Bitching, Blind Buying A Bottle, Three Books

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Midsummer Greeting APJ

Coming to you from the lake.

Bitching, Blind Buying A Bottle, Three Books

The Bitching

I have come across three similar posts over the last fortnight on various Facebook perfume groups going something like this: “I ordered a sample pack of 20 new frags – and none of them smelled good. What is wrong with my nose?” And yesterday on Twitter: “Something weird is going on. I´ve tested several perfumes in a row that smell like “dryer sheet” scent variations on my skin. I´m worried ….” Dearhearts it is not your nose, nor your skin, nor the weather, there is a lot of really crappy perfumes around. Lazy top notes over ISO – have- no- idea middle notes, on a bed of base note chemicals, cheap vetiver and worst of all straight up frankincense. Eau de Niché and I hate it. And it´s not just niché …… Is it possible that folks try and convince their noses that what they are sniffing is good and that they just don´t understand it? Or are they rubbish? Hmmmmm? Now don´t get huffy, it´s only my opinion – I say it´s them, not you.

A Blind Buy

I can´t say I broke my rule of no blind buys because I never made one. When I saw the Guerlain Black Perfecto by La Petite Robe Noire bottle, I had to have it. I ordered the small one. Simple as that. I have not tried any of the other nine LPRNs, no interest whatsoever. Monsieur Guerlain wrote very favourably about the Black Perfecto perfume so I hoped I might like the contents of the bottle too. Black tea, black cherry, black liquorice, a touch of almond, slightly smoky, and not the sweet bomb I expected. Dead chuffed, it´s really nice. Reckon it´ll be great in cold weather. And yes, it is worth having for the bottle alone.

Three Books

We are having a heatwave here which means I spend time at the lake and read more.

Book Depository

You might wanna be careful with Donald Ray Pollock´s Knockemstiff though, if you have trouble with dry dark humour, kids raised on abuse, alcohol, drugs and cigarettes. Eat your heart out Deliverance. This is Knockemstiff, Ohio. Dr Fox, my ever-loving therapist told me to read it.

Book Depository

I had Donna Tartt´s The Secret History around for about three years and not picked it up. How was I to know it would turn out to be one of the best books I have ever read?

Book Depository

Just started Burnet´s His Bloody Project, set in the Scottish Highlands, 1869. Murder and violence. Recommended by Lady Jane Grey. I´m just off to the pool to read some more.

SOTD is Malle´s Eau de Magnolia.

If you have any bitching to do, blind buys to share, or indeed a book I should read, drop me a comment.

Sweltering Bussis
CQ

Suffolk Lavender by Julie Masse for Shay & Blue 2013

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Kate Apted

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Hi APJ,

I hear a lot about scents being ‘office friendly’; meaning the scent is likely to receive a warmer reception to a wider range of people than others. I am sure you have a list of scents you consider safe to wear at any given event or location. I have given a substantial deal of thought to what I deem safe to wear to work, and it has taken a great deal of trial and error.

I am a truck mechanic and what I wear has to fit a number of criteria. I will not wear a strongly feminine scent, as a lot of our customers and my co-workers are male and I am not too keen to leave a lingering, smouldering scent in the cabin of a truck. My scent also has to rise above the strong environmental scents competing for my attention, yet it has to be markedly different so to not prevent me from smelling dangerous odours, such as LPG leaks and welding fires.

I found the very scent that has become my work daily: Shay & Blue’s Suffolk Lavender. I am particularly partial to lavender that plays the starring role, but isn’t a soliflor. I find the lavender in Suffolk Lavender isn’t sleep inducing, but helps to ground and calm me, while being inherently interesting.

Suffolk Lavender by Julie Masse for Shay & Blue 2013

Finding my ideal work scent

Suffolk Lavender Shay & Blue London FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Lavender
Heart: Incense, melon
Base: Praline, musk, pine tree

This opens with a salty lavender. This very linear, moderate projection stays for a good hour. The lavender is quite dry, but full bodied and slightly creamy. I spray it on my torso, because with body heat, I get an oomph of scent that wafts up in a way I don’t get from wrist sprays alone. I have not tried this during summer, but I am guessing from its response to heat, it will be adaptable to the temperature without losing its character.

After about two hours, Suffolk Lavender slowly becomes a skin scent, but the deeper incense notes make their appearance. Like a song with moderate volume that has deep, booming base notes that make the song seem louder than the volume indicates, this scent does the same with the incense. So, it isn’t until lunch time, about 5-6 hours later, that I need to think of reapplying.

WikiCommons

What makes Suffolk Lavender noteworthy, for me at least, is while it uses quite dark and deep notes, the overall composition has the trademark Shay & Blue light handedness. The scent transitions so gently from salty lavender to a mild incense creamy lavender and then tails off to a faintly woody wheat bag type lavender.

I do not get any of the fruit or sweetness this is purported to have. It tends to sit with more pronounced lavender on my eldest son, and heads straight to the incense notes after ten minutes. I love the fact Suffolk Lavender is completely unisex. I can pack this away on trips and know a single bottle will suffice.

David Jones Australia has a limited Shay & Blue range.
Shay & Blue ships to almost the entire world, not ANZ though

What is your work environment like? And what factors guide your scent choices?

Kate XXXoX

Guilty Pleasures – a Sydney sniffy meet up!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Perfume people are the best! It’s great to be able to chat online & catch up in real life to swap fragrance stories and smell different things. Group catch ups are fun afternoons, and we tend to go a bit crazy….there’s always some awesome frags on the table.

Simon and Kerri from FaceBook Aussie Fragrance Network lead the charge organising a sniffy on Sunday 11 June, with a general theme of ‘Guilty Pleasures’. Heh. I think that’s an umbrella statement that we all fall under at some point in time. We met at Hotel Sweeny in Sydney, a pub which has missed the renovation revolution having street-rescued sofas and worn sticky carpet, but with some interesting beers on tap – I did try Illawarra Brewing Company: Smashing Rumpkin which had a funky pumpkin note. Odd but tasty.

Guilty Pleasures – a Sydney sniffy meet up!

We met at the rooftop bar & spread out our stashes. We did a LOT of sniffing!! I asked Scott to bring along a range of Rive Gauche by YSL for me to run through, as I’d heard so much but never really sniffed, and I knew Scott was a fan. He brought along (L to R in the photo) vintage EDP, vintage EDT, current EDT 2006 and vintage parfum 1980s. Fab.

Some of the “Guilty Pleasures” people brought along were:

Amouage Gold Man: you spray this and it takes over the room.
Cool Water by Davidoff: the vintage stuff is still incredible. Done to death by uncles, dads and other male relatives but still fantastic.
Giorgio Beverly Hills: an overpowering 80s tuberose bomb that lays claim to 5 metres around itself at all times.
Pure Honey by Kim Kardashian: Undeniably pleasant though, and very affordable.
Dark Ride by Xyrena: a super weirdy that polarises people through its green, medicinal, water-park dankness.
Baraonda by Nasomatto: when you know you shouldn’t spend a silly amount of money on a tiny bottle, but you do it anyway because it smells like the best dark chocolate and roasted nuts and boozey goodness.
Scent by Theo Fennell: a spectacularly lush floral with a skanky underside, like a beautiful, rich, classy lady wrapped in furs who just doesn’t shower often enough.
Glamazon by RuPaul and Diva by Ungaro I suppose because I expected them to be awful – the price point and the tacky bottles – but they are both amazing and rich and tenacious – thus they became guilty pleasures
Gaiac 10, Sacred Wood, MDCI sets – all generous gifts from online friends that he had never actually met.
Pino Silvestre: this is an old favourite of many people, and cheap as chips.

What’s my guilty pleasure when it comes to perfume? Oh, so many…. But I think my top hit would be that I seem to be starting a collection of vintage Guerlain – Vol de Nuit, Mitsouko, and Apres L’Ondee. Oops. I love them though.

What’s your fragrant guilty pleasure?

Till next time
Tina G xx

Chanel No. 5 Le Parfum Cheveux

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Erica Golding

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Hello to all of you gorgeously scented readers out there!

Today I am excited to dish about a new limited edition treasure that I didn’t even know existed. Last weekend, after a visit to the museum with family, I just so happened to accidentally pop into the Chanel boutique. Oopsie! 😉 While I was there, sniffing euphorically, I found out about:

Chanel No. 5 Le Parfum Cheveux

Chanel No. 5 Le Parfum Cheveux Hair Mist CHANELCHANEL

This sweet little frosted bottle of hair mist is adorable and affordable! It’s only 40 mL, so it’s a fleeting luxury. But some of the best things in life are ephemeral, don’t you think? This is a flare of joy to savor in the moment! The petal-pink formula does not contain alcohol, which makes it great for scenting your tresses without potential damage. The atomizer produces a full-bodied fine mist, just perfect.

As for how it smells, the opening begins a bit more powdery than how No. 5 perfume presents on my skin. The aldehydes are more muted in the hair mist, so the aroma doesn’t have as much of a high-pitched soapy vibration. The signature Chanel rose and jasmine absolutes preside like royalty, delightfully noble. Overall, the hair mist wears a bit softer and silkier than the perfume. The scent projects a tender sweetness as a glowing halo, and I really do associate this quality with the rosy blush tone of the liquid. It’s an absolutely divine manifestation of synesthesia for me.

Chanel No. 5 Le Parfum Cheveux Hair Mist ractapopulous PixabayPDI

I’ve already gotten several compliments on this charming luxury, and it brings me such pleasure to know that people subconsciously enjoy the sillage because they associate Chanel No. 5 with beloved memories.

Chanel won’t have this hair mist available for very long. It’s an online exclusive, but some of the boutiques begged for a few to put in stock. Snatch one up while you can! And if you’re a fan of Chance or Chance Eau Tendre, those are currently available as well!

Further reading: Non Blonde

Hope you have a spectacular day or fabulous evening, wherever you are!

Love and light,

-Erica

Giovanna Antonelli: New Perfume House

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Olá APJ!

Let me give you a brief introduction to a trio of new perfumes. Giovanna Antonelli is a household name in Brazil, a superstar. I think 3.6 million Twitter and more than 5 million Instagram followers probably indicates indicates that. She is an actress and probably best known in South America and in Portugal for her soap operas success. Now at this point in any advertising blurb I would already be turning the page. Had it not been for The Silver Fox suggesting that I try them I would be long gone. And let´s be honest here, Giovanna Antonelli does
sound so much more attractive than our Anglo-Saxon names!

After creating a line of nail polishes, jewellery, and being involved in some cosmetics, Giovanna turned her thoughts to a perfume line. Being into perfume herself she decided against a straightforward celeb brand and had three more specialised perfumes created for her, under her name. Giovanna Antonelli harbour no lofty ideas of revolutionising the perfume industry. Nor are their fragrances full of the typical eau de niche notes, you know – generic base note chemicals, ISO E etc, etc, etc. (These evolve, top notes, heart notes and base notes!) Three years were spent in the preparation and refining of these absolutely lovely perfumes.

Giovanna Antonelli: New Perfume House

I have been wearing the three perfumes over for the last few weeks. Proper full body applications! Many thanks to Lionel from Courtois/Mourot Perfumes for the travel bottles. It makes such a difference to be able to wear perfume as intended.

 

411 INTENSO A chypre floral.

Top: Bulgarian Rose, bergamot, pepper, cammomile.
Middle: Jasmin sambac, ylang ylang, peony.
Base: Patchouli, Amber, Vetiver, sandalwood

611 EXTREMO A floral oriental.

Top: Rhubarb, pear, bergamot
Middle: Tubereuse, Egyptian jasmine, hawthorn
Base: Liquorice, iris, benzoin, vanilla

 

 

811 ABSOLUTO A spicy oriental.

Top: Bergamot, pepper, cloves, lavender
Middle: Green, jasmine, honey, tolu
Base: Patchouli, amber, musk, vanilla

I am sat here at my desk, wearing all three. Each one is rich, full-bodied, rounded, and absolutely lovely. Exuberant, vivacious, heated, and absolutely lovely. In these days of so many things smelling the same, lovely is indeed the highest praise. And I will wear every single drop, not something I say very often.

Around 150 Euros for a 100 mls. Take a look at Giovanna Antonelli. You can practice your French and Portuguese, the English site is up and coming.

Obrigada Giovanna Antonelli.

Beijos
CQ

Bois d’Argent by Annick Menardo for DIOR La Collection Privée 2004

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Sandra

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HI there APJ,

Iris season has begun, the yellow water irises have bloomed and now I am waiting to see some bearded irises. I find the iris to be one of the most stunning flowers allowing itself to be photographed and painted over and over without getting bored. The colours are all over the spectrum and I find it difficult to choose a favourite. However, I love the shape of the bearded iris the most.

Now when it comes to perfumery, I always found the iris note to be cold and aloof, almost unbearably so. I tried and tried through the years to come to terms with this much loved note. I have even bought a bottle here or there of an iris centric perfume in hopes of finally getting it – only to be disappointed and then pass it along.

I do not know if it is age or reason that has brought my nose around, but at the moment I cannot seem to get enough of iris. I do believe that I am finally understanding that I like the warmer treatment of iris and tend to shy away from the cold renderings.

Bois d’Argent by DIOR La Collection Privée 2014

Bois d’Argent by Annick Menardo

Bois d'Argent Christian Dior FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Yemenite frankincense
Heart: Somalian myrrh, Indonesian patchouli, Florentine iris absolute
Base: Amber, Woody notes, Honey, Leather, White musk

Last summer I picked up Christian Dior Bois d’Argent, created by Annick Menardo in 2004, which is part of the La Collection Privée. I sprayed it on in Nice and was taken aback of well this perfume worked in the summer heat. It was never stifling, nor suffocating. I packed it up as soon as we found out we were moving and did not spray it again until January of this year. It was winter and a wet cold set into my bones. The only way to stay warm was through olfactory stimulation. Bois d’Argent is warm and cuddly in the cold. The vanilla is played up with the iris and myrrh making it a slightly sweet, but not too sweet treat.

It has been in heavy rotation ever since January and now that Rotterdam is finally warming up I can say that I am enjoying Bois d’Argent even more. The perfume starts off with a blast of incense and a tinge of myrrh. The incense is warm and not overly done which can be a bit much. I find that myrrh rounds certain perfumes beautifully. The iris is smooth and warm and only slightly powdery. The powder aspect is less detectable now in the warmer weather. Instead of powder I am getting a lovely dry down of woods, incense and iris. Bois d’Argent is elegant and refined but not so much so that I cannot wear it on a daily basis. It keeps me centered and calm and ready to face the day with a smile and positive energy.

To be honest with you I can forget about the notes. This is smooth sailing and I do not need to think about what I am wearing. Rarely do I get compliments when I wear perfume. However, I do when I wear Bois d’Argent.

Further reading: What Men Should Smell Like and Olfactoria’s Travels
DIOR stores and some larger department store countermand airports carry the DIOR La Collection Privée line
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3.25/ml

Have you tried Dior Bois d’Argent? Now that I am open to and looking for some iris scents to try, can you recommend some to me? I would love to hear what you have to say about iris and how you like it or do not like it.
Sandra x

(Ed: All the Iris photos by Sandra. Beautiful.)

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

A friend asked me for advice – she’d been finding her favourite fragrance was not smelling the same in her skin. She was looking for something new. Did I know anything that was similar which she could try?

So firstly we chatted about her signature scent. My friend has been using Dolce & Gabbana – Rose the One, which obviously is rose-centric but balanced out with lychee and peony. Instead of asking what she liked, we started with what she didn’t – this being any fragrance that was overly floral or sweet. But there’s only one way to find out – go shopping!

Perfume Shopping Safari – learning how!

So off we went on a perfume safari. We went to Myer / Mecca in Sydney city. Myer is open till 8:00pm which was perfect for dropping in after work. This excercise was also helping her to learn how to test & what to watch out for. When we got there I directed her to the Bottega Venetta and Narciso Rodrigues displays where I grabbed a handful of mouilettes. If I’m bulk testing, I’ll put a spray or two on paper & pop the end under the display bottle to let it dry a bit & keep track of what’s what. My nose lasts much longer (ie doesn’t get blown out / insensitive) if I’m sniffing dry paper, not wet.

Narciso Poudree Narciso Rodriguez FragranticaFragrantica

So then we sniffed everything in those two ranges over about 15 minutes – chatting & learning about first impressions as we went. We chose Narciso Pourdée Eau de Parfum to try on skin, and found immediately that my friends skin amps fragrances in a sour direction. Good to know.

She was super quick to learn about top notes, dry down, what she liked and within 1/2 an hour we split up & she worked her way around Myer, the Libertine section, and Mecca with some wonderful sales assistants. I felt a bit proud when I over-heard her saying ‘my skin amps sour’ to the nods of an SA. Yay!

Gypsy Water Byredo FragranticaFragrantica

We had loads of fun in our adventure. I unfortunately fell in love with Gypsy Water by Byredo while she was off gallavanting…. maybe I should have kept my hands behind my back.

Other fragrances she tried on skin were Lady Vengence by Juliette has a Gun, Arcana Rosa by L’Artisan Perfumer – Natura Fabularis collection, Lys 41 by Le Labo, and Gris Clair… by Serge Lutens. Both the JHAG and Le Labo were fantastic and the SAs generously gave her small vials to give a proper run through at home.

Lady Vengeance Juliette Has A Gun FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, Lavender
Heart: Bulgarian rose, Moroccan rose, Patchouli, Hedione, ISO-E-Super
Base: Ambroxan, Vanilla, White musk

The next Monday she came back to me to say she loved Lady Vengence so much she went back & picked up a bottle of it. It’s a rose & patchouli scent and the quirky JHAG branding suits her so well. A win!

Have you ever had a friend find a new fragrance love through your recommendations?

Till next time,
Tina G xx