Saturday Question: Which of Your Favorite Aromas You Do Not Want Bottled?

It’s quite a usual poll when people are asked to suggest favorite scents that they would love to smell in perfume form: realistic flowers (especially those that cannot be steam distilled or processed by other traditional methods), first rain drops, a unicorn tears – we all dreamed about one of those at some point. But today we’re talking about aromas that you think are great but not as perfume notes.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #59:

Which of Your Favorite Aromas You Do Not Want Bottled?

There must be dozens of scents that you find pleasing and enjoy every time you smell them but which not necessarily would work as perfumes. What are those?

My Answer

Let’s start with an obvious candidate: meat. I love the smell of fried meat (though as I get older I eat it less and less often), and I think it’s great… but even the idea of having in perfume any part of the aroma that I enjoy from the plate makes me shiver.

But if to think about some more traditional scents, I can offer an inoffensive and widely used in cosmetics (and in perfumery as well) aroma: a cucumber. As much as I like it on its own and as a part of my meal, for perfumes it’s a deal breaker for me (I’m thinking of you, En Passant).

And the last one that I know is my personal nemesis while many people love it is a peach. While I love eating peaches and enjoy their scent, especially fresh from a tree and warmed up by the sun, there’s just a few perfumes where peach doesn’t bother me, but for the most of them I can’t stand that note. But I would love-love-love to have a bowl of ripe peaches on my table: they smell amazing!


Which of Your Favorite Aromas You Do Not Want Bottled?

Saturday Question: Have You Tried Any Perfumes Released in 2021?

It’s hard to believe but we’re a quarter into the current year. I don’t know about you, but my testing activities subsided significantly. I suspect that many brands have slowed down with new releases as well, but still, if you were to look at Fragrantica’s list for 2021, you’d see a significant number of new perfumes. It got me wondering what my readers were testing this year.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #58:

Have You Tried Any Perfumes Released in 2021?

Have you been to any stores that carry perfumes? Do they allow testing? Or were you buying samples? Were there any interesting finds so far?

A bonus question: are there any new perfumes you want to try?

My Answer

I was amazed to realize that so far I tried exactly one perfume released this year – Tom Ford Tubéreuse Nue. Not surprisingly, I dislike it: even though I do not think it’s a real tuberose, unlike it happens to me with artificial oud, I do not like either natural or artificial tuberose. But it made me to appreciate Malle‘s Carnal Flower and By Killian‘s Beyond Love more (even though I still don’t think I’d wear any of these). I’m not sure how this name continues the infamous line of questionable names, but I prefer not to look for the answer.

Tom Ford Tubereuse Nue

As to perfumes I’d like to try… There are not that many I’m aware of. Probably, I wouldn’t mind trying new Byredo scents, Diptyque Orphéon, new perfumes in Armani Prive and Tom Ford Private Bland lines and Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Griotte. I’m mildly curious about Jo Malone’s limited edition with hibiscus. But I think that’s it.

How about you?


Have You Tried Any Perfumes Released in 2021?

In The Search For The Perfect Mandarin

How often do you see print ads for a fruit? I’m talking not about store fliers, delivery service leaflets or motivational magazine collages about healthy eating, but actual ads that promote fruits. Not too often if you ask me. So, when I saw the ad in The New Yorker magazine, I registered it as something unusual.

Sumo Citrus

I’ve been seeing so-called Sumo Citruses/Mandarins for at least a couple of years, but it wasn’t until my vSO told me its story that I decided to try it (before seeing that ad). If you’re up to reading, here’s an article in the Los Angeles Times from a decade ago that gives a lot of details. But in short: it’s a Japanese hybrid citrus fruit known as Dekopon. Due to the high susceptibility to “exotic pests and diseases,” this fruit is prohibited from being imported into the US. It took a private grower many years to get trees grafted with legally imported branches cleaned off diseases, in quarantine, before those could be planted, legally but in secrecy, on 430 acres in California. So, now these are legally produced locally Dekopon fruit given in the US name Sumo (I really hope Japanese are secure enough not to claim “cultural appropriation”).

I like Sumo Citruses, but since they are two-three times more expensive than regular mandarins, I won’t eat them casually but will be buying them several times during the season (January – April).

What makes me even more fond of Sumo mandarin is that this hybrid is a “grand-child” of my most favorite mandarin – Satsuma. And my quest for the perfect mandarin perfume is based on it since I know it the best.

Of course, when the perfume pyramid mentions “mandarin,” it doesn’t usually clarify its variety or origin. So, I went just by the note in my database and selected a bunch of perfumes that I either remembered had that note as a prominent one or I thought they might.

* * *

I’ll start with samples.

Mandarin Perfumes Samples

From time to time, Antica Farmacista decides to step up from their usual ambiance scents ampluá and produce “Fragrance for Home & Body” or even “Le Parfum” version of their scents. These appear for a short period and then disappear, never to be seen again. I’m not sure whether they are different from Antica Farmacista’s Room Sprays. But if it says “body,” I feel better about spraying them on the skin. Vanilla Bourbon & Mandarin was one of such scents. I got it as a part of the sample set offer a couple of years ago, and I’m not sure if I tested it before, but now it seemed like a good occasion to finally get to it. Notes (according to the brand’s site): Crisp Satsuma Mandarin, Sweet Clementine, Orange Peel, Heliotrope, Bright Verbena, Spicy Bourbon, Warm Amber, Bourbon Vanilla, Labdanum Balsam. It’s a nice ambiance scent with juicy citrus in the opening and not overly sweet but boozy vanilla. I think it would be perfect in a diffuser, but there is no good reason to wear Vanilla Bourbon & Mandarin as perfume.

* * *

I’m not sure whether Atelier Cologne still produces Mandarine Glaciale: it’s “out of stock” everywhere I checked. But even if it has been discontinued, I won’t be upset since I’ve never warmed up to their Collection Azur, as a part of which Mandarine Glaciale was released. I don’t know if subconsciously I thought less of the collection because it appeared at Sephora first, or if it actually was less interesting than Atelier Cologne’s earlier lines. But whatever it was, I’m done with the sample. It is not mandarin I am looking for.

* * *

Pont Des Arts A ce soir was a “false positive” in my list: the promised “green mangarin” note was completely indiscernible. I’m mentioning it here only because it got into the “group photo” before I decided it wasn’t a part of this exercise.

* * *

BDK Parfums Citrus Riviera has an impressive list of notes (from the brand’s site): Essence of Moroccan Neroli, Essence of Italian Mandarin, Essence of Italian Lemon, Fig Accord, Moroccan Orange Blossom Absolute, Jasmine, Strawberry Neo Jungle Essence, Eucalyptus Essence, Everlasting Flower Absolute, White Musk, Patchouli from Indonesia, Vetiver from Haiti and Tonka Bean Absolute. For my nose, it opens with a nice citrus accord – bright, juicy and happy. I don’t get any fig, which surprises me since usually it’s a note I easily recognize. Citrus Riviera settles down to a drier composition with recognizable vetiver, but it’s not too insistent, like, for example, it feels for me in Hermes’s Vetiver Tonka. All the announced florals are probably there but blended without any prominent outliers. I’m a little bit annoyed by the promise of the strawberry note: as much as I do not trust my nose, strawberry is one of the most ubiquitous and recognizable aromas, so why to even mention it if it’s not really noticeable? It’s not like they put in some natural and extremely rare/expensive strawberry enfleurage or strawberry butter and now want us to know that, right? All-in-all, I like this perfume but… I’ll explain it while talking about the next sample.

* * *

If it weren’t for the current situation, for this post I should have got a sample of Tom Ford’s Mandarino di Amalfi. But I don’t know when I get to the store next time, so I decided to go with Neroli Portofino, a sample of which I had at home: after all, it has a mandarin note listed. I like this perfume, same as many other Private Blend variations in “blue bottles.” But I always felt like all these aromatic, aquatic, etc. perfumes, while quite nice and not simple or linear, in my book were “lesser” perfumes than, let’s say, chypres, orientals or even florals. So, leaving aside the absolute price of each perfume (e.g., Citrus Riviera is much cheaper than Tom Ford’s offerings), I could never justify paying any luxury brand’s “standard” price for their citrus perfume. I know, it’s not rational, but this is how I feel.

* * *

For someone who proclaims herself not a citrus perfumes fan, I discovered that I had quite a few perfumes featuring mandarin in my collection.

Mandarin Perfums

I had a small bottle of Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien for the last 10 years, and I’m not done with it yet. I don’t think it has enough mandarin to be a contender in my search – it’s more lemony and rather astringent than sweet. But today when I smell it, I like it much more than I did back then. I blame the industry! Compared to hundreds of releases of similar genre perfumes in that period, this 40-years old creation seems like a masterpiece.

* * *

Jul et Mad Aqua Sextius was a wrong choice for this post since official notes on the brand’s site do not even claim mandarin, but that note got into this perfume description in my database from Fragrantica – and that’s how it ended up here. If you haven’t tried this perfume and are curious, read Lucas’s review. From me, I want to add that I find it a little bit on the masculine side (but not overly) and that I think it wears much better in warmer weather. And if you like the scent, the combination of its longevity with the available bottle formats (7 ml, 20 ml and 50 ml) makes the price almost tolerable.

* * *

Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée is one of my most favorite Hermes perfumes. And it is a great mandarin. Recently I wore it “hajusuuri-style” – 8 sprays. It produces a pleasant burst of mandarin in the opening, and in a couple of hours, it’s just a sheer amber with a hint of the initial fruit. I do not mind: the cute bottle that I have can easily fit into the smallest purse for the re-application (in case I ever again need to go anywhere for longer than a couple of hours, that is).

Rusty and Hermes Mandarine Ambree

Prada Infusion Mandarine is probably my perfect mandarin perfume. It combines wonderfully juicy and very realistic mandarin with some recognizable aspects of the “Infusion” line, which makes it more interesting in the drydown than many other citrus-centric perfumes. I plan to finish this small (8 ml) bottle in the next couple of months and will probably buy a FB – luckily, it can be found for a very reasonable price online.

* * *

I previously published a post about Atelier Cologne Clementine California (When Life Gives You Clementines, Enjoy Them), but I want to mention it here again since, as I admitted then, I have no idea what fruit I smell – it can be either a mandarin, a clementine or both. But I enjoy it every time I wear it, and it’s one of those perfumes that I would consider repurchasing if I ever go through the bottle that I have. It is extremely juicy, bright and uplifting.

Mandarin Samples and Perfums

Have you tried Sumo citrus? Do you like mandarins? Do you have a favorite mandarin perfume?


Images: my own

Saturday Question: Do You Dream About Perfume?

We all dream in our sleep. Some people remember what they saw in their dreams, some don’t. They say, as we get older, we dream less. It doesn’t feel like that to me, but it might be.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #58:

Do You Dream About Perfume?

I don’t mean constantly and repeatedly – that would be probably extremely unusual even with our shared hobby. But have you ever had a dream that involved perfume – buying, smelling, finding a “treasure trove”?

My Answer

I came up with this question a while ago when I woke up remembering a dream. In that dream I found myself in a deceptively recognizable perfume store (it’s a non-existing one, outside of the dream I cannot place it, even though I still remember a little how it looked). As I was walking around, there were many perfumes in different parts of the store, grouped by their brands, I think. I was evaluating what I saw and planning where I’d start testing, but as it often happens in a dream, I was constantly interrupted by something else and couldn’t get to smelling those perfumes. And then the store was closing…

Another time I remember smelling something in a dream. I woke up thinking that it was an unusual experience: I didn’t remember ever smelling anything in my dream before. I even told about it to my vSO. Unfortunately, I can’t remember now what it was that I thought I smelled in a dream.

Speaking of dreams (not perfume-related though), once I had a dream that I was telling something to Rusty, and suddenly he replied. I mean, he didn’t meow but actually said something. At that point, still sleeping, I told (? him),“It’s clearly a dream! No, cats do not talk!” To which he replied defiantly, “Yes, they do!” In our household this “Yes, they do [talk]!” became a recurring joke.

Rusty Sleeping

Do You Dream About Perfume?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

When I just started my niche perfume journey (note to myself: ask Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume what’s wrong with this word – she’s usually censoring it in her posts), Diptyque was one of everybody’s favorite brands, and Tam Dao was one of the better-known perfumes from the brand. That’s why I was a little surprised with everyone’s answers to my question in the previous post (Rusty the Cat: On Favorite Note): perfume that everyone loved a decade ago, today is nobody’s favorite. So, I got curious what my readers think about Diptyque’s perfumes today.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #56:

What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

Do you own and still wear any? Do you check their new offerings? Do you look forward to what the brand does next?

My Answer

It is a somewhat strange situation: while I have a positive opinion of Diptyque, it is not “my brand”: out of 23 perfumes that I tried, I love and own a bottle of Volutes EdT and enjoy wearing (usually while in Hawaii) Eau Duelle from a travel spray. I probably wouldn’t mind to get a travel spray of Eau de Minthe, but I’m not in a hurry to do so. And on my vSO I like Tam Dao (he still has about 1/5th of volume in the original square bottle) and 34 Boulevard Saint Germain (a travel spray). But at least 15 perfumes do not work for me at all. So, while I still check whatever new the brand comes up with, I do not have either hopes or expectations. But I will keep testing whatever they release – as long as I can get to do it for free at the local Nordstrom.


What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

Rusty the Cat: On Favorite Note

When Rusty was younger, he used to like perfumes… or at least some of them. But as he got older, at some point he started avoiding close exposure to strong scents. He seems not to mind any of my perfumes when I apply them to my neck, especially after the initial application settles down. But he strongly objects to my testing on wrists, and whenever I put something on a wrist and try to hold him, he runs away indignantly shuddering.

But it looks like he still has some favorite scents. See what happened when our friend brought us a freshly cut piece of cedarwood.

Rusty and Cedarwood

I should probably try and see what he thinks about Dyptique‘s Tam Dao. Speaking of which… When did you try it last? Is it still any good? A bottle I have is of the EdT, and it’s about 11 years old. I used to like it, especially on my vSO, but I’m not sure if I tried any version of EdP. I’m sure it has been reformulated at least once since it has been launched because of IFRA regulations, but I don’t know how far the current iteration is from what I used to like.

Saturday Question: Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

I know that not all of my readers have blogs or publish pictures on Instagram or Facebook. But if you do, or if you take pictures of your perfumes for any other purposes (e.g., for swaps or to sell), please chime in.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #55:

Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

Do you do it – at your place or outside? Do you have any special set-up or do you improvise? Do you use any props?

If you do publish pictures publicly online, would you share a link to any of them that you especially liked or were proud of?

My Answer

Most of the perfume photos I take for this blog, Instagram is kind of a “spill out.” When I travel, if I have a travel bottle of perfume, I can attempt taking pictures in an unusual place, if it fits the idea of the shot. But mostly I travel with handmade decants instead of bottles, and those aren’t interesting enough to take pictures of them.

Since I don’t have a garden, and there are only that many pictures one can take in our tiny and not that picturesque backyard, every time I want to take a picture of a bottle, I start roaming around my house trying to figure out where I have sufficient light to

place a set-up that I came up with. It isn’t that easy to do: my house has a lot of shadowy spots and not that many sunny ones with suitable background to take pictures against.

I was considering a shooting tent, but none of them would be suitable for engaging Rusty. So, for now I try to use either natural light from windows or an additional light I bought for Zoom meetings (because I’m having exactly same issues trying to find a properly lit spot for those video conference calls).

Speaking of Rusty… Whenever I want to brighten my pictures with his presence, it limits my photo shoot location choices even further: I need to organize it in one of a couple of places where Rusty can naturally join in. And preferably do it when those are well-lit.

I usually do not do flat lays, so, not counting Rusty, my props are usually limited to flowers or some objects that have direct relevance to the idea of the photo. I admire people’s ability to do interesting compositions with multiple related (or not) objects, but I haven’t mastered that (yet?).


Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

A Gift Horse’s Mouth?

When was the last time you won anything at all? How about anything big? (It is kind of an introduction, but I am curious, so please share if you can.)

A couple of days ago I got a winning lottery scratcher from a local realtor with whom I’ve never had any dealings, but who keeps sending those red envelopes every year for the Chinese New Year. I’m not sure why: neither of us is Chinese, and she never recognizes any other holidays, for example, Christmas or New Year. But since she sends them, I dutifully scratch them. I haven’t won anything in the last 10 years. Until this year. I won $2 (two dollars!). I have no idea where I could get my prize, and My vSO suggested just to keep it for good luck. So, after persuading Rusty that he would get a treat if he stares into my phone camera for a couple of seconds, I put the ticket back into the envelope and pinned it to my documents board.

Rusty and Lottery Ticket

Last Saturday I asked you about giveaways you do not (or do) enter. One of the rules that I usually follow but forgot to mention is that I do not participate in social media giveaways that require providing my personal information, especially if it would be linked to my social media profiles that I try to keep separate from my RL persona. So, when a couple of months ago on IG I saw a draw for a gift certificate to one of the online perfume stores, which required my real name and address, I almost passed it by… but then realized that not only I could participate in it outside of IG, but also I’ve recently purchased perfume from that store, so none of the information that was required for the entry was new to them. I entered and forgot about it.

You can probably imagine my shock when in one of my Undina social accounts I saw a post that announced me, a person, as a winner. The first second I thought it was some type of a clever targeted/personalized ads that insert something saved in your cookies. I never click on those but do notice them. But then I worked out that it was quite unlikely that information was available to be used like that… and the next day I got an official confirmation in the email that my entry – one of more than 100K submitted – in fact, won the prize. $200 to buy whatever I want in the store.

I do not have an extensive wish list, if any. Given that sum of money to spend wherever I want, I would have probably come up with an idea or two. But trying to figure out what to get from a particular store proved to be an undertaking. I know, I know, it’s not even a First World problem. But I didn’t want to get just anything because I’m not good at either swapping or selling anything, so I’d be stuck with whatever I got.

After going back and forth, I decided on a bottle of perfume that was in my Top 10 Perfumes in 2020L’Aimee by Parfums MDCI. As of the time of that post, I liked it but didn’t plan on buying it. But as I tested it again (before I knew I won the prize), I liked it even more. And I didn’t have any perfumes from this brand in my collection. So, it seemed like a good choice, and I got that bottle just in time to think of it as my birthday present from the Universe.

If you were in this hobby 8-10 years ago, most likely you remember perfumistas being excited about the next new launch from Parfums MDCI but being conflicted about the “special edition” that for about $150 on top of the not that affordable regular bottle price offered a resin bust bottle cap. But since that additional decorative part wasn’t the only available option, its existence didn’t cause any high emotions. Those busts looked quite nice, and I remember thinking that “maybe one day…” If you’re interested, I found a story about these busts creation and inspiration.

Parfums MDCI

Parfums MDCI stand in Harrod’s

L’Aimee, created in 2020 by Nathalie Feisthauer for the brand’s new series “Painters and Perfumes,” isn’t offered in the “bust presentation,” so I wasn’t even tempted. But also, I didn’t expect what I got.

The box itself is made from very thin and flimsy cardboard. I don’t like the quality of the print, and it can’t even be argued that it’s a reproduction of an older painting because the same print on the bottle itself looks much nicer.

The insert for protecting the bottle and holding it in place looks cheap, and on top of that it’s cut the way that you cannot open or close the top flip without moving insert itself out of the box partially – you can see where that top part stops otherwise, and there is no possibility to close it (those uneven edges in the round hole are results of my attempts to do so).

And to add insult to injury, the bottle cap is beyond cheap. I didn’t take a picture, and it’s not obvious from photos, but it’s made from an extremely light and cheap-looking plastic painted in gold. It doesn’t have any heft when you hold it in your hand. It doesn’t have either a magnetic closure or a nice “gripping” layer inside that would normally snuggle the sprayer.

I compared them side by side and discovered that L’Aimee bottle and box are amazingly similar to those of Mimosa perfume by Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia sent to me as a gift by Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle). It does not sit well with me that perfume 75 ml of which retails for $250 has a packaging of a $50 perfume.



But what about the most important part, the perfume itself, you might still be curious even after all the points stated above?

I like L’Aimee. I wonder where Fragrantica gets their notes, but their list is more “colorful” than the one I can see on the brand’s site. I’m not sure if Fragrantica embellishes or clarifies, but many of the ingredients on their list are accompanied by the origin qualifier (e.g., it’s not just “jasmine” but “Egyptian jasmine” or “Australian sandalwood” instead of just “sandalwood”). I’ll go with the brand’s list: bergamot, mandarin, blackcurrant bud, rose, jasmine, champaca, lily-of-the-valley, orange, heliotrope, orris, raspberry, peach, cedarwoood, vetyver, patchouli, amyris, oakmoss, sandalwood, vanilla, amber and musks.

I often state that my nose isn’t sophisticated enough to pinpoint specific notes in perfumes, even when I have a list of those in front of me. But with this perfume, I would expect that all but very experienced “sniffers” wouldn’t be able to do much better. It’s a perfect blend that can be appreciated (or not) as a whole.

L’Aimee is done as a classic perfume – well-rounded, without unexpected twists or complex development. I’m not saying that it’s linear. No, it has noticeable development during its lifespan (it is quite tenacious), but it is an expected progression of the scent living on your skin, without any surprises. The composition seems muted, which you don’t expect after reading the list of notes. But the way I visualized it in my head (and it is not based on any scientific knowledge of the process, just an image): if you were to take a couple of dozen of paints from a painter’s palette and mix them all, you’d end up with some kind of a brown color, more or less mudded (dependent on what went into the mix). So, this overly polite blend of 20+ notes reminds me of that paint-mixing experiment.

L’Aimee is not a controversial perfume: I don’t expect either a strong “dislike” or “love” for it. To be fair, it doesn’t go into the territory of “pleasant scent” either, where anyone at least does not mind wearing it. I mean that it is complex enough not to be a universal pleaser, which (I realize that) might be a good thing only in perfumista’s book, but I wanted to mention it.

Do I regret getting L’Aimee? No. Since I like the fragrance itself, I still think it was a good choice as a gift. Would I recommend it? Given a chance (meaning “for free”), try it – just out of interest and to see that I was right in its description. As to buying it… I would have never paid full price for it, even before I had a chance to look at the packaging: I think it is not… well, controversial or even “just pleasant” enough to justify that price. But even with enough money to spend on any, even the quietest and simplest perfume, I would still say “No.” Because, in my opinion, when a luxury brand while selling luxury products at a luxury price cuts corners this way, they disrespect me as a customer. And to afford that they should be releasing more than a blurred classic-painting-themed illustration (I’m talking not about the box).

MDCI L'Aimee

As to the really big wins (just “material” ones – happiness, health an other more important things highly appreciated but not counted here), many-many years ago I won in the Green Card Lottery.


Images: my own

Saturday Question: Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

Recently, I was hesitant to use any question with negative connotations – just not to contribute to the “naturally occurring” negativity of these times. But I hope that this topic is light enough not to stir any unpleasant feelings. And I still feel a surge of positivity brought by the last week’s Saturday Question topic – thank you hajusuuri and everybody who participated.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #54:

Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

How do you feel about giveaways? Is there any type of giveaways where you do not participate on principle? Or are there any conditions that you wouldn’t want to meet? Why?

My Answer

If you were wondering what brought out this topic, I got annoyed by conditions of a giveaway on one of the makeup-related YouTube channels that I watch. In addition to the regular and expected “to be a subscriber” and “to leave a contact information,” strangely there was a question based on the content of the video. I’m not sure I would have entered this giveaway otherwise, but that now-children-what-is-the-secret-word-type question just completely irked me. It’s not a “who names it first competition.” It’s not a closed submission where each person will submit either the right or the wrong answer. It’s an open public forum where once the first person publishes the answer, whoever is there just to throw the hat in the ring does not need to watch the video to enter the giveaway. And loyal subscribers who usually watch those videos for the content itself should feel quite stupid pretending that they are answering the question on their own without reading the previous 50 answers. At least I would have. So, I didn’t enter the giveaway.

But that prompted my thinking about this topic in general. So, that’s what I came up with:

  1. I do not participate in draws if I suspect that results will/might be rigged. I won’t name names, but there was a blog that I caught once on falsifying results. I haven’t participated in any giveaways there since.
  2. I do not participate if I think that the requirements are stupid (as in my example above), “not proportional” to the prize offered (follow me, follow the brand, share on FB or IG story, tag N friends, etc. – and all that to get a sample of perfume you’ve never heard of before from a brand you don’t know) or unreasonable (releasing IP rights to your creation by submitting it as an entry into the competition/giveaway).
  3. I do not participate if I think that somebody else should get a chance to win (e.g., even if I could use one more free sample of perfume I tried and liked but not ready to commit yet, if it’s a private giveaway by a blogger or perfumer, not by a brand, I wouldn’t try to get it).
  4. I do not usually go for a giveaway of a full bottle of something I do not like and want already because with the number of perfumes in my collection and the success rate of testing new perfumes, I just don’t have any space for bottles that I won’t use.

Now it’s your turn.

Rusty and a Toy

Rusty is not jumping through any whoops…


Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

Saturday Question: How Is Your Winter?

As someone who lived through a couple of really awful winters and knowing about rolling blackouts not just in theory, I am deeply concerned about people who had to experience the recent winter storm that hit Texas. But I know that all over the world these last days or even weeks were quite challenging, being either too cold or too hot, thus affecting negatively a quality of life – as if the ongoing Covid situation wasn’t enough. So, while I’ll add on a lighter perfume-related question (this being a perfume blog and all that), the main question I want to ask is how you are doing.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #52:

How Is Your Winter?

Are/were you in any area that had serious weather anomalies or especially harsh days (even if it’s not something unheard of in your area)? And, just in case I don’t know that (or you want to share with others), tell us at least your approximate location (city, state or country – whatever you keep comfortable with). Were there any negative consequences related to weather? How are you dealing with your winter in general?

What was the “warmest” perfume you wore recently?

My Answer

I know that we will be crying the next fire season, but at this point I feel really lucky: if anything, the temperature in San Francisco Bay Area was pleasantly cool this winter, and we even got some rain (though, we’re still in the state between “abnormally dry” and “moderate drought” in areas around where I live and with even more severe conditions throughout the state of California). But we have power, water and gas to heat our houses. I must say, though, that to cause the same devastation as Texas is currently experiences, in my area all you would need is a week of 0C/32F (hopefully, it’s scientifically impossible).

As to perfumes, after 10 days on a rose kick, I suddenly caught a whiff of Amouage Ubar from one of my scarves in the closet… so I’m wearing and tremendously enjoying it today. It is so warm and soft and cozy. It smells like a nice cashmere sweater feels against my skin. Today it is definitely my #3, but at any time it is in the Top 10. BTW, have you heard anything about it being discontinued? I seem not to be able to find it at online stores. I still have half of my bottle (picture below is several years old), but it scares me that I might run out of it in my lifetime…

Amouage Ubar

How Is Your Winter?