Category Archives: Sample of the day

I don’t like it at all

I just realized my love of perfumes is back but my writing skills aren’t.

I can write about things but I’m drawing blanks when it comes to perfume. I’m really not happy about that but I lost the practice and now it will take a while to get it back.

In this post I’ll try to explain why I love the perfumes I’m writing about.

I’ve been wearing April Aromatics’ Tempted Muse before my vacation and loved it so much that the decant is gone. Btw, thank you Asali for sending it – you really know my taste. 😀

Which brings me to Undina’s post and her explanation how perfumes are thunked.


Of all the muses out there, the one that speaks to me is Urania (surprise, suprise)

My decant is done but the perfume is definitely not thunked.

After a long time, I used up a decant and now I know I want a bottle of it. It’s kind of funny that when I look back at the bottles of perfumes I fell in love with, ones that I purchased in the last few years, they were all perfumes that I labeled completely wrong with my nose.

For example, the beginning of Tempted Muse reminds me a lot of Jicky and therefore I concluded the perfume must contain lavender. Turns out, that’s not one of the listed notes.

Notes: Frangipani, tuberose, jasmine, rose otto, tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, pink grapefruit, vanilla, anis fruit accord.

Which brings me to the seductive one.

On summer vacation evening I went out for a stroll along the seaside and as this was a quick weekend getaway I brought no perfumes and just fished out of my purse one of the samples I  always have there for backup. Turns out it was Andy Tauer’s Une Rose de Kandahar.

What an amazing perfume to wear on a hot summer night!

I would never have guessed it and feel a bit ashamed. I always felt ouds were too much for heat which is the opposite of where they originated. Luckily, I found out for myself how great they work in heat.  I could smell it wafting off of me all the time but in an easy wave that is enjoyable to smell. You’re not sure where it’s coming from but you like that it’s here and want it to remain in the air around you.

Notes: Apricot, cinnamon, almond, bergamot, Bulgarian rose absolute, rose from Kandahar, bourbon geranium, tobacco leaf, patchouli, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean, musk and ambergris.

Being true to the introduction, I cannot describe it better than that it’s a rose oud but I’ll work on that. 🙂 I mean out of all these notes, in the drydown I get vetiver in addition to the beginning of rose and oud. Which also isn’t a note of this perfume (oud) but hell, obviously the base notes combine well to give that impression. And that makes it even more amazing.

Now that I wrote this, I realize that it’s the small niche brands I’ve been enjoying the most lately. Little gems of novelty brilliance in the sea of sameness.

Nivea In-Shower Body Milk

As you could have noticed by now, I really rarely talk about cosmetic products. It’s not that I don’t use them, it’s just that I find them all basically the same. Very rarely do I get surprised by any of them and feel that they need to be reviewed.nivea2

I admit, I am not a Nivea fan. Their facial products wreak havoc on my skin and I avoid them completely. I ended up with this in-shower milk because you got a shower gel for free with it, and my boyfriend always needs some.

I am now on my second bottle (this time the 400 ml one) of this in-shower milk (the blue one, for dry skin).

When they say in-shower milk, it’s exactly what they mean. I, for some reason, thought it was a shower gel that made your skin feel like you put lotion on it.

But no, it’s a body milk made to be used on wet, washed skin. You do your regular wash routine and then you apply the in-shower milk to your wet skin and rinse it off. All done!

For someone who needs to put something on my skin both evening and morning, this is a time-saver. I admit to being lazy and putting lotion after a shower requires much longer than putting this in shower. You just slather the in-shower milk while anything you apply to dry skin basically needs to be massaged in.

So, yes, my lazy self loves the fact that I save time because I put Nivea in-shower on me. 🙂nivea

We’re not having a winter now so I can live with the feeling this in-shower milk gives my skin but if it were really cold, I would need something stronger for my dry skin.

It’s probably going to be perfect in spring and summer. But I find it perfect for my lazy lifestyle already.

Sample of the day: Ambrarem by Histoires de Parfums

I’ve been smelling this sample for over a week now and each time I smell it, I have something else to say about it. I find it extremely strange and I don’t think I could wear it but I am strangely attracted first to its brooding peculiar smell and then to its ambiental nature. It would be the perfume for a strange, dark sexy, ambivalently good hero of the Northern sea-dwelling people. 🙂 I have no idea where that came from but that’s how it made me feel this time around.

Top Note: Pink Peppercorn, Elemi
Heart Note: Iris Absolute, Oud, Saffron
Base Note: Castoreum Absolute, Bourbon Vanilla, Sandalwood, Amber

In the beginning, I thought of it as an herbal amber, leathery, slightly green (as in shrubbery green) and lightly smoky. Now I smell the light pepperiness, leatheriness and smokiness rising from my arm and feel the connection to the rest of the Histoires de Parfums collection (there is something in there that makes you connect the dots to the rest of the collection).

But after I got the impression of my dark hero, later on, I smell the place he lives. It smells like dark, weedy sea at the beginning of a stormy night and the oud definitely adds to that idea. Really ambiental. And the image makes me go weak at the knees.

I sincerely appreciate the strangeness that is this perfume.

The notes work in synergy to bring to life this transporting perfume – those that I can smell not being the whole of what I smell (peppercorn, elemi, oud, hints of sandalwood and ambery saltiness in the drydown).


My sample was made by the lovely people at Jovoy while in Paris.

P.S. Aragorn was the closest to my sexy imagined dark lord I could find.

Sample of the day: Bond no. 9 So New York

Ok, who puts these notes as the main notes of a perfume?! Mirabelle, espresso accord and cocoa powder? (Btw, I had to google Mirabelle, I didn’t know that was a plum)

I mean, I find it a bit stupid as I was smelling it without checking the notes and at some point I was wondering if what I was smelling was flowers – rose and peony and a little more googling turned out Aus Liebe zum Duft and their more real list: bergamot, warm milk?!, patchouli, lily of the valley, peony, musk and precious woods.

Although honestly, the notes didn’t help much.

My initial thought was that it smelled a bit like Chinatown (the sweet fruity warm opening) and Lexington Avenue (the nutty sweet coffee and I thought I detected some smoke) but in a more subdued fashion. Could be the fact that I dabbed this and not sprayed it like I do with the other two but it still struck me as a lighter combination of these two.

Which brings me to the question – does New York smell of sweet fruit, coffee and cigarette smoke? As those seem to be a recurring theme in Bond’s NY perfumes.

I already described practically the whole opening, but if I were to ignore my associations, I’d say it smells like plums dipped in chocolate with some booziness added to that chocolate. Yummy!

 After some time the florals take over. I still can’t believe I pegged peony without looking at the notes. 🙂 Although lily of the valley completely escaped me before and after knowing the notes. The whole perfume is  kind of a strange mix of the notes I described, which work together rather well until the drydown and the musk. Unfortunately, it’s the kind of synthetic musk I think of as the clean musk that overtakes my nose and won’t let me smell anything and that is what happened here.

I know many people enjoy that type of smell but for me it ruined this perfume. I was bound to love a light type of mix of two of my favourite Bonds.


Pic taken from Bond No. 9 site.

Sample of the day: MPG Ambre PrĂ©cieux

Like I mentioned yesterday, I want to try and review, even if it sometimes ends up being two sentences, all the samples in my collection. Now that I said that, I don’t think that will ever be possible due to their immensity, but you never know. How many I manage to get through will be great.

So, notes from Luckyscent say: myrtle, lavender, amber, vanilla, nutmeg, ambergris, peru balsam, tolu.

Luckyscent also sets this on their scale as beginning masculine which upset me to no end when I saw it. 🙂 But I admit now they were correct. Which does not mean I don’t plan on wearing it.

The thing is, if you went by the notes, you might think this was going to be a sweet amber (with all the vanilla type notes). But it’s not. Which is kind of strange as I find it very intoxicating and can imagine that a man smelling like Ambre Precieux would turn female heads just by the fact that he’s wearing that perfume.

It starts of with an alcoholic amber opening, and when I say alcoholic, I don’t mean in it in the booze type of smell but more of the vintage variety where you can sometimes smell the fact that perfumes are mainly alcohol (the very good kind). 🙂

In the opening there is a lightly sweet note of the typical amber kind lightly combined in my opinion with something incensey (although that note isn’t listed). I thought I might be mistaking lavender and the spiciness in the beginning for incense (once I saw lavender note, it became clear I was smelling it) but later on I kept thinking I caught whiffs of it as the perfume loses that little sweetness it had and heads into dry amber with hints of salty skin territory.

Even though I love ambers and always smell any kind of perfume even hinting at amber, this one smelled original to me. Possibly because of all my ambers I never came across one that I would admit to being more masculine than feminine (I somehow always think ambers are feminine – they smell seductive to me).

It makes perfect sense though to create one seductive amber for guys to wear then. And Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier did just that.


Going back to my samples (of the day)

I used to do this in the beginning of my blog but for several reasons (life usually happens), I stopped with those reviews and never picked them up again.

Now my sample stash has grown into a jungle, overtaking a lot of free space around me, I feel it’s time to put this back into motion and work my way through them. I wonder how long that will take…

Anyway, it probably won’t be an every day occurrence, but I’ll try and smell one each day I don’t have a regular review planned (or anything else).

Knowing my posting habits, that seems rather optimistic and ambitious but one should never be modest in what one wishes for. 😉

We’ll see how it goes… Hopefully now I’ve made it public, I’ll try and stick to my words. 🙂

SOTD: Eau Egyptienne by Cinq Mondes

Turns out I’m reviewing Ms Giacobetti’s work two times in a row without doing it on purpose. I really didn’t know it was made by her until I went to check the notes some time into smelling it. Now, I’ll have to give it more effort and find her other creations to smell because I love this.

I have no idea what’s happening to me that I’m getting more and more into roses.

Notes: lotus, caraway, rose, mint, myrrh, cypress, geranium, jasmine, juniper, pistacchio.

I’m not going into how this came about, there is enough written about that. What I want to talk about is how incredible it smells to me. My initial thought was that it was a surprisingly good citrusy, spicy, flowery, warm thingie. I say thingie because it just seems so delicate, feminine-like but it turns out it’s only delicate because I think of it as feminine in the general sense of people who don’t understand women. I don’t think women are really delicate – quite the contrary. I think they are strong and solid while at the same time they are caring and warm. And this is what I get from this, the warmth in the heart around which the spices and flowers dance making it seem girly and feminine but the warmth giving it solidity and strength. If that makes sense. And the rose-lotus-geranium combo underscored by caraway definitely helps.

It’s warm and at the same time fresh with something that makes your senses come alive. And if I got the prices right, it’s 48 euros for 100ml. Which seems quite reasonable to me. 🙂

SOTD: Vamp a NY by HonorĂ© des PrĂ©s

What a better way to return to my blogging life than with this gem, I am sure I wasn’t the only who set her alarm to be on time for the 50 samples being given at Grain de Musc almost a month ago. 🙂 I didn’t want to forget and miss out. And I didn’t. Lucky me.

I should probably call it the sample of the week, I’ve been sampling for several day now, in small quantities so it lasts a bit (I’ll divulge why a bit later). And the sample is a large one (thank you H des P).

What I could find of the notes mentioned is rum, tuberose and resins. That is true but also not enough.
This has made me smile through the last week when smiling wasn’t something I was prone to do. I do have to say that I don’t find it vampy (which is a good thing because I probably wouldn’t like it so much) but actually, I find it sexy in a different way (I’m sure many see vamp idea as sexy).

For me, this is sexy the same way a girl/woman having fun at a party in the sun, smiling and laughing around a bunch of guys who are there vying for her attention is sexy. The completely natural, unforced in any kind sexy. The best kind.

And that is why I’m saving my sample. I’ve been thinking for some time what perfume am I going to wear to a dear friend’s wedding in a few weeks – and this is it. I knew that the first time I smelled it. It’s perfect for a summer day wedding at the seaside (I’m sure it’s perfect for many other occasions as well) – it is just so easily loved. And I know why that is so in my case. To me, it smells like L’Artisan’s Vanillia mixed with a lot of tuberose (I love Vanilia and I adore tuberose, so this is a direct hit for me).

Yes, I got the rum (although much more strongly on paper than on me) and it’s a particular smell, not really as boozy as some perfumes containing boozy factors are. And then, there’s tuberose and anything else that appears in Vanilia. 🙂 I think that is the best way of summing up what it smells like. And if you have a chance, try it.
Btw, Nathan Branch wrote a great review of another perfume from the We love NY series, Love Coco. From what I read there, I pretty much think I will love it, so now I’m wondering if that means I’ll love the carrot thingie as well. Probably. I really like carrots. 🙂
And last but not least, I think the marketing strategy that enabled people like me (bloggers who are seriously interested in new creations) to be able to get a sample just by reading one of the (best) perfume blogs is straight on target. I wish more companies would consider this tactic. The word will spread wider before this hits US and the way it’s going, it will have a seriously positive vibe. 🙂

SOTD: Ava Luxe, Red Tara

I received a swap package today and it held a sample of this. So, I gave it a go. It’s a really nice, warm, spicy, woody scent.
And I went in search of notes which I found at Perfumed Court: sandalwood, iris absolute and myrrh.

I wasn’t able to find this perfume listed at Ava Luxe site so these are all the notes. I really like this one, even though the lasting power is a maximum of 3 hours.
If I didn’t read iris absolute, I’d never have guessed it – I mean I still don’t know that I was smelling it. 🙂 I get the sandalwood and I kept thinking from the beginning there must be something else in it making it slightly sweet and warm (my guess was benzoin).
Unfortunately I don’t have much more to say. It’s really nice and right up my alley but can’t say it’s spectacularly different or great. It’s exactly what I said the other day regarding Vetiver/vanille, perfectly wearable (in cold weather probably better) without thinking too much about what you are wearing.

SOTD: Le Jardin RetrouvĂ©, VĂ©tyver Vanille

I am really glad I made myself go through a sample a day. I finally have something to say about this sample I received from Le Jardin Retrouve’s Mr. Gutsatz.

As I can’t find a list of notes on their site, I’m citing here what they have to say with regards to some notes:

“Each Perfumer interprets Vetyver perfume in his own manner, and that of Le Jardin RetrouvĂ© with its tangy head note (Bergamot, Lemon), its bouquet – warm, woody with a touch of tobacco, and its base note that is spicy and peppery, makes this a classic and original fragrance. Vetyver Essence is one of the best-known elements for creating the core and base notes for several feminine and masculine fragrances.”

It seems I’m actually a vetiver fan even though at the beginning of my perfume journey I was quite sure of the opposite. Just a little advice, do not begin your vetiver journey with Frederic Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire because it’s seriously vetivery.

Anyway, this started for me instantly flowery (have no idea where that came from) and then went on to a vetiver dominated scent. I mean that in a good way, you cannot forget it’s there but you can smell different things displayed on its surface. It felt warm and sunny, and I thought some hay may be hiding in there.

In the drydown I got some saltiness (I really get that a lost) that led me to believe there might be something irisy in it but thinking more about it, I realized vanilla could probably give off the same thing. And it finally appeared in the drydown.

I cannot say that this was instant love for me but I really like it. It’s easy to wear and for me it’s one of those scents you can grab when you don’t want to think too much what are you going to wear but fall on things that are reliably good (I just wish I didn’t have half a sample left but a bottle I can fall on to). 🙂
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