Monday Question – Which Perfumes Do You Bring When Travelling?

Here comes the obligatory pre-vacation question for you:

What do you take with you on vacation?

Do you bring decants? One beloved full bottle (or seven)? Samples only?

Do you rely solely on your perfume shopping at your destination?

Do you bring a wide selection fitting every mood or do you set a theme for the entire time with a select few scents?

How does your perfume hobby influence your travels?


My Answer:

Usually I bring one bottle that I declare the bottle of the year and a few samples or small decants to provide some change when needed.

I do plan to smell and possibly buy perfume when abroad, so I know I always end up with more bottles on the way home than I leave with.

This year I will probably make either Hermès Eau de Merveilles or Acqua di Parma Acqua Nobile Iris my bottle of the year. Although Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini and Cartier Baiser Volé EdP are also still in the running. (Unfortunately Malle’s Eau de Magnolia is out since the husband – inexplicably – is not a fan.)

What do you bring (for your real or imagined vacations)?

And please help me along a bit – for which of the four perfumes above would you vote?

Which one shall be my bottle of the year 2014?


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67 Responses to Monday Question – Which Perfumes Do You Bring When Travelling?

  1. Hi there Birgit,
    It depends on the holiday but usually I take 4-10 decants that I wish to use up. Obviously I shop while I’m away so they get used in the first couple of days & then I wear my purchases interspersed with them.
    Portia xx

  2. OOOPS! Cartier Baiser Vole is my pick. Love it.
    Portia x

  3. Lynley says:

    In regard to your problem first: Rome. August. Hot. I’d probably take Oolong Infini or something else refreshing to cool me down and bring decants of evening wear fragrances. But of course if I were in Rome I’d buy something/s to be my summer in Rome perfume memories. That’s what I do. If I go somewhere where I can’t buy anything I bring for weather and holiday ‘mood’, like tropical in Bali etc. Turkey I brought decants of Ninfeo Mio for the fig, and Roma Imperiale to go with the Roman ruins, and a few others for variation but these I wore most.

  4. Ines says:

    I bring a bottle (or two) and the rest are decants. Around 5-6 of them.
    If I take samples, it’s because I plan on trying them and possibly writing about them.

  5. Marjo says:

    Usually I bring 4-6 decants when travelling. And yes I do like to buy some perfume when abroad, and Rome is the perfect place to do so!! Ti bring along, i’d go for the Oolong Infini, I guess.
    We are visiting London in the near future. Any tips with regard to the acquisities of perfume there? My husband already starts crying:).

  6. Alice says:

    I’ve been taking my Mistral Patchouli, not least because I love the little travel bottle.
    From you list I’d pick the Oolong Infini – the Alteliers are great for spraying generously (I’m a really timid spritzer with most perfumes), which is fun to do on holiday, and as Lynley says this one would be really refreshing.
    Marjo, I think Les Senteurs has the best selection, also the tiny Patricia de Nicolai shop is great.

  7. andrewsmells says:

    This holiday just gone I took a main 5ml decant (Fahrenheit 32) and a sample (Bal D’Afrique).
    It’s an opportunity for me to focus on one fragrance rather than rotating every day.

    I realised the different climate significantly affects what kind of perfume I want to wear and I ended up spraying Declaration Essence in a shop and ordering it when I returned home. I love me some spices in summer.

    Sorry I cannot comment on the four you have chosen because I have not tried them!


  8. Asali says:

    I only ever bring decants when travelling, quite a few though, at least 5, but depending on how long I’m away for this number increases proportionally 😉
    I’d vote for acqua di Parma, just because when I go to Italy, I always find myself craving an Italian style perfume.

  9. Sandra says:

    Hi Birgit. For me it also depends on the vacation. I tend to travel with samples or decants as I can’t be bothered with flying with a bottle. I am with Asali with voting for the Aqua di Parma. When in Italy… 😉

  10. farouche says:

    I like to bring a few Travelos (since they are unbreakable) filled with some of my favorites. Plus, it saves space for bringing home perfume goodies 🙂

    My vote is also for the Iris Nobile. Do you have the EDT or EDP?

  11. Hi, I bring one bottle (last time it was D&G La Lune) and 5-6 samples with me. I would vote for Hermès Eau de Merveilles.

  12. On my next trip I will take a Travalo with my favourite Tom Ford Neroli Portofino and the new Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Globetrotter, filled with my Oud Cahshmere ( I have a post on how to travel smart with your perfumes ) then I will go and buy a perfume to always remember me of the place I have visited. 🙂 xx

  13. Figuier says:

    I like the sound of everything on your shortlist of perfumes – but would go for Oolong Infini given the heat you’re likely to encounter with the attendant need for refreshment.

    I’m off on holiday first things tomorrow also, and as I’m taking hand luggage only will have to limit myself. No idea what the weather will be like, so I’m aiming for a good mix of genres. Candidates at the moment are a decant of Eau de Narcisse Bleu plus samples of AP The pour un ete, Chanel No 18, PG Cuir d’Iris and Le Labo Lys.

    I hope you & your family have a wonderful, inspiring trip, & look forward to hearing about it on the blog on your return 🙂

  14. Vanessa says:

    Another person who travels with 5-10 samples or decants. I do also like to finish the odd one while away, as Portia mentioned. And I try to resist buying anything while I am away. 😉 I am not familiar with the new Acqua di Parma, so of your list I would go with Oolong Infini. Shame the husband doesn’t care for Eau de Magnolia – can it really be that his nose is anosmic to the bacon note…?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for beinging up the bacon note, Vanessa! (Much more believable if it comes from an outside source! 😉 )
      It seems Oolang Infini is winning today’s vote…

  15. Anka says:

    When travelling I always take a little tin can (once filled with ginger candies) where there’s room for 5 bigger and 2 smaller samples.
    From your options I like Eau des Merveilles best and think it would be quite comfortable for a summer in Florence.
    Interesting that your husband doesn’t like Eau de Magnolia, I thought I am the only one not fond of it – maybe it’s because the bacon note is too synthetic, hahaha and hello to Vanessa.

  16. Tatiana says:

    I only bring decants or samples when I’m traveling. Usually a selection of 3 to 7 scents that fit the weather or mood where we are traveling. Anything more than that and I wouldn’t have room in my zip top plastic bag for toothpaste and skincare in my carry-on. I rarely get a chance to shop for perfume or anything else for that matter when on vacation. I am married to a minimalist who hates to spend $$ on stuff. Although, when we went to Paris two years ago, I made a plan and managed to squeeze in two half days of shopping with my daughter. I had the excuse that we were searching for her bonus reward for doing so well in her first year of university.
    I love Eau des Merveilles. Baiser Vole is just not my cup of tea. I’ve only tried FM Magnolia once and the lemony opening lingered far too long on my skin.

  17. Cybele says:

    I am taking By Kilian Love, Stella McCartney Lily and Osmanthe Yunnan. I would love to take a sample of Carnal Flower if I had one.

  18. Undina says:

    Oolang Infinity would be my choice for you for this vacation as well: in addition to being a good summer scent, you just need to justify buying that big bottle recently by making a significant dent in it ; -) And you can share it with The Husband.

    When I travel anywhere but Hawaii I bring with me decants of perfumes I think will be suitable for the weather and occasion. The count is: at least 1 per day. Plus something that I can discreetly dab on during an airplane trip.
    With trips to Hawaii I always bring with me a bottle of Bronze Goddess and a travel bottle of Tiare. And a lot of “tropical” perfumes decants.

    I almost never bring samples with me on a vacation because I do not want to “work” while I’m resting and I plan to try whatever I can get at the destination. But I rarely buy perfumes while I’m traveling because it takes me longer to decide if I want it or not than I have during the trip. Unless I plan on buying something specific because I know it’s available where I go.

  19. Eva S says:

    I usually bring one bottle and a number of samples but this year I brought three 15 ml Hermenessence bottles and a decant of Mohur and only a few samples.
    Iris Nobile is a favorite I often bring with me when I travel!

  20. cookie queen says:

    I am not surprised hubbie doens’t like Eau de Magnolia. He doesn’t like Thérèse, right? Mine likes, really likes, both. Hmmmmmmm!! I take decants and a Vero. Always a Vero. Have a brilliant time. xxxx

  21. happyface313 says:

    🙂 I take either the 15ml Hermès bottles or samples I can throw away when they’re empty 🙂

  22. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I travel with decanst. Always.
    I vote for the Hermes.

  23. nemo says:

    I guess it depends on where you visit, as well? My latest trip was to South Korea in the summertime, and I think the hardest part was figuring out something I could take with me that wouldn’t be horribly offensive to everyone else around me. I thought I had heard that many Asian countries are not as perfume-friendly or knowledgable (though I am still not sure about that)? I ended up packing a decant of La Dame aux Camelias, which doesn’t have huge sillage or anything else super funky but is very lovely and summery nonetheless 🙂

  24. Cotton Red says:

    I’d vote for you finding a new fragrance at your travel destination, B., as an olfactive memento; that said, I’m also quite fond of Eau des Merveilles (quite discreet & blends seamlessly with skin IMHO for traveling, not to mention easy compliments left & right). I personally like to bring along at several travel atomizers- much easier than packing pairs of shoes!- and my current rotations incl. TF Amber Absolute (or its fraternal twin Sahara Noir; both in very tiny doses to avoid assaulting others’ senses esp. amber-phobic folks), Flor Y Canto (when in festive mood), and Agarwoud by Heeley (the loveliest rose-oud I’ve ever smelled- it makes me so joyful to catch sniff of it on my pillow waking up the next day).

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are quite right, a new “Florence” bottle is the way to go! 🙂

      I’m glad you found a perfume that makes you so happy. We all should have something like that.

  25. Vanie says:

    I too, as some commented before, like to create an olfactive memory when I travel. I usually just take one main bottle/decant and maybe a couple of samples if I’ll be going out in the evenings. I prefer to bring the perfume in my hand luggage (just in case my checked in one get lost, god forbid!), so I opt for smaller sizes. And I usually pick something that I find fitting with the destination, so that I can recall my trip on subsequent wears: e.g. Coconut body products + B&BW Coconut lime breeze (cheap, and in a plastic bottle!) in the Carribean, Jo Malone’s Earl Grey & Cucumber in London, etc.
    I’ve never shopped for perfume abroad yet, just because, although I love the idea of perfume as a souvenir, I always felt overwhelmed by all the things to sniff and I’m afraid to regret it if I buy something after having smelled it only once. But next time, I’ll arrive more prepared! 😉

    The only one I have tried in your four choices is EdM, which I looooooove! So my votes goes there.

  26. My dear Birgit, I usually bring two or three samples with me (last time they were Chanel Nro.5 and Tom Ford Café Rose). It is my custom to buy one bottle at my destination, which will forever remind me of my holidays. Last month I purchased Mona di Orio Vanille in Lisboa.



  27. florence raab says:

    Dear Birgit, how lucky you are to go to Florence, what a gorgeous city. I vote for Eau des Merveilles. I always travel with decants. This year, Vanille by Mona will be with me of course but L’oiseau de nuit by Parfumerie Générale, and Figue Amère by Miller Harris for the day. maybe, a few drops of Jubilation 25 for the nights (because I can’t wear it in Corse and Alps.
    Maybe Mûre and Musc Extrême but it is the olfactive memory of my trip in NYC and I don’t want to mix the memories 🙂
    I love Eau des Merveilles, but made a blind buy with your dear Ambre des Merveilles, and I just can’t wear it, I can smell nothing, so disappointed :-((((

  28. anitathepianist says:

    Dear Birgit, now that I am a senior citizen, traveling can seem somewhat disorienting, so I need fragrances that help me feel grounded. Vol de Nuit is usually it for me when traveling, even the new version that is not as rich as the former one. Eau de Merveilles is my favorite of the ones you mention, and it would slip into the suitcase as well.

    • Olfactoria says:

      A very good idea to use a beloved perfume as an anchor of sorts, Anita.

      I need to count again, but I think Eau de Merveilles got the most reader votes in the end and will make the trip. 🙂

  29. I will throw my vote in with the others! If heading to Italy, I think the citrus in Eau de Merveilles would be perfect!

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