How Mainstream Are You (In Regard to Niche Perfumes)?

Recently Elena (Perfume Shrine) published a list of fourteen most popular perfumes (as in “samples or bottles bought”) from Luckyscent for 2015. As I was looking through the list, I realized that I haven’t tried most of the perfumes (13 out of 14!). The only one I tried was Penhaligons’ Ostara.

Here’s that list:

4160 TuesdaysMaxed Out
A Lab on FireMon musc a moi
Andree PutmanL’Original
DS & DurgaDebaser
Eau d’ItalieMorn to Dusk
Naomi GoodsirIris Cendre
Parfum d’EmpireTabac Tabou
Papillon Artisan PerfumesSalome
Shay & BlueFramboise Noire
Stephane Humbert LucasMortal Skin
TauervilleRose Flash
The Beautiful Mind SeriesPrecision and Grace

Take a look at the list and tell me:

  • How many of these perfumes have you tried?
  • Which one(s) did you really like and would recommend me to try?

Rusty and Door

I know: I was very busy in 2015 and after all these years of testing I’m very selective and a little jaded when it comes to chasing new perfumes. While it didn’t bother me much that I hadn’t tried many of the Top N perfumes from other blogs’ year round-ups, strangely after reading this “consumer” list I feel a little bit excluded (probably like Rusty on the picture above). Can you help me to figure out if I actually missed anything worth trying?


Image: my own


27 thoughts on “How Mainstream Are You (In Regard to Niche Perfumes)?

  1. I think Rusty KNOWS he looks very handsome and is posing for you!

    Of the perfumes listed:
    * Naomi Goodsir Iris Cedre – LOVE – have a decant
    PdE Tabac Tabou – Like – I hosted a split and have about 10 mLs
    Papillon Salome – I gave away my sample
    Penhaligons Ostara – Like – have a 50mL FB as it was too cheap to pass up from the recent Penhaligons sale
    * Slumberhouse Kiste – Meh – I got a sample from a swap and have since passed it on
    * Tauerville Rose Flash – Nice – I have the 30mLs although I have only worn it once

    * Worth a try for you.

    There’s a possibility I have tried the Eau d’Italie, D.S. Durga, A Lab on Fire and SHL because either Twisted LIly or Osswald carries the lines but they must not have been remarkable enough for me to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha! Ostara… I’ll know where to go for a decant if I end my sample and want more (but less than a bottle)

      I noted your other recommendation: knowing our tastes intersections, they are very useful – thanks. I’m just not sure about Kiste: you thought it was “meh” but still think I should try it – why?


  2. Interesting to read this list, Undina. The ones I tried were Maxed Out, Iris Cedre and Salome. I loved Iris Cedre and Salome did not work on my skin but is worth a try. Love Rusty’s photograph. Portia wrote a lovely review about the Iris. For me it was love at first sniff and I am not too keen on iris fragrances.


    • The second vote for the Iris Cedre! I’m getting more and more curious. As to Salome… Since it got so much attention in the blogosphere, I’ll probably try to get it for testing though I do not expect to like it.


  3. Oh Rusty does look forlorn!

    I have tried Ostara and Salome and have a sample of Iris Cendre to try. Ostara is exactly like a bunch of daffs so let that be your guide. Salome is fab but the cumin is a deal-breaker for me.

    Actually I might try Iris Cendre today as it’s getting so much love.

    I never worry about missing out on stuff usually as I like so little. Although now I really want to try that Tabac Tabou…


    • Like most cats, Rusty dislikes closed doors.

      Just reading “cumin” makes me shudder. But I’ll try Salome if I get a chance – just to know what everybody’s talking about.

      I usually do not really care if I’m “behind” when it comes to other bloggers: since I’m not writing reviews, I’m not trying too hard to keep the pace. But bloggers go to stores, exchange samples with others, get some from brands. In case with Luckiscent, people actually paid money for either samples or bottles. They chose those perfumes and paid for them. That’s why I felt slightly differently.


      • Yes, good point about people paying money for these. It would be good to just get the list for full bottles bought though. They could have bought samples and hated them!


  4. I have barely done better than you from that list, hehe – Ostara (which was too indolic for me), Salome and Maxed Out. Salome is worth trying, not least because it is so talked about – you need to like animalic notes, and who knew that I did?? It’s a big hitter on some, but strangely quiet and polite on others – always a bit filthy though to my nose. I can certainly help you with a sample of that one. Then I have also tried Maxed Out which smells exactly like a person who has spent a night on the town in Manhattan and is totally trashed on cocktails and fags (in the UK sense of the word ;) ). I quite like it, though it isn’t my usual style of perfume and arguably a bit manly. But Salome you should sniff, I reckon.


    • I’ll take you up on your sample offer: I’m curious to try it (it was one of the most raved about perfumes in 2015) though I don’t think it’ll work for me. All we need now is to encourage the mule to go to the U.K. :)
      I’m not sure yet what I think about Ostara: I think I liked it but I need to test it more.


  5. Oh man, I want to try all of them! As my perfumes are going off and I still haven’t gone through all my samples, I will just bookmark this post (esp for recommendations from your readers) for later. Happy Sunday Undina and Rusty!


    • Thank you, Carol.

      I also noticed recently that some of my samples went off. I’m trying now to figure out which of them I should try before it’s too late: there are some that I liked when I first tried (but didn’t love), put aside to re-try one day – and never did it. There might be some that I would want to wear – but I might never know unless I try them.


  6. Hi Undina,
    I know that I’ve tried Rose Flash and Ostara. I liked both but I have no desire for a FB of either. I think I’ve tried a couple of the others as well but don’t remember them at all. (Oh dear!)
    Azar xx


  7. I didn’t try that many but out of above list, I tried Iris Cendre, Salome, Ostara, and Framboise Noire. Iris Cendre is fabulous. I need a decant and try it further. I’m with Vanessa on Salome. I’m not normally an animalic person but I actually liked it. Worth a try. Ostara is bright – field of daffodils after daffodils. It’s truly a spring scent. I like it. Framboise Noire was meh for me. I don’t get on well with berries anyway so it wasn’t a surprise. It’s a woody berry scent and nothing noir about in my humble opinion.

    I didn’t realise your place is decorated in Rusty colours. :D


  8. Well, that list was made into a sample pack… which I ordered and received last week. So I have tried all of them. A few impressions:

    Maxed Out – Cumin/coconut. I rather dislike cumin… but this is quite odd and interesting! A bit plasticky at first but gets better. Maybe not a winner for me, but a very interesting experience! I will try this again!
    Mon musc a moi – I really like the slightly skanky toffee/vanilla opening and the first couple hours but the drydown is a bit generic vanilla with lots of clean-ish musk.
    L’Original – Booooring and generic fresh spicy/woody/aquatic.
    Debaser – Pickled cucumber???!! Horrible stuff!
    Morn to Dusk – Generic vanilla.
    Iris Cendre – Boring generic carroty iris. I have no idea what people see in this.
    Tabac Tabou – Now this is tobacco! Really raw and powerful tobacco of a sort I have only ever encountered in indie oils before, never in niche or mainstream. Also really enjoying the creamy honeyed narcissus, makes for a great contrast. Only con for me is the limited longevity, only about 5 hours on me.
    Salome – Not impressed with this one. I love my skank and had high expectations for this one… But what a letdown, just another cumin-bomb on me. And cumin just smells like cumin on my skin, not particularily attractive or skanky.
    Ostara – I’ve tried this before. I like the narcissus/ylang but the greens and hyacint add a bit too much sharpness for my taste.
    Framboise Noire – Not what I was expecting. The berries are really dark and syrupy and I can definitely smell the oud. And something smells like licorice! Very interesting, will be testing again!
    Kiste – Deep, dense and syrupy honeyed peach with a bit of tobacco. My third sample of this, not sure if I want a bottle, but it is definitely growing on me and I look forward to seeing how it ages (Slumberhouses usually age really well).
    Mortal Skin – Lovely soft and creamy herbal balsamic with a bit of cardamom. A bit on the subtle side for me though. I might try and spray it instead, maybe that would give it more power…
    Rose Flash – Honeyed balsamic rose, really dark and dense! A very opulent rose! Not at all sharp and headache inducing like rose usually is for me. Really lovely, might grow on me!
    Precision and Grace – Generic fruit.


    • Thank you for detailed impressions! I can see that we both like narcissus and do not like cumin.

      What surprised me: you consider 5 hours to be a “limited longevity”? I’m surprised because most of the perfumes I wear on a day-to-day basis require re-application in 5 hours or sooner. Of course, partially it’s because of the amount I apply (2-3 sprays) but still. 5 hours is quite a respectable wear for modern perfumes.

      In general, I see that you had not a bad ratio of those perfumes that you liked to the total number. It will be interesting to know if any of them will become a FB in your collection one day.


      • Well, I’m a Slumberhouse girl and generally enjoy the really heavy and dense stuff, usually extrait strength, so anything less than an 8 hour longevity is limited for me. I never apply more than 2-3 sprays either so I guess it’s just my tastes combined with the fact that my skin doesn’t eat perfume… I’m rather spoiled when it comes to longevity, I get a full 16 hour day from most of my favorites. And I need a perfume to last at least a full 8 hour workday or it’s a dealbreaker.

        I’m rather restrictive about what I buy full bottles of. It has to tick all the boxes for me to be willing to buy a full bottle. Kiste is the most probable full bottle of these (well duh, it’s a Slumberhouse :P) and I might want a decant of Tabac Tabou. And maybe, just maybe, a decant of Rose Flash. I usually get a headache from rose so I’ll need to test it rather thoroughly before I make any decision.

        And here are a couple other loves of 2015:
        April Aromatics Tempted Muse – Really lovely dense tropical florals and fruits!
        Kerosene Unforsaken – Amazing orange blossom/coconut/clementine with a great skanky edge to it. There is probably a full bottle of this in my future, if I can get past my dislike for bottles larger than 50 ml (100 ml is just way more than I’ll ever need of any one perfume).


  9. Ha! I only tried Salome. And that by accident because another perfumista sent a sample. Not because I went in search of it.
    So can’t really say what you should try… :)


  10. I only tried Rose Flash and Ostara. I love Rose Flash because for me it is basically Lush Rose Jam in perfume form for the first 30 minutes to an hour :) After that it gets a littel bit earthier (it is a Tauer, after all), but mostly stays pretty linearly Rose Jam-like on me. If you have tried and enjoyed Rose Jam, I would recommend trying Rose Flash!


    • Actually, I think I didn’t like Rose Jam: it was too sweet for me. On the other hand, I like Tauer’s Un Rose Vermeire – even though it is sweet. So I should give it a try when I get a chance.


  11. Hi Undina! This is so interesting. Just like you, I’ve only tried one of the perfumes on this list, and that was Naomi Goodsir’s Iris Cendre. I know everyone loves this one but there is something off-putting about it on my skin. I was so disappointed in my skin chemistry, ha. What did you think of Ostara? (or have you written about it?) It’s been ages since I’ve tried anything from Penhaligons.

    It’s always nice to see a photo of Rusty!


    • Hi Caitlin! Nice to see you again :)

      Lucas was also underwhelmed by Iris Cendre. I hope to test it soon.

      Ostara was not bad, I noted to tested it again. But it’s a spring perfume, so I didn’t want to test it in winter.


  12. I tried Salome (after Vanessa wrote about it), but on my skin I could not detect a lot of the animalic musk. It was a bit dusty and spicy, but not the warm oriental scent I was hoping to find. So really meh on my skin, really.

    A friend just sent me a few small vials of Ostara, and I really like it, even if it is more about narcissus and pollen than green sharpness to my nose (I love green notes, as a general rule). But there’s no way I would buy a big bottle just now of something spring-like, I already own Chamade and The Essence of Central Park plus many citrus fragrances in general.

    So, the list tells me I did not test a lot last year, even if I did test something form 4160 Tuesdays, just not the listed perfume


    • Yes, Ostara is definitely a spring perfume (I wrote that in the comment just above before I saw your comment) so I plan to test/wear it in a couple of months. But I don’t want another full bottle… But I’ll test it again – and who knows… :)


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