Perfume in the Library : Lolly Willowes and Le Temps d’Une Fete

The heroine of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s novel, Lolly Willowes, rebels against society’s expectations. It’s a common enough theme, except that her rebellion takes an unconventional turn. Laura Willowes’s father dies when she’s twenty-eight, and the family council decides, against her wishes, that she should leave the country estate where she grew up and move to London. Treated as “a piece of family property forgotten in the will,” she becomes attached to her older brother’s household, where she’s expected either to marry or be useful as Aunt Lolly. She steadfastly refuses to do the former, and eventually she shocks her relatives by announcing that she will live on her own in a village called Great Mop. To safeguard her freedom, she becomes a witch.

lolly-willowes

Townsend Warner paints Laura’s transformation from Aunt Lolly to her own self through a series of events, most of which involve small sensory pleasures, out of which “she had contrived for herself a sort of mental fur coat.” They include second-hand bookshops, soaps, roasted chestnuts eaten in bed and cut flowers. Her relatives look down upon such frivolous–in their eyes–expenses, but for Laura they become an antidote to her dull, senseless life and catalysts for her awakening.

One dramatic scene takes place in a field of cowslips near Great Mop.

“She knelt down among them and laid her face close to their fragrance. The weight of all her unhappy years seemed for a moment to weigh her bosom down to the earth; she trembled, understanding for the first time how miserable she had been; and in another moment she was released. It was all gone, it could never be again, and never had been. Tears of thankfulness ran down her face. With every breath she drew, the scent of the cowslips flowed in and absolved her.” (p. 123)

Lolly Willowes is my first novel by Townsend Warner, and it’s a great introduction. She’s a marvelous stylist, a sharp social observer and critic. Before Virginia Woolf’s plea for a room of one’s own, Townsend Warner defended a woman’s right to make her own decisions and define herself on her own terms. Laura’s rebellion is Townsend Warner’s own–she eschewed marriage and had a long, passionate relationship with the poet Valentine Ackland–and an element of fantasy spices up the plot.

My olfactory parallel to Lolly Willowes is Le Temps d’une Fête. Parfums de Nicolaï is a striking collection, especially since its founder, Patricia Nicolaï, eschews both the grand parfum style of her Guerlain ancestors and the naive style of the niche. She captures nature–the scents of flowers, green leaves, gardens at different seasons–but she does so according to her own vision. (Refreshingly, she also rejects the aspirational, i.e. insanely inflated, pricing that has become the niche trademark, and instead focuses on quality.)

Le Temps d’une Fête with its leitmotif of jasmine, hyacinth and dazzling green notes is a perfume of happiness and effervescence. I remember smelling it for the first time almost ten years ago and feeling transported to a sunlit garden of my childhood. The grey, characterless town where I was living at the time vanished to be replaced by vistas of blooming cherry trees and craggy old acacias. A phrase Townsend Warner uses to describe Laura’s epiphany would have been applicable in my case. “She stood very still to make quite sure of her sensations.” I can experience a jolt of emotion whenever I open my bottle of Le Temps d’une Fête. Such little joys can offer comfort, and that’s no small thing in the midst of daily routine.

Justifying such private pleasures can be as difficult for women as securing their private space. Only this week one can witness this in the appalling invasion of privacy and sexist “unmasking” of Elena Ferrante by an Italian paparazzo. Or visit the comment sections under popular beauty columns  and find them swarming with puritans who insist that caring for one’s appearance is a sign of low IQ and questionable morals. Laura, with her witchcraft skills, would set a swarm of bees on them. Or tell them to go to hell.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Sylvia Townsend Warner. Lolly Willowes or the Loving Huntsman. London: Virago, 2012 edition (originally published in 1926).

Any other fans of Sylvia Townsend Warner out there–or of Parfums de Nicolaï, for that matter?

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84 Comments

  • Elizabeth M: This is my first comment here. I love your reviews and observations and I’m happy to see that you also like Sylvia Townsend Warner. Her historical fiction is also great. October 5, 2016 at 9:16am Reply

    • Victoria: I read Lolly Willowes a few months ago, and I haven’t yet picked the next novel by her, but I’m happy to see that others enjoy her work too.

      And welcome to Bois de Jasmin, Elizabeth! October 5, 2016 at 11:23am Reply

  • Sara: I wear Vanille Tonka and Sacre Bleu from De Nicolai and I love them enough to be on my second and third bottles. October 5, 2016 at 9:30am Reply

  • Erin T: Love Sylvia Townsend Warner and love Le Temps d’une Fête. “Lolly Willowes” is such an appropriate book for October, too – thank you for bringing it up in the right season 🙂 As you mention, it is a good starter for those new to her work, but my favourite is “The Corner that Held Them” — on the long list of my most beloved books ever. I’ve been nervous of weasels ever since! (And “Summer Will Show” is engrossing, too.) October 5, 2016 at 9:44am Reply

    • Erin T: Meant to say, too, that of course she had a fascinating life. Claire Harman’s biography of her is outstanding, and I highly recommend it as both a very good story and an insight into her work. October 5, 2016 at 9:49am Reply

      • Victoria: I will do! I will pick up The Corner That Held Them next. October 5, 2016 at 11:26am Reply

    • Victoria: The way she described those chrysanthemums made me want to rush out to a flower shop, find a bouquet and bury my face in it. She’s a brilliant writer, and I’m not sure why she’s so little read today. So many of her observations are relevant as ever. October 5, 2016 at 11:25am Reply

  • Andy: I happen to be wearing Le Temps d’une Fête today. Though its associations are of spring for me, I prefer wearing it in the autumn. Regardless, I always appreciate its seeming balance of coherence and sensuality. It smells fun but not silly, happy but not careless. October 5, 2016 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: What a nice coincidence! Your description is spot on. I also have the original and the reformulation, and I find the same effect in both.

      What teas have you been enjoying lately? October 5, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

      • Andy: I’ve been trying to finish up some summery teas, one being Kusmi’s BB Detox. There’s also a Jin Jun Mei I’ve been liking a lot lately, very satisfying. With the weather turning, I’ve been thinking about brewing up my first batch of chai of the season, but I haven’t made any just yet. October 6, 2016 at 2:22pm Reply

        • Victoria: Me too. This is the first week I’ve been craving chai, because it finally turned cold. I make mine without sugar, and I don’t boil the tea leaves to death the way it’s usually done, so the tea is weaker, but the taste of spices is clearer. October 6, 2016 at 2:27pm Reply

          • Andy: I should try this; I don’t like a very sweet chai, but since I usually boil the leaves a few minutes before straining, it ends up too bitter on its own. Yours sounds like a good compromise. October 6, 2016 at 2:31pm Reply

            • Victoria: I also make it with the tea bags like Ahmad or Liptons. The crushed leaves (or fannings!) used in those give a good color even without boiling, and the flavor stands up to spices. Or it’s innocuous enough not to compete with spices. October 6, 2016 at 2:33pm Reply

      • EAB: I wore the original for years and loved it beyond measure. I have the reformulation and like it, but not with that same emotion. I still remember the moment I smelled the original. October 9, 2016 at 11:53am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, they’ve done several reformulations at the same time. Some of them were very dramatic such as Weekend a Deauville. October 10, 2016 at 8:31am Reply

  • Laurie: Count me among the fans of Sylvia Townsend Warner. “The Corner That Held Them” is her best, IMHO, but I’d start with “Lolly Willowes” ! October 5, 2016 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Laurie. I’m glad I made it my intro. October 5, 2016 at 11:28am Reply

  • Cyndi: Victoria, I love when you write about literature as well as perfume. As an avid reader and perfume collector, I find I can learn about new books (new to me) and a fragrance I have yet to experience. Thank you for your interesting articles. October 5, 2016 at 10:02am Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you will like it as much as I did. Of course, I’m sure you’ll find your own parallels. And thank you very much. Overlaps between different experiences and arts always draw me in. October 5, 2016 at 11:32am Reply

  • Claire: Lolly Willows and The Corner that Held Them go straight to the top of my must read list! Thank you for sharing this writer with us, new to me. What a delightful premise, and how wonderful for those of us that find solace in the life enhancing scents that surround us in nature. When I bury my face in one of the fragrant roses in our garden, the world stands still for a moment. I am always amazed how renewed I am from even just a few moments spent in the garden, or by opening a window or going on a brief walk to take in some fresh air. October 5, 2016 at 10:37am Reply

    • Victoria: The Corner That Held Them will be my next novel. If anyone cares to read together, we can have exchange thoughts later.

      I’ve been enjoying the early mornings lately when the air smells very fresh and autumnal. It’s an instant boost. October 5, 2016 at 11:35am Reply

      • Claire: Me too. It’s been cool, grey, and rainy, but the air has seemed unusually fresh. I just drink it in. October 5, 2016 at 3:50pm Reply

        • Victoria: I also love when I catch the sight of moon in the morning. Skies here are so changeable, and sometimes when I wake up early enough, I can see the sunrise. October 6, 2016 at 9:52am Reply

      • Claire: I’ve just down-loaded a copy of Lolly Willows from the library to take with me on my visit with my daughter in college on the East coast. The autumn leaves should be turning. I will find a real copy of The Corner that Held Them when I return. October 5, 2016 at 3:56pm Reply

        • Victoria: Autumn is such a beautiful season on the East Coast! October 6, 2016 at 9:53am Reply

      • Laurie: Read “The Corner That Held Them” already – but I’m up for rereading it. I’ll be happy to contribute to a discussion. October 6, 2016 at 6:25am Reply

        • Victoria: Great! I’m waiting for my copy to arrive. October 6, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

  • Jillie: I gave my husband “Lolly Willowes” to read which he only did reluctantly as he thought it was some sort of romantic novel! Well, he was pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Coincidentally he is now also reading Elena Ferrante’s books and is captivated by them. I am appalled at the news of her unmasking …. I struggle to understand people sometimes.

    I also want to say how lovely Le Temps is – when I first smelled it I too was transported to the countryside and felt as though I was lying in a field with the hay gently drying in stukes around me. It reminded me a little of Chamade, but with a more rustic edge.

    Small pleasures are what make life worth living! October 5, 2016 at 10:44am Reply

    • Victoria: Just thinking about that whole “unmasking” business makes me angry, and the justification–“she asked to be outed”–even more so. What she did ask was to be left alone, to write, to create. I frankly don’t care who she is. Elena Ferrante is Elena Ferrante.

      Can’t agree more! Small pleasures can make a tremendous difference. October 5, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

      • mayfly: Coincidentally, I have just finished reading My Brilliant Friend, which I bought to read on a recent trip to Rome. Her writing is wonderful, and I’m itching to get my hands on the next one in the series. This ‘outing’ business sounds awful, it makes me so angry to hear of private people being hounded by the press like this.
        L’Temps is also one of my favourites, and Lolly Williams sounds wonderful, and The corner that Held Them- on to the reading list they go! October 7, 2016 at 1:29pm Reply

        • Victoria: She has a talent for capturing her characters’ emotions, struggles, anxieties. I haven’t read the whole series, only the first one, so I look forward to discovering the rest. October 10, 2016 at 8:33am Reply

  • spe: Well, I don’t know what is going on with me. I theoretically should love Le Temps. But I find it pushy and sweet when I wear it. It’s not fresh and outdoorsy on me. In fact, I’ve sold all of my de Nicolai perfumes for that very reason (Odalisque, d’ete, etc) The one Nicolai that I liked very much (Weekend au Deauville – apologies for mis-spelling) was immediately reformulated and I fear the fresh chypre part is gone. I wish I could find a de Nicolai to love because it’s a house I trust and want to support!

    Anyway, thank you for the book recommendation. I’m sorry that the situation is ruined regarding Elena. Hopefully she feels comfortable enough to continue writing. I can’t blame someone for wanting the truth, but it seems like that has destroyed the fun for many people – and perhaps even someone’s career. October 5, 2016 at 12:55pm Reply

    • Victoria: Changes in the formula, perhaps. I have to say that I didn’t like the last two perfumes they launched, but it’s mostly because I didn’t care for the style of the amber and leather they’ve done. Overall, I do like the collection.

      Wanting to know is not the same thing as being entitled to know, especially in this case. Clearly, witchcraft is still the way to go. 🙂 October 5, 2016 at 1:56pm Reply

      • Michaela: I vote for the swarm of bees 🙂

        Beautiful review, thank you. October 6, 2016 at 5:16am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you, Michaela.

          Yes! 🙂 October 6, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

  • Robert H.: Victoria! What a wonderful and evocative review. I immediately went to Amazon and ordered the book. We are a household of lifelong obsessive readers, so a new title and author is always most welcome!
    Love Nicolai! Maharadjah, Maharani, Musc Monoi, and especially her Patchouli Intense, wich is one of my favorite patch’s. I keep waiting for Madam Nicolai to translate her book about the house into english, as my french is high school at best! Zut! October 5, 2016 at 1:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hope that you enjoy it! As we were commenting earlier, Townsend Warner is underrated, although lately her work has been brought more into the spotlight. Discovering it has been a pleasure–her writing, wit, observations, critiques. I can’t wait to read more. October 5, 2016 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Joy: Very enjoyable article today, Victoria. I always need books to add to my reading list. This sounds like a really good one.
    I also know the feeling of feeling down, overwhelmed by tasks, or challenged by weather and goals. Somehow the scent of a favorite, appropriate fragrance can really perk me up, awaken my senses in a good way, and even warm me up when I am on a long distance bike ride or run in the drizzle. So odd how that helps. October 5, 2016 at 2:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: It does, doesn’t it! Today I was feeling rather overwhelmed by the amount of work, and then I opened a bottle of an amazing tuberose absolute, and I felt like everything vanished. Nothing happened–work suddenly didn’t diminish, and yet I seemed to be more full of energy. October 5, 2016 at 3:01pm Reply

      • Joy: At some level it would be very interesting to know the reason that fragrance has such an effect on the brain. On my level I will just enjoy the effect and use it to my benefit.
        It is interesting to note that aromatherapy has some effect on illness such as cancer and an effect on depression.
        Books can also have great effects on my mental state from feeling poignant, enthusiastic, vindicated, joyful, inspired, and the gamut of emotions. October 5, 2016 at 3:12pm Reply

        • Victoria: Sensory stimulation plays an important role, I suppose. We still don’t understand how the olfaction works exactly, much less the precise effect of olfactory stimuli. But that they do have an effect is clear. October 6, 2016 at 9:48am Reply

  • Gabriela: Lovely review, as always. Le temps d´une fete is one of my favorite fragrances so I felt obliged to read this book and have just ordered it! October 5, 2016 at 2:53pm Reply

    • Victoria: There are so many vivid moments in the book, and I wish you wonderful time reading it. 🙂 October 5, 2016 at 3:03pm Reply

  • Maya: Hi Victoria,
    I have never read anything by Townsend, but then again, you introduced me to Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate and I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
    I own and immensely enjoy Le Temps d’Une Fete. My mother wore Nina Ricci’s L’air du Temps over 30 yrs ago and whenever I wear Nicolai’s LTd I think of it. Is it just in my head or is there a common olfactory thread between the two? Thank you as always for all the beauty and intelligence you bring. October 5, 2016 at 3:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: They’re both green and floral and have a bright, uplifting character. There is something of spring in them–not the delicate, petal strewn season, but rather the exuberant, dazzling spring.

      Very glad to hear that you liked Life and Fate! It’s another underrated classic. October 6, 2016 at 9:51am Reply

  • Joe: Victoria, I have a sample of Le Temps d’une Fete from 2-3 years ago. I love it, but I’m worried that if I buy a bottle today it’ll be too different. What do you think? October 6, 2016 at 4:53am Reply

    • Gabriela: I bought mine this year and its gorgeous! October 6, 2016 at 8:19am Reply

      • Victoria: BTW, did you get yours from the boutique or an online store? Someone mentioned that they couldn’t find it online, so I was curious whether it was just temporary. October 6, 2016 at 10:00am Reply

        • Gabriela: Victoria, I sent them a mail, it does not appear online…so I ordered via email. October 6, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

          • Victoria: Gotcha! Thank you for letting me know. October 6, 2016 at 10:28am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t think that it would be markedly different, because as far as I recall, the big reformulation happened several years ago. If your sample is 2-3 years old, then this is the version you know. October 6, 2016 at 9:58am Reply

  • ClareObscure: Thanks Victoria. Your article about this book has inspired me & has real resonance with my experiences. I had not heard of this author & now want to read the book. The character of Lolly sounds intriguing. Although I’ve seen the Nicholai perfume range mentioned on Bois de Jasmin, I haven’t come across them & feel inclined to try them because of your beautiful description in this article.
    Thanks to one of the discussions on this site I’ve acquired a bottle of Pierre Bourdan’s La Fin D’un Ete & am really enjoying it. October 6, 2016 at 9:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Lolly/Laura is an intriguing character, because while at first she seems passive and aloof, you discover little by little how much she holds inside. I couldn’t put the book down, and I finished it in one evening. Then I was sorry that I read it so fast and I’ve returned and re-read passages. It was a great experience overall, and as I mentioned, I now want to read more of Townsend Warner.

      Good for you! I have no idea for how long that line will be around, so if you like something, it’s a good idea to get it. October 6, 2016 at 10:04am Reply

  • Steve L.: I give thumbs up to New York Intense, and all ten fingers up to Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels — the best things I’ve read in at least a decade, for what that’s worth. October 6, 2016 at 10:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Have you read The Days of Abandonment? It’s also brilliant. October 6, 2016 at 2:23pm Reply

  • Karen A: Thank you for such a lovely article! I just placed an order for both Lolly Willows and The Corner that Held Them, looking forward to their arrival! I’ve only tried Odalesque in her line, need to try more. Right now I’m just happy to be wearing perfume again, but actually grateful for the break as my sense of smell has been greatly heightened. October 6, 2016 at 10:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad that you’re feeling better! That’s the most important thing.

      Please let me know what you think of the novels! October 6, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Theresa Fritchle: I second (and third) everyone’s enthusiastic endorsement of Lolly Willowes! I read it for the first time a few months ago and loved it so much, I immediately re-read it. (the same thing happened last year when I devoured Tomasi di Lampedusa’s The Leopard.

    I am all about small pleasures – or pleasures of any magnitude! – as long as they fit into my budget and don’t hurt anyone. October 6, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: The Leopard is one of my favorite books (the film is one of the movies I’ve watched many times). You’ve reminded me that it should be an entry into our library series. October 6, 2016 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Maureen: I always enjoy your writing, Victoria. I remember your original review of Le Temps D’une Fete and I also remember when you said it had been discontinued. I have sampled it an think it’s just lovely. In terms of reading, in spite of my interest in fragrance, art, dance and what have you, I tend to shy away from fiction. I like to read real accounts of people or places. Having said that, this story sounds quite appealing and I may have to seek it out. And on the note of ‘seeking’, I believe, at one time, Le Temps was somehow available ‘on demand’. Do you know how one might find a bottle? Thank you for sharing your love of fragrance, your excellently crafted words, and you clear enthusiasm. October 6, 2016 at 4:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Maureen. I very much hope that you like it. Townsend Warner has her loyal fans, and now I understand why.

      Le Temps d’Une Fete is still available, but as Gabriella says, you need to email Parfums de Nicolai. I don’t know why they wouldn’t just post it on their website and indicate “available on demand.” October 7, 2016 at 6:04am Reply

      • Hamamelis: I try to order by mail but Parfums Nicolai never responded unfortunately, also not after a few polite reminders 🙁 October 7, 2016 at 7:10am Reply

      • Hamamelis: But I look forward to reading Lolly Willowes! October 7, 2016 at 7:11am Reply

        • Victoria: If you do, I’d love to hear your thoughts. October 10, 2016 at 8:36am Reply

  • Solanace: Wonderful article, I’d never heard of her and will get her books on my kindle right now. You are always teaching us cool new stuff, thank you for that, Victoria! As for Patricia de Nicolai, I think she is one of the very best perfumers out there. Recently discovered Maharadjah, thanks to a generous reader of BdJ, and how wonderful is that?! Le Temps d’une Fête is a beauty, and I can see such a heroine wearing it. It’s a bit like Rive Gauche, a perfume a woman who ditched her bra would wear. October 6, 2016 at 5:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also love Maharajah candle, which is one of the best spicy accords.

      Thank you for recommending Don Casmurro, by the way. What a great novel! October 7, 2016 at 6:06am Reply

      • Solanace: Glad you enjoyed. Machado is magnificent. And we are back to those times, it seems, these days. Brasil had become a world reference in social policies, but now we have an assistentialist first lady, Marcella Temer. Please watch her SNL worthy speech, Victoria. It would be funny, if it were not so tragic. O tempora. What a stretch of history we are going through! October 7, 2016 at 8:23am Reply

        • Victoria: Urgh… I can’t be more eloquent than this. October 12, 2016 at 3:41am Reply

  • Andrea: Actually I am a piano teacher but sometimes I would love to change profession and write one of the novels I plan now and then. It never happened so far, so I am not too serious about it, I guess. The story I have in mind at the moment is about a woman in her early forties, who never entered a parfum shop before and surprisingly finds herself while testing Chanel Beige on the one and 31, Rue Canbon on the other wrist. The first one just makes her happy in a warm and golden way, the second one evokes an image of herself being what she never was: elegant and self assured. While I feel, that this is not the best idea for a novel, (probably because it happened to me a few weeks ago), I think I should know Lolly Willowes. I am looking foreward to reading it.
    Thank you for this wonderful blog, Victoria October 6, 2016 at 6:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: If you end up writing your novel, I look forward to reading it. 🙂 October 7, 2016 at 6:07am Reply

  • Austenfan: The name has been noted as she sounds just my thing. Thank you! October 7, 2016 at 5:37am Reply

    • Victoria: Her writing is also witty. Clever and witty. October 7, 2016 at 6:11am Reply

  • Klaas: A few months ago, I got myself a bottle of Cedrat Intense by Nicolai and I have been enjoying every spritz. It’s deliciously tart and creamy and it’s got lost of class. I can only think of it as bottled rays of sunlight! I don’t know her other fragrances, but I will be testing Weekend in Normandie, Vetyver and Vanille Tonka next time I’m in Paris!

    Now I haven’t read any Townsend, but I started Ferrantes Neapolitan Novels this summer. The books are excellent; I really don’t get all the fuss about her recently discovered ‘true’ identity. So she shouldn’t write about the Italian lower classes because she has never been part of it? It’s called the power of imagination and creation, it’s what writers of fiction do! And she does it wonderfully! Should Arthur Golden not have written his Memoires of a Geisha just because he’s never been a kept woman in 1930 Japan?

    Anyway, keep up your good work, I love this blog! October 7, 2016 at 5:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I always find this radiance very appealing about Nicolai’s work. Many of her perfumes are sunlit and joyful.

      Exactly! Otherwise, it means that Tolstoy couldn’t have written Anna Karenina (since he wasn’t a woman), but rather a novel called “Levin: Reflections on the Nature of a Peasant and the Meaning of God.” October 10, 2016 at 8:45am Reply

  • Melissa Rosen: Hi there. On another note, no pun intended…have you tried A LILAC A DAY?? I LOVE IT!!!@ October 7, 2016 at 11:45pm Reply

  • Floramac: I consider myself pretty well read in British literature but I haven’t read Sylvia Townsend Warner. I’m going to rectify that immediately. However, Le Temps d’une Fête has become my favorite perfume. It’s both grown-up and playful, a very French party in a bottle. I love it. October 8, 2016 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: I myself learned about her works not long ago, and since I enjoyed my introduction so much, I decided to share. Plus, the topic of privacy, creativity, women’s voices and non-guilty pleasures is so relevant October 10, 2016 at 8:40am Reply

  • Elizabeth: I am late joining this party but thanks to a very kind person who comments on this site, I now have a sample of Le Temps d’Une Fete to try. Now I will search out a copy of Lolly Willowes to read when I test the fragrance. (It will be like reading a scented novel.)
    Also, thanks to this lovely woman, I have other things to sample too – fragrances that I would never have been able to track down.
    Thank you Victoria – for being the one to provide a platform for such wonderful things to happen. (Not sure if the sender of the samples would want me to mention her name.) October 13, 2016 at 7:20pm Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy your samples! What a kind gesture to share perfumes in this way. October 14, 2016 at 5:29am Reply

  • ClareObscure: Hi Victoria. Thanks for steering me to the correct place to try for the Miss Dior competition.
    Ill at the moment & not coping so finding old threads of your Bois de Jasmine to be a comfort & escapism from my pains.
    Just enjoyed the section, “How to make perfume affordable.” In the lengthy fascinating list of Comments, I especially liked so much of the great advice offered by contributors. The adorable high point for me was when smellslikeroses guiltily confessed to an impulse full bottle purchase & you, Victoria reassuringly replied, “It happens! Love is beyond reason.” A metaphor for so many of life’s experiences. Thanks, as always, for bringing me beauty in various forms & for sharing a life enhancing passion with all of us. October 15, 2016 at 9:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much, Claire. 🙂 Above all, please feel better and take care of yourself. October 15, 2016 at 11:17am Reply

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