Mood Scent 4: Into The Woods and Away

OOOOHHHHH! Our very last Mood Scent 4 week! All good things come to an end eventually and Mood Scent 4 has fallen victim to perfume ennui. We gave it our all and now there’s nothing left to give. I’m super bummed though because it’s been a wonderful time working in tandem with these three perfumed peeps. Thanks Esperanza, Megan and Sam for letting me be part of this cool kids collective. It was really nice to be part of a crew. I particularly loved how different our collections and perfumed directions were on the same topic, also those rare times when we snapped on a perfume. I loved the reckless running through my collection trying to find the exact five or six matches for a mood, note, moment. The sense of fulfilled completion after winnowing a huge list down and getting the post finalised, often with three or four overhauls after remembering a forgotten fave that fit the brief better or more interestingly. The fun of jumping over to the other members pages and seeing their choices, sometimes beating myself up for not going with what they chose too. It was a monthly labour of love and I will miss it, a lot.   Ironically our Into The Woods and Away theme seems to have coincided perfectly with our wave goodbye. So it is with melancholy heart I’ve chosen my woodsiest fragrances to share with you all today.

Can’t wait to read about your fave Into The Woods Perfumes in the comments too.

Sad but excited to be blogging with these three superstars one last time: Esperanza L’Esperessence, Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime and Samantha I Scent You A Day. Check theirs out too.

Mood Scent 4: Into The Woods and Away

A Quiet Morning by Miller et Bertaux

While shopping in Vienna with my buddies Michael and Sandra many years ago we came across a gift shop with some exquisite scarves, candles, knick knacks and a fine selection of niche and massage perfume. At that point Miller et Bertaux had not registered on my radar. I read the name on the bottle, A Quiet Morning, and wanted to spritz immediately. A spicy dry rasp of woody fragrance cut across my nostrils and blew me away. It did NOT smell like a quiet morning but a busy afternoon in a lumber mill. Woods, machinery, humanity and rust on a dirt backdrop. Engrossing and addictive.

Ashoka by Neela Vermeire Creations

The opening is osmanthus, fig and mimosa. It’s a sheer/hefty rush of laconic floral greenery that will blow your mind. What happens through the heart and dry down of is a  leather and woods surprise backed by lovely smoky gouts of incense. A total shapeshifter that will have you sniffing your wrists for hours. This particular fragrance has such good memories for me because we happened to be in paris as Neela was creating it with Bertrand Duchaufour and we got to smell some of the final mods. So I feel like part of the process of creating such a masterpiece. 

Sovereign by Le Galion

Sovereign could have ben called Woodsy McWoodison. Like sticking your head into a wood pile inhabited by a family of some furry things. Next to a sawmill going full steam ahead. The pepper gives it a lovely dry rasp and later through the heart I smell an earthy patchouli and amber. A rose/oud but definitely wood leaning. I love it when I breath down my top and then inhale Sovereign with breath, it adds a warm layer of humanity. As always with Le Galion a beautifully poised blend that is smooth as beach glass pebbles but warmer, cozier and more comfortable.

Sycomore by CHANEL

Sycomore is a funny one. I enjoy it, wear it every now and then, love it dearly while it’s on and then forget about it completely till next time. Connifers and creamy sandalwood are beaten into submission by the most delightfully arrogant vetiver. Together they create a rock solid nod to modern masculine fragrance but done so coolly and cavalierly that you hardly notice how upright and Clark Kent-ish it is. This is the scent of tailoring perfection that can also be worn with a polo shirt and chinos. Don’;t be fooled by this veneer of manliness, it can also be a perfect accompaniment to a woman. Vetiver and wood on women is an excellent choice, unexpected and powerful. I always think of Ayn Rand’s Howard Roark when I wear it.

Fille en Aiguilles by Serge Lutens

Wood and sultanas! Christmas sitting by the log pile. A spicy woody sweetness that works for almost everyone. This is the fragrance I gift most often to non perfumistas who love perfume. It is accessible but not perfumey in the old school aldehydic floral way. Nor is it a BWF, sugar lollies or freshie. Everyone I have bought this wood gourmand for has had an eye rolling epiphany when the wear it for the first time. EXACTLY the feeling I get from it too. The questioning, “How does this smell so damn good?” every time. 

Vega by Guerlain

Vega is one of the most beautiful fragrances Guerlain ever produced. Sadly, I’ve just noticed my bottle is not air tight and it is evaporating away. I bought it about 1/3 full and there’s probably only 1/10 left. SHAME! An aldehydic floral that spend most of its lifespan smelling of a dark sandalwood very unlike the way it’s treated in any of the other big sandalwood fragrances. The carnation adds a spicy note that takes the Guerlain style vanilla well into Caron country. More mysterious and shadowed, the scent of a vamp rather than a ingenue, more sophisticated than edible. Vega is the woodsy scent of challenge.

Don’t forget to go across and read the other three members of the Mood Scent 4 crew: Esperanza L’Esperessence Megan Megan In Sainte Maxime Samantha I Scent You A Day.

Please share your favourite Into The Woods Perfumes in the comments too
Thanks for being part of the fun.
Portia xx



Filed under Perfume Reviews

25 responses to “Mood Scent 4: Into The Woods and Away

  1. I’m sad to know Mood Scent 4 is over! I’ve really enjoyed the posts.


  2. Hey Portia
    I really wished i owned some Fille en Aiguilles, especially with Christmas around the corner. Maybe I’ll see if I can a decant from somewhere.
    I’m not great with heavy woody scents but Dryad by Pappillon is one I enjoy and Vol de Nuit, if I can put it in that category at a stretch.


  3. I am not great with woodsy scents either, but I do enjoy spraying Fille en Aiguilles on my pine Christmas Tree ornament every year. You are welcome to what is left of mine, T, if I can find it! I also like Dryad and En Voyage Perfumes Rainmaker, which is that niche variant of “a wet forest in the Pacific North West”.


  4. Hey Portia, Loved your picks, somehow Fille is hard to find here even in discount shops. Now sure why. I can imagine you hold dear memories of Ashoka. Love it too and use it quite often. What a pity of Vega, these bottles are such beauties. It has been a really great time. Loved writing together! XxxEsperanza


    • Thanks esperanza,
      Very strange about Fille. I wonder why? Maybe because it’s gone to the FAR more expensive 100ml Gratte Ciel bottle. That must be why it was selling so cheap till recently. BUM!
      I bet you smell fabulous in Ashoka!
      All the hugs,
      Portia xx


  5. I will miss Mood Scent 4! I tried Ashoka before and was enchanted by it, although I wasn’t ready to buy it – will have to revisit! Sycomore is just a little too astringent for my taste, as I’ve found I prefer my vetivers to be a bit sweeter.
    Till next time!


  6. I hope you and OH will continue the series!

    I think I like woodsy scents. From your list, Fille en Aiguilles, Ashoka and Vega are my favorites as well (and I’m not familiar with the rest). I also like all sandalwood perfumes from SL, Winter Woods from SSS, Tam Dao and… I can probably come up with several more, but these were off the top of my head.


    • Hey Undina,
      Not continue, something different. Maybe you could jump on board too. I like the idea of different bloggers tasked with the same idea. The joy of discovering each others faves or nemesis. In my mind I’d like to keep it a bit simpler that MS4. Less involved.
      Serge Lutens has a lovely way with sandalwood, all woods. I could have done the whole 6 from him easily.
      Portia xx


  7. Sorry I’m late! Fabulous selection as always Portia. Where on earth has Guerlain Vega been all my life? That’s exactly my cup of tea. You’re going to tell me there’s only two bottles left in the world and the other one is on top of a diamond mountain in Middle Earth, aren’t you? As for Filles en Aiguilles, I adore that one. It makes me think of Christmas Markets and Narnia all at the same time. It’s been an honour working with you dear Portia. Your turn of phrase and your wit are just two of the many things I admire about you. Glad to hear you’ll still be collabing! xxxxx


    • Sam! What a powerhouse you are. Now a published in hardback and paper leaves author too. The real deal. I will miss our monthly get together. A lot.
      Yes, there is something new brewing. Fingers crossed for happiest outcomes there.
      Will definitely be seeing you somewhere.
      Portia xx


  8. Hi Portia – you did a fabulous parting post and it would be great if you did another collaboration with bloggers as you are really good at this. Nice that we snapped on Fille … as well. Ashoka is really beautiful and was a grower for me. xxx will still get to read your posts here and your new venture too! xxx


  9. matty1649

    I’m sad that Mood Scents4 is ending. I’ve loved reading your different takes on perfumes.


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