Portia’s Designer Days & Nights – Mini-Reviews

Hi Hi Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the newest niche and the most exquisite and expensive frags that we forget about the old faithfuls, the spritz and forget, the easy-wear casuals. About 60% of the time when I put on a fragrance I don’t need to smell challenging or outrageous, what I really want to smell is good. Good for me and good for others in my vicinity. When I’m not wearing fragrance selfishly or for review purposes it’s often for work, which as you can imagine in my line of work is pretty laid back as to what I could wear if I chose, rarely do I go all freaky though.

So today I thought I would tell you a few of my go-to easy wear spritzes, but what I really want is your input. Some new inspiration that I might to go grab for my casual, easy wear, designer self. I am sticking to designers only, so fashion and jewellery designers for choice because they’re the easiest and most obvious but if you know an architect, civic planner or garden designer who has released a frag and I need to know about it then let it rip.

Chanel N°5 Chanel Fragrantica

Chanel No. 5

Yes, the most obvious of them all is one of my faves. It has loads of familial scent memory growing up, is one of the most copied, wears so well and smells killer on me. It would be a lie to tell you anything but “I love it.” I like it when parading as a beautiful lady but I also think Chanel No. 5 smells great when I’m in dude mode. If you have been living under a rock your whole life and never tried Chanel No. 5 on your skin then go grab a spritz at your nearest mall. You may hate it, but at least I think you should give it a whirl.

Fleur du Male Jean Paul Gaultier Fragrantica

Jean Paul Gaultier: Fleur du Male

Yes I love Le Male too but what I often spritz in both boy and lady mode is Fleur du Male, it’s pretty, fun and light. I can go spritz crazy and it doesn’t ever feel too big, like it’s older sibling. Another great thing about Fleur du Male is that you can currently buy it at the discounters for a SONG! Caraway, it will always remind me of eating goulash in Hungary with Jin (who has now taught himself to make it here at home. OMG! The man is so good). Add some lovely orange blossom and very little else, gorgeous.

Chaos Donna Karan Fragrantica

Donna Karan: Chaos

This deep woods and spice dream is so badly named, though I do love the name in itself. Warm, herbaceous, and BarBQed wood that is totally cool. To be honest I think it leans a little masculine, which is wonderful. The girls should have some souped up wood powerhouses too. I can wear Chaos in both modes and it fits both sides of my persona beautifully. If you are a woman, be prepared for your paramours to expect you to growl.

Le Parfum Elie Saab Fragrantica

Elie Saab: Le Parfum

This is the original one he brought out. I grew to love it on a friend and couldn’t help but own some myself. This is also the best accepted gift buy all recipients, everyone I’ve given it to has fallen instantly and irrevocably in love with it and I often smell them wearing it. Great fragrance, nowadays at an excellent price point on the discounters too. Francis Kurkdjian can do with white flowers, honey and patchouli what no one else ever has, beautiful.

Boucheron pour Femme Boucheron Fragrantica

Boucheron Pour Femme

Sold as a symbol of ultra luxury back in 1989 Boucheron had us all at hello with this incredible fragrance. Big and bold and effortless, Boucheron will walk a few steps ahead of you and fill the room once you get there. Totally inspired by the jewellery of Parisian goldsmiths from Place Vendome, it sparkles and thrums while you wear it and it’s a compliment getter almost every time. Even the current reformulation is quite nice though thinner than the original and more modern.

So what designer do you wear? Do you have a favourite that they have created? Which ones have I missed?
See you soon,

Portia xx

All Photos Stolen from Fragrantica
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27 Responses to Portia’s Designer Days & Nights – Mini-Reviews

  1. Tatiana says:

    Unless No.5 smells completely different on skin than on a blotter, I don’t like it. It’s the aldehydes. Haven’t seen or smelled a bottle of Boucheron in ages. That was a good one. I split a bottle of Ellie Saab with my daughter. Chanels I do like; No.19 in all it’s green goodness, Coco, yes even the modern version and Cristalle, both the EdP and EdT. Does Hermes count as designer or niche? 24 Faubourg, Eau des Merveilles and its flanker L’Ambre des Merveilles. I could go on…

  2. Tara says:

    I LOVE this post, Portia. Such a great idea. I really enjoyed reading about your spritz-and-go frags and what mode you wear them in.

    I don’t own many mainstream designer perfumes so I’m not much help, I’m afraid. I do love Hermes Eau de Mandarine Ambree and from the cheaper end of the market I have Dita Von Teese and Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum (not designer, I know). Hmmm…all summer scents!

    I really liked Diorling when I tried it the other week – like a leather version of Chanel No. 5. Wish they did samples. Could be a good one for you to try.

    Hope you get some new options to add to your To Sniff list today.

  3. annemariec says:

    Thanks so much Portia, this post is completely for me because I can’t afford much niche except in tiny quantities. This doesn’t bother me too much these days; I’ve smelled plenty of niche that I consider only average in quality. So I’m constantly on the lookout for affordable gems. I agree completely with Elie Saab. It’s SO lovable. Other favourites include:
    - Givenchy Ysatis, vintage if you can get it but the current stuff is okay too, as far as I’m concerned
    - ditto Clinique Calyx
    - Rochas Femme (I love the current formulation)
    - VC&A First ( I keep this exclusively for the rare occasions I dine out for a special meal)
    - NR for Her
    - Dior Dune
    - a lot of older Estee Lauders; I’m not so keen on Sensuous and Modern Muse and that rainbow-coloured thing
    - Bottega Veneta, the original release (although it reads a bit sweet on me)
    - Piguet’s Baghari (LOVE!) and Calypso (I can’t really do the great classics, Bandit and Fracas)
    - just about anything from Hermes although I tend to thing the Hermessences are overpriced (sorry Birgit!)

    And I could go on …

    • annemariec says:

      Oh, and Prada ! His could I forget. Candy is my fave, the first one.

      • Hi there AnnaMarieC,
        Jin wears Bottega Veneta as his signature, love it. Also I have a Parfum de Toilette of DUNE, fabulous! Narciso Rodriguez is magic.
        Givenchy? I think Ysatis and Organza are fab, Gentlemen was great too.
        Thanks for throwing your ideas in, the Piguets you mention I have Calypso, Fracas and Bandit. I really like the house, I also have Futur and Bois Noir. Though not designer, good stuff at a terrific price on the discounters.
        Portia xx

  4. I would add L’Ambre des Merveilles. It’s a heavenly scent I reach for when I want something that will be “appropriate” in any setting.

  5. spe says:

    The new Calyx, Esprit d’Oscar, Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, Cristalle EDT Hanae Mori butterfly, most of the recent Cartier’s for women, Caleche.

    • Hi there Spe,
      I keep reading about the new Calyx. It must be time for me to spend some time with it. I will trot down to the Department Store this weekend. If I’m not completely overwhelmed and forget I will give Calyx a go.
      Which one do you reach for most often?
      Portia xx

  6. Katherine says:

    I LOVE Chanel no 5 in all it’s forms. It’s great to wear to work for me.

  7. Kandice says:

    Portia…loved your mini reviews :-). I haven’t tried Elie Saab but after your review I definitely want to try it. One of my favorites right now is Frederic Malle’s Eau de Magnolia. I think you could spritz this with abandon without offending anyone and smell absolutely lovely :-)

  8. Undina says:

    I don’t do too many designers frags, but among those that I wear (not including private lines) are Chanel No 19 and Coco; Dior Diorella and Diorissimo; Bottega Veneta, Bvlgari Black, Vera Vang and Hermes Hiris and Un Jardin sur le Nil. I used to wear Cacharel Noa fleur, Carolina Herrera Carolina, DKNY Woman and Escada Magnetism.

    • Hi there Undina,
      So glad to see you here. YAY!
      That’s a pretty lovely collection of designers. I have not tried Carolina but I have some Vintage Caroline Herrera original that I adore. Did you ever try it? BIG!
      Portia xx

  9. Olivia says:

    I too am a diehard Cristalle fan. My mom has worn it since it launched and it remains a favorite. I love to wear Vetiver Extraordinaire but since we’re sticking to designers Terre de Hermes in any form (parfum, edt, or the new eau fraiche) are all a worthy substitute. When I know I have to be around a wide variety of people I tend to stick to fresh slightly green things and vetiver does that for me in spades. I’m also a makeup artist and no one seems to complain :)

    • Hi there Olivia,
      Terre de Hermes is an all time favourite of mine. Yes, I have the EdT and Parfum, yet to have a go at the fraiche. Did you ever try the L’Artisan Coeur de Vetiver Sacre? I really like it too, a smoky vetiver.
      Portia xx

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Bottega Veneta eau legere, Frederic Malle’s L’EAU D’HIVER by Jean-Claude Ellena [i bought a 2 ml sample on eBay], Issey Miyake’s L’EAU D’ISSEY soothing night fragrance [unisex?] (light blue spray bottle), Diptyque OFRESIA (freesia) EDT, j’adore EDP by Dior, narciso rodriguez for her EDP, Prada infusion d’iris, Prada L’EAU AMBREE, Jour d’Hermes, Frederic Malle’s LIPSTICK ROSE by Ralf Sghwieger…oops! not all designer fragrances; Diptyque specializes in candles.

    • Elizabeth,
      J’adore! Love it. Every time I spritz I feel like Charlize. What a lovely frag, so totally wearable at all times. And I have a Diptyque candle here somewhere…….
      I need to root it out.
      Portia xx

  11. Elizabeth says:

    typo error: s/b = should be Schwieger [a young chemist]

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