Mainstream Mania: Department + Drug Store Gems


Post by Portia


Heya Crew,

My mate Scott and I often talk about our love for Department Store and Drug Store (Chemist in Australia) fragrances. Many of our vintage loves are from the genre, also some of the designer and celebrity scents, as well as the huge multinational beauty companies. The mainstream has an enormous range and encompasses some of the best and worst of todays perfume market. So today we ask you a question……

Mainstream Mania

Department + Drug Store Gems

What do you love from the Department or Drug Store?

We spend so much time talking vintage, niche, indie and natural on the Scentblkggoshpere but what is your easy to find, grab it anywhere, no need to hoard it fragrance? I have a few but let’s chat about two nearly empty samples I’ve had rattling around in my box and one bottle that I adore today.

Tabu Dana FragranticaFragrantica

Dana Tabu EdC 1932

Top: Bergamot, Spices, Coriander, Neroli, Orange
Hear: Clove, Ylang-ylang, Oriental rose, Jasmine, Narcissus, Clover
Base: Amber, Benzoin, Oakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedar, Civet

Tabu is one of my favourites, it’s so pickable in public and one of my friends Lyndall has worn it forever. I have some of the older perfume and EdT but my absolute favourite version is the modern EdC. The opening notes smell like a sari shop in Alwar, Rajasthan that I love to shop at when in India. No idea what I’m smelling really because Tabu smells only of itself. Interestingly for me Jean Carles who created Tabu also created such fragrant luminaries as Shocking by Schiaparelli, Miss Dior, Indiscrete by Lucien Lelong and Ma Griffe by Carven: quite a roll call.

L`Eau Ambree PradaFragrantica

Prada L’Eau Ambrée 2009

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, Citruses
Heart: Patchouli, Rose
Base: Ambergris, Opoponax, Vanilla

Prada L’Eau Ambree is so weirdly named because to me most of the fragrance smells of anything but amber. The cool, wet, juicy citrus opening that morphs into a dirty patchouli/rose and wet cardboard. Finally I get a resinous salted vanilla that is completely inedible but dark and mysterious. I love the mood changes and byplay in L’Eau Ambree, it’s all about surprise and it never plays it safe. It’s not often talked about by the perfumista crew and that’s strange to me because it’s a solid fragrance that tells an enjoyable story.

Tresor In Love Lancome FragranticaFragrantica

Lancôme Trésor in Love 2010

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Pear, Nectarine, Peach, Pink pepper
Heart: Jasmine, Peach, Taif rose, Violet
Base: Musk, Virginia cedar

Recently my mate Victoria at EauMG talked about Trésor In Love and I have always gravitated towards Lancôme Midnight Rose in the same bottle but purple. While looking for something else I came across 5ml of Trésor In Love and have been using it as my morning wake up scent to the point that it’s almost gone. As Victoria says, “It reminds me of a many perfumes launched around the same time that are like an abstract fruity-floral with clean, synth ambers.” Somehow though Trésor In Love is a more comfortable, easy wear, life is fun, zingy fragrance than most of the others and I find myself really enjoying the ride.

So what is your Mainstream Mania? Share your readily available favourites in the comments below please?
Portia xx

Stercus by Alessandro Guiltier for Orto Parisi 2014


Post by Portia


Heya APJ,

So I have had this decant rattling around my sample box. It’s hand written and has the First In Fragrance unicorn sticker, plus the date 05/16 so I’m thinking May this year. Really, I don’t know how it got to be there as I haven’t ordered from this wonderful people this year at all (OOOPS! Sorry guys). It is a mystery. If someone remembers why I have it could they enlighten me please?

LIGHTBULB!! TinaG, is this from you? WOW! Thank you.

Stercus by Orto Parisi 2014

Stercus by Alessandro Guiltier

Stercus Orto Parisi FrsagranticaFragrantica

Well it opens sweet and balmy. Coffee, urine, woods, birch, honey and balmy resins are my guesses. It’s a pretty aggressive introduction to Stercus and has the smell of animals and urine soaked hay after a flatulent night in the barn. I smell something that I’ve smelled before with Roxana from Illuminated Perfumes when we were composing a Feral Feet accord back in 2013. Well, I say we but it was her composition with Tom Pease and I egging her on to greater heights of outrageous.

Is this a natural perfume? It has a bit of that feel too, the dark, dank, murkiness that makes many of them so enveloping and deep. Labdanum and an oudh-ish barnyard seem to be the heart that still maintains a honeyed sweetness, the feral bits not the pretty modern sweet kind. Is it tobacco? Could be but honestly I am pretty lost. Why don’t we talk more about how Stercus makes me feel?

Stercus Orto Parisi sky-clouds-trees-moon PexelsPDI

Stercus feels cold, alone and windswept. Imagine you are caught out in a very large and wooded park at dusk after a cool sunny autumn day. Now you’ve stayed too long feeding the ducks, the light is dwindling, the wind now has no sunlight to cut its icy blast and you are not dressed for the change. The leaves have fallen from many of the trees and they are stuck wetly to each other. As you walk briskly over them you disturb the smell of their decomposition and close by there is the smell of possums, or maybe it’s a fruit bat roost. That is how Stercus affects me, there is my vision.

Eight hours later and I’m still surrounded by a soft fog of Stercus. It’s green, sweet and funky. Still has the call of wilderness stamped upon it. Beautiful.

Stercus Orto Parisi Abby Lanes painted turquoise and green kid art texture FlickrFlickr

Further reading: Scented Hound
First In Fragrance have €138/50ml
Surrender To Chance have samples starting at $7.80/ml

Do you like your fragrances just a little feral? Which one do you love?
Portia xx

Myths Man + Woman by Amouage 2016 + GIVEAWAY


Post by Portia


Hi There Fragrant Fumies,

Amouage has been at the top of my Mass-tige fragrant houses for a long time. It sits up there with Serge Lutens. Exclusively priced, beautifully produced, readily available in big city department stores and their stand alone stores. I am always ambivalent about new fragrances from my faves. Excited and pleased because there’s something new to try yet fearful and worried in case they have made something I hate. Obviously not every fragrance works for me, even if the house is a huge favourite. These sample sprays, bought from Surrender To Chance, have been here for a while but every time I go to spritz them I am called away or sidetracked in some way.

Finally, I’ve spent a couple of days with these babies, come smell with me.

Myths Man + Woman by Amouage 2016

Myths Man by Amouage

Myths Man Amouage FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Chrysanthemum, Iris
Heart: Rum, Rose, Vetiver, Elemi resin
Base: Labdanum, Ash, Leather

Plush leather and a dewy sharp citrus opens flawlessly before the dry, cool iris and elemi wash over it. I’ve read that the chrysanthemum is strong opening for others but I get none of it, leather and resins through the heart with a dry, lightly salted vetiver. Myths Man continues to dry through its wear till the base is cold, desiccated BarBQ ash and old, cracked and crushed, unloved leather driving gloves.

Myths Man is a solid, beautifully blended fragrance, a very wearable, safe, comfortable scent. I can easily imagine it becoming the go-to of wealthy young business people. Ones who love to smell good and also have a little bit of glam theatre on their bureau.

Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $4/0.5ml

Myths Woman by Amouage

Myths Woman Amouage FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Narcissus, Violet leaf, Galbanum, Chrysanthemum
Heart: Carnation, Patchouli, Ambergris
Base: Leather, Moss, Musk

This one has come in for a lot of snark. I was expecting it to be a virtually unwearable mess. It’s not, for me anyway. Galbanum and narcissus together in the opening are pretty ferocious. Dark, waxy and foreboding with a slight taint of dirty vase water. Crystal clear, sappy and balmy Amouage Myths Woman is how I imagine a tree spirit would smell, the patchouli has a really interesting earthiness that is offset by the imaginations recreation of animal/sea salt ambergris.

Myths woman has a hint of the small batch indie perfumer about it, yet most of the rough edges have been smoothed away and it smells in the end like high end niche at its best. Slightly challenging, beautiful and mysterious. As always longevity is epic and I can smell Myths Woman at lunch next day.

Libertine Parfumerie has Myths $399/100ml (FREE Delivery in Australia)
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $4/0.5ml

Because we love you all so much here at AustralianPerfumejunkies we have a GIVEAWAY!
Portia xx

Giveaway lavanyasrecipes



This week we will have 1 winner who will receive:
1 x Sample Myths Man by Amouage
1 x Sample Myths Woman by Amouage
P&H Anywhere in the world

These are remains of 2ml samples bought from Surrender To Chance used for reviewing


Open to everyone worldwide 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


Tell us your favourite Amouage fragrance or which one you’d like to try


Entries Close Saturday 27th August 2016 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by
The winners will have till Wednesday 31st August 2016 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.

White by Antoine Lie for Puredistance 2015


Post by Poodle


Hi folks! It’s Poodle again.

I wanted to love it, I did. I tried to. Sadly, White just wasn’t that into me.

White by Puredistance 2015

White by Antoine Lie

White Puredistance FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
French may rose, Venezuelan tonka absolute, Italian orris root absolute, Mysore sandalwood, Italian bergamot, musk, Haitian vetiver, Indonesian patchouli

Sometimes I get caught up in the hype around a product. By all accounts I should love Puredistance White. It’s supposed to be almost magical. Happiness bottled is what they promised me. One sniff and I’m going to be grinning from ear to ear. That’s what the press release said. That’s what the bloggers said. It took a while for me to get a sample but finally I did. I was almost afraid to try it for fear I would fall hard and then have to figure out how to save my pennies to buy a bottle. The only reason I didn’t blind buy is the price. (I do have limits on how much I’ll spend on blind buys.) When the sample arrived I gave myself a couple of good sprays from the sample vial and then sniffed.

Hmmm…did I get an instant shot of happiness?


No. Not exactly.

A few days later I tried again. My impressions were a bit different the second time and the third time I tried it but I can tell you with certainty this one is not for me.

The first spraying was sweet. Toothache sweet. I’ve never snorted any type of white powder but each time I brought my wrist to nose I couldn’t help but think of how this must be what it’s like to do lines of confectioners sugar. I like a lot of sweet perfumes but this wasn’t working for me. It was very dry, powdery, and saccharine. I couldn’t pick out any notes. It stayed linear and sugary and either faded away or my nose just stopped registering it. My guess is my wacky skin chemistry amplified the Tonka and orris root and turned them into a powdery sweet mess.

The next try was a bit different but still not much better. I got a bit of rose which was soured by the bergamot and again dusted with a dry, confectioners sugar. This was followed by the musk which was very clean and white.

I wish I could say all the wonderful things everyone else did but it seems that White and I were just not destined to be friends. I’m not blaming the perfume at all. I’m quite sure it’s made with the best ingredients and is totally quality like other Puredistance perfumes. It’s all me. My skin can take notes in perfumes that smell horrible on others and make them magical but it also can do the exact opposite which is what I think happened here. I know the rest of the world loves this fragrance but I do suggest you try before you buy just in case.

White Puredistance White Sugar PixabayPDI

Further reading: Non Blonde and Perfume Posse
LuckyScent has $190/17.5ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $4/0.25ml

Do tell, what perfume just didn’t play nicely with you?


Dilettante by Hiram Green 2016 + EASY Orange Cake Recipe


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


Sunny Salutations APJ

It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine.” Francis Hodgson Burnett.

Dilettante by Hiram Green 2016

Dilettante Hiram Green FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
French orange flower, petitgrain, orange

I prefer not to write about a fragrance that I do not have at least 10mls of and in most cases a full bottle. I make an exception in the case of Hiram´s Dilettante as it is just so gorgeous. And I used up two whole samples, four full wearings and would like more. Hiram Green informs us “Dilettante is an enchanted and light-hearted celebration of summer” but it would have healing power in the dark and cold long days winter.

“Based on a triptych of orange flower, petitgrain and essential oil of orange” Dilettante springs into life sharp, sweet and bitter. Succulent and mouthwatering, exuberant and effervescent. Unhurriedly it winds its way into a floral waxy orange blossom, sweet and delicious to the senses. The muskiness in the base combined with the bitterness of the petitgrain is sultry on the skin. A very beautiful perfume.


LuckyScent has $165/50ml

It is interesting to note that orange oils, and especially petitgrain are known to promote clarity of mind and to aid concentration. They balance the emotions, clearing off mental depression.

I’m happy, I’m feeling glad, I got sunshine, in a bag ……….” Gorillaz

Super Citrus Bussis

Mouth watering from all this talk of orange, why not make a cake?

Orange Juice Loaf Cake + Fresh Orange Juice Syrup

(Works well with lemons too)

Val Orange Cake #1


168 grammes of butter (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream/yoghourt/buttermilk
1 generous teaspoon of vanilla
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

4 tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 cup of sugar

1. Line the bottom of the 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with baking paper and lightly grease the sides of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C

Val Orange Cake #7

Val Orange Cake #2


2. Cream the butter and the sugar well with an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each one.
Chuck in the sour cream (or whatever you use), the vanilla, zest and orange juice. Mix well.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt mixture. Gently mix it in.

Val Orange Cake #3

4. Spread the batter into the pan. Bake about 40 minutes. Grab a bike spoke if you have one handy, otherwise a toothpick will do.
Insert it into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it´s done. Otherwise give it a couple of more minutes.

Val Orange Cake #5

Val Orange Cake #6


5. While it is baking, put the 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 tbsp of orange juice into a small pan. Cook it until the sugar has dissolved and then for another minutes or so. Take it off the heat and stand on the side.

Val Orange Cake #4

6. When the cake is out of the oven let it cool for a few minutes. Remove from pan and set it on a rack.
Then prick it all over with the spoke or toothpick, I pay particular attention to where the cake is cracked
along the top. Brush or spoon the glaze over the warm cake. Leave to cool, or not!

Val Orange Cake #1

(Ed: All Photos Donated by Val the Cookie Queen unless otherwise stated. Thanks Val, gorgeous!)

Chai by Spyros Drosopoulos for Baruti 2015


Post by TinaG



Tea fragrances excite me. It is the anticipation of finding a fragrance that captures that wonderful mix of invigoration and relaxation experienced through the ritual of making and enjoying a great cup of tea. Many types of tea are reflected in fragrances, and usually done very well – Oolong, rooibos, black tea, mate, mint, lapsang souchong, ginger, fruit tea, floral tea, you name it , chances are it’s out there. Today I’m reviewing a Dutch perfume line Baruti and their fragrance Chai.

Chai by Baruti 2015

Chai by Spyros Drosopoulos

Chai Baruti FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Cardamom, Pepper, Black Tea, Steamed Milk, Cocoa, Roses, Vanilla, Musk, Leather

Chai opens with a waft of coca that disappears into the aether as a troupe of spices claim their olfactory territory. Cinnamon, cardamom and clove are supported by a background milkiness and a tannic black tea. A light spray and I’m instantly warmed and feel relaxed. We are just at the tail end of winter here in Australia, and I have enjoyed wearing this fragrance on bright and cold Sunday mornings, pulling on an oversized knitted jumper and snuggling into a sunny sofa corner to read a book. Such a great way of spending a few hours. Chai is the perfect comfort fragrance.

Myrrh Casati Mona di Orio Laura D'Alessandro Comfy Couch Nook FlickrFlickr

I do need to put in a warning note here – keep this to a light spray only. An over application makes it a massive spice bomb with the milk note turning waxy on skin. I made this mistake in an office environment – it was OK, my colleagues loved it! Two of which were craving a chai tea after smelling it, but it was too much for me in close proximity to fragrance ground zero (my arms).

This black tea/spice/milk combo has a great staying power and lasts at a reasonable strength for around 3 hours. At this time, during one of my first trials, I had noticed a rose scent in the room but couldn’t work out where it was coming from. I thought one of my colleagues had possibly put on a rose scented hand cream, but no! The rose scent was coming from me! Chai had opened up to a gentle pink rose which was remarkable. It reminded me of Perfumers Workshop “Tea Rose”, and it definitely was not a skin scent, had a sillage of at least a metre.

Chai by Baruti tea and roses pixabayPDI

This fragrance lasted at least 10 hours, the spices eventually fading and leaving a musk rose on my skin with the faintest ghost of vanilla. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed giving Chai a run through, it is a wonderfully comforting fragrance and the rose note was an enjoyable surprise. And – a quick shout out to Annindriya Perfume Lounge, my source of Baruti samples. Yes they ship to Australia.

Annindriya Perfume Lounge has €98/30ml

Do any of the features of this perfume appeal to you?

Thanks all, have a great start to the week.

xx Tina G

Tocade by Maurice Roucel for Rochas 1994


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi all,
Ah … Tocade! This is one of the perfumes forever associated with critic Luca Turin. A bit of ‘harmless fun with roses and vanilla’ is what he called it in Perfumes: the Guide, but so beautifully done from top to bottom, with simple materials normally taken for granted, that it deserves five stars.

Tocade by Maurice Roucel for Rochas 1994

Lullaby of Broadway

Tocade Rochas FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green notes, freesia, bergamot, geranium
Heart: Magnolia, iris, orchid, jasmne, lily-of-the-valley, rose
Base: Patchouli, musk, amber, vanilla, cedar

I have no quarrel with a perfume that sets out do nothing but please receiving a top rating. Why not? Aren’t Shakespeare’s comedies masterpieces as well as entertainments? Does something have to be cool, dark or moody to deserve the highest accolade? No indeed. No-one – not even me! – can wear Chanel No 19 every day.

That said, I don’t completely love Tocade. It is a bit too loud and too artificial (LT likens it to nail varnish) for me. I enjoy the sillage much more than the scent on skin. Vanilla is Tocade’s key message, and I can only take vanilla in moderate amounts, usually.

There is a darkness to Tocade as well though. I think its ‘pretty, dancing feet’ have seen a few tawdry dance floors over the years. You know that beautiful song ‘Lullaby of Broadway’? It’s been recorded many times but I love Diana Reeves’ version, which pulls the tempo right back to a sweet, wistful imagining the life of a Broadway performer. Behind the ‘hip hooray and ballyhoo’ is a weary existence for a girl who works all night, every night. It’s early in the morning before she can go home to sleep; the ‘milkman on his way’.

Tocade is her perfume. It’s a pretty, showy piece but with a haunting density of patchouli and cedar underneath. The vanilla is smoky as well as sweet. Backstage, as our ‘broadway baby’ she waits for her next cue, she rubs her calloused feet, mends the laced on her dress, and longs for her rest. Sure, her ‘daddy’ buys her ‘this and that’. Perfume, sweets and roses adorn her corner of the dressing room. But when she goes home, she sleeps alone.
Tocade has strong sillage and lasts ages. I snapped up a bottle in the old, crazy packaging, but in 2013 Rochas shoved Tocade into a uniform bottle. I don’t know if the formula has changed, so do comment if you have compared them.

Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
FragranceNet has the 2013 edition under $50/100ml Before Coupon!
Surrender To Chance has samples of the original starting at $3/ml

The apparent simplicity of Tocade never fails to give me something to think about. And what about you? Do you have a perfume in your collection which is as puzzling as it is beguiling? Sweet but sad?
Until next time, keep spritzing everyone!