eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Weekend Poll: what are your favorite notes in perfumery?

I've got another burning question for everyone... what are your favorite notes in perfumery? And if you're so inclined, feel free to share some of your favorite examples of those notes. List as many or as few as you'd like. To the devil with "top 3" restrictions, just for today!

Here are mine (a few of these scents could potentially be listed in more than one note category):

Iris/Orris- Guerlain Iris Ganache, Amouage Opus V, Etat Libre d'Orange Bendelirious, DSH Route d'Iris, Coty L'Origan (vintage)

Cedar- Le Labo Oud 27 (no other cedar even approaches how much I love this, it stands alone)

Leather- Caron Tabac Blond, Knize Ten, Soivohle Journeyman, DSH Cuir et Champignon, Chanel Cuir de Russie, Balmain Miss Balmain (vintage), Dior Leather Oud, Montale Oud Cuir d'Arabie

Tobacco- Aftelier Tango, Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille, Soivohle Meerschaum, Serge Lutens Chergui, L'Artisan Traversee du Bosphore

Sandalwood- Ormonde Jayne Woman, Diptyque Tam Dao, Aftelier Shiso, Odin 01 Nomad/Sunda

Incense- Comme des Garcons Zagorsk, Guerlain Bois d'Armenie, Atelier Cologne Vanille Insensee, Ormonde Jayne Tolu, Barbara Bui Le Parfum, Penhaligon's Elixir, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyante, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, Diptyque Eau Duelle, Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille

[sandalwood beads]


  1. Ohhh, fun question!

    I'm with you on tobacco. Two fragrances I love with that note are Rebel & Mercury Bohem and Olympic Orchids Carolina.

    Another favorite note is pine, found in the gorgeous Lutens' Fille en Aiguilles and Rochas Audace.

    I also love narcissus, rose, galbanum etc, etc... so many notes, so many perfumes, such little time!

  2. Fun question Carrie!

    I love...
    frankincense, myrrh, labdanum, incense, pepper, vanilla, saffron, evergreen notes, lactonic notes, rose, iris, galbanum, hay, and tobacco. That covers all my favorites, I think ;)

  3. Labdanum, it plays so beautifully in Aftelier's Amber, Profumo's Mecca Balsam, Anya's Garden's Pan, and Mermade Magickal Art's Greenwood!

  4. I love combination of notes rather than notes themselves. I love

    1. clove and pepper: Caron Poivre, FM Noir Epices, Aftelier Shiso
    2. Rose and woods/incense/spicy earthy roses : Montale Black Aoud, Aoud rose petals, White Aoud, FM Une Rose,Amouage Epic
    3. Tuberose and Menthol : SL Tubereuse Criminelle, FM Carnal Flower
    4. Incense and woods : Eldo Rien, Crazylibellule and the poppies Encens Mystic, BK Incense Oud, I remember liking Kyoto- but it has been a while


  5. I really need to try your Le Labo Oud 27 - I've heard such great things about it from you..:)

  6. Tomorrow, when I run my monthly statistics I'll know better which notes I preferred this month but, in general, I know that I like rose and iris.

    Carrie, I was really curious to see your list of favorite perfumes - just to figure out how similar or dissimilar our tastes are. What can I say? Out of your list I tried 10 perfumes. I like 5 ;)

  7. I love your polls. :)
    I'll just list my favourite notes, I'm way too relaxed to enumerate perfumes.
    So, amber, tuberose, orange blossom, fig, leather, labdanum, galbanum, ylang-ylang. Cedar and sandalwood too. And vanilla tends to find its way onto the list too. Anything smoky as well. :)

  8. I love:
    Iris: Iris Silver Mist, L' Homme de Coeur, Iris Bleu Gris
    Vetiver: Route du Vetiver, Vetiver Oriental
    Leather: Nostalgia, DK Fuel for Men, Cuir de Lancome
    Ylan ylang

  9. Joanne: I still need to check out Rebel & Mercury, I have some catching up to do there! And pine, yes.. I do love pine. So good for the soul.

  10. Dee: I love all the ones you listed, except rose. Rose is mostly a deal-breaker for me!

  11. Michael- labdanum is truly intoxicating. I see you really enjoy naturals- that's great!

  12. Lavanya- I can see you're thinking bigger! Incense and woods is one of the finest couplings in scent that there is, as far as I'm concerned.

  13. Undina- 5/10 isn't too bad! I still haven't found my scent twin, though. :)

  14. Ines: I am really starting to get into orange blossom, I'm craving it this summer. And sandalwood is the queen of all perfume notes as far as I'm concerned!

  15. hmm, I love sweet woods, any florals, and citrus cause it makes me happy :)

  16. memoryofscent: Vetiver is so divine, when it's done right and the quality is good. One of the things I really can't stand is a cheap-smelling vetiver note. It drives me nuts, and makes me feel nauseous.

  17. Amanda: just those two words, "sweet woods", is so evocative that my mouth starts watering! Not that I really eat woods, must be some kind of synaesthetic thing happening. :)

  18. My biggest love is violets, as in Apres L'Ondee, L'Heure Bleue, and Aimez Moi. L'Ombre Dans L'Eau made me appreciate the rose- blackcurrant combination. Then I'm also a sucker for leather as in Tabac Blond and the catalytic contribution of tonka beans, as in Dzing! But on those diffucult cold winter days, nothing can comfort me more than vanilla notes (Laura Mercier Creme Brulee Souffle). A big hallo from hot Greece!

  19. wow, this one is tough. I like nearly everything, only a few notes that don't always work for me (cumin, some musks, stuff that generally smells "unshowered" ;) but patchouli and iris are two notes that IMMEDIATELY come to mind as things I actively search out. (and Coromandel/Dior Homme are two of my favorite fragrances of all time.)

    I also love immortelle, frankincense... pretty much anything that could be worn on its own as a perfume. anything with a lot of rich depth to it.

  20. Oh cool! Love your list Carrie. Mine is -

    Sandalwood -Bois des Iles
    Jasmine - Sarrasins
    Leather - Cuir de Russie, Cuir de Lancome
    Incense - Bois d'Argent, Kyoto
    Cardamom - Atelier Cologne Trefle Pur
    Iris - Equistrius, 31 Rue Cambon and I'm weighing up a decant of Iris Genache.
    Pepper - Poivre Piquant, OJ Ta'if
    Orange Blossom - L'Artisan Fleur d'Oranger
    Tea - Atelier Cologne Oolong Infini
    Hay - L'Heure Fougueuse

    Thanks for a fun poll Carrie, I got rather carried away!

  21. Alexandra- thanks for weighing in, I love your choices!

  22. Brian- I love patchouli too, and iris is an absolute must! I don't do well AT ALL with the sweaty cumin-type stuff, but I do love some musks, and civet- so I guess it's on a case-by-case basis as far as animalics go. To me, cumin qualifies as animalic, though perhaps it would be more accurate to say, "humanalic".

  23. Tara- I wore Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini last night and fell deeply, desperately in love with it. I can't wait until I get a bottle of it. I loved reading your long list! Thanks for commenting. :)

  24. Great question, but very hard to answer. I sort of think of myself as loving three categories of fragrances: diva florals, like tuberose, rose and ylang-ylang; galbanum-heavy green fragrances; and then my more masculine category under which I lump leather, tobacco, hay, tea, cardamom, cumin, incense and labdanum. Sandalwood is also a favorite note.

    Of fragrances, I share your love of Tabac Blond, Chergui, Fumerie Turque, Montale Oud Cuir d'Arabie, and Ormonde Jayne Woman.

  25. Vanilla, jasmine, rose, lotus, pink pepper, lily(any), honeysuckle, lilac, myrrh, sandalwood, amber, fig, apricot, pear,peach, honey/beeswax, almond, tonka bean, milk, cinnamon, ylang ylang, rosewood, frankincense, lavender .

  26. Amber/incense, tobacco, patchouli, rose, and tuberose are my all-time faves. Also love blackcurrant, fig, coconut, leather and smoky wood notes.

  27. Great poll Carrie..

    Notes: Patchouli, vetiver, amber, ylang ylang, oud, leather, tobacco, smoke, non-gourmand vanilla, wood.

    Fragrances right now: Frapin 1697, Andy Tauer L'Air du desert marocain (this reamins at number 1), L'Artisan Traversee du Bosphore, Etat Libre d'Orange TOF, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, Vivienne Westwood Boudoir. Today: Ormonde Jayne Woman.

  28. Suzanne- I love your scent categories, especially the last one. :) I just wore LZ Meerschaum today for the first time since winter, and it brought back that cozy feeling that only a rich tobacco leather scent can bring me.

  29. Alyssa- that is some impressive list!

  30. Elisa- glad to see yet another vote for tobacco! I actually love your whole list with the exception of rose. I know, what kind of perfume-obsessed person am I, not being a rose fan?!

  31. Sharryn- since you're a ylang ylang lover, I hope you'll be trying Aftelier Haute Claire! It's the most gorgeous ylang scent I've ever tried.

    Traversee du Bosphore is so amazing, it surprised me because I don't have a good track record with L'Artisan. And I'm happy to see you love Tom of Finland as well, one of my favorite skin scents!

  32. Gosh, what DON'T I like? :-)

    I love oakmoss to distraction, as well as leather, frankincense, myrrh, benzoin, tobacco, incense, vanilla and opoponax. Floral favorites are hyacinth, lily, narcissus, rose, jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, linden, LOTV and lilac. I also love green notes like galbanaum and grass, plus hay.

    I'm sure I forgot something!

  33. Thanks for chiming in, Flora! I always like to think that I could live on incense/leather/tobacco/vanilla type scents and Orientals alone, but there needs to be a couple of fresh green or lily scents in there too. I'm just awfully picky when it comes to florals, but I'm much easier to please with green.

  34. OK, this changes daily for me :) Currently, I can say that my favorite notes are: patchouli, tobacco, leather, sandalwood, incense-notes, fig, and a salty ambregris. Oh, and iris. I'll stop now...
    What I usually don't like: magnolia, lemon, "green tea", and "bitter".

  35. V- I'm down with your whole list, even your dislikes are similar to mine!

  36. Maybe some updates after a few years? :-)
    Not new perfumes, but re-discovered and re-appreciated after many years in the darkness.
    Iris: Hiris by Hermes
    Tobacco: Gianfranco Ferrè for Man
    Incense: Alyssa Ashley Oud pour Lui
    Sandalwood: Samsara by Guerlain