Saturday Question: Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

It often comes up in perfume-related threads that we saw, smelled or tried something at a duty-free shop in an airport. But does it ever go beyond testing?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #127:

Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

If yes, what were those? Was it a planned or spontaneous purchase?

A bonus question: is there anything else that you buy from those stores when you get a chance? Do you have any recommendations? Are there any countries/airports that have better duty-free shops than others?

My Answer

I don’t travel abroad too often, so the opportunities to shop duty-free are few and far between. I have never bought any perfume for myself, but once I bought two perfumes for my friend (not as a gift, he asked to buy it for his wife – it was something by Nina Ricci). And one time I asked a friend to buy me Chanel No 19 extrait in Heathrow on his way back from a business trip.

Speaking of Chanel. In my opinion, duty-free stores are the best place to buy Chanel perfumes – at least if you live in the US. The reason is simple: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chanel having a sale or participating in a store’s sale. And at a duty-free store, while being slightly less expensive than elsewhere, it’s guaranteed to be authentic, which is very important when it comes to buying this one of the mostly counterfeited brands.

Guerlain Chamade and Chanel No 19

How about you?

 

Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

Saturday Question: Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

I love figs. Usually, by now I would be getting fresh figs and eating them with goat cheese and wine or making flatbread with prosciutto and red onion (and eating it with wine). But for some reason this year we still haven’t had figs at the local farmers market. And those that I see at stores just do not look appealing enough for the price. Speaking of prices… It feels like everything suddenly got 20% – 25% more expensive. Very annoying.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #126:

Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

Do you have strong favorites? Does this note attract you in perfumes, repel or leave you indifferent?

Do you like eating figs?

My Answer

I don’t think I either like or dislike fig perfumes. I can wear them. But I wouldn’t be tempted much by reading about another fig perfume.

Many years ago I did a couple of posts for my Single Note Exploration series. My first favorite, Sonoma Scent Studio‘s Fig Tree, about which I wrote in the first post, is long gone, and I haven’t repurchased it. I have a couple of drops in my bottle of Jo Malone‘s Wild Fig & Cassis, but I don’t want to finish it because I cannot replenish it – stupid, I know: it will spoil eventually. How do I know? Because another perfume that I kind of liked, though I’ve bought it mostly for the bottle, Premier Figuier Extrême by L’Artisan Parfumeur has gone off. Well… Now I can keep it outside as a decorative object not risking it being spoiled by exposure to light.

The only fig perfume I still wear from time to time is Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations. Of course, it’s much more than just fig perfume, and I enjoy wearing it, especially in summer.

Rusty and L'Artisan Premier Figuier

How about you?

 

Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Howdy ULG-ers. Last month I was thinking about a friend of mine quite a lot. We hadn’t seen each other in real life for well over a year. So, I do what we do when the call comes, I got in touch. We set a date to get together. Originally she was coming out to our place but then the worlds went sideways and I had a plethora of things fit very tight around our get together and all of it in town or on the North Shore. Fortunately we were able to meet at her near city pad in Bondi Junction. For most of you this is just gibberish, I know, hopefully some of you have been to Sydney and this paints a picture.

This meet up happened two days before I tested Covid positive but fortunately no one got it that I saw. PHEW!

Also, you may remember Sonya as Chairman Meow on APJ.

Afternoon Tea Sniff with Sonya

Catching up was wonderful. There was SO MUCH news and new information. We chattered non stop and each topic led to another. Sonya had bought some home made cannoli from a woman with a cart in a nearby mall. I’m sorry New York City but your perfect cannolis have been surpassed, by a country mile.

We also had some sniffing to do. Sonya’s cabinet had some unopened vintage beauties that she wanted to share the moment with. As well as some vintage pick ups that neither of us had smelled. First though she wanted to share first sniff moments on the Les Indemodables sample pack.

There are some nice things in Les Indemodables. They are perfectly fine. I’m not sure if I’m jaded or if this line is too introverted for my taste but even the very interesting couple were a bit shy. Maybe I’m not their target market.

These vintages were Brand New In Cellophane. Lancôme Magie, Dioressence and Balenciaga Quadrille. We also had opened vintage bottles of Faberge Babe and Pucci Vivara. Some less vintage L’Artisan Vanille Absolumont to test against the Les Indemodables Orient and Parle Moi de Parfum Milky Musk 39 for no reason but to try.

The modern perfumes were so nothing by comparison to the oldies. These perfumes have character, feel inspired and richer in texture. Why have we even bothered to make new perfumes?

Catch up, cannoli and vintage perfume opening ceremonies! What a perfect couple of hours. Sonya walked me to the station, big hugs, obligatory selfie and I was off towards my next adventure.

We have another date booked this weekend with a crew. Happy days.

Do you ever get together with perfume peeps?
Portia xx

 

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Summer is a perfect “salad season”: all herbs and leaves are “in season,” all vegetables are local, and some of them are quite tasty. But what about herbs in our perfumes?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #125:

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Do you have one? Do you own any perfumes with that note?

My Answer

I’m more of a floral gal, but I can think at least of one herbal scent that I like in perfumes – mint.

Mint is quite a mundane scent, widely used in teas, chocolate, chewing gum and beauty products. And still I find it appealing in perfumes.

Annick Goutal‘s Nuit Etoilee is probably the only full bottle of perfume that has mint as a prominent note. But there are several more that I wouldn’t mind owning. One day.

Rusty and Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee

How about you?.

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Saturday Question: What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?

Setting aside the significance of this aspect for other areas of life, I am quite confident that many of us consider a large size of a perfume bottle to be a rather negative characteristic. But we do not always have a choice. Or maybe we find a perfume that we’d like to bathe in. Whatever the reason is, we end up with bottles of different volumes.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #124:

What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?

Is it the only one, or do you have several of the same sizes? Was it a conscious choice? How full is the bottle now?

My Answer

I do not like large bottles. 15-30 ml is my favorite size. But since I prefer manufacturer bottles to decants, sometimes I have to buy a larger bottle than I want (let alone need).

I consulted my database and discovered that, to my surprise, in my collection, I have only 8 bottles of 100 ml or larger. With the largest two at 4.2 oz/120 ml, both from DiorMitzah and New Look 1947. I bought both in this size because it was the smallest available. I still have more than half in each bottle, I think. And I still like both.

Louis Vuitton Factice Bottles

How about you?.

What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Hey ULG Crew, Miller et Bertaux are a couple of art dudes who ventured into fragrance 2006 with a strange set of three scents. #1 (For You) Parfum Trouvé, #2 Spiritus / Land and #3 Green, Green, Green and… Green. Originally intended as a mix and match trio, same base with different top & heart to be worn separately or together. I’m not sure how prevalent layering was at the time because up to that point all my information about perfume was coming from magazines and SAs. The scentbloggosphere and the online life of perfumistas didn’t come till a couple of years after here.

Anyway, at some point I came across the brand and was instantly smitten. My first purchase was around 2012 A Quiet Morning (2008) and it still makes my heart beat faster. Now I think there are 10 or more of their fragrances in my collection but three get more wear than any others. They stay out on my wardrobe perfume grab tray perennially and often get the spritz. Having worn two of them this week I thought maybe we could chat about them.

Hopefully some of you know the brand and can tell me your faves, likes, hates in the comments. Chatting with you all makes me happy.

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

Miller et Bertaux. Do You?

A Quiet Morning (2008)

Dry and scratchy spiced saffron and woods. It’s supposed to have rice in it too but I can’t smell it at all. This is about as zen as a fragrance can get while still being a rocking great beauty.

Indian Study/ Santal +++ (2017)

A dry sandalwood, bone dry. Yet it still manages to feel creamy. Yeah, I don’t know how they do it either. It also has some of the harshness on open that I attribute to the Australian Sandalwood.

Pimiento +++ (2020)

You’re dreaming. In that dream you are cutting chillies and bell peppers. The juice is all over your fingers. When you lift your hand to your face in your dream, this is the fantasy your mind smells.

 

So, do you have any, or have you smelled some, of the Miller et Bertaux line?

Portia xx

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Masculine Perfume?

Just to avoid going through the argument that any perfume is for anyone, and there are no rules about who can wear what, I’ll do this disclaimer: I’m talking about the style of perfume that traditionally is considered masculine where you live.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #123:

What Is Your Favorite Masculine Perfume?

Do you like wearing it or smelling it on someone else?

Bonus: even though usually I’m trying to limit your answers with the requested one, three, five or ten (based on the topic), and usually you “go overboard” with your choices, today I give you a carte blanche to name any number of “runner ups” in addition to the top one.

My Answer

I thought of this question while reading several people’s comments to the last week’s question about the best-known perfumes for the brands that I suggested. I was surprised by the fact that I wasn’t even thinking about masculine perfumes while coming up with my answers. And after they brought it up, I agreed that this perfume was, in my opinion, even better-known than the one I thought of. But the main reason why it surprised me that much was that it was actually one of if not just the most favorite masculine perfumes for me.

Hermes Terre d’Hermes. I love this perfume on my vSO. Had I known years ago that brands reformulate their perfumes without changing names or packaging, I would have bought several bottles of the original one. But even the latest one that I tried was still quite nice. I don’t wear it myself: I always thought about it as his perfume.

Other masculine perfumes that I like a lot but do not wear are Tom Ford Moss Breches and Gucci Rush Men – both sadly discontinued.

The picture of Rusty has nothing to do with masculine perfumes, but I decided that it was a while since I posted any of his photos on my blog (and not all of my readers follow me on Instagram… where I do not post that often either).

Rusty July 2022

How about you?

 

What Is Your Favorite Masculine Perfume?

Saturday Question: What Is the Best-Known Perfume for Each of These Brands?

I know it’s almost Sunday Question, but let’s do it anyway. There are several brands with which the answer to this question would probably come out immediately. Chanel? Of course, No 5. Guerlain? Definitely Shalimar! Creed? Well, you know, right? But let’s try to extend the game to five more popular brands.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #122:

What Is the Best-Known Perfume for Each of These Brands?

Name one the best-known/first coming to mind perfume for each of the following brands: Hermes, Amouage, Ormonde Jayne, Dior and Histoires de Parfums. It’s not a question of which perfume from these brands you like the most, but rather which perfume you think is the most known (among perfumistas or in general – however you prefer to read this question).

A twist on the SQ: name one more brand for which you’d like to ask the same question – and see what others come up with.

My Answer

You should think about your answer before reading either my or anyone else’s choices. I didn’t think of the answers until now (I just improvised on the set of brands for this question) – so, I’ll be in the same position you are now. So, let me try…

Hermes Kelly Caleche. Don’t know why – not only it’s not my favorite perfume, I don’t even like it. But this is what came to mind.

Amouage Gold (woman). Love this one, though it’s not my most favorite Amouage.

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman. I have at least 5 other perfumes from this brand that I like more than this one, but still it seems like the best-known perfume created by the brand.

Dior Miss Dior. I’m sure that if it hadn’t been for the controversy of Dior’s taking the name of my favorite classic perfume and lending it to the modern imposter, I would have named another perfume (I won’t – not to interfere with your choices). But because I can’t forgive Dior this betrayal, this is the first name on my mind whenever I hear “Dior.”

Histoires de Parfums 1740. I tried this perfume, and I do not like it. But I find it hilarious that now so many people know the year when Marquis de Sade was born. Do you know the year of birth for Winston Churchill? How about Shakespeare or Mother Theresa? I didn’t. I wasn’t even sure about the decade for each of them. But Marquis de Sade…

 

Now it’s your turn.

 

What Is the Best-Known Perfume for Each of These Brands?

CHANEL Les Eaux De Chanel

CHANEL Les Eaux De Chanel

Hiya ULG crew, Time got away from me this week. I had even gone and purchased the newest Eaux, Paris – Paris, so we could chat about it. Yesterday got hijacked by Jin though and a whole bunch of stuff didn’t get done. This is not a complaint. Jin did overnight overtime both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. That’s two EXTRA 12 hour shifts for the week. Basically he worked 7 days straight. He got an ADO on Monday, yesterday. So though we had seen glimpses of each other over the weekend it wasn’t real time. Given yesterday we took it and did stuff together. We went to the Dr, had some bloodwork done, checked a problem and fixed it temporarily at the new investment apartment, did some shopping, cut up a slew of veggies and cooked pork and then sat companionably together producing and eating Vietnamese Rolls while watching TV. Then when he hit the hay I wrote my TRIVIA Q&A for the week and after finishing was completely bushed.

Though all this happened yesterday. It meant today I had to do the apartment cleaning and other stuff usually done on a Monday. Fortunately it’s raining so hard laundry is out of the question. Hopefully there will be some sunshine later in the week for that.

Here we are. I’m not going to lie. There’s a window of about 20 minutes before i have to start putting my make up on for work tonight. Instead of writing about Paris – Paris today I offer you this picture.

Are you wearing Les Eaux De Chanel if you are in the Northern Hemisphere? Did you even try them?

My take is that the bottles are gorgeous, the fragrances beautiful (if fleeting) and the whole concept is kept extremely affordable for a luxury/aspirational brand. It’s still not cheap but coming from CHANEL I was pleasantly surprised at the price point.

Have Les Eaux De Chanel made their way into your heart or collection?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?

My loyal readers have probably got used by now to my not that straightforward chain of associations when it comes to Saturday Question topics. But today’s one is especially “twice removed.” I’ll explain in My Answer. Though, each of you should feel free to respond directly to the question without going into the intricacies of my train of thought.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #121:

Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?

When we’re young, we often pick up something from our older relatives, siblings or friends. Years later, we either stick to those advices, just forget them or realize that those were not really the gospel they seemed back then.

Do you remember any of those? Do you still follow any? Or, the opposite, have you got disillusioned in some of them?

My Answer

I promised, it wasn’t that straightforward.

Yesterday I watched one of the most hilarious videos from Lisa Eldridge. I’m sure that most of you knows who she is, but unless you follow her closely or visit your YouTube subscriptions regularly, you could have missed this – and you shouldn’t! It is an extremely funny GRWM-type of video, but instead of chatting with the viewers herself, Lisa was following audio instructions from a legendary Hollywood makeup artist from 50s-60s of the previous century. I hope you’ll watch and enjoy it as much as I did.

Since I’m neither an MUA nor mekup history buff, I was, let’s put it this way, slightly less impressed by the guy himself then commenters on the video page and thought that he was a pompous dick (pardon my French), despite Lisa’s attempt at the preemptive PC spiel. And still, thanks to Lisa’s talent, the video is worth watching. A week ago I would have said that, not the least to appreciate how far we came from the time when old and [self-]important men were telling us what we should or should not do with our lipsticks and eye shadows. Today the freedom to match my lipstick to my nail polish somehow suddenly feels less significant. But I digress.

As I watched that video, I was surprised by how many of the beauty advices got through the continents and, what is even more impressive, the “iron curtain” and were passed onto me by my mother.

I won’t list all of them not to spoil your viewing, but I’ll mention one that I tend to follow decades later: Do not apply mascara to your lower eyelashes.

The reasoning for this advise was that it would make my eyes look smaller. I do not know if that is even true. But even if it is, those who know me or saw my mom’s pictures would probably agree that this should be the last of the beauty-related worries for either of us. And I think that later in her life my mother had changed her opinion and was applying mascara to her lower lashes. And yet… Not that I wear mascara too often in general. But when I do, by my estimate, my lower eyelashes stay bare 9 out of 10 times.

 

How about you?

 

Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?