Top 5 New Perfume Discovery Sets – Handpicked Holiday Gift Ideas –

Perfume discovery sets are an excellent way to try new fragrances and great gifts for the holidays. It is a very convenient way to store perfume samples as well. I love to give discovery sets for the holidays. Some new sets were introduced recently. The sets which caught my eye are sold by Nicolai Parfums, Parfums Viktoria Minya, Heeley Parfums, Atelier Cologne and Sultan Pasha Attars.

1. Nicolai Parfums

This set with fragrances made by French perfumer Patricia de Nicolai can only be bought online. It includes the following 6 scents in 1,5 ml sprays:
Patchouli Intense, Ambre Cashmere Intense, Musc Intense, New-York Intense, Fig-Tea, L’eau miXte

Price: 29 euro for 6 samples/1,5 ml online via their website

2. Parfums Viktoria Minya

Two discovery sets are available. An interesting and elegant looking travel set with 5 sprays containing 15 mls of the whole range. A cheaper way to discover the perfume house is the sample set with 1,75 mls dab samples. I find this smaller set a very good way smell each fragrance, get to know them and compare them to each other. The only draw back are the dab vials instead of sprays. Included in the set are: Hedonist, Hedonist Rose, Hedonist Iris, Hedonist Cassis and Eau de Hongrie, Viktoria Minya’s ode to Tokaji Wine.

Price: 19 euro for 5 samples/1,75 mls or 159 euro for 5 sprays/15 mls – online via their website

3. Heeley Parfums

A new set was introduced by the perfume house Heeley Parfums including 5 fragrances: Sel Marin, Hippie Rose, Cardinal, Oranges and Lemons say the Bell’s of St Clement’s and Menthe Fraiche. Heeley is a perfume house I really like, I own a bottle of St Clement’s but this set is very tempting.

Price: 135 euro for 5 small/15 ml spray miniature bottles

4. Atelier Cologne

I read about this marvelous set on Undina’s website and am considering buying this new set. It is not only excellent value for money as a set but a 30 euro gift voucher is included as well. The set includes the extensive Atelier Cologne line of 30 fragrances.

Price: 30 euro for 30/2mls – free shipping for the sample set

5. Sultan Pasha Attars

Ultra niche perfumer Sultan Pasha recently introduced a sample set on ebay including Thebes Grade 1 and Grade 2 which he made after scenting the original and famed Guerlain Djedi. These intriguing two different versions of one scent are well worth buying the whole sample set for. If only to smell their compelling difference.

Price: 66 euro (55 pounds) for 25 small (2 drops) sample attars via eBay

Have a bought perfume discovery sets as a gift? Or are you planning too? Did you like one of these sets?

All prices in this article are excluding postage as they differ per country, please check this before ordering.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post in any form; and it does not contain affiliate links.

All photographs were taken from the official websites except the first photograph. The first photograph was made at florist Menno Kroon in Amsterdam by Esperessence.


Nicolai Parfums
Parfums Viktoria Minya
Heeley Parfums
Atelier Cologne
Sultan Pasha

Christmas fragrances and give away!


Wishing you all a very happy Christmas time!

For all my loyal readers I am offering a give away. You can choose from a sample of: Guerlain Winter Delice, Roja Dove Unspoken extrait, MariaLux Mogadess,  Envoyage Indigo Vanilla,  Grossmith Shem-el-Nessim extrait.

The edp will be 1,5 ml samples and the extraits 1 ml. These are the fragrances I will choose from tonight to wear on Christmas Eve.

Leave a comment and tell me which one you would like to test and why. And which fragrances you will be wearing for Christmas. You have to be a subscriber for this give away if you are not, please subscribe ! The winner will be contacted by mail so make sure your mail adres is correct. It will be published as well on this website in a separate post. A winner will be chosen using

This give away closes 31 december at 12.00 PM, London time. Worldwide shipping.

I wish you a very happy scented and a wonderful Christmas  !

Esperessence AKA Esperanza


Huitième Art Parfums Poudre de Riz

Portrait of Guus Preitinger wife of Kees van Dongen, Kees van Dongen 1910, van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Portrait of Guus Preitinger wife of Kees van Dongen, Kees van Dongen 1910, van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

What first that comes to mind when scenting Poudre de Riz is dulce de leche, condensed milk turned into a kind of caramel, very sweet and  popular in South America. Poudre de Riz has some sweet notes which remind me of almond as well. For me it is hard to distinguish the separate top and middle notes as they are very well blended.

More important is the feeling it gives: lush, overwelmingly sweet, luxurious, and warm. The drydown is surprisingly warm and resinous probably due to the benzoin. In some seconds I felt like the lady above on the painting.

Poudre de Riz would suit a lady wearing a fur stola in the concert hall leaving a trail of her perfume when she leaves the foyer/lobby. A concert hall like the Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam with red carpets and velvet chairs. She would have had to spray a lot of perfume as Poudre de Riz stays quite close to the skin. But it is a perfume with a modern twist to it. The modern twist being the monoi and slight but very well blended coconut. The Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam has a new wing build next to the building as well, its modern twist.

Poudre de Riz was inspired by a phrase in the novel The inferno (1908) by Henri Barbusse, “The air in the closed room was heavy with a mixture of odours, soap, face powder, the pungeant scent of cologne.” When reading this sentence one would think a suffocating heavy powdery perfume was created. This is not the case. Poudre de Riz does not remind me of soap or the pungeant scent of cologne at all. Sometimes it is better not to know anything about the inspiration for a perfume and just scent it, like it is.

Poudre de Riz, Henri de Toulouse - Lautrec 1887, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Poudre de Riz, Henri de Toulouse – Lautrec 1887, Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam

Notes according to luckyscent: damask rose, tiare absolute, coconut, vanilla, rice powder accord (caramelic, burnt toast and maple notes), sandalwood, iris, cedar, tonka bean, tolu balsam and benzoin resin.

Poudre de Riz was created by French perfumer Pierre Guillaume for Huitième Art Parfums. Huitième Art Parfums was founded in 2010 for the 8th anniversary of the perfume house Parfumerie Generale. The name Huitième Art means eighth art. According to perfume critic Octafian Coifan perfume is the eight art next to painting, music, architecture, dance, poetry, sculpture and architecture.

Poudre de Riz means rice powder and was used by women as make up powder like the red box on the painting, to whiten ones face. I came across a painting in the Van Gogh Museum named Poudre de Riz, the woman on the painting is the opposite to the lady in the first painting and the feeling it evokes. The lady on the second painting is probably Suzanna Valadon, mistress to Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec. She does not look not luxurious, lush, warm or sweet no surprise if she really was the mistress of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Poudre de Riz is not a very original perfume, but very well blended and nice to wear for example for Christmas or coming Autumn. But not a scent I would buy, quite frankly, as it is a bit too sweet for my taste. But if you like your perfumes quite sweet, give it a try !

Do you like sweet fragrances ? If so, which are your favorites ? If not, which are really too sweet for you ?

Perfume family: floral oriental with gourmand influences

First published November 1, 2012

Re edited September 17,  2015