Traveling Perfume Box : Continental Europe

Our European perfume box is ready to make its next round. If you are in continental Europe (the UK shipping regulations prevent perfume from being mailed), here is how you can do it. And whether you’re participating or not, please read Kayliz’s perfume descriptions below.


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 Kayliz? ; 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. The box goes to Nora.

Winners, please read this part closely: When you’re ready to pass the box onto someone else, please get in touch with me. Please include 2 things in your email: 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.

Thierry Mugler Les Exceptions – Oriental Express


Chanel Misia
Guerlain Encens Mythique d’Orient
Guerlain Rose Barbare
Huitième Art Myrrhiad
Lush Death and Decay
Lush Smugglers Soul
Oriza L.Legrand Relique d’Amour
Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin
Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle
Terry de Gunzburg Rose Infernale
Vero Profumo Mito (Voile d’Extrait)
Vero Profumo Onda (Voile d’Extrait)
Vero Profumo Rubj (Voile d’Extrait)
Volnay Objet Céleste

Remain in box:

Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe
EnVoyage Parfums Zelda
Vero Profumo Rozy (Voile d’Extrait)
Aedes de Venustas Œillet Bengale
Pierre Guillaume Collection Croisière – Jangala
Annick Goutal – Heure exquise (eau de parfum)
Annick Goutal – Nuit étoilée (eau de parfum)
Parfumerie Générale – Cozé
Naomi Goodsir – Bois d’Ascèse
Naomi Goodsir – Cuir Velours

Aedes de Venustas Oeillet Bengale:
The illusion of carnation works for me, and I found it very appealing. There is something in here that makes you sit up and take notice, something that demands alertness. Almost like a citrus fruit that’s gone slightly fizzy. Fermented bergamot? Or: like the bitter bracing air from the cellar of a real ale pub. The effect is wonderfully uplifting.

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise:
Both elegant and comforting, how do they manage that? I particularly love the sandstone-coloured dust of the drydown. I know Heure Exquise is supposed to be a less austere dead ringer for Chanel No 19, but I find No 19 rather plasticky where Heure Exquise maintains an illusion of naturalness.

EnVoyage Parfums Zelda:
When I sprayed Zelda on, my mother-in-law immediately said “Oh, cinnamon!” at the same time as I said “Oh, spearmint!” We sniffed again, prepared to change our minds, and both said exactly the same again. I can imagine the cinnamon but not actually perceive it, which left my mother-in-law dumbfounded (“It’s just like my semolina, surely you smell that?”).
For me, Zelda subsequently acquires a medicinal balsamic note almost like Band Aids. This gradually recedes to make way for waxy magnolia, and then a hint of impossibly buttery white kid gloves. I wish this stage would take proper shape in my mind, but the Band-Aid note jostles for attention, so that in the end I can’t banish the wan image of a thin figure in a hospital gown from the place that should rightfully be occupied by Zelda the devil-may-care goodtime girl.

Naomi Goodsir Bois d’Ascese:
A misnomer if ever there was one. Very warm woods, with cold smoke. Sophistication and danger: I can imagine James Bond wearing this.

Naomi Goodsir Cuir Velours:
Opens with pineapple, tobacco and rum; goes drier, papery. After an hour, it was “now I see it, now I don’t”: sometimes a vaguely fruity and surprisingly smooth leather, other times seemingly unconnected rum and fenugreek.

Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe:
I couldn’t find my way in to this one, came up against a wall of bitter cumin.

Pierre Guillaume Collection Croisière Jangala:
Oh wow. Sadly, this turned into acetone on my skin after a couple of hours. (Or fortunately – if it hadn’t, I would have had to buy it straight away.)
Jangala immediately struck me as simultaneously louche and upper-class, as if it belongs in the kind of old colonial drinking hole in the tropics that was once effortlessly exclusive but is now frequented by only a few diehards, with the occasional card sharp and fortune hunter passing through. There is a ceiling fan, there is salt in the air, there is lush greenness all around, and there is also a need for wariness: a danger lurking, someone prowling, something waiting tautly coiled.

Thierry Mugler Les Exceptions – Oriental Express
This fleetingly reminded me of an early 80s suntan lotion that combined sandalwood and vanilla with bergamot. Bergamot isn’t listed, but I could swear to whiffs of Earl Grey. After a while, Oriental Express settles into everything I ever wanted from sandalwood: powdery, creamy, soft, enveloping and yet airily light. As if someone had taken Bois des Iles and obligingly removed from it everything that could possibly be objectionable (“A little bitter? And the aldehydes — rather too hazy?”) This should make Oriental Express bland, but I think it’s heavenly. Later on, an entirely unexpected bonus: the scent of old books. I had to keep this one.

Vero Profumo Rozy Voile d’Extrait:
Rozy is dark rose, dark honey and dark tuberose (is there such a thing?). A big, bosomy perfume with a smouldering heart, both femme fatale and earth mother. The drydown reminds me of Chamade, pollen so concentrated it is animalic. I got a fright when I tested Rozy in the recent heatwave: it skipped straight past the vibrant stage into the rude lust of the drydown, which it shouted out for all to hear. This stage normally comes after a couple of hours and stays close to the skin. Mental note to self: bunker Rozy, but don’t let her out at the height of summer.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, just some eye candy.



  • Nora Szekely: Dear Victoria and perfume lovers,
    1, Yes, I live in Europe
    2, I agree to pass on the box and add my own samples.
    3, I’m wearing Shalimar Parfum Initial today. I bought it 2 years ago and find that is works for me best is summer, even when temperature is really high as today though nice and uplifting for a warmer but rainy day too. Too bad that it has been discountinued, I’m eyeing a box set with the lotion, if anyone tried the lotion, I’d love to hear your opinion! July 23, 2015 at 7:21am

    • Wilma: Dear Nora, I can highly recommend the Shalimar Parfum Initial lotion. It smells wonderful and is easy to use. Like you I’m quite sad that SPI is discontinued… such a beautiful and unique scent… July 23, 2015 at 12:47pm

  • Ajda: Hi, Victoria and BDJ!

    1) I am in Europe (Slovenia) and of course you can share my e-mail address with Kayliz if I win.
    2) I will gladly send the box to the next winner with added samples of my own.
    3) I am wearing Monsillage Eau de Celeri today, green and crisp. July 23, 2015 at 10:29am

  • Gabriela: 1. I am in Europe.
    2. Iwill gladly send the box to the next winner with added samples of my own.
    3. I am wearing Narciso Rodriguez for her. It’s just a sample but will no buy… July 23, 2015 at 10:34am

  • El: Yes, Yes, and Navegar – love it in this heat <3 July 23, 2015 at 12:55pm

  • Wilma: 1. yes I live in Europe (Netherlands)
    2. I will gladly pass the box on to the next winner
    3. I am wearing Diptyque L’ombre dans l’eau, a strong green scent which always make me feel a bit like a gardener with a garden full of tomatoes. Such an lively and original scent. July 23, 2015 at 2:41pm

    • Wilma: With added samples of course July 23, 2015 at 6:38pm

  • zane_aurora: 1. Yes, I live in Europe (Latvia)
    2. I agree to pass the box to the next winner and add some new samples
    3. Today I am wearing Shalimar initial l’eau Guerlain, one of my favorites July 23, 2015 at 3:40pm

  • Michaela: Do not enter me, please. Just wanted to say how much I liked your notes, Kayliz. Very suggestive and beautifully written. July 24, 2015 at 3:23am

    • kayliz: Michaela, thank you! I’m sitting here now thinking “chose the wrong word there”, “that bit isn’t quite what I meant”, etc. July 24, 2015 at 4:31am

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