Perfumes of my Maui Vacation

In the Maui Vacation: Perfumes, Flora & Fauna, Food and Perfumes post (if you were wondering that double “perfume” in there wasn’t an oversight) I asked you to guess how many perfumes accompanied me on my vacation.

“… I don’t think you’d bring 13.” (Asali)

“… you were there for a week and wanted to have at least 2 choices per day” (Suzanne)

Had I been thinking about numbers I could have chosen 13 since I like the number. Or 14 – a reasonable idea of a couple of fragrances per day. But, believe it or not, I (!) wasn’t counting.

“I can’t imagine having more perfumes than 5 that would go well with a tropical vacation.” (Nemo)

I actually had to leave behind several perfumes that I thought might also be nice in tropical climate because, even without counting, it felt like I was going slightly overboard. But I didn’t fully realize that until I was trying to take a picture of everything I brought with me: I could hardly place them all in one shot. My final clue was the fact that not a single person’s guess surpassed the reality.

But the winner of the game Sigrun, who guessed 18, was very close (Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! All those fours and sevens were unnerving): for the eight-day trip I packed 21 (twenty one) perfumes. Twenty if not to count one that was my vSO’s. I don’t mean that it was the only one that he wore but Hermes Rocabar is just his, I never wear it myself; several others were shared perfumes so I cannot use it as an excuse.

If you’re curious, here’s the list: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess; Atelier Cologne Cedrat Enivrant, Oolang Infini and Orange Sanguine; By Kilian Bamboo Harmony, Forbidden Games, Imperial Tea, In the City of Sin, Playing with the Devil, Sacred Wood and Water Calligraphy; Byredo Pulp; Diptyque Volutes; Hermes Rocabar and Voyage d’Hermes; L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore; Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling!; Ormonde Jayne Frangipani and Tiare; Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis and Yosh Ginger Ciao.

Maui 2014 Parfumes

Even with two swims and two showers per day I didn’t get to wear all of these but I’m glad I had a choice because I couldn’t have predicted which ones would feel right. Names in blue above are perfumes I ended up wearing. I won’t write about all of them but will share several impressions.

Bronze Goddess from the fridge was the best perfume application experience ever!

Ginger Ciao worked great even in the heat of the day (if you are not familiar with this perfume please read Birgit’s (Olfactoria’s Travels) review: even though I discovered it first I wouldn’t have thought about it in the context of a tropical vacation if it wasn’t for her).

Tiare – a perfume that earned its place in my suitcase for all upcoming tropical vacations – was just beautiful at night. What else smelled wonderful in the warmth of Maui night was Eau Duelle by Diptyque on my friend. It was my birthday gift to her last year and I was pleased that she liked it. If I ever go to Hawaii without her I’ll bring this perfume with me.

Bombay Bling! was great but I confirmed my last year’s observation that in hot weather it’s too short-lived on my skin. Oh well, I’ll “have” to wear it at home.

I don’t think I can tolerate Pulp‘s rotten fruits anywhere but in Hawaii where it felt just right – so it was a good decision to buy just a decant after I enjoyed wearing it from a sample during the previous trip. And after this trip I contemplate adding one more perfume to my collection – Bois de Paradis. I used a small dab sample (thank you, Renee!) during the flight to and from Maui: I thought both the name and the scent were very fitting. Roth DelRae mentioned recently on Twitter that she was thinking about travel size bottle for her perfumes. Hopefully they’ll have them by my next vacation.

Speaking of the flights and new perfumes. I’ve received the perfume oil that I liked on a flight attendant on the way to Maui. I’ll test it for a while and decide if I want to tell you more about it. Meanwhile the second bottle of it will travel to a winner of the guessing game Sigrun in Sweden and a sample from my bottle will find its way to Vanessa in the U.K. (because she named the magical number that corresponded to the number of perfumes I actually wore).

And just to come full circle on the topic of perfumes for that vacation, I want to mention that a flight attendant on the way back smelled “meh” (she wore a very sweet and artificial vanilla scent that reminded me of Pink Sugar).


Image: my own


40 thoughts on “Perfumes of my Maui Vacation

  1. I see that Kilian samples dominated in your Maui vacation wardrobe. I’m also happy to read that you had 3 Atelier Colognes with you. By the way – love the orange leather case! (I only have the aubergine ones)


  2. Really enjoyed reading the list of perfumes you took. Very nice selection. Much better to have too many than not enough. Taking some samples along was a good idea too. I don’t think I would have thought of that.

    Congrats to Sigum and Vanessa. Too funny about the Pink Sugar epilogue.

    Sorry for unnerving you. :)


  3. 21! I feel that now I know something new about you ;-) You go all in when packing perfume for your holidays. I was surprised at all those Kilians, I hope you’ll write more about them at some point.
    Also hoping your perfume oil will be interesting enough to warrant a story her on your Looking Glass :-)


  4. 21 sounds very reasonable to me, a girl needs to have some choice! Winning the contest really made my day, I’m finally starting to get my sense of scent back after the cold I’ve been having, so I’m so happy that I’ll get to try out the perfume oil soon :) I’ll mail you my address, also. Thank you so much!!!


    • (whispering) Now, when everybody got used to that 21, I can admit that I discovered two more samples in my purse. I didn’t purposefully take them with me – those two are just a back-up perfumes that I always have with me. Just in case. These days it’s Jo Malone’s English Pear & Freesia and Black Vetiver Cafe.
      Once again – thank you for the support!


  5. Hello Undina: What wonderful choices for a vacation in Hawaii!
    Re: Pulp – I really really like that, but in small doses.
    Another blogger I found is from the San Fran area, and she talked about a shop/person who makes perfume – I’m wondering if that is the same person.
    (And I had a giggle at your last paragraph)


  6. Oh, I am excited to have won as well in the category of ‘perfumes actually worn’. I couldn’t agree more that you need a decent selection away with you, as you don’t know what mood you will be in. Probably not the case in Hawaii, but when holidaying in Northern Europe you also have to cater for different weather scenarios.

    I enjoyed hearing how the different perfumes behaved in the heat, and conversely, how wonderful Bronze Goddess was fresh out of the fridge! I must try that myself.

    I have just away again for one night and managed to limit myself to three perfumes, and ended up wearing the same one on both days. ;)


  7. Great post ! I am glad to be reminded of ginger ciao – one of my first perfume loves nearly ten years ago.

    Being from Oakland, I am so curious about this perfume oil! Did you ever give us a name??


    • The name of the company is Essence Unlimited. From everything I see, it’s a very small brand. If I decide to write about the oil I’ll try to get more information. But since you live in the area I think you might come across them at some Arts & Crafts fairs.


  8. This was fun, Undina! Now, when you say that wearing the Bronze Goddess you kept in the fridge was the best perfume application ever, is that because you loved the coolness of it on your skin in addition to the scent, or did the refrigeration of it change its development on your skin? Enquiring minds want to know. ;) And by the way, you smelled great in Hawaii judging by the ones you wore.


    • Since I use Dee’s (BOTO blog) method of application for Bronze Goddess – all over my body – and this perfume is light enough to allow that, it’s very pleasant to spray a cool mist on the warm skin and get an additional cooling from it evaporating. Most of my office perfumes that see my wrist and, maybe, some neck space, cry with envy just hearing about it.


  9. Of the scents you listed there are so many I have yet to sample. It was nice to see Bois de Paradis amongst the gathering – this was a full bottle purchase for me and I have been enjoying it in recent weeks as a lovely transitional scent from my beachy summer into Indian summer into early fall. Mental note: must pull out my By Killian samples in earnest and am newly intrigued by Bombay Bling!

    Your photo reminded me of how easy it is to toss in carded samples, both loved and unfamiliar, for a brief sojourn.


    • Actually, it was your sample of Bois de Paradis that you sent me after last year’s Hawaiian trip post in which I asked readers what other tropical perfumes might be great for that type of a vacation.


  10. Maui was our favourite holiday destination of all time. :) 21 perfume? That sounds kinda reasonable. I’m glad you included Ginger Ciao in your collection. I personally think this is a Hawaiian scent, as so many Hawaii’s exotic flowering plants belong to the ginger family.
    Bois de Paradis sounds great… I must check it out.


    • Just talking about Ginger Ciao makes me want to wear it again! One more Hawaiian scent that I plan to explore more in perfumes is passion fruit. When it’s fresh it’s very intoxicating and appealing. I need to see which perfumes feature it.


  11. I know I am sort of pushing Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier around and I believe that many of them would be especially good for your tastes, but if you like Bronze Godess you should definitely try Bahiana. You will see where Estée Lauder got the idea from immediately.


    • I do not have anything against Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier – other than not too appealing bottles and not being sold anywhere around. The line is too big to explore it through buying random samples. But given a chance, I will try this one.
      Somehow though I don’t think that Tom Ford (since he was the one who in 2007 launched Azuree Soleil that later became Bronze Goddess) or a perfumer who worked on BG had plagiarized a perfume from a niche company not even widely available or known in the U.S. Most likely, there were some new molecules created around that time and both niche and mainstream companies jumped on the wagon.


  12. Since I have now read some of your comments, I am floored by 23 perfumes (albeit 2 of them inadvertently hitched a ride on your vacation). I usually just manage one primary one that I think transitions nicely from day to evening, sometimes with re-application, plus my travel bag staple Chanel No. 5 EDT which is perfect for any evening out no matter the temperature, food, company. I used to bring a jewelry case with enough variety for me not to wear the same combination during the trip but I’ve also since be become minimalist in that regard – whatever I wear at the start of my trip which usually means earrings, bracelet, watch a d sometimes a necklace.

    Great selection of perfumes! I have been thinking about getting Voyage Parfum; I had the original one when it first came out and ended up selling it after using half the bottle (I liked it THAT much) until I got sick of it.


    • I don’t know why I keep being surprised every time when I read that our tastes match. I loved Voyage when it came out but now I can barely stand it. But I plan to write about it soon, so I’ll leave at that.

      I cannot imagine wearing one or two perfumes for more than a couple of days so I don’t subject myself to that. Though with you I know how you usually remedy the situation – one or two new bottles, right? ;-)

      With real jewelry I can totally see wearing the same set for a week or so. But in the last 10 years I switched to wearing a lot of costume jewelry. It’s hard to imagine that I could bring a week-worth wardrobe that would match to something like a necklace I featured here or here. So I usually bring a box with 5-6 choices.


  13. LOL at your comment regarding how I remedy being monogamous with perfume while on vacation. Even though I usually end up with a bottle or two (or three), I don’t always wear the perfumes right away as they may not necessarily fit the venue / weather.

    And…I do find it amazing that we both loved and ended up disliking the same perfume. Do you like the Voyage Parfum better?


    • I’m not sure if I even tried the next version (though that black bottle looks kind of appealing…) I will the next time I see it at a store.

      I kind of figured out that you wouldn’t necessarily wear a newly bought perfume(s) – just couldn’t help teasing you a little.


  14. They all sound like beautiful choices for Hawaii but particularly GInger Ciao, Bois de Paradis and the Ateliers. You might have managed just with those-well OK – maybe not without Bronze Goddess either :-)
    PS Christos is right, I bet you’d like Bahaiana


  15. Ooh, ooh, my sample of the ‘flight attendant’ perfume oil arrived and I really like it. Faintly herbal – or an unusual floral note with a dry, grassy twist, very soft and haunting.


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