My Perfumes & the Travels They Evoke

April 04, 2016
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

What a suggestive force smell is. It's this sense with all its Pavlovian powers that makes me want to instantly disrobe and lie face down in anticipation of a massage whenever I catch the spa-like whiff of lemongrass (which is why I should probably avoid Thai restaurants). It's why amortentia - the most powerful love potion in the wizarding world - smells to each person of their favourite things. Mine would be: the seats of a new car, fresh paint, and vanilla ice-cream OMG am I pregnant?! Scent leads us down forgotten paths of memories old and transports us to places we'd rather be. This same aspirational quality is why the head honchos of the fragrance industry are probably cackling all the way to the bank in a perfume cloud of Justin Bieber 'Someday' and 'Girlfriend'. Muahahahaha.
In the theme of this month's travel blogger linkup I thought I'd share with you my collection of fragrances and the journeys to faraway lands that they bring to my mind.
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My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.


WHERE: SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA       .       WHAT: CHANEL CUIR DE RUSSIE
Chanel Cuir de Russie has been my signature fragrance, long before I visited Moscow and Saint Petersburg. I wanted a scent that was a dark and dangerous world apart from all the saccharine-sweet florals my more 'feminine' contemporaries were wearing. The very fantasy of embodying the woman this fragrance was created for - a provocative femme who scandalised polite 1920's society by smoking cigarettes and wearing trousers, was the closest I could get to shaving "BAD BITCH 4 LYF" into the back of my head. The smoky, animalistic notes of dark leather, tobacco, and amber as the perfume settles on my skin takes me back to Russia, where tours of Saint Petersburg's palaces made me want to go Dancing With The Tsars, pre-revolution style. #PartyLikeIts1916

READ MORE: MY RUSSIA BLOG POSTS



My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: CINQUE TERRE, ITALY       .       WHAT: TOM FORD NEROLI PORTOFINO
When it comes to Italy I've not actually travelled beyond Milan, Venice, and Rome. Shocker! More fool me for ignoring the call of the coast; with its lemon groves, terraced vineyards, pastel-coloured villages, all just begging to be dived into like a delicious, ripe peach. This summer would be the year I met up with my best friend in Cinque Terre for the 'Michiekins Euro Tour 2016' ie. husbands at UEFA, wives on the beach, but they bailed and opted for more 'baby-friendly' destinations. What could be more baby friendly? Just strap your kiddos into a lemon tree and come back for them later hahaha I'm just joking no not really. So it's back to spritzing myself with Neroli Portofino and letting the citrusy wave of lime, lemon, orange plus rosemary and lavender transport me to dreams of la dolce vita.
ORIGINAL CINQUE TERRE PHOTO BY CHRIS FORD, CHEEKY EDIT BY ME.


My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: HAVANA & CAYO LARGO DEL SUR, CUBA       .      WHAT: CREED VIRGIN ISLAND WATER
If I had to name a scent that encapsulated my 10 days in Cuba it would be: mojito. Also, you haven't tasted a real mojito until you've tasted it in Floridita, Havana - the favourite bar of Ernest Hemmingway. Havana was colourful, surreal, educational, and festive, while serene Cayo Largo Del Sur was a gleaming vision of sand as white as coconut and turquoise waters as refreshing as a splash of lime. No doubt these ingredients inspired the tropical cocktail that is Virgin Island Water, with its base notes of sugar cane and rum teasing me with idyllic sun-soaked days in the Caribbean. A socialist paradise, indeed...

READ MORE: MY CUBA BLOG POSTS




My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: HANOI, VIETNAM    .    WHAT: TOM FORD CHAMPACA ABSOLUTE 
Another fragrance, another communist country. I spent a few short days in the capital of Hanoi (with a trip to Ha Long Bay) and was amazed by the medley of senses. Traditional Eastern architecture juxtaposed with colonial buildings (many of which still retained their original French signage), the cacophony of motorcycles as they swarm toward the uninitiated road-crosser (don't stop, just walk and let them drive around you), the scents of burning sandalwood, Vietnamese coffee, and egg tarts. Champaca Absolute is a mélange of warm fruit and floral notes that melt into a balsamic base, leaving behind a calling card of sandalwood and amber. As complex and sensual as Hanoi itself.


READ MORE: MY VIETNAM BLOG POSTS


My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA    .    WHAT: DIOR LEATHER OUD
Seoul is indisputably the skincare and beauty capital of Asia, if not the world, with an entire district - Myeong Dong - dedicated to this most lucrative industry. When I stepped out of 'Beauty Street' into luxury district Gangnam, I thought the 'vanity tourism' aspect of my trip was over. I didn't expect to fall in love with Leather Oud, one of the Dior 'Les Exclusifs' fragrances but there I was in the country's flagship Dior store mesmerised by the notes of warm leather and oud wood. Then it hit me, faintly and subtly at first, but growing ever stronger - the refreshing, zesty scent of mint. Mint is one of my favourite herbs, also my favourite colour, so I've decided to add Leather Oud to my collection as a lighter, 'zing-ier' version of my favourite Cuir de Russie.

READ MORE: MY SOUTH KOREA BLOG POSTS


My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: PARIS, FRANCE       .      WHAT: CHANEL NO. 5 EAU PREMIERE
What other couture house is as quintessentially Paris as Chanel? And which of their perfumes are as iconic as No. 5? My ladylike fantasies - you know, the woman who takes brunch on Sundays looking nothing less than immaculate in a full circle skirt and never smudges her perfectly applied lipstick no matter how many plates of eggs benny she scoffs - has always wanted to love Chanel No.5, believing that enveloping myself in this most classic of fragrances will automatically elevate me from hot mess to haute finesse. Thank God, then, that the overwhelmingly 'old lady' vibe I get from No.5 has been pared down in its new, younger incarnation. No. 5 Eau Premiere is my go-to fragrance for Spring, which evokes for me the scent of expensive face powder and rose-tinted joie de vivre - tres Paree.

PARIS PHOTOS BY GEORGIANNA LANE



My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.
My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

WHERE: MALAYSIA (ALL OF IT!)       .       WHAT: TOM FORD JASMIN ROUGE
The one that smells like home. So maybe I love this fragrance because it's literally got my name all over it, especially as I bought Jasmin Rouge when I first discovered red lipstick and dyed my hair red. Voluptuous, saturated, spiced floral - come on, it's me in a little red and gold bottle! The audacity and sensuality of the unexpected blend of precious sambac Jasmine sepals absolute with dusky clary sage and rich spices is as multi-faceted and diverse as my motherland - lush virgin tropical rainforests teeming with exotic life, a melting pot of Chinese, Malay, and Indian culture (the food!), soaring skyscrapers amidst traditional wooden houses, not to mention the decadent parties I throw myself into when I'm in Kuala Lumpur. Jasmin Rouge is every bit as lush and exotic as my beloved Malaysia.

READ MORE: MY MALAYSIA BLOG POSTS



Thank you for joining me on this olfactory journey around the world.
What are your favourite fragrances, and where do they take you?

My perfume collection and the travels that they bring to mind. An olfactory journey to Russia, Italy, Cuba, Vietnam, South Korea, France, and Malaysia. Starring Chanel Cuir de Russie, Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Creed Virgin Island Water, Tom Ford Champaca Absolute, Dior Leather Oud, Chanel No 5 Eau Premiere, and Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge.

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