Saturday Question: Do You Want More Perfumes?

I’m not sure if this question sounds strange in a perfume blog but I’ll risk my perfumista card.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #111:

Do You Want More Perfumes?

I know that not all but many of my readers have been at this for years if not decades. We all accumulated more perfumes than we’ll be able to use up in our lifetime. And still we keep searching for the next Holy Grail perfume. Or do we?

Do you want more perfumes? Are you still buying or planning to buy any full bottles? Do you hope to find new perfume love without which you won’t feel your collection is complete? Or do you feel like you’ve smelled it all, and “there is no new thing under the sun”?

My Answer

I still love perfumes. But in the last couple of months I was so overwhelmed with life that even choosing perfume to wear on a daily basis became a chore. I want to wear my perfumes, but I just don’t have any energy left to choose the one that fits my day, my mood and weather. Too many choices. And it’s not even the case of “nothing to wear” but rather an internal indecisiveness: I’m sure that I have a perfect choice in my collection – I just don’t have time to figure out what it is. So, I end up either not choosing anything or making a choice that seems subpar. With all that, I feel that I don’t need any more choices.

But at the same time, I can’t stop getting new samples to test more and more perfumes. My success rate from testing perfumes is still very low, but I’m not sure if I get upset or feel glad that I don’t love the next one I sample. Because if I were to love it, I’d want to get it… and it would have become one more option to consider in the morning. So, why do I buy samples? I think it feels safer to test perfumes than wear them: since I know that I won’t like most of those that I try, I won’t be as disappointed as I would because of the “wrong choice” I made in my collection. And also because secretly I hope to find the next “it” – perfume that I would just need to have.

How about you?

Do You Want More Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

I know, I know, it’s a tough question. Whenever we’re asked to choose any limited number of something, we feel anxiety as if someone would hold us to that choice. But bear with me, there is a twist.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #110:

What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

Imagine that you have won an unusual price: for the next 5 years, one perfumer of your choice will be creating one bespoke perfume for you per year (so, totally 5 perfumes). You have a complete freedom to choose what ingredients those perfumes will have or allow her/him a freedom of coming up with compositions… as long as today you can lock in a single ingredient, your most favorite note, that will be present in all five perfumes. Perfumes won’t be soliflores, but the note you choose will be taking center stage in each of them.

A bonus question: who will be your perfumer?

My Answer

You would think that since I came up with the question, it would be easy for me to answer. It is not. I’ve been thinking about it since a comment exchange with Brigitte in the recent Scent Semantics post. And no, I haven’t won anything, it is a theoretical question…

I think I would choose as my Signature Note linden blossom. Why? I love this scent in nature; it has an emotional connection for me. And while I’m not sure that it is my most favorite scent in perfumery, I have at least a dozen of great renditions of several other notes that I love (I will not cheat and name them here, even though I’ve been tempted to do that). But even a couple of linden-centric perfumes that I love and wear do not come close to how linden blossom smells in the evening after a hot day. And I would hope that maybe in five tries we might get closer to that aroma I love so much.

And the perfumer I’d choose… I need to sleep on it. I’ll update this post with the name tomorrow.

Linden Blossom

How about you?.

What Would Be Your Signature… Note?

Saturday Question: Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

Not all perfumes are amouages. Well, even not all Amouage perfumes are what they used to be in terms of longevity. So, there is a good chance that perfume you put on in the morning is just a whisper, if that, in the afternoon. And then you face a choice – to reapply it or to go for something else.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #109:

Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

If you cannot smell your perfume any longer, do you reapply it? Or do you use that as an opportunity to wear another perfume?

My Answer

When I was going to the office, I would almost always have a decant with me to reapply perfume if it subsided during the day. And then, in the evening, if I stayed at home, I would use that time to test samples.

These days, working from home, I often go scentless for the first part of the day – just because I don’t have time to properly dress up and apply perfume for the morning meetings (without video!). So, whatever I apply later, usually lasts me until the end of the work day without reapplying. After which I would test whatever I want to test. So, even though because of COVID-19 I’m free to use perfumes hajusuuri-style (I still don’t, it’s usually not more than 4 sprays), since I do not reapply the same perfume during the day, the net result is that I use even less of my perfumes.

How about you?

Do You Reapply The Same Perfume During The Day?

Saturday Question: Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

In her recent guest post Brigitte… I mean, Pickles asked about unusual perfume bottles in our collections. That made me think about bottles, caps, boxes…

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #108:

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

Having a choice of a less expensive “tester” version of perfume that you want to get, would you buy it? Or would you prefer a real bottle with all “bells and whistles” even if it meant paying more?

My Answer

In my pre-perfumista years, if I could find a cheaper version at one of the discounters, I would gladly buy and use it. It didn’t really matter to me then since my bottles were done within a couple of years.

But as my collection grew, I discovered that I prefer to keep my bottles in their boxes. So, I usually prefer perfumes in original bottles and boxes.

Two years ago, I decided to buy a bottle of Cierge de Lune by Aedes de Venustas. I found it on Totokaelo website. It was going out of business, so they were selling everything. Discount wasn’t that great at the moment, but since it was one of the last places on the web that has this perfume (I didn’t know then that Aedes would re-launch it repackaged), I decided to buy it before it disappeared.

When the bottle arrived, I discovered with a surprise that, first of all, it was in a wrong box (from Grenadille d’Afrique), and in addition, it had a “Tester” engraving on it (if you look closely, you’ll see it on the back side of the bottle in the photo below).

I was conflicted: clearly, it wasn’t a brand-new bottle, and they inadvertently mixed the boxes, but I did want that perfume, and I couldn’t get it from anywhere else… So, I contacted the site, and we agreed on the fair additional discount. I’m glad that I have this bottle – even though perfume has been re-released. But bar situations like that, I would pay more for the “real deal.”

Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune

 

Are You Willing To Pay More For “Full Presentation” vs. Tester?

Saturday Question: What Are Your Top 5 Mimosa Perfumes?

Spring is officially here, and, as I told many years ago in the Dial M for… Spring or A Perfect Mimosa post, I strongly associate mimosa and mimosa perfumes with Spring.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #107:

What Are Your Top 5 Mimosa Perfumes?

Do you like/wear mimosa perfumes? Do you know this tree blossom smell, or is it just a note for you?

My Answer

I love-love-love mimosa as a plant, and I own and wear many mimosa perfumes. Every year I try to drive to see the mimosa tree that grows not too far from where I live around the time it blossoms. This year, when I went there, I discovered that it was heavily pruned, and the flowers below were the only ones I could get close to.

As to perfumes, these are my favorite mimosa perfumes, not in any particular order (Just in case anyone is interested in my mini-impressions for the perfumes listed below, just run a search for “mimosa” in the Past Reflections to see my 6 posts on the topic.):

Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom
Prada Infusion de Mimosa
Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss
Amouage Love Mimosa
Givenchy Amarige Harvest Mimosa

Mimosa

What Are Your Top 5 Mimosa Perfumes?

Saturday Question: What Spring Perfumes Do You Look Forward To Wearing?

I remember that I promised to share more details on the operation “Moms’ Evacuation,” but I’m still dealing with too much to finish the story – I will. Meanwhile, let’s talk perfumes – shall we?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #106:

What Spring Perfumes Do You Look Forward To Wearing?

I know that it’s not Spring yet in many places. But it is getting warmer, and you can feel at least a promise of Spring. Unless you’re in the different hemisphere – then you’ll have to wait a little bit longer.

Are there any perfumes that you rarely wear in different seasons but enjoy wearing specifically in Spring?

My Answer

Our weather suddenly went haywire: it was quite warm for the last week or so (21C/69F), so we were in our Spring already; tomorrow it promises to be much cooler (13C/56F); and by Tuesday they promise almost summer (24C/76F). I was preoccupied with… life, so I missed the change of the season. And now suddenly I realized that I might not get that much time to wear all those perfumes that I love wearing specifically in Spring.

Chanel No 19 extrait and EdT – both are Spring perfume for me. I can wear them all-year-round but usually don’t.

Guerlain Chamade extrait is also one of those that I prefer wearing that time of the year.

Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet smells great on my skin in Spring, and I almost dislike it in all other seasons.

Guerlain Chamade and Chanel No 19

 

What Spring Perfumes Do You Look Forward To Wearing?

Saturday Question: What Single Perfume Would You Take With You?

We had an extremely stressful week. Tomorrow I’ll publish a detailed account of the events not to keep doing it again and again in private emails to those who were asking me about the situation. But today I decided not to skip the Saturday Question and instead use what has happened as an invitation to discuss the topic.

* * *

With the aggressor bombing Kharkov, the city I was born and grew up in, at some point it became clear that we had to evacuate my vSO’s mother.

Talking on the phone, I was helping my MIL to pack her things for the trip. Since she has not traveled in decades, she didn’t even have a suitcase. So, for the (most likely) one-way trip, leaving everything behind forever, we had to figure out the absolute minimum that she could take with her in a largish bag she had, as a “single small luggage item” she was allowed. It is still winter in Ukraine, so she needed to bring some warm clothes, as well as medicine, water and food for the road. So, there wasn’t much else she could take with her from her previous life. I suggested taking a couple of pictures of her late husband and any jewelry with sentimental value. She isn’t a perfume lover, so the question of perfume didn’t come up.

I tried to imagine what I would have done in this awful situation. Having very limited space, leaving everything behind and running for my life, what one bottle from my collection, if any, would I have taken with me?

 

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #105:

What Single Perfume Would You Take With You?

Hoping to never find ourselves in such circumstances and not playing our usual perfumistas’ games of creative counting or sneaking in some extras, being brutally honest: having 5 minutes to decide and extremely limited space, knowing that you would never get back, do you think that you would have taken with you any one of your perfumes? If yes, which one and why? If not, why?

My Answer

Even without having to move, I was so busy coordinating the evacuation and under such enormous stress that for several days I didn’t even think about perfumes. But once my MIL got to safety, I immediately went back to wearing perfumes. This tells me that my love for perfume is very deep, and even in such a horrible situation, not having anything with me at all, once I had calmed down a little, would have added to my unhappiness. So, if I had a chance (and not all people in Ukraine do – some have to leave their houses to hide just to come back to the black hole in the building where their apartment was), I would have taken with me a small bottle of my all-time perfume love, Climat by Lancome. Probably not even to wear, at least initially, but to be able to smell something that I loved back when my previous life wasn’t shattered by the crazy egomaniac.

Lancome Climat

How about you?

What Single Perfume Would You Take With You?

Saturday Question: What Is Your Most Calming Perfume?

In our lives, we all go through periods of anxiety, uncertainty and disturbance – be that of an internal nature or imposed by circumstances. Can perfume help? Or is it better to stay away from favorites (not to associate them with those times) and avoid the rest (not to contribute to the general annoyance)?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #104:

What Is Your Most Calming Perfume?

Do you have a perfume that in your mind would have a positive calming and relaxing effect on you?

My Answer

I started thinking about this because the last couple of weeks weren’t the easiest for me, and at some point, I felt like perfume (or maybe just trying to choose what to wear) was contributing to my general unease. In such minutes I didn’t want to wear anything “loud,” edgy or too original. I wanted something pleasant and uncomplicated…

The answer I came up with surprised me: Tauer‘s limited edition When We Cuddle And I Can Smell My Perfume On Your Clothes. With one of the most bizarre names and absolutely non-perfume bottle, I would have never tried it in the first place if it weren’t for my friend and perfume twin hajusuuri who shared with me a decant. I liked it right away, it didn’t take me years. But it wasn’t fast enough: it was sold out and disappeared. But I really enjoy this almost simplistic blend of vanilla, benzoin, musk, patchouli and amber. I’m not sure if it calms me down, but it definitely doesn’t irritate me or make me think about the scent I’m wearing.

Rusty and I

How about you?

What Is Your Most Calming Perfume?

Saturday Question: What Perfume Do You Wear For Your Birthdays?

I love my birthdays. Always did. And I hope to keep loving them – at least until my heath allows me to enjoy them, and I have around people who I want to enjoy them with. And since today is my birthday, I decided it would be fitting to run this SQ poll.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #103:

What Perfume Do You Wear For Your Birthdays?

Do you have perfume(s) that you always wear for your birthday? Or do you get new perfumes as a gift (from yourself or others) and wear them? Or maybe it’s just a random choice every time?

My Answer

In the past 11 years, most often I wore Ormonde Jayne Ta’if. Just on a couple of occasions I chose something different.

This year I’m celebrating my birthday during three days (why not, right?), so I will wear Ta’if for one of them. But for today I picked another perfume. Puredistance No 12. Why? It feels appropriate to wear perfume named No 12 on February 12th. And it fits perfectly for the planed activity: a food/wine pairing at one of my favorite wineries.

Puredistance No 12 is so elegant and well-behaved that I’m sure it won’t distract me or anyone around from enjoying other aromas that will be in the center of the experience.

I’m not sure if you’ve seen the list of notes for this perfume: it’s extensive. And I cannot make out a single one of them! No 12 is so perfectly blended that all I can smell is a wonderfully smooth and creamy woody-vanilla combination with a hint of florals. It reminds me of my another long-standing favorite – Amouage Ubar, but even smoother and more nuanced, if it’s even possible (I checked: tested in parallel, they are quite different, and I love both). For me it is hauntingly beautiful, and it feels like a perfect choice for a special day.

Puredistance No12

What Perfume Do You Wear For Your Birthdays?

Saturday Question: What Do You Consider A Decant?

There are almost no doubts when it comes to full bottles. I say “almost” because I could never figure out how to classify 10-15 ml bottles of pure parfums. But other than that, it’s clear. Travel bottles are also self-explanatory. But what about decants?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #102:

What Do You Consider A Decant?

Clearly, any amount of perfume transferred from the original brand’s bottle into a generic vessel is a decant by definition. But on your personal scale, where does the demarcation line go between a sample and a decant?

My Answer

When I tried to answer my own question, I realized that my logic isn’t that straightforward. In my perfume database, everything under 2 ml I classify as a small sample; 2 ml+ is marked as a large sample; 5ml and up is a small decant; and everything 10 ml and above is a large decant.

But when talking to others, I consider 2.5 ml and below as a sample, and everything larger is a decant (terminology-wise, I always try to talk in ml).

Is it important? Not on its own, though from my experience I learned that when dealing with others, it might be useful to establish a common ground. I remember how many years ago I was swapping perfumes with another perfumista. It wasn’t a formal swap but rather a friendly exchange of perfumes one of us had and another wanted to try. So, we didn’t do any usual dance people do for a formal swap. We just discussed what we would exchange, the word “dacant” was used during email communications, and then packages went to their destinations. It was one of the first few perfume exchanges I’d done ever. So, I carefully decanted and packed several 4-5 ml spray bottles with perfumes we discussed and was eagerly awaiting for the package with treasures for me. Back then, my collection was much smaller, and I was regularly wearing perfumes from samples/decants. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I unpacked 4 or 5 half-full 1 ml dabbers. In my swapping pal’s defense, she was coming from the Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab World where, as I know, it was customary to exchange 0.2-0.3 ml (since those were oils sold in small bottles to start with).

Since then, I always talk milliliters, even though now if I exchange anything with anyone, it’s with people to whom I don’t mind sending samples/decants without getting anything in return, so terminology is immaterial. Ironically, these days I prefer getting 0.7-1 ml samples for most perfumes I want to try and rarely 2.5-3 ml decants of those that I consider buying but want to wear a couple of times first.

What Do You Consider A Decant?