Traveling Perfume Box : UK

As we discovered, shipping regulations on stringent in the UK, so we now have a separate box. If you live in the UK and would like to participate, here is how you can do it. And whether you’re participating or not, please read Laura’s perfume descriptions below.


How does it work: To enter, please post a comment answer these questions: 1) are you in the UK, and if you’re a winner, can I share your email address with Laura? ; 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 is going to Roger.

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.

Notes and samples list
So many samples, so little time! To be honest, the sheer quantity is a bit overwhelming: where to start?
Having a good rummage every now and again, it still took me quite a few week-ends to sample a fair selection, whereas I’ve only managed a third of the lot.
Still, it was fun to have such a big pile of little vials to dip into. So, in no particular order:
Aedes de Venustas, Silver Iris
First impression is crisp and dry, of light woods mingling with candied violet and a spiced iris; the dry-down reduces to transparent woody notes and light muscs. This is not a watery iris, nor is the flower paired with powdery notes as in other familiar compositions.
If I had to choose an iris soliflore, this would be one of the few candidates worth recommending.

A Lab on Fire, What We Do in Paris is Secret
Plastic flowers overlaid with harsh, non-descript notes, hints of cosmetic (?) powder. This smells surprisingly cheap and unenticing, to say the least. Whatever they do in Paris, it is probably best if it remains secret!

Comme des Garçons, Bleu Cédrat
Pomelo skin for the opening citrus blast, then hints of warm, sea salt-fragranced skin, and the vivid green of crushed tomatoe leaves leading onto dry spices (cardamom?), and omni-present cypress swirls. If you mixed Eau de Campagne Verte and Grey Vetyver, this might be the result.

Penhaligon’s, TraLaLa
Burlesque show-girl indulges in salted caramel truffles, popped between ruby-red lips from a leather-clad mitt. The name is program, and this is an interesting, if trend-abiding, play on the gourmand theme. Ah, who am I kidding? I looked out for this in parfumeries after sampling and, had the price-tag be more appropriate for a fun, joyful and uncomplicated fragrance, I would probably have gone home with a bottle…who can resist salted caramel, after all?

J.F. Schwarzlose, Treffpunkt 8 Uhr
Who dares put such an outrageously high price-tag on such a soapy, musky mess? Lynx, going heavy on the synthetic leather. Enough said.

By Kilian, Playing with the Devil
Sweaty flower meets boozy apricot. Entrancing!

By Kilian, back to Black
If the late and regretted Amy Winehouse, like so many celebreties before her, had had to put her name to a fragrance, she could have done much worse than this: liquorice-infused leather and honeyed tobacco. Bring on the night.

By Kilian, Vodka on the Rocks
The breath of spices through cool, aromatic herbs; add some citrus. Great recipe for a herb rub or marinade; not so sure as a skin scent.

Acqua di Parma, Essenzia
Cologne Extra Vieille made in Italy; nostalgia in a bottle; would fare better scenting a bar of soap, IMHO.

4160 Tuesdays, Doe in the Snow
Forget all you know about chypre perfumes and let Sarah take you by the hand through fire and snow, flowers carved of leather and a magical scene as raw as it is refined.

4160 Tuesdays, The Sexiest Scent on the Planet, Ever (IMHO)
If skin were to have a scent permanently tattooed in, then let it be this addictive concoction of spices, woods, balsams and musks. I’m told that it also works great as a basis for other fragrances, which it would deepen, enhance and make more durable.

Shay & Blue, Altropa Belladonna
This smells surprisingly tame and innocuous for a fragrance named after the Deadly Nightshade; I picture meadow flowers on a bed of crisp green leaves.
Shay & Blue, Amber Rose
Pale rose warmed by light woods and vanilla…(yawn).
However, non-descript and non-obtrusive as they are, both this and the one above may work well as room fragrances; for the adequately chintzy interiors, that is.

Narciso Rodriguez, Narciso
Pumped-up lily with a sharp opening turns into some sweet chypre, not quite finding its edge.

Jardins d’Ecrivain, Junky
What junk? A fresh, green start; light smoke and leather come through ; it all remains on the office-appropriate side of animalic. More cosy than junky.

Bottega Veneta, Knot
Soapy iris. Clean baby musks. Talcum powder. Watery flowers. Probably a pleasant skin-scent, if you like them self-effacing.

Rouge Bunny Rouge, Silvan
Fire, fir-wood smoke; green ferns whispering in the dark forest. A comforting blanket of wooded nature.

Rouge Bunny Rouge, Cynefin
A mineral cocktail; vermouth? absinthe? Candied angelica root on metallic woods.

Rouge Bunny Rouge, Embers
Exactly: spicy, woody incense.

Ormonde Jayne, Osmanthus
A citrussy start to an otherwise subdued green floral with powdery undertones. But where is the rich, luscious apricot and green tea of the flower this is claiming to emulate?

Alexander McQueen, Kingdom
I braced myself for the infamous cumin note. It’s here, but sublimated into a beautifully skunky whole, of dark overripe fruits and wilting flowers and warming balms.

Amouage, Honour
Well-rounded production. So much so, that I utterly fail at identifying any salient notes.

Etat Libre d’Orange, Noël au Balcon
Sugar and spice and all things nice? More like pine needles scattered atop the Christmas cake. Some incense wafting about. Enigmatic and comforting. A skin-scent of wonder.

Andy Tauer, Une Rose Vermeille
Vermeil as in gold-plated silver, giving a red rose metallic undertones that are surprisingly pleasant.

Andy Tauer, Pentachord White
This smells of old books, of warm snow; the mind bogles. And it feels utterly lovely on skin. Now, that’s fragrant artistry.

The updated list for the sample box is as follows:

Agonist Onyx Pearl

A Lab on Fire what we do in Paris is secret

Alexander McQueen Kingdom

Amouage Gold

Amouage Honour

Annick Goutal Eau d’Hadrian

Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage

Atelier Cologne Grand neroli

Atelier Cologne Mistral Patchouli

Bottega Veneta Knot

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 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 Noir

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

Jardins d’Ecrivains Junky

J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin, Treffpunt 8 Uhr

L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons

Liz Earle No 1

Liz Earle No 15

Miller Harris Noix de Tubereuse

Narciso Eau de Parfum

Olfactive Studio Autoportrait

Olfactive studio Lumiere Blanche

Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus

Paul Emilien Une Belle Journee

Penhaligon’s Tra La La

Roger et Gallet Amande Persane

Rouge Bunny Rouge Cynefin

Rouge Bunny Rouge Embers

Rouge Bunny Rouge Silvan

Shay & Blue Amber Rose

Shay & Blue Atropa Belladonna

Tauer Perfumes Une Rose Vermeille

Tauer Perfumes Pentachord White

Vero Perfumes Onda EDP

4160 Tuesdays Doe in the Snow

4160 Tuesdays Sexiest scent on the Planet

Yves Rocher Rose Absolue

Emptied samples: Aedes de Venustas Silver Iris

I have added to the box: Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Bouquet No 1



  • Roger: 1) are you in the UK: YES can I share your email address with Laura? YES
    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)? YES
    3) what perfume are you wearing today? LUNE FELINE by ATELIER DES ORS September 3, 2015 at 8:22am

  • Michaela: I do not live in the UK and do not participate.
    Laura, thank you for your delighting descriptions! September 3, 2015 at 8:26am

  • Ida: 1) I’m based in the UK. 2) I agree to pass the box on to someone else within two weeks or so, add a couple of samples and share my sampling notes. 3) I’m wearing 31 Rue Cambon today.

    And btw, thanks a lot Laura for sharing your thoughts. September 3, 2015 at 9:06am

    • Ida: 1) And you can share my email address with Laura, of course. September 3, 2015 at 9:07am

  • Qwendy: 1) I live in France, I wish you could include the EU, postage isn’t that expensive! Please my address just in case we can work something out 🙂 2) I have some great samples to add! 3) i am wearing Aftelier Wild Roses and Sepia today yum! Xxx September 3, 2015 at 10:25am

    • Victoria: You can’t ship alcoholic substances out of the UK. The package will be destroyed. And we have a separate EU box, although I’m not sure what’s happening with it. The last person holding it hasn’t contacted me yet. September 3, 2015 at 10:30am

      • Bela: I can confirm the rules are adhered to in the UK. I fell foul of them last year when I tried to send a tiny bottle of perfume to a French friend. I got a message from Royal Mail telling me my package had been destroyed. All packages are scanned.

        A friend of mine was sending five small bottles of nail polish to someone else in the UK: she too received a message from Royal Mail. You’re not allowed to send more than four bottles of nail polish even within the UK, and none at all abroad. It’s no joke. September 3, 2015 at 11:29am

        • Victoria: They’re serious about these rules, aren’t they? I imagine that with the heightened security measures in general, chances of a package slipping in unscanned are small. September 3, 2015 at 12:25pm

        • Ida: I’ve just had a look at the Royal Mail website to check restrictions on posting goods within the UK and this is what I’ve found on sending perfumes: “Volume per item must not exceed 150ml. No more than four perfumes or aftershaves can be sent in any one package. The perfume or aftershave must be within its original retail packaging (…)”.

          So, in theory, we’re not supposed to send decants and packages with more than 4 individual items (including tiny samples?). But then, the UK travelling box is still travelling, so I’m not sure if I’m interpreting the “no more than four” bit correctly.

          I’ve sent and received samples and decants in letters before, but have no experience in posting bigger packages. Perhaps ChristineB could comment. 🙂 September 4, 2015 at 4:07am

          • Victoria: The package was already mailed within the UK a couple of times before it reached Christine, so maybe it’s not quite as strict within the UK. September 4, 2015 at 4:11am

  • Qwendy: Great, thanks! I look forward to an update! September 3, 2015 at 10:32am

  • Karen: Not participating, just want to say thanks for your notes! September 3, 2015 at 11:28am

  • Reg: Are you sure your Schwarzlose wasn’t turned? I cannot imagine this vetiver mango to be leathery or animalic to any nose. To me it’s a very modern, uplifting and flirty fragrance. September 3, 2015 at 11:36am

    • Victoria: I don’t know this perfume, but vetiver does smell leathery to me. Everyone perceives things differently. Laura is on vacation and can’t reply, but if the labeling on one of the samples got mixed up, we can sort it out. After all, this is a group effort and we contribute as much as we can. September 3, 2015 at 12:23pm

      • Reg: I am honestly curious about this. If this is the same perfume the idea of subjctive perception would reach a whole different level for me. September 4, 2015 at 3:57am

        • Reg: Or.. more scary.. I might have a blind spot… September 4, 2015 at 4:01am

        • Victoria: I’ve heard some people describing Shalimar as heavy and cloying and others as bight and fresh. Both are right. It all depends on what you focus on as you smell. September 4, 2015 at 4:13am

          • Reg: Yes, I have often been wondering about the exact same example. I know I smell the same perfume differently depending on which one I used previously or when I have been focussing on certain notes for a while. That’s part of the learning curve. Shalimar remains a mystery to me (it is cloying on me). September 4, 2015 at 4:57am

  • Reg: I also noticed that you described “Aedes de Venustas Silver Iris” though it should be Iris Nazarena or Atelier Cologne Silver Iris. The box could be a little mixed up? September 3, 2015 at 11:45am

    • Victoria: Thank you for the heads up. September 3, 2015 at 2:11pm

  • Aurora: Not participating, just to say I’ve enjoyed the notes very much, and so happy to see our UK box traveling.

    On the restrictions: thankfully I was able to send 2 samples to Holland with no problem but it was sent as a letter not a parcel so it slipped through. I felt some ‘perverse’ pleasure in succeeding but as noted above in other comments these restrictions are in general very strict when sending parcels. September 3, 2015 at 4:06pm

  • ChristineB: I am not participating as I have already had the pleasure of sampling the travelling box. Just wanted to say that I enjoyed your notes. I was very interested on your view of 4160 Tuesdays Doe in the Snow. That one perplexed me, but you have inspired me to try it again. September 3, 2015 at 6:55pm

  • Rosie Jeffery: Hello!
    1) I live in the uk
    2)I’m happy for you to share my email adress
    3)I agree to pass box of samples on to someone else, and share notes, and add a couple of samples.
    I was wearing the very lovely Habit Rouge edt this morning, but now it has worn off i have sprayed on Donna Karen Gold, it feels very autumnal to me.
    Thanks Laura, for youre intriguing notes,and thanks Victoria! September 4, 2015 at 12:02pm

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