Perfume Free – A Trip To The Alps

By Sandra

Giving my nose a much needed break from perfume never crossed my mind. For as long as I can remember I have worn perfume at some point in time during the day or night. The only obvious exception was when I was down and sick. That’s it.

Mountain flat view

Naturally in preparing for my most recent vacation I had it in the back of my mind to sort out my samples and decants with which I wanted to play. Well, blame it on stress or early onset dementia, time flew by and as I prepared for the trip and packed I had the intention of sorting as a last minute fun activity but never got around to it.

Saturday morning rolled around and we had to pack the car for the drive to the mountains. Great, anticipating a relaxing sunny vacation packed with adventure we climbed into the car – suitcases and bags busting out of every corner. The Norwegian had to stay behind as he was given a short deadline for a major project. This ended up being the first time in years where I was going on vacation alone with my parents and my son and I was looking forward to spending quality time with them – away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Sean on mountain

Two hours into the drive I realised that I was not scented for the day! No problem – right? When we arrived at our destination I carried all the bags and suitcases up to the flat and eagerly took out my cosmetics case fully expecting to find my samples or decants.

I forgot! Not one sample or decant! My mom was beside herself and could not stop laughing. Of all people – I forgot. Not all was lost she assured me. Mom had of course packed all of the samples and decants that I gave her. So if I needed to I could have a nice stash to chose from.

A funny thing happened though. We opened up the windows in the rented apartment and as I breathed in the fresh mountain air I forgot all about my supposed dilemna. Morning came and I still was not interested in perfume.

cable car mountain

What struck me most was that I was enjoying the smell of the fields being fertilized. Sunshine on the first day enabled us to drive higher up and to take a cablecar up the mountain. Everything smelled different and I was basking in the ‚natural’ smells that I was encountering. As I said, fertilizer, but also the grass after being warmed up by the morning sun let the morning dew steam off and it was so refreshing. Buttercups on top of the mountain did not smell, but drew me down to the ground to play with my son and I imagined them giving off a velvety honeyed aroma. Mountain water so clear and cold mesmerized all of us.

Buttercups and water

The second day of our vacation saw rain, and oh how it rained. But there is something magical about being in the mountains with fog and clouds kissing the mountains and coming down to the valley, hiding the natural dramatic beauty underneathe. Rain drenched grass and trees also have a beautiful smell.

I am such a city girl and I wish sometimes that I wasn’t. Many of you will wonder what I am rambling on about. But as a city girl this was an awakening of sorts. When ever I have been out in nature – Norway for instance – I still wore perfume. Maybe from now on I will choose to forget my perfumes at home when I go on a vacation where a lot of outdoor nature activities are called for.


I was taught a valuable lesson. I do not need to wear perfume and I certainly do not need to panic when I forget to bring some along. In fact, my nose was grateful for the two week break. Not only was I able to enjoy my vacation in a whole new level, but when I came home I was able to smell my perfumes with a fresh and relaxed nose.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? Can you relate?


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27 Responses to Perfume Free – A Trip To The Alps

  1. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Absolutely ! Sometimes I simply have the feeling of “tired nose syndrom” – I have 2-3 days break and then everything’s fine again 🙂

  2. Tara says:

    Fantastic pics, Sandra and especially the great one of Sean.

    At least your mother had a back-up stash if needed! I have a feeling it’s easier to go perfume-free if you know you can wear it if you want to. I think an active holiday in the mountain air is the perfect time to go perfume free.

    I regularly skip perfume on the weekends.

  3. poodle says:

    I sometimes skip it on a weekend day. I usually always wear it to work but this summer once it’s long gone I haven’t refreshed it much.

    • Sandra says:

      I understand not refreshing it in the summer Poodle. I may have to today though – it is 36 and humid where I am and I need a perfume shower. 🙂

  4. Darilyn says:

    These photos are just amazing! This seems like the perfect vacation to let your other senses take priority. I’m glad you had such a good time! Your son is getting so tall! He is beautiful!

    • Sandra says:

      Thanks Darilyn. He is getting ridiculously tall and has learned to charm people with his twinkling smile. Vacations in nature are a must for us at least once a year. Helps heal our souls.

  5. Anka says:

    Thanks for an inspiring post and for sharing those wanderlust inducing pictures, Sandra! I’ll spend a couple of days in the alpine foothills (Alpenvorland) in October and depending on the weather will go hiking. Presumably, I’ll take some samples to the trip but don’t think I am going to wear them while trudging through the mountains.
    I am still relatively new to this whole perfume nerdism, meaning that there’s hardly a day without experimenting with fragrances, so it would be interesting to know if and how often my nose / brain needs some rest to prevent a big fat fragrance fatigue one day…

    • Sandra says:

      I wish you a wonderful and relaxing trip Anka. I think your nose will tell you when it is time for a rest. I did not think it would happen to me but it did. 🙂

  6. Great story Sandra.
    WOW! It looks wonderful. there’s my buddy Sean. hug him from here please.
    Of course you didn’t miss perfume, the world was fragrant enough, and you had your family.
    Perfect holiday.
    Portia xx

  7. Audrey says:

    Yes….I will take a perfume break every month for a few days. I live in that part of land between mountains and desert so my house is surrounded by pine, juniper, and sage. We had a huge thunderstorm yesterday and al you could smell was wet earth, pine and juniper. I was glad I wasn’t wearing any fragrance as I drove home because the experience was phenomenal. Love this post!!

    • Sandra says:

      Audrey, I am green with envy at your ability to have mountains or desert. I loved the desert. It transported me to another realm. Could not get enough of the colors and oh those thunderstorms. Magical! What an experience you had with the thunderstorm.

  8. cookie queen says:

    Hi Sandra! I do have perfume free mornings when I am baking. Days free? Once in a blue moon. You are absolutely right – none needed in the mountains. The air itself is fragrant. Fab pictures. xxx

  9. anitathepianist says:

    Yes, that has happened to me in the Carolina mountains. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that special aroma of the mountain air could be bottled. The air after a summer rain storm also needs nothing else to enhance the joys of aromas. Enjoy your vacation..

  10. spe says:

    Sure – it’s the proximity to nature (or God, if you have a religious proclivity) that makes anything else irrelevant. Even perfume!

  11. Undina says:

    Great pictures to take the age off your horror story! Well, at least for me it reads like one. ; -) Two weeks without any perfume?! I’ll have to be sentenced for anything like that to happen. I go without any perfume a couple of days per year – when I get sick. Other than that I don’t feel good going through the day without any perfume. But I’m glad that it worked for you and that you enjoyed the vacation.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Sandra, I nodded my head as I read each one of your descriptions. My first ever vacation to Europe was to the alps in Switzerland (in summer, July). The air in the highest reaches of the Alps – or even only halfway up – feels so clean and good and different from air elsewhere. 😀

    Loved your photos, especially the one of Sean. And as for going without perfume, there’s usually a day or two every week when I’m scentless and don’t miss it.

    • Sandra says:

      Thank you Suzanne for your words. What a great first trip to Europe. I love the mountains. Good to know that you are ok with going scent free. 😉

  13. Vanessa says:

    I do forget to wear perfume sometimes, when I get preoccupied with work or distracted by problems. I am not sure I relish the thought of forgetting to bring some for such a long period as a two week holiday, but I am prepared to believe that in such a spectacular natural setting, it isn’t necessary and might even be a case of gilding the lily. 😉 The last time I drove through the Alps I happened to be testing Jardin sur le Nil, and that seemed to work quite well. Have you ever tried Michel Comte Shared Water for Women? That is a Swiss perfume supposedly meant to evoke streams flowing with glacial waters and Alpine flowers. Not totally convinced, mind, but it has a nice rice note.

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