10 Perfumes For a New Spring

Spring is the time when I crave to make a change–and when it seems that anything can be possible. I make plans to visit new places, learn new things, read more widely, research a completely new topic like Renaissance cuisine or Leonard Foujita’s paintings or the poetry of the late Tang period. I similarly want to push my horizons with new scents.

Neela Vermeire Niral

A chord of violet powder and rose petals, Niral starts as a flower fit for a Victorian corsage, but beneath the softness and candied violet sweetness lies the darkness of sandalwood. A cool touch of angelica, one of the materials that currently intrigues me, gives a sleek shape to this opulent composition. A blood relative of Mohur, the other plush perfume from Neela Vermeire’s line, and also of L’Artisan Parfumeur Traversée du Bosphore. Created by Bertrand Duchaufour, who is able to interpret the French-Indian vision of the house’s founder without recourse to cliches.

Aedes de Venustas Musc Encensé

I haven’t been excited about a musk dominated perfume since Serge Lutens’s Muscs Koublaï Khan, Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur and Annick Goutal’s Musc Nomade. In other words, it’s been a while. Aedes’s version follows the general oriental trail of these gold standard musks–vanilla, balsams, woods, but it adds an accent of incense that turns a soft, animalic note sultry and smoldering. Perfumer Ralf Schwieger then does something interesting to amplify the musk’s warmth. He layers it with almonds, fresh and toasted. It creates the effect of warm skin, deliciously seductive.

Diptyque Fleur de Peau

As it turned out, this spring brought me another musk to swoon over. What’s more, Fleur de Peau is a completely different character from Musc Encensé. Perfumer Olivier Pescheux infuses musk with iris and then adds another twist by layering it with ambrette and ambergris. It has none of the laundry cleanliness of typical musks, but neither does it sway into raunchy and dark territory. A kind of fragrance that makes you want to sniff your wrist throughout the day.

By Kilian’s Noir Aphrodisiaque

Another sultry fragrance on my spring list is a collaboration between Kilian, perfumer Calice Becker and chocolatier Jacques Génin, whose millefeuille is one of the best things one can eat in Paris. Noir Aphrodisiaque is chocolate melted over patchouli and iris petals. Bergamot fills it with radiance. The bitterness of dark chocolate keeps the sweetness in check.

Serge Lutens Dent de Lait

To continue the gourmand theme, I will turn to Serge Lutens’s Dent de Lait. One need not expect cupcakes and cotton candy, however. Lutens’s sweet treat is made of almond milk, coconut and musk. It has an almost nostalgic aura, but with the elegant touch characteristic of the house.

Parfum Satori Wasanbon

Japanese perfumer Satori Osawa blends the aesthetics and techniques both from her native country and France, and Wasanbon is a good illustration of her approach. Wasanbon is a Japanese confection of fine sugar and rice flour molded into shapes that recall the seasons–cherry blossoms for spring and maple leaves for autumn. Its sweetness and delicate texture are a perfect accompaniment to bitter matcha. In Satori’s perfume, the powdery sweetness accented by almond, honey and mimosa is brightened with lemon. Iris, with its cold, icy presence, adds the final polish to this refined perfume.

Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakélite

Enter a tuberose that defies all of the tuberose stereotypes. It’s neither candy sweet nor creamy. Perfumer Isabelle Doyen turns it vivid green, accenting the opulent flower with a whole palette of green notes, from leafy greens to angelica. There is an element of a retro green chypre, although the musk and leather clad drydown is thoroughly modern.

Hermessence Cèdre Sambac

Hermès’s perfumer Christine Nagel takes Hermessence to the Middle East, and the result is a dusky, richly shaded jasmine wrapped in the honeyed warmth of Atlas cedarwood. A perfume with a bold character, despite its transparent, luminous form.

Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours

A velvety rose from Bottega Veneta is given a retro twist with the notes of ripe plums and earthy patchouli that bring it in the same family as the much missed Guerlain Parure. Eau de Velours is much softer and brighter, but there is a hint of Parure’s opulence. Created by Michel Almairac and Mylène Alran.

Alaïa Paris Nude

Transparent layers of iris, musk and orange blossom make for an understated fragrance. Like many perfumes created by Marie Salamagne, Nude is a soft cashmere wrap–or a silk camisole, if you will. Intimate and elegant.

For more spring lists, please take a look at Grain de Musc and Now Smell This.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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94 Comments

  • Austenfan: Wonderful list, and what a great day to put it on your blog, as spring seems to have finally truly arrived here in Europe.
    Nuit de Bakélite has been on my to try list for a while, I think Denyse has mentioned it in one of her best of lists. It’s nice to see that Doyen has found another place to express herself.

    I also need to try the Diptyque the By Kylian and the Bottega. I remember when I first started reading about the BK’s I was sort of put off by the luxury label and the prices, but curiosity won out, and there are a number of gems in that line. April 9, 2018 at 7:50am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m also glad that Doyen has a new collaboration, which is very interesting and distinctive. By the way, I was disappointed to learn that Les Nez has recently discontinued her wonderful Unicorn Spell.
      (Same goes for two other violets I liked, Verte Violette by L’Artisan and Black Violet by Tom Ford, but those have been gone for a while already.)

      By Kilian is a very good line, and the quality of their fragrances is excellent. The newest one is special. April 9, 2018 at 7:55am Reply

      • Austenfan: Oh, that’s a shame, mind you where violets are concerned I’ve always been a little fonder of Goutal’s La Violette than of the Unicorn. I did notice that they were still selling Manoumalia, last time I looked.

        Of the By Kilians I’ve only tried the Œuvre noire collection. I need to get a move on and try some of the others as well. Re-reading your reviews you liked Water Calligraphy, Rose Oud and Amber Oud. Any other recommendations from BK? Imperial Tea sounds rather special. April 9, 2018 at 10:01am Reply

        • Victoria: Liaisons Dangereuses, Beyond Love, Sweet Redemption, In the Garden of Good and Evil are all very good. Another one to try is Moonlight In Heaven. I like Imperial Tea very much for an elegant, understated but interesting perfume. April 9, 2018 at 11:34am Reply

          • Austenfan: Thanks! Sweet Redemption is my favourite BK so far. April 9, 2018 at 11:39am Reply

        • Richard Potter: The Rose Oud is perfection! April 9, 2018 at 7:36pm Reply

  • Sandra: Like Austenfan said above Grain de Musc also was an admirer of Nuit de Bakélite, now that it keeps popping up I must try.

    I do like the By Killian line, Beyond Love has been a favorite of mine and will be reaching for that one more often as the weather turns..or doesn’t!

    This spring I have been craving more “middle eastern style” scents..Encens Mythique & Rose Nacree du Desert. Alahine and Dior’s Mitzah have been in the mix. These samples are being drained, and its surprising because I usually only like these ones are in winter. Alahine is my only full bottle out of the bunch and news that its been reformulated has made my not spray with such a heavy hand. April 9, 2018 at 9:43am Reply

    • Victoria: These are also very beautiful! April 9, 2018 at 11:31am Reply

      • Sandra: V-I wanted to mention that I started to read Heirs to forgotten kingdoms last night. I book you recommended on your post about Syria awhile back. April 11, 2018 at 11:06am Reply

        • Victoria: Hope that you like it as much as I did.

          I still pondering on your question about a love story similar to Mishima’s Spring Snow. April 11, 2018 at 11:54am Reply

          • Sandra: I also looked for the other books about Syria and Aleppo at the bookstore but they were sold out. (The titles you recommended)
            So far, I read the forward, introduction and the first half of the first chapter. This book is all new to me and I am very open to it… April 11, 2018 at 1:55pm Reply

            • Victoria: I will have to make another list with the books on Syria. There are many new excellent publications, but for Aleppo I still would recommend Mansel’s book to start with. April 12, 2018 at 4:39am Reply

  • Rachel: Niral from your list caught my eye right away! April 9, 2018 at 9:54am Reply

    • Victoria: It was a love at first sniff, if you will, for me. April 9, 2018 at 11:31am Reply

    • AndreaR: I must try this. I’ve been enchanted with all of Neela Vermeire’s fragrances. Mohur is an all time favorite. April 9, 2018 at 6:21pm Reply

      • Victoria: If you like Mohur, chances are that you will like this one also. They’re in the same heavily brocaded and gilded family. April 10, 2018 at 2:28pm Reply

    • Margot: Niral also caught my eye, and when I read it’s inspired by textural delight of a piece of tussar silk I was sold! I love Mohur and Trayee. Love tussar silk and bengal maybe even more! Have ordered a sample <3 April 10, 2018 at 3:56pm Reply

      • Victoria: Hope that you’ll enjoy it, Margot! April 11, 2018 at 11:53am Reply

  • Qwendy: Spring has sprung here, but I am afraid the spingiest I get with perfume is Hermes Rhubarbe Eclarté although I will try some of these while I am in Paris this week if I have the chance. I am intrigued by FM’s new Pineapple scent, have you tried it? And will you be coming to Paris to see the Foujita show? I will be there for a bit starting tomorrow, very curious to see it! Happy Spring! April 9, 2018 at 10:27am Reply

    • Victoria: I just returned from Paris, and the Foujita exhibit was excellent. Also, if you can still catch it, the Pastels exhibit at Le Petit Palais is worth seeing. April 9, 2018 at 11:35am Reply

      • Qwendy: I will get to the Foujita soon, glad to hear you liked it … I also loved the Pastel Show, so often like the exhibits at the Petit Palais. Curious about the Martin Margiela show and jewels designed by artists, maybe at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs? Have you gotten to Mad et Len in the Gallerie Vivienne? Definitely worth a peek and a sniff next time you are in Paris. Cheers! April 11, 2018 at 5:25pm Reply

        • Victoria: I haven’t, but I will make sure to check it out. Thank you!

          The Foujita exhibit was very crowded, and the line was quite long. If you have a chance to buy tickets in advance, I recommend it. April 12, 2018 at 4:38am Reply

          • Qwendy: Excellent advice! We plan to go on Monday or Tuesday, maybe less people then, but it one of the few open those days so maybe not … it has been ages since the Maillol has had an exhibition I wanted to see, it used to be one of my faves! April 13, 2018 at 3:57am Reply

          • Qwendy: Loved the Foujita show …. it wasn’t too badly crowded when we were there, phew! Happy Spring! May 5, 2018 at 10:39am Reply

  • Kneale: These all sound absolutely beautiful. I am especially interested in Nuit de Bakelite, Dent de Lait, and the new Aedes Musc. Thank you for inspiring my next perfume hunt! April 9, 2018 at 10:39am Reply

    • Victoria: Please let me know what you end up trying! April 9, 2018 at 11:36am Reply

  • Fleurycat: What a wonderful list, just when I think there’s nothing new to try! I am surprised how many perfumes and fragrance notes on your list peak my interest. Spring is painfully slow to arrive here. I was in Europe for a cold front and came home to more challenging weather. Longing to shed some layers and revel in the scents of Spring. Your list offers inspiration in the meantime. April 9, 2018 at 11:03am Reply

    • Victoria: This year has so many great launches, and it’s only spring. I already found a dozen that I would be happy to wear all year round. April 9, 2018 at 11:36am Reply

  • Julie Demelo: Dear Victoria,
    It’s always a pleasure to read your reviews!
    Thank you for this list.
    I enjoyed the first fragrance by Alaia a lot so much that I also gave a bottle to a friend for Christmas.
    I may have to try something new for spring. 🙂 Alaïa Paris Nude sounds lovely as well as the others.
    SL is a favorite of mine therefore, Serge Lutens Dent de Lait sounds like a must try! April 9, 2018 at 11:40am Reply

    • Victoria: I like the first Alaia very much too, and this is a good variation.

      Dent de Lait is one of the most comforting perfumes from Lutens’s collection. April 10, 2018 at 2:25pm Reply

    • Petunia: 😊 A lovely scent from a sweet and generous friend! April 11, 2018 at 7:12pm Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: Thanks for the interesting perfume suggestions. I was intrigued to see that of the three new Hermessence scents you chose Cèdre Sambac. I tried all three new scents and was first drawn to Myrrhe Eglantine (because of the incense), yet ultimately was smitten by the Agar Ebène. It is a far cry from what goes through as „oudh“ and probably a 1000 miles away from any ebony shavings yet I found it both elegant and involving, also slightly „Japanese“ in feeling. April 9, 2018 at 11:46am Reply

    • Maria: Have you tried Musc Pallida? It is really tempting me, even if it is ridicoulously prized… April 9, 2018 at 5:02pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: I did and wasn‘t impressed: yes both Cardamusc and Musc Pallida obviously smell quite lovely. If – if you smell them: if you glue your nose to where you applied your oil. The scent is incredibly weak, nearly non-existant. These offerings are no attars – to be fair, they aren‘t marketed as such.
        The price for that tiny bottle borders on the obscene. April 10, 2018 at 2:21am Reply

        • Maria: I will give it a try because I love sheer essences, but you’re right, their prize is obscene. April 10, 2018 at 10:06am Reply

        • Victoria: Musc Pallida has a pretty good sillage on me, but the truth is that musks are often difficult. Some people can’t smell them at all. But you’re right, being oils, they are mellow. April 10, 2018 at 2:37pm Reply

    • Victoria: Admittedly, it was hard to choose between Cèdre Sambac and Agar Ebène. I liked the latter also because it smells nothing like the typical ouds. April 10, 2018 at 2:27pm Reply

  • JennyJo: Why oh why did they ever discontinue Parure… 🙁 April 9, 2018 at 1:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t understand it! April 10, 2018 at 2:27pm Reply

  • Maria: Dear Victoria, I will love to try the original wasanbon wih a good matcha tea, but I will also love to try Parfum Satori Wasanbon. I’ve never seen his creations in Canada. Does anybody knows where to find it? April 9, 2018 at 5:14pm Reply

    • Gabriela: Hi Maria, try Luckyscent, they have samples and decants. April 10, 2018 at 3:04am Reply

      • Victoria: Oops, I didn’t see your reply as I posted mine to Maria. Luckyscent was my recommendation too. April 10, 2018 at 2:38pm Reply

    • Gabriela: By the way, which matcha tea is your favorite? April 10, 2018 at 3:05am Reply

      • Maria: Hi Gabriela,
        You’re right Luckyscent has Satori Wasanbon but I’ve never seen that. I love teas from a Montreal tea house, Camellia Sinensis, their Matcha Uji is perfect! They are more on the purist side, which I love 🙂 April 10, 2018 at 10:04am Reply

    • Victoria: I see them on the Luckyscent website. Have you checked there? April 10, 2018 at 2:28pm Reply

      • Maria: Thank you Victoria!! I will give it a try for sure! April 10, 2018 at 6:02pm Reply

        • Victoria: Please let me know what you think. April 11, 2018 at 11:53am Reply

  • Emilie: I really enjoyed this list 🙂 It’s great to hear about some exciting new perfumes.

    The only one I’ve been able to try so far is Diptyque’s Fleur de Peau and it is the strangest thing… it smells like an enhanced version of my own skin! To experiment one morning when I was in town I sprayed one arm and left the other bare. I went out for late breakfast with friends after and though none of them commented on my ‘perfume’ after hugging hello two friends told me how nice I smelled.

    It smells beautiful to me on the test strip so even though I don’t notice this perfume so much on my skin I think it still may have to go on my wishlist. Everyday I’ve tested it I felt sort of light and floaty and stood up a little taller. Even though I’m not so aware of being scented it has felt good to wear if that makes any sense? My ‘Emilie 2.0’ perfume 😉

    For a bit more drama and fantasy I can’t wait to try Niral! The bottle is quite stunning too but even if I love it Neela Vermeire is a little out of my price range *sigh*… April 9, 2018 at 7:24pm Reply

    • Victoria: You know, I keep thinking of Fleur de Peau in the same way. It’s such an easy to wear perfume, but every time I catch a whiff of it, I feel happy. So, yes, it makes sense to me. April 10, 2018 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Eric Brandon: Hello Victoria!

    I always joke about spring in Houston lasting about as long as a breath, but Mother Nature seems to hear me. We’ve had a few bonus days of light-sweater weather! I wore CdG Black before pushing it to the back of my shelf.

    May I say, I’m delighted to hear you mention Wasanbon. In my tea-class days, these were some of my favorite treats, especially before a brisk drink of usucha. They truly came in the cutest shapes, in the most elegant boxes. Sometimes I miss the sweets almost as much as the class….

    I’ve been practically swimming in Chamade, which is a cliche but wow does this stuff deserve the hype! I’ve actually been exploring almost all of the old Guerlains in the newest formulations. I find every one so far at least believable.

    I haven’t tried the new Hermessences yet but they all sound lovely. I’ve had Iris Ukiyoe by my bedside almost every night. I actually wore the tiniest dab of it to tea class once, but I felt transgressive the entire time.

    Chinatown was another one for spring. My first not-Sephora perfume, and still a favorite. I blasted through my first bottle faster than my teenage self could afford to replace it. I found a bottle at a discounter and snapped it up. I’m still anosmic to something in the drydown but those topnotes last forever on my collar.

    I wear vintage year-round, but this spring I’ve been mostly in Y and Bellodgia. Very different ladies but both a sure sign of spring. I just got a bottle of Choc by Cardin and I think it’ll be right at home for this time of year.

    Happy spring! I can’t wait to read your next piece. 🙂 April 10, 2018 at 12:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Wasanbon has such an interesting texture, because it feels hard when you bite into it, but then it melts into a puddle of sweetness. A perfect companion to matcha!

      Your spring also seems to be beautifully scented. April 10, 2018 at 2:35pm Reply

      • Eric Brandon: Oh my, I got a sample of Wasanbon tonight and I’m blown away. I can tell the inspiration but it’s not too literal. I love the slightly milky sweetness and dry powder.

        My favorite favorite chado sweets of course are mochi, as a big ol’ glutton. Inokomochi were a particular favorite, with pine nuts and walnuts suspended in red bean paste, wrapped in a mochi shell. Or chesnut yokan…. Okay, I might love it all. April 14, 2018 at 12:36am Reply

        • Victoria: I also love the Kyoto-style mochi, thin triangles of glutinous rice flour dough filled with the cinnamon flavored red bean paste. And warabi-mochi! I’m like you–I like them all.

          So happy that you liked Wasanbon. April 17, 2018 at 10:53am Reply

    • Theresa: Chamade is one of my favorite fragrances! Every time I spray it on I feel happy!

      I was glad to hear you mention “Choc” by Cardin. that was one of my first purchases way back when I was a youngster, a long time ago. I blew through one bottle and bought another, of which I still have a little left to remind me of those days. At that time in my life, I had very little money, so spending even the moderate amount for Choc was very significant. April 10, 2018 at 2:49pm Reply

      • Eric Brandon: Choc is so lovely! I’m glad to have found it! April 14, 2018 at 12:37am Reply

  • kekasmais: Woof, I’ve got to get my hands on a sample of Wasanbon. It sounds perfect for my yearly trek to Brooklyn Botanic Gardens to see the cherry blossoms.

    You had my attention at “Renaissance cuisine”. Find any good sources? April 10, 2018 at 9:24am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m reading Bartolomeo Scappi’s Opera. He cooked for Medici and one of the Popes and he has many great recipes for vegetable dishes. April 10, 2018 at 2:40pm Reply

  • Neva: Thank you for your new list, Victoria. I have bought Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours two weeks ago, and Jo Malone Blackberry and Bay too. I thought they were going to be my spring perfumes this season but then I pulled out my old bottle of Clinique Wrappings and sprayed it on my hand…no, nothing compares to the old juice. It is definitely the best spring perfume to me and brings a huge smile to my face every time I wear it. So I ended up wearing Wrappings more than my newest acquisitions. Oh well…
    I’m curious about Niral and Fleur de Peau so I will try them out soon. April 10, 2018 at 9:27am Reply

    • Victoria: My bottle of Wrappings is empty, and yes, I understand what you mean. It smells of spring, and not even so much of nature and spring flowers, but of the mood of spring–bright and exhilarating. April 10, 2018 at 2:41pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Victoria, thank you for providing more inspiration for spring perfume ideas (testing and perhaps shopping). Some of these sound really tempting. Will certainly look out for the AdV Musc, Diptyque, SL and By Kilian. Niral looks great, but not sure where to test it.

    In terms of old spring favourites, I enjoy wearing Ostara, Rose Ikebana, JM Orange Blossom, Muguet Porcelaine, Iris Poudre, and really any pretty florals. Recently I tried out Diptyque L’Eau dans l’Eau. It made me want to sniff my wrist constantly, but still not sure if I would buy it. Odd, how some purfumes are instant yeses, and others leave me unsure (even if I really like them). April 10, 2018 at 2:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: I feel the same way about some fragrances I’ve tried. Nice but either not memorable enough or lacking something special that makes me want to reach for them. April 10, 2018 at 2:43pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Oops, I meant L’Ombre dans l’Eau! April 10, 2018 at 2:42pm Reply

  • Elisa: Oh dear — 10 perfumes I haven’t tried yet that I now desperately want to try…. April 11, 2018 at 12:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s been a good season for perfumes! April 12, 2018 at 4:38am Reply

  • Petunia: I really enjoyed reading your seasonal list and lovely descriptions. I am curious about Wasanbon as I recently sampled Satori from the same line and thought it was beautiful.

    I recently tested Niral as well. I was surprised that it didn’t work for me since I adore Mohur.

    I am adding several of your recommendations to my never ending sample list. April 11, 2018 at 7:33pm Reply

    • Victoria: I like Satori very much, and I was thinking of including it, but Wasanbon felt more appropriate somehow. It’s also very different from what I was expected out of a sweet perfume.

      Was Niral too sweet or too powdery for you? April 12, 2018 at 4:36am Reply

      • Petunia: Neither really. I enjoy both of those genres. There was a note in it that ruined Niral for me. However, my nose is a blunt instrument so I can’t indenitfy it. Almost like a suggestion of cumin in the base? It was very subtle. I’m a bit of a baby with challenging notes. 😊 April 12, 2018 at 7:47am Reply

  • Figuier: What a lovely list Victoria! I liked Eau Velours a lot when i first tried it in the winter, but found it slightly too dramatic for everyday wear. A special occasion scent maybe? My spring scent this year is autumnal: Clonn Keen’s Castana (chestnut inspired), which I bought just a few weeks ago and have been wearing constantly. Its like a more savoury Traversee in its powderiness; sometimes it reminds me of Chanel Bois des Iles, from the aldehydes; at other times it has the raspy hay note of PG Bois Blonds. I’m besotted.

    I would love to try those new muscs; Diptyque especially always appeals to me; I thought Florabellio was great as a spring perfume when I tried it. April 13, 2018 at 4:39pm Reply

    • Figuier: Sorry, that’s Cloon Keen April 13, 2018 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: Florabellio does make a great spring perfume, and it’s also quirky enough to be interesting. April 17, 2018 at 10:49am Reply

  • Carla: Fall is when I get ambitious like you describe here. Can you really read any more widely? And your topics to pursue are so specific and esoteric! My fall ambitions are usually just to « Kondo » the house and maybe to read a book about a fascinating historical figure, Francis I or Catherine the Great. With spring I’m craving lighthearted novels or good memoirs. Thank you for suggesting so many wonderful sounding perfumes to try. I want to try the Neela Vermeire because I liked Mohur so much, Dent de Lait for the almonds, Cedre Sambac for the « bois de Jasmin » and the interesting tuberose one. April 14, 2018 at 6:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think I feel this way anytime seasons change, but yes, the fall is another time I make resolutions. Never on Jan 1st.

      Do you have a book on Francois 1er in mind? I just visited his châteaux in the Loire (or the places where he stayed when not conquering Italy or some other province). Quite a character, for sure. April 17, 2018 at 10:58am Reply

      • Carla: I loved visiting the Loire chateaux, nearly 20 years ago! I hope to go again in coming years with my daughter. For the book, François I Maker of Modern France. For Catherine the Great, the biography by Massie. April 17, 2018 at 11:20am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes! They’re so beautiful, as is this whole region. My favorite château so far is Chenonceau. I can understand why everyone coveted it, including Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici.

          Thank you, I will take a look. I also had Franck Ferrand’s François 1er, Roi de Chimères, in one of my lists, but I haven’t had a chance to browse it. April 17, 2018 at 11:33am Reply

          • Austenfan: Have you visited Azay-le-Rideau? It reminded me a little of Chenonceau, which was my favourite château as well. Have a great time! April 17, 2018 at 12:06pm Reply

            • Carla: Yes I did visit Azay-le-Rideau, so long ago! My daughter is 9 now and we visit my in-laws in France pretty frequently. Do you have any thoughts as to a good age to visit the chateaux? I’m guessing nowadays they have activities tailored for children.
              As for the book on Francois, I haven’t read it so it’s not a full recommendation! It’s new and I have it on hold at the library for my husband who reads this type of biography all year round, while I prefer it in fall! I did read Massie’s book on Catherine the Great and it was fascinating. April 17, 2018 at 12:14pm Reply

              • Victoria: I read good reviews about Massie’s book, but I haven’t read it. The minute details of Catherine the Great’s reign were force-fed to me in school, so I was more curious about some other historical personas. I’d be interested to read her correspondence with Voltaire, though.

                All of the châteaux we have visited had plenty of activities for kids, including games, puzzles and hidden messages that they had to find in each room. I’d say that your daughter is old enough to enjoy them. April 17, 2018 at 12:46pm Reply

            • Victoria: I have. It was my second favorite, although I also liked Blois (along with the charming town on the hills) and Amboise (for being almost completely empty and for the beautiful views over the Loire.) April 17, 2018 at 12:41pm Reply

              • Austenfan: Much further west Serrant is another gem. (It’s west of Angers).
                That view from the Amboise château is wonderful, I remember it well. Another great view is from the castle of Saumur.
                And I adored the garden of Villandry (very close to Azay). April 17, 2018 at 1:12pm Reply

                • Victoria: I’ll save Serrant for the next trip. Not enough time to do it all, although I managed to cover 9 châteaux in 3 days! April 20, 2018 at 6:08pm Reply

                  • Austenfan: That’s a lot. I visited the Loire region (around Tours) for the first time in 2012, and revisited in between Angers and Saumur last year. On both occasions my maximum was 2 châteaux a day. I don’t think I could have coped with 3.
                    On both occasions I was there in June which is great for the gardens. Villandry was really at it’s peak around that time of year.
                    Valençay and Cheverny are very much worth a visit as well. And Chaumont has a great garden exhibit in June. April 21, 2018 at 9:35am Reply

                    • Victoria: Cheverny was lovely as well, especially since all of their tulips are in bloom right now. April 22, 2018 at 1:11pm

          • Carla: I’m so glad you mentioned this book by Ferrand! When I put the other book about Francois I on hold at the library for my husband, I wished I knew of a good history like it in his native language, French. I will look it up on amazon for him. Any other recommended histories in French would be appreciated. He really liked my books on « Reines de France » from a college course. I don’t recall the author. He was not at all a reader when he was young but now he reads quite a lot, mostly nonfiction. I know he’d appreciate a rest from English in favor of French (or German!). Thank you! April 17, 2018 at 12:19pm Reply

            • Victoria: I like books by Elisabeth Badinter, especially her book on Maria Theresa of Austria. Other than this, I haven’t read much of the French historians recently. I need to look through my notes from the time when I read about French history in more depth. April 17, 2018 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Aurora: Thank you so much for making this list, these perfumes sound really enticing.
    Spring is late over here, I am willing it to arrive and chose Caligna this morning, more of a summer scent for me, it’s actually leaning very woody at the moment, not a bad thing just different from what I remembered. April 15, 2018 at 6:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Does Caligna smell very herbal on you? It’s such a curious perfume and very much a chameleon. April 17, 2018 at 10:59am Reply

      • Aurora: Yes, it was more herbal and figgy (fig leaf especially) last summer on my skin, this time around it was all pine needles. It’s just as you say a chameleon. I agree it is curious, l’Artisan has some original scents, this is certainly one.

        Hope you will have great students for your coming class, Victoria and a little bit of time for yourself to enjoy your surroundings which looked so lovely on the photo. Burgundy is so authentically and uniquely French, I visited it as a teenager. April 18, 2018 at 12:44pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much. It’s a fantastic group, and we’re enjoying ourselves! April 20, 2018 at 6:11pm Reply

  • maja: I’d like to add Cap Neroli by Parfums Nicolai, not much about neroli in the drydown, rather a jasmine. It wears pleasantly and last well in hot weather.
    And one of my other recent discoveries (homage to) Hemingway by Masque Milano, such a beautiful vetiver. It starts very strong and organic but when the ginger and rhubarb come in, it becomes just fantastic. April 16, 2018 at 5:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: Vétiver and rhubarb is one of my favorite combinations. April 17, 2018 at 11:18am Reply

  • Mayfly: Thank u for this wonderful list Victoria, today here in English countryside is incredibly hot and sunny, I wish it could stay this way!
    I recently tried Nuit de tuberose, only on a paper strip, and it’s still powerful 2 weeks later, my purse smells gorgeous, but it is a foghorn, probably the most powerful perfume I’ve ever encountered. Looking forward to trying the Diptyque, and many others, and I definitely need to find out where I can smell Neela Vermeire in London, do u know?, many thanks. April 19, 2018 at 9:40am Reply

    • Victoria: What about Les Scenteurs? They usually have many niche lines. April 20, 2018 at 6:13pm Reply

      • Mayfly: Thanks for suggestion, I will look on their website. April 21, 2018 at 10:31am Reply

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  • En_passant in The Memory of a Mulberry Tree: What a mouth watering and moving post. Thank you! I don’t post often, but I have just indulged in everyone’s stories and was compelled to share mine. I grew up… July 20, 2018 at 3:33am

  • Mojtaba in Balenciaga Rumba : Perfume Review: Thanks for this review. By the way, have you compared Balenciaga and Ted Lapidus version of Rumba? Are they very different? July 19, 2018 at 6:04pm

  • kpaint in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: Some non-citrus/light/fresh and not-so-floral fragrances I love in summer: Tauer LAdDM & ACcD; Phaedon Dzhari & SHL Taklamakan (all “desert” scents) Alaia edp (black bottle) Guerlain Gourmand Coquin Chanel Bois… July 19, 2018 at 1:14pm

  • kpaint in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: I own and love Eau de Shalimar, too. Shalimar Souffle is also great in warmer weather. As is Shalimar Eau Legere, though it’s d/c’d and $$$. July 19, 2018 at 1:01pm

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