Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from The Perfume Magpie | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Merry Christmas from The Perfume Magpie | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Another year is nearly complete. It has been a different and interesting year for me. It was filled with so many “firsts”. Each day, I learned new ways to look at things and new ways to navigate through. Some were challenging but some were brilliant and exciting. If I were to pick one quote to capture the essence of my 2015, it would be this:
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharlal Nehru

Thank you for visiting The Perfume Magpie and always leaving encouraging and lovely comments. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing over Christmas, I’m wishing you that your days are filled with love and joy.  I’m also wishing you that this magical season brings you all the fun, laughter, happiness, and perhaps a perfume or two that stay with you forever!

With love,

Yukiko a.k.a. The Perfume Magpie

Christmas Message from The Perfume Magpie

Christmas Message from The Perfume Magpie

Perfume Things 2015 & GIVEAWAY

The Perfume Magpie Winter Giveaway

The Perfume Magpie Winter Giveaway


The Giveaway is now closed!


I can’t believe one year has nearly gone. It was Halloween just the other day. I was admiring the cool autumn air just a few days ago. Then I received my first Christmas card!

It’s that time of the year again. Christmas is just around the corner and, guess what, no, I haven’t finished sorting out all the Christmas gifts yet. Don’t even mention cards! At least the Christmas tree is out and decorated and I bought a pot of gorgeous pink poinsettias. Tomorrow I’ll be off to Valencia for two days to enjoy some Christmas lights to boost my festive mood and for the last-minute shopping.

The thought of Christmas being here soon made me look back some of the things happened and, since I’m a frag-head, the perfume related stuff I encountered and appreciated this year. It seems like many bloggers make lists at the end of the year, so here’s mine. (If you are only interested in the giveaway, please scroll down to the bottom.)

Perfume Diagnosis Service

Nose

Nose Perfume

Nose | Image borrowed from Nose

I’ve tried their service only once so far but I’m very happy with them. It’s kind of fun to see what recommendations they come up with. From my first diagnosis, I received samples of Teint de Neige by Lorenzo Villoresi, 11 Semma by Odin, Loukhoum by Keiko Mecheri and Pure Eve by The Different Company. Unfortunately Pure Eve leaked in transit and made two other labels unreadable but their customer service was very kind and efficient. They immediately sent me the replacements. I will certainly try them again, perhaps regularly. My only wish for them is to add more new releases.

Pretty Bottles

Muse by Coty

Muse by Coty

I’ve been kind of collecting pretty perfume bottles. I don’t actively hunt for them but when I happen to be at antique fairs and shops, my eyes are always drawn to elegant looking crystal bottles and now discontinued vintage ones. One of the best finds of this year was Muse by Coty, just like the one in the advert. It was only £5! Yes, I know, I’m a magpie.

Perfumes I Tried and Liked A Lot in 2015

Some of these perfumes have been around much longer but I was only introduced to them in 2015. These brought me some joys and enriched my fragrance life in 2015. They are in no particular order. There would have been more added to the list if my organisation skills had been somewhat better.

Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations

Released at Esxence 2015 in Milan. Bright, dewy and romantic. It’s dreamy like the bubbles in the champagne glass.
Nose: Bertrand Duchaufour

Vanille d’Iris by Ormonde Jayne

Released at Pitti Fragranze in 2015. This is THE vanilla perfume for me. It’s so smooth, creamy, and dead gorgeous. I absolutely adore it.
Nose: Geza Schoen

Salome by Pappilon Perfumery

Released in 2015. It’s all about the lust and the sensual seduction. A true temptress! Who wouldn’t want a bit of wild side in life?
Nose: Liz Moores

Chanel Les Exclusifs Misia by Chanel

Released in 2015. With the combination of rose, violet, and iris, I was destined to fall in love with Misia. Misia exudes femininity and confidence.
Nose: Olivier Polge

Brilliant Collection by DSH Perfumes

Released in 2014. There are four perfumes in the Brilliant Collection;  Rubis Rosé, Fumée d’Or, Jacinthe de Sapphire, and Deco Diamonds. I found the joy of layering through this collection. My favourite is  Jacinthe de Sapphire + Fumée d’Or.
Nose: Dawn Spencer Hurwitz

Rubj EDP by Vero Profumo

Released in 2010. “Playing with dynamite” was what came into my mind. Intense sensuality will make you sweat!
Nose: Vero Kern

Sleeping with Ghosts by Mark Buxton

Released in 2012. This is more like Sleeping with Angels than with Ghosts. Oddly, when I look at the individual note, this wouldn’t be something I would like. It was a surprise. I just love the names of Mark Buxton’s perfumes; I can’t help humming the tunes.
Nose: Mark Buxton

White by Puredistance

Released at Esxence 2015 in Milan. I’ve already written about the experience I had with White on this blog. If you are curious about it, please follow this link. This holds a special place in my heart.
Nose: Antoine Lie

Perfume Surprise of the Year… and GIVEAWAY!

A special gift box from Puredistance for this winter

Top & Bottom Right: A special gift box from Puredistance for this winter, Bottom Left: New presentation boxes for each Puredistance perfume | Photo by The Perfume Magpie & Puredistance

Throughout the year, I was delighted by some lovely perfume samples I received out of the blue. The biggest surprise arrived in November; I received an email from Puredistance, followed by a parcel. Inside I found an elegant presentation box complete with their entire line of perfume samples and a lovely letter & photos. I was so touched by this unexpected Christmas gift and needless to say, I was over the moon.(Puredistance is offering special versions of gift sets for the holiday season.They are absolutely gorgeous!! If you want eye-candies, take a look.)

So to share my delights and to spread a touch of happiness in this holiday season, I decided to host my first giveaway on The Perfume Magpie.

What Can You Win?

I’m offering 2 prizes.
Prize A: 1 x Puredistance Sample Gift Set.
A winner will receive Puredistance I, Antonia, M, Opardu, Black, and White 2ml each in an elegant white gift box. If you haven’t tried their perfumes yet, this will be a great chance.
Prize B: 1 x Custom Made Leather Case to carry your perfume samples/decants plus an assortment of perfume samples and decants.
There are only 3 of these leather cases exist in the entire world. I have one, obviously,  and another lovely perfumista has one; the last one can be yours. I haven’t decided which samples & decants will be included but will be a mixture of niche and mainstream.

Giveaway Prize A: Puredistance Sample Gift Box | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize A: Puredistance Sample Gift Box | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize B: A Leather Case for Samples + Assortment of Samples & Decants | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Giveaway Prize B: A Leather Case for Samples + Assortment of Samples & Decants | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

What You Need To Do To Enter The Draw:

To enter, let me know which prize you’d like to win and answer the question in the comments; “What was your best perfume find in 2015?” or “What was the greatest thing happened to you in 2015?”

Also, this is not mandatory but if you could like The Perfume Magpie Facebook page or follow The Perfume Magpie blog, I would greatly appreciate it.

Closing date and Small-ish Prints
I:  The entry will be open till 8pm (Central European Time) on Saturday 26th December;
II: 2 winners will be randomly selected;
III: The winners will be announced on The Perfume Magpie blog (www.theperfumemagpie.com) , Facebook and Twitter on 27th December;
IV:  If you are the winner, please get in touch with me at thinkingmagpie at gmail dot com or through the contact form of this website. If the winner has not contacted me by Monday 31st December, the prize will go to someone else;
V: Open worldwide;
VI: You know what it’s like with some postal services… Sorry but I cannot be responsible for the lost or damaged prize in transit. Also please be aware that it may incur customs charges and etc.

A Biography In A Bottle: Frida by En Voyage Perfumes

Frida and Magpie by The Perfume Magpie

Well, you know, I couldn’t help creating an illustration of Frida with a magpie… | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Painting is one of the greatest ways to confront, express, and release your inner most struggles. At least that was the case with me in my teen years. The canvas was my battlefield. Fear, anger, grief, guilt, despair, hope, love…  Every single canvas was filled with multitudes of emotions that were buried deep behind my quiet and withdrawn demeanour. I wasn’t good at showing my emotions in front of other people including my own family. For me, painting was the only way I could freely express myself.

Love's-Embrace-of-the-Universe,-Earth-large

Love’s Embrace of the Universe, the Earth | By Frida Kahlo

I encountered Frida Kahlo’s paintings when I was fourteen; it was an eye-opener for me. I found their mesmerising colours and bold and esoteric imageries were weirdly in unison with my inner states. Many people are disturbed by some of her gruesome expressions but, for fourteen-year-old me, they were like embodiments of my own inner world, depicted skilfully in ways that I couldn’t bring out. Frida seemed to have known all the agonising emotions and what lies beneath. She and her work became an epitome of strength in my dark world. So when I heard about the new fragrance created by Shelley Waddington, En Voyage Perfumes, I was so curious and a little bit apprehensive to say the least.

I first tried Frida in the hottest summer month and, to tell the truth, it didn’t go well. I sampled it in the over 40 degree Celsius heat and I was immediately hit by the overripe watermelon and I couldn’t fully enjoy my sampling experience, even though I appreciated the juicy greenness peeking through it. I put the sample vial away in the “Try Again” box and decided to test in the cooler season.

A few months have passed and sitting in front of the fire has become my nightly pleasure, I finally decided to take the sample of Frida out again. Interestingly, the perishing watermelon was no more. Instead, what I smelled first was fresh dragon fruits rather than watermelons. Isn’t it funny how the climate conditions change the perspective of the same perfume so drastically?

Roots, Raíces | By Frida Kahlo

Roots, Raíces | By Frida Kahlo

There is something very corporeal aspect in Frida. Initially it feels like a bright fragrance with juicy fruits and lush greens, but underneath the shimmering veil, there exists something physical and dangerous and it is slightly unnerving. As the top notes settle, something wild appears out into the otherwise peaceful garden. It steps out into the open; you can feel the warmth of its body, and you become aware of its body exuding the musky – and slightly sour – smell. Is it a beast or a person? Faint smooth tuberose suggests that it might be a woman but I cannot determine it. It is wounded and tired, yet valiant. After 2-3 hours, Frida reaches the dry down stage; through the remnants of sweeter notes, smoke starts rising gently. The final phase of Frida stays close to the skin and remains for some more hours. In an air of peace and a sense of silent acceptance, in the end, the being bends its knees, gently lie down on the ground and exhale its last breath.

Frida is an enigmatic perfume. What I find fascinating about the perfume Frida is that the story it tells trough its transition. The feminine side and the masculine side of Frida Kahlo, the pleasure and the pain in her physical existence, her love, her anger, and ultimately the emotional and physical relief in death…  Frida’s life was ladened with two extremes, and I cannot help thinking that she perhaps knew these two polar opposite aspects were the same essence expressed in differing degree. I don’t know whether this was the perfumer Shelley Waddington‘s intension but she certainly captured the life of Frida Kahlo and artistically created her superlative biography in a bottle.


Frida was launched in 2015.

Nose: Shelley Waddington

Notes according to the En Voyage Perfumes Website:

Top Notes: The fruits of Frida’s Garden including Apricots, Watermelon, Peaches, Lemons, and Lush Greenery

Middle Notes: Tuberose, Hibiscus, Cactus Flower, Champaca, Ylang Ylang, Gardenia, and Jasmine

Base Notes: Light Woods, Sugar, Oak moss, Aldehydes; Myrrh, Frankincense, and Copal; Tobacco, Green Pepper, Sexual Animalic Notes, Musk, Amber

It is available in 15ml ($75) and 30ml ($95) Eau de Parfum. Sample ($6) is also available from En Voyage Perfumes.

Read what others are saying about Frida.
The Candy Perfume Boy, Perfume Polytechnic, Olfactoria’s Travels, The Scented Hound, CaFleureBon, Megan In Sainte Maxime, The Sounds of Scent, Colognoisseur, Fragrance Daily

Disclosure: Review is based on a sample I received from En Voyage Perfumes.

Vanilla Fiesta: 11 Mini Reviews

Magpie had a enough of vanilla... | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Magpie had enough of vanilla… | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

To tell the truth, I haven’t been a big fan of vanilla fragrances. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the smell of vanilla itself. I have a whole bunch of vanilla beans that I brought back from Zanzibar stashed in my kitchen cupboard and I sometimes open the jar just to enjoy their heavenly sweet smell. But I like vanilla in something edible, not in something I put on. I don’t enjoy smelling like a little cupcake.

Recently when I was digging through my perfume samples, I discovered that I had quite a few un-sniffed ones with vanilla as an important part of their compositions; they were all lying at the bottom of my sample boxes, buried and forgotten under the other little vials. I suddenly felt kind of pity for them. Whether I was feeling mellow in the recent cooler weather or merely trying to escape from my workload, I gathered them around and decided to have a good vanilla sniffing session. People say that life will never give you more than you can handle. Well, I certainly survived through it and managed to find a few vanilla fragrances I could wear.


So here we go, the list and mini reviews of vanillas I tried:

Love – don’t be shy – by By Kilian

Peppery Orange Vanilla
This is a seriously sweet fragrance, peppery nonetheless. You’ve got to love gourmands to enjoy wearing this one. Very strong orange blossom and neroli, and a touch of jasmine and rose with a blast of sugar and vanilla. It is pretty, not beautiful, and it has an amazing lasting power. I don’t hate it but I won’t be able to wear it. I think you need to be twenty-something & bubbly to get away with this.

Nose: Calice Becker
Released in 2007.
50ml EDP | $260 from By Kilian.

Back to Black – aphrodisiac – by By Kilian

Moody Vanilla
First of all, I like smoky and powdery fragrances. Back to Black is sweet, smoky, powdery and yummy, all at the same time. I’m not too keen on its opening with raspberry but the smoky drydown is rather attractive. I quite enjoyed the honeyed gingerbread notes in this one. Yes, it’s sweet but I can wear this in winter. I don’t love it but I like it. Some people suggest that it smells like Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford and Hedonist by Viktoria Minya but I didn’t find it so.

Nose: Calice Becker
Released in 2009.
50ml EDP | $260 from By Kilian.

Amour Liquide by Memoire Liquide

Milky Vanilla
This is a sugary vanilla that you will either love or hate. The vanilla itself smells quite authentic but it’s all about vanilla and nothing else. There are three notes listed in this one; vanilla, tonka, and incense. I was hoping to smell more of the incense note but it was very weak and completely overpowered by the sweet notes. If you are very careful, you might be able to catch a whiff of it. There is something woody-musky smell in the background, like sandalwood, and it adds to the milky-ness of this fragrance. Great longevity. This is too “edible” for me to wear.

Nose: Ilias Ermenidis
Released in 2009.
50ml EDP | $95 from Memoire Liquide.

Seven Veils by Byredo

Country Kitchen Vanilla
It’s nothing like other fragrances I’ve ever smelled in my life. The opening is a mixture of slightly bitter wisteria and orchid, soon taken over by vanilla, carrot seeds, and pink pepper, then it settles straight into sweet and tangy spiciness. It smells like a lovely country kitchen with a wooden spice cupboard on the wall, occasionally catching a whiff of flowers through the open windows. The vanilla is prominent but it isn’t in your face. I don’t love it but I somehow appreciate it. I might wear it on a golden autumn day.

Nose: Jerome Epinette
Released in 2011.
50ml EDP | €95 from Byredo.

Vanille Insensee by Atelier Cologne

Edgy Vanilla
Like other Atelier Colognes, it is clean and very wearable. The mixture of woody incense, amber, and vanilla is fairly cozy but there is a sort of edginess to it.  It’s not a cute vanilla fragrance, more for the grown-ups. The citrus notes at the beginning don’t last long; it soon reveals vanilla and exotic coriander with velvety vetiver and amber in the background. It might work in the spring to summer seasons.

Nose: Ralf Schwieger
Released in 2011.
30ml Pure Perfume | €65 from Atelier Cologne.

Un Bois Vanille by Serge Lutens

Dark Vanilla
Another woody vanilla but totally different to Vanille Insensee. It is much darker and deeper. I was a little bit worried about trying this one at first because of the coconut and liquorice notes. Actually they coordinate with each other very well and it didn’t give me the choking effect that I was concerned about. Vanilla is on the sweeter side but the strong wood note keeps holding it back. There is a strange plasticky smell in it and it disturbed me a little. I can probably wear this, maybe in late autumn to winter.

Nose: Christopher Sheldrake
Released in 2003.
50ml EDP | €90 from Serge Lutens.

Eau Duelle by Diptyque

Well Behaved Vanilla
Surprisingly, I liked this one as soon as I opened the vial. It is resiny and earthy vanilla with a touch of greenness. I was so sure that I could smell floral note in it but it’s not listed. It is delicious but not in a cakey way. It is one of the most inoffensive vanillas I’ve tried. Actual vanilla in this one is very rounded and not too sweet. I think this one works all year round.

Nose: Fabrice Pellegrin
Released in 2010.
75ml EDP | €105 from Diptyque.

Shalimar Souffle de Parfum by Guerlain

Lemon Meringue Vanilla
Shalimar Souffle opens with bright citrus notes. It is a delicious vanilla fragrance with the bitterness of citrus peels and a fraction of white florals. Somehow it’s a little ozonic too. It’s decidedly sweet but not sugary. As so many people already suggested, Shalimar Souffle smells like a lemon meringue pie and makes me feel hungry. Very light weight and airy for a vanilla fragrance.

Nose: Thierry Wasser
Released in 2014.
50ml EDP | around $100. More information: Guerlain

Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford

Smoky Vanilla
Tobacco Vanille is a spicy and smoky vanilla fragrance. I usually enjoy tobacco fragrances but, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure about this one at all. I kept smelling something tart and ripe besides rich tobacco, vanilla and spice mixture and it was a little unnerving. But after 15 minutes or so, it turned into more luscious sweet tobacco fragrance and I could enjoy it better then. Towards the end, sweetness of vanilla intensified a lot and it was a bit like a combination of ice cream, cigar, and Pepsi. I quite liked it.

Nose: Olivier Gillotin
Released in 2007.
50ml EDP | $220 from Tom Ford.

The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. IMHO by 4160 Tuesdays

Spicy Vanilla
It doesn’t match with my idea of sexy scent but it’s not bad at all. The vanilla wasn’t sugary sweet and merged well with the citrus note. Also the woodiness of this fragrance was down to earth and comforting. It’s not listed but I could smell something like patchouli and strong peppery/spicy notes – could there be ISO E Super or something similar in this fragrance? Whatever it is, it’s nicely blended into it and gives warmth to it. Definitely an autumn to winter fragrance.

Nose: Sarah McCartney
Released in 2013.
50ml EDP | £60 from 4160 Tuesdays.

Baiser Vole Essence de Parfum by Cartier

Flowery Vanilla
A flower shop right next to a patisserie; loads of lily, loads of vanilla. You’ve got to love the smell of luxurious lily and gourmand vanilla to appreciate this fragrance. There is something green and spicy in this fragrance, like fresh juice seeping out of the cut carnation stem. The vanilla is sweet and strong but it’s a proper vanilla pod smell. At first it was too intense for me to enjoy fully but the combination turned creamy and a little bit woody after a while. If I can manage to stand the initial stage, I might be able to wear this one. I’ll try again.

Nose: Mathilde Laurent
Released in 2011.
40ml |around €50. More information: Cartier


Eleven Vanilla Fragrances | Photo Collage by The Perfume Magpie

Eleven Vanilla Fragrances | Photo Collage by The Perfume Magpie

Now I can feel approaching autumn in the air, I long for something evocative and snuggly to wear. Vanilla certainly has those qualities – warm, cuddly and nostalgic – and it would be pretty appealing in the cool autumn days.

After experiencing the different takes on vanilla by ten perfumers, I came to the conclusion; I don’t hate vanilla fragrances, I just prefer the vanilla to be in the background and not on the main stage. A whispering level would be nice. I’ll be re-trying some of the fragrances again in the coming seasons when I swap my sandals and summer dresses for boots and jumpers.

Do you like vanilla in fragrance? What is your favourite?

A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Puredistance WHITE

Magpie & Puredistance WHITE | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

Magpie & Puredistance WHITE | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

White clouds are moving fast across the endless blue sky, the seasons are rapidly changing day by day. The fields are now dotted with crimson poppies, alkanets, and bee orchids surrounded by the abundance of white wildflowers. Now I can see the signs of fast approaching summer everywhere.  As I watched the swallows crisscrossing the sky, I found myself reflecting on the ephemerality of life and everlasting memories we create along the way. Every single moment we lived through has been stored somewhere inside of us, even though we don’t recall them in our busy daily lives.

I got into this somewhat pensive state just after I tried the newly released fragrance WHITE by Puredistance.

Puredistance WHITE

Puredistance WHITE | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

A sample of Puredistance WHITE arrived in a beautiful white presentation box on one beautiful morning. Inside the box, I found a white satin sachet and a little white flower next to it. Enclosed card said “The main idea behind the creation of Puredistance WHITE Perfume has been to create a perfume so beautiful and positive that it gives the wearer an instant flow of happiness.” How beautiful is that? I like the idea of “happy perfume”. I gave a little sniff to the sample vial and sprayed it on my wrist.

The breath of spring. That was my first impression I got. Luminous rose and sparkling bergamot, completely in harmony with each other, rose up and enveloped me. The next were buttery orris and sweet tonka, I could smell them emerging from the background.  It’s so smooth, soft, blight, and luxurious, like a piece of beautiful silk scarf. Then, something told me to stop analysing it and just experience the wholeness of this fragrance. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath.

The images of the flowering fields, the sunshine through the spring haze, and the dandelion parachutes dancing in the breeze filled my mind. A gentle, happy spring afternoon. Pure joy.

Flowering Field | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

Flowering Field | Photo by The Perfume Magpie

And then, those images changed and shifted.  I saw the flashes of our wedding on the red rock, two of us lazing around on the beach, visiting the ancient temples, hiking up the volcanoes, watching the sunset together… Memories from the past flooded through me, and with the memories came the intense feelings of happiness. I was seeing other places and times, and above all, smiles. I was happy, we were so happy, and my heart ached… I opened my eyes with tears rolling down on my cheeks. WHITE had opened a floodgate of emotions that have been waiting to be released.

I’ve never experienced or expected to have such multitude of emotional reactions from a fragrance. All the memories were joyful, beautiful and full of love; just like this exquisite Puredistance WHITE.

I went out for a walk to mull over what had happened. The sense of happiness and aches in my heart were still there.  The sun was now going behind the blue shadows of the mountains. The breeze rose, the wildflowers swaying in the rosy evening light and I caught a whiff of warm musky scent of WHITE. Everything around me was breathtakingly beautiful. I allowed myself to surrender to the intense beauty of the moment. I wondered if this beautiful moment too would be stored somewhere inside me as a memory, and one day, it would spring up in an unexpected moment in the future.

Life is ephemeral; it literally comes and goes in the blink of an eye. I told myself to remember to live for the day and, most importantly, appreciate its subtle splendour every single day.


* I wrote this blog post several weeks ago but I couldn’t bring myself to publish it for unknown reasons. – Yukiko


Nose: Antoine Lie

Notes: Rose de Mai from France, Tonka bean absolute from Venezuela, Orris absolute from Italy, Sandalwood from Mysore, Bergamot from Italy, Musk, Vetyver from Haiti and Patchouli from Indonesia

It is available in 17.5ml Perfume Extrait, €155.00 from Puredistance.

Read what others are saying about Puredistance WHITE.
Bonkers about Perfume, Kafkaesque, Perfume Posse, Chemist in the Bottle, CaFleureBon, The Scented Hound, Colognoisseur, Eiderdown Press

Disclosure: Review is based on a sample I received from Puredistance.

Real Neat Blog Award: Surprise, surprise!

Real Neat Blog Award

Real Neat Blog Award

My morning routine starts with a nice steaming cup of tea, followed by checking emails and the day’s schedule.  Some days my inbox contains something exciting and special, some other days, just full of notifications and adverts. Well, there was an email waiting for me this morning which belongs to both categories.

Melita from the Perfume Polytechnic blog nominated The Perfume Magpie for a Real Neat Blog Award. This was a lovely surprise to wake up to.

Real Neat Blog Award seems like a baton passed by a blogger to another blogger, and the recipient is supposed to answer the questions that came along with the award if she/he is willing to accept the nomination. I’ve seen this kind of awards on other blogs but, to be honest, I’ve never imagined that it would come to my direction.

So, Melita, thank you!! I’ll accept the award as gracefully as a magpie can since this is my first award and there may never be another, and pass it onto other bloggers. As for the bloggers I nominate, I know some of you choose to run award-free blogs, so if I mention you in this post, participate only if you want to. No obligations. I just want to shout out “I love your blog!!”

Here are the rules for accepting a Real Neat Blog Award:

1) Show the award logo on your blog.
2) Answer seven questions asked by your nominator.
3) Thank your nominator, linking his or her blog.
4) Nominate any number of bloggers you find deserving of the award, and provide a link to their blogs.
5) Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog etc.)
(Again, feel free not to act upon them if you don’t have time; or don’t accept awards; etc.)

Well, anyway, here are my answers to Melita’s questions:

1) If you’re old enough to remember, what do you miss the most about the pre-internet era?
Handwritten letters. I used to have a great collection of letter papers and envelopes for the different friends, moods, seasons and occasions. I loved the moment of anticipation just before opening the envelopes. (Actually, I get similar excitement now when I know the package contains perfumes.)
2) Could you be self-sufficient if you had to be?
Yes. I’ve grown up in a farm and now I’m living in countryside. I grow vegetables and herbs, I can weave baskets and sandals, and I’m pretty good at milking cows. I’m crap at chopping wood though.  I’m also into natural & botanical medicines.
3) What are your thoughts on climate change?
It’s a nature’s cycle but human beings are not helping it.
4) What is your best developed sense?
Hmmmm, this is a difficult question. I have a very good sense of smell and I can recognise wide range of colours as well (well, according to one of those articles on the internet). I can also hear bats.
5) Do you make anything with your hands?
Yes. I love making jewellery in silver. I love the moment when the metal glows red and solder flows. I also enjoy making stained glass panels, knitting and sewing.
6) What is the most thoughtful gift someone has given you?
Love. Does it count?
7) Tell us about a person you miss, and what you miss most about them.
My husband. Although now I’ve met someone who is loving, caring, understanding, and completely accepting me the way I am, I still miss my late husband a lot. I don’t think I would ever stop loving him and missing him. He was highly intelligent, adventurous, humorous, grumpy, animal loving, spiritual and a gentle soul. I miss everything we used to do together, just him being there with me.

So there we have it. A little more about me. 🙂

Now, my nominees. I wanted to choose a lot more but I thought five was a good number.

I nominate the following perfume blogs:

L’eter
Bonkers about Perfume
The Scented Hound
Undina’s Looking Glass
The Sounds of Scent

Here are my 7 questions for the bloggers:

1) What is one of your talents?
2) What makes you smile?
3) If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
4) If the world ends tomorrow, what would you do?
5) If you can go back in time, where would you go?
6) What the weirdest thing you’ve ever smelled?
7) Which perfume are you craving to obtain?

As I said earlier, please don’t feel obligated to accept the award, it’s just a small way of showing my love to a few blogs I enjoy!

All the Pretty Bottles

Magpie's Perfume Bottle Collection

Magpie Loves Perfume Bottles | Illustration by The Perfume Magpie

I’m a visual person. I get drawn to anything pretty. Over the years I’ve learnt to behave (a bit) and restrain myself not to collect anything and everything I lay my eyes on but I’m still a magpie through and through. I enjoy being surrounded by things that are pleasing to the eye. As you can probably guess, perfume is one of such things I adore not only for the smell but also for the visual effect. If I had an unlimited amount of money to spend, I would have a huge perfume library in my house with a collection of beautiful bottles adorning each shelf.

So when I decide to buy a perfume, the design of the bottle plays a big part. The number one factor is still the smell, of course, but even if I *like* the smell, if I don’t like the bottle, the prospect of the purchase becomes very slim. (By the way, if I *love* the fragrance, I would buy it however the bottle looks.)

Anyway, I was looking at my humble perfume collection on the dresser this morning and I happened to notice that they have one noticeable visual quality in common – simple. A few of them have so called whisky decanter shapes and the rests are more or less the variations of the prism shapes. For fun, I decided to gather some of the images of the perfume bottles I like and dislike. All the bottles are chosen only for their appearance, nothing to do with the actual fragrances themselves. The choices are completely biased and personal.

So here we go…

The Bottles I Like

I decided to limit to ten commercial fragrance bottles here. Needless to say, there are so many more I like. I didn’t add any of the vanity bottles or vintage scent bottles but I love those gorgeous cut crystal and Art Nouveau glass bottles, especially by Lalique, Daum and Galle.

Perfume Bottles Magpie Likes

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Likes

The Bottles I Dislike

I think you can see some patterns forming here; I don’t like those dolly ones or plasticky ones. I didn’t list it here but I’m not too keen on the bug on the bottle of Maai by Bogue either.

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Dislike

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Doesn’t Like

The Bottles I Feel Somewhat Embarrassed

Not that I get offended by the designs or anything like that. I’m not a prude at all. I just wonder why they couldn’t come up with more suggestive but elegant looking bottles… OK, the Azzaro Duo bottles aren’t so bad if you look at them from the front but the side views they used for the advert definitely make them look like sex toys… Someone said that the bottle should be the physical embodiment of the fragrance… Well…never mind.

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Feels Embarrased

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Feels Embarrased

Extra

I want these.

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Wants

The Perfume Bottles Magpie Wants

So, when you buy a fragrance, does the design of the bottle affect your decision making? What is your favourite bottle design?

Disclaimer: The images of the fragrances and the bottles were borrowed from various perfume house and brand websites, Pinterest, and Google image search.