Disappointing Perfume Purchases Of 2023 - Byredo perfume

The world of perfume is dynamic and intricate. Despite my sincere endeavors, not every purchase is a triumph. Today, I present my annual list of the five most disappointing perfume purchases of 2023.

As part of my annual tradition, where I not only delve into this topic but also cover my significant discoveries and most frequently worn perfumes, this segment is the only one with a negative connotation.

This article will explore my disappointing acquisitions, highlighting the fragrances that failed to impress me the most.

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We will begin by discussing the factors that contribute to the factors I’ve chosen to critique every fragrance.

From my unrealistic expectations to olfactory fatigue, I will examine the various reasons why a fragrance may fall short when it comes to my fragrance preferences.

Next, we will delve into the fragrances that missed the mark, providing insights into their composition and why none are good enough for me.

So, make yourself a nice cup of coffee, and enjoy the ride.

How I Picked My Most Disappointing Perfume Purchases Of 2023

First, I’ve excluded discontinued fragrances as it wouldn’t be fair to include them. So, well done, Tom Ford London, you’ve successfully dodged a bullet today.

Secondly, some of the most praised fragrances of all time from Nishane find a place on this list. It’s a reminder to trust your nose and not succumb to the hype.

Thirdly, the top spot is reserved for my most disliked fragrance of all time—a scent so bad that Secretions Magnifiques seems like a masterpiece in comparison.

Fourthly, one fragrance didn’t disappoint as much as I expected more from its composition.

And finally, remember that these lists are based solely on my opinion and taste. So, if these scents are among your favorites, don’t take them too close to your heart.

5. Etat Libre d’Orange Rien Intense Incense

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Nothing is everything. By the incense, I remain. Be careful here, everything is excessive.”

WHY IS ETAT LIBRE D’ORANGE RIEN INTENSE INCENSE ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFUME PURCHASES OF 2023: So, Rien Intense Incense. I felt compelled to include it but with a disclaimer.

It’s a good and exciting fragrance. But it should be more than a scent suitable for Halloween and similar occasions.

A potent and deep fragrance, well-suited for the spooky season, breaks traditional norms—a sensory delight that pushes the boundaries.

Despite its misleading name, it doesn’t intensify the incense aspect of the original Rien; instead, it presents a denser interpretation of the same essence.

Enveloping you in a realm of dark sophistication and intrigue, this scent boasts a lavish and moderately powerful fusion of incense, leather, and floral notes.

It ventures boldly into a realm of contradictions, where the smoky incense blends harmoniously with opulent aldehydic leather, crafting an atmosphere that exudes respect and rebellion.

Despite all this, the rose note is still too strong, like in the original Rien, and lacks the realistic nature of the best incense-based fragrances on the market.

Please give it a go via sample and see how it works before giving it a final opinion.

  • PERFUMER: n/a
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • RELEASE DATE: 2014
  • MAIN NOTES: Rose, Incense, and Leather
  • AGE GROUP: 30+
  • SEASONS: Fall and Winter
  • OCCASIONS: Business, and Leisure
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 10 – 12 hours with great projection
  • ACCORDS: Smoky, Leather, Floral

4. Nishane Ani

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Having shown by the perfume lovers as the best vanilla scent and becoming an iconic scent, highly celebrated ANI is a romantic and calm perfume created under the inspiration of a famous Anatolian folk song called “Sarı Gelin” (in Turkish) or “Sari Gyalin” in Armenian. As the similarity of the name of the song in both languages suggests that both nations share a very similar culture as far as art, food or other aspects of life are concerned. ANI is the name of an ancient city that is now known as the Ani Ruins, which was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

The only boundary is in the imagination of the people. This perfume is dedicated to ruin any border between people and to empower the wearer to build his/her own empire even in a situation when all he/she is left with nothing but the ruins.”

WHY IS NISHANE ANI ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFUME PURCHASES OF 2023: Oh, boy. Where do I start? Let’s begin by stating that, in my opinion, Ani is one of the most overhyped fragrances I’ve encountered in years.

Regarding the scent itself, if we set aside any other judgments, it’s arguably the finest release from the house and remarkably wearable. Choosing Ani as your primary mid-tier niche vanilla fragrance would be a safe bet.

However, what irks me the most about the latest trendy niche brands is their tendency to charge exorbitant prices for fragrances that lack innovation.

The prevalence of citrusy, spicy, somewhat synthetic, and overpowering vanilla notes dominates the composition, offering fantastic longevity and projection but ultimately placing it in the realm of overpriced vanilla-centric scents.

There’s an evident influence from Aventus and Cedrat Boise, but unfortunately, there’s a lack of new and intriguing elements. At this price point, it’s a hard pass.

  • PERFUMER: Cécile Zarokian
  • CONCENTRATION: Extrait de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Spicy Oriental
  • RELEASE DATE: 2019
  • MAIN NOTES: Vanilla, Blue Ginger, and Bergamot
  • AGE GROUP: 20+
  • SEASONS: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • OCCASIONS: Any Ocassion
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 10 – 12 hours with strong projection
  • ACCORDS: Vanilla, Spicy, Powdery

3. Juliette Has A Gun Vanilla Vibes

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Close your eyes and get transported across the immensity of the desert.

Suddenly, she appears, voluptuous. The Natural Vanilla reveals its aphrodisiac charms.
She sets her heart on the sea salt, mineral, crystalline.

Under the influence, he can’t take his icy eyes off her. The encounter is symbiotic, electric, like the decibels that resonate far away. You think it was all a dream?”

WHY IS JULIETTE HAS A GUN VANILLA VIBES ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFUME PURCHASES OF 2023: Vanilla Vibes is a budget fragrance masquerading as a niche product.

It falls into the well-trodden category of sunscreen-scented fragrances, failing to bring anything innovative.

The scent is an unremarkable blend of salty, floral, and synthetic vanilla, boasting impressive performance and housed in an attractive bottle that might mislead you into expecting more.

As someone still pursuing the ideal fragrance reminiscent of sexy, sun-kissed skin, this purchase was swiftly discarded as it failed to meet expectations. On to the next one!

  • PERFUMER: Romano Ricci
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • RELEASE DATE: 2019
  • MAIN NOTES: Salt, Vanilla, and Orchid
  • AGE GROUP: 20+
  • SEASONS: Spring and Summer
  • OCCASIONS: Summer Vacation
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 4 – 6 hours with moderate projection
  • ACCORDS: Salt, Vanilla, Floral

2. Nishane Hacivat

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “Is a tribute to elegance, kindness, competence, and love of art. Inspired by the traditional shadow play character, this eau chypre will help you live in your best dreams by the everlasting sparkles of its joyful structure made of the stimulating notes of pineapple and bergamot backed with the genuine woody notes. Enjoy being loved with this blissful scent that has become an iconic scent for many in such a short period of time!”

WHY IS NISHANE HACIVAT ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFUME PURCHASES OF 2023: Another Nishane perfume joins the lineup—no surprises there.

Like its vanillic counterpart, Ani, my concern with most Nishane releases lies in their tendency to draw inspiration heavily from previously established fragrances by other houses.

While drawing inspiration isn’t inherently harmful, it becomes problematic when, as with Ani, the first spritz of Hacivat unmistakably echoes Aventus.

Moreover, the ‘Shadow Play puppetry’ narrative seems disconnected from reality.

The trio of pineapple, oakmoss, and grapefruit dominates the composition, mirroring the characteristics of numerous Aventus clones already flooding the market.

Do we truly need another expensive imitation? I think not.

  • PERFUMER: Jorge Lee
  • CONCENTRATION: Extrait de Parfum
  • FRAGRANCE FAMILY: Citrus Chypre
  • RELEASE DATE: 2017
  • MAIN NOTES: Pineapple, Oakmoss, and Grapefruit
  • AGE GROUP: 25+
  • SEASONS: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • OCCASIONS: Any Ocassion
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 10 – 12 hours with moderate projection
  • ACCORDS: Citrus, Woody, Mossy

1. Serge Lutens Le Participe Passé

A NOTE FROM THE BRAND: “An oriental fragrance for women & men. Exotic, inviting, daring, warm & sensual. Suitable for daily wear & special occasions.”

WHY IS SERGE LUTENS LE PARTICIPE PASSÉ ONE OF MY MOST DISAPPOINTING PERFUME PURCHASES OF 2023: Today, I regretfully introduce to you my all-time worst perfume, without a doubt.

What went wrong here eludes me, but something went terribly in the creative process.

How this advanced beyond the initial testing phase remains a mystery, but it’s no shock that this olfactory Frankenstein is already discontinued.

Surprisingly, this fragrance, along with Serge Noire, claims the title of Serge’s personal favorite from the entire selection. How, Serge? How?

It emanates the unpleasant combination of burnt caramel, body odor-infused cumin, and headache-inducing firewood smoke.

Unfortunately, like many others on the list, it excels in the performance department, intensifying its unpleasant impact on my skin. Approach with caution when sampling.

Niche perfumes should embody artistic innovation, and I’ll acknowledge a half-point for attempting something new in an era saturated with copycats.

However, fragrances are also products designed to be worn, a criterion sadly unmet by this particular scent.

  • PERFUMER: Christopher Sheldrake
  • CONCENTRATION: Eau de Parfum
  • RELEASE DATE: 2018
  • MAIN NOTES: Resins, Caramel, Cumin
  • AGE GROUP: 30+
  • SEASONS: Fall and Winter
  • OCCASIONS: Leisure
  • LONGEVITY AND PROJECTION: 24+ hours with great projection
  • ACCORDS: Spicy, Sweet, Herbal

Final Words

Disappointing Perfume Purchases Of 2023 - Calvin Klein perfume

In conclusion, my olfactory journey through the highs and lows of 2023 has revealed diverse experiences, encompassing both the delightful and the disappointing.

Despite putting in my best efforts, encountering a disappointing perfume now and then seems nearly unavoidable.

This inevitability underscores the importance of my constant suggestion to fellow Scent Grail readers: test fragrances before purchasing.

Understanding the composition and notes of a scent is crucial, offering numerous avenues to enhance our chances of discovering the perfect and uniquely tailored fragrance that aligns with our taste.

By actively engaging in fragrance testing, we empower ourselves to make more informed decisions, ensuring that each addition to our collection is a true olfactory delight.

What are your thoughts about my most disappointing perfume purchases of 2023? Let’s start a conversation, and let me know in the comment section below.

In case you are in doubt about whether you should consider buying any fragrance or not, it’s always good to take a look at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume-buying guide on the web. This way, you can check out if a particular fragrance is worth checking out and potentially find your signature perfume.


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Until next time, stay humble, and keep smelling great!

Best, Marin!
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