Our fourth annual holiday gift poll (see 2008, 2009 & 2010). Here are the three questions:
What is the fragrance-related gift you’d most like to receive this year?
Let’s say you were going to ask for just one unsniffed fragrance this year, what would it be?
Are you giving any fragrance items for gifts this year, and if so, what?
I would love to have a Cire Trudon candle: Roi Soleil, Spiritus Sancti or Nazareth.
It's taking a big chance, but I'll go for Comme des Garçons A New Perfume.
Yes, two of my nieces requested items from Bath & Body Works and Lush.
Note: image is Flowers over ice [cropped] by aldenchadwick at flickr; some rights reserved.
I would love several giant ‘Winter’ candles from The White Company.
Itchy trigger finger!
Love those White Company candles they are just gorgeous!
Unsniffed would be Bottega Veneta or Violet Blonde.
I will be giving pomanders to my daughters’ teachers…clove-studded oranges rolled in powdered orris root, cinnamon and nutmeg. My airing cupboard smells awesome! Also, giving cranberry- orange bread and lebkuchen. The smells of the holidays!
Lebkuchen! My aunt Myrna’s Lebkuchen is a very welcome family tradition for me. I begged her for the recipe years back, and my dad claims that mine are just as good, but I don’t think I’ve quite mastered it yet! It’s one of those fabulous and mysterious family recipes that barely gives you any instruction, assuming you already know what to do, so it’s an adventure every time. I really must try again this year. . .
I think there’s a recipe in Joy of Cooking. You could check it out for the fundemental ratios, and then add your Aunt’s special touches.
Oh, and do you do anything to protect the oranges and cloves from molding? I experimented with these a few years back, and it was not pretty. . .(does the orris root help or just smell good?).
The orris root acts as a preservative. You could also use sandalwood oil. They are definitely one of those gifts that have a strange effort-appreciation ratio…small effort and big smiles!
Those orange pomanders are a lot of fun to make and give (and receive).
It’s been a long time, but I have made those clove-studded oranges, and had no problem with mold. I live on the humid Gulf Coast, too, so it isn’t a matter of climate. By any chance, did you put them in a plastic bag or container or in a small enclosed space, such as a drawer, after you made them? They need to be allowed to dry out and cure properly. Most of the moisture will evaporate, and the fruit will shrink to about half its original diameter.
No, I don’t think I did anything like that. I do live in the exceptionally cool and damp Portland, Oregon. Mold is a regular winter nemesis.
These sound amazing! Could someone give a ‘Dummies guide to-‘ set of instructions?
It’s very easy- have a look here http://www.pioneerthinking.com/pomanders.html
Thanks for the link, FragrantWitch!
Have already received lovely Winter candles – which are burning now! And I have been liberally using the spray and lamp burning oil too – the house smells gorgeous.
You must be my scent twin, as I too would love to try the Bottega and Violet Blonde.
Haven’t been as industrious as you, so gifts for others are Winter candles!
By the way, has anyone smelt Crabtree & Evelyn’s Smokey Amber home fragrance? It’s rather good.
Hi potential scent- twin! Lucky you and your fabulous smelling house…
I haven’t, but I did once buy one of their Christmas candles on sale. The first few times I burnt it it had no smell, but eventually the smell did come out, rich and beautiful – if not a VERY wide throw. Any opinions on their candles?
It saddens me to say that sometimes their candles and oils can be a little inconsistent, and in my opinion they were definitely more powerfully perfumed a few years ago. However, I bought a Silver Birch pillar candle last winter, and have only recently started to use it – it is so strong, even unlit, that I have had to move it to the far side of the room and in the morning, there is still a woody smell in the air!
Interestingly, I noticed in one of their latest brochures they actually say that because pillar candles have to be made with a more solid wax, their perfume content is correspondingly less, so in fact you would always get more scent and throw from the candles in glass jars. These are my favourites: the throw does take a little while to develop and I burn mine for a minimum of two and a maximum of four hours, which seems to work. The Winter line will always be my absolutely favourite,and I can not now imagine Christmas without that fragrance!
Any ONE gift? ONE??? ok… well… I think maybe a bottle of Oscar de la Renta Esprit d’Oscar.
Asking for one unsniffed fragrance… let’s go with DSH muguets that she released for mother’s day. Either the men’s or the women’s, although the men’s actually might be a smidge higher on my list.
Giving any fragrance items? Not sure! I got my fiancé fragrance for his birthday in May (some shower gels), so I’ll probably get him something non-fragrance-related for Christmas… I hate to admit I’ve only bought one Christmas present so far, for my dad… who is not a fragrance wearer. meep!
I have to brag: I have only 1 gift left to buy. I’m a wreck if I don’t get it all done before December, though — I know many people like the “rush” of holiday shopping, but I’m not one of them.
Ditto! I like to have it all done so I can relax and enjoy the month.
I do save a few stocking stuffers to shop for, so I can get out in to the madness a wee bit, but I always know exactly what I’m getting, so there isn’t much hassle involved. I go to lunch and make an afternoon of it.
I’d love to get a Diptyque candle, as I’d never be able to justify buying one myself…
Unsniffed, I’d love to get … Bois des Iles.
I’m getting Ambre Sultan for my dad this year, and Jardin Clos for mom this year… and possibly Ambre Narguile for myself. Can’t stop thinking about it :p
I splurged on a Diptyque candle earlier this year when they were on sale someplace, and I don’t like the one I bought (Pomander) — huge disappointment because I have a hard time talking myself into expensive candles.
Oh, what a shame! Is it too sweet, by any chance? When it comes to candles, I find the drier, the better. I have a *very* old (no, really, very old) Bois Ciré one, which I keep in its box and hardly ever burn, but which smells incredibly and wonderfully strong still (anything next to it is scented within a very short time). I am told the more recent Diptyques are not so strong. I think they decided to cut down on the amount of oils a few years ago. I only like their woody/incense ones, but when they’re good they’re fantastic, aren’t they?
It is my first & only Diptyque, so can’t compare to anything else. It’s too sweet & too bland — nothing like what I expected. The reviews on MUA were great, so I wonder if it was old stock? It doesn’t have the throw I thought I’d get from a high end candle.
I bought the Christmassy Épinette one, and I really like it. But I’ve been wanting Feu de Bois for months and I don’t think I’ll ever buy it myself…
So the first question is easy for me: I would love to finally own my own bottle of Amouage Memoir. I’ve been eying it (nosing it?) for a year, and would really love to finally give in and get some. I am my own Santa, so it’s up to me to make it happen!
I don’t have good answers for the other two questions. Is it rude of me to break the rules so early in the poll? Because, if I was going for complete avarice, I would LOVE to have a sniffing trip to France–stops in Paris and Grasse, of course!
Then, maybe, hop over the water to visit Ormonde Jayne in London. . . (ok, so maybe a sniffing trip to Europe is in order?) Happy early Holidays!
We are not sticklers about rules, at least, not in the polls. I would take those trips too!
Ah, hah: if Santa has any plane tickets and hotel vouchers, I’d spend some time in Versaille at the Osmotheque!
I would love a bottle of Givenchy Organza Indecence or Mugler Angel Liqueur de parfum. Will be asking Santa very nicely, I have been good this year.
Blind purchase would be a small bottle of Aromatics Elixir from Clinique.
I am getting my husband a bottle of Chanel Egoiste for Christmas.
Nice picks all around!
Ruth, you remind me that there are many vintage scents that I would need to buy unsniffed. We could add Organza Indecence to my list, too!
Ruth, perhaps I can play Santa here. I have a bottle of Organza Indecence (in the original bottle, not new, plain bottle). I had bought it unsniffed some years ago thinking, from the list of notes, that I would love it, but I don’t. If you are interested, contact me at Roses_50 at yahoo dot com.
Holy Cow! I am emailing you right now Santa:)
1- I’m probably repeating myself since these have been on my wish list for a couple of years but I’d happily take a bottle of Sycomore or Dia. Or one of those gorgeous-sounding Malle candles. Sophia Grojsman’s Russian Nights sounds particularly enticing.
2- Unsniffed would probably be something like Vero Profumo Onda or SL La Myrrhe since they both sound so intriguing.
3- No plans for any scented gifts but that could still change.
I wish those candles were not all red! I have been literally ignoring them just for that reason, isn’t that stupid?
You know, Robin, now that you mention it, I think subliminally the red color has kept me from ordering an FM candle, as well. Consciously, it’s that dilemma of how to choose when they all sound fabulous.
LOL…yes, there’s that too. But I also just don’t like the look, esp. compared to so many others: Diptyque, Cire Trudon, Astier Villate. And they ALL have candles that sound divine.
That’s funny. It never occurred to me that the look would stop people from buying them but it makes sense since you can hardly hide them in a box/cupboard like you could with an ugly perfume bottle.
I don’t mind their appearance, it’s the prices that really have been putting me off
Yes, the bright red doesn’t exactly go with the majority of indoor decors, and the prices are astronomical. However, the fragrances and quality are fantastic – my favourite is Saints des Saints, simply gorgeous – and I wouldn’t say no to the others. They are on a par with the Ormonde Jayne candles, which quite frankly manage to scent the room even when un-lit! They are POTENT! And Tolu is gorgeous for this wintry weather.
I’d like bottles of Le Temps d’Une Fête, Eau de Camille, Traversée du Bosphore, Jacomo #08, Dzing!… And vintage Caron Violette Précieuse. And tons of samples or small decants.
An unsniffed fragrance? Maybe Chanel Bois des Îles, I’ve been intrigued by it for some time.
And I’m not giving any fragrance items this year… I recently purchased Goutals for a friend’s birthday, though.
I want Bosphore too!
Attraversiamo then I am getting Traversee du Bosphore for myself this Christmas!
Hm. I’d love Fleur de Cassie as a gift, but that will not happen! : D
Unsniffed, I’d go for Vengeance Extreme, since Lady Vengeance simply wasn’t vengeful enough, as much as I liked that initial burst!
Not sure about fragrance gifts this year – did it last year to so-so result for my mom and an aunt.
Oooh, I rarely see people talk about Une Fleur de Cassie! I’m still not sure what I think about it, but I often come back to my little sample…
I am a FDC fan! Sooo wonderful and rich. That perfume has a life of its own!
I’m a fan of Fleur de Cassie as well. I got another sample recently and it’s definately a favorite. I just wish it lasted longer on me as it seems to be rather short lived. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m anosmic to whatever is in the dry down… thoughts?
To my nose Une Fleur smells quite similar to Amaranthine. Both very interesting creations!
Hedi – I’m testing a sample of Vengeance Extreme right now and I can’t tell a big difference between the two. Maybe it is slightly less soapy, but it fades very quickly on me. I think if you want a rose/patchouli fragrance that is a little more extreme try L’AP Voleur de Roses.
You might try FM Portrait of a Lady, too, Hedi.
Surprise to myself, but I would love the Flowerbomb Extrait – tried it at Saks on Black Friday and found it so much better than the EDP. But SO bought me Liu as an early Christmas gift at the Guerlain Fragrance Experience, so won’t expect or ask for the Flowerbomb.
I would like TF’s Jasmin Rouge or Santal Blush unsniffed.
For fragance gifts – I buy favorite cousin’s wife a bottle of Dune every year as it is the only scent she wears. I have three nieces – one already received one of the Tocca mini three packs, one will receive Boyfriend, and the third will receive the LL Couture Black.
The Flowerbomb extrait bottle is lovely, too.
Same as last year, I’d love a bottle of Daphne (though the stuff is so nuclear, I wonder if spraying it would be too much?).
Unsniffed, probably Hermes Santal Massoia, or even that new Katy Perry one (just because of the cute bottle!).
I will probably give a couple of fragrance gifts as I usually do. I’ve been thinking about the Fresh rollerball gift set for my sister, and may give my BF the Antonio Banderas one (as a joke — we are always doing our Chris Kattan SNL Antonio impressions for each other).
Daphne is strong stuff!!
The Antonio Banderas perfumes are surprisingly good.
I love Daphne!
I once oversprayed Daphene, all over my coat coller, just before entering a party. I was immediately complimented. My coat smelled like sugared tuberose all winter.
Its’ a good scent for a day when you really need to feel girly to lift your mood. One spray is enough.
1. I would like to receive gift cards (Nordstroms) to buy the fragrance-related gift I would like. I already know that is what my Mom got me. Yipee!!!
2. Unsniffed, I am thinking Prada Candy or Diptyque Do Son. Can anyone tell me what either are like?
3. Yes, I just gave my nail technician a set by Vera Wang today. She loves it on me and wanted it so she is happy.
#2: Both are niiiiice! Do Son is my favorite sandalwood fragrance as of yet (not that I’ve sniffed a lot of them), after the citrusy burst in the beginning it turns very woody and pretty much stays there. But I think I’d prefer a little twist to it, I find it a little too dry and simple to be put on my wishlist. As for Prada Candy, I really like it. It’s in this weird place in my heart where I asked for it for Christmas, but I wouldn’t buy it myself. It’s really nice and comforting, I find, even though it’s not extraordinary. They’re worth a sniff!
Go for Prada Candy honey! I’ve never smelled something that would have a sweet, yet not overwhelming but elegant aroma. It smells like you just came out of the candy shop. Caramel, or Polish (I’m for Poland BTW) Cream Fudge as Katie Puckrik says and vanilla are wonderful in it.
You won’t regret buying this one. Trust me!
Aw, don’t tempt me! (It’s so easy to do, too!) Well, it’s already on my very short Christmas wishlist, so I might own it soon! If not… I might be disappointed enough to make me realize I want to buy it myself!
And now I want to taste Polish cream fudge!
both cream fudge and prada candy are delicious
Don’t faint, but I won’t be asking for perfume this Christmas! I know, hard to believe, but if I were, I would ask for either FM Noir Epices, or Histories de Parfums 1740 – I think these are next on my FB wish list.
Unsniffed would be either DSH Pandora or Bottega Venetta.
I’ll be giving my daughter the blinged out Hello Kitty Intense roller ball – she’ll get a kick out of it. I get my mom fragrance for her b’day and Mother’s Day, but for Christmas, I give her other types of stuff. Oh, I almost forgot, I’m giving some pretty scented soaps to my BFF – I think that counts?
I bought a 1 dram bottle of Pandora unsniffed and I love it! I would classify it as an old-style chypre/oriental–not as green or dry as many chypres, but not as heavy or sweet as most orientals. It really does smell vintage to me, and I love vintage perfume.
This is the kind of thing I keep hearing about Pandora and this is why I covet it so!
Is that the DSH one?
Oh, duh! Sorry. I just saw that.
I must admit that I covet the blinged-out Hello Kitty rollerball, even though the fragrance does nothing for me. I wish I knew someone who’d be likely to enjoy it as a gift.
My daughter has loved Hello Kitty paraphernalia since she was about 4 or 5 and now that she’s 32, she still does. I recently gave her HK Band-Aids, refrigerator magnets and note pads. I wish we still had the little purse she had when she was child – it was so cute and probably a collector’s item now!
Since it’s Santa I’d ask for a ridiculous amount of VCA Vacances, anyone else would faint dead away for sure.
Unsniffed would be OJ Woman.
I might pick up some as yet unspecified smelly things for the boys. It’s not a given though.
My boy makes it very clear he does not want any smellies
Lol. Here it’s a thin line, body wash or shower gel slide by. I should get something nice and just put it in empty Nivea for men bottle.
1. I’d love to get a huge tester set from The Perfumed Court — I’m newish to perfume and would love to have a reference library of classics to experiment with.
2. Unsniffed, Luctor et Emergo. Seems like all the cool kids are over this by now, but the descriptions are ridiculously tantalizing to me, and I haven’t seen it out for testing anywhere.
3. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few months, is that I can’t even reliably buy perfume for myself! It takes multiple sniffings over a period of days, and has to be tried on my own skin, so I don’t know that I’d dare try to buy for someone else. I have thought about giving my mother one of those Sephora sets, though, the ones where you get lots of sample bottles and a gift certificate for a full bottle of the one you like best.
I think it is one that certainly stands up to all the hype!
I tried Luctor et Emergo for the first time just recently, and loved it!
1) I dream of Jicky extrait. Even more improbable: Bois des lies extrait. I’d also love the By Kilian travel spray sweet redemption – I’m tempted to make that my own gift for myself ;).
2) Mary Greenwell Plum: because of Mals’ blog ;). I had already asked for my birthday for the unsniffed SSS’ incense extreme and champagne de Bois, but they don’t ship to Italy… Tant pis for them.
3) I might give chanel’s CDR or Sables to my husband. But am still on the fence.
Zazie, I jumped on a bottle of Plum on ebay after noticing that Mals had basically taken to wearing it virtually every day last summer. It’s really nice!
FYI, SSS is also available on Indie Scents (a branch of LuckyScent and very reliable). I don’t know where they ship, but it might be worth checking.
Also, she’s just started selling at a place in Germany, so they might ship to Italy. Info should be on her site.
Thank you both, I’ll take a look!
I hope you can snag some Plum… I just wore it the other day. Fell in love with it almost exactly a year ago, and I STILL love it!
I’d love for Santa to bring me what I can’t actually buy (no apparent US distributor):
1. AG Mon Parfum Cheri par Camille EDP (I’m only seeing EDT on the internet).
2. Unsniffed: Olfactive Studio Chambre Noir – I’m captivated by the review and photo on Grain de Musc – she’s right: the photo does suggest the magic of the Nile as seen in Cairo. As far as I can tell, OS does’t yet ship to the US, and I’m not even seeing decants on The Perfumed Court.
3. No scented gifts, but a colleague recently indicated an interest in aromatherapy and I gave him a couple of Via del Profumo samples (Mecca Balsam and Hindu Kush). If he appreciates them, I’ll sprinkle more grains of temptation in the direction of the rabbit hole.
Noz, I’ve seen it only at the AG website, which doesn’t ship to the US but has a contact e-mail for requests and at this site in The Netherlands http://www.celeste-parfums.nl/webshop/ which appears to ship to the US but it’s pricey. Happy Holidays!
Thank you, Faylene! I’m captivated by this new AG. Can’t wait to envelope myself in a cloud of EDP!
1. I would love a bottle of DelRae Coup de Foudre. I have more “winter” than “summer” scents, but live where there is much more summer than winter. CdF works perfectly well in warm weather and is a nice alternative to citrus.
2. Probably a bottle of Lubin Idole (the original EdT, not the new EdP). I have learned the hard way about buying unsniffed, but the Idole bottle is fantastic, so even if I didn’t like the ‘fume, it wouldn’t be a total loss.
3. I am giving my husband a bottle of Derby and my 12-year-old niece is getting a bottle of SSS Cameo.
I am not generally a bottle hound, but the original Idole is fabulous.
50 Roses, I love Lubin Idole and I have a coupon for $10 off at BeautyHabit that I can use on LI. I don’t really care much one way or another about bottles so perhaps we can work something out. If you’re interested, please contact me at faylene505 at gmail dot com.
Agree on Coup de Foudre for summer wear. I nearly went through my sample of it this summer.
1. I would love to get the Trudon candle in Balmoral.
2. Unsniffed I would ask for Bois de Violette.
3. I’ve already gotten L de Lolita Lempicka for my niece, and I’m looking for a good first scent for my 17 year old nephew, who just told me he ‘trusts my taste.’ Talk about pressure! I’m having a hard time thinking of things appropriate. There isn’t as much variety for teen boys as there is for teen girls, once you get beyond Axe, which I am certainly not buying. I’m leaning toward Eau d’Orange Verte or Prada Infusion d’Homme, but I’m worried the latter is too mature. What do NSTers think?
I think a classic cologne like Eau d’Orange Verte is a great idea for a 17-year-old guy. Simple, smells great, and fewer worries about overapplying.
I’m a relative newbie, so I may be ENTIRELY wrong but while I like the Hermes and Love the Prada, both strike me as more fitting for someone older than 17. Also I think of them both as suiting a more sophisticated taste, and possibly as conservative (although someone non-conservative might wear them as a contrast of sorts). My suggestion might be Bulgari Black for the 17 year old. Its nuanced but not as subtle, and has a sweetness that makes it more accessible.
That’s a great suggestion! I’ll have to think about it. The only thing I worry about is the fact that this 17 year old is very, very conservative. He’s the only 17 year old boy I know who loves wearing a suit!
And there I am envisioning a leather-jacket-clad motor-bike rider! Suggestion withdrawn…
I might still go with Bvlgari Black, but if he is conservative and loves tradition then I recommend Eau Sauvage. It sounds much more dangerous than it is and has been adored for generations.
Maybe Mark Birley Charles Street? It’s a fruity/floral boozy leather; less of a mess than it sounds like! I think of it as conservative with a twist, and I think it would suit a “mature” teen.
For the 17 year old, maybe Diesel Fuel for Life? Nice scent in a cool bottle.
I once went to a Sniffapolooza where there was a very serious fourteen year old boy and his mother. Contrary to my initial assumptions, the lady had not dragged the boy on her shopping/sniffing trip; the boy had convinced his mother to take him.
He brought one of the Creeds.
The “old Brit money” bottles would appeal to a young man who wears suits, and there are a wide variety of scents.
Sounds like quite a kid! A Creed would be a VERY pricey gift though…
I’d love to find a lovely bottle of Dsquared Potion under a christmas tree. This scent does wonders with my body chemistry.
About the unsniffed fragrance, they just delivered my Prada Amber Pour Homme Intense. It’s unavailable in Poland, but few online perfume shops had it. I love all male fragrances by Prada, so I decided to take a risk. And it was absolutely worth it! I’m so satisfied with this perfume. So happy-go-lucky!
My dad doesn’t use perfume, but he uses after shave lotions, so I’m buying him Bvlgari Man this year for Christmas
Oh, so glad the Prada worked out for you!
So am I! Now I have 3 out of 4 male fragrances from Prada.
Unfortunately I’m not getting Potion for Christmas (my dad was against it), but I’ll buy it myself sooner or later.
Hope Bvlgari Man will suit him
Bulgari Man is really nice!
1. Oy! I have so many unsniffed samples from TPC waiting for me that it would be greedy to ask for anything . . . but if anyone happens to find an unwanted bottle of Tabac Blond extrait lying around (preferably vintage) . . .
2. Unsniffed, I’ve been tempted by the Diptyque Perdigone candle and all of the CdG incense frags.
3. Probably not – my husband’s grandkids are too young and for other family members – who really do NOT need anything – we usually make donations to nonprofits in their honor.
Oh, do add the incense series to your next TPC order! I ordered their incense series sample set a while ago (which soon led to a FB of Avignon). It was really interesting to experience the set as a whole and to compare the different fragrances.
You are a terrible enabler!
Does TPC not have the Caron urn fragrances anymore? I have a decant of Tabac Blond parfum I bought there. I’ve seen them on eBay but honestly, I wouldn’t trust anybody but the lovely ladies at TPC to see me a bit of a genuine urn fragrance.
Yes, they do. I purchased a tiny sample and then a larger decant from TPC that I love. But I’m very greedy and want the bearer of holiday gifts to bring me a FB! I’ve seen it at one of the dept. store websites – Nordies or NM – but it’s pricey and there’s no way I can justify the purchase, esp. with all of the $ I’ve spent on frags recently. I agree with your assessment about trust – many of the sellers of classical and/or pricey frags seem awfully suspicious to me. I’m definitely a TPC fan!
1. Amouage Ubar. The Escentual minimalist bottles make me feel slightly less hesitant to put this on my wish list.
2. I’d break my must-sniff rule for SL Iris Silver Mist or OJ Frangipani. Anything in the OJ line, actually.
3. Giving my bestie her fave, Jo Malone Sweet Lime and Cedar. Thinking of giving the husband MDCI Invasion Barbare, which he loves.
I wanted a minimalist bottle of Lyric… sadly, they don’t have one. Ubar is terrific, though.
1. I’d love a bottle of Portrait of a Lady, Dzongkha, DSH Oeillets Rouges, DSH Poivre, Cuir de Russie extrait, or Vol de Nuit extrait; or the giant cathedral-incense candle that I sniffed the other week at Barneys and have now forgotten the brand and name of.
2. Unsniffed: OJ Woman, OJ Tolu, L’Air du Desert Marocain, 10 Corso Como, or vintage Bellodgia.
3. I bought the Fresh rollerball trio for my sister (the same set that Jill mentioned). Thinking about a Tibetan Mountain Temple something-or-another for my mom.
(And this is neither here nor there, but I’m probably going to order Pacifica’s Roman Frankincense candle for myself. It’d be $16 well spent if it keeps me from going back to Barneys for the other incense candle.)
If you do buy it, please tell me how the throw is! I hate buying expensive candles, but cheap candles always make me mad because they’re so often too weak.
Will do, Robin. The only other Pacifica candles I’ve bought were pretty weak, which is the only reason I’ve been hesitating.
I recently bought the holiday classics box, which includes the Roman Frankincense and, IMO, it’s inconsistent: of the 3 votive sizes in the box, I gave one to a friend, one has almost no smell and no throw, the third smells lovely in the box but I haven’t lit it yet. Just my personal experience.
If you will allow a bit of expansion on this topic, the Russian Fir is also a disappointment – gorgeous in the box but very little throw when lit. I haven’t tried the Madagascar yet.
I’m not sure that price guarantees success either – I recently purchased the significantly more expensive (than Pacifica) Agraria Balsam candle and was duly unimpressed, though I did like their Bitter Orange “Perfumed Burning Sticks” – I guess Agraria is too upscale to just call them “incense.”
The only real luck I’ve had with candles is a Jasmine Absolute & Sugar one by Joya, which I was fortunate to purchase at a deep discount. It not only fills the room but also moves into the rest of my house. Bee-yoo-tee-ful (if you like jaz, of course).
Thanks Emily! And Faylene, totally agree, although I’ve only bought 2 high end candles so far — neither has the throw I expected. Best throw of any candle I ever bought was a Firewood candle from Henri Bendel. It’s amazing.
Robin – I don’t know much about candles, but a couple of Christmases ago, a friend gave me an Archipelago Botanical candle –
and 20 minutes will scent the entire 2nd story of my condo. Even unlit, it will pretty much scent a room. And looking it up on-line, I see that the prices aren’t bad, especially compared to many discussed here.
Thanks Rappleyea — that one sounds nice.
And thanks from me, too, Rapp. I’ve really been longing for something with a pine/balsam scent that works!
Faylene – As much as I love perfume, I’m *not* a scented environment person. But I really do like this one.
Hi Robin, I can thoroughly recommend OJ candles. I was quite disappointed in some other lines (recent Diptyque and even an Amouage candle that was not better throw-wise, but 2,5 x the price), but OJ is always top notch. I love candles, but find prices seem to Be skyrocketing and I select very carefully before I actually buy
Good to know, thanks. Wish they were cheaper.
1. Amouage Lyric Woman
2. Freak! That little snail is calling my name.
3. I am sending my cousins in Alaska a huge bag of samples I am through with, everything from niche to drug store stuff. Hopefully they’ll have fun with them
the snail slays me too!
I also want Freak! I don’t know what most of the ingredients smell like but this one is calling my name…well, not literally…
1. OJ Woman! Definitely a top 10 for me and my sample is almost out!
2. Bois de Iles Extrait. I actually asked for either Woman or this for the holidays so we’ll see if either of them show up under the Chanukah bush!
3. I bought my mom a bath bomb from Lush that has a nice scent but that is about it so far… lots of shopping still left for me to do though.
Good luck — hope you’ll get one or the other!
I asked for Balenciaga Paris or Chanel #19 for Christmas although I doubt anyone will gift me these – family is far away. My dog Henri promised that he’d get me a bottle of something special after the holidays.
Unsniffed, I’d like Esprit d’Oscar. I loved the original Oscar de la Renta as a kid. My mom, grandmother and aunt all wore it, and I also had Ruffles. I keep looking for Espirit in stores, but have not found it yet.
I’m giving my 16 year old neice a scent sampler and a bottle of something – maybe Flowerbomb or Chloe. My other neice will get a bottle of Katy Perry as she loves kitties more than anything!
Oh, I hope I’m on Henri’s list too!
1. I would like the Ormonde Jayne Discovery Kit (along with a gift card to buy the fragrance of my choice) and the Hermessence travel kit with Santal Massoia, Vetiver Tonka, Osmanthe Yunan, and ???.
I would also like a bottle of Bois des Iles parfum.
2. I have good luck with Serge Lutens fragrances so I would probably ask for Chene which I haven’t sampled yet. I think if B. Duchafour, J-C Ellena, and C. Sheldrake each made a fragrance composed of exactly the same notes the Duchafour would smell terrible on me, the Ellena would have a 50/50 chance of being lovely or not, and the Sheldrake would sing on my skin and become my new favourite perfume.
3. Nobody has asked me for anything perfume related for Chanukah or birthday. Our daughter usually takes home a box full of samples and decants whenever she visits and our older son has pretty good taste in fragrance and I’m thinking of a bottle of Bvlgari Black for him. The little one is in an Axe-heavy period right now and his uncle called him on it at Thanksgiving. He’s toned it down and if he shows any interest at all I might help him find something a little bit nicer that the girls will still like. My husband has been asking about vintage colognes like Jade East and English Leather so I might see what I can find.
What he really wants for Chanukah is, “Don’t spend any more money! “
I bought the OJ sample set two years ago. A handsome presentation, and the price was right, especially considering shipment from the UK. It was also a wise buy on my part, because as it turns out the house style doesn’t please my nose at all – so surprising – not even OJ Woman which by every description I’d ever read of it was sure to suit me. So I explored the line, dropped it off my list, and have lots of little items for swapping (much better than an unsniffed FB purchase that turns out to be a mistake!)
OJ Woman wasn’t really my thing either. At least I only purchased a large (8ml) decant unsniffed and not a whole bottle. Since that’s the signature scent of the line (I think) I should really test first. I feel the same way about Jo Malone which is why I haven’t gone out of my way to try Rosewater Vanilla even though it sounds good and I generally like Christine Nagel’s work.
I know I’m very late to this – had a busy weekend and just now catching up – but I’m wearing Chene today, and would love to send you a sample if you’re interested. It was my Christmas gift to myself (I split part of it and got it at the parfum1 sale, so it wasn’t too extravagant!). Think I still have your shipping info from that Shalimar Light split ages ago – let me know if you’d like some.
I would love some. I don’t know if I still have your email address. I’ll start looking for it.
I would love to receive Chantecaille’s Kalimantan and unsniffed I think I’d go with Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Ambre Precieux. Wouldn’t it be great of we just put these desires out into the universe and they arrived on our doorstep!!
HA…it would be nice if it happened at least once in awhile!
Wait, didn’t Oprah tell us the universe does work that way?
Yes she did – and she nodded emphatically after saying so, which just proves it. Also, the audience of 300 clapped enthusiastically when she said it, so the theory, as far as I am concerned, is peer-reviewed.
I am so going along with the Oprah theory! It’s Law of Attration! I’m putting out my best perfume attracting thoughts.
We still haven’t finished our shopping yet and like you, Robin, I’m a wreck if I’m not done by the first of Dec. But Mr. Ab. Scent is very much a procrastinator and so hopefully between the two of us, we’ll wrap it up soon.
For the first question, it won’t happen but I’d adore some vintage L’Heure Bleu. It has been haunting me ever since I tried a sample some months back and I’ve heard the modern reformulation isn’t nearly as beautiful. This would probably be one of those instances where I’d have to play Santa for myself but I don’t even know where to begin looking.
As for something unsniffed, I think I’d love SL’s Arabie or Ambre Sultan. Really intense, unusual and heavy/spicy frags have been a craving these last couple cold weeks, and I think these would be perfect. I’ve also been on the fence about AG’s Noel collection for the last couple years, but don’t know if there’s room in the budget at the moment to splurge this year. Maybe after all the gift-related shopping is finished.
For fragrance gift-giving, I got Mr. Ab. Scent more l’Homme de Coeur for his birthday a couple weeks ago, and though I was tempted to get him (and us) some Lolita Lempicka Eau Masculine, I decided instead to get some Mark Jacobs Ivy for my daughter since it’s her namesake after letting her try a decant this past summer to see if she liked it. The LLEM is still really tempting, though, because it is so inexpensive.
I bought Arabie unsniffed (bad on me, I know) and I find it amazing. Honestly, if I had been paying more attention and realized there was cumin in the listed ingredients I wouldn’t have done it but I can’t detect it at all. It is luscious and rich and complicated but I don’t find it to be too much of everything like many people seem to. Rousse is also worth a sniff, especially if you like Bois Farine at all. The opening notes remind me of Bois Farine with warm cinnamon and a beautiful, clear citrus note shining through. I just adore both of them. I also have Ambre Sultan but it isn’t as spice laden as the other two, IMO. Drop me a line – julia941 at yahoo dot com.
Arabie was AMAZING on a friend of mine, but a bit suspect on my skin.
I had a beautiful live tree last year, but it wasn’t terribly fragrant. I admit to spritzing it with the AG every so often. One reason to maybe go for the room spray over the candle.
1. I would love to finally get my long-awaited and much-coveted A Taste of Heaven, but that seems unlikely. I would also settle for a bottle of Luctor et Emergo but that seems equally unlikely.
2. Either Bottega Veneta (read so many good things!), Cartier Baiser Vole (good reviews + killer bottle) or maybe Trauer l’air au Desert Marocain–probably that one, as it seems like the bottle I will least be afforded sniffing opportunities.
3. I swore that this year I wouldn’t give any fragrant gift that I didn’t KNOW the reciever liked. I tried some bottles based on general taste last year (my sister loves sweet gourmands, so she would love Payard Beragmot Truffle, right? WRONG.) and now I basically own those bottles. So this year I am only getting my old roomate a bottle of Toykomilk’s Eden; she used to swoon over mine so I know she’ll love her own bottle.
LOL…I would settle for Luctor et Emergo myself!
I am so, so obsessed with perfume. Like, I’m trying to prepare a summary for an exam and I keep on thinking of new perfume reviews to look up. Before I write down my list, I implore you not to laugh–they can all be purchased at department stores! I don’t think I’ve quite “broken in” to the niche market quite yet, though I’m noticing my tastes beginning to change slightly.
1. I’ve asked for Prada’s Candy, Lancome’s “Trezor in love”, CK’s “eternity summer”, and Chanel’s number 5 au premier. (my SO will probably not order stuff online this year). Any suggestions as to other department store items given that I like green florals paired with citrus notes?
2. Oh, if I were to get anything unsniffed, it’d probably be an epic disaster as I’m terrible at accurately predicting what I’ll like.
3. I want so desperately to give fragrance-related presents this year, but alas many of my loved ones aren’t as into it as I am.
Try Diane! It’s not a green floral but it is very fresh and crisp and well done.
Chanel Cristalle, for a green+citrus angle?
Chanel Cristalle Eau Verte is also surprisingly good!
Prada Candy is soo, soo beautiful
I agree completely, it is also warm, cozy and comforting.
great for late autumn and winter, isn’t it!?
Good old Prescriptives Calyx! But unless they’ve changed it, the shelf life is not so hot.
Ditto on the shelf life situation — FB should stand for fresh bottle when it comes to Calyx. Buy it where you can return it if it’s turned, and never trust the tester at the counter because it will likely disappoint!
1. I am my own Santa and last year bought myself a Chanel fragrance wardrobe for Xmas. (Wasn’t Santa nice?) This year Santa has been at work during the year and given me several full bottles – Reverie au Jardin, Diorella, Chanel No 19 Poudre, Amaranthine – and these are on top of some lovely fragrant gifts I have received during the year too. So no perfume for Xmas this year! I’m gong to buy a bird bath for the garden just outside my front window.
2. But unsniffed I would love Tauer’s Cologne du Maghreb. It’s not that expensive, but the shipping from Indiescents to where I live IS very expensive – $36 – so that makes the whole deal a bit spendy. I’ll just have to keep going with his Advent Calendar.
3. No-one in my life is much into fragrance, sadly.
Very nice. I finally tried No.5 extrait and it is truly magical.
Yes, I wear it more than any other of the No 5 concentrations now.
Just today I bought myself the gift of a bottle of 31 Rue Cambon and I’m very, very happy. Liking the idea of a Chanel wardrobe though, I was a whisker away from bottles of Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie…
::whispers:: ….do it….do it….
I’ve read that Chanel works hard to keep its classics as close to original as possible, but I’m always afraid of falling in love with some classic fragrance and not jumping on it fast enough so that when I get back to it, it’s been reformulated (like Diorissimo).
Nooo! The extra push my bank account didn’t need… You’re right of course though, I shudder to think what IFRA could do to such marvels. I should have a bottle of each for posterity BTW the SA (who I think was actually the manager) claimed that Chanel are still using real birch tar in the Cuir de Russie. Does anyone know: can this be?
If they had a supply already in place, it could be possible. But I think that it would still be relatively unlikely.
Well, this is such a fun time of year! What I’d love to receive is a bottle of Bois 1920 Notturno Fiorentino, and a few Liz Zorn samples: Ankhara, Quan Yin, Yin Hao. We can dream, can’t we?
Unsniffed? l’Artisan’s The des Sable….WHO has sniffed this, I wonder? I can’t find one review on this lost fumie!
Can’t say what I”m giving or it might be read here!
Gosh, can you even get that one anymore? I’ve never smelled it.
Robin, no it’s impossible to find. And, it seems no one has tried this…I wonder if I contact Olivia Giacobetti ?
Amouage Jubilation is top of my list; not holding out too much hope, but if I ever get back to work, it’s going to be my first purvchase!
Freak is on my unsniffed list for sure (that little snail is calling my name, too!) but Pandora is probably the one I’d most like to get.
Oh, and candles are always on my list…..I sprang for Nazareth, and was very disappointed in the throw. It’s kept me from buying more, even though I am dying to try Spiritus Sancti . I’ve had excellent luck with the Pacifica candles, but I get the florals….not sure if that would make any difference?
Oh no. So glad you mentioned that about Nazareth, thanks!
If I could choose one bottle it would be Une Rose Chypree. Though I do like Bottega Veneta very much….if, ahem, one were to decide to surprise me with two!
I don’t think I want to choose an unsniffed cos the chances are that I wont like it, or wont like it enough, and would just feel bad about the whole thing. I would consent to some F.Malle samples, and, well, I wouldn’t object if I could choose a bottle from there!
No one I know IRL is as perfume obsessed as me, so no perfume gifts. But, I do want to include some frag in my b.f’s gift as a little extra. I dont have any decant equipment, or anywhere quick and easy to buy it from, so I am thinking of getting a Travalato (?) aluminium atomizer and filling from my near 100ml Ambre Russe. Then I might either give him the large bottle partly full (I like the idea of him having the ‘big bottle’) and keep the atomiser, or else give him the atomiser and keep the bottle.
Santa just brought me my fragrance gift – the sweet smell of success against U. of N. Carolina!! GO BIG BLUE!!!!
Back to perfume…. I’d ask for either another bottle of Champagne de Bois (I’m on dregs) or Mecca Balsam.
Unsniffed – I really want Nobile 1942 Anonimo Veniziano. I’ve loved their scents that I’ve tried.
And giving… my very close friends that I do exchange with and I give donations to charities in each others’ names. I’m giving them SSS Fig Tree Body Butter along with the donation.
Harrumph! Some of us on this list are serious UNC fans – and we’re not very happy at the moment!
LOL! I bet you’re not. Did you watch the game? It was great, and honestly, I can’t believe we won as I think – at this point in the year anyway – that you all are the better, more experienced team. But I’ll take the win!
No, I was tied up with other stuff and, by the time I was ready to sit down to watch, it was too late. I’ve noticed your UK gravatar, Rapple, and I knew that eventually we’d come to loggerheads! Seriously, I don’t know how it is where you live but around here (central NC), life stops during ACC games. Of all the schools, I actually live closest to Wake Forest but they just haven’t been the same since Skip Prosser died. Sigh!
Life here in central Ky., actually ALL of the state, revolves around U. K. basketball! Rupp Arena was packed today – over 24,000 and lower arena tickets were said to be going for $1,800! Needless to say, I watched with friends. They *did* have a 60″ television though!
Everyone here wants a home and away series with Duke like we have with UNC, but Coach K. swears he won’t play in Rupp Arena again after they put him here a few years ago in the NCAA tournament and the place filled up with U. K. fans who hadn’t forgiven the Blue Devils for beating us in ’92!
I’m a relative newbie to this whole scene – only got caught up in NC basketball since we moved here in ’96 but I do remember a very ugly UK vs. Duke game in Rupp a few years ago; can’t blame Coach K for not wanting to make it an annual event!
In Ky. children inherit the tendency to “bleed blue” and they imbibe the mania for basketball in mother’s milk! But if you’ve been a UNC fan since ’96, that’s long enough to develop an affinity for the wrong color blue!
1. For me, a bottle of Carnal Flower. Spendie, but I keep sniffing my empty sample vial.
2. I’d take a chance on Aftelier Cacao unsniffed.
3. My brother asked me to get our mom “anything but Chanel #5”. It’s the only scent she wears and it smells like mothballs to him. (I did check her bottle; it hadn’t gone off).
Hmmm … so you won’t be getting her perfume then. No point getting her something she won’t wear, just to please your brother! Mothballs indeed …
Try your brother on No. 5 Eau Premiere, maybe? It’s a little friendlier to modern noses than the original (though *I* love the parfum myself!).
I’m a new convert to Chanel No.5 even though I’ve been a serious perfume hound for several years now. If your mother loves it, how about trying the parfum version? The Chanel fragrance wardrobe contains five tiny bottle of extrait and perhaps she would enjoy trying other things from the house? Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles are especially charming and also by Ernst Beaux and maybe your brother would find them less mothbally.
Estee Lauder also makes some beautiful aldehydic florals and always has excellent holiday gift sets.
1. I would love a bottle of Profumi del Forte By Night, White. I also would love a bottle of Xerjoff Oesel (wishful thinking) or the shooting stars II set to share with my hubby. Oh, and Ego Facto Fool for Love, I think for summer that’ll be a fun one.
2. Unsniffed, I would think Guerlain Spiriteuese Double Vanille or Profumi Del Forte Versilia Aureum.
3. I just bought hubby bottles of D’Orsay’s Arome 3 and Le Dandy for Christmas, and a bottle of Etiquette Bleue for me
I’m not exchanging gifts this year, but if I was I would ask for SL Chergui, Dzing or Bottega Veneta.
I would not hesitate to buy OJ Woman or Cuir de Russie unsniffed. I have heard nothing but praise for these two.
My family is patient with my new favorite obsession, but no one really shares my enthusiasm. I did introduce my mom to Prada Candy, and she’s pretty keen on it so that may be my next fragrance related gift.
1. I would LOVE to receive Chanel No. 5 eau premiere.
2. An unsniffed fragrance would be Chanel Bois des Iles. For some reason it has really captured my fancy.
3. I am giving my Mom a bottle of Chanel No. 5 eau premiere. It’s been torture having that bottle in my armoire for the last month or so, and not keeping for myself. I’ve argued with myself a few times, presenting reasons why I should keep it. But so far, love for my Mom has won out. She has loved no.5 for years, but would never spend that amount of money on a perfume; she has worn Avon perfumes ever since I can remember. So far she has only ever had the original no.5, but I am certain she will like the eau premiere as much if not more. If not, she can always give it back to me
I’m sure she’ll love Eau Premiere!
I would love to see a bottle of Epic shower gel and a jar of Epic body creme in my stocking (or maybe under the tree – that’s a heavy jar! LOL!)
Unsniffed…hmm..there are several Very Early Amouage attars I would like to try!
I got my sister Juicy Couture (she loves it) and a friend got a Liz Zorn sample box – but she didn’t want to open the little packages because they were too pretty. This year will not be a perfume year. Everybody is already looking at me like I’m crazy, not understanding the need for More Perfume!
I would love a FB of Tauer Une Rose Chypree.
Every description of Ormonde Jayne Taif makes me think I would love it, so that’s my unsniffed wish.
I have bought the Mr. a selection of scented deodorants, as that’s the only way he’ll wear scent. Got him Cabaret, Chrome, and Chanel Egoiste so far. If he doesn’t like ’em, I’ll steal ’em.
1) Um… I don’t actually “need” anything right now. I’d always take a bottle of Lyric Woman, or one of Carnal Flower. Or Iris Poudre, come to think of it. But I still have decants, so I’m not hurting for them.
2) Nuffin’. I am really interested in that CdG thing that Robin mentioned (duct tape! Woohoo, gotta smell that!), but I have such bad luck with unsniffeds that I won’t be doing it. I didn’t fall head over heels for the Bottega Veneta, and I was expecting to. Surprised me. I liked it a lot – but love? No. And I have two bottles of Cuir de Lancome, which I do love.
3) Gifting some of those Noel candles by Annick Goutal. Man, that smell is amaaaaazing. I’m keeping one for me. Also gifting my sons with small bottles of cK One Shock for Him and Stetson All-American, as “training wheels” scents that won’t horrify me and/or break the bank. I also snagged a little $3 bottle of Jovan Musk for Women to slip into my stocking…
Um… so, I guess I’m actually getting that AG Noel candle and the Jovan Musk as the answer to No. 1.
And I forgot – I bought a solid perfume from Maoli for my niece (Leilani’s Lei Stand, very nice jasmine-tiare scent) and some of their Sugar Plum lip balms for gifting.
lol! I was going to say, “you don’t need anything?!?!”
Yeah, that caught my attention too! When did “need” ever enter into it??
Well, you know… I meant “need” as in “dying of lust for.” All my lemmings haz been satisfied lately.
Oh, that’s a GREAT definition!
I’m still amazed! I didn’t know it was possible to reach such a state of zenlike perfume contentment.
Santa I’d love Chanel Cristalle soap and body lotion with some EDT?
Unsniffed I’d go for Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, this sounds Right Up My Alley. Also Parfums D’Empire Azemour les Orangers.
Scented gifts – CK One Shock for him for my son, L’occitane Verbena bath and body for my friend. Will also try some orange pomanders – thank you for the link.
Love L’Occitane verbena bath stuff. It’s the best.
Oh, good call! I’d like to add the Azemour to my unsniffed list too!
I have been getting through my sample of Orange Sanguine like nobody’s business. It is truly delicious, juicy orange and herbal-floral geranium, and as it wears off quite quickly there is the fun of reapplication through the day too!
Unsniffed I’ve asked for Avignon and Reglisse Noire. I’m pretty sure my hubby will get me one of them. Sadly I know he won’t like either probably.
I got some CK Euphoria for my niece bacause she wants a bottle. I also bought some scented candles and room sprays at Yankee Candle today for my mom and my aunt. Also bought Bleu de Chanel for the hubby. He wanted that or some other thing (forgot the name) but that smelled like window cleaner to me so I went with the Chanel.
I’m intrigued by Bottega Veneta and would consider buying that I sniffed too but I just bought Baiser Vole so I’m trying to show some restraint. I’m trying to avoid blind buys if I can and only buy things I really love.
I would like 100 ml pure parfum of Viva La Juicy.
Unsniffed, I would like My Queen by Alexander McQueen.
Fragrance gifts – a Ck One 15 ml to my cousin, some 4 ml vials to my other cousin, and an Obsession 15 ml to my aunt. They’re not too big on fragrance and they’re the only three members of my family who “do” fragrance. So minis it is.
This year I would like to receive body products of my favorite perfume branches, such as scented body lotions or shower creams…
Unsniffed fragrance? The new interpretation of CHANEL No. 19 (Oh! Yes! I do not know yet how it smells like!)
Also, I think I will spend a lot in scented candles for my beloved persons, and I will choose a nice bottle of EdT for a couple of friends (usually new releases they do not know…) louizkoul ; )
1. Candle- Dans le atelier de Cezanne
2. Unsniffed- Memo-Granada
3. Probably no scent gifts. Most of my friends & family just aren’t into it, or will get a gift certificate.
Just a not-so-subtle reminder to those who don’t exchange gifts and/or are their own Santa/holiday gift provider that many pets have been known to express their appreciation to the humans whom they allow to care for them with gifts of fragrance. I know recently someone (sorry, I can’t remember who it was) had just been gifted by her pet simply because she’s such an awesome person. And it’s quite acceptable for those with multiple pets to receive multiple gifts.
Of course, if you’re not a pet person, there’s always your fave stuffed pet, your best imaginary friend or The Perfume Fairy!
The Perfume Fairy! Of course, I should have thought of her long ago.
I have people, but they’re all male and don’t get it, so my cats Annabel and Cora bought me the Etat Libre D’Orange prestige coffret, and my dog Bailey bought me a bottle of Roma Imperiale from Profumi del Forte. My pets rock. Hope your pets do the same!
My beloved Newfoundland Hanna was extremely generous with me during our almost nine years together. Now it’s up to my cat, Crazy Pete, to shoulder the burden alone. He is 16 years old and hasn’t aged a day in ten years.
I would love to have a bottle of Guerlain Gourmand coquin. For my unsniffed it would have to be Chanel Jersey. And so far no fragrance gifts this year to give.
1. Bois des Iles, but it won’t happen unless I strongly campaign and lose my sense of guilt for asking for something so expensive. So hard to choose just one thing, anyway. So I say nothing and dream instead. Truth be told, it’s safe to say I already have a lot of perfume to enjoy anyway. My husband, who would be the one to pay for it, has already given me my Christmas present because he couldn’t wait – a little pack of Sugru to play with though I haven’t decided on any uses yet (plenty of ideas though!).
2. Aftelier samples!
3. My friends and family are not perfume obsessed but I sometimes raid my perfume wardrobe to put together little samples of things I think they might like to go with a main gift. The packages been well received so far with some recipients surprising me with their enthusiasm for certain scents. I don’t think I have made a perfumista out of any of them yet but perhaps the seed is there. I will need to buy vials urgently if I’m to make any for Christmas but I prefer to give gifts at random times because I want to rather than for Christmas anyway.
New years resolution: make a concerted effort to say ‘anyway’ and a number of my other overused words less often!
If I could ban any phrase I wanted it would be, “I mean.” I watched MTV recently and noticed that the young’uns say, “I mean” several times per sentence. Sometimes it is the entire sentence. They answer direct yes or no questions with nothing but, “I mean….” and a shrug of the shoulders.
I would also make a law that anybody who uses “then” when “than” is appropriate be banned from the internet.
Yes, “I mean”, “like” and “you know” should be banned.
I’d like the old Organza Indecence bottle and the new Vol de Nuit shimmer powder spray in the teal bottle. I’d also like Azur Lime.
Yes, that is lovely. Gifts just because or just to brighten someones day, and little celebrations for the same reason are/is something I’ve always promised myself I would do when/if I have a family at some point. If celebrations are just being held because of a day on a calendar, why can’t it be any day at all, rather that just that specific one? To my mind, it has more significance rather than less when it’s when/because you want to than because it’s the 6th day of the month and there’s a greeting card for it.
Where have I been – sugru seems fantastic and I’m ordering some for my DH asap. Thanks for mentioning it!
TF Tobacco Vanille, SL Cedre, and Coromande. I’ll get them through Santa or else… I also NEED a Dyptique Feu de bois candle. I WAS good!!
1. A fullsized bottle of Apres L’Ondee.
2. Unsniffed? Ooh, that’s a toughie. Maybe SL Santal de Mysore.
3. My sisters, mother, and future sister-in-law all get samples! Apres L’Ondee for Mom (hence my own surge of longing for a bottle upon sniffing it), Tubereuse Criminelle for Sister A, and…not sure yet about Sister B. Maybe Ormonde Jayne Woman, since she likes woodsy, smokey stuff. (But her favorite is Pucci Vivara, which I’ve never smelled, so maybe OJW is too much like that and I should get something a little different? Has anyone smelled both?) And Nahema for the future S-I-L.
I would love a giant bottle of Creed Virgin Island water. My top top blind buy would be CB I hate Perfume At The Beach 1966.
Unsniffed, I’d like to try Diptyque L’eau des Hesperides Eau de Cologne, Tauer L’Air du Desert Marocain, and Lubin GIN FIZZ!
I have to buy my bestie some “holiday” scented candles….she loves the smell of fir trees. Slatkin Holiday candle was the perfect gift for many years.
Well, what I really need right now, is a candle. I have finally burned my last Seda candle to the last bit of wax and now I am likeing with no home fragrance! Terrible, I know. I want, but due to an unfortunate set of budgetary rules can’t jutify, the Tree House candle that Kevin reviewed not too long ago.
I would also like some of the Lush Gorilla Perfumes, specifically The Smell of Weather Turning, The Smell of Freedom and Breath of God, but I really would be reluctant to buy them unsniffed, as I’ve had problems with some of Lush’s fragrances before.
What I would buy unsniffed though, is the sample pack of LURK fragrances that beautyhabit is carrying. Actually, I’d consider just plain buying the fragrances, if I could justify the expense for so many things that I might hate after trying. So…just the sample pack for now.
I’m an athiest and don’t really do holidays (or even birthdays) anyway, so no gifts, really. My family does a series of little house dinners during the holiday season (I got really lucky with them, a few years ago they conceeded the saying grace battle and told the really insultingly over-enthusiastically evangelical cousin to shut it or stop attending because they got tired of watching me shiver outside for those interminable blessings she used to give) so I bake instead of buy. This year, it’s going to be a rosewater spice cake. I have no idea what to do for New Years, still. Maybe a rum cake. My mother wanted one for Christmas, but we couldn’t find one that didn’t have corn syrup as the first or second ingredient.
Rosewater-spice cake sounds delicious! I’m glad you no longer have to shiver outside in the cold! lol!
She was particularly horrible “the last straw” year. She started an account for me/with my information on one of those internet dating sites, specifying that I needed “a good Christian man.” Huge scene with much screaming ensued, and I literally saw red (which, before this, I had always taken for a particularly silly figure of speech,) and the next time I saw anything at all, my mom had me wrestled down on the floor and one of the other cousins was trying to pry the salad bowl out of my hand (we found a petrified cherry tomato when the drapes were replaced, two years later.)
Which was followed by weeks of screaming at the website people, who didn’t purge my data until the phrases “legal action,” “privacy violation,” and “every newspaper in every city I’ve lived in” (not all that many, but how were they to know?) became a part of the conversation.
If not for the family tendency to high blood pressure, I might have seriously considered hell-raising as a hobby! So glad I got back into perfume instead, it might be expensive to buy a bottle or so, but it’s not half so bad as affording meds.
You make this sound highly amusing bit I’m sure it was not at the time. I feel so sorry for that poor tomato.
It was pretty awful at the time, yes. But what else can you do? Some families just have a way of making everyone crazy in the worst way. That’s what we’re like, I guess. We invite the cousins with the band so we can turn the “fun” in dysfunctional into jazz-funk and ignore the fact that we want to strangle each other just that much longer.
I agree with Annemarie, Kate – you DO make it sound hysterical and I was literally laughing at my computer while I read. But I can have a bad temper too (it’s something I’ve really tried to work on as I get older) so I know that it definitely wasn’t funny to you at the time. You ought to be a writer (if you’re not already) as your story-telling ability is top notch!
I do write a bit as a hobby. I’m absolutely terrible at finishing anything though. A lot of the time, I don’t even make it to the middle of it!
I’m an atheist too, but I very much believe in present giving and even MORE so in present RECEIVING!
Ha! And here I am, exactly the opposite! I’ve been asking for years that people please not buy me anything, my efficiency looks like an episode of Hoarders waiting to happen!
1) A full bottle of Folie de Rose (and body lotion too, why not?) as my sample is dwindling rapidly. Bois des Isles in extrait. FB of Bas de Soie (can be held back until Chinese New Year or even the spring solstice, when the weather will suit it better).
2) Bottega de Veneta.
3) Not this year. Not many scent-lovers on my list.
Santa, pls would you tell the fragrance houses we perfume peeps just HAVE to have certain fragrances – sometimes just for reference for that matter – so tell them we need them in smaller sizes! Many of us will be outlived by our scents, so we need 20 ml sizes of the Chanel Exclusives, the great obscure Guerlains, all the SL’s etc etc!
I want me the (only partially sniffed) CdG – RED series.
My boyfriend/partner – neither term seems quite right – one sounds teenage-ish, the other pretentious, any way HE has been very supportive of my perfume addiction, so I would like to go niche perfume shopping with him, then buy him what he likes. If I like it too, I would not mind sharing Any rec’s on perf shopping in Washington DC? Don’t laugh, it’s perfume heaven, compared to where I live!
I know I’m late, and I don’t even live in DC (anymore at least) but wanted to respond since no one else has chimed in. I know that Tyson’s Corner/Galleria in nearby VA probably has the most selection. If you are in DC itself, there are the Shops at Georgetown Park and there is a Neiman’s at Mazza Gallerie in Friendship Heights – I imagine there are lots of other shops around that area in DC.
And I’ll add — if you go to that Tyson’s, check out Art With Flowers. If they’re still there. They had a great selection of niche things.
Since it is Santa I’m asking, I’m going to request vintage Ubar. Some perfumistas who shall remain nameless, enabled me right into a full-blown passion for that. For stocking stuffers, I’ll take small bottles of vintage L’Heure Bleue and Mitsouko extrait.
Unsniffed? I’ve been doing such a good job of sniffing in shops or being enabled by friends, that question is surprisingly hard. But I’m pretty sure I’d love Jubilation XXV or Amouage Homage.
For gifts, I always buy my best friend a bottle that she wants, and this year she chose To See A Flower from CB I Hate Perfume (her taste is so different than mine). For another friend, I’ll be buying a body oil from Mandy Aftel (going to her sale in Berkeley), either Patchouli Spice or Vetiver Mint, depending on how they smell (my friend loves both patchouli and vetiver). I’m going to the sale with a perfume friend. Maybe she and I can gift each other with the Chocolate Saffron body oil (I’ve pulled that kind of scam before–an option for people who don’t have pets, I guess).
Vintage Ubar — still one of my biggest regrets. It was SO reasonably priced, only I didn’t see it that way at the time.
The gift I’d most like to receive is Amouage Homage attar.
I’ve been good about not buying things unsniffed, but if I were to get one as a gift it would be either En Voyage Perfumes Vents Ardents or Technique Indiscrète Safran Nobile—they both sound intriguing but I haven’t managed to get samples of either.
I’m giving Cire Trudon candles—Odalisque and Carmelite—to a couple of people on my list. I’ll give them as gifts but haven’t been able to bring myself to buy one for me… yet.
I received a bottle of Osmanthe Yunnan from my husband last week, which I have been wanting for over a year and a half. I must say it is a beautiful fragrance.
I’d like to have one of the SSS fragrances.
I’m giving Stella McCarthney to my daughter, and Geir to my husband.
1) YSL In Love Again (my gift for myself)
2) Either Armani Prive Le Femme Blueu or Cartier XIII La Treizieme Heure
3) Yes, for my uncle, Bulgari Black and for my aunt, Clarins Eau Ensoleillante.
This year, I haven’t been dreaming of a white christmas, but of Coco by Chanel and Oh My Gorgeous Passionate from Soma instead. Actually, I’ve had my nose on the Passionate for two christmases now; just haven’t gotten myself around to opening the wallet yet. Maybe this year…
If you’ve loved it for two years, I think it’s safe to buy it!
I would like Serge Lutens Vitriol d’Oeilliet.
Unsniffed purchase- Michael Kors Very Bali
Fragrance gifts- a set of Christmas candles from Yankee Candle
Ormonde Jayne’s Frangipani Candle and the entire bath and body range in same said scent! It would uplift me no end this Winter!
Soivohle’s Meerschaum would be the unsniffed perfume gift from above!
No fragrant gifts this year, sadly i cannot afford it. However, if i were to have supplies of cash, I would buy Tiare for my mother, SL’s Borneo for my lover, Bigarade Concentree for my cousin, Vetiver Extraordinnaire for my father and Sel de Vetyver for myself!!!
I’d love to receive Byredo oud immortel
I’m already Yves Rocher Iris Noir and I might buy some other fragrance gifts for other people too. It’s matter of finding the right one at the right price.
I’m returning home soon from a very long european trip, so I will give away as souvenir gifts some of the many nice fragrance samples I picked up from all the lovely luxury boutiques.
1 – if we’re dreaming, a bottle of vintage Mitsouko please. Realistically, a large bottle of Demeter Wet Garden would be lovely, it’s such a good room scent.
2 – Samples! The Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set; Andy Tauer’s Discovery set (with Lonestar memories, Rose chypree, Rose vermeille, Verdant, Reverie au Jardin); and Aftelier’s Cepes and Tuberose, Tango, Shiso and Parfum Prive. They all sound divine and are so damn hard to get in my neck of the woods.
3 – I have a bottle of Parfums d’Empire Iskander for Dad. Smelled it and thought he would love it so, fingers crossed… Otherwise recent birthdays have seen me give smelly gifts (New York for the SO, Baghari for Mum) so I will probably steer clear of any more this Christmas – though a few samples might sneak their way into cards as a little bonus.
I bought the discovery set of Ormonde Jayne!!!!!! Very good choice and everything Andy Tauer makes is heaven. I own two of these nice metal boxes with among others Lonestar Memories!!!!!!!
1. anything impossibly expensive (but with a bad conscience, I don’t want to bankrupt poor Santa): a black By Kilian travelling spray, Armani’s la femme bleue, M by Purdistance
2. tricky, maybe Santal Massoia, – Lutens’ in extremis (or whatever it’s called could be too risky)
3. probably something of the Diptyque body-line for my mother, all others (family, god daughters and friends) are perfume-indifferent
In Extremis may possibly be the best perfume name ever! I think M. Lutens should hire you for his next perfume naming. I haven’t smelled it, but it’s called De Profundis, which is more pretentious and far less fun.
oops, shame on me – sorry Mr. Lutens, my brain was switched off.. but Austenfan you’re right, could be a could good eau de faux contender
Can you imagine the names of the flankers for In Extremis?
I would love to receive Lonestar Memories or Orange Star by Andy Tauer
As unsniffed I would love to buy Cologne du Magreb
And I am giving away samples of Miller Harris
I want a bottle of Portrait of a Lady from Santa.
Unsniffed Pink Lotus.
Not giving any fragrant gifts this year.
Oh if Santa loved me he would wrap up 31 Rue Cambon or Portrait of a Lady, or Lyric Woman and leave them under the tree, for me (I’ve been an awfully good girl!)
Unsniffed is a no-no, but I wouldn’t turn down Andy’s Cologne du Magahreb or some Le Temps d’Une Fete
I created a mini perfume monster last Christmas with a gift set of Viva La Juicy for my neice–now she wants a refill. Can’t convince her to try something else. Oh well, it’s a start…..
I’d love a bottle of vintage Mitsouko, Chanel Cuir de Russie or Bois des Iles. But I’d happily settle for a contemporary bottle of any of these.
Unsniffed, I’d go for one of the Carner Barcelona fragrances or one from Olfactive Studio.
Have already gotten a bottle of Le Labo Baie Rose for my daughter. And will probably get her a small bottle of one of the following, once she decides which one she really wants. TF Tobacco Vanille, Ellie Saab Le Parfum, Alien or Angel Le Gout.
Don’t like scented candles so much – I’d love a bar of Liberty Seaweed and Samphire soap…do they still make it?
Unsniffed I’d go for vintage Givenchy III or Yves Saint Laurent Y or Etro Paisley.
I’ll be making candied grapefruit peel soon – tha’ts pretty aromatic and I love the idea of making pomander balls again. Haven’t done that in years.
Givenchy III used to be so wonderful. I wore it for several years. Can’t remember why I stopped. LOL!
Happy December everyone! So I got a great present early – last week I met a great SA at Nordstrom who was knowledgeable, generous with samples, and very funny too! I feel like I have completed a step in perfumista training by finding “my SA!” Only thing is, when I told him what I wanted from Santa was a bottle of Elie Saab, he said it it was all wrong for me. He said it was for the me in 10 years and not now. Which got me doubting my opinion of it, mostly because I valued his opinion on so many other scents and he “got me” otherwise. Has anyone else experienced this before?
For unsniffed, I would love a Diptyque candle, because I can’t bring myself to spend so much on a candle for some reason.
For gift giving, I am going to give some bottles in my collection I no longer love to my mom or sister (who love my hand-me-downs!)
Like what you like and don’t let anyone else tell you different!
Just to clarify-he told you that something you already knew you liked was all wrong for you? That seems…odd. And terrible salesmanship. I think we all wear many different kinds of perfumes to accompany the many different facets of ourselves and you should feel totally comfortable sporting Saab!
Thanks Dixie and Meg! I do feel silly for taking his opinion to heart, and not believing in myself. It was just so odd because we clicked on a lot of other scents. And some part of me still feels like an ingenue in this arena, so I was questioning myself!
I hate it when an assistant tells me a fragrance I like is not ‘me’. No matter how well they supposedly ‘get me’. Its just so presumptive!
Its bad salesmanship in so far as a sales person is supposed to encourage you in the direction you seem to be taking. Personally, I am completely honest in my opinion if asked my opinion (I sell jewelry). But I am very aware of my opinion being limited and ultimately of far less importance than the customer’s opinion. Obviously the customer knows herself better than I know her!
What is the fragrance-related gift you’d most like to receive this year?
Gypsy Water by Byredo, Figuier and Roses candles by Diptyque, Kai lotion…the list goes on.
Let’s say you were going to ask for just one unsniffed fragrance this year, what would it be?
Are you giving any fragrance items for gifts this year, and if so, what?
Le Chevrefeuille by goutal for my mom, Hermes eau d’orange verte or ombre dans l’eau for my sister.
ALSO QUESTION: i love diptyque candles, and i love scented candles, but I don’t want to spend too much money. i’ve tried two pacifica’s–the rose and fig–but not others. Does anyone have a relatively cheap brand for nice scented candles?
1. Has to be a scented candle for my favorite native brand Baobab Zanzibar spices, White rhino or Blitzen from the Christmas Eve collection…
2. Diptyque’s Eau Mage
3. I might just do that… For a dear friend of mine I was thinking of buying (as I’m a big fan of Jean-Claude Ellena’s work) L’Eau d’Hiver.
Gift for myself: I father just bought me Bvlgari Jasmin Noir and Stella by Stella McCartney. I am trying to convince my mother to buy me Estee Lauder Sensuous for Chanukah, do not it will happen. A bottle of Chanel Coco or No. 5 is always welcome.
Unsniffed: This one is hard, considering I do not like to buy perfumes I have never tried before. Maybe Illamasqua Freak, the bottle is amazing and it just seems intriguing. Or Féminité du Bois, my mother had this years ago when it was still a Shiseido. I remember loving how it smelled, but cannot remember what it actually smelled like.
Gift for a loved one: I bought my younger sister the Marc Jacobs Lola gift set for Chanukah. The set that comes in a nice cosmetics case. She is very excited.
I’d love to receive PG Bois Blonde, SSS Winter Woods or Tabac Aurea.
Unsniffed would be Aftelier’s Tango or Cacao.
I always love to read this poll Happy Holidays my fragrant friends.
1. FB of Osmanthe Yunnan (that fancy leather case would be sweet too)- but am happy to have a set of the travel sprays! (it will go on the list and we shall see!)
2. Unsniffed- Chanel No. 5 Parfum
3. Maybe a fragrant gift for my daughter- we shall see. And maybe my Granny- she might need a pretty new bottle of Shalimar.
Santa came early for me in the form of a bottle of Chamade parfum- and just got back from a Disney World family vacation- super fun! Chamade was found at the Guerlain boutique in Epcot France. So I may need to save the above list for next year
Or for a birthday.
1) Chanel Chance or coco mademoiselle.
2) unsniffed–hp eau sensuelle
3) thus far I’ve bought a vanilla sugar set from Wal-Mart (for angel tree) and a bottle of Bebe perfume.
i would love to receive 100ml bottle of Jubilation 25 and ISM
i would buy basier de cartier unsniffed
i will gift many varieties of fragrant gifts through the year…we don’t celebrate christmas, but the art of fragrant giving is the best!
i would also buy tolu unsniffed
1) I’ve asked my spouse for a FB of any one of the following: Bottega Veneta, Prada Candy, LUSH Breath of God, or Tokyo Milk Arsenic.
2) Armani Prive La Femme Bleue, or any of the Mugler “Le Gout du Parfum” series.
3) Puredistance M for my spouse, in lieu of an Aston Martin.
I would like to receive:
Mon Jasmin Noir BLV
or Coco Mademoiselle
Feminite Du Bois Serge Lutens
Wood Mystique E. Lauder
That’s hard cause I want to buy just for me!
If I do happen to give, probably Tresor or Beautiful for a couple of fans I know.
I would like to receive L’Occitane’s Immortelle de Corse. I already ordered Bottega Veneta unsniffed (I hope I’ll love it, I’m kind of anxious about this one). As for the giving, I suck at choosing fragrances for other people, so unless someone gives me a clear hint, I won’t be doing that :).
I’m new here and I just wanted to say I really enjoy reading your articles.
Hi and welcome!