Monday Question: What Is Your Perfume Nemesis?

Is there a fragrance you are afraid of?

Do you struggle with one particular scent?

Is there one perfume you  love to hate?

My Answer:

A few days ago my answer would still have been Ambre Fétiche, although due to a mislabeled sample not the real perfume as it turned out. Now I would really like to know what was really in that sample???

My perfume nemesis, the one thing I love to hate and fear more than life itself now?

There are some tussling for that spot, but Enemy Number One is still Serge Lutens Miel de Bois. I see no reconciliation in the future. While I still harbor hopes for Muscs Kublai Khan, Kurkdjian’s Absolue pour le Soir or other dirty musks, that I will come around one day, I am dead certain the urine-rich monster sillage of Miel de Bois and I will never see eye to watering eye.

Image source: gomonews.de
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37 Responses to Monday Question: What Is Your Perfume Nemesis?

  1. Jeanne says:

    For me it was Keiko Mecheri’s Genie d’Bois. Horrors! A choking blast of cedar is all I got with one spritz–should not have bought that one unsniffed. It was dreadful! I honestly don’t know what I was thinking with that purchase. That was about 7 or 8 years ago. I normally LOVE Keiko Meceri’s frags, too.

    Second runner up was Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria’s Pamplemousse – Rancid cat urine. Had been looking for a bracing grapefruit smell, but this was just not doable.

    • Jeanne says:

      Last line first para. should have been “Keiko Mecheri’s frags, too.”

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have not tried Genie de Bois yet, but I know all about buying unsniffed. But the thrill is almost worth the risk sometimes. ;)
      Too bad about Pamplelune, fortunately I don’t get any urine or sweat associations with it, but I have heard from many that it is a problematic fragrance for them.

  2. *jen says:

    Fresh Cannabis Rose tried to kill me once. True story. We haven’t spoken since.

  3. deeHowe says:

    oooohh… my nemesis? Speaking of, who didn’t love Star Trek Nemesis? I loved Tom Hardy as Praetor Shinzon!

    *clears throat* ahem, excuse me…

    Is there a fragrance you are afraid of?
    I am terrified of Serge Loutens Louve! Also, Mure et Musc has me shaking in my boots at the very thought of it… (shudders). It did not play nice on my skin.

    Do you struggle with one particular scent?
    Tuberose is pretty reliably difficult, but white flowers as a whole are kind of hard for me. “Tropical” as a genre used to be gag-inducing, but actually, the Ormonde Jayne discovery set has me re-thinking the whole Tropical concept. I’m evolving :)

    Is there one perfume you love to hate?
    The first thing that spring to mind is Fracas. I spent a minute thinking about it, but realized that it sprang to mind because I love to hate it. LOL! Poor Fracas, is does not deserve this kind of treatment from me!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ah, Louve, it is simply incredible (not in a good way though) – another contender for me too.
      OJ really does white flowers well, so light and un-cloying unlike they often are (see Fracas, I am on board with that too!).
      I think Fracas will live on, despite our derision. ;)

  4. There is one fragrance that I even fear keeping a sample of it at home: Ambre Sultan! I too have a problem with amber dominant fragrances. I find them overwhelming. Too bitter. Too….. MUCH for me. But Ambre Sultan beats them all. For me this is terror in a bottle. It isn’t so much that I do not like it. It is that it hits me so hard and in so many places that I do not have time to decide whether I like it or not. It brings me down, it makes me think of monsters and dungeons, it is one evil fragrance. I was once sent a sample and I thought I should give it another try. I sprayed and then… I had to scrub it of. And for a couple of days later I was still catching hints of it in my house which made me shiver.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Amber can be powerful! But that is what I love about it…
      But monsters and dungeons are indeed nothing one should be reminded of with a perfume, best to stay away then. :)

  5. Ines says:

    As much as I love your Monday questions, they are sometimes difficult to answer. :)
    There is a fragrance I hate and was so far my first and only scrubber but I’ve successfully forgotten the name and even the brand (I really tried hard not to think of that moment much) – it was either Creed or Bond no 9, part of one of my first received swap packages.

    The one I’m scared of getting near is Guerlain Insolence, that just smells awful on me and makes me wonder if there is anyone on whom it possibly smells ok.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Of course they are hard to answer! I like a challenge! ;)

      You did well suppressing the memory of your scrubber, lol!
      Insolence is something I stay away from too, I loved Dee’s review of it though, so that is its one redeeming factor.

  6. Georgy says:

    For me almost everything drin comme de garcon Ja too weiry for me, as for ladies perfumes i cannot smell poison anylonger

    • Olfactoria says:

      Poison is poison ;)
      Comme des Garcons can be challenging, I love the incense series though.

      P.S. gotta love the auto-complete of a cell phone, I think it wants to speak German! ;)

  7. lady jane grey says:

    It’s funny, how one’s Nemesis can be other people’s favorite : I love Louve (I cherish almond scents…).
    My Nemesis is most probably everything with Tuberose note in it (I know, i know, 90% of the human race loves it…).
    BTW, the latest perfume I had to scrub off furiously from my wrist was Balenciaga (the one Gainsbourg makes the advertizement for)
    As for the „Love to hate“-category I share it with DeeHowe…

    • Olfactoria says:

      As Carrie Bradshaw put is: one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure, or something to that effect. :)

      I am with you on the tuberose, so we are three already in your 10% category. ;)

    • deeHowe says:

      It’s interesting, isn’t it, how differently we “read” a fragrance? I was just thinking about that, because I totally don’t see the dungeon monster in Ambre Sultan! It’s just a nice little Amber, a playmate for Ambre Fetiche ;)

  8. RH says:

    1. I can’t really think of a certain fragrance I’m afraid of, but as I mentioned before here, the Serge Lutens in general make me wary, and the Guerlains intimidate me because most of them struck me to be too powdery… oh well… much time has passed since my last testing so maybe I’ll go give them another shot.

    2. Everyone seems to love leather- I can’t stand them. They make me nauseous. It’s fine when they’re not so noticeable but in your face leather is just… ugh, hand me the plastic bag already.

    3. I’ve not really smelled much of the “notorious” scents (i.e. Secretion Magnifique or MKK or even the crazy Fracas everyone either loves or hates- I’m a wimp!!!) so I can’t comment much on this question… and If I hate something so passionately I’m sure to remember it, but nothing comes to my mind, so I guess I don’t “love to hate” a certain scent…yet… :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I can’t stand strong leather scents either, they make me nauseous and I am always reminded of the smell of cars, which make me motion-sick, when I don’t drive myself. So no obvious leather for me too.
      If you need and instant hate scent, try Secretions Magnifique. :D

    • *jen says:

      I have narrowed it down to this: too much birch tar does not an agreeable leather make. I have spoken.

      ps: I think I need to wear Cuir de Lancome today. :)

  9. Georgy says:

    @B: yesss my typos are legendary and somethimes even freudian:-))

  10. Tarleisio says:

    Hmmm. If I’m listing Radioactive Meltdowns as opposed to Fumes I Hate, I have to think for a moment. And I might be strange, because I love leather (Bandit, Cabochard, Boxeuses), and I worship Ambre Sultan with a fury. I even like tuberose, but Fracas makes me…nervous.

    Ahem. Number one of the list has got to be Muscs Kublai Khan. In a word. Just…NO! Not even if my arm were in Ulaan Bator. Ever. It ate my arm, it chewed on the rest of me, and then decided to spit me out like so much discarded gristle. I turn green just thinking about it.

    Number Two: Angel. ‘Nuff said! One bad Z-movie in a bottle, with not even Russ Meyers to redeem it. It shares that dubious distinction with Ambre Narguile. I think March of the Perfume Posse dubbed this one the Nazgul…and she’s totally right!

    Number Three: I admire this one so much, and she hates me and wants me d-e-a-d. It’s a green chypre, which is a family I love and adore. She’s made by an incredibly talented perfumer. And she wants to kill me, preferably in as gruesome a fashion as she can manage. It’s Ormonde Woman. I had to get even somehow, so I gave it to the antagonist in my story…;-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      MKK, ugh, I cannot see myself with this either any time soon, but I have learned to never say never, so I won’t. :)

      Did you read today’s post by Marla on PST about Angel? It somehow changed my perception of that fragrance, it doesn’t mean I have to love it, but I see it in a gentler light now.

      OJ Woman is truly strange, I can’t wear/bear it either, the hemlock is too poisonous for me. ;)

  11. Undina says:

    My Perfume Nemesis is FM’s Carnal Flower. I had my own sad story of a mislabeled sample (but I had to pay for the Knowledge, luckily just a price of a travel refill, not a FB). But since this perfume kept inserting itself in my life I decided to keep that 10ml travel bottle and take my poison small portion at a time hoping to get used to it.

  12. Marie says:

    Gucci Rush and Gucci Rush 2 are my nemesis(-es??). I like them but I hate them. They are as abrasive to my nose as was the grater that took off part of the skin on my knuckle when I grated carrots the other day. I received Gucci Rush 2 as a birthday present some years ago and my surprise upon smelling it for the first time was complete – “whaaaaat is this????” I had never smelled anything like it. I still don’t get it, but I still go and sniff everytime I get the chance in a department store.

    Opium in the eau de parfum feels like I have a big old, heavy saint bernhard sitting on my chest when I wear it. It has big beautiful brown eyes but it doesn’t help. It’s too big for me. The eau de toilette I can wear every now and then.

  13. Warum says:

    So far, I have not encountered a perfume which I wouldn’t retest. And oftentimes retesting helps eliminate the issue. I remember hating EL Sensuous from a spray in duty-free, but then I got a sample of it and liked it just fine. I still haven’t had a chance to retest Midnight Poison that I hated from the same duty-free trip or EL Spellbound from a test at Macy’s… the quest continues! ;)

    • Olfactoria says:

      When I declare something a nemesis I have tested it several times – with a disastrous outcome.
      I often experience what you describe though, the first impression does not hold up in many cases, and I have ended up liking some perfumes I could not stand the first time. But in some cases there is no hope. ;)

  14. Pingback: My First Scrubber « Undina's Looking Glass

  15. I hate the sneezy, eyeball-melting horror guffed into the air outside Abercrombie & Fitch stores in the US. I don’t know if A&F commit the same atrocity against nostrils and right-thinking people in their shop locations in the rest of the world.

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