Traveling Perfume Box : Europe

Our European perfume box is ready to make its next round. 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 Aurora’s perfume descriptions below.

An organizational note: when you’re ready to ship your box onto someone else, please send me the full list of samples in the box and your perfume notes.


How does it work: To enter, please post a comment answer these questions: 1) are you in Europe, and if you’re a winner, can I share your email address with Aurora? ; 2) do you agree to pass the box onto someone else within two weeks or so (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. Next destination: ChristineB.

When a winner is ready to pass the box onto someone else, they should get in touch with me. Please include the full 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.

Scent Notes

Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers: It smells very much like a campfire indeed it could belong to the Demeter Library of perfumes. It is very resinous, I smell fir from the onset, clove giving some medicinal and smoky touches. It doesn’t change throughout it remains in the evergreen, smoothly blended with amber at the end; perhaps it could do with a bit more smokiness, nevertheless it would be pleasant as a seasonal perfume around the holidays. It lasts and lasts no problem with longevity.

Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio: At first a burst of lime on my wrist along with other citrus fruits. But from the start this is definitely not a cologne, it quickly progresses from a citrus to a fig, a green fig, rather the smell of the sap oozing when you detach the fruit from the tree. Very good longevity and sillage, too often lacking in this type of perfume.

By Kilian Forbidden Games: I keep referring to it as Forbidden Garden as I find the apple is so dominant. One understands how Eve could have been tempted as this apple is crunchy and mouthwatering but perhaps a little too sweet as the base too remains almost achingly sweet. I can’t imagine one craving this more than occasionally but crave one does nonethesss and, of its kind, it may be one of the best fruity fragrances I can think of – better than Be Delicious by DK for example or even Noa l’Eau which I like so much.

Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse: Oh this reminds me of an antiseptic used in hospitals in France. Not a good association. Worse it doesn’t develop into anything more, it stays in a graveyard territory of tubereuse. I’ll have to wash it off and I have an idea it might prove difficult to get rid of.

Grossmith Amelia: I love the combination of flower notes which gives the impression of flower beyond nature: I have to check what they are and it strikes me as an original mix: neroli, osmanthus, rose peony and jasmine. It acquires a honeyed quality in the drydown, so it prevents it from sinking into the dreaded graveyard territory.

Grossmith Floral Veil: The least successful of the four. if Amelia was a little melancholy this one feels funereal. I would have named this widow veil such an over the top tuberose, and there is not nearly enough citrus to balance this most carnal of flower, the drydown of musk leather feels oppressive. I come to the conclusion – after this second experience with tubereuse – that I don’t care for this flower to be too prominent. Perhaps I just find it too classic, as like Noix it has no twist or surprises.

Golden Chypre: Again I am struck by the predictability of the succession of notes, nothing to surprise. The honeyed drydown resembles Amelia, you can tell it’s the same house. They are obviously made of rich materials, they all leave a thick film of oil on the skin which indicates this series contains a good amount of essential oils, and they all last and have good sillage but, with the exception of Saffron Rose and Amelia where this classicism works, Floral Veil and this one suffer from lack of originality. It’s as if the creator was working from a textbook.

Saffron Rose: The name pretty much sums up the perfume: It is a dark red full blown rose, perhaps a little blackened around the edges already, a little blowsy, seen through a lace of spices, predominantly saffron. It makes me think of the opening credits of The Age of Innocence: marvellous bouquets of roses under lace. It reminds me quite of Calligraphy Rose which I like too, but it blows it out of the water.

Neela Vermeire Mohur: And this is… another spicy rose. Perhaps because I have Saffron rose on my other wrist I find this one a little bit thin, I suppose this is the concentration: it is definitely not in extrait – it must be the EDP but still it is no excuse; anyway it is fading fast and I’m afraid I can’t be fair to this scent.

Neela Vermeire Trayee: I picture a souk where you are assailed as you meander by all kinds of odours from the spices stalls all redolent of cardamom, pepper, clove, all spices in fact , then you turn a corner, to discover a display of sandalwood trinket boxes and treasure chests made of cedar containing incense sticks and patchouli sachets.

Bottega Veneta Knot: I am a little bit disappointed. The main reproach is that I smell at first a plastic sweetness different from the wonderful honeyed aroma of real orange blossom, but perhaps it’s unfair as this effect fades quickly and the drydown of musk and vanilla is a winner and the scent lasts so well that I am reconciled to it. (I will add a sample of my trusted Neroli Blanc as perhaps another recipient too might be interested to compare).

Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli: This cleans the palate. I recognise petit grain which gives a pleasant body playing against the neroli. Quite an outstanding cologne which lasts quite well and I would put it in the fridge and use it with great pleasure in the summer; it would never let you down in the heat.

Burberry Brit Rhythm: Herbaceous garden in spring, it is very floral but the lavender balances that and while it doesn’t project far but I catch whiffs from my wrist when I lean a little, and this for several hours. I think of it as rather prim. It’s a very easy going scent, I can’t imagine its offending anyone, you could rely on this scent for many occasions except perhaps for evening affairs where it might be a little underdressed.

Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien: Right at the top doesn’t appear to contain the peel of citrus with its piercing aspect present in classic cologne, rather citrus segments and their leaves, it is nevertheless refreshing but with a pleasant sweetness; less bracing than Grand Neroli, I would say it leans feminine and would be a perfect fit for the office on a hot day. The woody base carry on the soft theme for a fair amount of time. I was checking the price online I was thinking that AG could make their cologne line (versus their perfume) a little bit less expensive as while E d’H is really well made and I would like to have it, a cologne shound’t be that expensive.

Annick Goutal Sables: This perfume makes me think of eating salted caramel half melted by the sun on a sand dune. it covers me in amber. Both positive and negative: this isn’t a scent you would go to everyday, its sumptuous quality should be saved it for moments when the world is cruel and you need comfort. We all have these days, and Sables is an antidote for me, it only makes me sorry not to have discovered it sooner.

By Kilian Vodka on the Rocks: After a blast of alcohol – I suppose an effect to evoque vodka – it becomes very aromatic and a even a little flowery. I find it leans androgynous you coud wear it with a tuxedo by Saint Laurent or with a jean and t-shirt. Either way you would feel a million dollar. Oh, and it would smell great on a man.

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau: alas, I detect what seems to be cumin and right away it discourages me from trying this sample any further.

Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire/Phaedon Black Vetiver: Smooth vetiver with its delicious peppery edge. I am going to study Black Vetiver at the same time. Hmm, the Malle seems to disappear fast on my wrist andleaves only a whisper of vetiver while Black vetiver carries on, first offering lemon peel very rich, almost candied, contrasting with the vetiver; the label on the sample says lemon leaves, vetiver, birch tar which must be the note I wasn’t able to recognize and sounds a bit ominous but this scent is a winner compared to Vetiver Extraordinaire which is really too evanescent.

The updated list contains:

Acqua di Parma Eau de Cologne Essenza
A Lab on Fire What we do in Paris is secret
Alexander McQueen Kingdom
Amouage Gold
Amouage Honour
Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrien
Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage
Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli
Atelier Cologne Mistral Patchouli
Atelier Cologne Silver Iris
Au Pays de la Fleur d’Oranger Neroli Blanc

Bottega Veneta Knot
Burberry Brit Rhythm
By Kilian Back to Black
By Kilian Playing with the Devil
By Kilian Vodka on the Rocks

Cacharel Loulou
Caron Lady Caron
Caron Piu Bellodgia
Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte
Comme des Garcons Blue Santal
Comme des Garcons Blue Cedrat

Diptyque L’Eau Neroli EDC
Diptyque L’Ombre dans L’Eau EDP
Diptyque Tam Dao EDT
Donna Karan Gold
Etat Libre d’Orange Noel au Balcon
Etro Shaal Nur

Fendi Theorema
Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver
Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire
Grossmith Amelia
Grossmith Floral Veil
Grossmith Golden Chypre
Grossmith Saffron Rose
Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire
Guerlain L’Homme Ideal

Hermes l’Ambre des Merveilles
Hermes l’Elixir des Merveilles
Hermes l’Eau des Merveilles
Hermes Jour Absolu
Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil
Hermes Voyage

Jardins d’Ecrivains Wilde
J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin, Treffpunt 8 Uhr

Liz Earle No1

Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse

Olfactive Studio Autoportrait
Olfactive Studio Lumiere Blanche
Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus

Phaedon Black Vetiver
Paul Emilien Une belle Journee

Roger & Gallet Amande Persane
Rouge Bunny Rouge Cynefin
Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers
Rouge Bunny Rouge Silvan

Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau
Serge Lutens Santal de Mysore

Yves Rocher Rose Absolue

I have kept Annick Goutal Sables, By Kilian Forbidden Games

Emptied samples: Serge Lutens Douce Amere, Neela Vermeire Mohur, Neela Vermeire Trayee, Neela Vermeire Ashoka

I have added to the box: Amouage, Gold; Amouage Honour, Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage; Au Pays de la Fleur D’oranger, Neroli Blanc; Chanel, Cristalle Eau Verte; Fendi, Theorema; Hermes, Elixir des Merveilles; Hermes, Jour Absolu; Hermes, Un Jardin sur le Nil; Hermes, Voyage; Liz Earle No 1; Paul Emilien, Une Belle Journee

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • Karen: Wonderful notes Aurora! Not entering as I’m in the U.S., but now I’m curious to try AG Sables. Thanks for the interesting summaries! April 8, 2015 at 7:21am

    • Aurora: Thank you for reading them Karen! April 8, 2015 at 7:49am

  • Michaela: Do not enter me, please.
    Have to comment as I find Aurora notes exceptionally spot on, enchanting and very interesting. April 8, 2015 at 7:37am

    • Aurora: Many thanks Michaela, it was a lot of fun. April 8, 2015 at 7:50am

  • Anka: Hi Aurora,
    It was so much fun to read your notes and I like the way you described your impressions – particularly your side by side comparisons! April 8, 2015 at 10:27am

    • Aurora: Hello Anka: Yes, the experience was an eye opener. April 8, 2015 at 1:09pm

  • Reg: I agree, your comments are not only interesting but also very comprehensible. I enjoyed them very much and will go back to them once I’ve sampled a perfume from that list for comparison!

    Here are my answers:
    1. yes
    2. yes
    3. I’m wearing Shanghai Lily. Things have been a little hectic lately and the perfume always gives me comfort and protection. April 8, 2015 at 10:31am

    • Aurora: Thank you for reading, Reg. I truly enjoyed the process. Good luck in the draw! April 8, 2015 at 1:13pm

  • Chilloften: Hi Aurora, I enjoyed reading your descriptions although I have not smelled any of these. Your description though of AG Sables….for when the world is cruel…ohh, I want to try that one. April 8, 2015 at 10:36am

    • Aurora: It’s lovely of you to comment, Chilloften. Sables seemed to me really wonderful, I hope you can get hold of a sample quickly.

      If you want to participate in the draw, will you answer the questions and if it’s yes, good luck. April 8, 2015 at 1:19pm

  • Profumina: That was a lovely read!
    1) I live in Europe
    2) I would commit to a 2 weeks sniffathon and then pass on the box should I be drawn – and add some of my own samples of course
    3) I am wearing Chanel Eau Premiere for comfort and elegance today. It is so easy to wear and goes so nicely with my ivory coloured cardigan. April 8, 2015 at 10:45am

    • Aurora: Thank you Profumina and after Reg and Shanghai Lily, it’s you and Eau Premiere, everybody smells very good. Good luck. April 8, 2015 at 1:22pm

  • Mara: Hi from Athens, Greece (this already replies to question 1.).

    I confirm to pass the box on to someone else within two weeks time (if it happens that I’m randomly selected).

    As far as my current perfume, today it’s my second day with “Like This” of État Libre d’Orange and I am thrilled: it’s a scent that I could go on wearing for the rest of my life without being bored!

    Thank you very much Aurelia for the kind message and the astonishing, intriguing comments!

    All the best to the readers/writers/visitors*
    Have a lovely Spring! April 8, 2015 at 10:57am

    • Aurora: Hello from London, Mara. You smell very good, have a wonderful spring too and good luck in the draw. April 8, 2015 at 1:34pm

  • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Aurora! Don’t enter me please, my nose is blocked because of pollen allergy. Just want to say that I really was impressed by your comments. April 8, 2015 at 12:25pm

    • Aurora: Thank you, Cornelia! Get well soon and participate next time around. April 8, 2015 at 1:36pm

  • Anne-Catherine: Hi Aurora, thank you for your carefully written perfumejourney. It made me curious about most of the scents. It covers all THE questions I have: mood, evolution, but also longevity and sillage and THE occasions when you can wear them.
    1) yes and yes
    2) yes
    3) this morning at work I wore champaca , now it’s Amber mirabilis because I was in THE mood for something more complex and orriental. It creates a similar mood to me as your beautiful description of Trayee April 8, 2015 at 1:01pm

    • Aurora: Hi Anne-Catherine and thank you for your thoughtful comments. I understand completely your switching scents in the evening. Good luck in the draw. April 8, 2015 at 1:45pm

  • ChristineB: Yes to 1) and 2) and 3) I have been wearing Parfums de Nicolai Temps d’une Fete because here in the UK Spring is in full swing with hyacinths and scented narcissus and sunshine so I thought I wanted to wear something to celebrate it!

    Thank you for your thoughtful and vivid reviews, Aurora. I admit I am most intrigued by Annick Goutal Sables, which I see you have kept. It is definitely going on my to try list. April 8, 2015 at 3:33pm

    • Aurora: Hello Christine: yes, I was bowled over by Sables and hope to be given a bottle in June for my birthday, hope it won’t be difficult for you to get a sample. Good luck in the draw. April 8, 2015 at 3:52pm

  • Sue: 1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Prada Infusion d’iris. It’s a sample and I’m wearing it for the first time today. Realised on first sniff that it’s my Mother-in-law’s signature scent. April 8, 2015 at 4:07pm

    • Aurora: I like Infusion d’Iris but if it’s your MIL perfume you probably won’t want to wear it all the time.

      Good luck in the draw. April 9, 2015 at 4:59am

  • Ariadne: 1) yes, I’m from Italy
    2) yes
    3) this evening I’m wearing Mitsouko by Guerlain, my grandmother perfume that I steel everytime I can. We are a very big family, so it’s great how we exchange everything.. from dresses to perfumes!
    In the morning I have worn Elizabeth Arden Green Tea and Yuzu, but it fades very quickly on me so I can apply other perfumes after a while.

    Also thanks Aurora for your revealing comments! I’m very curious about Grossmith Amelia and Saffron Rose ! April 8, 2015 at 4:33pm

    • Aurora: I love Italy and Mitsouko is timeless. Thank you for having read the notes and
      good luck. April 9, 2015 at 5:00am

  • Amer: 1. yes,yes 2. yes. 3. Dzongkha by l’Artisan April 8, 2015 at 8:04pm

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