What I Wore Wednesday: Perfume Advent Calendar 2021, Week 3

Even my Perfume Advent Calendar was no match to my last work week this year: I was so busy that I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. The Week 2 post included 8 days, and I noticed that only after I posted it. Then I had a bad headache, so I didn’t wear anything on Day 16. And since I was too overwhelmed on my last day, Wednesday, to do this post, I decided to include the last 3 days of the calendar.

Day 17: Dior Miss Dior vintage
To catch up our breath from the year-end insanity, my vSO and I took a day off and spent it in the nearby wine country. I invited Miss Dior to join me. It was fortunate that I drew it from my Advent Calendar that day: it was easy to bring with me that parfum bottle to take pictures. Miss Dior is my long time favorite, and I still enjoy it every time I wear it. And I still think I can pull it off wearing Miss Dior if I happen to find myself in a Groundhog Day.

Miss Dior

Day 18: Dusita Le Pavillon d’Or
An understated elegance. I chose Le Pavilion d’Or for this month for its “gold” part, but I think it wears better in warmer weather. Still, it was quite enjoyable.

Rusty and Dusita Parfums Pavillon d'Or
Day 19: Dior Mitzah
In the past, whenever anyone would mention this perfume, the reaction would immediately follow: “Oh, Mitzah, Oh…” But it got discontinued, whereas many other perfumes from the Dior La Collection stayed there and were re-issued after the most recent revamp. Either it was too expensive to produce, or it wasn’t selling that well. Anyway, I got the bottle when it was still available. I haven’t worn it in a while, and this time I was surprised that I didn’t love it. I liked it, yes, but it wasn’t even close to how I remember feeling towards it before. It might be that it isn’t cold enough here for it. I’ll need to revisit it again soon.
Dior MitzahDay 20: Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune

Many years ago I thought that I wasn’t a vanilla fan. But since then I discovered at least several vanilla perfumes that I really liked. Cierge de Lune is one of them. I wonder how the recently re-released version smells.

Aedes de Venustas Cierge de Lune

Day 21: Teo Cabanel Alahine
After I mentioned Alahine in the Second Sunday Samples: Teo Cabanel Les Expressions Parfumées post last month, I kept thinking that I didn’t wear it in a while – so, I added it to my calendar. It was absolutely wonderful. I love it, and I feel a little sad that the brand decided to go into another direction. It’s not to say that their new perfumes aren’t good: I liked two of them and even think of getting those. But they are very different from the first line…

Day 22: Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient
Encens Mythique d’Orient is has such a presence that I didn’t dare to wear it to the office, especially since one of my co-workers criticized it when I first got it. Interestingly, this time when I wore it, I think I got that whiff of masculine perfumes that she referred to. It didn’t spoil my enjoyment from wearing this perfume, but it was a curious discovery.Guerlain Encens Mythique d'OrientDay 23: Shaik Chic Shaik No 30
Completely unplanned, I got in sequence two perfumes that I previously considered “not safe for work.” Small perks of working from home.

All these years I hoped one day I would come across this brand somewhere at a store to try their other offerings, including masculine ones. But it hasn’t happened: after that first time many years ago in Vienna, I haven’t seen these perfumes anywhere, and none of the US decanter sites carries the brand. So, while I’m still curious to try those, for now I’m satisfied with the one that I have (but I still can’t get over that strangest packaging it came in).

Chic Shaik No 30 by Designer Shaik

Day 24: Amouage Ubar
As I’m writing it, this 24th day hasn’t happened yet. How do I know what I will be wearing? As for a couple of other cases, I pre-arranged perfume for that day because Ubar is one of my traditional perfumes for this holiday. I plan to wrap into it tomorrow to celebrate Christmas and Rusty’s birthday.

Amouage Ubar

For more pictures of Rusty, see the Advent CaTendar on my Instagram account (@undina_ba) or stop by the blog in the next couple of days to celebrate Rusty’s 13th Birthday.

 

Images: my own

Creature Comfort(er)s Perfumes

When I was a child, autumn would always make me sad: it meant not only the end of the long summer break and returning to school, but also the beginning of 6-8 weather-wise miserable months. After I grew up and moved to the SF Bay Area, I started enjoying Fall/Winter season much more than summer for many reasons: it didn’t happen this year but usually I take my vacation in September; it’s never really cold where I live now; all the holidays during that period are my favorite; and I love “winter” perfumes much more than “summer” ones. By Kilian Amber Oud, Chanel Coromandel, Dior Mitzah, Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe are just several of those perfumes, for which I need cold weather.

But on top of all that there are two more words to explain why I like the cooler weather: down comforter.

It is counter-intuitive but, despite the cold climate where I grew up, there were no industrially produced down duvets. There were wool blankets and comforters filled with cotton but the only down comforters I ever saw were homemade ones. My grandmother made a down-filled comforter for me and I used it for years: as a main blanket first and later, when I grew too tall to fit under it, I used it on top of my other blankets to keep me warm during those 6-8 cold months.

I bought my first adult down comforter after moving to the U.S. and immediately fell in love with it. I’m not exaggerating. It was the best comforter I’d ever owned. It cradled me in a soft and warm embrace, weightlessly enfolding my body and protecting me from the cold. During the day in the office I would catch myself thinking about my comforter and looking forward to returning home and going to bed.

Rusty and Comforter

It became a cliché and is considered almost mauvais ton in the Perfumeland to compare perfume to a cashmere wrap. I’ve never been even tempted to do so: not for trying to be original but just because that feeling is not in my active sensations “vocabulary” (a couple more years of “cashmere therapy” should fix it though, I think). But when I recently wore one of my winter (and all-time) favorites – Amouage Ubar – I realized that it evoked tactile sense I get from a great down comforter. Ubar is smooth and warm and enveloping. It feels luxurious and cozy at the same time. Kafka in her review painted a beautiful image calling Ubar “the white (floral) stallion.” I kept this image in my head for a while but over time only the color part stayed: for me Ubar is a perfect white goose down comforter, which I can covertly bring with me to the most formal party. I’m in love with this perfume and I’m glad the weather is finally suitable for both my real and my virtual down comforters.

Amouage Ubar

I have to stop here because “I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!” (a hint just for you, my very favorite readers: the object of my affection is on one of the images in this post and it’s neither a cat nor a bottle…)

 

Images: my own

Body Heat: Perfumes under Extreme Temperatures

There are people who love running, playing tennis or swimming. I heard they can experience a withdrawal if they have to skip several training sessions. It’s not my story. I hate exercising as long as I can remember myself. I do engage in different activities but do it out of the necessity only: if I could get Kathleen Turner’s body and don’t worry about my health without exercising I wouldn’t (I wonder which perfume bottle she’s holding in that scene).

Kathleen Turner in Body HeatWell, since a lean gene wasn’t one of those passed to me from my parents I do my part in at least keeping myself healthy.

At least as much as physical activity, if not more, I dislike heat. I don’t like cold either.  My comfortable zone is somewhere around 24°C (75°F).

All that makes it hard to explain why out of all available types of physical activities I chose Bikram yoga – a system of yoga practiced in a room heated to 40°C (105°F). I’ve been practicing Bikram yoga (with some breaks) for 18 months. I still hate every minute of a 90 minutes class. But I plan to keep doing it.

For me yoga is just an exercise. I do not subscribe to the philosophy. If I follow the breathing instructions I do it only if it helps to maintain the posture. I do not try to clear my mind and concentrate on what I’m doing. I’m not pushing myself too hard. I’m just trying to survive. One of the things that help me through the class is thinking about perfumes – about which I read or plan to write or which I want to try.

For a long time I tried not to wear any perfumes to my classes thinking they wouldn’t perform well in high heat or would bother me or my neighbors. And then one day I didn’t think about the class I had scheduled in the evening. I wore a perfume to the office and even re-applied it mid-day. By the time I started the first breathing exercise I forgot about it. And when my body heated up enough suddenly the perfume started blooming on my skin. It was magical. It was much more interesting than what I experienced earlier that day with the same perfume. It was Serge LutensBoxeuses.

Since then I started experimenting with different perfumes. I apply just a little bit of a perfume in the décolleté area and on my wrists an hour before I go to the class and then during JanuShirasana or Pavanamuktasana I inhale wafts of the hot air mixed with moisture and perfume particles. It makes my classes go by faster and gives them some additional purpose.

Perfumes that performed the best under such strange conditions: another Serge Lutens’ creation – Ambre Sultan, Ubar by Amouage and Alahine by Teo Cabanel.

Tom Ford’s Arabian Wood, Chergui by Serge Lutens and Mitzah by Dior were very nice but didn’t survive Garudasana (approx. 15 minutes into the class). All three were applied from a dab vial so maybe a more generous spray application would produce a better effect – I’ll re-try them when I get those into my collection.

No 19 Poudre by Chanel didn’t work at all. Not possessing a remarkable staying power as is, it disappeared from my skin by the time I unfolded my yoga mat. It was a strange experiment but I thought that maybe it had some hidden powers. It didn’t.

I remember reading on one of the blogs that I always read a topic about a “treadmill scents” (or something to that effect) but now I can’t find that post. If an owner recognizes it from the description or if you covered this topic in your blog, please post a link.

What is your torture of choice and what perfumes (if any) make it more enjoyable?

Image: Kathleen Turner in Body Heat by allposters.com

.