Sunshine: Skin & Body Care


AF Beauty


Hey APJ Crew – how are you all?

It’s been a while I know, I took a little longer in the shower than I’d originally planned! #dallas #bobbyewing

Sunshine: Skin & Body Care

Actually, while I’ve been away, I’ve been in the bath more than the shower – I’ve been working out at the gym after work, so I drag my beaten self back home and throw myself in the bath. I have fallen in love with the bath again, it has been bliss – and something I’ve really missed when travelling and not having a bath available. But you know what I’ve noticed, Australia has a really pathetic range of cheap and cheerful bath products – either I have to use shower gel or radox crystals.

Amazing Oils

In fact, I am mostly using magnesium based crystals – not for beauty reasons, but for muscle recovery. I have been using an Australian brand of magnesium, similar, but not the same as Epsom Salts – this one is from a company called Amazing Oils and specifically for recovery. And though I say this isn’t a beauty product, magnesium REALLY helps me sleep, so if beauty sleep is a thing, then these crystals make me beautiful!

The other thing that’s happened while I’ve been away – SUMMER! Yessss! The sun has been shining, it’s been hot! The sun has been enjoyable but first things first – the sun does dry the face and you will get wrinkles – or at least, *I’m* getting wrinkles – if you don’t take care of your skin. Second things, wearing makeup all changes when your skin is a fraction darker than it was two months ago.


Skincare first: The difference in skin is hard to pinpoint, it just seems less plump and drier – while greasier. As usual, if there are obnoxious skin combinations to be had, here they are. I have resorted to old favourites to continue to treat my skin and have bumped up the night-time treatment. I should have added a regular daytime SPF but I still search for the elusive sun protection that isn’t heavy, greasy, claggy, or just disruptive to usual make up. I’ve worn tinted moisturiser with SPF – it has been my saviour. Nothing fancy, I think I’ve written about it before – Garnier’s BB Cream in Anti-Ageing and medium. It’s been a summer saviour helping me resist marching into Myer and buying a new foundation. The good (or bad) thing about a tan is it’ll wash away quicker than it ever took to acquire.

I have tried Nivea Face Veil (OK, but a bit greasy), Jurlique SPF Lotion (really nice texture but caused my foundation to pill). And I’m sure I’ve got others, but I’ve also got a bit of a skincare addiction, so they’re probably underneath a load of other things, whoops! To add to that I noticed as I researched this that Jurlique has some new sun protection products that’ve caught my eye (See? Addicted!) so I’m going to see if they’ll give me some testers.
Until next time, I’m off to the bath…..

AF Beauty XXXX

Scent Diary: 6.3 – 12.3.17




Hey Hey APJ,

It’s HOLIDAY week. I will try to get pics and stories onto this Scent Diary but when away it gets hard. Doing my best.

Scent Diary: 6.3 – 12.3.17

Monday 7:

BLOODY HELL. Today was BUSY! Finished work last night then came home to finish all the APJ posts. DONE at some ungodly hour. Spritzed some Niki de Saint Phalle and was asleep before the top notes had gone to heart.

Up early, spritzed Equistrius by Parfum d’Empire, saw Jin’s buddy Matt and then to the dentist for a check and clean. All good.

We were going to get public transport to the airport tomorrow but I rang my mate Lyndall and now we are having a Town Car collect us and drop us at the door. Pickup at 4.45am

Then it was Pedicure time. Red with white sparkles for the holiday. Tres festive. Before you say anything, YES, I know I have hairy Hobbit feet. No, I am not waxing them anymore, I like them. Don’t you think it’s more subversive to have painted nails as a hairy dude?

Home and cleaning the house. Dinner at 7pm. Jin made the makings of Vietnamese Rolls and the crew devoured them. It was a wonderful farewell dinner and we had ice creams and tea for dessert. Our friends are so wonderful and Jin made the most delicious dinner. THANK EVERYTHING for the dishwasher. Two loads and done.

Tuesday 8:

MORNING! Packed our bags, did this bit of blogging, having an Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant bubble bath & spritzing IUNX Splash Forte and then (hopefully) getting 2 hours shut eye.

OUCH! That 4.20am wake up call was a killer. We are off.

Wednesday 9:

Flying. South Korea

Managed to gran the Guerlain Eau de Cologne Travel Set at Incheon Airport. I saw that it had come out but never in my wildest dreams expected to have it. YAY!!

Arrived in Prague!

The Front Desk women are friendly and helpful, sending us to this restaurant nearby that is so famous and full of locals that we had to go for a walk till our table was ready.

The old Town Square clock tower.

Thursday 10:


Jin has picked us a perfect hotel, as usual. It’s an original Prague guest house, very olde worlde, 300m from the Central Rail Station and walking distance to everywhere.


Breakfast room in the hotel. Very glam.

Tea at the Opera House Cafe. Booked tickets for a classical mixed bag in the main hall tomorrow night.

Wandering the streets and every turn features beautiful old towers and roofings.

OK, so Jin & I thought we were wandering along the Danube but we were mistaken. Prague sits on the Vltava River. Even though we are dummies the walk was wonderful.

The Charles Bridge with its life sized christian statutory and a greyhound that people touch, so it shines golden against a drab background. People rub the loyal dog hoping to return to Prague one day.

Very interesting statue of fallen angels, screaming people and some pompous, smug, political looking guy seated at the front.

Jin loves to travel local when we are overseas. It’s only about AUD$5 a day for a metro, bus and tram ticket

Goulash for lunch with dumplings. YUM! Came with a beer each. Jin ordered cabbage salad and I grabbed some fries. All for the princely sum of AUD$20 for two.

At 3pm we though we better have a nap. I woke up at 10pm and now it’s 10.30pm. It;’s been great fun blogging but I think I’ll wake Jin and we can have a late night Prague ramble.

We just got home and Jin’s FitBit tells us we walked 19.6km today. BLOODY HELL! No wonder my feet are sore.

Friday 11:

BIGGEST DAY this holiday. Up at sparrows fart. Breakfast, wander the town, Mucha Museum, which was really good. Excellent video that taught us both so much about his life and works.

Then we bused off to Kutna Hora. First stop the creepy Bone church where some crazy bastard exhumed all the excess bones and made them into art. The story is a little more convoluted but sheesh, FREAKY!

Next it was St Barbara’s Cathedral. A very glam Gothic structure with towers and buttresses et al.

Next door is an old Jesuit college turned into a Modern Art Gallery. HIGHLIGHT!!

Jin loves Opera but there was none to be had during our stay. I bought us tickets to hear the Prague opera house String Octet play a mixed bag of classics. There were even a few that Jin knew so it was an excellent choice. Very nice evening and the opera house is lavishly decorated by Mucha. The first pic is a VERY excited Jin before we went in, how freaking cute is he?

Back home to our hotel. We really loved it and recommend it to you should you be staying in Prague. Reasonably priced, comfortable and so clean we thought the bathroom was brand new!

Saturday 12:

We were up bright and early again to get the 7.15am train but the hotel being only a 5 minute walk from the station made life easy. We bought first class tix so the first thing we got was a glass of Czech Bubbly! Posh.

Train travel is so civilised. No waiting in airports, dealing with customs, more roomy and there’s a BUFFET CAR!!

Arriving to see Jin’s brother and his wonderful family was so much fun and they had too much catching up to do. Sorry for the lack of photos but I will tell you that Jin comes alive around these guys. He’s always a great guy but here in the company of his family there is an extra light.

We had a very special dinner at the poshest hotel in town. I even bought a bottle of Moet to make it really special. Then all the adults proceeded to get smashed on wine and soju. I went to bed and they went out and got completely stonkered at the local casino.

Sunday 13:

The upshot of that big night out was this.

The sweetest looking snorchestra ever. Like a steam train running through the bedroom. This Sleeping Beauty is definitely a Beast.

Perfume? I knew you were going to ask. Bought a bottle of Yves richer Rose Oud and have worn it non-stop since. Jin is wearing to too. A really easy high pitched rose and soft focus synth oud. Like a poopy pot pouri. Sounds awful but it is terrific.

So what’s been going on for you this week? Anything fragrant or fabulous you’d like to share?
Portia xx


Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz for DSH Perfumes 2015




Hey All,

A while ago when I got the DSH Chroma Sample Set I grabbed every dabber out and had a quick sniff. It is fun finding the instant likes, loves and loathes. I will admit that Ultramarine Blue jumped into the WTF category. It was so interesting, unusual and confronting. No, I’m not sure why because it really smells like the beachside in summer but with an undercurrent of menace. Anyway I filed it away under Must Revisit and thought you might like to come along on the ride with me today to see if it lives up to its

Ultramarine Blue by DSH Perfumes 2015

Ultramarine Blue by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Chamomile, cassis, cumin, ozonic notes, musk, sea notes, orris root, petitgrain, sandalwood, violet woodsorrel

OK, so I decanted the whole vial into a spritz and did the whole 18 blasts on the back of my hand and forearm. WHOA!! No turning back now.

Salty citrus, briny seas, a herbal greenness that feels both freshly chopped and mulched. The cassis is green and biting, like pulling ivy off the wood fence and scrunching it up in the summer after swimming in the pool. There’s nothing easy about Ultramarine Blue. I find it disturbing and challenging. Imagine oversalting cucumber, add a little under the boardwalk bilge-e-ness, tear some rose leaves and dig in a super heated grass mulch pile. Then you can smell exactly what my nose is giving me from Ultramarine Blue.


Doesn’t sound appealing does it? Well, while it’s not exactly my fragrant cup of tea I do love the way it moves through the pieces of the story. Dawn has a deft way with ingredients that means even though it’s not a spritz & go frag it is compelling and keeps drawing my nose back to my hand.

After an hour or so Ultramarine Blue becomes driftwood. it’s absolutely beautiful. Calm, tranquil and an unruffled seaside escapade in the glorious sunshine.

DSH Perfumes has loads of sizes and variants of Ultramarine Blue starting at $6

Want something unusual, interesting, refreshing and ultimately peaceful? I think you might like to try Ultramarine Blue.
Is there an aquatic that you love?
Portia xx

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo for Jean Patou 1972




Hey Hey Vintage Fragheads,

1000 was a fragrance I had basically ignored. Joy was my Patou fragrance and at some point I had a Sira des Indes too but though it was lovely it didn’t float my boat at the time and I sold it on. Back in 2014 my mate Michael & I went for a 2 hour private class at the Osmotheque in Versailles, Paris (the suburb, not the palace, walking distance though) and when we got there out tutor was none other than Jean Kerleo himself. It was the most fabulously surreal afternoon and I will never forget it. The photo below is taken when Patricia de Nicolai came in to thank us and very kindly tell us it was time to leave. We’d still be there had she not.

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Patou 1972

1000 EdT vintage by Jean Kerleo

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Osmanthus, violet, apricot
Heart: Jasmine, lily-of-the-valley, rose, geranium
Base: Sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss

A floral chypre! Yep. My knowledge of chypre (sketchy at best even though I love them) is that they have no flowers because Cyprus (or Chypre as it’s also known) is all about citrus, foliage, conifers and herbs. Anyway, so many of my chypre loves have flowers who am I to bitch?

This bottle was a recent eBay purchase and I already have some pristine vintage parfum so I have a pretty good base line to mark it from.

The osmanthus, violet and apricot in the opening are there if I look for them, particularly the violet and I would have picked fruit but not that it was apricot and would add there also seems to be a low-key slug of citrus. Aldehydes too, giving a softly oily radiance to everything.


The hearts bouquet is basically overrun by the base with only a passing reference to roses that I can pick and without notes I probably would have missed them too. Not incredibly creamy sandalwood and furry oakmoss seem the stars of the show for me and I am 100% OK with that. After reading NST review I realised that there are also animalics that I was totally nose deaf to, having smelled Jean Kerleo’s remaining musk tincture the memory jumped out at me again. Heavenly.

1000 is dressed up and ready to rumble, what I really want to do is triple spritz my chest and go grocery shopping or clean the car. The sheer weight of its glamour would be excellent as a backdrop to the turbines of tedium.


Further reading: Now Smell This and Non Blonde
The current 1000 is available in department stores and on the discount sites.
Surrender To Chance has EdP & Parfum samples starting at $6/ml

How about you? Ever wear the really flashy good frags to light up the everyday?
Portia xx

Unpacking Fragrances After Moving Countries




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)

Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012




Hi APJ, hope your week is travelling well so far.

It is a sultry rainy day in Sydney, and I’ve just turned the house upside down looking for my 1.5ml sample of ‘lightscape’ so I could wear it for the second time. I have a house full of bottles, decants and samples so 1) it was difficult to find and 2) it shows how determined I was. Standing with hands on hips, surveying the chaos, I glanced over to my side table – there it sat, almost looking at me with a faux-innocent “….What? I was here all along.” expression.


Grab. Spray spray spray.


Lightscape by Ulrich Lang 2012


Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Galbanum, violet leaf, lemon
Heart: Iris, rose, violet, cyclamen, cedar
Base: Ambergris, tonka bean, cashmere wood, musk, ambrette (musk mallow)

I’m surrounded by the most wonderful green galbanum and that strange violet leaf note which is both floral and verdant at the same time. There’s a background buzz of lemon floating in and out and a touch of sweet dry wood. An ever so soft powdery iris starts wafting through at around 10 minutes. Fab.

I had a pre-conceived anthropocentric impression of lightscape, for no good reason; a city at night, all those white & yellow sparkling lights and flowing red through the veins of its streets. Maybe because of the NY connection. Wrong. This is the dappling of light through a sparse forest & the smell of crushed plants as you walk on through.


That effect lasts about an hour and from then the sillage settles slowly by degrees. I’m not quite sure when it morphs to the next dry down stage, it seems to sneak up on me – maybe 3 hours? It’s pretty – an elegant pink musk mallow being the star of the show, supported by tonka bean, more musks, and ambergris giving it a lived in skin effect. It’s alluring, confident and comforting.

I’m enthralled with this fragrance. It’s the type of perfume which has the potential to be part of life’s tapestry as it weaves its own stories into yours. I can’t wait to buy a full bottle, maybe during my visit to Los Angeles later in the year.

Further reading: Colognoisseur and EauMG
Ulrich Lang has $120/100ml has
First In Fragrance has €95/100ml + Samples

A big thank you to Portia for the sample of lightscape, along with nightscape, aperture, and anvers. Thoroughly enjoyed giving these a run through.

Have you ever worn a fragrance and immediately thought – yes, you will be mine…. ??

Till next time,
Tina G xx

Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure




Hey there APJ,

Jin and I leave for our holidays on Tuesday, yes tomorrow. Bags are packed. Friends over for dinner tonight and Jin has done a huge plate of meat & veg that we all make our own Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls from. He is an artist at it and it’s one of my favourite things he does. So fresh, healthy and delicious.

europe_topography_map_en Europe 2017

Europe 2017: Jin & Portia’s Big Adventure

So where are we off to? Here’s a run down of our dates & cities. It’s mainly a driving holiday with a couple of short flights added in for ease and comfort. So the dates are the nights we spend in each city. All dates are in March. Everything in bold is a city we have never been to before, exciting.

8/9/10: Prague, Czech

11/12: Zilina, Slovakia

13/14: Berlin, Germany

15/16: Hamburg, Germany

17: Hanover, Germany

18: Rotterdam, Netherlands

19/20: Luxembourg

21/22/23: Paris

24/25/26: Milan, Italy

27/28/29: London, UK

So that’s where we’ll be. Should you be in any of this cities or nearby and like a catch up, food, sight seeing or a sniff then please tell us where you are in the comments below and we’ll try and organise something.

What frags am I taking? I’m not sure but I’m very tempted to take only Parfum d’Empire Equistrius and Patou 1000.

Here we come Europe, can’t wait to see you.
Portia xxx