January New Idea 2023

Woo Hoo! Let’s see how my month went for January New Idea 2023. This year I’m aiming to thunk five samples/decants a week. More if possible, there is a tonne of them here to be dealt with. Every thunk is called a WIN, because let’s face it who doesn’t need a few extra wins? These are easy wins but hopefully will give us all a sense of accomplishment that will carry over into daily life.

January New Idea 2023 samples

January New Idea

A little recap for those who have forgotten.

How It Works

  1. No matter what size the sample or decant it only counts as ONE win.
  2. To count as a win the decant MUST be thunked. Yeah, I know but this is how I’m playing it. You can have your own rules if you like.
  3. Multiples in a day are acceptable. So, if you empty something in the morning, another after work and another before bed that counts as THREE wins.
  4. Manufacturer Travel Size is not a sample or decant.
  5. At the end of each successfully completed month I am allowed to reward myself with a splurge from ONE perfume store. Yeah that’s right. Sure you can buy 20 things if it makes you happy but it has to be ONE etailer or retailer in ONE TRANSACTION.

I’m going to celebrate by giving away a US$50 Gift Voucher to Surrender To Chance for every successful month to one lucky random commenter. Cool eh?

So let’s see how January New Idea went…..

LS: LuckyScent, MS: Manufacturers Sample, PP: Posh Peasant, TPC: The Perfumed Court, STC: Surrender To Chance

January New Idea: The Thunked

  1. Le Labo Tonka 25: STC 3ml: Sweet radiant white floral with vanilla/woods. Lovely but smells like a designer. Like
  2. Morning: Francesca Bianchi The Dark Side: STC 1/2ml: OMG! I see what all the hype has been about. Thoroughly gorgeous feral amber with all the bells and whistles. Love
    Evening: Mancera Fig Extacy: MS: Opening is dry, raspy pepper spiced fig that quickly becomes mostly about the fruit and amber/woods. Love.
  3. Morning: Miller Harris Violet Ida: STC 3ml: I wore it to bed last night and enjoyed Violet Ida thoroughly so this morning I wore the remnants. Iris/violet and stuff. Like a lot. Posse post
  4. Morning: De Gabor Darling: MS: This is so much more salty than I remember, gorgeous and strange. Like a lot. Posse post
  5. Day: Trudon II: MS: Green and bitter woods, lightly smoky and dry. Like
    Bed: CHANEL No 19: STC 2ml: There was about 1/2ml and it is STRONG and feisty. Love
  6. Morning: Vintage Caron Nuit de Noel EdT: STC 3ml: Furriest Xmas vibe over amber. LOVE. Posse post
    Bed: Nuit de Megeve Eight & Bob: LS .7ml: I can taste the coffee in this. Perfectly blended with tobacco, clove and a lovely rich sweet tonka. Longevity not so great, bummer. Like a lot
  7. Bed: Vintage Patou Joy EdT: TPC 3ml: There was only 1ml but it was thick and treacleish. Blew my head off. LOVE. Posse post
  8. Day: Atelier des Ors Luna Feline: MS: A sweet and spicy amber that reminds me of Diptyque Eau Duelle (without being very much like it). A bit more showy and extravagant. Also Luna Feline lasts for eternity! I can still smell it at 15 hours. Love
  9. Day: L’Orchestre Parfum Vétiver Overdrive 2022: MS: Metallic, petrochemical grasses over woody amber with a hint of citrus on open. There seems to be ginger and pepper but they are not named notes. Very wearable. Like
  10. Day: Acqua di Parma Magnolia Infinita 2022: MS: Pithy citrus over a jasmine rich bouquet with a quietly vegetal musk. Reminds me of a Tocca scent, can’t remember which. Pleasant but didn’t grab me. Like
    Evening: Nanette Lepore Nanette: Dunno: A fruity floral with amber base. REALLY enjoyed smelling like this and got a compliment at work tonight. LOVE. WANT!
    Bed: Aftelier Forest Bathing: MS: A strange and beautiful fragrance to wear after something so mainstream as Nanette. Fruity, bright woods with something dark and alluring running underneath. Like a lot.
  11. Day: Memo Kedu: MS: WOW! The sesame shines through the citrus, so interesting. I get the familiar dry back of throat feeling that tea gives me and I’m wondering if it’s the mate. Like
  12. Nope
  13. Bed: DIOR Homme Sport: MS: This is the modern version. Nice. Safe. Just a little funky. Yawn
  14. Day: Vintage Coty Emeraude: STC 3ml: 1/2ml of dark brown juice left in the bottom. So rich, like fresh baked fruit cake. Spicy, sweet, resinous amber. All top notes gone. Still fabulous.
  15. Morning: By Kilian Voulez-Vous Coucher Avec Moi: MS: Although there are differences and it does smell slightly elevated in comparison, this really reminds me of Lalique EdP. A tropical fruity floral with creamy vanilla woods base. (Lalique is better)
    Evening: M Micallef Vanille Cuir: MS: I remember falling so hard for Vanille Marine from this collection that the others didn’t stand a chance. This is way better than I remember. A perfect stand off between sweet, herbal and dark savoury. LOVE
    BedL Le Galion L’Aime Perdue: MS: Salty citrus and tropical fruity floral over a honeyed vanilla/woods. Have a bottle from sniffing the first half of this sample. LOVE
  16. Morning: Vintage Stella McCartney Stella EdP: PP 2ml: Maybe 1ml. Dewy roses over a light amber. Still so fresh. I remember how much love this got at the time. Like
    Evening: Byredo La Botte: MS: A white floral leather with some violet leafy greenness. If this was half the price I’d be raving about it but for this $$$$ I want more. It is good. Like
  17. Day: Jul et Mad Bella Donna: MS: Beautiful white floral, dense and lightly tropical. the base burnt off very quickly in the muggy Sydney heat today. Like Posse post
    Bed: Aether Citrus Ester: STC 2ml: Pithy citrus and softly sweet greenery. LOVE
  18. Day: Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles: STC 2ml: Last 1/2ml very dark juice. Ahhhhhh, so rich and thick. Lightly salted amber with a very Serge Lutens smelling fruit mince note. Love
  19. Day: Masque Milano Sleight of Fern: MS: GOSH! Not what I was expecting. A resinous, lemon scented, perfumery idea of fig. Lightly floral and a furry, dark, forest floor version of oakmoss and strange muskishness. LOVE
  20. Nope
  21. Day: Serge Lutens Daim Blond: 1ml sample unknown: Pretty, soft leather, lasts about 30 minutes and gone.
  22. Bed: BDK Velvet Tonka: MS: SWEEEEEET! Used about 1.5ml and it’s the most divine cloud of nutty vanilla rich tonka/amber/tobacco.
  23. Morning: Mancera Black Line: MS: Rose, Oudh, Patchouli. Not new. Very nice of its genre. Super wearable. Like
    Evening: Miller et Bertaux Oh, ooOoh …oh: MS: Wood and stuff. How is this house not ALL perfumistas favourite? LOVE
  24. Morning: Paco Rabanne Invictus Intense: MS: The opening is booze sweet and slightly fish oily. I wished for more pepper. Don’t hate but also not what I want to smell like.
    Evening: Vintage Rochas Femme: STC 2ml: Last, very dark 1/2ml. Thick, rich, luscious and a little skanky. LOVE
    Bed: Modern Miss Dior EdP: MS: Well, it’s sweet and fruity and complete rubbish compared to the original. Loath
  25. Day: Atelier des Ors Cuir Sacre: MS: Leather and incense done smooth and thoughtfully. Love
    Bed: Unknown: 2ml spray decant: Aldehydic musk, very freaking cool. Like
  26. Morning: DIOR J’Adore Parfum l’Eau: MS. Cool fruity floral with a crisp Granny Smith apple opening. Like
    Evening: Miller et Bertaux Om : MS: Spicy incence over vanilla rich amber. Beautiful, low key and rich smelling. LOVE
  27. Day: Detaille Par 4: MS: Woodsy aromatic. Very nice. Like
  28. Bed: Unknown: 2ml spray decant: Very traditional masculine aromatic up top with a modern niche nutty/woody base. Funnily, it smells a little like lightly flavoured hard cheese, quite salty too. Very wearable. Damn, I wish this had a label. LOVE
  29. Day: JHaG Miss Charming: MS: Very pretty fruity rose. Like
    Evening: Essential Parfums Nice Bergamote: MS: Citrus, pretty, yawn. Like, but not much.
    Bed: Elie Saab Le Parfum: MS: Radiant white floral. So gorgeous. Wish I had a bottle. LOVE.
  30. Evening: Amouage Meander: MS: Creamy dry resins and sandalwood with a scratchy pepper overlay. SO GOOD! I already bought a bottle from my first train g of it. LOVE
  31. Morning: Bulgari Black: PP 1ml: Smoky vanilla gorgeousness with hints of rubber. This sample is OLD, I can definitely smell the difference from my bottle. Love
    Evening: Keiko Mecheri Peau de Peche: PP 1ml: I feel like this is Keiko Mecheri’s very classy reply to Rochas Femme. A woodified homage, tricked up for the 21st century. Like

I guess you all want to know what my splurge was? LKNU were having a Maria Candida Gentile used Tester sale. I bought Barry Lyndon, Cinabre, Hanbury and Kitrea all with 70% or more juice for only a bit more than the regular price of one bottle. YAY! They are winging their way to us as I type.

January New Idea 2023

Well, YAYYYY! SUCCESS! 46 Samples/Decants drained! That’s 46 wins for January.


So please leave a comment with something you thunked in January for January New Idea. I’ll pick a winner randomly. Winner announced in the February New Idea 2023 post,
Portia xx

  • Brigitte says:

    A cheat thunk in that I broke it by dropping it on my basement floor…TF Japon Noir…my basement smells delicious.
    Portia, I am so impressed with your thunking! Keep at it 🙂

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I love this project! I have been attempting to draw down my box of travel sprays and decants. Some years ago I purchased a library of ten Fred Segal perfume oils and have managed to get through all those but one. Also for January I did thunk Nanadebary samples of Pink, Bronze, and Green.

  • Cassalou says:

    Well done! Great idea and great read Portia!!
    I’m going to follow your lead and actively try to finish more samples this year ?
    I’m going on a cruise next week and find that a little zip lock bag of samples is a good way to still have lots of options while not having to lug multiple bottles on board! (And there’s always the duty free shop for a generous spritz on the ay to dinner!) ??
    The only recent Thunking I have had is Mancera – Roses Greedy which I liked far more than I expected to!
    It reminded me of something that I used to wear “back in the day”
    After an hour or so of sniffing my wrist I realised that it was Elizabeth Taylor’s White Diamonds .. now I know its not to everyone’s taste but something in it just worked with my body chemistry and I used to get LOADS of compliments wearing this.. sadly my old bottle of WD was smelling a bit musty but I think I’ll purchase a bottle to try again before splurging on a bottle of the Mancera!
    I don’t know if it will be as potent as the OG but for about $30 bucks at Chemist Warehouse I think its worth a try ??

    • Portia says:

      Hey Cassalou,
      Have a spectacular time on your cruise. Good luck thunking while you’re away.
      Roses Greedy is very bloody cool, LOVE that it’s reminding you of White Diamonds.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    Your post was so fun to read Portia! I enjoy reading your reviews and learning what you sampled.I played the January New Idea thunking game. I sampled and thunked forgotten samples 4-5 times per week. I sampled some Jo Malone and Tom Ford and some random. All enjoyable but not FB worthy for me. I didn’t treat myself to a purchase this month. My dog has had some issues we are working through and his vet and food bills have been high. It’s okay, he is doing much better and I’m happy to give him my best. I have lots of perfume to wear! xoxo

    • Portia says:

      Oh Kathleen,
      Sorry to read about your dog. It’s freaking horrible when anything goes wrong with our furry ones. Hope all is better ASAP.
      Thanks for joining in on the thunking. Glad you got some empty samples in the bin.
      Portia x

  • KayKay says:

    Well done!!! I didn’t finish nearly as many as you (I thunked a total of 10 including a nearly full 5 ml sample of Maison Margiela’s By the Fireplace, its delicious, very spicy sweet and roasted chestnuts with a whiff of smoke. The others I finished were a 2ml of FM Portrait of a Lady, 1 ml of SL Fleurs d’Orangeur, 2 ml of Guerlain Mitsouko, a 2 ml of Shalimar, a 1 ml of FM Iris Poudre, a 1ml of Parfums MDCI Rose di Siwa,1 ml decant of SL Cedre, 1ml of SL Clair de Musc and 1ml of SL Encense et Lavande. I treated myself by getting a 30 ml bottle of Shalimar as I missed it quite alot once my decant was gone.

    • Portia says:

      Woo Hoo KayKay!
      Excellent work and that Shalimar 30ml is the perfect reward.
      How did you like SL Encense et Lavande? It’s one I wish I had bought but never did, yet.
      Portia x

      • KayKay says:

        SL Encense et Lavande was a darling fragrance. Its quite interesting how the scent seems to change between being much cooler, almost icy florals into the warm herbal and incense, warm and powdery. I enjoyed it in all its many facets and may have to spring for a bigger decant some time in summer.

  • Dina C. says:

    Fabulous mini reviews, Portia! So many likes and loves, and only 2 really bad ones that I could see. Great. Loved your reactions. I received Elie Saab Le Parfum from my son for Christmas, and it really is a beauty. I personally thunked 3 full size tubes of scented bath gel this month. I’m working on my samples still, but have yet to thunk any.

    • Portia says:

      Heya DinaC,
      Yeah, I’m fairly omnivorous when it comes to perfume. There has to be something that really irritates me for it to be a no go.
      Congratulations on the bath gels getting used up. That is a huge win.
      Portia x

  • Joyce says:

    What an excellent idea, Portia, and I enjoyed the meticulous daily notes.

    I am slowly working through samples of Keiko Mecheri Mogador (elegant rose), The Beautiful Ones (stunning, chilled tuberose), MFK A la Rose (very nice, almost FB worthy) and a freebie Rose Extase (Nina Ricci) which is surprisingly good. I do have a thunk by third party: My cat swatted Vetiver Tonka and knocked it straight into the toilet bowl 🙁

    • Portia says:

      HA HA HA HA HA!! Cats are the devil in a fur coat. Poor Vetiver Tonka, probably smells like crap now. HA HA HA HA

      I think there is a Rose Extase sample around here too. I’m going to hunt for it.
      Portia xx

      • Joyce says:

        Well, it definitely gave “eau de toilette” a whole new meaning 😉 my cat was very pleased with himself.

        Definitely give Rose Extase a try – interestingly Kurkdjian is the perfumer, and if I have to decide on a full bottle between it and A la rose, RE wins by a small margin.

  • Jennifer S says:

    Omg. Look at those boxes! I would be in heaven with those. Also, out of my element. As in overwhelmed. But still having fun!
    Are you also keeping track of the thunked that you loved and possibly want again?
    My decant of Whispers in the Library is about kaput. I like it a lot but don’t feel I need a full bottle of it and I’ve read Novel by Alt is an almost spot on dupe so….we’ll see.

    • Portia says:

      Hi JenniferS,
      This is my reference for these fragrances. There are a couple that made it to the want list already. Not as many as I expected though, phew!
      Whispers in the Library is such a good name for a perfume.
      Portia xx

  • AnnieA says:

    My January decant delete was much more modest, with Montale Ristretto Intense Cafe, Malle Eau de Magnolia and Hallucinogenic Pearl. Had already bought a bottle of the Ristretto and travel spray of the Malle, so might just wait to go crazy in perfume stores when I finally get to Montreal in May…!

    • Portia says:

      Hey AnnieA,
      Emptying ANY samples is a big deal. One less burden of guilt around the house.
      Hallucinogenic Pearl! What a title.
      Portia x

  • MMKinPA says:

    My thunk was a cheat – I dropped a sample of Dame Chocolate + Milk and it broke… ? – I would definitely have thunked it, though – very realistic milk chocolate that would have been lovely layered with a bunch of other smells. I have a lot of samples that I could manage to thunk properly, need to get on it!!

    • Portia says:

      Hey MMKinPA,
      BUMMER about your sample. Dame do some excellent fragrances. One day I’m going to get to the store.
      Portia x

  • March says:

    WHOA what an amazing post! I giggled at your fish oil … no; and hard cheese yes. I bet I’d love Fern and Om, and some others! Obviously don’t enter me in the giveaway, but what a blast to read, I am impressed by your diligence! Also way to go on your reward purchase there at the end. <3

    • Musette says:

      What March Said (and also DNEM) – this was a HOOT!!! to read. Fwiw I haven’t ‘thunked’ anything on skin, since it’s Winter and I do not play in Winter (if I hate it I’m stuck with it on me for the rest of the day, working in a closed environment…cue ‘Jaws’ music). But I have been ‘thunking’ in my diffusers! Some… interesting.. samples!


    • Portia says:

      Thanks March.
      I’m now working my way through an 8ml Rose Splendid by Goutal. It’s so bloody good, rose++. I’m going to have to throw full 1ml samples on myself for bed to reach my 5 thunk quota this week.
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    That’s quite a collection, and so beautifully organised. Really enjoyed reading your thunking.

  • Brian Buchanan says:


    Did The Architects Club Monday, which had been hanging around since 2016.

    Result! … Love.

    • Portia says:

      HA Brian,
      Yeah, that was a very strange one for a general public offering. I’ve been thinking to revisit it actually.

      Woo Hoo for any thunk. One less hanging around.
      Portia xx

  • alityke says:

    Hi Portia. I’m trying to actively thunk, usually with a random lucky dip. I’ve been bad a using samples & decants up after a single spray, so I have a lots lying around hardly used.
    I haven’t been scented everyday & somedays I’ve just yearned for the familiar.
    However I have thunked a few & have treated myself.
    Thunked two Neela’s, Trayee & Bombay Bling from tiny oily drops. These were from the initial release of her brand. Both strong likes but way too expensive to buy for me & UK decanters don’t carry any NV’s
    Surprises were Narciso Rouge, I found it reminiscent of Max Factor Blaze from the 70’s without the honking sillage.
    The BIG surprise? M&S Discovery Warm Neroli. Will be perfect for spring/summer. Citrus over woody neroli. Quiet & contemplative. Very Jo Malone cologne vibe with the same lack of longevity. Currently £7.60 for 100ml EdT!!!
    My treat is Miller Harris Cassis en Feuille reduced from TKMaxx. One of the few MHs I enjoy. Yep I love pissy cassis leaf smell & tomato leaf is one of my rude or die notes. Can’t wait to get my hands on it’s heavily discounted loveliness

    • Portia says:

      YAY on your M&S discovery alityke!

      Also, a TKMaxx treat pickup is a dream. They don’t stock the good frags here in Oz. Miller Harris is my jam, tomato leaf is very cool but I think I’m hypernosmic to it. Mostly it overpowers everything else.
      Portia xx

      • alityke says:

        Treated myself to the M&S Warm Neroli too. At that price it would be rude not to. There is quite a buzz around the current new M&S fragrances here at the moment. I’m keen to find out who the authors of them are

  • Maya says:

    That was a fun read. You included perfumes I was wondering about and your descriptions were short and sweet and to the point. Thanks! I’m not actively thunking. What I have been doing for a while now is if I like a sample, I use it until it’s gone. Then I decide if I want a large decant or a bottle. And then I check out my budget………

    • Portia says:

      Thanks Maya, it was fun bringing it to you.

      You have such a sensible routine. If I’d done that there would be half the samples9decants and probably half the bottles.
      Portia xx