Have you noticed that your taste in perfume has evolved over time?
Did you start out liking one type of perfume and ended up liking something very different?
Are you pleased with the progression?
Can you think of examples of perfumes you couldn’t imagine loving but now adore?
Or have your tastes pretty much remained static?
In the early days when I discovered I loved chypres, that’s pretty much what I stuck to. I couldn’t imagine ever liking white florals in particular. However, several years down the road I am craving Dior’s New Look 1947 with its luscious tuberose and jasmine blooms. It’s just so darn pretty and that’s no longer a dirty word for me when it comes to perfume.
I also didn’t think I’d find a rose perfume to love because in my ignorance I thought they were old-fashioned and dull. Since then I have found a number of wonderful rose perfumes including Frederic Malle’s Editions de Parfums Une Rose, Tauer’s Une Rose Chyprée and Parfumerie Generale’s Brulure de Rose.
I am very pleased with this turn of events because it opens up new worlds of perfume and keeps things interesting. Not so good is the way my tolerance for sweetness in perfume has practically fallen through the floor. I don’t know why this has happened or if it’s a permanent change but I can’t even wear my much loved 31 Rue Cambon at the moment because the level of sweetness is too much.
How has your own taste in perfume altered?
Can you think of examples of perfumes you couldn’t imagine loving but now adore? –> Yes, Chanel no 5! I find myself more interested in sophisticated ‘older’ scent, when back in the day I used to go with the latest release linear type perfumes . I now adore scents that were created in the 20’s. Not that it comes as a surprise because i LOVE the 20’s era as a whole – not just the perfumes.
Mel, I love that era too and it’s great to wear a perfume that women wore back then (albeit altered).
I know quite a few people who have come to love Chanel No.5. I think the vintage parfum is particularly effective at changing people’s negative opinions. I need to spend some time with it one of these days.
Older perfumes do seem to have a more sophisticated feel to them.
I can definitely relate to this, having recently “got” Cabochard, my “urinous saddle” nemesis of yore. Okay, so I’m still not wild about the first four hours or so, but the drydown is dropdead lovely.
Like you, I have grown to admire big girlie florals, and can even tolerate small amounts of civet.
Conversely, I’m increasingly bothered by clean musks, and am looking to shift several perfume bottles with a strong musk element – B by Boucheron being a good example. And this could also be why Opardu doesn’t work on me.
V, if you can come round to a perfume you previously described as “urinous saddle” then anything is possible!
It’s fun learning to embrace the big girlie floral. It’s like getting in touch with your flouncy feminine side.
My tolerance for those clean stabby musks has always been at zero so I can understand your growing replusion for those. Though I’ve been dying to try Opardu and am now gutted to hear that it contains the offending material. Oh well, (a lot of) money saved.
For many years I “didn’t get” Chanel – and now I have a whole line-up of Chanel’s bottles including those perfumes I tried on multiple occasions years ago and didn’t like at all – Coco and No 19.
A year ago I thought Guerlain wasn’t for me. A year later I have at least 3 or 4 perfumes I really like.
But neither No 5 nor Shalimar work for me still. I’m working on it 😉
Undina, it shows that we should never say never when it comes to perfume. I’m hoping to learn to love No.19 one day, it is a great fragrance. It was my mother’s signature scent for many years and is wonderful on her but she has sweet amplifying skin, whereas on me it’s very austere.
Who knows if Shalimar will ever be your thing but I’m sure No.5 parfum will be at some point.
I still struggle with Shalimar as well. Yesterday I was a Sak’s and tested the Shalimar Vanille hoping that the vanilla would help even out Shalimar’s sharpness. It started off promising, but in the end it still was Shailmar…which I just grew tired of after a while.
I had the same reaction to SV: better but still no.
For many years I would not touch anything sweet. My mother’s stern stance on sweet perfumes would ring true in my ears for years. I then dared to venture beyond green or floral perfumes and discovered Guerlain. Down the rabbit hole I fell – flat on my face!
Ha ha! Sandra, I’m glad you made it down the rabbit-hole, even if you did fall flat on your face!
I think Guerlain is perfect for anyone who thinks they can’t tolerate sweet or gourmand fragrances, especially L’Art et la Matiere. Sophisticated dessert perfumes for grown-ups!
Definitely my tastes have changed and I love it! I used to gravitate to basic florals (which I still enjoy) but, have found that my range of favorites has greatly expanded. I used to hate leather and animalic musks and now I love both. I used to think oakmoss made things smell like old ladies and now I can’t get enough. I love a “pretty” scent but, now I really enjoy something with layers that keeps you guessing each time you wear it. I guess it just goes to show why so many new releases smell the same (fruitchuli anyone…) because the majority of the population, sadly, never really delves into much more than the basic “it smells nice / fresh / clean” range.
I agree it’s a lot of fun when your tastes develop and you can appreciate a whole new range of perfumes. I agree that pretty perfumes have their place but so do those perfumes that are so interesting because they contain more challenging elements like oakmoss or leather.
It is a shame so many people will never discover the more complex fragrances out there. It got me down the other day when someone I know deemed a perfume “fresh” which in their opinion was the highest praise!
I was another No.5 hater. Never did I imagine I’d own a bottle of the stuff. I’m wondering if it’s an age thing. I really liked sweeter things when I was younger and now while I still like sweet sometimes I find myself drawn to things I used to think we’re too masculine or too (yup, I’m going to say it) old lady smelling. I think those older scents were just too complex for me to appreciate at the time. My tastes have changed but I think it’s because my nose has matured and I get things that I never used to. I still haven’t made friends with Mitsouko though.
poodle, you make such a great point. I think you’re probably right. In many cases, it could just be the result of paying attention to our sense of smell over time that makes us appreciate new kinds of fragrance. I do agree that we can have a tendancy to crave more complex perfumes as time goes by.
Maybe you and Mitsy will become friends one day 🙂
Yes, I started to like some light leathers and light tobaccos which I didn’t like for a couple of years of my perfumistahood.
lucasai, I think it takes quite a few of us some time to appreciate leather and tabacco fragrances. I’m still looking for the perfect tobacco perfume myself.
I found a lot of appreciation for SSS Tabac Aurea, Pd’E Eau de Gloire or Tobacco Vanille
Thanks very much for mentioning the tabacco fragrances that work for you. There’s something in the SSS base I can’t tolerate, sadly and I found Tobacco Vanille to be mostly vanilla but I will try again. I’ll be sure to check out Eau de Gloire too.
Hope this might be the one for you
Thanks! Me too.
Hah, my taste changed, a lot. Few years back I couldn’t imagine to wear white florals, or Iris – and now, parfums like Iris Pourde, or Danger are a beloved staple. And I’m happy about, I feel it as a personal development. One thing hasn’t changed though: still can’t stand tuberose…
I never thought you’d find a white floral to love! Those kind of surprises are partly why this is such a fun interest. I think you’re right -it does feel like personal development.
Now, there HAS to be a tuberose out there that’s right for you!
Dear T., I’m starting to think that there is none…
Oh dear. If you’ve tried Mona di Orio’s Tubereuse then you’re allowed to call it a day 🙂
I think most of my perfumes of years gone by have usually always been of an oriental/woody/amber/vanilla type with the occasional floriental. Definitely no girly ‘clean’ florals, or white flowers or old-school chypres.
Chypres I can appreciate and some I love, like Bandit, but in most cases they just feel too heavy and dank on me. Girly light florals and clean white florals I still can’t stand, and don’t mind not loving them. But until recently I HATED tuberose with a passion. Made me nauseous and gave me a headache. Then I fell for Manoumalia and suddenly I find I can’t get enough of tuberose and indolic white florals. Now I find them just as sexy and sultry as orientals, but a kind of warm weather alternative..
Lynley it’s good to know that tuberose haters can be converted! Interesting that it was Manoumalia that did it. I understand it’s a bit of love it or hate perfume. The Perfume Posse review of it is particularly funny.
I absolutely agree that tuberose perfumes are a perfect alternative to orientals for something sultry in the summer. They are real hot house flowers. Carnal Flower is another great example.
It was odd though, it wasn’t like I just went from hating to loving the smell- the smell totally changed! What I recognize now as being tuberose just wasn’t there, I could only smell this high pitched poisonous smell Now I can also pick up the distinct tuberose where it is one of many notes in a fragrance. Like Poison. I’ve hated Poison with a passion since it was released. Vile stuff. So after my tuberose revelation I tried a dab of the vintage parfum my mum mysteriously acquired. And yep. I smell tuberose and I love it! I’m still totally baffled by it though!
Lynley, try Cristina Bertrand No3 if you can track it down. It’s a really lovely white floral – clean and bright without being cheap.
Heck, my other reply appeared in the wrong place. But never no mind. I just wanted to say that what you have with tuberose, I’ve had with iris. It’s taken me a long time to get to like it – for ages all I got was carrots/turnips but now I just love it. I turned down a gift bottle of Iris Silver Mist when I was in Paris interviewing Serge Lutens – aaargh. Wish I had that decision back again! They gave me Feminité du Bois instead (which is also lovely, of course, but not so unusual).
Oh Patricia turning down a gift of ISM, I feel your pain! Feminite de Bois is a classic too though and how wonderful to have interviewed Serge Lutens. He’s a fascinating character.
I have worn perfume for over 40 years and in all that time my taste has always been pretty eclectic (very little that I won’t wear or at least try out 🙂 !). As a teenager I wore quite a few chypres and I believe that because these fragrances most represent my “youth” I tend to shy away from chypres these days (coupled with the fact that chypre scents are the least popular with those I am around).
brie, what a sophisticated teen you must have been, wafting around in elegant chypres!
I can understand if you taste has been eclectic from the start, then you’ve always been interested in a broad range of perfumes. That was lucky, as it can take some of us years.
I guess my lack of excitement over the Chanels, Guerlains, Diors, etc. was due to the fact that I wore them all in my youth in the late 70s/early 80s (before the days of re-formulation). I wore no 5 at the age of 15 and was once berated by an older woman who said I was too young to wear it…back then I did not care…if I liked something I wore it regardless of what others thought or what the trend was (now it is a different story 🙂 !!).
Overall I seek out quality and as much usage of natural essential oils (versus all synthetics).
I’m also thinking a lot more about quality these days. I’d like to restrict myself to just a few new bottle purchases of high quality perfume.
I can understand turning away from the perfumes you wore in your youth. We want to discover new things and move on past our teens, but the classics are often classics for a reason. Can’t believe you got berated for wearing No.5 at a young age. Surely that could only have happened in France?!
Nope…NYC in a ballet class- a much older ballet dancer chided me for my choice of perfume as she could clearly smell it coming off my sweaty body!
Ah, OK. Exercising around others while wearing perfume is a tricky one…
When I started out it quickly became apparent that I was an Orientals girl, and just like you I could never imagine loving either roses or big white flowers. I can’t imagine ever not being an Orientals girl and they are always my first port of call, but last summer I began to crave some powerhouse florals, since then I have developed a soft spot for really heady lush florals – the skankier the jasmine the better in my opinion and oh do I now enjoy wafting SL Fleur d’Oranger! But rose has been my biggest turn around and while I still stay away from the tea rose scents, warm blooded roses make up some of my favourite perfumes now: NV Mohur, Amouage’s Epic, Caron’s Parfum Sacre, LAP Voleur de Roses to name but a few.
Chypres still escape me though…
We seem to have gone down a similar road Alex, although I love those chypres!
I agree that tea rose type scents can be rather insipid but an oriental rose is something different entirely. I particularly love Epic and Parfum Sacre out of those you mention.
I also love rich oriental type roses. If you ever come across Rosae Mundi by Profumum, I highly recommend it. The price makes me flinch but if I ever do have a ‘spare’ $285 it’s going on this! It’s quality and it’s divine! 🙂
Thanks for the tip, Lynley! I hadn’t heard of that one.
Well, I’m old and I’ve worn perfume since a young age, and I pretty much still have and wear all my old loves. My taste has leaned to rich orientals, spices and green chypres. Falling down the rabbit hole has expanded my horizon and allowed room for new tastes but hasn’t gotten rid of my origins. The biggest surprise to me has been discovery of gourmands. I did not like sweet at all but have come around to really enjoying a few. Case in point, Angel: it took 12 years for me to appreciate it on an intellectual level but all of a sudden in just the last few months I “got” it, and I confess I’ve been wearing it a lot this winter. I love dark rose and green florals but I’m trying to expand my appreciation for big girl florals. Not there yet but if I can love Angel, anything is possible.
Isn’t it great when suddenly “getting” a fragrance you never imagined you would like can turn around your whole view of perfume? It broadens your horizons and opens you up to other perfumes you might not have otherwise tried. I’m sure the love of a big white floral is not far off.
I’m happy and feel lucky that my tastes haven’t changed *too* much since I FDTRH (fell down the rabbit hole) several years back, which means that I don’t have too many bottles in my collection that I’ve lost my taste for, even if I wear them less. The biggest recent change is that I’m suddenly able to wear fougeres, which used to feel too manly for me and just “not right.” Now suddenly I can wear Third Man instead of just sniffing the bottle.
Elisa, you make a really good point. If our tastes change to the degree that we no longer like a type of perfume we used to love, it can be disasterous for our collections! So you’re lucky your taste hasn’t changed to that extent. It’s better when we can expand to embrace new loves rather than come to dislike old loves. It’s also great that you have come to enjoy more masculine fragrances.
Am right there with Alexandra in liking the skanky jasmines! But the biggest change I find is that now I really do appreciate formulas with bigger ratios of naturals to synthetics. They are easier on the nose, and smell “richer”.
I’m happy for you and Alexandra and your skanky jasmines but if I ever get to love skank I will truly be amazed!
I can totally understand you turning to naturals to a greater degree. I think they take time to fully appreciate and they do have a richness that doesn’t usually overwhelm.
Oh yes. My tastes have certainly changed. They have broadened over time and through exposure to all kinds of scents, but at the same time I’ve also learned to pinpoint my personal favorites much more accurately. At least I hope that is the case, because we know how fickle we all are… 😉
B, I think exposure to lots of different fragrances is really beneficial in lots of ways. As you say, it broadens our tastes and “sharpens” our sense of smell to the point where we can pick up different nuancess more easily and quickly determine if it’s going to be love. You’re right though, we’re a fickle lot 🙂
Similar to what Brie said, my perfume tastes have always been pretty eclectic and what surprises me most is that they keep on broadening. I used to not care for jasmine-centric perfumes and now I love them (have been wearing a lot of April Aromatics Jasmina and La Via del Profumo Tawaf, lately). But even while my tastes have broadened in terms of genre and notes, for every ten to twenty perfumes I sample, there are usually only one or two that will impress me … so in some ways, I have become more exacting in my tastes. This makes things more difficult from a blogging standpoint, but it also really saves me money compared to my early days of sniffing.
Suzanne, that’s something Birgit touched on. As time has gone on, you have obviously refined what appeals to you, even across a broad range. It’s no bad thing as if definitely does save time and money but I can see how it might affect your blogging rate.
I’ve always admired the way you love so many different types of fragrance, from lush white florals to sophisticated vetivers.
I definitely must spend some more time on your blog 🙂 !!
I’m happy my taste evolved and I’ve learned to be open for whatever perfume comes my way and simply give it a try.
Civava, it’s a nice place to be isn’t it? Nothing is off limits and you don’t know what might surprise you next.
Like everyone else, in the 90s I wore anaemic, watery scents like Issey Miyake, which now I wouldn’t touch with a bargepole. But nearing 50, I find I can suddenly wear the powerhouse 80s fragrances that I so hated back when they were new – even (one dot applied with a q-tip) Giorgio of Beverly Hills! My main taste, though, is vintage chypres and fougeres, and modern niche houses like Roja Dove and the new Grossmith. I have no time for Jean-Claude Ellena and his minimalism, nor anything cute or fruity.
Patricia- I was laughing reading your comment…I am two years shy of the half century mark and I wore Giorgio when it first came out (was in my late teens) with reckless abandonment (same for Poison and other 80s powerhouses). Heaven helped the person standing behind me 🙂 ! I like this idea of applying one dot with a Q-tip….must give this method a try!
brie, I cringe to think of my 16 year-old self wafting Obsession with abandon!
I’m just bidding on Obsession right now!
I’m sure you can pull it off Patricia, unlike me at 16!
Tara…you are so funny! I think because I was so petite and thin my perfume wearing as a teenager was my way of making my presence known and a way of expressing myself that was most acceptable to my parents (albeit perhaps not to others noses 🙂 !!)
brie, that really makes sense. Unfortunately I have no such excuse 🙂
I wonder if sometimes we grow into those stronger perfumes as we get older. Perhaps it’s a confidence thing. I have definitely begun to gravitate towards fragrances with a strong, distinctive character. Cute and fruity just doesn’t cut it anymore!
I think you’re right, Tara. I used to wear light soliflores, not because I especially liked them, but because they didn’t intrude into the airspace of others. With age, I feel just fine about putting on a dab or two of Opium pure parfum, confident that I smell lovely and that, if others don’t think so, they are free to move away. I think that, in all spheres, as we age we become much less afraid of complexity, and even welcome it. A dab of complexity, mind you!
Exactly right! We feel like we can “pull off” more complex compositions as we mature. And you’re right – it’s not so much what you wear around others, but how much.
I’m told that even Angel, which I deeply despise, can be lovely as a single dab. I’m not sure I have the nerve to try it, though. The fragrance section of our local dept. store is a big writhing cloud of Angel, and I’m afraid that even walking through there would coat me beyond scrubbability.
It can be off-putting if a fragrance is over exposed like that. However, ringthing above finally “got” Angel after 12 years, so you never know!
I do think that as you get older you realise that life is finite and you start to feel the need to wear things purely for your own pleasure – clothes as well as fragrance. 🙂 I don’t give a stuff about what’s fashionable and what isn’t, only whether I like it.
Patricia, as I approach a milestone birthday I’m feeling the same way.
You’re right – caring less about following trends applies to clothes as well as perfume.
I will often retry fragrances that I first dismissed as “not me.” That was how I learned to love Coromandel. Those Vero fragrances, though, I’m still having a hard time with, even the latest, Mito. Just don’t get them…
Periodically re-trying top-class perfumes like Coromandel is always a good idea. There is a high chance that one day it will just click. Don’t give up on the Vero fragrances just yet. They really are something special but they are such unique characters it might take a while. It’s worth trying them in both the edp and parfum concentrations if possible, because they are noticeably differences (see Birgit’s wonderful reviews).
Thanks, Tara! I’ll keep trying, and that’s a good suggestion about trying different concentrations.
Like many of you I will try almost anything that comes my way. I have loved fragrances all my life and have found only a few that are offensive – Bandit, for example. Just can’t stand it, gave away an entire bottle. While not offensive exactly, I don’t care for the “new” Hermes fragrances that smell like a garden or tomato stems. I still LOVE the basic Guerlain’s and Patou’s. Now I’m immersed in Mona Di Orio, going through her Discovery Box, one scent a week. The nicest change has been an interest in incense-based fragrances. They make me feel as if I am in
profound ritual at church.
Anita, I gave up on Bandit for good a long time ago. With some fragrances you just know it’s never going to happen.
The Mona di Orio line is well worth exploring, I’m sure you’re having fun going through the Discovery Set. Vanille and Musc are favourites of mine. Try not to give up on Hermes completely. At least try the Hermessences if you have the chance.
I agree about incense perfumes. I turn to Comme des Garcons Kyoto when my stress limits are reached.
For years, I would wear the newest scents carried at the departments stores. The classics (Chanel, Guerlain…) seemed too “old lady” to me. 🙂 I eventually became burned out on the perfumes that I had easy access to and tired of smelling like everyone else. I started taking note of specialty boutiques and the perfumes they would carry. Antonia’s Flowers Floret was my first perfume purchase that wasn’t mass marketed. Thanks to the internet, my obsession has grown and although I still consider myself a newbie, I now appreciate the classics. I started out as only a white floral wearer (and I still prefer them) but I’ve grown an eclectic wardrobe of perfumes, most of them are Lutens. Citrus, Gourmand and White Musk have been included to my bottles of Fracas, Beyond Love, Fleurs de Citronnier, Carnal Flower… At the moment I’m intrigued with sandalwood. I know there is one out there for a white floral lover like me!
Lila, I think “old lady syndrome” is pretty common! The good news is that you can educate yourself out of it, as you have done.
Judging by your collection you don’t sound like a newbie to me. You’ve got some wonderful serious perfumes there. I’m sure there is a sandalwood out there for you. Serge Lutens does a couple for starters.
Santal Blanc might suit a white floral lover, Lila – it’s very clean. Santal Majuscule is probably too dark for you though. Glad someone else loves Fleurs de Citronnier – a really beautiful fragrance. 🙂 But I can’t believe how many of you hate Bandit! Do you hate Ma Griffe too? I find them very similar.
Sorry about Bandit Patricia! I think I tried Ma Griffe once but can’t remember it. I definitely didn’t get on with Jolie Madame which I see in the same vein. Birch tar leathers like Cuir de Russie and Cuir de Lancome are more my thing. Bandit is a classic for sure though.
I hated Bandit so much the first few times that I actually scrubbed it. And then, one day…. 🙂 Mr Darcy strikes again.
Wow, Patricia, maybe I shouldn’t write it off after all…
I’m still happily tumbling down the rabbit hole (does it ever stop?) and so far only a couple of my prejudices remain untouched. Well, the one against fruit notes has relaxed a little, in that I like plum notes in some dark rose perfumes. And I still HATE aquatic notes. Don’t know if I’ll ever get over that one. By the way, if anyone has a favorite deep dark rose to recommend, do comment! I’m hoping to try even more of them. Funny quest for someone who started out as a rose-hater.
I think a lot of us didn’t realise in the early days that old-fashioned tea rose scents are not the only ones around, until we discovered niche. Some deep dark roses to try –
By Kilian Rose Oud
Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady
Amouage Lyric and Epic
Lumiere Noire Pour Femme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
Happy rose hunting!
There are several on your list that I haven’t tried, and I’m going to make a sample order. Happy hunting indeed!
That’s great. Hope you find a deep, dark rose ro love.
Profumum Rosae Mundi! 🙂
Oh and I think Mona di Orio’s Rose is beautiful also
Have you tried Luten’s Rose de Nuit, Feral? I have the new Fille de Berlin too, but it is a little meh for me – a ‘nice’ woody drydown but bright up top, quite like Sa Majesté la Rose but more subdued.
I just received a sample of Rose de Nuit. I was fascinated by it, couldn’t stop sniffing at it, while telling myself that I can’t wear it out in public because I might smell funny. What is it about this scent? What do you think of it?
wooddogs3, I must admit I’ve never tried Rose de Nuit but maybe what’s putting you off wearing it in public is that it is known to feature a rather animalic musk as well a “dirty” honey note.
Maybe the honey note is phenylacetic acid. I find that beautifully floral but many find it urinous. When I tried Miel de Bois on my friends, opinions were very divided.
Patricia, you could well be right.
I think that’s where I am with Rose de Nuit. I smell mostly deep floral, but with enough undertone that I really wonder if someone might think I’ve peed on myself! But I had similar fears about civet at first exposure, so I’m letting my sense of it develop in private for now. I didn’t know what it was chemically, so thanks for the insight.
And I should add that I only received my sample a day or two ago, so I probably shouldn’t be talking about Rose de Nuit at all! I need to give it a fair chance.
I’ll try the Rose de Nuit. I just got a decant of Sa Majeste la Rose and it is lovely but a bit greener and brighter than I was looking for.
Feral, if you find Sa Majesté just a little too green and bright, then do try La FilledeB – the rose is less pink, more red, and softer, less sappy. Grand Amour by Goutal is nice too. WoodDog, you know, I just find Rose de Nuit beautiful, that’s all I can say. My original notes say: “Rose over wood, like old ladies’ faded rose notepaper in a wooden drawer, or rose scent left on clothes in a wooden wardrobe.” I know some people say it smells rotten, but I don’t get that. But I do have a few Lutens I only wear at home! Miel de Bois and Muscs Koublai Khan – wouldn’t wear either of those to the office!
My favorite perfume a year ago was philosophy’s amazing grace and my fancy perfume was Jo Malone English pear and freesia.One day while happily browsing the Internet I stumbled upon perfume blogs and started reading reviews. The rest is history! My top five now include portrait of a lady, santal majuscule, shalimar, cuir de russie and to my surprise carnal flower- I do not like tuberose! So what do you think guys? Have I fallen down the rabbit hole or is there still hope left?
Bhama, there is little hope for you, I’m afraid. You have well and truly tumbled down the rabbit-hole. The company’s great though!
I love the fact that you went from such light, lady-like perfumes, to some serious heavy-hitters. Your Top 5 are all truly wonderful.
Thanks Tara. I knew there was not much hope left, but as you said I gained some wonderful perfume friends!!
Perfume friends are THE BEST!
Reading everyone’s evolution has been so much fun! I started out with Cabochard as a 15 year old, went for Coco and Safari in college and then migrated to Casmir, then on to the Guerlains and Annick Goutal’s Passion in my 20s. Now, in my late 40s, I veer between orientals and ambers, green chypres (Perle de Mousse, I think you have me addicted), and Old Lady Arpege, white florals, and some random stuff. When I can’t think of what to wear, L’Heure Bleue or Mona di Orio Musc seems to fit the bill, or Nahema. I seem all over the map. Some of the Serges seem to like me, and I can get along with Bois des Iles now and again, but it’s the Guerlains that really are my true love. But, I’d consider an affair with Roja Dove’s Enslaved any day…
Gretchen, I think you started well and just got better! Cabochard is a very advanced taste for a teenager. I don’t know Enslaved but Roja Dove just sent me a decant of the Diaghilev pure parfum and ohmigod, it’s died-and-gone-to-heaven territory.
I agree with Patricia, your taste was sophisticated as a 15 year-old and you’ve just continued from there. The perfumes you mention are varied but they all have one thing in common – they are all pure quality.
Addiction knows no age limits! I was lucky in that we went overseas for a vacation back in 1980. I discovered The Clash and the Duty Free Shop…and Cabochard is what I chose above anything else I had to being home with me.
How wonderful. Perfume was positively banned in our house by my puritan father – we even had coal-tar soap. But my mother used to sneak me little bottles of Avon for Christmas as a way of getting back at him! She wore perfume once a year, on the only occasion they ever went out – Coty’s L’Aimant cream perfume in the black glass bottle.
Like Civava, I am also very happy that my tastes have changed and evolved. Perhaps what has changed the most is how much more I have smelled, how much more I have thought about it, and how much more I have learned. Undoubtedly, that has had a big effect on what I am drawn to now. However, it also gives me insight about my fragrance past. Now I can look back and see why I liked what I liked. I don’t think I could have answered the “why” at the time.
Currently, I am in a mega-gourmand phase. My 20 yo self would never have seen that coming!
I love that you have surprised your 20 year-old self with your current mega-gourmand phase! That kind of thing is a lot of fun.
Exploring many different types of fragrance definitely gives you more insight. It’s interesting to learn that now when you look back at the perfumes you used to wear you can see why you were drawn to them. That’s fascinating.
I try to stay open to new fragrant experiences. But I think I have isolated two categories of fragrances that I most enjoy. One is the old style fougere: Azzaro pour homme, Rive Gauche pour homme. The other type of fragrance I enjoy most is the classics of several categories: Grey Flannel, Polo (green), Old Spice, Dior Eau Sauvage, Guerlain Vetiver.
One of the benefits of being into fragrance for a fair amount of time is getting to your tastes well. It’s nice to be able to refine what kind of fragrances you love most and build a collection accordingly.
It’s great that you stay open to new fragrant experiences too though.
This blog has been a wonderful way for me to hear about new fragrances, as I don’t actively seek them out as much as I used to. 🙂
That’s good to hear, James. I rely on Birgit’s good taste to narrow the field for me too!
I used to stay away from anything that wasn’t a fruity floral, my signature fragrance being Paris Hilton by Paris Hilton. I liked my fragrances pink, girly and very sweet. While it seems silly, i really didn’t think i would like anything that wasn’t in the fruity floral category. Then one day I smelled Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie, fell in love, and my journey down the rabbit hole began. Recently I was surprised to discover how much I love my sample of Encre Noir by Lalique as it is a rather masculine wood, and that was something i never i thought i would like, but now turns out I love! I’m now in search of a white floral i can be equally excited about (:
Ashley, what a fragrant journey you’ve been on! From Paris Hilton to Paestum Rose to Encre Noir, that is some transition.
I sure it won’t be too difficult for you to find a white floral to love now you’re tastes have broadened so much.
I am not sure if my taste has changed, but I am much more open minded than I used to be (even though I know I am still not as open minded as many). Where before I would rarely give something a chance if it didn’t impress me on a card, now I’m more apt to go ahead and try on skin if the notes, the perfumer, a blog review, or something else tell me that I should like the perfume. I still often don’t, but at least I know I have given it more of a chance.