A while ago, Undina wrote a post about Jo Malone's Sweet Milk, which prompted me to have a look for my own sample of that scent. I was going to donate it to her, not least because it was she who had given it to me in the first place. ;) In the course of my concerted rummaging, I came upon dozens and dozens of samples and decants going back ten years or more: some bought from online sites like The Perfumed Court and Lucky Scent, some gifts from fellow fumeheads, and some received in swaps on Makeupalley, where I clocked up an astonishing 75 trades back in the day when you could send fragrance internationally. Now Undina is noted for her typed labels on vials, but many of the samples I uncovered had handwritten ones. I soon became completely absorbed in trying to remember where they had all come from, either from my own recall of the transaction, or by recognising each person's handwriting. This was by no means as straightforward as I thought it would be, as I am out of touch with some of the perfumistas who were "on the circuit" up to a decade ago, and am still puzzling over quite a lot of what I found.
So for fun, I thought I would create a gallery of photos of vials with confirmed IDs, and enlist the help of readers to identify the mystery ones. There were way more unidentified fragrant objects where these came from, but I didn't want to overwhelm people with a blizzard of the things. And I haven't been right through my collection either - this is more of a random dive - so there are doubtless other examples I could have put a name to if my search had been exhaustive, as well as many more I couldn't! So I also hope that no one is offended if they do not happen to be represented in this selection.
Left to right: Thomas (Candy Perfume Boy), Undina (Undina's Looking Glass), Tara (A Bottled Rose), Birgit (Olfactorias Travels), Carol (Bloody Frida), Sarah (Odiferess).
Sources I think I recognise
Left to right: Rachael Potts, Val the Cookie Queen, Marie Pinholt-Krabbe, Freddy (Smellythoughts), Lisa Jones. There is a fair element of doubt about some of these(!).
Sources I have as good as no clue about
Though I think the one on the far right may be either from Tamsin Simmill or Louise Bodin. ;)
If you recognise a vial you sent me, or have intell on any of the handwriting, do let me know in the comments.
I would also be interested to know if you have this problem of forgetting who gave you what!