Tom Ford Noir 2012


Post by ElizaD


Tom Ford Noir 2012

Laquer, Pepper, roses, spice, iris, and sweet oranges. Tobacco perhaps? Interesting.

These were my thoughts as I stood in the Sephora sniffing my arm after spritzing Tom Ford’s Noir. The ladies in the Sephora always frown when they see me coming. I SNIFF my perfume. I don’t gently waft the tester under my nose, I spray forcefully and inhale. And I ask for samples! They’re limiting me to two these days. No matter, I am quickly making my way through the whole line of Sephora-approved fragrances at my local outlet. I’m almost done.

Noir Tom Ford Portlandbridges WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

But this was a store in Portland, with many more choices, and saleswomen who were not on to me. I was trying to be discreet, but when you are a head taller and twice as old as almost everyone else in the store, it’s challenging.

Anyway, back to the fragrance. This one gave me pause. With a name like Noir I expected something much more intense. Some oud perhaps, or liquor notes: something thick and viscuous. This was beautiful. It opened with a sparkle of pink pepper and herbs, quickly followed by a sweet laquer note, but quickly settled to a lovely floral bouquet. Powdery with a little spice. Soft and graceful. I could even detect a note of baby shampoo. It reminded me of Jean Charles Broussea’s Ombre Rose. Like the lovely Margaux, who reviewed Noir exactly a year ago, I was intrigued.

Noir Tom Ford FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Italian bergamot, verbena, caraway, baie rose (pink pepper), violet flower
Heart: Black pepper, nutmeg, Tuscan Iris resin, Egyptian Geranium, Bulgarian Rose, Clary Sage
Base: Opoponax, amber, Indonesian patchouli, vetiver, civet, vanilla

So imagine my double surprise when I returned home with my sample and pulled up the information on Fragrantica. A men’s fragrance? Because it has violets and vetiver and verbena? Two months ago I suggested that Essence Aromatique might be suited for a man, and now I seem to be swooning over a men’s fragrance. Hmmm, perhaps after a couple of years my tastes are starting to expand.

Noir Tom Ford Sephora MyNamesAxel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

It was in the women’s section. I swear.

Further reading: Candy Perfume Boy and Bois de Jasmin
FragranceNet has 50ml/$95 before discount
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/ml

So tell me, APJers, where do you find fragrances to try locally? Are you lucky enough to have sympathetic salespeople at your local stores, or do you have to travel to satisfy your senses? I think I need a roadtrip, STAT!

Juste un Reve EDT by Parfume de Nicolai 1996


Post by Ainslie Walker


Here is a little fact for you before we start smelling – Parfums de Nicolai has a link back to Guerlain!! Patricia de Nicolai, the founder is actually a descendant of Pierre Guerlain, the brother of Jaques Guerlain. The brand started in 1989. I found a store in Potts Point in Sydney who sell their candles, not fragrances – Its called Macleay on Manning – check them out when you see them – I would say they are smallish and of the higher end price, bur fragrances are to die for, and at a great strength.

Ok so back to the job at hand:

Juste un rêve by Parfums de Nicolaï 1996

Juste un rêve by Patricia de Nicolaï

Juste un rêve Parfums de Nicolai FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Coconut, apricot
Heart: Jasmine absolute, tuberose absolute
Base: Sandalwood, vanilla

Well I get tuberose, more tuberose, maybe some other flowers and some vanilla marshmallow powder on initial whiff. Something reminds me of Cacherel’s Eden, I have no idea why. Powder? A dryness? Also something fruity, possibly apricot, dried perhaps, or just the skin of the fruit. Sweet. Jasmine too. Underneath some sandalwood. Vanilla starts to pump in strong powder wafts, as the tuberose takes a step backwards.

Juste un rêve Parfums de Nicolai Ballerinas_dancing Brisbane 1942 WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

I imagine a little bunch of ballerinas in fluffy tutus jumping about, taking it in turns to puff their fluffy, flirty notes towards me. Tuberose: Double Puff! Vanilla: Puff Puff!! Etc. Suddenly 30 mins on and it’s creamier with sandalwood. Tuberose/jasmine/vanilla notes are now in unison, less powdery, more leveled with creamed sandalwood and some hints at apricot fruit skin. SO much tropical floral, but surrounded by a dry hot breeze. I can smell an almost fatty sweet polynesian manoi-type smell. (not sure if you’ve tried the elemis manoi and frangipani body oil in your travels? Its quite yummy) Things have got quite tropical at this stage. Getting warmer! I wish to try it in the hottest summer months, as it reminds me of that feeling of lying in the sun, on holidays deeply comatosed by the suns rays, melting, unable to read or move at all.

Lens Flare at Borobudur Stairs Kala ArchesPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

It remains clean and yet somehow edgy for the whole of the day, and all the way into the evening. Is it that Tuberose note? Kind of sharp within a haze. Maybe like someone is trying to wake us from our tropical slumber, or the cold icy pool/tide starting to nip at our toes. A cube of ice popped into our bikini bottoms by some “hilarious” friend?

In the morning some vanilla and of course tropical floral reminants. It’s pretty enough that I could wear it, I do find it very strong and lasting power of all day and night, really. I read about the coconut notes, but must say I never did get them – to me it’s more manoi. I’m sure lovers of Mahora and it’s tropical floral overdose would love this one. It is “just a dream” a heady heated, tropical, holiday of a dream.

Juste un rêve Parfums de Nicolai  Sunbaker max dupain WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin
Parfum1 has $130/100ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Ainslie Walker x

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain 2001


Post by Tina G


Winter Delice is the secret door at the back of the cupboard from the The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. A few squirts and I’ve been instantly transported into a frosty European December day, walking through a high mountain forest with a crystal blue sky above and dry crisp snow crunching under my boots.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice by Guerlain

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Fir
Heart: Pine, resin
Base: Opoponax, vanille, sugar

The whole opening of Winter Delice is as I’ve just brushed up against a forest pine tree, cupped a bunch of needles to my nose for a sniff, and got a bit of sticky sap on my fingers from my efforts. The pine and fir notes are fresh, bright, and uplifting. The presence of a touch of lemon may or may not be an aspect of the pine. A clear rich resin comes through after about 15 minutes when the fragrance has warmed on my skin. I’m enjoying it sooooo much I find myself respritzing during the first hour to reinvigorate & revive the experience.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain Snow Pines Daniel FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Given a bit more time, the sticky piney-ness settles into an aura of dry amber and resin. There is a hint of an odd metallic note which I quite like, but quickly passes. The amber/resin combination lasts for about 2 hours, at which time I give a small disappointed sigh, as I think that’s the end of it. Just a standard amber dry down – what a shame when I was enjoying it so much.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain Almond Cake PixabayPhoto Stolen Pixabay

But wait! A little later I’m curled up doing some reading, and there is a wonderful aroma of sweet sugared almonds with a hint of vanilla, waiting shyly and oh-so-patiently to be noticed. You cheeky little fragrance! Withholding this intoxicatingly comforting skin scent for a last surprise. I’m so glad I didn’t write it off at the amber stage and miss this altogether. The vanilla sweetness is very yummy and cuddly and I find myself now snuggled down again, smiling while reading with my nose pressed firmly against my wrist.

So for the first time in a while, I’ve worn a fragrance three days in a row. Winter Delice is wonderful, but I feel like I’m running out of time to wear it as the days become progressively warmer coming into spring, perfect for Northern Hemisphere wear right now though. I do think it is a cool weather experience, but I’ll give it a run in summer to see how it fares – the pine may just be refreshing instead of cloying, who knows.

Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice Guerlain wildflowers-spring WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

Further reading: The Non Blonde and Olfactory Obsessed
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $6/ml

I will be trying out more of the Aqua Allegoria series, but I’d be interested in some honest opinions – have you tried any of this range? What did you like? What didn’t work for you?

Tina G

Black Opium by YSL Mini Movie

Hey there APJ Crew,

Black Opium is here, masterminded by Nathalie Lorson, Marie Salamagne, Olivier Cresp and Honorine Blanc and centred around the smell of coffee beans. Sounds marvelous, so good that I know I’ll be disappointed. The mini movie is wonderful though and stars British model Edie Campbell, shot by Daniel Wolfe.

Black Opium Yves Saint Laurent FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Pear, orange blossom, pink pepper
Heart: Jasmine, coffeeBase: Vanilla, patchouli, cedar



Open House

Hiya APJ,

We have had some problems with our Australian Perfume Junkies host this week and the whole shebang has put me into a spin. Add to that our house is on the market and we are having work done on the pool and Open Houses. CER AY ZEE.

Here are some pics of our home. It has been a sensational family home and I have loved it with all my heart. It’s a 1960s T shaped ranch house and many of the features are original. We have kept it as true to its heritage as we could while maintaining functionability.
Portia xx





Pitti Fragranze 12 + Idiosyncratic Perfume Behaviour


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Pitti Fragranze 12

Hello Fabulous APJ readers.

I am going to Florence on Thursday to attend the Pitti Fragranze 12. This is the international perfume fair event that brings the best, and perhaps not the best, in artistic perfumery to the beautiful city of Florence. New fragrances will be launched, older ones revisited. To say I am excited would be an understatement. I have and Australian Perfume Junkies Press Pass. Honoured.

Pitti Fragranze 12 VALCQPhoto Donated Val

I look forward to the opportunity of trying new fragrances and mingling with perfume folk. I have also attended bike shows, both in the US and in Europe. Which has nothing to do with perfume. Or does it? My husband is a bike freak and I a perfumista. But does that mean that every bike or every perfume at these shows is good? It does not. One has to search for what is best for you and THAT is the thrill of attending. We go well informed but eyes open for something to blow our minds. The older I get the less mind I have left to blow. :)

ValCQ Lavender Pitti CookiesVal the Cookie Queen’s X Special batch of Lavender Pitti Shortbread


Idiosyncratic Perfume Behaviour

The Full Monty (1997) Photo Stolen IMDb (any problems tell us)

I try many fragrances but wear only a small selection. Trying means spraying wrists, elbow crooks, you know how it goes. Walking round with your nose surgically attached to your wrist kind of thing. Wearing means going The Fully Monty and being comfortable with it. And the truth of the matter is I am scared to death to do that with most frags. I was talking to Portia the other day and he was surprised when I told him that I only wear seven or eight perfumes. The rest are just wafting from my wrist, waiting to see if they make the grade. I know, I know perfume is subjective. I am way to scared to grab a scent and spritz with wild abandon. I own very few full bottles comparatively speaking. Like most of us I have a fair number of decants. This fear of going the whole nine yards does nothing at all to curb my perfume obsession, but I am überpicky. Mention woody notes and I´m gone ……..

FMW this year included:

All .vero.profumo. fragrances in all forms
Chanel. Cuir de Russie and Bois de Iles – Edt and Extrait, Coromandel, 31 Rue Cambon
Malle. Eau de Magnolia
Serge Lutens. Boxeuses, Rose de Nuit, Cuir Mauresque
En Voyage. Zelda
Amouage. Opus III, Beloved, Ubar

I have a list of at least 25 to check out in Florence. I reckon, law of averages, there might be a FMW bottle amongst them?

So dear readers, do you go the whole caboodle with everything, the whole shebang, no fear involved regardless? I would be very interested
to know.

I will report back.



Sample Selection GIVEAWAY WINNER

Hey hey APJ,

Today we have such a generous draw from Azar who has cleaned out her doubles in the sample closet. Whoever gets the prize today will have weeks of new scents to try. WOO HOO!
Portia xx

Sample Selection GIVEAWAY WINNER

Lanvin Spanish Geranium Giveaway Angry GomezGomez Photo Donated Azar


This week we will have 1 Winner who will get:

The draw includes a VM Hedonist sample, an Elektra sample, at least one Amouge carded sample and more good stuff.  I’m not trying to unload things I don’t like, not used or rejected samples but new packaged and carded samples and a few fresh decants, I just want to give away duplicates!
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to US RESIDENTS ONLY who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Reveal, if possible, approximately how many samples you have laying around your house, place of business, in your car, purse wherever. Have you developed a workable plan to store your samples? Let us hear about it!

Extra Chance?
Tweet: APJ Sample Selection GIVEAWAY  


Entries Close Thursday 11th September 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners were chosen by Gomez the parrot

Winner Is amberinblunderlandPhoto Stolen amberinblunderland


The winners will have till Sunday 14th September 2014 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Love’s Baby Soft by Dana 1974


Post by Poodle


Once upon a time in the 80’s there was a girl who loved perfume. She really believed perfumes were magical. She saw the ads in the magazines and thought she had found her secret potion. It said that the nicest things happen when you wear it. The photo suggested if she wore it she’d soon be dancing cheek to cheek with a cute boy. The silly girl was me and I simply had to have Love’s Baby Soft. If I had it my teenage crush would notice me. I just knew it.

Love’s Baby Soft by Dana 1974

Love's Baby Soft Dana FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Geranium, lavender, jasmine, rose, patchouli, vanilla, musk

Like many others I was wafting clouds of Love’s Baby Soft when I was a tween and young teen. I believed that it would transform me from dorky, shy wallflower to the girl the cute guy I liked would ask to dance. Sadly, it never seemed to work but I still kept spritzing and hoping.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

(The ads for Love’s Baby Soft in the 70’s were actually rather creepy and I’m glad the ones in my Seventeen magazine were more about school girl crushes than pedophiles and Lolita. Honestly, I’m not sure what the heck they were thinking with those older ads. Who was the target audience for those? But I digress…back to crushes and magic potions.)

Love’s Baby Soft was that first perfume lots of girls got in their Christmas stocking. If you haven’t guessed from the name, Baby Soft is powdery. It’s a fluffy, flowery, pink cloud of a perfume. It seems almost silly to try to review it and pick apart the notes even though it’s a pretty scent. There’s rosy powder, soft florals, a bit of clean musk, and a slight plasticky note which makes me think there’s some heliotrope in it.

Love's Baby Soft Dana MahPadilha FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

If you like Flower by Kenzo or other powdery florals there’s a chance you were a Baby Soft girl at some point. It’s familiar and comfortable. Compared to the fruity stuff aimed at today’s youth, Love’s Baby Soft smells far more grown up even with that baby powder note. I think it’s got a powdery feel similar to vintage scents but is by no means of the same quality. It’s cheap and fun. I still wear it and especially like to wear it to bed. If it were repackaged and renamed I think it would have a lot of fans. I think a lot of people secretly like it but hate to admit it because they think they’re too old for it. I say, wear what makes you happy.

Further reading: Now Smell This and The Awl
FragranceNet has $3.50/15ml

Love’s Baby Soft made me think perfumes could be magical even though I didn’t get that dance I’d hoped for. Sometimes I think I was just young and silly. Sometimes I think not much has changed. Perhaps there’s part of us that always seems to be searching for that perfume that transforms us and makes us feel stronger, prettier, confident. Did you have a magic potion when you were younger? Do you still wear it?

Poodle X

Coven by Andrea Maack 2013


Post by Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers


Bright blessings of another scented day fellow fragrance worshippers. I wonder if I will surprise you with the focus of my adoration today. It is a truly ecumenical day when a nun sings praises to a witch’s brew!

Of course nothing wicked this way comes. This is a perfume, a consumer product like any other niche-ish fragrance release, with the toil and trouble being that of Icelandic visual artist Andrea Maack and an uncredited perfumer. Ineffable is fine by me, I’m a woman used to mystery. But how does it smell?

Let us spray!

Coven by Andrea Maack 2013

Coven Andrea Maack FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Woody notes, green grass, soil tincture, oakmoss, whiskey, spicy notes

I’m happy to report that the delicate instrument the good Lord placed in the centre of my face registers no essence of newt or tincture of bat, however this fragrance could well be the smell of their habitat. Such an onrush of sappy and bitter green. There is grassiness and a light but distinct touch of galbunum, but the strongest and most lasting impression is of dank earth notes to rival Demeter Zombie. Yet where Zombie achieves a suitably claustrophobic and menacing accord, all the green in Coven conjures a convincing outdoorsy and airy loaminess of an evergreen forest with oakmoss growing thickly. Is that a waft of brimstone through the trees? Or just the sulphurous breath of Maack’s volcanic homeland?

Coven Andrea Maack  Iceland Volcano Victor Montol FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Now there be spirits! Notably whisky, which in keeping with the scent story is peaty like my favoured Islay single malts. This boozy heart warms the composition and beats strongly for hours along with a vanillic Peru balsam and the tickle of cassia and a peppery capsicum. The initial green and earthy character recedes only slightly, the duet of fecund earth and peaty aqua vitae has a balanced progression. Over the hours what at first seems to be a trick of my nose gathers strength and becomes an undeniable sweet and floral tone. It is a lovely and unusual drydown.

The longevity of Coven is exceptional, lasting on skin overnight and on clothing for days. Whereas this tenacity could be unwanted in many perfumes, I was happy still to carry the scent of this enchanted forest clearing.

Coven Andrea Maack Enchanted Forest Kat Wojcik FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

Unless excessively applied, I can’t think Coven would be out of place in any situation. It’s possible many people will not recognise this as personal fragrance, perhaps mistaking it for lingering air from outdoors. But if he does ask, don’t tell the Bishop its name. Men of his ilk can sometimes not see the forest for the trees.

Naturally I am heartily in favour of a scent that is unique, dark, earthy and green. I pray that Coven shows respect in its name to communities of women engaged in ritual and devotion, leading healing and caring lives connected to the rhythms of days, seasons and natural cycles. There is much to admire in that.

WitchPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

The equinoxes approach us (vernal in the Southern, autumnal in the Northern hemisphere), what an ideal time to try such a fragrance as we celebrate the warming fertile earth or give thanks for its fruits as it cools.

Further reading: Persolaise and Colognoisseur
Libertine Parfumerie has $185/50ml including FREE delivery in Australia
LuckyScent has $135/50ml + samples

Do you have a scent for rituals?

Bless, and blessed be!
Sister Mary Magdelene, Patron Saint of Perfumers.

Roxana Villa @ Beyond Aromatics Conference: Seattle

Hi all you Independent Fragrance lovers,

I just got news that my buddy, the lovely Roxana Villa from Roxana’s Illuminated Perfumes, will be presenting a talk on Saturday at the Beyond Aromatics Conference: Seattle. I am so jealous of all you PNW Americans, please go along and enjoy hearing one of the world’s most beautiful and successful natural perfumers speak about her way of creation.

NAHA2014_Rox2SQPhoto Donated Roxana Ville

We have talked about Roxana’s Illuminated Perfumes quite a bit here at APJ because they are freaking sensational. Really beautiful, primal uses of natural ingredients that will whisk you away to the enchanted forests of your dreams. You can jump to the Roxana’s Illuminated Perfumes site for more information on Roxana and her sensational fragrances.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume logo Roxana Illuminated Perfume PortraitPhotos Stolen Roxana’s Illuminated Perfumes

The Tree of Life: A Mystical Approach to Botanical Perfume

Talk by Roxana Villa at Beyond Aromatics Conference: Seattle

Engaging both the rational and the creative mind as a rainbow bridge leading to the formulation of botanical perfumes using a threefold structure.

Learning objectives:
History of Perfume
The parallels of making botanical perfume and the path of the alchemists
Essential oils and the elementals
Inspiring the imagination and intuitive mind

ChiaroGold_etsy Roxana Illuminated PerfumesPhoto Stolen Photos Stolen Roxana’s Illuminated Perfumes