Perfume Chat Room, March 13

Welcome to the weekly Perfume Chat Room, perfumistas! I envision this chat room as a weekly drop-in spot online, where readers may ask questions, suggest fragrances, tell others their SOTD, comment on new releases or old favorites, and respond to each other. The perennial theme is fragrance, but we can interpret that broadly — I’ve been known to write on this blog about biryani, one of my favorite dishes to eat and one I am still learning to make! (If you have a great recipe for it, please share!). This is meant to be a kind space, so please try not to give or take offense, and let’s all agree to disagree when opinions differ. In fragrance as in life, your mileage may vary! YMMV.

Today is March 13, and we are in full “social distancing” … what a difference one week makes! A week ago, we were in sunny Jamaica, which had not yet had any reported or confirmed cases of coronavirus (as of today, it has 8). So we took precautions and Lysol wipes, but we still went and had a wonderful time. And now I’m so glad we did, because this was a spring break trip organized by families in our son’s senior class, over 70 families went, our kids all had a marvelous time, and now they’re losing most of their spring activities, including the prom and probably graduation. All high school spring sports are suspended and may not resume, so yesterday may have been his last varsity game. I’m really happy that we were able to take him on the big senior trip with minimal risk (and happy to have seen Jamaica and supported its tourism, which is its economic lifeblood). I support the drastic measures schools and colleges are now taking. Sadly, though, we have had to cancel our anticipated family trip to Paris and France to celebrate his graduation from high school and our daughter’s graduation from college, both this spring.

The university where I work is one of many that has announced it will not resume onsite classes after its own spring break. Instead, it will extend students’ spring break for an extra week, it has told them to stay at home if they’re able to, and all classes will transition to remote learning. Presumably we employees are to use the extra week to figure out how to do that! In the meantime, staff are still expected to work onsite, but that’s okay because without students and faculty, our building is very quiet and near-empty, and we don’t have to gather in large groups. Clearly, this is the right thing to do if the US is to have any chance of slowing down the spread of this virus. And here’s my fragrance angle to all this: essential oils in a diffuser!

I already have an inexpensive diffuser in my office, because I handle students’ urgent situations and I like to use different combinations of soothing scents like lavender, chamomile, etc. so my office smells peaceful when I meet with them. I did a little research online and found that there is research suggesting that some essential oils, like tea tree oil, really do have anti-germ properties as well as smelling very nice. So I’m experimenting with blends that have names like “Germ Fighter” and “Immunity Defense”, and include some of those specific essential oils (such as clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus) and I’m adding a few drops of tea tree oil for my office diffuser. When I arrive in the morning, I spray my office with Lysol aerosol, then I turn on my diffuser. And voila, my office soon smells very nice! Brigitte, if you read this, please weigh in on your favorite essential oils!

Here’s another silver lining: I’ve realized I can experiment during the day with some of my stronger fragrances, because I’m not having many in-person meetings, and even fewer in groups larger than 2-3. Making lemonade out of lemons, and trying to do our share to stay healthy and help others stay healthy … How are you all faring in this age of coronavirus? My heart goes out especially to northern Italy, which we so enjoyed visiting last summer, and which is suffering such a severe outbreak and consequences.

28 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, March 13

  1. Good morning! I am just finishing up a week of Nicolaï- Vanille Tonka, Rose Royale, Kiss Me Intense, Fig-Tea and Sacrebleu Intense. Most are absolute favorites. I didn’t get on with Rose Royale this week and it also bothered my husband, so it may be voted off the island. (I WANT to love rose perfumes – perhaps because my mom loved them; they are great on first spray but often go sideways quickly.). I hope everyone is healthy and hanging in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are strange times… My company sent everyone to work from home starting last a Thursday, on one hand, but then I had to fly to and from and spend half of the week at a trade show. So now I’m waiting to see how safe was that trip.

    I’m sorry for the kids who’ll miss all the standard graduation fun. I know that it’s not the worst what can happen but still… It’s good that you were able to have your vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perfect, OH!!! Tea tree is excellent for warding off germs!! Also, lemon, lemongrass, lavender and peppermint. Clove and cinnamon as well (which are key components in thrives oil). Since all hand sanitizer and wipes are out of stock as well as alcohol and aloe vera for homemade hand sanitizer, I made a spray of citrus cologne and added tea tree oil and spray my hands with that. But mostly I am doing lots of hand washing….10-20 times a day.
    Stay safe, everyone!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just had a relative drive me to my office today (Saturday) to pick up my work laptop. Norway is more or less shutting down (Schools and univerities closed on Thursday, some earlier) and a lot of us have been ordered to work from home for the next two weeks. We now have the corona virus in the society, while to start with it was mostly imported cases from Italy and Austria. The winter holidays for many here came at the same time as the situation got bad in Italy and Austrian Tirol, so skiing tourists brought the virus back here, even if the first case was someone who had been to China. So the authorities could see a social gradient in who had the infection at the start of it all.

    No perfume today, but yesterday I wore Grand Bal, just needed something pretty and polished. My guess is I will use Ostara and citrus scents a lot in the days to come.

    I know tea tree oil is supposed to help against fungus, but must admit I swear by soap and warm water, plus alcohol-based foams and gels, to kill bacteria and virus. Now I’m just trying to stay at home as much as possible, and hope for the best. I tend to get infections rather easily, so obviously I worry. A doctor’s appointment at the university hospital yesterday took place via phone, as they are not set up for frequent use of video and they want as few people as possible in the hospital buildings.

    A relative defended her PhD on Thursday, but only 25 people were allowed into the auditorium and the dinner in the evening could not take place, so strange times indeed.


      • I am using my usual liquid soap from L’Occitane with verbena. I believe it also has some shea butter mixed in. Dry hands love sweet almond oil as an overnight treatment, I just have to find the thin cotton gloves I have somewhere, or it will get too messy. I have also used different scented hand creams and even body butter on my hands now (Korres Japanese Rose and The Bodyshop olive body butter, or shea, are favourites).

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This was just published online in The New York Times: “LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury company known for items like handbags, makeup and perfume, said Sunday that it would pivot three of its largest cosmetics facilities toward producing hand sanitizer to help allay a shortage in France.

    The company said in a statement that it would use the facilities where it produces fragrances under the Christian Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain brands to make hydroalcoholic gel instead.

    The first deliveries to French health authorities are expected Monday night, and 12 tons of hand gel are expected to be produced in the first week, a company spokesman said. The production will continue as long as necessary, with a formula approved by French authorities as effective against the coronavirus.

    Thus far, one LVMH employee has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19, but the group is among the many companies urging employees to work remotely.”


    • I wish some of the very large US beauty companies would start doing this. Heaven knows, they could certainly afford to! There hasn’t been any hand sanitizer within a 100 mile radius in my area. And you can’t even make homemade because aloe vera and alcohol are completely out of stock… even online!


  6. Hey there OH and crew,
    Sorry i’m late to the party,
    Our government has just brought in restrictions of gatherings. Nothing over 100 people indoors. They will be introducing the Korean idea of Drive Through testing and I think this is awesome.
    We are continuing with Trivia nights and asking everyone to remain in their family groups and to keep 1m apart. Seeing a 30% reduction in players as the older and immunity challenged people stay home. TBH I think we will have to rethink and maybe shut down sometime soon. I’m OK but my Trivia Drag Queens that work for me may not be so well protected financially.
    We are pretty well stocked here usually anyway so only needing to get milk, bread and veg every couple of days. Jin bought a new 7kg bag of brown rice yesterday so he’s good for a couple of months. I’m running low on my sparkling water but the tap is still full of fresh drinking water and I have enough tea and coffee to last till the resurrection.
    Fragrance wise it’s a bunch of old favourites and spending some of my spare time going through the decants I’ve amassed over years. A lot of the 10ml decants have dehydrated 50% or more so i did a give-away on our Aussie FB page and sent about 50 frags that I’d sniffed or worn a few times and weren’t for me out to a lucky perfumista.
    Today wearing I Am Trash by ELdO. This has been my go to fragrance over the 2019/20 summer and is almost 30% gone from 100ml. Some of that was in giveaways but I still think I’ve worn 10-12ml of that myself. It’s a perfect scent in so many ways, just wish the name wasn’t so ghastly.
    Hope you are all staying happy and healthy.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • So far, so good! I’m still going to work this week, not sure if we’ll be required to work remotely next week but it’s starting to look like that. The campus is mostly empty, with students and faculty absent. We staff do meetings with Zoom, even if we’re in the same building. Good practice for when many if not all of us do go remote. Could you do your trivia nights using Zoom? The paid service allows up to 300 participants for long periods of time.


      • Yes. I probably could Zoom but the clubs pay me, not the punters directly.
        If it all goes south I think maybe some hibernation time could be a good thing. There are a million things to do around this apartment, niggling jobs that I always put off till later. THIS could be later. It would be nice to clear the slate.
        Hopefully it won’t come to that and we will be able to continue.
        Portia xx

        Liked by 1 person

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