I've mostly given up on trying to predict a reaction to a scent based on a single note (or notes) that I supposedly like or dislike. At this point, the only fragrance element that has never let me down is fig, and I was really hesitant in writing this sentence. Just watch how the next celeb to come out with a fragrance would be someone of a Kimberly Stewart caliber and the scent would be as comparable to great fig scents as Kim is to Stella McCartney.
But this isn't about figs. It's about oranges. Orange in its many incarnations appear as a note in many perfumes and defies classification. It can be a heady bloom or a rich fruit. It can smell sharp and spicy or comforting and sweet, candied or fresh. The options are many and there's an orange for everyone.
Apparently, it can also be cloyingly sweet. Lately, I've been coming across way too many of those. It began with Tocca's Stella. I've written about it here (scroll down a little to get to the part about Tocca). Stella's middle notes were of the orange creamsicle variety. It wasn't bad, just boring. [Six years later: change of mind. Kind of]
Next came Diptyque's Eau d'Elide. From the first whiff until the scent disintegrates and disappears completely (20-30 minutes later), the note I'm getting is of the candied orange peels my mother used to make. The listed note is of bitter orange combined with wild lavender and aromatic shrubs. On my skin, it moves from the very candied and sweet with a tinge of the bitterness of the peel to the soapy and cleaner lavender, but the sweetness is always there in the background. I don't hate it, but I don't like smelling like a candied anything. [Five years later: a massive change of heart. I now own a bottle and a backup]
The worst of the bunch to my nose is Dulcis in Fundo by Profumum. The listed notes are citrus fruits and Mexican Vanilla, and I'm willing to believe that this is all there is to this heavy, cloying pudding-like concoction. It smells completely edible, like an orange dessert, maybe a rich ice cream, until the vanilla cream drydown takes over (it lasts, close to the skin, for several hours).
I like vanilla in many fragrances and there are several rich gourmand scents that I enjoy. This isn't one of them. Smelling like a pastry shop isn't my idea of a good personal fragrance. I want something that blends several elements, that flirts with my personality as well as with my skin. Marshmallow simply doesn't make me feel sophisticated. [Sever years later: nope. Still don't like it]