Saturday, November 26, 2011

Revisiting perfumes I've disliked

No, this is not me.

As I'm about to move within 3 weeks from now I've been in a major clear out mode recently. I've been going through all of my stuff, forcing myself to categorise it into "keep", "give away" or "throw away". My beloved perfume sample collection has been subjected to this as well. There are some that I'm very sure I'll never ever want to wear again (Hello Secretations Magnefiques and Serge Lutens Miel de Bois). But there are others I'm not so sure of how to handle. These scents I typically tried on once and either mildly disliked or just felt so indifferent about I never bothered to try them again. So now I've decided it's time to take on a few of them on and decided once and for all if they are keepers or not.

Frederic Malle - Une Rose. If I'd play "Guess the recipe" it would be the following:
  • 3 parts rose
  • 2 parts soap
  • 1 part fresh cow urine
  • 1 part beef broth
Does this sound like something you'd like to wear? First time I tried it I nearly shreiked in horror but the weirdo in me begged to give it a second chance. This time around I do like it better, it's resonating with the most sad, showy and melodramatic parts of myself. It's a "look how you make me feel, I'm all messed up and I'm desperatly trying to imply it's your fault"-kind if scent. Lets hope I won't find too many occasions to wear it - but I will keep it.

Tauer Perfumes - Incense Rose I remember trying this one on and thinking that the combo roses and washing powder felt old and that the sharpness hurt my nose a little bit. Shouldn't Tauer be able to do better? Now I tried it again and I can't believe I'm remembering the same perfume. The intro is absolutely wonderful, full of spices, reminding me of "glögg", the lovely Swedish mulled wine that's very popular here this time of year. I don't get a lot of roses at all but I do get LOTS of spicy incense. To me this is the perfect Christmas scent and I can't believe I even considered getting rid of my sample. 

Frederic Malle - En Passant. Bright and cheery lilacs. Washing detergent overdrive. When I was 12 real lilacs used to be my favourite smell, smelling them in En Passant makes me feel old. Another sample to be sent away.

Etat Libre d'Orange - Putain de Palaces. I'm perfectly aware of that this is one of the most loved and cherished ELdO scent. But it just doesn't work on my skin. I first tried it this summer and got "Suffocation by Play Doh". Now I also get bitter almonds, unwashed bodies and sun tan lotion. This sample is going away to someone who has better use for it.


  1. What a coincidence: I am starting to go through my collection in early preparation for a move, too. Some of the decisions are harder than others. :)

  2. I find that the first time I smell something, it isn't that great. For example, Washington Square. The first time I thought it smelled like wet tar. The second time it smelled the same, but with a glorious medley of streetcart scents I'd never seen used in perfumery before.

  3. I think my sample of Une Rose was off so I still do not know how a good one smells on my skin because a) I'm not paying for the second sample of something that was unpleasant on the first try and b) I'm afraid to put it on my skin in a store - just in case it still will be unpleasant even from a bottle.

    I haven't tried Incense Rose yet because so far percentage of Tauer's perfumes I liked out of all I tried wasn't that great, so I'm reluctant, again, to pay for something I might not like with the higher probability than average.

    En Passant just isn't my perfume though I think it's beautiful. I keep my sample for reference but there are other lilac perfumes I like much more.

    I liked Putain de Palaces as a scent but I just refuse to wear a perfume with such name.

    I was thinking recently about revisiting the samples that I didn't like on the first try but as of now I have so many samples I haven't tested yet at all and probably an equal number of those that I tried once and liked in general but didn't revisit since then that usually I re-test something I didn't like on the first try only if somebody on one of the blogs I read writes something really nice about those my "rejects".

    ~ Undina ~

  4. anotherperfumeblog, yes, and I must admit do feel a little bit stupid going around wearing scents that I only half like when there are so many others that I love...

  5. Joan, that is so true. Usually I get a lot more nuances from a scent the second day I wear it. But sometimes I like a fragrance the first day and the next it just feel tedious, so you never know... Washington Square sounds intriguing. I've never heard of it, who's the manufacturer?

  6. Undina, I read in "Perfumds the A-Z Guide" that "a subset of women" find one of the ingredients in Une Rose smelling like urine (and I'm clearly in the urine crowd myself) so maybe it wasn't just your sample...

    Tauer I also find being a hit and miss brand. But with me now liking Rose Incense the scale seemes to be tipping over in favour of them (4 likes out of 6 tries) :)

    I completely understand your take on the re-testing thing. Personally I simply like to clear out stuff and I feel that there is no sense in me keeping samples that I don't even want for reference when there are plenty of people who will gladly take them :)

  7. I'd say your recipe for Une Rose is spot-on. That sample came and went quickly here. I will disagree on En Passant mostly because I adore that incredibly strange yeasty-bit, but if you mostly get straight lilacs I can see how that would be a snooze. :)

  8. jen, since I wrote this blog post I've been thinking about what my problem with En Passant really is. The lilacs do remind me of when I was 10-12 y.o. but as the are somehow brighter than the real thing, what I'm getting is someone who's lying about how great their childhood was - and that's just a too weird thing to wear as a scent.