The Monday Mail ~ help Aria find her wedding perfume


Today we're helping Aria, who wants to find her perfect wedding fragrance. She wants something she loves but that she hasn't worn regularly — in the future, she'd like to wear it only on special occasions. Keep in mind that she's getting married in the heart of summer, in California, out of doors. It's going to be hot. She can spend up to $200, but is ok with buying a decant of something more expensive.

Aria is in her mid-20s, and says she is currently making that somewhat odd transition from carefree "girl" to "professional" woman: she says she's still a kid at heart and doesn't entirely think of herself as a grown woman.

Aria likes notes of rose, vanilla, faint fig/fig leaf (the milky-creamy type), pale ambers, citrus and tea. Her fragrances tend toward labels like "fresh" "green" and "fresh-spicy". Her fiance has trouble smelling rose scents unless she's doused in them, but he can smell foodie scents just fine (cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla), and likes magnolia flowers and citrus. She says she loves the Hermès brand and is planning to do some smelling at one of their boutiques — she's particularly interested in the Hermessences. At the moment, she wears Hermès Jardin en Mediterranee, Balenciaga Rosabotanica and Stella McCartney Stella.

Aria dislikes most white florals, patchouli, strong sandalwood, vetiver, and fragrances that are too sharp-sugary.

Here are some of the fragrances she has tried:

Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay: A touch too masculine and the sillage was somehow HUGE on her...she'd prefer a scent that was closer to the skin.

Jo Malone Nectarine Blossom & Honey: she wanted to love it, but it turned into a sugar monster and gave her the mother of all headaches.

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia: Unfortunate scent association with another family member. Also the white florals were too heavy.

Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede: She feels like it has too much sillage for a hot summer day, and is a bit too much like an office scent.

Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare: It went soapy in under 15 minutes.

Creed Aqua Fiorentina: Too sharp and gave her a headache.

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre: No longevity.

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles: too much patchouli.

Gucci Guilty Black: too sugary.

Bond no. 9 Union Square: she didn't like it. Maybe it was too floral?

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie: she felt it had a strange way of making her smell like baby. Also, too much sillage.

Lancome La Vie est Belle: Too sweet-sharp.

What say you?

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  1. Omega says:

    I would say to sample the Parfums de Rosine line.

    • solanace says:

      Ditto. Specially Un Zest de Rose, Ecume de Rose and Rose Kashmir. The sampler set from their website is very fairly priced and you should have loads of fun with it!

    • egabbert says:

      Good call, Solanace! I’d suggest Rose Praline from that line, lovely candied vanilla but not too heavy or sweet.

  2. Bee says:

    What about some iris scents, maybe starting with the Pradas? These could be great “transitional” scents. Otherwise: Ninfeo mio (A. Goutal), or maybe the new “magnolia grandiflora” scents. I’ve tried the “Sandrine” one, it was a bit too acquatic (melon-ish) for my taste, but could fit your brief (you can find decants online). For a splurge: Antonia (Puredistance)

    • Aria says:

      Sandrine is definitely on my list! I’ve never heard of the Puredistance line before but I’ll definitely check them out, thanks! And thankfully Prada scents aren’t too difficult to find or check out. I’ve been meaning to try Ninfeo Mio for a while, and this is a good excuse ^^

  3. austenfan says:

    For a great Rose-Vanilla nothing beats Tocade by Rochas. Discontinued, I think but still widely available and cheap at that.

    • Aria says:

      Ooh! I just looked it up and it’s not only very affordable, but the bottle is incredibly cute!

  4. floragal says:

    The Hermes Hermessence Vanille Galante would be a wonderful choice. It’s a floral vanilla and just divine (IMO). It’s soft and not a heavy silage scent, but with a few good sprays it would work for a wedding day.

    • Aria says:

      That’s definitely on my to-try list! I’ve heard great things about it from plenty of people.

      • justineantonia says:

        A sales lady at Hermes told me recently that Vanille Galante was her wedding scent, and I just picked up a sample for my dear friend who is on the hunt for her own. I really recommend it – very soft and gently warm.

  5. acac says:

    Congrats on the wedding!

    What about Diptyque Philosykos (light fig) and Frederic Malle’s l’Eau d’Hiver (heliotrope and citrus with a milky feel, an Ellena creation since you like Hermes)? I second the Pradas suggestion too – very nice frags and most of them seem to hug the skin and have intimate sillage. l’Artisan Parfumeur The pour un Ete is a light citrus/jasmin tea that’s refreshing enough for the summer.

    • Aria says:

      I haven’t branched out in to the Frederic Malle line, but I do love most of Ellena’s creations so I’ll have to give l’Eau d’Hiver a try. Besides, the name sounds so crisp and wonderful “water of winter”? And The pour un Ete sounds delicious.

      • Omega says:

        Here are some tea scents worth trying in general:

        Zeste de Rose, Parfums de Rosine
        Bamboo Harmony, Kilian
        Au The Rouge, Bvlgari
        Escale a Pondichery, Dior

  6. chrisskins says:

    Not rose, but a beautiful, elegant fragrance to try is Guerlain – Plus Que Jamais.

    • Rappleyea says:

      I’m pretty sure this has been discontinued, but the newer Guerlain Voyages Moscow is pretty much the same scent.

  7. Tiara says:

    The first two to come to mind were Marni and Bombay Bling. I find Marni to be wearable/enjoyable no matter what the weather may be. Robin reviewed it here:

    Bombay Bling was quite the surprise. I had dabbed it and enjoyed it but it wasn’t until I sprayed that I fell in love. I’m terrible at figuring out specific notes so can’t tell you what I’m getting but it’s quite pretty.

  8. trixiesweet says:

    You might like L’Ombre dans l’Eau by Diptyque. It’s green and rosy (EdT greener, EdP rosier). Lovely for an outdoor summer wedding! It is discreet enough for office wear, being Diptyque.

  9. caffeinequeen says:

    I think L’Artisan’s Jour de Fete would be a lovely choice!

  10. sweetgrass says:

    I second Vanille Galante, but Osmanthe Yunnan is another one of the Hermessences that might also be worth checking out for you.

    Also, while you’re at it with Prada, check out L’Eau Ambree. Prada should be pretty easy to find of you have a Sephora or Macy’s anywhere nearby.

    • Aria says:

      Definitely going to Sephora to get my fix of all these wonderful suggestions. I’ve never really tried anything from Prada, but this seems like a good time to start! Osmanthe Yunnan is definitely on the try list (same with VG) because they sound amazing and I’m a JCE fangirl…

  11. sweetgrass says:

    Just thought of a couple more: Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose and Iris Poudre.

  12. Squirrely says:

    Congratulations on the wedding!

    Maison Francis Kurkdjian Lumiere Noire pour Femme is great, especially for those of us who might need a scent to help us feel more “officially grown up”. It’s a sexy, spicy rose. There is patch in there, but I swear it’s not offensive!

    I also like Ineke’s Evening Edged in Gold, sweet, but not cloying, and the osmanthus keeps in interesting.

    And if you’re really sensitive to sillage, the Atelier Cologne line might be good for you (many complain about their lack of sillage, others just use the phrase “close to the skin”…)

    • Aria says:

      Thanks for the wedding wishes! Your suggestions sound divine!

  13. adanst says:

    Hi Aria and congratulations!
    For citrus with a hint of rose you could try Bigarade Concentree, in the FM line, also an Ellena creation. Or how about Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien?
    For fig you might like L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier (edt) or Premier Figuier Extreme (edp).
    A very nice rose is Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne or perhaps Une Rose Chypree by Tauer.
    Good luck and keep us posted!

    • bowbat says:

      Seconding the L’Artisan Premier Figuier suggestion. And also perhaps try their Safran Troublant? It’s a creamy vanilla rose that’s so soft and smooth.

      Good luck, and best wishes for your wedding!

    • Aria says:

      There are so many more rose scents that I’ve never tried! Also I apparently need to get on the FM train because so many people seem to recommend it! Thanks so much adanst and bowbat! Your suggestions sound amazing!

  14. Sapphire says:

    For Hermessences, I would actually recommend Santal Massoia, even though you don’t like sandalwood that much. To me, it’s really more of a fig perfume (check the Non-Blonde’s review. Would put in a link, but I am clueless at that ). You might like Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee, though it does have some vetiver. I prefer Diptyque Eau Duelle. You could also look for the original Omnia in the brown bottle, which is a dry, chai spice type fragrance. Also, Jo Malone Blue Agave and Cacao has a nice chocolate note, then becomes a soft floral. Good luck!

    • Aria says:

      Thanks for all your recommendations! I do like Jo Malone Blue Agave and Cacao (tried a sample of it recently) but it had the hilarious side effect of leaving me with a crazy chocolate craving. Not that that’s a bad thing…mmm…chocolate…

  15. Lise says:

    I’d like to recommend Au Lac by Eau d’Italie. A perfect summer wedding scent with a romantic back story. It has rose and a little fig, water lily, bitter orange. i find it very elegant and very beautiful.

    • JolieFleurs says:

      Oh, I had forgotten about that one; it does sound perfect for her! And great for an outdoor wedding in the heat of summer.

    • Aria says:

      Wow that sounds amazing! It does sound perfect for the wedding. I will definitely be sticking that on the try list, thanks!

      • Lise says:

        Absolutely worth trying. Best wishes for your summer wedding!

      • Lise says:

        Sees like we have some of the same favourite notes, and Au Lac is such a gem to me :-)

        • Aria says:

          I do like finding people who like similar perfumes as my former roommate (we moved away after living together for 5 years) didn’t really like most florals or exotic perfumes and was more of a mild citrus girl. I felt like I was asphyxiating her with my scent choices at times!

          • Lise says:

            Haha, sounds familiar to what I some times feel like doing to my near and dear ones :-) Au Lac is not offensive though.

  16. Safran says:

    How about Rose Splendide by Annick Goutal. It starts off very green and turns into a soft vanilla-rose. Or Rose d’Eté by Parfums de Rosine, it’s the brightest and happiest rose I could think of.
    Good luck!

    • Aria says:

      I love that you described it as a happy rose. It makes me want to try it more, like I’m subconsciously superstitious and hoping that if I like it and wear it on my wedding day I’ll have a happy wedding!

      • solanace says:

        Seconding Rose Splendide. Such good quality!

  17. JolieFleurs says:

    I was thinking Parfums Delrae might be a good house to explore… Bois de Paradise is a heavenly fig ( but perhaps a bit heavy for a summer wedding in CA) Coup de foudre is a fresh lemony rose with magnolia, Eau Illuminee is fresh and green and Mythique is a gorgeous iris ( I agree with Bee about exploring iris)

    Also, L’Infante by Divine has none of the notes you mention, but I have twice given it as a wedding shower gift and both brides loved it and chose to wear it for their weddings.

    Finally, it’s not a fancy perfume, but I wear the heck out of it in the summertime and it’s by JCE; Bvlgari Au The Vert. At the very least, bring it along for the honeymoon if you’re going somewhere warm! It’s very refreshing.

    • JolieFleurs says:

      Oh and I wish you every happiness in your new life!

    • Aria says:

      I think Coup de Foudre sounds heavenly (even the name is very romantic!) and the others from that line are lovely sounding as well. And while L’Infante doesn’t have any of my favorite notes, the overall aura and description do sound like something I would enjoy.

    • Lise says:

      I second the DelRaes, good stuff!

  18. C.H. says:

    So many good suggestions already so I’ll just try to catch a few more that haven’t been mentioned yet: Fico di Amalfi (from Acqua di Parma) is a juicy citrus-fig that falls, at least for me, in a happy medium between the Philosykos and Premier Figuier in terms of how sweet it runs; Intelligence & Fantasy from A Beautiful Mind is a pretty, summerweight magnolia; and finally I think Ambre Nu and Trefle Pur from the Atelier collection could be worth trying in addition to what’s already mentioned (maybe worth a sample set, if you don’t have easy access to testers. Double-check before you order but I think it even comes with a rebate, if you decide to order a bottle.)

  19. Cybele says:

    I think great for you would be
    Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan and Rose Ikebana
    Ormond Jayne Frangipani (not heady but citrusy-green and pretty)
    Aqua di Parma Fico di Amalfi and Magnolia Nobile
    Lumiere Blanche by Olfactive Studio

    • Aria says:

      I actually already have a sample of Rose Ikebana and it’s getting to be a favorite. If I don’t find something I like better, it might be my default wedding scent (though it appears that with all the choices I’ve been given today, I’ll find something that fits the wedding mood just right). All your suggestions have actually already made my to-try list, so you’re spot on with scents I’d probably like! XD

      • Cybele says:

        If you like Rose Ikebana so much you should also try
        Comme des Garcons Rose (Red Series) and Yves Saint Laurant In Love Again!

  20. KatieP says:

    Congratulations on your upcoming marriage!

    I have many of the same reactions to the Jo Malone fragrances you sampled. On your trip to Hermes, be sure to try Jour d’Hermes, another JCE creation. I am in love, love love with it – after draining two samples, I bought a FB for myself for my birthday. It also comes in a 30 ml refillable bottle. I am fortunate to hold perfume a long time – I applied it about 12 hours ago on my way out the door to work, and I can still smell it on my wrists at home.

    Osmanthe Yunnan is beautiful – and it is gone within 4 hours on me.

    • Aria says:

      Should longevity be an issue, well, I’ll just have a travel spray (self decanted or the entire 15mL bottle if need be) to spritz as needed. I’m sad when a fragrance I like disappears so quickly, but I can afford to spray often on my wedding day, right? :)

  21. MikasMinion says:

    I see someone already beat me to Ineke’s Evening Edged in Gold but I highly recommend her sampler because most of her scents are gorgeous. Actually, you might try her floral curiosities line too because Poet’s Jasmine is divine and not over the top white floral at all and you might like Briar Rose. I had also thought of Bvlgari Au The Vert or by Killian Love and Tears for a nice green Jasmine. Congratulations!

  22. helenviolette says:

    My recs: Hermes Rose Ikebana, Guerlain Rose Barbare, Malle lipstick rose and L’artisan Drole de rose (very similar to lipstick rose but a bit bubblier).

    Some wild cards: SL Miel de Bois and SSS Champagne de bois and SL Un Lys (it is a white floral but much tempered by vanilla).

    Congrats to you and your love- enjoy this special time!

  23. Rappleyea says:

    I’m a little late, and I always seem to be recommending Sonoma Scent Studio scents, but Laurie Erickson (the resident perfumer) does beautiful rose scents (among others). She’s an indie Ca. perfume company. Excellent quality and great prices!

    Have a beautiful day!

  24. rziest says:

    If you’re willing to try things outside the niche/exclusives we usually go for here, Adrienne Vittadini by Adrienne Vittadini would have you covered for pale amber, vanilla, and citrus. It’s a faintly warm fragrance overall, but there’s enough fizziness from the orange to make it suitable for summer wear, I think. I couldn’t find it anywhere for years, but now it’s all over the bargain bins for some reason.

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