Saturday Question: Have You Bought Anything This Black Friday?

I wouldn’t have even asked that if it weren’t for the fact that I saw numerous European brands and sites offering Black Friday discounts. It means that this “plague” keeps spreading.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #40:

Have You Bought Anything This Black Friday?

Of course, first of all we’re curious about any perfume-related treasures. But fess up anything else interesting you bought during this bizarre year’s Black Friday Sale event or still plan to buy (a Cyber Monday is still ahead of us).

My Answer

I don’t think I’ve ever went to a B&M store on Friday after Thanksgiving: I just could never think of anything I wanted (not even needed) bad enough to participate in this American pastime. But this year since all the sales came to me, and I could browse through them leisurely from the comfort of my office chair, I was tempted. Speaking of office chairs: I really need a new one. But I can’t imagine how to buy chairs online… Has anyone had that experience? How did it work out?

But I digress. Black Friday Sales. I don’t have a long “to buy” list of perfumes. So, I checked all the “usual suspects” places that carry those few that I want to buy – and either there are no sales there at all (I hoped Olfactive Studio would have either some % off or at least some attractive samples offer. And since they didn’t, I wasn’t in a hurry to buy those “shots” yet), or had an offer that wasn’t for the size I wanted (so, I’ll keep thinking about Dusita’s Splenderis), or…

I recently realized that I liked and wanted to get Tom Ford’s Rose Prick. While I consider this perfume name still juvenile, but I have to admit that I liked perfume a lot, and after going through a sample, I realized that I’d like to wear it. And I even see it on sale. But that ugly pink bottle… And when I was almost ready to click on “Check out,” I came across a slightly better looking and a more reasonably sized travel bottle of it. A “not in stock” travel bottle that is. But now I know that it exists, so I’ve stopped… And now I’m not sure whether I want to spend money on 50 ml of perfume in that “it’s a girl!” colored bottle…

 

Tom Ford Rose Prick

Have You Bought Anything This Black Friday?

Saturday Question: Do You Instagram?

I thought of this title as a joke. I was going to start by explaining that I realized there was no such verb. Sure, these days we all google something, at least hear about people tweeting fake news and periodically unfollow people who don’t amuse us any more on different platforms. But instagramming? So, I wrote the question in the title and then … googled to check. Yep. According to Merriam-Webster, Instagram is a verb.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #39:

Do You Instagram?

Do you have an account on Instagram? If no, why? (And you can skip the following questions.) Do you post pictures there? If yes, how often and do they have anything to do with perfume? How often do you visit Instagram? Who do you follow? Do you @tag people? Do you use #hashtags in your posts? If yes, why? If no, why? Do you actively seek new people to follow? Have you ever bought anything based on the advertising that you see there? If you finish your feed (if it ever happens, of course), do you look at their “suggested” content?

And, finally, unless your account is for private communications, what is your Instagram name? If you want, post a link to any of the pictures that you published there and wished more people would see it.

My Answer

I’m relatively new to Instagram: my account is just slightly over two years old. In these 2+ years I posted 57 pictures – less than a picture a  fortnight. For a long time I couldn’t get over a thought that a picture had to be of something extremely interesting, rare or exceptional in some way to warrant sharing it with others “as is,” for the picture’s sake and not as an illustration to some topic (read “many printed words”).

For my partial conversion, I “blame” mostly my very first guest writer, hajusuuri, who, in addition to being an avid Instagrammer (No, this one is not a real word. Yet.), would often link to her daily Insta posts from the NST’s SOTD thread. I would tap from there to see a picture, then would see pictures from others or recognize names in “likes” and realize that I “knew” those people. So, I’d follow them, and the next time I get to Instagram to see hajusuuri’s SOTD picture (sometimes with a cute toy cat or one of the dozen (?) of owls she must have accumulated by now), I would have more pictures to go through.

Later, I decided to use Instagram to publish pictures that would go with the current post: I often have more pictures I like than I need for the post, so the Insta post would serve a double purpose: to announce to people who go there more often than to their mailboxes that I’ve published another post (though, Instagram doesn’t make it easy to “link out”) and to get one more picture “in” (it’ll show on the side bar of the blog, next to the post).

Unless I happen across hajusuuri’s link on NST (if she posted it and if I had time to read the thread, none of which happens every day), I visit Instagram 2-3 times per week. I made a couple of purchases being reminded by an IG ad about products I already had an intention to buy (I’ll leave details to another post). Mostly, I follow perfume people – similar to what I used to do on Twitter 8-9 years ago or FB 5-6 years ago. I do not look for more people to follow, but add anyone who I know from other platforms. On principle, I stop when I reach the end of my feed: while I’m fine watching ads when I look through my friends’ pictures, I refuse to help IG make money on me browsing pictures they think might interest me.

I rarely tag anybody. And I do not think I’ve ever used a hashtag. Ever. On any of the platforms. I’m not sure whether people actually use those to find a content and people to follow, but since I’m not trying to grow my “audience” there, and I’m not sure that anyone who doesn’t “know” me would follow my “link in bio” to this blog – and blog readers are the only audience I’m interested in – I’m reluctant to “Germanaize” language even when posting pictures of the #cutestcatever (see the Instagram window on the right (web) or below (mobile)).

My IG name is undina_ba . How about you?

 

Instagram as a verb

 

Do You Instagram?

 

Disclaimer: this blog doesn’t use any affiliated links or benefit from any of the G-d awful ads that some of you might see inserted tastelessly by the WP engine inside the post and/or between comments. Encouraging readers to post more comments does not serve any purpose other then getting pleasure from communicating with people who share same interests.

Saturday Question: Do You Use Scented Hair Products?

It feels that we just discussed perfumes we associate with people we love – and here we are, the next Saturday. But since it’s a weekend, I won’t complain.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #38:

Do You Use Scented Hair Products?

We’re not talking shampoos, conditioners or styling products that have a scent while you’re using them but disappear within minutes after that. The question is rather about products that leave a scent trace for a noticeable period of time or are specifically designed for scenting hair.

My Answer

Until recently the only hair product with a distinct scent I used was Moroccanoil Hair Treatment, and, as I told in the Fantasy Vacation Scent post, I was using that product rather for its scent than functionally.

But then earlier this year, while searching for a bottle of Fresh Cream Warm Cashmere by Philosophy (I wrote about it in the post Got Milk?), I read in some reviews that the Fresh Cream dry shampoo smelled great and similar to perfume. Since I like perfume and use dry shampoo from time to time, I decided to try this one. I like it – both as a product and for how it smells, but when I use it, it’s extremely hard (if not impossible) to pair it with any perfume. But it is perfumed enough to wear it on its own, if you like the scent. And it stays on your hair for at least 8 hours.

The news about collaboration between Byredo and Ouai came right when I was on my last drop of Mojave Ghost perfume sample. As I was considering the purchase of a bottle, and, as I said, I am using dry shampoo, with the price of it being the same as for Ouai’s regular dry shampoo ($24), the purchase of this one wasn’t even a question. I went to Sephora as soon as the store in our area opened and got a spray of the limited edition Ouai Super Dry Shampoo x Byredo Mojave Ghost. I love the scent, and I like the product. I pondered for a while whether I should get 1-2 more cans of it, or if I should rather add those dollars towards getting a bottle of perfume… When I went to buy another one, it was completely sold out everywhere. Of course, now Byredo sells Mojave Ghost Hair Perfume ($75 for 75 ml), but I could never explain to myself what would be a justification for buying hair perfume in addition to or instead of real perfume: how much perfume do you need to spray into your hair to do any real damage from the amount of alcohol that will get into contact with it?! Now I’m definitely saving that money for the future perfume purchase.

 

Dry Shampoos

 

Speaking of hair perfumes… Even though everything stated above is how I feel about that type of products, recently I caught myself being drawn to … not one but two such products! One is from Ormonde JayneTa’if Hair Mist. I do not need it since I have this perfume in 4 different versions already (and a back-up bottle), but I want it just because I love that perfume, and it’s my number two all-time favorite. So, at least it’s more or less logical (and I’m still not sure I’ll end up buying it). But the second one is completely illogical: Chanel No 5 The Hair Mist. Why illogical? I do not like No 5 in any version. I’ve never liked it. But at least once a year I approach it again thinking that maybe this time… Have you seen that cutest 1.2 oz frosted glass bottle? I do not need it. I will not buy it. But I want it.

 

Do You Use Scented Hair Products?

Saturday Question: What Perfumes Do You Associate with Your Loved Ones?

Only positive thinking today: we have enough negativity from all over the World, so let’s think of something nice and pleasant, even if slightly melancholic.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #37:

What Perfumes Do You Associate with Your Loved Ones?

Are there any perfumes that always remind you of one of your parents, grand-parents, siblings, close friends, etc.? We’re talking only about positive associations here, so please no evil stepmothers that killed the otherwise brilliant LBEV for you!

Name just one or all of them (well, unless your cool aunt was/is a perfumista) and tell us whether you like those perfumes. Do you own them? Do you wear them?

My Answer

I’m in a slight disadvantage here since it’s my perfume blog where I tell perfume-related stories, so in all the years I’ve already told most of the stories closely connected to people in my life (but not all yet – can you believe it?!). And many of you had previously read those stories and even commented on them. But I’ll link to the older posts for those who is newer to my blog or has missed my previous 10 linking back.

Those of you who read NST daily threads might have thought that this topic was brought by this week’s CP – Nostalgia Friday (“wear something that takes you back to a happy moment in your childhood”), but no. I’ve been so busy this week that the first time I read about the topic was only this morning. The CP just coincided with my Grandma’s “would-have-been-100” birthday on November 3rd. In her honor that day I wore my life-long perfume love – Lancome Climat, which she wore and to which she has introduced me when I was a child. I wrote about that connection four years ago in the post The Sillage of Rosa. I still love, own and wear this perfume.

 

Grandma and Climat

 

The second perfume I want to mention is Dior Diorella. While the story I published almost 10 years ago First Love: Love (the title was a logical continuation to the title of my very first post on the blog – First Love: Perfume dedicated to the above-mentioned Climat) was about my childhood crush, I associate Diorella with my mom, from whom I got that perfume without asking permission to scent the “love note” to my future first boyfriend. Last week, thinking philosophically about the blessing of childhood selfishness and self-centeredness, I remembered that episode and wore Diorella thinking of my late mother and trying to evaluate whether, as an adult, I sufficiently “paid back” for the childhood shenanigans. I hope I did… but of course I wish I could had done more. I never loved Diorella, but I like it and wear once or twice a year.

 

Mom and Diorella

 

What Perfumes Do You Associate with Your Loved Ones?

Saturday Question: Do You Share Your Hobbies?

Undina: I know that you all are extremely attentive and would not have missed it, but just in case you’re reading it really early in the morning, late at night or just while being preoccupied with something else, I’m bringing to your attention that today your host is Narth.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #36:

Do You Share Your Hobbies?

Treat this question as wide or as narrow as you wish – you can answer concentrating on our shared perfume hobby only or tell us about any other hobbies, loves and likes – be that books, knitting, streamed shows or philately.

My Answer

I’ve always had rather solitary hobbies, pursuits that I happily potter around with at home, no other people required. Thanks to the internet even the most obscure hobby has its own community, but I do sometimes wish for friends in the real world that like what I like. I’ve always felt uncomfortable pushing my hobbies on people, a product of a childhood dominated by the megalomaniac interests of others. I don’t want to be that person pressing a book into your hands saying you simply MUST read this, it’s SO good! The pressure, ugh. I remember well when a friend went through a Bollywood phase and talked incessantly of Bollywood movies, Bollywood actors, Bollywood gossip… I had never seen any Bollywood but that didn’t stop this from being the most interesting topic of conversation in her opinion. This comes to mind every time I mention watching K-Dramas, I can’t bring myself to say: “and this one is really great, I think you’d like it”. I am very uncomfortable putting myself forward in that manner, having silently nodded along to other people’s oblivious flights of fandom. Yes, I do realize there is a middle ground that should be aimed for, and maybe someday I’ll get around to that!

Perfume though… I am good at sharing perfume. If someone loves a scent I’m wearing or fondly talks of a specific note, I will be rushing home to fill a decant. I’ve got a Liquides Imaginaires decant in my bag ready for when I see someone who loved Buveur de Vent last time I was wearing it. I’m careful not to go overboard in talking about perfume, no need to educate people unless they want to know specifics. What I love is the sharing of perfume, of being a generous benefactor of smells, of surprising people with incense or rose or, once, cardamom after hearing they love it. I used to give people entire bottles, not at great expense but because at that time I had an abundance of fragrances picked up second hand for a few dollars. But that can be seen as an excessive gift, as in many people’s minds perfume is a luxury item. So even though that hulking great bottle of Tresor only cost me 5 bucks, and I was never going to wear it, sometimes it’s too much to give an acquaintance (true story). So now I limit myself to passing on a decant. I like the hard case metallic ones that look like a lipstick. “For your purse” I can say, pressing it into their hands, and it feels just right.

 

Atomizers in a cup

 

Do You Share Your Hobbies?

Saturday Question: Which Perfume is Your Archenemy?

I waited for a while before asking this question: there is so much negativity in our daily life that I didn’t want to extend any negativity into this Saturday Question space. But I figures that the whole last week was about perfumes we love, starting with the previous Saturday Question “What Are Your Top N Perfumes?”, followed by the post about Puredistance Rubikona, a new love for me (just a reminder – all giveaways are open until the end of Sunday), and crowned by “Which 20 Would Portia Keep?” And this is not even counting preceding Vanessa’s and Tara’s posts and then trailing post by Ines.    So, I figures that with all this perfume love going around, we can talk about perfumes that are wrong for us with the capital “W.”

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #35:

Which Perfume is Your Archenemy?

In our hobby we come across many different perfumes – those that we love, like, tolerate, dislike or even hate. But this question is about perfumes that we wanted to like for one reason or other but just cannot. Is there perfume that you know is good and loved by others, that you’d love to love and approached it more than once hoping to get a different outcome – and still, it is not for you?

My Answer

There is more than one perfume that fits that fir this question, but today I want to mention Guerlain Shalimar. It was a busy week for me, so I didn’t have time to do any statistical analysis of perfumes named by all the bloggers and commenters on those posts mentioned above, but I know that Shalimar was mentioned by at least four people (maybe more). But it is not the only reason I thought of it.

For a while now I’ve been tempted to by Shalimar parfum in the limited edition Baccarat bottle. For me that bottle is the epitome of perfect perfume representation. I stop myself because it is insane to buy an expensive bottle of something that I won’t be wearing. But I want it to (I know, sacrilege) display it on my dresser.

As to perfume itself, even before I got that bizarre idea of buying Shalimar for its bottle, I approached it dozen of times in hope that my tastes changed. Still no. But that bottle…

 

Guerlain Shalimar

 

Which Perfume is Your Archenemy?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

I miss those times when we used to have group posts with several bloggers. From time to time we still try to do it, and there is a great group that does Mood Scent 4 series (Portia at A Bottled Rose, Esperanza at L’Esperessence, Megan at Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha at I Scent You A Day). So, when Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) first and then Tara (A Bottled Rose) posted their Top 20 and Top 15 perfumes correspondingly, I jumped at the chance to use this topic for the Saturday Question.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #34:

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

We’re using a variation on the “burning building speed grab method”: don’t try to choose perfumes that would cover all possible basis or fit logical categories of “perfumes for work,” “summer wear” or “irreplaceable,” but rather an emotional selection of perfumes that you’d like to “save” from that proverbial burning building, even if all N of them are just a slight variation on the “little black dress” theme.

Name your top 5-10-15, etc., whatever feels right. I suggest to limit the selection by 20 bottles – not because I think we all could live just with that number, but just because otherwise others would probably just skim through your list – and all that after you would risk your other valuable possessions to  save those N bottles!

My Answer

I played this game many times before, but it looks like I’m more or less set in my loves: I selected a list of 30 perfumes I like the most, then sorted it by their importance to me at the moment and chose the top 20 perfumes:

  1. Lancome Climat
  2. Ormonde Jayne Ta’if
  3. Amouage Ubar
  4. Chanel No 19 EdT
  5. By Kilian Amber Oud
  6. Krigler Lieber Gustav
  7. Jo Malone French Lime Blossom
  8. Dior Miss Dior parfum
  9. Guerlain Chamade extrait
  10. Armani Prive Le Femme Bleue
  11. Puredistance Antonia
  12. Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Amour
  13. Tom Ford Fleur de Chine
  14. Jo Malone Sweet Milk
  15. Yosh Ginger Ciao
  16. Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady
  17. Amouage Dia
  18. Guerlain Cruel Gardénia
  19. Serge Lutens De Profundis
  20. Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom

 

 

When I compared this list to the list I did 3.5 years ago, interestingly enough, also prompted by Vanessa’s post, I discovered that today’s list contains 16 out of the 20 perfumes that I’d chosen then. The other four are not new, they just moved slightly up and replaced four perfumes that I still like, so, they are still in the top 30, which also includes several new perfumes that joined my collection since I created the previous list. And while I liked them enough not only to buy but to consider for this important exercise, they haven’t replaced any of my old favorites.

I won’t be linking perfumes in the list to posts I previously published about them, but just in case anyone is interested, they are all linked on My Perfume Portrait page (which reminds me that I need to update it with my new loves I accumulated in two years since the last update).

How about you? How fleeting are your perfume loves?

 

What Are Your Top N Perfumes?

Saturday Question: Do You Have a Favorite Hand Sanitizer?

Seven-eight months ago none of us would have probably thought of this topic. And look at us now… We try to adapt.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #33:

Do You Have a Favorite Hand Sanitizer?

I’m not sure if I even have to ask whether you use hand sanitizers these days. Please tell me if you don’t. But if you do, are there any that you prefer? Have you found anything in this category that you especially like? Or do you buy whatever you see at a store when you need it?

My Answer

Until this pandemic, I almost never used hand sanitizers in day-to-day life: I washed hands and tried not to touch more than necessary when in public places. The only place where I religiously would use alcohol wipes for everything, including my hands, were planes. The first thing I would do after boarding was wiping with a couple of alcohol wipes everything I would touch while flying, completely ignoring any “looks” from neighbors. The last time I was on a plane, on March 11th of this year, women, men, old, young – everyone around me – were wiping everything. I must admit I felt completely vindicated.

But when I got home, I realized that the only sanitizer I had at home was some small promotional bottle a co-worker brought from a conference a while ago. And you probably all remember how not a single product remotely suitable for disinfecting purposes could be found at any of the stores, online or B&M.

I don’t remember how I learned that DSH Perfumes was producing hand sanitizers. But I went to their site, and there it was – BE WELL + LIVE WELL hand sanitizer spray. I remember a feeling of deep gratitude towards Dawn who quickly reacted to the scary situation and did what she could.

It’s a 70% alcohol and water based hand sanitizer with Lavender Flower, Lemon, Thyme, Linalool and Tree Tree. I’m finishing my second 30 ml bottle, and I must say that using that hand sanitizer is a highlight of any of my rare trips to a store or a doctor’s office. Of course, now you can bathe in hand sanitizers for the price I paid for these two bottles. But I don’t care: as much as it’s possible under the circumstances, I enjoy using DSH’s Be Well + Live Well spray, and I just placed a new order for two more bottles.

 

DSH Hand Sanitizer

Do You Have a Favorite Hand Sanitizer?

Saturday Question: Staycation in the Time of Pandemic – What to do?

Today I’m asking a question to which I have no answer. So, it’s not a “how-to” type of post where I would share my ideas inviting you to add yours as a hypothetical exercise. I’m actually asking for you advice.

Being too careful, in many years of blogging, I mentioned my traveling during the trip just a couple of times (when we had someone staying at our place). On all other occasions I would publish something about it only post facto.

This year it’s different: not only we had to cancel our Hawaii vacation (I so looked forward to it!), but now, at the last moment, we have to figure out what to do with the vacation week we took, since because of the still expanding wild fires we cannot go to Napa and Sonoma, as planned. And because of the air quality, all those parks, beaches and city walks that I was always so proud of when telling anybody about the area I live, are out or reach. Combined with the COVID-19 limitations, we cannot go almost anywhere. But since both my vSO and I are tired (luckily for us, pandemic hasn’t affected our jobs yet), we’re still taking that time off. Now I need to think of what to do to maximize the positive effect from the vacation and not to fall back onto doing something work-related because we can’t occupy ourselves.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #33:

Staycation in the Time of Pandemic – What to do?

Taking into the consideration that the air might not improve significantly, and we’ll try not to spend outside too much time, is there anything you could recommend?

I’m asking for rather specific than generic advices (I mean, “listen to a podcast” is a solid advice, but I would appreciate a link or a name, or where to find it).

Suggestions do not have to be “free,” but it would be great if they were implementable (so, no “New Zealand is great this time of the year, please :) ). Perfume-related suggestions and other activities that are not necessarily engage both of us are welcomed as well.

 

Staycation in the Time of Pandemic – What to do?

 

Saturday Question: Which Serge Lutens Perfume Is The Most Famous?

Today I want to do something slightly differently. My main question is not about your personal preferences but rather about your opinion.

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

 

Saturday Question #31:

Which Serge Lutens Perfume Is The Most Famous?

As someone who reads perfume-related blogs, forums and other media, in your opinion, which Serge Lutens perfume is the most recognizable by name, most often spoken of and/or loved the most by others in the Perfumeland?

Of course, you can answer any way that feels right, but just a suggestion: think about your answer first. Then look through the comments posted by the time you’re ready (if any). If someone else has already posted perfume you thought of, post your answer under their comment. If your answer is different than all other choices, comment under the post and see if others agree with you.

Bonus Questions: Do you like that perfume? If yes, do you own or plan to buy it? If no, why?

My Answer

As I said, I’m trying to do it differently this time, so I will not post my answer here – not to influence your thinking. Instead, I’ll add my answer in comments.

 

Which Serge Lutens Perfume Is The Most Famous?