EauPen Thread – Brands That Don’t Work for You

Chanel Cristalle

Is there a brand of perfumes that don’t really “click” with you?

I think many of us have a brand that we’ve tried but never really connected with us. It’s not about the perfumes. It’s us. Something about their style doesn’t work for us for whatever reason.

For me, it’s probably Jo Malone London. This is a brand that many people adore. I haven’t tried everything from the brand but what I have tried never really worked on me. Some of them go sort of “sour” on my skin. It’s hard for me to explain. I tend to like their bath/body products more than their alcohol-based perfumes. Something about the perfumes smell so “off” on my skin. However, I tried Wood Sage & Sea Salt and really loved wearing it. I guess this is why I keep trying things from brands that usually aren’t my style…they may eventually launch something that is!

Some brands have clicked with me over time. I remember I used to not “get” Chanel. And then one day, I couldn’t get enough of perfumes like Coco, Cristalle and Les Exclusifs. I found myself spending a year where I mostly wore Chanel which was soooo out of character for me. I don’t know what happened, but something happened. I’m not complaining. (BTW – I’m still obsessed with Chanel Paris-Venise).

Then there are brands that I used to like but now I don’t. It’s either because I’ve “changed” or they have. Ones that come to mind for me are By Kilian. I loved things like Liaisons Dangereuses but some of their newer launches have really lost my attention (still mad at Asian Tales). But, they do have some older things that I still like so maybe it’s not fair for me to include them here. Anyway…

So fess up in the Non-Judgmental Zone. Is there a brand of perfumes that you have tried over and over and it still doesn’t “click” with you?

*Chanel Cristalle ad from

16 thoughts on “EauPen Thread – Brands That Don’t Work for You

  1. I completely agree with you about not connecting with a brand. Like you, I’ve tried but never connected with Jo Malone. I so wanted to love the products with their classy packaging and concept of laying fragrances to create your own. Sadly none of the fragrances were “me.” Also Ormonde Jayne. After all the hype, I ordered a sample packet and tried all of their fragrances and it wasn’t love. However; Chanel. I have always and forever loved all of their fragrances and products, including makeup. I have worn all the fragrances for years including Les Exclusives, and my most recent purchase Venise, is gorgeous. The only Chanel I can’t wear is Coco Mademoiselle.

    1. I do like the JM bath products. They’re $$$ but I think a lot of them do better in a more solid-y base.

      Too bad about OJ! I have always loved the brand but I totally understand how it wouldn’t work for some people. The issue is that the style is so cohesive. So, it’s like if you don’t like the style of one, you’re most likely not going to like the rest. I also get how someone wouldn’t like the style (same with the Hermessence line too). Also, I hear from a lot of people that are sensitive to iso super e, that they can’t stand the line because Geza uses a lot of it.

      Same for me! The only Chanel I can’t wear is CM. It smells so off on me. I can tolerate it on others but I promise you, it’s just terrible on me.

      And don’t you just love Venise? It’s so gorgeous but not intimidating. It’s a very “comfortable” fragrance for me (if that makes any sense). It’s been my favorite purchases over the past two years. Oh, Neiman Marcus had 20% off, even on Chanel which is sooo rare! I bought a cleansing oil, some lip things (I have a problem) and a bottle of No. 19 EDT. What are your favorite makeup items from them?

      1. I absolutely LOVE Venise! It feels classic Chanel and is elegant yet warm and cozy. I just wish it were an EDP for longevity. I know it’s meant to be spritzed lavishly; however, just doesn’t last long enough for me.
        Interesting you get the same from CM yet love all Chanel. It just smells overwhelming and a big mess on me. I can’t believe you got 20% off Chanel! Very rare great deal indeed.
        My favorite Chanel makeup items are Vitalumiere Aqua foundation for lighter coverage and Le Teint for heavier coverage. Loose poudre universelle libre (loose powder); eyebrow pencil; les hombres eyeshadow quads; and all of their makeup brushes. I have been disappointed in the longevity of their eyeliners, there are other companies that make longer wearing which I need. I’ve always loved their lipsticks, the rouge and velvet formulations. And the lipstick cases look so classic!
        Interesting point with the OJ line; it probably is the iso super e that doesn’t work for me.
        Great to know we share so many likes! xoxo

        1. I agree that I wish it were an EDP. Now that it’s cooler, I feel like it does the opposite of what I expected. It seems to wear for a shorter period or time? Or maybe it’s my body heat never gets high enough to really make it bloom. I think a “stronger” concentrate would fix all of this.

          Thank you for your recommendations! I haven’t ventured too much into Chanel makeup until this year. I love the lip products for their luxurious packaging and feel. I’ve also been happy with some blushes and bronzers. I will check out the other things since I’m in the market for some new base makeup items. I’m sooo tempted by the new matte collection and the holiday shadows.

          1. Let me know or do a post, if you find anything exciting and splurge-worthy shopping for Chanel makeup. Chanel packaging is very luxurious, happiness for me! There are several foundation formulations with varying coverage, hopefully you’ll find one you love.

  2. Dior, Creed, Jo Malone (with a few exceptions), YSL, Bond no. 9, Chloe, Victor & Rolf.
    I always give them a shot cause you never know…
    I like to think of it as leaving some for other folks.

    1. I agree. It’s just more for someone else 🙂 I also know that there is a lot I like that others don’t!

      I feel the same about a lot of CREED as well. I keep trying them (ya never know) but overall the brand doesn’t click with me.

  3. Montage. Always smell not “full”. Maybe shallow is a better word. Almost like it’s a veneer and not full bodied. And that oud—just ouch for me. Kerosene is another brand I don’t relate to with the exception of Whips and Roses. Which they promptly discontinued. And Imaginary Authors. I really do like the idea but just don’t work for me.

    Finally the one that I haven’t found a single one I like. Santa Maria Novella. Really good body products but the perfumes. Nada. Just not for me.

    1. Now talk about a brand that is just too extensive! They definitely have some things that are redundant and could benefit from some better editing. It’s not a style that appeals to me either but I get why people like it. It’s bold/loud. There are a few that I like but I only found them through guidance of people that really know the brand and also what I like.

      I have only tried two Kerosene perfumes. I don’t know who carries them in NYC and I’ve been trying to buy less samples and try more things in person (or buy the samples/ask in person since it helps me know what is “worth” my time). Anyway, I haven’t tried enough to know how I feel at all.

      With IA, I think it’s sort of the Montale thing in that the ones that I have tried have been really bold/loud. Once again, that appeals to people and I totally get it…I just don’t tend to like things that I have to live with for DAYS. Otherwise, I think the marketing is genius and I really like the vanilla one.

      I have never tried a SMN perfume! I have tried many of their bath/body items and adore them. I could sniff the perfumes in person, but they have so many I don’t know where to start. I figured since people I know that know my tastes haven’t mentioned any that I should try, then maybe I’m not missing out! :S I would love to visit the location in Italy though.

  4. I feel the same about Jo Malone. They are very sour on me and not pleasant. I am ultimately not wowed.

    Chanel I have a 10ml of Venise and I think one of the Allures, (gifted)…and I find Coromandel quite nice but have never loved any of them too much.

    Also there is Hermes, which I respect as a brand but I have always found their collection too vast to get into. The same goes for Guerlain – which in these circles is pretty much heresy I know. I have a Shalimar EDT and Idyle…and Herba Fresca…but again, such a vast VAST collection I find it overwhelming. And I absolutely REFUSE to go down the vintage path, and compete on that level.

    1. Glad to know I’m not the only one. I can smell JM on someone else and it smells nice. No joke, on me they turn into something sour and offensive. It’s really weird. The body products don’t do that on me.

      I have to agree that most of these brands are intimidating because there is too much. Where does one start? I totally understand.

      No fear! You aren’t alone. Read some other comments 😉

      Also, right there with you with vintage. I refuse to. It’s just something I can’t do to myself. I know it’ll just lead me down a trail of heartbreak. I don’t have what it takes.

    1. You’ll find in all sorts of old posts that I love Guerlain…but boy, how times have changed! I would like to be nice and say its me and not them, but I can’t. It’s a mix. In a sense, I feel I’ve “outgrown” them but at the same time they haven’t really launched much of anything of interest in YEARS. Occasionally I get in the mood for Shalimar or something but it’s rare craving these days.

  5. For me brands that don’t work for me fall into two categories. The first is style. I don’t like the minimalist, highly synthetic style of Hermes, in particular. The second is the even more worse problem of the use of certain modern synethic woods, musks, amber, etc. They can just take over a perfume for me and certain perfumers and/or lines are just rendered unwearable for me even if I love the aesthetic. This is true for me for Tauer and most of Serge Lutens, even though I admire the aesthetics and wish I could wear the perfumes. It is frustrating to me to miss out on so much but I still manage to have too much perfume and do not have any problems with vintage perfume so I really can complain too much.

    1. The good news is that there is always so much…you aren’t ever missing out. There really is something for everyone when it comes to perfumery!

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