fragrance, Personal

My Most Complimented Perfumes – 2014 Edition

most complimented perfumes

I’m not going to go into depth about this in this particular post (maybe at a later date), but I wear fragrance for me. I get pleasure from perfume. I like to wear what I love. My goal is to not get compliments from my husband or from anyone else (oh, so punk). I’m not a parading peacock looking for other’s olfactory acceptance (OK, huge punky exaggeration). Now saying that, I’m human. I have been complimented on perfumes in the past and I admit that I rather liked it. It showed that someone noticed all of the olfactory space that I was taking up. When I get compliments it hits me that I could share my indulgence and pleasure with the rest of the world.

But, I tend to encounter problems with compliments. People tend to compliment me on perfumes that I don’t care for –  the ones that I grabbed out of a sample pile or something I quickly sprayed on at the department store. It appears that what brings me pleasure rarely brings anyone else in my life pleasure. This is why I compiled this list of “My Most Complimented Perfumes” because it’s so far from what I typically volunteer to wear.

Now I haven’t taken official notes or made a graph in Excel, but this is me working from memory. This is what I remember people complimenting me on. Here they are in no particular order:

complimented perfumes

1. J.Lo Still EDP – What is more embarrassing: wearing J.Lo Still or being complimented on J.Lo Still? Let me explain. I tried a sample of this shampoo-y floral when it first came out because I was curious and I liked Glow (don’t judge). Anyway, I had  three guys (not together ,three different guys) stop me while I was at the mall (where I sprayed this) wanting to know the perfume I was wearing so they could buy it for their girlfriends. Um, OK. I get home and David said I smelled great. What the hell? I ended up buying a 1 oz. and even now when I wear it, David will say something about how amazing I smell. And then I make fun of him. – 1.7 oz bottle about $25.

Explanation: I first tried this in 2003 and I was hot as hell back then.

2. Jane Booke Taken EDP – What is it with men and vanilla? Seriously. David loves this mango vanilla. It gets me kisses. Other men like it too but I don’t let them kiss me. Full review. 1 oz bottle $84

Explanation: I can’t. I thought all of that “men find vanilla” mumbo jumbo “studies”  were marketing ploys but honestly, I think there is something to it. Continue reading.

3. By Kilian Incense Oud EDP – This spicy, woodsy amber gets me so many compliments. It’s crazy how many it gets me…mainly from random people. And guys at bars. Guys at crosswalks. Guys shopping at J.Crew. Guys delivering pizza. All the men. All of them. – Full review. – 1.7 oz bottle $395

Explanation: I’m amazing. I’m not going to let By Kilian take credit for this.

4. Malle Outrageous! – This Devo of perfume is an odd blend of all functional fragrances rolled into one – laundry, green apple, flowers….gets me so many compliments from absolute strangers both men and women. Most appear to be stable. Full review. 3.4 oz bottle $110

Explanation: I think it’s approachable and familiar to people since it reminds them of functional fragrances. Plus, Grojsman is a genius with the whole projection thing. It smells pretty good from afar.

5. Ormonde Jayne Woman EDP – This is one that I never really “got” and then I figured it out – it needs distance. This one gets me compliments from my friends, especially when we sit across from each other at restaurants. And the artsy butch types at co-ops say it’s good too. Full review. 1.7 oz bottle $144.

Explanation: Smells better from afar. It’s Iso Super E or something.

most complimented perfumes

6. Montale Red Aoud EDP – This is a loud saffron sugar cookie with Montale’s medicinal oud and creamy sandalwood base. It’s not my favorite but David always compliments it. I think it’s the sandalwood and the sweetness. Fragrance friends like it on me too. Full review.1.7 oz bottle $110

Explanation: It’s loud. And loud fragrances will be noticed. And apparently my husband and fragrance friends like loud, sweet fragrances.

7. DSH Perfumes Vanille Botanique natural EDP – This is a gourmand, luscious boozy vanilla bean pod that projects and lasts. It gets me so many compliments from random strangers both creepy and possibly “normal”. Full review. 1 oz bottle $130

Explanation: People love vanilla. I can’t explain it. They do. They can’t help it.

8. Prada Candy EDP – It’s what introduced the general consumer to the joys of benzoin. My husband loves this one, random people at the coffee shop love it. And I love it. Full review. 1.7 oz bottle $82.

Explanation: I have none for you other than I’m sure this smells amazing on me and people can’t help but to compliment me and my amazing smell.

9. Costume National Homme EDP – It’s peach pie, chai and buttered rum. This is the one that gets me compliments from guys and not just the vagrant rambling types on the street corner…like guys that are clean and dress nicely. Like guys I’d talk to if I were single and if they weren’t possibly gay. Full review. 1.7 oz bottle $80

Explanation: OK, I think of this scent as unisex despite the “homme”; however, the spices may be familiar to men. Maybe they approach me because it’s strangely approachable and familiar? Or maybe it’s because the fragrance is loud. Or maybe because they like pie. And honestly, I don’t want people talking to me if they don’t like pie.

10. Hermès Eau des Merveilles EDT – Clean ambergris with that elegance we expect from Hermès. Ladies compliment me on this one. Full review. 1.6 oz bottle $100

Explanation: It makes me smell rich and then ladies want to be my friend so we can brunch together and talk about fundraisers and leisurely actives like getting blowouts and attending pilates classes. I think if I wore this one more, I’d get invited to all of the garden parties.

complimented perfumes

11. Kate Walsh Boyfriend EDP – It’s a boozy tobacco vanilla. Like I’ve already said, everyone seems to love vanilla. David loves this one on me. And I admit that I do like it. It’s really great, especially for the price. Full review. 1.6 oz bottle $65

Explanation: Vanilla is a government conspiracy used to control minds. I don’t trust vanilla. And I suggest that you shouldn’t either.

12. LUSH Vanillary EDP – OMG, I’m so sick of putting vanillas on this list! Anyway, this is skank-o-lank jasmine with vanilla. It’s like the tacky red lingerie of perfumes and my husband appears to like tacky red lingerie. Oh, well, so do lots of other men. Full review. – 1 oz bottle $43.

Explanation: Straight men like skanky gourmands. They’ve been conditioned by society to like tacky red lingerie and skanky gourmands…and vanilla.

13. Prada Amber EDP – This is a patchouli amber with some white florals. It’s one that has gotten me compliments since 2004. It’s very “me” because I wore it on and off for a few years. Full review. – 1.7 oz bottle $82

Explanation: I think it’s one of the few perfumes that people actually associate with me, so friends and loved ones mention it. It’s the patchouli. People like to associate the scent of dirt with me…

14. Juliette Has a Gun Calamity J EDP – It’s a powdery patchouli amber that reminds me of the Prada above. Another that gets me compliments from friends and loved ones. Full review. 1.7 oz bottle $105

Explanation: Friends and loved ones think I’m wearing Prada.

15. Histoires de Parfums Ambre 114 EDP – This is one of the best ambers in my opinion. Camphoric patchouli over a sweet amber. One time a woman wearing a non-ironic wolf t-shirt at Lowe’s Home & Garden complimented my fragrance while I was wearing this. Beat that. – Full review. –  2 oz bottle $125

Explanation: Her cart was filled to the brim with some sort of rodent killer. My Ambre 114 was probably the only thing bringing her joy at the moment.

After compiling this list I can only conclude that people love vanilla and amber. Or at least that people love vanilla and amber on me. Isn’t that weird? I have two “shampoo” oddballs in there but the others are fairly sweet to full-blown sweet. I think this has to do with my age and the age range of people that approach me – we’re of the Mugler Angel generation, this generation expects for perfumes to smell sweet, gourmand. But, that’s one of my theories. The other is that vanilla controls minds.

But, really other than vanilla controlling minds (which I’m certain is true), I think loud perfumes will get compliments, because they’re loud. They’re what people will notice and I think if you wear a loud perfume, people think you want to hear that you smell nice.

Which perfumes gain you compliments? Is there a genre of perfumes that you find you get more compliments on while wearing? Do strangers compliment you or do only those close to you compliment your fragrance choices?

*I included prices just to see if there is any correlation between price and what people compliment. I don’t think price had anything to do with it at all. Only vanilla.

And don’t tell my husband I said these things about him. He’ll blush. And his sister told me that sometimes she reads EauMG, so really, don’t tell him. And there’s really no need to, he already knows he likes loud vanillas and nag champa on his awesome wife.

*some of the links are affiliate links.

43 thoughts on “My Most Complimented Perfumes – 2014 Edition

  1. I am exactly like you in that I wear perfume only for me, but it does feel good to be complimented nevertheless..:)
    I agree with you that loud gets complimented. I didn’t realize that the reason I never used to get perfume compliments was because I under sprayed. Till. One day, i sprayed the heck out of SL Un Lys and then went to work feeling self conscious that I’d over sprayed. But then a friend at school (I was in grad school then) complimented me and I was like “Is that how much I need to spray so people can actually smell my perfume?). The same friend also complimented me when I had used an extra sample conditioner in some ‘skittles’ fragrance (which I didn’t much care for)..again- i think loud was the key.

    My husband, on the other hand, always seems to love : Sweet Redemption, Carnal lower and Tubereuse Criminelle on me though he can’t always tell them apart..This is ironic because he loves rose and generally doesn’t like big white florals..go figure! 😀

    1. oh and my husband does seem to like Tolu on me too. And I have got indirect compliments wearing Tolu and By Killian Rose Oud. Ofcourse I must have under sprayed from a sample so no direct compliments. But some of it rubbed off on my then infant son and my inlaws smelled him and thought the smell was his and was wonderful till my husband informed them of the truth..:).

    2. I try not to wear “big” fragrances out because they make me feel self conscious. I’ll wear them out to some places but work/class/daily stuff, I like to wear more muted things.

      I think if I wore a fancy, expensive perfume and it was loud, I’d get compliments. If I wore a loud $10 fragrance, I’d get compliments. It’s what people can notice.

      David does like white florals. Other people say nothing about them. He appreciates my roses because he knows I love them. I feel like if he says something about them, it’s because he’s humoring me/telling me what he thinks I want to hear. Really, his favorite thing is nag champa and Egyptian musk. He likes cheap stuff.

  2. LOL. I really enjoyed this, Victoria! It made me giggle. What IS it with vanilla? But then, I like vanilla, too, so whatever I guess. I’m never quite brave enough to tell people I like what they are wearing or to ask what it is…I wish I were, because sometimes people smell quite good. I mean that in the most non-creeper way possible.

    Also, to sympathize, sometimes I like perfumes a lot and S. just shrugs when I ask him to smell it. And then I’m just meh on other ones (I mean, I like them, but I’m not going to take out my dancing shoes or anything), and S is like ooh, you smell good, what is that?


    1. Hey, I like vanilla too. I can’t escape its mind control either! I just find it funny that so many vanilla-centric perfumes get people’s attention.

      I used to compliment people on their perfume but they reacted like I was an insane creeper so I stopped doing it.

      I’ve been with David 15 years. I accept that we have different tastes so I wear whatever I want…aldehydes and all. But, why can’t we just both fall in love with the same thing? Is this impossible?

  3. Dear Victoria,
    I like your blog.
    I always wear perfumes for myself.
    I like gardenias and tuberoses so I often wear this kind of perfumes, especially in the spring or summer.
    I get a lot of compliments, especially from women, when wearing Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Kai, Carnal Flower or Beyond love.
    It is weird because I seldom get compliments in the winter when I mostly wear vanillic/ambery/woody perfumes. But I remember getting some for Bornéo 1934, Lolita Lempicka and L’heure bleue. It is nice but it only really matters when it’s the man I love who says so. There are perfumes I stopped wearing when my late husband didn’t like them.
    I think vanilla perfumes are very conforting. On the other hand, white flowers is very often a matter of love or hatred!!!

    1. If you were wearing any of those gorgeous florals around me, I’d compliment you too! I love smelling white florals on people. They are really love or hate. I’m in the love group now but I do remember a time when I didn’t like them.

      I can’t wear Poison or Mitsouko around David. He claims they make him sick. So I only wear those when he isn’t around.

      I think compliments can be “weighted”. For example, one compliment from a significant other far outweighs that of ten from strangers.

  4. I am not a big vanilla fan–well, vanillin. Natural vanilla is amazing but not many perfumes use real vanilla anymore (for good reason; it’s expensive). Oh god, am I a vanilla snob?? Well, I guess there are worse things to be.

    I tend not to get complimented on my perfumes because a) I wear mostly oils with not much throw, and b) I work at home and am mostly a hermit. 😉 My husband always compliments me when I wear Sweet Anthem’s Charlotte, though. I adore that perfume so that’s a-okay by me.

    1. I’m a vanilla snob and that only got worse with the more perfumes that I’ve sampled. Have you tried that DSH one?

      Haha, I’ve had stages of my life like that too. My hermit WFH life, sort of miss that!

      1. I have not tried the DSH one–I’ve been on a voluntary no buy kick for a while because of moving and saving some money. It’s on my list for the future, though! Your rec certainly bumps it up in priority, hehe.

  5. My husband generally compliments the fragrances I’m not too keen on. He really loves Diesel Green on me, which is one I can’t stand personally. He did recently compliment me on a couple of Ineke perfumes, and he likes Marni. I like getting compliments on the scents I wear, but sometimes I feel that if someone has noticed it, I’ve overdone it. I take a commuter bus to work everyday so I tend not to wear any fragrance at all during the day, as one woman on the bus has been known to make a big fuss about even the slightest hint of perfume.

    Generally though, I wear perfume for me and don’t care what others think of it.

    1. I commute via mass transit as well and try to be polite. When I do wear things during the day, it’s “light” in both style and application. Like you said, if someone says something, I wonder if I overdid it or if the person is being passive aggressive.

      So, yeah, when I’m home, I’m wearing what I like!

  6. you do realize, of course, that the vanilla mafia will be coming for you for so blatantly revealing their secrets?

    you are hilarious! and correct. the mind control is the limbic system, which associates vanilla with ice cream, rewards as a child, Nilla wafers, and candy in general. this very primordial system is telling you SAFE, UNSAFE, HAPPY, SAD etc. (and i am sure the number of people who were beat with a vanilla ice cream cone are very few.)

    there is some connection between sillage and if not compliments, at least recognition. i also think people associate a loud perfume with someone ASKING for input. (and maybe, in some sense, you are.)

    for myself, i am happy when someone compliments something i am wearing because i am rarely wearing anything that doesn’t make me personally happy– i am not a perfume blogger and anything i am in question about is usually only around for an organoleptic evaluation and either makes the mark or is passed along.

    the BEST compliments (well, and feedback in general) is when i am wearing something of my own creation.. testing out a mod or whatever. i don’t often say it is my own creation; a polite “thank you” is usually as far as i will go… but one day in Lake Forest Park, a woman rode the bus with me and then followed me for a few blocks before asking what i am wearing and where can she find it. i told her it was a trial run of a perfume i am working on and she practically demanded i sell her the tiny vial i had with me… i didn’t know exactly how to proceed or how to calculate what a fair price would be, so i simply gave it to her. i am not sure a higher compliment could be paid.

    caveat: i am ANNOYED when someone smells something projecting and suffocating a room (hello, Axe, i’m talking to YOU) and because i am a perfumer/perfumisto– they assume the stench must be coming from me.

    1. I like this safe, yummy theory. And dying laughing at the thought of being beat with ice cream cones. There’s probably a “My Strange Addiction” featuring that…and if not, they’re looking for it now.

      Yeah, that’s what I think of loud. I always thought of them as “club” scents because it’s olfactory peacocking, hoping to attract people, break the ice, etc. So many of the loud ones (like Montale) are so “da club” which is like “LOOK AT ME!”

      Another thing with me, is that I wear those that I love mainly when I’m hermit’n – at home. So, really nobody is going to say anything to me if I’m not wearing my favorites out. Not that I wear things that I dislike, I do own bottles of many of these in the list. But, I do test lots of things and go out wearing stuff that I’m not that into.

      That’s awesome! That’s like a compliment on top of a compliment! I’m sure that made her day.

      It’s just wrong to accuse of a perfumer/perfume lover of smelling like Axe. So wrong. Soo…I have that problem though too. Like at work if someone is wearing something loud and stanky (which in this case is Clinique Happy), people ALWAYS assume it’s me because you know, I like perfume. So, yeah, I get that too but at least it’s not Axe 😉

  7. I really needed a laugh today and you came through for me. I am also an under spraying hermit but I usually get compliments on Pear + Olive and Gilded Lily when I wear them out. My husband is a vanilla drone too as well as being a sucker for tuberose. I often splash myself with vanilla extract when baking just to tease him with his favorite “perfume”. I am going to have to check out the Costume National. I love clean cut possibly gay men and pie, not necessarily at the same time and in no particular order.

    1. OK, I have received compliments before on Pear & Olive but this is my “most” list, only got one or two from perfume people. Perfume people like stuff like Pear & Olive, La Myrrhe and Shalimar on me.

      LMAO on that last sentence. Story of my life. And in no particular order 😉

  8. I’ve complimented people who have worn Jessica Simpson Fancy, Kate Walsh Boyfriend and Jo Malone Orange Blossom. I’ve never been complimented. I am definitely an under sprayer at work and school. My husband is too “confused” with all my frags to tell one over the other (engineer who likes Bulgari Black, Santa Maria Nostalgia, etc.. ).

    1. Jessica Simpson Fancy smells good. Totally underrated IMO. I’ve complimented people on Bvlgari Man, Marc Jacobs (the original gardenia one) and to my surprise L’eau d’Issey.

      Whoop! Whoop! Blvgari Black, that’s what David wore for years. I love that one.

    2. Maybe that’s my problem: I’m an under sprayer. Well, that and my dry skin that “eats” perfume like candy!

  9. Hee hee, I loved all of your “explanations” for why these perfumes netted you compliments.

    Vanilla and Loud: you pretty much nailed it with those assessments. My scent-eating skin doesn’t waft perfume well, so I only get compliments when I go with a veeerry big fragrance. Women compliment me on Carnal Flower and Parfums di Nicolai Sacrebleu. Men compliment me on Hermes 24 Faubourg. Both genders compliment me on Montale Black Aoud. And my husband loves either vanilla, patchouli or woody scents on me, so Mona di Orio Vanille, Montale Patchouli Leaves, April Aromatics Bohemian Spice, and Puredistance Black usually are the ones I get complimented on from him, though he did love it the other day when I was wearing a floral – April Aromatics Jasmina – which is rare for him.

    1. I would compliment you on Carnal Flower 🙂 Interesting on 24 Faubourg, now that I think about it, I think I’ve only worn that during my “hermit” times.

      Your hubs has good tastes. Sounds very much like what David likes as well. Sometimes he will say something positive about white florals. Now that I think about he did say something about one of the April Aromatics’ florals; I think it was Jasmina. It wasn’t one of the roses. I think the April Aromatics scents do have a nice “aura” – they hover around the skin nicely.

  10. I’m a vanilla skeptic, so when I unknowingly bought a new moisturizer that smells mildly of vanilla ice cream, I chucked it disdainfully in the bin. But old fashioned frugality made me rescue it from the bin and as a few days passed, I discovered that I enjoy this moisturizer very much. I get a little burst of pleasure each morning, a little bit of a lift which helps me face the day. So it seems that vanilla can be a mood enhancer even if you don’t want it to be? Odd but true.

    I still don’t wear vanilla perfumes much, but I enjoy the vanilla aspect of L’Ambre des Merveilles. Prada Candy is also a favorite.

    1. There’s something to vanilla, there really is.

      I don’t consider myself a big vanilla fan but I do appreciate it. It can be like tobacco or sweet or creamy. It has so much versatility. And apparently people like it 🙂

  11. This is such a great list. I find I have the same problem and I get compliments on the perfumes I least expect to get complimented on. My most complimented is still Dot by Marc Jacobs. ( It was a gift.) Vanillas always seem to be a hit for me as well. I did get complimented on EL Tuberose Gardenia the other day which surprised me. Usually it’s only the sweet scents people notice.
    I have a sample of that Costume National Homme which I am going to dig out today because like you and Liz K, I too like clean cut possibly gay men and pie.

    1. Dot? There’s something to those Marc Jacobs. I didn’t write the grandest review of Daisy and I ended up complimenting someone on it a year later. They have a good “aura” if that makes sense. I guess they’re what you wear if you want to make other people happy.

      Hey, another one in the comments for the Tuberose Gardenia! I do love that one. I really should wear it more than I do. It’s great.

      Everyone does. I wish that clean cut stranger was my BFF. I feel like he could be.

  12. I’m eating my words… My husband just complimented me on Vero Perfumo Onda EDP. I think the 100 plus degrees brings out the best in this vetiver honey explosion of awesomeness.

    1. Haha. Hubs has some good tastes!

      I’m actually inspired to wear Onda now. I LOVE it but I’ve never worn it in the high temps (90 here today, no a/c). I want an explosion of awesomeness.

  13. This was a fabulous post, Victoria! Loved your list and yes people love Vanilla…. I suppose if fills a secret craving that so many say they deny themselves…. sweets. Love your writing style.

  14. Hi! First time I’ve commented here because your premise intrigued me so. I also laughed my head off at your descriptions and reasoning!
    I used to get complimented a LOT whenever I wore D&G Light Blue, but that was when it first debuted and no one else had it in my small town. Until I shared what I wore, and then suddenly half of the population had it on and it was available at Kmart! (I count myself as responsible for the popularity of it!) I have this thing about wanting to be unique in my signature fragrance. Selfish, really.
    But I haven’t really found “the one” since then, although I’ve tried. I loved Hampton Sun’s Privet Bloom…no compliments. Fresh Lemon Sugar and also, their new one, Life…no compliments. Bond No 9 Scent of Peace, a few, but I’m not in love with it. And Kai, but I used to sell it and realized it was no longer as unique as it once was, but everyone DID love it. I’m going for Jo Malone next time, either Nectarine Blossom and Honey or Wild Bluebell.
    And I sure hope that I don’t live next to any of you! 😉

    1. I’ve complimented people on Light Blue before. It has this nice “soft cloud” feel to it. True story, bff wore this when we were in college. She told people. They bought it. She stopped wearing it 😉

      It seems that most of the people that have commented have said they get compliments on white florals. Which has me thinking…I must not wear my white florals out! White florals are what I wear when I’m hermit-ing. I really should wear them out now and see…

      Thanks for commenting 🙂

  15. People love Jeke. My boyfriend loves Bellodgia and Shalimar on me, lucky me. I got a lot of compliments when I wore Salome in 2015, but oddly enough, I didn’t touch it once last year, so who knows.

    I would like to be complimented on my fragrance more, but I think I just realized something! Since I currently have a sensitive nose that picks up any and all smells, I tend to not over apply – people tell me I smell good when they go in for a hug, but otherwise it’s really rare (I think) that it’s hanging in the air enough for them to smell. I’m realizing right now that I got more compliments on my frags in my late teens… when 3-4 sprays felt de rigueur, not the little dabs I do from splash bottles, or the 2 sprays max I do nowadays.

    Salome and Jeke can’t help but project like monsters with 1-2 sprays, no doubt that’s what elicited the compliments!

    1. Your bf has great tastes. My husband still doesn’t “get” Shalimar (this drives me nuts).

      I’m the same way. I don’t really over apply. In fact, I’m content dabbing or transferring products to rollerballs so I don’t suffocate myself. BUT, there are some that do project like a mofo. I’d say all the Slumberhouse perfumes are in that category.

      When Salome came out, I was in love. Why do I not wear that more than I do? :S I need to stop being so easily distracted…

Comments are closed.