Mahora Decant Giveaway Winner!

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My Guerlain Family + Mahora Decant Giveaway

I’ve been too tired/busy to post in the past few months. It’s different being a working adult as compared to a student! But that doesn’t mean I have fallen out of love with my perfumes, which I wear almost daily. I’ve recently built a cabinet to house some of my fragrances, because my collection was getting somewhat out of hand and was spilling out of whatever drawers I have in my room. 

Anyway, as a treat for being so patient with me, here’s a photo of my Guerlain family. If you can identify at least 15 of the bottles in the picture, I’ll send you a 10ml decant of Mahora, which is a sunny coconut white floral bombshell. This is open internationally, but I won’t be responsible if the postal authorities do horrible stuff to the parcel. Draw closes on 9 August, so get guessing! 🙂

Love, The Smelly Vagabond


Paco Rabanne 1 Million Advertisement (and thoughts)

If Paco Rabanne had the budget to hire Sean O’Pry to snap his fingers while smoldering and smiling cheekily at the camera in this obvious attempt to rejuvenate their cash cow, why didn’t they put more money and effort into the fragrance itself? And also, have they decided that the rugged, hyper-masculine and tattoed male of Invictus is out of fashion, while the coutured metrosexual man is back in fashion?

Paco Rabanne 1 Million has been around since 2008 and is one of those generic “let me slap you in your face with my douchebaggery” kind of fragrances that exudes nothing but tastelessness. You’ll be able to smell it from a mile away, and if you do, RUN, or you will be rendered catatonic by the stuff that some people put in their car freshener.

~ The Smelly Vagabond

News Flash – Meet the Maker: Hiram Green at Twisted Lily



Dear all,

I’ll be attending an event hosted by the delightful Twisted Lily on Saturday, April 11th, 12-4pm, where we’ll get to meet perfumer Hiram Green of Moon Bloom fame. It would be fab if you could join me in attending this event! Details about how to register can be found here. I hope to see you there for an afternoon of lovely sniffing and chatting!

The Smelly Vagabond

LT Piver – Heliotrope Blanc

© The Smelly Vagabond

© The Smelly Vagabond

We’re experiencing heavy snowfall over in New Haven again. Just last week, university classes were cancelled and a travel ban was issued because of Blizzard Juno (I love how they give names to natural disasters – an attempt to anthromorphise nature?). I can’t think of anything better to wear than what is arguably one of my cheapest thrills of all – Heliotrope Blanc. It’s easily available on eBay and Amazon for under $20. As a matter of fact, mine cost me just $14.05, which is a real steal considering how much I love heliotrope and anything almond related.

Heliotrope Blanc is fairly linear, beginning and ending with powdery and soft heliotrope that’s as white as snow. Although the similarities with almond cannot be mistaken, Heliotrope Blanc never falls into what I like to call “almond flavoring essence” that is sometimes used in desserts, being neither sweet nor desserty-y. Instead, think baby powder and being swaddled up like a wee baby in clean white cloth.

Yale in the snow

Yale in the snow

You can read more about it on I Smell Therefore I Am.

Heliotrope fans, do check it out.

Till next time,
~ The Smelly Vagabond

Phaedon – Coton Egyptien

It’s been averaging a scorching 28 degrees celsius here in Paris – my face and arms are red from sunburn (forgot the sunscreen, and I can’t tan; I just burn and peel) and I’m constantly craving cold water. At times like this I wish I had a fragrance with me that has a ‘cooling effect’ – this reminded me of Coton Egyptien even as I sit in my Parisian hotel room typing out other things for the blog while my travel buddy snores loudly as he sleeps soundly in bed. I’m also craving good poems, so share them with me if you’ve recently come across any!

The Smelly Vagabond



I spent days trying to write
the perfect letter for you.

I wrote and scratched out
words. I crumpled paper
until my floor started to think
it was a cotton field,
and I thought of inviting you
to come pick through it,

to see if you could find
the softness I was trying
to tell you about

but I was too afraid
your fingers would wear raw
on the bolls, that you would grow
tired of stooping
to pick up the things I’d grown
in my head

so I put an empty envelope
in your mailbox, and wrote

Love me, please,

on the outside,

– Gabriel Gadfly

“I wrote and scratched out words”

I’ve been wondering for some time what to write about Coton Egyptien by Phaedon. Did I love Coton Egyptien? Well, yes and no.

Coton Egyptien opens with the sheerest, most delicate…

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L’Artisan Parfumeur – Caligna

I daresay L’Artisan Parfumeur have been giving me heartaches with their recent releases beginning with Caligna. The first three fragrance in the Explosions d’Emotions line were an exercise in futility (did anyone find Skin on Skin to be an iris-y copy of Traversée du Bosphore? And Déliria was just vile.), and I have yet to properly try the next three ones yet, them being available only at Harrods for now. Shame on you, Penhaligon’s for closing down the L’Artisan Parfumeur at Covent Garden, that was one of my favourite haunts, honest.

And guess what, I was talking to the folk over at Liberty London who have stopped stocking L’Artisan Parfumeur because, well, they’ve decided to go on AMAZON, of all places, and the prices on Amazon were undercutting the department stores. I’m not sure what to make of this sales strategy – first Sephora, now Amazon? I’m not a niche snob, and I’m happy if their fragrances (the good ones anyway) were distributed more widely since it would mean that more people would enjoy them, but I just can’t see them going full-scale mainstream. Please please please please please do not spam the releases, but rather take the time to craft something that will move the hearts of your fans, just as you moved mine with Séville à l’Aube, Timbuktu, Drôle de Rose, Dzongkha, L’Eau du Navigateur, Traversée du Bosphore and so many of your older beauties.

Yours sincerely,
The Smelly Vagabond

The Smelly Vagabond

I bemoan L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s decision to move away from the beautiful, hand-drawn, travel-inspired sketches they’ve been using in the advertising for their previous scents. I get that they want to ‘move in a different direction’. There were so many excellent directions they could have moved in. For example, advertising that’s inspired by photography (well, Olfactive Studio‘s done that already), or apocalyptic art, or comic books, or history, or fruit loops… or well, anything. Anything but what they’ve done with the advertising they used for Caligna. Evidently, the marketing team at L’Artisan Parfumeur caved in to the ‘tried-and-tested’ recipe for advertising that would translate to sales:

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Should I sell unwanted bottles on my blog? What about swaps?

© The Smelly Vagabond

© The Smelly Vagabond

Timmy the Teddy says hi! 🙂

So… I’m just going to throw the question out here: do you think it would be a good idea for me to sell my unwanted bottles on my blog? Or should I just stick to writing? Reason I’m asking is because I’ll be moving abroad in about 2 months’ time, and don’t have enough space for all my perfumes in my suitcase (yes, it’s full, I know, I know… I’m a natural hoarder), and there are still a couple more that I wish to purchase before leaving London! Whoops. I wonder if you’ve ever found yourself in such a predicament. There’s always the option of shipping, but I can’t bear the thought of perfume being transported in a hot metal container. But I’m going to leave it up to you guys to decide:

In addition, would you people be interested if I conducted, say, a monthly decant swap here on the blog? I personally think swaps are a fantastic way to try fragrances that we aren’t familiar with without having to spend extra money (cause it’s already been spent!). Some ideas I have are themed swaps, in which everyone comments a fragrance that contains a certain note (e.g. incense) that they are willing to decant and swap, and then look around to see if they can find a match! I’m not sure how that’s going to work out logistically (yet), but if enough people are interested in it I’ll try to find a way to make this possible!

Well, what do you think? Do cast your vote, and leave a comment if you’ve got more thoughts on the matter! 🙂

~ The Smelly Vagabond

Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties

It’s been just over a year since I posted this, which is one of my better works. Can you believe that I did that drawing myself? Yep, I’m not very good at it, am I? But guess what – Séville à l’Aube and Rubj are very good indeed. I’m gonna layer them again today just to remind myself of the magic they share.

Tomorrow, a review of the latest offering by Oriza L. Legrand – Muguet Fleuri, just in time for Labour Day! Have a happy holiday! 🙂

The Smelly Vagabond

Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties (Edited) © thesmellyvagabond

What do you get when L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s Séville à l’Aube meets Vero Profumo‘s Rubj EDP? You get an orange blossom diva-off, that’s what.

Now, Séville à l’Aube and Rubj are two of my favourite orange blossom-dominated fragrances, so as the judge of this extravagant perfume one-upmanship, you can count on me to be absolutely objective, right? Right. 😉 So, down to business. Who’s better, Séville à l’Aube or Rubj?

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