Favorite Florals: Listed by Flower

Source: designzzz.com

Source: designzzz.com

I’ve been thinking lately of the fragrances I enjoy within specific floral categories. It started, in part, because a friend of mine is slowly expanding beyond his comfort zone, and tipping his toe into a whole genre of fragrances that he had previously avoided. In general, though, I’m frequently asked, “what’s your favorite _____?” amongst the vast selection of rose, gardenia, orange blossom, and other florals out there. So, I thought I’d do a list, based primarily on one criteria: what I personally adore and reach for, own as a full bottle, or want to buy for myself. In several instances, however, I’ve included what I think is a good example of a fragrance within that floral genre, even if it doesn’t work for me personally.

Jasmine peacock created from jasmine flowers. Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

A peacock created from jasmine flowers. Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

As always, I have to emphasize that perfume reviewing is subjective and personal by its very nature, so winnowing fragrances down to a personal favorites list like this is even more so. A few other things to note: I’m not going to cover every possible category of floral (or else, this list would be endless), and, to the extent possible, I’m going to stick to soliflores (or fragrances centered predominantly around one flower). As a result, many scents that I love are omitted solely by virtue of being very mixed in focus. (For example, my beloved Alahine from Teo Cabanel; Puredistance‘s delicate Opardu; Amouage‘s stunning chypre-oriental hybrid, Fate Woman, or its Ubar, a larger-than-life, yellow and gold, 3D floriental powerhouse.) Also, I should emphasize that perfume lovers can be very fickle creatures. What I’ve listed is what comes to mind today, and it might not be the same next week or even next month.

Finally, because this is all so personal and subjective, there will be omissions from the list that might surprise people. For example, I simply do not think much of Portrait of a Lady or Carnal Flower, period. It is heresy, I know, but neither one impresses me, so I’m not including them in their respective categories of rose or tuberose. After all, this really is about what I like or think is good, right? Finally, the fragrances within each category are not ranked by order (so it mean nothing if a scent is put at #1 or #4), and I’ve also tried to avoid the vintage category wherever possible.


  1. Rooney Mara photographed by Mert & Marcus

    Rooney Mara photographed by Mert & Marcus

    HIRAM GREEN MOON BLOOM. Hands down, the very best, modern tuberose fragrance, in my opinion. I love Moon Bloom with a passion, and it would definitely have been on my Best of 2013 list had I tried it at the time. In general, my favorite floral genre is the BWF one (Big White Florals), and tuberose is the flower I love the most in nature as well as in perfumery. Frederic Malle’s much-beloved Carnal Flower has never impressed me much, but Moon Bloom made my jaw drop. It is simply spectacular in its delicacy, richness, and depth. There is greenness that feels like dewy gardenia, along with blackness from the deconstructed tuberose, and perfectly calibrated milkiness from coconut that is never — not once — unctuous, buttery, gooey, or something resembling sun tan lotion. Moon Bloom is a masterfully created mix of lightness and darkness, richness and delicacy, that evokes a Pre-Raphaelite’s Ophelia. Those of you who have always been terrified of tuberose fragrances may be surprised by Moon Beam because is it not a divaesque Fracas white bomb that assaults you. (I adore vintage Fracas, but it definitely is a Maria Callas fragrance!) Instead, Moon Beam is a romantic beauty that is incredibly smooth, well-calibrated, refined, and polished. One thing that is astonishing is the fact that it is an all-natural scent; it doesn’t feel like it with its depth, body, and longevity. I bought a bottle of Moon Bloom for myself, and every single person who I’ve made try it has it. Even better, Moon Bloom doesn’t cost an arm, a leg, and several kidneys, either.

  2. Tuberose. Source: Fragrantica.de

    Tuberose. Source: Fragrantica.de

    VINTAGE FRACAS. Robert Piguet‘s legendary Fracas is a rare exception to my “avoid vintage” attempts for this list, because there is really nothing else quite like it. It is a legend not only for its genre, but in general. I don’t enjoy the modern version quite so much, because I think it’s very synthetic, but it’s still a good perfume. However, the vintage really sings with a divaesque intensity and glamour that has made it quite notorious. Fracas isn’t for everyone, but she is the undisputed empress of the genre.

  3. My version of Carolina Herrera, which I own in EDT and EDP. Source: preciolandia.com

    My version of Carolina Herrera, which I own in EDT and EDP. Source: preciolandia.com

    MICHAEL KORS MICHAEL & CAROLINA HERRERA CAROLINA HERRERA. I’m lumping these two together, almost as a side note, because I’m not really sure that you could classify either fragrance as a pure tuberose soliflore. They are both really tuberose-jasmine duets that include a lot of additional elements, particularly the Michael Kors. Still, there is a lot of tuberose in each, so I thought I should at least mention them. The Kors scent (which was originally called “Michael” before the name was changed to “Michael Kors”) includes other white flowers, as well as vanilla, woody notes, and clean musk. The fragrance seems to have become substantially cleaner, sweeter, and more synthetic since the time I bought my bottle, but I still think it’s worth a sniff if you’re a hardcore tuberose lover like I am. As for the Carolina Herrera fragrance, it was created by Carlos Benaim and supposedly was once Angelina Jolie’s signature scent. It is a ravishing, rich, heady mix of tuberose and jasmine, flecked by green, fresh gardenia as well as tiny touches of ambered warmth and fruitiness. Chandler Burr, the former perfume critic at The New York Times, described it as a “sunny, glamourous perfume” like a movie star. He also mentioned that he has “never once sprayed on a woman — or man, for that matter — without hearing, ‘That smells good.'” I own both scents, probably in their vintage form by now given the age of the bottles, and Carolina Herrera is a substantially better perfume, hands down and by a mile. As a side note, some people say that it has become extremely hard to find, but I see it on the Carolina Herrera website which says that the fragrance has just had its 25th Anniversary. That said, the bottle has certainly changed from the black-capped one that I own, and the juice has undoubtedly been reformulated as well. (Look for lids with black, not silver!)


As regular readers know, I’m not really one for rose soliflores. “Big White Flowers” are my genre, while roses make me squeamish and run for the hills unless they are really squashed down by a lot of other notes. However, there are some rose-dominated fragrances that I really like a lot, even if they wouldn’t always be my first choice of something to reach for.

  1. Dress: Rami Kadi Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013. Source: FlipZone and Tweets.seraph.me

    Dress: Rami Kadi Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2013. Source: FlipZone and Tweets.seraph.me

    NEELA VERMEIRE CREATIONS MOHUR EXTRAIT:  Mohur Extrait is a deep, rich, potent blend of roses, with real Mysore sandalwood, iris, and violets. There are touches of leather, smoky elemi, and pepper to prevent it from being too dainty or femme, and the whole thing sits on an ambered base that is faintly milky but always infused with rich, creamy Mysore sandalwood. (Real Mysore, by the way!) Mohur Extrait is simply beautiful, and a head-turner. I like the regular Mohur eau de parfum, but Mohur Extrait is profoundly stronger, deeper, and richer. It has a va-va-voom oomph that transforms the pale, quiet, restrained, sometimes excessively delicate rose EDP into Cinderella at the ball. A Cinderella with a diva’s charisma, and wearing the most opulent ball gown and jewels around.

  2. Dior Haute Couture 2007 by Galliano. Source: theberry.com

    Dior Haute Couture 2007 by Galliano. Source: theberry.com

    AMOUAGE LYRIC (WOMAN) EDP: In terms of my favorite by floral genre, I really shouldn’t put Lyric Woman here, for the simple reason that I’m one of the handful of really odd people for whom the fragrance is actually not about the roses at all. On me, it is primarily about the ylang-ylang, with only a tiny, minuscule, very nebulous hint of spicy rose. I always thought I was the one person on earth for whom this was true, until another blogger said the exact same thing happened to her. So, now, there are two people on the planet, but that seems to be about it. For everyone else, Lyric is the ultimate rose in the spicy oriental genre. As a result, I’ve placed the fragrance in this category, but I love it for its beautiful, stunning, spicy, opulent ylang-ylang. Either way, this is one of those “Must Try” fragrances, in my opinion, for both men and women alike, because it really is a beauty.

  3. Abstract Rose by James-Chesnick via kootation.com

    Abstract Rose by James-Chesnick via kootation.com

    TAUER PERFUMES UNE ROSE CHYPRE:  an autumnal, ambered rose nestled in the mossiest of green cocoons. The fragrance swirls around you in a veiled shimmer of greens, garnet red, earthiness, and mossy trees — all rolled into one. This is a green rose whose petals were crushed into the damp, wet soil of the forest floor; a rose that lies nestled amidst fresh, just slightly mineralized, faintly bittersweet mosses; a rose infused with the concentrated essence of a thousand dark green, slightly spicy, peppered leaves, then sprinkled with hints of alternatively tart and zesty citruses. It is a rose that is fruited, but spiced with cinnamon, and wrapped with the tendrils of black incense. Some chypres can be haughty, cold, aloof numbers that keep you at a distance. Une Rose Chyprée is almost a coquettish chypre that beckons you with a sweet smile, despite the emeralds and rubies glowing around her elegant, rosy throat. If it didn’t have a large amount of ISO E Super and didn’t give me a ferocious headache, I would buy a full bottle. Nonetheless, it’s an absolutely beautiful scent, and my favorite from Andy Tauer.

  4. "Red Orange Rose Yellow Abstract" by LTPhotographs, Etsy Store. (Link to website embedded within photo.)

    “Red Orange Rose Yellow Abstract” by LTPhotographs, Etsy Store. (Link to website embedded within photo.)

    TAUER PERFUMES PHI – UNE ROSE DE KANDAHAR: Andy Tauer’s PHI is a deep, spicy apricot-rose confection with rich vanilla mousse, dark green elements that almost feel mossy, and oriental flourishes ranging from tobacco to cinnamon and ambergris. It’s far from your usual rose scent, and the deep, dark flower sometimes doesn’t feel like the main star of the show, which may be one reason why I enjoy it so much. The faint gourmand touches are particularly nice; I simply love the apricot tart which is lightly dusted with cinnamon and finished off with that lovely vanilla mousse. All of it is perfectly balanced in a rich blend that even those who don’t particularly like rose fragrances might enjoy. As a side note, PHI is a limited-edition fragrance, due to its reliance on a particular crop of flowers in Kandahar, but it will be available again in the Fall for a short time. It usually sells out quickly, so if you love it, get it while you can.

  5. Source: reshade.com

    Source: reshade.com

    VERO PROFUMO ROZY EAU DE PARFUM: it’s hard for me to know how to describe Rozy EDP because its elements are all woven together so seamlessly and in such a prismatic blur that perhaps it doesn’t even belong on a list that is technically about soliflores. Its heady, velvety roses are fully fused together with peach, passion fruit, and a chypre-like greenness that has been drizzled over with honey. I thought the end result was narcotic, lush, mesmerizing, and fascinating, and I would absolutely wear it myself, despite my usual issues with rose fragrances.

  6. Source: Still from a YouTube video of Desert Rose.

    Source: Still from a YouTube video of Desert Rose.

    SHL 777 ROSE DE PETRA: a stunningly spiced, rich, smoky, desert rose that calls to mind the song by the same name by Sting. It’s a fragrance that begins with similarities to Malle’s Portrait of a Lady (but substantially better, in my opinion) before transitioning to an Amouage-like LyricEpic combination. I’m really impressed by how the rose has so many varied facets, all done in a very elegant, seamless manner. For some reason, I can’t really get this one out of my head, and I think I’m going to look for a sizeable decant.


  1. Photographer: Robin Alfian. Source: vk.com

    Photographer: Robin Alfian. Source: vk.com

    SERGE LUTENS A LA NUIT: Death by Jasmine, pure and simple. My God, is this a stunning, ravishing scent. Heady, ripe flowers that are somehow also fresh and green. My favorite part is the milky liquidness that drenches the petals and reminds me of green bamboo. A La Nuit would probably be my favorite jasmine scent of all time, except for one small problem: it doesn’t last on my skin. Floral soliflores are frequently doomed with my chemistry, but there are few fragrances which make me mourn that fact more than A La Nuit. If I could bathe in this scent, I would.

  2. Mata Hari, 1905, via Pinterest.

    Mata Hari, 1905, via Pinterest.

    LA VIA DEL PROFUMO TAWAF. One of the most voluptuous jasmines that I’ve tried, Tawaf has a truly spectacular, heady, and completely narcotic opening of floral richness and sweetness, all infused with a touch of skanky, indolic, blackened naughtiness. The overall effect feels like something wickedly carnal. If ever a jasmine were so fleshy that it amounted to a courtesan’s pillowy breasts heaving above the top of a tight corset, it would be Tawaf. There is a decadent excessiveness and lush ripeness that positively ooze fleshiness. The white togated courtesans of Nero’s Rome would have drowned themselves in Tawaf, while the city burned and he fiddled. And it definitely feels like the perfect scent for the great seductress, Mata Hari. Tawaf is a true beauty that rather took my breath away, but the problem is that all that headiness fades on my skin after 90 minutes or so, though the drydown is pretty with its soft floralcy, creamy myrrh and beeswax. If the gorgeous opening lasted and if Tawaf didn’t have generally discreet sillage that doesn’t suit my personal style, I would buy a bottle. Still, this is absolutely one that jasmine lovers should try, especially as skin chemistry may make a difference.

  3. Painting by Moon Beom via lostateminor.com

    Painting by Moon Beom via lostateminor.com

    AMOUAGE OPUS VIII: Opus VIII seems like a simple jasmine bomb at first glance, but I think it is much more nuanced than it appears. If you give it a chance and focus, you’ll see its layers, which range from orange blossom and spices, to watery, green elements, and vanilla mousse. Then, there is the fragrance’s surprisingly dry, woody heart phase, which adds a masculine twist on feminine elements. Opus VIII is a lot like a house of mirrors that plays tricks on you with optical illusions and surprising shifts, but there is no denying that it is a jasmine fragrance, first and foremost. I’ll be honest and say that, while I like Opus VIII, this isn’t a fragrance I would buy for myself. However, I think it’s a very good example of the genre, and something that men could wear as well.

  4. Jasmine Sambac. Source: flowallp.com

    Source: flowallp.com

    TOM FORD JASMINE ROUGE: Tom Ford describes his fragrance as “a voluptuous, saturated, spiced floral” with “lush and hedonistic glamour.” I think it is a rare instance of a press description being very accurate. At its core, this is another “death by jasmine” scent that showcases every possible aspect of the flower: green and fresh; spicy; indolic, lush and heady; fruity; and lightly musky. It is an uncomplicated fragrance that I reach for when I want a jasmine that lasts and projects on my skin.

  5. Source: Picstopin.com

    Source: Picstopin.com

    VIKTORIA MINYA HEDONIST: I probably shouldn’t include Hedonist here, as it is more of a mixed floriental than a true jasmine soliflore, but I really can’t help it because I think Hedonist is gorgeous and I love it. A lush, golden, happy, but refined, sophisticated scent, it sparkles and soothes at the same time. It opens with heady jasmine infused with Bourbon-like, boozy, dark honeycombs, along with juicy peaches, citrus notes and some orange blossom, all perfectly blended in a soft, golden cloud. It eventually turns into a honey, beeswax and vanilla scent that soothes you in its soft sweetness. Whenever I wear it, I feel calmer, more relaxed, like a cat stretching out in the warmth of the sun. Hedonist has a truly classique feel of haute perfumery, but it never feels dated or old-fashioned, in my opinion. It is elegant and opulent without being excessive, heady but perfectly balanced, and sparkles in a way that reminds me both of champagne and the sunniest of skies in the South of France. Truly beautiful.

  6. Source: Wallpaperscraft.com

    Source: Wallpaperscraft.com

    XERJOFF AL KHATT: Al Khatt is a totally over-the-top, bombastic scent centered on a “debauched jasmine” that is rendered musky from Laotian oud, sweet from vanilla, and fresh from bergamot. It’s also a very animalic floral whose creamy petals feel as though they have been drenched in a tidal wave of sharp honey. I like how the jasmine’s sensuality is subtly amplified by the earthiness of a very muted, truffle-like oud, but I don’t personally enjoy Al Khatt. It is excessively, almost painfully sweet for me, and a little exhausting in its intensity. Nevertheless, I respect what it’s trying to do, as well as the fact that it feels more like an attar in its concentrated richness than a mere eau de parfum. Al Khatt may not be for me, but I don’t think one can talk about jasmine soliflores without mentioning its name.


Source: artid.com

Source: artid.com

I admit it fully: iris is an extremely difficult flower for me; I haven’t explored an endless array of fragrances with the note; and I’m far from an expert in the genre. There is only one iris fragrance that I really love, personally own, and actually wear — and that is because the fragrance really is as much about heliotrope as iris. My iris issues are one reason why I’m not including Serge LutensIris Silver Mist  (ISM) on my list. Technically, I suppose it should always be on every iris list, simply because ISM is both an original, unique masterpiece and a legend of the genre. I see all of that, believe me, I do. Yet, ISM may be Art (with a capital “A”) more than a truly approachable perfume, and it isn’t something that I would ever consider wearing myself. So I’ll stick to the two iris-centered fragrances that impressed me on a more personal level, and that I would recommend to others, including people like me who struggle with the flower.

  1. Naomi Watts by Photographer Will Davidson for Vogue Australia, 2013. Source: fashionbless.com

    Naomi Watts by Photographer Will Davidson for Vogue Australia, 2013. Source: fashionbless.com

    SHL 777 KHOL DE BAHREIN. Khol de Bahrein is special. A study of light and dark, of coolness and warmth, Khol de Bahrein takes the stony aspects of iris and marries it to the warmth and richness of amber, then dusts them off with heaping mounds of sweetened heliotrope and vanillic tonka powder. I’m a sucker for heliotrope, so I fell hard for the perfume’s coziness and quasi-gourmand flourish, but Khol de Bahrein is first and foremost a study of cool elegance and sophistication. Its enormously rich notes are blended seamlessly, are perfectly balanced, and are held in check by a discreet softness that feels very refined. Khol de Bahrein is the very first (and only) iris fragrance that I’ve truly liked (and now own), but hardcore iris lovers rave about it even more. I personally would recommend it for fans of heliotrope as much as those who love iris.

  2. Photo: Cara Delevigne For Vogue China. Source: styledecorum.com

    Photo: Cara Delevigne For Vogue China. Source: styledecorum.com

    PAPILLON PERFUMERY ANGELIQUE: Angélique is a chameleon, in my opinion, and about more than just the iris that lies at its core. I really enjoyed its non-iris elements which ranged from mimosa to boozy, orchid-like champaca, fruitiness, smoky woods, and incense. Skin chemistry is going to play a role in terms of what notes appear on you, but there is no doubt that the iris will be major element. This is a scent that was extremely evocative for me, conjuring up images of bridal white or ethereal silver in its opening, and it is one that I would recommend to people who like delicate florals.


  1. Photo: my own.

    Photo: my own.

    SERGE LUTENS FLEURS D’ORANGER: This is one indolic, white floral bouquet! Tuberose tries to steal the show away from the key note, and a wisp of jasmine is tossed in for good measure to ensure that you experience every heady, narcotic, white flower imaginable. Yet, ultimately, the orange blossoms win out. They are lush, sweet, sometimes dark and metholated, but sometimes green and fresh. A subtle touch of skankiness lurks underneath, thanks to a sprinkling of earthy cumin. Fleurs d’Oranger has been reformulated from its former rich, heady levels, and it is most certainly not a fragrance for everyone, but I think it is still one of the best examples of the genre around. If it lasted longer on my skin and projected more, I would buy a bottle even of the reformulated version because the orange blossoms are really lovely.

  2. Source: imagekind.com

    Source: imagekind.com

    JARDINS D’ECRIVAINS GEORGE: In a nutshell, feminine orange blossoms with a masculine side, all done as a tribute to the famous, cross-dressing writer, George Sand. The potent flowers are given leathered, dark, and faintly dirty layers with tobacco, resins, and more. From a mentholated beginning with neroli, George slowly takes on paper, coffee, and tobacco notes, followed by heliotrope, myrrh and Peru Balsam, all in a play of hardness and softness, lightness and dark, masculine and feminine. Leathered orange blossom is an original take on the usually indolic flower, and I was taken enough by George to buy a full bottle. A few people think the fragrance is too masculine for a woman, which rather defeats the whole point of a scent meant to reflect the particular character of George Sand, if you ask me. Personally, I think it’s unisex, though you have to like your neroli and orange blossoms with a dark, dirty edge.

  3. "Fractal Orange Blossoms" by wolfepaw on Deviantart.com. (Website link embedded within photo.)

    “Fractal Orange Blossoms”
    by wolfepaw on Deviantart.com. (Website link embedded within photo.)

    ARABIAN OUD GHROOB: Over, over, OVER the top orange blossoms. Ghroob is a concentrated perfume oil that opens with blackened, indolic, heady, sweet orange blossoms at truly nuclear levels (along with a touch of synthetics) before the whole thing quietens down to calmer levels, as a soft, slightly creamy warmth begins to coat the flowers, and amber rises from the base. At times, Ghroob has a surprising greenness, almost like the sap from freshly crushed leaf stems, and a prominent, green gardenia note. The perfume also includes oud, a subtle sprinkling of spices, a touch of vanilla, and clean musk. As a whole, I think Ghroob is sweet, lush, intense, voluptuous, and a head-turner, but it most certainly isn’t for everyone except for the most hardcore orange blossom lovers. Sadly, it isn’t the easiest fragrance to find, mostly because Arabian Oud isn’t widely available in the West. (At least, not outside London or Paris.) Even worse, I was told the other day that Arabian Oud has suddenly vanished from Amazon, in its entirety. They may come back, but, for now, it’s depressing news. Still, if you love orange blossoms passionately and if you can find Ghroob, then this is definitely one to try.

  4. Roberto CavalliROBERTO CAVALLI ROBERTO CAVALLI EAU DE PARFUM: Cavalli’s namesake fragrance is now discontinued, but it grabbed me from first sniff, thanks to heaps of lush, golden, African orange blossoms. There is a cocooning, enveloping warmth to the perfume that transports me to an orchid in a warm Mediterranean climate, like Sicily perhaps, where the air is heavy with the narcotically heady flowers. The orchid is filled with peach trees that lie low to the ground, heavy and overburdened with ripened fruit that beg to be eaten. As the juice dribbles down my chin, the sweetness is almost as thick as the honey I smell. It’s a swirl of intense orange blossom, peach and honey with spiced amber and musk. Up ahead, there are plums and honeysuckle trees, beckoning. I’m transported there on a wave of ambered sweetness, emanating from warmly toasted, roasted tonka beans, and sensuous musk. The whole thing is big, bold, golden, immediate, undeniable — and I think it’s sexy as hell. Not even the synthetic elements and a tiny touch of soapy cleanness can alter my love for the scent. Cavalli isn’t complicated, edgy, luxurious, or expensive, but it feels like a happy fragrance and it always puts me in a good mood. You can still find this one on eBay (in a gold box with a narrow turquoise strip), and often for ridiculously low prices. Now that I think about it, I should probably go buy a back-up bottle or two….


  1. Billie Holiday. Source: Soundcloud.com

    Billie Holiday. Source: Soundcloud.com

    SERGE LUTENS UNE VOIX NOIRE: a haunting gardenia fragrance created in tribute to Billie Holiday, Une Voix Noire takes you to the smoky, jazz nightclubs where she played. A gardenia in decay lies in a glass of booze, its once-bright, velvety petals curled up at the edges, and dusted with ashes. Yet, in the midst of all the booze and smoke, it still releases a rich, sweet smell that lingers in the air like a kiss before dying. Une Voix Noire feels like a really unique twist on the gardenia genre, and the only thing that stops me from buying this for myself is because I think there is a note of melancholy that gets to me a little. But, my God, is it beautiful in my eyes. However, it is also quite a polarizing scent, in large part because of the tobacco ashes. Still, when men want to explore the gardenia category, this is the fragrance that I recommend.

  2. Photo: Chris or "Rapt in Roses" on Flickr. (Website link embedded within photo.)

    Photo: Chris or “Rapt in Roses” on Flickr. (Website link embedded within photo.)

    AFTELIER PERFUMES CUIR DE GARDENIA: Another twist on the genre, Cuir de Gardenia takes a green but lush tiaré gardenia, and places it atop leathery castoreum with sharply animalic touches. The gardenia is truly beautiful and multi-faceted, so the photo here really represents only one of its facets. At times, the gardenia has the richness of Devon cream; on other occasions, it is either darkened, dewy, or sharply feral. The leather is really more of a nebulous suggestion, and is far outweighed by general muskiness. The drydown is marked by a subtle smokiness, but the really appealing part is how the flower turns golden, “fattier,” and coats your skin with a delicate sensuality. The only thing that always stops me from considering Cuir de Gardenia for myself is the fact that it is a very discreet, quiet, intimate scent, and that is not my personal style. Nevertheless, I think Cuir de Gardenia is a masterful creation, and well worth trying if you’re a gardenia lover. Men like it as much as women, thanks to the darker, animalic elements, so I think Cuir de Gardenia is quite unisex in appeal.

  3. Gardenia bouquet. Photo: Eric Kelley via Wedding Chicks on ILoveSWmag.com.

    Gardenia bouquet. Photo: Eric Kelley via Wedding Chicks on ILoveSWmag.com.

    INEKE HOT HOUSE FLOWER: Hot House Flower is the lightest, most Spring-like gardenia you can imagine, accompanied by the freshness of green leaves and Earl Grey tea with peppery woods — all over a quiet base of light musk and smoke. It really feels as though there is hyacinth and tuberose in this fragrance, along with a touch of coconut-like milkiness. I find it to be a fresh scent with a very bridal vibe, but it is another one that simply does not last on my skin and has extremely intimate sillage. Hot House Flower isn’t for me, but I think it’s a good example of an approachable, green, and non-indolic gardenia.

  4. TOCCA FLORENCE: Florence is another light, green, fresh, airy, delicate, crisp, almost dewy gardenia. It’s supported by a dainty pinch of violets, and a lovely touch of green pears that feel like a summery, watery nectar. There are other fresh, green notes, too, along with definite whiff of tuberose, but Florence is primarily a gardenia scent. I think it’s very pretty, and I always stop to sniff it in Sephora. Personally, I prefer it to Hot House Flower, due to its greater strength on my skin and the absence of peppery undernotes. If you like big white flowers, and are looking for an easy, versatile, very feminine and very fresh treatment of them at a low price, then Florence is worth a sniff.


This will be a sort of lump-it-all category for the more exotic flowers like orchid or champaca:

  1. Gisele Bundchen by Mert & Marcus, for Vogue Turkey March 2011.

    Gisele Bundchen by Mert & Marcus, for Vogue Turkey March 2011.

    LM PARFUMS SENSUAL ORCHID: A seductive, bold, floriental, Sensual Orchid is centered on the eponymous flower. On my skin, the orchid is a delicate, pastel, floral note that feels as crystal clear, clean, bright and sparkling as a bell rung at the top of the Swiss alps. It smells of lilies, peonies, hyacinth, rose, jasmine, vanilla — all wrapped into one in a cool, clean, crystal liquidity. It is followed by the richest ylang-ylang; custardy vanilla; a hint of smoky woods; bitter, green-white almonds; and boozy cognac fruitedness. The final result is incredibly narcotic, dramatic, opulent, and heady, and I love every bit of it passionately. For me, Sensual Orchid is all about dressing to undress, and to seduce. It is a scent that definitely skews feminine in nature, though I know a number of men who love it as well.

  2. Daria Werbowy by photographers Mert & Marcus for French Vogue, September 2012. Source: tee-vanity.com

    Daria Werbowy by photographers Mert & Marcus for French Vogue, September 2012. Source: tee-vanity.com

    TOM FORD BLACK ORCHID: I fell for the famous Black Orchid at first sniff, and find it to be both a sexy, seductive scent and a very cozy one. In essence, it opens with an earthy, musky, mixed-floral bouquet, infused with black cocoa and multi-faceted elements of darkness. All the notes overlap, moving from one into another. From time to time, you can pull out the woods in the base, the smoky incense, the funk of black truffles, the balsamic resins, and the spicy, refined patchouli that is so inexorably intertwined with cocoa. The florals range from custardy ylang-ylang to “orchid” and jasmine. In the drydown, Black Orchid turns into a mix of dark cocoa powder, woodiness, and patchouli, all beautifully flecked by rich vanilla and abstract, floral creaminess. It’s a very glamourous scent that I think is unisex, and that a few men love as well, thanks in large part to the dark notes. However, Black Orchid is a polarizing fragrance; you will either love it or hate it. It’s going to come down to personal style, as much as skin chemistry.

  3. Champaca via herbalandhomeopathy.com

    Champaca via herbalandhomeopathy.com

    TOM FORD CHAMPACA ABSOLUTE: Champaca Absolute is another polarizing Tom Ford scent, due to its extremely bold, sweet, and heavy notes. It opens on my skin with an intense, concentrated blast of fruited, plummy, liqueured wine and cognac brandy, followed by tropical champaca. The flower smells of: buttery magnolia; custardy, banana-like ylang-ylang; apricots; and heavy, syrupy, fruited sweetness. Lurking deep below the over-the-top, floral richness is an almost leathered, smoky nuance. Eventually, the boozy elements, touches of tea, and smoky darkness in the base all retreat, leaving a mix of lush, tropical, velvety flowers dominated by a magnolia-like richness and infused with vanilla. There are times when the scent reminds me of LM Parfums’ Sensual Orchid, though there are significant differences. I like Champaca Absolute, but it is a fragrance that is not for the faint of heart.

So, that’s my list. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a name or two, but these are the main fragrances which come to mind when I think of a particular floral genre. I hope it helps to point you towards a scent or two that you may like.

88 thoughts on “Favorite Florals: Listed by Flower

  1. Great list, Kafka. You have definitely listed some of my favorites, Une Voix Noire, Moon Bloom and PHI-Rose de Kandahar. I have not tried 2 of the iris scents you mentioned. They are definitely going on my test list. I had thought about testing Papillon’s Angelique earlier and I definitely will now.

  2. Hello Kafkaesque! That was a fantastic read, and thank you for taking the time to put that together… So you’re pretty in tune with the perfume world, what the heck happened to Arabian Oud on Amazon?! As soon as I found an amazing house and fell madly in love with it, it disappears entirely… strange huh? I would go other routes to find Arabian Oud perfumes, but I’m weary of eBay. -Poboijosh

    • The whole Arabian Oud/Amazon thing is very strange to me. When I do a search for Arabian Oud on Amazon, nothing turns up at all. It doesn’t seem like a mere stocking issue where they’ve run out of fragrances. When that happens to other 3rd-party retailers on Amazon, there is usually a notice stating: “No Longer Available.” Perhaps a note about being currently out of stock, if they expect more to arrive in the future. None of that happened here. When I checked, it was as if Arabian Oud had never been on Amazon at all — ever. It’s so strange that I almost wonder if there is some weird political thing going on that we don’t know about, but that is probably ridiculous.

      In any event, I have no answer for you other than to check Zahras: http://zahras.com/Perfume/Zahras%20Arabian%20Oud%20Catalog.pdf. My only word of caution to you is that Zahra’s note list is often quite dramatically off from what Arabian Oud itself states for a fragrance. And, from what I’ve heard from one other person, Zahra’s has given incorrect notes for another brand’s fragrance as well. Still, it is one place in the U.S. where you can obtain the fragrances, even if they’re at a higher cost (and definitely higher than Amazon’s prices).

      • Yes, I agree with you, and maybe it is politics, but I did get a hold of them through my Amazon account which they quickly responded as usual, and their response was that they will be back in 10 days… whatever that means, and I’m quite skeptical. After doing some digging, I’ve found an authorized retailer on eBay that sells out of New York with some descent stock on hand, so there’s more money to be blown, and just to get back on topic and my apologies of mentioning eBay again, but I found a 25ml attar of Ghroob and couldn’t resist, thanks to your review, so I’ll see, and you seriously need to get that nose on some Kalemat Wood! I’m still blown away by it, and the drydown turns into this awesome dusty Patchouli… it’d be my pleasure to send you a sample, from one Patch head to another, of course! -Poboijosh

  3. My bottle of Arabian Oud Ghroob mocked me so much I gave it away. Yes, no matter how much you blink, it remains – I gave away Ghroob. Someone somewhere who shops at a church thrift shop will be one happy person. You weren’t really all that surprised though as I am NOT a hard core orange blossom enthusiast.

    I love Mohur EDP and now I have to go seek out the extrait! I have a sample of Angelique and I’m almost afraid to try it for fear of being compelled to buy a FB. Amouage Lyric – I could see myself wearing this. Vero Profumo, le sigh, if a full set were to fall on my lap I would happily try them but so far, I’ve only tried Mito which is very nice .

    Reading your blog is a very expensive habit and I love you for it 🙂

    P.S. No LOTV!!!

    • Heh, no, Ghroob is not one I would have recommended for you personally. What I would recommend though is both Lyric Woman, SHL 777 Rose de Petra, Mohur Extrait and, yes, I have to say to say it, Moon Bloom. (I know tuberose is one of your very difficult notes, but I believe you own Carnal Flower, and Moon Bloom is a much better and much more approachable take on the note. Even non-tuberose lovers like it. And, as a side note, on one person I know, they detected more gardenia on their skin than tuberose. I really would love for you to try it.)

      With regard to Vero Profumo, Mito never did much for me, but then, I’m not into green fragrances. Rozy is lovely, though. I wouldn’t recommend the full set for you because I don’t think Onda would be very you, and Rubj can be difficult. Plus, you’re not a hardcore orange blossom person, as you said. But Rozy may work.

  4. Hi Kafkaesque! That is a fantastic review! I totally agree with you about Serge Lutens‘ Iris Silver Mist. When I read about this fragrance I think that this must be one to own, but I tried it several times on my skin and I appreciate the fragrance but don’t like it on my skin. I miss a fragrance by Ormonde Jayne in this list. I really like her floral fragrances. Thank you for the very nice blog. I always enjoy reading it a lot!

    • Hi Erik, Ormonde Jayne is a difficult brand for me, due to the huge amounts of ISO E Super that Geza Schoen tosses into everything. Even the ones I’ve liked from O/J have eventually become something I can’t put on my skin. In any event, those fragrances (Tolu, Ormonde Woman) wouldn’t be on this list anyway because they aren’t soliflores.

  5. Confirmed again that I’m not the floral type. I’m happy that you included Angelique from Papillon (I was already disappointed not to see their Tobacco Rosa on the list). And also happy about the Aftelier scent (I’m very curious about her new Palimpsest).

    • No fragrance that is RoseRoseRoseRose with almost nothing else is ever going to get my vote — and that is essentially what Tobacco Rose was on my skin. As for Palimpsest, the notes sound intriguing. I think I should be getting a sample from Ms. Aftel, or it may just be the Chef Essences that I am totally obsessed by and love.

  6. What a wonderful list, the pictures – as always – are so fitting! Does it take long to pick them out?

    White flowers are still sometimes challenging for me but I have a sample of Moon Bloom and really, really like it (Tubereuse Criminelle even more, though). Fracas (I only know the current version) is sheer horror for me…
    Favorite jasmines are A la Nuit and Grand Ball from Dior.
    I haven’t tried a single one from your Gardenia list, all go on my to try list now! Exciting!

    Abstract roses and Iris are probably my favorite floral notes, I bought a sample of Khol de Bahrein after reading your review and love it but never think of it as an iris fragrance. On my skin violet is the dominant note.

    Have a nice Sunday!

    • The photos can take FOREVER sometimes! There are days when finding just one image that fits what I have in my mind can take hours upon hours. In several instances, I never find an exact (or even a close match) at all. lol

      I had to laugh at your reaction to Fracas. Believe me, you are not alone. It is quite a notorious (and notoriously difficult) scent, in part because of just how BIG it is! The extrait is quieter and smoother, also deeper, but it’s still not a scent for everyone. For me, Fracas holds a special spot as one of the two fragrances that really shaped my tastes as a child. It simply blew me away from the very first time I encountered it on my mother, and it set my baseline for what I thought fragrances were supposed to be all about. The fact that I’m so passionate about tuberoses as a flower obviously matters, though. For me, the smell of tuberoses in nature is the most mesmerising, intoxicating thing imaginable.

      As for my Gardenia list, I tried to incorporate a few more affordable things, as I tried to do for the other categories when possible. Pretty perfumes don’t have to always cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully, you’ll find a few on the list that you enjoy.

      Interesting about the violets in Khol de Bahrein! Another blogger experienced a lot of violets as well. I bet the overall combination is lovely on you, Anka.

  7. What a fantastic list and a fantastic read. I completely agree with you on Moon Bloom…it really changed my mind concerning tuberose. And you just made a lemming for me of Tawaf! xoxoxo

    • I’m so glad about Moon Bloom, and I think of you often as an example of a tuberose-phobic person who changed his mind after Moon Bloom. I really wish more people would give it a chance, as it’s a scent that really seems to fly below most people’s radar. Hopefully, you, me, and some others can change that. 🙂

  8. When I saw this post, I shouted, “AHA!” because, just a couple of days ago, I was thinking that it would be great if you published another favorites list & here it is! I think it serves a great purpose for people like me who are still discovering fragrances, so I’ll be referring to it off & on while I explore more florals (looks like the Tauers, & Lyric are at the top of my “to try” list). I like Mohur Parfum, but felt it was too soft, so I look forward to trying the Extrait at some point.

    It’s really a lot of fun to jot down names from your list & then go bargain hunting on the internet. Your friend is very lucky to have you as his perfume guide & sounding board! 🙂

    • Mohur EDP is too soft, light, and thin on my skin, but the Extrait really amps up a lot of the elements.

      What I actually think you would like is the Roberto Cavalli. Boozy, ambered orange blossoms with an incredibly golden warmth and honeyed, fruited nuance. A lot of orange blossoms aren’t ambered, let alone boozy, but that one is.

      For the roses, given your issues with them and how you’re also squeamish about a heavy preponderance of the note, I would recommend PHI for you more than the Chypre. And I think I would recommend Epic Woman first instead of Lyric, since the Epic is much more spiced, incense-y, woody, and dry.

      • I found the Cavalli on ebay at a ridiculously low price, so it’s on its way to me. Boozy ambered orange blossoms–that sounds great! I have unicorn skin, so I’m hoping the amber really blooms on it. It cost me all of 26.00, so if it doesn’t work on my skin, I’ll spray my sheets with it, too.

        Yes, Phi is the Tauer I want to try as soon as it is available again, and I’ll be brave and try the Epic Woman, which I’ve hesitated to buy, despite your suggestion, because of that pickle note I read about in all the reviews/comments.

  9. On these “flower” perfumes, my 7 favorites are (these are not “soliflores”, but the NOTE plays a key role) :

    ROSE :
    1 – EdP Malle – Portrait of a lady
    2 – Tauer – Une Rose chyprée

    I also like Chanel Allure EXTRAIT, which is pure “rose de mai from Grasse” oil ; I only put some drops for me when I’m alone 😉
    I don’t like to wear EdP Malle Une Rose, but I like to smell it on others.
    Tauer Une rose de Kandahar (I only have samples) is a very nice perfume too, but is more about creamy apricot than rose on my skin 😉

    3 – Chanel N°5 EXTRAIT (I dislike both N°5 EdT and N°5 EdP, but I adore the extract which I wear quite often (both vintage from 80’s – more musky and animalic – and contemporary versions)

    IRIS :
    4 – Chanel 31 Rue Cambon (one of my favorite perfume, a pure tragedy which begins in pure joy and ends in despair and tears !)
    5 – Chanel N°19 EdP (one of my “signature” scent)
    Special mention to Goutal Heure Exquise (a bit too “femme” for me, and not very “abstract” or “evocative”, but great nevertheless)

    6 – EdP Malle – Carnal Flower (which behaves like a drug in the summer, I’m totally addicted to this sublime perfume)

    7 – Chanel Bois des Îles – Ylang-ylang boost at the beginning, but so much other things after 😉

  10. What a fantastic read. I love florals, and so many of my favorites are here- Moon Bloom, Mohur Extrait, vintage Fracas, Lyric Woman, Tawaf, several others- as well as friends I haven’t met yet. Many of us gardenia fanatics are so set on Velvet Gardenia that there’s no reasoning with us, so no point in pursuing that section overmuch! But I do wish I understood what physiological quirk makes me unable to smell the gardenia in Un Vox Noir. I mean none, nada, zip. All I can smell is some sickly smoky raspberry. Yet everyone else who tries it gets gardenia. And reading your comments on Ghroob make me determined to try it again as soon as I get home. I remember smelling a strong note of what I think of as “high screechy cherry,” which I find in a lot of Middle Eastern womens’ perfumes. Noora, for example, is so full of that note that I gave it away. I think it is meant to be an almond note, but it goes right down my spine. But now I am determined to get past that and smell the orange blossom!
    I do hope that you will do more of these “favorites” posts, because they’re always so much fun. I’m hoping for a “favorites for fall” post. Sometimes I stop and realize how many of my favorite scents came to me through your blog. Given how much I’ve spent, I am insane to want you to write more Favorites posts. But, uh, please?

      • Heh. Smooches to you, my dearest. Favorites posts take substantially longer than regular ones, but I will see what I can do. I must say, the thought of doing something like a Favorite Orientals leaves me gulping and daunted, given that orientals are my main genre. It would probably take me a month to comply, be pages upon pages, and over 20,000 words long. 😀 Perhaps if I take it in very small steps…. lol 🙂

    • Yes, more Favorites, pleeeeeez!!

      I’ll have to get a bigger bullwhip to manage the unruly lemming herd, but I’m fine with that. 🙂

    • I haven’t tried TF’s Velvet Gardenia yet, but a very kind, loving and generous friend sent me a sample. I knew when writing this list that I would probably end up updating it with a Part 2 at some point, and that Velvet Gardenia would undoubtedly go on the expanded Gardenia section. (I suspect Sarrasins from SL may go onto an updated, expanded Jasmine one, too.)

      Re. Une Voix Noire, how utterly fascinating. I mean that quite sincerely. Smoky raspberry?! And cherry in Ghroob? Skin chemistry is the funkiest, most amusing thing ever! (You know I share your fascination with skin physiology and how things can manifest themselves from one person to the next!) I wish I knew what was happening to give you cherries and raspberries with those two scents.

      A Favorites for Fall list would be so weird for me, primarily because I wear fragrances all year round without regard to the seasons. But, yes, I know that some scents seem to be more natural fits for the average person for colder weather. I’m trying to think of where I would begin with a cold weather list, given that heavy orientals and ambers are my speciality. My God, the list might take me a month to compile! LOLOLOLOL. I’ll see what I can do, my dear, though I wouldn’t hold your breath at it appearing sometime soon. By hook or by crook, I’m determined to get through my Italian Series, even if I do take occasional detours every now and then!

  11. This is just wonderful. I adore this post. It is a bit of a window into your perfumist’s soul. It is also very generous of you to show this flowery soul of yours.
    My new temptations: Moon Beam, Tawaf, Mohur (???? should I, darn rose? Will you kill me??), Khol de Bahrein, and George.
    I am tempted by Mohur yet that rose which I detest and which makes me run away for my life, stops me. When I had the misfortune of getting Lyric woman and Une Rose Chypre in a big sample size of madness I was distressed. These things smell like potpourri on me. Something also dies of a dry death on my skin when I try on rose perfumes. Yet that Mohur’s sandalwood sounds so gorgeous! Hedonist was a milky disaster on my skin and I am probably the only person in the world who turned Hedonist into a cheap sweet fruity milk. The exotic flowers don’t really seem to work for me, either. Sensual Orchid and Black Orchid are truly disastrous on my skin. I amplify something on these two that makes them smell like a cocktail that went the body shop route. Gosh, what’s wrong with my skin!

    • So sorry, Wefadetogray, wish for your sake that this wasn’t happening, but your skin is saving you some serious money ;-). Can’t help you with the Mohur Extrait since I have none myself at present (sob,) but can say that Ms. Vermeire is a perfectionist about the real Mysore goods.

      • Will tryit , dear FeralJasmine, will try it if only for the creamy woody beauty that is real Mysore. May the rose drawn in the beauty of the real stuff.

      • The problem with WeFadeToGrey’s skin issues and tastes is that eliminating florals doesn’t spare her wallet from her obsession with some seriously expensive dark, incense, smoky, amber or sandalwood orientals. LOL. She also shares our mutual love for pure Mysore scents, and won’t settle for anything less. But, you’re right, at least she’s spared one large genre of fragrances. 😀

    • Heh, I know “Florals” aren’t exactly the first thing that someone thinks of when my name comes up, but I really do like my super-charged white ones! (Tuberose… when I die, I want my casket to be filled with tuberose! lol)

      As for your skin and what it does to florals, my God, that sounds rough. Potpourri? Cocktails via The Body Shop? Sweet fruity milk? Terrible, all of them, but especially the potpourri for roses. (I cannot stand potpourri. lol) If it’s any consolation, I have a friend whose skin turns almost all florals into BUG SPRAY! Almost across the board, in fact. The poor thing is stuck with citrus fragrances in large part as a result.

      Are there any florals which work as… well, what they’re actually meant to smell like, on your skin? Roses are clearly iffy and I know that ylang-ylang goes south on you as well, but what about the white flowers like tuberose, orange blossom, or gardenia?

      • Good question but let me first share a laugh with you and FeralJasmine about our sandalwood mania and my skin which amplifies the Yankie Candle within every single flower and fruit, really (With the exception of Daim Blond’s apricot!). Now back to your question: I am not sure. I do love with a passion Frangipani Absolute by Ormonde Jayne; I cannot explain to you the pleasure it gives me to wear this thing of beauty. I love Velvet Gardenia (TF) yet I do not like Cruel Gardenia nor Chanel’s Gardenia those leave me a bit numbed. I love Jasmine (Jasmine Rouge!). I think I cannot stand though very oily Orange Blossoms; they smell like butter on me. For instance, I tried all the Le Labo flowers and I hate them with a passion, all of them. Let me think. I like Iris. I have many samples of Iris perfumes, yet not full bottles, so I guess that that says a lot.
        I guess it has to do with my emotional neediness! I need to feel surrounded by, enveloped in a wooden, golden, warmth embrace to feel loved (lol but not lol).

        • I wonder what you’d think about the Cavalli, as it’s ambered orange blossom, not oily ones. I’ll have to try the Frangipani by OJ, but I’m a little leery of the ISO E Super Geza Schoen puts in the fragrances. Plus, Plumeria/Frangipani and I have a weird relationship. But I’ll give that one a sniff. I do have a sample of TF’s Velvet Gardenia, thanks to a very generous friend, so I’m definitely planning on trying that one. Hopefully, soon.

          • I will try the Cavalli and get back to you on that. I just got my surrender to chance order today so it will go on my next one Let me know how does the ISO E Super treats you when you sniff Frangipani. To me is all white and gold and I do not often care nor feel the white aspect of life really. I live much more comfortable in shining darkness but this thing just radiates something that comforts me.

  12. No more Arabian Oud?! So glad I bought both Ghroob and Kalemat last fall when you wrote about them. The orange blossom in Ghroob has a clear, cool, almost metallic edge to it (the silver frankincense, maybe?) that’s unusual and very refreshing.

    Thanks for this wonderful list – many favorites here and lots of lemming-fodder as well. I’m drooling at the thought of PHI; it sounds right up my alley and I missed it last fall, so am watching Andy Tauer’s site like a hawk for samples from the new batch. Rose de Petra and Khol de Bahrein are calling my name as well.

    And I’ll be hunting down samples/minis of the Carolina Herrera and Roberto Cavalli frags too; it’s always great to get tips on the few really good mainstream perfumes out there. Kind of balances out the Xerjoff/Roja Dove/SHL 777 sticker shock.

    As FeralJasmine said above, More please! We love your work. 🙂

    • Awww, you’re so sweet. As for the Carolina Herrera/Roberto Cavalli, I always try to add some cheaper, more affordable names to the list precisely as a way to “balance out the Xerjoff/Roja Dove/SHL 777 sticker shock.” 😀 (Hence, Tocca and Ineke) LOL, that was so funny, “Sticker shock.” But, in the case of the Cavalli/Carolina Herrera, I actually own and truly do love the fragrances. The Cavalli is a boozy ambered take on orange blossoms which isn’t a common approach, and that may be why I find it so incredibly cozy and addictive. (I sprayed a ton on my sheets last night after the post, and it was a fantastic cocoon of warmth. Slept like a baby for once. lol)

      As for Ghroob, you may be the one person on earth to describe that fragrance as “refreshing.” ROFL. A orange blossom-obsessed friend tried it and wrote to me with a note in all-caps that pretty much went like this: “GHROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOB! HOLY GOD! NUCLEARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” Heh. She loved it, but noted that it was quite sweet in the beginning on her skin. I’ll have to ask her if she found any refreshing aspects to it.

      In terms of PHI, I know so many people who are watching that site for its release that you may want to consider getting a mini instead of a sample. By the time you get the vial and decide whether or not you love it, the bottles may be sold out. But if you get a 15 ml bottle and don’t like it, then you could sell it easily later on. Just something to ponder, my dear.

      • My freakish skin chemistry strikes again (sigh). Ghroob isn’t even particularly sweet on me; it’s the olfactory equivalent of sleigh bells (cool and silvery) on a floating bed of orange blossom.

        And thanks for the tip on PHI; a 15-ml bottle does sound like the way to go. I can always swap it at NST or Basenotes if it quarrels with my skin.

        Oh, and anything that can be described as “boozy” or “ambered” is an instant Pavlovian reaction for me… mmm!! Can’t wait to try Cavalli!

        • Hah, I forgot about your skin. Totally get it now! 🙂

          As for the Cavalli, I really hope it works well on you, especially given the aforementioned skin issues. Do let me know once you try it, okay? You can get samples on eBay for quite a low price. (I know, because I just checked today for a friend. lol)

      • Speaking of Cavalli, have to tell you how thrilled I was to have you recommend something that was under my current $50 guideline. Naturally I ordered one immediately. The only Cavelli I have ever tried was Serpentine, which is vile on me but comes in such a lovely snake-embossed bottle that I bought it anyway. It will stand on my dresser, completely full, for years to come.

        • Heh, I have to tell you a story. My mother read the piece yesterday and was curious about the Cavalli, so I sprayed it on her. She loved, and insisted 15 minutes later that I order her a bottle. A big bottle! To quote her conclusion, “it smells so much better than some of those expensive perfumes you make me try.” He. 😀 (My mother doesn’t understand the whole gourmand trend AT ALL. She doesn’t think much of very boozy perfumes, either, though I think the Cavalli has a subtle booziness in the opening.) Anyway, I thought you’d find that amusing.

          I’m really glad you’ll give this one a shot. I think it’s important for lists like this to include some affordable scents — like the Tocca or the Ineke — which is why I included them even if they didn’t do much for me. Plus, those two actually are good examples of green, fresh gardenia scents and show that not everything has to be a “death by ____[insert flower]” sort of fragrance.

          But the Cavalli… that is real love for me. I sprayed some on my sheets the other night, and had the best sleep I’ve had in months, mostly because it was such a soothing, delicious, intoxicating scent. It made me realise how rare it is to have an ambered, golden, lightly boozy orange blossom scent. Not indolic, not leathery, not dark. But totally golden and lightly honeyed. I’m so, sooooooooooooooooooo hoping it will work well on your skin, my dear. I really do! And if you don’t like it, I’d be happy to buy the bottle off you. 🙂

          • The minute I read your description of the Cavalli, I knew that amber and orange blossom had to go on my skin. Will post back when it arrives.
            I retried Ghroob, and this time I applied tiny dots and rubbed them into my skin briskly, and the “screechy cherry” note faded within minutes, to be followed by musky orange blossom with definite undertones of gardenia. I haven’t heard anyone mention gardenia in this one, but it is emerging. Not a dominant note, but there. Anyway, a little friction and heat seem to dissipate the note that I disliked and allow me to appreciate this beauty.

          • I think there is a definite greenness in Ghroob that might well turn out to be like gardenia on some skin. So do you think the smaller quantity or the rubbing alleviated that “screechy cherry” note that you struggled with earlier? I’ve found that Ghroob is one of those fragrances where quantity definitely impacts the notes that come out, particularly the soapiness that orange blossoms can sometimes manifest.

  13. Such a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, reading your list of personal favorites!!! Thank God for STC and Luckyscent, so that I can have a sniff of some of the prohibitively expensive scents!!!
    I am now armed with yet ANOTHER list of “must try” fragrances, and can’t wait to sample those I’ve not tried! “Lemming-fodder” indeed!! Love it!! 🙂

    • Indigo Perfumery is one you should consider in terms of samples, as they carry quite a few things on this list, including having an exclusive on my beloved Moon Bloom. They have Viktoria Minya, Andy Tauer, Jardins D’Ecrivains’ George, and Papillon (for Angelique, though my great, GREAT love is her Anubis). Indigo has a set of any 5 samples for $18, with a coupon that gives you money off a full bottle of anything you buy from that sample set. So, definitely, look at Indigo as well if you’re tempted to try any of those mentioned: http://www.indigoperfumery.com/fragrance-sample-program

      With what I know of your tastes, Lexi, I would definitely include Anubis as something to try. It may not be a floral soliflore, but I think you’d enjoy it quite a bit.

  14. What a wonderful list! I am happy to know that I have quite a few of your favorites and Moon Bloom is my newest love. I also am saddened to hear that Ghroob has become unavailable and will cherish my bottle even more.

    • HURRRRRAH for more Moon Bloom love! I’m so happy about that, you have no idea. Perhaps between you, me, and various other posters, we can spread the word so that more people hear about this utterly beautiful scent.

  15. What a fabulous article Kafkaesque! I’m honored to be included and so gratified that you got (and shared) the essence of Cuir de Gardenia so perfectly, I really appreciate it!

    • Dearest Ms. Aftel,

      I’m so glad that my brief summation of Cuir de Gardenia did it a little bit of justice in your eyes. Succinctness is not my forte, and there is so much more to the scent than can be discussed in a small paragraph. Hopefully, I could lead a few people to try its mix of lush sensuality with a slightly feral, animalic Meow. lol 🙂

      As always, with the deepest respect,

  16. I enjoyed this joyful list oh so much until I heard that 1. Arabian Oud was no longer for sale on Amazon and 2. I just bought a large decant of the wrong Mohur.

    If I was doing a tops list I’d include Mohur and Khol de Bahrein, too. Black Orchid? I go back and forth on it. Frankly, when I’m in the mood for it, I usually reach for, ahem, Queen Latifah Queen, my cheapie love (along with a lot of other people, I hear, though I usually don’t care much about what fragrant company I keep).

    I’m a rose lover and Rose de Petra didn’t move me, which I found surprising. I liked it fine, but I assumed it would knock my proverbial socks off or that it might be my “holy grail” of roses, considering how much I love O Hira, Black Gemstone, and Khol de Bahrein.

    Anyhoo, this was great fun and makes a great reference list. I need to sample some orange blossom frags. For no reason I can think of, I forget about this particular floral, which is odd because I grew up with orange blossom water as a staple of the bath. I’ve been meaning to try George. .

    • Ooops about the Mohur decant. Well, the EDP is nice, but it’s too soft, delicate, and thin for me. I really think the Extrait shines like a jewel, though, and all the elements are so much deeper, richer, spicier. Hopefully, you’ll get to try that one soon.

      As for Rose de Petra, perhaps it appeals to me simply *because* I’m not a hardcore rose lover? Perhaps people in that category expect a significantly greater quantity of the note and in hardcore amounts? You may want to look at Lyric Woman or, if you haven’t tried it already, Portrait of a Lady which supplements the rose with lots of fruitchouli. *shudder* For a more spicy, incense-y, woody rose, I would suggest Amouage’s Epic Woman as well, though that one has a pickle note on my skin from the guaiac. The same thing happens to some other people, but not everyone, so it’s definitely one to consider as well if you’re interested in a less sweetened take. Then, finally, there is Papillon’s Tobacco Rose. I would definitely recommend trying that one, given your hardcore rose tastes, particularly as it’s very well priced.

      • You are probably right about the Rose de Petra, though I do think my expectations were outrageously high. The three other SHL frags are in the “shockingly stunning” sphere to me; the RdP is not.

        I think the perfect rose is Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare, which is discontinued. Not for rose haters. Rose, rose, and more simply perfect rich blend of roses.

        And Mohur is spectacular. Let’s see what I think of the EDP. My large spray sample is the extrait and I may have made a mistake, but I don’t mind a quieter fragrance.

        FYI: Not enough rose in Papillion’s Tobacco Rose, either, and that is another where expectations got me. I love both tobacco and rose so I should love it! I need to try it again. I was baffled by my feeling that it was “meh.” Maybe it was my mood!

        How on earth do you have time to reply to so many comments? You don’t have to respond to that! Cheers! 🙂

  17. Glad I’m not the only one who just can’t do the cold irises. I really liked my sample of Angelique and had actually forgotten it’s an iris scent as I get mostly mimosa, vanilla, and something ylang-y which must be the champaca (I also don’t get a lot of rose from my precious Lyric so am glad I’m not completely crazy). I will have to sample Khol de Bahrein soon as now I’m curious to know whether there’s another iris I could like. Actually, you have me wanting the entire 777 line.
    Oddly enough, I really hadn’t noticed the jasmine in Hedonist, probably because it’s so well blended it just smells like its honeyed self to me. I’ll have to sniff more carefully next time.
    Add me to the list of people who love favorites lists. 🙂

    • Aha, your Angelique experience is a lot like mine!! I get a lot of champaca fruitedness too, mixed with smoky guaiac-like notes and that orchid-y vanilla. But there is iris at the start. I simply don’t like iris enough to really appreciate it. LOL.

      Do you really not get a lot of rose from Lyric?! I keep a mental list of people who don’t, something which is really, REALLY easy to do as there is only ONE other person that I knew of up until now. ROFL. 😀 I’ve always felt like the biggest freak when it comes to that fragrance, so it’s good to know that we now number three people on this planet. heh. We can all be crazy together.

      • If I really concentrate, I can smell a bit of soft rose in Lyric and I get a quick blast in the opening but over all it is a not-too-sweet vanilla and ylang-ylang custard with lots of cardamom. I call it a rose fragrance for the same reason you do, everyone else seems to find it a big spicy rose, but for me the Amouage I think of as rose is Jub 25 (which I also love).
        PS. Now I want to try Mohur extrait even more. Thanks a bunch 😉
        PPS. I don’t know why but I can never log on here at work with my WordPress account, even in safe mode. It’s really me though, I promise.

          • It may be a weird thing about the email address or the name you use to sign in. As an anti-spam measure, all first-time comments have to be approved (unless they include a lot of links, in which case they are sent directly to the Spam folder). I’ve noticed that if someone changes the spelling of their user name, it seems to think you are a first-time user and puts the comment in moderation. I don’t know if something like capitalisation affects things, like MikasMinion vs Mikasminion vs mikasminion, but it very well might. Honestly, given the massive amount of Spam that I have to go through every day and delete via the Admin section, I’m grateful that there are a few blocks in place. There was one day when I had well over 340 spam messages to go through and delete in blocks of 20, and it took FOREVER!

            My point is, it really may be a WordPress thing to do with email addresses or sign-ins, more than anything weird happening on your work end. But I’m grateful you keep trying, my dear! Hope work and your Monday go well!

  18. Your mention of the Carolina Herrera fragrance brought back memories of a trip to Sephora in Manhattan in 1999 or 2000. I must have smelled thirty fragrances that day and the Carolina Herrera one was the only one I liked enough to get. I later got her men’s fragrance for my boyfriend too. I don’t see it anywhere anymore. It would be sad if it was reformulated.
    I have the same problem with A La Nuit, so it will not be a purchase for me. But if I did own a bottle I would probably spray it on myself all day.
    For iris I like Chanel No 19 parfum. Have you tried the parfum form of this fragrance? (Then again I prefer all of Chanel scents available in parfum over the EDP or EDT.)

    • I would bet money that the Carolina Herrera is reformulated. It is simply a sad fact of what happens to all long-standing fragrances in the industry, from more mainstream ones to niche. It’s a cost-cutting, profit-margin-increasing measure, alas. But how nice that someone else remembers the scent, as well as how great it was.

      As for Chanel No. 19 parfum, no, I’m afraid I haven’t tried it.

  19. What a beautiful list, Kafka. I learned a great deal today, and though I may not veer onto a path laden with iris, I am definitely going to try Moon Bloom. I did have a sample a while back, but I did not give it enough attention, gave it to a friend, and forgot about it. Now, with your hearty appreciation, and a mutual friend’s generosity I look forward to re trying your favorite tuberose. I love all of your rose choices, and Cuir Gardenia is the only gardenia I know of, that I enjoy. I just love ‘best of’ lists, this and lists of best books top my list of favorite lists… I also loved your end of the year favorites.

    • Oh, my dear, have you never tried Une Voix Noire? If you haven’t, then you really must give that one a sniff! The tobacco note is the iffy aspect, but it’s going to depend on skin chemistry. I think the greater problem would be the lightness on your skin, as I don’t think this is hefty fragrance. Still, if you’ve never tried it, it might be another gardenia that would appeal to you with its darker qualities.

      And, hurrah for Moon Bloom getting another shot! I’m so very glad.

  20. Thank you for this invaluable list, Kafka! I add my voice to those who’d love to see more of these! Also, would love to know your favorite violet fragrances!

    • Violets…. hm. That’s hard. I liked Serge Lutens’ Bois de Violette, but my skin…. *sigh* The violet was so weak on me, undoubtedly because I tried the current, reformulated version. TF’s discontinued Violet Noir wasn’t really a hardcore violet scent on me. SL’s Feminité du Bois (again in current, reformulated version) was nice, but… well, to be honest, a disappointment. I think the famous original would have blown me away, but the current one was simply okay. So, I suppose I don’t have a real violet love, yet. Nothing has really blown me away. Part of the problem is that I like a dewy and earthy violet, not the sort of metallic kind found in some fragrances that seem to use a form of ionone note that isn’t as appealing to me. The little wisp of what I smelled in the Tom Ford was very much my sort of violet, but it was so ghostly on my skin. I’ll have to think about what other ones I’ve tried, as I think I’m probably leaving out one or two.

  21. Several favorites of mine on that list, thanks for sharing it! I need to get a sample of the Mohur extrait. And I too am stalking Andy’s site for PHI. 🙂 I hope I am lucky enough to get a bottle! Got one last year as I knew it would sell out and ordered immediately. This year it will sell out even quicker due to people knowing how great it is!

    • I really hope you get your PHI, my dear. And, yes, definitely try the Mohur Extrait if you can. As a die-hard rose lover, it is practically your duty. 😉 lol

  22. Oh wonderful piece! I am too hopelessly in love with soliflores…especially as the spring equinox has just come in fact about one hour ago to Australia. I was wandering about in the garden last week and nearly fainted with pleasure upon being just tsunamid by a heavy, carnal, sweet, rich wave of orange blossom as I went past a navel orange tree….I always go and seek them out, but this was extraordinarily lush and heady. For the first time I saw the Orange blossom in my beloved Rubj……roooooooobge as I call her not Ruby….which I usually see as tuberose centric. It was very warm and sunny at the time, delirious. I am thrilled to see that you like Champaca Absolute too….I kept thinking I couldn’t be the only one!!

    • True orange blossoms in nature are so narcotic and mesmerizing, aren’t they?! One of my favorite smells. I’m glad Rubj works so well for you, and gave you a glimpse of those blossoms as well! 🙂

  23. I love orange blossom and am on a budget, so ryour Roberto Cavalli review sounded perfect & tempting. A blind buy, very cheap, it arrived today. Wonderful, happy, delicious! My newbie nose also smells orange (as in the fruit) which I always hoped to find as a note in an orangeblossom. I have a sample of SL fleur d’oranger, which is stunning, but I find Roberto Cavalli so far more wearable (daytime) and a lot more affordable! And in some ways…I think more fun.
    Angela Merkel approves too!
    Thank you Kafkaesque for this useful and causative post, I hope you will include good budget choices in your future posts.

    • Yay that the Cavalli worked so well for you, Hamamelis! (I can’t believe it arrived so quickly. Wow, that was very fast.) I’m really happy that you’re enjoying it, and I agree that it is more fun than the SL. I think it’s because the Cavalli is warmer, as well as lightly honeyed/boozy and with greater fruited sweetness, so it’s flirtier and a little more playful in nature. And, yes, I will be sure to continue putting budget-friendly choices wherever possible in my lists. 🙂

      Please give “Angela Merkel” several kisses from me all over on her beautiful face, but especially on that regal, powerful nose of hers. 😉

      • Angela Merkel replies with a several happy tail waggings and a big wet lick in return! And some kisses for that handsome German Gentleman.
        I also spotted a Cavalli bodylotion for a bargain, do you happen to have tried it?
        Angela M. really likes her wooden sticks…and I discovered I really like (love?) woods in perfume, so if I can put in a request for your favourite woods some time…my tail would be wagging ;).

        • I’m afraid I haven’t tried the Cavelli body cream, my dear. As for woody fragrances, that is such a hard question to answer. Many orientals have a foundation of woods. And there are so many different kinds of woody fragrances, too! Wood with citrus, wood with spices, wood with booze, wood with florals, wood with amber and incense. I’m not sure I would know where to begin, but I will think about it. I do know that trying to think of some budget-conscious options will be incredibly hard. Right now, I can only come up with Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, which is a nicely spiced, approachable oud fragrance (that isn’t very oud-y at all), but that isn’t a cheap scent. Some of the other wood fragrances that come to mind are significantly more expensive than that one! I’ll see if I can think of anything, though.

          • This helps already this beginning nose, to distinguish between the different woods (in Dutch we have a saying: I can’t see the wood for the trees!), I wasn’t aware it is a scent universe to itself. Tom Ford is indeed a challenge budget and sample wise, but I will try. And I will try the body cream and report back.
            I can sample more expensive fragrances btw, until I started this scent journey I hadn’t realised the Netherlands aren’t doing too bad on the perfume front, and there are quite a few perfumeries that send niche samples. Even the Hiram Bloom is made in Holland (or at least Hiram Green lives in Gouda cheese city), and Pure Distance’s office is in Groningen (sort of the Northern Exposure of the low lands). But I would think that at this point in time my nose needs more experience and education before smelling those!

          • ParfuMaria in the NLs has a great sample program for niche fragrances, like 5 samples for €15, or sample sets divided by type (i.e,, fresh, or powdery). I would definitely give the site a look: http://www.parfumaria.com/en/samples There are also one or two Discovery Sets for specific houses. The owner of ParfuMaria is very nice, and she has a massive selection of all sorts of niche brands. She carries everything from Andy Tauer to Teo Cabanel (which makes my beloved Alahine) to LM Parfums, Neela Vermeire, Viktoria Minya, Jardins d’Ecrivains, Oriza L. Legrand, and so many other lines that I’ve covered or really like. No Tom Ford, but much more interesting stuff. So, maybe her sample program will help.

  24. That does it, I’ll get a sample of Moon Bloom. I am a little concerned about the “tuberose for tuberose haters” concept, though, because I find it hard to *completely* dislike a tuberose of any stripe, no matter how obviously synthetic it is. (Michael is one; I have an older mini. Clearly lab-created, but not awful.) Even Tubby Criminal turns gorgeous after two hours – I just cannot deal with the rotting raw chicken of death up top. Fracas? on me, as much concerned with orange blossom as with tuberose, and as such, the experience of wearing it is a little like wearing cold cream. Very fatty-soapy, the way orange blossom often goes for me. The Lutens FLeurs d’Oranger though, at least in refo, is less opaque, and is tubey-influenced enough that it is really wonderful. I don’t know why I don’t own a bottle.

    Iris is never a favorite note for me, and I suspect it’s because iris in perfume is root, not flower. Earthy = Not My Thang. Oh well. (Favorite iris? Hands down, No. 19. Which is not about the iris, if you get my drift.)

    My rose list is considerably longer than yours, probably because I really like rose, but three on your list would be on mine too – Lyric, URC, Mohur (haven’t tried the extrait). We have some overlap in terms of florals, as we discussed before, but I’m noticing that where we do, it’s generally either mixed white florals or things that I would consider to be floral orientals rather than straight-up florals.

    I’m going to join everyone else in chorusing for more Favorites lists from you, please. This was fun.

    • Oh, I’d love to see what you thought of Mohur Extrait if you really like the EDP! In terms of our overlap, I agree with how it usually involves florientals or something involving white florals. For iris, one of my big problems is that it oftens smells like “cold stone,” as one of my friends put it. It’s such a cold note for me, whether it’s rooty or powdery, and it keeps me at a sharp distance. I suppose I can’t relate to all that cool aloofness. As for Moon Bloom, I can’t wait to hear what you think about it. Fingers crossed that it works for you!

  25. After reading this the other day I doused myself liberally in Fracas and swanned around feeling as fabulous as Isabella Blow. (Yes, I know that Fracas and liberal quantities are rarely a good idea, but it was *just* what I needed.)

    I wish I liked ISM. When I tried it (and I did give it a second go) it felt like someone hammering iced silver skewers into my sinuses.

    One day I will find a lily scent that makes me swoon and I will be full of delight. Not found it yet…

    • Isabella Blow…. hilarious! 😀 As for ISM, I know *exactly* what you mean by iced silver skewers. There was a definite frozen vodka iciness on my skin, too. The end result was almost a futuristic iris. Very difficult, at least for someone who isn’t a hardcore iris fan. Perhaps even for some of them, too.

      In terms of Lily scents, I plan to include that on the next list, whenever I get around to it, but have you ever tried Le Labo’s Lys 41? It has a very pretty Stargazer lily note that I loved. Unfortunately, there were a few problems with the rest of the scent on my skin, including very iffy longevity, but maybe you’ll be luckier. It’s definitely worth a sniff, if you haven’t tried it yet. Oh, I almost forgot, Tom Ford’s Shanghai Lily has some nice bits to it, too.

      • Thank you for the pointer to the Le Labo! I hope to be able to sneak a side trip to Liberty next week when I’m down in London on a work trip, so will have a sniff then. Shanghai Lily *vanishes* on my skin. There’s a pale hint of promise, and then it’s just gone. Like thinking someone is about to kiss you, then realising they are just leaning in a bit to tell you quietly that you have lipstick on your teeth. Lys Fume does the same vanishing act. The Malle lily smells too green on me. The Guerlain Aqua Allegoria one has a taste of the lily I’m after, but is too wrapped up in fresh sunlight to be the real deal.

        In my magic fantasy world there’s a lily out there that is drowsily narcotic and fabulously overblown like walking through the city with a bunch of two dozen lilies, but undercut with snuffed-out candles and cold stone.

      • I tried Lys 41 this week–lovely stuff, but, like with you, it was a short lived pleasure. And possibly too determinedly cheerful for the mood I was in. I’ll probably order a sample and try it again though.

        I surprised myself with my restraint at Liberty, and waltzed out with just a single bottle… of Byredo’s m/mink instead of any of the things I had on my rather long list.

        • Have you ever tried Oriza L. Legrand’s Relique d’Amour? It’s a lily but with a church or monastery vibe: incense, beeswax, stony floors, dusty myrrh, etc. It has a lovely lily note, but the fragrance doesn’t really last on my skin and is very thin. That said, I know a few people who really love it, and it’s apparently a favorite of Isabelle Adjani, the actress, as well. Relique d’Amour is definitely NOT “determinedly cheerful” with that whole Church feel. (Also, a rather Serge Lutens’ vibe, if you ask me.)

          Perhaps that will work better for you? Oriza has a great sample pack set for very little, so you may want to give it a try. They have really classical, vintage-feeling fragrances, though some of them are rather subdued in projection/body, etc.

          • Kafka, you are a marvel. Thank you for taking the time to think about this for me. I have ordered a sample set to try (the chypre mousse sounds promising too…)

          • The Chypre Mousse was one of my favorite discoveries last year. I went rather nuts for it, and ended up buying a full bottle 15 minutes after I tested it. You can read my review once you get it, but I’m hugely excited for you to try that one, Katie!

  26. I’ve come to realize I really adore Jasmine, and I’ve come also to realize I’ve never tried A La Nuit! I can’t wait to try it!

    • Oh, if you haven’t tried it, then you’re in for a treat! I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. Fingers crossed that your sillage-eating skin doesn’t go through it too quickly.

  27. I’m glad you included an exotic flowers category! I recently had a sample of Black Orchid and it’s now on my wish list (much to my bank account’s dismay). I’m really not a fan of white florals which as I understand are a favorite of yours, but it’s always nice to have different points of view! I would really like to see posts like this in other “scent categories.” Maybe a favorite citrus or vanilla or something like that.
    (sorry if that sounds unsophisticated, I’m following you because I really enjoy fine fragrances but I don’t know the terminology well!)

    • Actually, florals are not really my main thing as a general rule, white or otherwise. I focus primarily on orientals, usually of a masculine nature, or ambers, incense, leathers, and the like. Chypres and Floral-orientals, as well. But pure florals tend to come in behind those categories. 🙂 Black Orchid, though, is a floriental and a lovely fragrance.

      Please don’t worry about sounding unsophisticated! We all start somewhere, and I’m just happy you’re interested in learning a little. Hopefully, I can help as time goes by, and I look forward to getting to know your perfume tastes. To let you know something about mine: I don’t like citruses, pure rose fragrances, iris, or things that are fresh and clean, soapy, green, too sweet or gourmand, too light, subdued or intimate. I also don’t like synthetics in fragrances, and they frequently give me a physical reaction or headaches. That is why I focus on niche perfumes at the higher or luxury end, and rarely cover any commercial, mainstream, or department store fragrances. (Clean, white musk and ISO E Super are deadly to me. lol)

      In terms of Vanillas, that’s a really hard one because I have been searching for the perfect vanilla for years now! I still don’t have a favorite. Part of it is that I don’t like extremely sweet scents or the Pink Sugar genre with sugar-icing vanillas. Somehow, it’s incredibly hard to find a good, dark, not excessively sweet but rich vanilla. As for a list of favorite citruses, no, I’m sorry, that is unlikely to happen. It is a genre I try to avoid, along with all the “fresh and clean” scents or soapy fresh ones. But a very intense, deep, citrus soliflore is Andy Tauer’s Cologne du Maghreb. You may want to look up that review to see if it sounds at all appealing to you. 🙂

      • Fair enough! I’m not a huge fan of the sugar sweet vanillas anymore either, although I did go through a bottle of Philosophy’s Unconditional Love a few years ago which I think definitely falls into that category. They smell nice but they’re not something I want to walk around wearing. I enjoy what are usually described as orientals as well, but I don’t like it when they smell too smoky and heavy. It makes me cough! I like it when they’re the littlest bit sweet, like Black Orchid. Chanel Coco Mademoiselle is another I really like (although I feel like so many people wear it!).

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