Pickles et al and the house of Jo Malone

This time for the guest post Pickles came with a company. (Undina)

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Hello, my human and fur friends! My cousins, Wedge Licorice and Squirrel Jolie, came for a visit, and I decided to introduce them both to the house of Jo Malone.

My nana tells me it is probably the most popular fragrance house in our humble abode. Each of her human children was gifted a full bottle when they turned eighteen (Peony & Blush Suede for the eldest, Ginger Biscuit for the middle one and Wood Sage & Sea Salt for the youngest). My great-grandma and great-grandpa love all the Jo Malone offerings as well. And I know for a fact that Undina does too.

Over the years the entire family has drained three 100 ml bottles, ten 30 ml bottles and probably forty or more of those 9 ml travel sprays. As you can see from the photos we still have plenty in all sizes in the house.

Do you have a favorite Jo Malone? If not, what is your favorite perfume house?

Until next time, furry kisses and hugs,

Pickles Bella
Wedge Licorice
Squirrel Jolie

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Hey ULG Crew, We created a personal long weekend with our mates Anna Maria and Johnny. Friday 7.25am flight to Launceston and Monday arrive around midday back in Sydney. We bought the flights for almost nothing months ago. It was our first time travelling as a foursome and only I had travelled with everyone before. I picked an old favourite hotel, The Grand Chancellor. It’s one of those 1990s built hotels with spacious rooms and lobby. Each room has two Queen sized beds and each couple had a room. The breakfast buffet is good and generous, without being brilliant, and we all had an excellent feed to start our days. Originally I had booked a small SUV but they gave us an upgrade to an enormous Nissan Outlander, it was like travelling in a lounge room.

Anna Maria and Johnny’s daughter Domenica was on the Australian MAFS 2022 series. They were interviewed a few times on the show and have become quite famous in their own right. They were recognised and had their pictures taken

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Our days were designed by meals. We all got to pick different food adventures.
Day one for lunch Jin wanted pies, a local sent us to Banjo’s Bakery and we went pie crazy. Delicious! Tasmania is famous for its Scallop Pies and all three of the others had one. After that Johnny wanted to get a shave by a barber so the rest of us went and had cocktails. Then we wandered the shopping district for a couple of hours, the stars getting papped left right and centre. Our hotel had $6 spirits for Happy Hour so we spent a leisurely hour or so drinking companionably. I’ll admit to getting a little tipsy. That night Johnny picked Kebabs for dinner. He’d seen a shop called King of Kebabs during the day and it stuck with him. It was such a strange choice but we sat instore and had the most wonderful Middle Eastern meals. We came back to the hotel, had a drink and watched the Australian Election unfold. Anna Maria, Jin and my team got up and won but Johnny’s crew were ushered out the door. He was devastated, we were quietly jubilant. OK, not so quietly. Yes, we are fully aware all politicians are lying pigs but at least the foundation of this new crew is Women, Climate and a Political Watch with teeth. They’ve been left a dogs breakfast financially and things will get austere here for at least a decade.

Day two we dropped into the Farmers Market across the road from the hotel. Again they were recognised and asked for photos, very bloody cool. I really wanted us to go out to the Lake District in the heart of Tasmania. I’d found The Great Lake Hotel and it sounded wonderful. Set right on one of the great lakes (much smaller than the US versions). This meant we also got to spend 1.5 hours in the car seeing Tasmanian scenery from urban, to farming and the hills and plateau. It was good. We had a table in the middle of the room, views of the lake and felt like we were in the action. Service was so friendly but slow as a wet week. Food was some of the best pub food I’ve had. Fortunately we had so much conversation and fun that the wait to be served and then for food to come sped by. On our way back we took a two hour detour to get the Best Vanilla Slice in the world from the bakery in Ross. It was well worth the drive. That slice was earth shatteringly delicious. Anna Maria chose Indian food for dinner. Neither Johnny nor she had ever had it. There was a restaurant called Pickled Evenings, #3 on Launceston Trip Advisor. We also had a couple of mates join us, Morag and Ward, so that lent an extra festive air to the evening. I kept the food choices very simple. Opened with Onion Bhajis and Potato Samosas. Mains were Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo (mild) and Goat Curry. It was a fine entree for them and only a little too spicy.

Day three we were up bright and early, busy day ahead. Today we were going to head north along the Tamar River. First stop was the Beaconsfield Mine, site of the 2006 cave in disaster and rescue. The Museum there is a wonderful memorial and there are some very eerie and saddening parts. Straight from there we went to Australia’s only Seahorse breeding centre and then next door to the Platypus and Echidna rescue. Both had excellent tours and we learned a lot. Lunch in a real, old fashioned riverside Fish & Chip restaurant chosen by Jin. Another thing Anna Maria and Johnny had never done was a wine tasting, so we found a popular Cellar Door nearby and the three of them had a wonderful hour while I watched and enjoyed it immensely. They were bloody hilarious and the hostess managed them brilliantly. Both couples have a case winging their way towards us as we speak. Being a Sunday night most of the restaurants were closed. We were going to introduce Anna Maria and Johnny to Vietnamese but the best close choice open was a very ra sha sha Chinese. Service, food, atmosphere and design were bloody wonderful. They were woefully understaffed due to C19 but still managed us, our food and the whole evening perfectly. We drank a couple of bottles of wine from our Cabbage Tree wine tasting that Jin had bought to celebrate our adventure.

Day four we had a leisurely breakfast and bumped out. The flight home had the best turbulence I’ve experienced in decades. It was a wild ride into Sydney and I loved every second. Poor Jin was a bit green by the time we got off though. Grabbed our bags, hugged everyone and holiday done. Jin and I spent the whole afternoon and night discussing what a perfect getaway and how much fun we had.

My Pics

Anna Maria’s Pics

Perfume

Wore Hermès Eau des Merveilles for the flight down. It’s salty, warm, mineral waft was perfectly understated and lasted till my nighttime change.

In the end I took these perfumes.
Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray: Wore this every evening on the trip. It was a perfect accompaniment to the dry chill night air. Spicy woods with a soft fruity sweetness, all mellowed by a vanilla patchouli. Beautiful. I thunked the decant, now desperately want a bottle.
BDK Bouquet de Hongrie: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque Rose de Mai: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’eau: Was supposed to bring this, thought it was stolen first morning by the cleaners. Thank goodness I didn’t kick up a fuss. It was here on my desk the whole time, hiding behind the Marveilles. BUMMER!
Guerlain Mademoiselle: When I first got this decant I was all meh. It has bloomed into a ridiculously beautiful marshmallow iris, so powdery and warm. I also get some roses in the heart that aren’t mentioned in the notes. Sadly it becomes a very soft wash in an hour and I can hardly smell it. Wore it on the last day and on the plane ride home. I won’t be buying another but absolutely loved it for this holiday.
Le Labo Neroli 31: First two days I wore so much of this and FINALLY thunked the decant. It’s nice but there are a million citrus type scents that smell better on me for much less money. It just does not live on my skin and I won’t be rebuying.

How ever did we fit so much into so little time? It was a really relaxing few days despite being jam packed and now I’m refreshed and ready for action.

Are you looking forward to a break? Has this given you some ideas? Where would you spend a few days nearby?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: How Many Perfumes Should A New Brand Release?

From the last week’s post:

TaraC: I am suspicious of lines like Derek Lam that launch a dozen scents at once with each one a different rainbow color. Definitely smacks of style over substance.

Undina: I’m suspicious of brands that launch a dozen of scents at once, whatever colors those are :)

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #115:

How Many Perfumes Should A New Brand Release?

Leaving aside that the market is still oversaturated with new brands and perfumes (no pun intended) , if a new brand were to appear, in your opinion, how many perfumes should they come out with and why?

One eponymous of the brand? Two, one feminine one masculine? Three? Five?

My Answer

I am a “serial” tester: if I am interested in a brand, I feel an urge to test all perfumes. So, often I feel overwhelmed by the number of perfumes by a brand (not necessarily a new one), so I skip it altogether. As an example of such brands: Montale and Mancera. I approached the former but gave up after 5 or 6 samples (I found a couple I didn’t mind wearing from a decant). And I decided that I wouldn’t know where to start with the latter, so other than a cursory sniffing at a store, I’m completely ignorant of their offerings.

Mancera Perfumes

That brings me to the answer to my own question: I would say 3 if I can try them at a store (without getting a sample, it’ll be hard to properly test more) or 4-5 if I need to order samples online (it feels wasteful to pay for shipping of just 2-3 samples). After that, if I didn’t like those that I tried, I might never go back to the brand.

How about you?

How Many Perfumes Should A New Brand Release?

Saturday Question: What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

This question was suggested by Portia. I thought about it more than once, but somehow it never formed into a Saturday Question.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #114:

What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

Just for the sake of this topic, let’s agree that we’ll qualify as “usual” a light to medium yellow[ish] hue of the juice.

How about red, dark brown, purple, green or blue? Are you attracted to perfumes with such colors? Does it affect how interested you are in perfume (before you test it)? Do you wear them differently?

My Answer

I’m attracted to not standard colors in perfumes. Light blue Mugler Angel and Lancome Mille et Une Roses. Red Anne Pliska and Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. Green Chanel No 19 EdT and Hiram Green Arbole. Purple SL Sarrasins and De Profundis.

Of course, I will not buy a perfume just for its color (not to confuse with the color of a bottle, which might influence me enough), but I will definitely pay more attention to such perfume. I know because I remember how I returned several times to retry one of the perfumes by Fueguia 1833Asagiri because of its beautiful emerald color. I wanted to like it. But in the end, the color wasn’t enough to persuade me to buy it.

Rainbow Perfumes

How about you?

What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

Hi there Looking Glass Crew, Fendi was one of my favourite brands way back in the heady days of my fashion course and short stint in the industry. They were doing extraordinary things with fur and leather. It was also the days of the beginning of the anti fur brigade. It took me a long time to realise exactly what they were against and join their legion. I did have a vintage black rabbit coat (not Fendi) in the 1990s that was given to me as I left for the UK, a hand me down from my friend Chelsea’s Mum. It got worn till it fell apart in my hands as I was putting it on. That was a very sad night, and I FROZE without it. So while I was browsing FragranceNet a while back and I saw a 7ml spritz Fan di Fendi pour Homme I pounced. Fendi no longer makes perfumes, the SA in our Sydney flagship store told me! So it might be my last chance to smell it.

I was also really happy with the tie in to Undina’s recent Travel Size Scent Semantics post.

Fan di Fendi pour Homme 2012

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Leather, Woody Notes, Cardamom, Pink Pepper, Citruses, Basil

Traditional male fragrance. Opens green herbal and woody with a pleasant lick of sweetness. Fan di Fendi pour Homme smells like something from the 1980s. It’s brawny masculinity is comfortable and a little sexy.

This is pretty much what the train suits used to smell of when I was at school. It was a lovely, cozy scent to greet me each morning. Over the top of the regular train smells and the few women in the carriage this woodsy, pine-is herbaceousness sailed over all.

Hardly any movement in the scent. It’s fairly linear after the first five minutes.

Fan di Fendi pour Homme

This is a happy, very masculine leaning fragrance but I really think women would smell better wearing it today. On a guy it would be nice, on a woman it would be surprising.

It’s quite large on open but not obnoxious. Longevity is extremely good. I can still smell wispy woodsy remnants over 24 hours later. The bottle looks like it would have been bloody gorgeous! I do love an inbuilt spritzer within the lid or body.

Do I wish I had a bottle? No. This mini will do me. It would be fun to wear it for a whole holiday and make that scent my memory of somewhere.

Do you like a traditional masculine?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

We all have our routines when it comes to social media interactions and information intake. Since I see many of you here and on some other platforms regularly, I assume you have several online places you visit repeatedly, either following the subscription prompt or just doing your rounds.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #113:

Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

Let’s not count heavy reasons, such as serious health issues or life-changing events. But in day-to-day life, do you from time to time stop reading blogs, checking Instagram, visiting FB groups – or however else you manifest your hobby? Why and how long do usually these breaks last?

My Answer

If not to count situations I suggested we shouldn’t count or rare occasions when I actually do not have access to the Internet, since I’ve started this blog, I’ve never been completely away from Perfumeland for any prolonged period. I do not feel the need to pause, be away or “change the subject,” so to speak.

But sometimes life just takes over, and I physically don’t have time or energy left to do everything I want, including publishing my posts or reading blogs from my reading list. But even in those days I usually manage to read a post or go through several screens of pictures on IG. It’s just a part of my day without which it won’t feel complete.

 

How about you?

Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

 

(I hope not all of my readers would suddenly decide to take a break – it would made for an awkward Saturday Question post)

Scent Semantics #7: BRILLIANCE

A couple of days behind the schedule (again), presenting the seventh episode of the collaboration of six bloggers: Portia (A Bottled Rose), Elena (The Plum Girl), Sheila (Alembicated Genie), Daisy (eau là là !), Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) and Undina (Undina’s Looking Glass). If some of the participating blogs are also running late, please keep checking (or even better – subscribe!): we all are trying not to skip the month.Scent Semantics Project Banner

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This month’s word is: BRILLIANCE

How difficult do you think it would be to persuade an average “civilian” consumer to buy a 50 ml bottle of perfume for $375 or even $195? With Chanel Chance at $90/50 ml and Dior J’adore at $112/50 ml (with 100 ml bottles for both being still under $200), I wouldn’t be too optimistic in my forecasts. And it seems even less probable for the younger generation who just recently graduated from BodyShop or Fresh perfumes.

And yet, they are buying those more expensive Heretic, By Killian and Tom Ford perfumes. Why? Because of the brilliance of the Sephora‘s Merchandising Department (or whatever it’s called there): they were the first who realized that first Millennials and now Generation Z customers, who prefer YouTube to blogs and Instagram and TikTok to YouTube, would rather spend $30-$75 on a 10 ml travel spray from a luxury brand than do research and commit to a larger bottle of perfume that would get a much better “per ml” ratio.

It is not a rant about a younger generation. I actually applaud Sephora for their input into proliferating interest in “used-to-be” niche perfumes in the masses. I know that these days all smart brands and retailers try to follow the suit, and finally, we started seeing more and more of what I for years called “perfumista-size” bottles. But no other single retailer has the same number of “travel” options as Sephora does. They didn’t focus on the sets of either the same perfume or a pre-selected combo (a complete waste of money – unless someone plans to split the set) or gift sets with both a full bottle and its mini travel companion (slightly more interesting if the mini size is added free to the full bottle price, and that full bottle can’t be bought somewhere else at a discounted price). Instead, they went directly to stocking up 200+ single travel bottles of 7.5-10 ml within a price range between $22 and $75. 

Even though I wasn’t their target audience, I benefited from that brilliant marketing plot: even knowing that the brand was leaving the US, I wouldn’t have bought a full bottle of this perfume. But with a cute 10 ml bottle for around $30 – how could I have resisted?

Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle

Iris Rebelle by Atelier Cologne, created in 2018, with the notes Calabrian bergamot, orange blossom, black pepper, iris, lavender, May rose, white musk, guaiac wood and patchouli, is a nice addition to my collection. It is perfect if I’m in the mood for a short-lived scent (pleasant, mind you!) that I can either discreetly reapply in approximately an hour from that pen-like bottle that fits any purse or replace it with another scent without risking them clashing.

I’m not sure if Iris Rebelle is still available anywhere (other than from discounters), but if you need more information, see the review from Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) that pushed me to try this perfume. But whatever you do, do not check Sephora’s  “Mini size” section for Fragrances: you might be blinded by the brilliance of the offered selection.

 

Image: my own

Saturday Question: Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

Continuing the last week’s topic of having enough perfumes. Several people have mentioned that they were giving away, donating or selling perfumes they didn’t love any longer. It got me wondering…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #112:

Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

I know, I know, you all are generous people who enjoy other people’s joy from getting your gifts, so let’s stipulate that. But have you ever given away, sold, swapped or thrown any perfumes that later you regretted? If yes, what was that, did you do anything to rectify it, and has it influenced your later decisions to part with perfumes from your collection?

My Answer

I do not easily part with anything I own. It goes not only for perfumes but almost everything. I got used to things and prefer to keep them until they fall apart, stop working or spoil. So, while I do not mind sharing portions of my perfumes, letting go of a bottle is almost impossible for me.

I remember once “lending” a mini bottle of Organza by Givenchy to a co-worker who liked it. She loved it, and I didn’t like perfume enough to wear, so we agreed that she would use it up and return a bottle to me since I really liked the bottle and wanted to keep it.

Well… She left the company long before I remembered about that bottle. And I regretted giving it away because I thought that the bottle was so great. Many years later, I bought another mini bottle. Just to have it in my collection. But now I started thinking about paring down my wardrobe and maybe even downsizing my perfume collection. Nothing crazy, but maybe I will be able to give up something that I do not use any longer… Maybe.

Rusty and Givenchy Organza

Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

Musette made me Jean Nate

Hey Crew, Do you ever read a blog post and suddenly your are pressing PayPal on your favourite online perfume store or discounter? Right, well not long ago over at Perfume Posse Musette waxed lyrical about Jean Nate. It’s always been her go to summer spritz after bathing but it had never been talked about so fulfillingly. Suddenly I had to know. So I bought a cheap 8oz after bath splash mist bottle off FragranceNet, seriously it cost about the price of a McDonalds burger. More recently Tom had a swoon over it too.

Jean Nate (now by Revlon) 1935

Musette made me Jean Nate

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon Bergamot Lavender
Heart: Geranium Spicy Notes Rose Jasmine Lily-of-the-Valley
Base: Musk Sandalwood Tonka Bean Virginia Cedar

So, after all this lead up, what does Jean Nate smell like?

A softly refreshing cologne. The spices and lavender give citrus a frosting of elegance. It’s nothing amazing or extraordinary but it is a pleasant, very short lived scent. I’m lucky to be able to smell it an hour later.

I’m not sure what note or accord it is but I get a definite smell of base humanity as an undercurrent. As if after showering you need to get those lived in, slightly feral aspects back onto your body ASAP.

As the northern hemisphere warms up it might be a good additive if your perfume wardrobe is without a bright, sparkling cologne. Much less zingy than 4711. Jean Nate is more sophisticated and deeper.

Have you tried Jean Nate or do you have memories of a wearer?
Portia xx

 

 

Saturday Question: Do You Want More Perfumes?

I’m not sure if this question sounds strange in a perfume blog but I’ll risk my perfumista card.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #111:

Do You Want More Perfumes?

I know that not all but many of my readers have been at this for years if not decades. We all accumulated more perfumes than we’ll be able to use up in our lifetime. And still we keep searching for the next Holy Grail perfume. Or do we?

Do you want more perfumes? Are you still buying or planning to buy any full bottles? Do you hope to find new perfume love without which you won’t feel your collection is complete? Or do you feel like you’ve smelled it all, and “there is no new thing under the sun”?

My Answer

I still love perfumes. But in the last couple of months I was so overwhelmed with life that even choosing perfume to wear on a daily basis became a chore. I want to wear my perfumes, but I just don’t have any energy left to choose the one that fits my day, my mood and weather. Too many choices. And it’s not even the case of “nothing to wear” but rather an internal indecisiveness: I’m sure that I have a perfect choice in my collection – I just don’t have time to figure out what it is. So, I end up either not choosing anything or making a choice that seems subpar. With all that, I feel that I don’t need any more choices.

But at the same time, I can’t stop getting new samples to test more and more perfumes. My success rate from testing perfumes is still very low, but I’m not sure if I get upset or feel glad that I don’t love the next one I sample. Because if I were to love it, I’d want to get it… and it would have become one more option to consider in the morning. So, why do I buy samples? I think it feels safer to test perfumes than wear them: since I know that I won’t like most of those that I try, I won’t be as disappointed as I would because of the “wrong choice” I made in my collection. And also because secretly I hope to find the next “it” – perfume that I would just need to have.

How about you?

Do You Want More Perfumes?