Saturday Question: How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

It was Portia who suggested this week’s question but refused to lead the discussion. I decided to run it myself because I’m also curious to read your answers.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #85:

How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

How did you decide what to use as your online/screen name in Perfumeland? Leaving aside Facebook where most people use their actual accounts with First and Last Name, what is the handle you use in perfume-related communities to post or comment on posts? Is it some version of your name, a nickname or completely arbitrary or fictional creation? Why have you chosen it?

My Answer

Almost nine years ago, I’ve published a post in which I told a story of how I came up with both my screen name and this blog’s name. What is interesting, in that post I counted comments from at least 9 people who still read my blog these days.

For those of my newer readers who is not curious enough to read an ancient post, I’ll give a short version: Undina (my native language-specific spelling of the word “Undine” – a category of elemental beings associated with water) was a nickname that I’d chosen a couple of decades ago (wow, time swims fast!) for a role-playing chat room that I frequented and where I spent many happy hours. Out of all possible species of the undines group, my character in that chat room had transformed into a mermaid. And one of the virtual props I used there was a looking glass on the wall. So, my screen name and my blog’s name are kind of homage to that wonderful time.

Undina by Lus

A collage made for my character by one of the chat’s habitués

Now it’s your turn.

How Did You Get Your Screen Name?


79 thoughts on “Saturday Question: How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

  1. The hint is in my gravatar, this is Cassie, and since I created it for perfume blogs I just tacked on the flower at the end. Seemed fitting. No plans to change it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Undina,
    I think we should be reminded of your fabulous story at least annually.
    Most of you know Australian Perfume Junkies was a blog 2012-20.
    Portia is part of my drag name (Portia Turbo) that has become the name I use in all daily life except government and bank stuff. It’s the name I respond to and anyone respectful will only use that name.
    Thanks Undina for using my suggestion,
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My initial fascination with perfume was sparked by reading complaints about reformulations and banning or turning away from traditional perfume ingredients, and at the same time learning that old perfumes don’t always go bad. I honed in on oakmoss as being something I could still find in readily available and not too pricey vintage perfumes. Estee, Champagne, Teatro alla Scala, Tweed, and Dune might give you an idea of scents that drew me in. I love a fruity chypre. When I decided to quite lurking, I took my love of oakmoss, fruity notes, and Berry which is part of my real name, and came up with MossyBerry.


  4. Rickyrebarco was my first Italian greyhound ‘s name. Originally spelled Rickyrebarko as in “bark” like a dog. It was supposed to be a reference to Ricky Ricardo of I love Lucy, but no one ever made the connection so I guess it was too silly a pun. But I liked the name as it’s unusual and I have never seen anyone else with this screen name. Long story 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I had little personal blogs in the past with virtually no readers, and took them down for various reasons. I then started this one as Righting the Write, trying to be clever. I wrote exactly 10 posts and then left it dormant for a few years. When my obsession with perfume switched on and I started pursuing it in earnest at the very beginning of 2019, it was soon followed by the urge to write about it. By then I had learned that a perfumer is also called a “nose” and I’ve always like rhyming words, so Nose Prose was born and I changed the blog name to that, knowing I’d have to stick with it from then on!

    Making this a longer story, when I was in primary school, a teacher taught me a game called “Hink Pink” where you give a clue for a 2-word phrase and indicate the number of syllables in each word by saying “hink pink” (1 syllable), “hinky pinky” (2 syllables), or “hinkety pinkety” (3 syllables). So, for example, a clue for Nose Prose could be “perfumer story (hink pink).” Fun game for when you’re bored in the car and there’s more than 1 of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, Asali came up when I tried to find a name with all my own letters without success 😀, one letter would need exchanging for another. Asali, however, is a name which a famous danish poet I.P. Jacobsen uses a lot. He came by it as an old Norse name, also Asalil. Not only do I love his poetry, he was also a biologist, so his description of nature, flowers and scent is always very sensitive and naturalistic, and his poems are full of it. I thought it fitting as a perfume screen name,

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is an interesting story of the name. Thank you!
      I heard the name but haven’t read anything by Jacobsen (I know that at least one of his books was translated in Russian but our paths hadn’t crossed).


      • Really, you actually remember a book? He wrote lots of poetry and only two novels, but they became extremely popular in their time, even more so outside of Denmark. Many German composers of the time took up his verses for music. The story goes that some even learned danish to read Jacobsen and Kierkegaard in their original language.


  7. My screen name means “The Big Stink”.

    When I fell into the rabbit hole, I wanted to use a short screen name that’s not my name that sounded unusual but also related to scents, perfumes, etc. I used Google translate and was able to pick from around 40 combinations. With no background in most of the languages to pick up on subtleties, I landed on “haju suuri” which I thought translates to “smells great” in Finnish. It took a Finn reading Kafkaesque’s blog to burst my bubble when he explained that the name translates to smells great but not in a flattering way.

    It amuses me that I ended up with a name that meant the opposite of what I wanted but I’ve stuck with it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually about that… Almost three years ago (in 2019), out of the blue, there was a comment for your first guest post on this blog (from 2014), where a person very seriously was explaining why whoever explained the translation to you was wrong. I have never approved that comment because the explanation, even if it holds water, was boring and your story is great. But if you’re curious, the main idea of that explanation was that to be correct in Finnish it should have been “‘suuri haju’, not ‘haju suuri’” – to which I say: who cares? ;) Oh, also, that person claimed that “the meaning of ‘haju’ depends on the context. It can mean scent, odour, smell, funk or stink.”

      But I suggest we stick to your version :)


    • “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story” was one of the idioms my Drag Mother taught me about hosting and telling stories. She would ramble on for ages about a kernel of nothing, using tone, volume, repetition and outright fabrication. It only ever elevated a story and helped bring the audience on a ride.
      Hajusuuri will always be the Big Stink for me, even if I’m in Finland. Promise.
      Portia xx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mine is not that exciting, I was living in Dubai when I first really got seriously into perfume. It doesn’t make as much sense now that I moved back to the US but, I will always hold onto my memories of all the perfume fun in the UAE.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My screen name comes from a book I loved (and still love) as a child: “Old Herbaceous”, by Reginald Arkell. I started blogging in the summer of 2015, when I had broken my shoulder and couldn’t garden (or do much of anything) for some months, and I started with a little garden blog, also called Old Herbaceous: I had plunged into serious interest in perfume around 2014, and at the same time, I was having a really tough time at work (yes, I kept working with the broken shoulder, from a medical lift chair at home), so I started a different blog called Scents and Sensibilities as a mindfulness exercise and fun distraction from job craziness: I just kept using the screen name Old Herbaceous, and here I am!


  10. I’ve really enjoyed everyone’s comments in this post – word and name origins show how wonderful and creative the human mind is!


  11. Wish I had sth smart to say but I’m me (I?). 😁
    The blog name is a reference to my hair color though. And the fact people categorize each other quite often on the basis of looks.


  12. My original Basenotes handle was a play on CB I Hate Perfume using my initials (VM I hate civet), while the name I use for my blog (flittersniffer) came about because I am a fickle Gemini – also when it comes to perfume – and a Vanessa. The name is a Latin genus of butterflies, butterflies being of course noted for flitting from flower to flower in a non-committal manner.

    Bonkersvanessa is a nod to my blog (Bonkers about Perfume), and a statement of the obvious, hehe.


What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.