Mmmm. I ordered a bunch of sample vials from The Perfumed Court, and I've spent the past few weeks prancing up to friends and offering them my skin for olfactory inspection. A few things that I thought I'd love were less than stellar on me, and a few sneak winners came through.
Parfums d'Empire, "Cuir Ottoman". You called it, Skinny. This is warm leather + sexy sweat, and I must have it. Mmmm. It's made girls step in for a third and fourth whiff, and boys stop and give me the eye. Amazing.
Tom Ford's "Black Orchid". Credit goes to Laia for turning me on to this one. At first application, it seemed a little one-note and "mature" for me, but it developed into something musky (sans hippie connotations), with a little bit of what I imagine a nice dressing table in the 40's smelled of: opulence, anticipation, and seduction. Yes. This one is definitely on my list.
"L de Lolita Lempicka": this is a huge departure from the sexy-dirty-postcoital scents. It's sweet-ish, caramelly, with some bergamot and salt. It's a food-y type smell, and it's just different enough from Thierry Mugler's "Angel" (a longtime favorite) to remain interesting. This scent on my arm sent two classmates into raptures, which seems to be a sign of approval.
Alan Cumming's "Cumming". This is ostensibly a man's fragarance, perhaps because it smells like rubber, smoke, scotch, and a bit of leather. I love it. It's dirrrrrty. I wish it came in an eau de parfum instead of an eau de toilette, though.
Alexander McQueen's "Kingdom". I was hoping for more leather and sweat, but as some other Kingdom-tryer-outters have said, this can go all cumin on you. It went fairly intensely cumin on me, which was too bad- I really love cumin, but I do not love it on my forearms. I'll still wear this on occasion, as that initial wham of cumin wears off, but that first hit of spice scent was too much to let me fall in love.
Caron's "Tabac Blond". Meh. This seemed astringent and overly alcohol-y on, and dried to something that screamed "grandma!" on me. Now, I love my grandma, and she's excellent and might even wear this. And perhaps she does, and perhaps that's why I was displeased with what it smells like on me. I might just chuck this sample, unfortunately. I wore it a handful of times and kept reaching for other scents once I felt I'd given it a fair try.