Several years ago, when NST had a community project for the “back to school”perfume associations, I did a post about it. And those of you who were reading my blog then commented about perfumes they wore to school and other school-related topics. But today I suggest a slightly different twist: not a trip down memory lane but rather a fantasy.
Saturday Question #79:
What Perfume Would You Wear Back to School Today?
Think of yourself from the time of your last year at school. Imagine that you could send yourself to the past a magical gift – a bottle of any perfume that you have in your collection today or can buy now – to wear on your first day back to school. What would you choose and why?
Have you ever thought of a great question to ask someone… and then figured out that you would have hard time coming up with the answer? This is what happened to me. As usually it happens at that time of the year, the “back to school” notion was on my mind, and I thought it would be great to do this question. But what would I want to wear on that day? That is the question.
As I mentioned more than once before, since they weren’t that affordable or easily available, perfumes weren’t widely used in the daily life when I was growing up even by adults, let alone teenagers. I’m not sure if there even were any official rules as to wearing scented products to school. The rules were strict about makeup: colorless chopstick-like balms were the closest one could get to wearing makeup to school. But I would think that any perfume one would be able to get and wear to school would be a vast improvement over odors that were “naturally” present in the day-to-day life. So, maybe it wouldn’t have been frowned upon? I don’t know.
But as rebellious as I was back then, I still wouldn’t want to be completely out of order, so probably I shouldn’t send myself to the past any sillage bombs.
Also, back then I was still mostly a signature scent person (on those rare special occasions when I wore perfume, it was my beloved Climat by Lancome – surprise!), so I wouldn’t want to send myself something I think I wouldn’t have liked at 17.
And of course I’d want to wear something that my friends would think smells great, especially that particular boy… (though, if I remember it correctly, there wasn’t a one when I was returning to school for my last year, but you got the idea).
Having taken all that into consideration, I chose Iris Poudre from Frederic Malle. My reasoning is: I like it and consider pretty any easy going. Besides, even though I tried and liked it when I was much older, since I think that Iris Poudre smells a lot like another perfume that became my favorite in just about 10 years after school, it’s very likely that I would have liked any/both of them a decade earlier as well.
Winter was uncharacteristically cold in our area this year, so we’ve got to experience almost real spring with warm rays of sun in cool air intervened by returning rains and cold spells. And since I was reminded of springs from my childhood, I got an urge to smell mimosa – blossom that used to encapsulate that time of the year for me.
Over years (and five posts in my Single Note Exploration series devoted to that note) I accumulated enough mimosa perfumes to cover more than a week, but I decided not to overdo it.
Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom is still one of my most favorite mimosa perfumes, though now I think that it is rather Fall than spring perfume: it’s too warm and spicy for the “life awakening” atmosphere. But I enjoy it every time I wear it. I think Mimosa & Cardamom was one of Jo Malone’s successes.
When I was thinking about perfumes to include into this project, I struggled to remember the name for Frederic Malle’s mimosa scent despite having it in my collection. For a while I got stuck between En Passant (“No, it’s lilac not mimosa,” I kept telling myself) and Mimosa pour moi (“No-no, it’s L’Artisan, I finished that sample already”). Une Fleur de Cassie (I had to look it up) this time didn’t work for me: it was too dirty. I think I like this perfume better when it’s warmer.
Once again I had a reason to bemoan the closing of Sonoma Scent Studio: Bee’s Bliss is such a sunny and joyful perfume with a nice prominent mimosa but with a lot more going on, it’s such a pity others won’t be able to experience it.
I finished my small decant of Prada Infusion de Mimosa: it’s a light and pleasant mimosa with some undertones from my favorite original Infusion d’Iris (though, I’m not sure if they even have a single note in common… alright, I checked – “orange mandarin” whatever it means). I think that it’s time to look for a reasonably priced bottle… unless I decide to go for…
… Fragonard Mimosa. A friend of mine shared with me recently a sample from her bottle. I’ve never seen or tried it before, so it was a pleasant discovery. Official notes are bergamot, violet, gardenia, mimosa, orange blossom, heliotrope and musk, but for the price it sells I don’t expect or get much of anything but mimosa, which, ironically, in drydown to my nose is a dead ringer to drydown of Infusion de Mimosa. And since I do not suspect Prada in using too many natural ingredients, even at their price, I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually was the same aroma chemical.
What does surprise me is thatt Givenchy Harvest 2007 Amarige Mimosa still impresses me every time I wear it. Unlike many other old favorites that just evoke nostalgia, Amarige Mimosa is perfume that I enjoy wearing… whenever I remember to wear it. Rusty also looks somewhat surprised.
The last perfume I wore for the project was Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo: it’s a nice perfume with a good name quite fitting the topic, and in the end of the Mimosa Week I especially enjoyed wearing it since, to my nose, it doesn’t smell of mimosa (or of lilac to that matter). Interestingly, saffron in this perfume doesn’t bother me and works nicely with the soft leather and not too sweet vanilla.
Those of you who like me grew up in pre-Internet era, probably can remember a phenomenon of knowing about something from books, articles or even songs but never actually seeing those thing or knowing how those looked. I’m talking not about remote planets or exotic places but about rather mundane objects – plants, foods or articles of clothes.
Magnolias came into my life with a song of a popular band Ariel from 70s. It was one of those songs that are catchy and pleasing – as long as you do not think much about the lyrics (translation is approximate, just to give you the impression):
Without sorrow, sorrow, sorrow
Sea splashes in the land of magnolias
Young boys are sitting on the fence
Stirring melancholy feelings in me
Couples are dancing, dancing, dancing
Tune is familiar and even old-fashioned
And sweet sound of a bass guitar
Brings back memories… Oh, well…
If you’re curious, listen 20-30 seconds of this video: this is exactly how I remember hearing this song (though I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it before I found it recently).
It wasn’t before I moved to the U.S. that I saw the actual magnolia tree and flowers. The first encounter I remember was many years ago in a park to where we went for a walk on my birthday. It was amazing to see those huge and untidy flowers on bare branches mid-February.
Since then I saw magnolias many times and took numerous photos of this unusual bloom but when I realized how many magnolia perfumes I tried and decided to do this Single Note Exploration post, I realized that I didn’t remember how real magnolias smelled. So I waited until I spotted a blooming tree not far from my office, and today walked to it to check the scent of live magnolia flowers. On the positive side, I know now that I wasn’t just absent-minded or not curious: magnolias that grow around here just do not smell. It means that, on one hand, I have absolutely no reference point in my search for perfect magnolia perfume. But on the other, I’m not limited by the realism factor. So, to balance it out, I decided to consider only perfumes that were unequivocally designated by their creators as magnolia-centered ones (judging by the names).
Two years ago, while in London, I almost bought Tom DaxonMagnolia Heights. The notes include gardenia, violet leaf, ylang ylang, magnolia, jasmine sambac, cedarwood and musks. Perfume was created in 2016. It is a beautiful floral bouquet, and I like it very much but, as I mentioned in the post then, being a floral perfumes fan, I have at least several perfumes in this genre that I like more. But give it a try if you ever come across Magnolia Heights, or if you’re looking for another floral favorite.
Perfume that I keep testing and seem not to be able to put off my mind is Magnolia Grandiflora Michel by Grandiflora. It was created by Michel Roudnitska in 2013. Notes include lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose, magnolia, vetiver, patchouli and musk. Michele is beautifully blended, and I like the composition though I can’t tell most of the listed notes; maybe some citrus in the opening. And in development it reminds me of tea. I think it is jasmine that gives me that impression. Had the brand launched it as a travel spray, I would have bought it already. But even with the only offered size 50 ml I still might go for it (though I must say that I really dislike their new bottle design and cannot explain the change by anything but a desire to save money on packaging).
A sister perfume, Magnolia Grandiflora Sandrine, created the same year by Sandrine Videault, is one of rare perfumes that actually repulse me. It evokes a smell of something overripe, maybe even decaying. Interestingly, for a while I thought that this scent might be characteristic of magnolia flower. Why? Because I smelled it (and disliked there as well) in another magnolia-centric perfume – Sud Magnolia by Atelier Cologne. But as I discovered, Sandrine’s notes do not even list magnolia! So, I’m not sure what smells that unpleasant to me: lemon, grapefruit, white pepper, fresh garden accord, dry wood accord, marine-aquatic accord or musky accord.
As I mentioned, Atelier Cologne’s Sud Magnolia didn’t work for me either. Jerome Epinette who created it in 2015, is a nose behind several perfumes that I like both from Atelier Cologne and other brands, but Sud Magnolia, after starting even nice, develops unpleasantly on my skin. I thought of listing all nine notes mentioned on Fragrantica but since that site doesn’t allow copying, I went to the brand’s site where I learned that the only notes they cared us to know about were Magnolia accord, Grapefruit from South America and Cedarwood from the Americas (sic). Well, since the brand doesn’t want to overwhelm customers with these details (other than with the required by law, I assume, list of used chemicals), I won’t bother either.
I wanted to love Eau De Magnolia created in 2014 by Carlos Benaim for Frederic Malle: I like the brand, and I was looking for another perfume from them to cross that like/love line. Bergamot, magnolia, vetiver, patchouli, cedarwood, moss and amber sounded promising but, in my opinion, Eau de Magnolia hasn’t become to magnolia what other perfumes of the brand have done to the respective flowers. It is quite pleasant and wearable but I don’t find it memorable.
Bottega Veneta’s Parco Palladino I: Magnolia seems to be even less memorable. Floral perfume with some green notes. It is nice, but I did expect much more from the first perfume in the “high end” collection of the brand whose first perfume was as impressive as their one was. But since the notes list proudly and openly mentions Iso E Super that I like in perfumes (in addition to bergamot, grapefruit, orange, lily of the valley, magnolia, rose, green notes and white musk), I urge you to give it a try if you can do it without paying for it.
After running all these tests, I think I recognize how magnolia note is represented in perfumery. But until I smell real flowers or find perfume that I’d like even more, I’ll consider Magnolia Grandiflora Michel the perfect magnolia perfume.
Have you ever experienced aromatic magnolias? Do you like this flower in either natural or recreated form? Do you have a favorite magnolia-centric perfume?
This post will be updated continuously during the next 7 days. For more details see here, but in short – come back every day to read something new I added for the day, see what perfume I chose to wear and share your SOTD. I know that there are some “lurkers” who follow the project but do not comment, so if you’re reading this, I invite you to join the conversation.
Week 1 of the Month of Irises went by quickly. I was glad to see all of you – with daily updates on your SOTD and just because. I urge all of my loyal readers and friends to participate in the topic even if you are not wearing iris perfumes – this month or in general: irises are just an excuse to do this daily exercise with updates but the main goal is to see all of you more often (but Rusty clearly votes for more irises).
Thursday, February 8, 2018
One of the silent (on this blog) participants has mentioned that Ormonde Jayne Orris Noir reminded her of Ormonde Woman. I intended to wear Orris Noir this month anyway but now I’m very curious to check also if I notice the same resemblance (beyond Iso E-Super that Geza Schoen and Linda Pilkington seem not to be able to get enough – not that I complain about that when it comes to their main line).
GIF OF THE DAY
Rusty tries to figure out what exactly I’m talking about when I mention the smell of iris…
Friday, February 9, 2018
Orris Noir that I wore yesterday was nice and warm. As I was wafting it throughout the day, I thought that, while not the most complicated compared to many other niche perfumes that I’ve tried since I first liked and bought Orris Noir, it was not like anything else that I knew… And then I got home and remembered to try Ormonde Woman. They do not smell completely similar to my nose, but you can definitely tell that they are related.
Today I plan to wear Prada Infusion d’Iris Absolue with the goal, again, to fit both projects: Month of Irises and NST’s “wear a fragrance you initially thought was too [insert adjective] for you to wear.” When I tried it for the first couple of times, I thought it was too similar to my favorite original Infusion d’Iris EdP and didn’t think I would need or wear it – as long as I had the original. But as my decant is nearing the end, I find myself browsing perfume sites for a small bottle of it…
It’s not a riddle in the strict sense of the word since there is no real right answer but there’s an answer that I want you to find. So do not get discouraged if you do not “see” it. Does this picture remind you of anything related to this month’s theme?
Saturday, February 10, 2018
So, not really riddles fans? Oh, well… I’ll try to post an additional “clue” during the day but if still no, I’ll stick to pictures of Rusty.
Ramon Monegal Impossible Iris – I’m curious to check how it smells on me in this weather: I don’t remember ever getting the rooty-ness that hajusuuri reported yesterday. Though, I have never had a chance to wear it in a cold weather.
Most of my today’s readers were here already for this post, but for several new comers I’ll post the link (there’s a nice music clip in there – in case you’re up for some music and film references) – Mission: Impossible Iris.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
I didn’t have time to play with my picture to substitute colors and post an additional clue for the riddle, so here’s an answer:
Last year I took that picture with one red flower amongst white ones because it looked surreal. My friends and I discussed for a while how it could have happened. There were multiple theories, some very elaborate about how these flowers have that strange mutation when one of them comes out in another color… 2-3 weeks later, once the white bloom was over, the bush that grew next to it burst out with… all red flowers. And I realized that there was no genetic mutation or some other unexplained phenomenon: that single red flower just came out “before his time” – and that’s why it was so noticeable and misunderstood.
When I recently looked at my picture, it reminded me of this Vincent van Gogh painting with a single white iris surrounded by a more traditionally colored irises.
For my birthday I’m wearing Armani Privé La Femme Bleue.
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
HdP Opera Collection 1904. Asali (The Sounds of Scent) posted a wonderful review for this perfume.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
On the last day of the Week 2 the SOTD thread is hosted by Tara on her wonderful blog (as if it requires any introduction) A Bottled Rose. Please visit her most recent A Month of Irises post, read her musings on some wonderful iric-centric perfume and comment there on your SOTD, whether you wear an iris perfume today or not.
For years I keep repeating that more brands should release their perfumes in perfumista size bottles – 10-15 ml. Of course, for somebody who has a signature scent or alternates 2-3 perfumes in their day-to-day life, 50 ml, 100 ml or even 200 ml bottles might make more sense both economically and logically. But for anybody who has been “into perfume” for at least several years, not too many perfumes warrant the vats, in which most perfumes nowadays are sold.
Sure, big bottles are great for splits; and decants are nice for getting to wear something without committing your heart or money to a full bottle. But even the best decant – with well-made labels and a good sprayer – is still not as good as a real bottle. And I suspect that, as a rule, it has a shorter shelf life, even if you use parafilm or electrical tape to prevent evaporation: the act of spraying perfume from the original bottle into a smaller receptacle introduces additional oxidation to the juice, which cannot be healthy (should we add a blueberry or two?).
For all these reasons for anything more than 3-5 ml I would rather pay extra price per ml but get a travel bottle from the brand – if the brand has that option.
Surprisingly, when it comes to niche brands, those that offer smaller sizes are still rather an exception than a rule. So I decided to put together a list of the brands that offer smaller (perfumista size) bottles of their perfumes. I won’t include links since those change but it’s easy to find them through a search engine.
The following brands have single bottles for all or most of their perfumes (bottle size is given in parentheses):
April Aromatics (15 ml)
Frederic Malle (10 ml)
Hiram Green (10 ml)
Histoires de Parfums (15 ml)
Le Labo (15 ml)
Sonoma Scent Studio (4 ml & 17 ml)
Jul et Mad (5 ml & 20 ml)
Cognoscenti (5 ml)
Dame Perfumery (5 ml)
DSH Perfumes (multiple sizes)
EnVoyage Perfumes (15 ml)
4160 Tuesdays (9 ml)
Roja Dove (7.5 ml)
The Different Company (10 ml)
Several brands have smaller sizes just for some of their perfumes:
Atelier Cologne (12 different perfumes in 7.5 ml at Sephora)
Juliette Has A Gun (4 different perfumes in 7.5 ml at Sephora)
Ineke (15 ml, Floral Curiosities line only)
More brands recently have introduced the “travel” option – probably as a response to the air travel regulations. Unfortunately, those come in sets either of single perfume or of pre-selected (or all) perfumes from the brand. Single perfume sets are easier for friendly splits. Mixed sets defeat the purpose: how often does someone like all the perfumes in the set? I also found two brands that offer customizable mixed travel sets.
Single perfume sets:
Neela Vermeire Creations (2 x 15 ml)
Ormonde Jayne (4 x 10 ml)
Amouage (3 x 10 ml)
By Kilian (4 x 7.5 ml)
Byredo (3 x 12 ml)
Maison Francis Kurkdjian (3 x 10 ml)
Aedes de Venustas (3 x 7.5 ml)
Customizable mixed sets:
Hermès (4 x 15 ml sets for both their regular line and Hermessence)
Tauer Perfumes (3 x 15 ml)
Pre-set mixed perfumes sets:
Viktoria Minya (5 x 15 ml)
Maison Francis Kurkdjian (8 x 10 ml)
Miller Harris (3 x 14 ml and 2 x 7.5 ml)
Aedes de Venustas (3 x 7.5 ml)
If you know any other brands that offer small bottles in one of these categories, please share in comments. And if you agree that more brands should have perfumista size bottles, keep repeating that whenever you publish a review on your blog or comment on perfume reviews and discussions on blogs, forums, FB or Twitter. Somebody might be reading…
Updates from comments:
Maria Candida Gentile (7 ml and 15 ml single bottles)
Zoologist (11 ml single bottles)
Parfums MDCI (5 x 10 ml customizable set)
Memo (3 x 10 ml same perfume set)
Imaginary Authors (14 ml single bottles)
Maison Anonyme (10 ml single bottles)
Olympic Orchids (5 ml and 15 ml single bottles)
Soivohle (10 ml single bottles)
Ormonde Jayne (10 ml single bottles if you call)
Profvmvm Roma (18 ml single bottles for some of their scents)
The second week of the Month of Roses went very fast because it included a 3-day weekend (I took an extra day off to celebrate my birthday) and Valentine’s Day. Rose perfumes felt extremely appropriate.
February 8:Floris Snow Rose
Since Vanessa (Bonkers about Perfume) mentioned in her comment on my A Month of Roses post that her bottle of this perfume, from which my sample came, went off, I felt uneasy as the date scheduled for wearing Snow Rose was approaching: I had just a little of perfume left in the sample after the previous testing, so I didn’t want to try it before the time to wear it came, so I decided to risk having to look for the last moment replacement. Surprisingly, I didn’t have to! I don’t know how it could have happened but a small part somehow had a better fate than a “whole” (whatever was left in Vanessa’s bottle).
I feel bad telling you what an interesting perfume Snow Rose is since it was a limited edition in 2009, and it doesn’t look like they are going to re-issue it. But I want to mention something that attracted my attention: it started out cold and very fitting to the name, but then it melted into very warm and cozy scent.
February 9:Les Parfums de Rosine Rose Praline(Francois Robert)
I had a couple of meetings in a small conference room so I was very discreet with the application. It’s not a bad perfume, and I might even finish my small decant but with many other great perfumes I have Rose Pralines seems a little too ordinary. I would still recommend trying this perfume if you’re looking for rose perfume with just a pinch of gourmand flavor.
February 10:Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady (Dominique Ropion)
Portrait of a Lady is one of my favorite perfumes. Normally I wouldn’t wear it to the office but since Lucas chose a work day for hajusuuri to wear this perfume, I was going to keep her company. But then I couldn’t help the urge to wear my favorite Lieber Gustav for the NTS’s community project (lavender perfumes): not only I love it but it’s much more office-friendly.
I still wore Portrait of a Lady that evening when I came home. It is such strong and elegant perfume! I think it calls for evening attire and pearls, though it might be an interesting contrast to jeans with a turtleneck – just not in the office.
February 11:Juliette Has A Gun Miss Charming (Francis Kurkdjian)
It was a perfect charming perfume for a pre-birthday trip on a beautiful sunny day to a couple of wineries, a brewery and a coffee shop in Santa Cruz. As I previously wrote, Miss Charming is my absolutely favorite strawberry perfume. I enjoy wearing it on any occasion but that Saturday it was just perfect, and it accompanied well roses that were on my mind, cider with a distinct rose flavor that I tried during lunch and my favorite rose truffles that I had with coffee from my favorite coffee shop.
February 12:Ormonde Jayne Ta’if (Geza Schoen)
Ta’if is perfume, to which I attribute to my nosedive into the proverbial rabbit hole of niche perfumery. I love this perfume and think of it as my number two all-time favorite. It is so special for me that I wear it only for special occasion – such as my birthday this year. I started my morning with Ta’if oil, then later during the day switched to Ta’if EdP, and for the evening I went with Ta’if parfum. It is such a beautiful rose! I need to come up with more special occasions to wear it.
February 13:Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud (Fabrice Pellegrin)
Judging by the fact that I like this perfume, no real trees had to suffer to produce this agarwood. Velvet Rose & Oud is pleasant and plays nicely on my skin. And Jo Malone just started selling their Cologne Intense collection in slightly more reasonable 50 ml bottles. If they ever go for 30 ml, I’ll probably get it. Until then my small decant should do.
February 14:Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Amour
I chose this perfume because I like it very much, and because I thought it would be hard to find a more suitable name for Valentine’s Day perfume. This is one of a few aldehydes perfumes that work for me. It’s a bright beautiful rose, for which I can see myself buying the next bottle when my current one is empty – it’s not something that I can definitively say about too many perfumes in my collection.
With the extra day off and then Valentine’s Day, half of the third week just ran away from me, but I don’t want to crumble extra three days into this post – so February 15-17 will appear on the Week 3 post.
How was your week? Did you celebrate Valentine’s Day? Or Singles Awareness Day? Did you wear any rose perfumes recently since you commented on one of the previous posts in this Month of Roses series? Did you eat any good chocolate?
Have you ever worn a perfume that was so good that you just want to bathe in it? Fortunately, for those of us who answered Yes, there ARE bath & body products to satisfy that desire. My obsession with scented shower gels began during my pre-perfumista days with the now sadly discontinued L’OccitaneThé Vert Green Tea. While I wisely bought a back-up of the eau de toilette, I used the last of the shower gel 2 years ago.
In this post, I have summarized my experience using shower gels of some of my favorite perfumes. These are all easily accessible although most are in the spendy category ($25++). I am not affiliated with any of these companies and my recommendations are based on my experience.
Starting from the worst…and ending with the best shower gel:
How’s the Shower Gel?
o Sticky laundry musk chemical mess.
Philosophy Fresh Cream
o Gel had good consistency.
o Fragrance was too light and reminded me of dishwater with leftover milk.
Hermes Voyage d’ Hermes
o Reminded me of the perfume.
o Product was too watery and not the right consistency for a shower gel.
o Ended up being the most expensive per mL.
Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay
o Product is labeled as body and hand wash.
o Great as a hand wash but meh for showers.
Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine
o Smelled just like the cologne!
o Gel was very thick and required patience to get product out. A squeeze tube may be a better container.
Will buy again
Chanel No. 19 EDP
o Reminded me of a mix between the EDP and Poudre.
o Feels luxurious with packaging to match.
Will buy again
Le Labo Iris 39
o Smelled like a saltier version of the perfume.
o Fragranced the body lightly and the bathroom nicely.
Will buy again
Lush Rose Jam
o Smelled like rose jam and filled the bathroom with a heady rose scent!
o Actually better than the perfume.
Will buy again
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
o Smelled true to the BWF aesthetic and felt super-luxurious.
o I kept huffing the empty sample container, need I say more?
Will buy again
Many of these also have matching body lotion but since I don’t use scented body lotions, I don’t have an opinion as to their quality. I understand that a similar scented body lotion effect can be achieved by adding a drop or two of perfume mixed in with unscented body lotion.
Stay tuned for Part 2 where I will report on making my own small batch shower gels, as soon as I find a source for fragrance-free shower gel. Given a choice, I would like to see the following in shower gel format: Atelier Cologne Sous le toit de Paris, Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, Le Labo Vanille 44 and Puredistance Opardu.
How about you? What scented shower gel do you enjoy using? What’s on your scented bath & body products wish list?
I know that you all take part in the conversation because of the conversation. But a draw from hajusuuri is already a tradition. So everybody who answers her question(s) will be entered to win: 4 ml shower gel (choose between Carnal Flower, Iris 39 or Rose Jam) + 4 ml of unscented Diana Vreeland body cream + Perfume Sample Travel Kit (compact box, 2 atomizers, 2 dab vials and labels). No DNEMs, please! If you win and do not want the prize, hajusuuri will let you nominate another winner (she’s that kind).
This giveaway is open to everyone worldwide. The giveaway is open until 11:59PM PST on December 12, 2015. The winner will be chosen via random.org. Please note that neither Undina nor hajusuuri is responsible for replacing the samples and decants if they were to get lost or damaged.
I know how it sounds to the most of my readers but I have to say it: we had an unpleasantly warm January. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy the light jacket weather as much as the next freezing east coaster would but we really need at least some rain. And +22˚C (71˚F) isn’t a normal temperature for this month even in our region. So now I can’t even pretend that it’s winter and time to wear my winter perfumes.
For this month’s statistics post I asked you to name five niche brands that, in their opinion, are in the “need to know” category for anybody who’s interested in perfumes. I asked the same question in one of the perfume groups on Facebook.
29 people participated on FB and 19 in the blog. 49 brands were named, 26 of them more than once.
Since I know that some people participated both here and there I thought of splitting results by the source but it didn’t change the outcome: both groups, as well as the total, returned the same set of 5 brands, just in slightly different order (numbers in parenthesis – places FB/Blog):
Serge Lutens (1/1)
L’Artisan Parfumeur (4/2)
Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (2/3)
Parfumerie Générale (5/5)
The chart above shows actual number of votes for the top 10 recommended brands. From my original list only Ormonde Jayne didn’t make the cut and moved to the sixth place. I need to get more samples from Parfumerie Générale line and see why it made it to the fifth place.
Out of 52 perfumes I wore or tested in January 17 perfumes were from 5 out of these 10 brands. What was unusual: this month I tried only five perfumes for the first time. Did you come across anything interesting this year?
Rusty had nothing to do with any of the numbers but he has to requite all the compliments he got in the previous post – even without appearing in it! These are pictures of him with perfumes from the “need to know” list.
August was nice: we had several hot days and the rest of the month was on the cooler side. But perfume wear/test-wise it was a strange month for me: as I was trying to figure out if perfumes contributed to my persistent cough (I think they didn’t) I took a break from any perfumes for a while; in addition to that, at least several perfumes I wore during the month had such staying power that testing anything else the same day was out of question. As a result, I both tested and wore fewer perfumes.
So I decided to entertain you with another type of statistics data.
Do you remember the fun question Birgit of Olfactoria’s Travels asked last year: Guerlain or Chanel? and the results we compiled? So when last Monday Birgit asked to choose ten “deserted island perfumes”, I got curious to see if answers to this question correlated to the previous results. But when I started I couldn’t stop just there.
Our deserted island will be populated by at least 45 perfumistas, though there was some dissension as to the climate choice: concerns were voiced that not all favorite perfumes were tropic-friendly.
Future settlers named 310 unique perfumes from 91 brands (when a concentration or vintage were mentioned I counted perfumes as unique). See the chart above for the total number of selected perfumes for top 15 brands.
Two most popular perfumes were GuerlainShalimar and Frederic MalleCarnal Flower – 11 voices each; ChanelNo 5 got 6 votes (including one for parfum); AmouageLyric, ChanelCoromandel, LancomeCuir de Lancome, Serge LutensAmbre Sultan and ChanelNo 19 (counting EdP, EdT, parfum and vintage) got 5 voices each. 79 perfumes were named by more than one perfumista. It means that we’ll have 231 unrepeated perfumes to enjoy ourselves or swap – not bad for a group of 45.
Only 4 out of 10 perfumes on my list were unique (Climat by Lancôme, Tiempe Passate by Antonia’s Flowers, Vert pour Madame by DSH Perfumes and Sweet Milk by Jo Malone). Only Chanel No 19 though was among the most popular selections. The other five were on two to three people’s lists.
When I was a child there was a sketch comedy TV show for kids – Yeralash. One of the episodes was titled Twins (it’s shorter than 2 minutes – start at 4:00 – you can watch it for the idea, I didn’t find it with subtitles).
The plot: Two little boys (LBs) on a sled bump into an older boy (OB). He gets up to confront them when he notices that they look alike.
OB: Identical twins! LBs(here and later they speak in unison): We are not identical twins! OB: What do you mean “not twins”? Are you brothers? LBs: Yes! OB: Then you’re identical twins! LBs: No, we told you, we are not identical twins! OB: Were you born the same day? LBs: Yes! OB: Then you are identical twins! LBs: No, we are not! OB: Why are you messing with me?! Let’s do it again. Were you born the same day? Are you brothers? Are you look-alike? LBs: Yes! Yes! Yes! OB: Then you are twins! (the third little boy who looks exactly as the first two comes from behind and pushes OB away): Leave them alone! We are identical triplets!!! I went to pee!
A year ago in one of the department stores I came across a stand with six or seven classic Guerlein fragrances. It was my first close encounter with those perfumes and since the only one I tried before – Shalimar – didn’t work for me I was reluctant to put anything on my skin. So I spent some time with all those bottles and paper strips. Have you ever tried keeping six unsigned blotters in order? I thought I was doing fine… Later, as I was going through those blotters in the car, the scent from one of them suddenly felt very familiar. A couple of minutes of intense sniffing later I conjured the answer: Estee Lauder’s Tuscany per Donna! The problem was that I didn’t know which perfume it was: blotters mixed in my hands and names did the same in my head.
I came home and went through the notes lists for those perfumes I suspected might be “it” – Mitsouko, Jicky, Jardins de Bagatelle and L’Heure Bleue. Each one of them had a potential but I couldn’t tell which one it was just from comparing notes. So the next week I went back to the store and sprayed those perfumes on new blotters (signed this time to avoid confusion). Nothing. None of them smelled like Tuscany per Donna. Since all that happen soon after I published the first episode in my o Déjà vu category I concluded that it was a wishful thinking on my part and thus wrapped up my experiments.
During my Guerlain Quest in Las Vegas this February, following Suzanne’s recommendation, I tested Samsara in parfum concentration. I smelled it from a blotter that an SA handed to me and immediately thought of another perfume Samsara reminded me of. Actually, I thought of another two perfumes. But remembering reaction of the Specialist (I won’t repeat the link but you might want to look through the story from the Episode 1 linked above to understand what I’m referring to); I chose the “more niche” of two to mention to that SA. I told him that Samsara reminded me of Frederic Malle’s Iris Poudre. And that was where it was “déjà vu all over again”: his reaction was really similar to the one I got from Malle’s Specialist. I thought it was ironic.
A month ago at a grocery store I thought I recognized a scent on a woman. I’m never shy to approach people about perfumes (or shoes) they are wearing:
– Are you wearing Tuscany per Donna? – I asked. – No, it’s Samsara – she answered.
The circle has closed.
Since this post is a follow-up to my older story I decided against a full-blown blind testing (which was, in my opinion, a complete success in my second Déjà vu episode) but I had a chance to solicit a quick blind sniffing participation from Susan (Fine Fragrants):
Based on my first tries of each of these perfumes, I agree that they are similar. Yet I can readily identify differences between each of them. Red (Iris Poudre) smells more “modern” to me than Blue (Tuscany per Donna) or Yellow (Samsara) – more like something that would be coming out on the market now. Yellow is quieter and closer to the skin than Red or Blue. Blue is the most assertive, classic, and sexiest, as well as the most animalic – it’s the one I’d want if I had to buy one of these perfumes. It’s the diva of the trio.