In Rotation – December

For the last couple of years my perfume of choice for the festive season has been Tea for Two. It’s the spices that make it feel Christmassy. Funnily enough, I got a lot of cinnamon when I wore it last year but this year I’m mainly noticing the star anise. I wear it pretty much consistently from the 1st December until the 25th. One exception this month was a Board Meeting for which I chose Bois des Iles parfum. The golden sandalwood scent seemed to provide the right combination of sophistication and comfort.




Last week we had the annual Perfume Lovers London Swap Meet which always causes much excitement. The idea is that you bring along the bottles you rarely wear and swap them for something someone else no longer wants. You get one raffle ticket for each bottle you contribute and then the numbers are drawn out of the hat, with 5 or so people going up to the table at a time to choose from what everyone has brought.

I took three bottles for swapping: vintage Diorella marked up as having a faulty sprayer in the hope someone could either fix or remove it; L’Eau Froide by Serge Lutens, which is a nice airy incense but not a patch on my holy grail Passage d’Enfer and finally, Poivre Piquant by L’Artisan Parfumeur which is a peppery milk and honey perfume with a splash of rose, but something I just never reach for.

It was a while before my first ticket was drawn but I spotted Ô de Lancome which I remembered Neil of The Black Narcissus writing about in his usual exquisite fashion, so I scooped that up. For my second  pick, again I saw a fragrance that I had a feeling another perfume pal (Ines) was fond of, Eau de Rochas. Read a lovely review of it by Angela on NST here.



I was happy with these two swaps because I do have a gap in my collection for summery colognes with character.

By the time my third ticket was called the pickings were pretty slim but I got Bottega Veneta Eau Légère because I thought my work colleague would like it and indeed she does.

As for make-up, I’ve been wearing Sephora’s liquid lipstick in 01 Always Red because it’s a bold, Christmassy red. Although I’m starting to conclude these brighter reds don’t suit me so well,.it bears up really well to eating and drinking. I have my eye on the shade Blackberry Kiss for a future purchase.  I’ve been applying an equally festive shade to my nails; Pillow Talk by Leighton Denny.



I felt bereft after finishing His Dark Materials but I’ve made a start on Wild: A Journey From Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed. It’s the true story of a woman who decides to trek the length of the Pacific Crest Trail in the States when at her lowest ebb. I’m hoping it will inspire a less arduous adventure of my own next year. Ideally I’d like a Christmassy novel but aside from re-reading A Christmas Carol, I can’t think of anything.




What have you been enjoying this month? Any Christmas themed books to recommend?



Filed under Beauty Review, Perfume Events, Perfume Reviews

16 responses to “In Rotation – December

  1. Hey Tara,

    What a fab little snapshot of so many things! Thanks for sharing.

    What have I been enjoying this month? That my social life seems back on track – this year I’ve been in flux & unsettled, mostly happily so as it’s been deliberate (moving home and travelling). But now I’ve got my new place I’m just enjoying the space & closeness to catching up with people again!

    Fragrances took a back seat for a while because I didn’t have access to them – all in boxes! not sure I’ve reconnected 100% but that’s ok. Not a bad thing, I’ve spent too much money this year on frags. Hehe.

    I don’t have any suggestions for holiday reading right now but if something crosses my radar I’ll let you know.

    🙂 Tina G xxx


    • It was funny when you told me in London that you didn’t have a home to go back to in Aus. I really admire that. I wouldn’t have the guts to pack up and go travelling.
      How nice that you are re-connecting with everyone socially now that you have your own place. Just in time for the Christmas festivities!


  2. Lady Jane Grey

    We had a cold weather since October here in Vienna, with some awfully windy days in-between, which were too warm and headache inducing for me – no good days for parfum either… I instinctively reached for my bottles of vanilla and/or incense. As of winter make-up it’s all about brownish lipsticks (Kevin Aucoin Bloodroses Noir… at SpaNK).
    I liked “Wild” at the cinema and bought the book – let’s talk about after you finished it (or at least the half). Right now I’m reading The Garden of Finzi Contini, which is nothing funny either (but a good read).
    The best of this week : meeting Val and Sandra tomorrow…
    Missing you, T.!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that you reached for your bottles of incense and vanilla. You’re also someone I can imagine looking fab in brown lipstick. I hear By Terry do a good one, though Kevin Aucoin is great.
      Nice to hear you liked Wild. Maybe I’ll watch the film if I get on with the book.
      Excited for your day with Val and Sandra tomorrow though I’m sure it will be emotional.
      I felt a little tug at my heartstrings when I saw that pic of you at Tate Modern – miss you too!


  3. Hi Tara, I’m very pleased with my PLL swaps too, particularly the Atleier Cologne Vanille Insensee, which I have been wearing all week. Other than that, I’m enjoying my M&S Xmas Beauty advent calendar, a little beauty surprise is a good start for the day. Let me have a little think about the books, I’ll come back to you.


    • Hi Sabine,
      It was amazing that Vanille Incensee was still there when you went up and I don’t think that was your first time up either. Brilliant. Good to hear you’ve enjoying it this week.
      The beauty advent calendar sounds great. Maybe I should treat myself next year. Fun!
      Even if you don’t come up with anything, I appreciate you giving some thought to a Christmas read. Even at a tangent or incidental would be fine.


  4. You did very well there in your swap, and I like the phrase ‘summery colognes with character’. I do think character is such an important quality in a cologne – it is not enough to just smell lemony and upbeat – or orangey, even. Funnily enough I have recently discovered just such a one for my own collection, and am enjoying it even in winter, though my normal style is woody, ambery, spicy things. While away recently I hit DSH Cimabue till my small decant was drained, and also wore Dior Ambre Nuit a couple of times and Taif – from the travel atomiser you kindly gave me! No time for reading, Christmassy or otherwise, though I hope that will change. Lipstickwise, have toggled between a red gloss, Burberry Feather Pink and Burberry Nude Rose – if it is possible to toggle between three things? Selectively topped off by the Mac gloss you also gave me. 😉


    • Ah thanks for commenting Vanessa when you have so much on your plate. I’m intrigued now, what was the cologne?
      Happy to hear you wore Ta’if.
      I remember we visited the Burberry make up counter in Harrods on the day we met IRL. Unfortunately I have no recollection of the Mac gloss!


  5. Just found and read an old copy of my twin sister’s favorite childhood Christmas book,”Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree.” So cute! You can even hear it read aloud on youtube:


  6. Hey Tara,
    Great swap outs.
    Christmas reading? Every year for over a decade I would get a Bill Bryson book for Christmas, before that it was Olivia Goldsmith. Fun easy reading holiday fare.
    One of my BFFs bought me the L’Occitane Advent Calendar this year and I’m loving it every day. So much fun.
    Portia xx


    • Hey Lovely,
      I was really pleased with my swaps. Especially because I went with no exception. I just want to unload a few bottles and if I came back with something I liked, that would be a bonus. One guy was furious because he thought it should be done based on like-for-like value but that would be totally impractical.
      Thanks for sharing your Christmas books. I need to get on to Bill Bryson at some point.
      These beauty advent calendars sound fab. I will see if I can find a bath oil one next year.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Tara. Nice that the swap worked well for you and I can understand your love for Tea for two. It is a gorgeous perfume. I have no Christmas themed books at all but I’ll watch or read Wild (or both) so thanks for the recommendation. I usually get a book for Xmas (usually self gifted) and I’ve ordered one already that two friends in my French class recommended called Big Magic : Creative Living Beyond Fear which does sound a little self helpie but they assure me it isn’t and it’s also a really quick read. It’s by the Eat, Pray, Love author. Xmas cheer to you xx


    • Hi Megan,
      I’m already hooked on Wild so hope you like it too. Gifting yourself a book at Christmas is a lovely idea and makes it more special. I’m wedded to my Kindle but it’s not the same.
      I loved Eat, Pray, Love and actually bought Big Magic for a pal of mine who wants to be more creative.
      Wishing you and the boys lots of festive cheer too!


  8. Love both Tea for Two and Bois des Iles, though the latter one for me isn’t a winter perfume, I prefer it in early spring/fall seasons.
    In December I finally got to enjoy many of my cooler weather perfumes – ambers, vanillas and heavy(ier) orientals.
    Enjoy the holidays!


    • Ah that’s interesting about when you wear Bois des Iles. I guess if, unlike me, you have a lot of heavier orientals, you want to wear them while you get the chance in winter. Hope you’re finishing work soon and get some decent time off over the holidays.

      Liked by 1 person

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