Perfume That’s Not Only For Boys!


Kate Apted


Hello and welcome to 2018 APJ family!

Today, I want to discuss some of my favourite ‘male’ scents that I love to wear. One of the things I love about the frag community is the freedom of expression and lack of gendering. It is absolute bliss to hear men express their joy for wearing scents traditionally marketed at females. Sadly, I hear less of females waxing lyrical about more masculine fragrances. I suspect there are many Continue reading

Helicriss by Sylvaine Delacourte 2016


Kate Apted


G’day APJ family,

The weather in the southern states of Australia has not been particularly ‘spring-like’ lately. I finally got around to separating my scent collection into four piles; one for each season. I am beginning to think this somewhat futile an exercise, simply because I never know what each day will be like. As a result, I dig into my other piles for more temperate offerings. It is pretty much back to disordered mayhem. I did, however, find a little 7.5ml bottle of summery sunshine I’d completely forgotten I had!

Way back at the beginning of the year, I ordered Sylvaine Delacourte’s sample set. I quite liked the range, but I found them a little quiet in general. Musk based, with each scent promoting a different facet based on Ms Delacourte’s memories. I was drawn to the powderiness of Florentina and the smooth ylang ylang of Lilylang. The most interesting I found was Helicriss. So, over the winter months, I ordered travel sizes of four of them. In time, they got lost amongst all my smaller sized bottles. The one it seems I had used the most of, though, was Helicriss.

Helicriss by Sylvaine Delacourte 2016

Helicriss Sylvaine Delacourte FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, cinnamon, rosemary
Heart: Grapefruit, lemon, tonka bean
Base: Immortelle, patchouli, benzoin, musk

What is so enticing about this one? It has a very unusual blend of notes to produce a musky curry. There is no doubt immortelle is a major note, but it is the blend of patchouli, grapefruit, benzoin and the musk that gives it a firey heat. I am grateful this is a skin hugging scent. It would be completely headache inducing if it projected Poison or Angel like. It is the constant reminder of the scent just being there that makes it pique my curiosity.

Helicriss Sylvaine Delacourt green-curry Pixabay

I have absolutely no idea how others find it. Thirty minutes after applying, the curry accord dies down to leave a warm, aromatic rosemary and musk. So, by the time I leave the house, Helicriss has already begun its metamorphosis into a herbally musk. No one has ever made mention of this scent at all, so I guess it is polite enough to wear around others. Interestingly, of the entire range, which does lean to a slight ballet-pink-feminine feel, I think this would smell heavenly on a man. There is one guy at work I am hoping I can get to spray this on himself. After months of helping him search for THE scent, I secretly suspect Helicriss is it.

When I used Helicriss over winter, it always gave a feel of dried grass, hay and the dense heat of the midday humidity of an Australian summer day. It has a dusty, wind like sense that makes me yearn for a sudden rainstorm. I am unsure how Helicriss will fare over the blistering heat of summer, but now that it has joined my spring pile, I’ll get to find out. In the meantime, Helicriss will bring sunshine on a temperamental grey spring day.

Helicriss Sylvaine Delacourt australian wheatfield PixabayPDI

Further reading: Now Smell This and Scent for Thought
LuckyScent has $160/100ml and Samples

Which scents suggest, or are indicative of, summer months in your country?
K xxx

Vanille Tonique by Mark Evans for Evocative Perfumes 2014


Kate Apted


G’day APJ folk!

Vanilla? Yuck, no thanks!

I hate vanilla in perfumes. End of story. It belongs in foods and reminds me of endlessly of vanilla ice cream and vanilla flavoured rice puddings. Just don’t bring me a bottle and ask me to try it if it is vanilla centred. But then one day…

I bought a sample set of Mark Evans’ Evocative Perfumes; the alcohol based scents. Out of a solid sense of duty to the effort gone by Mark to make all the scents in the pack, I felt I owed it to him to try every single scent. Even the dreaded one called Vanille Tonique. I sprayed with my breath held and forgot I was even wearing it minutes later.

Vanille Tonique by Evocative Perfumes 2014

Vanille Tonique by Mark Evans

Vanile Tonique begins in a very humble, quiet way. There is nothing booming about it in the way some other vanillas open. It eased its way to my nose about 15 minutes later with a slightly spiced, non sweet glow. I actually had to wrack my brain to think of what I was wearing. I was running errands that day and quite busy, so it had slipped my mind. I got home to find out what I had sprayed. Aha! Vanille Tonique. Oh. No.

I lasted out the few hours of the day til shower time to gauge the development of Vanile Tonique; desperate to find a reason to hate it. I sprayed all of Mark’s other creations on cards and tried each of them again. As much as I love several other of Mark’s scents nothing captured me quite like Vanille. I had to admit by shower time that the mildly buttery development and the simmering spices were a love. My body heat had amped up the voracity of the whole composition without once making the vanilla sweet or overpowering. And though not a powerhouse, it had accompanied me in my shadow the whole 6 hours. It had trailed off to a skin scent by 5 hours, but I find I get bored of scents by then.

Vanille Tonique by Evocative Perfumes vanilla-flower PixabayPDI

A week later, at Tafe, I had been craving something, but I wasn’t sure what. I grabbed a few of the Evocative samples and smelled them at all the red lights on my way to Tafe. Vanille Tonique still stood out. It was exactly what I was after. I ordered a bottle during my break and as I ate my food, I pondered on what had shifted in me. I smelled my arm and it did not interfere with my appetite.

One of the things I totally deplore about sweet, gourmandish scents is that they do affect my desire to eat. As a half-arsed body builder (that is another story), I have to fit a certain number of calories into my day. Vanille Tonique doesn’t ever interfere with my food and appetite. As projection is arm’s length, and the spices are what bring the subtle heat, the vanilla is left to be what it is. Just a delightful, somewhat sensual, warm glow that does not have that hyper vanilla of ice cream.


Further reading: Australian Perfume Junkies
Evocative Perfumes has $40/12ml oil + Samples from $4

Are there any gateway scents that have completely spun you around? Are there any notes you still won’t try?

Kate xxx

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal for Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume 2015


Kate Apted


Hi APJ family!

One year, my poor mother gave up on her garden and in frustration, she threw all her seeds all over the remains of her failed attempt. She left nature to do its thing, unimpeded. She happens to like manicured English cottage gardens, where each plant is put in a spot for a purpose. She takes delight in tending to them and nurturing them with supports and regular feeding of nutrients. I, on the other hand, have an incredible attachment to wild cottage gardens that are overgrown and have eclectic flora. I relish with absolute delight in the surprise of finding new things and exploring the life within the seeming chaos. The scents are unpredictable and haphazard.

The garden worked. By next spring, nature had created a veritable oasis of flourishing peace. My mother was a little jealous that she had never quite executed a garden with the expertise nature had shown. The colours were exquisite, everything was healthy and there was space for so much to grow in complete harmony. The insect life that year was rich and abundant.


I found a natural perfume a few months ago that replicates such a garden. It is called Botticelli and is made by a talented and highly creative woman named Teone Reinthal.

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal Natural Perfume 2015

Botticelli by Teone Reinthal


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, lemon, petitgrain
Heart: Jasmine sambac, damask rose, juniper berries
Base: Patchouli, ambrette (musk mallow), oakmoss, labdanum, vetiver

It opens with a creamy warmth that comes from a musk and oakmoss heat, while radiating a citrus heart that stays around for hours. Much like a breeze brings gentle scents in waves from a rich garden, Botticelli does the same. It weaves around with facets of citrus and rose and jasmine, with a lightness of a butterfly. Just when I think I’ve understood Botticelli, there is a shift and the musk reigns for a moment. While each of the notes are lovely, it is the waft of the whole composition that makes Botticelli incredible.


I have a set of rules I use with this scent. I cannot wear this outside my home. I must apply it with a cotton ball that then gets stuffed inside my bra. I cannot wear it in the morning. I do not reapply it. It is almost as if Botticelli has its own nature that I cannot control and master. I cannot possibly know better! I suspect I get a little ‘away with the fairies’ whilst wearing Botticelli, so I think my rules are to protect me from dwelling in my inner universe when it isn’t appropriate. It meshes with my inner world in a way no other scent does, so when I need to be completely self composed I avoid Botticelli.
There is a wild woman, tribal elder quality to Botticelli that makes it sensuous, feminine and celebrates fertility in all its forms. At the same time, it has a barely constrained politeness to it that will not offend those in your presence. Mildly zesty and tart, yet mellow and creamy.

Teone Reinthal has Botticelli from $10/2ml Sample

Do you have scents that transport you to a place of personal happiness, where no one else can reach you? Or do you have quirky rules regarding a particular fragrance?

Until next time… Kate xx

Carillon Pour Un Ange by Andy Tauer for Tauer Perfumes 2010


Kate Apted


Voice of an Angel!

Oh, sorry…I mean Carillon Pour Un Ange by Andy Tauer

My deepest welcome to you APJers,

The world isn’t making much sense to me right now. I am watching my boys grow up with a lack of innocence I had at their age. While I sit outside and watch the birds go about their nest building business, my boys are inside reading up on the news via social media. There is a strange dichotomy between hope and despair that exists within me. Nevertheless, I try to make our home a place of safety and trust.

To capture a sense of innocence I turn to a scent that is probably one of Andy Tauer’s less lauded offerings, but the one I consider to be his magnum opus. Let me introduce you to Carillon Pour Un Ange.

Carillon Pour Un Ange by Tauer Perfumes 2010

Carillon Pour Un Ange by Andy Tauer

Carillon pour un ange Tauer Perfumes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, ylang, lilac, lily of the valley
Heart: Jasmine, leather, lily of the valley
Base: Ambergris, moss, woods

The name translated into English is Chime for an Angel. This gives absolutely no indication of what lies in the bottle. And to be honest, I don’t give a care for what the official notes are. The star of the scent is Lily of the Valley. I am so mesmerised by the star that I just don’t register any other players. The Lily of the Valley is so high pitched in it that I think of Carillon as Voice of an Angel rather than chime for an angel. From opening to dry down hours later, Carillon is linear and carries that high note all the way through.

Carillon pour un ange Tauer Concierto_de_angeles WikiMediaWikiMedia

I suspect Mr Tauer is unapologetic in his creation of Carillon. If you do not like the opening, then there is no chance you will enjoy the scent at any stage. It was made to carry the glory of the Lily of the Valley. There is no taming of the notes sung. Unadulterated, perhaps amplified, but in no way tame or smoothed over. Mr Tauer has simply used his hand to elevate the Lily of the Valley to be seen (or smelt) by all.

I find it ironic that a delicate bell shaped flower which harks from a dip in the earth’s crust is one that Mr Tauer associates with angels so high up in the proverbial heavens. There is a poetic beauty in it. This is where I find the hope. If a little flower can sing so strongly to reach the heavens, then we can each hope that our small acts of kindness will reach outwards and have an effect. Like prayer beads used to focus the mind on worship and supplication, Carillon acts like a chime when I smell it. I am brought back to a moment of stillness and a reminder to stay focused on the ample good in the world.

Carillon pour un ange Tauer gerson_rodriguez PixabayPDI

Further reading: Non Blonde and Perfume Posse
Men’s Biz has $249/50ml FREE Australian Delivery
Tauer Perfumes has samples from $5

Do you have a scent you turn to when you have conflicting emotions? Do any of your scents bring you to a centred internal peace?

Love, peace and mungbeans,

Kate xxx

Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant for Antonia`s Flowers 1985


Kate Apted


Hello and welcome APJers,

Today, I want to make a small confession. There is a certain Mecca store that has a pretty much empty tester bottle. And I am reasonably certain it was me who emptied it; over the course of a few months. So, I got a bottle for free, in a sense.
I did end up spending the paltry $80 for a bottle of my own. I felt absolutely shamed that I had really received two bottles for the price of one. As this was the very last bottle on the shelf, the tester with zilch but bubbles of air in the spritzer hose was then put away in the drawer. I almost asked if I could have it. But I kept my shame to myself.

Antonia’s Flowers by Antonia`s Flowers 1985

Antonia’s Flowers by Bernard Chant

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Freesia, jasmine, magnolia, lily, fruity notes

Antonia’s Flowers is the perfume that I am talking about. It is such an unassuming bottle and a very plain box, and for some reason, Mecca stores often keep this on the lowest shelf and in the corner. Mine had been sitting there for a very long time. The box lid is faded and there was a thick layer of dust on the top when I bought it. The first spray of the tester was over a year ago and I hastily put the tester down with a look of disgust on my face. The opening is harsh and hard hitting. It still is something I am not used to, but I now know to avoid my wrist for a few minutes.

I have to admit that this is straight up freesia. There are other notes listed, but I don’t get any of them until the last 20 minutes, and that is after freesia assault for an hour. By this stage, it is a very close skin scent anyway. It is evident that Antonia was a florist; the scent is uncannily haunting and indicative of a haute florist at the height of spring. I can imagine WASPy Hampton brides in the late 80s and early 90s using this as their signature wedding scent. While this is most certainly a white flower fragrance, it is not polite or gentle. It is unapologetically bold and haughty.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers WikimediaWikiMedia

There are a few things that annoy me about Antonia’s Flowers. First, it really does only last an hour and a bit on me. Second, the lid does not fit on the sprayer. I had to unscrew the lid, to then screw on the sprayer, and the lid does not fit on the sprayer. Third, the long necked sprayer stops the bottle from having the lid of the box close. I like to keep my perfumes in their boxes, so this does irk me.

Then there is the BUT… I adore this scent. I truly do. It takes me back to the days I’d ramble down the alley ways of the rural town I lived in as a child. All sorts of wild flowers grew along people’s back fences and along the creek beds. Older women would spend hours in their cottage gardens and I’d take in all the smells on my walks.

Antonia's Flowers Antonia`s Flowers Freesia_flowers field manfredrichter Pixabay.jpgPDI

Further reading: Liberty London Girl and Azar on Australian Perfume Junkies
Mecca has $80/50ml FREE Australian Shipping

What shameful perfume secrets do you have? You know you want to share…I dare you!
Be good. Kate xx

Figue Aoudii by Jean-Claude Gigodot and Irina Zhurikhina-Nesa for Maison Incens 2014


Kate Apted



I was inwardly devastated when my youngest son announced he will be moving to Canada when he turns 18. D, now 12, then added that he didn’t expect me to make the long journey to visit him; his awkward teenage way of saying he doesn’t want me to visit. Still, I hugged him and responded that I hope he finds Canada not too cold. As I always do when I hug him, I take a deep breath in of his skin scent. D has the most divine natural smell. I will miss that not being around.

When D was about 2, he wore the most adorable navy blue Clarks runners with yellow laces. I have kept one pair of those shoes because the smell of Dede and the rubber of the soles created a scent combo that is forever etched in my mind. I have even placed them in a sealed bag to preserve the scent.

By chance, earlier this year, I found a lovely niche house that has two fig scents in their repertoire. The first I tried is a crisp green fig, and the second gave me the most unexpected jolt of instant recognition. This gem of a fig is Figue Aoudii by Maison Incens.

Figue Aoudii by Maison Incens 2014

Figue Aoudii by Jean-Claude Gigodot and Irina Zhurikhina-Nesa

Figue Aoudii Maison Incens FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, orange
Heart: Fig, ylang-ylang, violet, iris, leather, cedar
Base: Agarwood (oud), sandalwood, amber, musk

As a fig scent, it is unique, particularly because of the addition of the oud note, which is not principally sweet or smoky. It opens with a strong, deep fig; much like the late season figs that drop onto the ground. This lasts only moments before the oud barges in to give a heavy hand, along with a striking dry leather note. The scent stays linear throughout the three hours of arm’s length projection I get. The ylang ylang is brought to the fore after that time and becomes a skin scent for another hour or so. The notes listed on Fragrantica include iris and bergamot, which I got nothing of, but I do detect a faint backing of violet in the first hour.

Figue Aoudii by Jean-Claude Gigodot and Irina Zhurikhina-Nesa for Maison Incens 2014

You are now wondering, rightly, what Figue Aoudii has to with my son’s declared intention of migrating and a pair of smelly toddler’s shoes? Figue Aoudii is reminiscent of the scent of D taking off his shoes as a child. I kid you not! (Pun most definitely intended.) So, should D actually move out of home, I have no sentimental reason to ask him for his pillow, or a toy he slept with, in order to keep his scent alive. I have Figue Aoudii!

Now that I have needlessly placed this connotation in your mind about a beautiful fig fragrance, let me assure you that it took quite a few weeks for me to understand why Figue Aoudii was so instantly recognisable. I wore it simply because it is sublime in the cooler months of autumn. The falling brown leaves and the last of the summer harvest of figs begs for such a scent to be worn.

Figue Aoudii Maison Incens schleichpost0 pixabayPDI

Further reading: Perfume
Maison Encens has 139/100ml (FREE World Shipping)

Do you have a fragrance that reminds you of someone you love? Or someone you once loved but have gone from your life?