Saturday, June 03, 2006

The New World Awaits...

Click the pic to visit

Get your bookmarks ready...

thinking caps on...

and enjoy the new look, new concept, new name...

Scenteur7 has a new home...a new world awaits!

Dear readers, Scenteur7 is moving during the month of June and will permanently move to its new home on July 1st. Though (the new site) is still in the fininshing stages, I would greatly appreciate your feedback and ideas as to how I might improve it, visually or technically, and what you might see that I missed! Please feel free to leave comments about HERE.

ASK MARLEN: Old Leather


Compliments from a newbie on a very informative and interesting blog. I like leather scents a lot and read your review of Cuiron with great interest. I wish to draw your attention to two relatively unknown and, in my view, vastly underrated Leather scents: Bogart by Jacques Bogart, released in 1975; and the original Dunhill for men, released in 1934. Would it be possible for you to share your opinions on these scents? I'm curious about a connoisseur's view of them.


DHi D,

I haven't smelled either of these fragrances in quite a long time. This alone should give you some indication as to how I felt about these scents, once upon a time. I recently had the opportunity to sniff Bogart's One Man Show and found it such a sign of its time that I truly feel it's just unwearable at this point. I also felt the same way when I had the opportunity to test the original Lanvin Homme, Worth pour Homme and Versailles pour Homme...

Sorry, D. I'm afraid I can't be of much help here. Maybe some of the readers will have some comments for you.


NEW RELEASE: Rochas, Reflets d'Eau ROCHAS scents for Men and Women,

Reflets d'Eau pour Homme

Reflets d'Eau pour Femme

Friday, June 02, 2006


click the logo above to read my first article for

Go Daddy - Scents for Father's Day

REVIEW: Benetton, Colors for Men (1988)

Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Cypress, Vanilla, Cedar, Patchouli.

Pros: A simple composition that has just the right amount of good stuff.

Cons: Benetton's fragrances seem almost cliche nowadays, having somewhat undeservedly found a low-price, bottom of the shelf existence at Perfumanias and discount shops world over. If your inner fragrance snob can move past this, you may be in for a treat.

Reminds me of: Shalimar Light; Molinard Vaniteck; Etro Shaal Nur.

Development: Minimal, but then this is not a terribly complex composition; the warm, oriental drydown is my favorite part.

Longevity: Excellent - lasts about 6-8 hours on my skin.

Sillage: Also, excellent.

Where can I buy it? Everywhere; $9.99 for a 100ml edt spray at

Bottleworthy? Most definitely, expecially for those who enjoy vanilla and lemon aromas.

The Bottom Line: One of the first fragrances I ever wore, and one that I keep coming back to, Colors for Men has consistently managed to find a place in both my heart and wardrobe. Though neither a masterpeice nor ingenious, Colors simply smells great, lasts forever, and costs next to nothing. Better than that, there is really not much else out there that compares with this citrusy, masculine oriental that works as well in warmer weather as it does in cooler. I'd offer decants, but let's face the price above, you're better off just going whole hog!

Rating (out of 10): 7

What's your take on Benetton Colors?

REVIEW: Benetton Colors for Women

Thursday, June 01, 2006

ASK MARLEN: Three more?

Hi Marlen,

My name is J and I was wondering if you could make some suggestions for me? I've read alot of your reviews and Addicted column (the Singapore one had me rolling) and I've made 2 blind buys per your Basenotes reviews - both were spot on: Armand Basi and Roma Uomo. So, if I were going to own say 3 fragrances, all different but distinct, which ones would you suggest?

Thanks for your time,
Hi J,

I'm happy you've enjoyed the writing and the recommendations, thanks for reading! Ok, here are some ideas:

1) If you wanted to stay in the same family, masculine orientals, here are 3 of my other favorites:

2) If you wanted to expand and add some other styles of fragrance to your wardrobe, how about these?


Fresh Aromatic

Masculine Floral



Green Fougere

Ok, hope this gives you a starting point. Be sure to read the comments for each review as there may be some valuable suggestions from other readers there!


CONTEST: June is Montale Madness month

What is it? A new contest for the month of June!

What can I win? 10 ml decants of Montale's Patchouli Leaves or Oud Cuir d'Arabie; assorted samples of Montale fragrances.

What should I do? Visit the new site for and join their mailing list. Suravi is an exclusive fragrance boutique in Tampa, Florida that sells the best niche and hard-to-find fragrances including Sali Oguri Pink Manhattan (coming soon!!!), Miller Harris, Carthusia, John Mac Steed, New West, Beth Terry of Creative Universe, Montale, Amouage, Jean Pascal of Colombia (Basenotes interview coming soon!) and so much more! Suravi has graciously agreed to donate Montale products and to offer unique discounts to Scenteur7 readers - thank you, Suravi!

JUST CLICK HERE and complete the secure online application. Your information will NOT be shared and you will not be solicited. By completing this form, you will be eligible for other great prizes and giveaways, and will be entitled to receive discounts on your favorite perfumes just by being a Scenteur7 reader!

IMPORTANT: Please be sure to include the following in the comments section at Suravi:

Scenteur7 Montale Contest

When will I know if I won? Up to 5 winners will be announced on July 1st when both Suravi and Scenteur7 unvail their new websites.

Have fun exploring and stay tuned for new Montale reviews throughout the month of June at Scenteur7 and NowSmellThis!

ASK MARLEN: Brun and Basileus

Hi Marlen -

Before anything else, I wanted to say I truly enjoy reading your blog and your reviews on Basenotes. Your posts are articluate, sometimes humorous, but always informative.

The real reason for my email is twofold. First, I was wondering if you still had decants of The Brun available? Secondly, have you had a chance to smell Basileus or Paris Tour Eiffel by Rene Laruelle? If you have, I'd certainly appreciate hearing your opinions.

Rene and I exchanged several emails late last year about both fragrances but I have yet to smell either one.

Hey Buzz,

In fact, I do still have decants available of The Brun and I sent you a separate email about prices.

As for Basileus and Paris Tour Eiffel, I have tried only the former and have a bottle of it. It is a very classic, 80's style scent with a clean, almost soapy edge. I'll be posting a full review of it in the coming weeks, so be sure to stay tuned! I have also tried Basier de Soie, Le Jardin des Floralies, and his newest, the 2006 release, Calame (my personal favorite). Reviews of these are also coming soon!

Thanks for reading and posting!

EVENT: June Sniffapaloozas!

click the pic to register and for more information

A message from Karen Adams of Sniffapalooza:

This Saturday, June 3, we are going to have a "SoHo Family Sniffa" at Le Labo and Bond No. 9, with each shop holding educational and fun presentations for parents & children ages 8 and up.

Then on June 10, we'll be holding a breakfast and Perfume Workshop at Bendels (presented by L'Artisan and Chandler Burr of the NYTimes), followed by a trip to Spa Ja. We are limited to 50 attendee's, but we still have some spaces open.

To register or for more information, click the pic above. I won't be attending these summer events, but am planning to attend the big October, 2006 bash in NYC. See you there!


So...what was the mystery scent for May?

Van Cleef & Arpels Tsar (1989)

Notes: Bergamot, Rosemary, Thyme, Lavender, Jasmine, Caraway, Cinnamon, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber.

Good guesses, everyone. Stay tuned for another Mystery Scent Challenge when Scenteur7 moves to its new home at

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

ASK MARLEN: Habituation

Hi Marlen,

Please can you explain a bit more about 'longevity' with perfumes: I've always understood that it is not the wearer who is the best judge - the wearer's nose is quickly saturated by the scent and can not judge its intensity after a very short time; it's the sniffers who could best judge longevity. It seems to me that the result is that the wearer applies more and more scent, and the sniffers are overwhelmed.....

PDear P,

This is a great topic of much debate right now as more and more people complain of fellow citizens wearing offensive fragrances that cause somatic reactions. In fact, my next Basenotes' 'Addicted' column will be on that very issue. But back to the matter at nose?

It's true, our own noses do betray us and cannot perceive our fragrances at the same intensity over time that other people we come into contact with can. This is why longevity is usually a matter of great subjectivity. However, there are some fragrances that for whatever reason - concentration of oils, specific compositions, reaction with the wearer's skin - that do have much better lasting power. When appraising fragrances, etxraneous factors abound; our health, competing aromas, how much fragrance is applied, etc. can all affect how we perceive a scent's longevity.

Here's some fascinating info and links:
  • anosmia - when an individual has the inability to perceive a specific odor.
  • hyposmia - not a total inability, but a diminished capacity to perceive an odor.
  • habituation - when we need more and more of something, in this case, an odor, in order to sense it. As part of our primitive fight or flight responses, our brains learned to diminish the perception of an odor over time so that other odors could more be readily perceived.
  • Kallman Syndrome - Now here's the super combo meal of odd disorders (notice the prevalence of 'micropenis'...there's a word you don't toss about in daily conversation): Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (wait, wait...what was that? Ok...try saying it ten times fast) combined with Congenital (present from birth) anosmia or hyposmia.
Hope this helps!

NEW RELEASE: Thierry Mugler Summer Flash (2006)

click the pic to view more information

An extra-cool, fluorescent-green hued eau, Cologne Summer Flash is a summer edition that will thrill your senses with its freshness. Enhanced with a ‘cooling effect’, the fragrance blends the familiarity of citrus scents with the secret of the ‘S’ note. For men and women to share.

Monday, May 29, 2006

ASK MARLEN: Eternally Sexy

Hi Marlen,

I just read you comments about fragrances you've purchased twice. One of those you mentioned was Eternity. I'm still on the fence about this classic fragrance. Sometimes, when I smell it in the store, I like it. Other times, it smells run of the mill. Maybe it's because I can't decipher all the different notes. Can you tell me some of Eternity's characteristics? Also, would you consider Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for men a similar fragrance? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks for your help!
Eternally SexyDear ES,

Ya know, the moment I smelled Very Sexy, I thought "Eternity", so you are right on the money by thinking that the the two are similar.

Let's look at olfactory pyramids:

CK Eternity for Men (1989)

Top Notes
Mandarin, Lavender, Green Botanics.

Middle Notes
Jasmine, Basil, Geranium, Sage.

Base Notes
Sandalwood, Vetiver, Rosewood, Amber.

Victoria's Secret Very Sexy for Men (2001)

Top Notes
Tangerine, Pink Lime, Bergamot Leaves.

Middle Notes
Limewood, Cinnamon Bark, Sage.

Base Notes
Vetiver, Orange Flower.

...and here's a third for comparison:

Michel Germain Sexual pour Homme (1996)

Top Notes
Indian Basil, Bergamot, Clementine.

Middle Notes
Lavender, Gardenia, Sage.

Base Notes
Sandalwood, Vanilla, Musk.

I remember the first time I sniffed the magazine scent strip for Eternity and just about fell out of my chair. I was in love with the fresh, breezy aroma and firmly believe that the current state of Eternity is not what it once was. It smells somehow changed to me - not as fresh, not as dewy. That being said, there is something about Very Sexy that I find a bit harsh and the drydown has a note that smells like Cabbage Patch Kid head.

Sexual is another inspired fragrance, and perhaps even more similar to Eternity but for a few key differences - the drydown is closer to that of an oriental, and the overall effect seems somewhat more intense: stronger wood and brighter citrus notes. Additionally, the longevity of Sexual is the most powerful of the three.

Which one is best? Well, I'll stick with my Eternity but leave the choice up to you. All three may be purchased at a nice discount on the net. Sadly, as copies of Eternity have just about been done to death (and I do mean overkill bordering on roadkill), you might be finding the general aroma to be somewhat dated and passe.

The Bottom Line: Try them on your skin and see which one works best for you over a period of 3 or 4 hours.

Thanks for the great question, and I hope I didn't bore you with my long-winded answer!


Sunday, May 28, 2006

ASK MARLEN: A model profession

Dear Marlen,

I'm probably going to go into the fragrance model field soon, as Beaute Prestige International (BPI; the maker of Jean Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake fragrances) needs a new model because the current one (who both I and my Dad I know very well) is leaving. Making things worse, they need the model by early June because of the Gaultier2 US launch (yeah, I know you're not a fan of the stuff, but I'm still waiting for it). So, they offered me the position. While I'm waiting for a response from both them and Macy's, I could use some advice on fragrance model tricks of the trade given your past history as one. Here's some examples:

  • Should I use statistics every now and then (a la "Le Male is the #1 men's fragrance in Europe")?
  • How should I target customers of the competitors? Around here, the best-smellers are Angel, Chanel No. 5, Euphoria, and all those celebuscents in women's and Acqua di Gio, Chrome, Armani Code, Polo Black, and Angel Men in men's.
  • Should I wear clothes that match the character of the fragrance being modeled?
  • And finally, what are some sure-fire ways to boost sales of existing products?

I'd love to hear back from you soon!


Hey Z!

How ya doin, buddy? Congrats on the new position! I considered going back to freelancing as a model again, but then decided to focus my energy on writing and developing my blog instead...I'm envious!

To answer your questions, the best thing I can do is tell you how I operated. First, each department store has its own dress code so be sure to ask. I always wore my favorite jackets/suits with a tie, but a lot of the stores are becoming less formal. My goal was to get to know all the customers and find out what they wanted. I didn't take the approach that I was there merely to sell my lines. I was just one more knowledgeable person (usually more so than the salespeople) who was there to help the customer have a great experience. My knowledge about scent and the compositions of all the fragrances usually impressed the customers and they found shopping with me to be educational and fun, and very personalized. I kept customer info so I could call/email them with info about new proucts, special offers, etc. The store sales associates usually appreciated this approach, because it almost always ended up in commission for them, which in turn made them happy, which in turn meant that they showed MY fragrances more often because they felt it was a way to return the favor! That being said, Macy's is a bit different than the stores I've worked in, so best to ask the people in the store and other linespeople who work there how they approach it. You mentioned using statistics to help sell, and my response to that would be, "Would it impress you and make you want to buy?"

A lot of my job consisted of constantly having samples ready, and that meant hounding the line reps for testers and products to show and share with customers. When I had no samples, I made my own. When there were no gift packages, I made my own...know what I mean? But having something to offer customers, something which they can take home and spend time with, often helped them remember my products.

I think the bottom line is not to be too pushy, but to make sure everyone has some positive association with your line - after all a little publicity can go a long way. Customers usually didn't know that I worked for the line and not for the store; I treated them like friends who I would help to find their holy grail scent rather than shopping cutomers to which I was trying to make a hard sale. I think that worked well for me at the stores that I was at (Saks, Niemans and Nordies). I also found it useful to find out if they were buying a gift or shopping for themselves; what scents they currently used or liked/disliked, etc; and no matter what they bought or didn't buy, I always made sure customers left with samples of my scents.

Does this help? Feel free to ask a few more questions!