Sample Haul Arrived

Hi Posse! Late December I made a large order from Surrender To Chance. The other day my sample haul arrived. With all the restarting and reopening of life in Sydney I finally got to open the pack and have a little sniff around. It’s a little overwhelming actually. I never know where to start. Sometimes I just can’t decide and mu samples sit for ages. In the spirit of getting my sniff on maybe doing it as a post might get me into action. Thought you lot might like to join me as I sniff my way through this HUGE sample haul as well. In a couple of weeks we can go through the Frankincense and Myrrh sampler pack that I also grabbed.

Sample Haul Arrived

Sample Haul Arrived


Not all of this sample haul is new, mostly they are a couple of years old. The problem with so many things being released each year, and living so far away from the action, is that I can’t walk to a store and sample as much as the world hubs like NYC, Paris, Tokyo or London. No matter. If I’m having trouble keeping up then most of you will be in a similar position.

Armani Prive Cuir Noir 2011

Top: Australian sandalwood, Rose, Nutmeg, Coriander
Heart: Leather, Oud, Gaiac wood
Base: Tahitian vanilla absolute, Benzoin

Opening is like the smell of a freshly opened pack of BarBQ crisps. Plastic, stale air and over-flavoured snack foods. Burning rubber, meat breath, smoke,


This is awful on me. Chemical plant disaster next to a tannery. Somethings in this fragrance are attacking me hard. YUK!

OK, I may have over reacted just a little. An hour in and Cuir Noir is as cozy a sweet, vanilla leather could ever hope to be. Lasts in this lovely mode for ages before wisping off.

Celine Saint-Germain-des-Prés 2019

Petitgrain, Neroli, Orris butter, Heliotrope, Vanilla

What would a sample haul be without a wild card. I knew Celine had done an exclusive priced range. It feels like a complete money grab TBH. Having said that I’ve been curious, so trying one will give me the taste I needed.

OOOOHHHHH! The green snap of petitgrain and I think a healthy dollop of galbanum! WOW! This is terrific. It reminds me of Apollo Hyacinth from Eric Buterbaugh Florals. Not exactly the same but definitely in a similar vein. The opening morphs slowly to a cool powdery iris/heliotrope and then warms through as vanilla takes venture stage for dry down. WOW! Super WOW! WOW! Quite expensive but I want it SO MUCH!

Comme des Garçons Copper 2019

Persian galbanum, Peruvian pink pepper, Madagascan ginger, Tobacco leaf, Blackcurrant, Violet leaf, Amber, Vanilla, Ethiopian myrrh

Stark, dry, spicy opening that feels very reminiscent of the smells as Jin (my husband) goes about the business of being a sparky. Dust, sawdust, burning drilled cement and brick, the sizzle of electrical sparks and a plasticky vibe. This all floats for about 25 minutes above one of those ubiquitous 21st century bases. Nice but after the initial excitement could be any of a number of things.

Maison Lancome Parfait de Roses 2017

May rose, Frankincense, Pink pepper, Rose liqueur, Cistus, Vanilla absolute, Tolu balm

Not too long ago Patty was chatting about March & Musette loving Maison Lancome and we didn’t really get any knowledge of them here in Oz so I took a punt on three that sounded interesting. This is what getting a sample haul is about. Checking things out.

Roses and resins, sweet and voluptuous. The pepper gives that zing so often found in garden roses and I am reminded of drinking lilac cocktails in the 1980s with vodka, lemonade and Parfait Amour. There is even a slight growl at the back like many of the fragrances of that era, but done in the 21st century sotto voce style. Every so often through the heart it skirts the direst of rose adjectives, potpourri, but never quite falls in. If you haven’t yet found a rose to tempt you and you’re still looking then Parfait de Roses could be the one.

Maison Lancome Santal Kardamon 2018

Ceylonese sandalwood, Sandalwood, Mandarin orange, Pink pepper, Green cardamom

That lovely eucalyptus opening of Australian sandalwood is tempered by citrus and a zingy pink pepper. The cardamom is a creamy green that melds perfectly with the sandalwood lactonic (milky) style. A gourmand look at sandalwood. Not groundbreaking but done nicely and without the super diva effect of Guerlain Samsara or the dry rasp of Miler et Bertaux Santal +++. The whole fragrance loses that super sweetness beautifully for dry down.

Maison Lancome Tubéreuses Castane 2016

Roasted chestnut, Tuberose, Tuberose absolute, Venezuelan tonka bean

OOOH! Tuberose with a sweet, nutty accompaniment! Sensational. The opening reminds me of that very expensive, single wrapped nougat crossed with Robert Piguet Petit Fracas. That nuttiness lingers through the heart and is overtaken in the dry down by a softly delicious tonka. The tuberose gets a little poopy as it dries down, unexpected and fun. No, not poopy but it’s a note that was used heavily in toilet sprays in the 1970-80s in Australia. So it reminds me of poop.


Here is the last time I wrote about an order arriving on Perfume Posse.


Do any of my sample haul tickle your fancy?
Portia xx



  • AnnieA says:

    Bought Lancome Oud Bouquet and like it, although it’s mainly a fancy version of Prada Candy. Sniffed the marzipan one and it was vile. Evil candy

    • Portia says:

      Interesting AnnieA,
      You know, I smelled Prada Candy when it first came out but should really go back and resniff with a more open mind. A few people whose noses I admire like it.
      Portia xx

  • Cinnamon says:

    Hmmm, will have to try the Armani. Love cardamom in perfume so will have to try the Lancome as well.

  • March says:

    Oh, how I love that photo! I got secondhand excitement just looking at it — nothing like a little box from StC! I heartily agree on Parfait — I am NOT a rose fan and it’s kind of rose gourmand (which frankly sounds even more awful) and yet, I love it. I don’t own a bottle, just a decant, but I’m a fan. And I love the Tuberose one as well, that’s the bottle I bought, and I liked the creaminess of the Santal.

  • Musette says:

    okay! I think I’mo have to come back to this post. I nearly wet my pants, laughing, at the Armani. Omg. I’m still heaving!!! OMGomgO.M.G.

    xoxo I’ll come back, later… after I stop laughing. And after I go pee.