Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Roses and to spray or not to spray?

Sometimes the world of perfume baffles me. Or more specifically, MY perfume world baffles me. All of a sudden I have developed a pressing urge to wear rose perfumes again. It's not as if I was avoiding them previously, but as spring starts to reach its fecund and lush zenith, roses just seem to smell appropriate to me. I know a lot of people when thinking of spring think of galbanum, lily of the valley and so on, but roses, particularly when combining green sappiness and more complex sweeter notes, smell just right.

Today I wore Malle's Portrait of a Lady and Amouage's Lyric Man. As I wear the Malle more often, I am learning to appreciate it a bit more, although it is by no means my favourite rose perfume and indeed, Malle's Une Rose is in my opinion the better one in the line. Still, as the weather warms up it is smelling more complex and lush on my skin, as opposed to the more shrill feel that I got in mid-Winter.

Lyric Man is a perfume I have been wearing for a long time now, but always from a vial. Today I sprayed it for the first time and I was flabbergasted how different it smells and develops applied this way. It is still recognisably the Lyric Man I know, but somehow spraying brings out subtleties  that dabbing hasn't, at least for me. Whichever method is used, one thing is for sure - Lyric packs a floral punch that is seldom found in men's perfumery, but Amouage is not shy of incorporating florals into its men's perfumes. Mind you, it still doesn't smell feminine. There is a lot of incense and musk in Lyric Man too and it is a very good perfume.

I've realised that a lot of my perfume experience comes by way of sampling and in turn by way of sample vial. I wonder how much I am missing out on the perfumes I try in this way? Having said that, it's still better than trying nothing at all, or spending my life savings on bigger decants or full bottles.

What is your take on spraying versus dabbing? Do you think there is a significant difference between the two?


  1. I do believe there is a difference between spraying and dabbing, but am not always in a position to conduct a side by side test, because I only own the perfume in one format or the other. I will pay more attention to this aspect in future, and you have reminded me to dig out some rose perfumes of my own!

  2. I agree , there is a difference . And like you , I often dab from a vial , in fact prefer to dab because I can control the amount I apply . I have to really , REALLY love a perfume to spray with abandon . And sadly there are not that many that I love that much !
    I'd love to swap you some Cabanel OHA , maybe some Noir Patchouil ( very rose-y ) and some Pink Room ( Guy Robert's last creation ! ) for some Lyric Man , which I have never sniffed !
    kafa at aug dot com

    I too love roses in spring !

  3. I'm just the opposite of Carol: I prefer to spray most perfumes (though I don't spray to abandon, just one spritz usually) becuase I think they "open up" better this way, and unfortunately, I can't say why this is. I just noticed that I can smell them better when they are sprayed.

    That said, Portrait of a Lady is definitely a dabber. I love it and I believe it would smell awesome on a guy -- so long as it's judiciously applied. :) Enjoy your roses, Michael. I've been craving them lately too!

  4. I'm with Suzanne that I prefer to spray! I cannot wait to go home now and try some Portrait as I recently got a sample and haven't fully tried it on!

  5. Vanessa, I seldom have that luxury either. In the case of Amouage, Hoopers just happens to stock all the perfumes, so I can compare.

  6. Carol, thanks for the comment. I tend to feel a bit like you too. Part of me also likes hoarding and squirreling away little samples, particularly the really good stuff and then treating myself to small doses of my favourites every now and then. It makes my perfume experience somehow a bit more enjoyable. I've emailed you!

  7. Suzanne, glad to read your point of view too. I love a lot of rose fragrances and out of all the florals, think they work best on men. Portrait is no shrinking violet, that's for sure. It is very tenacious, I find.

  8. Frida, knowing that you enjoy rose fragrances, I'm interested in finding out what you think of Portrait once you've tried it.

  9. Most of those perfumes that I tested both from a vial and from a spray smelled the same. The difference is in the ... experience? Unless it's a vial of an actual perfume (or Amuage's and alike's EdP) it is hard to wear the scent that you dabbed from a small vial with a tiny plastic rod. It's enough to smell it, to test on the skin but it won't help to understand how you'll feel once you spray a regular application amount from a real bottle.
    For example, had you sprayed PoaL most likely you wouldn't have had an inclination to use another perfume the same day.
    Michael, how long does Lyric stay on your skin? My sample of Lyric Man is probably too old (bought it on Ebay :( ), top notes smell wrong but a dry down is pleasant. Even though it's a spray sample its life on my skin is probably twice shorter than Lyric Woman's from a vial.

  10. Undina, I get what you're saying. It just goes to show that everyone has a different viewpoint on this. Thanks for commenting!

  11. I completely agree with Undina. With dabbing, the experience is much more 'localised' and doesn't really allow you fully to 'enter' perfume. I try avoid dabbing whenever I can. In fact, I frequently decant the tiny sample vials into little spray bottles, especially in the case of fragrances I intend to review.

  12. Persolaise, thanks for that insight. I get what you are saying but I can't help but feel that that is a fiddly operation, particularly where the sample is very small. Of course, I've never tried to do it, so perhaps it is something that is easier with practice. As a matter of interest, where do you get your spray bottles from? I've never seen a stockist in the UK, but perhaps you could recommend one to me privately?



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