Perfume Chat Room, February 10

Welcome to the Friday 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, February 10, and next week is Valentine’s Day! It is traditionally a peak season for fragrance sales, since perfume is often considered a romantic gift. I may just put my new bottle of Mitsouko eau de toilette in a Valentine’s gift bag and re-give it to myself on behalf of my husband. We don’t often go out for Valentine’s Day, but we’ll probably make a special dinner at home and maybe share a nice bottle of cava or Prosecco. I won’t mention here what I’m giving him, as he sometimes reads this blog!

Meanwhile, the spring flowers have started popping out all over my neighborhood after recent balmy spells. Yellow daffodils abound, but also forsythia, and my beloved pink magnolias. I just hope their blossoms don’t get nipped by a late frost, which often happens. I must go for a walk around the neighborhood this weekend to enjoy and sniff them, I think their fragrance is just gorgeous. I’ve not yet found a perfume that matches it, though I’ve tried many, many “magnolia” fragrances. The pink ones that bloom in the spring have a lighter, more lemony scent than the heavier white flowers of the Southern evergreen magnolias; we have several of those in our back garden along one fence line, so I’m very familiar with their scent.

Photo by Deena on

Speaking of scent in the garden, our mahonias have been blooming for weeks now. They are the strangest plants — they look very forbidding, with their spiky, leathery leaves and weird forms like some kind of illustration by Dr. Seuss, but they smell like lilies of the valley, one of my favorite scents. Their fragrance tends to drift across the garden, emerging unexpectedly when one is occupied with various seasonal tasks like renewing mulch.

Leatherleaf mahonia plant in bloom
Leatherleaf Mahonia; image from Univ. of Tennessee Botanical Gardens

Do you have any big plans for Valentine’s Day, or a fragrance you’re hoping to receive? Has spring arrived where you live?

21 thoughts on “Perfume Chat Room, February 10

  1. I love the lemony scent of the pink magnolias. Trees are still bare in my area, but some have started to bud. A few years ago I started taking my other half out to English-style afternoon tea for Valentine’s day. The first couple of times, it was a total surprise, but now it’s become a new tradition. Some of these places are booked months in advance!

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  2. Nothing planned for V Day here. Other than I’m having my hair done after many months. That’s a V Day gift from me to me but more very necessary maintenance.
    Neither DH or I have ever been particularly romantic & have rarely done anything special for V Day in our 37 years together. Largely due to having worked shifts in healthcare.
    I did buy the 100ml of Warm Neroli from M&S. Reduced to £7.60 as a V Day offer!

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  3. No plans for valentines day, we don’t do this as a couple( boyfriend is an engineer), but we are longing for spring! The snowdrops are out, but we have-6C at the moment. I hope i can wear spring perfumes soon. Todays scent is Agent Provocateur

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  4. My husband and I always give each other Valentine’s cards. We like the humorous ones best. We also usually fix a special meal together and sometimes have a special dessert for Valentine’s Day. This year I ordered some gluten free and sugar free desserts from Chou Chou Pastries in LA and they are delicious! They came early and we are enjoying them now. 😉 I reduced my A1C to a good level so that I’m out of the pre-diabetes range now, but I want to keep it that way, so I was thrilled to find some treats that are gluten and sugar free.

    As for perfume, I ordered myself 2 of the special limited Montabaco Ormonde Jayne fragrances, Montabaco Cuba and Montabaco Fleur. They are divine! I really love them. They aren’t specifically Valentine’s gifts. I just saw the opportunity and ordered them.

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      • OJ Montabaco Cuba opens very citrusy and bright, followed in about 30 minutes with a prominent leather/suede note. The leather note is not too heavy, mixed with green and woody notes of juniper, tea and sandalwood. The next phase is very floral with big notes of jasmine and freesia dominating for about an hour. Then the warmer base notes join the party and the fragrance becomes a lovely mix of all the elements, warmed by tonka and vanilla. I do wish the tobacco element was more pronounced, though. I struggle to distinguish the tobacco note in this fragrance, which is surprising, given the name. It is very much in the background. I need to go sniff some Tabac Rouge to enjoy a lovely tobaccco note! I’ll add comments about the Montabacco Flor/Fleur tomorrow.

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      • My favorite of my purchases is Montabaco Flor, which is an exclusive to Fortunum & Mason. It has top notes of Bergamot, Juniper, Orange Oil, Cardamom and Clary Sage. It opens very fresh and herbal. The middle notes really make this one shine– Jasmine, Rose, Tea, Freesia, Water Lily, Violet and Ylang-Ylang. The florals are blended seamlessly and they tend to be a bit powdery in the drydown. This fragrance has the same basenotes as the other Montabacos– Tobacco Leaf, Iso E Super, Suede, Ambergris, Sandalwood, Moss and Tonka Bean. Again, no prominent tobacco notes, but an overall warm and cosy base on my skin. The Flor lasted the longest of the two and is really beautiful, in my opinion. It’s a very sophisticated, classy, grown woman type of fragrance. If you would like a sample I can send one of each. I just need to stock up on some more sample vials. I’ve run out.

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  5. I’m jealous of blooming things. It will be a while before we have anything, although some of the daffodil leaves have popped up; hoping they aren’t too damaged by the winter. I wore Goutal Vanille Exquise today, which was my first “niche” purchase years ago. Worked a boys basketball game, which means several hours of editing tomorrow, but I’ll do some of it in the car as we drive to Cleveland to take our son out for dinner. Quick trip – after seeing him almost every weekend for much of the fall, my husband in particular is missing him a lot this semester!

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  6. Hey OH,
    Yes, late as always.
    We eschew the Valentine’s Day celebrations but seem to always have bought something for each other. Jin bought me a gorgeous Tommy Bahama linen long sleeved shirt in navy with flowers printed on the shoulders. He was very earnestly looking at a Basquait printed shoulder , like a messenger but without the flap, bag last month so I grabbed it for him a couple of days later.
    We also had pre VD pizza on Monday night, then post VD Vietnamese lunch today.
    All in all a very nice non celebration.
    Love that everything is starting to bloom for you. we are still in the middle of summer and the crepe myrtles are giving a dazzling display in our suburb.
    Portia x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We always celebrate Valentine’s Day at home making some special meal. This year I made Seafood Alfredo Linguine. And we had sparkling rose. No gifts this year (due to no-buy), but it didn’t spoil anything.

    Everything is blooming here, and I like everything (minus allergies 😉 ). But whenever I see daffodils I think of your photos from one of the previous years (with a lot of these flowers – I don’t think I’ve ever seen that many daffodils together).

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