Lazy weekend poll ~ difficult notes

grapefruit

Tell us what fragrance note(s) you find difficult to wear.

What does it smell like to you, and have you ever found a perfume that features that note but works for you?

Note: top image is το yκρέιπ-φρουτ : grapefruit by dullhunk at flickr; some rights reserved.

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

298 Comments

Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This.

  1. lucasai says:

    My most difficult notes are patchouli and olibanum (frankincense). The first one smells to me like earthy rotten leaves while the latter one gives me a scent of salty stones. I have not yet met a perfume with one of these notes that would be a perfect fit for me.

    I also used to have issues with vetiver. I still have issues with many vetivers but I grew to like the note when it’s more woody than rooty.

    Scent of the day in the morning was Carner Barcelona, after cycling and shower I changed for Memo Jannat.

    I’m alsu super excited about the bottle of Vero Profumo Rozy I just won!

    • Jillie says:

      Congratulations on your lovely win, Lucas!

    • poodle says:

      Lucky you! I’m dying to try that one.

      • lucasai says:

        It doesn’t happen often when I win something. And definitely I have never won a bottle of perfume.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Wow, congratulations, Lucas! What a score!

    • jirish says:

      Congratulations! I’m really looking forward to trying that one, as I love all of Vero’s perfumes.

    • kindcrow says:

      Congratulations on the Rozy! Which one is it — EDP, Extrait, or Voile d’Extrait?

  2. scentfromabove says:

    Good Morning NST family. I was just sampling one of the fragrances I received in the “freebie” meet a few weeks ago. The gracious giver of fragrances gave me three different decants of L’Artisan fragrances. I can’t get enough of the Amour Nocturne and the Deliria; they are fabulous. The third one, which I thought would be my favorite, did not agree with my body chemistry. It was L’Artisan Skin On Skin. In the bottle, it smelled so clean and crisp. After about 5 minutes on my skin, it smelled like something “had an accident on my arm”. :(
    I don’t know what note didn’t agree with me (iris, saffron, or whiskey) or if it was the combo of all of them, but it just didn’t work on me.
    I’m curious how others felt it smelled on them.

    • Robin says:

      Betcha it’s the iris!

      • scentfromabove says:

        You are probably right. I don’t ever recall wearing a fragrance with iris in it or as the dominant note. I’ve noticed that a lot of people who have responded to this thread and mentioned iris either really liked it or they hated it.

  3. Marjorie Rose says:

    I find smoke, or smoked tobacco, etc., notes difficult. I’m thinking of L’Artisan’s Tea For Two, which 8 times out of 10 has so much smoke, I feel like I smell like I smoke clove cigarettes! But then 20% of the time, it’s all lovely tea and spices with just a touch of smoke to make it deep and interesting. Wish I knew how to predict which one I’d get, because I’d love to wear it more often!

    And on a related, if somewhat OT note, yesterday was “50′s Day” at school, so I wore a sort of vintage top, bright red lipstick, and Tea For Two–for the smoke! :)

    • hajusuuri says:

      MR, have you tried Diptyque Volutes EDT and EDP or Mona di Orio Violette Fumee? These are all very wearable (to me) tobacco perfumes.

      Oh, and you ROCKED the 50′s Day with your outfit, make-up and puhFUME!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Ha! Thanks, hajusuuri! I felt pretty cute, but the kids were so surprised by the lipstick, it became a topic of conversation in EVERY period! :)

        I haven’t tried either of those scents–when I find the time/energy to explore new stuff again, I will put them on the list. Thanks!

        • Julia says:

          I love that! Two of my godchildren (5&8) came over last week for some girly fun. They both loved my vintage-style tube of Revlon Fire and Ice and the older one surprised me by declaring Tabu to be her very favorite perfume out of all the things we tried.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            I wear make-up to work every day, but I try to just give off the going-to-work-being-professional-ish vibe most of the time. The lipstick really seemed to bring my make-up into the forefront of the kids’ awareness! It was pretty funny.

            Good times playing with your beauty stuff. I remember a friend’s mom, who was an Avon distributer, having those little sample lipsticks in a big bag, and she’d let us go through them and try them all on. It was big fun!

            As for Tabu, I bought a newer bottle second hand a month or so back, and I quite like it! And I don’t get any of the trashy aspects others have mentioned. :)

          • mals86 says:

            Tabu! I don’t like it at alllll, but I am totally stoked at the idea of a little girl loving it.

          • Julia says:

            I LOVED those little Avon lipsticks! In fact, the girl’s mother and I were just talking about those. My great-grandmother used to always have some in her car.

      • Jonette says:

        Marjorie Rose, I love to hear stories of you getting dressed up because you always seem to be involved in such fun events! Okay, this time it’s at school, but I seem to recall some kind of annual costume event… A 50′s Day is a great theme!

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Yes. I have some silly friends who throw a great costume party every year! And I admit, I like it when the schools I work for have a “Spirit Week” or some similar excuse to wear goofy clothes. :) For pajama day, the day before 50′s day, I *nearly* wore my wonderfully horrible pink satin princess-style nightgown, but when I heard there would be a fire drill, I decided I’d better keep it on the hanger. Too bad for the kiddos! :D

          • Jonette says:

            Pajama Day! Who thinks up these things? Hilarious! Wish I’d attended a school like that!

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Pajama Day isn’t universal?! That’s a shame. Now that I think about it for a moment, I wonder if this is one of those born-of-necessity events–it’s a way to celebrate with kids that doesn’t cost a dime. Class parties and school dances cost time and money. Giving kids permission to wear PJs requires neither. And I’m sure the informal nature of American culture doesn’t hurt! So what sorts of celebrations *did* you get in school?

          • Jonette says:

            I grew up in the US and can’t recall any school celebrations. Times have changed for the better! My children went through the Dutch public school system and they had many fun times at school, but I can’t offhand remember special theme days.

    • AnnS says:

      I didn’t enjoy tea for two…and there is another frag with “cigarettes” in the title, that I couldn’t wear either. I also have troubles with the campfire note if it is too strong. I think the smokiest I ever got was Amouage Memoir b/c it’s so subtle.

      • Julia says:

        ELdO Jasmine et Cigarette? I can’t deal with the jasmine and I don’t care for the smoked cigarette aspect, either. I like smoky but I prefer a smoky wood as to the cigarette I like a rich tobacco and pipe smoke.

        • sweetgrass says:

          I wanted to like Jasmin et Cigarette. I like both jasmine and tobacco, but this was a little too true to its name. When I wore it, I kept getting a whiff of it and thinking, “Who’s smoking? Oh wait…”

          • melissa says:

            How funny, I felt so the opposite — that ELDO promised me drama and gave me apricot jam.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Yes, I suppose there’s some smoke in Memoir, but as it’s more incense-smoke rather than tobacco-smoke, it doesn’t bother me at all. And it’s sweetened up with all that boozy fruit!

    • CM says:

      I am with you on the smoke/tobacco notes! At first it’s ok, but after about 20 minutes, I smell like an old ashtray. My parents smoked a lot when I was growing up (I never did) but smoky notes bring out that scent memory as well. I’ve only found a couple of scents with smoky notes that I can wear – chypre palatin and MFK pour le Siur (dabbed). Both smell masculine to me… more so than I usually wear, but I do like them!

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        I’m sure part of my dislike/problem is the strength of scent memories, too. It is far from glamorous or pleasant to connote cigarettes, etc., as far as I’m concerned!

  4. Jillie says:

    Like Lucas, I have a problem with vetiver: there are some I adore, like Crabtreee & Evelyn’s sadly discontinued version, but others I loathe – they are the ones that I think smell urinous. Odd that a note can be so very varied in different formulations and in my experience it doesn’t matter whether it’s the root or the grass.

    But the one I really hate is CUMIN! It always smells like sweat to me, and I don’t want people to think I don’t bathe!

    • hajusuuri says:

      Jillie, I am with you on the cumin – body odor – yuck!

      • Jillie says:

        And yet I don’t mind eating it in food ……

        • hajusuuri says:

          I actually don’t like it in food either but I heard it has some good health benefits

        • Jonette says:

          I am starting to develop a bit of respect for cumin, such as in Amouage Jubilation 25 and FM Portrait of a Lady, but usually I can’t stand it. I’m not crazy about it in food, either.

    • egabbert says:

      Cumin is really difficult for me too. I like a touch of it sometimes (I get a bit of cumin from Angel, and a lot of it in the garden of stars versions) but too much and yeah, it just smells like unblended sweat.

      Love it in food, though. One of the few spices I have to buy multiple times per year.

    • AnnS says:

      Sometimes vetiver can get a bit like swamp water. It took me a long time to cope with that and I’d often avoid vetivers. I can wear Cristalle edp, but not the edt which has a bit of that green funk. Now I like a crisp vetiver, but there are plenty that are just too much for me, esp. Vetiver pour Elle and Vetiver Extreme. I do like Sycamore and AG’s Vetiver though, I think b/c it has so may herbs in there. I think I came to appreciate vetiver in certain doses about the same time I was able to cope with galbanum, and now I love it.

    • AnnS says:

      Cumin is a non-starter for me. God knows I love it in food, but in fragrances it always smells like the most offensive BO I can imagine. It always puts me off. The only frag with cumin I can stand is Le Labo Rose 31, but I can only wear that on my wrists in very small dabs, nowhere near my face or in any kind of big spray.

    • Undina says:

      I’m with you (and others) on cumin. In most cases it smells just plain awful on my skin. I can take it in almost non-existent doses.

    • AnnieA says:

      I haaaaate cumin in perfume! PU to BO. This might be wandering off into TMI territory, but: salty sweat is rather nice.

    • nozknoz says:

      The only perfume with very much cumin that I like is L’AP Al Oudh. There, it blends into the overall spicy piquancy of that perfume in a way that works, to my nose. Cumin needs other equally strong notes that pull it away from its BO and Mexican food associations.

      I also like Amouage Jubilation 25, but only when the weather or application is right so that I don’t really notice the cumin.

  5. Mitzi says:

    Never found an actual note that does not agree with me, but found two perfumes: Ombre Mercure and new Panthere. I checked an double checked the notes several times, and nothing seems offensive, but Ombre Mercure makes me smell like I just crawled out of some brothel, and not too fancy one, and new Panthere simply and unmistakably smelled well yes of an accident. And both could not be scrubbed off!

  6. cologneluvr says:

    One note that comes to mind is: GRAPEFRUIT
    This note can have a dried-urine smell, acrid and sour.

    A fragrance that has this note as a predominant is:
    JO MALONE GRAPEFRUIT

    I do kinda like this one and it is nice when wearing.

    • flannery says:

      To all grapefruit note haters, don’t pass by Carner Barcelona’s D600 just because it is listed as a top note, it is one gorgeous frag and I smell zero grapefruit in it.

  7. leechiyong says:

    Jasmine is next to impossible for me to pull off. A fragrance will smell great in the bottle, but once worn by me, I think I smell as though I haven’t showered in days. I finally looked at all the fragrances that did this and realized the common note was jasmine.

    The only exceptions to this are Aftelier’s fragrances.

    • flannery says:

      You might find you like Byredo’s new Flowerhead. I have a similar jasmine smelling like nail polish remover aversion to most jasmine predominant fumes but in Flowerhead there is none of that just a great symphony of floral notes with just the right amount of green added.

      • leechiyong says:

        Hmm, I’ll have to see. I wanted to check out La Tulipe as well, I’m a sucker for tulips.

      • anngd says:

        Flannery, I have been on the fence about buying Flowerhead – no samples available but the notes sound good, and I don’t have (with the exception of vintage Diorissimo) a white floral that doesn’t get screechy or chemical on my skin. What notes pop for you? Is it worth the investment?

  8. melissa says:

    Good morning, all! I struggle with almond, including mimosa and heliotrope — I just think they smell like poison. My notes for the beloved l’Artisan Mimosas pour Moi just say ‘poison flowers.’ I don’t know that I have ever smelled an almondy poison so no idea where the association comes from. (I feel similarly about the anise/licorice family.)

    I have been able to wear some gourmand almonds without the poison reaction, Burberry Brit for example, but I haven’t yet smelled one that wasn’t just a bit too sweet and boring.

    • leechiyong says:

      I do wonder from where certain scent connotations come, especially those with no actual item/memory associated.

    • Ari says:

      Actually, your instincts are right on- cyanide is famously almond-scented!

      • melissa says:

        I’ve read that but I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually smelled it…. Maybe one too many mystery novels in my wayward youth gave me a secondhand scent memory!

      • Julia says:

        True. I believe the ability to detect the almond scent of cyanide is also genetic.

  9. thegoddessrena says:

    My least favorite note is tagetes. Can’t really describe why it usually doesn’t work on me but most of the time it will ruin a fragrance. The only exception is Slumberhouse Sana which was an almost instantaneous hit with me

    • hajusuuri says:

      I had to look up tagetes! Sunflower / Marigold…I can’t say what perfumes I tried have that note. Speaking of sunflowers, we used to summer at an aunt’s place where her huge front yard or maybe it is just “land” in front of her house was a field of yellow sunflowers. Unfortunately, one year, it got too hot and the flowers got burnt and the field never recovered.

    • kindcrow says:

      I’ve smelled fresh marigolds, and I can’t imagine who thought that it would be a good idea to use them in perfume. Just my opinion, of course :-)

      • stinker_kit says:

        I seek out tagetes in fragrance. This particular note is present in the opening of 2 Chypres I love to wear, Niki de St Phalle and the original Halston. The odor of marigolds so reminds me of my bittersweet time in Monterey, which is so beautiful, flowers everywhere, lemon tree in the backyard juxtaposed against my Father’s deployment in Vietnam. This particular smell is very evocative for me, but I understand why others would find it off putting.

  10. hajusuuri says:

    Hi, I am hajusuuri and I have issues with Lily of the Valley. Just writing this is making me nauseous. I need a 10-step program to help me gradually learn to like it and not shudder whenever that note comes up in conversation. I have not met an LOTV-centered perfume that I like, never mind love. The only perfume with LOTV (though not prominent) that I can stand is Amouage Ubar. I need help!

    • lucasai says:

      I say that it is impossible to like, never mind love all of the note existing in perfumery. There will always be something you won’t be able to tolerate. Maybe LOTV is just such a note for you?

    • Emily says:

      I will join you in a LOTV-hater support group. Something about that note always seems shrill and uncomfortable. Or like the air freshener in Vegas casinos.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Emily, I totally agree about the newer LOTV frags, but the really old ones, before all of the regulations are actually nice, and much more like the sweet flower. Of course they’re impossible (or extremely expensive) to find now. :-(

    • Merlin says:

      I find most LOTV soliflores to be both thin and sour. Santa Maria Novellas however is pretty!

      • Merlin says:

        I mean Mughetto by Santa Maria:)

        • hajusuuri says:

          tentively putting it on my to try list along with all the other interesting perfumes from yesterday’s community SOTD

          • Merlin says:

            It is a definite and obvious LOTV, just one without the characteristics that make most LOTV scents unlikable to me. Its a little green and spicy too:)

    • Undina says:

      How about the flower itself?

      I still can’t believe you have such an aversion towards poor LotV! :) (and I just have to say again: in my opinion, Carillon pour un ange smells nothing like the flower we’re discussing)

      • poodle says:

        I totally agree with you on Carillon. I have lily of the valley blooming outside right now and what I smell in the garden is in no way what I smell in my bottle of Carillon Pour Un Ange. I like the perfume anyway.

      • hajusuuri says:

        I don’t think I have ever smelled the real LOTV flowers…maybe we need to give Poodle homework to send me some of that LOTV in a little baggie :-)

        In any case, I will try to get a sample of Carillon Pour Un Ange the next time I’m at a store that has it. I’ll be at Henri Bendel one day next week…they have a few Tauers.

      • melissa says:

        CPUA is my jam, I just adore it, and I agree!

    • shellyw says:

      I though tI would love Diorissimo which I was told had LotV. I love them in the garden. Wow! A lot like neroli to me, very agressive.

  11. Kelly Red says:

    I can not wear most aldehydes, Chanel #5 is a classic example. Love the smell in the bottle, love it on other people, but on me it turns a horrid over-wheming reek. Surprisingly I do best with “heavy” scents; amber, oud, musk and some florals, but again the BIG ones, ylang ylang, tuberose, jasmine. Anything beachy or marine like is bad, except I do have a bottle of Bobbie Brown BEACH dry oil that I love? It doesn’t last very long though and maybe it disappears before my skin makes it go bad. Either way, that’s the one notes I don’t usually like that I can wear with that.

    • Julia says:

      I used to loathe aldehydes and wearing even the tiniest amount triggered migraines but smelling them on somebody else wasn’t a problem. I think the strangest side effect of chemo is that now I can tolerate and even enjoy aldehydic fragrances. I’m still not splashing No.22 all over myself but I do enjoy No.5 EdT and parfum. The EdP is still a little rough. Which is also my assessment of my beloved Shalimar. The cologne and EdT are lovely and the extrait is still perfection but the current EdP is very hard to like.

      • Jonette says:

        A change in hormones (menopause, period, etc.) can affect your olfactory sensitivities and even the way perfume is on your skin and perceived by others. The use of medications certainly affects it. I was on heavy Prednisone and a chemo drug and even a couple of years later, my perfume tastes and the way I perceive certain fragrances has changed. I, too, certainly have fewer problems with aldehydes nowadays.

    • Merlin says:

      Interesting because while I like Champagne de Bois and Arpege I also dislike almost all other aldehyde fumes. And, also beach type perfumes like Bronze Goddess and Terracotta don’t work for me as well as many tropical types, eg. Amarinthine. But, I didn’t think my difficulty with tropical or beach had anything to do with aldehydes.

  12. Naz says:

    - Patchouli is difficult for me. It’s very common, but I can only tolerate it if it’s pretty much imperceptible :P When I do notice it, it smells dirty or scratchy to me. Not my style.
    - Tobacco. I adore Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille but noticed that it leaves a stale ashtray odor on my clothes a day-ish later. Not cute. I haven’t found any other tobacco scents that I like.
    - Limes. I looooooooove limes. LOVE. But I feel like a lot of lime scents are either the kind that would typically be marketed as masculine (which tends to not be my cup of tea), or really synthetic-smelling and reminiscent of toilet cleaner. L’Artisan Batucada is pretty nice, but kind of in the first category. DKNY Sweet Delicious Tart Key Lime (why such a long name) is delightful, though. Opens with tart, fresh lime, gains some sweetness as it dries down.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Recommendations for Naz:

      Patchouli – Atelier Cologne Mistral Patchouli is patchouli for patchouli haters

      Tobacco – See comment above to Marjorie Rose. I’ll repeat it — Diptyque Volutes EDT and EDP, Mona di Orio Violette Fumee. I don’t want to smell like an ashtray either but I sure do love birch tar which does give off that smell. Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee gives off a campfire smoke.

      Lime – Atelier Cologne Cedrat Enivrant. Perhaps the lime fragrances you’ve tried had bergamot and/or vetiver included which tend to lean masculine to my nose. The Cedrat Enivrant falls unisex.

    • leechiyong says:

      I don’t care for patchouli or lime either. Patchouli just reminds me of head shops and hippies and that’s not my style. Lime, I’m not really sure what it is. It hits my olfactory wrong.

    • hajusuuri says:

      One more recommendation for Patchouli — Krigler Lovely Patchouli 55

    • mals86 says:

      I’m a patchophobe as well, and I have the same issues as you – very dirty/dusty/stale as well as raspy/scratchy. CanNOT do it. I don’t have the usual references that people often have for head-shop hippie patchouli; to my knowledge I’ve never smelled straight patch oil on anybody so it’s not a cultural reference.

      However, I have found that if it is aged it seems more “green” and herbal to me, and I sort of like that. Also I tolerate it much better when rose and patchouli are prominent together. (That’s a whole other issue if you don’t like rose, but I do.)

    • Merlin says:

      Eau de Rochas has a strong lime note and is marketed for women though I think it’s definitely unisex:) But perhaps u have already tried it?

  13. relleric says:

    Grapefruit, fig, cumin, rose are some of the notes that I’m not terribly fond of. Add to that the multitude of ‘aquatics’ out there and anything that contains melon.
    I do enjoy Terre d’Hermes (grapefruit), and also Safran Troublant (rose) but have to be careful with them.
    Any of the Cartier Declarations seem to have too much cumin, which usually ends up giving me a terrible headache.
    SOTD is Dior Eau Sauvage EDP, my partner said it is terribly strong… :)

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      A few years ago, I would have joined you in the no-roses camp! But I have since found that it’s those thin, sweet, airy rose scents that I don’t like. Give me a heavy, dirty, or spicy rose, and I will probably appreciate it a lot more! Oddball roses like Une Rose Chypree and FM Lipstick Rose helped me along the way.

      • farouche says:

        I’m with you, Marjorie Rose! The bigger and dirtier, the better. Love Agent Provocateur and Juliette Has a Gun Extreme Vengeance. Nothing subtle about either of them :).

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Yeah, subtlety and I don’t get along real well. :)

  14. elise says:

    Vanilla – I just don’t like it! and HONEY! Anything with that honey note in it turns immediately to cat pee on me….

    • hajusuuri says:

      Have you tried VC&A Orchidee Vanille, Maria Candida Gentile Noir Tropical, Indult Tihota, Le Labo Vanille 44, Tommi Sooni II, Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Vanille?

      • Julia says:

        I love all manner of vanilla fragrances and I agree that LL Vanille 44 and MdO les Nombres d’Or Vanille are good choices for the non-vanilla inclined. The latter is more about hay, wood, and rum to me. I detect almost no vanilla and it isn’t sweet at all.

    • hajusuuri says:

      One more…Krigler Subtle Orchid 10 is a nice vanilla!

    • AnnieA says:

      Count me in with the honey-haters. The one exception I can think of is MAC’s Naked Honey.

  15. flannery says:

    There are two notes that send me running in the opposite direction, immortelle and melon ~ gahhhh, just saying them makes me gag! If there were a perfume so awful as to include them both it would probably be listed as chemical warfare. I have to run put something gorgeous on just to get it out of my mind, lol

    • lucasai says:

      You should try Atelier Cologne Blanche Immortelle, you might like it, it’s very pretty.

      • flannery says:

        I will give it a sampling per your rec. Though it will have to be on a day when I’m feeling brave :)

      • Jonette says:

        Immediately after reading your review of Blanche Immortelle, I ordered a sample. I so wanted to love it! There was a prominent note in it I could not stand and can only assume it was the immortelle. It was otherwise a lovely fragrance. But I’ll be careful to pay attention to listings of immortelle from now on.

    • hajusuuri says:

      I second Lucas’ Blanche Immortelle suggestion!

    • galbanumgal says:

      right there with you. Though now I’m able to handle the melon note in Carnal Flower.

    • CM says:

      Immortelle is fine, but melon! Makes me wretch. Wasn’t there a Del Rae scent that was melon scentric? I didn’t know and spritzed some at Barneys. Missed the paper and got some on my hand and had to run to the ladies to scrub it off before something worse happened…. and that was just a teensy bit. So embarrassing.

      • nozknoz says:

        Yes, there is a Delrae that smells like a ripe melon the size of one of those gargantuan two-ton pumpkins! It needs a biohazard label!

  16. yukiej says:

    Almost echoing relleric, my difficult notes are fig, rose, grapefruit (and other citrus sometimes), and melon/cucumber. I haven’t smelled it in perfume (yet), but super intense movie theatre popcorn butter-like notes which I smell mostly from the Chobani yogurt my officemates eat also makes me feel quite icky.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Ugh–popcorn! Like that stale, burned popcorn smell that permeates EVERY college dorm lounge I have ever encountered?! Blech! Thankfully, not a note I’ve found in perfume, although certainly have sniffed butter that was a bit too . . . gooey. (SL Jeax de Peau?)

  17. jepster says:

    Happy Weekend Everybody! I know I am a heretic in the land of Fracas, but I can’t do tuberose….in anything. Don’t know why, but it just doesn’t work for me. And, I can sniff it out even in combo with other notes. Love it on other people–there is a very elegant older woman on my board of directors who wears Fracas exclusively (along with Italian leather/real gold/Hermes scarves) and she smells amazing. On me, I just gag!

    • flannery says:

      I don’t love tuberose either, but Mona di Orio’s Tubereuse is in my top three frags, you might want to give it a try. Unlike any other :)

    • Undina says:

      I strongly dislike tuberose. I tried it in many perfumes – and still no.

    • CM says:

      Raising hand for tuberose aversion. I’ll keep trying….

      • ringthing says:

        Me too. I’ve kept trying and have pretty much given up on tuberose and mostly on ylang, they’re just not that into me.

  18. Emily says:

    Unless I missed something, I’m surprised that nobody has yet complained about apple or pear. I haven’t found any fragrance that I can tolerate with either of those notes. They always remind me of shampoo that I used as a teenager, and they have a fresh/watery quality that I find off-putting. Even the wonderfully old-school Krazy Krizia was sabotaged by the apple note.

    • galbanumgal says:

      oh agree, much as I love real pear, just can’t abide it in fragrance.

    • sweetgrass says:

      Agreed! I don’t like those notes for the same reason. The one exception I’ve found to the pear = shampoo thing is Slumberhouse Pear & Olive.

      • melissa says:

        +1, the way that one plays with texture is so strange and alluring that it almost needs its sweetness to be palatable. It comes together beautifully.

  19. Ida says:

    Much like many of you, I cannot abide melon, most aquatics (unless it’s all about the salt in the sea), most grapefruits (Guerlain’s Pamplelune = cat pee), musks (either I can’t smell it or it gives me a headache), many standard men’s fragrances (which smell like flankers of Ego body spray) and all the notes in YSL Opium. So there! Luckily there’s lots to love.

    • Robin says:

      Pamplelune is cat pee on me too — but most grapefruits work well for me.

      • Merlin says:

        Robin does it smell the same way to you on other people?

        • Robin says:

          I have definitely smelled perfumes that smelled awful on me and nice on someone else, and vice versa, but if I’ve ever tested Pamplelune that way it’s escaped my memory (which is not hard to do!).

          • Merlin says:

            Ok! I love Pampelune, and have asked a number of people, very directly (lol) whether it smells like cat piss on me. No one has said yes, but I’m still a little concerned – regarding the great majority of the populace that I have not asked!

  20. Eva S says:

    I usually don’t like lactonic notes, sour milkish-for example Gucci Rush and it bothers me some in Bottega Veneta. Also I have a problem with scent that have a sort of overripe/rotten fruit note, like Amouage Lyric, Jubilation and Eau Sauvage.

    • Robin says:

      Was so surprised to see Eau Sauvage in that list, really, sour fruit? Would expect it of Diorella but not Eau Sauvage.

      • Eva S says:

        Looked it up in The Guide, Turin describes a overripe melon/Vietnamese beefsalad accord in both Diorella and Eau Sauvage and Jubilation as Diorella-inspired.
        I’m not good with notes, but whatever it is, I don’t like it! :-)

    • farouche says:

      I love Amouage Lyric, but the drydown of Calyx gets me every time. It’s just nasty rotten fruit that I can’t wait to scrub off. The first hour, however, is delightful. What to do?

  21. jirish says:

    I can’t handle bread notes. They actually make me queasy. It’s what’s kept me from sampling En Passant, even though I’d love to try it for the lilac note. Love to eat bread, but apparently my skin is glucose intolerant! I used to have a hard time with cedar – it smelled like sweat to me, but now I’ve come to love it! Don’t know how that happened, but it seems like the experience of sampling many scents makes notes more tolerable and even lovable. The bread note is the only one I still have trouble with, and that may be because there are not that many scents that feature it.

    • egabbert says:

      Oh, I hate bread notes too! Really loathe them. I gave away a full decant of Ashoka because it smelled exactly like stale bread to me. Loathsome.

      • egabbert says:

        I should add that I actually am gluten-intolerant, maybe that’s why I hate it.

  22. Julia says:

    Most of my problem notes have already been mentioned like cumin, grapefruit, vetiver and sometimes tuberose. White florals in general are not really my thing but jasmine is the worst on me. I love real jasmine and have a lot of it planted around around our garden but I cannot tolerate indolic jasmine perfumes. I think sambac jasmine is supposed to be less indolic but it still bothers me.
    I mentioned up thread that I find the current EdP versions of No.5 and Shalimar pretty rough and I wonder if that’s true of Joy. It’s the jasmine scent I want most to like and I pull it out every so often hoping things will be different. My EdP sample is about five years old and I would love to know if a different vintage or strength might be better.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Julia, have you tried, and if so what do you think of them, the new Route de Mexique and Route de Madagascar Shalimars?

  23. poodle says:

    My nemesis is (I’m almost afraid to say it because I know so many people love it) IRIS. I can handle it in some scents but when I come across something like Iris Silver Mist it’s just awful to me. My skin takes it and turns it into a moldy, mildewy cellar but not in a good way. I love the flower but that rooty nastiness in perfumes is just not my cup of tea. Yet, I like earthy. Go figure. If the iris leans to the powdery side of things I’m good with it.

    • egabbert says:

      Ha, I was posting about hating iris at the exact same time! I too hate the rooty, raw carrot aspect of orris. And I’m also okay with it if it’s powdery or sweetened. I have no interest in ever trying Iris Silver Mist. I know I’d despise it.

    • MikasMinion says:

      I was about to post my intolerance of iris. I like iris ok on other people but on me it is a frigid blonde ice queen that I never want to spend the day with. Oddly, I mind it less when it is footy and moldy but the sweet version really makes me uncomfortable.

      • poodle says:

        It seems like its one extreme or the other with iris sometimes.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Well, my dear Poodle, methinks Stephane Humbert Lucas 777 Khol de Bahrein will change your mind about iris!

      • poodle says:

        Ya think? I don’t know about that. ;)

    • 50_Roses says:

      I have a really hard time with iris as well. It has to be mixed in with lots of other notes. I like Attrape-Coeur, for example, and didn’t even realize it had iris in it until someone else here mentioned it. I went back and sniffed it, and sure enough, there was the iris. Iris Silver Mist, OTOH, was HORRIBLE on me! In my perfume spreadsheet, I assign star ratings based on how well I liked a perfume, and I usually make it a rule not to buy anything unless I can rate it at least 4 stars. I used to use a scale of 1 to 5 stars, but ISM was one of the few convinced me a needed to create a 0 star rating. It is one of the few perfumes that has actually made me nauseated. I have always heard iris root described as having a violet-like odor, and I used to have some powdered orris root which did indeed smell like violets, but I get not violets from ISM. I wouldn’t even describe it as carrots, either. Maybe old, rotten, moldy carrots that have been forgotten in the back of the refrigerator for a year and are now serving as a culture medium for a plethora of other life forms, some of which are previously unknown to science.

      • poodle says:

        Yes, in small doses, okay. I feel the same way you do.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Roses, have you tried PdE’s Equistrius? That one is very sweet and violet-y on me. And I love “rooty”! :-)

    • kindcrow says:

      “My skin takes it and turns it into a moldy, mildewy cellar but not in a good way.” Hee, hee. Is there ever a good way?

      • poodle says:

        Lol. Oddly enough, yeah. I can’t remember the name of it now but I got a sample of a patchouli perfume which I think had some amber too….anyway, I described it as making me smell like a sexy basement. It was dark and gothic but it wasn’t just mildew. Probably not how they would want the ad copy worded though. :)

    • cj says:

      Me too! Iris is one note that I keep TRYING to appreciate. The idea of iris really appeals to me, aesthetically, or… something, but I haven’t found one that I actually enjoy. Iris Nazarena, Bois d’Iris (Van Cleef & Arpels) and Equistrius have come closest to working, but still, too much iris. I think I need more texture, depth or warmth to really love a fragrance. I can handle it just fine if it’s a minor element, such as in Volutes, but in high doses, iris is just too austere and cold for my taste. Almost alien-feeling. It pains me to say it, but ISM is pretty gross, IMHO. Maybe one day I’ll get it?

      • poodle says:

        I stopped trying to get it. There are plenty of other perfumes out there that love me back.

    • Jonette says:

      I’m trying to identify iris as a note and the other day, NSTers recommended a few scents I should try. I had a little sample of Chanel no.19 and wore that for a few hours yesterday and HATED it! I will still look for a sample of the Prada that was recommended and the other frag. I do love Amouage Opus V and it is definitely fbw and that is supposed to have a strong iris note. So go figure…

  24. egabbert says:

    I struggle with iris, when it’s the main attraction as opposed to a supporting note. Sometimes it smells to me like stale bread, other times so much like dry chalk dust it actually makes me cough. I don’t mind a little iris in a chypre, though, or in a gourmand setting.

    • mals86 says:

      Not a big fan of iris-centered frags, either, for that reason. As a supporting player, it’s lovely. I always say my favorite iris scent is Chanel No. 19, which is not very irisy!

      And I love Iris Poudre, but that one’s hardly irisy at all.

      • egabbert says:

        Yeah, Iris Poudre is so fluffy and violet-y I wouldn’t have even picked it out as an iris frag, probably.

        • mals86 says:

          Exactly, only iris by the name. They should have called it Marabou Boa.

  25. Bee says:

    mine is orange blossom, the only scent I can manage that does not turn sour and/or soapy on me is Séville à l’aube, probably because there is so much going on. There are aother note I don’t like, so I just avoid them (in gemeral fruity ones, melon, pineapple, raspberry etc).

    • mals86 says:

      I have trouble with orange blossom too – it is so often flat and soapy. Seville a l’Aube did not do that, and neither did Kilian Sweet Redemption. A couple of others that were non-soapy were Houbigant Oranger en Fleurs and SL FLeurs d’Oranger (the Serge has a lot of tuberose in it, which seems to save the day for me).

      Everything else? Soap. Soap soap soap. It’s not that it smells BAD. It’s just that if I’m purchasing fragrance, it should be more interesting than that.

      • ringthing says:

        I second that emotion, ob=soap. Otoh, Seville L’Aube is wonderful.

      • PekeFan says:

        I like soapy fragrances during the summer as a pick-me-up.

      • Laurels says:

        I dislike soapy florals, but love orange blossom. It never smells soapy to me, for some reason.

  26. mikeperez23 says:

    I do not like lily notes. Even the flowers themselves. To me they smell like ham & make me slightly queasy. However, I do like Anais Anais which supposedly is loaded with lily. So go figure.

    Another hate: saffron. Just annoys the hell out of me & has ruined perfectly good fragrances that I want to love (Idole by Lubin for instance). However I do like Aedes de Venustas by L’Artisan, and for sure there’s saffron in it. Maybe the incense blends it & makes it tolerable?

    • egabbert says:

      The hammy smell is what I love about lilies (my favorite flower)! Some lily perfumes don’t get the ham note right and fail as lilies for me.

    • flannery says:

      I have to agree about lily, it is always funeral home to me.

      • poodle says:

        I don’t get the hammy smell but I do like the funeral home scent.

    • Kelly Red says:

      I’ve never heard of lily described as hammy? That would be awful! I agree it can be like a funeral home in perfume. I adore my real lilies growing outside, but wouldn’t want to smell like them. Or HAM :)

    • sweetgrass says:

      Lily notes can be weird to me too, but not for the same reason. I like some lilies, like DK Gold, but some have a papery quality that is weirdly like scented kleenex to me. L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer and DSH 1000 Lillies are prime examples. When I tried the DSH, I felt like I had just stuck my nose in a Kleenex box. It’s not terrible; it’s just not how I want to smell.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Have you tried Cartier Baiser Vole?

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        Speaking as another lily-disliker, I can comfortably say that Baiser Vole is just as unwelcome as any of them! More for the rest of you, I guess! ;)

        • Merlin says:

          But I do think the Cartier lily has no ham like meaty facet. There may be other reasons to dislike it,of course. DK Gold has plenty ham, lol!

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            You are probably right. I admit, I’ve never identified that what I didn’t like about lily was a ham note. . . which would certainly be unwelcome! Mostly, I’m just not much of a white floral gal, so cleaning them up doesn’t tend to solve the problem!

          • egabbert says:

            Yep, I’m not big of BV because it’s got musk in place of ham.

            Lys Mediterranee gets the ham part right. and DK Gold is one of my all-time faves.

          • Merlin says:

            I’m ambiguous about the meaty part in DK Gold, as well as the very persistent white musk in BdV. I do like both perfumes despite my uncertainty regarding those aspects. (or, to put it differently I like those aspects sometimes and at other times dislike them). Lys Med I kind of like; I just find it a little too bright and breezy for me.

            I guess I too am not altogether ok with this note, but I’m doing well with it compared to other white florals!

  27. MikasMinion says:

    Smoky notes are my big stumbling block. If birch tar is listed you can bet I will be scrubbing. Also, many leather notes really make me queasy and hemlock actually makes me gaggy and uncomfortable, almost anxious.

    • trixiesweet says:

      Yes, birch tar can be problematic for me – and leather even more so.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Have you tried Serge Lutens Boxeuses? It has a very tame birch tar AND leather…a twofer and so you only need to try once and cover two no-no’s for you.

  28. VannyBL says:

    Definitively apple. Pear is alright, I quite like Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia in the Fall because it reminds me of the two humongous pear trees we had in the yard where I grew up, but apple, no way! Also, although I love neroli and orange blossom in certain fragrances, a lot of time white florals just turn very plasticky on me (and now I can smell the plastic even from the bottles sometimes). For example, Elie Saab is a no go for me.

    • scentfromabove says:

      I love, love, love EP&F. One of my favorites. :)

  29. sweetgrass says:

    SOTD is Bas de Soie – and my cat is licking my arm, so I think he approves.

    I don’t have many notes that I hate outright, more just a few that I don’t like in certain cases.

    Melon/Cucumber: I didn’t like Parfum de Therese, for example. However, I do like Calyx (at least the older Prescriptives version that I have. I don’t know if it’s been changed since it became Clinique). I think there it’s the borderline-garbagey guava note that makes it for me and makes it just weird enough that it’s not just shampoo.

    Aldehydes: They can be tricky. I find many strongly aldehydic fragrances soapy, which I don’t like much. I don’t care for Chanel No.5 and disliked No.22, for example. However, with perhaps a different combination of aldehydes that goes in more of a fizzy direction rather than soapy, I can like them. I liked Andy Tauer’s Noontide Petals and ELDO Vraie Blonde. I also kind of liked SSS Nostalgie, though the aldehydes were kind of borderline there. It was just that the usage was soft enough that it didn’t bother me.

    I was actually thinking about this before I saw this thread. After yesterday’s coordinated SOTD, I was thinking this idea would make an interesting one. We could wear our “exception perfumes”: the ones that work but contain a note that normally doesn’t.

    • trixiesweet says:

      Exception perfumes’ day is a great idea!

  30. trixiesweet says:

    I have a couple of difficult notes: one is leather. Even a small amount can ruin it for me. I blame leather for me not liking Carillon pour un Ange and Le Parfum de Therese – which should be right up my alley otherwise. I do love suede, though. And I like Cuir de Russie.
    Lately, another is gardenia. I had a sample of Tocca Florence and from like after a few wears it turned into a scrubber, as the gardenia became too “meaty”. Having said that, EL Tuberose Gardenia does not bother me, although it is too loud for me.
    Lastly, cinnamon and ginger, but I haven’t found any exceptions yet.

    By the way, I was surprised to see “the grapefruit” written in Greek at the initial post – hehe! At first I thought my settings had gone crazy!

    PS SOTD is L’Ombre dans l’Eau. But right now I have a horrible headache and am wondering if that caused it.

    • trixiesweet says:

      Remembered some more:
      Vetiver = barbershop and way too sharp on me, wonder whether Vetiver Fatal might work.
      Incense = church, i.e. not what I aspire to smell like. But I do enjoy Portrait of a Lady.
      Aldehydes can be hit or miss.
      I used to dislike rose, but now it has stopped being a no-go.

      • Laurels says:

        I found Vetiver Fatal quite sweet–the citrus read as sweet orange to me, rather than sharp and lemony. It didn’t last very long on me, though, which would be a plus if you don’t like it.

    • Robin says:

      I was surprised that my standard font could print a word in Greek!

    • sweetgrass says:

      I like a good “meaty” gardenia, so that makes me curious about Tocca Florence. I might have to try it next time I come across it

  31. mals86 says:

    I’ve got a long list of no-go notes, too:
    Patchouli can be very dusty/raspy, with a back-of-the-throat scratch that irritates me profoundly. But if it’s aged or paired with rose, I tend to do okay with it.

    Jasmine grandiflorum (oddly, no problems with sambac) often goes all Ho Panties. Jasmine in composition with other white florals seems to be fine.

    Fig leaf has a bitter, poisonous quality I cannot stand. (Fig fruit is okay.) No exceptions so far, though I’ve tested 7-8 fig scents hoping that it was a fluke.

    I don’t care much for ripe, fruity, garbagey notes (like in Calyx), but I love Lyric Woman. Orange blossom can be flat, dull, and soapy, but there are a few OB scents that do work for me. Geranium can screech.

    But my real Nexus of Death is tolu balsam. All the big hefty balsamic orientals just smother me and make me feel nauseous: Youth Dew, Tabu, Opium, Cinnabar, Obsession. I can occasionally deal with tolu if it is not a central focus – Chamade has it, but it isn’t prominent. It shows up more strongly in Soivohle Rosa sur Reuse but I can wear that one in small amounts as well.

    • mals86 says:

      THe funny thing is – and I bet we all have these idiosyncrasies – there are a number of notes that other people can find difficult that I just love. Aldehydes, tuberose, rose, galbanum, clove, muguet, I love them all.

      • trixiesweet says:

        Galbanum is my fave, too.

        • Jonette says:

          I adore saffron, while I keep reading of others who can’t stand it. I also like it in food.

    • AnnS says:

      Mals, you know what is funny? I can’t stand a lot of the tolu heavy fragrances that you mention above, but I actually love the smell of straight up essence of Peru balsam. I don’t know if there is a difference between them (tolu and Peru), but I think the essential bottle of “Peru Balsam” I have is divine. I’ll make an exception for the Ormonde Jayne Tolu, which is gorgeous, but never been fbw for me.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Ann – Good nose! That’s the difference between essential oils, which are the real thing and perfume aroma-chemicals, which are synthetic. I totally agree.

        • AnnS says:

          Good to know my nose is not nuts!

          • Rappleyea says:

            Nope – just discerning!

    • MikasMinion says:

      Amen to the balsamic orientals – migraine city. I did, one time, enjoy Youth Dew. It was sprayed on a blotter and in the bottom of my big leather tote where the tanned leather and the faintly balsamic stench played nicely off each other.

  32. AnnS says:

    Everyone has so many interesting offending notes! Some above have hit on ones I really have trouble with: too much incense, too much melon, too much swamp vetiver, too much smoke/cigarette, too much civet, too much powder, too much cumin. I can cope with most of the above though, if they are treated with a talented, light hand, and are very well blended into a complex formula. I think I can make an exception for each one, and will still test something that is a challenge. I think the hardest notes for me to cope with are just too much sugar/sweetness/syrupy-ness paried with the generic “dryersheet”. I’ll have a headache for a day. Oddly, the most violent hate I’ve ever experienced was when I tested Amouage Lyric for Men. I don’t even know what it was, but there was an immediate and horrible loathsome effect on brain/nose and I had to scrub it off immediately, and could never smell it again. I still don’t know what it was and don’t want to find out. The only other fragrance that slayed by brain was Rochas Femme.

    • mals86 says:

      Vintage Femme or the refo? Because I did okay – not great, but I didn’t have to scrub – with the newish stuff, but the vintage nearly killed me. Swapped my vintage mini (via ebay, unsniffed, what IS it with me and the call of vintage on ebay??) to someone else, who said she loved it.

      • AnnS says:

        Honestly I can’t remember. It could have been either – the new one has tons of cumin, right? I just can’t recall, and I don’t want to find out. ;-)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Mals, I wonder if it was the old nitro-musks in the vintage that bothered you. Obviously they were taken out of the new version when they added the dollop of cumin!

        • mals86 says:

          Hmm. DOn’t know – really I was thinking it was something balsamy/labdanumish in there.

          I have an old (OLLLD, judging by the packaging! late 1940s, 1950s) Chanel No. 5 that I know has the nitromusks, and I don’t have any trouble with wearing that one. It is stunning.

  33. morgana says:

    One more vote against vanilla. I always have some vanilla extract in my fridge as I highly appreciate it in desserts. But no, please don’t add it to perfumes! Even a tiny bit has ruined for me some potentially very nice creations, and I don’t need to wait for the drydown to detect it … Plus, there are vanilla friends, like heliotrope and almond, that I learned not to even bother with when listed as notes. It would be very cool if somebody with chemistry knowledge could explain whether there is some relationship between those molecules … It would be also excellent if somebody could say why we could like something very much in food but not in perfume (when both are about olfaction)

  34. Aparatchick says:

    I have no problem with most of the notes listed here; patch, smoke, tobacco, heavy orientals, big white flowers – bring ‘em on!

    And while there are notes I just plain dislike (that would be you, melon and you, calone), there is one that hates me. Rose. Adore it in nature, but generally not in perfume. It turns to sour soap on me. Rare is the rose that will work – and a big thank you to Mals for turning me on to Miele Rosa. Perhaps it’s the influence of the honey, but it’s a winner for me.

    • mals86 says:

      That Miele Rosa is nice and the rose note in it is soft, but it is really juuuuuuust this side of raunchy on me! I mean, morning-after sheets raunchy. Which, sometimes, might be welcome and sometimes not. Like if you’re headed to a job interview. ;)

      • Aparatchick says:

        Must be the honey note? On me it’s all rainbows and sunlit meadows, but I know on some people it reads as, well, sexytimes. Yes, you definitely want to find out which way it will go before heading out to a job interview!

    • Rappleyea says:

      I have the same feelings/problem with rose – love it, but many turn soapy on me – even my very expensive essential oil! But Guerlain’s Nahema is wonderful on my skin so I’m wondering if you’ve tried it?

      • Aparatchick says:

        No, but now it goes on the list!

    • Laurels says:

      Rose tends to be sour on me also, but usually works if it’s sweetened a bit (Agent Provocateur Petale Noir) or in combination with oud (Montale Aoud Damascus). Juliette Has a Gun Midnight Oud is both, and might be worth trying.

      • Aparatchick says:

        I think you’re right about it needing to be in combination with something else to work for me. Thanks for the suggestions!

  35. VeraJayne says:

    Vanilla. Cheap vanilla. Love to eat vanilla but it might be twenty years of vanilla overload. Funny thing is Shalimar is one of my faves! So as an accent yes some vanilla. OT celeb scents that smell like noname fruit cocktail with vanilla instant pudding are the worse!

    • mals86 says:

      Ugh, that Froot + vanilla pudding thing is dreadful, isn’t it? Especially on top of laundry musk.

      • VeraJayne says:

        Mals forgot about the laundry musk lol. But that makes it even worse!

        • Jonette says:

          SOTD is Designer Shaik Chic 30, which has a lot of vanilla, but it’s a lovely, soft vanilla. There are other fragrances that supposedly have a lot of vanilla, but I like them very much. Yet I suspect the main perfume note I absolutely cannot tolerate is probably vanilla! Whatever it is, it seems to be in (too) many scents nowadays. It is a sickeningly sweet, burnt sugar/caramel/vanilla-ish note and makes me want to put as much distance as possible between myself and the offending odor! Could it be a synthetic vanilla? I also suspect that I hate immortelle, if that’s the maple syrup note.

          • VeraJayne says:

            You are right. That fake vanilla smell. Like when you blow out a cheap vanilla candle. Yuck.

  36. johanob says:

    I have two notes that I just cannot seem to love!Fig/Fig leaf!Instant nausea,especially in that masterful horrorfest Womanity!Philosykos just gave me a headache,and some time back I tried a Boss fragrance which I had to scrub off soooo hard,it left a bruise!The other note is Vetiver.I can’t say I Hate it,as I find difficulty in identifying it in perfumes!I have Sycomore and Coromandel,and apparently one of them is a HUGE Vetiver.Wish I could say I smell and can identify said Vetiver-note!

    • Merlin says:

      Sycamore=vetiver; Coromandel=patchouli ;)

    • Rappleyea says:

      Don’t feel bad Johanob, it’s hard for me to identify vetiver in perfume too. As an aromatherapist, I learned about vetiver and its therapeutic properties years ago with the essential oil. What’s used in perfume smells nothing like the e.o. to my nose and I find it very hard to distinguish in perfume.

    • mals86 says:

      I can’t stand fig leaf either. It’s not the coconutty aspect, either, it’s something I can only describe as smelling poisonous. Very bitter and yet milky.

  37. Undina says:

    In addition to two notes dislike of which I share with others (and I commented on them above) – cumin and tuberose – I have one more note that doesn’t work for me more often than it does. I’m surprised nobody else has mentioned it, but I have a really complicated relationships with oud/agarwood. In anything stronger than just a trace it usually smells too medicinal and unpleasant on my skin. Perfumes that do work for me despite this note – By Kilian Amber Oud, Dior Oud Ispahan and Jul et Mad Amour de Palazzo.

    • poodle says:

      Oud can be tough for me too. Sometimes it’s medicinal others it’s just really pungent and sharp.

    • Laurels says:

      Interesting–I don’t mind even the most medicinal and Band-aid-y of ouds, but Oud Ispahan was a scrubber for me. Something in it turned to rubbing alcohol and became headachy and suffocating.

    • Jonette says:

      My ex was from the Middle East and brought me some very fancy pure aoud oils and I couldn’t stand any of them! (You described them well, Poodle, when you used the term ‘medicinal’.) Yet I learned that there are many differences; one aoud is not the other. I may not like my aoud straight up, but I love it in many of my Montales and Amouages.

    • mals86 says:

      And I *like* that Band-Aid medicinal thing, isn’t that weird? I mean, I perceive oud as often smelling medicinal the same way you do – but I rather enjoy it.

      My working theory is that I fell down a lot as a kid, and Band-aids are soothing. :)

      Fecal oud, now I can’t manage that.

  38. kindcrow says:

    - Patchouli
    - Booze
    - Anise. I don’t like black licorice, either.
    -Black currant. It doesn’t smell like pee to me. I don’t hate it, but it can make something that I might otherwise like smell just a bit wrong/off.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Kindcrow – my father loved black licorice and I couldn’t even stand to be in the same room when he ate it. Consequently, I always hated anise in perfume – L’Heure Bleue was the only Guerlain that I wouldn’t wear. But strangely, a few years ago, I sampled it again and loved it! Maybe they’re using less anise now than they used to.

      • kindcrow says:

        Black licorice coats your mouth, and it is the evil flavor gift that keeps on giving (until you can get to a toothbrush). My mom loves black licorice. When I was a kid, she would buy some really potent stuff from the health food store. ((shudder))

        • Rappleyea says:

          Oh, I agree! Even though I now enjoy LHB, there is NO way I would ever put licorice in my mouth! UGH!!

  39. perthgirl says:

    Over the years my taste has changed and has adapted and grown to love some notes I hated, like tuberose.
    Used to loathe tuberose! Sickly sweet and screechy. Then one day it just changed and it’s now one of my favourites.
    But GALBANUM is still on my difficult list. I want to love it but it catches in my throat.
    Rose I love if it’s dark or jammy, but airy roses no. All light clean florals are pretty much no.
    Leather I love but some have an ingredient that makes me wheeze. Knize 10 is the worst I’ve tried, and unfortunately, as much as I love Cuir de Russie, it makes breathing difficult too.

    • Robin says:

      My tastes have expanded hugely! But when something makes you wheeze, that’s done, no sense playing with fire.

      • Merlin says:

        Yeah, I’m kinda attached to being able to breathe too! I got rid of my Paloma Picasso just cos it made me sneeze.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Something in FM Dries van Notten almost suffocated me. Fragrantica lists these notes: sandalwood, guaiac wood, tonka bean, vanilla, saffron, jasmine, musk, bergamot, lemon, nutmeg, cloves, patchouli, woody notes and peru balsam. I’ll just chalk it up to a synthetic used…probably for the “woody notes”.

  40. ringthing says:

    Ok, I read all the comments and didn’t see my nemesis, violet. Parma violet, is that what sweet violet is called? That is an instant migraine and powdery violet is awful. Tuberose is not my friend and often orange blossom and ylang are too much but I still find them beautiful, just not for me, but while I adore violets as flowers, I really don’t like that smell. Violet leaves are tolerable but barely. Anyone else?

    • PekeFan says:

      Have you tried L’Artisan’s Nuit de Tuberuese? It doesn’t really smell like tuberose. I’m not a huge fan of tuberose either, although I don’t HATE it, and I really like this fragrance.

    • PekeFan says:

      Overly sweet violet is sickly, but a sheer, soft violet can be nice. I just can’t think of one off the top of my head at the moment. Hopefully someone will see this and chime in.

      • VeraJayne says:

        Evening in Paris has a nice soft violet note.

      • perthgirl says:

        Caron Violette Preciouse is a soft dusky violet, not sweet at all

      • nozknoz says:

        AG La Violette is supposed to be nice – Jessica reviewed it for NST in 2012. SL Bois de Violette is extraordinary – a violet variation of La Myrrhe. There was L’AP Verte Violette, but it appears to be discontinued. Of course, violet is part of Guerlain Apres l’Ondee, which is not sweet.

  41. PekeFan says:

    I’ve been having real problems wearing heavy orientals for about 6 months and I wonder if it is because I have started menopause? I also have a perfume phobic co-worker who badgers me if I even wear fragranced body lotion. (This really bothers me because I have to live with his B.O.) In general I don’t like tobacco (it makes me feel nauseous), cumin – although I liked “Kingdom” – and iris scents that smell like carrots. I also dislike clean musks. This list is pretty much what everyone else hates too!

    • PekeFan says:

      I also don’t love anise and fig, again, these notes seem to be unpopular in previous posts.

      • Rappleyea says:

        “This list is pretty much what everyone else hates too!”

        You’re right!! Maybe we ought to send a link to this post to the perfumers.

    • nozknoz says:

      So sorry about your work situation – your coworker sounds like such a jerk!

    • Jonette says:

      See my post above. In short, yes, your hormonal changes can affect both the way you perceive scents and the way they actually smell on your skin. I think you should badger your co-worker right back about his b.o. Ugh! How dare he!

      • kindcrow says:

        Perhaps I put the samples that I don’t like in the fridge and try them in 10 years? :-)

  42. Gi says:

    I have a hard time with lots of lemon (other citruses I like)…lemon always makes me think of cleaning products. The worst of them I think “Mr Clean” and the best of them remind me of wood soap.

    I also really dislike the cotton candy note, I don’t mind some sweetness but that one note just suffocates me, as if cotton candy had been stuffed up my nostrils.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, and I think in other countries where lemon is not the primary cleaning smell, it’s totally different.

  43. nozknoz says:

    Well, how about those woody ambers and spiky woods, like Karanal? Perfumers have used them increasingly over the last few years to replace banned basenotes such as sandalwood and oakmoss, I guess. They’ve ruined so many recent perfumes for me; I rarely by anything new anymore.

    To my nose, some of them create sort of a horseradish effect. There’s one of these notes in the midst of all the lush, tropical flowers in AG Matin d’Orage. It’s used to simulate the ozone after a storm. I liked MdO when I first tried it, but whatever it was grew stronger the more times I sniffed it.

    And the thing is, they aren’t just in inexpensive perfumes, but also expensive ones like Tom Ford and some of the niche perfumes that Duchaufour has done recently.

    I may be wrong, but I think sandalwood smelled good to pretty much everyone and wasn’t too intrusive, but these synthetics smell radically different to different people.

    • sweetgrass says:

      I know what you mean about the scratchy “wood” notes. They always read as cheap to me.

    • Rappleyea says:

      What about ambroxan and cashmeran? Neither of those smell “bad” to my nose, but they have a cheap, synthetic vibe that I don’t want to wear on my body.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Sorry! Should be “neither smells”.

    • nozknoz says:

      Sweetgrass and Rapple, yes, that’s what’s so annoying about it. Sometimes a perfume seems to have decent notes and an interesting idea, but it’s all for nought when the Ambroxan or Iso E Super or whatever takes over.

    • meganinstmaxime says:

      I’m so pleased that someone mentioned that weird sharp note in Matin d’Orage because I’ve been picking up on it as well and now I don’t like that perfume. It’s also in Nuit de Tubereuse. I really like the opening but then this note is just really thick and inescapable.

  44. sweetgrass says:

    One more I thought of: violet leaf. I’ve come around on the flower, but not so much on the leaf. I don’t think I’ve encountered a perfume in which I like that note. It makes me think of green beans and cucumbers. Any suggestions that might change my mind?

    • Eva S says:

      Violet leaf often comes of as a bit too masculine for my taste. I really like it in Arquiste Alexandre though, which is quite unisex to me.

  45. Merlin says:

    As opposed to a note I don’t love, there is a particular accord, or combination I have trouble with: Iris+leather. The two have a chocolatey effect that I really want to like but for some reason I always find these perfumes depressing. Examples I have tried: PdE Equistrius, Byredo 1996, Dior Homme and Valentino Uomo. Any suggestions for a happier leather iris would be welcome!

    And, another type I struggle with is dark roses. I adore Portrait of a Lady, but I get quite agitated wearing it. Lady Vengeance is unsettling. Rose Poivree and Eau de Protection (Eldo) turn very metallic on me. Rose Anonyme is ok, but a little simple. (An exception is Une Rose Chypre, which I love, and perhaps Montale’s Aoud Queen of Roses and Noir de Noir – but I haven’t tried these two often enough to be sure…)

    • nozknoz says:

      The ultimate iris leather is Chanel Cuir de Russie. All other leathers bow down before it.

      Ann Gerard Cuir d’Opale is a light, modern take on this theme by Bertrand Duchaufour.

      I love what you said about PoaL! It’s so beautiful, but it really does conjure up the claustrophobic desperation of a 19th century Henry James novel. I think I’d find it more relaxed if it had real patchouli, in all it’s shaggy glory, rather than that up-tight patchouli coeur.

      You might try Parfumerie Rose Brulure, an unusual dusky rose, and Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses, a plum rose that’s perfect for fall. People also mention Czech & Speake Dark Rose, which I haven’t tried.

      • Merlin says:

        I find the EDT of Cuir de Russe a little too light – more like an aura, or slight texture, than a perfume! Perhaps I must try the parfum. The Anne Gerard goes on my list, though I think I may have tried something else by her and found it waaaaay too light also….

        Yes, I can see the Henry James connection – a perfectly constructed social calamity!

        I tried C&S Dark Rose while I was in Germany and did like it! Unfortunately all the other heavier scents I tried on the same day made it seem wan by comparison. If it was the only one I tried I probably would have bought it…

        Will keep an eye out for the others you mention, thank you!

        • Jonette says:

          I was going to mention C&S Dark Rose, but see you’ve tried it. You do have to like saffron to enjoy it. I’m on my second bottle and adore it.

          • Merlin says:

            Yes, some perfumes just need to be tried on their own – and that was one. I do like saffron, so no wonder it appealed to me:)

        • nozknoz says:

          Iris is a soft note, so perfumes in which it features prominently are generally not going to be heavy, and many people do find it sad. My CdR is EdT, but not the current one, so maybe it’s stronger than what you’ve tested.

          It’s tricky when one is on a trip and sampling many perfumes at once, isn’t it? Did you buy something else there?

          • Merlin says:

            I can’t remember at that particular shop. In general I was nervous about spending a lot on something, since I usually need to test over a period in order to be sure!

            I did, however, bring home a leather – Gomma by Etro which is real love:)

            I guess iris is quite soft, even in the much-dreaded Iris Silver Mist which I adore, lol! I don’t in general find it a sad note – only when its combined with leather do I find it a downer, and yet, intuitively, I feel they should work well together.

            You EDT version may be stronger, but also, my nose is not very sharp and I find several of the Chanel Exclusifs to be on the very border of smell-able!

          • nozknoz says:

            Now I remember your mentioning Gomma before – I love it, too!

        • Jonette says:

          My beloved Amouage Opus V is said to be an iris/leather/oud scent. I love, love, love it! If that’s a kind of iris, then I want to find ‘that’ iris in other perfumes. If you get a chance, Merlin, sample it. It’s very, very potent. I just ordered yet another sample, but one of these days, I’ll have to buy a fb. I use it as a sleep/comfort scent. I haven’t worn it outside my house… yet.

          • Merlin says:

            It sounds beautiful! At the moment though I have some Ubar that I use for the most special of occasions;)

  46. Rappleyea says:

    Great fun to read these posts this a.m. with my tea. :-)

    Number one problem note for me is musk, all musks! I loathe them! They always smell like someone applied their perfume over old school deodorant! And my skin hangs on to the musk aroma-chemicals for days, making it even more disgusting!

    Iso-e-super is up there too, but for a different reason. I don’t mind the smell (I’ve smelled it straight), but in perfumes it always makes me queasy.

    Smoke and campfire – ugh! I so wanted to love Sycamore, but the note that Chanel listed as “burning woods” ruined it for me – nothing but dirty ashtray! Strangely, I love birch tar in perfume though.

    And lastly, fig. I’ve tried many, but I always get Windex. It took me quite a while to realize that it must be the fig!

    • nozknoz says:

      Interesting, I don’t like Sycamore, either, and the smoke accord in Amouage Tribute Attar almost did me in. And that creosote note in Andy Tauer’s Lonestar Memories – gaah! I also love birch tar, though.

      Musks – LT writes that they large molecules on the edge of the nose’s ability to perceive them, and that most people are anosmic to some of them, so perfumers tend to use a cocktail of musks. Perhaps your nose has a very good range of detection and is getting blasted by this technique. I definitely get blasted by some of them, for example, the musk in Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle almost covers up everything else to my nose.

      • Rappleyea says:

        LOL! I’ve never met a musk I was anosmic to! How I wish.

        VpE – it was the combination of the LOTV *and* the musk that killed me. And you can imagine, Guerlie-girl that I am, that Wasser’s penchant for using musk now instead of the Guerlainade devastates me!

        Tauer – While I don’t smell it per se, I’m beginning to suspect that he uses iso e super quite a lot. It will amp other notes, which is certainly true of his perfumes, and they leave me with that queasy feeling IES gives me.

        I may end up wearing nothing more than my own blends of essential oils!

        • nozknoz says:

          Yes, there is something in Tauer’s Phi that puts it right at the limit of my tolerance for woody notes, although it might be the sharper Australian sandalwood.

          I loved the IDEA of VpE; it’s such a huge missed opportunity, like Coco Noir. My fav floral vetiver is Chanel 28 la Pausa, but that might also be too much musk for you. I keep thinking other flowers should work with vetiver, too.

          I wonder if there’s a job for your musk-detecting nose. I think you should get to screen perfumes for maximum allowable musk volume!

  47. Laurels says:

    Leather usually turns sour on me, the same way most rose does. Bottega Veneta is unwearable for me, although the Eau Legère is nice. Parfums Retro Grand Cuir stays nice and true, and doesn’t go sour, but is a bit too heavy–I like smelling it more than wearing it.

  48. Parley says:

    SOTD is Guerlain Vetiver. It’s very warm out and Vetiver is tenacious while remaining crisp.

    Certain jasmines simply do not work for me – LUSH’s Lust and Flying Fox just smell like ashtray to me, for instance. I like jasmine in EL Jasmine and White Moss and as a co-player in general though, and I love actual blooming jasmine.
    Lily of the valley is hard too, often sharp and harsh, and spiky amber is revolting as well. Orange blossom centric perfumes sometimes resemble my grandmother’s soap, which is pleasant enough to wash hands with but truly disgusting as perfume. It smells like old skin.

    I’m a huge fan of the swampy and earthy though and even straight patchouli oil smells delicious to me. I must get a sample of iris silver mist!

    • Jillie says:

      Parley, I occasionally have difficulties with jasmine if it is too indolic and smells like poo. I obviously prefer the fresher versions and I, too, like EL’s Jasmine & White Moss (which is actually very like Cristalle in edp form and another of my favourites).

      Lily of the valley can also be hit or miss for me as well, sometimes bringing on a headache – and yet I love Diorissimo! But I had a revelation the other day when wearing it: it kept smelling like jasmine, and my husband asked me if I was wearing a jasmine scent so it wasn’t my imagination. I suspect this is because the LotV note has been toned down over recent years (IFRA), and although this wasn’t the latest reformulation, I do think it is a lot less “green” than it used to be years ago. I can’t wear straight-up LotV.

  49. Safran says:

    There are different categories, of what I don’t like:

    Notes, I used to like, but currently just have enough of:
    patchouli, oud, vetiver

    Notes, I generally find difficult:
    melon, lily of the valley, creamy notes, cumin –
    the latter with one exception, Epice Marine

    Above all, I can’t stand 99% of all musk note variations, it always bothers me in scents, with very few exceptions. I wonder, if anybody else has this musk problem?

    • AnnieA says:

      Not a musk fan either. It is either vulgar or boring most of the time.

    • nozknoz says:

      Yes, I also find some musks just too loud. Some possible reasons for this are in my reply to Rappleyea, above.

  50. nozknoz says:

    Aquatic notes and Hedione are so overused that they’ve become boring or annoying. There are a few perfumes in which they work for me because the balance is right, and they are used appropriately to suggest the dewey freshness of flowers: Puredistance I, Guerlain Idylle Eau Sublime and Grandiflora Sandrine.

  51. Jonette says:

    Between the ages of 25 – 40, most perfumes turned to cat pee on my skin! I found I could only wear Dior! So I wore Diorama, then Fahrenheit and then Dune became my signature scent for many years until my SO started me on those fabulous Middle Eastern perfumes with pure ingredients and nowadays I seem to be able to wear many niche scents and some mainstream frags.

    I cannot wear FM Une Rose. It made me sick! Now I know from Luca Turin’s review that it contains Karanal, that is perceived by some women to be urinous. I had suspected the truffle, but it must be the Karanal.

    There is also something in Aromatics Elixer that I cannot tolerate (literally makes me vomit if I wear it, yet I adore it on other women). I suspect it is some unnatural ingredient, as I have chemical sensitivities.

    We have a large Moroccan population here in Holland, and there is some fragrance that is very popular with the men. They love it and douse themselves. If I’m anywhere within the wide projection range, I get nauseous. It has a very strong sickly- sweet grape jelly note. Anyone know what this is? I want to avoid it in perfumes.

    • nozknoz says:

      Jonette, have you ever tried Tommy Girl, and do you smell it there? I really dislike the grape note in that perfume.

      One of the grape notes is dimethyl anthranilate. This is from Wikipedia on methyl anthranilate and dimethyl anthranilate:

      “Methyl anthanilate acts as a bird repellent. It is food-grade and can be used to protect corn, sunflowers, rice, fruit, and golf courses. Dimethyl anthranilate (DMA) has a similar effect. It is also used for the flavor of grape KoolAid. It is used for flavoring of candy, soft drinks (e.g. grape soda), gums, and drugs.

      “Methyl anthranilate both as a component of various natural essential oils and as a synthesised aroma-chemical is used extensively in modern perfumery. It is also used to produce Schiff’s Bases with aldehydes, many of which are also used in perfumery. In a perfumery context the most common Schiff’s Base is known as aurantiol – produced by combining methyl anthranilate and hydroxycitronellal.

      “Occurrence: Methyl anthranilate naturally occurs in the Concord grapes and other Vitis labrusca grapes and hybrids thereof, and in bergamot, black locust, champaca, gardenia, jasmine, lemon, mandarin orange, neroli, oranges, rue oil, strawberry, tuberose, wisteria, galangal, and ylang ylang. It is also a primary component of the essential apple flavor, along with ethyl acetate and ethyl butyrate. It is also secreted by the musk glands of foxes and dogs, and lends a “sickly sweetness” to the smell of rotting flesh.”

      It might be one of these perfume essences, and, and I wonder if it might be natural rue oil, which is an herb used in antiquity and still in some cultures (some of which consider it protective). I’ve encountered fresh rue and find it intriguing but borderline unpleasant.

      It’s interesting that several people commented above on not liking perfumes with an apple note, which also contains MA.

      • mals86 says:

        Right. Methyl anthranilate often seems to pop up in white florals – even ones heavy on naturals.

        Have never noticed it in Tommy Girl, though, and I like that scent, especially for cutting through heat/humidity/sweat in crowds.

      • Jonette says:

        Noz, that is very interesting information. Thank you. I recently sampled Tommy Girl and liked it, but it was too youthful and bubbly for me. :) I wouldn’t have liked it at all if I had detected a grape note.

        • nozknoz says:

          Maybe my nose is playing tricks on me!

          According to Fragrantica, the top notes are black currant, camelia, mandarin orange and apple tree blossom; middle notes are honeysuckle, lily, violet, mint, grapefruit, lemon and rose; base notes are magnolia, leather, sandalwood, jasmine and cedar. No grape, but I guess MA is common to other fruits, as well as grape.

          I’m trying it again today and it’s reminding me of Eau Sauvage: that idea of combining fresh feminine notes and fresh masculine notes. I still don’t like it, and it still smells grapey to me, but it smells better than it did when I first tried it several years ago.

      • Merlin says:

        Wonder if it is in Gaultier 2 which smells just like wonderful grape soda sedging into amber!

        • nozknoz says:

          Wow, I’m going to have to sample this just to see what a grape soda and amber perfume smells like!

          • Merlin says:

            Oh Nozknoz I love it, but then I have a weakness for amber and have always loved the smell of Grape Fanta. (Don’t know if you have that soda in the US). It makes ones lips go totally purple, lol!

          • kindcrow says:

            Merlin, we have Grape Fanta in the U.S. I’ve only had it once, but I can’t remember it. I will buy one the next time I see it. Welch’s Grape Soda is the best grape soda I’ve ever had. It’s very refreshing after days of camping in the desert :-)

  52. Jonette says:

    Oh, I wanted to add that it’s so strange how our love/hate of certain notes can change. My whole life, I couldn’t abide the scent of hyacinths. I now live in the Netherlands, where they are popular in gardens in the springtime. This year, I started loving the scent!

    • Merlin says:

      Absolutely! At the beginning of the ‘journey’ I abhorred vetiver which just smelled bitter to me. Now I appreciate it as an accenting note and even like perfumes where it plays the starring role. Nevertheless, I have not yet found one I absolutely adore, but it has come close…
      Same thing with galbanum. But, despite my advances, my first love will always be for sweeter orientals!

      • Jonette says:

        I haven’t liked any masculine vetiver fragrances, but I own and love a fb of Jo Love’s Pink Vetiver. Have you tried it?

        I’m not certain I could identify galbanum. I know it’s supposed to be green. Sigh! So much to learn. Nose, get sniffing!

        • Merlin says:

          No, we have Jo Malone here but not Jo Love’s. But I have heard wonderful things about it, so I will keep an eye out:)

          I’m not sure I can identify galbanum as such; but certain perfumes used to always seem particularly bitter and unpleasant to me and they usually (when I looked up the notes) contained galbanum. These include Chanel’s 19, Magie Noire; Lush’s Bug, Chanel no 19, Heure exquise, Magie Noire, and EL’s original Private Collection.

          I found, however, that I very much liked the original Private Collection, and though something like Lush’s Bug can still make me recoil, Heure Exquise is a true beauty. (I was hoping to grab a bottle on my trip but it turned out to be unavailable even in Germany!)

          And, in evidence of my progress: the last time I applied a touch of Magie Noire to one finger, I actually rather liked it. In the past it has actually made me queasy!

      • nozknoz says:

        That’s so true! I should systematically re-smell all of my samples some someday. Some year. Might take more than a year.

        • Merlin says:

          Well we are expecting a full report by June 2015! ;)

    • Merlin says:

      I admit to total ignorance regarding hyacinth as a note!

  53. eutrapelia says:

    I have some kind of hperosmia and this make me very sad in my olfactory impressions. I really hate indole, that I sense even in very small quantities. If the perfume contains indole, I hear only indole and nothing more. Also I keenly sense ambroxan – as I say – even when the bottle is closed in the cupboard in the other room (it is nice scent, but I am extremely tired to feel it two-three days after shower or from clothes).
    I also don’t like the frankincense, I feel it as very sweet, extremely sweet note, especially as basenote. Fortunately there are a lot of perfumes with frankincense, that are so talented formulated that I could wear them.
    More one disgusting thing for me is isobutyl quinoline (as I guess). I like tobacco and leather notes, but Cabochard and Bandit seem very unplesant to me – like an old ashtray.

    • nozknoz says:

      I’m hyperosmic to some notes, too, and anosmic to others. I wonder if any of us ever smell the same perfume that the perfumer smelled when s/he composed it!

      • eutrapelia says:

        Oh! I had anosmia for a year, it was dark time! I feel myself as blind and disoriented. Fortunately now I sense everything, but some things are too heavy for me :)

        I often think about how the perfumer tried to create the aroma. How works his nose and his skin. So many different combinations is possible! How he think whether the perfume is about ready and suitable for many people, not only for him individually?

        • nozknoz says:

          That would have been a dark time, indeed!

          You raise such interesting questions about how perfumers work, and how they deal with what works for them versus what smells good to other people. We should discuss this earlier in another weekend poll.

    • mals86 says:

      I don’t like that ashtray note, either.

      Sometimes it’s galbanum that can smell like stale cigarettes to me, oddly enough (because usually I love galbanum). Chanel Cristalle smells like cigarette ash to me, and so does Maison Martin Margiela Untitled.

      • eutrapelia says:

        I am not very experienced in galbanum note, but have to study :)

  54. Celestia says:

    List of notes I cannot stand:
    vanilla, gardenia, tuberose, freesia, musk, fig, coconut, frangipani, neroli, jasmine, tiare, powder
    One of my favourite perfumes is Chant D’Aromes which has gardenia! But, it is so well-blended that it doesn’t bother me.
    Musk and powdery notes make it difficult to breathe. But then I have a problem with the texture of peanut butter, not the taste. Must have to do with bronchial issues.
    I could do an equal list of what I do like, but that’s not the topic today.

  55. anngd says:

    So late on this, as usual. Many have mentioned notes I find difficult – Iris, aldehydes, smoke (not incense though). Two I can’t remember reading are woods – cedar and sandalwood. Cedar is nausea, two days of dizziness and headache. Sandalwood is a scrubber. Patch to a lesser degree bothers me – Atelier Mistral Patch is lovely, but even a tiny dab lasts for days. FM’s Epices Noir was great on paper but once it got on my skin it was an instant scrubber. SoTD was Aftelier’s Cuir de Gardenia, but it’s been three hours and it’s gone. Ready for something new. Happy weekend!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Oh, in total agreement with you on cedar! I’ve pretty much stopped trying men’s woody scents, even those described as more unisex, because they nearly always have cedar and I NEVER like it on me!

      • anngd says:

        Marjorie Rose, not sure I like it on men either! Suspect an allergy – mulch also produces the reaction.

  56. 2rista says:

    A belated hello from Spain. I have just finished and sent off another interminable linguistics translation and still have a little energy left to participate,
    The note I’m not fond of is rose, but, thanks to Sweetgrass, I do love Putain des Palaces. That’s going to be my next FB, if I don’t get side-tracked along the way!

    • mals86 says:

      That’s a pretty one. Not an overt sort of rose scent, though rose is definitely part of its character – it’s just soft and powdery.

  57. kindcrow says:

    I also don’t like freesia in perfume, etc. It always smells fake and turns my stomach. It’s OK in Jacomo 08 because there are so many other things going on. I can tolerate the actual flower, especially if it is extra spicy.

    • 2rista says:

      I’ve just ordered a bottle of O8, which I found online at a real bargain price. In any case, I like freesia, although I don’t think I have anything with that note as yet.

      • kindcrow says:

        Congratulations on the discount! I hope that you enjoy the 08.

  58. Omega says:

    Whatever the heck they put in La Vie, white musk, gardeniyuk.

    • 2rista says:

      Oh, I do agree. I hate it all!

  59. leathermountain says:

    What is that awful scratchy syntheticness that wants to smell like woodsy smoke in Yosh Konig? You know, the one that you can’t scrub off, even if you remove a couple of layers of skin? That’s my difficult note.

    • Merlin says:

      Yosh Konig – going on my never, ever to try list…

  60. Cybele says:

    Litchi and certain types of vanilla. Rose can be both very unattractive as for example the scent of Dr. Hauschka Rose Creme and very beautiful… And the cloying dense part of most Serge Lutens perfumes is not for me.

Leave a reply