Saturday Question: Do You Budget?




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

I’m currently away on holidays in India and will have limited internet but be assured that I’ll read every comment and answer when I can.

Saturday Question: Do You Budget?

Something I always tell the newbies to the perfumed rabbit hole is to set a budget. This addiction is expensive and ultimately frivolous. Here Warren Buffett puts many of my Dads lectures into a very simple sentence.

If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need.” — Warren Buffett

It’s very easy to get carried away with our hobby and especially so with the way the market has become in aspirational pricing. Is that 50ml bottle of whatever REALLY worth $400? No, of course not but we are so crazy in love that the sensible part of our brain goes of holiday. Most of the time I know exactly how much work goes into earning $400 and respectfully weigh the spend but somehow with fragrance I have a good sense bypass.

I’m looking for advice today on how you keep your spending reined in.

Saturday Question Do You Budget? Images Money FlickrFlickr

My answer to Do You Budget?

Short Answer: No

How I wish I was better at money. I’m terrible at it. Not super terrible but sometimes I reflect on dollars squandered on living a full, fun and fabulous life and my stomach drops.

My parents worked hard all their working lives to make sure my sister and I were fully provided for after they left this mortal coil. Without their legacy I could never live the life I have. So my circumstances aren’t that usual. My basic need of shelter is provided.

I’m also incredibly lucky that my idea to save my own fading career as a showgirl (Turbo Trivia) has become a Sydneywide phenomenon and that we are now employing 8 Drag Queen Contractors including myself. This story would have entirely different outcomes if I had not made a few desperate changes 16 years ago.

So while I’m not rich in any sense of the first world hierarchy, compared to billions of the earths other citizens I am extremely comfortable, and grateful for it.

My Saturday Question to you is:

Do you budget for your perfume consumption? How do you do it? Is there a spend limit weekly or annually? How do you check yourself?

Tacit by Céline Barel for Aesop 2015 + GIVEAWAY




Hey Crew,

Sweet Fern is a perfume store in Australia’s town of Ballarat. Kate the proprietor (who seems absolutely beautiful from the little I know her) got in touch recently and asked if we’d like to smell some of the stuff she stocks. Sure, send it through.

Aesop, the Australian cosmetic house was founded in 1987 in Melbourne by Dennis Paphitis. I was particularly glad Kate sent us some of this through because a bunch of my friends rave madly about the product and even Val the Cookie Queen  and Judith her BFF paid full retail for some skincare from the Milan store earlier in the year.

Tacit by Céline Barel for Aesop 2015


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Citrus, yuzu
Heart: Basil
Base: Vetiver, cloves

Smells like I’ve walked into a spa. Incredibly hesperidic with a herbaious back beat and florals. This smells like one of those all natural essential oil compositions from an aromatherapist. Its light, zingy, energizing. Scent of basil is really strong – I can smell basil! Tina can smell basil too! Actually she smelt it first…. Tina thinks the citrus smells like yuzu but I’m not sure as I don’t know what yuzu smells like, but I do smell citrus. On Tina Tacit smells much more like clove, on me it smells like dry, fresh cracked pepper and oily, grassy vetiver.

Who would wear this is my question. I reckon it would be fantastic on someone who would put a fragrance on to keep them buoyant through the day, but didn’t need to worry about their fragrance, just wanted to smell fresh. Perfect for Mums or Dads, great for the weekend. I can imagine wearing this on a yacht having lunch with my mates.

I particularly like the sample application method with a swab, would be fantastic for travel and unexpected booty calls. The scent stays beautifully in the swab itself for a couple of days so you could apply and then put the perfumed Tacit swab in your wallet or purse, very fragrant.

Tacit by Aesop GIVEAWAY


This week there will be 2 winner3 who will receive:
Aesop Collection of Beauty & Fragrance Samples
P&H Anywhere in the world


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Please go to Sweet Fern and find a product you like the look of. Put it in the comments. NO DOUBLE UPS!


Entries Close Sunday 24th September 2017 10pm Australian EdsT and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by
The winners will have till Sundayday 1st October 2017 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit

Musc Kalirii by Jean-Claude Gigot for Maison Incens 2014




Hey Hey APJ Crew,

The lovely Kate Apted sent a Frag Care Package recently. In it were a bunch of new-to-me samples. A selection of Maison Incens, a Diptyque and a couple of Goldfield & Banks that I’m leaving till last because I’m so excited that a new Aussie house has formed.

Musc Kalirii by Maison Incens 2014

Musc Salirai by Jean-Claude Gigot


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, orange
Heart: Orange blossom, rose, jasmine
Base: Leather, vanilla, sandalwood, musk

Ahhhh, interesting opening. Yes I can smell the citrus but already the rose and leather are making themselves known with some herbal greenness that is sharp and cool like artemisia.  The white flowers are clean and sweet like marshmallow or chewing gum and Musc Kalirii reminds me happily of five star hotel lobby bathrooms through Asia.

Musc Kalirii Maison Incens Turkish_Delight WikiMediaWikiMedia

An interesting mix of musk, flowers and candy that veers towards Turkish Delight but without the oppressive sweetness of Keiko Mecheri’s Loukhoum. It’s dense and rich but here we feel space between the notes, space to smell rather than being punched repeatedly with it for 18 hours. Still, big enough to change the way food tastes in a restaurant though and projection is excellent if you sit still for a minute it creeps out and grabs people by the nostrils.

I’m having trouble placing a demographic for Musc Kalirii. It doesn’t seem sugared enough for the kids, not bakery or fairy floss enough for the gourmand lovers, not souk-isa enough for the Arabic inspired fragrance lovers and not weird enough for perfumistas. Having said that it does the job of fragrance and smells good to me, certainly is nose catching. I find myself drawn again and again to sniff myself when I wear it. There’s something completely other about Musc Kalirii that I would never have chosen to try for myself but I’m really glad I have.

Musc Kalirii Maison Incens dewet Turkish delight FlickrFlickr

Maison Encens has 139 and Sample Sets
Free World Shipping

Has anyone else fallen madly in love with a surprise perfume sent by a buddy?
Portia xx

Scent Diary: 11.9 – 17.9.2017




India. I forgot how amazing this mercurial land can be. There are parts up here in the North East that are definitely NOT for the faint hearted and also warm, human connections that happen every time you turn around. The peoples English is the best I’ve come across on the sub-continent, that makes communication easier.

Varun has decided that we need to walk as exercise and so I follow along in his fit, firm and fabulous wake sweating like a farm hand and puffing like bellows. It must look very comical to the average Indian.

Scent Diary: 11.9 – 17.9.2017

Monday 11:

Monday morning. Slept like a baby for 7 hours straight. That is such a rare occurrence that I wanted you to know. WOW! It feels wonderful. Talk about revitalising.

The sun has come out in Shillong and the air is bright and crisp with promise of adventure. I’m currently enjoying my first lazy coffee of the day and Varun is having his Bucket Bath.

I found a couple of extra frags in my emergency section of the suitcase so today I’m wearing Oliver & Co Vaninger. Its warm spicy lactonic vanilla is very reminiscent of masala chai and Yuvrag will later comment how beautiful I smell.

Our destination today is the Natural Double Root Bridge. We have an extra passenger because our driver Yuvrag brought his cousin Shurag to help with driving. The misty mountains were beautiful.

On arrival we then had to walk about 500m down into the bush to get to the root bridge and falls. It was well worth the walk, as we reached the area the sun came out and bathed us in its warmth. Yuvraj said he’d only once seen it in sunlight before, normally it’s draped in clouds anmd drizzling.

The way back up was not nearly so easy. The sun made everything hot and humid. Still, we took it relatively slowly and ate the pre-cut pineapple prepared by the locals at the halfway point.

We got back in the car and cloud once more closed in.

We didn’t get home till well after 10pm and we were all bushed. Bedtime.

Tuesday 12:

5am wake up. Out the door and off to the airport to our next destination Sikkim, an Indian state set between Nepal and Bhutan on either side and China above. We drove from the airport straight up into the Himalayas. I needed to get a permit which was quickly and easily arranged at the border at no charge. I did need a passport photo, photocopy of my passport and my Indian Visa stamp. The gent was charming and helpful and we were duly driven yet higher towards Gantok.

The capital Gantok is a multi hilltop town and we are in one of the highest areas, just below the main tourist shopping boulevard M G Marg. The state university is here and so while not being a university town there are a large percentage of youth around. It’s got an excellent welcoming atmosphere.

There are few tourists here at this time because there has been some insurgency so basically the area is at war with internal guerrillas and Varun thinks that China may be trying to reclaim the area too.

As we climbed in the car this view took me by complete surprise, it was shot as the vehicle was moving.

The beginnings of Gantok at the bottom of our mountain.

View from our room is epic. You can see the village atop the next peak. We are hopefully going there to a temple for sunrise prayers Thuesday.

Wednesday 13:

Lazy day. Well I say lazy day but Varun had me up at sparrows fart walking down the mountain and back up in the drizzle before breakfast. Bastard. It was lovely to be out & about though.

Did the undies and sock wash & had a bucket bath. I freaking love them and prefer it over a shower.

Later we walked up the mountain to drop off some laundry. Then onwards to MG Marg and I did a little souvenir shopping. As we reached the street the sun broke through the clouds and it was surprisingly warm. We also went down through the Lal Bazaar and that was a fun way to see the people of the town shopping and having haircuts. I also bought some Darjeeling, Assam and Sikkim tea as gifts.

Suddenly we were cloudy again and a cool, persistent rain fell so we took refuge in The Coffee Shop. It was lovely and we read magazines, chatted on the phone to Jin and Neela Vermeire and looked out over the nearest buildings as the clouds billowed and flowed around us. It was so peaceful and happy.

Thursday 14:

Mona di Orio Myrrh Cassati accompanied us today. It is a perfect fit for this holiday.

Varun had us up so early that we were ready to leave by 7am. Then, oh joy oh bliss, we walked up and down vertical mountains for over two kilometres till we got to the Chortan Temple. The stupa looks especially lovely in Varun’s blurry pic.

I walked the Prayer Wheel circuit praying for some of my besties. Strangely calming when you wish good things for people you love.

These small cup lights had all been bought this morning to honour a recent decease. The female monks were in charge here lighting and praying. Beautiful.

They were kind enough to offer me a large candle for my Mum. These candles are prayers that help people reach Nirvana. If anyone deserves it, then my Mum does.

Then Varun, bastard supreme, suggested we walk back. ASSHOLE! So we did in the warm sunshine and I was most uncomfortable by the time we reached the hotel. Dripping wet and only able to breathe in ragged, desperate gasps.

I complain but really it was lovely, just a bit overly energetic.

Breakfast was really yum. I know, it looks disgusting but it is so freaking delicious. Aloo Mutter, spicy Sambal, Yoghurt and Puri. MMMMM. Washed down with sweet milky coffee.

We went up to MG Marg later and then the heavens opened. It was belting down for a little while. Great gouts of water splashing all over the pavements. MONSOON in Gantok. Actually, they are saying that this part of India has had a very soft monsoon and that we were very lucky.

Super yummy Chinese. Quite different to the Aussie and Chinese versions. How good are those two story dragons?

Every day I try to have at least one Garlic Naan. It was Kath’s favourite and we called her the Naan Devi while she was here in 2012. I send her daily pics.

Wandering back to the hotel (a 1500m descent at an alarming angle with cars whizzing by inches away and 100m drops at your elbow with no railing) in the cool drizzle we HAD to stop at the Tara Palace and see what all the fuss was about.

Well, it is indeed worth the raves. From the back verandah where we had coffee the view was breathtaking. A constantly changing mountain and cloud show over the rice paris and farms of the hill villagers all the way down to the river in the valley. Magic!

Tonight we stayed in the hotel, read, chatted, listened to some music and I wrote some postcards. Very chill evening. Now I’m for bed.

Friday 15:

Slept like dead people. Woke up to sunshine streaming in the windows. Miss Dior parfum. Off to breakfast.

Walked to the top of the drive, no mean feat as it’s 100m upwards, as we get there a cab appears and we ask how much to do our days adventures. 1500 rupees. There are 50 rupees in an Australian dollar. Basically this kid has offered to drive us around all day for AUD$30, and he has jacked the price up by a third so we can haggle him to the 1000 he expects to get. I smile and say fine. He has already saved us 2000 extra rupees the hotel was going to put on top to call and have him come to the front door.

So you know, we took him to lunch with us and had him sit with us to eat. Drivers in India sit outside in the car and wait. Then after a gruelling day of about 7 hours taking us to temples and the zoo I paid him 2,100 rupees (what I had) and he was so sweet. First he reminded me how much he had quoted, then he got really emotional and happy. 7 hours for AUD$42. It’s heartbreaking. When will the world become a more level playing field? Sometimes the injustice gets to me.

The temple, monastery and university is the first refugee temple in the world. The Tibetan buddhists had to flee Tibet before China stole their country. India gave them this site first and another in McLeod Gang.

This is the university. Monks must study for 13 years then do six years of service.

We grabbed a thali for lunch at a roadside hole in the wall.

Then off to the ZOO! We saw this incredible leopard. They are so much bigger than I expected and we were about 5 feet from him. He was lovely.

Then we went to the Ganesha Temple where the priests prayed for us and gave us tikas & wristcords.

Off to the Tara Palace for chai. This is the view from the balcony. It’s one of the more expensive hotels in Gangtok but it looks worth every rupee to us, inside and out. Very swish.

Here is Benjamin, our nighttime driver and will be driving us tomorrow. HOW CUTE?

Saturday 16:

Good morning Gangtok. It’s our last morning in the Himalayas and I’m feeling a bit glum about leaving. This week has been a perfect idyll, really relaxed and seeing so much. The people up here are some of the most welcoming I’ve met anywhere.

Driving, flying, arriving, eating, sleeping.

Did spritz original Burberry Women on my way through Delhi Duty Free. Smells so otherworldly here in India. That seems to make it even more interesting. Also I really noticed a peony note in it that sprang out. Mix that with some sweetness and almonds and voila, smells good.

Sunday 17:

Morning. I’m lazy. Slept in, awake of my own accord, got up and did some computer stuff. I will have a shower in a minute, or 10. Hopefully a bucket bath.

Breakfast of champions and the view from the Matsya Aravli room where I’m staying.

Went and visited Varun’s Mummy and Pappa. Always great to see them. His niece was home sick from uni and we took her shopping with us. So much fun buying new saris and ordering the tailor to make them into coats for me. Mine are starting to fall apart.

Then home for a nap.


What all have you been up to?
Tell me in the comments please, I love to know.

Portia xx

Saturday Question: Dressed Up Perfume




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.

I’m currently away on holidays in India and will have limited internet but be assured that I’ll read every comment and answer when I can.

Saturday Question: Dressed Up Perfume

You’ve been invited to a Gala Fundraiser. It’s not exactly the Met Ball but you’ll be required to wear a dress or suit. Not necessarily a gown or dinner suit but if you have such refinements then by all means go all the way. The question today is about Dressed Up Perfume. What do you wear when you have to look and smell a million dollars? Do you go soft and refined? Is it a wall of scent situation? Do you want to fly your freak flag? Maybe you want to keep your scent deliberately low key?

Unlike most of our APJ readers my job is dressing up and wearing gowns, looking well over the top and shimmering. So my chances to wear Dressed Up Perfume are far more numerous than most. At least four times a week I’m glammed up to go host rooms. I have a range of scents depending on mood and weather but the ones I reach for most when going for Dressed Up Perfume are these.

What Are My Dressed Up Perfumes?

Mitzah Christian Dior FragranticaFragrantica

DIOR Mitzah

The original Mitzah herself was famous as Christian Dior’s fashion muse. I can’t think of a more dressed up place in the world you could find. She was not a typical beauty either but a fun and frivolous gal pal who was often seen decked out in outlandish leopard print everything. She could command a room with her style and Mitzah the fragrance reflects that chutzpah. Honeyed and spiced rose over a lightly feral labdanum and patchouli with a whisper of burning incense. VERY dressed up.

The Taste of Fragrance Alien Mugler FragranticaFragrantica

Mugler Alien The Taste of Fragrance

Original Alien done with a salted caramel twist. There is something commanding and elegant hiding under the sweetness. I feel like the world is mine when I wear this beautiful fragrance. Sometimes when I really want to stand fragrantly head & shoulders above the crowd I layer Alien The Taste of Fragrance over Amouage Dia Woman lotion. Seriously, you have no idea how magical a concoction it is.

Divine EdP Divine FragranticaFragrantica

Divine EdP

There is something restrained and effortless about the slightly OTT aldehydic white floral glamour that is Divine EdP. It’s like CHANEL No 5s uber wealthy, less abrasive sister.Presence without pretence, Divine EdP manages to feel society luscious. A grande dame of a scent that sparkles and shimmers exactly like the most fabulous gowns.

My Saturday Question to you is:

Who would be your three Dressed Up Perfumes, where would you where them and why?

Trouble by Jacques Cavalier for Boucheron 2004




Hiya Frag Heads,

From the man who brought us Kingdom, L’eau d’Issey, JPG Classique, Stella, Zanzibar and M7. The man who is now the head perfumer at Louis Vuitton. A fragrance that was panned by the critics, Luca Turin famously wrote it was a one star dismal oriental, a murky broth the colour of mud in which float shreds of past fragrances. Ouch! Harsh indeed. It may be all of that and a mess but I love it. Impossible to find nowadays I have stockpiled enough for this lifetime and the next.

Trouble by Boucheron 2004

Trouble by Jacques Cavalier

Trouble Boucheron FragranticaFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top:  Dyer’s-broom, Lemon
Heart: Jasmine
Base: Musk, Sandalwood

Trouble has been sitting unloved lately. I wore it a lot for years and then it got put in a box and ignored. Searching for something else I rediscovered my Trouble cache and now have worn it for at least part of three days running. The notes seem so straight forward, I’m pretty sure they’ve left out dozens of ingredients, but they are also irrelevant. I don’t smell the parts but the whole scent. Trouble smells like itself only to me and interestingly the fragrances that it’s most often compared to (Allure, Cinema, Addict) are not perfumes that I like for myself at all.

Trouble Boucheron Henri_Rousseau_-_Eve_in_the_Garden_of_Eden WikiMediaWikiMedia

An oriental fragrance with loads of amber and vanilla all the way through, a crunchy biscuit base accord, creamy white flowers and some soft focus woods are how my nose smells Trouble. Let’s be honest here it’s about as much trouble as a cuddle from a loving mother.

Longevity is excellent and though pretty linear it does head even more amber/woodsy in the base. Probably too thick and bombastic for modern workplaces and definitely interferes with your palate at dinner but for smelling fabulous while doing the vacuuming and housework I can think of no better glam scent to life you far above the hum of domestic boredom.

Trouble Boucheron Thomas_Cole_The_Garden_of_Eden_detail_Amon_Carter_Museum WikiCommonsWikiMedia

Further reading: I Scent You A Day
eBay sometimes has bottles pop up

Do you have an ignored or soundly trashed fragrance in your favourites list?
Portia xx

Clair de Musc by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 2003




Heya Fumies,

So recently there have been wild rumours going around about the Serge Lutens brand. Bottle changes, discontinuations, export going to bell and vice versa. It has freaked me out so I finally bit the bullet and bought a few I’ve been humming and having over. Grabbed some of them on the discount sites and others I paid retail. Got a couple of the DCd vaporisator bottles and a brand new 100ml of La Fille de Berlin. Expensive couple of months but I am glad.

Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens 2003

Clair de Musc by Christopher Sheldrake

Clair de Musc Serge Lutens fragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Iris, musk, neroli, bergamot

My noses telling me fruity musks but it doesn’t smell like citrus. Actually it has a kind of metallic smell like icy gutters. Sheer and weightless yet surprisingly full of scent. An interesting oxymoron.

In Clair de Musc the iris is earthy and only slightly cardboard, a very cool, aloof, spacious iris that whispers elegant restraint.

I have some problems smelling some musks but these are fragrant to me. Both clean and animal come through, there’s a very soft funkiness but the focus is laundry clean.

Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens -John_Downman_-_The_Ghost_of_Clytemnestra_Awakening_the_Furies WikiMediaWikiMedia

My mind keeps wandering to who this scent could be created for. It seems to sit at a weird crossroads between animal and mechanical. As if a robot or computer are trying to generate human smells to cloak their inhumanity. It seems they can only work within the confines of their AI scented vocabulary though. Though Clair de Musc gets furry, it’s not a puppy or even a piglet but the scratchy glass fibres of roof insulation or the petrochemical created fake fur in flour colours. Everything seems just a bit off true. It makes the journey really interesting.

So I’m thinking it would be an excellent scent for work, to project the scent of absolute industrial strength dedication and a computers focus. Brilliant job interview scent, especially for someone in IT, engineering or construction.

Will I wear mine? I’m not sure that it will reached for often but the times that I want to smell just like this it will definitely get a triple spritz.

Clair de Musc by Serge Lutens chipmunk lilac & green field jil111 pixabayPDI

Further reading: I Scent You A Day and Non-Blonde
FragranceNet has around $100/50ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples from $6/ml

Also, having read a few reviews of Clair de Musc it seems everyone gets entirely different experiences from it. So even if my review has you gasping to grab a bottle do test first.

Have a lovely day.
Do you like musks?
Portia xx