Tubereuse Criminelle by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1999


Post by Trésor


Have you ever in your life encountered a fragrance which so emphatically mirrors your personality to the point that it seems to capture your very essence within those precious drops of sacred aromatic dew? I feel incredibly lucky to say that I have. From start to finish, this wicked brew embodies my identity in a way which no other fragrance I’ve experienced truly has. From the incipient beryl glow to depths of the exquisite drydown, it seems to manifest “me” and coincidentally enough was the very first bottle of niche fragrance I’ve ever bought for myself (unsniffed, no less!). You already know from the title which fragrance I am speaking of, the inimitable Tubereuse Criminelle from our dear friend, Uncle Serge Lutens.

Tubereuse Criminelle by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1999

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine, orange blossom, hyacinth, tuberose, nutmeg, clove, styrax, musk, vanilla

The opening sequence of Tubereuse Criminelle is perhaps my favourite in the entirety of perfume and also what’s come to be one of the most polarizing among the fragrance community. On my skin the inaugural fusillade is a breathtakingly intense bravura of jasmine petals which have been profoundly doused in densely mentholated gasoline. I’m often told I am rather strange for this, but I absolutely adore the smell of gasoline so this entire progression is a bit euphoric to me. I relate to this genesis so deeply because I feel her and I are so much the same in this way, just a little off the beaten path.

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens Cold_Wind MizuSasori DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Upon occasion I sense the slightest hologram of orange blossom but if I am being absolutely honest with you I have never been sure if it’s actually there or if I am imagining it simply because it’s included on the list of notes. Beneath the icy petrol fumes lay a tuberose, one who’s beauty beguiles me and leaves me breathless. You can detect every facet, every single atom of her velvet white petals and the narcotic ambrosia bleeding from within. This is, in my opinion, the most beautiful realization of tuberose I have found within a fragrance and worth every ounce of praise it receives.

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens Folson St Mendolous Shank FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

As the composition progresses something quite fascinating begins to happen, the tuberose seems to further and further meld with the skin but never loses the depth, splendour and unadulterated hypnotism that drew me in so close before. Around about the fifth hour on my skin I can detect just the most delicate tendrils of softly spiced vanilla rising off of my skin. The note is not confectionary in any way, shape or form but a beautifully Lutens-esque vision of a skinscent that leads the way into Tubereuse Criminelle’s final breath on the skin.

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens Flower Bomb Tree WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

This isn’t a fragrance that wears a terribly long time on my skin, about 5-6 hours, usually and the sillage is quite moderate. Though not incredibly long, the journey is magnificent and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for the world. From the initial glacial zephyr which greets you to her intimate swan song, Tubereuse Criminelle remains a study in the paradoxical nature that defines the very best of the offerings from the house of Serge Lutens.

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Australian Perfume Junkies
MeccaCosmetica has $166/50ml (in Australia)
Serge Lutens had €166/75ml
My Perfume Samples start at $3.50/ml up to $10.50/5ml

Have you fallen under the Tubereuse Criminelle spell?
Trésor x

Sâdanne by Josh Lobb for Slumberhouse 2014


Post by Val the Cookie Queen



Anne Boleyn had a strawberry birthmark on her neck. Seemingly proof that she was a witch. I doubt that this inspired Josh Lobb´s most recent fragrance Sådanne. Seriously, you gotta be on drugs to wanna smell like a strawberry. But who´s to say that´s a bad thing?

Sâdanne by Josh Lobb for Slumberhouse 2014

Electric Kool-Aid, Strawberries and Barbie Dolls

Sadanne Slumberhouse FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords in one line”
Strawberries, ambergris, resins, rose, white wine, woods

This is a big time strawberry, on a musky, resiny base. Once sprayed there is no turning back. I wonder if The Merry Pranksters drank this? Psychedelic strawberries. Synthetic but who cares? It kicks in lavishly with a hot pink neon flash. Memories of sniffing new Barbie Dolls. It is astonishing and the next 12 hours will be in a cerise haze and you might well be all the better for it.

Sadanne Slumberhouse  Strawberry Picker AllAnd PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

Josh Lobb gives no notes for this so who knows? The strawberry is a member of the rose family and there is a suggestion of rose in Sådanne. Have you ever eaten an alpine strawberry? They are very tiny, very sweet and taste first of rose and then strawberry – quite different to your normal strawberry. Ambrosial describes both the strawberries and Sådanne. The strawberry notes remain throughout, but further into Sådanne a deeper, dirtier vibe turns up. Musks and ambergris rumour has it. The stroboscopic-strawberry effect calms down and it becomes more relaxed. You have survived.

From IndieScents: The newest fragrance from Slumberhouse’s Josh Lobb, Sådanne is a departure from Slumberhouse’s previous offerings. Sådanne opens as a carmelized, fruity rose. Hints of booze, woods and ambergris emerge as the fragrance develops on the skin. Lobb takes a poetic view of the fragrance, describing it as:
“Stained glass syrup
Serenades in damascone minor
Allegory obscured / pastel wound
A slurry of subtlety”

Sadanne Slumberhouse The_Fountain_of_Love Jean-Honoré_Fragonard WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

For those times when you want to smell like a sensuous and voluptuous and slightly carnal strawberry – and one day you will – then look no further than Josh Lobb´s heroic Sådanne.

“Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did.” Dr. William Butler, 17th Century English writer.

Further reading: Ca Fleure Bon and Scent for Thought
IndieScents has $160/30ml
Surrender To Chance has samples from $8/.5ml

Are you a Slumberhouse fan? Will you be trying this one?

Strawberry Bussis Forever


Fidji by Guy Laroche


Post by Azar



Sometimes it is difficult for me to keep an open mind about a new fragrance. I become so attached to my familiar favorites that I tend to create a set of almost moral value judgments regarding what is “good” or “bad” about a perfume. As a result I don’t step out of my fragrance comfort zone long enough to expand my horizons. Whenever this starts to happen I remind myself of the day I discovered Fidji.

Fidji by Josephine Catapano for Guy Laroche 1966

Fidji Guy Laroche FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Iris, galbanum, hyacinth, lemon, bergamot, tuberose
Heart: Carnation, rose, jasmine, violet, ylang-ylang, cloves, aldehydes, spices, orris
Base: Musk, patchouli, sandalwood, amber, vetiver, oakmoss, resins

In 1975 (or so) my ex and I arranged a ski vacation for the two of us and several friends to Cervinia, the resort on the Italian side of the Matterhorn (Monte Cervino). Our “crowd”, a group of skiers from Tehran, was used to the high and powdery slopes of Dezin (3,600 m) and to the steep, icy, difficult runs of nearby Shemshak. Cervinia, with its long, easy and open pistes at altitudes of up to 3,833 m, seemed like great fun and the perfect ski destination. Counter to expectations, we arrived to an unseasonably warm January in Italy. While the snow was abundant, if a bit soggy on the upper slopes, we had to negotiate rocks and even patches of grass as we approached the base. But all was not lost! We headed for the restaurants, discos and shops. It was there in the mountains, in a small boutique on a snow-covered corner of Cervinia that I met and fell madly for the perfume love of my life, Guy Laroche Fidji.

Fidji Guy Laroche Cervina Italy Fidji Guy Laroche Cervina Italy Leosetä FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

My first impression of Fidji was shocking and green. I had been brought up on various Lanvin, as well as on Shalimar and Jungle Gardenia. My Persian perfume oils were all roses, jasmine and musks from the bazaars of Tehran and Mashhad.

Fidji‘s top notes of galbanum and hyacinth, while totally Persian in character and production, combined with what I later learned was bergamot and lemon to create a scent so fresh and sharp that it was almost painful and nearly took my breath away. I was stunned and didn’t like it at all. I purchased a brown cashmere sweater and a ski “suit” and left the shop, compulsively sniffing my wrist.

As the perfume dried down in the cold mountain air I was warmed and seduced by jasmine, rose, ylang ylang and a spicy carnation. Later that afternoon I returned to the shop and purchased my first of many 14 ml Fidji parfums. As we danced the night away at the local clubs I could still detect the initial touch of my new fragrance lingering as musk and oakmoss.

Fidji Guy Laroche French Parfum Ad FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Yesterdays Perfume
FragranceNet has EdT $40/50ml before coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

My initial reaction to and enjoyment of this scent has never faded. This morning when I opened my parfum, I was once again magically transported to Cervinia in the 1970’s. My romance with Fidji is created entirely from my own experience.

Which vintage fragrance has a story you remember every time you smell it?

Azar X

This is a revised, shorter version of a Fidji review Azar wrote for The Fragrant Man

Khôl de Bahreïn by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 2013

Hey Heyy Niche Nerds,

So you may be familiar with the brand names Nez a Nez or So Oud? Here is the man who created some of those fragrances. The scentbloggosphere has been quite slow to catch onto this house but my mate Sandra from Olfactoria’s Travels put me onto them earlier in the year and I went straight to Ruth at FFF (Facebook Fragrance Friends) and grabbed some of her splits. This was quite a while ago and I’m only now fully getting to the bag she sent, time has been a very scarce commodity around here lately…….

Khôl de Bahreïn by Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 2013

Khôl de Bahreïn Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Violet, sweet notes, resins
Heart: Iris, sandalwood, ambergris
Base: Peru balsam, musk

Khol has long been used through Asia, Africa and the Middle East on children to strengthen their eyes and ward off the evil eye, it was also thought to help kill bacteria from flies and other insects. The lead in khol has been noted as high as 84% and the authorities are trying to regulate it better to make it safer. Khol can be seen around the eyes of many adult women through all the regions and is particularly spectacular when worn with headgear that leaves only the eyes uncovered, framing glorious eyes with black really makes them pop and gives added nuance to every movement of them.

Khôl de Bahreïn Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Nefertiti WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

 MMMMMMMM the opening after I spritz reveals a warm, sweet and engulfing mix of resins, I am surprised that there is no vanilla listed because I get a very bakery themed gush. You know when a fragrance makes you feel safe, loved and hugged from the outset? Here it is. This is the most comfortable comfort scent. Khôl de Bahreïn is what teddy bears should smell like, and fresh washed duvets. Resins, cream, wood that all meld together to smell the way a perfectly polished piece of amber that has warmed in the sun or on your skin feels against your face.

Khôl de Bahreïn Stéphane Humbert Lucas 777 Teddy Bear Armando Maynez FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Dense but surprisingly light, and simple but not boring Khôl de Bahreïn reminds me in mood of two of my favourite amber fragrances, Ambre Ceruleen by Huitieme Art and Dries van Noten by Malle. Here we have a scent that hits and triggers every one of my safe, loved and happy buttons. So vanilla it’s almost a hot chocolate, that kind of warming right through feeling and experience. There is a very slight animalic and furry note that creeps in through the heart: it has my eyes rolling in the back of my head as I compulsively sniff myself. Khôl de Bahreïn, where have you been all my life?


Thank Sandra for this particular lemming, though I think we must have talked of it because I can’t see a review. Now that I’ve tested it Sandra, even in the high heat of Sydney’s summer Khôl de Bahreïn wears a winner for me. Damnit! I thought I’d finished my amber search and had enough……..

Further reading: Ca Fleure Bon
LuckyScent has $220/50ml and samples
First In Fragrance has €148/50ml and samples

Have you heard of this brand? Is it on your radar? Will you be trying Khôl de Bahreïn?

Portia xx


Heya Fabulous APJ Family,

Shit is real around here, real BUSY. I am spraying new stuff a bit. Today I wore a new Australian house

Cult Of Scent

Magnolia ’13 by Cult of Scent
WOW!! Creamy, furry, citrus with a pithy undertone and a lovely sillage that lasts well into the second hour, even into the fourth hour I can softly smell a musk/vanilla/white flower/citrus wash. I am going to use my very small amount up this weekend, FABULOUS!

Kokorico Jean Paul Gaultier FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Kokorico by Jean Paul Gaultier
Also a divinely delicious scent Kokorico is smooth, woody and sweet. I was surprised that vanilla was not in the notes. Why was this not a huge hit, I only have a decant but I freaking LOVE it. I smell really good. MMMM






Now, please do yourself a favour. Just for an hour. Log off, get up and walk around, make a coffee and sit in a room you rarely sit in, go to the corner store, go pat your dog, go pull up some weeds. Spritz yourself with fragrance and get going. You will feel better about almost everything if you do.

See you back here later.

Portia xx


Eau Suave by Parfum d`Empire 2005 + Kate Bush

Hi there Music Lovers and Fumies,

Recently I posted a piece of music and told you how I love to put on the classical music and saif (spray a LOT) myself in a particularly big fragrance, close my eyes and just let myself float away on the music and fragrance together. Sometimes when the world gets too much, when I am bombarded by questions or negativity, when the next step seems unreachable or when I am completely overwhelmed by my to do list. Look at it this way: I could continue freaking out for 5 minutes or I can concentrate myself elsewhere, completely give myself to something else, and let my subconscious do its job. Quite often I find myself at the end of the piece of music 100% calmer, able to focus, aware of the next bite sized step or in touch with my gut feelings.

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire Josephine WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Last time it was Debussy: Rêverie but today I went looking for a childhood memory song. One that used to make me feel happy and sad, I used to play it repeatedly on my 3in1 and sing along in my thin childish tenor until one of the family would bang on the door and ask me to turn it down and stop that catterwauling.

Today it brings back happy memories and a smile as I completely let myself be taken away by the amazing voice of Kate Bush. What did I spritz today to listen to it?

Eau Suave by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato for Parfum d`Empire 2005

Eau Suave Parfum d`Empire FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coriander, saffron, rose
Heart: Peach, raspberry, red berries, pepper, tea rose
Base: Vanilla, musk, oakmoss, patchouli

Spicy, sweet rose. I think the top notes of my bottle have been compromised slightly because the zingy coriander opening that I loved so well is muted nowadays. The rose is still lovely and sweet, not quite jammy but a fruity sweet and that wonderful hint of cracked pepper that some of the apricot rose flowers have when you grow them in the garden. A perfect soft focus fragrance to lose yourself in while listenbing to Kate Bush and beyond into the afternoon where it becomes a lovely soft rose and vanilla wash.

My review is for the vintage, I have not smelled the new in their very austere new bottles.

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and Now Smell This
LuckyScent have $145/100ml
Posh Peasant has samples starting at $4/ml

Whjat music or fragrance makes you float away?
Portia xx

Kate Bush – The Man with the Child in His Eyes – Official Music Video

Santal Royal EdP by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2014

Hello Fabulous Frag Heads,

I am a Guerlain creature. You know it. When they released Santal Royal I was so freaking excited because in my mind I was thinking the Australian sandalwood plantations are going gangbusters and that we would be getting a modern “next Gen’ look at Samsara. A beautiful creamy and delicious fragrance that would have me smelling like a very rich hippy just back from India via Paris.

Santal Royal EdP by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2014

Santal Royal Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica giuves these featured accords in one line:
Sandalwood, leather, oud, neroli, cinnamon, rose, amber, musk

There has been a lot of hate for Santal Royal and I think our expectations we just too high, and saints preserve me but that bottle is to freaking die for. Don’t tell me that marketing plays no part in my buying, the black and gold flaccon is amazing. I got to hold one in Las Vegas at the Venetian Guerlain store. LOVE at first sight. we spritzed it and on me it was OK but Jin smelled absolutely fabulous in it all day. He already has Mona di Orio’s Oud so having this would be tautology.

Though I’m sure there is a bunch of sandalwood in there, and I will say the longevity is extraordinary, this is an oudh fragrance. Yes it is, sorry to say it. It’s very nice. It does have a story and it changes through time to something soft and very sensual but even to the bitter end I still get that oudh. Which I like very much but it’s not so groundbreaking that I feel the need to purchase because there are other oudhs in my wardrobe that I would reach for before it, even with that killer bottle.

Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $5/ml

Have you tried Santal Royal? How did it strike you?
Enjoy the ad,
Portia xx


Santal Royal – Eau de Parfum – GUERLAIN

How do you pronounce Hermès?

Hi there APJ,

French, the word inspires terror in speakers everywhere. Not only is the language at least as convoluted as English but their words have SEX! Pronouncing French words is bound to make all except the most intrepid, dextrous and fearless quake in their boots. When I am in France I say my very poor schoolboy French in the most obvious and terrible Australian accent so that everyone can at least have a laugh, and then get on with speaking English to me.

Hermes Box Maegan Tintari  FlickrPhoto Stolen lovemeagan

When questioned why I speak so little French I always tell the asker that I went to Sydney University (our most prestigious halls of learning) to learn Hindi and if they’d like to switch to that I can also massacre that language with an Aussie accent. Usually they are so ridiculously impressed that I would try to learn something so outlandish as Hindi that they forget to ask me to say a few words, remaining unused for so long I have only a smattering of half formed sentences and a plethora of swear words.

So here is a helping hand. A word I hear massacred quite regularly and in fact pronounced disgracefully until my friendly SA at Hermès in Sydney put me right. I made sure to OK it on my travels just to be sure she wasn’t extracting the urine (taking the piss, as we so elegantly say in Australia).

So I used to say Her-Mees. How do YOU say it? Are there any other hard ones?
Portia xx

How do you pronounce Hermès?

Criminal of Love by Kilian (Russia Exclusive)


Post by Erica Golding


Hello loves!

The weather in my neck of the woods is currently a deep freeze. The nights slow the soul, while the moon slices the sky with icy precision – and although I don’t limit my scents to the seasons, that doesn’t mean I never crave sexy warmth to counter the frigid winter darkness!

Tonight, I have chosen to set my aura aglow with a new obsession….

Criminal of Love by Kilian (Russia Exclusive)

Criminal of Love by Dorothee Piot

Criminal of Love By Kilian FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Cardamom, saffron
Heart: Turkish rose, papyrus, atlas cedar
Base: Patchouli, incense, tobacco, immortelle

by Kilian Russia says (via Google Translate): Sharp , sharp and at the same time – oily intoxicating and sensual , this fragrance for dangerous criminals who need to be as soon as possible handcuffed – satin, which you will find in the box with the scent.

On my skin, the opening reveals leather and scotch, a particularly dark leather evoking clean lines and gleaming surfaces. Then, the bracing intensity begins to curve as a juicy, jammy Turkish rose moves into the spotlight. The queen of the flowers remains the star of the show, as warmly aromatic cinnamon, cardamom, and an associative apple cider swirl in perfect harmony. Sweetly smoky tobacco and incense accent the base of the composition, intoxicating and irresistible.

Criminal of Love By Kilian  Turkish rose PollyDot PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

I very rarely buy a bottle of perfume unsniffed. I am a sample glutton, to the point where my thumbnail is perpetually fraying from prying open so many vials. Blind buys are very few and far between; however, when I had a chance to score a partial bottle of the highly sought after, ultra-hyped Criminal of Love, I caved and trusted my instinct.

I can’t put into words how fortunate I feel, nor how exceptionally blown away I am by this pure pleasure-bomb of fragrant allure. The bottle design alone makes my heart flutter, but it’s the nectar within that lights the blaze.

Criminal of Love By Kilian Eagle Nebula Hubble Heritage FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I’ve heard rumors that after four years, the Russia Exclusives will be released to the general market. I hope this is true, so that more scent aficionados will be able to experience this incredibly sexy, addictive potion!

by Kilian Russia has 11 200 rubles/75ml

Have you tried any of the Russia Exclusive perfumes by Kilian? Do you have a favorite fragrance from the Kilian brand?

Wishing you gorgeously scented evenings this winter and always,

Eau de Guerlain by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1974


Post by Liam


Good evening flamboyant frag heads

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all. I hope the fragrant Gods were good to you and you got all that you wanted.

For me, I decided to load up on the cologne side of things. I’m a hellbent oriental wearer, and whilst they are ever so lovely, they are rather impractical for hot Australian summers; especially on those scorching 40+ degree days.

Eau de Guerlain Guerlain  Bondi Beach David Lee FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

I was spoilt with colognes as I requested – and one that I was dying to get was Eau de Guerlain from (you guessed it) Guerlain. I am madly in love with the Guerlain ‘eaux’ series, and my first was Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain’s creation. When I found Eau de Cologne Imperiale I was stoked! Unfortunately here in Oz the Guerlain range is very very limited – and so obtaining the ‘eaux’ fragrances was a mighty task in itself. I have my contacts.

Eau de Guerlain by Jean-Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1974

Eau de Guerlain Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fruity notes, basil, bergamot, lemon
Heart: Caraway, carnation, sandalwood, patchouli, lavender, jasmine, mint, bergamot, rose
Base: Amber, musk, oakmoss, neroli

In this fragrance, the citrusy note used here is actually a rather soft verbena note, made peppy with a citrus clash of lemon and bergamot. This 1974 Jean-Paul Guerlain creation contains a neutral collection of notes too, acting more in terms of functionality than pleasure. The rose, jasmine, carnation, and lavender floral accents are almost invisible – with a baby soft amber and musk addition lifting this fragrance into perpetuity – as far as cologne and eaux fraiche can go.

Eau de Guerlain Guerlain Herbes de Provence WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

There’s a bit of a bitter crunch to this cologne too, with a certain facet smelling anisic and almost salty. I’m certain herbs attribute to this factor, in this case basil and mint, with caraway seed in there somewhere. We can also expect the herbs de Provence accord found in many Guerlain works.

With many of my reviews, I always try to reach and attain an emotional standing with the fragrance in question, and Eau de Guerlain surprises me. To think Chamade was only made 5 years before this (1969). Chamade for me is a classic Guerlain artwork, whereas this cologne is decidedly modern. I think Eau de Guerlain may have heralded a new dawn in perfumery and a new stage in Guerlain works. Don’t you think?

Many regard this as the perfect cologne. Whilst my heart lies somewhere else, the balance demonstrated here is enviable, and truly showcases Jean-Paul Guerlain’s perfume prowess. As mentioned before, the tactile use of amber and musk (and sandalwood, apparently) raise longevity to a relatively high 2 hours. The sillage is moderate to low, fading dramatically over time.

Eau de Guerlain Guerlain Katharine_Hepburnin WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: Now Smell This and Monsieur Guerlain
Beauty Encounter has $95/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Keep hydrated! What’s your favourite cologne to spritz on?