Scent Diary: 20.3 – 26.3.17

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Portia

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Scent Diary: 20.3 – 26.3.17

Monday 20:

Luxumbourg has an excellent cafe/chocolatier on the Place Guillaume. we had afternoon tea there and wrote postcards.

I might have bought these in a corner perfumery with a 20% discount. YAY!

Tuesday 21:

Arrived in Paris around lunchtime. We are staying in a new to us hotel near the Arc de Triomphe. Coming out of the Metro on the escalator and being hit with one of the world’s most recognisable landmarks is pretty spectacular.

Obligatory Serge Lutens flagship store visit. Bought Jin a new MKK because he is going through his bell jar rather quickly and got Scotty something too for house minding our place. SHHHH.

Near the Louvre Museum they had a memorial to all the homeless that died in Paris last year. Hundreds of them, not all with names, were represented by a flowering plant. We laid a rose and said a prayer for one who died on Jin’s birthday. Very moving tribute and a woman danced through the memorial to French provincial music played by a smell band.

Yes, went to Guerlain Champs Elysees store but did not purchase. they still have Liu if you’re looking for it.

Dinner with Nicolas & Enno from Le Galion and Aether. They are bloody wicked company and we laughed and chatted the night away. So glad we are mates with such clever, passionate men about life, work and fragrance.

Scored the brand newest Aether scent and will be doing a giveaway when we get back so you can try it too. Based on the smell of hot metal and made with only captured molecules Methaldone is really good stuff. Freaky, wearable and smells good to me.

Wednesday 22:

Since 2013 Jin and I have reminisced about having crepes for breakfast one morning in a market with our mates Aaron & Gerard. They were delicious and it was a great thing to do. Jin decided we would repeat the adventure and painstakingly worked out where the market was and on which days it is open. They were as good as we remembered and it was fun to go back.

Then we went inside Notre Dame. We have been outside a few times but never went in. This time we went in and lit candles for friends & family. Beautiful.

Here I wear the Eiffel Tower as a hat. This is the bridge near Princess Diana’s tunnel where she died. Still sad.

In the afternoon we went to the Grand Palais and saw the Rodin exhibition. Really interesting look at an artist that I know not very much about. We learned a bit but more than anything I loved that he was a great sketcher and we saw a lout of his drawings/inks and that captured my imagination more than anything else.

Jin called this the Beyonce Single Ladies statue. We bloody lost it and all the French matrons looking at us like we were from outer space as we laughed and did Single Ladies singing & dancing impersonations.

Thursday 23:

Ahhh, Galleries Lafayette. I know that Printemps is posher but the shiver of excitement I feel whenever we shop beneath that glittering dome is worth more than anything. Yes, bought the Hermes Collection Colognes. The Hermès SA loaded us up with extras too and made me SWEAR I’d come back and shop with her. Indeed I will.

We saw the Pissaro exhibition, excellent. Seeing the way he grew as an artist. There were all sorts of wonderful pieces in the pointillist, separatist, impressionist genres but interestingly he also had a sideline in simple watercolour and gauche paintings that were really easily sold by his art dealer. That was the way he paid the rent and fed his family. It also meant he could pursue his grand pieces. The last ones were so magnificently painted that they looked like the light was streaming out of them, as if backed by light boxes. Unbelievable.

We tried to go to the Louis Vuitton Foundation but there was no exhibition on. Having paid for the best tickets available we were a bit grumpy. The building is a ridiculous conglomeration of hideous architecture wankings anyway. What a pile of shit.

 

Friday 24:

OMG! Jin and I flew to Milan in the early morning, had some lunch and then met a few of the frag crew in clouding Val the Cookie Queen. We then went in to Escxence. It is enormous, filled to the gills with perfume houses. So many of them brand new and hardly any of my most loved.

Charles de Gaulle had an interesting selection of Mass-Tige fragrances including Diptyque, Amouage, Lutens and Goutal.

Val the Cookie Queen is mortally afraid of photographs, weird because she’s so beautiful.

Nick (I’m sorry I didn’t get a pic with Pia too) Gilbert and Lucasz from Chemist In A Bottle

Antonio Gardoni of Bogue and Francesco from Luckyscent

Adam & Francesco from LuckyScent, Vero Kern, Neela Vermeire and up the back Judith Fox, Val CQs best friend (and psychotherapist). This is my favourite Esxence pic by far.

It was so overwhelming that I only allowed 3 houses to give me their sample sets. I already love Miller & Bartaux, their product is weird and wonderful while remaining perfectly wearable.
Atelier des Ors is a favourite of Ainslie Walker and I know Megan their rep.
Brand new and winner of the worst brand name ever Homoelegans, I liked one of their frags particularly, more on that later.

We finished the day with a bunch of great mates for dinner. They all really needed a quiet wind down and we found a spectacular candlelit restaurant close by that served wonderful food for very decent prices. Petit is the name and they worked hard to make it a special evening for us all.

Saturday 25:

Started my morning at the Milano Savoy with Aussie milliner to the stars Naomi Goodsir. I bloody love her.

This years offering is Nuit de Bakelite. It’s green with a tuberose heart. The closest analogy I can make is a 21st century Niki de Saint Phalle EdT.

The Duomo. The Pope was in town, he missed us by minutes.

Neela and Jin. The display was gorgeous at the NVC stand and Neela was swamped by people all day, every day.

At Campo Marzio 70. I might have bought a Kiki Extrait at retail, so good.

Farewell to Vero Kern & Antonio Gardoni with Val the cookie queen.

I might have got this to…….

Sunday 26:

Up early for a farewell breakfast with Val the Cookie Queen and Judith. Saying goodbye to people we love is shit.

We dropped into Esxence to see Neela and she gave us a bottle of Bombay Bling to photograph on our travels in Milan today. BIG responsibility. Jin is up for the challenge.

So what has happened in your week, fragrant or otherwise?
Portia xx

Soulle Ambar by Shelagh Foyle for Floris 2013

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Portia

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Hey there crew,

Libertine Parfumerie sent me their Winter 2017 Season Update. I have a bunch of some of their new-to-Australia and brand spanking new stuff to look at. I think that they have newly brought Floris onboard in 2016 as one of their houses so that’s really exciting. Not having spent much time with the brand, except a quick sniff through in Fortnum & Mason last year, it will be good to get to know them better. I’m pretty sure that Floris are not marketing to me personally as a consumer, the brand seems a little safe and buttoned up British but I will be happily shown to be wrong.

Soulle Ambar by Floris 2013

Soulle Ambar by Shelagh Foyle

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, galbanum, pineapple, mastic/lentisque
Heart: Pink pepper, geranium, jasmine, mellow/sweet clover
Base: Amber, vanila, musk

Soul Ambar is a new one to Australia and as I love amber in fragrance I think Paige from Libertine thought it might be a good place for me to start. Let’s see….

Woo Hoo! Sweet citrus with a pineapple hit is a wonderful, fun, uplifting opening the segues beautifully into smooth, glossy green galbanum. The fruits don’t leave exactly but become something harmoniously part of the green.

A burst of pink pepper, a real, fun, pepper grind of it. While having that fun pink pepper fizz it comes along and dries Soulle Ambar out. The fruit punch is still extant but now playing chorus with the bouquet. Flowers come together in a softly cool florist melange that gives me thoughts of fresh cut peonies and greenery.All this action has taken place in under half an hour and I feel the real heart has arrived. Without being mean the heart reminds me of the opening of some of the Tocca perfumes. It has that similar wet non floral bouquet, but here it’s in the heart and lasts very effectively.

WikiCommons

Soulle Ambar is a floral green scent through the heart. Nothing groundbreaking or sensational but a comfortable, floral, green that feels beautifully crafted and with enough of a story to have some interesting light & shade.

At about the 40 minute mark the amber/vanilla comes through as a light undercurrent of warmth, it takes centre stage but Soulle Ambar maintains a fresh green hint till I lose the scent completely.

I don’t think this is made with die hard perfumistas in mind. It’s a fine fragrance, smells good and would be an excellent choice for a person whose main aim is to be prettily fragrant. I could imagine buying it as a gift for my non perfumista friends and them using it solely as a spritz & go all day scent till the bottle was empty and then buying it again.

Flickr

Libertine Parfumerie has $179/100ml and FREE Australian Delivery
First In Fragrance has €72/50ml + Samples

Have you spent any time with Floris fragrances? Any that you like, love, own?
Portia XX

Trolling The Internet?

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Portia

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Hi there Late Night Shoppers,

I have a confession to make. Sometimes I get the urge to surf the net at ridiculous hours looking for lost fragrant loves, super new stuff, blogs and bargains. Other times I may have read a particularly good blog post, used a decant/sample that I fell madly in love with, got a bee in my bonnet and it’s like a compulsion. I can get lost in these random loops and searches for HOURS!

Sometimes if I have a day off, nothing planned and Jin is at work I can spend 10-15 hours lost in the fragrant WWW.

I have a name for these explorations….

Trolling The Internet

Trolling The Internet doesn’t mean you go around being a troll. Nope. It’s like trawling but it sounds most like trolling. It comes from 1980s GaySpeak when we’d go trolling the bars. We’d be seeing our friends, having some drinks (and drugs back then), looking for love, dancing and sometimes even working. Yeah, being Sydney’s version of a club kid was really fun.

So now I’ve just changed venues and addictions I suppose. Now it’s cups of tea/coffee, seeing mates in blogs and searching for the next fragrant buy, swap or sale.

One of the great things about Trolling The Internet is that you can do it anytime, wearing a suit or pyjamas, get your fix and then hit the hay.

How many of you die similar or same? Do you ever worry about your internet time, spending, being inside? Do you ever need to break the cycle? What do you do to sl;ow or stop these behaviours or are you totally cool?
Portia xx

Eiderantler EdP by John Biebel forJanuary Scent Project 2017

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Erica Golding

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Hi all, I hope you are enjoying a gorgeously fragrant day wherever you are!

Me, I’m having a woodland faerie princess kind of day. My friend John graced me with a sneak preview of his upcoming releases for January Scent Project, and one in particular has cast a spell on me:

Eiderantler EdP by January Scent Project 2017

Eiderantler EdP by John Biebel

January Scent Project

January Scent Project‘s notes:
Lavender, green leaves, moss, pink pepper, lavandin, champa leaf, ivy, elemi, fir cone, hay, oak wood, cashmere, vetiver, musk

Eiderantler is summarized as an “ivy fougere,” and even the hue of the liquid is fern green. I have been on a real fougere kick lately. When I spritzed this on a test strip, I was immediately captivated and intrigued. Onto my skin it went!

The opening of Eiderantler glitters with pink pepper and a particularly green-toned lavender. The grassy and herbal notes glow brilliantly, but they are elegantly tempered by the velvety moss and hay. The composition is fresh yet rounded, conjuring emotions of peaceful optimism.

January Scent Project

The end stages drift gently like morning fog, and I particularly notice the softness of the cashmere, champa, and musk.

It’s quite evident that Eiderantler is heavy on the naturals because of the stunning sincerity it evokes. It achieves an air of simplicity overall, but reveals complex choreography as the stages evolve on the skin. I’ve never smelled anything that compares to this scent. I think that many fragrances out there aim for this effect, but Eiderantler is totally unique and fascinatingly balanced. To me, this is what an elf from the Tolkien universe would smell like!

January Scent Project doesn’t have it quite ready for sale yet but SOON

Does perfume ever send you into a fantasy land? What’s the latest scent you tried that transported you instantly?

Much love until next time,
Erica

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

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TinaG

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Hi APJ,

My fragrance collection had a bit of a rough ride last year. I packed up my house & put everything in storage in May while I travelled overseas for 7 weeks, and then it stayed in storage while I found another place to live. It wasn’t until September 2016 when I got access to everything again. The full bottles and decants were fine, but there was substantial loss from my samples. This varied from leakage & evaporation, to label text disappearing.

Scent Samples: Love & Loss

Moral number one of this is: samples are intended to be used. They aren’t there for you to build a mini-Osmothèque style fragrance library, the vials aren’t that robust at the best of times. Use them, make notes, talk about them, and if you fall in love… buy the bottle.

So, I’ve sorted my samples, laid them out, & thrown out the empties. The ones which have leaked but still have juice left in the vial have been put aside for testing. So today I grabbed two as I walked out the door to give them a run through. These are Fueguia 1833 – Don Giovanni, and Castillos.

And – do you know what? I looked up Fueguia 1833’s current catalogue, and these two aren’t listed. Some time back I purchased full sample sets of Destinos and Special Projects, of which Castillos and Don Giovanni and were included as at March 2016. Now in March 2017, a year later, they’re no longer available – which leads us to moral number two: things change. What was available 6 months or 12 months ago, may be discontinued and therefore so much more difficult to access. And if you fall in love, you’re screwed.

So what do I do with these two samples? Do I treasure them,put them in tightly packed glass vials or on the shelf? I think we need to go back to moral number one: samples are intended to be used.

Here’s what I think of both:

Fragrantica

Castillos – Destinos collection

Notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Mate.
This is weird. The mate isn’t dried powdered green tea, it’s fresh and floral and slightly rotten, with the tuberose and jasmine rounding out the overall indole. It is old flowers in a jungle – damp, wet and lush but with that meaty heaviness which you can find in tropical plants. Would I wear it again? Maybe. It’s dried down to have a woody background note and what I think is a touch of ylang ylang.

Fragrantica

Don Giovanni – Special Projects collection.

Notes: Tuberose, Civet, Jasmine
Interesting that I’ve picked up another fragrance with tuberose and jasmine in it today, and once again they are pretty sexy and indolic. The civet seems to me to be refined, its funky but without being feral and I think there’s a lemon note in there smoothing things over. Think: a woman who’s been with her lover all day, but has freshened up and got dressed to go out to a movie premier. She’s looking elegant but still has a slinkiness & smell of dangerous liaisons about her. Rawwwwrrrrr.

Have you ever mourned the loss of any fragrances from your collection?

Have a wonderful week!

Tina G xx

Sensual Orchid by Jerome Epinette for LM Parfums 2012

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Tara: A Bottled Rose

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Hi APJ,

Creamy petals in the breeze…

Whenever I’ve encountered LM Parfums online, the brand has come across as rather sleek and sexy. It also has some intriguing English fragrance names such as Army of Lovers, along with de rigueur French ones.

LM Parfums is a New York based niche line launched in 2010 by fashion designer Laurent Mazzone, after first releasing a collection of scented candles. Sensual Orchid is a floral oriental launched in 2012 composed by Jerome Epinette who has done a number of fragrances for Atelier Cologne and Byredo.

Sensual Orchid by LM Parfums 2012

Sensual Orchid by Jerome Epinette

Fragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Mandarin, Almond, Neroli
Heart: Heliotrope, Jasmine sambac, Orchid, Peony, Ylang-ylang
Base: Benzoin, Blond woods, Labdanum, Musk, Vanilla, White cedar

From the name and my impression of the brand, I expected Sensual Orchid to be a nocturnal, narcotic scent. Therefore the fresh opening was a surprise; comprising sweet, juicy mandarin and a dash of booze which together create a cocktail effect.

Almond is a nemesis note of mine but here, combined with orange, it doesn’t trigger an adverse reaction and I may not have even identified it if I hadn’t read it in the notes. The almond and heliotrope merely round out the fruit (and later the florals) giving the composition a gourmand twist.

The luscious fruit continues into the body of the fragrance which is made up of creamy, velvety white florals, mostly ylang-ylang. The finish is plush and the whole composition feels top quality. Sensual Orchid is labeled Extrait de Parfum and the lasting power is extremely good, coupled with noticeable presence.

The style of Sensual Orchid is the vein of the gorgeous Pichola by Neela Vermeire Creations. Both have an exotic feel but are billowy and citrusy.

Flickr

The mood is tropical-lite, starting off with a gentle ocean breeze and blue skies, getting a little duskier over time but never quite hits sultry on me. While I get that vacation vibe it’s not a trashy beach scent in the slightest. It keeps it classy throughout. You will feel like you’re lounging in hotter climes but you won’t have people in the city wondering who’s wearing Hawaiian Tropic sun cream.

As attractive as it is,Sensual Orchid feels too laid back for me to imagine its scent coming from the striking orchid flower. Those blooms are seductive attention grabbers while remaining rarefied and delicate. I wanted the fragrance to be darker, sexier and more mysterious but it is well done, if a tad too sweet for my taste. It’s overtly feminine and entirely wearable.

WikiCommons

Further reading: APJ and Scented Hound
LuckyScent has $220/100ml + Samples

It’s not setting my world aflame but then white florals are rarely my thing. I can imagine it working well for those who like a sweet, rich, hothouse floral with substance.

Have you tried this or anything else from LM Parfums? I’d be particularly interested if you know Hard Leather or Army of Lovers.

Tara xx

 

(Ed: We are so lucky to have Tara drop in today from A Bottled Rose. Do go have a look at her blog. You’ll love it. Thanks buddy!)

Scent Diary: 13.3 – 19.3.17

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Portia

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Hey there Fragrant Family,

This week sees more of Europe. More buddies, more scent and much more diary.

Scent Diary: 13.3 – 19.3.17

Monday 13:

OK, 5.30am wake up. NOT relaxing. We’re off to Berlin via Prague on the trains. Plenty of time to flake out. I should be reading my book but the scenery has me spellbound.

Guerlain Mitsouko EdT for the journey. It was an excellent accompaniment. Jin was bathed in L’Occitane Cedrat L’Homme yesterday and I could still smell it on his clothes in the train. So sexy and cuddly.

Dinner in Berlin and Jin got a beer nearly as big as his head.

Tuesday 14:

I bought a decant of Louis Vuitton Turbulences away with me and was totally going to wear it today but was ambushed in my choice by vintage Miss Dior parfum, which is a perfect Berlin morning fit.

Jin has booked us into the Melia Hotel on Friedrichstrasse, right next to the railway and river. We have a tiny little balcony which overlooks both, heaven. It’s a businessman’s hotel with an impressive buffet breakfast included and the room is very nice, even has a bath so I had a delicious soak before bed tonight.

Today we are doing the Hop-On Hop-Off bus. As we are only here for one full day as a Berlin taster we thought it best to get as much of the tourist stuff ticked off the list as possible. We have also been given a list of Nicolas Chabat from Le Galion and his partner Enno’s favourite spots in Berlin. Fingers crossed we get some time for a couple of them too.

We saw pieces of the Berlin Wall. A stark reminder about how destructive politics is.

Then we climbed to the walking parapet of one cathedral where I proceeded to have a vertigo meltdown. Sweats, knees buckling, delusions of the floor moving and heart thudding uncontrollably. Basically a panic attack at height. Jin kindly captured the moment.

Nivea has a dedicated shop here and I’m dying to go in but they weren’t open yet.

Gallery! We spent hours wandering the halls. Here are some of the artworks we loved.

We may have gone back at night when the Nivea shop was open and bought the Nivea EdP.

Wandered past the Brandenburg Gate

and down to the Holocaust Memorial. SO spooky at night.

Then burgers.

Now I’m going for a bath and then bed.

Wednesday 15:

Busy morning. Jin has hired a car, so we’ll go get it. O MG! Can we talk upgrade? Eurocar was supposed to give us a VW Golf but somehow we ended up with a Mercedes Sports Car with only 700kms on the clock. Jin is like a 17 year old kid, so freaking excited. We are now a driving holiday! Touring, YAY!

Wearing Yves Rocher Rose Oud again.

Then we met Ann from Perfume Posse and her partner Thomas for coffee and a sniff. We went to Parfumsalon Berlin and met proprietor Mario who is a perfumista himself. It was wonderful chatting to someone who really cared about the fragrances in his stock.

Newest Profumi del Forte called Mythical Woods. New packaging too. Very modern.

Yes, I purchased. When I first smelled Tabac Tabou I was woefully underwhelmed. The 2016 run though speaks volumes to me. Fabulous.

Added the current Sables by Annick Goutal on my arms. WOW! Jin hates it but I adore it.

Back to the hotel, pack, leave for Hamburg! Jin hit 190km/h and I am in a testosterone packed teen movie nightmare. He he he. He’s a pretty good driver, I went to sleep and let him at it.

Ahhhhh, Hamburg is bloody gorgeous. We are staying well outside the city but no problem. A group (up to 5 people) daily ticket across all public transports is under 12 euro! We caught buses, metro, trains and ferry. BEST way to feel like part of the community.

One thing we noticed about Hamburg is how much more multicultural it is than other cities visited this trip, all the skin shades represented in every block of walking. Feels like home. We are most comfortable here.

I don’t have a photo but the Hamburg Ferry 62 is a fabulous round trip at dusk, included in your public transport card.

Thursday 16:

Even the view from our outskirts hotel breakfast room is tranquil and serene. It’s the Holiday Inn, make sure you ask to be in the tower block part. We paid an extra 10 euro a day for a room twice the size and with a spectacular view. Bathroom is a bit tired but clean.

Today i wore my decant of Camelia Intrepide by Atelier Cologne. Lovely softly sweet, dry tea scent. A bit powdery and warmed through by resins. Great choice for Hamburg, pretty and discrete without being boring or plain.

Bloody Hell. Ran around the whole day.

We wanted to do a free walking tour but the guide gave us the shits so we fled. If you’re in Hamburg do the Red Umbrella Tour.

We did also go to the Hamburg Museum of Art & Design. I’m sorry I didn’t take more pictures for you, it was amazing. (Applied arts museum with ancient & modern artifacts, from Japanese pottery to Bauhaus furniture.)

We found Jin a Korean restaurant. If he goes a week without it he gets very restive. I can’t remember name or place but it’s the only one on Trip Advisor that gets a good review. we liked it also.

Friday 17:

Drove to Hanover and met my mate Celia. We spent the day laughing, eating, sightseeing and Niki de Saint Phalle-ing.

I wore Yves Rocher Rose Oud again.

Jin posing as the stocking ad woman outside the new Rathaus.

Niki de Saint Phalle donated over 400 pieces of her art to the city of Hanover. It has become a playground for fans of her art and the new modern art museum has dedicated its front room to her. Not just the colourful nanas but some much darker Big Shot pieces where she has shot paint at half formed sculptural works.

I also loved this Walls Have Ears piece.

In the parks drifts of crocus & daffodil have been planted and are all coming out in bloom. I made Celia and Jin go out there and be fools but I think it works as a bit of whimsy.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
and twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
Excerpt from “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (also “Daffodils”) by William Wordsworth

Saturday 18:

I’m not sure why but I couldn’t sleep last night. So at 5am I got up to have a shower and got onto the computer to do some blogging. It’s good, I’ve caught up with my photos for the last couple of days and got other stuff in order. Jin is snoring rhythmically in the background. BLISS!

Spraitzed myself silly with Ambergreen by Oliver & Co this morning. Excellent freaky green choice.

Arrived in Rotterdam to see Sandra, Sean and Esperanza for lunch. Then Jin had a nap and the rest of us went walking through town, ending up back in our hotel room just chilling till dinner. We were met by Carl at Jamie Oliver’s Italian and had a wonderful night. For dinner I wore a multiple spritz of vintage Miss Dior parfum.

I’m bushed now, here are some pics.

Sunday 19:

Up early and off to Luxembourg via Brussells. We are out seeing the town.

Jin REALLY wanted Belgian waffles. Obviously he got them.

While Jin was eating his waffles I went biscuit crazy. Spent a fortune.

Honestly I was excited to be eating chips & special tasty mayonnaise. No idea why I am looking grumpy.

So we get to Luxembourg, take a bus and find Place Guillaume II. If you’re a perfume lover then you’ll get why I was so excited about that.

Now, tell me about your week please. Anything interesting or fragrant? Purchase or plan?
Portia xx