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

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

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #143:

Do You Like Pine/Fir Note In Perfumes?

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

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

My Answer

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

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

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

How about you?

 

Do You Like Pine/Fir Note In Perfumes?

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Saturday Question: Are You Doing Any Advent Calendars This Year?

December, huh?

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #142:

Are You Doing Any Advent Calendars This Year?

Not necessarily perfume ones (but share if it is). How about food, drinks, jewelry, beauty or any other possible kind out there? Did you buy any or make them yourself?

 

My Answer

A month ago, I decided that instead of getting a Christmas or New Year gift, I wanted to enjoy every day in December. It was before my self-imposed “no-buy,” so I got three Advent Calendars.

A beauty Advent Calendar from Cult Beauty. More beauty products I probably need as much as I need more perfumes. But it seemed like an excellent set of products (I glanced, though now I hardly remember what this one had since I was choosing between 4 or 5 others). And when I was buying it, they offered a GWP that was more expensive than the calendar, and I just couldn’t resist. I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of the products with family and friends.

I wanted to get a tea calendar. But the one that I was curious about, in addition to being very expensive, contained just 1 tea bag per day, which didn’t work for me because I wanted to share it with my vSO. Then I considered a calendar with loose-leaf tea, but the amount of tea for each day was enough for just 8 oz, which is also not enough for sharing. An Advent Calendar from Whittard of Chelsea won me because it was intended for two, and I have a soft spot for the brand because I discovered it first when visiting London and, since then, bought two of their herbal/fruit teas several times.

The third one is Bonne Maman Preserves Advent Calendar. I tried before a couple of fruit spreads from this brand. So, I thought it would be a chance to try multiple different spreads to choose which I like.

I couldn’t even imagine how much I would enjoy opening those calendars! The anticipation! The discovery! The feeling of surprise! I realize that all this comes from the novelty of the experience: the only Advent Calendar I’ve ever had was the one I created myself last year for perfumes to wear in December. And though it was also fun, opening a calendar created by someone else brings me even more joy. My vSO also admitted that he liked our opening ceremony with these calendars.

I didn’t do anything perfume-related this year, but I’ll wear perfumes I love, and I’m thinking about reusing the Cult Beauty box next year for the perfume Advent Calendar.

Advent Calendars

How about you?

 

Are You Doing Any Advent Calendars This Year?

Saturday Question: Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

With the [Early] Black Friday [Day/Week/Month] happening this year, I thought we could talk about not buying something for a change.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #141:

Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

If yes, was it a complete halt on any perfume-related spending? For how long? Were you tempted to break it, or were you firm in your decision? Did you strictly stick to it, or did you have any “relapses”? Has it affected your interest in perfume in general or perfume-related activities, such as reading blogs, participating in SOTD discussions, etc.?

My Answer

Until now, I’ve never done “no-buy.” My perfume acquisitions slowed down compared to previous years, and I haven’t exceeded a self-imposed perfume budget in the last several years. But I was buying some new perfumes and recently a lot of samples.

Starting this December, I’m doing my first “no-buy.” I won’t discuss the reasons (nothing too dramatic, everybody is healthy), but I will temporarily refrain from buying perfumes to wear (i.e., travel/full bottles or decants). Since it is a perfume blog, and I plan to keep it going, I will probably keep a small budget for samples and postage for swaps. But until the underlying practical reasons are resolved, my current collection should be more than enough to enjoy all aspects of my hobby – wearing, writing about and discussing perfumes.

 

How about you?

 

Have You Ever Done Perfume “No-Buy”?

Saturday Question: What Are You Thankful For Perfume-wise?

I realize that many of my friends and loyal readers live outside of the US and thus either celebrate their own Thanksgiving on a different date or do not celebrate it at all. I grew up not even knowing about that holiday: somehow, it wasn’t a part of pop culture or a well-known fact about a foreign country. But Thanksgiving has become one of my favorite holidays since I moved to the US. So, with the upcoming week being Thanksgiving week here, I want to somehow connect this Saturday Question to the topic of being thankful.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #140:

What Are You Thankful For Perfume-wise?

It can be very precise or completely generic, something that has happened recently or in general – as long as you consider it a positive thing.

My Answer

There are many things that I could mention, but I do not want to hog all the possible answers, so I’ll keep it short – and then join you in the comments section. You could do the same: name one or two most relevant points and concur with others’ comments.

  • I’m thankful to all of the perfumistas who shared, swapped or just gifted me with samples and decants: it allowed me to try many more perfumes than I would have been able to try otherwise.
  • I’m thankful that Covid-19 strand that I had did not impair my sense of smell: not counting possible serious health complications, that was my worst fear.

 

How about you?

What Are You Thankful For Perfume-wise?

Saturday Question: Do You Test Perfumes Released 3+ Years Ago?

I’m traveling this long weekend without my laptop, so let’s see how well mobile publishing works.

* * *

Do you remember how pre-Covid we used to complain about a huge number of new brands and new releases? I’m not sure what’s the situation now, but when I went to the Luckyscent website to buy… tea as a gift to my friend, I discovered that I didn’t know most of the brands I saw on the front page. People must be sampling those perfumes (since I don’t expect them blind buying them). But what about older releases? All those thousands of new perfumes released per year 3-5 years ago??

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #139:

Do You Test Perfumes Released 3+ Years Ago?

If you buy or swap samples, do you try perfumes that were released years ago but you haven’t tried them yet? Or do you go for the latest ones leaving behind all those that you haven’t tried when they were released?

My Answer

As I was choosing my free samples with a purchase, I went for 4 most recent releases. These weren’t new brands for me, but perfumes were all from this year. It made me think: am I not taking a part in encouraging brands to keep releasing new perfumes to keep us interested?

In my defense, this year, I did test the majority of perfumes from the past years that I was interested in (and even some that I wasn’t). But I know that I accepted that I’m missing on many perfumes, and after a while the only way I’ll try them will be if I come across them at a store.

 

How about you?

 

Do You Test Perfumes Released 3+ Years Ago?

Saturday Question: Do You Like Gunpowder Note In Perfumes?

Remember, remember
the 5th of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot.

This nursery rhyme stuck in my head and kept turning on and on, so I decided to turn it into the SQ.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #138:

Do You Like Gunpowder Note In Perfumes?

Do you know any perfumes with this note? Do you like it? Do you like the smell of gunpowder?

My Answer

If it weren’t for my database, I wouldn’t have remembered that I smelled any perfumes with a gunpowder note, and I didn’t care for two of them – BeauFort London 1805 and L’Artisan Parfumeur Amour Nocturne. Not because of that note. The third one I like – Jul et Mad Stairway to Heaven. Not because of that note. I don’t think I can smell it in that perfume.

I’m lucky: my only association with gunpowder is from visits to a shooting range. So, I like the scent of freshly burnt gunpowder. Not sure though, that I would want to wear it in any discernible quantity.

 

How about you?

 

Do You Like Gunpowder Note In Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?

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

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #137:

What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?

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

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

My Answer

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

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

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

 

What Are Your Top 5 Leather Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Do You Have a Perfume Budget?

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been involved in budget-related discussions at my work. I absolutely don’t enjoy those, but it’s that time of the year, and we all know where our economy is heading, so there is no escaping from these activities. No wonder money is on my mind.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #136:

Do You Have a Perfume Budget?

Do you have some set amount you plan to spend on perfumes monthly or yearly? If yes, do you fit in that budget? If no, how do you allocate money for your perfume hobby?

We all have different discretionary incomes and live in very different environments, so we do not have to discuss exact sums. The question is more generic – about the principles you apply to that area of your life.

 

My Answer

For the last several years, I was setting an upper limit to what I planned to spend on perfume-related purchases during that year. It was hard at first: I wanted to buy this and try that. And then there was an incredible price drop for something I was already thinking of. Or I would learn about the discontinuation of something I always planned to get eventually or had just half of the… 100 ml bottle left. So, at some point, once the budget was gone, I would start finding some creative ways to justify the next purchase. It has never been out of control to threaten my financial health, but I didn’t stay within the self-imposed boundaries.

In the last couple of years, I haven’t been spending the maximum I would allocate at the beginning of the year. It’s hard to name a single reason. Probably the combination of everything – the pandemic, being too busy or stressed out to test or even wear perfumes, the size of my existing collection, and, what is even more pressing, the size of the space where that collection is stored. And, of course, when you’re testing perfume No 3,000+ in your life, it’s harder to fall in love with something you’ve already smelled before (and probably own already). But I will keep allocating money for perfume purchases: if nothing else, I still want at least to try something new.

 

Do You Have a Perfume Budget?

Saturday Question: Have You Ever Tried JAR Perfumes?

Fifteen years ago or so, probably not all but most perfumistas knew about the existence of that obscure brand. JAR perfumes were rumored to be uber-expensive (~$500-800 per 30 ml) but without the exact price because that information was guarded just slightly less strictly than perfume names or, G-d forbid, notes. And with just two known locations – a Parisian store and a salon in Bergdorf (New York) – not too many perfumistas tried those perfumes. Since then, with the raised tide of niche brands and exclusive lines, these prices do not shock any longer. Though, to be fair, I do not know either today’s prices for these perfumes or even whether the brand is still around. And I stopped hearing anything about them many-many years ago.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #135:

Have You Ever Tried JAR Perfumes?

I should have started with a more generic question – have you ever heard about this brand? But I decided to fold it into the current one. If you have tried those perfumes, which ones? Did you like any of them? Would you have bought them if money were no object?

My Answer

Out of seven perfumes JAR has in their line-up, according to Fragrantica, I’ve tried only Golconda (thanks to a generous friend who sent me a sample vial). To my nose, it was a perfect carnation, and I thoroughly enjoyed this perfume. And I wanted to love it, despite the price. But I didn’t. If they are still alive, one day I’ll visit the New York store and sniff them all. But Golconda will not be going home with me.

I thought about this perfume and came up with this question as I was wearing Guerlain Lui and thought that I liked the carnation in it very much – but probably not enough to try to hunt down a bottle of it once my decant is done. And this carnation is times less expensive than the one from JAR.

Carnations Red and White

How about you?

Have You Ever Tried JAR Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Do You Wear Gourmand Perfumes?

As the nights get colder and, unrelated to that, the stress level goes up (nothing to worry, just work-related), I find myself thinking about sweets more. Or maybe I just like sweets…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #134:

Do You Wear Gourmand Perfumes?

If yes, what are your favorites? Do you wear them in any particular time of the year? If no, are there any exceptions, or do you swear off this genre altogether?

My Answer

In general, I think I do not like gourmands. After I stopped wearing Angel (though, I still like it) and never started wearing Womanity (though I liked it), for the most part, I stayed away from sweets in perfume form.

I do like and wear some of them sometimes though. A couple of years ago, I did a post about my three favorite milk-centric perfumes – Jo Malone Sweet Milk (sadly discontinued), Kyse Fichi e Panna and Ava Luxe Milk. I also quite enjoy By Kilian Black Phantom. I will never need, want or use a full bottle of it, but a decant that I bought should keep my perfume sweet tooth satisfied.

By Kilian Black Phantom

How about you?

Do You Wear Gourmand Perfumes?