Interlude Black Iris by Amouage. NEW! NEW! NEW!

Hey crew, It’s Portia in the Sydney spring sunshine.

What a lovely time of year down here. I was in Libertine Parfumerie (Australia’s most respected niche importer and distributor) offices the other day. It was so good to see everyone. Everything is being released by ZOOM meeting now, and we are all sent a package to sniff and join the conversation. It’s interesting but much more clinical discussion and little room for personal experiences or interaction. Got to sniff the new Amouage Renaissance Collection! Can’t wait to write about those for you. Also, I picked up my Press Bottle of today’s extravaganza, Interlude Black Iris. Yes, Amouage has released its first flanker of its most popular fragrance Interlude Man.


Interlude Black Iris

From Amouage:

Crafted as an overpainting, Interlude Black Iris uses a refined palette to smoothen the facets of the original creation. A complex interplay of dark stoic serenity and buried vibrant power bursting upwards, into the light…

Top: Bergamot, Rosemary, Violet Leaves
Heart: Orris, Amber, Frankincense, Cistus, Myrrh, Vanilla
Base: Leather, Agarwood Smoke, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Cedarwood

Right from open mixed with the zing of citrus and cool green of violet is the dry, dusty and earthy facet of iris. The opening is so fleeting on me I had to come back for a second and third round to really get an idea of how it flows. In the time it took me to write this paragraph we are already in the heart with all the resins surrounding and lifting the iris. At this point, the iris gets a buttery softness, and the resins start to feel very churchy. The cool heart of a busy, clean church with the memories of a thousands days of worship, incense, woods and their waxy clean/preservers.

I’m not sure if it’s the cistus, leather or oudh that brings darkness and a cold touch of otherworldliness to Interlude Black Iris. It descends like a whisper and then takes the iris to a carroty rootiness. GOSH! So interesting. It’s all this way in that I finally get a whiff of the green, herbal rosemary!


Amouage Interlude Black Iris Sept 2020


Dry down is a gentle woody melange with some patchouli and iris to give interest. Interlude Black Iris hums away quietly, nowhere near the beast mode power trip of the original Interlude. This is a refined, urbane, sophisticated journey. The word that I keep wanting to write is centered. Without being anything like it, I am reminded of the elegant aloofness and backbone inducing fortitude of CHANEL No 19. This is a much more 21st century niche offering, but the heart, the integrity of the scent seems similar to me.

I can’t wait to hear what you all think.

Portia xx

Saturday Question: Does Longevity Matter?

Today’s Saturday Question is brought to you by the letters h, a, j, u, s, u, u, r and i, and the number 8. (Undina)


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #30:

Does Longevity Matter?

When I use “longevity” as it relates to perfume, I am referring to how long the perfume lasts on your skin with normal wear.  To be more specific, if you typically wear 2 or 4 or X sprays, when do you stop being able to smell it without pressing your nose to wherever you applied it? Good luck if you only applied behind your ears.  Does longevity matter when you’re considering a perfume purchase?

My Answer

Unlike Undina who takes her time to test and notate her sampling experiences, I am not that disciplined.  Wait, “not that disciplined” gives me too much credit!  I am NOT disciplined at all.  As a result, most of the time, not being inclined to diligently test perfumes, I end up reading reviews and making a decision based on the reviews.  Most of the reviews cover what a perfume smells like, how the perfume makes the reviewer feel and which other perfumes it is similar to.  Occasionally, the review also includes longevity; however, I don’t pay attention to this knowing that it all depends on how many sprays you use, where you apply, your skin’s moisture levels, the temperature where you live/work and whether or not perfume got on your clothes.  Therefore, as long as the notes and scent descriptions sound good, I end up buying it.

What if I actually tested a perfume and found its longevity to be lacking?  Would I still buy it?  Yes, because it is how it smells that matters more than how long it lasts.  The best example of this is COMME des GARCONS Series 2: Red Carnation.  I first tried this at Barneys (R.I.P.), one of a few times that I actually sprayed it on skin versus just smelling it on a tester strip while perfume shopping. After a few minutes, I couldn’t smell it anymore; I sprayed more, and the same thing happened – POOF!  I left the store without buying it.  Over the following weeks, I kept thinking back to how much I really enjoyed the perfume, so I went back and bought a bottle!  If you really must know how long Red Carnation lasts on me – 4 sprays last 20 minutes, with detectable minute traces for up to an hour.


How about you?


Does Longevity Matter?

Rusty the Cat: On Logic

Every household has its own rules for the members, such as “Turn off the lights when leaving the room,” “Do not put an empty milk carton back in the fridge” or “No elbows or all four paws on the table.”


You Must Be This Tall...


And same as humans find creative ways of “not breaking the rule” (e.g., leaving a tablespoon of milk in the carton or claiming that they left the room just for a second), Rusty invents his own ways to assert his innocence or do what he wants.

Rusty is not allowed on the dining table. He knows that. But from time to time he still jumps on the table and “hides” behind a laptop or even an iPad: “If I don’t see you, you definitely cannot see me, right?” He looks so innocent and cute, that it’s almost impossible to get angry with him. Besides, I use this his desire to claim that table when I try to take pictures of him and perfumes: if I were to put anything new or unusual there, he’d immediately jump on the table to investigate.


Rusty and iPad


Rusty also isn’t allowed on (almost all) kitchen counters. There is a breakfast counter that we do not use. It hosts one of Rusty’s blankets where he sleeps, so this is his territory, and he’s in his right being there.


Rusty on a Blanket


Also, historically, Rusty is allowed to be on the refrigerator, which stands in the opposite side from the breakfast/blanket area. Formally, the counters between these two areas are “off limits.” But since Rusty cannot jump on the fridge without jumping first on the counter next to it, he is granted right of way and is not reprimanded for jumping there before the next jump on the fridge (look who’s talking about the cat’s logic). Rusty learned this part. So, when he wants to check something out on the forbidden part of the counter, he either jumps on it close to the refrigerator or runs through the whole length from his blanket to the fridge, then… stops and starts looking and sniffing around. If yelled at, he makes a move towards the fridge that says “I’m going, I’m going…” but stays on the counter until one of us makes a move to take him down. And then he retires to the top of the refrigerator.


Rusty on the Fridge


Several years ago, a friend of mine brought us a present from her trip to Thailand – a woven bowl. I wasn’t sure how to use it, but one day, I don’t even remember why, I put it on the counter – and Rusty declared it to be his territory. While being chased off the countertop, in addition to getting either on the blanket counter or a fridge, Rusty also might jump into that bowl, and as long as all four paws are inside, he knows that “he’s safe.”


Rusty in a Bowl


Being a cat, Rusty is a hunter. He chases, catches and eats flies, moths and even spiders. First, when he saw a prey somewhere high on the wall or the ceiling, he would keep watching it and jumping trying to catch it. Then we taught him that if he were to attract our attention to it, we would kill it and reward him with a treat. So, he would sit with his head up and meow insistently until one of us comes and acknowledges the find. From time to time, he sees “invisible insects,” as we call it. Then one of us has to raise him up so that he can see that there’s nothing there. Sometimes it takes a couple of times, because in seconds after being put down, he starts doubting: “Are you sure? Maybe something is there?”


Rusty Standing (and Hunting)


And the most recent development of the cat’s logic is that when he sleeps, and my vSO finds and kills a spider, Rusty wakes up and runs towards the kitchen where his treats are stored: clearly, he has built his own cause and effect operation: Has the spider been found and neutralized?  – Treat!


Rusty Sleeping


As you can see, Rusty is quite a logical thinker.


Images: New Yorker cartoon (can be bought here); all others – my own.

Saturday Question: Do You Like Tomatoes? In Perfumes?

It is Saturday again. My short after-Labor-Day week went in a haze. Literally. Marine layer that came down on SF Bay Area after the record high temperatures over the past weekend (+40C/104F where I live), was trapped by the smoke from all the fires in the surrounding areas, creating completely surreal effect. We haven’t seen sun or even sky for several days. The picture that I used for the theme instead of the regular calming landscape, was taken at 10 AM this Wednesday. Lights controlled by sensors had never turned off that day, and from the moment pictured, it was getting only darker – until day flowed into the night. Rusty looked extremely confused by the absence of the day (or maybe we just projected our own feelings). By tonight, it got better visibility-wise, but our air quality fluctuates between “Unhealthy” and “Very Unhealthy,” robbing us off a small luxury of our switch-the-work-day-off walks. But it is Saturday, and the thought of seeing you here answering my silly questions and engaging in conversations with me and each other, lifts my spirits.


Saturday Question Hazy Bay Area


Saturday Question #29:

Do You Like Tomatoes? In Perfumes?

When we talk about tomato scent, we do not mean the fruit itself, but mostly the foliage that produces that distinct aroma. Of course, tomatoes also have their own more delicate smell, but it’s aroma from leaves that in our brain is associated with “real” tomatoes (as an opposite to the plastic-like standard supermarket produce).

Do you like tomato leaves scent in perfumes? Do you know/wear any perfumes that have that distinct scent profile?

Bonus question: Do you like eating tomatoes?

My Answer

A month ago I complained that, with farmers markets closed due to the quarantine, we missed out on the most of the seasonal fruit. For the same reason this year I missed my 2-months window when I usually eat local tomatoes. It upsets me enormously because fresh heirloom tomatoes with mozzarella, basil, balsamic vinegar and truffle salt is something I look forward to the whole year from one season to the next. I tried buying those tomatoes at a store, but they do not come even close to what I got used to in the last 5-6 years of buying fresh local tomatoes in season.

Being upset about my tomato-less diet, I turned to the only perfume with pronounced tomato leaf note that I have – No 16 (Tomato Leather) from the local San Francisco brand COGNOSCENTI. Many years ago I got samples from the brand at the First Artisan Fragrance Salon. If you’re curious, you can read my post You say ‘Tomato’, I say ‘Leather’, which, among other things about this perfume, has a link to The New York Times article that explains why most of the tomatoes produced in the U.S. are tasteless. Since I published that post, I finished the samples and bought a 5 ml travel spray of Tomato Leather.


Cognoscenti Tomato Leather


I still like it and wear from time to time (it’s quite strong, so a spray or two go long way), but today I’m in the mood for more tomato and less leather. It must be all that smoke in the air (though, I must admit that Tomato Leather masks any surrounding odors extremely well).

Do you have any recommendations for perfume with a pronounced tomato vine note?


Do You Like Tomatoes?


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.

Perfume True To Its Name

As I mentioned once or twice before, I love orchids. But since I had almost no encounters with fragrant orchids, my love to them lives in the universe that is parallel to my perfume love: I enjoy looking at them and keep searching for perfect jewelry pieces with the orchid theme but I do not think of them as an olfactory experience. Though, once I came across a fragrant orchid.


Rusty and Orchids


Sensual Orchid created by Jerome Epinette for Laurent Mazzone Parfums in 2012 is one of those perfumes that, very likely, I wouldn’t have ever tried if it weren’t for my (rarely visiting) guest author hajussuri. Considering her my scent twin, I decided to participate in the split she hosted, even though I haven’t tested it before then.

The first thought that popped up in my head once I applied Sensual Orchid was that the name fitted it perfectly. I cannot explain what qualities of this perfume prompted the thought (it’s an I-know-when-I-see-it-type feeling), but it was a positive thing since, in general, I do not like when brands exploit sex for marketing purposes.

I didn’t even finish my small decant before I found and bought a bottle of this wonderful perfume. My quick take on it: I enjoy wearing it, and a couple of years ago it inspired me to write a haiku for the NST haiku project (which is very telling if you consider that you can count any type of poetry I ever wrote with fingers on one hand):

Sensual Orchid –
Perfume true to its name…
His heartbeat agrees

If you haven’t tried Sensual Orchid yet and want to know more, you should read Kafka’s (Kafkaesque) review.


Laurent Mazzone Sensual Orchid


Have you tried any perfumes from this brand? What did you think? I was tempted by their Radikal collection (Radikal Iris sounds interesting, right?), but nobody I know ever mentioned trying those, none of the decanter sites here has them, and I’m not adventurous enough for a blind buy.


Images: my own

Portia’s Mid Season Beauties 2020

Portia’s Mid Season Beauties 2020

Hey there crew,

Mid Seasons are my favourites. I love the less extreme temperatures and the chopping and changing. Whether it’s Spring or Autumn, the days play similarly, and I find the same set of fragrances can often get some play. One day hot, next day cloudy, sunshiny days and chilly nights happen in both seasons. It does mean our easy reach fragrances need to be able to fit into more than a single weather mood. So I have a bunch of perfumes each year that are able to cross the borders comfortably. I pop them on the easy access tray with some all-year contenders. This year looks like it’s going to be fun.



Portia’s Mid Season Beauties 2020

Continue reading

Saturday Question: Do You Like Discovery Sets?

Just as an experiment: does anyone still read this introductory paragraph? Or is it a block of text that you habitually skip knowing what it says? I would really love if commenters on this post were talking not only with me but with each other as well. I still do my “stand-alone” posts from time to time where it’s customary to talk almost one-on-one with each reader. But with these Saturday Question posts I think you might find rewarding getting to know the other commenters better. After all, unlike it is on larger blogs and forums, here there are much fewer participants, so I expect that with the repeat visits and one post being up on top for at least several days, the chances of having a conversation beyond “likes” and “you’re smelling great” (not that there’s anything wrong with those) are higher – if you care for those, of course.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #28:

Do You Like Discovery Sets?

This topic came on the heels of my recent post about the Ormonde Jayne’s discovery set I bought, MMKinPA’s comment there that she’s “off” discovery sets, and hajusuuri’s comment somewhere (NST? IG?) that she wouldn’t split sets to get rid of perfumes she tried and didn’t like.

So, I’m curious: do you buy discovery sets these days? Do you like them, or do you prefer targeted sampling? What do you do with them once you’re done?

My Answer

When I just started this hobby with testing niche perfumes, I had a tendency to go for a “full set” for the brand if I could, not necessarily is a form of an official set: I wanted to try everything because there were so many new great brands about which I haven’t heard being mostly a mainstream perfume consumer. So, of course, rare back then brands’ sets were a much more economical option than getting the same samples from eBay or TPC.

My very first set was from Ineke. It was perfect in all respects: great presentation, good variety and a reasonable price redeemable against a full bottle purchase. I ended up buying one perfume from that set, and then two perfumes released later and the Scent Library collection. But the rest perfumes from the initial set, some of which I rather liked, waited to be re-tested or used up… until recently I discovered that they all went off. I still do not have a heart to throw it away.


Ineke Delux Sample Collection


The next was Ormonde Jayne classic (and the only back then) collection Discovery set. By then I already knew, loved and owned Ta’if. And after testing everything else in the set, not waiting to finish any of the samples, I bought a bottle, a travel spray or at least a decant of six more perfumes for myself and one for my vSO. So, 8 out of 12 is an impressive ratio. What about the set? I still have it, and it’s not finished yet. I recently lent it to my goddaughter in an attempt to find a candidate for her birthday present, but surprisingly this brand didn’t work for her at all. So, it’s back at my place, and though it’s slightly bitten up, and the Sampaquita sample went off, I’m not ready to part with it.


Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set


Recently I bought Floraiku Sample Set. While I do not anticipate any of perfumes I tried from the set to join my collection, I’m determined to try and use up most of them before they spoil. We’ll see how that goes.


Floraiku Sample Set


So, while I’m still attracted to perfume samples nicely packaged together as a set, I realize that it is a very inefficient way for me to test perfumes. At my usual success rate, I end up liking maybe one perfume from the set, but even that one not enough to go for a bottle. And since usually I do not wear perfumes from samples, and I can’t force myself to break the set, I keep them indefinitely, not using or passing them on. Buying single samples based on the research seem more reasonable, but the price of shipping makes it even less attractive than a purchase of a set.

On the other hand, if our stores would stick to the new policy of having perfumes and cosmetics out for a display purpose only, I might find myself ordering more sets, especially if I can do it from a brand’s site, and the brand offers a discount for the future full bottle purchase. Even if I would never use it, I think it’s the right thing to do: testers in the stores are a direct loss, calculated in the price of a full bottle that I will buy eventually. Selling me an expensive sample/sample set from the site, the brand saves not only on testers but also on the stores’ “cut” of the profit. So, I would expect them at least to offer to share those savings with me.


Do You Like Discovery Sets?


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.

Not Such a Silk Road…

I have “dysfunctional relationships” with Ormonde Jayne (brand): while I love it and have been loyal to it for many years, it seems that it doesn’t love me back. I do not mean me as a blogger – that is normal and expected even from a much “blogger-friendlier” brands. But I always had a feeling that they didn’t love me enough as a customer either.

Being a fan, over years I bought numerous perfumes directly from the brand, both full bottles and travel sets, in store and from their website, full-priced and discounted. And in all these years, with all perfumes bought, I got a single free sample.

I do not think it happened by chance: it seems like a rather well calculated business approach. And while I disagree with it (I would expect that someone who’s already paying for one perfume from the line is more likely to buy another one, given a chance to try it, but what do I know about business?), obviously, it has worked well for the brand, at least for the last 10 years that I’ve been following it. So, I do not hold it against them.

Recently, I got a scare: on one of the blogs I follow I read about a possible discontinuation of Ta’if – one of my top three all-time favorite perfumes. It was a false alarm, we confirmed right away that it was still available on the brand’s site. But I immediately decided that, just in case, I would need to get a back-up bottle of it soon, which I recently did, taking advantage of the sale the UK site had.

Even having to pay for the shipping via DHL (dangerous goods and all that), the price was much better than I could get from the US distributors. And since I was already paying for the shipping, and because who knows when I will get to travel to the UK next time, I decided to participate, again, in the brand’s favorite game: buy a discovery set. This time it was a discovery set for their newest line – La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road).


Ormonde Jayne La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road)


The collection includes four already released perfumes and three perfumes that will be launched this Fall.


Top notes: Blackcurrant Buds, Milky Accord, Pink Berries; middle notes: White Wood, Wood of Cashmere, Iris Butter; base notes: Moss, Suede, Madagascar Vanilla, Balsamic Accord.


Top notes: Blackcurrant, Italian Lemon, Pear; middle notes: Rose, Jasmine, Pink Berries; base notes: Mineral amber, Musk, Vetiver.


Top notes: Bergamot, Mandarin, Tangelo, Rose Petals; middle notes: Lily of the Valley, Peony, Orange Blossom, Jasmine; base notes: Cedarwood, Amber, Musk.


Top notes: Ylang Ylang, Italian Mandarin, Italian Bergamot; middle notes: Rose Petals, Wood of Cashmere, Neroli; base notes: base notes: Moss, Dry Amber, Madagascar Vanilla, Balsamic Accord.


Top notes: Blackcurrant Buds, Lychee, Nutmeg; middle notes: Persian Rose; base notes: Musk, Chinese Patchouli, Incense, Armenian Plum.


Top notes: Rum, Rosewood, Apple; middle notes: Ceylon Cinnamon, Tonka Beans; base notes: Dry Amber, Musk, Guaiacwood, Earthy Accord, Oudh.


Top notes: Black Pepper, Nutmeg; middle notes: base Cedarwood, Rhubarb; base notes: Musk, Indian Sandalwood.


If you are in the mood for reading reviews, you’ll easily find several for the first four, and Neil (The Black Narcissus) has just posted a quick review for all 7. If you were to ask me, for myself I liked Tanger (cheerful and the most classical-Ormonde-Jayne perfume from the collection) and Byzance (I don’t know how, but for my nose it has the same strange “hot iron note” that I like in Serge Lutens’ Gris Clair), and I think Xandria smells nice on my vSO. Damask is quite pleasant, I’m just not sure if it’s different enough from other roses I already have (though, since the FB price isn’t that bad, it might be worth trying if you are looking for an ambered rose). The other three… None of them was offensive or even unpleasant.


Rusty and Ormonde Jayne La Route de la Soie (The Silk Road)


If these perfumes are ever offered in OJ’s new 30 ml format, I might be tempted to buy a bottle or two. If no, then most likely we’ll part our ways once the samples are gone: even though I still have warm feelings toward the brand, I think they are doing just fine without my support.

But do I think this set is worth buying? It depends.

If usually you do not buy perfumes for testing, or if Ormonde Jayne perfumes have never worked for you, you can safely skip this set.

I’m convinced that it is not worth £42 (plus shipping), which the brand does not offer to redeem even partially against a full bottle purchase (I know, it works for them, but I’m trying to be a voice of reasoning for others who are not in love with the brand).


If you are an Ormonde Jayne fan, as I am, and you have a sampling budget, I would suggest you took advantage of their current private sale*: until September 7th, this set is offered at £30, including free worldwide shipping (other sets are also on sale). These are generous 2 ml spray samples in a nice box. As far as sampling goes, not only you could – you probably often do do worse (at least, it’s true for me with those $4-$6 + tax + S&H 0.7 ml dabbers from Luckyscent and other similar places). And since it’s a very new collection, you should be able to partially recoup your losses would you decide to sell it after testing or offer it in a swap.


* If you are in the US and have a credit card that doesn’t take a fee for foreign currency transactions, check if their conversion rate is better than PayPal’s (true in my case – I used a Capital One card). Also, if for whatever reason the online checkout doesn’t work for you, contact the UK support directly (

Disclaimer: No affiliations whatsoever: I’m just a slightly grumpy customer of Ormonde Jayne (I paid the full price for the set!) and a happy customer of Capital One.


Images: my own

Saturday Question: What Was The Last Perfume You Gave As A Gift?

Following great tradition started by two wonderful bloggers, Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) and Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), once a week I or one of the guest writers will keep the lights on in this virtual leaving room, but I hope that you, my friends and readers, will engage in conversation not only with me or the other host, but also with each other.


Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass


Saturday Question #27:

What Was The Last Perfume You Gave As A Gift?

We all know that it’s hard to buy perfumes for others, and, as much as we all wish sometimes for a perfume faerie or gravitating bottles, in reality unprompted gifts are rarely “hits.” But with our love to perfume we are still trying to spread joy and recruit others into our fragrant circle.

So, do you buy perfumes as gifts? Who to? Do you consult the recipient, or do you do it as a surprise? What was the last perfume you bought for somebody else? Did they like it?

My Answer

I buy perfumes for others left and right – parents, friends, not to mention my vSO. I’m coming from the time and country where giving any perfume (and especially a “French” one) as a gift was genuinely appreciated and welcomed, regardless of the scent. Of course, as time and surroundings changed, I usually stick to either buying something that I know the person likes (a version of perfume they already use or the one they happened to like in the past), or buy it as a variation on a department store’s gift card (include a sample to try and a gift receipt for the bottle with a blessing to exchange it for something else my friend might like more).

It wasn’t the first perfume I bought for my goddaughter: several years ago we went perfume shopping and ended up getting her Armani Prive Pivoine Suzhou. She wears it nicely and still likes it. Last year we wanted to do another shopping trip, but it was a hectic year for both of us, and we kept postponing it. At some point I decided to give her several samples, not necessarily of perfumes that were readily available from the surrounding stores, that she could test at her own pace.

In the process, she found one more new perfume love – JHAG‘s Miss Charming. But we agreed that even a struggling postgraduate student could afford that one from a discounter or subscription site. So, we tried to figure out something more substantial. In the end she told me that she wanted to get… Amouage Dia. It wasn’t one of the samples I prepared for her. Instead, she liked the scent from the Dia soap I gave her once as a Christmas present. So, a year after the birthday for which it was supposed to be a gift, she received from me a set of perfume and body lotion. Not to repeat the exercise, this year her gift wasn’t perfume-related.

I’m wearing my Dia today: it is beautiful. Hopefully, she’ll enjoy wearing it years to come, and I’ll make sure not to wear it to the same occasions – luckily, I have more than enough perfumes not to play “twinsies” (Did you know that was a word?!) or “Who wore it best?” (not that I would expect anyone in our circle to notice it).


Amouage Dia Gift Set


What Was The Last Perfume You Gave As A Gift?


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.

Portia’s Gucci Timeline

Hey ULG Crew, What the hell is a Gucci timeline? I have long loved the word Gucci. Next year, 2021, Gucci is 100 years old! As I was growing up in the 1970/80s it was a fashion leader and the style magazines were full of it. Though the brand had survived to the 1980s it didn’t hold the same cachet and while I studied fashion it was held up as a “what NOT to do with your company.” They released Gucci No 3 and it never registered with me. Around 1988, my mate was working as a squirt bitch in town, putting himself through uni (University was still free in Australia at the time but he kept himself). While buying a bottle of CHANEL Antaeus from him he slipped a full tester bottle of Gucci No 3 in as a GWP! Well, my mind was officially blown. This was my first inkling that scent is totally unisex, even though I’d been nicking Mum’s Shalimar, No 5 and Samsara while living at home this felt different. A step towards something. My partner at the time and I drained that bottle. It also put Gucci back on my radar.

Through the late 1980s and early 1990s Gucci became a laughing stock. They lost their seat at the table and went into rapid decline. It seemed like they were chasing fashion, not creating it.

In the 1990s Tom Ford jumped into their womens fashion, then fashion director, then in 1994 he took over as Creative Director of Gucci. By 1994 we were already taking notice of the changes there. They still made fabulous shoes. My pair of 1995, bought in Rome, loafers are still going strong two half sole replacements later. They are comfortable, sturdy, beautiful and still hold pride of place on my shoe wall. I wore them non-stop for 15 years, they were my walking, dancing, business, travelling shoes of choice. Nothing said change like the release of Gucci Envy in 1997 and then in 1998 Gucci Envy Men. This was, and still is, one of the best ever mens fragrances. We all went absolutely apeshit for it. The clubs, malls, streets and restaurants were a coruscating mass of gorgeous people wearing this spicy woody oriental. WOW! Suddenly Kouros, Jazz, Le Male and Armani Pour Homme were so old fashioned and dated. You’ll notice I have a BNIC 100ml in the photo. I went through 100ml really quickly, then during another 50ml it got DCd. I panic bought this 100ml and haven’t had the heart to open it. I have also gone through another couple of bought from FB Sale Docs 50mls.

There were some other fine releases during this time. Who can forget the bottle and BWFness of Gucci Rush from 1999. What a perfume, so many happy memories. I also owned a bottle of Gucci Pour Homme, from 2003 with the brown juice, but it rarely got worn. I moved it on to someone who was really sad that they’d DCd it. He was grateful.

In 2007 Gucci by Gucci was released and I have loved its honeyed white floral fruitchouli wafts ever since. I went through a bottle but its replacement never got worn. In 2008 Gucci by Gucci Homme came out and flopped. I buy it for my business friends. It’s tobacco, pine and violet is unusual enough to be interesting but not overpowering or show pony-ish. It can be had for a song at the discounters nowadays and suits everyone I’ve given it to.

I have a bottle of 2010 Gucci Guilty. It was given to me by a friend who thought she was going to love it but it gave her headaches. Jasmine and lilacs set in a fruitchouli/vanillic amber diva of a fragrance. It’s a solid perfume, nothing earth shattering but pleasant and lasts all day into the night. Every time I wear it though people notice my fragrance and go out of their way to tell me how good I smell. Really good pick me up for blue days.

Gucci has been slowly diminishing again. It’s become a deplorable fashion circus and for years it released safe mainstream platitudes instead of perfume. I had given them up as an expensive, poorly timed joke and then in 2017 they release Gucci Guilty Absolute! Like, WTAF! Where did this cutting edge, niche like, behemoth of a fragrance come from. WOW! The 2018 Gucci Guilty Absolute pour Femme version is awesome too, grab some, it will blow your mind. Also in 2017, can we please have a chat about Gucci Bloom. SO GOOD! The bottle, the scent, even the flankers are clever and fun. Tuberose in myriad forms is always going to be a winner for me. Did someone at Gucci remember how to creative direct a perfume? YAY!

Now they’ve released their modern, aqueous, expensive line of cash grab elitist crap and I’m yawning. They’re not all awful but after suddenly getting back into the scent game so splendidly I was expecting a lot more. Loads of people love them, have at it I say.

You will also notice in my photo there is an Eau de Gucci Concentree from the early 1980s. I bought this not long ago from eBay. It’s an aldehydic floral leaning towards green bulbs, quite light compared to other offerings of its day but rich and tapestried like very little of today. So beautiful. WAY too precious to wear very much but I love it.

So that’s my love affair with Gucci in a rambling, ranty nutshell.
Which ones have you loved or loathed?
Portia xx