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Most Saturdays throughout the summer and into late fall, my brother and I meet up and walk to the local farmer's market together. We love good food made from great produce and each other, so this is an easy way for us to catch up and just be together.

A week before Thanksgiving, I noticed something in the air as we set out for the market.

'Are you wearing a fragrance'? I asked him.

'Yep,' he said.

'But you never wear fragrance!'

'That's right.'

'But you're wearing it now.'


My brother is a man of few words.



'I've given you aftershaves, colognes and EdPs over the years, and they just sit on your bathroom shelf.

'Yep, and thank you.'

'What changed?'

'New girlfriend.'

'You have a new girlfriend?'

‘Yep. And she likes Noir.’

‘By Tom Ford?’


I don’t know what made me happier - the fact that my brother has a new girlfriend who seems to like fragrances or the fact that I had a new fragrance discovery. Tom Ford Noir had cast its spell on me, so after the market, I nosed around the web to learn more about it. Tom Ford Noir was launched in 2012 and was the first fragrance in the Noir Series, which grew to include Noir Eau de Toilette, Noir Anthracite, Noir Extreme and Noir Pour Femme. It was signed by Olivier Gillotin of Givaudan, who signed ten other fragrances for the brand. 

Enough reading. It was time for sniffing. Guess what happened. Anyone? Anyone? I bought a bottle of Tom Ford Noir EdP. My brother may be a man of few words, but this EdP speaks volumes.

Here’s why. It opens with a note of tart bergamot that’s light and elegant. It blends into a note of lemony, herbal verbena. This citrusy start is irresistibly refined.  Then caraway balances the citrus with  its anisic sweetness, as pink pepper, herbal and fresh bridges the citrus and tones that came before it with its spicy, floral facets that hint at what’s to come – a note of violet, powdery and sweet. I know it seems as if the powderiness wouldn’t work. That it might be too femme, but here it has the effect of creating a masculine sensuality. Warm, spicy black pepper opens the heart where nutmeg adds more spicy warmth, which sets the stage for a note of iris that’s powdery, soft and elegant. A note of rosy geranium leads to opulent rich Bulgarian rose that’s buttressed with earthy, herbaceous clary sage which keeps the femininity of the rose in check. At the base, things are decidedly masculine with warm, sweet, balsamic opoponax, earthy, woody vetiver and patchouli and sweet warm amber. Civet gives it an animalic edge while vanilla adds creaminess and a little sweetness.

I found a quote from Tom Ford where he says: “Noir captures how for many men there is a sophisticated outer persona and yet there is also that private side only a few know. This contrast is what makes him fascinating.” The dualities of feminine/masculine, refinement/eroticism, public/private are beautifully expressed in Tom Ford Noir, one of the best masculine fragrances out there. As for the contrasts making the man who wears Tom Ford Noir fascinating, well, my brother’s new girlfriend seems to think so, too. 

Tom Ford Noir is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.


Bois Mysterieux Eau de Parfum - courtesy

Guerlain describes Bois Mystérieux as a modern interpretation of the concept of exoticism..."bold , unique, audacious..." an eau de parfum that..."only unveils its radiance through its intensity, adorned with touches of cedar patchouli and myrrh...and leather. Dark is the night...a deep night..."

Bois Mystérieux is part of Guerlain's Les Absolus d'Orient collection created by the company's Master Perfumer Thierry Wasser. Les Absolus d'Orient is a relaunch with minor tweaks of a smaller earlier collection which embraced exotic Oriental notes such as oud, saffron, cumin, myrrh and was aimed at the Middle East market. Bois Mystérieux is, in truth, Songe d'un bois d'été, a fragrance from this earlier collection with very minor differences, but with the same compelling beauty and artistic force.

The scent is intoxicating from the very first moments with a huge aromatic accord of neroli and green laurels, fresh and citrusy with a medicinal edge but which soon becomes much drier and spicy into the heart from resinous cedarwood and rich herbal patchouli. The leather note develops, sliding under the cedar and patchouli ,and soft jasmine is almost undetectable but adds a nuance of indolic sweetness to the leather as it deepens into a more animalic leather in the base.  Sweet myrrh changes the leather cedar accord, adding a musky sexiness and intensity to the scent, and an exotic smoky quality emerges from the wood notes which brings Bois Mystérieux into the realm of deep and dark and daring, and unforgettable. 

Bois Mystérieux has a warm exotic sillage that radiates unobtrusively for hours. Easily unisex, it is a chameleon on skin, appealing more to some people than others, but it does require an appreciation of perfume as art in order to wear it with confidence. Like many Oriental and Middle Eastern fragrances, its exoticism can be perceived as too much, but as it slowly dries down Bois Mystérieux becomes silky and softer and more intimate, revealing a sublimely beautiful and sophisticated fragrance with great depth and balance. 

Woods and leather, but so much more. One of the best from Guerlain.

Bois Mystérieux is listed in our Decant Store Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.



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.