Top 10 Perfumes To Make You Smile : Favorite Fragrances Spring 2011


Spring awakens and excites. As the weather oscillates from chilly gusts of rains to languid sunny warmth, I find my mood shifting likewise. Yet, whatever surprises spring may offer, I nevertheless find it an enchanting period of transition. It is the anticipation of the balmy days of summer, of new adventures and of memorable discoveries that fuels my spirit every spring. As for seasonally appropriate perfumes, this season I realized that what drives me to change my fragrance wardrobe is not the weather, but my mood. I have been craving fragrances that are joyful and uplifting rather than challenging and cerebral, pleasing and affable rather than edgy and complicated. The plush oriental favorites from Guerlain (Shalimar, L’Heure Bleue, Tonka Impériale), fruity chypres (Gucci Rush) and fruity florals (Frédéric Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse, Parfums de Rosine Rose D’Été) have been a constant presence on my vanity table for the past few months, rain or shine.

With my Top 10 of Spring 2011 list, I would like to share with you several fragrances (and one delightful fragrance related activity!) that never fail to put me in a good mood. Since everyone has their own ideas about what makes a fragrance joyful, I would love to hear which of your favorite perfumes give you a rush of happiness and pleasure.


Guerlain Après l’Ondée
“It smells of iris and almond meringue, of the Belle Époque’s exhilaration, of warm spring Chicago days, of walks through the Impressionist galleries of the Art Institute and of ballet studios in the morning. In other words, for all of its own history, Après l’Ondée now holds my own.” This is what I wrote in my review of this magical Guerlain fragrance five years ago. Sometimes I feel that my entire quest for new interesting scents is designed to make me realize that I have already found my idea of perfection in Après l’Ondée. Although Après l’Ondée is often described as melancholy, I find that it makes me feel content. It is not a sensation of giddy euphoria, but rather a blissful state of serenity, a moment when everything seems perfect the way it is.


Annick Goutal Néroli
Neroli, a steam distillation of bitter orange flowers, has a wonderfully contrasted character—green floral radiance set against a dark woody backdrop. An aromatherapist friend told me that neroli is a relaxing, soothing scent, perfect for times of stress.  I have been wearing Annick Goutal Néroli almost daily over the past year (applying it after work to enjoy its bright orange blossom note accented with basil,) so I have not done any controlled experiments to see if it truly acts as a de-stressing agent. All I can say is that it is delightful—a perfectly rendered orange flower that uplifts and refreshes. It also has enough substance as it goes from green to floral to woody to keep my interest.


by Kilian Beyond Love
Joyful, enchanting, mesmerizing… Can’t you tell that I am completely smitten with Beyond Love. I love this radiant tuberose interpretation that presents tuberose as if it were bathed in sunshine.


Bond No 9 Chinatown
I admire the vibrant ethnic community of New York, and Chinatown exemplifies the verve and adaptability of the city. I love walking the narrow streets searching for new flavors and scents, whether it is a lotus paste filled pastry, jasmine pearl tea or some exotic fruit. Bond No 9 Chinatown captures some of the energy of the place that inspired it with its fascinating accord of incense, wood and peach. Its creator Aurélien Guichard avoids complete clichés, however. A dark green chypre twist reveals that this Chinatown is actually in the 13th arrondissement of Paris.


Lancôme Trésor
Sophia Grojsman, the perfumer behind Trésor, is one of the most generous and special people I have ever had the honor to meet. Since she has been my mentor for the past few years, I am no longer able to review her creations in any objective manner. Her perfumes capture her personality—loving, warm, and exuberant. Whenever I feel sad, a whiff of Lancôme Trésor is enough to make me smile. Its composition of candied rose and peach set into the creamy sandalwood backdrop feels like a warm hug. My only regret is that the Trésor sold today lacks the beauty of the original formula (it is now thinner and rougher, missing the natural sandalwood, orris butter and nitro musks.)


Ormonde Jayne Frangipani Absolute
I love the luminous quality of nearly all Ormonde Jayne florals, from Sampaquita to Tiaré, but Frangipani Absolute is particularly exhilarating. It opens on a vibrant lemony jasmine note and then continues through a lush floral heart that is half way between gardenia and tiare. While it eventually settles on a smooth cedarwood note, Frangipani retains its airy, sparkling quality. Its excellent sillage means that it gets noticed. Frangipani has been one of my most complimented fragrances this spring.


Paco Rabanne One Million
I decided to include One Million on my list, not because it is a favorite, but because it is amusing. It is a confection of cinnamon apples, mutant mandarins, sugared almonds and vanilla, which is somehow molded into a classical woody oriental shape. One Million nevertheless has a sense of humor. Just when you think that you have it figured out as a ridiculously ostentatious scent, it suddenly transforms into a sleek aromatic fougére with a surprising 1980s vibe.


Parfums de Nicolaï Le Temps d’une Fête
Serene, rather than euphoric, Le Temps d’une Fête is a true breath of spring—crushed green leaves, jasmine buds, narcissus and snowdrops. A remarkably original fragrance, it nevertheless manages to stay within the classical grand parfum tradition of Guerlain and Chanel. My ardent wish is to see Parfums de Nicolaï upgrade its packaging and image. Such an amazing collection truly deserves much better than bottles remininscent of Soviet shampoo containers.


Rochas Tocade
Tocade is one of my favorite dramatic perfumes. Yet, Tocade’s drama is not the moody, existential crisis that I tend to favor in fragrances like Bulgari Black or Comme des Garçons. It is about getting attention and not being shy to demand more of it. Yet, Tocade is so heartbreakingly pretty that one does not mind its insistence. It is built on a simple accord of rose and vanilla, but the ingenious way the fragrance is balanced makes it splendid.


Serge Lutens Sa Majesté de la Rose
There is nothing particularly outstanding about Sa Majesté de la Rose—a well-made lemony rose. Yet, I find this rose rendition to be bubbly and happy, which is often a sure ticket for a spot on my vanity table.


Perfumes The Guide by Luca Turin & Tania Sanchez
Try to keep a straight face readings bits like this: “If this is incense, those felted scarves sold for $10 on New York’s Sixth Avenue are pashmina (Ego Facto Jamais le Dimanche, TS) “A chemical white floral so disastrously vile words nearly desert me. If this were a shampoo offered with your first shower after sleeping rough for two months in Nouakchott, you’d opt to keep the lice (Creed Love in White, LT.) On the other hand, just try not to be seduced by the following: “It is blessed with two qualities that are the surest mark of a good masculine: melancholy and mystery (Givenchy Insensé, LT.) “Rush manages at every stage to feel cozy and alive, never a cold stranger—this creature may be from outer space, but its blood is warm (Gucci Rush, TS.)

Perfumes: The A-Z Guide has recently been released as a paperback version, and it includes more than 450 new fragrances as well as a better index. Witty, passionate and erudite, this compilation of perfume reviews makes for a most entertaining read. Be forewarned though that reading it on public transport may cause your uncontrollable laughter to be interpreted as a possible sign of insanity. I am already anticipating the sequel!

To see other Top Ten of Spring lists, please visit: Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: Perfume Posse :: Perfume Smellin’ Things.

Photo credit: Cherry Blossoms © Bois de Jasmin.



  • OperaFan: Ah… Apres L’Ondee would make my spring list any year! To me, it’s not at all melancholy but completely serene with a little secret smile hidden beneath. (Just read your notes after writing mine – seems like we feel the same way about this little gem – mine is edt from the early 2000’s)
    My others are Joy and AG Rose Absolu. Both beautiful on their own and carry my 2 favorite floral scents, but also because they were my wedding day choice.
    Thank you for mentioning SL’s SMLR – it seems to have fallen off most radars these days and although somewhat challenging for me, is nevertheless a lovely rose and always brings a smile to my face.
    These 3 never cease to make me smile and think of happy times.
    Funny you should say that reading The Guide (which I must acquire) may cause uncontrollable laughter in public. The same thing happened to me while reading William Burger’s Wagner Without Fear. Once on an Amtrak train and once on a plane – fellow passengers literally stared at me wondering what it was I was reading! April 29, 2011 at 10:16am Reply

  • Suzanna: Tocade is a big favorite of mine; it has just enough rose, just enough vanilla, and that wonderful, almost bitter, geranium-leaf note.

    Rose and tuberose seem to comprise most of my spring favorites, but I also include Datura Noir in the list. Next to more ubiquitous floral notes, DN is a lovely and unexpected surprise.

    And I can’t leave out the powder-puff mimosa of Farnesiana, in EDP form with a stretchy, rubbery note. April 29, 2011 at 11:01am Reply

  • linda fey: Thank you Victoria,
    We share several favorite Spring scents. Such a wonderful time of year.
    I need to try AG Neroli again. I tried it once and it didn’t quite work. Perhaps it was a bottle gone bad. My favorite orange blossom perfume is L’Artisan Fleur d’oranger. Oh I would love to go down to California and sit among the orange trees right around now and surround my self with the actual blossoms. I hear it can be quite intoxicating. L’Artisan’s rendition is pretty close to the real thing though. It still amazes me.
    Happy Spring! April 29, 2011 at 11:46am Reply

  • dleep: I think L’Artisan La Chasse Au Papillions is the “happiest” fragrance I know. There is just something about it that makes me smile. April 29, 2011 at 12:40pm Reply

  • Uella: Apres l’Ondee and Le Temps d’une Fête are also spring favorites of mine even if I don’t wear them often enough. This year, Serge Lutens Bas de Soie and Nuit de Cellophane, Diorissimo parfum and Guerlain Le Muguet are my spring favorites. April 29, 2011 at 12:42pm Reply

  • Olga Bodnar Talyn: Ah yes! Total agreement with ApresL’Ondee. Arden’s Blue Grass, L’Artisian’s Mimosa Pour Moi. I would love to find a scent that blends soft gardenia, spicy carnation and tunisian jasmine. i used to buy the oisls from nantucket fragrance shoppe and blend them myself. Delicious!Like a wfting spring wind that followed me everywhere! April 29, 2011 at 12:45pm Reply

  • Elisa: Speaking of Grojsman: This week I transferred my mini of Jaipur into a purse spray, and a spritz here and there of its huuuge rosy peach has brightened my mood. I did the same with part of my splash bottle of Eau de Joy, which makes me laugh with its very smutty jasmine. I’ve also been loving DSH’s rendition of tuberose, which is not as lush and all-out gorgeous as Beyond Love, but very fresh and comfortable. April 29, 2011 at 9:35am Reply

  • Nina Z: What a fabulous list! The fragrances on your list that I’ve already tried are ones that I love (Tocade, Chinatown, Neroli, Sa Majeste) so it looks like I’ll need to add the others to my “to try” list. Meanwhile, my favorite joyful spring scents are Ormonde Jayne Champaca and vintage Bellodgia. April 29, 2011 at 2:55pm Reply

  • Melina: Happy Spring to all of you up north! 😀
    I have recently purchased Chinatown, and you’re right, it is quite an exuberant and joyful fragrance! But I have yet little personal experience with it, so if I have to choose from my collection, I’d say SJP Covet is the most uplifting perfume of them all…I may feel blue, but I spritz this and instantly I feel much better, like a little (green) light has been turned on…it’s like aromatherapy! Another one that has a “happy-fying” effect on me is Marc Jacobs’ Lola …it is such a creamy, fruity comfort scent! A warm blanket 🙂 April 29, 2011 at 4:06pm Reply

  • Grusheczka: After our awfully long winter, I’ve been craving white florals for the past few months. My favorite spring scents so far have been L’Artisan’s La Chasse EDT, Saffron James’ Nani, Nasomatto’s Nuda, Malle’s Carnal Flower, Monyette Paris, Kai and Pacifica’s Star Jasmine. You’d think I would overlead by now, but no… I’m still loving all of the tuberose, jasmine and pikake. Also, thanks to your review of Goutal’s Neroli from a few days ago, I got to try it and it just may enter the rotation. April 29, 2011 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: Jaipur is definitely Sophia at her most classical. I cannot say that it is my favorite (my favorites are White Linen and Paris,) but it has so much character! April 29, 2011 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Elisa: White Linen is my favorite of hers by far. April 29, 2011 at 1:09pm Reply

  • minette: lots of wonderful things on your spring list! some i need to dig out and enjoy myself!

    i just fell totally in love with j’adore absolu yesterday, so i’m wearing it again today – and i don’t even like the regular j’adore! also in my spring rotation – coup de foudre, amaranthine, bas de soie, cartier l’heure promise, rush, pacifica california star jasmine and french lilac, and songes.

    happy springtime! April 29, 2011 at 5:15pm Reply

  • Victoria: Apres L’Ondee is such a perfection! Whenever I revisit it, I feel–ok, this one is it, I need nothing else in my life! 🙂

    SL’s SMLR is just a delight, simple rose, but so nicely crafted. These days I am much more interested in revisiting old favorites rather than discovering new launches. Plus, if one loves bright, rich roses, SMLR is unbeatable. April 29, 2011 at 1:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: Datura Noir would have been my other choice too. I love its bitter almond and balsam facet, which seems only to highlight the luminous qualities of its white floral notes. April 29, 2011 at 1:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: L’Artisan Fleur d’oranger (and in fact, Iris Pallida and Fleur de Narcisse) are among my favorite soliflores. So exquisitely rendered!
    I was recently in CA, and one of the most pleasant memories from that trip was smelling lemon blossoms right on the tree. The fragrance can only be compared to liquid sunshine. April 29, 2011 at 1:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: I cannot agree more. La Chasse is a charming, uplifting fragrance. Instant mood lifter! April 29, 2011 at 1:23pm Reply

  • Victoria: I admit that at first I was disappointed in Nuit de Cellophane, which seemed too simple and straightforward. Yet, as I kept on wearing it, I discovered several interesting facets in it. It has a very beautiful structure, and I love its marriage of apricot and jasmine notes. April 29, 2011 at 1:24pm Reply

  • Victoria: Sounds wonderful! Have you tried Parfums de Nicolai Number One? You might enjoy it! April 29, 2011 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Victoria: As much as I loved the snowy winter we had, I also got tired of it. Suddenly, I wanted florals in all guises.
    I have a sample of Nani sitting on my desk. Your comment finally made me try it, and it is very pretty! April 29, 2011 at 1:26pm Reply

  • Victoria: Another one I liked is Laura Biagiotti Sotto Voce, an oriental rose.
    Sophia’s Sun, Moon and Stars is another interesting fragrance. She was inspired by L’Heure Bleue when she created it (in general, Guerlain is her favorite fragrance house.) April 29, 2011 at 1:27pm Reply

  • Marina: Chto eto o nas govorit, samo-citirovanie, ty sprashivaesh? 🙂 Nu priyatno zhe procitirovat umnogo cheloveka! 🙂 April 29, 2011 at 1:59pm Reply

  • Victoria: Ha! 🙂 April 29, 2011 at 2:03pm Reply

  • carmencanada: The great Roudnitskas, Le Parfum de Thérèse, Eau Sauvage and Diorissimo (in their original formulas) are truly things that bring me joy because of their perfect beauty. They are as exhilarating to wear as they are to contemplate.

    Challenging and cerebral doesn’t quite elicit the same feelings, but the things that engage my mind give me pleasure. And M/MInk made me laugh out loud, which is not to be sniffed at! April 29, 2011 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Warum: I think every fragrance that I truly love is a mood lifter. My biggest Spring-time mood lifter is Climat. April 29, 2011 at 6:16pm Reply

  • Kym: I just adore these seasonal lists! And I love everyone’s responses – sometimes you don’t know what you want to wear until you read it on someone’s list! For me, I couldn’t agree with you more about Le Temps d’une Fete. On a slightly warmer day, Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom is perfection. Scherrer (1), I’ll be getting into soon. I’ll also be wearing Debut, Diorella, Carillon pour Ange, Tonkamande, En Passant and Ormonde Jayne Champaca. April 29, 2011 at 6:42pm Reply

  • mals86: Heh. Joy and the smutty jasmine (aka Ho Panties)… April 29, 2011 at 3:59pm Reply

  • mals86: A lovely list.

    Le Temps d’une Fete is in my Top Three All-Time, Ever, so I’m happy every time I see it on someone else’s list! April 29, 2011 at 4:02pm Reply

  • Elizabeth: Ah, spring! I was born to love flowers and floral perfumes. My baptismal name in the Greek Orthodox Church was Anthi, which translates as “flowers”! I have gone through several bottles of both Annick Goutal Neroli and Apres l’Ondee. Lately I am also enjoying Estee Lauder Jasmine White Moss, with its refreshing green topnotes and creamy jasmine, and Tuberose Gardenia, which feels like a shower of pearly white flower petals. April 29, 2011 at 8:30pm Reply

  • Katrina: What else but Clinique Happy? April 29, 2011 at 11:25pm Reply

  • sweetlife: A lovely list, V., and you are always such a temptress–you even make me want to try Chinatown again, which I haven’t worn since I acquired my sample nearly five years ago. Totally agree on Frangipani. The Different Company’s Osmanthus doesn’t necessarily give me a “rush” of happiness, but it embodies simple pleasure for me, just a golden, happy scent. And I just bought a (larger) decant of Fleur d’Oranger to replace the precious small one that I drained. And today I’m revisiting Goutal’s Chevrefuille, which I used to wear all the time before Neroli overtook it in my affections. Such a sweet scent, in the very best way possible. April 29, 2011 at 8:11pm Reply

  • Monica: I recently came across Annick Goutal Neroli and have been enjoying it ever since . Simple yet not over-simplified, cute and happy but not mindless or boring, loving it dearly. April 30, 2011 at 3:01am Reply

  • Samarkand: Le parfum de Thérèse brings me joy any season. I have no idea why…

    I like to wear No 19, Odalisque, Le Temps d’une fête, Chamade, Diorella (vint) and Nuit de Longchamp (vint). April 30, 2011 at 4:49am Reply

  • Heidi: I’ve been layering apres l’ondee with sycomore and muscs khoublai khan, and it mirrors perfectly our cold, blustery spring in Seattle…

    And I love the goutal neroli– pure joy! April 30, 2011 at 12:18pm Reply

  • bojana: Some of the most uplifting and euphoric scents that come to mind are Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Flora Nerolia (sadly discontinued) and Nahema. I also used to like the smell of Spring Fever by Origins but perhaps even that has been reformulated. True spring flower smells are the best – lilac, hyacinth, different blossoming trees, and then in June linden, acacia… April 30, 2011 at 12:37pm Reply

  • nozknoz: I recently tried a nicely preserved Diorella EdT and was intrigued by its resemblance to Le Parfum de Therese – like the jazz cover of a torch song – and also reflected on LT’s characterization of Diorella as a perfected Eau Sauvage. It’s truly genius to be able to ring the changes on this almost weird theme and come up with three stunning perfumes (instead of the usual forgettable flankers)! April 30, 2011 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: I completely agree with you on Roudnitska’s creations. I find them beautiful and exhilarating too. Nothing like perfection to make one experience that rush of pure pleasure. 🙂 April 30, 2011 at 10:37am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, Champaca and vintage Bellodgia nearly made a cut for me, so we are definitely on the same wavelength as far as what we find joyful! Champaca always makes me smile, such a clever, lovely fragrance. April 30, 2011 at 10:38am Reply

  • Victoria: I am wearing it today, and it feels so exquisite. It has the intelligent beauty of Vol de Nuit and the heartbreaking romanticism of Chamade, a perfect pairing! April 30, 2011 at 10:39am Reply

  • Victoria: I need to wear Covet more. Whenever I put it on, I also feel this effervescent, rejuvenating sensation. I just find the drydown a bit too dry on skin. April 30, 2011 at 10:40am Reply

  • Victoria: I am very much enjoying J’Adore Eau de Cologne Florale, a crisp violet-honeysuckle.

    Might revisit L’Heure Promise later today! April 30, 2011 at 10:42am Reply

  • Victoria: Climat has such strong nostalgic associations for me. I love it! April 30, 2011 at 10:43am Reply

  • Victoria: Me too, I read the responses before I figure out what perfume I want to pick for the day.
    I love your list, such interesting, unexpected and very beautiful selections! I love seeing Debut on it, which I feel is very underrated. April 30, 2011 at 10:44am Reply

  • Victoria: I also used to wear Le Chevrefeuille before Neroli, and when I tried to revisit it recently, I found that I no longer cared for it. Well, I will hide a bottle and wait for another change of heart.

    I did not wear Chinatown much until recently. Sometimes one simply needs to be in a right mood for it. April 30, 2011 at 11:29am Reply

  • Victoria: Anthi… What a beautiful name and a beautiful meaning! No wonder, you were meant for flowers!

    Have you tried Jasmine White Moss body cream? It is luxurious and deliciously scented. April 30, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

  • Victoria: A great fruity-floral! April 30, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

  • Victoria: I now have a hard time approaching any new orange blossom fragrance. Neroli and L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger set such a high standard for a simple, uncluttered orange flower scent. April 30, 2011 at 11:34am Reply

  • Victoria: I absolutely must try the vintage version of Nuit de Longchamp. For some reason, I never come across it. April 30, 2011 at 11:35am Reply

  • Victoria: I am so glad to see so many Neroli fans. I think that it is a fantastic orange blossom cologne, one of the best, esp. for those who prefer their orange blossoms more floral than citrusy. April 30, 2011 at 12:57pm Reply

  • Victoria: Guerlain Nahema and also Samsara for me! I have to say that Guerlain Insolence Eau de Parfum (not Eau de Toilette!) also has a similar effect. Insolence parfum is even more interesting. April 30, 2011 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Victoria: So true! These days this kind of work is simply not asked for from the perfumers, and the ones that do it are the self-motivated kind. When you have to rotate between 20 projects a day, it is very very hard to find this kind of inner resolve to push yourself in different directions. April 30, 2011 at 12:59pm Reply

  • Mimi: So many great fragrances. I’m going to have to get Nahema and Guerlain Insolence edp out. I have plans to try Cristalle, AG Neroli, Diorella and EL’s Tuberose Gardenia.

    I am wearing Dipytque’s Olene and Index Tuberosa by Fresh (long discontinued, but I managed to get several bottles off e-bay before the price just sky-rocketed). I too love Climat and wear it often; it suits all seasons for me. I managed to get several bottles of Climat for a reasonable price from TPC, they came from the set of 4 fragrances Lancome had available for a too short period. April 30, 2011 at 5:26pm Reply

  • axum: Lovely list and lot of good ideas in the comments too! My spring scents are Cristalle and Armani Onde Extase. The latter is badly named – it should be Fleurs de Printemps…as in daffodils and mimosa. April 30, 2011 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love Onde Extase too, very elegant floral. Nothing ecstatic about it, I agree with you! April 30, 2011 at 9:16pm Reply

  • Victoria: I need to wear Olene more. Whenever I revisit it, I am always amazed at how beautiful and opulent it is. For anyone who loves true to life, white florals, it is the one. April 30, 2011 at 9:17pm Reply

  • Parfymerad: Gorgeous list! Especially nice to see Sa Majeste la Rose there – it’s about the only rose I’ve ever enjoyed & the only SL I’d like a FB of. It’s unpretetious yet celebratory, and the delicacy of it is unusual for Lutens.

    Our spring has been very summer-like – no rain for weeks now, and very warm weather. Still, I’ve been craving green, especially Le Temps d’Une Fete, which I foolishly swapped away over a year ago. No 19, AG Grand Amour and Sycomore are filling in; and I’ve been dying to try Tauer’s new Linden and PdN’s Weedend a Deauville – they sound like perfect spring scents. May 1, 2011 at 8:35am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! I am so happy to see other fans of this excellent, if underrated rose. It is a rose flower, with leaves, thorns and stems intact. A happy, smiling rose, if you will. A rarity for Lutens, who tends to do moody and dark much better. May 1, 2011 at 11:22am Reply

  • March: I’m just getting around to the blogs this afternoon as a reward for putting up with the weekend — and now I have a big cup of tea and your thoughts, so it’s perfect. I love how different everyone’s list is. It’s killing me to write this, but you’re making me want to grit my teeth and try One Million. (I don’t think I got past Lady Million or whatever it’s called.) May 1, 2011 at 5:33pm Reply

  • Musette: I just picked myself up off the floor from the Nicolai packaging jab – oh, thank you so SO much for that! You are right! For better or worse, perfume is a sensualist’s delight and packaging is part of that (even a decant should be nicely presented, imo, which is why I rarely decant! LOL!)

    PdN’s work is too lovely to be jammed into those horrid bottles with the even horrider labels!!!


    ps. excellent list! I won Lady Million but have been afraid to open it. May 2, 2011 at 10:07pm Reply

  • Victoria: I think that One Million and Lady Million are actually not that bad. Lady Million has a distinctive 1980s feeling–glitz and glam, and that fits perfectly with the image. On the other hand, wearing these fragrances is impossible. They wear you and wear you out! 🙂 May 2, 2011 at 10:24pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! I am glad that you agree. Why on earth are the bottles so awful. The large decants that Patty uses are much nicer than these stock bottles. And why is blue a different shade on every label?
    Yet, the fragrances are so beautiful that I am willing to put up with it all! May 2, 2011 at 10:25pm Reply

  • [email protected]: A truly beautiful list. OJ Frangipani introduced me to the white floral perfume and I haven’t looked back. It is a delight (and equally so in the bath oil). I’m happy to see Chinatown make your list as I love it too though it took me a couple of tries, the open being quite sweet, but once that’s through the tuberose and incense are gorgeous. Annick Goutal is a house I am learning to love more and more so I will look out for Neroli particulaly as orange blossom is a favourite note (Guerlain’s Aqua Allegoria – which I spray in my bedroom and living room for a happy hit). My happy perfume is Ninfeo Mio. And my non perfume happy hit is my nephew Sam asking me for a kiss. Nicola May 3, 2011 at 9:27am Reply

  • Victoria: Nicola, your non perfume happy hit is my favorite! My little cousin says, “Vika, I love you so much.” Then she knows that she can have anything she wants. 🙂

    I missed Flora Nerolia, but after your comment, I will try to find a sample. It sounds like a wonderful and uplifting fragrance. May 3, 2011 at 10:02am Reply

  • Beata: Dear Victoria,
    I have been following your blog for a while and love it! Thank you so much for all your great work!
    My mostly loved fragrance is Angelique sous la Pluie. In fact, it is my signature summer scent as it perfectly epitomises my personality (to my mind:)). By the way, I love your review where you compared it to “a sip of champagne” (my favourite drink:)).
    However, one perfume for a season is never enough for me, no matter how much I love it, as I like changing them depending on the mood and occasion. But since I discovered Angelique, every spring-summer I struggle to find another scent that would appeal to me equally and yet would be different from Angelique sous la Pluie. A friend recommended me L’Artisan Parfumeur Navegar and I liked it, but it does not seem to me much different from Angelique.
    I have read your review of Parfums de Nicolaï Le Temps d’une Fête and noted your your words that its “effect overall is similar to champagne—irresistible sparkle, suave bouquet and an intoxicating finish”. Do you think a fan of Angelique might like it?
    I would be also interested in your opinion of Bahiana by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. I seem to like it, and yet I am not 100% sure that it is an interesting one. Would you recommend anything else, perhaps (I mean niche brands only)? Also, I would really value your advice on outstanding fragrances for a summer night out.
    Finally, may I ask, please, what you think of M.Micalleff’s perfumes and their Quatre Saisons series in particular?
    Many apologies for such a long note and so many questions! The reason is that I hold you in high esteem and truly appreciate your guidance!
    Many thanks in advance! May 21, 2011 at 8:57pm Reply

  • Victoria: Beata, thank you for your kind words. If you like Angeliques, you might also like Hermes Poivre Samarcande, a woody-peppery blend like your favorite. Nicolai's fragrance is great, but it is a green floral, quite different.
    As for M Micallef, I haven't smelled them in some time, so I don't remember them well. I recall that Bahiana was a pleasant fruity-floral, perfect for the summer.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 22, 2011 at 10:16am Reply

  • Perfumes Importados: Paco Rabanne is a great fragrance. I like use this perfumes when I go out with friends in the weekends. Make me smile for sure! June 1, 2011 at 11:22am Reply

  • Audrey H.: This was so perfectly timed, I was trying to make a list of samples to order and ordered a few of these. Love a few of these, the Goutal Neroli is so pretty makes it ok that I wont get my hands on a full bottle of the Lartisan fleur d’Oranger Paris only scent.

    I really loved Guerlain Après l’Ondée but can’t seem to find it for sale now, is it discontinued? Thanks for all of your reviews and updates, enjoy them very much. June 5, 2011 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Beata: Dear Victoria,

    I just want to thank you again for being such an amazing and helpful guide. I’ve finally found and tried PdN’s perfumes. Alas, Le Temps d’Une Fete did not work well on me though I appreciated its beauty. Perhaps, I haven’t grown up for it yet, so I am planning to revisit it the next spring. Nonetheless, I’ve fallen in love with Juste Un Reve and Sacrebleu. The latter is simply delicious! I wish I had known it before. It wasn’t that straightforward with Odalisque. At first, I also admired its beauty but did not feel it was mine – that was after smelling it on a blotter and trying on my wrist. However, this morning I dressed in it, and you know, it felt completely differently–I’ve now started a love affair with it! You’re so right about the image it evokes: when I was emerging from my house this morning, I did feel like modern Lady Godiva (without a red lipstick though:)). And I think I can guess why it is called Odalisque. I felt so seductive, but in a good, more refined sense – I just felt that somehow it made me keep my posture, my chin high and my steps lighter, even regal, if I can say so. It doesn’t seem to have a great sillage but I’ve found it very tenacious – I could smell it around me throughout the whole day although I put only a few drops and did not reapply it. I think I will be saving it for my night-outs.

    Also, I’d like to say a big THANK YOU for making me rediscover Chamade. A couple of years ago I tried it, found it magnificent, yet not mine. Perhaps, I just wasn’t grown-up enough for it:) Your review has made me try it again recently, and I love it now. And the story behind it, and the bottle are so beautiful as well! My next goal is to read Sagan’s novel now:) You know, last night I was listening to Nina Simone’s version of Ne Me Quittes Pas and it struck me that it goes well with Chamade (at least, to my mind).

    Sorry, I’ve already written too much but may I ask you a question? Has it ever happened to you that you try the scent you used to like in the past, but it fails to make the same impression on you? My first favourite niche perfume (10 years ago) was Mandragore, and I specifically loved the smell it left on my skin in the drydown. I missed it and have tried to bring it back into my wardrobe but has become utterly disappointed – it smelt like a different fragrance altogether( I wonder whether it has been reformulated or whether my senses have changed…

    Again, apologies for such a long post – my over-excitement with new positive discoveries is to blame:) Thank you so much, Victoria! June 7, 2011 at 12:23pm Reply

  • Beata: just want to correct my mistake with regard to Mandragore. “10 years ago”?-what a nonsence; of course, it was in 2005; but it feels such a long time ago:)) June 7, 2011 at 4:55pm Reply

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  • Rakasa in How To Give Perfume as Gift–Or Not: Whakamihi, Peter. Keep us posted on your adventures, too! In my experience exchange is the heart of discovery. July 12, 2020 at 12:42pm

  • Peter in How To Give Perfume as Gift–Or Not: Wow Rakasa! You folks are amazing. What a great way to keep learning. I just looked up Joaquin Sorrolla, an artist that I’m not familiar with. I will enjoy discovering… July 11, 2020 at 7:33pm

  • Rakasa in How To Give Perfume as Gift–Or Not: Yes, absolutely, Peter. Food recipe and cultural overview books/pamphlets come often, but over time we all began to add authored short stories/lists. I loved the one about that included history… July 11, 2020 at 2:16pm

  • Aurora in How To Give Perfume as Gift–Or Not: I love your personal story Victoria, I hope it didn’t discourage it from ever giving perfume to other people. However, I agree it’s a little bit difficult but some colognes… July 11, 2020 at 12:10pm

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