Dab or Spray? Life


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


When I mentioned to Portia a few weeks ago that it was sometimes tough to come up with something to write about, he said to write whatever I´d been up to and include the perfume I had been wearing. That would do it. Let´s test it out.


Murmurings from the Uninspired.
Featuring fragrances I have added to my small collection.


    1. Read an undisputedly utterly brilliant book. All The Light We Cannot See. Anthony Doerr.
    2. Set up a date with APJs Azar in September. We´ll be having tea in Seattle very soon.
    3. Gave up Red Bull and Monster and started to drink water.
    4. Helped my son move into his apartment.
    5. Completed my .vero.profumo. collection with the Rozy Extrait and the Onda Voile d´Extrait.
    6. Located a bottle of Cuir de Lancôme. Purchased it.

Val Onda VdE


Finalised a pefume tour party blogger lunch and cake feast not forgetting the epic ice-cream, kind of thing. In London. Getting to hangout with Volatile Fiction, Olfactoria´s Travels, Perfume Candy Boy, Nick Gilbert and more. Amongst other groovy things we are going to visit Penhaligon`s, the new Bloom, the Chanel Store and the new Malle Store. I am of course taking my daughter the BlondesWunder with me and she will report back as to her second experience of hanging out with a bunch of old perfume freaks.

Les senteurs Val 2014 #3

(Yes Portia and Michael, my heart aches that you won´t be there.)


Wearing a lot of extraits, and only dab them. I love the sensuality of using a glass stopper to apply the perfume. I do like to spray the back of my neck though. However, spraying everywhere gives me a grand mal seizure, and since my kids do that to me anyway, I prefer to keep them to the minimum. I reckon I might be in the minority though. This is a much discussed subject but what do you APJ readers do? What interesting application techniques do you use? I stand in front of a mirror and conduct my perfuming ritual. I do not like perfume on my clothing at all and make sure I get nothing on it from the application of the fragrance. Clothing goes on after the perfume.

Am about to start a new book. A Brief History of Seven Killings. Marlon James. “It´s like a Tarantino remake of The Harder They Come but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner ……..” New York Times. And a lot of it is written in Jamaican Patois. I spent some time in Kingston but that is another fragrant story. 😉

Burlesque Maria Candida Gentile FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Blood orange
Heart: Iris pallida, rose
Base: Incense, patchouli

Have been wearing Maria Candida Gentile´s Burlesque for the last two days. Alluring. Gorgeous. Ordered.

Irie Bussis
Peace and love

41 comments on “Dab or Spray? Life

  1. greennote2 says:

    Ah, Val, the stream of consciousness thing just so worked for me. A glimpse into your life, a coupla books, a bit of perfume. Love it. Bussis back.

  2. Esperessence says:

    Lovely display for your Onda bottle. I prefer to spray and do not to dab to much, not directly from a bottle. I prefer to transfer THE juice into a roller. SL Bell Jars are not for me for this reason.

    Burlesque has been on my wishlist for Some time now. Wonderful fragrance !

    Good advance from, Portia. Loved to read your article.
    Esperessence recently posted…Hilde Soliani Luce A brand new day !My Profile

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Esperessence! I bought the little box of drawers in Germany when I met up with Bonkers About Perfume Vanessa. (Actually my husband bought it for me.) I keep the perfume samples and small decants that I use in it. Perfumes look well against it. Yes, Burlesque is very thick and lovely. I am excited to get it. Bussis. xxxxx

  3. Sandra says:

    Loved reading this Val! I love to spray. I even transfer the extraits to a spray bottle just to have one spray. will look up your book now. You smell fab! xoxo

  4. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Val! I seriously LOVED this post. So much packed into a small space.
    Last week I read The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Really interesting look at keeping your life more balanced and streamlined. I like the idea but the writer gave me the shits, got all Tidy Evangelical and was frankly MENTAL towards the end. Oliver Jeffers wrote The Day The Crayons Quit which was fun and I bought it for a kid I adore. Got halfway through Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s The Vine Of Desire and couldn’t read anymore, it is tormented and unrelentingly wretched. So I picked up the first of a set I adore and am reading it to calm me again: Daughter Of The Empire by Raymond E Feist and Yanny Wurtz. Phew, much better.
    Wish so much that I was meeting you guys in London. We will all be there in January so I can wait.
    Fragrance? Bought a few from Sandra that I’m loving but it seems Madonna Truth or Dare has gripped my heart this week and won’t let go.
    Oh, and I LOVE to SPRITZ!! Even parfums and extraits.
    Portia xx

    • Tara says:

      Portia, I recently bought The Day the Crayons Quit for my niece! She loved Stuck by Oliver Jeffers too.

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        We are linked Tara! It’s a fun book I hope the recipient loves it. I’m not sure if his parents read to him but hopefully it will help them to want to.
        Portia xx

      • Tara says:

        It will be winner with all of them, I’m sure.

      • cookie queen says:

        Not heard of this. I need some advice for kids books actually. I will pick your brains when I am home.

    • cookie queen says:

      I am so balanced and streamlined, how could it get any better? The Vine of Desire triggers a panic attack just reading about it, I will give it a miss. Will check Daughter of the Empire out. I am finding concentrating on reading much easier now that I don´t have 500 mgs of caffeine rushing around my system. I know you like to spritz, I can still smell you in the car, and it´s been what – 18 months? xxxx

      • australianperfumejunkies says:

        Ha Ha ha! That was an extrait too. What a hilarious day that was. You and Michael complaining about my MASSIVE projection and sillage. Ha Ha ha!
        Portia xx

  5. Tara says:

    I love this Val. It’s like a fragrant snap-shot of your life. More posts like this please!

    So excited you’ve ordered Burlesque. Can’t wait to try it.
    Will check out the Doerr book asap.

    You’ve also lived in Kingston?! So many stories we are yet to hear…

    • cookie queen says:

      No I didn´t live in Kingston, i just sent a couple of weeks there. And lived to tell the tale. I wold be willing to bet a fiver you´ll love Burlesque. An extrait to be sprayed. xxxx

  6. Jackie b says:

    Loved reading this, (she said voyeuristicaly!)
    I will only dab willingly from very small and exquisite bottles of pure parfum. With glass stoppers. And wearing great clothes and good hair.
    Every day…spray!

    • cookie queen says:

      Sounds perfect. I seldom dress up, but when – then Iike to wear both the extrait and the perfume. You know whose ……. 😉

  7. Aelfrik says:

    I spray like a cat in heat. Early and often. Sorry Uncle Serge, your bell jars have no power in my bedroom!

    • cookie queen says:

      Aelfrik! If I sprayed my bell jars I would go into a coma. 🙂 But I say go for it, and hope you don´t work in a small office!!!! xxxxxx

  8. Holly says:

    Hi Val! I love this post!

    A. Great book
    B. Seattle is one of my favorite places on earth, and I envy your meeting up with Azar.
    C. Gave up Starbucks and am considering whether it’s the caffeine in tea or the hot tea itself that is enhancing my sweating capabilities. I’d like to give up sweating.
    D. Clearing out my parents’ house. My son moved to NOLA unassisted.
    E. Congratulations!
    F. Have

    Love London, sounds like a great trip.

    Sometimes dab, sometimes spray. It depends on the season, the sillage and whatever I have available. I’m too lazy at present to transfer a dabber into a spray and vice versa. The perfuming ritual is indeed lovely.

    Am reading A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, who wrote Life After Life which was brilliant.

    Have been wearing Maria Candida Gentile’s Hanbury (sprayed from a sample) and waiting for my bottle to arrive and hoping it does not sit outside boiling when it’s delivered. Refused to wait until the weather gets cooler.

    Holly xo

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Holly – I will test the Hanbury soon. I haaaaaate decanting or transferring anything and never do it for myself. It will be my first trip to Seattle, and I can´t wait. Long time since I have been somewhere totally new. I know of Kate Atkinson, but have read nothing. Thanks for the tip. Big virtual hug, and nice to see you so often! Bussi. xxxx

  9. Azar says:

    Hi there Val,
    I have really needed a brilliant read! Thank you for your new favorites. Loved your photos too, as usual! Dab or spray? When I was younger I dabbed exclusively but now I tend to spray with abandon. I have also been spending two hours a day spraying (with abandon) my garden using the watering wand (no drip lines for me). Can’t wait to see you soon 🙂
    Azar xx

    • cookie queen says:

      As soon as I get back from London I will start to count the days. I would spray with abandon more if I didn´t spend my time in tiny kitchens or teaching kids in small classrooms. There again, a large überspritz of Onda might keep the kids quiet. xxxx

  10. empliau says:

    A wonderful post, Val. It’s like those eight-course prix fixe menus – a little of everything. And I am definitely a dabber. I am, in my heart, a little frustrated that some of my favorite fragrances come only in a spray. Especially for something very precious, I like the control that comes with dabbing. I am also a romantic, and love the Downton Abbey vibe of dotting oneself with an elegant glass stopper.

    • cookie queen says:

      Dabbers unite. We are a small group. 🙂 I think all perfumes should come in a dab or spray choice That is great with Neela and Serge. No doubt others as well, but I can´t think of any offhand. xxxxx

  11. Asali says:

    Burlesque has been on my list forever (almost) too 🙂 I heard rumours it resembles attrape coeur??? I like dabbing and spraying too, feels so luxurious.
    Asali recently posted…Chez Moi- perfume around the house in picturesMy Profile

    • cookie queen says:

      Hey Asali. Té de Violetas says it is very reminiscent of the early Guerlains, of which I have very little experience. i do have a small decant of Attrape Coeur and will go and dig it out now. Burlesque is not as fruity if I remember it correctly. Which I might not. Hmmmm. xxxxx

      • Asali says:

        Do let me know you ‘final verdict’ 😉 good that I have no money right now, the buy it know tricker-finger is not to be trusted.

  12. gina tabasso says:

    I am in London, Glasgow, Dublin in August and looking for some perfume stops.

    • cookie queen says:

      Hello Gina. I am afraid I have no clue about Glasgow or dublin, but I am sure you could find out online. London wise there is so much. My favorite is Bloom perfumery, in Covent Garden and in Spitalfields. Then there are all the big department stores, Selfridges is amazing. You could pass out when you walk through an oud cloud, but worth the risk. I suggest checking London out online. There is Covent Garden too ……
      Have a brilliant time. xxxx

  13. Vanessa says:

    So many interesting nuggets of news here, and I am intrigued that you have been bowled over by a new perfume that is not from the usual stable. 🙂

    Looks like I will be in Germany while you are in London, but c’est la vie. You will have a blast, and I still have memories of last summer – and April, and the serendipitous drawer find…
    Vanessa recently posted…‘Boxing avant-garde’: a bonkers men’s focus group on the Bright Earth Parfums Eau de Earth edp packagingMy Profile

    • cookie queen says:

      Wild horses probably could not pull me out of the stable in which I belong. However, on Caro´s recommendation I got myself a sample of Burlesque. And it is really beautiful. And I want it. So …… I buy next to nothing so why not? I feel very sure we will meet up again before the year is over. xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  14. ElizabethC says:

    Hi! Longtime Seattle person here! If you want any restaurant/bakery/cocktail bar recommendations, just let me know! We have a beautiful art museum downtown and a gorgeous Asian art museum in a beautiful park setting. The museum was in the movie “Trouble in Mind” as Divine’s gangster mansion 🙂 September is usually beautiful here! A fun food website is Eater Seattle.

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Elizabeth. Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I have friends living in Seattle but if you know if a restaurant that I must visit – let me know! I am so excited to visit Seatltle. Has been on my list or years and years. xxxxx

  15. poodle says:

    Spray it like you mean it.
    Of course if I had a perfume with an elegant glass stopper to dab with perhaps I would.
    I loved this look into your life.

    • cookie queen says:

      Hi Poodle. Hahahaha! OK. When I am in London this week, I will spray like I mean it and see what happens!! I hoe I get to se you i New York. Hugs. xxxxx

  16. TinaG says:

    Huh. The blog ate my response.

    xxxxx Val,

    Burlesque has been lemming’ed for me by Tara, I have a sample in the post!

    So awesome that you guys are catching up in London! Fab! Lots of love to everyone. xx looking forward to pics & reports. 🙂

    I had been wondering about dabbing the Vero voiles, as the samples are in spray format. I had a bad experience mucking about with Serge Lutens L’Incidaire in a spray. Blew my nose out for 4 hours, horrible experience. Super Painful. But the Veros have been fine as a spray sample. I will try dabbing though & seeing how different it is. I’m currently in love with Kiki. 🙂

    xx Tina

    • cookie queen says:

      I would never dab the Voile. They are made for spraying. Vero especially did that for those who did not want to dab th Extraits. Kiki is fabulous. I used up a whole bottle (7.5 ml) of extrait and more than half a bottle of th Voile. xxxx

  17. Love this assortment of bite size stories. Giving up Red Bull and Monster is a good move. 🙂
    Dab or spray? I’m a simple soul; if it comes in a dab bottle, I dab, if it’s in a spray bottle, I spray. Having said that, if the perfume is one of those “potent” ones, I prefer to decant it into a dab bottle. When I spray, I only spray it on the back of my neck. Nowhere else.
    Thinkingmagpie recently posted…A Stroll Down Memory Lane: Puredistance WHITEMy Profile

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