Stress and Perfumes!


Post by Sandra


Hi there fellow perfume aficionados. Hope ya’ll are doing well.

We received a life changing phone call a couple of weeks ago and it is now official – we are moving from Vienna, Austria to Rotterdam, The Netherlands! Yikes! I thought I would never leave Vienna, and yet here I am planning our move which comes unfortunately during the holidays this year.

Stress is of course the norm now but so is the anticipation and excitement. I have lived a largely nomadic lifestyle until I landed in Vienna and got married. Being a global nomad brings its challenges but also its treasures. Home is everywhere. Learning a new language and culture feeds my soul. Meeting new people and making new friends adds color to my life. As I grew up living in a number of countries I find the process of moving painful but the end effect and the nesting period exhilarating. For my husband and son it will be a different experience and I have to try and make it as smooth as possible for both of them. Hence, the stress.

Stress and Perfumes!

Perfumes have always given me a sense of comfort – a cloak in which I am invisible and I can be stronger than I am currently feeling. Here are a couple of perfumes I have been frequently wearing lately.


Micallef Cuir Vanille has given me a shield with which I protect myself. I can face the day knowing that the leathery vanilla will be there to soothe my anxieties.


Guerlan Cuir Beluga is my old trusted friend whose shoulder I can lean on for support and guidance. The soft suede laced with vanilla done as only Guerlain can do.

I tend to reach for amber or vanilla in stressful situations, but the other day I encountered a stunning perfume which made me feel like I was prepared for anything that may come. I wore Hermes Le Galop and was blown away at its morphing capabilities. It started out all fruity and slightly sour then moved to a leathery suede which made me feel strong. In the evening I noticed that the gorgeous gentle rose tinged with suede. My world seemed ok.


Last but not least – Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur – deep velvet red cushions embroidered with royal purple and golden threads. I rest my head and breathe a deep sigh of relief. Home.


My husband has turned to Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan – it smells completely different on him – smooth, rich, dry amber deliciousness. He has never before been complemented by a man on his choice of perfume until the other day … .


My son, seven years old, has always enjoyed a spritz or two of Hermès Un Jardin Sur la Toit until recently when he keeps wanting a spritz of Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Mortal Skin. It must be that he is also needing an extra layer of perceived protection with all the stress.


As the moving date nears I will find it interesting which perfumes I will reach for most. Let me leave you with some of my recent pictures of Vienna which has been home for 22 years.








What perfumes do you wear when you are under a lot of pressure and stress? On another note, have any of you shopped for perfumes in The Netherlands? Any suggestions?

26 thoughts on “Stress and Perfumes!

  1. I hate that you are going through such a stressful time Sandra. I can understand the pressure of wanting to make the transition as smooth as you can for your family.

    At least perfume is providing some comfort and I love that S is indulging too. I turn to soft incense when my nerves are frayed, namely Passage d’Enfer.

    Big hug.


    • Hey Tara. Thanks for your kind words. Can you believe I have still not tried Passage d’Enfer? I really should because I love incense. I look forwars to visiting you in London next year! Yay!!! Sandra xoxo


  2. oh gosh Sandra, what a huge change this is going to be! All the very best of luck with the actual move, and all the stress and upheaval. Not envying you, but so smart of you to look for olfactory protection!
    No need to worry, in Rotterdam and the Netherlands in general you will find plenty options to go perfume shopping. The usual suspects can be found in Douglas and IciParisXL stores. For niche and specialty fumes check out Skins and Lianne Tio in Rotterdam, Celeste Parfums in Den Haag (the Hague), annindriya and The Fragrance Store in Amsterdam (also a Skins there), Mignonne in Maastricht. Then close to Rotterdam is Bruxelles (Senteurs D’Ailleurs) and Antwerp (la Maison du Parfum), and one I recently discovered in Liege (close to Maastricht): Le Boudoir de Jeanne. Happy sniffing and shopping! Cheers Wendy


    • Hi Wendy! Thanks so much for all of the great suggestions. I have noted them all and plan on having fun looking for them and seeing what they have to offer. It will be an adventure and we are getting excited. Sandra xo


  3. Hi there, Sandra!
    Sorry to hear you are under such stress and have to leave the beautiful Vienna. (Not yet been there, high on my to-go list…)
    Well, I live in Rotterdam & I love it… It will be quite a change I think, but you will not have to worry about being able to shop for perfume, as Wendy already pointed out. Another great niche shop would be Parfumaria, in Ijsselstein, which is relatively nearby and has a great online service. They carry a massive collection. 🙂
    Do feel free to ask me anything, I have been living here over thirty years.
    As for comfort scents, I love Metalys by Guerlain, Ambre Premier by Jovoy, Ambre Nuit by Dior, Rose Kandahar by Tauer and Tolu by Ormonde Jayne.
    My best wishes for you!


    • Hi Fanny! Vienna will be missed but we are so excited to explore Rotterdam and the Netherlands. I may just take you up on your offer and ask you all sorts of questions. Beautiful choices of perfumes you have there. Metalys and Ambre Nuit are soooo good. You reminded me to take out my decants. Sandra xo


  4. After 22 years! OMG this must be hard. After your introduction I thought you were moving every 3-4 years like diplomats or similar. I think it will be easier to adapt from Vienna to Rotterdam than the other way round and I wish you and your familiy luck.
    Thanks for sharing your perfume choice. I tend to wear warm and woody perfumes to comfort me, like for example Dzing or Feminite du Bois but actually vanilla based perfumes feel right.


    • Hi Neva! I moved around frequently as a child so I know that the neating period will be great. Your perfume choices are wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Sandra xo


  5. Hey Sandra,
    What an excitement! Good luck with the move. I know you’re stressed and overwhelmed but knowing you it will all be as breezy as it possibly could be. You’re excellent at organising.
    Can’t wait to see you in Rotterdam in march. YIPPEE!
    Portia xx


    • ooohhh! If you guys are going to plan some sort of fume smelling trip while in the Netherlands it would be great if you organized some sort of Sniffapalooza low country style…. I’m sure there are loads of Dutchies reading APJ who would jump at the chance of meeting y’all (ahem)…


    • Dear Portia! You brought such joy to us the other day when you told me! I have lots of exploring to do so that I can show you guys around. S already asked if he will have vacation when you come. Can’t wait! Sandra xoxo


  6. Sandra! What an opportunity! Life is always about change and it’s really good to mix it up a bit. Keeps us on our toes, and prevents stagnation. I’ve done business with Annindraya (sp?) Perfume Lounge in Amsterdam, great selection and fairly new so customer service can be challenging for them I think.

    In times of stress, I reach for my #1 which is L’Heure Bleue Extrait. Helps to focus and center me every time! Enjoy the new adventure! Xoxo


    • Hey there Robert! Change is good – just a lot of work. Thanks for the tip – I will check them out when we visit Amsterdam. I really have to smell L’Heure Bleue Extrait one day! I have been so negligent… Your words are very encouraging – thank you. Sandra xoxo


  7. I can so relate! Moving to Chile for a job right after the holidays and so much stuff to sort out including which perfumes to leave and which to take in my limited luggage. Been in a lot of Eau de Merveilles, Alahine and other amber scents too. I thought because of the colder weather, but maybe for comfort too!


    • OMG Mariann you too!!! Chile is a beautiful country with wonderful people. I wish you the best of luck. Your perfume choices are perfect for all the stress. Sandra xo


  8. Kenzo Amour is my go to comfort scent. Also, I used up a half bottle of YSL Black Opium after surgery a couple of years ago. I was mega stressed and those 2 perfumes helped me calm down and Guerlain Mon Exclusif with its wonderful lavender helped me sleep as well. I drowned myself in those 3 scents until I felt well again. I felt like I had a soft cushion between myself and the stings and arrows of fate when wearing these scents


    • Beautiful choices rickyrebarco. Surgery is so incredibly stressful on the mind, body and soul. I am sorry you had to go through that. Sandra xo


  9. I admire your fragrant selections for stress relief. Cuir Beluga and Mortal Skin are so often loved, I must try them someday.

    When I’m stressed I reach for scents with less longevity and more transparency. Vanille Galante and Eau des Merveilles come to mind. I love colognes and light fragrances all the time, but when I’m feeling out of sorts I enjoy them even more. I think part of the appeal is that the ritual of applying and re-applying a fragrance is soothing in itself. Also I don’t want a heavy scent to weigh me down and then remind me of my stress when I wear it in the future.

    Best wishes to you in your Rotterdam adventure. My great-grandmother was born in Arnhem, so I hope to visit the Netherlands someday. I visited Vienna once for just a few days, and it was my favorite city on that trip. Your beautiful photos make me want to visit again.


    • Hey there Tiffanie! Thank you for your kind words. I have never even thought of trying a lighter scent when stressed. Will do. I hope you get to visit the Netherlands soon. Sandra xo


  10. Hi Sandra – do not fret about perfume shopping in The Netherlands! I’m not sure about Rotterdam but I did a short article for Amsterdam recently: Annandriya’s Perfume Lounge is a must-visit. (Sorry I spelt the name wrong in the article).

    Exciting times! I’ve been on the move most of my life, spent my childhood moving every 2years internationally. And this year has been unsettled, I’ve been without a permanent residence for 5 months. Resettling is stressful, but it will be so worth it! And I love your family’s fragrance choices. Thanks for sharing, and best wishes.

    Tina G xx


  11. Hi Sandra, I wish you good luck on your move to The Netherlands. Didn’t realise you have been in beautiful Vienna for 22 years! It’s another adventure for your family, new city new perfume. I can imagine that vanilla and amber would give you a sense of calm and familiarity. Thinking of you dear Sandra, take care and keep posting great photos, xoxo Anna Maria


    • Thanks dear Anna Maria! It will be a great adventure – and we will have water all around us. I hope to post photos of our new home city. Sending you a big hug. Sandra xoxo


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