Natural fragrances: Draw for free sample pack!

Fragrance is the fourth wall of a woman's wardrobe, a distinct signature, a flourish that affects mood. I adore fragrance and Le Duc is a fragrance nut, so there is no problem wearing whatever pleases me at home.

But when I'm in a group, I'm aware that some persons are averse to scent, so choose a natural fragrance.  (A definition of natural vs. synthetic fragrance is here.) I sometimes wear nothing, but ask myself, Do such persons never pass a blooming window box or walk through a pine forest?

I especially like the natural, transporting scents made by Hiram Green, a native of Toronto now based in the Netherlands. When I heard he had released "Arbolé Arbolé", I ordered a couple of samples from my favourite online decant store, Perfumeniche.

Perfumeniche's Kay and Gwen provide detailed, accurate descriptions as well as personal impressions, which is like a peek into their journals. Service is warm and prompt; prices are fair. It's worth the equivalent of a fancy coffee to explore a fragrance at home, rather than being spritzed (if they even have it) in a bustling store. Ordering an, uh, reasonable selection each season is one of life's most reliable pleasures.
Green's "Arbolé Arbolé, named for the García Lorca poem, intrigued me: the mystery, sensuality and power put paid to the notion of all-natural as a weak sister. Though I don't mind practicing safe scents, I'd wear this one anytime, day or evening.

When trying a new fragrance, I avoid compulsive reading of reviews, which are lyrical (sometimes to the point of incomprehension), and contradictory because body chemistry may cause the same scent to sing on one person, cloy on another. The description of composition (top, middle and base notes) is useful, but in the hands of various perfumers the expression will vary markedly. More versions of 'rose' exist than I ever dreamed.

Kay knew that I once wore a perfume I'll call "1980s". The reformulation that muted its siren's song was called one of the most egregious insults committed on a fragrance. She owns a bottle of the original magic and sent a decant in my shipment, as a treat. (I'm using a pseudonym so Kay doesn't have to withstand begging.)

I waited, my patience evaporating faster than eau de toilette in a sauna; I checked the mailbox several times a day. It came, I pounced.

Poof! I was sitting in Bemelman's Bar in 1982, a white wine spritzer in front of me, a man in a Savile Row suit beside. The huge, complex scent unleashed the era, my peripatetic life then, and an Annie Lennox soundtrack. There's enough for another three or four trips in the Wayback Machine. Where are my platform heels? But if given the chance to make it my signature again, I would probably pass, because just like the man, I now see it was a real handful.


Draw for Passage des Perles "Naturals" Decant Pack 

Perfumeniche have generously chosen a collection of six 1ml decants of their most stunning all-natural fragrances to give away through a draw in the Passage.

The six fragrances are,
1. Arbolé Arbolé, by Hiram Green
2. Venezia Giardini Segreti, by La Via del Profumo
3. Vamp à NY, by Honoré des Près
4. Rose Bohème, by Providence Perfume Company
5. Loup des Steppes, by SAMA
6. Exultat, by Maria Candida Gentile
  • To enter the draw, leave a comment on this post and include "DRAW", by midnight EST, Friday, March 2, 2018
  • One entry per reader, please; no entries by e-mail
  • My neighbour Toni will draw the winner, which I'll announce on Tuesday, March 6
  • The winner will send me a postal address; Kay and Gwen will then ship your little bubble-packed parcel of heaven

Waant that "Naturals" pack for sure?



Perfumeniche are offering the six-decant pack for sale, too, beginning today. (Above, the other five, in addition to Arbolé Arbolé.)

To order, go their Decant Packs menu and select the PassagedesPerles "Naturals" Decant Pack; price is $CDN 28.00 plus shipping and handling. You will discover many other enticing packs there, which make delightful gifts.

But why not try your luck and enter the draw, honeybunch? There are few forms of fun as relatively good for you as six all-natural fragrances showing up at your door.


 


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Comments

Laura Jantek said…
DRAW. Halifax is very negative about scent; I wear so little now but miss it terribly. I usually test any new fragrance choice out on a few close friends who get migraines or are densities in some way. If they give the all clear I then venture out into (some) public venues ; natural based scent see safest at least for me
Abigail said…
DRAW Count me in! I am intrigued by your descriptions.
Paula said…
Draw and thank you for your blog!
DRAW me in into your world of scents. I gave up 'chemically' manufactured perfumes long ago. It would be a lovely treat to explore these - Marguerite
Kim said…
DRAW I would love to try these natural scents. I'll place an order if I'm not the lucky winner. Thanks for the information on this company.
DRAW - and thank you so much for the information and the links. I am careful with scents - just a small drop now and again but love it when I find one that truly suits me and doesn't overwhelm. I am very conscious of being surrounded by folks in the city who have issues with scents (as I do with certain ones) but I think the problem is mostly with those who seem to douse themselves in it before leaving the house! Subtle should be the word!
I used to love Y (it had a very odd name) by Estee Lauder - but it was very strong and would probably knock me off my feet now.
My mother used to love L'Air du Temps. Scent can evoke so many memories....
sgillie said…
DRAW Now that I'm retired, I make sure, no matter what, that I wear earrings and perfume everyday.
Kim said…
DRAW I'm a regular reader although I don't comment. I enjoy fragrance so much and find so many new perfumes just smell like other perfumes - it would be lovely to try some that are different!

Laurie said…
DRAW - I'm looking for a new scent. Perfect timing!
Marguerite said…
DRAW, I love fragrance, and find its an everyday must! I’ve been drawn to rose notes more than ever. Would not have even considered, a decade ago. Thank you Duchesse for your finesse in fine fragrances!
Jane said…
DRAW Well, this is timely. I fell in love with Narciso Rodriguez For Her in a magazine. I tried it in a store. I put a sample in my lingerie drawer. Heavenly. I bought both the EDT and perfume and I can't smell a thing. It's just not "there" on me. Weird. Time for something else, I guess.
Rita said…
Oh, please pick me in the DRAW!
donnyb said…
DRAW -- I'm another regular reader but I rarely comment. I would love to try something new so this would be delightful (and I'm now also tempted to try the other samplers). Lyn
siouxjett said…
DRAW - Synthetic perfume never worked for me. This would be wonderful to try.
Cee Jay said…
DRAW. A perfect b-day gift for someone ready to try something new
Vildy said…
DRAW Thank you so much for introducing this to us. I've been exploring their website. How complex the layering of the scents.
Chanterelle said…
DRAW. I'm normally cautious--or perhaps merely lazy--about scent, but this sounds intriguing.
E said…
DRAW - I'd love to enter.
Trina said…
DRAW. A year ago I bought my first natural fragrances, the result of a hugely happy hour in the company of a time-generous proprietor and the indulgence of my typically perfume-impatient spouse. These selections sound amazing
DRAW - I would love to try these natural scents. Thank You for the opportunity.
Leslie Milligan said…
DRAW - This is fun! I had a conversation last week with a scent sensitive co-worker who said she had no problem with natural scents. It was the fake cloying smells that drove her to madness and fresh air. It made me think that I could try natural scents. Thank you.
Hopeful said…
DRAW Thank you for the opportunity.
DRAW. It's so difficult to find truly fine perfumes with all natural formulations. Would love to try!
Noelle said…
DRAW — I’ve never heard of natural perfumes, but if they allow women to spray a delicious scent again, I’m in!
Wendy said…
DRAW. I've always envied people with a signature fragrance, but have never found one I loved for myself. Those department store sprays always disappoint me.
LauraH said…
Wasn't that a lovely touch, sending you a decant of something they knew you would prize. Wonderful description of how it evoked the past for you, such a gift....both the writing and the ability to connect through scent.
Leigh said…
DRAW - Thanks for the informative and inspiring post about natural fragrances! I would love to try them. I moved away from using traditional perfumes since a couple of my family members are sensitive to them. What a luxury to be able to spend time in a shop to experience different natural ones! Is the company only in Toronto? Thanks.
Nelson Bartley said…
DRAW. I love to find unusual scents and change my signature scent rarely. But always open to a wild night with another perfume from time to time.
magistra said…
DRAW. Always enjoy trying out new scents. Thanks for giving us the opportunity!
Duchesse said…
Leigh: Perfumeniche is an online business; they ship anywhere! They sell ONLY decants- not full bottles of fragrance. Every since i discovered I could buy decants it has been a fun, relatively low-cost indulgence. I will explore various maker's takes on notes I like, or one I have read about, or a friend recommends...also good for travel or carrying in purse. Occasionally a fragrance is not for me and I have friends who will take them and try, but I also buy them gifts of decant packs.
Julie said…
DRAW. I so enjoy your blog and I always look forward to sitting down with my coffee to read it. I consider it a treat. I share some of your musings with my husband and we both agree you write so well. My Mum wore L'Air du Temps too. Perfumes have the power to evoke special memories for me. Gardenias especially as I grew up where there were hedges of them. I am very intrigued with the natural scents and would love to try them. Thank you.
Sharon. P said…
DRAW. I'm not that familiar with natural scents, but am interested!
Margaret Shea said…
DRAW- I enjoy discovering perfumes at home. Maria Candida Gentile’s perfumes have been on my to-try list for a while. Thank you for this draw and your always-interesting blog.
Jeannine said…
Thank you for doing this DRAWing. It would be wonderful to win and test these natural fragrances. I am not familiar with natural scents, but wonder if they would be less offensive to those who have issues with scents.
Twelve Riches said…
DRAW!
There i was, thinking i loved you for your pearl knowledge...
StephF said…
DRAW!
These sound amazing - I would love to get to try these out!
Frangrance is something that can draw you in, recalling a moment in time or a magical memory. I've read that our sense of smell is the last thing to go in this life; there must be a reason for that.
royleen said…
DRAW! Was the “way back” fragrance Opium? Bought some new pearls on Sunday, and thought of you!
Tickie VanLan said…
I love scent, scent blogs, decanting services, and have been interested about natural blends. Thanks for the lovely insights you have shared here.
Duchesse said…
Royleen: No, though I did own a bottle. (Most every woman I knew did.) Opium is the signature of my gf Christine, who inhabits it swankily. I still love those 80s fragrances and back then they could use oakmoss, ahhh. Another one it wasn’t was Fracas. I can’t believe what a velvet tank that was.
Duchesse said…
Roy,een, PS I would love to see those pearls!
Diane said…
DRAW - I've been thinking of trying something new and haven't found what I'm looking for, this could be it! Thank you for sharing this information.

Diane
Missionista said…
DRAW! In the 80's I loved Poison. I still do, although I wear it very infrequently now. I do wear scent very day though, and love it whether it is natural or synthetic. Thanks for offering the draw!
Beth said…
DRAW! I (mostly) gave up shopping for Lent but a raffle surely doesn't count! And I'm dyingdyi try the new Arbolé Arbolé.
Blume said…
DRAW... curious about some of these scents and may check them out either way.
Cat said…
Please enter my name for the draw. I do use a natural scent at times but I've never found one I like as well as my favourite perfume.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Dulce Young said…
DRAW..i am intrigued by this 'all natural fragrance'. Hope i get lucky
Jenny Campos said…
Serendipity...I am in the middle of following several leads relating to perfumes and their makers and along comes your blog, heaven! Can't risk the Draw so have placed an order. £25.10 in GBP in case anyone else is thinking of it.
Thank you Duchesse for your always interesting blogs on a variety of thought provoking
Subjects.
Jenny
Helene Harris said…
DRAW! I wanted a signature fragrance in my 20s (1970s). A slightly older (maybe she was in her 30s!)was going to advise me, so we went to Gimbel's (department store of the time)and tried on many! We did the whole give it time to dry down, check it again in 15 minutes. It took all day. I ended up with Quadrille by Balenciaga. Needless to say, they've stopped making it. I guard my tiny little bottle with my life and open it rarely! It still holds up after all these years, a glorious scent.
Duchesse said…
Helene Harris: You might enjoy my post on "The Vanishing Point of Perfumes you Loved":
http://passagedesperles.blogspot.ca/2013/12/the-vanishing-point-of-perfumes-you.html

If you find a new fragrance that is your utter delight, and I hope you do, because an occasional whiff from an old bottle is pretty limiting- stockpile it even if the expense is serious, it's worth the pain- at least 2 extra bottles. Donna, warned about the oakmoss ban, bought 8 bottles of her original formulation Giorgio and plans (if there is any left over) to be buried with it.
Sharon said…
DRAW. Thank you so much for your wonderfully intelligent, amusing, and informative blog. If I don’t win I will purchase a selection of the decantsto try. Since chemo last year my body chemistry has changed, and the scents I previously used don’t appeal or last beyond the breakfast. Perhaps others have had the same experience?
DRAW. Thanks for this delicious post. Most of my favorite scents have been discontinued or reworked into heavier, more dank formulations. I'm looking forward to exploring the natural scents.
Gwoman said…
DRAW - would love to try these natural scents. I go through periods where I wear scent and periods where I don't. Feel like a period of wearing scents is around the corner with coming of Spring. Thanks for your blog and great advice on jewelry, clothing and life in general.
royleen said…
Duchesse, the pearls were an upgrade to my everyday stud earrings. The new ones are bigger and more lustrous. Bigger is better, but nothing especially photographable... Opium rang a bell for me because I wore it everyday for years then stopped. When I came back to it years later, it wasn't the same. When I have a minute, I'll email you a photo of what Sarah did for me last summer. Definitely photographable!
Eve Benoit said…
DRAW - this collection is intriguing. I am getting tired of cologne in the morning and Chanel no 5 for going out. Thank you Duchesse for your offer and for your blog that I follow faithfully even though I rarely comment.
DRAW - I love your blog!
Mary said…
DRAW and thank you for the opportunity to find a new fragrance. Like you, I had a fragrance that I used for many, many years and was careful not to over do it. One time, I thought to surprise a grandson when he came home from school. He didn't know I was coming to visit his family in TX so I hid in the hall closet and as soon as he walked in the door, and before I could surprise him, he immediately asked, "Is Nanny here?" Likewise, when my daughter was young and I had to travel on business, she told me she would go to my scarf drawer and pull up the scarves to sniff my fragrance so she wouldn't miss me so much. Scent is a potent memory. The formulation of that fragrance has changed (might even be the one you refer to) and though it is still sold, I do not buy it anymore. Haven't really connected with a new fragrance so perhaps I might find one in this offer/link. Thank you for the intro.
tess tea said…
Draw please, thank you for offering.
Dr itGirl said…
DRAW - thanks for this post. I need more fragrance in my life =)
MJ Markham said…
DRAW
This is wonderful, a scent of Spring :-)
Susan said…
I LOVE Bemelman's Bar Our son took us there when he was living in NYC. When I asked him how he knew about it (he had not lived in NYC very long), he said he was doing research for a date and ran across it. He said while it wasn't right for his date, he knew it was perfect for us! He was right! Draw
Anonymous said…
DRAW
I have loved Oceans, Bright Crystal by Versace, DKNY Be Delicious, Honey by Marc Jacobs and as always anything Armani, Acqua di Gioia. I love the pop of scent I get when I run my hands over the herbs in the flower planter by the walk. I even love the Michel Design Works soaps and lotions I pick up at gift and garden shops.

Any scents you choose would be a sure revelation.

Thanks!
Gauss said…
DRAW. I would love to try these, thank you for the opportunity! I love having small bottles of perfume, so I can try different ones often without feeling like I'm wasting a big bottle.
Susan D said…
DRAW. I may be hopelessly out of date, but have never heard of such a good service like this before - is there such a thing in the UK? Perfume and cosmetic counters here are very mean with samples, so this is just brilliant. Sadly I no longer wear perfume every day as I have to be very careful not to get in on the skin around my chest and neck as it now triggers an allergic reaction. This does not mean that I don't wear it or still love it.
Love your blog.
Susan D
Susan D said…
DRAW. I may be hopelessly out of date, but have never heard of such a good service like this before - is there such a thing in the UK? Perfume and cosmetic counters here are very mean with samples, so this is just brilliant. Sadly I no longer wear perfume every day as I have to be very careful not to get in on the skin around my chest and neck as it now triggers an allergic reaction. This does not mean that I don't wear it or still love it.
Love your blog.
Susan D
Duchesse said…
Susan D: You can look for yourself, search "perfume decant store UK." In fifteen seconds I puled up two, Perfumista and FragranceSamplesUK- there are probably more.

Gauss: Buying a bottle 'just to try' or because someone recommends it is for those who like to gamble. That's called a "blind buy" and sometimes it works out, but given the price of good perfume, whew, a risk. Some women buy only decants (some decant shops offer several sizes) because they do not wear scent very often, and it can go "off".

Several commenters say, and one e-mailed me- that they have decades-old bottles of their favourite, or their mother's favourite, or something discontinued. While some notes persist, there will inevitably be erosion. Some fade away, some turn funky. You know to keep fragrance out of light and heat. But the best thing is to wear your fragrance.

When I buy a bottle,I always buy the small size (or decant) and re-up, rather than a big one .
Chris S said…
DRAW. Thank you, Duchesse!
DRAW ... Choosing a fragrance can be a daunting task and an expensive mistake. Spritzing in a department store? After 3 it's hard to discern. I stay loyal to a scent for years. HAHA is this out of fear? Samples sound like a great idea so yes please DRAW ;-)
stilllooking said…
Just recently discovered your blog while looking for style over 40-50 and beyond. Not feeling quite my age (and not wanting to abide by all the "old school rules") and yet not wanting to look like I am "trying too hard"! I am loving what I am seeing. Please enter me in the:

DRAW

Thank you, Duchesse!

Tess

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