Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Sensual Perfume?

Which perfume do you find especially sexy?

Is there a scent that you find very erotic?

Which perfumes makes you feel sensual?


My Answer:

What a question today! I can be sure to draw all kinds of unwanted Google traffic with this post. For that I have to thank a friend of mine who asked me what perfume she should wear to a date with a long-lost love she is meeting again after years of separation. She wants to look and smell her very best. Aside from a new wardrobe, she wants to invest in a perfume that “makes him want to be close to me almost against his better judgement”.

My first thought would be something soft, fuzzy, warm that wears close to the skin, a bit gourmand, because in my experience men often like that and irrestistibly good. You don’t want to wear too much of anything, it should whisper not scream and it can’t be controversial in the least. I would never wear something that could be a turn-off for the other person, only because my used-to-smell-almost-everything-nose likes it. As much as I love Aftelier Tango or Vero Profumo Onda, I would apprehensive to wear them in such a situation, where I want to make sure my perfume is inviting and nothing but.

One very sensual perfume for me is Frapin 1697, another Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan in very small doses, maybe also Musc Ravageur… I can also imagine a gourmand being very inviting like Réglisse Noire, Gourmand Coquin or Xerjoff Casamorati Lira.

Another good strategy could be to go for tender and soft scents, like Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette or Il Profumo Nuda.

I want to make sure that my friend finds a perfect scent and we both hope for your help. I also will definitely ask her date later on what he thought (I know him too).

So, what do you say? What is your advice? What are your favorites?

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101 Responses to Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Sensual Perfume?

  1. Hey there Birgit,
    I have a few but lately I like Splash Forte by IUNX, Un Voix Noire by Lutens and Felanilla by Perfumerie Generale.
    They are unusual enough that there aren’t any other associations, but if I really want to get lucky I have a shower, clean seems to work better than any fragrance.
    Portia x

  2. cookie queen says:

    Bloody hell. I am trying to make cookie dough here. Onda is hardcore, so fabulous as it is ………. But I recently got turned onto SL Boxeuse, anda dab of that, as opposed to a spritz, would be just perfect. IMHO 😉
    Bis bald. Bussi x

  3. annemariec says:

    I think Rochas Femme is pretty erotic but I wouldn’t wear it on the sort of date your friend is anticipating. It’s *too* sexy for that situation, too suggestive. I would play it safe with something like Atelier’s Vanille Insensee – bright, clean, modern, and choc full of vanilla, which men are reputed to love. Long lasting too.

  4. I love the surreptitious psychological planning here. I understand it so completely. All the angles, pros and cons….

    but you are definitely right about the gourmands, in carefully judged doses. Coquin could be divine, but could go wrong, could it not? What if she gets hot and flushed? Curdled chocolate?

  5. Zazie says:

    Good luck to your friend!
    I totally agree with your definition of sexy prefume: warm but not overpowering!
    The dark-oudy-rose cathegory could also be very sexy on the right skin (on mine it certainly isn’t, but I’ve met dark beauties who could really rock those ouds by montale!).
    I know it’s trivial to say, but I think personal chemistry plays a huge role in what smells great on us.
    Your friend should choose a perfume she immediately bonds with: it must smell good on her and to her! Feeling confident and at ease is a huge part of being attractive, IMO.

    My personal choices would be a tiny drop of Shalimar, Mitsouko, Amouage Gold or Montale intense tiarè – these have drawn many spontaneous compliments from my husband and male friends, but I really think the most important trick is to apply sparingly. Most men will turn their noses at a sillage, no matter how modest it is, but will be seduced by a warm whiff of something reaching their nostrils when they hug you, or when they pick up your coat/scarf…

  6. Ines says:

    I would say Lyric for a more romantic sensuality, Worth Courtesan for some hot sensuality and MdO Lux for some languid sensuality…

    As for your friend, I wouldn’t suggest Courtesan. 😉 Not for a first date anyway. Plus, it scares some men.

  7. Moochebo says:

    I would go with a vanilla/gourmand – maybe Prada Candy, or Amber – L’Ambre des Mervaille or if all else fails – Mitsuko – can’t go wrong there.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Moochebo,
      thanks for your recommendations. Interesting that you find Mitsouko non-controversial, my husband for example unfortunately would run the other way as fast as he could smelling Mitsouko. 😦

  8. Safran says:

    Hi, the first one, that came to mind, was L’Ambre des Merveilles as well, but since I know your history with it, B., I thought, maybe not. When I think of sexy and sensuous scents, Amber scents are the ones I’d pick. I personally would go for Cafe Noir by DSH or anything similar, but that might be too strong for your friend. Sensous and it’s flankers could be nice too. If money would not be an issue, I’d choose above all ONE drop of Black by Puredistance! Applicated at least an hour before the date, so it has time to melt into your skin.
    Good luck!

  9. poodle says:

    If my husband is any gauge of what guys like to smell then what makes your friend feel sensual and sexy is probably not the scent that he’s going to swoon over. That’s usually how it works in my house. I think I smell sexy, he doesn’t even notice. I spritz on something fruity or gourmand and he is like a moth to a flame. Womanity, Like This, and (I hate to even say it…) Dot, are a few he really loves. The only one we agree on that we both find sexy so far is Rubj but that might be a bit much for the occasion you’re discussing.
    Whatever she wears, at this point, she needs something that makes her feel good as well. If she feels fabulous he will hopefully find her fabulous as well.

  10. Georgy says:

    Musc koublai khan

  11. Lady Jane Grey says:

    O.K., I’d like to come back then to the idea of “makes him want to be close to me almost against his better judgement” – so Musc K.K. wouldn’t be the right thing here…. Unfortunately we don’t know anything about the object of desire, but I’m with Moochebo : (most) man cannot resist Vanilla scents, “pretty” Muscs and tame ambers : Dulcis in Fundo, Nabucco Amytis, or a hint of Ambre Nuit…

  12. Darilyn says:

    This question made me chuckle, bringing back memories…I was with my husband for 10 years before I had a perfume that he loved! After all those years of sniffing, trying to find the one that made him swoon, it was at the Guerlain boutique in Epcot, on a vacation with our 8 year-old son. After briefly looking around the store, my husband handed me a bottle and simply said “this is the one”…It was Mitsouko! My vote is for Guerlain…

  13. Annina says:

    Dear Birgit,
    Don’t you agree that your (and my) beloved L’Amber de Merv would be perfect for such an occasion? It’s warm, cozy, AND sexy! It also has some mystery. It’s sweet, but not too much so.

    Others that get my vote: SSS Jour Ensolielle (my husband says It’s sexy and feminine), Lauder’s Sensuous (musky and gourmand), Calvin Klein Truth (very sensual, still easily found), and SJP Lovely (cuddly and feminine).

    Best of luck to your friend!

  14. I’ve read somewhere that smell of vanilla makes men confortable.I think anything with a on a vanilla base would do. Just don’t use something like Chopard’s Cashmir, this would be too much. Felanilla from Perfumerie Generale is very subtle vanilla scent.

  15. ringthing says:

    Hmm, and this is before I’ve even had coffee…. Musc Ravageur would be my choice. Another that came to mind is Dior Addict; it’s got the vanilla and it is my most complimented scent by the opposite see in social situations, although it gets overlooked these days.

  16. Suzanne says:

    My vote for the fragrance for your friend to wear would be Chanel Coromandel, just a couple spritzes. It’s so beautiful that it tends to rivet one’s attention, and the patchouli and incense are sexy in an ethereal way … to me they impart an air of mystery, and that usually is the thing that is attractive about a person. Even though these two have a history, she’s been estranged from him for awhile, so she can work that mysterious vibe … make him want to be in on her secrets. 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hmmm, a very nice idea. I didn’t think in the patchouli direction at all, but I value your opinion very much, Suz, especially when it comes to this area of expertise. Coromandel is in the running. 🙂

  17. As others have noted vanilla scents seem to work a treat on the male. They make me feel cozy not really sexy though but I think it’s a fine line for the scenario you’re referring to. I’m definitely thinking Musc Ravageur and maybe something like Vanille Tonka or even Back to Black.

  18. Sabine says:

    I can’t really recommend anything for your friend, but when I had to chose for myself I would go with either Damiris by Laboratorio Olfativo or Seven Veils by Byredo. The former is a splendid gourmand iris and the latter an oriental with a twist. Having attended the latest PLL meeting I would also make a case for Le Labo’s Patchouli 24. Bacon and vanilla has to be a winner. But as I said, these are my choices and they speak to me, difficult to imagine sensuality for someone you don’t know.

  19. Sabine says:

    It also helps to spell the perfumes correctly. Daimiris. By Labortorio Olfattivo.

  20. Onda, Memoir, Musc Ravageur, Rubj EdP, Ambra di Luna…and I agree with Ines on Lyric for a more romantic sensuality.



  21. Sandra says:

    Oh this is a tough question! Vanilla is a wonderful place to start – but vanilla that is not straight up. How about Cuir Beluga? But if she wants a sensual vanilla I would suggest Tihota.

  22. lucasai says:

    Sexy = Atelier Cologne Rose Anonyme, Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense
    Erotic (an invitation to foreplay) = Ramon Monegal Ambra di Luna

  23. Bhama says:

    For a soft gourmand/powdery perfume I love Safran Troublant by Lartisan and Love, Chloe. For bolder choices I would go with a tiny drop of Amouage Homage attar/FM POAL/FM Carnal flower.

  24. florence raab says:

    For a first date, I’d say Candy Prada or Alambar by Laboratorio Olfattivo or my own smell: Oriental Brûlant by Guerlain: gourmand but not too much…….For the others dates: Jubilation 25 amouage and Black Jade by Lubin who are really appreciated by men and… and still Oriental Brûlant, sure not to make a mistake.

  25. Vanessa says:

    Ooh, I love this post! Katie Puckrik always used to cite Bruno Acampora’s Musk as the go-to ‘business scent’ she would recommend, but it is quite hard to come by. Musc Nomade by AG might be a good subsitute, or a dab of Musc Rav or its cheapie dupe, Meharees by L’Erbolario, which Odiferess tipped me the wink about.

    Otherwise, I would recommend the likes of OJ Ta’if or Diptyque Volutes edt or indeed Ambre Nuit as someone suggested – powdery / woody / ambery mysterious scents that leave a beguiling trail. Oh, and a drop of PD BLACK I would also second, as Safran said. And Ambra di Luna is an excellent rec – I must get a sample of that one as I have been kicking myself that I failed to do so when I tested it in-store last summer.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I like Acampora’s Musc a lot in the drydown, but it smells like mushrooms on me for a good long while before that… 😦
      Thanks for your suggestions, Vm Ambra di Luna seems to be the winner along with vanilla and/or musc.

  26. Vanessa says:

    That was probably Musc not Musk there!

  27. Bhama says:

    I second Bruno Acampora Musc-its such a beautiful skin scent and not too animalic… at least on me! SSS Nostalgie is another one that popped into my head right now!! I love how retro/classic it feels!!

  28. Dearest Brigit
    La Nuit Paco Rabanne
    Cuir de Lancome
    L’heure bleue Guerlain
    M/Mink Byredo
    Tobacco Rose by Papillion Perfumery
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  29. Laurels says:

    I’d love to find that kind of scent for myself! Every perfume ad seems to promise to create that kind if effect. In my experience, you’re better off with something you love and feel comfortable in. Whenever I’ve tried to wear something I thought was really sexy, a real bombshell sort of scent, it felt wrong as soon as I said hello, like I was trying too hard, or wearing clothes that didn’t fit right. Maybe wear something cozy and vanillic for the first few dates, and save the big guns for later on when you want to shake things up a bit.

  30. Figuier says:

    Tough one. I agree with those who voted for a relatively quiet perfume applied subtly – something that smells appealing but will only register semi-subconsciously. A sophisticated non-foody vanilla sounds ideal, as vanillas tend to dry down fast and really sing in the base; hopefully resulting in an effective yet ‘low frequency’ aura.

  31. judith dm says:

    Cuir Beluga or Gourmand Coquin, absolutely!!!!!!!

  32. quarteringsea says:

    That’s a difficult one!

    I have been ‘blessed’ with an SO who has a very blunted sense of smell, so since he can’t smell the majority of my collection (and can’t muster up even the slightest care about the remainder) it would be based off of what *I* found sexy, or hit the right emotional note for me and me alone…

    I like the suggestion of the vanillas for the snuggly angle, so… let me throw in Indult’s Tihota, or Jalaine – either Silk or Vanilla, I go back and forth on which I like more. For less actual-vanilla not-really-gourmand but still (imo) in that vein, SoOud’s Ouris is a longtime favorite.

    If I were going for more sultry than snuggly… Tom Ford’s Shanghai Lily, maybe. I like L’Artisan’s Amour Nocturne because it makes me feel powerful and alive, but the gunpowder accord could backfire (no pun intended). Similarly, I have a gorgeous rose oud attar from Amouage, but a little goes a very, very, VERY long way.

  33. Natalie says:

    Not an original suggestion, but I have to agree with Ambre des Merveilles (too lazy to check spelling at the moment). Nothing from Hermes feels like it is trying too hard, and that is (in my opinion) the main thing to avoid in this situation.

  34. Dionne says:

    It’s been an awfully long time since I’ve been a part of the dating scene, so I’m not sure how much my opinion would count, but I’m going to go a bit different in my recommendation. When I’m helping friends find a fragrance, my opinion is that it’s far more important that they *feel* sexy than whether or not the date has a thing for, say, vanilla. Confidence and feeling comfortable in your own skin, now THAT’S sexy.

    Personally, my go-to scent is Black Cashmere. My outlier skin chemistry means there are a lot of things that don’t work for me, but when they do…..

    • Olfactoria says:

      I agree, she has to feel good first Nd foremost, but in my experience such confindence wanes extremely quickly when my husband expresses a dislike of my perfume. We’d want to avoid that… 😉

  35. Alyssa says:

    One perfume that always makes me feel my sexiest is one by Bond No 9 called Perfumista Avenue. Maybe it’s the red plum or rose oil notes but everytime I wear this, I feel like a sexy and classy lady. What can I say, it gives me confidence!

  36. Armani Code for women fits all three, definitely my all time favorite 🙂

  37. fruwinther says:

    I really have to check out that Ambra di Luna…..I guess my choices would be the before mentioned Buno Acampora Musc -i get the mushrooms at the opening, but they disappear quite quickly, and then it’s musc with a touch of lazy tiger, cosy mornings and not really wanting to get out of bed…Musc Ravageur,Carnal Flowe PG Felanilla,MFK Absolur pour le Soir, my new love Onda extrait and Rania J’s Ambre Loup are also on my list. And my husband thinks Muscs Kublai Khan is sexy as hell 😀

  38. isabeau1977 says:

    When I wear Tabac Blonde I feel like a sexy moviestar from the ’20s 😉
    Also great fragrances MKK, Musc Ravageur and Feminine by D&G.

  39. Kristina says:

    Nuits de Noho! For sure everytime I wear Nuits de Noho I feel like a rock star. I find its notes to be super erotic and sexy that I try (keyword TRY) to save it for special occasions. Its difficult tho because its addictive! Everytime I smell it, I feel like I can take over the world. Cheesy I know but try it for yourself and youll see what I mean!

  40. anatu13 says:

    In your friend’s situation I’d go for Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, Diptyque Tam Dao, or if it was summer, Frangipani. Vero Profumo Rubj EDP, Lubin Idole edt (NOT the edp), and OJ Orris Noir are ones I find particularly sensual, though.

  41. I don’t remember if anyone has mentioned them, but the Hermessences Osmanthe Yunnan or Vanille Galante might be worth considering. Ambre Narguile (my personal fave of the Hermessences I’ve tried) applied lightly would be nice too. Also, if Musc Ravageur is too much, L de Lolita Lempicka might be worth a try. It’s got some similarities to MR, but the vanilla is dialed up and the musk dialed down a bit.

    Another one I think would be nice is Ginestet Botrytis, a nice sheer-ish honey with tobacco and spices. I find it to be in kind of a similar vein to Ambre Narguile but not as big, and not as fruity.

  42. Lauren says:

    The first perfume that comes to mind is Organza Indecence. IMHO this is holy grail sexy. There is enough vanilla to keep it cozy, yummy, and easy, yet enough woods and spices to kick it up from comfort scent to sexy scent. The woods and spices are done in such a warm, smooth way I cant imagine a man finding it anything but attractive. I would dab this to keep it a skin scent. Good luck to your friend and her beau!

  43. Mellow Yellow says:

    This doesn’t pertain to any specific fragrance, but in general I find a good perfume truly smells most enchanting/seductive/etc when it’s been allowed to meld with the wearer’s skin for some time; it helps avoid the impression of the perfume smelling freshly sprayed (or worse yet, doused). One rarely benefits from looking- or smelling- like they’re trying too hard indeed!

  44. My most sensual, get-closer-to-me-and-stay-there perfume is Geisha Noire by Aroma M. It reminds me a lot of Shalimar but because it’s an oil perfume it has a lot less sillage, so you really do have to get close to smell it. Once you do, though… wow. The first hour or so has a lot of herbs and spices but after that there’s this incredible fuzzy, dark amber-and-vanilla that lingers for hours. “Plush” is the word that always comes to mind when I have my nose buried in the crook of my arm, and the oil itself is really luxurious. Bonus points: the roll-on is quite inexpensive, especially considering how little you need to apply, and samples are really easy to get from both Aroma M and decanting sites!

  45. While I was reading and thinking, the scent that actually popped in my head was Paco Rabanne Lady Million or Flowerbomb. I only say that because I can’t tell you how many times I walk in the street behind someone wearing it and overhear a guy say, “Girrrrrrrrrrrlllllll, you smell gooooooood!”

    For myself, I would go for Vero Kern’s Rubj — but that will probably not be a good suggestion for a first date or a date after a long separation lest the person think you ate Mexican before meeting them… (don’t get me wrong, I love it!)

    My pick? Le Labo Gaic 10. Diffuse, woody, a little smoky, and personal, but discreet!

  46. rosestrang says:

    I’m late to this one – and curious to know what happened! I hope your friend’s date went fabulously well. I tend to go for Philosykos for a first date, or a re-date. It’s friendly, warm and sunny, I suppose I don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard, but quite a few men have liked it. I’ve noticed that more ‘earthy’ men like Bulgari Black and men who’re a little shy with their sensuality are reassured by something like Infusion d’Iris. I don’t really wear many gourmands, maybe I should! Perfumes that I’d be careful who I wore around are Feminite du Bois, Femme and my recently discovered Eau d’Hermes, I wouldn’t wear those on first dates

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