Portia Best Of 2021, Xmas and New Year Resolution

Hey Posse. Of the billions of new releases and flankers of old releases I only got my sniff on a very few this year. Some of the things that were new to me were not even released in 2021 but that’s when they finally hit our Australian shores or came to my attention. This means Portia Best Of 2021 will be skewed towards my taste, YMMV. Most of my awareness of new things came from Australia’s Libertine Parfumerie seasonal launches, LKNU GWPs and Surrender To Chance. I am affiliated with these businesses in that the owners are my friends that I’ve known for years but get no advertising revenue from them. I’m also on a few Indie Perfumer lists and they send through their latest releases. So I do get to sniff a bit, but only a fraction of what’s out there.

There have been a couple of posts on things I sniffed recently, and before that.

Portia Best Of 2021

Portia Best Of 2021

Best of Bottles

Here are the fragrances that I now have bottles of in my collection. For 8 months this year I was out of work and for four months I had no government support. There was considerably less play money to fritter on my addiction. Two of these bottles were gifts and one I bought on FragranceNet. The unopened boxes are waiting for me to finish my decants.

Portia Best Of 2021

L’Esprit Libre Divine

A breath of sea salt air from well up the mountain.

Le Lion de Chanel

CHANEL does Shalimar but makes it ALL about labdanum.

Santal Pao Rosa Guerlain

Sandalwood with some floral adventures.

Saskia Grandiflora

BIG white floral in metal vase of cold water.

Tears Of Iris Gucci

Dry iris and wind.

Tilleul Le Galion

Honeyed linden and amber.


Best of Samples

Couleur Vanille L’Artisan Parfumeur

Salty vanilla

Babylon Penhaligon’s

Amber plus all the good shit

Eden-Roc Dior

Under the boardwalk floral breeze

Joie de Vert by Aftelier

Gorgeously sweet green Christmassy warmth.

Osmanthe Kodoshan Maison Crivelli

Sweet spicy osmanthus

Une Verveine Obvious

Bright refreshing greenery and floral

New Year Resolution for 2022

New Year Resolution for 2022. Portia

Well that’s another Xmas season done and dusted here. I hope you all got through as intact as possible and that your familial wounds heal quick and clean. Ours was a chill couple of days at my BFFs Dad’s house. The usual happy combination of too much food, too many presents, heat, underlying drama currents and close quarters. All navigated safely and without the loss of life. Boxing Day was close though when I casually snarked the BFFs shithead sister and called her out on her inconsistence. She’s a nasty, selfish, stupid, brutish bully and when confronted goes into immediate victim mode. Fortunately she’s too scared of me to take it up face to face but there was a lot of hand wringing and moaning behind the scenes. TBH I’m glad it’s over. The event this year has inspired my New Year Resolution that I hope to have the courage and ability to do and continue.

New Year Resolution for 2022 and beyond. I’d really like for Jin and I to be interstate or overseas at Xmas time. Yes, I know it’s selfish and mean but the whole Christmas hoo haa is so overwhelming and depressing. I’d like to run away as far as possible and just hang out.

A few years ago I did a Fragrant New Years Resolutions post her on the Posse. Still very valid and I’m glad to have given them a rereading.

Christmas Perfumes

Over the Xmas period perfume wise I wore Caron Nuit de Noel on Xmas Eve. Xmas day was Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Gingembre and evening Gold Man by Amouage. Boxing Day CHANEL Paris-Riviera and evening Diamonds and Emeralds by Elizabeth Taylor. All excellent choices that fit each mood and things I love in my collection.


So, do you have a New Year Resolution for 2022? It can be fragrant or otherwise. Share. It’s not binding but sometimes it’s nice to formally put your wishes down. Gives life and the way we live it shape.
ALSO, fill me in on your Seasonal Celebration stories from last week or planning for this week please. I want all of them, the silly things that happened, how you coped with everything, what you ate, drank, said, did; the whole shemozzle!
LASTLY, Your turn. What did you all love (or HATE) this year? Do you agree with my Portia Best Of 2021?
Portia xx


  • Anna Calarco says:

    I always aim for chill and no drama .. but life gets in there….
    Resolutions this year include more walking less talking ?

    • Portia says:

      HA! Fortunately we can both walk and talk, so take a buddy! It makes the miles go easier.
      Love you Anna Maria,
      Portia xx

  • AnnieA says:

    My scented resolution for 2022 is to work on emptying decants before they empty themselves.

    If that goes well maybe finish a bottle or two? I like a friend’s goal: Fun! Her 2021 was shall I say action packed.

    • Portia says:

      Hey AnnieA,
      What a sensible New Year Resolution. I’d love to empty some decants too but then I feel sad for ignoring my bottles. The struggle is real.
      Portia xx

  • Margo DAngelo says:

    I am going to continue to hope for kindness and love to grow exponentially throughout the world. This is what is needed more than anything. And for Covid to go away and never return. Much love you you and Jin. Xoxo

    • Portia says:

      Hey Margo,
      GOOD wish. From your keyboard to the universes ears.
      Hope you start to get well in 2022 and have a fun, fragrant year.
      Portia xx

  • Marie says:

    Portia, I always love reading from you! 🙂 Your Christmas days sound, well, like typical Christmas days. It is nice to see family and friends but there is always some sort of drama going on.
    For me, it is my older sister and my dad. They have not spoken to each other in years and this year was the first time that they came together for Christmas again – if there ever was a better fit occasion for drama, I don’t know what is. We all survived it, though.

    Le Lion was one of my best discoveries this year! I love its boldness and classic character. Another favourite was Neroli Outrenoir (yes, I’m late to the game, I just cannot keep up with releases anymore). A fun blind buy was Lolitaland by Lolita Lempicka, it was my Christmas present for a dear friend who loves super sweet perfumes from the mall. She was thrilled!

    Wishing you all a wonderful start for 2022!

    • Portia says:

      Thanks Marie.
      WOW! That must have been a walking on eggshells Xmas! Was there any argy bargy?
      OOOOH! Neroli Outrenoir! So glam.
      Wishing you a peaceful and prosperous 2022.
      Portia xx

  • SpringPansy says:

    Oh, Portia, so many mixed emotions about Christmas. I have always loved the Christmas story and I love the holiday season and in theory, I love getting all the family together. But in reality, it’s often stressful and difficult with hurt feelings and grumpy people. I’m ready to celebrate the new year and leave all the tinsel behind!

    • Portia says:

      SpringPansy, it feels like you’ve hit the nail on the head.
      Yeas, our New Year Celebrations have been very low key. A couple of friends over, Chinese Take Away, 9pm Fireworks on TV and now they are gone. The table is cleared and dishwasher running, dogs fed & walked. Jin and I have one hour of chill time and then it’s 2022. Heaven.
      Portia xx

  • Maggiecat says:

    Christmas was fine – we stayed home on our own, so no stress or drama. I do empathize with the desire to travel and get away from it all during the holidays. When my son was a child, I used to feel pulled to pieces between my parents, my ex, my ex’s parents…. Then, when he grew up and I moved to Dallas and remarried, there were my parents, my sister, and other relatives. We traveled every Christmas until we finally got tired and told everyone that our home was open to them and we were staying put in it.
    I wore Bulgari Jasmine Noir for Christmas Eve (and Christmas – it lingers) because it has myrrh and I love it.

  • rosarita says:

    Perfume wise, I got in on a split of Le Lion and I really, really don’t like it. I get the Shalimar reference but I adore Shalimar and Chanel’s my favorite house so Le Lion should be a hit but…no. In my life, I’m still dealing with foot/ankle surgery aftermath, now in PT learning how to walk. Still in the knee high orthopedic boot and a walker and thoroughly sick and tired of both. I am fantasizing about shopping at my favorite thrift stores but this area is also a covid hot spot so that sucks the fun out of things. We don’t do Xmas but I wanted to visit my mom who was alone this year. I can’t make plans as long as I’m dealing with the foot stuff.
    Thanks if you made it through my whiney rant. I want to buy a travel spray of Imaginary Authors Fox in the Flowerbed, it smells just like spring here, plus jasmine. I plan to do that soon. I also am enjoying my bottle of Cabochard thanks to your post, Portia.

  • filomena813 says:

    My Christmas was spent with my middle son and his family. (My oldest son and youngest son both live in different states.) I think I dreaded Christmas this year more than any other, although since I have gotten older I find the days leading up to Christmas very stressful. At least I spent time with my granddaughter and grandson.

  • Musette says:

    Honeypie, I simply Do. Not. Do. Christmas anymore – it was the last, best gift from El O, as he pulled his trailer-ass out of my driveway, the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to spend another shut-in (we’re usually at 20F) holiday with his ridiculous cubs. For 18 years… omg. The sibling drama! Never about me (and usually not about El O since they knew he would probably kill them) but the undercurrents of passive aggression. I grew up with that kind of drama and ……. eh. Nebber again.

    BFF’s asshole sister does well to fear you. Fear is Good. Keeps morons from crossing that line.

    (LOL! Jeebus. I sound like a psychopath!)

    I’ve only tried the Gucci Iris – still on the wobble about that one. Definitely want to try Le Lion but that’ll have to wait until Chicago reopens. It’s like a morgue right now and Absolutely No Fun.


    • Portia says:

      I’m not sure what happened here Musette. The response I wrote you doesn’t seem to have taken.
      It was basically: You rock, Happy New Year, MORE of the good, less of the other and a hug.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    I had a wonderful visit with my sister and her husband in Arizona, today we travel by car back to Colorado. My dog and her puppy got along fabulously. We had long dog walks in the gorgeous desert and ate good food. We avoided all busy-ness and stress.
    Me, the Chanel fan didn’t love LeLion. 2021 was mostly visiting past perfume loves and my few purchases were oldies but goodies including No 5, original Estee Lauder’s, Diva, Rumba, Etro Magot, and Scherrer2.
    From your list, I really want to sniff Penhaligon’s Babylon.
    2022 resolution is to continue my self-care with long dogs walk, meditation, practicing gratitude, and altering my career path/job.
    Wishing all a happiness in the New Year. xoxo

    • rosarita says:

      Oh I’m curious, how does Rumba hold up? I used to love it but never had a bottle.

      • Kathleen says:

        I have the current Ted Lapidus version of Rumba (would love to get my hands on the Balenciaga version!) I’ve not sniffed the original version however; I feel that even the current version is vintage at its best. This lasts for hours on my skin, and I don’t have to put my nose to my wrist to detect it. A wonderful cloud of fragrance. Extremely good price point for quality if you enjoy vintage perfume.

  • Tara C says:

    My parents are elderly and not well, so although I swore off traveling for the holidays years ago (we see each other at other times of the year instead) I thought we should go this one last time. It was fine up until Christmas day when my brother called to say he had a cold and wasn’t coming over for supper. That part was fine and totally appropriate. But then he announced he was coming over for boxing day, claiming he was feeling a bit better and his Covid test was negative. My husband was adamant that we leave before my brother showed up, so we packed up and said goodbye to my parents, who were sad. It took us nearly 12 hours to make an 8 hour drive because of holiday traffic. Then last night my dad told me my brother was still sick and has now tested positive for Covid, which means he exposed them on Sunday. I am hoping they don’t get it. My brother is an ass.

    As for perfume, I spent far, far too much and am vowing to go on a no-buy except for two bottles in 2022: Goldfield & Banks Sunset Hour and Papillon Perfumery Hera. I bought Santal Pao Rosa and Tears of Iris like you so we snap there. 🙂

    • cinnamon says:

      Fingers very crossed your parents are ok.

    • Musette says:

      omg. your brother IS an ass. I’m thinking mayhem (surprise!) – but that would probably make your parents sad. So. No mayhem.
      But he is an ass.


    • Portia says:

      Hey TaraC,
      GAH! Siblings!
      Good choice leaving, bummer he went and may have given the olds C19. GRRR!

      YAY for us both buying Santal Pao Rosa and Tears of Iris. Good stuff, eh?
      Portia xx

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Christmas was nice. My family and I didn’t do much. Got some nice things but what excited me was $100 Sephora gift card. That’s going to have to wait until the Sephora spring sale. It’s going to be a quiet New Year’s too. My resolution is to finish some bottles of perfume before I go adding more.

  • Dina C. says:

    The best thing about our Christmas is that our son graduated from college after six long years! He’s been in a great mood ever since, and that made the rest of us happy. We went out for Chinese food after the service on Christmas Eve. I wore Joy edt, vintage. My 2022 resolution is to sniff more things. I read about stuff that intrigued me, but failed to follow through this year.

    • Portia says:

      Hey DinaC!
      So glad your Xmas period was tinged with such brightness and joy (YAY for JOY EdT).
      Can’t wait to read what you get your sniff on this year.
      Portia xx

  • MMKinPA says:

    I smelled very little that was new this year. Our Christmas celebrations were muted, my mother in law passed away on Dec 19 (long illness) and we just had the services yesterday. I don’t really do resolutions but I think I’m going to do another no-buy (or very low-buy for 2022). I didn’t go way overboard in 2021 but I didn’t really manage a low-buy. My son goes off to university in the fall and we will start preparing our house for sale – time to downsize as we get closer to partial retirement. Don’t need to be adding things if I’m simultaneously trying to subtract. Best wishes to all for a better 2022!

    • Portia says:

      WOW MMKinPA. Sorry you’ve gone through all that. You are having some enormous changes in 2022.
      We are here to read all about the highs and lows of all of it. Think of the Posse as your sounding board.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    HONEY. Let me TELL YOU. I traveled to be with the kids for Christmas, because I missed them so desperately. And … yes, I got to see them! That was good! They are fine! But the trip overall was just such a rough, disappointing time in so many ways, all I wanted was to get back home to my dog ASAP, so I can add guilt to the rest of my feelings I guess. But I’d resolved by day 2 or so while there that we will have to figure out something different next year. It’s hard … Christmas for us in years past started at Thanksgiving with the fake tree, and we were all really into it. This year the kids are all working (big box retail, and in a hospital) and they were stressed and exhausted by the terrible timing. Maybe we get together midsummer? I finally made it home last night (I was terrified Omicron would get me and I’d be stuck there for additional time) and man oh man am I glad to be home! I’m assuming I’m covered in COVID after traveling through two hot spots, with 14 hours total time in the airport/plane (while wearing an N95) so now I’m quarantining and hugging my dog and calming the hell down.

    • Musette says:

      Research historians have long thought that Teh Jesus was born in July… and my mother had a dusting powder called ‘Christmas in July’…

      …. maybe time for a new tradition? Not like you haven’t reinvented … heck.. a whole buncho things, the lot of you. Why should December 25 be sacrosanct? Get to it!!!


    • Portia says:

      March! HUG HUG HUG.
      Here are some platitudes:
      It’s always a play off between expectations and reality. The first is always the hardest. You’re tough and have weathered worse.

      For reals though: I love you so much. Take good care of your beautiful self.
      Here’s to a 2022 full of fun and fragrance.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    Happy past Xmas and almost new year, Portia. How to unpick this post … Some of this I talk about in my right after the new year post for Monday. So, I’ll leave that out. We’re still eating the Xmas stuff. Specifically the sugar. I am hoping it’s all (or mostly) gone by Sunday evening.

    Perfummmmme. Well, my best find of the year was definitely Tauer Sundowner. Still thinking what I do after the sample is gone. The other ‘this year’ thing was Byredo Mumbai Noise which I don’t love on me but find hugely compelling. And then there is Masque Milano Madeleine which is the sweet treat for the year, though it came out earlier. I am happy with my 10ml vial — don’t need more than that. It does go really well layered with SL Arabie.

    Otherwise, I’m thoroughly sick of our situation. A final weirdness to the year was someone I thought of as a friend blanking me for months and then sending a one line Xmas greeting message which just left me thinking ‘no, I can’t be doing this’. So many people I know are suffering/have suffered — whether losing someone they love or just feeling scared and anxious. They’ve all managed to communicate and we’ve worked out how to help each other (whether that means someone who said I don’t watch any news at all, so we talk about other stuff, to the one who said I just want normal, so we talk about things like shopping or the kids).

    Anyway, rant over. It’s raining and blah out. Would like to get the dog out in a bit as it means we both breathe.

    • Portia says:

      HA! We have just finished the roast pork leftovers today Cinnamon but the sweet stuff will last till June. An avalanche of it.
      Two new great loves in perfume is excellent going. Both from very cool niche houses too. Yes, Travel sizes are nest for me too. 10ml will probably last me a lifetime.

      Jean Paul Sartre nailed it in his play No Exit, “Hell is Other People.” It can be too many, too few, too obnoxious, too clingy, too, too, too, too, too……

      Thank everything precious and wonderful for dog walks. They don’t care about rainy and blah. Get out there and breathe. You’ll be wet, cold and muddy, the dog will stink and you’ll both feel revitalised and refreshed.
      Portia xx