Decants: Portia Gets Sniffing

Hey Posse. DECANTS! The excitement and bane of my existence. Obviously, I want to get my sniff on as much as possible. That also leaves the conundrum: wear samples/decants or wear favourites? So it’s been a conscious decision to wear a whole bunch of previously untouched beauties, some left over from when my Sample Haul Arrived. PLUS another Surrender To Chance order arrived recently. Have you noticed how many new things the crew are getting in? SO TEMPTING! Patty’s Pineward Perfumes review had me back on there last week ordering up more samples (I know!). It’s taken me a while to get through the last lot and work out which ones I thought you’d like to know about. Here’s a fairly diverse group that piqued my interest for one reason or another.

By the way, I was interviewed for a radio show recently by a couple of my longtime mates. If you’d like to have a listen here’s a link.
Let’s Get Deep> Michael & Nathan Interview Portia Turbo  <JUMP

Decants: Portia Gets Sniffing

Decants: Portia Gets Sniffing

So Amber by Montale 2016

I’m not sure why they called this So Amber. It’s a sweet, jammy rose with vanilla undercurrent. Misnomer aside it’s nice. Not as thick and determined as a lot of the Montale line. More laid back, prettier. Very comfortable wear. I’m not sure if it would get reached for if I bought more than a decant.

The Eyes of the Tiger by Gucci 2019

Amber. A vanilla heavy amber. It smells gorgeous but nothing new. If you have zero amber in your collection then you might like to try this, it’s good.

Tears of Iris by Gucci 2019

The name of this perfume got me ordering a decant. Fabulous title. A dry, powdery, leather and cardboard iris with a beautiful sweetness running through it. Heavier than much of the rest of this super expensive Gucci line and now I know why people are raving about it. Tears of Iris is bloody good stuff. If I was currently richer I’d buy a bottle right now. Iris is one of my favourite notes, so versatile. The title makes you think it will be a melancholy scent but no way, this is uplifting.

Couleur Vanille by L’Artisan Parfumeur 2020

Salty immortelle, peony and crackling vanilla. WOW! This is freaking beautiful. GAWD! My eyes roll back in my head in ecstasy when I spritz this on myself. Do you remember that cheapy from 2007, Guess by Marciano? Pretty much that with the most wonderful salty twang added. Couleur Vanille is really thick and dense, once it hits the heart it stays linear for hours and hours.

Pink Pepper Wood by 1000 Flowers

Woody woodiness. Fizzy woodiness. Floral woodiness. Amber woodiness. They’re all here in this ode to woods. Considering how woody the perfume is there is distinct and interesting progression. This came out so long ago. I’ve clearly been out of the loop on 1000 Flowers, which is a small crew that I love, run by creator Jessica Buchanan.

Armani Prive Fil Rouge by Giorgio Armani

This smells awful on me. One of the notes is quite overbearing and smells like the metallic blood note in Bull’s Blood by Imaginary Authors. I’m so glad I hate the opening of this perfume because the usually gorgeous Armani Prive bottle is very unattractive to me also, looks like some naughty kid got into the perfume cupboard and paint pots. Once that disconcerting opening drops off it becomes a very pretty floral with amber underpinnings.

Material by Amouage

Another very simple, gorgeous, lightly spiced vanilla heavy amber. Fabulous but nothing new.

Boundless by Amouage

This is a MUCH more interesting decant. Still amber but the ginger, cardamom, elemi and citrus are excellent in the open. They work together to give a wonderful herbaceousness that has my nose singing. It’s like picking fresh basil. Then the resins and chocolate patchouli work in delightful tandem with the vanilla heavy amber. I love this. STRAIGHT on the To Buy List (when I’m earning again)

Eden-Roc by DIOR

I tried this when it first came out in Australia and was blown away. Our only place to buy the prive line is a department store in town but I have issues with the crap staff there so was hoping to buy it on an overseas jaunt, clearly that’s not happening for Australians any time soon.
The salty seaside. This is aquatic taken all the way to the extreme. Such a bold move in a line that has become slightly banal and boring. This seaside includes the funky, under the boardwalk seaweed, the smoke and oil from the boats, the glass cleaner smell of early morning shops and the never ending lure of the waves striking the beach and hissing back. I’m glad I bought a large decant because though I want a bottle of this with all my heart it probably wouldn’t get the wear it deserves. 5ml should see me through.

Santal Kardamon by Lancome

I think I wrote lovingly of this last time but using up the dregs of my decant today and it was SO SWEET! It instantly turned my stomach a bit and I felt an incipient headache that fortunately never fully materialised. The first 30 minutes were really yuck then suddenly everything calmed down to a beautiful spicy vanilla woods. It then lasted about 18 hours before I had a bath and washed it off. I just picked up the top I was wearing, for washing, and it still smells fully of Santal Kardamon 2 days later.

So there you are, some wins, some losses.


Talking Wins & Losses. Here are the WINNERS of the Lava Rose by Strangers Parfumerie GIVEAWAY
Grizzlesnort, DinaC, Wild Gardener, Louise, Dan
Please send me your Name & Address with Lava Rose in the eMail Subject.
portia (underscore) turbo (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au
You have a week from today or I’ll give it to someone else

Any of these decants pique your interest?
What have you been sampling lately and how was it?
Portia xx


  • Kathleen says:

    Hi Portia! Fun post hearing about your explorations. I’m on the Surrender to Chance site to order some samples after reading Patty’s post about the Pinewards Velveteen. I also have Zoologist Chipmunk in my cart and now need to add Tears of Iris and Colouer Vanille. You have a way of making perfume sound enticing!
    Agreed, the prices of new releases are making me look backwards at older/vintage perfumes from discounters to explore the gems I missed out on. Much more affordable! xoxo

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Kathleen,
      I’ve been so carried away by Spring here in Sydney I completely forgot to open my STC package. It’s got some Pinewards in it!
      Chipmunk! The perfumer is a mate of mine, Pia Long. She is clever, beautiful, funny and talented.
      I hope you enjoy your Portia inspired samples too. If I do I’ll be expecting a couple of enabler pins!
      There are so many brilliant perfumes that are just a few or even a LOT of years old that go for peanuts on the discounters. Hard to resist.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    omg. I hate you SO HORD! 😉 That Gucci Tears of Iris sounds right up my alley!

    grrrr… 😉


  • March says:

    Oooooh! What a fun dip into a whole lotta things I haven’t tried…. I think I’m going to order the Pineward sample set, but I’m waiting to see if my wack nose spray compound makes any improvements to my sense of smell.

    • Portia says:

      Fingers crossed for your continued recovery March. Some Pineward arrived yesterday, I’m so excited to get sniffing them. Just had a bath and letting my skin breathe a bit, then it’s PINEWARD time!
      Portia xx

  • rosarita says:

    The Pineward line is intriguing! My most recent new sniff is Zoologist Chipmunk, which I really like – the note list is my greatest hits – it smells familiar, and dries down to a warm and snuggly scent that lasts for a day and a night. Cosy/nutty/spicy with fir and vetiver. I don’t think I need it but if a travel spray landed in my lap I would wear it.

    • Portia says:

      Chipmunk is something I’d like to get my sniff on Rosarita. I’m madly in love with the perfumer, Pia Long. She has produced the Boujee Bougies candle line and Terror & Magnificence for BeauFort London. I think she’s definitely the perfumer to keep your eye on.
      Portia xx

  • Patty says:

    Agree with you on Eden-Roc, I love that stuff! Agree about the new Amouages. I miss Christopher driving that train. Though I am intrigued with that extraited Amouage Interlude 53, I think it is. Interlude is my fave, but the bottle is…. gulp, almost $500, I think. For that, I’ll go get Oudh Inifiniti from Dusita, which I am also craving.

    • Portia says:

      YAY! I’m so glad you love Eden-Roc too Patty. It’s delightfully weird, but not as confronting as Womanity.
      Perfumes are pricing themselves out of my ability to rationalise the cost. It’s started sending me back to the designers at the discounters. If I’m starting to feel this, perfume collecting despo that I am, how can anyone else feel their stuff is a worthwhile buy?
      Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    That l’Artisan sounds well worth trying. Will go have a look for it right this minute 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    Couleur Vanille is lovely, Amouage Material was pleasant but not compelling, not sure if I tried Boundless (I was recently sniffing at Scentrique in Vancouver). Xerjoff 1888 was fun, kind of a nag champa smell, maybe a bit of cola too. Had fun sniffing through A Lab on Fire, really liked Hossegor and Hallucinogenic Pearl. Next on my wish list is those Pineward samples!

    • Portia says:

      Hey TaraC,
      I love the A Lab On Fire aesthetic. I’d love to sniff through the whole range one day.
      I had a few Pineward decants arrive from Surrender To Chance today. *’ll be sniffing them this week! SO EXCITED!
      Portia x