I’ve been testing Tabac, Reves, and Gardenia mods, and just to give my nose something different I’ve periodically tried a few of the samples I broke down and ordered a week ago. Manoumalia sounded right up my alley and it is! I love floral notes combined with interesting woodsy bases, and this one is unique in taking that approach with a tropical floral blend. Many tropical white floral scents are too sweet and coconut-rich for me (Montale Intense Tiare, for example) so it’s fun to find one with a woodsy approach. I really like the vetiver note in the base and find it to be an unusual and striking pairing with the tropical white floral heart.
Also tried Indult Reve en Cuir and for me it has plenty of leather (some have said they find the leather note too weak). I get a lot of spice from it, probably more than most people have reported. I like it, though my favorite leather I’ve ever tried is the beautiful classic Hermès Doblis (I received a sample from a very sweet person and treasure it).
I think Tabac Aurea and Lie de Reves will be ready soon. Reves is probably done (#29E) and Tabac is close, I think. Gardenia still has me in knots. I know what I’d like, though I can’t point to an example of one. My favorite gardenias have more tuberose than I’d hoped to put in this (I like EL Tuberose Gardenia), but I was hoping for a creamier jasmine-rich gardenia without going sweet or soapy. I’d like a nice musk base with just a hint of wood, and a little green for freshness. I don’t want a vanillic base, though I do want some creaminess. So far I can get starts or finishes I like, but not a cohesive trip from beginning to end, except for some early trials that were too soft. I’ll keep working on it and keep pondering.