The Monday Mail ~ help Candice find a new perfume


This week we're helping Candice, who is looking for an everyday/work perfume — and she'd love to hear suggestions for a summer and a winter perfume. She doesn't want separate perfumes for day and evening, and says she has two young girls so doesn't go out much in the evening anyway. She'd rather not spend more than €120. Here is what we know about Candice:

She's in her late 30s, and lives in Paris.

She produces exhibitions for museums and thus gets to meet some very interesting people.

She likes to stay in the background, but at the same time she likes to be noticed and will often wear something to make her stand out in a crowd.

Candice's ideal perfume would be Yves Saint Laurent Saharienne, but with staying power. She loves the smell, but it fades after two minutes. At the moment she is wearing Dior Escale á Portofino and Hermès Jardin sur le Nil. She hates Portofino's "airplane-toilet-like smell" top notes but loves the woodier base notes. Other fragrances she has worn in the past include Bvlgari au Thé Vert, Eau de Cartier, Hermès Calèche & Eau des Merveilles, Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche and Prada Amber (but that one had too much amber). She wore Clinique Wrappings in college and loved it, but can't find it easily now.

Candice doesn't like heavy florals, melon-y notes or patchouli. Fragrances that don't work for her include Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Dior Miss Dior Chérie, Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll & Parisienne, Calvin Klein CK One.

Some of the fragrances Candice has tried recently include:

Comme des Garçons Wonderwood: too woody and too heavy on the sandalwood.

Tom Ford Oud Wood: she loves it, but it's too expensive.

Eau de Cartier Essence de Bois: Lovely but no staying power.

Chanel Coco Noir: she adored the staying power, but didn't like the smell.

What say you?

Note: top image courtesy of Victoria of Bois de Jasmin.

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Parfums Raffy


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  1. egabbert says:

    Have you tried Commes de Garcons 2 Man? The combination of aldehydes and woody notes actually reminds me of Clinique Wrappings, oddly enough. It’s very distinctive and in your price range.

    In general it sounds like you like citrus and woody notes. You might want to check out Andy Tauer’s line.

    • FragrantWitch says:


    • FragrantWitch says:

      Seconding the Tauer recommendation.

    • mals86 says:

      CdG 2 Man is wonderful! I bought a mini for my husband, but I keep stealing it.

  2. thegoddessrena says:

    Perhaps the new Donna Karan Woman

  3. FragrantWitch says:

    Perhaps Donna Karan Essences Wenge? Lovely warm wood scent, and layers beautifully. Serge Lutens Chene is gorgeous as well, Also Kelly Caleche would be worth a sniff, it has grown on me quite a bit. Have fun on your search!

  4. I am wondering if you might like some of the woodsy Sonoma Scent Studio perfumes. Perhaps Champagne des Bois? I haven’t tried that one, but it sounds like something you might like.

    Thirding Tauer – I think you would like many of his dry woodsy compositions.

  5. SuddenlyInexplicably says:

    You seem as if you like subtle fragrances. The exclusive Chanel fragrances are now available in smaller, affordable sizes, so check out Bois des Iles, a subtle spicy sandalwood fragrance for your winter wood and Bel Respiro for your summer green. Check out the rest of the line while you are in the boutique, and also Chanel No 19 for a still beautiful green.

    • farouche says:

      Seconding the Chanels, especially 31 Rue Cambon, a lovely modern woody chypre.

  6. Dilana says:

    If she can get to Harrods, she might want to try Blessings, a nice woody fragrance, suitable for the office.

  7. chrisskins says:

    If Candice is thin too, I’m not playing.

    Kiddin’. SL Daim Blond. Interesting, cedary and not over-the-top.

  8. Sapphire says:

    Bvlgari Omnia (original). Seems to be on the way to being discontinued, but still at online discounters. Nice, dry chai tea sort of fragrance.

    • annemarie says:

      Yes, and just on that, Jacamo #8 is another nice chai tea composition. A long way from Saharienne, admittedly, but it has some of the transparency that is coming through in Candice’s favoured perfumes. Good for winter, too.

    • Dixie says:

      2nd Omnia. I always get complements when I wear it.

  9. SuddenlyInexplicably says:

    Also, it sounds like you’ve mostly explored department store brands, but you’re in PARIS! And many of the niche perfumers have perfumes within your price range. There’s info about Paris perfume shopping here:

  10. Lisa D says:

    Ormonde Jayne Woman. A nice balance between richness and transparency, long lasting, woodsy notes, unusual enough that one doesn’t smell like everybody else, but not so unusual that one is characterized as smelling odd. It’s more expensive than department store scents, but the sillage and longevity is such that a single spritz is enough to last the day, so the bottle itself lasts a long time. Most importantly, it’s BEAUTIFUL.

  11. galwaygirl001 says:

    Give the following a sniff:
    Chanel bois des iles (comes in a 75ml for about €110). Aldhydes & sandalwood
    Comme des garcons palisander – rosewood
    Diptyque Tam Dao – sandalwood
    Malle Angeliques sous la Pluie – cedar & angelica & juniper
    Chanel Sycomore – cedar & vetiver
    feminitie du bois – cedar & plum
    acqua di parma – cipresso di toscana if you can find it as its now discontinued. smells a bit manly & musky in the beginning but then is a lovely fresh cypress fragrance.

  12. SuddenlyInexplicably says:

    Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, less ambery than the Prada. And more delicious. And just so I don’t only recommend Chanel, Donna Karan Chaos, lighter and more lively than Feminite du Bois. The Different Company Oriental Lounge for a very soft, sheer amber with curry leaf twist.

  13. poodle says:

    The one I thought of that’s not too floral with some woody notes is 10 Corso Como. Not sure what the lasting power would be on you though. Also seconding some of the Tauer scents as well. They usually have great lasting power as well.

  14. Jennifer1977 says:

    I have not tried Ormonde Woman, but Ormonde Man is the smoothest, sexiest fragrance ever. Juniper, woods, citrus, incense…I swoon. A little pricey, but decants are available.

  15. solanace says:

    I’d say you should try Patricia de Nicolai’s eaux. Also, since you are in Paris (lucky you!), I’m seconding the niche suggestion above. You’ll have a lot of fun!

  16. DoodleMom says:

    I really adore Sonoma Scent Studio fragrances. Champagne de Bois is beautiful and my favorite is Jour Ensoleille. It is a perfect seasonal fragrance, and a small dab or spray lasts about eight hours plus on me…I love it! Laurie offers a wonderful fragrance sampler, and I have quite a few of her fragrances. Incense Pure is really wonderful too! Also, I’ve been wearing Donna Karan Chaos the past few days (in memory of my beloved Mom’s B-day). I see it mentioned above, and I totally agree ! I have yet to try the Ormonde fragrances, but I see them mentioned many times.

  17. beemouse says:

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions!
    I have noted ALL of them (except the ones with sandalwood, as I really don’t like sandalwood base notes – awful to say, but the smell reminds me too much of guinea pigs!). I was planning on dropping in on Nose this weekend, to see what they recommend. perhaps they also carry some of these suggestions. I’ll let you know!

    • SuddenlyInexplicably says:

      It may be that cedar, not sandalwood, is making you think of guinea pigs because they have cedar wood shavings in their cages. But I could be wrong! Do try the Bois des Iles because, trust me, it will not remind you of guinea pigs (though Tam Dao might).

  18. Lucy says:

    Hi Candice! Sorry I’m late to the party, but I had to look up most of the fragrances on your list. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find any theme here. At first I thought, light, clean, pleasant, green….then I got to Oud Wood. So, please forgive me if any of these turn out to be epic fails!
    My first thought is Dior Dune. It has a very unique, synthetic, plasticky smell, but is also light and pleasant. I think it’s been brought up a few times as a recommendation to someone looking for a salty scent too. It announces its presence without screaming and is sophisticated. It is tough to describe (although Angela did a very good review on it here), but I think you should at least test it. It is wearable in almost any temperature.
    Someone else mentioned SL Daim Blonde. I agree that it is worth checking out. Chanel Beige is similar to me, minus the fruit. They both seem very office appropriate.
    I also think you should check out the Jo Malone line. Pomegranate Noir is very winter appropriate. It has an intoxicating quality to it that reminds me of Wrappings…sort of a Eucalyptus, Vicks Vapor Rub thing. While you’re there, the new Blackberry and Bay is quite nice. It’s more of a light, tart berry and an earthy green base. It has better lasting power than most JMs.
    Since you seem to get along really well with Hermes, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is a tart fruit, fresh, light floral. Robin likened it to a can of Fresca. It is excellent on the hottest of summer days.
    Finally, a few more greens:: Thierry Mugler Cologne, Chanel Cristalle, Estee Lauder Alliage or Private Collection (floral, but very green and woody).
    Clinique Wrappings is available in the US every year at Christmas as a spray and lotion gift set. I have not seen just the bottle in years. If you want to order from Clinique’s website, start looking for it in mid-November. (It sells out pretty fast.). However, if none of our suggestions work out for you and you have to have it…I have an Estee Lauder company store (outlet) about 30 minutes from my house. As of a few weeks ago they still had about a dozen gift sets in stock. I am there about once a month on business and would be happy to make arrangements to get you one. My email is jgbennickatyahoodotcom (obviously insert the @ and .) if you should ever decide you’d like to do that. Good luck!

    • beemouse says:

      Thanks so much Lucy!!
      In fact, I really used to like Dune and bought it regularly for my ex-boyfriend, which means I can no longer stand the smell of it now:!! Aïe! I will check out the Jo Malone line and teh SL Daim Blond, though I seem to remember not thinking much of it at one testing, though perhaps one has to leave it on the skin a while?

      As for wrappings, I am eager to wear it again. I have asked my mom (Toronto) to keep an eye out in the stores for it. I’m not sure if it is sold at EL stands at Galeries Lafayette. I will have to ask them…

      Thanks to everyone once more!

  19. vintage78 says:

    I’d suggest Iskander by Parfum d’Empire, a lovely woody chypre with prominent citrusy notes. Most delicious lemon :)

  20. Apparently says:

    For non-guinea-piggish wood, you might try EL Sensuous.

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