Favorite Perfumes of 2014 : A Year in Review

While surrounded by perfume bottles and sample vials, I sat down to sum up 2014, I quickly realized that writing anything resembling the best of the year’s launches would be impossible. As much as I tried to keep Bois de Jasmin going, my year was overshadowed by the events in Ukraine, a country where I grew up and where I still have many friends and family members. As my anxieties and worries increased, tracking down new fragrances became less of a priority.

teatime gardencherries in bloomwheat field gogoleve

Then again, how is it even feasible to try most of the 2000+ annual releases? So, Patricia, Elisa, Andy and I decided that instead of the usual “best of 2014”, we will tell you what new perfumes we have discovered, regardless of when they were launched.  I may not have explored as many 2014 debuts, but I still wore plenty of perfume and whenever something new and interesting came my way, I was happy to discover it. If anything, I became more convinced how essential small pleasures are in helping us maintain balance. Calling perfume a luxury misses the entire point. The dose of beauty it brings is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. I think that many of you agree, because my article In the Defense of Guilt-Free Pleasure was the most read piece on Bois de Jasmin this year. (You also enjoyed the story of the Rose Harvest in Grasse, tips on Improving Your Sense of Smell, an overview of Best Jasmine Perfumes and a visit to my Childhood House in Poltava.)

Bois de Jasmin wishes you a wonderful start to 2015 and hopes that the new year will bring you much happiness and joy. We look forward to sharing more stories and perfumes with you.

Victoria’s 2014 Favorites

Bottega Veneta Knot

Knot was not only a perfume that made an impression on me out of the new launches I sampled, it was the fragrance I wore the most. It’s a vignette of orange blossoms, lavender and soft musk that makes me fantasize about a summer in Provence. Versatile, impeccably styled, and yet quite lighthearted.

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Women

Brit Rhythm for Women may not survive on the market in 2015, but it’s not the fault of the fragrance. The elegant peony spiked with lavender and woods was simply not the right fit for the teen-friendly brand Burberry wanted to create. There is a dissonance between the edgy, ultra-sophisticated feel of the perfume and the casual slant of the marketing. And the scent is excellent. If you want something interesting, niche without the niche price tag, then look no further.

Lady Gaga Eau de Gaga

I’m pleased to include Eau de Gaga on my list of 2014 most worn perfumes. The violet petal and zesty lime opening is addictive, while the green tea drydown is refreshing and bright. A terrific, nicely done cologne.

Frédéric Malle Eau de Magnolia

A very different cologne from Eau de Gaga, Eau de Magnolia is anything but conventional. It’s a floral that wants to be a chypre, and the interplay among its facets–citrusy magnolia, peppery bergamot and crisp moss–is intriguing. Very easy to wear (as long as you don’t mind its silvery, metallic tinge) and a fascinating take on the classical cologne genre.

Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez

An excellent twist on musk. Narciso is much softer than the original Narciso Rodriguez, but frankly, they are too different to be compared. Instead of the floral accent, Narciso anchors musk with plenty of vetiver. All of the dirt and grit from the vetiver roots are washed away, and instead you have an accord of silky, pale green woods.

Ann Gérard Rose Cut

I admire Ann Gérard’s line, and her latest entrant, Rose Cut, doesn’t disappoint. A dark, earthy rose with a delicious raspberry-violet swirl. Also, one of my most worn perfumes this year.

Cartier La Panthère

La Panthère is undoubtedly an excellent fragrance and a much needed mossy floral on the market (this category tends to be neglected), but it was perhaps too grand and plush for my tastes. But objectively, this leather wrapped gardenia is interesting, well-crafted and has a striking, memorable character.

Thierry Mugler Oriental Express

I loved this iris inflected take on a classical oriental. Imagine Shalimar set into a cool accord of sweet violet petals and iced, earthy roots. Dramatic without being high-maintenance.

Chanel No 19 Poudré

I have been reaching so much for my bottle of No 19 Poudré that I wore it more often this year than my beloved No 19. Ok, they are not related, and if you want a softer take on the Chanel classic, consider Annick Goutal Heure Exquise instead.  No 19 Poudré is a gauzy, powdery blend of musks and iris that feels like frothy chiffon on skin.

Guerlain Habit Rouge

Last Christmas I got a bottle of Habit Rouge for my husband and ended up wearing it more often than he did. No, it was not a part of some ulterior plan. I was just reminded how excellent this perfume is. Launched in 1965, this chic orange blossom and incense laced oriental feels beyond trends.

Cacharel Anaïs Anaïs

Unlike Habit Rouge, Anais Anais feels somewhat retro to me, but it’s part of its appeal. Today, floral notes have a very different quality, much more radiant, brighter and sharper. Anais Anais, by contrast, is an impressionist blur of white and green petals that at a distance hints at a bouquet of hyacinths and lily of the valley. But up close, it’s soft, musky, and creamy, with no flower standing out. Charming.

taj mahal 300henna1sleeping in marigolds

Andy’s 2014 Favorites

Aedes de Venustas Copal Azur & Tom Ford Sahara Noir

I loved both of these amber and incense blends so much that I couldn’t help but include both of them on my list. While I enjoyed the new Copal Azur for its rugged, outdoorsy aura, I loved wearing Sahara Noir for its smoldering drama and over-the-top seductiveness. Both are truly excellent.

Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

If I could have tried only one perfume this whole year, this is the one I’d have chosen. Perhaps it’s true that no perfume can evoke the gardenia flowers of my memory, but this perfume comes close enough for me. Until I’ve found something even better, it will hold the place of honor as my favorite gardenia perfume, as I love its tropical, humid radiance and lack of candied sweetness.

Caron Pour Un Homme

This unexpected favorite is deceptively simple: lavender, vanilla, a little amber. Nonetheless, this uncomplicated, classic blend managed to charm me by smelling just plain lovely, without trying too hard. Really, this is just about the best compliment I can give to a fragrance.

Serge Lutens L’Orpheline

When I tried L’Orpheline on paper, I was almost ready to dismiss the perfume entirely—it smelled unpleasantly synthetic and, quite frankly, odd. Against the warmth of my skin, however, L’Orpheline took a shocking turn, instead smelling serenely of plush incense, creamy patchouli, and dusky herbs. When I found that I wanted to apply it again and again, I realized that L’Orpheline deserved a spot among my 2014 favorites.

cafe-300rosesjicky-smelling

Elisa’s 2014 Favorites

MiN New York Scent Stories, a pricy collection of 11 scents available only by membership at the eponymous Manhattan boutique, could have been a complete failure of a gimmick, but I surprised myself by having a lot of fun digging through the line. The concepts are compelling and the materials feel high-quality, despite a couple of duds (such as Dune Road, with its top note of under-ripe melon). Two of my favorites are Barrel (a whiskey scent so spicy I got whiffs of Chinese mustard) and Dahab (a rich, smoky oud with incense).

I’ve also been getting to know the La Perfumerie Moderne line, which was launched in 2013 but is new to me. It includes just three scents, all simple but beautifully done, including Cuir X (a sweet leather with iris), No Sport (a terrific masculine geranium), and Desarmant (a strikingly realistic lilac).

Who needs another beachy scent? I do, apparently, and I was crushing on a couple this year: Guerlain Terracotta Le Parfum sold out quickly and it’s no wonder: this simple but sexy combination of high-quality indolic jasmine and woody vanilla is the proverbial vacation in a bottle. And Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie is like the dreamiest, sunniest vacation breakfast: there’s a big vase of beautiful white flowers on the table – jasmine, neroli, frangipani, and a touch of lily in the drydown – plus honey and lemon custard, and a sweet sea breeze blowing through the window.

In terms of older releases that got a lot of wear in 2014: The decants I ran through most quickly were Serge Lutens Santal Majuscule (which I mentioned in my winter favorites back in January), Fifi Chachnil (a wonderful rosy/saffron/tobacco fragrance), and Mona di Orio Musc (just a perfect powdery floral). I also finally bought a bottle of L’Occitane Eau des Baux, and both my husband and I have reached for this soapy amber often.

orange blossomsnotre dameroses-grasse9

Patricia’s 2014 Favorites

It was a year of interesting and unusual releases, so I was surprised when going through my records to discover that I bought only two full bottles of perfume released in 2014. The first, Parfums DelRae Wit, was love at first sniff, and I wore it happily all summer. It’s such a pretty floral and provided sunshine and chirping birds no matter the weather.

The second just arrived on my doorstep this morning. When I first sampled it, I was unimpressed, but something brought me back to my store sample again and again. When Burberry Brit Rhythm for Women hit the online discounters and I could buy a small bottle of it for under $30, I did. The main note is supposed to be lavender, but if it’s in there, it is faint indeed. What I do get is pink pepper and plenty of it, along with a pleasant rose-peony accord. I may tire of this in time and pass it on to one of my daughters, but for now it’s my easy-to-wear scent of the year.

Other 2014 releases that I’ve sampled and enjoyed are Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt, Olfactive Studio Ombre Indigo, and Tom Ford Private Blend Mandarino di Amalfi. Once my small spray decants are drained, full bottles may be in my future.

My perfume rediscoveries for 2014 are contained in a pretty malachite box that sits on my bureau. I have fallen in love again with the beautiful and well-constructed fragrances in the Frédéric Malle line. Though I have quite a few different perfumes in this line, they are all samples or travel sized and fit neatly in this small box with the lid raised. Because rose is one of my favorite notes, it should come as no surprise that Lipstick Rose and Une Rose are frequently worn. However, Portrait of a Lady may be a bit too much lady for me, as I don’t always get along with patchouli, even when combined with rose. I do, however, enjoy the soft L’Eau d’Hiver, the creamy, powdery Iris Poudré, and the fresh-baked bread and heavenly lilac in En Passant.

Please also see lists made by Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: Perfume Posse :: The Non-Blonde.

Of course, we would love to know what perfumes you have discovered in 2014 and what you fell in love with you?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, some of the memorable moments of the year (the feline beauty in the third set of photo is Grain de Musc’s Jicky).

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257 Comments

  • Jamie K: Glad you loved Narciso just as much as I did, Victoria. Really must try No. 19 Poudré again though – I think I dismissed it too quickly as an Infusion d’Iris clone! December 30, 2014 at 7:18am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s such a well-made, interesting perfume, and it’s easy to wear too. I see myself wearing it a lot and getting a full bottle next year.

      If you like soft, powdery fragrances and iris notes, No. 19 Poudré is really worth revisiting. I don’t find it too much like Infusion d’Iris on skin, but that’s another one of my favorites. December 30, 2014 at 9:22am Reply

      • Elisa: Narciso, Girl, and Reveal were my favorite mainstream scents that I tried. Oh! And Roses de Chloe. I’m hoping we’re swinging away from all the froutchoulis. December 30, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

        • Victoria: You were right about Roses de Chloe. Such a nice perfume.

          Fruity patchouli by itself is ok, but it’s easy to get fed up with it in one launch after another for several years in a row. It’s still very popular, but at least, there are other options. December 30, 2014 at 11:00am Reply

          • Elisa: Exactly — I love and own many fruitchoulis but the endless parade of second-rate versions has been getting extremely tiresome! I was happy to see subtler woody, musky options on the shelves. December 30, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

            • Victoria: And they have been getting sweeter and sweeter. The best part of the caramel or sweet berry and patchouli combo is when you get the gourmand edge and the earthy, dark patchouli nuance. If it’s all cotton candy, then what’s the point. Nothing can beat Pink Sugar for a fun cotton candy gourmand anyway. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 11:05am Reply

              • Elisa: Agree — and patchouli is getting cleaner and less pungent, which also upsets the balance. December 30, 2014 at 11:23am Reply

                • Victoria: Yes, you’re right! They keep promoting all of these non-earthy patchoulis, but to me, the earthy part is the best aspect of this note. December 30, 2014 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Danaki: Similarly, this year was horrendous for me given the events in Lebanon, Syria and the Middle East as a whole. For that reason, perfumes became an escape and a hobby, but mostly a reminder of the beauty and pleasures that can still be found in simple moments and small doses.

    Maybe this is why this year I found myself returning to Anais Anais which I wore as a teenager and to Arabian Oudh and perfume oils that reminded me of those years when we were living in Dubai. A bit of a cliche here, but it was memories in these bottles.

    A Happy New Year and best wishes to you all. December 30, 2014 at 7:33am Reply

    • Victoria: You put it so well, Danaki! Yes, I can’t agree more. They can be such a comfort and a reminder that beauty can be within reach.

      Arabian Oudh perfumes are not cliched at all! They also remind me of the UAE and Oman. The scents are so evocative of those places. I put them on when I need a little escape, and they do the trick. December 30, 2014 at 9:36am Reply

      • Danaki: Oh sorry, I meant that the memory thing may be a bit cliche.

        Yes, my teenage years in Dubai were great – people there take perfuming (themselves and their homes) seriously.

        Growing up in Lebanon it was the French houses but then moving to Dubai – well, you start to look beyond that into Attars and incense, etc.

        Since my family has been back in Lebanon, Mom still has entire sets of oils (jasmine, saffron, oud, sandalwood, etc.) which I enjoyed this summer as I needed this escape. She also keeps oud soaked wood and incense – they smell divine but she can’t bring herself to burn them. I think she also cherishes the reminders.

        Anais Anais was the first proper perfume I got as a gift. Wearing it, I felt very grown-up and sophisticated. Now when I wear it, it makes me smile and reminds me of days when I mostly worried about how big my thighs are. These days, compared to grown-up problems and worries, my thighs look small in comparison! December 31, 2014 at 6:53am Reply

        • Victoria: I was amazed by scents the moment I boarded an airplane to Muscat. So many people were perfumed in the most dramatic and beautiful way. I loved it (and normally, I’m not a fan of scents in enclosed spaces!) Anyway, it was a wonderful discovery, and since then I have been inspired to learn more about the traditional Middle Eastern perfumery. It’s one of the few places where the local art of blending scents has not completely given way to the western fragrances. I hope that it will stay this way.

          One of my dreams is to visit Lebanon, for scents, food, and of course, history. I hope I will be able to do so one of these days. January 1, 2015 at 3:52pm Reply

          • sam1: hey Victoria! I’m from Lebanon and you are soo welcome here! I will be more than happy to be your tour guide lol! I recently discovered an old fashioned 1000 year old souk thats a wonderland for scent-lovers; attar stuff, spices and even found a vintage 94 tendre poison! Anyway if you plan a visit to Lebanon plz let me knooww! January 2, 2015 at 2:44am Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you so much, Sam! I hope that I can visit one day. The souk sounds exactly like the place I’d love to explore. I will definitely let you know. January 4, 2015 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Karen: Love doing the lists this way! So many new releases can make it easy to overlook older, yet not tried, fragrances – or those we reach for when wanting pure comfort.

    For me, the dark roses have captivated me this year. Started with La Fille de Berlin last year and included Stella in an attempt to not keep using Portrait of a Lady.

    Santa brought another coveted fragrance, Tuberouse Criminelle – expanding the Serge bottles on my vanity. They all have strong connections to trips taken (A la Nuit for all the places with night blooming jasmine), thus transporting me and bringing happy memories. Joyful New Year wishes to all. December 30, 2014 at 7:58am Reply

    • Victoria: I figured that if something was very interesting, I’d hear about it eventually, either through other bloggers or at work, so I was happy to focus on my old favorites and rediscovering older perfumes. Anais Anais was such a pleasure to revisit, and I’m enjoying it very much.

      Oh, Tubereuse Criminelle is terrific. Your Santa was so good to you. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 9:48am Reply

  • George: Thinking back through the year, I realise how little perfume I actually tried (especially in comparison with previous years). But the one that really did for me was eau de magnolia: I tried before going to see a terrible play at the Royal Court and spent most of it imagining what the original production of Not I must have looked like with my head in my T-shirt. I later ran the necessary side by side comparison with Chanel Pour Monsieur (after getting a sample of it from Malle), and was so impressed that it was so much more appealing than what is such a reference fragrance. It also seemed to join the dots between the various sectors of the Malle range- the realist and heavy florals, the complex chypres, the masculines and the lighter and cologne like fragrances- such that it seemed like a full stop that then seemed to confirmed by the EL purchase of the company. It also made me realise that he next time I join in with IFRA directed whining, that the majority of the fragrance I prefer is under a decade old, and that my whining should be appropriately proviso’ed.

    I’m glad Andy went on to try and like L’Orpheline, despite my lack of enthusiasm for it!

    Happy New year to all! December 30, 2014 at 8:02am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m also glad that Andy revisited L’Orpheline and I need to put his note as an addendum to my not so enthusiastic review. After all, part of the fun in this hobby is to see how other people perceive the same scents.

      Maybe, it’s not just me then. We might all have been overwhelmed by the numerous perfume launches. This year I really felt I couldn’t keep up. On the other hand, whatever I did try, I liked very much. I smelled Black Opium not long ago, and it was also a pleasant surprise. If I were in a market for a big, juicy peach and lots of caramel, it would be perfect. December 30, 2014 at 9:56am Reply

      • George: I think “in a market for” is key : I tried Korrigan by Lubin after LT’s review in Arabia Style. It was great, but as I limit myself to one full on oriental or quasi orientals at a time, and it falls quite a way down my list of ones that I might to own at some point, I will probably never buy a bottle. As I am not that atom-splitting in my collectivist habits, I’m happy with the ten or so fragrances that I own. And as much as blogs like yours are great for throwing the door open to the newcomer, for me they now function as a means of keeping it shut, unless I can judge that that new perfume ringing my door bell might be worth my attention. I guess maybe my days of perfume adventuring are over. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 12:28pm Reply

        • Victoria: For me, it comes and goes. Sometimes it’s interesting just to try something, without necessarily being tempted to buy. One can wear only so many perfumes, after all! December 30, 2014 at 3:02pm Reply

    • Andy: I too was so glad I tried L’Orpheline. By the time I got around to testing it, I had read the reviews and was ready to hate it. But instead, surprise! December 30, 2014 at 11:52am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: I am so happy that Bois de Jasmin is still there, thank you for all your hard work in these difficult circumstances, Victoria.
    Interesting lists! I discovered this summer how festive and uplifting Ysatis is (Patricia’s review).
    And the best new one was La Panthère for me. I love this kind of operatic big drama.
    I agree with Andy on L’Orphéline. It’s intriguing.
    I use to have lots and lots of perfumes, but now I am concentrating on old favourites. My beloved Guerlains, No.5 including Eau Première, Mille de Patou, Joy. December 30, 2014 at 8:07am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: And of course, Happy Newyear to all!
      Could we have some news of the beautiful Viola? And who is the cat on the picture? December 30, 2014 at 8:09am Reply

      • Victoria: Viola is doing well! Mom has been remiss in sending photos, but I will ask you for a few. The cat in my photo is Jicky, and she belongs to Denyse of Grain de Musc. See, she’s a perfect perfume lover’s companion. December 30, 2014 at 10:23am Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Oh, good! I feared already she was sick or even dead. December 30, 2014 at 12:02pm Reply

          • Victoria: Goodness, no! She’s ok. December 30, 2014 at 2:55pm Reply

            • bregje: And they are both beautiful!
              (i know from personal experience that cats love being told how gorgeous they are;)) January 2, 2015 at 10:35pm Reply

              • Victoria: They do! On the contrary, if Viola does something funny and you start laughing at her, she sulks and goes someplace to hide. A sensitive cat. 🙂 January 4, 2015 at 2:07pm Reply

                • bregje: So recognizable:). January 5, 2015 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: I need to give more chances to La Panthere, because I know that some big, complicated perfumes like this require a longer courtship. I really think that it was interesting and memorable.

      Patricia also inspired me to revisit Ysatis. She, Andy and Elisa never fail to point me towards something interesting. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 10:18am Reply

      • Patricia: :-). And we share a love for Rhythm for Women, which I did not know! December 30, 2014 at 10:48am Reply

        • Victoria: I was so pleased to spot it on your list! 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 11:01am Reply

        • Andy: Thanks Pat, I just remembered that you also inspired me to try Ysatis this year. I really enjoyed this one. December 30, 2014 at 11:55am Reply

          • Patricia: 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Patricia: So glad you are still enjoying Ysatis, Cornelia! December 30, 2014 at 10:47am Reply

  • Jessica: First off, thank you to all Bois de Jasmin writers and commenters. I discovered this blog in 2014 and I’m a huge fan. I learned many new things and even got encouraged to give my first perfume gift, to a friend. She loved it. My most worn perfumes were Marc Jacobs Daisy, Narciso Rodriguez, Pacifica Lilac and Lancome Hypnose. I also got lots of samples, I collected a big bagful! over the course of this year. Betcha in 2015 I will have more new favorites. December 30, 2014 at 8:19am Reply

    • Victoria: Very happy to hear this, Jessica! I wish you many fragrant discoveries in 2015, and we’ll be around to help find them (but it sounds like you’re doing well with your big bag of samples :). December 30, 2014 at 10:37am Reply

  • Jessica: PS I love your photos! December 30, 2014 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much! December 30, 2014 at 10:38am Reply

  • Marian: Patricia’s list is very close to mine. I also bought Wit and Sea Salt and Sage this year and I tried En Passant for the first time. Ombre Indigo sounds interesting. I don’t know that line. December 30, 2014 at 8:31am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Ombre Indigo, so maybe we could ask Pat to write a review next year. The description of it do sound really good. December 30, 2014 at 10:42am Reply

      • Patricia: Yes, I would be happy to! I don’t often like incense in fragrances, but the tuberose really balances it out for me. December 30, 2014 at 10:51am Reply

        • Victoria: Great! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on it, then. The concept does seem unusual. December 30, 2014 at 11:00am Reply

  • Therése: I rediscovered LouLou and wore it a lot, I found Encre Noir thanks to this blog, and 2014 was the year I finally understood the greatness of Mitsouko. December 30, 2014 at 8:48am Reply

    • Sammy: Me too! I finally got what everyone was raving about Mitsouko.

      Victoria, thanks for encouraging me not to give up on it. 😀 December 30, 2014 at 8:51am Reply

      • Victoria: My pleasure! 🙂 Mitsouko can be a bit temperamental. December 30, 2014 at 10:46am Reply

      • Therése: I have kept trying it over the years and never liked it before, but this year I finally got it! 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 11:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Mitsouko does take time to grow on you! It wasn’t an instant love for me either. December 30, 2014 at 10:44am Reply

      • Therése: I’ve always found the Guerlains difficult. I never cared for powdery scents, but this fall I tried both Shalimar and Mitsouko again (and again and again :-)) and realized that I really really enjoy them this time around. Especially Mitsouko. December 30, 2014 at 11:42am Reply

        • Karen: Well you have inspired me to keep trying Mitsouko! Cold weather may help a bit – it’s just either right or not right at all for me so far. December 30, 2014 at 2:32pm Reply

        • Victoria: The powdery part was the aspect I found hard at first. I was simply not used to that kind of note, but the more you’re exposed to it, the more addictive it becomes (or the opposite!) December 30, 2014 at 2:54pm Reply

    • Patricia: I have a question for you, Therese. Is it the men’s or women’s version of Encre Noir that you like? I haven’t tried either. December 30, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

      • Therése: Hi Patricia! It’s the men’s version of Encre Noir I’ve fallen for. I was intrigued by Victorias review and since I love vetiver and it was so very reasonably prized I bought it without having sniffed it 🙂 I love it, and am wearing it today!
        If you like vetiver I very much recommend it! December 30, 2014 at 11:39am Reply

        • Patricia: Thank you! December 30, 2014 at 3:43pm Reply

      • Andy: I too wore Encre Noire (mens version) a lot this year, it’s certainly worth trying, as Therése says, if you adore vetiver. December 30, 2014 at 11:58am Reply

        • Patricia: I’m still trying to like Vetiver, Andy. The one I like best so far is Diptyque’s, sort of a Vetiver with training wheels!

          I will try Encre Noir, though, if it does indeed smell like ink. I used to work for a newspaper and loved going down to the presses to catch a whiff of printers ink. December 30, 2014 at 3:48pm Reply

          • limegreen: Have you tried Vetiver Tonka? It is a very nice slightly smoky vetiver, smooth without earthy roots December 30, 2014 at 6:10pm Reply

            • Patricia: I recently got a sample of that one but haven’t given it much attention yet. December 31, 2014 at 7:44am Reply

          • limegreen: Vetiver with training wheels would be Jo Malone Vetyver! December 30, 2014 at 9:08pm Reply

  • rosarita: I always enjoy these lists 🙂 I have had lots of family health problems to deal with in 2014 and new perfumes haven’t really registered, but I enjoyed Imaginary Authors Yesterday Haze and En Voyage perfumes Fiore di Bellagio. Yesterday Haze is a perfect autumn scent and I want a bottle for next fall. As for what I’ve been wearing most, I rediscovered YSL Nu edp and Habanita this year in addition to my favorites. Thanks Victoria and everyone else at Bois de Jasmin for all your hard work on the blog! I never miss it 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 8:49am Reply

    • Victoria: Was your Nu the reissued version? I made a note to myself to try it, but I haven’t seen it around here.

      I hope that 2015 will bring you much happiness, and of course, health to your loved ones! December 30, 2014 at 10:45am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Victoria, I am happy to send you a Travalo spray with Nu, there is a wonderful on line perfumery in the Netherlands that offers a great deal of wonderful scents ready made in Travalo sprays, at an affordable price. I bought the Nu there, and to my nose it is a very fresh, spicy incense, really lovely. Please mail me if you would want that, makes a difference from buckwheat porridge 😉 ! December 30, 2014 at 11:46am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you so much! Let me check at my local Planet Parfum, because a nice SA there promised to keep a sample for me, but if not, I will happily take you up on your offer. December 30, 2014 at 2:55pm Reply

          • Hamamelis: Anytime! December 30, 2014 at 3:03pm Reply

            • Kata: Can you please share the name of this perfumery? I live in the Netherlands too and it does sound like a good deal. A Travalo spray is plenty enough in most cases, considering the number of full bottles I have… December 30, 2014 at 9:24pm Reply

              • Hamamelis: Hi Kata, the name is parfumswinkel.nl
                They also made one on my request that was not in their assortment, I am very happy with their service. I like the feel of a Travalo spray, and as you write 5 ml is substantial enough if you have many bottles. December 31, 2014 at 5:24pm Reply

  • Sandra: Like you, I wore no19 poudre a lot this year, partly because I was pregnant and it was the only smell I could handle.
    Also wore a lot of Ciel by amouage
    No releases this year caught my attention. Except the perfume for coco noir- like it much better then the EDP

    Now that I am a mom, it will be baby head smell for awhile and no perfume.
    Have a great 2015! December 30, 2014 at 9:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations, Sandra! Enjoy the time with your little one and all of these lovely scents. 🙂

      Coco Noir parfum was really better than the EDP, and I liked all of its rich floral notes. It was still gourmand and lush, but with an added dose of darkness. December 30, 2014 at 10:47am Reply

  • FeralJasmine: I thoroughly enjoyed reading your selections. I tried a few new things in 2014, notably Moon Bloom, but spent more time rediscovering things I already had. After a really disappointing experience with a highly touted new gardenia, I went back to TF Velvet Gardenia, still the most perfect gardenia for me. Guerlain Gourmand Coquin got a fair amount of skin time. Dior Oud Ispahan took me by storm, although I’ve owned a decant for a while and never paid much attention to it before. And I found that honey scents work beautifully on my skin in cold weather, especially the DSH Majhoun. All in all, a good year. I did lose a dear friend this year and took to bitter green scents for a few days, but fortunately that phase of grieving passed fairly quickly. Interesting, though, that I took so suddenly and briefly to scents that I’ve always disliked. December 30, 2014 at 9:23am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m sorry for your loss. Your observation on wearing fragrances you disliked really struck me, because during the most trying part of the year, I was going through some perfumes I never cared much. Some of them I ended up hating more and others actually grew on me.

      You’re right about Velvet Gardenia. It’s still my gardenia favorite, and nothing I’ve tried compares. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to find, and I have to eke out whatever’s left in my bottle. December 30, 2014 at 10:50am Reply

      • Karen: Also sorry for your loss. Moon Bloom is quite beautiful – had a sample but my daughter loved it, so off it went! Bought a decant of Oud Isphahan after reading so many positive reviews, but on me I had to wait forever (next day!) for the rose to emerge. Amazing longevity and beautifully made. Felt *slightly* guilty to layer it with Stella…… December 30, 2014 at 2:39pm Reply

  • Rebecca: Really enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for this beautiful blog; long may you continue Victoria and team. December 30, 2014 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Rebecca! Happy New Year to you too! December 30, 2014 at 10:52am Reply

      • Rebecca: Thank you! I forgot to say that my favourite releases this year were Cuir d’Ange and Knot. December 30, 2014 at 5:03pm Reply

        • Victoria: Cuir d’Ange is terrific. I only wish it lasted longer on me. January 1, 2015 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Heather H: I fell in love with Rose Cut, Wit, Chanel’s Beige and Jersey in pure parfum, and lastly Rose Splendid. You are my perfume gurus. Thank you for all you do! Happy New Year! December 30, 2014 at 9:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Great choices! I could swap your list of favorites for mine and be very happy. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 10:53am Reply

  • Ariadne: This E.O.Y. post and replies and indeed this blog are delights to be savored again and again. I completely stopped watching or listening to the news this year since I found the events made me so intensely sad and worried for this earth and inhabitants. I listen to what folks think of perfumes and smells instead. Hoping a massive sillage of positive harmony wafts over us all in 2015. December 30, 2014 at 10:16am Reply

    • Victoria: It was quite a horrible year in many parts of the world, so I know what you mean. After a few months of reading news several times a day (and sometimes waking up and reading them at night), I had to stop, because I was feeling completely depressed. (And that much news reading is not helpful or productive anyway). Refocusing on positive things really made a difference. Really hoping that 2015 will be a much better year all around. December 30, 2014 at 10:56am Reply

  • Elisa: V and P, I never would have given Burberry Brit Rhythm a second look, and now you both have me intrigued! Going to look for a tester next time I’m at the mall.

    Andy, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is my favorite gardenia too!

    Happy new year to all our lovely readers! December 30, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s really excellent, and I’m 100% sure that if it were launched under a niche label or even Burberry major brand (not this Rhythm offshot), it would have been talked about more. If you want a modern lavender, it’s one of the best options today. December 30, 2014 at 10:57am Reply

      • Elisa: I’m always searching for “my” lavender, something with vanilla — Caron pour une Homme is a little too dense for me. I love the By Kilian lavender but there must be a less costly option. December 30, 2014 at 11:05am Reply

        • Victoria: By Kilian’s lavender is too expensive for me too. What about Chanel Jersey? Was it also too musky, laundry detergent-like for you? December 30, 2014 at 11:10am Reply

          • Elisa: I never tried that one but I’m pretty sensitive to those laundry musks so I just assumed it wouldn’t be for me. A company called Olivia Care makes a fantastic lavender liquid soap — I wish I could bottle that scent as perfume! It reminds me of Taste of Heaven. December 30, 2014 at 11:22am Reply

            • Katy: Have you tried SL Gris Clair? I think it smells like lavender ice cream. It is like Caron pour Un Homme but maybe creamier and less astringent and frankly, the longevity on both leaves a bit to be desired but apply with abandon! December 30, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

              • Elisa: I do like Gris Clair — I always forget about it somehow! I had a friend who wore it generously so I think now I would automatically associate it with her. I also find it to be on the dry/ashy side and I think I want something a bit more caramelized. Unfortunately Kiki didn’t work on me at all, I had high hopes. December 30, 2014 at 11:56am Reply

                • Katy: I like Kiki but not enough to spring for a bottle! I have really come to love layering essential oils with perfumes so experimenting with a lavender EO might not be out of the question. December 30, 2014 at 12:31pm Reply

            • Victoria: That sounds really good, because ordinarily lavender soaps smell too harsh, more of lavandin, which is very sharp, than true lavender. December 30, 2014 at 2:45pm Reply

    • Andy: As I was writing, I was reminded of you, Elisa, because I think it was one of your comments about liking Tuberose Gardenia that inspired me to seek it out in the first place. Many thanks!

      And agreed, I would have never even thought to try Brit Rhythm, but now I too will be on the lookout. December 30, 2014 at 12:02pm Reply

      • Elisa: Oh yay! Glad to have converted you to PCTG — my favorite part is the bit of a gasoline note I detect in the top notes. December 30, 2014 at 12:29pm Reply

        • Patricia: Oh, I’ll have to be on the lookout for the gasoline note next time I wear PCTG! December 30, 2014 at 3:53pm Reply

        • Andy: On me, that gasoline note reads as fertilizer, specifically this lovely orange-blossom fertilizer aroma I smell every time I go through the garden center at Lowe’s or Home Depot. I love that! December 30, 2014 at 4:43pm Reply

    • Andy: I must add. I was at the mall today, and I stopped in Sephora to try Burberry Brit Rhythm. I agree with Pat and Victoria (and everyone else who’s commented), it’s lovely, really very pretty and polished. I think you might like it–the lavender aspect is soft but definitely noticeable on my skin. December 30, 2014 at 4:56pm Reply

  • Amalia: One more year with Hermes Elixir de Merveille! I wore Mitsouko, L’heure Bleue. For the hot veeery long summer in Greece Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, Bronze Goddess and Philosykos. Only when I wear Elixir minimum two per day, complete strangers ask me what perfume I wear! Of course the pleasure of wearing a perfume is not the compliments but…is something to consider (if you know what I mean- oh my english)! Enjoy holiday season and have a wonderful year with health and happiness you and your family. Best wishes to all of your readers – perfume lovers! Big hugs from Greece! December 30, 2014 at 10:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Exactly! It’s always a pleasure to receive a positive comment on your perfume. Hey, who doesn’t like compliments? 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

    • Patricia: Happy New Year, Amalia! I love all your choices, but Elixir is a fairly new one to me. All the Merveilles are so pretty, but I think L’Ambree is is my favorite. December 30, 2014 at 11:03am Reply

      • Victoria: I adore L’Ambree, and I need to put the bottle on my dresser. Whenever I wear that fragrance, I feel instantly more uplifted (and also more elegant, despite the appearances to the contrary). December 30, 2014 at 11:11am Reply

  • Hannah: I think the only 2014 releases I tried were L’Orpheline and L’Incendiaire. I liked both but I don’t have strong opinions on them.

    2014 was a big perfume year for me, though. I bought about half of my collection this year. Tubereuse Criminelle, Comme des Garcons, and Fille en Aiguilles.
    Favorite samples were Trayee, Plum Japonais, Interlude Woman, and Eau des Merveilles (which wasn’t new to me in 2014 but it got a lot of wear). December 30, 2014 at 10:58am Reply

    • Victoria: L’Incendiaire was very good, but I can’t see myself paying 500 euros for it. At the regular SL price, I’d be happy with a bottle, though.

      I should have mentioned Fleur de Chine and Plum Japonais, which I also wore a lot. Plum Japonais is like a darker, smokier twist on Serge Lutens’s Feminite du Bois, but in the end, on my skin they felt very different. Did you also see the similarities? December 30, 2014 at 11:03am Reply

      • Hannah: When the SA let me [forced me to] try L’Incendiaire, she said it was new and exclusive, the price (with great glee) and that the bottle is black and gold, like those were the big selling points. I asked if it was L’Orpheline because that was the only new SL I knew about, and *then* she told me the name. And her hand was covering the bottle almost the entire time so I couldn’t read it. The whole thing is kind of a disappointment to me, because part of why I was getting into SL is because it isn’t cheap, but the price seems grounded in something unlike all the other brands whose prices are spiraling out of control.

        Yes, I’ve noticed the similarities. I think they seem like sisters, Feminite du Bois is the quiet but always effortlessly chic one (probably a Capricorn). I prefer Plum Japonais, but if I’m going to be spending that kind of money, I’d rather get Interlude Woman. December 30, 2014 at 11:20am Reply

        • Victoria: This sounds like she was trying to add mystique to it. The perfume is really good, but I don’t know why exactly it’s that expensive. I suppose they went all the way out with the ingredients, but SL’s fragrances are already made with really good materials. December 30, 2014 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Cindy: Hello Victoria and friends, and thanks to all for your insightful reviews. As my husband has allergies, my choices in perfumes over the years has been limited to ones he enjoys too! I wore Halston for years with Lauren as my evening choice. The last few years, Chanel Coco had been my favorite and I always get compliments on it. But I wanted something lighter for day wear but could not fall in love with No. 19. Though I may have to find Chanel Beige and Jersey now. For now, Michael Kors sporty citrus has filled that need. I wish it had a classier name haha, but it lifts my spirits. I don’t yet have your skills to identify its various components but it has become a daily companion for me. Happy New Year! December 30, 2014 at 11:10am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s not well-named, but as long as the perfume is good, that’s all that matters, right? If you want something light and citrusy, also see if you can try Lancome O de L’Orangerie. It’s a citrusy cologne with a big dose of orange flower. Very nice. I also really like Lancome Aromatonic, which is citrusy, green tea, with a tart green rose note. I hope that it’s still made, because it was just terrific.

      Chanel Gardenia is also worth considering! December 30, 2014 at 11:14am Reply

  • spe: For me Eau de Magnolia was the winner this year! Cuir de Ange is a close second. I discovered Fleur de Chine (don’t remember when that came out), Tiffany by Tiffany for women (the white floral one in the tall bottle – surprisingly beautiful, soapy white floral from the 1980’s), and Voyage parfum by Hermes.

    Thank you for the wonderful reading and photos! May 2015 be a more peaceful and blessed year. December 30, 2014 at 11:13am Reply

    • Victoria: Fleur de Chine was last year’s launch, I think. Either way, it took me a while to fall in love with it, and I’m tempted by it as much, if not more, as by Shanghai Lily, which was my 2013’s favorite (or one of them).

      Tiffany is a gorgeous perfume! December 30, 2014 at 2:28pm Reply

  • Jaime: Great lists! I shall be adding many to my to-sniff file, some out of curiosity (like the Gaga and Orient Express), and others because they sound like potential bottles (Knot, 19 Poudre). Thanks for another year of wonderful blog posts! December 30, 2014 at 11:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I also look forward smelling some perfumes on the lists that I didn’t get to try this year, like Ombre Indigo. December 30, 2014 at 2:42pm Reply

      • Patricia: My sample was sent to me by a very generous perfumista, but L’Ombre is now available at LuckyScent, and I’m sure quite a few other stores now. December 30, 2014 at 3:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: I think that they’re now distributed more widely, which is great. January 1, 2015 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Emma: La Panthère de Cartier is in my opinion the best mainstream fragrance launch in years, probably since Féminité du bois. It was instant love for me, an extremely well-executed modern take on classic chypres. Finally a true woman’s perfume which audience target is not little girls, it smells seductive and sophisticated yet very current and easy.
    La Panthère defines new chypre today, and I’m afraid old chypres such as Rochas Femme, Guerlain Mitsouko and Courreges Empreinte smell so dated now. I’ll never be able to wear them again, and quite frankly, in this day and age, who would? Well we have La Panthère now; -) December 30, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

    • Victoria: To each, their own! Some people won’t give up Mitsouko for anything. Plus, what’s dated is really subjective. I do like La Panthere, though, and I think that it’s a memorable, interesting launch. December 30, 2014 at 2:44pm Reply

  • trudy: First I want to say that I am very grateful for Bois de Jasmin. I discovered this site in 2012 and it has been a source of pleasure and escape during some difficult times in my personal life. I love reading all the reviews, the stories, the thoughts and information relating to fragrance, the recipes, the gift ideas, and of course all of the comments. This site has become my “go-to” regarding any perfume or any element associated with fragrance. It has provided an education and direction as I explore the world of fragrance. I find I can identify notes and appreciate nuances that I would have never recognized prior to discovering this site. It is an inspiring and beautiful site to visit and enjoy. That said, some of my favorite fragrances (old and new) that I have discovered in 2014 include: Chanel Beige (decant), Hermes Eau des Merveilles (full bottle), Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Body Oil (not as expensive as the perfume and really nice in the summer), Tom Ford Fleur de Chine (decant…love this one and if the fragrance lasted longer I would consider saving up for a full bottle), Tom Ford Shanghai Lily (decant…love this one too but $$$ and just doesn’t seem to last on me) BV Knot (sample…considering FB). Thank you so much Victoria (and your whole team) for keeping this site going in spite of all that is going on in the world and in your lives. I hope you are able to continue the site for years to come. December 30, 2014 at 11:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Trudy! I know that I speak on behalf of all of us when I say how happy we are to hear this. And coming here and talking to all of you really made such a big difference for me this year. It’s always such a mood booster to exchange thoughts and stories on the topic we all feel passionate about (and not only on perfume, but other things too).

      Fleur de Chine cries out for the parfum version, but I fear that Tom Ford’s price on something like that may be outrageous. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 2:49pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Dear Victoria, Any, Elisa and Patricia, thank you for your lists of 2014 favourites. What a refreshing amount of affordable perfumes, so good to read about them!
    For me this was the year down the rabbit hole, so I have smelled so many new perfumes, from samples, on people and ofcourse from the Travelling Box. It has been an unexpected enrichment and I have all of you to thank for it, as well as whatever created this wonderful part of the human being called a nose! I love and like almost everything I smelled; absolute favourites are no 5 Eau premiere, L’ambre des Merveilles, Cuir de Lancome and I treated myself to a bottle of Vetiver Extraordinaire after draining the sample I kept from the Travelling Box. This wonderful vetiver for sure will keep me grounded next year!
    Thank you Victoria for creating this place where beauty is shared, I often think of that wonderful half hour where I made acquaintance with the lovely hedgehog in the fog, and will make a point of viewing (and listening to) it again soon. Best wishes to all readers, lurkers and contributors of BdJ! December 30, 2014 at 11:36am Reply

    • Victoria: This Traveling Box was so much fun to follow, and we owe you for the idea of taking notes and sharing with the rest of us. Can’t wait to see where else the box goes next year. 🙂

      Thank you so much and Happy New Year! December 30, 2014 at 2:50pm Reply

    • Andy: I just wanted to share with you, Hamamelis, that I’ve so enjoyed following your perfume journey on Bois de Jasmin this year. Here’s to more great discoveries in 2015! 🙂

      I was generously sent a sample of Vetiver Extraordinaire recently, and I too have been enjoying it immensely! December 31, 2014 at 11:15am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Thank you Andy, it feels indeed like I have made a journey, or rather…just beginning! Isn’t Vetiver Extraordinaire special, and what a gift that I know now what vetiver means, and how it smells. And more great discoveries started today…I was in for a very special extra treat, my husband had a business appointment in the middle of Amsterdam, and he asked me to come with to afterwards do a little shopping and he bought me the Hermessence travel kit with 15 ml bottles (I could chose): Cuir d’Ange, Osmanthus Yunnan, Rose Ikebana and for him Epice Marine, he loves the sea. By the way Andy, I am using the monoi oil with ylang ylang in it often! That was such a lovely post. Best and warm wishes! December 31, 2014 at 1:13pm Reply

  • jillie: Yes, sometimes life gets hard and perfume isn’t always important, as strange as that may seem. But it’s like a faithful old friend and waits for you to return to its comforting arms.

    Thank you, V, for your beautiful blog, which is also so uplifting, and I wish you and all your followers a very happy new year. December 30, 2014 at 11:37am Reply

    • Victoria: I think for me it became even more important, but in a different way. I enjoyed simply rediscovering and enjoying my old favorites, rather than seeking new things out. And that in itself was a special pleasure.

      Happy New Year, Jillie! I wish lots of happiness and luck to you and everyone else in 2015. December 30, 2014 at 2:52pm Reply

  • monsieur: I have tried Eau de Magnolie and Dris Van Noten by Frederic Malle in Paris and I was fal in love with them. When I was in butique of Frederic Malle I sprayed Eau de Magnoila on my clothes and it has been amazing with Paris atmosphere and among magnificent structures. It’s relly interesting perfume, in my opion.

    L’orpheline by Serge Lurtens, Copal Azure by Aedes de Venustas, La Fauille by Miller Harris, MFK Oud, Noontide Petals, Carillon pour un ange by Andy Tauer and L’olympia Music Hall by Histoires de Parfums is my favorite perfumes of this year. Happy New Year! December 30, 2014 at 11:41am Reply

    • Victoria: I’ve just added L’olympia Music Hall on my list of perfumes to try in 2015. The name alone sounds so appealing. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 2:53pm Reply

  • Marsha: Yes, Victoria, there has been much trouble in your homeland. I don’t know if it caused you to write more articles about your visits with your grandmother and some family history about your great-grandmother, but they have all been extremely interesting and enjoyable. Especially the article where you shared the anecdote about the only time your great-grandmother would eat that “green nonsense” (lettuce) was during the 1930’s famine. (I’m not a lettuce person either.) I have shared that with many people. It’s just so depressing to go out to lunch with some women and every one of them orders a salad!

    And thank you Andy for mentioning Caron Pour un Homme. It was during another post on this blog that this scent was mentioned in the comments and very highly recommended. So I found a bargain on ebay and it smells wonderful!

    I hope you and every one else has a positive new year! December 30, 2014 at 12:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I was spending more time there this year, close to three months all in all, I think. So, lots of things to inspire my writing. Glad that you liked the stories. And yes, my great-grandmother wouldn’t have been one of those women ordering salad. 🙂

      Caron Pour un Homme really feels timeless, and it’s such an intriguing, quirky perfume. December 30, 2014 at 2:59pm Reply

    • Andy: Glad to include Pour un Homme among my favorites–I too discovered it following that post this past summer. I took it and several other perfumes with me on a short trip a few days ago, and I happily wore only Pour un Homme the whole time. December 30, 2014 at 5:11pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I’m glad to see one of my great favourites Caron Pour un Homme mentioned. Such a wonderful lavender. My greatest discovery this year was L’Impacte de Pour un Homme.
    Speaking of lavender I clearly need to try the Burberry Lavender with the silly name.

    I only wish I could get access to Delrae more easily but it is no longer available in Europe. So I haven’t tried Wit as it would cost me an arm and a leg to import a bottle from the USA. Let’s hope it will become accessible again soon.

    I adore La Panthère, I haven’t got a bottle yet but I have a lovely glittery scented powder sample. Sort of like a solid. It feels very mature and of another time almost. December 30, 2014 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I didn’t realize until recently that DelRae are now hard to find in Europe, and yes, with the high shipping charges, it just doesn’t make sense to order from the US. Especially if like me, you’ll end up slapping with a hefty customs fee.

      The scented powder sample of La Panthere sounds great! I like anything glittery, too. December 30, 2014 at 3:00pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It has just kept me from even ordering a sample from Luckyscent as I fear I will fall hopelessly for it. Including customs it would make it more expensive than anything I now own and I’m just not rich enough to justify that kind of spending on one single bottle.
        I got a mail a while back from alzd saying that the “agent” or whatever these intermediaries are called was no longer there so they couldn’t sell the line any more.
        I’m normally not fond of glitter but it is a very nice rendition of the scent and in cute as a button packaging.
        I still need to try Knot, it took my a while to fall in love with the original BV but it has been on my wishlist for a while. December 30, 2014 at 3:44pm Reply

        • Victoria: Knot is really worth trying, and the price is so reasonable for the quality. It’s different from the first one, being softer, gauzier, and more floral-musky. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll get around to trying it sooner or later! 🙂 December 31, 2014 at 3:45pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Oh and you may want to try the Hiram Green’s at some point, I wonder what you would make of them. December 30, 2014 at 3:47pm Reply

        • Victoria: Will definitely make a note to try them! January 1, 2015 at 3:22pm Reply

    • Andy: While it doesn’t seem as fun to wear as Pour un Homme to me, I just tried Brit Rhythm today, and the lavender note is lovely. Definitely worth a try.

      And I’m curious now, what is the L’Impacte version of Pour un Homme like? December 30, 2014 at 5:17pm Reply

      • Austenfan: It’s an extrait de parfum so it wears much closer to the skin. It’s very soft and plush, I prefer it too the extrait of Chanel Jersey, but I’m not Chanel’s biggest fan. L’Impacte has this incredibly soft gourmand drydown. December 31, 2014 at 7:48am Reply

  • Jo: I’m glad to see so much positive feedback for Burberry Brit Rhythm! I thought I was the only person who enjoyed this mellow musky floral. Also this year I too was so impressed with Van Cleef & Arpels California Reverie – such a beautiful breath of sunshine. My favourite discoveries have been Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale, Lubin Akkad, Keiko Mecheri Damascena and ELDO Tom of Finland. December 30, 2014 at 12:19pm Reply

    • Elisa: Yes, California Reverie is so sunny! Really improved my mood. December 30, 2014 at 12:30pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to meet another fan! When I tried it, I couldn’t believe that it was so neglected and didn’t get many reviews.

      I should have added Oeillet Bengale too, because I liked that perfume very much. December 30, 2014 at 3:01pm Reply

      • Patricia: Me, too, but it didn’t last very long on me. Did either of you have any problems with longevity? December 30, 2014 at 4:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: I think it lasted ok, but I wanted a bit more, probably because I liked it so much. December 30, 2014 at 4:28pm Reply

        • Jo: The longevity isn’t as good as I would have hoped, but not too bad, 5-6 hours for me! December 31, 2014 at 6:27pm Reply

  • Katy: Elisa, I received a sample of Min Scent Stories Shaman, which is the only perfume containing violet notes that I have ever liked. I think the price is just a wee bit steep for me! December 30, 2014 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Elisa: Hi Katy! That’s a nice one — violet with a strange smoky patchouli background IIRC. Unfortunately, yes, those prices are a bit dear! Maybe you can get a decant? December 30, 2014 at 2:04pm Reply

  • Caro: My favorite 2014 launches were without a doubt Rozy Voile d’Extrait by Vero Profumo and Mohur extrait by Neela Vermeire.

    Among my most worn during the year: Lyric Woman, Kiki, Cinabre and Jardins d’Armide

    I wish you a fabulous New Year!

    Caro December 30, 2014 at 1:16pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried Rozy yet, but the reviews sound very good. It’s on my list to try in 2015!

      Happy New Year, Caro! December 30, 2014 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: Hi to all and your wonderful contributions and great visuals! Wow! what a diverse and unique list of perfume treats — some of which I’ve yet to explore. And thanks to Bois de Jasmin , in particular, Trudy’s comments that I can only echo her sentiments towards discovering this site. It too has been my oasis and look forward to 2015 and discover some of those fragrances mentioned today and in the recent past. Not long ago I re-visited Seville a L’aube, which I was on the fence (is this a love/hate fragrance for me) and discovered that it’s last and unique notes somehow appealed to me. And oddly, when out food shopping with all it’s own wonderful aromas a woman passed by and I said to myself there’s that unique scent of Seville a L’aube! Another scent I look to discover is Bottega Veneta’s most recent creation: Knot. BV’s original is still a beautiful and elegant fragrance without being over the top and I hoard the little that’s left of the sample.

    *Where’s the best place to get samples these days (freebie or modest prices). I know MIN is generous but some of the retailers have become stingy or arrogant when requesting a sample that may only be sold in their store.

    Best to all for the coming year and if you’re a “Dragon” (Chinese Astrology) this is a highlighted year for you. December 30, 2014 at 2:21pm Reply

    • Karen: Luckyscent.com has samples at very reasonable prices. And they are incredibly fast at delivering! It’s easy to amass a huge stash of samples, and has been a good way for me to explore fragrances that are really expensive (Stephane Humbert Lucas 777!) but worth experiencing, plus check out ones written up or mentioned here. December 30, 2014 at 2:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Nancy, thank you! 🙂

      How about Aedes? You’re in NYC, aren’t you? They are generally really good with samples, and you can browse all you want in peace. December 30, 2014 at 3:04pm Reply

  • Kat: 2014 is the year I returned to the world of perfume after more than a decade. I re-discovered some scent I had put away for a long time like ‘Paris’. I bought only two fragrances. The Nouveau Cologne by 4711 just for fun. Unfortunately I don’t get the dry down of clean laundry so many describe but it ends on me with a rather tart citrus note that gives the impression of an after-shave (I guess that’s why some people call the scent unisex). My second purchase took more time and lots of sampling of all the -it- scents that were heavily pushed before Christmas. They were all too loud, too sweet, too flowery. In the end I bought Caudalie’s Parfum Divine because it has a softness I absolutely love. It’s like the pashmina scarf of perfumes. Actually I got a beautiful pashmina for Christmas, I sprayed some Parfum Divine on it, it’s now my writing scarf – only to be used when I sit down for some serious writing work. December 30, 2014 at 2:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: Pashima scarf of a perfume is such a good way to describe Parfum Divine. Did you try the oil version, by the way? If you don’t mind the dry oil texture, it’s such a good option too.

      I love your idea of a perfume to wear when writing. 🙂 I don’t have a single one that I wear it, but I always put something on when I write, even when I’m not writing anything perfume related. December 30, 2014 at 3:07pm Reply

      • Kat: I recently got hooked on Caudalie and I’m on a testing spree. One thing I noticed is that whilst not identically scented their products complement each other scent-wise. I know the Huile Divine is considered the Holy Grail of the line but as it contains some oils I’m not particularly fond of it’s not for me. December 30, 2014 at 3:46pm Reply

        • Victoria: I really wish that they didn’t use as many silicones, because some people really don’t like them. One of my favorite, silicone-free dry oils is Nuxe. But I prefer the scent of Huile Divine. January 1, 2015 at 3:22pm Reply

  • Anka: Victoria, I can understand that your year was overshadowed by worries about the current political events. Thank you for the articles about Ukraine!

    It was a pleasure to read everyone’s list and to look at the well chosen pictures.
    This year, I discovered the vero profumo line and am still thrilled, mito was my most worn fragrance I guess and rozy is on my wishlist for 2015.

    Ah, and it’s so nice to see Eau des Baux on Elisa’s list, every time I enter a L’Occitane shop I spritz some of it on my wrist and my husband loves it, too. Since I like Santal Majuscule and MdO’s Musc a lot, I have to try Fifi Chachnil soon – never heard about it, sounds very promising!

    I wish all the contributors and readers a peaceful 2015! December 30, 2014 at 3:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m so glad that you liked them! It was wonderful to travel around more and to share my discoveries. I still need to write about the traditional embroideries which capture the flowers and scents!

      Happy 2015, Anka! January 1, 2015 at 3:23pm Reply

  • carole macleod: A note to wish you well for the coming year. Thank you for your beautiful writing, and photos-the perfume reviews are amazing but I think my favourite parts of your blog had to do with your Ukraine photos, the appreciation you have for the art of needlework, the pictures of the stray cat on the street-thank you for everything!
    Carole December 30, 2014 at 5:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Carole! I will post more, since I have taken so many photos. I processed only a fraction of them so far. January 1, 2015 at 3:25pm Reply

  • limegreen: Happy New Year to everyone in the BdJ community, especially to Victoria, Andy, Elisa and Patricia — loved reading your favorites of 2014.
    My 2014 fragrance favorites will always be tied to my trip to Paris and some of the Malle discoveries (new for me) that I wore a lot in 2014 — Eau de Magnolia, En Passant, Dans Tes Bras, and Noir Epices.
    The most significant discovery for me this year though was Chanel no. 19 edt, and I owe this “evolutionary” step (I feel that I have evolved to a higher state of being!) to all the BdJ love for this classic! Thank you for this and for the wonderful blog. This year had its challenges, and fragrances and this blog provided much needed stimulation, humor, and delightful escapism. 🙂 December 30, 2014 at 6:06pm Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, great! Since No 19 is one of my top favorites, I’m always very happy to introduce it to others. And thank you for your super generous giveaways in 2014. January 1, 2015 at 3:28pm Reply

  • Karina: My best discovery of 2014 has been Le Labo Lys 41, I find it to be a wonderfully radiant and sensual white floral with a delicious vanilla base. December 30, 2014 at 7:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that Andy really liked that one too, and I agree, it’s such a radiant floral. January 1, 2015 at 3:29pm Reply

  • kaori: Thank you for beautiful and fun pictures. I appreciate everybody at Bois de Jasmin 🙂

    So many unpredictable sad things happened around the world, which left me speechless.

    Have a wonderful new year! December 31, 2014 at 1:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Let’s hope for a better, more peaceful 2015!

      Thank you very much, Kaori. 🙂 January 1, 2015 at 3:48pm Reply

  • Ingeborg: Thank you for this beautiful blog, it is still one of my favourite blogs about perfume. I was happy to see Knot on your list, Victoria. It is a perfume which I really liked the first time I tried it and I think a full bottle is not far away for me, it seems such an easy perfume to wear.

    Happy New Year to Victoria and the others contributing to the blog! December 31, 2014 at 7:02am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for your nice words, Ingeborg. Very happy to see another fan of Knot. It’s really a beauty. January 1, 2015 at 3:52pm Reply

  • Anne-Catherine: Dear Victoria, Thank you for your list of favorite scents you wore in 2014, so much more useful than just trying to make a list of discoveries in 2014 out of the more than 1000 new releases. Since this is my first comment, Also many thanks for all the information on te website. IT gives an answer to almost all THE questions I have about perfume. The rest has to remain mystery, because that’s part of the game.

    I really hope the political situation in Oekraïne will be resolved next year. Unbelievable we can still have those situations in europe nowadays. In can’t imagine enough how lucky I am to be born in Belgium, where the politicians discuss about trivial things. I hope you are used to live in surreal Belgium in the mean time.
    My list of favourites this year:
    Sycomore (Chanel): the perfect chypre to me
    Boccanera ( Orto Parisi): very different and modern, good sillage, lasts for days, lovely and creamy sandalwood in drydown.
    Vol d’hirondelle (Laurent Mazzone): cheering up scent, same family but nobler than la chasse aux papillons
    Flor y canto (arquiste): white floral full of surprises, perfect sillage and very Longlasting
    boisdeparadis (delrae): gorgeous, but sillage and longevity dissapointong

    Happy new year to all perfume lovers December 31, 2014 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Anne-Catherine. What a fun list you have, and there are a couple of perfumes on it that I haven’t tried yet, so onto my list they go. Vol d’Hirondelle sounds great, both for the fragrance and its charming name. I need to check where I can find it in Brussels. January 1, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Annette: This year has been beautifully scented for me. At the beginning of the year I discovered this lovely blog, for which I am truly grateful. Thank you, Victoria and the other contributors! I always enjoy reading the posts and comments. I have learnt so much from you, dear fragrant people.

    Probably my greatest discovery in the perfume world was Andy Tauer. I spent a happy summer sampling his creations, musing, loving, hating, adoring, returning, rethinking and finally getting myself an Explorer Set with Incense Rose, Incense Extreme and Noontide Petals, and also a full bottle of Sotto La Luna Gardenia. I love all four of them.

    At the end of the year I discovered D.S. & Durga following my request put here for suggestions of perfumes associated with Scotland. (George, thank you again!) Bitter Rose, Broken Spear stole my heart and will be my birthday gift for myself in February.

    Happy New Year to all of you, especially our hostess Victoria. May we have many beautiful things to share in 2015 🙂 December 31, 2014 at 10:08am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s been a pleasure to meet you too, Annette! And I loved following your perfume adventures. Hope that this year you will make many other interesting discoveries and share them with us. I was really intrigued about your Scotland quest! January 1, 2015 at 3:55pm Reply

      • Annette: Thank you, dear V! Of course I’ll share my new discoveries with you and all the lovely people here. Happy New Year! January 2, 2015 at 5:00am Reply

  • angeliki: I’m so happy to see 19 poudre in your list, Victoria! It is a perfume that has got many bad reviews unfairly, I feel, as the result of being released as a flanker of the original 19. For me, this scent put me out of my restleness. I had been wearing Florwerbomb as my signature scent for a few months. Then something bad happened, and I associated flowerbomb with that event in my mind. So I needed a change. I tried tens of perfumes, and nothing seemed right. I resigned to wearing a different perfume every day, as everything would feel not right after a day or two, and I had to constantly change. And then I sampled 19 poudre at the counter. I now have my new signature scent. It is fit for any occasion, and I couldn’t tire of it if I tried. Of course I’ll wear something else occasionally, just for fun, but this has definitely stuck. Happy new year!! December 31, 2014 at 10:52am Reply

    • Victoria: If one were to compare it to No 19, it won’t be a good baseline. They are just too different, especially in terms of their characters and what they convey. To me, No 19 Poudre is one of those perfumes that feel good anytime, anyplace, whatever my mood is. I just feel so comfortable wearing it. January 1, 2015 at 3:57pm Reply

  • rainboweyes: This year has been very turbulent which made me realize how blessed we are to live in a peaceful corner of the world. I’m very thankful for that.

    My perfume discoveries of 2014 include Vero Profumo Mito, the Oriza Legrand line, Emmanuel Levain scents (especially L’Eau d’Emmanuel and Tendre Pallida), Madagaskar by Richard Lüscher Britos, Gabriela Chieffo perfumes and Hiram Green’s Shangri-La.

    Happy New Year to everybody! December 31, 2014 at 12:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: You have so many interesting perfumes on your list, and most of them I haven’t tried yet, so I’m taking notes. 🙂 January 1, 2015 at 3:58pm Reply

  • Diane: I want to thank everyone on this blog, writers and readers, for activating my imagination around scent and fragrance, which encourages me to try new perfumes! I thought I was a “green”, “woody” girl (No.19, Bel Respiro, etc) but, after reading some wonderful reviews, have landed right in the lap of those big, beautiful white florals, and have fallen in love! Vero Profumo Mito (the extrait), Carnal Flower, PC Tuberose Gardenia–I love them and wore them ALL summer!! Then in the fall, I discovered Bandit (after having to try Fracas) and have launched into more Frederic Malle fragrances, Une Rose, and Portrait of a Lady. Life is so full of beautiful, luscious, magnificent fragrances, and this is just the place to sing their praises! Happy New Year!! December 31, 2014 at 1:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it fun to move out of your comfort zone and discover many new favorites? Glad that we could help you discover some new loves. 🙂 January 1, 2015 at 4:00pm Reply

  • Carolyn J.: Add me to the list of people wearing Eau De Magnolia because of your review. Also I found My Burberry, which I enjoy for its quince note, in spite of its sweetness.

    I tried Chanel Beige and TF Fleur de Chine but they were better in the bottle than on my skin. BV Knot is quite good.

    I am buying and trying a lot more since I started reading your blog in 2012. Keep up the good work! December 31, 2014 at 3:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m trying My Burberry right now on a strip, and it’s really pretty. I will have to wear it on skin and see how it develops, but the start is so nice. January 1, 2015 at 4:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you very much, everyone, for all of your comments; my list of perfumes to try in 2015 is getting longer and longer. I will reply to all of you within the coming couple of days, and meanwhile, I once again want to wish you Happy New Year! May it be full of happiness and beauty. xoxo December 31, 2014 at 3:48pm Reply

  • MontrealGirl: Thank you Victoria and team for a wonderful year of education, entertainment and sharing. I wish you all a Happy New Year and health, prosperity and wonderful new discoveries for 2015!

    Looking back at 2014 I appreciated your heart-felt generosity towards helping the Ukraine, the bits about Grandmothers (mine gave me Diorissimo this year as a total surprise and I treasure it and love it), hedgehog in the fog, reminiscing about old favourites like Anais Anais (my first self-bought perfume at 17 and I still buy it regularly), how to train the nose and all the other new perfume reviews along the way. I too got smitten with No 19 Poudre so my partner gave it to me and I have worn it more than any other perfume this year. What has also been really satisfying this year is that I was able to find perfume samples that I thought would match 4 different friends and they all fell head-over-heels in love with them. The joy of smelling and sharing perfume is contagious and wonderful and the best mood lifter in the world. Thanks for bringing so much pleasure with your blog! December 31, 2014 at 8:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Such a wonderful present! Is it a perfume she wore herself or she simply decided to make a scented gift?

      I’m so pleased that you liked the little hedgehog. He’s so adorable, and whenever I feel out of sorts, I only need to watch that short animation, and it never fails to make me smile. And to make me think, because while it’s a philosophical little film. January 1, 2015 at 4:38pm Reply

      • MontrealGirl: No, she never wore Diorissimo herself (she wore Arpege, Chanel 5 and L’Air du Temps). It was actually a very sweet story. I was heading to Switzerland to visit her as she is 92 was rather sick and so I planned to go for Easter to celebrate it with her. I told her what I missed most about my childhood in Switzerland was going into the forest the day before Easter Sunday to pick moss and flowers to prepare the Easter basket for the Easter bunny. The first spring flowers are out already there at that time of year (unlike in North America where we just have grey sludge) and I said I was REALLY looking forward to seeing and smelling the lily-of-the-valleys. Unfortunately spring came much earlier than usual and the flowers had already bloomed by the time Easter rolled around. So, my Grandmother decided to surprised me with the bottle so that I could at least enjoy the smell of the flower! I thought it was very sweet and thoughtful of her, especially as she has a hard time walking so she enlisted the help of a younger friend (in her 70’s) who then went hunting on the internet for the best lily-of-the-valley perfume and expressly went to the best perfume store in the city to buy it. I told them they had done a fantastic job finding Diorissimo and I wore it every day while I was in Switzerland. Now when I wear it it makes me think of Switzerland, Spring and my Grandmother. January 2, 2015 at 6:02pm Reply

        • Victoria: This is an absolutely wonderful story, and I love your grandmother’s idea. So touching and thoughtful. And well, you will enjoy Diorissimo for many many years! January 4, 2015 at 1:57pm Reply

  • Tourmaline: Dear Victoria,

    Thank you for keeping Bois de Jasmin alive under such stressful circumstances during the year. You might have been preoccupied with events in the Ukraine, but you still kept the blog going magnificently.

    I became a regular (rather than occasional) reader in 2014, and doing so has enhanced my life. The articles usually arrive in my email inbox after midnight, so unless I am up very late, I read them in the morning. By then there are often 50 or more comments, and it has become a wonderful morning routine from Tuesday to Saturday (given the time difference) for me to read the articles and comments while I’m having tea or coffee after breakfast.

    You are so right that small pleasures are essential in helping us to maintain balance. Perfume is not a luxury any more than music or chocolate or any of the other things that make life worth living are luxuries. I am reminded of something that I read several years ago that illustrates this fact perfectly. You and many readers might have heard this anecdote before, but I think that it is worth repeating. Lieutenant Colonel Gonin was among the first British soldiers to liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945, and in his diary, he described what happened when a box of red lipstick arrived. (Be warned that part of this extract is very confronting; I cannot read it without tearing up.)

    “It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don’t know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tattooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity.”

    I think that the lipstick could just as well have been perfume and the same thing would have happened. Like lipstick, perfume cannot possibly be a luxury when it helps to give people humanity and individuality.

    Thank you and happy New Year to all at Bois de Jasmin! January 1, 2015 at 5:22am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for sharing this moving story! I really choked up reading it; you were right about its impact. It reminded me that during the hard wartime years, my great-grandmother was never without her red lipstick. And afterwards too. I don’t remember her wearing much lipstick, because during the sixteen years or so I was around her, she avoided makeup completely (she felt that it aged her), but my mom remembers her wearing red lips all the time. Even when she was working in the garden!

      Thank you for sharing all of your stories and I still think that based on your description, your violet room is my idea of a perfect space. 🙂 January 1, 2015 at 4:41pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

        I was interested to read about your great-grandmother. I see wearing lipstick (especially the red variety) as a sign of what I call the “life force” – people embracing life and moving forward, even in the face of adversity, as your great-grandmother did. (Also, the pigment in the red lipstick would have helped to protect her lips from UV light damage while she was in the garden!) I hear that doctors recognize this too. When a woman has been in hospital recovering from some kind of illness or surgery and, one morning, she is sitting up in bed and wearing lipstick, that is often a sign that she is ready to go home.

        I do love my Violet Room! When I get myself organized later in the year, I shall do some “spring cleaning”, take some photos of the room and share them with you. January 3, 2015 at 12:04am Reply

        • bregje: Tourmaline,what a moving story!

          And i recognize what you said about hospitals too.
          Because when i was in hospital a few years back
          i did the same thing with perfume!
          There are such awful smells in hospitals and everyone is wearing pyjama’s and obviously you don’t look your best when you’re ill.
          But because of these surroundings i felt the uncontrolable need to make it prettier and to claim a little space for myself by enveloping me and my bed in nice fresh scents.I believe they were Davidoff cool water and pure white linen(el).
          Even the nurses commented on how wonderful it smelled in my room.
          Ever since then i felt like more people should go over to hospitals,older citizens homes,etc to give them make-overs.Not because they look bad but to make people feel a little better.
          So thank you for writing down this beautiful story! January 3, 2015 at 5:36pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Bregje,

            Thank you, I’m happy that you enjoyed reading the soldier’s anecdote. Those fragrances would have been perfect for your hospital space – fresh and calming. I have no doubt that the nurses would have enjoyed coming to assist you!

            You are so right about how a few cosmetics can go a long way towards making people feel better in hospitals and nursing homes. I saw this with my own mother during the 18 months that she was in a nursing home before she died. The kindness and caring that goes with the cosmetics is of course half the magic! January 4, 2015 at 5:38am Reply

        • Victoria: I can’t wait to see the photos (but no rush, of course!) My husband made new book shelves for my office, so I’m also getting a bit more organized, but it’s nothing nearly as cozy and charming as your Violet Room. January 4, 2015 at 2:10pm Reply

          • Tourmaline: Ah, one of the best “small pleasures” of life is filling a new bookshelf! January 4, 2015 at 10:45pm Reply

            • Victoria: I was reading letters of Gogol’s mother, in which she complains to a relative that Nikolasha spends too much money on books and her being torn between berating him for spending too much money and approving his desire to read. January 5, 2015 at 1:02pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

                That is interesting. I can understand her dilemma, particularly if he was still very young; I wonder how old he was at the time. But the desire to read is so valuable! My mother used to joke that my father had so many books that we might soon have to move out and let the books take over! Now I have so many books of my own that I do not have enough shelves for them all in my unit, and I have piles of books stacked in many rooms.

                Fortunately I have a garage that is large enough to fit my car as well as shelving. I have bought six kits of inexpensive metal shelving that I will assemble myself, and then will come the fun part! My less important books, magazines and “stuff” from upstairs can be stored in the garage, allowing more room for my favourite things upstairs.

                I keep berating myself for buying more books when I have at least 100 or more that I still haven’t read. But many books are remaindered so quickly these days, and I also love a bargain on something that I know I’m going to read. Even though it will take me years to get around to each one, I find it comforting to know that they are there. January 6, 2015 at 8:35am Reply

                • Victoria: I don’t think that he was that young, perhaps in his 20s. Gogol didn’t do well at school, especially in anything relating to exact sciences (and German!), and he was always having money shortages. His buying of books was probably more about the process, rather than reading, because in another letter he mentioned ordering a math encyclopedia simply because he loved the binding. 🙂 January 6, 2015 at 10:01am Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Well, I guess I can’t blame him for that! Some books are so very beautiful!! January 9, 2015 at 5:31am Reply

            • bregje: I so agree with both of you!
              A lot of people nowadays are reading from tablets and e-readers.Which is fine and i can see how covenient it could be,but i would miss the colors of the covers and the smell of the paper.
              I feel that a couple of bookshelves full of beautiful books really brighten up any room.
              I love organizing them and stacking them in different ways 😉
              So,indeed one of the small pleasures in life

              And those letters sound interesting,victoria,i have never read anything from Gogol yet.(or his mother,haha). January 5, 2015 at 11:01pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Bregje,

                I agree. Nothing beats the look, feel and smell of real books. January 6, 2015 at 8:26pm Reply

    • Annette: Tourmaline, thank you for this wonderful story! It made me think of the words of wisdom from my beloved George Eliot which I always remember in times of doubt:

      “The best piety is to enjoy – when you can. You are doing the most then to save the earth’s character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight – in art or in anything else.”

      Happy New Year! January 2, 2015 at 5:20am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

        Thank you so much for this wonderful quote, which I think shall become one of my favourites. They are wise words indeed.

        I regret to say that the last time I read any George Eliot was over 35 years ago, at university, with “Middlemarch”. I really must read more of her work. I have owned a copy of “The Mill on the Floss” for years and I can’t believe that I’ve still never read it, although it was first recommended to me back in Grade Eight at school. Perhaps I shall get onto that one this year!

        A very happy New Year to you, too! January 3, 2015 at 12:07am Reply

        • Annette: Tourmaline, those wise words come from Middlemarch! Will Ladislaw talking to Dorothea in chapter XXII of the first volume. So in fact you read them all those years ago:)

          I absolutely adore George Eliot. Middlemarch is a masterpiece. I remember my feelings when I finished reading it for the first time: “Now I can die, my life is fulfilled. No other book will ever match it.” Sounds kind of melodramatic 🙂 but it’s still true. No other book has surpassed it.

          Do read The Mill on the Floss, it is beautiful. And try Daniel Deronda, it is my second favourite of Ms Eliot’s novels. Happy reading in this new year! January 3, 2015 at 1:52am Reply

          • Karen: Wonderful post Tourmaline, thank you for sharing – now I’m inspired to (re)try Middlemarch! January 3, 2015 at 4:36pm Reply

            • Tourmaline: Hi Karen,

              Thank you, I’m glad that you appreciated the post. It appears that we both have Annette to thank for bringing us back to Middlemarch! January 4, 2015 at 5:37am Reply

              • Annette: Karen and Tourmaline, now I feel inspired to read Middlemarch one more time 🙂 January 4, 2015 at 5:56am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

            That is an amusing coincidence! I was going to add in my first reply to you that it was so long since I had read Middlemarch that I had little memory of it. Unfortunately, I suspect that when I first read those remarks at age 17, I would not have appreciated them but would have thought that the character was mistaken. Although my father, in particular, relished the arts in many forms (playing the piano beautifully, loving literature – especially Jane Austen, painting wonderful landscapes in oils and so on), both he and my mother had instilled in us three kids the importance of working as hard as possible at one’s goals, and back then I didn’t see that as compatible with enjoyment, except to the extent that I enjoyed my studies. I was a very serious young creature. I remember that whenever I was having fun, I had the sense that at any moment one of my parents was likely to come along and remind me of one or other of my duties (although I was a highly conscientious student). I am unlikely to have believed that enjoyment could be considered “the best piety”!

            I am such a different person now and I love the perspective that comes with age. To my credit, I remember thinking back then that I was far too young to appreciate anywhere near fully the classic works that I was reading for university. After all, I had so little life experience. I had never had a job (apart from working Saturday mornings in a dress shop for a year or so), paid rent, bought a home, experienced a marriage, raised children, suffered a serious illness or endured the loss of anyone close. I had had a very privileged and sheltered upbringing, and the most responsibility that I’d ever had was to work hard at school and balance my pocket-money budget. How could I understand the suffering of Dickens’ characters or the longing of The Lady of Shalott? I still hold the view that mature age students (and older readers generally) are far more likely to get value from literature courses at university. I don’t regret having taken the classes, but I’m glad that I kept all of the books, so that I can re-read them and understand and appreciate them far more fully than I could as an ingénue.

            So, I shall definitely re-read Middlemarch (especially in view of your glowing assessment), read my languishing copy of The Mill on the Floss and seek out Daniel Deronda! Thank you again for the quote and for your recommendations. January 4, 2015 at 5:35am Reply

            • Annette: Dear Tourmaline, I can relate to what you have written. And thank you for sharing those thoughts and experiences with me.

              I believe that lots of things get distorted when they are handed down to young children – for various reasons. The very laudable work ethics may leave no space for enjoyment in children (which seems to have been your case), just as much as other traditions or philosophies based on quite different assumptions. Rejecting some beliefs and accepting others is part of growing up, even if – or maybe especially when – we reject our parents’ tenets. But by then we already – hopefully – know that our parents loved us and meant well, and we understand them and we can live our lives without bitterness or rancour.

              So, back to Middlemarch 🙂 I was lucky to read it for the first time as a 40+ woman. I know I wouldn’t have appreciated it as much at the age of 17. And I never recommend it to young people – they need to have lived through something to understand its greatness. Virginia Woolf called Middlemarch “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” I couldn’t agree more.

              Hmmm… I know that Victoria’s site is not a book blog and I hope I am not abusing her hospitality by raving about books, but things of beauty are to be found in so many places, and for me this place is first and foremost in literature.

              Enjoy Middlemarch, dear Tourmaline. PS I have a hunch that Dorothea will become someone very special for you when you finish 🙂 January 4, 2015 at 6:49am Reply

              • Victoria: I love when we talk on all topics that interest us–books, art, and many other pleasures, so please don’t apologize and don’t hold yourself back. This is what these comment threads are for. 🙂

                I definitely need to read Middlemarch! January 4, 2015 at 7:07am Reply

                • Annette: Thank you, Victoria! You are such a generous hostess, I do appreciate it.

                  As for Middlemarch, can I tempt you more by saying that for me this novel is as great as Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment? 🙂 January 4, 2015 at 7:19am Reply

                  • Victoria: I’m sure I will like it more, and I’m sure that it’s better. 🙂 Dostoyevsky is not one of my favorite writers, I confess. January 4, 2015 at 2:20pm Reply

                    • Annette: Oops 🙂 January 4, 2015 at 2:34pm

                    • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

                      (This is a reply to your comment of 7 January, which had no blue “reply” button at the end.)

                      Oh, that is awful that you were forced to read Crime and Punishment in three days! I know that it is important to study novels at school, but it is a shame that the methods involved so often spoil people’s impressions of books that they might otherwise have enjoyed.

                      As per my latest reply to Annette, I spoke to my father about Dostoyevsky and I will be adding Crime and Punishment to my reading list after all. It will probably be several years before I get to it, though, because the list is already very long! January 9, 2015 at 5:27am

                    • Victoria: Oh, it’s ok, no worries! It’s perfectly fine to start a new comment thread, since after a while, the text box narrows too much to remain legible.

                      If you would like to try something by Dostoyevsky without the commitment that Crime and Punishment requires, I recommend the White Nights. It was his most romantic and very different novel from the others he wrote, but it’s my favorite. It’s fairly short, so it would be a quick read, but it gives you a glimpse into his ability to capture the isolation of an individual, desperation and moral dilemmas.

                      But to be honest, out of the Russians, I prefer Bunin the most. His Life of Arseniev is a masterpiece (for which he won a Nobel prize), and the language is rich and beautiful. January 9, 2015 at 7:14am

                    • Tourmaline: Hi Victoria,

                      (a reply to your comment of January 9)

                      Thank you, it’s good to know that it’s fine to start new comment threads.

                      Reading a shorter work first is a great idea, and White Nights sounds wonderful. My father might even have it amongst his books. I must also explore Bunin one day as well. Thank you so much for your suggestions. January 10, 2015 at 8:41pm

                    • Victoria: My pleasure! There are so many wonderful books out there. January 12, 2015 at 8:53am

                  • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

                    Victoria is indeed a generous hostess. As for “Crime and Punishment”, well, so many books, so little time! There’s at least one more that I can happily cross off the list! January 4, 2015 at 10:46pm Reply

              • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

                Thank you for your very thoughtful response. Rest assured that I know that my parents wanted only the best for me; I didn’t mean to imply that I felt any rancour towards them. I never went through a rebellious stage, as so many do, because I agreed with their views. Rather than changing, my views simply expanded over time, to encompass the value of joy.

                As it is for you, literature is my greatest love, but I changed my goal of becoming an English teacher, partly because I knew that most of the students would only be there because the subject was compulsory, and partly because of a developing interest in psychology. I have now been a clinical and counselling psychologist for 28 years, and can vouch on a professional basis for the importance of balance and enjoyment in maintaining mental health. The field of psychophysiology, namely the study of the interplay between the mind and the body, is one of my major areas of interest.

                I’m happy to report that my father, a retired surgeon, is still alive and well at 86. He spends most of the day immersed in his beloved books and he still plays the piano and gardens and so on. I hope that I make it to that age in reasonable health!

                It is gratifying to hear that Virginia Woolf thought of Middlemarch as “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people”, although I think that many English novels would fall into this category, rather than just a few. I look forward to re-acquainting myself with Middlemarch, and I’m sure that you are right about Dorothea!

                Like Victoria, I have followed your search for Scotland-themed perfumes with interest. I have never read any Dorothy Dunnett (so I shall also add The Lymond Chronicles to my reading list); however one of my favourite old movies is “Brigadoon”. Perhaps “Bitter Rose, Broken Spear” would be a good accompaniment to this movie, as well! I have no idea what heather smells like, so I must seek out the fragrance one day. I hope that all goes well with your savings (e.g. no burst pipes and large bills) so that you can buy the perfume for your birthday next month, as planned. January 4, 2015 at 10:43pm Reply

                • Annette: Hi Tourmaline,

                  First, let me apologize for psychologizing to a psychologist 🙂 Naturally, you know far better the things I tried to express so clumsily.

                  Your father is a wonderful gentleman! I envy people who are musical. My own rendition of Auld Lang Syne would make willing listeners run for cover. May he have a long and beautiful life. And you too!

                  And guess what. Prompted by my own prompting I picked up Middlemarch yesterday and I am now in chapter XII. Gorgeous, as always.

                  Virginia Woolf of course is not right in calling Middlemarch “one of the few etc.”, but a novel for grown up people it most certainly is. I can’t imagine immersing myself in this book as a teenager. Although, I was 16 or 17 when I read Crime and Punishment and called it THE masterpiece right away. Still do. With Middlemarch as a close runner-up.

                  Thank you for recommending Brigadoon. I’ve never seen it but will definitely look for it. Old musicals are great. Gene Kelly with his “Dignity, always dignity” never fails to crack me up.

                  All the best again, dear Tourmaline. January 5, 2015 at 8:39am Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

                    Oh, “no worries” (as we say in Australia) about your comments. Actually I was rather moved by your lucid account of what can happen in the best case scenario between parent and child.

                    Yes, the word “gentleman” describes my father perfectly! Thank you so much for your kind remarks.

                    I am delighted that you were inspired to pick up Middlemarch again! I should make it the second on my list of books to read this year. My first will be The Master of All Desires, by Judith Merkle Riley. I have never read any of her work, but a dear pen-friend in Florida sent me her personal copy of this book as a Christmas gift, because she so wanted to share it with me.

                    As regards Crime and Punishment, hmmm, what to do… Victoria is not a fan, but you rate it very highly indeed! I know, I’ll ask my father for his opinion; he is sure to have read it. He adores languages and has taught himself many of them. While I was in high school, he took classes in both Russian and German at the University of Queensland, for enjoyment. Actually it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s read the book in its original language. I suspect that he’ll advise me to read it, in fact he’ll probably be disappointed that I haven’t read it already!

                    I first saw Brigadoon as a young child, and then I always looked forward to watching repeats of it, even on our old black-and-white TV. Now I have my own copy of the DVD in colour, and it gets a regular airing. You should wait until you have your new perfume before watching it, though, and I hope that you enjoy it. I’m sure that Scotland today is very modern, but I’ve seen Brigadoon so many times that its romantic landscapes are what come to mind whenever I hear of the country.

                    Oh, Gene Kelly is wonderful. I must get out my DVD of Singin’ in the Rain because I haven’t watched it for years!

                    All the very best to you, too, Annette. January 6, 2015 at 8:45am Reply

                    • Annette: Hi Tourmaline,

                      Your father is a true Renaissance man! May I compare him to Lymond, this Scot who started my quest for a Scottish perfume? Lymond is a polyglot, an accomplished musician, a brilliant swordsman and what not:) Your father seems like his incarnation. I will be very curious about his opinion on Dostoyevsky.

                      I have located Brigadoon and was planning to watch it at the weekend, but now will wait till I get my perfume. It might create a nice contrast between the frolics in the musical and the infinite sadness of the fragrance:) I will report to you my impressions of the film.

                      Gotta run now, so g’day to you and all the best, dear Tourmaline! January 7, 2015 at 7:53am

                    • Victoria: Tourmaline, I do recommend reading Crime and Punishment, my own lack of enthusiasm for Dostoyevsky notwithstanding. Some of it might have to do with the fact that we were forced to read the novel in 3 days (!) in school, and that’s not the right way to approach any complex piece of literature. I keep promising myself to give it another, fair chance. January 7, 2015 at 1:20pm

                  • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

                    This is a reply to your comment of 7 January, but there was no blue “reply” button to press at the end of that (which probably means that I have raved on for long enough in this thread!), so I pressed the reply button on your previous comment instead. I’m sorry if this is a faux pas, Victoria!

                    Yes, that is exactly how I think of my father – as a Renaissance man! Perhaps he is like Lymond; I am now intrigued and will definitely seek out those books one day. My father is small, though. He is only about five feet, five inches tall (I am only five feet, two inches), so he might not be very good with a sword. He often says that he would have liked to play football at school but couldn’t because he was “a runt”! But then again, perhaps being tall is not a prerequisite for great swordsmanship. My father does have blue eyes, though!

                    Today, during a phone call with my father, I asked him for his opinion of Crime and Punishment. He said that he admired it. He read it in English and has a copy in Russian that he has dipped into, but he hasn’t read the whole work in Russian. He said that Dostoyevsky was an interesting character – a drinker and a compulsive gambler. Anyway, you will be pleased to hear that I have decided to be fair and add the book to my reading list after all.

                    My father said that there was no doubt that Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky and Turgenev (I had never heard of the latter and had to ask him to spell the name) were the three greatest Russian authors of the 19th century, and that Dickens, Trollope & Thackeray were the three greatest English authors of the 19th century. I’m sure that this is actually his opinion, and that some people might place at least one woman amongst the top three English authors of that century! I forgot to ask him whether he had read Middlemarch, but will do so when I see him tomorrow week.

                    I am quite the feminist, and sometimes I see what I regard as flaws in books by men (and some women) from earlier generations – flaws that my father might not see, if you follow me. But then you liked Crime and Punishment, so it must have a lot to recommend it!

                    Today I also watched Brigadoon again; all this talk had made me crave seeing it because it had been too long. I was interested in the mention of “heather ale”, which is a real thing according to the Internet. I had forgotten that you saw Bitter Rose, Broken Spear as a fragrance of infinite sadness. For that reason (and also because I’m keen to hear your impressions of it), perhaps you should watch Brigadoon this weekend after all. If you like it enough then you can always watch it again when you have the perfume and see whether it enhances the experience. I’m just afraid that it might bring out the melancholy in the movie, although I see Brigadoon as mainly very cheerful – and magical! Anyway, whenever you choose to watch it, I do hope that you enjoy it. January 9, 2015 at 5:24am Reply

                    • Annette: Tourmaline, please scroll to the bottom of this page. January 12, 2015 at 3:32pm

  • johanob: Happy New Year Victoria,Andy,Elisa and Patricia!Hope you all had a fantastic festive season!Cool lists!L’Orpheline is on top of my personal “Best-of” list,which includes Rosa Nobile,and Girl as well.I did like Velvet Orchid as well(sorry Elisa!lol)Discovery of the year to me was firstly a note:Heliotropin.And then THE SEARCH for a perfect Heliotrope-perfume!Found it in Etro’s gorgeously sublime Heliotrope.And that made me happy!2015:VETIVER.Difficult note for me,but I shall not give up!Lol!Happy a super New Years day!xo Johano January 1, 2015 at 5:57am Reply

    • johanob: Oh yes:Special mention in my BEST OF list:Amouage Sunshine.It’s in my perfume vault,only to see daylight on special daytime occasions.Too FANTASTIC to be on a list!!Lol!!;-)) January 1, 2015 at 6:01am Reply

    • Victoria: Ah, you found it! Yes, I agree on Etro’s Heliotrope. If you want a true, unvarnished, uncluttered heliotrope note, it’s one of the best. January 1, 2015 at 4:42pm Reply

  • iodine: Happy 2015 dear Victoria & others!
    I’ll take some time to read thoroughly your lists, the comments and get new suggestions- meanwhile thanks for your daily precious work, looking forward to see it continue through the New Year! 🙂
    I haven’t loved much of the 2014 scented offer, didn’t buy much, also. Fur sure, Eau de Magnolia has been my fragrance of the year! Then I started to re-discover the house of Guerlain after having found my box of vintage minis at my parents’ house. and now I’m exploring the vetiver note, with the aid of your exhaustive as ever guide.
    Let me wish you again a peaceful and happy New Year.
    PS: what’s the Gothic church interior among your beautiful pictures? January 1, 2015 at 6:44am Reply

    • Victoria: And thank you for inspiring new book reading in 2014! 🙂

      The church is Notre Dame. I just loved the way light fell through the colored glass windows. But Notre Dame, on the whole, is such a photogenic church.

      Can’t wait to see what you discover in the vetiver realm. I’m working on some vetiver reviews, by the way. January 1, 2015 at 4:49pm Reply

  • Tijana: Dear Victoria, Andy, Elisa and Patricia,

    Happy New Year to all and thank you for an amazing 2014, lots of great reviews and fragrant wisdoms!

    For me, 2014 was really good in helping me discover my new staples and signatures. First, it will be remembered as the year I (re)discovered Thierry Mugler fragrances. After almost 20 years, I went back to using Angel and discovering all of its flankers. Secondly, I discovered the Alien line which I wasn’t as familiar with before and I fell in love with Alien Essence Absolue which is now one of my signature fragrances (but I kind of like all Aliens :))

    Other than that, I also discovered my second and third signature fragrances 🙂 – Guerlain’ Mon Precieux Nectar, which I liked so much that I ended up using full 125 ml and buying a new bottle (which is a rarity for me!) and Kilian’s Sweet Redemption, which was an unexpected love for me! January 1, 2015 at 9:58am Reply

    • Victoria: You had quite a fabulous scented year, Tijana! 🙂 And I’m impressed that you used up Mon Precieux Nectar. I definitely need to revisit it, then, because based on your comments and your likes, I think we might have similar tastes in perfume. January 1, 2015 at 4:57pm Reply

      • Tijana: I agree! Check my email when you get a moment 🙂 January 1, 2015 at 8:12pm Reply

  • Aisha: Happy New Year!

    I know I haven’t been commenting much recently, but please know that I do still read this blog and appreciate the hard work that you all do. 🙂

    My favorite “finds”in 2014 were L’eau de Chloe and Chloe eau de parfum. I think I had commented elsewhere that I really didn’t “get” either fragrance when I first tried them. I considered myself a Love, Chloe kind of gal. Period. But I tried the other two again in early 2014 (I placed a dab on the back of my neck instead of behind the ears) and finally picked up the note of roses. It was beautiful, and I was hooked.

    I also discovered that I kinda like Flowerbomb after all, but it wasn’t really Flowerbomb. I know that doesn’t make sense, so please allow me to explain. It was early Fall and I found myself overcome with the urge to purchase a new fragrance. I wanted to play it safe, just in case, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. Well, I came across a bottle of Pink Sugar Sparks at a discount store. I had always considered Pink Sugar to be safe, so I decided to give the flanker a try. From first spray, I was in sugar heaven. But then I realized it smelled familiar. Sure enough, when I tested it against my sample of Flowerbomb, they smelled almost the same. Pink Sugar Sparks just had that little kick that Flowerbomb lacks. But yeah, they’re very close. Anyway, I had to laugh at myself that I got addicted to the Pink Sugar flanker when I really didn’t care much for Flowerbomb. It was an amusing discovery. 🙂

    Speaking of Flowerbomb … I tried Spicebomb. I LOVE IT! Bought it for my hubby, but I’ve been using it sometimes too. 😉

    In 2015, I hope to spend the first few months rediscovering old favorites. Today, (Jan. 1) I’m wearing Cristalle.

    Happy New Year to the Bois de Jasmin gang! January 1, 2015 at 12:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Rediscovering old favorites is a great resolution, and Cristalle sounds like a perfect choice to kick off the year. Happy New Year, Aisha! Always a pleasure to see you back (but of course, no pressure, I’m glad that people visit, whether they comment or not!) January 1, 2015 at 5:17pm Reply

  • Aurora: Such useful diverse lists, yes, it’s much better faced with the avalanche of new launches to decide on a list of favorites.

    Happy New Year Victoria, Elisa, Patricia and Andy! Thank you for the well considered perfume reviews, the delicious recipes, the cultural news. An example among many discovered delights on this blog is the Japanese incense which I now burn regularly thanks to you Victoria! January 1, 2015 at 10:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: So pleased that you like the Japanese incense! Which kind did you get in the end?

      Happy New Year to you too! January 4, 2015 at 12:42pm Reply

      • Aurora: I purchased Autumn Leaves; I know we’re both fans of this one and that you even wish it were a perfume, and you are absolutely right, it would be delightful in perfume form. The other sticks have no name, or rather it’s all in Japanese, and it’s very good too – you got me addicted! January 5, 2015 at 4:56am Reply

        • Victoria: 🙂 Autumn Leaves is such a gorgeous scent and very appropriately named. I do have to say that I’m yet to try Shoyeido incense I didn’t enjoy. January 5, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

  • Lora: Happy New Year to all and a special thanks to Victoria and the crew of boisdejasmin for your expertise and sharing! I benefit greatly from your teaching.
    Victoria, did you buy Habit Rouge in EDT or EDP? Forgive me if you mentioned already, I didn’t see it. I have been curious about it for a long time, and have not had any luck in finding it at any stores where I live. Which formula do you prefer?
    Thank you, Lora January 2, 2015 at 1:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Happy New Year, Lora, and thank you very much for visiting.

      I bought the EDP for my husband, but in the retrospect, I should have gotten the EDT. I prefer it more, I think. The EDP has an oud note, which is nice, but it also can be a bit sharp. January 4, 2015 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Marilyn: Victoria, you have been very much in my thoughts ever since this latest trouble in Ukraine began, and I try to feel what you must be feeling;to think what you must be thinking, to fear what you must be fearing. It’s one small way to be with you and support you as best I can. January 2, 2015 at 6:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much for your thoughts, Marilyn! This means so much to me! January 4, 2015 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Katy: Picked up the Burberry Brit Rhythm today and it is the loveliest, dry peony scent in the far drydown. It is a fragrance that rewards the patient. I might layer it with lavender EO to extend the lavender in the opening, which is just not long lasting enough for me. Quite nice and you simply cannot beat the price. I mean far drydown, like maybe it really does not completely unfold until about 6 hours in! January 4, 2015 at 8:07pm Reply

    • Victoria: Glad to hear that you like it too, Katy! I also wouldn’t mind more lavender, but as it is, I love how complex and surprising it is. It also takes its time on my skin, and that’s what I enjoy. January 5, 2015 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Lora Wooten: Thanks for responding Victoria, I didn’t know about the oud note. I do like oud but agree that it can be a little harsh, so I’ll try the EDT.
    I was wondering if you have some advice for layering when it is too sharp. I purchased Laquered Rose by X-Ray last year(I think you had tested it the day that I bought it coinsidently) And I have been wearing it a bit this winter but sometimes it seems heavy on the oud to my nose. Is there a way to adjust that? January 5, 2015 at 11:16am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t really know how to soften it, since it depends on a specific combination. But generally, anything musky should soften the harsher notes. Or try applying it over a mildly scented body lotion and see if it helps. January 5, 2015 at 1:19pm Reply

  • Susan: Let me add my thanks for this lovely place to discover new scents. A friend told me about it, and I am hooked. I have made some purchase mistakes, but am learning about how to minimize those. Thanks Victoria for your info on the violet Japanese incense – I use it a lot in the mornings. I just purchased the Burberry Brit Rhythm and expect to love it. Thanks so much! January 5, 2015 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for visiting and reading, Susan! 🙂 I really hope that you like Burberry Brit Rhythm. As Katy commented, it does take a while to develop fully on skin, but all stages are good. January 5, 2015 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Karen: My bottle of La Panthere arrived today and it’s just wonderful! Beautiful and full, but not so overwhelming on me. Glad I got it! January 5, 2015 at 7:14pm Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it! It’s really a gorgeous perfume. January 6, 2015 at 9:44am Reply

  • Amanda: A very happy New Year to all at BdJ! This site has been my go to for quite some time. 2014 brought about so many changes in my limited world and the world as a whole, both large and small along with good and bad. My perfume explorations were all across the board! La Panthere by Cartier is my favorite launch of the year. I received a sample and was actually quite intimidated by it at first sniff. Several months later as the weather cooled, I found my little vial and fell in love! My darling partner in crime purchased one of Macy’s La Panthere gift sets for my birthday and I’ve been wearing it almost daily. No other scent has injected me with such a womanly and sexy feeling! The bottle is amazing to boot and could very well fend off a would be intruder as it is one heavy hunk of glass.

    Before La Panthere took the spotlight in my collection, Miss Dior EDP was my usual perfume. I found My Burberry so beautiful that I purchased it on the same day I tried in on my skin; no samples, just the medium sized bottle. Unfortunately I was more in love with the print ads than the fragrance and it’s appeal wore off rather quickly. Hopefully I will rediscover it because it’s quite a beautiful, watery, green floral that is well crafted.

    My mother received a L’Artisan sampler set and has fallen head over hills in love with Mure de Musc Extrem. I hope to surprise her with a proper sized bottle on Mother’s Day.

    Thanks to everyone for their fantastic suggestions and scent stories! January 10, 2015 at 4:25am Reply

    • Victoria: Happy New Year, Amanda! It’s so much fun to read about your discoveries and how La Panthere captivated you. 🙂 You made me want to go and put some on. It’s such a lush and big perfume.

      My Burberry is tame, of course, but it’s really nicely done and for a daytime floral that won’t feel overwhelming or challenging, it’s a good option. So, you can alternate between it and La Panthere and enjoy different facets and characters of both.

      I bet your mother will love her present! January 10, 2015 at 8:49am Reply

      • Amanda: Thank you, Victoria! Alternating La Panthere and My Burberry has been difficult because I’m so obsessed with that big, luscious cloud of heaven. At some point, I will start alternating just so my beloved La Panthere won’t disapoear too quickly, not that one needs very many sprays or dabs to wear this powerful scent. I’ve been guilty of using a tad too much for a few events and I can’t wait to spray to my heart’s content when the Mardi Gras balls begin! 🙂

        I’m excited to get my mom something so special and luxurious! She deserves far more than a perfume bottle but she’ll understand all of the emotions that go along with such a gift. January 11, 2015 at 3:39am Reply

        • Victoria: Can’t agree more! It’s the intention and thought that counts the most. 🙂 January 12, 2015 at 8:54am Reply

  • Annette: Hi Tourmaline and Victoria (and every other reader:)),

    I have decided to reply in a new thread as those narrow boxes remind me too much of very thin sausages on a strict diet 🙂

    Soooo… last night I watched Brigadoon and enjoyed it a lot. Those old films have so much charm! Tourmaline, call me crazy, but the ending brought to my mind the larger-than-life Avatar from J. Cameron. Do you think someone gave someone some ideas?

    Anyway, I was wearing Incense Rose at the time (it so happened) and was sipping mint tea (strange combination, I know), and those Scottish lassies and laddies complemented this mixture of flavours and scents just perfectly. But I must tell you that Ms. Dunnett’s Scotland is completely different. Nobody wears a kilt! There is just one bagpipe player in the whole saga (if memory serves me right). There is a lot of humour but the whole story is serious, very very serious.

    And here’s another similarity between your father and Lymond: they are both of medium height. It starts to look spooky, don’t you think?

    I admire your father more and more. He loved Crime and Punishment. Ha! I knew it. But if next time you tell me that he reads Japanese and flies planes I’ll develop an inferiority complex and you – as a psychologist – should realize that it’s not a nice thing to have 🙂 BTW, does he play chess?

    As for books, I very often think that those to-be-read lists are more harmful than useful (and this coming from me, recommending books all over the place). My favourite literary critic Michael Dirda says: “Read at whim.” How liberating. Maybe my whim will lead me to Bunin, whom I’ve never read (yes, dear Victoria, never), maybe your whim, dear Tourmaline, will lead you to Middlemarch (fingers crossed!), but if not… Well, we have already read so many beautiful books, smelled so many beautiful scents, listened to so much beautiful music, admired so many beautiful landscapes, paintings, faces that one more seems almost like asking too much. I am contented. It’s a wonderful life.

    Well, I haven’t been very coherent in jotting down my thoughts (so many thoughts, so little time:)) And those text boxes keep getting narrow!

    All the best again. Have a great week. January 12, 2015 at 3:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: If I don’t write down what books I want to read, I will just forget. I don’t read in sequence, and I usually read several books at the same time, switching between them depending on my mood and interests. But even if I don’t read the books I put on my list immediately, just reading the reviews or doing a little research is good. You always learn something new. January 12, 2015 at 3:41pm Reply

      • Annette: I am always making lists of books I want to read, jotting down the titles on odd scraps of paper or old bus tickets, downloading samples to my Kindle… But there invariably comes a day when I feel so overwhelmed that I reach for old favourites like The Moomins or P.G. Wodehouse and read them for the umpteenth time feeling happy and peaceful. (Which does not alter the fact that I want to read Bunin!)

        And reading books about books is one of the greatest pleasures I know 🙂 January 13, 2015 at 3:35am Reply

        • Victoria: Can’t agree more! It really is. January 13, 2015 at 11:04am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hello again Annette,

          Oh yes, books about books are wonderful, and I’ve collected quite a few. Some that I’ve bought over the last few years include “Classics for Pleasure” (by your favourite literary critic!), “Wild Women and Books: Bibliophiles, Bluestockings and Prolific Pens: From Aphra Behn to Zora Neale Hurston and from Anne Rice to the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” by Brenda Knight, “Lost Classics: Writers on Books Loved and Lost, Overlooked, Under-read, Unavailable, Stolen, Extinct, or Otherwise Out of Commission” by Ondaatje and Redhill, and “Nothing Remains the Same: Rereading and Remembering” by Wendy Lesser.

          I bought all of the above (and many others) from “Academic Remainders”, which I’ve mentioned previously. With such names, how could I resist them! I snapped them up while I could. Just don’t ask me to review them, because although I’ve dipped into them, they are all still on my metaphorical “reading list”! January 13, 2015 at 11:41am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

      I’m glad that you enjoyed Brigadoon, and that it complemented your perfume and mint tea. Yes, it is a charming film, and Van Johnson’s dry humour contrasts perfectly with all of the romance. When I was a child, watching the film in black and white, it would never have occurred to me that the whole thing was filmed in a studio and that there was not a square inch of real countryside, Scottish or otherwise, in sight. Of course the synthetic nature of the sets is far more obvious when you watch the film in colour, but it’s amusing to me that, as I mentioned previously, when I think of Scotland I still think of those “landscapes”!

      Oh, I haven’t yet seen Avatar. I meant to see it in 3D when it was first released, but never got around to it. (I bought the Blu-ray for my younger brother, though, so I’ll have to go and watch it on his big-screen TV sometime!) As so many modern films are derivative, it wouldn’t surprise me if people have taken ideas from Brigadoon.

      When I looked up Dorothy Dunnett I didn’t read too many details about the Lymond books, in order to avoid “spoilers”, but I’m surprised to hear that there are no kilts and that there is (probably) only one bagpipe player. I’m actually now even more intrigued!

      So Lymond, too, is of average height… My, there are indeed a lot of coincidences here! Yes, Dad plays chess, and he taught me and my brothers to play when we were kids. No, he doesn’t read Japanese, but along with Latin, Greek, German and Russian, he has studied smatterings of languages including Spanish, French, Italian and Bahasa Indonesia. And while DAD doesn’t fly planes, my older brother obtained his pilot’s licence and flew light aircraft for a while (although he has been a radiographer for many years now).

      As for the inferiority complex issue, that’s an interesting one. The great thing about my father is that although he is extraordinarily intelligent, he is also one of the quietest, humblest, gentlest, most non-patronizing people you could meet, and he would never intentionally make anyone feel uncomfortable. His number one priority has always been that his children be happy, whatever profession they choose. The only thing that would disappoint him would be for us to fail to do our best. I would say that he values character above intellect and accomplishment, so please don’t feel bad when you think of him. I don’t think of him as better than I, just different in some ways!

      I often use the term “my reading list” metaphorically, because the only books that I have on an actual paper (or computer) list are the ones that I don’t yet own. The major contents of “my reading list” are the books that I’ve already bought (or been given) that I haven’t yet read, and there are easily a couple of hundred of those. I have always written down the names and details of interesting books that I’ve heard about; the major difference since I obtained Internet connection three years ago is that I have been able to look up titles immediately. I keep information about them in Word documents.

      Like Victoria, I usually have several books on the go at any one time (a work of fiction, something from the psychology field, an autobiography or biography, a book on perfume or jewellery or some other form of art, a book on language and perhaps one or two others). Dad has always done the same. So while I don’t keep a list of books in the order in which I intend to read them, I always have a large selection of books that I want to read available to me (including my father’s enormous collection), and I choose from these at whim.

      It must feel wonderful to have arrived at a place where you feel contented with your life. I will feel more so when I’ve completed my first novel, but that’s another story (ha ha)! I still have a long way to go.

      All the best to you again, Annette. January 13, 2015 at 11:32am Reply

      • Annette: Oh my, oh my, oh my, you are writing a novel?! How wonderful! Congratulations! And feel contented right now because it is a great accomplishment. And listen: I myself…ahem, ahem… well, how shall I put it? So, to cut a long story short, I myself have written two books and got stuck in a third. Wait! Not published. Not publishable. Not good. But writing the first one was one of the best experiences in my life. So I feel contented. And you should too!

        I will write more very soon, I have some chores to do right now, but wanted to say “congrats” straight away since it seems you are still at your computer and maybe reading this. Cheers! January 13, 2015 at 12:07pm Reply

        • Tourmaline: Oh, that’s kind of you, Annette, but don’t get too excited! It’s just a fantasy involving witches (and I don’t like to talk about the details). I know that writers are supposed to aim their work at a particular market, but I’m not interested in writing that way; I simply write the sort of thing that I enjoy reading myself. I would like to think that anyone from about eight years of age upwards who likes witchy stories might enjoy it. I am just savouring the writing process, and if I find a publisher when I have finished then that will be great, and if I don’t then I can always put it on the Internet for anyone to read and receive feedback that way. There is also the possibility of “publishing” it on Amazon. My friend in Florida has a small book of poems available in a Kindle edition for about 90 cents.

          That’s wonderful that you have written two books (and begun a third). I’m sure that they are better than you say. Perhaps you could publish them on the Internet at some stage; my understanding is that there are many options for doing so these days.

          When I posted that comment it was about 2:30 in the morning here in Brisbane. I had just watched a movie and I couldn’t resist replying to your comments before going to bed, although I don’t usually allow myself to stay up that late! January 13, 2015 at 10:30pm Reply

          • Annette: Hi Tourmaline,

            I would never ask for any details about your novel because I know how intimate it is. I was just so happy to find another person “into writing.” Hence my enthusiasm. And I also know how wonderful this creative process is so I just want to say: “Enjoy every second of it!”

            And speaking of enjoyment: Brigadoon is much better than Avatar! At least it has some humour and charm, even the studio “acting” as Scotland is fun to watch. So my advice to you is, skip Avatar:)

            And books about books! Oh, I could go on and on. I own Dirda’s Classics for Pleasure (naturally:)), but my favourite from him is Readings, a collection of his best reviews and essays. I liked it so much that after buying a cheap mass market paperback I went on to buy a rare first edition with the author’s inscription (the things you do for writers you love). But my two top books about books are Anne Fadiman’s Ex Libris and Holbrook Jackson’s The Anatomy of Bibliomania (recommended by Ms Fadiman). The latter one is genius, modelled on The Anatomy of Melancholy. Sheer joy to read.

            So your father plays chess… Spookier and spookier:) Lymond is a talented chess player and chess is VERY important in the Chronicles. Here’s a suggestion: read to your father the titles of the six volumes in order and ask him to let his imagination go free. I would be most curious what he comes up with!

            And let me tempt you some more with Middlemarch (by the way, I am coming to the end of the first volume in my rereading): you will love Mr Garth, he seems very much like your father. Oh, and I don’t feel bad about myself when I hear about your father’s accomplishments! I admire him wholeheartedly. And another little question: has he ever done any acting?

            Like you and Victoria, I have always read several books at the same time, sometimes five or six. Luckily, I have a very good memory so switching from one book to another has never been a problem.

            All the best, dear Tourmaline. January 15, 2015 at 3:07pm Reply

            • Tourmaline: Hi Annette,

              Yes, I couldn’t imagine life without writing. Thank you for your support and well wishes!

              I have copied down the details of the three other books that you mentioned, and I look forward to reading them. If my father doesn’t have them, then I might buy copies for him as well. Thank you so much for the suggestions. Rest assured that I’ll re-read Middlemarch before long.

              I looked up The Lymond Chronicles in Wikipedia and I like the six titles, especially “Pawn in Frankincense”! I also read the description of Lymond. Yes, he does sound similar to my father, with a few major exceptions: my father is neither “a practitioner of all the martial arts” nor “a talented thespian” (although he admires Shakespeare, he is not the acting kind), and he is the opposite of arrogant. I noticed the mention of mathematics; Dad of course took that at school, but about 20 years ago (in his mid-sixties) he and an older medico friend took some maths courses together for the sheer joy of it. They would walk to and from the local classes together with their books in their backpacks, like schoolchildren!

              I look forward to hearing how you get on with Bitter Rose, Broken Spear next month.

              My best wishes to you, Annette. January 16, 2015 at 9:51am Reply

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