Second Sunday Samples: All that Glitters is not Gold

Two samples that I’ve chosen for this SSS post were on my mind for the last couple of months. Originally I planned to write about them in December but then plans changed, and I moved these to January.

The reason I thought these two were suited for December is that both perfumes come with festive golden flakes in flacons, so Christmas or New Year celebrations naturally come to mind.


Atelier des Ors Iris Fauve

Three Sea Stars

I really looked forward to trying Atelier des Ors Iris Fauve after reading Lucas’s review: our perfume tastes are very similar, and he liked it enough to go for a bottle, a sample from which he graciously shared with me.

I was supposed to like this perfume: I like iris, I like vetiver, I like myrrh, and all other declared notes (bergamot, cinnamon, patchouli, cypriol, musk, labdanum and liatris) are among those that I do not mind in my perfumes. I wanted to like this perfume, and I kept trying it again and again after reading each next positive review (Portia liked it , Steve liked it, Gaia liked it, and even Kafka didn’t hate it).

I must be anosmic to some ingredients in Iris Fauve: while it is not unpleasant on my skin, I can barely smell anything. Some kind of iris is there in the opening but it’s not any of its facets that I usually enjoy in perfumes. Half an hour into the development I can smell cinnamon (as always, I’m amazed when I can actually recognize one of the notes). Woodiness I smell probably comes from vetiver – though it’s also less pronounced than in several vetiver perfumes that I like.

There are many perfumes that others like and I don’t, but usually with those I understand what others smell but just do not share the love. With Iris Fauve I just don’t see (smell) what one can love (or even dislike) in this perfume: it is kind of there but not really. For my nose it is quiet, inoffensive and not memorable. And it comes only in that stupid 100 ml bottle. Though maybe if one bathes in it, it is more pronounced?


Molvizar and Atelier des Ors Samples


Ramon Molvizar Musk Oriental Goldskin

Four Sea Stars

Ramon Molvizar Musk Oriental Goldskin was one of two contenders for my Barcelona trip perfume trophy. I liked it when I first smelled it, and I spent an hour sniffing it trying to decide if I wanted to get it.

As I keep repeating, I’m not good with discerning notes in perfumes. But I have good “perfume memory”: I recognize similarities in perfumes I’m trying and those that I smelled before. So sniffing Musk Oriental Goldskin, I immediately told myself that it reminded me of something I already knew. I wasn’t completely sure but because of those doubts in the end I went with another perfume from the same brand – Sol/Sun. But I brought back with me a sample of Musk Oriental Goldskin.


Ramon Molvizar Sol/Sun


At home I confirmed my initial impression: Musk Oriental Goldskin (2007) had a lot in common with Jo Malone’s limited edition from 2008 Lotus Blossom & Water Lily. As we know, notes lists do not mean much but still I couldn’t help noticing the intersection.

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily notes: mandarin, grapefruit, bergamot, honeysuckle, freesia, jasmine, water lily, lotus, sandalwood, amber, musk, guaiac wood and incense.

Musk Oriental Goldskin notes: bergamot, ginger, green notes, floral notes, jasmine, lotus, water lily and musk.

Musk Oriental Goldskin is a light floral oriental perfume – warm enough for winter wear but sheer enough not to be overwhelming in hot weather as well. Despite the completely unnecessary golden flakes, this perfume smells luxurious and elegant. It is not phenomenal, and nobody should run and test it, but if you come across it, give it a try: it might pleasantly surprise you.

When asking for that sample at the store, I hoped that I would be able to prove to myself that I didn’t need Musk Oriental Goldskin. Well, I do not need it (I don’t need any more perfumes in general) but since, unfortunately, my Lotus Blossom & Water Lily bottle turned (I bought it used so I don’t know how it was stored before coming to me), I’m thinking about getting a bottle of Musk Oriental Goldskin from Ramon Molvizar’s “pocket line” if I can figure out how not to pay the enormous delivery fee on a reasonably priced 30 ml bottle.


Rusty and Molvizar and Atelier des Ors Samples


Images: my own


22 thoughts on “Second Sunday Samples: All that Glitters is not Gold

  1. I feel the same about PG Iris Oriental as you do about Iris Fauve. It is just not engaging enough somehow.

    I have a 100ml bottle of that Kohdo Day Jo Malone! Let me check if it has turned! It may have done by now, I rather fear.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Weirdly, the nozzle smells fresh as a daisy, and exactly as i remember the scent, but spray the juice itself and it has definitely turned. What a shame as it is a 100ml bottle too!


        • What a bummer! :( It was painful to through away half of my 30 ml bottle – so I can only imagine how unsettling it is to realize that a 100 ml (whatever is left in it) is gone. That makes me thinking: can it be that they do not do those limited editions the same way they do the regular perfumes, knowing that it will be sold out within several months?


          • I had an unopened 100 ml bottle of Kilian Pure Oud (that was stored in the fridge in a box) go completely off within 2 years. The presentation bottles of Pure Oud and Rose Oud are smelling a bit dodgy too. Must be some ingredient in there that degrades quickly.


  2. I have tried all the Atélier des Ors and can’t get excited about any of them. They smell weak or indistinct on my skin. Oh well, lots of money saved! Love the cute packaging for the Ramón Molvizar!


    • I was so upset about not liking Iris Fauve that I didn’t try to get the rest of the collection to try. I might be wrong, and one of the other scents would work better for me but unless I come across them at a store, I probably won’t ever know. But you’re rights: at the price point it’s almost better not to like those perfumes :)


  3. Oh! My sample is going to be famous.

    I’m really sorry that Iris Fauve didn’t do what it promised in your case. Such a shame as I really though it would be a great perfume for you. Well, I was wrong this time. Hopefully this iris that we don’t match with won’t weaken our twins/triplets bond.

    Atelier des Ors are not cheap so it’s money saved for you. You got to spend them on other perfume you like :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Reading other blogs and chatting on NST and APJ, I keep looking for perfume twins, and I must say that I haven’t met anybody with whom my tastes would coincide as much as they do with you and hajusuuri – even though there are some perfumes that one of you loves and I don’t and vice versa.
      As to the perfume prices: so true! These days it’s almost a gift if we don’t like a well-made perfume that everybody else loves.


  4. All that glitters is not gold! True dat! I got a decant of Iris Fauve but have not had a proper wearing of it because I just located it while I was looking for vanilla week decants. I’ll report back once I try it. Between the two of us, I am 500x more apt to get swayed by what I read and happy to say, I tend to end up agreeing with the more popular sentiment.

    Another perfume with gold flakes that came to mind is Roja Dove Haute Luxe. I ordered a travel spray of it and after what seemed to be a long time, I finally got the package from a warehouse in NJ. What? I paid for shipping ($15, I think) and for it to come from NJ and cost that much did not sit well with me. I eventually got the shipping cost back. How about the juice? Nice, if you are into vintage floral, if I recall what it smelled like. I will need to revisit. Would you pay $30 for a .7mL sample?


    • Many years ago (5?) I did a statistics post, in which I calculated price per ml of perfumes that I wore that month. My most expensive (per ml) perfume at that time was Chanel No 19 extrait (at ~$14/ml). I don’t think that since then I’ve bought anything that would exceed that price. So – unless you or Lucas tell me that there is a perfume to die for, to test which I need to pay $30 for less than a ml… and even then I’d think several times. I mean, I can imagine paying that price per ml to buy something that I tried and loved, but I’m much less prepared to pay even half of it just for the privilege to try something that I, most likely, end up not even liking. $15 for shipping from the neighboring street? I would have been furious!
      I probably won’t be able to participate in this week’s project: one of the few perfumes my manager asked me not to wear was MdO’s Vanille (go figure!). So now I’m a little reluctant to wear vanilla perfumes to the office, especially when we have planned meetings in the small meeting room :(


  5. I totally understand what you mean by ‘it is kind of there but not really’. There are these perfumes that are nice, but they just simply do not leave a memorable impression. And, when they come in 100 ml at such a price tag, they make it all the more easy to leave them on the shelf and never revisit :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • If to think about it: in my day-to-day life there is much more space to wear “not memorable” perfumes (since those are usually a more quiet ones that won’t attract too much attention and won’t be objected to at the work place) but I still have a tendency to seek out the other kind :)


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