Favorite Powdery Scents

October 17th, 2006

Powder Blue OrchidSomeone commented here last week (pardon me, I cannot seem to find the comment) and suggested doing a post on favorite powdery scents. I love powdery perfumes, so it’s not hard to come up with a list. But before I begin, perhaps I should define powdery. In my personal classification, powdery scents fall into two groups: 1) baby powder powdery; 2) old-fashioned (or not) body powder powdery. The most common powdery notes in perfume are: orris, heliotrope, honey, orchid, opoponax, benzoin, magnolia, myrrh, etc.

Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi – won’t repeat myself, will just say Teint de Neige is the ultimate powdery scent.

Orchidee Blanche by L’Artisan Parfumeur – in contrast to Teint de Neige (where the focus is on the rose), the powdery effect in Orchidee Blanche is achieved by orris, mimosa, vanilla, jasmine, and honey. One of the most elegant scents around. Orchidee Blanche wins my heart with its dewy, honeyed floral powderiness. Unfortunately, it’s said to be discontinued but is still available at select L’Artisan shops while supplies last.

L’Ame Soeur by Divine – jasmine, Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, ambergris. Somewhat similar to Chanel No 5, L’Ame Soeur takes a less citrusy/earthy route, focusing on aldehydic rose and amber. Its sillage is soft and velvety. I often reach for it in spring as its whispery powderiness is reminiscent of first spring blossoms.

Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle – ylang-ylang, magnolia, tonka bean, musk, vanilla, iris, sandalwood, vetiver. The powder is Iris Poudre is very much aldehydic. It’s not as much soft, enveloping powder as shimmering and metallic. Iris Poudre is earthy iris powder on a very prominent sandalwood base. Luxurious and refined, it’s very much a going out scent for me.

Habanita by Molinard – bergamot, peach, strawberry, orange blossom, rose, ylang-ylang, orris, lilac, leather, vanilla, cedar, benzoin. This old-fashioned beauty should never be underestimated, especially in parfum. Habanita grabs me the most by its dried fruit powdery accord that brings back memories of being served my beloved dried fruit compote in kindergarten. Besides being heavy on fruit and orris, Habanita is also quite balsamic, with a touch of leather in the drydown. I firmly believe it will never become outdated.

Parfum Sacre by Caron – lemon, pepper, mace, cardamom, orange blossom, rose, jasmine, rosewood, vanilla, myrrh, civet, cedar. The powderiness of Parfum Sacre is centered around the bitter dustiness of pepper and mace. It goes through quite a transformation as the scent develops, becoming more balsamic-resinous and vanillic in the drydown. With its spicy powderiness, it can be equally dressed up or down and is very much a winter scent for me.

Some other excellent powdery perfumes are: Cuir Beluga by Guerlain, Ligea by Carthusia, Talco Delicato by I Profumi di Firenze, Nuit de Noel by Caron, Baby by Norma Kamali, Magnolia Pourpre by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier.

Do you have any favorite powdery scents?

Image source: www.art.com

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  • 1. chaya ruchama  |  October 18th, 2006 at 5:52 am

    Great choices, Inushka-

    To add to the list…
    Etro Heliotrope, MPG’s Ambre Precieux, Tocca Touch, Parfum Moderne’s White Angel Musk, TDC’s Bois d’Iris, Gian Franco Ferre, CSP’s Matin Calin, LV’s Sandalo, Montale’s Patchouli Leaves [in the drydown], Botrytis, Frapin 1270,Prive’s Ambre Soie,-

    There are many more, but it’s early yet !
    A quick caveat: sometimes milky notes, and Mysore sandalwood, add a “powdery” quality.
    When patchouli is softly blended w/ vanilla, as in the Montale, it can provide a long-lasting powdery note as well [ I think the oak helps, too].
    Boozy vanillas, and cognac notes [there’s that oak again !] also soften, on many, to a delicate delicious comfort fragrance.

    Love you-
    Have a snuggly, comforting day…

  • 2. Patty  |  October 18th, 2006 at 6:45 am

    Powdery isn’t usually one I care for, but I do love the Iris Poudre. As long as it doesn’t go completely baby powdery, I’m okay with it. Shalimar is the ultimate powder scent in my brain, and I love it on others, but hate it on myself.

  • 3. Agritty  |  October 18th, 2006 at 7:33 am

    I would add L’Heure Bleu to that list. The great powdery fragrances are so grand. I am thrilled to see Parfum Sacre on this list. I actually bought it by accident in France in when if first came out, knowing nothing of Caron or perfume (or ANYthing…) and have loved it ever since. Some people describe it as a heavy duty date perfume, but I wore it all the time for a while and never felt it was inappropriate. Maybe I am just inappropriate!

  • 4. Elle  |  October 18th, 2006 at 7:49 am

    Powdery scents are just ideal for cool, fall days. TdN really is the ultimate powder scent…despite Jonna’s insistence that is smells like scrotum (umm…sorry if this offends anyone w/ more delicate sensibilities than mine). I also love Liu, Farouche, Parfum d’Hermes, Farnesiana, AG Charlotte, Dior Cologne Blanche, AG Heure Exquise, Chamade, Alessandro, Bal a Versailles and Femme.

  • 5. Judith  |  October 18th, 2006 at 8:25 am

    I love all these except–perhaps surprisingly–Teint de Neige. At least, when I last tried TdN it seemed TOO powdery-sweet to me (hangs head in same at impending expulsion from the powdery sorority). But I still have a decant, so I guess I must try again; the weather seems right for it, anyhow:)

  • 6. newproducts  |  October 18th, 2006 at 8:38 am

    Hi! Long time lurker, first time poster here.

    I literally squealed with delight and clapped my hands like a five-year-old when I saw the title of this post.
    I have only tried two of the ones you mention, so I have the pleasure of looking forward to the others. I am curious about Habanita. I like the leather note in Agent Provocateur and Fifi (well, to my nose, there’s leather in here), but I don’t always love leather. Do you think I may still like Habanita?

    I wanted to add your wonderful recs to me on MUA: Poison & Opium. I know they are not exactly “powder scents”, but the undertone of opoponax, which I get in huge doses ♥ ♥, qualifies them as powdery scents to me, and my favorite kind at that.
    Of the aldehydic powders, my first choice would be L’Heure Bleue.

    Thank you for the wonderful list and reviews. It really made my day. :)

  • 7. marina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 8:39 am

    Great choices, all of them!…well, expect for Teint, but only because it hurts my head something awful. :-(

  • 8. greeneyes  |  October 18th, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Oh, I love Orchidee Blanche. The scent I sampled yesterday, L’Artisan Drole de Rose, is another pretty powdery scent, IMO, and also Etro Heliotrope. I have Iris Poudre, but haven’t sampled it yet. Don’t have the others…(goes off to make a list)

  • 9. IrisLA  |  October 18th, 2006 at 9:06 am

    My favorite is Mazzolari Alessandro. From your list, I like Guerlain Cuir Beluga and TdN in very small doses.

  • 10. March  |  October 18th, 2006 at 10:21 am

    You know, I forgot to try the Neige before my trip. And now that Elle’s described it as scrotum, it makes me want to try it more. Do you think I should seek therapy? Off to find my sample…

  • 11. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Chaya, Etro Heliotrope, but of course! Agree on milky notes. SL Santal de Mysore is wonderful milky-powdery sandalwood.

  • 12. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:07 pm

    Patty, definitely Shalimar! I hear it’s superb in parfum. Very curious to try.

  • 13. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:08 pm

    Agritty, L’Heure Bleu is melancholy powderiness, for sure. I think Parfum Sacre is suitable for all occasions. :)

  • 14. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:09 pm

    Elle, I thought of Parfum d’Hermes, too. Bal a Versailles is awesome leathery powder. And Chamade! But of course!

  • 15. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:10 pm

    Judith, I plan to find TdN this wknd and make you try it. 😉

  • 16. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:12 pm

    Newproducts, welcome! :) Yes, I actually think you’ll like Habanita. It’s not anything like Fifi or AP. It’s sweeter and darker. I’m very glad you liked Opium and Poison! I plan to get Opium in parfum one of these days. It’s incomparable.

  • 17. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Marina, yes, I can see how TdN can be headache-inducing. Bummer!

  • 18. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    Greeneyes, definitely Drole de Rose! Also, Lipstick Rose, although it falls into the creamy scents category for me.

  • 19. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:14 pm

    Iris, Alessandro is the ultimate gourmand powder!

  • 20. Ina  |  October 18th, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    March, I think many of us could use some group therapy… However, the best therapy for me is smelling perfumes! LOL!

  • 21. Cait  |  October 19th, 2006 at 5:36 pm

    I loved this post. I would like to add Chanel No. 22. Of your choices, L’Ame Soeur and Iris Poudre are my favorites. Powdery aldehydes really float my boat.

  • 22. Ina  |  October 19th, 2006 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks, Cait! Chanel No 22 is the ultimate classic powder! I love it in parfum.

  • 23. Wendy  |  October 21st, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Anais Anais has a powdery fragrance to my nose.

  • 24. A Reader  |  October 23rd, 2006 at 2:22 am

    Ava Luxe perfumery makes a nice powdery perfume named “Angel Face”. Their “Doll Face” perfume is also said to be powdery…. but I haven’t sampled it yet. Powdery florals make me happy.

  • 25. Aromascope » La Voi&hellip  |  October 24th, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    […] Voilette de Madame is a blend of iris, ylang-ylang, narcissus, violet, and sandalwood. It’s quite powdery in top notes, along the lines of Orchidee Blanche, with a softer iris note and just a hint of violet. The drydown has a prominent Guerlinade accord – a compound of balsams, iris, and vanilla, used in such Guerlain creations as Mitsouko or L’Heure Bleu. The most appealing thing about it is its animalic base against which the flowers are resting languidly. Voilette de Madame means “A Lady’s Veil”, and, while I can’t assert specifically what type of veil is implied, in my imagination I see a tulle face veil. What’s behind this veil is a slightly powdered face, gorgeous, daring eyes, and lips slightly open, gently breathing upon it. Whether it’s bad breath or not, depends on your skin chemistry. […]

  • 26. Aromascope » Spring&hellip  |  January 18th, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    […] Carolina Herrera – L’Ame Soeur by Divine […]

  • 27. Aromascope » 5 Rand&hellip  |  July 12th, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    […] Iris Poudre by Frederic Malle – for an elegant, ornamented dress. […]

  • 28. Aromascope » Perfum&hellip  |  August 21st, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    […] perfumes. This chameleon of a scent first resembled Voilette de Madame by Guerlain. Later it was Orchidee Blanche by L’Artisan. Then all of a sudden the drydown became almost a dead ringer for L’Air de […]

  • 29. Cassie  |  June 17th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    I fell in love with powdery scents with Andy Warhols Marilyn – Blue… they no longer make this so i researched and found Flower by Kenzo, and Love Her Madly by Revlon (I think), I have heard of Demeter – Baby Powder – which one assumes is a powder scent =-) also the Sarah Jessica Parker perfumes have a touch of powder scents, but I cant choose between the Lovely or Covet which smells most powder like.

  • 30. carla  |  February 24th, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Shalimar, Shalimar, Shalimar! The queen of the powder scents!

  • 31. An AldeHo Dishes: Divine &hellip  |  September 27th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    […] “acceptable” to “below average.”  Other reviews of  L’Ame Soeur: Bois de Jasmin and Aromascope (brief), both of which are more favorable than this […]




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