Undina in London at Last!

I started reading Undina’s Looking Glass when it first appeared on the blogosphere six years ago.  I’ve long been keen to meet Undina so I was extremely happy when she wrote to say she and her Very Significant Other would be visiting London from their home in San Francisco.  If only Rusty could have come too…



Rusty: Have submarine, will travel?


We met outside Harrods just as it opened at 11.30 am on a sunny Sunday. Undina made me feel at ease immediately and her still jet-lagged vSO very accommodatingly wandered around the store as we hit the perfume trail.

Undina doesn’t publish her photograph online but you can see below what we got up to.




First stop, the 6th floor and the rarefied atmosphere of the Salon de Parfum. Our timing was good because they had opened an additional six fragrance boutiques two weeks before, including Penhaligon’s, Armani Privé and Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums.




Undina had wanted to check out the MDCI Parfums line while in London and already owns Chypre Palatin. Six fragrances are stocked in the Roja Dove perfumerie (three feminines and three masculines). We liked Un Coeur en Mai the most and when Undina said it reminded her of another perfume, I was very pleased with myself for spotting it resembled Chamade. Both are spring green florals with a pollen-y feel.




Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie


Guerlain’s  Muguet 2017 is a gorgeous lily of valley with rose, jasmine and green notes. If it were not for the sky high price I’d have happily bought a bottle.




The new addition to L’Art et la Matière collection, Joyeuse Tubéreuse, surprised us by being not very tuberose-like. It’s a pretty floral bouquet with just a hint of super fresh tuberose. When the description says ‘airy’ (below), it’s not kidding. After about an hour it was extremely quiet.





Above is the very Kilian-esque SA modelling the new Black Phantom. A boozy, woody fragrance with notes of rum, coffee, vetiver, cyanide, sugar cane and sandalwood.

Below is the Harrods exclusive Midnight in London which is £15,000 for the whole case (no more will be available).  The fragrance is a very nice mimosa-led floral which Undina liked best out of everything we tried. Oh the burden of expensive taste.



By Kilian’s Midnight in London


I was excited that Frederic Malle had come to the Salon de Parfums because since my visit to the Burlington Arcade store with Val the Cookie Queen, I’ve been a little obsessed with the line.




Of course I had to try out what the SA called ‘The Time Machine’. It’s a temperature controlled space for trying out fragrances in a diffused way.  Undina suggested spraying En Passant into it as it is the most fleeting. Sadly the first time if was so fleeting we could smell nothing, but on a second try we picked it up and it was lovely.

Next I tried Iris Poudre in the machine as I’m considering a full bottle purchase. This novel perfume delivery system is a bit of fun and maybe you do get a better idea than when you stick your nose onto a scent strip.

Undina disliked Superstitious on the card but loved it on me so that’s okay then.




At Armani Privé we tried the Harrods exclusive which I have sadly zero recollection of. The good news is, however, that the coveted Limited Edition lipstick iris, La Femme Bleue, is coming back and will be permanent, if not widely available.



You could go just to look at the gorgeous interiors…


Back on the ground floor we went into the Black Hall and made a bee-line for Ormonde Jayne as it’s a favourite line of Undina’s and I own a couple of their perfumes too.  We tried yet another Harrods exclusive. This one is called Amber Royal and is a very pleasant floral amber.

Montabaco is their best seller and the one the SA told me the brand is now most known for. It’s a wearable, unisex tobacco scent but is part of the pricey Four Corners collection so the 50ml is £195. 








At the Amouage counter I was impressed with Bracken Woman which smells exactly as you would expect and hope. Quite a contrast with the pink bottle. The notes are wild berries, fern, lily, narcissus, chamomile, leather, patchouli, vetiver and birch.




Undina noted the placement of Bond No. 9 by the toilets…


After lunch we met Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume at Bloom in Covent Garden. It was so lovely to see her after she couldn’t join us for Val’s visit.




Bloom looked quite a bit different. They have removed the glass cabinets which makes everything easily accessible now.  A good move.




Vanessa and I enjoyed trying Hummingbird, a floral fragrance in the Zoologist line authored by Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes. My favourite is still the fur coat of Civet (also by Shelley).





Vanessa tried quite a few from indie brand Imaginary Authors.



Undina has been trying to make her mind up as to which formulation of Mito by Vero Profumo to purchase. We all preferred the Voile in a side-by-side test.




Bloom had a tiny bit left of a sample of the forthcoming tobacco perfume from Vero, Naja, for Undina to try. I can’t wait to own a bottle.

We had tea and cake at Patisserie Valerie (it seems to be the perfumistas cafe of choice) and then I said my farewells. I would have loved to stay longer with them all but the day and my cold were catching up on me. All the same it was wonderful to spend much of the day with Undina and her v.SO and to see Vanessa again.

I look forward to seeing Undina and her v.SO again one of these days, either in London or San Franciso (it’s on the list!)




Filed under Perfume Friends, Perfume Reviews, Perfume Shopping

39 responses to “Undina in London at Last!

  1. Lyubov

    Read everything a couple of times, becaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuseeeee….La Femme Bleue is baaaaaaack!!!! Awwww, I am starting to save on it, Tara! And I found its beauty due to Undina!!! Thanks for the fumie summary and blitz reviews and impressions! 🙂


  2. Great to read your day together and see all those marvelous photos. Looks a the ideal day to spent. Fantastic!


    • It went really well even with me coming down with a bug. Luckily it only really started to hit me towards the end of the day. Otherwise I would have been completely gutted after waiting to meet Undina for so long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, Tara, this is your year for meeting perfumistas! 😀 So glad to hear you met Undina – I noticed she doesn’t like her picture taken. 😉 I do hope you find the time to meet with Undina and her VSO again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It SO is, Ines! I’m going to cross two more off my hit-list (in the nicest way) when we meet up soon. Too exciting.
      I’m pretty sure I’ll see Undina and her vSO again one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, what lovely shops you have over there. Nice to see the pics…but Undina…not present in any of them…such a woman of mystery! 🙂 Thanks for the Rusty pic too!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lady Jane Grey

    I see Bloom has Dusita – have you tried it ?
    Tomorrow’s sotd is going to be La Femme Bleue (it’s a sure sign of having too many bottles : I keep forgetting the gorgeous scents I have !)


    • We tried the Dusitas but I’m afraid you’ll have to ask Vanessa or Undina for an opinion because I was too poorly by then to register them.
      Happy I reminded you that you have LaFB! I can’t wait for it to come back. Unless I can’t afford it when it does, which is extremely likely.


  6. Me too I’d love to meet Undina (and Rusty) one day. I’m sure you had a lot of fun together and of course I hope Undina will enjoy her vacation time.

    Maybe one day I will live in a more convenient place to meet all the perfume people 😂


  7. What a wonderful tour of all these must-smells, Tara. Time to visit London again.


  8. Wow – the Salon de Parfums does look a lot more extensive since I was there, which may have been shortly after it opened. I loved the sound of Coeur de Mai being like Chamade. I think I should retry it sometime, not that it is exactly affordable either, like so much up there. 😉

    I am delighted you got to meet Undina finally, and I was glad to join you both later on in the day. Am only sorry you were suffering with your throat, though you did a great job of rising above it.


    • You wonder if they will keep extending it, like a never-ending corridor of perfume luxury. Coeur de Mai really made me want a bottle of Chamade parfum. Maybe next spring.
      It was a joy to spend time in the company of you both, ill or not.


  9. It was a wonderful day – thank you! And now, reading your account of it, I’m re-living it. And it was nice to finally meet you. I hope we’ll repeat it future. Also I’m happy to report that neither my vSO nor I got your bug (but I’m sorry you were not feeling well).

    I was almost pleased to read that the perfume I liked costs “just” 15K – I heard it as 50K (not that it would make any difference 😉 ). As soon as I get home and adjust back into the regular life, I’ll share what perfume I ended up buying – but I can assure that it didn’t involve selling my kidney.


    • I can hardly believe that we’ve finally met now. What a great day.
      I’m so relieved to hear that neither you or your vSO caught my rotten bug because I would have felt terrible to think I spoilt your vacation.

      Really looking forward to reading your post and seeing what you bought, once you’re back In the swing of things.

      I’m happy I managed to slash the price of the Kilian, even it’s still not exactly affordable 🙂


  10. Unbearably tantalising! I LOVE being in the Aladdin’s cave at Harrods….so gorgeous and beyond my reach…..


  11. Nemo

    Wow, so much sniffing, and so much fun! Also, that SA for By Killian is so on brand it is not even funny 🙂


    • Undina never gets nose fatigue, she’s amazing. I was done by Bloom and probably would have been even if I felt well.

      I know! I had to take his picture for that very reason 🙂


  12. So late to comment, I’m sorry. What a lovely meet up, you sure get to meet some perfumistas these days 😊 Where to start, amazing news about La Femme Bleue. OMG the kilian exclusive! Those prices… and I’m so looking forward to testing you new love: superstition. How many lemmings you create.
    It’s always wonderful to read about the bloggers you’ve been following from the start, and especially to hear of your meeting with Undina and her vSO is a real treat. Thank you.


    • Never too late to comment! I do feel really happy and lucky that I get to meet so many frag friends, especially this year.
      I’m really hoping I can afford La Femme Bleue but it’s doubtful.
      I’ll see if I can fit a little Superstitious in my hand luggage although most people seem to hate it 🙂


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