Laughs, Lemmings, Loves – Episode 14


Last Friday when my vSO showed me one of the temperature maps of the US (similar to the one below) my reaction was:” We do NOT pay enough for our real estate!” (For those who aren’t familiar with the subject, take a look here). It was such a beautiful week here, in San Francisco Bay Area! Warm but not hot, breathy, with just enough sun to feel summer-y.

Here are posts that created perfumes lemmings, made me laugh or reviewed perfumes that I love.

Temperature Map July 2nd


Even though I still haven’t tried the last two perfumes from AmouageOpus VI and Beloved, I’m lemming already for the next one. I definitely have a thing for dark blue bottles!


Gaia (The Non-Blonde): People who dislike the popular pairing of coconut milk note with fig will rejoice at the Armani Privé interpretation. It also doesn’t have even a hint of creamy woods, or much wood at all. This is not the olfactory representation of the lush Mediterranean tree or the wonderful aroma of its leaves, green and sappy, giving much needed shade and relief on a hot summer day. Instead, Figuier Eden focuses on the ripeness of the fruit, sweet and juicy, paired with mandarin orange and what smells like peach tea. Once again I don’t understand why they stopped carrying Armani Privé line of perfumes in most places in the U.S.



Sigrun (fragrantfanatic): Let’s start with the name, “1889 Moulin Rouge”, a legendary nightclub in Paris, mostly known for its can-can dancers. How might it have smelled in 1889? Like lots of warm bodies, probably. Some of them wearing the same skimpy scene costumes night after night at a time when hygiene standards probably did not include daily showers or dry cleaning. Is that something you’d want bottled? If you’re not some kind of Victorian bent pervert, sure, but most us would likely prefer living in ignorance on this one.


Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume): I am patiently waiting for the day when someone attempts to lick me wearing ANY fragrance. Or while not wearing any fragrance. I am ludicrously happy just to receive a compliment about my SOTD, as that is such a rare occurrence.



Angela (Now Smell This) reviews one of my favorite perfumes from one of my most favorite brands: This review is a cry for glamour and an entreaty to give Gold Woman a square sampling. Perhaps you’ve dared a spritz at a perfume boutique and were daunted by its Birgit Nilsson of a voice. Maybe you thought, sure I’ll wear Gold Woman — as soon as I get gold taps for my bathtub and a Persian cat. I get it. I can’t pull off Gold Woman most days. I suspect that most of my current readers have read four participans’ take on Amouage Gold Woman vs. Lancome Climat but if no – you might want to take a look, it was an interesting experiment.



I wasn’t sure if to put it in loves or laughs so it ended up in this section. You’ve probably heard already that Chandler Burr’s mystery S01E01 perfume was Prada’s Infusion d’Iris. I find it really ironic: a day before Mr. Burr unveiled his first offering I posted Alien wears Prada Infusion d’Iris in which I told the story of not being influenced by the brand, the bottle, the packaging and even the perfume itself but later falling for the picture from the ad campaign. As Katie Puckrik’s pen pal called it: “It’s the anti-Burr approach.”

Now, when you know what perfume it was, have you changed your original judgment of the project (whatever it was)?

Me? Whereas I can clearly see how Prada’s original bottle is more beautiful and attractive than CB’s “unmarked 50ml lab bottles”, I do not understand why

structure is virtually invisible; it is one of the most seamless pieces of scent work I know, almost unnervingly perfect. It has an astonishing olfactory texture, soft, cool, precise.

The beauty in this scent lies, in part, in the fact that it is designed to function while making virtually no noise at all. Wearing it makes you feel like you’ve walked away to a distant point and sat down in a cloud bank; it lends you the purity of purpose and the luxury of self-imposed isolation.

… is supposed to be considered less of “marketing techniques” than

was inspired by a quest for balance and harmony in a chaotic, contradictory world. […]

A perfume is like a dream, a journey to Italy, an atmosphere, the clean fragrance of starched linen sheets against naked skin. It comprises familiar aromas, natural oils and priceless extracts. It imitates none of the current trends in perfumery. It does not follow in the footsteps of the established olfactory or descriptive stereotypes for perfumes for women, but is expressed in the contrast between extraordinary freshness, apparent lightness and a sort of delicate, yet sensual and strong veil that embraces the body and the clothing of the woman who wears it.”

Infusion d'Iris by Prada vs S01E01 by Chandler Burr

Yesterday, while stopping at the local Nordstrom’s perfume counter to chat with a friendly SA, I sniffed the air and immediately asked if she was wearing Infusion d’Iris. She was. Infusion d’Iris Absolue, a sample of which I got from her to do a parallel test at home with the EdP version. So I was right not to play this game. I do not think I need that “blindfold” to appreciate perfumes: I like perfumes many other people completely dismiss; I cannot wear some perfumes from the brands I love and I stay completely cold towards many well-respected and highly acclaimed perfumes. I do not need Chandler Burr telling me Infusion d’Iris is a warm scent – for me it smells and always will smell cold and, I agree with Katie, standoffish.



17 thoughts on “Laughs, Lemmings, Loves – Episode 14

  1. As Portia said, you make me smile … and you gave me a wonderful chuckle at the way you wrapped up this post. Keep telling it like it is, Undina … I love it!! :D


    • Thank you, Suzanne. For better or for worse, I’m not sure I could do it differently even if I’d have tried.

      Don’t laugh, but I’m thinking about buying S01E02: if Birgit is right and it is Mugler’s Cologne $25 for 30 ml decant isn’t that bad…

      “By taking “fresh” and adding a spacesuit and jet pack, Mugler evokes limes from an orchard in a distant galaxy. The brilliance of this alluring scent is that it refers to nothing in nature but nothing chemical or synthetic, either. It is astral citrus, stardust.”


      “E02 is a work of olfactory science fiction. It is not merely the morphing of the eau fraîche into a 22nd century form (which would be feat enough), it is the scent of a plant, a lovely curling vine, in a garden built in outer space. It is the green scent of the plant’s delicate green tentacles and its graceful leaves in the precious, pressurized air circulating in cool post-metal tubes, a perfect equilibrium of the heartbreakingly natural and the mesmerizingly artificial.”

      What do you think?


  2. I also love reading your thoughts on the Chandler Burr experiment. The world needs critical thinkers. :) As for dark blue bottles: yes, please! The more the better. And since I’m still not sure about Nuit Etoilee, the sooner the better, to help me decide!


  3. Great post and some great points. Loved it all!

    Such a funny coincidence that CB chose Infusion d’Iris after your recent post on it with the “anti-Burr approach” :)


  4. I love these roundups, and missed them this past month. Two things – 1) a new fig? I’ve already got a list of 34 I’m sampling through the summer, but I’ll definitely add this to the spreadsheet. 2) Chandler Burr sold Id’I as a blind sniff in a 50ml size? Hmmm, glad I didn’t participate, because the 200ml bottle of Id’I in my closet would’ve gotten a bit huffy. (Bought at the beginning of my perfume journey, and I still love it.)


    • Dionne, you are back! I missed you :) I hope you and your family enjoyed that month off the grid.

      If to think about it, I’m glad Infusion d’Iris got that additional attention: I hope it stays in production for a long time and is available once I’m done with my current bottle.

      Thirty four figs?!! I are insane! :) Have you bought them all already? If no, I think you should choose 10 you want to test the most, publish this list and the remaining list on the blog, let the readers to help you choose 5 more (maybe even send you samples if we have any of those you plan to test), find the best one to your liking and use the remaining money (not spent on 15+ other samples) to buy a bottle of that best fig.


      • Thanks for the welcome back, Undina, and yes, we enjoyed the month thoroughly (technically, it became more than a month, as shortly after it finished, we went camping – yay! – and now we’re all home chillaxin’ and having a wee TV-watching binge ;))

        In terms of the figs, I’ve got 18 in my hot little hands right now, and will have the rest arriving with my July and August sample orders. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but cross my heart, this is my idea of FUN. Also, my sampling budget and perfume acquisitions budget are two very separate things, so if people sent stuff, it would just mean I’d move on to the next thing sooner (Olympic Orchids line is next in the line-up, and then after that, ALL-THE-INCENSES-IN-THE-UNIVERSE! See? This is just how I roll.)


  5. Love Infusion d’Iris, don’t care for CB’s latest experiment and I’m glad I didn’t participate. I also have a bottle of the fragrance and wouldn’t be pleased to own more of the stuff for $50. Further, what’s really stopping anyone from getting together with some perfume friends and arranging to decant their perfumes into “Untitled” sample vials and trading them with each other? It’s much more cost effective.


    • Kay, I don’t think the experiment is aimed at us, if you think about it. You, I and the other couple of thousands people in the US who 1) are interested in perfumes; 2) know other people who are interested in perfumes and 3) have easy access to testing a lot of different perfumes should not be playing this game.

      Perfumistas play those “untitled” games all the time. In this case the game is slightly different: people who doubt their ability to perceive perfumes beyond the branding and packaging are offered a chance to get a “good perfume” selected by somebody whose opinion they trust.


    • Thank you for commenting.

      Usually CB isn’t on my radar, I do not read him regularly so I can’t either agree or argue with your assessment. From what I read I did notice an enlarged egotism but it’s so common among men who write on any specific subject considering themselves specialists that I don’t even flinch.


      • ‘I did notice an enlarged egotism but it’s so common among men who write on any specific subject considering themselves specialists that I don’t even flinch.’

        Dear Undina, isn’t what you just wrote a bit worrying actually? That we’re so used to this masculin egotism we don’t even register it as peculiar anymore? (without it politics as we know it wouldn’t even exist)


        • Oh, no – I do notice and do not condone that behavior. My reaction rather is of a tired “what else is new?” kind. From my side I fight it by not engaging: I do not comment, do not follow those individuals, etc.


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