Perfumes for When You Are Under the Weather

Are you feeling under the weather? Pat explores a range of scented cures. (Bois de Jasmin will be back to its regular schedule on March 6th, Friday.)

It might start with a slight headache, or a small case of the sniffles, or just feeling somewhat unbalanced, then it progresses to general malaise and aching limbs. Time to face up to it, you’re sick, and you might as well cancel everything planned for the next three days to a week. Your best friends will be a cup of hot tea, a box of tissues, and a warm comforter on the sofa. Perfume won’t even be on your radar.


But what about when you start to recover and take an interest in life again? Just as you wouldn’t attempt a three-course meal before starting with a bowl of hot chicken soup, you won’t want to go right back to wearing a heavy application of your vintage Mitsouko. Transition fragrances are in order, and here are some of my favorites.

After weathering the storm of illness, Après l’Ondée by Guerlain, a gentle violet and orange blossom fragrance, is comforting and non-threatening and makes a good first perfume to wear after leaving the sickbed. Frédéric Malle’s L’Eau d’Hiver shares the same floral powdery softness that reminds you to take baby steps in your road to recovery.

For my sore throats, my grandmother used to make “hot lemonade” with hot water, fresh lemon juice, and honey. Annick Goutal’s Eau d’Hadrien, with its tart citrus opening reminds me of this old-fashioned remedy. Another good cologne that combines intensely green fig leaf with lemon and bitter orange is Ninféo Mio, also by Annick Goutal. Initially refreshing and bright, it becomes warmer as it wraps you in its woody dry down.

Ginger is noted for its ability to settle upset stomachs, and my favorite ginger/citrus fragrance is Bergamote by The Different Company. Very simply composed, this lovely perfume is clean and transparent with no unnecessary elements to roil the digestion or disturb the fevered head.

A classic comfort dessert, rice pudding, is also represented here. Parfum d’Empire’s Equistrius is a delectable woody rice pudding garnished with powdery iris and shavings of chocolate. Or if a savory dish is desired, L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Safran Troublant is saffron rice garnished with rose petals and ginger. Tam Dao by Diptyque provides the hand-carved sandalwood bowl in which to serve the dish.

See, aren’t you feeling better already? Go put on some of that Mitsouko and rejoin the world.

What are some of your favorite fragrances to wear when recovering from an illness?

Photography by Patricia



  • Michaela: I like your article, it’s very well-written and useful.
    For me, I think colognes would do until I’m completely well. I don’t know which are the best fit, but I would reach for what I have on hand: 4711 or tea colognes like Eau Parfumee au The Vert, Eau de Gaga, Elizabeth Arden Green Tea. Only 4711 if I’m still rather ill. This one refreshes quickly then goes away. February 27, 2015 at 7:51am Reply

    • Michaela: Second thought: a dry vetiver, Lalique Encre Noire for Him, may help me before complete recovering. February 27, 2015 at 8:01am Reply

      • Patricia: Thank you, Michaela! 4711 and tea colognes would be great choices for someone recovering from an illness.

        Although I’m a new convert to the pleasures of Encre Noir, I can see how it would be perfect for the transition from illness to health.

        Stay well! February 27, 2015 at 8:12am Reply

  • rosarita: Excellent post! I like a simple musk to help me get back to normal, Clair de Musc or Coty Wild Musk; I have an old bottle and it’s a nice bedtime scent, too. February 27, 2015 at 8:11am Reply

    • Patricia: Musks are warm, comforting fragrances, and I can see how they would be good choices when recovering from an illness. February 27, 2015 at 8:21am Reply

  • Caroline: AdP’s Iris Nobile–the edt version, which I’m guessing may be disco’d–is perfect for helping oneself along the road to recovery. It’s a light & sparkling OB/iris combo I find comforting and soothing. If I remember correctly, you like it too, Patricia. If it’s really out of production, sorry to bring it up! February 27, 2015 at 8:27am Reply

    • Patricia: Yes, Caroline, I do like the EDT version, which is indeed sadly discontinued and is the reason I didn’t include it in my article. I jumped through hoops to obtain a back-up, something I rarely do, when I first heard it would no longer be produced. It was not widely available at the discounters, though.

      I have a couple of manufacturer’s samples of the EDP, which many prefer, but find that it just doesn’t have the lightness and sparkle you refer to. February 27, 2015 at 8:44am Reply

  • Sandra: When I am sick, I am usually without any perfume. Especially when its a sinus/nasal type of thing.

    If I do spray anything its eau de cologne by Chanel. February 27, 2015 at 9:04am Reply

    • Sandra: One thing that made me feel better this morning is that Aedes is carrying the new Amouage sunshine. I am dying to try it so maybe the key to my cure is new exciting launches and sampling new perfume February 27, 2015 at 9:16am Reply

      • Patricia: Chanel Eau de Cologne is always a good choice, Sandra.

        I haven’t tried Amouage Sunshine yet either. Please let us know what you think of it! February 27, 2015 at 11:27am Reply

  • briony hey: I like to go for something nice and comforting like L’Artisan’s Tea for Two or Lorenzo Villoressi’s Teint de Neige – I love its baby powderiness. February 27, 2015 at 9:11am Reply

    • Patricia: I like powder in my transition fragrances, too. Although I haven’t tried either Tea for Two or Teint de Neige, I love their names! February 27, 2015 at 11:31am Reply

  • limegreen: What a lovely concept. Thank you for such a soothing article, Patricia! Sick or not, it makes me want to try Safran Troublant –“saffron rice garnished with rose petals and ginger” — such a delectable description.
    When I’m under the weather but from severe allergies (so I can’t stay on the couch) my sense of smell is compromised so I wear my loudest perfumes LOUDLY. e.g. forget L’eau d’Hiver! I need to smell and not be deprived of fragrance. (Food doesn’t taste like anything during these times.) And since I don’t feel well, I don’t care, sick people can only handle “me-time” and others should accommodate us, right? 🙂
    One of my loudest perfumes is Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger and I spray liberally — kind of like your “hot lemonade” except with orange blossom and a dash of cumin, garnished with a pick-me-up tuberose (umbrella). 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 9:21am Reply

    • katrin: I’m with you limegreen! I’m suffering from a cold right now and I’ve been wearing whatever I can actually smell. February 27, 2015 at 10:47am Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, limegreen! I love your idea of loud fragrances to offset a compromised sense of smell. Fleurs d’Oranger sprayed liberally should certainly do the trick.

      Safran Troublant is one of my favorite comfort scents. It’s not especially complicated, and it doesn’t last forever, but it’s a must-have in my perfume repertoire. February 27, 2015 at 11:36am Reply

      • Theresa: I have a sample of Safran Troublant, and while I like it very much, I think that the original Omnia is quite similar. So, when i’m feeling in a subdued mood, that is what I turn to. and it is sooo much cheaper!

        PS: thank you for an amusing article! February 27, 2015 at 2:48pm Reply

        • Patricia: Thank you, Theresa! February 27, 2015 at 6:28pm Reply

      • limegreen: Patricia — Is Safran Troublant overly sweet with the rose? Some L’Artisan perfumes are too sweet for me. February 27, 2015 at 7:50pm Reply

        • Patricia: It is sweet, limegreen, and I have a fairly high tolerance for sweet, so you might not like it. I would recommend giving it a try, though! March 1, 2015 at 8:30am Reply

          • limegreen: Thanks, Patricia! I love saffron as a note (and love saffron rice 🙂 ) so this looks worth sampling. Your mouth-watering description makes it so tempting! (Unfortunately, ST did not come in the L’Artisan sampler kit.) March 1, 2015 at 9:20am Reply

  • ~Kat: Hi Patricia!
    You are so right about the orange blossom and violet scents. My favorite for light or transitioning-to-well days are Annick Goutal’s Neroli and La Violette! Both are easily wearable and cheerful to me. Thank you for the post… February 27, 2015 at 9:21am Reply

    • Patricia: Annick Goutal is perfect for wearability. I could have picked any number of her lovely creations.
      🙂 February 27, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

      • sylvia: Yet another Annick Goutal perfect for feeling under the weather is Nuit Etoilee. I know it hasn’t been loved as much as her others, but I adore it’s balsam/mint crisp quality. February 27, 2015 at 1:48pm Reply

        • Patricia: Hi Sylvia, I remember liking the beautiful blue bottle better than the fragrance inside, but I should find my sample and give it a second try. Thanks for posting! February 27, 2015 at 6:30pm Reply

  • Heather H: Dear Patricia,

    I really think Après l’Ondée by Guerlain is a perfect perfume. It fits all occasions or at least most occasions. I also reach for Annick Goutal’s Rose Splendid and Le Chèvrefeuille when I need something light! February 27, 2015 at 9:26am Reply

    • Patricia: Yes! More Annick Goutal 🙂

      Après l’Ondée falls into the same category as Chanel No. 19 and Prada Infusion d’Iris. I would wear any of them for any occasion. I’m sure there are others, but those are the three I think of first. February 27, 2015 at 11:43am Reply

  • Annette: Patricia, it was definitely NOT your intention when writing this lovely post, but you made me wish for some teeny-tiny ailment:) You know, something to feel poorly enough to be unapologetically self-indulgent, but not too serious to be too weak to do anything but sleep or moan.
    I guess I haven’t been ill for quite a long time. So I can only speculate now what I would like to wear or smell if I did feel under the weather. Probably “good old friends”, that is perfumes I am so familiar with that I don’t have to worry about my puffy eyes, red nose or zero-make-up. Exactly like I feel when a good old friend visits me when I am ill, which is: comfortable. Carnal Flower would require at least an eyeliner, but my faithful beloved Theorema understands everything, we’ve been together for so long:)
    Be in good health, dear fragrant people! February 27, 2015 at 9:33am Reply

    • Patricia: Dear Annette, Your post gave me such a good laugh. Yes, our good old friends, whether human, animal, or perfume, accept us sniffles and all.

      I applaud your good health. May it continue for you and our whole perfume community! February 27, 2015 at 11:48am Reply

      • Annette: Thank you, dear Patricia. And may I ask: what are your good old friends perfume-wise?
        PS Still boringly healthy:) February 28, 2015 at 6:47am Reply

        • Patricia: Hmm…No. 19 and Coco, definitely. And I’d also have to add Ysatis, Y, and Miss Dior (original). March 1, 2015 at 8:36am Reply

          • Annette: Thank you, Patricia. Your good friends are very elegant ladies:) March 2, 2015 at 10:44am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

      You will have to try harder to be ill, my friend! Allow me to demonstrate. Yesterday I read Patricia’s lovely article and began writing a list of my “recovery phase fragrances”, and then this morning I awoke with a slightly sore throat. I have no doubt that my throat went out in support of the article! Maybe it was craving a cloud of 4711, with its aura of Vitamin C, not to mention its happy (and comforting) childhood associations for me. But I chose to wear only a little “vintage” Samsara body lotion on pulse points. Not only do I find the fragrance soothing, but it was the first day of autumn here, and despite the persistent heat, I was determined to wear an autumnal perfume!

      Perhaps if you meditate before going to bed, dear Annette, clearing everything from your mind except your beloved Theorema (or perhaps warm tea and chicken soup), then you, too, could awaken with a sore throat!

      I must try Theorema sometime. I have heard several good reports about it, yours being the latest.

      (Also please see my tardy reply on our previous thread…) March 1, 2015 at 10:51am Reply

      • Patricia: Oh no, Tourmaline! The power of the written word.

        Feel better soon! March 2, 2015 at 7:31am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Thank you, Patricia.

          Fear not, I am better already! I think that Sunday’s Samsara helped, and yesterday’s Tea Rose helped a little more. But I’m sure that the final blow for my sore throat was relaxing, sipping rose tea and reading more of your fragrant audience’s recovery perfume suggestions. (Indeed, sometimes the pen is mightier than the pill!)

          To the list I would add my favourite fresh floral aldehyde: Clair de Jour (Lanvin 1983). Sadly, this fragrance was discontinued years ago, but I have a couple of bottles stashed in my fridge (and I have seen bottles listed on eBay). When I have a cold, merely thinking about this scent makes my nose feel clearer.

          I have to say, though, that I am with you on Après L’Ondée. It has my vote as the perfect transition perfume. March 3, 2015 at 8:09am Reply

      • Annette: (Hangs her head in shame) Still healthy! Oh boy, what to do?! People coughing and sneezing around me and me? Nothing! Our lovely Patricia should be proud of you, dear Tourmaline. That’s what I call empathy! Or in-depth reading.
        I must try harder, I know. Oh, I had chicken soup for dinner yesterday. And I drink lots of hot tea!
        But on a more serious note, I hope your sore throat is a thing of the past. And please try Theorema when you have a chance. All the best! (And find my reply in the previous thread:) March 2, 2015 at 10:57am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

          Well might you be ashamed! You can’t even rustle up a sniffle? Piffle. You obviously aren’t trying hard enough. For heaven’s sake, my friend, stand out in the rain, ditch the Vitamin C, eat sweets. Do what you must; the rewards will be worth it!

          A little more seriously, I am better now, thank you. As Patricia noted, the written word is powerful (especially when combined with the desire to recline, read BdJ and drink warm tea). And as you appreciated, dear Annette, I showed a spectacular empathic response.

          I look forward to trying Theorema sometime.

          All the best with your health endeavours! (And thanks for the other reply.) March 3, 2015 at 9:02am Reply

          • Michaela: Tourmaline and Annette, your conversation is delicious! 🙂
            Hope you are better now! March 4, 2015 at 3:57am Reply

            • Annette: Hi Michaela, why don’t you join us?:) Maybe you can come up with some tips that I can follow and develop at least a runny nose?:) March 4, 2015 at 8:06am Reply

            • Tourmaline: Hi Michaela,

              Thank you so much. Yes, I am better now.

              Just between you and me, I think that Annette has been taken over by an alien (with perhaps just a little Scottish blood). As per her March 4 comment, she already suspects this, but I’m not sure whether she fully understands the potential consequences. If the Secret Service gets wind of it then she might be carted off and stored in Area 51. The loss to Bois de Jasmin alone would be enormous. The situation is grave.

              I believe that we have a duty to our fellow perfumista to do whatever we can to save her. So I second her invitation to you: any tips that you might have on how she could become more human and frail and BLOODY WELL GET SICK LIKE THE REST OF US would be gratefully received. Clearly she needs our help.

              Posted with the greatest respect and concern for our dear BdJ sister. March 5, 2015 at 12:06am Reply

          • Annette: Dear Tourmaline, I’ve been trying, believe me! I’ve been very good!
            Yesterday the weather was dreadful. I was literally whipped by fierce wind and sleet. I came home freezing and took absolutely no precautions, no tea with honey, no raspberry juice, no vitamins. I ate some pastries I had bought on the way home. Wasn’t it a noble and honest effort?! But…all for nothing. Because I woke up today stubbornly healthy.
            I am starting to suspect that some creature from outer space has hijacked my immune system. Or maybe it’s just not me any more, but an alien form in this human shell? (Am I reading too much SF?)
            I am desperate! March 4, 2015 at 8:02am Reply

            • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

              I applaud the negligent measures that you are taking and I am sorry to hear that you remain well.

              Yes, I fear that there is alien involvement, but I am endeavouring to get you help. (Refer to my reply to Michaela above.) In the meantime, please don’t answer any unexpected knocks at the door.

              Be unwell. As soon as you can.

              Your worried friend,
              Tourmaline. March 5, 2015 at 12:14am Reply

              • Annette: Mayday! Mayday! I am being held in a place called District 9 somewhere in the southern hemisphere. They are…

                This is PSI#%03. The experiments we are conducting on Human Specimen 222321 are of utmost galactic importance. Do not interfere or we will anihilate your entire solar system.

                Don’t listen to him!!! Anybody out there?? Mayday! Mayday! March 5, 2015 at 5:43am Reply

                • Tourmaline: Calling Occupants of District 9,

                  Leave Annette alone, you monsters! She is of great value to the perfume community here on earth. Release her or we will cut off your supplies of Alien (original AND flankers), Véga, Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko and Brut.

                  Yes, I knew that you’d see reason.

                  Come in Annette,

                  I have negotiated your release, but you should flee before your captors reconsider. You are being held in a spaceship, so you must find the nearest escape hatch and jump. I’ll marshal a group of perfumistas and we’ll hold a blanket above the ground to catch you.

                  With any luck you will return to earth with some alien illness. Then, when you are back in the comfort of your own home, you can apply Theorema, drink soup and sip tea to your heart’s content. You might not recall much of your ordeal (partial memory erasure is standard), but at least you will be sick!

                  Bon voyage!

                  P. S. I must see that movie sometime… March 6, 2015 at 9:08am Reply

                  • Annette: I feel very confused. I woke up this morning mumbling “ET go home” (???), but I have no clear memories of the last two days. Only some disjointed snippets, like people shouting “Jump! Jump!” or long shelves with strange looking instruments (operating theatre?). There was a small container (metal? plastic?) next to my bed with some liquid inside which smells very much like Je Reviens (is it drinkable?)
                    Otherwise, I seem unharmed. Only… but surely my eyes are playing tricks on me… it can’t be… No, definitely not, but I could swear that my skin looks somewhat greenish… March 7, 2015 at 9:20am Reply

                    • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

                      Welcome back!

                      It is best not to dwell on disjointed snippets of memory; they can be so unreliable…

                      Perhaps your sneaky captors administered Je Reviens in order to facilitate your return to earth and gave you a sample to take with you. Do not drink any more of it! You might find yourself back in District 9!

                      Here is your opportunity to be “unapologetically self-indulgent”, as you so eloquently put it. Rest up and pamper yourself. Apply Theorema, eat vegetable soup, drink scented tea and perhaps imbibe the odd heather ale as you finish reading the Lymond Chronicles.

                      Oh, and don’t worry about your skin. I’m sure that regular application of recovery phase and transition fragrances to pulse points will eventually return it to its original colour. In the meantime, you could always apply for the role of Elphaba in a local production of “Wicked”. You wouldn’t have to paint yourself green every night!

                      I wish you a long and fragrant recovery!

                      Over and out. March 8, 2015 at 9:02am

    • Tourmaline: Dear Annette,

      On the off-chance that you are still out there somewhere and subscribed to this post, I wanted to let you know that I have finally tried your favourite fragrance – Theorema. I found a bottle on eBay and I like it very much – it is wonderfully rich and spicy.

      I hope that you are well and enjoying life.

      With kind regards,

      Tourmaline April 20, 2019 at 1:05am Reply

  • Julie: Thank you Patricia, very nice article…I am always interested in sandalwood scents. I love sandalwood soap in the shower. Have you ever tried Caswell-Massey/Sandalwood Cologne Spray? Dam Tao is close to a hundred dollars. So I’m curious because of the price (under thirty) being so low if it would be worth a try?I’ve been reading about perfume for a few years. A lot to discover. Have a great weekend! February 27, 2015 at 9:33am Reply

    • sandra: If you don’t mind if I throw in my 2 cents on sandalwood. My favorite is samsara, but not the version they sell now in the stores. If you look on ebay you can find “older” bottles with a gold cap and a coffin like bottle. Its not that expensive and the sandalwood in samsara is divine. February 27, 2015 at 9:39am Reply

      • Julie: Thank you for your 2 cents Sandra 😉
        I’ll look into it.
        I’ve heard of Samsara. February 27, 2015 at 9:50am Reply

      • Patricia: Hi sandra, I have a small red mini of Samsara (with a gold cap). Do you know if that is vintage or not? (I bought it on ebay.) February 27, 2015 at 11:54am Reply

        • Danica Radovanov: Usually the writing on the vintage has the letters that spell Samsara close together, the newer formulation has a space between each letter. February 27, 2015 at 10:09pm Reply

          • Patricia: Thank you, Danica! March 1, 2015 at 8:36am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Julie, I have not tried the Caswell-Massey Sandalwood Cologne, but now I would like to. I wonder if it would last as long as the Tam Dao, but of course at that price one can always respray.

      I wore a nice sandalwood yesterday, PG’s Cadjmere. I only have a decant of it, so I’m not sure how expensive a bottle would be, but sometimes a decant is plenty and lasts a long time if stored properly. February 27, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

    • Petunia: Please forgive me if I am making the wrong assumption, but are you a.k.a. Julie Choo? If so, this is your east coast friend, Linda-Lou. Just wanted to say hey there! February 27, 2015 at 8:05pm Reply

  • Austenfan: My comfort scents when I feel not quite all there tend to be light and “crisp”. So Ninfeo Mio fits that bill perfectly as does Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, any cologne, Eau du Sud, Eau de Monsieur, Divine Bergamote, Baschmakov, and more recently Jean Louis Scherrer I. It’s so green, that it almost feels like a tonic. The ones prescribed to Miss Marple when she felt out of sorts. February 27, 2015 at 10:54am Reply

    • Patricia: I love the greens, too, Austenfan. But I would probably save them for a cold/flu and go for the powdery numbers for a sensitive stomach. 🙂

      Colognes are such favorites of mine. I can’t wait for these mounds of snow to melt so that I can bring them out of hibernation. February 27, 2015 at 11:57am Reply

      • Austenfan: Powder and a delicate stomach are a big no-no in my book. It would lead to unpleasant scenes 😉 February 27, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

  • Bastet: Usually when I am not feeling well, even if its stress-related rather than a physical ailment, I reach for Caron Pour Homme. So simple and comforting. February 27, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Katy: Me too! Caron pour Un Homme is my favorite comfort scent as well. I had an upper respitory thing this winter and just ended up carefully putting Lavender EO right under my nose and rubbed it under my eyes, over my eyebrows and on my temples and even at the base of my skull. It was comforting and made me feel better! February 27, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Patricia: The simplest cures are often the best! February 27, 2015 at 12:32pm Reply

    • Michaela: Good idea! I know no other scent to be that comforting! March 2, 2015 at 4:47am Reply

  • Marie: I like to wear Ormonde Jayne’s Tolu when I don’t feel too well. Some consider it a very sexy fragrance, for me it is rather comforting like an aroma bath – I feel warm and clean but there is a herbal undertone.

    Another one that works well is Cologne du Maghreb by Andy Tauer. It shares the herbal character of Tolu, maybe this is what does the trick for me. February 27, 2015 at 12:00pm Reply

    • Patricia: Warm and clean with an herbal undertone sounds so pleasant. Just taking a shower or bath when ill can make you feel so much better.

      I have the OJ sample set, and I’ll have to pull Tolu out to try it. I don’t remember it very well. Thanks for your suggestions! February 27, 2015 at 5:35pm Reply

  • Mel: I’m two weeks in, or I should say, one week out of one of the worst flus I’ve ever experienced. Thankfully L’Eau d’Hiver is w/in arm’s reach, next to the Mucinex DM. Great piece. February 27, 2015 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, Mel. Love that you keep L’Eau d’Hiver next to the Mucinex DM! February 27, 2015 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Jackie: Great post, Patricia! I’ve got to look into some of the intriguing but unfamiliar-to-me perfumes that have been mentioned in this interesting conversation!

    Ugh, I’m sorry to Mel and others who’ve caught the nasty flu bugs that have been going around. We had the strangest non-winter here in Vancouver and are now fully into spring — apologies to the rest of Canada and half the US who’ve had a brutal few weeks ;), and my family and I miraculously (knock wood) made it through the cold/flu season relatively unscathed. I do find, though, that there’s something about Chanel’s Sycomore that feels like a cold medicine to me (must be the vetiver), and it breaks through head-cold congestion so you can actually smell it.

    Another interesting conversation would be what do you wear as a pick-me-up (or a comfort) when you’re feeling depressed or down in the dumps? February 27, 2015 at 12:53pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Jackie! I like your idea of discussing what fragrance to wear when depressed or down in the dumps. For me, that would depend on whether it was a real crisis or just feeling a little sad. I might avoid fragrance in the first instance and wear something like Bombay Bling in the second!

      How about you? February 27, 2015 at 5:41pm Reply

  • Aisha: Love this post! I never thought of Tam Dao before as a comfort fragrance for icky days. But yes, you’re right. 🙂

    I drink licorice/anise herbal tea when I have a sore throat, so my go-to fragrance for days when I feel a cold coming on is Lolita Lempicka. February 27, 2015 at 1:00pm Reply

    • Patricia: Nice! Eau de Rochas would be another good one. Licorice/anise isn’t my favorite note, but I like Lolita Lempicka and Eau de Rochas very much. February 27, 2015 at 5:46pm Reply

  • Brooke: I second Safran Troublant and Apres L’Ondee! Sick or not Safran Troublant is so sweet and comforting to me especially in the winter months. It very soothing to an aching heart too, which is why I will always have it in my collection. I love spraying it on my scarves which makes it last much longer. I will also add Atelier’s Orange Sanguine. Nothing more uplifting then the smell of ripe peeling oranges when your sick 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 1:18pm Reply

    • Patricia: I have a decant of Orange Sanguine. Sometimes nothing else will do, it’s such a juicy, zesty orange fragrance. 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Emma: This is when I’m taking a break from fragrances. I drink a lot of detox and herbal tea with lemon and honey, eat homemade vegetable soups, I enjoy all those beautiful smells. If I start feeling better, I’d wear Feminite du Bois or Bois de Violette. However once I’m healed, I need to go back to something strong and perfumey, a Goutal wouldn’t do it, this is when I reach for an 80’s powerhouse perfume such as Scherrer 2, Parfum de Peau and Rykiel 7e Sens, or a timeless classic, Chanel No.5 of course. February 27, 2015 at 1:34pm Reply

    • Patricia: Great powerhouse choices, Emma! It’s such a pleasure to be able to return to our favorites after an illness, isn’t it? February 27, 2015 at 6:03pm Reply

  • Jackie: I agree, Brooke, about the uplifting effect of Orange Sanguine, and now I’m dying to sniff Safran Troublant (which, though she gives it only three stars, Victoria’s review makes sound irresistible!) February 27, 2015 at 1:40pm Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: Lovely list, Patricia!
    The only perfume i can wear when I am sick is Shalimar. I have the edt.
    Tam Dao would be devastating, reminds me of my mothers furniture polish, named “Pledge”. February 27, 2015 at 3:42pm Reply

    • Patricia: Thank you, Cornelia! And no, I wouldn’t advise wearing furniture polish when ill. 😉

      Do you have a favorite sandalwood fragrance? February 27, 2015 at 6:06pm Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: A good sandalwood is hard to find. The best one was a cheap Coty oil, i wore it in the seventies. Alas, disappeared. I love Bois des Iles ,Samsara. and Santal Noble MPG. All the Lutens sandalwood including Santal Majuscule are too sweet for me.
        Stay healthy! February 28, 2015 at 7:20am Reply

        • Patricia: Thanks, Cornelia. I’m going to put Santal Noble MPG on my sample list. March 1, 2015 at 8:40am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Patricia! I found a new sandalwood favourite: E. Arden Fifth Avenue. Terrific with my Fabre Sandalwood soap. March 12, 2015 at 7:24am Reply

            • Patricia: E. Arden Fifth Avenue added to the list! March 12, 2015 at 7:59am Reply

  • rainboweyes: When I’m sick, I usually go scentless. For times of recovery, either Dzongkha or Lumière Blanche are best.
    When I came down with the flu a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t smell anything, even if my sense of smell wasn’t directly affected. Perfume simply made me sick. I took the opportunity of this long break to change my scent wardrobe from winter to spring. I’ve been wearing Heure Exquise for a while now, it’s really uplifting, even if spring hasn’t arrived here yet. February 27, 2015 at 4:11pm Reply

    • Patricia: Ah, Heure Exquise is such a beauty! Lumiere Blanche is a good suggestion for recovery. It has just enough of that soft powdery quality to provide comfort.

      I hope you are feeling better now, rainboweyes. 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 6:24pm Reply

  • Mj: Very thoughtful post, Patricia. I too go “sent less” when I have a head cold. Afterwards or anytime I enjoy the sunshine journey of Jour d’Hermes Absolu. I also enjoy the “bourbon” vanilla effect I get from Basse Vole Essence. Reminds me of the hot toddy my mother used to concoct with hot water, whiskey, and vanilla. Or was it lemon? Anyway the shot of whiskey was the fascinating to a kid. February 27, 2015 at 6:07pm Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Mj, I think I’d like a hot toddy right now…it sounds delicious!

      I have Jour d’Hermes in my collection but haven’t tried the Absolue. Is it very different? February 27, 2015 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Marsha: Tam Dao. Yes ma’am! February 27, 2015 at 6:46pm Reply

    • Patricia: 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 7:59pm Reply

  • angeldiva: Hi Patricia,
    What an interesting, and timely post. Some things are making sense around here…
    I think I have been experiencing an intestinal virus. My nose was only craving L’occitane Verbena.
    Then my latest perfume acquisition arrived. V’s fav night blooming jasmine: Serge Lutens A la unit.
    Well, it does smell quite exactly as she described it. But, the smell seemed too cloying and sweet. So, today I understand that I’m a bit queazy. This is probably why the perfume doesn’t make me swoon with joy at the moment!
    What do you think? Anyone have a home remedy for intestinal disorders?


    3.4 oz $88.99 US
    today on ( February 27, 2015 at 7:08pm Reply

    • Patricia: I think that you should listen to your nose, Angeldiva! Put away that lovely A la Nuit until you feel better.

      And feel better soon! 🙂 February 27, 2015 at 8:01pm Reply

    • Karen: L’occtaine’s Verbena is so uplifting. And I hope you are feeling better! And once recovered, you can give A la Nuit some attention – I never thought I was a jasmine fan until wanting a fragrance to remind me of some vacations. My bottle is about 2/3 gone, so apparently I do like (the right) jasmine. March 1, 2015 at 7:51pm Reply

      • angeldiva: Hi Karen!
        Yes, I’m much better, how very dear of you to inquire.
        I tried the A La Nuit again, with just slightly more appreciation for it.
        Then I went back and re-read the review. V recommends, “Spraying Lightly!” I had missed that directive. This juice has such flower power! I’m going to need to develop a lighter hand. She also recommends layering this with a sandalwood.
        It’s not returnable, so I’m going to keep trying. But, I am sending back 2 .24 oz. rollerball vials of discontinued Joshua Tree by Aveda. I paid $84. us ! Ebay is so iffy. I loved this scent 10 years ago, they called it a Purefume. But, these vials have gone off, and the seller had nothing to compare it to. But, I’m learning to let go of old scent longings, and just move on. There have been other discontinued scents that have just fallen in my lap for a song.
        I’m so excited to have ordered my Bronze Goddess eau fraiche from the Estee Lauder website. The bottle is beautiful this year. Wearing Shocking this morning to chear my spirits after getting on the weight scale 🙁
        Keep In Touch, Karen!

        P. March 2, 2015 at 4:48am Reply

        • Karen: Glad you are doing better! A la Nuit took a little time for me, and maybe some layering might work for you. Sandalwood sounds interesting, but can’t quite imagine it. What about making a beach scent with coconut? (thinking Carnal Flower, you could give it a try just using coconut oil after bath/shower) Or would that be not quite right…. My layering generally consists of adding Stella – not so creative. Have Yardley’s Iris on my to-buy list for L’heure Bleue. Had a shock when I saw Shocking’s price! Have a good Monday! March 2, 2015 at 7:50am Reply

          • angeldiva: Hi Karen!
            These are good suggestions! Do you mean Stella McCartney? Which perfume do you use of hers? The idea of layering A La Nuit with sandalwood is in the review of ALN here on BdJ. I think I would go for an orange blossom -if I had one at the moment.
            Not sure about layering coconut, but there is coconut milk in Bronze Goddess. I looked on for your Yardley Iris. They don’t have the EDT today. They have a body spray- I wouldn’t trust that for the full layering effect with LHB-
            Using Yardley with the LHB is just so beautiful.
            There is also a guy on ebay selling vials of Shocking on the cards. You can make him an offer: 5 for $10.US
            I decanted mine into an old Pacifica bottle. The white plastic tops come off, and I could get all the drops out of the spring and bottom vial.
            So, for a small investment I got about 1/3 ounce of Shocking. I agree those vintage bottles are so pricey! What a great advantage our sister perfume lovers who live in Europe have! I’ve read that you can get the reformulated Shocking for a great price.
            I think I’m finally slowing down on my purchasing! I’m now trolling for hair products! Cheaper, and my colored hair needs some love. The folks who sold me this stale Aveda Joshua Tree are being difficult, and I really paid top dollar for this experience. Ebay can be challenging, but I also got a 5oz. bottle of Eau Premiere (5) for $88….
            So, patience….
            Have you ever tried Shesiedo Zen?

            P. March 2, 2015 at 4:16pm Reply

            • angeldiva: Also
              To the enchanting Leonard Nimoy- born in the Ukraine.
              Soooooo handsome!
              May the Force be with you:) March 2, 2015 at 4:24pm Reply

            • Karen: Hey! The only Stella (McCartney) I have is (I think it’s her original?) rose one. I played around trying some different layers with ALN, but I don’t have any sandalwoods so could not try that. Using coconut oil as base didn’t last long at all, although it was kind of fun while it did. Then I did use some orange blossom water on top of ALN, but the water was really too fleeting. Alas, no positive layering to report!

              Saving my pennies for Yardley, then biting the bullet and saving my $$ for Carnal Flower. My sample has only about 1/3 left, and it’s just sooo beautiful/stunning and the next morning there is still a trace left. And I will check out the Shocking on eBay. You’re really clever with figuring out a way to have some at a reasonable cost! March 3, 2015 at 7:04am Reply

              • angeldiva: Hi Doll!
                * I’ve always wanted to use this expression because it was how my mothers Avon Lady would greet her when she came to the house in the 60’s. lol, sigh…
                Your Yardley Iris is back at today: 1.7 oz. EDT for 21.99 US
                You can always get a discount! I bought my 4.2 oz. EDT for $19.48 with a coupon and O Rewards dollars. This is the 5% credit you get for every dollar you spend on the site. I need to sniff Stella and Carnal Flower! But, it’s also really nice to just take a breather from all the buying. Thanks for the compliment- I have a buying background. So, I can sleuth out the deals. But, I have always shared my methods with anyone interested.
                On Thursday I can escalate my issue with the Aveda Joshua Tree that I bought on ebay. I guess this is the downside of the perfumistas’ experience. But, I’m confident I’ll get my return refunded.
                Looking forward to my last order: Bronze Goddess. And, seeing my bank account get back to normal!
                Love P. March 3, 2015 at 7:17pm Reply

                • Karen: Well Hi Doll to you! I love the Avon lady image – my grandmother used to sell Avon (I have no memory of it, as we visited once a year), but she was always made up beautifully. And I now have a stunning (sample) sandalwood – Chanel’s Bois des Iles. Wow, is it gorgeous! Was at Saks yesterday trying a bunch of goodies – Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Desert is stunning on me, but then was thinking at that price it’s very close to Portrait of a Lady….Although maybe a decant??

                  But, the Chanel department had a counter for smelling all of their fragrances without spraying and the essence box so I got to experience this amazing trove of treasures. Plus, I received a Misia sample(s) as well as some Coco Noirs.

                  Goal this week – Shocking and Iris, and saving up for CF – when you try it post your thoughts. Curious if it works for you. And good luck resolving the Joshua Tree issue, uggg. Sure it will work out! March 4, 2015 at 5:46am Reply

                  • angeldiva: Hi Karen,
                    Wow! Grandma was an Avon Lady? Amazing! Which Saks do you go to? I don’t really have one near my home. Your samples sound thrilling! I’m going to read the Misia review to get an idea.
                    I’m sure you will enjoy your Yardley Iris. It’s lovely on it’s own. Also, if you are a rose fan sells L’occitane Rose.
                    I was reading about your Carnal Flower. How interesting! It was inspired by Malle’s aunt: actress Candice Bergen, and the performance she gave in ,”Carnal Knowledge.” A film I’m very familiar with. She was such a goddess in the cult film, “The Day The Fish Came Out.”
                    I’ve been her fan for as long as I can remember. She still wears the Cie perfume she advertised on TV.
                    Last night I wore Chanel #5 eau premiere. I wanted to see what it smelled like if I kept layering it on. Good! It doesn’t get thick or cloudy. Of all the perfumes I have purchased because of the wonderful info on BdJ- I think I love my eau premiere the best!
                    Just wish I could win something! LOL
                    Have a great day, Karen.
                    P. March 4, 2015 at 9:57am Reply

    • Karen: Starting a “new” response as the boxes get narrower and narrower! The Saks that I went to is in Chevy Chase Md., and their perfumes are really extensive. I was super impressed with the Guerlain section, and wish that I had not loved Rose Nacree du Desert as much as I did….. The Chanel fragrance bar was such a great way to smell everything – without getting overloaded. Whenever I go, part of me wants to get dressed up and have more of a shopping experience like ladies did way back when shopping was sort of glamorous (like flying). But its a fine line of looking nice and being a bit peculiar ha ha ha…..

      I am loving Misia – at first just appreciated it, but now the violets remind me of these little French violet candies I used to get – would save the tins as they were so pretty!

      Avon ladies – I have a friend who sells Avon and many of their products are really good – but I keep thinking she will show up in some 1960’s type outfit, looking very smart, fully made up. Which is really funny as she is a guide who wears 1700’s clothing in Annapolis, so not quite the right time-period. (but she doesn’t wear Colonial era clothing when delivering products!) March 5, 2015 at 5:53am Reply

      • angeldiva: Hi Karen!
        I was curious about the, “Essence Box.” At Chanel, and how to smell a perfume without spraying? Sounds amazing!
        Wow, you’re in Maryland, one of the few states I have not had the good fortune to visit. Wish we could just have lunch, and go to Saks!!!
        Being an overdressed woman, I can sure relate to your outfit quandary! Your friend with the costumes and the Avon sounds like my kind of gal.
        Well, I’m waiting for my ( hot) plumber, and I’ve taken a bath in #5 eau premiere. Dear Lord, I hope he likes it!
        P. March 5, 2015 at 12:21pm Reply

        • Karen: Hope all went well with plumbing/plumber! Yes, the perfume smelling “thing” was really interesting. Wish I’d paid more attention when SA explained it, but there are ceramic wands for each of the perfumes that you hold to smell. They also have a box of each essence used to create the fragrances – and it was immediately apparent the high quality used.

          Equally important is that I ordered Yardley Iris and…..received an email from Luckyscent that Andy Tauer’s Roseflash was available and within minutes had my order placed. I’ve read such good things about this limited release and am thrilled that my bottle has already been shipped! Very reasonable price for what promises to be (another) stunning rose. March 6, 2015 at 11:24am Reply

          • angeldiva: Hi!
            This is sooo interesting about the perfume smelling thing! I wonder if this is based on the Osmatique (? spelling.)
            Congrats on the Yardley Lavender! Did you take advantage at Last night I was so stressed – I rose out of bed and sprayed a liitle of it- it’s so soothing. WOW! I also got the ,’Dosage’
            correct on the Serge Lutens A La Nuit!!! It takes a fraction of a spray spread over wrists and neck. Then I finally loved it!

            I have tried Tauer’s Une Rose Chypree- it’s really lovely. The quest- the hunt- the kill – the smell!!! AHHHHH!
            My plumber has a heart of gold, but, we had a tough time yesterday. I find that contractors ( except him) try to really take advantage of me with fear tactics and up selling, and well … arrogance! LOL
            So the poor guy has been bringing other men around who may be able to perform other work that I need. But, I don’t like ANY of them ! LOL Then, my dreamboat plumber says I’m a “Type A.”
            It’s true I could use a vacation. Woman is not made for work alone!
            Well have a great weekend, Doll!

            P. March 6, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

            • angeldiva: Sorry, I meant Yardley Iris!
              🙂 March 6, 2015 at 3:54pm Reply

  • Petunia: Hi Patricia, I really enjoyed reading your post along with everyone’s comments. When I am sick, for some reason I usually want vanilla, at least during the winter months. My favs for these times are Laurence Dumont’s Vanille Violet, which I usually wear to sleep, Un Bois Vanille by SL and Orchidee Vanille by VC&A. My illnesses are usually sinus related so I crave a soothing vanilla hug. I also find that vanilla frags don’t cause me to sneeze as much when I apply them! February 27, 2015 at 7:56pm Reply

    • Patricia: Interesting that vanilla fragrances don’t cause as much sneezing. Have you ever noticed which perfumes trigger your sneezing?

      Vanilla is a great comfort scent, or as you put it a fragrant hug. Sometimes I like to smell vanilla extract right from the bottle, though I haven’t tried applying it! February 27, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

      • Petunia: Ha, ha, ha… I have, applied the extract. It was a long time ago though. February 27, 2015 at 8:10pm Reply

      • Petunia: My triggers are usually oak moss, sadly, and some white florals, etc. I’m allergic to most perfumes but it doesn’t usually stop me! February 27, 2015 at 8:12pm Reply

        • Patricia: It may also help if you dab rather than spray. Or, I hold my breath, spray, then immediately leave the room so that I’m not breathing in the spray mist. February 28, 2015 at 8:42am Reply

          • Petunia: I’ll try your suggestion of holding my breath. Such a great idea! I usually spray and sneeze almost immediately. I should have thought about holding my breath! Thanks again Patricia! February 28, 2015 at 5:37pm Reply

  • Danica Radovanov: Misia is a transition fragrance if I ever smelled one. February 27, 2015 at 9:53pm Reply

    • Patricia: I have a sample on order, Danica. Can’t wait until it arrives! February 28, 2015 at 8:43am Reply

  • Connie: Santal Massoia is great for that, and I agree with so many of yours, particularly L’Eau d’Hiver and Equistrius. I could see a light rose violet like L’Artisan’s Drole de Rose also being good. February 28, 2015 at 6:38am Reply

    • Patricia: Hi Connie, I need to try Santal Massoia, as I’m a huge fan of anything sandalwood. February 28, 2015 at 8:45am Reply

  • Erianthe: When I was 18 and an aupair in France I got terrible food poisoning- after a bout of getting really sick I left the bathroom only to have the Mother of the family start spraying me with a giant bottle of Channel n5 – which made me instantly sick again! Im still trying to warm up to No5 20 yrs later:) She said it was something the French do to calm the stomach but for my nose it might as well have been gasoline:) Sometimes just air is good enough. February 28, 2015 at 1:40pm Reply

    • Patricia: Oh dear, Erianthe! I’m feeling queasy just thinking about this. Chanel no. 5 would be the last fragrance I would choose for an upset stomach. 🙁 March 1, 2015 at 8:46am Reply

  • Figuier: Great list – pretty much all of them match my idea of what would suit convalescence. Eau d’Hiver I’ve actually used for the purpose, although I only have a small sample. It’s warm but somehow a little bit green also, and wonderfully low key.

    I also like cosy orientals like Indochine when I’m in recovery, although anything with woods has to be applied very lightly to avoid the harsher notes grating. And to the bracing and refreshing perfumes I’d add The pour un Ete, which is light and clean but uplifting. March 1, 2015 at 6:21am Reply

    • Patricia: Another lovely one by Olivia Giacobetti! The tea fragrances are uniquely suited, like the beverage itself, to the convalescing perfumista. March 1, 2015 at 8:55am Reply

  • Merlin: It might depend a little on exactly what the sickness is… For colds and flu I tend to like Lush Ginger, or Breath of God. Best of all though is straight lavender EO. I put drops on my clothes, on my sheets – pretty much everywhere!

    For hayfever, I like lavender EO (again). Sometimes I mix it with body oil. I also like some citrus scents. Crabtree&Evelynn Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus and Sage is fabulous. It also layers well with lavender EO.

    For the last few while I have had recurring (though not intense) queasiness. All I’v been able to wear is citrus like the C&E above, or Pamplelune, and/or vetiver scents. I also wear vetiver oil straight. March 1, 2015 at 7:31pm Reply

  • Patricia: Lavender EO mixed with body oil sounds delightful, as does Tarocco Orange, Eucalyptus and Sage.

    I’ll have to check my local Crabtree & Evelyn for that one. March 2, 2015 at 7:27am Reply

    • Patricia: (This was supposed to be a reply to Merlin.) March 2, 2015 at 7:35am Reply

      • Merlin: Got it! They also have a lotion, hand wash and shower gel, I think. The body spray has a lovely effervescence, but is not very long-lasting.

        The body oil I use does have a light scent but lavender EO is strong enough to nearly annihilate it. I’m not certain about ‘delightful’ but it is very soothing 🙂 March 2, 2015 at 7:59am Reply

        • Patricia: And sometimes soothing is perfectly delightful!
          😉 March 2, 2015 at 9:22am Reply

          • Merlin: True that! March 2, 2015 at 5:31pm Reply

  • Alessandra: This list is fantastic, but also quite funny, in some places. I adore both Tam Dao and Safran Troublant, but they are far from beiung ‘transitional fragrances’, so to speak. They are both quite powerful, albeit in different ways 🙂 March 2, 2015 at 11:30am Reply

    • Patricia: Thanks, Alessandra! I agree…I wouldn’t wear either until I had at least started to feel better. 🙂 March 2, 2015 at 3:49pm Reply

  • Audrey H.: I’ve been fighting off a little head cold the last few days and didnt feel quite up to perfume but wanted to wear something uplifting to help me through my day. I picked Annick Goutal Neroli, just one tiny spritz per arm and it was just perfect. Every now & then Id get a wiff of it and it made me feel better but it wasnt constantly in my face making me feel worse.

    Im going to take notes on the other great suggestions also. March 2, 2015 at 1:20pm Reply

    • Patricia: I think that citrus in any form is great for a head cold! Hope you feel better soon. March 2, 2015 at 3:50pm Reply

  • Francesca: I find Piper Nigrum by Lorenzo Villoresi quite soothing when I am recovering from a flu. March 3, 2015 at 12:40am Reply

    • Patricia: I’ve never tried this one, Francesca. What is it like? March 3, 2015 at 9:36am Reply

  • Hannah: I was sick for 2 weeks in January with a sinus infection. I wore Eau des Merveilles because I wanted something bright and fresh. But my sense of smell was altered and it was very odd. It kind of smelled like ammonia. My nasal cavity had the same kind of feeling as when I eat too much salted licorice, which has ammonium chloride if you didn’t know. Tubereuse Criminelle wasn’t a very good transitional fragrance, either. I can’t contribute good post-sinus infection fragrances because I only failed at picking them. March 3, 2015 at 1:20am Reply

    • Patricia: I had a sinus infection once, Hannah, and it was miserable. I trust you have totally recovered by now and are enjoying all of your favorites without any traces of ammonia. 🙂 March 3, 2015 at 9:40am Reply

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