Saturday Question: What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

I’m so glad it’s a weekend! Even though I’ll probably have to do some chores, I’m glad I would be able to take my mind off work. And probably I’ll do some perfume planning: I feel I’m getting too absorbed into my day-to-day routine, and I don’t have time to think about what to wear or test during the work week. Maybe I can do a line-up of perfumes to wear for several days in advance… But let’s go back to the current topic.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #61:

What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

Whenever a topic of favorite perfumes for one of a well-known brands comes up, or when in a SOTD thread somebody mentions everybody’s darling, people usually get really engaged adding their voices to each other’s choices. But whenever a lesser known brand or perfume is named, it usually sits lonely in the thread. Let’s give it some shine!

Name a perfume from your collection that you suspect most people don’t know or have. How did you happen to get it? Do you wear it?

My Answer

I have a number of perfumes that would fit the bill, but I decided to go with this one – Isa by Ulric de Varens. There are a couple of readers who were reading my blog back when I told a story for Isa, but I bet that most of you have never heard of this perfume (or the brand, though I wouldn’t bet on that part).

For those of you who don’t have time to go through the old post, a quick recap: it’s a nostalgic perfume from my adolescent years, and it took three attempts by three different people to get it to me from France.

I don’t think I wore Isa even once every year since I got it, but I’m still glad I have it because once in a while I can put it on and remember how grown-up and glamorous I felt all those decades ago spraying it on. Can you believe: I still remember a sweater I was wearing that day?

Ulric de Varens Isa

 

What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

 

40 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

  1. Natura Amor Amerika Paramela…herbs, citrus, honey and woods. The fragrance and bottle are beautiful. Gifted to my by a dear friend who was downsizing her collection.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I expect my most obscure perfumes are some by House of Matriarch, like Trillium, Bonsai, and Epiphany. They are complex and beautiful! I don’t read much about them (which I plan to rectify on my own blog this year!). I also have several of the Scent Trunk commissioned fragrances, which don’t seem widely discussed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t think I have anything truly obscure. Looking at my collection of minis and bottles, the weirdest/least known is probably Rochas Tocadilly. Bought because I like Tocade and it has a similar bottle. (Surprisingly created by Christopher Sheldrake!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure I’ve ever tried anything from this brand, even though I know about it. It’s interesting about the perfumer – I wouldn’t even have thought it was done by such a renown nose. Interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hmmm, I don’t think I have a lot of obscure stuff, but there are a few oddballs: Hippie Shit by Mister Green, a small red jewel-shaped bottle by a long defunct indie perfume company called SAN, Matthew Williamson Incense, a Fortnum & Mason custom scent by Micallef, in fact I have a few custom scents by Micallef for various independent perfumeries (Parfumerie Bruckner, Parfumerie Nasreen). A cute little floral incense scent done by Mark Buxton for a small French clothing shop, Antoine et Lili, called Holy Champa.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just read your Isa story and am super impressed by the lengths you went to for it! I don’t think I’ve ever ventured further than eBay for an old perfume love. So, Dana California might qualify as an obscure one now, although I’m not sure how popular it was back in the 1990s! Also Hongkong Oolong that was the first 1:1 project with Nez magazine—it seems to be completely unavailable anywhere now. If I had known it would disappear so quickly, I would have bought more!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are three things in my collection that I reckon are pretty obscure, mainly because they aren’t or weren’t so widely available.
    Two are by Guerlain: Champs Élysées bath pearls and Vol de Nuit sparkling powder with a blue propellor bottle and black puff. Both treasured gifts.
    Purely perfume wise: Antonio gave me a 5ml decant of Gardelia. I wear it every now and then when I want to be totally engulfed in fragrance and close out the world.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember this Vol de Nuit powder! I now regret not getting it when it was released.

      Gardelia… I think I saw that bottle back when it was released, but other than that I don’t know anything about it.

      Like

      • Undina, the VdN powder is so glamorous. I give myself a little puff some nights just to be OTT glam.
        Gardenia came is a crazy, hand blown bottle with lumpy spikes; a bit like the C19. Ut was yellow and green if I remember rightly. I got mine in a decant; better for spritzing.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Probably not really obscure but because the company is now defunct: Tommi Sooni Eau de Tommi Sooni II. You introduced me to the brand and I think you also have the same bottle!

    Another one off the top of my head:
    – Skive – was popular for a while and I believe it’s the one and only fragrance from this leather company

    There are probably a few others; I just hope I don’t wake up wanting to add to the list immediately!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have many obscure vintage perfumes, but the more current ones I don’t feel are too obscure. A few Hilde Solianis, and a natural perfume with a number as a name which I will forever forget as well as a too long company name Richard Lüscher Britos ( I always need to look that up, maybe that’s why I feel they are obscure 😄) Only one other person had this listed in their collection on Parfumo, I didn’t check Fragrantica, so I guess that makes it rare-ish.
    Of the vintage ones: Lancôme bel automne, Gueldy Cathedral, Coty Lilas blanc to mention a couple 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have elle.elle by Lucien Lelong, which I bought unsniffed because Luca Turin noted its unusual and beautiful accord of rose and camomille. Also, I liked the name and bottle.

    Playing ebay roulette like this with vintage perfumes is one of my hobbies, and elle.elle is one of my most treasured wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Probably most obscure is Scent of Finland Kajo, a lovely fresh floral, or my 2 Theodoros Kalotinos scents, Jasmine of Athens and Coffee Addict. I’ve also enjoyed and used up over the years some fragrances by Japanese perfumer Annayake; Annayake Miyabi and Annayake Matsuri are 2 that I have loved. Annayake is not exactly obscure, but I don’t see their fragrances discussed much in the niche world. .

    Like

      • I got samples of the Scent of Finland and Svensk perfumes from indiescents.com, a Canadian niche perfume website that carries some more obscure indie fragrances. I have been buying from this site for a few years and they have an interesting selection and great service. They just started carrying the Scent of Finland brand and the Svensk brands this year I believe. You can order lots of different samples from them and the samples are quite generous, 2 ml samples.

        I learned of the Theodoros Kalatonis brand from Elena Vosnaki, the blogger with Perfume Shrine. She is Greek and she had an article about this Greek perfumer on Fragrantica and there was a 30% off coupon and free shipping for Fragrantica readers so I ordered direct from his website in Greece. Shipping was pretty fast and safe by DHL. So far I really love his Coffee Addict and Vanilla fragrances. They are wonderful worn together. There is also a Jasmine of Athens that is nice and a Plumeria scent that I tried. I like to support indie perfumers so the 2 fragrances were a good buy with the substantial discount offered.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I forgot Annayake! I discovered the brand through a swap with someone from Turkey back in the days when international perfume shipping was still allowed. I loved the fragrance so I started searching for a place to buy it and found the brand on fragrancenet of all places! The bottles are reasonably priced, usually about $75.00 to $85.00 so I blind bought a few over the years and liked almost all of them. ( I still have not found anywhere to sample the Annayake scents before buying). There were a couple that smelled a little too ‘watery’ for my taste; but, overall it’s a very good brand with a Japanese minimalist aesthetic, which I like.

        Liked by 1 person

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