New Fragrance For A Mate

Hey Posse Perfume Peeps,

Portia from AustralianPerfumeJunkies here again to take you somewhere slightly sideways. I’m totally thrilled to be back on Perfume Posse, come along for the ride.

The other night TSO Jin and I were at dinner with a buddy, one of my besties. He has been wearing Cool Water brilliantly for over 20 years, one of his exes found an old empty bottle of it in a box and was very mocking on Fbook. This crushed my friend, of course, and we have had some chats about a change, though I love him in Cool Water and don’t think he should change because some ex is a complete wanker asswipe.



Anyway. I took over a group of fragrances for him to try, some things that I knew he’d like and some interesting oddballs in case he wanted real change. I thought long and hard about this short list and hoped it would be a suitable selection and had winnowed the group down to 5 fragrances; Terre D’Hermes EdT, Gujarat by Olympic Orchids, Midnight In Paris by Van Cleef & Arpels, Gendarme and Declaration by Cartier. I had pre cut & written some blotter strips so we could spray, sniff, walk away, sniff again, eat dinner and come back for a final sniff. If he LOVED any one he could have it. I had hoped in my heart that the winner would be either Midnight In Paris or Terre D’Hermes because both of these say successful to me, they have great scent stories, are unusual without being quirky and tell me that this person has taken the time to find something special without taking notice of billboards or magazine scent strips, a cut above the run of the mill, quietly confident.

May I also say that this was HEAPS of fun for all 3 of us. My mate was totally into it, felt loved and supported, had an in home personal experience and should he want anything, freebees at the end. WINNING! Jin got to see that I have real empathy and understanding of both scent and my friend and had really done my homework. Even getting the boxes out of the bag, opening them up, checking the bottle design, telling my mate a brief history of each and why it had made it to the short list was fun. Also, I told him how he, and his life, fit into each fragrances story for me and why these particular products registered.

How did we go?

Gujarat: Gujarat is a sexy indie scent, dark, spicy & alluring; and Ellen Covey is a superstar. This got WOW!’s from both guys. Even taking the lid off the bottle gave the room a whole new feeling of faraway places and exotic lands. The dabbing onto a scent strip took away some of the glamour though, the showman in me was a trifle miffed that I hadn’t decanted. Unfortunately this was too much of a statement piece and my friend felt that it would wear him. Fair call.

Gendarme: I thought the crisp and clean Gendarme could be the one because my buddy is borderline OCD and loves stuff CLEAN, also Gendarme is the scent of choice of some of Hollywood and the music industries heavy hitters. Funnily, the first thing my buddy said was, “This smells like my laundry fabric softener!” He brought it out and there was very little difference. It was put aside.

Terre D’Hermes: Have you ever heard the expression, Eyes Light Up? One sniff of this on the scent strip and it was love. I thought we were going to get a dance of joy. The opening notes had him jumping. As the night wore on though the scent registered less on the Richter scale and though he loved it, there was a definite not sure quality to his face.

Midnight In Paris: Frankly, he couldn’t get past how cliche’d the name is. But not even for a man’s fragrance. Cliche’d for a girl. Loved the bottle, liked the scent but could not imagine himself telling anyone that he was wearing it. He also knows the Van Cleef & Arpels brand, I think a family member or ex lover may have worn their jewellery or perfume. There was certainly a very positive brand recognition.

Declaration: Declaration is something I really admire, it’s like a perfect diamond, clear, bright, cool and expensive feeling, the bottle is engineered and classy. This registered a bit on first sniff but was overwhelmed by Terre D’Hermes. Every time we came back to the strips Declaration would have moved forward a little in his estimation. Also, his mother wears Cartier jewellery, so he knew there would be brand recognition at home, which is something I never figured into the equation. Ultimately Declaration took the prize, it was the one to be finally spritzed down his shirt towards the evenings end and we even got a sexy, I smell so good sofa dance. HILARIOUS!!

In the end I left him with both Terre D’Hermes and Declaration to wear for a while. I think one will be day and one night. He’ll never become a perfumista but he will smell fine. I am going to buy him a small Cool Water for Christmas as it is his scent and whenever I smell it on anyone else I am with him in spirit.

Hopefully you enjoyed the story as much as we enjoyed making it. Please trot over and see us at AustralianPerfumeJunkies there’s always something fragrant going on over there and we get excited if you leave a message, here or there.

Portia xx

PS Sorry it wasn’t a Friday 13th post.

All photos and video stolen from Fragrantica

  • annemariec says:

    Just want to say that I love ‘complete wanker asswipe’. Brilliant! So nice to hear my own Australian accent on a non-Australian blog.

    I don’t hear the word ‘wanker’ as much as I used to. I think it is becoming less common. Or maybe I move in politer circles than I realise! I love it that it rhymes with ‘flanker’. So appropriate.

  • Eva S says:

    That evening sounds so much fun! And Terre d’Hermes is such a gorgeous perfume, I’ve given it to my brother in the faint hope that he might wear it. Doesn’t hurt either that it comes in one of my favorite perfume bottles 😉

    • Hiya Eve S,
      It was fun, saw my mate last night and he was fully fragrant, when I told him that he was the subject of worldwide fumie interest he was chuffed. I love the Terre d’Hermes bottle too. It is hefty and sleek and I love the wavy inside, so elegant, to me. It feels like a class act. Have you worn it?
      Portia xx

      • Eva S says:

        Oh yes, I own a FB! It’s a favorite and never mind it’s supposed to be a masculine.

  • Barbara says:

    Never heard of Gujarat. It is now on my very long sniff list!

    • Hey Barbara,
      Those sniff list get LONG!! One of the wonderful things about Olympic Orchids is their sample policy. Ellen Covey (Doc Elly as she likes to be called) totally gets that we want to try everything. Go forth and SNIFF!
      Portia xx

      • Ellen Covey says:

        I totally get that you want to try everything because I’m right there alongside the rest of you crazy people wanting to smell every fragrance in existence. I love being able to get samples and have a sample collection that numbers in the thousands.

  • You’re so sweet and kind! I’m so glad all three of you had a good time sniffing1 I’m only familiar with Terre d’Hermes which is very nice. The first one Gujarat sounded really gorgeous; I’ll have to check that one out!

    P.S. I love your blog, btw! 🙂

    • Sherri Miller,
      These are not 2 adjectives I imagine on myself, I think you are projecting. He he
      You have to go try Gujarat. It is really beautiful.
      I’m glad you love the blog, BIG SMILE, thanks for saying so,
      Portia xx

  • Mals86 says:

    Sweet of you to do that for your friend! (And boo on the wanker ex-boyfriend… maybe he’s terribly cut up and the only way he can make himself feel better is to make nasty remarks??)

    ANYWAY. GOod choices. I happen to love Midnight in Paris – my 13-year-old son wears it and smells awesome in it.

    • I bet you son does smell awesome in it. What a fragrance. Sweet and soulful, I love everything about it, including the name. Yeah, exes are funny things aren’t they. Pish!
      Thanks for coming and saying Hi Mals86, nice to read you.
      Portia xx

  • Poodle says:

    It’s very sweet of you to do that for your friend. I’m sure you had a great time that night picking a scent or two for the next chapter of his life so to speak. I buy scents for hubby a lot but not usually my best friends. They are all furry and have four legs so they really aren’t into that. A tennis ball is usually a better option. I have been known to give them a tiny squirt of one of my scents every once in a while though.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Poodle,
      My mother, on her death bed, gave all kinds of life advice. Some I’ve heeded, some not. One of the things she said was that I was only allowed to have poodles as pets for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, poodles take some upkeep and I am lazy so I have had ex racing Greyhounds, which are basically nearly hairless poodles, ever since. Frankly, they’re lucky to get a bath during winter, let alone some of my fragrance.
      Portia xx

      • Poodle says:

        We had greyhounds before and now in addition to the poodles we have a whippet which is like a smaller version of a greyhound! Hubby loves the sight hounds and I love my high maintenance puffballs. Our hounds didn’t get baths often either and we only used cool water because if it was too warm their hind legs would give out on them which was very strange. They are great dogs and shockingly lazy.

        • We take the dogs in the pool in summer, wash them on the steps and make them swim with us after. It’s fun, but only September through April down here in Sydney.
          Portia xx

  • Portia says:

    HAH! I wore Midnight In Paris the other night. Couldn’t smell myself at all but had 4 lovely random compliments and a friend write to me on FB asking what it was and another chiming in there. This has never happened to me in such numbers.
    WINNER of a fragrance,
    Portia xx

  • Lanier says:

    A wonderful story. So well written, you put me right there on the couch with you Jen and your mate. I loved your take and his response on each fragrance. AND I have been eyeing Midnight In Paris for months and now it is top of the list for a little shopping on Sunday. And believe you me I will have no problem saying I am wearing the “cliche” À mi-nuit à paris. If it is good enough for Woody Allen then it is good enough for me.

  • nozknoz says:

    Portia, what a beautiful story! I, too, am hoping that your friend will one day enjoy Cool Water again. Whatever happens, he’s got two great new scents and the best friend ever!

    • Portia says:

      Hiya nozknoz,
      I wrote back but it disappeared.
      He’s such a good guy, it’s the least I could do. When we see him tomorrow it will be interesting to smell him, HE HE
      Portia x

  • Tom says:

    I really enjoyed this post and hope you’ll keep it up!

    Now I’m dying to try Gujarat..

    • Portia says:

      Hiya Tom,
      I wrote back but it disappeared.
      I hope to be around for a while. Thank you. Do try Gujarat, Olympic Orchids are amazing.
      Portia x

  • HemlockSillage says:

    You are a fantastic friend! Helping someone find a new fragrance to move on with his life is a great idea. Back when I practiced perfume serial monogamy, I had sections of my life associated with certain perfumes. There are few perfumes I avoid now, because they have some sad associations. Helping your friend find a great fragrance can be an empowering start to a new section of his life.

    Nice choices, too! I love Declaration and Terre d’Hermes, and wear both. Love them, and they do so well in my hot, humid climate. You’ve made me curious about Gendarme, though; I’ve never smelled that one. Will add it to my to-sniff list. I like having a few clean, inobtrusive scents in my arsenal.

    Last thought: I’ve so enjoyed your posts here at the ‘Posse. I’ve also loved exploring your posts over at Australian Perfume Junkies–your Secretions Magnifique video cracked me up. I love your mix of pop fragrance, niche and classics, and your forthright take on them all. Here’s looking forward to many posts to come. Be well.

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Love this! I just came back from holiday and found such a nice, thoughtful, post. You are a great friend- kindnesses like that benefit everyone and send out a lot of joy. And yay for Declaration, I was rooting for it!

  • Dionne says:

    Very classy, Portia, very classy. I’ve had a few sniffing get-togethers myself, and seeing the look on a friend’s face when they smell something brand-new to them that bowls them over is incredibly satisfying.

    Is your friend aware of just how influential Cool Water is in the perfume world? Just like my EST Tam who loved Shalimar but needed someone to reassure her that she had fabulous taste, maybe it would help if he knew his jerky ex is CLUELESS when it comes to fragrance.

    • Hey Dionne,
      Yes, went into immediate reassure and lecture mode when this all blew up. I thought he had moved on but recently it came back up in conversation and we went into search and redeploy modes. I will get him another Cool Water soon though. It’s so reasonably priced, I can believe it. For a historic game changer? The world is funny, isn’t it?
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:


    Why are you sideways?

    Well, sideways or not, you are an OSSUM friend! 🙂 I did something similar with my friend Howard – but I made him come to me and I made him smell a bunch of roses and ouds. It was allll about ME! You made this be alll about HIM, which is way cooler.

    You can come over and pick out a fragrance for me anytime!!!

    xo :Devil:

    • Hey Musette,
      I keep telling people: I’m absolutely computer illiterate. I was trying to make sure I had a photo showing on all comments and a link added to my name as well. Here is the outcome, no link and MY ASS IS SIDEWAYS!! I should have left well enough alone.
      I an currently working on TSO Jin, we may do a USA run next year. There will be stopovers at all my fumie friends hopefully. It will be snortcrazy.
      It was so fun, we are seeing my mate tonight, not only will we smell him but he’ll get to read how famous he is. HE HE HE!!!
      Portia xx

      • Poodle says:

        See, and I was thinking the sideways picture was a statement you were making to look a the world from a different angle sometimes. 🙂 why is it that computers rarely do what you want them to even when you know you’ve done everything right? I’ve come close to tossing mine out the window many times.

        • Portia says:

          I can totally hear you Poodle. I just take a breath and let it go. Some of my mates will come over tomorrow for a Bar B Q and if I remember I’ll get someone to sort it out.
          Portia xx

  • Alison says:

    Fantastic story! I hope you will post regularly for us here at the Posse.

  • Sam says:

    I wish you’d videoed the “I smell so good” sofa dance! 😉

    Boy, your friend sure smells amazing now–I adore both Terre d’Hermes and Declaration. Now if I could only convince a few more mates of mine to wear them…

  • My other friends have about 5 different colognes in their bathrooms. Is that normal? LOL. I only have 1.

    • Hey Katcee,
      Everything is normal, sometimes it is different though. If you only want 1 fragrance in your life, cool, I have been through times when I thought I’d found the one too. If it works for you, why change? Go find a department store fragrance counter and ask for some testers if you want a change though, it’s free and you get to sit with the fragrance for a day or two.
      What is your 1?
      Portia x

  • Portia, great selection and review of each one! I think I’d have to try Gendarme as I my cologne of choice (for 10 years!) is running out.

  • Masha says:

    I love all your picks, and Olympic Orchids has been my big discovery of the year, some very unique perfumes there!

    • Hi Masha
      Isn’t Ellen Covey the bomb. Fearless and so gifted. Have you tried Ballets Rouges or Kingston Ferry yet? I love the Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes,
      Portia xx

  • Nina Z says:

    Very fun post, and sweet little story. Well done!

  • steve says:

    That sounds like a blast. Most men don’t feel comfortable scenting themselves and typically the sales associates are trying to make a high commission. Giving them some choices and walking them through the scents really can make a person feel special. It’s important that everybody smells great and is comfortable with what they are wearing! Good Job P! xoxox Steve

  • OhLily says:

    Yay, JCE for a double win! You’re a wonderfully thoughtful friend, and it sounds like a really fun time was had by all. Great choices on both your parts, too!

  • Ann says:

    Hi, Portia! What a cool evening and what a nice thing for you to do! He’s lucky to have a good friend like you. This gives me inspiration to help a few of my scent-challenged friends out (hope you don’t mind if I borrow the concept). Thanks!

    • OMG Ann! Borrow away. It fulfills so many needs; shopping, helping, organising, teaching, coming together and sharing, showing off. It’s like a cure all,
      Go forth and fragrance you friends,
      Portia xx

  • DinaC says:

    What a great service you did for your friend! Such a fun evening to spend sniffing scents and narrowing down the choices. Before I read the comments, I was hoping that Declaration would win, because I happen to love it myself, so I’m pleased that it ended up in the top two. 🙂 I think taking the time to sniff thoughtfully and learn the scent story, as you say, makes for a really well chosen fragrance, and a loyal wearer.

    • Although it was for my buddy, I took enormous joy in engineering the whole thing. Hardly altruistic I’m afraid, but everyone had a ball, so it ended well.
      I’m also glad the horse you backed won, it’s always nice when that happens too,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. Do you wear Declaration?
      portia xx

      • DinaC says:

        Yes, I wear Declaration from time to time, especially in the hot months. I like the cardamom note.