Cookie Queen & Blondeswunder in London 2017

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Blondeswunder
Val the Cookie queen
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Hey APJ Family, Happy Tuesday!

As soon as Mummy and I landed in Brexit we met up with the lovely and good friend Tara. She whisked us straight to Brick Lane
for some Indian food. I had aubergine drenched in some kind of spices sauce. It was sooooo good that I asked how they prepared
the aubergine. Turns out they freaking deep fried it twice. THAT´S WHY! Hahahaha.

Of course we were sniffing and sharing our thoughts over dinner because Indian cuisine isn´t fragrant enough alone. 🙂

Cookie Queen & Blondeswunder in London 2017

The next day, after two cups of English tea and countless visits to various loos along the way, we finally made it to the Frederic Malle store. I was very pleased to see a handsome, well put together young male SA, Pawel. Sadly for me he has an Italian boyfriend. Should have known! We got to smell and spritz perfume all over our bodies. I couldn´t chose so just went with Carnal Flower, Dries Van Noten, Eau de Magnolia, and Malle`s newest, Superstitious.

 

Of course when I had no more skin space I discovered Lipstick Rose. OH MY GOOOSH. So good. So soft. So me. Pawel was nice enough to give me a 3.5ml sample bottle to try it properly. Tara, Mummy and I were ready to kill with our sillage as we left for our pre-booked tour of Highgate Cemetery. We ended the day in Camden Market eating street food and chips.

The Thursday saw us meeting a close family friend of ours, Kirk, The Softboy Scentmaster. (My mum pulled him down the rabbit hole a couple of years ago.) Somehow our plans got changed and Mother dragged us back into the Malle store. I grabbed four spritzes of Dries Van Noten and covered my hair in the Carnal Flower hair mist. (Which I need in my life!) We then proceeded to the Gielgud Theatre just off Piccadilly, to see The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. It was absolutely brilliant. (We kept smelling each others necks and arms, and getting looks from the people around us. I mean, haven´t they ever seen people smelling each other every two seconds in public?)

 

Early evening we got to meet up with The Candy Perfume Boy and his lovely husband, on the bank of the Thames outside the Tate Modern.

Even though I am 22 and my Mother occasionally drives me nuts (mostly because I seem to be turning into her) we had the best time in London. And I was so happy to see Tara again, she is one of the strongest women I know, and I so look up to her and what she has achieved. How great it is to find such friends and peace and joy in perfume.

What are your FM favourites? DO you like perfume to be private or do you like letting people know?

Hugs
Blondeswunder

PS. Mother here – What can I add? I bought 10mls each of Dries Van Noten and Une Rose. I came home with big decants
of La Pausa 28, OJ Champaca, and Goutal´s Songes EdT and a Papillon´s Dryad sample. A non-perfumista friend went crazy for Outrageous! I missed Vanessa from Bonkers being able to join us, but shit happens. I feel blessed to have a daughter that actually wants to go away with me for a few days, she lights up my life with her humour and sunny character. CQ xxx

 

(Ed: Thanks for the photos Val and Hannah. Love them all)

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert for CHANEL 1955

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Greg Young

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Hello APJers,

Released in 1955 Chanel Pour Monsieur is the venerable grand-daddy of Chanel’s line of male fragrances. I was lucky enough to find some vintage bottles of this gem.

Chanel Pour Monsieur by CHANEL 1955

Chanel Pour Monsieur by Henri Robert

Pour Monsieur Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Lemon, Verbena, Neroli, Orange
Heart: Cardamom, Coriander, Basil, Ginger
Base: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood

The three bottles here are a large splash bottle of vintage Pour Monsieur EdT, a bottle of Pour Monsieur After Shave, and a large splash bottle labelled A Gentleman’s Cologne. Pour Monsieur was marketed to the English-speaking world as A Gentleman’s Cologne during the 60s, so this is probably the same fragrance, despite the clear colour difference.

I took these bottles into the Chadstone Chanel store, and the staff there told me that they had never seen PM in those bottles, and did not think that it had ever been sold in Australia in those forms. We did some sniff tests on cards, comparing to the latest EdT. Only the after shave held up; the splash bottles had a bit of a plonky smell, suggesting that both had turned.

I decided to take one for the team, and decanted each of them into atomisers for some skin testing. I often find that, like with vintage wine, decanting old perfume can liven it up a bit.

The AGC is most likely the oldest of the three. The bottle is a different shape and has a different spout and cap to the PM bottle. My best dating puts this at 1962-1969, so it is about 50 years old. The colour looks fine, but the real test is the smell. From the first spray, this one is dominated by cardamom, with a touch of ginger. It sticks very close to the skin, and has almost no sillage. After an hour or so, the cedar has taken over, with a bit of oakmoss. I can’t make out any florals or vetiver. It is still there 5 hours later, so not too bad. As a woody aromatic, this AGC still stands up although it is clearly only a shadow of its former self.

The PM EdT probably dates to either 1985 or 1993, going by the batch code. The years have not been kind to this one, as the dark brown colour attests. On skin, it goes straight to the base notes of cedar and vetiver, and all but disappeared within a couple of hours.

The After Shave is in better shape than the other two. Some of the top notes are still present, notably petitgrain. It softens quickly though and, again, sticks very close to the skin. It’s a bit linear, and doesn’t develop the spices and woods that should be present before it disappears. Presumably this is due to the lighter concentration; perhaps more copious spraying might turn this one into a winner.

This was an interesting experiment. It was almost like being able to separate out the layers of a classic fragrance and smell them concurrently: the aftershave giving the top notes, the Cologne the middle notes and the EdT the base notes. Unfortunately, none of these three delivers as a standalone fragrance, and each is probably only good for collecting rather than wearing. It did make me keen to go full bottle on some Chanel Pour Monsieur though, if I can find a vintage bottle in better shape than these three.

(My thanks to Ali at Chanel Chadstone for her help).

See you soon,
Greg

(ED: This piece was first run on Greg’s new blog AusScents. Please zip over and have a squiz.)

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi for Gucci 2013

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

Another place I had fun on our USA holiday was the Gucci outlet store in Desert Hills. They had the Diamond Editions of Gucci Guilty, along with some really fab travel sprays of Gucci by Gucci Sport and Guuci Made to Measure. These travel sprays felt light but robust and had a rubberised coating for a firm grip. Great for the gym, but unfortunately not refillable.

The perfume which caught my eye of course was on the top shelf out of reach so I had two assistants helping me with a ladder to get it down. This was “Forever Now” – Gucci Museo, released in 2013 as a tribute to the Gucci Museum in Florence. The museum itself seems to be temporarily closed so don’t get too excited if you’re in the area. I tried some on skin as I walked away from what could have been an expensive US$200 impulse buy.

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Gucci 2013

Forever Now (Gucci Museo) by Lorenzo Villoresi

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin, lavender, black pepper, orange blossom
Heart: Leather, florals, Florentine iris, Morroccan and Bulgarian rose, jasmine from Grasse, ylang-ylang, nutmeg
Base: Vetiver, patchouli, precious woods, amber, musk

Out in the foothills of the desert with a dry and dusty warm wind, Gucci Museo opened with a smooth black pepper and a clean leather, having touches of amber behind it. It didn’t strike me as overly masculine, it was soft and well balanced. A subtle ylang ylang came through on my sun-struck skin over the next half hour, and honestly that is about as far as I got with it as we got swept up with making the most of our shopping time. So, sorry, that’s it for my review but I liked what I got out of it in the first hour and it would have been a purchase I’d have been happy with – if my funds stretched that far at that time…..

Further reading: Sorcery of Scent
Feeling Sexy Australia has $229/100ml with FREE Australian Delivery

Which is your favourite Gucci scent?
TinaG

(Ed: TinaG photos unless otherwise noted. Thanks XXX)

Madawi by Arabian Oud

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Erica Golding

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Joyfully scented greetings to you all!

I must say, tonight I had planned to write up a different fragrance, but a special delivery landed that smashed my plans into smithereens. Are you into Arabian perfumery yet? If so, you would squee with delight over this hidden gem! If not, seek out this bottle, it will blow your mind from the inside out:

Madawi by Arabian Oud

My gorgeous goddess friend Cyndi has brought tears to my eyes with her incredible friendship, and I am so thrilled that we have bonded thanks to our shared love of scent. Because of her kickassery of sample enabling, I unboxed a presentation today that I already knew housed a scent worthy of the glitz. The packaging is totally over the top, but it dazzled me tenfold because I fell in love with this perfume in a nondescript little 5 mL hex bottle.

What does it smell like? Well, miraculous is one way to put it. Rose petals cascade into an upswell of luscious fruit nectar, precious woods, a tasteful kiss of smoothly aged patchouli, and a silky white musk haze. It is insanely balanced, a very carefully composed blend that really is effortlessly sexy. It screams evening wear, this is a date night perfume for sure – but I know I will be rocking Madawi whenever I want to feel the power of feminine intensity.

From Arabian OudA Special fragrance inspired by the character of the contemporary women, the pride of time Al Aseel including the aromatic bouquet of apple, peach, pineapple melted memories of last longing, an anchor on the base of roses and flowers, patchouli and musk, deeply feeling of real satisfaction .

Have you heard of Madawi? Have you scored any other gems from Arabian Oud, whether hidden or a cult favorite or a fragrance legend? An Arabian Oud storefront opened in New York City not too long ago, I am physically aching to go. 🙂 Have you been? Tantalize me with your tales!

Arabian Oud has $150/90ml

Talk to you all soon, hope you spritzed wisely today!

Hugs, Erica

Superstitious by Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2016

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Good Day from the UK APJ Peeps!

As you read this I will probably be trundling my way towards the Frederic Malle store in Burlington Arcade with Tara from A Bottled Rose and the B.londeswunder. Originally it was planned that we would sniff Superstitious together, but that was four weeks ago. I mostly have no problem waiting to try something but every once in a while the junkie in me grabs hold and I have no control. I commented on a FB thread as to how excited I was to try Superstitious and six days later the postman turned up with a package from France with a sample in it. Nothing like a generous addict helping another one out. I believe we call it an enabler in our circle? As opposed to a pusher?

Superstitious Alber Elbaz par Frederic Malle 2017

Superstitious by Dominic Ropion

Superstitious Frederic Malle FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Jasmine, rose, peach, amber, incense, vetiver, patchouli, aldehydes

For some reason I keep calling this perfume suspicious, I think I need to tattoo Superstitious onto my forehead. Dunno why I can´t get a handle on it.

Malle´s first collaboration was with Dries von Noten, the Belgian fashion designer. This was back in 2013. He returns now with number two. Superstitious is an alliance with Alber Elbaz, the Moroccan-Israeli fashion designer, formerly of Lanvin. You might wanna Google him if you have a few moments. He is a really interesting character not to mention his exquisite designs. If I were rich and wore dresses …….

GOBSTOPPER SWEETS

Gobstoppers (jawbreakers) consist of a number of layers and colours, and as each layer dissolves another appears; these layers are often flavoured too. It takes hours and hours, and sometimes days to finish them.

Here we have jasmine, rose, a hint of peach, amber, incense, vetiver, and patchouli wrapped in a thick layer of waxy aldehydes. There is an underlying whisp of grapeness too, the dark purple artificially flavoured Kool-Aid kind. A 1950´s vintage fragrance presented to us in 2017. As the divine waxy aldehydes melt away, the jasmine just bursts forth indolic, with elegance and sophistication. It languishes and slowly melts down into the rich velvety foundation, yet remains intertwined with the full-bodied base notes. Lavish but with a rough edge, and particularly seductive.

It is perfect, Ropion knows it, and I doubt he cares less what anyone else has to say about it.

Further reading: Candy Perfume Boy and Perfume Posse
Frederic Malle has €50/10ml

After using the sample I promptly ordered the 10ml travel spray. My first jasmine. I hope Tara and I will find something else to sniff and whilst in the shop! A travel Dries van Noten might not hurt eh?

Suspicious Bussis
CQ

PS. It might be fair to say if waxy aldehydes and indolic jasmine sounds like death warmed up, you might wanna try something else – as did LJG.

(Ed: Pics supplied by Val the CQ unless otherwise noted)

Xerjoff Xerjoff Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

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Sandra

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Hi APJ! Hope everyone is having a lovely smelling spring or autumn. I am currently surrounded by beautiful spring flowers and blooming trees and all of my senses are in overdrive. Here are a few pictures of the mesmerizing spring in the Netherlands. Every turn I take and every day brings a new colourful image to lock away in my memory chest. What is your favorite part of spring or autumn?

Rotterdam Photos by Sandra

Xerjoff: Dipping My Toes In

I am sure you are all well ahead of me when it comes to Xerjoff. It is an overwhelming brand for me and I have only really sniffed and enjoyed the Casamorati line and a couple from the Join the Club line. As a Vienna farewell gift I received three minis from the Shooting Stars collection. (Thank you so much – you know who you are.)

So, here I am freezing my butt off in chilly and beautiful Rotterdam and eagerly sniffing these little gems from Xerjoff. They are harbingers of early summer days. Here are my thoughts.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Shingl

Notes are: bergamot, basil, anise and artemisia, iris, rum, patchouli and vetiver, vanilla, amber and musk.
Shingl opens up quite sharp and spicey making my nose cringe. The sharp opening is herbal as well and it was confusing until the rum settled in. I always thought that rum or alcohol notes are not appealing, but the note here is subtle. It smooths out the opening together with the introduction of iris. What I find not only interesting but also addictive about Shingl is that it moves into a powdery, woody scent and is an intoxicatingly easy to wear good mood scent.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Lua

Notes are: bergamot, orange, lemon, melon, rose, iris, pink pepper, lily, cedar, vanilla and musk.
Lua opens up fresh, floral and full of spring promises. I love the touch of melon here as it cuts into the citrus nicely. This is a perfume for spring days where the vast changing skies provide a dramatic backdrop to the new young green leaves and grass cropping up everywhere. I cannot help but smile when I smell Lua. It is a beautiful perfume full of hope for the next six months of gorgeous long days. I will be wearing this through the warmer months here.

Fragrantica

Xerjoff: Dhajala

Notes are: african orange flower, galbanum, bergamot and orange, pink pepper, jasmine and rose, resin, amber, vanilla and musk.
To be perfectly honest with you, when I first spritzed Dhajala I recoiled. Something was not working for me. Perhaps it was the orange flower or the citrus vibe (which I normally have issues with), I do not know exactly. I promptly forgot about it being on my wrist and I put it in the pass pile. Well, after another hour or two I was taken aback of how good my wrist smelled. It was well rounded and very pretty but also easily unisex. I would love to smell this on a man.

I have been pleasantly surprised by these perfumes and would love to take the time to try others.

LuckyScent has the Xerjoff line
Surrender To Chance has a selection of Xerjoff samples

Do you know Xerjoff? Do you have any recommendations or favourites?
Sandra

 

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

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TinaG

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Hi APJ!

During my trip to Southern California in April 2017, we had an opportunity to check out two Premium Outlet Centres, one in Camarillo on the way to Santa Barbara, and Desert Hills which is just outside of Palm Springs. If you’re ever heading to one of these massive shopping areas, my top tips are:

* Take water, snacks and lunch. Yes there’s food there but you’ll need actual sustenance to get through the shopping day.
* Time evaporates there. If you think you’ll be 2 hours, basically just double it. We had multiple text messages between us saying “1/2 hour more? 1 hour more?”.
* Do you research before-hand of what is top of your hit list, and roughly the RRP. Then grab a centre map and plan your shop visits. This will save you heaps of time and possibly money. Don’t forget that tax is variable and added on at the register.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017

Fragrance Shopping – USA Premium Outlet Centres

Of course I went straight to the fragrance stores. As these are outlets / seconds, the content of the shops varied from place to place. I found the shops such as Perfumania and the Fragrance Outlet very similar to Chemist Warehouse back in Aus. The prices weren’t what I would call a bargain – for example I found Bvlgari Black at $34US, before tax and conversion this is not cheaper than what I can pick it up for at home. One shop (I think Perfumania in Desert Hills) had a whole section dedicated to Paris Hilton fragrances, and a similar display for Britney Spears.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 a

I did get to try Ivanka Trump’s fragrance which was OK, actually. It was a fruity floral, of course, but it had a coolness about it which I think was brought on by a decent apple accord, keeping the sweetness in check. After I picked this up the sales assistant kept coming over with some horrendous options for me to “try as you might like this”. After the third sniff to be ‘polite’ I had to say no – just – No, you need to stop doing that please! My nose was full of pink gunk smells by that stage and I had to literally run out, much to the SA’s surprise.

USA Premium Outlet Centres TinaG 2017 b

After trying the dedicated fragrance stores I looked at branded stores for fragrances & interest. Barneys and Etro were clothes-only. Aww. I came across a Porche Design store in Desert Hills, which I’d never heard of before. WOW!!!! They’ve got some great gear, the mens shoes were amazing and the handbags sleek and functional. I had a lot of fun chatting with the sales assistant who was beyond helpful, was a great experience and I’m glad I dropped in.

My visit to SoCal did have fragrant leanings but would you believe all I brought home with me were three small samples from Lucky Scent in LA. I think that’s a first. I did get some jeans, jacket, shoes and an iron. But that’s another story.

What about you – do you hit up the fragrance stores hard when you travel, or is it more of a reconnaissance like my US trip?

Till next time,
Tina G xx