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

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #59:

Which of Your Favorite Aromas You Do Not Want Bottled?

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

My Answer

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

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

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

 

Which of Your Favorite Aromas You Do Not Want Bottled?

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

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #58:

Have You Tried Any Perfumes Released in 2021?

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

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

My Answer

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

Tom Ford Tubereuse Nue

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

How about you?

 

Have You Tried Any Perfumes Released in 2021?

Saturday Question: Do You Dream About Perfume?

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #58:

Do You Dream About Perfume?

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

My Answer

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

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

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

Rusty Sleeping

Do You Dream About Perfume?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #56:

What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

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

My Answer

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

https://orpheon.diptyqueparis.com/en_us/scene

 

What Is Your Favorite Diptyque Perfume?

Saturday Question: Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #55:

Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

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

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

My Answer

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Where Do You Photograph Your Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

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

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #54:

Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

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

My Answer

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

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

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

Now it’s your turn.

Rusty and a Toy

Rusty is not jumping through any whoops…

 

Which Giveaways Do You Not Participate?

Saturday Question: How Did You Meet Undina?

Undina: I’m not sure if anyone has noticed that, but the last week’s Saturday Question marked exactly a year since ULG picked up the baton of running (no pun intended) this weekly series from Portia (APJ). And since I was always curious as to the various ways that led all of you to this place, I took hajusuuri upon her offer to tell her story of our virtual “meet” and be the host to this week’s Saturday Question episode that opens the second year season.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #53:

How Did You Meet Undina?

The word “meet” is of Germanic origin, meaning, “come upon.” For this question, meeting Undina means any one or all of the following: met her in person, spoke with / texted her, corresponded over email, left a comment here, replied to her comments in another social media platform (e.g. another blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) or saw her on some platform and decided to follow her. Tell us how you “came upon” Undina and approximately when?

My Answer

I fell into the perfume rabbit hole around 2010, no thanks to all the perfume blogs that permeated the Internet even before “social media” became a popular term. I mostly lurked and noted some of the names that appeared in multiple blogs. Among the many names, I noticed someone named “Undina” whose comments in Scents of Self (Arielle Shoshana’s currently inactive blog) were always proper, smart, knowledgeable, and humorous. One day in 2012, I happened to accidentally click on her name and voila, the world of Undina’s Looking Glass opened up to me!

While I cannot swear to have read all the posts, I most certainly looked through not only the current posts but also her very helpful tips posts. It was so timely that I learned about Parafilm on her Know-How Post on Decanting, Labeling, Packing and Shipping. Soon after, on August 22, 2012, I left my first comment on the subject of Ineke Sample Sets. Looking back, I did not introduce myself and, instead, just smoothly eased into the conversation. Since then, we’ve corresponded over email, swapped, participated in each other’s splits. Undina also paid me the best compliment by making me her first guest poster in February 2014, in time to debut the new look of her blog! My only regret is I have not met Undina in person but I am confident that once we can travel safely again, we will meet in person.

Art Card Edition

Art Card Edition Original artwork from hajusuuri’s collection

How Did You Meet Undina?

Saturday Question: How Is Your Winter?

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #52:

How Is Your Winter?

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

What was the “warmest” perfume you wore recently?

My Answer

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

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

Amouage Ubar

How Is Your Winter?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Rose Perfume?

Regardless of how you feel about the upcoming Hallmark holiday, you’d agree that traditionally it is associated with roses more than with any other flower. So, I thought it was a good enough reason for this week’s question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #51:

What Is Your Favorite Rose Perfume?

Do you like perfumes with a predominant rose note? If yes, which ones come to mind first? If no, what is the closest to the rose-centric perfume in your collection?

Do you do anything special for Valentine’s Day? Do you acknowledge it in any way or ignore completely?

My Answer

Even though Valentine’s Day came into my life just a couple of decades ago, I rather like it (though, I like most of the holidays, so it’s not representative). I like it despite the fact that it interferes with my personal celebration: even though my birthday is a couple of days before, everything gets harder because of the upcoming holiday. Everything – plane tickets, hotels, flowers – are more expensive and harder to get, restaurants are busier, and any possible activities are sold out if you didn’t think about it at least a month in advance.

Nevertheless, I’m trying to do something nice to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and not just as a romantic couples holiday, but in wider meaning. I think it comes from the fact that when I was growing up, similar holidays (one for men and another one for women, on different dates a couple of weeks apart), while having some romantic component, also incorporated what in the U.S. is celebrated as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, including future/potential mothers and fathers. And being that inclusive, while still slightly forced (though, is it really that different from celebrating veterans on the Veteran’s Day or parents on the mentioned above designated days?), were readily celebrated both at work, in schools and in private settings.

At home, we always make a nice dinner on February 14. If I have time, I might decorate our living room a little. Sometimes we exchange small presents. Usually I’m getting flowers. Nothing obligatory or too elaborate, but nice and quiet.

This year, since we’re not back to the office, I didn’t get to do anything “publicly” in RL, so I decided to do “the next best thing” – a mini-project on Instagram: Rose Countdown to Valentine’s Day.

I did Mini-Monday with a mini bottle of Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur EdP, Travel Tuesday with a travel spray of Hermes Rose Ikebana, Throwback Thursday with Lancome Mille et Une Roses and Favorite Friday with Ormonde Jayne Ta’if Elixir (and later I wore Ta’if Parfum for the birthday dinner). I skipped Wednesday – and not because I couldn’t think of any day-appropriate secondary project (which I didn’t – any ideas?), but because an unexpected plumbing emergency didn’t leave me any energy to even wear perfume – let alone stage a photo. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see what I’ll be doing for Saturday and Sunday (and if you don’t, check back here in the upcoming days to see the latest picture on the sidebar (web)/below (mobile)).

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Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate – either with someone or alone. Have a restful weekend if you don’t, and do something nice for yourself, because you do love yourself, right? You should.

Cat Rusty and Roses

What Is Your Favorite Rose Perfume?

Saturday Question: Do You Like Skin Scents?

Tara (A Bottled Rose) has recently published a post about a newish perfume she tried Diptyque Fleur de Peaua skin scent with an iris twist. And that prompted my thinking about that category of perfumes.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #50:

Do You Like Skin Scents?

I’m not sure if there is a strict definition for the type – “your skin but better” or perfumes that sit close to skin or perfumes that do not smell perfume-y – but whatever you imagine when you hear that term, do you like skin scents? Do you own any of them? When do you wear them?

My Answer

While I do not dislike perfumes that would be characterized as a skin scent, I gravitate to louder, more pronounced perfumes. It is ironic since for the last many years I had to carefully choose what to wear to the office, not to disturb a couple of co-workers sensitive to scents. So, I would have benefited from having more of those in my collection. Instead, I have many Jo Malone perfumes that just disappear in a while, not leaving any trace, but most are quite prominent and unapologetic.

The closest I get to perfume that matches that category is probably sadly discontinued Tiempe Passate by Antonia’s Flowers. There is a chance that when I think it stays close to my skin, in reality it projects much better (follow the link to read more about the phenomenon in my older post), but for me it is beautifully quiet perfume.

Another one that comes to mind when I think about skin scents is Tauerville‘s limited edition When We Cuddle And I Can Smell Your Perfume On My Clothes. I wouldn’t have ever tried it if it weren’t for the wonderfully generous enabler, hajusuuri. Now I’m not sure whether to thank or “curse” her: I enjoy it so much, despite my preconception about that line and general dislike of such lengthy names. I regret not buying this perfume during the short time when it was available. I think it is a perfect skin scent and enjoy wearing it in the evening – so that I can take it with me to bed. But other than these two, I can’t think of any others. Considering the size of my collection, obviously it means that I don’t really like the type. How about you?

 

Do You Like Skin Scents?