New York by Patricia de Nicolai for Parfums de Nicolai 1989


Post by Portia


Hi there Cool kids,

Back in 2014 my mate Tara reviewed New York by Parfums de Nicolai for Olfactoria’s Travels and I said I would try and find a bit of it because her review made me think it was right up my alley. Then I completely forgot about it. Now looking through my stockpile I rediscovered a sample sent to me at some time by someone, um sorry I’ve forgotten who but thank you. So I decided to spritz it yesterday, now I’m wearing it again….

New York by Parfums de Nicolai 1989

New York by Patricia de Nicolai

New York Nicolai Parfumeur FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, amalfi lemon, cloves, lavender, green notes
Heart: Thyme, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, patchouli, cedar
Base: Amber, vanilla, leather

Tara mentions that New York is a masculine Shalimar, well you may know that I adore Shalimar and it’s my favourite scent of all time. I have spent the last couple of days searching for the similarities and differences, then getting so lost in the fragrance that I need to reapply so I can do the comparisons. It’s been fun.

So the open is fresh and bracing but the lavender takes me far away from Shalimar. It feels very old school cologne but drier and more biting. The citrus is lovely, sweet and fleshy and pretty photo realistic. All together I find the opening an exemplary riff on an old trope. Not a big departure but enough to make New York interesting.

New York Nicolai Demuth_Charles_Incense_of_a_New_Church WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

As we settle into New York’s heart the spices remind me that a chypre is supposed to be created without flowers, because the island of Cypress is a place of evergreen shrubs & trees and citrus groves (is New York a chypre, if you substituted leather for oakmoss it could be included). My skin maintains lavender and citrus right through the spicy heart. It’s SO good, so beautifully balanced and blended. I love the smooth and unfussy growth, the slow and stately speed that different accords appear and fade, the hints of a bygone era of beautiful fragrances.

Deep into the heart I notice the pepper, the pepper seems to be casually chatting with the woods. No fireworks, they just stood out the front to make sure I noticed them. Base comes extremely late, it’s at least an hour before the warmth of amber/vanilla even shows its face over the leather and heart (it smells quite vetiverish to me too). Like Shalimar? Not at all. New York is pure old fashioned cologne/chypre and I really enjoyed it.

New York Nicolai Woofer forme-masculine FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Scented Hound
Neroli Budapest has 11,400Ft (US$40)/30ml and posts worldwide
Surrender To Chance has New York Intense samples from $5/ml

Are any of your fragrance favourite old style? Do the masculine leaning frags bring you happy memories or remind you of sexy men?
Portia xxx


CHANEL No 22 EdT by Jacques Polge for CHANEL 2007


Post by Portia


Hiya Crew,

You know when you’re looking through the decants? You pick a couple up, look at the labels, put them back, repeat, can’t find something to apply even though there is more choice than the regular department store. So I was doing this familiar dance the other day and my hand landed on a decant from a mate in Oz, a big decant in a lavish black spritz travel thing. I thought, OK, why the hell not and…

CHANEL No 22 EdT by CHANEL 2007

CHANEL No 22 by Jacques Polge

Chanel N°22 Chanel FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, Lily-of-the-valley, Neroli
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base: Vanilla, Vetiver

You may remember I discovered CHANEL No.22 in Paris in 2014 with Michael. Since then a few friends have sent or given me different vintages and strengths (Barbara Carter, Ruth M and another couple that have slipped my mind) and I have loved them all. The thing is, that first incredible overdose from Rue Cambon in Paris will stay with me forever as the most fabulous 22 of my life. We even snuck into the stairs and had our picture taken!! WOO HOO SCORE! Yes, the old ones may be fuller and more animal but walking the streets of Paris, shopping, meeting buddies and generally hanging out have made an unbreakable connection to the modern for me. So often scent is tied up with the memories.

Portia Michael CHANEL Stairs

The big soapy, syrupy, fizz of modern CHANEL No 22 that tramples the lily of the valley into plush and velvet submission. The sparkly, soft/sharp scintillation like lights glittering on Christmas tinsel which makes way for the hearts bouquet, still glittering but with a creamy and slightly fruity warmth. Clear as a bell but still comforting, soapy and clean but in a polished crystal way rather than blankets. Aloof but not snobby No 22 is divinely wearable and lasting power is excellent. There is even a cool whisper of oily vetiver and incense(?) through the heart that alongside the still extant aldehydes create a steel sculpture of fragrance as the binding centre, the core story if you like, of No 22.

There’s no denying that CHANEL No 22 is big, if size in fragrance is a problem for you then you may have trouble, also if aldehydes are in any way less than fabulous then you will definitely want to move along. No 22’s aldehydes leave No 5 for dead and didn’t even notice its presence. If longevity gets boring for you or you prefer to wear multiple fragrances in a day then again, probably steer clear BUT if you want a super fabulous signature fragrance that will wrap you up warm and tight and with a sillage of a size that will give waterskiers trick jumps, a smooth, glamorous, soapy extravaganza? Try CHANEL No 22.

CHANEL No 22 boat sillage WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Candy Perfume Boy
CHANEL online, stand alone beauty + fashion stores and large department stores
Surrender To Chance has EdT samples starting at $4/ml

What do you wear when you want to go big?
Portia xx

Calandre by Paco Rabanne: LIVE Video Sniff


Post by Portia


Well Hello Vintage Vamps,

Today Scott and I finally open a fragrance that has been in my collection for years. It has winked at me from the recesses of the perfume cupboard and sometimes i grabbed it out only to put it back away. I know, I’m a crazy frag hoarder.

Calandre by Paco Rabanne 1969

Calandre by Michel Hy


Calandre Paco Rabanne FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Leaf green, Aldehydes, Bergamot
Heart: Rose, Lily-of-the-valley, Geranium, Jasmine, Iris
Base: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk, Ambergris

Amber Oud by Calice Becker for By Kilian 2011


Post by Portia


Hi there Fragrant Fiends,

Oudh. The 21st centuries answer to IFRA compliant base notes. It is the ubiquitous fully fragrant, dark, deep and dirty base note giving a solid grounding to an industry that has lost its regular, centuries old palette to drug companies greed: the modern multinational fragrance component creators. I’m sure it’s a more complex problem and that I’ve missed most of the memos but from the other side of the world this is how it looks to me. Sorry, end rant.

So, I tried Amber Oud around the time it came out and could not justify the spend to myself at that time, 5 years on I wondered if my thoughts had changed with the ever increasing price of fragrance. Was $395 a reasonable price for something I remember being so lovely, and reading the other reviews written at that time it was as special as I remember and many others were happy to drop that kind of cash on it.

Amber Oud by By Kilian 2011

Amber Oud by Calice Becker

Amber Oud By Kilian FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Amber, Benzoin, Spices, Oud, Vanilla, Cedar

Softest, plushest, tamest oudh ever. So gorgeously rolled and folded into the spicy vanilla/amber bakery and only held slightly dry by the crispness of cedar. Warm and enveloping I can see why even the oudh haters love Amber Oud so. Lightly medicinal, a tiny hint of band aid and only the merest waft of poop Amber Oud is almost a gourmand oudh, oudh light or kiddies oudh. So velvet soft and cozy, as close to a warm beige cashmere lounge throw as oudh can be. Delightful, sweet, sensational and gorgeous: the words that jump into my head while sniffing are not the usual ones associated with oudh in my experience. The By Kilian crew have created the most fabulous general public oudh and it makes me smile.

The amber is sweet and caramelised, lit from within and effulgent Ambre Oud grows more and more lovely. Very reminiscent through its heart of the L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre, a similar warmth and purity. It stays pretty and buoyant and luxurious, the most expensive caramel toffee.


Here’s my quandry: yes this is lovely. It’s incredibly wearable, luxurious and gorgeous, no doubt about it. When I press my nose to my fragrant spots it is utterly swoon worthy. When it’s not so close, when I’m catching whiffs of it as I go about my day, Amber Oud is not a lot better than 50 other ambers on the market. From Queen Latifah through L’Artisan, Nicolai to Giorgio Armani: yes they are all different but at arms length the differences are not so pronounced, yummy amber. Is Amber Oud at $395 from $370-$150 better? Is it really? I hang my head in shame because for me the answer is no…. I’ll put my decant away and try it again one day, maybe then?

Amber Oud By Kilian red No Entry Pixabay

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
LuckyScent has $395/50ml
Surrender To Chance has $5/0.5ml

What is your cut off point? Do you have one? How important is having something in your collection?
Portia xx




Pink Sugar Sensual by Aqualina 2009


Post by Poodle


Definition of Sensual: of or arousing gratification of the senses and physical, especially sexual, pleasure

I always think Pink Sugar is one of those perfumes whose target audience is the younger crowd, I’m talking tweens and teens. It seems odd to me to have a flanker called Sensual for that demographic but hey, what do I know?

Pink Sugar Sensual by Aqualina 2009

Pink Sugar Sensual Aquolina FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Black currant, tangerine, bergamot
Heart: Orange blossom, jasmine petals, tiare
Base: Vanilla, black sugar, sandalwood

I do know that the original Pink Sugar is a guilty pleasure for a lot of you. You’ve got a bottle or maybe a rollerball hidden on your perfume shelf and you never tell anyone about it for fear that’ll revoke your perfumista card. I received Pink Sugar Sensual as a gift. I like the original but don’t own it. I had hopes for Pink Sugar Sensual as being more grown up and less candy floss but my idea of sensual is not what this perfume is.

Bright, juicy sugar crusted mandarins, oranges, clementines…pick any orange citrus fruit. It’s in here. Citrus isn’t sensual to me but let’s see where this goes.

Not very far actually. The citrus and some other fruity notes linger a bit. It’s sweet and I don’t think there’s much that’s natural in this bottle so to sniff my skin up close it’s a bit harsh to me. Better to sniff from a safe distance. It’s not bad just not something I’d want to cuddle up with.

Pink Sugar Sensual by Aquolina Sugar_cubes WikiMediaWikiMedia

I know there are floral notes because the list tells me there are but honestly all I get is fruit. Eventually the vanilla becomes noticeable and tempers the juiciness. I don’t smell the licorice which others have mentioned in other reviews. I’m assuming that’s what the black sugar note might be but I really have to force myself to find any licorice.

I know I’m not making a strong case for this one. It’s really not terrible but in my opinion the original is more sensual than Sensual. If you’re looking for a sweet citrusy scent that is cheap and cheerful give this one a try. If you’ve got a fruity perfume like one of the Britney Spears or Taylor Swift perfumes you probably don’t need this. I’ll also add that at no point during wearing this do I feel sensual or want to writhe around on the floor in my unmentionables like the model in the ad. I’m sure the husband would be thrilled if it worked like that. Sadly, as I’m writing this I’m in my pajamas, bathrobe, and slippers, none of which match, and I’m not feeling the least bit sexy or sensual. Warm and comfy? Yes. Sensual? Not so much. We both agree that at least I smell reasonably good compared to some other things I’ve sampled recently.

Pink Sugar Sensual by Aquolina Greyerbaby FlickrPixabay

Further reading: Now Smell This
FragranceNet has $28/100ml before Coupon

Have you tried this? Do you like Pink Sugar? Confess. I won’t judge.


Perfume Favourites & Chasing Dreams


Post by BlondesWunder


Mum´s in Vienna with Portia today so you are stuck with me.

Favourite Frags

Currently I use about five perfumes. Anymore than that and i couldn’t make a decision of what to use each morning/evening. Before i started to care about perfume, I clearly remember my Mom buying a Bvlgari perfume and thinking how ridiculous it was to spend that much money on a bottle of “smell good”. Does anyone really care about how you smell?!

Well how wrong I was! Several years later I fell down the rabbit hole. Perfume is for me first!
It’s not only the smell, it is the story and feeling that comes with it.

I prefer to use perfumes in cooler weather and so wear more in the winter season.

Right now I sport:

La Fille de Berlin Serge Lutens Fragrantica

Serge Lutens. La Fille de Berlin

Vero Profumo. Rubj Extrait

Chanel N°5 Eau Premiere Chanel fragranticaFragrantica

Chanel. Eau Premiere No 5

Elixir Charnel Gourmand Coquin Guerlain FragranticaFragrantica

Guerlain. Gourmande Coquin

Neela Vermeire Creations. Pichola

Lolita Lempicka de Lolita Lempicka (I have very little left, does anyone have some for me? I have been through five bottles since I was 14 years old. It was my first perfume.)

MAC Ed Schipul MAC makeup FlickrFlickr

Chasing Dreams

My dream since childhood is to work with makeup. A few weeks ago Sandra from Vienna took me into a MAC store and made me ask if they were hiring people. I got a business card.

To my surprise they called a week later and invited me to their recruitment day in Vienna. I was asked to bring my own model and brushes. I was the only unqualified person out of seven.

Within a week I received a call offering me a full-time job in the stand alone MAC store in Salzburg. Needless to say I burst into tears.

Blondes Wunder Jan 2016Blondes Wunder by Val

I am beyond excited and of course a little nervous, I can not believe they chose me!

I will keep you updated.

Love xoxo BlondesWunder

Une Nuit a Bali: Fragrance + Dry Oil


Post by TinaG


Hello APJ! If you haven’t heard about the French beauty company Une Nuit á Bali, I’d like to give you a quick overview teaser of two of their products.

Une Nuit a Bali

I was intrigued by Une Nuit á Bali when I read a ÇaFleureBon review from the Esxence exhibition, March 2015. The products sounded lush and lovely, so I checked out their website and ordered sample packs of their 100% natural body products and testers of three of their fragrances – Fleur de Fleurs, Mr. Vetiver, and Suma Oriental.

Une Nuit a Bali: Fleur de Fleurs

Une Nuit a Bali Fleur de Fleurs FragranticaFragrantica

Une Nuit á Bali gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, saffron, grapefruit
Heart: Floral Jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, glycine
Base: Benzoin Tears, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, oud wood

Fleur de Fleurs opens with a warm fresh jasmine and ylang-ylang, with a touch of milky tuberose and wispy citrus. Silage is a metre or more at this stage and it has garnered compliments from co-workers. As it settles the ylang-ylang becomes increasingly indolic and thicker. It reminds me of a summer day, when the humidity is high and wind absent, when thick blooming floral fragrances pool into invisible scented clouds.

At 2 hours the florals very gently and seductively meld together, the citrus notes retreat to reveal subtle dry woods with hints of amber and vanilla. Over the next few hours the fragrance softly fades leaving a sensual woody skin scent.

Une Nuit a Bali the-dry-body-oil Une Nuit a BaliUne Nuit á Bali

Une Nuit a Bali: The Dry Oil (L’Huile Sèche)

This dry oil is stunning. The jasmine note in this is so realistic. It is not simply ‘jasmine”, but very specifically, I clearly get the image in my head of the green moist jasmine stamen in the centre of the flower, and it is beautiful and exciting. The oil itself is easy to apply, soaks straight in, and does not leave any residue. The scent softens after about ½ hour and I find more of a ‘frangipani’ scent on my skin.

I’ve since discovered selected products of this range are available in Australia through Mecca Cosmetica online but there isn’t much opportunity for testing in store. If you were interested in testing, try the Une Nuit á Bali website. I found ordering samples through the web site very easy, reasonably priced, quick and they were thoughtfully presented.

Fleur des Fleurs Une Nuit a BaliUne Nuit á Bali

Have you ever brought a fragrance product after reading a review? What did you pick up?

Tina G xx