Know-How: Brands with Perfumista Size Bottles

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.

Perfumista Size Bottles

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)
  • Puredistance (17.5ml)

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.

Perfumista Size Bottles

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)

Perfumista Size Bottles

Customizable mixed sets:

  • Hermès (4 x 15 ml sets for both their regular line and Hermessence)
  • Tauer Perfumes (3 x 15 ml)

Perfumista Size Bottles

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…

Rusty and NVC Pichola

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)

Images: my own

A Month of Roses: Week 1

First seven days of not only a specific theme but predefined set of perfumes. Surprisingly, it was much easier to do than I thought: I didn’t have to think about what I would wear the next day – it was already on the calendar.

I publish this post to sum up my impressions from the first seven perfumes and to remind you that for each comment, in which you tell us what rose perfume you wore that day (or any of the days before), you are getting one entry into the draw for two bars of chocolate from a local artisan brand (my choice) – milk, dark or mix (winner’s choice) sent anywhere in the world.

Just remember: one comment – one entry, even if you tell in it about multiple perfumes worn on different days. At the same time, two comments about the same perfume posted on two different days will give you two entries. What’s the catch? You’ve probably noticed that, other than standard WordPress’ ads, there are no ads or affiliated links on this blog, so I’m not trying to get any hits or clicks from my readers; I just enjoy your company and want you to come back more often – even if I do not publish a new post.

Red Roses

February 1: Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur Esprit de Parfum (Bertrand Duchaufour)

I know that it’s called officially Mohur Extrait now. But the sample I was wearing was from the period when it still had the old name that hadn’t become official. From the first trio of perfumes, Mohur was my least favorite: I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t feel I’d want to wear it. Mohur Extrait feels different than just a higher concentration of the EdP version: it’s deeper and smoother. And agarwood doesn’t jump out on me as it happened before with Mohur EdP. Just in case you’ve missed it somehow: Mohur Extrait is a limited edition, and I’m not sure if those gorgeous bottles will be available again once they are sold out.

February 2: Guerlain Rose Barbare (Francis Kurkdjian)

While I enjoy wearing this perfume from time to time, the small decant that I have is probably all I need. It is pleasant; it fits its Guerlain collection well; but, in my opinion, Rose Barbare is neither “barbare” (whichever English equivalent you choose) nor that much “rose.” I am not trying to say that there’s no rose in that perfume but smelling it blind, I would have never thought about it as a rose-centric perfume. But still, it’s a nice perfume to wear.

February 3: Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin (Christopher Sheldrake)

I think it is a beautiful perfume. It was the second time I’ve ever worn it properly, and I will not be doing it again: I have ideological grievances against it. I decided to wear it on that day because it served two purposes: while it was a beautiful rose perfume that fitted this Month of Roses project, I used it as an anti-lemming perfume in NST’s community project. I do not feel bad if you choose not to read [into] this perfume pedigree or think of Marlene Dietrich while wearing La Fille de Berlin, but for me this is where our relationship with this perfume ends.

February 4: Amouage Lyric (Daniel Maurel)

According to the calendar, I was supposed to wear Tauer Perfumes PHI – une rose de Kandahar. I didn’t realize that my sample was empty: probably, it’s time to buy a travel spray. And since it was a weekend, and we were invited to the friends’ house for dinner, I wanted to wear something special, not just a quickly found replacement out of all the perfumes that didn’t make it to the calendar in the first place. So I moved Lyric to the earlier date hoping to find a replacement for it later.

A couple of Valentine’s Days ago I paired Lyric with one of the stories from my childhood (Ax +By = A Genetic Mystery).

This is one of classic Amouage perfumes that is worth trying even if one doesn’t like rose or Amouage perfumes: it doesn’t work for everybody, it shouldn’t (and can’t) work for everybody but it is a great illustration for opulence in perfumery. I happen to love Lyric, and I feel joy every time I wear it. I wonder though, whether I actually smell this rose as a dark one or is it a power of suggestion from the packaging?

Deep Red Rose

February 5: By Kilian Rose Oud (Calice Becker)

Agarwood and I are not really friends. There is a handful of perfumes with this note that work for my skin (or at least for my nose when I smell them on my vSO) but most of them I rather dislike. Rose Oud is one of a few that are not bad, which brings me to the conclusion that it’s not real agarwood that makes up for this perfume’s price. No, I haven’t suddenly developed better olfaction abilities. But I remember that every time I thought I liked perfumes with agarwood, those were perfumes based on the “oud accord” (if any at all). I won’t probably go beyond the sample I have but I liked wearing it for the project.

February 6: Sonoma Scent Studio Velvet Rose (Laurie Erickson)

As with all Laurie’s perfumes, there is no doubt that it is a real rose you smell. More is going on in this perfume, but rose is at center stage from the big opening until the last curtain call, if I were to stretch that theater metaphor. Velvet Rose is very Sonoma Scent Studio perfume so if you like their floral perfumes, this one should work well for you. My bottle of this perfume is slowly nearing the end (so, 3-4 more years, and it’ll be done) – ask me then if I’m replenishing it.

February 7: Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille (Andy Tauer)

As I wrote in the post In the Search for the Perfect Berry: Raspberry, I cannot say that I love Une Rose Vermeille but I like it very much. It is fruity-floral perfume that is done the way this genre of perfumes should be done. It is a very strong and unapologetic lemony rose with the added raspberry sweetness. But unless you’re a [serial] monogamist when it comes to perfumes, do not go for anything more than 15 ml travel spray of this perfume: it is so potent that even that amount will serve you a decade.

Rusty and Une Rose Vermeire

I will be back in a week with a write-up on the next seven perfumes on my calendar. I hope you like rose perfumes (and chocolate).

 

Images: my own

Entertaining Statistics: September 2013

 

After a cool summer September arrived warm and very pleasant. And to make it even better I spent the last week of it in Hawaii.

I was so looking forward to that vacation that soon after I booked our flight and rented a house I started playing that choosing game in my mind: what perfume should I take with me? I ended up taking with me 12 (twelve) perfumes. And even though some of them were samples I didn’t take any unknown perfumes just for testing: all of them were to wear.

Black Vetyver Café by Jo Malone I chose as our shared travel perfume for this trip. Partially it was because I suddenly got tired of the scent that we used on many previous trips (Voyage d’Hermes) but mostly because after reading about it being discontinued I wanted to figure out if I should buy a bottle of it before it completely disappears. I do not love it but I like it enough not to let go just yet.

My travel companions from the previous Hawaii vacationEstee Lauder Bronze Goddess, Ormonde Jayne Tiare and Frangipani had joined me again. So after recently relegated Voyage d’Hermes these three are the best-traveled perfumes in my collection. I still enjoyed Bronze Goddess whereas my reaction to Frangipani and Tiare switched places: I enjoyed the former very much and was surprised that the latter felt somehow off.

Perfumes for a Tropical Vacation

Other perfumes that kept me company on that humid tropical island were: L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversee du Bosphore, Byredo Pulp (I need to get a decant of this one), Yosh Ginger Ciao (Birgit, thank you for the idea), Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling!, By Kilian Forbidden Games, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine and M.Micallef Royal Vintage. The last two were for my vSO but the others nine were all for me. Good thing about hot humid weather and swimming was that I could easily wear 3-4 perfumes in one day.

All the perfumes I brought were just perfect for the vacation though, completely unexpectedly, Bombay Bling! wasn’t a fan of that climate: it would disappear from my skin within an hour after the application. It has never happened before in cooler Californian weather. It made me curious how it would behave in, let’s say, Bombay. Any upcoming trips? Anybody?

Since my vacation was filled with fruits – both in perfumes and in my diet, I got curious which fruits my readers like the most. Here’re the results:

Nineteen (19) people answered my questions naming seventeen (17) of their favorite fruits to eat (13) and to smell (8) in a perfume form. I decided to be strict and if more than one fruit was mentioned I took just the first answer.

September 2013 Statistics

Mango was an absolute favorite with eleven (11) votes (six (6) for eating it and five (5) for smelling). Black currant took the second place with five (5) votes and fig got four (4) votes but both were named only as perfume notes. Mangosteen, peach and cherry got two (2) votes each (one in each category). And raspberry got two (2) votes but both in food designation. All other fruits – durian, loquat, olallieberries, papaya, mandarin, grapefruit, banana, pomeo, plum and grapes – were mentioned just once.

Even though I had so many perfumes with me after I came back I kept thinking: “I wish I thought of taking <…> as well” about different perfumes. If you were to recommend one more perfume for me to take on a tropical vacation which one would it be?

 

Images: my own

What we did in Paris… in less than 48 hours

 

When I planned a three-day … well, I won’t even call it a trip – stopover in Paris I knew it would be not enough even to scratch the surface of everything that this city has to offer to a tourist, a perfumista or a foodie (who I am not but just saying). But when French air traffic controllers’ strike gave me a chance to meet Birgit and Sandra in Vienna at the same time it ensured I would have to revise whatever modest plans I might have had initially for Paris.

From Paris With Love

The lady who rented us the apartment was a little strange: she refused to talk to me on the phone claiming that “I do not see the need to call me. You have all the necessary information, and I am an honest and respectable 61-year French.” Persuasive, right? But I went ahead and signed the contract.

I’m not sure how we would have got into the apartment if it weren’t for Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume who came to Paris on a train earlier (the last-minute change of plans because of the above-mentioned strike) and offered to meet us at the apartment. She was entertaining the landlady and not letting her leave for some important errand while our taxi driver first maneuvered through the Friday traffic and then tried to figure out how to get to the required point on the one-way street (I refused to do it on feet with suitcases!).

After we got in and the landlady left Vanessa and I discussed for a while if the woman could be 60+. We both agreed that even for a Parisian who doesn’t age the same as us, mere mortals, the woman to whom we just paid money for the stay looked suspiciously young… My vSO and I agreed that we weren’t sure what would upset us more – having paid to an impostor or acknowledging that the woman we saw was actually 61.

***

They say: Be careful what you wish for. I’d add: be careful what you do not wish for.

While we were planning our itinerary for the rest of the day, I mentioned that I didn’t really need to go to either Guerlain or Serge Lutens stores since I were up to date with the most current offerings and didn’t plan of buying anything there. But since I was in Paris it was just plainly wrong not to take a look at those legendary places…

You can read more about the events that followed that day in Vanessa’s post (the link above) but from me here are two pictures of the famous stores taken from the outside.

Guerlain store in Paris

Serge Lutens store in Paris

Vanessa was such a great company that I didn’t want to let her go. But after the last excuse – helping us to book a taxi drive to the airport for the departure day – we had to say good-byes hoping to meet again one day.

The second (and the only full) day in Paris we spent alternating walking the streets and eating/drinking. In about eleven hours we covered a lot including an incredibly pleasant meeting with Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations and the second in two days trip to Jovoy to finish the methodical sniffing Vanessa and I had to halt the day before because of the store closing and to purchase my vacation perfume.

Neela proved to be to the every last bit as nice as all interviews with and stories about her portrait her. I was glad she found time to meet with me despite her busy schedule. Now I look forward to testing the newest perfumes from the line – Mohur Esprit de Parfum and Ashoka – samples of which Neela was kind to bring for me.

Paris

It seems that my vSO enjoyed all the perfume-related interruptions during this trip. Or at least he was a good sport – and I’m grateful to him for that.

Oh, and if you were wondering what perfume I bought to remind me about this – my first – trip to Paris, I’ll tell you without asking you to guess: Bombay Bling! by Neela Vermeire Creations. As I said in my story about three perfumes from the line, “It is a full-bottle worth perfume for me.”

Rusty and Bombay Bling

 

Images: my own

Entertaining Statistics: 2012 Year Round-up

 

Wearing and testing perfumes every day and getting monthly statistics numbers create some general feeling about where you stand on your likes and dislikes but nothing puts it into prospective better than the complete year data. As I was contemplating this post I was both excited and scared: what would I discover about myself when I compile all the results?

In 2012 I wore and tested more perfumes than in 2011: 414 vs. 376 perfumes from 119 vs. 110 brands. But since starting from December 2011 I was recording the type of use – wear1 vs. testing2 I’m able to get deeper into from where those numbers come.

 

Quick 2012 stats:

* Different perfumes worn1138 from 50 brands on 348 occasions;

Brands I wore in 2012

* Different perfumes tested2356 from 114 brands on 572 occasions;

Brands I tested in 2012

* Perfumes I tried for the first time: 245 (it was 303 in 2011);

I wear perfumes I like and own almost every day. Perfumes I reached for the most in 2012 (with times worn): Dior New Look 1947 (11), Chanel №19# EdT & parfum (10), Chanel Cuir de Russie (8), Guerlain Cruel Gardénia (8), Antonia’s Flowers Tiempe Passate (7), Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille# (7), Yosh Ginger Ciao (7), Hermès Voyage d’Hermès (6), Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Amour (6), Tom Ford Violet Blonde (6), Chanel Bois des Iles (5), Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient (5), Lancome Climat (5), Neela Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling! (5), Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe (5), Tom Ford Amber Absolute (5).

 

Counting my Lemmings (don’t fall asleep!)

In the Weekly Roundup series this year I mentioned 46 perfumes I was looking forward to testing. I still haven’t tried 19 of those (5 haven’t been released yet). My most cherished lemmings are: Ann Gerard Perle de Mousse, Ramón Monegal Impossible Iris, Parfumerie Generale L’Ombre Fauve and Armaini Privé Cuir Noir. I’m still trying to avoid paying for samples so if you have any extras for those mentioned above – let’s swap!

Out of those 27 lemmings that I managed to try I liked 15 and thought that the rest were fine – so no big disappointments.

2012 in Statis Pictures

Seeing 2012 off

Speaking of disappointments, I was surprised to read on many blogs that 2012 wasn’t a good year perfume-wise for many perfumistas. My feeling was that there were many perfumes that I liked. I went through the list of perfumes from 2012 (only those that I’ve tried, not all 1,300+). I liked very much at least 25 perfumes released last year: Amouage Beloved and Opus VI; Annick Goutal Nuit Étoilée; By Kilian Amber Oud, Bamboo Harmony, Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin; Cognoscenti Scent No.16 – Tomato Leather and Scent No.19 – Warm Carrot; Dior Grand Bal; Diptyque Volutes; DSH Perfumes Euphorisme d’Opium, Ma Plus Belle Histoire d’Amour and The Beat Look; Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient and Myrrhe et Délires; Ineke Hothouse Flower; Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay and White Lilac & Rhubarb; Jul et Mad Amour de Palazzo; L’Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l’aube; Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin; Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule; Six Scents Napa Noir and Tom Ford Ombre de Hyacinth. I have four full bottles and seven decants to show for these “likes” and I’m considering several more. Another 15 were not bad; I just didn’t love them.

I’ve done two full years of these monthly stats posts. I wonder if I can still find an interesting angle of analyzing data I collect. We’ll see.  

 

1 For the testing I apply a perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. But, most likely, I’m the only one who can smell it. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time.

2 When I wear a perfume I apply it to at least three-four points and usually I plan to spend at least 4-8 hours with the same scent so I’m prepared to re-apply if the original application wears off.

# These were in the Top 10 of 2011 as well.

 

Images: my own

Brain Teaser: Matching Flowers to Paintings

 

I have previously mentioned in Three Pieces of Neela Vermeire’s India Puzzle story, I love brain teasers. So even though I’ve previously won a Discovery Set I couldn’t pass by another picture puzzle that Neela Vermeire posted on her Facebook Wall. I found the answer and won “Try your India” trial set. Out of three in the set my favorite perfume is Bombay Bling! I like Trayee and do not mind Mohur. Once my discovery set’s bottles are gone, I’ll either buy another one or will go for a full bottle. Extra 2 ml of each perfume won’t make much difference for me. So I thought it would be a good idea to spread the joy. I asked Neela if she would mind if I held a draw for my readers and transfer my winning to the lucky winner. She didn’t mind. So here we are.

If you a) have never tried these perfumes before, b) sniffed/tried those at the store and now want to try more or c) own samples already but want to test more before deciding, you are eligible. Just tell me which one it is – a, b or c. That’s it. It won’t affect your odds, I’m just curious.

*

When I asked Neela about transferring my prize she offered to double the draw. How do you feel about solving a puzzle to be entered into the second draw?

In one of the halls of the de Young museum at the Bouquets to Art exhibition there were two paintings on the wall, one next to the other, and two flower arrangements inspired by those paintings. One of the arrangements, in my opinion, could be easily paired with any of the two paintings.

Caroline de Bassano, Marquise d'Espeuilles by John Singer Sargent

Caroline de Bassano, Marquise d'Espeuilles by John Singer Sargent

Flowers Puzzle Side1

Bouquet (front)

Flowers Puzzle Side 2

Bouquet (back)

My Daughter Dieudonne by William Merritt Chase

My Daughter Dieudonne by William Merritt Chase

Which painting do you think was an inspiration for that bouquet? Click on pictures to get a larger size. It doesn’t matter if you guess it right or not, you’ll be entered into the second draw. If you do not want to be entered into the draw, I’d still want to know your choice of a painting.

Images: paintings from http://www.wikipaintings.org; flowers – my own.

The drawing is closed now.

Three Pieces of Neela Vermeire’s India Puzzle

I love puzzles, quizzes, riddles and tests. I’m not seeking them out actively but when I come across one I might put off everything else and spend unreasonable time solving it.

I learned about Neela Vermeire Creations from several inspiring reviews. Usually when I read reviews for perfumes that I haven’t tested yet I glance over more technical details – notes, creator, etc. – and concentrate on the impressions, associations and a general mood from the perfumes. So all I remembered about that new line was a general favorable feeling.

Being not too active on the Facebook I miss a lot of friends’ updates. Unlike my blogroll, I’m not even trying to catch up. But I just happened to read my News feed When Neela posted a quiz.

The photo below – where is this from? North, south, east, west or central India? It is tough but some of you may know.Puzzle Part I

I had no idea, the picture was too generic and I wasn’t intrigued enough. Then there was a second picture and the next question:

Another hint for the quiz below. Name the place.Puzzle Part II

This time I got hooked, I wanted to solve that quiz. It took some time but I figured it out. I found the answer: it is a ceiling of the ‘Poomukkam’ room in Padmanabhapuram Palace. An interesting fact about this ceiling: there are ninety flowers carved on it, and each of them is unique.

My correct answer earned me a prize. I expected to get a set of samples for the line. Instead Neela Vermeire sent me a discovery set – three 10 ml bottles: Mohur, Trayee and Bombay Bling!

First I felt a little worried: what if I wouldn’t like those? In that case I would have felt much more comfortable if I had been sent just small sample vials… Now after I tried all three perfumes I’m so glad I got those bottles!

For a proper review I want to refer you to A Festival of Colour – Neela Vermeire Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling! Perfume Reviews by The Candy Perfume Boy: I can’t do better so I won’t even try. I want to share just a couple of personal impressions for each perfume.

Neela Vermiere Creations Trio

Trayee – is the most complex and sophisticated perfume out of three in the line. And the most tenacious. I enjoy wearing it and will definitely go through the bottle I have. And after that I might go for at least a decant. For even more impressions read enticing review for Trayee by Persolaise.

Mohur – is the most low-key perfume in the line. Though two out of four times I wore Mohur, it surprised me with an unexpected surge of agarwood in the opening. When it calms down it becomes a well-blended flower bouquet on my skin. It is never unpleasant and I suspect it might behave better on somebody else but in my collection it’ll stay, most likely, just for the reference.

Bombay Bling! – is my absolute favorite in the line. It’s so juicy, bright and happy! But despite its playfulness Bombay Bling! feels like a real perfume with an extremely interesting composition and graceful development. It is a full-bottle worth perfume for me.

I also want to mention that even before trying Neela Vermiere Creations perfumes I was very pleased that a new line has been launched with just three perfumes and there are both sample and discovery sets available. I wish more new and established companies Mrs. Vermiere’s lead.

I hope in years to come Neela Vermiere will present us with more pieces to her scented puzzle of India.

As always, feel free to link to your blog’s post if you’ve reviewed these perfumes.

Images: two of Padmanabhapuram Palace – Neela Vermiere, the last one – my own.