says:

          Hi Kate!

          Lucky you to live by an Amouage Boutique! :) I hope you pass by it soon and retrieve a sample of the Interlude.

          I am very curious about this one.


    • nozknoz says:

      This sounds like a success on several levels, Kate – congratulations!

  3. Kate says:

    Sampled, not ampled…..

  4. Robin says:

    Posting for Shelly:

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I tried as many so far as my budget can stand.

    Bottega Veneta was suggested so many times it was my first try. it is sold at the mall right next to my house, I did not have to drive to get it. I tried it on, liked it, and bought it. My usual rule is try it on, smell it in the car on the ride home from San Francisco, and if I still like it, buy it the next trip. I wish had done it with this. I was not thrilled with the dry down, very apricot/peach for me. However, it is a nice perfume and certinally one I could wear to work easily.

    L’Heure I had the good fortune to stop at Perfume House in Porland on my last road trip. I was so overwhelmed by an amazing source of nearly everything! I bought this one on just one recommendation, but I have often wanted to have a Gurlain in the mix and the moment struck. Very “old fashion” which can mean something different to everyone.

    SSS Champagne de Bois I am going to the wine country this July. I emailed and there is no store front so I am deciding how/what to order as sample on this one.

    Ormande Janyne, Cuir de Russie in extrait, and 31 Rue Cambon I order in decants along with Bois d’Isle in extrait. I love them all. It goes to show I have too champagne a budget for my life. Ormande Jayne will probably be the next full bottle I buy. I do not believe they have a retail outlet of any kind in SF, but if someone knows otherwise I would love to know. Of course I could blindly pick anything in Chanel and know I would love it so there is always the SF boutique should the mood stike.

    • Robin says:

      And answering — Ormonde Jayne doesn’t have any retail outlets in the US at all, sadly.

    • hajusuuri says:

      The Champagne de Bois had been out of stock at least since April 2012. I had ordered 2 sets of the 2.5 mL sprays and had been watching for the availability of this to order my 3rd set.

      • Omega says:

        Hey, I was contacted by SSS recently, said she was finishing a batch soon, so should be available before too much longer!:D.

        • hajusuuri says:

          That’s good to know, Omega. I will check back again soon. I just did yesterday and it’s still temporarily out of stock.

          • Omega says:

            It’s now in stock! yay!

  5. Desirae says:

    I ended up buying OJ Woman and I’m very pleased by how well it works in hot weather. Though I will say on off days it smells kind of vinegar-y to me. I’m wearing SSS Forest Walk and they are similar, but Forest Walk has a fizzier, sweeter character. It’s OJ Woman’s cheerful little sister. Now I’m wondering what they’d be like layered.

    In addition I bought a purse spray of SSS Fig Tree, which is just the thing for sweltering days because it never overpowers. I like Philosykos a great deal as well, but it’s not as affordable and therefore not as tempting.

    Everyone was so nice and helpful, too. It was a great into to the perfumista community.

  6. thegoddessrena says:

    I really enjoyed the experience of Mon mail. I tried 63 of the 65 suggestions (I couldn’t find samples of Youth Dew Amber Nude and Angel’s Trumpet from DL &Co) which ranged from instant love (Rubj extrait) to instant scrubber (Lys Mediteranee). I did have a tendency to fall for things not suggested.
    I bought Bottleneck Blues, By Kilian Love, Iris Ganache and a large decant of Intense Tiare. From the suggestions I will probably eventually buy Rubj, L’Instant, Songes, Tocade and Poeme. From sniffing other scents from the same houses as the perfumes suggested, I now want Le Mimosa, Centennial, oudh Lacquer, Bois de Iles, 31 Rue Cambon and Incense Oud.

    Many thanks to all who offered suggestions,

    • Robin says:

      Wow — 63 out of 65 is impressive!

      • lucasai says:

        Just wanted to type the same words! Good job girl!

        • thegoddessrena says:

          Actually, doing the Mon mail has turned me into more of a sniffaholic than I was previously. In the 6 months since my Mon mail, I have tried about 200 perfumes on skin and am going to be in total trouble once I move and am going to school in Manhattan (my school is within walking distance of C.O.Bigelow…..)

  7. KateReed says:

    Hi all! Well, the rather depressing news about me is…chocolate doesn’t like me, WAAAH!

    I tried many many things (and am still aiming to get a sample of Aftelier’s Cacao this fall, if I ever finish decluttering) but nearly all of them turned sour on me, and those that didn’t turned cloying. So chocolate not only doesn’t really agree with me internally, it doesn’t much like me externally either, it seems. Which really stinks, because sometimes you get a real want for something, and I really want a good chocolate perfume.

    On the upside, I did get a few surprise bottles of perfume as gifts from friends and relatives who were sick and tired of getting half-used samples from me! I ended up with a bottle of Eau Sauvage from my little brother (the one who does the salmon chili,) a bottle of Kenzo Par Amour from my other little brother by way of the Sephora staff, a purse-size Daisy Eau So Fraiche (bland, but acceptable, I suppose) from my sister and her boys, a decant of Magie Noire from my grandmother’s bottle and a solid (in a locket? anyone know what these are?) of something or other that an old school friend of min picked up from Anthropologie.

    So it’s been…well, interesting. And I can’t wait for fall!

    (Oh, and in light of the other Kate’s comment, I’m the first Kate!)

    • thegoddessrena says:

      Maybe just spray the chocolate perfume on your clothes? That way you get the scent without having to worry about how it interacts with your chemistry when you want something chocolatey

      • Robin says:

        Excellent advice. Can also try spraying in hair.

    • hajusuuri says:

      “First” Kate…the word chocolate got an ooh-la-la from me. I went back to your Monday Mail and saw that someone suggested Tokyo Milk Dark: Bittersweet. I just got a bottle and it is chocolate perfume to the max – YUM!

      Now the next thing I will mention, I have not tried; however, I got the concept from the Aedes de Venustas store. On the display shelves of Histoires de Parfum in front of each bottle, there’s an upside down martini glass with half the stem and inside the glass was a paper cut out sprayed with perfume. The glass shelf itself was scored with circles the size of the opening of the martini glass, I guess to hold the martini glass more securely. Instead of spraying the perfume, one could just sniff the inside of the martini glass and get a good whiff.

      For a portable version, my idea to satisfy your chocolate perfume fix without touching skin or clothes is as follows: spray a coffee filter / liner with perfume and put it inside a resealable baggie. Keep the baggie in your purse and whenever you get the urge, unseal the baggie and voila! – heavenly chocolate without the calories!

  8. Julie says:

    I had a great time interactinng with everyone who made such thoughtful suggestions for me! I’d sampled pretty widely beforehand and was nervous that I would not get too many new suggestions, but so many people had new things to offer, which is why this forum is so great. My goal was to find a really fantastic perfume for summer’s hot days. Some of my favorite notes listed were salt, lime, crushed leaves, and honeysuckle.
    Unfortunately the timing ended up being less than ideal. My turn on the Monday Mail came up more quickly than I’d expected, and I’d JUST placed an order for a bunch of samples I’d been thinking about. Shortly after that, we had two urgent house projects come up that have forced me to wait until fall to order my batch of samples from the Monday Mail suggestions. I’m hoping we have an Indian Summer!
    I had fun being organized and put all the suggestions into a spreadsheet so I could see which ones had the most votes and which sounded most interesting from the commenters’ suggestions :) Atelier Bois Blond, Diorella, Ecume Rose, OJ Frangipani, Atelier Grand Neroli, L’Artisan La Haie de Fleurie, Sel de Vetiver, and Sel de Marin were my biggest votes, with special interest for Antonia’s Flowers Tiempe Passate as those 4 commenters seemed to think it would be an extra perfect fit. Of those, I did have Sel de Vetiver in my spring sample batch but it wasn’t very enjoyable to my nose. I don’t have it handy for a more specific critique.
    What I DID end up falling in love with this summer was AG Eau de Camille, from my spring samples. With its realistic green notes and hints of honeysuckle and jasmine peeking through from time to time, it really sent me. In the heat it casts an aura of the green shade of a relaxing sanctuary. I’ve rationed out my 2ml but need to reorder… which will happen when I get to order my Monday Mail suggestions!

    • NeenaJ says:

      AG Eau de Camille sounds delicious! I had to comment on this because your description has pushed me to getting a sample as soon as possible!

  9. dolcesarah says:

    Liz Zorn’s something Kreme is the best perfume I have. I have over 170 bottles. Give her a try.

  10. dolcesarah says:

    I just bought ORMOND Jayne and Montale’s Black Aoud, disappointed in both, seeking ORMOND Woman anyone want to trade?

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