Lately, I have discovered a new passion for fragrances. A subject I have never been too interested in until about two months ago. I don’t even remember how it started. Probably I ended up watching Youtube fragrance reviews. Next thing you know, I opened an account on Fragrantica.
So now that I started collecting them, I decided to post about my favorites of the moment. Also, collecting perfumes can be an expensive hobby. That is why I want to share some of my finds from local grey market retailers. I have had some bad experiences with ordering fragrances online, but I am pretty sure that the ones I got from places like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and Burke’s are authentic. I do recommend checking the notes and reviews on Fragrantica first because often these places don’t have testers.
I was never a fan of Thierry Mugler’s Angel (for women). It’s a very polarizing fragrance, you either love it or hate it. To my nose, the opening is just unacceptable and I am someone who can appreciate niche fragrances but Angel seems just pungent the first 15-30 minutes. So incredibly pungent that it reminds me of rotten fruit. However, the dry down is actually really nice, I just can’t tolerate the dumpster-like opening of rotten fruit and well, … garbage (I’m sorry but that’s what it smells like to me).
I grew up in the nineties and because of Angel’s popularity, I can tell you I didn’t like it back then either. So the endless discussion of old formulation vs. new formulation doesn’t make a difference to my nose. Anyways, I do appreciate Angel for its importance as being the “mother of all gourmands” (which I do love). So when I actually found a flanker at TJ Maxx on one of my now regular trips, I decided to give it a try. And I am so glad I did! Angel Muse reminds me of the legendary Angel but a nice, warm, gourmandish chocolate/hazelnut note has replaced the pungent rotten fruit/garbage smell that I personally loathe in the original. Angel Muse also is a beast in terms of projection and longevity, like all of the Thierry Mugler fragrances. If you’re not into heavy, synthetic fragrances, don’t bother. But if you do love gourmands but just couldn’t get past Angel’s opening or, the Patchouli just doesn’t wear well on your skin, give this flanker a try! For a great number of people, Angel Muse is almost better than the epic original. It’s a much more wearable, yet interesting, intoxicating patchouli/chocolate gourmand with great performance. Found a 30 ml/1.0 fl oz EDP refillable bottle at TJ Maxx for $29.99.
I found two more fabulous designer perfumes at Burke’s. I am so happy that all of the fragrances I found at these retailers are EDP versions, so more concentrated with good performance and decent longevity. YSL Manifesto is a really nice, grown-up, sophisticated oriental vanilla fragrance with a little bit of a twist to it. Like Angel Muse, I would say that both women and men could easily pull it off. Some reviewers on Fragrantica found it not unique enough, I disagree. It has a mild spiciness to it, which makes it interesting and more complex than most vanilla fragrances. The subtle spiciness reminds me of saffron but must be the Cedar. The notes are green notes, Bergamot, Black Currant, Jasmin Sambac, Lily-of-the-Valley, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Cedar. The other treasure I found was Dior Poison Girl. I do like the EDT version as well, but I’m glad to own the EDP now because it’s deeper, richer, and more of a gourmand to me than the fresher EDT version. I would have bought the EDT version as well though. Poison Girl wasn’t a blind buy. I already knew I liked it and had my eye on it. When I saw that they had marked it down from $40 to $24.99 I just had to get it. Dior Poison Girl EDP notes are Bitter Orange, Grasse Rose, Damask Rose, Orange Blossom, Tonka Bean, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Almond, Tolu Balsam, Cashmeran, Heliotrope. Both the YSL Manifesto and Dior Poison Girl are 30 ml/1.0 fl oz EDP versions and cost $24.99 at Burke’s.
I also found A Bond No. 9 fragrance at Marshall’s but decided against it. It didn’t get many good reviews and the price was $40, which I wasn’t willing to spend on a blind buy. The fragrance came in a box and I wasn’t able to see how many ounces it had. For that matter, it could have been a purse spray and not the iconic bottle. It was a limited edition of I love New York (Marriage Equality). Also, I’m not really a fan of most plum fragrances and this contains it.
My other favorite fragrances at this time happen to be by Versace. I have to say I really am shocked at how much I like Versace perfumes (both men’s and women’s). I was never a big fan of the Versace style and the clothes, or Donatella Versace herself, but I have yet to come across a Versace fragrance I don’t like. Their EDTs all have great sillage and longevity and they smell much more sophisticated than I expected. Versace Crystal Noir is my signature scent (as of now). I just love the creaminess of it. It’s dark enough to be called Noir but not heavy. It’s sweet but not too sweet. Crystal Noir is just heavenly feminine creaminess! Perfect for those women who don’t like overly floral notes. Both Versace EROS and Crystal Noir were purchased in department stores. I saw mini versions of Crystal Noir, Yellow Diamond, and Bright Crystal at TJ Maxx though. I also own Yellow Diamond and Bright Crystal. Love the citrusy fresh opening of Yellow Diamond. Bright Crystal is nice too, but a bit too soft and floral (boring) for my personal taste. Versace EROS (both women’s and men’s!) is just amazing, sexy, fruity, fresh – perfect for summer! Another one that I’ve enjoyed wearing lately is Mon Guerlain. I admit it had to grow on me because I expected it to be more unique, but I do love it now and enjoy wearing it. I don’t think you’re ever going to find this one at TJ Maxx.
Versace EROS Pour Femme EDT: Sicilian Lemon, Mandarin, Raspberry, White Currant, Calone, Jasmine, Freesia, Magnolia, Orange Blossom Absolute, White Patchouli, Woods, Ambrox, and Musk. Fruity, flirty, grown-up, fresh with light white florals.
Versace Crystal NOIR EDT: Cardamom, Pepper, Ginger, Gardenia, Peony, Orange Flower, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk. Creamy, sensual, grown-up, peppery-tropical.
Guerlain Mon Guerlain EDP: Bergamot, Lavender, Rose, Iris, Jasmin Sambac, Licorice, Benzoin, Coumaric, Australian Sandalwood, Tahitian Vanilla, Patchouli. Sophisticated lavender, vanilla, light fresh florals.
Part 2 is going to feature a few clothing items that got me in the mood for summer. As always, thank you for reading and I hope you’re having a great summer as well!