Oriental Lace by Calice Becker for Oscar de la Renta 2012


Post by Azar


A couple of months ago my daughter sent me a link to the July 3, 2013 Lauren Valenti/Styleite take on Oscar de la Renta’s Oriental Lace. This brief post included a number of comments, one of which likened Oriental Lace to the smell of “a piano teacher’s house”.

The notes listed for Oriental Lace on various websites include honey, bitter almond, cacao, wax plant (Hoya carnosa) and patchouli. I wondered what any of these scents had to do with the headspace of this piano teacher’s house?

The Smell of a Piano Teacher’s House

A lot of smelly things find their way to the first floor of our home where I maintain my music studio. In addition to the library of musty musical scores, anthologies, sheets and shelves of books there are the various musical instruments accumulated over 40 years of studio teaching. Each of these has it’s own peculiar odor. An inventory includes: Three violins and one viola smelling of lacquer and French polish, various bows and cakes of piney rosin, an old dusty harpsichord, two seven foot grand pianos – metallic and woody, a Persian setar (not a sitar), a Vietnamese dan bau, a couple of saxophones that reek of old brass and spit when the cases are opened (obviously I rarely play the saxophone anymore), a flamenco guitar, two ukuleles, a clarinet, various percussion instruments and an old accordion that reminds me of the scent of a long neglected closet in my grandmother’s house. In addition to the signature scents of these “tools of the trade” there are the often ripe odors of the younger students, the distinctly pungent smells of the high school girls and guys who come to their lessons directly from cross country and soccer practice and, of course, the scent of the piano teacher herself, oozing tuberose or some other powerful concoction. Add to this blend the odors from the upper floor – sandalwood incense, cooking odors, the smells of Fender the dog and Gomez the pionus parrot and you have my own L’Eau de Studio, the notes of which go something like this:

Oriental Lace Oscar de la Renta Azar's #2

Turpentine, dust, mildew, paper, rosin, wood, salt, spit, sweat, tuberose, honey (from the pionus parrot), sandalwood, a general animalic, onions and toe jam.

Whoever made the Styleite comment was certainly not a student of mine! This person must have visited a piano teacher who baked buttery, almond cookies for her students (I don’t do that), wore a patchouli-scented shawl (not me), sipped hot chocolate (occasionally) and cared for an old, blooming Hoya carnosa (I’ve not been there).

Oriental Lace by Calice Becker for Oscar de la Renta 2012

Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Collection

Oriental Lace Oscar de la Renta FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Honey, almond, cacao, hoya carnosa, wax plant, patchouli

On my skin Oriental Lace opens with a greasy version of imitation butter. Thankfully that aspect is gone very quickly leaving something like buttered popcorn coated in vanilla-sugar and honey. After about 20 minutes the popcorn morphs into a honey-almond cookie and then to patchouli and what is probably Oscar de la Renta’s version of the scent of a blooming wax plant (the H. carnosa). This hoya-patchouli bouquet lingers for 10 or more hours finishing with a faint whiff of vanilla, cacao and butter. I’ve gone through a couple of samples but am not yet convinced that I need a full bottle of this gourmand, lightweight floral. There are five more Essential Luxuries in the collection, a couple that I like better than Oriental Lace and will probably review sometime soon. But for now, Oriental Lace is not a fragrance that is essential to my luxurious life as a piano teacher, although it is many times more appealing than L’Eau de Studio!

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Now Smell This does a great run down of the line
Oscar de la Renta has $150/100ml
Neiman Marcus has $150/100ml

giveaway manoneileenPhoto Stolen manoneileen

Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Collection GIVEAWAY


Today’s give-away is for one, brand new complete sample set (about 1.5 ml each) of Oscar de la Renta’s Essential Luxuries Collection, including the following fragrances: Oriental Lace, Santo Domingo, Sargasso, Granada, Coraline and Mi Corazon, all in a small satin monogrammed pouch

P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Leave a comment about what YOUR workplace or home smells like. (Comments on any of the fragrances in the Essential Luxuries Collection are also welcome.)

Extra Chance?
Tweet: @OzPerfumeJunkie Oscar de la Renta Oriental Lace GIVEAWAY http://wp.me/p3PURw-2ym #Perfume #Giveaway @OscarPRGirl


Entries Close Thursday 13th March 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by random.org
The winners will have till Monday 17th March 2014 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Azar xx

62 comments on “Oriental Lace by Calice Becker for Oscar de la Renta 2012

  1. Mary Jane says:

    I follow you by email. The scent of my home is mostly dictated by the flowers I buy. There are often fragrant lilies in the front room. Recently I have been placing tuberose blossoms around the house, as they are in season. We have some very old books so some parts of our house smells like a mysterious, musty library. The kitchen smells faintly of pepper and olive oil, and sometimes not-so-faintly of garlic.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Mary Jane,
      Your house must smell like a magical dream garden (even with the garlic!). I think the lilies and tuberose blossoms are just what I need in the studio! I have some fragrant orchids in the upper floor (zygopetalums and miltoniopsis) but their scents don’t reach far enough. Your choice of cut flowers sounds lovely and would go a long way toward improving the scent in my studio. Thank you for the great idea and for joining today’s draw!

  2. Jaybee says:

    Email follower! Over the past few days my house has smelled of burnt satay chicken, sunscreen, roast lamb, baby powder, baby nappies (ick), perfume (me trying samples), and fertiliser from plants in the garden. I’m sure Oscar de la Renta would love to recreate all that..

    • Azar says:

      Hey Jaybee!
      Even in virtual reality your house smells like the real thing! “Love and Reality” by Jaybee for APJ: An animalic gourmand with hints of smoke and a heart of barn drying down to a powdery finish. I read somewhere that Calice Becker liked to amp up the smell of a predictable floral or gourmand with something unexpected. Well…you’ve got it, it smells like home and you are so IN!
      Azar xx

  3. Jackie b says:

    I love the sound of your music studio!
    Mine is a dance studio and perhaps not as pleasant as yours…hairspray and deodorant and sometimes sweaty bodies!
    Feet. Dencorub.
    Sounds like I could use some Essential Luxuries, but have never tried them.
    I follow by email.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Jackie b!
      Yes, the foot thing can be challenging! With a dance studio you obviously have more direct contact with feet than I do but I require my students to remove their shoes at the door. Those little toes can be pretty ripe. I think both of us might benefit from Mary Jane’s elegant choice of cut flowers. You are IN, Jackie b!
      Azar xx

  4. cookie queen says:

    Work smells of downhillers, bikes, rubber and warm cookies. Quite the mix. Do you hear me Serge??
    Bussis xxx

    • Azar says:

      Hi Cookie,
      Sounds like your work smells warm and cold at the same time. I was imagining more spice and vanilla and less rubber! Where do the bikes come from?
      Azar xx

  5. cookie queen says:

    It´s a bike shop. Bikes and Cookies. My husband and I have a shop together. I assume people know that ….. heaven knows why. Haha.

  6. Patty Pong says:

    I follow by e-mail. My home smells like all the samples scattered in every square inch. 🙂

    • Azar says:

      Good Morning Patty Pong!
      Your house must smell lovely! When I open my boxes of samples I wish I could bottle the smell of the mix. I also wish I was a more disciplined scent sampler (like Portia seems to be). You are so IN!
      Azar xx

  7. Elia says:

    My workplace and home often smell of me and the perfumes of the day!! 😛
    Otherwise there’s nothing specific to them,
    except when jasmine is blossoming down the street,
    that covers a wide radius. Yum!
    I follow by email and have tweeted.

  8. hotlanta linda says:

    My house has a scent?? lol!! Afraid it`s eau de bathroom cleaner downstairs due to a messy father – which wafts upstairs to my spaces. The general sweetness of a roomful of scent items is a needed relief! Good, new aromas are when I cook for self – pastas and veggies 🙂 Been wanting to try this group big time!! We follow a la e-mail, blog, and FB 🙂

    • Azar says:

      Hello there hotlanta linda!
      I could swear that some of those bathroom cleaners use aroma chemicals supplied by IFF and Givaudan. The top notes of many of my lemon scented frag favorites have been forever spoiled by the association. Regarding the Essential Luxuries: I’m just starting to smell Coraline and, despite my protests, I think I have become attached to Oriental Lace. Woe is me! I don’t want to buy anything else right now. BTW, you are IN!
      Azar xx

  9. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey there AZAR!
    Great post as always. DNEM today but:
    My office smells like fragrances, the venues smell like booze, food and AC, the accommodation we provide smells like young people and sexual energy.
    On Wednesdays I clean the house from top to bottom and burn some incense & heat some essential oils and at other times I just open all the windows and let the sun and air cleanse the place as best it can.
    Portia xx

    • Azar says:

      Hi Portia!
      I wish I could open the windows here today but it is cold, raining buckets and blowing about 17 knots. Hey, just this moment it stopped raining and blowing (but I don’t trust this weather enough to air out the place). I will bring in some cut flowers, though (per Mary Jane). Also… I am enjoying reading about everyone’s home and workplace smells. I feel like I know the APJ better for it. So many interesting people with such different smelly lives! What a great bunch of perfume junkies!
      Azar xx

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        You know Azar,
        Almost every day I am giving thanks that there is a WWW for us Perfume Junkies from all over the world to get together and natter about what we love. I am thrilled at the sense of community and how much fun and life we share together.
        we are blessed to live in an age that fits us.
        Portia xx

    • Jackie says:

      Hi Portia.
      I’m channeling your Ms. Clear White Tornedo energy this week to clean the house in preparation for The Great Blending. Welcoming all Bergamot vibes for a fresh space.
      xx, Jackie
      ps. for the blending, perhaps channel some young & sexy vibes from Chez Portia! Hooray!

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        HA HA! Yound and sexy vibes. You are sweet and amusing.
        Thank you Jackie.
        Portia xx

  10. Jackie says:

    What a wonderful post: I loved every word!
    My scent notes in the wilds of New Mexico are —
    High Mountain Air, Pinon Incense, Yuzu face spray, Wild local Cedar room spray, Al Attar Durra, Givenchy Rosabotanica, Mandy Aftel Jasmine beeswax, Old Cat and his box, mouse droppings, the rare snake and the adored Bobcat family Mother, Daughter and giant fluff ball New Kitten. I follow via email.
    Cheers always, Jackie

    • Azar says:

      Thank you so much, Jackie! You are IN!
      You do know you could make a great fragrance from this list of scent notes? Seriously! I can imagine it all. I have to add that I haven’t seen our bobcat family since the trees were ripped out in what used to be the woods behind us. Once in awhile I see evidence of bobcat, but they are much more reclusive these days.
      Azar xx

      • Jackie says:

        Call to them! I ask them silently in my meditation to visit & the next day one is on my porch!
        Azar, you have a fascinating idea about turning the house notes into a real perfume. I’ll pursue it!
        Love to you, J

  11. Lyubov says:

    A studio to respect and cherish! Thanks for sharing it with us, Azar! Whenever I spot ‘rosin’, I prick up my ears ’cause it’s strangely inviting…
    I really wanted to try Coralina, Sargasso and Santo Domingo when the line came up, so I hope to get the chance! Thanks for the giveway! I follow by email and on FB.
    Lyubov recently posted…Wood Violet / B14My Profile

    • Azar says:

      Hi Lyubov,
      Your comment sent me straight to some cakes of rosin to compare their smells. Some are sour and piney, other’s smell more like varnish. Are you a rosin expert? I certainly am not. I do know that some of the golden/amber colored rosins tend to give a lovely, smooth sound. BTW, of the six scents of the Essential Luxuries Collection I think Coraline is my favorite. Thank you for joining the draw! You are so IN!
      Azar xx

  12. Lauren says:

    Hi Mom –

    Oriental Lace sounds nice to me, but it doesn’t sound like it smells like your place:)! I would assume my house smells like dog (Olga is a lot more smelly than Fender) and whatever we cooked recently. But I guess I’m used to it and I don’t notice it. At work I notice the smell of cardboard, printer ink and toner cartridges from time to time. And sometimes I smell food being heated up. But that is pretty rare… it’s actually an unwritten rule that we can’t microwave popcorn, fish or anything else that has a strong odor that could carry throughout the office. The powers that be don’t want clients to be put off by strong odors.


    • Azar says:

      Howdy dear daughter Lauren!

      Thank you for sending the link that got me going on this piece. And you are right! Oriental Lace has nothing to do with the studio or the rest of this house. I keep going back to Mary Jane’s comment. Cut tuberose and stargazer lilies could be the solution to Olga’s contributions to the house odor as well as something nice for the office. Who could object to to the beauty of bunches of cut flowers that were secretly (or not so secretly) serving the purpose of a room deodorizer!

      Mommy Azar xx and X

  13. Irina says:

    I work in a medical research lab so my working place smells of cells incubators, growing media and chlorine- not nice

    • Azar says:

      Hi Irina,
      Yes, that’s not nice AT ALL! And I imagine there is nothing you can do to mitigate those odors. But…if you let us know how you follow I’ll put you right in the draw for something that smells a lot better!
      Azar xx

      • Irina says:

        sorry, I forgot- it’s by e-mail
        and thanks a lot or the draw (you imagine my evenings are much, much better, scentwise…)

  14. chamekke says:

    I follow you via an RSS feed on LiveJournal (“aussie-perfume”).

    Sadly, I work at a scent-free workplace, so the only aroma I enjoy there is the delicate scent of the Chinese green tea that I prepare at my desk.

    My apartment usually smells of an unholy combination of things. Incense – either funky Tibetan (husband) or Japanese aloeswood/sandalwood (me). All sorts of foods, especially brussels sprouts for some reason. Flowering jasmine in a pot. The skunky aroma of pot smoke (we have a neighbour whose indulgence makes its way into our home via the bathroom vent). Freshly ground coffee. Bleach. And once, memorably, half-digested fish (from when a passing seagull splattered at our window).

    • Azar says:

      Hello chamekke,
      Your home scent-o-sphere sounds rich enough to make up for any scent-free workplace. I know that Tibetan incense! It’s really strong, smokey stuff. Thank you for joining the draw! You are IN!
      Azar xx

  15. JMR says:

    My homespace lately has been scented by incense. Currently it’s one with notes of sandalwood, saussurea, and cinnamon.

    Following via email.

  16. Julie F says:

    I follow by email. On a good day, my home smells like pine logs, more often, it smells like damp dog. Work is no better: good day is paper and books, more often it’s smelly kids. Thanks for the draw.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for joining the draw. The pine logs are a great base note for damp dog! Poor Fender now has to wear a raincoat when he goes out! It just won’t stop raining here.
      Azar xx

  17. Maya says:

    I follow by email. In summer, my house smells of fresh air. In winter, it varies – cooking, whatever candle is lit, bath and shower scents, perfume worn. I have become very interested in Oscar de la Renta. I recently discovered that I had a mini bottle of vintage Oscar and am surprised by how much I like it!

    • Azar says:

      Hey Maya,
      I suppose I was a little hard on Oriental Lace. Now that I’ve gone through two samples I think I want more. I have no idea what vintage Oscar is like. What do you like best about it? You are IN of course!
      Azar xx

      • Maya says:

        Hi Azar,
        Vintage Oscar is one I could never write a review on because all the notes blend together for me. It’s an 80’s scent. On me, it’s floral and powdery and I can’t stop sniffing my arms. I’ll be buying a bottle on eBay.

  18. poodle says:

    DNEM. I have a sample of this one and think its quite nice actually. Based on your description of your studio I doubt it smells like that either. My humble abode usually has a variety of scents wafting. There’s the smell of Mel the whippet who has a general funk about him because of his breath, the poodles smell like popcorn although Greta has a sweet maple syrup odor lately too. There’s always the remnants of whatever candle I was burning the night before, cooking or baking odors, parrot dust, perfume, and various cleaning products.

    • Laurels says:

      I don’t know the health situation of your whippet, but our dog’s breath was greatly improved when we started giving him a Pedigree Dentastix every day. (They must taste like junk food, because he loves them even more than he loves food in general.) The vet even agrees that his teeth are much cleaner, which is good, because he’s too old for vet dentistry. (This sounds like an ad, but really isn’t–please delete it if you think it’s inappropriate, Portia.)

      • poodle says:

        His teeth aren’t bad. I brush them. It’s more like a morning breath thing but he’s got it all day because that dog just sleeps and sleeps. I tried the Dentastix once and he swallowed big chunks of it which he later threw up so that didn’t work out too well. Lol.

      • Laurels says:

        Ugh, we had that happen with Greenies. I know brushing is better, but our boy didn’t come to live with us until he was 8, and showed a clear disinclination for it, along with jaws of steel.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Poodle,
      Parrot dust is definitely a special odor. Pionus are also noted for their honey, clover, vanilla and musky scent. Gomez can really project when he’s in the mood. For Fender’s teeth I use Canable’s “Kissable” dog toothpaste (vanilla flavored) and a child size “Radius” toothbrush with lots of very soft bristles. His breath isn’t too bad (for a dog). He actually waits for me to brush his teeth at night. This sounds like an ad too. (Sorry, Portia.)
      Azar xx

  19. Ola says:

    I follow with bloglovin 🙂 My house smells freshly of nature surrounding me – and naturally so – I do everything to keep it this way.

  20. Camilla Sheridan says:

    My home and office smells of Odour de Magic otherwise known as my faithfulldog follows me everywhere., Her name is Magic. Mix it with Gen 20 Crisp Linen and you have my place. I follow APJ on facebook.

    • Azar says:

      Thank you for joining the draw, Camille! My dog Fender smells good to me no matter the state of his coat. He’s such a great friend. I have various dog perfumes for him but rarely use them.
      Azar xx

  21. puhfume says:

    Both my home and workplace are relatively scent-free. Except the bathroom, which always smells of Glade 🙂

    I follow by email. Thanks!

    • Azar says:

      Hi puhfume! You are IN! I wonder what flavor of Glade has found favor with you? I haven’t tried it for years.
      Azar xx

  22. Laurels says:

    My house today smells very faintly of citrus blossom, which should be much stronger in a few weeks, and warm grass, courtesy of the dog,who has been sunning his arthritic self, and occasionally rolling around. It often smells like cooking, but less pungent lately, as the low-FODMAP diet I’m on forbids onions and garlic. In a couple of months, the jasmine out front will be in bloom, and the house will smell lovely at night with the front door and windows open.

    My piano teacher when I was a kid had three young sons, and I remember her house smelling mostly of boy.

    The Essential Luxuries collection hasn’t gotten much attention from the bloggers, although several of them sound good to me. I follow with Bloglovin.

    • Azar says:

      Hi Laurels,
      I just spayed on some OdlR Essential Luxuries Mi Corazon. It is quite a lovely and warm white floral, tuberose with peach, ylang and vanilla (?). Yummy. Even those who fear tuberose can wear this one!
      Your house sounds wonderful with the citrus and garlic. You are IN!
      Azar xx

      • Azar says:

        Whoops, Laurels! Meant to say citrus for your house smell, not citrus and garlic. If you are doing a low FODMAP just the mention of garlic might bother you! Sorry!

      • Laurels says:

        It’s been long enough now that it doesn’t drive me nuts anymore. The first month was brutal, though.

  23. Nemo says:

    My home currently smells of banana bread, which is a much more pleasant smell than my workplace. I work in a chemistry lab, so more often than not the smells wafting arounds are ones I don’t enjoy! Thank you for the giveaway, and I follow by email.

  24. Nitasha says:

    Wonderful to discover your site (followed via BlogLovin)!
    My house usually smells of the flowers currently on display (hyacinth at the moment) or Dyptique Tubereuse candles 🙂

    • Nitasha says:

      Diptyque sorry! And thanks for the giveaway – never smelled any of the ODLRs and would love to!

      • Azar says:

        Hi Nitasha,
        Thanks for joining the draw and welcome to APJ! I love hyacinth too! They are popping all over my yard right now!
        Azar xx

  25. Lubka K. says:

    I follow via bloglovin (Lubica K.). My flat smells just now as clean laundry because I have machine-washed my clothes today.:-)
    Also following via emai at lubaska at hotmail dot com
    Thanks for great giveaway!

    • Azar says:

      I love that smell of clean! Thanks for joining the draw! Some of the letters don’t work on my keyboard today (need a new one) so I can’t even spell yo name, Lbka K, bt yo are so IN!
      Azar xx

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