Saturday Question: Would You Wear Perfume That Your Loved One(s) Dislike?

It comes up in perfume discussions from time to time that we wear perfumes, first of all, for ourselves and not to be liked by others. And we get annoyed by co-workers or strangers who are perfume haters. But what if those are people whom we love?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #68:

Would You Wear Perfume That Your Loved One(s) Dislike?

We are not talking about cases when someone dislikes perfumes in general (though, it would be interesting how people handle that type of the situation), but rather when someone close to you dislikes particular perfume that you love. Would you still wear it? If yes, then where/how? Somewhere away from the person who doesn’t like it? Or maybe in tiny doses hoping they’ll get used to it? Or will you give up that perfume altogether?

My Answer

I’ve been lucky so far: my vSO doesn’t object to any of my perfumes (not the least because his allergies prevent him from smelling them half of the time). On rare occasions when he comments that he doesn’t like the scent, it’s one of the samples that I’ve been testing and not liking either.

But had it not be the case… I would have probably given up perfumes that I just like: with the number of perfumes in my collection I can probably be fine without any particular one that is not a great love. But if it were one of my most favorite perfumes, I would have tried it several times under different circumstances to make sure that it wasn’t just a fluke. But if no, I would still hold onto my favorite but probably figure out when to wear it so that it wouldn’t bother my vSO.

Under normal circumstances (meaning, not in a hospital, on a plane or any other similar situations), I don’t think I’m prepared to forfeit my perfume wearing for anybody else. But I do choose [not] to wear particular perfumes for when meeting with some of my friends or colleagues when I know that they like or dislike some of my perfumes or perfume styles.


Would You Wear Perfume That Your Loved One(s) Dislike?

Saturday Question: Do You Use Cashback Sites?

It is not a strictly related to perfumes question since most of niche perfume sites do not participate in that type of promotions, but some do. And it is useful in general: money saved elsewhere can be used to buy perfumes, right?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #67:

Do You Use Cashback Sites?

Do you use them ever? How often? Which sites? Do you have any strategies? Do you use browser plug-ins? Did you get any money back?

If you do use those sites, share your personal links for those sites that give bonuses for/to friends who sign up.


My Answer

When I do not forget, I try to use cashback sites. I have several that I’ve been using for years, I know that they track purchases from the supported stores accurately for the most part, so I usually check them for stores where I plan to place an order, choose the one that offers a better % cashback and click to the store from that cashback site.

Since I do not use just one cashback site, and I prefer not to give any site more information than is absolutely necessary, I do not commit to any one of them – that’s why I do not install browser plugins that offer to track my movements “not to miss any cashback.” I’m fine remembering it on my own (or not remembering, as it happens sometimes – but I’m fine with it).

While I used just two sites, I was usually checking them directly to see if they supported the store I needed. But since recently I subscribed to a couple more, whenever I’m checking who gives the best cashback, I do not go directly to all the sites but instead I use one of the cashback monitoring sites. I used to like one specific site, but it doesn’t track most of the newer sites, one of which I recently joined, so I’m checking out a couple of new sites to see whose technical abilities to keep the list up to date is better. Over years I got back about a thousand dollars – not too impressive since it was distributed over many years, but it is more than I would have without using those sites.

Two tried and true sites that worked fine for me for years are MrRebates and Rakuten (previously eBates).

At the moment, Rakuten seems to have the best referral program: if you use my link (or any of your friends’ link) to sign up for the account before the end of June 2021, shop at one of the supported sites after clicking to it through your Rakuten account and spend at least $30 in the 90 days from signing up, both you and a person who referred you will get $30 cashback. US and Canada only.

MrRebates referral program seems to be broken, but the cashback they offer works fine, so you should sign up if you find that they have the best rate for the store you need.

Recently I subscribed to the TopCashback. I haven’t got anything from them yet (it’s pending), but sometimes the rate they offer is much better than from the other sites, so I decided to try. I do not see any promotions now for signing up, but here’s my link – just in case you decide to join.


What you need to know if you haven’t used these sites before:

1. You need to go through the cashback site to the site where you shop in order to get cashback.

2. Using coupons not provided on the cashback site for the selected store might disqualify you from getting cashback (but, in my opinion, working coupons that give you an immediate discount are worth risking the cashback).

3. The rate different sites give for different stores changes, so if you use more than one rebate site, make sure to check which one gives a better rate and click through from there.

4. If you do a partial return for the multi-item order, it might cancel the complete cashback transaction.

5. It takes a couple of months for a cashback to “clear,” and most of the sites I saw required you to earn some minimum before you could get money from the account.

6. Don’t spend more than you planned to hoping for the cashback, and be prepared not to get it (though, in the recent years these sites got better with tracking, and you can provide them the order # if you clicked through, completed the purchase but didn’t get it to register on your account).

Do You Use Cashback Sites?

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?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Floral Perfumes?

I suspect that being “into perfume” it is almost impossible to avoid having some perfumes from this family, even if you are a self-proclaimed “not a floral perfumes fan.”

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #65:

What Are Your Top 5 Floral Perfumes?

OK, if you are really not a fan, maybe not 5 – but how about three? Those do not have to be just plain “Floral” – but maybe “Oriental-Floral” or “Floral-Fruity” or “Floral-Woody Musk.”

And if you are a fan of florals, please do not feel like you have to name real top 5 – those can be top 5 today, this season or all times, whatever comes to mind.

My Answer

I am a floral perfumes fan. So, probably if I had to choose perfumes just from 1 family and stay with them forever, florals would be my choice. But when I started thinking about the list, it proved to be harder than I thought. Not because I have a huge list of those (though, it contributed to the situation), but because, as it happens with any list, I started overthinking: Is it a good representative of the family? Would I want to wear it often? Should I choose it, or are there better candidates? Etc., etc.

But since I had to choose something, here we go (in no particular order; I won’t link to my previous posts, but I wrote about all of these, and you can find links in My Perfume Portrait):

Keiko Mecheri Johana

Ormonde Jayne Tiare

Jo Malone French Lime Blossom

Guerlain Cruel Gardénia

Ineke Hothouse Flower

What Are Your Top 5 Floral Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Are You Tempted by GWPs?

You can make this question as much or as little about perfumes as you wish.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #64:

Are You Tempted by GWPs?

I’m not sure if it is a common practice for the B&M stores or sites that you shop from regularly, but in the U.S., beauty departments, brands and stores periodically have “events” during which they offer “gift with purchase” (GWP). If where you live it also takes place, do you time your purchases to such events? Are you buying anything you didn’t plan to because you want to get a GWP? Maybe not the complete purchase but something as an “add-in” to reach the required minimum?

A bonus question: have you ever found anything (perfume or a skincare item) that you wouldn’t have tried otherwise but now like and use?

My Answer

Twenty something years ago, fresh in the US, when I saw a printed ad for Estee Lauder‘s GWP at Macy’s, I couldn’t believe that it could be true: in my native country each of the pieces offered free with any $25 purchase would have cost probably half of that amount. A co-worker, to whom I showed the ad, confirmed that it wasn’t a trick and even offered to give me a ride to the store after work. That day I bought my first bottle of Tuscany Per Donna (I tried it before and liked). And I was perplexed by the fact that they were giving for free all those wonderful travel size goodies. I don’t remember what was in that GWP, but for many years after that I was using cosmetics and skincare from Estee Lauder trying to time my purchases to their GWP events. I stopped doing that when most of the items in those gifts became make-up items – and I didn’t have much use to them.

I’ve never bought anything more expensive than $5-$6 that I didn’t plan to buy if I needed something extra to get to a free shipping or GWP that I really wanted to get, but I don’t remember ever buying anything just to get a GWP (though, on a couple of occasions I’ve been tempted to persuade myself that I needed something right away – usually I was able to resist).

With perfumes, I usually try to wait for a percent off since those perfumes that I like usually do not come with anything that interests me.

Recently, as I started using more make-up and skincare, and especially since it is more difficult to test new products these days, I started following more closely different sales and GWPs events… When I was placing an order at Bloomingdale’s about 10 days ago, I knew that I was getting a lot of “goodies” – that’s why I decided to make that purchase in the first place. But when I started getting all the packages with what I ordered plus all the gifts, it was something unreal. I felt like…

Have you ever had a dream in which you would come across something wonderful, something that felt like a treasure – rare perfumes or coins or sweets or something else that in your dream seemed magical? And when you would wake up and realize it was just a dream, you’d feel disappointed. It felt like that dream but without the waking-up part. In all years I’ve been playing this game, I’ve never managed to get anything like that. That was a very unusual combination of a gift with any purchase, then Mother’s Day GWP, plus 2 cumulative gifts from Bloomingdales, plus GWP from SpaceNK. Now I have a lot of testing to do.

Beauty Samples

I got all these promotions after reading a newsletter from the GWP Addict blog. They mostly cover sites that specialize in skincare, but sometimes those overlap with online stores that carry perfumes as well. And, from what I can see, even though US-oriented, it covers some international sites as well.


Are You Tempted by GWPs?

Saturday Question: Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

How many times have you read about the May 1st lily-of-the-valley-related tradition in France? Probably at least every time someone reviews Guerlain‘s Muguet. As I was reading about it, I discovered another tradition – wearing LotV for the Flora Day in Helston, UK. Have you ever heard of it? From what I read, it is a long-standing tradition, which is even older than the French one (though, I’m not sure when the flower in question had been introduced). The celebration involves a lot of dancing and wearing lily of the valley by both men and women. Usually, it is celebrated on May 8th. But this year, same as in 2020, it has been cancelled due to Covid-19. It’s May 8 today – let’s talk about lily of the valley (perfumes).


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #63:

Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

Do you own any? Do you wear perfumes with this main note? Have you ever smelled this flower?

My Answer

Nine years after my In the Search for the Perfect Lily of the Valley post, I still own just two LotV perfumes – Dior Diorissimo and Penhaligon’s Lily of the Valley. I like them enough to wear from time to time, especially Diorissimo. But I don’t think I will be buying any other LotV soliflores.

As I wrote recently in the comment to Cynthia’s (The Fragrant Journey) review of the new Dusita‘s perfume Cavatina, while I like the LotV scent, I have an issue with it in perfumery: since it’s impossible to capture a real flower scent, it can be either an artificial aroma or a composition of other natural materials. I’m not prepared to pay luxury prices for a soliflore made from artificial ingredients, and two attempts of the recreation from natural ingredients that I tried convinced me that it is impossible to recreate believable LotV using natural ingredients. So, while I’d love a spring bouquet with a touch of LotV, I don’t need another artificial soliflore.

Dior Diorissimo


Do You Like Lily of the Valley Perfumes?

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?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

I’m so glad it’s a weekend! Even though I’ll probably have to do some chores, I’m glad I would be able to take my mind off work. And probably I’ll do some perfume planning: I feel I’m getting too absorbed into my day-to-day routine, and I don’t have time to think about what to wear or test during the work week. Maybe I can do a line-up of perfumes to wear for several days in advance… But let’s go back to the current topic.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #61:

What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?

Whenever a topic of favorite perfumes for one of a well-known brands comes up, or when in a SOTD thread somebody mentions everybody’s darling, people usually get really engaged adding their voices to each other’s choices. But whenever a lesser known brand or perfume is named, it usually sits lonely in the thread. Let’s give it some shine!

Name a perfume from your collection that you suspect most people don’t know or have. How did you happen to get it? Do you wear it?

My Answer

I have a number of perfumes that would fit the bill, but I decided to go with this one – Isa by Ulric de Varens. There are a couple of readers who were reading my blog back when I told a story for Isa, but I bet that most of you have never heard of this perfume (or the brand, though I wouldn’t bet on that part).

For those of you who don’t have time to go through the old post, a quick recap: it’s a nostalgic perfume from my adolescent years, and it took three attempts by three different people to get it to me from France.

I don’t think I wore Isa even once every year since I got it, but I’m still glad I have it because once in a while I can put it on and remember how grown-up and glamorous I felt all those decades ago spraying it on. Can you believe: I still remember a sweater I was wearing that day?

Ulric de Varens Isa


What Is Your Most Obscure Perfume?


Saturday Question: What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?

I’ll admit: it’s a lame question: I want to talk about the vaccination, and I tried to tie it into the more perfume-blog-appropriate topic. My excuse is that I think it’s a great opportunity to “document” some gleams of life, and not just my but also of my readers’ from different parts of the world.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #60:

What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?

Did you get vaccinated? If yes, what vaccine? How is it done where you live? Did you have any side effects? Has it changed anything in your day-to-day life? What perfume did you wear?

If no, do you plan to? If you do not plan to get vaccinated, please do not feel like you have to explain your reasons, but if you do not mind doing that, please do.

I do not want this to turn into an argument either for or against vaccination, but I’m curious to know your personal position on it.

My Answer

In my area, at some point, all vaccination-related activities started resembling some type of a sport: people would be hunting for available slots, exchanging information on how to get them, how to find out what vaccine was administered in some of those locations (many subsystems do not provide this information until you arrive at the place, at which point you can decide not to go through, but then you’ll have to start it all over), and a lot of other tips and tricks. Some people were driving a couple of hours to the less populated areas because there were more openings.

Since I wasn’t in any of the groups that officially were allowed to get vaccinated, I wasn’t paying too much attention to everything that was going on. In addition, I really dislike injections of any type, and for most of my life tried to stay away from them. But as the time progressed, more and more people whom I know were reporting “mission complete,” and at some point, it felt like we were the last ones who didn’t figure out a way to get it (if not to count a couple of friends who do not plan to do that at all). Being extremely law-abiding, neither I nor my vSO wanted to play the system. After all, we both work from home, we don’t need to be anywhere, so an extra couple of months wouldn’t change much.

But once there were no more formal limitations to my eligibility, I decided to do it. I had my first shot last Saturday. I didn’t care which vaccine to get. I got Moderna. So, I’ll need to get the second shot in 4 weeks after the first one. It took about an hour from the moment I arrived until the time I left (not counting a 2-3-minutes procedure and 15 minutes I needed to stay in after the shot to make sure I didn’t have a reaction, the rest was standing in line), but still, I was impressed by the way the everything was organized. Until then I didn’t realize the scale of what is happening.

I didn’t have any side effects from the vaccine, but I think the Universe is telling me that my usual attitude towards shots is the right one: the nurse who was administering the shot hit some blood vessel, so there was some unexpected blood (which wasn’t a problem, it stopped soon); but then my shoulder hurt for 4 nights (which also wasn’t a huge problem on its own); and because my movements were restricted during my sleep (I could sleep only on my back), my chronic back problems that were under control for the last 10 months came back. Both my shoulder and my back are better now (still have a large bruise at the place of injection though), and I will get that second shot, but I already have doubts about the “booster” in Fall everyone is talking about now.

Rusty Sleeping

Rusty has no issues sleeping in any pose

As to perfumes… I was a wuss: I feel so nervous about any medical procedures (and shots in particular) that I didn’t want to associate any of my perfumes with this event – so, I went commando perfume-wise (and very comfortably dressed otherwise). But once I got home, I sprayed L’Attesa all over – and it was heavenly (I even got an unsolicited compliment from my vSO, which doesn’t happen too often since because of the allergies he rarely can smell my regular 2-spray perfume applications). But for the next shot I also plan to save my perfume for after the unpleasant part is over.


What Perfume Did/Will You Wear to Get Vaccinated?

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?