Saturday Question: Do You Mind Revealing What You Are Wearing?

We all participate in different forums, blogs, groups, etc. And discussing our SOTDs is something mundane. But how do you feel about telling somebody in real life what perfume you’re wearing?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #93:

Do You Mind Revealing What You Are Wearing?

I remember years ago reading on some of the blogs that people were reluctant to share with others (outside of the online perfume community) what perfume they were wearing. The reasons were different – from plainly not knowing how to pronounce the name to being afraid of being judged for buying too expensive perfume or even because they didn’t want others to have the same perfume they did.

So, how do you feel about that? If your friend or a co-worker were to ask what perfume you are wearing, would you tell them? How about a stranger (in a non-creepy situation)?

My Answer

In general, I’m an “oversharer” when it comes to things that I like, find useful or consider a great deal. So, if anyone were to ask (and I think it had happened more than once), I would not only tell them what perfume it was but make sure to include some information about the brand (unless it’s a well-known one), where it can be tried or bought and whatever other information I think might entice the victim of that cornucopia of information to pursue “my” perfume.

But there is one perfume that I would not “advertise” had I been asked by somebody who is (and will be) in my circle: Ormonde Jayne Ta’if. I love it so much that I feel very possessive and wouldn’t want anyone else to come to the party in a cloud of “my” scent.

If any of you is curious why I do not feel the same about my all-time favorite Lancome Climat, it’s easy: since it is discontinued, I don’t expect anyone who isn’t familiar with it to bother finding it. So, even if asked, I could freely give out the name, immediately providing the extra detail that it has been discontinued – just to be helpful, you know).

Rusty and Ormonde Jayne Ta'if

How about you?

Do You Mind Revealing What You Are Wearing?

Saturday Question: Are Your Family And Friends Supportive Of Your Perfume Hobby?

The question is inspired by our holiday that traditionally is celebrated with friends and family.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #92:

Are Your Family And Friends Supportive Of Your Perfume Hobby?

Do they know about it? Do they notice that you wear different perfumes? Do they consider you an expert and ask advice? Do they criticize you? Do they share your love to perfume?

My Answer

My vSO completely supports my hobby: he doesn’t object not only to me buying or wearing perfumes but also getting perfumes for him. And while he is not really into perfume, he usually patiently waits while I’m sniffing my way through perfume counters and perfumeries. And he “knows” many of you – even if we’ve never met in real life.

Since all my relatives wear perfumes, nobody finds it too strange that I like perfumes, write about them and collect them. But for all of them perfumes are just accessories or personal care items – how often do you discuss a toothpaste with your sister?

My friends know about my hobby, and a couple of them even read this blog from time to time. But most of them have little or no interest in perfumes. Well, at least nobody admits to hating my perfumes (and some even compliment me from time to time).

 

Are Your Family And Friends Supportive Of Your Perfume Hobby?

Saturday Question: Who Is Your Favorite Indie Perfumer Or Indie House?

This week’s question was one of the topics Brigitte suggested back when Portia solicited SQ ideas from the APj’s readers. Whenever my week gets so busy that I don’t have time to think about this post until I sit to write it (an hour before the midnight or even later), I open the spreadsheet with all the suggestions and choose one that feels right. This one was that type of a week.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #91:

Who Is Your Favorite Indie Perfumer Or Indie House?

I’m not sure if there is a strict distinction between indie and niche brand definition, so each of you can think of your own criteria. But I think as the year comes to the end, and we all will be thinking about gifts either for others or ourselves, it would be nice to be reminded of those brands that won’t have massive ad campaigns or YouTube influencers lining up to recommend those perfumes in their holiday shopping guides.

In addition to naming a brand, please share your most favorite perfume from the line.

My Answer

I’m not much into indie perfumery. I have a number of favorites from several brands, but none of the brands really stands out.

But if I have to name just one, I’ll probably go with Tauer Perfumes. And perfume that I like the most is L’AIR DU DÉSERT MAROCAIN.

I think that even full bottles of Andy Tauer’s perfumes are priced reasonably for the quality of ingredients he uses. But unless you plan to bathe in one of his perfumes, a travel spray, a couple of samples or a 5 ml mini (if there is one for that perfume) will go a long way.

Tauer LDDM Mini

Who Is Your Favorite Indie Perfumer Or Indie House?

 

Image: hajusuuri

Saturday Question: How Far in Advance Do You Plan What to Wear?

Today I have this question/discussion topic and an idea to share with you.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #90:

How Far in Advance Do You Plan What to Wear?

When do you decide what you are going to wear? On the day? The night before? What about perfumes for occasions (birthdays, family gatherings, etc.)?

Do you ever plan your perfume wardrobe several days in advance, for several days? (Trips don’t count!)

My Answer

I used to lie in bed the night before, mentally going through my whole collection (year, there were times when I could do that) and deciding on what perfume I’d use in the morning. As my collection grew, I switched to the stare-at-my-collection-in-the-morning method, which worked for a while but became less reliable once my perfumes filled in the shelves so that those boxes that are stored farther from the front are harder not only to get to but also to see. But better or worse, it still worked: I had to make a choice before leaving the house.

Then I started working from home, and my schedule changed so that I would have my meetings earlier than I would like to, so more and more often I would go commando (perfume-wise) for a couple of hours in the morning planning to figure out what to wear later… and more and more often my work takes over, and I keep going scent-free for the most of the day. And then I have to decide whether I want to apply perfume to wear or would rather test something new.

So, I just decided to make it easier for me this holidays season: I will make an Advent Calendar with 24 perfumes to wear in December. I haven’t decided yet if I’ll do daily or weekly posts: it might be too hard in addition to doing my planned countdown to Rusty’s birthday on Instagram, but I might still try.

Will you join me? I’m sharing this idea in advance – so that you have enough time to make your own calendar. You can do it from really simple to extremely fancy. 24 envelopes with written numbers, optionally decorated. Or Ziploc bags with decants/samples wrapped in some colorful tissue paper. Or one of those DIY sets from a craft store or Amazon. If you do not have a smaller decant or sample for the perfume you plan to wear, you can write down the name and put it into the bag or box. Alternatively, you can choose 24 samples that you want to try (again) and place them in random order into those bags – so, it’ll be kind of a surprise.

Advent Calendars

 

How Far in Advance Do You Plan What to Wear?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Amber Perfumes?

This is that time of the year again when the weather in the most places of the Northern Hemisphere unequivocally suggests wearing heavier and more opulent perfumes. Are you ready?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #89:

What Are Your Top 5 Amber Perfumes?

Not of all times, not the best creations ever, but just those that you think you will especially enjoy in the next couple of months?

For my readers on the opposite side of the World, do you have summer ambers?

My Answer

I love amber perfumes and have enough of those in my perfume wardrobe. But I often wait too long for the perfect weather – and then the season is gone before I could fully enjoy them. So, this year I decided to try and enjoy all of my favorite ambers. And I’m starting with these five:

  • By Kilian Amber Oud
  • Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan
  • Bvlgari Black
  • Ormonde Jayne Tolu
  • EnVoyage Perfumes Captured in Amber

Rusty and Captured in Amber

What Are Your Top 5 Amber Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What is the Spookiest Perfume You’ve Ever Tried?

I used to like Halloween. Even though we stopped dressing up and having parties with friends for those years that didn’t fall on a weekend, I would usually do some decorations and wear some Halloween-related pieces to the office. Last year was the first one when we didn’t decorate our house either inside or outside, and we didn’t have any candies ready for rare even at better times flocks of costumed children. This year, even though the restrictions are less severe than they were in 2020, and Halloween falls on Sunday, I don’t plan to do anything. I feel somewhat burnt out. But if not to count these last two years, I think that Halloween is a nice tradition, so I’ll use this post to make at least a slight nod to the occasion.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #88:

What is the Spookiest Perfume You’ve Ever Tried?

Are there any perfumes that scare you, be that being too loud, striking you as extremely unpleasant or just causing an uncontrolled shiver down your spine for any reason?

When was the last time you’ve experienced it? Do you think you’ll ever try it again?

My Answer

Oriza L. Legrand Chypre Mousse, hands down, is the worst offender: it was so unpleasant on my skin, that I still shudder just from the thought of it. I think that probably about the half of my current readers (I mean, those who participate in these weekly posts) haven’t been around when I did a post about it (The Royal Nonesuch of Perfume), and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to them because I think it would resonate with many – not specifically about this perfume, since I know that many people still like it, but in general, the way it feels sometimes when we try something highly praised by everybody and find ourselves hating it.

I sent my decant off into the world about 4 years and hope to never experience it again. If the whole perfume industry collapses, and that perfume would be the last bottle of perfume in the World, I would not try it again in a hope to change my mind because I still remember how hard it was to scrub it off.

How about you?

What is the Spookiest Perfume You’ve Ever Tried?

Rusty and Halloween Candies

Happy Halloween 2021!

Saturday Question: What 5 Brands Do You Always Test?

All of us who has been into this hobby for a while are at least a little jaded: it’s not that easy to attract our attention, we have everything and then some, and when it comes to getting interested in trying anything new and unknown, we are not the easiest audience. But today I’m asking not about brand-new brands (pun? probably somewhat) that are growing like mushrooms or established brands spawning new lines trying to cover a larger or different market.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #87:

What 5 Brands Do You Always Test?

You might love and own a dozen of perfumes by Guerlain. But do you follow all of their new releases? You might adore classic Miss Dior, but do you know what was the last perfume from Dior? L’Artisan Parfumeur… Who?

What I mean is: regardless of the “past performance” and presence of the brand in your perfume wardrobe, are there any brands new releases from which you follow diligently and try to get your nose on? Name up to five such brands, if you can think of that many.

My Answer

There are just two brands that are still on my radar no matter what: Amouage and Puredistance. With these two I do make an effort to get to try all of their releases. This loyalty has a couple of components: first, I have multiple perfumes created by these two brands that I love or strongly like, so with each next release I hope that the new one will be as great as the earlier ones (or better!). And the second reason, I suspect, is that I could never sample them at a store, so I’m used to paying for samples from these brands. But since the hit/miss ratio with them was great, at least for a while, I feel more inclined to “risk” it.

There last three brands that I always test are Tom Ford, Jo Malone and Atelier Cologne. But, at least partially, it’s a factor of convenience: I have a relatively easy access to them from local stores. So, I think that I tried all perfumes from these brands in the last, let’s say, 5 years. I do like these brands and have many favorites from them. But I’m not 100% sure I would have been pursuing them with the same rigor if I had to pay for all those samples. Though I still might have…

What about you?

 

What 5 Brands Do You Always Test?

Saturday Question: Do You Travel Light?

Following my yesterday’s post on perfumes I took with me to the recent trip to Hawaii, I decided to ask you about your packing habits when it comes to bringing perfumes.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #86:

Do You Travel Light?

I know, the last 18 months weren’t great for trips, but before we completely forget how it was in the “old normal,” let’s talk about it. How many perfumes do you usually bring with you? Do you take full bottles, travel bottles, decants or samples? Do you have a set of perfumes that travel with you to specific/all locations, or is it something different every time?

My Answer

Normally, I take with me about 2 perfumes per day away plus a scent to wear on a plane. I don’t wear all perfumes that I bring, but I like to have a choice. For each trip I select perfumes that I think fit the occasion. And since most of my travel destinations do not repeat (or at least that happens not too often), every time it’s something new.

Usually, I take with me decants – either those perfumes that I have in that format or those that I make from my bottles. The only place to where I bring a real bottle is Hawaii: my Bronze Goddess always travels with me there.

Hawaii trips are unique in sense that it’s almost always the same predictable weather and activities. So, I collected a whole wardrobe of tropics-suitable perfumes, and I take them with me every time I have a vacation on one of the islands. And after the last trip, to which I brought about 25 different perfumes for 8 days, I’m thinking about sticking to my “2 perfumes per day” rule in future.

 

 

Do You Travel Light?

Saturday Question: How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

It was Portia who suggested this week’s question but refused to lead the discussion. I decided to run it myself because I’m also curious to read your answers.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #85:

How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

How did you decide what to use as your online/screen name in Perfumeland? Leaving aside Facebook where most people use their actual accounts with First and Last Name, what is the handle you use in perfume-related communities to post or comment on posts? Is it some version of your name, a nickname or completely arbitrary or fictional creation? Why have you chosen it?

My Answer

Almost nine years ago, I’ve published a post in which I told a story of how I came up with both my screen name and this blog’s name. What is interesting, in that post I counted comments from at least 9 people who still read my blog these days.

For those of my newer readers who is not curious enough to read an ancient post, I’ll give a short version: Undina (my native language-specific spelling of the word “Undine” – a category of elemental beings associated with water) was a nickname that I’d chosen a couple of decades ago (wow, time swims fast!) for a role-playing chat room that I frequented and where I spent many happy hours. Out of all possible species of the undines group, my character in that chat room had transformed into a mermaid. And one of the virtual props I used there was a looking glass on the wall. So, my screen name and my blog’s name are kind of homage to that wonderful time.

Undina by Lus

A collage made for my character by one of the chat’s habitués

Now it’s your turn.

How Did You Get Your Screen Name?

Saturday Question: What Brand Would You Like To Know Better?

We all come to discovering different perfume brands in many different ways. Some brands are naturally available for easy testing where we live or travel. For others we happen to get a discovery set. Some get recommended by fellow perfumistas whose opinion we value. And some we discover on our own, purposefully getting samples after falling in love with one perfume from the brand we tried.

At the same time, the more brands are out there, the more expensive their perfumes get and the less people with an independent opinion express it in media we choose to be exposed to, the less inclined we are to blindly pay to get to know a new brand or a brand we skipped discovering previously for whatever reason.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #84:

What Brand Would You Like To Know Better?

Is there any particular brand about which you know and with perfumes from which you are not too familiar but would like to? What’s the reason why you haven’t tried those perfumes yet? Do you plan to do anything about it, or is it an abstract interest of the maybe-one-day-type?

My Answer

From the beginning of the deep dive into this hobby I was a “serial tester”: especially with brands whose perfumes I liked or with a completely new to me brands I had a tendency to seek out all perfumes from such brands that I could get. I think I still feel that way, but with the number of new brands and releases I had to concede that it just wasn’t feasible and, frankly, didn’t make much sense.

But I think that I still have that internal drive to complete the “research,” and if I had an easier access to testing some of the brands at a store or could get those brands’ sets for testing without paying an arm and a leg for them and their delivery, I would have still be chasing at least some of the brands.

Short of that, I discovered an acceptable way for myself to indulge in my series-oriented testing proclivity: I participate in the Beautyhabit‘s event series (some pun intended) “Up Close & Personal with <XXX>” (where XXX is one of the brands they carry). It’s a Zoom call (though, that part isn’t required) with the Beautyhabit’s co-founder and either a brand creator/owner/etc. or at least a representative. For $20 I’m getting 6-7 samples, including S&H in the US. They also offer a $10 coupon off perfumes from that brand, but I haven’t used that offer so far, so I just assume that I’m paying $20 for samples (Disclaimer: No affiliation, not sponsored).

The most recent event I signed up for is for Parfums de Nicolai (I don’t want to link to it because it’s a temporary link, but you’ll easily find it on the site under Events, it is not sold out yet, if you’re interested). I know that this brand was one of everybody’s darlings 8-10 years ago, so I’m not sure how it came that I don’t know them better. I tried several of their perfumes back then, but somehow mostly it passed by me. I remember that I liked Odalisque, but by the time I thought I might want to buy it, I heard it got reformulated. And it felt wrong to pay for another sample. I have a small decant of Le Temps D’Une Fete from a friend and wear it from time to time, but it has that vintage component that I do not love… and it has been reformulated and discontinued. Had I come across the brand in a B&M store, I would have tested the whole line. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen any Parfums de Nicolai perfumes in RL anywhere. So, now I’ll get a chance to try 7 new to me perfumes for the brand. I’m very curious.

 

What Brand Would You Like To Know Better?