Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Change Of Heart

Looking at my sizable fragrance wardrobe I started thinking about the many loves at first sniff I experienced, as well as of the perfumes that proved to be an acquired taste. Then there are the ones that required a serious change of heart, that I deeply disliked at first only to come around and fall deeply in love with them.
I've had a very public change of heart (or two, or three) here in front of you, but some of these preceded this blog. Here's my list:

1) Comme des Garconns- Zagorsk. I hated it. Sample after sample I tried to figure out why others worshiped Zagorsk and why I hated it so much (there was some kind of a burnt rubber note that crossed the line for me). I even got another sample and sent it to my mom, hoping she'll be able to tell me what it reminds me. Five or six samples later (I'm dedicated, if nothing else) and things fell into place. I have a bottle now, and I wear it semi-often.

2) Guerlain- Samsara. Yes, I know. Samsara was etched in my memory in its EDT concentration. I used to know a girl who wore it, and let's just say that her taste level was questionable. I thought about this classic Guerlain as the late 80s/early 90s equivalent of a Jersey Shore perfume and avoided it completely. Then I got a sample of the extrait. And the vintage EDP. And the flankers (especially Samsara Shine). Nowadays I'm hoarding the vintage stuff and love wearing it to bed.

3) Regina Harris- Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc. It was probably the dark and heavy rose that threw me off. I'm not a big rose person (though there are many exceptions at this point), and FMRM made me feel suffocated with a velvet pillow. Somehow I uncorked the sample again and all of a sudden it was a very big love. It didn't hurt that the husband thought it was sexy.

4) Serge Lutens- Arabie. I still won't wear Arabie myself, but after years of thinking it was the filthiest and stinkiest thing (in the worst possible way), I smelled it on the husband who was absentmindedly trying on stuff he wasn't familiar with at Barneys. Amazingly, on him it's rich, sweet, and utterly delicious (my scent twin doesn't hate Arabie, either. I should have listened to him).

5) Gres- Cabaret. I didn't actively dislike Cabaret, but this rosy chypre mostly smelled to me like soap. I wasn't impressed when it was new in the early 2000s, I didn't care for it later when I started sniffing and testing everything for the blog. Then I got it-- the special kick one gets when wearing a chypre, and all of a sudden I started hunting bottles of the original formula.

How about you? What perfumes you never thought you'd wear became your darlings?


  1. For me, it was Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's Djinn. The first time I tried it, it started as an intense, obnoxious vetiver. I wanted it OFF then the rest of the day, I got these whiffs of wonderful. After a while, I decided to give it one more try. I steeled myself for the vetiver fire, a VOOM, and then wonderful. It's one of my favorites now.

  2. I love this post, it sounds familiar on so many levels :)
    For years, I would dare to say some decades, I couldn't understand what did others see special in Shalimar. It was just OK, somewhat "boring and predictable" to me, really nothing to write home about.
    I finally grew into it recently, and still cannot get over switch in my perception.

  3. I have Samsara in both the EDT and EDP (gifts from hubby!) and there is a noticeable difference. The EDT has a harsh note, right from the beginning, while the EDP is much softer and warmer.


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