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Your Favorite “Not Love at First Sniff” Fragrance?


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 11, 2023
Versace l'homme

At first it was far too animalic for me, straight up barn yard

And it still is lol

But I've kind of started liking it

I haven't worn it yet to be honest, but I feel like I'm working my way up to it lol



Active member
Sep 5, 2023
When I first tried Sycomore and Cuir de Russie (both in EdT) I couldn't find a toilet fast enough for washing them off my wrists.

I still don't care much about Cuir de Russie, but Sycomore is a top 3 Vetiver and top 5 overall for me now.


Known to SAs
Basenotes Plus
Jul 16, 2004
The original Nina by Nina Ricci (1987). On first sniff my reaction was “What is this?” 😶 “This” turned out to be my all-time favourite perfume, a kaleidoscopically sparkling aldehydic floral with green and amber undertones. Unfortunately it was only on the market for two or three years as the suits decided the ingredients were too costly. I still have some parfum and this mini:

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Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 2, 2009
Creed Tabarome Millesime. I bought a 1oz travel bottle on my way home from a business trip. On the drive home from the airport I couldn’t wait, I opened it and gave myself a couple of good sprays. No kidding, I hated it so much I almost threw it out the car window.

I ended up holding onto it. Still not my favorite fragrance, but I like it now and then. No more than one modest spray, and let it dry down before you leave the house.


Wait, What's That Smell?!
Basenotes Plus
Jan 25, 2017
Frederic Malle Dries Van Noten-smelled like baby puke to me originally.

Masque Milano Russian Tea-the smoky raspberry was way too strong my first couple of tries.

Xerjoff Ceylon-same as Russian Tea, way too strong first couple of times tested.

Roja Parfums Diaghilev-dry down used to be way too animalic for me.

Roja Parfums Great Britain-first few tries smelled like very old books in a very old library.

All loves now though.

Pallas Moncreiff

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2018
There has never been a single perfume that I may have sampled or tested and if I did not like it at first— I never liked it again.
I may appreciate a facet of it or a certain note, I would test it again to learn more— but it stays on the mouilette— never skin. Im dissecting why I don’t like it, or the structure and even the emotions it may evoke.

By the same token, the ones that I really fall for, I love them from the very first minute. They just continue to improve.
And there are some scents which intrigue me and that makes me pause, because I know from experience that this one I need to understand more, and they almost always turn to genuine likes.

I wrote about something similar a while ago, in this thread.

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Well-known member
Apr 8, 2021
Chanel Egoiste - Initially I didn't like it, I first tried the current formulation which was over 10 years ago. Having tried the original formulation I had a 180 experience.
I actually remember smelling my friend's father's bottle of Egoiste around 1990 or so, when it was new. I thought it was the most gorgeous men's scent ever! Haven't smelled what's currently available.


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 19, 2010
Hardly any of my favorite fragrances were love at first sniff. Some of them I downright hated, like Egoiste & Fahrenheit.
All of the stuff I really love took time to get to know and warm up to.

I often wonder- If it wasn’t for the people on basenotes who praised fragrances and declared them as great or masterpieces… would I have given them a second chance, or took the time to try and understand them and click with them?
I don’t know that I would.

Off the top of my head, the only fragrance that was a love at first sniff that I still love is Royal Oud.

Varanis Ridari

The Scented Devil
Basenotes Plus
Oct 17, 2012
A lot of things, too many to list.

Typically I know by the second or third sniff and test how I feel about it.

I never write reviews on first impression; but at the same time, also recognize an absolute gut wrench when it hits me.

I take the time to ingest even the most painful experiences before committing to an opinion, for better or worse.


Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
Likely far too many to mention.
But one striking particular example was Guerlain Heritage EDT-did stand it from the very start and while acknowledging its objective qualities, did manage to subjectively enjoy this only after quite a long absence of testing/wearing and then after multiple repetitive wears.

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