Love The Bottle, Hate The Smell

How many times have you fallen in love with beautiful perfume bottles only to find that when you uncap and take a whiff, you’re hit with a scent that you just can’t stand? I know I have, many times too.

Often when I’m at the fragrance section of MYER and David Jones, I’ll be captivated by gorgeous packaging and stunning bottles but when I spray some on perfume cards to smell what they’re Iike, I’ll cringe at how strong and unpleasant the fragrance is. I’ll mutter to myself “gah, what a waste!

Cosmetic companies are clever, they are. People judge with their eyes first then with other senses so they make sure the bottles are as attractive as they can be. We’ll fall in love with the packaging first for surely the scent will be just as lovely. And if it’s not as good as we pictured, as long as it doesn’t reek too badly, we buy it because they will look pretty damn good on our dresser. Even a number of celebrity fragrances have gorgeous bottles (yes, I actually think a couple of the Britney Spears ones aren’t bad) with cloying, sickly sweet scents. You know what I mean?

I thought I’d give you some examples of the perfume bottles I really like but can’t stand the scent. Now I have to be very clear about this: like taste, scent is mighty subjective. What I like/dislike may be the complete opposite for you. I’m quite sensitive to scent so there’s only a specific type that I’m partial to. I’m not knocking your favourite fragrances here. They don’t work for me but lordy, do I love the packaging. :)

These are just some examples of fragrances’ packaging that I like but the fragrance … meh, not so much.

Love The Bottle, Hate The Smell

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb – Like the hexagonal bottle and the wee flower on the side but the fragrance is too musky for me.
Vera Wang Lovestruck – Such a pretty cap that stands out but the fragrance is too sweet for me.
Chanel No 5 – Sounds even blasphemous that I don’t like this classic scent by Chanel. I just find it too strong for me. I associated this scent with “aunties” when I was very young and even though I’m almost there (ugh), I can’t shake that association. Having said that, the classic apocathary bottle is just beautiful.
Miss Dior Cherie – Clean, classic bottle with a bow but the scent is too sweet for me.
Tom Ford Neroli Portofino – Another classic design but I find the scent too spicy for my liking.
Valentina Acqua Floreale – Very sweet fragrance that just isn’t for me. It’s such a pretty bottle though, especially the flat cap.

I’ve got more but I’ll leave it at these fragrances for today. I’ve fallen in love with plenty of beautiful packaging only to be disappointed by the scent. There are also plenty of fragrances that I really like but the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. I’ll leave that to another post for another time. :)

What about you? Are there any perfume bottles that you love but you just can’t stand the smell?

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20 comments… add one

  1. ponikuta

    In that case, can I have your TF Neroli Portofino? I am the biggest fan!!

    1. Tine

      Ooops sorry, it’s already found a good home :P

  2. Rebecca

    I feel that way all the time because a lot of perfumes make me sneeze… people do sell their empties on eBay and places like that for “decorative” purposes, though I’m not sure I could bring myself to buy an empty perfume bottle unless I could repurpose it into something else. Anyway, the most interesting bottle I’ve seen recently is Thierry Mugler’s Alien.
    Rebecca recently posted..Review: Etude House “I’m Blooming” Deep Moisture MistMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Nah, I can’t bring myself to buy empty bottles either. Feels a bit pointless. Although having said that, I would buy really beautiful vintage-style perfume bottles with the puff on the side. Just not the ones that come with a name :)

      Have you seen Van Arpels & Cleef’s Feerie? Gorgeous!

  3. Ting

    Seems like you are not a fan of sweet scent… haha! :D

    No. 5 in your no no list? Awww…. shame… I don’t have it yet. Maybe when I turn into a proper auntie (like… middle age or when people start calling me “pa” here) I shall grab one at the nearest Chanel counter. haha

    I won’t buy perfumes for their bottles because I LOVE to wear perfumes… one at a time obviously! And my criteria these days is that my perfume should not trigger poor husband’s migraine… urrrggghhh!!

    I have a bottle of slightly strong scent one from Narciso Rodriguez (For Her). I love it so much that when it’s empty, I keep the bottle cap off in my underwear drawer. Over time these garments get infused with the sexy scent of this perfume and I am so happy to wear them fresh from the drawer. :) Perhaps you could do that with some scent that is too strong? :D

    1. Tine

      You are right! I love citrusy scents, some floral scents but I can’t do sweet scents much. Don’t do musky scents either. Gee, I’m a picky one, aren’t I? :P

      Oooh keeping the bottle cap in your undies drawer? Genius! Why didn’t I think of that?? Damn, now I feel like the ones I tossed are just wasted!

  4. Monica P

    Same here about Chanel No 5. My dear Aunt Kay (now deceased for many years) wore this fragrance and if I want to be reminded of her, I’ll just stop by the counter and smell the bottle. It’s funny how scent is such a strong reminder of things in your life.

    Monica P recently posted..Sequin dot t-shirt, jeweled sweatshirt, color block sweater and a charm braceletMy Profile

    1. Tine

      That is so so true. Fragrances are the one thing that triggers memories the most, I think. There are a few particular Boss colognes that I’ll never buy for my husband because it reminds me of an ex-boyfriend. Every time I smell any fragrances from Aramis and Dunhill, it reminds me of my late grandpa.

  5. gio

    I hate flowerbomb! It’s so toothachingly sweet on me. It makes me smell like I’ve spent all day in a candy store. And that’s not really the way I want to smell like in my 30s. Lancome La Vie Est Belle smells very similar to flowerbomb on me too, only more subdued. I dislike sweet scents in general. Their bottles are so beautiful, but they’re more appropriate for teenagers than women imo.
    gio recently posted..Exfoliation And Sunless Tanner: Friends Or Foes?My Profile

    1. Tine

      My thoughts exactly about the Flowerbomb. It just doesn’t work for me. I’ve seen a lot of pretty celebrity fragrance bottles. I won’t deny it; one of the Wonderstrucks by Taylor Swift (just the bottle) is actually not bad. But celebrity fragrance scents are a dime a dozen; it’s like they’re been mixed in the same vat and distributed to different bottles. They smell pretty much the same! Plus they’re too young for me, so no thank you. :P

  6. Dana

    Not a fan of flowerbomb either! I have a love hate thing with No.5, some days I like it some days I can’t stand it. Hahah. I agree with you on it looking ‘apothecary’ back in the days feel, I feel the same. I also have love/hate relationfeel with YSL Paris, I’ve smelt it ever since I was growing up, and nowadays I feel somehow wanting it yet I know it is sometimes a tad too strong but still brings up those careless childhood days at times. Interesting how scents bring up the most random thoughts/memories.

    1. Tine

      Haha I know, right? Scent and memories go hand in hand methinks. YSL Paris was my very first YSL fragrance. Not a big fan of the scent, to be honest, but it’ll always have a place in my heart as my very first item from YSL :P

  7. Norlin

    I actually loved the Flowerbomb! It’s musky but it’s got that nice powdery finish too. But then again perfumes are just so personal that’s why I avoid buying them as presents. Colognes though…that’s a different kettle of fish because I’m the one who has to smell it on Mr. C ;) I share your sentiments with the Chanel No.5! I absolutely HATE IT! Smells so…aunty.
    Norlin recently posted..Marina Says: Why Working On Your Core is ImportantMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahahaha I agree! Whenever I buy Tim a fragrance (he doesn’t buy any for himself), I sniff it, ask him if he likes it, if he likes it but I don’t, nope he’s not getting it because hey, I’m the one who has to smell it! Muahahahaha! :D

  8. Dawn

    I wanted to love flowerbomb so much because of the bottle, but unfortunately.. it just doesn’t agree with me :( Same with Dior’s J’dore.

    1. Tine

      I hear ya, Dawn and likewise. Gorgeous bottles but the fragrances just don’t agree with me at all. Oh well, plenty of fragrant fishes out in the sea :P

  9. Andreea

    I love Kenzos bottel with the red poppy on it. LOVE! But oh, I get he worst headache from this scent… I tried it several times, but no. Too bad.
    Andreea recently posted..SHISEIDO – EXKLUSIV: Zen Golden ElixirMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh I forgot about the Kenzo Flower! I think it’s such a gorgeous bottle. But like you, I can’t handle the scent either. Too strong for me :(

  10. MissCarole

    I was going to say the Kenzo with the poppy. My in-laws bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago. I feel bad because they must have spent a lot of money for it (the bootle is gorgeous and it the Eau de Parfum) but I can’t stand the smell :-(. The bottle sits pretty in y bedroom though!
    L’Air du Temps is the same. Just a tiny wiff gives me the strongest headache.
    MissCarole recently posted..Noel en Juillet / Christmas in July!My Profile

    1. Tine

      My sentiments exactly with the Kenzo Flower. It’s very pretty (love the way the bottle curves) but I just couldn’t stand the scent. Oh well, at least it’s sitting pretty in your bedroom, that’s doing something! :)

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