Saturday Question: What 5 Fragrances Can’t You Live Without?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

At APJ we have a Saturday Question. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it’s a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back regularly and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them. The aim is to generate real conversation and connection even though we are scattered around the globe.

Over 100 responses I will draw a Scent Sample Pack (from my collection)
This week:
Sample Pack

  1. Vintage Boucheron EdP
  2. Pour un Homme de Caron
  3. Arabian Wood by Tom Ford
  4. Russian Tea by Masque Milano
  5. Resina by Oliver & Co

Last Weeks Winner: Diana

eMail me at (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with your address please

Saturday Question: What 5 Fragrances Can’t You Live Without?

OK, I KNOW! Of course there are 50 you can’t live without but let’s play within the parameters of the question. Yes? Which 5 fragrances mean so much to you in a variety of ways that you’d want them in your collection for all time. Maybe they aren’t the ones that get the most wear, but when you do it’s magic. These are the fragrances that define you. Wearing them is part of who you are, or even having them might be part of who you are.

My Answer:

Eau Absolue by Mona di Orio

The sheer, smooth, crystal clear resins of Eau Absolue are like getting a cool rounded pebble of beach glass and rubbing it against your cheek. I think Eau Absolue must react very differently with peoples skin to the way it does with mine. Most people think it’s a bore but it transports me to somewhere lovely every wear.

Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations

No surprises here game. Mohair is my rose fragrance. Yes, I have dozens of others but Mohur fits like a glove. A big, voluptuous, jammy rose all spiced and resined up to 100% fabulous. When I spritz Mohur it’s like I’m entering another dimension. Sometimes when I give myself a few big spritzes I will lie down and enjoy the fragrant ride for an hour. Unbelievable.

Shalimar by Guerlain

Since my Mum and some of her friends wore Shalimar it has been sweeping its magical scent around me. While it is a regal and magnificent fragrance on its own my memories are what lifts it to the sublime. So many important moments in my own life have been fragranced with Shalimar too. It is the one perfume that works each and every time.

Ubar by Amouage

There is something wild and untamed about Ubar. It’s a big fragrance, chock full of all the stuff I like. There is even an original bottle here in my collection. Ugliest damn bottle you ever saw. I loved Ubar from the first time I sniffed it but it wasn’t until I wore it in India in the middle of summer while travelling through Rajasthan that it stepped up to eternal adoration.

Un Matin d’Orage Annick Goutal

Dewy spring flowers with myrrh and vanilla. A Stormy Morning is the name but Un Matin d’Orage is nothing like that to me. It’s the brightness of sunshine and the happiness of love. I rarely get it out but when it does get an outing I wonder why it’s not my signature.


My Saturday Question to you is:

What 5 Fragrances Can’t You Live Without?

207 thoughts on “Saturday Question: What 5 Fragrances Can’t You Live Without?

  1. Can’t answer this as yet, but Portia, I was so surprised to not see Miss Dior and Niki de Saint Phalle on your list!
    Jyotsna, you’ve already gone over the five! Very difficult for those of you with good noses and big collections to narrow down, of course. Fleurs d’Oranger is one of my favourites, too. Big, oily, rich and gutsy, and I love it in summer or winter. It gives me confidence.
    Congratulations, Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tough but interesting question (and, of course, subject to the usual caveats that my answer now may change entirely in five days or five minutes…)

    * Cuir de Russie. I love the old EDT, and I’m still eking out the bottle I bought in 2005. But the vintage extract I have is the one I’d save from the flames. It really is the cliche of the leather jacket I’ve worn so long that it feels like my skin. Only cooler, and with more stories.
    * Rozy VdP. A newer love, but another perfect fit. More thorn than rose. Always reminds me to think, and think more. And then set things on fire.
    * Mitzah. Easy comfort with a back draft of glamour.
    * Miss Dior, vintage EDT. She’s never done me wrong.
    * Aeon 001. I love vetivers, from the soapy green of Guerlain to the damp corrugated cardboard of Sycomore, but this one. Yeah. This one *sings* to me.

    (if it was a list of eight: add Encens Mythique, MEM, and L’Heure Bleue.)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is a really tough and interesting question. I think a year or two ago I would have been able to give a definitive answer. But after decades of perfume wearing, witnessing discontinuations, reformulations, over pricing and extreme over saturation in the market I am going to answer this one by saying NONE. I am trying to be of a mindset that I would not be devastated if I no longer had something that I really love perfume wise. I have been gifted so many lovely unknown fragrances by some extraordinarily generous perfume friends and I am endeavoring to just discover and enjoy the new (or unknown) fragrances that fortuitously cross my path. That being said, I still have bottles of Heaven and Nocturnes in my basement 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Hmm. I can “live” without it, but a fragrance I hope always to have, which I have had in my possession for many years, is Chanel No. 22. I’ve always had the eau de toilette, now sadly discontinued, but I was able to buy a large bottle of that at a reasonable price, so I think I’m covered! I don’t wear it every day or even every week. And I’m open to the other versions, I just haven’t tried them yet.

    Liked by 3 people

      • That’s too bad about the extrait, P! I had 1/2 oz bottle of the extrait that I thunked many years ago, partly because I dropped it in the bathroom sink by accident!


        • no…I wore the edt way back in the 70s, 80s and 90s ..had that white canister that was refillable and then the extrait in the 90s. I tried the Exclusives EDT a few years ago and it seemed different (no incense and sweeter than what I remembered)…have never tried the EDP. Which version is your favorite?


          • I had the same white refillable canister of EDT! The one I have now is the Exclusifs EDT. I have some of my vintage left, I’ll have to compare them on my wrists. Since my favorite aspects are the aldehydes and floral notes, it “reads” very similarly to me. I haven’t tried the extrait or EDP.


          • marcella- I did not dislike it and it is no 22 to my nose but just slightly different…a bit more ambery? Sweeter? i also had some vintage 22 sent to me but as you know the top notes go off after so many years so naturally did not smell the same as when in pristine condition.


  5. I’m echoing the sentiments of both Old Herbaceous and Mrs. Marzipan to the extent that current trends in perfumery have left me feeling not a little cynical. I’m referring to exactly what has already been said: discontinuations, reformulations, oversaturation and usurious pricing practises. The ad copy accompanying the innane frequency of new releases is often crammed with farcical, absurd and juvenile claptrap. Lack of creativity, particularly in the mainstream sector, combined with the burgeoning use of ever more ludicrous notes in the niche category have frequently left me feeling both manipulated and jaded.
    That being said, I will pick three perfumes that resonate with me for entirely different reasons.
    Shalimar Extrait: both for the personal memories it triggers and for being a stellar reminder of times when perfumes were made with integrity and creativity and were intended to be used with fierce loyalty.
    First Cut: for Ms. St. Clair’s bravery in starting an independently owned company in an industry dominated by wealthy multi-nationals and increasingly jaded consumers. Her fragrances are a wholly personal interpretation of her world. Her ethos is both genuine and generous. Here you will not see derivative perfumes churned out to make a quick buck. These are thoughtful fragrances created with love and care.
    Carnal Flower: Hahaha! No earth-shattering revelations here. Just a bloody gorgeous fragrance. To me, it encompasses both the stellar uniqueness of old-school fragrances and the modernity and
    audaciousness of the niche sector.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. First congratulations to Diana.
    Secondly, Portia it is hard. Specially my taste always change. It is very hard to frame it. If I have to put it then I would say-
    -Terre d’Hermeś EDT ( just because I used it almost 300ml+ of it and I am not bored with it)

    -Musiqa Oud ( Just love it. Very wearable and two spray is more than enough)

    -Heritage by Guerlain ( The first one I fall in love with. After that I tried to explore more from the house and it is one of my favorite house now. And we all know they have some mind blowing stuff)

    – Xerjoff Nio ( one of the best of the best out there for me. My most complimented scent. Every time I wear my mood elevates. Try it if you haven’t and thank me later after you get the complement/s lolll)

    -Eau Sauvage Parfum ( This one gives me confidence for some weird reason. It really goes well with my skin)

    There are plenty on my list and I haven’t touch the perfume oils. I am very keen to know what you guys think.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Fun to read everyone’s wonderful choices, and difficult question which required some thought. So many fragrances I hope to never live without! But to answer the question.
    Five fragrances I cannot live without:
    Molinard Habanita
    Chanel No 5
    Chanel Coromandel
    Chanel Bois des Iles
    Papillon Salome

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fun question and even more fun to see everyone else’s picks!

    For me, right now, I’d choose:
    5. Eau des Merveilles (reliably gorgeous for almost any occasion)
    4. Vetiver Tonka (really the same category for me as EdM
    3. Chanel 19 (my first & longest love)
    2. Mohur (when I want to feel sophisticated and sexy)
    1. Shangri La (same reasons as Mohur)

    There were a few more that I’d love to have on the list, but if there was a law that I could only have 5 perfumes or go to jail, these would do me just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. To me perfume is mostly about memories, old and new, but nothing tops my vintages from the eighties which remind me of my beautiful careless youth, so I go with:
    Armani Giorgio Armani – first boyfriend from a foreign country,
    Clinique Wrappings – first warm spring nights in the city, usually in March,
    Eau Sauvage – my dad’s favourite perfume and my bottle that I’ve kept after he passed away,
    Jil Sander III – when I thought I’d conquer the world during my twenties by appearing older than I was
    EL Private Collection – reminding me of my classy, elegant and tender mother because she used to wear it.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. Portia, thank you and please don’t include my name this week!

    Here’s my list as I see it today: Shalimar, Miss Dior, Mitsouko, Chant d’Aromes and Chanel No.5 Eau Premiere. Eau Premiere, however, could get replaced by something leathery.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There is no perfume I could not live without, but my top five right this minute are:

    PHI Rose de Kandahar
    Or du Sérail
    Bottega Veneta
    Iris Nazarena
    Dans Tes Bras

    This list changes on a daily basis though.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Iris Ganache
    Ambre Imperial
    Divin Enfant

    I have always said it is far easier to pick just one than it is to pick multiple.
    I struggled.
    Subject to change, except for IG.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Tough. Like you all, my tastes change AND very little inspires me much these days. But, for today:
    * Beige edt Chanel – pointless to argue other wise
    * Petite Brise TRNP – diffused in Singapore’s heat with glory
    * Declaration edt Cartier – superb, classy daily
    * White Linen edp Estee Lauder – the only scent I feel I can legitimately adult in
    * Jicky edp Guerlain – the ultimate comfort scent. I want to be a grandmother smelling of this. Staid, hug giving and grounded.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Loving to read everyone’s answers!

    Those perfumes on my list changed the way I felt about myself; it wasn’t just loving the juice. Each one matched something inside me that I had not appreciated before. I don’t think the list will change over time. There will be new favourites but, perhaps, not many more MEs.

    Chergui is staying at #1. I must sound like a broken record on these forums because my answer to everything is pretty much, yep, Chergui.😄

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Great question Portia. Awesome answers too from everyone.
    Today, right now I’m going say my list will be Montale Black Oud, Bond No9 Chinatown, Balenciaga Florabotanica, L’Art Al Oudh and NR For her EDT.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah, very interesting question that is also very difficult, I mean just 5 🙂 Today, my answer would be

    1. Original formula of Dior Homme
    2. Vintage Givenchy Gentleman
    3. Original formula of Helmut Lang Cuiron
    4. Shiseido Feminite Du Bois (not Lutens’ but Shiseido’s version)
    5. Original formula of Dior Eau Sauvage

    some I really wanted to include but could not so as not to violate the rule are vintage opium, vintage kouros, Gucci No.3, and Shiseido Nombre Noir,

    Liked by 2 people

  17. As soon as I saw the question, I knew Shalimar was going to be on your list Portia.

    So here is mine. Ask me again next week and it will be different.
    1. Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte
    2. Creed Green Valley Tweed
    3. Bentley for Men
    4. Tom Ford Cafe Rose
    5. There has to be one from my antique collection, and I will go with my original Jean Patou L’heure Attendue, the first serious vintage perfume that I bought. Sadly, a lot of it has been lost to evaporation, so I might not have it much longer.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I was seriously not expecting to see First Cut on so many lists. I really thought Gardener’s Glove was everyone else’s big love. Anyway, it’s firmly on my list as the first bottle in ages that I’ve almost drained in under a year.
    Also on my list: Tropic of Capricorn, Azemour les Orangers, Indolis, Ambre Russe, and about 25 more that I’m not allowed to mention.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Portia- I think you would love all three of her scents. She is a very small indie company…a one woman show and her style and philosophy reminds me a lot of Laurie Erickson’s (Sonoma Scent Studio). If you can get your hands on some samples I would love to see you review them!!!! You would definitely like First Cut with it’s hay , lavender and vanilla…..but as MikasMinion mentioned Gardner’s Glove is equally as good (it’s a leather but oh what a leather) as is Frost (smoky but also sweet to my nose). Diane is a farmer who also makes very high end artisanal butter. I am fairly certain that cookie queen knows of her butter 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    • I will agree with you , MikasMinion, Gardner’s Love is equally as stunning…that tomato leaf note floors me! However, I know it has been reformulated so I haven’t gotten my nose on the newer version. Have you?


  19. My selection is, as Neva said above, chosen for mostly emotional reasons.
    Opium, as a very young woman, playing at being all grown up and worldly-wise.
    Fidji, I remember the very first sniff of this, in my friend ‘s house, her older sister’s Parfum, and it was instant love-affair which is still ongoing forty years later.
    Magie Noire, hubby bought me my first bottle of this, chose it all by himself, I hadn’t even tested or known much about it before. It is now my suit of armour/superhero cape/getting shit done/taking no prisoners scent.
    Anais Anais, the one my mother wore almost exclusively in the last twenty years of her life. She was like a fluffy cloud wafting around in this, and she wasn’t at all a ‘wafting’ person. I have a vintage bottle that I spray into the air occasionally just to have her back momentarily.
    Coco Mademoiselle, my daughter bought my first bottle for either a Christmas or birthday present. She was still in school and working weekends and summer holidays. We had been shopping together and I had tested this and was raving about it for days afterwards. It was a very expensive purchase for her and I couldn’t quite believe it when I opened my pressie. For me it sums up her work ethic and thoughtfulness and I can still picture that day out shopping together.
    So, these are all emotional tugs and snapshots, and an olfactory time-travelling machine.
    Do you think I’m old sap?😂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Now I’m not one for breaking the rules (just bending them), so honourable mention goes to JPG Fragile. I simply must have this in my collection. Just because I love it. No specific memories or emotions tied in with this.


  21. This is a hard one, i have a large collection and haven’t been into perfume for a long time so I don’t have the long term memories that many have. But if I had to choose 5 today:

    Sonoma scent Studio Champagne des Bois
    Hiram Green Shangri La
    Jungle l’Elephant

    I suspect my list might be different in spring/summer – these are pretty heavy!


  22. 2 that I will have to live without soon because what I have is almost gone …. are Gobin Daude Seve Exquise and Guerlain Guet apens. But I would always have these if I could. the other 3 today would be Frederic Malle Angeliques sous la pluie, Guerlain Spiritueuse double vanille, and Origins ginger essence.


  23. I haven’t worn perfume for that long and so don’t have the memories to make me feel jaded or unhappy with what’s out there now. And I’ve decided not to go down the vintage route and become sad. 😢 But I also remember not *liking* a lot of what I smelled in the wild in my youth, so maybe I was made for these times! So five for which I already have backups, in no particular order and all would make me cry to be without:

    Misia EDT
    I Miss Violet
    Bois D’Ascese


      • Hi Saffyishere. Probably cool weather staples. The Mitzah from Dior is a very new adiition as I have only just recently got hold of some. It’s a transluscent amber, and totally gorgeous. I have never been an amber person, most of them being so heavy, and sometimes bitter. The other four I have been wearing for years. Kiki is an exquisite lavender, even for those who hate lavender. Doblis (discontinued) is a make you weep leather, CdA also a leather and one of my top five frags ever, and Dries is saffron, sandalwood, patchouli, bergamot, clove ….. So yeah, I guess a warm. and leathery vibe is running throughout, except the Kiki, but that has ambergris in the base so ……. xxxx


        • Just ordered some Kiki after reading your description. Portia sent me Pour Un Homme (which I have now ordered FB) in one of his fabulous PPP’s. It insited a lusting for all things lavender. Which joins the craving for all things tuberose. Quite a shift in my tastes which were primarily woody or woody pudding.


  24. This is unbelievablly difficult to narrow down favorites but here goes! In no particular order — this list is fall/winter season (cool weather scents)
    1. Ginestat Botrytis
    2. Tabu by Dana
    3. Penhaligon’s Lily & Spice
    4. Guerlain Jicky (EdT.)
    5. Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum

    1. Fracas
    2. Fidji (Guy Laroche)
    3. Moschino Funny!
    4. Ecco Bella Lemon Verbena
    5. CdG Series 4 Peppermint


  25. Very difficult question because a few perfumes are still not in my collection.
    So here goes based on FBs I own and main notes or styles I often crave:

    Acqua Allegoria Pamplelune
    Tauer Une Rose Chyprée
    Chamade edp
    Dior Ambre Nuit
    Gelsomino Nobile Eau de Parfum

    Liked by 1 person

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