Perfume Chat Room

Perfume Chat Room

Fragrance friends: the sudden farewell of Australian Perfume Junkies has left a number of perfumistas wondering where they will find a place online to “hang out” with other fragheads. Portia and Val the Cookie Queen will be posting sometimes on A Bottled Rose (yay!), but Portia won’t be hosting weekly SOTD threads or Saturday Questions as on APJ. So I am humbly offering here a weekly “Perfume Chat Room”, where any readers so inclined can list their scents of the day(s), ask each other questions, give a “Weekend Update”, and generally take the conversations in whatever direction they want.

Retro cocktail party image

As at APJ, taking sides means never taking offense, always keeping things respectful and light, sharing information and opinions, and remembering that in fragrance, as in life, your mileage may vary. In other words, agreeing to disagree. YMMV. Welcome!

Vintage Avon fragrance ad, 1960s

Avon calling! Image from http://www.avon.com

 

Godspeed, APJ

via Welcome Back APJ

It seems so recent that we were rejoicing in the return of a beloved blog and fragrance lovers’ community, Australian Perfume Junkies, after the site was hacked. Now, sadly, its founder Portia has decided to end the blog at the end of this month. It has clearly taken a LOT of time to manage, although along the way Portia has shared many fun outings that readers vicariously enjoyed, and even a wedding to longtime partner Jin. I especially loved the Saturday Questions, and everyone’s updates on “thunking”, and earning “enabler pins”!

APJ was one of the first online perfumista communities I found when I went down this rabbit hole; thanks to Portia and friends, it was always a  kind and welcoming one. I will miss APJ, but I hope to keep seeing some of its regulars online, here and on other blogs I enjoy like Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, and Undina’s Looking Glass (I read and enjoy several others too, but these are the ones where I’ve found the most conversations with repeat commenters).

Thank you, Portia, for hosting those conversations and sharing your encounters in life and fragrance. Thanks for pleasant memories. I wish you and Jin the very best, and good health and happiness! I hope you might occasionally post an update on your doings and still drop by other blogs once in a while. Stop by here any time! Au revoir.

Fragrant Highlights of 2019: What Went Well

Fragrant Highlights of 2019: What Went Well

Happy New Year! Rather than listing my favorites or “the best” among the fragrances launched in 2019 (other blogs have done that so thoroughly!), I am going to list some of my own fragrance highlights of 2019. Some are actual perfumes, others are fragrant items or experiences. I feel so fortunate. I write about my many blessings in this blog to remind myself that, in spite of challenges and losses, I am thankful for the love and beauty in my life.

  1. First trip to Tuscany, Florence and Venice, with many perfume stops. I will not forget the aromatic scent of the Tuscan hills and the timeless beauty of their landscape — not to mention the fragrances of the vineyards and wines, and the cooking class I took. Florence and Venice were as magical and amazing as expected, and I brought back souvenir fragrances from perfumeries like Santa Maria Novella, I Profumi di Firenze, Aquaflor, Farmacia SS Annunziata dal 1561. Back home, I treated myself to Flower Fusion by The Merchant of Venice (gorgeous glass bottle, lovely fragrance); and my husband gave me Hermes’ Un Jardin Sur la Lagune for Christmas.
  2. Visit to 4160 Tuesdays’ studio in London and meeting Sarah and Nick! If you’re a fan of 4160 Tuesdays’ fragrances, and you wonder if Sarah really is as cool and interesting as she seems, the answer is YES! She and Nick graciously spent time with me, talking about their fragrances. And yes, I came away with several purchases, including the beautiful Truth Beauty Freedom Love and the silk scarf designed to go with it. I’m excited to see their new studio on Raynham Road when I visit London again! I also took part in the crowd-funding (such a brilliant idea) of some 2019 launches by 4160 Tuesdays, including Clouds’ Illusion, Christmas Concert, and Meet Me On The Corner
  3. Perfume-making workshop in Nice, at Parfum Et Vous, recommended by Megan of the blog “MeganInSainteMaxime.” It was a beginners’ workshop, but so much fun! And I was introduced to a line of fragrances I hadn’t tried before, Baruti.
  4. Meeting Megan in Cannes, and visiting the office of Atelier des Ors, including meeting its founder, Jean-Philippe Clermont and trying several of its fragrances which were created by Marie Salamagne: Nuda Veritas, Crepuscule des Amesand Choeur des Anges.
  5. The publication of Neil Chapman’s wonderful book, “Perfume: In Search of Your Signature Scent.” Neil writes one of the longest-running and best blogs about perfume, “The Black Narcissus“; he is a true connoisseur and collector of fine fragrance as well as a very interesting, creative person. It was so exciting to read about his work on the book and its eventual publication and launch!
  6. Learning how to use Instagram!
  7. Two very special fragrance sets/Christmas gifts, which I can’t wait to explore: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’ 2019 Heirloom Elixir Collection, and Sarah McCartney’s “January Joy Box” from 4160 Tuesdays.
  8. Giving in to temptation and ordering Papillon Perfumery‘s Bengale Rouge. It hasn’t arrived yet, from Ave Parfum, but I expect it shortly! This has been one of the most highly rated perfumes of 2019; given how much I love Dryad, I’m excited to have this.
  9. The continued success of St. Clair Scents, another independent artisan perfumer, whose fragrances Gardener’s Glove, Frost, Casablanca, and First Cut I thoroughly enjoyed in 2018. Although I haven’t yet reviewed them, this year’s issue of Pandora and Eve , the “Audacious Innocence Collection”, shows us that Diane St. Clair is here to stay, thank goodness, in perfumery as well as her legendary butter.
  10. Getting to try L’Iris de Fath, thanks to the wonderful associate at Jovoy Paris’ London store.

Some of the blogosphere’s “Best of 2019” lists:

Australian Perfume Junkies

Bois de Jasmin

A Bottled Rose

Cafleurebon

Colognoisseur

I Scent You A Day

Persolaise

What were some of your fragrant highlights of 2019? Feel free to comment broadly, it’s a broad category! Thank you for reading my online musings this year.

Featured image: Fleurs et Flammes, Antonio Alessandria Parfums.

May Muguet Marathon: Giulietta

May Muguet Marathon: Giulietta

Giulietta, by Tocca, is described as “a romantic and muse … sweet pink tulips and green apple mingle with a floral delicacy of lily of the valley and amber.” It comes in eau de parfum strength; other notes include Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, pallida iris, vanilla orchid, lilac, heliotrope, cedar, musk, and sandalwood. It is one of the “Tocca Girls” fragrances, each of which is meant to have a distinct personality; Giulietta’s is described as refreshing, feminine, delicate. The fragrance’s name is also meant to refer to actress Giulietta Masina, wife and longtime artistic collaborator of film director Federico Fellini.

It opens with a pop of the green apple, fruity but a bit tart. It then becomes more floral, and I smell heliotrope more than any of the other listed floral notes. It is quite sweet at this stage, with a vanilla note that becomes more evident as the floral notes fade. The white musk base note emerges less than an hour into the drydown, and I think it is this note that prompted some Fragrantica readers to note that Giulietta reminds them of Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist. It’s pretty, but to my nose not very distinctive.

Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies had a more positive reaction than I did, in a review at Olfactoria’s Travels, calling it a “perfect summer fragrance.” It’s nice, but there are many better, even less expensive, options. For example, for the $76 list price for 50 ml of Giulietta, one can get 100 ml of Hermes’ Un Jardin Sur le Nil from online discounters, a much more interesting and distinctive summer fragrance, to my nose. I agree with Portia that after the opening, there is a pleasant, blended floral bouquet in which it is hard to pick out individual notes; also like Portia, I do smell heliotrope early on and throughout the drydown, which quickly becomes a soft vanilla musk. Like Jessica’s review at Now Smell This, my overall impression is that Giulietta is a nice summer vanilla. It does last reasonably well, and it would be a perfectly appropriate and safe office fragrance, or gift.

Although Tocca chooses to highlight lily of the valley in its copy, I don’t smell it at all in Giulietta. As in — not AT ALL. Nor do I smell the lilac that readers of Fragrantica rate among its most noticeable notes. Giulietta also comes in a hair fragrance format, like some other Tocca scents (two of which I’ve reviewed, Colette and Liliana). I think the photograph on the Tocca website is more accurate than the copy:

Bottle of Giulietta eau de parfum from Tocca with pink tulips and green apples

Giulietta eau de parfum; image from http://www.tocca.com

Bright, fruity, sweet floral with a clean white laundry background — to me, that’s Giulietta. Very pleasant, and indeed a nice, light, floral vanilla for summer — but not a muguet in sight.

Are there any other Tocca fragrances you particularly like? I did like the two hair mists I’ve previously reviewed, although I think those two have been discontinued (several others are available).

Scent Sample Sunday: Thunking

Scent Sample Sunday: Thunking

This is my first “Scent Sample Sunday” post of the New Year, and I have thunking on my mind, thanks to a running conversation on the blog Australian Perfume Junkies (a very welcoming online community, btw, which I highly recommend). I think it was APJ reader Brigitte who coined the phrase, referring to the satisfying “thunk” sound made by an empty vial or bottle of fragrance when it hits the bottom of a wastebasket, having been happily emptied and enjoyed by its owner. Thunk!

The running conversation has been about the readers’ commitments to finishing the fragrances they already have before rushing to buy more. A related commitment is to “shopping in your own closet”, i.e. to rediscover what one already has in one’s fragrance cabinet or other storage, enjoy and appreciate it, and reduce impulse buying.

Count me in! So I’m going to start a new series of blog posts here, called “Thunking Thursday”, and I invite you to join me! I’ll write briefly about something I’ve thunked that week, and I hope you’ll comment on whatever you have thunked, whether that week or earlier. Or even what you plan to thunk in coming weeks! Maybe we can reinforce each other’s New Year’s resolutions — or at least vicariously enjoy each other’s “thunks.” I might award a prize to the reader who describes the most completed thunks here this month if I get a large number, so boast away! Please include a brief description of the fragrance and your experience with it, including whether you think you’ll seek it out again.

I’ll start today, claiming one “thunk point” for my sample of Tiffany & Co. Intense EDP.  I loved everything about it: the strong iris note, the packaging, the ad campaign. Maybe I should have to deduct points from myself, though, since I got a full bottle of it for Christmas based on my love of the store sample! Oh well. We all know what paves the road to … you know the rest.

How many thunk points have you accumulated so far in 2019? If you need a few days to think and thunk, come back on Thunking Thursday and comment there! Happy New Year!

Bottle of Tiffany & Co. perfume Tiffany blue

Photo by Bryan Schneider on Pexels.com

Portia’s Best Of 2018

via Portia’s Best Of 2018

I don’t feel qualified to list the “best of 2018”, as I haven’t tried that many of the new launches, so I plan to share the lists of bloggers I follow and enjoy! And then maybe I will post a very idiosyncratic list of the scents I’ve enjoyed this year, without any claim to being expert or comprehensive.

So here is Portia’s “Best of 2018” from the blog Australian Perfume Junkies — if you haven’t read the blog before, check it out! It’s a very friendly fragrance community. Happy New Year!

Saturday Question: What is Your Fave Date Night Fragrance? — Australian Perfume Junkies

. Portia . Hello Fellow Fumies, At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths. The idea […]

via Saturday Question: What is Your Fave Date Night Fragrance? — Australian Perfume Junkies

APJ’s Saturday Questions are great fun if you like fragrance! The blog is rebuilding after a disastrous hack that caused the loss of followers, so go check it out, it’s a great online fragrance community.