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

 

David Jourquin Leather Fragrances: First Impressions

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Sandra

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Hey there APJ!

Hope ya’ll are enjoying life. I am getting used to my new home and am adoring the Netherlands in the springtime. Magnificent blooming trees and flowers, people smiling and spending time outdoors, and warming temperatures make me happy.

Who likes leather? Anyone? I have discovered that I really enjoy wearing perfumes with a leather note. Enter David Jourquin…

David Jourquin Leather Fragrances: First Impressions

David Jourquin perfumes are pretty new to me. I tried two when they first came out but then I promptly lost the two samples and forgot about them. Shame on me!

David Jourquin is quietly giving us a wonderful collection of sumptuous leather perfumes from his house. To put it simply, David Jourquin has envisioned a perfume house dedicated to the multiple facets that the smell of leather has to offer. This is coming from his childhood scented memories and from his life as an adult.

A big shout out to the team at Aus Liebe Zum Duft and their generous giveaway of sample packs of the six perfumes that they carry from the house. I have now had the great pleasure of sampling these beautiful perfumes.

Here are my first impressions. Let’s see if any strike a chord with you.

Fragrantica

Cuir Altesse by David Jourquin 2014

Altesse was created by Cecile Zarokian as the nighttime duo together with Cuir de R’Eve. It is a bit spicy and sharp to begin with. The patchouli starts out a bit too strongly for my tastes but it warms up as the hours pass and then becomes one with the rest of the ingredients. I find Cuir Altesse more daring and sexy than its counterpart Cuir de R’Eve. It is not necessarily only for high heels and red lipstick – this can be worn on any occassion.

Fragrantica

Cuir Caraïbes by David Jourquin 2015

One of the more recent releases, Cuir Caraïbes opens up fruity and tart which surprised me. But the spices quickly join the party and warm it up. It does become sweeter soon after spraying it but not to worry – the sugar fades to the background again. Throughout the development I can detect a wonderfully subtle ginger vibe. The dry down is a warm cocoon surrounding me. Love it.

Fragrantica

Cuir de R’Eve by David Jourquin 2014

This perfume was created by Cecile Zarokian as a daytime duo together with Cuir Altesse. It is leather mixed with a few fruity and floral notes to make it elegant and refined. The base is warm, enveloping and comforting with a hint of fruit to keep it interesting. I could see myself using this on a regular basis. Just gorgeous.

Fragrantica

Cuir Mandarine by David Jourquin 2011

Daytime version of the duo for men together with Cuir Tabac. It leans masculine and opens tangy with a smidge of lavender. The start is quite big and loud on my skin but gets quiet within 20 minutes and projects softly. Cuir Mandarine sang on my husband’s skin and he now declares that he likes leather perfumes.

Fragrantica

Cuir Solaire by David Jourquin 2015

One of the more recent releases. Sunny opening that lasts throughout its development. This definitely feels like I have been sunkissed at the beach and then went out on the town. It has a touch of orange blossom and jasmine which does bring to mind sandy beaches and the sea. I can imagine that Cuir Solaire will be excellent with warm temperatures and sunshine.

First In Fragrance has the whole set to sample or buy

 

Do you like leather in perfumes? Do you have a favourite?

Until next time. Happy spring and autumn to everyone.

Kisses. Sandra

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

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Sandra

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Hey there APJ! Hope everyone is doing well and I am sure smelling fabulous.

To be perfectly honest with you I am completely out of ideas here. It has been a week of living in a daze. The house is set up but we still have boxes to unpack in the basement and to be frank, in order to make it livable we just threw items into cupboards and closets with the intention that things will be organized in the near future. (I still have not found my favorite erasers for sketching or my favorite kitchen scissors.) Hence, the foggy brain .

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries

I have quite a bit less closet space here and what used to be a perfume cupboard has now become one for clothes. In order to save valuable space, I took all the perfume bottles out of their boxes (into the basement they went) and randomly set the bottles into the cupboard, an old CD rack and into two boxes. Now, I need to organize them. So, here is a peak into the mess that awaits behind doors and under lids. Any suggestions?

Sanity may be fleeting at the moment, but here are my three go-to perfumes of the week to help clear the mind: Dior Bois d’Argent, Guerlain Spiriteuse Double Vanille and Chanel Misia EdP.

Until next time.
Sandra xo

(Ed: All photos donated by Sandra. VERY nice collection love. XXX)

CHANEL: Scented Journey

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Sandra

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Hi there sexy smelling APJers

About a week before I left Vienna I was sniffing my way through the new Eau de Parfums of the Chanel Exclusives when a lovely SA came up to me and asked if I would like to go on a Chanel Scented Journey. Intrigued, I signed myself up and asked a friend to come and join me.

Not knowing what I was about to embark on, I went in open minded and happy to get away for a little bit of scented fun. Now, I will be perfectly honest here, I did not come out and tell her that I was going to write a post about it, nor did I tell her that I looovee perfumes and have more than 2 bottles at home. I thought it might make her uncomfortable and clam up. I did ask permission to take one picture of her with the essences in front of her and she agreed (no close up of the box was allowed).

CHANEL: Scented Journey

So, to begin with she asked me several pointed questions about my scented memories or what I find to be the perfect scented experiences. We spoke a bit about flowers and colours and then we dove right it.

Now, if you think that this is all hogwash and you do not want to read any further, I understand completely. However, take into consideration the most amazing Chanel box that came out full of essences that Chanel uses in its perfumes. My jaw dropped when I saw what lay before me and I wanted to go through each and every one of the mini bottles. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Taking into account my answers, she had me go through 10 essences where I had to guess what I was smelling and then give an opinion on how I liked it.

Well, after about half an hour of sniffing and swooning or cringing, she walked away for 5 minutes and then came back with what she thought would be my perfect Chanel perfumes. I was told that Beige or Boy would be to my liking. Now, she hit the nail on the head with Beige as I already have gone through a bottle of it and still love it. But Boy? Unfortunately she did not have any samples of Boy left but she gave me samples of several of the other perfumes to test at home.

You may wonder if I walked away with anything. Yes, sure did – after several wearings I fell in love with Misia EdP as I find it a tad rounder, less sharp in the opening and overall more tenacious than the EdT which tends to fall flat on me after about an hour of wear. I received a decant of Boy from a dear friend and will be giving it a full wearing when it warms up a bit here and wonder if she got that one right too.

If you have the opportunity to take the Chanel Scented Journey, please do. It was such a joy being able to see the essences lined up like that and actually smelling some of them. I would love to hear if you have had the chance the smell the new EdPs and what you think of them.

Till next time,
Big smoochy woochies,
Sandra xxx

Moving: Vienna To Rotterdam 2016

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Sandra

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Happy New Year APJ! May 2017 bring peace, love and joy to our lives.

Let me just come right out and say it. Moving is terrible. Leaving the comfort of my flat and all the luxuries of the known has been the most challenging aspect. Please do not take this post as a complaint, rather as a funny side to the moving experience.

Moving: Vienna To Rotterdam 2016

The bandaid has been ripped off and we landed safely in Rotterdam. The movers got us into the house and then promptly abandoned us at 2 pm stating that they did not want to unpack all the boxes because there was not enough flat surface to place the items on! WTF?! Seriously – we have four floors!!! Too emotionally spent to argue with them, we let them go home. Now, imagine us climbing, sometimes on all fours, the three crazy steep stairs with boxes – no stairmaster is needed. We have it in the house and no health club membership will be necessary.

One major challenge with which we are faced is figuring out what foods are safe for my allergic son. To give you an example – the first night in Rotterdam we mistakenly thought that a sushi restaurant would be safe. The waitress tried telling us to leave because she could not handle my request. All I wanted to know is why there was egg in an avocado maki! The manager came and told me it was because all the sushi has mayonnaise. Really?! I kindly requested that he makes the maki without the mayo and voila we have safe food! So, it will take us several weeks to get our bearings and figure out which grocery stores have the right foods for us and which restaurants we can visit.

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On another note, I know that I am short – but I feel positively elflike here. Both men and women tower over me! We needed to buy a step stool to actually climb into the bath tub – my legs are just not that long. My husband placed one step stool on every floor as there are even light switches I cannot reach on tippytoe. Don’t even get me started on the cupboard space in the kitchen – I don’t remember what I placed up top and cannot even see all the way up there from the ground.

With all the stress and now culture shock setting in, I have two favourite perfumes giving me the much needed comfort and hugs.

Knowing how stressful this would be, I decided several weeks before the move that for the five or six days that it would take to pack, move, stay in a hotel and then move into the house I would be fragrance free.


shalimar-edp-guerlainGuerlain

Once unpacked, I spritzed Shalimar EdP lavishly and was in scented heaven. It has grounded me when I found myself wanting to whimper in a corner.

spiriteuse-double-vanille-guerlainGuerlain

At night I require an extra dose of sugar and reach for Spiriteuse Double Vanille which sends me off to dreamland with its wonderful boozy vanilla cloud.

All in all, I am excited about the adventure and am looking forward to discovering new places and meeting new people. The Dutch are some of the friendliest people I have ever met. People smile and are willing to help us and most go out of their way when we explain that we are newly implanted foreigners in their country.

Here are a few pictures of the last night in Vienna and then my first impressions living in this vibrant city. If you are interested, you can follow my Instagram (vienna_living) to catch a glimpse of my latest discoveries.

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APJ Crew: What We Loved In 2016

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Post by APJ Crew

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Hi APJ,

The end of the year hurtles towards us faster than I was ready for. A year filled with fun and adventure, a year fraught with political upheaval, a year of fragrance, travel, friends and families. For many 2016 has been the year of war, displacement, challenge, heartache and despair. Most of us have had a year of good and bad, a year of work, home and regular life with its ups and downs, drama and spots of magic that make it all worthwhile.

Here’s what the crew at APJ loved the most in 2016. Not all of it fragrant. I hope you enjoy a little look into what we rated high. The order is the order the pieces came into my inbox.

APJ Crew: What We Loved In 2016

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Claire Vukčević

Honestly? Apart from perfume, the biggest discovery in 2016 was how brilliant Tretinoin is. Northing I’ve ever used before has had such an effect on my skin – small wrinkles minimized, pores reduced, overall skin texture improved. I love the stuff. I can’t find a doctor to prescribe it to me here, so I will have to source it out on the Internet – always a crapshoot, no? But still, it’s great and I will take the chance. For 2017, I am also excited about exploring a more extensive, Korean-style skincare regime. Next year will be all about getting that chok chok, or Korean glow. We’ll see. I just turned 40 and I think that Irish skin might have a finite stock of chok chok and that perhaps I used mine all up in 1997. Call me in 2018 to see how that works out for me.

Galop d`Hermes Hermes Fragrantica1

Sandra
Hey APJ! Wishing ya’ll a very happy and safe holiday season and hoping that 2016 was a good year. 2016 has been tumultuous for me but we survived and we are currently setting up our house in Rotterdam. My favorites for 2016 are not necessarily new but new experiences for me.
Perfumes: Rahele by NVC, Galop and Muguet Porcelaine both by Hermes, discovering the pure decadence of Shalimar in all its variations and last but not least finally getting my hands on the gorgeous Dior Privee Bois d’Argent.
Movies: watching A Christmas Story with my son and hearing his squeals of laughter.
TV shows: I enjoyed Narcos and The Crown (I know – two wildly different shows!). Flowers: finally smelling a vanilla orchid.
Books: all the Robert Galbraith crime novels and rereading Roald Dahl books with my son.
Bring on 2017! Sandra xoxo
Week July 2016 #25 CHANEL Boy

Robert Herrmann

Phew. 2016. What a tumultuous year it was and all I can say is “Buh-bye 2016! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out! A year of highs and lows, and what got me through much of it was perfume. Always there at my beck and call…

In 2016 there were in excess of 1100 new releases averaging out to almost 100 a month. Did I try even 10% of them? Possibly, but not likely. There were some standouts that I ended up loving. So in no particular order, here’s what was new to me in 2016….

Boy by Chanel, a VERY unisex Fougere Cologne. Addictive.
Amouage Lilac Love, a truly gorgeous non-lilac lilac.
Amouage Opus X, “The Red Violin” in a bottle. A weird and wonderful rose.
Aroma M Voluptuous Nostalgia and Camillia Extrait, two of the finest contemporary but vintage-style perfumes. Gorgeous!
En Voyage Rainmaker, like walking through the Pacific Northwest rain forest. Amazing.
Dusita Infini, One of the finest oudh’s. Really. Even if you’re not an Oudh fan, try this, it’s stunning!
MFK’s Grand Soir, my new cold weather go-to. Gourmand heaven.
Zoologist Civet (releasing Dec.31st) exquisite. I can’t even.

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Anne Marie

I had fun in 2016 exploring Cuban culture. I can’t remember what brought this on, but somehow I got interested in Cuban food, music, literature and of course, Cuban-inspired perfume. It’s easy to get carried away by a romantic idea of old Havana so the quite gritty novels of Cuban writer Leonardo Padura Fuentes brought me down to earth with a thump. Still, I taught myself to make mojitos, discovered the Lecuona Cuban Boys, and bought a Cuban cookbook (more read than cooked from, I have to admit). Of course bottles of Guerlain Pour Homme and Aramis Havana were obligatory!

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Val the Cookie Queen

Seeing MUSE on the Drones Tour. After having attended hundreds of gigs in my lifetime, including so many in the mid seventies punk era, to see MUSE at aged 56 and be absolutely blown away was the definitive highlight of 2016.
Celebrating my grandmother-in-law`s 100th birthday gathering was a great privilege. She can still tell a joke to turn your hair white. We have had a close relationship for nearly 25 years. I love her.
Fragrance wise would be receiving a bottle of Hermès Doblis as a gift. The humorous side to this was having to Google it to see exactly what I had. It is the prize possession in my small ( but not as small as it used to be!) fragrance collection.

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Erica Golding

2016 was the 10th anniversary of my favorite perfume house, NAVA (Nocturne Alchemy). They are poised to revamp their website and packaging over an extended winter hiatus, and like most fans I went on an ordering spree in December! My favorite 2016 NAVA release was the now Sold Out limited edition Icons II: Inferno, a luxuriously smooth and resonant amber oudh that is in a league all its own.
This year, the novel City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin was finally released, completing a long-anticipated trilogy. His writing is infused with vivid poetry and complex character development, elevating a storyline that could otherwise be classified as Sci-Fi. Deeply moving literary fiction, highly recommended!

TinaG

My travels this year took me to the Islay Festival, or Feis Ile, a whisky festival on the Scottish island of the same name. I fell in love with Islay, not only because of the wonderful people and magnificent whisky, but for the wild island itself. My cottage was 9 kms from Port Ellen along a windy single track road which took my past Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries (for those who know their whisky) and then along little beaches & craggy coves. One of my favourite things to do on my way home was to pull in at one secluded beach, and sit for a while watching the local seals. It was ridiculously cool to hear them slapping the water, blowing bubbles, and chasing each other around. Just me & them, chilling out enjoying the last few rays of the golden evenings. Magical.
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Tina’s Ireland cottage
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Seal Bay
15435648_10154621357945115_144390778_nThree distilleries near thecottage

Portia

What did I love this year? I particularly loved everyone who took time to read and comment here on APJ. Thank you. Loved all our contributors, I know how hard you all work to continually pull interesting posts out of the hat. BRAVO!
Perfume: The things I purchased most of this year in mls are Granville and vintage Miss Dior by DIOR, vintage Mitsouko by Guerlain and BOY + Misia by CHANEL. New niche faves for me have been Morn To Dusk by Eau d’Italie and Rahele by Neela Vermeire.
Travel: Jin & I had a great time in Japan, we also loved seeing Venice with Tara of A Bottled Rose and our friend Anna-Maria. Unforgettable times.
Books: The Herland Trilogy by Charlotte Perkins Gilman blew my mind, can’t stop thinking about it. Erin Watt’s Royal Trilogy is non-stop pot-boiling reading, could not put this terrible trash down and did nothing except read them for a week. When It Rains and How To Get There are two books by Australian writer Maggie MacKeller on her dealing with grief and moving on, all set against the backdrop of the Australia that I know & love.

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What did you love about 2016?
Portia xx

Christmas in Vienna 2016: Photo Essay

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Post by Sandra

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Hiya APJ! I hope ya’ll are doing well and enjoying the holiday season.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a kid once a year when the holidays come around and that I love every moment. This year is a weird year as we are moving to the The Netherlands on 21 December and into the house on 23 December. Santa will definitely have to show up but how much decorating will get done depends largely on how many of the decorations I can find. My priority this year is to mark a box which will contain my son’s presents so that he at least can enjoy some of the magic.

Christmas in Vienna 2016

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The holidays are an onslaught to my senses in Vienna and this year is no different. The streets are finally all decked out (they prepare for weeks) and lit, brightly lighting our way. It sure makes the darkness of winter seem more friendly and inviting. The Christmas markets are full of bright coloured ornaments, toys and knick knacks which bring grins to many children and panicked faces of their parents trying desperately to ensure that nothing breaks (picture my son reaching for one snowglobe in a stand with over 100 snowglobes). However pale I may be from fear of breaks, I still love seeing his face light up and his eyes twinkle with joy. There are stands selling hot mulled wine all over the city too. The kids can have warm spiced juice and enjoy the delicacies of roasted chestnuts and cookies. Magic is in the air but also the despair of so many who live on the streets. And with this despair I also see strangers performing random acts of kindness on an almost daily basis.

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sandra-christmas-in-vienna-2016-10My son and his friend Maxi who were great sales assistants at the Christmas market today.

The holidays are a feast for my senses but especialy for my sense of smell. The caramelized almonds, roasted chestnuts, hot mulled wine, ornaments made with cloves, anise, cinnamon and dried fruits, incense in the cathedral and even the smell of pine needles all around are pure sensory overload. How do I find a perfume that wraps up all of these into a perfume that is even wearable? I have not found a perfume that suits the holidays yet, but I tend to reach for gourmands and vanilla or almond notes. So I tend to veer off on a tangent and think of what perfume would I like to receive for Christmas and I then go and have a sniff.

Chanel Misia Chanel FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Powdery notes, violet, iris, orris root, Turkish rose, Grasse rose, Laos benzoin, tonka bean

Well, needless to say I have found two that I would love to see under the tree – so let me dream please. How about Chanel Misia EdP and Chanel Beige EdP please – and if Santa is being more than generous I would love Chanel Boy too.

I did not read about the Chanel EdP releases because I wanted to form my own opinion and to be perfectly honest with you – I like several of them more in the EdP strength. Beige and Misia smelled pretty similar to the EdT but lasted quite a bit longer. 31 rue Cambon I am torn about – something is different but it does somehow resemble the EdT and yet it lasts. I wore both versions of Coromandel on the same day and even though the EdT has more incense I liked the EdP quite a bit.

What are your scents for the holidays – be it culinary, perfumed or floral? Do you have any perfumes on your wishlist?

Wishing you all a joyful, peaceful and safe holiday season.
Sandra xoxo