Undina’s Looking Glass Turns Five

How many times can the same perfume be featured on the same blog? Let’s see…

Five years ago I started this blog with the story of my first and life-long perfume love Climat by Lancôme. A year later Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume), Suzanne (Eiderdown Press) and Natalie (Another Perfume Blog) participated in one of the Déjà vu series’ post doing a blind comparison of Amouage Gold and Lancôme Climat. Two years ago Climat made an appearance in a short romantic account of my birthday trip. And finally, last year I invited my whole Climat family to my blog’s fourth anniversary. So, not counting numerous mentions whenever a topic of favorite perfumes is brought up, I told you four stories about this perfume. Believe it or not, I have the fifth one.

Several months ago, after probably a year of silence, out of the blue, I got a note from Jordan (Fragrant Man) alerting me to the news about my favorite perfume: to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the brand’s presence in Russian market, Lancôme has launched a limited edition of ClimatL’Edition Mythique.

Lancome Climat L'Edition Mythique

I immediately went online and read everything I could find about that release: there were only 3,000 bottles made and it was available in one boutique in Moscow. There weren’t any “professional” reviews out yet but I found several first impressions. As always, some liked it and thought it was very close to how Climat used to smell in 80s, others were disappointed.

I wanted it. Good or not, I wanted to experience it myself and be the judge. And that’s when I started panicking: Climat used to be one of the most popular perfumes in Russia; if I wanted it, how many other people – with the same nostalgia – would want it too? Yes, it was on the pricey side, but three thousand bottles didn’t seem that much for one of the richest cities in the world with 12 million population (not counting tourists).

You know how friendly and helpful perfumistas are. What I’ve discovered was that people in the cooking community are also extremely responsive and outgoing. Once I realized I didn’t know anybody from Moscow, I asked my friend Katya (Lyukum Cooking Lab) if maybe somebody from her circles could help.

Within two days a multi-step extraction mission had been devised. Katya’s friend who lived in Moscow made a trip to the boutique and got a bottle of Climat – L’Edition Mythique. Then she handed it to another friend who was leaving for China on a culinary school tour, which my friend Katya was joining as well. From China Katya brought the bottle to Texas where she lives and my friend A., whom some of you know as a “perfume mule”, went there for a business trip and delivered the perfume to me. Moscow -> China -> Texas -> Bay Area, CA. It is one of the most well-traveled bottles I’ve known!

Rusty and Lancome Climat L'Edition Mythique

Since then I wore this perfume a couple of times as well as tested it in parallel with all other bottles and samples I have. I don’t think it’s better than the previous re-issue (2005 La Collection) or closer to the 80s’ version that I knew and loved. But I’m glad that thanks to all the friends, virtual and real-life ones, I was able to get this bottle: I own the latest three genuine Lancôme’s takes on this perfume – Climat La Collection (EdP), Climat (EdT) and Climat – L’Edition Mythique (perfume extract) and I love them all.

So, on this fifth anniversary of my blog I officially announce that I stop chasing my tail in the quest for this perfume because I do not remember any longer how “my” Climat smelled 30 years ago and I do not miss it.

Speaking of tails… How many tails do you think are there on the photo above?

 

Images: my own

P.S. If you’re not familiar with this perfume, I recommend reading the blind comparison post from the link above.

P.P.S. If you have any interest in cooking, I strongly urge you to browse my friend’s Katya’s site (though I do not recommend doing it while being hungry).

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48 thoughts on “Undina’s Looking Glass Turns Five

  1. Hello sweetie and a very happy 5th blogoversary to you!
    I know you love Lancome Climat and that thanks to commitment of your friends you could get that limited bottle of Climat L’Edition Mythique from Russia to the US. What a great travel of a perfume bottle. I’m sure you will remember that everytime you look at that bottle or put it on you.

    It’s heart-melting that you decided to bid farewell to Lancome Climat after all these years but since you just said that you don’t really remember how “your” Climat smelled like, you won’t be able to tell if a “new” Climat you try is close to the original you know or not.

    As for your question I would say there are 3 tails: Rusty’s fluffy one, mermaid’s tail on the painting and I believe that black curvy element on the cover of the book on which you have put a bottle might also be a tail.

    • Thank you, Lucas.

      I just want to correct: I’m not saying good-bye to the perfume, I’m stopping my hunt for the idea of it. I’ll wear all the versions of it and stop second-guessing my enjoyment.

      You’re almost right about the tails (see hajusuuri’s comment and my response to it).

  2. Happy Anniversary my dear! What a fantastic story of your perfume well traveled. It’s amazing how many people we touch and communicate with in this age of internet and how much smaller the world has become. Hugs to you and Rusty…I hope the new job is going well. xoxoxox Steve

    • Thank you, Steve! I was also amazed how readily people agreed to do something nice for a friend of a friend.
      Rusty got his share of hugs. As for me – I’m getting ready for the new week:so far everything’s going fine.

  3. Oh, what a great story! 5 years is such a milestone- mazal tov to one of my favorite voices in the perfume blogosphere!
    You know, I don’t think I’ve ever actually smelled Climat. Clearly that needs to change, if it’s worthy of such devotion!

    • B’karov etzlech, Ari.

      The last time Climat was available in the U.S. was a very short time in 2005 when Lancome re-issued it for the 70th anniversary of their perfume business. Since then there was a re-issue of the EdT but it’s only available in Europe (or online).

  4. Oh, many congratulations on five years of blogging. Your voice is so uniquely entertaining that I hope you will carry on for many more. Then I loved how the Climat bottle went to China and back to the USA – it reminds me of how the little box you once sent me samples in ended up passing through another friend’s hands before ending up in my artist friend David’s possession, where it really surprised me to see he had the box. He was keeping shells in it!

    I think Lucas has identified the three tails I also see…;)

    I was thinking of you this week and wondering how you were settling into your new job. The fact that you had time for this anniversary post augurs well!

    • Thank you, Vanessa! Let me hope with you that I’ll have enough time and inspirations to keep blogging: I really enjoy the company!

      You and I are definitely no strangers to traveling perfumes though so far not a single full bottle made it more than once over the ocean. But who knows – maybe one day…

      You were close in your guess about the tails. For the explanation see hajusuury’s comment below and my response ;)

  5. Happy 5th Anniversary, Undina! What a great Climat story; certainly it’s a well travelled perfume bottle! I guess there comes a time when we stop chasing our “one”. Though now you officially announced that you stopped your chase, the original Climat might pop up in your life sometime. ;)

    I also say there are three tails. I know which tail I like most. :)

    • Thank you, Magpie!

      I should have probably posted a disclaimer: if a perfectly preserved vintage bottle one day falls into my lap I won’t send it away ;)

      Yes, the ginger tail is the best, no contest. But if you’re curious about the possible fourth tail, see my reply to hajusuuri’s comment.

  6. I love the way you called it a “multi-step extraction mission”! The Secret Service couldn’t have done a better job than the combined forces of your team.
    How lovely to know the cooking community is just as quick to rally round.
    I’m so happy you got your bottle and feel the chase can finally be put to rest.
    Hope your job is going well and I also suspect there are three tails in that photo. What a perfect painting for you.
    Happy 5th Birthday! Amazing.

  7. Congratulations on 5 years, Undina! I absolutely love the packaging of this version of Climat — blue & gold is one of my favorite colors combinations, and I love Paris, City of Lights. (And I agree that there are three tails, and add that I believe the third tail from the book cover is also a cat’s tail!)

  8. Happy blogversary! I’m glad to hear you’re fulfilled with your Climat collection and no longer miss the original. :) What a trek for that last bottle – and it is beautiful! I wonder if someday I’ll actually fall for a perfume as strongly as you have fallen for Climat!

    • Thank you, Sun.

      A several years ago I would have told you that you probably had to have an early bond with a perfume to feel that strong about it. But since now I have at least one more perfume without which I do not want to be – Ormonde Jayne Ta’if – I think it’s possible: you just need to find the right one.

  9. I had to rub my eyes and pinch myself to see if I am really reading what I am reading. So even you are not immune to getting a large -sample!

    Happy fifth blogoversary, Undina! I love your perfume extraction mission and that was just planned perfectly. As to the number of tails, I’ll be the dissenter and say there are four: Rusty’s (my favorite one and so floofy fluffy), the black outline on the book jacket, the mermaid’s and the tail tip of a feline animal that is sitting on a tree-limb.

    • Thank you, hajusuuri!

      In my defense I must say that I kind of knew how perfume smells… and there was absolutely no chance I’d be able to try it before buying. But yes, it was partially a blind buy.

      You were the first to guess the fourth tail :) It’s not clear on the picture if the black cat has a visible tail but since a cat without a tail is just slightly less unusual than a grin without a cat, I assumed that if there is a cat there is a tail – and I was careful to ask “do you think” and not “do you see” :)

  10. Happy blog birthday Undina, today happens to be my birthday as well! I count four tails, and enjoyed the typical perfumista epic of how Climat Mythique came home to California, and you stopped missing her. Great life lesson.

  11. Undina, you know where the perfect “climat” can be found? Right here on your blog. You’ve created a place in Perfume Land that is always intriguing, engaging, welcoming and fun. (Not to mention Rustylicious! ;-) ) Congratulations on your anniversary!

    • Thank you, dear Suzanne. You can always find such nice words for support. I appreciate it a lot (I suspect Rusty would too if he knew the cause of those extra treats he’s getting in your name).

  12. Congratulations on your 5th anniversary! And congratulations for always making this a great blog to visit. I am truly amazed at your perfume’s around the world journey, but not surprised that you have lovely friends happy to make this possible.
    As for the tails, I say 4. The first three seem clear: the mermaid’s, the seems-to-be cat tail on the book, and the oh-so-fluffy tail of Rusty. I did not see the feline in the mermaid painting (until hajusuuri mentioned it) but I am not convinced that I can see its tail. I do however think there is a tail in the glass ornament.
    I’m hoping Rusty gets a treat for his perfect pose, although it was probably a lot of work for you to capture the moment, so maybe you should get a treat too. :-)

    • Thank you, Lindaloo, and I’m glad you find the reasons to visit my blog: I enjoy telling stories to friends.
      You’re correct about the black cat’s tail: it’s hard to say even by looking at the actual painting if it’s there or not. But, as I explained to hajusuuri, since the idea was to count the tails that one thinks are there on the photo, we can definitely count that one as well. I’m not sure though what glass ornament you refer to: there are no ornaments on the photo but maybe you were talking about my first ornament that had a black cat (yes, with the tail)?

      • Very clever wording of the question :-)) Of course, that cat *has* a tail (congrats to hajusuuri for actually seeing the feline!). It was the glass object at the very end of the shelf (the one that Rusty’s face blocks a bit of) that I was curious about as it has a wavy (mermaid-ish) aspect.

  13. What a wonderful story! And congratulations on getting that well-traveled bottle delivered to you (lovely people to get it to you!) and to your fifth blog-o-versary! xo

  14. Happy Anniversary! And congratulations on your acquisition! Climat is so beautiful that I’m very glad to hear Lancome produced a new edition. More houses should try anniversarying their classics. Lucky too that you were able to get ahold of a bottle. No easy thing to do.

    Aside from the handsome Rusty’s tail, are there three more?

    • Thank you, Blacknall. I also think it’s a good idea to do anniversary re-releases. I wished though Lancome would have done it in the classic bottle.
      Yep, three more – two visible and one implied.

  15. Congratulations on your anniversary *and* on getting that super-exclusive version of Climat.

    I wondered, when I read about the 3,000 bottles, whether you’d be able to access one; what a tribute to friendship, to have so many folk pitch in to obtain one and get it to you!

    cheerio ;-)

  16. Congratulations with your anniversary ! What a great story, Undina! Hope your new job is going well. Wonderful to read about the way Climat made its way to you and all people who helped you with it. I saw Climat in a department store here in Amsterdam, probably 2 years ago but I do not know if they still sell it. It smelled quite different from the way I remembered it. I used to wear it when I was 16 and loved it. Love Rusty on the photograph 🐱

    • Thank you, Esperessence! (love that cat smiley! :) )

      Climat that you saw/tried should have been Lancome’s re-release of EdT (it’s still in production in Europe). I have it and can confirm that it smells different from what I know like Climat but I’ve never tried Lancome’s original EdT so I wouldn’t know how much differently the newest EdT smells compared to the older versions.

      Rusty will get a treat for your compliment on his participation in the photo shoot.

  17. Pingback: From the Cutting Room Floor: Perfume? What Perfume? Where??! – Undina's Looking Glass

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