Perfume Chat Room, July 1

Rabbit rabbit rabbit! Happy July 1, and 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. 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 Friday, July 1, and I have peonies on my mind. I also have peonies in my house, thanks to Trader Joe’s, which is currently selling large bunches of them for a very affordable price. So of course, I bought three bunches! I haven’t had a bouquet of peonies in years, and I had forgotten just how gorgeous their natural fragrance is. My cut peonies have opened beautifully; the tightly furled buds I brought home opened within hours to huge, blowsy flowerheads up to 8″ across. Their fragrance is permeating the family room, where I have them in a large green vase on a table by the windows.

I checked my collection against Fragrantica to see if I have any peony-dominant fragrances, as none came immediately to mind. I do: Estée Lauder’s Pleasures and Pleasures Bloom. Of the two, the latter is supposed to be more peony-focused, which makes sense given that its box is covered with pink peony petals. It’s very lovely — the peony really emerges after a fruity opening, a nice combination of litchi and raspberry, with touches of violet and grapefruit (very little of the citrus, though — just enough to brighten the opening). Pleasures Bloom actually smells less “soapy” than the actual flower; it is more evocative of peonies than photo-realistic. Definitely not a peony soliflore.

Do you have any peony fragrances? Any recommendations? And for those who celebrate the Fourth of July, Happy Fourth!

Bunch of pink peony blossoms
Peonies in bloom; image from Southern Living and Getty Images

7 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, July 1

  1. I hardly have floral dominant perfumes in my (not small) collection. One exception is L’Humaniste by Frapin with that peony. Dry like a gin, fresh like a lemon, warm like a flower. On my skin with better longevity than most complain, among my favourite spring scents.

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  2. I can’t believe it’s July already!

    I also bought a bunch of peonies from Trader Joe’s, but those that I got (dark magenta) didn’t smell of peonies as I know them and were very short-lived, which hasn’t happened to me before. Still, it was nice.

    After I did my “In the Search for the Perfect Peony” post years ago (, I haven’t found any new/better representatives of this note, though I’m currently testing several perfumes with this note. How prominent it is and whether it’s a good rendering of that magnificent flower – we’ll see.

    Happy Fourth!

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  3. I have never smelled real peonies. I need to get some from Trader Joe’s. One of the Miss Dior fragrances, I think it’s Absolutely Blooming, has a nice peony note. I got a travel spray for a peony loving friend and she really liked it.

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  4. OOOOHHHH! You are so lucky! I love peonies but the weather here is highly unsuited to them.
    Jin’s family had a little farm for a while and across the road was a bush of huge deep blood peonies that would send their scent out on a misty morning and capture my heart. Since then I’ve been trying to get us to move to cooler climes but with no luck so far.
    Both Guerlain Champs élysées and Burberry Brit are said to have peonies but they are only part of the bouquet, not stars.
    Portia xx

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  5. Late with my reply, busy weekend and I had to check on Fragrantica as I couldn’t think of any peony rich perfume in my collection. Of course EL Pleasures Intense has a ton of peony, how did I not think of that myself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to use Fragrantica too, to recall that peony is featured in Pleasures and flankers! TBH, although I like Pleasures and its progeny very much, they’re not something I reach for first.


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