Travelling Box of Perfume – notes from Lisa

We are speeding up, we are speeding up! Nancy has confirmed that she received the Box but today we have Lisa who is going to share with us her experience of playing around with the Travelling Box of Perfume content. So sit back, grab some tea and enjoy reading.


Your general impression of the box once it arrived…
“Wowowowowowowow!” Excitement and glee. I unpacked everything, and while riffling through the box I noted that many of the scents were ones I had not tried before, and there were several houses with which I was unfamiliar, which only increased my excitement level. I felt a moment of sincere gratitude to everybody who contributed to the box prior to its arrival at my house, appreciation for a world in which there are so many wonderful things to smell, and then considered myself really fortunate to be on the list of MTBoP (Magical Traveling Box of Perfume) stops.
I read through the cards enclosed. I always love to read notes from other perfume fiends – it makes me feel like I have kindred spirits across the globe. Which, clearly, we all do.

Favorite perfume in the box…
My favorite fragrance from the box was the sample of Aziyadé, from Parfum d’Empire. It has so many of the notes I love to smell, individually and in concert: cardamom, date, ginger, and incense. I have always responded positively to a mix of spices and woods; I adore perfumes that straddle the line between “That smells good enough to eat” and “In my mind’s eye, I am in lotus position in a temple high in the mountains of Tibet.” I like to veer completely into one category or the other occasionally – I’ve been known to walk around smelling like a patisserie one day, and a stick of fine Japanese incense the next – but my favorite scents are those with a balance of both.

Least favorite perfume in the box…
My least favorite fragrance – actually least favorite line, since I can’t remember the individual names of the scents, but do remember thinking that I didn’t respond well to any of them – were the samples from Solstice Scents. Almost all of these struck me as very strong, heavy “head shop” scents, evoking a combination of overpowering notes of nag champa, patchouli and something called “Night Fairy Raven Blood” something or other.  On a positive note, these seem to be highly concentrated, so if you like them, I suspect that they could last for many hours.

Mini reviews
First up – Anima Dulcis. Sweet and rich, a heady and really smooth gourmand that isn’t cloying. I liked this one a lot. Unfortunately, it had very little projection or lasting power on me. Otherwise, I might be considering a purchase.
Belles Rives. An elegant, cool and clear iris. I read somewhere that this has a strong incense accord, but it is not one that I detect. I find iris scents lovely in the first 15 minutes, but they tend to lose their appeal once they get to the powdery stage.
House of Matriarch Bittersweet Symphony. Dark chocolate. Wow, weird. Yummy, then not yummy.
House of Matriarch Trillium. Ooh, this is interesting. Green, green, green. Reminds me of some perfume from my teenage years, whose name I can’t remember. This is like Smell Bent’s Florist’s Fridge, but perhaps deeper and richer. It is described as a tea scent, but I don’t really notice a strong tea vibe – just a strong sense of fresh vegetation and flowers.
Solstice – heavy and resinous, a little too much of a head shop vibe.
Hiram Green Slowdive. This is the heaviest, drippiest, most true to life honey scent I have ever smelled. It doesn’t just smell the way honey smells, it smells the way honey tastes, and feels on the tongue. Golden and syrupy.
Areej le Dore Oud Picante. I recommend just dabbing this one. It’s so powerful, I can’t imagine what it would smell like if it were sprayed. A plethora of spices, smoke and body odors, it is an intriguing evolution of smells.  I don’t think I could wear it in public, but this, and all of the Areej le Dore samples in this box, was sensational.

Lukasz, I have spent the last two weeks simply REEKING, and I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve kept the box on my desk, so that I can continue to test throughout the day while I work.

Out of the box
The House of Matriarch Trillium travel spray – I am fascinated by this one. I don’t usually wear a lot of green scents – mostly because they’re often fig-based, and fig is a difficult note for me after the first 30 seconds. However, this one strongly evokes a scent memory from decades ago, and I want to keep wearing it to see if I can clarify what that memory was.
The House of Matriarch Bittersweet Symphony travel spray – this one just needs more testing. I like its weirdness, and the distinct note of chocolate that comes after the first spritz. It keeps twisting about, though, and I lose focus on it, with the result that I am not sure if I like it, but I suspect that I might really like it if I my nose could concentrate on it long enough.
Prada Day for Night decant. This is a really smooth, comforting, amber-based perfume. Warm and slightly sweet, it strikes me as being very wearable on a daily basis, like a good cashmere sweater.  I remember posting on NST that this is not something I’d necessarily shell out big bucks for, but if it dropped into my lap, I’d take it. Since it has actually dropped into my lap, I will.
Aziyade sample vial. I loved this one, and I need to test it a few more times to see if I really, truly, need a bottle. I don’t detect a lot of cumin as others have described, but perhaps I am simply walking around smelling strongly of body odor and not noticing……
Areej le Dore Atlantic Ambergris. There are just a few drops left in this vial, but I am very happy that it was included. I am looking forward to wearing a drop and seeing how it evolves throughout the day.  Again, like most of the frags from this line I’m not sure I would wear it out and about, but it is definitely a scent that captures one’s attention with its sense of “taking a journey.”

Into the box
A decant of Berdoues Assam of India. This is a tea fragrance (no surprise), light and lemony. Nothing difficult or challenging here, just an easy, happy-making perfume, kind of like a Hermes Hermessence or Jardin scent.
A partial bottle of Houston, from Ajne Perfume. From the perfumer’s website: “…fragrant grasses, fresh powdery citrus, canvas and a wisp of pipe tobacco and leather. Houston is equally suited to women and men.”  I’m including the pretty box, because, well, it’s pretty.
A manufacturer’s sample of Bois de Paradis, from Parfums Delrae. This is one of my absolute favorite perfumes, and I want to send this sample out into the world for all to smell. It’s just beautiful.
From Dawn Spencer Hurwitz Essence Studio Collection, a rollerball of Hemlock oil essence. I received this in the last NST freebiemeet. It’s a challenging one, but hopefully there is somebody out there for whom this will be a perfect match.
From Soivohle, Ginger in Love, a botanical essence oil perfume. I am a fan of Liz Zorn and the Soivohle line, because she seems to simply go her own way while making really interesting scents.
From Commodity, a travel spray of Gold EdP. An easy and wearable amber/vanilla/musk.
From Guerlain, a partial decant of Rose Barbare with a few mls left. A really lovely rose.
From Hermes, a partial 15 ml bottle of Eau de Pamplemousse Rose. Nicely zesty due to the grapefruit, it’s very much in the vein of other JCE perfumes. Airy.

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Humid Air, Hermes Un Jardin sur la Lagune

If you observe my writing for quite a while you probably know that my relationship with Hermes is like a sinusoid. One moment it goes up – like when I fell in love with Le Jardin de Monsieur Li or Agar Ebene from Hermessence collection. Other time it goes down – for example when I smelled Eau de Citron Noir. Despite such opposite thoughts I continue to be curious when Hermes releases something new. Their newly introduced addition to Le Jardin collection had a wonderful sound to it.


Un Jardin sur la Lagune has a fantastic opening in which a lot is going on at the same time. First whiff brings forward a gorgeous magnolia note – it’s lemony, watery and silky at once with the addition of shy green leaves rustling in the background. The scent is warm & solar from the beginning but becomes slightly more creamy when lily joins the composition. After a couple of minutes this floral aspect becomes less defined and blurred. I smell dusty sweetness, maybe that’s the pittosporum? Later on a salty breeze from the sea arrives, surrounding the wearer with a marine breath.
Un Jardin sur la Lagune felt fresh at first but with the arrival of sea note things started to fall apart. The fragrance was getting more and more soapy, like a cheap bar of grey soap that is stale on top of that. Woody notes smell very artificial here, making this new Hermes kind of mushy, musty and suggestive of body odour. I wonder if it’s the same aromachemical as in Eau de Citron Noir.

The beautiful inspiration of a hidden garden behind stone walls somewhere in Venice is, in my opinion, completely mismatched with the perfume Christine Nagel created. Un Jardin sur la Lagune doesn’t have a charm or anything magical about itself. To me it’s just one more fragrance that I will not remember in a couple of months. It’s a shame because there was a potential to compose something that would be super wearable in the spring and summer season. But not this time…

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