Cookies, Perfumes, Shoes, and a Mountain

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Hi APJ from Austria in a heatwave

Last year I wrote a post for APJ – Scent of the Cookie Run. A Five Year Anniversary. This month will be my sixth year and last night I attended the opening of a new store in Innsbruck, the third in the city.

 

Cookies, Perfumes, Shoes, and a Mountain

I wore Vero Profumo´s Rozy Extrait for the event. As I recently mentioned to Tara of A Bottled Rose, I don´t wear spray perfume when I am in a close crowd, and especially not in an eating place. I think that´s damn rude. Extraits are perfect. So for the who went for the three kisses on the cheek route, mwah, mwah, mwah, Rozy said enough. Laughing as I write this, idiosyncratic perfumista behaviour at it´s most extreme. Talking of Vero Profumo, my bottle of the ten year jubilee scent, NAJA, arrived this week. Quite the highlight I must say. I have had various versions of it since 2015, and it has been a long and emotional journey, so to hold a bottle in my grubby hand was way cool.

I bought an amazing pair of shoes recently. Flat AND sexy. I live in Crocs for work, Timberland for winter, and Havaianas for summer. It has been years since I bought any shoes verging on beautiful. I mean have you tried buying a genuinely stunning pair of flat, comfortable, gorgeous shoes? When I saw a picture of these I followed the link and ordered them on-the-spot. The company www.inch2.com were beyond good. They kept in touch via email, Facebook Chat, WhatsApp and there was a telephone number. Of course it is a bit risky ordering online when it comes to sizing, and the 39s I ordered were too big. Returning was as simple as can be and the replaced my order within three weeks. The shoes are hand finished, according to the orders they receive, and thus take a little longer than some other online companies. Winter boots here I come.

I am going with the BlondesWunder, Mirjam her childhood friend, and Dr Fox, my partner-in-crime, to Italy next week for five days. Caorle, about forty-five minutes northish of Venice on the Adriatic Coast. We have been together many times before, always staying in the same hotel on the beach, and we love it. There is something supremely comfortable about being hidden on the beach, sardined in amongst thousands of other holidaymakers. Anonymity pure. It´s a ladies only holiday. Which brings me to the perfumes BlondesWunder and I are gonna take. We have limited ourselves to three each, with the option of sharing! We are driving down there so it´s no problem taking bottles. (We only wear perfume at night, after dinner, when we go into the town 🙂 )

BlondeWunder has picked Guerlain´s Terracotta, Luten`s La Fille de Berlin and Malle´s Eau de Magnolia.
I’m taking Malle´s Une Rose, Mona di Orio´s Musc, and Vero´s Rubj EdP.

So there you go. Meanwhile Portia said I should throw in some pics of our “house mountain” the Traunstein. We are überlucky to be
able to see it from our balcony and it gives me great joy.

So whether you are summering or wintering, stay cool.

Perfumed Bussis
CQ

Vanille Exquise by Isabelle Doyen and Camille Goutal for Annick Goutal 2004

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Summer Greetings APJ

“I Am A Snotty Perfumista Blog Post”

You would think that I would have enough of vanilla at work and actually I do. I buy 18 litres every couple of years. It breaks the bank but I need it. I have heard that some people dab vanilla extract onto their skin. I do not. Also never had any desire for a straight up vanilla perfume.

Vanessa from Bonkers About Perfume gave me a large decant of Annick Goutal`s Songes EdT recently. Having somehow by passed Annick Goutal in my perfume passion I was totally smitten by it. Then as most perfumistas do jumped online to read all about it. I saw that there was also a EdP of Songes and next trip to Linz had me dropping in for a spritz. Except they didn´t have it. I instead grabbed the tester of Vanille Exquise EdT and gave myself a good soaking. I went back to the shop another two times to repeat the process.

Readers, I bought a bottle.

Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal 2004

Vanille Exquise by Isabelle Doyen and Camille Goutal

Vanille Exquise Annick Goutal FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Angelica, almond, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, guaiac wood.

The best thing is that it’s an EdT that I can soak myself with. Unlike many who have problems with their frags lasting more than a couple of hours, my skin is nuclear. I think this is the first perfume I can really spray to death. It still lasts hours but I can wear a ton with no fear of asphyxiation.

Although it wears fairly close to the skin it leaves a delightful trail. Semi-sweet, warm, soft and enhances my cookie smelling natural self. Hahahahahahaha. It´s aromatic, comforting, but it´s elegant too. It´s not a cake vanilla, nor a childlike vanilla. Absolutely gorgeous in the hot weather. There does seem to be slight pepperiness to it. The whole perfume is light yet persistent. It just smells so damn good. I reckon it´s worth a try even if you think you don´t like vanilla. But what do I know?

I totally shocked myself buying this. Ridiculous huh? It feels like the odd one out in my collection. Which is really just absolutely head up-my-back-side snotty perfumista behaviour and I am ashamed. Anyone else out there find themselves loving something they they think they shouldn´t?

Vanille Exquise Annick Goutal Val July 2017

Further reading: Now Smell This and I Smell Therefore I Am
David Jones Australia has $158/100ml EdT (FREE Australian Delivery)
Surrender To Chance have samples starting from $3/ml

Little fluffy cloud bussis
CQ

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

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Val the Cookie Queen

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Good Afternoon from my computer, Wimbledon playing in the background!

It astonishes me that within the realms of a heavily saturated niche perfume market, that there is still the desire to create more. These two new MdO´s are niche as it should be, edgy and enthralling, but wearable. Accessible to anyone wishing to branch off from the more mainstream perfumes, yet still graceful and alluring. Those who want to smell of dead animals and bodily fluids are surprisingly enough, in the minority. Both Suède de Suède and Dõjima will charm the perfumistas whilst opening up a world to those just discovering niche fragrances.

Frederik Dalman is the Swedish in-house perfumer for Maison Mona di Orio.

Maison Mona di Orio: New Launches 2017

First Impressions

 

Dõjima by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Rice accord,nutmeg absolute, ambrette, jasmin, orris, clary sage absolute, labdanum CO2, sandalwood, musks

Inspired by rice, and named for the Dõjima Rice Exchange founded by Samurai in 1697 in Osaka, Japan. Dõjima opens with a vivid green, slightly astringent, warmly spiced top layer; a nutty rice note hovers. There remains a greenness throughout, wrapped in a creamy sandalwood, a possible dash of vetiver, who knows? There is some jasmin and orris but I don´t wanna sniff myself into a coma trying to locate them, it takes away the pleasure. An aromatic delight.

Suède de Suède by Frederik Dalman for Mona di Orio 2017

Cloudberry, Sichuan pepper, suède accord, cedar wood, osmanthus, strawberry leaf, castoreum, patchouli, musks

A soft buttery suede/leather wrapped in a sharp berry shell. Frederik Dalman uses cloudberry, they have a distinctive tart taste, and feature in a number of Swedish culinary delights. The zesty berry opening melts into the supple suede, ripples
itself throughout, and remains until the end, preventing the suede from dominating. Osmanthus and strawberry leaf keeping
the cloudberry alive, castoreum, patchouli and musks giving the base. This is a year round leather and one to invite your civilian friends to try. Sensual.

Please take a look at Mona di Orio for the full scoop. Thanks a million to Jeroen, Frederik and Vera for sending me the beautiful box with enough perfume to wear it properly.

Launch in September. 180€ for 75mls

I have a number of MdO miniatures, and an original bottle of her Vanille. I would love a bottle of Mona´s Musc.
Any MdO lovers out there?

Bussis my dears.
CQ xxxx

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

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

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)

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)