End of July, still no real summer for our area and I’m still not complaining. If I weren’t trying to give a fair rotation to my “summer” scents I could still easily wear most of my winter favorites. I’m still being really good with my New Year Resolution to wear the perfumes I own and love at least two times a week. I tend to do it even more often now since my “permanent collection” (full bottles or decants that I acquired by choice) grew significantly in the last seven months.
* Different perfumes worn/tested: 65 (+15) from 34 brands on 71 occasions;
* Favorite perfumes worn: 20 on 25 occasions (-5);
* Perfumes I tried for the first time: 36 (+21);
* Perfume house I wore most often: Chanel (as I was trying to figure out if I was happy with my unsniffed purchase of Chanel No. 19 Poudre or regretted it);
* Most popular notes (only from perfumes I chose to wear, not those that I tested for the first time): top – (not counting bergamot) mandarin, rose and galbanum; middle – rose and jasmine; base – musk, sandalwood and vetiver;
* Most popular notes (from perfumes I tested for the first time): top – (not counting bergamot) lemon, freesia, grapefruit, rose and tangerine; middle – jasmine and rose; base – musk and vanilla. Clearly, I’m testing perfumes that are different from what I choose to wear currently;
* Total number of different notes in all perfumes I wore/tested this month: 218.
While thinking about this post a week ago I thought of a question to ask and came up with one – only to find its variations on two friendly blogs in the next couple of days: Weekend Poll just for fun: 3 Scents in Heavy Rotation (eyeliner on a cat) and Monday Question – What Are Your Five Most Versatile Perfumes? (Olfactoria’s Travels). As Birgit commented: “a common unconscious in Perfumeland.” That made me think in the opposite direction from favorite perfumes – samples.
Since my success rate for the first time testing isn’t too high (see the chart: I have a positive reaction in less than 50% of cases) I try to run those tests at home or while running errands. To the office or parties I wear those perfumes that I know I like. It leaves less time for testing and the number of untested samples – bought, swapped or obtained from stores, – grows.
What if for a month you were to wear only those perfumes you already have (bottles or decants) and had to choose three new, never tested or even smelled before samples – which would you choose?
My answer: Plum by Mary Greenwell, Green Witch by Roxana Illuminated Perfume and Honor Woman by Amouage. I do not have any of these yet but if I had to limit myself to just three perfumes for testing I would want to try these three.
Image: my own
As of now I mostly rely on samples I like for everyday wear, since I have only four decants… (In part because of the slowness of the postal system, to be honest!) But the three samples I would most like to test are POTL Luctor et Emergo (ordered!), L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger, and Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie. Although I could have named most of the 40something samples on my wishlist…
Well, I received Luctor et Emergo today and unfortunately I don’t like it at all! It smells like the very sweet soft drink my grandmother used to offer us and we drank it even though we didn’t like it… Too bad!
See? It’s only August 1st and you’ve wasted already one of your wishes! It’s good that it was just a mental exercise and you do not have to stick to that selection for the whole month.
I have to ask! You do not own any full bottle of perfumes?
Haha! Yes, it just makes me realize how sad it’d be if it were a true restriction!
I only started sampling perfumes at the end of May, and I didn’t want to rush my purchases! I admit I omitted a 15 mL bottle from an indie perfumer on Etsy and my old Burberry bottle that I haven’t been wearing for years. I’m waiting for four more decants ordered in the past weeks, and I did buy two bottles last week! I’m still waiting for them though. And I’m planning on buying three more bottles this month… So I should soon have (the list is so short, why not brag?) PG Praliné de Santal, Hermès Un Jardin en Méditerranée, L’Artisan Dzing!, ELD’O Like This and Frédéric Malle En Passant. I’m excited!
I’m looking forward to having a big collection (or even just to having a collection at all!) but I’m glad I didn’t rush the purchases. And I really, really love testing and discovering new fragrances, so I’m glad my money went there first.
An impressive list! A really nice start of a collection.
You’re a couple of steps ahead of me with some of those: I just got samples of Praliné de Santal and Like This but haven’t tested them yet (in my defence I should say that I’ve just got them recently and plan to try soon). And I keep planning to try Dzing! but somehow I keep missing it every time I come to a store that carries L’Artisan perfumes. I will!
Well, with your trying 36 perfumes for the first time this month, I can understand why! :)
Actually I’m afraid that in the long run I might find Praliné de Santal too sweet to wear it often — it smells like hazelnuts to me, very close to Nutella (mm!). But given the very high price of a decant on TPC, and the fact that I thought it’d stop to be sold soon, I just made an impulse buy! But if worse comes to worst, I’ll very happily wear it when I’m home alone and hungry!
Dzing! and Like This, however, were instant loves. I hope you like them as much as I do!
About two weeks ago I commented, in jest, on Tarleisio’s blog: Did Jung know about the collective perfume unconscious?
It seems all of us in Perfumeland do – no doubt because of the collective perfume unconscious! ;)
Three new never tested or smelled samples I would like to try are:
Absolue pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian; Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea; and Fir-Ever Young by Velvet & Sweet Pea Perfumery.
I find your perfume wearing data collection and analysis most fascinating. My scent choices are driven by my ever-changing moods. I wonder what would be revealed if I charted my mood and choices?
I also choose what to wear or to test based on a whim (like today, for example, I wear Chanel No. 19 EdT after reading speculations about it going away at Another Perfume Blog) but after that I start analyzing. There is no practical purpose other than me feeling in control and some anecdotal evidence to amuse my readers.
Great question. Right now (changes by the moment!) the 3 perfumes I would most like to sample are –
Atelier Cologne – Vanilla Insensee
Cartier – La Treiziemme Heure
Etat Libre d’Oranger – Putain des Palaces
How’s that for eclectic?!
I tried the first one and so far it’s my least favorite out of all Atelier’s creations. I haven’t even heard of the second one. And I liked the third one when I tried it (thanks to Dee who sent me a sample) but I do not like the name so I’m not sure if I want to have it in my collection in any form.
Sorry to jump in, but it made me think that I’d be interested to know which ELD’O names offend the most. Out of the context of the rest of the line, I don’t mind Putain des Palaces (and I like the alliteration), but I don’t think I could ever own a perfume called “Philippine Houseboy” or “Delicious Closet Queen” (I like Kevin’s take on the latter’s name on NST)… And many images for their perfumes I’d be not very willing to display, not so much because they offend me but because they are obviously intended to offend, and I find it ridiculous. Vraie Blonde, really?
But that being said, I’ll soon be the proud owner of a bottle of Like This!
I vote for Philippine Houseboy as most offensive. Not only would I not buy it, I have permanently crossed Etat Libre d’Orange off my list simply because I find it so offensive. (Not expecting anyone else to do the same, or judging anyone who doesn’t, it’s just a hot button issue for me.)
I don’t know which one is the most offensive but I don’t like their aesthetics in general.
HI Undina, I think Cimabue has been on the top of my ‘to-try-list’ for so long now, that this one would be a definite choice. And Sous le Vent, which I have also somehow never tested (I think possibly because I know that when I test it, I won’t be able to live without it). Last but not least, being a huge SL fan, De Profundis! Can’t wait to sniff this one:-)
I haven’t tried any of these three and had to search for Sous le Vent to figure out what you reffered too. If I ever get to a Guerlain boutique that carries their perfumes not available elsewhere I will try them all but since as of today I can barely name a couple of Guerlain’s perfumes I think I can wear I’m not planning on buying any of the samples from this brand.
Plum would make my top three unsniffed list, too. For the others, probably Dior Eau Noire and the new Tauer collaboration Miriam. I would want to pick things I’m pretty confident I will like if they are my only options, and these three sound very promising.
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but I was very generous – I limited only the perfumes for testing so you could be more adventurous with your samples choices ;)
I have a very long list of things I’d like to try…but if I had to pick three samples…they would be …Chanel no. 19 Poudré, due in three weeks at my local shop, De Profundiis, because my curiosity is killing me, and Aftelier’s Shiso, for just a bit of..strange…
Well, my curiosity is killing me about the Tauer Pentachords, too…;)
I like the ones that challenge me and push my buttons, but there have been a few…hairy moments along the way…
Undina, I have to say it – I have to admire your scientific approach and level of organization!
Thank you, Tarleisio. I’m doing it mostly for fun. Also, it helps a little to soothe my conscience: I felt really bad while I was testing more and more new perfumes and neglected those that I loved. Now I can always tell which of my favorites weren’t getting enough skin time in the recent N months.
With Tauer’s perfumes (these “simple” ones as well as those from the new partnership project) I’ll sit out until everybody around tried them and expressed their opinion (well, unless I come across them somewhere in a store which is extremely unlikely).
Hmm … so the challenge is to try and predict what unsniffed fragrances we would find satisfying and lovely over the course of a month, if we could test nothing else? I agree with Tarleisio: Chanel No 19 Poudre. Also Nicolai’s Le Temps d’Une Fete, and Chanel Bois des Iles. I do expect to test these during August.
This would not be the month to try some weird ting from Etat Libre d’Orange, would it? Or Uncle Serge. Too risky!
Nice challenge – thanks.
Thank you for playing! :)
I’ve tested Bois des Iles recently and I like it very much but I wish it lasted longet on me! I’m curious if the parfum version has a better tenacity (which might not be the case becase, at least for me, No.19 EdT stays on my skin much longer than the parfum version)? Also, I wonder if Bois des Iles in those two versions smells as different as versions of No.19 or if the difference is mostly in the concentration.
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