Saturday Question: Are You Tempted by GWPs?

You can make this question as much or as little about perfumes as you wish.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #64:

Are You Tempted by GWPs?

I’m not sure if it is a common practice for the B&M stores or sites that you shop from regularly, but in the U.S., beauty departments, brands and stores periodically have “events” during which they offer “gift with purchase” (GWP). If where you live it also takes place, do you time your purchases to such events? Are you buying anything you didn’t plan to because you want to get a GWP? Maybe not the complete purchase but something as an “add-in” to reach the required minimum?

A bonus question: have you ever found anything (perfume or a skincare item) that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise but now like and use?

My Answer

Twenty something years ago, fresh in the US, when I saw a printed ad for Estee Lauder‘s GWP at Macy’s, I couldn’t believe that it could be true: in my native country each of the pieces offered free with any $25 purchase would have cost probably half of that amount. A co-worker, to whom I showed the ad, confirmed that it wasn’t a trick and even offered to give me a ride to the store after work. That day I bought my first bottle of Tuscany Per Donna (I tried it before and liked). And I was perplexed by the fact that they were giving for free all those wonderful travel size goodies. I don’t remember what was in that GWP, but for many years after that I was using cosmetics and skincare from Estee Lauder trying to time my purchases to their GWP events. I stopped doing that when most of the items in those gifts became make-up items – and I didn’t have much use to them.

I’ve never bought anything more expensive than $5-$6 that I didn’t plan to buy if I needed something extra to get to a free shipping or GWP that I really wanted to get, but I don’t remember ever buying anything just to get a GWP (though, on a couple of occasions I’ve been tempted to persuade myself that I needed something right away – usually I was able to resist).

With perfumes, I usually try to wait for a percent off since those perfumes that I like usually do not come with anything that interests me.

Recently, as I started using more make-up and skincare, and especially since it is more difficult to test new products these days, I started following more closely different sales and GWPs events… When I was placing an order at Bloomingdale’s about 10 days ago, I knew that I was getting a lot of “goodies” – that’s why I decided to make that purchase in the first place. But when I started getting all the packages with what I ordered plus all the gifts, it was something unreal. I felt like…

Have you ever had a dream in which you would come across something wonderful, something that felt like a treasure – rare perfumes or coins or sweets or something else that in your dream seemed magical? And when you would wake up and realize it was just a dream, you’d feel disappointed. It felt like that dream but without the waking-up part. In all years I’ve been playing this game, I’ve never managed to get anything like that. That was a very unusual combination of a gift with any purchase, then Mother’s Day GWP, plus 2 cumulative gifts from Bloomingdales, plus GWP from SpaceNK. Now I have a lot of testing to do.

Beauty Samples

I got all these promotions after reading a newsletter from the GWP Addict blog. They mostly cover sites that specialize in skincare, but sometimes those overlap with online stores that carry perfumes as well. And, from what I can see, even though US-oriented, it covers some international sites as well.

 

Are You Tempted by GWPs?

Rusty the Cat: On Camouflaging

Of course, I’m not being serious: if anything, it’s not Rusty who has chosen his surroundings (or to live with us, for that matter). But I just want to share some of the pictures I collected for the topic. And I hope you’ll agree: he fits in perfectly, doesn’t he?

In other news, today I got my second vaccine shot. Now I can tell that most people who had their shots and to whom I complained about pain in my shoulder after the first one had no idea what I was talking about! I can feel something in my arm now, and I still might get side-effects in the upcoming days, but it doesn’t come even close to how much my first shot hurt! I’m glad that I’m done for at least 6 months (I really dislike needles).

I do not plan to change how I live even after I’m fully vaccinated: I’ll keep working from home, limit visits to stores and continue to wear masks. We might start seeing more friends, but other than that… Nah. Life has to prove to me that it’s safe on the outside.

Second Sunday Sample: Tom Ford Soleil Brulant

As I’ve said many times before, I’m a Tom Ford fan. So, whenever the brand releases new perfume, I jump. And this weekend I drove to the nearby shopping mall to try the newest release from the brand – Soleil Brûlant. I’m glad that a friendly SA was there, so I managed to get a handmade sample (normally these days you cannot get any, because, “you know, we’re in pandemic,” and it’s not like take-out or even eat-in food that you put in your mouth, it’s much more dangerous if an SA would make you a sample of perfume that contains more alcohol than required by CDC for hand sanitizers).

New Soleil Brûlant releases sun-kissed florals warmed by amber – evoking the opulent, golden sun beaming over private islands. Your own private summer.

That was a quote from the brand’s advertising video. And, in my opinion, it sets up this perfume to fail. I do not mean globally or related to sales, but rather from the fan-base prospective (and since it doesn’t look like Tom Ford’s PR works with “Influencers,” it might backfire). What you smell is not what you’d expect to smell based on that description.

You know the type of reviews where the reviewers describe minute-by-minute how perfume smells on their skin? I never really understood that approach… until I smelled Soleil Brulant. Even for my nose, which isn’t the most accurate or educated, a lot is happening in this perfume within minutes.

Notes deciphered from the brand’s site: mandarin, bergamot, pink pepper, orange blossom, black honey, amber, resins, wood, vetiver, leather and incense.

Tom Ford Soleil Brulant

From the nozzle I smell mandarin, which I like very much and anticipate smelling on my skin, so when upon spraying I cannot detect it at all, I feel slightly disappointed. What I smell instead is some roasted nutty or maybe coffee note followed by slightly mentholated sweetness. It is replaced by scorched woodsy smell (maybe burning incense?). And resin. Then about 30 minutes into the development I can finally smell some citrus! Very briefly. Then wood returns. A couple of hours later, I can smell something that my nose qualifies as “tobacco,” but I know that sometimes that is how what is called “leather” smells to me. Since honey rarely works on my skin, and I do not like orange blossom, those are notes that I usually recognize. But not in Soleil Brulant. I don’t question their existence in this perfume, and I believe that some sweetness that I’m experiencing comes from it. But both those notes are not as prominent to me as I smell them in other perfumes, both when they work for me or don’t.

I don’t know in which Universe this would be considered summer perfume. OK, it is summer perfume in terms that its name describes summer (everywhere I see it translated as “Burning Sun,” in my head I call it “Scorching Sun”), but what I smell I wouldn’t either associate with that season or wear during it. But I will try to do it at least one – just out of curiosity.

As a conclusion, I do not think Soleil Brulant is bad perfume. I find it original and not boring. But I’m not in love with it, and I don’t think I would have been buying it even at the lower Private Blend’s price level, but definitely not as their premium tier price of $350 for 50 ml. I still think it will sell well, not in the least thanks to that golden bottle (I don’t like it, but I read many praises for it). I also wanted to note that if we all keep buying these perfumes and cosmetics, someone at Estee Lauder will be able to afford not just a private summer on a private island, but with a little effort maybe even a private sun. I, for one, has recently “contributed to the cause” by getting their new Sunlust Lip lip gloss from the same collection as this perfume. I do not need it. But in my mind it somehow was a precursor to my Hawaiian vacation that I really want to happen. Well, I’ve got the lip gloss – so, I’m half-way there, right?

Tom Ford Sunlust Lip glossImages: my own

Saturday Question: Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

How many times have you read about the May 1st lily-of-the-valley-related tradition in France? Probably at least every time someone reviews Guerlain‘s Muguet. As I was reading about it, I discovered another tradition – wearing LotV for the Flora Day in Helston, UK. Have you ever heard of it? From what I read, it is a long-standing tradition, which is even older than the French one (though, I’m not sure when the flower in question had been introduced). The celebration involves a lot of dancing and wearing lily of the valley by both men and women. Usually, it is celebrated on May 8th. But this year, same as in 2020, it has been cancelled due to Covid-19. It’s May 8 today – let’s talk about lily of the valley (perfumes).

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #63:

Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

Do you own any? Do you wear perfumes with this main note? Have you ever smelled this flower?

My Answer

Nine years after my In the Search for the Perfect Lily of the Valley post, I still own just two LotV perfumes – Dior Diorissimo and Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley. I like them enough to wear from time to time, especially Diorissimo. But I don’t think I will be buying any other LotV soliflores.

As I wrote recently in the comment to Cynthia’s (The Fragrant Journey) review of the new Dusita‘s perfume Cavatina, while I like the LotV scent, I have an issue with it in perfumery: since it’s impossible to capture a real flower scent, it can be either an artificial aroma or a composition of other natural materials. I’m not prepared to pay luxury prices for a soliflore made from artificial ingredients, and two attempts of the recreation from natural ingredients that I tried convinced me that it is impossible to recreate believable LotV using natural ingredients. So, while I’d love a spring bouquet with a touch of LotV, I don’t need another artificial soliflore.

Dior Diorissimo

 

Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

Jaipur Homme by Boucheron

Jaipur Homme by Boucheron

Jaipur Homme is 20+ years old, Boucheron wasn’t really on my radar at that time. It wasn’t till late 2000s that I smelled it. In the early 2000s, I was living with a man who came from halfway between Delhi & Jaipur. He took me to the Rambagh Palace for a few nights on our first holiday to India, and he knew every nook and cranny of the town, so I got a really fabulous look at it. After we had broken up and he’d returned to India, I found the Boucheron fragrance. It was so subtle compared to the reality of India but there were lovely reminders and the name itself conjures happy memories. Over the years, I’ve brought or sent him bottles of Jaipur and it’s been his signature scent.

Anyway, thought I hadn’t bought myself a bottle of Jaipur Homme in years, so I grabbed a super cheap EdT from FragNet recently and have been wearing it a bit. It’s still very nice.

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Heliotrope, Cardamom, Lime, Lemon
Heart: Amber, Jasmine, Carnation, Nutmeg, Rose, Vanilla, Cinnamon
Base: Benzoin, Clove, Patchouli, Tonka bean, Cedarwood

If you know ground cardamom from your spice cupboard then you’ll instantly recognise it in the opening of Jaipur Homme. The citrus creates an initial sparkling, zingy opening, and the cardamom becomes apparent almost immediately. It stays after the citrus burns off, and the cool powdery fluff of heliotrope is then a tangible note that leads us into the heart.

I’m drinking chai as I write this post, and the heart of Jaipur Homme is a softer, more French perfumery armchair dream of it. Very softly animalic, vanilla-heavy amber with spices. Clove is more noticeable than anything else, but I definitely get the sweet milky tea reference. It’s not the MAIN heart accord, but it plays alongside everything else.

The dry down is sweet amber woods. I become nose blind to it after a couple of hours, but it stays on my clothes for days. When I pick up a top to wash it, I am hit gently with a beautiful spiced wood fragrance. It’s really lovely, so I know that’s what I’m wafting at the end of a day.

Don’t let the homme fool you. Jaipur Homme is unisex. It doesn’t even lean towards a modern traditional masculine. It could be brought out as a women’s fragrance today, and no one would have questioned it. Longevity is excellent, projection after about 30 minutes is moderate to low but oh so lovely.

Did you ever try Jaipur Homme?

Portia xx

Sunday Self-care, Episode 1: The First Year into Quarantine: Embracing Silk

Time Traveler: What year is this?
Me: 2020
Time Traveler: Oh, the first year of quarantine…
Me: … The … WHAT?

 

For a while, I tried to come up with a title for this first post of the (hopefully) new series to be a variation on the phrase “sleepy bliss” or “blissful sleep” constructed from the names of the two rival brands of silk goods. But I gave up having realized that “Blissy Slip” or “Slippy Bliss” would be probably even less transparent for my English-speaking readers than my last year’s exercise with “lilac” and “luck.” So, instead, I decided to play on the joke/meme that resonated with me when I saw it the first time last year and many times since.

* * *

With everything that was happening in the last 12 months, I’m a lucky one: my work kept me so busy all that time that I barely noticed most of the negative sides of the situation we all are more or less in. I did miss my Hawaii vacation and some gatherings with friends, and for a while it was scary… to watch dwindling supplies of TP and, joking aside, just getting out to get groceries for the next couple of weeks. But in general, I didn’t get the anxiety many others experienced. On the other hand, I didn’t get the “free time” that many people weren’t sure how to occupy while staying at home.

But as time goes by, and probably mostly because of a couple of big time-measuring life milestones that have occurred within these last 12 months, more and more I started thinking about getting that free time to take care of myself. This series is the result of my attempts to follow through with these thoughts.

* * *

For some time I was noticing that in the morning my face would have some creases from the contact with a pillow. While telling myself that, probably, it attested to how soundly I slept without turning or changing my position, I didn’t appreciate what I saw in the mirror, especially since I started having video meetings in the morning – often before those signs of agi healthy sleeping would disappear from my cheeks.

I don’t remember how the idea of a silk pillowcase came into my orbit, but once it formed, I, in my usual manner, being skeptical about most miracle cures and hacks, spent probably months reading reviews and trying to figure out whether to buy myself one and, if yes, which one. I could have easily kept doing it until now, but one day a friend of mine decided to show me her new favorite pillow (I was in the process of looking for a replacement pillow). I didn’t like the pillow at all (it was one of those new creations stuffed with shredded foam-like material), but I noticed that it had a silk pillowcase. When I asked my friend about it, she, completely casually, mentioned that she switched to those a while ago and now wouldn’t even consider sleeping on anything else. That did it for me.

I still wasn’t sure which brand to go with: if you try looking for any comparison reviews, you’d end up with very similar affiliated-links-ridden articles equally praising both “luxury” and “budget” buys (all claiming that though they will get a commission from you shopping through those, opinions, surely, are their “editors’”).

When in doubt, I tend to pay rather more than less (which is not necessarily a winning strategy but it has its merits). So, I went for the “luxury” side, but out of the two more expensive brands, Blissy and Slip, I’ve chosen Blissy because it was offering a better deal.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you happen to come across ads for silk pillowcases recently, you are probably familiar with all the claims they make (some of those ads are just outrageous, but I won’t dignify them even with negative publicity). Regardless of whether you have tried them yourself, you might be curious what I think about those claims.

After sleeping on silk pillowcases for three months, I can tell that I didn’t notice any changes with my hair, I do not have enough evidence yet to say that it feels cooler (I’ll see how it performs in summer), and I can’t say that it had any effect on acne outbreaks I still have from time to time. But I’m not going back to my old(er) cotton pillowcases, though, I have to clarify that those were of a very high quality, which might explain my hair not being overly impressed by the change. Then why?

Because not a single morning after switching to Blissy silk pillowcases had I seen any signs of my pillow on my cheeks.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you are considering this experiment, read multiple “infomercials” to understand in principle the difference between a “silk pillowcase” and a “silk pillowcase” and choose what you feel comfortable with quality-, price- and reviews-wise. If the description doesn’t mention something, assume that whatever that something is, it is not present in the particular item.

I have several suggestions in addition to those that you’ll read everywhere:

  • Resist buying golden, pink, plum, etc. colors: “marbled” or “tie-dye” colors will hide spots in-between washes better than solid colors (and there will be spots – from your skincare, tears, etc.). Mine are white and silver, and I regret my choice.
  • Disregard the “hand wash” instructions: put it into a mesh bag and wash it in a washing machine in cold water on a gentle cycle. Notice: I’m not saying that you could do it; I mean that you should: the manual washing itself is fine, but short of just hanging a pillowcase straight after rinsing and letting it drip, there is no way to remove any water from it without causing wrinkles that are much harder to iron out. And a washing machine’s centrifuge does it with much less wrinkled results.
  • Speaking of ironing, the way you see all those smooth and shiny silk pillowcases in the ads, you will never see them on your bed (unless you steam a new pillowcase from the box to remove folds and put it on your pillow “as is” without washing first, which I wouldn’t recommend): the picture on the left is a pillowcase freshly laundered and ironed while still damp – and I love ironing and do it very attentively. But whatever the result of the ironing was, the next morning (or a couple of days later) your pillowcase will look like the picture on the right. Which doesn’t seem to matter in how it affects your skin, but it doesn’t look pretty.

  • Since you will probably iron those pillowcases at least in the beginning, to make it easier, take them out of the washer, turn inside out and iron on the setting that feels right to you: on my Rowenta iron I would have been ironing on the recommended “Silk” or “the lowest” setting ’til the cows come home.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Slip, don’t spend time looking for coupons for the brand’s site: I don’t remember seeing any in a long-long time. Your best bet would be to get 15% off for your first purchase by subscribing on their site or wait for a general beauty sale at Nordstrom, Sephora or other similar stores that carry Slip brand.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Blissy, if you don’t have an account with them yet, use this link to subscribe and get a coupon for $20 off your purchase (if you use it, I’ll also get a $20 off coupon). But if you were to buy anything this week, don’t use that coupon because they have the best sale I’ve seen so far – 35% off with the coupon BLISSYMOM35. The Nordstromrack site also carries Blissy pillowcases, but always check which of the two has a better price (including S&H, since both have a minimum for free shipping).

Rusty and Blissy Silk PillowcaseEvery time I look at the picture above, I start yawning. I should probably go and check how my Blissy is doing…

 

Disclosure: Just to be clear, this post is not sponsored or compensated in any way by any of the mentioned brands or stores.

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Was Your Starter Brand?

Last week when Portia posted about the most worn L’Artisan Parfumeur perfumes, I noticed that several commenters mentioned that they started their niche perfume stage of the hobby from that brand. That’s why I decided to run it as a formal Saturday Question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #62:

What Was Your Starter Brand?

Many of us came to this hobby through the years of using 1-2-5 (or more) “OTC” perfumes at a time. But then there was a moment when we discovered niche perfumes. And usually the next step would be hunting for samples of perfumes from that brand and, more often than not, becoming a lifelong fan of the brand.

So, it would be interesting to know whether it happened this way for you and, if yes, what was the brand and whether you still love and wear it.

My Answer

Formally, I could have named Jo Malone as such a brand since back 15+ years ago it was still kind of niche-ish brand, and the only place I could try it was at a local Neiman Marcus, to which I didn’t dare to go for a long time (unless accompanied by a family member visiting from another state where she worked at NM). The fact that back then they didn’t accept any credit cards but their own wasn’t helping either. Only later, when they started accepting all American Express cards, I remember venturing into the store to pick up a bottle of Jo Malone’s perfume, fearlessly presenting my Costco AmEx card to a quite snobbish SA.

I think Jo Malone is still the most represented brand in my collection. I still like and wear perfumes that I own, and whenever I can I check out their latest releases. But these days I rarely like any of them enough to buy.

But the true niche brand – something that I’ve never seen or even heard of before and then got to investigate – was Amouage. After reading multiple reviews, I bought a set of five 1 ml vials from Aedes de Venustas – and that was a beginning of long relationships with the brand.

I love, own and wear several Amouage perfumes (to name a few, Gold, Dia, Lyric and Memoir), and having been given a choice of getting perfumes just from one brand for the rest of my life, I would have been really torn between Amouage and Ormonde Jayne, with probably Amouage winning because of Gold that reminds me a lot of my most favorite perfumes of all times – Lancome Climat (I’m just not sure that these days I would be able to settle on one perfume, even if it’s my number one, but I wouldn’t be able to choose too many alternatives from Lancome – that’s why it wouldn’t have been a contender in that cruel hypothetical choosing game).

But as to Amouage newer perfumes… I should probably do a separate post about it. Soon.

Rusty and Amouage Epic

What Was Your Starter Brand?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

I’m so glad it’s a weekend! Even though I’ll probably have to do some chores, I’m glad I would be able to take my mind off work. And probably I’ll do some perfume planning: I feel I’m getting too absorbed into my day-to-day routine, and I don’t have time to think about what to wear or test during the work week. Maybe I can do a line-up of perfumes to wear for several days in advance… But let’s go back to the current topic.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #61:

What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

Whenever a topic of favorite perfumes for one of a well-known brands comes up, or when in a SOTD thread somebody mentions everybody’s darling, people usually get really engaged adding their voices to each other’s choices. But whenever a lesser known brand or perfume is named, it usually sits lonely in the thread. Let’s give it some shine!

Name a perfume from your collection that you suspect most people don’t know or have. How did you happen to get it? Do you wear it?

My Answer

I have a number of perfumes that would fit the bill, but I decided to go with this one – Isa by Ulric de Varens. There are a couple of readers who were reading my blog back when I told a story for Isa, but I bet that most of you have never heard of this perfume (or the brand, though I wouldn’t bet on that part).

For those of you who don’t have time to go through the old post, a quick recap: it’s a nostalgic perfume from my adolescent years, and it took three attempts by three different people to get it to me from France.

I don’t think I wore Isa even once every year since I got it, but I’m still glad I have it because once in a while I can put it on and remember how grown-up and glamorous I felt all those decades ago spraying it on. Can you believe: I still remember a sweater I was wearing that day?

Ulric de Varens Isa

 

What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Hiya ULG, L’Artisan are one of those houses that many perfumistas had as a gateway to the rest of the world of perfumery. L’Artisan Parfumeur was established in 1976 by Jean Laporte making luxurious ambergris scented balls. He stayed till 1982. Interestingly, two of the first years perfume releases (1978) are still available; L’Eau d’Ambre and Mure et Musc. Over the years they have been incredibly groundbreaking. The first blackberry, fig, mimosa and others. Several have gone on into fabled history like Iris Pallida, La Haie Fleurie du Hameau, L’Eau du Navigateur and who can forget the fragrance made for a NYC store that started its own brand; Aedes de Venustas. Through the 21st centuries early naughties and teens they were available at almost every large department store. They have the added bonus of being slightly weird but extremely wearable, perfect for the newly minted perfumista. I have a whole box dedicated to them in my collection but only a few get year round, reach for a lot, wear. I thought it might be nice if we had a look at these easy go-to scents from a brand that I hope will see a new lease of life under their current owners since 2015, Puig.

L’Artisan Parfumeur: Portia’s Most Worn

Honestly, I was quite surprised at which bottles were most empty. A couple that I really adore seem to hardly have been used at all. So I picked the bottles with the most air in them, that seemed fairest. One day I’ll do a favourites from the line post and the outcome will only have a couple of crossover perfumes.

lartisan-parfumeur-portias-most-worn

Al Oudh

You know when the L’Artisan hands touch anything it’s going to be a smooth and classy version of whatever it is. Add in that this is a Bertrand Duchaufour fragrance. Al Oudh was a 2009 entrant into the oudh race. Just before I found you all on the scentbloggosphere. So when I hit the blogs it was a big, talked up fragrance along with Vanille Absolument (a rerelease of Havana Vanille) and Côte d’Amour (their first stab at all natural). A sweet and spicy look at the oudh/saffron/rose/patchouli combo that stays sheer and elegant, even though it has a lovely dirty/medicinal hit of oudh.

Bois Farine

Jean Claude Ellena created this 2003 beauty. I bought my bottle second hand and already there was juice missing to the top of the title. Powder, woods, iris and I don’t know how there are not sugar and almonds in the mix. In deepest dry down ALL I can smell is those sweet, puffy, almond horseshoe biscuits. It’s uncanny. Clearly my nose smells stuff ay out of whack sometimes but I really don’t care. Part of what I love about this beauty is it’s gourmand hints as it dries down.

Caligna

This is my favourite fig from the L’Artisan line up, created by Dora Baghriche. I love its more aromatic and herbal take on fig. Still creamy but with so many more interesting bells and whistles. Sage, citrus leaves, pine and ambroxan make for a very modern look and yet they also make it seem thoroughly reminiscent of the mid 20th century mens cologne fragrances. It’s an interesting mix that really captures my nose but could fit any time or place and any gender. That’s probably why I wear it so much. Also, it’s less OTT than Premier Figuier.

L’Eau du Navigateur

This was released back in 1979 and had gone through some heavy reformulations before I bought my bottle mid 2010s. At the time I’d only read about it in reverent tones and never seen a bottle. One day at a sale I saw one bottle left, didn’t even ask if they had a tester, I just bought it then and there. So happy I did. A Jean Claude Ellena from his earlier, heavier, more note filled days. Here we have a wooden spice boat on the seas, filled with cargo, deck hands, briny winds and the million other smells of sailing. Just close your eyes and live in this cleaned up fantasy of travel in the spice trade.

Poivre Piquant

This foody trilogy was released in 2002. Piment Brûlant, Poivre Piquant and Saffron Troublant are odes to Bell peppers (chilli), Peppercorns and Saffron. Almost photo realistic recreations of the named foodstuff that open each perfume. Poivre Piquant is pepper but wears like a zingy mix of black and pink peppers, drizzled with honey and sweetened to a liquorice deliciousness by dry down. Pepper lollies! Can you even imagine? It sounds as weird and out there as a fragrance could be but mercifully it’s all done in the cool, smooth, low key Duchaufour/L’Artisan style.

Seville a l’Aube

This is my second bottle of Seville a l’Aube. The Perfume Lover book by my buddy Denyse Beaulieu changed the way I viewed perfume creation and I fell in love with her wild and wicked ways. Though the fragrance itself is not sensual I always feel infused with her free spirit and zest for adventure when I wear it. Oranges, smoky incense, white flowers and honey mix together in an overwhelmingly ripe fragrance that tells the story of a romantic adventure remembered and brought to life by Bertrand Duchaufour. What’s not to love?

Tea for Two

When Tea for Two was first DCd in 2013 the Perfume Posse crew organised a Bus Tour through LA to some of the major fragrance venues. I was SO BUMMED about missing out on a bottle and begged the crew at Beauty Habit to give me their tester. As we were leaving they ran after the bus, stopped it and gave me the tester. This unbelievable fragrance. Smoky, incense laden, rich milky chai tea. Olivia Giacobetti masterfully arranges a fragrance rest stop in an Indian backstreet where the chai wallah has your tea at the ready. It’s sweet, milky, spicy and has the slight smell of frizzing electrical junctions, incense smoke, dusty streets and humanity.

I have at least a dozen more bottles of L’Artisan in the cupboard. Some of them I love infinitely more than these few yet these are the ones I reach for most.

What are your Most Worn L’Artisans?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?

I’ll admit: it’s a lame question: I want to talk about the vaccination, and I tried to tie it into the more perfume-blog-appropriate topic. My excuse is that I think it’s a great opportunity to “document” some gleams of life, and not just my but also of my readers’ from different parts of the world.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #60:

What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?

Did you get vaccinated? If yes, what vaccine? How is it done where you live? Did you have any side effects? Has it changed anything in your day-to-day life? What perfume did you wear?

If no, do you plan to? If you do not plan to get vaccinated, please do not feel like you have to explain your reasons, but if you do not mind doing that, please do.

I do not want this to turn into an argument either for or against vaccination, but I’m curious to know your personal position on it.

My Answer

In my area, at some point, all vaccination-related activities started resembling some type of a sport: people would be hunting for available slots, exchanging information on how to get them, how to find out what vaccine was administered in some of those locations (many subsystems do not provide this information until you arrive at the place, at which point you can decide not to go through, but then you’ll have to start it all over), and a lot of other tips and tricks. Some people were driving a couple of hours to the less populated areas because there were more openings.

Since I wasn’t in any of the groups that officially were allowed to get vaccinated, I wasn’t paying too much attention to everything that was going on. In addition, I really dislike injections of any type, and for most of my life tried to stay away from them. But as the time progressed, more and more people whom I know were reporting “mission complete,” and at some point, it felt like we were the last ones who didn’t figure out a way to get it (if not to count a couple of friends who do not plan to do that at all). Being extremely law-abiding, neither I nor my vSO wanted to play the system. After all, we both work from home, we don’t need to be anywhere, so an extra couple of months wouldn’t change much.

But once there were no more formal limitations to my eligibility, I decided to do it. I had my first shot last Saturday. I didn’t care which vaccine to get. I got Moderna. So, I’ll need to get the second shot in 4 weeks after the first one. It took about an hour from the moment I arrived until the time I left (not counting a 2-3-minutes procedure and 15 minutes I needed to stay in after the shot to make sure I didn’t have a reaction, the rest was standing in line), but still, I was impressed by the way the everything was organized. Until then I didn’t realize the scale of what is happening.

I didn’t have any side effects from the vaccine, but I think the Universe is telling me that my usual attitude towards shots is the right one: the nurse who was administering the shot hit some blood vessel, so there was some unexpected blood (which wasn’t a problem, it stopped soon); but then my shoulder hurt for 4 nights (which also wasn’t a huge problem on its own); and because my movements were restricted during my sleep (I could sleep only on my back), my chronic back problems that were under control for the last 10 months came back. Both my shoulder and my back are better now (still have a large bruise at the place of injection though), and I will get that second shot, but I already have doubts about the “booster” in Fall everyone is talking about now.

Rusty Sleeping

Rusty has no issues sleeping in any pose

As to perfumes… I was a wuss: I feel so nervous about any medical procedures (and shots in particular) that I didn’t want to associate any of my perfumes with this event – so, I went commando perfume-wise (and very comfortably dressed otherwise). But once I got home, I sprayed L’Attesa all over – and it was heavenly (I even got an unsolicited compliment from my vSO, which doesn’t happen too often since because of the allergies he rarely can smell my regular 2-spray perfume applications). But for the next shot I also plan to save my perfume for after the unpleasant part is over.

 

What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?