What I Wore Wednesday: Perfume Advent Calendar 2021, Week 1

The first week of December is behind us (I can’t believe it!), and here’s what my Perfume Advent Calendar helped me to choose for each day:

Day 1: Mona di Orio Vanille Les Nombres d’Or
My perfect vanilla perfume. Boozy, sweet (but not too sweet), resinous. It was symbolic that I randomly picked this one for the first day of wearing my favorite perfumes while working from home because that was one of the perfumes that I couldn’t wear to the office for a long time because my manager complained that it induced his headache (I don’t think so: I’m sure it was stress and weather, but since he was a nice guy, I stopped wearing Mdo’s Vanille to work).

Rusty and Mona di Orio Vanille
Day 2: Amouage Memoir Woman
Such a regal perfume! I enjoyed wearing it for the whole day and then could smell some remaining traces on my pillowcase for the next couple of days. Rusty, on the other hand, wasn’t amused by the fact that I used his daytime office space for my Perfume Advent Calendar and then added a strongly smelling bottle on top to take a picture.

Rusty and Amouage Memoir
Day 3: Chanel Coromandel EdT
One day when I finish this decant, I might check out the current then EdP. But for now I’m content: it’s a great perfume for colder days, not that many of which we have here.

Rusty and Chanel Coromandel
Day 4: Naomi Goodsir Or du Serail
Last year I published my story for this perfume: Better than a New-Car Scent. Beautifully complex composition that brings me joy every time I wear it. That day Rusty didn’t want to cooperate.

Naomi Goodsir Or Du Serail
Day 5: Serge Lutens Chergui
My December wouldn’t be right without Chergui. I’m sure this perfume doesn’t require an introduction, but if you weren’t around three years ago, you might find entertaining my post Almost Newcomb’s Paradox about mysteriously multiplying boxes.

Serge Lutens Chergui
Day 6: Mugler Angel Taste of Fagrance
This was one of the days in December when I didn’t leave it to the fate: I “pre-loaded” the bag #6 with this perfume’s name because I knew that I would be publishing our joint blogging Scent Semantics post, in which I pared this fragrance with the word “Angelic.”

Rusty and Mugler Taste of Fragrance
Day 7: Chanel Coco
My bottle is 11 years old (and back then I bought it new from Nordstrom), so I should have enough of this perfume for the next 10 years. But I still wonder: how much is today’s version different from what I smell here?

Rusty and Chanel Coco

And if you didn’t see enough pictures of Rusty, a reminder that I’m doing the Advent CaTendar on my Instagram account (@undina_ba) – a count up to Rusty’s 13th Birthday on Christmas Eve Day.

 

Images: my own

Scent Semantics #2: ANGELIC

Today is the second episode of the collaboration of six bloggers: Portia (A Bottled Rose), Elena (The Plum Girl), Sheila (Alembicated Genie), Daisy (Cool Cook Style blog and IG), Old Herbaceous (Serenity Now Scents and Sensibilities) and Undina (Undina’s Looking Glass).Scent Semantics Project Banner

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This month’s word is: ANGELIC

The second I read that word I couldn’t move on from Mugler’s Angel. I tried. Not that much because I didn’t want to be too literal (Why not? It’s a game), but mostly because I’ve previously told my Angel love story: it was one of the stories that I had in mind even before I started this blog, and it was quite personal.

But since the idea of this series doesn’t call for any particular form of the post, I decided to go with an angelic expression on Rusty’s face when I woke him up while trying to take a picture of him and the perfume bottle and Angel’s close relative – Angel Taste of Fragrance.

Rusty and Mugler Angel Taste of Fragrance

Angel Taste of Fragrance is such a successful flanker! Of course, you should like the original Angel to appreciate Angel Taste of Fragrance. But if you do like Angel and need a new bottle, it makes perfect sense to find that flanker instead: it is still available on eBay (and costs not more than the current version Angel), but since it was created 10 years ago and hasn’t been reissued ince, it hasn’t been reformulated, as it happened to most of the other 10+ years old perfumes, including Angel itself.

Angel Taste of Fragrance has a heavenly dark chocolate note in the first 20 minutes of its life, after which it’s just a good ol’ Angel. I stopped wearing Angel in public a long time ago, but since I still work from home, it’s my perfect chance to indulge in the guilty pleasure of spending time with my perfume ex. My only complaint is that the bottle is absolutely not photogenic. But then you have that angelic furry face to look at.

In the Search for the Perfect Coffee

Ally McBeal is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. I loved it deeply and thought that the first two seasons were just magical – funny, romantic and witty. I stopped watching it at some point in the Season 4, when, in my opinion, the magic was gone. But I keep going back and re-watching some of my favorite episodes and scenes. One of such scenes is dedicated to coffee; not just to coffee in general but to drinking a first cup of the day. If you watched that show, most likely you remember the scene. For everybody else in short: one heroine (Ally) teaches another one (Georgia) how to drink coffee. Here’s a link to a 3-minute video clip (questionable quality but it’s the only one I could find) and a transcript of the most important dialog (if you’re not in the mood to watch):

Ally: You were about to drink this cappuccino like most men make love: skipping over all the foreplay. Now just… just hold it in your hands. Just knowing that it’s close.
Georgia: Yeah, I see what you mean.
Ally: Now, close your eyes. And just think about tasting it. Now, smell it. Just a little.
Both: Mmm…
Ally: Now, pull it away. Just tease yourself a little. Up, and down. And up. Longer sniffs. Now, you see that foam on the plastic? Lick it off.
Georgia: I have to drink it!
Ally: Now, bring it up slow. Don’t rush it. It only happens with the first cup. Slow. Slow. Slow. And drink.
Georgia: Mmm…
Ally: Mmm…

This scene made a strong impression on me: not as much because of its sexual references but because of the idea of savoring the experience and engaging all of your senses. I can’t say that I treat every cup of coffee like that but from time to time…

Coffee art - Heart

Smell from a freshly brewed cup is a big part of the enjoyment I get from drinking coffee. But it’s different when it comes to an “unattended” coffee smell (when a cup is not present).

One of the offices where I used to work was strategically placed in a short walking distance from two coffee shops. Since there was no proper lunch room in the office, my co-workers would go to either Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee, dependent on to which camp they belonged, for lunch or during breaks. I didn’t have taste preferences (latte tasted very similar in both places) but after a while I noticed that after I would spend 15-20 minutes at the Peet’s, my clothes would reek of sour and burnt coffee grounds. I didn’t observe the same effect from visiting Starbucks – so given a choice I would go there.

Years later I figured out the mystery: back then that particular Starbucks shop had been just freshly built and Peet’s had been around for a while; nowadays if I sit inside of that Starbucks café I get the same unpleasant odor absorbed into my clothes and hair.

Coffee & Truffle

So, do I like coffee note in perfumes? I like some perfumes that feature this note but my gripe about most of them: I get a toothache just smelling them – so sweet they are. But while I do not put sugar in my coffee, I do (or would, if I had them) wear some coffee-and-sugar perfumes.

Montale Intense Café gives me such a perfect coffee aroma in the opening, that I can make my peace with its sugary development. I will never need a bottle of this perfume but a nice decant that I got with my Scent Bird subscription will keep me satisfied those days when I need an extra shot.

By Kilian Intoxicated smells very nice on my skin though I cannot say that I get much coffee from it. Testing Intoxicated in parallel with Thierry Mugler‘s A*Men, I could miss neither the similarity of the two perfumes, nor the difference in the refinement and materials of the Kilian’s creation. The bottom line: I won’t wear A*Men because now I know how harsh it is compared to Intoxicated, the price of which I cannot even consider paying knowing how similar it is to A*Men.

I liked Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café enough to snatch a bottle of it on eBay after it had been discontinued. Unfortunately, I think it was too old when it got to me and now it is turning. But I still have a decant that is in good health, so I should probably start wearing it more often – before it also turns. Black Vetyver Café is much less sweet than other coffee scents that I’ve tested and vetiver adds a nice woody note. I could easily find 2-3 other Malone’s scents I would rather see discontinued but the brand probably knows better.

Coffee Art

I tried several more perfumes with this note but they weren’t my cup of … coffee.

EnVoyage Perfumes Café Cacao is nice but too sweet for me. But if you like sweet scents, give this one a try.

In Plume Perfumes Coffee & Cedar, which isn’t too sweet and has a nice coffee note, I can’t stop smelling an oil base and it completely kills the perfume for me (and it’s probably for the best since I don’t think this brand is still alive).

But the biggest disappointment for me was Tom Ford Café Rose: I can’t say that it’s “too much” of anything; I don’t find it unpleasant; but as a Tom Ford perfumes fan I wanted this perfume to be much more interesting. I can’t remember how it smells the next day after trying it.

Have I found the perfect coffee though? I have! It’s Jamaica Blue Mountain that I freshly grind every weekend morning and make on the stove in jezve from my favorite designer Michael Aram. Mmm…

Rusty and Michael Aram Jezve

Images: my own