Aqua Allegoria Mandarine Basilic by Guerlain

I don't get mandarin, I don't get basil, I don't get anything pleasant, it's like a really harsh bleach product for cleaning floors.

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée by Hermès

Unashamedly love this. Hits a nice balance between real mandarin and that insanely delicious artificial orange flavouring that's used in sweets, and sometimes a trashy and uplifting fruit hit is just what you want.

L'Interdit (2018 version) by Givenchy

Just annoyed the perfume counter lady by turning up my nose at it with extreme prejudice. From the big tank of generic cheap pink Angel-spawn. Zero relation to original l'Interdit, and I've checked this against my vintage pure parfum.

Poivre by Caron

Whenever I wear this outside the house, there are remarks about how something smells like dentists. I really enjoy it, though.

Eau de Givenchy (original) by Givenchy

I've worn this for about 25 years now, and it just makes me happy.

L'Homme Idéal Eau de Toilette by Guerlain

Very, very unpleasant. Like some horrible poisonous concoction of gummy bears and bleach.

And it isn't toxic and vile in a simple straightforward way, but in distinct phases. Nostril-searing disinfectant, followed by a sickening and cloying child-with-flu-vomited-up-their-cherry-cough-mixture stage, followed by an almost bearable stage when it's almost gone. The cough-mixture vomit stage kept reviving for the rest of the day.

Cabotine by Grès

Evil in a bottle. The notes look non-threatening, but don't be fooled. It's a trap. It's like an icepick in the eye followed by slow poisoning.

No. 5 by Chanel

For about 20 years I occasionally sprayed some of this from a tester, and what I got was somewhere between 'bottom of the fridge' and 'nothing', and I thought of it as actively unpleasant. What was wrong with me? It's glorious, but for some reason it never clicked for me until last year, when it sneaked up on me and showed its true beautiful nature. Now, almost without me realising, it's my second-most-worn, after my great love, Mitsouko.

Diorissimo Eau de Toilette by Christian Dior

The boyfriend says that this smells like Raid bug spray, and complains whenever I wear it.

Clearly he's crazy and his nose is defective, because it's a beautiful crisp, clear, sharp, slightly prim floral.

La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum by Guerlain

What the hell, Guerlain?

Like they literally want me to drink the Kool-Aid.

Still wear it out of a kind of sick fascination when I know I'll be showering soon.

Cologne du 68 by Guerlain

Boneless. Pleasant-ish, but dull. Nothing interesting enough to dislike.

Why why why can't Guerlain come out with something that a) isn't a sweet, bland yawnfest; and b)is widely available.

Edit, months later: This stuff is growing on me, to the point I've upgraded from neutral to thumbs up. Very pleasant trans-seasonal no-brainer, and more interesting than I originally registered.

Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana

Essence of meh. Half-arsed slightly rancid citrus over equally half-arsed woody amber-ish base. Best I can say for it was that it was gone in half an hour.

Shalimar Parfum Initial by Guerlain

Shalimar with all the good bits taken out, leaving nothing but overly-sweet fluff. OK for bed, but if I wore it out of the house would feel totally uncomfortable, like a grown woman wearing a puff-sleeve pink party frock and sucking a lollipop.

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

A good spiced herbal citrus cologne with decent longevity. Nothing earth-shattering, and could live without it in the collection, but very enjoyable.

Aqua Allegoria Flora Rosa by Guerlain

Adequate and pleasant enough, but essentially dull and characterless.

Perfume equivalent of generic supermarket cake.

Jovan Musk for Men by Jovan

This must have been better back in the day.

The current version hit me with an intense High School flashback. Not the good kind with clean-yet-lusty teenage boys, but the sickening kind with dingy post-PE changing rooms, baby-powdered hot crotch, peeling off sweaty sports bras and a cloying toxic fog of Impulse 'Merely Musk' body spray. Horrible.

Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Deliciously sweet and spicy animal filth. I love snuggling down into this, despite being of the lady persuasion. Boyfriend hasn't yet complained about me going to bed smelling like Bigfoot's personal gentlemen's area or a public loo after a cottaging frenzy. Not that I would listen if he did.

Of course, being a woman I've never been anywhere near a urinal cake, so that association is lost on me. Just in case, have not yet had the balls to wear this in my otherwise all-male office.

Vent Vert (new) by Pierre Balmain

Referring to the current version with a lid like a tacky silver golf-ball, not the sublime original.

Vile and atrocious.

Have had more pleasant things squirted at me from dispensers in public toilets. Would rather stick needles in my eyes than wear this again.

Will use up mini of beautiful original and accept that it's dead.

Habanita by Molinard

Why on earth don't I wear this more often? On me, more leather and spice than powder and vanilla. Shalimar but more so. EdT lasts more than 12 hours, and the dry-down is delicious. Outwardly I may be a nondescript middle-aged woman in 2015, but in my inner perfume-influenced fantasy life I'm a vampy speakeasy femme fatale with furs and a long cigarette holder.

Niki de Saint Phalle by Niki de Saint Phalle

Chanel No 19 when she lets down her hair from the tight bun, takes off her glasses, kicks off the boardroom bitch stilettos, has a shot of liqueur and relaxes a little.

Séville à l'Aube by L'Artisan Parfumeur

Quite sweet, which is usually something I'd avoid, but in this case it's a naturalistic-smelling sweet of citrus with honey, amber and florals, rather than the synthetic gummi bears and candyfloss dissolved in shampoo sweet that's in all the pink celebuscents.

Always amazed not to be swarmed by bees when wearing it.

Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior

Perfection. Everything is juuuuussst riiiight. Nothing too sharp, or too floral, too sweet, or too strong, or too thin. Everything in balance, including a subtle skin/musk effect. Always appropriate and comfortable, transcends sex and age.

The soap is wonderful too.

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Got a sample vial for reasons of sick curiosity.

Roughly the same experience as when a cat gorges itself on cupcakes and Cadbury Caramello then horks it all up on your pillow.

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