Skip to main content


I heard birds chirping outside our bedroom this morning as I woke up. It was really early, the sky just starting to lighten, but the sound made me jump out of bed in a VERY good mood, feeling happy and full of energy. Our birds are back, the pair that build their nest under the eaves every year. Spring is here again. 

As I showered and dressed, I decided to wear fragrance today, something I haven’t done for a couple of weeks due to a bad cold. If I can’t smell it, no point wearing it and wasting it. What would I wear? The morning was sunny, and checking the street from the front window, I tried to imagine our little front garden filled with green shoots and early spring flowers. But it was a stretch - there were piles of snow still to melt and a definite wind, which meant a scarf would still be required inside the puffy jacket. No, not a floral, not yet, it would have to be something interesting but easy, maybe something woody and smooth. I knew exactly what I would wear.

Cocoa Woods by NEST Fragrances.  Never heard of NEST? NEST Fragrances for home and body - candles and body sprays - debuted in 2008, and the line of simple but appealing EdP sprays in the distinctive and incredibly lovely floral bottles** launched in 2012. Created by owner Laura Slatkin, working with perfumers such as Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Christophe Laudamiel, the line of simple but sophisticated and very affordable scents now numbers thirteen. Cocoa Woods from 2018 is by perfumer Jerome Epinette ( check out his fragrances for Atelier Colognes, Byredo, Jovoy, Olfactive Studio) is the twelfth, and according to the SA in Sephora, it’s the current best-seller in the line. 

Cocoa Woods is exactly as described, right from the top. Woods with cocoa. But this is a long way from a mug of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows sipped by a campfire. This accord is bitter cocoa, dry and powdery with hints of dark-roast coffee, dusted over smooth-as-silk creamy sandalwood, wrapped in aromatic sequoia and cedar boughs. The deep forest scent is perfectly paired with the bitter cocoa powder so that neither becomes overwhelming, and together they have a real presence which is surprisingly beautiful. Somewhere in the distance are exotic white flowers and gingery spice, their waft is faint but has a subtle sweetness which softens the cocoa woods accord, making it warm and musky in the dry-down. 

As it turned out, Cocoa Woods was an excellent choice today, the first official day of spring. Woody, powdery but not sweet, warm but not heavy, interesting and different, it was easy to wear and kept me in my happy mood all day. I think I’ll wear it tomorrow, too.

Regardless of gender, if you’re thinking you might like a woody fragrance but aren’t ready for the deep forest, try Cocoa Woods. I know you’ll like it.

Cocoa Woods is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.

** The NEST Fragrances floral designs on each bottle are by eighteenth century decoupage artist, Mary Delaney. Her works were detailed and botanically accurate depictions of plants. She used tissue paper and hand coloration to produce these pieces. She created 985 of these works, calling them her "Paper Mosaiks", from the age of 71 to 88, when her eyesight failed her. Wikipedia

Image - Cocoa Woods bottle with Mary Delaney floral design -




Image - Wikipedia, Penguins courting on Salisbury Plain,.South Georgia Island - by Messina1245

Sunny warmer days, tweeting birds…. it’s springtime! People are out and about sans scarves and gloves, more skin is showing, more eye contact being made….cabin fever morphs into spring fever.

Men, it’s time to get busy!  Are you ready? Cause if you aren’t, you are going to miss out and no one hates FOMO more than we do.

As always, we’ve got you covered – covered in fabulous spring scents. Here, just for you, are four fragrances that will kick-start your libido and reboot your mojo! It’s Spring!

Men’s Spring Pack 2019

Four I ml. decants, regular $21.00 for $17.00

1805 Tonnerre - BeauFort London

“Tonnerre” means thunder in English and this EdP imagines the Battle of Trafalgar. Hey, love is a battlefield!  Smoky, boozy, and piney, 1805 Tonnerre dries down to a ghostly, ethereal scent. For moody romantics…warriors and poets and lovers…

L’Eau Guerrière  - Parfumerie Générale

Need some Warrior Water? We recommend the kind that Pierre Guillaume makes: L’Eau Guerrière, PG20 which he describes as “modern, and raw, an eau infused with dry woods”. The one that is fresh, resinous, woody, earthy, grassy, transparent, musky, and blatantly sexy. 

Sandalo – Lorenzo Villloresi

Sandalo is an ode to the sandalwood note right from the opening punch. With its sensual musky dry-down, so different from other sandalwoods, Sandalo by the award-winning Italian perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi, is magnetic, addictive, arresting. Guys, step out of your safe zone, be adventurous. Try this one. 

Uomo Salvatore Ferragamo Signature – Salvatore Ferragamo

This is not for knuckle-dragging Neanderthals. This is a confident, refined, seductive manly scent that’s earthy, spicy and just a little sweet, but it’s the soft, supple leather note that causes the “lean in”. Irresistible!

Men’s Spring Pack 2019 is listed in our Decant Store. Four 1 ml. decants, regular $21.00 for $17.00.



Welcome to

"She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight."

                                                                       Raymond Chandler

We are Gwen and Kay, two perfumistas making our scent journey in the cool, clear North.  We are also BFFs - we hang out together a lot, travel together - so we try, buy and share fragrances.

What started out as a shared interest grew into a hobby, and has now become our obsession.

We’ve spent many evenings with a glass of prosecco, a little cool jazz playing in the background, spritzing, sniffing - “How does this smell on you?” and, sadly, sometimes scrubbing.

We’ve tested and tried hundreds of samples over the years, and when we deemed a fragrance ”full bottle worthy” (FBW), one of us has tracked it down and bought it. We now own a lot of really great perfumes, and we continue to buy bottles of what we think is the best of "niche" as new scents are launched.

Also, we include many perfume "classics" that are the foundations of modern perfumery - like Shalimar, Chanel No.5, Eau Sauvage - plus other perfume "gems" that have been discontinued, or were ahead of their time when launched but now fit perfectly in the Niche category. 

With so many exciting discoveries, we can’t help but talk about our passion with other friends. Wherever we go, people ask “What is that perfume you’re wearing? Where can I get that?” So we end up sharing a bit of our “juice” with friends. But the circle has grown, so we've started this website to let others buy and try samples from our collections and experience the fragrant beauty we write about.


We blog

We blog once a week and post a story about a scent from our collections, and add it to our Decant Store. We're not scent critics, so these aren't negative reviews. We love all our fragrances  - that’s why we bought them! But we describe how we think they smell, and share our stories about why we love them - maybe you’ll rediscover an old flame, or fall in love with a new scent.

Or we post conversations about whatever has grabbed our attention recently. Or we write about a specific perfume note,  and offer a Decant Pack, which allows you to explore new territory by trying 3 or 4 fragrances in a special pack at a special discount price.

We sell

We sell 1 ml. decants - .7 ml volume once you allow for the stopper in the vial - filled from our own bottles in our collection because the only way to experience a fragrance is to try it on your own skin. We take the fragrance from its original bottle and decant it into a smaller brand-new, 1 ml sterilized glass vials so that you can try it on your skin to see if you like it.

Through our Decant Store you'll have access to some of the world’s greatest niche scents, hard-to-find fragrances, and classic favourites. 

When you click on the Decant Store tab you’ll find our personal descriptions of each of the fragrances we currently offer from our collection, then you can add them to your Shopping Cart.

Let's be clear (this is a disclaimer!!)

  • We don’t sell full bottles of any fragrance - just .7ml decants. We only sell decants  from the perfumes we've bought.... because we love them.
  • We don't re-sell manufacturers samples.
  • We don’t represent any perfumers or distributors, so we don’t have every scent from a whole line of perfume.
  • We aren’t being paid to promote any product or scent.

If, after sampling a fragrance, you decide that you must have it, i.e. it is FBW (full bottle worthy), and you can’t find it, e-mail us and we will direct you to the best source we know – retail store or online source.

We provide

A place for you to learn about scent, and to share your fragrance experience with others. Click on the section called Resources, under My Perfume Notes (see top right), where  you'll find a Glossary, and fragrance FAQs. You'll also find two great tools we've created - Handmaps and My Sample Perfume Notes - so you can keep track of, and record your own scent experiences.
We hope you enjoy, and visit us often. Leave your preconceptions behind, look around, see what’s on offer, read the Blog, share your experiences and discoveries, and join the circle.

It’s just us.