Monday, October 5, 2009

Mystery Perfume

Time for some sleuthing, Fragrance Bouquet readers! Are you up for a little trail-tracking challenge? This weekend I received an email from a reader asking me to try and identify a scent he's fallen in love with out of a short description. Now, I've helped readers with similar email requests in the past, but this one truly has me stumped! So I am posting Efrain's request here on Fragrance Bouquet in the hopes that together, we may help him find, or at least come closer to finding this elusive scent. If you have any ideas, no matter how unlikely they might seem, please do comment so that we can get the discussion going! I will email Efrain and ask him to monitor the replies so that he can chime in and help us narrow it down. Here's the description:

Dear Divina,
I've been going crazy searching for this scent, let me describe it to you to see if it lights up in your mind: It's a very "rare" scent, I only smelled it on one in a couple of thousand people in crowded areas, like beach, downtown, and it should be in clubs. Very stylish, hip, smooth, roomy like a patchouly or a musk(strong air born I mean), but more pleasant and beautiful, very clean, exotic and powdery, like a real strong version of ANGEL-by TM. I wish this could give you a clue, it could be an oil? Divina you're one of my only hopes to end this quest. Take your time and give it some thought or even share it with others. If you know of have and idea, I'm willing to purchase samples to see if we got it, and eventually purchase it even if it's expensive.

Now, what I can tell you to help is that Efrain really likes patchouli - he mentions Angel and in a previous unrelated email he mentioned his love for By Killian's Taste of Heaven, so I believe what attracts him to both of these scents is the patchouli aspect. The clean aspect he mentions throws me a little bit - the only 'clean' patchouli I can think of is Etro's Patchouly so this might be a good contender, since it is powdery as well. In fact, this is the perfume that looms as the most likely contender in my mind. However, Efrain also claims this has a strong sillage, comparing it to a stronger version of Angel, which kind of confuses things a bit for me. In that sense, it could also be one of the A*MEN scents of Thierry Mugler, or Angel Garden of Stars Violet for the powdery aspect. Prada Eau de Parfum has come to mind as well, but it is not quite 'rare', I'd guess the opposite. When the 'rare' factor is taken into account, I consider Bond No. 9's Nuits de Noho to be a possibility as well, since its scent is famously mindful of Angel.

What say you? What are your thoughts? I really hope you'll chime in to help this reader find his fragrance!

Image: Flickr by Xurble


Anonymous said...

How about L'Artisan Parfumeur? The perfumes are not very common. I think Patchouli Patch might fit the bill?


waftbyCarol said...

Hi D !!
What fun !
Bois 1920 Real Patchouli is a gorgeous sillage monster...when my husband wears it , it's powdery and earthy at the same time .
Perhaps this is it ?

Nina Z. said...

I have a friend who loves patchouli but hates it when people say, hey, you smell like patchouli! So we've been trying a bunch of different patchouli fragrances (haven't solved her problem). I got her a sample of Montale Patchouli Leaves. She didn't like it, but I love it, because it's a rather sweet, amber/patchouli.

Another idea from Bond. No. 9 is New Haarlem, which is a coffee/patchouli and very strong. I like that a lot, too.

That's it for now! Maybe I'll think of more later.

wristsniffer said...

I thought of Bond's New Haarlem, as well; it's reminiscent of Angel, but definitely not "clean" to my nose.

The other two that came to mind were Borneo 1834 - very heavy on the patchouli and chocolate and therefore, somewhat comparable to Angel; and Coromandel by Chanel, which I find to be quite a clean patchouli, especially during the drydown.

NIna Z. said...

Ha, ha, I just came back to say Coromandel by Chanel as well! I got a mini bottle of it as a sample from the Chanel Boutique and I love it. I keep opening the bottle and sniffing it (I am afraid to use it up because it only comes in that huge & expensive bottle).

Acaislim said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Could the mystery scent by Reminiscence Patchouli, or Reminiscence Elixir Patchouli? These are not in wide distribution in the US, but I've sampled them, and they are definitely a cut above most patchouli perfumes.

Ines said...

I came across a reference to Angel recently in regard to a perfume, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was.
Btw, my mind went in the Bond no9 direction as well (Chinatown, Lexington av and New Harleem all have patchouli notes).

Divina said...

Thank you all SO much for the responses. Please keep them coming if you have any ideas! I have some more clues sent to me by Efrain, but first a message of thanks from him:

..."This is great to hear from all those out there. A shout out goes to all of them, from my heart, "You are GREAT!"..."

Now as to clues: Efrain says that he smelled this perfume on a few different people in New York and that was five years ago. So I guess anything released after 2005 is going out. The wearers were all or mostly male and one of the persons he smelled this on was someone who regularly wore perfume oils. When Efrain enquired about what it was, he was told it was called "Mystic Noir" but a search for anything like that has led him nowhere.

Now I performed my own search, varying the search terms (e.g. I tried 'Mystique Noire' and other possible ways to write this...) but came up empty handed as well. Efrain thinks the person might not have wanted to reveal the perfume he was really wearing.

Another possibility is of course Magie Noir by Lancome, but somehow I doubt many men wear that.

Lastly, both the name (slightly goth) and the fact that it might possibly be an oil made me think of BPAL fragrances (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab). Their names fit the bill and they are in oil format. However, a search for 'noir' or 'noire' does not bring up anything related nor does a search for 'mystic' or 'mystique'. A search for patchouli brings up a long list of results, but none of the names seem to match up even vaguely. AAAAAAAAAAAARRGGHH!!! I am confused!

Lentherique in turn makes a fragrance called "mystique blue". That's possibly as close as I've come to the "mystic" clue.

One last clue: Efrain confirmed that it is a sweet fragrance.

I am not too familiar with oil based fragrances. I have reviewed a small number, but have not really delved deeply into a brand like BPAL that focus on oils. How about you? How about Kuumba Made? I am not familiar with their oils at all either... Any fans? Can you help!

Thank you all!

Ines said...

Could it be sth by Ava Luxe? I'm afraid I don't know how long have her perfumes been around but I can see someone falling straight away for sth of her design (me! me!). ;)

Efrain said...

Hi,it's me Efrain. Thanks for your blog. I searched Ava Luxe and a list of around 100 or more products came out. I can't understand sth? Is that an abreviation for one?

Nina Z. said...

What if the whole patchouli thing is a red herring?

What about Noir Epices by Frederic Malle?

Ines said...

Hi Efrain, Ava Luxe has a site - if you just type it in google, it's the first one that comes out. You can check her perfume oils by clicking on perfume.
I was saying in my comment that I actually adore everything of her's I tried so far. :)

PinstripedZebra said...

I cannot pipe in with a comment to suggest a scent but I am amazed at the knowledge gathered here. I am always amazed when Divina does her magic again and recommends perfumes to friends to try out after they tell her a fragrance they wear and like, or just what kind of smells they enjoy!

Also, lovely to post the question on the blog! This really leverages the power of the community!


Divina said...

Hahah, thankfully the patchouli is not a red herring! I say thankfully cause otherwise we'd have no strong clues at all :) Efrain told me he mixed some oils (patchouli, vanilla & lavender) and the smell reminded him of the mystery scent. So definitely patch in there :)

Also another update, he already ordered many samples from the Perfumed Court, based on our suggestions, including beautiful Bois 1920 Real Patchouli. He was slightly disappointed to not find Bond samples however.

Ines, I am not sure when Ava Luxe started her line either, but I am so sure Efrain will find something he likes in there, even if it isn't the mystery perfume!!

Divina said...

Got another idea by the way... Jungle L'Elephant by Kenzo.

Efrain said...

Divina thanks for this lead. After reading from the Non-Blonde, I found it pointing in the right direction with Jungle L'Elephant by Kenzo. I couldn't help but copying and pasting this discription of this scent. It sure helps me in wording it. I found samples, and ordering them from the same place I'm getting the others. Oh, they also had Bond9 samples too. As soon as I get them I will be letting the community know if the Mystery Scent is here or we're getting warmer.
Posted by Gaia, the non-blonde at 6:10 PM
You've smelled spices, vanilla and patchouli before, but this composition is so strong and unique that no matter how much I'm going to warn you here, it'll surprise you.
It's also fascinating, oddly comforting and has gorgeous moments. I'm just not sure I'm brave enough to wear it in public.
heather said...
Gaia, your review of L'elephant is spot on! I adore it, but it's a big freakin' animal and it can get out of hand on me very quickly. It smells absolutely marvelous on my husband - all the sweet notes seem to come out on him and all the spicy ones come out on me

Georgette said...

Flowerbomb? Maybe too new...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Georgette! I quickly google, the posting on Scent told me this could be a hot lead. Here's their interpretation: After the dry down, the scent does become gourmand, smelling of a of vanilla and patchouli. It is smooth and very calm. Very wearable.
I would have to see about a sample and check to see if it's unisex?
Meaning a man could wear it...