Recommend Me a Perfume : September 2021

Our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread is open this week. You can use this space to find perfume recommendations, to share your discoveries and favorite scents, and to ask any questions. Or you can just tell us what perfume you’re wearing and what book you’re reading. I’m reading Lev Tolstoy’s “Master and Man,” the most horrifying and exalted story Tolstoy wrote.

How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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211 Comments

  • Yumeyorimo: Thank you, Victoria! I love two perfumes from Les Nez: “Let Me Play the Lion” and “Unicorn Spell”. I can’t track them down and their website doesn’t seem to be working either. Does anyone know whether they have been discontinued? If so, I would love to hear recommendations for similar fragrances. September 20, 2021 at 9:13am Reply

    • mayfly: I’m pretty sure they have both been discontinued, I would recommend trying Goutals Duel and Mandragore, Isabel Doyen the perfumer for Lez Nez made these perfumes for Annick Goutal before revisiting the Iris/violet theme for LesNez with Unicorn Spell. Also for Iris/violet I really like Heeleys Iris de Nuit , it’s very bright and fresh like Unicorn.
      I never smelt ‘Let me play the lion’, so perhaps others will chip in with recs for that one. September 24, 2021 at 5:04am Reply

      • Yumeyorimo: Thank you very much for these suggestions. I have never tried any of them, although I have other Goutal perfumes in my collection. I’m looking forward to discovering something new. September 27, 2021 at 11:03am Reply

      • mayfly: Your more than welcome Yumeyorimo , even if you don’t find a replacement fo The Unicorn Spell, you may discover another perfume you really enjoy, please let me know how you get on, I love hearing about others perfume journeys! September 27, 2021 at 12:04pm Reply

    • JulienFromDijon: I can see “let me play the lion” when browsing the official LesNez website.
      http://www.lesnez.com/shop/ki/fr/Parfuem/Let-me-Play3.html

      There is also “The unicorn spell” but in an expensive limited edition bottle. Maybe you should mail them directly to have answers?

      I hope that they do not stop “The unicorn spell”, because I’d like to have a bottle of it, one time my life. The brand is almost forgotten and I will never have a second-hand price on them… Also, I like very strongly Manoumalia, and I would hate to see it disappear. It would be like Sandrine Videault dying a second time for me.

      As a replacement to “The unicorn spell”, you can tried the weird vegetal tuberose from the same creator that is “Nuit de bakélite” by Naomi Goodsir.
      People also quoted this style when speaking about the late “Chlorophyll Gardenia” from Comme des garçons. (I haven’t tried it myself yet). (It’s affordable with its 30ml option, if I remember well).
      But for the weird “fresh pea in a pod”, iris, and violet, “The unicorn spell” is quite irreplaceable.
      (Geoffrey Beene “Grey Flannel” was like a grayish version of it, but since “triple carbon bond” violet are forbidden, it has lost a lot of its poetry.)
      Maybe you can try “Aimez-moi” from Caron, for its candied violet, iris-y magnolia, and classical structure, from Dominique Ropion. (“Insolence EDP” from Maurcie Roucel for Guerlain is not far away from “Aimez-moi”.) September 26, 2021 at 9:22am Reply

      • Yumeyorimo: Thank you for your reply. The website doesn’t work when I try to place an order. I contacted their customer service email to no avail. It also seems that all the stockists listed on the website no longer carry the Les Nez brand. I hope it might be just a temporary glitch but I fear not.

        “The weird “fresh pea in a pod”, iris, and violet” as you put it so well is exactly what I love about The Unicorn Spell. I haven’t been able to find it in anything else. I will definately check out Nuit de bakélite, and your other suggestions. Thank you so much. September 27, 2021 at 11:08am Reply

        • JulienFromDijon: LesNez might be dead completely.

          I’ve asked the only shop in France, quoted from LezNez own website, and the nice salesman said that he had not heard from them since more than 3 years. He called to order more bottles, and nobody answered.

          I should try to call or email the brand directly in Switzerland, but I ended my investigation here for now. I don’t know what part of the website isn’t up to date, and belongs to zombieland. October 10, 2021 at 12:36am Reply

          • yumeyorimo: Oh dear, what a shame. It’s as I feared when I received no reply from the email address on their website. Thank you for checking.

            I will treasure the little I have left of both perfumes. October 15, 2021 at 6:06pm Reply

    • JulienFromDijon: Also, some of the musk in “Let me play the lion” were said to be the same as in “Musc ravageur” from Malle. Though it is much more ambery and assertive. September 26, 2021 at 9:39am Reply

      • Yumeyorimo: I do love other perfumes by Frederic Malle, so I will check out Musc ravageur. It’s the lovely, subtle, dry, almost dusty quality that I miss most about Let Me Play the Lion, though. Like the weird greeness of The Unicorn Spell, I have not found it elsewhere, but will keep trying! September 27, 2021 at 11:11am Reply

  • Tourmaline: Hi Everyone,

    I wanted to share some information that I heard some months ago about petrichor. Apologies if I’m providing material that has been provided already.

    On 12 April, I heard an episode of “Australia Wide” on Radio National here in Oz. Towards the end of the show, there was a brief segment on Isabel Joy Bear, the Australian woman responsible for the word “petrichor”. Here is part of the segment précis from the show’s website.

    “The word to describe the distinct scent of rain in the air is petrichor. The name, precisely, describes the oil that is released from the earth before rain begins to fall. The woman behind the word petrichor was CSIRO scientist Joy Bear. She and fellow scientist Richard Thomas described it for the first time in 1964.”

    The CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) is an Australian company. The host announced that Isabel Joy Bear had passed away at the age of 94 on the weekend. The guest for the segment, CSIRO Research Director, Kathie McGregor, talked a little about Ms Bear, saying that she had been the first female research scientist in the mineral area at the agency, and had retired in 1992. Here is a link to the episode, where the segment is the last of five.

    “The conditions for these sorts of storms to occur more often are there” – ANU Climatologist says cyclones are pushing further south – Australia Wide – ABC Radio

    Vale Isabel Joy Bear!

    It is spring here in Oz, and I hope to enjoy the aroma of petrichor a few times before the season is over.

    With kind regards,
    Tourmaline September 20, 2021 at 9:27am Reply

    • mayfly: This was really interesting, thanks tourmaline! September 20, 2021 at 9:30am Reply

      • Tourmaline: You’re welcome, Mayfly! September 20, 2021 at 9:39am Reply

    • Mel: Wow!!! So interesting that earth releases an oil before it rains. Had no idea. THANK YOU!!! September 20, 2021 at 3:34pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Mel,

        It’s fascinating, isn’t it?

        In Victoria’s post, and the comments that follow, of April 29, 2015 – “Making Perfume From The Rain”, there is also discussion of the different types of petrichor that can result from myriad types of ground and other variables.

        With kind regards,
        Tourmaline September 21, 2021 at 3:39am Reply

    • Amanda M: From a fellow Aussie, hello and thanks for this information, I never knew this either about the oils!
      Stay safe all.
      Amanda x September 20, 2021 at 8:20pm Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Amanda,

        I hope you are not still enduring lockdown! I’m fortunate to live in Brisbane, where we are okay for the moment.

        The chemistry and physics of the earth and the alchemy that occurs when it rains, is indeed a revelation.

        With kind regards,
        Tourmaline x September 21, 2021 at 3:45am Reply

        • Amanda M: Thanks Tourmaline! Rather unpleasant here in Victoria….Melbourne & surrounds have been in lockdown for months now. Some less restrictions where we are in country Vic.
          I knew we should have moved to Queensland a long time ago…you’ve all done exceptionally well up there. 😊 September 21, 2021 at 3:53am Reply

          • Tourmaline: I feel for you, Amanda.

            Yes, on account of the very strict “hard border” that our premier has kept, we have done well, although many of our tourism businesses have suffered badly as a consequence. Still, better to be alive, though out of work. September 21, 2021 at 5:39am Reply

            • Amanda M: Yes, life indeed has surely changed, although the one constant that remains the same for me is the simple, daily pleasure of wondering which fragrance to choose to wear for the day. ☺️ September 21, 2021 at 5:46am Reply

              • Tourmaline: Ah yes, the scent constant that helps to keep us sane! My Hawaiian pen-friend, Peter, whom I met on these pages, and with whom I still correspond daily, has said the same thing – that choosing which scent to wear is the highlight of each lockdown day. September 21, 2021 at 6:09am Reply

                • Amanda M: How lovely to hear this about your friend Peter.
                  Scent for me, reading about and the wearing of, is such wonderful escapism at the moment. September 21, 2021 at 6:16am Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Indeed, Peter is a treasure.

                    I agree, perfumery is such a wonderful escape. I can get lost in Victoria’s old posts for hours.
                    Someday, I plan to read them all from scratch, including the comments, and make notes about fragrances, flowers, books, recipes, destinations and so much more. September 21, 2021 at 6:28am Reply

              • Marianne: Hello again Amanda and Tourmaline, I can’t resist joining your thread. I’m in Tasmania where we still have a fragile bubble of no cases for months. It feels like a gamble as national football matches playing here, for example, test and push at the borders due to economic pressures. We’re being conditioned to accept opening up right across Australia. I also miss interstate family who I haven’t seen for months.

                My response is to light a beautiful scented candle! And to appreciate and share in Victoria’s creation, Bois de Jasmin!

                Marianne September 21, 2021 at 6:46am Reply

                • Amanda M: Yes indeed, it’s been very hard I know, Marianne. What a lovely idea to light the candle and immerse yourself in this wonderful site that Victoria has put so much effort into. I love reading all the reviews.
                  (( hugs )) to you.
                  Stay safe & keep smiling. x September 21, 2021 at 7:05am Reply

                  • Marianne: Thank you Amanda. Right now it’s a soft and delicious Aromababy candle, so natural that it’s even suitable to burn around infants. A delicate essential oils perfume that yet pervades the house. So here I am, the candle, a glowing fire, and the cat ecstatically sprawled out on her blanket. And a whole host of interesting, generous individuals, all avid sharers of gorgeous perfumes. A truly lovely way to spend an evening.

                    Thank you Victoria, and contributors! September 21, 2021 at 7:23am Reply

                    • Tourmaline: In Qld, there has been anger that football teams have been allowed in, but not some family member “plebs” at times of illness etc.

                      I’d love to get a cat one day! September 21, 2021 at 9:53am

                    • Amanda M: Marianne, that sounds like an absolutely delightful way to spend your evening! Love cats. September 21, 2021 at 6:32pm

    • Marianne: Hello Tourmaline, thank you for this post. I’ve never heard of petrichor. Another facet of our beautiful interconnected planet. It reminds me of that certain poised stillness that happens before heavy rain, particularly in summer. The earth holding its breath. Even though I’ve never thought of it before, of course this has a smell!

      Marianne September 21, 2021 at 12:20am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Marianne,

        “The earth holding its breath”: that is such a wonderful description of the silence prior to a storm! I also love the fresh smell in the air just after a storm, which I heard was ozone, caused by lightning and other electrical discharges in the atmosphere.

        With kind regards,
        Tourmaline September 21, 2021 at 3:52am Reply

        • Marianne: Yes, I love that after-rainstorm smell too! A silence in the air, a rainbow, the quiet sound of water soaking into the land. Perhaps also the aftermath of thunder and lightning being released across the sky, a hint of danger averted.

          Your posts are full of interesting threads, Tourmaline. Thank you.

          Marianne September 21, 2021 at 6:05am Reply

          • Judith Graff: You write so beautifully, Marianne. Indeed, how could I have forgotten rainbows! And perhaps I am imagining things, but in that fresh, dewy storm aftermath, colours seem significantly brighter, as though lightly spritzed with a Day-Glo ray-gun!

            Thank you very much for your kind words; they mean a lot to me. September 21, 2021 at 6:19am Reply

            • Marianne: Judith, thank you for your acknowledging, kind response. Its lovely how Victoria’s creation Bois de Jasmin is also creating wonderful communications in these extraordinary times.

              And yes, the colours are brighter, purer just like you say! Love the Day-GLo ray-gun! September 21, 2021 at 7:10am Reply

              • Tourmaline: I agree, Marianne; it’s wonderful that Bois de Jasmin is like a scented bridge over the virus.

                I’d love a Day-Glo ray-gun, but not quite as much as Dr Who’s sonic screwdriver, which seems to be able to fix just about anything! September 21, 2021 at 7:25am Reply

    • Aurora: I knew the word but not the origin, thank you very much. September 21, 2021 at 3:14am Reply

      • Tourmaline: You’re most welcome, Aurora! September 21, 2021 at 3:53am Reply

    • JulienFromDijon: I hope to read more on her 🙂

      -Ikhor is also the name for the blood of the gods, in greek mythology. So petrichor can be also read as “divine blood of the stones”.
      To trace back the quotes, they are the one saying that human oozes blood, because they eat the bread from Demeter, while Gods loose ichor from their wounds, because they eat nectar and ambrosia. September 26, 2021 at 9:27am Reply

      • Tourmaline: Hi Julien,

        Thank you for this fascinating information!

        I’ll have to re-read some Greek mythology.

        With kind regards,
        Tourmaline September 26, 2021 at 9:33am Reply

  • Mingzhe Wang: Hello everyone and thank you Victoria for your continuing effort to produce such wonderful articles and videos!

    Recently I got reacquainted with L’Eau d’Hiver by Jean Claude Ellena. This was my very first bottle of “niche” perfume and thus started my journey about 15 years ago. I had a tiny bit left in that bottle that I picked up in their NYC boutique and almost forgotten about it. The other day a friend was wearing the same fragrance and I was so mesmerized and couldn’t tell what it was. When I found out they were wearing L’Eau d’Hiver, I was so surprised. I promptly got a new bottle. I am having a renewed appreciation for this perfume, how it is wonderfully balanced and blended. Funny how I used to think it had no lasting power, but now to me it lasts all day! unrelated note: I am currently reading Ed Yong’s I contain multitudes, a science book about microbes. Hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful fall weather. September 20, 2021 at 9:51am Reply

    • Kat Hi Five: Me too! Malle L’eau D’Hiver (Winter Water) is a sheer murmur of heliotrope and hawthorn. It is a skin scent on me (longevity 4 hours) but it lasts for days on clothes. The nose is Jean Claude Ellena. I read somewhere that JCE described it as “abstract minimal” and that he used Guerlain Apres L’Ondee for inspiration.
      Side note-I’m learning alot reading Nose Dive by Harold Mcgee. September 20, 2021 at 4:18pm Reply

    • Susan: I love Eau d’Hiver. It was one of my first niche scents as well. I need a new bottle and will order one now that you reminded me!

      I am reading The Lying Life of Adults – Ferrante. So far so good and the title just kills me. September 20, 2021 at 5:18pm Reply

    • JulienFromDijon: I’m happy to read that you enjoy “L’eau d’hiver”, while I could not.

      I found that the vanilla, though refined, was a bit monotonous and overbearing at the same time.

      But I had an old second-hand 10ml vial. Since then, Malle perfumes have often been reformulated more lightly, with a heftier pricetag, but with the full benefit of their fresh high-end ingredients. (I keep confusing “L’eau d’hiver” for “Une fleur de cassie”, and the later turned from weird and animalic, to a warm mimosa, soft as a kitten, and enjoyably so).

      I’m also writing to say that you might like “L’envol” from the Cartier mainstream line, for you or your significant other. It’s also a work on vanilla, with a very intricate, elusive, and soft-spoken work on honey, violet, and tobacco notes. It’s a bit uneasy for me to recommend a vanilla perfume : there are so much of them! September 26, 2021 at 9:37am Reply

      • Mingzhe Wang: Thank you! Guess what? I do have a bottle of L’Envol! Got it as a gift one xmas. It is very well made fragrance for sure! September 26, 2021 at 10:31am Reply

        • JulienFromDijon: You’ve already got L’envol. That’s funny!

          I should try again “l’eau d’hiver”. If I’ve made progress, I could guess some of its ingredients. September 29, 2021 at 9:07am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Hi Julien,
        Speaking of reformulations of Malle perfumes…I love Poison, and I foumd the same ”truffle-accord” in Une Rose. That is a long time ago. About 2 years ago I considered buying Une Rose, but I didn’f smell the truffle anymore.
        Could that be because of my Nose, or was it the reformulation? September 26, 2021 at 11:21am Reply

        • JulienFromDijon: Hi Cornelia! “Une rose” has changed.

          I’m no “Malle” expert, but I can still share what I’ve tested.

          The truffle note in “Une rose” used to stick on the skin AND project very well. (It clung to the skin like honey absolute or civet would, and with a faint olfactory texture of nail polish remover).

          Luca Turin said that the truffle was achieved through karanal, a strong woody-amber. On use, I would be over-stimulated by the truffle accord the first minutes, then I would feel oppressed and have a light headache. It was the version from around 2009. I better enjoyed it on others than on myself.

          This free website says that it’s use is limited to 2% in a formula. Maybe perfumes could use more before, but I stopped my investigation there.
          http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/rw1038591.html

          I presented the perfume from Malle to a friend of mine, she got a crush on “une rose”, and later her mother too. They would share a bottle. In my memory, the wild part of Une rose was already more tamed. It was around 2014.

          In 2019, I tried Une rose in a perfume marathon. It’s an excellent rose, making good use of the green and dark part of the CO² rose extract. It’s at this moment that I detected the general loss in strength and weirdness, in Malle’s range of perfumes. So the truffle note is more blended in. Like a cog, it doesn’t stand out. I enjoyed the freshness, in opposite to my old overripe 10ml vials at home. It’s also more cushy and fluffier in very natural fashion.

          (I’ve heard of a new natural rose ingredient on the market. It’s supposed to give a use to the wasted parts, or to the less noble rose water. Those by-product are re-injected in some fashion, and it gives “rose on the stem” aspects to the expensive stuff, for example the ready-to-use absolute. (Instead of the waxy concrete, you’re sold ready to use absolute, that are condensed, filtrated (no particles), sometime fraction-ed, and made colorless. It’s all a cooking.)

          Malle’s range smelled like natural ingredient fresh from the high-tech lab. And it was heavenly. These roses in Une rose, mimosa in Une fleur de cassie, iris in the hand cream, and so on. (Malle makes great use of the LMR Laboratoire Monique Rémy catalogue)

          Spirit of the staircase : Une rose is not the same, but IMO it’s more enjoyable. It’s also more expensive.

          Also, you’re right, this change made “une rose” go astray from the “dark red rose” DNA from the 80s, like Poison (or “7ème sens” from Sonia Rykiel, or “Parure” from Guerlain, with overt use of damascone and damascenone to amp things up (it also lent a dried raisin facet to the mix)). September 29, 2021 at 10:08am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Julien, thank you so much for this extensive and interesting answer! most generous.
            Maybe Une Rose is more enjoyable now, but for me the fascination is gone.
            I cherish my Poison! September 29, 2021 at 10:46am Reply

  • Deanna: Can anyone recommend a way to deal with disappointment!?
    Just received a vintage bottle of Arpege from eBay.
    It was still sealed with cellophane, but sadly – it’s off……..
    Trying to be philosophical about this! September 20, 2021 at 12:05pm Reply

    • Eudora: Philosophically…worse things can happen! Try to forget about it, think that it is not a big deal and turn the page. No more thinking, it is done. Any lesson? About eBay I mean, I never bought there. But I’ve been disappointed buying online…who doesn’t? Do you like Arpege in the current formulation? September 20, 2021 at 5:02pm Reply

      • Deanna: Hi Eudora,
        I have only had one bad experience from buying on eBay, have been really lucky up to now.
        I thought this would be ok as the box was still sealed, but of course how it was stored is an unknown. I looked online before buying and saw the same vintage item got ecstatic reviews from someone who’d bought it from another online store.
        Actually I do like the current reformulation of Arpege, it’s a gentler reincarnation than I remember from 20 years ago.
        Will try Angela’s advice and spray some more to get rid of what’s in the nozzle. September 21, 2021 at 3:02am Reply

    • Amanda M: Have you tried spraying the bottle several times to clear the nozzle? (before trying on skin) Occasionally, I’ve found that doing this rids the nozzle of any ‘stale’ perfume from a vintage…Then, hopefully the bottled fragrance will be better. September 20, 2021 at 8:23pm Reply

      • Deanna: Thanks Amanda,
        Actually I didn’t try this, I went into panic mode, but you’re right, I should try as this has worked with some of my own very old perfumes. September 21, 2021 at 2:50am Reply

        • Amanda M: That’s ok Deanna. I hope this works for you and that your Arpege smells wonderful! September 21, 2021 at 2:57am Reply

          • Deanna: Will let you know!
            It’s just that the initial smell of a turned perfume is really of putting to get anywhere near it. September 21, 2021 at 3:04am Reply

        • JulienFromDijon: If it is a spray bottle, indeed there is still hope. In the spray mechanism, the stem often has some condensed perfume that has turned bad, but not the rest of the bottle.

          It’s rare for Arpege to fade completely away. The top topes can be redolent of moldy apple right away, but there must be some resinous orange blossom in the heart, and the sandalwood and amber in the base. Arpege was a motherly fluffy ball of perfume, in an “everything but the sink” fashion.

          So, from the base, you have long lost ingredient : white aged sandalwood, incense-like vetiver, whale’s ambregris, a bit of tonkin musc. I was wondering this with a recent vintage Caleche that I bought : it turned off and smell horsey, but maybe I can layer it with the new one.

          If your Arpege smells of nothing, after 2 or 3 consecutive days, with a fresh nose, then try to ask to return it, and get a refund. Because it needs severe bad exposure for the stuff to fade away, so the seller is not in its good faith anymore. And he or she must benefit from the information, that his stock of perfume might not worth selling anymore. September 26, 2021 at 9:56am Reply

          • Deanna: Thank you Julien,
            and your wonderful description of the layers of Arpege inspired me to try again, with a fresh nose, as you say.
            Surprise – It Doesn’t Smell Off now!
            Think I’m smelling the middle layers, lovely but faint.
            The problem was that the spray nozzle was damaged,and some of the perfume had leaked.
            The seller refunded me half the money.
            Anyway I’m glad I tried it again, and getting some pleasure from it. September 26, 2021 at 11:38am Reply

            • Redhead: Hi Deanna! I happen to have few mls left of vintage Arpege. It smells very strong. If you live in the UK I’d be happy to send it to you. October 6, 2021 at 3:59am Reply

              • Deanna: Dear Redhead,
                That’s so kind of you!
                Yes I’d love to smell that, I’m in London and my email is [email protected]
                Please let me know about postage, or I could send you the stamps.

                Deanna October 6, 2021 at 6:03am Reply

                • Redhead: Hi Deanna, I’ve just emailed you! October 6, 2021 at 6:36am Reply

                • Redhead: Sent it, emailed you the receipt. October 6, 2021 at 10:34am Reply

    • Irem: Hi Deanna.
      Sorry to hear that your bottle of Arpege has disappointed. It happened to me many many years ago with a sealed bottle of Caron’s En Avion Parfum from a respectable retailer. I was very upset of course, I remember it being quite a bit of money down the drain. But then I realized that the issue was not the bottle, rather my expectations. It dawned to me that everything has a finite (shelf) life. If I were to buy “vintage” spices, for example, could I expect them to be fresh and vibrant? I would most likely end up with stale, dusty stuff, no matter how well stored. I know first hand because my own spices or tea, stored away from light and heat are no longer in best shape after a year or two. Fragrance lasts much longer than a year or two, of course, but still not forever. Some fragrances may fare better with time, proper storage conditions might add to the shelf life, but every vintage bottle is a game of roulette: will it be only the top notes that are crushed (almost impossible to escape) or will it be the whole formula that is off?
      I, personally, have stopped purchasing vintage fragrance after the En Avion incidence. I do not enjoy playing roulette. But that does not mean that you should stop too, maybe just be prepared to place a wrong bet from time to time. I know friends who love the thrill of roulette and play it not only for vintage fragrances. And I also know for sure that I am missing out on some wonderful vintage fragrances that are still out there. September 21, 2021 at 8:12pm Reply

      • Deanna: Hello Irem!
        Thank you for sharing your experience.
        You are right, we don’t expect spices or dried foods to last for years and years, but maybe our hopes with perfumes are bouyed by stories of perfumes being preserved in shipwrecks or pyramids! ( good storage conditions )
        Anyway in this case when I investigated further, I found that the spray mechanism was faulty, and half the bottle had leaked out. The seller was quite understanding and gave me half the money back, but like you I won’t be taking the risk again. September 22, 2021 at 3:31am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Deanna,

      I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience with Arpege. As a retired psychologist, I can advise you that the key to dealing with disappointment is to put things into perspective. Nobody got sick or died as a result of your misfortune, you probably still have enough money left to cover your bills and buy food, and chances are that you own a number of other fragrances that you love. Count your other blessings, too.

      Then, do a stocktake of the perfumes you own, and how long you might have in which to use them before they begin to turn. Also, see whether there is any fragrance that you could swap – perhaps for a vintage bottle of Arpege currently owned by a Perfumista living in your area,

      If all else fails, I’d hark back to the concept of perspective. Consider the old chestnut of thinking about the people in the world who are starving or living in war zones. I confess that, for me, this still works!

      I hope this helps.

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 4:51am Reply

      • Deanna: Hi Tourmaline,
        Thank you for taking the trouble to reply at length, yes that viewpoint certainly helps with an disappointment, it was more a disappointment of being denied a Proustian visit back into my past!
        I feel my perfumes may outlast me so not so worried about that aspect, and they have been well stored. September 22, 2021 at 5:10am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hi Deanne,

          You’re welcome.

          Ah, the desire for that elusive scent from the past – the one so strongly fused to a memory. Yes, as L. P. Hartley wrote in his 1953 novel, “The Go-Between”, “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” And we could add that things smell differently there…

          Most of my perfume will certainly outlive me! The outrageous size of my collection is the reason I rarely buy a new bottle, these days. I’m always chiding myself for being so busy that I forget to put any on, thus wasting my supply.

          I hope that one day you will find a bottle of Arpege that hits the memory spot!

          With kind regards,
          Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 5:33am Reply

          • Deanna: I wonder what the classics of today will be, for people to look back on nostalgically…….. September 22, 2021 at 6:32am Reply

            • Tourmaline: That’s such a great question. I’ll bet that Victoria’s predictions would be on the money! September 22, 2021 at 6:38am Reply

              • Deanna: Calling Victoria!
                Please tell us,
                What will be the great classics of today?! September 22, 2021 at 6:47am Reply

                • Tourmaline: Yes, Victoria, I’d love to know your thoughts about this! September 22, 2021 at 6:48am Reply

                • Victoria: This article needs updating, but some of it held up:
                  https://boisdejasmin.com/2007/03/modern_classics.html September 22, 2021 at 8:27am Reply

                  • Deanna: Thank you Victoria, will study that article. September 22, 2021 at 12:12pm Reply

                  • Tourmaline: Yes, thanks so much, Victoria. September 24, 2021 at 11:13am Reply

  • Caro: I bought the Pacifica Dream Moon edp yesterday after hearing so many likened it to Baccarat Rouge 540. I purchased the body spray a few months back on a whim when I needed something quickly, and I am enjoying the departure from my usual florals and musk. The body spray dissipates rapidly, but you can get it to linger if you use a good amount. The edp is similar to the body spray, but it lasts even less time. My skin loves to hold onto edp, and two full spritzes would turn into a close skin scent by the 15 minute mark. It also doesn’t feel as light, has a harder edge that then bs. The two do layer well together. The edp isn’t a dupe for BR540, though I understand the parallels. Over all disappointed by the edp, but I’ll keep it around for when I need a short sugar rush.

    I’m close to using up my Dita Von Teese perfume, the original in the black bottle. Any recommendations for a close match? September 20, 2021 at 12:20pm Reply

  • Patricia Wilks: Hello. Victoria
    I just looked on Amazon and neither the book or author of Here Begins The Dark Sea appears.
    Do you have other info? Sounds delicious.
    Love your blog.
    Patricia September 20, 2021 at 3:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: The deal was just announced, but it hasn’t been published yet. September 20, 2021 at 3:39pm Reply

  • Jenni: Hi,
    I want to buy my son and new belle-fille a wedding celebration perfume, one they can both wear. They are both in their late twenties, currently live in London, are traveling as much as they can — they love adventure, cooking, trying new spices and wines — the wedding celebration will be in the rain forest inPuerto Rico this december – I’m a big fan of Frederic Malle Perfumes, which make for a special gift — has anyone smelled the new Synthetic Jungle by Anne Flipo? or Magnolia (that’s my belle-fille’s favorite flower) — thought it might be a match — other thoughts and ideas? I don’t think they need to wear it on the celebration — but they could use it on their honeymoon on Vieques — which will be beachy. Can’t wait to read responses. September 20, 2021 at 5:49pm Reply

    • Nina Z: Are you sure they want you to pick their perfume for them? And are you sure they want to wear the same thing? If not, I suggest you collect some samples of things you think they might like and send them the samples and let them choose. Does Frederic Malle have a sample set you could purchase for them?

      On the other hand, if they have given you this mission, that’s another story. What about Angeliques Sous La Pluie? That’s seems both unisex and kind of beach-y and cooling. September 20, 2021 at 9:14pm Reply

      • MaryAnn Popper Hardy: It’s not unheard of to solicit help from the in-laws! I Asked my own soon-to-be-mother-in-law for a fragrance. She loaned my her bottle of Estee Lauder and … sigh… it will always take me back to that evening and her warmth and welcome and the love she poured into me for the next decades. She was a lovely woman and a beautiful soul. September 20, 2021 at 11:11pm Reply

        • Marianne: MaryAnne, oh so beautiful to read your post. Thank you! September 21, 2021 at 2:58am Reply

          • Marianne: ps sorry I spelled your name wrong, MaryAnn💐 September 21, 2021 at 3:01am Reply

        • Melissa Rosen: Beautiful beautiful. Love that a daughter-in-law can be so loving and loved. September 25, 2021 at 7:42am Reply

    • Jamie: Hi Kenni. That is such a sweet and thoughtful idea! I did exactly this for my sister and brother in law years ago. I love perfume shopping so it was a fun adventure for me. Luckily the SA I dealt with at my local Mecca counter was a total perfume nut as well so she had fun too. We whittled the selection down to 5 fragrances for each of them and heavily sprayed tester cards of each which we labeled and put in zip lock bags. Then went to their house and gave them 24 hours to select the ones they liked best. Then I presented them will bottle on the morning of the wedding. CDG2 Man for him and Gypsy Water for her. They were so happy , and I get them replacement bottles on their birthdays September 21, 2021 at 9:26pm Reply

      • Marianne: Such a charming story, Jamie. You handled this delicate situation with respect and creativity. Everyone had a positive experience! September 23, 2021 at 12:47am Reply

        • Jamie: It was a delightful way to make their day special and allowed me to indulge my perfume obsession.. win-win October 1, 2021 at 9:15pm Reply

  • MaryAnn: PERRY ELLIS, from the 1980’s, for women in a simple bottle with a cabochon of turquoise topping the cap (or a cabochon of coral, sometimes). The fragrance was complex at first spray, and then spicy and comforting If anyone is familiar with this (out of production) fragrance and can recommend one that is similar, I would love to hear about it 🙂 September 20, 2021 at 6:23pm Reply

    • marylizette: Have you tried Tolu by Jane Ormond? It has a similar vibe to me. September 20, 2021 at 9:05pm Reply

      • MaryAnn Popper Hardy: Thank you for the suggestion. I think I have it in a sample. I’ll go visit that sample! It will have to make me swoon, though :)😍 September 20, 2021 at 11:08pm Reply

  • Marylizette: Hi,
    So happy to consult these experts. I used to love Samsara. I love Santal 33. I own Tam Dao. I really want a sandalwood soap scent. Any ideas? Thank you in advance.

    Mare September 20, 2021 at 9:03pm Reply

    • Eudora: Mare, I bought one of Victoria’s favorite, Mysore soap, on Amazon. It is very good but, IMHO, not great. The smell is fabulous but I prefer the quality of Chanel or cheap Roger Gallett. You can search for Victoria’s review. September 21, 2021 at 9:39am Reply

    • Karina: Are you interested in a soap with sandalwood scent or in a sandalwood scent that is also soapy? For the sandalwood soap you could always try the soap versions of the perfumes you like. Diptyque does a Tam Dao soap and shower gel for sure. For a soapy sandalwood scent I’m afraid I’d be a bit stumped for ideas… September 24, 2021 at 2:13am Reply

  • Marianne: I’d like to re-experience Lanvin’s Arpege as it was in the late sixties … elegant, refreshing, exquisite. I was given a bottle of this magic elixir as a young girl and would spray the precious liquid when alone to fully savour the experience. I can’t recall the scent but believe that I’d instantly recognize it should it reappear.

    During the nineties I tried Arpege again and was very disappointed. I assumed that my sense of smell had changed until I read Luca Turin’s statement that our brains are capable of immediately remembering a scent and then transporting us back to the time and place we experienced it.

    There are other smells that I just know I would recognize, such as, during my childhood, the unmistakable smell of my grandmother’s kitchen. And the smell of a brand new pencil case filled with goodies at the beginning of a primary school year. September 20, 2021 at 11:01pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Marianne,

      I know only the Arpège that my younger brother gave my mother in the eighties, the half-full bottle of which I inherited as part of her perfume collection when she died in 2011. It’s certainly a beautiful scent, and though it’s a floral aldehyde, it’s a very rich one, and quite a sophisticated scent for a young girl… You were very lucky!

      I agree with you about the smell of stationery supplies. I find it very calming, shopping for stationery supplies, and their aroma is just the icing on the cake. I seem to recall Victoria saying, a little while back, that some pencils are made of sandalwood, which could explain the attractive scent of gourmet pencil shavings. I confess that I also loved the smell of those colourful plastic rubbers. I’m sure it was no accident that they smelled good enough to eat, making them so very attractive to little people!

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 2:58am Reply

      • Marianne: Hi Tourmaline, yes, I was given an outstanding perfume at a young age! As though future me gave it to me long ago, getting me ready to delight in scent for life!

        Thank you for your insightful posts covering many interesting topics, I appreciate them 💐 September 23, 2021 at 1:08am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hi Marianne,

          Yes, that’s a delightful way to describe it – your future self giving it to your younger self!

          Thank you so much, Marianne; it really does mean a lot to me that my scribblings are appreciated.

          With kind regards,
          Tourmaline September 24, 2021 at 11:17am Reply

        • carole: Hello! I wanted to chime in on Arpege-we went to St Pierre and Michelon, which is a part of France, located off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. It was incredible. I was ten, and I remember the beautiful French perfumes. My mom bought Je Reviens, and the sales lady gave her tons of samples-we felt so rich 🙂 My mom gave me the Arpege samples, eplaining how beautiful it was, and how it would suit me. So I wore it. I wore a dab to school, a dab to feed the chickens-everywhere I went. The only ten year old on a bicycle who smelt of Arpege lol. The new formulation is beautiful and respectful, but I miss the original. Thank you for all the great comments about one of my favourite scents,
          Sincerely,
          Carole September 29, 2021 at 4:25pm Reply

          • Marianne: Your post paints a charming and hilarious scene that I can relate to! Thank you Carole.
            As a child I was moved to smell any perfume that came my way, also endeavouring to create my own from garden flowers. These weren’t successful! September 30, 2021 at 8:08pm Reply

  • Marianne: Hi Marylizette, Yes! I got the lead from Bois de Jasmin some time ago. The Sultan of Lahore manufactures high quality sandalwood soap. I buy it at my local Indian grocer for a very reasonable price. It’s available as single soaps and also as three cakes presented in a beautifully decorated box, ideal for gift giving. September 20, 2021 at 11:11pm Reply

    • Amanda M: I love this soap too Marianne, have them too, they’re delightful! Sandalwood is one of my most favourite scents ever. Vintage Samsara EDP is beautiful. September 21, 2021 at 5:52am Reply

      • Marianne: Hi Amanda, yes, sandalwood is a favourite of mine too, with its creamy, gorgeous perfume. I used to wear Samsara even though I never connected it to sandalwood, in spite of discovering later that 30% of its total makeup is that!

        What’s your experience of the current version? It’s sold here by a discount chemist chain at a markedly reduced price which has me questioning its quality. Having said that, the aforementioned soap is also inexpensive. Maybe the reason is that Australia now farms sandalwood, possibly other countries do as well? I’ve gathered that the farmed sandalwood isn’t the same as that which grows in India and is now under threat, but I can’t verify this.

        I need to try Samsara again! The local fine perfume shop owner says it’s the last of the great Guerlains.

        Marianne September 21, 2021 at 6:23am Reply

        • Deanna: Hi Marianne,
          Personally I prefer the current formulation of Samsara.
          When it first came out I thought it was spoilt by an undercurrent of a harsh smell of boot polish.
          Perhaps someone can describe that better, what chemical produced that.
          Now that element has gone, I find it softer, and really lovely.
          Some September 22, 2021 at 5:16am Reply

          • Marianne: Deanna, thanks for this advice, I appreciate it very much and will soon seek out Samsara. September 23, 2021 at 1:10am Reply

      • Marianne: Hi Amanda, yes, sandalwood is a favourite of mine too, with its creamy, gorgeous perfume. I used to wear Samsara even though I never connected it to sandalwood, in spite of discovering later that 30% of its total makeup is that!

        What’s your experience of the current version? It’s sold here by a discount chemist chain at a markedly reduced price which has me questioning its quality. Having said that, the aforementioned soap is also inexpensive. Maybe the reason is that Australia now farms sandalwood, possibly other countries do as well? I’ve gathered that the farmed sandalwood isn’t the same as that which grows in India and is now under threat, but I can’t verify this.

        I need to try Samsara again! The local fine perfume shop owner says it’s the last of the great Guerlains.

        Marianne

        ps forgive me if this is a duplicate post; I’m not sure what I’ve done, maybe touched something on this new iPad, but I so enjoyed writing to you that I don’t want to lose it! September 21, 2021 at 6:26am Reply

        • Amanda M: That’s ok Marianne, I’ve sometimes seen double postings on these pages, so you’re not the first!

          I’m only familiar with the older versions of Samsara – the late 80’s clear glass bottle and I also have the version of the EDP in the red bottle from the early 2000’s. I know that Guerlain has re-released all their Classics earlier this year in the same shaped bottles as Mitsouko & Le Heure Bleue.

          From what I’ve researched thus far, reports on Fragrantica have not been very favourable at all for Samsara EDP in these new bottles. I for one, won’t be buying one.

          If you can find the version in the older red 90’s-early to mid 2000’s bottles, that would be a better choice! There are still some around on eBay. I’ve also heard that the bee bottle version is ok, although I’ve not tried that one. September 21, 2021 at 6:42am Reply

          • Marianne: Thanks Amanda. I had a feeling that the Samsara of today wouldn’t live up to its past grandeur. Unfortunately I’ve had a disappointment with another “bee bottle” scent, ie Nahema. I thought that possibly it was a decanted version having been informed that this can occur, but that information could be an urban myth!
            Myth or not, it’s but a shadow of its former self in my view.

            Marianne September 21, 2021 at 6:58am Reply

            • Frances: Hello Marianne,

              I don’t know about this myth but I bought Nahema in 2019 and indeed I thought it “thinned” compared to what it was. A little tip that may help: I let mine settle to a few months after opening and it regained strength. It also worked for a bath of Shalimar which was a little weak (it was few years ago I didn’t experience the same problem with the bottle that I bought last year). I heard about this tip on a french fragrance site: a man said he did so with L’Heure Bleue with great results. September 21, 2021 at 4:14pm Reply

              • Marianne: Hello Frances, many thanks for this suggestion. I’ll try it. I have another question regarding a possible truth or urban myth … I was informed by a friend that perfume houses modify scents for different global markets and their different climate zones which results in subtle changes, eg between Europe and Asia … Victoria have you or other contributors evidence of this?

                Marianne September 25, 2021 at 12:49am Reply

  • Linda: Hi everyone,
    I am looking for a perfume for my nature walks, trips, hiking. I want something which is not overpowering, not very expensive and does not interfere with the smell of nature. Something that gives meg energy sort of.
    Thank you! September 21, 2021 at 12:45am Reply

    • Ewan: Pelichor by Nature :] September 21, 2021 at 1:08am Reply

      • Ewan: Oops , I meant Petrichor – well, if I want to try and be funny I should concentrate a little September 21, 2021 at 4:51am Reply

    • Marianne: Hi Linda, I have a friend whose favourite perfumes are those by Aesop. They’re quite oily in texture (not in a bad way, just different); I noticed that they have a roll-on called Ginger Flight for $33. It’s marketed as for travel and work. Generally their perfumes and candles are quite pricey, there’s a chance this ginger root, lavender and geranium based offering would work well for you. The reviews I’ve found are positive.

      I’ve been using their skin care products for some years now. Their beautiful natural scents are superb in my view.

      Marianne September 21, 2021 at 2:53am Reply

    • Dorothee Teboul: Hi there. I very often wear Do Son , or Tea Tonique when I go hiking. September 21, 2021 at 10:03am Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Linda: On winter walks I like pine fragrances like Serge Lutens Fille en aiguilles or Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilée. September 21, 2021 at 8:36pm Reply

    • Klaas: Dear Linda, Bravanariz is an all natural, sustainable perfumer brand from Catalonia. One of his fragrances is called Muga, which starts of with a blast of pine and slowly dries down towards its warm, balmy base with hay, lavender and immortelle…..

      It is not cheap, though he does small sizes, and I think they would make a perfect companion on a hike! It literally smells like nature…….the room sprays are very good too, and not as pricey. Maybe to bring nature back to your home? September 26, 2021 at 11:13am Reply

      • Linda: Thank you all for recommending such intriguing scents for my walks, hikings. I cannot wait to test them and wear them. September 26, 2021 at 11:50am Reply

  • Ewan: I recently bought a small amount of Fig-Tea by Nicolai, which is quite fruity.
    Reading ‘Making Dystopia:The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism’ September 21, 2021 at 12:54am Reply

  • Julie: I loved Miss Dior Cherie eau de Parfum but it
    is no longer available. Could you recommend
    a similar perfume with a powdery dust down.

    I am reading: The Perfume Thief by Timothy
    Schaffert. It is good for a bit of fluff.
    Julie. September 21, 2021 at 3:42am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Julie: Was it the 2005 version or the 2011 one?

      Hanae Mori ‘Butterfly’ with its strawberry note reminds me somewhat of the 2011 MDC but it is sweeter.

      You can also check the Fragrantica page and scroll down to the section ‘this perfume reminds me of’. September 21, 2021 at 8:28pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Julie,

      I just read the précis for this book on Amazon. I think I would enjoy it as a brief diversion – the Kindle version, though! Thanks for the tip.

      With kind regards,
      Judith September 22, 2021 at 3:07am Reply

    • JulienFromDijon: Chanel “Coco mademoiselle” would be a good start. Like “Miss Dior chérie” it has a natural jasmine veering on strawberry, with rose, on a soft oriental base. September 26, 2021 at 11:28am Reply

  • karton bardak: This was really interesting, thanks tourmaline! September 21, 2021 at 10:18am Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Karton,

      You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about petrichor.

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 21, 2021 at 7:49pm Reply

      • karton bardak: Hi Turmalin thanks September 22, 2021 at 1:37am Reply

    • irem: Hello Karton Bardak,
      I really like your name.
      Signed: Paper Cup 😉 September 21, 2021 at 10:23pm Reply

      • karton bardak: Thank you İrem September 22, 2021 at 1:35am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I have a question to the knowledgeable perfume community: We‘re going to Puglia in Italy for a week. I‘d love to buy some local eau de cologne, perhaps a citrus fragrance.
    I remember a local fragrance from Sicily (Aria di Sicilia) which was simple but quite refreshing.
    I‘d love a fragrance from Puglia. Any ideas? Thanks so much in advance! September 21, 2021 at 3:30pm Reply

    • Sebastian: I can’t tell if any of this stuff would be worthwhile, but when I google “profumo” and “puglia” I get the following two hits:

      https://www.iprofumidipuglia.com/

      https://www.essentiapuglia.com/collections/profumi September 21, 2021 at 7:05pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Thanks Sebastian, much appreciated! September 22, 2021 at 1:06am Reply

    • Gabriela: I love Puglia, look for Salentum i Profumi (we wemt to their store in Galipoli), gorgeous colognes and body creams!!! Also, in Puglia, they have lovely leather sandals and burrata cheese,
      of course.
      Lecce is very beautiful, all those baroque buildings. September 22, 2021 at 6:27am Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Thanks so much, Gabriela! Yes, very much looking forward to our visit, and yes, burrata, mozzarella & co are high on our list! Will definitely go to the shop in Gallipoli. September 22, 2021 at 12:52pm Reply

    • john: I don’t know about Puglia, but I have been curious to try perfumes from Carthusia (I’ve heard good things about ‘Numero Uno’), which is based on the island of Capri, but I’m not sure if you are planning long day trips from whatever home base you establish. Have a wonderful time! September 22, 2021 at 4:13pm Reply

      • OnWingsofSaffron: Nope, Bari to Lecce is 450 km one way plus a ferry ride to Naples! For American, Canadian, South African, Australian a nip around the corner; for us a trip to the moon and back! Also, I‘d rather drink an espresso and eat a pasticiotto 😄 September 23, 2021 at 2:18pm Reply

  • Frances: Good evening everyone,

    I resumed my reading of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, an interesting take on Victorian times. Instead of dwelling on the corseted and stern aspects we’re all aware of, the author chooses to talk about the beginning of modern sciences especially medicine but also about women interested in taking the path of academic studies. Her main character is passionate about fossils science following in the steps of the first woman to illustrate herself in that field. Sarah Perry mixes these themes with scary intriguing legends, folklore and the depiction of the beauty and strenght of nature which is, maybe more than the heroïne, the main character of the novel (the critics were right: her description of countryside is beautiful).

    As for the fragrance I am wearing. This summer I wore Shalimar and Jean Louis Scherrer’s Scherrer. I bought the Scherrer in January and thought it would be a great winter scent but surprisingly it was, to my nose at least, more delightful in the hot weather. I think this fragrances will be perfect for fall too, alongside Scherrer 2 a sibling of Chanel’s Coco.

    This being said, I’d like to ask your opinion about a fragrance I plan to acquire (I cannot test it beforehand so it will be a blind buy). I smelled Dune by Dior when it first came out and fall in love. I was a kid back then and couldn’t dream of wearing it. I had to settle for Anaïs Anaïs instead. Then I don’t know why but I forgot about it for quite some time. Only recently I thought of purchasing it. But after reading a lot of comments online it seems the jury is out on whether or not the fragrance is faithful to its former glory. Some vintage Dune addicts say the new one is cloying and lacked warmness. Some others say it is still as beautiful as ever. Now I’m aware a reformulation can rarely equal or compete with the original but if someone had the opportunity to smell a very recent bath of Dune I’d like to know if it is worthwhile to give it a try seeing I don’t plan to seek for a vintage edition.

    @Tourmaline: this is very interesting to know more about Petrichor indeed, thank you. I remember the first time I heard of it: Amy used the word in Doctor Who. September 21, 2021 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Frances,

      I’m glad you enjoyed reading about petrichor. I did not know that the word had been used in Dr Who, but I’m glad. I have a lot of catching up to do with older seasons, from the beginning up until modern times. So far, I have seen only David Tennant, Peter Capaldi and the brilliant Jodie Whittaker as the doctor.

      I am intrigued that you used Shalimar during the summer, although I’m sure the heat would bring out its beauty to maximum effect.

      Unfortunately, I can’t help you with Dune, as I’ve never worn it. I hope someone can update you on it.

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 21, 2021 at 8:03pm Reply

      • Judith Graff: P. S.

        I meant to add that, based on your description of it, I now want to read “The Essex Serpent”. We need more books about women who participate in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and maths). September 22, 2021 at 4:27am Reply

        • Frances: Hello Tourmaline,

          I’m quite sure you will enjoy very much the seasons (5,6,7 and beginning of 8) with the eleventh doctor played by Matt Smith. The episode I’m referring too is actually terrific. The word petrichor makes another appearance later on in quite a glamorous setting (and now that’s maybe not a trailer but that’s quite a teaser!)

          And thanks, yes I smelled wonderful indeed! I never wore Shalimar come summer time until this year. I read an article (I think it was actually on this very site) explaining such an heavy fragrance shines when the weather is hot. The same article stated, if my memory serves me well, that “cold” green scent are wonderful in the winter. Anyway, as you said its beauty was at its maximum! But to be honest I only dared to wear it in the evening and even then it was quite intoxicating.

          A Shalimar that I loved to wear in summer even by day time when I wasn’t in the sun was Shalimar Parfum Initial. They reissued it this year if I am right, in their exclusive collection, or something like that, at a price that makes my wallet cry and recoil in horror.

          ps: If you’re interested in women in STEM fields then you will definitely find the Essex Serpent to be an interesting read indeed. Plus the historical setting, the strange atmosphere and the fantastical events make it quite an escapist read. September 22, 2021 at 8:30am Reply

          • Tourmaline: Hello Frances,

            Now I am very much looking forward both to reading “The Essex Serpent” and to watching all those Doctor Who series!

            Ah yes, now that you mention it, I do recall Victoria writing about rich fragrances blooming their boldest in the warmth, and the chill of “cold” fragrances being emphasized by cold weather. That was considerate of you not to allow the sweetness of Shalimar to become cloying in the daytime heat!

            With kind regards,
            Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 8:47am Reply

    • Irem: Hello Frances,
      You must have smelled wonderful all Summer. I am not familiar with Sherrer but I love Shalimar.
      I am always drawn to Dune too. I wore it first in my early twenties and I was always torn about it. It smelled good and weird in a wonderful way but it also felt too grown up. I have constantly revisited it, but never committed to a full bottle.
      Last time I smelled a tester at Macy’s, and it was more or less Dune. I surely do not remember all nuances, but Dune has such a recognizable form that no other fragrance comes close too, and the form remained unchanged. I also cannot say for sure how old the bottle was, but it was full and should be pretty recent.
      I do not know where you are located, but I would highly recommend to purchase from a source where you can easily return the bottle if you are not happy. September 21, 2021 at 8:29pm Reply

      • Frances: Hello Irem,

        First of all: sorry, the thank you in Tourmaline post was meant to you, I was thinking of both your posts as I was planning my answers and got confused. I didn’t write in English for a long time now (even when I read it everyday) and I’m yet to find my feet, if the expression is correct. So thank you, I indeed smelled wonderful all summer long. It was a new daring experiment for me to try such a heady scent in the hot weather and it worked quite well but I only used it in the evening that’s maybe why. As for Scherrer it was a nice little gem I came across thanks to Victoria’s beautiful review and some other articles on various english and french sites I use to read. It is sophisticated while being very different from Shalimar. Still this year I preferred to wear these ones over more lighter sun drenched easy going scents.

        I know what you mean about Dune, it is a really intriguing scent which left its mark in my memory. I cannot remember the notes, I cannot pinpoint one specific material but still the impression is ever lasting. It was warm, enticing but still unusual (and yes maybe weird especially compared to the fragrance on trend at the time) and very grown up as you say. I have the feeling it is one of those atmospheric scents that make you travel but not settle. It is a landscape of a scent you wish to revisit only from time to time as opposed to a signature scent.

        Thank you for your insight on this new bottle. If the form of the fragrance remained unchanged I might give it a try if only for nostalgia sake. Plus I saw it on sale quite a few times. In France we don’t have a great policy return like in other countries: once you open the product you’re stuck with it (unless it is a faulty one), a thing to consider for people who purchase over here and are not aware of this. September 22, 2021 at 9:14am Reply

    • Sara: Dear Frances,

      I am a Dune lover, too, who was a kid in the 90s and dreamt of wearing it when I grew up. My mom wore it and I thought it was just magical. I have tested the new formula in the past year or two and I think it’s absolutely worth getting, if you have the budget; there is, in my view, nothing quite like Dune. Since Dior has in recent years severely changed some of their classic scents (e.g., the Dior Homme line, Miss Dior) one might worry that they may have changed Dune as well. That said, Dune is to Dior like No. 19 is to Chanel, I think; pretty much only the old fans buy it, and for Dior to spend time and money reformulating it again might just result in sunk costs. September 22, 2021 at 12:15pm Reply

      • Frances: (I don’t know what happened, my reply appeared at the end of the thread and not as a direct answer to your comment so re post it were it belongs. I hope it will work just fine this time)

        Thank you Sara, it is very nice to meet someone who had the same experience with Dune, the same “love at first scent” and still find it beautiful. Plus it is a special fragrance for you since your mother wore it so beautifully. Memories of scents we discovered when were kids are so powerful, it is fascinating. I think those encounters shape our taste for later on in life.

        As for reformulation, you’re right I guess. The more they reformulate a fragrance the more it is at risk to lose its uniqueness. Dune was reformulated years ago to comply with IFRA demands but I don’t think they took the time to reformulate it again and again. Another Dior fragrance with faithful fans is Dolce Vita and it is said to still smell September 22, 2021 at 8:17pm Reply

    • Amanda M: Hello Frances,

      Regarding your question about Dune…
      I used to wear and love the original version too, back in the early 90’s. I used up my bottle but did not re-purchase. Fast forward to 2018 and I decided that I’d like to wear it again and revisit those lovely memories of wearing it.
      I bought the latest version.

      Suffice to say, I was rather disappointed…the Dune DNA is still there in some regards, you can spray it & think, yes, that’s Dune, but as the notes progress, you will tell the difference in formula.
      I’m afraid reformulation has altered it as it’s lost the depth and warmth and that beauty that it once had. I sold my 2018 bottle.

      Some time later I did manage to find a vintage from the early 90’s and it’s perfect! Just as I remember it. Much longer lasting and not as ‘watered down’. I know you mentioned that you’re not going to be looking for a vintage but if you do come across one, it will be very much worth it! September 24, 2021 at 6:50pm Reply

      • Frances: Hello Amanda,

        I’m sorry to hear you had to give up on Dune, it is always heart breaking when a fragrance changes and is not the same anymore, almost like a betrayal. Even when the reformulation is not too bad it is always difficult to deal with it because when you happened to know a scent so well the alterations are very obvious. It happened to me with Kenzo ça sent beau, the first Kenzo. I was gifted this fragrance around the same time I first smelled Dune. I wore it for a long time and my memory of it is super vivid so when I blind bought a new reformulated bottle and smelled it my heart literally sank. New Kenzo is the ghost of the ghost of the ghost of the old one.

        This being said, I wasn’t that acquainted with Dune because I never got to wear it myself so maybe I won’t be as disappointed as you were. Vintage is always tempting but a little difficult to navigate for the beginner. Still maybe one day I’ll change my mind and I’ll go for it. Anyway I’m glad you find a bottle of old Dune and enjoyed it so much. September 26, 2021 at 5:24pm Reply

    • Klaas: Hey Frances, Scherrer is BOMB in summer! You must have enjoyed it so much! I love to hear about people wearing it as it is such a classic and so much under the radar……

      I’m no expert on Dune, though a friend of mine used to wear it back in the day and it was such a glorious fragrance……mysterious, dark and enveloping. And such sillage! Now it is always tricky to revisit a perfume to which one has memories attached. Reformulations do change fragrances and Dior has been quite terrible with some of their perfumes. This being said, Dune is not a pillar of the house, and this is usually good news…..from what I pick up online I figure that Dune has so far escaped the massacre……I would go for it, especially if you can buy it for a good price. And why not go to a shop and ask for a snif?

      The Essex Serpent is such a fun book! So atmospheric and intriguing. The protagonist is such an interesting character! I loved the lady who wanted everything to become blue…….if I’d let myself I’d be the same….I would only buy blue……clothes, kitchen wear, tea cups, sheets, jewelery (sapphire!!!!)……my partner always laughs when I buy (yet another!) blue jumper!

      Get the Dune! If you don’t like it you van always give it away! September 26, 2021 at 5:37am Reply

      • Frances: Hello Klaas,

        Yes, Scherrer is SO good in summer, I was very surprised, I couldn’t believe it was even better than in winter. Now I can’t wait to buy the EDP which I heard is gloriously intoxicating compared to the EDT. I’m glad to meet a fellow Scherrer devotee! It is an underrated gem. It is more sophisticated, more alluring than some very expensive perfumes people usually put forward plus the bottle is both simple and elegant. I hesitated for quite some time before buying it (it was a blind buy) because it is not what I am accustomed to wear but it was worth going out of my way.

        As for Dune I will maybe find a way to smell it. Or I will buy it when the price is low. I know it will not be the same as it was before but I didn’t wear it myself so maybe I won’t be that disappointed. Plus I love the pebble golden bottle.

        The cover of The Essex Serpent (the pocket book and the french translation) is…blue. I’m not as much into blue myself but I can imagine it is very easy to succumb to the blue spell…and what about blue walls, either paint or wallpaper? Once, in a period movie, I saw a deep blue room with beautiful dark furniture and a big mirror with a gold framework and ended up thinking quite a lot about it. Like quite quite a lot. I knew it wouldn’t work well with the feel of my entire house but I was that close to paint a whole room that vibrant color. September 26, 2021 at 6:17pm Reply

        • Amanda M: Oh yes, Scherrer, I do love this one too Frances! It’s glorious. I’ve not tried the EDP as it’s very hard to come by here in Australia. I have the edt, and that is lovely.
          Thank you for your comments to me on Dune. Yes, it was nice to find a vintage.
          But if you’re able, do try the recent version as you may find that you fall in love with it and enjoy it.
          As you’ve not actually worn the older version, then you may find this recent one enjoyable.
          Even if you are able to find a sample or decant online?
          Bonne chance! 😊
          Amanda x September 26, 2021 at 11:20pm Reply

        • Klaas: Hello Frances, I once painted an entire wall blue…….dark, dark, midnight blue. With a frame of gold paint around it. It was spectacular, though it did make the apartment rather dark. I now live in a very light interior, which also suits my significant other, but that blue wall was everything!

          I never smelled the EDP from Scherrer! Please comment if you do get it some day!

          Enjoy your week! September 27, 2021 at 4:28am Reply

          • Frances: Midnight blue is great for an accent wall and the gold paint frame elevates the whole idea. Now that’s an interesting way of using colors and it can works with different shades and textures. I take note. If your partner prefers lighter colors, a milky baby blue paint (like Farrow and Ball Borrowed light which I will surely use in one bedroom) is the way to go and you can do a whole room with it or pair it with white.

            Back on topic, I won’t forget to comment for sure when I get the Scherrer EDP.

            Enjoy your week too! September 27, 2021 at 11:20am Reply

            • Klaas: You see, this why I love this blog…..from Scherrer to books to wall paint in one single post!

              That color is amazing by the way! Perfect for a bedroom, too! September 27, 2021 at 12:49pm Reply

        • Amanda M: Frances, I forgot to add that I would have loved to send you a decant of my vintage Dune, but unfortunately, our Australian Customs laws here are very strict and do not allow us to post any perfume overseas. It would have been my pleasure otherwise….😊
          Whatever you decide to do, I hope your (possible) purchase makes you happy! September 27, 2021 at 5:14am Reply

          • Frances: Thank you so much Amanda, this is very kind of you 🙂 I know customs laws can be strict depending on the country and actually I guess we also have restrictions here in Europe when it comes to send overseas. However intention is everything. Also thank you for your words of encouragements concerning my purchase. I plan to buy it when weather turns colder (it’s still more or less summer time around here) and if I do so I will leave a comment on the next Recommend me thread.

            And I’m glad to see you’re a Scherrer’s fan too. Even in France it is not that easy to come by the EDP. You can only find it at Nocibé, a big french store, and only online. Also it is out of stock from time to time as a lot of faithful fans and perfumista hunt it down when it’s on sale. But it is such a beauty it’s worth the trouble.

            Have a nice day! September 27, 2021 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Maria: Dear Victoria, first and foremost I would like to thank you for this wonderful blog – in a world full of instagram and YouTube stars it is refreshing to see that the written word is still very much alive and well. I came across it a few times but only now, as I am starting to become more interested in the world of scents and perfumes, could really appreciate the enormous amount of knowledge you and your readers provide on this page.
    Some background: I am a 35 year old doctor currently on maternity leave. When I’m pregnant and during baby’s first months I usually use perfume very rarely. My sense of smell, which is already good, becomes really heightened and I crave mainly clean and fresh scents. I have been a one bottle of perfume a time kind of person, and only after reading your posts on perfume wardrobe started to realize how non sense the signature scent concept is. That said my nose is quite well trained albeit much more kitchen oriented – I cook a lot, it’s one of my hobbies. My mother has a fantastic nose and identifies people by scent, knows where we have been based on scent…sometimes it’s just creepy.

    My life in perfumes: My tastes are still very basic and I am afraid not very exciting when compared to most of the people who leave their comments here. When I was a teenager I enjoyed some usual suspects Ralph by Ralph Lauren, Tommy Girl, DKNY woman…then Light Blue D&G, L’eau Kenzo pour femme, Salvatore Ferragamo Incanto Charms, Moschino I love love, Bvlgari Omnia Amethiste, D&G L’Imperatrice. My staple for many years became L’Eclat D’Arpege and all of this started because my bottle was finishing and I wanted to pick a new fragrance. With the help of your blog I became aware of some of my tastes (mostly aquatic floral fragrances). Still I was a bit inpatient and went to the perfume counter of a big store with some names of perfumes to try. Sprayed the 2 I liked the most on my wrists and wondered for a couple of hours smelling their notes – ended up buying L’eau D’Issey EDP (the EDT was sharper, more melony). I admit it was kind of an impulse buy but I’m really enjoying it!

    What other perfumes should I try? And how can I get samples of older bottles that are not so popular anymore? Everytime I go to a store and ask for samples the salesperson will condescendingly look at me and either tell me they don’t have it or give me something that’s not really remotely related to my tastes.
    Thank you so much in advance!!!

    Book I’m reading: Where the crawdads sing by Delia Owens, beautiful landscape descriptions and quite addictive. September 21, 2021 at 7:41pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Maria,

      You might like to try Fleurs d’Orlane, which is a 1992 floral aldehyde that I find fresh but substantial. It has excellent staying power, so you won’t need to waste time re-spraying constantly throughout the day.

      You might also like to sample Anaïs Anaïs, which was released by Cacharel in 1978. It is a fresh floral with white flower notes, and is the perfect antidote to the cloying fruity fragrances that abound today.

      I hope you find a couple of fragrances that you love!

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 4:20am Reply

      • Maria: Anais Anais! Wouldn’t have thought about it in a million years. I can remember that some of my friends had it when we were teenagers, can’t really recall the scent, but will for sure give it a try. As for Fleurs d’Orlane let’s see if I can find it somewhere. Thank you so much for your suggestions! September 23, 2021 at 12:52pm Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hi Maria,

          You’re welcome.

          I don’t know whether you wear perfume to work, but it’s safe to say that Anaïs Anaïs wouldn’t be intrusive.

          I just saw a couple of bottles of Fleurs d’Orlane on Amazon.com, in case you’re interested in a blind buy!

          Best of luck with your search.

          With kind regards,
          Tourmaline September 24, 2021 at 11:27am Reply

    • Frances: Hello Maria,

      Upon reading your comment I thought about some fragrances that might be of some interest and thought of sharing my ideas with you. Now, keep in my mind I am not into floral aquatic scents myself so this is a rather theoretical approach of the subject.

      Eden by Cacharel is definitely an aquatic floral. I bought it around 1997 as a birthday gift for a friend of mine who didn’t like classics. It was quite on trend at the time and I find it pleasant upon testing. It is a polarizing scent: fans will praise Eden as being truly amazing, unique, smelling like an edenic garden indeed while the ones who hate it find it too strong, too synthetic and just plain weird (reading reviews on various blogs or even Fragrantica comments is quite enlightening as to how divided the jury is). Now there are two problems: it is an old scent so you won’t find easily a tester. Also, in some countries Cacharel’s fragrances are only sold online. The good news is they are not that expensive compared to other brands and if they are on sale they can be a real bargain. Problem number 2: you say Issey EDT was too melony. There is melon in Eden but I cannot remember if it was that strong. In the older version it didn’t strike me as potent but it has been reformulated since then.

      Another older floral aquatic I heard about is Aqua di Gio. It is said to be very pleasant but I didn’t smell this one. I only know it has a loyal fan base.

      Finally two niche fragrances that you can maybe test in store and which are quite successful: Aqua di Scandola by Parfum d’Empire (salty aquatic I think) and L’Ombre dans l’eau by Dyptique (there’s a review on this site if my memory serves me well).

      Eclat d’Arpège you mentioned is a fresh floral and I prefer mine powdery but maybe you could give a try to this classic Guerlain: Après l’Ondée. It maybe smells old fashioned for those accustomed to modern fragrances but it is really lovely and subtle. A fresh opening, lots of violets and mimosa with a nice sensual amber base. It is not aquatic but as its name indicate it tries to capture the essence of a garden after rain warmed up by shy sunbeams. It is worth a try and if you find a Guerlain’s counter which carries all of the fragrances quite easy to test. While you’re there, you can also give a smell to Champs Elysées (not aquatic but fresh, bright and very floral). However be warned Après l’Ondée doesn’t last that long on skin which is a pity but hey, it is still a beautiful scent.

      This a long list, too long maybe, but I hope it will help you in your scented quest. September 23, 2021 at 9:39am Reply

      • Maria: Dear Frances, thank you so much for your reply! Such wonderful suggestions will sure help me a lot in dipping my toes (quoting Pauline just below) further in the perfume world. Will surely go to the Guerlain counter and sample Après L’Ondée and just found a store nearby that has Dyptique. Will surely try to find Eden and as for Aqua di Gio, I still remember the scent on my husband when we were younger and dating.
        Saw your post about Dune – my mother wore it when I was a teenager and I seem to recall the sandalwood note when I reached for her Dune lotion! I thought is was such a wonderful grown up scent! Around that time my father would wear Fahrenheit and that one I even remember better. September 23, 2021 at 1:14pm Reply

        • Frances: Dear Maria, you’re welcome, it was my pleasure to share these ideas with you. Also I’m a Guerlain worshiper so I’m glad I inspired you to go and try Après L’Ondée. I hope you will fall in love with this fragrance because it is a very special one. I don’t see (or rather smell) a lot of people wearing it so you will stand out. Dyptique I don’t know so well (and I myself want to sample some of their fragrances in the near future) but I know perfumista swear by their creations.

          As for Eden, it is really a bet as I know nothing of the current formulation but it fits so well with your description of aquatic floral, I couldn’t help but name it. The old ads embodied that spirit. Plus you can find it at bargain price (same with Anaïs Anaïs) sometimes as cheap as 25 euros for 30 ml.

          It is so nice to share all these Dune memories! I never had access to the bath line but I read a lot of comments about it. Back in the day, Dune devotees were crazy for these products.

          Good luck with your visit at Guerlain’s and Dyptique’s counters and stores. September 26, 2021 at 6:34pm Reply

          • Maria: Thank you! As for Dyptique I am thinking about ordering a sample from the Nose boutique in Paris – do you know it? They ship worldwide and they do an olfactory portrait based on the 3 most recent fragrances you have worn. I got the following 5 recommendations: Maison Margiela Sailing Day (which I had already found and wanted to try), Creed Acqua Fiorentina and Aventus for her, Comme des Garçons cologne series 4 citric and Matiere Premiere Radical Rose. I am curious about this, so I will probably order with some other ones from Frederic Malle and Dyptiqye. Let’s see how this turns out. September 27, 2021 at 9:45am Reply

            • Frances: Yes I’ve heard of Nose and I think their olfactory portrait is a good idea. If you plan to order from France, Jovoy is another great store specialized in niche scents and I heard they are quite good with advising people. They have the same sample program and I think they ship worldwide too. I mention it, just in case, as it is nice to have several options.

              Again, bonne chance with your scented quest and keep us posted if you can, maybe on the next thread. September 27, 2021 at 12:18pm Reply

    • pauline Piteault: T Mugler’s Cologne is special:a mixed perfume which makes you feel good,enveloped,worth it!
      Guerlain’s Après l’Ondée is also very wonderful.
      these may take you further on your perfume journey.it is a case of dipping toes in the water & seeing how it feels.Good luck
      Pauline September 23, 2021 at 9:41am Reply

      • Maria: Funny you mentioned Thierry Mugler´s Cologne – Sali Hughes wrote something about it a while ago and I actually tried to find it at a large department store. Will definitely try to check it! Thank you! September 23, 2021 at 12:58pm Reply

  • Jamie: Hi there. This is my first time posting here. 42 year old male , but I have youthful and eclectic tastes. David’s post inspired me. I too want to tip over the table. My staple frags have always been in the vein of Habit Rouge, Fahrenheit, Black Afgano you get the idea. There are some less rowdy frags I love and wear. CDG2, Bulgari Black, Lombre Dans leau. These ones I will never tire of. But what are some light/clean/ fresh fragrances for me to try? ( the thought of leaving the house smelling like melon/seaside /cool water makes me break out in a sweat.) Live in New Zealand, so not much access to boutique/niche perfumes. Everyone on here gives great suggestions. September 21, 2021 at 9:12pm Reply

    • Tourmaline: Hi Jamie,

      Have you tried Guerlain’s Vetivert? It should be available in NZ.

      With kind regards,
      Tourmaline September 22, 2021 at 4:29am Reply

      • Jamie: Hi Tourmaline. Yes I have worn Guerlain vetiver. It is so beautiful, easy ans elegant . But alas it has been appropriated by my partner (along with Philosykos 😭) . I think something with vetiver is the way to go for me. Thanks for the comment! September 22, 2021 at 4:14pm Reply

        • Eudora: Vetiver! How about Encre Noir? For me it is not Noir…it works for the beach IMHO. A very cheap fragrance that doesn’t smell cheap at all. You can even win the Vetiver battle against Guerlain… September 22, 2021 at 6:23pm Reply

        • Tourmaline: Ah, an occupational hazard of wearing a great fragrance – it gets appropriated by others! I saw that both Carven and Lanvin released versions of vetiver, in 1957 and 1964 respectively. Alas, according to Basenotes, they have both been discontinued. However, you might be game to sample them via eBay, if they’re available there.

          Good luck in your search; I hope you find a fragrance that you love. September 24, 2021 at 11:41am Reply

      • Marianne: Hi Tourmaline and Jamie, I used to wear Guerlain’s Habit Rouge in warm weather and loved it. I remember seriously sweltering days while on holiday on the Gold Coast, and how refreshing it was to wear … getting into a car with friends and hearing ‘wow, who’s wearing the lovely perfume?’ September 23, 2021 at 1:50am Reply

        • Tourmaline: Hi Marianne,

          I remember the first time I smelled Habit Rouge, several decades ago. The bottle was amongst all the other Guerlain testers at David Jones in Brisbane. I loved the fragrance, and, at the time, I thought it was marketed to women. As Victoria has said, though, gender divisions for perfume are unnecessary, as anyone can wear what they like.

          I was heartened to read, in Victoria’s 2014 review of Habit Rouge, that it had come through various reformulations smelling excellent still. A few years ago I bought a bottle, and I do so enjoy it. I can understand the compliments you received while wearing it!

          With kind regards,
          Tourmaline September 24, 2021 at 11:52am Reply

          • Marianne: Hello Tourmaline, we agree on Habit Rouge! We may have other similar preferences and tastes, so I’ll pay close attention to your comments as they appear!

            As several others have done on Bois de Jasmin I very much enjoy reading your contributions. They are beautifully constructed and offer a wealth of fascinating directions that link perfumes to broader themes. I hope you keep writing!

            Marianne September 25, 2021 at 12:36am Reply

            • Tourmaline: Hi Marianne,

              We may indeed have other similar preferences and tastes, so I’ll pay attention to your comments, as well!

              Thank you so much for your kind words. I took an unplanned break for about six months during the first half of the year, although I loathed doing so, because I was very busy assisting my father, who turned 93 last Sunday. But I really missed commenting, and I’m very happy to be “back”!

              With kind regards,
              Tourmaline September 25, 2021 at 12:42am Reply

              • Marianne: I’m glad you’re back too, Tourmaline. I’m still relatively new as a contributor to Bois de Jasmin and your comments gave me confidence.

                I loved reading your earlier post regarding your father. Just beautiful. September 25, 2021 at 12:53am Reply

                • Tourmaline: Thank you, Marianne; I’m so pleased my comments gave you confidence. And I’m touched that you enjoyed reading about my father. September 25, 2021 at 12:57am Reply

    • Sebastian: If you really want to smell like a melon on a cool day at the seaside, just for the thrill of it you might try the original L’Eau d’Issey (not any of its flankers). September 22, 2021 at 6:50am Reply

      • Jamie: I don’t know why I didn’t think of Issey. I haven’t smelt it in years. Thanks for the suggestion. September 22, 2021 at 4:16pm Reply

    • Eudora: Jamie, I dare to recommend Eau d Rochas. Marketed for woman, totally unisex to my nose and enormously sexy and modern on my husband. Hermes’s colognes are amazing. September 22, 2021 at 7:59am Reply

      • Jamie: Wow I just Googled Eau de Rochas…… I want that bottle Stat!! I don’t know why but I read the description and it sounds like exactly what I want. Thank you so much. September 22, 2021 at 4:19pm Reply

        • Eudora: Thank you. John recommended you another favorite of mine, Mugler Cologne. It’s lovely but it is warmer, creamier than Eau de Rochas. Something in Rochas makes me think it is bold, edgy, unique..I was very surprised when I rediscovered it. It was my aunt’s signature cologne decades ago and I looked at it as something from the past, outdated. To my surprise I was touché the very moment I smelled it last yearby chance. I also bought and I’m loving the scented body lotion. It smells slightly different than the cologne and I like it as much as the eau. I mean, I am ridiculous happy with Eau de Rochas as you can see! September 22, 2021 at 6:11pm Reply

    • Aurora: Hi Jamie: What about lavender for a summer scent? The gold standard imo is Pour un Homme by Caron. Or a citrus chypre Chanel Pour Monsieur or the green Geoffrey Beene Bowling Green, it’s really affordable or maybe the rich Boucheron pour homme, very complex maybe not fresh enough. Also, the whole Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo line is vey good, some are woody, citrussy and figgy. September 22, 2021 at 10:48am Reply

      • Jamie: That has given me alot to think about. I love citrus, woody ,figgy September 22, 2021 at 4:27pm Reply

    • OnWingsofSaffron: You might consider L‘Eau Froide by Serge Lutens (for more reference Victoria has a post on it). That‘s a modern fragrance with a cooling aspect, and not the slightest bit of anything giggly-girly. September 22, 2021 at 3:20pm Reply

      • Jamie: Wow. I just read some descriptions of it….. it’s sounds breathtaking. I am going to go online now to see how to get my hands on a sample September 22, 2021 at 4:30pm Reply

        • OnWingsofSaffron: Truth be told, I wasn‘t completely overawed. As a man, I like my perfumes with a vintage vibe, a bit buxom, and also glamorous. L‘eau froide is definitely none of that. Plus there‘s a drop of some modern aromachemical in it with which I wasn’t completely comfortable. And yet! I think it is the coolness (temperature not style) that makes it quite unique. Citrus, incense, mint?, aldehydes? Anyway, the name of the scent is spot on! September 23, 2021 at 2:03pm Reply

    • john: Hi Jamie,

      I’d definitely second Guerlain Vetiver… It is an all-purpose-all-the-time summer fragrance but I wear it year round here on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada, which I think may has a roughly similar climate to New Zealand. Eau Sauvage is a beautifully-composed ‘fresh’ fragrance with enough of a pedigree and bone structure to give it a bit of gravitas as well. Aside from these well-established classics, you might Check out Dior Homme Cologne (the 2013 version, which bears little resemblance to the cacao-iris composition of the original line)…an appealingly effervescent citrus-floral-musk combo. A touch soapier but also great is the fresh and unpretentious Mugler Cologne. Good luck! September 22, 2021 at 4:41pm Reply

    • Klaas: Hey Jamie, if there’s a Hermès boutique or shop-in-shop somewhere near where you live, there are some gems to be found!

      Terre, the dry, mineral, citrussy vetiver, Eau d’Hermes (in its current formulation a clean, transparent orange scent on a bed of soft leather and spices), their stunning colognes and if you want you could splurge on the Hermessences line….the lavender, vétiver, leather and Iris are incredible, but pricey.

      Visiting a Hermès boutique is a real pleasure, the service is impeccable and the quality of the fragrances is top notch, even the non-exclusives….

      Enjoy! September 26, 2021 at 5:13am Reply

  • Jamie: Also my current recommendations are ‘books’ if you want something light and side-splittingly funny, Role models by John waters.(which aslo has a chapter about his favorite Authors)And more serious ‘in youth is pleasure ‘ by Denton Welch. A fast read but not for the easily offended. And films I have enjoyed recently ‘Savage grace’ starring Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne. About the Bakelite Plastic family and their twisted dynamics and downfall. And ‘Safe’ also starring Julianne Moore. About a suburban housewife who’s surroundings mysteriously start making her sick.
    Also my scent of the day is Untitled No.8 by Brent Leonesio. I am at home so I can wear this feral musk bomb without offending the general public September 21, 2021 at 9:14pm Reply

  • Frances: Thank you Sara, it is very nice to meet someone who had the same experience with Dune, the same “love at first scent” and still find it beautiful. Plus it is a special fragrance for you since your mother wore it so beautifully. Memories of scents we discovered when were kids are so powerful, it is fascinating. I think those encounters shape our taste for later on in life.

    As for reformulation, you’re right I guess. The more they reformulate a fragrance the more it is at risk to lose its uniqueness. Dune was reformulated years ago to comply with IFRA demands but I don’t think they took the time to reformulate it again and again. Another Dior fragrance with faithful fans is Dolce Vita and it is said to still smell heavenly. September 22, 2021 at 8:13pm Reply

  • Marianne: Hello, I’m wondering whether anyone has experienced the Floris range of perfumes? It’s available a plane flight away from where I live, and some time ago when travelling I discovered the range and tried, I think it was the Cefiro, though I may be wrong. Whatever its name, I loved it. From memory it was refreshing and yet complex, evoking for me a discreet and refined men’s Cologne. I’ve checked the description: citrus notes, cardamom, jasmine, nutmeg and a base of cedar, musk and sandalwood. Actually this sounds perfect for me! I do wonder about staying power though as it’s a cologne only.

    Bergamotto di Positano also sounds interesting and is an eau de Parfum, so may last longer. Surprisingly it contains vanilla.

    I was given a bottle of Floris Jermyn Street for Christmas last year. It’s not a perfume I would have bought for myself. Even so I appreciate its quality. As well it leaves a soft, delicious yet fresh scent on my clothes and I’m delighted to wear it. September 23, 2021 at 1:41am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Marianne: I am a fan of Floris too, so glad you discovred the house. I live in the UK so I have a sizeable collection. Their Malmaison is my favorite carnation scent, it’s discontinued though but they still have many great classics, I bought Special No 127 recently, a neroli scent I like very much too. September 24, 2021 at 6:00pm Reply

      • Marianne: Thanks Aurora! The Jermyn Street is beautiful in my view, quite complex, strong at first spray followed by a softening to a delicate drydown. A ‘masculine’ scent in that it’s clean and understated, possibly because it has no sweet or fruity notes, other than lemon, that I can detect. I just looked at its description online and see its formula contains a number of aromatic herbs and woods and also violet, which would add softness. And yet I’d never have bought it, it’s rather drier than what I’d choose for myself.

        There’s a company in Australia called Libertine Parfumerie. Last night I browsed their website and saw that both Bergamotto di Positano and Cefiro are included in a Floris sample pack (masculine as it happens!). I plan to buy one so will no doubt post a comment at some stage!

        At the basis of all this is my search for an addition to my favourite of many years, Sisley’s Eau de Soir, which is utterly gorgeous, hard to beat. But a change is in the air …

        Marianne September 24, 2021 at 10:24pm Reply

        • Aurora: Hi Marianne: Hope the sample pack will be a success, oh yes report back if you have a chance. Floris does fresh, masculine scents very well. I have heard of Eau du Soir but have never tried it. September 25, 2021 at 9:18am Reply

          • Marianne: Hi Aurora, yes, I look forward to experiencing the tester range of 4 Floris perfumes, and commenting on them.

            Re Eau du Soir, I discovered it all those years ago when walking through a department store and was instantly captivated. I just got up from typing this to spray a little, asking myself why is this so beguiling? The learning is that as with the Floris perfumes I’ve tried, it has a citrus opening. It then is followed by, in my view and with a little explanatory help from the web, a perfectly balanced composition of green, woods, moss and flowers, which are grounded in musk and amber. There is a sweetness, but very subtle unlike some newer perfume trends.

            From time to time when at work a colleague would walk along the corridor and say “Marianne’s here” before seeing me. The scent of Eau du Soir was never intrusive but ever subtly present. It seems I’m still smitten!

            Years before were devoted to learning about and experiencing Guerlain and then Chanel. I’ve generally been interested in and loyal to a narrow range. Actually I’ve been the same with fashion brands! There’s so much choice in both fields that it’s been easier to manage by doing that.

            Thanks Aurora,
            Marianne September 25, 2021 at 10:30pm Reply

          • Marianne: Hello Aurora. The Floris samples plus several others arrived from Libertine today! I plan to be considered and patient (ha ha) and sample them slowly. Today it’s Vert Fougère which I’ve already decided is very good but too severe for my taste. I’ll work away over the next few days and let you know. September 30, 2021 at 8:01pm Reply

            • Aurora: Hello Marianne: Thank you very much for this update. Very wise to wear them one by one. I hope it won’t turn out that they all are too masculine. I have Special 127 and really enjoy it in summer, it’s a neroli, petit grain lavender with a lovely drydown. Floris’s musks are very nice I find neither dirty nor too blank. October 2, 2021 at 12:21am Reply

              • Marianne: Hi Aurora, continuing the conversation about Floris, today it was Bergamotto di Positano’s turn. I was surprised at its sweetness, must be the vanilla in the composition. It’s soft, ‘well behaved’, beautiful and subtle. The scent didn’t linger though, particularly for an edp. Two hours later and after a liberal spraying it’s very much like when first applied but I can only detect it slightly. Actually there’s a fruitiness within it that’s evident now, and the sweetness is quite marked. Lovely, but not for me!
                It’s a pleasure to share in this journey with you Aurora, I’m looking forward to sending the next instalment tomorrow.
                Marianne October 2, 2021 at 4:32am Reply

              • Marianne: The Special 127 sounds gorgeous! October 2, 2021 at 4:34am Reply

              • Marianne: Hello again Aurora, and now the next and final update on my Floris adventure …
                Yesterday I tried the third sample, Neroli Voyage. Its soft, warm, faintly fruity flowery scent seems decidedly feminine to me. Lovely.
                Even so (and now I feel I’m being rather like Goldilocks, nothing’s quite right, hard to please!), there is no sillage and I now understand the term ‘close to skin’. Perhaps it’s me, or that masculine perfumes are more discreet.
                Today’s perfume was Turnbull & Asser which is absolutely my favourite. Really special, soft, clean, more herbs and woods than fruit. But again, even after a liberal spray only just detectable on my skin, and pretty well gone two hours later.
                Thank you for inviting me to share this journey Aurora. There it will have to stay as a consequence of lockdowns. I don’t want to pay for more samples at this stage, and can’t visit a shop that sells Floris …
                Marianne: October 4, 2021 at 7:43am Reply

                • Aurora: Dear Marianne: Sorry for being late, so glad that out of three the T&A one really worked for you. One out of three is my average too for samples. You make it sound lovely, that’s a shame about the longevity. I haven’t had this issue with the Floris I own. When you can visit a shop that sells Floris you can try No 127 and Chypress too. Thank you so much for having been in touch. October 11, 2021 at 2:22am Reply

  • pauline Piteault: Maria could try Thierry Mugler’s Cologne
    & the heavenly Après l’Ondée by Guerlain
    Best wishes to you
    Pauline September 23, 2021 at 9:46am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Enjoying the Autumn season, with walks in the park. Today I am wearing Sana Jardin’s Sandalwood Temple. A close to the skin scent that is warm smooth and soothing and sweet without being dense or cloying. The sandalwood in this perfume is soft without being dry. I much prefer this to my sample of Diptyque’s Tam Dao where the wood notes are too dry, makes my stomach a bit queasy. September 24, 2021 at 10:23am Reply

  • Trudy: I know I’m kind of late and not sure if anyone is still reading this months recommend posts but if you are: I’m looking for new perfume and I’d like something different for me. I’d like something kind of dark and sexy. I was thinking about Tom Ford. Maybe his Black Orchid? Or YSL’s Black Opium….something along those lines. They both get very mixed reactions though so not sure. Not too loud, something you have to be fairly close to in order to really experience (wink wink), but with some sillage and a bit of mystery. Any suggestions are appreciated! September 26, 2021 at 12:14pm Reply

    • Marianne: Hello there Trudy, some suggestions come to mind for you to consider …

      Two from Chanel; no. 5 and no. 19, both rich, classy and quality each in a different way.

      Dior’s Diorissimo for its voluptuous burst of flowers and honey, still good even though reformulated from its original glory.

      Thierry Mugler’s Angel for its extraordinary bright chocolate-inclusive aroma.

      Yves St Laurent would be worth checking out as well as in my experience the range includes some quite strong yet elegant perfumes.

      All the best,
      Marianne September 26, 2021 at 6:04pm Reply

      • Trudy: Thank you so much for your reply Marianne! Beautiful suggestions and it prompted me to dig though my chest of drawers for an almost empty bottle of Diorissimo from 1998. It came in a bottle housed in a pink box. It from Saks in L.A. I blotted the inside of my elbow with the stopper. Wow. I forgot the beauty of this perfume. I am ordering a bottle of the perfume from the Dior site immediately! September 27, 2021 at 1:12am Reply

        • Marianne: Oh how fortunate for you, that’s about the year I first experienced Diorissimo. It was utterly, ridiculously beautiful. A explosion of flowers that evoked bees and sunshine. Enjoy! September 27, 2021 at 6:38am Reply

    • Eudora: Hello Trudy… Chanel Coco EDT is gorgeous and can fit if you don’t overdo. Are you familiar with it? September 27, 2021 at 7:59am Reply

      • Trudy: Actually I got a little sample from Nordstrom yesterday just on a whim. I sprayed some on my wrist and it is so very pretty. Thank you for your suggestion. September 27, 2021 at 11:49am Reply

    • Aurora: Hello Trudy: How about a vanilla for a gourmand? Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens is complex and holds interest or Laura Mercier Vanille or I Profumi di Firenze Vaniglia del Madagascar, a milky vanilla. September 27, 2021 at 2:14pm Reply

    • Eudora: AND I just discovered the beauty of Guerlain’s Samsara. AND Aurora reminded me the beautiful vanilla of Diptique Eau Duelle. Good luck! September 27, 2021 at 2:28pm Reply

      • Trudy: Thank you Aurora and Eudora, I hadn’t really thought about vanilla but now I certainly will. All the suggestions sound wonderful and interesting. Who knows, I might find that one of these to be just what I’m looking for and one that I would have never before considered! September 27, 2021 at 9:12pm Reply

    • Karina: Boudoir by Vivianne Westwood might fit that bill. Not sure if they reformulated it, but it used to do that dark, alluring, close thing you mentioned. September 29, 2021 at 2:21am Reply

      • Trudy: Oh thank you Karina! I love Vivienne Westwood. In fact I just ordered a pair of the Sorado Orb earrings from her website. I will definitely check out Boudoir. I didn’t realize she even had a perfume! I should have known. Thank you so much for the suggestion! September 29, 2021 at 10:57am Reply

  • Suzanne: Hello. I am new to this site, having just stumbled upon it today. I absolutely love it. My question is about Hermes Hiris, which I just rediscovered after reading through some of this site’s reviews. I remember absolutely loving the liquid powder version of Hiris back in the early 2000s, but I believe it has been discontinued. I see that it’s possible to still purchase the eau de toilette. Does anyone remember Hiris liquid powder, and if so, do you believe that the eau de toilette is comparable?

    Also, after thinking about Hermes Hiris, I also remembered another perfume I wore at the time, Vanille Banane by Comptoir Sud Pacifique. I haven’t thought it this in years! I checked the site to see if it still exists, and to my surprise, it does!

    As for books, I just finished Mere Christianity by CS Lewis yesterday, and am eagerly awaiting Gary Shtyengart’s new release, Our Country Friends. October 2, 2021 at 1:57pm Reply

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