The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

HUGE Ramon Monegal Giveaway!

I've got a really exciting and super-awesome giveaway for you guys! Just comment on this post, answering the following question, and you'll be entered in the random draw for your very own 50ml Ramon Monegal Inkwell bottle filled with your choice of 14 fragrances:

If you could design your ideal perfume, what type would it be, and what would be the main focus of it (or notes in it)? Also, tell me about the vibe it would project.


Click HERE to read my interview with Ramon Monegal if you missed it!


I have listed descriptions of the 14 Ramon Monegal fragrances below (the RM website is still under construction, so it's not completely up to date).

AGAR MUSK: The magic of the Orient, balanced with musk and Oud, the mythical Agar wood. A journey to the centre of Eden, between seductive oceans of Amber and exciting hints of Vetyver roots.
The essence: Arabian Agarwood, Cuir Vitessence (leather), Nutmeg, Vetiver, Ambroxane (amber) , Musc Coctail


DRY WOOD: Nature in its purest state. Noble Sandalwood and Cedar, the texture of Cashmere in a mist of Amber molecules. Force and personality create a forthright and sociable attitude.
The essence: Cedrat coeur, Bay, Poivre, Mousse verte, Sarriette, Santal, Cedar, Cashmeran y Norlimbanol.


LOVELY DAY: Radiant and luminous. A vibrant presence of white Rose petals, silky texture, rooted in Iris and liquorice. An unforgettable and captivating romantic spirit.
The essence: Absolute Jasmin Sambac, Absolute Rose the, Absolute Regalise, Iris sur Cedar, Ultrazur Mol. y Cassis


IMPOSSIBLE IRIS: Mysterious and ambiguous, the legendary Iris root only gives off the extreme beauty of its perfume on rare occasions. It is only blended with the best Cedar in the presence of the exotic Ylang-Ylang flower with traces of with Violet and Jasmine that bring out all of its glamour such that it may become the most attractive perfume in the world.
The essence: Iris concrète Italie, Absolute Cassie Egypte, Framboise (raspberry), Ylang-Ylang Comores, Absolute Jasmin Egypte y Bois de Cedre Virginie.


MON CUIR: Daring and insistent. Skin to skin, leather infused with musk. A bohemian attitude, honey from Labdanum and Sandalwood creating a free, flexible and adaptable spirit.
The essence: Cuir de Russie, Fleur d’Oranger, Labdaceme, Nutmeg, Patchouly Indonesie y Musc. Santal Australie.


AMBRA DI LUNA: Provocative and daring. Golden Amber with a hint of Vanilla, subtle but intense. The magic of Jasmine wrapped in Sandalwood dust, capable of bringing one’s most hidden feelings into the moonlight.
The essence: Ambre, Ciste-Labdanum Maroc, Abs. Jasmin Egypte, Abs. Castoreum y Santal Mysore.


CUIRELLE: Strength and texture. Not the essence of leather, but an interpretation of it. Cat-like flexibility and musk sublimated with shades of honey and incense and balanced with green Cedar and Vetyver grass.
The essence: Encens Somalie, Patchouly Indonesie, Vetyver Bourbon, Bois de Cedre Virginie, Cannele y Absolute Cire d’abeilles breches


CHERRY MUSK: Greedy awakening. Innocent talisman. Sudden, informal and shameless as a compliment, from the center of a heart of Cherries in a bed of Coconut and Jasmine, which is founded on an aphrodisiac paradise of musks.
The essence: Musc Blanc, Musc de Fruit, Muscenone, Acord Cerise, Fraise, Mousse d'Arbre y Rose Chinoise.


COTTON MUSK: (formerly called White Musk) The myth of seduction, extreme purity. A provocative aphrodisiac of white musk, Roses and Gardenia that seeps gently into the skin until it becomes a part of it.
The essence: Rose Wardia, Gardenia Real, Olibanum, Vetyver, Vanille Madagascar y Musc Blanc.


UMBRA: Essence of the earth, capturing the bitter scent of Vetyver root, under the freshness of musk, the texture of Lichen and spruce balsam and that like a shadow define its soul and its perfume.
The essence: Haitian Vetyver Root, Yugoslavian Tree Moss, Madagascan Black Pepper, Bourbon Geranium Leaves, Canadian Fir Balsam, Tonka Haricot.


ENTRE NARANJOS: Fresh southern air, full of vitality and joy. Air imbued with dew from the Orange Blossom combined with the freshness of Orange Peel against a background of Orange wood and Amber.
The essence: Absolute Fleur d’oranger Tunesie, Orange, Petitgrain citronnier, Neroli, Ambre y Patchouly Indonesie.


KISS MY NAME: A troubling presence that blurs reason. Extravagance of the mythical Tuberose flower. It trails a soothing veil of Jasmine, Orange blossom and Neroli that leaves an unmistakable trace in the memory. Its nectar leaves no one unmoved and is its uniquely personal stamp.
The essence: Absolute Tuberose des Indes, Iris sur cedre, Absolute Jasmin Eqypte, Neroli Tunisie y Baume Tolu.


MON PATCHOULY: The unclassifiable essence of the overseas Patchouly, the emblem of “Flower Power”. Along with Vanilla, Nutmeg and Amber flavors, it becomes an statement of claim.
The essence: Patchouly Indonésien, Mousse de chêne Absolute., Encens essence, Geranium Bourbon, Jasmin Egypte and vegetal Ambre.


L'EAU DE ROSE: Radiant caress. Idyll between drops of morning dew and velvet textures of petals of aromatic Roses. Captivating elixir with epilogue in the shape of adage of Musks between leaves of Patchouly.
The essence: Rose Essence, Rose Thé, Rose Wardia, Neroli Artessence, Mol. Ultrazur, Patchouly Indonésien, Coctail de Muscs.

L'eau de Rose

Now, I've not reviewed any of these fragrances yet, but I'm quite familiar with them all (I might be a little obsessed), so if you have questions for me about any of the scents, please feel free to ask! The draw will be open from today, July 18th until this coming Monday, July 23rd at 7pm Central US time, at which point I will conduct the drawing on Random.org and announce the lucky winner on a separate blog post. That winner is then responsible for emailing me with their fragrance choice and mailing address to eyelineronacat at gmail dot com. The prize will be shipped directly from Barcelona to the winner, so please also provide a phone number for FedEx.

A big thanks to Ramon Monegal Parfums for this generous prize, and I'm looking forward to hearing the responses to my question! Good luck everyone!

54 comments:

  1. My ideal perfume would be based in Omani frankincense and Mysore sandalwood, with elements of rose, jasmine, patchouli, pepper, vetiver, and perhaps aldehydes. What I'm not sure of is how to keep it from smelling too heavy. Frankincense smells cool to my nose, and sandalwood warm, so I'd hope the perfume would express that contrast somehow.

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    1. Hi Brady! I love your idea- I have a weakness for the Omani style of perfumery. I'm also fascinated by the relationship between cool/warm notes in perfume. You, Sir, are speaking my language. I have found that with really good quality frankincense, it has an intense brightness. I don't think your perfume would be heavy at all!

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  2. This is really a difficult question for me to answer, Carrie, because I don't have an ideal (I love big diva white-floral perfumes, but then I also love leather scents and chypres and classical French aldehydic perfumes with complex bouquets, etc etc). But I suppose if there is one ideal I have, it's that I like to have a yin-yang dichotomy within a scent, a push-pull between masculine and feminine elements. I'm thinking my ideal perfume would have within it a very beautiful white-floral (prefereably tuberose, gardenia or orchid) and leather or frankincense (or both) as the masculine element. Bridged by a wonderful iris note and some vetiver. Yes, I know that combo doesn't sound unique, but it's what at the moment comes to mind. :-)

    Thanks so much for the drawing!!!

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    1. Hi Suzanne! In my opinion, there can never be too many incense, leather and iris perfumes, because somebody is eventually going to come along and change your perception of the notes with their work. I love that!

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  3. Wow, what a fantastic giveaway! Thanks for hosting. :)

    I'm not sure what my absolute ideal is (still so much to learn/explore), but one idea that intrigues me is replicating the vibe of my childhood spent in Korea, specifically during autumn. Plants, trees and flowers are so different there and spring and autumn are much more temperate and longer seasons than they are in North America. I have a hazy memory of gingko tree forests turning yellow overnight and eating warm, toasted nuts with my grandmother. Sort of a feeling of wonder and comfort blended together. :)

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  4. Wow...this is really a draw that I am ecited about! I have been desperate try some of these. Your excellent interview had much to do with this- I appreciate the whole sensibility of the line, which the interview did a great job of explaining.

    I am still quite new to fragrances, but as my nose evolves so do my ideals. Until pretty recently I would have simply said "incense", but my appreciation for floral notes is coming to the fore. So right now- keeping in mind that this expands and morphs constantly- it is still something deep and resinous and earthly, but with the incorporation of lighter, more transparent elements. And I like surprises, so an aspect unknown too...Something that could transcend the boredom of fabricated notions of masculinity and femininity, and simply create a unique world unto itself. I would keep the "vibe" serious, adventurous and challenging enough to sustain my interest.

    Thanks for the draw- my fingers will remain TIGHTLY crossed! And thanks for helping me learn about perfumery...you have a great blog.

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    1. Hi Scott, thank you so much! You are very well-spoken for being new to fragrance, that's for sure. I like perfumes with serious vibes too. Fun and playful is great sometimes, but who am I kidding? I listen to Norwegian black metal. Good luck in the draw!

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  5. hi, my ideal parfume would carry some notes of powdery Iris or Jasmine, with some very warm base notes, resulting in the soft warm scent. This sent should not strike the nose of a bypasser, rather feel like the scent of a woman that is part of her.
    Thanks for the great great giveaway, i only hope it is open internationally.
    Best, Radmila, rada76@Mail.ru

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    1. Yes, international entries are welcome!

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  6. Wow, if I were to be able to design my own fragrance, I would go for one that I like...I would think a mysterious leathery smoky vanilla accent would be sexy

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    1. Leather and smoky vanilla sounds like an instant hit to me! I'd buy it.

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  7. I imagine iris as the star in my bespoke perfume. The real stuff. Buttressed by the minerality of damp earth, and a hint of cedar. Lightened by the nutty sweetness of heliotrope. A burst of aldehydes for swish, and a bit of citrus up top to sparkle. Quite a bit of sillage, without being overwhelming. Something cool and classic.

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    1. Hot Dog! That sounds great to me. I think you would really adore Ramon Monegal's Impossible Iris. It was the first RM scent I absolutely had to try, and it's something I wear often. Heliotrope is one of my favorite notes, and I can almost imagine your ideal perfume being in the ranks of the Guerlain classics, which makes you awesome.

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  8. When you move out of the major metro cities and guys are living their lives not paying attention to fashion and blogs, etc., I get the sense they just want to smell clean and not like a woman. With that in mind, I'd love to create a fragrance around Neroli and elements of Eccentric Molecule's magnetism.

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    1. I'm sort of obsessed with your comment! I love your abstract way of thinking about perfume.

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  9. Hi Carrie, what a generous opportunity! I am looking forward reading your reviews or those beauties! Right now my ideal perfume would capture the scent of deep woods in summer: sweetness coming from rotting leaves, incense from fir sap melting in the sun, a little smoke from campfire ashes, musky dampness of mosses plus a little nearby strem surrouded by ferns and herbs... (You guessed right, I would gladly spend a week in a cabin by a lake) But these notes are not to be taken litterally, as I would never wear a «room scent» as a perfume.
    I dream of a sophisticated scent that feels natural and mystical, bewildering yet comfortable... Yes I see the contradictions here, but that's what dreams are often made of,
    and wonderful perfumes too...

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    1. Hi Isayah, the wilderness you describe does sound like a dream, and one I hope to have very soon! If one is not inspired by nature, I am suspicious of them. I shouldn't admit things like that, but I'm feeling open tonight.

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  10. Hi Carrie.
    I'd want to project an aura, something you'd sense and want to follow rather than thinking 'oh that perfume is nice'
    I'd want it to wear close to the skin and comprise of soft leather, faint pale musk, warm hot sand,a whisper like oudh and the mixed smell of warm sun and fresh air. If I could have that bottled I'd be over the moon!

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    1. Hi Victoria! I always find it fascinating how different people speak the language of scent and the art of the interpretation. What you would consider a beautiful whisper of oud might scream into the ear of the next person. Your description reminds me of Aftelier Parfum Prive-- the ambergris will give you the sand on the beach. It's divine!

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  11. As a result of my upbringing, I love the interior scent of a church. The incense, the wood polish, the candle smoke, the alter flowers. It's exotic, divine and intended to transport one from the everyday to the sublime. I'm always on the lookout for incense fragrances and my ideal personal scent would have the ability to transport both the body and the soul

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    1. Sign this heathen up for three bottles!Incense never, ever gets old to me.

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  12. My favorite notes are amber, sandalwood, pepper and fig but, I am not sure how fig would fit in with the the first three... Whatever the scent I want it to be unique and a little exotic. Living in the Middle East allows me to appreciate real oud and incense scents which I have grown to love.

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    1. I want SO bad to travel to Dubai! Okay, never mind my whining. I think you're right, in that it's hard to imagine where fig would fit in, but fig is so complex and has so many possibilities, that it can stand on its own. The Middle Eastern style of perfumery is endlessly interesting to me(and actually, the different cultures and history has fascinated me since I was a teenager).

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  13. Hmmm.... tobacco, cardamon, ginger, vanilla. Warm and cozy, but NOT foody. I'm a fragrance neophyte, so i don't know if there already 100 perfumes out there like this, or if the notes wouldn't even work together.

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    1. Hi neko-chan! Maybe there are quite a few fragrances with these notes, but some of them will blow your mind thoroughly, like Mona di Orio Vanille- have you tried that one? I really don't consider you a neophyte, by the way.

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  14. I would love to design an animalic Leather that has an old world elegance vibe to it. The notes would be Bergamot, Iris, Vanilla, Rose, Lavender, Vetiver, Civet, Amber, Birch Tar, Mysore Sandlewood + Oakmoss. Do the Raymon Monegal Leathers rate along side classics like Knize Ten or Cuir de Russie ?

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    1. Well, you certainly don't have to tell me your last name, I'd recognize your M.O. from a mile away. :) Mon Cuir is not a dirty leather, it's more sportscar leather interior, with light spice and a strange brightness that I can't identify yet, maybe it's the tang of wine? Anyway, I'm addicted to it. Not as animalic as Knize Ten, and it's more beautiful and more intense than Cuir de Russie. Cuirelle is more of a gourmand leather with little hits of incense and a dried grassiness. The vanilla is very present on me, but then my skin amps up sweet notes. Buttery suede would be more accurate than just "leather".

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  15. My ideal perfume would be printempial with a gourmand base. I'm thinking of a green opening, followed by some luxurious white flowers, then a smooth, not too sweet, vanillic base. It would certainly project a feminine, carefree vibe, whilst maintaining a classic breeze to keep it from being too girly :-)

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    1. Hi there lovethescents! "Printempial"- now there's a word I haven't heard, well, ever! I like it. It sounds like you're looking for the elusive "creamy green". Some fig notes can give that unique scent, I like Ormonde Woman for the creamy sandalwood and grass oil combination, but I can imagine your dream perfume and it wouldn't really compare to anything else I can think of! Good luck in the draw.

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  16. Wow Carrie,this is some giveaway !My ideal perfume would be fresh green and uplifting.I would have notes of grass,leaves,lemon,lime,mint,cream-soda,sounds like something you would eat !Yes,i want that fresh invigorating type of fragrance that makes you feel like in stepped into a cool green forest after the rain and you can smell the dampness of the trees,and their different woods.

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    1. I really dig the subtle charm of shiso leaf/ mint in perfumes now, though it took me awhile to accept it. Good luck to you!

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  17. I hope I will never really face that opportunity because I'm sure I won't like the result. Only a really talented perfumer might create something I will really love. But those perfumers - as any talented artists - should have a really fragile ego. So in a while I'll feel really awful telling them again and again that the perfume they are creating for me isn't mind-blowing enough... I prefer to approach already existing perfumes and choose without hurting anybody's feelings.

    I hope I'm still eligible for this fantastic draw.

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    1. I love how you get seriously nervous when faced with questions like this. Maybe you don't like it, but I think it's cute! And of course, Undina, of course you are entered!

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  18. vanilla, cinnamon, star anise, chocolate, er butter? :P
    I love cupcake/cookie smell

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  19. My ideal perfume is heavy, heavy, heavy! Deep dark musk with a strong potent oudh (preferably a barn-yardy Assam type, overlaid with frankincense and rose. Yes. I am totally addicted to Arabian perfumery! The earlier Amouage scents do it for me, along with the heavier Montales. The current trend for lighter faux oudh's is I hope a passing fancy. There is nothing to beat the real thing!

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    1. I love a barnyardy oud! I would just switch out the rose for...hmm, Egyptian jasmine? Yes, that would do nicely. :)

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  20. My ideal perfume would smell exactly like unreformulated Mitsouko! Yes, it's been done. Let's do it again! (-;

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    1. And I will dream of ye olde L'Heure Bleue. I'd happily and greedily take the early 90s version of the EDT! Just, gimme.

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  21. Ooooh I love that question! If I could make any perfume, I think it would be a leather jasmine perfume with an elegant luxurious vibe like Chanel's Cuir de Russie, but with green, dry, almost pollen-like, sage and sweetgrass topnotes and a base that includes one of my favorite notes never used any more: costus. Thanks for the draw!

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    1. Hello there Ms. Aimee! Your perfume sounds absolutely gorgeous. I would highly recommend you try Ramon Monegal's Mon Cuir. It's not exactly how you described, but I think you'll find it very beautiful. Good luck!

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  22. Oh my gosh, I nearly started hyperventilating when I saw your Ramon Monegal giveaway, this is so exciting! So I try my luck and cross my fingers :D

    Well, as for my IDEAL perfume... I can hardly tell what it should contain, I can just give you pictures which it should create in my head and heart (though I think it's really impossible for any perfumer to create it...):

    salty air on the beach, hot sand, sun screen, lavender perfume floating by from a near-by field, orange blossom bodylotion, fine leather and honey like in Cuirelle, evening air after a thunderstorm and rain, damp streets and forests, a hint of musk.

    Now THAT would be my perfect scent :D

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    1. Hi Jana! To my ears, this sounds like a few separate perfumes and not just one- but regardless, I think many perfumers know how to translate our crude language into masterpieces.

      I used to hate all marine scents, until I got hooked on real ambergris (Aftelier's Parfum Prive is a great example), then the word marine lost all its negative connotations for me. The excellent naturals hold complexities that I never would have even dreamed of.

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  23. What a very exciting giveaway!! Thank you and Mr. Monegal very much.

    I have such a tough time with this question. At the moment, I very much want a really beautiful floral that showcases, but isn't dominated, by rose. Perhaps a rose coating atop a very delicate white floral on a base of suede. Hmmm. More thought needs to go into this, and maybe I will win this draw in the meantime. :)

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    1. Hey Natalie! Some people might say that there are already too many rose (or any particular material) perfumes out there, but it takes a special perfume to meet all of our expectations and hopes. There's always room for perfection, I say! Good luck in the draw.

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  24. Such a hard question! Carrie, I'm afraid I'm way out of my depth here!At the moment I'm very attracted to leather, damp earth, sap, green leaves,smoky and incense notes, amber, rose, patchouly, vetiver, moss.Onda for example speaks to the depths of my soul.I very much like this sort of introspective fragrance, something that manifests like a protective aura around you, chasing away bad vibes, making you feel stronger, calmer, more collected.Reminding you of your essence, bringing you back to the core of your being.Thank you for this amazing draw!

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    1. Hi ana! You seem to think of perfume in the same ways that I do-- it's an emotional thing for me that has much more of an impact on who I am at the very core than, say, jewelry or something else like that in which we put it on, regard ourselves in the mirror, and leave the house.

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  25. Hi, Carrie, and thanks for the chance for such a wonderful giveaway!

    Yikes – it would be hard to commit to one ideal perfume, so I think I would end up trying to have something that transformed in distinct phases, like that many-flavored bubblegum from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that made Violet Beauregarde turn into a giant blueberry. Except without notes of roast beef, tomato soup and baked potato. Sorry, that may be a terrible analogy for a perfume, now that I think of it.

    Let’s see… I really love tuberose, so that would probably be a main theme, with incense floating in and out, osmanthus, a tiny bit of orange blossom, some warm, vanillic, smoky leather in the base. Plus heliotrope? And a little booze, perhaps...

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    1. Wow, that sounds really lovely! Good luck in the draw. :)

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  26. My ideal perfume would be a green chypre featuring the scent of crushed fresh coriander seeds, which are nothing like the dried ones. There would also be the fragrance of those little round limes one finds in Mexico...And in the base, oakmoss, patchouli, sandalwood and labdanum. The vibe would be a modern take on French classic--a little nostalgic, perhaps.

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    1. That sounds gorgeous, and I would buy one bottle of it for me, and one for my mother as well. She's always been extremely fond of coriander, and there aren't too many great perfumes that really feature the note- especially that fresh coriander that you mentioned.

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  27. I don't have a sophisticated enough note vocabulary yet to describe a hypothetical perfect scent based on notes, so it will have to be based on adjectives. My ideal scent(s) would have to encompass the qualities of my ideal self. Warm and a little bit sensual, smart and intriguing, hinting at a connection to nature, easy sophistication and quiet strength. I think Cuir de Lancome is the fragrance that has come the closest so far to achieving this for me, but as I continue to explore perfume, I don't think I'll ever stop searching for these qualities.

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  28. Thank you everyone, for your entries, the draw is now closed. I will announce the winner later this evening!

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