People In Perfumeland – Sandra Glittenberg Of Olfactoria’s Travels

Today we have Sandra, an American living in Vienna, perfume junkie, friend and all around lovely person as a guest in People in Perfumeland. Many of you may know Sandra a little bit through her guest reviews and travelogues here on the blog.

Sandra and I met in person a few years back, after she commented on my posts for a while and we quickly became good friends. Since we are both mothers of young boys, full-flegded Perfumistas and closet Hermès addicts, it is no wonder really. Thankfully our husbands and sons feel equally close, although they bonded over entirely different interests. 😉

Let’s hear from Sandra now!

Sandra and her son Sean

Sandra and her son Sean

A good day starts with…

My son’s sunny disposition and a cup of vanilla black tea.

I’d never leave the house without…
My handbag and a spritz or two or three of perfume.

I always feel good when…
The sky is crisp blue, the sun is shining brightly and the morning has just begun. It is my favorite time of the day.

My favorite thing in the world is…
Home. The laughter in my home together with the chaos that comes with having a toddler running around makes my world seem perfect.

The next thing I want to buy is…
A macro lens for my camera.

The place I always come back to is…
Paris. The city has something to offer for everyone in the family.

My personal style is…
Casual with a bit of colour in a scarf and with lipstick.

My favorite perfume…
That is next to impossible to answer. What I can say is that my favorite perfume is an excellent gourmand or tuberose. I am still looking for my holy grail of vanilla.

When I travel, I…
Pack lightly so that I can come back with some treasures. I also love getting lost in a new city and enjoy discovering hidden corners of it whilst trying to get to my destination. I seek out the parks – they are so different in each city.

To relax I need…
To listen to classical music with a cup of green tea. Sometimes I add goji berries or the peel of a clementine to the green tea.

I like to gift people with…
Perfume goes to my family. I gift others with teas, flowers (orchids in particular) and scented items for their homes.

When I have a bad day, I…
Like buying a plant or some flowers for my apartment. Plants, especially blooming plants, bring such joy and brightness when things seem gloomy. And chocolate of course.

I find my inspiration…
Through my travels. Through nature. Through architecture and art.

Something I would never want to miss…
My son’s infectious laugh.

My last mistake was…
Going down the stairs too clumsily and tearing a ligament. Oh well…

In my fridge there is always…
Fresh chopped vegetables, cheese, milk and chocolate.

On my nightstand I keep…
My iPad with all of the books on my current reading list.

The perfect weekend starts with…
Sleeping later than 0600 and breakfast together as a family.

My role model is…
St. Francis

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is…
‘Who is your favorite author?’
My answer would have to be Bryce Courtenay and Umberto Eco.


I love that I learn a lot about other cultures from Sandra, whose international upbringing is interesting and enviable. She pays tributes to her past by travelling a lot, but she has grown roots for herself and her family in Vienna.

What do you admire in your friends? Do you have any real-life perfume friends you can share your hobby/passion/addiction with?


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24 Responses to People In Perfumeland – Sandra Glittenberg Of Olfactoria’s Travels

  1. cookie queen says:

    Closet Hermès addicts? Hahahahaha!! Xxxxxxx

  2. cookie queen says:

    And yes, I do have real life perfume friends and they enrich my life. 😉

  3. Tara says:

    Lovely answers. Sandra sounds so optimistic and eager to explore and enjoy the world around her. I bet she’s great company. I hope we’ll meet soon.

    I feel very lucky to have a number of real life perfume friends and even luckier that you were the first. Perfume Lovers London has helped me meet many more which I’m grateful for. A work colleague said to me rather cynically “Are these perfume people friends or acquaintances?” and I replied “Friends”. We kept in touch regularly and talk about our lives outside perfume, that’s friendship to me. Besides I talk more regularly with the friends I’ve made through perfume than the ones I’ve met outside it. So there to the doubters!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I completely agree, Tara. Perfume people grow from aquaintances to friends very quickly.
      I’m glad you were my first perfume friend too! 🙂

      Sandra is really good company – she is optimistic and positive enough for both of us.

  4. Suzanne says:

    Sandra is a gracious and lovely lady whom I’ve enjoyed getting to know via her posts here at OT. I’ve especially enjoyed her travel posts that feature her gorgeous photos, and hope she’ll be traveling this winter and doing more of them. It’s wonderful that she found your blog and the two of you became fast friends, Birgit.

    Still waiting for her to do that Argentina post … 😉

    Okay, off to Google her favorite author, Bryce Courtenay….

  5. Amy Bella says:

    Hi Sandra- nice to meet you! Foucault’s Pendulum is one of my favorite books.

    I am lucky to have a co-worker who fell down the perfume rabbit hole with me. After using the last of her beloved and discontinued L’Occitane Neroli we found all of the decanting sites, and blogs, and the rest is history!

  6. Sandra says:

    I have been truly blessed to meet such wonderful people through Birgit! Thank you dear B for letting me be part of your blog and for introducing me to this beautiful fragrant crowd.

  7. hildegunn says:

    Hi Sandra! So nice to get to “meet” you, you sound like a wonderful,life-loving person. And your boy is so cute! But girls….how did you get through “Foucaults Pendulum”? I gave up at page 10…should I just force myself to continue? I got through “The Name of the Rose” on the 5th try. And then I loved it….have you read Ulysses as well? (sorry for writing about non-perfume related things, but am just stunned by the fact…Foucault…my..oh my)

    • Sandra says:

      Hi Hildegunn. Nice to meet you too. I would say push through it with a cup of black tea and a dictionary. If you liked The Name of the Rose you will surely enjoy this. Ulysses was also great. Let us know what you think if you get through it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I did not finish Ulysses and I’m sure I never will. 😉
      Foucault has a magic pull for me, a fabulous book and so worth it!

  8. Jordan River says:

    You two! That Hermès closet door is so wide open.

    Bryce Courtnay’s The Power of One is a book every young man or indeed every young person should read. I cannot believe how much I enjoyed it considering one of the sports involved. And then if you like his storytelling he has written many more books although I found the ones he wrote prior to his recent death were annoyingly sexual unlike his earlier books which were fascinatingly human.

    I am also a total covert to reading books on Kindle for iPad. Great for traveling, practically weightless and your whole library goes with you including your highlighted sentences etc. My holy grail of vanilla is Vaniglia Del Madagascar from the Italian house Farmacia SS. Annunziata. Sandra, I am sure your ‘one vanilla’ has not been made yet so I suggest an appointment with Roja Dove.

  9. Sandra says:

    The Power of One is such a thought provoking book as were many of his earlier works. I love existentialist works.

    Yes, yes, when I win the lottery I shall take into careful consideration who should create my bespoke vanilla! Roja Dove would be a wonderful choice. I brought Vaniglia del Madagascar from Farmacia SS Annunziata on my trip – beautifully comforting which is what I need right now.

  10. Ines says:

    It’s lovely to see Sandra featured on your blog. 🙂 I’m so happy I got to meet her as well, it is really interesting hearing her talk about anything, she seems to have led 5 lives so far (when I compare it to my life).

    I now have real-life friends here to share my perfume love with and I am grateful for it. My family is supportive and enjoys smelling perfumes occasionally but that’s it. You cannot have a meaningful dialogue with them (on the subject of perfume) which is why it’s great having people around who can jump in. And share their own perfumes with me.
    I think Zagreb is actually full of closet perfumistas. 😉

  11. Vanessa says:

    Was interested to hear more about Sandra and to learn in particular that she is a vanilla lover. That HGVS quest is ongoing! I can recommend Diptyque Eau Duelle and Creed’s Sublime Vanille, though I am not sure which is your preferred style.

    I so agree about parks being different in every city and tend to make a beeline for them myself, most recently in Barcelona. I expect you like the Jardins du Luxembourg, then…I am a sucker for a water feature and statues in grottos.

    No wonder you and B get on so famously – sleep deprived Hermes junkies – it all figures.

    Any real life perfume friends? I’d say I have a few…;-)

  12. Lavanya says:

    Sandra sounds lovely! It was great to hear more about her and from her. I’m off to google Bryce Courtenay too!

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