New Sniffs + Thunked: 31.1.2019




Hey Hey Perfume Junkies,

OK I’m adding a THUNKED section here too. It’s becoming an APJ obsession and I love the idea of us using our fragrances and hoiking the vial, decant or bottle. Thunk is the sound of an empty hitting the bin so you must empty it for the thunk to count.

Anything worthy of comment, either good or bad, that’s passed under my nose through the week will get a short write up. If I think something is terrible, shamefully lazy, greedy or stupid and you should know about it, it will be said. As always YMMV.

I’d love it if you get involved: agree, respectfully disagree, have any thought-out opinion and want to share, do so in the comments below. The point is starting a conversation.

New Sniffs + Thunked: 31.1.2019

Anna Maria came over for a sniff and we had a ball.

New Sniffs:

Dark Lord by by Kilian

By Kilian has hit the pepper, booze, leather and patchouli hard. Dark Lord becomes more than the parts that created it. While the notes are present they are so beautifully blended that picking them becomes nigh impossible. Johnny says it smells like hospital corridors. He’s disturbingly close. Dark lord opens spectacularly and fades to moderate date night wear in about 20 minutes.

Tonka 25 by Le Labo

Cedar opens sharp and freshly hewn. Pretty soon the vanilla and tonka take over. Surprisingly simple on my skin. I don’t want to say boring but my mind keeps saying it. YAWN.

Baikal Gris by Areej la Dore

Dirt after rain, freshly mown gras, humus, broken stems and a dank greenness. It fully disappeared on Anna Maria in less than 5 minutes but for me we have a stinking great green fragrance. So dark and chyre-ish. Both dry and green, amazing. I really want some more.

Dancing Roses by Viktor & Rolf

Seriously, who names this shit?
Dancing Roses, I can see ’em dancing. HA! Well, sour cherry and litchi while not really smelling like themselves do smell bright and fruity, Anna Maria says FIZZY, and I think the pink pepper is adding a zing. Boozy and sheer, I can see the gorgeous young things spritzing like crazy.

She Came To Stay by Timothy Han

I think people are raving about this. Why?
The bottles nice.


Reve d’Ossian by Oriza Legrande

INCENSE! So wonderful in this heat. Yep, I sprayed the whole vial on me. While not being terribly overpowering it is thick and rich like walking into a Catholic church during on of the festivals.

In The Woods by Cult of Scent

The simple joyfulness of neroli is given depth and heft by woods and deep, smoky resins. Opens all cologne then takes a dark yet airy turn for the interesting. Jocelyn has taken an old trope to the next level.

Hamdani by Parfums de Marley

Meaty leather full of resinous animals. Not so polite. The whole vial smells wonderful. If I wasn’t already full up with animals and leathers this would definitely be on the Wish List. It may even score a gong at some point.

Feminite du Bois by Serge Lutens

Thunked an OLD sample of this. It seems so much plummier than my older bottle. Most enjoyable and perfect to drive off to sleep with.

Have you tried any of these? How did they work for you?
Portia xx

59 thoughts on “New Sniffs + Thunked: 31.1.2019

  1. Haven’t tried any of the new ones you tried. She Came to Stay is an interesting name. Really like Reve d’Ossain …in the heat it read like Chowards Violet Candies in the cold it was incense. Sent what little I had left of my sample to a good friend who was dying to try it.

    Thunked a small 1oz bottle of eau de Cartier by bringing it to work and leaving it in the bathroom. I sprayed lavishly every time I was done in the loo and others obviously did the same because it’s done now. thunked via confiscation my very large decant of 31 Rue Cambon EDT….the youngest marzipan is rocking it! he wore it yesterday to school and it smelled soooo goood on him! I will have to steal a few spritzes from time to time.


  2. Hey Portia,
    Kilian’s perfume names crack me up these days. They often sound like things a teenage boy would come up with. When I went to an event, he said that coming up with the name was his favourite part of the whole process.
    Yeah, I thought Tonka 25 was perfectly pleasant and pretty dull.


    • Hi there Tara,
      It would be much more amusing if by Kilian weren’t charging like wounded bulls. At this price the joke is lost on me.
      There are so many excellent tonka fragrances that the Le Labo pales in comparison. It’s a bummer. I had high hopes.
      Portia x


    • Dark Lord, Black Phantom…it all conjures up the same picture in my mind and I just can’t tell them apart. So I don’t bother at all…


  3. Nothing new, and no empties here this week.

    I do love Reve d’Ossian. After using up two samples, this was the bottle I bought when I went to their shop in Paris last year. I was madly indulgent and spritzed a little on the covers when I last changed the bed linen. I can still smell it four days later and it’s still glorious.

    Very nearly wore FdB today. It doesn’t get enough wear, and it’s drifted to the very back of the shelf so it gets ignored even more. Oops. It’s one I have to remember to be *very* sparing with when I do wear it: three spritzes means I can taste it rather than smell it.

    Seconding Tara on the teenage boy thing with Kilian’s names. Just cringe-inducing. And yep, the Tonka 25 was a big snooze fest.


  4. Baikal Gris is so interesting, I don’t much like the hay of the first spray but it settles down to deep and green. Nice.
    She Came to Stay is a book by Simone de Beauvoir about a menage a trois, is there a link to the perfume??
    Nothing thunking much here, am working on my bottles!


    • Hi there JackieB,
      I could seriously go a bottle of Baikal Gris. Not least because Jin and I are going to Lake Baikal later this year.
      Yes, I think She Came to Stay is a linked fragrance to book thing. I must be missing what’s good in this because a few people whose noses I admire really like it.
      Good on you, the bottle thunks are the BIG DEALS!
      Portia xx


    • If I am remembering correctly the Timothy Han perfumes all have literary reference titles. L’Invitee/She Came to Stay is a wonderfully nutso book and the perfume I, like Portia, thought was just boring.


  5. I thunked my Irisistible sample, and had my first spritz out of the bottle this morning. It has snowed here, and it is beautiful outside. I am very thankful there is no polar vortex or Australian heatwave here!


  6. Polar Vortex here aka a few cold winter days. Back door was frozen shut this morning.

    I’ve tried Baikal Gris and on me, it lasted only a few minutes and now I can’t even remember what it smelled like. I know that whole line uses top notch ingredients, sourced by the mysterious Russian Rudy (or some name like that) but everything from there smells head shoppy to me, not unlike the oils used to make cheap incense. You know, the kind made of plain joss sticks dipped in the oils with names like Wear Your Love Like Patchouli Heaven and Jasmine High and then sold for $5 for a handful of 12. .

    I thunked Cloon Keen’s Castana. I did not get all the interesting notes of cardamom, red pepper, burnt chestnuts, cassia flower, jasmine and vetiver. On me, it was just a mildly gourmet-ish, slightly sweet chestnut and not at all interesting. Castana’s “sister, Copacetic (ugh-how I HATE that word!), is half thunked. I gave myself a heavy spritzing after a hot shower last night and went to bed smelling like I was wearing a rather high end fragrance geared to men. Notes of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and tangerine; middle notes of neroli, tomato leaves, rhubarb and basil; and base notes of musk, patchouli and vetiver. The bitterness of the grapefruit, the basil and the vetiver were extremely prevalent and very yawn worthy. As I was lying in bed, smelling of Copacetic, I kept stopping myself from getting up and spraying something else over it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve only sniffed Dark Lord, it was ok but not my style. Overall, by Killian not amongst my fave house. I also find Le Labo boring, the somewhat single notes maybe?
    Can anyone explain pink pepper in perfume to me? (As you mentioned in Dancing Roses). Whenever I see pink pepper note, I don’t get it or smell it. What does it smell like?
    I thumbed a sample vial of Piotr Czarnecki She Shihan. Oh how I’d love a bottle! Sweet, warm spicy whiskey, plum, rose.


      • Thank you for your interpretation of pink pepper Portia, that helps. I’ve been struggling to understand what I’m supposed to be smelling. I’ll keep trying to get it. My mind keeps going to the scent of ground black pepper, and thinking that is totally wrong!


  8. I’m going to try to thunk more in February. No school yesterday or today due to extreme cold (-18 F with wind chills at the moment, and that’s warmer than yesterday). I spent a couple of hours working on my perfume shelf which had become chaotic. Lined up a bunch of samples for trying and some that are eligible for thunking. My organization system continues to evolve!


  9. I thunked a sample of Juliet has a Gun Moscow Mule. This was such a tame scent, just a bit of vodka cocktail on some woods. Contains Norlimbanol, which i don’t like and smells very dry-synthetic to me. Thank god it’s gone….
    In the 90ies i wore Shiseido Feminité du Bois, but preferred the Murasaki from Shiseido.


  10. Fem du Bois is a staple. My first entry into niche style when I was young. Took me to a new level.

    In the Woods is lovely. Jocelyn adds a bit of sparkle into her scents.

    All le labo scents tend to not raise my interest. I think they come across as late 2000s hipster. Passé perhaps?


    • Agreed on Le Labo… with the exception of Vetiver 46, which appealed enough to make me part with the cash for the smallest bottle. It’s a really good companion piece to CDG 2 Man. The Mousse de Chene was lovely, I thought, but the “city exclusives” thing annoyed me almost as much as the huge price they put on them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Apparently I am not cool enough for Le Labo. Every time I approached the counter on various trips to Saks Fifth Avenue in NYC I was completely ignored by the SAs. But I will say that I did enjoy a decant of The Noir 29 that came my way…enough to thunk it!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. No thunks this week. And the only one from your week that I’m familiar with is the FdB, though that was the Shiseido version. Baikal Gris sounds strangely interesting despite your swampy feeling😉. The Kilian, hmm, I tend to lump that and T Ford into the one pile (the all fur coat and no knickers pile) I think they have a similar aesthetic. I haven’t tried anything new here, I’m strangely content with my lot at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Funny that Baikel Gris disappears on some people. I love it and had to get some after finishing – ok thunking! – a sample. I also really like Reve d’Ossian and thought the Le Labo was super boring. Retried Amouage Imitation Woman last night and wow do I hate it. Wearing Bracken Woman today because I’m away from home for work in a warmer clime than usual and I want to remember an Amouage that I love. (Although many do not.)


  13. Love Hamdani but I don’t think I’d ever use a full bottle of it. Feminite du Bois is one I need to check out, woods and stewed plum is almost always a win for me.
    I am hitting the animalics heard this week; today I’m wearing Afrika Olifant by Nishane, which I love. It was only a tiny sample so it was a single test thunk.
    Yesterday I finished off the last of a sample of Iris Ganache. It’s very pretty but not FB worthy for me (thank the gods).
    I also blind bought a bottle of Mona di Orio Myrrh Casati (the price was just TOO good) but I can barely smell it. Aaron was able to smell it from down the hall so I think I may be anosmic to a big part of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I thunked a sample of Cloon Keen Castana as well and was underwhelmed. Smelled nice but gone in 30 minutes. Same problem with Rêve d’Ossian. Didn’t like Tonka 25 at all. Shiseido Feminité du Bois is gorgeous, I will be sad when I run out of the vintage juice.


  15. I own a travel case of SL Feminite du bois, love it. I’m not familiar with the rest of the perfumes you’ve mentioned. Baikal Gris sounds interesting.

    No new sniffs this week but I’ve sorta thunked a few: thinked Floris 1976 (courtesy of Portia), sent samples of Noir Anthracite and Mefisto (had no love for either one of these) to a fellow scent buddy and a whole bunch of those (including a miniature of Youth Dew Amber Nude) to a new Muscovite perfume friend.


  16. Finished off the bottle of Chinatown Body Silk, which was much gently scented than the body cream. Might take a bit of a break before starting in on the Bulgari black tea body lotion.


  17. I’m only familiar with Fdb, of course and as Fazal said, I never want to be without it.
    I thunked the samples I took with me on my trip: Memo Italian Leather -very interesting tomato perfume, Memo French Leather – a nice rose with lime and juniper and Memo Lalibela – another rose with coconut, jasmine…something was not right here to my nose and I gave it in the end to the room maid. I’ll soon forget all of them, I guess.


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