On Cloud Nine

It’s my blog’s ninth anniversary. As always, let’s do some stories and some perfumes (and probably some cat’s pictures).

* * *

I’m not a big drinker. My conundrum is: while I love the “taste” component of drinking, I do not enjoy being inebriated. Probably, it’s a control issue. But whatever the reason be, the fact is that I like drinking but hate feeling drunk. Despite all the cultural stereotypes, I do not ever drink vodka. Unless it’s a special occasion or a wine tasting trip, my usual drinking is limited to a glass of wine or a cocktail on the weekends.

Last year was very stressful at work (mostly due to the deadlines, not people-related, which is better, as far as work stresses go), so I found myself having a little wine (less than a glass) late in the evening 3-4 times a week. In this case, what I usually don’t like about alcohol would rather help me: I’d relax and fall asleep easier. But I knew that I didn’t really need those extra glass or two per week and could easily give them up.

That was before I got sick in December and had to take antibiotics that categorically couldn’t be combined with any alcohol (as in not just being less effective but being poisonous). So, I had to stop drinking. Period. I had a break between two courses around Christmas, so I had some wine for that celebration, but on the New Year Eve all I had was a sip of champagne at 12. That was my soberest New Year celebration in several decades! And it was hard: I wanted my glass of wine. Or two.

 

Barrels with wine

 

So, it’s fair to say that drinking was on my mind as I was thinking about the blog’s anniversary.

There are many beverages represented in perfumery, and I might do another post to cover some of them in future, but today I want to talk about what I missed the most in the last month – wine.

Sparkling wine/champagne/prosecco is usually associated with special events or leisure time. My favorite moment with this drink is the first couple of sips. So, when it’s just two of us, it feels almost wrong to open an expensive bottle: I rarely enjoy drinking more than a glass of champagne, and it doesn’t keep well. But when it comes to perfumes featuring this note, none of the two I want to mention will break the bank.

Antica Farmacista is a brand that is known for their ambient products – candles, diffusers and room sprays. From time to time they produce “Home and body” sprays that, as it’s clear from the name, can be used for either (last year I finally found an almost perfect Daphne scent done by the brand). Prosecco was their last year’s limited-edition scent. It’s light and sparkling, and it fits the name perfectly. While I still plan to finish the sample I’ve got, I think that as a diffuser or a candle scent or even as body products it should be even better. And they all are still available, so give it a sniff if you come across it.

Champagne de Bois from Sonoma Scent Studio was getting so much love when I was just starting the descend into the rabbit hole of niche perfumery. I stopped hearing (reading) much about it long before Laurie Erikson decided to move away from the business. And it’s a pity because it is a very good perfume, and I think that having a chance to try it, many more people would enjoy wearing it. My biggest complaint with many of SSS’s perfumes was… their concentration. In my opinion, the way they were created, they should have been used as extraits of the past – dabbed, not sprayed. And for spraying there should have been a much less concentrated version. Recently I was diluting some of the SSS’s perfumes with perfumer alcohol and using them like that. Champagne de Bois, in my opinion, is one of such perfumes. But otherwise, if dabbed or sprayed after being diluted, it is gorgeous. In my head I classified Champagne de Bois as a “winter champagne”: it’s sparkling and festive but not refreshing. I wonder if its formula stays the same under new ownership (I plan to check it out soon).

 

Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois

 

If you prefer something sweeter, may I interest you in Tokay wine?

Tom Ford Champaca Absolute is one of my favorite perfumes for the last 8 years. I’m not sure how Fragrantica comes up with their notes lists (and usually I do not question them), but Tokay (Tokajii) wine note isn’t in their pyramid, even though it was mentioned in the perfume’s description from the start, and TF’s website still lists it. Champaca Absolute is a big floral perfume that balances well between light and darkness. Similar to those versatile pieces in one’s wardrobe that can be dressed up or down, Champaca Absolute, applied with a lighter hand or sprayed with an abundance, would perfectly fit a business function or a big party. Exactly like Tokay wine would.

While I enjoy both champagne and white wine, having a choice between [expectedly] good white or good red wine, nine out of ten times I’d go for red (by the way, with [presumably] bad wines, I choose the opposite, because, as a rule, white cheap/bad wine is more drinkable than red one).

 

Les Liquides Imaginaires Bello Rabelo

 

Les Liquides Imaginaires was one of the brands that I’ve discovered on my own: before seeing and trying them for the first time at Barney’s, I’ve never read anything about their perfumes and had no expectations. Bello Rabelo was probably the most spontaneous purchases I’ve ever made. But I was in a good company (another perfumista who had left Perfume blogosphere since), I was buying this perfume rather for my vSO than myself (and he liked it, though he’s much less discriminatory against perfumes in general on account of allergy-induced stuffed nose), and I was “due” to buy something from the store (there are only that many times I feel comfortable trying perfumes/asking for samples without buying something when the store has the same SAs over years). Luckily, both my vSO and I still like it. Bello Rabelo is not phenomenal or groundbreaking, but I find it quite original – at least I don’t have anything like it in my collection. Different sources cite slightly different notes, but they all rotate around dried fruits, vanilla, benzoin and wood. I can equally imagine either a “red wine” (Fragrantica) or a “porto accord” (brand’s site) note in Bello Rabelo, and whatever it is, it smells good. And same as wine, it is quite gender neutral.

 

Rusty and Bello Rabelo

 

And now I’ll get a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and return to my cloud nine. It’s your turn.

Are you a wine drinker? What is your favorite wine? Do you have any of the favorite perfumes that either officially include champagne/wine/port/etc. or remind you of one of these drinks?

Also, if you’d like to be entered into a draw for a 5 ml decant of (one of your choice) Champagne de Bois (“new stock”), Champaca Absolute or Bello Rabelo, just state your choice in the comment. Otherwise, I’ll assume “DNEM.”

 

Images: my own

45 thoughts on “On Cloud Nine

  1. I don‘t drink at all. Have not done for 30 years. Well – that is I guess, a lie now. I did have some whisky in Scotland last year. One must? Oh my gosh it was so delicious. So I guess the correct answer would be I do not drink unless I am in Scotland. I never cared for wine even when I did drink.
    I love and am actually wearing to day, Frederic Malle‘s Une Rose. I guess that is wine-y. Dabbed i hasten to add as spraying it would kill me and others. The difference in application is quite incredible. Two different scents.
    Great post as ever, and now I must return to my oven. ❤️

    • I like whiskey as well, so I will wholeheartedly agree: one must! :)

      I haven’t tried Une Rose in a long while, but I remember liking it many years ago. And since I used to like rose wine that my grandma made, I can see the connection.

  2. Rusty looks quite concerned about that glass of red wine ….

    I like powerful Australian shirazes, the ones that are old and taste of oak and licorice, and are thick and almost sweet! But I don’t like to reek of alcoholic drink, and if a perfume smells like wine or brandy I can’t wear it (I found Goutal’s Ce Soir ou Jamais was particularly boozy, and wanted to love it for the rose, but couldn’t).

    Yves Saint Laurent’s Champagne (later named Yvresse after legal fights with champagne producers) always intrigued me, but I couldn’t really say that it smelt like champagne – not unless perhaps it was a peachy Bellini (although that’s made with prosecco!).

    I hope you are now fully recovered. Spookily I was ill too just before Christmas and also ended up on two courses of antibiotics – I couldn’t face alcohol for weeks and weeks!

      • Thank you, Jillie! I’m not sure that I’m completely back yet, but at least for now I can drink :)

        Rusty was bribed by the promise of a treat, and at that moment he tried to figure out from where that treat would be coming.

        Yvress was one of YSL’s perfumes that was absolutely “not me,” when I tried it, so later when I learned about its previous name, I wasn’t curious enough to try it again to check whether it reminded me of champagne (not that I would specifically want to smell of one).

  3. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, 9 years is a long time! I’m always happy to read your posts, so thank you for keeping it up.

    I haven’t drunk any alcohol for 3 years now, and before that I drank very very sparingly. I like the taste of red wine or champagne, or a very good whisky, but my body doesn’t take alcohol well at all, it always makes me hung over, even one glas of very good wine does. When I was young, more than 40 years ago, I drank a lot, so I think I’ve had all the alcohol for a lifetime then!

    My most winy perfume is Annick Goutal’s Ce soir ou jamais, at least to my nose it is.

    • Thank you, Hamamelis. It’s always nice to see “familiar faces.”
      Do you have cravings for wine at all? Or were the negative consequences so unpleasant that the memory of it blocks out any desire to have a drink?

  4. Congratulations and happy anniversary! I have learned so much from your blog and your comments — thank you! Loved your thoughts on champagne fragrances and wine. I hope your health has improved since New Year’s. Have you tried any of the Seedlip non-alcoholic beverages? They are supposed to be quite fragrant and botanical, so I’m curious.

    • Thank you for keeping me company :)

      I was thinking about Seedlip’s products before the NY, but as I started reading reviews, I came across too many negative ones, so I decided to postpone it until maybe I’ll see it somewhere in a store.

  5. Happy 9th anniversary of your blog. Hopefully you are feeling better and can resume your glass of wine or two on the weekend.

    As fo wine for me, for whites I generally enjoy Pinot Grigio and for reds I enjoy zinfandel. I do belong to Rombauer wine club (they do a fabulous zin and are known for their chardonnay). I also belong to Cuvee in San Carlos (small tasting room if you get a chance to check.it out).

    I haven’t ever thought to actively seek out perfumes with a wine/champagne note. If any the perfumes in my collection have that note it’s by pure accident.

    Juli

    P.s. champagne de bois

    • Thank you, Juli. It’s great to see you here.

      Many years ago, when GPSs weren’t that great, we tried to visit Rombauer, but couldn’t find how to get to their estate and gave up :) Let’s do lunch, and you’ll tell me more about Cuvée.

      Your preference is noted.

  6. Ambre Russe is a great scent with Champagne and Vodka notes, very fun and festive. I wore it at New Years Eve.
    I like wine a lot, we are on holidays in France often and visit the local wineries. So we buy our favorites there and take them back to Germany. We like Riesling, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The boyfriend also loves Scotch Whiskey.

    • One of my “bucket list” destinations is wine region of France (even though I prefer California wines).

      I actually have a large decant of Amber Russe. I used to love it but then somehow went off it. I need to re-visit it once/if it gets cold again this winter season.

  7. Congratulations on your long blogging innings! Nine years is quite something. Very sorry you were deprived of even a little of your favourite tipple on account of the antibiotics. I have been drinking much less by choice this January, not that I was exceeding the Government’s weekly guidelines before. I was just drinking a little most nights. I sleep better when I don’t drink….I think.

    I remember Champagne de Bois, what a blast from the past! I have a small decant of the Tom Ford and do like it. I knew it had an alcoholic note, I just couldn’t recall what.

    There is a Caron perfume – or is it a bubble bath?? – with a champagne theme. Royal Bain?? Or is it a copy of the Caron? Rachael Potts knows. My perfume knowledge is going down the plughole, I am afraid.

    Oh, I was always told that cheap/bad red is a better bet than white. Maybe that is only true in Europe.

    • Somewhere in the walk-in wardrobe where I have piled my boxes of perfumes etc there is a bottle of Caron’s Bain de Champagne. If I remember correctly it was an all-purpose cologne -you could wear it and scent your bath water with it too, and I don’t think I used it more than once (suspect I didn’t care for it). Some people say it’s similar to Shalimar. So when I find it, I will send you some of that along with the Shalimar!

      I was also told that when drinking cheap, go for red over white ….

    • Thank you, Vanessa. By your example, I know that 9 years is not a record ;)

      It’s really interesting about “less bad” bad red/white wines. It very well might be true that it’s a geography-defined distinction.

      I’m trying to “catch up” on some wine consumption because, unfortunately, I’m not sure I won’t have to do one more course of antibiotics soon.

  8. Happy anniversary! I recently got Dom Rosa in a swap, which smells like rosé champagne to me. ELdO Vraie Blonde also smells like champagne to me. I like wine and spirits but they don’t like me. I get a splitting headache and/or nauseated if I have more than a few sips. Such a pity. But I make up for it with my other alcoholic habit, perfume. :-) I own Champaca Absolue and it is lovely, so if I win the draw I would prefer either Champagne du Bois or Bello Rabelo. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Tara!
      Dom Rosa is the one from that trilogy that I don’t remember. I mean, I liked most of those that I tried, but I don’t remember what I thought of this one.

      It’s a pity about wines. I know that I would be able to survive without them (much easier than, let’s say, without sweets), but I’m glad I have that option now. Well, perfumes would be a great “consoling prize” if I had to stop drinking altogether.

      Your preference is noted.

  9. Happy 9th Blogoversary, Undina! This is quite an accomplishment! Glad you’re over the woods and can indulge in a drink here and there. I don’t drink beer or the straight hard liquors; I usually end up drinking the latter only if included in a cocktail. I do drink wine but 99.99% outside the home. At a recent family gathering, Christmas actually, a cousin brought a Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon. OMG, if I can only have a few drinks a year, this is what I would choose to only drink forever. I have not bought one myself yet because I need to empty out – literally down the drain, bottles that have probably turned into vinegar already. I suppose I should make it a project because I already brought them up from the basement and they are in the kitchen mocking me 😱. As to perfumes with wine or champagne, I have to think about it. DNEM.

      • Thank you, hajusuuri!
        I don’t drink beer either :) (Whiskey or cognac are another matter though).

        I’m not sure whether I tried any of Joseph Phelps’s wines. Sounds familiar, but I’m not sure (I’ll ask my vSO later: he’s the one who tracks wineries we visit, I can remember only those whose wine clubs we join :) ).

        If you were storing your wine in the basement, why do you think it turned? In cooler environment many wines hold for decades.

        Rusty was handsomely rewarded for posing with my wine and perfume. I can’t say for sure, but it seems like the concept of delayed gratification (picture now – treat 2-3 minutes later) has finally settled in his head.

  10. Happy Birthday to your blog, my dear friend! May it last in the internetics for many years to come.

    I am not really a wine drinker but I would have a glass ocasionally. I don’t like the taste of red wine so my usual choice is some white wine or a rose one.

    I love Dom Rosa from Les Liquides Imaginaires – it conjures the bubbliness of Dom Perignon champagne. Also Masque L’Attesa, although that one veers between champagne and beer smell.

    • Thank you, Lucas.

      With wine it’s usually similar to perfumes: it’s hard to know what you actually like or not until you try really great examples of each genre.

      I wore L’Attesa today: I knew that it had champagne note/connection but I didn’t want to have it as a part of a multi-perfume post: I think it deserves its own story.

  11. Happy 9th Anniversary! Has Rusty had a haircut for the occasion or I am imagining that he is less fluffy than usual?

    As you know, I don’t really drink but I did bring back a whisky miniature from Scotland that I need to try. If I do drink I like a cocktail.

    I’ve tried many boozy perfumes over the years but decided they just aren’t for me. I remember Champagne de Bois being all over the blogosphere when I got first got deeply into perfume too.

    • Thank you, Tara!

      You’re very observant! Rusty has less fur this year. We explain it partially by the age and partially by the fact that he finally realized benefits of being covered by a blanket/sweater/etc., so we do it often when he sleeps, and as a result he doesn’t feel the necessity to grow more fur.

  12. I totally forgot to answer your questions! I have ELDO’s Vraie Blonde, which has a champagne note; I like it very much (and reviewed it). I have a few fragrances that remind me of cocktails: two are J.Crew No. 57 and No. 31, created by Arquiste for J.Crew. They’re very good and were designed to evoke a famous cocktail party in NYC. Another is Ramon Monegal’s Lovely Day, which has a licorice/anise note. And I’d love to be entered in your draw, for Champagne de Bois! Thanks!

  13. Happy Blogversary! That’s exciting to have a 9th anniversary of blogging. You always have such interesting subjects in your blogs. I do love wine, but due to medications I take regularly I am limited to maybe half a glass on rare occasions.
    I enjoy white wine and pinot noir very much. My favorite is champagne and other sparkling wines. I highly recommend a good cava, Spanish sparkling wine. Not that awful Frexinet, but some really good cava from grapes grown near Barcelona. I like the relaxed feeling of one glass of wine, but I definitely do not like being inebriated either. I, too, like to be in control! I wish one could drink half a bottle of wine just to enjoy the taste without any of the side effects. That would be heaven for me.

    You mentioned Tokay, Tokai. I like Viktoria Minya’s Hedonist perfume which I believe is based on the Tokay concept. Viktoria is Hungarian. Lubin’s gin fizz has a very cocktail like vibe. It’s a nice one for summerI I also like candles by Voluspa based on champagne scents. Voluspa has both a champagne and a prosecco scented candle.

    I would love to try the Tom Ford Champaca Absolute. Thanks for the drawing and for your wonderful blog!

    • Thank you, rickyrebarco! I’ll try to keep it up :)

      I have to admit that until recently I weren’t familiar with cava at all: somehow I missed it, even though I had a vacation in Barcelona several years ago and was on a lookout for local wines.

      I remember that one of Minya’s perfumes was had a wine note but I didn’t have time to investigate – I’ll check the samples I have.

      Your choice for the draw is noted.

  14. Happy 9th Blogoversary, dearest Undina! 9 years goes by do fast!

    I’m quite a fan of all the Kelly + Jones fragrances, which are all inspired by wine. It’s hard to pick a favorite though.

    • Thank you, D.! Good to see you.

      I remember reading about K+J line but I’ve never came across it, so I haven’t tried any of their perfumes. Maybe one day.

  15. I adore wine far too much, I love a beautiful red. My method of cutting down on drinking is to only drink the good stuff, that’s been quite effective! I am going to try the Liquides Imaginaires you mention, I did sniff it once but had tried too many things.I was wearing Royal Bain de Caron the other day and enjoying its champagne note :)

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