So today I tried, briefly:
Thierry Mugler Angel: Never tried this before, which is rather like not having read The Da Vinci Code. It's nicer than I, in my perfume-snob persona, expected. I asked for a sample and will actually wear it soon. I might (gulp) buy it someday.
Digression: I got the sample at Sephora; I love everything about Sephora except their perfume selection. Convenient, always-available testers, available but unpushy salespeople, and they'll always give you a sample. But they rarely have a perfume that I want, and even more rarely have one that I couldn't get cheaper at a discounter. So I make one guilt-based purchase a year (Angel next time, maybe?) to pay them back for the samples that I beg from them. And I restrain myself from urging them to stock Serge Lutens and Parfumerie Generale. But they should.
Robert Piguet Fracas: Another gap in my knowledge of long-popular perfumes. Tuberose and more tuberose, but toned down with enough other things to keep it from being smothering. If I liked tuberose the way that I like greens, I'd get a bottle. But I really only need one tuberose, and it's going to be Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture.
Hermes Caleche Soie de Parfum: I wanted to try the original classic; I see after getting back and Googling that this is a reformulation. It still smells like a classic; I could see it having ladies' lunch with Arpege and Chanel No. 5. Unfortunately, that's a group of classics that I haven't yet learned to like.
L'Occitane Bergamot Tea: L'Occitane seems to have a lot more minis. As a consequence, I may end up owning a lot more of their fragrances. Bergamot Tea is bright, liquid, cheerful bergamot. It made me happy as soon as I sniffed it, and I bought the mini - my only purchase of the day. They had a solid, too, that smells just like the spray - something for me to keep in mind for flying.
L'Occitane Verbena: I find lemon verbena leaves to be a startling, almost candy lemon. This is very true to the leaves. It didn't force me to buy it, but it's nice.
Creed Silver Mountain Water: Nice. Refreshing. Bright. While it doesn't smell at all the same, for me this pretty much fulfills the same craving as L'Occitane Bergamot Tea, at a much higher price.
Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia, Moss Breches, Tobacco Vanille, White Suede, and Who Knows What Else: I staggered away from the Tom Ford display in a fog of honey, white flowers, leather, and tobacco, and I couldn't begin to describe any individual scent. I'll exert more self control next time.
Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d'Iris: Really very nice; I may be warming up to iris. So subtle that I'm sure that I didn't get the nuances (the Tom Ford fog was still following me around), but I liked what I could smell. It ends up in a gentle woody powder that reminds me enough of Serge Lutens Douce Amere that I'm not seriously considering buying this, but I will hunt down a sample to give it a chance to change my mind.
Estee Lauder White Linen: While I was trying the classics, I thought I'd try this again, to see if I like it. I still don't like it, but there's progress! The head-blowing aldehydes didn't bother me a bit. Now I just need to get past the amber.
Estee Lauder Estee: It's the kind of "old lady" floral that transcends old lady and becomes "vintage". It's not your mother's perfume, it's your cool great-aunt's perfume. Flowers, wood, no modern fruity-floral notes. (Mind you, I like my share of fruity floral. But I have more than my share of anti-trend snobbery, too.) This is worth trying again.
La Prairie Life Threads Silver: Tuberose. Next!
La Prairie Life Threads Gold: OK, I can't even remember it. I remember perking up when orange was mentioned, and being unable to find the orange note. But, remember, I've sniffed about thirty perfumes by now. One common per-day recommendation is.... two.
La Prairie Life Threads Platinum: Interesting in an indescribable way while wet. When it dried down ... say what? The perfume in this lucite and metal bottle smells like it belongs with those lunching ladies, Chanel No. 5 and Arpege and Caleche, earlier in the post. Is it the iris? The oakmoss? The galbanum? All of them? I'm boggled. It's like seeing Mrs. Landingham from The West Wing in full goth garb. With a crumpet. The Nice Man behind the counter gave me a sample, so I have the opportunity to be boggled again. Please note that none of this is a criticism. This stuff may be fabulous; it's certainly not bad. I'm just too busy recovering from being startled to make up my mind.
Marc Jacobs Daisy: Adorable bottle. I can't remember the fragrance, which can't be good.
Marc Jacobs Lola: Adorable bottle gone psychedelic. I can't remember this one either.
Kiehl's Original Musk: I can see why this is a staple. Unadorned musk, respectable but not too respectable. It seems more like something to layer with other perfumes than something I'd use on its own.
I came home after all that to a box containing Rochas Tocade on the front porch. I think I'll just leave that unsprayed until tomorrow.
Illustration from Wikimedia Commons.