2017 Top 5 by Cookie Queen

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Yuletide Greetings APJ

Although there has been a ton of new stuff launched this year I cannot pretend to have been interested in much of it. I try to select a few that spark my passion out of a sea of dross. Call me a bitch, I really don’t care. My selection comes in no particular order. If was to chose one that heads my short list, there would be no prizes for guessing which one it would be.

2017 Top 5 by Cookie Queen

Naja by Vero Kern for Vero Profumo

Please note that Naja is a voile formulation and not an edp. In truth it is parfum strength and needs to be treated as such. I feel a deep connection to Vero Kern and had the privilege of accompanying her on the creative voyage as she brought Naja to life. It was a bloody hard trek. Completion took nearly three years of pleasure and pain. The rich tobacco and deeply fragrant osmanthus is narcotic.

Superstitious by Dominique Robin for Frederic Malle

Freaking fabulous. Jasmin, rose, peach, amber, incense, a vetiver that melts into patchouli.
All wrapped in waxy aldehydes. I was stopped at traffic lights the other day, and took a moment to close my eyes and sniffed my wrist, until I could breathe in no more.
As the car behind me beeped, and I opened my eyes, I saw the bloke in the car next to mine staring at me. I am still laughing. My ten mls has nearly gone.

811 Absolute by Mathilde Bijaoui for Giovanna Antonelli Perfumes

A deeply aromatic spicy oriental. This was the surprise of the year. If it hadn’t been for The Silver Fox telling me to get a hold of the collection, I would have written off the perfumes
Fronted Giovanna Antonelli, a Brazilian actress. I mean, really? The 811 lingers for hours on the skin, and I swear there is a golden tobacco running through it. I took the bottle to my hairdresser a couple of
weeks ago to grab a SOTD shot for Instagram (yep, I am a sad person) and left with every stylist wearing it. Came home and did two decants.

Black Perfecto by La Petite Robe Noir for Guerlain

Commercial and fairly mainstream – meaning I can buy it in a store not 3 km away from me. Black tea, black cherry, black licorice and an marvelous black bottle. With the almond and a slight smokiness it´s just the bizz in our frosty and foggy winter. I would go so far as to say I wouldn’t wear it in the summer

L’Animal Sauvage for Marlou

This is the first perfume from Marlou. Claire from Take One Thing Off recommended I give it a go.
I wore a musk from the head shop when I was about seventeen. My mother would tell me that I stank like a polecat. And really since this time I have not explored the musk shelf, although I did use up 10mls of MKK from Lutens a couple of years ago.
This is sexiness pure, wrapped in florals that lie to you.

I have also worn a lot of Hiram Green´s Arbolè Arbolè, Malle`s Portrait of a Lady and Dries Van Noten, and Luten`s La Fille de Berlin.

Perfumista highlights 2017 would be meeting Portia and Jin in Milan, and finally making it to Aus Liebe Zum Duft/First in Fragrance up in Germany.

Perfume tips for 2018 would be Dusita`s Fleur de Lalita and Hiram Green´s Slowdive.

That’s it. A fabulously scented year, as always.
Tune back in on the Feast of Stephen. I´ll give away something you might like.

Thanks for tuning in.
Have a Cool Yule.
Misteltoe Bussis.
CQ

 

(ED: Photos by Val)

Geisha Marron EdP by Maria McElroy for Aroma M 2017

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Hi there super scented APJers,

From New York.

“Brown us surely the most underserved colour in all of perfumery. More than any other, it evokes the musty scent scent of succulent overripeness at sweetness that dares to skirt the edge of seductive decay.”

Geisha Marron EdP by Aroma M 2017

Aroma M Geisha Marron EdP by Maria McElroy

Aroma M

Maria has slowly expanded her original oil-based perfumes to include eau de parfum versions. I adore the oils, but a lot of people prefer
to spray. The Geisha Marron Eau de Parfum is a creamy warm autumnal lily. Smelling completely French, it totally surprised me. I have
the Geisha Noire and the Vanilla Hinoki, both orientals, and the Geisha Marron couldn´t be more different. Geisha Marron is white blooms tinged with auburn, with the sparkle of citrus; mandarin, bergamot and grapefruit, correct balance being critical to Maria McElroy´s creations. If the scent of the lily traditionally see the Spring in each year, then it would be appropriate that they continue their journey through the Autumn, preparing us for the chill of winter. This time wrapped in speckled brown leaves, fallow fields, and the bare trees with their dark branches.

Aroma M

In French, Marron means both chestnut and the colour brown. Maria has included the Japanese chestnut and magnolia to complement the lily and reign it in, so as not to let it quite take over. Geisha Marron EdP is the perfect introduction, for someone wanting to move from more traditional perfumes, into the artisanal world of the fabulous New York based Aroma M Perfumes.

Aroma M

You can order from Aroma M. It is a bit of a pain ordering from the US but there is a German company that carry some of the line and Maria McElroy will happily inform you as to the best way of going about it.

 

Chestnut flavoured bussis,

Val CQ X

First In Fragrance: Visiting Aus Liebe Zum Duft, Bruchsal, Germany

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Hey all you APJ Friends!

As you may or may not have gathered from my last post, I took off to Bruchsal, Germany with my husband (Chris) last week. I have wanted to visit ALZD/First in Fragrance (FiF) for years. So Chris and I made a deal. We would drive up there for three days, delivering my cookies in Salzburg on the way. One day perfume, one day downhill biking and hiking, one day Munich.

First In Fragrance

Visiting Aus Liebe Zum Duft, Bruchsal, Germany

ALZD/FiF was founded by Georg R Wuchsa in the year 2000. Hop over to the website First In Fragrance and you can read the history behind it all. I would be willing to bet that many of us have ordered, and still order fragrance samples from here. There is no better way to be able to try all of the hundreds of perfumes.


Filling Samples – How Does It Work?

There are four lovely ladies filling samples non-stop. All the samples are decanted from the original bottles. The sample is exactly what comes in the bottle. (I dunno if I am the only one to have noticed that sometimes carded samples do not smell the same as the perfume in the bottles.)

Of course many of the perfume houses are so small that they don´t do official samples anyway. There are around 2000, yep, two thousand, bottles to chose from. As the ladies look at the orders, they grab the bottles from the shelves and put them on a tray. Then back to the desk to fill the requested samples.
After completing several orders at once they return the bottles to their places, or at least that is the idea!! The orders are then beautifully packaged along with maybe some sweets, or little toys, perfumed feathers, and other little goodies. Making it a joy for anyone to receive, whether a small order or a big one. The girls fill at least 3000 samples a week.

ALZD/FiF now has a a beautiful range of cosmetics, and the Frederic Malle and Serge Lutens lines have recently been introduced. ALZD is now the online partner of the Austrian company www.naegelestrubell.at .

What did I buy? Travel sizes of Malle´s Iris Powder for me (I wish I had bought a big bottle, it´s divine), Dries Van Noten for the Blondeswunder, Monsieur for my personal trainer (He´s moving on from his 6 euro cologne ….!) and a BIG bottle of Portrait of a Lady for me. Finally. Chris came home with a bottle of Nasomatto´s Black Afgano. After getting over the initial disappointment of not being able to smoke it, he was quite happy. He never wears scent, but a few drops of this suits him really well. I have forbidden him to use more than half a spray at any one time. Two beautiful Diptyque candles joined the bag of goodies too.

It was an absolutely fabulous day. They have two canine noses, but only one was in the house. Beate Humbert, Georg´s right hand woman, has been with the company since day one. She took us through everything, from the offices, to the workplace and into the warehouse. Brilliant. Her son works there too, and it was their dog, Gatsby that was there. Chris split with him and took him for a walk, or perhaps the dog took him!

A million thanks to the whole ALZD crew it was such a brilliant day.

Following are pics, in no particular order. Chris took his camera and snapped lots of stuff. Had it been left to me you´d have had nothing. I suck at pics when I have to take them. Ask Portia.

Hallowe’en Bussis
CQ

Comments and Fleur de Lalita by Parfums Dustita 2017

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Good day to you APJ readers, stalkers and commenters.

Can you be bothered?

The most exciting thing about my first ever blog post was the comments. I could hardly stop myself looking every two minutes to
see if anything had been added. I still get a thrill to see my thoughts in print, but don´t check quite so often to see if anyone said anything. I do enjoy the interplay with the readers.

Comments and Fleur de Lalita by Parfums Dustita 2017

Two experiences in my commenting of late have triggered this post. Last week I was commenting on a blog based in the US. It was one of those ones that are a bit of a pain in the arse, you know? First your name, an email address, checking the “I am not a robot” box, identifying which of the six random pics has zebra crossings in them to prove you are not a bloody robot and then, just when you got it all worked out, your comment disappears. Swear. Forget it. And then recently commenting on Portia´s La Fille de Berlin post, and making several typos. Guaranteed that a comment with typos will post just fine. So annoying, because then I have to post again excusing the typos.

Is it worth the bother?

Well is it? Why do you comment on blogs? Why don´t you comment on blogs? I find it so terribly fascinating that there are amazing blogs out there, (I´m talking perfume for today), and no one says a damn thing. I seriously wonder why. Perhaps some writing doesn’t motivate comments? I am sure the blogger can see how many people have tuned in to read though. That is something I am not privy to as I am a contributor and Portia is the blog host.

The Slow Decline of the Comment.

I have noticed with the blogs that I follow, and it is too many, that comments are getting to be less and less. I decided to have a chat with A Bottled Rose, The Candy Perfume Boy, and Bonkers about Perfume and see what they said. The one thing they all said in common, but in separate private chats with me, is that there is a marked decline in commenting. Hmmmmm.

“I ask a question, but no one ever answers. Rarely anyways. “
“I am not blogging for public feedback, but because I have things I want say, including off-topic things.”
“I wonder if people might think some bloggers have their heads stuck up their backsides ….” Read but don´t comment.
“I do love the regular commenters and the rapport I have with them, they count for a lot.”
“It is more of a fragmented scene now.”
“Some blogs don´t encourage comments anyway.”
“Some just read for information, not for interaction.”
“I think people are changing the way they engage. On social media it´s easy just to like something, or heart it, or drop a little emoji to say ‘I like this’. Most of the blogs have a like button too.”
“I have definitely noticed that people do not comment as much as they used to.”
“They do comment of FB, Twitter and Instagram though.”

Why bother?

A lot of work goes into a blog post. Perfume, books, fashion, food. Doesn’t matter. Fact checking, background research, spellchecks, punctuation, deleting random apostrophes. Blogs don´t happen on their own. They are ball busters to keep going. And the vast majority do it out of a deep love for the subject matter. I have made so many real life friends through perfume, and it would never have happened had they not taken the time to stick a comment on the end of post. Comments are our likes. But you know what? If nothing else, please keep reading, without you dear readers, there are no blogs.

What am I wearing today? Parfums Dustita`s Fleur de Lalita. Thanks for asking.

Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: May rose, magnolia, jasmine, white lily, galbanum, ylang-ylang
Heart: Ambrette (musk mallow), exotic floral notes
Base: Madagascar vanilla, sandalwood, tonka bean, ambergris

When do you comment?

Bussis
CQ

Le Petit Robe Noire L’Extrait by Thierry Wasser for Guerlain 2012

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Hello gorgeousnesses,

Blind Buy Part II

As you may or may not recall I blind bought Guerlain Black Perfecto LPRN a not long ago. It wasn´t really blind as I bought it for the bottle and could see that quite clearly. It was a big bonus that I totally liked the perfume in the gorgeous bottle. On thing led to another and I got it stuck in my head that I had to have the LPRN Extrait

Thanks to both Portia and Vero I have vintage extraits of Chamade, Shalimar, and Mitsouko. I am not a Guerlainophile nor am I a vintage digger. All three get worn and they are exquisitely beautiful. I would like to have a L’Heure Blue vintage extrait and perhaps one will come my way one day but I am sure not hunting for one as I am utterly terrified of buying old perfumes online and have never done so. If anyone has a spare, contact me please.

I thought it would be interesting, in the name of science of course, to try a modern Guerlain extrait. After a couple of weeks of hunting around I came across a 20% offer on the 7.5ml bottle of LPRN Extrait. That made it about 80 Euros. My husband was biking in france, I had his credit card, so it seemed just to good a chance to miss out on and I ordered it. I couldn´t imagine for a second it could go wrong as I liked the BP so much. I was offered a 250ml bee bottle for 1100 Euros or a 500ml one for 1660 Euros. I never buy blind in such large amounts.

Le Petit Robe Noire L’Extrait by Guerlain 2012

Le Petit Robe Noire L’Extrait by Thierry Wasser

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top:  Fruits, Glycyrrhiza, Lemon
Heart: Cherry, Almond, Rose, Violet
Base: Musk, Patchouli, Smoky tea, Vanilla

LPRN Parfum – Completely Gorgeous.

Velvety Amarena cherry, rich and with a dark and bitter edge. It is an adult cherry, not a Maraschino. Tendrils of black liquorice, sweetening the fruit, and lending a smoky tea effect. A hint of rose gives way to the classic orris, vanilla and tonka magic of a Guerlain. The cherry remains and the whole experience is one of pure pleasure, so thick you could chew it. Divine. For adults, all genders.

“She walked up to me and she asked me to dance.
I asked her name and in a dark brown voice she said “Lola”
L-O-L-A Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, I’m not the worlds`s most physical guy,
But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola

Well, I´m not so dumb that I can´t understand
Why she walked like a woman and talked like a man
Oh my Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola, lo lo lo lo Lola …….. “ Ray Davies

Kirschen Bussis
CQ

 

(Ed: Photos supplied and taken by Val.)

Individualistic Perfume Behaviour and Biking for a Burger

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Hello you gorgeous fragrant peepsie poohs,

Individualistic Perfume Behaviour

As I headed off to the hairdresser the other day, not a rare thing as I go every fourteen days, I grabbed a spritz for my wrists and jumped into the car. I never spray my neck as I don´t want the stylist to have to breathe in what they might not like. And to be honest a good haircut is a notch above my perfume habit. Years of perfecting my OCD I´ll be damned if I am just gonna let it go. Actually I take care a lot not to get up anyone´s nose. Dentists, meetings, doctors, stuff like that. I find myself thinking ahead before applying perfume to make sure the people in my day can handle it, or not. Probably another reason I love pure perfume and the sublime art of The Dab. Perhaps I should change my attitude and just Spray for England, whaddayareckon?

Biking for a Burger

There is this great place for burgers, unique Austrian burgers, about a 35km bike ride from here. Well, it would be a 35 km car ride too, but I don´t allow myself a burger unless I have ridden my bike to get. (70km round trip 🙂 ) Talking of OCDs ……… So we took off yesterday on the bikes for a late lunch.

When I was a ten year old I had mega bike crash, one that puts all my husband´s downhilling buddies to shame. I fell off as I was steaming down a hill, and actually have no idea to this day why exactly happened. I was found lying in the street with a couple of teeth next to me, with their roots attached. I had a fractured jaw, and a massive hole in my lip. One could say fairly traumatic. I didn´t look in a mirror for about nine months and spent the next eight years having work done on my teeth, some really weird shit I can tell you!! I didn´t step on a bike again until I was 26 years old, when my now husband
made me get on a bike when we lived in Amsterdam. I was terrified. But yeah, I got used to it and started to love it and even spent a year riding around the city at top speed on an old piece without brakes. Just using my feet. Ha! Can hardly imagine that now. Some sucker stole that bike outside of The Melkweg.
I hope they fell off.

Yesterday I fell off again. Forty seven years after my first fall. Hard to believe it took so long. Luckily Chris was there to take a pic for a later Instagram post before picking my bike up. I was riding so slowly it didn’t matter, although I got seriously nettled. Was glad I had a helmet on as I did knock my head. Teeth stayed in place.

Here’s a few pics.

The stone lion is a statue along the lake, in Traunkirchen. A local artist was commissioned by the Emperor Franz Josef. He cast several bronzes. When the Kaiser inspected it, he saw it had no tongue. He mentioned it to the artist who was so upset he later chucked himself into the lake and died. The Emperor felt so bad he vowed never to criticise someone who had done something for him again. The locals celebrate this event each year.

The coffee is a double espresso Affogato in our favourite place in Bad Ischl We have that after our burger. The mirror in the loo is in the same place. How totally cool is that, that you can fix your makeup whist on the bog? Talk about mirrors in the bathroom ….. lalalala.

 

Ride on.
Bussis.
CQ

Hot House Roses for Knackered Queens

.

Val the Cookie Queen

.

Beloved APJ Readers!

It´s 21.30 and my APJ deadline has been and gone and I am late. I just got back from work where I have been prepping the cookies for the up-and-coming Cookie Run. That is four days of work, several hours a day. As of today I have the BlondesWunder helping me. For money, not love. It cut my work load immensely. In my last post I mentioned a new My Indigo store had opened in Innsbruck and this week another opened in Vienna. Wipes brow. That makes uhm, thirteen stores.

As I pondered this post and what to write about it made me wonder, why do y’all read APJ? Why do we read perfume blogs in general? Fun, information, humour, updates? I don´t read as many as I used to. I have my favourites and there are a couple I will not even give a click to, because I dislike them SO much. But you´ll never know which ones, hahahahaha!! I totally enjoy the English perfume blogger scene as I have got to know many of them in person, not least of all A Bottled Rose and Bonkers About Perfume. The three of us regularly chat and share our joys and worries, personal challenges and probably some tears too. I could not imagine my life without them.

tired peach rose Marisa04 pixabayPDI

It has been extremely hot here, up in the centigrade thirties. I have been wearing Serge Lutens la Filled de Berlin and Malle´s Portrait of a Lady. A lot.

Hot House Roses for Knackered Queens

La Fille de Berlin by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2013

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, geranium
Heart: Palmrosa
Base: Patchouli, moss, honey

I wonder if it is a little dramatic to say that this is my very favourite of all the Lutens? Jammy, rich and smooth. Rubescent. There is a slight greenness to it, but it is rather understated. It dries down to such a musky, richly honeyed amber and lingers for hours. I have only recently started to wear it. It has been BlondesWunder´s signature for the last three years and for that reason I left it alone. I bought a 50ml bottle for her a few weeks ago, before they are sold out. But now it´s mine. As Tara says LaFdBisthebombdotcom.

Portrait of a Lady by Dominique Ropion for Frederic Malle 2010

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Turkish rose, raspberry, blackcurrant, cinnamon, clove
Heart: Patchouli, sandalwood, incense
Base: Ambrosian, benzoin, white musk

As far as I understand it this is a fairly divisive perfume? I wonder if people are wearing it in the wrong temperatures? POAL needs heat and skin and lots of both. The materials used are superb. Don´t be put off by the long list of notes. The main players are rose, patchouli, frankincense and the sticky resinous feel of maybe labdanum? Earthy, mature, and strong, it bleeds confidence. In amongst the warmth of rose and patchouli is a damp incense. Like breathing in the chill of a cement floored cellar. Melds into the skin. Very beautiful.

david austin rose sunlight WikiMediaWikiMedia

So for whatever reason you read and mingle with the APJ crew, we´re thankful for every one of you. Do you like your roses in the heat?

Knackered Bussis
CQ

(Ed: Photo credits to Val unless specified. Lovely huh?)