Parfums de Nicolai Kiss Me Tender : Perfume Review


Gourmand is a fragrance family I love for its instant mood booster potential. At the same, many contemporary high-calorie blends can test the limits of one’s tolerance for sweetness, and if you’re looking for a luscious, but not cloying, treat, the options can seem limited. One of the good lines to explore for abstract gourmands is Parfums de Nicolaï. Its founder, Patricia Nicolaï, is an heir to Guerlain’s tradition (a house famous for its trademark accord of vanilla, tonka bean and other delicious notes), both as a granddaughter of Pierre Guerlain, Jacques Guerlain‘s brother, and an innovative perfumer in her own right.


Kiss Me Tender, her take on the candy-smelling plant, heliotrope, could have been inspired by Guerlain’s Héliotrope Blanc (1870). It’s a dessert of vanilla and almonds, but the pastry illusion is kept in check by the realistic jasmine, orange blossom and ylang-ylang.

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Traveling Sample Box (Europe)

Our European perfume box is ready to make its 4th round. Thank you, Megan! So, if you are in Europe and would like to participate, here is how you can do it. And whether you’re participating or not, please read Megan’s perfume descriptions below.

sample box

How does it work: To enter, please answer these questions: 1) are you in Europe, and if you’re a winner, can I share your email address with Megan? ; 2) do you agree to pass the box onto someone else (add a couple of your own samples and share your sampling notes with the rest of us)? and 3) what perfume are you wearing today? I will pick the next person to receive the box via a random number generator. I will announce that person in this spot and contact them via email. The next person to receive the box is Awfulknitter.

When a winner is ready to pass the box onto someone else, they should get in touch with me. Please include the list of samples and your sampling notes (what you’ve discovered, what you’ve liked/disliked, any observations you care to include).

To check the progress of our boxes, please click on the Traveling Sample Box tag.

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Help! My Spouse is Addicted to Perfume

The following message arrived into my inbox last week:

“Dear Victoria, help me!

l'ar perfumes

Several months ago my wife became perfume addicted. She tried a new scent and was instantly hooked. Since that day no sensible conversation with her is possible. Whatever subject I bring up (varying from Islam to when to prune roses or whether dogs have a conscience), after two minutes she turns the discussion to fragrances.  She  bought a kind of perfume bible and studies it for hours and hours, she orders test bottles and sniffs  small puffs, commenting on them like an old winebuff tasting  Petrus 1996. She has bought some bottles ( “so you need not look for a birthday present next year darling, I have it already”) and is in fact completely out of control.

Dear Victoria, what to do? Forbid her to read your blog? Alternatively, is there a cure for this disease? Where can I find a clinic for deperfumisation and rehabilitation?

Yours truly helpless, W.”

I asked W for the permission to post his message here and to open the question to all of you. What advice would you give him? How do you manage your fragrance hobby to keep things in balance?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Perfume Resolutions Past and Future

Early last year, Pat and Elisa set down some perfume resolutions for 2014, with the intention of revisiting in early 2015 to see how they did. In this post, our writers share their resolutions and progress.

Elisa’s Resolutions

If you really love something and there’s nothing else like it, buy it, even if it’s expensive.

I get partial credit for this one; one of my first purchases last year was a small amount of Mona di Orio Musc, which I truly love. However, I’m not wearing it enough; perhaps I should reward myself with a full bottle if I’m able to finish the mini!

Otherwise, I made few full bottle purchases this year, but I did manage to get several scents that have been on my wishlist for a very long time as birthday and Christmas gifts.


Give more perfume away! I have so many full bottles I’ll never get through.

Again, partial credit; I mailed away plenty of decants and also gave away a few full bottles that weren’t getting much wear. But I want to share even more in 2015, especially with locals so I don’t have to deal with the post office.

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Top Selling Fragrances in France 2014

As the last of the Christmas sales are tallied up, consumer research groups are sending in their numbers and preparing their lists of top selling perfumes in 2014. In many ways, it was a year that brought some surprises and at the same time ensured that some trends won’t be going away. For instance, despite the breathless proclamations of forecasting agencies last year, there are no signs that the gourmand trend is giving way to woods and chypres. The best selling perfume of the year in France is an extra sweet blend of caramel and cotton candy. But at the same time, the list contains incense accented blend of woods and a powdery floral.


The information comes from NPD Group and it was shared by ChallengeS, a French weekly. ChallengeS focuses on economic topics, so if you read French, please follow the link to learn what the new constellation of best sellers means for the French perfume market and L’Oréal in particular.

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Snapshot 2013

Top Selling Perfumes France 2012

Top Selling Perfumes USA : Popular Fragrances Spring 2012

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances 2011 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 USA

Top Selling Feminine Fragrances for 2010 France

Top Selling Masculine Fragrances 2010 USA

10. Flower by Kenzo (2000)

Soft and powdery, alternating between floral and musky notes, Flower is an intriguing perfume. It has a gentle personality, but its presence is distinctive and enveloping.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Karen in Carven Ma Griffe Giveaway: You are welcome! It seems there were a lot of great aunts who have influenced our love of perfume. January 31, 2015 at 11:57am

  • Karen in Carven Ma Griffe Giveaway: Oh no! Well at least you have the beautiful bottles in honor of her memory. Don’t give up on either one, perhaps they will work for you in the future. January 31, 2015 at 11:56am

  • Karen in Carven Ma Griffe Giveaway: I think it is wonderful that you are creating perfumistas through your love of fragrance! We can all certainly start the traditions that bring joy and beauty to the world. January 31, 2015 at 11:55am

  • Karen in Carven Ma Griffe Giveaway: How beautiful! What lucky girls you all were, and how fun that you treated yourself to some Chantilly. Thank you for sharing such a delightful memory! January 31, 2015 at 11:53am

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