Joint Blogging Event: Three Ghosts of Christmas – Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present and Future


Ghost of Perfume Past

She was 27, single mom and worked as a CEO’s personal assistant (even though she graduated from a university – those were strange times in my native country). From time to time our boss used her real specialty – a translator – during business meetings with English-speaking suppliers. On one of those trips she met and started dating an older American guy. I’d never seen him but heard a lot about him from her.

Looking back now I think he was just a creep who figured it wouldn’t cost him much to get a younger lover in a poor country to where he had to travel on business. But back then both she and I were quite naïve and we both thought about those relationships as real and going somewhere.

On one of his visits he brought her a lot of clothes from Victoria’s Secret catalog (do you know any men shopping that catalog??!) and a perfume. Rapture.

For me it was love from the first sniff. I liked everything about Rapture – the scent, the heart-shaped bottle, that it came from the U.S. My co-worker let me try it once but after that I was tortured by her wearing the perfume I wanted.

Until then I’d never heard about that brand, it wasn’t present in the country. But I wanted to get it so much that I asked a friend who by that time moved to the U.S. for help. It was before Christmas when he’d got to the store and there was some huge promotion happening so I got not only a bottle of the perfume but also some other treasures.

Because of customs, it didn’t make it to me in time for Christmas or New Year. But eventually I got it and owning this bottle that came to me from another part of the world made me happy.

When I moved to the U.S. that bottle of Rapture came with me. For several years I enjoyed wearing it but since it was my “dressed-up” perfume I didn’t go through the full bottle. And then I grew out of Rapture as well as Victoria’s Secret’s other offerings. But I just couldn’t throw away that bottle!

Victorias Secret Rapture

The remaining juice is more concentrated than it used to be and, I think, the smell changed though not much: those were quality chemicals, you know. I need to take a trip to the mall and check out how Rapture smells today though it’s a commitment: once Rapture bonds with my skin it stays there for hours – even 15 years old juice from my bottle.

What is the oldest perfume bottle in your collection (not by vintage but by the time you owned it)?


Ghost of a Perfume Present

What is your favorite color? For many years my favorite color in clothes was black. The reason was rather unpoetical: when you do not own too many items black is the easiest to combine and the most stain resistant. Even now with enough clothes not even to joke about “absolutely nothing to wear” the number of black pieces especially when it comes to shoes is completely disproportional.

When it comes to perfumes, this year I suddenly developed a soft spot for blue/navy bottles and juice.

My Bleu Bottles

Yes, I have a long love story with Angel and its great flanker Angel Taste of Fragrance was a logical continuation of it. My star bottle is old and the color has changed a little – that’s why there is a small bottle of the same perfume in the picture.

Yes, I liked Lancome‘s Mille et Une Roses for a while and used up some samples before snatching a partial bottle on eBay.

Yes, I hoped I’d like Annick Goutal‘s Nuit Étoilée not only because I liked the brand but because I loved the bottle. But at least I tried the perfume before adding that beautiful bottle to my collection.

And yes, I did test Armani‘s La Femme Bleue from a small test vial before deciding if I want to open the bottle I’ve bought un-sniffed.

But there is no reasonable explanation to why I’m browsing Internet for cheap bottles of Van Clef & Arpels’ Midnight in Paris and Feerie: I’m not sure I smelled them – let alone tried on skin.

I am under a Blue Spell.

Will you guess what perfume I plan to test next – solely because of the color?


Ghost of a Perfume Future (aka New Year Resolutions)

From the list of New Year resolutions for the current year I failed mostly on the new bottles in collection limits so for 2013 I made a decision … to remove any limits.

I’m restricted to some extent by a common sense, budget considerations and space limitations – so I think those will be enough for me not to go overboard completely. But otherwise I do not want to restrict or formalize my hobby any more.

I decided not to care how many untested samples I’ve accumulated already – as long as I know that I have them. I’ll get a hundred more (though I’m still not ready to pay for most of them – let’s swap!): one day I might want to test them even if I don’t feel like doing it today.

I will not hold back on publishing pictures of Rusty: he’s one of the best perfumed cats since he spends a lot of time on my lap and doesn’t mind an inevitable transfer of the perfumes I test from my wrists to his fur.

Rusty December 2012

I’m not sure if I’ll make any general NY resolutions but when it comes to the fragrant part of my life my resolutions are to enjoy my perfumes, my blog and my perfume friends.


Images: my own


Take a look at more Christmas Ghost posts on these blogs today:

All I Am – A Redhead
Another Perfume Blog
ChickenFreak’s Obsessions
The Muse in Wooden Shoes
Olfactoria’s Travels
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal


63 thoughts on “Joint Blogging Event: Three Ghosts of Christmas – Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present and Future

  1. Oldest perfume in my collection is Prada Amber Pour Homme, I own it since 2009. I’ve been a perfume lover earlier, but my journey started after my high school graduation in 2009. Looks like you’ll be trying Blue juice of L’Heure de Nuit from Guerlain?


  2. Fabulous post! I had such pleasure reading it! I had completely forgotten about Rapture! For years I wore the very first perfume from that lingerie company, Victoria (circa 1989). The bottle was exquisite and the fragrance a glorious amber rose ( I believe because I have searched throughout the internet and cannot find any information on the notes or the perfumer) this is the only perfume bottle that perfume despising co-worker ever bought on her own (most of the recent stuff she has was given to her by me in an attempt for her to cross over to the dark side :) ! No such luck!

    I am guessing that your next blue fragrance will be angel?

    And I adore your cat…my girls truly enjoy looking at him as they lean over my shoulder when i read your posts. They desperately want another cat but we lost ours to a car fatality 6 years ago and I do not want to go through that pain again. Right now there are enough living beings in the house for me to take care of!

    By all means swapping is fantastic… I too do not want to pay for samples when for years I always got them for free. Also, I rather like trying and supporting the perfumers who are artisanal and small companies (my philosophy that extends beyond perfume) so I don’t have an exhorbitent number of samples.

    Happy and fragrant Holidays, Undina!
    PS. I have always emptied every bottle that I ever owned (and I could kick myself for that for I had so many beauties that are no longer made or reformulated). Probably the oldest I have is 1/4 full of Victoria that my co-worker gifted to me b/c she knew how much I loved it and how it is now impossible to get!


    • I didn’t come across Victoria but heard from several people that they used to like it.

      I do not mind paying for samples from indie brands if I want to try those: I realize how expensive they are for those small companies so I do not expect to get them for free. But with bigger brands I vote for either testing in a store first or swapping with friends.


      • agreed. I had forgotten that I purchased numerous samples from Sonoma scent studio as well as three sampler packs from Ineke for myself and my girls. I do rather prefer putting what limited moneys I have allocated towards perfume (mind you it gets split four ways in my house-myself and daughters and son) to the indie and artisanal brands. The high end niche and large companies distributing perfume I feel should be giving the samples for free if they really want me to spend over two hundred dollars on a full size bottle. One of these days perhaps you and I will swap! If you are interested in trying Victoria, let me know. The upcoming week will be insane but come the new year I should have new empty vials ready to be filled”) !!


        • Goodness I just realized that I am using both my real life nickname and perfume pen name simultaneously! (hey it’s 5 in the morning where I am :) !!). You’ll know its the same person commenting, right?


          • I figured out it was you (by the comment about Angel).

            We’ll do a post-new-year swap! I’ll just get new decanting supplies in January. And yes, I do want to try Victoria. Thank you :)


    • Victoria was amazing! As I remember it, it was similar to Dior’s Dolce Vita, but more vanilla or amber. I loved it, too bad they got rid of the good ones – anyone remember VS Angel Halo?


  3. Wonderful post, Undina! I love the theme you chose.

    Could you next blue bottle be Amouage Interlude? That’s a fine collection you have. One of my favorite blue bottles is Guerlain Guet-Apens.

    Rusty is gorgeous. I adore his ears!

    Have a Merry Christmas!


  4. Terrific writing, Undina. I’m unfamiliar with Rapture but loved hearing the story about your friend and how it came into your life. And the bottle is gorgeous! Glad you kept it even though you’ve grown away from the perfume.

    And, ah yes! I quite agree with you … you should not hold back from taking photos of Rusty and putting them on your blog. He is one charming and handsome kitty casanova … it would be a shame if you didn’t photograph him!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!


    • Thank you, Suzanne!

      While reading your post I was afraid that the duck from the picture was there for the culinary purposes ;)

      I have a tendency to save those mementos from the past. I still hope to recover a couple that are even older (but empty) when I visit next the place I used to live.

      Merry Christmas to you and your family as well!


  5. I liked Rapture but I loved Victoria. Had I known it would disappear from the shelves I would have rationed it out a bit instead of spraying without a care.
    Rusty is a handsome little fellow and it’s always fun to see him in photos. I hope you and he have a very merry Christmas.


    • Thank you, I’ll send him your wishes :)

      There are so many perfumes I wish I knew to buy two-three back-up bottles while they were still available!

      Merry Christmas to you too!


  6. Great post! That is a bittersweet story about Rapture. I hope your friend eventually broke away from that American jerk (any man who buys clothing from the catalog has generally one strike against him, I think!). I can only second what everyone else has said about Rusty. He is a perfect perfume cat. I hope he still gets treats for every compliment. :)


    • If I remember it correctly, they broke up after she found out that his “divorced” wasn’t exactly true and some other things that not so bright straying men usually can’t hold together. I hope her life is better now (I lost contact with her after she re-married and moved to some small town in Germany). But I might have never come across that perfume if it wasn’t for that story.

      Yes, as a rule, I give Rusty a treat for every compliment he gets in comments.


  7. Oooh, I love Rapture! I’ve gone through a couple bottles of it. The perfumed bath cream is lovely too. I still see this in the VS shops sometimes, I always pause for a sniff. Hhmm, now I want it again…

    There was another great VS perfume in the late 80 called Victoria. It was a little like Dior’s Dolce Vita, but a bit more of a vanillic dry down. It was excellent.


    • You’re the third person only in this post who mentioned Victoria. Now I’m very curious. Oh, well…

      I will definitely try “fresh” Rapture in the next couple of days!


      • I brought Victoria into this conversation and now I am curious,does anyone know if there was rose in this one or am I completely off the mark (I thought of it as an ambery rose)?


        • I think there may have been ambery rose. I remember the dry down smelling like someone spilled vanilla inside a cedar chest. I could be way off base on that but I remember that’s what I thought a the time. I also remember they had a book of poetry that they sold there that was scented with Victoria. I think I still have the book.


  8. This is such a wonderful post. Honest and heart-warming. :)
    (just right for the season)

    I cannot guess your blue bottle to be sniffed next, but then, I feel I haven’t been in the perfume world at all the last few months so I’m completely out of trends.

    P.S. Nuit Etoilee was finally a Goutal I liked in a long time.


    • Thank you, Ines!

      Lucas and Birgit were correct: I plan to try L’Heure de Nuit. Mostly because of the color ;)

      Have you tried Ambre Fetish, Encens Flamboyant and Musc Nomade? Those aren’t typical Annick Goutal’s perfumes.


  9. Pingback: Ghosts of Perfume Past, Present and Future « All I am – a redhead

  10. Beautiful story about Rapture and great post! And yes, please don’t hold back on pictures of Rusty, he is a great cat! I would have guessed Interlude Man or Woman for the great blue bottle but, the L’Heure de Nuit looks wonderful as well, I can’t wait to smell it. Personally, I am hoping for a deep purple colored bottle from Amouage (it is the color or royalty and a favorite of the Sultan of Oman…). Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


    • I’ve tried both Interlude versions and I don’t think any of those bottles will join my collection. But you’re right, those should look nice.
      Deep purple… Yes, I would love that too.

      Happy Holidays to you too!


  11. Rapture is one I don’t remember, though I do like your story, and Victoria’s Secret played a role in my family, since a sister in law worked for them for several years-not in the perfume department-actually, but around the time when Rapture would have been in production. She was doing the silk and synthetic nightgowns.
    Blue perfume bottles are sort of a temptation. Loved Nuit Etoilee for the presentation alone.


    • I didn’t realize there were different specializations inside VS stores. I wonder which one was the most desirable.

      Even before I tried Nuit Etoilee I was considering the purchase just for the bottle. Luckily for me I liked it.


  12. Such a beautiful post!
    I’ve never heard if Rapture before, but I can imagine its great allure for you at the time.
    Lukas was first of course, but I’d have said L’Heure de Nuit as well for your next blue juice.


  13. Nice post, Undina! My oldest perfume is a Calvin Klein Obsession mini — the juice is a dark amber color and the bottle looks like body part. I got it from a cousin many years ago when it first launched (mid-80’s). I dare not open it as the stopper top is really sealed on tightly.

    To tie this further to your theme, that cousin used to work for a perfume distributor (Past), I now only see him at weddings and funerals (current), but we’re having a giant family get-together this Sunday and I hope to see him there (future).


  14. Wonderful post, Undina. I loved the story about your colleague and how you got to smell Rapture for the first time. The bottle is really pretty!

    The oldest perfume in my collection? Somewhere, buried deep in a box, is an old vial of Kiehl’s Coriander Perfume Oil. From back in the days when they used to decant it and write the name on a label with Bic pen.


  15. What a nice post! I very much enjoyed your trip through perfumes past and present and what you’re anticipating in the future…

    All my old bottles are gone-gone-gone, as I didn’t know that I should keep them out of the light, and eventually they began to smell “off.” But the first one that made a big impression on me was, of course, that bosomy Karl Lagerfeld Chloe, and I still have the mini parfum that I snagged on eBay, even if I’m not sure I want to wear it now. (It still smells lovely, but is bound up in some uncomfortable memories.)

    I remember Rapture from when it was new – such a pretty ambery rose. Because of its beautiful name and bottle I wanted to love it more than Victoria, but I didn’t, and I couldn’t afford Victoria. Sadly, my eBay experience with that one, a beautiful floral chypre, is that it did not age well. SIGH.

    A Facebook perfume-head group I belong to has come to call that L’Heure de Nuit “BLOO,” so that’s what I think of it as. It sounds delightful. In terms of blue bottles, I’ve probably mentioned that I really love Midnight in Paris, particularly on my teenage son. Gorgeous stuff. I thought of another blue bottle, too – Sun Moon Stars, another Karl Lagerfeld white floral.


    • Thank you, Mals!

      I do not remember when I learned first that I was supposed to keep perfumes away from the sunlight but my perfumes benefited from my mild OCD: I just have to put every bottle back into its original box – even when I store them in a drawer in the closet that never sees much natural light.

      I’m positive I heard the name Karl Lagerfeld and Chloe, but I’ve never tried either this or any other perfume from the brand. And Sun Moon Starts bottle looks absolutely not familiar: I don’t remember ever seeing it.


      • You must try the original chloe it is glorious! Sun Moon stars is discontinued…I had several empty bottles but alas I threw them out. If you want a mini of chloe at a decent price go to I have bought numerous items from them and they were all in good shape. and if mals86 really wants a sample of good victoria you can share my e-mail with her!


  16. I also very much enjoyed this post! My oldest perfume is a bottle og Givenchy Only, a freshy floral that I wore at my wedding. I havent revisited in a long time now, I’m a bit afraid I won’t like it very much any more.

    I think your new years resolution about not limiting yourself sounds like a very fun and healthy one. If all this nonsense about stricter rules on raw materials in perfumes really happens, now is a good time to buy. And if it doesn’t happen, at least you’ll own lots of great perfume and that’s not bad either :)

    A very Merry Cristmas to you!!!


    • Thank you, Sigrun!

      It pains me even to think about the possible upcoming changes because I’m not sure where to run and what to buy first :( I want to hope those stricter rules won’t happen or maybe companies will keep producing “betther” perfumes in/for the US but my experience tells me that if anything might change to worse it will.

      Happy holidays to you!


  17. Enjoyed your take on this topic very much, and agree that Rapture does indeed have a great bottle. Where do you stand on Soir de Paris, may I ask? That’s as blue as you like.

    The oldest bottle I have owned is not worth asking in my case, as I only came to this hobby in 2008, and haven’t squirrelled away any of the bottles I owned in my pre-perfumista days.

    More Rusty please…Now I am catless I am relying on other people’s cats for my feline fix!


    • Thank you, Vanessa!

      I haven’t heard about Soir de Paris until today: that brand isn’t widely represented in the US. I see some of their cosmetics in some department stores but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen any perfumes.

      More Rusty is coming up! (well, as soon as I finish writing :) )


  18. Loved to read your and Another Perfume Blog posts! Really, really great stories :))

    And I don’t know any man shopping Victoria’s secret catalogue! :)



  19. What a wonderful holiday post to find, Undina!! I love the idea of unchaining your hobby, I love your blue bottles (I know they’re everywhere but Mugler does do some GORGEOUS blue Angel bottles!), and I love photos of Rusty. He’s just the Matinee Idol Cat of the perfume blog world.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about your new blue investigations! :-)


  20. Thank goodness for wordpress notifications; even though I’ve been offline due to sheer business, it’s nice to know it’s never too late to join the conversation. Love that bottle of Rapture, Undina, it’s very luxurious looking. My oldest bottle is a tiny one of The Body Shop’s Wood Musk in oil formation. It’s been hanging around for probably 15 years, which is surprising since I don’t like clutter (which is why I got rid of my AKII, which I’m still kicking myself about) but it’s still around. The stuff is discontinued and I’m sure there must be people out there hoping to find a bottle, so I may go looking soon and gift someone with it just for the delight of it all. As far as your next color, I also vote purple.


    • I’m glad to resume the discussion any time so I’m glad you came now.
      I’m glad I kept the bottle: it does look good still.

      I do not like clutter as well but I keep things that are mementos.


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