Perfume Overload and South Korea

Hi there Posse. Hope this finds you all safe, well and fed. Having just been on a very short South Korea jaunt I thought you might like to see a few of the pics of our adventures. The real reason is that I’m wearing so many perfumes in my New Idea 2023 series that I’m not really wanting to write about other perfume. Yeah. Perfume Overload can be a bitch.

Perfume Overload and South Korea

South Korea was fabulous. We got some heavily discounted flights with Australia’s mainly domestic budget airline JetStar, which we affectionately call ShitStar. It’s no frills but the staff are nice, lack of leg room is offset by amazing prices and we are not flying snobs. The food is pretty ordinary but we always take our own, sandwiches, snacks etc. I also carry an empty 2ltr plastic bottle through customs and get it filled in the lounge. It means I’m not annoying the hostess more than necessary and I’m able to hydrate all the way.

We had two of our girlfriends join us for 5 nights of our 8. TinaG is an old hand travelling with us and a new adventurer Kerri. TBH I’m always screwed up tighter when we have travel guests and have to constantly remind myself it’s a holiday. Both the girls had some minor health issues and we navigated those really well. Jin is bloody amazing as an itinerary planner and guide. Without him the wheels would have fallen off the bus innumerable times. He is also the best balm to any irritation, without being afraid of confrontation.

Perfume Overload? Not So Much

I only ended up taking three perfumes because the pack of travels I’d made remained on my desk. It was three decants that made the journey. Vintage Hermès Caleche, vintage Givenchy L’Interdit and Miller Harris La Fumee Ottoman! I also bought ZARA Vetiver Pamplemousse and three Neared fragrances from a super cool vintage clothing and handbag store, Neared.

Emptied 5ml each of Caleche and L’Interdit and smelled bloody wonderful. We all wore some La Fumee Ottoman and it is SPLENDID!! More on it next month.

Perfume Overload and South Korea

Arrival & Busan

We did a night in Seoul on arrival at the Four Points Sheriton across the road from Seoul Railway Station.

Then caught the train to Busan (yes, the girls are zombie horror freaks. It was big time entertainment).

Somehow Jin had found the most unbelievable deal for a night with breakfast for us at the Westin Josun Busan. It is bloody awesome, make sure you pay the extra for the Haeundae Beach views.

Then Jin and I spent a night at Mum & Dad’s. The girls had a night in Yangsan’s famous Love Motels. They are outlandishly decorated, enormous suites where lovers in South Korea can buy a place to next by the hour. A night in them is around US$40. They are fastidiously clean and comfortable. The girls LOVED them. Each room was bigger than their apartments.

There may have been eating, drinking and sight seeing included.


Then we headed back up to Seoul, the Insadong district. It used to be the run down red light district and has been gentrified out of all semblance of itself in the last 10 years. Still slightly seedy it’s home to Gay Town, Food, Clubs and the laneways which are full of really cool high end retail, food, vintage clothing and desserts galore. Jin and I have been going to the same BarBQ place there since our first Seoul visit together in 2013. The staff know us and we often get preferential seating and a queue jump.

Insadong is also walking distance from Palaces, shrines, parklands, the most famous Seoul Food, Vintage Clothing and Fabric Market.
From Wikipedia: Gwangjang Market, previously Dongdaemun Market, is a traditional street market in Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea. The market is one of the oldest and largest traditional markets in South Korea, with more than 5000 shops and 20,000 employees in an area of 42,000 square metres.
If you ever get to Seoul it’s the best place to try all the areas traditional street foods in one place.

We also took some time to wander the Zaha Hadid designed arts and food precinct. So bloody cool.

We also saw Jin’s buddy, who came to stay at ours over World Pride and Mardi Gras this year, Leo. This is our farewell shot.

Jin’s cousin and her family did a huge meal for us all as well. It was banquet proportions and some of the most delicious Korean delicacies. Heaven. we love them so much.

Once Kerri and TinaG went back home we headed back to Busan for a couple of nights and hung out with Ma, Pa and Aunty. Wet snuck off one night so Jin could eat a whole plate of spicy squid. He was so excited.

Wedding Dress

Then our last day was spent ordering Jin’s brother’s fiancé’s wedding dress in traditional South Korean style but all white. Thank everything I have a background in fashion or they would have stonewalled us. I got to have a serious shout before they conveniently remembered that they could get what was needed. It will be ready by September and we will take it with us when we go to Slovakia in November for the nuptials. I can’t show you a pic of what we ordered but here’s the shape and style of dress in pale pink, grey and flesh whites. Imagine it in all white.

Jumped on a plane and headed home.

What’s your next adventure? Do you ever suffer Perfume Overload?
Portia xx

  • Ariel says:

    Glad you are getting out! Jin’s face in the spicy squid picture is extra fabulous.

    I was supposed to be in New Orleans to visit my dear in-laws, but le covid caught up with my household this last week- three years from when we first started sheltering from home.

    I can’t smell anything right now, but I keep opening my many samples and decants with hope 🙂

    Glad you escaped Busan!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Ariel,
      HA! Jin was bursting with excitement for that squid. I thunk he’d seen it on TV and it had triggered childhood memories.
      BUMMER about catching C19. I hope you have an easy, short ride with it.

      HA HA HA HA!! Yes, we were terrified of zombies.
      Portia xx

  • alityke says:

    So envious of your travels. We’ve only got away once since pandemic lockdown lifters. No idea when we’ll get away from the UK again either. DH is now planned to have surgery to take the remaining cancer away.
    The beach looks perfect. The photos make me want to walk along it. Specially if there is a delicious feed after the walk.

    Perfume overload, yep! I did a week of musks, including some big hitters. It did get me to empty some samples but now I need a break from samples & thinking about scent.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Alityke,
      Hope the cancer stuff goes well for your DH.
      Yes, Haeundae Beach is as perfect as you could hope. The water is bloody freezing though, apparently all year round.

      Yay for thunking, get you on the ennui.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing your trip! South Korea is now on my LIST!!! It looks fascinating – and gorgeous. Love that shot with the red umbrella.
    I also love the wedding dress – I love the shapes and styles of Asian dress but, alas, am not built for them. Sigh.
    I rarely get Perfume Overload because I am too lazy to actually TRY any of the 300million samples I have! LOL!

    Love to Jin – and, as always, to you.

    • Portia says:

      HA HA HA HA HA!! This is EXACTLY why I’m doing this New Idea 2023. By the end of this month it will be nearly 150 samples/decants drained. Hopefully there will be next to none left by the end of the year.
      South Korea is amazing Musette. I think you’d love it.
      Portia xx

  • Tom says:

    What a great trip! Those towers at the beach are quite quite, and that wedding dress is going to be lovely.

    • Portia says:

      HA! Tom, I love you.
      They are very quite quite. Unfortunately they were super expensive to buy into and lobbied the council to stop fireworks on the beach at night, which had been one of the wonderful fun attractions of Haeundae Beach. They also built out most of Jin’s Aunt’s view. They are very spectacular though, towering out of nowhere.
      Thanks, we had such fun getting the dress organised.
      Portia x

      • Tom says:

        I love people who move someplace for the fun then immediately want to stop that fun when it impacts them. We get that in WeHo with people buying a condo two feet from the bars in boystown who then complain about the noise and parking. Conversely we get the same thing in BH with people who move into the quietest part then get upset when the Popo comes and shuts down their all-night backyard disco orgy. I mean, don’t move to Sodom on Santa Monica Blvd and then complain that they’re aren’t in bed by 10pm with a gin and Ensure..

        • Portia says:

          Yeah, same happens here in Sydney. People are weird.

        • cinnamon says:

          People did that move thing during covid to southwest England (where I live). Idiots who moved next to big farms (how idealic — those cows are so cute) and then complained mightily when the farmers did muck spreading on the fields. Twits indeed.

  • Jennifer S says:

    As always, love seeing your travel pics! Everything looks very clean and modern there and that beach view is just stunning! I think I suffer more from perfume forgetfulness. My stash is in a box tucked away and if I don’t take it out from time to time I forget what’s in it lol.

    • Portia says:

      Thanks JenniferS,
      South Korea is this very interesting mix of ultra modern since the 1950s and traditional. Yes, it is very clean, especially in the communal areas like parks, public transport and most eateries.
      Oh yes, I know the perils of putting things in boxes. This happens to me too.
      Portia x

  • MMKinPA says:

    Fabulous trip! I don’t pack a lot of perfume for travel, but often have samples/travel sizes for every day. We don’t have any plans for big trips for a while. Some work on the house is due.

  • March says:

    This was FABULOUS — like Cinnamon I love these travel jaunts! And all that food! And there was something about seeing those photos (it’s clearly fall, right?) that felt so cozy, particularly as I’m still kind of waiting for spring to arrive here. So glad you’re getting to do all these fun things, I’m thinking that post-lockdown made them extra special, being able to travel again. (I think Oz took lockdown pretty seriously.)

    • Portia says:

      Hey March,
      So glad to give you a lift. Korea is in Spring, we missed the massed display of cherry blossoms by a week and it was still chilly overnight, down to -3C (26f). We did get to see some of the early bloomers.
      Yes, Australia had some of the harshest lockdowns. I basically spent two years in the apartment. Fortunately Jin had to go to work and was earning. We muddled through.
      It is really good to be back seeing the world. Jin’s parents are so happy to see us when we are in town. It’s worth the expense just to see them, but with the added amazingness of being in South Korea.
      Portia x

  • cinnamon says:

    I love your travel posts. So full of interesting stuff and great pics. Next adventure … well, between paying for crown and taxes it’s going to be staycation this year — not sure in what form. That’s fine, though. There’s a lot to do locally. Perfume overload … indeed. After I closed the online perfume shop around 10 years ago I didn’t want to wear stuff for about six months (I guess that isn’t really overload — rather, sort of lockdown). I think part of that was have to big up all stock, even the things I didn’t like much. I was very pleased when it lifted.

    • Portia says:

      Thanks Cinnamon,
      YAY! Staycations are my favourite. telling everyone I’ve gone away for a couple of days and just staying home and mooching. Heaven.
      Yeah, I bet it was a real need to shut down your olfactory system for a while.
      Portia xx