The Monday Mail ~ help Audria find a new perfume


Today we're helping Audria, who wants to find a new perfume to replace her current favorite, Prada L'Eau Ambrée. When she finished her last bottle, she was told it had been discontinued; she then bought some online but felt her new bottle "had no smell". Audria would love to find something else understated but not cheap-smelling. Her perfect perfume shouldn't be too heavy or cloying (she lives in Florida) and preferably won't smell "like everything else in a department store". She can spend up to $150. 

Audria is in her mid-40s. She loves beautiful designs, beautiful colors and smells, Asia, India, the Middle East, the desert, the jungle, orchids, trees and flowers. She says she loves all things exotic, but also tech and Apple products.

Audria likes woody, more unisex perfumes. Notes she likes include rose, woods, green, patchouli, sandalwood and incense. In the past, she has worn Cartier Declaration, but it is a little too masculine. 

Audria doesn't like sweet florals.

Fragrances Audria has tried include:

Prada Amber: the amber is too intense.

Prada Infusion d'Iris: she likes it, but a little too floral.

Kate Walsh Boyfriend: she liked the spiciness, but it smells a little cheap.

Chanel Coco Noir: interesting but not her.

Jean Paul Gaultier Classique: likewise interesting but not her.

What say you?

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Note: top image [cropped & tripled] is courtesy of Victoria at Bois de Jasmin.

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  1. jirish says:

    I’m thinking Audria might like Dzongkha. Understated woody incense, not too floral.

    • Janice says:

      I second this one, and also wonder if L’Artisan’s Timbuktu might be worth a try.

  2. bowbat says:

    Two that quickly came to mind are L’Artisan’s Mechant Loup and Santal Majuscule by Serge Lutens. Unisex, woody, spicy, unique.

  3. Sapphire says:

    Diptyque Eau Duelle sounds perfect for you. I like the Edp just a little better, but the edt is very similar. For a little more spice, original Bvlgari Omnia (easy to find at online discounters). Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee is very close to Eau Duelle, but I think may have more vetiver, which isn’t quite right for me, but lots of others love it.

    • Squirrely says:

      I second Vanille Insensee – I love it, and I generally really dislike vanilla notes. Complex and skews unisex.

      My other immediate thought was Parfum de Nicolai Patchouli Intense. I’ve almost drained my large sample and I think it will be my next FB.

  4. songeuse says:

    Dzongkha by L’Artisan Parfumeur +1

    Dune by Dior has prominent woody notes and some amber (but not too much IMHO), and I find it to be a very distinctive fragrance.

    Voyage d’Hermès by Hermès is a good one to try if you want something similar to Déclaration but more unisex. They have definite similarities and are both composed by Jean-Claude Ellena. I’ve tried them both, and to my nose Voyage d’Hermès is firmly unisex while Déclaration veers masculine.

    • songeuse says:

      Oh, I just thought of another! Kyoto by Comme des Garçons is a lovely zen sort of fragrance with incense and woods that is not too heavy.

  5. FragrantWitch says:

    I third the Dzongkha recommendation. I’d also throw Serge Lutens Chêne in the hat as well. Lovely woody scent that I think would do well in Florida heat. Maybe also Kerosene’s ‘Whips & Roses’ which doesn’t smell at all like it sounds, rather it smells of the bayou in the evening, wearing your date’s leather jacket. Gorgeous.

  6. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    Perfumes Audria should try:

    Marni Marni
    Marni Rose
    Estee Lauder Sensuous
    Calvin Klein Euphoria
    Hermes Eau des Merveilles
    Hermes Kelly Caleche

  7. egabbert says:

    I am wearing Costes today and I think it would be a good fit — a clean, unisex woody scent with light spicy notes.

    Also seconding Marni for spicy woody rose.

  8. C.H. says:

    Lots of great recs here; I’ll second especially Mechant Loup, Vanille Insensée, Marni, Voyage, Eau des Merveilles, Eau Duelle.

    For my part, I’ll add Hermes Mandarine Ambrée, Atelier Ambre Nue, Grand Neroli and maybe Bois Blonds (actually it could be worth ordering the sample pack Atelier offers), and Tauer L’Air du désert marocain (Boyfriend sometimes strikes me as smelling like a mass-market version of L’Air du désert–which, as these things go, is not a bad accomplishment on Walsh’s part!)

    • AnnieA says:

      Hermes in general might be a good bet.

  9. Abyss says:

    Audria might like the scent that I’m wearing today – Diptyque Tam Dao. It’s a light, woody, slightly creamy and pretty unisex scent featuring rosewood, sandalwood, and cedar among other things. Supposedly inspired by the founder’s memories of exotic jungles of South East Asia.
    In the similar vein, Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is great.
    And agreeing with the recommendations for Marni.

  10. Lucy says:

    Well, it seems everyone else was reading my mind. I’ll give my recommendations anyway, consider them additional votes!

    My first thought was Calvin Klein Euphoria. It’s a little tart, with orchid and vanilla. It may be too much in Florida heat and humidity though. They’ve released several flankers though. I’m not familiar with any, but you may want to play around and see if any work.

    Atelier Colognes Vanilla Insensee – The tartness of the lime and overall light feel will work well in Florida. Plus, I think Sephora still has a mini set of this and Orange Sanguine for $18. It’s a steal for these two and the size is generous enough to really give it a try.

    Hermes Eau de Marveilles – Amber, but not too sweet. Very oceany/salty. Also try Dior Dune. They are different, but you’ll notice similarities. I feel the need to own both even though they fall into the same category in my collection.

    Marni – not my cup of tea, but has a light spiciness that you may enjoy.

    L’Artisan Parfumeur Havana Vanille (or whatever they’re calling it these days) – similar to Vanilla Insensee, but you may prefer one over the other. I happen to own VI because it lasts longer but YMMV. Also, they have an amber that is nice, L’eau d’Ambre I think? I remember it being really sweet though. It worked for my Chicago winter, but I really can’t say if it will work where you live. If you’re getting samples, you might want to throw one of these in. (Just make sure you don’t try their Amber Extreme.)

    Prada Candy L’Eau – also not my cup of tea (because I loved the original), but might be worth trying. I thought the original smelled like someone took Prada Amber and Infusion d’Iris and mixed them together. (Not precisely, but I picked up similarities to both.). The L’eau is a lightened, cleaned up version. Being made by Prada it will possibly have the same production technique, base, water, etc. that will be reminiscent of your beloved L’eau Ambrèe.

    Good luck!

  11. chandler_b says:

    I live just an hour north of Florida so I definitely understand considering heat and humidity when it comes to fragrance. Definitely try:
    Prada Amber Pour Homme since she’s didn’t care for the original
    Dior Eau Sauvage or Dune
    Guerlain Vetiver or Prada Infusion D’Vetiver
    Any of the Hermes jardins!

  12. AnnieA says:

    No idea whether it would work in Florida, but ELdO’s Nombril Immense is a unisex, at-one-with-the-universe patchouli.

  13. morgana says:

    Penhaligon’s Elixir (woods, spices and some rose).

    Lesnez Let me Play the Lion (another unique take on woods and spices + the desert).

    For rose and patchouli, L’Artisan Voleur de Roses, and for rose, spices and woods Eau d’Italie’s Paestum Rose.

    I also second Dzongkha, Tam Dao and Comme des Garcons Incense Series.

  14. happy888cat says:

    I would suggest Vaara by Penhaligons.
    Taking into account that she likes India, Exotic colours and culture, this Rose and Sandalwood blend with a light veil of oriental spices may be a good choice to try!

    • AnnieA says:

      Maybe also try Bollywood or Bust from Smell Bent: “a playful twist on a traditional recipe. An intoxicating blend of red rose absolute, robust sandalwood and rich, savory spices. Suited for both gents and ladies” (Probably lots cheaper than Penhaligons)

  15. poodle says:

    I agree with the Tam Dao suggestions. Also I’d like to suggest 10 Corso Como. The scent is a very pretty woody scent but not too masculine. It also comes in a variety of bath and body products.

  16. sweetgrass says:

    I second the Vaara recommendation. Elixir is a good one too. And while we’re on Penhaligon’s, Iris Prima might also be worth a try.

  17. yukiej says:

    I will add my vote (s?) for Eau des Merveilles, 10 Corso Como, and Kelly Caleche. I would also add L’Artisan Bois Farine for an interesting but not too heavy woody perfume.

  18. Marjorie Rose says:

    Unisex woods makes me think L’Occitane’s Eau des Baux. Not precisely spicy, but it is warm, woody, and sweet without being especially overpowering or feminine. And darned affordable!

  19. Omega says:

    Evening Edged in Gold, Ineke..the design on the box and bottle are truly lovely as well.
    Tuscany Per Donna, Estee Lauder, for some nice sandalwood
    Samsara Guerlain, same thing
    Dune+1 another sandalwood to sniff
    Dolce Vita, Dior
    Ambra Di Luna Ramon Monegal

  20. CM says:

    I’m a fan of Prada L’eau Ambre as well – not sure if I have reformulated bottle or not. Here’s a couple of my favorites that may be your thing:
    10 Corso Como (Sandlewood)
    L’ARtisan SAffran Troublant
    L’ARtisan Piment Brulant (the red one)
    L’Artisan L’Ete en Douce
    Mona di Orio Ambre

    • CM says:

      You might also want to try the Escentric Molecules line. I liked Escentric 01. Sticks like glue, though. Seconding (or thirding) the Costes line, esp. Costes II

  21. Woodgirl says:

    Adding my vote for Dzongka, EL Sensuous, 10 Corso Como, L’Occitane Eau des Baux, Prada Candy, CdG Incense Series, and Smell Bent Bollywood or Bust. I live in Florida (west central) and will add Guerlain Vol de Nuit, any of Laurie’s “woods” at Sonoma Scent Studio, Barbara Bui Le Parfum, Chanel Bois des Iles, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, and Aromatics Elixir.

  22. helenviolette says:

    I will second Let me Play the Lion and add Etat libre d’orange Afternoon of a Faun.

  23. maggiecat says:

    Seconding Costes (and Costes II), adding Dior Escale a Pondichery and Chanel Bois des Iles.

  24. Michael says:

    How about Le Labo Rose 31? Seems to fit nicely within the list of notes you like.

  25. puhfume says:

    Maybe Coromandel? Might be a bit heavy but with a sparing application, it could work magic.

  26. Cybele says:

    Bottega Veneta Eau Legere is nice and really subtle
    try Bulgari Eau Parfumee au The Blanc and maybe also Omnia Crystalline
    For the ambergris sensation: Hermes Eau (not elixir) de Merveille or the Eau Claire version
    Hermessence Santal Massoia for soft woods

    • Cybele says:

      And you must try this: Bois d’Iris by Van Cleef&Arpels

  27. Lucy says:

    Just in case you’re still checking for new posts… currently has fragrances and L’eau Ambrèe is one of them. They are a designer clothing flash sale site, so the sale is only on for about 21 hours (approximately 9 am eastern tomorrow) if you want to give it another try. The 1.7 oz. bottle is $69.99. I can’t speak about the formula nor age of the bottle, but the company has a good reputation and I’ve had great luck with them. I sincerely doubt (99.9% sure) you would receive a fake.

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