Victoria: 1794 posts

A Travel Tip

The Paris Review ran an interesting article called A Travel Tip, in which the columnist Sadie Stein recommends marking each vacation with a new scent. I thought that the idea was charming.


“So I recommended wearing a new perfume when one goes on a trip. I’m not advocating for the purchase of an expensive bottle every time you go to a cousin’s wedding. But for me, the act of dignifying a journey with its own scent can be enough to elevate a humble getaway to vacation status. It’s nice to find something that has a connection to wherever you are, but the actual perfume is secondary. The point is to create a sense memory for the experience that has, for you, no precedent. I’ve worn the same perfume since my twenty-third birthday, when I treated myself to my first bottle of [Frédéric Malle] En Passant, but from the moment I get in the cab to the airport, I like to wear something different, unfamiliar.” To read the rest, please click here.

What perfumes are you going to make for your summer vacation? And if you took a break already, what was your most worn perfume?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Enter to Win Vintage Guerlain Mitsouko Extrait de Parfum

It has been a violent year in different parts of the world, and for many months, I’ve been reading the news and feeling utterly helpless. What can one do to help in the face of such terrible suffering and strife? One of my most immediate responses was to donate money to a reputable charity organization. I thought that perhaps others may feel the same way.


I propose donating to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, any amount you wish, and in return, you will be entered into a contest for a 30ml (1 oz) of Guerlain Mitsouko Extrait de Parfum.

It’s vintage, from the 1970s-early 1980s, in my estimation. Unopened. Has all of its tassels. It is a complete presentation, including the outer box. An old price tag shows $85, but 1 oz of modern Mitsouko costs around $350, while the vintage in this condition has collectible value. The best part is that the perfume has all of its oakmoss and other, now forbidden, bits intact. Since it has not been opened, I can’t tell exactly how it will smell, but it smells wonderful around the stopper, and it has been stored in a cool, dark place. It was purchased from a gentleman whose family owned a perfume boutique in Mexico and imported fragrances from France. All other perfumes I bought from his old stocks, including Guerlains, turned out to be exceptionally well-preserved and were pronounced as authentic by my perfumer colleagues.

It is one of the most precious perfumes in my collection, and I have been waiting to open it for a special occasion. But if the money it raises will go towards a good cause, then I have no regrets in parting with it.

Continue reading →

Guerlain L’Homme Ideal : Fragrance Review


The first time I smelled Guerlain’s L’Homme Idéal, I chuckled, because clearly, their ideal man is wearing a little black dress. Yes, L’Homme Idéal is a masculine twist on La Petite Robe Noire. But this kind of borrowing, right down to the toasted almond and praline details, is clever rather than boring. This is not just another bland and safe sports cologne, that’s for sure.


The quest for an ideal man is nothing new, in life or in perfume, and Guerlain’s approach to L’Homme Idéal is rather humorous. Instead of using notes that for reasons of accident and culture came to be seen as the only ones appropriate to men, like lavender, herbs, cedarwood or mild spices, perfumer Thierry Wasser loads the composition with gourmand accents.  It tries to tempt men with the same delicious notes that made La Petite Robe Noire such a success. Continue reading →

Scent Diary : Silk and Linen

What does silk smell like? Or linen warmed by the hot iron? Or colorful bundles of wool thread slightly damp from the rain? I never thought much about it all until I visited Reshetylivka, a small town in central Ukraine renowned for its embroidery college. I met people responsible for running the school, local masters and their students and even learned a few embroidery stitches traditional to the region. And I discovered that silk thread heated by warmth of the fingers smells like almond shells, that hot-ironed linen has a metallic and salty odor, unexpectedly wonderful, and that wet wool reminds me of Viola, my mom’s feline daughter.


Scent Diary is a place where we can share fragrances we encounter, good and bad, perfumes we wear and the scents around us. It’s a way to sharpen our sense of smell, but also just to enjoy the fragrance hobby in a different way. Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, a men’s shirt. An example of traditional Reshetylivka embroidery, a blend of intricate drawn thread and cut out details. It’s all handmade, including the tassels.

Perfume Samples Giveaway Winner

is Sammy. Congratulations! Please email me your address, and I will pass it on to Rachel.

Again, thank you to Rachel for your generosity and willingness to share!

If a winner doesn’t respond within 7 days, I reserve a right to pick another person.

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Rowanhill in A Travel Tip: Oh, and a small travel spray of Guerlain Mon Precieux Nectar was a lovely evening fragrance if Songe did not seem to fit the bill. July 30, 2014 at 2:06pm

  • Rowanhill in A Travel Tip: This year I kept it simple. Eau de Rochas and Dior Escale a Portofino for Seville in May, EL Azuree Soleil, Goutal Eau d’Hadrien and Songes for Barbados in July… July 30, 2014 at 1:59pm

  • Nancy A. in A Travel Tip: Nothing new for me/ Whenever I traveled outside the US I was either testing and purchasing new fragrances and searching if not in perfume stores per se but apothecary shops… July 30, 2014 at 1:19pm

  • Nancy A. in Enter to Win Vintage Guerlain Mitsouko Extrait de Parfum: Hi Victoria, Without hearing her interview the former Secy of State Madelyn Albright was spot on by her simply comment to what is going on “it’s all a mess”. Yes,… July 30, 2014 at 1:14pm

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