Rusty the Cat: On Creams

I mentioned it before, Rusty loves if not all but most of the food. And among that food, there are some types or categories that he particularly favors. One of such categories is dairy products.

I can’t remember how it started, but at some point we came to the realization that he loves everything milk-related: milk, yogurt, cream, sour cream, ice cream, etc.

When I use sour cream in our meals or eat yogurt, Rusty always gets to leak the spoon afterwards – and does a great job while at it.

In Winter, one of my favorite desserts is hot chocolate. Rusty learned the process, and once I get milk out of the fridge, even before I open it (so, it’s not the case that he can smell it), he jumps on the counter (the part where he’s allowed to sit) and waits. After I bring milk to boil and pour it into cups with powdered chocolate, while my vSO stirs both cups, I’m busy: I feed Rusty milk film that is left on the bottom of the saucepan. Since it’s hot, I tear small pieces and give them to him. Rusty swallows each next piece in a nano-second and looks at my fingers greedily waiting for the next one. I’m strange, I know: from the childhood I like milk and, what is even stranger, hot milk and milk film. So, I would have eaten it myself. But Rusty loves it so much that I can’t deprive him of this little joy.

* * *

After the pump of the 1 liter bottle of Kiehl’s Creme de Corps stopped producing any output, I opened the bottle and kept it upside down over an empty plastic container from ice cream waiting for what was left to transfer there following the gravity. I succeeded but partially: another physical force in action – surface tension – prevented at least some portion of the cream from flowing down. So, earlier today I decided to “surgically” extract the remaining cream. I took the bottle and the jar to the kitchen, cut the bottle in half with scissors and started scooping the content.

Rusty appeared with a characteristic “meow” – the exact excited sound he usually produces when he observes food that he hopes to get. He jumped to where I was trying to save last milliliters of the cream, hovered over the jar, sniffed… and was clearly puzzled and disappointed by what he smelled: I was in the kitchen; it was an ice cream jar; the content looked like one of those tasty dairy products… and it absolutely didn’t smell as such. Since my hands were in cream, I didn’t want to touch him. So, as I was finishing my exercise in frugality, he just sat there sniffing air and not believing the cruelty of the World.

Rusty and Kiehs Creme de Corps

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Puredistance Perfume?

With the news of the upcoming new release, Puredistance has been on my mind recently.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #78:

What Is Your Favorite Puredistance Perfume?

Do you own any? Do you like any of those that you tried but don’t currently own? Are there any that you’d like to try?

My Answer

Puredistance is “my brand.” I do not love all of their perfumes, and ironically their main perfume – Puredistnce I – has never found its way into my heart, but among the rest of their creations I have several perfume loves and strong likes.

Antonia is probably still my most favorite perfume from the line, one of those that made it to the “love and don’t ever want to be without” category in My Perfume Portrait. And that light green bottle!

Puredistance White, Puredistance Gold and Rubikona are all strong rivals for the second place spot in my heart. I don’t think I could choose just one of them: they fit into different moods and seasons, and I think that all three are beautiful.

I find Opardu, Warszawa and Sheiduna very pleasant and wear these from time to time, but admittedly they are just in the “like and wear” category: unlike the previous four, I wouldn’t be chasing these but I’ll enjoy them as long as I have them.

Finally, I like Puredistance Black on my vSO (he seems to like it as well). Not surprisingly, two the most masculine perfumes in the line – Aenotus and Puredistance M – do not work for me at all.

What I also like about this brand is that because I’ve done many posts about their perfumes over years, I have a wide choice of previously published pictures of Rusty that I can use again for this Saturday Question post.

 

 

What Is Your Favorite Puredistance Perfume?

Just Splendiris!

I loved the name long before I got a chance to try this perfume and before I found another favorite from the brand. I read a beautiful review Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) wrote for Spenderis by Parfums Dusita and thought that I wanted to like it. Usually, it’s a recipe for disappointment. But not in this case.

Splendiris ticks almost all the boxes for me. It is beautiful: I don’t think that it’s a universal pleaser, but if it’s your cup of tea, you don’t have to work hard on liking it. It is original: I have many iris perfumes, but Splendiris doesn’t remind me of any of them. It has a presence: while not a “powerhouse,” it is not timid, and the scent is quite distinct and pronounced. My only complaint is that Splendiris is less tenacious than I’d like it to be. But I do not mind re-applying.

Rusty and Dusita Splenderis

I’m sure that most of my loyal readers have tried Splendiris by now (so, tell me – do you like it?), but for those few who might have missed it, I want to say that, in my opinion, unless you dislike iris perfumes in general or cut out perfume testing at the price level that is lower than Parfums Dusita’s offerings, this perfume is worth trying: you might still not like it, but as far as spending money on perfume testing hobby goes, Splendiris is a solid candidate (check out Lucas’s review linked to above if you want more details).

I bought a travel set earlier this year, and it arrived packaged beautifully and with wonderful attention to details. Both Rusty and I enjoyed the unboxing.

 

 

In general, I applaud the brand for their testing and purchasing options. If you’re not familiar with the brand, you can buy a set of their first 9 released perfumes + select one of the two newer perfumes (EUR 59 + EUR 9 for S&H to the US). Those are large (2.5 ml) manufacturer’s samples, and the set includes EUR 40 voucher to be used for the future purchase. It is possible to buy separate samples as well, but I suspect it’ll be too expensive to send them to anywhere but France. They also have all of their perfumes in travel sets (3 x 7.5 ml), 50 ml and 100 ml bottles. When you buy anything but just samples, you get a choice of three additional samples with your order. Orders above EUR 150 are always shipped free of charge, and I saw once or twice a promotion where travel sets were shipped free of charge. I don’t think they have a newsletter to subscribe to, but the brand is active on Instagram and Facebook, so if you were to follow it there, you’d catch the next promotion.

 

Images: my own

Rusty the Cat: “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?”

While the color of my opposable digit is probably the closest to Pantone 448 C, I love flowers. And since I can’t grow them, I buy them.

As I discovered, I’m good at both picking fresh bouquets and keeping them alive. But here comes another complication: the only place in our house where flowers can survive is our bedroom. It’s not because the atmosphere there is somehow special. But it is the only living area to where Rusty has access only in our presence.

It is important because, being left alone with flowers, Rusty either plays with them, which results in knocked over vases, or eats them, which is even worse since many flowers might be poisonous for cats.

The positive side of Rusty’s obsession with flowers is that every time he does get access to them, I get a chance to take many pictures of him: he’s so occupied with sniffing, pawing and biting them while he can that he doesn’t immediately notice me with a camera to start turning away.

 

 

As I was looking through pictures to choose those that I haven’t published before, I realized that I didn’t find any of Rusty with carnations. I should probably pick up a bouquet of carnations next.

Saturday Question: What Three Perfumes Will You Repurchase?

It’s a long weekend in the U.S. (Memorial Day). But since the restrictions have been just recently relaxed, I expect a lot of people attempting to get out to somewhere. So, other than short trips out to meet with friends or get a walk somewhere else than around where we live, for the most part of it I plan to stay close to home and do some damage shopping online. Probably not for perfume, but shopping is on my mind – hence the question.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #66:

What Three Perfumes Will You Repurchase?

We are not talking about the situation where you lost your whole collection and need to restart it. These are not necessarily the top three perfumes that you will always have in your collection. Selecting three, you do not limit yourself or preventing any further purchases, so you do not have to be creative with your math. Just think about your current collection and name any three perfumes that you currently own as a bottle (FB or travel bottle but not decant or mini) and think you will repurchase when/if you finish the current one.

Just to introduce some limitations: do not include those perfumes for which you already have back-up bottles.

My Answer

Today’s topic wasn’t the one I initially planned to do this week. But as I was dressing up to go to the friends’ place for dinner (what a luxury to be able to make plans on a short notice, not thinking about who was in contact with whom in the last two weeks!), without thinking for too long, I picked up perfume to wear – Lieber Gustav by Krigler. I looked at my 50 ml bottle that was just about half-full and immediately thought that despite the steep price I knew already that I would buy the next bottle once the remaining half was gone. I love-love-love Lieber Gustav, probably not less than I did six years ago when I told the story about it in the post In the Search for the Perfect Lavender).

From there I started thinking about other perfumes that I’m not hoarding (yet?) but would definitely buy as soon as I finish the bottle I have (or even before that).

Chanel No 19 EdT was the first perfume from Chanel that I fell in love with. It is not my most favorite perfume, and I’m not prepared to build up a stash (maybe because it doesn’t feel rare or inaccessible), but I know that I always want to have it in my collection, so I will repurchase it whenever I finish the bottle I have (though, for this one I might try looking for a vintage one if I don’t like the current version at the moment).

And the third one is Tea for Two by L’Artisan Parfumeur (my story here: Tu-ti-tu-rum-tu-tu or Musical Perfume). I find it somewhat demanding, so I don’t wear it too often. But every time I do, I think how interesting and special Tea for Two is. I would be very sad if I couldn’t have it in my life. But a back-up bottle doesn’t make sense with how infrequent I wear it.

 

 

What Three Perfumes Will You Repurchase?

Sunday Self-care, Episode 2: Fun Out Of The Sun

This post is dedicated to the skin cancer awareness month. It is not sponsored in any form: all products mentioned have been bought by me.

* * *

Sun never liked me.

I grew up when a tan was considered a healthy indication of nice summer vacation. And each September when in the school gym changing room my classmates proudly demonstrated to each other the degree to which they managed to darken their skin over the school break, I’d never had anything to produce: my skin above and below the sports short’s demarcation line stayed unchanged despite all my attempts to slowly build up anything reminding a tan. I remember relatives joking that money was wasted on taking me on a seaside vacation.

The dislike was mutual. From an early age, I learned to stay out of the sun or cover myself if I had to be outside because the only result I could achieve was to burn my skin, after which, ironically, it would go back to being completely fair skipping the step of getting at least a little darker as it happened to many of my friends.

Sun through Leaves

From the American coevals, I know that at the same time sunscreens existed but weren’t that popular in the US. Where I was growing up suffering from the sun, sunscreens just didn’t exist as a product. Luckily for me, at a latitude where I lived, one could burn only during 2-3 months per year and only if staying outside for hours, not covered. Or if to go to the above-mentioned seaside, which most people couldn’t afford to do even every year.

Once I moved to California, I quickly discovered two things: 1) my sun tolerance here has shrunk to mere 15-20 minutes outside, after which I would burn, and 2) despite sounding too good to be true, there were magical potions that would prevent that. And that was when sunscreens came into my life permanently.

In more than the last 2 decades, I can recall just a handful of times when I would get a sunburn. In most cases just because I missed a spot or something else happened completely unexpectedly.

Over years I went from one sunscreen to another. I would find one that worked for me and would keep using it until it would get discontinued. I never paid much attention to ingredients – if it worked for me, it worked. But I don’t like the feeling of extra products on my skin, plus from time to time (not always!) some of the products cause or worsen my mild eczema. And I have acne-prone skin. So usually as soon as I get home, I wash sunscreen remains off.

You might imagine how glad I was to remove that part of my daily routine once I started working from home! I would still use my current favorite Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 when going outside during the day, but I didn’t bother with anything else for my day-to-day home office life (unless I had a video meeting, then I might use a tinted moisturizer or a light foundation with some sunscreen properties, but most of my meetings are voice-only).

Rusty and Paula's Choice Sunscreen

And then a couple of months ago for the first time, I heard that we were supposed to apply sunscreen even when staying inside. My first reaction was that it was complete nonsense. I went online to find some reputable source to debacle that claptrap… only to find a dozen in support of it. I’m sure that I was one of the last to learn about it (as I mentioned before, my first year of Covid-19 hadn’t provided me any free/extra time to kill, so I wasn’t reading much on self-care, etc.), but just in case some of my readers were in the same boat, here is just a couple of sentences for an explanation – and then you’ll run your own search to confirm to yourself that I was not dreaming all that up.

While it’s true that you can’t get a sunburn through the window glass since it blocks UVB rays responsible for that, UVA light that causes premature skin aging by breaking down collagen and elastic tissue and contributes to the formation of skin cancers still goes through regular house or car window glass. You might not be sitting in front of the unprotected window, but those light rays reflect from light surfaces and still might be harmful.

I might have been still skeptical arguing (with myself) how much of the sunlight actually gets into my house, but some other realization hit me: while I was examining my face on the subject of pillow-produced creases (or lack thereof), which I covered in Episode 1 of this series, I noticed also that my skin tone got very uneven, and I could see a lot more dark spots than I remembered before.

Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, and it could be just a coincidence… But somehow I doubt it: until I started working from home, I wore a tinted moisturizer with SPF every single day – just to cover my walk from the car to the office and then 2-3 walking breaks during the day. And I used to work in a virtually windowless office.

It looks like I’m going back to wearing sunscreen. Every. Single. Day. Inside or outside.

Another personal discovery was the amount of sunscreen required for the proper protection. Again, I might be the last one to learn that, but on the off chance that at least one of the readers hasn’t got that memo yet: if you plan to spend enough time outside, to cover your face and neck only and get to the declared protection strength, you’ll need about ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) of sunscreen cream or lotion.

Sunscreen Amount for Face and Neck

And for those who prefer not to carry around a measuring device, you can figure out once for each cream/bottle how many fingers’ length it takes to place the necessary amount of product (dependent on your fingers’ size and tube opening), and then just stick to it.

* * *

I don’t remember exactly when but by my estimate it was about 15 years ago that I learned about Sephora’s yearly collection of products intended for skin protection from UVA/UVB rays. It was before the most current beauty subscription boxes. Back then it was called Fun in the Sun. Its cost was $25, and it included both full- and travel-size products from different brands. The kit was extremely popular, and it was usually sold out within hours after “dropping.” (Am I the only one who dislikes this new term?) Getting that kit required an approach similar to buying tickets for popular concerts. I tried to buy it once or twice but didn’t succeed. And then I found sunscreens I liked and wasn’t too interesting in trying anything else.

This year I thought it would be a good idea to see what was out there in the sunscreen arena, and with the current situation with testing anything in stores getting Sephora’s kit made total sense.

Since I wasn’t following Sephora too closely, I don’t know when the name changed, but now it’s called Sun Safety Kit (and I see that name back to 2015 at least). It costs $39 ($25 of which are donated to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center). And since the price of one of the full-size products offered in the kit that I wanted to try anyway (Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare All-Physical Dark Spot Sun Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50) is more than the price for the whole kit, it was a no-brainer.

Sephora Sun Safety Kit

I’ve started testing products from the kit, and I hope that by the time I finish them, I’ll find new favorites to add to my sunscreen wardrobe. I’ll share an update once I’m ready.

I also hope that I was the last one who came upon all this information, and as you were reading this post, you kept saying “Dah!”. But if no, please take this seriously. You do not have to believe me – do your research, find sources you trust, gather the information that is relevant to your lifestyle and place of residence – just do not dismiss it because you think that it doesn’t concern you. Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. And, as we age, we all want to look younger, right? Of course, sunscreen on its own will not turn the clock back and undo the damage done, but while preventing further damage, it helps your skin to renew on its own and gives other actives that you use to improve your skin a better chance to work.

In conclusion, I want to share with you two useful considerations that you won’t read in every article on this topic:

  • Choose a sunscreen that you like how it feels applied, how it smells and how it looks on your face (with or without makeup, dependent on your preference) – otherwise, you will not want to wear it every day.
  • Disregard the general recommendation to re-apply sunscreen every 2 hours: sunscreens deteriorate not from the time on the skin but from exposure to the sun. So, if you spend most of your day inside with a very limited natural light, your morning application might take you through the whole day.

Sun from Plane Window

Stay safe on and off the sun this summer!

 

Images: my own

Rusty the Cat: On Camouflaging

Of course, I’m not being serious: if anything, it’s not Rusty who has chosen his surroundings (or to live with us, for that matter). But I just want to share some of the pictures I collected for the topic. And I hope you’ll agree: he fits in perfectly, doesn’t he?

In other news, today I got my second vaccine shot. Now I can tell that most people who had their shots and to whom I complained about pain in my shoulder after the first one had no idea what I was talking about! I can feel something in my arm now, and I still might get side-effects in the upcoming days, but it doesn’t come even close to how much my first shot hurt! I’m glad that I’m done for at least 6 months (I really dislike needles).

I do not plan to change how I live even after I’m fully vaccinated: I’ll keep working from home, limit visits to stores and continue to wear masks. We might start seeing more friends, but other than that… Nah. Life has to prove to me that it’s safe on the outside.

Sunday Self-care, Episode 1: The First Year into Quarantine: Embracing Silk

Time Traveler: What year is this?
Me: 2020
Time Traveler: Oh, the first year of quarantine…
Me: … The … WHAT?

 

For a while, I tried to come up with a title for this first post of the (hopefully) new series to be a variation on the phrase “sleepy bliss” or “blissful sleep” constructed from the names of the two rival brands of silk goods. But I gave up having realized that “Blissy Slip” or “Slippy Bliss” would be probably even less transparent for my English-speaking readers than my last year’s exercise with “lilac” and “luck.” So, instead, I decided to play on the joke/meme that resonated with me when I saw it the first time last year and many times since.

* * *

With everything that was happening in the last 12 months, I’m a lucky one: my work kept me so busy all that time that I barely noticed most of the negative sides of the situation we all are more or less in. I did miss my Hawaii vacation and some gatherings with friends, and for a while it was scary… to watch dwindling supplies of TP and, joking aside, just getting out to get groceries for the next couple of weeks. But in general, I didn’t get the anxiety many others experienced. On the other hand, I didn’t get the “free time” that many people weren’t sure how to occupy while staying at home.

But as time goes by, and probably mostly because of a couple of big time-measuring life milestones that have occurred within these last 12 months, more and more I started thinking about getting that free time to take care of myself. This series is the result of my attempts to follow through with these thoughts.

* * *

For some time I was noticing that in the morning my face would have some creases from the contact with a pillow. While telling myself that, probably, it attested to how soundly I slept without turning or changing my position, I didn’t appreciate what I saw in the mirror, especially since I started having video meetings in the morning – often before those signs of agi healthy sleeping would disappear from my cheeks.

I don’t remember how the idea of a silk pillowcase came into my orbit, but once it formed, I, in my usual manner, being skeptical about most miracle cures and hacks, spent probably months reading reviews and trying to figure out whether to buy myself one and, if yes, which one. I could have easily kept doing it until now, but one day a friend of mine decided to show me her new favorite pillow (I was in the process of looking for a replacement pillow). I didn’t like the pillow at all (it was one of those new creations stuffed with shredded foam-like material), but I noticed that it had a silk pillowcase. When I asked my friend about it, she, completely casually, mentioned that she switched to those a while ago and now wouldn’t even consider sleeping on anything else. That did it for me.

I still wasn’t sure which brand to go with: if you try looking for any comparison reviews, you’d end up with very similar affiliated-links-ridden articles equally praising both “luxury” and “budget” buys (all claiming that though they will get a commission from you shopping through those, opinions, surely, are their “editors’”).

When in doubt, I tend to pay rather more than less (which is not necessarily a winning strategy but it has its merits). So, I went for the “luxury” side, but out of the two more expensive brands, Blissy and Slip, I’ve chosen Blissy because it was offering a better deal.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you happen to come across ads for silk pillowcases recently, you are probably familiar with all the claims they make (some of those ads are just outrageous, but I won’t dignify them even with negative publicity). Regardless of whether you have tried them yourself, you might be curious what I think about those claims.

After sleeping on silk pillowcases for three months, I can tell that I didn’t notice any changes with my hair, I do not have enough evidence yet to say that it feels cooler (I’ll see how it performs in summer), and I can’t say that it had any effect on acne outbreaks I still have from time to time. But I’m not going back to my old(er) cotton pillowcases, though, I have to clarify that those were of a very high quality, which might explain my hair not being overly impressed by the change. Then why?

Because not a single morning after switching to Blissy silk pillowcases had I seen any signs of my pillow on my cheeks.

Rusty and Blissy Silk Pillowcase

If you are considering this experiment, read multiple “infomercials” to understand in principle the difference between a “silk pillowcase” and a “silk pillowcase” and choose what you feel comfortable with quality-, price- and reviews-wise. If the description doesn’t mention something, assume that whatever that something is, it is not present in the particular item.

I have several suggestions in addition to those that you’ll read everywhere:

  • Resist buying golden, pink, plum, etc. colors: “marbled” or “tie-dye” colors will hide spots in-between washes better than solid colors (and there will be spots – from your skincare, tears, etc.). Mine are white and silver, and I regret my choice.
  • Disregard the “hand wash” instructions: put it into a mesh bag and wash it in a washing machine in cold water on a gentle cycle. Notice: I’m not saying that you could do it; I mean that you should: the manual washing itself is fine, but short of just hanging a pillowcase straight after rinsing and letting it drip, there is no way to remove any water from it without causing wrinkles that are much harder to iron out. And a washing machine’s centrifuge does it with much less wrinkled results.
  • Speaking of ironing, the way you see all those smooth and shiny silk pillowcases in the ads, you will never see them on your bed (unless you steam a new pillowcase from the box to remove folds and put it on your pillow “as is” without washing first, which I wouldn’t recommend): the picture on the left is a pillowcase freshly laundered and ironed while still damp – and I love ironing and do it very attentively. But whatever the result of the ironing was, the next morning (or a couple of days later) your pillowcase will look like the picture on the right. Which doesn’t seem to matter in how it affects your skin, but it doesn’t look pretty.
  • Since you will probably iron those pillowcases at least in the beginning, to make it easier, take them out of the washer, turn inside out and iron on the setting that feels right to you: on my Rowenta iron I would have been ironing on the recommended “Silk” or “the lowest” setting ’til the cows come home.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Slip, don’t spend time looking for coupons for the brand’s site: I don’t remember seeing any in a long-long time. Your best bet would be to get 15% off for your first purchase by subscribing on their site or wait for a general beauty sale at Nordstrom, Sephora or other similar stores that carry Slip brand.
  • If you decide to buy anything from Blissy, if you don’t have an account with them yet, use this link to subscribe and get a coupon for $20 off your purchase (if you use it, I’ll also get a $20 off coupon). But if you were to buy anything this week, don’t use that coupon because they have the best sale I’ve seen so far – 35% off with the coupon BLISSYMOM35. The Nordstromrack site also carries Blissy pillowcases, but always check which of the two has a better price (including S&H, since both have a minimum for free shipping).

Rusty and Blissy Silk PillowcaseEvery time I look at the picture above, I start yawning. I should probably go and check how my Blissy is doing…

 

Disclosure: Just to be clear, this post is not sponsored or compensated in any way by any of the mentioned brands or stores.

Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Was Your Starter Brand?

Last week when Portia posted about the most worn L’Artisan Parfumeur perfumes, I noticed that several commenters mentioned that they started their niche perfume stage of the hobby from that brand. That’s why I decided to run it as a formal Saturday Question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #62:

What Was Your Starter Brand?

Many of us came to this hobby through the years of using 1-2-5 (or more) “OTC” perfumes at a time. But then there was a moment when we discovered niche perfumes. And usually the next step would be hunting for samples of perfumes from that brand and, more often than not, becoming a lifelong fan of the brand.

So, it would be interesting to know whether it happened this way for you and, if yes, what was the brand and whether you still love and wear it.

My Answer

Formally, I could have named Jo Malone as such a brand since back 15+ years ago it was still kind of niche-ish brand, and the only place I could try it was at a local Neiman Marcus, to which I didn’t dare to go for a long time (unless accompanied by a family member visiting from another state where she worked at NM). The fact that back then they didn’t accept any credit cards but their own wasn’t helping either. Only later, when they started accepting all American Express cards, I remember venturing into the store to pick up a bottle of Jo Malone’s perfume, fearlessly presenting my Costco AmEx card to a quite snobbish SA.

I think Jo Malone is still the most represented brand in my collection. I still like and wear perfumes that I own, and whenever I can I check out their latest releases. But these days I rarely like any of them enough to buy.

But the true niche brand – something that I’ve never seen or even heard of before and then got to investigate – was Amouage. After reading multiple reviews, I bought a set of five 1 ml vials from Aedes de Venustas – and that was a beginning of long relationships with the brand.

I love, own and wear several Amouage perfumes (to name a few, Gold, Dia, Lyric and Memoir), and having been given a choice of getting perfumes just from one brand for the rest of my life, I would have been really torn between Amouage and Ormonde Jayne, with probably Amouage winning because of Gold that reminds me a lot of my most favorite perfumes of all times – Lancome Climat (I’m just not sure that these days I would be able to settle on one perfume, even if it’s my number one, but I wouldn’t be able to choose too many alternatives from Lancome – that’s why it wouldn’t have been a contender in that cruel hypothetical choosing game).

But as to Amouage newer perfumes… I should probably do a separate post about it. Soon.

Rusty and Amouage Epic

What Was Your Starter Brand?

“All that is gold does not glitter…”: Parfums Dusita Le Pavillon d’Or

As I started writing this post, it dawned on me how prescient were the lines that inspired Pissara Umavijani to create Le Pavillon d’Or: “… to live more happily in just any confinement” (Montri Umavijani, a Thai poet and the perfumer’s father). In just several months after the perfume release, the whole World suddenly had to slow down and start learning how to live in confinement and if not be happier but at least survive.

Le Pavillon d’Or is very fitting to the circumstances: it is not manifestly shiny, so you don’t have to rationalize to yourself wearing it while working from the kitchen table or blitzkrieging through a grocery store in search of TP, but it possesses an internal beauty that elevates your spirit and contributes to the feeling of well-being and… well, happiness.

Dusita Parfums Pavillon d'Or

Do you remember how Parfums Dusita brand appeared on the scene? It came seemingly from nowhere around 2015, released 3 perfumes by a new perfumer, and those perfumes were offered at a price point that not that many niche brands dared to put on their price tag back then. Especially not those without some history/standing in the community or at least done by renowned “noses.”

While I do not think that perfumes (or any luxury goods for that matter) should be accessible or even reasonable in their price setting, I remember being slightly annoyed by that launch. (Little did I know that from that point on there will be dozens of brands springing up like mushrooms and flooding the market with perfumes at astounding prices.)

But since back then many blogs that were reviewing and discussing new perfume launches were still around, I got curious about the brand because of the general buzz those reviews created. So, as soon as I got a chance, I tried those first three perfumes and … let me put it this way: I still didn’t get either the prices or the buzz. I guess, the fact that two out of the first three perfumes were built around ingredients I usually dislike (agarwood and tuberose) didn’t help.

The next three perfumes that were released I found interesting, but I didn’t want to wear any of them – so, I decided that Parfums Dusita wasn’t “my brand” and could have never tried another perfume from this brand if it weren’t for my perfumista friends. Cynthia (The Fragrant Journey), after in comment to her wonderful review, I expressed interest in testing Le Pavillon d’Or, had shared with me the remaining portion of her tiny sample. And it was enough for me to fall in love with Le Pavillon d’Or.

Dusita Parfums Pavillon d'Or

I’m a little confused with the notes for Le Pavillon d’Or. The brand’s site has the following list (explanations in parentheses are mine): Wild Menthe Citrata (bergamot mint), Honeysuckle Extrait, Boronia Absolute, Frankincense Green Sacra, White Thyme Oil, Vanilla, English Oakwood and Sandalwood Spicata (Australian sandalwood). I do not smell mint, but Cynthia in the review linked to above shares what she discovered about the ingredient used. Fragrantica, Luckyscent and the perfumer’s older posts on Instagram also mention fig leaves, heliotrope and orris butter. I wouldn’t recognize heliotrope (in general, not specifically here), but I thought that I know both fig and iris enough to distinguish them in the composition, and I can’t. So, I’m not sure if they are there, were there before but not anymore, or if they are created by some other ingredients that I don’t recognize as such. Le Pavillion d’Or starts as a very green perfume – a tad herbal, slightly bitter and somewhat uplifting. It develops through sheer resinous frankincense into a woody base, though my nose isn’t sophisticated enough to recognize which wood. But when you like what you smell, it doesn’t really matter what you smell, does it?

Rusty and Dusita Parfums Pavillon d'Or

The pavilion is golden not because it’s made of gold. Imagine a late-Spring morning when a rising sun reflects in dewdrops on the wooden beams of a pavilion making them sparkle through the leafy branches of the old tranquil park.

 

Images: my own