Post by Val the Cookie Queen
Drag Queens, Cookie Queens and Chanel´s Coromandel.
Or How I met Portia Turbo-Gear of AustralianPerfumeJunkies.
Photo Stolen AlexDonald
Fragrantica gives these featured accordfs:
Top: Bitter orange,citruses, neroli
Heart: Jasmine, rose, patchouli, orris
Base: Musk, woodsy notes, benzoin, olibanum, incense, vanilla, white chocolate
I know that this fragrance was named after the exquisite Chinese lacquered wood screens in Coco Chanels house, but I prefer to think of it as having been named after the Coromandel Coast, the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent. Much more suited to the rich, patchouli, amber, incensed based Eau de Toilette. It belongs to the luxurious collection of Les Exclusifs de Chanel. Nose is Jacques Polge. It´s classed as a fragrance for women. That is so not true. It is equally suited to a bloke. But we know all this stuff don´t we? It´s been covered so well – Olfactoria, Bois de Jasmin, …….
I saw on APJ, early January 2013, that Portia and Jin were headed to Europe, with a list of dates as to when and where they would be. Well, as fate would have it, the pair of them were in Vienna on the same day as I was visiting the city. I dropped them a mail, offered a bag of fresh baked cookies, and we had a date!
Now after seven years in Amsterdam, there is nothing that can really phase me. However, I got my daughter and her friend to come along too. I had never had a blind date with an Australian drag queen before, and a little moral support never goes amiss eh? We arrived a little early, hit the Chanel Exclusif counter, where I doused myself in Coromandel. Meeting point was Café Mozart, downtown Vienna. A very beautiful, very Viennese coffee house. We had absolutely no clue as to who we were looking for, having not stalked the pair online to see what they looked like. We went into the cafe, looked around, saw no one that looked like they were waiting for us, and went out again.
I was carrying a Chanel bag, complete with camellia, in which I had the cookies packed up. A dead giveaway, or so I thought. We went outside to wait. It was damn cold. Not knowing if Portia would be in drag or not, we stared down every woman that walked by. Is it? Isn´t it? We had such a laugh. I finally texted them and asked if I had been stood up. Portia texted back “Inside grey Christmas jumper left near window, standing:” And there they were. Portia dressed in a Marks and Sparks looking sweater with a kind of Scandinavian christmas tree pattern. And I was looking for Dame Edna? Epic fail. (Portia had been outside, and seen us, and thought that anyone carrying a Chanel bag was too posh for them, and went back inside – is that a double epic fail??)
It was as though we had know each other for years. ( Portia has the gift of making you feel loved right away!!) I told my daughter she could leave. No, no, no …… no way. She was absolutely staying put. Wouldn´t miss it for the world!! Portia and Jin had also spritzed themselves, with Coromandel and Cuir de Russie. Great minds ……. In amongst the conversation, which ran at about a hundred miles an hour, I said maybe I could write a piece for the blog sometime. Not planned, never thought about it, absolutely no perfume writing skills …….. in fact, after 20 years of speaking bad German, and losing a lot of my English vocabulary, I didn´t really know if could string a sentence together. But here I am!!
We went onto the Chanel store together. I bought a bottle of Coromandel. We drove the shop assistant into lid-flipping insanity, and I had to grab my new friend Portia by the hand and drag him out the store. I had a feeling he was going to show the poor Austrian assistant what a colorful vocabulary I was sure that he had!! Each time I wear Coromandel, I am zapped back to that day, and to the short time we had with Portia and Jin. The memories with some perfumes are so etched into our brains that we cannot get rid of them. In this case it is awesome!!
Some that say that the longevity of Coromandel is not so good. Why do you think it comes in that half gallon bottle? Spray it on guys, lots of it and all over. Works a treat. I am in the minority. I love the huge bottle. It´s just so damn satisfying. It is an EdT and should be treated as such. Spritz baby spritz.
Portia opened a new chapter in my life. Not only with APJ. Through him I met two absolutely wonderful perfumistas living on my doorstep. My horizons have been widened, my circle of friends increased, my perfume collection has grown.
Is today September the 25th??? HAPPY BIRTHDAY PORTIA!!!
Photo Stolen 43things
A thousand bussis, to the sky and back.