Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Searching for a Parisian fragrance

Since my stay in Paris last summer, I've searched in vain for a fragrance that so many Parisian women seemed to wear.While I was in Paris,  I asked my friend, Caroline, who lives there, about the scent, but she couldn't tell me what in the world it could be. I even posed this question on the TripAdvisor forums hoping someone would have an idea, but I've come up empty thus far.  I so wish that I'd had the nerve (and the language skills) to ask one of these women about the fragrance, but I didn't. Lesson learned, right?! Anyway,  I'm not ready to give up hope, so I thought I'd describe the fragrance here and see if any of you had any ideas for me.

Who wore it:
It seemed like I ran into the scent everywhere but particularly on the metro. I also noticed it when I'd be in line at a store to purchase something or when someone would walk past me as I sat at cafes.
Grown women wore the scent - maybe early 30s through mid 50s primarily.
Middle-class women - it wasn't something very poor people were wearing, but it was a fragrance that I smelled often on the metro. It's not like they were so wealthy they had private drivers or anything.

What did it smell like:
Baby powder + linen  + sweet orange + something crisp and light like lemon or an herb even

It was a summer fragrance that enveloped the body and wafted into my awareness when the person would step by me while getting off the metro.It was fresh and warm smelling, light but definitely had a presence, pervasive but not overpowering. In the USA, the only thing I can think of similarly would be people who smell strongly of detergent like Gain or Tide. This perfume was definitely "there," but it had a much lighter scent than a detergent would have had. I have considered that it's a lotion or a detergent or a body spray instead of an actual perfume, but I cannot figure out which one.

What it didn't smell like:
No musk
No Grandma florals
No heavy citrus
No uni-sex woody scents
Not overly fruity
No rose or gardenia
Maybe a hint of lavendar, but it's not overly laden with it

I've checked L'Occitane and bunches of perfumes at department stores here in the States, but I haven't found much that's close. I know it's not any of the Philosophy scents at Ulta either. In fact, only two things have even been in the ballpark thus far.

Closest things I've found:
Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse  (It's a dry oil sold in all the drugstores in France - it's smell is similar, and the oil itself is fabulous as a moisturizer, but the fragrance isn't exactly right nor is it as intense as what I smelled while I was in the city. At around $25 per bottle in Paris, it's much more likely that many women could afford this, but the fragrance isn't the same. I've even smelled the perfume version, and it's just not the right thing.)
DeNoho by Bond (Amazing perfume I tried at Nordstrom's after telling them this story - it's fabulous but so pricey- $200 per bottle or more - that I don't think it could possibly be the right fragrance. Plus, as an American brand, I find it unlikely that so many Parisians would be wearing it.)

Okay, you fragrance gurus or Parisian experts, do any of you have any ideas for me? Any products that ring a bell? Any ideas on where or how to search next? Help a femme out, s'il vous plait?


  1. Have you tried asking here? http://boisdejasmin.com/tag/recommend-me-a-perfume

  2. It sounds like something I would love. Let us know when you find it!

  3. Tiffany, you might try asking about it on the fragrance board on makeupalley.com. I'm definitely interested in what the Parisian ladies are wearing, too. I hope you find out!