Scents and Scentsability! And A Dossier of New Fragrances!

In the past, I’ve posted maybe three or four times about fragrance.  Now, I don’t consider myself a “nose” when it comes to scent but I know that parfum is stronger than eau de parfum which is stronger than eau de toilette. And I certainly wouldn’t deem myself an expert on scent because I’m rather limited in the scents that I do wear on a regular, rotating basis.

Zsa Zsa Gabor Vintage GIF

Yes Dahling..I love to wear fragrance!

In fact, over the years, I’ve been extremely loyal to two brands; the first being Fragonard. And the second, which also creates cosmetics, is Guerlain.   My four go-to scents are:

For Winter:  L’Instant by Guerlain.  For Spring:  La Petite Robe Noire. For Summer:  Fleur d’Oranger by Fragonard. In Autumn:  Santal by Fragonard. I do not venture out of my fragrance comfort zone.

From the top: Winter, L’Instant ; Spring, La Petite Robe Noire; Summer–both by Guerlain Summer, Fleur d’Oranger; Fall, Santal–both by Fragonard.  My go-to fragrances–but hold on because that is all about to change!

There are a few factors that play into my love for these scents.  The first is that they are made in France and while that might sound silly, the scents made in France are different. They aren’t “fizzy” or cheap-smelling.  Even when wearing a stronger concentrate such as eau de parfum rather than eau de toilette the scents are still soft as a whisper—a nuance, if you will.   Secondly, they don’t give me a headache. This is big. Very big.  Do you remember back in the days when department stores had employees spritzing you, uninvited, with the latest mass-produced scent?  Each spray was the base for a horrific headache. Third, I’m a creature of habit.  I know what I like and …well, I know what I like. Lastly, I love a more masculine scent for cooler weather and a more feminine scent for the warmer weather.

season 9 seriously GIF by Curb Your Enthusiasm

Probably the funniest scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm. This was Larry David’s reaction to being randomly sprayed without permission. I’ve come close to doing the same!

In pre-Covid times, when my husband and I visited the South of France during summer, we would drive from Theoule to Grasse. Specifically, for me to head to the Fragonard Factory store to load up on my Fleur d’ Oranger. I cannot get enough of Orange Blossom.  I load up. Besides, I love the Fragonard Factory. Yeah. I realize it’s somewhat of a touristy thing but visiting it makes me happy.

Grasse Fragonard exterior GOLD

This is from our 2016 visit. I take the same photo every year. And every year I do that same tour. TBH, I am pretty sure I could be a tour guide here!

Our visits to Paris are generally during the cooler months (we’re set to return in November after our last pre-Covid Thanksgiving trip) and I’ll usually stop by the Fragonard Boutique on Blvd. St. Germain to load up on Santal.   And my favorite shopping spree ever was when Bonaparte’s aunt, Daniele, took me to the Guerlain boutique on the Champs Elysees to run amok and pick out whatever I wanted.  One of the items I chose was a large bottle of La Petite Robe Noire—the cherry scent does something to me.

Sites-Guerlain_EU-Site ⋅ GUERLAIN

The day Daniele treated me to a spree here, I felt like a princess. The velvet gate was opened that led to the most beautiful display of perfumes and no expense was spared!

And when I did stray from these favorites, it was back a few years ago at Geant Hypermarche in Mandelieu.  I spotted a display on a wall of spray tubes. The company, adopt, was new at the time and I became hooked on the brand’s Oud Ambre and Ambre Jasmin scents. I went back for more. Alas, these scents could not be purchased in the States and the next year the little tubes had vanished from Geant altogether. Maybe the Fragonard and Guerlain gods punished me for straying!

My Saddest Bye from Paris and My Best Buys Too | Atypical 60

This was a great little falcon of spray. And I never saw it again!

But there’s just something about a memorable scent. You can catch that elusive scent like a breeze when a woman or man walks by and a few seconds later, in their path, that sensual or fruity or flowery or woody scent lingers. It’s magical.

I’ll tell you just how magical a scent is. Okay?  Bonaparte’s aunt, the actress, Daniele Delorme wore Guerlain’s L’heure Bleue. It was her signature scent. She also smoked Marlboro Lights. And that combination is one that I’ll never forget.  Her car begat the essence of this unforgettable aroma.  And while cigarette smell makes me ill, mixed with the perfume, it’s not too bad.  But I’m getting to a point here. The scent was so memorable that I can actually smell it when I close my eyes and think of it.  When I wanted to buy L’heure Bleue, my husband told me I shouldn’t wear it because it was Daniele’s scent.  He finally understood when I told him I just wanted to have the perfume so I could open it, smell it and be reminded of Daniele. That’s the magic of scent.

Strange as it seems, I would never wear this because it was Daniele’s scent (mixed with the cigarettes), but I just want to have it to open the bottle and be reminded of her. THAT’S part of the magic of fragrance!

So, you can imagine what my thoughts were when I received an email from Dossier asking me if I would like to try a few of their scents for review.  To be honest, I really had to think about it simply because I just don’t venture out of my comfort zone when it comes to scent.  But, since the company is new, and the fragrances made in France, I decided to go for it.  And now, my four little favorites have some very serious competition.

The competition is serious. These four sents are supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Now, Dossier perfumes are based in Brooklyn, New York but the scents are created in France.  Right away, I had a feeling these scents would not fail.  Also, the scents are inspired by luxury brand scents, making them similar in traits that a more expensive, luxury brand perfume would have.

A fragrance chart I snapped in Grasse!

Here’s where it gets even better.  Everything is pared down. There’s no fancy marketing nor does the brand have ads with celebrities or familiar models. It’s all quite simple, basic and not fussy. No advertising company to pay either.  The reviews speak for themselves.

Perfectly pragmatic packaging! Simple and to the point.  It’s what’s inside that counts!

An added benefit is the magnetized cap to the bottle. No leakage issues!!

What I think is an excellent strategy on Dossier’s behalf is every bottle of perfume ordered comes boxed with a little sample falcon.  This allows you to test the scent first before opening the full-sized bottle. If you find you don’t like what you ordered, all you have to do is return the package with the full-sized bottle and you will receive a refund. No questions asked.  This is great on two levels—not only do you get to sample the scent but there’s enough in the sample for two or possibly three wears so you can really get a sense of whether or not you want to keep the bottle!  In addition, all caps to the full-sized bottle are magnetized so there’s no chance of spillage or leakage.

To learn a bit more about the company, click this link:  Dossier Perfume

So, when I agreed to review, I went over to the Dossier website to take a quiz.  If you are unsure of the sort of scent you prefer, or if you are just indecisive or looking for something different, take the quiz.  Knowing what I like, I took the quiz and lo and behold, the scents picked for me where very much in the realm of what I love.  Woody. Musky. Masculine with a Feminine touch. Yeah. Dossier gets me!

Let’s take a look at the fragrances, shall we?

The first scent I’ll show you is Fougere Oud.  This perfume is inspired by Tom Ford’s Oud Wood Eau de Parfum.  The Ford scent retails at $250 for a 1.7 oz. bottle. The Dossier Fougere Oud retails at $39 for a 1.7 oz bottle. These two scents are the ones I can actually compare because I’m familiar with the Ford Oud Wood. When I worked at Nordstrom, running to the Tom Ford display was one of my favorite activities.  I am a fan of any fragrance with oud in the notes so Oud Wood was sampled quite often.  How does the Dossier Fougere Oud compare to it?

Inspired by Tom Ford’s Oud Wood, Dossier offers an incredible fraternal twin in the brand’s Fougere Oud.  And the price cannot be beat!

It compares remarkably well.  While not the exact same scent, it’s the closest thing you could ever find.  But here’s the thing—the Dossier Fougere Oud outlasts the Ford scent!  The most daunting thing is when a scent powers out with two hours as the Ford scent does.  It’s really funny because after about four hours of wearing the Fougere Oud, I thought the scent dissipated because I couldn’t smell it. However, my coworkers were asking me what perfume I was wearing because they loved the scent. That’s a good sign!

All Dossier perfumes come with a card that lists all notes and the percentage of concentrate. They are very transparent and also explain how the brand works!

Next is the Ambery Saffron.  The inspiration for this scent is Maison Francis Kurkdjian_Baccarat Rouge 540.   In being transparent, I have never tried the Baccarat Rouge but man, this has got to be the most mysterious scent I’ve ever used.   The Dossier Ambery Saffron retails for $49 for a 50 ml bottle vs the Baccarat Rouge which retails for $300 for a 2.4 oz bottle.

This is THE most mysterious scent I have ever had the pleasure of wearing.  For me, it smells of pineapple as soon as it is sprayed but dried down to something completely different. It’s what I call a “fun” scent!

The top notes are Saffron and Orange Blossom. And as a lover of pure orange blossom and literally addicted to that scent, I could get nothing at all reminiscent of my beloved orange blossom.  Instead, I got a whiff of pineapple. I’m not kidding. The second I put this on, it smells like pineapple.   But wait!!  The it dried down to this really fun fruity scent. But not fruity like a pre-teen scent. It’s a grown-up fun scent.  And I can definitely detect some woodsy features mixed with fruit. It’s the strangest thing. It’s also sweet but not overly sweet.  This is not a scent I would wear to a wedding or fancy event. This would be a fun afternoon scent. But isn’t that the way it is with fragrance?  The reaction with my body could be different with yours.

Another reason to be appreciative of these little cards. Every time I wear this scent I try to break the notes down. I’m not kidding.  It’s really fun but I’m thinking “where’s the pineapple”?  This scent does make me want to drink Pina Coladas!

The next two scents are my favorites.  And I must admit that my Fragonard Fleur d’Oranger has taken a backseat this summer because I’ve been teetering between the two since I received them.

This. Is. Incredible!  And in the Fall, I’ll be wearing it every day. I need to order a backup! 

And although Woody Sandalwood is inspired by Le Labo’s Santal 33, I SWEAR this is a deadringer for Fragonard’s Santal. My theory is that somebody from Fragonard is now working at Dossier.  And the Dossier Woody Sandalwood has more staying power!

Woody Sandalwood.  What is the inspiration?  Le Labo Fragrances Santal 33 which retails for $192 is, like Dossier’s Woody Sandalwood, a unisex scent. The Dossier version retails for $49 for the same 50 ml size. Although I’ve hears a plethora of great things about the Le Labo Santal, I’ve never smelled it.  The Woody Sandalwood was recommended from the quiz. And let me tell you this much, as a fan of Sandalwood, Fragonard’s Santal is my go-to-fall fragrance. The Dossier version is almost the same thing but better.  I can’t stop smelling this.  The fragrance is so long-lasting that it lingered after I had showered and gone to bed—yet it isn’t overpowering or strong. It’s just …. Intense is the best word to describe it. But there’s also the slightest nuance of sweetness and a tad of musk.  I really have to stop myself from using this because I won’t have any left when the Fall arrives and this is such a wonderful scent for the cool weather. It’s got that masculine vibe that I just love so much yet, its feminine at the same time.  I just spritzed some on.

It’s in the cards. I’m no nose but I could detect most of these notes-especially the cardamom!  If you love a woody scent–especially in the fall, THIS is the one to get. It’s crazygood!

Lastly, there’s Musky Gaiac. Inspired by yet another Le Labo scent—Gaiac 10 which retails for $290 and Dossier’s Musky Gaiac costs $49 for a 50 ml bottle. This is that most magical scent.  It’s almost difficult to describe. It’s musky for sure—but not so musky that all you smell is musk. It’s sweet and slightly powdery but not headache-causing powdery.  It’s woody yet not too woody. It’s soft as a cloud and yet, intense enough to literally last all day. All. Day!!  I’m not kidding.   This is the scent that really gets people going.  And yet, the second I open the bottle, I get a vanilla vibe but there’s no vanilla in it.  This is the scent to wear when you want to entice. It’s that scent to wear at a very intimate dinner or event. OMG. Who am I kidding? It’s the scent you just want to wear every day. If Dossier created bath gel and body lotion in this scent, I would buy it in a second.  If there was a shaving gel made of this Musky Gaiac, I would shave my legs every day—even in winter!

This is the GOAT! The Money Scent! OMG! I could run through fields naked with this!  I want those fragrance sticks in this scent. I want room freshener in this scent. I want candles and bath gel in this scent!

This is highly concentrated and to look at the notes, there’s not a ton of stuff going on. But WOW–this scent.  I need a moment here.

I’m honestly floored at how incredible the Dossier fragrances are. To me, scent is just such a personal and intimate thing and I thought that I would never leave my regulars. But now, I’ve just added to them!  If you are thinking about adding a new scent to your collection or if you are a fan of luxury scents but just don’t want to or cannot spend luxury prices, head to Dossier’s website and check it out. Take the quiz. And if you are familiar with the luxury scents, you can save money with Dossier! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

I’m so in love with this scent!

As an aside, I spritzed the Musky Gaiac on me around 7:30 this morning. It’s now 8:20 in the evening as I write this and I’m still smelling this!

Can you tell I’m obsessed?

Let me know your opinions on fragrance below–and if you get the chance check out the Dossier website and take the quiz!


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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17 Responses to Scents and Scentsability! And A Dossier of New Fragrances!

  1. marsha57 says:

    I don’t have a signature scent. I’m too fickle! But, I do love it. My husband bought me Anais Anais many years ago. I loved wearing it. Unfortunately, I wore it when I was first pregnant with my daughter. I couldn’t ever wear it again! My body chemistry definitely changes scent. I like Beautiful by Estée Lauder. A friend told me it was not Beautiful on me! It’s funny how you mention scent bringing back memories. I have a candle by Gold Canyon candles. It’s called Christmas Presence. They’ve discontinued it…can’t find it anywhere. So, I burn it only on Christmas Day. But, I often open it for just a sniff, much the same as you do with your husband’s aunt’s perfume. Off to take the quiz now!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Marsha! Hope you enjoyed the quiz and found a scent! I’m sorry but your comment about what your friend said with the Beautiful made me laugh out loud. Mademoiselle by Chanel is like that for me. On Oona and everyone else it is so pretty and on me it is disgusting! XOXOXOXOX

  2. I’ve never been sprayed randomly with perfume, but I know my reaction would not be nice. I get headaches with certain smells as well. I’m usually not a fan of strong flowery smells.

    • Catherine says:

      OMG. Ang. Consider yourself lucky. I don’t even think stores are allowed to do that anymore. My reaction was never kind! Ugh. Too flowery-scents give me a headache. Have you every smelled Flowerbomb? It’s so popular and everyone loves it but I cannot stand it. It’s overbearing and headache-producing! Ugh! XXOXOXOXO

  3. Momcat says:

    Scent is so evocative isn’t it? It can bring back strong memories both good and bad. My husband bought me Chanel19 for my nineteenth birthday and I still wear it. Unfortunately the original formula has been changed and it no longer smells the same. Chanel Crystalle is a summer favourite that smells like a gin and tonic with lime! I seldom stray but found Chloe Capucine which I love so much that I have an extra bottle stored away because it’s hard to find. Working in the hospital scent was not encouraged so I kept it for weekends and special occasions..unfortunately visitor’s scent wearing could not be controlled and I remember getting on elevators when the scent was overpowering. There is a horrible scent called neroli that is au courant and the epitome of ‘old lady’. It must be in a popular fragrance because I have smelled it in the wake of teens and grandmas…Glossier makes a fantastic shower oil but it’s scented with neroli and it’s disgusting…they kindly reimbursed me for it and I cut it with another shower gel but my husband always jokes that ‘granny must have had a shower in here’ after I have used it:(

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Al, OMG. I cannot stand when a formula has been changed. It’s not the same scent. Period! It just isn’t. My mother wore Chanel No. 5 and I can still smell the original. I think that scent was changed slightly because it doesn’t smell the exact same as it did when my mother wore it or..just smells different on other people. The one scent I couldn’t stand when I was in my teens/early adulthood was Blue Grass. It was so soapy but a few years back I sampled it and it wasn’t that bad. Maybe I’ve changed. LOl. I don’t know what pure neroli smells like but it’s in many scents–but then again, I am an old lady_Tee hee!!! XOXXOXOXOXO

  4. Joan says:

    I love the scent orange blossoms!

  5. How fun. I’m going to go to the site and take the quiz. I have a tough time with scents. I must now have the right hormones or oils in my skin. I just ordered a beautiful Florentine Scent that I smelled on a friend. Let’s see how it works on me. But I’m intrigued by Dossier.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sandy! In all honesty, you’ll have fun taking the quiz–I was very pleased that the quiz basically validated my love for a slightly masculine scent. The fact that every order comes with a sample is even better because if you don’t like the way it smells on you, the full-sized can be returned! XOXOXOXO

  6. Cindylou says:

    Thanks for the introduction to this new brand. I will take their quiz. Like you I have summer and winter fragrances. In the summer I wear Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana, and Ferre by Gianfranco Ferre which is a very pretty light floral scent but almost impossible to find now. In winter I like Shalimar and during the holidays I like to wear Coco by Chanel, so luxurious. When I want a change I wear Burberry Brit Sheer. I used to wear Salvador Ferragamo but it’s a little strong. I find I like using the body lotions in these scents to refresh them later in the day or when I want a very faint scent.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Cindylou! Definitely take that quiz. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. But isn’t it funny how we have distinct fragrances for the cooler weather and others for the warmer? My daughter loves Madamoiselle by Chanel, that’s her signature fragrance–on me it smells horrible though. The one scent that I think is overly strong is Youth Dew–remember that one. OMG, you could smell it across an oceanT Subtle is better! XOXOXO

      • Cindylou says:

        I remember Youth Dew from the late 60’s or 70’s. It was so strong. To this day I don’t like any Estée Lauder fragrance.

  7. Ann R says:

    (I hope I didn’t send this already disregard if this is a previous comment)
    Catherine, what a nice blog entry. My sister lived in the town next door to Grasse and took me the Fragonard factory store there, I have the same posed pix in front metal perfume distillery. While I enjoyed going there it wreaked havoc on my sinus and asthma! I’m checking out this Dossier business. I use to buy Fresh brand Pomegranate Anise and Cucumber unfortunately they stopped selling these scents. I like dossier’s plain packaging and variety of scents. I hate shiny and fancy packaging that distracts from a mediocre product (yeah Victoria Secret I’m talking about you!).

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Ann! Wow! Did you sister live in Cabris by any chance? With every visit I stop by the Chapelle of St. Rita! But yeah, that Fragonard Factory is a blast and I shall be back. I think you will find that you really like Dossier’s fragrances they really are wonderful and the price point for really good perfume cannot be beat. XOXOXOXO

      • Ann R says:

        No She lived in Mouans Sartoux (I think they have a very small modern art museum, yes there was an Andy Warhol can of tomato soup in the exhibit!). Not a fancy place very small town but tres French and for this small town gal from the great Northwest it suited me fine when I visited her. She’s back in the Northwest, but now she has a very Provence backyard and house filled with brocante chandeliers. Ha! How one country can turn your head. Funny enough they recommended a scent with Neroli in it I’ll have to do a test run due to previous comments on it, don’t want to commit to a bad scent.

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