Best of 2015 in Scents

Here is our eclectic selection of favorite fragrances, including older perfumes we most enjoyed wearing this year. We also would love to read your lists of 2015 highlights–perfumes, books or anything else that stood out. Bois de Jasmin will return on Monday, January 4th, and in the meantime we wish you a happy and fragrant new year! We look forward to another year together with all of you.

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The “Best of” in the title of this article should be taken with a grain of salt. I spend enough time testing fragrances and thinking about them, but even so, I’m hard pressed to remember everything I tried this year, much less to rank my preferences in a logical manner. But would such a list even be interesting? When Elisa, Andy, Patricia and I exchanged thoughts about our discoveries in 2015, we quickly realized that our lists fascinated us for their idiosyncrasies.

Victoria’s 2015 Favorites

Alaïa Paris by Azzedine Alaïa

Alaïa is doubtless my favorite launch of 2015. Describing it as floral leather doesn’t convey all of its nuances and its thoroughly modern way of reinterpreting this classical idea. It feels impeccably elegant and yet without anything fussy or too high-maintenance.

Narciso by Narciso Rodriguez

Narciso Eau de Toilette is a launch that makes sense from bottle–a white cube–to the scent–enveloping musk, sun bleached woods and gardenia petals. It’s entirely abstract, wearing like a second skin scent, while leaving a soft but distinctive trail. A perfume to choose when I don’t feel like wearing perfume. Another elegant perfume with a dose of comfort.

Bvlgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu

Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu is a variation on the successful Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert, but what makes it interesting is the use of lavender and iris to create a delicate but dramatic accord. Excellent raw materials do not automatically make a good perfume, but it’s always a pleasure to smell such a well crafted fragrance.

Arquiste Nanban

In this year’s niche perfumery it’s easier for me to point out what I disliked than to pick favorites. Frédéric Malle Cologne Indélébile was bordering on unpleasant (but Andy would disagree; see his comment below). Serge Lutens’s Section d’Or wasn’t good enough to match its going price. Tom Ford rested on the laurels of last year’s splendid Jardin Noir collection. One exception was Arquiste’s Nanban, a leather and incense blend inspired by Japanese aromatics. The idea isn’t novel, but the way it was executed made Nanban interesting–dark, rich but effervescent.

Prada Les Infusions de Prada Line

This year Prada relaunched its Infusions collection and augmented it with a few new fragrances. If you like gossamer-light perfumes that have a natural feel, this is a good line to explore. Unlike Hermessence or some of Chanel’s Les Exclusifs, Les Infusions have enough body–they won’t fly off the skin within minutes. I liked Infusion d’Oeillet for its spicy flowers mixed with mandarin zest and patchouli. Infusion de Vétiver is a completely new formula, with only a few echoes of the 2010 original. It blends vetiver with cardamom, tarragon and rose. Infusion d’Amande is like a sip of orgeat, an almond drink flavored with rosewater. Finally, Infusion d’Iris Cèdre is a classical cool iris with incense, neroli and aldehydes emphasizing its patrician refinement. The line is so polished that after wearing it long enough I needed a reality check with Pink Sugar or Chopard Casmir, but overall, it stood out.

Annick Goutal Duel

I enjoyed revisiting this watercolor sketch of green tea, violets and soft leather. Duel reminded how much character classical Goutals used to have, even at their most delicate, and also how much fun it is to organize one’s perfume collection.

Saffron and Rosewater

Having returned from Iran, I found myself craving saffron and rosewater. Persian cooking and beauty rituals, to say nothing of the poetry and art, are filled with scented references, and my first impression of Iran was a strong aroma of rosewater at Tehran’s airport. Relying on my favorite Iranian cookbooks, I have been replicating dishes I tried during my visit, an adventure that allows me to indulge in saffron and rosewater. Making the golden potion is easy–saffron is warmed up slightly in a pan and then ground to powder. The powder is dissolved in rosewater and the liquid can be used in a wide range of dishes, from yogurt salads and meat stews, from soups to desserts. Although rose seems like a strange flavor to pair with meat or fish, in small amounts it doesn’t taste like perfume but rather adds complexity. And the combination of rose and saffron smells so good that I’m often tempted to rub it onto my skin. Apparently, it’s a well-known beauty treatment.

Diana Athill’s Memoirs

Reading memoirs you realize how important scents are both for the writer to remember the past and to be able to conjure it up for the reader. This is the case with Diana Athill’s Alive, Alive Oh!, a memoir written as the British novelist and editor turned 97. Athill’s writings were recommended by a dear friend, to whom I’m most grateful; Athill worked with some of the best authors including John Updike, Philip Roth, Jean Rhys and Margaret Atwood, and her own style is distinctive for its clarity and vigor.

Alive, Alive Oh! is a collection of reflections, happy, tragic, or prosaic but nevertheless significant. The details that Athill conjures up in her crisp prose are among the most beautiful parts of the story: the perfume of bluebells at Fountain’s Abbey at Yorkshire, the crunch of grass under the feet of a tortoise moving towards water, the reflections on the green water of Venice’s canals. “Looking at things is never time wasted,” writes Athill. “When I was marveling at the beauty of a painting or enjoying a great view it did not occur to me that the experience, however intense, would be of value many years later.” The same could be said of smelling.

cardamombird cherries tea book

Elisa’s 2015 Favorites

I totally failed at keeping up with new releases in 2015, but here are the perfumes, both new and old, I was most excited to wear this year:

Estée Lauder White Linen 

White Linen isn’t new to me; I’ve loved it since I was a child, when I first smelled it on my grandmother. She passed away this October, a few weeks before her 94th birthday. In a happy coincidence, I happened to come into a vintage bottle of the parfum around the same time. This beautiful, snow-bright powdery rose will always remind me of her.

Coty La Rose Jacqueminot 

I’m not sure of the vintage of this one-ounce bottle of eau de parfum, passed on by a dear friend when she moved out of the country – it looks quite old, but smells shockingly fresh and timeless, a delicate yet vibrant rose.

Serge Lutens Boxeuses 

I seemed to pass right over Boxeuses when it was first released, perhaps because Bas de Soie, which I hated, came out the same year and I got them confused. I resampled Boxeuses this year while researching licorice notes, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites from Lutens: a gorgeous woody leather with dusky plums.

Caron Eau de Reglisse 

Another one I discovered during my licorice binge – I sprayed on my sample and promptly ordered a bottle. I love the contrast of fresh lemon against dark anise and woody patchouli. Since Eau de Reglisse is long-lasting but sits close to the skin, it’s become a favorite for travel days.

Pinrose Treehouse Royal 

I was sniffing around the testers for this line carried at Nordstrom and feeling pretty ho-hum about them until I got to Treehouse Royal, an intensely tart blackcurrant and fig that reminds me of my beloved Byredo Pulp, but at a much friendly price.

Home & Body Products

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream in Snowflake 

I went through a tube of this without ever figuring out how they did the scent; it really smells like cold air! It must be some kind of lightly aldehydic musk? Really clever work, and very moisturizing. (Actually, all the Bliss scents are great.)

L’Occitane Velvet Hand Cream in Arlésienne 

I’m really impressed with this honeyed rose and violet floral, and the scent of the perfume is true to form in the high-quality body products.

Pacifica Body Wash in Waikiki Pikake 

A lush, indolic jasmine scent that made my winter showers smell like summer vacation.

Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter 

This looks and smells like coconut frosting, is very moisturizing but sinks in quickly, and costs a whopping $5.

Nest Holiday Candles 

I bought some of the votives in this scent to give away as hostess gifts this year. They smell AMAZING – such a good balance between tart fruits (orange and blackcurrant) and warm, spicy amber. Beautiful festive packaging too – no gift wrap required.

Horikawa Shoyeido’s River Path Incense 

I must thank Victoria for this one! It’s my favorite incense ever – like burning sandalwood in a campfire.

ranuculus1incense burners

Andy’s 2015 Favorites

I sit down at the end of some years to realize I haven’t cooked as many recipes as I’d hoped to, visited fewer new destinations than I might have, and smelled less than I’d planned. Such shortcomings are perfectly acceptable to me, but this year was an exceptionally fruitful one on all counts, fragrance most definitely included. Here, I joyously reminisce upon the scents that made my 2015 so enjoyable.

Colognes

Each fall seems to bring me the discovery of a new incense perfume, and this year’s Tauerville Incense Flash was no exception. This is a very dry take on leather, woods, and incense, but it melds and sticks to the skin (and even better to clothes and hair) beautifully. Similarly, I always enjoy a new cologne, and some favorites this year included Frédéric Malle Cologne Indélébile, Mugler Cologne, Bien-Être Eau de Cologne aux Essences Fraîches, and Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds. Another fresh fragrance that caught me totally smitten was the new Bulgari release, Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu, which I will most certainly purchase at some point in the future, for it delivers upon so many notes I love, like lavender, tea, and iris.

Mimosa and Ambery Roses

While I’m often blasé toward mimosa fragrances, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom was a lovely discovery. Ambery roses had a minor moment for me this year, with Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin and Estée Lauder Amber Mystique both satisfying my cravings for this sensuous combination.

Teas and Soaps

I’m always on the lookout for great scented products, and several stood out to me this year. Most recently, I’ve been enjoying the season-appropriate Douglas Fir Facial Tonic HydroSoul from Evanhealy, which smells like the whole atmosphere that I imagine surrounds the trees from which this hydrosol is distilled. I had long lamented the loss of one of my favorite teas, Art of Tea’s Jasmine Ancient Beauty Oolong, but this year saw its return, and I’m happy to report that the tea tastes true to the original in spite of the years that have elapsed since its last production. At the recommendations of many, I’ve slowly started exploring the soaps by Nesti Dante, and have especially liked the garden-inspired aromas of their various Horto Botanico soaps.

Smell Bent Pepper Ylang

This is one of my favorites of this year’s releases that I sampled. I fell hard for this perfume, realizing that it was the perfect blend of ylang ylang and sandalwood I once dreamed of as a budding perfume enthusiast. At first, Pepper Ylang seems simple, until the ylang ylang, redolent of banana custard, begins to sizzle with black pepper and the drydown of sandalwood hums with the velvety purr of myrrh. In true Smell Bent style, it’s distinctly quirky in spite of its simplicity, but my favorite thing about Pepper Ylang is just that it’s a true joy to wear.

Guerlain Habit Rouge (Eau de Toilette)

It took the repeated endorsement of so many readers here to finally get around to seeing what all the fuss was about, but now I too have adopted this handsome smelling blend. I stashed Habit Rouge in my bag for a long stay in London and Paris, and it will now and forever smell not of citrus and leather, but of that blissful springtime spent in these two cities.

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Patricia’s 2015 Favorites

Although I can’t claim to have kept up with the 2015 releases, I’ve found three fragrances that I can recommend. The first is Hermès, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, acquired during Sephora’s 20% off sale. Although not especially innovative, it’s a pretty citrusy jasmine, a genre for which I have a weakness. Like Prada’s Infusion d’Iris, I will often turn to it on those days of perfume indecision.

The next two have only been briefly sampled, and I need to spend more time with both. Diptyque Oud Palao impressed me with the high quality of its ingredients. The oud blends seamlessly into rich rose, vanilla, and tobacco notes, and I’m looking forward to exploring it further.

The third, Iris Cendre by Naomi Goodsir, is a rooty, powdery iris with hints of tobacco and incense. It reminds me of Serge Lutens’ Iris Silver Mist, but in a more user-friendly version, and I plan on wearing it often in 2016.

Best wishes to all of you for a happy and fragrant new year!

Also, please take a look at these wonderful lists by Grain de Musc :: Now Smell This :: The Non-Blonde :: Perfume Posse

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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248 Comments

  • limegreen: Happy new year to all! I love reading the lists, thank you, and will enjoy going back for sampling ideas.
    A new release I loved was also Au The Bleu. Right now, I have fallen for Oud Palao, so sparkling an oud with a touch of rose, and such sillage and longevity.
    A discovery of a classic was Caron Farnesiana, feels like a mimosa grandparent of Malle Une Fleur de Cassie.
    New osmanthus discoveries for me: Memo Inle, Journey Woman and Mona di Orio Oudh Osmanthus.
    New leather ones for me: Cuir de Lancome, Byredo Accord Oud and Heeley Cuir Pleine Fleur
    But my favorite discovery this year, so unexpected and addictive, was Le Labo Iris 39, and the body oil is also exquisite. It was the perfect follow-up to my joyful aha moment of Iris Silver Mist and Aedes de Venustas Iris Nazarena. December 28, 2015 at 7:53am Reply

    • Victoria: Osmanthus tea has been another discovery this year. I did try it before, but somehow this year I got addicted to everything osmanthus. The flavor of tea made only with blossoms is like liquid sunshine. And thank you for furthering my tea education! 🙂

      Can’t agree more on Le Labo Iris 39 oil. It also turned out to be an expected favorite–a rooty, cool iris, but still soft and silky. December 28, 2015 at 10:43am Reply

      • limegreen: “liquid sunshine” is a lovely way to put it, glad to contribute to any bit of sunshine to go with your Belgian rain. 🙂
        I got the Iris 39 oil as a present (that I put on a list) and can’t get enough of it. It’s almost like a perfume oil, that’s how concentrated it feels. And so silky that it feels comforting when I put a little on at night.
        I’m now eagerly hoping that Le Labo will offer The Noir 29 in the oil. 🙂
        Hope you have a happy new year of all that is good and fragranced, Victoria. Thank you for Bois de Jasmin and to Andy, Elisa and Patricia for perfume wisdom and wit. 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 4:11pm Reply

        • Victoria: The Noir 29 in oil would be splendid, for that milky fig accord alone!

          Hope that you have fun plans to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Did you pick the perfume already? 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 8:03pm Reply

          • limegreen: We’re going to a wedding on NYE, believe it or not! And yes, it will be Oudh Osmanthus, my Xmas perfume gift. What have you selected?
            I looked up your Arquiste Nanban, which I had somehow never heard about, and it’s hard to find here. Samples only at Twisted Lily.
            Is there a dark osmanthus in Nanban along the incense? December 28, 2015 at 8:17pm Reply

            • Victoria: How fun! And your perfume choice is beautiful. We actually have no idea yet what we’re going to do, and I’m afraid my perfume of the evening will be the scent of my mosquito repellent. DEET is such a lovely note. 🙂

              But then again, when one has an osmanthus shrub, no perfume is necessary. December 29, 2015 at 5:31am Reply

              • Karen (A): When we were recently in the Carribean, the plumeria trees/shrubs were finishing up their blooming cycle and wow – so beautiful and fragrant! One fascinating thing was the plumeria caterpillar eats up all the leaves and blossoms, forcing the shrub in to a period of hibernation – or the equivalent of our autumn. It’s all part of the cycle of the plant, and the caterpillars were large and colorful – but we were told they turn in to quite boring colored moths. December 29, 2015 at 6:06am Reply

                • Victoria: How interesting the way the plant and the insect adopted to each other! I didn’t know this about plumeria, but I always wondered how they stopped blooming in places where the temperature didn’t change dramatically from season to season. December 29, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

                  • Karen (A): Fascinating fact that we learned from a very helpful woman at a botanical garden! December 29, 2015 at 4:17pm Reply

              • Surbhi: I heard vetiver works as an excellent mosquito repellent. I haven’t tried but a lady told me that’s how she survived in Mexico. December 29, 2015 at 9:03pm Reply

                • Victoria: Oh, that’s something I heard from my Indian friend. I haven’t experimented yet, because I get bitten by every single mosquito in the vicinity, and I know that many perfumes attract them. December 30, 2015 at 5:57am Reply

    • Karen (A): Just wanted to say that you have such a fascinating, elegant list! December 29, 2015 at 5:54am Reply

  • Neva: Thank you all for your lists which I will take as a guideline for my future explorations. I haven’t tried many of the new releases, but the ones I tried – Chanel Misia, Hermes Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, Diptyque Oud Palao and Florabellio – were in my opinion okay but not FB worthy. Of the mainstreams I liked Alaia and Bulgari’s Aqua Divina.
    This year I discovered Frederic Malle perfumes and I fell for Noir Epices next to En Passant. In the end I stick to my vintage loves for the winter season: Jil Sander Woman III and Armani.
    Wishing everyone a very happy New year! December 28, 2015 at 8:59am Reply

    • Victoria: I started out liking Misia, but the more I wore it, the less exciting it felt. A well-made fragrance, in a powdery and retro style so unexpected in Chanel, but in the end not striking enough.

      Alaia, however, was an instant love! Still haven’t tried Oud Palao. Was it just an average oud or was there something else you disliked about it? December 28, 2015 at 10:49am Reply

      • Neva: I think it’s because I’m not an oud fan. It’s not that I find the smell repelling but to me it is not such an amazing contribution to the perfume industry.
        Alaia had the WOW effect on me. Very good choice for the first perfume of a designer! It is different from the rest and I liked the fact that it constantly changes with the time passing, bringing out various notes (that I don’t recognize) but all are very pleasing. December 28, 2015 at 12:47pm Reply

        • Eric: I concluded like you did, it added nothing to the market. December 28, 2015 at 12:57pm Reply

        • Victoria: I read only a couple of brief reviews, and they were lacking in enthusiasm. I will probably try it at some point, because Diptyque is easy enough to find around here, but I will keep my expectations low.

          Alaia was a surprise all around, and I only hope that they won’t dilute the line with a gazillion flankers. December 28, 2015 at 1:53pm Reply

          • limegreen: Do give Oud Palao a try. I was bored before I tried it — another oud and rose, really? — but so glad the SA insisted that I take home a sample. 🙂 It really is a sparkling interpretation, rather than a heavy thick resinous one, similar to AdP Oud except brighter. Of course, Diptyque and my skin tend to have nice chemistry, so this really blooms on me, and unlike most Diptyques, lasts all day, beautiful projection. The rose is light so if one is looking for a rose, this is not it, it’s more like oud champagne doused with rose petals. December 28, 2015 at 4:21pm Reply

            • Karen (A): Fingers crossed its at our local Nordstroms – sounds beautiful! December 28, 2015 at 4:35pm Reply

              • limegreen: It won’t hold a candle to your beautiful rose perfumes, Karen! So don’t think of it as a rose. 🙂 (Let me know if it doesn’t arrive near you!) December 28, 2015 at 8:42pm Reply

                • Karen (A): Well you have certainly expanded my rose collection and appreciation! December 29, 2015 at 6:01am Reply

            • Victoria: Thank you very much. You actually make me want to run to the nearest Diptyque counter (in the countryside in Asia, it might be rather hard 🙂 But I have an osmanthus shrub within reach. I now understand why in Chinese it’s called “a ten thousand mile flower.” You can smell these tiny blossoms from far away. December 28, 2015 at 8:06pm Reply

              • limegreen: I miss the scent of osmanthus blossoms, especially in the early morning. What a lovely way to spend new years!
                btw, I got a sample of Nobile 1942 Malia — have you tried it? It’s supposed to be about sweet and spicy osmanthus, or something like that. Not sure about it yet, other than osmanthus showing up in interesting ways these last few years (or maybe just my osmanthus detection antennae are up). December 28, 2015 at 8:58pm Reply

                • Victoria: I haven’t yet, so I really look forward to your thoughts! December 29, 2015 at 5:31am Reply

      • Alicia: Happy New Year, Victoria. Since you reviewed it I am trying to get Alaia, with no success. I just bought instead, Venezia Giardini Segreti, and a bottle of Coromandel: not a winter without it. Not even in Surrender to Chance I was able to find Alaia. Unfortunately I live in a small town in Upstate NY, and there is no Barneys around. Today I am wearing L’Heure Bleue, which for many years was my comfort fragrance, and it still is, to a lesser degree, in its new reformulation. My dear, I wish you many adventures for 2016, olfctive and otherwise. January 5, 2016 at 10:58pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much and same to you.
          Alaia is probably being launched slowly, starting with Europe and some larger retailers in the US. Usually, in the States such brands get exclusive deals with certain stores like Neimans or Saks or Nordstroms. I’m not sure what’s the case with Alaia, but I’m sure it will reach you eventually. January 6, 2016 at 6:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I started out liking Misia, but the more I wore it, the less exciting it felt. A well-made fragrance, in a powdery and retro style so unexpected in Chanel, but in the end not striking enough.

      Alaia, however, was an instant love! December 28, 2015 at 10:50am Reply

  • Sandra: Thanks for sharing your list everyone! I often don’t get around to smelling new fragrances, but I can give some on the list a try.

    My purchases for this year were Tom Ford’s Noir pour femme, and not new, but new to me, Angelique Noire-which I wore through the holidays. Not a perfume, but, just as lovely was Shalimar dusting powder.

    My favorite non-perfume purchases were some lipsticks that were mentioned on this blog-maybelline carnation gloss and baby rose kiss kiss. Other great lipstick purchases were TF So vain & love bruise. Guerlian’s holiday makeup collection was a big splurge for me. I am a sucker for meteorites and lipsticks that come with their own mirror.

    Tea for me this year was a rose lychee a friend picked up for me in malaysia, santa’s secret from David’s tea, and Rituals Emperors tea-a great licorice and star anise flavored.

    Body products I loved this year, I splurged on a creamy face wash Creme de beaute: smells like jasmine and white tea and has made my skin so soft. Pricey but a little goes a long way.

    Have a great new year everyone! December 28, 2015 at 9:43am Reply

    • Victoria: Shalimar dusting powder is one of the scents that seems made for large swan down puffs and a retro vanity table with a silvery mirror. But even without these items, it’s enough to create a fantasy. I wish more fragrances came with matching dusting powders.

      A rose lychee tea sounds so good. You’re lucky to have a friend to bring such goodies from Asia. December 28, 2015 at 10:56am Reply

      • sara: Is it possible to make your own scented powder by mixing perfume into the ready-made talcum? December 28, 2015 at 11:45am Reply

        • Victoria: In theory, it should be possible, but most ready-made powders already come scented. December 28, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

  • spe: So many of us have rediscovered the oldies: Habit Rouge EDT, White Linen, Duel.

    That mirrors my experience this year. My one discovery was Dior’s Forever and Ever. I smell something herbal and fresh.

    I have massively down-sized my collection. To the point where my relatives are making comments. They are worried about how readily I’m clearing out perfumes and want me to slow down! They made me count how many bottles I have left. Some said they feel I’m starting to act like a nun (I take that as a compliment!). To me, I’m just breaking through the clutter.

    What has changed?

    The realization that after owning and wearing hundreds of perfumes, I’m usually trying to “force” myself to wear so many of them – and “saving” my real favorites for….I don’t know what. Trying to wear things I should conceptually like, but that feel harsh, strident, immature, or desperate. I’m none of those things. Well, pushed to my patience limit, I am strident. But that’s not my “highest self.”

    So, I’m clinging to the house of Chanel with a couple of odds and ends.

    Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2016. December 28, 2015 at 10:01am Reply

    • Sandra: I cleared out some as well and found great new homes for them! for me is a don’t like clutter. Sometimes perfumes are like clothes in my closet..I will wear this dress for this occasion and then it just sits and collects dust..or when I lose these last few pounds I will fit into this.. December 28, 2015 at 10:35am Reply

      • spe: Yes, that’s exactly it. Wearing those clothes and perfumes are directed by an event or mood rather than things that speak to my heart. I want to get rid of all of that. I’m proud to say it’s going well. I hope it is for you, too. December 28, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

      • Victoria: I went through my clothes too, and it was such a great experience in the end. Another great side effect is that picking an outfit now takes hardly any time, as I can see what exactly I have. It’s uplifting to surround oneself with one’s favorite things, books, clothes, or perfume. December 28, 2015 at 11:03am Reply

        • spe: Those less significant choices need to get easier (clothes, perfumes) to make room for the more significant choices (what is my purpose here?). That’s how my brain works. And your comment about surroundings is spot on! December 28, 2015 at 7:13pm Reply

          • Victoria: The beauty of organizational approach based on a spark of joy or a surge of positive emotion, rather than practicality, is that you end up exactly with things you need. I haven’t missed any of the things I gave away, by the way. December 29, 2015 at 4:58am Reply

    • Victoria: I completely relate to this. One of the best things I’ve done was to organize my perfume collection, and to make a separate personal wardrobe of few favorites. Trying to wear perfumes that don’t feel right is a thankless enterprise. There is a difference between learning and experiencing something new and forcing yourself to wear something just because a bottle is already there and money has been spent.

      Saving real favorites is another familiar tendency, and also something I made myself to break. There is no point in saving anything for some special occasion; each day can be made special with a little beauty.

      Happy New Year! December 28, 2015 at 11:01am Reply

      • spe: Oh, my goodness. Those are my feelings, too.

        Thank you for putting them so eloquently.

        Organizing and making decisions is difficult work for some of us. But it feels so – well, freeing and in-control at the same time. I’m not sure what the word is for that emotion! Happy?

        🙂 December 28, 2015 at 7:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: You explained it really well, and I can’t agree more. For instance, I can wear a plain clip to hold my hair as I do my home chores, or I can put on my blue feather headband and a splash of Mitsouko. That seems to get the job done faster and more pleasantly, somehow. December 29, 2015 at 5:04am Reply

          • Karen (A): Well everything is better when wearing a blue feather headband! (and Mitsouko, of course) December 29, 2015 at 6:15am Reply

            • Victoria: One could wear something boring and practical, but really, why go boring when you can have flamboyant and over the top? 🙂 December 29, 2015 at 12:05pm Reply

              • bregje: Yes!
                I only find it irritating that my environment doesn’t respond well to flamboyant and over the top 😉
                Wearing la panthere the other day(which isn’t ‘that’ over the top,i think) i only saw distorted faces and got the comment that i wear such heavy scents..
                huh?
                Knot,jour,baiser, are the fumes i wear most.

                Weird people!

                I guess i do take more risks than the people around me when it comes to fashion,make-up and music and perhaps also perfume.
                I’m glad that there are other people in the world who are even more outrageous 😉 than i am,lol
                So i want to thank all of you for inspiring me. December 30, 2015 at 8:20pm Reply

                • bregje: P.s.
                  Can i borrow that blue feathered headband ? I think it would go great with my roaring twenties drop waste dress 😉
                  Cleaning i do better in a pirate-outfit(skinny jeans,boots,belts,blouse,optional hat,dior eau sauvage and a hargh,hargh attitude) December 30, 2015 at 8:34pm Reply

                  • Victoria: You’re more than welcome to it. It also stars quite a big as a prop in some of my photos, so you’ve probably seen it already. 🙂 January 1, 2016 at 9:19pm Reply

                    • bregje: Haha,thank you!
                      I just love the 1900-1930’s.In painting,design and fashion(and ballet;oh Balanchine,nijinsky…
                      sigh).
                      Happy Newyear to you.
                      Elisa, Andy and Patricia and everyone here at bois de jasmin! January 2, 2016 at 4:56pm

                    • Victoria: I do too. One of my favorite periods in art and dance.

                      Happy New Year to you too! January 5, 2016 at 11:16am

                • Victoria: Yes, when you work in close quarters with people or in a conservative environment, it can be a problem. There are always the afterwork hours, of course, but one wants to enjoy something during the day too. January 1, 2016 at 9:18pm Reply

                  • bregje: My family is even more conservative,haha.
                    At least,most of them(luckily there are a couple that are a bit more eccentric 😉 )
                    They wear poloshirts,shop solely at h&m and Zara and smell like tommy girl,dolce and eros.
                    And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that 🙂

                    But you might be able to see that anything bolder is a bit of a shock to their system.
                    They have accepted by now that i’m a little different 😉 and don’t even raise their eyebrows anymore when i’m sporting a nouvelle vage mood(turtleneck,black skinny or wool trousers,made-up eyes.simple but with a certain je ne sais quoi).
                    I do miss my mother though who passed on this illicit behavior.

                    I have this crepe de chine dress 1930’s style that my mom bought in a second- hand shop in the sixties.
                    It probably cost near to nothing but the cut and feel are fantastic !

                    But what i wanted to say:Narciso was my favorite this year.
                    And although discovered last year,I fell in love with Knot. January 2, 2016 at 5:37pm Reply

                    • Victoria: Your mother must have had quite a style! 🙂 January 6, 2016 at 6:20am

          • Notturno7: My God, I totally agree with this Victoria. Little bit of Mitsuko (or any of our favorites)makes the day better and a happier person more efficient . There should be a proverb in Latin Carpe Diem Con Mitsuko. One day I was doing some gardening in my little rose garden and it was a nice sunny day. I thought, why not wear that red dress with spaghetti straps, I got it in the second hand store for a great price and it can be washed… A day off, little bit of a good perfume, having fun with my roses… Later my neighbors (whom I didn’t see)told me it made their day see me plant roses in red velvet. So yes, blue feather headband is a go! January 8, 2016 at 5:06am Reply

            • Victoria: Carpe Diem Con Mitsuko should be our motto. Brilliant! January 8, 2016 at 5:15am Reply

      • Notturno7: Yes, every day is special. Well said, Victoria. I really feel that,and try to remember it every day that every new day is a gift and it’s important to enjoy and savor it. So why not enjoy our favorite perfumes whenever we feel like it!! December 30, 2015 at 4:28am Reply

        • Victoria: Absolutely! They also don’t keep forever, so that’s another reason to use them. December 30, 2015 at 6:04am Reply

  • Solanace: Love the lists, they are so much fun to read, thank you. This year I’m mostly happy with the bottle of YSL Champagne I found at the back of my closet. I really love it and have been wearing it all the time. The dab bottle is beautiful too – the entire thing is so uplifting! Rose Jam shower gel was another happy discovery. And it goes nicely with the Champagne, all fruity goodnes. Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy, great, happy 2016. December 28, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Is Rose Jam by Lush? Either way, your idea of combining rose with YSL’s Champagne is brilliant. I haven’t tried this kind of combination myself, but since there is so much fruity rose in Champagne, the extra layer would make it even more vibrant. Something to experiment with in 2016! December 28, 2015 at 11:08am Reply

      • Raquel: Yes Victoria, Rose Jam is by Lush, it’s a Christmas season shower gel, it’s also a happy discovery for me.
        Happy New Year to you and all the Bois de Jasmin family! December 28, 2015 at 12:27pm Reply

        • Victoria: I will have to try it. Actually, I now notice that it’s already on my list, probably because of one of the recommendations here. 🙂

          My warmest wishes for 2016! December 28, 2015 at 12:31pm Reply

      • Solanace: Yep, Lush. I think you might like it, since it smells very good quality to me. Great for layering with dark roses, too, and even on its own. If I’m not mistaken, it’s inspired by the rose jam recipe from the rose producers in Turkey that were featured in that video you shared with us. The fact that it contains argan oil that leaves my skin very soft does not hurt either. December 29, 2015 at 2:01am Reply

        • Victoria: This gets better and better. 🙂 December 29, 2015 at 5:38am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: Love these lists. I also favored Bvlgari’s The Bleu and am trying some of the others mentioned. Still can’t find the new Prada infusions yet in the U.S. Two of my faves are by Kilan Voulez Vous Coucher avec Moi- silly name but beautiful scent. I also loved Teo Cabanel’s Lace Garden, lovely tuberose and white floral. December 28, 2015 at 11:11am Reply

    • Victoria: I find the release dates on the Infusions line confusing. They were supposed to be launched in the States this year, but it’s not clear if they were or not!

      Kilian has gotten creative with his scent names. 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 12:08pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: I see many are mentioning wardrobe cleanups. I read Marie Kondo’s book about 4 times and have completely reorganized my wardrobe. So many things went to charity or to consignment shops, and more may be going still. I’ve sold purses and costume jewelry on Ebay. I only have one purse now, can you believe it? There are a couple of evening clutches but one purse. I’m hoping to stick with it but another dressier one may be required. Trying hard to be minimalist. December 28, 2015 at 11:15am Reply

    • Kate: I did only my clothes, but my 2016 resolution is to follow Marie Kondo properly. I thought that it would be hard to pare down, couldn’t have imagined how good it felt. December 28, 2015 at 11:43am Reply

      • Victoria: It’s a little time consuming, but I also was surprised how much I enjoyed it. Especially the post-decluttering phase when it felt like rooms had more air, even though nothing has changed drastically (apart from few things inside the closets). Good luck with the further decluttering! 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 12:22pm Reply

    • Victoria: I got rid of 5 pairs of sensible black trousers but kept all of my evening and cocktail dresses. They make me happy, and sometimes I make an occasion for them. Seriously, there is something so uplifting about throwing an evening dress on, then my long parka and taking a walk in the park on a cold Saturday morning. So, I salute your decision to weigh the wardrobe in favor of evening clutches. 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

      • Lady Dedlock: Stick with the luxuries, dispense with the necessities. Very Oscar Wilde. Love your dress sense! December 28, 2015 at 5:06pm Reply

        • Victoria: I have my fair share of boring basics (or more like my comfortable basics), but I look up to my mom whose philosophy is that there is no such thing as special occasion clothing. That’s a woman who can make even the dreariest hotel room seem more inviting with her collection of scented soaps and mimosa scented votives. December 28, 2015 at 8:10pm Reply

      • spe: Parkas with dresses are fabulous! What do you think of the army green cargo type for weekends?

        Black pants are my absolute least favorite wardrobe item. They basically say “I give up.” I purchased a trendy pair this fall after many years of not owning any (1 pair black jeans, one pair cropped black tapered slacks). I’ve worn them for about two months and I just really dislike them now. Viva la dresses!!! December 28, 2015 at 7:26pm Reply

        • Victoria: If I had that, I definitely would take it. A perfect complement to the floaty ballerina skirts I love. 🙂

          I kept one pair of black pants, but they have a redeeming feature of being decorated with the satin bands, tuxedo style. I don’t work in the kind of environment that requires a conservative dress, and I have enough black anyway. December 28, 2015 at 8:16pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Practicality is seriously overrated. December 28, 2015 at 7:51pm Reply

        • limegreen: We need a bumper sticker with this, Karen! 🙂
          (Of course on a forum such as this, fragrance is a necessity but not “practical.”) December 28, 2015 at 9:14pm Reply

          • Victoria: But it works in a pinch to remove chipped nailpolish, so it has some practical applications too. 🙂 December 29, 2015 at 5:32am Reply

          • Notturno7: I love that comment, Karen and Limegreen!! ? December 30, 2015 at 4:32am Reply

        • Victoria: There has to be something more than just practicality. I like the concept of beautiful utilitarian objects, like the ones you find in Japan, down to the toothbrushes and kitchen implements. December 29, 2015 at 5:07am Reply

  • Anka: Happy new year to all and thanks for sharing the lists!

    Victoria, „looking at things is never time wasted“ is such a good quote, I have to remind me of it every time I feel guilty for getting lost in escapism! Diana Athill’s Memoirs go on my reading list. I discovered, I think through your blog, Olga Tokarczuk this year and am so impressed.

    Oh, Elisa, I’ve missed Boxeuses, too, thanks for the tip, I was (still am) on a licorice binge, too, hehe!

    Never heard of Pepper Ylang, reads delicious, on my list it goes, thanks Andy!

    Can’t wait to try Iris Cendre, powdery iris sounds right up my alley. I wore a lot of Khol de Bahrein this year, do you know it? To me it’s a powdery iris-violet-combo. December 28, 2015 at 11:20am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s such a perfect way to capture the importance of reflecting, observing, absorbing. It’s one of the many reasons I enjoyed Athill’s Memoirs (and she’s a fantastic writer, with a lucid style and sharp comments.) Her memoir about her publishing career “Stet” is also terrific. I started it concurrently with Alive, Alive Oh!, and I’m close to finishing it.

      Khol de Bahrein sounds intriguing. Iris and violet is one of those pairings that evoke velvet. December 28, 2015 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Elisa: Anka, I find the licorice in Boxeuses is pretty subtle, but everything else you smell is great anyway! December 28, 2015 at 6:59pm Reply

      • Anka: Yes, one could change Athill’s quote in “Smelling at things is never time wasted”… December 29, 2015 at 3:50am Reply

      • Victoria: Thanks to you, Elisa and the marvelous article you wrote about licorice, I’ve been licorice obsessed this year, from perfume to food! December 29, 2015 at 4:34am Reply

    • Patricia: I found Iris Cendre to be quite innovative. Hope you like it! December 31, 2015 at 5:38pm Reply

  • Kate: I love reading lists and here is mine, in no particular order.

    Diptyque Coing Candle
    Diptyque Eau de Rose and Eau de Geranium, this is my new favorite house
    Cartier Panthere

    Shoyeido incense thanks to Victoria!

    Books:
    Donna Tartt The Goldfinch
    Sei Shonagon The Pillow Books, another inspiration thanks to this blog. Very different from my usual book choices, but I loved it.

    Best wishes for a Happy New Year! December 28, 2015 at 11:40am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m very happy that you looked into Sei Shonagon. I adore this book, and I love opening it at random and reading whatever page my eye falls on.

      I had Coing roomspray a while ago, and I remember it really smelling like quince, fruity and violet-like. December 28, 2015 at 12:20pm Reply

  • sara: Happy New Year, Victoria, Elisa, Andy, Patricia and all of BdJ community! 🙂

    I decided last year that I’d wear my old favorites instead of looking for anything new, and I mostly stuck to my guns, ahem, atomizers. I wore Estee Lauder Knowing, Diva, and Caleche a lot this year. December 28, 2015 at 11:52am Reply

    • Victoria: That’s a great resolution! A great perfume is like a great book–it only gets better upon another encounter.

      Happy New Year to you too, Sara! December 28, 2015 at 12:25pm Reply

      • sara: I made a rule not to buy too many samples, because I couldn’t keep up. I may relax my no-buy next year for Amouage Gold. December 28, 2015 at 12:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: Makes perfect sense. Amouage Gold is a beauty, and since you like Caleche, I can see why Gold would tempt you. Both are symphonic, grand perfumes and created by the same perfumer, Guy Robert. December 28, 2015 at 2:11pm Reply

    • Elisa: Knowing and Diva are hard to beat! December 28, 2015 at 7:01pm Reply

    • Notturno7: I love Diva and Knowing. Maybe I should splurge on Caleche perfume. I love these rich scents. Does someone know how different the Caleche perfume is? I hear Caleche has been reformulated some, maybe they kept the perfume more true to the original? December 30, 2015 at 4:13am Reply

  • Lady Dedlock: 2015 has to be the year I surrendered to the opulence and fantasy of fragrance.
    My favorite favorite favorite one this year:
    Grossmith Shem-el-Nessim. It is a better, more elegant, more effervescent version of Guerlain L’Heure bleu – not a rip-off since it was originally launched way before the Guerlain masterpiece.
    What can I say? I have discovered that I am so into vintage! December 28, 2015 at 11:58am Reply

    • Victoria: A fine thing to which to surrender! 🙂 And you’ve definitely picked an opulent and lush perfume. It’s good when brands reintroduce their vintage collections, and especially, as is the case with Grossmith, when they stay close to the spirit of their originals. December 28, 2015 at 12:28pm Reply

      • Lady Dedlock: Yep! but my only cavil is that it is exported out of the U.K. as a 100 ml bottle which has a gargantuan price tag instead of the 50 ml. Seriously, there should be a union of connoisseurs banning the practice! December 28, 2015 at 5:38pm Reply

        • Victoria: You made me laugh out loud. Yes, I’d join such a union. December 28, 2015 at 8:07pm Reply

  • Lady Dedlock: Discovery number 2:
    After trying a dozen or so rose fragrances, I have concluded that the best fragrance belongs only to the rose blooming on the stalk. December 28, 2015 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, if you’re lucky to have vintage scented roses in your garden, nothing manmade can compare. But if you don’t mind a perfumer’s rose fantasy, it’s different story. December 28, 2015 at 12:30pm Reply

    • sara: Ditto. I gave up. I like roses blended with something else but straight up ones smell artificial to me. December 28, 2015 at 12:38pm Reply

  • sara: I need a perfumed rose garden! December 28, 2015 at 12:39pm Reply

    • sara: Oops, meant to post to your comment above. December 28, 2015 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d love one too! 🙂 But I will settle for just a bouquet of scented roses. December 28, 2015 at 1:32pm Reply

  • Astrid: Many fragrant wishes for the New Year! I found Bois de Jasmin when I was searching for a Belgian speculoos recipe and I got hooked on the rest of it. Thank you for creating such an extraordinary world here. I don’t comment often, but I love to read and follow your discussions. If I could make a humble request, please share more recipes. 🙂 December 28, 2015 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for such a warm comment, Astrid. I’m always delighted to meet other readers, and of course, no worries about not commenting. And you, or anyone else, is more than welcome to give topic requests. Noted on the recipes! December 28, 2015 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Trudy: Around Valentines Day 2015 (I believe) I purchased a full bottle of Narciso in the white cube bottle. To me it is a close, warm, yet sophisticated scent. I like it very much. I also like Tom Ford Noir pour Femme body lotion. Very nice. I haven’t had a chance to try Alaia but hoping to do so very soon. It sounds beautiful. I also discovered Isabey Fleur Nocturne (not new in 2015 but new to me) which I think I like. I tried a spray while shopping and couldn’t stop sniffing my wrist all the way home. I ordered a sample vile from Perfumed Court so we will see on that one. These fragrances are sort of different direction for me as I usually like what I consider to be more summery types of fragrances (Love and Tears, Beige, the first Marc Jacobs, Carnal Flower, Chinatown, etc. are some of my faves). On a side note, I just want to mention that I have truly enjoyed reading all the articles, posts and comments on Bois de Jasmin this year and hope to do so for many years to come. It is such a delight and provides such great information on all sorts of interesting topics. A pleasure (and at times comfort) to read and enjoy. Thank you. December 28, 2015 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s fun to change direction and to try something completely different. It sounds like Fleur Nocturne complements whatever you have.

      Thank you very much, Trudy! It means a lot to me, and I also look forward to another year of sharing my thoughts and hearing all of your opinions. December 28, 2015 at 2:02pm Reply

  • Eric: My perfume year was blah; I liked almost nothing new. Instead I tried new teas and came across Taiwanese oolongs. Holy cow! I drank green teas for years and never tried these beauties…trying not to go into an overblown hyperbole here…tea perfections, tea ambrosias. December 28, 2015 at 1:03pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m ready to join you in praises for teas from Taiwan, especially oolongs. They have such complexity that it’s difficult to believe it’s the same tea plant producing all of these different varieties. December 28, 2015 at 2:12pm Reply

  • Aurora: So glad the 4 of you took the time of putting together these lists: some I am still to experience, in the new year what fun – I want to try Narcisso and Eau Parfumee au The Bleu

    My most memorable discovery – and I know I have already talked about it – is La Maison de la Vanille especially Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar, I have also rediscovered old loves: Eau de Rochas, Eau de Givenchy, Yves Rocher Chevrefeuille this summer, and like Elisa Caron Eau de Reglisse too, Caleche, Plum, Moschino and Miss Dior this fall.

    Happy holidays to the team and a wonderful New Year. December 28, 2015 at 1:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I do remember you mentioning it, and it sounds good enough to be a dessert (although La Maison de la Vanille never does obviously foodie scents.)

      It’s such a pleasure to rediscover things, even better than to try something new at times!

      Hope that you’re enjoying wonderful holidays with your family. Did you cook a traditional feast for Christmas? December 28, 2015 at 2:21pm Reply

      • Aurora: I agree with you, the perennials of perfume are a source of delight at times when one needs comfort especially.

        Yes, I cooked on Xmas Eve, Victoria but I’m afraid it wasn’t very traditional: mushrooms in a cream sauce with a dash of brandy, parsnips and carrots for something seasonal and your honey marinated peppers which was a great success, the herb I added was fresh coriander on this occasion. Thank you so much for a superb recipe, it’s such a bounty to have a new salad in my repertoire. We finished with cheese, no dessert except for some marrons glaces from France. December 28, 2015 at 6:46pm Reply

        • Victoria: What a feast! My grandmother will be so thrilled when I will tell her that you made her recipe and enjoyed it.

          Did you just roast parsnips or did something else with them? I’m always looking for more ideas to use this underrated vegetable. December 28, 2015 at 8:11pm Reply

          • Aurora: I consider your grandmother a genius. It is such a unique recipe and your instructions are always so clear, so it was stress-free, just perfect for a busy evening in the kitchen. Yes, parsnips roasted in a good virgin olive oil in a deep casserole along with the carrots until they caramelized, I didn’t put onion just a vegetable stock cube to add some flavour and a splash of water mid-cooking. You know, parsnips are so popular in the UK while in France they are very difficult to find and considered too humble and redolent of the war years, always to see these cultural differences. December 29, 2015 at 7:29am Reply

            • Victoria: It’s an identical situation with parsnips in Ukraine. They were eaten so much during the war that people don’t cook with them. The only exception is to use a small piece for soup or broth. The first time I tried roasted parsnips was at my English colleague’s home years ago. She made roasted chicken with carrots and parsnips, and my delighted surprise over parsnips–so delicious with their caramelized edges–made her wonder if we had any food when I was growing up at all. “So, do you have carrots in Ukraine?” she kept asking again and again. 🙂

              Thank you for your kind words! Writing down even the simplest recipes is somehow not easy. I admire Elizabeth David more and more for her ability to give instructions for the most complicated of dishes in two lines. December 30, 2015 at 5:38am Reply

  • Liisa: Guerlain Shalimar EDP. It’s silly, really. I was put off for the longest time even testing Shalimar because it was ‘a citrus vanilla bomb’ and I happen to intensely dislike both.

    As it happens, I get neither (or I’m olfactorily challenged :)). Rather, Shalimar on me is smoke + incense + resins + amber and it’s absolutely lovely on most days. There’s a wee tiny hint of vanilla in the far far next day drydown sometimes but not enough to really register.

    And then I fell in love with Scherrer as well, and to a lesser degree, Agent Provocateur.

    I also decided not to actively buy anything unless I clear out something first. The more you own, the less you have time to dedicate yourself to a given scent and the less likely you’ll be to learn to appreciate it. Plus there’s the cluttering/hoarding aspect that doesn’t appeal to me. December 28, 2015 at 1:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: I read many comments describing Shalimar this way, so there is nothing wrong with your nose. It just depends on what notes resonate more with you or what you’re sensitive to.

      As I was mentioning earlier, there is a definite pleasure at rediscovering and spending time to savor things. But I can understand why some perfume lovers are tempted to have a lot of fragrances, and in many cases, it has nothing to do with hoarding. It’s similar to Umberto Eco’s concept of a library of unread books. https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/24/umberto-eco-antilibrary/ Perfume is not that different. It’s just that we each decide what’s right for us. It sounds like you found your right balance. December 28, 2015 at 2:32pm Reply

      • Liisa: With all due respect, the argument for an ‘antilibrary’ or ‘as much of what you don’t know’ is bogus.

        You don’t know what you don’t know.

        Collections of any kind are necessarily limited data of what you *do* know, not of what you *don’t* know.

        As an example – I will never know how many better lovers there are on the planet. That’s no reason to keep looking for them because I can never fulfil that quest (as I can’t know what I don’t know).

        However, what I *do* know and what I’ve deemed satisfactory is good enough. December 28, 2015 at 3:50pm Reply

        • Lady Dedlock: Touché. Philosophical point! December 28, 2015 at 4:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: Collections are different things to different people. You can’t know everything perfectly, and people’s capacity for capturing information and retaining ideas varies. Eco’s idea of a reference library makes perfect sense to me. Yes, I may not read all of the books cover to cover, but the potential to push the boundaries of my knowledge is always there. I take advantage of it. December 28, 2015 at 8:00pm Reply

      • Tati: I have a library way beyond the possibility of my reading each book in it, but that has never bothered me. Years ago I remember someone telling me the constant desire for more books was an expression of the soul reaching out for eternity.
        I have just moved into a new house, and unpacking the books, putting them up on the shelves, being reminded of titles I want to read (including STET, by Athill) has been like meeting old friends. January 4, 2016 at 1:31am Reply

        • Victoria: I feel the same way. When I recently reorganized my library, which stayed in a state of disarray following our move, it was the most enjoyable pursuit. Meeting old friends is exactly right. I have at times even bought books in unfamiliar languages, and just having them–these doors to the worlds I didn’t know–inspired me to learn a new tongue. I have little sentimental attachment to most things, including my perfumes, but my books are precious. January 6, 2016 at 6:30am Reply

  • Karen (A): So fun reading the lists and comments! It’s been quite an eventful year for me, and I’m so glad to have had certain perfumes to cushion some challenging times. My love of roses only grows, and this past year Jo Mallone’s Velvet Rose and Oud and Guerlain’s Rose Nacree du Désert kept me happy (although I love all my real roses, I also love almost all perfume interpretations!).

    Coco has been a fun, uplifting fragrance the past few months – the pure parfum topped with a spritz of EdP = yum. With much sadness I think Coromandel causes a reaction on me – I love the fragrance, but after a couple of tries have to sadly find another sophisticated, soft elegant patchouli. Any ideas?

    Frederic Malle continues to expand my perfume horizons – as I’ve been going on about Dries Van Noten lately, it’s just been the perfect day time autumn scent for me. And my big discovery was Fleur de Cassie – a wowzer perfume conjuring mink stoles and red lipstick.

    Some other fragrances have sparked joy in me – but I have to confess that my happiest new buy was Nahema pure parfum. I’m not saving it for a special day despite that it’s going out of production, but wearing it and enjoying it.

    As to decluttering, I’ve decided that having treasures around me that remind me of faraway places, family and friends means a lot to me. Some of my favorite houses that I’ve visited reflect the owner’s life. While I “get” it that keeping stuff you no longer love isn’t a great idea, I love having points of reference and reminders of people, places and events. So I guess no more decluttering for me! (at least for a little while, and it was fun putting together gift bags of samples)

    Many thanks to everyone writing, posting and sharing! December 28, 2015 at 2:09pm Reply

    • Victoria: Funny thing, not long ago I was smelling a magnolia blossom, and I was thinking to myself, this smells good, but for wearing on my skin as perfume, I much prefer a fantasy version. So, I see perfume versions of flowers as such–art, rather than art imitating life. It makes me happier, as I don’t have to search for something that doesn’t exist.

      Decluttering for the sake of decluttering doesn’t make sense. In my case, there was definitely too much chaos in some aspects of our home, and it started getting on my nerves. But for instance, all of my books stayed and most of my spices, including 15 varieties of black pepper. 🙂

      I loved hearing what perfumes sparked joy in you and I spotted some favorites. December 28, 2015 at 2:38pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Yes! Well put about perfumes as a fantasy version of real-life fragrances. As delightful as it is to bury my nose in most any blossom, it is the idea of that blossom – jasmine blooming along a moon lit path with the sound of the ocean in the distance, a huge arbor with roses tangled up, leaves capturing bits of sunlight in the lawn – that I want to wear. How perfumers interpret a concept is so fascinating.

        And I think I may just be a *bit* overreacting to the decluttering (moi? overreact?). But I have wonderful memories of one of my great aunt and uncle’s home, full of treasures, antiques, art – a camel saddle in her bedroom(!!) and now think, thank God she never decided to declutter – what magical memories would never exist. December 28, 2015 at 2:59pm Reply

        • spe: My folks had a camel saddle – it was decluttered years ago. A deep red leather. We played on it a lot.

          My mom is a de-clutterer by nature (like Kondo, but less engaging and philosophical with the process!). December 28, 2015 at 7:38pm Reply

          • Victoria: That’s my mom. Totally unsentimental, apart from things that belonged to her grandparents. December 29, 2015 at 5:04am Reply

          • Karen (A): I’ve searched out camel saddles, but guess it’s the memory that I treasure and not the actual object (although if a red leather one – funny yours was red leather, too – in good shape appears, I will definitely be finding a place for it! December 29, 2015 at 6:22am Reply

        • Victoria: In the end that’s more interesting to me. But of course, there is always a wistful desire to capture the smell of a precise jasmine vine or a rose blossom I encountered, so I understand the frustrations of some of us who search for their idea of rose or sandalwood or some other aromatic thing. 🙂

          You reminded me of a conversation I had with my aunt who got massively into decluttering her house, to the point that she would lecture people on how much they should have. After yet another comment from her, I asked, “What if our grandmother decluttered?” I was referring to our place in Ukraine, with all of its layers of family history and lots of stuff in general. My aunt gasped in horror and we both started laughing, because we realized that what makes our grandmother’s house so unique is its personality and a touch of clutter. I can’t imagine it as a Zen space with a lone flower arrangement. And my grandmother would never declutter, because she’s from a generation that experienced more calamities that anyone is allowed, and she’s of the mindset that “this might come in handy someday.” In the countryside that maxim is followed by most. Not to mention that with the family spread out so much, mementos are even more precious and meaningful to her. December 28, 2015 at 7:49pm Reply

          • Karen (A): It’s really tough finding a balance, and perhaps one factor may be whether things are hand made or have emotional significance – as opposed to just stuff you run out and purchase to fill space. So much of what I have is from long-gone relatives – many of my evening purses were my grandmother’s and they had her opera and symphony ticket stubs in them (which I’ve kept and add mine to). Tangible items that connect me to her especially when I attend a show she did.

            And I know accumulating can get out of hand, but I just get a bit sad when I see interiors devoid of any of the owner’s personality or life and all the walls beige – please give me colors and beauty and fragrance and aromas of home made bread and music and rugs made by hand and pottery that has survived a few hundred years that people drank from. Ok, sorry for getting carried away – but where would we be without camel saddles to carry our childhood selves off to imaginary lands where magic was real? December 28, 2015 at 8:10pm Reply

            • limegreen: What were the odds of two of you having fond memories of camel saddles in bedrooms?!

              Cleaning out my late parents’ home has had moments of sadness and humor. We found deep in the basement storage a plastic grocery bag of huge dried Aspen leaves that our mother experimented with, used to create patterns on her pottery. The bag was stashed next to a bag of rags — as your grandmother says, Victoria, you never know when it may come in handy! December 28, 2015 at 9:33pm Reply

              • spe: I’m enjoying reading your comments.

                Love the story about your aunt, Victoria. It made me think of my grandmother and her need to keep things because they might be useful some day. There is something very sweet about that disposition.

                I have a difficult time getting rid of things I was given.

                It is infinitely easier to declutter stuff I purchased for myself.

                There are a few sentimental items I would simply never willingly part with. Unless I tell someone why those items are important to me, they’ll definitely get cleared out and given away when I’m gone. December 28, 2015 at 11:29pm Reply

                • Victoria: Well, it gets better. I prevailed over my grandmother and made her throw away the old plastic wash basin in the garden. It was chipped and kept shedding bright pink dust. The first person who objected to this was my aunt, because “it was always there”! 🙂 December 29, 2015 at 5:37am Reply

              • Victoria: She cut up her mother’s old housedress and made strings to hold up the tomato plants. No, nothing is wasted around here. December 29, 2015 at 5:33am Reply

              • spe: Lime green, our camel saddle always was in the living room. It was a good height and size for kids to play. The leather cushion was thick and the leather itself sturdy. I haven’t thought of that thing in years!
                After reading all of the stories, I wonder if our stuff can be cathartic for those clearing it out after we’re gone? Kind of a final, concrete opportunity for reminiscing?
                My situation is that I live in a modest-sized condo. There isn’t much space and I like openness. December 29, 2015 at 8:53am Reply

                • limegreen: Funny that both of your saddles were red leather! Was it a trend?
                  If I had a camel saddle, I would keep it in the living room, too. It’s a great memory, even though it probably took up a lot of space.
                  Thanks for sharing the memory! December 29, 2015 at 10:55am Reply

                  • Karen (A): They are not large at all, and make a perfect foot rest. It’s basically just a seat with the “legs” part that rest on the camel’s back and would be tied around the belly with some kind of girth. December 30, 2015 at 8:18am Reply

            • Victoria: One of my favorite places to stay is my Japanese friend’s studio, which is very pared down, with lots of white space, and yet, it feels wonderful and is so her. I suppose that each one of us finds the right balance for ourselves, and I completely agree with you. I also have a problem when personal choices are made into the axioms to be followed by everyone without exception. No one needs to declutter, if they don’t feel like it. I’m sure my descendants won’t miss my practical black pants. 🙂

              Coming from a place where our history was wiped out time and again, I have such intense fascination for the households you describe. The oldest things in my family are the photographs from 1920s. Perhaps, there is something I’m forgetting, so I need to ask my mom who is the keeper of the family relics. 🙂 December 29, 2015 at 5:28am Reply

              • Karen (A): Spaces and our stuff – it is all so interesting. And I can’t fathom what it would be like to experience having your history wiped away or to have to make most of what you use. It’s a luxury now to bake bread, jam, sew clothes and weave cloth because time seems to be the real “thing” people don’t have. We can simply run to the store (well, drive) to get what we need and for the most part don’t worry that our lives will be upended (I know that is not true for many in the world, I’m referring to myself).

                And my rebellion against decluttering was sparked after I watched the movie on Iris Aptel – mainly because I was thinking of personal expression going against trends or fads and holding on to your own sense of self and thank God she never threw out her junk jewelry!- anyway – straying so far off the perfume path!!

                And don’t forget, 1920’s is almost 100 years old now, so quite a treasure! December 29, 2015 at 6:40am Reply

                • Victoria: I think that it’s all related somehow! Your point of holding onto what’s important to you, in terms of your identity, is so relevant.

                  1920s is another era, or it feels like it to me. Yes, definitely a long time ago. December 29, 2015 at 12:34pm Reply

                  • Karen (A): Thankfully there are lots of people freely expressing their creativity, so that’s a positive sign (and knitting is well on the rise). So will focus on the good. December 29, 2015 at 3:33pm Reply

                    • Victoria: Whenever I go to the thread store, I feel like a kid in a candy shop–there is so much variety that it’s overwhelming. By the way, I spotted a guy in the metro in Brussels knitting a scarf. Less surprising was the fact that he was a man (I know enough men interested in crafts) than a fact that he was dressed in a sharp business suit and knitting a bright purple scarf. I found that pretty cool. December 30, 2015 at 5:53am

            • Notturno7: Karen, you write beautifully?? December 30, 2015 at 4:35am Reply

              • Karen (A): Oh, thank you for making my morning! Think I was feeling a bit contemplative about family/things/self-definition – how we move through the world and what we want to share about ourself through our homes, clothes, adornments (including fragrance of course!!).

                Then, honestly I got thinking even more about it all as I received a box of my great aunts’ clothes that had been stored away for a (long) while. So beautifully made – obviously sewn by hand, even though they came from department stores. The fabrics, so so exquisite. Plans to pass on some to a friend who can fit in to them, but also repurpose a few that have full pleated skirts. December 30, 2015 at 8:05am Reply

                • bregje: Wow,so interesting to read this thread!
                  I just spent christmas at my cousin’s house.Her mom died in june this year and otherwise she’d be alone.
                  But when i got there i was quite shocked.There were boxes everywhere and (of course) furniture from my aunts house. It seems like she hasn’t been able to throw anything away and just stashed it all in her place.

                  This may be understandable but when i saw her clothes(they hang in the attic) i noticed that most of them were old clothes my mom and i threw out 15 years ago(like my grunge-outfits) and she doesn’t even fit most of them

                  I tried carefully to address this but it was clear she did not want to talk about it.
                  There is a difference between memento’s(i have those too) or saving something because you might need it someday and holding on to things that are worn out and broken.

                  It’s her life of course and her process but i have been worried about her since i saw the state of the house.It just felt sad. January 2, 2016 at 6:02pm Reply

                  • Karen (A): Oh, Brejge it must have been quite sad! It’s one thing to have things that make you recall a person – the positive aspects that you associate (my grandmother’s evening bags), and quite another when it’s just close to everything and nothing individually is meaningful. Hopefully your cousin will process her grief and not get stuck. Definitely things can exert some kind of pull on you – sort of like little threads that hold you, the trick is letting go of the things that just hold you and keeping the things that hold the memory without all the stickiness.

                    There was a very interesting article in today’s NY Times – Review section called The Smell of Loss. It’s quite an interesting read. January 3, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

                    • Karen (A): Link to article, subtitled I Miss My Mother in Law, but Could Her Perfume Really be Haunting Me?

                      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/03/opinion/sunday/the-smell-of-loss.html?ref=opinion January 3, 2016 at 2:32pm

                    • Victoria: Thank you very much for this link! January 6, 2016 at 6:22am

                    • bregje: you say it so eloquently,Karen.
                      Thank you for the link.It sounds interesting.So i’m going to read it right now 🙂
                      Btw i inherited my mom’s bags too.A beautiful collection so i understand what you love about your grandmother’s. January 3, 2016 at 4:41pm

                    • bregje: What a wonderful article!
                      Very recognizable too.Scents carry so many memories.
                      my cousin smells l’air du temps all the time.It’s what her mother wore.

                      i love the last lines:
                      ‘Intellectually,i comprehend that Helen is dead.But even after all this time i’m still not sure i believe it.’

                      I know exactly what she means 😉

                      thank you,Karen January 3, 2016 at 6:42pm

                  • Notturno7: Sorry Bregje, that is sad.It must be hard for your cousin. I can’t imagine losing my mom, I just adore both my parents. Thank you for sharing and it’s wonderful your cousin has your support and you’re gentle with her. January 8, 2016 at 4:40am Reply

                • Notturno7: Karen, that sounds really beautiful. I love vintage clothes and how well they used to make things. I got some lovely vintage velvet opera coats and those full skirt dresses from the 50ies and I wear them whenever I can. Couple of times I scored in vintage shops because I can get into small size dresses. I have some from my mom that her seamstress made and they are still in great shape because of good quality cottons and silks. Your friend is lucky. Those are clothes to be treasured! January 10, 2016 at 3:56am Reply

    • limegreen: Karen — So sad about your allergic reaction!
      Lutens L’Orpheline is a soft cloud of incense and patchouli on me. It’s patchouli the way I like it, not too earthy (My skin can’t handle Portrait of a Lady). It’s not as sweet as Coromandel but has a touch of sweet spiciness. December 28, 2015 at 9:42pm Reply

      • Karen (A): Thanks! I know – I kept putting just a dab on from my sample thinking I could repurchase a bottle since I love it – but the other day when I put on a “real” amount I ended up with weird bumps…. Oh well, I’ve been loving my cheapcheapcheap Oro lately (created by Maurice Roucel), and ended up reading about a very inexpensive line Love2Love which has four fragrances all made by some incredible perfumers and along the lines of simple, Jo Mallone type fragrances – Rose + Peach was one, now I forget the other three (Orange Blossom + Musk maybe another??). December 29, 2015 at 6:47am Reply

        • crikey: Karen, have you tried using the perfume on your clothes instead of your skin? You may still be able to get the joy of the scent, if it’s a contact reaction. December 29, 2015 at 6:44pm Reply

          • limegreen: Great idea! Coromandel is probably a beautiful scarf scent. December 29, 2015 at 9:20pm Reply

            • Victoria: And another positive is that it lasts for ages on fabric! December 30, 2015 at 5:58am Reply

          • Karen (A): Thanks for the suggestion! I will definitely give it a whirl, maybe use Coromandel on scarf/fabric and give L’Orpheline a try to wear. December 30, 2015 at 7:57am Reply

  • CLPage: I loved discovering this blog in 2015! Prior to subscribing, I’d purchased an entire bottle of Atelier Cologne’s Mandarine Glaciale, based on a review I read in a magazine. It was such a departure from fragrances I knew (mi Ama, Lucy was an Estee lady, while sisters Jackie and Amy both wore AnaisAnais), I donated the bottle to a youth homeless shelter.

    I kept trying Mandarine Glaciale every time I was in a Sephora, never realizing it was the scent I’d donated, as I just luv the scent on my wrists…just my wrists. Someone here commented on repeatedly sniffing their wrists and it resonated so much, I’ve purchased two of the .25 oz. tubes and keep ’em in my home and office. Gracias for sharing so many ideas, so much knowledge, and so many memories with me.
    Cuidate, CL December 28, 2015 at 3:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Cuidate! Very happy you’ve discovered us. 🙂

      I smelled Mandarine Glaciale very briefly, and I really liked it. I hope to try it properly and revisit it next year. Atelier Cologne makes such interesting citrus colognes. Their Orange Sanguine is a gem. December 28, 2015 at 7:54pm Reply

  • Edward: Thank you Victoria and to the rest of the contributing writers for enlightening (and enabling!) us all in this world of perfumery. More blessings to all of us this coming 2016. December 29, 2015 at 12:34am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Edward! Happy 2016 to you too. Hope that it will be a great year for all of us. December 29, 2015 at 5:37am Reply

  • Scented Salon: Cool photos. I don’t know if we are supposed to talk about this past year’s releases or just what we have been loving recently. I too love Nanban: it is Caravelle Epicee but less oceany and longer lasting. I adore it though I don’t particularly like Arquiste at all.

    I have been clearing out a lot of old perfumes to make room for new ones and be able to buy my current obsessions: everything vanilla. Note Vanillee is my replacement for Ambre Narguile and two new vanilla discoveries are L de Lolita and Ambre et Vanille. The first is a burnt orange vanilla which luckily has a lot of offerings for good prices (lotions, soaps, extraits) and the second is an ultra-feminine scent from the past. It is all powders and pinks. I have yet to try the matching bath products. December 29, 2015 at 1:07am Reply

    • Victoria: You can talk about anything and everything! 🙂

      You mean, the aesthetic of the brand or the rest of the perfumes? December 29, 2015 at 5:38am Reply

      • Scented Salon: The other perfumes. I love their little montages and background stories. Except for Nanban, none of the scents blew me away. December 29, 2015 at 2:52pm Reply

        • Victoria: I agree with you. The background story of an architect and a perfumer piqued my interest. December 30, 2015 at 5:48am Reply

          • Scented Salon: And the stories of ancient events are tops! December 30, 2015 at 9:38pm Reply

  • Notturno7: Dear Victoria, what a lovely blog!! I just discovered perfume blogs a week ago and this is my favorite?. Thank you all for such great ideas and suggestions. I have had my face ‘glued’ to my phone screen reading your comments and it feels so great to be among other perfume lovers and seeing what makes you happy and elated. Regarding my favorite of 2015, it’s hard to choose. I just bought a big bottle of Misia, thanks to your beautiful review, and I love it. I love that iris, rose and sandalwood and how refined and aristocratic that drydown is. I’m a classical pianist too, and sometimes while I’m wearing it I imagine to be a fly in the wall of Misia’s salon in Paris and hearing Ravel and Debussy play… Oh what a heavenly experience that must have been…. I have a big collection of perfumes but have given away anything that I wasn’t completely into and loving, so I pick things to wear every day, whatever feels right in the moment. I love Cuir de Russie, No 19, No 5 body cream and perfume,Bois des Iles, Angel extract, Fracas perfume,Carnal Flower, Fleur de Cassie, Lis Mediteranee,Habit Rouge in perfume extract, 24 Faubourg perfume, during this holiday time Nuit de Noel, Shalimar, Coco. Your review of No 22 made me reach for my old bottle and delight in the incense drydown…it’s hard to chose between favorites. Before going to sleep, I’d dab a bit of Mitsuko, L’Heure Blue, Chamade or Nahema pure perfume or Hermes Vanilla Gallante EdT
    Bizarre thing is that my husband has always been allergic to perfume. He avoids perfume departments in the stores but doesn’t notice when I wear my perfumes. He knows he married a perfume lover but thinks I don’t use them often?. Maybe he has unconsciously adapted to Chanel and Guerlain classics .I try to get perfume extracts so I can just dab instead of spray if he’s close by.Sorry I wrote so much. This is my first blog post and I’m so excited to discover you all and read the posts ❤️??? and yes, favorite recent reads for me-The Goldfinch and All the Light We Cannot See. Thank you all and Happy 2015 December 29, 2015 at 4:30am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much and welcome to Bois de Jasmin! I really enjoyed reading your comment, and your list of perfumes is sprinkled with some beautiful things. The idea of falling asleep to Nahema or Chamade sounds so appealing–now that’s what I’d call true luxury.

      Ravel’s Trio for piano, violin and cello often makes me think of Guerlain Apres L’Ondee. If you tried this perfume, I wonder what music piece you’d associate it with. December 29, 2015 at 5:47am Reply

      • Notturno7: I love Ravel. Now I have to listen to that piece to answer your question. Can’t wait!This blog is SO MUCH FUN!!!
        Après L’Ondee is beautiful but too light for me. And they don’t make a perfume. I love Attrape Coeur and have a big bottle. Haha! I will have to live to a hundred years to use up all these. My oldest piano student just turned 99 so there is always hope??. December 30, 2015 at 4:24am Reply

        • Victoria: I love that! For how long has she or he been studying with you? 🙂

          Apres L’Ondee is very light, and the parfum was the best version. Unfortunately, the new regulations make it impossible to produce it. December 30, 2015 at 6:06am Reply

          • Notturno 7: The sweet 99 old grandpa, started piano lessons with me this summer, after his wife passed away. He played as a child and he’s very much enjoying playing now.
            Wow, Apres L’Ondee must have been amazing in a perfume. After you asked me which piece reminds me of that scent, I couldn’t fall asleep,haha, I had all these pieces going through my head. Nothing matched perfectly, but it made me think of flowing sad chords of Moonlight sonata or slower parts of Clair De Lune…. I;m still thinking,LOL December 31, 2015 at 5:02am Reply

            • Victoria: I had a professor who took up ice skating in his forties for the first time, and he progressed enough to participate in competitions. I admire people like that, and like your piano student.

              What a poignant pairing that would be! January 1, 2016 at 9:29pm Reply

        • Karen (A): That’s so wonderful! Recently listened to a radio show (Diane Rehm) she was interviewing a cellist (mind is blanking on her name). A gentleman called in, and said he had just had his first recital and had taken up the cello after hearing her in concert and he was 76. Made me feel a bit better as I recently started harp lessons – after four lessons I happily tell my friends that I’m totally rocking I’m a Little Tea Pot and Three Blind Mice. Chopsticks I discovered not only sounds beautiful on the harp, but was a waltz written in 1877!

          Music – another way we are all making the air more beautiful! (Picturing the vibrations of the notes continuing on long after the sound is no longer present) December 30, 2015 at 8:29am Reply

          • limegreen: Karen — that’s so awesome that you’re taking harp lessons!
            (what’s your harp playing perfume?) December 30, 2015 at 10:56pm Reply

            • Karen (A): It is so fun, Limegreen! Perfumes have varied – but for lessons Dries Van Noten because I feel like it’s just warm and not loud – home practice is all over the place, maybe I should come up with a specific though? Today it’s going to be…..Aoud Palao! I got a sample yesterday, and you are right – sparkly Oud, so so beautiful! December 31, 2015 at 7:34am Reply

              • limegreen: 🙂 What fun that you got a sample!
                I think I can wear Oud Palao into the spring, as it does not feel “heavy” and I’m curious to see / smell if the rose will emerge differently in warmer weather. December 31, 2015 at 10:39am Reply

          • Notturno 7: That is wonderful, Karen.
            And it’s great for keeping the mind sharp, especially if you’re trying to memorize pieces.
            My students say they always feel better after their lesson, especially if they came to the lesson tired. They say it uplifts them…
            Wow, I never thought of it that way. We’re making the air more beautiful by playing music and changing the vibration. You are a writer, both you and Victoria (-:
            Yes, the vibration does it, just like that Dr Emoto discovered the prayer and thoughts change water crystals. December 31, 2015 at 5:09am Reply

            • Karen (A): Learning something new is great for the mind, as adults it can be difficult to put yourself in a position of beginner – years ago when I was learning two new hobbies, I realized you have to just let your ego go and that’s the real challenge! And probably why as adults we don’t just go off learning new things – it can be a *bit* humbling!

              Since perfumes are such a big part of my life, I’ve thought a lot about why fragrance and other non-visible, temporary things are so powerful. Sound and aroma are the easiest to identify, but perhaps I’m overlooking others?

              It’s wonderful you are teaching piano! And yes to making the world more beautiful one note and one fragrance molecule at a time! December 31, 2015 at 7:46am Reply

    • Karen (A): Notturno7, I think we may be scent twins! December 29, 2015 at 6:50am Reply

      • Notturno7: Yes, Karen. Scent twins! And I have Coromandel too and love it. Sorry you are allergic to it. Maybe Crikrey had a good idea to use it on the scarf. Just read Ines de la Fressange’s article in Vogue about how French women put perfume on their clothes (and sometimes use only one fragrance for years-which wouldn’t work for me). After I posted my list I realized I forgot Aromatic Elixir and Youth Dew -love it in winter months, and in summer pure perfume in Tuberose Gardenia, and ‘proper’ and more classic Private Collection. December 30, 2015 at 4:55am Reply

    • ariane: Oh Notturno7,I loved reading your comment,I am a classical singer,but love playing the piano very much,I adore Misia and find it so inspiring,I even wrote a song for voice and piano when I first fell for the scent,imagining her being a pupil of Faure,comforting Coco Chanel when she had lost her lover and being a passionate Polish woman in Paris-would love to join you as a fly on the wall at one of those soirees!
      Love all your perfumes,the only ones I don’t know are Lys Mediterranee and Vanille Galante-I need to remedy that!!!
      All the best! December 30, 2015 at 4:44am Reply

      • Notturno7: Oh Ariane, I’m so glad you wrote that!! First I didn’t know if it was OK to mention that I was a pianist. Yes, we would have had a ball being 2 flies on the wall of that Parisian soirée.??. I’m so glad you love Misia too and were inspired to write a song. That’s wonderful. I feel like great perfumes are art and they keep me inspired to play piano, to work at it every day, get better at it little by little and enjoy the process. Cause I will never ‘get there’, lol!! There is always more to learn?. Lys Mediteranee I like mostly in the summer. LM and Vanille Gallante are sweet, very romantic I think,but they have a beautiful drydown. I love the faint feel of the salt and the ocean in LM, especially because I grew up near the Mediterranean and I love lillies. It was designed by the great Edouard Flechier. December 30, 2015 at 5:25am Reply

        • Victoria: Of course, it’s ok! More than ok, especially since the links between music and perfume are very strong.
          It’s really such a pleasure to meet you. December 30, 2015 at 6:09am Reply

      • Notturno7: Ariane, my bottle of vintage Caleche in pure perfume just arrived tonight. O my Lord, I’m in love!!! It’s so beautiful. Even the old box is so precious and soft, much nicer then what my new 24 Faubourg perfume came in.Thanks for recommending it. And thank you for writing such a nice review Victoria. I can’t wait to put it on tomorrow.
        Victoria, I have two questions if you end up seeing this post. The seller said to leave the perfume open for an hour before I use it?! I didn’t hear about that before. It’s more then 30 years old. Should I do that? And where can I get that tape-thingy you use to keep the bottles sealed?
        Thank you so much ?
        I’m loving this blog but as I’m new to blogs, I couldn’t find this thread, lol January 8, 2016 at 5:23am Reply

        • Victoria: That strange. I’m not sure why you’d do that. Leaving the bottle open would speed up the oxidation process. I wouldn’t do it.

          As for Parafilm, you can find it at various lab supplies stores online or on Ebay. Just search for parafilm, and you’ll come up with many options. January 8, 2016 at 6:00am Reply

          • Notturno7: I thought that wasn’t right, leaving the bottle open for an hour. She said it’s because it hasn’t been open or used in many years.
            On another note, I used your link to sponsor Doktors without Borders and clicked it few times putting my card number cause it looked like it wasn’t going through but I didn’t see any confirmation. So I don’t know if I’m in the drawing for your beautiful Diorissimo January 8, 2016 at 3:11pm Reply

            • Victoria: Once you receive a confirmation from the organization, please email it to me and then I will enter your name. I would contact the DWB directly to find out why your credit card details aren’t going through. January 10, 2016 at 9:28am Reply

  • Amer: the SA told me Infusion d’Iris Cèdre is in fact Infusion d’Homme. Don’t recall how it smelled to compare but it is not on the shelves now. Is it really the same frag? December 29, 2015 at 4:36am Reply

    • Victoria: I find them slightly different, but they’re in the same style, pastel woods with floral accents. December 29, 2015 at 5:40am Reply

  • mj: Of the new perfumes I tried and rediscoveries I had, I’d like to buy Bvlgari Thé Bleue, for the lavender and the iris (it does remind me of Dior Homme somewhat) and Kenzo Jungle, as I’m totally into spices. December 29, 2015 at 5:35am Reply

    • Victoria: Two very different perfumes, but both are also my top favorites. December 29, 2015 at 5:39am Reply

      • mj: yes they’re sooo different, for me they are, along with my others I love and wear, the reflection of different moments or moods I go through. That’s something I do love about perfume, it allows me to express myself, sometimes better than with words December 29, 2015 at 6:44am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, so well said! One of the main reasons perfume fascinates me so much is this ability to capture another experience so easily or to convey a different mood. December 29, 2015 at 12:36pm Reply

  • Tijana: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everybody! Thank you for the great list, I will bookmark so I can go back to it and revisit!

    This year I don’t believe I fell in love with any 2015 releases, but I uncovered some earlier releases I did not get to previously.

    It seems for me the winners ended up being Rose 31, Gypsy Water and L’eau d’hiver. I pretty much lived in the first 2 fragrances most of the year. Last one is my “new year, new bottle” fragrance, but I tested it thoroughly so I know it’s a love! And I can’t wait to crack it open on New Year’s Eve!

    I did also thoroughly enjoy and use up a FB of Santal Massoia, purchased (but didn’t wear as much so I relate to your comment Victoria) a bottle of Misia, and I am really liking Bijou Romantique which I bought blindly during Sephora’s 20% off.

    I have tested and am still on the fence about Santal Blush, Seven Veils, and I am trying to determine which Histoire de Parfums fragrance I would enjoy most the first in a FB – as it seems I like most of them! My list is shortened down to 1969 and 1804 (opinions welcome!).

    My favourite book this year was Pantone on Fashion – A Century of Color in Design, which provides some fun facts and history on famous design colors, such as Benetton’s famous “cyber yellow”. December 29, 2015 at 7:08am Reply

    • Victoria: I loved reading your list. I leafed through Pantone on Fashion at the bookstore, and I think I will buy it in the new year; some of the anecdotes it includes are stories I haven’t found elsewhere. Color is an endless fascination, especially since I’ve gotten into textiles and embroidery.

      L’Eau d’Hiver as the New Year’s Eve perfume sounds so appropriate–uplifting and tender.

      I like 1969 very much for its combination of rose and bitter chocolate, but I don’t remember 1804 well. December 30, 2015 at 5:32am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,

    My top 10 scents discovered in 2015 :

    1. 1000 by Jean Patou (current EDP) : vintage feeling, glamorous and grown-up

    2. Coco by Chanel extrait (made in 2003) : found it in a local drugstore, I adore the EDT but this one is so plush and majestic that I swoon every time I wear it

    3. Angel by Thierry Mugler (current EDP) : I’ve worn Alien and Womanity and fell under the spell of this mother of all gourmands this year, from the awkward top notes till the sweet and seductive drydown

    4. Esprit d’Oscar by Oscar de la Renta (current EDP) : its light, powdery and delicate scent is perfect for spring and days when you need a mood boost

    5. Joy by Jean Patou (current EDP) : my first buy this year, to me it’s simply like bathing in champagne

    6. La chasse au papillons by L’Artisan Parfumeur (current EDT) : such an uplifting light floral scent that works surprisingly well in midwinter if I wear it in the office

    7. Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder (current EDP) : my summer fling, I’ve worn it daily during the hottest months and even in the office I felt like I was on a desert island with my lover

    8. Youth dew by Estee Lauder (bath oil in current formulation) : either for a bath or just a few drops as daily scent I love its ripe and sensual nature

    9. Carnal Flower by Frederick Malle: a tuberose scent that is green and freshening yet heady and I can’t get enough of

    10. Portrait of a Lady (current EDP and body butter) : hands down the winner this year. I love roses, I love oriental aromas but this creation is her own league that manages to convey a picture of a mature lady with lots of secrets and some not so pure pleasures behind her and I want to be her. (Besides I love Henry James’ novels). December 29, 2015 at 10:18am Reply

    • Victoria: What a wonderful lists and descriptions! I agree with you on Carnal Flower being heady and yet effervescent. This is something you can say about very few white florals.

      Esprit d’Oscar by Oscar de la Renta is a true heir of Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue, but in a modern interpretation. I expected anything out of an Oscar flanker but such an elegant perfume. December 30, 2015 at 5:41am Reply

      • Nora Szekely: Indeed, L’heure bleue is one of my favourites and I also long to own a bottle of Apres l’Ondee. I bought Esprit d’Oscar based on reviews comparing it to these Guerlain scents and although its more modern, it did not disappoint. December 30, 2015 at 7:54am Reply

        • Victoria: I fell in love with its sweet orange blossom, and it’s less sweet than L’Heure Bleue, so it’s easier to wear in the warm weather. January 1, 2016 at 9:10pm Reply

    • Notturno7: Hi Nora, I adore 5 of your favorites. I haven’t used my Joy pure perfume in ages so thank you for Joy reminder. Yes, well said, EdP is like bathing in champagne bubbles? and perfume is richer. I love both versions. Off to dream land now with a dab of Joy perfume. Thanks for the reminder! December 30, 2015 at 5:51am Reply

      • Nora Szekely: Hi Notturno7 : Joy pure perfume is on my to-do.. erhm… I mean wish list.
        I hope you enjoyed your Joy scented dreams 🙂 December 30, 2015 at 7:56am Reply

        • Notturno 7: Yes, Nora, I did. It made me think of your champagne comment, except Joy in perfume felt sweeter and more lush, like a fabulous dessert wine. If you get it, make sure it’s sealed in the box. They had some Joy pure perfume bottles on display on the special shelf, under bright lights. Those bottles were very warm. Heat and perfume, not a great combo,LOL December 31, 2015 at 4:55am Reply

  • Leander: Hello! I’ve been lurking for over a year now on your site. I visit it everyday and it’s a real pleasure to read your thoughts on perfume.

    Anyway, on to the subject: I didn’t test a lot of releases from this year, but I did find a lot of discontinued fragrances I had been searching for a long time. The only 2015 release that impressed me immensely was Salome. Gosh, such a lovely creation. I don’t wear it a lot, but when I do, it feels like I’m entering a state of ecstacy, haha!
    From the discontinued ones I bought, Le Feu d’Issey impressed me the most, along with Theorema. Glad I’ve been able to add these ones to my collection.

    I wish everyone a fragrant and happy new year! December 29, 2015 at 11:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Leander! Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

      Such lucky and precious finds. Theorema especially is almost impossible to find, but this stellar spicy perfume is worth a search. December 30, 2015 at 5:43am Reply

  • crikey: Things that were actually new in 2015, that I fell for: Penhaligon’s Ostara (amazed by the depth of pure-daffodil-springtime illusion it causes. I wore it to brighten many grey, damp November days), and 4160 Tuesday’s Goddess of Love and Perfume (a fruity, smooth chypre, that is just impossibly easy to wear, and I’m usually anti-fruity). Her whole new range (Crime of Passion) is interesting, but this became a regular wear very quickly.

    Things new to me: Lutens’ Boxeuses. After trying and not quite getting on with Olfactif Studio’s Ombre Indigo because of the sweetness I did a rare and foolish thing and blind-ordered a bottle of Boxeuses (ok, it was the day they were throwing in a bonus Vap Noir, so I got 60ml of Ambre Sultan for free with it, which helped). Instant true love for the leather and plum mix. Phew. And Coromandel. Oh yes. After too many wistful sniffs at House of Fraser, I finally bought it during a happy little airport duty free accident when grumpy during a long stop over.

    Things I wish worked on me: Namban. A glorious first hour, and then it vanishes entirely on me. Misia. I love the idea of it, but I felt like I was in drag–it’s entirely the wrong flavour of high femme for me.

    And thank you for another year of your blog, which gives so much pleasure. December 29, 2015 at 6:59pm Reply

    • Victoria: I realized that I forgot Ostara, mostly because the last two releases from Penhaligons were so awful that they’ve clouded my memories. But Ostara was beautiful, a sunlit flower that evoked both the sultry heft of Casablanca lilies and the freshness of spring blossoms.

      Ombre Indigo failed on me completely, and I haven’t been able to revisit it since. It gave me a major headache on top of simply not smelling right. December 30, 2015 at 5:56am Reply

      • crikey: Ostara is probably the most intensely cheerful scent I have. It just makes me walk around smiling. So glad you like it too!

        Ombre Indigo teetered on the edge of headache for me, but never tipped over. (Sadly the one that was an almost instant migraine was the very lovely Ormonde Jayne Woman. Twice. I checked. Damn it.)

        Oh, another couple of very pleasing cheap thrills out this year, both from Gorilla Perfumes: Kerbside Violet and Death and Decay. (which puts four into my often-worn category from them, adding to The smell of weather turning, and Breath of god.) December 30, 2015 at 12:29pm Reply

        • Victoria: I don’t wear Ormonde Jayne Woman too often, because there are days when it feels overwhelming and verges on giving me a headache. It’s beautiful, though. January 1, 2016 at 9:15pm Reply

      • Notturno 7: You got me at Casablanca lilies (-: and Crikey’s comment about smiling and daffodils. Mmmmm… I feel like I can smell it already. Where do I try Penhaligon’s scents? Do big stores have it or I have to special order a sample? Mmmmmmm (-: December 31, 2015 at 5:17am Reply

        • Victoria: Big stores should definitely have it. It’s not a hard line to find. I don’t like most of it, but it has some interesting perfumes. January 1, 2016 at 9:30pm Reply

    • Karen (A): Crikey, your photos are gorgeous! Recently, I figured out that if people’s names were in blue it linked to their web sites (don’t ask why it it took so long to realize this!!!) – your portraits truly capture the sitter in a way not done by any other portrait photographer I’ve seen. December 31, 2015 at 7:57am Reply

      • crikey: oh, *thank you* Karen. That’s incredibly kind of you. I haven’t been spending enough time making photographs this year (almost none!) and hope to again next year. December 31, 2015 at 12:42pm Reply

        • Victoria: Your photos are beautiful! You have such a talent for capturing emotions and personalities. Hope that we will see more of your work. 🙂 January 1, 2016 at 2:25am Reply

    • marymary: Ostara is at the discounters now in the UK.
      Penhaligon’s is ridiculously overpriced these days, but since it’s turning up at tk maxx etc it’s still in my budget. December 31, 2015 at 3:25pm Reply

  • Surbhi: Knowing more about perfumes was the hobby I pursued this year. When I Started I didn’t think of it as a hobby. These were some of the fragrance experience I enjoyed:

    1) Reading this blog. It almost worked as my fragrance 101 class.

    2) I wore musc ravageur and eau de Magnolia for the most part of the year.

    3) My search for right Jasmine continues.
    4) I tried a sample of carnal flower in tropical weather. It was magical.
    5) Pure sandalwood and jasmine oil in diffuser

    I don’t want to buy another floral fragrance but I smelled couple of creed’s fragrances. I will probably find some excuse. December 29, 2015 at 9:31pm Reply

    • Victoria: It always starts this way. I think it’s because fragrance is one of those pursuits that touch upon many different sensations and memories. Your quests are fun, and if you find the right jasmine, I’d love to hear about it. I’m still looking myself, although on most days I’m content with Lutens’s A La Nuit and Annick Goutal’s Songes. December 30, 2015 at 6:00am Reply

  • Nora Szekely: I can’t resist the temptation to compile a list of make-up favourites (top 5 this time):

    1. Revlon lipstick Cherries in the snow. Sold since 1953 it is a beautiful red lippie with good staying power

    2. Bobbi Brown Pink sheer lipstick : it’s perfect for everyday wear, the colour can be worn very sheer or be built up to a bright, strong pink statement lip

    3. L’Oreal Color riche Pure reds : marketed with the faces of celebrities with various skin tone and hair colour, I recommend trying these cheap matte lipsticks that last long and have a nice range of bold reds (I bought Blake, a true red and Freida that is leaning to fuschia colour). The alos sell the matching nail polishes.

    4. Chanel rouge Coco 444 – Gabrielle : it’s also a sheer one , works for a subtle red lip for everyday wear, I also adore the scent and then again it’s Chanel quality

    5. MAC Cinderella collection : ok, so hereby I confess my childish fascination with the limited edition collection of MAC sold at the time of Cinderella’s premiere (March 2015). The light blue and gold plastic packaging reminded me of my childhood’s toy make-up kits and the products are really nice. My favourites are the versatile eye palette, the lip gloss with blue glitters and the 2 beauty powders, one for blush (nice for warmer skin tones) and one for highlighting. I used some of the the products daily and the bolder ones in the summer for the dance performance of Sleeping beauty where I played one of the fairy godmothers so sparkling glittery look was a must! Now the products have a special place in my heart. December 30, 2015 at 8:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, what a list! I’m tempted to compile my own list too. It would include Dior Cheek and Lip Gel (makes for a perfect natural blush), Maquillage eyeshadow compacts, Revlon lipstick in Marigold (a gift from Elisa, who knew that I would like this bright orange-red shade), Suqqu brushes and Kate face powder. January 1, 2016 at 9:12pm Reply

      • Nora Szekely: I bought Dior Cheek and Lip Gel based on your recommendation. It’s working great as a blush for me, I keep it in my purse now for everyday use. January 2, 2016 at 1:47am Reply

        • Victoria: I love everything about this product–the color, the packaging, the texture. I only hope that they will add it to the permanent line.

          Revlon’s Cherries in the Snow is one of my top 10 reds. I also love Revlon Red for a retro Crimson shade. January 2, 2016 at 3:20am Reply

  • Jeanne: I tried Dior’s J’adore this year when I got it as a sample with a lipstick purchase. I loved it, and plan to buy a bottle. I also really like the scent of by Terry Baume de Rose, which I like for a lip and cuticle moisturizer. Happy New Year to all of you! December 30, 2015 at 10:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Baume de Rose is such a versatile product, and the smell is irresistible. January 1, 2016 at 9:13pm Reply

  • Notturno7: Thank you, Victoria. I love Songes, too?
    Can you help out with this? Do you know if Caleche pure perfume has been messed with? I read that EdT or EdP has been changed and it’s not as good quality as first designed. I liked trying Caleche in the store but it didn’t total hit the spot and maybe they didn’t mess with pure perfume. December 30, 2015 at 2:28pm Reply

    • ariane: Notturno7,I have the vintage parfum,there is nothing like it,it is pure bliss!Don’t know the current version,but can’t imagine it being as rich.Have a look on ebay! December 31, 2015 at 4:52am Reply

      • Notturno 7: Thank you, Ariane. You are my perfume angel today!! I needed to hear that. I stopped by Hermes store today and they didn’t make me a sample but I tried Caleche Soie de Parfum, and it is really nice on me, it lasted all day. I will look for real perfume on ebay. Hope your singing is going great. So nice to hear from you again (-; December 31, 2015 at 5:27am Reply

    • Victoria: They did reformulate it too, but it’s still very good. The other concentrations have been changed dramatically years ago. January 1, 2016 at 9:16pm Reply

  • Pith Fragrances: Wonderful list. It’s always rewarded to reflect back on the year, and how the scents you have worn say so much about who you have been during a particular time period. This past year I have been loving Cuir de Gardenia by Aftelier Perfumes…as well as DeLavande and Big Sur by Ajne Organics. I am an artisan perfumer myself, and I find that I have been getting more and more into natural fragrances. They seem to be more subtle and they give my nose a much-needed break, since I sniff things all day long–both naturals and synthetics. Take care and best wishes for the new year. December 30, 2015 at 6:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: So true! That’s I enjoy reading the lists made by others. Thank you for sharing yours. January 1, 2016 at 9:16pm Reply

  • Pith Fragrances: Oops, I meant “rewarding”, not rewarded, haha. December 30, 2015 at 6:57pm Reply

  • ariane: Happy New Year to everyone on this lovely blog!
    I have fallen for three new releases this year:
    – Kiste by Slumberhouse
    -Misia
    -Salome by Papillon

    Thank you for all your lovely writing,Victoria,may your loved ones in your country be safe and face a better year! December 31, 2015 at 4:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much, Ariane! Happy New Year to you too! Slumberhouse got lots of love this year from many here. January 1, 2016 at 9:27pm Reply

  • marymary: Hi Victoria
    I remember you from MUA, many moons ago!
    This year I caved in and finally bought Opium, in edp. The last frag purchase of the year was Bottega Veneta, bought with a gift voucher. The perfume I almost bought was La Vie est Belle for the amazing sillage.
    I think next year I may get Chanel no5 parfum.
    I don’t wear Mitsouko anymore. Ever since I read there was peach in it, that’s all
    I smell (thanks LT!). It used to be all forest floor, damp and unicorns to me. It’s not a reformulation problem. My PdT is vintage. Annoyingly, my parfum evaporated! December 31, 2015 at 3:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: Mary, of course, I remember you! Thank you for getting in touch after all of these years. What a fun list!

      After one of my perfumes evaporated, I started wrapping the tops in Parafilm. It’s very easy to use, and you can get a big roll that will last you for years. January 1, 2016 at 9:32pm Reply

      • marymary: Thanks for the tip. My coco, diorissimo and shailimar parfums are holding up. Fracas is disappearing but I’d moved some to a decant. The decant evaporated but I added some alcohol to the remaining oils, and it’s rescued though smells bad on first spray. I’ve added some alcohol to Mitsouko just now and it smells how I remember it. Interestingly, the alcohol opens up the scent, I really thought that was a goner. The oils smelled like bad jam before!
        The stopper of my Joy , the little black bottle, is firmly stuck but I’d also decanted that, thankfully. I feel that Joy parfum has become irreplaceable now, too expensive.
        My other parfum is tabac blond which I got for a steal. My boyfriend is burnng through that, which I don’t mind; it smells great on him, better than it did on me. It gets him a lot of compliments from women.
        I’ll try the paraffin trick; in the meantime I’m using washi tape, which is malleable and leaves no residue. Probably not a tight seal but better than nothing! January 2, 2016 at 5:36am Reply

        • Victoria: Parafilm comes in a long strip, and you just warm some up in your hands and it stretches easily. It doesn’t leave any residue on the glass and is easy to remove. So far my vintage bottles have held up, but before I parafilmed them, I definitely noticed some evaporation. I guess not every bottle is well-sealed, or else the seal becomes poor with age.

          You’re so creative at rescuing your perfumes! January 5, 2016 at 11:13am Reply

  • CC: Dear Victoria and all at Bois de Jasmin, happy new & fragrant year!

    2015 was such a terrible year in so many ways, it’s wonderful to have a place of respite and sharing of beauty. All contributors and commenters share their knowledge with such generosity and wit, it is always a learning and a pleasure to stroll by the Jasmine Woods.

    I wanted to thank you all for my discoveries of the year, not just for what they are but for how I have added to my enjoyment of life and curiosity (ie, intelligence). I have worn and loved La Fille de Berlin, TF Black Orchid, L’Eau d’Hiver, Portrait of a Lady and just got Oyedo. I have re-read Sei Shonagon and just started Athil’s biography. But mostly I have smelled more, looked at the world differently, and found beauty in places I wouldn’t have thought of doing before. And then there’s the recipes…

    Thank you for truly being a community, warm and generous in comments, shares, swaps and charity. I look forward to your company in 2016. Thank you Victoria for setting the tone. January 1, 2016 at 10:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for such a lovely comment. It’s a pleasure to receive it on the first day of the year. 🙂 I’m very happy that you enjoyed our company, and above all, that you discovered experiences that enriched your life. Anytime someone says that they’ve read or re-read Sei Shonagon, I’m delighted (to use Sei Shonagon’s favorite word). It’s such a marvel of a book.

      Athill’s biography “Stet”, which focuses on her publishing career, is also fantastic. I’m halfway through, and I can’t recommend it enough. January 1, 2016 at 9:42pm Reply

  • moniseur: My favorite perfumes were Oud by Maison Francis Kurkdjian (very modern Oud), Dries Van Noten by Frederic Malle (dark vanille), Ta’if by Ormonde Jayne (got many compliments), Like This by ELDO (such as divine). I always fall in love with them… January 1, 2016 at 11:11am Reply

    • Victoria: Although ouds can easily get predictable, Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s are anything but. I also liked his Oud Cashmere a lot for the warm floral accents and lots of musk. January 1, 2016 at 9:34pm Reply

      • monsieur: Actually I really get bored about Oud trio in the perfume world.Niche market is crazy! I think that they should stop to produce oud perfume or perfume’s name shouldn’t be “Oud”. Also I couldn’t see any review about Maison Francis Kurkdjian and also Histoires de Parfums (I see only 1740). HDP is very creative perfume hause and has artistic perfumes. By the way, I did read your comment about Palissandre d’Or and I found it one of the best woody scent. Smell like foggy forest in the snowy winter and I can’t wait to wear it for our mountain house trip in the forest! January 2, 2016 at 9:15am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s very good and the way it conveys a walk in the forest is so spot on. January 5, 2016 at 11:14am Reply

  • Adriana: Hmmm, la Panthere stole my heart a little but am somehow expecting an intense version, something on the same line but with more…. drama to it. I love Narcisso, I really do and Alaia has surprised me too, where I must admit I was very, very reluctant to try it. My most dramatic discovery of this year was Agent Provocateur’s Agent Provocateur, I fell way too hard for that one fragrance! Of course there should be a list of disappointments and on the head of mine stays “Kenzo Flower – L’Elixir” and Misia which has not impressed me unfortunately. My most spectaculous discoveries in body products this year were the La Vera body lotion “Wild Roses” and the shower cream in the same range plus Lush’s rose Jam which is a limited edition for Christmass only. Soaps…. well, strangely, I remain faithful to my sandal wood based ones I bring from India and no matter what else I try I come back to those every now and then. de gustibus….. January 3, 2016 at 2:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Not that strange to me, since some of the best sandalwood soaps are made in India. I love them too. January 6, 2016 at 6:21am Reply

  • Rachel: I love the pictures! The interiors are gorgeous. Oh to live in such a lovely, colorful space. I love the embroidered curtains, and dark wood.
    This is an inspiration.
    Thanks for your blog, and Happy New Year! January 7, 2016 at 12:34am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Rachel. That’s just my dress draped over a mirror. I realized one day that some of my prettiest dresses aren’t being worn enough in this climate, so I started using them to decorate the room.

      Happy New Year! January 7, 2016 at 9:06am Reply

  • Notturno7: Victoria, I’m totally hooked onto Ostara, love it!! I have to try Narciso. So glad you like it. Look, I stumbled upon Turin’s review of it and he praised it too?
    http://arabia.style.com/beauty/beauty-guide/spring-summer-fragrances-2014-luca-turin-reviews-alien-eau-extraordinaire-thierry-mugler-narciso-narciso-rodriguez-venezia-giardini-segreti-profumo/ February 4, 2016 at 5:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Nice! Thank you for the link. I haven’t read this column yet. February 4, 2016 at 5:50am Reply

      • Notturno7: ?great! Sorry, I haven’t answered some of your old replies to me. I didn’t get them till weeks later when I realized I should subscribe to get the replies!!
        I like Ostara so much that I’m curious to try Amaranthine, also by Duchafour. Have you tried Amaranthine? Look at how wildly different people’s reviews were. They love it or hate it!
        http://www.luckyscent.com/product/44126/amaranthine-by-penhaligons February 6, 2016 at 12:55am Reply

        • Victoria: It’s a love or hate perfume, so it’s a good idea to get a sample. But I thought that it was discontinued. February 6, 2016 at 10:16am Reply

          • Notturno7: Yes, I just got a confirmation from Penhaligon that Amaranthine is not available anymore. I was confused because on Luckyscent website it said it was out of stock. I just checked again and they changed their info to -not available anymore. February 12, 2016 at 3:05am Reply

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