Skip to main content

Gwen: Hey, Kay, the first snow fall of the season last night inspired me to look up some of our past blogs on Christmas. They’re kinda fun.

Kay: We sure had fun writing them!  Our readers always love the decant packs that we offer for the Holiday season.

Gwen: Well, let’s give them a little Christmas cheer this year too.

Kay: Am I thinking what you’re thinking?

Gwen: I think you are.

Kay: Sort of like our Christmas Pack from a few years ago, which was all about the traditional smells of Christmas in the North.

Gwen: Mind reader! I smell spices, and incense, and chestnuts and fireplaces, and pine trees…

Kay: And shortbread and eggnog and oranges and rum, and Grandpa’s pipe tobacco…

Gwen: Doesn’t the holiday season smell great?

Kay: Just wait till you smell the Holiday Season 2018 Decant Pack.

Gwen: Kay, I think I just got elfed! I just got this huge, powerful urge to buy one of our own Holiday Season 2018 Decant Packs. I have to know…what’s in it?

Kay: MMMmmm! Fabulous frags,  a few gourmands, some woods, some leather, some new, some old.  Here it is….AND it’s 20% off regular price. Our readers deserve a Holiday discount!     

Holiday Season 2018 Decant Pack

Ten 1 ml. decants of exceptional Holiday scents, regular price $54.00for $44.00, plus shipping.  


The traditional smells of Christmas in the North…for all perfume lovers!

Caravelle Epicé - spices and fruits, eggnog and rum, the smell of Christmas celebrations.

Déclaration  - bitter citrus, spicy/salty, woody. Martini, anyone?

Vanilla Marble – vanilla and almond, delicate, dreamy and delicious

Idole – rum, spices, sweet tobacco. Party time!

Orange Star – bitter orange, incense, amber, rich comfort

Castagna – spicy, earthy, sweet chestnuts…roasting, like the song

Rhinoceros – leather, rum, smoky woods

Fille en Aiguilles – resinous pine, earthy and green – Holiday boughs

L'Eau d'Ambre Extrême – spicy, peppery, uncomplicated warmth  

Cardinal – incense, cool and clear on a cold dark night

Gwen: This sounds so delicious, so good, that I’m going to buy TWO packs, one for me and one for you! I’ve definitely been elfed! Maybe I elfed myself…

Kay: Maybe you are an elf! After all, it is nearly Christmas.....

The Holiday Season 2018 Decant Pack is listed in our Decant Store.

Ten 1 ml. decants of exceptional Holiday scents, for all perfume lovers. Regular price $54.00 for $44.00, plus shipping. 

Image - Wikimedia Commons - Sexy Elf sketch 




Samsara was created in 1989 by Jean-Paul Guerlain as an homage to the woman in his life, supposedly inspired by her love of two perfume notes, and is viewed as a modern classic in the Guerlain pantheon. It is a woody-floral Oriental fragrance, an ode to the exquisite union of sandalwood and jasmine. The name Samsara signifies "eternal rebirth" in Sanskrit and is part of the "wheel of life", a religious reference of Tibetan Buddhism. It evokes the perpetual voyage from one existence to the next, an invitation to serenity and harmony.

Samsara….the name is exotic and mystical, it rolls off the tongue, evocative, mesmerizing… Samsara, Samsara, Samsara….

Three years ago I wrote about Samsara, the Eau de Parfum version, which has taken its place as a member of the Guerlain Royal Family alongside Shalimar, Jicky, Mitsouko, Vol de Nuit, L’Heure Bleue , etc. Tart fruit, rich florals, the classic Guerlinade accord of vanilla, tonka and amber, the dry elegance of aromatic woods, Samsara is a dramatic mix of refined elegance and clear radiant warmth. Read about it here.

Samsara, the Parfum Extrait version, is the same beautiful fragrance with the same beautiful notes but presents itself quite differently. From the first moments on my skin, Samsara Parfum is smoother, richer, creamier, with the vanilla sandalwood accord dominant, accented with whiffs of dried peaches, while the sharper more medicinal green leaves, ylang and citrus opening of the EdP is much more subdued.

The heart is sweet soft jasmine, mixed with rose and lots of violet so that it feels powdery and slightly balsamic, with the odd note of dried tea. The dry-down into the base builds on the vanilla sandalwood from the opening, made warm, musky, smoky, by an infusion of more sandalwood, vanillic tonka bean, amber, and musk, and reveals new facets such as licorice and pepper.

Samsara EdP has dramatic power in its opening, but in its heart is a soft scent with a lush beauty. Samsara Parfum Extrait is softer and more radiant from start to finish, making it more personal and much more intimate, a scent that warms the skin for hours with an elegant sillage.

Samsara Parfum Extrait feels more lush and fully formed, more dimensional, deeper, creamier, than the Samsara EdP. I have the feeling this is the version Jean-Paul Guerlain gave to the woman in his life.

Try a sample of each and see if you agree.

Samsara Parfum Extrait is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $20.00 for 1 ml.

Samsara EdP is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

Image - Guerlain Samsara Parfum Extrait,




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.