What’s Your Favorite Perfume?

Blossom Dearie

Maybe this has happened to you: When people discover how much I like fragrance, often they tell me (1) there’s this perfume they used to really like, you know, the one with the tall bottle with the blue thing, and might I know its name?; (2) but really they don’t like perfume very much, because, face it, most people wear too much, including that lady who always gets in the elevator with them in the morning, pee-yoo; and (3) that they know it’s sacrilege, but they don’t like “the Chanel” at all. Then they lean forward and ask, “Tell me, what’s your favorite perfume?”

Mostly I (1) ask questions about the forgotten perfume and try my darnedest to help them, but often fruitlessly; (2) sigh and say, “Isn’t it always the case that the person with the nastiest perfume wears too much of it?”; and (3) about “the Chanel” reply, “You mean No. 5?” and steer the conversation away, since No. 5 can smell like heaven on the right person at the right time, and it’s just too complicated to get into it.

But as far as telling people what my favorite perfume is, I haven’t come up with a good response.

Most people see perfume as something to have two or three bottles of, tops, and they may even have a signature scent. How do I tell them that for me perfume is closer to music or painting? Do I have a favorite song? Sure, sometimes. Right this very second I’m into “Big Iron” by Marty Robbins because I was listening to him while I walked the dog an hour ago, but by the end of this post I might well be digging a Blossom Dearie (shown above) CD out of my stereo cabinet. Do I want to hear any one song, and only that song, forever? Not a chance. That’s how I feel about perfume.

So here are some responses I’ve tried for “What’s your favorite perfume?”:

“I’m still looking.” This is a little too cute for me. The fact is, I already own several fragrances I adore, and I doubt I’ll ever stumble over one that will trump forever every other fragrance I’ve tried. It’s like those authors you hear interviewed who say their favorite book is “the next one.” Come on. Just answer the question already.

“It depends.” This is the response I tender most often. People pretend to get it, but I can tell they’re still mystified that I can’t identify some of “the best” perfume out there. If I tell them I choose a particular perfume to wear depending on the weather, my dress, my mood, a story I heard on the radio, my eye makeup challenge that morning, the phase of the moon, etc., they look like they’re engaged in a philosophical discussion. They nod. They’re game for understanding intellectually, but they don’t really get it. 

“I really like Rochas Femme” or “Guerlain L’Heure Bleue” or “Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman” or “Caron Tabac Blond, the old stuff.” Basically, I just toss out names of some of my top 50 perfumes and hope that will satisfy them. Sometimes it’s just too hard to try to explain that I can’t possibly choose an all-time favorite.

Then, of course, I can always turn the conversation back toward them with “What’s your favorite perfume?”

How do you respond when people ask you what your favorite perfume is? If you have an actual favorite, do tell! If not, what do you say to people who respect your perfume knowledge and want to know what the best perfume is?

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Luckyscent Parfums Raffy

244 Comments

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  1. lucasai says:

    This article is so great, made me smile. It reminds me of situation when friends ask “what perfume are you wearing” and I respond “would that change anything if I give you a name of perfume you don’t know?” Sure they always insist on hearing the name but they quickly forget them.
    My perfume adventure become much faster this year, I learned so much and discovered a new world this year. My collection grew bigger and I love every bottle I have (I really don’t buy perfume I’m not sure I love ‘em).
    Prada Amber Pour Homme was my first perfume, and the only one for the first three years of my perfumistahool. It will always have a special spot in my heart.

    • Angela says:

      That’s a great answer right there! If someone asks your favorite perfume, you can always tell them the perfume that has a special place in your heart.

      • lucasai says:

        It’s like giving an answer without really answering the question. Ha!

        • Angela says:

          But it’s still giving them some really nice info!

  2. ladymurasaki says:

    I get the look of utter incomprehension at times if I mention that I’m into perfume… SERIOUSLY into perfume. If anyone who is not into perfume asks what my favourite perfume is, I just say “right now, it’s such-and-such. RIGHT NOW, but that could change. I don’t believe in monogamy when it comes to perfume” :)

    My current favourites are; SL Une Voix Noire & Boxeuses, SoOud Ouris and MdO Tubereuse.

    • Angela says:

      For most people, I think, our kind of appreciation for perfume is strange. It’s perfectly normal for me, too, to have a handful of favorites that change regularly.

  3. FragrantWitch says:

    I usually use the phrase ‘ Right now, my favourite is…’ As you say, to a non-fumie all of the rhyme and reason is too complicated and just leads them down warrens of further questioning in an effort to determine if I am, indeed, slightly mad. You guys get it and that is enough for me!

    • Angela says:

      Yes–it’s so much easier sometimes just to give an answer and move on!

  4. kjanicki says:

    Oh, yes, all those responses are familiar. I also get “Oh, I’m sensitive/allergic to perfume” a lot. That one is getting to be the most common response, after the “I hate people who wear too much” comment.

    • Angela says:

      Another thing I hear a lot is “Of course, perfume smells so different on different people,” said as if this is a real secret.

  5. Thalia says:

    Yeah, perfume as a hobby is sort of baffling if it’s not your thing. I think for most people, perfume is a grooming thing — how weird would it sound if someone said “I’m really into hand lotion or shaving cream — I collect them and use different ones depending on the weather and my mood.”? What I’ve found is that, for me, perfume is an art form, not a personal care product — but a few years ago I don’t think I would have understood that point of view at all.

    • Angela says:

      The funny thing is that given my perfume obsession, I’d totally understand a shaving cream obsession!

      • Erin says:

        My friend D started his fragrance obsession through shaving products: he got on to Badger & Blade, and kind of branched into fragrance from there. Now he works in the industry, collects, etc.

        • Angela says:

          I guess anything scented could be a gateway to perfume…

    • JolieFleurs says:

      As it happens, I AM quite in to hand lotions, as well as powder! :)

      • Angela says:

        Well, there you go! Powder is so often overlooked these days, too.

      • Thalia says:

        LOL — I love lotion too. My skin is so dry, lotion is a big deal for me. Maybe I should have said “toothpaste” instead. Perfumista8 said what I was trying to, though — for most people, perfume is utilitarian. Also, it’s something you do to make other people attracted to you, not for your own pleasure.

        • Angela says:

          Yes–I get it. Perfume means a lot more to people who really enjoy it.

        • Jillie says:

          But I am searching for the Holy Grail of toothpastes! Taste, texture, results ….. I have got all sorts of tubes, contraptions and varieties. Also all types of brushes, floss and waterpiks. Haven’t found the right one yet, but it’s fun trying (and my teeth are well cared for in the process)

          Plus handcream – at the moment I love Crabtree & Evelyn’s age defying hand remedy, in Rosewater. Smells good and really has made a difference to my poor old hands. In the meantime, my drawers are stuffed with the ones that didn’t live up to my expectations.

          • Angela says:

            Maybe perfume lovers have a predilection for always trying to find the best!

    • Perfumista8 says:

      I see your point, Thalia. I think many people see all personal grooming products as utilitarian – they are a means to an end. It seems like perfumistas (male & female) all have had an “aha” moment when they realized that perfume can be so much more than a small part of a daily routine.

    • Dionne says:

      I had to chuckle at your shaving cream comparison, because I have a good friend who’s really, REALLY into the ultimate shaving experience. He knows all about the history of shaving, the pros and cons of different kinds of bristles, really obscure (I suppose you could say niche ;)) brands of high-quality blades, where to go in LA for the ultimate face-swathed-in-hot-towels shave, all of it. He frequents blogs and forums.

      And out of all my friends, he’s the one who totally GETS my obsession.

      • Angela says:

        I am not surprised! I wonder if perfume is the next frontier for him?

  6. Erin says:

    Something about my face must immediately give away the scope of the answer because for me people always quickly follow up the favorite question with some variation on “…but it must be very difficult to decide. Do you even have favorite?” I mostly try to answer honestly, whether I think they are going to “get it” or not: I tell them I have almost 200 bottles and countless samples, etc. and while they’re stuggling with their bafflement and disbelief, I elaborate that it depends on mood, and that I have all-time beloveds and favorites of the moment. Some times I dump out my purse and show them the atomizers.

    My biggest problem seems to be that the perfumes I suggest as among my favorites cause most people to stare blankly at me because they’ve never heard of them. Even the Chanels I love are the boutique/exclusives and therefore unfamiliar to the average person. Or the Estee Lauders are the old, hidden, nearly discountinued “Azuree” type. As you’ve noted, it’s really a much more productive conversation to get them talking about their own favorite. They’re always delighted and confused when you know the nose who created it, the release year, why it smells different now, what other things they should try, etc. etc.

    • Angela says:

      You bring up such a good point: even if I told a person my favorite of the moment, he or she probably would have no idea what it is!

      • Erin says:

        Even though it isn’t really a candidate for my top five all-time heartbreakers, I used to say “Gucci Rush”, because people knew it. Also, it was one of the very first perfumes I smelled at the beginning of my scent education, and was the first to show me how weird and abstract perfume could be. But now it’s getting hard to find and there are rumours to is going to be discontinued, so maybe people won’t know it anymore.

        • Angela says:

          They’ll always know the Gucci name, at least. When your answer involves Vero Profumo or something more obscure, it can just lead to more explaining to do…

  7. eaudemale says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier to ask: if you would have to stick with only one fragrance for the rest of your life, what would it be?
    …and don’t come with the stupid answer of: “why do I have to choose?” or “that would never happen” or anything like that.. lol

    the world for me would smell like Dior Homme or Bvlgari Black or L’Instant Extreme

    for women something like Champs Elysees, Givenchy Extravagance d’Amarige or Angel

    Niche fragrances makes you smell expensive and stuff, I do have a few myself but most wouldn’t make my full time pick.

    • Angela says:

      My full-time pick might not be my favorite since something I’d wear all the time would have to be pretty versatile. I’m not sure I’d be able to answer that question, though! It’s a hard one.

  8. Abyss says:

    Thankfully, I don’t remember anyone specifically asking me that (impossible!), but I’ve had perfume SAs ask me what type of perfume I like…erm, well… leathers and vetivers and abstract florals (aldehydes are okay) and chypres and a good fig or iris and… by which point it’s clear that they regret ever asking.

    I’m terrible at choosing, anyway, so I hate any kind of “what’s your favoutite…” or “do you prefer x or y?”. They are impossible to answer and seem pretty pointless. I like cats and dogs, city and country, Pixies and Laura Marling and all the seasons for different reasons :D

    • Angela says:

      Hey, you just gave me the perfect response to “What’s your favorite perfume,” and that’s “Thank goodness I don’t have to choose!”.

      • Abyss says:

        Exactly! Why limit oneself for no real reason, right? Whatever happened to variety is the spice of life and all that?

        I think that for me it would also depend on who I was talking to – if the person seemed genuinely curious and open minded then I’d be happy to share (and, perhaps, make a convert), whereas someone who was just looking for an opportunity to judge would get some vague answer and a swift change of topic.

        I must say that I’m quite surprised by the sheer number of people who’ve been on the receiving end of negative attitudes towards perfume. I’m not sure if geography has anything to do with it (I’m in UK) or if I’ve just been lucky with people around me. While nobody I know is as nerdy about perfume as I am, most of my friends and family either like perfume or, at the very least, have nothing against it.

        • Angela says:

          You bring up such a good point–it really does matter who is doing the asking. You’re lucky to have perfume-positive people around you. I encounter a fair number of people who don’t like perfume, but they don’t usually even realize that I’m wearing it.

  9. platinum14 says:

    So true! It’s usually impossible to answer the favorite perfume question. And even when I try, the answer is usually something that they have never heard of. We here, think that Lutens, Amouage, and Comme des Garcons are well known. We are even on first name basis. But to Joe and Sally Average those names might as well be new elements on the chemical table.
    One thing though, I find that my favorite- say my 50 very favorite- don’t get worn quite as often as all that. The fear of running out of the stuff, the lack of really special occasions… Those really special ones usually end up worn at home, savoured like an old single malt, or like a perfectly blended martini in an antique cut cristal glass.
    … and Blossom! Really? You just made my day! I know what I’ll be listening to tonight!

    • Angela says:

      And you had better listen to Blossom with a little Scotch in one of those cut crystal glasses while wearing one of your top 50!

  10. Lys says:

    The question is an easy one for me b/c I’ve been conditioned by too many cycles of America’s Top Model to know how important it is to be able to state without hesitation your favorite movie, album, animal, or book in case you ever find yourself in front of a panel of reality show judges. Seriously. It shows that you know yourself and projects confidence.

    My favorite perfume is Guerlain Derby.

    I don’t wear it as often as other perfumes in my collection but that’s not the question. Derby projects classicism but is fiercely contemporary, gives a nod to Chanel without ceding its ground, in it’s current iteration it is smooth, crisp, spacious and complicated. Its sillage wears close, it’s decidedly unisex and, for me, it loves skin.

    • Angela says:

      And YOU are now America’s Top Model! *applause*

      Seriously, if sense of humor (or how you smell) is one of the criteria, you win! What else have you learned from tabloid TV?

      • egabbert says:

        That you’re NEVER there to make friends….

        • Angela says:

          I think someone should write an essay about this!

        • Ari says:

          IT’S AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL, NOT AMERICA’S NEXT TOP BEST FRIEND!!!!

          • Merlin says:

            And if you treat one of them as a best friend – well watch your back!

          • Betty_Kinkade says:

            Ahaha! This made me laugh water all over the keyboard. This site is the best cure for a humdrum Monday!

          • Angela says:

            And I thought that show with Donald Trump was mean! Apparently America’s Top Model is, too!

          • Lys says:

            LOL, Jade. Just, no.

    • Merlin says:

      Guess its easier to know yourself when there is not much there to know! I’m not directing this at you Lys, but at the typical contestant on these shows!

  11. RoseRed says:

    It’s true, chosing a “favorite” perfume is like chosing a favorite child, how can you when you love them all so much? I do have an SS though, it is Bandit by Robert Piguet. Bandit is my first love, when I first smelled it I burst into tears of pure joy. I had always heard about perfumes having a strong emotional effect on people but, like love at first sight, you don’t really believe in it until it happens to you. I don’t wear it often, Bandit is a big, bold Diva scent that isn’t appropriate for daywear or small, stuffy rooms but it’s amazing at an outdoor rock concert or while riding a motorcycle. The black leather and tobacco flower give it that perfect Bad Girl attitude with a touch of glamour. It is still a “comfort” smell to me. I spray it on my pillows to help me sleep at night or on me when I’ve had a bad day. Bandit was designed with women in mind but it is really a unisex smell and could be worn by either a man or a woman, the only requirement is Confidence and lots of it. This is not a scent for the shy. I like the EDT version best, the leather cuts through the florals like the crack of a whip leaving a trail of imported cigarette smoke behind it. I think it is this boldness that makes it not sit well with many Modern consumers. Women these days seem to want to smell like cotton candy and laundry detergent while men seem to want to smell “marine” and “fresh.” You have to be comfortable with standing out to wear Bandit because it’s an attention grabber, as unsubtle as a Dominitrix in a black leather catsuit. Sadly, the EDT has been discontinued though you can find a bottle here and there on Ebay from time to time, the EDP and Parfum is still available, of the two the Parfum is more well balanced but at $110 it may be out of your price range. Still you may find it worth it as one bottle will last you a long time, this is a dabber not a sprayer. Buy it here at the house of Piguet http://www.robertpiguetparfums.com/shop/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&page=shop.browse&category_id=3&Itemid=2

    • Angela says:

      Oh my gosh, if Bandit is your comfort scent, then you must scare people! I hope we meet some day.

      • RoseRed says:

        Heehee! Only when I’m dressed up to go clubbing or when I’m wearing my motorcycle leathers ;D Bandit is comforting to me because it evokes such a powerful presense of Personality, I like sleeping in its big, protective arms.

        • Angela says:

          Big protective arms with numchuks within reach!

          • Perfumista8 says:

            That would be comforting, I have to admit :)

          • Angela says:

            You’d definitely feel secure.

    • Lys says:

      Love your description RoseRed. Bandit is a fave but have only had the EDP – you say the parfum is more balanced, can you describe further?

    • Abyss says:

      A couple of years ago the guys over at Perfume Posse did a challenge where we had to pick one perfume and wear it for a week. My pick was Bandit :D

      • Angela says:

        You’re brave! It’s a fabulous fragrance, though.

  12. Ericgmd says:

    I must admit that if there will ever be a TV show about “Perfume Hoarders”, the first episode should be about me.
    But despite having over 300 bottles, ranging from favorites to scrubbers, I do know what my answer to such a question, if asked, will be:
    MYSTERE de Rochas
    It is perfection on every level.
    Too bad it is becoming impossible to find nowadays.
    Nombre Noir by Shiseido you can move aside…The next $1000 price slot on Ebay will belong to Mystere de Rochas in a year or two.

    • Angela says:

      Now I MUST smell Mystere. I wonder if I have a sample around anywhere. I’m going to raid my sample box as soon as I finish responding to these comment….

      • Bela says:

        Angela, unless your sample is the genuine article from the ’70s or ’80s. don’t bother.

        I bought it the year it was released and wore it for several years. It was wonderful.

        • Angela says:

          I’m not sure how old my sample is, but I doubt it’s that old. Too bad!

    • juicejones says:

      Mystere is a beauty; elegant and sexy, with such depth. I don’t own any at the present, but burned through two bottles a long time ago. I always liked the bottle, but as I recall that wonky top would pinball around the inside of my bathtub when I had to pry it off. Funny what we remember.

      • Angela says:

        It turns out I do have a tiny decant of it. It smells like a lovely chypre with a bit of cherry hanging in it. Nice!

        • Bela says:

          Oops, hadn’t seen this post. I remember an orange note among woody and mossy ones.

          • Angela says:

            It may have changed, or my sample might be hinky…

  13. Kelly Red says:

    Compared to the majority of you I am very small potatoes in the perfume game. I do have very distinct tastes and all of you have helped to expand that. But like many of your answers I also get looks of confusion when I talk about my love of perfume and smells. I can’t answer “My favorite” but can answer my favorite smells: rich heavy oriental leaning scents, amber, oud, smoke, incense, etc. The response I usually get is “oh, those are too smelly for me”. Well you weren’t asking about yourself, were you! And it’s not that the oriental family is too smelly, it’s a matter of amount as per anything. I love perfume and I don’t like the people who drown themselves in it either!

    • Angela says:

      You point out just how complicated it is to answer the question! It leads to so many other questions and qualifiers.

  14. Merlin says:

    I’v only been down the rabbit hole for a few years and I imagine that relating to the ‘non-initiated’ becomes more and more difficult – at least when it comes to the subject of perfume. For the ‘what is your favourite-’ question I always just reach back for my most recent happy-smell. Yes, it may change in 15 minutes, but I prefer not to get into it – at least not at that point.

    As Abyss mentioned above: many SAs are trained to go for the ‘what are you using at the moment’ or ‘what kind of perfume do you like’. I’m pretty sure this works well for 99% of their customers, so it makes sense. As for me, well, I get embarrassed – rush out something about liking A LOT of perfumes, and how I’m ok just looking, and then try to wave them off.

    Sometimes difficulties come up when I’m not expecting any: like I mentioned liking rose notes to a friend. She then got excited and went to get an empty bottle of Paul Smith that she still had. And then I got excited because Paul Smith (perfume) is not well known where I live, and because his rose is actually one I like. So I then got excited too and started telling her how the composition is lifted by a green tea note, that it was created by ‘head-space technology’ and that it was a rose named after him. Ok, too much info. Or maybe she just wanted to know more about one of her own perfumes than I did? Anyway, uncomfortable silence…I’m keeping off the topic of perfume next time.

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes, I know that uncomfortable silence very well!

  15. ringthing says:

    I generally answer such questions with “some fancy French perfume with a name I can’t pronounce” – that generally goes for either my favorite or what I’m wearing on a particular day, and it’s usually true enough. I’m like you, I like lots of different choices based on whatever whim might strike me and my friends don’t have any real idea of what my perfume hobby is, despite my attempts at sharing, so I live my perfume life online (and therefore don’t know how to pronounce anything )

    • Angela says:

      That’s a good evasive and yet accurate response!

      As for pronouncing things, have you seen Bela’s blog? It’s super useful. She pronounces difficult French names. http://fragnameoftheday.blogspot.com/

      • Cymbaline says:

        I jst came from Bela’s site – prepping for tomorrow’s questions – just in case someone asks! LOL

        • Angela says:

          Isn’t it a great idea for a site?

          • Merlin says:

            i absolutely love that site: for me the name often adds a dimension to the perfume and if I don’t know how it sounds then I can’t quite get it. A good example is L’Ombre dans Leau which my English ear would never have guessed how to say, or how it sounds. Now I adore the roll of it on my tongue!

          • Angela says:

            It does have a certain something extra correctly pronounced!

      • nozknoz says:

        I love that site, but the best I can expect is to mangle a bit less. I was just trying to understand the vowel in “Femme” – hopeless!

        • nozknoz says:

          Just to be clear – the recording is perfectly clear, it’s just that the “e” in Femme seems so subtly different from English vowels, and my brain keeps trying unsuccessfully to pigeon-hole it.

          • Bela says:

            The ‘e’ in Femme is pronounced as ‘a’. You must completely forget it’s an ‘e’. It’s an aberration. LOL!

          • Bela says:

            Sorry, meant to thank you for your kind words. :-)

            femme = fam

    • ringthing says:

      Yes, I love Bela’s blog! But again, out here in the WalMart Wasteland, no one would know what I was talking about even if I did pronounce it correctly. In the rural community where I live, Bath & Body Works is considered the height of sophistication when it comes to fancy scents.

      • Angela says:

        Your glamour outshines your geographic location!

    • nozknoz says:

      PERFECT!

  16. egabbert says:

    I usually take an approach similar to yours … I explain that I don’t have a true favorite because there are so many that I love … but one that I really, really like is Cuir de Lancome. Then I’ll tell them a little about it because I’m sure they haven’t heard of it or tried it. I pretty always say Cuir de Lancome. So maybe it is my favorite?

    • Angela says:

      Maybe it is! I’m wearing Onda right now, but I think Cuir de Lancome will be next.

  17. chrisaxp says:

    What a great article! I tend to say “It depends” when asked what is my favorite. “My favorite today?” “My favorite for winter?” “My favorite when I am happy/sad/smiling/crying?”

    Thanks for putting my thoughts in to words!

    • Angela says:

      Aha! The old “answer a question with a question” technique!

  18. Jada in GA says:

    I don’t know anyone except my mother-in-law who thinks of perfume as an accessory. To me, perfume is just like jewelry…I choose both to suit my mood and what feeling I want to project that day. I rarely wear the same fragrance more than a couple of days in a row! I never thought about perfume until my mom-in-law came into my life…she’s totally turned me into a fragrance diva.
    I’ve been having fun all weekend trying 5 samples that I got from Luckyscent. Week-end a Deauville is probably going to be on my Santa wish list; it’s a beautiful scent. BUT…Calypso St Barth’s Lea is currently my new favorite and a definite must have! :)

    • Angela says:

      I like the comparison of perfume to an accessory! It definitely is, and like fine jewelry it can be a real art, too.

      • GateGirl says:

        I like the idea of ‘accessorizing’ your perfume with whatever colour you happen to be wearing. I don’t think many ‘fumies would wear a delicate, quaint floral with head-to-toe red, or a bold leather/cigarrette/cognac combo with a pretty little sun dress. Or, maybe that would be a good way of keeping people on their toes. They may think, “hmm, she smells sweet, but what’s with all that biker chic?”. Lends an air of mystery. Of course, it would help to know how to carry something like thaat off.

        • Angela says:

          I always coordinate my outfit with my perfume–whether it’s a straight match or a thoughtful clash.

      • Cymbaline says:

        Comparing perfume use to an accessory is perfect! I shall adopt this approach : )

        • Angela says:

          It’s good, isn’t it?

  19. Blimunda says:

    I’ve been asked this a lot recently! The first ones that came to my mind are Tubereuse 40, Ormonde Woman and Dzongkha. Even though I’ve been wearing Bergamote 22 and Sel Marin more often lately! I’ve always had a bottle of OJ Woman, ever since the first days of my perfume mania. And I always have to have the other two in my collection as well. Anything else I own, i can live without. But those three are my staples!

    • Angela says:

      I wore Ormonde Woman yesterday. I sure do love that perfume!

      • GateGirl says:

        I keep hearing about OJW; anyone know where I can get a sample?

        • 50_Roses says:

          If you are in the US, and you just want to try the one, I would suggest The Perfumed Court, Surrender to Chance, or The Posh Peasant. I don’t think the OJ line is carried in any retail outlets in the US. If you want to try the entire line, the Discovery Set is wonderful. You get a generous spray sample of each of the 12 fragrances in the line, beautifully packaged. I just checked, and the set is $75, shipping included.

          • Angela says:

            Great information. Thank you for passing it along!

  20. moon_grrl says:

    It’s funny, but people never get around to asking me what my favorite perfume is. What I do get is told *their *favorite and then, in a lowered, hopeful tone: “Is that a good one?”

    I always tell them it is, even if it’s something I don’t like at all.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, it’s true. Sometimes people get kind of intimidated when they figure out how much perfume you’ve smelled.

    • Erin says:

      Too true, M. I always lie, too.

      • Angela says:

        It’s often the kindest thing. Or I point out something I like about the perfume, like “what a great bottle, too.”

    • Merlin says:

      I’m not comfortable with questions like that – I always ask what the person means by ‘is it a good one’. They usually have trouble answering, so then I ask whether they like the way it smells. If they say yes, then I say it must be a good one – regardless of whether I like it, or the perfume community likes it.

      • Merlin says:

        Although I know I’m a but of a hypocrite, because if I test something and like it I always consult ‘The Guide’ and other reviews, and I do so hoping they will endorse my choice. If they don’t I end up feeling a little less warm about it!

        • Angela says:

          I love looking in the Guide, too, but mostly because I’m hoping to be able to have another lovely aspect of the perfume pointed out that I might not have found right away on my own.

      • Angela says:

        That’s probably the truest answer–if they like it, then by definition it is good to them. As to whether you like it, well, that’s a different question!

        • Merlin says:

          I don’t think they mean to ask whether ‘I’ like it as such. When they put the question that way they want to know whether an experienced nose (which I’m not) or a more or less competent authority (which I’m definitely not) endorses it – and so, by extension, ‘they have good taste’. I guess many people assume that there is some objectivity in fragrance. So put this way, my response may be a kind of dissembling; but to me pleasure is a fundamental good, and so no matter how ‘bad’ a perfume is, there has to be something good to it if it affords someone enjoyment.

          Sorry about going on so long; and for being so ponderous about it!

          • Angela says:

            Yes, I get it. Maybe the best response is to get philosophical and ask in return, “What is good, anyway?”

          • Merlin says:

            Or that!

  21. lovethescents says:

    Love your responses! I go with the same, old, “it depends on my mood”. Then like you, I divert the conversation on to them. Too difficult to get into, and most people think I’m strange anyway ;-)

    • Angela says:

      “It depends’ is always a good one, although it makes me think of that old Clinton-Dole joke where the interview asks the candidates if they wear briefs or boxers, and Dole replies “Depends.” (Awful joke, I know.)

    • GateGirl says:

      I can certainly fit in with the strangeness. Like, i dig Downton Abbey while most if not all of my officemates watch Jersey Shore. How do you explain away a perfume that you’ve been asked about when everyone’s tastes differ so wildly? Would they even get it? Will they stay interested for longer than two seconds to hear your reply?

      • Angela says:

        That’s exactly it–if I took the time to give a thoughtful response, I almost think I’d be burdening the person who asked the question!

  22. Ida says:

    This great topic had me pondering … and in fact the outcome of that pondering is: I wish more people would ask this or just be a bit more interested, since what I smell like is of HUGE interest to me :-)
    A colleague said the other day: “you’ve changed your cologne!”, which I deciphered to mean I smelled different that day. Hey, I smell different almost every day, what with all the hoarding and layering! Also, when people hear you have a perfume interest, they tend to say things like – oh yes, I like that Dior, or I have Beautiful . ;-) Sigh, only we understand us! Delurking after weeks of overwork. Delivered on deadline. Hello Everyone!

    • Angela says:

      Welcome, and congratulations on finishing up your work for the moment!

      I’m lucky to have coworkers who appreciate perfume, for the most part–but I think it’s the exception.

    • Merlin says:

      Point taken; but here we not only ask what you are wearing but even care about the answer so – welcome!

      By the way, have you read ‘Ida’s Flowers’? Its one of my favourites from Hans Christian Anderson…

      • Angela says:

        Yes–I feel really at home here and hope everyone else does, too.

  23. Omega says:

    I don’t get asked what my fave perfume is, don’t think once except by my husband. Maybe they just know I have a lot of samples and ones I like, so they don’t bother asking. If they mention their fave and it’s something I don’t like, I just say, ‘that’s an interesting’ one. My husband knows anytime I use the words, ‘that’s interesting’, it means I hate it, lol. We use that at potlucks too, “I brought the tuna salad.” My response? “That’s interesting”. My husband looks at me and chuckles. Do I have a fave? There are a few in the running..but there are so many left to try out there.

    My fave scent right now is Ambra Di Luna by Ramon Monegal, omgosh..I love it. I would buy a full bottle or two! But don’t have the funds. Stinks when you find one you just can’t afford at the moment!

    • Angela says:

      That’s so funny about “interesting.” It reminds me of that reputedly Chinese curse, “May you have a long and interesting life.”

      I haven’t smelled that perfume yet!

      • Omega says:

        It’s one worth sniffing! Soft, warm amber, with a touch of vanilla and jasmine. Very animalic with a pretty big casteroreum note!

        • Omega says:

          *castoreum lol, don’t spell so good, or read so good. Lol.

        • Angela says:

          That sounds wonderful!

  24. Ari says:

    I actually do have a favorite perfume (it’s L’Heure Bleue in parfum), but that answer still gets me blank looks, since pretty much zero Americans under the age of 40 have ever heard of it!

    • Angela says:

      That is such a gorgeous, gorgeous perfume. I never get tired of it.

      • Omega says:

        I need to try that one!

        • Angela says:

          Oh yes. It’s a classic.

    • Cymbaline says:

      I probably should say L’Heure Bleue also since it’s the only perfume I actually wore ‘only’ for two years running. I hate that people don’t know l’HB. (yes, I’m over 40!)

      • Angela says:

        It’s such a classic, and yet so unusual. A nice one!

  25. Betty_Kinkade says:

    What a great article and a fun conversation! I’m newly obsessed with perfume, so I haven’t gotten many comments or questions beyond “You like…Perfume?!” *blink blink* sorta in the same tone someone might ask “You really like dental floss?!”

    I love it, though, because maybe somewhere down the line, they’ll be sniffing samples and reading NST along with me! As far as a favorite perfume goes…whichever one I’m wearing at the moment (lame, maybe, but true!).

    • Angela says:

      That’s another good potential answer then–”It’s always the one I’m wearing.”

  26. Omega says:

    Ya, I’ve gotten weird reactions from people knowing my fume hobby. Really stuffy ones too! Like, ‘oh, perfume?! Well, I’d never be into that.’. In a very, eye-roll, stuck-up way! But that person is really into wine and talks about even some florals in wine. “It tastes like a garden”, is one thing I’ve heard. And they just bought like 15 boxes of wine from wine country. Did I say anything? No, did I think it was a little strange? Yes, but I don’t drink so that’s why. But I didn’t say, ‘oh, that’s strange’. You buy your wine, I’ll buy my perfume..and we both can shut our pie holes. I am not bitter! LOL! Don’t care for judging in any sense though, lol.

    • Sujaan says:

      I so completely understand!! What’s up with the snooty air? Especially when our air smells so much better! Lol

    • Angela says:

      It’s so strange that perfume has developed a stigma in some quarters, but it has! Crazy.

      • sweetgrass says:

        I’ve noticed that.. I read an article on Slate a while back that was about perfume (I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I think it was linked here as well), and the comments section really brought out the perfume haters! And they get kinda smug about it too.

        • Angela says:

          I think most of them are really objecting to the 5% of perfume wearers who wear too much and bad stuff, to boot. I’d guess most of my coworkers don’t even know I wear perfume, even though I wear it every single day.

  27. Sujaan says:

    I usually answer that it depends on my mood and what I plan to be doing when I wear it. I kind of wish I had a signature scent like my husband (Molecule 01) which I loooooove on him. I guess my go-to has been Daim Blond, though even she has been upped by a few newbies lately (especially Rose Anonyme, shh, don’t tell her).
    But it does annoy me that people don’t give the same respect to a perfume collector that they would to any other kind of art collector. Besides, how great is it that we can actually wear the art we collect?! Can’t carry a painting around all day. Some of my friends seem to think I’ve gone batty on this perfume journey, like it’s kind of funny to them. I wonder if I had suddenly started collecting sculpture if they’d be more respectful of my new passion?

    • Angela says:

      I bet they would understand the sculpture thing better, sadly. I guess we form a secret society. In some ways, that’s part of the fun.

  28. Dionne says:

    I find myself in the unusual position of knowing exactly what my favorite perfume is, and because of that, it’s the only perfume name I WON’T share.

    Before I fell down the rabbit hole, I was convinced that perfumes didn’t smell good on me. The truth is, most mainstream stuff really is horrible on my skin, so it was quite the revelation to discover that I could smell fabulous, thank you very much. Healing too, in an odd way.

    After about a year down the rabbit hole, I tried Ormonde Woman and it was love at first sniff. And compliments galore from everyone who smelled me. About two months after acquiring my bottle, I had a friend ask, “What are you wearing?” and before I could answer she went on “….. because I think maybe I’ll buy some too.”

    I stammered out something about “…..can’t get it in North America…” but inside I was NOOOOOOOO! And I realized that any thing else in my closet, I was more than willing to share with friends (and I do – I make decants all the time) but not that one. Dam**t, I WORKED HARD to find that, invested hours and hours in being part of perfumistaland and time and money sampling. Ormonde Woman is mine. Nobody else in my little podunk town in Southern Alberta, Canada has ever even heard of niche perfume, much less the Ormonde Jayne line.

    For a while I felt guilty about not sharing the name, but not now. And my close friends who know my perfume story and who do know my preciousssss name, are very much in agreement it would not be cool to poach my Ormonde Woman.

    • Perfumista8 says:

      LOL! I think you made the right call!

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I would be hooting mad if one of my friends decided to start wearing Ormonde Woman. I know I have lots of other perfumes, but that one is particularly special to me. I totally get what you say.

      • dolcesarah says:

        I have Ormond woman and hate it almost full, can you spare some onda?

        • Angela says:

          I’m so sorry you hate the Ormonde Woman! I only have a few drops of Onda–not enough to swap. But you should definitely try swapping the Ormonde Woman. I’m sure you could get something really nice in exchange.

    • lisaandtheword says:

      I totally understand, if i had 1 main fave I wouldn’t share the name either!

      My journey down the rabbit hole is at the stage where I have about 3 faves of each type, so I just say I have a wardrobe of scents I love instead of 1 fave.

      • Angela says:

        Right now my perfume wardrobe heartily outnumbers my clothing wardrobe!

        • nozknoz says:

          Yikes! I never thought of that, but it’s true – that would REALLY get me strange looks if I told anyone. :-)

          • Angela says:

            It’s kind of a shock for me to realize it, too.

  29. Omega says:

    Ya, people don’t understand but I’ve actually thought, when I kick the bucket..I am sure they will be helping themselves to samples and sniffs fighting over which ones to keep. lol! But the wine folks I know won’t be in the will for them! lol! No touchy touchy. haha. Weird I actually thought about that but I know that’s what would happen! All of a sudden it would be like ooooh, what a collection! Hands off, lol.

    • Angela says:

      At least they can drink to console themselves!

  30. Lucy says:

    I don’t have one favorite so I usually respond by saying “any of the classics by Guerlain.” There is some truth to it – They’ve been around forever and have more scents that work well on me than any other line. Nearly everyone has heard of the house and it is a non-specific enough answer that it usually develops into an intelligent conversation about perfume appreciation, rather than wrinkled up noses.

    As far as explaining this weird obsession…most people get it when I explain that there is a whole online community of people who approach fragrance as an art form. It’s also easier for them to relate when I compare fragrances to food or wine, especially to people who’ve been to a wine tasting.

    I’ve also told people that it is the finishing touch on getting dressed for the day, like an accessory that is placed after my mood and clothing have been decided. That one works, but its a lie. If I told people I chose my outfit based on my scent of the day, the conversation may steer toward an intervention.

    • Angela says:

      The internet has really changed the perfume community, I think. We’re not so isolated as perfume lovers–and, of course, we can swap samples and end up getting hooked on fragrances we’d never otherwise have known about!

  31. hollyc says:

    Wellllllll. . . . . since you asked.. . . . It’s rather like someone asking me my favorite colour, how can I pick just one? The best I can do right now is to say that Onda extrait has eclipsed all my other lemmings and there were many. I have obsessively bought 10 samples hoping I’ll find some flaw that will deem it unworthy of the $$$$. Alas, I am more enamoured than ever and am actually curbing my other fragrance purchases so that I can get the 15 ml at Luckyscent, although it might be cheaper just to fly to Switzerland to get it. Onda owns my soul . . . . .

    • Angela says:

      I’m wearing Onda today! It’s a one-of-a-kind fragrance. I love it, too. The good thing about it is that even a little bit lasts a long time.

      • dolcesarah says:

        I want a sample

    • ajuarez says:

      I need to try Onda soon.

    • 50_Roses says:

      Well, I do have a favorite color (green), even though I love a number of colors and would never wear just one color exclusively.

      • Angela says:

        Green comes in so many, varied shades, too, from fresh to moody. It’s a wonderful color to have as a favorite.

  32. hollyc says:

    Back again . . . Actually Onda is the perfume counterpart of my husband. As soon as we met I knew I wanted to be with him forever. He was initially challenging, fascinating and even a tiny bit annoying, but ultimately amazing and comforting and (blushing) exciting and sexy as hell! A real head turner. He always makes his presence felt but in the loveliest way, and he has stuck around foreverrrr. Through thick and thin and makes every moment better, richer, more beautiful. He even puts up with my perfume addiction. Call me a bigamist, I’d marry them both!

    • Angela says:

      Oh! I’m turning green with jealousy over here!

      • hollyc says:

        Don’t be jealous, I kissed a lot of frogs (froggy ones at that) before I found a prince. Hey, that sort of makes me think of a topic “Samples that I liked but were never full bottle worthy”!

        • Angela says:

          Isn’t it amazing how everything comes back to perfume?

    • GateGirl says:

      That little love story sounds straight out of ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Glad you’ve found your Mr. Darcy!

  33. Veronika says:

    Vol de Nuit, no doubt:)

    • Angela says:

      I do love that one, both in parfum and EdT. It’s fail-safe.

  34. littlecooling says:

    My fave perfume is Bois des Iles. I can’t really answer why it is y fave. I just love the smell of it and how it makes me feel. So cosy and warm. I have the loveliest memories about it. But if I really tell all about how I feel about that scent. People would think I am having a way to personal relationship with the perfume. And I have. It has been there all through my early 20′s up until now, were I am 34. Of course it’s not the ONLY perfume (or edt, as I should say. As it would be pretty expensive, only to use the perfume. Chanel. Please release a edp. Thanks :) ). I have other scents that I really enjoy and love owning. But every time I wear Bdl and friends is around, they always say: That scent always reminds me of u. It is like ur aura.

    • Angela says:

      I have a few drops of the extrait, and it is absolutely heavenly. Gorgeous. It’s worth saving up for!

  35. annemarie says:

    Such fun reading all these comments!

    For me the conversatiion stopper is that not only do I buy perfume online but that I buy USED perfume online (on eBay). Most people I know would find that astounding and little short of revolting, like buying used deodorant or soap. (This is especially so where I live becuause it is rare to see perfume in thrift shops. Health regulations or something prohibit).

    It is impiossible to explain to a anyone except a a dedicated perfume lover why I would buy second hand perfume. After all, can’t you just go to the nearest department store and pick up a bottle of Kenzo Flower or Pleasures Whatsit any time you want? Well, yes you can, but ….

    • Angela says:

      I never thought about people thinking used perfume is a little too personal–interesting! I have had people question my buying old perfume because they assume it must have gone bad. Fine. More good old perfume for me.

  36. ajuarez says:

    I always get weird looks when people ask me that, because my answer is always several perfumes instead of one, and I get negative looks, from people that think they should remind me how to spend my money.

    • Angela says:

      I’ve had a few people raise an eyebrow at my perfume, collection, too, given that I don’t (otherwise) live like a queen. Still, I bet they spend more money on skiing, eating out, and handbags than I do.

      • Dionne says:

        I was just talking about this with Carol over at Bloody Frida. I’m someone who camps for holidays, thrifts the majority of my wardrobe, wears drugstore cosmetics and eats out maybe twice a year. I don’t even own a cellphone. But I’m wafting some pretty exclusive fragrances, and the incongruity tickles my funnybone.

        • Angela says:

          We sound like twins. No cellphone here, either, and everything I’m wearing now (except for my drugstore underwear) is second hand. But I smell like heaven itself!

  37. ajuarez says:

    or how about those people that don’t bathe can’t smell, and think perfume stinks.

    • Angela says:

      I guess they like that “natural” smell best….

  38. ajuarez says:

    I want to cancel that comment please, the people I work with got together and banned perfume from my work place and I just got very upset, and sad. and it really hurt me because most of them are not even near my area. I hope I didn’t offend anyone.

    • hollyc says:

      Don’t feel badly, I get just as upset. My hairdresser just asked me what my fragrance was (it was Sisley Eau de Soir that day) and I asked if it was too strong for her (strictly being polite . . . didn’t give a damn) and she said she wouldn’t want to drive in a car with me (no worries). This in a hair salon full of hair spray, gel, colour and perm solutions! GIVE ME A BREAK. And I tip really well . . . maybe not anymore. Scentphobes stay HOME!

      • 50_Roses says:

        It could be that she was just saying that she didn’t like that particular perfume. As much as I love perfume, there are some ‘fumes I simply cannot stand.

        I understand your point, though. I work in a petroleum refinery lab, and I simply cannot understand it when someone complains about someone’s perfume when just about everything we work with in our lab stinks.

        • Angela says:

          That’s a generous explanation, and a good one.

      • Angela says:

        But she’d never think of telling you she wouldn’t want to be in a car with you if you were wearing an ugly dress! Poor beleaguered perfume.

      • mutzi says:

        Eau du Soir is so lovely.

        • Angela says:

          I second that.

          • hollyc says:

            Thank you ladies, I like Eau de Soir too (even tho Luca Turin hates it!)

      • nozknoz says:

        I try to remember not to wear perfume when I’m seeing a doctor or dentist, taking a Pilates lesson, or other times when someone will have to be unusually close to me. Everyone has different tastes and ophthalmic acuity. It seems unfair to impose mine on a captive audience. It’s like using headphones on the subway rather than playing music for everyone to hear, whether they want to or not.

        • Angela says:

          Once I wore Amoureuse to the doctor’s. That was a big mistake.

        • farouche says:

          I man the desk at my husband’s dental office, and only once have I had a patient come in wafting something delicious. After her appointment was over, I asked what perfume she was wearing. She kindly told me that it was EL Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and that she could no longer smell it. A shame…because she smelled great!

          • Angela says:

            At least she could still delight the people around her.

    • Angela says:

      Don’t worry about it! I’d be upset, too, if perfume were banned in my office. I feel like I wear it subtly and carefully, and being deprived of that pleasure would sting.

      • hollyc says:

        I’m nostalgic today. I still remember when I worked in an office everyone saying “Oh, Sharon’s in” because she exuded clouds of Giorgio and did it well I might add. Or, Jean’s in the copier room (Ysatis). Or, for that matter, you must have just been in the elevator Holly (Coco). I’m looking at what we wore way back then and I’m wondering if there were fewer complaints because the perfume was ever so much better.

        • Angela says:

          Yes, the good old days! On the other hand, I remember being a candystriper at a hospital and seeing people smoke in the halls!

  39. hajusuuri says:

    If I told anyone the size of my perfume collection (actually, I don’t know the size of it because they are not all in one particular location…)….anyway, if asked for my favorite, it would depend on who is asking and in what direction I would like the follow-up conversation to go. For example, if I want to talk about next year’s trip to London (for example), I would say – Ormonde Jayne (Woman or Tiare-new fave) and then mention the trip, etc. If someone likes Berlin, I’ll mention Andy Tauer Zeta and connect that with Unter den Linden and this conversation could lead to “I never heard of this line….” and then on and on. If I don’t feel like saying much after the question, I’ll just say “Chanel No. 5 but I only feel worthy enough to wear it once a year, date TBD”.

    • Abyss says:

      Yay, Tiare is my new fave too, I got some a couple of months ago I can’t get enough of it!

    • Angela says:

      Yes, it really does depend on all the context, I suppose….

    • nozknoz says:

      Great approach!

  40. monkeytoe says:

    My favorite response is, “It depends on who is wearing it.” Or answer something like Hermes Doblis or Guerlain Djedi or Chanel No. 46 or Gobin-Daude Seve Exquise. If they ask further I explicate and hope for conversation, if not everyone seems satisfied with a famous name or difficult to pronounce word (for an American).

    • Angela says:

      Oh, now that’s a creative response!

    • Calypso says:

      I hate it when they really pursue it and want to know where can they get some and I just don’t want to dim the hopes of some cab driver or something (not that they couldn’t have good taste) by revealing where it comes from and how much it costs and how to go online to buy it…

      • Angela says:

        Sometimes it’s embarrassing, too, to admit how much it costs.

  41. dolcesarah says:

    Oh Angie mine is vero’s rubj

    • Angela says:

      Such a beauty that one is.

  42. mutzi says:

    One of my favorites is Yosh Trompeur and I finally bought it this summer after existing on samples from LS for years. I loved telling people this when it was still called “The Heart Is Deceiftul Above All Things”. I got more than one: “Yes, it is. But what perfumes do you like?”

    • Angela says:

      That’s funny! i’m glad you finally snagged your bottle.

  43. juicejones says:

    Many of my co-workers know of my frag obsession and will ask me what I am wearing. They, too, feel free enough to weigh in about what they like or don’t like about it, why they would never spend that kind of money on perfume, and they usually counter with come comment about eating gluten-free or staying away from sesame seeds? WHAT? How did we get there? I think this is some reverse snob factor, or I work with a bunch of knuckleheads. Yeah, let’s go with that.
    I am not with a curious group. I guess if I worked with people like the folks on NST not much work would get done. My favorite scent for the past year has been Patou 1000. It emboldens my femininity. What’s left of it.

    • Calypso says:

      1000 is absolutely gorgeous. I found a mini bottle of what I think must be some kind of vintage version in an antique store in Galveston and it’s divine–I’m hoarding it drop by drop.

      • Angela says:

        That’s a great score!

      • 50_Roses says:

        Would you mind telling me which antique store that was?

      • juicejones says:

        Another great scent, discontinued. It should be around for a while, but get it while you can. I like the edp, bit the older edt, in the taller bottle, packs a nice punch. I just spritzed some on. Now, out into the world!

        • Angela says:

          That’s great advice about the EdP.

    • Angela says:

      Hey, maybe you’re opening their minds to the beauty of fragrance!

      I, too, love 1000. It’s mysterious, knowing, and a little tough. A good one.

      • juicejones says:

        When I re-read my post I realized how hateful I sounded. They are good folks, we are just not like-minded.

        • Angela says:

          I don’t think you sound hateful at all. Maybe you simply feel the same frustration many of us feel.

  44. Calypso says:

    I do have a favorite although I don’t wear it that much and have probably hundreds of bottles and even more sample vials: it’s Bois de Paradis by Parfums Delrae. I can’t quite say what it is about it but when I put it on I simply swoon and think “why wear anything else ever?”–but then of course I do, and really love many many more. It really does depend on mood, weather, outfit, energy level, etc. I have a cleaning lady and she is a bit fascinated and a bit annoyed by all of my bottles and boxes or bowls full of decants. She has asked me about them and I’ve shared some with her, when she really likes something. One day she asked how I choose the perfume for the day and seemed baffled when I tried to explain, and then she asked if I could remember later in the day what I’d put on and I was totally shocked and my jaw dropped and I said “Of course!”–which I’m sure is true of all of you, too. She seemed to find that completely surprising and strange.

    • Angela says:

      That’s funny! And yet, sometimes I actually do forget what I put on that morning and have to smell myself to jog my memory. (Maybe I need to take some kind of vitamin pills for memory or something.)

    • Angela says:

      One more thing: DelRae is being discontinued, so you might want to snag some Bois de Paradis soon if you want it.

      • Calypso says:

        Yikes, the whole line? That’s awful news!! Or just this one fragrance? I just got an ad from them and nothing like that was mentioned.

        • Angela says:

          I’d heard that it was the whole line. But if you just got an ad from them, maybe I’m wrong! I’ll cross my fingers that I’m wrong, because I’m a big fan of Mythique.

          • mals86 says:

            I thought it was just that one major distributor (can’t remember which) would no longer carry the line, not that the line itself was going to disappear. But that’s all hearsay, in any case.

          • Angela says:

            I had it from a good source that DelRae might disappear–but who knows? Maybe the line was bought out, or maybe the owner changed her mind.

      • SuddenlyInexplicably says:

        What happened was that Barney’s stopped carrying the entire line and dumped it at very sale good prices. So there was a little frenzy in the online community. I don’t think this means the line is discontinued, however. You can buy directly from the web site, and I’m pretty sure the perfume group I’m part of would have said something. But if you want to be extra sure, why not email them?

  45. Ida says:

    Tanks, Merlin – I will definitely look out for that one. Yes, NST is a spiritual home, a comforter and inspiration – like any “favourite” perfume.

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you like it here!

  46. Emily says:

    Like a couple of other people on this thread, I express mild shock and dismay over the idea that I have to choose a favorite. This seems to amuse people, and those who aren’t that into perfume usually drop the subject. But if the questioner *is* into perfume, this response functions like a secret handshake, and more often than not we spend the next hour geeking out over stuff we love, hate, want to try, can’t possibly ever afford to buy, etc.

    • Angela says:

      That sounds familiar!

  47. LilleLu says:

    Oh, but I do have one favorite. I am learning to live without it and building up a collection of other favorites, but at heart I am a signature scent woman, and my signature is the discontinued Space NK Woman — my cello of scents, which melds into my skin and just feels comfortably like the me I really am.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I hope you find a secret stash of it somewhere! It must horrible to find a signature scent and then lose it.

      • LilleLu says:

        I actually have built up a secret stash, thanks to ebay and a tiny little help from Space Nks former pr man — who didn’t have a secret stash but at least one bottle. It will last for years if I dont use it everyday!

  48. donix says:

    One of the best answers for what’s your favourite perfume question is – those with “specific gravity”;-)
    It’s the answer that embrace all that I wanna find in the fragrance, can’t be just nice, can’t be just pretty, it has to be able to touch and pull the strings, it has to be sth you want more and more in a way that you can’t wait to put it on from the moment you get up in the morning. And let everybody know that your taste is sophisticated enough to choose it over safe and cheap smelling shampoo or shower gel fragrances. Life is too short to be wearing rubbish stuff, isn’t it?

    • Angela says:

      If you’re going to wear perfume, it might as well be perfume you swoon over!

  49. jbordeau says:

    I like to mention a category: “I like a nice chypre, but there are so many.” Then you have fuel for a conversation. And if, like me, you’re nuts about orientals, it’s also an education (since the uninitiated think you’re describing Asians rather than fragrance, and that you somehow missed the PC movement of the late 80s-early 90s). Isn’t it much more fertile ground to begin with generalities and then move to specifics?

    • Angela says:

      Ooh, now that’s a great response. (And true in my case!)

  50. Eroica says:

    When asked this question I want to say, “Ormonde Woman, Tilda Swinton Like This, Luctor et Emergo, M. Micallef Note Vanillee, Keiko Mecheri Peau de Peche” but instead I say, “Gucci Guilty” I often feel like a perfume snob when I mention my favs. If I were to actually meet someone who knew all about my favorites we might be soulmates.

    • Angela says:

      I guess you and I are soulmates!

  51. Nile Goddess says:

    My favorite fragrances … are not fragrances. I love the scent of my own clean skin after I’ve been on the beach and in the sun for a few minutes … and that presuming I’ve yet to wear sunscreen. I also love the scent after a day at the beach and several swims in the salty brine.

    Since those moments are rare, there are a few fragrances that come in second.

    The scent of the sea – any time of day and night

    The scent of an old forest on a golden autumn day – fallen leaves, moss and earth, with pine undertones.

    The wodden scent of the backstage of a theatre – old wood, face powder, tobacco, and probably a lot of other notes.

    Fragrance of the bottled kind comes in after natural scents that actually mean something to me. There are lots of fragrances I love but none I can call my favorite over all others. Yes, people insist, like Juliette Binoche in Chocolat, trying to guess Johnny Depp’s favorite chocolate. But I can only name the favorite of the day, the hour, or the particular mood I happen to be in.

    And I’ve yet to meet a person on whom No. 5 smells like heaven. :-P

    • Angela says:

      My gosh! This comment is practically a poem! Thank you.

  52. nozknoz says:

    I would probably join Veronika in choosing Vol de Nuit. If I still had older AG Heure Exquise with real sandalwood, I might choose that. Other contenders are BK Rose Oud, L’AP Timbuktu, HdP 1969 and one of the leathers – but it’s hard to choose between Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur, PG Cuir Venenum, L’AP Dzing! and Pd’E Cuir Ottoman. Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfumers Reserve is a stealth candidate. Wait, what about Eau Sauvage? It’s impossible! But I might say Vol de Nuit if asked.

    • Angela says:

      It’s so hard to choose! Any of those perfumes would be great.

  53. rodelinda says:

    I have 25 or so “favorites” (to name a few: Chinatown, Ormonde Woman, Sacrebleu, Theorema, Luctor et Emergo, Apres l’Ondee, Fifi Chachnil, Sweet Redemption) but Nuit de Noel parfum is what I’d pick if forced to choose just one.

    • Angela says:

      One of the beauties of Nuit de Noel (I think, at least) is that it’s so versatile. It’s pretty and lush without drawing a lot of attention to itself.

      • rodelinda says:

        That’s one of the reasons I love it, and I guess that’s also one of the reasons The Guide calls it boring.

        • Angela says:

          Well, phooey on that! I love it.

  54. Penz says:

    My favorite fragrance is whatever I am wearing that moment.

    • Angela says:

      Then you don’t suffer from “the grass is always greener” in the other perfume bottle syndrome. That’s good!

  55. Celestia says:

    My neighbour and I endlessly discuss the weeds and trees we’d like to see cut down in the ‘hood. One day he asked what I do for work. My reply confounded him to the nth degree. I work as a demo for a French perfume company, regularly contribute to a blog (this one!), and write for and edit a perfume company’s website. He asked, mystified, “What could you possibly have to say about perfume?” He had that look of what could be so interesting about a watery liquid that comes out of a spray bottle to be used for grooming? Well, ain’t that a loaded question?
    If people want to know what I like because they are interested in my personal tastes, okay, I can tell them. But if they want to know so that they can copy, I’d rather not reveal my faves because I want my cutomers to smell like what they love and works for them only.
    Since I’ve worked for two French companies, my favourite makes me cringe if I have to reveal it because it’s American: Jessica McClintock. I’ll never stop loving White Linen Breeze and lately I’ve developed a particular affection for Michael Kors Island. I think that Shalimar, No. 5, and Angel are great (not good) fragrances and I truly get why some people love them but they are not for me. There’s a difference between knowing that any perfume is wonderful and actually wanting to wear it.

    • Angela says:

      So many people really don’t understand all the hoopla about perfume. They probably have no idea what a strong role fragrance plays in their lives either.

      I completely agree that there are many fragrances I admire, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to wear them!

  56. Mary says:

    What I use depends on my “mood” and which clothes I am going to wear the next day. Lying in bed I suddenly think: tomorrow Chembur (Byredo) or Ormonde Jane woman bodylotion (devine and lasting all day) or whatever and I don’t often change it after waking up.

    • Angela says:

      You’re a good planner! It sounds like a nice way to anticipate the next day.

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