Saturday Question: Which LE Perfume Would You Want Re-released?

This question is inspired by my story about the recent Diptyque‘s limited edition perfume Ilio that got sold out seemingly within weeks after its release.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #74:

Which LE Perfume Would You Want Re-released?

We are talking not about discontinued perfumes that we loved or former beauties reformulated beyond recognition. The question is about the true Limited Editions that companies released at some point, sold out and never brought back.

If you could tell to one brand which one of their LE perfumes you wish they would bring back for this year’s holiday season, what would it be? Just one! (As a suggestion: if someone has already named one of your “candidates,” respond to their comment in support. That would allow you to name your own choice in your comment – and see if others would support it).

My Answer

When I came up with this question, the answer immediately popped up in my mind. But since I have a luxury of a home-grown database of all perfumes I own or had a sample of at some point, I decided to be thorough. As I looked through all the LEs (I have them marked), I realized that in the last 15 years I didn’t come by too many limited edition perfumes, and out of those several that I tried, liked and bought, my initial idea was still the best choice for me. And I couldn’t think of any such perfume that I liked but missed before it was gone.

So, even though I still have some of this perfume left, I would like Jo Malone to bring back Sweet Milk from their their 2001 LE Tea Collection.

Sweet Milk by Jo Malone

Which LE Perfume Would You Want Re-released?

Mediterranean Mirage

It wasn’t even a real vacation: this year my vSO’s birthday fell on a weekday, and since we weren’t traveling this time, we decided to take a day off. In the new reality of working from home, unless we physically leave the house, it usually results in both of us taking a quick peek at work emails… and 3-4 hours later telling ourselves and each other that it’s not the right way to spend a day off. To avoid even a temptation, we decided to spend some time at Santana Row (“Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living, and more.”) and even invented a goal of that visit: to actually see and touch a travel backpack that we were going to buy as a present for my vSO.

I say “invented” because we could have easily gotten it delivered to our place with a free delivery and return. But it felt like a special treat – going to a regular (not a grocery) store, touching things and choosing them not by magnifying each of the 1.5 (on average) available pictures and reading a dozen of reviews of the “I give it 3 stars because I thought it would be bigger” (despite clearly provided dimensions)-type. Not that I haven’t done all that before going to the store…

The mission was a complete success: the backpack was exactly as we imagined it based on pictures online and carefully measured our old one. It will perfectly fit two work laptops that we always bring with us to our vacation trips (those emails won’t read themselves, you know).

Tumi Backpack

Inspired by that, we decided to visit a recently built luxury wing of the mall. I’m not sure whether it happened before the COVID, or if they used that year to complete the project, but we haven’t been to that mall in a while, so both versions are plausible. My main goal was to see if there were any new perfumes to try at any of the shops that carry brands that I might be interested in.

Macy’s, through which we went to get inside the mall, smelled just awful of the cheap synthetic men colognes. It was disgusting, and we hurried to leave the area. I don’t remember when the last time was I stopped at any Macy’s cosmetics counter: for many years they’ve been so stingy with samples that I just stopped buying anything there. In general, I’m sad, but I think that Macy’s is on its way out: inside the stores, it feels like it was in Mervyn’s first and then Sear’s before they finally succumbed to inevitable. Oh well…

Nordstrom was slightly better, but there wasn’t a single new perfume to test. And then looking through the Directory I found a stand-alone Diptyque boutique, which hasn’t been in this mall when I was there last time. I remembered that there was a new Diptyque perfume that for some reason I couldn’t find at Diptyque counters in department stores.

I marched into that boutique and, instead of my regular “just browsing,” immediately inquired about “the latest one” (for the life of me I couldn’t remember the name, but even if I could, I wouldn’t be sure how to pronounce it). “Oh, yeah – Ilio,” replied a cheerful SA, “It is sold out.” I didn’t expect that, but since I wasn’t there to buy it, I was insistent, and he acknowledged that they still have a tester for it (but no samples, of course). Since that was all I wanted, I lavishly sprayed Ilio on my wrist, and we went to check out a new seafood restaurant.

As we were waiting for the order (the food was good, but the service was unexpectedly slow… though, I haven’t been to a restaurant in a long while, so maybe it’s a new normal?), I kept sniffing my wrist. It was quite nice. With the international perfumistas’ gesture, I shoved my wrist under my vSO’s nose and demanded to know what he thought. As usual, he thought it was “nice.” I authoritatively explained that it was a nice mimosa scent…

When I got home and checked both Fragrantica and the brand’s site, I discovered that there was no mimosa among the Ilio notes: prickly pear, bergamot, jasmine and iris. I can’t say that I was too surprised: as I keep repeating, I don’t think my nose is that well trained, I rarely smell notes announced in perfumes (and now clearly smell some that aren’t). According to Diptyque site:

Ilio is a tribute to this Mediterranean land bathed in light and fragrance.

And then I went to read Lucas’s (Chemist in the Bottle) review, and you can imagine my surprise when I read that he also thought that Ilio smelled of mimosa! We both saw (well, smelled) something that wasn’t there.

As I was investigating that mirage mimosa note happening, I discovered that Ilio was sold out almost everywhere. Of course, I wanted it!

Diptyque Ilio

If you are curious and haven’t read yet, for the review go to the link I provided above. But this perfume is almost impossible to buy now. And, to tell you the truth, it is not really worth it. It is pleasant. It is nice. It is not something that I would expect released as a celebratory perfume for the 60th anniversary of the brand. It is not something that you are missing out on. But if you feel like you are, you could get it on eBay for $200+.

On a separate note. What is with all these brands that for their anniversaries release super-limited editions in quantities that are being sold out within days (if not hours) from the release?! Did they actually not expect to sell them easily, so they decided to do just a gesture? Or do they try to condition consumers to be prepared to buy future releases without thinking much? I can’t imagine that they tried to create a business opportunity for all those eBay sellers who ask a double price for all sold-out special items?

 

Images: my own

Sunday Self-care, Episode 5: Not that Ordinary Skincare

For many years my skincare routine was quite simple. In the morning, it was a face cleanser and a tinted moisturizer with some sunscreen properties. And in the evening, the same face cleanser was used again (a single cleanse since I didn’t use too much makeup) and a simple moisturizer. Sometimes I would use a random serum sample from a GWP (though, it was just a handful of otherwise trusted brands, such as Shiseido, Dior or Estee Lauder). The most exotic item in my day-to-day skincare was a softener from Shiseido (I’m not sure why; I think I just liked the scent and the feeling on my skin).

I kept telling myself that I would start doing more once I get older… But I kept postponing it, mostly because without a good understanding of what was supposed to be used with what, in what sequence and, what was the most important, for what purpose, it felt like a big fraud and attempt to get me to pay money for something I didn’t need.

Many skincare brands’ websites have some type of a step-by-step wizard that after asking you about your skin type and age group moves onto your skin concerns. Until very recently, reading those questions, I couldn’t figure out what to choose since nothing offered as an option seemed like a serious enough concern for me to do a targeted intervention.

Today, looking back, I suspect that the may reason for my attitude was that, despite my lifelong struggle with mild acne, my skin was in relatively good shape. My skin was never dry, and it isn’t that oily either any more. Signs of aging? Sure, but who of age 25+ doesn’t have those? Uneven skin tone? Of course! All my life I had freckles that I didn’t really like but kept under control with the year-round SPF and a tinted moisturizer. Acne is a different story, but I’ll do a separate post on it later in this series. All-in-all, I was reasonably happy with what I saw in the mirror.

And then I didn’t. First, I started noticing some dryness under my eyes. Then I suddenly realized that some areas of my face have visible pores. Then, as I described in the Fun out of the Sun episode of this series, I discovered that my skin tone got much more uneven than I ever remembered it to be. All that didn’t happen in one day (or even month), but at some point I started thinking about trying to counteract at least some of these effects.

My “gateway drug” into the new skincare reality was a Glass Skin Discovery Kit from Peach & Lily. I can’t remember how I discovered it, or why suddenly it spoke to me. But the idea of having a full set – a four-step skincare routine – suddenly felt very attractive. I bought the set and then even before I finished it, I got full-size products.

Has my skin gotten even a step closer to the mythical “glass skin”? I don’t know, probably not. But I like using this brand, so I keep it in the rotation.

Peach and Lily Skincare

And then I discovered The Ordinary. Of course, I heard about it at least several years earlier, it has been raved about even in perfume blogs and was considered as some type of a skincare revolution. Since back then I didn’t have any concerns they promised to help with, I wasn’t interested. But once I became interested, I wanted to try EVERYTHING.

I read through pages and pages of blog posts and articles, viewed numerous videos and went through the Regimen Builder of the brand’s site. I couldn’t figure out what I needed. I combined multiple recommendations and bought my first batch of The Ordinary products 8-9 months ago.

The Ordinary Skincare

After it arrived, I started panicking: I had no idea what could be combined with what either inside the set that I bought or between The Ordinary and all other products that I had. For the first time in my life, I had products that among the recommendation for use had instructions “do not use with other XXX.” It was scary because I wasn’t sure whether what I shouldn’t have combined with these new ones was in the products I already had: it’s not even enough to read labels since those tell you the specific ingredients’ names but not their generic/group name. So, I didn’t use any of them for a couple of months waiting until I would figure that out. Slowly I built some understanding of how products of the set that I got could be combined, but I still wasn’t sure what other products could be used together with them.

After approximately 6 months of using The Ordinary products, I can tell with a conviction that their Caffeine Solution works: it does reduce an under-eye puffiness within minutes. Everything else? I can’t say one way or the other: I don’t see any drastic improvements, but I’m not sure what I could expect after a half-year use. What I do know is that I do not enjoy that DIY lab-style skincare where I need to work hard on figuring out the allowed combinations.

I’m not sure that I or my wallet are ready to switch to Sisley or La Mer (while I still have doubts in my mind as to how much the topical solutions can do), but I think that my next stop will be brands that do at least some work of combining ingredients into something that resembles a finished product. I have many higher-end skincare samples from my recent epic GWP haul, so I plan to go through them figuring out if I want to give any of those brands a try. What I mean is, I know that it’s impossible to get any real results from a trial version of the active product. But since I have my doubts as to the effectiveness of any products, at least I can try to choose those that I enjoy using.

 

How do you build your skincare regimen? Do you have a good understanding of the ingredients that the products you use have? Or do you rely upon someone’s recommendations? Or do you not care?

 

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

If you’ve been in this game for at least 7-8 years, you probably still remember times when everyone was talking about a new release from L’Artisan Parfumeur, Serge Lutens‘ releases were expected with growing anxiety, and the next Le Labo‘s City Exclusives would cause growling amongst anxious perfumistas who couldn’t figure out how to get a hold of it. Several more names were in the same camp back then: Frederic Malle, Amouage, Parfum d’Empire and Parfums De Nicolai. But what about now?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #73:

What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

It’s not a question of which perfume brands you like and still follow, but rather which brands you think are still more popular than the rest among people who consider themselves perfumistas? What names do you hear more often than others? What do you attribute it to?

My Answer

With the avalanche of new brands and releases from both new and established brands, as well as the decline of the popularity of the written word in the last years, it seems like perfumistas’ interests are scattered all over. As I watch NST’s split meets, I see that people are mostly splitting old favorites – Chanel, Guerlain, Hermes and, yes, Serge Lutens. But I see much less newer brands. And in the daily SOTD threads whenever anybody mentions new perfumes or lines, those comments don’t collect too many reactions.

I tried to think on the answer to my question. If not to count big names that are talked about more not in the last place because of their accessibility: it is much easier to get to try new perfumes by Chanel, Tom Ford, Diptyque, Jo Malone or even By Kilian than by any of the smaller niche brands.

But if I had to name at least one smaller niche brand that still gathers a lot of interest, I’d say that it is Zoologist Perfumes. Personally, I do not like this brand: I don’t like the name of the brand and perfumes; I don’t like the packaging; I hated one perfume from it that I tried on skin, and I was indifferent to several more that I sniffed at a store. But whenever a new one is released, I see others discussing it and getting samples to try. I think that, in addition to making perfumes that people like, this brand doesn’t charge the super-luxury level prices, and they have samples and travel sprays.

I can think of a couple more brands, but I’ll leave them to you to name.

 

What Perfume Brands Are Popular Now?

French Grey by Elizabeth and James

French Grey by Elizabeth and James

Hey All. Portia here and I think it’s time we look at something a little bit lavender. It seems to have had a resurgence in the last few years but it never went away. Just got hidden and had to play some bit parts and sing chorus. French Grey by Elizabeth & James is a 2017 release created by Nicole Mancini Issaq and Linda Song! Love seeing two women names signing off. They have both been a part of some other perfumes but the only glam gig is Linda Song for Fougere Platine by Tom Ford.

I grabbed this baby for almost nothing on FragranceNet (not affiliated but love to give you all a bargain tip)

French Grey by Elizabeth and James

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Lavender, Neroli, Musk

If you’re thinking summer, elegant, relaxed, cool, unruffled and slightly different then French Grey could be that thing you’ve been looking for but didn’t know it. They are calling it a fresh floral scent. While that kinda works it doesn’t tell the whole story. Yes, lavender is floral but it’s also quite herbal and the oil comes from the plant much more than the flowers.

French Grey smells to me like they have some green steering herbs and spices like basil or cardamom, or maybe even some violet leaves. Also, I smell some common base note that heads fresh white woods and some resins. All these hints and maybes play around the central pillar of sugared lavender lollies with a soft white floral undertow.

If you like Lolita Lempicka EdP but wish it was a little less playful and a lot more sophisticated then French Grey might be exactly your jam OR if CHANEL Boy is too expensive French Grey could be a fabulous substitution.

100% unisex, projection is moderate but trails off to low in the first hour, longevity is average. The bottle is fabulous, I love the way they have made an interesting yes oh-so-simple renovation to a historic look. VERY cool.

Would you French Grey?
Portia xx

Second Sunday Sample: Serge Lutens La Dompteuse Encagée

Let’s talk about the weather for a moment. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, what was the highest temperature in the area where you live this summer so far? (Please mention where you are – at least a country, city or area, if you feel comfortable doing so – for those who don’t know you.) How do you cope? And for my readers from Down Under, what was the coldest so far?

In the SF Bay Area where I live, we had a day or two really hot in June (I did a screenshot of the Weather app with 36C/97F on June 17), but other than that our weather was surprisingly nice all that time while I heard and read horror stories from all over the world.

But my vSO and I managed to choose the hottest days to visit a wine country this week. Given, we were limited by dates for which we planned that trip since we did it as a part of celebrating our anniversary, we had to book everything in advance, including the most important part – feeding Rusty in our absence. So, once it became clear it’ll be extremely hot in our destination spot, we discussed whether we should cancel but decided not to.

Two days that we spent in Sonoma wine country, it got to 37C/99F at the peak. Wine tasting in these circumstances was a tricky proposition. But since everything these days must be planned well in advance (and is mostly not refundable), we tried to make the best of the trip (I plan to do a separate post about it soon).

LaRue Winery

And since we were going to the almost tropical environment, I decided it was a great opportunity to test new Serge Lutens La Dompteuse Encagée, which after the initial test at home seemed like a perfect tropical scent.

Since I missed several years of Serge Lutens’ new releases, and after Barney’s demise there are no more B&M places around here where I’d be able to test the brand, recently I got some samples from the Surrender to Chance. I was going back and forth choosing perfumes and sizes (for most of my samples I go for 0.5 ml – 1 ml), and somehow I ended up with two 1 ml samples of La Dompteuse Encagee. I was surprised but then thought that since it’s a new 2021 release, I’d test and review one sample and pass onto somebody else the second one. Nope. Somebody won’t be getting it: for testing on the road, I decided to pour both into a spray vial.

Serge Lutens La Dompteuse Encagee

Serge Lutens’ ad copy is cryptic, as always, so I don’t want to spend time even trying to make any sense of it. When it comes to providing any specific information on the composition, they are also not being too generous. But I find it entertaining how being given just three notes – frangipani, Ylang Ylang and almond – most reviewers dance around them not daring to speculate on other notes. Too bad Kafka isn’t reviewing perfumes any longer: this is one of the cases where I’d be extremely curious to know what she smells here. Me? I’m sure that this perfume contains more ingredients than the mentioned three. But since I rarely recognize notes even when they are listed, I’ll do what I always do – impressions and comparisons.

As a rule, I don’t like the almond note in perfumery, so I’m very pleased that I do not smell it in La Dompteuse Encagee. When I applied it for the first time, not expecting to like or be interested, it immediately reminded me of something else – not an identical aroma but rather the mood… After searching my mental perfume library, I realized that it reminded me of Annick Goutal Songes. Interestingly, Songes’ notes include frangipani and Ylang Ylang as well (also jasmine, tiare and vanilla). I tried La Dompteuse Encagee and Songes side by side, and I think I was right: they don’t smell similar, but for me, they evoke the same summer vibe. I rarely think of perfumes in colors, but both these are yellow in my palette (even though they both are predominantly white flowers). Speaking of white flowers, both in Songes and La Dompteuse Encagee I imagine smelling tuberose (which isn’t listed in either) and jasmine (not given for the latter perfume’s pyramid).

La Dompteuse Encagee is one of the florals in the Serge Lutens’ line (so, no stewed fruits), but unlike most other florals that I like – De Profundis, Vitriol d’oeillet or Iris Silver MistLa Dompteuse Encagee is not solemn and austere but very bright and radiant. I liked it much more than I expected. I don’t even mind the name, whatever Mr. Lutens meant (online consensus has it translated as a “Caged Tamer” with the noun being feminine). My only complaint is that in hot weather it is more fleeting than I’d like it to be. But I still want a bottle (if/when I can get at least 20% off): I need to give it proper wear in a real tropical environment. I still hope to get there eventually.

Butterfly

Images: my own

Saturday Question: Do You Prefer Pure Parfum with a Stopper or Sprayer?

I know that in the recent years the definitions of different perfume concentrations got blurred, and it’s hard to know what concentration of oils we’re getting in the bottles of colognes, EdTs or EdPs, unless a brand makes a point of it in their ads and PR materials. But some fragrances are released as “Extrait [de parfum]” or “[Pure] pafum” – and my question is about those.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #72:

Do You Prefer Pure Parfum with a Stopper or Sprayer?

Do you have any extraits/parfums in your collection? Do they come with a stopper or in a spray bottle? Do you like it, or would you prefer it the other way around?

My Answer

I know several perfumes that come in spray bottles, even though they have the highest concentration. For example, Ormonde Jayne offers some of her perfumes in 40% and even 50% concentration, but as far as I know, those are sold with sprayers. It doesn’t sit well with me. Since I grew up with perfumes coming in small dab bottles, I think I still expect “real” parfum to be in a tiny (7-15 ml) bottle with a stopper that can be used to sparingly apply that precious substance. This is ironic because I do not feel good actually using those stoppers for the application: I’m afraid to deposit oils and other impurities from my skin into the bottle.

With my very first and extremely precious bottle of Lancome Climat, I had a special glass applicator that I stored in the bottle with alcohol and would dry before using it to dip into the bottle. With a couple of extrait bottles that I currently own I do use the stoppers but try to wipe them on the fabric of my clothes before replacing them in the bottle. I tried decanting them into a spray vial, but I don’t like how they feel applied this way. And it defeats the purpose of having a beautiful bottle.

But if I was given a choice, I would have still probably preferred extraits in old-fashioned small bottles – even though that is much less practical than sprayers: there is something very decadent and sensuous in applying perfume this way.

Rusty and Climat, Chamade and Chanel No19

Do You Prefer Pure Parfum with a Stopper or Sprayer?

Saturday Question: Are You Tempted by the Chanel Factory 5 Collection?

To mark the centennial anniversary of THE perfume, Chanel produced seventeen new N°5-scented bath and body products with black and white utilitarian packaging inspired by everyday objects – refill stand-up pouch, tea tin, water bottle, gouache tubes, paint can and so forth. All these are limited edition, some are available online, some in pop-up boutiques only, some are already sold out. Which brings us to today’s question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #71:

Are You Tempted by the Chanel Factory 5 Collection?

Have you bought any of the objects? Do you plan to? Are you tempted?

Bonus questions: Do you have N°5 in your collection already? Do you like it?

My Answer

For years I tried Chanel No 5 again and again hoping I would “grow up” to like it. I still don’t. I learned to appreciate it, and I even enjoy smelling it from others. But whenever I try it on my skin, I end up slightly disappointed that it keeps leaving me cold. I tried both modern and vintage versions, EdT and EdP, the original one and all the flankers. I kind of could wear No 5 L’Eau, but I do not love it.

Chanel No5

And still, I’m tempted by this extremely strange collection. Luckily for me, the item that I wanted the most – the tea tin – isn’t available online, and none of the designated boutiques that are supposed to carry this collection is around where I live (I was surprised that not all Chanel boutiques got it!). Paint can is also not available. So, I’m looking at the soap in a tin, but for a small tin $45 seems too much (I don’t really care for the soap, I’m attracted to the tin). From the practical side, shower gel is the best product for me: using in the shower the scent that I do not mind but do not wear as perfume is perfect (otherwise the scent gets to mundane, and I somehow value perfume less), and it is still available online. But for me a dish soap bottle is one of the least attractive objects in that collection.

And then I started thinking… Maybe I should buy a bottle of actual perfume? It’s a new redesigned and, if I understand it correctly, limited edition bottle. And maybe – just maybe, I have absolutely no knowledge that it is or even could be the case – since it’s a special and limited edition, they’ve used a better quality ingredients (it’s wishful thinking, I know). So, should I finally get No 5 or L’Eau into my collection?

Of course, if I keep thinking for two long, the decision will be made for me: I expect the collection to sell out soon. Will I regret missing this collection? I wish it was No 19 or Coco – I would have pounced already, on the first day of the release. But on the other hand, No 5 is such an iconic perfume…

 

Are You Tempted by the Chanel Factory 5 Collection?

 

Image: from the brand’s site

Le Galion Discovery Sets: Portia

Le Galion Discovery Sets: Portia

Hey All. Firstly, I need to tell you that Jin and I are good mates with the guys from Le Galion. Nicolas and his partner Enno are always on our MUST SEE list while in Paris and we had a blast with them down here in Sydney for Mardi Gras a few years ago too. We know how hard they work to make Le Galion as good as it can possibly be and build upon the foundations set by……. WAIT! Why don’t we have a little look at their history?

In 1930, Prince Murat, a descendant of Joachim Murat, brother in law of Napoleon 1st, and King of Naples, founded Le Galion Perfume House.
In 1935, Prince Murat sold his company to perfumer Paul Vacher, who was already famous within the industry at that time. (Aged just 25, he worked with Marcel Guerlain and then joined Lanvin. In 1927, he created Arpège with Andre Fraysse. Following this success, he decided to launch his own perfume house.)
In 1946, when Serge Heftler-Louiche and Christian Dior wanted to develop a fragrance for their fashion house, Paul Vacher created Miss Dior and in 1963 Diorling.
In 1980 Le Galion was sold to a US company and it collapsed.
2014 and Nicolas Chabot buys the name and original formulas. He then gets a dream team of perfumers to recreate the original fragrances as nearly as possible with modern ingredients. He also starts creating new fragrances for the brand with the same perfectly curated, poised, thoughtful and beautifully blended feeling of Le Galion of old.
2020, Le Galion celebrates 90 years with the release of nine fragrances.

OK, you’re all caught up.

Le Galion Discovery Sets

This is really exciting news. The boys have created three Discovery Sets that you can now buy from the Le Galion site and have shipped to the world. The cost is €35 + P&H for a box of 8 individually packed 2ml samples.
You also get a €25 discount voucher for your next purchase of a full size 100 ml bottle. I KNOW! Right.
It looks really shmick too.

OK, so here’s a look at the three Discovery Sets. You could buy all three for around €100 + P&H and only have three doubles to share with friends.

Latest Releases

Lily of the Valley, Bourrasque, Brumes, Champs de Mai, Tilleul, Tulipe, Jasmin and Chypre

Masculines

Spécial for Gentleman, Esquive, Sang Bleu, Aesthete, Tilleul, Cologne Nocturne, Whip and Cuir

The Icons

Sortilège, Brumes, Bourrasque, La Rose, Tubéreuse, Iris, Cologne and 222

If you are after super weird assed fragrance that makes children run and adults question their existence. If you only love super beast mode bro juice or are into the deep artisan indie scene then Le Galion is probably not going to suit. These fragrances are made for people who love the best, who are wanting to smell luxuriously poised. You won’t get an “Oh My God what is that?” but you will get a raised, perfectly couture eyebrow and a knowing smile. I feel like Le Galion is for people who don’t need to showboat but want to smell wonderful to themselves and those who are close enough to notice. Niche for the truly discerning wearer of scent.

You all know how I love to have several fragrances from a brand I love. In the collection currently I have bottles of Aesthete, Cologne Nocturne, Cuir, Sang Bleu, Sovereign, Tilleul, and Whip. Most of them I bought but the guys gave me a couple too. I’m on my second, paid retail for bottle of Aesthete because I was so excited about it that I sent samples to everyone. I wanted them all to fall as madly in love with it as I have. Still on my list to purchase are 222, Brumes and Sortilege.

Have you had the pleasure of spending some sniff time with Le Galion perfumes?
Portia xx

Sunday Self-care, Episode 4: Happy Feet

Sometimes I think that at some period of my life, which for some reason I cannot remember, I was a mermaid who traded her tail for a pair of feet. I talk about the original story, not the gentrified Disney’s version. But while I do not feel like I’m walking on sharp knives, most new shoes I wear hurt for at least the first week. It happens with any type of shoes – loafers, sandals, boots and even sneakers. Same goes for shoes that I haven’t worn in a while. So, I constantly fight with calluses, blisters or corns.

Over years, I found a couple of brands of shoes that usually work for me (or at least I break them in faster), but I wont bore you with the brands: shoes are too individual to make any recommendations. I discovered perfect socks for walking and then switched to them for daily use when clothes allow. The brand is Wrightsock, type Coolmesh II: these are double layer socks that prevent blisters. For example, these crew socks.

Wrightsock Coolmesh II

For sandals and other types of shoes that are worn without socks I use a trick suggested by a friend: to prevent blisters, as soon as I feel friction anywhere on my foot, I apply a solid antiperspirant. Theoretically, there are specialized anti-blister sticks, and I used those as well, but at some point, when a favorite of mine was discontinued, I tried what my friend suggested and was amazed how well that worked. And if to get a travel size 0.35-0.5 oz, it fits perfectly in a small purse. And it is cheaper than a designated product. I tried Dove, Secret and Native. Just make sure it’s solid and not a gel or a cream.

Travel Deodorants

Speaking of wearing sandals. Last year, I discovered two new (for me) products that became a part of my self-care rituals when it comes to making my feet happy: an Electric Foot Callus Remover and Cala Foot Masks. I won’t claim that my feet are “baby soft,” but the results are good. Besides, even without returning my heels to the newborn state, I can feel slight etching on my sandals’ insoles under my heels (remember – a mermaid), so taking off too much of a dead skin probably is not a good idea for me. But I like my feet better after I gently go over any dry or uneven surfaces with this tool. And every time I use this device (once a month or so), I finish the procedure with a moisturizing foot mask. I tried both shown on the picture below, but I prefer the Sea Salt mask because the rose one smells too artificial (but still works quite well).

Callus Remover and Foot Masks

Do you have any favorite products or tricks when it comes to taking care of your feet?

 

Images: Socks – from Amazon product page; deodorants – collage with manufacturer’s photos; the last one – my own.

 

Disclaimer: This post doesn’t contain any affiliated links. All recommendations based on products I purchased.