Saturday Question: What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

This question was suggested by Portia. I thought about it more than once, but somehow it never formed into a Saturday Question.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #114:

What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

Just for the sake of this topic, let’s agree that we’ll qualify as “usual” a light to medium yellow[ish] hue of the juice.

How about red, dark brown, purple, green or blue? Are you attracted to perfumes with such colors? Does it affect how interested you are in perfume (before you test it)? Do you wear them differently?

My Answer

I’m attracted to not standard colors in perfumes. Light blue Mugler Angel and Lancome Mille et Une Roses. Red Anne Pliska and Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. Green Chanel No 19 EdT and Hiram Green Arbole. Purple SL Sarrasins and De Profundis.

Of course, I will not buy a perfume just for its color (not to confuse with the color of a bottle, which might influence me enough), but I will definitely pay more attention to such perfume. I know because I remember how I returned several times to retry one of the perfumes by Fueguia 1833Asagiri because of its beautiful emerald color. I wanted to like it. But in the end, the color wasn’t enough to persuade me to buy it.

Rainbow Perfumes

How about you?

What Do You Think About “Unusual” Perfume Colors?

Saturday Question: Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

We all have our routines when it comes to social media interactions and information intake. Since I see many of you here and on some other platforms regularly, I assume you have several online places you visit repeatedly, either following the subscription prompt or just doing your rounds.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #113:

Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

Let’s not count heavy reasons, such as serious health issues or life-changing events. But in day-to-day life, do you from time to time stop reading blogs, checking Instagram, visiting FB groups – or however else you manifest your hobby? Why and how long do usually these breaks last?

My Answer

If not to count situations I suggested we shouldn’t count or rare occasions when I actually do not have access to the Internet, since I’ve started this blog, I’ve never been completely away from Perfumeland for any prolonged period. I do not feel the need to pause, be away or “change the subject,” so to speak.

But sometimes life just takes over, and I physically don’t have time or energy left to do everything I want, including publishing my posts or reading blogs from my reading list. But even in those days I usually manage to read a post or go through several screens of pictures on IG. It’s just a part of my day without which it won’t feel complete.

 

How about you?

Do You Take Breaks From Perfumeland?

 

(I hope not all of my readers would suddenly decide to take a break – it would made for an awkward Saturday Question post)

Scent Semantics #7: BRILLIANCE

A couple of days behind the schedule (again), presenting the seventh episode of the collaboration of six bloggers: Portia (A Bottled Rose), Elena (The Plum Girl), Sheila (Alembicated Genie), Daisy (eau là là !), Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) and Undina (Undina’s Looking Glass). If some of the participating blogs are also running late, please keep checking (or even better – subscribe!): we all are trying not to skip the month.Scent Semantics Project Banner

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This month’s word is: BRILLIANCE

How difficult do you think it would be to persuade an average “civilian” consumer to buy a 50 ml bottle of perfume for $375 or even $195? With Chanel Chance at $90/50 ml and Dior J’adore at $112/50 ml (with 100 ml bottles for both being still under $200), I wouldn’t be too optimistic in my forecasts. And it seems even less probable for the younger generation who just recently graduated from BodyShop or Fresh perfumes.

And yet, they are buying those more expensive Heretic, By Killian and Tom Ford perfumes. Why? Because of the brilliance of the Sephora‘s Merchandising Department (or whatever it’s called there): they were the first who realized that first Millennials and now Generation Z customers, who prefer YouTube to blogs and Instagram and TikTok to YouTube, would rather spend $30-$75 on a 10 ml travel spray from a luxury brand than do research and commit to a larger bottle of perfume that would get a much better “per ml” ratio.

It is not a rant about a younger generation. I actually applaud Sephora for their input into proliferating interest in “used-to-be” niche perfumes in the masses. I know that these days all smart brands and retailers try to follow the suit, and finally, we started seeing more and more of what I for years called “perfumista-size” bottles. But no other single retailer has the same number of “travel” options as Sephora does. They didn’t focus on the sets of either the same perfume or a pre-selected combo (a complete waste of money – unless someone plans to split the set) or gift sets with both a full bottle and its mini travel companion (slightly more interesting if the mini size is added free to the full bottle price, and that full bottle can’t be bought somewhere else at a discounted price). Instead, they went directly to stocking up 200+ single travel bottles of 7.5-10 ml within a price range between $22 and $75. 

Even though I wasn’t their target audience, I benefited from that brilliant marketing plot: even knowing that the brand was leaving the US, I wouldn’t have bought a full bottle of this perfume. But with a cute 10 ml bottle for around $30 – how could I have resisted?

Atelier Cologne Iris Rebelle

Iris Rebelle by Atelier Cologne, created in 2018, with the notes Calabrian bergamot, orange blossom, black pepper, iris, lavender, May rose, white musk, guaiac wood and patchouli, is a nice addition to my collection. It is perfect if I’m in the mood for a short-lived scent (pleasant, mind you!) that I can either discreetly reapply in approximately an hour from that pen-like bottle that fits any purse or replace it with another scent without risking them clashing.

I’m not sure if Iris Rebelle is still available anywhere (other than from discounters), but if you need more information, see the review from Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) that pushed me to try this perfume. But whatever you do, do not check Sephora’s  “Mini size” section for Fragrances: you might be blinded by the brilliance of the offered selection.

 

Image: my own

Saturday Question: Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

Continuing the last week’s topic of having enough perfumes. Several people have mentioned that they were giving away, donating or selling perfumes they didn’t love any longer. It got me wondering…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #112:

Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

I know, I know, you all are generous people who enjoy other people’s joy from getting your gifts, so let’s stipulate that. But have you ever given away, sold, swapped or thrown any perfumes that later you regretted? If yes, what was that, did you do anything to rectify it, and has it influenced your later decisions to part with perfumes from your collection?

My Answer

I do not easily part with anything I own. It goes not only for perfumes but almost everything. I got used to things and prefer to keep them until they fall apart, stop working or spoil. So, while I do not mind sharing portions of my perfumes, letting go of a bottle is almost impossible for me.

I remember once “lending” a mini bottle of Organza by Givenchy to a co-worker who liked it. She loved it, and I didn’t like perfume enough to wear, so we agreed that she would use it up and return a bottle to me since I really liked the bottle and wanted to keep it.

Well… She left the company long before I remembered about that bottle. And I regretted giving it away because I thought that the bottle was so great. Many years later, I bought another mini bottle. Just to have it in my collection. But now I started thinking about paring down my wardrobe and maybe even downsizing my perfume collection. Nothing crazy, but maybe I will be able to give up something that I do not use any longer… Maybe.

Rusty and Givenchy Organza

Have You Ever Regretted Giving Away Perfume?

Saturday Question: Do You Want More Perfumes?

I’m not sure if this question sounds strange in a perfume blog but I’ll risk my perfumista card.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #111:

Do You Want More Perfumes?

I know that not all but many of my readers have been at this for years if not decades. We all accumulated more perfumes than we’ll be able to use up in our lifetime. And still we keep searching for the next Holy Grail perfume. Or do we?

Do you want more perfumes? Are you still buying or planning to buy any full bottles? Do you hope to find new perfume love without which you won’t feel your collection is complete? Or do you feel like you’ve smelled it all, and “there is no new thing under the sun”?

My Answer

I still love perfumes. But in the last couple of months I was so overwhelmed with life that even choosing perfume to wear on a daily basis became a chore. I want to wear my perfumes, but I just don’t have any energy left to choose the one that fits my day, my mood and weather. Too many choices. And it’s not even the case of “nothing to wear” but rather an internal indecisiveness: I’m sure that I have a perfect choice in my collection – I just don’t have time to figure out what it is. So, I end up either not choosing anything or making a choice that seems subpar. With all that, I feel that I don’t need any more choices.

But at the same time, I can’t stop getting new samples to test more and more perfumes. My success rate from testing perfumes is still very low, but I’m not sure if I get upset or feel glad that I don’t love the next one I sample. Because if I were to love it, I’d want to get it… and it would have become one more option to consider in the morning. So, why do I buy samples? I think it feels safer to test perfumes than wear them: since I know that I won’t like most of those that I try, I won’t be as disappointed as I would because of the “wrong choice” I made in my collection. And also because secretly I hope to find the next “it” – perfume that I would just need to have.

How about you?

Do You Want More Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

I know, I know, it’s a tough question. Whenever we’re asked to choose any limited number of something, we feel anxiety as if someone would hold us to that choice. But bear with me, there is a twist.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #110:

What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

Imagine that you have won an unusual price: for the next 5 years, one perfumer of your choice will be creating one bespoke perfume for you per year (so, totally 5 perfumes). You have a complete freedom to choose what ingredients those perfumes will have or allow her/him a freedom of coming up with compositions… as long as today you can lock in a single ingredient, your most favorite note, that will be present in all five perfumes. Perfumes won’t be soliflores, but the note you choose will be taking center stage in each of them.

A bonus question: who will be your perfumer?

My Answer

You would think that since I came up with the question, it would be easy for me to answer. It is not. I’ve been thinking about it since a comment exchange with Brigitte in the recent Scent Semantics post. And no, I haven’t won anything, it is a theoretical question…

I think I would choose as my Signature Note linden blossom. Why? I love this scent in nature; it has an emotional connection for me. And while I’m not sure that it is my most favorite scent in perfumery, I have at least a dozen of great renditions of several other notes that I love (I will not cheat and name them here, even though I’ve been tempted to do that). But even a couple of linden-centric perfumes that I love and wear do not come close to how linden blossom smells in the evening after a hot day. And I would hope that maybe in five tries we might get closer to that aroma I love so much.

And the perfumer I’d choose… I need to sleep on it. I’ll update this post with the name tomorrow.

Linden Blossom

How about you?.

What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

Saturday Question: Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

Not all perfumes are amouages. Well, even not all Amouage perfumes are what they used to be in terms of longevity. So, there is a good chance that perfume you put on in the morning is just a whisper, if that, in the afternoon. And then you face a choice – to reapply it or to go for something else.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #109:

Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

If you cannot smell your perfume any longer, do you reapply it? Or do you use that as an opportunity to wear another perfume?

My Answer

When I was going to the office, I would almost always have a decant with me to reapply perfume if it subsided during the day. And then, in the evening, if I stayed at home, I would use that time to test samples.

These days, working from home, I often go scentless for the first part of the day – just because I don’t have time to properly dress up and apply perfume for the morning meetings (without video!). So, whatever I apply later, usually lasts me until the end of the work day without reapplying. After which I would test whatever I want to test. So, even though because of COVID-19 I’m free to use perfumes hajusuuri-style (I still don’t, it’s usually not more than 4 sprays), since I do not reapply the same perfume during the day, the net result is that I use even less of my perfumes.

How about you?

Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

Scent Semantics #6: VERNAL

Today is the sixth episode of the collaboration of six bloggers: Portia (A Bottled Rose), Elena (The Plum Girl), Sheila (Alembicated Genie), Daisy (eau là là !), Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) and Undina (Undina’s Looking Glass). Because of all the events happening in Ukraine, I missed the fifth episode – even though it was my word, and I have a story to tell! Maybe I’ll do it anyway later. And this month I’m a little late, but I decided to do it. Hopefully, by now you’ve read all other participating blogs (I haven’t yet – will do now) and still don’t mind to check out one more take on the topic.Scent Semantics Project Banner

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This month’s word is: VERNAL

This month’s word surprised me: after more than two decades in the US, I didn’t have it not only in my active vocabulary but even in the passive one. Considering its quite mundane (though poetic) meaning, I’m amazed I haven’t come across it until now. A small consolation: Google search returns 4.6B of results for “spring” and just 15.9M for “vernal.”

As I was thinking about what that word means to me (after checking its meaning), I started thinking of Spring and remembering how it was back when I was experiencing it. I realized that living in an almost unvarying climate, while I do not miss Winter or cold weather, I miss that longing for the end of Winter and happiness from watching the Spring awakening of nature from the frozen sleep.

In my childhood and adolescent years, winter clothes that most of us got to wear were ugly. Those for adults usually weren’t much better, but at least theoretically better choices existed. But for the ages until late teenage years, those clothes weren’t something one would look forward to wearing. So, at first glimpses of Spring sun, we were eager to start taking off at least hats and scarves or maybe even putting on something less bulky and shapeless. And since by that time our immune systems were suffering from the lack of sun (read vitamin D3) and almost complete absence of fruits and vegetables (we won’t count potato, onions and beets, will we?), oftentimes that combination was enough to bring us down with a cold or flu.

Getting outside after a week spent in bed was magical: you could see and feel how Spring had sprung while you weren’t watching. And then, with every next day, Spring was claiming more and more territory with warmer days, longer days, young foliage and of course blossoms and flowers.

And if the early Spring days (those pre-flu ones) mean tender snowdrops, shy mimosa and timid daffodils, real, “full-fledged” Spring came with lavish lilac bushes.

One other drawback of not having cold weather in our area is that lilac grows here very reluctantly. In decades of living here, I saw a couple of sparse bushes in gardens and bought three or four bouquets of lilacs – far more expensive and smaller than what I used to see in my childhood.

Last weekend, while still playing with the word of the month in my head, for the first time while living in the US, I saw a white lilac bouquet. That was my vernal moment! And I immediately thought of a very fitting perfume for it.

Ineke After My Own Heart

After My Own Heart by Ineke is the first perfume in their Alphabet line. Notes: bergamot, raspberry, green leaves, lilac, sandalwood, heliotrope and musk. When I tested it the first time… 11 years ago, I thought it was nice, but I didn’t love it: the lilac seems too simple and soapy. My first discovery set went off at some point, so I had just my memory of how that perfume smelled. But recently I got a fresh sample set (with the purchase of Field Notes From Paris for my father), so I was able to revisit After My Own Heart.

After My Own Heart is a beautiful lilac, still slightly soapy in the opening, but this time it didn’t bother me much. It is a lush, warm, slightly green and quite a realistic lilac. It smells stronger than my small white lilac bouquet in my bedroom. And seeing that bouquet while wearing After My Own Heart conjures that feeling of happiness from the Spring that has finally arrived to stay.

 

Image: my own

Saturday Question: Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

In her recent guest post Brigitte… I mean, Pickles asked about unusual perfume bottles in our collections. That made me think about bottles, caps, boxes…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #108:

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

Having a choice of a less expensive “tester” version of perfume that you want to get, would you buy it? Or would you prefer a real bottle with all “bells and whistles” even if it meant paying more?

My Answer

In my pre-perfumista years, if I could find a cheaper version at one of the discounters, I would gladly buy and use it. It didn’t really matter to me then since my bottles were done within a couple of years.

But as my collection grew, I discovered that I prefer to keep my bottles in their boxes. So, I usually prefer perfumes in original bottles and boxes.

Two years ago, I decided to buy a bottle of Cierge de Lune by Aedes de Venustas. I found it on Totokaelo website. It was going out of business, so they were selling everything. Discount wasn’t that great at the moment, but since it was one of the last places on the web that has this perfume (I didn’t know then that Aedes would re-launch it repackaged), I decided to buy it before it disappeared.

When the bottle arrived, I discovered with a surprise that, first of all, it was in a wrong box (from Grenadille d’Afrique), and in addition, it had a “Tester” engraving on it (if you look closely, you’ll see it on the back side of the bottle in the photo below).

I was conflicted: clearly, it wasn’t a brand-new bottle, and they inadvertently mixed the boxes, but I did want that perfume, and I couldn’t get it from anywhere else… So, I contacted the site, and we agreed on the fair additional discount. I’m glad that I have this bottle – even though perfume has been re-released. But bar situations like that, I would pay more for the “real deal.”

Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune

 

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?