Saturday Question: Have You Ever Broken a Perfume Bottle?

First of all, I’m sorry for the missed Saturday: I know that you all perfectly survived without it, but I’m trying not to miss at least these posts without a good reason. This time I just ran out of time before I had to leave for a business trip to Chicago.

The trip went well (if not count that because of the time difference I had to get up every morning at 5 AM my time). For the first time in my life, I spend a couple of work days on the 44th floor (below, I posted a picture I took from the window of the conference room). And once we had lunch on the 70th floor of that building. You can see a photo I took from there in my Instagram feed (or in this blog on the side for web visitors or down the screen for mobile ones). It was impressive! I regretted not having any perfume in a bottle with me: I could have taken a picture of the perfume I wore on the highest floor I’ve ever visited. But since I brought with me just decants, I missed that opportunity.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #132:

Have You Ever Broken a Perfume Bottle?

If yes, what was that? Have you replaced it since then?

And a bonus question, since we skipped it last week: What was the highest floor you’ve ever been to? Do you remember what perfume you wore?

My Answer

I do not remember ever breaking a perfume bottle, and even the idea of it makes me shudder. So, the topic of this post came not from any bottle (or even a decant) suffering during this trip. But while I was trying to fall asleep earlier than my usual time, I was going through my Instagram and saw a posting with a shattered perfume bottle on the new account that Richard Goller (the author of the fragroom.com blog) posted on his new Instagram account and couldn’t stop thinking about it. (Speaking of IG, if you used to follow Richard on the previous account, richgoller, you’ll need to follow his new account, ficklefragrancelover because the first one was blocked by IG for the reason I don’t know and can’t even imagine).

And to answer the bonus question: on the day I visited the 70th floor, I wore Heure Exquise by Annick Goutal.

View from the 44th Floor

How about you?

Have You Ever Broken a Perfume Bottle?

Saturday Question: Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

In the comments to the recent Scent Semantics post, hajusuuri mentioned that she didn’t think that a vintage formula was always better. This brings us to today’s question.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #131:

Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

Let’s not consider those perfumes that you’ve never tried in their original or earlier version. But can you think of any perfumes where you tried an old(er) and a new version and thought that the new one wasn’t that bad?

My Answer

Since in times when most perfumes that these days are considered vintage classics were modern I was a signature perfume gal, I don’t know any of those perfumes enough to miss them (well, I do keep the grudge because of Miss Dior‘s being stripped of its name, but other than that, I thought that even Miss Dior Originale version wasn’t totally bad when I had a chance to try it last time).

Last year Puredistance had to reformulate their Opardu because of IFRA (I strongly dislike this organization and think that they are doing something they shouldn’t). I had a chance to compare both versions, and I think that they did a good job preserving the scent character.

More recently, at a Duty Free in Dusseldorf, I tried the latest version of Guerlain‘s Encens Mythique and was surprised at how well they’ve recreated the original one that I like very much. Yes, together with the unpopular “d’Orient” part, this perfume lost some oomph and became lighter, but it is still quite recognizable, and I wouldn’t mind wearing it.

Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient

Do You Know Any Successful Perfume Reformulation?

Scent Semantics #11: MISANTHROPE

I am so behind with this collaboration: I started and have not finished at least a couple of previous topics. I still might publish some of those, but I decided to try to do it this month. I think it was my turn to come up with a word for this month’s joint project with six five bloggers: Portia (A Bottled Rose), Elena (The Plum Girl), Daisy (eau là là !), Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) and Undina (Undina’s Looking Glass). Unfortunately, Sheila (Alembicated Genie), our sixth member, decided to call it a day (or rather a decade). I was late even with that, so Portia came up with the word. Scent Semantics Project Banner

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This month’s word is: MISANTHROPE

Misanthropy is a general hatred, dislike, distrust or contempt of the human species, human behavior or human nature. A misanthrope or misanthropist is someone who holds such views or feelings.

I’m curious how this word was chosen for the project. I thought about it for a while, and it just didn’t connect to perfumes in my head. In general, for me, perfumes have mostly positive associations. So, I was almost ready to give up and skip this month as well, and then it just happened.

I felt an acute pang of misanthropy towards large companies that buy niche brands. I’m rather sad that in the modern world selling your brand/business is the most common way of achieving success instead of growing it organically. But I understand niche brands owners who choose this route. What I do not understand is when big companies buy those tiny but great brands only to make them almost as miserable as the rest of their offerings. Why? It can’t be that much money in those niche brands (otherwise those niche brands would have grown organically and wouldn’t have sold their IPs, right?).

These thoughts were triggered by my testing of the modern version of Le Labo‘s Rose 31.

I’ve always liked Rose 31. But I figured out that 10 ml of it would be more than enough for me, so about 10 years ago I bought a relatively inexpensive decant from one of the FB groups (if you weren’t here 8 years ago, see my Know-how [not to]: Freshen up a linen closet post about the story of that decant). But now when my decant is coming to an end, I started thinking about replenishing it. So, with a purchase from one of the sites I got an official Rose 31 sample.

First, when I applied perfume from that sample I thought that I was experiencing a loss of smell due to Covid-19 that I’m getting over now: I could barely smell anything, and I didn’t recognize what I smelled. I hurried to the cabinet where I store my old decant and applied a little to the second wrist – and two thoughts hit me immediately: first, there was nothing wrong with my sense of smell, and second, Estee Lauder has completely butchered my favorite perfume. Rose 31 was one of those perfumes with a very original and distinct scent profile that, in my opinion, was very unique and recognizable. Not anymore. Instead of a crisp and well pronounced though perfectly blended rose-cumin-spices accord of the original Rose 31, I smell some muted and muddled concoction that bears a vague resemblance to perfume that I liked and valued for years.

And it makes me angry: why buy rights to produce perfumes that were good and change them beyond recognition?! They’ve “milked” already everything they could from the purchase of Le Labo. Why not discontinue older scents that they are too cheap to produce (or do a good reformulation in case it’s IFRA to blame for the change) and just keep churning out new perfumes that have nothing to be compared to? Rose 31, as much as I liked it, isn’t Chanel No 5 in popularity. And it’s not like people who used to like it will not notice the difference and keep using a new version just because they liked the old one. And new consumers will not read old raving reviews (nobody reads old reviews!) and be fooled into buying a new cheaper version. So why?!!

“Hatred” is probably too strong of an emotion for such an occasion, but I do feel strong dislike, distrust and contempt for these behemoths’ behavior. Today I feel a little bit like a misanthrope.

 

Image: my own

Saturday Question: Are You Happy With Your Perfume Collection?

The change of season means mental reshuffling my collection to prepare to the cold(er) season. This exercise allows me to take a look at my collection and evaluate its content.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #130:

Are You Happy With Your Perfume Collection?

It’s an open question, without specific boundaries. Are you satisfied with the number of bottles you have? Do you have “what to wear”? Do you want more? Do you plan to downsize? Are you still buying new perfumes?

My Answer

I like or even love many perfumes in my collection. But I think I’m overwhelmed by the number of perfumes I have – not as much by full bottles but mostly by decants. I like those perfumes! But I have a hard time deciding what to wear. Probably I need to create a schedule not to think about what to wear every day but just go through the list.

While I’m still interested in trying new perfumes, I don’t think I want to add any to my collection. Of course, if I come across anything I suddenly fall in love with I’ll buy it. But for a long time I haven’t tried anything I would like to get.

 

How about you?

 

Are You Happy With Your Perfume Collection?

Saturday Question: Have You Had Your COVID-19 Yet?

I know that it’s Sunday already. But I didn’t want to miss the week completely, and I had absolutely no energy to do any posts yesterday, and today my creativity is still somewhere AWOL. Hence, I’m here as that songwriter who sings everything he sees.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #129:

Have You Had Your COVID-19 Yet?

If yes, how bad was it? How long did it take to get back to normal? Did you lose your sense of smell or taste? Did you wear or test perfumes while sick?

My Answer

My vSO and I came back from our trip to Germany with my vSO’s mother and COVID-19. Luckily, she seems not to be affected, and we’re trying our best to keep it this way, though it’s extremely hard to do while trying to “onboard” someone who knows nothing about how most things work in the US house, isn’t familiar with our food and doesn’t know where is what. But we manage somehow.

The first 2-3 days were the hardest, and now it’s just flu. Kind of. I can master some energy to crawl from the bedroom to the office (I just can’t stay in bed the whole day) or to the kitchen, but not for much more. I haven’t lost the sense of smell or taste, but I noticed that it is skewed somewhat. I’m not wearing anything, mostly because I’m constantly getting either hot or cold sweat, so I don’t want to introduce any irritants. But in the last couple of days, I’ve been testing new perfumes I got in the mail. I’ll have to re-test them once I get better. And Rusty has been a great moral support for both of us (though, we’re being very careful around him since we know that pets might also get infected.

Rusty

How about you?

Have You Had Your COVID-19 Yet?

Saturday Question: Do You Own Any German Perfumes?

Usually, when I travel abroad, I either bring with me perfumes from that country’s brands or buy them while being there. Or both. This time, while traveling to Germany to bring my vSO’s mom to the US, I didn’t bring any German perfumes with me (I was too busy before the trip to think about it). And when I started thinking about it, I realized that I couldn’t easily think of any such perfumes.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #128:

Do You Own Any German Perfumes?

If yes, which ones? Would you recommend them?

My Answer

After consulting Fragrantica, I realized that I own, like and wear at least 2 German perfumes: April Aromatics Unter den Linden and Escentric Molecules Molecule 01.

Rusty and April Aromatics Unter den Linden

How about you?

Do You Own Any German Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

It often comes up in perfume-related threads that we saw, smelled or tried something at a duty-free shop in an airport. But does it ever go beyond testing?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #127:

Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

If yes, what were those? Was it a planned or spontaneous purchase?

A bonus question: is there anything else that you buy from those stores when you get a chance? Do you have any recommendations? Are there any countries/airports that have better duty-free shops than others?

My Answer

I don’t travel abroad too often, so the opportunities to shop duty-free are few and far between. I have never bought any perfume for myself, but once I bought two perfumes for my friend (not as a gift, he asked to buy it for his wife – it was something by Nina Ricci). And one time I asked a friend to buy me Chanel No 19 extrait in Heathrow on his way back from a business trip.

Speaking of Chanel. In my opinion, duty-free stores are the best place to buy Chanel perfumes – at least if you live in the US. The reason is simple: I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chanel having a sale or participating in a store’s sale. And at a duty-free store, while being slightly less expensive than elsewhere, it’s guaranteed to be authentic, which is very important when it comes to buying this one of the mostly counterfeited brands.

Guerlain Chamade and Chanel No 19

How about you?

 

Have You Ever Bought Perfumes in a Duty Free Store?

Saturday Question: Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

I love figs. Usually, by now I would be getting fresh figs and eating them with goat cheese and wine or making flatbread with prosciutto and red onion (and eating it with wine). But for some reason this year we still haven’t had figs at the local farmers market. And those that I see at stores just do not look appealing enough for the price. Speaking of prices… It feels like everything suddenly got 20% – 25% more expensive. Very annoying.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #126:

Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

Do you have strong favorites? Does this note attract you in perfumes, repel or leave you indifferent?

Do you like eating figs?

My Answer

I don’t think I either like or dislike fig perfumes. I can wear them. But I wouldn’t be tempted much by reading about another fig perfume.

Many years ago I did a couple of posts for my Single Note Exploration series. My first favorite, Sonoma Scent Studio‘s Fig Tree, about which I wrote in the first post, is long gone, and I haven’t repurchased it. I have a couple of drops in my bottle of Jo Malone‘s Wild Fig & Cassis, but I don’t want to finish it because I cannot replenish it – stupid, I know: it will spoil eventually. How do I know? Because another perfume that I kind of liked, though I’ve bought it mostly for the bottle, Premier Figuier Extrême by L’Artisan Parfumeur has gone off. Well… Now I can keep it outside as a decorative object not risking it being spoiled by exposure to light.

The only fig perfume I still wear from time to time is Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations. Of course, it’s much more than just fig perfume, and I enjoy wearing it, especially in summer.

Rusty and L'Artisan Premier Figuier

How about you?

 

Do You Wear Fig Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Summer is a perfect “salad season”: all herbs and leaves are “in season,” all vegetables are local, and some of them are quite tasty. But what about herbs in our perfumes?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #125:

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Do you have one? Do you own any perfumes with that note?

My Answer

I’m more of a floral gal, but I can think at least of one herbal scent that I like in perfumes – mint.

Mint is quite a mundane scent, widely used in teas, chocolate, chewing gum and beauty products. And still I find it appealing in perfumes.

Annick Goutal‘s Nuit Etoilee is probably the only full bottle of perfume that has mint as a prominent note. But there are several more that I wouldn’t mind owning. One day.

Rusty and Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee

How about you?.

What Is Your Favorite Herbal Note?

Saturday Question: What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?

Setting aside the significance of this aspect for other areas of life, I am quite confident that many of us consider a large size of a perfume bottle to be a rather negative characteristic. But we do not always have a choice. Or maybe we find a perfume that we’d like to bathe in. Whatever the reason is, we end up with bottles of different volumes.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #124:

What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?

Is it the only one, or do you have several of the same sizes? Was it a conscious choice? How full is the bottle now?

My Answer

I do not like large bottles. 15-30 ml is my favorite size. But since I prefer manufacturer bottles to decants, sometimes I have to buy a larger bottle than I want (let alone need).

I consulted my database and discovered that, to my surprise, in my collection, I have only 8 bottles of 100 ml or larger. With the largest two at 4.2 oz/120 ml, both from DiorMitzah and New Look 1947. I bought both in this size because it was the smallest available. I still have more than half in each bottle, I think. And I still like both.

Louis Vuitton Factice Bottles

How about you?.

What Is the Largest Bottle in Your Collection?