Saturday Question: Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?

My loyal readers have probably got used by now to my not that straightforward chain of associations when it comes to Saturday Question topics. But today’s one is especially “twice removed.” I’ll explain in My Answer. Though, each of you should feel free to respond directly to the question without going into the intricacies of my train of thought.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #121:

Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?

When we’re young, we often pick up something from our older relatives, siblings or friends. Years later, we either stick to those advices, just forget them or realize that those were not really the gospel they seemed back then.

Do you remember any of those? Do you still follow any? Or, the opposite, have you got disillusioned in some of them?

My Answer

I promised, it wasn’t that straightforward.

Yesterday I watched one of the most hilarious videos from Lisa Eldridge. I’m sure that most of you knows who she is, but unless you follow her closely or visit your YouTube subscriptions regularly, you could have missed this – and you shouldn’t! It is an extremely funny GRWM-type of video, but instead of chatting with the viewers herself, Lisa was following audio instructions from a legendary Hollywood makeup artist from 50s-60s of the previous century. I hope you’ll watch and enjoy it as much as I did.

Since I’m neither an MUA nor mekup history buff, I was, let’s put it this way, slightly less impressed by the guy himself then commenters on the video page and thought that he was a pompous dick (pardon my French), despite Lisa’s attempt at the preemptive PC spiel. And still, thanks to Lisa’s talent, the video is worth watching. A week ago I would have said that, not the least to appreciate how far we came from the time when old and [self-]important men were telling us what we should or should not do with our lipsticks and eye shadows. Today the freedom to match my lipstick to my nail polish somehow suddenly feels less significant. But I digress.

As I watched that video, I was surprised by how many of the beauty advices got through the continents and, what is even more impressive, the “iron curtain” and were passed onto me by my mother.

I won’t list all of them not to spoil your viewing, but I’ll mention one that I tend to follow decades later: Do not apply mascara to your lower eyelashes.

The reasoning for this advise was that it would make my eyes look smaller. I do not know if that is even true. But even if it is, those who know me or saw my mom’s pictures would probably agree that this should be the last of the beauty-related worries for either of us. And I think that later in her life my mother had changed her opinion and was applying mascara to her lower lashes. And yet… Not that I wear mascara too often in general. But when I do, by my estimate, my lower eyelashes stay bare 9 out of 10 times.


How about you?


Have You Adopted Any Makeup or Skincare Advice From Your Mother?

Saturday Question: What Was The Last New L’Artisan Perfume You’ve Tried?

I’m sure that there isn’t a single participant of these Saturday posts who is not familiar with L’Artisan Parfumeur. Moreover, I have no doubts that most of us have at least one (or ten?) perfumes from this brand in our collection. But when was the last time you tried anything new from them?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #120:

What Was The Last New L’Artisan Perfume You’ve Tried?

And a bonus question: is there any perfume from the brand that you would like to try?


My Answer

Yesterday, while scrolling through Instagram posts, I came across a sponsored ad for L’Artisan’s Sale: “Make the most of unmissable offers and treat yourself to a new summer scent”

I do not need a new summer scent, but I got curious and tapped on the link. While 20-25% off isn’t a bad discount, by now I have most of L’Artisan Perfumes that I tried and liked, so none of the perfumes that I’m familiar with tempted me. But going through the Sale selection, I realized that I didn’t know half or more of the offered perfumes. And that brought up this question.

The last perfume from L’Artisan Parfumeur that I’ve tried was Noir Exquis launched in … 2015 (!). What I find strange: I liked it. Not to buy a bottle (at least not until I finish my small decant), but I liked it. And yet, in the last 6+ years I haven’t tried a single new perfume from the brand. I think I lost my interest since Puig had acquired the brand.

Am I interested in their new perfumes? I won’t refuse testing everything I missed somewhere at a store. But I don’t think I will be paying for their samples any time soon. The only perfume that stood out for me when I read about it was something with “banana” in the name. So, that would be the first one I reach for in that hypothetical store.

How about you?


What Was The Last New L’Artisan Perfume You’ve Tried?

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

Hey ULGers, BDK Parfums are a brand I look out for. They have quite a few lovely perfumes. They’re mostly safe, elegant remixes of things you’ve smelt before but with a little twist. Perfect if you like to be scented but for it to be something quiet and restrained. Their Creme de Cuir is one of my favourite under the radar leathers, there is something totally luxurious about wearing a fragrance that is just for you, and those you allow very close.

Bouquet de Hongrie by BDK Parfums

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Yop: Pear, Strawberry, Cassis
Heart: Turkish Rose, Jasmine Sambac, Lorenox
Base: Musk, Amber, Cedar

From the note list I had expectations. Which you’d think after smelling perfume for decades I’d have grown out of. In my head it was going to smell quite like a sister to SJP Stash Unspoken or Burberry Britt for her. It doesn’t.

What it does smell like to me is peony petals and cherry blossom. Real peony and the perfumers shorthand for cherry blossom. It’s ridiculously pretty and delightful. Imagine one of the L’Occitane shower gels done with refined ingredients and you’re pretty much there. Actually, having worn Bouquet de Hongrie for a week in Bali, and read your comments on Sakura two weeks ago, I now know exactly what it smells like. It smells like a posh version of those Victoria’s Secret body mists you can buy for a couple of $$.

Bouquet de Hongrie BDK Parfums

If you’re after something sophisticated then you’ll be bitterly disappointed.

Thing is, I like it. It’s so femme leaning and feels like I should be wearing a short, ruffled, lacy frock in a strong pastel colour somewhere between peach and strawberry. The incongruity of me, a 53 year old hefty chunk of silver daddy, wearing it makes me smile like I’m being deliberately subversive. Musette wrote a short while ago about this very thing on Perfume Posse and I’ve been embracing it. Sorry I can’t find the piece because her musings ramble about, throwing up oodles of bits and pieces.

Projection and longevity are moderate to low, it softens considerably after about 30 minutes to a quiet jammy peony/cherry wash. It could be your fabric softener if you spent some big $$$$ on it.

What I REALLY like is that BDK makes these strong, beautiful 10ml Travel Sprays. There are 2 three packs and some singles available here in OZ but I bet there’s oodles more choice elsewhere. You can see my Bouquet de Hongrie is already over 2/3 spritzed.

Does Bouquet de Hongrie sound like a scent you’d wear?
Portia xx

Saturday Question: What Is Your Favorite Linden Perfume?

I realize that all of my loyal readers have their lives and do not hold their breath waiting for the next post from this blog. But still I feel like apologizing for being absent. The irony is that I have at least a dozen posts planned (in terms that I know what I want to write about) or even started, but between my job and family issues with my vSO’s mother, I have no energy left to think those posts through, write and published them. But I will be posting whenever I can. Meanwhile, let’s keep the Saturday Question tradition running.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #119:

What Is Your Favorite Linden Perfume?

Regardless of whether you know how the real blossom smells, do you have a favorite linden perfume?

My Answer

Linden is one of my most favorite blossoms in real life, so I’m on a constant search for a perfect linden blossom perfume. I still haven’t found any perfume that would come close to the heady aroma of a blooming large linden tree in the warmth of the late summer night. But if I were to take a single floret (?), as I did recently when I visited my friend’s garden, and compare it to my favorite linden perfume – Jo Malone French Lime Blossom, which I did, they smell very close. And I love it!

Jo Malone French Lime Blossom

What Is Your Favorite Linden Perfume?

Saturday Question: What Was Your Most Picturesque Vacation Destination?

I’ve been back from my recent trip for a while, but it’s summer, and vacations are all around me (in the form of out-of-office replies), so I decided to prolong it by talking about it.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #118:

What Was Your Most Picturesque Vacation Destination?

A vacation is a vacation is a vacation. But some of the places we visit stay with us longer than others. Which one were yours?

If you have any pictures online you’re willing to share, please publish a link/links.

My Answer

Hawaii are probably still my most favorite vacation destination, and variety of nature scenes these islands offer is very hard to beat. I also love city vacations, and Vienna shares my heart with London (and Barcelona might claim its place there the next time I get to spend time in that beautiful city while not suffering from different health issues, like it happened when I went there for the first time).

But the recent trip to Sedona left a very strong impression: the views were breathtaking. When you see those formations and colors, it is hard to believe that those were created by nature (vs. some ancient gods or aliens turning medieval castles and fortresses into stone), and you’re not looking at the result of some artistic filters applied to a photo. An unfortunately those photos do not fully convey the grandeur of what you can see with your eyes.


This was the view from the window of the house we were staying in. And views from numerous vista points were even more spectacular.


Amouage attars that I brought with me wore wonderfully in the dry heat of Sedona: they were as beautiful as those mountains. But as much as I liked all six of them and plan to use up my discovery set, I don’t think I loved any one of them enough to want to buy a bottle… Maybe if I were on a vacation in Oman…

Amouage Attars

Your turn.

What Was Your Most Picturesque Vacation Destination?

Sakura by DIOR

Sakura by DIOR

Hi there crew. we are having a moment of remarkably spring-like weather. When I say remarkable I mean EVERYONE is saying it feels like spring. In almost every conversation. As banal and boring as that sounds, it does. We have had such a weird, wet, cool summer that finding ourselves in autumn and having these glorious sunshiny days, not too hot, is blissful.

On top of that my courtesy aunt, Aunty Tracey, is in town for a week and we are out day & night on adventures. We’ve been shopping, visiting, visiting the graves of our dead, lunching and generally hanging out in the daytimes. Every trivia she has come and Jin has accompanied. It’s been wonderful. Writing this on Thursday and I’m BUSHED! We only have a few more days but both Jin & I are definitely going to need a rest.

Sakura by DIOR

Sakura by DIOR

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green Notes
Heart: Japanese Cherry Blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Hedione
Base: Mimosa, Violet, White Musk

Sakura is astringently sweet and green on open, like cherry, alcohol, and citrus pith. Soon it gets a soft fluffy feeling like to cool, softness of rubbing cherry blossom petals against your cheek. It smells like that feeling. As if it was in the cool late winter morning sunshine.

The heart is mimosa, cherry(isa) and something I can not put a name to. Like what I think the fur of a bee might smell like. Animal, honey, floral and something else.

As we head to dry down clean musks lead the charge to fade.

Sakura is lovely and I really like to wear it. It doesn’t smell like an expensive perfume though. It smells like a cheapy. Maybe I’m missing something here. If you’re a big fan could you explain please?

Low key, pretty, smells nice, lasts OK. Perfect for the young, people who want a fragrance but need it to be under the radar. Also good for those that like functional fragrance but don’t like perfume perfume. A perfectly poised sweet nothing that whispers spring.

Are you doing soft fruity florals like Sakura this Spring?
Porttia xx

Saturday Question: What Recent Release Are You Itching To Try?

I know that none of us needs any more perfumes. But it doesn’t stop us from trying new ones, right?

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #117:

What Recent Release Are You Itching To Try?

Are there any recently released perfumes that have caught your interest, and you either plan to get to it at a store or maybe even buy a sample to try?

You may include any perfumes released in 2021-2022 that were on your “to try” list if you’ve recently scratched that itch.

My Answer

I keep missing the announcements of new releases (for better or worse), but two new releases got on my radar: one from a tiny niche house, Hera by Papillon Artisan Perfumes, and another one from the most well-known brand, Paris – Paris by Chanel (though, I still can’t believe they could not come with a more original name). I plan to get a sample of Hera from Luckyscent (how could I not after reading Tara’s (A bottled Rose) review and Vanessa’s (Bonkers About Perfume) review and then her response to my comment?!). And Chanel… I like that Les Eaux series, so I’m curious to try the newest addition. I went to a couple of stores already but none of them carries it yet. I’ll keep trying.

How about you?

What Recent Release Are You Itching To Try?

Saturday Question: What Perfumes Would You Take To A Desert Vacation?

Even those who do not subscribe to the notion of perfume seasonality know that perfumes behave differently in different climate environments. So, planning a trip to a place that promises to be especially cold, hot, humid or dry, we often think of the appropriate selection of perfumes to take with us.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #116:

What Perfumes Would You Take To A Desert Vacation?

Which of your favorites you know work the best in the hot dry climate? Or which ones you’d like to test in that environment?

My Answer

As I was preparing to our short vacation to Sedona, Arizona, I wasn’t sure what to bring. Somehow my usual set of perfumes that travel with me to Hawaii – also quite hot but humid place – didn’t feel right. And then I thought it would be interesting to bring with me the discovery set of new attars from Amouage: after all, Oman has one of the hottest climates in the world.

I’m in the middle of my trip (and testing of these perfumes). I’ll try to post my impressions from both the vacation and attars next week once I’m back.

Amouage Attars

How about you?

What Perfumes Would You Take To A Desert Vacation?

Pickles et al and the house of Jo Malone

This time for the guest post Pickles came with a company. (Undina)

* * *

Hello, my human and fur friends! My cousins, Wedge Licorice and Squirrel Jolie, came for a visit, and I decided to introduce them both to the house of Jo Malone.

My nana tells me it is probably the most popular fragrance house in our humble abode. Each of her human children was gifted a full bottle when they turned eighteen (Peony & Blush Suede for the eldest, Ginger Biscuit for the middle one and Wood Sage & Sea Salt for the youngest). My great-grandma and great-grandpa love all the Jo Malone offerings as well. And I know for a fact that Undina does too.

Over the years the entire family has drained three 100 ml bottles, ten 30 ml bottles and probably forty or more of those 9 ml travel sprays. As you can see from the photos we still have plenty in all sizes in the house.

Do you have a favorite Jo Malone? If not, what is your favorite perfume house?

Until next time, furry kisses and hugs,

Pickles Bella
Wedge Licorice
Squirrel Jolie

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Hey ULG Crew, We created a personal long weekend with our mates Anna Maria and Johnny. Friday 7.25am flight to Launceston and Monday arrive around midday back in Sydney. We bought the flights for almost nothing months ago. It was our first time travelling as a foursome and only I had travelled with everyone before. I picked an old favourite hotel, The Grand Chancellor. It’s one of those 1990s built hotels with spacious rooms and lobby. Each room has two Queen sized beds and each couple had a room. The breakfast buffet is good and generous, without being brilliant, and we all had an excellent feed to start our days. Originally I had booked a small SUV but they gave us an upgrade to an enormous Nissan Outlander, it was like travelling in a lounge room.

Anna Maria and Johnny’s daughter Domenica was on the Australian MAFS 2022 series. They were interviewed a few times on the show and have become quite famous in their own right. They were recognised and had their pictures taken

Tasmania Getaway, Pics and Thunks

Our days were designed by meals. We all got to pick different food adventures.
Day one for lunch Jin wanted pies, a local sent us to Banjo’s Bakery and we went pie crazy. Delicious! Tasmania is famous for its Scallop Pies and all three of the others had one. After that Johnny wanted to get a shave by a barber so the rest of us went and had cocktails. Then we wandered the shopping district for a couple of hours, the stars getting papped left right and centre. Our hotel had $6 spirits for Happy Hour so we spent a leisurely hour or so drinking companionably. I’ll admit to getting a little tipsy. That night Johnny picked Kebabs for dinner. He’d seen a shop called King of Kebabs during the day and it stuck with him. It was such a strange choice but we sat instore and had the most wonderful Middle Eastern meals. We came back to the hotel, had a drink and watched the Australian Election unfold. Anna Maria, Jin and my team got up and won but Johnny’s crew were ushered out the door. He was devastated, we were quietly jubilant. OK, not so quietly. Yes, we are fully aware all politicians are lying pigs but at least the foundation of this new crew is Women, Climate and a Political Watch with teeth. They’ve been left a dogs breakfast financially and things will get austere here for at least a decade.

Day two we dropped into the Farmers Market across the road from the hotel. Again they were recognised and asked for photos, very bloody cool. I really wanted us to go out to the Lake District in the heart of Tasmania. I’d found The Great Lake Hotel and it sounded wonderful. Set right on one of the great lakes (much smaller than the US versions). This meant we also got to spend 1.5 hours in the car seeing Tasmanian scenery from urban, to farming and the hills and plateau. It was good. We had a table in the middle of the room, views of the lake and felt like we were in the action. Service was so friendly but slow as a wet week. Food was some of the best pub food I’ve had. Fortunately we had so much conversation and fun that the wait to be served and then for food to come sped by. On our way back we took a two hour detour to get the Best Vanilla Slice in the world from the bakery in Ross. It was well worth the drive. That slice was earth shatteringly delicious. Anna Maria chose Indian food for dinner. Neither Johnny nor she had ever had it. There was a restaurant called Pickled Evenings, #3 on Launceston Trip Advisor. We also had a couple of mates join us, Morag and Ward, so that lent an extra festive air to the evening. I kept the food choices very simple. Opened with Onion Bhajis and Potato Samosas. Mains were Veg Biryani, Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo (mild) and Goat Curry. It was a fine entree for them and only a little too spicy.

Day three we were up bright and early, busy day ahead. Today we were going to head north along the Tamar River. First stop was the Beaconsfield Mine, site of the 2006 cave in disaster and rescue. The Museum there is a wonderful memorial and there are some very eerie and saddening parts. Straight from there we went to Australia’s only Seahorse breeding centre and then next door to the Platypus and Echidna rescue. Both had excellent tours and we learned a lot. Lunch in a real, old fashioned riverside Fish & Chip restaurant chosen by Jin. Another thing Anna Maria and Johnny had never done was a wine tasting, so we found a popular Cellar Door nearby and the three of them had a wonderful hour while I watched and enjoyed it immensely. They were bloody hilarious and the hostess managed them brilliantly. Both couples have a case winging their way towards us as we speak. Being a Sunday night most of the restaurants were closed. We were going to introduce Anna Maria and Johnny to Vietnamese but the best close choice open was a very ra sha sha Chinese. Service, food, atmosphere and design were bloody wonderful. They were woefully understaffed due to C19 but still managed us, our food and the whole evening perfectly. We drank a couple of bottles of wine from our Cabbage Tree wine tasting that Jin had bought to celebrate our adventure.

Day four we had a leisurely breakfast and bumped out. The flight home had the best turbulence I’ve experienced in decades. It was a wild ride into Sydney and I loved every second. Poor Jin was a bit green by the time we got off though. Grabbed our bags, hugged everyone and holiday done. Jin and I spent the whole afternoon and night discussing what a perfect getaway and how much fun we had.

My Pics

Anna Maria’s Pics


Wore Hermès Eau des Merveilles for the flight down. It’s salty, warm, mineral waft was perfectly understated and lasted till my nighttime change.

In the end I took these perfumes.
Atelier des Ors Rouge Saray: Wore this every evening on the trip. It was a perfect accompaniment to the dry chill night air. Spicy woods with a soft fruity sweetness, all mellowed by a vanilla patchouli. Beautiful. I thunked the decant, now desperately want a bottle.
BDK Bouquet de Hongrie: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque Rose de Mai: Didn’t wear it.
Diptyque L’Ombre dans l’eau: Was supposed to bring this, thought it was stolen first morning by the cleaners. Thank goodness I didn’t kick up a fuss. It was here on my desk the whole time, hiding behind the Marveilles. BUMMER!
Guerlain Mademoiselle: When I first got this decant I was all meh. It has bloomed into a ridiculously beautiful marshmallow iris, so powdery and warm. I also get some roses in the heart that aren’t mentioned in the notes. Sadly it becomes a very soft wash in an hour and I can hardly smell it. Wore it on the last day and on the plane ride home. I won’t be buying another but absolutely loved it for this holiday.
Le Labo Neroli 31: First two days I wore so much of this and FINALLY thunked the decant. It’s nice but there are a million citrus type scents that smell better on me for much less money. It just does not live on my skin and I won’t be rebuying.

How ever did we fit so much into so little time? It was a really relaxing few days despite being jam packed and now I’m refreshed and ready for action.

Are you looking forward to a break? Has this given you some ideas? Where would you spend a few days nearby?
Portia xx