Saturday Question: Does/Did Your Mother Wear Perfume?

It’s Mother’s Day weekend in the US, so Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers and let’s talk about our moms and perfumes.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #164:

Does/Did Your Mother Wear Perfume?

If yes, how similar or different are your tastes? Did you share any favorites at any point in your life?

My Answer

My mom was an opportunistic perfume wearer: whenever she had them (usually gifts), she would wear them, but I don’t remember her actively pursuing them. She liked having perfumes but didn’t love them enough to prioritize spending money on them.

When I was a child, she owned and wore Lancome Climat, Dior Miss Dior, Diorella and Dior Dior. There were a couple more, but I can’t remember the names. I liked (and still like) them all but Dior Dior. And before I started getting my own perfumes, I wasted enough of hers. Later, after I moved to the US, on my visits, I would bring her different perfumes – some that I knew she liked, some that I liked, and some that didn’t work for me any longer – and she wouldn’t refuse any of them. But then, she never asked for any of them again.

Tomorrow, I will wear Diorella in her memory.

Mom and Diorella

Does/Did Your Mother Wear Perfume?


Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Rainy Day Perfume?

Whether you like rain or can’t stand it, welcome the next shower or are sick and tired of it, you will experience it sooner or later. Are you ready?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #163:

What Is Your Favorite Rainy Day Perfume?

Do you have one? Are there different perfumes for different seasons? Do you like rain?

My Answer

I’m sure that growing up I was not too fond of rain. In the area where I lived, we had maybe 4 months when it wasn’t cold, windy, snowy or otherwise unpleasant. So, if the unpleasant weather was supplemented with rain, it didn’t make it any less miserable. And if the rain would come during those long-awaited short better months, it would spoil a day or two at a time.

I don’t remember when it changed. But after leaving through a couple of droughts in California, I love rain. And this year was fantastic! We had so much rain, and I enjoyed every grey and wet day of it. I don’t have a special perfume for a rainy day. But I wore Tauer Perfumes Vanilla Flash for the last two rains (including today), and it felt just perfect. I think our rains are almost over until October. But maybe I should buy a bottle and hope for the next rainy season.

How about you?

What Is Your Favorite Rainy Day Perfume?

A Beauty of Rose in a Single Shot

Olfactive Studio was quite popular when it first appeared on the perfume scene 10 years ago. I read reviews, many praising, but I wasn’t enticed: I didn’t find the concept too interesting, and, as shallow as it sounds, I didn’t like their first bottles. Eventually, thanks to hajusuuri, I tried the first six perfumes from the brand several years ago. And while I didn’t dislike any of them, none spoke to me enough to pursue them beyond those samples.

When the initial set of a brand’s perfumes hasn’t impressed me, I rarely follow future releases. So, I could have missed this new series altogether if it weren’t for Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle), who first did an excellent review for these perfumes and later even shared his samples with me.

It was a rare case when I liked all three perfumes I tried, but since Rose Shot seems to be the least popular in the trio, I chose to write about it.

Al Farrow The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro 2012

Created in 2019 by Dominique Ropion (my favorites created by him are Cacharel Amor Amor, Calvin Klein Euphoria and Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady), Rose Shot includes notes of Italian bergamot, Manila elemi, Madagascar pink pepper, Turkish rose, white flowers, Atlas cedarwood, wood mosses and Paraguay guaiac wood.

Rose Shot is, not surprisingly, a rose-centric perfume. Rose here isn’t a girly rose, but it’s neither dark nor intense. It starts citrusy and blooms into a giant rose on a backdrop of polite woodsy notes. Rose Shot isn’t controversial or extremely original, but it has some interesting nuances that might just “click” for you.

An additional check mark goes in the “Plus” column for the beautiful travel bottle: it is more expensive per ml than a large bottle of Rose Shot (which also looks great), but most of us do not need more than 10-15 ml of any perfume.

Olfactive Studio Rose Shot

If you are testing perfumes, Rose Shot is worth trying: Olfactive Studio is one of the slow brands that doesn’t churn out new fragrances every two months. So, each next release seems well thought through and crafted.

Saturday Question: Which 3 Perfumes Would You Like To Experience Again?

Please don’t rush to answer (I know some of you who practice TL;DR). This question has a twist. Please bear with me; I’ll explain below.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #153:

Which 3 Perfumes Would You Like To Experience Again?

This is not a question about which perfume you’d like to be “resurrected.” And not about which vintage perfume in an intact condition you’d like to find one day. Perfumes that fall under this mental exercise are perfumes that 1) you previously smelled; 2) they are now either discontinued or reformulated.

So, if you were offered an opportunity to smell (OK, I’ll be generous – and wear, if you want to) again just once any perfume that fits the criteria listed above – which 3 would you have chosen?

My Answer

I thought of this SQ after exchanging comments in the last week’s post. I would love to be able to smell once again Thierry Mugler’s Angel as it was in 1993-94 (that’s when I first smelled it). My bottle is from around 1999-2000, and I’m not 100% sure that even it was the same as it was initially created. Now it’s more than 2 decades old, so it smells somewhat different from how it was when I bought it. And newer versions are definitely reformulated – even though they are still quite recognizable. But my memory of what it was like in the beginning is so vivid (not the scent but my reaction to it) that I would like to experience that Angel again. Though, I’m not sure if I’d want to wear it.

The second perfume of my choice would be my lifelong love Climat by Lancome. I’d like to smell and wear that perfume in its early 80s version. I have at least 5 different versions of it in my collection, and I love, like or appreciate them. But I remember how I thought that Climat was the most beautiful perfume ever (and couldn’t understand how not everyone felt the same about it). So, I would like to compare my memory to the actual scent.

The last wish is more practical, so to speak. Eight years ago, for the blog’s anniversary, I told the story of a perfume that I owned in my adolescent years and could never find since (due to the inconspicuous name “Paris Paris” and an unknown to me brand name). I would like to smell it again to learn if I still like it and, if yes, with my better understanding of perfumes and experience with thousands of them, to try to find something that smells similar.

Rusty and Paris-Paris Bottle

Which 3 Perfumes Would You Like To Experience Again?

The Scent of 2022?

At the end of the last year, I looked at the miserable list of new fragrances that I managed to try and realized that I couldn’t do even the Top 5 – let alone any more significant number of successes.

I think this made me susceptible to “undue influence”: when I got an email from Parfumes Quartana (I used to know that brand as Six Scents Parfums) describing how their new perfume, Ierofante, had been named in three “Top N” lists and offering a sample for $5 (including S&H), my “no-buy” resolution didn’t even raise its head, and the sample was on its way to me.

Before trying it for the first time, I haven’t read a single line about or note of Ierofante. And it was a shock: one just doesn’t expect a whiff of gasoline from their fine fragrance. But there it was.

The complete list of notes for Ierofante (as printed on the sample card; Fragrantica has a slightly different list) includes suede, gasoline accord, nutmeg, smoky leather, styrax pyrogene, golden amber, cashmeran and vetiver. The nose behind this perfume is Luca Maffei.

Even though I immediately knew I would not want to wear that as perfume and was questioning the decision to spend even $5 on this experiment, I decided to go through with the testing. I wanted to fully experience the fragrance that Steven Gavrielatos (Ca Fleure Bon), Lola (@lolascents) and Persolaise (eponymous blog) considered one of the best perfumes of 2022 (which, if to think about it, might not necessarily be a compliment or indicative of how good the perfume is).

As the gasoline accord was burning out, something strangely familiar started radiating through the remaining harsher smell. And suddenly, I realized what it reminded me of: if to substitute gasoline with burning rubber and instead of vetiver throw in the fire, so to speak, sandalwood, you would get… Bvlgari Black.

Bvlgari Black and Ierofante

Created by Annick Menardo in 1998, Black includes notes of smoky black tea (lapsang souchong), bergamot, rose, sandalwood, cedarwood, jasmine, leather, vanilla, amber, musk and oakmoss. It’s hard to believe, but I told my story From Zero to Forty (ml) in less than 15… years: Bvlgari Black almost ten years ago!

As you can see, Ierofante and Black do not have too many notes in common and are far from smelling identical. But that effect of a foreign-to-perfume industrial chemical start that mellows down to a softer ambery base makes them reminiscent of each other.

I like Black better: not only is its opening not as harsh as Ierofante’s, but it also is much smoother in development. Unfortunately, I can’t even recommend buying it instead if you haven’t tried it before: these days its price online is quite steep. Though, it’s still less than the price of Ierofante ($235/50 ml).

Bvlgari Black and Ierofante

One more perfume I tested with Black and Ierofante was Nappa Noire created for the Quartana’s parent company/predecessor, Six Scents Parfums, by Calice Becker. Nappa Noire also has something in common with Ierofante, but since this perfume is much less commonly known and is sold out on the brand’s site, I won’t spend more time on it (but if you want, read my story about it – Every White has its Noir).

I didn’t have a chance to try Ierofante in parallel with L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two, created in 2000 by Olivia Giacobetti, because I didn’t think about it until now. Still, I suspect that with the notes like tea, star anise, bergamot, cinnamon, spices, ginger, gingerbread, tobacco, honey, leather and vanilla, it is bound to have at least some similar development phases. And it is still in production. (And for those few who weren’t around seven years ago, I want to share my story about this perfume – Tu-ti-tu-rum-tu-tu or Musical Perfume. I promise it’s not a review.)

Since I already own three perfumes that remind me of Ierofante, and I prefer them to this new offering, I will pass the remaining sample to someone else before it evaporates. But after spending more time trying, analyzing and comparing it to all my favorites, I feel much more positive about it. And I think that, strangely, it represents the year 2022 well.

Rusty and Bvlgari Black and Ierofante

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top Five Green Perfumes?

Since I’ve been swamped recently, I don’t follow NST’s community projects any longer (not complaining – just stating the fact). So, I didn’t know this week’s topic (“True Colors: tell us your favorite color, and wear a fragrance with that color in the name, or that reminds you of that color, or that has juice in that color, or … ?”). But I got a suspicion it was related to NST and color when I saw hajusuuri’s IG post earlier today. And that was when I realized I wore four green perfumes this week. Spontaneously. In the middle of Winter. Without knowing about any projects. So, I decided why not to make it into the SQ.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #148:

What Are Your Top Five Green Perfumes?

Bonus question: Do you wear green perfumes all year round, or is there some particular season for them?

My Answer

I’ll start with answering the bonus question: as I explained in the post The Color of Spring (I used a photo from that post below even though not all of the perfumes on it made it to my Top 5 list), I associate green perfumes with Spring. But it seems this year, with its unexpected heavy rain in our area, I started craving green perfumes earlier.

My Top 5 Green Perfumes (not in particular order):

  • Chanel No 19 EdT
  • Puredistance Antonia
  • vero profumo Mito
  • Avon Deneuve
  • DSH Perfumes Vert Pour Madame

Green Perfumes

How about you?


What Are Your Top Five Green Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Starting All Over Again: What 5 Perfumes Would You Buy First?

I “borrowed” the idea of this question from one of the beauty creators on YouTube a while ago, but thought it would be very fitting for the first SQ of the New Year (BTW, thank you everyone for wonderful comments last week: I will reply to each one of them, sorry for the delay). But to this week’s question. I know how hard it is for some of you to read through the exact description of what I’m trying to ask, or maybe I’m not being clear enough, which can also be the case, but I’ll try to do my best. My intent is not to cause the anxiety usually connected to the apocalypses-, fire- or a desert island-related choices. This question is not one of those! OK, maybe a little bit. But you’ll see what I mean.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #147:

Starting All Over Again: What 5 Perfumes Would You Buy First?

Imagine that you woke up in a parallel universe where absolutely everything is the same as in our universe. The only difference is that you do not have your perfume collection. Not a single sample, decant or bottle. You have money to buy any 5 perfumes that you used to have in your wardrobe as a bottle (travel bottles count). Those are “magical” money: they are not limited, but you cannot spend them on anything else but perfumes. And you cannot use that money to buy more bottles of less expensive perfumes—just 5. Later, you’ll continue to rebuild your collection, if you feel like that, or maybe you’ll return to your original universe. But since you don’t know when or if that happens, you have to decide where to start. These will not necessarily be you HG perfumes – you might decide to buy those later if they are readily available and instead go for something that you’d wear every day while saving for a “special occasion” favorite that sees your skin just a couple of times per year.

The only additional limitation is that the perfumes you choose should be possible to buy now. So, while those might be vintage perfumes, you cannot specify “vintage X in good condition” (“vintage X from eBay” would work) or wish for some long-discontinued unicorn that was last seen on eBay… never. But anything that can actually be had now is fair game.

My Answer

You would think that since I came up with that question and all those explanations above that I urged you to read, it should be easy for me to follow my own “rules.” Nope. I struggled. I considered changing the question to 10 perfumes. I thought of creative ways to group perfumes to sneak in an extra bottle or two. But I decided to be firm! So, here’s my list in alphabetical order (by brand):

  1. Amouage Dia: it is my #3 Amouage perfume. I can’t choose #1 Ubar since it looks like it has been discontinued, and I can’t find it anywhere; I would have selected Gold, but I’m still persuaded that it smells very close to my all-time favorite Climat that already made this list.
  2. Chanel No 19 EdT: I like extrait as well, but the EdT would be easier to wear every day.
  3. Guerlain Cruel Gardenia: I know that for a hardcore Guerlanophile that might sound as a sacrilege, but for me it is still my most favorite perfume from this brand, though closely followed by Chamade and Vol de Nuit – both in extrait version and both almost impossible to buy these days.
  4. Lancome Climat: Since it is still available from eBay in the La Collection reissue version, that would be my #1 purchase: even though I don’t wear it too often, I never ever want to be without it in my collection.
  5. Ormonde Jayne Ta’if: This is one more perfume that I want to have in my life no matter what. So, the first opportunity I get, I’m buying it in any universe!


How about you?

Starting All Over Again: What 5 Perfumes Would You Buy First?

Saturday Question: What Went Well In 2022?

Dear friends, readers and accidental visitors, I’m so happy that I have this blog, and I can use it to say an enormous “Thank You!” to all of you for being with me this year, for providing support and giving me a reason to keep doing what I love doing (telling stories and sharing photos of Rusty) no matter how hard life outside of the safety of our Perfumeland gets.

Saying goodbye to 2022, I do not want to talk about anything negative that it brought – we all know major pain points, and I’m sure each of us had our share of personal challenges. It is essential to talk about those, share and get support whenever possible. But today, let’s think about good things that happened in our lives this year – no matter how small or insignificant those were. Try to think of as many positive moments in 2022 as possible. I challenge you! Can you think of 5? You do not have to write about all of them, some might be too personal, or you don’t want to “jinx” it by telling everybody. But try to come up with 5. And share with us anything you feel like sharing. It doesn’t have to be perfume-related, but if there is anything of that kind, please include it on your personal or public list.

And before we continue with the Saturday Question, I wish you all a Happy New Year! Let’s hope that when we meet here in a year, and I ask you the same question, your list will be longer, and it’ll be even easier for you to come up with the answer.

Rusty and Happy New Year 2023

Saturday Question #146:

What Went Well In 2022?

One word, one sentence, a list or a Lord-of-the-Ring-type answer – anything will work. But I would love to read what went well in your life this year. If you feel up to it, tell us also “why” it went well (which, according to Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) from whom I borrowed this idea several years ago, “allows one to pinpoint times when acts of one’s own or others contributed to what went well.”

My Answer

1. I enjoyed our trip to Sedona. We decided to keep the plans despite everything that interfered and ended up having fun and seeing some great views (more photos were in this post if you missed it).


2. My vSO’s mother got to safety with us (and we managed not to pass Covid-19 to her when we got it!). It took a great effort on our part, help from many wonderful people and a lot of luck.

3. This holiday season, more of our neighbors decorated their houses, which created a wonderful holiday atmosphere and elevated our spirit every time we went or drove by. I don’t know if it was just a coincidence, or if my little stunt last year with leaving anonymous “Thank you” cards for each decorated house worked. I’ll be writing more notes this year (and probably adding a couple of individually and safely packed chocolates).

4. Speaking of decorations, we took my MIL to see the unique street in the neighboring town, where they do special decorations every year, and people come to see it from all other towns. She loved it! The photo below is from this year, but if you want to see more, I have a slide-show in this post.

Christmas Lights on Eucalyptus Street

5. After our vet managed to extract 3 teeth in the comfort of our home, Rusty feels and behaves happier. We weren’t sure what to do since the dentist wasn’t sure if Rusty would be fine with full anesthesia. And it’s every time such stress for him when we have to drive him somewhere. So, when our vet suggested doing it at home using Gabapentin and some additional shot, we agreed. Rusty was “out of it” for a couple of days (see the photo!), but got better quickly.

Rusty and Gabapentin

6. Finally, I managed to find and buy Mito Voile d’Extrait by Vero Profumo. I had to break my “no-buy” almost as soon as it started, but I was looking for it for so long, and I’m not sure if it’ll ever be re-launched. The store, Campormazio, still has some of the re-released extrait and voile d’extrait (follow the link above), but I must warn you that their delivery cost to the US is obscene (and they don’t even subtract the VAT from the prices!). But Mito was so beautiful that I couldn’t pass on it.


How about you?

What Went Well In 2022?


Happy New Year!

Saturday Question: Do You Like Pine/Fir Note In Perfumes?

After decades of living in the US, I got used to decorating a Christmas Tree earlier in December (instead of the last couple of days of the month to celebrate New Year, as it was customary in my childhood). But since this year I needed some serious holiday cheering, I broke my record and decorated that tree a week ago! I love it, but since it’s an artificial tree (albeit very naturalistic), it doesn’t smell. Perfume to the rescue!


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #143:

Do You Like Pine/Fir Note In Perfumes?

If yes, what are your favorites? Do you wear them only around winter holidays, or are they in a regular rotation?

A bonus question: Have you decorated a tree this year?

My Answer

I do not actively seek out perfumes with this note. But if I think about it, I generally enjoy pine/fir scent and have at least several favorite fragrances with these prominent notes.

  1. Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee
  2. Ineke Idyllwild
  3. Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles

I wear Fille en Aiguilles only in December and January, and the other two fit my summer evening the same as the winter holiday season.

How about you?


Do You Like Pine/Fir Note In Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?

I saw that Perfume Posse just had a similar topic earlier this week. But I swear I had this question in my head before I saw that post (something must be in the air!). And since not all of my loyal SQ participants read or comment there, I decided there would be no harm in talking about leather perfumes again here.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #137:

What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?

Do you wear them in general? How often? Do you prefer them in colder weather?

Bonus question: what is your favorite leather product? (Not perfume-related)

My Answer

When I came up with my answer to this question, I was somewhat surprised by the fact that after ten years since I published In the Search for the Perfect Leather post (below, I decided to re-use one of the photos from it), in addition to all the perfumes that I mentioned there, I can add just two new leather perfumes that I really-really liked – one for my vSO (Tom Ford Ombre Leather) and one for me (Neela Vermeire Creations Ashoka). The other four from my list (I won’t count my vSO’s perfume) are:

  1. Chanel Cuir de Russie
  2. Serge Lutens Boxeuses
  3. Six Scents Nappa Noir
  4. L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore

Leather Perfumes SamplesAs to the non-perfume-related items, I like Nappa leather bags/purses. I know these are less sturdy than other leather types, but I loooove soft and supple leather for my bags.


What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?