Monday Question – Do You Believe In Love At First Sniff?

Do you fall in love with a new perfume easily?

Or do you tend to dismiss a perfume at first sniff?

Does it take some time for you to commit?

Do you think there is such a thing as love at first sniff that lasts for a life time?

My Answer:

I want to believe. Of course I have been disappointed many, many times, but I have found love at first sniff, but only once.

I smelled Mona di Orio Oud just once and knew this was destined to be. And I did not hesitate even for a day, before I pulled out my credit card and I did not regret it.

All my other great loves took more time, I did not even fall for Frapin 1697 immediately, Amouage Lyric and Memoir took at least three wearings for me to fall in love (but I stayed in love!).

There is one other perfume I fell for immediately, that was and is ravishing in its beauty, that entices me again and again every time I wear it – Puredistance I. But sadly, I cannot wear it as often as I would like, since I am allergic to something in it and I get a rash after a few hours of weartime. But some days I wear it, in spite of knowing I will have to keep myself from scratching my neck for the rest of the day, it is just so beautiful…

Many perfumes were brief affairs, one-night-stands even, but I don’t regret trying any of them. I have learned something from each and everyone.

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69 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Believe In Love At First Sniff?

  1. Hmmm…I do believe in love at first sniff, but it only happens on the odd occasion for me, the last time it did was with Honour Woman. Like you, my other my great loves have all taken time to fall for.

    I feel your pain with allergies, I’m allergic to L’Air du Desert Marocain and Une Rose Vermeille by Tauer, two fragrances which I love. It’s so annoying isn’t it?! Also, there is nothing worse than a skin allergy, it makes you so miserable! Perhaps it’s all of those natural ingredients?

  2. Sandra says:

    Great question! I cannot honestly say that I have fallen in love with a perfume at first sniff! But perhaps my experience as a teenager has led me to fall in love with gourmands more easily. I was always drawn to gourmands and my parents only ever allowed clean fresh scents to enter the rooms of their children. As soon as I moved out I started my perfume obsession with vanillas and ambers and that is where I remain to this day.

  3. Ines says:

    I rarely fall in love at first sniff but it happens (Lyric was one of those for me too). 🙂
    Usually it takes 2-3 good wearings for me to get to know a perfume and fall in love, but when that happens, I think it’s love for life, otherwise it doesn’t happen (I only like many perfumes, don’t feel strong love for them).

  4. Tarleisio says:

    Love at first sniff? OMG yes…The list is very long, but the ones who stay the distance is very much shorter! At the top would be (just to settle for this year’s edition!) Amouage Ubar – so perfect, it made me cry when I tried it, and I love it with a fury to this day. Epic Woman – same thing – no reservations, love at first sight and another forever love. Strangely enough, Lyric – which is stunning, no question – didn’t love me back, and neither did Gold. Jubilation 25 took at least three tries, and Memoir disturbed me and haunted me and prodded me like a toothache that wouldn’t go away. I didn’t like it much, but I couldn’t stop sniffing. Until…I surrendered. It stays! (and stays!)

    Cepes and Tuberose, Fig, Vert pour Madame – all were instantaneous. I hope never to be without them, ever. Rumi is on my Xmas wishlist. I will own it. Definitely. Puredistance Antonia is perfection – even today.

    The ones that didn’t make it quite so far…are usually the ones I send off to more loving homes, where I know they’ll be appreciated! 😀

  5. vanessa says:

    I’d say this happens to me quite often, and just as often I think I am in love and promptly fall out again on the second or third wearing!

    The ones that have “stuck” lately include Puredistance 1 (no allergies here, I am happy to report, though one or two of the all-natural Ajnes, which I also love, have been known to do just that, and like you with PD1 I have persisted in wearing them!), Carner D600 and L’Agent by Agent Provocateur.

  6. masha7 says:

    Mitsouko and HM’s Magical Moon were instant love, and remain so years later! I had to warm up to the Ormonde Jayne line, but I love it now.
    Most of the time, though, I know by first wearing if it’s going to be a keeper. I’ve stuck with my initial impressions over 95% of the time, I think. Tough customer, that’s me!
    Glad you liked the Mona di Oud- it’s been rather controversial among oud enthusiasts, I can’t wait to try a sample, it should arrive this week!

  7. Alexp says:

    Mon parfum cherie from AG is my latest love at first sniff. There were some perfumes for which it happend from the very first moment like L’Heure Defendue VII , Ubar just to name the recent ones 🙂 and others which I had to wear them several times until a strong relationship was bulid like Portrait of a Lady, Alahine or AT’s L’Air …..
    Actually I dismissed at first sniffs some of Andy’s perfumes like Le Maroc or Lonely Star but after some time I started to enjoy them a lot

  8. Dominic says:

    wow, my love at first sniff was… Addict by Dior. Yeah, I know many dismiss that fragrance, but I immediately knew it was my thing… i wear it only for specific occasions but it’s so blissful and reminds me of so many great moments that it will probably never change. But many others were hated by me when I sniffed them first time, like L’heure Bleue, Diorella, Dioressence, Cristalle, No 19, Rive Gauche, Chamade, even Angel was a no no… but now? I love these. Often I commit to those compositions I dismissed at first time, but if i find something fascinating in them I take them with me. I’m being less and less impressed with mainstream so I look for either older stuff or trying some niche.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Dominic, I’m glad you commented!
      It is the same with me, many great loves were dismissed in the beginning. Mainstream fragrances are sadly
      mostly disappointing these days, but there is so much to be discovered in niche, it doesn’t ever get boring. 😉

  9. malsnano86 says:

    True love at first sniff can happen, though often it takes me longer to fall in love! My “first sniff” sweethearts include Lyric, La Myrrhe, and Mary Greenwell Plum.

  10. bloodyfrida says:

    Oh yes, in the early 80s it was Opium, and most recently MH L’Air de Rien!

  11. deeHowe says:

    I do NOT believe in love at first sniff, except for the pesky problem that it keeps happening to me! In most cases, I didn’t buy immediately (finances limited my purchasing power), but for each that I truly loved at first sniff, I’ve stayed in love. Memoir Woman had me at Hello, as did Ambre Fetiche, Poivre 23, and Bois Blonde too! 🙂

  12. Marie says:

    Amouage Jubilation 25 for women was love at first sniff – certainly because it’s quite close to an old love Chanel no. 5 with an added oriental ooomph. I don’t own it, but I hope to some day.

    I can’t remember what I felt the first time I smelled Chanel no. 5 and Miss Dior – my old loves – I think I was so impressionable that I simply wore them because I knew they were good perfumes and then fell in love forever over a period of time. They have shaped my taste in fragrances for life, so if a fragrance reminds me of either of them, they stand a good chance of a favorable evalution.

    I’m with Vanessa on AP L’Agent – that was instant love as well. Another instant love was Miller Harris Fleur de Bois – both of them provided by Vanessa 🙂 I will love it always.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I wish I could love Jub25, but the cumin kills me… 😦

      Your great loves are a testament to your great taste, Marie!

      • Marie says:

        Oh, thanks, Birgit – that’s kind of you 🙂 I’m just grateful that whoever got me my first fragrances back then either knew a bit about good stuff themselves or knew to ask someone who did. But let’s not forget my secret, illicit and shameful love affair with Miss Dior Cherie – the original, not the reformulated, mind you – LOL! But, hey, just because we can appreciate the good 70 % dark Valrhona chocolate doesn’t me that we can’t enough a Mars bar every once in a while, right? Right…..? No?……

        It’s funny, because I can’t even detect the cumin in Jub 25 on a conscious level – it’s just one big Chanel no. 5 with the orient love thing for me – and I don’t really get the cumin as a separate note in Rochas Femme, either. Give me clove and cinnamon and I can smell them from miles away and am struggling with them a bit – strange how we perceive notes differently.

        • Marie says:

          “enough” means “enjoy”. The shame of my love for Miss Dior has now reached my brain 😉

        • Olfactoria says:

          That is interesting. Jub25 is all cumin, all the time for me, I can barely detect the perfume behind the cumin. 😀
          But not even my cumin-phobia is to be trusted. First trial of Kurkdijan Absolue pour le Soir was a disaster, the next time – no cumin, only warm fuzziness. I’m stumped…

    • deeHowe says:

      Between you and V, I see a bottle of l’Agent finding it’s way to my post office box… 😉

  13. anotherperfumeblog says:

    I do believe in love at first sniff, and many of them have stayed “loves”, but also many loves that are real favorites were not love at first sniff, like Shalimar and recently Lyric. I usually do not impulse buy, either, even if I feel that it is love. My practical side likes to make sure I haven’t fallen in love with a cad. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your practical side is admirable! I have a dark and well hidden shelf of cads… 😉

      • Marie says:

        I think that perfumes are really the only products that I really impulse buy. at intervals I love makeup but most of my purchases are carefully thought out. I think I like that little pocket of throwing caution to the wind in my life – that’s why I enjoy an unsniffed purchase so much. Repressed, me? Noooooooo.

    • malsnano86 says:

      I don’t mind investing in a decant of something I only *think* I love, but bottle purchases I’m more careful with.

  14. anotherperfumeblog says:

    Maybe I should say that “love at first sniff” for me is more like “exceptional promise at first sniff” which is often fulfilled, but sometimes not. 🙂

  15. Undina says:

    I was thinking about it recently, slightly from a different angle: with the amount of “new sniffs” I do recently I wish there was at least one perfume a month that would sweep me off my feet. I’m a little tired of “working” with my perfumes. I want to be falling in love with some of them the first time we meet.
    In my collection there are several perfumes that I liked from the first day I tried them (Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne, Heure Excuise by Annick Goutal, Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle) but even with them I’m not sure it was love. It might be that love came later.
    I bookmarked this topic and will be going through other people’s “loves” to see if I missed those, maybe I’ll love them as well?

  16. Claudia says:

    I tend to fall in love right away, ex. OJ Ta’if, but sometimes it takes me awhile to realize that I’m in love. I suddenly realize that I can’t get the thought of the scent out of my head, and I smell it even when I’m not wearing it. Ex. Dior’s Dune. There have been lots of perfumes that I sample once and never bother with again. I make up my mind fast, I guess.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Claudia,
      that sounds familiar! 🙂
      Over the years I have come to realize though, that many perfumes I have dismissed at first, have turned out to be great ones, I make it a point to revisit my rejects, and that persistence yielded a lot of loves for me.

  17. Lavanya says:

    I was going to say that I don’t believe in love at first sniff because it seemed to me that sometimes slower loves are stronger and stay strong with time (like Tango for me) but I realized a lot of my favorite perfumes were loves at first sniffs..Like Tubereuse Criminelle, Caron Poivre. Also Cepes and Tuberose, Fig and Shiso… Great question, B!

  18. James Dennard says:

    “Do you fall in love with a new perfume easily?”- No. I have worn fragrances for so long that I sniff a new one skeptically, wondering if it will offer anything new and interesting. When I try a new fragrance, I instantly search my brain for something I know to compare it to and judge whether it is better/worse/more interesting/less so, etc.

    “Does it take some time for you to commit?” -Because of a limited budget for my perfume habit, it has to be something very special for me to spend my money.

    “Do you think there is such a thing as love at first sniff that lasts for a life time?”- Yes. I fell for several fragrances that I feel sure will be with me forever. That could always change, but I don’t see it happening.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I like your thoughtful approach, Jim. Sometimes I dream of just owning a small, but perfectly curated collection of perfumes I love and use forever. No more testing… (won’t happen any time soon though.) 🙂

      • James Dennard says:

        Thank you for the compliment, Birgit 🙂 One of the many things I like about reading your blog/reviews is that you are always searching out new fragrances. As long as I have been interested in fragrances, I am mostly drawn to the classics. A few newer bottles occasionally find their way into my wardrobe, but they are rare. I feel like I could spend the rest of my life exploring classics that I have missed, so it’s nice to read your thoughts about new houses and individual fragrances. It reminds me there are still good ones being made.

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