The Monday Mail ~ help Marta find a new fragrance :: Now Smell This

Marta fell in love with perfumes in 2007 when she discovered Serge Lutens Chergui and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur. Since then she has been an avid reader of Now Smell This (and she also loves our own Angie’s cozy mysteries).

She’s currently searching for a signature scent for special events, something that will make her feel both chic and professional, like her longtime favorite Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady. She still finds Portrait of a Lady beautiful but she’s overly used to it now, and no other perfume in her collection feels powerful and special enough to be its replacement. Her perfect perfume will be as cold and chic as a Hitchcock blonde, but also with some wit and panache. So, icy and interesting.

Can we help?

Here is what we know about Marta:

She is in her early thirties and works as a freelance writer and film critic. She also wrote a monograph about Luchino Visconti’s cinema, and may start her Ph.D. studies this year.

She has blue eyes, a reddish complexion and long blonde hair, and describes her style as 70s hippie meets 90s minimalism (but she also has a soft spot for 40s femme fatale style dresses). Her friends and family often describe her as an odd mix of witty and shy.

She loves Italian and British cinema, old Hollywood movies, red lipsticks, opera, cats and golden age mysteries.

She is from Poland, and is currently living with her husband and cat in Geneva, Switzerland.

Marta’s signature fragrances over the years have included Chanel No. 5 and Chanel No. 19, Clinique Aromatics Elixir, Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower and Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady.

Other fragrances Marta has loved and worn include…Bvlgari pour Femme, Guerlain Après L’Ondée, Frédéric Malle Eau d’Hiver, En Passant and Eau Magnolia, Rochas Femme, Parfums DelRae Mythique, Diptyque Tam Dao, vintage Dior Diorissimo and Chanel Cristalle.

The most recent perfumes she fell in love with were Frédéric Malle Lys Méditerranée (beautiful cold lilies), Le Lion de Chanel (baroque Shalimar-like leather – but too nocturnal for professional meetings) and Guerlain Bois d’Arménie (a woody symphony that reminds her of fireworks and bonfires).

Her favorite notes are patchouli, hay, tobacco, leather and suede, roses, iris, orange blossom, acacia and mimosa. She also loves linden blossom and lily. She likes spices (cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, ginger) and she’s not afraid of a little bit of cumin (longtime Femme lover). She hasn’t met a green fragrance or green chypre she didn’t like.

Some perfumes that should have worked for her but didn’t:

Rose chypres other than Aromatics Elixir, like Agent Provocateur, Paloma Picasso, Sisley Soir de Lune, Paco Rabanne La Nuit. She appreciates them but does not want  another rose-patchouli combination, or a rose scent in the style of Portrait of a Lady.

Vetiver perfumes: vetiver is her husband’s signature and she likes it better on him. 

Musky skin scents like Narciso Rodriguez for Her, Le Labo Another 13; these are too straightforward and remind her of hygiene products.

White flowers with prominent vanilla notes like Annick Goutal Songes or Le Labo Lys 44…she loves them but they often turn very vanillic on her.

Most Hermès fragrances, although beautiful, turn into a linear, boring mess on her skin.

Marta dislikes gourmand scents, oud, calone and fruity-floral notes. She also doesn’t adore fig scents, narcissus and daffodil, grapes and bubblegum notes, heavy rose-violet combinations, and she prefers more abstract compositions over soliflores.

Perfumes that she really dislikes include:

Estée Lauder Spellbound: sweet and cloying.

 Cacharel Eden: plasticky tuberose.

Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain: in theory a perfect scent for her but one fecal-like note ruins it.

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium: generic and too boring.

Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars: metallic sweetness that feels nerve wracking.

Frédéric Malle Lipstick Rose: oily, heavy and unpleasant.

Heeley Cardinal: she usually loves incense, but Cardinal is too strong with some unpleasant undertone.

What say you?

Note: top image is post_te [cropped] by fedewild at flickr; some rights reserved.

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