Lavender: Three Lavenders To Relax With


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi all

A member of an Australian perfume group on Facebook recently posted this remark:
“I just had a little stress out so I bought myself a perfume. Has this helped you before? My cupboard is full of fragrances.”

So you can imagine the answers. Yes, yes, yes – from many people, including me. (“Better for your health than alcohol or chocolate.”)
We buy perfume to de-stress, and as a little act of self-nurturing to bring beauty into what can feel like a cold, unfeeling world. You know this; I don’t have to labour the point. One member did admit: “I stress out on what to buy and wear so it’s a vicious but good circle.” I can identify with that too. I find owning too much stuff is stressful in itself.

I’m not going to rake over the issues of addiction and obsession today, though. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts about what perfumes, or notes, you actually find relaxing. What helps you ride through the stress and anxiety of any given day? I’ll start.

Lavender: Three Lavenders To Relax With

Lavender is widely thought of as calming. Agree? For me it’s a maybe. If it’s very pungent I find lavender distracting and unpleasant.

Boy Chanel Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Lavender, rose, lemon, grapefruit, rose geranium, orange blossom, sandalwood, heliotrope, vanilla, musk

CHANEL Boy is an exception; there it is too refined to be offensive, and interestingly a lot of lavender sceptics seem to be making allowances for Boy.

Gris Clair Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Iris, tonka bean, amber, lavender, woodsy notes, incense

And Serge Lutens’ Gris Clair, now. This! A modern classic in the lavender genre. I don’t find Gris Clair cold or ashy, as some people do. One sniff and I lift my mental gaze from daily troubles and look into the middle distance to a calmer place. Lavender-scented clean cotton drying in the sun. Grey early light over green hills, the promise of a lazy summer day. I think I do generally associate lavender with sunshine; or at least, I like lavenders that bring out this quality.

serendipty_soap LUSH CosmeticaLUSH Cosmetics

There must be countless lavender bath and body products but I’ll mention just one: Lush Serendipity Soap. Again, this is a gentle lavender, blended with chamomiles. It’s more restrained than your average Lush product but I notice that the scent does linger in the bathroom and it’s a nice way to ease into the day.

It’s the sense of space and perspective that I value in lavender. It offers thoughts of things bigger than self. Beauty in simplicity. Perfumes can relax us because we just love them. They can have this effect regardless of notes and accords. If you know a perfume well and you have written your story into it, and it into yours, it will greet you like an old friend.

So over to you – what do you reach for when you when the world crowds in on you?
Until next time, relax and keep spritzing!

Eau Suave by Parfum d`Empire 2005 + Kate Bush

Hi there Music Lovers and Fumies,

Recently I posted a piece of music and told you how I love to put on the classical music and saif (spray a LOT) myself in a particularly big fragrance, close my eyes and just let myself float away on the music and fragrance together. Sometimes when the world gets too much, when I am bombarded by questions or negativity, when the next step seems unreachable or when I am completely overwhelmed by my to do list. Look at it this way: I could continue freaking out for 5 minutes or I can concentrate myself elsewhere, completely give myself to something else, and let my subconscious do its job. Quite often I find myself at the end of the piece of music 100% calmer, able to focus, aware of the next bite sized step or in touch with my gut feelings.

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire Josephine WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Last time it was Debussy: Rêverie but today I went looking for a childhood memory song. One that used to make me feel happy and sad, I used to play it repeatedly on my 3in1 and sing along in my thin childish tenor until one of the family would bang on the door and ask me to turn it down and stop that catterwauling.

Today it brings back happy memories and a smile as I completely let myself be taken away by the amazing voice of Kate Bush. What did I spritz today to listen to it?

Eau Suave by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2005

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, saffron, rose
Heart: Peach, raspberry, red berries, pepper, tea rose
Base: Vanilla, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

Spicy, sweet rose. I think the top notes of my bottle have been compromised slightly because the zingy coriander opening that I loved so well is muted nowadays. The rose is still lovely and sweet, not quite jammy but a fruity sweet and that wonderful hint of cracked pepper that some of the apricot rose flowers have when you grow them in the garden. A perfect soft focus fragrance to lose yourself in while listenbing to Kate Bush and beyond into the afternoon where it becomes a lovely soft rose and vanilla wash.

My review is for the vintage, I have not smelled the new in their very austere new bottles.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
LuckyScent have $145/100ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $4/ml

Whjat music or fragrance makes you float away?
Portia xx

Kate Bush – The Man with the Child in His Eyes – Official Music Video

Breathe: Afternoon Of A Faun: Etat Libre d’Orange

Sometimes APJ,

You can merely tread water and breathe, stand still, look around you for a moment and breathe. Three deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. It’s interesting how this small thing can put a little perspective on the world you inhabit. It gives you time to remember that no matter how bad your predicament, others are much worse off. It also gives you a moment to say thank You for something, anything, the one thing good you may be able to recall.

Tonight I am wearing

Afternoon Of A Faun by Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d’Orange 2012

The Afternoon of a Faun Etat Libre d`Orange fragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Bergamot, pepper, cinnamon, incense, immortelle, orris root, myrrh, leather, benzoin, rose, jasmine, oakmoss

I like to spritz like crazy and just sit somewhere quiet and breathe in the green peppery leather that is both warm and cool on my skin and works perfectly in winter and summer, giving almost entirely different rides in disparate temperatures.

Today it’s been a fizzy green citrus floral that burned down to a slightly sweaty leather/woods/incense feel after wearing it to work. Now I’m home and changed I enjoyed the ride so much I am doing it again.

Double spritz on chest and Breathe



Aaaaaaah. Heaven.

I have been a super bitch this week. It’s the end of a completely fabulous year and I am tired, we are all cramped in this apartment, there is still masses of unpacking undone, Christmas is upon us and to be honest, I am a cranky ole bitch. It’s been a don’t even look at me the wrong way this week because I will gut you with a look and feed your entrails to the dogs with my words. Jin came and had a quiet word to me tonight about it and he is right.

Breathe sunset danigeza PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay


verb: breathe; 3rd person present: breathes; past tense: breathed; past participle: breathed; gerund or present participle: breathing
take air into the lungs and then expel it, especially as a regular physiological process.
“she was breathing deeply”
synonyms: inhale and exhale, respire, draw breath, puff, pant, blow, gasp, wheeze

Breathe Siam Sunset Steve Jurvetson FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Chemist In A Bottle and The Non-Blonde
LuckyScent has $149/100ml
Etat Libre d’Orange has €110/100ml (Delivers to the world)
Surrender To Chance starts at $4.50/ml

What do you do when the world overwhelms you?

I could do with some hints……
Portia xxxx

I have written about Afternoon Of A Faun before and it was 22 December 2013!! How freaky is that?